Sources of Stability

Why the war on terror (or terrorism) is not about ending brutal dictatorships or promoting democracy or human rights


“Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world” President Jimmy Carter, 1977, to the Shah, the western backed dictator of Iran, whose rule led to the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran and his overthrow in the 1979 revolution(0)

'Secretary Gates, who arrived to discuss mutual security issues with the Saudi leadership, said the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia “has been one of the mainstays of stability in the Middle East for more than 60 years.” Report on Obama's Defence Secretary Robert Gates' visit to Saudi Arabia, governed by the US backed dictatorship of the House of Saud, June 2008 (15)


The ‘war on terror’ and western governments’ foreign policies in general are supposedly about replacing dictatorships with democracies. In fact the general assumption is that the US and other democratically elected governments by their very nature aim to promote democracy abroad in all their actions and if they don’t it’s only due to “errors” or “mistakes”. The facts suggest otherwise.

For instance the British and American governments churned out claims that the invasion of Iraq was about “overthrowing tyranny” and a “corrupt torturing dictator” and replacing them with “democracy”. The chapter on their support for Saddam and their replacements for him showed why those claims are lies.

There are many other examples though. The US and British governments remain allies of corrupt torturing dictatorships worldwide. Three examples are the Saudi monarchy (just one of many western backed sheikhdoms in the Middle East) , President Mubarak of Egypt and Qadaffi’s dictatorship in Libya, which, having provided oil contracts to US and British firms, has now had all sanctions on it lifted.

When a democratically elected government came to power in the Palestinian Authority after the January 2006 legislative elections the US government and its allies in the “developed world” were quick to punish the entire Palestinian population for not voting the way they were told to, just as the Reagan administration backed campaigns of torture and murder in South and Central America in the 1980s against populations who voted the "wrong" way.

When brutal torturing dictators provide “stability” - Saudi Arabia’s monarchy

The Saudi monarchy are absolute dictators, basing their right to rule on a medieval concept of kingship. They also have a religious police force similar to that of Iran, but composed of Wahabbi Sunnis rather than Shia. From their rise to power to the present they have been supported by their allies the British, American and French governments (among many others), no matter which political party has been in government in those democracies at the time.

In 2009 the International Coalition of Jurists reported that in Saudi Arabia “The Saudi Basic Law of Government infringes the basic principles of the rule of law and separation of powers, as it maintains control of the ruling family over the judicial and administrative institutions, and appropriates the legislative authority to the King and the Council of Ministers. It also limits the Consultative Council’s competences to propose, discuss and interpret laws.

Widespread human rights violations persist in Saudi Arabia. Individuals are often arbitrarily arrested, detained or punished when subjected to the criminal and often secret justice procedures that contravene the fundamental principles of the right to a fair trial. Women face systematic discrimination and are increasingly exposed to executions and amputations. Torture and other ill-treatment are still widespread.” (1) .

In the same year Amnesty International reported that the Saudi government still practised “systematic torture” including “beatings with sticks, punching, suspension from the ceiling, electric shocks, sleep deprivation”. The death penalty by beheading is also used. Since, as Amnesty reports, the main form of “evidence” used in Saudi trials is “confession” and torture is used to extract confessions, many innocent people are being executed (2) .

When King Abdullah replaced King Fadh on the throne his allies in the US and Britain praised him as a great reformer and progressive – even though his ‘reforms’ in reality amounted to some sham local elections, freeing some political prisoners (before arresting more) and sharing power with some other members of the royal family (3) . That wouldn’t even count as progressive in the 19th century never mind the 21st.

In the token Saudi local elections of 2005 all political parties and trade unions remained illegal, with many members union members only released from jail on condition they stay out of politics. Women could not vote and only half the seats were up for election, the rest being appointed by the Saudi monarchy (4) . The half elected municipal authority were meant to be limited in power to controlling local services such as rubbish collection. In reality they weren’t even allowed to do that. By 2008 ‘Several elected members of the Riyadh Municipal Council ...voiced their frustration and willingness to resign...“The council virtually possesses no real powers to execute any decisions” they complained.’ (5).

Tony Blair claimed that the Saudi’s “are moving in the right direction” on the grounds that they had agreed to hold these local elections. Yet the Iranian government hold elections not only for Mayors and local governors but also for MPs , Prime Minister’s and Presidents. Admittedly, as in the Saudi local elections, they’re often rigged, the government bans many candidates from standing and the ‘Leader’ retains much of the real power. However the Saudi monarchy retain all real power in Saudi. This didn’t stop Blair going on to denounce the Iranian government as 1930s style fascists while praising supposed Saudi progress towards democracy – nor has it stopped American politicians of both main parties doing the same (6) - (8).

Abdullah’s other claim to be a progressive – releasing some political prisoners on ascending the throne, was also rapidly revealed to be just more public relations. Soon he was having Saudi reformers and terrorist suspects jailed, tortured and beheaded again without fair trial (9), (10).

The British and American governments (along with many European governments and Russia and China) don’t seem to care about overthrowing the corrupt, torturing, murdering tyrants of Saudi the way they claimed they did in Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe even Iran. In fact they seem keen to help them stay in power.

Bush, Blair, Brown and Obama all kept the US and UK allied to the Saudi monarchy and increased arms sales to it. Blair and Brown maintained the ‘al Yamamah’ arms for oil deal negotiated with the Saudis by Thatcher – and then signed it’s successor ‘al Salam’ (these Orwellian names translate as ‘The Dove’ and ‘Peace’). Obama’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a May 2009 visit to Saudi said that the relationship between the US and Saudi “has been one of the mainstays of stability in the Middle East for more than 60 years” and that he shared the Saudi monarchy’s frustrations about “bureaucratic” restrictions on US arms sales to them, had plans to end those restrictions and would continue to have US troops train Saudi forces (11) - (15). So no problems with arming and training the forces of brutal dictatorships that torture and murder their own people then for Bush, Obama, Blair or Brown ; Republicans or Democrats; the Labour party or the Conservatives.

Even when British citizens were jailed on false charges and tortured into confessing to crimes they hadn’t committed the British government refused to demand their torturers be brought to justice. Al Yamamah and Al Salam were so lucrative for British Aerospace that their own citizens being tortured didn’t seem to worry the government much. It was left to backbench MPs like John Lyons to speak up on behalf of the torture victims. Even when the bombing campaign they had been accused of continued after they were jailed, demonstrating their innocence, the Saudis refused to even aplogise and the British government refused to ask them to (16) - (20).

Gates in his speech also touched on another source of income for US firms – this time ones linked to the Carlyle Group – which has close links to the Bush family and many former members of US administrations. For instance in 1997 the Carlyle Group owned 28% of the shares in BDM International, a firm which Vinnell Corp was a subsidiary of. Frank Carlucci, who was Defense Secretary under Reagan in the 1980s, was simultaneously chairman of both the Carlyle Group and BDM. Vinnell Corp and other US firms like Military Personnel and Resources Incorporated (MPRI) have trained Saudi forces on contracts from the Pentagon for decades. Vinnell are still there along with DynCorp and others (21) - (24). Investors in the Carlyle Group before 9-11 included the Bushes and the Bin Laden family (see chapter on Profits of War).

No doubt the Saudi monarchy will keep on creating more “stability” by denying their people any peaceful way to get democracy, promoting religious jihad as an alternative to democracy and handing themselves huge bribes on every arms for oil deal at their peoples’ expense (like BAE’s (British Aero-Space's) bribes to Prince Bandar) (25) - (27) . Saudi national Osama Bin Laden is an example of the kind of “stability” we can look forward to if the Saudi monarchy continues to rule this way.

President Mubarak of Egypt and Son – A family dictatorship

When rigging elections and jailing, torturing and beating the opposition is “bold and wise” and American Presidents don’t mean what they say about aid being conditional on democracy and human rights

President Mubarak of Egypt was in power for 24 years, backed by every US Presidency throughout that period with military aid and arms sales, before he held a Presidential election in which any other candidate was actually allowed to stand for the Presidency, in 2005. In all his previous Presidential elections candidates only candidates from his National Democratic Party were not allowed to stand – and since he controls the NDP he was always the only candidate. In May 2005 though a constitutional “reform” was made – now people who weren’t members of his party could stand against him, as long as they were approved by – you guessed it – Mubarak’s National Democratic Party. Technically parliament approved the candidates, but since Egypt’s parliamentary elections are also heavily rigged by a mixture of bribery, threats, jail without fair trial and violence against opposition campaigners and journalists the National Democratic Party always have a large majority in the Egyptian Peoples’ Assembly. This meant that in practice Mubarak could veto anyone who had a chance of beating him in an election from standing. Even the referendum on a proposed constitutional “reform” of the constitution to allow token opposition candidates ( i.e those Mubarak hadn’t banned from standing through the NDP) was rigged, resulting in an 83% ‘yes’ vote, with a credibility similar to Saddam’s re-elections as Iraqi President with 99% of the vote. During the referendum campaign riot police also encouraged plain clothes Egyptian security agents and NDP supporters as they beat and sexually assaulted women protesting for a boycott of the vote. When the 2005 Presidential elections came no candidate with any chance of beating Mubarak was allowed to stand. Just to make sure he won the usual vote rigging and violent attacks on opposition supporters took place, including both police attacks on opposition campaigners and thugs hired by Mubarak beating women supporters of the ‘Kifiya’ (Enough) party while police looked on. To make absolutely certain Mubarak also had one of his most popular rivals, Ayman Nour, jailed on trumped up fraud charges. (28) - (34).

President Bush claimed in March 2005 that Egypt had taken a “small but significant step towards democracy” (35). US first lady Laura Bush visited Egypt in May 2005 at the time of the constitutional referendum, saying of Mubarak “I think he's been very bold and wise to take the first step," She also said that sometimes reforms "have to be slow...You know that each step is a small step, that you can't be quick. It's not always wise to be.”. The leaders of the opposition parties in Egypt disagreed. Mustafa Mazen of the liberal Ghad party said “She is not aware of the government's low manoeuvres”, while Mohammed Habib, Deputy Leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood said “There are no reform steps at all. The regime is still following the dictatorial and repressive method towards the Egyptian people and opposition” (36). I'll never vote for any fundamentalist religious party, but in this case Mohammed Habib was right and the Bushes were wrong (as usual).

The rigged elections are only a part of Mubarak’s repression. Human Rights Watch’s World Report in 2009 reported that over 5,000 people remained jailed after unfair trials – including journalists and human rights activists who had dared to criticise the government. Trade unions and political and human rights NGOs remained banned and the police still systematically torture the people they jail (37).

Yet US military and civilian aid to Egypt kept on being approved by both the Bush and Obama administrations along with political support for the Mubarak dynasty.

Bush publicly criticised Mubarak in 2008 for having the main opposition candidate jailed on trumped up fraud charges in the 2005 Egyptian Presidential election. Congress also made the pitiful gesture of making $100 million out of $400 million per year economic aid and $1.3 billion military aid to Egypt conditional on democratisation and human rights progress. The Bush administration then went on to make even that small fraction of US aid unconditional (38) - (40).

In May 2009 the Washington Post reported that “Obama's budget for fiscal 2010 includes $1.3 billion in military aid for Egypt and $250 million in economic assistance, a 25 percent increase from the Bush administration's proposed economic aid package. Human rights advocates have complained, however, that the Obama administration has agreed to the Egyptian government's demand that the economic aid cannot go to civil society groups unless they are sanctioned by the government.” (41) - (42) .

Predictably the brutal repression of non-violent political opposition to the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt has resulted in the growth of violent jihadist terrorist groups, including Al Qa’ida. Al Zawahiri, the deputy leader of Al Qa’ida has said his main motive in organising attacks for Egyptian Islamic Jihad and then Al Qa’ida was to get revenge for the Egyptian government for torturing him (43). So far Obama has done nothing to try to change that any more than Bush did.

The US and Qadaffi in Libya - from ‘mad dog’ to helpful murderer

In 1999 Qadhafi decided to hand over alleged members of Libyan intelligence claimed by the CIA to have carried out the bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 on the 23rd of December1988. The bomb detonated over Lockerbie in Scotland killing all 270 people on board. They were tried by a Scottish court in the Netherlands.

Decades after having one of them, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, jailed for the Lockerbie bombing, the British and American governments did a rapid u-turn. Despite numerous inconsistencies in the evidence provided at Megrahi’s original trial by CIA agents and their paid informers Megrahi had been convicted. Appeal hearings for Megrahi were criticised by Dr. Hans Kochler, the UN observer at them as “a spectacular miscarriage of justice”, “totalitarian” and more like an intelligence operation than a fair trial.

Many of the relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing, such as Dr. Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing, were convinced Megrahi and Libya were not behind the bombing. Swire and many others believe a Palestinian group – the PFLP – were paid by the Iranian government, via the Syrian government, to bomb the flight in revenge for the USS navy ship Vinciennes shooting down an Iranian civilian passenger plane, Iran Air Bus 655, killing all 290 on board, over the Strait of Hormuz in July 1988, mistaking it for a military aircraft. In the run up to the 1990 Gulf war (see chapter on ‘The Brutal Dictator’s Best Friends’) the Bush administration were looking to use Syrian and Iranian airspace and have their backing during a patriotic, hopefully election-winning, war on Iraq.

So after having provided exactly the explanation that Swire and others would provide later (based on good evidence) the US and British governments then changed the story and claimed Qadaffi’s government in Libya was to blame. (Gadaffi would have certainly had a motive for revenge after Reagan ordered the bombing of Tripoli in 1986 in an attempted assassination of Gadaffi based on the assumption that he was behind a bombing in West Germany that killed US soldiers. The US air-strikes killed 93 people including many children, one of them being Gadaffi's infant adopted daughter. - see note (66)). Swire and many others were ignored by the British and American governments for almost 20 years. (44) - (46) (sources also include those for previous two paragraphs)

Yet as soon as oil deals were involved the British government became keen to send Megrahi home – but without any new trial that might clear his name and reveal CIA and British government deceptions and their framing of an innocent man, not to mention the possibility of finding out who really put that bomb on the plane and how it got through airport security. This was a particularly stark example of political manipulation of the courts in a democracy by governments and intelligence agencies (47) - (54) .

Each stage of the US and British government u-turn on Libya, Qadhafi and Megrahi came as Libya offered preferential treatment to British and American oil companies on existing and new oil field finds if the US and Britain would lift sanctions on Libya.

In 2002 John Bolton, then US Under Secretary of State, made a speech accusing Libya of developing weapons of mass destruction. Qadhafi, being as quick on the uptake as he is dictatorial, quickly realised the sub-text – give us your oil and we’ll prop up your dictatorship, don’t and we’ll bomb or invade and take it. In 2003 the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that “Libya will welcome back US oil companies should Washington lift sanctions against it, Mohamed Abderrhmane Chalgam, the Libyan Foreign Minister, said today. Libya hopes its pledge on Friday to abandon weapons of mass destruction may lead to the return of the US oil majors that were once responsible for producing around one million barrels per day of its crude. “The US has oil advantages in Libya,” Chalgam said. “We will try to convince US oil companies to return.” (55) - (56) .

That was what the British and American oil companies and their governments wanted to hear. By March 2004 they were back in Libya (57) - (58).

In 2008 the Financial Times newspaper reported that Megrahi was to be freed by the British government just after the Libyan dictatorship of Qadaffi had ratified a £450 million contract allowing BP to explore for oil in Libya and its waters (59).

On the one hand an innocent man had finally been given a chance of freedom by the same governments and intelligence services who had had him jailed on false charges. On the other the US and British governments had shown how little they actually care about Qadaffi’s real victims – - who include many Libyans.

In November 2008 Bush said “Libya has taken important steps on the road to normalizing its relations with the international community beginning with its renunciation in 2003 of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction...The United States will continue to work on the bilateral relationship with Libya, with the aim of establishing a dialogue that encompasses all subjects, including human rights reform and the fight against terrorism.” (60) =.

Human Rights Watch meanwhile reported that “Libya's international reintegration accelerated in 2008 despite the government's ongoing human rights violations...The Libyan government continues to imprison individuals for criticizing the country's political system or its leader, Mu`ammar al-Qadhafi, and maintains harsh restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly....Libya continues to detain scores of individuals for engaging in peaceful political activity. Hundreds more have been "disappeared," some for decades. Many were imprisoned for violating Law 71, which bans any group activity opposed to the principles of the 1969 revolution that brought al-Qadhafi to power. Violators of Law 71 can be executed.” (61).

This would suggest that human rights and democracy were not uppermost in the minds of US government decision makers in their rapprochement with Qaddafi.

The “terrorist suspect” who was previously the Bush administration’s “source” on Iraq’s supposed WMDs, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, code-named “curveball” was found dead in his cell in Libya in May 2009 shortly after being visited by Human Rights Watch. He had been transferred there by US agents in 2006. Before his death Human Rights Watch found out from him that to get him to provide the required story on Iraq his torturers in Egypt shut him in a box less than 18 inches high for 17 hours, before dragging him out and beating him savagely for 15 minutes. He had been taken by the CIA “extra-ordinary rendition” (i.e kidnapping for torture” to Egypt to get him to “confess” that Iraq had WMDs so Colin Powell could tell the UN he had a source confirming Saddam’s possession of the weapons (62) - (63).

Once again US and British government support for a dictatorship had paid off for members of government, if not for dead Iraqis, Libyans, coalition troops or the victims of the July 7th or Madrid bombings or their surviving friends and families.

The happy tale of governments re-united may not have a happy ending for Qadhaffi’s dictatorship or for Libyans though. Qadaffi has been trying to haggle for better deals with US oil firms operating in Libya that give his government a bigger share of the profits and has even dropped hints containing the dreaded ‘n’ word (nationalisation) (64) - (65)

This may yet mean the US government going back to labelling him a ‘mad dog’ as they did in the 1980s, while trying to assassinate him by airstrike again, or even Qadaffi going the way of Saddam at huge cost in Libyan lives, not to ensure democracy, but cheap supplies of oil for US firms.(66) .

What ‘developed world’ democratic governments do to some real democracies – from Nicaragua to Gaza and the West Bank

It’s also instructive to see how the US , the EU, Israel and other democratically elected governments respond to actual democracies developing in the Middle East. In the case of the Palestinian Authority the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections resulted in a victory for Hamas – the wrong result as far as Israel and its allies were concerned. While Palestinians had had to accept the election of multiple war criminals such as Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert as Prime Ministers of Israel, it was the view of some ‘democratic’ governments’ that it was unacceptable for Palestinians to elect the party and Prime Minister the majority of them supported. A long campaign of sanctions to starve Palestinians into submission, arming Fatah to fight Hamas to provoke civil war (in co-operation with Mubarak and Egypt) and all out military assaults on Palestinians ensued, eventually resulting in Hamas also ending its ceasefire with Israel. The people responsible once again included former members of the Reagan and Bush senior administrations who had not only armed and funded Saddam but also helped overthrow the Sandinista government, which in 1984 held elections judged free and fair by international observers in 1984 and won them, but had committed the crime of overthrowing the US backed dictatorship of Somoza in Nicaragua and actually attempting to run its economy for the benefit of its own people. Hamas and Palestinians would be made to suffer the way Nicaraguans had. This campaign continues without any end to sanctions by the US or reduction in US military aid to Israel at the time of writing (67) - (69).

The false claim that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East” was repeated many times even as Israeli forces attacked the other two democracies in the Middle East, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, killing their civilians with arms supplied and funded by the US.

(For more details and sources see ‘ The Coup against Hamas’ and these posts on my blog and this this one)

Conclusion – It’s still not about Promoting Democracy

In reality backing Saddam was not a ‘mistake’ or ‘error’. It was part of a policy of helping dictators into power and propping them up that began long before September 11th and has continued since 9/11. Promoting democracies abroad has never been an aim of any of the major world powers’ governments. The foreign policy aims of democratically elected governments are generally the same as those of undemocratic countries like China and Russia - to install governments who are their clients and will run their countries for the benefit of foreign companies rather than the benefit of their own people. In return the client governments get a cut of the proceeds of exploiting their own people.

The supposed “small steps toward democracy” in Saudi and Egypt which President Bush praised in a speech in . Neither country is even as democratic as Iran, whose government which is far closer to being a dictatorship than being fully democratic. Free and fair elections in the Palestinian Authority did not stop the ‘established democracies’ trying to overthrow it any more than it did when the Sandinista’s won Nicaragua's elections in 1984.

In the war against Al Qa’ida propping up dictatorships and punishing democratically elected governments has resulted in an increase in terrorism, as those tortured and oppressed and killed by dictatorships turn on both those dictatorships and the countries backing them ( more on this in the chapter on ‘Understanding the causes of terrorism’.)

There was nothing much new in the Bush administration's foreign policy. Every modern US Presidency and most other ‘developed world’ governments have done much the same. It was just that under 'Dubya' the contradiction between rhetoric and reality was even more glaring than usual. Under Obama far more has stayed the same in the reality of US foreign policy than has changed, at least in respect to supporting dictatorships.

During a televised debate with John McCain on 7th October 2008 Obama said “And the reason Pakistan -- the popular opinion of America had diminished in Pakistan was because we were supporting a dictator, Musharraf, had given him $10 billion over seven years, and he had suspended civil liberties. We were not promoting democracy. This is the kind of policies that ultimately end up undermining our ability to fight the war on terrorism, and it will change when I'm president.” (70).

So far there’s no sign of that change under the Obama administration in its support for Mubarak in Egypt, the Saudi monarchy or Qadhafi in Libya.

copyright©Duncan McFarlane2009

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Sources

(0) = Freedman, Lawrence (2008) 'A Choice of Enemies', Weidenfield & Nicolson, London, 2008, Chapter 4, page 66

(1) = =International Commission of Jurists Sep 08 ‘United Nations Human Rights Council, 4th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review , (2 - 13 February 2009) ICJ Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia’, http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/ICJ_SAU_UPR_S4_2009_TheInternationalCommissionofJurists.pdf

(2) = Saudi Arabia: Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Fourth session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council, February 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE23/029/2008/en/8ec50fb6-9077-11dd-b16f-6118895def38/mde230292008en.html

(3) = Telegraph 10 Feb 2007 ‘Saudi king loses power to choose successor’, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1542268/Saudi-king-loses-power-to-choose-successor.html

(4) = City Mayors Feb 2005 ‘First local election underway in Saudi Arabia but women voters will have to wait until 2009’, http://www.citymayors.com/report/saudi_elections.html

(5) = Gulf News (UAE) 31 Mar 2008 ‘Frustrated council members prepared to quit’, http://archive.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi_arabia/10201694.html

(6) = = Takeyh, Ray (2006), ‘Hidden Iran - Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic, Times Books, New York, 2006

(7) = = Pollack, Kenneth M.(2004), ‘The Persian Puzzle', Random House, New York, 2005

(8) = = Hiro, Dilip (2005), ‘The Iranian Labyrinth’, Nation Books, New York, 2005

(9) = Reuters 10 Jan 2008 ‘Saudi detains activist ahead of Bush visit’, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L10222703.htm

(10) = Human Rights Watch world report 2009, Saudi Arabia, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79258

(11) = Guardian 01 Aug 2007 ‘Tehran the target of huge arms deal, says Rice’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/aug/01/usa.iran

(12) = Jerusalem Post 14 Jan 2008 ‘Bush delivers major arms sale on visit to Saudi Arabia’, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1200308085636&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

(13) = Guardian 07 Jun 2007 ‘The al-Yamamah deal’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/07/bae15

(14) = Guardian 16 Sep 2007 ‘BAE lands Saudi plane deal’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/sep/16/money1

(15) = Air Force Link (US Air force) 06 May 2009 ‘Gates lauds U.S. efforts to boost Saudi military capacity’, http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123147927

(16) = Guardian 01 Feb 2002 ‘FO faces anger at Britons' ordeal in Saudi jail’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/feb/01/politics.saudiarabia

(17) = Observer 28 Apr 2002 ‘Outrage as Saudis jail bomb Britons’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/28/terrorism.saudiarabia

(18) = Guardian 03 Feb 2003 ‘Briton's hell at hands of Saudi jailers’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/nov/03/saudiarabia.world

(19) = Hansard 21 Jan 2004 ‘Human Rights (Saudi Arabia)’, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040121/halltext/40121h03.htm#40121h03_spnew0

(20) = Guardian 16 Sep 2002 ‘Saudi jail families break the silence’, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040121/halltext/40121h03.htm http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/sep/16/saudiarabia.world

(21) = AP 22 Mar 1997 ‘Saudi Arabia: Royal Family Gets Quiet Help From U.S. Firm With Connections’, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11176

(22) = Los Angeles Times 14 Apr 2002 ‘US Companies Hired to Train Foreign Armies’, http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/peacekpg/training/pmc.htm

(23) = Boston Globe 15 May 2003 ‘US company has long history with Saudis’, http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030515-saudi-ties01.htm

(24) = On links between the Bushes, Bin Ladens and the Carlyle group see ‘Prophets of War’ and the sources for it.

(25) = Guardian 14 Jun 2007 ‘BAE faces criminal inquiry in US over £1bn payments’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/14/bae

(26) = Guardian 13 Jun 2007 ‘Minister stonewalls on Bandar's £1bn’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/13/bae

(27) = Financial Times 07 June 2007 , 'BAE Systems faces allegations of secretly paying Saudi prince' , "http://www.ft.com/cms/s/e37553d2-147f-11dc-88cb-000b5df10621.html

(28) = Federation of American Scientists ‘The Arms Sales Monitoring Project’ , Country Profile – Egypt , http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/asmp/index.html

(29) = Guardian 22 Sep 2004 ‘Cairo reformers say free election is not on agenda’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/22/brianwhitaker

(30) = Guardian 27 May 2005 ‘Egypt claims 83% yes vote for change’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/may/27/brianwhitaker

(31) = Guardian 26 May 2005 ‘Dissent quashed as Egypt votes on reform’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/may/26/brianwhitaker

(32) = Human Rights Watch Sep 2005 ‘From Plebiscite to Contest? Egypt’s Presidential Election’, http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/mena/egypt0905/egypt0905.pdf

(33) = Amnesty International World Report 2008 ‘Arab Republic of Egypt’, http://report2008.amnesty.org/eng/regions/middle-east-and-north-africa/egypt

(34) = Human Rights Watch World Report 2009, Egypt, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79233

(35) = = CNN 08 Mar 2005 ‘Bush reinforces push for democracy’, http://edition.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/08/bush.mideast/index.html

(36) = BBC News 24 May 2005 ‘Mrs Bush on Arab children's show’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4574163.stm

(37) = Human Rights Watch World Report 2009, Egypt, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79233

(38) = Reuters 04 Mar 2008 ‘U.S. waived congressional restriction on Egypt aid’, http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSL0482173620080304

(39) = New York Times 19 May 2008 ‘Bush’s Speech Prods Middle East Leaders’, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/19/world/middleeast/19prexy.html

(40) = Human Rights Watch World Report 2009, Egypt, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79233

(41) = Washington Post 09 May 2009 ‘Obama Picks Egypt as Speech Venue’, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/08/AR2009050803843.html

(42) = Christian Science Monitor ‘$50 billion later, taking stock of US aid to Egypt’, http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0412/p07s01-wome.html

(43) = Gerges, Fawaz A. (2005) ‘The Far Enemy: Why Jihad went Global’, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New York 2005

(44) = Lockerbie - The official website of Dr Jim Swire and Lockerbie researcher Peter Biddulph, http://www.lockerbietruth.com/

(45) =Paul Foot (1989-2001) ‘The Great Lockerbie Whitewash’ in Pilger, John (ed.) (2005) ‘Tell Me No Lies’, Vintage/Random House, London, 2005, pages 214-254

(46) =John Ashton & Ian Ferguson (2001) ‘Cover-Up of Convenience: The Hidden Scandal of Lockerbie’, Mainstream Publishing, 2001

(47) = Independent 11 Jul 1992 ‘Lockerbie relatives welcome US court decision’, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/lockerbie-relatives-welcome-us-court-decision-1532622.html

(48) = BBC News 14 Mar 2002 ‘UN monitor decries Lockerbie judgement’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1872996.stm

(49) = Report on the appeal proceedings at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands (Lockerbie Court) in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi v. H. M. Advocate by Professor Hans Köchler, international observer of the International Progress Organization nominated by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the basis of Security Council resolution 1192 (1998), http://i-p-o.org/koechler-lockerbie-appeal_report.htm

(50) = Lockerbie Observer Mission of Dr. Hans Koechler 26 Mar 2002, http://i-p-o.org/koechler-lockerbie-appeal_report.htm

(51) = The Firm (Scottish lawyers’ magazine) 10 Jun 2008 ‘UN Observer to the Lockerbie Trial says ‘totalitarian’ appeal process bears the hallmarks of an “intelligence operation”’, http://www.firmmagazine.com/news/901/UN_Observer_to_the_Lockerbie_Trial_says_%E2%80%98totalitarian%E2%80%99_appeal_process_bears_the_hallmarks_of_an_%E2%80%9Cintelligence_operation%E2%80%9D_.html

(52) = Guardian 18 Jun 2007 ‘New doubt over conviction for Lockerbie bombing’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jun/18/libya.lockerbie

(53) = Herald 15 Jan 2009 ‘Secret talks on deal to return Megrahi to Libya’, http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2481827.0.Secret_talks_on_deal_to_return_Megrahi_to_Libya.php

(54) = < >insert source on US Vinciennes shooting down Iranian airbus>< >>

(55) = Financial Times 16 Sep 2002 ‘Libya denies US allegations over weapons’

(56) = SABC News 22 Dec 2003 ‘Libya wants US oil companies back’

(57) = National Public Radio (US) 08 Mar 2004 ‘U.S. Lifts Terror Sanctions on Libya’, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3927645

(58) = Fortune Magazine 28 Jun 2004 ‘Libya's Black Gold Rush With sanctions lifted, Big Oil is lining up to do business with Qaddafi’, http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/06/28/374397/index.htm

(59) = BBC News 02 Feb 2008 ‘Assurance call on bomber transfer’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7224194.stm

(60) = America.gov 30th Nov 2008 ‘Bush Calls Qadhafi to Praise Settlement Agreement’, http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2008/November/20081119091216dmslahrellek0.2517664.html

(61) = Human Rights Watch World Report 2009 , Libya, http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79302

(62) = HRW 11 May 2009 ‘Libya/US: Investigate Death of Former CIA Prisoner’, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/05/11/libyaus-investigate-death-former-cia-prisoner

(63) =Washington Post 12 May 2009 ‘Detainee Who Gave False Iraq Data Dies In Prison in Libya’, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051103412.html

(64) = AP 03 Mar 2009 ‘Libya Wants Greater Share of Its Oil Revenue’, http://www.cnbc.com/id/29494495

(65) = Forbes Magazine 22 Jan 2009 ‘Is Libya Going To Boot U.S. Oil Companies?’, http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/22/libya-gaddafi-oil-biz-energy-cx_ch_0122libya.html

(66) = Bovard, James (2003) ‘Terrorism and Tyranny’, Palgrave-MacMillan, NY,2003, Chapter 2, pages 24-26

(67) = Latin American Studies Association (1984) ‘The Electoral Process in Nicaragua: Domestic and International Influences’ , LASA, Pittsburgh, Pensylvania, 1984 (excerpts from this and other election obsever delegations’ reports are quoted on http://www.envio.org.ni/articulo/3396/"> this link and by Chomsky and Herman in ‘Manufacturing Consent’ – see footnote (70) below

(68) =Revista Envio No.46 April 1985 ‘Nicaragua: The Elections Reagan Would Like to Forget: An Analysis of the November 4 Election Results’, http://www.envio.org.ni/articulo/3396 ; quotes EU, Irish, LASA and other delegations of election observers on the 1984 elections

(69) = November 19, 1984, page 31Chomsky, Noam & Herman, Edward. S (1994) ‘Manufacturing Consent’, Vintage/Random House, London, 1994 , Chapter 3, especially pages 116-131

(70) = CNN 07 Oct 2008 ‘Transcript of second McCain, Obama debate’, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/07/presidential.debate.transcript/

copyright©Duncan McFarlane2009