Bush Plans Libyan, Sudanese Trips to Dramatize US Leap into Africa

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Later Sunday, February 1, the White House decided to bring forward to June the president’s trips to Libya and Sudan. Two additional Islamic nations added to his itinerary are Turkey and possibly Morocco.
As North African temperatures cool toward the end of summer or early fall – and perhaps even earlier – George W. Bush will set off on an official visit to Libya and Sudan. The president is programming his trips as dramatic high points of the seismic military and political changes his administration has set in motion in the Middle East and key regions of northern and eastern Africa
(See attached maps of spreading US influence in Africa and Middle East)
If elected for a second term, Bush will continue to drive forward along these tracks which essentially radiate from Washington’s Middle Eastern foreign and security policy hub and cockpit of its global war on terror.
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Muammar Qaddafi, determined to prove he is America’s best friend in the Middle East, is holding back nothing on his unconventional weapons programs, equipment, stocks and documentation on sources of supply, offering Washington a veritable treasure trove of intelligence.
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Materials laid bare in Libya forced Pervez Musharraf to carry out a painful probe into charges of illicit trafficking in nuclear technology with Libya and Iran by his top scientists and officials, including the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan. A thriving black market in WMD has beginning taking shape from long-hidden documents, the most intriguing section of which should uncover Libya’s nuclear exchanges with Iraq and North Korea. As DEBKA-Net-Weekly revealed in the past, a large team of Iraqi nuclear scientists was employed at the clandestine al Kufra oasis nuclear complex in southern Libya. Their present whereabouts are known only to Qaddafi.
In declaring his forbidden weapons projects, Qaddafi may well have been moved also by a very simple motive: the dilapidated state of Libya’s oil industry. Outdated oil facilities and antiquated equipment are draining national revenues. Libya’s industrial mainstay needs an urgent facelift, a multi-billion rehabilitation program which only American companies are technologically and financially equipped to support.
In deep hush, therefore, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources reveal negotiations in progress between Libya on the one hand and the United States and Britain, All our attempts to activate oil sources of information ran into a uniformly blank wall. We have learned, however, that negotiations are indeed on course and that certain US oil companies have sent advance teams to Libya to survey the plant and draft and overall rehabilitation plan. American and British oil firms expect to divide up areas of responsibility for rebuilding Libya’s oil industry under license from Tripoli.
One unmentioned upshot of the Bush administration’s ventures in Iraq, Sudan and Libya is to bring those countries’ oil resources under American control while concomitantly weakening OPEC.
The teams preparing the Bush tour will bill it as a major feather in the presidential cap and a centerpiece of his campaign trail.
Sudan peace even bigger deal than Libya’s WMD.
His Tripoli centerpiece will be followed by a Khartoum spectacular celebrating America’s momentous success in bringing one of Africa’s most intractable conflicts, Sudan’s bloody 21-year civil war, to an end, and persuading President Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir to sign peace with the man Washington has slated as vice president, the rebel leader, John Garang. At the head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of the south, Garang fought the Muslim-dominated government in the north for autonomy for the mostly Christian or animist south in a conflict that cost some two million lives and displaced some four million people. Credit for this breakthrough belongs to former US senator and Sudan peace broker John Danforth
Sudan’s natural resources were just as much an issue in the civil conflict as ethnic and religious causes and equally promise to be the key to its future prosperity. In January 2003, this Nile state’s proven oil resources stood at 563 m barrels. Output of 300,000 bpd is expected to rise to an estimated 450,000 in 2005 once the country is pacified and rebel attacks on oil installations a thing of the past.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports that designating Garang vice president is part of the arrangement governing the disposition of Sudan’s oil. The Abyai district will come under “presidential” control on the basis of half and half shares in national oil resources between Bashir and Garang.
In more than one respect, the Sudanese peace and power-sharing pact could be an even more effective campaign booster than Qaddafi’s repentance. The Christians, who make up a quarter of Sudan’s population of 37 million, were long supported by conservative Christian groups in the United States whose votes Bush will be soliciting. Their championship will be vindicated by a settlement that gives the Christian minority of Sudan the victory of a place in the sun.
Even better, according to our sources, the peace accord is revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources as incorporating a secret rider between the Sudanese and US presidents – known to Garang – which undertakes to remove the Shariya, or Islamic law, from the constitutional basis of government.
For the first time ever, American diplomacy will have succeeded in converting a country dominated by radical Muslims – in Sudan’s case since the 17th century – into a secular democracy – in a period, moreover, when fundamentalist Islam is at its most militant and only a few years after Khartoum played host to Osama bin Laden’s headquarters.
Bush also has a special occasion in mind with an eye on the African American vote where his support is relatively weak. He will step forward as the first US president to plunge deep and head-on into problems endemic to the African continent. The Sudan peace will show the way to accommodations of other conflicts. He has allocated liberal sums for the fight against AIDS and steps for raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions of Africans. On the agenda too is a highly evocative ritual at the White House at which Sudan’s president will solemnly forswear his country’s dark past as recruiter of slaves for America and the Arab caravans carrying African slaves around the world.
If the US president has his way, the White House lawn will be fully booked this year with ceremonies centering on the Sudanese reconciliation, which he rates more highly than the Israel-Palestinian handshake hosted by Bill Clinton eleven years ago.
“It has to be a ceremony even more impressive than the 1993 White House signing of declarations of principles by Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat,” said a senior US official preparing the event. “It will be an ‘African Camp David’, but one that will not fail.”
Bush’s advisers are preparing to stage a truly gala reception for the two Sudanese leaders, the first of a series showcasing the presidency’s breakthroughs in Africa in full sight of the American electorate and culminating in a splashy signing ceremony in March or April.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice has set up a committee with heads of the African American community. Working out of an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, they are assess the next moves on Sudan and their impact on voting patterns in November.
As Danforth’s mission draws to a successful conclusion, the president’s senior political adviser Karl Rove is taking charge of strategy on Sudan and its exploitation as campaign fodder.

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