Ethan Chorin & “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity” A Critique

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Democracy or the Voluntary Return to Military Rule:  What do Libyans want?
This is the third op-ed to be reviewed to explore this question.  Our first discussion is located on our Google+ page.  It is a review of two articles by two leading Libyan politicians for which we refer you to that location.  With all the videos and screenshots for our second op-ed discussion, our WordPress site is the better venue.

 

“In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity” Forbes Ethan Chorin

“In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity” Forbes Ethan Chorin

Ethan Chorin in Forbes: “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”. Page 1

Ethan Chorin in Forbes: “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”. Page 1

Ethan Chorin in Forbes: “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”.

 

This second article comes from Dr. Ethan Chorin.  For his background, we will quote from his consultancy – Perim Associates bio page – (screenshot on 8 October 2016, below):

Dr. Ethan Chorin, Founding Partner & CEO

Posted September 7, 2015 by Perim Associates

Ethan Chorin (Arabic, French, Farsi) is  CEO of Perim Associates. He is the author of two books,  Exit the Colonel: the Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution (PublicAffairs, 2012), and Translating Libya (Darf, 2015).  From 2008 to 2011, he was Sr. Manager for Government Relations and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dubai Ports World (DP World).  As a Foreign Service Officer from 2004 to 2008, Chorin was posted to Libya, Washington D.C., and the United Arab Emirates. Chorin holds a PhD from U.C. Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics (2000), an MIPS from Stanford and a BA from Yale, cum laude, with distinction in Near Eastern Languages. A two-time Fulbright fellow (Jordan, Yemen), Chorin received a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State for his support to U.S. business in Libya, and a Sinclaire Award for language achievement. Chorin’s work on Libya, the Gulf, Iran, and Africa has written for numerous publications, including The Financial Times, The New York Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy, Prospect, Words Without Borders and Jane’s Islamic Analyst. Chorin has appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, CBS, Canal+, and others. Chorin has been Nonresident Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, Social Enterprise Fellow at Yale University School of Management, a Director at the Berkeley Research Group and a member of the Obama Campaign Foreign Policy Group.

Ben-Mussa ‏@Ben_Mussa on Twitter. “The seating configuration shows who is in power in Eastern Libya”

Ben-Mussa ‏@Ben_Mussa on Twitter. “The seating configuration shows who is in power in Eastern Libya”

 

Impressive to be sure.  And yet, given the facts on the ground and the seriousness of the return to military rule, we question his recent personal assessment of Libya.  Published in Forbes on 7 October 2016, Ethan Chorin gave us his assessment of eastern Libya under the control of Khalifa Heftar.

Many mean under the literal control of Khalifa Heftar. 

 

Before we get to his Forbes article, here is a poignant excerpt from Dr. Chorin’s The New York Times opinion piece written in 2012 upon the death of US Ambassador Stevens: “What Libya Lost”:

“The gravest mistake would be for the United States to write off Libya as an irredeemable terrorist haven, or for politicians in Washington to regret having intervened in support of Libya’s rebels. Libya is still far better off today than it was under Qaddafi. The grip of fear has been broken. Election posters festoon the country. Election schedules have been met. And there is a rich expression of individual opinions.

"What America Lost" Ethan Chorin The New York Times 2012

“What America Lost” Ethan Chorin The New York Times 2012

Nevertheless, the Libyan people need support to consolidate gains, and to continue a fight against largely foreign-financed radicals who wish to hijack the revolution in the name of intolerance. And the United States must help the Libyans do that. The loss of Ambassador Stevens will, I hope, goad the Libyan government into matching its discipline about election schedules with far bolder steps to crack down on extremists and disarm the country’s militias. And Libya should press the American government for even more support in that effort, even as it encourages American organizations to find common cause with their Libyan counterparts to improve the lives of Libya’s citizens.”

 

Libya is still far better off today than it was under Qaddafi. The grip of fear has been broken. Election posters festoon the country. Election schedules have been met. And there is a rich expression of individual opinions…  Nevertheless, the Libyan people need support to consolidate gains, and to continue a fight against largely foreign-financed radicals who wish to hijack the revolution in the name of intolerance…

What a difference 4 years can make in an author’s recollection and opinion.

 

To tighten military grip on the east, Al-Nathori appoints a third military governor" The Libya Observer

To tighten military grip on the east, Al-Nathori appoints a third military governor” The Libya Observer

With such an advocate for the Libyan democratic process in 2012, noting “foreign-financed radicals” and “the grip of fear has been broken”, “election posters festoon the country” and “there is a rich expression of individual opinions” – we now focus on Dr. Chorin’s 2016 article on life in eastern Libya under Khalifa Heftar.

In comparison we note – unfortunately not Dr. Chorin – the sad irony of life under Khalifa Heftar’s eastern Libya.  All those symbols of hope that prompted Dr. Chorin article in 2012 – election posters, the broken grip of fear, rich expression of individual opinion – have eroded to nonexistent in 2016 under Khalifa Heftar, aside from the “foreign-financed” element.

And yet, in 2016 Dr. Chorin reports on the positive side, “a window of opportunity” of Khalifa Heftar presence.   Based on interviews – he apotheosizes that the security Heftar provided to eastern Libya is exactly what the people want.    Dr. Chorin noted “I asked them about the East’s role, and their vision for a political settlement.  All favored law and order and many, a decentralized administration.”

However, Dr. Chorin failed to mention or even touch on that pertinent topic – at what price did that law and order come.  At what price was it forced upon eastern Libya.  Dr. Chorin failed to mention the erosion of those principles talked about in his 2012 article – and most importantly, he failed to mention the encroachment of militarization at the expense of democracy in civil laws and institutions.  Replaced by martial law or military laws with the stifling of “the expression of individual freedoms” as Libyan are non-longer allowed to gather without written permission from the military governor.  As quoted from The Libya Observer stating: “Demonstration and Protest without Prior approval have been banned.”

Was this mentioned by Dr. Chorin?  Not quite.

 

Nor did Dr. Chorin mention these other facts of life in eastern Libya.  Such as:
  • Libya Herald: 11 August 2016 “Hafter appoints southern security committee”
  • Bloomberg:   12 August 2016 “Fear of Military Rule Grows in Benghazi as Elected Mayor Ousted”
  • Libya Herald: 13 August 2016  “Terror suspects being rounded up in Benghazi”
  • Libya Herald: 14 August 2016 “Vehicle scanners and surveillance cameras installed in Benghazi“
  • Libya Herald: 15 August 2016 “Nazhuri bans sales of all military supplies”
  • Libya Herald: 22 August 2016 “Nazhuri bans mayors from meeting in Musaid”
  • Libya Herald: 23 August 2016 “Nazhuri sacks Salem Jadhran as mayor of Ajdabiya in new municipal militarization move”
  • Libya Herald: 28 August 2016 “Hafter moves to extend military rule to the south”
This reflects August; the list continues to grow daily.

 

On the all-encompassing nature of Dr. Chorin’s Forbes article
"Libya: Civilians trapped in Benghazi in desperate conditions as fighting encroaches" Amnesty International

“Libya: Civilians trapped in Benghazi in desperate conditions as fighting encroaches” Amnesty International

Given the omission or simply cherry-picking of basic pertinent facts on security, questions arise as to the all-encompassing nature of his Forbes article.  First, we found that although widely noted, Dr. Chorin failed to mention the accusation of human right abuses of Khalifa Heftar’s LNA via the Amnesty International 30 September 2016 report on the Ganfouda district in Benghazi.  The Amnesty International report was published prior to his 7 October 2016 Forbes article but curiously not mentioned.  Seeming to dismiss the AI findings, Dr. Chorin did note on 2 October on Twitter on Ganfouda that “Reports remaining 100 Ganfouda / #Benghazi #libya fams 2x offered safe passage, either refused or prevented from leaving? Who’s using who?”

Ethan Chorin-Twitter “Reports remaining 100 Ganfouda / #Benghazi #libya fams 2x offered safe passage, either refused or prevented from leaving? Who’s using who?”

Ethan Chorin-Twitter

Can we assume the AI documented human right accusations didn’t quite register as significant with Mr. Chorin even though the BBC noted “Adults have been unable to leave Ganfouda since the end of August, when a tribal leader said no-one over the age of 14 was allowed out the area.”   Either Dr. Chorin did not read or did not accept the irrefutable evidence as documented in the AI Report, the BBC and in video of Khalifa Heftar’s ‘tribal relations advisor‘.  (See video below)  This Heftar advisor on the official Tobruk Channel, Al Rasmiya – said “As for anyone who is above 14 years, he will never exit alive at all.”

This is irrefutable videotaped evidence by Khalifa Heftar’s advisor.  The fact that the video was aired on the official television channel makes the Tobruk government legally responsible for these comments.  That would be the government affiliated with Khalifa Heftar – the man who Dr. Chorin article noted – brought security to eastern Libya.   Again, this goes to relevance.   Toss in this video was widely circulated on social media in Arabic for which Dr. Chorin is fluent.  Also circulated English translations by Libyan Expert Dr. Wolfram Lacher tweet one & tweet two and The New Libya Report.

Human Right Solidarity Faraj Agayem Libya Al Mostakbal

Human Right Solidarity & Faraj Agayem Libya Al Mostakbal

 

The fact that this irrefutable video evidence exists and is considered so credible to be included in the Amnesty International report – one would think it should be included in Dr. Chorin’s article on eastern ‘stability’ due to security under Khalifa Heftar.  As it did not, nor any of these other militarization reports were included in Dr. Chorin’s article is at the minimum irresponsible.  Without the inclusion of militarization documentation or even a discussion –  provides an incomplete thus inaccurate picture of eastern Libya ‘stability’.

How that “stability” was derived, we argue, should have been a background component of his op-ed. 

Again, going to thehow-“stability”-was-achieved-issue, other allegations of human right violations were not included.  Can we assume their relevance is not significant enough for Dr. Chorin – as they too did not make the cut for his article?  The fact that victims bound, shot execution-style have been found in dumps in areas under the control of Heftar, one would think would it would be applicable especially when allegations of bodies in dumps surfaces again and again.   Or the allegations and direct accusations leveled at Khalifa Heftar are documented in videos, by Libya Al Mostakbal or by Human Rights Solidarity of Special Forces Commander Faraj Agayem in June:

 “We ask the military general prosecutor to come to us we have now physical liquidation cases we are looking at these cases at the right moment. We will release these cases to the media we know who kills and throw (corpses) in the dumpster. There are no Dawaish in Benghazi the Dawaish are the fighting points they are in Al Guarsha and Al Sabri.  But those who arrest and put (people) underground for seven months we know who he is.  And we know who kills in the name of the army and we have concrete evidence. But know we do not want create fights in Cyrenaica.  If we release this to the channels (media) this will blow it from East to West.  The issue is in our hands. The general prosecutor knows.  The general attorney knows but the case cannot be released to the media because there will be fights in Cyrenaica.  It is a big case there are innocent people who died and found in the trash until now we did not oppose (he could mean Heftar).  But in the right time by God’s will I will tell my people in Benghazi and I will tell them who committed physically elimination in the last few months after the liberation of most of the areas of Benghazi.”

This excerpt covers a second video by Special Forces Commander Faraj Agayem.  Note, once Commander Agayem’s report was published it is separated from him, no matter which way his political whims wave.  An excerpt from The Libya Observer 16 June 2016: “Murder cell loyal to Khalifa Haftar busted in Benghazi, Dignity Operation militiaman reveals”:

“Faraj Egaim showing one of the gun silencers to his tribemen.  A ring aligned with Khalifa Haftar’s military command has been arrested in Benghazi for committing murder, Faraj Egaim, the chief of so-called “Special Tasks Force,” a militia group that worked under Khalifa Haftar’s command, disclosed on Tuesday.

During a tribal meeting of Awaqir tribe in Benghazi, Egaim said his force had arrested the 15-member cell inside a villa in downtown Benghazi while plotting assassinations to a number of people, including him and Defense Minister designate of UN-proposed government Mihdi Baraghati.

“We seized guns with silencers with this ring, they have underground secret detention centers where torture is practiced, they are hiring 6 Bengalis to commit torture and cut off limbs of their victims,” he revealed.  He added that this ring was monitoring movements of Defense Minister designate Mihdi Baraghati and his Awaqir tribe followers in preparation for their assassinations.

“We recorded 137 cases of murder committed by groups loyal of Haftar.” He said.  He also revealed that a group of 18 members loyal of Khalifa Haftar were carrying out beheadings in Benghazi in the name of the army.”

Allegations documented in videos, by Libya Al Mostakbal or by Human Rights Solidarity of Special Forces Commander Faraj Agayem in June 2016.

 

Or more serious allegations of human rights violations including threats of ‘bodies in dumpsters’ and of ‘a secret prison’ inside of Garnada military prison under the direct control of Khalifa Heftar’s LNA as documented by Alwasat.    In the case of Ali Alasbeli, a Libyan social activist who was imprisoned for 120 days for openly criticizing forced disappearances in East Libya.  He gave his account and was documented several times by Alwasat.  We gave the English translation.

Dr. Chorin failed to mention these allegations of human rights violations – some leveled directly at the LNA commander Khalifa Heftar.   Nor did he mention the removal of democratically elected mayors by a military governor.  In fact, it doesn’t seem the military governor was mentioned at all.  Curious as Dr. Chorin was commenting on security based – in part on the crackdown by the military governor.

 

We found that Mr. Chorin did mention:

I asked them about the East’s role, and their vision for a political settlement.  All favored law and order and many, a decentralized administration. “We have to get out of the thinking that Federalism means splitting the country, or depriving one part of the country of the collective resources,” said a professor and graduate of a reputable U.S. university, in his 50s. “We need local accountability, and local development and assistance wherever it is currently possible.  We cannot wait until things are perfect, as they will not be.”

AND

…more than Libyan interests or long-term regional security. Even those who had previously been skeptical, or even greatly opposed to Heftar in 2014 when the last government was still in place, were now giving him much credit: “I’m not sure I trust him completely,” one Libyan woman told me, “but it’s clear, it weren’t for him, the East would have been lost a long time ago.  There would be no possibility of starting over.”

Further moves against local democracy in Cyrenaica Libya Herald

Questions of free-will or coercion: “It is not clear if the Elders…made the decision voluntarily or were pressurised into it.”  “Further moves against local democracy in Cyrenaica” The Libya Herald

But, given that the clamp down on dissent and gathering without prior approvals and allegations of murder, kidnapping, forced disappearances or torture coupled with an Amnesty report with accompanying videos – did Dr. Chorin deduce that some in eastern Libya may not feel at ease to answer honestly?   Or as Dr. Chorin noted in 2012 utilize “a rich expression of individual opinions”?   An admission of the lack of free-will would have changed the methodology basis of his article.  Although Dr. Chorin did not, even The Libya Herald  and Journalist Mary Fitzgerald questioned free-will or coercion on the 27th of September with the call to have the Military governor replace the elected officials:

“Local tribal leaders in Soloug, some 50 kilometres south of Benghazi, have called on Major-General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, the HoR-appointed military governor of eastern Libya, to install a military man to run the municipality instead of the present elected council.

It is not clear if the elders who met on Sunday made the decision voluntarily or were pressurised into it.”

Mary Fitzgerald on Twitter

Mary Fitzgerald on Twitter

Did any of the aforementioned facts occur to Dr. Chorin to include in his assessment?  All are applicable points given that topic was Mr. Heftar and “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East. Some See A Window of Opportunity.  What about those Libyan’s who don’t see that window?  An objective overview of credible sources such as Alwasat, Amnesty International, BBC and Human Right Solidarity should have been included as to HOW that eastern ‘stability’ occurred.   Dr. Chorin first-hand account is just that – his evaluation is based on his undisclosed number of interviews.   But given that lack of relevant facts as mentioned – we argue it provides an incomplete, thus inaccurate picture of eastern Libya ‘stability’ to the Forbes readers.

 

UN Security Council Report on Libya March 2016

UN Security Council Report on Libya March 2016 documents the proxy war violations

 

Proxy war as Ethan Chorin Sees it…

Dr. Chorin starts from the mistaken assumption that the proxy war is the sphere in which Libya MUST operate.  We argue it is not.  True it is the current dynamic – but is not a perquisite for Libya’s future.  If two spoiled countries, the UAE and Qatar were held to account by the international community, Libyans could be given their right to a level playing field to work together to solve their problems.

Infiltration of the foreign elements or as Dr. Chorin noted “largely foreign-financed” in Libyan political parties/militias including the LNA – is a remediable problem.  Case-in-point, the Tunisian political system is functioning, albeit chaotically, has “stringent rules prohibiting FOREIGN funding for any political party.”  A future strategic objective for Libyan legislators but for now the international community’s willingness of enforcement of a “hands-off” policy on the UAE & Egypt and Qatar & Turkey is easy to implement and essential for a stable Libya.

The question is the willingness of the international community.

 

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-139)

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-139)

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-141)

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-141)

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-25)

UNSC report on Libya 2016 (page-25)

Presently, the UAE & Egypt and as Mattia Toaldo noted to a lesser degree Qatar & Turkey operate with impunity for their flagrant violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (Point 9).

Precisely UNSC 1970 (point 9) details with specificity for member states violations in arming one side in the Libyan conflict.  As documented by the UN Report on Libya, the UAE is aware, as attested by their UN published emails to hide the fact of their violations.  Unlike Dr. Chorin, we contend that without the financial (including paying LNA soldiers salaries) or armed support/ bombing by UAE & Egypt, Mr. Heftar’s power would wither to reveal the true essence of his support among the Libyan people.

 

Dr. Chorin on the proxy war:

“Giving Heftar due credit now (whatever that means in practice), in return for guarantees concerning the nature of Libya’s future government (and the means to enforce those guarantees), may reduce the risk of  military intervention by Egypt, in response to perceived threats to its security interests (the previous week, Egypt’s state-run Al Ahram newspaper published a high-amp endorsement of Heftar, which was clearly meant as a signal).  Any Egyptian move would be expected to be  supported by Russia and the U.A.E.  By the same token, traditional partisans of the Western-based militias, Qatar and Turkey, have shown little appetite to reduce their involvement in Libya’s conflict.  The ever-present risk is that an international proxy war could erupt over Libya’s oilfields, reverse gains and plunge the country deeper into chaos.”

Dr. Chorin appears to argue the logic that because of dynamic of the proxy war coupled with Khalifa Heftar current status noted as – “Giving Heftar due credit now”- that the international community must succumb to Heftar’s wants which “may reduce the risk of military intervention by Egypt.”   Dr. Chorin continues to relay a foreseen escalation that will suck in Egypt’s allies: “Any Egyptian move would be expected to be supported by Russia and the U.A.E.”    Thus, he argues would be the makings of a preventable regional conflict.

In other words, the international community will reduce the risk of a greater regional conflict by rewarding and appeasing Khalifa Heftar.
Sisi is a dead man walking Middle East Eye

Sisi is a dead man walking Middle East Eye

 

But, what is the likelihood of a ‘military intervention by Egypt’?

We argue not much, just Dr. Chorin’s smoke and mirrors.   Sisi is tied up in his own domestic problems.  His days are numbered via Middle East Eye.  Labeled on the 21 September 2016 by the Middle East Eye as “a dead man walking” Sisi is “afraid of Egypt’s police”.

Therefore, Dr. Chorin’s ‘risk of military intervention by Egypt’ is clearly an uninformed statement.  Along that faulty logic is Dr. Chorin’s contention of an Egyptian army is ready to move.  Mobilizing an Arab army is a dangerous task, both logistically and politically.  Setting aside the prerequisite approval of western powers, moving an army across 500 kilometers from the closest major Egyptian town of Mersa Matruh to Tobruk is logistically not the cakewalk Dr. Chorin proposes it to be.  Couple in the dangerous idea of arming police or Arab armies – providing live ammunition is a risky step, as they have a habit of turning on you.  Mr. Sisi can attest to this personally.  As President Sisi currently stands on a shaky home turf with the gift of two strategically located Red Sea Egyptian Islands to Saudi Arabia and his failed economic policies resulting in the current domestic austerity measures – i.e. cutting of basic subsides demanded by the IMF for acceptance for the bailout $12Billion loan  – the presence of an armed military is indeed a dangerous political step.

People without the staple of bread make an unhappy lot.

 

Egypt got $23 billion in ad from Gulf in 18 months - Minister Reuters

“Egypt got $23 billion in ad from Gulf in 18 months – Minister” Reuters

Actually, what Mr. Chorin failed to mention is that Egyptian media has been stoking the flames of Egyptian historical claims to eastern Libya, coinciding with the geographical location of Libya’s eastern oil.   As we know Mr. Sisi has made public admission of his plan to annex the eastern piece of Libya for its oil wealth to solve its economic crisis.  (see video)   Further, we were told by a CIA expert in July, Egypt will annex eastern Libya.  One can assume that the influx Libyan oil revenue would solve the mismanaged economy under Sisi.   In three years post-coup Egypt under his stewardship went through US$23Billion aid from UAE/Saudi in 18 months  or as Middle East Eye noted “He burnt his way through up to $50bn of their cash, loans and oil guarantees” and now has received an additional $US12Billion IMF loan.

“(CIA EXPERT) Bruce Riedel: U.S. Iraq Invasion Paved Way to Regional Divide, Syria, Libya to Disappear” Asharq Al-Awsat

“(CIA EXPERT) Bruce Riedel: U.S. Iraq Invasion Paved Way to Regional Divide, Syria, Libya to Disappear” Asharq Al-Awsat

 

 

With the present unrest in Egypt when considering the eastern Libya land-grab scenario, it is more likely a gift of Libya’s land from Heftar to Sisi based on the Heftar-Sisi bromance.

Although denied, Agilah Saleh appointed Military Governor Abdel Razak Nadouri gave us that the confirmation of that gift of Libya in his interview last week.

 

Finally, given the title of the article is ”In Libya’s Relatively Stable East,”  and that Dr. Chorin spent the entire article describing how Heftar’s control means stability while laboring the Heftar-Sisi bromance, this secondary proxy war narrative only undermined the article’s original premise.  Given this pretext with Heftar in control coupled with the tight Heftar–Sisi relationship – what possible “perceived threats to its security interests” that Egypt will “entertain a military intervention”?

Other than a single state-run report, Mr. Chorin offers no evidence.  As Dr. Chorin has already made the case in detail how Heftar’s control equates to eastern stability, the secondary warning is illogical – unless Dr. Chorin is hoping to inception the idea: appease Heftar or else.   As such, one can foot the premise that Dr. Chorin is relaying an empty threatening scenario in a cloud of dissipating smoke to persuade the world to appease Mr. Heftar’s political ambitions.

11-11 -2016 Scheduled day of protest in Egypt against President Sisi. “Go to the street 11-11 Revolution of the downtrodden.” Egyptian Social Media.

11-11 -2016 Scheduled day of protest in Egypt against President Sisi. “Go to the street 11-11 Revolution of the downtrodden.” Egyptian Social Media.

 

In fact, as the Egyptian social media over the last month has been noting “11-11” or 11th of November as a scheduled day of protest against President Sisi – personally.  Thus, Libya is the least of Mr. Sisi’s worries.

Something Dr. Chorin should have noticed – and documented while he was in Egypt for this article.

 

 

Dr. Chorin’s Choice
Ethan Chorin Forbes bio: Libya’s relatively Stable East, some see a window of opportunity

Ethan Chorin’s Forbes bio: Libya’s relatively Stable East, some see a window of opportunity

It was Dr. Chorin’s choice to weigh in on the proxy war issue of UAE/Egypt & Qatar/Turkey to offer his account.  He is within his rights to provide his viewpoint, just as we are within our rights to critique him.   However, given that Dr. Chorin CHOSE to argue the dynamic of the proxy war – that is a war between opposing financial benefactors that is played out by their patrons in their country, Dr. Chorin’s prior relationship to any of those financial benefactors is exceedingly relevant to the Forbes readers in general and in particular to their Libyan readership.  One would like to know what could shapes one’s perspectives, if any.

A ‘market place of ideas’ ethical notion that other writers take very seriously for their readers.  Case in point: Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine noted within the first three paragraphs of his 16 October 2016 article on Libya losing the $USBillion derivatives case against Goldman Sachs that:

“And I should disclose that I worked at Goldman Sachs, selling derivatives, and in fact I know some of the characters who appear in the judge’s decision

Or maybe an issue of space?  Actually, no.  It’s not an issue of space either, as this Forbes contributor gave a longer – 140 words bio – as compared to Dr. Chorin’s 116 word Forbes bio.

Neither the market place of ideas or space prompted Dr. Chorin.  As he was afforded the chance to disclose of a previous employment relationship with the Dubai government in the article’s bio and CHOSE not to … we will.   His full Forbes’ Bio:

Full Bio:

I have spent more than 18 years working in Africa and the Middle East as an energy and port executive, a U.S. diplomat and currently, as CEO of Perim Associates LLC, and Editor of AR3 Magazine (www.africar3.com). I am interested in post-conflict stabilization, entrepot cities and topics in renewable energy. I am the author of two books on Libya, Exit the Colonel (Public Affairs, 2012), and Translating Libya (Darf, 2015). A two-time Fulbright Fellow (Yemen, Jordan), I hold a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics, an M.A. from Stanford in International Policy Studies, and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Yale.

The author is a Forbes contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Ethan Chorin: Authority on Libyan and African Affairs. ethanchorin.com

Ethan Chorin: Authority on Libyan and African Affairs. ethanchorin.com

 

One can assume that Dr. Chorin noted his employment with the US Government as it provides him perceived credibility for the Forbes readership.  Our question is why not with the same specificity in mentioning the UAE when noting his ports managerial position.  Dubai Ports World is an undisputed leader in the world of port management.   Given that this information is provided on his personal EthanChorin.com site, in his Perim Consultancy’s bio, and to a Carnegie Council.org site among others, which notes in detail the “UAE”, “Abu Dhabi”, “Dubai”, “Dubai School of Government” and “Dubai Ports World” with his position lasting “2008 – 2011” within the preeminent organization – his choice not to mention it in the Forbes bio is curious. Our PDF:  Ethan Chorin – Carnegie Council.org

 

UNSC Report on Libya 9 March 2016 (page-146)

UNSC Report on Libya 9 March 2016 (page-146)

UNSC Report on Libya 9 March 2016 (page-145)

UNSC Report on Libya 9 March 2016 (page-145)

Dr. Chorin prior employment with one side of the proxy war that is a UN documented financial benefactor to Khalifa Heftar – is relevant to the Forbes readers to assess Dr. Chorin as they assess his analysis of the eastern Libya.   In a recent example from the proxy war, wasn’t this UN envoys Bernardino León and Tarik Mitri’s decision not to disclose prior/current relationship with either side of the proxy war the source of justifiable Libyan grievances.

 

These 2016 UNSC report pages document the UAE as a financial benefactor to Khalifa Heftar.

 

Dr. Chorin’s Previous Employment with the Dubai Government

In contrast, we present Dr. Chorin’s bio from his consultancy Perim Associates screenshot by us in October 2016:

Dr. Ethan Chorin, founding-partner CEO Perim Associates. Perimassociates.com

Dr. Ethan Chorin, founding-partner CEO Perim Associates. Perimassociates.com

Dr. Ethan Chorin, Founding Partner & CEO

Posted September 7, 2015 by Perim Associates

Ethan Chorin (Arabic, French, Farsi) is  CEO of Perim Associates. He is the author of two books,  Exit the Colonel: the Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution (PublicAffairs, 2012), and Translating Libya (Darf, 2015).  From 2008 to 2011, he was Sr. Manager for Government Relations and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dubai Ports World (DP World)As a Foreign Service Officer from 2004 to 2008, Chorin was posted to Libya, Washington D.C., and the United Arab Emirates. Chorin holds a PhD from U.C. Berkeley in Agricultural and Resource Economics (2000), an MIPS from Stanford and a BA from Yale, cum laude, with distinction in Near Eastern Languages. A two-time Fulbright fellow (Jordan, Yemen), Chorin received a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State for his support to U.S. business in Libya, and a Sinclaire Award for language achievement. Chorin’s work on Libya, the Gulf, Iran, and Africa has written for numerous publications, including The Financial Times, The New York Times, Forbes, Foreign Policy, Prospect, Words Without Borders and Jane’s Islamic Analyst. Chorin has appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, CBS, Canal+, and others. Chorin has been Nonresident Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, Social Enterprise Fellow at Yale University School of Management, a Director at the Berkeley Research Group and a member of the Obama Campaign Foreign Policy Group.

On his official Perim Associates bio page (8 October 2016) it noted “From 2008 to 2011, he was Sr. Manager for Government Relations and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dubai Ports World (DP World).  As a Foreign Service Officer from 2004 to 2008, Chorin was posted to Libya, Washington D.C., and the United Arab Emirates.”   So within the same year of 2008,  Dr. Chorin worked as an US Foreign Service officer stationed in either ”Libya, Washington D.C., and the United Arab Emirates” and later that year he took a job with Dubai Ports World.

Also, relevant is from the Perim bio published in 2015, it noted that “Chorin has been Nonresident Fellow at the Dubai School of Government.”

Again, this is relevant information of the Forbes readers and in particular the Libyan readership.

 

Dr. Chorin worked for two Dubai Government “entities.”

As Dr. Chorin chose not to disclose, we are forced to document for our readers that both of these entities are owned by the Dubai Government.  As such we can state clearly as both of these are owned by the Dubai Government (D P World 80.45%) and Dubai School of Government, now known as The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government – Dr. Chorin worked for two Dubai Government “entities.”

Ownership of Dubai Ports World and Dubai School of Government
Dubai Ports World is 80.45% owned by Dubai World Corp. which owned by the Dubai Government.
Fitch Rating: November 2015 “DP World (80%) is ultimately owned by the Dubai government-owned holding company, Dubai World.”

Fitch Rating: November 2015 “DP World (80%) is ultimately owned by the Dubai government-owned holding company, Dubai World.”

As noted by Dubai Ports World “share information” page for investors, “Dubai World (the parent company) offered investors a 19.55% stake…” which means that 80.45% is owned by the conglomerate Dubai World Corp.  Fitch Rating is one of the big three credit rating agencies noted in their Nov 2015 report on DP World that: “DP World (80%) is ultimately owned by the Dubai government-owned holding company, Dubai World.”  This percentage of 80.5 ownership of Dubai Port World by Dubai World Corp is confirmed news articles:   The National, noted “with 80 per cent of DPW shares held by Dubai World…” Also confirmed by 4-Traders Dubai Ports World is 80.5% owned by Dubai World Corp.

Dubai World Corp. official site “We are committed to investment in the long term and generating value for our shareholder, the Government of Dubai…”

Dubai World Corp. official site “We are committed to investment in the long term and generating value for our shareholder, the Government of Dubai…”

Then note that Dubai World Corp is owned by the UAE Government as indicated on it Dubai World Corp. official site “We are committed to investment in the long term and generating value for our shareholder, the Government of Dubai…” and by Thompson Reuters Zawya under Dubai World Corp.  “Fast facts: Country UAE Ownership Type Government.”

That is Dubai Ports World is 80.45% owned by Dubai World Corp which owned by the Dubai Government.
Dubai Ports World “share information” page for investors, “Dubai World (the parent company) offered investors a 19.55% stake…” which means that 80.45% is owned by the conglomerate Dubai World Corp.

Dubai Ports World “share information” page for investors, “Dubai World (the parent company) offered investors a 19.55% stake…” which means that 80.45% is owned by the conglomerate Dubai World Corp.

The National, noted “with 80 per cent of DPW shares held by Dubai World…”

The National noted “with 80 per cent of DPW shares held by Dubai World…”

Thompson Reuters Zawya under Dubai World Corp. “Fast facts: Country UAE Ownership Type Government.”

Thompson Reuters Zawya under Dubai World Corp. “Fast facts: Country UAE Ownership Type Government.”

4-Traders Dubai Ports World is 80.5% owned by Dubai World Corp.

4-Traders Dubai Ports World is 80.5% owned by Dubai World Corp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Government Entities” Mohamed Bin Rashid (Dubai) School of Government Dubai Official Government site

“Government Entities” Mohamed Bin Rashid (Dubai) School of Government Dubai Official Government site

Dubai Mohamed Bin Rashid School of Government Dubai official government site

Dubai Mohamed Bin Rashid School of Government Dubai official government site

 

Dubai School of Government, now The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government is owned by the Dubai Government.
Dubai School of Government - Dubai FAQ

Dubai School of Government – Dubai FAQ

Dubai School of Government was the previous name of The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government or “The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (DSG previously) as listed on their official Dubai Government site.   It is listed on the official Dubai Government site of “Government entities” as under Academic and Training.  Under the School’s FAQ site it states “Executive body or owner…Dubai government”

Ethan Chorin in Forbes: “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”. Page 2

Ethan Chorin in Forbes: “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”. Page 2

 

 

As the fact that Dubai Ports World and The Dubai School of Government (The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government) are both owned by the Dubai government AND Dr. Chorin worked for both Dubai Government entities AND that Dr. Chorin chose to comment on the proxy war issue in the Forbes article – we argue Dr. Chorin should have provided his previous employment history to the Forbes readers in general and their Libyan readership in particular.

As he chose not to, we provide it to our readers so that they can assess Dr. Chorin – as they assess his Forbes’ article “In Libya’s Relatively Stable East, Some See A Window of Opportunity”.

 

    An important update from the Authors on the 27 October 2016:

 

“Shadowy UAE base in Libya hosts Attack aircraft and Chinese drones. New Satellite images show the UAE is operating a small Airforce out of a remote base in eastern Libya.” The Warzone Ethan Chorin

“Shadowy UAE base in Libya hosts Attack aircraft and Chinese drones. New Satellite images show the UAE is operating a small Airforce out of a remote base in eastern Libya.” The Warzone

 

 

Ethan Chorin’s incomplete thus inaccurate Forbes assessment of east Libya becomes particularly important as the world looks at Khalifa Heftar’s east Libya and those who support him militarily… and as of today, this is the UAE.    Confirmation that the UAE bombs for Mr. Heftar comes from Jane’s Defense – as The Guardian’s Chris Stephen noted it as ”Janes (UK defence analysts) says UAE operating attack planes and drones from airbase in eastern Libya.“

More detail and images come from The Warzone.  According to Janes’s analysts “Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated 23 July 2016 showing UAE air activity at Al-Khadim Airport in Libya. Air operations are conducted from a bermed compound established between March and June 2016.”  It was established between March and June in Mr. Heftar’s headquarters in the eastern “green-zone’ city of Marj.  And Mr. Heftar was in the UAE only yesterday on the 26th of October.

“Your partner of choice for Libya matters” Perim experts Perim Associates PDF Ethan Chorin

“Your Partner of Choice for Libya Matters” Perim experts-Perim Associates PDF or PDF

 

As that confirmation of UAE bombs for Mr. Heftar – Dr. Chorin’s CHOICE not to disclosed his prior employment with the UAE within the Forbes piece – one overtly confirmed side of the ‘proxy war’ becomes particularly important for all Forbes readers and particularly their Libyan readers when assessing Dr. Chorin’s assessment of east Libya under Mr. Heftar.

Dr. Chorin’s consultancy: Perim Associates.

 

Recently Mena/Libyan Expert Barah Mikail precisely tweeted: “Beside #SaudiArabia & #Qatar United Arab Emirates #UAE developing 4 a while not-so-discrete sphere of influence diplomacy in #MENA & beyond”

Khalifa Heftar in the UAE on 26 October 2016

Khalifa Heftar in the UAE on 26 October 2016 HERE

In examining the UAE’s ambitious foreign policy or “not-so-discrete sphere of influence diplomacy in #MENA & beyond” crosses into several jurisdictions including Egypt and Tunisia, Libya is just another military front in their highly publicized campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood.  International papers have confirmed that the UAE has repeatedly interfered in the domestic policy of several countries in order to represent the UAE’s interests.

Those allegations are that the UAE has now been linked to coups, unrest, and the destabilization of governments in 7 countries and 8 administrations.  So far, the accusation of funding coups or political influence leveled at the UAE includes 7 countries and 8 administrations are: Turkey & Egypt & Tunisia & Tunisia & Tunisia & Palestine: in the West Bank & West Bank & Gaza & Gaza & Saudi Arabia & Yemen & Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya, Libya & Libya.

 

 

Parts of this op/ed article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

 

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