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Archive for March, 2011

Updates on Libyan war: March 31

March 31, 2011 2 comments

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China, Russia Should Prevent West Further Abusing Libya Resolution

Miguel D’Escoto: United Nations Has Become Lethal Weapon Of The Empire

Gates, Mullen: Top U.S. Defense, Military Officials Warn Of Protracted Libya Conflict

Libyan War: 16 NATO Members Contribute Warplanes And Warships

Sweden: NATO’s Loyal Cohort In Libyan, Afghan Wars

Libyan War: NATO In Full Charge, Future Remains Uncertain

Vatican Envoy To Libya: NATO Air Strikes “Killing Dozens Of Civilians”

NATO Could Repeat Balkans (And Afghan, Iraq) Scenario In Libya

Leading Russia MP: NATO Could Be Defeated In Libyan Ground War

NATO Takes Over Full Command Of Libyan War

Doubts Over Purpose Of Libyan Military Intervention Intensify

Libya: U.S.-NATO Ground Operations More Likely

NATO Assumes Full Command Of Libyan War Operations

Obama Authorizes Covert Operations In Libya, CIA Already There

CIA And MI6 Aiding Libyan War Effort On The Ground

Poll: Americans Oppose Obama’s Libyan War, Ratings At All-Time Low

Defense Minister: NATO’s Libyan Operation Costs Greece $9 Million A Month

Venezuela On Libya: No Peace With Bombs, West Eyes Oil Reserves

NATO Air Strike Kills Libyan Infant

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China, Russia Should Prevent West Further Abusing Libya Resolution

http://en.huanqiu.com/opinion/editorial/2011-03/639891.html

Global Times
March 31, 2011

UN resolution legality needs a gatekeeper

-China should unite with Russia in requiring the US, Britain and France to respect Security Council resolutions. As the Security Council president this month, China should hold an emergency meeting at the ambassadorial level, and demand announcements about air strikes and plans for future intervention.
-The world must not allow the West to act unchecked, especially when using the name of the UN. They should hear the voices of opposition and face the problems they cause.

On March 29, Gaddafi’s army recaptured two cities. This new twist to the Libyan military situation has heaped political embarrassment on the West.

It is now time to prevent the West from further abusing Security Council Resolution No. 1973.

The Western powers have acted beyond the resolution. Although the leaders of the US, Britain and France have said their military actions are only aimed at establishing a no-fly zone, the Western air strikes have directly attacked Libyan government forces and provided air support for the opposition.

They have jointly demanded Gaddafi to step down immediately, which has nothing to do with Security Council resolutions.

In the absence of China, Russia, the African Union and most members of the Arab League, the London conference centered around the political landscape of the “post-Gaddafi era.”

This countermands the authority of the United Nations and goes against the Western declaration of “letting Libyan people determine by themselves.”

The intensification of Western direct military intervention could force Gaddafi to step down soon. But the West has two obstacles: the Security Council resolution does not grant them such authority and they have to consider public opinion. The greater the opposition of global opinion, the more hesitant the West will be.

China should unite with Russia in requiring the US, Britain and France to respect Security Council resolutions. As the Security Council president this month, China should hold an emergency meeting at the ambassadorial level, and demand announcements about air strikes and plans for future intervention. The Council should ask the West to guarantee no expansion of military operations.

China should let French President Sarkozy know that the air strikes he defends are widely opposed in China. If he is a president with political honor, he should face the questions posed by Chinese media and guarantee that he will abide by Resolution 1973.

The world must not allow the West to act unchecked, especially when using the name of the UN. They should hear the voices of opposition and face the problems they cause.

Maintenance of the Security Council resolution can achieve a moral high ground. China and Russia abstained, which does not mean the US, Britain and France gained carte blanche. China, Russia, Brazil and other emerging countries should take actions to let these three countries understand this.
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Miguel D’Escoto: United Nations Has Become Lethal Weapon Of The Empire

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=276625&Itemid=1

Prensa Latina
March 31, 2011

D’Escoto: The United Nations is a Deadly U.S.Weapon
Ana Julia Suarez Cruz

United Nations: Former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel D’Escoto, now appointed as the representative of Libya to the UN, said Thursday that the United Nations has become a “lethal weapon of the Empire (United States).”

USA Reportedly Supplied Weapons to Libyan Rebels

“We have to get it back, because if it dies it will not be born again,” warned D’Escoto, who was president of the 63rd period of sessions of the UN General Assembly (2008-2009).

In an interview with Prensa Latina in New York, D’Escoto, a Catholic priest, said the UN is dysfunctional, unable to fulfill the goals for which it was created.

D’Escoto harshly criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, accusing him of betraying the UN Charter.

In that sense, he did not rule out coordination between the UN secretary general and the host country (the United States) to prevent former Libyan Foreign Minister Ali Treki from the entering U.S. territory.

Treki, who chaired the UN General Assembly until last September, was appointed Libyan ambassador to the UN two weeks ago by President Muammar Gaddafi, but he did not receive a U.S. visa to travel to New York.

“I don’t know what kind of effort Ban Ki-moon made with respect to that visa, as part of his duty as UN leader,” said D’Escoto .

Now, the appointment of D’Escoto as Libyan representative is in doubt, after the U.S. representative to the UN, Susan Rice, claimed the Nicaraguan does not have a diplomatic visa.

Following the statement by Rice, the UN press office cancelled a Thursday press conference with D’Escoto that had been announced on Wednesday by UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

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Gates, Mullen: Top U.S. Defense, Military Officials Warn Of Protracted Libya Conflict

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0d99f8a0-5bb4-11e0-b8e7-00144feab49a.html#axzz1ICkFFsOM

Financial Times
March 31, 2011

Gates warns on protracted Libya conflict
By Daniel Dombey in Washington

Nato faces a protracted conflict in Libya, the US’s top two military chiefs signalled on Thursday, even as they promised that Washington would substantially scale down its participation in coming days.

Robert Gates, defence secretary, and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, acknowledged the possibility of a stalemate as they sought to square growing congressional discontent about the military action with Libyan rebels’ calls for more aid to prevent a rout by Muammer Gaddafi’s forces.
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Appearing at hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Mr Gates said: “We have considered the possibility of this being a stalemate and being a drawn-out affair.” He said there could be an outcome “where you achieve the military goal [of establishing a no-fly zone…] but not achieve the political goal” of ousting Col Gaddafi.

Howard McKeon, the committee’s chairman, warned that Nato “could be expected to support a decade-long no-fly zone enforcement like the one over Iraq in the 1990s,” while a series of other members underlined their doubts about the rebels’ political orientation.
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Libyan War: 16 NATO Members Contribute Warplanes And Warships

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1630009.php/BACKGROUND-16-NATO-members-taking-part-in-Libya-military-action

Deutsche Prese-Agentur
March 31, 2011

BACKGROUND: 16 NATO members taking part in Libya military action

Brussels: NATO announced on its website Thursday that 16 out of its 28 members were taking part in the mission enforcing a United Nations resolution on Libya, which foresees a no-fly zone, a naval arms embargo and airstrikes….

Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia were exposed as the countries not contributing to the military effort.

NATO did not release information on third countries taking part in the operation. Sweden, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed separately that they are involved.

NATO indicated that the United States, France, Britain and Italy were the largest contributors to the ‘Unified Protector’ mission.

The full list of contributions was listed as follows:

Belgium: six fighter jets; Britain: 17 jets and two vessels; Bulgaria: one vessel; Canada: 11 jets and one vessel; Denmark: four jets; France: 33 jets and one vessel; Greece: two jets and one vessel; Italy: 16 jets and four vessels; Netherlands: seven jets and one vessel; Norway: six jets; Romania: one vessel; Spain: six jets and two vessels; Turkey: seven jets and six vessels; United States: 90 jets and one vessel.

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Sweden: NATO’s Loyal Cohort In Libyan, Afghan Wars

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-48A34226-82ACED3B/natolive/news_71925.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 31, 2011

Secretary General Rasmussen praises Sweden as an effective and reliable partner

On 31 March, Secretary General Rasmussen travelled to Sweden to discuss the excellent cooperation between NATO and Sweden. During his visit, the Secretary General met with H.M. King Carl XVI Gustav, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors and members of the Foreign Relations and Defence Committees.

Rasmussen thanked Sweden for its planned contribution of 8 Gripen fighter jets and support personnel to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector to protect the Libyan population against the attacks of the Gaddafi regime. “Without prejudging deliberations in the Parliament, I would like to stress the importance of the Swedish contribution. Across the board, Sweden is an active provider of security and stability”, Rasmussen stated.

The Secretary General also highlighted Sweden’s other important contributions. “Sweden is a valuable partner of NATO. Sweden contributes in a very significant way to a number of NATO led operations, such as in Afghanistan and in KFOR. I express my strong appreciation for that”, said the Secretary General in a joint press conference with the Swedish Prime Minister. Mazar-e-Sharif, the city where the Swedish troops are based, is one of the seven districts and provinces where Afghans are starting to take the lead in the coming months. Sweden also provides an important contribution to NATO’s training efforts to build up the Afghan security forces.

The Secretary General also stressed Sweden’s leading role in calling for more cooperation with the EU. In view of the difficult financial climate, both organisations are trying to spend smarter, and it makes sense to work together. Pooling and sharing is the way ahead, Mr Rasmussen said.

Mr. Rasmussen concluded his visit by delivering a key-note speech on “The New NATO and Sweden’s Security” at the Foreign Policy Institute.

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Libyan War: NATO In Full Charge, Future Remains Uncertain

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/31/c_13807850.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

NATO in full charge, future remains elusive

BRUSSELS: NATO on Thursday took full command and control of military operations in Libya from the United States, however, the endgame of the military campaigns remains elusive.

“This transfer is completed. NATO is fully responsible for the military efforts. We have more than 100 fighter and support aircraft and more than a dozens maritime assets from several nations under NATO command,” said Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO mission, code-named Unified Protector.

Since NATO took full charge of military operations from 0600 GMT on Thursday, it has conducted more than 90 flying sorties and has more than 20 frigates patrolling in the Mediterranean and several supporting vessels, the Canadian general said via video conference from the alliance’s base in Naples, Itlay.

The general said that he hoped the NATO mission, a 90-day military plan, could last shorter, however, the operation would not end until the Libya civilians are no longer attacked.

NATO members agreed on Sunday to take on the whole military operation in Libya under the United Nations Security Council Resolution, ending a week of squabbling over the command structure mainly involving France, Turkey, the United States and Britain.
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NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told reporters that “NATO will do its utmost” to involve all partners in the Libya mission and invite partners to participate.

The chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said all NATO members had provided “political support” for the mission, and some allies were willing to contribute and deploy military assets, as well as several none-NATO countries.

In addition, while the disputes over the command have settled down, the endgame in Libya remains elusive as participating countries are divided on a series of questions, the ultimate goal of the mission, whether to arm rebels in Libya, and so on.
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Vatican Envoy To Libya: NATO Air Strikes “Killing Dozens Of Civilians”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/31/2011-03-31_40_civilians_reportedly_killed_in_nato_air_strikes_on_tripoli_defense_secretary_.html

New York Daily News
March 31, 2011

40 civilians reportedly killed in NATO air strikes on Tripoli; Defense Secretary to address congress
BY Lukas I. Alpert

At least 40 civilians have been killed in NATO air strikes on Tripoli, the Vatican’s top envoy to Libya said Thursday.

“They are killing dozens of civilians,” said Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli. “In the Tajoura neighborhood, around 40 civilians were killed, and a house with a family inside collapsed.”

“In the Buslim neighborhood, due to bombardments, a civilian building came down, although it is not clear how many people were inside.”

Martinelli said that he had not seen any casualties himself, but was relying on reports from “contacts” among Tripoli’s residents.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to tell congress Thursday that Khadafy will ultimately be removed from power but not solely as the result of military force.
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“In my view, the removal of Colonel Khadafy will likely be achieved over time through political and economic measures and by his own people,” Gates said.

“However, this NATO-led operation can degrade Khadafy’s military capacity to the point where he – and those around him – will be forced into a very different set of choices and behaviors in the future.”
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With News Wire Services

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NATO Could Repeat Balkans (And Afghan, Iraq) Scenario In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/31/48262650.html

Voice of Russia
March 31, 2011

Will NATO apply the Balkan scenario to Libya?
Pyotr Iskenderov

-Resolution 1973 stipulates the use of all measures against the Gaddafi regime, except an occupation. The transition of the ongoing aerial operation to a multinational mission means, as shown by the Kosovo experience, a shift to an occupation under the peacekeeping slogans.
Similar scenarios have been staged by the U.S., Britain and other Western countries also in Afghanistan and Iraq.
-“An allegedly humanitarian intervention by NATO against Yugoslavia in 1999 ended with the deployment of NATO forces in Kosovo and the setting up of the largest U.S. base Bondsteel Camp in the province. The U.S. and NATO may repeat this scenario in Libya.”

NATO is discussing the deployment of multinational forces in Libya, said Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. These forces will be under NATO command and will operate as they did in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

The statement by Admiral Stavridis shifts the possible development in Libya onto a new level. It seems that the U.S. and NATO do not consider rendering assistance to the opposition groups in ousting the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as a priority. The Admiral believes that, clearly, there is a wide range of possibilities organizing a mission for stabilizing the situation in Libya under the aegis of NATO.

The West no longer considers the opposition groups as a means to oust Gaddafi for several reasons. Firstly, the opposition groups are very weak and divided. Secondly, according to Admiral Stavridis, al-Qaeda terrorists and pro-Iranian Hezbolla militants are among the rebels. In an interview with the NBC, President Barack Obama indirectly admitted this. He emphasized that there is no guarantee that there are no people who are unfriendly towards the U.S. and its interests among the rebels.

However, that the U.S. and NATO plan to carry out the operation in Libya in line with that of the Kosovo scenario has nothing to do with the state of affairs in the rebel camp.

A deployment of multinational forces on a long-term basis under the aegis of NATO paves the way for Brussels to bypass the only restriction imposed by the UN Security Council on an operation in Libya.

Resolution 1973 stipulates the use of all measures against the Gaddafi regime, except an occupation. The transition of the ongoing aerial operation to a multinational mission means, as shown by the Kosovo experience, a shift to an occupation under the peacekeeping slogans.

Similar scenarios have been staged by the U.S., Britain and other Western countries also in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Their military presence remains despite of restrictions imposed by the U.N.,” says Alexander Karasev, an expert at the Institute of Slavic Studies in an interview with our correspondent:

“The discussion of problems at the UN Security Council is aimed at finding a decision that will satisfy the international community and at the same time the interested parties. However, the latest developments show that the Western powers have lately learned to bypass formal restrictions imposed on them by the UN Charter and UN Security Council decisions. An allegedly humanitarian intervention by NATO against Yugoslavia in 1999 ended with the deployment of NATO forces in Kosovo and the setting up of the largest U.S. base Bondsteel Camp in the province. The U.S. and NATO may repeat this scenario in Libya,” Alexander Karasev said.

Speaking at the National Defence University, Barack Obama said that “we should not afraid to use our military swiftly and decisively, also unilaterally when there is a need to defend our people, our country, our allies and our innermost interests.”

Commenting on the speech, an expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Stephen Flanagan, emphasized that the President’s speech had reminded him of the one that President Clinton gave during the Kosovo crisis explaining the reasons that led to the launch of the NATO operation in Yugoslavia. Both presidents emphasized the need for defending the American “innermost and other interests and values that were threatened”.

It’s unclear whether all this has anything to do with humanitarian aims and interests of the Libyan people as stated in by the authors of the UN resolution.

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Leading Russia MP: NATO Could Be Defeated In Libyan Ground War

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=233186

Interfax
March 31, 2011

Kosachyov fears coalition forces’ involvement in Libya ground operation

MOSCOW: Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov has not ruled out a ground operation by the coalition forces in Libya.

“Currently, everyone is denying this possibility, however I think that if the coalition continues to lose its soldiers in Libya, sooner or later it could serve as a pretext for invasion,” Kosachyov said in an interview with the Russia Today television channel on Thursday.

Should the ground operation begin, “coalition forces will find themselves trapped, with neither party benefiting from it,” the MP said.

“It will be a defeat for coalition forces. I would not like that to happen, however today this scenario is quite possible,” Kosachyov said.

The terrorist group Al-Qaeda “will attempt to increase its influence in Libya,” he said.

“Such an evolvement of the situation is predictable, and this might become a very serious problem,” the MP said.

“Revolutionaries will not have a chance to quickly take the situation under control after the fall of the regime, which will give external forces a chance to interfere in the situation and seize control. Unfortunately, Al-Qaeda is the most organized among these three regional forces at the moment,” he said.

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NATO Takes Over Full Command Of Libyan War

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-CB7D5874-49B69AA2/natolive/news_71867.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 31, 2011

NATO takes command in Libya air operations

On Thursday morning at 0600 GMT, NATO took sole command of international air operations over Libya.

The Alliance has the assets in place to conduct its tasks under Operation Unified Protector – the arms embargo, no-fly zone and actions to protect civilians and civilian centres.
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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/31/48236881.html

Voice of Russia
March 31, 2011

NATO in charge of Libya operations

NATO has officially assumed command of all operations in Libya, taking over from an international coalition that has been in charge since the 19th of March, a diplomat told the AFP news agency on Thursday.
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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/31/c_13807330.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

NATO takes over full command of military campaign against Libya

BRUSSELS: NATO has taken over full command and control of military operations against Libya from the United States, a NATO official confirmed here on Thursday.

NATO will make an announcement shortly, the official told Xinhua, adding Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO mission, code-named Unified Protector, would hold a press briefing this afternoon via video conference from the alliance’s base in Naples, Italy.

NATO members agreed on Sunday to take full charge of military operations in Libya, including arms embargo, a no-fly zone and protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas, ending a week of squabbling over the command structure mainly involving France, Turkey, the U.S. and Britain.

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Doubts Over Purpose Of Libyan Military Intervention Intensify

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/31/c_13807391.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

Doubts over purpose of Libyan military intervention intensify

BEIJING: With Western-led coalition forces continuing their air strikes in Libya since March 19, doubts over the real purposes and goals of the mission have intensified globally.

The military operation was launched after the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on March 17 to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya and to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

Yet, the military action has raised doubts, despite assurances from Western leaders, such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, who emphasized “the legitimacy, necessity and correctness” of the action.

With the air strikes, launched by major Western powers including France, Britain, the United States, Denmark and Italy, having destroyed Libya’s air defense system and many of the tanks and heavy weapons of Libyan government forces, the doubts have intensified and many believe the mission has gone beyond the U.N. resolution.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa has criticized the international coalition force’s bombing, saying the assaults went beyond the U.N. resolution that endorsed a no-fly zone over Libya.

“What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing civilians,” Moussa said.

African Union (AU) chief Jean Ping has voiced similar disapproved, raising doubts about what would follow after a no-fly zone was “roughly” established.

“What’s the next step? Do you have a roadmap? I don’t see them at all,” he said.

Analysts and observers said the military intervention showed some Western powers were getting involved in the internal conflict in Libya, despite promises they wouldn’t interfere in Libya’s internal affairs.

The Western powers also stressed the importance of finding a political and diplomatic solution to the Libyan crisis, but the so-called “political solution,” which excluded the Gaddafi regime in the first place, was based on the military operation, analysts said.

The plan of the Western powers was to solve the country’s crisis through political solutions and make the North Africa country follow a road they map out for it after forcing Gaddafi out through military means, analysts said.
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The United States, still mired in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has somehow managed to overcome the jitters over waging another war in Libya.

An article published recently by the Wall Street Journal said the U.S. had transferred command to NATO on two major concerns: neither France nor Britain should take the lead instead of the U.S., and the swift evolution of the Libyan situation prompted Obama to believe the country’s involvement would pay off.

As to Britain, a country that has gradually lost the lead in international affairs, analysts pointed out it had seized the opportunity to expand its global influence. Prime Minister Cameron championed the idea of a no-fly zone from the moment unrest broke out last month.

Germany, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has adopted a remarkable position on Libya. It has abstained from the U.N. vote on a no-fly zone over the country, refrained from joining forces with other Western powers, and even on some occasions indicated an “opposing attitude” to the West-led intervention. Germany said it actions were not out of support for Gaddafi, but concern military action was “too risky.”

The only Islamic country in NATO, Turkey, has repeatedly voiced its opposition since West-led airstrikes began. However, after days of negotiation, all NATO member states, including Turkey, agreed to take over command of the military operations against Libya. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu nevertheless stressed on several occasions that Turkey would never use military force, worrying about finding in Libya another Afghanistan or Iraq war.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria slammed the military action against Libya as an “adventure” driven by oil interests, the harshest criticism so far from a NATO member state.

Cameron vehemently defended the military intervention in Libya at the opening of the London Conference on Lybia on Tuesday.
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NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday he could not guess how long the alliance’s military mission would last in Libya….

“I am not going to guess,” he told Reuters when asked how long the NATO mission could last and whether it could become a financial burden for alliance states on top of their long commitment in Afghanistan.
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It is difficult to predict the future of military operations. Obama on Monday warned the United States may once again get drawn into a war.

“We went down that road in Iraq,” Obama told military officers at the National Defense University in Washington.

“Regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya,” he said.

Meanwhile, an article on the website of USA Today said: “U.S. intervention in Libya is a blunder. We intervene in support of an opposition that is unpredictable, at an expense that is unsupportable and with an endgame unknown.”

Some people worry the war may trigger a new wave of terrorism.

“In trying to figure out just what we have gotten ourselves into by applying military force to Libya, one set of consequences that has little comment so far concerns international terrorism,” said U.S. magazine National Interest in its website.

“Any use of Western and especially U.S. military force in a Muslim country runs the risk of energizing Islamist terrorism,” it said.

“The dimension that is hardest to gauge but ultimately may have the broadest impact is the effect on perceptions and resentments of many people far beyond Libya who might be recruited into terrorism, or at least might support or sympathize with it,” it said.

There is enormous financial pressure for Western countries with huge military expenditures. The British army is capable of participating in lightning wars against Libya, but prolonged wars may make Cameron reconsider his plan to cut the national defense budget.

Some countries are worried about their international image.

“Sarkozy wants France to play the hero in Libya, but fears that, if the intervention drags on and becomes muddied in the dirty business of occupying Tripoli or negotiating with Gaddafi loyalists, France could once again look the colonial power,” the U.S. magazine Atlantic Monthly said on its website.

“Italy, which held Libya until 1951, has similar fears. And no country wants to own a long-running, possibly sectarian conflict in Libya the way that the United States owns the war in Iraq and Afghanistan,” it said.

France has been reluctant to hand over command to NATO. Some analysts believe that France does not have enough authority after returning to NATO in 2009 and fears being marginalized. France finally agreed to hand over command to NATO, but insisted on limits to NATO’s power.

On March 24, the United States, Britain, France, and Turkey agreed to put all the Libya operations under a NATO umbrella….

As operations in Libya continue, the international community has become increasingly divided on the issue of intervention. Voices calling for peace have been running high, which puts the allies under great pressure.

Those attending Tuesday’s London Conference clearly reflected the opinion of related countries and international organizations on the military action.

The Arab League’s Moussa, who was courted by Western countries, and the African Union’s Ping, who was expected to attend, did not appear at all.

Meanwhile, more pressure came from anti-war demonstrations in countries such as the U.S., France, Turkey and Spain.

In Washington, protesters gathered outside the White House Saturday to call on the government to quit meddling in the country.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said: “The administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress and our troops, what the mission in Libya is.”

Obama may not have expected that, with the Arabic countries’ support and U.N. Security Council resolution, the military intervention would provoke severe domestic criticism and queries.

Italy’s parliament approved a government resolution involving the country’s participation in the military operations in Libya last Thursday, with 300 “yes” votes and 293 “no” votes.

However, considerable resistance against war is evident.

An opinion poll carried out by Corriere della Serra, the top-selling Italian daily newspaper, demonstrated the public mood, with 53 percent opposing the intervention and only 42 percent approving.

During the London conference, hundreds of Libyans lined outside expressing their opposition to the intervention.

They claimed Libya’s issues could only be solved by Libyans and they had the ability to protect their country without military intervention by any other countries.

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Libya: U.S.-NATO Ground Operations More Likely

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/31/48245163.html

Voice of Russia
March 31, 2011

Land operations in Libya more likely
Alexander Vatutin

US President Barack Obama has authorized secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Libya to support rebels in their fight against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. This only became known on March 30th, although a document to this effect was signed two or three weeks ago. A leak of information to the American media coincided with the beginning of an offensive by [government] troops against the opposition.

In fact, here we are dealing with supplying weapons to rebel fighters – even if not necessarily right now. However, the US president’s orders point to the need to explore ways to assist the opposition in Libya which is retreating across the country despite air support from the allied forces. Bombings of such a scale are hardly possible without coordination on the ground, military experts claim. This means that CIA agents, along with Britain’s MI6 intelligence service personnel, have long since been deployed on Libyan territory. They apparently not only coordinate air raids but also regularly come into contact with rebel leaders, the New York Times reported.

In practice, the activation of western secret services in Libya implies only one thing – an intervention into that country’s domestic affairs, which runs counter to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 aimed solely at protecting the civilian population. However the document’s vague wording lends itself to expanded interpretation of the scope to use force. This is exactly what generates ambiguity in implementing the resolution after all. Furthermore, the willingness of the western coalition to provide the rebel force with weapons overlooks the lack of coordination inside the opposition, inconsistency and the presence of extremist Islamic elements. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was among those to lay special emphasis on this issue.

“We’ve received disturbing reports about Al-Qaeda involvement. We understand that this evil can spread around the region. I am convinced that a ceasefire and immediate talks are priority tasks. Reforms are needed. But the Libyans themselves should decide what their state will be, without any external interference. It is clear that this will be another regime, a democratic one,” Sergei Lavrov stressed.

Many experts believe that the unilateral interpretation of the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council has little in common with the interests of the Libyan people. This is obviously explicable by entirely different objectives, according to Director of the Center for Comparative Political Studies Boris Shmelev, who does not rule out the possibility of an on-the-ground campaign being prepared by western secret services in Libya.

Despite rather positive relations between Gaddafi and the West that were formed recently, he always seemed to be a person beyond control. And this is the key to understanding what is actually happening in and around Libya. Using resolution 1973, Washington and its allies are attempting to oust Gaddafi and replace him with someone who can be more easily manipulated, Boris Shmelev said.
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NATO Assumes Full Command Of Libyan War Operations

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/north/NATO-Takes-Over-Libya-Air-Operations-118977889.html

Voice of America News
March 31, 2011

NATO Takes Over Libya Air Operations

NATO has assumed full command of all air operations over Libya, taking over from the U.S., which had played a leading role since international forces began enforcing a no-fly zone on March 19.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the transition was completed early Thursday. The NATO operation, called “Unified Protector”, includes enforcing the U.N. Security Council resolution that mandates the no-fly zone along with an arms embargo and airstrikes….

Meanwhile, U.S. media reports say the CIA has sent teams of operatives into Libya to gather intelligence and make contact with anti-Gadhafi forces….

British sources told The New York Times that British special forces and intelligence officers also are in the North African nation.
….
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

====

Obama Authorizes Covert Operations In Libya, CIA Already There

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1853204.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 31, 2011

Report: CIA agents operating covertly in Libya

The CIA has deployed covert operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and initiate contacts with rebels seeking to oust leader Moamer Gaddafi, dpa cited The New York Times as reporting Wednesday.

Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper reported online that small groups of CIA agents have been in Libya for several weeks seeking to blunt the effectiveness of Gaddafi’s military. The United States and its allies have been trying to learn more about the rebels and their plans for Libya.
….
The New York Times reported that British intelligence officers are also deployed inside Libya to direct airstrikes.

The reports come as the US and other countries in NATO debate whether to arm the rebels, who have suffered a series of setbacks in recent days under attacks from Gaddafi’s better equipped forces. Obama said he has not ruled out providing weapons to the rebels.

NATO formally took command of the international intervention on Wednesday. The US initially led the air campaign, which began on March 19….
————————————-

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110331/163295796.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 31, 2011

U. S. president authorizes covert ops in Libya – media

Washington: U.S. President Barack Obama has a signed a secret order authorizing covert operations in support of Libyan rebels fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddadi’s regime, the ABC News reported.

The United States is among 13 countries carrying out a military operation against Libya in line with the UN Security Council resolution 1973, which imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

“The presidential finding discusses a number of ways to help the opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, authorizing some assistance now and setting up a legal framework for more robust activities in the future,” the ABC News said Wednesday citing an unidentified source.

According to ABC News, the order “does not direct covert operatives to provide arms to the rebels immediately, although it does prepare for such a contingency and other contingencies should the president decide to go down that road in the future.”

The report comes amid a debate among coalition members on whether to supply the Libyan rebels with sophisticated weaponry as they are being pushed back by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

The White House press office did not comment on the report but said: “We’re assessing and reviewing options for all types of assistance that we could provide to the Libyan people.”

Although international airstrikes have neutralized Gaddafi’s air force and pounded his armor, rebel forces still lack weaponry and organization to fight the loyalists effectively.

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CIA And MI6 Aiding Libyan War Effort On The Ground

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/31/48231226.html

Voice of Russia
March 31, 2011

CIA and MI-6 helping Libyan rebels

Secret agents of the American CIA and British MI-6 intelligence agencies are operating in Libya.

The U.S. and British spies are collecting information, establishing ties with rebel leaders and aiming Western missiles and bombs at Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s troops and military bases, the New York Times newspaper reports.

It says that CIA spy groups have been in Libya for several weeks after President Barack Obama signed a secret directive on assistance to the anti-Gaddafi insurgents.

The White House has declined to comment on the report.

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Poll: Americans Oppose Obama’s Libyan War, Ratings At All-Time Low

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/31/c_13805909.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

U.S. survey says majority oppose Libya involvement

WASHINGTON: A survey released Wednesday indicated a majority of U.S. voters oppose the U.S. military campaign in Libya, while President Barack Obama’s approval rating hit an all-time low at 42 percent.

According to poll results released by Quinnipiac University, 47 percent surveyed oppose Washington’s involvement in Libya, while 41 percent support the mission.

The survey also gave Obama negative ratings how he handled the conflict, with 58 percent saying he has not clearly articulated the goal of U.S. involvement. Sixty-one percent of respondents in the poll said removing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power is not worth having American troops “fight and possibly die.”

Obama has taken heat from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the Libya conflict. The Congress is worried with both its clarity and duration, while panning Obama for not consulting Congress before taking action. Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Pentagon Chief Robert Gates and top military officer Mike Mullen to explain the campaign to Congress Wednesday.

Also according to the survey, Obama’s approval ratings took a major hit, with just 42 percent of voters approved of what he is doing in office, while 48 percent disapprove of it. What’s more troubling is that fifty percent of voters believe he does not deserve a second term next year while 41 percent said he does. The presidential election is next year.

The 42 percent marks a four percentage-point drop over the past month. A poll released March 3 said Obama had a 46 percent approval rating, while 45 percent of voters said he didn’t deserve a second term.

“President Barack Obama’s approval numbers are at their lowest level ever, slightly below where they were for most of 2010 before he got a bump up in surveys after the November election and into the early part of this year,” said Peter Brown, assistant director at the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.

Brown said federal deficit, economy, foreign policy and healthcare woes are driving Obama’s disapproval numbers up.

The poll surveyed 2,069 registered voters nationwide from March 22 to 28 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.2 percentage points.

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Defense Minister: NATO’s Libyan Operation Costs Greece $9 Million A Month

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=143727

Azeri Press Agency
March 30, 2011

Libya operation costs Greece 6.5 million euros monthly: official

Baku: Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Tuesday that the military operation under way to tackle the crisis in Libya costs Greece some 6.5 million euros ( about 9.15 million U.S. dollars) every month, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Addressing a parliamentary committee over the issue, Venizelos stressed that debt-ridden Greece will continue to undertake its supporting role in the operation….

Meanwhile, Greek media reported that aided by the EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex, Greece is boosting sea patrols in the Mediterranean Sea in face of a new influx of illegal immigrants from troubled North Africa.
….
Over the past few days, at least 5,000 people illegally reached Italy from north Africa and approximately 500 arrived in Malta.

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Venezuela On Libya: No Peace With Bombs, West Eyes Oil Reserves

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/31/c_13806525.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

Venezuela supports Gaddafi’s resistance to air raids

MONTEVIDEO: Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said here Wednesday he supports Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s military resistance to air raids by the international community.

Gaddafi “is doing what he has to do,” Chavez said during a joint press conference with Uruguayan President Jose Mujica.

Chavez said he cannot “give answers as to what Gaddafi is doing there, but there is no justification for a group of countries to bomb (Libya).”

The president repeated his proposal to set up a peace commission to mediate between the opposition forces and Gaddafi’s regime as an alternative to military intevention.

“How can we achieve peace with bombs?” Chavez asked. He said the bombing by the United States and other European countries was motivated by “taking the oil and stealing the reserves.”

Chavez met with Mujica earlier on Wednesday to sign a number of agreements on bilateral cooperation and energy. The trip to Uruguay is part of a regional tour which will also take the Venezuelan president to Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia.

====

NATO Air Strike Kills Libyan Infant

http://www.seattlepi.com/national/1105ap_af_libya_civilian_death.html

Associated Press
March 30, 2011

Libyan toddler dies, family says from airstrike
By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI

KHORUM, Libya: The grieving mother sat on the ground rocking her 2-month old daughter under a blanket on her lap, crying softly and accepting the soft words of condolences from neighbors.

Nizha Abdel-Salam and her family say her 18-month old son Sirajuddin al-Sweisi was killed when debris pierced the wall of their home as NATO airstrikes hit an ammunition [dump?] near their village of Khorum early Tuesday morning.

“The house shook and there was so much dust everywhere we couldn’t see in front of us,” she said.
….
The Libyan government says more than 100 people have been killed by airstrikes since the international campaign began on March 19….

In an interview with the Associated Press, Abdel-Salam, 27, said the blast hit their house at around 6 a.m. Tuesday. She said she rushed to the living room where her son had been sleeping on a mattress on the floor with his father, and she saw that a hot piece of metal had embedded into the side of the child’s face.

She rushed to pick up her crying son.

“His blood was streaming down my arm,” she said Wednesday, choking back tears. “He was crying out, ‘Mama, Mama,’ reaching out with his hand to me.”

A hole was visible Wednesday piercing the outside wall of their home into their living room, and the opposite wall of the room was pockmarked with holes. Parts of the other walls had been broken off in the home, located on the third floor of a four-story building.

The boy’s uncle showed reporters a picture on his mobile phone of the baby on his deathbed. Sirajuddin’s left cheek has a deep dark brown burn mark, his body swathed in a white shroud.

“We took him to the hospital where they treated him for the burns and some broken bones,” said Abdel-Hakim al-Sweisi. “But by nightfall he was dead.”

Neighbors said they heard a large explosion early Tuesday morning and said planes were heard overhead. They said the ammunition depot, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Abdel-Salam’s home, had exploded and a number of homes were damaged by debris.

Some neighbors said there were injuries, but the only death in the town was young al-Sweisi. The impoverished village is tucked away in the mountains near the region’s main town, Gharyan, an area dotted with olive groves and grazing sheep. Its largely unpaved roads were muddy and partially flooded Wednesday from recent rains.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 30, 2011

March 31, 2011 2 comments

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Updates on Libyan war

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1. Video And Text: Day That Shook The World, NATO Bombs Chinese Embassy

2. Serbia In NATO Represents Threat To Russia

3. General Petraeus Praises Georgia’s Military Role In Afghanistan

4. U.S. Navy To Expand Role In Black Sea: Top NATO Military Commander

5. U.S. Flies Drones Over Black Sea, Trains Georgian Military

6. U.S. Imposes New Sanctions On Belarus For Cooperation With Iran

7. Missile Defense Agency Grants Lockheed $789 Million For 28 THAAD Missile Interceptors

8. Missile Defense Agency Awards Raytheon $323 Million For Next-Generation Missile For NATO Missile Shield In Europe

9. Russia To Deploy Arctic Brigade This Year

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1. Video: Day That Shook The World, NATO Bombs Chinese Embassy

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/history/a-day-that-shook-the-world-nato-accidentally-bombs-the-chinese-embassy-2257269.html

Video

The Independent
March 30, 2011

A Day That Shook The World: Nato accidentally bombs the Chinese embassy

On 7 May 1999, Nato warplanes on a mission to bomb Belgrade accidentally hit the Chinese embassy, killing three journalists and nearly dragging them into the war on the Serbian side.

Beijing did not believe the attack to be a mistake, so NATO found itself desperately scrabbling to make amends.

The diplomatic crisis did not grow into a military one, but it did prolong the Kosovo conflict, causing no small extra friction with an angry China – whose citizens demonstrated in their droves.

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2. Serbia In NATO Represents Threat To Russia

http://www.b92.net/eng/insight/tvshows.php?yyyy=2011&mm=03&nav_id=73523

Danas
March 30, 2011

“Serbia in NATO would represent threat to Russia”
Jelena Tasić

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Vasilyevich Konuzin told the Belgrade-based daily Danas in an interview that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit last week had “completely met the principal expectations”.

It went in an atmosphere of close friendship and talks about trade and economic cooperation were very concrete and pragmatic, said the diplomat.

According to the Russian ambassador, Putin did not talk about relations between official Belgrade and NATO with Serbian President Boris Tadić and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković. The issue, as he said, was launched by heads of parliamentary groups in the Serbian parliament who showed Putin that they were not united in their stance regarding the possibility of Serbia joining the western military alliance.

“In that situation, Prime Minister Putin clearly presented the Russian position – Serbs should solve the issue by themselves, but Russia thinks that it is necessary to present its opinion about NATO’s expansion, which is jeopardizing its security.”

Stating a concrete example, he said that nobody asked small countries in the NATO for their opinion, but that that instead decisions were made which these countries then had to fulfill.

“Any possible decision about missile deployment in Serbia’s territory would be a threat to Russia’s security and Russia would be forced to take military actions in order to remove that military threat. Those measures would not be aimed against Serbia but against the missiles,” the Russian ambassador explained.

Q: Is this statement of Prime Minister Putin a “warning” to the Serbian authorities?

A: Serbia has the right to join any organization. We will respect the decision you make on your own, but we are counting on Belgrade to respectfully approach our thoughts that NATO accession would pose a threat to Russia’s security. I personally think that it is necessary to explain to Serbia what would happen if there was a threat to Russia’s security from its territory. We have been cooperating for 800 years and such a question never appeared. On the contrary, we fought wars against joint enemies and it is not quite clear for what reason weapons pointed against Russia could be deployed in Serbia.”

Q: The NATO forces in Kosovo and Metohija are effectively already in a part of the Serbian territory. How does Moscow assess their presence after Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence?

A: The Kosovo territory is a part of Serbia in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1244. NATO’s military base is there despite Belgrade’s wishes. This means contrary to international law, and unlawfully. Russia sees it that way.
….

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3. General Petraeus Praises Georgia’s Military Role In Afghanistan

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23290

Civil Georgia
March 30, 2011

Gen. Petraeus Praises Georgian Troops in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the Georgian troops in Afghanistan “have been integral to the growing success of our efforts to improve security and stability” in Helmand and Nimruz provinces.

In a letter sent to the Georgian Minister of Defense, Bacho Akhalaia, the U.S. general praised Georgian troops for “effective interactions with the Afghan people”, which, he said, had led to increased confidence in both NATO-led forces and Afghan government.

The text of letter was released by the Georgian Ministry of Defense on March 30.
….
“Your troops are truly courageous in conducting these foot patrols, which place them at greater risk of insurgent attacks,” the U.S. general writes.

Musa Qala in north of the Helmand province has seen some of the fiercest fighting in previous years….

With the latest death reported on March 14, the total number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November, 2009, increased to seven.

Georgia first deployed a company-sized unit in Afghanistan in November, 2009 and increased its contribution to the NATO-led forces to about 950 soldiers in April, 2010 after sending a battalion in Helmand.

In February the Georgian parliament approved the government’s proposal to send to Afghanistan a team of artillery instructors to train the Afghan military.

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4. U.S. Navy To Expand Role In Black Sea: Top NATO Military Commander

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/31/c_13805896.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 31, 2011

U.S. Navy to widen activity area in Black Sea region: admiral

TBILISI: The U.S. Navy has planned to widen its activities in the Black Sea region by involving 14 countries in its envisaged military training drills this year, Georgian media reported on Wednesday.

Quoting four-star U.S. admiral James Stavridis, the Georgian television broadcaster Rustavi2 said that the chief of the U.S. European Command said on March 30 in his testimony in Congress that the Marine Operative-Tactic Corps would widen the area of its activities in the Black Sea region to include 14 countries.

There are six countries surrounding the Black Sea and they are Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Georgia.

The admiral explained to Congress that the widening of the activity area aims at training partner states for the Afghanistan peace mission.

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5. U.S. Flies Drones Over Black Sea, Trains Georgian Military

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=40916&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
March 30, 2011

US widens the area of its mission in Black Sea

The Marine Operative-Tactic Corps of the United States is widening the area of its activities in the Black Sea region, the commander of U.S. European Command, Admiral James Stavridis, announced in his testimony to Congress this morning.

The admiral said in 2011 the operative and tactical groups of the Navy have drafted a military training plan in which 14 countries of the Black Sea region were involved. The enhancement of the area aims at training the partner states for the Afghanistan peace mission.

Stavridis said US Marine forces have already conducted the first mission of drones in the Black Sea; however, he did not specify the date of the operation.

When questioned by Senator John McCain about military cooperation with Georgia, Admiral answered that American instructors continued to train Georgian soldiers, but denied that the US was supplying Georgia with weapons.

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6. U.S. Imposes New Sanctions On Belarus For Cooperation With Iran

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16099917&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 30, 2011

USA imposes sanctions on Belarusian energy company for cooperation with Iran

WASHINGTON DC: The United States has imposed sanctions on the Belarusian state energy company, Belarusneft, for cooperation with Iran, the Department of State announced on Tuesday.

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7. Missile Defense Agency Grants Lockheed $789 Million For 28 THAAD Missile Interceptors

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lockheed-martin-awarded-7898-million-thaad-production-contract-118920824.html

Lockheed Martin
March 30, 2011

Lockheed Martin Awarded $789.8 Million THAAD Production Contract

DALLAS: Lockheed Martin has received a production contract totaling $789.8 million to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System for the Missile Defense Agency.

The contract includes $694.9 million and for the production of 48 THAAD interceptors, six THAAD launchers, four fire control units and additional support equipment. An option for additional launchers in the amount of $94.8 million was also award for a total value of $789.8 million. These components will be employed by THAAD Batteries 3 and 4 for the U.S. Army. Delivery to Batteries 3 and 4 will be completed in 2013.
….
Since 2005, the THAAD development program has completed 11 flight tests, with seven intercepts in seven attempts. THAAD is the only missile defense system with the operational flexibility to intercept in both the endo- and exo-atmospheres to provide versatile capability to the warfighter.

Two THAAD batteries have been activated at Fort Bliss, Texas. The first THAAD Battery (A-4 ADA Battery) was activated in May 2008. In October 2009, the U.S. Army activated the second THAAD Battery (A-2 ADA Battery). Unit training for this Battery began earlier this year.

A key element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), THAAD is a Missile Defense Agency program, with the program office located in Huntsville, Ala. The Agency is developing the BMDS to defend the United States, its deployed forces, friends and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight.
….

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8. Missile Defense Agency Awards Raytheon $323 Million For Next-Generation Missile For NATO Missile Shield In Europe

http://azstarnet.com/business/local/article_2b75c55c-5b0f-11e0-9a59-001cc4c03286.html

Arizona Daily Star
March 30, 2011

Raytheon gets $312M contract for new missile interceptor
By David Wichner

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has been awarded a $312 million contract for the Standard Missile-3 Block IB, a next-generation missile interceptor that is a key part of a planned missile shield for Europe.

The contract from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency provides funding to complete the development phase of the SM-3 Block IB program and deliver 24 developmental missile rounds to the MDA, said Wes Kremer, SM-3 program director for Raytheon.

The contract is a key milestone in preparation for the first SM-3 Block IB flight test, expected later this year.

“Development is ramping up here, and our first flight test is in late summer,” Kremer said.

The work will be performed in Tucson for completion in June 2013. Earlier this month, Raytheon was awarded a separate, $75 million contract for engineering development of the SM-3.
….
Adapted from the Standard Missile series of ship-defense missiles, the SM-3 is part of the seagoing Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. The current Block IA version is deployed on U.S. and Japanese cruisers equipped with the Aegis missile-launching system.

The SM-3 is a key part of the the Obama administration’s “phased adaptive approach” to missile defense. The approach, unveiled in 2009 and approved by NATO last year, scrapped plans to deploy large, ground-based interceptors in Europe in favor of the sea-based and land-based versions of the Aegis system.

As part of the first phase of that program, a U.S. Navy cruiser equipped with SM-3 Block IA missiles sailed to the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month for a six-month deployment.

The Block IB missile, which adds important targeting capabilities, is planned for use with the second phase of the missile-defense plan, which includes deployment of the SM-3 Block IB by 2015.

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9. Russia To Deploy Arctic Brigade This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/30/c_13805613.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 30, 2011

Russia to deploy Arctic brigade in 2011

MOSCOW: Russia is going to deploy a special motorized infantry brigade in its Arctic sector in 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The brigade will be deployed in the Kola Peninsula in the western part of Arctic but would be responsible for operations in the whole Arctic region, Interfax news agency reported.

The new Arctic brigade will be created on the grounds of an existing motorized infantry brigade and will be based in the town of Pechenga near Russia-Norway border.

The brigade will be armed with ordinary weapons, special clothing and equipment designed for use in Arctic conditions. The Defense Ministry said the experience of Norwegian and Finnish Arctic forces have been studied during the preparation for the brigade’s deployment.

Earlier, Russia’s Security Council approved the fundamental principles of the national Arctic policy until 2020. This document envisioned deployment of the armed forces in the region, capable to maintain security in various military-political conditions.

On Wednesday, the Russian Parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, has ratified the agreement with Norway on the Barents Sea delimitation, which establishes a sea delimitation line dividing the disputed area approximately into two equal parts.

Categories: Uncategorized

Jack London: War

March 31, 2011 1 comment

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

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Jack London
War (1911)

He was a young man, not more than twenty-four or five, and he might have sat his horse with the careless grace of his youth had he not been so catlike and tense. His black eyes roved everywhere, catching the movements of twigs and branches where small birds hopped, questing ever onward through the changing vistas of trees and brush, and returning always to the clumps of undergrowth on either side. And as he watched, so did he listen, though he rode on in silence, save for the boom of heavy guns from far to the west. This had been sounding monotonously in his ears for hours, and only its cessation could have aroused his notice. For he had business closer to hand. Across his saddle-bow was balanced a carbine.

So tensely was he strung, that a bunch of quail, exploding into flight from under his horse’s nose, startled him to such an extent that automatically, instantly, he had reined in and fetched the carbine halfway to his shoulder. He grinned sheepishly, recovered himself, and rode on. So tense was he, so bent upon the work he had to do, that the sweat stung his eyes unwiped, and unheeded rolled down his nose and spattered his saddle pommel. The band of his cavalryman’s hat was fresh-stained with sweat. The roan horse under him was likewise wet. It was high noon of a breathless day of heat. Even the birds and squirrels did not dare the sun, but sheltered in shady hiding places among the trees.

Man and horse were littered with leaves and dusted with yellow pollen, for the open was ventured no more than was compulsory. They kept to the brush and trees, and invariably the man halted and peered out before crossing a dry glade or naked stretch of upland pasturage. He worked always to the north, though his way was devious, and it was from the north that he seemed most to apprehend that for which he was looking. He was no coward, but his courage was only that of the average civilized man, and he was looking to live, not die.

Up a small hillside he followed a cowpath through such dense scrub that he was forced to dismount and lead his horse. But when the path swung around to the west, he abandoned it and headed to the north again along the oak-covered top of the ridge.

The ridge ended in a steep descent-so steep that he zigzagged back and forth across the face of the slope, sliding and stumbling among the dead leaves and matted vines and keeping a watchful eye on the horse above that threatened to fall down upon him. The sweat ran from him, and the pollen-dust, settling pungently in mouth and nostrils, increased his thirst. Try as he would, nevertheless the descent was noisy, and frequently he stopped, panting in the dry heat an d listening for any warning from beneath.

At the bottom he came out on a flat, so densely forested that he could not make out its extent. Here the character of the woods changed, and he was able to remount. Instead of the twisted hillside oaks, tall straight trees, big-trunked and prosperous, rose from the damp fat soil. Only here and there were thickets, easily avoided, while he encountered winding, park-like glades where the cattle had pastured in the days before war had run them off.

His progress was more rapid now, as he came down into the valley, and at the end of half an hour he halted at an ancient rail fence on the edge of a clearing. He did not like the openness of it, yet his path lay across to the fringe of trees that marked the banks of the stream. It was a mere quarter of a mile across that open, but the thought of venturing out in it was repugnant. A rifle, a score of them, a thousand, might lurk in that fringe by the stream.

Twice he essayed to start, and twice he paused. He was appalled by his own loneliness. The pulse of war that beat from the West suggested the companionship of battling thousands; here was naught but silence, and himself, and possible death-dealing bullets from a myriad ambushes. And yet his task was to find what he feared to find. He must on, and on, till somewhere, some time, he encountered another man, or other men, from the other side, scouting, as he was scouting, to make report, as he must make report, of having come in touch.

Changing his mind, he skirted inside the woods for a distance, and again peeped forth. This time, in the middle of the clearing, he saw a small farmhouse. There were no signs of life. No smoke curled from the chimney, not a barnyard fowl clucked and strutted. The kitchen door stood open, and he gazed so long and hard into the black aperture that it seemed almost that a farmer’s wife must emerge at any moment.

He licked the pollen and dust from his dry lips, stiffened himself, mind and body, and rode out into the blazing sunshine. Nothing stirred. He went on past the house, and approached the wall of trees and bushes by the river’s bank. One thought persisted maddeningly. It was of the crash into his body of a high-velocity bullet. It made him feel very fragile and defenseless, and he crouched lower in the saddle.

Tethering his horse in the edge of the wood, he continued a hundred yards on foot till he came to the stream. Twenty feet wide it was, without perceptible current, cool and inviting, and he was very thirsty. But he waited inside his screen of leafage, his eyes fixed on the screen on the opposite side. To make the wait endurable, he sat down, his carbine resting on his knees. The minutes passed, and slowly his tenseness relaxed. At last he decided there was no danger; but just as he prepared to part the bushes and bend down to the water, a movement among the opposite bushes caught his eye.

It might be a bird. But he waited. Again there was an agitation of the bushes, and then, so suddenly that it almost startled a cry from him, the bushes parted and a face peered out. It was a face covered with several weeks’ growth of ginger-colored beard. The eyes were blue and wide apart, with laughter-wrinkles in the comers that showed despite the tired and anxious expression of the whole face.

All this he could see with microscopic clearness, for the distance was no more than twenty feet. And all this he saw in such brief time, that he saw it as he lifted his carbine to his shoulder. He glanced along the sights, and knew that he was gazing upon a man who was as good as dead. It was impossible to miss at such point blank range.

But he did not shoot. Slowly he lowered the carbine and watched. A hand, clutching a water-bottle, became visible and the ginger beard bent downward to fill the bottle. He could hear the gurgle of the water. Then arm and bottle and ginger beard disappeared behind the closing bushes. A long time he waited, when, with thirst unslaked, he crept back to his horse, rode slowly across the sun-washed clearing, and passed into the shelter of the woods beyond.

II

Another day, hot and breathless. A deserted farmhouse, large, with many outbuildings and an orchard, standing in a clearing. From the Woods, on a roan horse, carbine across pommel, rode the young man with the quick black eyes. He breathed with relief as he gained the house. That a fight had taken place here earlier in the season was evident. Clips and empty cartridges, tarnished with verdigris, lay on the ground, which, while wet, had been torn up by the hoofs of horses. Hard by the kitchen garden were graves, tagged and numbered. From the oak tree by the kitchen door, in tattered, weatherbeaten garments, hung the bodies of two men. The faces, shriveled and defaced, bore no likeness to the faces of men. The roan horse snorted beneath them, and the rider caressed and soothed it and tied it farther away.

Entering the house, he found the interior a wreck. He trod on empty cartridges as he walked from room to room to reconnoiter from the windows. Men had camped and slept everywhere, and on the floor of one room he came upon stains unmistakable where the wounded had been laid down.

Again outside, he led the horse around behind the barn and invaded the orchard. A dozen trees were burdened with ripe apples. He filled his pockets, eating while he picked. Then a thought came to him, and he glanced at the sun, calculating the time of his return to camp. He pulled off his shirt, tying the sleeves and making a bag. This he proceeded to fill with apples.

As he was about to mount his horse, the animal suddenly pricked up its ears. The man, too, listened, and heard, faintly, the thud of hoofs on soft earth. He crept to the corner of the barn and peered out. A dozen mounted men, strung out loosely, approaching from the opposite side of the clearing, were only a matter of a hundred yards or so away. They rode on to the house. Some dismounted, while others remained in the saddle as an earnest that their stay would be short. They seemed to be holding a council, for he could hear them talking excitedly in the detested tongue of the alien invader. The time passed, but they seemed unable to reach a decision. He put the carbine away in its boot, mounted, and waited impatiently, balancing the shirt of apples on the pommel.

He heard footsteps approaching, and drove his spurs so fiercely into the roan as to force a surprised groan from the animal as it leaped forward. At the comer of the barn he saw the intruder, a mere boy of nineteen or twenty for all of his uniform jump back to escape being run down. At the same moment the roan swerved and its rider caught a glimpse of the aroused men by the house. Some were springing from their horses, and he could see the rifles going to their shoulders. He passed the kitchen door and the dried corpses swinging in the shade, compelling his foes to run around the front of the house. A rifle cracked, and a second, but he was going fast, leaning forward, low in the saddle, one hand clutching the shirt of apples, the other guiding the horse.

The top bar of the fence was four feet high, but he knew his roan and leaped it at full career to the accompaniment of several scattered shots. Eight hundred yards straight away were the woods, and the roan was covering the distance with mighty strides. Every man was now firing. pumping their guns so rapidly that he no longer heard individual shots. A bullet went through his hat, but he was unaware, though he did know when another tore through the apples on the pommel. And he winced and ducked even lower when a third bullet, fired low, struck a stone between his horse’s legs and ricochetted off through the air, buzzing and humming like some incredible insect.

The shots died down as the magazines were emptied, until, quickly, there was no more shooting. The young man was elated. Through that astonishing fusillade he had come unscathed. He glanced back. Yes, they had emptied their magazines. He could see several reloading. Others were running back behind the house for their horses. As he looked, two already mounted, came back into view around the comer, riding hard. And at the same moment, he saw the man with the unmistakable ginger beard kneel down on the ground, level his gun, and coolly take his time for the long shot.

The young man threw his spurs into the horse, crouched very low, and swerved in his flight in order to distract the other’s aim. And still the shot did not come. With each jump of the horse, the woods sprang nearer. They were only two hundred yards away and still the shot was delayed.

And then he heard it, the last thing he was to hear, for he was dead ere he hit the ground in the long crashing fall from the saddle. And they, watching at the house, saw him fall, saw his body bounce when it struck the earth, and saw the burst of red-cheeked apples that rolled about him. They laughed at the unexpected eruption of apples, and clapped their hands in applause of the long shot by the man with the ginger beard.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Wages War On Third Continent

Stop NATO
March 30, 2011

NATO Wages War On Third Continent
Rick Rozoff

At its summit in Lisbon, Portugal last November the North Atlantic Treaty Organization adopted its first strategic concept for the 21st century, one in keeping with its expansion into not only a pan-European but a self-styled international military force.

In addition to subordinating all of Europe to a U.S.-dominated interceptor missile system, complementing the new U.S. Cyber Command in waging cyberwarfare defensive and offensive, and erasing whatever distinction remained between NATO and European Union military functions on the continent and globally, the world’s only military bloc endorsed the nearly ten-year-old war in Afghanistan as its prime mission and affirmed its commitment to ongoing operations in the Balkans.

Almost all of the approximately 150,000 foreign soldiers in Afghanistan are currently under the command of the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force, which is also conducting deadly helicopter gunship raids and artillery attacks inside neighboring Pakistan.

The war in South Asia is NATO’s first armed conflict outside Europe and its first ground war. Its bombing campaign in Bosnia in 1995 and 78-day air war against Yugoslavia four years later were its first hostile military actions.

NATO is now waging a war in a third continent, Africa.

The Alliance’s summit last year placed particular emphasis on consolidating partnerships with nations outside Europe and North America; military relations and agreements with, counting NATO members and partners alike, over a third of the 192 members of the United Nations.

Mechanisms employed to extend NATO’s influence and operations worldwide include the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, the Contact Countries format, the NATO-Afghanistan-Pakistan Tripartite Commission and the NATO-Russia Council.

Five of the seven members of the Mediterranean Dialogue – Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – are African states.

With U.S. Africa Command achieving full operational capability on October 1, 2008, the whole continent has been placed under an American overseas military command (Egypt remains in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility), with plans underway to replicate that arrangement with NATO. [1]

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) assumed control of what is now a 12-day war against Libya, the only North African nation not subordinated to AFRICOM or CENTCOM and to binding NATO obligations, through its Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

With NATO assuming direct command of the war – air and cruise missile strikes, a naval blockade of the country, on-the-ground operations in conjunction with anti-government insurgents and afterward independently – AFRICOM and NATO are being merged into one warfighting force.

In addition to that unprecedented integration, two members of NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are providing warplanes for Operation Odyssey Dawn and in the process engaging in a joint campaign with both NATO and AFRICOM for the first time. (The United Arab Emirates is one of 48 Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war and Bahrain, another Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partner, is supplying security forces for the International Security Assistance Force. Mediterranean Dialogue member Egypt is also an unofficial force contributor for NATO in Afghanistan.)

When on March 28 President Barack Obama repeatedly mentioned the international community and “international partners” and the “broad coalition” conducting the war against Libya along with the Pentagon, he could only cite eleven allies so involved: “[N]ations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey…all of whom have fought by our side for decades [and] Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.”

Nevertheless, Washington has brought together North American and European NATO allies with Persian Gulf partners for a war in Africa, the latest step in solidifying an international military alliance under U.S. control, complementing the building of an Asia-Pacific NATO, consolidating military partnerships in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East and integrating former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia into the Pentagon-NATO network.

Military operations currently under AFRICOM’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn and within hours to be transferred to NATO have included over 1,800 sorties and 214 Tomahawk cruise missile attacks since the beginning of the war on March 19.

NATO’s Lisbon summit declaration of last November highlighted an expanding role for the bloc in Africa, including supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), for which it has airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops for combat in the nation’s capital, the Operation Ocean Shield naval operation off the Horn of Africa and the operationalization of the African Standby Force, modeled after the NATO Response Force.

In twelve years the U.S. has used NATO for the war against Yugoslavia – the first unprovoked attack against a sovereign European nation since World War Two – a nearly decade-long air and ground war in Asia, and now the opening stages of a war in Africa. None of those wars were launched either to defend a member of NATO or in the so-called Euro-Atlantic area the military bloc arrogates to itself the right to protect.

21st century NATO is a global military strike force to be employed wherever its leading member states, the U.S. in the first case, choose to use it. Other nations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Caucasus and even what is left of unsubjugated Europe had best take note of the fact.

1) Africa: Global NATO Seeks To Recruit 50 New Military Partners
Stop NATO, February 20, 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 30

March 30, 2011 1 comment

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U.S. Aircraft, Warship Attack Libyan Vessels

Libyan War: “NATO Command Is Up And Running”

NATO’s Libyan War Is American War

NATO Uses Depleted Uranium Bombs Against Libyans

Analyst: Libyans’ Turn For NATO Depleted Uranium Poisoning

Media Questions West’s Double Standards In Arab World

Syria Blames Outside Forces For Unrest

Brzezinski Blasts Germany, Poland For Lukewarm Support Of Libyan War

Argentine President Condemns NATO’s War In Libya

Sweden Accedes To NATO Demand, To Deploy Eight Warplanes For Libyan Campaign

NATO Orders Bulgarian Warship To Libyan Waters

NATO’s Assault On Libya: 1,800 Sorties, 214 Cruise Missile Attacks

70 Percent Of Britons Fear New Iraq-Style War In Libya

NATO’s Top Military Commander: Foreign Stabilization Force In Libya

Videos And Text: Obama Establishes Doctrine Around Libya

France Sends Envoy To Libyan Rebel Base: Report

Qatar Launches Television Channel For Libyan Insurgents

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U.S. Aircraft, Warship Attack Libyan Vessels

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59406

Navy NewsStand
March 30, 2011

US Navy P-3C, USAF A-10 and USS Barry Engage Libyan Vessels
From Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

USS MOUNT WHITNEY, At Sea: A U.S. Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52), engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller craft March 28.
….
The P-3C fired at Vittoria with AGM-65F Maverick missiles, rendering the 12-meter patrol vessel ineffective and forcing it to be beached after multiple explosions were observed in the vicinity of the port.

Two smaller Libyan craft were fired upon by the A-10 using its 30mm GAU-8/ Avenger cannon, destroying one and forcing the other to be abandoned.

Barry provided situational awareness for the aircraft by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture.

The P-3C, A-10 and Barry are currently supporting operations for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces….

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Libyan War: “NATO Command Is Up And Running”

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1853137.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 30, 2011

NATO starts taking over command of Libya military operations

NATO has officially started taking over the command of military operations in Libya, officials said Wednesday, DPA reported.

“NATO command is up and running,” a NATO official said. “We received all the pledges we need.”

Military sources said there are still some jets and military equipment that had to be placed under NATO’s control by their respective governments, but that was expected to happen within hours.

Belgian pilots have already transitioned to NATO command, the Belga news agency reported.

Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard is leading the NATO mission, code-named Unified Protector, from the alliance’s maritime headquarters in Naples, Italy.

NATO ambassadors had paved the way on Sunday for the military alliance to take total control of operations meant to protect civilians from Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi’s troops.

NATO had already been in charge of enforcing a no-fly zone over the North African country and patrolling an arms embargo in the Mediterranean.

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NATO’s Libyan War Is American War

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/30/48197480.html

Voice of Russia
March 30, 2011

The game’s not worth the Tomahawk
Boris Volkhonsky

-No matter how the US is trying to keep the low profile, its leading role is demonstrated by pure figures: 550 million dollars so far and an additional 40 million every consecutive week.

The US has calculated the cost of the military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which started on March 19. So far, it has already cost the US taxpayers about 550 million dollars. Most of the cost comes from the Tomahawk launches. There have been 192 launches by US alone, each costing about $1.5 million.

Also, the US Air Force has flown 983 sorties – 370 of them being air missions against military sites and forces and the rest for surveillance, refueling and so on. All in all, about 60 percent of the spending was on munitions.

The rest was due to “higher operating tempo” of U.S. forces and of getting them there, said Commander Kathleen Kesler, a Pentagon spokeswoman. The overall figure does not include certain expenditures which would have been spent in any case – such as relocating US soldiers and marines abroad, salaries to military personnel, etc.

As predicted, the cost of the operation will steadily grow at a pace of about $40 million per week. And that regards only the US troops.

The peculiarity of the situation is that the US has been trying to keep as low a profile in the whole operation as possible, trying to present it as a purely European (mainly, French and British) initiative.

But the bare language of figures shows that the whole case is “politics as usual”. Other participants of the coalition have not yet officially calculated how much it has and is likely to cost them. But as for the British, it has been estimated that until now the operation has cost British taxpayers about £25 million (which makes it more than ten times less than the overall US expenditures). There have been seven Tomahawk launches, and British planes have flown 120 missions.

The figures for the French forces have not yet been made public, but one may expect that they would hardly exceed the British.

The whole story makes any unbiased observer look closer at the issue of “qui prodest” (“who benefits”).

From the very beginning of the Libyan unrest, it has been the West’s intention to picture the whole situation as bearing completely regional (more precisely, Mediterranean) significance.

Unrest in Libya had a direct impact on its northern neighbors, most notably Italy and France, being the primary buyers of Libyan oil. More so, for Barack Obama, the whole case was an opportunity to demonstrate that he as a national leader is completely different from his predecessor, George W. Bush Junior.

Now that the two wars launched by George W, have not come to an end and the very possibility of ending them in any favorable manner for the USA seems to be vaguer and vaguer day by day, it would be a grave mistake for Barack Obama to get involved in a third war. Hence, all his statements of a “limited involvement” and his attempts to keep a low profile and present the whole operation as having nothing in common with wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Well, this might be the US administration’s intention. But we all know too well what road is paved with good intentions. And a bare figure is not something you can easily disregard.

The cost of the war shows openly and starkly in numbers. Those numbers do not directly reflect other costs – like human lives or future repercussions for regional cooperation in the Southern Mediterranean. But they clearly show, who the chief player in this gross geopolitical game is. No matter how the US is trying to keep the low profile, its leading role is demonstrated by pure figures: 550 million dollars so far and an additional 40 million every consecutive week.

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NATO Uses Depleted Uranium Bombs Against Libyans

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/30/48203222.html

Voice of Russia
March 30, 2011

NATO uses depleted uranium bombs against Libya

-Even if these shells explode in a desert far from residential areas, for many Libyans this is a postponed death sentence. The same happened in Iraq where depleted uranium bombs were also used in a desert. A brief look at cancer statistics in Iraq and former Yugoslavia is enough to imagine what awaits Libyans in the near future.

“An unacceptable threat to life and a violation of international law” – that’s how the United States’ former Justice Secretary Ramsey Clark slammed the use of depleted uranium weapons. The United States first used depleted uranium bombs during the military invasion of Iraq in 1991.

Apparently pleased with the debut, the Americans pounded them on Yugoslavia nine years later. These days, world news media have been awash with reports that NATO is using depleted uranium bombs against Libya.

Leaving aside the legal and moral aspect of the attacks, a question arises: can’t NATO crush Colonel Gaddafi’s Armed Forces without radioactive exposure?

Political observer Sergei Guk discussed the issue with Voice of Russia guests General Director of the Center for International and Strategic Research Vladimir Belous and Deputy Director of the Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies Pavel Zolotaryov, both retired major generals.

Shells, bombs and cruise missiles stuffed with depleted uranium easily pierce through thick and heavy armor. That’s why the American military value them so much. According to political research centers in Germany, about 300 radioactive shells were fired at Saddam Hussein’s troops from the air and from the ground during the first campaign, launched in 1991. Twenty-one U.S. tanks were hit by mistake.

The consequences were not slow to arrive. In 2003, the World Health Organization reported a rise in cancer diseases in five provinces in southern Iraq. Air, water and soil were contaminated with radiation. Leukemia south of Baghdad assumed epidemic proportions. By 2009, cancer rates grew to thousands of new cases per year.

The uranium filling boomeranged on NATO troops. In the densely populated Yugoslavia, leukemia symptoms were particularly extensive with radiation levels 10 to 1,000 times above normal. More than 250 Italian soldiers died from cancer-related diseases. As for civilians, here’s just one example. Leukemia rates among new-born babies in former Yugoslavia have soared from one per 1,000 prior to NATO’s uranium attacks to between 10 and 15 per 1,000 now.

Is there any point in using radioactive shells in Libya? Can’t NATO manage without them? Pavel Zolotaryov gives his view:

“There is absolutely no point in that. It could be that the Americans have something to test, considering the tasks they need to fulfill. But how does all that fit in with the UN resolution on Libya?”

Vladimir Belous agrees:

“At present, there is absolutely no need for using such kinds of shells. Although the quantity of uranium is small, radioactive shrapnel, when penetrating into a human body, creates big problems for the treatment of the wounded.”

The aim of the UN resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya, which took shape before our very eyes, is formulated very precisely: not just shutting the air space but protecting civilians. Nothing beyond that. No one authorized NATO to fight on the side of one warring faction against the other, let alone use depleted uranium shells.

Even if these shells explode in a desert far from residential areas, for many Libyans this is a postponed death sentence. The same happened in Iraq where depleted uranium bombs were also used in a desert. A brief look at cancer statistics in Iraq and former Yugoslavia is enough to imagine what awaits Libyans in the near future.

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Analyst: Libyans’ Turn For NATO Depleted Uranium Poisoning

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/world/news/65650/

PanArmenian.net
March 30, 2011

NATO forces use uranium weapons in Libya

There’s a suspicion that armor-piercing, radioactive weapons are being deployed by foreign forces on Libya.

The U.S. says ‘it’s not aware’ that depleted uranium is being used, while the UK is flatly denying it. Political observer Christoph Hoerstel said NATO’s chief members have a habit of using uranium weapons – and it’s likely Libya’s in line.

Naming it a dirty habit, Mr. Hoerstel said that the U.S. used uranium weapons in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan. “Unfortunately Libya is not an exception. If this happens, it will be impossible to keep the Libyan population from suffering. Uranium bombs mean that the genetic code in the people is broken. The nano-particles will give rise to the birth of mutilated children,” he said.

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Media Question West’s Double Standards In Arab World

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/30/c_13805722.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 30, 2011

Media question West’s “double standards” in Arab unrest

BRUSSELS: As rebel forces backed by Western coalition air strikes battled for advantage in fierce fighting with Libyan government troops, voices questioning the West’s “selective policy” in dealing with unrest in different countries in the Arab world became louder.

The United States, France, and Britain wasted no time in launching air and missile strikes on Libya just one day after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution mandating a no-fly zone in the North African country.

Apart from measures to set up the no-fly zone, coalition forces also have pounded armored vehicles, the heavy artillery of Libyan government forces, and a residential compound occupied by leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“The coalition has taken sides. It’s only targeting Gaddafi’s forces, including those that aren’t in direct action against the rebels. We have reports of air strikes against convoys far from the front line. This is a far cry from the U.N. Security Council resolution,” said Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO.

Russia, which abstained in the U.N. vote that sanctioned the military operation, has been voicing concern about civilian casualties and excessive use of force since the operation began.

Records showed that more than 100 civilians have been killed in the coalition bombardments declared to protect innocent Libyan people.

A sharp contrast to what took place in Libya, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent troops to quell opposition street protests in Bahrain.

The double standard is obvious in the Saudi behavior, said an article on the CNN website.

“In the eyes of many Arabs in the region, a deeply troubling Western double standard is emerging,” said Omer Taspinar, a professor at the U.S. National War College and director of the Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution.

According to Taspinar, many in the region are asking a simple question: Why is the West willing to intervene in Libya, while there is total Western silence about Bahrain?

In countries like Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, they accept or actively support constitutional changes, but in other Arab countries, like Bahrain, the rights of citizens are secondary to wider energy and security needs, Taspinar cited an analyst from Lebanon as saying.

Chanting its universal values, “the United States has often been unable or unwilling to live up to the values it preaches,” said Bernd Debusmann, a Reuters columnist.

So why Libya and not Yemen or Bahrain, asked Debusmann.

“Here is where lofty talk of universal values collides with self-interest,” he said.

Debusmann cited a speech by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a 2005 speech in Cairo: “For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy … here in the Middle East.”

Debusmann went on to explain U.S. favor for the current Yemeni President Ali Abudullah Saleh by quoting a recently disclosed cable from the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital that said “Saleh has provided Yemen with relative stability.”

U.S. President Barack Obama has left “more questions than answers about his emerging ‘Obama doctrine and what it means for other crisis in the Middle East,'” Reuters writer Matt Spetalnick wrote about the president’s speech Monday night.

“Embedded in Obama’s televised response to critics of his Libya policy on Monday night was an attempt to set forth his rationale for intervening militarily in some conflicts but not in others,” Spetalnick said.

Obama fell short of even mentioning Yemen, Syria or Bahrain, the latest hotspots of chaos in the Arab world, observed Spetalnick.

Obama is trying to “stake out a middle ground” on wider Middle East policy, said Spetalnick. The obscurity has already drawn a lot of criticism from the left and the right at home, he said.

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Syria Blames Outside Forces For Unrest

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110330/163289958.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 30, 2011

Assad blames Syria unrest on foreign plotters

Damascus: In his first address since the outbreak of anti-government protests in Syria, President Bashar Assad blamed foreign and domestic “conspirators” for the unrest.

Protests demanding radical change have been raging in Libya since March 15. Tens of people have died so far. The Syrian leadership pledged last week to implement economic and political reform. On Tuesday, Syria’s cabinet resigned in an attempt to appease demonstrators.

Assad said the aim of the conspirators was to “fragment and bring down Syria” and “enforce an Israeli agenda.”

The Syrian president slammed what he called foreign “plots hatched against our country,” saying that the people and leadership of Syria would overcome them.

“We should draw a lesson from what has happened,” Assad noted.

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Brzezinski Blasts Germany, Poland For Lukewarm Support Of Libyan War

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14953281,00.html

Deutsche Welle
March 30, 2011

Brzezinski criticizes German and Polish stance on Libya

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski calls Berlin’s abstention in the Security Council an unfortunate decision. He’s also critical of Poland’s stance on Libya.

Zbigniew Brzezinski served as US National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and has also advised Barack Obama on foreign policy. He is a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.

Deutsche Welle: Germany, in a move that surprised many allies, decided to abstain in a UN Security Council vote on establishing a no-fly zone over Libya, siding with China and Russia, instead of its traditional allies France, Britain and the US. What’s your assessment of Berlin’s decision and the motives behind it?

Zbigniew Brzezinski: I think the motives behind it are understandable and credible and obviously rooted in Germany’s historical experience. However, from a strategic point of view I think it was an unfortunate decision. It seems to me that the crisis involving Libya is a crisis that provides the West with a rather unique opportunity for united action and I would have been more pleased if Germany had chosen to be in some fashion part of it, even if not necessarily a direct military participant.

I may say in passing that I feel the same way about the somewhat passively neutral stand that Poland has taken on this issue. And for obvious reasons I have an interest in observing how Poland conducts itself in the international arena.
….
I think it was unfortunate that for whatever reasons Germany took that stance, because I think what is involved here is a missed opportunity to underline, to affirm something that is desirable and important, namely the ability of the West to act in common.

You have supported military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. But isn’t there a real danger that this protracted conflict could drag on for a long time and turn into a slippery slope that makes NATO ground troops necessary to finally end the violence?

The more united the West is, the shorter the conflict will be. Because obviously Gadhafi and his associates want to prolong the conflict, create a stalemate and in some fashion remain in power. So it’s not irrelevant to the outcome how united the West is and how determined it is. I think if it is determined and if it applies its military efforts with some degree of firmness bearing in mind that the UN resolution permits all necessary actions I think the chances are that we will avoid a protracted conflict.

I think the only possible outcome that assures security for Libyan people and their freedom of choice politically is an outcome that does not include him as part of the political picture.

While the West is engaged in Libya, it appears that many other Arab regimes are also on the brink of collapse. Do you also consider the intervention in Libya as a warning shot for other Arab rulers as the French President has said?

I think each case has to be looked at on its own merit in terms both of the possibilities of responding effectively to it and also in terms of the dangers that a particular case poses for the region and for international stability more generally. So I don’t think that you can draw some sort of arbitrary conclusion from one single case important though it is.

The situation in Syria, a key country in the Middle East, seems very volatile. How strong is Assad’s grip on power in your assessment and what would his fall mean for the region?

It’s very difficult for me to assess how strong is grip on power is, especially since it appears that he himself perhaps doesn’t know how strong it is….

The governments in Bahrain and Yemen, two vital US allies, also look very fragile. Can the US square the circle to support the democracy movements and at the same time prop up or help those autocratic rulers stay in power?

I think as I said each case has to be looked at on its own merits and in the context of its own specificity. In general, the United States has gone quite far in expressing its support for democratic movements. But the circumstances in each of these countries are not quite the same as they have emerged in Libya and for that matter they are not quite the same as they are now in Egypt or in Saudi Arabia.

Compared to the most other countries, the situation in Saudi Arabia has been relatively stable so far. Why in your opinion is this so and do you think that the Saudi King can feel ‘safe?’

He probably cannot feel safe entirely in view of what has been happening with his neighbors. Nonetheless, the fact is that the Saudi monarchy seems to have deeper roots in the society. The society still is somewhat more traditional and the country is very rich and the political leadership is intelligently sharing some of that wealth with the public. Whether that is sufficient to a degree only time will tell.
….
What’s your take on Iran, also a country where there have been some protests, but compared to other countries in the region, the situation there appears to be reasonably calm at the moment?

We have to bear in mind that there was a major outburst of democratic aspirations not such a long time ago and that it was effectively crushed by the regime….The urban parts, particularly in Tehran itself, are more similar to Turkey and through Turkey even to Europe. Certainly the young people who were demonstrating against the regime not such a long time ago looked very similar both in their appearance, but also even in their aspirations and language to the young people in Europe.
….
In the long run, I think that kind of theocratic, fundamentalist authority is as vulnerable or even more so than the hereditary royal systems. So that in the long run – provided the West does not isolate Iran to the point that Iranian nationalism is fused with fundamentalism – I think Iran will have to change and will change.

…NATO is a defensive alliance. If something happened that threatened its members, which includes the United States also, it would be duty bound to respond.

Germany has said that it wouldn’t take part in any military mission in Libya. Could Germany do anything else in your opinion to perhaps support the mission with nonmilitary means? Do you have any ideas what Berlin could do?

I don’t have any ideas that I want to propound publicly. But certainly Germany has ways of indicating its solidarity and its support for what is being done by the NATO alliance of which Germany is a very very important member….

Interview: Michael Knigge
Editor: Rob Mudge

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Argentine President Condemns NATO’s War In Libya

http://www.just-international.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4382:argentine-president-slams-nato-for-libya-mission&catid=45:recent-articles&Itemid=123

Reuters
March 30, 2011

Argentine President slams NATO for Libya mission

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited his Argentine counterpart Cristina Fernandez to sign a raft of oil transport and other agreements on Tuesday (March 29).
….
Chavez spoke of progress in bilateral relations between the two South American countries.

But President Fernandez struck out against NATO in a thinly veiled attack on the mission in Libya.

Chavez has previously denounced military action in Libya, saying it is aimed at seizing the North African country’s oil reserves.

“When someone looks at the world, and observes the people who are supposed to be civilized resolving their problems by launching bombs, it really makes me proud to be South American and proud to be part of [the] UNASUR [political bloc] and to honor this tradition of peace and harmony that we have here in our beloved home of UNASUR,” Fernandez said.

Later, the two visited one of South America’s largest ship repair yards.

Tandanor is run by a workers cooperative and will build 16 new oil tankers for the Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, after a new contract was signed by Fernandez and Chavez at the site.

The tankers will cost US$83 million, measure 90 metres (295 feet) in length and have will each be able to ship between 2,500 and 7,500 cubic metres of petrol, according to the Argentine government.

Venezuela signed an agreement with Argentina last year to renovate its oil transport fleet, and includes the construction of tug boats and repair of various vessels.

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Sweden Accedes To NATO Demand, To Deploy Eight Warplanes For Libyan Campaign

http://www.thelocal.se/32886/20110329/

The Local
March 30, 2011

Government yes to Gripen deployment

The Swedish government has given the green light to sending JAS Gripen fighters to Libya following a request from the NATO general secretary, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, for Swedish assistance.

During an extra meeting Tuesday the government decided to propose to the Riksdag that Sweden contribute to the NATO led military attack on Libya.

“The government has decided today … to put to parliament the proposal to participate with JAS Gripen (jets) in the international military operation in Libya under the leadership of NATO,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in parliament on Tuesday.
….
Reinfeldt informed the Riksdag that there were many among the government parties who had wanted the fighters to be allowed to strike against land-based targets to protect civilians.
….
The government proposed eight JAS Gripen fighters to be sent, along with one Hercules aircraft and one reconnaissance plane.

In addition to the aircraft, around 130 personnel, including pilots and ground crew will be involved in the mission. However, the number of service personnel may be increased to a maximum of 250.

The government proposes to deploy the aircraft initially for three months. The cost to Sweden is not to exceed 200 million kronor ($31 million).
….
Sweden is not a member of NATO, although it has been in NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme since 1994 and participates in the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force in Afghanistan with some 500 troops.

The last time Swedish fighter jets were in action was at the start of the 1960s, in a UN-mandated operation in the former Belgian Congo.

The Gripen fighter jets are made by Swedish defence group Saab, which is in the running with France’s Dassault and the US’s Boeing for a multi-billion-dollar contract to supply the Brazilian air force.
….
The Swedish Riksdag could be ready to reach a decision Friday.

====

NATO Orders Bulgarian Warship To Libyan Waters

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/30/c_13805590.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 30, 2011

Bulgaria sends frigate to patrol near Libya

SOFIA: The Bulgarian government here on Wednesday decided to send the frigate Drazki (Daring) to support the arms embargo against Libya.

According to the Government Information Service, Drazki would participate in the NATO’s operation Unified Protector aiming to patrol the approaches to Libyan territorial waters to reduce the flow of arms, related material and mercenaries to Libya.

The frigate would sail to the area of operation as early as April 15 for not more than three months since its deployment. Up to 160 people, including a 12-member group for special operations, would be on board.

Bulgarian troops would provide visible and significant contribution to the NATO joint efforts demonstrating determination and unified will…the government said.

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NATO’s Assault On Libya: 1,800 Sorties, 214 Cruise Missile Attacks

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hCkzHm9uCuxLaBr2k7bmJ_nw4aWw?docId=CNG.e56cc9d762fa430a90fd4ad4e960a848.bf1

Agence France-Presse
March 29, 2011

For no-fly zone, four NATO sorties: US military

-As part of “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the US military also launched 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the past 24 hours, bringing to 214 the total number of missile strikes since the operation began on March 19, the Pentagon said.

WASHINGTON: Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya required four sorties by NATO aircraft in the past 24 hours, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

As of 1000 GMT, NATO carried out four flights to police the no-fly zone against the Libyan regime, along with four other sorties in support of the mission, according to information released by the Pentagon.

The figures followed comments from US and allied commanders that the regime’s air defenses have been knocked out in earlier coalition raids, with Moamer Kadhafi’s aircraft effectively shut down under a no-fly zone now firmly in place.

The four no-fly zone sorties were flown by Canada and Spain, using F-18 fighter jets, said a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

NATO is due on Thursday to take over from the US military the command of the coalition air campaign, launched under a UN resolution to protect civilians.

As part of “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the US military also launched 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the past 24 hours, bringing to 214 the total number of missile strikes since the operation began on March 19, the Pentagon said.

The Tomahawks targeted “storage facilities” for the Libyan regime’s Scud missiles, the defense official said.

The international coalition carried out a total of 200 sorties in the past 24 hours, with about 60 percent of the missions flown by the American military.

During the same period, the international coalition carried out 115 strike sorties, in which combat aircraft sought out targets in Moamer Kadhafi’s armed forces.

Since the air operation began on March 19, the coalition has carried out 1,802 sorties.

President Barack Obama’s administration has said it will soon play more of a supporting role in the air campaign.

The number of “strike” missions by US aircraft has declined slightly in recent days.

In the past 24 hours, the United States conducted 52 sorties, about 45 percent of all the strike flights, compared to 63 percent flown by other countries.

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70 Percent Of Britons Fear New Iraq-Style War In Libya

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE72S08220110329

Reuters
March 29, 2011

Britons fear Libya becoming another Iraq – poll
Seven of 10 Britons fear Iraq-style conflict

LONDON: Seven out of 10 Britons think coalition forces enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya could get sucked into another Iraq-style conflict, a poll showed on Tuesday.

The ComRes poll carried out for the Independent newspaper found 47 percent think the government was wrong to launch air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, while 43 percent approve of the decision.

Tuesday’s poll found that 71 percent of those questioned feared the intervention could drag on, despite Prime Minister David Cameron insisting that Libya is “not another Iraq”.

Respondents’ views were split along party political lines. A majority (58 percent) of Conservative voters, the leading voice in the coalition government, backed the intervention, while coalition partner Liberal Democrats and opposition Labour were less supportive.

A ComRes/ITN poll undertaken a week ago found that 43 of the public disagreed with the action, suggesting opposition was hardening.

ComRes interviewed a random sample of 1,000 adults by telephone between March 25 and March 27.

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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NATO’s Top Military Commander: Foreign Stabilization Force In Libya

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/NATO-Commander-Says-Libya-May-Need-Foreign-Stabilization-Force-118864814.html

Voice of America News
March 29, 2011

NATO Commander Says Libya May Need Foreign Stabilization Force
Al Pessin

The top NATO military commander says Libya may need a foreign stabilization force if rebels supported by international airstrikes succeed in ousting the country’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi. U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis made the comment in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Admiral Stavridis says there has been no discussion at NATO of sending ground forces to stabilize Libya, but he believes it may be necessary.

“When you look at the history of NATO, having gone through this, as many on this committee have, with Bosnia and Kosovo, it’s quite clear that the possibility of [the need for] a stabilization regime exists,” he said. “And so, I have not heard any discussion about it yet, but I think that history is in everybody’s mind as we look at the events in Libya.”
….
He predicted that the military operation, plus international diplomatic and financial pressure and attacks by the rebels, will likely result in Gadhafi’s departure or overthrow.

And he said even without the specific mission to oust Gadhafi, NATO forces are operating under sufficiently broad rules that they can attack wherever necessary in Libya.

“I think that any Gadhafi forces that are demonstrating hostile intent against the Libyan population are legitimate targets,” said Stavridis.
….
The admiral’s’ NATO forces have taken command of the arms embargo and no-fly zone enforcement from U.S. Africa Command, and he says NATO will take command of the humanitarian and protection of civilians effort within the next day or two….

====

Videos And Text: Obama Establishes Doctrine Around Libya

http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-libya-doctrine-usa/

RT
March 29, 2011

Obama sets doctrine on Libya

Videos

In a televised international speech US President Barack Obama spoke for nearly a half hour on the NATO lead, US backed coalition at war in Libya.
The speech focused on Libya as opposed to grander strategy, emphasizing America’s responsibility as a global leader and the specific Libyan intervention.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” the US President said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Although the details were sketchy, no vision of an endgame was given and many things remain unknown or elusive, one thing is for sure in Obama’s mind – Libya will not be another Iraq.

The US president wants to topple Gaddafi, but swore he would not fall at the hands of US troops. Obama insisted American involvement would end as soon as possible – whenever that may be.

“Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” he stated.

The man who campaigned on an anti-war and pro-diplomacy platform has found himself answering his formed supporters who want to know when Obama shifted his views.

“I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars,” Obama exclaimed, expressing his disapproval of Iraq, but support for his war in Libya. “I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests.”

The Obama doctrine is revealed – use force when I deem necessary.
However, some critics feel his approach does not go far enough.
“If we tell Gaddafi, ‘Don’t worry you’re not going to be removed by force,’– I think that’s very encouraging to Gaddafi,” Republican Senator John McCain told CNN.

On the other side of the spectrum, many Democratic leaders felt the lack of clarity and specific endgame goals was too similar of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Congress needs to ask some tough questions about the endgame,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich blasted Obama for his stance on Libya, saying “The economy is falling apart. Our cities are starved.

People are without health care. All we’re getting is war.”
He argued Libya could easily become Obama’s Iraq and has even proposed, along with Republican Congressman Ron Paul, legislation to defund the entire operation.

“The only real power Congress has here to assert itself as the people’s representatives is to stop funding,” Kucinich said.

The war power belongs to the democratic body, to the Congress, he explained. The US Constitution is clear.

Even President Bush went before Congress to get permission to enter into war with Iraq, he noted.

In addition, Kucinich explained using the military in conflict mode for humanitarian aid simply does not work.

“There’s no way you can avoid civilian casualties,” he said. “What we’re doing here is enlarging a humanitarian crisis with more people becoming refugees, with more civilians put at risk of injury or death due to the bombing.”

In order to get involved in a conflict congress must have a say – even if the conflict is by way of the UN, NATO or other organizations. This is the law of the United States, he explained.

As more and more people seek information on Obama’s war in Libya, it is becoming harder to get factual information from on the ground beyond what NATO and coalition governments claim.

Veteran war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow explained the US and coalition forces are leading an imperialist information war, targeting journalist and preventing truth from being told in Libya.

“Most journalists are not honest,” he said, explaining they are forced to tell half truths.

Journalists are embedded with one side or the other and what they can say is censored by the powers that be. Thus, no one really reports what might actually be going on or what motives may be at play in Libya.

The inability to tell the truth or report all the facts prevents the public from knowing why America may really be in Libya – humanitarianism, access to resources or imperialism.

Radio host Alex Jones argued the war is full of classic propaganda and misinformation, and the US has no business being involved.

The same formula that was used in past interventions is playing out again, he said. Even al-Qaeda is part of the mix. Jones argued the terrorist organization was created by the CIA. It is all part of a major globalist agenda to take away American liberties.

“British Special Forces, US Special Forces were there [Libya] before this began,” said Jones. “The west is setting a precedent through the UN that they can fund rebels to start wars against regimes not favorable to the globalist system.”

Libya is just another piece of the puzzle. It is the beginning of a new front of a global war – it is not humanitarian.

This has nothing to do with humanitarianism, Jones argued. It is about the new world order and their army – al-Qaeda – which is used to strike at America, Russia and others to progress the globalist agenda.

====

France Sends Envoy To Libyan Rebel Base: Report

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/30/c_13803989.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 30, 2011

France sends envoy to Libyan rebels base in Benghazi: press

PARIS: France has sent an envoy to Benghazi in eastern Libya where the rebels are based, local press quoted an unnamed official on Tuesday as saying.

According to AFP, the veteran French diplomat Antoine Sivan, 55 years old and an Arabic speaker, departed France on Sunday and was on the way to Benghazi via Egypt.

Benghazi is the stronghold of Libyan rebels and now locates their rebel administration National Transition Council (NTC), which France has taken the lead to recognize as the unique legitimate body to represent Libya people.

France has expressed the intention to dispatch an “ambassador” to the rebels’ base in Benghazi after two rebel representatives had a talk with President Nicolas Sarkozy in Elysee Palace on March 10. French foreign ministry later on received rebel representatives one more time and said they had regular contacts with the rebels’ body.

There was no official confirmation from the French administration about the “ambassador,” but local press said a possible confirmation could be unveiled on the sidelines of the Libya-focused international meeting hosting over 35 nations in London.
….

====

Qatar Launches Television Channel For Libyan Insurgents

http://en.rian.ru/trend/libya_2011/

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 30, 2011

Libyan opposition launches TV channel with Qatar

The Libyan opposition is launching a satellite television channel, Ahrar TV, on Wednesday with the help of the Qatari government in counterbalance to state-controlled media.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Rimbaud: Evil

March 30, 2011 4 comments

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Arthur Rimbaud
Evil (1870)
Translated by Paul Schmidt

While the red-stained mouths of machine guns ring
Across the infinite expanse of day;
While red or green, before their posturing King,
The massed battalions break and melt away;

And while a monstrous frenzy runs a course
That makes of a thousand men a smoking pile -
Poor fools! – dead, in summer, in the grass,
On Nature’s breast, who meant these men to smile;

There is a God, who smiles upon us through
The gleam of gold, the incense-laden air,
Who drowses in a cloud of murmured prayer,

And only wakes when weeping mothers bow
Themselves in anguish, wrapped in old black shawls -
And their last small coin into his coffer falls.

Le Mal

Tandis que les crachats rouges de la mitraille
Sifflent tout le jour par l’infini du ciel bleu;
Qu’écarlates ou verts, près du Roi qui les raille,
Croulent les bataillons en masse dans le feu;

Tandis qu’une folie épouvantable, broie
Et fait de cent milliers d’hommes un tas fumant;
– Pauvres morts dans l’été, dans l’herbe, dans ta joie,
Nature, ô toi qui fis ces hommes saintement !… -

- Il est un Dieu qui rit aux nappes damassées
Des autels, à l’encens, aux grands calices d’or;
Qui dans le bercement des hosanna s’endort,

Et se réveille quand des mères, ramassées
Dans l’angoisse et pleurant sous leur vieux bonnet noir,
Lui donnent un gros sou lié dans leur mouchoir!

Categories: Uncategorized

Barack Hussein Reagan And Ronald Wilson Obama On Libya

March 29, 2011 4 comments

Stop NATO
March 29, 2011

Barack Hussein Reagan And Ronald Wilson Obama On Libya
Compiled by Rick Rozoff

Ronald Reagan (RR) April 14, 1986
Barack Obama (BO) March 28, 2011

====

RR:
At 7 o’clock this evening eastern time air and naval forces of the United States launched a series of strikes against the headquarters, terrorist facilities, and military assets that support Mu`ammar Qadhafi’s subversive activities.

BO:
Confronted by…brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean…It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago…I authorized military action….

RR:
Several weeks ago in New Orleans, I warned Colonel Qadhafi we would hold his regime accountable….

BO:
Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences.

RR:
Colonel Qadhafi is not only an enemy of the United States. His record of subversion and aggression against the neighboring States in Africa is well documented and well known. He has ordered the murder of fellow Libyans in countless countries.

BO:
For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world – including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

RR:
Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.

BO:
So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: the United States of America has done what we said we would do.

RR:
To our friends and allies in Europe who cooperated in today’s mission, I would only say you have the permanent gratitude of the American people.

BO:
In this effort, the United States has not acted alone….Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No Fly Zone.

RR:
Self-defense is not only our right, it is our duty. It is the purpose behind the mission undertaken tonight.

BO:
[W]hen our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks….I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests.

RR:

I have no illusion that tonight’s action will ring down the curtain on Qadhafi’s reign of terror. But this mission, violent though it was, can bring closer a safer and more secure world for decent men and women. We will persevere.

BO:
That is not to say that our work is complete….Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous.

RR:
Tonight I salute the skill and professionalism of the men and women of our Armed Forces who carried out this mission. It’s an honor to be your Commander in Chief.

BO:
I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength.

RR:
We Americans are slow to anger. We always seek peaceful avenues before resorting to the use of force – and we did. We tried quiet diplomacy, public condemnation, economic sanctions, and demonstrations of military force. None succeeded. Despite our repeated warnings, Qadhafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation….

BO:
For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 29, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: March 29

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

====

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1. If Serbia Joins NATO, Russia To Defend Against Long-Range Missiles

2. Afghanistan: Insurgents Overrun District, Three NATO Soldiers Killed

3. Russia Warns Georgia Against Harboring Chechen Rebels

4. Africa Partnership Station: U.S., NATO Allies Drill In Gulf Of Guinea

5. German Navy Vessels Return To Mediterranean Under NATO Control

6. Pakistan: NATO Tanker Destroyed In Balochistan

7. 3,000 More Ugandan, Burundian Troops Headed To Somalia

8. U.S. Joins Scramble For Arctic With Nuclear Submarines

9. Alabama: U.S. Trains Romanian Pilots For F-16 Use

10. Afghan Boy Shot In Firefight With Australian Troops

11. Afghanistan: NATO Loses 100th Soldier This Year

12. NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Wounds Five

13. War Stories: Promoting The War In Afghanistan

14. Georgia: NATO Membership To Foster “Unification”

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1. If Serbia Joins NATO, Russia To Defend Against Long-Range Missiles

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-29/russia-sees-security-concern-if-serbia-joins-nato-danas-reports.html

Bloomberg News
March 29, 2011

Russia Sees Security Concern If Serbia Joins NATO, Danas Reports
By Misha Savic

If Serbia joins NATO, the alliance will want to install long-range missiles in its territory, which Russia may see as a threat to its own security, Danas newspaper reported, citing Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Konuzin.

Konuzin said Serbia, which declared military neutrality in 2007 while being in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, remains free to join any organization it chooses, “but we count that Belgrade will respect our thinking that entering NATO would represent a threat to Russia’s security,” the newspaper quoted Konuzin as saying.

Russia would have to “take military measures to remove such threats. The measures would not be against Serbia, but against the missiles,” Konuzin reportedly said in the interview, following last week’s visit to Belgrade by Premier Vladimir Putin.

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2. Afghanistan: Insurgents Overrun District, Three NATO Soldiers Killed

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1629441.php/Taliban-overrun-district-three-NATO-soldiers-killed

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 29, 2011

Taliban overrun district; three NATO soldiers killed

Kabul: Taliban militants overran a district in the north-eastern Afghan province of Nuristan after overpowering local forces, while three NATO soldiers died in other attacks in the same region, officials said Tuesday.

Over 300 heavily armed Taliban insurgents attacked the Waigal district early Tuesday and captured the main town of Shamsul, provincial police chief Rahman Zahid said.

‘We had to retreat because we did not have enough men or weapons to defend the district against over 300 Taliban fighters,’ Zahid told the German Press Agency dpa.

The locally recruited policemen scattered to villages surrounding the district, he said.

‘There were no foreign forces or Afghan army soldiers and the Taliban had also blocked all the roads linking to the district,’ he said.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement sent to media that their fighters captured 12 armed police and 19 vehicles during the operation.

The rest of the police fled the area after short resistance, he said, adding the Taliban had hoisted their flag in the centre of the district.

Major Tim James, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said the military was aware of the situation, saying ‘all I can say is we are looking into it.’

James said NATO troops were not stationed in the district.

Separately, three ISAF soldiers died Tuesday following two separate insurgent attacks in the eastern region, the alliance said in statements.

The military did not reveal the nationalities of the deceased, nor did it say where exactly in the volatile region the attacks took place. Most of the troops stationed in area are from the United States.

More than 100 foreign troops – two-thirds of them US personnel – have been killed in the Afghan conflict so far this year, according to iCasualties.org, an independent website that tracks NATO fatalities in Afghanistan.
….
Insurgents claimed to have taken hostage 50 Afghan policemen in the eastern province of Kunar on Sunday. Afghan officials confirmed having lost contact with up to 40 off-duty police personnel who were en route to their hometown when they went missing.

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3. Russia Warns Georgia Against Harboring Chechen Rebels

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/29/48141800.html

Voice of Russia
March 29, 2011

Russia warns Georgia about Chechen rebels

Chechen militants who escaped to Georgia may be posing a threat to Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev`s representative on terrorism Anatoly Safonov said during a press-briefing in Moscow on Tuesday.

He said he did not rule out that Georgia could be standing behind some of the attacks carried out in Russia.

He advised Tbilisi to stay on alert about possible provocations by militants on Georgian territory.

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4. Africa Partnership Station: U.S., NATO Allies Drill In Gulf Of Guinea

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6346&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
March 28, 2011

Robert G. Bradley Completes APS Exercise Obangame Express 2011
By Petty Officer 1st Class Darryl Wood
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

DOUALA, Cameroon: USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) concluded exercise Obangame Express off the coast of Cameroon as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West, March 23, 2011.

Robert G. Bradleym, along with ships from Belgium, Cameroon, France, Gabon, Nigeria, and Spain, participated in the exercise which focused on maritime domain awareness with the specific challenges faced by the interoperability of a multinational force to improve its proficiency at sea.

….
The pre-sail conference and post-exercise debrief was held at the Cameroon Navy Base in Douala….This multinational cooperation ensures continued success for interoperability and proficiency of the regional maritime stake holders in the Gulf of Guinea.
….
Robert G. Bradley, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is homeported out of Mayport, Florida, and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities….

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5. German Navy Vessels Return To Mediterranean Under NATO Control

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1629202.php/German-navy-ships-in-Mediterranean-return-to-NATO-control

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 28, 2011

German navy ships in Mediterranean return to NATO control

Berlin: Two German navy vessels in the Mediterranean are to be placed back under NATO command, a week after the military alliance became involved in the Libya conflict, a defence ministry spokesman said in Berlin Monday.

But the warships will not be available for the NATO military campaign to deny airspace and arms supplies to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, the spokesman told the German Press Agency dpa.

The frigate Luebeck and the minesweeper will instead be deployed ‘soon’ with Active Endeavour, a NATO operation….

Germany upset its allies this month by abstaining when the UN Security Council ordered a no-fly zone to stop bloodshed by Gaddafi.

Germany then withdrew its warships from the NATO force, which is led by France, Britain and the United States. One task of the NATO force off the Libyan coast is preventing Gaddafi from shipping in arms.

Surveys show the German public, which tends to be pacifist, approved of Berlin’s efforts to keep its distance from the Libyan conflict, but senior politicians and think-tank officials in Berlin called the break in alliance ranks a blunder.
….
A third navy vessel, the Oker, a supply ship, is in the Mediterranean but will remain under direct command from Berlin. A frigate, the Hamburg, has left the Mediterranean to return to its home base in Wilhelmshaven.

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6. Pakistan: NATO Tanker Destroyed In Balochistan

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=177055

News International
March 28, 2011

Unidentified men set NATO container on fire

Quetta: Unidentified persons opened indiscriminate fire on a NATO container and set it on fire whereas the driver of the container received bullet wounds.

A NATO container heading towards Afghanistan from Karachi through Balochistan came under indiscriminate fire that was set on fire by unidentified men at Jeeva Cross in Kalat. The driver, Jahangir Khan, of the container sustained injuries whereas unidentified armed men fled from the scene.

Local authorities reached the spot of incident and removed the injured man to the hospital for treatment. They registered a case against the unidentified men.

In Sohrab drivers of the NATO containers blocked the road and staged a strong protest against the continuous incidents of such sort.

They urged the government to take solid steps for the safe passage and security of NATO supplies.

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7. 3,000 More Ugandan, Burundian Troops Headed To Somalia

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=143541

Azeri Press Agency
March 27, 2011

Burundi, Uganda to send 3,000 more troops to Somalia

Baku: Uganda and Burundi said on Saturday they have committed 3,000 extra troops to the African Union mission in Somalia, bolstering the fight against insurgents, APA reports quoting news.yahoo.com website.

The U.N.-backed Transitional Federal Government of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed controls part of the capital, and AMISOM — AU troops from Uganda and Burundi — is fighting to keep two hardline Islamist insurgent groups from taking over the rest.
….
AMISOM said in a statement on Saturday that after a visit to Mogadishu this week by Major General Godefroid Niyombare and General Aronda Nyakairima, the defense chiefs in Burundi and Uganda, the two countries committed more soldiers.

“In a joint statement to field commanders, the chiefs declared that both Burundi and Uganda had committed the additional 4,000 troops…and that they were already heading for pre-deployment training.”

“Each country has pledged a further 2,000 troops and anticipate an efficient deployment around the middle of the year.” Burundi has already deployed 1,000 of the 4,000 extra troops in mid March.
….

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8. U.S. Joins Scramble For Arctic With Nuclear Submarines

http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland/2011/03/25/u-s-navy-scrambles-for-piece-of-the-arctic-pie/

Forbes
March 25, 2011

U.S. Navy Scrambles for Piece of Arctic Pie
By WILLIAM PENTLAND

The U.S. Navy is staging exercises] in the Arctic Ocean this month with…nuclear-powered submarines.

The military exercises are designed to bolster U.S. claims on emerging – and likely lucrative – commercial opportunities in the region, which have attracted intense interest in recent years as global warming accelerates what appears to be the permanent loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported in early March that 2011 has tied with 2006 for the record low sea-ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean (in the satellite record). By the mid-2030s, scientists have predicted that the Arctic will be ice-free for at least one month of every summer, which will expand to two-to-three ice-free months by around mid-century.

The U.S. Navy has deployed two nuclear-powered submarines off the coast of Alaska close to a temporary camp constructed on the ice roughly 150 miles north of Prudhoe Bay. The submarines are conducting military training exercises.
….
A delegation of defense contractors and military brass visited the camp last week, according to Reuters. The training was meant to ensure that the United States maintained access to the Arctic, home to the world’s largest undiscovered oil and gas reserves. Russia, the United States, Denmark, Greenland, Canada and Norway, which border the Arctic, and China are also scrambling to control the region and access to the commercial ventures there.

“It is a key potential transit line between the Atlantic and the Pacific,” U.S. Navy Captain Rhett Jaehn, told Reuters. “We want to be able to demonstrate that we have global reach. That we can operate in all oceans, and that we can operate proficiently in any environment.”
….

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9. Alabama: U.S. Trains Romanian Pilots For F-16 Use

http://readme.readmedia.com/Romanian-Air-Force-Officers-Visit-Local-Alabama-Guard-Unit/2222661

Alabama National Guard
March 22, 2011

Romanian Air Force Officers Visit Local Alabama Guard Unit
by Alabama National Guard

MONTGOMERY, AL : Five officers from the Romanian Air Force visited the Alabama National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing recently. Over their five-day visit, the Romanian officers received a broad overview of the F-16 fighter jet operations and sustainment programs of the Alabama National Guard.

The Romanian Air Force is considering plans to change their fighter aircraft force to the F-16, so the visit to a fully operational fighter wing was a source of invaluable insight into the requirements, maintenance, operations, reliability and capabilities of the F-16.

The visit was part of the State Partnership Program (SPP) which was created by NATO after the end of the Cold War. The SPP paired state National Guard organizations with former communist countries in a program intended to establish or normalize relations….

Romania, the first Warsaw Pact nation to enter the program, was paired with the Alabama Guard in 1994. Since then, Alabama Guard and Romanian military personnel have participated in dozens of training exercises, activities and assistance visits in both Alabama and Romania.

“The Alabama National Guard and Romania partnership is a mature relationship, established more than 17 years ago,” said Alabama National Guard SPP Coordinator, Lt. Col. William A. Overby. “Alabama continues to be a valuable partner in enabling Romania to build capacity to support deploying troops, enhance military capabilities, improve NATO interoperability, and reinforce the principles of responsible governance.”

The 187th Fighter Wing has plans to continue to share its lessons learned from years of F-16 experience with their Romanian Air Force counterparts through the Alabama National Guard SPP in the future.

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10. Afghan Boy Shot In Firefight With Australian Troops

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/29/c_13803083.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 29, 2011

Australian troops involved in Afghanistan battle

CANBERRA: A young Afghan boy has been shot and is in a critical condition after a battle between Australian troops and insurgents, the Australian Defense Force confirmed on Tuesday.
….
According to the Department of Defense, one insurgent was killed in the battle and the local boy was later found with gunshot wounds to the upper body.
….
“He remains in a critical but stable condition, and has since been moved to intensive-care facilities in Kandahar,” the Defence said in a statement released on Tuesday.
….

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11. Afghanistan: NATO Loses 100th Soldier This Year

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/7332827.html

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

NATO soldier killed in S Afghanistan

A solider with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed Sunday in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan southern region, the military alliance said.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today,” said a statement released here by ISAF.

However, the brief statement did not reveal the nationality of the victim, saying “it ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern Afghan region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

Sunday’s casualty brings to 100 the number of NATO service members, have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

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12. NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Wounds Five

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hnZOr04CBG_FJlccZfRH03mOzeOQ?docId=559bfcd34a9f45ba9946eab5c1d6ce00

Associated Press
March 26, 2011

Afghan official: NATO airstrike kills 7 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan: A provincial governor in Afghanistan’s dangerous south said Saturday that seven civilians were…killed when a NATO helicopter fired on two vehicles believed to be carrying Taliban fighters.
….
In the aftermath of the strike, coalition troops found bodies of civilians in the wreckage, NATO said. It did not released the number of the dead and wounded.

A statement issued by the Helmand provincial governor’s office said seven people — two men, two women and three children — were killed when coalition forces fired on the suspects. Those killed were in another vehicle traveling near the targeted ones. Five others Afghan civilians — a man, woman and three children — were wounded, the governor’s office said.

Helmand provincial Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal condemned the civilian casualties.

The deaths came only two days after the international coalition…killed two civilians in the eastern province of Khost….

At least four other people were killed in three separate attacks in southern Afghanistan on Friday, including a child, a NATO soldier, and two civilians on a motorcycle.
….
A coalition soldier died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, NATO announced. The international force provided no other details about the casualty, pending notification of next of kin.

The death brings to 26 of NATO service members who have died so far this month in Afghanistan.
….
Germany’s Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere visited Afghanistan on Saturday, his first trip to the battleground since taking the job this month. German lawmakers Friday endorsed sending up to 300 crew members to man surveillance planes in Afghanistan — a move meant to take pressure off NATO allies enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.
….

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13. War Stories: Promoting The War In Afghanistan

http://rt.com/usa/news/promoting-war-libya-usa/

RT
March 26, 2011

War Stories: Promoting the war in Afghanistan

Video

The Pentagon, NATO, and others fight an information war to go alongside the real ones in the battlefield. This was is to sell the reality of a conflict where people are dying and billions are being spent to a public back home.

“War is hell and that’s why you only go to war when it’s in the absolute interest to your national security,” said Matthew Hoh, a former US State Department official.

That harsh reality of war is one reason why coalition forces do battle with an information war.

They fight it alongside the real one playing out on the ground in Afghanistan, for example, so the war is not widely known by milestones such as surpassing the Soviet campaign there, becoming the longest war in American history, or costing an exceptional amount of money.

But instead, is a story of hope and reconstruction. That’s the NATO version told, for example, in a promotional film given to international journalists at the annual NATO summit.

Public relations efforts to sell the war are nothing new. And commander of the NATO forces – the United States – spends billions to sell its version of the war to the world through PR at home and abroad, state-sponsored media, and psychological operations.

For example, a leaked classified CIA document revealed a plan for allies.
“Astrategic communication program across NATO troop contributors that taps into the key concerns of specific Western European audiences that could provide a buffer if apathy becomes opposition.”

To fight declining public support for the war from France and Germany the CIA tapped Afghan women as the perfect messenger to make an emotional appeal about the Taliban and their aspirations for the future, as a woman does in the NATO video.

Some media has picked up on this message, too.

A TIME magazine cover equated pulling out US troops from Afghanistan with brutality against women when it pictured an Afghan woman with her nose cut off along with the headline “What happens if we leave.”

“The thing to remember about this poor girl – this happened while US troops were there,” recalled Hoh.

And some like feminist writer Jill Filipovic argue these PR tactics are an assault on women, too.

“I think it absolutely exploits the women’s issue and exploits women,” said Filipovic, editor of the blog Feministe.

“They certainly weren’t interested in women’s rights in that region until it became strategically important to them in the war on terror,” she said.

And it is not clear efforts like this even work.

“It’s impossible to tell and I would venture to say it’s been ineffective,” said Jake Diliberto, a veteran and critic of the Afghan war.
Maybe US defense secretary Robert Gates would agree. As his recent NATO speech can attest, he’s now resorting to scolding allies for getting ready to abandon the war.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton said the US is losing when it comes to broadcasting the message on state-funded TV stations, “and unfortunately we are paying a big price for it,” she told members of Congress.

Even though the US has spent more than $1 billion dollars alone to broadcast its message to the Arab world where it’s at war through the state-funded news network Al Hurra, the network has locked in just a half percent of viewership.

All showing perhaps you can’t sell the war unless you have a buyer.

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14. Georgia: NATO Membership To Foster “Unification”

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1851895.html

Trend News Agency
March 29, 2011

Deputy PM: Georgia may join NATO despite separatist territories
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgia may be admitted to NATO despite the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze said on Tuesday.

“There is a precedent, when Germany, which was 40 percent occupied by the former Soviet Union, became a member of NATO, and this precedent creates favorable conditions for Georgia,” State Minister for European Integration Baramidze said.

Georgia’s accession to NATO has been discussed for a long time. NATO officials periodically make statements about their readiness to accept Georgia into the alliance, but in practice the sides have not moved forward in this matter.

Baramidze said Georgia will join NATO as soon as it meets its requirements.

There is an Annual Action Program between Georgia and NATO, which the minister said is “an important mechanism” to join the alliance.

“NATO will decide on Georgia’s NATO membership as soon as we are ready,” Baramidze said.

At the meeting, in addition to Georgia’s NATO membership, the sides discussed the liberation of the Georgian territories by peaceful means and prospects of reunifying the country.

Although NATO membership is an important task for Georgia, the primary goal is peaceful reunification, Baramidze said.

“Being under the NATO umbrella will ensure our country’s security, peaceful and stable development, as well as unification,” he said, adding that he expects from Moscow a more constructive approach toward Tbilisi.

Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008. Georgia’s autonomous regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia unilaterally declared independence from Georgia after the August 2008 war.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 29

March 29, 2011 2 comments

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Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind

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Libya: Cruise Missile Strikes Exceed 200 In Latest U.S. Barrage

NATO Military Chief Opens The Door To Ground Forces In Libya

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Fascist War

American UN Envoy: Washington Can Arm Libyan Insurgents

NATO Conducts More Air Strikes West Of Libyan Capital

NATO Bombs Libya With Depleted Uranium Warheads

More Countries Slam NATO Attacks In Libya

U.S., Britain, France, Germany: NATO Quad Heads Of State Hold Libya Talks

U.S. Low-Flying Attack Planes Intervene In Libyan Ground War

NATO Official: Regime Change Is Goal, Even If UN Resolution Doesn’t Say So

Shadow NATO Member Sweden Offers Eight Warplanes For Libyan War

Canadian Warplanes Join NATO Bombing Frenzy In Libya

After Afghan, Iraqi Wars: U.S. To Use Romania Air Base For Libyan War

Joschka Fischer Excoriates Berlin For Not Plunging Into Libyan War

NATO’s “International” Partner: UAE Warplanes In Italy For Libya War

Libya And The “International Community”: Humanitarian Imperialism, Like Colonialism, Will Come To An End

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Libya: Cruise Missile Strikes Exceed 200 In Latest U.S. Barrage

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_17725146

Associated Press
March 29, 2011

U.S. launches new missile barrage at Libya
By Lolita C. Baldor and Donna Cassata

WASHINGTON: A U.S. defense official says U.S. ships and submarines unleashed a barrage of cruise missiles at Libyan missile storage facilities in the Tripoli area late Monday and early Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discussed military details, said 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the Mediterranean — the most in at least several days.

The latest barrage raised to well over 200 the total number of Tomahawks that have been fired at Libya since the Western military intervention began March 19.

The bulk of U.S. and NATO missile and bomb attacks on Libya have targeted air defenses, ammunition bunkers and other facilities that support Libyan ground forces and enable NATO to maintain a no-fly zone over the country.

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NATO Military Chief Opens The Door To Ground Forces In Libya

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/nato-chief-opens-the-door-to-libya-ground-troops/#

Wired
March 29, 2011

NATO Chief Opens The Door to Libya Ground Troops
By Spencer Ackerman

The mantra, from President Obama on down, is that ground forces are totally ruled out for Libya. After all, the United Nations Security Council Resolution authorizing the war explicitly rules out any “occupation” forces. But leave it to the top military officer of NATO, which takes over the war on Wednesday, to add an asterisk to that ban.

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island asked Adm. James Stavridis about NATO putting forces into “post-Gadhafi” Libya to make sure the country doesn’t fall apart. Stavridis said he “wouldn’t say NATO’s considering it yet.” But because of NATO’s history of putting peacekeepers in the Balkans — as pictured above — “the possibility of a stabilization regime exists.”

So welcome to a new possible “endgame” for Libya. Western troops patrolling Libya’s cities during a shaky transition after Moammar Gadhafi’s regime has fallen, however that’s supposed to happen….

In fact, Stavridis told Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma that he saw “flickers of intelligence” indicating “al-Qaeda [and] Hezbollah” have fighters amongst the Libyan rebels. The Supreme Allied Commander of NATO noted that the leadership of the rebels are “responsible men and women struggling against Col. Gadhafi” and couldn’t say if the terrorist element in the opposition is “significant.” But the U.S. knows precious little about who the Libyan rebels are.

The new prospect of NATO force on the ground in Libya seemed to alarm Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who got Stavridis to say that there’s “no discussion of the insertion of ground troops” in NATO circles. (And “to my knowledge” there aren’t troops there now, he said.) But Stavridis told Reed that the memory of the long NATO peacekeeping efforts in the Balkans is “in everyone’s mind.”

President Obama boasted about the rapidity with which the U.S. and its allies got involved in Libya. Some defense wonks, like Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security, criticized Obama’s team for not exhibiting diligent planning before Operation Odyssey Dawn began. Obama didn’t signal an endgame in his Monday speech, just vowing not to use any ground forces to get there.

That was exactly what President Clinton promised in Bosnia — right before sending 20,000 U.S. soldiers to enforce the 1995 Balkans peace deal. Because of the U.S.’ commitments to NATO and NATO’s commitments to enforcing the peace accord, U.S. peacekeepers ended up staying there for a decade. That history may be weighing on officers in Europe, but the Obama administration doesn’t seem to be so troubled.

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Fidel Castro: NATO’s Fascist War

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4961:reflections-by-comrade-fidel-castro-natos-fascist-war&catid=24:reflections-by-comrade-fidel-castro&Itemid=17

Radio Cadena Agramonet
March 28, 2011

Reflections by Comrade Fidel Castro: NATO’s Fascist War

You didn’t have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great detail in three Reflection Articles I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “The NATO Plan Is to Occupy Libya,” “The Cynical Danse Macabre,” and “NATO’s Inevitable War”.

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days.

Almost 75 years to the day have passed since then, but nothing that has happened over the last 75 centuries, or even 75 millenniums of human life on our planet can compare.

Sometimes it seems that those of us who serenely voice our opinions on these issues are exaggerating. I dare say that we have actually been naive to assume that we all should be aware of the deception or colossal ignorance that humanity has been dragged into.

In 1936 there was an intense clash between two systems and ideologies of more or less equal military power.

The arms back then seemed more like toys compared with today’s weapons. Humanity’s survival was not threatened despite the destructive power and the locally lethal force deployed. Entire cities and even nations could have been virtually destroyed. But never was the human race, in its totality, at risk of being exterminated several times over for the stupid and suicidal power developed by modern science and technology.

With these current realities in mind, it is embarrassing to read the continuous news reports on the use of powerful laser-guided rockets with 100% accuracy, fighter-bombers that go twice the speed of light, potent explosives that blow apart uranium-hardened metals that have an everlasting effect on the inhabitants and their descendants.

Cuba stated its position regarding the internal situation in Libya at the meeting in Geneva. Without hesitating, Cuba defended the idea of a political solution to the conflict in Libya and was categorically opposed to any foreign military intervention.

In a world where the alliance between the United States and the developed capitalist powers of Europe increasingly take hold of the people’s resources and fruits of their labor, any honest citizen, whatever their standpoint to the government, would be opposed to a foreign military intervention in their country.

But most absurd about the current situation is the fact that before the brutal war broke out in Northern Africa, in another region of the world, nearly 10,000 kilometers away, a nuclear accident had occurred in one of the most populated areas of the world following a tsunami caused by a 9.0 earthquake, which has already cost a hard-working nation like Japan nearly 30 000 lives. Such accident would have not occurred 75 years before.
In Haiti, a poor and underdeveloped country, a nearly 7.0 quake according to the Richter scale, caused over 300 000 deaths, countless people wounded and hundreds of thousands harmed.

However, what was terribly tragic in Japan was the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, whose consequences are still to be assessed.

I will only recall some of the main stories published by the news agencies:

ANSA.- Fukushima 1 nuclear plant is releasing “extremely high and potentially lethal radiations,” said Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US nuclear entity.

EFE.- The nuclear threat stemming from the serious situation at a Japanese plant, following the earthquake, has triggered security revisions in atomic plants around the world and has made some countries paralyze their plans.

Reuters.- Japan’s devastating earthquake and deepening nuclear crisis could result in losses of up to $200 billion for Japanese economy, but the global impact remains hard to gauge.

EFE.- The deterioration of one reactor after another at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear center continued to feed fears of a pending nuclear disaster as desperate attempts to control a radioactive leak did nothing to provide even a glimmer of hope.

AFP.- Japan´s Emperor Akihito expressed concern about the unpredictable character of the nuclear crisis hitting Japan following the quake and tsunami that killed thousands of people and left 500 000 homeless. New quake reported in the Tokyo area.

There are reports talking about even more concerning issues.

Some refer to the presence of toxic radioactive iodine in Tokyo’s drinking water, which doubles the tolerable amount that can be consumed by the smallest children in the Japanese capital. One of these reports says that the stocks of bottled water are shrinking in Tokyo, a city located in a prefecture at more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima.

This series of circumstances poses a dramatic situation on our world.

I can express freely my views on the war in Libya.

I do not share political or religious views with the leader of that country. I am a Marxist-Leninist and a follower of Marti, as I have already said.

I see Libya as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a sovereign state of the nearly 200 members of the United Nations.

Never, a large or small country, in this case with only 5 million inhabitants, was the victim of such a brutal attack by the air force of a militaristic organization with thousands of fighter-bombers, more than 100 submarines, nuclear aircraft carriers, and a sufficient arsenal to destroy the planet many times over. Our species had never encountered this situation and there had been nothing similar 75 years ago, when the Nazi bombers attacked targets in Spain.

Now, however, the criminal and discredited NATO will write a “beautiful” little story about its “humanitarian” bombing.

If Gaddafi honors the traditions of his people and decides to fight to the last breath, as he has promised, together with the Libyans who are facing the worst bombing a country has ever suffered, NATO and its criminal projects will sink into the mire of shame.

The people respect and believe in men who fulfill their duty.

More than 50 years ago, when the United States killed more than a hundred Cubans with the explosion of merchant ship “La Coubre” our people proclaimed “Patria o Muerte.” (Homeland or Death). They have fulfilled this, and have always been determined to keep their word.

“Anyone who tries to seize Cuba,” said the most glorious fighter in our history-“will only gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood.”

I beg you to excuse the frankness with which I address the issue.

Fidel Castro Ruz
28 March 2011
8:14 p.m.

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American UN Envoy: Washington Can Arm Libyan Insurgents

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110329/163270550.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 29, 2011

U.S. may arm Gaddafi rebels
Alexander Stelliferovsky

Moscow: The U.S. administration has not ruled out providing military support and arms supplies to Libyan rebels, ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said on Tuesday.

The U.S. goal is “squeezing Gaddafi’s resources and cutting off his money, his mercenaries, his arms, providing assistance to the rebels and the opposition,” she said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” show.

Asked whether that could include some military support, Rice said: “We have not made that decision, but we’ve not certainly ruled that out.”

According to some media reports, the U.S. has been looking for a legal framework to allow limited supplies of arms to the rebels if they can prove they need them to defend themselves from attack.

Mark Kornblau, a spokesman for Susan Rice, said on March 25 that UN Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, imposing tough measures and a no-fly zone on Libya, “read together, neither specify nor preclude such an action.”

A diplomatic official from a coalition member state was quoted by Sky News as saying that the resolution “authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack.”

Moscow, which abstained from resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, has urged coalition forces to act strictly within the UN mandate and answer directly to the Security Council.

On Saturday Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin said the alliance, now leading the coalition, risked being caught up in a war in Libya similar to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

NATO began taking command from the United States of all aerial operations to ensure the no-fly zone and an arms embargo in Libya on Sunday. The transfer of authority will take up to three days and should be completed by Wednesday.

Libyan television has reported that dozens of civilians have been killed and wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed. Coalition commanders deny the claims.

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NATO Conducts More Air Strikes West Of Libyan Capital

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/29/48117871.html

Voice of Russia
March 29, 2011

More Coalition airstrikes on Libya

The Western coalition has delivered more airstrikes at targets west of Tripoli. This comes in reports by the Arab TV channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, although they fail to specify the facilities destroyed.

Meanwhile US President Barack Obama rejected, in his address to the nation, the use of force to topple the Gaddafi regime in Libya, but admitted that the coalition did manage to check the advance of Gaddafi troops against the rebels.

Russia said earlier that the West’s interference in Libya’s civil war has gone beyond the framework of the relevant UN Security Council resolution.

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NATO Bombs Libya With Depleted Uranium Warheads

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=275747&Itemid=1

Prensa Latina
March 28, 2011

NATO Bombs Libya with Depleted Uranium Warheads

London: Planes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched about 45 bombs with depleted uranium warheads in the start of attacks against Libya, an anti-war intellectual activist announced.

David Wilson, an expert of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain, indicated that the enormous bombs, of about 907 kg each, and the missiles launched from allied ships contained the highly harmful radioactive mineral.

This type of armament, with depleted uranium warheads, “is the perfect weapon to kill a lot of people,” he warned, quoting a US expert in physical chemistry.

The radioactive substance, contained in the black dust that emanates to the atmosphere after the explosion, can harm the kidneys and cause lung and bone cancers, skin disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immunodeficiency syndromes and kidney and intestinal diseases.

Who and what are they protecting this time in Libya?, he wondered, as he recalled attacks against Baghdad, after which radiation levels exceeded between 1,000 and 1,900 times normal levels in residential areas, and recalled remarks made by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who referred to the alleged humanitarian NATO mission in Libya “to protect civilians and their residential areas.”

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More Countries Slam NATO Attacks In Libya

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/asiapac/stories/201103/s3177136.htm

Radio Australia
March 29, 2011

More countries slam NATO action in Libya

US President Barak Obama has defended his decision to involve the US in the Libyan conflict. Ten days after the international community intervened, President Obama used the prime time speech to answer his critics and explain his case. The speech came as Russia and Indonesia called for an immediate ceasefire and Turkey offered to act as mediator.

Correspondent: Karon Snowdon
….
SNOWDON: Public support is the lowest ever for a military intervention by the US, Professor James Fallows from the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney told Mark Colvin.

FALLOWS: If it becomes a matter of the three wars, the US is in, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, then the more that’s the case, then the worse it is politically, for Barack Obama because essentially there is for good reason, there’s no appetite for yet another war in the Muslim world or elsewhere, from the American public.

SNOWDON: Looking to the future, 35 governments and international organisations are meeting in London to try to lay the groundwork for a Libya without Muammar Gaddafi. It’s to be attended by members of the Libyan opposition but no representative from the government.

Speaking in Tripoli, the Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim again accused the international force of being responsible for civilian casualties.

KHALED KAIM: (translation) I would like especially to call upon the American President, Barack Obama, and all the other western leaders to be peace-makers, not war-mongers, and not to push Libyans towards a civil war.

SNOWDON: The international airstrikes have allowed the rebels to push back Libyan forces and have possibly turned the tide in their favour. They’re now eager to take Sirte the hometown of Colonel Gadaffi. If successful, it would be a powerful symbolic defeat that might undermine support for Gadaffi elsewhere.

Support for the NATO strikes though isn’t universal.

Russia and Indonesia are calling for an immedicate ceasefire. Concern over civilian casualties, the level of which is almost impossible to verify, is says Russia, the reason behind its call for a ceasefire.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the mission has gone far beyond the U-N mandate.

LAVROV: (translation) Reports are coming in about strikes being inflicted by coalition aircraft on lines of Gadaffi’s troops – reports about support for the attacks of the armed rebels. There is a need to negotiate, this requires an immediate ceasefire.

SNOWDON: Indonesia too is increasing its efforts for a ceasefire.

The Jakarta Post reports its lobbied Latin American states and India to jointly send a letter to the UN calling for a cease-fire and to promote a political settlement

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa reportedly told the media any violence puts civilians in danger. Attempts to speak to a Foreign ministry spokesman were not successful.
….

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U.S., Britain, France, Germany: NATO Quad Heads Of State Hold Libya Talks

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/us-french-british-germa\

n-leaders-hold-libya-talks/articleshow/7812576.cms

Agence France-Presse
March 29, 2011

US, French, British, German leaders hold Libya talks

PARIS: The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and the United States Monday discussed NATO’s takeover of operations in Libya and voiced support for a conference on the country’s future, the French presidency said.

US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke during a video conference that also touched on reforms in Egypt and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the French president’s office said in a statement.

The four leaders discussed “the Libyan situation and the implementation of resolution 1973 the day after the transfer by the United States of the conduct of operations to NATO ,” the statement said.

“They also expressed their support for the conference taking place tomorrow (Tuesday) March 29 in London which should bring together the international community in support of the political transition in Libya,” it said.

The talks also focused on “support for the transition process in Egypt and the need to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process,” it said.

More than 35 countries will attend the conference in London on Tuesday to map out a future for Libya.

A spokesman for Cameron’s office said the British leader had told his counterparts that the conference should “strengthen and broaden the coalition of countries committed to implementing the UN resolutions” on Libya.

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U.S. Low-Flying Attack Planes Intervene In Libyan Ground War

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us_deploys_low_flying_attack_planes_in_libya/2011/03/26/AF9grPqB_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

Washington Post
March 28, 2011

U.S. deploys low-flying attack planes in Libya
By Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung

-Military officials consider AC-130s and A-10s well suited to attacks in built-up areas, although they…has been criticized as indiscriminate in past wars. The gunships, developed from a Hercules C-130 transport plane for use in Vietnam, have been used in virtually every U.S. military combat operation since then, including Grenada, Panama, Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces this weekend, launching its first attacks with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft, which are designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys, according to senior U.S. military officials.

Their use, during several days of heavy fighting in which the momentum seemed to swing in favor of the rebels, demonstrated how allied military forces have been drawn deeper into the chaotic fight in Libya. A mission that initially seemed to revolve around establishing a no-fly zone has become focused on halting advances by ground forces in and around Libya’s key coastal cities.

The AC-130s, which fly low and slow over the battlefield and are typically more vulnerable to enemy fire than fast-moving fighter jets, were deployed only after a week of sustained coalition attacks on Libyan government air defenses and radar. Armed with heavy machine guns and cannons that rake the ground, they allow strikes on dug-in Libyan ground forces and convoys in closer proximity to civilians.

Their use in Libya could be “a significant game changer,” said a senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military operations.

Military officials consider AC-130s and A-10s well suited to attacks in built-up areas, although they pose more risk for pilots and their lethality has been criticized as indiscriminate in past wars. The gunships, developed from a Hercules C-130 transport plane for use in Vietnam, have been used in virtually every U.S. military combat operation since then, including Grenada, Panama, Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan.

AC-130s were used to great effect during both of the U.S. attacks into Fallujah…in the early days of the Iraq war. In Afghanistan, the military considers them a particularly effective weapon against dug-in militants and commanders have frequently complained that they are in too short supply.

In Libya, “we are determined to step up the mission, to attack his tanks and [troop] columns every day until he withdraws,” a French official said of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and the forces loyal to him.

The AC-130s, which are flying from a base in Italy, were requested by Gen. Carter Ham, the senior American general overseeing the battle, and are likely to continue flying over Libya in the coming days as allied forces attempt to increase the pressure on Gaddafi’s ground forces….

In response to the rebel advance Gaddafi’s ground troops appear to be digging in and moving tanks into the cities of Zintan and Sirte.
….
Meanwhile, the U.S., Britain and France were making their own preparations for stopping a ground assault by Libyan forces. There was little support within Obama’s national security team for a mission that revolved solely around a no-fly zone seen as likely to do too little….

Pushed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the administration took control of a British-French draft resolution for a no-fly zone that had been languishing at the U.N., worked with them to strengthen it and began making the case to the rest of the Security Council that stronger action was needed. The resolution passed on March 17, authorizing the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians and civilian areas under threat.
….

====

NATO Official: Regime Change Is Goal, Even If UN Resolution Doesn’t Say So

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-29/nato-allies-look-to-tripoli-residents-to-topple-qaddafi-in-libyan-endgame.html

Bloomberg News
March 29, 2011

NATO Allies Look to Tripoli to Topple Qaddafi in Libyan Endgame
By Leon Mangasarian

The U.K. and France are banking on Libyans in the capital Tripoli to give them an exit strategy as they try to work out how to topple Muammar Qaddafi.

With the rebels advancing on Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, about 570 kilometers (355 miles) from their Benghazi base, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron are exhorting Libyan officials to undermine the regime from within.

“Ideally, everybody wants the Libyan rebels to topple Qaddafi in Tripoli,” said Florence Gaub, a North Africa expert at the NATO Defense College in Rome. “Regime change is what it’s all about, even if the UN resolution doesn’t say this.”
….
“There are two options: either Qaddafi leaves the country or is killed,” said Mats Berdal, a professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. “And he’s not likely to leave Libya.”
….

====

Shadow NATO Member Sweden Offers Eight Warplanes For Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jw3Qqe1zaSabtDWOWUYayG001f8g?docId=6396348

Associated Press
March 29, 2011

Sweden plans to join Libya no-fly zone with fighter jets, but no ground attacks

-Sweden is not a member of NATO but has contributed ground forces to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

STOCKHOLM: Sweden plans to send up to eight fighter jets to help enforce the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Libya after receiving a request for assistance from NATO, the prime minister said Tuesday.
….
The Swedish offer also includes a transport plane and 130 personnel and will be made available for three months, Reinfeldt told lawmakers….

Veronika Wand-Danielsson, Sweden’s ambassador to NATO, told AP that alliance chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen made an informal request last week to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt about contributing to the operation.

With a long tradition of neutrality in war, Sweden is not a member of NATO but has contributed ground forces to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

====

Canadian Warplanes Join NATO Bombing Frenzy In Libya

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/canadian-jets-bomb-second-libyan-ammo-dump-take-greater-role-in-air-war-118810164.html

Canadian Press
March 28, 2011

Canadian jets bomb second Libyan ammo dump; take greater role in air war
By: Murray Brewster

OTTAWA: Canadian CF-18s flattened an ammunition depot and have co-ordinated other coalition air raids over Libya involving up to 20 warplanes, the military confirmed Monday.

A reinforced bunker, 92 kilometres south of the battered city of Misrata, was hit with 225-kilogram, laser-guided bombs. It was the second ammunition dump taken out by the Canadian air contingent in a week.

Four Hornet jetfighters from 425 Squadron out of Bagotville, Que., took part in the Sunday raid.
….
[Lt.-Col. Chris] Lemay could not provide details about targets hit by other coalition aircraft, only that the missions were planned and co-ordinated by the Canadian air group operating out of Trapani, Italy.

The increased planning responsibility reflects Ottawa’s deeper involvement in the crisis following the appointment Friday of Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard as the NATO joint task force commander for the Libyan campaign.

There are seven CF-18s deployed as part of the international air effort.

One of two CP-140 maritime surveillance planes which were dispatched last week by the Harper government to enforce the UN arms embargo against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, flew its first long-range patrol mission without incident on Monday.

The military, which had provided daily Ottawa briefings on the Libyan campaign, said it would no longer give regularly scheduled updates on combat operations.

Information on Canada’s involvement in the bombardment of Libya would be dished out on a need-to-know basis, said a Defence Department spokesman, who was authorized to speak on background only.

Routine information would be posted to the department’s web site and intermittent technical briefings would be held only in the event of major developments, the spokesman added.

….
The tightening of information on the war also came as some defence observers, notably retired general Lewis MacKenzie, questioned how the mission is evolving and whether the coalition is exceeding its mandate by attacking Libyan military targets that did not present a direct a threat to civilians.

NATO took formal control of the no-fly zone and the naval arms blockade….

====

After Afghan, Iraqi Wars: U.S. To Use Romania Air Base For Libyan War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/29/c_13802202.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 29, 2011

Romania’s top defense council OKs U.S. aircraft to refuel in territory

BUCHAREST: Romania’s Supreme Council for National Defense (CSAT) Monday decided
to allow the refueling on its aerodromes of the U.S. military aircraft used in Libya mission.

According to a press release of Romania’s Presidential administration, the CSAT has favorably replied to Washinton’s request on the basis of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
….
Currently, there are four U.S. military bases in southeastern Romania, including the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, which has been heavily used by the United States to transport troops and equipment for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A week ago, the same council decided to send a frigate carrying 207 Navy soldiers and officers to help enforce the embargo against Libya in the Mediterranean Sea.

====

Joschka Fischer Excoriates Berlin For Not Plunging Into Libyan War

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2011/03/137_83986.html

Project Syndicate
March 29, 2011

Wrong German foreign policy
By Joschka Fischer

-Like the Balkans, the far shores of the Mediterranean are part of the EU’s immediate security zone.
-Germany seems to be congealing into an introspective provincialism, and that at a time when its potential, its leadership even, are more urgently needed than ever.

BERLIN: German chancellor Angela Merkel likes to navigate politically by line of sight ― and a very short line of sight at that. But when fog clouds your visibility, you’re not an instinctive driver (as seems to be the case here), and you have misplaced your eyeglasses, you place not only yourself at peril, but others as well.

That scenario sums up Germany’s foreign policy on Libya. The ensuing damage for Germany and its international standing is plain to see: never has Germany been more isolated. The country has lost its credibility with the United Nations and in the Middle East; its claim to a permanent seat on the Security Council has just been trashed for good; and one really must fear the worst for Europe.
….
And that will not be forgotten in the region, in the U.N., or among Germany’s friends.

All I can say is that I feel ashamed for this failure of the German government and ― unfortunately ― also for the leaders of the red and green opposition parties who at first applauded this scandalous mistake!
….
I don’t know what Germany’s foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, could have been thinking. He rightly sided with the Arab freedom movements, then ― when the matter was decided ― traveled to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to receive his applause, and then rightly called for Moammar Gadhafi’s overthrow and his rendition to the International Criminal Court, only to chicken out when it came to the Security Council vote. The rationale has nothing to do with an ethical foreign policy or with German and European interests.

The situation in Libya, we are told, is too dangerous; Germany’s government doesn’t want to get caught on a slippery slope and eventually have to commit ground troops in a civil war. Well, if you’re afraid of slippery slopes, stay out of government, because balancing on all sorts of slippery slopes is what the job is about.
….
Libya is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq. Germany and other European countries went to Afghanistan in solidarity with a NATO partner ― our most important security guarantor, the United States ― after it had been attacked from there on Sept. 11, 2001. And solidarity within NATO ― a term all but shunned these days in official German circles ― is mutual: left to its own devices, Germany could one day wake up in a very precarious situation.

And Libya is certainly not Iraq, either, where the dominant Western power, the U.S., started a war for ideological reasons and against the majority of the Security Council, a war that that had to ― and did ― end in disaster.

If anything, Libya probably should be compared to Bosnia. It looks as if Merkel’s government today has adopted the position of Germany’s Greens back then! But, while the rejection of humanitarian military intervention had an element of tragedy in that case, Germany’s behavior today is pure farce.

Like the Balkans, the far shores of the Mediterranean are part of the EU’s immediate security zone. It is naive to assume that the most populous EU member state could and should keep out of a crisis situation in a region with immediate manifold European and German security interests….

And if you view Germany’s behavior in respect to Libya in connection with its whining and dithering regarding the consequences for Europe of the financial crisis, you can’t but start worrying about the future of both Europe and NATO. Germany seems to be congealing into an introspective provincialism, and that at a time when its potential, its leadership even, are more urgently needed than ever. Unfortunately, you can forget about that.

Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was a leader in the German Green Party for almost 20 years.

====

NATO’s “International” Partner: UAE Warplanes In Italy For Libya War

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/uae-warplanes-in-sardinia-ahead-of-dispatch-to-libya

The National (United Arab Emirates)
March 29, 2011

UAE warplanes in Sardinia ahead of dispatch to Libya
Haneen Dajani

ABU DHABI: UAE fighter jets due to help patrol the Libyan no-fly zone began arriving in Sardinia on Sunday.

The Emirates pledged six F-16s and six Mirage warplanes to the coalition, although it is not yet known when they will begin flight operations over the North African nation.

The UAE and Qatar are the only Arab countries to join the coalition with warplanes in patrolling the no-fly zone over Libya. The decision to involve UAE aircraft in the coalition was announced last Friday by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.
….

====

Libya And The “International Community”: Humanitarian Imperialism, Like Colonialism, Will Come To An End

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20113\28\story_28-3-2011_pg3_1

Daily Times
March 28, 2011

EDITORIAL: Libya and the ‘international community’

-We…need to question the term ‘international community’. Basically the term refers to powerful countries of the west led by the US. This term has been used whenever an imperialist intervention has taken place on so-called ‘humanitarian grounds’. The west continues to support autocrats in countries that do not threaten its hegemony, in fact help keep it intact, such as the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia.
-Ever since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has seen a horizontal expansion of capitalism into the formerly socialist countries and under the rubric of globalisation into the rest of the world. The world’s dominant countries, who like to call themselves the ‘international community’, have set out to re-conquer the world through military means. It started with the Balkans, and via Afghanistan and Iraq, is now being witnessed in Libya. The goal is Pax Americana (global empire).

Finally Pakistan has woken up to the disastrous military intervention by the western forces in Libya. On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office expressed serious concerns over the foreign forces’ strikes on Libya.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said, “Pakistan’s position is very clear and principled. Everyone should respect a country’s sovereignty.” Mr Bashir said that the UN resolution on Libya was faulty and allowed the west to do “anything”. He further stated, “The prescription of democracy, pluralism and human rights is acceptable but it has to be done as people want and through peaceful means.”

The UN resolution on Libya is indeed faulty and quite vague. The consequences of passing such a resolution can now be seen. Even though it was not mandated in the UN resolution, the west now wants to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The mandate of the resolution was ambiguous. We also need to question the term ‘international community’. Basically the term refers to powerful countries of the west led by the US. This term has been used whenever an imperialist intervention has taken place on so-called ‘humanitarian grounds’. The west continues to support autocrats in countries that do not threaten its hegemony, in fact help keep it intact, such as the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia. Military dictators in Pakistan were supported by the west till the time that the tide turned against those despots.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to justify this war by saying, “We are beginning to see, because of the good work of the coalition, his [Gaddafi’s] troops begin to turn back toward the west — and to see the opposition begin to reclaim the ground they had lost.”

The US and its allies should know that though their attacks on Gaddafi’s forces and air force have weakened the Libyan forces, there is little possibility that Gaddafi would give up easily.

It is now clear that the west actually set out to effect a regime change in Libya as has been stated by the British and French leaders. How is it justified that if the west does not like a leader, it intervenes militarily to achieve its aims?

This is not the first time such things have happened and is unlikely to be the last. Ever since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has seen a horizontal expansion of capitalism into the formerly socialist countries and under the rubric of globalisation into the rest of the world. The world’s dominant countries, who like to call themselves the ‘international community’, have set out to re-conquer the world through military means. It started with the Balkans, and via Afghanistan and Iraq, is now being witnessed in Libya. The goal is Pax Americana (global empire).

The US is on the decline as an economic power despite the triumphalism of the US after the Cold War ended in 1991. The global recession may not have affected the US’s military power, but it increasingly resembles nothing more than a colossus with feet of clay. Europe, which was seen to be the next world power, has been rendered hollow after the global recession and remains the US’s subservient ally.

Libya is a relatively weak country when it comes to the global powers but this provides no justification for attacking it.

The world today is emerging as a multi-polar world where many countries like China, India, and Brazil are now economically getting stronger. Russia, too, is re-emerging as a global power.

History’s verdict will one day be witness to the fact that like colonialism came to an end, imperialism, whether masquerading as ‘humanitarian’ or otherwise, too will not last forever. The sooner the ‘international community’ comes to terms with this fact, the better all round.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 28

March 28, 2011 1 comment

====

Libya And The “International Community”: Humanitarian Imperialism, Like Colonialism, Will Come To An End

From U.S. To NATO Command Of Libyan War: Only Name Changes

Latin America On Libyan War: Saving Lives With Bombs Makes No Sense

NATO Runs Libyan War From Headquarters In Italy And Turkey

German Navy Vessels Return To Mediterranean Under NATO Control

French Destroyer Joins U.S. Amphibious Strike Group Off Libya

Bloodbath: NATO Bombs Path For Rebel Advance On Libyan Capital

French Warplanes Destroy Libyan Command Center, Government Soldiers Told To Defect Or Die

NATO Air Strike Wounds Libyan Civilians, Including Children, And Destroys Homes

Russian Foreign Minister: Military Intervention In Libya Not Sanctioned By United Nations Resolution

Russia Slams NATO Attack On Libya

William Blum: Libya And The Holy Triumvirate

NATO Operations: Turkey To Control Benghazi Airport, Blockade Libya

NATO Formally Takes Command Of Libyan War

Air Strikes Expanded Throughout Libya As NATO Takes Command

All-Out Assault: British Missiles Destroy Libyan Depots, Bunkers

1,424 Missions: U.S. Still Main Force In Libyan Strikes – Pentagon

Western Jets Bomb Residential Areas In Southern Libya

After Kosovo, Afghanistan: Dutch F-16s Fly Libyan Sorties

Istanbul Cooperation Initiative: “Soldier Of Fortune” NATO Hands Libyan Oil To Persian Gulf States

NATO Warplanes Launch Fresh Assault On Libyan Capital

US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned

Pentagon Chief: “No Idea” How Long Libyan Campaign Will Last

“Odyssey” Nor Bringing “Dawn” To Libya

Libya: NATO Terrorizing, Killing Civilians

Open Letter From Russian Doctors In Libya To The President Of The Russian Federation

Libya Conflict Highlights NATO’s Imperialist Mission

Syria Being Prepared For Libya Scenario

====

Libya And The “International Community”: Humanitarian Imperialism, Like Colonialism, Will Come To An End

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20113\28\story_28-3-2011_pg3_1

Daily Times
March 28, 2011

EDITORIAL: Libya and the ‘international community’

-We…need to question the term ‘international community’. Basically the term refers to powerful countries of the west led by the US. This term has been used whenever an imperialist intervention has taken place on so-called ‘humanitarian grounds’. The west continues to support autocrats in countries that do not threaten its hegemony, in fact help keep it intact, such as the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia.
-Ever since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has seen a horizontal expansion of capitalism into the formerly socialist countries and under the rubric of globalisation into the rest of the world. The world’s dominant countries, who like to call themselves the ‘international community’, have set out to re-conquer the world through military means. It started with the Balkans, and via Afghanistan and Iraq, is now being witnessed in Libya. The goal is Pax Americana (global empire).

Finally Pakistan has woken up to the disastrous military intervention by the western forces in Libya. On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office expressed serious concerns over the foreign forces’ strikes on Libya.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said, “Pakistan’s position is very clear and principled. Everyone should respect a country’s sovereignty.” Mr Bashir said that the UN resolution on Libya was faulty and allowed the west to do “anything”. He further stated, “The prescription of democracy, pluralism and human rights is acceptable but it has to be done as people want and through peaceful means.”

The UN resolution on Libya is indeed faulty and quite vague. The consequences of passing such a resolution can now be seen. Even though it was not mandated in the UN resolution, the west now wants to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The mandate of the resolution was ambiguous. We also need to question the term ‘international community’. Basically the term refers to powerful countries of the west led by the US. This term has been used whenever an imperialist intervention has taken place on so-called ‘humanitarian grounds’. The west continues to support autocrats in countries that do not threaten its hegemony, in fact help keep it intact, such as the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia. Military dictators in Pakistan were supported by the west till the time that the tide turned against those despots.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to justify this war by saying, “We are beginning to see, because of the good work of the coalition, his [Gaddafi’s] troops begin to turn back toward the west — and to see the opposition begin to reclaim the ground they had lost.”

The US and its allies should know that though their attacks on Gaddafi’s forces and air force have weakened the Libyan forces, there is little possibility that Gaddafi would give up easily.

It is now clear that the west actually set out to effect a regime change in Libya as has been stated by the British and French leaders. How is it justified that if the west does not like a leader, it intervenes militarily to achieve its aims?

This is not the first time such things have happened and is unlikely to be the last. Ever since the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has seen a horizontal expansion of capitalism into the formerly socialist countries and under the rubric of globalisation into the rest of the world. The world’s dominant countries, who like to call themselves the ‘international community’, have set out to re-conquer the world through military means. It started with the Balkans, and via Afghanistan and Iraq, is now being witnessed in Libya. The goal is Pax Americana (global empire).

The US is on the decline as an economic power despite the triumphalism of the US after the Cold War ended in 1991. The global recession may not have affected the US’s military power, but it increasingly resembles nothing more than a colossus with feet of clay. Europe, which was seen to be the next world power, has been rendered hollow after the global recession and remains the US’s subservient ally.

Libya is a relatively weak country when it comes to the global powers but this provides no justification for attacking it.

The world today is emerging as a multi-polar world where many countries like China, India, and Brazil are now economically getting stronger. Russia, too, is re-emerging as a global power.

History’s verdict will one day be witness to the fact that like colonialism came to an end, imperialism, whether masquerading as ‘humanitarian’ or otherwise, too will not last forever. The sooner the ‘international community’ comes to terms with this fact, the better all round.

====

From U.S. To NATO Command Of Libyan War: Only Name Changes

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/28/c_13801887.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

From U.S. to NATO: a name change game

-“[E]ven if it does hand over the command, it will still back the military operations. U.S. cruise missiles, submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers will continue to provide military support.”

BEIJING: NATO member states decided on Sunday to take over full command of the military operations against Libya from the United States, a move many believe does not change the dominant role of the United States since NATO is a U.S.-led military alliance.

The attitude change of the United States, rare in its diplomatic and military history, is only a name change game designed to ease its increasing pressure domestically and internationally.
….
However, if Washington actively directed and participated in the military action against Libya, Obama might be regarded as a pro-war president. As Obama has vowed to win his re-election, he has to be cautious.
….
Meanwhile, many countries said they opposed West-led operations against Libya in the name of enforcing the UN resolution, calling on countries involved to hand power back to the Libyan people.

Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, who used to support the creation of a no-fly zone, said the military operation has overstepped the UN resolution.

Under these circumstances, Obama’s decision to transfer command to NATO was to shift domestic attention and shake off his political predicament, media reported.

LEADER POSITION TO CONTINUE

Although the United States is handing over command of the military intervention against Libya to NATO, its influence and leadership will likely continue. Analysts said since NATO is a U.S.-led military alliance, the United States would maintain its leadership position in military operations against Libya even after it hands command off to NATO.

Brian Becker, national director of the ANSWER coalition, an anti-war umbrella group, said during its protest outside the White House Saturday that transferring command to NATO is merely self-deception.

“That’s a fraud,” said Becker. “When the U.S. hands the mission to NATO, it’s handing the mission over to itself.” He said NATO has been a U.S.-led military bloc since it was formed.

The U.S.’s intention is only camouflaged by its effort to shift command to NATO. On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN the alliance would take over the command of enforcing the no-fly zone “in a couple of days” from the United States, and NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, would assume overall command of the mission.

Stavridis is a United States Navy four-star admiral who also serves as the current commander of U.S. European Command.

Handing over command to another party doesn’t change the nature of U.S.’s role in the joint military intervention against Libya, Gao Zugui, director of the Institute of World Politics of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said.

“Because even if it does hand over the command, it will still back the military operations. U.S. cruise missiles, submarines, destroyers and aircraft carriers will continue to provide military support,” he added.

====

Latin America On Libyan War: Saving Lives With Bombs Makes No Sense

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14944709,00.html

Deutsche Welle
March 28, 2011

‘Saving lives with bombs makes no sense’

-“Countries with a past of being colonized have another view of the world than Europeans. I don’t consider the positioning of Latin America with regards to Libya as a strategic distancing from the United States but I do think that the Latin American countries discern the possibility that the military operation will culminate in the invasion and occupation of Libyan territory.”

The majority of Latin American countries do not agree with the legitimacy or practicality of foreign military intervention in Libya. Two German experts, Günther Maihold and Manuel Paulus, explain why.

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin was expected to explain to the country’s congress on Tuesday why the country had voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorizes, among other things, the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Deputies from the ruling party support the position of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, which is to back the majority of NATO and European Union nations in supporting the intervention.

However, the opposition has complained that backing the action contradicts the stance that most countries in the region are taking. Though Peru has broken off relations with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, that course of action has not been typical.

No: the prevailing response

Of the diplomatic voices coming out of Latin America, most are demanding a ceasefire and dialogue – disapproving of both the legitimacy and the practicality of Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya. “The idea of saving lives with bombs doesn’t make any sense,” said Uruguayan President Jose Mujica.

Brazil, the only other country with a voice and vote as a temporary member of the UN Security Council, refused to support Resolution 1973.

Günther Maihold, deputy director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and Manuel Paulus, a political scientist from the University of Rostock, are united in identifying the main motive behind the condemnation from Latin America against the creation of a united front against Gadhafi.

A matter of principle

“The determining factor is the perception that this military operation is an act of aggression against Libyan sovereignty, like a foreign intervention into a country afflicted by civil war. This violates one of the fundamental principles of the external politics of Latin American countries, that of not meddling in the internal affairs of their neighbors,” said Maihold.

Paulus agreed, adding that there was another element.

“Brazil is trying to establish a multi-polar world order in which Washington does not play the principal role. Its position and that of its neighbors can only be described as a consequence of this,” said Paulus, adding that the policy of Latin American countries in relation to Libya cannot be explained solely from the point of view of its ambivalent relationship with the United States or Europe.

“Countries with a past of being colonized have another view of the world than Europeans. I don’t consider the positioning of Latin America with regards to Libya as a strategic distancing from the United States but I do think that the Latin American countries discern the possibility that the military operation will culminate in the invasion and occupation of Libyan territory,” said Paulus.

“They compare that scenario with the experiences of their own countries,” he continued. “It is fitting to ask if the past political and military excesses of the United States and Europe, as colonizers, as those acting in their own interests, as champions of ideological and economic systems, have weakened their credibility as protectors of the Libyan people.”

The burdens of the past
….
According to Maihold, the colonial and post-colonial traumas of Latin America continue to be “important rallying points of identity that influence analysis of current events.”
….
Author: Evan Romero-Castillo / rc
Editor: Rob Mudge

====

NATO Runs Libyan War From Headquarters In Italy And Turkey

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/29/c_13802176.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

NATO command of Libya mission is based in Naples

ROME: NATO decided Monday to run the Libya mission, including enforcing a no-fly zone over the country, in Naples, Italy, under the command of Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard.

The alliance also said the operations had a secondary base in Izmir, Turkey.

Naples, around 200 km southeast of Rome, used to be the base for enforcing an arms embargo against Libya.

The latest development signified a significant increase of Italy’s involvement in the conflict.

Italy has strong historical, political, and commercial ties with Libya. The two countries reached a bilateral “friendship treaty” a month ago, excluding military action against each other. However, with the evolution of the situation in Libya, the Italian leadership declared the document null and void.
….
Bouchard was selected to head the operation codenamed “Unified Protector” on Friday before NATO members agreed on the transfer of command from the United States. The transition is expected to be completed no later than Wednesday.

====

German Navy Vessels Return To Mediterranean Under NATO Control

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1629202.php/German-navy-ships-in-Mediterranean-return-to-NATO-control

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 28, 2011

German navy ships in Mediterranean return to NATO control

Berlin: Two German navy vessels in the Mediterranean are to be placed back under NATO command, a week after the military alliance became involved in the Libya conflict, a defence ministry spokesman said in Berlin Monday.

But the warships will not be available for the NATO military campaign to deny airspace and arms supplies to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, the spokesman told the German Press Agency dpa.

The frigate Luebeck and the minesweeper will instead be deployed ‘soon’ with Active Endeavour, a NATO operation….

Germany upset its allies this month by abstaining when the UN Security Council ordered a no-fly zone to stop bloodshed by Gaddafi.

Germany then withdrew its warships from the NATO force, which is led by France, Britain and the United States. One task of the NATO force off the Libyan coast is preventing Gaddafi from shipping in arms.

Surveys show the German public, which tends to be pacifist, approved of Berlin’s efforts to keep its distance from the Libyan conflict, but senior politicians and think-tank officials in Berlin called the break in alliance ranks a blunder.
….
A third navy vessel, the Oker, a supply ship, is in the Mediterranean but will remain under direct command from Berlin. A frigate, the Hamburg, has left the Mediterranean to return to its home base in Wilhelmshaven.

====

French Destroyer Joins U.S. Amphibious Strike Group Off Libya

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6343&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
March 28, 2011

French Destroyer Forbin Joins Kearsarge ESG
By Petty Officer 1st Class Phil Beaufort
Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Commander Jean-Mathieu Rey, commanding officer of the French ship FS Forbin (D 620), and several crew members made a visit to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) while off the coast of Libya March 26, 2011.

The French ship joined Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn/Unified Protector last week after recently completing a four-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf.
….
Captain Dan Shaffer, commander of the Destroyer Squadron 60, currently embarked aboard Kearsarge, said the destroyer Forbin has been working with air controllers on Kearsarge to help control the air space in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.
….
According to Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Five, Rear Admiral Peg Klein, the combined staffs were able to accomplish a lot in a short visit.
….
With its advanced anti-air capability and well trained crew, Klein added that Forbin is a real asset to the mission.
….
Captain Peter Pagano, commander of Amphibious Squadron Four, said that the entire JTF is benefiting from working with foreign military services.
….
Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces….JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel L. Locklear, III.

====

Bloodbath: NATO Bombs Path For Rebel Advance On Libyan Capital

http://rt.com/news/libya-opposition-nato-interference/

RT
March 28, 2011

Fighting moves to Libya’s center, NATO accused of taking sides

Armed conflict between Gaddafi’s troops and Libyan rebels has moved away from the sea coast into the central part of the country. Meanwhile, Russia has said NATO’s actions contradict the UN resolution and called them interference in a civil war.

There are conflicting reports on whether the opposition forces have captured the city of Sirt, which holds a special symbolic value as Gaddafi’s hometown.

On Monday, state television reported coalition planes had bombed the city of Sabha in central Libya at dawn, killing several civilians. British air force warplanes have also destroyed ammunition depots used by Gaddafi’s forces.

The situation in the capital Tripoli remains dire as medical supplies as well as food, water and fuel continue to dwindle.

“We have been told that in just a matter of days the city will completely have run out of water,” said RT’s correspondent Paula Slier who is in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered NATO’s approval of a “no-fly plus” plan and their consequent actions interference in a Libyan civil war.

NATO took the lead in the military operation in Libya, approving a so-called “no-fly plus” plan that will make the alliance responsible for protecting civilians as well as enforcing a no-fly zone and an arms embargo on Sunday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned reports about the coalition’s air strikes on Gaddafi’s troops and reports about NATO’s support of the rebels’ offensive.

“There is a clear contradiction here. We believe that interference of the coalition in the internal – as a matter of fact – civil war, has not been sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov stressed again that the sole aim of the resolution was the implementation of a no-fly zone for the protection of the civilian population – a goal that NATO claims to support.
….
As NATO proceeds with the transfer of control over the mission, its first planes took to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya on Sunday evening.

“Yesterday NATO aircraft flew the first no-fly zone enforcement over Libya,” said General Charles Bouchard, who is in charge of the operation called “Unified Protector”.

­Cashing in on military success

Rebels have been able to make a dramatic advance in recent days, regaining control of such key strategic points as the town of Ras-Lanouf, Marsa-el-Brega, and Ajdabiya.

The progress has been possible due to the no-fly zone established by international forces, which seriously damaged Gaddafi’s air defenses and batteries.

With crucial oil ports now in the hands of the opposition, its representatives said they were producing about 100,000 to 130,000 barrels a day with plans to increase that amount to up to 300,000 a day.

According to AFP, the rebels have also promised to begin exporting oil “in less than a week.” They also announced that they have signed an oil export agreement with Qatar – the only Arab country known to have actively participated in the military operation in Libya.

Qatar has agreed to sell Libya’s oil on international markets, channeling the money back into the opposition’s accounts.

Since the beginning of military action in Libya, oil production has decreased to three times normal. Oil exports were practically paralyzed as world banks refused to accept any payments for Libyan oil in US dollars due to international sanctions.

====

French Warplanes Destroy Libyan Command Center, Government Soldiers Told To Defect Or Die

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110328/163252709.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 28, 2011

French warplanes destroy Gaddafi’s command center

Paris: French military planes have destroyed the command center of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, spokesman for the French Armed forces Thierry Burkhard said on Monday.

NATO took over command of the coalition military intervention in Libya from the United States on Sunday. The mission is trying to ensure a no-fly zone and arms embargo over the country.

The strikes, conducted by two French Rafale fighter patrols, struck the center, located 10 kilometers from Tripoli, on Sunday.

No further strikes were conducted by French forces on Monday, Burkhard said.

Earlier on Monday, France and Britain urged Gaddafi’s supporters to “defect before it is too late.”

The rebel army, which has been fighting pro-Gaddafi forces since mid-February, has made rapid advancements into the west of Libya since the coalition mission began.

====

NATO Air Strike Wounds Libyan Civilians, Including Children, And Destroys Homes

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1851537.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 28, 2011

Report: Civilians injured in coalition airstrike in Libya

A number of civilians were wounded in a coalition airstrike early Monday on a weapons depot in the south-west city of Jabal al-Sabha, dpa reported according Libyan sources.

The opposition Libya al-Youm said the proximity of the airstrike to stores and residential areas caused a number of injuries to civilians and destroyed several homes.

There were no numbers given for how many people were injured, but no deaths were reported.

According to the Libyan state-run JANA news agency, children were among the wounded.

NATO ambassadors decided late Sunday to take over control of all UN-mandated military operations in Libya, including any airstrikes aimed at protecting civilians from the embattled leader’s troops.

====

Russian Foreign Minister: Military Intervention In Libya Not Sanctioned By United Nations Resolution

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16094253&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 28, 2011

UN Res 1973 not sanction interference in civil war in Libya – FM

“We believe that the interference of the coalition into the internal, civil war in Libya has not been sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution,” Lavrov said.

At the same time, the minister stressed, “The protection of civilians in Libya is our priority.”
————————————-

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110328/163245789.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 28, 2011

Intervention in Libya at odds with UN resolution – Russia’s Lavrov
Topic: International sanctions against Gaddafi regime

Moscow: The military intervention by the Western-led coalition force in Libya’s civil war is out of tune with the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

“We believe that the coalition’s intervention in the civil war [in Libya] has not, essentially, been sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution,” said, adding its only purpose “is to ensure the protection of the civilian population.”

“This resolution contains no other goals,” he said.

Russia abstained from the Security Council vote.

On Sunday, NATO began taking command of all aerial operations in Libya from the US-led force. The transfer of authority will take up to three days.

Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on March 17 imposing a no-fly zone over Libya….

Western-led military strikes against Gaddafi, whose forces have been attacking rebels in the east of the North African country since mid-February, began last Saturday.

Libyan television has reported that at least 100 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed….

====

Russia Slams NATO Attack On Libya

http://www.rttnews.com/Content/GeneralNews.aspx?Node=B1&Id=1584701

RTT News
March 28, 2011

Russia Slams NATO Attack On Libya

Russia has criticized NATO’s military intervention in Libya, which it said was not in conformity with the U.N. resolution that authorized no-fly zones.

Responding to questions at a joint news conference along with his visiting Kyrgyz counterpart Ruslan Kazakbayev in Moscow on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “We believe that the coalition’s intervention in the civil war [in Libya] has not, essentially, been sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution.

“This resolution contains no other goals than to ensure the protection of the civilian population,” he added. He made Moscow’s stand on the Western-led coalition force’s aerial strikes in the north African country clear by saying that “the interference of the coalition into the internal, civil war in Libya has not been sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution.”

He reminded that the “protection of civilians in Libya is our priority.”

A UNSC resolution, passed on March 17, decided to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect the civilians from aerial bombings and authorized any military action needed to implement such a ban, short of an occupation.

Despite having veto power, Russia abstained from voting along with China, Brazil, India and Germany, while rest of the 15-member Council voted in favor of the measure.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin went to the extent of comparing the resolution to “medieval calls for crusades.”

After a week of joint air strikes by American, British and French forces to enforce the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over strife-torn Libya, NATO agreed at the weekend to take over the command and control of the military operations.

President Barack Obama is set to address the nation on Monday night that will answer questions over the objectives of U.S. military mission in Libya.

====

William Blum: Libya And The Holy Triumvirate

http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer92.html

March 28th, 2011

The Anti-Empire Report
by William Blum

Libya and The Holy Triumvirate

The words they find it very difficult to say — “civil war”.

Libya is engaged in a civil war. The United States and the European Union and NATO — The Holy Triumvirate — are intervening, bloodily, in a civil war. To overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. First The Holy Triumvirate spoke only of imposing a no-fly zone. After getting support from international bodies on that understanding they immediately began to wage war against Libyan military forces, and whoever was nearby, on a daily basis. In the world of commerce this is called “bait and switch”.

Gaddafi’s crime? He was never respectful enough of The Holy Triumvirate, which recognizes no higher power, and maneuvers the United Nations for its own purposes, depending on China and Russia to be as spineless and hypocritical as Barack Obama. The man the Triumvirate allows to replace Gaddafi will be more respectful.

So who are the good guys? The Libyan rebels, we’re told. The ones who go around murdering and raping African blacks on the supposition that they’re all mercenaries for Gaddafi. One or more of the victims may indeed have been members of a Libyan government military battalion; or may not have been. During the 1990s, in the name of pan-African unity, Gaddafi opened the borders to tens of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans to live and work in Libya. That, along with his earlier pan-Arab vision, did not win him points with The Holy Triumvirate. Corporate bosses have the same problem about their employees forming unions. Oh, and did I mention that Gaddafi is strongly anti-Zionist?

Does anyone know what kind of government the rebels would create? The Triumvirate has no idea. To what extent will the new government embody an Islamic influence as opposed to the present secular government? What jihadi forces might they unleash? (And these forces do indeed exist in eastern Libya, where the rebels are concentrated.) Will they do away with much of the welfare state that Gaddafi used his oil money to create? Will the state-dominated economy be privatized? Who will wind up owning Libya’s oil? Will the new regime continue to invest Libyan oil revenues in sub-Saharan African development projects? Will they allow a US military base and NATO exercises? Will we find out before long that the “rebels” were instigated and armed by Holy Triumvirate intelligence services?

In the 1990s, Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia was guilty of “crimes” similar to Gaddafi’s. His country was commonly referred to as “the last communists of Europe”. The Holy Triumvirate bombed him, arrested him, and let him die in prison. The Libyan government, it should be noted, refers to itself as the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. American foreign policy is never far removed from the Cold War.

We must look closely at the no-fly zone set up for Iraq by the US and the UK (falsely claimed by them as being authorized by the United Nations) beginning in the early 1990s and lasting more than a decade. It was in actuality a license for very frequent bombing and killing of Iraqi citizens; softening up the country for the coming invasion. The no-fly zone-cum invasion force in Libya is killing people every day with no end in sight, softening up the country for regime change. Who in the universe can stand up to The Holy Triumvirate? Has the entire history of the world ever seen such power and such arrogance?

And by the way, for the 10th time, Gaddafi did not carry out the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988.1 Please enlighten your favorite progressive writers on this.

Barack “I’d kill for a peace prize” Obama

Is anyone keeping count?

I am. Libya makes six.

Six countries that Barack H. Obama has waged war against in his 26 months in office. (To anyone who disputes that dropping bombs on a populated land is act of war, I would ask what they think of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.)

America’s first black president now invades Africa.

Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement over George W. Bush?

Probably two types still think so. 1) Those to whom color matters a lot; 2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.

It certainly can’t have much otherwise to do with intellect or intelligence. Obama has said numerous things, which if uttered by Bush would have inspired lots of rolled eyeballs, snickers, and chuckling reports in the columns and broadcasts of mainstream media. Like the one the president has repeated on a number of occasions when pressed to investigate Bush and Cheney for war crimes, along the lines of “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant.

There’s also the excuse given by Obama to not prosecute those engaged in torture: because they were following orders. Has this “educated” man never heard of the Nuremberg Trials, where this defense was summarily rejected? Forever, it was assumed.

Just 18 days before the Gulf oil spill Obama said: “It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced.” (Washington Post, May 27, 2010) Picture George W. having said this, and the later reaction.

“All the forces that we’re seeing at work in Egypt are forces that naturally should be aligned with us, should be aligned with Israel,” Obama said in early March.2 Imagine if Bush had implied this — that the Arab protesters in Egypt against a man receiving billions in US aid including the means to repress and torture them, should “naturally” be aligned with the United States and — God help us — Israel.

A week later, on March 10, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a forum in Cambridge, Mass. that Wikileaks hero Bradley Manning’s treatment by the Defense Department in a Marine prison was “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” The next day our “brainy” president was asked about Crowley’s comment. Replied the Great Black Hope: “I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are.”

Right, George. I mean Barack. Bush should have asked Donald Rumsfeld whether anyone in US custody was being tortured anywhere in the world. He could then have held a news conference like Obama did to announce the happy news — “No torture by America!” We would still be chortling at that one.

Obama closed his remark with: “I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Pvt. Manning’s safety as well.” 3

Ah yes, of course, Manning is being tortured for his own good. Someone please remind me — Did Georgieboy ever stoop to using that particular absurdity to excuse prisoner hell at Guantanamo?

Is it that Barack Obama is not bothered by the insult to Bradley Manning’s human rights, the daily wearing away of this brave young man’s mental stability?

The answer to the question is No. The president is not bothered by these things.

How do I know? Because Barack Obama is not bothered by anything as long as he can exult in being the president of the United States, eat his hamburgers, and play his basketball. Let me repeat once again what I first wrote in May 2009:

The problem, I’m increasingly afraid, is that the man doesn’t really believe strongly in anything, certainly not in controversial areas. He learned a long time ago how to take positions that avoid controversy, how to express opinions without clearly taking sides, how to talk eloquently without actually saying anything, how to leave his listeners’ heads filled with stirring clichés, platitudes, and slogans. And it worked. Oh how it worked! What could happen now, having reached the presidency of the United States, to induce him to change his style?

Remember that in his own book, “The Audacity of Hope”, Obama wrote: “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

Obama is a product of marketing. He is the prime example of the product “As seen on TV”.

Writer Sam Smith recently wrote that Obama is the most conservative Democratic president we’ve ever had. “In an earlier time, there would have been a name for him: Republican.”

Indeed, if John McCain had won the 2008 election, and then done everything that Obama has done in exactly the same way, liberals would be raging about such awful policies.

I believe that Barack Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left. The millions of young people who jubilantly supported him in 2008, and numerous older supporters, will need a long recovery period before they’re ready to once again offer their idealism and their passion on the alter of political activism.

If you don’t like how things have turned out, next time find out exactly what your candidate means when he talks of “change”.
….

1. killinghope.org/bblum6/panam.htm ↩

2. March 4, 2011, Democratic Party function, Miami, FL, CQ Transcriptions

3. Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2011

====

NATO Operations: Turkey To Control Benghazi Airport, Blockade Libya

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-to-control-benghazi-airport-under-nato-mission–2011-03-28

Hurriyet Daily News
March 28, 2011

Turkey to assume control of Benghazi airport in Libya

-Turkey is now taking a critical role in NATO operations in Libya, pledging five vessels and one submarine to a NATO patrol mission to enforce a U.N. arms embargo against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
Additionally, Turkey’s NATO base in the Aegean province of İzmir was selected as the center for operations monitoring the no-fly zone in Libya….

ANKARA: Turkey is assuming control of the Benghazi airport, and sending naval forces to patrol the corridor between the rebel-held city and Crete, as it prepares to join a London meeting on the international response to Libya.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey would take control of the airport in order to coordinate humanitarian assistance to the crisis-hit North African country as part of the multinational task force now under NATO command.

“Turkey said ‘yes’ to three tasks within NATO: the takeover of Benghazi airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid, the task about control of the air corridor and the involvement of Turkish naval forces in the corridor between Benghazi and Crete,” Erdoğan told a news conference at Ankara’s Esenboğa airport before departing for neighboring Iraq.

NATO member states reached a consensus last week about leading Libya operations under the alliance’s command. The Turkish Parliament passed a motion Thursday authorizing the country’s military to participate in the international force in Libya and the government to make a “multi-dimensional contribution.”
….
Turkey will be represented in an international conference about Libya set to be held Tuesday in London. Erdoğan said Turkey’s insistence on ensuring broad-based participation in the summit was acknowledged. “Thus NATO will not be left alone in Libya,” he said.
….
The meeting is expected to establish a contact group of nations. Though it is not yet clear if Turkey will join this grouping, a Turkish diplomat said such mechanisms are sometimes useful – as in the case of Kosovo – and that Ankara would evaluate the situation if it were asked to participate.

Once-reluctant Turkey is now taking a critical role in NATO operations in Libya, pledging five vessels and one submarine to a NATO patrol mission to enforce a U.N. arms embargo against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

Additionally, Turkey’s NATO base in the Aegean province of İzmir was selected as the center for operations monitoring the no-fly zone in Libya following the lifting of Turkey’s previous opposition to any kind of NATO involvement in the North African country.

====

NATO Formally Takes Command Of Libyan War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/28/c_13800624.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

NATO decides to take full command of Libya mission

-A NATO official said that ambassadors approved on Sunday the airstrike plans against Libyan ground forces…broadening the alliance’s previous role of enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo.

BRUSSELS: NATO’s top decision-making body decided on Sunday to implement all aspects of the UN resolution on Libya, thus paving the way for the alliance to take over full command of the military operations against Libya from the United States.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced following a special session of NATO ambassadors that “NATO allies have decided to take on the whole military operation in Libya under the United Nations Security Council resolution.”
….
“We will be acting in close coordination with our international and regional partners to protect the people of Libya,” Rasmussen said, adding NATO’s operations will be implemented “with immediate effect.”

“This is a very significant step, which proves NATO’s capability to take decisive action,” Rasmussen said.

A NATO official said that ambassadors approved on Sunday the airstrike plans against Libyan ground forces…broadening the alliance’s previous role of enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo.

The latest decision will pave the way for NATO to assume full command of Libya operations from the United States next week, as the latter has been eager to step back and in favor of NATO to take the reins.
….
Britain will host an international conference on Libya in London on Tuesday, which is expected to set “the wide political guidance” for the military operation as NATO takes the full military command.

====

Air Strikes Expanded Throughout Libya As NATO Takes Command

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/28/c_13801909.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

Air strikes go on over Libya, NATO in command

TRIPOLI: Western-led coalition forces Sunday continued their air strikes on Libyan government forces after NATO decided to take full command of the Libya air campaign, as rebels reportedly retook control of a key oil exporting terminal.

Explosions were heard in the capital and both civilian and military targets were hit by the “colonialist aggressors,” Libya’s state TV reported.

Explosions occurred near the Gaser Ben Ghasher region, some 30 km south of the capital, and plumes of heavy smoke and flames were seen rising from the area. A road leading to the international airport and a neighborhood in Tripoli reportedly were among the areas hit by the coalition forces.

Libya’s state TV also said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte city was also struck by the coalition forces Sunday night.

The city was under attack by Western warplanes Saturday night and many targets were destroyed.

French media reported that French fighter jets on Sunday launched attacks on Libyan armored vehicles and a military arsenal in the Misrata and Zintan regions.

So far, at least 114 Libyans have been killed and 445 others wounded since the air strikes began on March 19, according to Libyan health authorities.

Earlier on Sunday, Libyan rebels reportedly recaptured the major oil exporting terminal of Ras Lanuf and the town of Bin Jawad, 525 km east of Tripoli.
….
Ambassadors from 28 NATO member countries held a special meeting in Brussels on Sunday and decided to implement all aspects of the UN resolution on Libya, paving the way for NATO to take over full command of the military operation against Libya from the United States.

“NATO allies have decided to take on the whole military operation in Libya under the United Nations Security Council resolution,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced after the meeting.
….
“This is a very significant step, which proves NATO’s capability to take decisive action,” Rasmussen stressed.

The air raids against Libyan forces by NATO…have broadened the alliance’s previous role of enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo.
….
[Italian Foreign Minister Franco] Frattini stressed that Italy wanted all military interventions in Libya under one single command, and said the country was against the so-called “coalition of the willing” sponsored by France.

====

All-Out Assault: British Missiles Destroy Libyan Depots, Bunkers

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/uk/news/article_1629178.php/Britain-says-fighter-planes-destroy-Gaddafi-ammunition-dumps

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 28, 2011

Britain says fighter planes destroy Gaddafi ammunition dumps

London: Ammunition dumps and bunkers used by the forces of Libya’s Moamer Gaddafi have been destroyed in airstrikes flown by Britain’s Royal Air Force, the Ministry of Defence in London said Monday.

A spokesman said the ammunition held in the bunkers in the Sabha desert in southern Libya were designated for use in attacks on the cities of Misurata and other targets in northern Libya.

Major General John Lorimer said the fighter aircraft used Storm Shadow missiles to destroy the dumps following armed reconnaissance sorties over Libya over the weekend.

‘Initial reports suggest that the bunkers have been destroyed and that the Libyan government has been denied ammunition…,’ said Lorimer.

====

1,424 Missions: U.S. Still Main Force In Libyan Strikes – Pentagon

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gHZArYJV6bGsFOkezJZSGfOG7xgg?docId=CNG.82fce0d1e069b2865b114176f57c0264.f51

Agence France-Presse
March 28, 2011

US still main force in anti-Libya strikes: Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The United States has undertaken the lion’s share of coalition military sorties against Libya late Saturday and Sunday, despite NATO formally taking command of operations, Pentagon figures showed.

Of 167 sorties flown between 1930 GMT Saturday and 1500 GMT Sunday, more than half – some 97 – used US aircraft, the US Defense Department said.

That figure is only slightly less than the 62 percent of sorties flown by the US planes since Operation Odyssey Dawn got underway on March 19.

The latest Pentagon figures showed some 1,424 missions conducted during the operation so far as it imposes a United Nations Security Council-mandated no-fly zone over Libya.

The international coalition enforcing the no-fly zone, headed by the United States, Britain and France, has struck Kadhafi’s defense and air capabilities….

As rebels pushed towards Tripoli after nine days of Western bombings on Kadhafi forces, NATO ambassadors overcame objections from Turkey and France after days of tense talks and agreed to take control of the campaign.
….

====

Western Jets Bomb Residential Areas In Southern Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/28/48082397.html

Voice of Russia
March 28, 2011

Coalition jets strike Sabha in southern Libya.

Western coalition forces on Monday delivered an air strike upon the city of Sabha in southern Libya.

Libyan information agency JANA says residential areas were bombed, resulting in civilian casualties and destruction.

Planes of the coalition that includes the US, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Canada are bombing installations of the Libyan government forces in order to stop Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from delivering blows against the rebels.
….

====

After Kosovo, Afghanistan: Dutch F-16s Fly Libyan Sorties

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-f-16s-operational-over-libya

Radio Netherlands
March 28, 2011

Dutch F-16s operational over Libya

-“We are ready. The first mission has got to go well. Our group consists of experienced people who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo. They know what to do.”

Dutch newspapers AD and de Volkskrant report today that the four Dutch F-16s stationed on the Italian island of Sardinia will fly their first mission on Monday.

The four jet fighters are part of the mission…enforcing a UN no-fly zone over Libya.

The 150 Dutch military personnel and pilots now stationed at the Decimomannu airbase on Sardinia have spent the past few days settling in and making test flights. For the time being, the Dutch planes will not take part in any action against ground forces.

The commander of the Dutch mission, Johan van Deventer, says: “We are ready. The first mission has got to go well. Our group consists of experienced people who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo. They know what to do.”

====

Istanbul Cooperation Initiative: “Soldier Of Fortune” NATO Hands Libyan Oil To Persian Gulf States

http://abc.az/eng/news/main/52557.html

Azerbaijan Business Center
Match 28, 2011

NATO conquered from Gaddafi control over Libyan oil for Qatar

Baku: NATO’s operation, worth about $300-500 million a day, on sweeping the sky over Libya opens a new historical era: the beginning of colonial conquests by the Persian Gulf states. At the same time NATO acts as a “soldier of fortune” – a professional mercenary, ensuring colonial conquest itself.

The defeat of Colonel Qaddafi’s ground forces by NATO aviation has opened possibilities for the opposition for restoration of oil exports from Libya. As a result, according to a representative on the economy and oil of the “transitional government” of the opposition, Ali Tarkhuni, the opposition has already reached an agreement on oil exports under the supervision of Qatar.

“We have agreed with Qatar, and our next shipment will be carried out in less than a week,” Tarkhuni said.

The opposition controls the production of 100,000-130,000 barrels of oil a day and is ready to raise production up to 300,000 bpd. This amounts to only a fifth of production in the country prior to anti-government protests (1.5 million bpd).

Nevertheless, for the first time in history control over the “opposition” export has been transferred not to traditional “monsters” like BP and RD Shell, but to “humble” Qatar, which is using the channel Al Jazeera, which has contributed a lot to the start of anti-government protests in the Arab world and Libya.
————————————-

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110328/163247336.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 28, 2011

Qatar becomes first Arab country to recognize Libyan National Council

Cairo: Qatar has officially recognized the Libyan National Council as the only legitimate governing body in the North African country, becoming the first Arab country to do so, the Qatar News Agency said on Monday.

“The council, which includes representatives of various Libyan regions, has already begun representing the whole of Libya and has been recognized by the Libyan people,” the news agency quoted a source in the Qatari Foreign Ministry as saying.

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the only Arab countries officially involved in the international military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that has been under way since March 19.

The Libyan National Council, based in the main opposition stronghold of Benghazi, consists of 31 representatives of Libya’s largest cities. The council controls the eastern part of the country, while the west remains under control of the embattled Libyan leader.

France was the first country to recognize the Libyan National Council as the country’s only legitimate government. International organizations, such as the European Union, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council have expressed their readiness to cooperate with the council.

The military operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya is being conducted jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France, under a UN mandate. The Libyan state-run television has accused the allied forces of killing dozens of civilians while attacking civilian facilities in Libya along with military objects.

On Sunday, NATO began taking command of all aerial operations in Libya from the US-led force. The transfer of authority will take up to three days.

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NATO Warplanes Launch Fresh Assault On Libyan Capital

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/28/c_13800639.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

Western forces launch fresh airstrikes on Tripoli

TRIPOLI: The Western coalition launched fresh airstrikes Sunday evening on the Libyan capital city of Tripoli and its outskirts, and explosions were heard near Gaser Ben Ghasher region, some 30 km south of the capital, eyewitnesses said.

They said that after the explosions plumes of heavy smoke and flames were seen.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte city is witnessing airstrikes at the moment by the coalition forces, the Libyan TV quoted a military source as saying.

It is also said that the city was under attack by airstrikes last night, when a lot of targets were destroyed.

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US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com

March 27, 2011

US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned
by Stephen Lendman

In his weekly March 26 address, Obama said:

“As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We are not putting any ground forces into Libya….And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners.”

Earlier he said:

“United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

As an earlier article explained, American aggression caused a humanitarian crisis. Moreover, the alleged NATO handover is a ruse. NATO is code language for Washington, the Pentagon. It’s America’s tool, its “missile,” reigning death and destruction across Libya and other operational theaters. European allies concur. They’re more pawns than partners. Reports now suggest they’ll participate in a late April or early May ground operation if air attacks don’t oust Gaddafi.

On March 25, Russia’s RIA Novosti news service headlined, “Ground operation in Libya could start in April – Russian Intelligence,” saying:

According to an unnamed high-ranking Russian intelligence official, “(t)he international coalition force is planning a ground operation that could start in late April. Information coming via different channels shows that NATO countries, with active participation of Britain and the United States, are developing a plan….From all indications, (it’ll) be launched if the alliance fails to force Gaddafi….to capitulate.”

The official estimates a late April-early May timetable. UN Resolution 1973 prohibits an occupation force, but authorizes “all necessary measures,” including boots on the ground. Hawkish Western military analysts urge it, a March 25 Wall Street Journal report saying:

“The history of air-only military actions is that they rarely, if ever, defeat an adversary without” ground forces.

On March 26, Rick Rozoff’s Stop NATO web site mentioned reports of US forces in Libya with a planned ground invasion coming next month. Various March 26 sources were cited, including:

(1) Sofia News Agency reporting:

“US forces are rumored to be already present on the ground in Libya,” despite official denials. According to Reserve Colonel David Hand, American soldiers have been in Libya for 12 days. US intelligence Colonel Tony Scheffer confirmed it.

(2) Voice of Russia’s Alexander Vatutin said:

“We are witnessing an attempt to seize oil and gas reserves by means of force. Apparently, coalition forces are pursuing targets other than humanitarian operations….” Dozens of civilian deaths are reported.

“In the meantime, NATO has suggested the possibility of a ground operation in Libya unless Gaddafi chooses to surrender. The military are guided by the Second World War saying ‘Put on the Ground’ which means you can never expect to win unless you reach the enemy’s positions on the ground.” About 4,000 US marines are positioned in the Mediterranean to invade.

According to Russian Strategic Research Institute’s Azhdar Kurtov, “a ground operation is inevitable” whether or not Gaddafi stays or goes, to seize Libya’s strategic oil and gas reserves.

(3) AFP reported:

Washington and NATO partners may supply weapons to opposition forces. According to the Washington Post, “recently withdrawn US ambassador to Libya” Gene Cretz said “administration officials were having ‘the full gamut’ of discussions on ‘potential assistance we might offer,’ both on the non-lethal and the lethal side.”

(4) RIA Novosti said:

“Any foreign military ground operation in Libya will be considered as occupying the country, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Saturday,” in violation of Resolution 1973.

(5) Russia Today reported St. Petersburg State University Professor Guman Isayev saying:

Libya, like Iraq, is becoming a “black hole….As soon as it became clear that insurgents lost the battle,” Resolution 1973 was passed, providing wide latitude for intervention. As a result, “Libya may cease to exist, de facto, the way Iraq did. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that Gaddafi’s regime can be overthrown by air strikes alone. The hopes that insurgents (could oust him) are failing despite active external support.”

On Monday, March 28, Obama will address the nation on the Libyan conflict. Expect none of this to be mentioned, just the usual boilerplate propaganda about “humanitarian intervention,” when, in fact, Washington’s aims are always imperial.

As previous articles explained, a protracted, destructive conflict is likely, including mass casualties so America can solidify its grip on the entire Mediterranean Basin, exploiting its resources and people freely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Pentagon Chief: “No Idea” How Long Libyan Campaign Will Last

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110327/163234646.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 27, 2011

Defense Secretary does not know how long no-fly zone might be in place in Libya

Washington: The U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he does not know how long the no-fly zone might be in place in Libya, CBS News TV-channel reported.

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering “all necessary measures”….

“I don’t think anybody has any idea,” Gates said.
….
The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.
….

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“Odyssey” Nor Bringing “Dawn” To Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/28/c_13800622.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 28, 2011

“Odyssey” apparently not bringing “dawn” to Libya

BEIJING: The ongoing West-led “Odyssey Dawn” military operation against Libya, which was launched on March 19, apparently is adding fuel to the fire of the Libyan crisis instead of bringing the light of “dawn” to the North African country.

The operation, dominated by Western powers including France, Britain, the United States and Italy, has caused huge civilian casualties, building and infrastructure damage and hundreds of thousands of refugees. It has escalated the Libyan conflict, which started in mid-February.

It apparently has overstepped the authorization of the UN resolution on Libya adopted on March 17, raised questions and triggered disturbance in the region and around the world at large.

The resolution imposed a no-fly zone over Libya, but the West-led air strikes went far beyond the limit as they vehemently hit the Libyan army’s tanks, artillery and rocket projectiles.

As early as last Sunday, Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said, “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone.”

Meanwhile, the operation was initiated under the pretext of “humanitarian” assistance and protecting Libyan civilians, but the results, ironically, turned out to be more civilian deaths and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

Libyan authorities said over 100 civilians had been killed by the air strikes, and the UN Refugee Agency said over 350,000 Libyan refugees had fled the country up to Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin flatly questioned the operation: “What do we see today? Strikes are being carried out across the entire territory of the country. How can you, with the aim of protecting the peaceful population, choose means that lead to an increase of deaths among the civilian population?”

The operation may prolong volatility and insurgency in Libya, which might spill over to neighboring countries.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa recently said, “Our fear is that what is happening now in Libya may motivate terrorist groups in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq to regroup on African soil.”

In Homer’s glorious ancient Greek epic poem “The Odyssey,” the Greek hero Odysseus, after the fall of the Troy city, finally managed to return home and accomplished his long-cherished dream after a 10-year arduous trek.

However, the West-led Odyssey Dawn operation is complicating and worsening the situation in Libya and bringing about more sufferings to the Libyan people. The real “dawn” for the Libyan people, alleged as the operation’s aim, apparently is still far, far away.

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Libya: NATO Terrorizing, Killing Civilians

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFLDE72Q0O920110327

Reuters
March 27, 2011

Libya says NATO “terrorising” its civilians

TRIPOLI: Libya accused NATO on Sunday of “terrorising” and killing its people as part of a global plot to humiliate and weaken the North African country.

The government says Western-led air attacks have killed more than 100 civilians….

“The terror people live in, the fear, the tension is everywhere. And these are civilians who are being terrorised every day,” said Mussa Ibrahim, a Libyan government spokesman.

“We believe the unnecessary continuation of the air strikes is a plan to put the Libyan government in a weak negotiating position. NATO is prepared to kill people, destroy army training camps and army checkpoints and other locations.”

Earlier on Sunday, NATO officials said the alliance had agreed to take command of military operations in Libya.

Ibrahim acknowledged that rebel forces in the east were advancing westwards but declined to give any details on the retreat of government troops.

“The rebels are making their advances,” he said.

“(Western nations) are starving the Libyan population, (they want) to put Libya on its knees, to beg for mercy.

“It’s a very simple plan. We can see it happening in front of our eyes. They are not trying to protect civilians.”

Ibrahim said three Libyan civilian sailors were killed in a coalition air strike on a fishing harbour in the city of Sirte on Saturday.

(Writing by Maria Golovnina)

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Open Letter From Russian Doctors In Libya To The President Of The Russian Federation

Open letter from Russian doctors in Libya to the President of the Russian Federation

OPEN LETTER

President of the Russian Federation Medvedev DA

Prime Minister of Russian Federation VV Putin

from citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, working and living in Libya

March 24, 2011, Tripoli, Libya

Dear Mr. Medvedev and Vladimir Putin,

You said that citizens of the former Soviet Union were destined to become today citizens of different Slavic CIS countries – Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Despite this, we all believe that it is Russia as successor to the USSR, which is our SOLE safeguard for the interests of our countries and the security of our citizens. Therefore, we appeal to you for help and justice.

Today, there is blatant external aggression of USA and NATO against a sovereign country – Libya. And if anyone can doubt this, then we say this obvious fact is well known, because all this is happening before our eyes, and the actions of U.S. and NATO threaten the lives of not only the citizens of Libya, but to us who are on its territory. We are outraged by the barbaric bombing of Libya, which is currently carried out by a coalition of U.S. and NATO.

The bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya is aimed not only at the objects of air defense and Libya’s Air Force and not only against the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian infrastructure. Today, 24 March 2011, NATO aircraft and the U.S. all night and all morning bombed a suburb of Tripoli – Tajhura (where, in particular, is Libya’s Nuclear Research Center). Air Defense and Air Force facilities in Tajhura were destroyed back in the first 2 days of strikes and more active military facilities in the city remained, but today the object of bombing are barracks of the Libyan army, around which are densely populated residential areas, and next to it – the largest in Libya’s Heart Centers. Civilians and the doctors could not assume that common residential quarters will be about to become destroyed, so none of the residents or hospital patients was evacuated.

Bombs and rockets struck residential houses and fell near the hospital. The glass of the Cardiac Center building was broken, and in the building of the maternity ward for pregnant women with heart disease a wall collapsed and part of the roof. This resulted in ten miscarriages whereby babies died, the women are in intensive care, doctors are fighting for their lives. Our colleagues and we are working seven days a week, to save people. This is a direct consequence of falling bombs and missiles in residential buildings resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries, which are operated and reviewed now by our doctors. Such a large number of wounded and killed, as during today, did not result during the total of all the riots in Libya. And this is called “protecting the civilian population”?

With full responsibility as witnesses and participants of what is happening, we state that the United States and its allies are thus carrying out genocide against the Libyan people – as was the case in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Crimes against humanity, carried out by coalition forces akin to those crimes committed by the fathers and grandfathers of today’s Western leaders and their henchmen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan and in Dresden in Germany, where civilians were also being destroyed in order to deter, to break the will of the people to resist (Germany remembers it, and therefore refused to participate in this new slaughterhouse). Today they want in such ways to make the Libyan people surrender their leader and the legitimate government and meekly lay down their national oil wealth for the countries of the coalition.

We understand that applying to the “international community” to save the people of Libya and we were living in Libya, is useless. Our only hope – is Russia that has the right of veto in the UN, and specifically its leaders – the President and the Prime Minister.

We still hope for you, as hoped in the past, when we took the decision to stay in Libya, and to help its people, medical duty playing its role in the first place. After an abortive coup attempt in late February, the situation calmed down in Libya and the government had successfully restored order. To everyone in Libya, it was clear that without American intervention the country would soon return to normal life. Convinced that Russia, which has veto power, would not allow the aggression of the United States and its allies, we decided to stay in Libya, but were mistaken: Russia, unfortunately, believed the false assurances of Americans and did not oppose the criminal decision of France and the U.S.

We are Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians, the people of various professions (mainly doctors), working in Libya for more than a year (from 2 to 20 years). During this time, we became well acquainted with the life of the Libyan people and state with few citizens of other nations living in this social comfort, as the Libyans. They are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious. Today, the people are suffering. In February, the peaceful life of the people was violated by gangs of criminals and insane drugged youth – whom the Western media for some reason called “peaceful demonstrators”. They used weapons and attacked police stations, government agencies, military units – resulting in bloodshed. Those who direct them, pursue a clear objective – to create chaos and establish control over Libya’s oil. They misinformed the international community, and said that the Libyans are struggling against the regime. Tell us, who would not like such a regime? If such a regime were in Ukraine or Russia, we would not have been here and worked and enjoyed the social comfort at home in our own countries and in every possible way such a regime would be maintained.

If the U.S. and the EU today have nothing to do, let them turn their attention to the plight of Japan, the Israeli bombing of Palestine, the audacity and impunity of Somali pirates, or the plight of Arab immigrants in France, and leave the Libyans themselves to sort out their internal problems. We see that today in Libya they want to do another Iraq. Carrying out the genocide of an entire people and those who are found with him. We perform MEDICAL DEBT and cannot leave Libyans alone in trouble, leaving them to be destroyed by the forces of the coalition, in addition, we understand that when all the foreigners leave and no one will tell the truth (the small staff of diplomatic missions have long been silenced), the Americans will arrange here a bloodbath. Our only chance of survival – is a solid civil position of Russia in the UN Security Council.

We hope that you, Mr. President, and you, Mr. Prime Minister, as citizens of Russia and as decent people will not allow American and European fascists of the 21st century to destroy the freedom-loving people of Libya and of those who today turned out to be with them.

We therefore urgently request that Russia uses its right of veto, the right earned by millions of lives of the Soviet people during World War II to stop the aggression against a sovereign state, to seek immediate cessation of U.S. and NATO bombing campaign and to demand the introduction of African Union troops in the conflict zone Libya.

Note: The African Union Peace & Security Council delegates that had been accepted by both the Libyan government and the rebel leaders to mediate a peaceful solution between the various parties, were refused entry into Libya by the UN Security Council. This act should have been reprimanded by Russia and China, who should study the AU resolutions, mandate and support its wise decisions]

HANDS OFF LIBYA!

With Respect and Hope

Your Wisdom and Honesty,

Citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia,

located in Libya

Bordovsky S., Vasilenko, S., Vegerkina A., Henry IV, Henry H., L. Grigorenko, DraBragg, A., Drobot V. Drobot, N., Yemets E., Kolesnikova, T., Kuzin, I., Kuzmenko, B., Kulebyakin V. Kulmenko T., Nikolaev AG, Papelyuk V. Selizar V. Selizar About . Smirnov, O. Smirnova, R., Soloviev DA, Stadnik VA, Stolpakova T. Streschalin G. Stakhovich Yu, Sukacheva L. Sukachev V. Tarakanov, T., Tikhon N. Tikhonov VI, Tkachev AV, Hadareva E., Tchaikovsky, O., Chukhno D. Chukhno O. Yakovenko D. et al

The collection of signatures under the Appeal to the heads of Russia and under the request of an international tribunal in The Hague for crimes of U.S. and NATO in Libya.

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Libya Conflict Highlights NATO’s Imperialist Mission

From:
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
globalnet@mindspring.com
http://www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/ (blog)

http://www.truth-out.org/libya-conflict-highlights-natos-imperialist-mission68753

Libya Conflict Highlights NATO’s Imperialist Mission
By Joseph Gerson

Having launched its Libyan regime change war to oust the Qaddafi dictatorship from the United States’ German-based Africa Command, the Obama administration this week arranged to continue its air war under cover of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.

Long understood to be a relatively benign and defensive alliance focused on European security needs, people across Europe and, increasingly, in the United States, are questioning how and why NATO is now focused on waging non-defensive wars beyond Europe.

From the beginning, 1948, NATO was about more than containing the Soviet Union, which in the immediate aftermath of World War II was a devastated nation whose occupation of Eastern Europe was as, George Kennan wrote, primarily designed to ensure a buffer against future invasions from the West. Think in terms of the devastation wrought by Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler.

Like the unequal treaties that defined 19th- and early 21st-century European colonialism in Asia, NATO has served as a fig leaf, providing a degree of legitimacy for the continuing US military occupation and related US political influence across Western Eurasia.

Recall that Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser, wrote that US global dominance requires US hegemony of Eurasia, which in turn necessitates that the United States maintain toeholds (or more) on its western, southern, and eastern peripheries.

Twenty-first century NATO isn’t the cold war alliance that many of us grew up with. The collapse of the Soviet Union eliminated NATO’s cold war raison d’etre, thereby undermining the rationales for the foreign deployment of hundreds of thousands of US warriors on hundreds of US and “NATO” bases across Europe. The Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations responded by transforming NATO into a global alliance to reinforce US imperial ambitions and the privileges of sectors of the European elite.

Violating President George H.W. Bush’s pledge not to expand NATO a centimeter nearer to Moscow, in exchange for Gorbachev’s blessing of German reunification on Western terms Clinton began the process of expanding NATO to Russia’s borders, along the way creating the foundation for Donald Rumsfeld and company to renew the game of divide and conquer by playing “New Europe” against “Old Europe.”

The US now has bases across Eastern Europe, and there will be more to come with “missile defense” deployments.

In violation of the UN Charter, the Clinton administration used NATO to fight its war against Serbia, making possible the creation of Kosovo and the rise of its corrupt client political leadership there.

As the cold war wound down, NATO adopted doctrines permitting “out of area operations,” i.e. military interventions in Africa, the Middle East and beyond. With NATO’s role in the Afghan war, “out of area operations” became the alliance’s primary mission.

Today, with 22 additional partnerships still more being planned for Japan, Korea and Southeast Asian nations, NATO is also being used to ensure access to the mineral resources of the Global South and to reinforce the encirclement of China, as well as Russia.

Thus, we can identify a major reason that NATO is today fighting in support of a ragtag collection of Libyan rebels in that oil-rich nation.

And, as a recent edition of Foreign Affairs put it, China’s rise does not inevitably mean it will become the world’s dominant nation.

If NATO can be merged with the European Union, the West, it argued, will remain dominant through the 21st century.

During its recent summits in Strasbourg – enforced by massive and brutal police state repression against nonviolent protesters – and Lisbon, and under pressure from the United States, NATO has resolved to remain at war in Afghanistan at least until 2014.

It has adopted a new “strategic concept” consolidating and pointing toward the expansion of the global alliance that can serve as a military enforcer for the United Nations or act in violation of the UN Charter.

And NATO has been reaffirmed as a nuclear alliance, while its members have been urged to further increase their military spending.

The 2012 summit to be held in the United States, likely in or near Washington, DC, will be used to plan and build support for the continuing Central Asian and Long wars, to continue the “containment” and encirclement of China and Russia, to bolster the Pentagon and its obscene budget and to reinforce President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Western European peace activists and progressives have long opposed NATO. This opposition grew with the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, and it is worth noting that there is anything but unity about NATO’s Libyan war in elite European circles.

Even Germany has turned its back on the war, leaving the goal of a united European foreign policy a short-lived dream, while Norway has reversed course, no longer contributing its air force to the war.

At the popular level, growing out of the 2008 International Conference on Afghanistan held in Hanover, Germany, a “No to NATO/No to War” network of leading European and US peace organizations has come into being.

It organized counter-summit conferences and protests in both Strasbourg and Lisbon. Its members are rallying to oppose NATO’s Libya war and are planning a major demonstration in Bonn this November, when the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Karzai government there will be celebrated.

And, with the next NATO summit to be held in the US in 2012, plans on both sides of the Atlantic pond are gearing up to oppose NATO’s wars, related military spending that is robbing our communities of essential social services and the alliance itself.

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Syria Being Prepared For Libya Scenario

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/27/48051654.html

Voice of Russia
March 27, 2011

Syria on the brink
Yevgeny Kryshkin

The Syrian port city of Latakia is under patrol by troops after rioting crowds ransacked shops, overturned cars and torched local offices of the governing Al Baath party.

In Deraa further south, where Syria’s latest unrest first erupted on Wednesday, rioters have toppled an outdoor statue of late President Hafez Assad, father of the beleaguered incumbent Bashar Assad.

The Syrian government speaks of outside attempts to wreck age-old ethnic and confessional harmony in Syria.

For an assessment of the situation, we turned to Dr Vladimir Akhmedov of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

“Latakia and Deraa are far from a catastrophe at this stage, but probably mark an important turning point for the Syrians. As soon as the powers that be are no longer able to instill awe, they are likely to be faced with a violent uprising along the lines of Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.”

The Syrian leadership appears to be rolling out a response to the challenge. In Damascus Saturday, President Bashar Assad convened an executive meeting of his Al Baath party to discuss initiatives for political pluralism, freedom of expression, changes to the judiciary and an end to an almost 50-year-old state of emergency in Syria. Reshuffles in the Cabinet are in the offing, as are further releases of political detainees. Two hundred and sixty have already walked free under a government amnesty.

Overall, observers believe Bashar Assad is not without support in his Middle East country and can cope.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan War: March 27

March 27, 2011 2 comments

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Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

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Video And Text: U.S. Launches 170 “Humanitarian” Tomahawks

Clinton Cites Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo To Justify Libyan War

NATO Takes Total Control Of Libyan War

Western Attack On Libya Opens Pandora’s Box Of Chaos

NATO Wages Air Strikes On Behalf Of Rebel Proxies

Libya: U.S. And NATO Can Be Drawn Into Another Afghanistan, Iraq – Russian Envoy

NATO’s Libyan War Can Last Months, Even Years: Norwegian Expert

Western Military Intervention In Libyan Can Lead To Another Iraq

NATO Targets Libyan Air Force, Army Ahead Of Invasion Plans

White House, Pentagon, NATO, AFRICOM: Mechanics Of Libyan War

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Video/Text: U.S. launches 170 “Humanitarian” Tomahawks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8409436/US-fire-Tomahawk-missiles-at-Libyan-targets.html

Sunday Telegraph
March 27, 2011

US fire Tomahawk missiles at Libyan targets
A US Navy warship launches several Tomahawk cruise missiles towards targets in Libya on Friday

Video

The US Department of Defense has released footage of the USS Stout launching several Tomahawk cruise missiles towards Libya on Friday.

In total the United States fired 16 missiles at Libyan targets on Thursday and Friday as part of the country’s role in the UN-mandated mission to protect Libyan civilians from forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi, the Pentagon said.

The new launches brought the total number of Tomahawks used by US and coalition forces to at least 170 as they enforce a UN resolution to set up a no-fly zone over Libya.

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Clinton Cites Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo To Justify Libyan War

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/03/clinton-cites-rwanda-bosnia-in-rationale-for-libya-intervention.html

ABC News
March 27, 2011

Clinton Cites Rwanda, Bosnia in Rationale for Libya Intervention

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized the humanitarian rationale for the U.S. military intervention in Libya, recalling instances from recent history when a lack of U.S. intervention had left hundreds of thousands dead.

In an interview with ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper on “This Week,” Clinton said that the United Nations-backed military intervention in Libya “is a watershed moment in international decision making. We learned a lot in the 1990s. We saw what happened in Rwanda. It took a long time in the Balkans, in Kosovo to deal with a tyrant. But I think in what has happened since March 1st, and we’re not even done with the month, demonstrates really remarkable leadership.”

Appearing with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates – the two secretaries first joint interview since the Libya operation began – Clinton played out a hypothetical of what non-intervention by the United States might have looked like.

“Imagine we were sitting here and Benghazi,” the Libyan opposition forces’ stronghold, “had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people, and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered, hundreds of thousands had fled and, as Bob [Gates] said, either with nowhere to go or overwhelming Egypt while it’s in its own difficult transition. And we were sitting here, the cries would be, why did the United States not do anything?” she said
….
In an interview on “This Week” in December, 2007, Clinton told George Stephanopoulos that she urged President Clinton to intervene in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide there.
….
The New York Times reported that Clinton, along with National Security aide Samantha Power and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, helped convince President Obama to take action on Libya. Rice…has expressed regret for not doing more to encourage intervention to stop the killing. Powers, formerly a journalist, wrote the seminal book on U.S. non-intervention during massive humanitarian crises.
….

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NATO Takes Total Control Of Libyan War

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703576204576226270529662098.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Wall Street Journal
March 27, 2011

NATO to Take Total Libya Control Article Comments (3) more in Middle By STEPHEN FIDLER

BRUSSELS: The top military committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization approved plans Sunday for the takeover of all international military operations in and around Libya, diplomats said.

The technical decision, which approves operational plans put together by military planners over the previous two days, opens the way for a political decision by NATO’s key decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council. That could come as soon as Sunday evening at a scheduled meeting of the NAC, which comprises the ambassadors to NATO of the 28 member nations.

The alliance’s phased takeover of the no-fly zone is already underway, after agreement late Thursday for NATO to take responsibility for that part of the operation. NATO is also enforcing an arms embargo on the country.

———————————————————————

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/27/c_13800594.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 27, 2011

NATO poised to take full command of Libya mission
by Zhang Wei

BRUSSELS: NATO ambassadors are meeting on Sunday to decide whether to approve airstrike plans against Libyan ground forces to protect civilians, which will pave the way for the alliance to assume full command of Libya operations from the United States.
….
As NATO has approved the plans of the no-fly zone and arms embargo, NATO ambassadors are due to meet late Sunday to discuss remaining military operations that it hasn’t covered in order to protect civilians in Libya, a NATO official told Xinhua, without giving further details.
….
If the North Atlantic Council reaches a consensus on attacking Libyan ground forces, the alliance would take full command of the coalition operations against Libya next week, the no-fly zone and airstrike, which are currently led by the United States that has been eager to step back and in favor of NATO to take the reins.

Meanwhile, NATO is working on enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya and is expected to take over command from the United States on Monday.

A NATO official said that the operations would require “a significant number of aircraft,” involving 5-10 AWACS surveillance planes, 10-15 refuelling aircraft and dozens of fighters.

The force generation conference will be held soon, with 10 NATO members and the Gulf state of Qatar having pledged to contribute, he said.

In addition, NATO has named Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, a Canadian, to command the alliance’s Libya operations from NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.

However, while the disputes over the military command structure mainly between France, Britain, the United States and Turkey are about to settle down, who will lead politically remains elusive.

Britain will host an international conference on Libya in London on March 29, which is to set “the wide political guidance” for the military operation, as NATO takes the military command.

====

Western Attack On Libya Opens Pandora’s Box Of Chaos

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/27/c_13800334.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 27, 2011

Coalition strikes against Libya open “Pandora’s Box” of chaos

BEIJING: The ongoing multinational intervention in Libya has not only increased the risk of civilian casualties in the North African country but also added more uncertainties and destabilizing factors to an already volatile situation in the Middle East.

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said Thursday that nearly 100 civilians had been killed in the Western-led air strikes, which have been described by many as “opening a Pandora’s Box” of chaos.
….
As the air strikes, launched by major Western powers including France, Britain, the United States, Denmark and Italy, entered their ninth day on Sunday, questions and doubts are beginning to surface about the goal and purpose of the mission.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa has criticized the international coalition force’s bombing, saying the assaults went beyond the UN resolution that endorsed a no-fly zone over Libya.

“What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing civilians,” Moussa said.

Top Republicans in the U.S. Congress have also questioned the purpose and goals of U.S. military intervention in Libya and complained that lawmakers were not consulted before President Barack Obama decided that America would join the mission.
….
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has severely criticized the U.S. role in the military operation against Libya.

“The use of force against other countries became a steady trend in U.S. policy,” Putin noted, adding this trend was “disturbing.”

The UN resolution “is, surely, flawed and lame …as it allows intervention in a sovereign country,” he said.

Last Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov renewed in the Algerian capital Algiers his country’s condemnation of the “use of force” in Libya.

“We have a common position with Algeria regarding respect for fundamental rights to human life. And, thus, we condemn any use of force” in all the countries, Lavrov said.

The chief of the African Union (AU) on Thursday also reaffirmed his reservations about the multinational intervention in Libya and questioned the participants’ coordination.

Although three African countries, namely South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon, voted for the UN resolution endorsing a no-fly zone over Libya, the AU still disapproves of foreign military intervention, said Jean Ping, chairperson of the AU Commission.

“We will not oppose a decision by the international community,” but “we marked our reserves” by abstaining from the Paris meeting, held shortly before France sent its warplanes to bomb Libyan targets, the AU chief said.

Earlier in the day, when giving a lecture at a university in Paris, the veteran African diplomat raised doubts about what would follow after a no-fly zone was “roughly” established.

“What’s the next step? Do you have a roadmap? I don’t see them at all,” he said.

====

NATO Wages Air Strikes On Behalf Of Rebel Proxies

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110327/163229620.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 27, 2011

Allied air strikes hit Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sabha – Libyan state TV

Moscow: Coalition warplanes attacked Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sabha in southwest Libya on Sunday, the country’s state television reported.

The air strikes targeted Gaddafi’s military base located in the town, which is a major air and auto transport center. There have been no reports about casualties among civilians and the military so far.

On Saturday, Libyan rebels backed by allied airstrikes retook Ajdabiya, a strategic oil town about 60 miles to the south of their main stronghold of Benghazi, from Gaddafi loyalists. Libya’s Jana national news agency quoted a military source as saying the coalition’s airstrikes eliminated almost all the tanks of Gaddafi’s forces in Ajdabiya, leaving them no chance for defense.

French aircraft attacked on Saturday an air base outside a key rebel-held town of Misrata, about 120 miles east of Tripoli, destroying five Libyan warplanes and two helicopters.

Libyan military officials have said the international coalition’s warplanes attack both military and civilian targets in Libya to pave the rebels’ way to oil facilities, suggesting that the allies coordinate their actions with the rebels.
….
Libyan state media outlets have reported that dozens of people have been killed by the airstrikes.

====

Libya: U.S. And NATO Can Be Drawn Into Another Afghanistan, Iraq – Russian Envoy

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE72P0BO20110326

Reuters
March 26, 2011

Russia NATO envoy warns of full-scale war in Libya

MOSCOW: NATO could be dragged into a full-scale war in Libya, like those being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia’s ambassador to the military alliance was quoted as saying on Saturday.

NATO has control of an arms embargo on Libya and agreed this week to assume command of a no-fly zone over its territory but Washington has been left in control of conducting air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s ground forces.

The United States hopes to hand over control of the air strikes as soon as possible and said on Friday it expected NATO to take command of it, although it was still being discussed.

“Just as we forecast, NATO is being drawn deeper and deeper into war in North Africa,” Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told Interfax news agency.

“The statements we are hearing today from NATO members and the alliance on the whole could draw this bloc into a full-scale operation on Libyan territory, which means essentially the U.S. and its closest allies could be drawn into a third war in addition to those in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Russia backed U.N. sanctions against Gaddafi and his government earlier this month but abstained in a Security Council vote that authorised a no-fly zone, allowing armed intervention by a Western coalition.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed concern over the possibility of civilian deaths and told U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation earlier this week that such casualties had to be prevented.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia’s paramount leader, has taken a harder stance, comparing the U.N. resolution to “medieval calls for crusades”.

(Reporting by Thomas Grove; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

====

NATO’s Libyan War Can Last Months, Even Years: Norwegian Expert

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/27/c_13799946.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 27, 2011

Norwegian expert worried over possible fallouts of Libya war

OSLO: Libya could end up eventually in division with two de-facto regimes running business side by side while the eight-day Western-led military campaign against the North African country is expected to last for months or even years, warned a Norwegian researcher on Saturday.

In an interview with Xinhua on Saturday morning in Oslo, Helge Luraas, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, said, “I believe the war in Libya will drag on for quite some time because the situation we have is locked in a stalemate and that looks to continue. I am afraid that the international coalition will have to enforce the no-fly zone actually for months, perhaps years.”

On what the ongoing military campaign against Libya will lead to, Luraas said that it looks difficult to dislodge Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power and that the Libyan leader seems to have superior forces on the ground.

Luraas expressed the opinion that as long as NATO is not willing to deploy its troops on the ground, “I doubt very much that the rebels will be able to make significant progress against Gaddafi.”

In that sense there could be a sort of division in Libya with de facto two regimes operating side by side, he added.

“But I am afraid that will not be a very stable situation either. Firstly, there will be accusations that the West intervened in order to get at Libya’s oil because most of Libya’s oil resources are in the eastern part, the rebel-held areas,” he said.
….
Luraas elaborated on how the war could affect the world economy, saying that the main impact of the war on the global economic situation is through its affect on crude oil prices.

“We have already seen over one and half million barrels of oil is taken away from the market every day. That had at least raised the prices ten dollars per barrel. I expect this to continue raising oil prices also because the market hasn’t completely factored in how long this delay, this stoppage of oil shipments might last,” he said.

He said that the military campaign is definitely not good at all for the European economies.

As those countries most affected by the financial and debt crises are close to the Mediterranean and Libya is on the southern coast of the Mediterranean, an exodus of refugees is expected to enter South European countries, which “will definitely put a strain on the system,” said Luraas.

The interest rates as a consequence of worldwide high inflation brought about by oil shortages in the market are already very high for countries like Portugal, Spain and Greece, and the situation for Italy could worsen, he added. Although Norway would benefit from the increase in oil prices, ordinary Norwegians, many of whom are heavily indebted, will be adversely affected by high interest rates caused by worldwide high inflation as a result of high oil prices, said the researcher.

There is an argument that oil shortages caused by the Libya campaign can be compensated by increased supplies from other countries, especially Saudi Arabia, which, according to Luraas, is the only country with spare capacity.

“And now we also have unrest spreading in Bahrain, that is very much affecting Saudi Arabia,” he said, the unrest could further spread to Iraq, and possibly to Iran as well after it had happened in Yemen.

====

Western Military Intervention In Libyan Can Lead To Another Iraq

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/26/c_13799170.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 26, 2011

Big question marks still hang over Libyan intervention

-“It’s very difficult if you don’t have what’s called a hammer and anvil strategy with ground troops complementing air power.”

London: A week after the military intervention in Libya began, a number of big question marks still hang over the multinational air campaign led by Western countries.

The first one is about the objective of the intervention. The March 17 United Nations resolution sets the goal of protecting Libyan civilians by all necessary means, but an intense debate has ensued over whether to force a leadership change there.

Pointing out the differing voices within NATO about whether the operation should oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Dr. Alexis Crow from London-based think tank Chatham House said the Western military bloc has to decide whether Libya is in “a tribal conflict or a war for democracy.”

Dr. Christian Le Miere, a research fellow in naval forces and maritime security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, another London-based think tank, said that although the stated intent of British policy is not necessarily a leadership change, Prime Minister David Cameron would not be too unhappy to see the back of Gaddafi.

However, in the wake of the controversial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, British politicians are wary of being associated with leadership changes in other countries, Le Miere added.

Another question mark is that what if Libyan government troops hide out in towns to protect themselves from airstrikes of the intervening parties, which have ruled out deploying ground troops in the Northern African country.

“It’s very difficult if you don’t have what’s called a hammer and anvil strategy with ground troops complementing air power,” Crow said.

Then she put forth another question: What if a stalemate took place, with government troops held off by air attacks but the rebels unable to make headway because of lack of arms? Such a scenario would turn Libya into another Iraq, she said.

Meanwhile, the use of force drains resources, and Britain is in no economic shape to continue a military intervention, Crow cautioned.

Command and control of the multinational operation is also a problem. NATO has agreed to take over command of efforts aimed at enforcing a no-fly zone and an arms embargo, but faces internal disputes on taking charge of offensive operations.

Military strikes against Libyan targets are still led by the United States, which Crow said has been drained “both materially and ideologically in terms of military intervention.”

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he has “every expectation that there will be a NATO command of the entire operation, not just the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.”

Representatives of intervening countries and international organizations are expected to meet in London next week to map out the political direction for operations in Libya.

====

NATO Targets Libyan Air Force, Army Ahead Of Invasion Plans

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/27/48029592.html

Voice of Russia
March 27, 2011

Coalition forces pound Gaddafi troops

In Libya coalition air forces pounded on Saturday morning troops loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi, deployed outside the capital Tripoli and also in Misrata and Adjdabiya.

Official Pentagon spokesman Darrin James said the airstrikes had helped the opposition forces to recapture earlier lost positions near Adjdabiya.
———————————————————————

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/27/48029192.html

Voice of Russia
March 27, 2011

France downs 5 planes, 2 choppers in Libya

In the past 24 hours French war jets have destroyed 5 Libyan planes and two helicopters.

According to French military reports, the destroyed aircraft were being prepared to used against opposition forces near the northwestern city of Misrata.

On March 17 the UN Security Council passed a resolution to establish no-fly zones over Libya. The joint operation against the forces of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, being carried since March 19 by Britain, France, the US, Belgium, Italy and several other countries to enforce the no-fly-zones, has so far failed to bring desired results, Russia’s military chief of staff, Nikolai Makarov, told Interfax on Saturday.
———————————————————————

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/27/c_13799609.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 27, 2011

French warplanes destroy several Libyan aircraft

PARIS: French warplanes involved in the coalition operation from Friday to Saturday have destroyed several fighter jets and helicopters belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s force, the French general staff said Saturday in a statement.

According to the statement, during the last 24-hour operation till Saturday, at least five Galeb fighters and two MI-35 helicopters were destroyed on the ground in the western city of Misrata and near Tripoli by the French air force.

The operation involved some 20 warplanes with the support of four refueling aircraft and an Awacs plane…said the statement.

In addition, a detachment consisting of four Mirage 2000-5 fighters from the French and Qatari air forces carried out a surveillance mission over Libya on Saturday, the statement added.

France increased its input into the coalition operation on March 20 by sending its battle group based on Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The battle group started its participation with a reconnaissance flight by a Rafale F3 on March 22.

====

White House, Pentagon, NATO, AFRICOM: Mechanics Of Libyan War

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/u-s-treats-the-libya-mission-like-a-hit-and-run-accident-1.352006

Ha’aretz
March 27, 2011

U.S. treats the Libya mission like a hit-and-run accident
The U.S. army hates the idea of being trapped in a third open-ended military confrontation. Defense Secretary Robert Gates would be happy to pass the job to NATO after the first strike
By Amir Oren

[Edited]

-A civil war is taking place in Libya – the regime of Muammar Gadhafi against rebels. The Obama administration prefers to call it “Gadhafi’s war against his own people.” There have certainly have been many civilian casualties, mainly in army attacks but also in rebel actions. That is deplorable but not unusual.
-Democratic presidents conducted the U.S. military campaigns in Korea (Harry Truman ) and Vietnam (Lyndon Johnson). Consequently their successors have sought to avoid similar entanglements and to condemn Republican presidents such as the Bushes, who dived headfirst into the empty swimming pools that are Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill Clinton, and now Obama, resorted to verbal gymnastics in their efforts to explain why Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and now Libya were different.
-The commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, U.S. Navy Adm. Sam Locklear, is hosting on the command ship, the USS Mount Whitney, senior naval officers from participating countries.
Locklear is commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command, Naples. He is subordinate to Adm. James Stavridis, who is both Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of the U.S. European Command, and Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of the U.S. African Command.
-Africom has no forces, with the exception of the Horn of Africa. Its headquarters are in Stuttgart because no African capital was willing to host a U.S. military command – a synonym for occupation, aggression and foreign rule by powers.
-Half of Stavridis’ authority comes from NATO, but the greater half is from Obama and from Gates, who before his retirement will advise Obama on his choice for the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Stavridis is a leading candidate. Like Gates, he has a university doctorate, as well as a Ph.D. in life sciences in political Washington. Gadhafi, if he acts in accordance with his own logic, not the logic attributed to him at the White House, will outlast them.

One of the directors of the CIA used to have a a sign hanging on his office wall that said that the greatest strategic surprise is when an adversary does something that is totally contrary to his own self-interest.” Had there been room for a footnote he surely would have added that the same applies when his own boss, the president, surprises everyone – and perhaps even himself – with such an act.

That former CIA chief is Robert Gates, now the U.S. Secretary of Defense (whose doctoral dissertation was on Sino-Soviet relations ). He arrived here on Thursday for a short visit centered on one more in an endless series of meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Gates flew here from Russia; in a few months he will retire after four and a half years in the position, under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

A civil war is taking place in Libya – the regime of Muammar Gadhafi against rebels. The Obama administration prefers to call it “Gadhafi’s war against his own people.” There have certainly have been many civilian casualties, mainly in army attacks but also in rebel actions. That is deplorable but not unusual. The Turkish army has killed many more civilians in operations against Kurdish separatists (who have also not quailed at killing noncombatants ). Turkey, of course, is an important member of NATO, and no levelheaded U.S. statesman would dare propose extending air cover to the Kurds in Diyarbakir.

Democratic presidents conducted the U.S. military campaigns in Korea (Harry Truman ) and Vietnam (Lyndon Johnson). Consequently their successors have sought to avoid similar entanglements and to condemn Republican presidents such as the Bushes, who dived headfirst into the empty swimming pools that are Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill Clinton, and now Obama, resorted to verbal gymnastics in their efforts to explain why Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and now Libya were different.

The difference is purportedly twofold, in being both limited and primarily multinational rather than American. Limited in terms of aims, targets, duration and the means employed; multinational in terms of both the participating forces and the way decisions are made.

Gates, who has served all U.S. presidents (except Clinton) since joining the CIA in the mid-1960s, has no such illusions. He hopes that by the end of his watch the U.S. army will have handed over responsibility to the Iraqi government – that is set to happen this summer – and the situation in Afghanistan will have improved.

While the defense secretary is only an advisor to the president and commander in chief, Obama cannot fire Gates, who has already announced his imminent departure, and must consult him. Gates did not walk out, but he did serve as a counterweight to those aides who urged Obama to take action in Libya.

If it is true that most of this pressure was from civilians – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and National Security Council member Samantha Power – this follows tradition in Washington, where soldiers tend to caution against military leaps into the unknown while civilians are itching for battle. In his memoir of the 1991 Gulf War, when he was deputy national security advisor, Gates wrote that in Washington the doves are in uniform. In the run-up to the decision on Libya it was the civilians who pushed for action and the Pentagon – led by Gates and Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were the brakes.

The compromise solution gave Clinton and Co. the operation while specifying limitations, for Gates and the top brass.

The officers’ biggest fear is of an overly loose, open-ended definition of the mission. For that reason it was decided at the outset that the command, and the headaches, would be handed off to someone else – presumably NATO, though that wasn’t clear – within “days, not weeks.”

NATO has no armed forces of its own. It has command headquarters that control the forces of member states. The commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, U.S. Navy Adm. Sam Locklear, is hosting on the command ship, the USS Mount Whitney, senior naval officers from participating countries.

Locklear is commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Force Command, Naples. He is subordinate to Adm. James Stavridis, who is both Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of the U.S. European Command, and Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of the U.S. African Command.
….
Missions from other regional commands were expropriated to it [AFRICOM] and it was given the entire continent with the exception of Egypt, which remained in the Central Command. Israel, which from the U.S. perspective is in the European Command, participates in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, together with Central Command members Egypt and Jordan and Africom members Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania. Planning and operations cross three separate commands.

Africom has no forces, with the exception of the Horn of Africa. Its headquarters are in Stuttgart because no African capital was willing to host a U.S. military command – a synonym for occupation, aggression and foreign rule by powers.
….
Last week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Stavridis was deploying NATO ships and aircraft in the central Mediterranean, “to monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries” for Gadhafi’s forces.

Half of Stavridis’ authority comes from NATO, but the greater half is from Obama and from Gates, who before his retirement will advise Obama on his choice for the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Stavridis is a leading candidate. Like Gates, he has a university doctorate, as well as a Ph.D. in life sciences in political Washington. Gadhafi, if he acts in accordance with his own logic, not the logic attributed to him at the White House, will outlast them.

====

Stop NATO News March 26, 2011

stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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1. NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Wounds Five

2. Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Nears 100

3. War Stories: Promoting The War In Afghanistan. Video And Text

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1. NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Wounds Five

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hnZOr04CBG_FJlccZfRH03mOzeOQ?docId=559bfcd34a9f45ba9946eab5c1d6ce00

Associated Press
March 26, 2011

Afghan official: NATO airstrike kills 7 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan: A provincial governor in Afghanistan’s dangerous south said Saturday that seven civilians were…killed when a NATO helicopter fired on two vehicles believed to be carrying Taliban fighters.
….
In the aftermath of the strike, coalition troops found bodies of civilians in the wreckage, NATO said. It did not released the number of the dead and wounded.

A statement issued by the Helmand provincial governor’s office said seven people — two men, two women and three children — were killed when coalition forces fired on the suspects. Those killed were in another vehicle traveling near the targeted ones. Five others Afghan civilians — a man, woman and three children — were wounded, the governor’s office said.

Helmand provincial Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal condemned the civilian casualties.

The deaths came only two days after the international coalition…killed two civilians in the eastern province of Khost….

At least four other people were killed in three separate attacks in southern Afghanistan on Friday, including a child, a NATO soldier, and two civilians on a motorcycle.
….
A coalition soldier died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan, NATO announced. The international force provided no other details about the casualty, pending notification of next of kin.

The death brings to 26 of NATO service members who have died so far this month in Afghanistan.
….
Germany’s Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere visited Afghanistan on Saturday, his first trip to the battleground since taking the job this month. German lawmakers Friday endorsed sending up to 300 crew members to man surveillance planes in Afghanistan — a move meant to take pressure off NATO allies enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.
….

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Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Nears 100

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/26/c_13799373.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 26, 2011

NATO soldier killed in insurgent attack in S Afghanistan

Kabul: A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed Saturday in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan’s restive southern region, the military alliance said in a statement.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan today.” the statement said.

However, the brief statement did not reveal the nationality of the victim, saying “It’s the ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from the U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern Afghan region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

Saturday’s casualty brings to 99 the number of NATO service members who have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

====

3. War Stories: Promoting The War In Afghanistan. Video And Text

http://rt.com/usa/news/promoting-war-libya-usa/

RT
March 26, 2011

War Stories: Promoting the war in Afghanistan

The Pentagon, NATO, and others fight an information war to go alongside the real ones in the battlefield. This was is to sell the reality of a conflict where people are dying and billions are being spent to a public back home.

“War is hell and that’s why you only go to war when it’s in the absolute interest to your national security,” said Matthew Hoh, a former US State Department official.

That harsh reality of war is one reason why coalition forces do battle with an information war.

They fight it alongside the real one playing out on the ground in Afghanistan, for example, so the war is not widely known by milestones such as surpassing the Soviet campaign there, becoming the longest war in American history, or costing an exceptional amount of money.

But instead, is a story of hope and reconstruction. That’s the NATO version told, for example, in a promotional film given to international journalists at the annual NATO summit.

Public relations efforts to sell the war are nothing new. And commander of the NATO forces – the United States – spends billions to sell its version of the war to the world through PR at home and abroad, state-sponsored media, and psychological operations.

For example, a leaked classified CIA document revealed a plan for allies.
“Astrategic communication program across NATO troop contributors that taps into the key concerns of specific Western European audiences that could provide a buffer if apathy becomes opposition.”

To fight declining public support for the war from France and Germany the CIA tapped Afghan women as the perfect messenger to make an emotional appeal about the Taliban and their aspirations for the future, as a woman does in the NATO video.

Some media has picked up on this message, too.

A TIME magazine cover equated pulling out US troops from Afghanistan with brutality against women when it pictured an Afghan woman with her nose cut off along with the headline “What happens if we leave.”

“The thing to remember about this poor girl – this happened while US troops were there,” recalled Hoh.

And some like feminist writer Jill Filipovic argue these PR tactics are an assault on women, too.

“I think it absolutely exploits the women’s issue and exploits women,” said Filipovic, editor of the blog Feministe.

“They certainly weren’t interested in women’s rights in that region until it became strategically important to them in the war on terror,” she said.
And it is not clear efforts like this even work.

“It’s impossible to tell and I would venture to say it’s been ineffective,” said Jake Diliberto, a veteran and critic of the Afghan war.
Maybe US defense secretary Robert Gates would agree. As his recent NATO speech can attest, he’s now resorting to scolding allies for getting ready to abandon the war.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton said the US is losing when it comes to broadcasting the message on state-funded TV stations, “and unfortunately we are paying a big price for it,” she told members of Congress.

Even though the US has spent more than $1 billion dollars alone to broadcast its message to the Arab world where it’s at war through the state-funded news network Al Hurra, the network has locked in just a half percent of viewership.

All showing perhaps you can’t sell the war unless you have a buyer.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 26

March 26, 2011 1 comment

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Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

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Reports: U.S. Forces On Ground In Libya, Invasion Can Follow Next Month

War For Oil And Gas: NATO Ground War In Libya Inevitable

U.S. Army, CIA In Libya For 12 Days Already: Former Intelligence Officers

Obama Boasts Of Lopsided Victory In Libya

U.S., NATO To Arm Libyan Insurgents

Western Ground Operations Qualify As Occupying Libya: Russian Envoy

Libya: Western Strikes Continue As Hundreds Die, Thousands Flee. Video And Text

Pentagon Plans Aircraft For Ground Combat Role In Libya

Video And Text: Libya, NATO Blockade Under NATO Command

After Iraq, West Turns Libya Into Black Hole With More To Follow

Croatia To Join NATO’s Libyan War Effort

Albania: NATO Patrols Adriatic To Halt “Arms To Libya”

Over 350 Western Aircraft Involved In Libyan Onslaught

Ivory Coast: France, U.S. Prepare Next Libya-Style Intervention

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Reports: U.S. Forces On Ground In Libya, Invasion Can Follow Next Month

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=126657

Sofia News Agency
March 26, 2011

US Said to Have Launched Land Operation in Libya as NATO Takes Over

US forces are rumored to be already present on the ground in Libya, despite official sources saying the States has no intention to carry out a land operation.

This information was released by American channel Fox News, referring to Reserve Colonel David Hand, according to whom the Pentagon is not carrying out massive air strikes against Libya since there are US forces already present on the ground.

American soldiers have been in Libya for 12 days, according to Hant, whose statements were confirmed by US intelligence Colonel Tony Scheffer.

At the same time, Reuters reports that within 72 hours NATO is expected to completely take over the command on the operation carried out officially to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.

The center of command is expected to be the Turkish military base in Izmir. The operation head will be Canadian general Charles Bouchard.

Earlier RIA Novosti had reported that the international coalition carrying out the Libya operation is “actively developing a plan” for a land invasion set to start end of April.

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War For Oil And Gas: NATO Ground War In Libya Inevitable

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/26/48012462.html

Voice of Russia
March 26, 2011

NATO to launch ground operation in Libya
Alexander Vatutin

-“We’re witnessing an attempt to seize oil and gas reserves by means of force. Apparently, coalition forces are pursuing targets other than humanitarian operations, ending government attacks on civilians or removal of Gaddafi. What they are after is oil and gas.”

Coalition forces continue to strike at military facilities in Libya. In the past 24 hours they have carried out more than 150 assault flights and fired 16 cruise missiles and 4 remote-controlled air bombs, targeting the artillery, mechanized divisions and command infrastructure of forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, sources in Gaddafi’s entourage report 114 civilian deaths as a result of the bombardments.
….
As a civil war in Libya gathers pace, coalition forces have failed so far to deplete Gaddafi’s strength for quelling the rebels. The more so since the coalition commanders are at odds over their current goals, except for the departure of Muammar Gaddafi.

Even though the operation in Libya will be managed by NATO, the bulk of responsibility for the bombardments rests with the United States.
….
In the meantime, NATO has suggested the possibility of a ground operation in Libya unless Gaddafi chooses to surrender.

The military are guided by the Second World War saying “Put on the Ground” which means you can never expect to win unless you reach the enemy’s positions on the ground.

If Gaddafi doesn’t go, a ground operation will begin at the end of April or early May. The United States is reported to have sent four thousand marines to the Mediterranean to back Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.

An expert with the Russian Strategic Research Institute, Azhdar Kurtov, told a Voice of Russia correspondent that a ground operation is inevitable.

A ground operation is bound to take place irrespective of whether Gaddafi will go or stay, he says. Western politicians keep saying that it cannot be avoided under the circumstances and that air strikes alone will not be enough. Gaddafi has provided his men with firearms and heavy weapons. And even though they are backed by NATO, opposition forces have failed so far to win any major victories over government troops.

Coalition forces are also set on establishing control over oil and gas reserves, expert Azhdar Kurtov says.

“We’re witnessing an attempt to seize oil and gas reserves by means of force. Apparently, coalition forces are pursuing targets other than humanitarian operations, ending government attacks on civilians or removal of Gaddafi. What they are after is oil and gas.

“This seems to be the only reason for absence of accord on the purposes of the military operation in Libya. France and Germany are demonstrating clearly different approaches. President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned Arab leaders against carrying out repressions against their own people.

“Otherwise,” he said, “they will follow Muammar Gaddafi. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in his turn that this kind of dispute is dangerous and fraught with far-reaching circumstances for the Arab world.

“Apparently, international disputes should be settled by negotiation.

“Libyans do need help but should settle their current domestic crisis on their own.”

====

U.S. Army, CIA In Libya For 12 Days Already: Former Intelligence Officers

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/26/48012234.html

Voice of Russia
March 26, 2011

US Army, CIA officers in Libya for 12 days already

The US TV channel Fox News quotes a Retired Army Colonel David Hunt as saying that US Army and CIA officers infiltrated Libya 12 days ago.

Another interviewee, an Intelligence Service Lieutenant Colonel Tony Schaeffer, said David Hunt was perfectly correct.

When commenting on the White House statements to the contrary, the two officers said it was regular practice to hush up things like that.

Meanwhile the US President Barack Obama offered assurances earlier today that Washington would not use the armed forces to topple the political regime in Libya.

But according to various unofficial sources, the western coalition is actively drawing up a ground operation plan.

According to the latest reports, more than 110 people have died in the last three days of airstrikes in Libya.

====

Obama Boasts Of Lopsided Victory In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/26/c_13799504.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 26, 2011

Obama says military mission in Libya succeeding

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the military mission in Libya was “clear and focused” and achieving success.

Obama asserted in his weekly radio and Internet address that the U.S.-led coalition was succeeding in its mission by taking out Libya’s air defenses and preventing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from “advancing across Libya.”

Obama said it was in the U.S. national interest as well as U.S. responsibility to act in Libya.

“Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused,” Obama told his audience, saying the United States and its allies were protecting Libyan civilians and had put in place a no-fly zone over Libya and other measures to prevent “further atrocities.”
….
“And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners,” he said, stressing that “this is how the international community should work — more nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding peace and security.” [With only 13 of 192 nations in the United Nations involved.]

NATO on Thursday agreed to assume command of the Libya no-fly zone from the United States, but remained undecided over whether to take on broader responsibility, including airstrikes on ground assets in the North African country.
….
[Obama] will update the American people Monday evening on the events unfolding in Libya, including the ongoing military actions, the transition to NATO command and control and his policy for the future of the operation, according to the White House.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are scheduled to hold a classified briefing on Libya next Wednesday for lawmakers.

====

U.S., NATO To Arm Libyan Insurgents

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1118959/1/.html

Agence France-Presse
March 26, 2011

US, NATO consider arming Libyan opposition

WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies are considering supplying weapons to the Libyan opposition, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

President Barack Obama’s administration believe the UN resolution that authorised international intervention in Libya has the “flexibility” to allow such assistance, it reported, citing unnamed US and European officials.

According to The Post, Gene Cretz, the recently withdrawn US ambassador to Libya, said administration officials were having “the full gamut” of discussions on “potential assistance we might offer, both on the non-lethal and the lethal side.”
….
France meanwhile backed training and arming the rebels, the report added.

Obama will address the nation about his Libya strategy Monday, the White House announced Friday, as coalition forces launched a fresh wave of air and missile strikes against the Libyan regime’s forces.

Allied warplanes carried out raids late Friday on the town of Zliten, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of Tripoli, and in the western el Watiya region, Libyan state television reported.

A military site in Tripoli’s eastern Tajura suburb was also in flames after three major explosions rocked the district.

According to the White House announcement, Obama will speak to the nation from the National Defense University in Washington at 7:30 pm (2320 GMT) to update Americans on the campaign so far, on plans to turn over control to NATO, and “our policy going forward.”

On Friday, the US president also briefed key congressional leaders about the operation.

====

Western Ground Operations Qualify As Occupying Libya: Russian Envoy

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110326/163216284.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 27, 2011

Military ground operations qualify as occupying Libya – Russia NATO envoy

Moscow: Any foreign military ground operations in Libya will be considered as occupying the country, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Saturday.

“Holding [military] ground operations will be qualified as occupying Libya and that directly contradicts the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council,” Rogozin told RIA Novosti.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, also permitting “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

The operation to enforce the no-fly zone, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, is being conducted jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

Rogozin said that on March 29, the Russian-NATO Council will meet in order “to confirm the limits that the UN Security Council has placed on the participants of the conflict.”

Western warplanes have flown more than 300 sorties over the North African country and fired 162 Tomahawk missiles in the UN-mandated mission. Libyan state media outlets have reported that dozens of people have been killed by the airstrikes.

====

Libya: Western Strikes Continue As Hundreds Die, Thousands Flee. Video And Text

http://rt.com/news/libya-nato-refugees-victims/

RT
March 26, 2011

Libyan operation continues as hundreds die and thousands flee

Coalition forces leave Colonel Gaddafi’s air defense in tatters, but on the ground tensions remain high; according to reports, at least 114 people have been killed in the first four days of the operation while 300,000 have already fled the country.

Saturday was marked by the rebels gaining control over Ajdabiya. The first major turnaround in the uprising, this victory could not have been achieved without the international air strikes on Gaddafi’s troops.

On Friday, British and French planes destroyed Gaddafi’s artillery battery and armored vehicles located in and around Ajdabiya.

Saturday, on the outskirts of Misrata, allied aviation initiated an attack on forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi that had been shelling the city occupied by rebels.

The US military command claims allied forces are focusing on ruining the communications and supply lines between Gaddafi’s military units, not bombing the cities themselves and risking the lives of civilians, AP reports.

The question of civilian deaths on the ground remains a major issue. Libyan state television is continuously reporting that the number of civilian deaths stands at more than a hundred, while people in the capital city remain particularly worried.

In Tripoli people woke up to fresh explosions amid fears of more bloodshed on Saturday, as three explosions rocked the area in and around the suburbs. For the third straight night the suburb of Tajura was hit. Also, the town of Zliten which is 160 kilometers to the East of Tripoli was hit with air strikes, as well as the town of Ajdabia. The coalition air force insists that it is targeting important facilities of Gaddafi’s air force.­

At a short overnight press conference, the Libyan government’s spokesperson announced that at least 114 people have been killed and 445 injured in the first 4 days of the coalition’s week long series of air strikes. It was unclear whether these deaths and injuries are actually civilians or fighters, and ascertaining exactly who is who on the casualty list remains a problem. The people are frightened of increasing death tolls among civilians and soldiers alike.

The American military has announced that the coalition has fired 16 Tomahawk missiles and flown 153 air sorties in the last 24 hours. The focal point has been the town of Ajdabiya which is just a short distance outside Benghazi.

This has helped rebel forces actually enter the town, which is a significant gain on their behalf, as they had been struggling for over a week to recapture some of the towns in the East that they had lost. But the road to Tripoli is lined with government forces, and the fight on the ground is intense.

NATO to take over coalition leadership

­Meanwhile, NATO is gearing up to replace the US in leading the campaign aimed to protect civilians. The fundamental question as NATO moves forward to lead the coalition is whether or not it will increase the number of casualties on the ground.

Rebel fighters don’t care much who takes over the command and control of the coalition air-strikes; they want more air-strikes, more weapons, and more international community involvement. However, the rebel leaders understand that the wider the coalition is, the more countries will have a say in terms of how to move forward, resulting in the risk that decisiveness and the use of force could be compromised. As such, the opposition leaders would prefer to see a much smaller coalition in terms of the leadership structure.

It is assumed NATO will formally take over control and enforcement of the no-fly on Sunday night. NATO itself, particularly France, is very uneasy about the change, and has voiced concerns about taking over the leadership role.

­Thousands of refugees flee the country every day ­Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in the region has not improved much so far.

Tens of thousands of people are continuing to flee the country each day, looking for safety and better living conditions.

According to the UN, over 300,000 people have already left the country.
The main flow of refugees is occurring on Libya’s western border with Tunisia, however many people have also escaped to Egypt.

People want to stay in bordering countries to see what happens next, waiting for things to settle down.

Families fleeing from Benghazi say the humanitarian situation in the city is critical and claim they decided to leave not because their homes had been destroyed, but simply because they did not feel safe anymore.

Security has been strengthened in many Egyptian cities on the border with Libya, with soldiers and tanks patrolling the streets and providing law and order. It remains unclear whether the army’s presence is related to the military operation in Libya or the political unrest in Egypt itself.

Also, while several weeks ago the Libyan-Egyptian border was being enforced only by the Egyptian side, now it is being patrolled by both countries; there are representatives of the so-called National Police on the Libyan side.

Thus, it may seem that the opposition is gaining some control over the country and slowly implementing some discipline.

However, judging by the number of refugees, the situation within the country has not improved much and the goal of the military operation, which claimed making the lives of the civilians safer as its objective, has not yet been fulfilled.

====

Pentagon Plans Aircraft For Ground Combat Role In Libya

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/U/US_US_LIBYA?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Associated Press
March 25, 2011

Pentagon may add air power in Libya conflict
Robert Burns

WASHINGTON: Even as other nations begin taking a larger role in the international air assault mission in Libya, the Pentagon is considering adding Air Force gunships and other attack aircraft that are better suited for tangling with Libyan ground forces in contested urban areas like Misrata, a senior Pentagon official said Friday.

====

Video And Text: Libya, NATO Blockade Under NATO Command

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/libya-video/8407148/Royal-Navy-blockades-Libyan-coast.html

Daily Telegraph
March 25, 2010

Royal Navy blockades Libyan coast

Captain Karl Evans says the Royal Navy is taking part in a Nato blockade to stop arms and mercenaries entering Libya.

Captain Evans announced today that Nato’s Unified Protector operation to enforce the Libyan arms embargo had been launched.

The main focus of the operation is a naval blockade….

It will be no easy task. The coastline controlled by Col Gaddafi’s forces is approximatley 600 miles long, the equivalent of Dover to Aberdeen.

====

After Iraq, West Turns Libya Into Black Hole With More To Follow

http://rt.com/news/libya-iraq-gaddafi-middle-east/

RT
March 25, 2011

Libya and Iraq turning into “black holes”

-[T]he internal uprising against Gaddafi which started in February developed into armed aggression against Libya by March, and God knows what it will be like by April….
-[U]nlike the peaceful protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya’s uprising was armed, and quite possibly relied on some external support….There are witnesses who confirm that the uprising was pre-planned, that groups of youths attacked police and local authorities’ buildings in different towns at the same time. But the crucial role was played by the fact that Gaddafi secured the support of a large share of the population, especially in the country’s capital and in the West.
-Therefore it is not about Gaddafi’s Western partners suddenly becoming appalled at his being cruel to the rebels. Western powers simply took advantage of the situation, i.e. a temporary weakness of the Libyan leader, to back up the uprising.
-The recipe for intervening in internal affairs of countries in disfavor is basically the same. The parallels with Iraq are obvious. Aggression was preceded by a media attack whose goal was to justify the necessity to overthrow the ruling regime.
-As soon as it became clear that insurgents have lost the battle, the UN Security Council was called up to pass Resolution 1973 whose ample wording in their essence granted freedom to the anti-Libyan coalition and resulted in the country being bombed. On top of all the similarities with the situation in Iraq, one more thing might get similar – the end result. Libya may cease to exist de facto, the way Iraq did. And both Libya and Iraq would degrade into “black holes.”
-Leaders of the anti-Libyan coalition have gone too far to back down. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that Gaddafi’s regime can be overthrown by air strikes alone. The hopes that insurgents would do the dirty job are failing despite active external support, bombings, and NATO troops already on Libya’s territory.
-Iraq has been done away with, Libya is being done away with right now as we are watching, and Iran has long since been waiting for its turn.
-Outbursts of people’s anger have recently taken place in Syria, which in my opinion is among the candidates for the ‘black list’.

Gumer Isayev, Middle East expert and faculty professor at St. Petersburg State University, talks to Gazeta.ru about causes behind the conflict in Libya, Jamahiriya, the Green Book, and Russia’s stand in regard to the Libyan conflict.

West Takes Advantage of the Situation

Q: Being an expert on the Middle East, how do you assess the recent events in Libya? What’s actually happening there, is it a “clash of civilizations”, a “crusade’, an attempt to protect democracy in Libya, or an attempt to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime orchestrated by some countries, or perhaps a war for Libya’s natural resources, or still something else?

A: Any attempts to explain the events in Libya drawing on the abstract concepts produced by the West – such as for instance the “clash of civilizations” – are doomed to fail just as much as the attempts to come up with a strictly rational explanation. Revolutions, overthrows, and uprisings are irrational by nature and often develop in an unpredictable manner which does not fit any conventional theories. The events in Libya unrolled rapidly and were shaped by a number of factors, and while both the Egyptian and Tunisian presidents gave up quite quickly, Muammar Gaddafi made it clear right away that he will fight to the end.

Consequently, the internal uprising against Gaddafi which started in February developed into armed aggression against Libya by March, and God knows what it will be like by April…

Obviously, the “uprising” in Libya was inspired by popular unrest in the neighboring Arab countries.

But unlike the peaceful protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya’s uprising was armed, and quite possibly relied on some external support.

The revolution bug appears to have bitten a large number of Arab
countries, but in Libya it seems to have developed into an acute condition. There are witnesses who confirm that the uprising was pre-planned, that groups of youths attacked police and local authorities’ buildings in different towns at the same time. But the crucial role was played by the fact that Gaddafi secured the support of a large share of the population, especially in the country’s capital and in the West. There were no massive protests in Tripoli, and the rebellious East has demonstrated the breakaway ambitions of Cyrenaica that Libyan Jamahiriya had already dealt with before (although the number of rebels there did not exceed a few thousand). Gaddafi wisely waited out the critical phase and went on to some successful attempts to re-unite the country but faced serious counteraction from the West.

The attempt to overthrow Gaddafi by “global effort” has been quite cynical.

Libya’s business partners, including Italy, France and other European countries, which until recently were signing multi-million dollar contracts with Gaddafi, now all of a sudden claimed his regime to be illegitimate and openly took the rebels’ side. It’s no secret that Gaddafi has ceased to be a thorn the West’s side over the last decade as he gave up a number of notorious projects related to development of weapons of mass destruction, let the U.S. oil companies in on the Libyan market, paid compensation for the Lockerbie bombing, and started liberalizing the domestic economy.

Nevertheless, the colonel didn’t entirely “mend his ways”: the Americans got hold only of a small share of Libya’s oil reserves; the Lockerbie bombing, though paid for, was never admitted guilt for, and the project to privatize the state oil production company also fell through.

Gaddafi was actively promoting the idea of African unity and a single currency pegged to gold, and he heavily criticized the West’s policies in Asia and Africa. Removal of sanctions in 2003 stimulated economic growth and turned Libya in a rapidly developing economy capable of making Gaddafi’s dream come true, i.e. turning Libya into the leading power of the region.

Therefore it is not about Gaddafi’s Western partners suddenly becoming appalled at his being cruel to the rebels. Western powers simply took advantage of the situation, i.e. a temporary weakness of the Libyan leader, to back up the uprising.

An unstable situation in Libya is in the European and U.S. hawks’ opinion better than a strong and ambitious Gaddafi. That is why the desperate West started to stir up the almost-gone fire of the civil war. And whereas for the United States, this war would be across the ocean, Europe might harvest some big problems ensuing from it in the very near future. And this tells us that in fact European leaders followed their U.S. counterparts.

Q: How do you explain the fact it wasn’t the U.S. but France who was the first to bomb Libya? Is it simply part of the West’s overall campaign against Gaddafi’s regime, or maybe France has its own interests and accounts to square?

A: The United States is already running two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq. The incumbent president, Barack Obama, came to power surfing a wave of anti-war sentiment in American society. He positioned himself as a man to dramatically change U.S. foreign policy and withdraw the troops from Iraq.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in anticipation of his achievements.

Therefore Obama hardly stands a chance of convincing the voters that the United States must get involved in yet another war. According to recent polls, the majority of Americans do not support the idea of the U.S. intervening with Libya’s affairs in any way.

Voters won’t forgive their president any more losses. It was no coincidence that as soon as a report of an F-15 fighter aircraft being shot down was released, Robert Gates hurried to make a statement that the active phase of the operation is nearing its end. The U.S. fear getting involved in a war for the same reason Germany had to give up aggression. They fear the public reaction. But that seems to be of no concern to Sarkozy who was never hiding the special nature of his relations with the United States.

While the U.S. is resting in the shade, Sarkozy is willing to do the dirty work and take the risks as he has nothing to lose.

The French president’s ratings are quite low, and he badly needs a “little glorious victory.” Neither is Sarkozy concerned with the fact that destabilizing Libya will send off new waves of illegal immigrants straight to France. “After us, the deluge” – this famous French by-word aptly characterizes the president’s demeanor.

Under current circumstances, it would be appropriate to recall the events of 1956 when the U.K., France, and Israel attacked Egypt attempting to win back the Suez Canal nationalized by Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein. The initiative belonged to Israel while France and the U.K played peacemakers while breaking into Egypt’s territory. The United States stayed out of this, not wishing to mar their reputation with the Arab world.

Q: The fact that the Libyan conflict has been broken into by the Western powers means that it’s altogether a different story than that in Tunisia or Egypt. Can we say that Libya is going through what Afghanistan and Iraq did? Can we draw parallels between Muammar Gaddafi and, for instance, Saddam Hussein?

A: The recipe for intervening in internal affairs of countries in disfavor is basically the same. The parallels with Iraq are obvious. Aggression was preceded by a media attack whose goal was to justify the necessity to overthrow the ruling regime. In case of Iraq, Hussein’s regime was accused of secretly developing weapons of mass destruction, and the media unrolled a massive misinformation campaign. It only needs be to recall Colin Powell flashing photographs of Iraq’s alleged secret WMD facilities and mobile laboratories to media cameras.

In the case of Libya, the focus was made on the “bloodthirstiness” of the regime, and the story of dealing cruelly with peaceful protesters circled the world. The global community was thus prepared for the news of air strikes and bombings.

As soon as it became clear that insurgents have lost the battle, the UN Security Council was called up to pass Resolution 1973 whose ample wording in their essence granted freedom to the anti-Libyan coalition and resulted in the country being bombed. On top of all the similarities with the situation in Iraq, one more thing might get similar – the end result. Libya may cease to exist de facto, the way Iraq did. And both Libya and Iraq would degrade into “black holes.”

….
Q: What is your forecast for the situation in Libya?

A: Leaders of the anti-Libyan coalition have gone too far to back down. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that Gaddafi’s regime can be overthrown by air strikes alone. The hopes that insurgents would do the dirty job are failing despite active external support, bombings, and NATO troops already on Libya’s territory.

Libya’s East is now attempting to set up some governing bodies with the help from the West, but it hasn’t gone far beyond some loud statements which is only indicative of the poor organization of the insurgents, poor leadership, and absence of political goals except just one – to overthrow Gaddafi. At best, the insurgents might be able to win back a few towns in the East and set up an insurgent state there with support from the West. Things in the way of a military land campaign are disagreements among anti-Libyan powers, fear of assured casualties, and public opinion in Europe and the United States.

Besides, aggression from outside has inspired increased support of Libyans for their leader.

It is true that the most adamant opponents of the regime continue to fight, but those who used to waver, and even those who once supported the uprising, realize now that the changes they hoped for might turn into a bloody anarchy and a replay of Iraq’s scenario.

Q: This year has been marked by public turmoil in many Arab countries. First, Tunisia, then Egypt, now Libya, and the Libyan conflict is drawing in more states. Your colleague Igor Alekseev in his interview to Gazeta.ru made a suggestion that the events in Egypt signified the end of the “concept of the third world.” Would you agree with this opinion?

A: Indeed, considering the large scale of the turmoil in the Arab world, we may say that these processes bear signs of a new paradigm evolving in global politics. Obviously, Western powers wish to keep their position in the changing world. The United States is trying to curb the social protest by feeding the Arab world with a new “democratization” concept which, as it turns out, requires overthrowing “dictatorships.”

The Arab world had a similar experience after World War II when the system of colonies built up by Britain and France collapsed. Yet, with the help of the U.S. policymakers, Middle East had been fully managed by the end of 20th century. Only a handful of states remained there which didn’t fit the prescribed patterns and tried to maintain an active political stand – Iraq, Iran, and Libya. Iraq has been done away with, Libya is being done away with right now as we are watching, and Iran has long since been waiting for its turn.

Iran and Libya are a particular threat since they have been promoting a different way of development and tried to pursue alternative projects.

The West would celebrate a glorious victory, should it succeed in deflecting the powerful impetus generated by today’s turmoil in the Middle East from solving the problems in this region and instead make use of it to overthrow the ruling regimes of Libya and Iran. Disrupting the situation in the Middle East may once again weaken this region and impede its further development.

Q: What could you say about the situation in other Arab states hit by turmoil and violence this year, I mean Yemen and Bahrain? Where else might similar events yet take place? Would this chain of uprisings be contained within the boundaries of the Arab Third World countries or could it spread beyond? Do you think it true that the modern world experiences a deep conflict between Western and Islamic civilizations?

A: Despite many differences, Arab countries have a common history, religion, language. Events in Tunisia are expressed in protests in all the Middle East. But it’s hard to forecast, because in every region there are their hidden problems and conflicts, which in certain conditions may provoke political tempests. Outbursts of people’s anger have recently taken place in Syria, which in my opinion is among the candidates for the ‘black list’.

As for the conflict of civilizations, I dislike such theories.

Civilizations should be primarily viewed as cultural-historic communities, as it was designed by the classics of civilization theories. The Muslim world is divided at the moment and does not have clear guides – it’s not a civilization in the full political meaning of the world, and economically it’s included into the Western system. Support of certain Arab states for the aggression against Libya says that the lines of rent are not between the civilizations.

Q: What should be Russia’s position in the Libyan conflict? From the historic viewpoint? From the political viewpoint? From the economic viewpoint?

A: Russia’s position on Libya is very important, as a landmark, as a litmus test. If it’s a pro-Western vector of development of the situation and rejection of the ambitions of the great power, then Russia’s timid policy in Libya is clear. By being timid I mean Russia’s abstention in the UN Security Council when voting for Resolution 1973.

Instead of timid you can say indifferent or impassive – the idea will not change.

If we speak about more serious ambitions than participating in Eurovision, Russia needs to build up a serious Middle East strategy. In the above mentioned 1956 the USSR condemned aggression against Egypt and in polite and diplomatic messages promised London, Paris and Tel-Aviv serious problems. The war ended immediately, and the USSR entrenched itself in the Middle East.

In contemporary history Russia has already tried to decide on its strategy. At the beginning of the 1990s, the USSR-Russia made a strong step in its political orientation by supporting the UN resolution against Iraq (1990) and Libya (1992). Despite certain ‘outbursts’ related first of all to Russian companies’ successful contracts in Arab countries, we did not get any definite Middle East strategy in the end.

I am not talking about messiah tasks, like Americans set forward for themselves as ‘promoting democracy’. Russia could have been far more effectively promoting the interests of Russian companies, if we speak of pragmatism.

The paradox situation has been shown in the newspapers, when strong criticism of the ‘dictator regime’ in Libya is suddenly finished by words about ‘Russia’s huge losses in Libya in case of Gaddafi’s overthrow’. Even inside the tandem there are different opinions about the events in Libya. Isn’t it a sign of Russia still not having an articulate foreign policy in the Middle East?

====

Croatia To Join NATO’s Libyan War Effort

http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/General_News/2011-03-25/18155/Croatia_to_aid_NATO%B4s_take-over_of_no-fly_zone_in_Libya

Croatian Times
March 25, 2011

Croatia to aid NATO´s take-over of no-fly zone in Libya

NATO is taking over the control of the no-fly zone in Libya, with Croatians possibly aiding the operation from command centers in Italy and Belgium.

It is unlikely that Croatia will participate with ships and planes in the “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” a joint action to enforce the UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire with the aim to prevent civilian casualties in Libya.
….
Croatia’s minister of Defense Davor Bozinovic said that Croatia supports the joint action against the dictator, the daily Jutarnji List writes.

====

Albania: NATO Patrols Adriatic To Halt “Arms To Libya”

http://english.albeu.com/albania-news/nato-controls-the-albania-s-marine-waters/32900/

Albeu (Albania)
March 25, 2011

NATO controls Albania’s marine waters

NATO has stepped up [activity in] the sea routes of Albania to prevent the supply of arms to the regime of Libyan President Muammar Gadaffi.

The INA news agency has learned that in international waters is captured a suspected weapons shipment from Albania, but did not specify that the boat was from Albania or China.
….

====

Over 350 Western Aircraft Involved In Libyan Onslaught

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=143459

Azeri Press Agency
March 25, 2011

More than 350 aircraft involved in Libya campaign

Baku: More than 350 aircraft have been involved in the military operations against the Gaddafi regime in Libya, APA reports quoting AFP.

More than half the 350 aircraft involved belong to the United States, said head of the joint committee of chiefs of staff, US Vice Admiral William Gortney.

Gortney called on the Libyan army not to resist and to dismiss Gaddafi’s orders.

The coalition’s military operations in Libya began on March 19.

====

Ivory Coast: France, U.S. Prepare Next Libya-Style Intervention

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=143490

Azeri Press Agency
March 26, 2011

UN Resolution Seeks Ivory Coast Sanctions

[As the propaganda mills churn out canards about military helicopters from Belarus, small arms from Zimbabawe and, most recently, mercenaries from Libya sent to aid Laurent Gbagbo’s government.]

Baku – APA. France and Nigeria have proposed a U.N. resolution that seek sanctions against Ivory Coast’s incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, who is resisting pressure to give up power, APA reports quoting “The Voice of America”.

The measure calls for Mr. Gbagbo to immediately step down, stop using force against civilians and forbids the heavy use of weapons in the main city of Abidjan. It also seeks sanctions against Mr. Gbagbo’s closest advisors.

The French ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, warned during a Security Council meeting on Friday that Abidjan is “very close to civil war.”

Abidjan has been the scene of intense fighting between supporters of Mr. Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara….

The U.N. refugee agency said Friday up to one million people, most of them from Abidjan, have fled their homes. Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming blamed the exodus on “fears of an all-out war.”

A coalition of 32 international groups has warned that the humanitarian situation had reached a “critical level.”

In Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Council agreed on Friday to form an independent, international commission to investigate reports of human rights violations in Ivory Coast.

The Security Council is expected to take up the Ivory Coast resolution next week.

The United Nations says at least 462 people have been killed in violence since the crisis began.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 25, 2011

March 26, 2011 1 comment

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Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

Updates on Libyan war: March 25

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1. The Hidden Alliance – Sweden’s Secret NATO Association

2. Germany Sends 300 Airman To Afghanistan To Help NATO In Libya

3. NATO Continues Integration Of Ukraine

4. Prompt Global Strike: U.S. Plans New Hypersonic Missile Test

5. Arctic: U.S. Submarines, NATO Allies Prepare For Confrontation With Russia And China

6. Pakistani Opposition Party To Obstruct NATO Convoys Over Drone Killings

7. New Jersey Base New Home Of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan

8. NATO Trains Kuwaiti Armed Forces

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The Hidden Alliance – Sweden’s Secret NATO Association

http://www.stockholmnews.com/more.aspx?NID=6948

Stockholm News
March 24, 2011

Secret military unit flew NATO agents
David Jonasson

Sweden had a top secret aircraft unit, which was trained for war up until 1997. The so far unknown “Air Unit 66″ exercised with NATO members Norway and Denmark, according to a new book about Sweden during the Cold War.

In outward appearance, Sweden stood alone and non-aligned during the Cold War, which lasted between 1945 and 1991. Official statements declared that the country would be neutral in war. But there never was a defence plan based on neutrality. In fact, there were a series of top secret collaboration with the Nordic NATO members Norway and Denmark.

This shows a new book, ‘Den dolda alliansen – Sveriges hemliga Nato-förbindelser’ (The Hidden Alliance – Sweden’s Secret NATO Association), by Michael Holmström, journalist at the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

A security guarantee from the United States was that the U.S. Marines had units that could be deployed in the northern or southern Sweden. The U.S. Air Force was able to land in Sweden within six to eight days.

Another finding in the book is that high-ranking officers and other key people were reported to military duty at Swedish embassies in strategic NATO countries.

Holmström also writes about a top secret air force unit: Flygenhet 66 (Air Unit 66), with the mission to, among else, secretly transfer people. The units military training could be about getting key figures out of the country, or deploy agents at the Finnish border to the Soviet Union. The unit used civilian air-planes, mostly small planes of Cessna-type.

Much of the planning was all about keeping the whole thing a secret. The Swedish Security Service protected the operations from civilian authorities. The pilots had code names, and got paid in cash.

One of the sources for the book, the chief of staff for Air Unit 66, Sven Hugosson, has today gone out in public and explain why he has chosen to talk about the secret military unit.

“I think it’s time to talk about this since it has been surrounded by so much hypocrisy over the years,” he told public radio SR.

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2. Germany Sends 300 Airman To Afghanistan To Help NATO In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/26/c_13798627.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 25, 2011

German parliament approves sending more troops to Afghanistan

-As the third largest foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan, this is the sixth time that German parliament approved to increase troops there, making the total number reach about 5,300.

BERLIN: German parliament on Friday approved the government’s bill to send 300 airforce crew to Afghanistan to ease the pressure of its NATO allies in Libya.

The Bundestag, the lower house of German parliament, has endorsed the bill with a large majority of 407-113. There were 32 abstentions.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle described this action as “a rational policy of solidarity.” He said Germany will not join in the military actions against Libya, but Germany will not put its allies in danger and will reduce their burden.

The 300 airforce crew will serve on NATO airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to watch the airspace of Afghanistan, however, the timetable for starting this mission is still not clear.

As the third largest foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan, this is the sixth time that German parliament approved to increase troops there, making the total number reach about 5,300.
….

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3. NATO Continues Integration Of Ukraine

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16085992&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 25, 2011

Ukraine-NATO partnership commission holds constituent conf in Kiev

KIEV: The commission for Ukraine’s partnership with NATO held a constituent conference in Kiev Thursday. It was chaired by Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s press service, participants in the conference gave special focus to preparations for the commission’s session at the level of foreign ministers. It will be held in Berlin April 15.

The commission in charge of overseeing the promotion of partnership with the North-Atlantic pact was set up under President Viktor Yanukovich’s decree as “an auxiliary consultative agency reporting to the head of state.”

Yanukovich appointed five national coordinators of partnership with NATO at the beginning of this month and endorsed the list of commission members with Konstantin Grishchenko in the lead.

The President said during NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s visit to Ukraine that, being a special partner, this country is ready to step up cooperative activities with the alliance.

July 15, 2010, Yanukovich signed a decree on the foundations of Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy. The Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament ratified it July 1.
….

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Prompt Global Strike: U.S. Plans New Hypersonic Missile Test

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hypersonic-missile-20110324,0,377247.story

Los Angeles Times
March 24, 2011

Air Force to retest X-51 Wave
The unmanned X-51 WaveRider is designed to deliver warheads at very high speeds with pinpoint accuracy almost anywhere on Earth
By W.J. Hennigan

-While supersonic means that an object is traveling beyond the speed of sound, or Mach 1, “hypersonic” refers to an aircraft blasting through the air at five times that speed or more.
-The WaveRider detached, falling about four seconds before its booster rocket engine ignited and propelled the aircraft to more than 70,000 feet. It then separated from the rocket and sped across the sky, powered by an air-breathing combustion engine, for more than two minutes, reaching about 3,500 mph.
-“In fiscal year 2012, we will begin weaponizing the X-51 research vehicle,” Stephen Walker, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for science, told a congressional panel.

The U.S. Air Force plans to launch an experimental aircraft Thursday that could potentially reach speeds of 4,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean in a test flight that could give the Pentagon a new way to deliver a military strike anywhere around the globe within minutes.

Built in Southern California, the unmanned X-51 WaveRider is being developed to deliver powerful warheads at tremendously high speeds with pinpoint accuracy almost anywhere on Earth.
….
[W]ith a hypersonic missile, such as the one being tested on the X-51, “[an] attack would have been cut to just over 12 minutes,” Richard Hallion, a former Air Force senior advisor, said last year in an Air Force Assn. report about hypersonic technology.

While supersonic means that an object is traveling beyond the speed of sound, or Mach 1, “hypersonic” refers to an aircraft blasting through the air at five times that speed or more.

Developing an engine that can reach and maintain those speeds hasn’t been easy. For decades, the development of the hypersonic engine has been fraught with setbacks.

But engineers at Boeing Co.’s Phantom Works research center in Huntington Beach and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in Canoga Park proved they were on the right track last May when the X-51 made its first flight from Edwards Air Force Base.

The 14-foot aircraft was launched midair off the coast near Point Mugu, slung underneath the wing of a B-52 bomber. The WaveRider detached, falling about four seconds before its booster rocket engine ignited and propelled the aircraft to more than 70,000 feet. It then separated from the rocket and sped across the sky, powered by an air-breathing combustion engine, for more than two minutes, reaching about 3,500 mph.

The launch was considered successful because the longest prior hypersonic flight lasted about 10 seconds. But it did not reach the goals the Air Force had set. The military had hoped the plane would reach around 4,000 mph and fly for five minutes. It didn’t because a design flaw forced a shutdown.

Regardless, the flight was “a big deal” to Pentagon officials, said Charlie Brink, the X-51 program manager for the Air Force. The X-51 was built under a $250-million contract, but the government has spent millions more trying to achieve sustained hypersonic flight.

Initially, NASA led the program, fueling speculation that hypersonic engines could help propel spacecraft into orbit. Throughout the 1980s, NASA worked to develop a vehicle that could take off from a runway using jet engines until hypersonic engines kicked in and took it to the edge of space. But the space agency dropped the program because of a lack of funding.

Seeing potential for aircraft and missile systems, the Air Force picked up research on the X-51, which led to its flight last year.

“That flight made believers out of skeptics,” Brink said. “It allowed us to say, ‘If you want to hit objects very quickly and from long distances, here’s an option.’ “

At the time of the X-51’s first flight, the Pentagon’s intentions for it weren’t widely known. This month, a senior Air Force official revealed the aircraft’s objective.

“In fiscal year 2012, we will begin weaponizing the X-51 research vehicle,” Stephen Walker, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for science, told a congressional panel.

The idea is to quickly deliver a conventional warhead….

The X-51 is a forerunner to the military’s hopes for a “prompt global strike” system, which can hit anything on Earth in an hour or less, said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a website for military policy research. “They are designed to go faster and farther than anything that’s out there. Technology like this avoids the possibility of getting into a fair fight” with an enemy.

Cruise missiles, such as the Tomahawks launched in Libya last weekend, travel around 550 mph.
….

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5. Arctic: U.S. Submarines, NATO Allies Prepare For Confrontation With Russia And China

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/24/us-arctic-submarines-idUSTRE72N7TS20110324

Reuters
March 24, 2011

U.S. submarines show force amid race for Arctic riches
By Andrea Shalal-Esa

-U.S. submarines are a powerful symbol of U.S. military power, and the training was meant to ensure that the United States maintained access to the Arctic, home to the world’s largest undiscovered oil and gas reserves.
-“It is a key potential transit line between the Atlantic and the Pacific. We want to be able to demonstrate that we have global reach. That we can operate in all oceans, and that we can operate proficiently in any environment.”
-Less ice means the 56-mile wide Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska could one day compete with the Persian Gulf and other shipping lanes because it is as much as 40 percent shorter than conventional routes.
-Jaehn is the officer in charge of the temporary ice camp, where more than two dozen Navy officials, researchers, engineers and scientists, and some military officials from Britain and Canada, are facilitating the biannual exercises.
-Navy officials are also using the opportunity to test new equipment on ships like the USS New Hampshire, the second of the new Virginia-class submarines to participate in the exercises, and how it performs in the Arctic’s icy waters.
-“Demonstrating U.S. use and presence is important,” Colvin said, noting that Russia was increasing its presence in the Arctic, and had plans for six to eight shipments of gas condensate along the northern route.
-Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, who also visited the camp, said he worried that the United States was not doing enough to prepare for coming challenges in the Arctic, underscoring Russian and Chinese interest in the region.

APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY ICE STATION, Arctic Ocean: The United States is staging high-profile submarine exercises in the Arctic Ocean this month as evidence mounts that global warming will lead to more mining, oil production, shipping and fishing in the world’s last frontier.

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and a Who’s Who of other VIPs braved below-zero temperatures this month to visit a temporary camp on the ice about 150 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where two nuclear-powered U.S. submarines are conducting military training exercises.

“It is important for us to continue to train and operate in the Arctic,” said U.S. Navy Captain Rhett Jaehn, the No. 2 official overseeing U.S. submarine forces.

He said U.S. submarines are a powerful symbol of U.S. military power, and the training was meant to ensure that the United States maintained access to the Arctic, home to the world’s largest undiscovered oil and gas reserves.

“It is a key potential transit line between the Atlantic and the Pacific. We want to be able to demonstrate that we have global reach. That we can operate in all oceans, and that we can operate proficiently in any environment,” Jaehn said.

Russia, the United States, Denmark, Greenland, Canada and Norway, which border the Arctic, and China are already jockeying for position to benefit from new business opportunities there.

Navy scientists predict the Arctic will have one ice-free summer month in about the mid-2030s, and two to three ice-free months by around mid-century. Less ice means the 56-mile wide Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska could one day compete with the Persian Gulf and other shipping lanes because it is as much as 40 percent shorter than conventional routes.
….
Jaehn is the officer in charge of the temporary ice camp, where more than two dozen Navy officials, researchers, engineers and scientists, and some military officials from Britain and Canada, are facilitating the biannual exercises.

The exercises train U.S. submarine crews to deal with craggy ice keels that extend 20 to 50 feet into the water, and varying salinity levels that complicate communications and navigation under the ice cap. This year they are testing a new Raytheon Co messaging system.

Navy officials are also using the opportunity to test new equipment on ships like the USS New Hampshire, the second of the new Virginia-class submarines to participate in the exercises, and how it performs in the Arctic’s icy waters.

Hamilton Sundstrand, a unit of United Technologies Corp, is sending officials this week to repair the ship’s oxygen generator, which stopped working last week for unknown reasons. A backup system was being used. [nN21173014]

Submarine crews practice surfacing the 8,000-ton submarines, directly through thick ice or in nearby open waters, and learn to avoid hitting another ship.

Larry Estrada, director of the Arctic Submarine Laboratory which runs the camps with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, said this year’s ice exercise cost about $3.5 million and did not include torpedo tests, which are usually done at alternating camps.
….
The next ice camp will not take place until 2014, a concern for some who think the United States needs to expand its presence in the Arctic, not back off.

“I’d like to see more U.S. ice camps for longer periods of time in the U.S. Arctic,” said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Christopher Colvin, commander of the Alaska and Arctic district which is as large as the entire continental United States.

“Demonstrating U.S. use and presence is important,” Colvin said, noting that Russia was increasing its presence in the Arctic, and had plans for six to eight shipments of gas condensate along the northern route.

Mabus called the exercises and temporary ice camp “invaluable” and said he thought the Pentagon would be able to find the money to keep the camps on a two-year cycle.

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, who also visited the camp, said he worried that the United States was not doing enough to prepare for coming challenges in the Arctic, underscoring Russian and Chinese interest in the region.
….
The Coast Guard, Navy and Alaska officials are also concerned about the United States’ failure to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“We don’t have a seat at the table right now,” Mabus said, noting that U.S. failure to ratify the treaty would prevent it from staking a claim to its continental shelf.

That would effectively open up oil production in that area to outside bidders, possibly even China, Treadwell said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa)

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6. Pakistani Opposition Party To Obstruct NATO Convoys Over Drone Killings

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=38120&Cat=5&dt=3/26/2011

News International
March 25, 2011

Imran to ‘obstruct’ Nato supplies if drone attacks not stopped

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has warned of ‘obstructing’ the NATO supplies if the federal government fails to stop drone strikes in the country.

“We will stage a sit-in in Peshawar for three days on the road, used by NATO tankers and leading to Afghanistan, if the government does not stop the drone attacks on our land” said the PTI chief while addressing a huge gathering near Qartaba Chowk, Mozong on Friday, after leading a PTI rally against desecration of Holy Quran by US priests, the release of Raymond Davis and killing of innocent Pakistanis through drone attacks.

Condemning Zardari-Nawaz for “match-fixing” over the issue of Raymond Davis, Imran said the nation wanted to know how many Raymonds were roaming around in Pakistan to kill the innocent population. As many as 32,000 Pakistanis had lost their lives in the so-called war on terror, he maintained.

He said the corrupt leaders of Punjab and the Centre had sold out the blood of Pakistanis for dollars and countrymen were being killed unabated. He added that PTI would continue fighting for justice for the Pakistanis like Ibad ur Rehman. It was high time for the nation to stand up for protecting its honour.

Urging the nation to reject the corrupt leaders, Imran said the politicians having their assets in foreign banks had no room in Pakistan unless they brought back their wealth.

He questioned the credibility of the Parliament which, he said, had come into being with fake votes. He said 45 per cent of the total votes had been declared fake and invalid and more that 30 million youth had been barred from casting their votes. He said a revolution was the need of the hour to bring about change in the country.

Condemning the ‘subjugated’ role of rulers, the PTI chief said they would have to stop the drone attacks as they could no more tolerate the killing of Pakistanis.

He congratulated the PTI Lahore leadership for holding such a successful gathering which was attended by party workers from all corners of Punjab.

The PTI leaders who spoke on the occasion included Ahsen Rasheed, Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Talat Naqvi, Mian Mehmood ul Rasheed, Mehmood Gilani and Zaheer Abbas Khokher.

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New Jersey Base New Home Of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan

http://www.mcguire.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123248474

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst
March 25, 2011

NATO Training Mission: Afghanistan Comes to JB MDL
by Capt. Antonia Greene
174th Infantry Brigade Public Affairs

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – With the arrival of Class I of Task Force Scorpion Mar. 20 and more classes following soon, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is the new home of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan.

Task Force Scorpion is the first iteration of Reserve Component forces deploying in support of NTM-A. Until mid-February, TF Scorpion was slated to train at Fort Polk, La. but now the NTM-A is also the responsibility of First Army Division East. Both the 174th Infantry Brigade and its mission planning partner, the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, are the U.S. Forces Command lead training support team.

Over the course of the next few months, the more than 200 Reserve Component Soldiers assigned to TF Scorpion will undergo extensive Soldier and leader training in order to meet mission requirements down range.

“The combat advisor skills and leader mentality must be honed here, enabling the Soldiers to provide the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police the essential tools to succeed,” explained Army Maj. Scott Page, 72d FA Bde Plans Officer.
….

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8. NATO Trains Kuwaiti Armed Forces

http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MTM3ODE1MTc4NA==

Kuwait News Agency
March 26, 2011

Kuwait keen to cooperate with NATO Defence College

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Deputy Director of the National Security Bureau pledged the commitment of Kuwait yesterday in cooperating with the NATO Defence College (NDC), which he described as “a successful academic landmark.”

Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Al-Sabah made the comment on the fringes of a dinner banquet held in the honor of the NDC Commandant Lieut. Gen. Wolf Dieter and trainees in the 118th NDC course – which includes 120 trainees from various parts of the world – visiting the country upon an official invitation from the National Security Bureau.

Kuwait seeks to increase its cooperation with the NDC, through courses for Kuwaiti soldiers and academics, he noted….

For his part, the NDC senior officer said that the Bureau has played an effective role in aiding the NDC and organizing field visits of its students to Kuwait. He also stressed the importance of Kuwait’s participation in the NDC’s upcoming six-month supreme chief’s course.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

March 25, 2011 1 comment

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/3973/

Stop NATO
March 25, 2011

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean
Rick Rozoff

A year after assuming the post of president of the French Republic in 2007, and while his nation held the rotating European Union presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy invited the heads of state of the EU’s 27 members and those of 17 non-EU Mediterranean countries to attend a conference in Paris to launch a Mediterranean Union.

In the words of Britain’s Daily Telegraph regarding the subsequent summit held for the purpose on July 13, 2008, “Sarkozy’s big idea is to use imperial Rome’s centre of the world as a unifying factor linking 44 countries that are home to 800 million people.”

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, however, announced that his nation would boycott the gathering, denouncing the initiative as one aimed at dividing both Africa and the Arab world, and stating:

“We shall have another Roman empire and imperialist design. There are imperialist maps and designs that we have already rolled up. We should not have them again.” [1]

The unprecedented summit was held with the intention of “shift[ing] Europe’s strategic focus towards the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans.” [2]

The Mediterranean Union was renamed the less controversial Union for the Mediterranean and its members include all 44 nations originally invited to join except for Libya.

Less than three years later Sarkozy’s Mirage and Rafale warplanes were bombing Libyan government targets, initiating an ongoing war being waged by France, the United States, Britain and what the world news media refer to as an international coalition – 12 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the emirate of Qatar – to overthrow the Gaddafi government and implant a more pliant replacement.

The Mediterranean Sea is the main battle front in the world currently, superseding the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, and the empire of the new third millennium – that of the U.S., the world’s sole military superpower in the words of President Barack Obama in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, and its NATO partners – is completing the transformation of the Mediterranean into its mare nostrum.

The attack on Libya followed by slightly more than three weeks a move in the parliament of the Eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus to drag that state into NATO’s Partnership for Peace program [3], which if ultimately successful would leave only three of twenty nations (excluding microstate Monaco) on or in the Mediterranean Sea not full members of NATO or beholden to it through partnership entanglements, including those of the Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia): Libya, Lebanon and Syria.

NATO membership and partnerships obligate the affected governments to open their countries to the U.S. military. For example, less than a year after becoming independent Montenegro had already joined the Partnership for Peace and was visited by then-commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe Admiral Harry Ulrich and the submarine tender Emory S. Land in an effort “to provide training and assistance for the Montenegrin Navy and to strengthen the relationship between the two navies.” [4]. The next month four NATO warships, including the USS Roosevelt guided missile destroyer, docked in Montenegro’s Tivat harbor.

If the current Libyan model is duplicated in Syria as increasingly seems to be the case, and with Lebanon already blockaded by warships from NATO nations since 2006 in what is the prototype for what NATO will soon replicate off the coast of Libya, the Mediterranean Sea will be entirely under the control of NATO and its leading member, the U.S.

Cyprus in the only European Union member and indeed the only European nation (except for microstates) that is – for the time being – not a NATO member or partner, and Libya is the only African nation bordering the Mediterranean not a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program.

Libya is also one of only five of Africa’s 54 countries that have not been integrated into, which is to say subordinated to, the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The others are:

Sudan, which is being balkanized as Libya may also soon be.

Ivory Coast, now embroiled in what is for all intents a civil war with the West backing the armed groups of Alassane Ouattara against standing president Laurent Gbagbo and under the threat of foreign military intervention, likely by the AFRICOM- and NATO-supported West African Standby Force and possibly with direct Western involvement. [5]

Eritrea, which borders Djibouti where some 5,000 U.S. and French troops are based and which was involved in an armed border conflict with its neighbor three years ago in which French military forces intervened on behalf of Djibouti.

Zimbabwe, which is among likely candidates for the next U.S.-NATO Operation Odyssey Dawn-type military intervention.

The Mediterranean has been history’s most strategically important sea and is the only one whose waves lap the shores of three continents.

Control of the sea has been fought over by the Persian, Alexandrian, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Spanish, British and Napoleonic empires, in part or in whole, and by Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany.

Since the end of World War Two the major military power in the sea has been the U.S. In 1946 Washington established Naval Forces Mediterranean, which in 1950 became the U.S. Sixth Fleet and has its headquarters in the Mediterranean port city of Naples.

In fact the genesis of the U.S. Navy was the Naval Act of 1794, passed in response to the capture of American merchant vessels off the coast of North Africa. The Mediterranean Squadron (also Station) was created in reaction to the first Barbary War of 1801-1805, also known as the Tripolitan War after what is now northwestern Libya. The U.S. fought its first naval battle outside the Western Hemisphere against Tripolitania in 1801.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, also based in Naples, is assigned to the Sixth Fleet and provides forces for both U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. Its commander is Admiral Samuel Locklear III, who is also commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples.

He has been coordinating U.S. and NATO air and missile strikes against Libya from USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the Sixth Fleet, as commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, the U.S. Africa Command operation in charge of U.S. guided missile destroyers, submarines and stealth bombers conducting attacks inside Libya.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations (the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy), recently stated that the permanent U.S. military presence in the Mediterranean allowed the Pentagon, which “already was positioned for operations over Libya,” to launch Odyssey Dawn on March 19. “The need, for example in the opening rounds, for the Tomahawk strikes, the shooters were already in place. They were already loaded, and that went off as we expected it would.”

“That’s what you get when you have a global Navy that’s forward all the time….We’re there, and when the guns go off, we’re ready to conduct combat operations….” [6]

On March 22 General Carter Ham, the new chief of U.S. Africa Command, visited the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany and met with British, French and Italian air force leaders to evaluate the bombing campaign in Libya. He praised cooperation with NATO partners before the war began, stating, “You can’t bring 14 different nations together without ever having prepared for this before.” [7]

As the AFRICOM commander was in Germany, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Egypt to meet with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces and chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to coordinate the campaign against Libya.

The Pentagon’s website reported on March 23 that forces attached to AFRICOM’s Task Force Odyssey Dawn had flown 336 air sorties, 108 of them launching strikes and 212 conducted by the U.S. The operations included 162 Tomahawk cruise missile attacks.

Admiral Roughead stated that he envisioned “no problem in keeping operations going,” as the Tomahawks will be replaced from the existing inventory of 3,200. Enough to level Libya and still have plenty left over for the next war. [8]

The defeat and conquest, directly or by proxy, of Libya would secure a key outpost for the Pentagon and NATO on the Mediterranean Sea.

The consolidation of U.S. control over North Africa would have more than just regional repercussions, important as they are.

Shortly after the inauguration of U.S. Africa Command, Lin Zhiyuan, deputy director of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences, wrote the following:

“By building a dozen forward bases or establishments in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and other African nations, the U.S. will gradually establish a network of military bases to cover the entire continent and make essential preparations for docking an aircraft carrier fleet in the region.”

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the U.S. at the head had [in 2006] carried out a large-scale military exercise in Cape Verde, a western African island nation, with the sole purpose of controlling the sea and air corridors of crude oil extracting zones and monitoring how the situation is with oil pipelines operating there.”

“[A]frica Command represents a vital, crucial link for the US adjustment of its global military deployment. At present, it is moving the gravity of its forces in Europe eastward and opening new bases in Eastern Europe.”

“The present US global military redeployment centers mainly on an ‘arc of instability’ from the Caucasus, Central and Southern Asia down to the Korean Peninsula, and so the African continent is taken as a strong point to prop up the US global strategy.

“Therefore, AFRICOM facilitates the United States advancing on the African continent, taking control of the Eurasian continent and proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe.” [9]

Far more is at stake in the war with Libya than control of Africa’s largest proven oil reserves and subjugating the last North African nation not yet under the thumb of the U.S. and NATO. Even more than domination of the Mediterranean Sea region.

1) Daily Telegraph, July 10, 2008
2) Daily Telegraph, July 14, 2008
3) Cyprus: U.S. To Dominate All Europe, Mediterranean Through NATO
Stop NATO, March 3, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/cyprus-u-s-to-dominate-all-europe-mediterranean-through-nato

4) United States European Command, May 24, 2007
5) Ivory Coast: Testing Ground For U.S.-Backed African Standby Force
Stop NATO, January 23, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/ivory-coast-testing-ground-for-u-s-backed-african-standby-force

6) U.S. Department of Defense, March 23, 2011
7) U.S. Air Forces in Europe, March 23, 2011
8) U.S. Department of Defense, March 23, 2011
9) People’s Daily, February 26, 2007

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200702/26/eng20070226_352530.html

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 24, 2011

March 25, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war: March 24

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Serbia Marks Anniversary Of NATO’s Deadly Onslaught In 1999

Serbia: Anti-NATO Sentiment Strong On 12th Anniversary Of 78-Day War

Attack On Libya Evokes Serbs’ Bitter Memories Of NATO Onslaught

NATO Air Strike Kills Two Afghan Civilians

Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

U.S. Ambassador: Troops For Foreign Wars Georgia’s Gateway To NATO Membership

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Serbia Marks Anniversary Of NATO’s Deadly Onslaught In 1999

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=03&dd=24&nav_id=73402

Tanjug News Agency
March 24, 2011

Serbia marks anniversary of start of NATO bombing

BELGRADE: Serbia today marks the 12th anniversary since NATO launched its air campaign against targets in then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ).

The campaign, code-named Operation Allied Force, involved 19 NATO countries and began March 24, 1999.

It lasted 78 days, resulting in 2,500 civilian deaths, 89 of whom were children, and 1,031 dead soldiers and police officers, Tanjug reports.

Around 6,000 civilians were injured, of whom 2,700 were children. The military and police had 5,173 injured. NATO’s losses have never been made public.

More than half of the casualties from NATO attacks were among Kosovo Albanians, although the western officials had claimed the intervention was necessary to protect them and named it “Merciful Angel”.

The data on the material damage caused by NATO’s strikes differs.

Authorities in Belgrade at the time said it was close to USD 100bn….

A third of the country’s electric energy capacity was destroyed, while refineries in Pančevo and Novi Sad were also attacked.

The decision to go forward with the campaign was made without the consent of the UN Security Council, which was something that had never happened before. The NATO forces were commanded by now retired U.S. General Wesley Clark, who received the order to begin the campaign from Javier Solana, NATO’s secretary general at the time.

Yugoslavia was attacked after being blamed for the failure of the negotiations on Kosovo’s status, held in Rambouillet and Paris. The Serbian authorities, headed by Slobodan Milošević, refused to accept the military annex to the proposed agreement, which was interpreted as a permission to occupy the country.

The bombing destroyed whole residential blocks in a number of towns and cities, like Aleksinac, Kuršumlija, Ćuprija, Niš, Novi Sad, Murin, Valjevo and Surdulica, which resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties.

The campaign ended when the Yugoslav authorities signed the Military Technical Agreement in Kumanovo, Macedonia, June 9, 1999. Three days later, the Yugoslav forces began withdrawing from Kosovo.

Solana gave the official order to stop the bombing on June 10.

The same day, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1244, which confirmed Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo, while NATO established the Kosovo Force (KFOR) and sent 37,200 troops from 36 countries to the territory.

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Serbia: Anti-NATO Sentiment Strong On 12th Anniversary Of 78-Day War

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/CultureAndMedia/Serbia-Anti-Nato-sentiment-strong-in-12th-anniversary-of-78-day-war_311824965215.html

ADN Kronos International
March 24, 2011

Serbia: Anti-Nato sentiment strong in 12th anniversary of 78-day war

-“If Serbia joins Nato, Nato will make all the decisions,” Putin was quoted as saying. “If Nato deploys its missile systems in Serbia, Russia will be forced to direct its nuclear potential towards Serbia,” Putin warned.

Nato launched a bombing campaign against rump Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to push Serbian forces out of the breakaway Kosovo province….

Serbian forces withdrew from Kosovo in June 1999, paving the way for Kosovo independence declared in February 2008.

Twelve years later, animosities still run high against the western military alliance and the ruins of former military headquarters in the center of Belgrade is a ghostly reminder of what here is referred to as a “Nato aggression.”

The event is being commemorated throughout the country which, according to Serbian estimates, suffered material damage of one hundred billion dollars.
….
Recent surveys showed that only 15.1 per cent of Serbian citizens support the country’s joining the military alliance [NATO].

The anniversary is marked with round tables, commemorations and anti-Nato protests by some opposition groups. Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas laid wreaths at the memorial of 13 workers killed in the bombing of Belgrade’s television broadcasting building in the centre of the city.

Opposition Democratic Party of Serbia of former premier Vojislav Kostunica held a protest in the city’s main pedestrian area, distributing leaflets saying “Never to Nato”.

Visiting Russian prime minister Vldimir Putin told Serbian president Boris Tadic on Wednesday that Russia, Belgrade’s closest ally, had nothing against Serbia’s joining the EU. But he later told Serbian MPs the situation with Nato was different.

“If Serbia joins Nato, Nato will make all the decisions,” Putin was quoted as saying. “If Nato deploys its missile systems in Serbia, Russia will be forced to direct its nuclear potential towards Serbia,” Putin warned.

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Attack On Libya Evokes Serbs’ Bitter Memories Of NATO Onslaught

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_648702.html

Agence France-Presse
March 24, 2011

Libya airstrikes remind Serbians of Nato bombings

BELGRADE – The airstrikes on Libya brought back bitter memories for many Serbs on Thursday, 12 years after the start of a Nato bombing campaign aimed at ending a Serbian crackdown on Kosovo.

‘I am trying not to watch television reports from Libya because its a painful reminder’ of a spring spent hiding in shelters, software engineer Mr Petar Marjanovic said.

‘Even if I try to rationalise the bombing to convince myself that they were not aimed at us civilians but the military, I will never forget these days of fear and anxiety,’ Marjanovic said.

Nato launched the strikes – without UN Security Council backing unlike the intervention in Libya….

In one of the bloodiest incidents, more than a dozen people were killed on May 7, 1999, when Nato planes dropped cluster bombs on a crowded outdoor market in the southern town of Nis. It was later described as a ‘blunder’.

The bombing campaign against Serbia lasted 78 days and remains etched in public memory.

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NATO Air Strike Kills Two Afghan Civilians

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iAMQ0PuH1DXeL1nf03L0pslrYI9A?docId=a60d748971064163bde60ee7cdb5a88e

Associated Press
March 24, 2011

NATO airstrike accidently kills 2 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan: A NATO helicopter gunship…killed two civilians…in the northern province of Khost, NATO announced Thursday.
….
Afghan forces determined that the occupants of the [targeted] vehicle were unharmed, NATO said.
….
At least 2,777 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2010, a 15 percent increase over the prior year, according to a recent United Nations report.
….
NATO also said two of its troops were killed by an improvised bomb in southern Afghanistan. NATO provided no additional details about the attack.
….
The latest deaths bring to 23 the number of coalition service members who have died in Afghanistan so far this month.

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Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1628350.php/Two-NATO-soldiers-killed-in-southern-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 24, 2011

Two NATO soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

Kabul: Two soldiers with NATO-led forces were killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, the military alliance said on Thursday.

The International Security Assistance Force service members died following the attack on Wednesday, NATO said in a statement without giving further details.

NATO did not say where exactly the incident took place or the nationalities of the deceased.

More than 140,000 foreign soldiers are fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

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U.S. Ambassador: Troops For Foreign Wars Georgia’s Gateway To NATO Membership

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23275

Civil Georgia
March 24, 2011

U.S. Ambassador on Georgia’s NATO Path

Tbilisi: Georgia will become a NATO member by convincing Allies that it is a significant “net contributor” to the common security in the North-Atlantic region, John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, said on March 24.

Speaking at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Rose-Roth Seminar in Tbilisi, the U.S. diplomat said that since the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit there was no longer a question if Georgia would become a member of the Alliance or not; he said it’s a question of “when” and most importantly “how”.

He said these two questions of ‘when’ and ‘how’ were closely connected and the latter one was not about the technical process – whether Georgia would join NATO through a Membership Action Plan or through some other technical mechanisms.

“How Georgia will become a NATO member? Well, it will become a member by convincing all of our respective governments [of NATO member states], that it is a net contributor to our respective national interests and our security in the Euro-Atlantic region,” he said.

He said that Georgia’s net contribution should be fairly substantial over liabilities the Allies would be taking when they decide to accept Georgia.

‘Fairly High Bar’

He said two aspects were important while evaluating Georgia’s net contribution to the North Atlantic security; the one was Georgia’s contribution to NATO missions and operations and another one – how Georgia would be contributing to the security within the NATO’s boundaries.

“On the first of these [aspects], there is no question Georgia is making outstanding contributions” in Afghanistan, Bass said. “I think that for the country of this size that’s a pretty remarkable contribution,” Bass said.

On the second aspect, the U.S. ambassador continued, “we’ve seen quite a good progress” with Georgia coming up with “aggressive, comprehensive set of reform proposal under Georgia’s Annual National Program.”

The Annual National Programme, introduced in December 2008, is a set of reform targets, which is drawn up by the Georgian government and reviewed annually by NATO. The recent plan, which is a classified document, was approved by the Georgian government and presented to the Alliance in February.

The U.S. ambassador said that setting ambitious reform goals was “good”, because “Georgia has to meet a fairly high bar in this regard” to convince the Allies that it’s a good candidate for the membership.

“Both because of history and geography there are questions in the minds of some of the governments [of NATO member states] about what set of liabilities the allies would be taking on in accepting Georgia’s membership,” he said.
….
Public Scrutiny of ‘How and When to Use Force’

He said there were several important aspects within this broad set of reforms on which the U.S. and many other Allies would be focusing while evaluating Georgia’s readiness to join NATO; the process of how decisions are made on potential use of force would be one of the key issues in this regard, the U.S. diplomat said.
….
He also said that the U.S. assistance in form of democracy and governance programs to Georgia were designed to complement Georgia’s commitments under its Annual National Programme with NATO….

“Even as we expect quite a bit from Georgia, Georgia has reason to expect a bit from us in return,” Bass said. “We have the obligation to support the people of this country and this government as they undertake a challenging set of reforms in what remains a very tough neighborhood.”

Such a support, he said, would give “political space” to the government, opposition and the society “to move forward with confidence.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 24

March 24, 2011 1 comment

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Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya: Rise Of Global NATO, End Of Post-
World War Two System Of International Law

Libyan War Precursor To New U.S.-NATO Order In Mediterranean

Report: U.S. Deploys Over 4,000 Marines To Mediterranean

UN’s Ban: NATO To Enforce Blockade Against Libya

NATO To Take Over No-Fly Zone In Libya

Qatari Warplanes: First Persian Gulf State To Join NATO Combat Mission

British Foreign Secretary: Turn Libyan War Control Over To NATO

British Submarine Launches More Missile Strikes Against Libya

Turkey Provides NATO Four Warships, Submarine For Libya Blockade

Netherlands Deploys Warplanes For Operations Against Libya

French Warplanes Strike Deep Inside Libya

Powerful Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital

Attack On Libya Evokes Serbs’ Bitter Memories Of NATO Onslaught

New U.S.-NATO Strikes Kill Libyan Civilians, Including Rescue Workers

Libyan Quagmire Could Drag More U.S. Forces In

White House Hands Libyan War Command And Control To NATO

How “Humanitarian” Is Western Intervention In Libya?

AFRICOM Chief Visits 14-Nation Libyan War Air Operations Center In Germany

Egypt: Pentagon Chief Gates Meets With Military Commander-In-Chief/Supreme Military Council Head

Global Navy Positioned U.S. For Libyan Strikes: Admiral

336 U.S., NATO Air Sorties, Missile Strikes In Libyan “Battle Space”

NATO Partners To Play Larger Role In Multiphased Libyan Attacks

Libyan War: China Must Rally World’s Anti-Intervention Voices

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Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya: Rise Of Global NATO, End Of Post-
World War Two System Of International Law

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/24/47917703.html

Voice of Russia
March 24, 2011

Humanism laced with geopolitics

-Behind the pseudo-humanitarian summersault lies a hidden agenda of Western countries’ geopolitical and economic interests in oil-rich regions of the world.
Besides, by supporting fifth columns in such regions, the U.S and its Western allies desire to create the basis for a long term military presence, a plan that is presently being tried out in Libya.
-“The most serious of the dangers is the confirmation of the new role of NATO in international relations, the crushing of international law and its Yalta-Potsdam post-war system. Unfortunately, the world is entering a new stage of development characterized by the formation of servile protectorates.”
-As the events in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans have shown, what the world is witnessing in Libya is not the triumph of humanism and democracy, but the unleashing of anarchy and the carving up of an independent nation.

The Director General of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center Claude Moniquet says that political and oil interests are behind the jostling by France and Britain to spearhead the military campaign against Libya, saying that both countries are scheming to play the leading political role in the Arab world. “Besides, the action of Paris and London in that region are traditionally dictated by oil interests”, Moniquet said.

Western countries’ main aims in the troubled region are not so much the protection of civilians as the pursuit of economic and geopolitical interests, as evidenced by similar military operations in the past 20 years.

The bombing of the Bosnian Serb Republic in 1994-1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999 by NATO, and the American-led Western incursion into Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 and now in Libya were undertaken under the pretext of the noble act of protecting the lives of civilians.

The putative fight against Al-Qaeda’s brand of terrorism in both Afghanistan and Iraq was thrown into the mix of preventing humanitarian catastrophe and ethnic cleansing. Significantly, none of these tasks was fulfilled and some of the mentioned evils didn’t even exist. Suffice to recall that no smoking gun was found in Iraq after a lengthy and costly search, but the day-and-night bombing of Yugoslavia led to an untold humanitarian catastrophe, including the mass exodus of Yugoslavians to neighbouring states. The country’s infrastructure was reduced to rubble.

New-fangled ideas, including the introduction of western-style democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq and in Albanian-controlled Kosovo were used to justify the wanton destruction of sovereign and independent countries.

A similar spurious excuse is used to justify the intervention in Libya, and Britain, France and the U.S remain defiant about their right to solve Libyan internal political wrangling by military force. The only question still being debated is whether it is worth it to sacrifice the Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi on the altar of democracy a la the Western model.

Behind the pseudo-humanitarian summersault lies a hidden agenda of Western countries’ geopolitical and economic interests in oil-rich regions of the world.

Besides, by supporting fifth columns in such regions, the U.S and its Western allies desire to create the basis for a long term military presence, a plan that is presently being tried out in Libya. The experiment is fraught with extreme dangers, says Anna Filimonova of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Center for the Study of Modern-Day Balkan Crises.

“The most serious of the dangers is the confirmation of the new role of NATO in international relations, the crushing of international law and its Yalta-Potsdam post-war system. Unfortunately, the world is entering a new stage of development characterized by the formation of servile protectorates,” Filimonova said. “Under the new dispensation NATO would be calling the shots,” predicts Filimonova.

The Western military operation in Libya is supposedly guided by parts of the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and UN agreements, but the campaign has exceeded the UN mandate and is taking on the features of a full-scale war against a sovereign state.

As the events in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans have shown, what the world is witnessing in Libya is not the triumph of humanism and democracy, but the unleashing of anarchy and the carving up of an independent nation.

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Libyan War Precursor To New U.S.-NATO Order In Mediterranean

http://rt.com/news/libya-gaddafi-nato-coalition-operartion/

RT
March 24, 2011

Video

Rick Rozoff, a Chicago-based anti-war activist who heads “Stop NATO,” says the actions of the US and its allies in Libya are just the precursor to a new political order in the Mediterranean region, where greater NATO presence will mean increased American control.

Rozoff told RT that the next phase of the US-led operation in Libya will probably be ground support of rebel forces there.

“In the 1990s as a part of what would become the global expansion of NATO, several partnership programs, as they called them, were set up – one of which is called the Mediterranean Dialogue. It includes seven nations in the Middle East and North Africa. Two of them do not border the Mediterranean (Jordan and Mauritania), but the other five do,” he said.

“Libya is the only North African country bordering the Mediterranean that is not a member of this NATO partnership program. I am convinced that in both Washington and Brussels, whatever regime they want to enforce to replace Muammar Gaddafi, [it] would in fact join that program and would solidify NATO and US control of the entire Mediterranean Basin.”

“Whoever the armed insurgents are – and I don’t think anyone truly knows the complete nature of the insurgents – they are not able to fight, clearly. This is why there is bombing not only of airfields and radar facilities and so forth in Libya, but also bombing of troop and armored convoys. So, the West has already intervened on behalf of an armed insurgent group, and the next step of course is to become more involved in the ground campaign,” Rozoff concluded.

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Report: U.S. Deploys Over 4,000 Marines To Mediterranean

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/24/47940544.html

Voice of Russia
March 24, 2011

Operation Odyssey Dawn under way

The United States has started the deployment of more than 4,000 marines and sailors to the Mediterranean Sea to support Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, the US Navy press service reported on Thursday. Thus far, coalition forces [conducted] air strikes, something that analysts say may well be followed by a ground military operation, which they warn is fraught with dire consequences.

The situation in Libya will be high on the agenda of a UN Security Council session, which opens in New York later on Thursday. Among other things, diplomats will discuss Russia’s ceasefire-leaning approach to the topic, which was specifically touted by President Dmitry Medvedev earlier this week, when he signaled his country’s readiness to act as a mediator in the Libyan conflict.

The subject will also be on the table of an EU summit that kicks off in Brussels on Thursday in an event that will specifically focus on who will be at the helm of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The operation kicked off late last week and aims to enforce the UN Security Council no-fly-zone-over-Libya resolution. Analysts say that the beginning of the ground operation is just a matter of time, quoting Western leaders as saying that the operation’s real goal is the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi whose persistent push for victory, pundits say, is unlikely to be pacified by air strikes alone.
….
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http://www.wcti12.com/news/27257042/detail.html#

WCTI Channel 12 News
March 24, 2011

Camp Lejeune Marines To Libya To Strike At Qadhafi Forces

ONSLOW COUNTY: We’ve seen Camp Lejuene Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and now they are joining the fight against Libya.

About 2,200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will take part in support operations based aboard USS Kearsarge at sea. Those support operations have thus far included air strikes and one rescue operation….

To date, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit has conducted numerous successful airstrikes against Muammar al-Qadhafi regime forces as part of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn….The 26th MEU has also conducted a successful Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel mission in support of two U.S. Air Force F-15 pilots after their airplane crashed east of Benghazi, Libya, Mar. 21.

All of these missions were launched from the USS Kearsarge more than 100 nautical miles from the coast. Other than the small TRAP force sent to locate the Air Force pilots, no U.S. Marines from the 26th MEU have landed ashore.

“The ability to launch these and other missions directly from naval vessels illustrates the unique and valuable capacity of the Navy/Marine Corps team called ‘sea-basing'”, said Captain Timothy Patrick, spokesman for II Marine Expeditionary Force. “Having these forces embarked aboard amphibious ships means that at any time we can execute a variety of tactical missions with little or no footprint on foreign territory.”

A Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s AV-8B Harrier jump jet returns to USS Kearsarge for fuel and ammunition resupply while conducting air strikes in support of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, March 20, 2011. Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces….JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III.

Patrick said that Marines from the 26th MEU are coming on the end of their deployment. They will be replaced with Marines from the 22nd MEU.

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UN’s Ban: NATO To Enforce Blockade Against Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1628533.php/NATO-to-enforce-arms-embargo-on-Libya

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 24, 2011

NATO to enforce arms embargo on Libya
By JT Nguyen

New York: NATO is to begin military enforcement of the UN Security Council’s arms embargo on Libya, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

Ban told the 15-country Security Council in New York in making his first mandated report on the situation in Libya that coalition partners are enforcing the week-old no-fly zone…..

Britain, France, the United States, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Qatar, Belgium, Norway, Spain and United Arab Emirates have notified the UN of their participation in enforcing the no-fly zone.

‘We have also received notification from NATO of its decision to commence an alliance operation in support of an arms embargo against Libya,’ Ban said.

In Ankara, the Turkish government finally gave the go-ahead for NATO to take over policing the operation to enforce the no-fly zone.

Turkey, the alliance’s only predominantly Muslim member country, had previously expressed strong opposition to the prospect of NATO taking charge of the UN-mandated mission.

The council heard Ban’s report and decided to hold closed-door discussions on the situation in Libya, at which Ban was to report on his visits to Cairo and Tunis, where he gained first-hand information about the formation of governments following recent popular uprisings.
….
Ban said the US and European forces initiated airstrikes on Saturday ‘with the objective of effectively establishing a no-fly zone over the country.’
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Ban returned Wednesday to New York from visits in Egypt and Tunisia. He attended a meeting Sunday in Paris, called by the French government to devise the coalition’s plan to enforce the no-fly zone.
….

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NATO To Take Over No-Fly Zone In Libya

http://abcnews.go.com/International/nato-charge-libya-fly-zone-united-states/story?id=13210685

ABC News
March 24, 2011

NATO To Take Over No-Fly Zone in Libya
By MARTHA RADDATZ, ALEXANDER MARQUARDT and LUIS MARTINEZ
ABOARD THE USS KEARSARGE

NATO has agreed to relieve the United States of responsibility for enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya, a NATO official said today.
….
The official said that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will shortly go into a meeting of the North Atlantic Council where a formal consensus will be reached for NATO to assume the no-fly zone responsibilities for Libya. After what is expected to be a brief meeting, Rasmussen will announce the arrangement.

They won’t say it’s a deal until every one of the 28 NATO members in the room agrees with NATO taking over the no-fly zone.

“We are very close,” the NATO official said.

The no-fly zone order will go from the NATO Council to Adm. James Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander on down the chain to the component commanders. On Wednesday, NATO announced it was taking responsibility for enforcing the naval arms embargo for Libya.

The United States will remain part of the Operation Dawn, but it we will have limited participation going forward, which would include contributing tankers and a personnel recovery teams, but not an Airborne Warning and Control System, Africa Command’s Gen. Carter F. Ham told ABC News in an exclusive interview.
….
Earlier today the foreign minister of Turkey, a NATO member that had expressed strong concerns about the Libya intervention, said Turkey’s demands had been met and that the operation will be handed over to NATO, according to wire reports.
….

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Qatari Warplanes: First Persian Gulf State To Join NATO Combat Mission

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/me_gulf0334_03_24.asp

World Tribune
March 24, 2011

Qatar sends jets to Libya as first Gulf state to join NATO combat mission

ABU DHABI: Qatar has begun flying combat missions around Libya.

Qatar’s Emir Air Force has contributed four aircraft to the NATO mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. The Gulf Cooperation Council emirate began flying combat and other missions around Libya on March 22 in cooperation with France.

“The Qatari contribution has been huge for a country of its size,” an official said.

Officials said Qatar has deployed two French-origin Mirage 2000-5 fighters and two U.S.-origin C-17 Globemasters for the NATO mission. They said the C-17s, based out of the Greek island of Crete, were being used for air refueling by U.S. and other NATO fighter-jets.

This marked the first time a Gulf Cooperation Council state has joined a NATO combat mission. Qatar, based on French equipment, has one of the smallest militaries in the GCC.

Jordan and the United Arab Emirates had been expected to join the NATO mission. But officials said the UAE, with plans to deploy up to 24 Mirage and F-16 fighters, suspended participation in the operation.
….
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Jordan and Kuwait would join the NATO mission. Cameron said the two Arab League states, however, would not participate in combat operations against Libya.

“We will be getting logistic contributions from countries like Kuwait and also Jordan,” Cameron told the British parliament on March 23. “I hope further support will be forthcoming.”

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British Foreign Secretary: Turn Libyan War Control Over To NATO

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/24/c_13796727.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 24, 2011

British foreign secretary urges NATO to lead Libya action

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday NATO should take control of the multinational operation in Libya quickly.

Hague told parliamentary members the operations were currently under U.S. command. “But we want them to transition to NATO command and control as quickly as possible.”

NATO had already launched its operation to enforce the arms embargo. Its planning was complete for the no-fly zone….

[Hague] said British forces had undertaken a total of 59 aerial missions over Libya in addition to air and missile strikes. “Last night, our forces again participated in a coordinated strike against Libyan air defense systems. A no-fly zone has now been established and the regime’s integrated air defense system has been comprehensively degraded. There are no Libyan military aircraft flying,” he said.

More than 150 coalition planes have been involved in military operations, including Typhoon and Tornado aircraft from the Royal Air Force. Thirteen nations have currently deployed aircraft to the region. A number of additional nations have made offers of aircraft and other military support and are in the process of being agreed. Royal Navy vessels are in the region supporting the arms embargo.
….
The foreign secretary said Britain would continue to deepen its contacts with the Libyan opposition, including the Interim National Council based in Benghazi.

“I spoke to Mahmoud Jabril, Special Envoy of Council, on Tuesday to discuss the situation on the ground and to invite him to visit London,” Hague said.

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British Submarine Launches More Missile Strikes Against Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/24/c_13796506.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 24, 2011

British submarine launches further strikes on Libyan air defense systems

LONDON: A Royal Navy submarine has launched further missile strikes against Libyan air defense targets…said a statement released by British Defense Ministry on Thursday.

In the statement, the Chief of Defense Staff’s Strategic Communication Officer Major General John Lorimer said that British Armed Forces have again participated in a coordinated strike against Libyan air defense systems in support of resolution 1973.

Britain launched guided Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) from a Trafalgar Class submarine at Air Defense targets….

“Britain and her International partners remain engaged in operations to support United Nations Security Resolution 1973, to enforce the established No-Fly Zone and to ready the UK’s contribution to the NATO arms embargo of Libya,” Lorimer said.
….

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Turkey Provides NATO Four Warships, Submarine For Libya Blockade

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1850232.html

Trend News Agency
March 24, 2011

Turkish armed forces to serve on NATO embargo

Turkish lawmakers on Thursday approved a motion that will allow the Turkish armed forces to serve on the NATO arms embargo in violence-scarred Libya, Xinhua reported.

The government requested the parliament to allow it and the military to send troops to foreign countries in the motion….

Turkey will send four frigates, a submarine and an auxiliary warship to a NATO mission that will enforce arms embargo off Libya, which will be joined by other countries like Italy, Canada, Spain and the United States, NATO officials said Wednesday.

Commander of Turkey’s Naval Forces Admiral Ugur Yigit said Wednesday there had already been two Turkish ships in Libya, adding that two other ships and a submarine have set off for Libya, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

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http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1849916.html

Trend News Agency
March 24, 2011

Two Turkish Navy ships off Libyan coast; two more, submarine to join

Two ships of the Turkish Navy are already off the Libyan coast while another two and a submarine has completed preparations and departed for North African country, CNN Turk quoted the Navy’s commander-in-chief Ugur Yigit as saying.

Turkey has offered to contribute five warships and a submarine to international operations in Libya…NATO officials said Wednesday.

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Netherlands Deploys Warplanes For Operations Against Libya

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-f-16s-leave-libya-embargo-mission

Radio Netherlands
March 24, 2011

Dutch F-16s leave for Libya embargo mission

Six Dutch F-16s are leaving Leeuwarden air force base on Thursday afternoon and flying to Decimomanu in Sardinia to monitor the arms embargo against Libya.

A refuelling plane will assist the F-16s and the minesweeper HNLMS Haarlem will also be deployed to monitor the embargo.

The F-16s and the minesweeper are being deployed for three months. The refuelling plane is only available until 4 April.

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French Warplanes Strike Deep Inside Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/24/c_13796588.htm

Xinhua News Aguency
March 24, 2011

French fighter jets attack Libyan air base

PARIS: The French airforce struck a Libyan air base before sunrise Thursday, a military spokesman told a media conference.

The overnight strikes targeted a base about 250 kilometers south of the Libyan coastline, French general staff spokesman Thierry Burkhard said.

The air raids were conducted by Rafale and Mirage 2000-D fighter jets, he said, but didn’t give a specific location of the air base.

He also refused to disclose the damage inflicted on the air base, saying it was confidential.

France was the initiator of the international military intervention in Libya and claims to have destroyed more than 10 armoured vehicles belonging to Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
….

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Powerful Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16082742&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 24, 2011

Sound of shelling heard in Libyan capital

RABAT: Artillery cannonade has been heard in the Libyan capital since early morning. Air defence troops opened intensive defensive fire. The sound of powerful explosions is heard in some districts.

Last night Western coalition forces launched air strikes at a number of military facilities in Libya. According to witnesses, a military base east of Tripoli was bombed. Civilian and military targets in the city of Jafar, to the south-west of the capital, were also brought under fire.

The JANA News Agency of Libya reported that Western coalition planes raided Tripoli’s outskirts. According to JANA, the air strikes were dealt at residential areas. “There are numerous casualties among the population,” the report said.

Witnesses reported that a powerful explosion took place at a military base of the Libyan army in the area of Tajura, 32 kilometres east of the capital. Clouds of black smoke rose over the military base.

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Attack On Libya Evokes Serbs’ Bitter Memories Of NATO Onslaught

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_648702.html

Agence France-Presse
March 24, 2011

Libya airstrikes remind Serbians of Nato bombings

BELGRADE: The airstrikes on Libya brought back bitter memories for many Serbs on Thursday, 12 years after the start of a Nato bombing campaign aimed at ending a Serbian crackdown on Kosovo.

‘I am trying not to watch television reports from Libya because its a painful reminder’ of a spring spent hiding in shelters, software engineer Mr Petar Marjanovic said.

‘Even if I try to rationalise the bombing to convince myself that they were not aimed at us civilians but the military, I will never forget these days of fear and anxiety,’ Marjanovic said.

Nato launched the strikes – without UN Security Council backing unlike the intervention in Libya….

In one of the bloodiest incidents, more than a dozen people were killed on May 7, 1999, when Nato planes dropped cluster bombs on a crowded outdoor market in the southern town of Nis. It was later described as a ‘blunder’.

The bombing campaign against Serbia lasted 78 days and remains etched in public memory.

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New U.S.-NATO Strikes Kill Libyan Civilians, Including Rescue Workers

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/24/47889286.html

Voice of Russia
March 24, 2011

Coalition strikes again

The international coalition forces delivered more strikes on civilian and military targets in Libya on Wednesday with many civilians reportedly killed and wounded in the Tadjura residential area east of the capital Tripoli.

The list of those injured also includes several rescue workers who were looking for survivors in previous such strikes.

A residence of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Adjdabiya was also damaged.

Meanwhile, the NATO Council remains divided on the scope of the ongoing military operation.

On Tuesday it agreed to impose a sea blockade on Libya….

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Libyan Quagmire Could Drag More U.S. Forces In

http://en.huanqiu.com/opinion/commentary/2011-03/637383.html

Global Times
March 24, 2011

Libyan quagmire could drag more US forces in
Shi Yinhong
Professor of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China

Recently some scholars are talking about a coalition split over Libya operations, saying that the US and the UK are not pleased with France’s attempts to sidestep NATO at the beginning of the military operations against Libya. Some believe that France has hijacked Western operations against Libya. I strongly disagree.

The US has taken the lead in the Libya action, and it conducts most of the air strikes. It is too early to talk about split among the US, the UK and France at the moment. Gaddafi’s strength humiliated these Western powers. The coalition has to lend a hand to the Libyan rebels, so that they can continue to fight against Gaddafi.

In the future, divergence may emerge within the coalition. If Gaddafi overwhelms the rebels again, and the West has to send ground forces, they may quarrel among themselves, because every nation involved is reluctant to do this. So far the three powers largely share a consensus and operate in accordance with each other.

I don’t think the US will withdraw from the operations, either. It has sent aircraft carriers and war planes, and will continue the air-sea assault to prevent Gaddafi’s operations.

Gaddafi has called for a cease-fire again, but has been refused by the US. The no-fly zone is a strategic measure with a very clear objective – the coalition can use the zone to prevent Gaddafi from choking rebel forces.

Every war causes political controversy. You shouldn not listen to what Westerners say – you only need to watch what they do. Even if Gaddafi continues to last, he can only control part of Libya. The West won’t allow him to occupy the entire nation.

However, if the West continues to conduct the military intervention, some Arab countries that support the intervention may change their attitudes later.

The military intervention into Libya will become a risky precedent, and it may be abused by the West to interfere with internal affairs in other developing countries. But in the meantime, this is also a special case, due to Libya’s geological position.

If it were a country near Russia or China, and had closer relations with the two powers, they would probably have vetoed the no-fly zone resolution.

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White House Hands Libyan War Command And Control To NATO

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1567183.ece

Press Trust of India
March 24, 2011

‘NATO’s role very important in command and control of Libya’

As U.S. prepares to hand over the command and control of the military operation in Libya in the next few days, the Obama Administration has said that NATO would have a very important role to play in this regard.

“There is an agreement that NATO is going to play a very important role in the command and control,” said Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Advisor, adding that the terms and timeline of the transition is still being discussed at NATO.

“The exact structure and relative participation of different countries is what they’re continuing to discuss, and they will do so, again, tomorrow. But again, I think this is going to be a matter of days in which you see a movement towards a transition with regard to command and control,” he told White House correspondents travelling with the U.S. President on their way back from Latin American to the U.S.

“You already see an increase in the extent to which the no-fly zone, the enforcement of the no-fly zone piece of the effort in Libya right now is being undertaken by allies and partners. You see, again, a number of allies stepping up with different contributions as well,” he said, adding that the U.S. and its international partners are working through the command and control issue.
….

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How “Humanitarian” Is Western Intervention In Libya?

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/98670/102055/7327885.html

People’s Daily
March 22, 2011

How humanitarian is Western intervention in Libya?
Tang Zhichao

-Poor Libya is not the first “trial target” that the Western has attacked in the name of “humanitarianism.” Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and so on are all the former “targets.” Sadly, the “experiment” never really succeeded. As seen from the other two countries, this so-called “humanitarianism” is actually just the first step toward overthrowing of another country’s political power.

For days, British, French and U.S. forces have been conducting air strikes in Libya. Despite coalition claims that their actions have made steady progress, voices of dissatisfaction and opposition are increasingly louder due to casualties caused by a strike ostensibly carried out in the name of humanitarianism.

According to the U.S. Army, the operation “Odyssey Dawn,” which started on the afternoon of March 19, has largely weakened the capability of Libyan air defense. The first phase of the coalition’s mission to control Libyan air territory has achieved success, said Michael Glenn Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, on March 20.

The Western coalition emphasized that the first wave of the strike is “limited in scope,” but in fact it turned out otherwise, triggering great questions and doubts. Libya’s state-run TV station reported that 64 people died and 150 people were injured in the first day of the air strike. Such numbers are definitely going to increase with the ongoing strike.

The two main purposes of the current air strike are to destroy Libyan air defense facilities and lay the groundwork for setting up a no-fly zone, which will allow Western fighters to cruise on one hand. On the other hand, it aims to stop Gaddafi’s eastern aggression and force military troops loyal to Gaddafi to evacuate from Benghazi and other places occupied by Libyan rebels. However, neither of the purposes has been achieved as of now, and Gaddafi is not compromising, either.

The action implemented by the coalition was authorized by the U.N. Security Council in the name of “humanitarianism” to stop the killing of civilians by Gaddafi. However, the real situation is that casualties might be much higher than before Western interference. Aside from the deaths and injuries caused by the air strike, it will eventually turn into a humanitarian disaster because the interference might turn the civil conflict into a severe protracted civil war.

Poor Libya is not the first “trial target” that the Western has attacked in the name of “humanitarianism.” Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and so on are all the former “targets.” Sadly, the “experiment” never really succeeded. As seen from the other two countries, this so-called “humanitarianism” is actually just the first step toward overthrowing of another country’s political power.

The historical experience also tells us that such military interference is only for self-serving political and economic interests or even just out of dislike for some leaders, such as Saddam and Gaddafi, though it is veiled by a humanitarian guise.

However, it is definitely not under the pure name of “humanitarianism.” Then, who is going to clear the name of this cause?

Therefore, we could see the turning of Arab League’s sides from supporting to wavering and “regretting” within just a few days. In order to stop the bombing of civilians by Gaddafi, the Arab League appealed to the U.N. Security Council to set up a no-fly zone over Libya and provided a “legal” excuse for France and Britain to advance the 1973 no-fly ban.

But, the Arab League never expected that the air strike on Libya could cause such a big disaster, and they may have to share the burden of deaths first. So, the Arab League started to condemn the military attacks on Libya on March 20.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said what is currently happening in Libya has strayed away from the purpose of setting up no-fly zone approved by the U.N. Security Council. The council’s decision was done in order to protect civilians but not at the expense of sacrificing more civilians. The no-fly zone is expected but not bombs.

Apart from the Arab League, Russia strongly appealed all sides to cease fire to avoid hurting more civilians and opposes to use of military forces indiscriminately. Iran condemns the air strike on Libya and questions Western countries’ improper purposes. Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela, said the air strike could only cause more bleeding. Also, Turkey, as one member of NATO, opposes the behavior of its “partners” and warns NATO that the military interference would result in very dangerous consequences.

Translated by Wang Hanlu

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AFRICOM Chief Visits 14-Nation Libyan War Air Operations Center In Germany

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123248095

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
March 23, 2011

General Ham visits air operations center responsible for Operation Odyssey Dawn air campaign
by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres
17th Air Force Public Affairs

-“You can’t bring 14 different nations together without ever having prepared for this before.”

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: U.S. Africa Command Commander Army Gen. Carter Ham and his top enlisted advisor, Command Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson Jr., paid a visit to their air component here March 22.

Air Forces Africa (17th Air Force) Commander Air Force Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward greeted General Ham at the 603rd Air Operations Center, where flying operations in Libya were on display, and work with coalition partners was taking place. Participants from coalition countries to include France, Great Britain, and Italy were present to greet the general as he saw firsthand how the air components all were working together in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The 603rd, normally the AOC for 3rd Air Force and U.S. European Command, is hosting AFRICOM’s (and 17th Air Force’s) 617th Air Opertions Center. The two commands are working together on ODD….Together they form the air component of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

AFRICOM established the JTF to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of security council resolution. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces.

Although working with different countries in similar activities could warrant a difficult learning curve, General Ham said it was clear that this was not the case, and having preparation beforehand may have helped in this situation.

“You can’t bring 14 different nations together without ever having prepared for this before,” he said. “It’s amazing to see that even with such short notice what we have been able to come together and accomplish this task. There is no force anywhere on the planet that could pull this off.”
….
The 603rd AOC is playing host to not only the 617th AOC, but coalition partners as well….

“It’s amazing to see the many nations working together with extraordinary cooperation and dedication. But the work isn’t done yet….”

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Egypt: Pentagon Chief Gates Meets With Military Commander-In-Chief/Supreme Military Council Head

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63280

U.S. Department of Defense
March 23, 2011

Gates Reaffirms U.S. Support of Egypt
By Cheryl Pellerin

-Rapid change in the region holds potential new opportunities for the United States, Gates said.
-Gates will meet tomorrow with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the nation’s commander in chief and chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

CAIRO: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with Egyptian leaders here today as part of a visit officials said is designed to reaffirm U.S. support and advance the nations’ defense partnership.

“It’s always a pleasure to be back in this vibrant and historic city,” Gates said, “especially during a time of monumental promise and change both in Egypt and elsewhere in the region.”

America’s historic relationship with Egypt is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Gates said. The U.S.-Egyptian military partnership has grown over 30 years, he added, “and it is an integral part of the way our two countries pursue our common interests and advance stability in an often tumultuous region.”

Rapid change in the region holds potential new opportunities for the United States, Gates said.

“I would point to the longstanding relationship between the United States military and the Egyptian military and the constructive role the Egyptian military has played in the events of the past couple of months,” he said.

“For existing governments that undertake a process of reform and that we work with today, those relationships will continue,” Gates added. “And I think where change is underway we may have even greater opportunities.”

After his meeting today with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and other Egyptian officials, Gates said the leaders “do see a need for economic assistance, not just from us, but from all their friends.” The Egyptian leaders see the connection between political progress and people seeing concrete improvements in the quality of their lives, which means a growing economy, the secretary added.

“The key here is the stability that the Supreme Council has brought and the naming of the interim government that we hope in the short term will allow for a return of the tourist trade, which is an important source of income,” Gates said.

As private industry observers see a process of democratization going forward, he added, they will see opportunities for investment in Egypt, “which is at the end of the day, both inside Egypt and from external investment, the long-term solution to their economic problems.”

Gates will meet tomorrow with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the nation’s commander in chief and chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

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Global Navy Positioned U.S. For Libyan Strikes: Admiral

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63272

U.S. Department of Defense
March 23, 2011

Roughead: Ships Were Ready for Odyssey Dawn
By Jim Garamone

-The actions against Libya marked the first time the converted ballistic missile submarine USS Florida was used in combat, and basing the coalition’s joint task force aboard the USS Mount Whitney has provided flexibility….
-Roughead said he also is pleased with the performance of the EA-18G Growler, the Navy’s newest electronic warfare aircraft. The five-jet squadron had been flying missions over Iraq, but was quickly moved and began flying missions in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn….
-“That’s what you get when you have a global Navy that’s forward all the time. We don’t surge, and we don’t ride to the sound of the guns. We’re there, and when the guns go off, we’re ready to conduct combat operations….”
-The global supply chain has worked well, [Navy Admiral Gary Roughead] said, adding that he anticipates no problem in keeping operations going.
-Tomahawks will be replaced from the existing inventory, Roughead said. More than 3,200 Tomahawks are in the inventory….

WASHINGTON: While Operation Odyssey Dawn brewed up quickly, the U.S. Navy already was positioned for operations over Libya, the chief of naval operations said here today.

Navy Adm. Gary Roughead told the Defense Writers Group that having Navy ships and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea enabled a quick response to the order that began Operation Odyssey Dawn.

“The need, for example in the opening rounds, for the Tomahawk strikes, the shooters were already in place,” Roughead said. “They were already loaded, and that went off as we expected it would.”

The Navy’s top officer said he is pleased overall with the operation so far. The actions against Libya marked the first time the converted ballistic missile submarine USS Florida was used in combat, and basing the coalition’s joint task force aboard the USS Mount Whitney has provided flexibility, he added.

Roughead said he also is pleased with the performance of the EA-18G Growler, the Navy’s newest electronic warfare aircraft. The five-jet squadron had been flying missions over Iraq, but was quickly moved and began flying missions in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn just 47 hours after recovering from operations over Iraq, he said.

The admiral also praised the tactical recovery of two F-15E Strike Eagle airmen who ejected over Libya when their jet had mechanical problems. The USS Kearsarge launched a V-22 Osprey that got in quickly and made the recovery, he said.

“The way it came together, the synchronicity of operations, the involvement and coordination among the different participants [went] quite well,” he added.

Roughead said the Navy can continue supporting operations as long as it takes.

“That’s what you get when you have a global Navy that’s forward all the time,” he said. “We don’t surge, and we don’t ride to the sound of the guns. We’re there, and when the guns go off, we’re ready to conduct combat operations….”

In the run-up to the operations, the admiral told the group, the Joint Chiefs of Staff deliberated on the military actions that would be required. Roughead said he was particularly concerned about Moammar Gadhafi’s integrated air and missile defense system….

Logistics was another concern, Roughead said, but the Navy’s robust presence in the Mediterranean comes with re-supply ships afloat and depots ashore. The global supply chain has worked well, he said, adding that he anticipates no problem in keeping operations going.

From a funding standpoint, Roughead told the defense writers, the operations are not especially costly.

…Tomahawks will be replaced from the existing inventory, Roughead said. More than 3,200 Tomahawks are in the inventory, and the missiles used in the operation represent “relatively minor increases in cost,” he added.

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336 U.S., NATO Air Sorties, Missile Strikes In Libyan “Battle Space”

http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63269

U.S. Department of Defense
March 23, 2011

Pentagon Tallies Coalition Actions in Libya
By Karen Parrish

WASHINGTON: By the fifth day of coalition task force operations…the 13-nation alliance had flown more than 300 sorties in the North African country, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

By 3 p.m. EDT yesterday, the United States had flown 212 sorties, other coalition sorties totaled 124, and Tomahawk missile launches numbered 162, officials said.

Officials said the 336 sorties included 108 strike sorties, meaning they encountered opposition from Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
….
Task Force Odyssey Dawn, including forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada and Arab states, immediately shifted from humanitarian and refugee evacuation missions under way since March 4 to military air operations enforcing the resolution.
….
With the no-fly zone established and “robust,” the admiral said, “we are looking at the battle space as it changes, looking at the disposition of … Gadhafi’s forces that are not complying with the U.N. Security Council resolution, and we are able to produce more of an effect.”

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NATO Partners To Play Larger Role In Multiphased Libyan Attacks

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63279

U.S. Department of Defense
March 23, 2011

Coalition Partners Assume More Responsibility in Libya
By Lisa Daniel

-The coalition started out small, but quickly established the no-fly zone, obtained maritime superiority, put the embargo in place, interdicted ground forces, suppressed enemy air defenses….

WASHINGTON: Coalition task force operations in Libya continue to go well, and partner nations are picking up more of the workload, the chief of staff of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn told reporters today.

“Our efforts have been going well,” Navy Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber told Pentagon reporters by telephone from the USS Whitney in the Mediterranean Sea on the sixth day of operations. “This is a multiphased operation. Our coalition partners are assuming more and more responsibility.”

The 13-member coalition has achieved its objective to set up a no-fly zone over Libya….

Sortie airstrikes have rendered Libya’s air defense “severely degraded or destroyed,” the admiral said.
….
The coalition started out small, but quickly established the no-fly zone, obtained maritime superiority, put the embargo in place, interdicted ground forces, suppressed enemy air defenses…, Hueber said.

“This is a fully integrated coalition operation,” he said. “Coalition ships, aircraft and staff are focused on the single mission of enforcing [Resolution] 1973.”

The coalition has “accomplished quite a lot together,” the admiral said, “and will continue to work together” until the resolution’s objectives are met.

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Libyan War: China Must Rally World’s Anti-Intervention Voices

http://en.huanqiu.com/opinion/editorial/2011-03/636415.html

Global Times
March 22, 2011

Anti-intervention voices must be heard

-The Iraq invasion in 2003 went smoothly at first, but several thousand Americans died after the eradication of the Saddam regime. The war in Afghanistan has now lasted more than twice as long as World War I.
-Western supremacist interest has become more prevalent these years. In the current Middle East revolutions, Western governments rashly interacted with public opinion and hastily concluded Gaddafi would step down quickly. Now in order to maintain the authority of the West, they have to take the risk of military intervention.
China and Russia do not need to help the West find a way out in Libya.
-China should unite dissenting countries in uniting reactions against the air strikes. China should dare to do so, because the US, Britain and France first violated the no-fly zone resolution and the anti-military intervention camp can now occupy the moral high ground.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa criticized the US, Britain and France for their air raids in Libya on March 20. The coalition operations are facing increasing opposition from global public opinion. The veil of this military intervention under the banner of humanitarianism is rapidly being stripped away.

In this complex world, the situations in this region are much more complex than the description given by Western media. The US, Britain and France attempted to create a simple end in Libya that was beneficial to Western values, which, however, is contrary to reality. It means this military action cannot be as accurate and clear as a Tomahawk missile’s trajectory.

Within 24 hours of air strikes, the African Union, China, Russia, India and many other emerging countries stood out to oppose them. German displeasure has also been made clear. Moussa’s criticism indicates the dissatisfaction in the Arab world.

It is easy for the US, Britain and France to defeat the military power of Gaddafi, but the final outcome of military action in the Islamic world does not depend on the success or failure of military action alone. The Iraq invasion in 2003 went smoothly at first, but several thousand Americans died after the eradication of the Saddam regime. The war in Afghanistan has now lasted more than twice as long as World War I.

During the Iraq war, anti-American sentiment in the Arab world was severe, but the regulatory constraints in Arab countries limited the release of the discontent. But now with open public opinion, the people in Arab countries will soon understand that the real purpose of the Western air raids in Libya is not as pure as claimed.

Western supremacist interest has become more prevalent these years. In the current Middle East revolutions, Western governments rashly interacted with public opinion and hastily concluded Gaddafi would step down quickly. Now in order to maintain the authority of the West, they have to take the risk of military intervention.

China and Russia do not need to help the West find a way out in Libya.

With anti-American sentiment in the Arab world, the West cannot launch a ground war like in Iraq. The Arab world’s dislike of Gaddafi and aversion to the Western powers would balance each other out. Regardless of the fate of Gaddafi, a chaotic Libya will become an irremovable burden of the West.

China should unite dissenting countries in uniting reactions against the air strikes. China should dare to do so, because the US, Britain and France first violated the no-fly zone resolution and the anti-military intervention camp can now occupy the moral high ground.

Making full use of it, the West will give more respect to China’s opinion.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 23, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: March 23

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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1. Tbilisi: NATO Conference Discusses Georgia’s “Euro-Atlantic” Integration

2. Saakashvili: Full NATO Membership Georgia’s Main Political Goal

3. NATO Air Strike Kills Afghan Child And “Militants” On Motorcycle, Wounds Civilians

4. Belarus: NATO Courts Europe’s Last Holdout

5. Twelve Years Later: 20 Million Square Meters Of Serbia Contaminated With NATO Cluster Bombs

6. U.S. Achieves “Holy Grail” Of Star Wars Missile Interception

7. Romania: U.S. Strengthens Bilateral Air Force Relations

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1. Tbilisi: NATO Conference Discusses Georgia’s “Euro-Atlantic” Integration

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1849620.html

Trend News Agency
March 23, 2011

76th Rose-Roth seminar of NATO PA starts in Tbilisi
N. Kirtskhalia

Washington To Rearm Georgia For New Conflicts

Tbilisi: The 76th Rose-Roth seminar of NATO PA will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on March 23-25.

The three-day seminar will be attended by representatives of the Georgian leadership, a delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, head of the EU observer mission in Georgia Hans Joerg Haber, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Georgia, as well as experts.

The seminar will focus on global issues and the situation in the region, the Georgian-Russian conflict, Georgia’s integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, development of democracy in Georgia, role of media and civil society, combating corruption, and many other issues.

Seminar participants also plan to get acquainted with the situation at the administrative border with the Tskhinvali [South Ossetia] region.
————————————-

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=40812&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
March 23, 2011

Tbilisi hosts 76th Rose-Roth seminar of NATO PA

Tbilisi is hosting the 76th Rose-Roth seminar of the NATO Parliamentary assembly. The seminar focuses on global issues and the situation in the region, the Georgian-Russian conflict, Georgia`s integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, development of democracy in Georgia, the role of media and civil society, combating corruption, and many other issues.

The president of the NATO PA Karl Lamers arrived in Georgia to participate in the international event, which is attended by the diplomatic corps and Georgian and Polish lawmakers.

The participants of the seminar are discussing all those issues which are topical for Georgia today in the process of its integration into NATO.
….

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2. Saakashvili: Full NATO Membership Georgia’s Main Political Goal

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1849551.html

Trend News Agency
March 23, 2011

President of Georgia and President of NATO PA discuss prospects for Georgia’s accession to NATO
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Karl Lamers on Tuesday discussed the prospects of Georgia’s accession to NATO.

The meeting was held behind closed doors, a source at the presidential administration told Trend.

“Lamers reiterated support for Georgia’s aspirations to [join] the alliance and expressed his respect for Georgia’s efforts in this regard,” said the Administration.

In turn, the President of Georgia said that accession to NATO is the main direction of Georgia’s politics.

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3. NATO Air Strike Kills Afghan Child And “Militants” On Motorcycle, Wounds Civilians

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1849799.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 23, 2011

Local official: NATO airstrike kills two militants, Afghan child

U.S. Employs Afghan War To Build Global NATO

NATO: Afghan War Model For Future 21st Century Operations

A NATO airstrike killed two suspected militants and a child Wednesday in the south-eastern Afghan province of Khost, a local official said, dpa reported.

The adults were killed when a NATO aircraft hit their motorbike on a road in the Sabari district, said Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, spokesman for the provincial governor.

A civilian vehicle driving behind the motorbike was also caught in the
explosion, he said, adding “One child inside the car was killed, and two
civilian men and one woman were injured.”

NATO was not immediately available for comment.

Civilian casualties at the hand of international troops have been a sensitive issue in Afghanistan. Such deaths have caused friction between the Afghan government and its Western military allies.

Dozens of civilians have been killed in US-led operations in recent months, according to Afghan officials. The deaths included nine children in the south-eastern province of Kunar and President Hamid Karzai’s cousin in his hometown of Kandahar.

The recent killings of children prompted Karzai to lash out at the foreign
troops and demand a halt to the operations that carry the risk of hurting civilians. US official, including President Barack Obama, offered apologies after that incident.

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Belarus: NATO Courts Europe’s Last Holdout

http://news.belta.by/en/news/politics?id=619624

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
March 23, 2011

Belarus-NATO cooperation may continue on mutual interests

MINSK: France believes that it is possible for Belarus-NATO cooperation to continue on the basis of mutual interests, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Belarus Michel Raineri told media on 23 March.

The Embassy of France has been acting as NATO’s representative office in Belarus since 1 January 2011.

The diplomat said that various NATO delegations visit Belarus and the Embassy of France assists with arranging such visits and meetings. In his words, a NATO delegation visited Belarus in January. NATO officials are expected to visit Belarus in May to discuss future Belarus-NATO cooperation.

Michel Raineri underlined that general matters of future development of Belarus-NATO cooperation would be discussed in Brussels.

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5. Twelve Years Later: 20 Million Square Meters Of Serbia Contaminated With NATO Cluster Bombs

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=03&dd=23&nav_id=73394

Tanjug News Agency
March 23, 2011

NATO cluster bombs to be cleared

It has…been determined that 290 sites, located in 16 Serbian municipalities and covering a total of 14,920,000 square meters, are contaminated with cluster bombs from the NATO bombing.
110 more locations, 6,151,000 square meters in total, are suspected of containing cluster bombs….

BELGRADE: Clearing the ground in Bujanovac, Preševo and Kuršumlija in southern Serbia of cluster bombs left by the 1999 NATO bombing should start in April.

The project will be financed by a Norwegian donation worth EUR 3.4mn.

A memorandum of understanding between the Serbian government center for mine clearance and the Norwegian organization People’s Aid is being prepared, reads a release from the demining center made available to reporters on Wednesday at the Serbian Interior Ministry.

The humanitarian demining project in these municipalities will last three years.

According to the data of the center, Bujanovac and Preševo have 1,389,900 square meters contaminated with different types of mines, and the area will be investigated further to determine precise information.

It has also been determined that 290 sites, located in 16 Serbian municipalities and covering a total of 14,920,000 square meters, are contaminated with cluster bombs from the NATO bombing.

110 more locations, 6,151,000 square meters in total, are suspected of containing cluster bombs, but the areas need to be investigated more thoroughly.

The 1999 attacks of the western military alliance left Serbia with 64 aerial bombs and rockets at 44 locations, some buried as deep as 20 meters in the ground and some lying in the Sava and Danube riverbeds.

Based on information received from citizens, the Interior Ministry’s Emergency Situations Sector suspects that another 50 bombs and rockets are hidden at several dozen locations which are yet to be fully searched.

====

6. U.S. Achieves “Holy Grail” Of Star Wars Missile Interception

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42238237/ns/technology_and_science-space/

http://www.spacenews.com/military/110323-stss-demo-birth-death-missile-tracking.html

MSNBC/Space News
March 3, 2011

U.S. achieves the ‘Holy Grail’ of missile defense
2 Northrop Grumman satellites track ‘birth to death’ ballistic missile launch
by Turner Brinton

NATO Provides Pentagon Nuclear, Missile And Cyber Shields Over Europe

Europe And Beyond: U.S. Consolidates Global Missile Shield

WASHINGTON: A pair of low Earth-orbiting demonstration satellites built by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for the first time on March 16 detected and tracked a ballistic missile launch through all phases of flight, a Northrop Grumman official said March 22.

So-called birth-to-death tracking of a ballistic missile launch had never been done before from space and is the most significant achievement to date for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) spacecraft, said Doug Young, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of missile defense and warning programs.

“It’s the Holy Grail for missile defense,” Young said during a media briefing here.

Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman built three STSS demonstration satellites for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The first satellite, which had a classified mission, was launched in May 2009. After completing its test program, it was transferred Jan. 31 to the control of Air Force Space Command to continue supporting the service’s space situational awareness mission.

The two unclassified STSS satellites were launched in September 2009 on a single United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. During an extended on-orbit check-out and calibration phase that concluded in November, the satellites tracked multiple missile launches in the early boost and post-boost phases and demonstrated the ability to relay data from one satellite to the other.

On March 16, an ARAV-B short-range target missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. An STSS satellite detected the heat signature of the launch with its acquisition sensor, and then its gimbaled tracking sensor locked on to the boosting missile, Young said.

The tracking data was successfully relayed to the other satellite, which continued to observe the target as it coasted through space, re-entered the atmosphere and splashed down in the ocean, he said.

Future STSS tests this year will be more sophisticated, Young said. In the coming months, the MDA will attempt to cue the STSS satellites to a missile launch using data from the operational Defense Support Program missile warning satellites, rather than the acquisition sensors on board STSS, he said.

Another test this year will seek to determine if the STSS satellites can produce missile tracking data good enough to cue the launch of ship-based interceptors, a concept known as launch on remote.

Today, Navy Aegis ships are only able to launch interceptors to defeat ballistic missiles after they are detected by the ship’s own radar. If the interceptors can be fired based on cuing from forward-based sensors, the area that each ship can defend from missiles is greatly increased.

The Navy and MDA plan to conduct the first Aegis launch-on-remote intercept test next month, for which a forward-based AN/TPY-2 X-band radar will cue the launch of a Standard Missile (SM)-3 interceptor before the target missile is detected by the ship’s radar, MDA budget documents show.

Similarly, the STSS demonstration satellites later this year will attempt to track a target missile and feed data to the Aegis system to generate a “fire control solution” for an early interceptor launch, Young said. However, an interceptor will not actually be launched in that test, he noted.

Meanwhile, the MDA is pursuing an operational constellation of geosynchronous missile tracking satellites dubbed the Precision Tracking Space System. The agency will rely on the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., to develop a prototype system to be launched in 2015. An industry team is expected to be chosen in 2014 to build between nine and 12 operational spacecraft planned to begin launching in 2018.

The MDA aims to spend $1.34 billion on the Precision Tracking Space System between 2012 and 2016, budget documents show.

====

7. Romania: U.S. Strengthens Bilateral Air Force Relations

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123247976

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
March 23, 2011

Mission Complete: Carpathian Spring 2011 comes to a close
by Tech Sgt. Jocelyn L. Rich
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. And NATO Accelerate Military Build-Up In Black Sea Region

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: After a week of training between more than 70 U.S. Airmen and Soldiers and their Romanian counterparts, Carpathian Spring officially came to a close March 18.

Members of the 37th Airlift Squadron, 435th Contingency Response Group, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and 5th Quarter Masters Battalion were among the members involved in this year’s event held at Airlift Base Otopeni and Campia Turzii.

The weeklong annual exercise was designed to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Romanian air forces, while also enhancing their individual capabilities through training scenarios that are difficult to achieve at home station.
….
Airmen have also been working with the Romanian’s in the air traffic control tower to ensure the two nations are learning to work together more cohesively.
….

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 23

====

Iraq Repeat: Bulgarian Warship To Join NATO Libya Blockade

Commentary: U.S. And NATO Lust For Libya’s Conquest

U.S. Shifts Libyan War To NATO Command To Maintain Control

Libya: Russian Duma Calls For Immediate Halt To Western Military Actions

U.S. Deploying Three New Warships, Marines To Libyan Coast

NATO Deploys Armada Of Warships, Submarines For Libya Blockade

Danish F-16s In First Libyan Bombings, Air Combat

Assault On Libya: 160 Cruise Missiles, Four Days Of Bombing

150 Warplanes From 11 Nations And British Prime Minister Says Libyan Conflict Still In “Early Stages” And “A Lot More Needs To Be Done”

Report: Turkey To Deploy Five Warships And Submarine For NATO’s Libyan Blockade

Norway Assigns Six F-16s To U.S. AFRICOM For Libya Strikes

United Nations Security Council: West Refuses Russia Answers Over Resolution 1973 Questions

NATO Ships Begin Blockade Of Libya

U.S., France Agree On NATO Command For Libyan War

U.S. Analyst: Real Intent Behind Military Actions Against Libya

Russia Continues To Oppose Military Intervention In Libya

Russians Protest Libyan War Outside NATO Nations’ Embassies

EU’s Top Diplomat: NATO Should Take Control Of Libya Operation

Bolivian President Demands Obama Be Stripped Of Nobel Peace Prize Over Libyan War

Fires, Deaths: NATO Attacks Hit Tripoli Harbor, Airport

“Regime Change” In Libya To Require Involvement In Ground War

U.S. Marines Shoot Six Libyan Civilians To Rescue Downed Pilots

Libya Burns, But Bahrain Can Shake The World

Pentagon Using New Generation Tomahawk Missiles In Libya

“There Is Hope In Benghazi, The French Flag Is Being Waved There”

Romania Joins NATO Naval Blockade Of Libya

Netherlands Joins NATO’s Onslaught Against Libya

Military Occupation And Regional Reconfiguration: South African Trade Union Confederation Condemns West Over Libyan Attack

====

Iraq Repeat: Bulgarian Warship To Join NATO Libya Blockade

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=126559

Sofia News Agency
March 23, 2011

Bulgarian Navy Prepares Frigate for NATO Mission Off Libya’s Coast

-Gordi, under the name F910 Weilingen as part of the Belgian Navy, took part in the UN maritime embargo against Iraq – Operation Southern Breeze during the First Gulf War in 1990-1991 – a naval operation similar to the one in Libya.

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Anyu Angelov has issued orders to prepare the “Drazki” (“Daring”) frigate of the Bulgarian Navy for participation in the NATO naval operation off Libya’s coast.

The move is in accordance with NATO’s Tuesday’s decision to launch a naval mission in the Mediterranean….

The NATO naval operation will be separate from Operation Odyssey Dawn, which has been going on since Saturday, in which forces of leading Western powers and some Arab states have been carrying out air and missile strikes….

While Bulgaria’s government made it clear it did not have the military capabilities – i.e. the necessary fighter jets – to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn under the leadership of the USA, UK, and France, it did say that it can send one frigate to help enforce the arms embargo against Libya.

Defense Minister Anyu Angelov himself has confirmed the orders that he had given to the Bulgarian Navy for participation in the naval NATO mission.
….
In 2009, Bulgaria purchased three second-hand frigates from Belgium – Drazki, Gordi (“Proud”), and “Verni” (“Faithful”) – and the Tsibar minesweeper. Interestingly, one of the frigates, Gordi, under the name F910 Weilingen as part of the Belgian Navy, took part in the UN maritime embargo against Iraq – Operation Southern Breeze during the First Gulf War in 1990-1991 – a naval operation similar to the one in Libya.
….
If it sends in its frigate, Bulgaria will be following Romania, whose President Traian Basescu announced on Tuesday that his country will participate in the NATO naval operation off Libya’s coast with the King Ferdinand frigate. The Romanian frigate will be manned by a 205-member crew.

====

Commentary: U.S. And NATO Lust For Libya’s Conquest

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=82418

Pakistan Observer
March 23, 2011

US, NATO lust for Libya’s conquest
Dr Samiullah Koreshi

[Edited]


-[T]he US plus the white West…started a naked aggression on Saturday 19th March with France firing on military vehicles and the US launching missile attacks on, first, Ghaddafi’s air defenses, with the neo-crusaders’ running mate, the UN and the ever-obliging Ban Ki-moon, who has turned the UN into a subsidiary of the neo-colonialist powers.
-As is their well-established practice, the [West] met under some label of a coalition with the Old Crusaders under the new label of NATO, with Ban Ki-moon the ever-obliging errand boy making all the noises which are music to their ears, the dividing line between the so-called United Nations organization and the Western foreign offices having disappeared.
-The painful developments of this neo-oil colonialist aggression will unfold in all its gory scenes. Today Libya and Ghadhafi, tomorrow who knows?

Only a few days ago turmoil started in Libya with a rebellion of a medley of locals. It was claimed that this was a manifestation of the so-called democracy wave sweeping the Arab world, but there was one difference – this turmoil was an armed rebellion.

Ghadhafi claimed that the rebels included Chadian and Nigerian [from Niger] mercenaries (not to be confused with Nigerian).

He claimed that al-Quaida was involved in it – maybe thereby hoping to keep his mortal enemy the West not to support the rebellion.

Obviously his hopes were wrong. It is more than possible that in accordance with the Western well-established practice, the anti-Ghaddafi armed rebellion was engineered by the West itself, which is indicated by two things, first the armed rebellion was aided by two Francophone countries, poorest of the poor in the world, and the speed with which all the brutal plans for Ghadhafi’s killing went into action. Ghadhafi’s mortal enemies are oil-hungry America and the West, the same who went for killing of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. These killer countries have a list of those in power whom they must kill. Where there is oil, there is an American-Western plan to eliminate the persona non grata rulers and occupy oil land directly or through proxy.

In the manner of new gunboat diplomacy, the US plus the white West with some camp follower Arab “rulers” – openly one, secretly quite a few camp followers – supporting it, and the neo-crusader NATO their knife, started a naked aggression on Saturday 19th March with France firing on military vehicles and the US launching missile attacks on, first, Ghaddafi’s air defenses, with the neo-crusaders’ running mate, the UN and the ever-obliging Ban Ki-moon who has turned the UN into a subsidiary of the neo-colonialist powers.

Damn be the so-called UN Charter. After all he who pays the piper calls the tune. The US and the white West pay the piper. Ban Ki-moon knows the right voice that pleases his paymasters.

All white Christian rulers, with one Arab camp follower, are spilling Libyan blood under the garb of removing Ghadhafi’s “brutal” rule over Libya. As is their well-established practice, the whites met under some label of a coalition with the Old Crusaders under the new label of NATO, with Ban Ki-moon the ever-obliging errand boy making all the noises which are music to their ears, the dividing line between the so-called United Nations organization and the Western foreign offices having disappeared.

All the UN motions and resolutions are shams and steps to create papers and alibis for implementing the plans to kill Ghaddafi the old enemy, bifurcate Libya and occupy its oil fields.

Does this kill Ghadhafi operation not have tacit Arab support? Has Amr Musa not given his approval to it?

The Arab states should know that individually they are very weak. If their collective will ceases to exist no one can ensure their sovereignty and one by one they would face a dark future.

The neo-oil imperialism designs of US-France-NATO are not difficult to read. Even an ordinary diplomat can read them. It does not require an expert of great wisdom.

The painful developments of this neo-oil colonialist aggression will unfold in all its gory scenes. Today Libya and Ghadhafi, tomorrow who knows?

The Western-US invasion of Libya has lifted the veil from the fact that these Crusader countries continue to retain their imperialist plans for Africa, the Arab World and Muslim countries.

This is the playground of their military conquests as it was once upon a time. Let no Muslim country remain in any doubt about the real intentions of Western neo-imperialism . The US has said that it has gone to Libya to save its people. This reminds of an Urdu proverb, “The woman who claims to love the child more than the mother is a child-eating witch“: Bhaba kutni.

The shark has opened its mouth to devour Libya and divide its oil belt from the rest of Libya. It should be remembered that in the UN in the 1960s Pakistan carried the struggle to join all its part to make a unified country of Libya.

Now the wolf is again on the prowl for a vivisection under all kinds of false slogans” Their love for Libya is the love of Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf masquerading as the grandmother….

====

U.S. Shifts Libyan War To NATO Command To Maintain Control

http://rt.com/news/operation-libya-us-nato/

RT
March 23, 2011

Allies start shifting operation leadership in Libya

-“The US won’t allow any other country and especially France to take the lead. The US would prefer NATO to take the lead of this operation – because by connecting NATO to Libya they will be the first ones to tell NATO how to do things and how to work on the ground.”
-“With Colonel Gaddafi being a historical enemy of the west for many, many decades, suddenly he has been brought back into the international fold. There were lots of oil contracts and business contracts flowing out of Libya towards places like the US, the UK and France and Italy.”
“So, I think, they [the west] were torn for a long time and it is only really over the last weekend that they did a bit of a rush job to take the violence to the next stage and protect the rebels that they have been backing secretly for a couple of decades in the east of Libya.”

US President Barack Obama agreed with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy that NATO would play a key role in further enforcement of the no-fly zone in Libya.

NATO has so far been viewed as a military commander-in-chief only, as several alliance members like Turkey or the Arab League will scarcely acknowledge the organization as a political leader in Libya’s operation, France pointed out.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the foreign ministers of all the countries taking part in military action in Libya will hold a meeting in next few days to create an effective political structure for operations.

“Once we have this political structure… we will naturally use the planning and intervention capacities of NATO,” he said as cited by Reuters.

The UK is volunteering to take the interim role of political leader to steer the coalition’s steps in Libya before the designated structure comes into being.

NATO conceded its session on Tuesday to enforce an arms embargo on Libya. NATO warships will start patrolling the Libyan coast on Wednesday with this mission.

The organization has also finalized plans to enforce UN-sanctioned no-fly zone, if required. However, the plan did not “take into account the political reality of having to reach agreement on whether to execute it,” said a NATO official.

The UN Security Council will discuss the latest developments in Libya in its Thursday session.

­There can be no talk about any humanitarian mission in Libya, says Barah Mikail, an expert on Middle East, the coalition just uses it as a pretext to interfere in the Libyan crisis. But the confusion inside the coalition itself is so great that it is yet too early to estimate the operation as successful. Much depends on who will gain control over the events.

“Even though we talk more and more about NATO, we should not forget that the essential struggle from the diplomatic and military point of view is whether the United States or France will be able to take the lead. The essential point of what is going on is the struggle between the US on the one hand and Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy much specifically, on the other”, says Mikail.

Despite Washington’s rhetoric of reducing the US presence in the Middle East country, Mikail does not believe that the US’s role in the operation will diminish.

“The US won’t allow any other country and especially France to take the lead”, says Mikail. “The US would prefer NATO to take the lead of this operation – because by connecting NATO to Libya they will be the first ones to tell NATO how to do things and how to work on the ground.”

­NATO has found itself in a tight place over the Libyan crisis, says Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, as nobody wished to accept the responsibility of continuing the military operation in the Middle East country. “Everyone realizes that it will be quite impossible to bring Gaddafi down without a mission on the ground,” Rogozin was cited as saying by RIA Novosti news agency. Attacking Gaddafi’s forces with air-strikes “will not help to achieve the goal, as all these forces have long ago relocated to towns and cities, so civilian casualties will be inevitable.”

“This is a stalemate situation, from NATO’s point of view” Rogozin says. “Yesterday a decision was taken for the bloc to enforce at least one point of the UN Security Council’s resolution – imposing arm supplies embargo on Libya, which rather resembles a naval blockade.”

­Coalition under fire for civilian deaths

­The international community is quickly growing diverse in the estimates of the “Odyssey Dawn” operation results. In contrast to US and France’s positive comments, Turkey has said the air strikes in Libya have already gone beyond what had been sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Russia and China are calling for an immediate ceasefire in the country by all the forces involved into the conflict.

“We are against excessive use of military force, and we are against the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis, and we are against even greater casualties among civilians,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was cited as saying by the Associated Press.

Washington sought to untangle itself from the Libyan crisis cobweb, with President Barack Obama announcing on Tuesday that the US has significantly reduced the number of military flights over Libya. He also added that the control of all the military operations in Libya will be transferred to the international coalition within a few days.

US intentions were confirmed by the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his visit to Moscow. Gates had to back up Washington’s continuous assaults on Libya, which resulted in civilian casualties, in response to sharp criticism from his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov. Serdyukov called for an immediate cease-fire by both Libya and coalition forces in order to prevent any further civilian deaths.

“We urge all belligerent parties to do their best to stop the violence,” Serdyukov said. “We believe that only a ceasefire and a dialogue between the belligerent parties would be the surest way to” ensure the security of civilians.

The Libyan crisis will also be included on the agenda of the Russia-NATO session in late March, where it will be discussed at the ambassador level.

Former British intelligence officer Annie Machon believes that the roots of the differences within the coalition lie in the long-standing inconsistency of Western policy towards Libya.

“With Colonel Gaddafi being a historical enemy of the west for many, many decades, suddenly he has been brought back into the international fold. There were lots of oil contracts and business contracts flowing out of Libya towards places like the US, the UK and France and Italy,” she said.

“So, I think, they [the west] were torn for a long time and it is only really over the last weekend that they did a bit of a rush job to take the violence to the next stage and protect the rebels that they have been backing secretly for a couple of decades in the east of Libya,” she added. “Different aims from different countries; different vested interests within Libya of the different countries, and also different histories are all playing a part in this model.”

====

Libya: Russian Duma Calls For Immediate Halt To Western Military Actions

http://rt.com/politics/state-duma-resolution-libya/

RT
March 23, 2011

Russian Duma calls for immediate halt to violence in Libya

-Russian parliamentarians stressed that the realization of the UN resolution allowed certain countries to pursue different goals when delivering missile and bomb strikes on Libyan territory, targeting sites that had no immediate relation to enforcing the no-flight zone.
Given such “indiscriminate use of military force,” the lawmakers said, the prospects for the normalization of affairs in Libya may take much longer than necessary, while also prompting other states to develop their own weapons of mass destruction.

The lower house of the State Duma will call upon the Western states to immediately halt their military actions against the Gaddafi regime in order to avoid civilian casualties.

“The State Duma expresses concern over the scale and form in which the military force is used against Libya and calls for parliaments of France, Great Britain, United States, Italy, Canada and other states that are conducting the military operation to assist the immediate end of combat that damages the peaceful Libyan infrastructure and most importantly causes new casualties among the civilian population,” reads a State Duma draft statement the international affairs committee has recommended adopting on Wednesday.

The Duma “joins the UN Security Council demands on immediately working out a ceasefire and absolutely stopping violence and all attacks on civilians and their cruel treatment and is calling on the leaders of Libya and the coalition member-states to strictly follow the spirit and the letter of relevant resolutions in their practical actions,” the statement continues.

Of the 450 deputies of the State Duma, 341 voted in favor of the resolution.

The lower house will hold a final vote on the document on Wednesday evening after discussing the amendments to it.

The resolution stresses that Russia joins the demands of the UN Security Council to immediately stop all violence against civilians, and that Russia calls for both the Libyan authorities and the coalition countries to base their actions on the corresponding resolutions.

Meanwhile, the Russian parliamentarians approved of their country’s decision to abstain from voting on the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which provided the coalition forces to employ “all necessary means” for protecting Libyan civilians from the violence that has shaken their country since anti-government protesters took to the streets against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.

“The decision was a choice adequate to the situation,” the Duma statement reads.

The parliamentarians said they regretted that a draft UN Security Council resolution proposed by Russia, which was aimed at peacefully settling the crisis in Libya through the involvement of a special representative of the UN secretary-general, and other international organizations, failed to win significant support.

The Russian lawmakers stressed that one of the major flaws of Resolution 1973 is that is failed to restrain the use of excessive military force.

Resolution 1973 “declared primarily the need to protect Libya’s civilian population, including through the imposition of a no-fly zone, but this resolution failed to set clear limits on the use of military force,” the Russian lawmakers said.

Russian parliamentarians stressed that the realization of the UN resolution allowed certain countries to pursue different goals when delivering missile and bomb strikes on Libyan territory, targeting sites that had no immediate relation to enforcing the no-flight zone.

Given such “indiscriminate use of military force,” the lawmakers said, the prospects for the normalization of affairs in Libya may take much longer than necessary, while also prompting other states to develop their own weapons of mass destruction.

Russia has abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution authorizing the use of force in Libya, but President Dmitry Medvedev amended the Russian legislation in accordance with the resolution, banning the sales of arms to Libya and also refusing Gaddafi and his close circle the right to enter the Russian Federation. At the same time, Russian officials have repeatedly criticized the resolution and warned that it could lead to a lengthy war with numerous casualties.

====

U.S. Deploying Three New Warships, Marines To Libyan Coast

http://www.wtkr.com/news/sns-ap-va–shipdeployments,0,968322.story

Associated Press
March 23, 2011

USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group deploying to Mediterranean

NORFOLK, Va. – The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is deploying to the Mediterranean Sea to aid international efforts in Libya.
….
The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group is made up of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde and the dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island.
—————————————————————————

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/03/23/2681s628199.htm

Xinhua News Agency
Match 23, 2011

U.S. Sends Warships to Join Libya Mission

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday dispatched three warships to the Mediterranean to join the military mission in Libya.

Two ships of the group left the military port of Norfolk, VA. Wednesday. They include helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde. They will be joined by dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story, Va.

Together the three ships made up the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. They are deploying as part of U.S. maritime forces supporting U.S. and international contingency planning associated with the crisis in Libya.

The groups will relieve units from the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group currently positioned in the Mediterranean Sea. The Amphibious Ready Group include amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and amphibious transport dock ship USS Ponce.

The group and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit onboard are prepared to conduct a variety of missions, according to the U.S. Navy. The missions include forward naval presence, maritime security operations, theater security cooperation…as directed by Fleet and Joint Task Force commanders.

The ships carry hundreds of Marines, a team of surgeons and a helicopter sea combat squadron, according to the Navy.

The U.S. Navy has five combat ships in the Mediterranean, including two guided-missile destroyers, but there are no U.S. aircraft carriers close to Libya. The Navy also has three submarines outfitted with Tomahawk missiles in the Mediterranean.

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NATO Deploys Armada Of Warships, Submarines For Libya Blockade

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-D3C6A22D-85CDFAF7/natolive/news_71726.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 23, 2011

NATO ships move to enforce UN arms embargo

NATO warships and aircraft have started patrolling the approaches to Libya’s coast as part of Operation Unified Protector. Their mission is to enforce the arms embargo called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
….
Six NATO ships are already in international waters off Libya’s coast….A chief planner of the mission at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Brigadier General Pierre St Amand said at a press conference in Brussels that Allies have already pledged a further 16 ships to the mission.

The operation is being commanded by Vice Admiral Rinaldo Veri from NATO Maritime Command Naples.

Patrol aircraft and fighter jets are also heading towards the area of operations to provide long-range surveillance and intercept any suspected flights carrying weapons into Libya.
….
Their main task will be to monitor ships and aircraft heading towards Libyan territory. They have the right to stop and search any vessel they suspect of carrying prohibited cargo.
———————————————————————

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/24/3172074.htm?section=justin

Agence France-Presse
March 23, 2011

NATO offers armada to enforce Libya arms embargo

NATO nations have offered up an armada of ships and submarines to enforce an arms embargo against Moamar Gaddafi, as the West moved to settle a row over who should run the entire Libya campaign.

Six nations agreed to contribute up to 16 vessels…with Turkey offering five warships and a submarine despite its reservations about the military action.

The NATO mission will have the means to intercept and board…ships, and the authority to fire a warning shot across the bow of vessels trying to slip away, a NATO official said.

In the meantime, the 28-nation alliance appeared to move closer to deciding NATO’s place in a no-fly zone that has been enforced by an international coalition led by the United States, France and Britain.

France wants political authority to rest in the hands of a committee made up of countries taking part in the international campaign, including Arab states, while leaving planning and operational military duties to NATO.
….
Kuwait and Jordan have agreed to provide a logistical contribution to the international coalition, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Qatar has deployed Mirage fighter jets, the only Arab state so far to commit military assets to the coalition.
———————————————————————

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110323/local/nato-ships-begin-patrols-off-libya

Agence France-Presse
March 23, 2011

Nato ships begin patrols off Libya

Six NATO warships backed up by aircraft began to patrol international waters off Libya’s coast today to enforce a UN arms embargo against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the alliance said.

“NATO warships and aircraft have started patrolling the approaches to Libya’s coast as part of Operation Unified Protector,” NATO said on its website.

The ships were already in international waters off Libya’s coast while patrol aircraft and fighter jets were heading to the area “to provide long-range surveillance and intercept any suspected flights carrying weapons into Libya,” it said.
….
Alliance General Pierre St-Amand of Canada said earlier that six NATO nations have pledged 16 vessels for the operation, including three submarines.

NATO allies agreed to launch the operation late yesterday.

====

Danish F-16s In First Libyan Bombings, Air Combat

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/24/c_13794825.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 23, 2011

Danish F-16 fighters drop bombs on Libya for first time, says Air Force

COPENHAGEN: Danish F-16 fighter jets have, for the first time, dropped precision-guided bombs on targets in Libya, the Danish Air Force’s Tactical Air Command said on Wednesday.

“In the course of the last 24 hours, the Danish F-16 planes launched precision bombs on targets in Libya for the first time,” Tactical Air Command said in a press statement released Wednesday afternoon. It did not provide further details of the strikes or the targets, citing security concerns for Danish forces and mission coalition partners.

Denmark has deployed six F-16 fighter jets, as well as 132 support personnel as part of a UN-mandated coalition force to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.

The Danish forces are operating out of Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. The statement said the six F-16s have carried out a total of 12 missions since commencing operations on Sunday, including 11 air-to-ground and one air-to-air mission, and added that “the mission is progressing as planned.”

Mission coalition partners France, Britain, and the U.S. have also launched strikes from air and sea against Libyan military targets since Saturday….

====

Assault On Libya: 160 Cruise Missiles, Four Days Of Bombing

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/23/47836210.html

Voice of Russia
March 23, 2011

International coalition continues bombing Libya

The international coalition is continuing to bomb Libya.

Missiles and artillery shells exploded in Tripoli for the fourth consecutive night last night. According to the allied command, more than 160 Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired on Gaddafi military installations since the start of the operation.

The Libyan leader appeared in public briefly last night to urge his supporter to fight to the last ditch.

Meanwhile the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has said that the United States will hand over the Libya operation command to the allies within the next few days, with NATO to play a key role in handling the situation in the North African country.
——————————————————————–

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13794652.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 23, 2011

Western aircraft launch strikes on Gaddafi’s forces in Misrata

TRIPOLI: Western coalition aircraft have launched two strikes on the rebel-held city of Misrata which forces loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are trying to retake, Al-Arabiya reported, citing an eyewitness.

Pro-Gaddafi forces have not fired a single artillery since the air strike began.
….

====

150 Warplanes From 11 Nations And British Prime Minister Says Libyan Conflict Still In “Early Stages” And “A Lot More Needs To Be Done”

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1849825.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 23, 2011

Cameron: Lot more still needs to be done in Libya

The conflict in Libya is in its “early stages” and “a lot more needs to be done”…, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday, dpa reported.

Cameron told parliament in London that 11 nations belonging to the international coalition took part in the latest military action over Libya, contributing 150 aircraft.

“I think we have made good progress in the no-fly zone, good progress in terms of turning some of those forces back and protecting civilians, but clearly this is early stages and a lot more remains to be done.”

There had been an “early and good progress” effect in terms of regime forces having to retreat from Benghazi but “great concern” remained over what was happening in the town of Misurata.
….
He confirmed that the Gulf state of Qatar had supplied a Mirage fighter jet and support aircraft for the military operation, and that the coalition was expecting “logistical contributions” from Jordan and Kuwait.

He had also discussed the matter with the Saudi foreign minister, Cameron revealed.
….
“We hope more support will be forthcoming,” said Cameron.

====

Report: Turkey To Deploy Five Warships And Submarine For NATO’s Libyan Blockade

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1849865.html

Trend News Agency
March 23, 2011

Turkey to provide Navy ships for operations to enforce embargo on arms supplies to Libya

As part of the NATO operations to enforce the embargo on arms supplies to Libya, Turkey will provide five Navy ships and one submarine boat, local media reported on Wednesday, citing sources at the headquarters of NATO, RIA Novosti reported.

Official confirmation of this information has not yet been made by the Turkish authorities.

Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would not send weapons against Libya. “I emphasize that Turkey will not be the party that will direct arms against the people of Libya,” said the Prime Minister, speaking in Parliament Tuesday.
——————————————————————–

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110323/163165260.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 23, 2011

Turkey offers warships to help implement UN arms embargo against Libya – media

Ankara: Turkey has offered its warships to help implement a UN arms embargo against Libya, world media said Wednesday citing a NATO source.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya last Friday, allowing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

According to media, Turkey offered five warships including four frigates and one support vessel, as well as a submarine to help enforce the embargo.
….
There has yet been no official confirmation from Turkish officials of the offer.

Leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and France agreed in a phone conversation that NATO should take the key role in the military operation in Libya.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton confirmed on Tuesday that such discussions are ongoing.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO finished its planning on the no-fly zone and arms embargo enforcement in Libya and all members of the alliance were “committed to meet their responsibilities under the United Nations resolution to stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians.”

The U.S. imposed unilateral sanctions on 14 Libyan companies owned by Libya’s National Oil Corporation, which it sees as “the centerpiece of Libya’s state-owned oil apparatus” and “a primary funding source for the Gaddafi regime.”

Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in continuing allied airstrikes.

====

Norway Assigns Six F-16s To U.S. AFRICOM For Libya Strikes

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1849735.html

Deutsche Pressse-Agentur
March 23, 2011

Norwegian cabinet approves joining no-fly zone operation

-“We want a broad coalition of countries, that is broader than NATO but that can utilise NATO resources,” Stoltenberg said.

Norway has given approval for its six F-16 fighter jets to take part in the no-fly zone operation over Libya, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told parliament Wednesday.

The fighter jets were for the time being “to be under the US Africa Command,” Stoltenberg specified, as fresh reports suggested that the military alliance NATO was soon to take charge of the overall command, dpa reported.

Stoltenberg said the cabinet decision had the full backing of his three-party coalition, rejecting suggestions that the Socialist Left Party opposed placing the jets under US command.

The six fighter jets arrived late Monday at a base on the southern Greek island of Crete.

“We want a broad coalition of countries, that is broader than NATO but that can utilise NATO resources,” Stoltenberg said.

The premier also noted that there was strong support in parliament for Norway to take part in the operation.

Defence Minister Grete Faremo has notified the head of defence to transfer command of the jets. On Monday, Faremo said clear rules of engagement were needed before the Norwegian fighter jets could be deployed.

====

United Nations Security Council: West Refuses Russia Answers Over Resolution 1973 Questions

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16079540&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 23, 2011

Russia has no answers from UN SC to its questions over Libya resolution

MOSCOW: Russia has not received any responses from the UN Security Council yet to its questions about how the Security Council resolution on Libya will be implemented, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the State Duma on Wednesday.

“In its contacts in the UN Security Council with its partners, especially those who have proposed the draft resolution imposing a no-fly zone over the territory of Libya, we have raised absolutely legitimate and logical questions as to how this regime will be ensured, by what means, what forces will be involved, the time frame for this operation and so on,” said the deputy head of the diplomatic agency, responding to questions from representatives of the Communist Party faction on the position of the Russian Federation in the UN Security Council’ vote on the document.

“Unfortunately, we could not get answers to this question from the authors,” he said. “We urged them not to hurry with the adoption of the resolution and to let the already established political arrangements work. There was the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Libya, a high-level committee of the African Union was formed, and there were many other things,” said Gatilov. “We also suggested hearing the representatives from the League of Arab States in the Security Council, but the situation followed the forced scenario, and the co-authors insisted on voting.”

“Based on our principled position in favor of the unconditional protection of civilians and the cessation of violence, Russia abstained,” he recalled.

“Thus, we have distanced themselves from support for the military intervention with unpredictable consequences, and the decision was made carefully and with full responsibility,” the diplomat concluded.

====

NATO Ships Begin Blockade Of Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/23/47854511.html

Voice of Russia
March 23, 2011

NATO starts patrolling Libyan waters

NATO naval ships are starting to patrol Libya’s territorial waters, says the BBC in a report with reference to a spokesman for the Alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday that a decision had been made to impose an embargo on arms supplies to Libya.

The embargo is due to be enforced in close cooperation with commercial vessels and regional organizations.

Last night the Western coalition continued pounding on the Muammar Gaddafi regime’s installations.

According to other reports, the United States is due to hand over the Libya operation command to its allies, with NATO due to play the key role in further fighting.

====

U.S., France Agree On NATO Command For Libyan War

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16077440&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 23, 2011

France, US agree on NATO Command role in Libya op’s

PARIS: France and the United States have agreed on how NATO command structure will be used by the coalition during its operations in Libya, the Elysee Palace announced on Tuesday.

The accord was reached earlier in the day during a telephone conversation between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama.

The Elysee Palace did not give any specifying data on the understanding
reached.
—————————————————————————

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13794054.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 23, 2011

Loud explosions in Tripoli as France, U.S. agree on NATO role

TRIPOLI/PARIS: Loud explosions and intensive anti-aircraft fire were heard in Tripoli Tuesday, as the United States and France agreed on the role of NATO in the Western-led coalition’s military actions in the North African country.

On Tuesday, French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle reportedly set a reconnaissance operation in motion in Libya earlier in the day, and two Rafale jets conducted the mission with one sending back visual information of Libya and the other escorting the former’s flight.

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Africa Command, based in Germany, confirmed that a U.S. F-15E fighter jet crashed Monday afternoon (local time) some 40 km southwest of Benghazi in east Libya due to a malfunction.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama agreed Tuesday on how to use NATO’s command structure to support the military operation in Libya. The two leaders exchanged ideas over the situation in Libya in a telephone call from Obama, and agreed “on the need to continue efforts to ensure the full implementation of (UN) resolutions 1970 and 1973.”

French leaders said that although NATO support was necessary in the Western-led military action against Libya, its role should be limited as the intervention was a European-centric operation.

“For us, this operation … is conducted by a coalition of states, not all of which are members of the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier, adding “it’s not an operation of NATO, even though it must be supported by means of military planning and intervention of the (NATO) Alliance.”

While the West was busy creating a new body to take over the lead in its current intervention in Libya, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made his first public appearance in a week near Tripoli late Tuesday, vowing to fight on. “Be it long or short, we’re ready for battle,” he said in a short live address to his supporters.

Meanwhile, there were also countries and international organizations blasting the ongoing Western-led strike against Libyan government forces, saying the air raids went beyond the UN resolution and must be scrapped immediately.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin severely criticized the U.S. role in the “Odyssey Dawn” operation against Libya. “The use of force against other countries became a steady trend in U.S. policy,” Putin noted, adding this trend was “disturbing.”

He also said the UN resolution “is, surely, flawed and lame … as it allows intervention in a sovereign country.”

“The UN resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya aims to protect civilians. We oppose abuse of force causing more civilian casualties and more serious humanitarian disasters,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday, adding that China believes the current crisis can be resolved through dialogue and other peaceful means.

“The future of Libya should be decided by the Libyan people themselves,” she said.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe reprimanded the West for bombing Libya, saying some countries manipulated the UN resolution to bomb Libya. “The West is bombarding Libya, and they are doing it in a callous way. They don’t care who dies, and actually they want Gaddafi to die,” he said, adding the African Union and the Arab League had been cheated by the West.

Bolivian President Evo Morales told a press conference it was unacceptable that the Western-led coalition, under the pretext of protecting Libyan civilians, was bombing and destroying the country. He described the intervention as “a crime, an assault and an aggression,” and urged the United Nations to order an immediate end to the military operation.

“We will apply the United Nations Security Council resolution, but according to our understanding to what is going on in the region,” Ahmed Ben Helli, deputy secretary-general of the Arab League (AL), said Tuesday.

He added that the AL’s call for a no-fly zone over Libya was based upon some conditions, including the rescue of civilians and the protection of Libyan facilities, regarding it as a temporary decision to give Libyan officials a chance to respond to people’s demands.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet to discuss the situation in Libya Thursday at the request of the Libyan government.

France, U.S. agree on NATO role in military operation in Libya: Elysee Palace

PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have agreed on how to use the command structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO) to support the military operation in Libya, the Elysee Palace said on Tuesday.

The two leaders exchanged ideas over the Libya situation in a telephone call from President Obama, Sarkozy’s office said in a brief statement.

====

U.S. Analyst: Real Intent Behind Military Actions Against Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/23/c_13794055.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 23, 2011

U.S. expert questions real intent of military actions against Libya
by Ran Wei

-No matter whether Gaddafi is toppled or Libya is split into two countries, there is a “real possibility” that the U.S. can get involved in a “prolonged civil war, as well as a murky national building mission.”

WASHINGTON: Despite U.S. insistence that military actions against Libya will stick to protecting civilians as mandated by the United Nations, a U.S. expert questioned the real intent behind the intense air strikes on the North African country.

“The reality is that the protection of civilians may be a secondary goal of the intervention, but the real goal is to unseat Muammar Gaddafi,” Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy at the Washington-based Cato Institute, told Xinhua in an interview on Monday.

After the UN Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, the United States, France, Britain launched air strikes on targets in Libya starting on Saturday, firing hundreds of cruise missiles. At least 64 people have been killed so far in the air strikes, with more than 150 injured.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday from Chile that it is U.S. policy that Gaddafi needs to go, but he stressed that the United States would stick to the mandate of civilian protection.

Carpenter said President Obama continued to send mixed messages about the nature of the U.S. and the coalition’s goals in Libya.

“For a variety of reasons,” Obama felt that he cannot openly admit that toppling Gaddafi is the “primary objective,” he said.

Carpenter said he believed that the current military actions by the United States and its NATO allies have already gone beyond the UN resolution and what the Arab League had approved.

“If the coalition comes out openly about overthrowing Gaddafi, then the coalition is well-beyond these mandates,” he said.

As military operations continue, the NATO members are also having trouble reaching consensus on who would take a lead on the no-fly zone.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that a new political body, not NATO, will take over the responsibility of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

The new body, to be set up as proposed by France, will consist of foreign ministers from countries that are currently participating in the military intervention in Libya, and some Arab states, he said, adding that it could meet soon in London or paris.

He said the military action will stop only as “the Tripoli regime acts with accurate and complete compliance with resolutions of the UN Security Council, as it accepts an authentic cease-fire, and withdraws its troops from where they entered.”

But Carpenter believed that the ultimate objective is to get rid of the Gaddafi government.

“Whether that is Washington’s intent at the moment or not, the very dynamics of warfare will drive the mission in that direction,” he said.

He said that the coalition is hoping Libya’s rebel forces, with the assistance provided by the air strikes and missile strikes, will be able to “go back to the offensive, eventually move to Tripoli, and overthrow Gaddafi.”

But he believed it is a “very optimistic” scenario, questioning the rebels’ ability to defeat Gaddafi.

With scars and pains caused by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being still fresh, Carpenter, along with many other U.S. experts and media commentators, expressed deep concerns that U.S. might get entangled in yet another mire of war.

No matter whether Gaddafi is toppled or Libya is split into two countries, there is a “real possibility” that the U.S. can get involved in a “prolonged civil war, as well as a murky national building mission,” he said.

“I really believe that U.S. leaders have not thought this intervention through well at all,” he added.

====

Russia Continues To Oppose Military Intervention In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13794609.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 23, 2011

Russia opposes military intervention in Libya: minister

MOSCOW: Russia has opposed the Western-led military action against Libya since it started, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Wednesday as lawmakers prepared to call for an end to the operation.

In a meeting in the State Duma, or lower house of the Russian parliament, Gatilov said “we distanced ourselves from a military intervention with unpredictable consequences.”

He also said there was currently no information about a possible ground operation led by foreign countries in Libya.

The State Duma is expected to adopt a statement calling on Western countries to stop military operations in Libya to avoid possible deaths among civilians.

Russia had urged the UN Security Council not to pass the resolution sanctioning international intervention “in haste,” in order to allow relevant parties “to resolve the problem within political mechanisms,” Gatilov said.

“But a force-using scenario unfortunately prevailed,” he said, referring to UN Resolution 1973, which was passed by the Security Council 10-0 last Thursday, with Russia and four other countries abstaining.

The minister said Russia abstained on the grounds that civilians must be definitely protected and violence must be stopped in Libya.

Russia’s decision not to use the right of veto was carefully weighed and made knowingly, Gatilov said.

Resolution 1973 authorizes the use of force and the creation of a no-fly zone in Libya, where protestors and the government have clashed for several weeks.

====

Russians Protest Libyan War Outside NATO Nations’ Embassies

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=230861

Interfax
March 23, 2011

Pro-Kremlin youth activists to protest NATO airstrikes on Libya

Moscow: Young Guard of United Russia, a pro-Kremlin youth group, will picket a number of embassies of NATO countries involved in the military operation in Libya in Moscow on Wednesday.

“Young Guard activists intend to demand that the countries taking part in the military intervention immediately stop combat actions in relation to Libya, from which civilians are dying, and switch to solving disagreements through peaceful dialogue,” Young Guard told Interfax.

The pickets will be placed near the embassies of the U.S., Canada, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France, it said.

Young Guard activists will also lay flowers and wreaths in commemoration of Libyan citizens “who have fallen victims of the NATO airstrikes,” it said.

Meanwhile, the French Foreign Ministry said the UN Security Council might discuss Russia’s proposals on working out a ceasefire in Libya on Thursday.

====

EU’s Top Diplomat: NATO Should Take Control Of Libya Operation

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110323/163153435.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 23, 2011

NATO to take overall control of Libyan mission – top EU diplomat

Brussels: NATO should assume overall command of the international operation in Libya, the EU top diplomat said.

“The discussions we’ve been having with NATO indicate that will be the way forward,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said on Tuesday.

She told the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee that the alliance “is doing its planning now.”

Later in the day, in an interview with Euronews, she also said that the European Union was not divided on the Libyan issue.

“I don’t recognize the word ‘divided,'” she said. “There are different approaches from different member states to the military issues, but a real strength of view on coming together on the other issues.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday that NATO finished its planning on the no-fly zone and arms embargo enforcement in Libya and all members of the alliance were “committed to meet their responsibilities under the United Nations resolution to stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians.”
….
Operation Odyssey Dawn entered its third night of airstrikes on Libyan air defenses on Monday. Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded.

In a brief speech on the national TV on Wednesday, Gaddafi pledged to continue fighting opposition and international coalition.

“In the end, we will win,” he added.

====

Bolivian President Demands Obama Be Stripped Of Nobel Peace Prize Over Libyan War

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/ocountries/1849361.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 22, 2011

Bolivia’s Evo Morales asks that Obama be deprived of Nobel Prize

Bolivian President Evo Morales demanded Monday that the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament deprive US President Barack Obama of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize after he ordered airstrikes on Libya, dpa reported.

“How can it be that a Nobel Peace Prize laureate leads a group of gangs to attack and invade? That is not part of a defence of human rights or (respect) for the self-determination of peoples,” Morales told a press conference.

The Nobel committee surprised the world by giving the 2009 prize to Obama, only a few months after his inauguration. The committee rewarded “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Morales – the first president of indigenous descent in Bolivia’s history – was himself a candidate for the prize that year, for his work in favour of social justice and inclusion in Bolivia.
….
Morales slammed the UN Security Council for authorizing a military intervention in Libya. He asked that airstrikes on Libya end, and proposed a group of United Nations, Arab League and African Union officials to mediate a peaceful way out of the crisis in the North African country.

====

Fires, Deaths: NATO Attacks Hit Tripoli Harbor, Airport

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1849348.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 22, 2011

Libyan radar sites, navy bases hit in airstrikes

Coalition airstrikes took out radar sites near Benghazi and hit two navy bases near the capital Tripoli, al Jazeera reported early Tuesday as the international attacks against Moamer Gaddafi’s forces continued for a third night, dpa reported.

Loud anti-aircraft gunfire could be heard in Tripoli and broadcast images showed tracer fire over the city.

An al Jazeera correspondent reported two loud explosions and said two large fires appeared to have broken out in the city’s harbour.

“We could see an area of the port on fire, substantially on fire, two big blazes. We saw fire engines racing along the coastal road,” reporter Anita McNaught said.

“This evening seems to have been about targeting seaborne military assets of Gaddafi’s army, but also we are given to understand (there was) an attack on the airport at Sirte.”

The airport in Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte and in the city of Sebha had also been attacked, Libyan officials told the broadcaster, saying that civilians had been killed.

The airstrikes to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya began Saturday.

====

“Regime Change” In Libya To Require Involvement In Ground War

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14926490,00.html

Deutsche Welle
March 22, 2011

Regime change in Libya may require involvement in ground war

Coalition airstrikes against Gadhafi’s forces have stopped his advance toward the opposition stronghold of Benghazi. However, ousting Gadhafi from power may require directly supporting the opposition in a ground war.

After weeks of deliberation, the international community has intervened militarily in Libya. France, Britain and the US launched airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime over the weekend….

Although Admiral Mike Mullen – head of the US Joint Chiefs – said the initial strikes halted Gadhafi’s advance toward the opposition stronghold Benghazi, the strategic endgame remains unclear. [I]f the international coalition wants regime change in Libya, then active participation in the ground war may become unavoidable.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and members of the US Congress have already discussed sending weapons to the opposition Transitional National Council. However, an arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council against Libya complicates the prospect of shipping military hardware to the country. And the White House, unsure of the Libyan opposition’s goals, remains reluctant to get pulled into what could be a protracted ground campaign.
….
Tripoli native Noman Benotman says that the Libyan opposition has clearly articulated a single goal since the uprising began last February.

Once a key figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Benotman….

According to Benotman, engagement should include arming the opposition against Gadhafi as well as sending advisors to train them to use the weapons….

The arms embargo may have already become null and void. According to [Mansour] El-Kikhia, the West has begun to quietly funnel weapons to the Libyan opposition through Egypt, whose military uses similar Russian-model arms.
….
Author: Spencer Kimball
Editor: Rob Mudge

====

U.S. Marines Shoot Six Libyan Civilians To Rescue Downed Pilots

http://www.smh.com.au/world/marines-opened-fire-on-villagers-in-mission-to-rescue-crash-crew-20110323-1c5g1.html?from=smh_sb

Sydney Morning Herald
March 23, 2011

Marines ‘opened fire on villagers’ in mission to rescue crash crew Staff reporter

US troops opened fire on Libyan villagers in an operation to rescue two jet fighter crew after their warplane crashed in the east of the country, according to a British report.

Channel 4 News is reporting at least six villagers were injured when US Marines came in with “all guns blazing” to extract the pilots. The Telegraph website is also reporting six locals “were believed to have been shot by a US helicopter during his rescue”.

The Telegraph also says one of the downed crew was recued by troops on an Osprey “transformer” aircraft, which can turn from a plane into a helicopter.

The Osprey, The Telegraph says, is one of the American air force’s newest acquisitions and has rotor blades that can swivel to allow it to fly like a helicopter or a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.

United States Africa Command has confirmed a US F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet crashed in Libya and the two crew members were rescued.
….
Reporter Lindsey Hilsum, at the scene of the crash, said the US helicopter came in and opened fire on Monday night, local time, as villagers were handing over one of the downed pilots to local rebel forces.

A man described as a military policeman, Omar Sayd, told the reporter: “We are disturbed about the shooting because if they had given us a chance we would have handed over both pilots.”

In Benghazi, Hilsum interviewed one of the injured villagers, who was in a hospital bed. Local people had been giving a “party” for the crew when they were fired on.

Their F-15E Strike Eagle jet was on a mission on Monday night when it crashed outside Benghazi….

Details of the incident remained sketchy. The crash was the first known setback for the international coalition during three days of strikes authorised by the United Nations Security Council.
….
NATO ‘should play key role’

US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron agreed that NATO should play a key role in the command structure of the Libya mission, the White House said.
….
NATO ambassadors resumed talks on Tuesday after “very difficult” discussions on Monday which failed to overcome their divisions.

But a diplomat said they had agreed to use the organisation’s naval power to enforce an arms embargo on Libya ordered under UN Resolution 1973.
….
Belgian and Spanish warplanes began patrolling Libyan skies on Monday, British Typhoon fighters and Canadian jets launched their first missions from Italian bases, and a Greek source said France’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle should join in from waters off Crete, probably by Wednesday.

Italian pilots said they had helped suppress air defences, despite Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose country has close ties with former colony Libya, saying Italian planes “are not firing and will not fire”.

Russia and the United States clashed over Western bombing raids, with the US defence chief saying Moscow had accepted Muammar Gaddafi’s “lies” about civilian casualties.

In talks with Gates, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev voiced dismay over what he called the “indiscriminate use of force”.
….
Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said the Western-led air strikes were disproportionate, amid US and British efforts to bring more Arab states on board.
….
– with AFP and Bloomberg

====

Libya Burns, But Bahrain Can Shake The World

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=37694&Cat=6&dt=3/23/2011

News International
March 23, 2011

Libya burns but Bahrain can shake the world
Farrukh Saleem

Islamabad: USS Barry, a guided missile destroyer, is raining down Tomahawk cruise missiles on forces still loyal to the leader and guide of the Revolution, Moammer Qaddafi. The US Navy has deployed USS Mount Whitney, the command of the Sixth Fleet, an amphibious assault ship, two nuclear attack submarines and a cruise missile submarine. The US Air Force has deployed at least three B-2 stealth bombers, ten F-15E strike fighters and eight F-16C multi-role fighters.

On the very first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn, 114 Tomahawks landed and destroyed Qaddafi’s air defences. On the second day, US Navy jammed Libyan radars while B-2 bombers dropped at least three dozen bombs on Libyan airfields.

The Italian Navy has deployed Portaerei Cavour, its aircraft carrier with eight Boeing AV-8B Harrier II vertical take off, ground attack aircraft. The French Navy has ordered Charles de Gaulle, its only serving nuclear-powered, aircraft carrier with surface to air missiles and E-2 Hawkeye, the all-weather, twin-turboprop airborne early warning aircraft.

Cruise missiles have already put Sirte, Misurata, Zawiya, Saha and parts of Tripoli on fire. While the world attention remains glued to the fires in Libya potential stakes in Bahrain are actually a hundred times higher. Safaniya Oil Field, the largest oil field in the world, is less than 200 miles from Manama. The Strait of Hormuz, through which passes 20 percent of world oil shipments and 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil shipments, is within a 400-mile radius.

More importantly, United States Fifth Fleet, with a forward deployed Carrier Strike Group, Combat Command force, Anti-Terrorism force, Sea Stallion helicopters, Amphibious Force and Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, is headquartered at Naval Support Activity Bahrain (or NSA Bahrain). In essence, Bahrain is home to America’s military might that reigns over the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea-all put together.

On March 14, around 2,000 soldiers of the Saudi-led, US-backed Peninsula Shield Force, in their armored carriers and tanks, invaded Bahrain. The stated purpose of the invasion is: to crush an unarmed civilian uprising.

On March 15, King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa of Mamlakat al Bahrayn declared martial law under which the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), numbering around 10,000 personnel, was “empowered to take whatever actions it deems appropriate in dealing with the predominately Shiite-driven unrest.”

On March 16, Press TV, Iran’s government-owned, 24-hour English language global news network, claimed that at least “five top Bahraini Shiite clerics including Sheikh Issa Qassem, Seyyed Abdullah al-Ghoraifi, Sheikh Abdul Hussain al-Setri and Sheikh Mohammad Saleh al-Rabiei have warned that a horrible massacre is expected at Manama’s Pearl Square,” urging the international community to intervene. According to Press TV, “Saudi troops opened fire on weaponless Bahraini demonstrators in Manama’s Pearl Square” and that, “Saudi troops forced their way into Salmaniya hospital in Manama and did not allow doctors, nurses and relatives of the victims either to leave or to enter the building.”

Under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the US and Iraq, all US forces “will be completely out of Iraq by 31 December 2011.” That would leave the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the single-largest, indigenous conventional military force in the region. Iran sees this as a historic opportunity to tilt the regional balance of power in its favor and the Iranian media may indeed be in the process of manufacturing a justification to direct Iranian intervention in Bahrain.

Saudis, backed by the US, are in Bahrain to suppress the Bahraini, predominantly Shiite civilian uprising through the force of arms. It is in Iran’s interest that the Bahraini uprising intensifies. If the Saudis, backed by the US, are successful in suppressing Bahraini pro-democracy demonstrators through tank-based repression then Iran loses this historic opportunity of re-configuring the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. If Bahraini protestors, aided by the Iranians, successfully resist Saudi threats of violent repression then Saudi Arabia and all US forces in the Persian Gulf will end up in the soup.

It will be extremely difficult for Iran to let this extraordinary opportunity to re-configure the balance of power in the all-important Strait of Hormuz slip through. At the same time, the stakes for the House of Saud have never been as high as they are right now in Bahrain. Mamlakat al Bahrayn is fast turning into the new Shiite-Sunni proxy battleground – and a huge fire in Bahrain will shake the balance of power across the globe.

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Pentagon Using New Generation Tomahawk Missiles In Libya

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/drones-suicidal-cousins/

Wired News
March 21, 2011

Next post Drones’ Suicidal Cousins Lead Libya Attack
By Noah Shachtman

When the U.S. military wanted to take out Moammar Gadhafi’s air defense systems, it unleashed a barrage of 122 Tomahawk cruise missiles. But these munitions aren’t like most others in the American arsenal.

Smart, maneuverable, able to see its surroundings and shift to new targets in mid-flight, the newest Tomahawks are closer to the unmanned planes flying over Afghanistan than to the weapons they fire. In some ways, the Tomahawk is the drone’s suicidal cousin: a robotic aircraft, packed with explosives, that has no intention of ever coming home.

When officers get ready to shoot off a Tomahawk, “they are basically planning a flight for a little airplane,” one Navy official tells Danger Room. “It’s got stubby little wings — but is is an unmanned aerial vehicle.”

The next-gen Tomahawks — known as “Block IVs” — start their flights out just like other missiles, launched from ships or subs. But after 12 seconds of flight, things change. The Tomahawk starts to fly horizontally, skimming above the ocean at a height of less than 50 feet to avoid enemy radar.

GPS waypoints keep the missile on track, until it makes landfall. Then, a Tercom (Terrain Contour Matching) system kicks in. too. Using a radar altimeter, the Tomahawk Tercom checks its height. Then it matches that altitude against a database of satellite and overhead imagery, to make sure the missile is headed in the right direction and at the right height.

Once the Tomahawk’s target is in sight, the missile can dart in for the attack. A Digital Scene-Mapping Area Correlator (“dee-smack” in military jargon) matches a stored picture of the target to the missile’s last sight, to make sure the two match.

Or, the missile can wait a while. The Tomahawk’s controller can give it a new route, telling the Tomahawk to circle around in the air, lingering until an enemy pops up its head. Then comes the strike.

Last May, the Tomahawk demonstrated a new move, as Sam LaGrone from Jane’s Defence Weekly reported at the time. The Los Angeles-class submarine USS Cheyenne fired off a Block IV at a target in the Mojave Desert.

Meanwhile, a team from Naval Special Warfare Group 3 shot a second set of co-ordinates to the Tomahawk’s controllers in Japan, nearly 5,000 miles away. They reprogrammed the missile via satellite, and sent the Tomahawk crashing into a new target. (In an earlier test (.pdf), special operations forces were able to use the pictures taken from a handheld Raven drone to direct its bigger, more destructive relative to its end.)
….
From the outside, the Block IVs look much like their predecessors: a little over 20 feet long, and about 3,300 pounds. Like the older models, they’re still expensive, too — at about $1.1 million a pop, the initial assault on Libya chewed through $134 million in missile costs alone. They can fly for about two hours or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first.

But that could radically change, if an experimental Air Force program pans out. The X-51a aircraft is designed to test technologies for a next-gen cruise missile — one that would fly at six times the speed of sound.

Which means tomorrow’s cruise missiles could be like suicidal, smart, and more than eight times faster than today’s Tomahawks.

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“There Is Hope In Benghazi, The French Flag Is Being Waved There”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110322/163148341.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 22, 2011

Fillon says French flag raised over rebel-held Benghazi

France says it feels a sense of responsibility for Libyan rebels after its flag was raised over the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, France’s prime minister said on Tuesday.

“There is hope in Benghazi now, the French flag is being waved there, and also the flag of a different Libya which dreams of democracy and modernization,” Francois Fillon told the French parliament.

The comments come as NATO member states including the United States, Britain and France are continuing air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces under a UN mandate to impose a no-fly zone.

Russia opposed Western military intervention but did not use its power to veto the UN resolution authorizing military action to protect Libyan civilians.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin likened the operation to “medieval calls for crusades,” a description dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev, who said the comments were “unacceptable.”

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Romania Joins NATO Naval Blockade Of Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1627996.php/Romania-joins-NATO-naval-blockade-of-Libya

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 22, 2011

Romania joins NATO naval blockade of Libya

Bucharest: Romania will send a frigate and two naval officers to help NATO enforce the weapons embargo against Libya, President Traian Basescu said Tuesday.

The frigate with 205 sailors will be ready for deployment in 30 days, Basescu said after the meeting of the Romanian Supreme Defence Council.

NATO decided to enforce the embargo earlier Tuesday. The Romanian frigate will have the task of intercepting ships suspected of transporting weapons to Muamer Gaddafi’s regime.

Basescu said that Romania will pay for the three-month operation, expected to cost 4.5 million euros (6.3 million dollars).

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Netherlands Joins NATO’s Onslaught Against Libya

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/netherlands-join-nato-operation-against-libya

Radio Netherlands
March 22, 2011

Netherlands to join NATO operation against Libya

The Netherlands is sending F-16 fighter planes, a minesweeper HNLMS Haarlem and a refuelling plane to help the international military operation in Libya according to sources. The Dutch government met on Tuesday evening to take decisions over Dutch participation in a NATO mission in Libya.

The Dutch operation will last three months and will cost 20 million euros. Six F-16s will be involved – two of them as reserve planes. Two hundred Dutch troops will be deployed. The HNLMS Haarlem is already in the Mediterranean for a NATO exercise.

Earlier today, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that NATO would enforce the weapon embargo against Libya. It is the first time all 28 NATO countries have reached agreement over the crisis in Libya. A unanimous decision is needed for NATO to take action.

NATO also has plans for monitoring the no-fly zone above Libya. At the moment a coalition of international forces is enforcing the no-fly zone.

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Military Occupation And Regional Reconfiguration: South African Trade Union Confederation Condemns West Over Libyan Attack

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13792930.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

South African alliance partner condemns West over Libya

-The COSATU official said the March 18 UN Security Council resolution 1973 fitted into a well-designed scheme by the big powers that was deliberately set to ensure military occupation and regional reconfiguration of the area.
This was aimed at further asserting “imperialist domination and neo-liberal economic orthodoxy in the interest of profiteering at all costs for their giant oil companies.”

JOHANNESBURG: The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on Tuesday accused the West of abusing the United Nations (UN) resolution to gain access to Libya’s oil resources.

In a statement carried by the South African Press Association (SAPA), COSATU Secretary Bongani Masuku said the union federation opposed the involvement of Western powers’ military action.

He also said COSATU supported the struggle for democracy in Libya.

The COSATU official said the March 18 UN Security Council resolution 1973 fitted into a well-designed scheme by the big powers that was deliberately set to ensure military occupation and regional reconfiguration of the area.

This was aimed at further asserting “imperialist domination and neo-liberal economic orthodoxy in the interest of profiteering at all costs for their giant oil companies.”

COSATU described this as helicopter democracy, which disempowers the masses in whose name the struggle for democracy is waged and renders them spectators as foreign powers arrogate themselves the role of liberators.

Masuku cited Iraq and Afghanistan as examples of the “helicopter democracy.”

COSATU said the UN’s honesty in dealing with conflict situations was in doubt, especially as it had failed to pass similar resolutions in relation to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain.

On March 21 South African President Jacob Zuma warned the West against abusing the UN resolution on Libya.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 22

March 23, 2011 1 comment

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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1. NATO Welcomes Georgia’s Accelerated Integration Into Military Bloc

2. Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship In Mauritius

3. Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship In Gulf Of Guinea

4. Over 14,000 Graduates: NATO Medal Parade In Iraq

5. Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

6. Obama Unapologetic Over U.S. Backing Of Chilean Coup, Pinochet

7. NATO Consolidates Afghan War Network Through Central Asia

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1. NATO Welcomes Georgia’s Accelerated Integration Into Military Bloc

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=230689

Interfax
March 22, 2011

Tbilisi seeks integration with Euro-Atlantic space – Georgian official

Washington To Rearm Georgia For New Conflicts

-Lamers arrived in Tbilisi on Monday, accompanied by about 40 members of NATO countries’ parliaments, who will attend a seminar on a host of issues, including Georgia’s relations with Russia and the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

TBILISI: NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Karl Lamers discussed cooperation with Georgia with Georgian Security Council Secretary Giorgy Bokeria in Tbilisi on Tuesday.

“Cooperation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is part of the course the Georgian leadership and people have opted for,” Bokeria told the press after the talks.

“It is a course aimed at integration with the Euro-Atlantic space,” he said.

Lamers in turn told journalists that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly supports democratic processes in Georgia.

NATO deems important Georgia’s role in the peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan, he said.

The Alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly welcomes Georgia’s efforts to accelerate its integration with NATO, he also said.

Lamers arrived in Tbilisi on Monday, accompanied by about 40 members of NATO countries’ parliaments, who will attend a seminar on a host of issues, including Georgia’s relations with Russia and the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

NATO special envoy for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai has arrived in Tbilisi with Lamers.

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Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship In Mauritius

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59232

Navy NewsStand
March 22, 2011

Stephen W Groves Begins Second “Hub” in Africa Partnership Station
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Oleksiak, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29) arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, to begin the second training “Hub” as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East, March 21.

Sailors and embarked international staff will hold various professional training sessions during their visit, including non-commissioned officer leadership training; combat life saving techniques; basic damage control; physical security; and visit, board, search and seizure tactics.

“Africa Partnership Station is a program that delivers focused training, builds partnerships and promotes the security of the seas,” said Capt. James Tranoris, APS East commander….

The ‘Hub’ is being hosted by the Mauritius Coast Guard and will bring together nearly 100 maritime professionals from Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Mauritius with the goal of improving maritime safety and security in Africa.
….
APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

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3. Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship In Gulf Of Guinea

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59233

Navy NewsStand
March 21, 2011

Robert G. Bradley Begins Exercise Obangame Express
By Ensign Sean McMahon, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

Militarization Of Energy Policy: U.S. Africa Command And Gulf Of Guinea

LIMBE, Cameroon: USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) pulled into Limbe, Cameroon, to participate in exercise Obangame Express, March 21.

Obangame Express is a maritime exercise that focuses on the Gulf of Guinea region with representatives from Central Africa, Europe and the United States. The exercise focuses on improving maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea through regional cooperation and communication.

The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will control the exercise from the Cameroon navy command center in Douala, Cameroon, effectively giving command and control to African maritime professionals.

Obangame Express is part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West initiative. APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

Robert G. Bradley, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled APS deployment to the west coast of Africa area of responsibility.

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4. Over 14,000 Graduates: NATO Medal Parade In Iraq

http://www.aco.nato.int/page42420329.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
March 22, 2011

NATO Medal Parade in Iraq

Iraq: NATO Assists In Building New Middle East Proxy Army

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commander NATO Training Mission-Iraq,
addresses NTM-I personnel during a NATO medal parade.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, NATO Training Mission-Iraq commander,
conducted a NATO Medal Parade Ceremony at Forward Operating Base Union III on March 16 for NTM-I advisors and staff who have finished their tour and are departing the mission.

In speaking to his personnel, Lt. Gen. Ferriter highlighted NTM-I’s
accomplishments and the progress that it has made here: the graduation of nearly 10,000 Iraqi Federal Police; the graduation of more than 2,000 cadets at the Iraqi Military Academy Ar Rustamiyah; the introduction of new Oil Police courses and the continuation of others courses in Iraq supported by NATO; the success
achieved by several out-of-country training courses; and more than 2,000 Iraqi officers and noncommissioned officers have participated in the NATO Centers of Excellence for specialized training.

Lt. Gen. Ferriter presented the NATO medal to NTM-I personnel leaving the
mission, and thanked them for their dedicated service to the NATO in Iraq.

He also welcomed new personnel to the NTM-I team saying he is confident that they will maintain the same high level of professional standards as their
predecessors

The NATO Training Mission in Iraq(NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and sustainable capability that address the needs of the nation.

NTM-I is…a distinct mission, under the political control of NATO’s North
Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring.

The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. NATO has an enduring commitment to Iraq

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5. Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1849524.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 22, 2011

Two foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two foreign soldiers were killed Tuesday in a militant attack in eastern
Afghanistan, dpa reported according to NATO-led International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF).

The ISAF does not provide the nationalities of its casualties or the exact locations of attacks, but troops serving in eastern Afghanistan are primarily from the United States.

A total of 96 foreign soldiers, including 63 US troops, have been killed so far
this year in Afghanistan, according to iCasualties.org, an independent website
that tracks military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Obama Unapologetic Over U.S. Backing Of Chilean Coup, Pinochet

http://rt.com/usa/news/obama-unapologetic-usa-chile-pinochet/

RT
March 22, 2011

Obama unapologetic over US support of Pinochet

While in Chile US President Barack Obama ran from a comment calling for a US apology over its support of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, saying he would be willing to share US records about the American role in the 1973 coup.

Obama backstepped from a question by a Chilean radio reporter that asked if he would be willing to apologize for US involvement and support of Pinochet. The US President merely indicated the actions during the 1970’s may have been unwise, but said little beyond that.

“I think it’s very important for all of us to know our history,” he said. “And obviously the history of relations between the United States and Latin America have at times been extremely rocky and have at times been difficult. I think it’s important, though, for us, even as we understand our history and gain clarity about our history, that we’re not trapped by our history.”

Obama then noted the United States has actively supported more recent democratic reforms in Chile.

“I can’t speak to all of the policies of the past. I can speak certainly to the policies of the present and the future,” he added. “I think that what is important is looking at what our policies are today, and what my administration intends to do in cooperating with the region.”

“I think that the United States has been an enormous force for good in the world,” Obama commented.

Praising the Latin American regions Obama noted, “Latin America is at peace. Civil wars have ended. Insurgencies have been pushed back. Old border disputes have been resolved.”

This is not the first time the US President has opted not to apologize on behalf of the US over past support for Pinochet.

In 2009 he passed on a request by then Chilean President Michelle Bachelet that he issue an apology both for US backing of Pinochet and American involvement in the 1973 coup.

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NATO Consolidates Afghan War Network Through Central Asia

http://centralasianewswire.com/Region/NATO-increases-Afghan-cargo-transfers-through-Central-Asia/viewstory.aspx?id=3609

Central Asia Newswire
March 22, 2011

NATO increases Afghan cargo transfers through Central Asia
NATO now ships half its supplies through the Central Asian Northern Distribution Network

Washington Intensifies Push Into Central Asia

NATO forces are increasing the amount of cargo they transport through Central Asia as they decrease their reliance on Pakistani ports.

The Northern Distribution Network (NDN) transports cargo from the Baltic states through Russia and Kazakhstan, before hitting southern Uzbekistan which connects to Afghanistan at the border town of Termez.

A Pentagon source told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on Tuesday that 50 percent of NATO supplies are now delivered through the NDN, as opposed to the previous level of 30 percent.

“(Around) 60 percent of all of the fuel that goes to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan now comes down through the Northern Distribution Network,” RFE/RL reported Bishkek-based journalist Deirdre Tynan as saying.

“If you were to consider that if, for some reason, the Northern Distribution Network stopped working, if they couldn’t get 60 percent of their fuel, that highlights how important it is.”

Uzbekistan’s newly commissioned airport in Navoi is also being used extensively by the U.S. Defense Department to transport goods, the news agency reports.

“Even though the U.S. military does not like to discuss the various points of origin and entry and so forth, we have a pretty good idea that a lot of equipment is also being transported through this particular Uzbek hub,” RFE/RL quoted Dr. Alexander Cooley, a Central Asian expert at Barnard College, as saying.

The increased use of the airport by the U.S. military is likely to continue for some time, Cooley said.
….

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war

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NATO To Intervene In Libyan Conflict, Enforce Blockade

Video And Text: America’s Presidents Quick To Go To War

Civilians Main Victims Of Military Intervention Against Sovereign States

Libyans Are Expendable On Oil-Rich Battlefield

Ambassador: One Million Libyans To Resist Western Ground Invasion

Warplanes Leave French Aircraft Carrier For Strikes Against Libya

Spanish Warplanes In First Operation For War To “Last Several Weeks”

Germany To Deploy 300 Airman To Afghanistan To Free Up NATO Allies For Libyan War

Qatari Jets Leave Cyprus For Operations Against Cyprus

Russian Foreign Minister: Western Intervention In Libya Can Increase International Terrorism

Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya: Who Is Next?

Libya: British Commandos In Place For Ground Operations

World Steps Up Criticism Of Western Attacks On Libya

China Calls For Immediate End To Western Attacks On Libya

U.S. Warplane Crashes In Libya

Eight Warplanes: Sweden Follows NATO Into Another War

First Combat Mission For Eurofighter: British MPs Back War

Duty To NATO: Canadian MPs Unanimously Back Libyan War

Greece: Air And Naval Bases, Warship, AWACS “At NATO’s Disposal”

UN Security Council To Reconvene On Libya

“No-Fly Zone”: Video Of NATO’s Highway Of Death

Libya: Yet Another Imperialist Military Intervention

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NATO To Intervene In Libyan Conflict, Enforce Blockade

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-F8C05F8B-78DF8BA8/natolive/news_71689.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 22, 2011

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on Libya arms embargo
NATO has now decided to launch an operation to enforce the arms embargo against Libya. All Allies are committed to meet their responsibilities under the United Nations resolution to stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians.

Our top operational commander, Admiral Stavridis, is activating NATO ships and aircraft in the Central Mediterranean. They will conduct operations to monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries. This will be done in close coordination with commercial shipping and regional organisations. And we will welcome contributions from NATO partners to our common endeavour.

At the same time, NATO has completed plans to help enforce the no-fly zone – to bring our contribution, if needed, in a clearly defined manner, to the broad international effort to protect the people of Libya from the violence of the Gaddafi regime.
————————————-

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-22/nato-to-intervene-in-libyan-conflict-enforce-arms-embargo-1-.html

Bloomberg News
March 22, 2011

NATO to Intervene in Libyan Conflict, Enforce Arms Embargo
By James G. Neuger

NATO broke a week-long deadlock over whether to intervene in the Libyan conflict, agreeing to use planes and ships to enforce the United Nations arms embargo against Muammar Qaddafi’s regime.

The trans-Atlantic alliance also said today that it has put military assets on standby to police the no-fly zone and will go into action in the skies over Libya “if needed.”

Allied warplanes and ships “will conduct operations to monitor, report and, if needed, interdict vessels suspected of carrying illegal arms or mercenaries,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement in Brussels.
….

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Video And Text: America’s Presidents Quick To Go To War

http://rt.com/usa/news/usa-presidents-war/

RT
March 22, 2011

America’s presidents quick to go to war

Video

-There are at least two glaring similarities to point out when it comes to the use of force by US presidents: none were in response to a military attack, or even threat of an attack on US soil and none have been formally declared wars.

It’s become an unspoken addendum to the job description: become President of the United States. Declare war – somewhere, somehow.

For President Ronald Reagan in 1986, it was a familiar attack on a familiar enemy – Moammar Ghadafi.He announced that the US would take action on April 14, 1986.

“Despite our repeated warnings, Ghadafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror,” said President Reagan in his address to the nation. “He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.”

Apparently, so did Saddam Hussein, according to President George H.W. Bush in his televised announcement on January 16, 1991, it was in response to a conflict that had started in August, when “the dictator of Iraq invaded it’s small and helpless neighbor.”

“Just two hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets Iraq and Kuwait,” Bush, Sr. said in his address.

For his successor, President Bill Clinton – the target was Slobodan Milosevic, President of Serbia and Yugoslavia.

“My fellow Americans, today our armed forms joined our NATO allies in airstrikes against Serbian forces responsible for the brutality in Kosovo,” Clinton said on March 24, 1999.

President George W. Bush said in March 2003 it was weapons of mass destruction that threatened the world, and invaded Iraq in what was supposed to be a quick and limited campaign.

“On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war,” Bush said.

Many American’s thought it would end there, especially after US President Barack Obama’s clear anti-war stance in his campaign. He has spent most of his presidency trying to end the wars started by his predecessor.

Until now.

Obama spoke out a day after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. He said it was a call end to the violence in Libya.

The resolution, he said “authorizes the use of force with an explicit commitment to pursue all necessary measures to stop the killing, to include the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya. “

There are at least two glaring similarities to point out when it comes to the use of force by US presidents: none were in response to a military attack, or even threat of an attack on US soil and none have been formally declared wars.

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Civilians Main Victims Of Military Intervention Against Sovereign States

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/22/c_13791740.htm

China Daily
March 22, 2011

Concerns over air strikes

-Stability will not return to a country that falls victim to military intervention any time soon. Instead, the entire region will very likely plunge deeper into a new round of turbulence.
The West-led military strikes against Libya constitute the third military action by outside countries against a sovereign state in the first years of this century. The bombing coincides with the eighth anniversary of the Iraq war, which caused untold suffering and despair to tens of millions of Iraqis.

BEIJING: The West-led air strikes against Libya, which started on Saturday, may trigger further escalation of the armed conflict and humanitarian disasters. Stabilizing the situation is now a test of the international community’s crisis management capability and wisdom.

Despite the precision of their weapons, the coalition, led by the United States, France and Britain, can never guarantee that their bombs and missiles will not kill civilians.

Past experience shows that civilians are always the main victims in any foreign military intervention against a sovereign state.

The United Nation’s Security Council did mandate member states to implement a no-fly zone in Libya under its resolution 1973, which was passed on March 17. However, it also stressed the need to protect civilian lives.

The coalition should continually bear this in mind and carry out the spirit of the UN mandate in full. They should not act in disregard of human life.

The military action against Libya has drawn growing concern from the international community. On Sunday, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa criticized the multinational bombardment of Libya, saying it differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone.

History proves that resorting to force is not necessarily an effective way to solve a crisis. While military intervention may cause regime change in a country, it often opens the door to ensuing confrontations and new conflicts.

Stability will not return to a country that falls victim to military intervention any time soon. Instead, the entire region will very likely plunge deeper into a new round of turbulence.

The West-led military strikes against Libya constitute the third military action by outside countries against a sovereign state in the first years of this century. The bombing coincides with the eighth anniversary of the Iraq war, which caused untold suffering and despair to tens of millions of Iraqis.

Every time countries wield force to solve a crisis it constitutes an infringement of the United Nations Charter and the norms guarding international relations. It is also a deviation from the trend of our times, which increasingly opts for peace and development rather than conflict and confrontation.

At a time when some in the international community have yet to shake themselves free of the shackles of Cold War thinking, the world is justified in being gravely concerned about the impact of the ongoing military action in Libya.

It will take swift, effective action, as well as devotion and strong political will, to solve the crisis in Libya through peaceful means. It is good to see international meditation on the issue of Libya continues. Peaceful means should never be ignored in any circumstances.

This is the responsible approach to the Libyan people and the world at large.

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Libyans Are Expendable On Oil-Rich Battlefield

http://rt.com/news/expendables-oil-libya-civil-war/

RT
March 22, 2011

Libyans are expendables on oil-rich battlefield

Political analysts say that protecting civilians in Libya is actually the allied coalition’s secondary priority. The primary one is eliminating the country’s defenses and gaining control over Libya’s oil-rich regions through civil war between tribes.

­The death toll is said to have reached 67, according to Libyan health officials.

­‘Civilian deaths are inevitable’ – ex-ambassador­

It was obvious from the moment US Defense Secretary Robert Gates started talking about a no-flight zone over Libya some weeks ago that it would involve eliminating all anti-aircraft defenses threatening patrolling fighter jets, argues former British ambassador to Libya Oliver Miles.

And that, Miles continued, “is going to involve a lot of intrusive military activity and inevitably civilian casualties.”

Killing civilians goes against the mandate of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 – to protect civilians – he added. And while there is no doubt the allied forces will be successful in establishing a no-flight zone, Miles concluded, the question is how they will use their supremacy.

­Downfall of Gaddafi could lead to civil war­

The Arab League is a “collection of dictators, kings and presidents, all of them puppets of the US, but they are backing down because of the unbelievable hatred and outrage on the part of their own people for the fact that they went along with aggression against yet another Muslim Arab country,” argued Lew Rockwell, chairman of the Research and Educational Center at the US-based Ludwig von Mises Institute.

If the coalition succeeds in killing Muammar Gaddafi, it will inevitably mean more ethnic and tribal conflict, which could lead to civil war, Rockwell said – which is exactly what the US needs to control the oil-rich parts of Libya.

====

Ambassador: One Million Libyans To Resist Western Ground Invasion

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110322/163146242.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 22, 2011

At least 1 million to stand against international intervention – Libyan ambassador to Russia

At least one million people are ready to defend Libya if an international ground military campaign begins, Libyan Ambassador to Russia Amir al-Arabi said on Tuesday.

“One million people willing to defend Libya will stand in the crosshairs,” al-Arabi said, adding that the Northern African state had several Soviet-made S-200 air-defense systems.

Speaking at the meeting with the colorful and flamboyant leader of Russia’s LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, al-Arabi said that mass disturbances that sparked on February 15 were “a scenario from outside.”

“Protesters’ demands are not social, it is some kind of a program….We were living peacefully, without any rows,” al-Arabi said.

Zhirinovsky, who has recently urged the Muslim world to support Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, said that his party was strongly against UN resolutions on Libya.

Russia was one of five countries, including China, that abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday. The resolution imposes a no-fly zone over Libya and allows “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday likened the UN resolution to a “call for a crusade.” The comments were swiftly rebuked by President Dmitry Medvedev, who described Putin’s remarks as “unacceptable.”

====

Warplanes Leave French Aircraft Carrier For Strikes Against Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13792891.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Fighter jets from French aircraft carrier launch operation over Libya

PARIS: France’s Tornado fighter jets taking off from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle launched a reconnaissance operation over Libya for the first time on Tuesday, the French military said.
——————————————————————–

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13790983.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

French warplanes fly around 400 hours over Libya

PARIS: French warplanes have flown around 400 hours in total in Libyan airspace, amounting to 55 sorties in three days, a military spokesman said Monday.

By nightfall on Monday, France had continued to send warplanes over Libya in the past three days, with 55 sorties accumulating some 400 flight hours, Thierry Burkhard said at a press conference in the French Defense Ministry.

French warplanes conducted air-strikes only on Saturday, destroying four armored vehicles belonging to the Libyan forces, he added.
….
Libya’s official TV station reported on Sunday that at least 64 people had been killed and 150 others wounded in the joint operation.

====

Spanish Warplanes In First Operation For War To “Last Several Weeks”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13790986.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Spanish jet fighters return from first operation over Libya

-The secretary of the Organization of Zapatero’s Socialist (PSOE) party, Marcelino Iglesias, said Monday that Zapatero would ask Congress for permission for a military operation that would, “last for several weeks.”

MADRID: Spanish Defense Minister Carne Chacon confirmed Monday that two Spanish F-18 jet fighters have returned from their first mission in support of the recent UN resolution on Libya.

The two fighters, out of four that Spain has contributed to the NATO operation to enforce the no-fly zone…took off and returned from the Island of Sardinia.

They took off around midday local time armed with air-to-air missiles to patrol Libyan airspace and with the authorization to use their weapons if they met with any hostile aircraft….

A Spanish Boeing refueling aircraft also took to the skies Monday and returned to the Sardinian base.

Chacon added that submarine Tramontana and frigate Mendez Nunez have also set sail en-route to the operation zone.

The Mendez Munez sailed from the port of Ferrol and will arrive at the base of Rota in the south of Spain on Tuesday in order to be prepared to join any embargo operation. Meanwhile, the submarine sailed from Murcia in the south east of Spain and will take up a position off the coast of Libya.

On Tuesday, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero will explain the operations to the Spanish Congress. The Congress will then hold a vote on Spain’s participation in the allied military operation.

The secretary of the Organization of Zapatero’s Socialist (PSOE) party, Marcelino Iglesias, said Monday that Zapatero would ask Congress for permission for a military operation that would, “last for several weeks.”

====

Germany To Deploy 300 Airman To Afghanistan To Free Up NATO Allies For Libyan War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/23/c_13792881.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Germany to send 300 airmen to Afghanistan

BERLIN: Germany will send 300 air force personnel to Afghanistan as relief for its NATO allies involved in Libya, according to local news agency DPA Tuesday.

The 300 airmen will serve on NATO’s early warning aircraft guarding Afghanistan’s airspace, DPA reported, a day before the German cabinet was due to pass the bill authorizing the deployment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters here on Friday that Germany, which abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote on imposing a no-fly zone in Libya, would discuss with its NATO allies whether it could assume other duties like extra airspace monitor missions in Afghanistan, to free up NATO troops and planes for Libya.

The German parliament is expected to approve the proposal on Friday.

Germany has some 5,000 troops in Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, the third largest foreign force stationed there.

====

Qatari Jets Leave Cyprus For Operations Against Cyprus

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13792876.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Libya-bound Qatari jets leave Cyprus after unscheduled refueling

NICOSIA: Three Qatari military planes took off from Cyprus’ Larnaca Airport to take part in operations against Libya on Tuesday, after an unscheduled stop-over for refueling.

Two Mirage 2000-5 jet fighters and a C-17 transport plane landed at the airport on the Mediterranean island’s southeastern coast in the morning after their pilots requested permission to make an emergency landing due to fuel shortage.

A Cypriot government spokesman said in a written statement the Cyprus government had originally turned down the request to land because it did not want to get involved in any way in the Libyan operation.

Cyprus authorities had not been informed beforehand by Qatar about plans for the planes to be refueled at Larnaca, according to the spokesman.

“They then asked permission for a forced landing because of a fuel shortage,” the statement said, “Civil Aviation, acting in accordance with international rules, was forced to grant permission for landing and refueling.”

Cyprus has sought to stay out of the conflict and President Demetris Christofias said Sunday the government had conveyed to Britain its objection to the use of British military bases on Cyprus for operations in Libya.

Britain’s Defence Ministry has said an air base on the south coast of Cyprus is used only by reconnaissance and air-refueling planes in support of the operation.

Qatar is the only Arab country which has agreed to take part in air operations against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Cyprus, eager to attract more investment from wealthy Gulf states, is currently negotiating with Qatar for a huge joint land development project in the capital, Nicosia, worth hundreds of millions of euros.

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Russian Foreign Minister: Western Intervention In Libya Can Increase International Terrorism

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110322/163147238.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 22, 2011

Western intervention in Libya could boost terrorism – Lavrov

Mowcow: The Western-led military intervention in Libya may lead to escalation of international terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The comment follows an apparent spat between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev over the Kremlin’s stance on the airstrikes.

“If the situation gets out of hand, then we will have to deal with new manifestations of international terrorism, and many other developments, which we would like to avoid,” Lavrov told a news conference following talks with his Algerian counterpart Mourad Medelci.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and allowing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns. Russia was one of five countries that abstained from the resolution.

Medvedev said on Monday he did not consider the resolution wrong, just hours after Putin likened it to both the U.S. invasion of Iraq and a “Medieval call for a crusade.”
….

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Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya: Who Is Next?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/22/47796980.html

Voice of Russia
March 22, 2011

Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya: who’s next?
Andrei Ptashnikov

-In the course of his current visit to Brazil, US President Barack Obama detailed the reasons behind the crisis in Libya. This seems quite logical, given that this is the most important global event at the moment, along with the earthquake in Japan. But interestingly, when speaking about Libya, the head of the White House suddenly turned his attention to Iran, saying that the Iranian government was pursuing a policy of frightening its people into submission, something that he said was of great concern to the US.

The current bombings in Libya are definitely not the first of their kind in recent years and it hardly looks like they will be the last.

Whether by coincidence or not, global political tensions seem to heighten at the end of March – just see for yourself. March 19 was the start of the air raids on Libya for the ostensible purpose of protecting the Libyan people from tyrant Gaddafi.

On the 20th of March 8 years ago, US and NATO troops invaded Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, whom they not only accused of killing his people, but also pinned him with the production of weapons of mass destruction, that allegedly posed a threat to the entire world.

Recall that Hussein was eventually executed and no nuclear arms were ever unearthed, however the war in Iraq claimed thousands of civilian lives and went on for many years.

Let’s continue. On March 24, 1999, NATO started a several-month-long bombing of Yugoslavia. These attacks only inflamed the civil war in the country and eventually led to its dissolution. Civilian deaths ran into the thousands here too.

The current events in Libya are unfolding along very similar lines. There is no telling how long the bombings will continue and how long Gaddafi will hang on to power. So far, the colonel has no plans to step down and promises revenge for all who threaten his rule. This means that the armed resistance between the government and the opposition, clearly exacerbated by the foreign intervention, will surely lead to even greater victims among common Libyans. Certainly, it is a tall order to believe that the airborne bombs and missiles are only directed at military targets.

This is what Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had to say on Russia’s position, in view of the fact that this country is not and will not participate in the military operation against Libya:

“Russia wanted a peaceful settlement of Libya’s domestic problems from the outset. Nevertheless, we unconditionally condemned the actions of the Libyan leaders against their people. Sadly, real military action has broken out in Libya now and this cannot be allowed. I hope that the countries involved in the blockade of Libyan airspace are guided by an understanding that all of this is being done for the benefit of the Libyan people.”

And here’s another thing. In the course of his current visit to Brazil, US President Barack Obama detailed the reasons behind the crisis in Libya. This seems quite logical, given that this is the most important global event at the moment, along with the earthquake in Japan. But interestingly, when speaking about Libya, the head of the White House suddenly turned his attention to Iran, saying that the Iranian government was pursuing a policy of frightening its people into submission, something that he said was of great concern to the US.

Later, Barack Obama addressed the youth of Iran, suggesting that the decisions they are making will determine their country’s future and said that he was with them in these tough times. It remains to be seen whether young Iranians will be any better off for this support.

What is quite clear, though, is that the US president all but encouraged them to fight the country’s existing government. It’s no secret that the current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is as irritating to Washington as Gaddafi is today and as Hussein and Yugoslavia’s Milosevic once were. So perhaps one should take Barack Obama’s promises as a warning that Iran is next in line?

====

Libya: British Commandos In Place For Ground Operations

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/22/47806843.html

Voice of Russia
March 22, 2011

What are British commandos doing in Libya?

-The point is that a group of Western countries that launched massive air and missile strikes against Libya on Saturday seem to have no clear-cut strategy or action plan save for pouring tons of rockets on Libyan soil.

British special task units totaling several dozen servicemen are in Libya, providing military assistance to the rebels, the Daily Mail newspaper reports.

According to the official version, the British special task units are in Libya to help adjust air strikes on Libyan targets from the ground, carry out reconnaissance, locate Libyan arms depots and just be on standby to rescue pilots if a coalition plane is shot down over the territory controlled by supporters of Muammar Gaddafi.

British commandos have reportedly been in Libya for about three weeks now, covertly operating in Colonel Gaddafi’s rear. A senior British Defense Department official, who for some reason wished to remain anonymous, has argued that the British military presence on the Libyan soil, which many condemned as illegal, does not contradict UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya.

But considering that the resolution sanctions no military action beyond the no-fly zone, what are British commandos doing in Libya? Prime Minister David Cameron, explaining the aims of the anti-Libyan coalition in the House of Commons this week, made clear that a ground offensive in Libya was out the question.

“In line with UN resolution 1973, there were two aims to these strikes. The first was to suppress the Libyan air defences and make possible the safe enforcement of a no-fly zone. The second was to protect civilians from attack by the Gaddafi regime,” said David Cameron.

And yet, British commandos are already in Libya and they may be assigned new tasks on top of those already mentioned. For now, it looks like these new tasks have not been clearly determined. The point is that a group of Western countries that launched massive air and missile strikes against Libya on Saturday seem to have no clear-cut strategy or action plan save for pouring tons of rockets on Libyan soil. Quite evidently, if the Muammar Gaddafi regime holds out, which may well be the case, things may take a pretty awkward turn for the political and military leadership of the anti-Libyan coalition.

Some analysts assume that in the latter scenario, the coalition may push for a ground offensive as a last resort. And then, the British special task units in Libya will be extremely helpful. The ground offensive will require a new UN Security Council resolution. Meanwhile, chances that this third resolution on Libya will ever leave the walls of the UN headquarters in New York look pretty slim as more and more countries, including in the Arab world, are raising their voices against the foreign military intervention in Libya.

Inside the United States, criticism has been mounting from both Republican and Democrat politicians of President Barack Obama’s decision to take part in the operation against Libya without seeking Congress approval first.

But suppose he did, the prospect of getting the country involved in yet another war in an Islamic country, parallel to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will hardly make U.S. lawmakers happy.

====

World Steps Up Criticism Of Western Attacks On Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/22/c_13791783.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

World steps up criticism of Western air strikes in Libya
By Han Lin, Liu Dan

-“Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state.”
-Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba regarded the strikes as an “interference in internal affairs of Africa”, backing the 53-nation African Union stance against “any kind of foreign military intervention” in Libya.

BEIJING: The international community has stepped up its criticism and showed more worries about the Western-led air strikes against Libya following the forces launched operations to enforce a no-fly zone over the North African country.

China expressed its regret and opposed the use of force in international relations in a foreign ministry statement when commenting on the Libyan crisis and the Western-led air strikes.

“Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state,” said a signed commentary in China’s main newspaper the People’s Daily.

“It should be noted that attempts to resolve the crisis using military means affects the U.N. Charter and the norms governing international relations,

“In today’s world where some people with the Cold War mentality are still keen on the use of force, people have reason to express concerns about the effects of the military action,” added the commentary entitled “Do not abandon hope for peaceful resolution to Libyan crisis.”

Russia called on Britain, France and the United States to stop air strikes against the non-military targets in Libya, saying the attacks had caused civilian casualties.

“The resolution (on non-fly zone) is defective and flawed,” said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, adding “It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades.”

“In that respect we call on countries involved to stop the non-selective use of force,” its foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich echoed.

India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said the strikes would lead to more harm to “innocent civilians, foreign nationals and diplomatic missions.”

“India calls upon all parties to abjure violence and the use of threat and force to resolve the differences. I think the need of the hour is cessation of armed conflict,” he told reporters.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa condemned the “bombardment of civilians” and called for an emergency meeting of the group of 22 states to discuss the Libyan issue.

He demanded of a report of the bombardment in which the Lybian armed forces command said 64 people, most civilians and children, were killed.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Arab League criticism of the air strikes showed that Germany had “good reasons” to fear for the military intervention.

Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was critical of the formation of the coalition leading the action and stressed the objective should be “not to launch a large-scale war” in Libya.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged the Western intervention in Libya was aimed at “getting their hands on its oil”, as claimed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said the “adventure” was motivated by “petrol and who will exploit Libya’s oil fields”.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba regarded the strikes as an “interference in internal affairs of Africa”, backing the 53-nation African Union stance against “any kind of foreign military intervention” in Libya.

Loud explosions and heavy anti-aircraft gunfire were heard in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli at around 9:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Monday as the third round of Western-led air strikes started.

Many civilians were killed and wounded in this wave of attacks, according to local TV.

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said the Western countries launched three consecutive days of air strikes after Libyan armed forces announced a comprehensive cease-fire and stopped all military actions. The majority of Libya’s civil airports and seaports were destroyed during the air strikes.

Obama defends U.S. military air raids in Libya

SANTIAGO, March 21: Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday defended the U.S. military actions against Libya, saying the U.S. military actions are in accordance with the UN resolution adopted to solve the Libya crisis. Full story

Russia’s Putin calls UN resolution on Libya “flawed”

MOSCOW, March 21: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday criticized West-led military actions against Libya was based on a “flawed” UN Security Council resolution, according to local reports. Full story

French warplanes fly around 400 hours over Libya

PARIS, March 21: French warplanes have flown around 400 hours in total in Libyan airspace, amounting to 55 sorties in three days, a military spokesman said Monday.

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China Calls For Immediate End To Western Attacks On Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110322/163143059.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 22, 2011

Beijing opposes use of force in Libya

China called on Tuesday for an immediate end to a Western-led military operation in Libya.

“Beijing opposes the use of military force and considers it necessary to respect Libya’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said at a news conference in Beijing.

All parties must “immediately cease fire and resolve issues through peaceful means,” she added.

China was one of five countries, including Russia, that abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday. The resolution imposes a no-fly zone over Libya and allows “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

Operation Odyssey Dawn entered its third night of airstrikes on Libyan air defenses on Monday. Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded.

Beijing has been severely critical of the military intervention, with the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper on Monday comparing it to the U.S.-led invasions on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin voiced similar views on Monday, likening the UN resolution to a “call for a crusade.” The comments were swiftly rebuked by President Dmitry Medvedev, who described them as “unacceptable.”

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U.S. Warplane Crashes In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13792564.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

U.S. warplane found crashed in Libya: report

LONDON: The U.S. military has confirmed that a U.S. fighter jet has crashed in Libya, British newspaper The Daily Telegrph reported Tuesday on its website.

The aircraft was an F-15E Eagle, the report said citing a correspondent currently based in Libya.

The two crew members were rescued by rebels after the jet forced down in a field near Benghazi due to “mechanical failure,” Britain’s Sky News also quoted U.S. officials as saying.

According to other media reports, the two crew members ejected after the equipment failure and are safe, although sustaining minor injuries.

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Eight Warplanes: Sweden Follows NATO Into Another War

http://www.thelocal.se/32718/20110321/

The Local
March 21, 2011

Swedish Gripen fighters on Libya standby

The Swedish military said Monday that they would be ready to deploy Jas Gripen fighter aircraft within ten days, should Sweden be asked to participate in the military action against Libya.

“The armed forces have informed the government that we are able to deploy six to eight aircraft. At the moment they are on a ten day standby, so it wouldn’t take longer than that,” Therese Fagerstedt of the Swedish Armed Forces information department told news agency TT.

Where the aircraft would be stationed and how much ground crew would be needed is yet to be determined.

How long it would actually take for the unit to be deployed depends on the political decision making process.

Sources with insight into NATO have revealed to the Swedish Dagens Nyheter daily that Sweden will be asked to lend their support by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and the Christian Democrats have criticised the stance of the foreign minister Carl Bildt and the government, who have opted to wait for the request rather than offer Swedish help.

Allan Widman of the Liberal Party would like the government to make available the ‘Expeditionary Air Wings’, an eight plane strong flying unit, which is part of the Nordic Battle Group.

“I think we need to send the message that we can and wish to participate,” he told DN.

The foreign minister Carl Bildt does not however share the view of his government coalition colleague.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Bildt said that Sweden should wait to offer military assistance until requested.

However, if NATO was to approach Sweden, Bildt did not rule out possible military participation.

“All alternatives are still on the table. In the case of a request we will look at all the different ways that Sweden can contribute,” he said.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Ring, an expert on military strategy from the Swedish National Defense College (Försvarshögskolan), there is a need of further air power in the Libya operations.

“France have deployed about a hundred planes, which may sound like a lot. But compared to the air attacks on Kosovo and Serbia there are very few aircraft in action. Back then there were 700-800 aircraft per day,” he told TT.

On Monday Carl Bildt heads to Brussels to meet with foreign ministers from other EU member states.

On his personal blog “Alla Dessa Dagar” (literally: All These Days) he wrote on Sunday that the situation in Libya is certain to be high on the agenda.

“Sweden will support the resolution in the way and with the resources that we are best suited to,“ Bildt wrote.

At the moment, he pointed out, the military action is the main focus, but there is more to the resolution than that and a role for Sweden in the operations is by no means certain.
————————————-

http://www.thelocal.se/32734/20110321/

The Local
March 21, 2011

Swedish house backs Libya involvement

-The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 “Flying Barrel” planes fought in the Congo in the early 60’s.
The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight Jas Gripen planes to Libya.
-The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.
According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces the unit could be deployed to the combat zone – for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete – “days” after a political decision.

The Swedish government can count on the broad support in parliament to send Jas Gripen aircraft to assist the UN-backed Libyan operation, with only the Sweden Democrats expressing a dissenting opinion.

It is reported that NATO may soon approach Sweden with to participate in the international effort against the Libyan regime. The defence alliance however spent the day discussing which nation was best equipped to lead the operation.

“We must wait and see what NATO is up to. This is of significance,” foreign minister Carl Bildt said.

If NATO is unable to agree Bildt has not ruled out Sweden being able to take part in an operation led by a group of countries, including France, the United States and Britain, although Sweden would be in unfamiliar position.
….
For Sweden it would be easier to take part within a NATO-led effort, despite not being a formal member of the alliance as the military is familiar with procedures following previous cooperation. [Afghanistan]

Swedish participation would require a swift decision in parliament and according to a review of the positions of parliamentary parties, a government proposition would receive the broad support of the Riksdag.

The Social Democrats have expressed their firm support for a Swedish contribution to the operation.

“For me, it is irrelevant if the request comes from France, the United Nations or from NATO. The UN has called for the mission,” said the party’s foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly said that he was cautiously positive to sending the Jas Gripen fighter into combat.

The Sweden Democrats, who currently hold 19 votes in parliament, expressed their opposition to a Swedish contribution to the military effort preferring instead to spend the money on measures to address a feared refugee crisis.

The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 “Flying Barrel” planes fought in the Congo in the early 60’s.

The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight Jas Gripen planes to Libya.

The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.

According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces the unit could be deployed to the combat zone – for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete – “days” after a political decision.

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First Combat Mission For Eurofighter: British MPs Back War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gup-gLk0BwwVKccdMSZUdCas4w1g?docId=CNG.c1a375e7c725666e2ee5e250a84aa0a7.6b1

Agence France-Presse
March 21, 2011

Lawmakers approve Libya mission despite confusion

-Cameron earlier called for NATO to take command of operations in Libya, as NATO allies struggled Monday to overcome divisions about the organisation’s role in the strikes.
“Over time we want this to transition to a NATO command, a NATO command and control using NATO machinery, so all the partners in NATO and all those who want to contribute from outside can be properly coordinated,” he added.

LONDON: Lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the country’s involvement in the military operation to enforce a UN sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya despite confusion over the mission’s scope.

Politicians on Monday voted 557 to 13 in favour of the action as British Typhoon fighter jets took part in their first ever combat mission, assisting coalition forces in patrolling the no-fly zone.

Prime Minister David Cameron had the support of his Conservative party and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners for military action, as well as the opposition Labour party.

But there have been conflicting statements about the aims of the air strikes from ministers and from the British military, amid fears that Britain could be drawn into a ground war similar to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Cameron Monday said there was no legal authority for enforcing regime change in the North African nation, contradicting earlier suggestions by ministers that air strikes could target leader Moamer Kadhafi.

After Kadhafi’s complex in Tripoli was hit overnight in raids by Western forces, Cameron said the UN Security Council resolution was limited to include the enforcement of a ceasefire and no-fly zones to protect civilians.
….
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Sunday that there was a “possibility” British forces could target Kadhafi. Foreign Secretary William Hague refused to rule it out Monday, saying “that depends on the circumstances at the time”.
….
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier refused to comment on reports that it was a British missile which hit Kadhafi’s compound and that it aborted a further air attack after finding out foreign journalists were in the complex.

Acutely aware of the controversy over Britain’s six-year war in Iraq, Cameron repeated his argument that his first military action since taking office in May last year was “necessary, legal and right”.
….
During the House debate before Monday’s ballot, Hague fended off claims that the vote should have taken place before the operation started, saying if the UN resolution had been passed any later “it would have been too late”.
….
As the parliamentary debate took place, the MoD confirmed that it had sent more Tornado jets to the Gioia del Colle base in Italy and had deployed its Typhoon fighter jets for the first time.

“Today, Typhoons flew their first ever combat mission while patrolling the no-fly zone in support of UNSCR 1973,” Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff’s spokesman, Major General John Lorimer, said in a statement.

Cameron earlier called for NATO to take command of operations in Libya, as NATO allies struggled Monday to overcome divisions about the organisation’s role in the strikes.

“Over time we want this to transition to a NATO command, a NATO command and control using NATO machinery, so all the partners in NATO and all those who want to contribute from outside can be properly coordinated,” he added.

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Duty To NATO: Canadian MPs Unanimously Back Libyan War

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/commons-unanimously-backs-deployment-to-libya/article1949786/

Globe and Mail
March 21, 2011

Commons unanimously backs Canada’s deployment to Libya
John Ibbitson

OTTAWA: As Canadian fighter jets flew over hostile Libyan air space, all four political parties put aside pre-election posturing for a few hours Monday to support Canada’s role in the mission to contain Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“We are compelled to intervene, both [as] a moral duty and by duty [to] NATO and the United Nations,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the House of Commons Monday, opening debate on a motion supporting the deployment. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois unanimously supported the Conservative motion.

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Greece: Air And Naval Bases, Warship, AWACS “At NATO’s Disposal”

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_21/03/2011_383746

Kathimerini
March 21, 2011

Greece only providing support for Libya operations

-“On a bilateral level, Greece is responding to requests from friends and allies for providing help of a supportive nature. Greece has informed NATO that it is putting at its disposal the base at Souda, the airports at Aktio and Andravida, the frigate that has been sailing in waters between Crete and Libya for the past few days and an AWACS flying radar.”

Greece has clarified that it is only providing a supporting role in the efforts of coalition forces to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and is not taking part in any military operations.

The Defense Ministry issued a statement to emphasize that Greece was not actively involved in any of the current operations after two nights of bombings in Libya but was offering the use of bases and airports.

“At the moment, Greece is not taking part in any military operations, which are not being carried out within the NATO framework,” said the ministry.

“On a bilateral level, Greece is responding to requests from friends and allies for providing help of a supportive nature. Greece has informed NATO that it is putting at its disposal the base at Souda, the airports at Aktio and Andravida, the frigate that has been sailing in waters between Crete and Libya for the past few days and an AWACS flying radar.”

Athens will also offer a helicopter for search and rescue operations, should it be needed, said the ministry.

====

UN Security Council To Reconvene On Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/22/47770529.html

Voice of Russia
March 22, 2011

UN Security Council to reconvene on Libyan issue

The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Libya next Thursday.

Consultations are being convened in connection with the doubts voiced by some Council members regarding the “legitimacy of what is taking place”.

The Council also intends to consider the letters by Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa. One of the missives was dispatched to the UN already after the start of the military operation.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry insists there is a “foreign conspiracy against the Jamahiriya”, and that the Security Council resolution “paved the way for military aggression.”

====

“No-Fly Zone”: Video Of NATO’s Highway Of Death

RT
March 21, 2011

Video of Gaddafi tanks burnt, oil depot on fire after Libya military strike

====

Libya: Yet Another Imperialist Military Intervention

http://www.hindustantimes.com/More-fuel-to-the-fire/H1-Article1-675983.aspx

Hindustan Times
March 21, 2011

More fuel to the fire
Sitaram Yechury

Yet another imperialist military intervention has begun with French air strikes on Libya. The US-sponsored North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) operation has been launched ostensibly to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from attacking its people.

This direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, the biggest intervention since the military occupation of Iraq, comes under the sanction of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

This overzealousness betrays imperialism’s eagerness to retain its hegemonic control over the oil-rich region and prevent any realignment of forces that could be detrimental to its interests. The region has proven, accumulative reserves of 103.2 billion tonnes of residual fuel oil in 2009, or 55.6% of the proven total global oil reserves.

Imperialism’s double standards become clear with the US-inspired Saudi Arabian military intervention in Bahrain to prop up the Khalifa, opposed by the people seeking better standards of livelihood, human rights and democracy.

In Libya, imperialism seeks a regime change while in Bahrain, it seeks to sustain the autocratic Khalifa family that has lorded it over the country since 1783. Both interventions are ironically in the name of protecting the people. The reason for such dichotomy is not far to seek. Bahrain is home to the US navy’s Fifth Fleet and has been a steadfast ally. Libya, on the other hand, is not such a firm ally. Further, Libyan oil reserves and the ocean of fossil water reserves on which its deserts lie today have the potential of more lucrative profits than oil. A regime change here could well be to imperialism’s advantage, while in Bahrain it is not.

Behind these military interventions lie the basic geo-political interests of imperialism in the region. Its post-World War I history is replete with occupations aimed at controlling its energy resources. Post World War II, in an effort to reverse the gains of de-colonisation, the US intervened to topple the democratically-elected regime in Iran and foist a pliant one.

On the one hand, its propping up of Israel, military aggressiveness against Arab countries, denying Palestinians their homeland and on the other, the propping up of client regimes through massive military and ‘aid’ programmes, ensured imperialism’s hegemonic control over the region.

The situation dramatically changed over the past few months when popular protests across the region led to the downfall of pro-US regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt was imperialism’s lynchpin in the region. With popular protests rising in other countries like Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, imperialist hegemony was threatened. It is important to remember that all these countries received massive US military assistance. In fact, the weapons being used by Gaddafi’s forces today were provided by the US and other Nato allies in the first place.

The recent popular upsurges have been triggered by the global economic crisis that has increased the burden on the people through massive lay-offs and price rise. Libya, interestingly, occupies the first place in the human development index for Africa and has the highest life expectancy in the continent. It provides food security, essential social services, education and health for its people as well as employment to people from neighbouring countries. However, the protesting youth are an unmistakable picture of indignation. The demands for a better life, a better political and social ordering and the ability or inability of the ruling dispensation to meet these aspirations are matters that have to be settled within sovereign boundaries of independent countries.

The military intervention in Bahrain a week earlier, however, has come under the terms of the Joint Peninsular Shield established in 1990 under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-nation regional organisation, where any member state can seek military assistance from another in the face of an external threat. The threat that the ruling autocracy in Bahrain faces is entirely internal. The GCC is estimated to have $1.34 trillion of surplus assets accumulated in the last few years alone as oil revenues. The escalation of popular protests in Bahrain could well snowball into other GCC states, spiralling a political destabilisation that jeopardises such huge reserves. Already protest marches in four different locations in Saudi Arabia have been repressed.

These popular upsurges have also negated imperialism’s stereotypical projection of any uprising in an Islamic country as the rise of fundamentalism and therefore terrorism. The joint statement by Bahraini opposition groups have put it succinctly, saying “this tripartite coalition adopts the choice of bringing down the existing regime in Bahrain and the establishment of a democratic republican system”. The people in Islamic countries, like people anywhere else in the world, aspire for better living standards, human rights and liberty. This aspiration gets exponentially magnified in countries that have suffered for centuries under oppressive, autocratic rule backed by imperialism.

If people are sovereign, then they must be allowed to decide on their future in their sovereign country. Imperialism must be forced to roll back this military intervention. The countries that abstained in the UN Security Council, including India, must now assert themselves and stop yet another military aggression in Libya.

PS: Whither Obama’s promising rhetoric at the Al Azhar in Cairo soon after he assumed the US Presidency?

Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP

The views expressed by the author are personal.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war

March 21, 2011 1 comment

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World Steps Up Criticism Of Western Attacks On Libya

China Calls For Immediate End To Western Attacks On Libya

U.S. Warplane Crashes In Libya

Eight Warplanes: Sweden Follows NATO Into Another War

First Combat Mission For Eurofighter: British MPs Back War

Duty To NATO: Canadian MPs Unanimously Back Libyan War

Greece: Air And Naval Bases, Warship, AWACS “At NATO’s Disposal”

UN Security Council To Reconvene On Libya

“No-Fly Zone”: Video Of NATO’s Highway Of Death

Libya: Yet Another Imperialist Military Intervention

Libya: West Wages War Rather Than Lose Global Dominance

Mediterranean: U.S. Warship Shifts From Missile Interception To Missile Strikes

Western Military Attack On Libya Worries The World

Opposition Party Calls On Serbian Government To Condemn Libya Bombing

Libyan Capital Subjected To New Round Of Air Attacks

Video/Text: Russia, China Call Closed-Door Security Council Talks On Libya

Russia, Arab League Warn Against Break-Up Of Libya, Other Arab States

Pentagon: 124 Missile Strikes Against Libya, Bombing Of Airfields

Repeat Of 1999: Canadian Warplanes Ready For Action Over Libya

French Foreign Minister: NATO To Enter Libyan Fray In “Few Days”

Italian Foreign Minister: NATO Must Take Over Libyan War Command

Greece: Thousands Protest Libyan War, Burn EU Flag

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World Steps Up Criticism Of Western Attacks On Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/22/c_13791783.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

World steps up criticism of Western air strikes in Libya
By Han Lin, Liu Dan

-“Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state.”
-Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba regarded the strikes as an “interference in internal affairs of Africa”, backing the 53-nation African Union stance against “any kind of foreign military intervention” in Libya.

BEIJING: The international community has stepped up its criticism and showed more worries about the Western-led air strikes against Libya following the forces launched operations to enforce a no-fly zone over the North African country.

China expressed its regret and opposed the use of force in international relations in a foreign ministry statement when commenting on the Libyan crisis and the Western-led air strikes.

“Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state,” said a signed commentary in China’s main newspaper the People’s Daily.

“It should be noted that attempts to resolve the crisis using military means affects the U.N. Charter and the norms governing international relations,

“In today’s world where some people with the Cold War mentality are still keen on the use of force, people have reason to express concerns about the effects of the military action,” added the commentary entitled “Do not abandon hope for peaceful resolution to Libyan crisis.”

Russia called on Britain, France and the United States to stop air strikes against the non-military targets in Libya, saying the attacks had caused civilian casualties.

“The resolution (on non-fly zone) is defective and flawed,” said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, adding “It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades.”

“In that respect we call on countries involved to stop the non-selective use of force,” its foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich echoed.

India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said the strikes would lead to more harm to “innocent civilians, foreign nationals and diplomatic missions.”

“India calls upon all parties to abjure violence and the use of threat and force to resolve the differences. I think the need of the hour is cessation of armed conflict,” he told reporters.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa condemned the “bombardment of civilians” and called for an emergency meeting of the group of 22 states to discuss the Libyan issue.

He demanded of a report of the bombardment in which the Lybian armed forces command said 64 people, most civilians and children, were killed.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Arab League criticism of the air strikes showed that Germany had “good reasons” to fear for the military intervention.

Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was critical of the formation of the coalition leading the action and stressed the objective should be “not to launch a large-scale war” in Libya.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged the Western intervention in Libya was aimed at “getting their hands on its oil”, as claimed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said the “adventure” was motivated by “petrol and who will exploit Libya’s oil fields”.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba regarded the strikes as an “interference in internal affairs of Africa”, backing the 53-nation African Union stance against “any kind of foreign military intervention” in Libya.

Loud explosions and heavy anti-aircraft gunfire were heard in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli at around 9:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Monday as the third round of Western-led air strikes started.

Many civilians were killed and wounded in this wave of attacks, according to local TV.

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said the Western countries launched three consecutive days of air strikes after Libyan armed forces announced a comprehensive cease-fire and stopped all military actions. The majority of Libya’s civil airports and seaports were destroyed during the air strikes.

Obama defends U.S. military air raids in Libya

SANTIAGO, March 21: Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday defended the U.S. military actions against Libya, saying the U.S. military actions are in accordance with the UN resolution adopted to solve the Libya crisis. Full story

Russia’s Putin calls UN resolution on Libya “flawed”

MOSCOW, March 21: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday criticized West-led military actions against Libya was based on a “flawed” UN Security Council resolution, according to local reports. Full story

French warplanes fly around 400 hours over Libya

PARIS, March 21: French warplanes have flown around 400 hours in total in Libyan airspace, amounting to 55 sorties in three days, a military spokesman said Monday.

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China Calls For Immediate End To Western Attacks On Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110322/163143059.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 22, 2011

Beijing opposes use of force in Libya

China called on Tuesday for an immediate end to a Western-led military operation in Libya.

“Beijing opposes the use of military force and considers it necessary to respect Libya’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said at a news conference in Beijing.

All parties must “immediately cease fire and resolve issues through peaceful means,” she added.

China was one of five countries, including Russia, that abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday. The resolution imposes a no-fly zone over Libya and allows “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns.

Operation Odyssey Dawn entered its third night of airstrikes on Libyan air defenses on Monday. Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded.

Beijing has been severely critical of the military intervention, with the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper on Monday comparing it to the U.S.-led invasions on Afghanistan and Iraq.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin voiced similar views on Monday, likening the UN resolution to a “call for a crusade.” The comments were swiftly rebuked by President Dmitry Medvedev, who described them as “unacceptable.”

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U.S. Warplane Crashes In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13792564.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

U.S. warplane found crashed in Libya: report

LONDON: The U.S. military has confirmed that a U.S. fighter jet has crashed in Libya, British newspaper The Daily Telegrph reported Tuesday on its website.

The aircraft was an F-15E Eagle, the report said citing a correspondent currently based in Libya.

The two crew members were rescued by rebels after the jet forced down in a field near Benghazi due to “mechanical failure,” Britain’s Sky News also quoted U.S. officials as saying.

According to other media reports, the two crew members ejected after the equipment failure and are safe, although sustaining minor injuries.

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Eight Warplanes: Sweden Follows NATO Into Another War

http://www.thelocal.se/32718/20110321/

The Local
March 21, 2011

Swedish Gripen fighters on Libya standby

The Swedish military said Monday that they would be ready to deploy Jas Gripen fighter aircraft within ten days, should Sweden be asked to participate in the military action against Libya.

“The armed forces have informed the government that we are able to deploy six to eight aircraft. At the moment they are on a ten day standby, so it wouldn’t take longer than that,” Therese Fagerstedt of the Swedish Armed Forces information department told news agency TT.

Where the aircraft would be stationed and how much ground crew would be needed is yet to be determined.

How long it would actually take for the unit to be deployed depends on the political decision making process.

Sources with insight into NATO have revealed to the Swedish Dagens Nyheter daily that Sweden will be asked to lend their support by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and the Christian Democrats have criticised the stance of the foreign minister Carl Bildt and the government, who have opted to wait for the request rather than offer Swedish help.

Allan Widman of the Liberal Party would like the government to make available the ‘Expeditionary Air Wings’, an eight plane strong flying unit, which is part of the Nordic Battle Group.

“I think we need to send the message that we can and wish to participate,” he told DN.

The foreign minister Carl Bildt does not however share the view of his government coalition colleague.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Bildt said that Sweden should wait to offer military assistance until requested.

However, if NATO was to approach Sweden, Bildt did not rule out possible military participation.

“All alternatives are still on the table. In the case of a request we will look at all the different ways that Sweden can contribute,” he said.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Ring, an expert on military strategy from the Swedish National Defense College (Försvarshögskolan), there is a need of further air power in the Libya operations.

“France have deployed about a hundred planes, which may sound like a lot. But compared to the air attacks on Kosovo and Serbia there are very few aircraft in action. Back then there were 700-800 aircraft per day,” he told TT.

On Monday Carl Bildt heads to Brussels to meet with foreign ministers from other EU member states.

On his personal blog “Alla Dessa Dagar” (literally: All These Days) he wrote on Sunday that the situation in Libya is certain to be high on the agenda.

“Sweden will support the resolution in the way and with the resources that we are best suited to,“ Bildt wrote.

At the moment, he pointed out, the military action is the main focus, but there is more to the resolution than that and a role for Sweden in the operations is by no means certain.
————————————-

http://www.thelocal.se/32734/20110321/

The Local
March 21, 2011

Swedish house backs Libya involvement

-The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 “Flying Barrel” planes fought in the Congo in the early 60’s.
The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight Jas Gripen planes to Libya.
-The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.
According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces the unit could be deployed to the combat zone – for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete – “days” after a political decision.

The Swedish government can count on the broad support in parliament to send Jas Gripen aircraft to assist the UN-backed Libyan operation, with only the Sweden Democrats expressing a dissenting opinion.

It is reported that NATO may soon approach Sweden with to participate in the international effort against the Libyan regime. The defence alliance however spent the day discussing which nation was best equipped to lead the operation.

“We must wait and see what NATO is up to. This is of significance,” foreign minister Carl Bildt said.

If NATO is unable to agree Bildt has not ruled out Sweden being able to take part in an operation led by a group of countries, including France, the United States and Britain, although Sweden would be in unfamiliar position.
….
For Sweden it would be easier to take part within a NATO-led effort, despite not being a formal member of the alliance as the military is familiar with procedures following previous cooperation. [Afghanistan]

Swedish participation would require a swift decision in parliament and according to a review of the positions of parliamentary parties, a government proposition would receive the broad support of the Riksdag.

The Social Democrats have expressed their firm support for a Swedish contribution to the operation.

“For me, it is irrelevant if the request comes from France, the United Nations or from NATO. The UN has called for the mission,” said the party’s foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly said that he was cautiously positive to sending the Jas Gripen fighter into combat.

The Sweden Democrats, who currently hold 19 votes in parliament, expressed their opposition to a Swedish contribution to the military effort preferring instead to spend the money on measures to address a feared refugee crisis.

The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 “Flying Barrel” planes fought in the Congo in the early 60’s.

The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight Jas Gripen planes to Libya.

The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.

According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces the unit could be deployed to the combat zone – for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete – “days” after a political decision.

====

First Combat Mission For Eurofighter: British MPs Back War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gup-gLk0BwwVKccdMSZUdCas4w1g?docId=CNG.c1a375e7c725666e2ee5e250a84aa0a7.6b1

Agence France-Presse
March 21, 2011

Lawmakers approve Libya mission despite confusion

-Cameron earlier called for NATO to take command of operations in Libya, as NATO allies struggled Monday to overcome divisions about the organisation’s role in the strikes.
“Over time we want this to transition to a NATO command, a NATO command and control using NATO machinery, so all the partners in NATO and all those who want to contribute from outside can be properly coordinated,” he added.

LONDON: Lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the country’s involvement in the military operation to enforce a UN sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya despite confusion over the mission’s scope.

Politicians on Monday voted 557 to 13 in favour of the action as British Typhoon fighter jets took part in their first ever combat mission, assisting coalition forces in patrolling the no-fly zone.

Prime Minister David Cameron had the support of his Conservative party and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners for military action, as well as the opposition Labour party.

But there have been conflicting statements about the aims of the air strikes from ministers and from the British military, amid fears that Britain could be drawn into a ground war similar to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Cameron Monday said there was no legal authority for enforcing regime change in the North African nation, contradicting earlier suggestions by ministers that air strikes could target leader Moamer Kadhafi.

After Kadhafi’s complex in Tripoli was hit overnight in raids by Western forces, Cameron said the UN Security Council resolution was limited to include the enforcement of a ceasefire and no-fly zones to protect civilians.
….
Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Sunday that there was a “possibility” British forces could target Kadhafi. Foreign Secretary William Hague refused to rule it out Monday, saying “that depends on the circumstances at the time”.
….
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) earlier refused to comment on reports that it was a British missile which hit Kadhafi’s compound and that it aborted a further air attack after finding out foreign journalists were in the complex.

Acutely aware of the controversy over Britain’s six-year war in Iraq, Cameron repeated his argument that his first military action since taking office in May last year was “necessary, legal and right”.
….
During the House debate before Monday’s ballot, Hague fended off claims that the vote should have taken place before the operation started, saying if the UN resolution had been passed any later “it would have been too late”.
….
As the parliamentary debate took place, the MoD confirmed that it had sent more Tornado jets to the Gioia del Colle base in Italy and had deployed its Typhoon fighter jets for the first time.

“Today, Typhoons flew their first ever combat mission while patrolling the no-fly zone in support of UNSCR 1973,” Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff’s spokesman, Major General John Lorimer, said in a statement.

Cameron earlier called for NATO to take command of operations in Libya, as NATO allies struggled Monday to overcome divisions about the organisation’s role in the strikes.

“Over time we want this to transition to a NATO command, a NATO command and control using NATO machinery, so all the partners in NATO and all those who want to contribute from outside can be properly coordinated,” he added.

====

Duty To NATO: Canadian MPs Unanimously Back Libyan War

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/commons-unanimously-backs-deployment-to-libya/article1949786/

Globe and Mail
March 21, 2011

Commons unanimously backs Canada’s deployment to Libya
John Ibbitson

OTTAWA: As Canadian fighter jets flew over hostile Libyan air space, all four political parties put aside pre-election posturing for a few hours Monday to support Canada’s role in the mission to contain Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“We are compelled to intervene, both [as] a moral duty and by duty [to] NATO and the United Nations,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the House of Commons Monday, opening debate on a motion supporting the deployment. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois unanimously supported the Conservative motion.

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Greece: Air And Naval Bases, Warship, AWACS “At NATO’s Disposal”

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_21/03/2011_383746

Kathimerini
March 21, 2011

Greece only providing support for Libya operations

-“On a bilateral level, Greece is responding to requests from friends and allies for providing help of a supportive nature. Greece has informed NATO that it is putting at its disposal the base at Souda, the airports at Aktio and Andravida, the frigate that has been sailing in waters between Crete and Libya for the past few days and an AWACS flying radar.”

Greece has clarified that it is only providing a supporting role in the efforts of coalition forces to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and is not taking part in any military operations.

The Defense Ministry issued a statement to emphasize that Greece was not actively involved in any of the current operations after two nights of bombings in Libya but was offering the use of bases and airports.

“At the moment, Greece is not taking part in any military operations, which are not being carried out within the NATO framework,” said the ministry.

“On a bilateral level, Greece is responding to requests from friends and allies for providing help of a supportive nature. Greece has informed NATO that it is putting at its disposal the base at Souda, the airports at Aktio and Andravida, the frigate that has been sailing in waters between Crete and Libya for the past few days and an AWACS flying radar.”

Athens will also offer a helicopter for search and rescue operations, should it be needed, said the ministry.

====

UN Security Council To Reconvene On Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/22/47770529.html

Voice of Russia
March 22, 2011

UN Security Council to reconvene on Libyan issue

The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Libya next Thursday.

Consultations are being convened in connection with the doubts voiced by some Council members regarding the “legitimacy of what is taking place”.

The Council also intends to consider the letters by Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa. One of the missives was dispatched to the UN already after the start of the military operation.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry insists there is a “foreign conspiracy against the Jamahiriya”, and that the Security Council resolution “paved the way for military aggression.”

====

“No-Fly Zone”: Video Of NATO’s Highway Of Death

RT
March 21, 2011

Video of Gaddafi tanks burnt, oil depot on fire after Libya military strike

====

Libya: Yet Another Imperialist Military Intervention

http://www.hindustantimes.com/More-fuel-to-the-fire/H1-Article1-675983.aspx

Hindustan Times
March 21, 2011

More fuel to the fire
Sitaram Yechury

Yet another imperialist military intervention has begun with French air strikes on Libya. The US-sponsored North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) operation has been launched ostensibly to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from attacking its people.

This direct interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, the biggest intervention since the military occupation of Iraq, comes under the sanction of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

This overzealousness betrays imperialism’s eagerness to retain its hegemonic control over the oil-rich region and prevent any realignment of forces that could be detrimental to its interests. The region has proven, accumulative reserves of 103.2 billion tonnes of residual fuel oil in 2009, or 55.6% of the proven total global oil reserves.

Imperialism’s double standards become clear with the US-inspired Saudi Arabian military intervention in Bahrain to prop up the Khalifa, opposed by the people seeking better standards of livelihood, human rights and democracy.

In Libya, imperialism seeks a regime change while in Bahrain, it seeks to sustain the autocratic Khalifa family that has lorded it over the country since 1783. Both interventions are ironically in the name of protecting the people. The reason for such dichotomy is not far to seek. Bahrain is home to the US navy’s Fifth Fleet and has been a steadfast ally. Libya, on the other hand, is not such a firm ally. Further, Libyan oil reserves and the ocean of fossil water reserves on which its deserts lie today have the potential of more lucrative profits than oil. A regime change here could well be to imperialism’s advantage, while in Bahrain it is not.

Behind these military interventions lie the basic geo-political interests of imperialism in the region. Its post-World War I history is replete with occupations aimed at controlling its energy resources. Post World War II, in an effort to reverse the gains of de-colonisation, the US intervened to topple the democratically-elected regime in Iran and foist a pliant one.

On the one hand, its propping up of Israel, military aggressiveness against Arab countries, denying Palestinians their homeland and on the other, the propping up of client regimes through massive military and ‘aid’ programmes, ensured imperialism’s hegemonic control over the region.

The situation dramatically changed over the past few months when popular protests across the region led to the downfall of pro-US regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt was imperialism’s lynchpin in the region. With popular protests rising in other countries like Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, imperialist hegemony was threatened. It is important to remember that all these countries received massive US military assistance. In fact, the weapons being used by Gaddafi’s forces today were provided by the US and other Nato allies in the first place.

The recent popular upsurges have been triggered by the global economic crisis that has increased the burden on the people through massive lay-offs and price rise. Libya, interestingly, occupies the first place in the human development index for Africa and has the highest life expectancy in the continent. It provides food security, essential social services, education and health for its people as well as employment to people from neighbouring countries. However, the protesting youth are an unmistakable picture of indignation. The demands for a better life, a better political and social ordering and the ability or inability of the ruling dispensation to meet these aspirations are matters that have to be settled within sovereign boundaries of independent countries.

The military intervention in Bahrain a week earlier, however, has come under the terms of the Joint Peninsular Shield established in 1990 under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a six-nation regional organisation, where any member state can seek military assistance from another in the face of an external threat. The threat that the ruling autocracy in Bahrain faces is entirely internal. The GCC is estimated to have $1.34 trillion of surplus assets accumulated in the last few years alone as oil revenues. The escalation of popular protests in Bahrain could well snowball into other GCC states, spiralling a political destabilisation that jeopardises such huge reserves. Already protest marches in four different locations in Saudi Arabia have been repressed.

These popular upsurges have also negated imperialism’s stereotypical projection of any uprising in an Islamic country as the rise of fundamentalism and therefore terrorism. The joint statement by Bahraini opposition groups have put it succinctly, saying “this tripartite coalition adopts the choice of bringing down the existing regime in Bahrain and the establishment of a democratic republican system”. The people in Islamic countries, like people anywhere else in the world, aspire for better living standards, human rights and liberty. This aspiration gets exponentially magnified in countries that have suffered for centuries under oppressive, autocratic rule backed by imperialism.

If people are sovereign, then they must be allowed to decide on their future in their sovereign country. Imperialism must be forced to roll back this military intervention. The countries that abstained in the UN Security Council, including India, must now assert themselves and stop yet another military aggression in Libya.

PS: Whither Obama’s promising rhetoric at the Al Azhar in Cairo soon after he assumed the US Presidency?

Sitaram Yechury is CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP

The views expressed by the author are personal.

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Libya: West Wages War Rather Than Lose Global Dominance

http://en.huanqiu.com/opinion/editorial/2011-03/635887.html

Global Times
March 21, 2011

Libya is a risky gambit for Allies

-The West will not give up their jurisdiction over justice and injustice.
They truly believe that they are the world’s custodian and the embodiment of justice. The Jasmine Revolution actually deepens their sense of purpose, and the West cannot bear the prospect that their will might be negated by Gaddafi. This is their bottom line.

Since the moment the Allies’ warplanes fired on Libya, the nature of the Middle Eastern unrest changed. This is not a revolution purely launched by local people anymore – it has been shaped by Western military intervention aimed at certain purposes.

The raids launched by the US, the UK and France may change the overpowering odds that Gaddafi would remain in power, and save the temporary Libyan authority in Benghazi. Libya will probably see a long internal war. When the endgame comes depends on a complicated contention among different forces in and out of Libya. The West is an important force among them, but not necessarily a decisive one.

A tendency is burgeoning: The Jasmine Revolution will be coercively ripened in the region. Until the air strikes on Libya took place, revolutionary forces largely grew independently, and Western guidance was not an overt act.

However, the Allies’ air strikes served as a turning point. The West clearly declared its intent to see its will imposed.

History has shown how a Third World country’s political movement being ended by major powers will end up: It will fall either into national division or into a persisting civil war. It seems that Libya will be forced to pick one out of these two alternatives.

The Western coalition has made it clear that they will not put boots on the ground in Libya. However, an intense air assault inevitably causes civilian deaths. In an Arab country where anti-US sentiment already exists, it is doubtful if the operation will be sustainable.

It is not difficult for the Western coalition to remove Gaddafi from power. However, the West has been hesitating: What to do after they work jointly to crush Libyan government forces? The West isn’t sure about the consequences of their military intervention, but they would rather take this risk, otherwise Gaddafi forces would squeeze rebel-held Benghazi.

The West is clearly learning the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, and cannot afford another war against an Islamic country. Nevertheless, it cannot tolerate that its encouragement of the Jasmine revolution may lose to Gaddafi’s resistance either. They would rather risk a war against Libya to protect their dominance in this region.

The West will not give up their jurisdiction over justice and injustice.

They truly believe that they are the world’s custodian and the embodiment of justice. The Jasmine Revolution actually deepens their sense of purpose, and the West cannot bear the prospect that their will might be negated by Gaddafi. This is their bottom line. No matter how hesitant they are, they must risk the raids, because otherwise they are not the world’s guiding force anymore.

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Mediterranean: U.S. Warship Shifts From Missile Interception To Missile Strikes

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59197

Navy NewsStand
March 20, 2011

USS Stout Conducts Strike Operations in Support of Operation Odyssey Dawn
From Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

USS STOUT, At Sea: USS Stout (DDG 55) supported Joint Task Force Operation Odyssey Dawn by launching missile strikes against Libya March 19….

Stout’s primary mission in the Mediterranean Sea is ballistic missile defense, but Stout’s crew was retasked to conduct the initial strikes of Operation Odyssey Dawn.
….
“We’re built to do multiple missions,” said Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Jeramy Spivey. “Rapidly shifting from ballistic missile defense to strike operations is proof that Stout is ready for anything.”

Spivey was operating a camera March 19 capturing the image of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) launching from the ship’s bow.
…,
Many Stout Sailors were able to witness the initial TLAM launches, especially the ship’s bridge watchstanders.

“We witnessed history in the making tonight. It is nice to know that we contributed to the world’s effort to protect innocent civilians in Libya,” said Seaman Nathan Wade, whose role as helmsman kept the ship on a proper course during the operation.
….
“Stout is energized like never before and we are ready for the next mission,” said Stout Command Master Chief Anthony Cole.

“Arleigh Burke once said, ‘This ship was built to fight. You’d better know how,'” said Cmdr. Sly Steele, Stout’s commanding officer. “That is a concept we take very seriously in Stout.”

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Western Military Attack On Libya Worries The World

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/22/c_13790894.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Commentary: Military action against Libya worries world

BEIJING: France, Britain, the United States and some other countries abruptly initiated airstrikes on Libya’s government forces on Saturday, complicating the situation in the country and in the neighboring region. The purpose, means and possible consequences of the military action are worrying the international community.

The military assault was taken after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution last Thursday to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya and to take measures to protect civilians in Libya.

Yet, the military action is being doubted, although leaders of some Western countries, like British Prime Minister David Cameron, emphasized “the legitimacy, necessity and correctness” of the military action.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa on Sunday criticized Western countries, saying the military attacks went beyond “the aim to impose a no-fly zone” in Libya.

Moussa said he wanted the protection of civilians there, instead of the bombardment of more civilians.

Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of Russia’s State Duma International Affairs Committee, said the military action violated the spirit of the UN resolution.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Sunday wanted President Barack Obama to explain the mission of U.S. participation in the military action in Libya.

Turmoil in Libya, which occurred one month ago in the North African country, has been drawing the concern of the world, due to the special role of the oil-rich country in the region and international geopolitics. Various speculations are rising on the purposes of the military action by Western countries.

The New York Times said on its website Friday that Libya had around 46 billion barrels of oil reserves, the largest in Africa, and its domestic situation was pegged with the oil interests of many countries.

Meanwhile, Libya’s importance in world geopolitics and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s long-time discords with Western countries also forced leaders of some countries to remove him by force in the current circumstances, it said.

External military intervention is complicating the situation in Libya. The international community is widely concerned about whether the strikes on Libya’s government forces could help the situation there return to normal soon, or could prevent any escalation of armed conflict or avoid any further humanitarian crisis there.

The international community is also mulling ways to deal with the impacts of Libya’s situation on West Asia and North Africa, while assessing its challenges to world political and economic stability.

Russia Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Sunday called on the related countries to halt “the indiscriminate use of force,” saying that the West’s airstrikes exceeded the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution.

The Indian Foreign Ministry also said that any measures taken should be ensured to mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya.

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 adopted last Thursday also strongly urged parties concerned to step up efforts to seek peaceful solutions in Libya.

The international community should take a fair and responsible approach to meet the current challenges properly and cautiously based on the principle of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya.

Any unfair action could only bring about unexpected consequences.

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Opposition Party Calls On Serbian Government To Condemn Libya Bombing

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=03&dd=21&nav_id=73352

Beta News Agency
March 21, 2011

Opposition party: Condemn Libya attacks

BELGRADE: The opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) has called on the authorities to condemn the international military intervention in Libya.

Serbia “knows best that bombardment cannot be a solution to any problems”, said the party, in reference to NATO’S attacks against the country launched in 1999.

“Serbia knows better than anyone that destruction and suffering do not bring peace and freedom, and for that reason it should condemn the bombing of Libya and strongly advocate solution of all problems through talks and in a peaceful manner,” party spokesman Petar Petković said.

Petković also noted that the western powers started bombing another country “almost on the anniversary ” of the start of their attacks against Serbia.

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Libyan Capital Subjected To New Round Of Air Attacks

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13790960.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 22, 2011

Tripoli under new round of airstrikes

TRIPOLI: Loud explosions and heavy anti-aircraft gunfire were heard in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli at around 9:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Monday as a new round of Western-led airstrikes started, a Xinhua reporter said.

Anti-aircraft artilleries were shooting into the sky from the north and east parts of the city, while anti-aircraft fire was also heard in the south part of the city, lasting for about ten minutes.

One military barracks 30 km west to Tripoli was bombed, a local source told Xinhua reporters Monday.

Another military compound near the broadcasting and TV station in the capital was also targeted in the military strikes, but casualties were not clear.

Libyan State TV said the new strikes hit an oil pipeline in Shaab, a port city east of Tripoli.

Similar explosions rocked the capital on Sunday, with coalition officials on Monday saying an administrative building of the residential compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was destroyed by a missile.

Footage from the Libyan state TV showed that a building near the tent where Gaddafi usually receives guests was severely damaged.

“It was a barbaric bombing” and could have hit hundreds of civilians who gathered near the destroyed building in support of the Libyan leader,” said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, who declined to say whether Gaddafi was still inside the compound.

Libyan authorities said that at least 64 Libyans had been killed and 150 others wounded by the missiles and bombs rained upon Libya over the weekend.
….
Dubbing the attacks “a crusader war” against the Libyan people, Gaddafi said Sunday that the airstrikes were “terrorist means” and he vowed a “long war.”

Echoing Gaddafi’s warning, a top French official said that the international military action against Libya is likely to last “a while.”
….
Libyan people’s patriotic sentiment has run high after Western countries launched the joint military action. Pro-Gaddafi rallies and protests against the military intervention in Libya were seen as many people and students would take to the streets after work or school.

A Xinhua correspondent said the government has already opened arms depots to the people to protect the country and any Libyan citizen who registers at the government department can get guns and bullets now.
….

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Video/Text: Russia, China Call Closed-Door Security Council Talks On Libya

http://rt.com/news/libya-conflict-reaction-russia/

RT
March 21, 2011

Calls grow for allies to stop air strikes on Libya

Videos

-[T]he UN Security Council is set to hold closed-door consultations on the situation in Libya later on Monday, diplomats said.
The discussion was called by China – this month’s council president – in response to a letter from Libya and a Russian request.
-“India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. It regrets the air strikes that are taking place,” a ministry statement said.

Moscow condemns the international coalition air strikes in Libya, and so does the Arab League and the African Union. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in North Africa to discuss the ongoing conflict.

At least 60 people have already been killed as a result of the coalition air strikes, and as the strikes continue, that number is expected to rise.
Vladimir Putin insisted nobody has the right to intervene in political conflicts in sovereign countries, calling the Security Council resolution a flawed document.

“The UN security council resolution is undoubtedly incomplete and flawed. If you look at what it says, it becomes apparent that it allows everyone to undertake any actions against a sovereign state,” Putin said.

”We’re concerned at the ease with which decisions are being made over the use of force in international affairs today. In US policy it’s becoming a dangerous tendency. During Bill Clinton’s time they bombed Yugoslavia and Belgrade, Bush deployed troops in Afghanistan, then under false pretenses more forces were deployed in Iraq, destroying the entire government of Iraq. Now Libya is next – they say they’re protecting civilians. But it’s civilians who are dying when they bomb Libya. Where’s the logic and the conscience? There’s neither,” added the Russian prime minister during his visit to Central Russia.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is set to hold closed-door consultations on the situation in Libya later on Monday, diplomats said.

The discussion was called by China – this month’s council president – in response to a letter from Libya and a Russian request.

Russia and many of its allies around the world find it unacceptable, saying that the UN Resolution 1973 spoke only of establishing a no-fly zone that was supposed to guarantee civilian security.

“It is unacceptable to use the mandate subsequent upon UN Resolution 1973, the adoption of which was quite an ambiguous move, to achieve the goals which clearly are beyond its scope as the resolution stipulates only measures to protect civilian population,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Sergey Lavrov is planning to visit Algeria while in North Africa. He is currently in Egypt, where he is expected to meet a number of officials to discuss the situation in Libya.

He will also meet with the Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa.

The Arab League initially supported the establishment of the no-fly zone over Libya but have since changed their position, seeing the number of civilian casualties.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” Moussa said.

Many believe that the current intervention will not only destabilize Libya and aggravate the conflict even further, but this destabilization may even spread to the entire North African region.

The African Union’s panel on Libya has called for an “immediate stop” to all attacks on Libya and said that “political reforms to eliminate the causes of the present crisis” must be carried out there.

The panel consists of leaders of South Africa, Uganda, Mauritania, Congo and Mali who are expected to travel to Libya shortly to help end the violence.

India has come out and said that it strongly disapproves of the air strikes in Libya. The minister of external affairs said that they are hoping for a peaceful settlement with the help of the United Nations and other regional organizations. He said that he believes that air strikes would be counterproductive and harm innocent civilians, foreigners and diplomats.

“India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya. It regrets the air strikes that are taking place,” a ministry statement said.

India said it will do whatever it can to strongly discourage violence in Libya while respecting the wishes of the Libyan people.

Turkey, a very important Arab ally within the European Union and NATO community, is also getting increasingly concerned about what is happening.

EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels on Monday to discuss the events in Libya. As for NATO, it is day three of the alliance’s “two-day” meeting and ambassadors have so far failed to agree on whether to get involved.

Meanwhile, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s comment that Muammar Gaddafi is “a legitimate target” received a mixed reaction.

Protests against the coalition air strikes in Libya took place in some US cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

An anti-war demonstration has also been held in Brussels and more are expected, including in London.

­Meanwhile John Laughland from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris says the coalition forces are greatly mistaken – this escapade will end in catastrophic failure and will inflame the situation even more than it is. It will last far longer than they gambled for, as it shows, the interventions never end “ These people – the British prime minister, the French president, the American administration are so happy to let bombs fly on countries almost at the drop of a hat – they are so determined to get the outcome they want – which is to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi – it will make the discord in voices that are already coming within the Western states and in the Arab league – this will make it very difficult to continue the war. But I’m afraid, they won’t let go now that they’ve started,“ says Laughland.

­Anti-war and social justice activist Sara Flounders argues that this is a colonial war for Libya’s oil reserves, the biggest on the African continent. The goal, she says, is total control of Libya’s oil, and is not meant to help the Libyan people – on the contrary, it will be devastating for the people in Libya, who are paying a horrendous price.

“The US bombardment is meant to destroy any struggle throughout the Arab world, it’s meant to set it back,” Flounders declared. “This is not meant to help the people of Libya, it’s meant to… enforce an entire new colonial regime on the region… to demoralize the population… and to secure the oil and natural gas that Libya has in great supply.”

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Russia, Arab League Warn Against Break-Up Of Libya, Other Arab States

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/21/47745637.html

Voice of Russia
March 21, 2011

Air campaign cannot be allowed to split Libya – Lavrov

Russia hopes the Western-led war on Libya will stay confined to its stated goals and not compromise the territorial integrity of any country.

Foreign Minister Lavrov was speaking about this in Cairo Monday after discussing regional issues with head of the Arab League Amr Moussa.

He also said coalition air raids on Tripoli cannot be allowed to hamper the evacuation of Russian or other foreign nationals from the Libyan capital.
——————————————————————–

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/21/47767313.html

Voice of Russia
March 21, 2011

Russia and Arab League say “no” to use of force in Libya

On Monday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Arab League’s Secretary General Amr Mussa met in Cairo and discussed the situation Libya. They have agreed that the situation there should be resolved only by peaceful means. In an interview with the “Voice of Russia” Lavrov said that the results of the international conflict in Libya may have unpredictable consequences for the whole region.

Moscow finds that NATO’s military actions against Gaddafi’s regime go beyond the UN Security Council’s mandate, which envisages such measures only for the protection of the civilian population, the Russian Foreign Minister said. The Libyan people have an exclusive right to define the future of their country, he added.

“We hope the consequences of the situation in Libya won’t seriously damage the situation in the region and won’t lead to the break-up of any states. We hope that the Arab League will help Libyans to carry out reforms with the minimum possible bloodshed.”

This idea was upheld by the Arab League’s Secretary General Amr Mussa. He said that the League had urged the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya in order to protect its peaceful population. Now the League hopes to settle conflicts in Yemen and Bahrain exclusively by holding a political dialogue.

While the diplomats were discussing the ways out of the international crisis there were protest demonstrations in front of the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo. The Egyptian people held anti-American slogans demanding to put an end to the external intervention in Libya.

The protesters even tried to attack the motorcade of the UN’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who had met Amr Mussa just before the Russian Foreign Minister. The protesters only cried out several slogans and after that the policemen pushed them back.
….

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Pentagon: 124 Missile Strikes Against Libya, Bombing Of Airfields

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63234

U.S. Department of Defense
March 20, 2011

Strikes Degrade Libya’s Defenses, But Threats Remain
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: While the attacks on Libya’s integrated air and missile defense system have been successful, thousands of anti-aircraft artillery emplacements and portable missile launchers still pose threats to coalition air crews, the director of the Joint Staff said today.

On the second day of Operation Odyssey Dawn, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney said the coalition cruise missile strikes against selected air defense systems and facilities were successful, and that coalition ships and submarines launched 124 Tomahawk missiles against these targets.

“We judge these strikes to have been very effective in degrading the regime’s air defense capability, to include their ability to launch many of their SA-5s – their long range missiles – their SA-3s and SA-2s,” Gortney said during a Pentagon news conference.
….
Air Force B-2 bombers also attacked Libyan airfields, flattening the hardened shelters Libyan fighter-bombers use, Gortney said. Coalition tactical fighters also hit Gadhafi’s ground forces on the outskirts of Benghazi, where 15 U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, French and British aircraft participated in the action about 10 miles south of the opposition stronghold. “We judge these also to have been highly successful at halting the regime ground movement in this region,” Gortney said.

Libya’s fixed surface-to-air missile threat and early warning radars are gone. The threat that remains comes from mobile surface-to-air missiles — SA-6 and SA-8 systems – as well as thousands of shoulder-fired SA-7 missile launchers, the admiral told reporters.
….
The coalition has grown and will continue to increase, Gortney said, noting that it includes the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy, Qatar, Belgium, Norway and Denmark. More nations will directly participate in the coalition, he said, and other nations will provide overflight rights, basing and logistics. Gortney said those nations will make their announcements at their own times.

The United States leads the coalition effort now, but that will change, the admiral said.

“Our intent is to be a part of the coalition throughout, and transfer the command to a coalition command,” he said. The United States would shift to more of a support function that would include aerial tankers; electronic warfare aircraft; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft; and logistics.

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Repeat Of 1999: Canadian Warplanes Ready For Action Over Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13790552.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011

Canada’s warplanes in Italy ready to enforce Libya no-fly zone

OTTAWA: Six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets, which left Canada on Friday, have been based in Italy and are ready to help enforce the UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya within two days, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said on Sunday.

The announcement came a day after the offensive began overnight Saturday with strikes on Libyan military targets by French warplanes and by missiles from the U.S. and British warships.

By Sunday, the coalition said the no-fly zone was in place.

Mackay said the jets will be taking part in sorties “within 48 hours” to join the United States, France and Britain in maintaining the no-fly zone.
….
“We want to disable their air force…,” he said.

U.S. officials said earlier that Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Qatar will also contribute to the military operation.

The CF-18s from base in Bagotville, Quebec, along with 150 personnel, arrived at a small airbase in Trapani, Sicily, around noon local time Saturday.

The military sources said the Canadian pilots will start flying missions once the military has approved systems for rules of engagement, command and control, as well as identifying friendly or hostile forces.
….
Canada’s fighter jets last took part in such a mission in 1999 when they joined the NATO bombardment of the former Yugoslavia….

Canada has so far deployed its frigate HMCS Charlottetown with 240 crew equipped with a Sea King helicopter, in the waters off Libya.

It also has one C-17 Globemaster strategic transportation aircraft and two C-130J Hercules tactical transportation aircraft as well as a military reconnaissance team of 13 soldiers in Malta.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday that Canada will send warplanes to help enforce the UN resolution authorizing a “no fly zone” over Libya, despite Tripoli’s ceasefire declaration.
….

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French Foreign Minister: NATO To Enter Libyan Fray In “Few Days”

http://www.newstimeafrica.com/archives/18009

Agence France-Presse
March 21, 2011

France says NATO is prepared to back up Libya action in a few days

BRUSSELS: NATO is ready to back up the international coalition intervening in Libya within “a few days,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday. ”The coordination of the intervention is being conducted by the United States in tight collaboration with France and Britain,” Juppe told reporters on the sidelines of an European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. While NATO allies debated at a separate meeting what role the alliance may take in the conflict, Juppe said “NATO is willing to come in support (of the operation) within a few days.”
….
France, whose fighter jets launched the first salvos in the campaign against Kadhafi on Saturday, has resisted handing the baton to NATO, fearing a backlash from the Arab world if the alliance intervenes.
….

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Italian Foreign Minister: NATO Must Take Over Libyan War Command

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Libya-Italy-says-Nato-should-take-over-Odyssey-Dawn_311813173956.html

ADN Kronos International
March 21, 2011

Libya: Italy says Nato should take over Odyssey Dawn

Italy is allowing seven of its military bases to be used for operations against Muammar Gaddafi. The burden of carrying out missions in Operation Odyssey Dawn has so far been shouldered by the US, the UK, Italy and France.

“We believe it’s time to move from a coalition of the willing towards a bit more coordinated approach under Nato, because Nato has the capacity, the experience to lead a well-coordinated action,” Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said in Brussels on Monday prior to talks with his European Union counterparts.

Frattini’s comments echo those of British Defence Minister Liam Fox who has called for Nato control of the operation.

Nato members Turkey and Germany oppose the alliance’s involvement in the operation.
….

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Greece: Thousands Protest Libyan War, Burn EU Flag

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hvRBoSxUyJDlb2-F06daJ6tvylbg?docId=6318133

Associated Press
March 21, 2011

Greek Communists protest airstrikes against Libya, burn EU flag in Athens march

ATHENS, Greece: Several hundred students linked to the Communist party are rallying outside Greece’s parliament to protest government support for airstrikes against Libya by NATO allies.

Protesters burned a European Union flag before Monday’s peaceful march.

Greece…has sent a navy frigate to the region and has offered the use of its air bases to the countries involved. The United States has also used a navy base on the Greek island of Crete to build up Libya-bound forces.

Communist-backed groups have staged protests in Athens and Crete, include a rally Sunday by 5,000 demonstrators in the capital.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 21, 2011

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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U.S. Special Forces Given Free Rein To Operate In Central Asia

Afghan War: Bulgarian Base Hit In Rocket Attack

As With Afghanistan: NATO Wants Finnish, Swedish Role In Libyan War

Baltic Sea: NATO Integrates Sweden Into Air Patrols

U.S. Integrates Lithuanian Air Force Personnel At German Base

Texas: Euro-NATO “Gold Standard” Jet Pilot Training

NATO Naval Group Leaves Bahrain, Drills With U.S., British Ships

Britain: Elite NATO Corps Gets New Commander

NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head Arrives In Georgia

Georgia’s NATO Membership On Agenda: Caucasus Representative

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U.S. Special Forces Given Free Rein To Operate In Central Asia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/21/47731460.html

Voice of Russia
March 21, 2011

US presence permitted in Central Asia
Ilya Kharlamov

-The US military is currently developing a program to secretly manipulate social networks to enable the creation of hundreds of online personalities with the “right” opinions.

American Special Forces have been entitled to invade Central Asian countries in the course of counter-terrorist operations. Thus, they will be allowed to chase and eradicate terrorists in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. A statement to that effect came from a US Central Command source. Russian experts believe that such operations should be carried out with utmost caution in order not to further aggravate the already unstable region.

The US Department of Defense noted that the country’s Special Forces regularly cross other countries’ borders in pursuit of armed groups attempting to hide there after fleeing Afghanistan.

From now on, such operations will be carried out jointly with national security, defense and law enforcement agencies of Central Asian countries and will be strictly individual.

At the same time, no provision has been made for the continuous presence of an American task force in those countries. As a perfect example of this measure’s effectiveness, the US authorities mention their assistance to Tajikistan in repelling an invasion attempt of Afghan Islamic militants in 2010. Similar operations are regularly held against extremists in Pakistan as well. It is nevertheless impossible to call these attacks absolutely untainted – military clashes kill many civilians, evoking understandable indignation among locals.

The possibility of using American Special Forces in post-Soviet space cannot but cause a lot of concern in Russia, director of the Center for Socio-Political Studies Vladimir Yevseyev said.

“The region is very unstable and the recent events in Kyrgyzstan showed that this country can split into several parts under certain conditions.

“An extremely complicated situation can also be observed in Tajikistan due to the influence of the Taliban and intra-Tajik opposition.

“In Uzbekistan, the situation is under the control of the Islam Karimov regime, but no one will be able to guarantee stability if he steps down.

“Another troublesome country of the region is Turkmenistan which shares a border with the unstable Afghanistan. Under the circumstances, using a US task force may trigger destabilization in this strategically important region…,” Vladimir Yevseyev emphasized.

Evidently, scope to carry out targeted operations predicated on the violation of sovereign borders should be considered in the context of America’s overall strategy for the Central Asian region.

The State Department recently stated that Central Asia remains a key region for achieving US goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the main NATO supply route.

However, even more frequently, Americans make evaluations of the domestic policy processes in Central Asian countries, attempting to exercise influence in the region both in real life and via the Internet.

For instance, they are displeased with the political situation and media restrictions in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The US military is currently developing a program to secretly manipulate social networks to enable the creation of hundreds of online personalities with the “right” opinions.

And, by the way, it is no secret that the Internet accelerated mass protests in the Middle East. The main thing is to stand by the truth, the United States claims, even though their take on it often sharply contrasts with the generally accepted norms, including those of international law.

And finally, authoritative American experts studying relations with Central Asia released a number of reports pointing to attempts to build a new strategy in the region. They particularly mention the need to maintain a presence there after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Naturally, the key objectives of this are preserving the independence of Central Asian countries and developing democracy there under Washington’s unrelenting supervision.

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Afghan War: Bulgarian Base Hit In Rocket Attack

http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/03/21/1062829_bulgarian-base-in-afghanistan-attacked-with-rockets

Sofia Echo
March 21, 2011

Bulgarian base in Afghanistan attacked with rockets

Bulgarian soldiers at the Isaf/Nato air base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, have been attacked with missiles, the Bulgarian Defence Ministry said on March 21 2011.

The airport is a frequent site of attacks by Taliban insurgents. The latest incident occurred over the weekend at 8.03pm Afghan time.

There are about 300 Bulgarian soldiers in the base, as well as troops from a number of other countries. According to the Defence Ministry, there were no casualties.

Last year, there were several missile attacks affecting Bulgarian troops.

Rockets fired by Taliban insurgents hit the Nato base near Kandahar on July 12 2010 at 10.26am Afghan time, without injuries.

A similar attack in January 2010 left four Bulgarian military personnel wounded. The incident happened just 300m from the accommodation of visiting Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Mladenov.

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As With Afghanistan: NATO Wants Finnish, Swedish Role In Libyan War

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/NATO+confirms+interest+in+Finnish+view+on+Libya+operation/1135264788719

Helsingin Sanomat
March 21, 2011

NATO confirms interest in Finnish view on Libya operation

NATO has confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat that it is interested in the possibilities of Partnership for Peace countries like Finland to take part in the alliance’s actions in Libya in enforcing the arms export ban and the no-fly zone imposed on the country.

Earlier on Monday Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (Nat. Coalition Party) said that Finland had not yet received any requests for such participation.

On Monday, Stubb is in Brussels, attending a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

Two Swedish newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, have said that as members of the Partnership for Peace programme, Sweden and Finland can expect NATO to make inquiries on their possible willingness to participate in action in Libya.

“I am not aware of individual phone calls, but it is normal at least to have a dialogue on the matter”, said a NATO representative who wanted to remain anonymous….

Both Finland and Sweden are part of the NATO-led Partnership for Peace programme, and are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EPAC).

The Nordic partners have well-developed air forces, the NATO representative pointed out. NATO’s Nordic Partnership for Peace partners are Finland and Sweden. The other Nordic countries are NATO members.

A decision on a NATO sea operation to monitor the arms export ban to Libya came about on Sunday evening, but one on the role in monitoring the no fly zone is expected on Monday at the earliest. Before that, requests for participation by partnership countries are not even possible, because NATO makes its decisions among its 28 members behind closed doors.

If such a decision emerges, NATO will take responsibility for the monitoring of the no-fly zone….There have…been efforts to keep the NATO profile low in the matter as a way of emphasising the broad-based character of the operation.

Several new countries are nevertheless joining efforts to monitor the no-fly zone and for the protection of Libyan civilians, as required by last week’s resolution. The expansion of the operation would make the implementation of the NATO command system a virtual necessity.

“Only we can deal with an air operation of 28 countries, for instance”, the NATO representative said, adding that the easiest way of implementing this would be to take air forces from partners that have taken part previously in exercises together with NATO. Both Finland and Sweden fit the bill in this respect.

Politicians in Sweden are considerably more interested in taking part in an air operation in Libya than those in Finland. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden’s conservative Moderate Party has been more reticent, but both the smaller government parties, as well as the opposition Social Democrats and the Left Party have both called for action on the part of Sweden to support the UN’s Libya resolutions.

====

Baltic Sea: NATO Integrates Sweden Into Air Patrols

http://www.airn.nato.int/press/2011/news0511.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein
march 14, 2011

NATO and Swedish jets cooperate to enhance safety above the Baltic Sea
Baltic Region Training Event VIII

-Sweden, as a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, is participating in this routine NATO training event for the first time.

Ramstein: For the first time, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighters cooperate with NATO aircraft to enhance the safety of the airspace above the Baltic Sea.

NATO and Swedish control agencies establish procedures to assist unidentified and/or aircraft with communication problems. During the eighth Baltic Region Training Event (BRTE VIII) on 22 March 2011 German F-4F Phantom fighters practice hand-over procedures with their Swedish counterparts. The German fighters are currently stationed at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, ensuring NATO’s Air Policing Mission. The scenario involves a Lithuanian C-27 Spartan transport aircraft, which simulates a loss of communications (COMLOSS) above the Baltic Sea.

BRTE VIII, organized by Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein (HQ AC Ramstein), is aimed at exercising Air Policing skills and establishing cooperation and standardization. Sweden, as a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, is participating in this routine NATO training event for the first time.

On the second day, German Phantoms intercept a Polish C-295 Casa transport aircraft. Additionally, some participating aircraft land at Tallinn International Airport, Estonia, to conduct aircraft servicing and refueling on the ground.

Scheduled since late in 2008, BRTEs provide Air Command and Control training for Alliance air assets and reaffirm NATO’s solidarity with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and have demonstrated how NATO ensures the security of Alliance airspace. This time the scope of the training event is to further enhance interoperability and strengthen cooperation with regional PfP members. BRTEs are conducted in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem, Germany, and the Baltic Combined Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) at Karmelava, Lithuania, handle the air control and reporting for the event. These centres establish contact and procedures with the Swedish Air Operations Centre (AOC) and CRCs. The scenario allows participants to train Air Policing procedures within the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS). It also allows to further improve procedures with a key PfP member, Sweden.

“Although rather a routine event, this BRTE is the first time, NATO and PfP member Sweden establish contact procedures, practise hand-over arrangements with the aim to deepen regional cooperation,” says Colonel Blokdal-Pedersen, Royal Danish Air Force, who supervises the planning at HQ AC Ramstein, “BRTEs offer NATO a great opportunity to use regionally-based air assets for realistic training and to sharpen standardization procedures with Sweden. A COMLOSS situation can happen anytime and to handle that well enhances safety in the skies.”

====

U.S. Integrates Lithuanian Air Force Personnel At German Base

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123247723

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
March 21, 2011

Lithuanian Armed Forces members observe Ramstein Silver Flag course
by Tech. Sgt. Markus M. Maier
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: Eight members of the Lithuanian Armed Forces traveled to Ramstein to observe a silver flag training course here March 9-16.

Silver flag is a seven-day training exercise where Airmen practice their contingency skill sets; to include setting up and maintaining a bare base, conducting post attack repairs, and running deployed operations.

“For us this is important for future planning and to learn about special training we could maybe conduct in Lithuania or in a partnership with the U.S.,” said Lithuanian Maj. Andrius Jacina, Lithuanian Armed Forced Logistics Command training chief.
….
The 132 Airmen from seven bases spent the first five days receiving specialized training and the last two in putting everything they learned to the test during a field exercise.
….

====

Texas: Euro-NATO “Gold Standard” Jet Pilot Training

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2011/mar/21/jet-pilot-trainers-chart-course/

Times Record News
March 21, 2011

Jet pilot trainers chart course
Euro-NATO group gazes back, forward
By Stacy Johnson

-“(NATO countries) have worked to develop something called ‘rationalization, standardization and interoperability.’ All that means is that we ought to … do things the same ways … because potential wartime situations in Europe is such that air forces will interoperate.”
-“NATO is being asked to do more and more combat operations every day and we need to take advantage of every training opportunity that is out there.”

The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program is celebrating 30 years of pilot training this year at Sheppard Air Force Base.

The 80th Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Kevin Schneider, said the program is the “gold standard” for multinational pilot training programs around the world.

Schneider said about 40 representatives from the 13 ENJJPT member nations will gather at Sheppard Air Force Base today through Friday to discuss the future of the program at the semiannual ENJJPT Steering Committee meeting.

According to Times Record News archives, the multinational program began Oct. 23, 1981. The first class of 31 pilots, including 13 Germans, 14 Americans and four Norwegians, graduated in October 1982.

At the time, Gen. Thomas M. Ryan Jr., commander of the Air Force’s Air Training Command, said the program promoted interoperability between the member nations.

“(NATO countries) have worked to develop something called ‘rationalization, standardization and interoperability.’ All that means is that we ought to … do things the same ways … because potential wartime situations in Europe is such that air forces will interoperate,” Ryan was quoted in an article published in the Wichita Falls Record News on Oct. 10, 1981.
….
The ENJJPT program trains undergraduate pilots for 55 weeks. The pilots fly in the T-6 Texan II and the T-38C Talon and spend additional training time in state-of-the-art simulators for both.

As many as 250 pilots graduate from the program each year.

Pilots from other nations such as Germany and the Netherlands were training at Sheppard long before ENJJPT started in 1981, providing a blueprint for the ENJJPT program.

Schneider said that when the steering committee meets this week, members will discuss three options:

Extending the memo of understanding among the member nations beyond its scheduled end in 2016.

Opening the program to other nations; NATO has more than doubled since the original memo was signed in 1978.
….
“I’m speaking as a man who does not have a vote (on the steering committee), just as the wing commander. Perhaps we as a program need to look to open the doors … NATO is being asked to do more and more combat operations every day and we need to take advantage of every training opportunity that is out there,” Schneider said.
….

====

NATO Naval Group Leaves Bahrain, Drills With U.S., British Ships

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/67443/deployed-nato-mine-counter-measures-group-exercises-with-french-uk-us

NATO Maritime Command Naples
March 21, 2011

Deployed NATO Mine Counter-measures Group exercises with French, UK, US
David Taylor

NAPLES, Italy: The Standing NATO Maritime Mine Counter-measures Group 2 has left the Port of Manama, Bahrain and is currently exercising with the United Kingdom and United States ships of Combined Task Force 52 and French ships FS Croix du Sud and FS Var.

CTF 52 is a mine counter-measures force of the Coalition Forces Maritime Component Command overseen by the United States Navy 5th Fleet. It operates regularly to ensure free and unfettered use of the sea lanes in the central Persian Gulf, one of the world’s critical stretches of sea for international commerce.

“This is the start of what is going to be a very busy and very profitable exercise for my group. These are ships that operate in these waters on a regular basis and we have a lot to learn from them, “said Capt. Georgios Pelekanakis, commander of SNMCMG2. “But we will also demonstrate just what a great team I have in SNMCMG2”.

SNMCMG2 entered the Persian Gulf on March 7 to carry out a month long deployment in the area on Operation INAS BAHR (Friendly Seas). The deployment is aimed at promoting practical military cooperation with Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries while fostering close links with regional navies and other maritime organizations….It also aims to promote opportunities to achieve interoperability through active participation in selected military exercises.
….

SNMCMG2 currently comprises:

• HS Spetsai Frigate Greece (Flagship)
• FGS Herten Mine hunter Germany
• HS Kallisto Mine hunter Greece
• ITS Viareggio Mine hunter Italy
• ESPS Tajo Mine hunter Spain

For further information contact mcnaplespao@manp.nato.int
Information about the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative is available at web page http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_58787.htm

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_21017.htm

====

Britain: Elite NATO Corps Gets New Commander

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/New-commander-Nato-corps/article-3351186-detail/article.html

Thisisgloucestershire
March 20, 2011

New commander for Nato corps

Soldiers from an elite Nato corps that arrived in Gloucestershire last summer have a new commander.

Lieutenant General James Bucknall has taken command of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).

He replaces General Sir Richard Shirreff who has become Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

General Bucknall has been serving as the Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since September 2010 and could remain in this post until January 2012.
….
Lieutenant General James Bucknall, a dad-of-two, was born in 1958 and educated at Winchester.

He enlisted in the army in 1977 and was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1978. His early service was with the 2nd Battalion and included postings in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus.

After Staff College in 1990 and Company Command, he served on the operations staff in Headquarters Northern Ireland.

He commanded 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in the armoured infantry role in Germany before being appointed Chief of Staff, 1st (UK) Armoured Division in 1998.

More recently, in 2004 he was appointed Director Counter-Terrorism and UK Operations in the Ministry of Defence before deploying in 2006 to Baghdad.

On completion, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. He served as Assistant Chief of the General Staff from 2009-2010.

====

NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head Arrives In Georgia

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1849106.html

Trend News Agency
March 21, 2011

NATO Parliamentary Assembly head visits Georgia
N. Kirtzkhalia

Tbilisi: NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Karl Lamers arrived today in Georgia on a two-day visit. At the airport, Lamers told journalists that this is not his first visit to Georgia.

“We arrived in the assessment mission and will familiarize ourselves with the situation in Georgia, both in the economic and political spheres,” he said. “I will meet with the president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker and discuss a wide range of the NATO-Georgia relations.”

Lamers stressed that a NATO delegation is ready to discuss “any matter” proposed by Georgia.

The NATO delegation will hold its first meeting with Security Council Secretary Georgi Bokeria.

The delegation will meet with Parliamentary Speaker David Bakradze, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri and State Minister for European Integration Giorgi Baramidze. The meeting also scheduled with President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The delegation will take part in the 76th Rose-Roth seminar.

====

Georgia’s NATO Membership On Agenda: Caucasus Representative

http://news.am/eng/news/51950.html

News.AM
March 19, 2011

Georgia’s membership to NATO on the agenda, Appathurai says

Next year is very important for Georgia in terms of European integration, NATO Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai stated.

According to him, the decision made at the NATO summit in 2008, according to which Georgia should join NATO, is on the agenda. “The democratic changes in Georgia towards the European integration should be underway. The processes in Georgia will be controlled by NATO member-states and the Alliance would help implement these changes within the framework of NATO-Georgia cooperation,” he said.
….

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war

====

Six Danish Warplanes Take Off From Italian Base

NATO’s Libyan Attacks Beyond UN Resolution Mandate: Russia

As With Afghanistan: NATO Wants Finnish, Swedish Role In Libyan War

Russia’s Putin: Libya’s Turn For Western Medieval Crusade Offensive

Cuba: War On Libya Gross Violation Of International Law

International Law Forbids “Humanitarian Bombings”: Russian MP

German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya

Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours

Czech Foreign Minister Calls For NATO Takeover Of Libyan War

Pentagon Chief: Hand Over Libya Military Operation To NATO

Britain Wants To Shift Libyan Operation To NATO

U.S. Admiral/NATO Commander In Charge Of Libyan Operations

French Aircraft Carrier Headed Toward Libya

As With Yugoslavia, Real World Community Blasts Attack On Libya

Cruise Missile Hits Administrative Building With 300 People In It

War Clouds Hover Over Tripoli

Britain Deploys Warplanes To Italy, Surveillance Aircraft To Cyprus

Obama Tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize With Military Attacks On Libya

Libya: Largest Military Undertaking Since Invasion Of Iraq

Russia: Pro-Government Youth Groups Protest War Against Libya

====

Six Danish Warplanes Take Off From Italian Base

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13789119.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011

Six Danish F16 fighters took off from Italian base

ROME: Six Danish F16 fighters on Sunday took off from an air force base in Sigonella of Sicily, Italy, according to local news agency Ansa.

However, the report said that the destination of the F16 fighters, which arrived in Italy Saturday, was unknown.

On Friday, Italy decided to offer the use of seven military bases for the UN-led “no-fly zone” operation over Libya. The bases are primarily situated in Sicily.

====

NATO’s Libyan Attacks Beyond UN Resolution Mandate: Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/21/47737999.html

Voice of Russia
March 21, 2011

NATO’s Libya action beyond UN resolution – Russia

Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin considers the NATO operation against Muammar Gaddafi to have exceeded the boundaries of the UN Security Council resolution.

In an interview with the Interfax news agency, Rogozin said that air strikes on non-aviation-related targets, such as ABM systems and airfields, are beyond the scope of the adopted document.
….
——————————————————————–

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/21/47742638.html

Voice of Russia
March 21, 2011

Putin slams UN resolution on Libya

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has harshly criticized the UN Security Council’s resolution against Libya.

Speaking at a meeting with the workers of a missile production plant in the town of Votkinsk, north-east of Moscow, Putin said that the document on Libya is “flawed” and “is reminiscent of call for Crusades”.

Putin admitted that the Libyan regime also fails to meet the criteria of democracy. “This country’s regime is quite complicated and it is based on relations between tribes. But this does not mean that anyone has the right to interfere in their domestic conflict, protecting one of the sides”, Putin said.

He added that the ease with which the US makes decisions on the use of force is becoming a steady trend. The intervention is being put forwards under the guise of protecting the civilian population but the bombardment of the country leads to the deaths of peaceful citizens, the Prime Minister stressed.

He stressed that Russia was among the countries that abstained from the vote on the resolution on Libya.

====

As With Afghanistan: NATO Wants Finnish, Swedish Role In Libyan War

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/NATO+confirms+interest+in+Finnish+view+on+Libya+operation/1135264788719

Helsingin Sanomat
March 21, 2011

NATO confirms interest in Finnish view on Libya operation

NATO has confirmed to Helsingin Sanomat that it is interested in the possibilities of Partnership for Peace countries like Finland to take part in the alliance’s actions in Libya in enforcing the arms export ban and the no-fly zone imposed on the country.

Earlier on Monday Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (Nat. Coalition Party) said that Finland had not yet received any requests for such participation.

On Monday, Stubb is in Brussels, attending a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

Two Swedish newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, have said that as members of the Partnership for Peace programme, Sweden and Finland can expect NATO to make inquiries on their possible willingness to participate in action in Libya.

“I am not aware of individual phone calls, but it is normal at least to have a dialogue on the matter”, said a NATO representative who wanted to remain anonymous….

Both Finland and Sweden are part of the NATO-led Partnership for Peace programme, and are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EPAC).

The Nordic partners have well-developed air forces, the NATO representative pointed out. NATO’s Nordic Partnership for Peace partners are Finland and Sweden. The other Nordic countries are NATO members.

A decision on a NATO sea operation to monitor the arms export ban to Libya came about on Sunday evening, but one on the role in monitoring the no fly zone is expected on Monday at the earliest. Before that, requests for participation by partnership countries are not even possible, because NATO makes its decisions among its 28 members behind closed doors.

If such a decision emerges, NATO will take responsibility for the monitoring of the no-fly zone….There have…been efforts to keep the NATO profile low in the matter as a way of emphasising the broad-based character of the operation.

Several new countries are nevertheless joining efforts to monitor the no-fly zone and for the protection of Libyan civilians, as required by last week’s resolution. The expansion of the operation would make the implementation of the NATO command system a virtual necessity.

“Only we can deal with an air operation of 28 countries, for instance”, the NATO representative said, adding that the easiest way of implementing this would be to take air forces from partners that have taken part previously in exercises together with NATO. Both Finland and Sweden fit the bill in this respect.

Politicians in Sweden are considerably more interested in taking part in an air operation in Libya than those in Finland. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden’s conservative Moderate Party has been more reticent, but both the smaller government parties, as well as the opposition Social Democrats and the Left Party have both called for action on the part of Sweden to support the UN’s Libya resolutions.

====

Russia’s Putin: Libya’s Turn For Western Medieval Crusade Offensive

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16070397&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 21, 2011

Latest UN resolution on Libya looks like call for crusade – Putin

VOTKINSK: The latest UN Security Council’s resolution on Libya is reminiscent of medieval calls for crusades, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

“The UN Security Council resolution is certainly faulty and deficient,” he said. “It allows for an invasion of a sovereign country. It looks like a medieval call for a crusade.”
——————————————————————–

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110321/163126957.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 21, 2011

Putin likens UN Libya resolution to crusade call

-“This U.S. policy is becoming a stable trend,” Putin said, recalling the U.S. air strikes on Belgrade under Bill Clinton and Afghanistan and Iraq under the two Bush administrations.
“Now it’s Libya’s turn – under the pretext of protecting civilians. Where is the logic and conscience? There is neither.”
-“The ongoing events in Libya confirm that Russia is right to strengthen her defense capabilities.”

VOTKINSK (Udmurtia): Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday likened the UN Security Council resolution on Libya to a Medieval crusade call.

Russia abstained from a UN Security Council resolution adopted on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and measures to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

“The Security Council resolution is deficient and flawed; it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade,” Putin told workers at a ballistic missile factory in the Urals region. “It effectively allows intervention in a sovereign state.”

Ten of the Security Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the resolution, with Russia, China, Germany, India and Brazil abstaining. The resolution was co-sponsored by France, Britain, Lebanon and the United States.

“This U.S. policy is becoming a stable trend,” Putin said, recalling the U.S. air strikes on Belgrade under Bill Clinton and Afghanistan and Iraq under the two Bush administrations.

“Now it’s Libya’s turn – under the pretext of protecting civilians,” the premier said. “Where is the logic and conscience? There is neither.”

“The ongoing events in Libya confirm that Russia is right to strengthen her defense capabilities,” he added.

Western-led military strikes against Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who has been ruthlessly fighting rebels in the North African country since mid-February, began on Saturday.

Libyan television has reported that at least 50 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in the strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed.

====

Cuba: War On Libya Gross Violation Of International Law

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13790052.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011

Cuba condemns foreign military intervention in Libya

-The official statement added that [Western] powers “are specifically responsible for the deaths of over a million civilians in Iraq and more than 70,000 in Afghanistan, which are called collateral damage.”

HAVANA: The Cuban government issued a statement here Sunday night expressing its “strong condemnation” of the foreign military intervention in Libya’s internal conflict.

The statement also pushed for dialogue and negotiation, and supported the “inalienable right of the Libyan people to exercise self-determination without external interference.”

The Cuban Foreign Ministry accused the Western powers of “creating the conditions conducive to this military aggression.”

The Cuban authorities said the intervention “constitutes a gross manipulation” of the United Nations (UN) Charter and of the authority of the UN Security Council, and shows the “double standards which characterize its behavior.”

“UN Resolution 1973 adopted last Thursday by the Security Council does not authorize in any way these attacks on Libyan territory, which constitutes a violation of the international law,” the statement said.

“Cuba supports the inalienable right of the Libyan people to exercise its self-determination without foreign interference, condemns the killing of civilians in Libya and in any other places, and supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty over the resources of this nation,” the statement said.

Moreover, the Cuban government said the Western powers carrying out the military attacks against Libyan territory “are causing death, injury and suffering to innocent civilians.”

The official statement added that those powers “are specifically responsible for the deaths of over a million civilians in Iraq and more than 70,000 in Afghanistan, which are called collateral damage.”

According to [Arab media] reports, coalition bombs and rockets destroyed roads, bridges and a heart clinic, leaving 65 civilians dead and over 150 injured.

====

International Law Forbids “Humanitarian Bombings”: Russian MP

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=230166

Interfax-Military
March 21, 2011

‘Humanitarian intervention’ in Libya exacerbates regional situation – Zavarzin

MOSCOW: The coalition military operation against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, which started on Saturday, resembles the NATO operation against the former Yugoslavia in 1999, and ‘the humanitarian intervention’ exacerbates the regional situation, Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Viktor Zavarzin told Interfax-AVN on Monday.

“NATO strategists are trying to resolve an extremely complicated military-political situation of the region at one stroke. This looks to me as the alliance’s operation against the former Yugoslavia in March 1999. The same as before, the coalition is trying to implement the ‘humanitarian intervention’ concept,” he said.

The coalition “forgets that international laws do not accept the so-called humanitarian bombings. We have seen that before. Vast economic damage was done to the country. The escalation of force exacerbates the regional situation,” he said.

“Political or military expediency must not prevail over international laws,” Zavarzin stressed.

“Russia opposes the military operation in Libya, because it directly harms the civilian population. Alas, the use of foreign military force kills civilians and affects civilian sites,” he said.

Gaddafi disagrees with international norms and must be opposed, but civilian casualties are impermissible, he said.

====

German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13789079.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Berlin warns of lengthy war in Libya

BERLIN: Germany on Sunday warned that the West may find itself dragged into a protracted warfare in Libya as the U.S., British and French forces launched military strikes on the country.

“We have to see the risk of a lengthy mission,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters. “We hope that our fears will not be borne out. We expressly hope that we won’t be right,” said the minister.

Westerwelle said one should be prepared for scenarios that are not so favorable.

Germany abstained in a UN Security Council vote on Thursday on setting up a no-fly zone in Libya. Permanent UNSC members Russia and China, as well as non-permanent ones Germany, India and Brazil abstained from the vote.

====

Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110320/no-fly-zone-canada-jets-110320/

CTV News
March 20, 2011

Canadian pilots to enforce no-fly zone within days

Canadian fighter pilots will be engaged in the Libyan battle and enforcing a no-fly zone above the country “within 48 hours,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said on Sunday.

MacKay says six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are currently stationed in Italy, the primary staging point for coalition forces participating in the offensive against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
….
“They will be taking part in sorties to ensure that there is restricted airspace over Libya,” MacKay told CTV’s Question Period.
….
Canada will join the United States, France and Britain in maintaining the no-fly zone….

The offensive began on Saturday with precision strikes by French fighter jets and attacks on military targets with missiles from U.S. and British war ships. By Sunday, the coalition had declared the no-fly zone in place.

When asked whether Canadian pilots could be ordered to attack ground troops that are preparing to attack civilians, MacKay said the UN’s resolution allows for “all measures necessary” to keep civilians safe.
….
MacKay and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have previously said that the air mission is not without dangers and there is no guarantee Canadian troops will escape unharmed.

There are currently 140 Canadian military personnel, including pilots and air crew, in the region. The HMCS Charlottetown, which left Halifax on March 2, is stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The defence minister said the ship “has the capability” of participating in a naval blockade, although no orders have yet been given.

====

Czech Foreign Minister Calls For NATO Takeover Of Libyan War

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/prague-to-back-nato-s-joining-military-operation-in-libya-formin/612019

Czech News Agency
March 20, 2011

Prague to back NATO´s joining military operation in Libya – ForMin

Prague: The Czech Republic will support NATO´s joining the military operation in Libya, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Czech Television today, adding that NATO should supervise the operation.

The Czech Republic will probably not join the operation for now, Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) said but he did not rule out possible deployment of a chemical warfare unit.

NATO countries´ ambassadors will discuss NATO´s participation in the Libyan operation today. According to preliminary information, NATO will probably join the operation.

“I´d like the operation to take place in the framework and also under supervision of NATO,” Schwarzenberg said.

He said “individual member countries, though big ones, should not act entirely independently from the allies.”

Schwarzenberg does not expect NATO to ask the Czech Republic to join the military operation in Libya. “We don´t have any naval force, and our aircraft are not made to take part in such operations,” Schwarzenberg said.

He admitted that Prague may provide a chemical warfare unit to NATO, if the allies asked for it….

====

Pentagon Chief: Hand Over Libya Military Operation To NATO

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jEW-J6aDZnR92ArfqMg9ZhCMpzXA?docId=87912b21ba9d482c950eee363efba9f3

Associated Press
March 20, 2011

Gates: US expects to hand off Libya lead in ‘days’

ON BOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the U.S. expects to turn control of the Libya military mission over to a coalition – probably headed either by the French and British or by NATO – “in a matter of days.”
….
The two key possibilities, he said, are a combined British-French command or the use of a NATO command. He acknowledged there is “some sensitivity on the part of the Arab League to being seen to be operating under a NATO umbrella.”
….

====

Britain Wants To Shift Libyan Operation To NATO

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/uk/news/article_1627451.php/Britain-hopes-Libya-operation-command-will-shift-to-NATO

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 20, 2011

Britain hopes Libya operation command will shift to NATO

London: Britain’s defence minister said Sunday he hoped the command of the military operation in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone…would be taken over by NATO ‘within the next few days.’

NATO members were meeting in Brussels on Sunday to discuss whether the military alliance should take a formal role in the campaign and the logistics of the operation….

‘I hope that we will now fold into NATO command and control, but it’s not a NATO mission,’ Defence Minister Liam Fox told the BBC. ‘It is still a UN coalition of the willing nations…but we will co-ordinate it hopefully through the command and control structures that NATO already has.’

‘I hope it will happen in the next few days,’ he added. ‘It’s all dependent upon getting agreement from all the NATO nations.’
….
British Tornado jets bombed various targets within Libya in the first day of military action Saturday….

Fox did not rule out the possibility of allied forces treating Gaddafi himself as a legitimate target for air strikes….
….

====

U.S. Admiral/NATO Commander In Charge Of Libyan Operations

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/20/libya-conflict-us-admiral-coalition-forces

The Guardian
March 20, 2011

Libya conflict: US admiral leading coalition forces
Nato commander Samuel Locklear co-ordinating air and naval strikes against Gaddafi regime
Nick Hopkins

-Locklear…has been in charge of missions to war zones such as Iraq and the Balkans.

The commander of the military effort to enforce the UN resolution against Muammar Gaddafi is a US admiral who is co-ordinating the air and naval strikes from the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

Samuel Locklear III is also a Nato commander and may be chosen to continue in the post. That would give the operation a degree of continuity, though his experience is naval and a key part of the job will be to enforce the no-fly zone and co-ordinate which countries are flying what planes, where and when.

The command structure of the operation should eventually fall within Nato’s responsibility, but French, British and US forces could not wait for agreement on this, which is expected to come within 24 hours.

Until Nato takes over, the coalition has put together a “needs must” chain of command, so strikes against Gaddafi’s forces were able to start on Saturday afternoon.

British forces are being led by Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, who is based at the armed forces joint headquarters in Northwood, Middlesex.

He is working with Rear Admiral Ian Calder, also at Northwood, and Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell at the Ramstein airbase in Germany.

Military commanders say this is not as complex as it might appear – and that video conference calls make co-ordination possible.

However they admit they would prefer the umbrella command of Nato and the protection that comes from having the support of the group’s 28 member nations.

“The UN resolution was only passed on Thursday last week, so Nato is actually working quite quickly, considering the complexity of the situation,” said a spokesman.

Locklear was raised in Macon, Georgia, and joined the navy at 17. He is well liked within Nato and has been in charge of missions to war zones such as Iraq and the Balkans.

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French Aircraft Carrier Headed Toward Libya

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1556694.ece

The Hindu
March 21, 2011

French aircraft carrier leaves for Mediterranean
Vaiju Naravane

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle left its home port of Toulon in southern France for the Mediterranean as France claimed the coalition had successfully established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya.

France will continue to target Libya’s military installations and air defences, a French military spokesman said.

Within minutes of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech at the Paris summit on Saturday announcing the decision to cripple Colonel Qadhafi’s firepower, French Mirage and Rafale fighter planes hit tanks and armoured vehicles close to Benghazi commanded by forces loyal to the Libyan strongman.

Libya claimed that its anti-aircraft batteries had downed a French plane. But the claim was immediately denied by French authorities, who said all their fighter aircraft returned home safely. Libya also claimed dozens of civilians had been killed and injured by the air raids, and voices are already being raised against the predominantly Western military action. Russia called on Sunday for a halt to “non-selective” bombing of targets.

The Arab League, which appeared to fully support the operation on Saturday, called for a halt to the bombing raids on Sunday. “What is happening in Libya is different from the objective of imposing a no-fly zone. That is what we want, not the bombardment of the civilian population,” Arab League General Secretary Amre Mussa said.

However, French sources said that despite these reservations, countries such as the United Arab Emirates or Qatar would send planes for the raids.

The African Union too rejected “foreign military intervention” in Libya and called for an African solution to the conflict in that “brother country.”

However, five African Presidents meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania, failed to come out with any solution, except to call yet another meeting for March 25. The Africans did not attend Saturday’s Paris summit that brought together 22 heads of state and government as well as representatives of international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League.

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As With Yugoslavia, Real World Community Blasts Attack On Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47711252.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

Attack on Libya indiscriminate, disproportionate
Timur Blokhin

-“It must be stopped, and its masterminds brought to international justice. If this is not done, the entire Mediterranean may degenerate into unfettered violence. In 1999, the United States was after separating Kosovo. This time, it appears to be after splitting Libya. The pattern is the same, as is the puppet master behind the scenes.”

Russia, China and India have joined the African Union and the Arab League in denouncing the Western-led attack on Libya as disproportionate and indiscriminate. Indeed, reports speak about mounting civilian casualties in the offensive. At least 65 Libyan civilians are known dead and more than 150 wounded or injured.

One earlier victim of such attacks is Serbia, where NATO warplanes hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and a passenger train during the bombing campaign of 1999.

Dr George Vukadinovic is a political analyst in Belgrade:

“Similarly to the 1999 NATO campaign over Kosovo, the offensive in Libya is fraught with unpredictable political and economic consequences for Europe and the Mediterranean. I believe the European Union showed poor judgment in joining the Libya attack. The Libya resolution of the UN Security Council was the result of haste and unilateral pressure on the members. In the vote on the resolution, the much-hyped European unanimity on major issues showed cracks, with Germany abstaining.”

We have a similar opinion from another Serbian analyst, Dr Gostemir Popovic:

“The attack on Libya is a unilateral action led by the United States. Dubbing Gaddafi an aggressor is part of American efforts to justify this war. It has nothing to do with the truth, because it is the attacking force that is killing Libyan civilians and destroying their once prosperous country. This war blatantly flouts international agreements. It must be stopped, and its masterminds brought to international justice. If this is not done, the entire Mediterranean may degenerate into unfettered violence. In 1999, the United States was after separating Kosovo. This time, it appears to be after splitting Libya. The pattern is the same, as is the puppet master behind the scenes.”

The anti-Gaddafi coalition claims to have already knocked out 20 of Libya’s 22 air defence installations. It says this improves security for Libyan civilians and creates conditions for bringing aid to them.

Gaddafi, meantime, stays defiant and pledges everything in his power to defeat what he calls a Western aggression against his country. Civilian volunteers on the Gaddafi side are welcome to take up arms and join a popular militia. Gaddafi hopes this force can grow to at least one million within the coming days.

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Missile Hits Administrative Building With 300 People In It

http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/western-forces-launch-cruise-missile-at-gadhafi-residence-1.350764

Associated Press
March 20, 2011

Western forces launch cruise missile at Gadhafi residence

An administration building was knocked down; Gadhafi’s whereabouts at the time of the blast remain unknown; about 300 Gadhafi supporters were in the compound when the missile hit, injuries have yet to be reported.
….
In an attack that carried as much symbolism as military effect, a cruise missile blasted a building in Gadhafi’s residential compound in Tripoli late Sunday, near his iconic tent.

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War Clouds Hover Over Tripoli

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13789102.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011

War clouds hover over Tripoli

TRIPOLI: War clouds are gathering over here as Western forces have started launching air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after a no-fly zone is imposed on Libya.

At around 02:30 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) on Sunday, missiles whistling from the sea hit the Tajura area near Tripoli and ensuing huge explosions sounded over the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Air-defense forces loyal to Gaddafi immediately fought back with anti-craft guns, misbelieving Western warplanes were coming to attack. The traces of anti-aircraft gun shots could been seen in the night sky over Tripoli.

Intensive anti-aircraft guns lasted about 10 minutes in the southern and southwestern part of the city.

Soon early Sunday morning, some angry local residents rushed to a hotel in Tripoli where foreign journalists stay to protest the air assaults carried out by the Western forces.

The world’s major powers, Britain, the United States and France, Saturday started to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi’s forces….

France carried out the initial four air strikes, while the U.S. military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 Libyan coastal targets.

French warplanes Saturday night attacked an air defense site in Tajura, about 10 km east of Tripoli, and destroyed several armored vehicles of Libyan government troops near Benghazi, the last stronghold of Libyan rebels.

Libyan Parliament Speaker Mohammed Abul-Qassim al-Zwai told a press conference that foreign fighter jets hit Tripoli and Misurata, which caused many casualties.

Sixty-four people have been killed and 150 others wounded in the air strikes since Saturday, Libya’s health officials said on Sunday.

Western warplanes have bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing the casualties, and several fuel tanks were also hit, Libya’s state television reported.

In a brief audio message carried out by Libya’s state television hours after the air strike, Gaddafi called the Western attacks “a crusader war” against the Libyan people, saying that the air strikes were designed to “terrify the Libyan people” and were “terrorist means.”

Gaddafi vowed to snatch a victory over Western forces, saying the western forces would be defeated.

All the Libyan people were united and have been given weapons, “ready for a long war” in the country, he said.
….
On Saturday afternoon before Western forces started the air strikes, the Libyan government invited a group of foreign journalists to visit a camp in Tripoli where Gaddafi reportedly resides in. Thousands of people, including many women and children were gathering there to protest any air strikes by western countries.

On Sunday morning, more Libyans joined the protests in Tripoli against Western forces amid fresh waves of air assaults by Western warplanes.

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13. Britain Deploys Warplanes To Italy, Surveillance Aircraft To Cyprus

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13789153.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011

Britain deploys Tornado, Typhoon jets to Italian airbase

LONDON: The British Defense Ministry on Sunday confirmed that Britain had deployed Tornado and Typhoon to the Italian airbase of Gioia Dell Colle in the south of the country.

Major General John Lorimer, chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer, said that a number of Typhoon aircraft have landed safely at the airbase in southern Italy where they are on standby for future tasking.

“It makes operational sense to be closer to the no-fly zone and our military assessment confirmed that this is the most suitable forward mounting base for these assets,” he said.

RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus continues to support the operation under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 with a number of assets, including E3D Sentry, VC-10 and Sentinel.

British military authorities are discussing with its allies the most effective way of putting the no-fly zone in place. It is likely that this will be part of a NATO-led operation.

“The no-fly zone is likely to be in place for however long we are tasked to do this. The UK’s stated aims are to support UNSCR 1973 and the Libyan people,” Lorimer said.

“Britain has a number of assets already in the region which have previously assisted in the evacuation of British Nationals from Libya and others which we are ready to support as required,” he said. “Currently within the region, we have E3-Ds which are keeping us abreast of events in the area, HMS Westminster is off the coast of Benghazi and HMS Cumberland is in the region should she be required.”

Deployed to Akrotiri, Cyprus, is a Joint Force Air Component HQ (JFACHQ) which coordinates movements of British air assets and controls the airspace in operational areas.

In addition, Lorimer said the British involvement with operations in Libya currently has no effect on operations in Afghanistan, and “we are keeping the situation under review.”
….

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Obama Tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize With Military Attacks On Libya

http://rt.com/politics/libya-russia-military-force/

RT
March 20, 2011

Obama tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize with “indiscriminate”military action in Libya
Robert Bridge

Moscow harshly condemns an international military operation against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, while Washington downplays its role in the hostilities.

It has taken US President Barack Obama just over one year – and less than that if we consider that he earlier agreed to keep open the Guantanamo Bay detention facility – to damage his Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in Oslo, Norway in October 2009.

On Saturday, US warships unleashed a massive sea-based missile salvo against targets inside of Libya, where Col. Muammar Gaddafi has been engaged in a desperate showdown against anti-government forces. The battle is largely centered on the city of Benghazi, where opposition forces have announced an “interim Libyan government.”

US warships and submarines fired more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libyan territory to disable air-defense systems, allowing French and British fighter jets to more easily enforce a no-fly zone. The attack on Libya marks the third Muslim country that the United States is now engaged in military operations with.

So much for “sitting down and talking with enemies,” as Obama promised to do during his political campaign for the US presidency.

It should be no surprise that Washington is going out of its way to disassociate itself from the Libyan military campaign, or at least the leadership part of it.

“We did not lead this,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a gaggle of reporters in Paris over the weekend. “We did not engage in unilateral actions in any way, but we strongly support the international community taking action against governments and leaders who behave as Gaddafi is unfortunately doing.”

Observers say Washington’s reluctance to advertize its hefty contribution in the military operation suggests that the Obama administration, already under attack inside of its own party for “towing the Bush line,” is an attempt to deflect hostility from the Muslim world, not to mention Main Street, U.S.A., which certainly cannot afford to foot the bill for yet another overseas adventure.

“They [the Obama administration] really want this to be a short, jolly operation,” remarked a senior British defense analyst, who asked not to be identified due to his position. “But all the bets are off on this one. Nobody is quite sure what the allied forces will be able to accomplish [in Libya] over the long haul.”

Incidentally, Saturday’s attack also marked the eighth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, begun by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

Russian officials have slammed the US missile attack, while calling on the international coalition to stop the “indiscriminate use of force” it says has killed civilians.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the air strikes exceed the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution, which approved a no-fly zone and authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians.

“We are emphatically urging the coalition states to stop indiscriminate use of force,” Lukashevich told reporters, according to Interfax.

“We are firmly convinced that the mandate deriving from Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council, which was adopted as a rather controversial step, cannot be used for attaining goals going clearly beyond its provisions, spelling out measures solely intended to protect civilians,” he said.

As “Operation Odyssey Dawn” kicked off on Saturday, missile strikes delivered on Libya also hit non-military facilities in the capital of Tripoli, as well as in Tarhuna, Maamur and Jmeil, Lukashevich said, before providing a grim picture of the attack’s collateral damage.

“As a result [of the missile strikes], 48 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded,” Lukashevich revealed. “A medical center has been partially destroyed and roads and bridges have been damaged.”

Russia announced Sunday that it was evacuating some of its diplomatic staff and other citizens from Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Liberal-Democratic Party leader and State Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky has described the coalition forces’ military operation against the Gaddafi regime as pure “aggression,” while calling for a “new Nuremburg.

“Shame on NATO and all the murderers and barbarians, the Russian firebrand told media on Sunday. “All of these rogues will be brought to account one day. The aggressors will get their due for the numerous crimes committed at an independent international tribunal, in a new Nuremberg trial.”

The UN Security Council voted on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone against pro-Gaddafi forces, which has been accused itself of using inordinate force against anti-government forces.

Russia and four other council members – China, Germany, Brazil and India – abstained from the vote.

According to Gaddafi, Tripoli regards the West’s military operation against Libya “as an unlawful invasion of a sovereign state and sees it as nothing else but an act of terrorism.”

Speaking on Libyan television, Gaddafi said that the United States and Europe had “proven to the world that you are not civilized, that you are terrorists – animals attacking a safe nation that did nothing against you.”

Libya is ranked as one of the top-ten biggest oil producers in the world.

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Libya: Largest Military Undertaking Since Invasion Of Iraq

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23815

Global Research
March 20, 2011

Libya: Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq. Towards a Protracted Military Operation
by Michel Chossudovsky

Outright lies by the international media: Bombs and missiles are presented as an instrument of peace and democratization…

This is not a humanitarian operation. The war on Libya opens up a new regional war theater.

There are three distinct war theaters in the Middle East Central Asian region. Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

What is unfolding is a fourth US-NATO War Theater in North Africa, with the risk of escalation.

These four war theaters are functionally related, they are part of an integrated US-NATO military agenda.

The bombing of Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for several years as confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark.

Operation Odyssey Dawn is acknowledged as the “biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq began exactly eight years ago.” (Russia: Stop ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of Libya – Taiwan News Online, March 19, 2011).

This war is part of the battle for oil. Libya is among the World’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.

The underlying objective is to gain control over Libya’s oil and gas reserves under the disguise of a humanitarian intervention.

The geopolitical and economic implications of a US-NATO led military intervention directed against Libya are far-reaching.

“Operation Odyssey Dawn ” is part of a broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas, including oil and gas pipeline routes.

With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, (10 times those of Egypt), Libya is the largest oil economy in the African continent followed by Nigeria and Algeria (Oil and Gas Journal). In contrast, US proven oil reserves are of the order of 20.6 billion barrels (December 2008) according to the Energy Information Administration. U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves).

Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq

A military operation of this size and magnitude, involving the active participation of several NATO member and partner countries is never improvised. Operation Odyssey Dawn was in the advanced stages of military planning prior to the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia.

Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.

The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. Rebel forces in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. (See Manlio Dinucci, Libya-When historical memory is erased, Global Research, February 28, 2011)

The insurrection was also planned and coordinated with the timing of the military operation. It had been carefully planned months ahead of the protest movement, as part of a covert operation.

US, British special forces were reported to be on the ground “helping the opposition” right from the outset.

What we are dealing with is a military roadmap, a timeline of carefully planned military and intelligence events.

United Nations Complicity

So far, the bombing campaign has resulted in countless civilian casualties, which are either categorized by the media as “collateral damage” or blamed on the Libyan armed forces.

In a bitter irony, the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 grants NATO a mandate “to protect civilians”

Protection of civilians

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council; (UN Security Council Resolution on Libya: No Fly Zone and Other Measures, March 18, 2011)

The UN resolution grants coalition forces carte blanche to engage in an all out war against a sovereign country in derogation of international law and in violation of the UN charter. It also serves dominant financial interests: it not only allows the military coalition to bomb a sovereign country, it also allows for the freezing of assets, thereby jeopardizing Libya’s financial system.

Asset freeze

19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, ….

No where in the UNSC resolution is the issue of regime change mentioned. Yet it is understood that opposition forces will receive part of the money confiscated under Article 19 of resolution 1973. In fact discussions with opposition leaders to that effect have already taken place. Its called cooptation and financial fraud:

20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

With regard to the “Enforcement of the arms embargo” under para. 13 of the resolution, coalition forces will commit themselves without exception to enforcing an arms embargo on Libya. Yet from outset they have violated Art. 13, by supplying weapons to opposition forces in Benghazi.

Protracted Military Operation?

Concepts are turned upside down. In an utterly twisted logic. peace, security and protection of the Libyan people, are to be achieved through missile attacks and aerial bombings.

The objective of the military operation is not the protection of civilians but regime change and the break up the country, as in Yugoslavia, namely the partition of Libya into separate countries. The formation of a separate State in the oil producing area of Eastern Libya has been contemplated by Washington for many years.

Barely a week before the onslaught of the bombings, the director of National intelligence James Clapper emphasized in a testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that Libya has significant air defense capabilities and that a no fly zone approach could potentially result in a protracted military operation:

Obama’s policy is “aimed at the goal of having Gadhafi leave office,” the national security adviser reiterated.

But Clapper’s testimony underscored how difficult that could be.

He told the Senate committee that he thinks “Gadhafi is in this for the long haul” and that he doesn’t think Gadhafi “has any intention … of leaving.”

Later, enumerating his reasons for believing that Gadhafi would prevail, Clapper said that the regime has more military supplies and can count on the army’s best trained, “most robustly equipped” units, including the 32nd Brigade, which is commanded by Gadhafi’s son, Khamis, and the 9th Brigade.

The bulk of its hardware comprises Russian-made air defenses, artillery, tanks and other vehicles, “and they appear more disciplined about how they treat and repair that equipment,” Clapper continued.

Clapper disputed assertions that a no-fly zone could be quickly and easily imposed on Libya, saying Gadhafi commands the Middle East’s second largest air defense system after Egypt’s.

“They have a lot of Russian equipment, and there is a certain quality in numbers. Some of that equipment has fallen into the oppositionists’ hands,” he continued.

The system comprises about 31 surface-to-air missile sites and a radar complex that “is focused on protecting the (Mediterranean) coastline where are 80 or 85 percent of the population is,” Clapper said. Gadhafi’s forces also have “a large, large number” of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

Army Gen. Ronald Burgess, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, endorsed Clapper’s assessment, saying momentum was shifting to Gadhafi’s forces after initially being with the opposition.

“Whether or not it has fully shifted to Gadhafi’s side at this time in-country I think is not clear,” Burgess said. “But we have now reached a state of equilibrium where … the initiative, if you will, may be on the regime side.”

Hours after Clapper spoke, Thomas Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, offered a different assessment, suggesting sharply diverging views between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community.

He said the intelligence chiefs’ analysis was “static” and “unidimensional,” based on the military balance of power, and failing to take into account both Gadhafi’s growing isolation and international actions to boost his opponents. (White House, intel chief split on Libya assessment | McClatchy, March 11, 2011)

The foregoing statement suggests that Operation Odyssey Dawn could lead to a protracted drawn out war resulting in significant NATO-US losses.

NATO military setbacks were reported by Libyan sources from the very outset of the air campaign.

Within hours of the commencement of the bombings, Libyan sources (yet to be confirmed) pointed to the shooting down of three French jets. (See Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Breaking News: Libyan Hospitals Attacked. Libyan Source: Three French Jets Downed, Global Research, March 19, 2011).

The Libyan national TV network announced that a French fighter plane had been shot down near Tripoli. The French Army denied these reports:

“We reject the information that a French fighter plane was shot down in Libya. All the planes we sent on missions today returned to base†said the spokesman of the French Army, colonel Thierry Burkhard, quoted by Le Figaro.” (Libya: A french fighter plane was shot down! The French Army denies this information, xiannet.net March 20, 2011)

Internal Libyan sources (to be confirmed) also reported on Sunday the downing of two Qatari military jets. According to Libyan reports, yet to be confirmed, a total of five French jets have been shot down. Three of these attacking French jets were, according to the reports, shot down in Tripoli. The other two French military jets were shot down while attacking Sirt (Surt/Sirte). (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed, Global Research, March 20, 2011)

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Russia: Pro-Government Youth Groups Protest War Against Libya

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110321/163123607.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 21, 2011

Russian youth groups protest military intervention in Libya

Activists from pro-Kremlin youth groups are protesting the Western-led military operation in Libya outside several Western embassies in Moscow.

A military operation against Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi…began on Saturday, involving the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and other countries.

Members of the Nashi and Stal (Steel) movements set up pickets in front of the British, French and U.S. embassies and the NATO mission in Moscow.

“Innocent people have already been killed in this massacre, and we demand that the West stop interfering in Libya’s sovereignty and cease attacks on its citizens,” Stal leader Oleg Sokolov told RIA Novosti.

“We are certainly not trying to support the Gaddafi regime, but it is clear that the West’s real intention is not to bring democracy to Libya,” Sokolov said.

Libyan television has reported that at least 50 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in the UN strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was attacked by protesters angry about the military intervention as he left a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo earlier on Monday.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libya: Obama’s Latest, AFRICOM’s First, NATO’s African War

March 21, 2011 5 comments

Stop NATO
March 20, 2011

Libya: Obama’s Latest, AFRICOM’s First, NATO’s African War
Rick Rozoff

Following similar developments in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, anti-government protests began in Libya on February 15. On March 19 the U.S., France and Britain delivered air and cruise missile attacks against targets in Libya: 112 Tomahawk missile strikes from U.S. and British submarines and warships in the Mediterranean Sea and attacks by French warplanes on what were identified as government military vehicles on the ground.

Twenty French Rafale and Mirage jet fighters took to the country’s skies and U.S. stealth bombers delivered 40 payloads to its main airfield.

A Russian parliamentarian pointed out that the attack on Libya represented the fourth country targeted for armed assault – the fourth war launched – by the U.S. and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 12 years: The current one, codenamed Operation Odyssey Dawn, and Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2003. The beginning of the war against Libya occurred on the eighth anniversary of the attack on Iraq and five days before the twelfth anniversary of that against Yugoslavia.

However, whereas it took several months for the U.S. and its NATO allies to selectively identify developments in Yugoslavia (Kosovo) and Iraq as crises requiring international attention before proclaiming them grounds for war, with Libya the process has been reduced to a month’s duration. The slaying of unarmed civilian protesters in Yemen and Bahrain has not evoked a comparable outcry and has not produced analogous military actions from Western military powers.

This time equipped with a United Nations Resolution, 1973, passed in the Security Council with the BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and Germany abstaining, the U.S. and its NATO partners are prepared for an indefinite conflict more closely resembling that in Afghanistan, which will be ten years old in less than seven months, than the wars against Yugoslavia and Iraq.

Despite opposition to Western military operations voiced by the BRIC nations, since yesterday echoed by the 53-nation African Union, the 22-member Arab League and several Latin American nations like Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, Washington and its allies are portraying their attack against Libya as an international effort – because the West has recruited the kings of Morocco and Jordan and the emirs of Qatar and Abu Dhabi as allies in what is presented as a humanitarian campaign to bring democracy to an Arab nation.

In the current reincarnation of the “humanitarian war” model of the 1990s, an estimated 65 Libyan civilians were killed and 150 wounded on the first day of the bombing onslaught. Oil depots and a medical facility were among the targets of bombing and missile attacks.

President Barack Obama was in Brazil at the start of the attacks, and by rights should have been declared persona non grata and expelled for his role in ordering U.S. Tomahawk strikes and bombing runs.

If anyone had doubted that it was possible to out-Herod Herod in surpassing his predecessor George W. Bush’s record of waging military aggression internationally, that illusion should be finally laid to rest. The Obama administration has increased American troop strength in Afghanistan (which has become the longest war in U.S. history on Obama’s watch) to 100,000, with another 50,000 foreign forces serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

Approximately 50,000 combat-ready troops remain in Iraq and at least 500 U.S. troops are based in Mindanao in the Philippines where they are involved in counterinsurgency combat operations.

The White House and the Central Intelligence Agency have also massively escalated unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) strikes in Pakistan, killing nearly 2,000 people in the last 26 months, including over 80 civilians slain in 12 missile strikes – the deadliest on a tribal meeting – in North Waziristan only two days before the attack on Libya was launched. The U.S. is a far better candidate for an international no-fly zone than any other nation in the world.

The Obama government has launched cruise missile strikes and run special forces operations in Yemen and conducted a deadly helicopter raid in Somalia.

It has also acquired the use of seven military bases in Colombia to assist the decades-long counterinsurgency war in the country and to threaten neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador.

The rapidity with which the U.S. and its NATO cohorts built the case for the attack on Libya should be cause for serious concern to the last two South American nations, as it should for Bolivia, Nicaragua and Syria and for former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s “outposts of tyranny”: Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

Last year NATO airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops to and from Somalia for the war in that country (its civilian counterpart, the European Union, is training Somali government troops in Uganda) and is currently conducting a naval operation off the Horn of Africa, Ocean Shield, but the ongoing attack on Libya is the Atlantic Alliance’s first direct war in Africa.

It is also the first war for the newest Pentagon overseas military command, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander James Stockman boasted that American and British missiles hit at least 20 of 22 intended targets in Libya on March 19, and newly appointed AFRICOM chief General Carter Ham pledged to “degrade the Qadhafi regime’s capability” under his command’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn the same day.

Taking part in the attacks were the U.S. submarines USS Florida, USS Providence and USS Scranton, guided missile destroyers USS Barry and USS Stout, amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, amphibious transport dock USS Ponce, flagship of the Mediterranean-based Sixth Fleet USS Mount Whitney, B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, AV-8B Harrier II ground-attack aircraft and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare planes.

The USS Bataan helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ship and USS Whidbey Island dock landing ship are on their way to the coast of Libya.

The U.S. maintains 42 F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters at the Aviano Air Base in Italy and has the use of two air bases in Bulgaria and one in Romania.

The USS Enterprise carrier strike group, with 80 planes, is in the Arabian Sea and can cross back through the Suez Canal for action against Libya.

The above is to be recalled as the White House continues to disavow a direct, much less a leading, role in the war.

Although to date not formally a NATO operation, the air and sea campaign against Libya began with the Alliance subjecting the targeted country to around-the-clock surveillance by Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft assigned to the nearly ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval surveillance and interdiction mission. NATO’s E-3A AWACS planes fly at a height of 30,000 feet and cover a range of 120,000 square miles.

The military buildup in the Mediterranean Sea by other NATO nations matches that of the U.S.

In addition to 20 warplanes flying over Libya, on March 20 France deployed the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the only non-American nuclear-powered carrier, from its base in Toulon for air strikes against Libya.

Britain has warships and a submarine off the coast of Libya which participated in the first round of missile strikes. The BBC reported that London has also deployed Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado warplanes and Nimrod surveillance aircraft to the region.

Canada, whose prime minister Stephen Harper has identified the attacks on Libya as “acts of war” while acknowledging that Libyan civilians will be killed by them, has sent the HMCS Charlottetown frigate to the area and has deployed six CF-18 Hornet multirole jet fighters to Italy for air patrols over Libya. Defence Minister Peter MacKay has stated that the Charlottetown is available to assist in enforcing a naval blockade of the North African country.

Norway has committed six F-16 jet fighters and Belgium eight F-16s, a frigate and 200 military personnel in an effort to, in the words of Defense Minister Pieter De Crem, “topple the Gaddafi regime.”

The Belgian F-16s are currently in Greece and the warship in the Mediterranean, with European Affairs Minister Olivier Chastel stating his government has decided to “tell NATO that we are available, offer what we have and wait for a common command.”

Spain has provided four F-18 jet fighters, a maritime surveillance plane, a submarine and a frigate in addition to turning over to NATO its military bases at Rota and Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country.

Italy has offered eight combat aircraft and the use of seven bases on its mainland and in Sardinia and Sicily for the war effort. It has also activated five ships, including the Andrea Doria destroyer, for action against Libya.

Denmark has six F-16s in Italy prepared for deployment to Libya.

According to the Sabah newspaper, Turkey will also supply F-16s for NATO’s Libyan campaign.

Greece has provided the U.S. and NATO the use of bases at Aktio and Souda Bay in Crete.

More military assets are being added by NATO nations almost hourly, which indicates that a no-fly zone is the least of Western plans for Libya and that the campaign is not expected to end in the foreseeable future.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: March 20

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NATO, Arab Monarchy’s Warplanes Converge In Italy

Qatar To Provide Pentagon, NATO Four Warplanes For Libya Assault

Italy Provides Eight Warplanes, Seven Military Bases For Libyan War

Six Danish F-16s Leave Sicily For Libya

Spain Deploys Strike Fighters, Submarine, Warship For Libyan War

Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours

Three U.S. Submarines Launched Cruise Missile Strikes Against Libya

Libya: NATO AWACS Part Of 10-Year Operation Active Endeavor

Fueled By Self-Interest, Western Attacks Worsen Libyan Turmoil

German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya

U.S. AFRICOM Launches Its First War

Russia, Arab League, India Blast U.S.-NATO Indiscriminate Use Of Military Force In Libya

U.S. Africa Command: U.S. Missiles Hit 20 Of 22 Libyan Targets

Protests Outside U.S. And French Embassies In Moscow

Eight Belgian F-16s, Ship Ready For Libyan Combat Tomorrow

U.S., NATO Air Strikes Kill 64 Libyans: Health Official

Libyan War: Greater Middle East Project Prelude To WW III

Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire, Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital

U.S. Stealth Bombers Drop 40 Bombs On Libyan Airfield

Norway Provides Six F-16s For Strikes Against Libya

Canadian Prime Minister: Strikes On Libya “Act Of War,” Expect Civilian Casualties

Russia: NATO Attacks Kill 48 Libyan Civilians, Wound Over 150

Chinese, Russian Foreign Ministries Call For End To Attacks On Libya

African Union Panel Rejects Foreign Military Intervention In Libya

U.S.-Led Attacks May Unify Libyans Against West: Expert

U.S., NATO Allies Turn North Africa Into War Zone

Libya Denounces West’s Colonialist Crusade

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NATO, Arab Monarchy’s Warplanes Converge In Italy

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5geTeL6F17NEDZpIt71hw5efw76Ng?docId=CNG.58e763c4f9e27c86cf73881d881278bb.d51

Agence France-Presse
March 20, 2011

Western, Arab warplanes converge for Libya mission

ROME: Western and Arab warplanes were converging on Italy’s air bases Sunday to join the international campaign to cripple the ability of Moamer Kadhafi’s forces….

France, which on Saturday spearheaded the UN-mandated Operation “Odyssey Dawn” with air strikes on Libya, on Sunday also sent its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to join the campaign.

The French Navy’s flagship set off from the southern French naval port of Toulon at about 1:10 pm (1210 GMT) and was expected to reach the Libyan coast within 48 hours.

Meanwhile aircraft from the United Arab Emirates were due to arrive on Sunday at the Decimomannu air force base on the Italian island of Sardinia, which is already hosting four Spanish F-18 fighter jets that arrived on Saturday.

The UAE, along with Jordan, Morocco and Qatar, was among Arab nations that took part in a summit in Paris on Saturday on the Libyan crisis.

The Italian air bases are a key staging point for strikes by Western-led coalition forces to destroy Libya’s air defences and impose a no-fly zone….

Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Rome also assigned eight combat aircraft, including four Tornado jets, for the operation and they can be used “at any time”.

And British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said Typhoon and Tornado jets would fly this weekend to the Gioia del Colle air base in southern Italy, where they will be ready to deploy as part of the mission dubbed “Operation Ellamy”.

Six Danish F-16 fighter were also ready to take off from Italy’s Sigonella air base Sunday to join Odyssey Dawn which saw US, British and French forces hammer Libyan forces from the air and sea.

In the West’s biggest intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, mounted exactly eight years earlier, US warships and a British submarine fired more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya on Saturday.

This prompted Kadhafi to warn on Sunday of a long war in the Mediterranean “battlefield” as Tripoli reported dozens of deaths.

Belgium said Sunday six of its F-16 fighter-bombers would be operational Monday for the Libya mission.

“We will be able to take part in operations under the command of the coalition from tomorrow,” said Defense Minister Pieter de Crem, who added that 250 people would be assigned to support the six aircraft and their pilots.

In addition to its four F-18 fighter jets, Spain sent a refueling aircraft to Italy and said it would also deploy an F-100 frigate, an S-74 submarine and a CN-235 maritime surveillance plane to help enforce an arms embargo on Libya, once parliamentary approval has been received.

Spain had already announced on Friday it would allow NATO to use two military bases, at Rota and at Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country, for the operation over Libya.
….

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Qatar To Provide Pentagon, NATO Four Warplanes For Libya Assault

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/21/c_13789109.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Qatar to join foreign intervention with four planes: French defense ministry

PARIS: Qatar has decided to participate in the military intervention against Libya by sending four planes, a French Defense Ministry spokesman said Sunday afternoon.
————————————-

http://bna.bh/portal/en/news/450319

Bahrain News Agency
March 20, 2011

Qatar to take part in military operation against Libya

Doha: Qatari Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani said Qatar would take part in the military operation being carried out against Libya.
….
“Qatar’s stance has been obvious from the start and is based on rejection of any harm to the Libyan people and stopping bloodbath in Libya,” he added.

The Qatari Prime Minister asserted that the Arab League had not demanded the West to intervene in Libya but demanded the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians.

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Italy Provides Eight Warplanes, Seven Military Bases For Libyan War

http://www.agi.it/english-version/italy/elenco-notizie/201103201256-pol-ren1034-libya_la_russa_says_italy_has_joined_the_coalition

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
March 20, 2011

LIBYA: LA RUSSA SAYS ITALY HAS JOINED THE COALITION

Milan: La Russa announced Italy’s official membership of the coalition.

Speaking at the end of a visit to President Napolitano at Milan’s Palazzo Reale, the foreign minister explained: “I reported to President Napolitano that Italy has officially notified the secretary general and the Arab League of its membership of the coalition that intends to follow up UN Resolution 1973….”
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http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=213008

Reuters
March 20, 2011

Italy says ready to take part in Libya operations

ROME: Italian aircraft are ready to join operations against Libya from Sunday, Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said.

Speaking on state broadcaster RAI, La Russa said eight Italian jets had been assigned to the coalition command and would be ready to take part in operations immediately.

“We want to participate as equals in the operation,” he said. He also said Italy was ready to take action over an Italian tugboat detained in Libya.
————————————-

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13789085.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Italy assigns eight warplanes for Libyan operation: minister

ROME: Italy has assigned eight combat aircraft to military missions against Libya, Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said here on Sunday.

The aircraft, including four Tornado jets, can be put into use “at any time,” the minister said.

Italy had earlier offered the use of seven air and navy bases for the Libyan operation, dubbed “Odyssey Dawn.”
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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/19/libya-italy-planes-idUSWEA958920110319

Reuters
March 19, 2011

Italian planes start mission over Libya – Al Arabiya

CAIRO: Al Arabiya television channel reported on Saturday that Italian planes had started a surveillance mission over Libya on Saturday, after French planes also began reconnaissance over the North African country.

The television channel cited its correspondent in a brief headline with news about the Italian planes, without giving further details.

(Writing by Edmund Blair)

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Six Danish F-16s Leave Sicily For Libya

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/2/8/8167/World/Region/Six-Danish-Fs-set-to-take-off-from-Sicily-for-Liby.aspx

Agence France-Presse
March 20, 2011

Six Danish F-16s set to take off from Sicily for Libya: ANSA

Six Danish F-16 fighter are ready to take off from Italy’s Sigonella air base to join the international air campaign against Muamer Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, ANSA quoted a senior Italian military official as saying Sunday.

Rocco Massimo Zafarana said the Danish aircraft arrived Saturday at the base in Sicily, which is being used to support Operation “Odyssey Dawn”….

“We do not know if other aircraft will arrive from other countries, but we are ready to welcome them and to provide them with all the necessary support,” Zafarana added.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told a crisis summit on Libya in Paris that his country was offering its military bases “for now” but did not rule out a bigger participation later.

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Spain Deploys Strike Fighters, Submarine, Warship For Libyan War

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Spain-sends-four-F-18s-to-Italy-for-Libya-operation/articleshow/7746148.cms

Agence France-Presse
March 20, 2011

Spain sends four F-18s to Italy for Libya operation

-Spain had already announced on Friday it would allow NATO to use two military bases, at Rota and at Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country, for the operation over Libya.

MADRID: Spain has sent four F-18 fighter jets and a refueling aircraft to Italy to take part in the operation over Libya from Sunday, the defence ministry said.

An F-100 frigate, an S-74 submarine and a CN-235 maritime surveillance plane will also be deployed to help enforce an arms embargo on Libya, once parliamentary approval has been received, it said in a statement late Saturday.

Details of Spain’s involvement were announced at a news conference in Paris earlier Saturday by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero following the international summit on Libya that discussed the intervention.

The United States, Britain and France later pounded targets in Libya with air strikes and Tomahawk missiles at the start of the campaign to prevent Muammar Gaddafi from crushing a month-old uprising against his rule.

Spanish defence minister Carme Chacon chaired a meeting of senior military and defence chiefs in Madrid late on Saturday to coordinate the country’s participation in the operation, the ministry statement said.

It said the four Spanish F-18s and the Boeing refueling plane had arrived in the Italian base of Decimomannu on the island of Sardinia.

“These planes will carry out patrol missions and will be operational from Sunday,” it said.

It said around 500 Spanish troops would eventually be involved.

Spain had already announced on Friday it would allow NATO to use two military bases, at Rota and at Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country, for the operation over Libya.
….

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Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20110320/no-fly-zone-canada-jets-110320/

CTV News
March 20, 2011

Canadian pilots to enforce no-fly zone within days

Canadian fighter pilots will be engaged in the Libyan battle and enforcing a no-fly zone above the country “within 48 hours,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said on Sunday.

MacKay says six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are currently stationed in Italy, the primary staging point for coalition forces participating in the offensive against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
….
“They will be taking part in sorties to ensure that there is restricted airspace over Libya,” MacKay told CTV’s Question Period.
….
Canada will join the United States, France and Britain in maintaining the no-fly zone….

The offensive began on Saturday with precision strikes by French fighter jets and attacks on military targets with missiles from U.S. and British war ships. By Sunday, the coalition had declared the no-fly zone in place.

When asked whether Canadian pilots could be ordered to attack ground troops that are preparing to attack civilians, MacKay said the UN’s resolution allows for “all measures necessary” to keep civilians safe.
….
MacKay and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have previously said that the air mission is not without dangers and there is no guarantee Canadian troops will escape unharmed.

There are currently 140 Canadian military personnel, including pilots and air crew, in the region. The HMCS Charlottetown, which left Halifax on March 2, is stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The defence minister said the ship “has the capability” of participating in a naval blockade, although no orders have yet been given.

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Three U.S. Submarines Launched Cruise Missile Strikes Against Libya

http://www.theday.com/article/20110319/NWS09/110319623/1017

The Day
March 19, 2011

Groton-based USS Providence takes part in attack on Libya
By Jennifer McDermott

The United States and its allies launched an attack this afternoon on Libya’s air defenses. “Operation Odyssey Dawn” included attacks from as many as 25 U.S., Canadian, British and Italian vessels and at least 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from three Navy submarines, including the Groton-based USS Providence.

The missiles were aimed at more than 20 targets that U.S. military officials referred to as “critical nodes in the Libyan air defenses.” They landed near the capital city of Tripoli and Misrata.

Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, called the strikes “the first phase of a multiphase operation,” designed to take down the Libyan air defenses in order to enforce a no-fly zone over the north African nation….

In the televised address, Gortney declined to discuss the details of future potential operations. The first impact was at 3 p.m., he said, and 110 to 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched.
….
The Day reported Wednesday that the USS Providence crossed the Suez Canal last Saturday heading for the Mediterranean Sea….

The other subs involved in the military operation are the USS Florida, USS Scranton and a British submarine, according to the Navy. The Navy surface ships that participated are the USS Stout, USS Barry, USS Kearsarge, USS Mount Whitney and USS Ponce.

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Libya: NATO AWACS Part Of 10-Year Operation Active Endeavor

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-C82C0FEB-2A03DBF3/natolive/news_71614.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 18, 2011

NATO’s airborne surveillance: Eyes in the sky

-NATO has been routinely operating AWACS aircraft in the region as part of its long-standing counter-terrorist Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) since 2007.
-Some 18 nations have pooled resources into the project: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
One E-3A aircraft flying at 30,000 ft (9,150 m) can provide surveillance coverage of approximately 120,463 square miles (312,000 square kilometres) and can stay in the air for 10 hours without refuelling.
-In October 2010 the last of nine AWACS modernization projects was completed which included improved communication and navigations systems.

Effective air defence is a NATO priority. The Alliance’s fleet of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aeroplanes, play a key role in air defence across the Euro-Atlantic region.

While the recent problems in Libya have increased the need for airborne surveillance over the Mediterranean ocean, NATO has been routinely operating AWACS aircraft in the region as part of its long-standing counter-terrorist Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) since 2007.

“We have extended surveillance in the Mediterranean,” says Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General on March 9. “Having our AWACS monitoring the situation [in Libya] 24/7, will provide us with a better picture of what is going on and of course this improved picture is a prerequisite for evaluating the situation accurately.”

The fleet of Boeing E-3A ‘Sentry’ AWACS aircraft is one of the few military assets owned by the Alliance itself. The planes, each the size of a commercial Boeing-707 with an added radar dome on top, began service in 1982 and are an essential component of the largest collaborative project ever undertaken by Allies.

Some 18 nations have pooled resources into the project: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

One E-3A aircraft flying at 30,000 ft (9,150 m) can provide surveillance coverage of approximately 120,463 square miles (312,000 square kilometres) and can stay in the air for 10 hours without refuelling. Three aircraft operating in overlapping, coordinated orbits can provide unbroken radar coverage of the whole of Central Europe.

The AWACS capability provides an enhanced maritime and air surveillance picture, says E-3A Component Commander Brigadier General Burkhard Pototsky. “This capability is decisive for achieving a permanent high level of situational awareness. For all decision makers in NATO it is essential to have a high level of situational awareness. With our E-3A capabilities we make a fundamental contribution to this,” he adds.

Despite an ever-changing security environment, the AWACS fleet remains relevant through modernisation programmes ensuring it is a powerful tool for air defence. In October 2010 the last of nine AWACS modernization projects was completed which included improved communication and navigations systems.

====

Fueled By Self-Interest, Western Attacks Worsen Libyan Turmoil

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-03/20/c_13789063.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Turmoil in Libya worsens as West launches attack

BEIJING: The joint forces of several Western nations Saturday launched an attack on Libya, a move that will complicate an already turbulent situation in the North African country.

French warplanes had been taking the lead in the airstrikes, which came after the UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya.

At least 64 people were killed and 150 others wounded following the military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, launched by the coalition that included the United States, France, Britain, Canada and Italy.

The western coalition claimed they launched the assault for humanitarian interests. But many analysts and media believed they did it for the sake of their own goals and interests instead of the safety and welfare of the unarmed Libyan civilians as they have claimed.

AN INTERVENTION WITH DIFFERENT GOALS

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a leading role in pushing for international intervention in Libya.

With a record-low popularity and facing a presidential election next year, Sarkozy was eager to take the reins in global crises and show voters that he can take the lead.

Gaddafi, then, offers Sarkozy an opportunity.

About a week ago, the French leader became the first world leader to recognize the Libyan rebel National Libyan Council as “legitimate representative” of Tripoli.

He also took the lead in plans to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya

At the Paris summit Saturday, Sarkozy announced that French planes were already in the air and ready to attack when other participants barely reached an agreement.

After the emergency summit, Sarkozy said France had already taken military actions against Libya.

“For the moment and already, our planes are over the city preventing air attacks,” he said at a press conference.

“Our determination is total,” the president declared after seeing off important decision-makers from some Arab countries and main Western powers to agree on a military action against Libya.

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German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13789079.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Berlin warns of lengthy war in Libya

BERLIN: Germany on Sunday warned that the West may find itself dragged into a protracted warfare in Libya as the U.S., British and French forces launched military strikes on the country.

“We have to see the risk of a lengthy mission,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters. “We hope that our fears will not be borne out. We expressly hope that we won’t be right,” said the minister.

Westerwelle said one should be prepared for scenarios that are not so favorable.

Germany abstained in a UN Security Council vote on Thursday on setting up a no-fly zone in Libya. Permanent UNSC members Russia and China, as well as non-permanent ones Germany, India and Brazil abstained from the vote.

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U.S. AFRICOM Launches Its First War

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6222&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
March 19, 2011

STATEMENT: AFRICOM
Commander on Commencement of Military Strikes in Libya
COMMENCEMENT OF U.S. MILITARY AIR STRIKES IN LIBYA AS PART OF INTERNATIONAL ENFORCEMENT OF UNSCR 1973

By General Carter Ham
Commander, U.S. Africa Command

STUTTGART, Germany: At the direction of President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates, U.S. Africa Command is commanding U.S. military support for the international enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people.

Earlier today, coalition military aircraft began entering Libyan airspace to enforce UNSCR 1973. This evening, U.S. military forces under my command began conducting operations in support of this multi-national effort.
….
Our national civilian leaders and their international counterparts have defined clear objectives for our military actions: A cease-fire must be implemented and all attacks against civilians must stop. Troops must stop advancing against Benghazi and must be pulled back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya….

In support of the above objectives, our immediate military goals are to prevent further attacks by regime forces on Libyan citizens and opposition groups, especially in and around Benghazi, and to degrade the Qadhafi regime’s capability to resist an internationally patrolled no-fly zone.
….

General Carter Ham
Commander, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)
————————————-

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6237&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
March 20, 2011

Overview of 1st Day of U.S. Operations to Enforce UN Resolution 1973 Over Libya
U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

[Photo: MEDITERRANEAN SEA – Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 19, 2011. This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines that targeted about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya’s Mediterranean coast. Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya….]

STUTTGART, Germany: U.S. military forces are conducting military operations in support of the multi-national effort to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973….

Beginning late on March 19, 2011, the U.S. military launched strikes against selected military targets in Libya, launching more than 120 Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. ships and U.S. and British submarines.

U.S military assets that participated in the strikes include: two U.S. Navy ships and three submarines; 15 U.S. Air Force aircraft, including the B-2 Spirit Bomber and four U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers all of which launched strikes against targets in Libya. These targets include SA-5, 5A-3 and 5A-2 air defense systems around Libyan airfields and various munitions sites. U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers provided electronic warfare support.

In a Pentagon briefing March 19 announcing the beginning of U.S. military operations, Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said the Tomahawks “struck more than 20 integrated air defense systems and other air defense facilities ashore.”

“…we are creating the conditions to be able to set up the no-fly zone, and once we have established and confirmed that the conditions are right then we will move forward into the next – one of the next phases of the campaign,” Gortney said.

U.S. participation in the multinational coalition is being provided as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn, which is the name for U.S. Africa Command’s military planning and operations related to the crisis in Libya….

As part of the international response to the current crisis in Libya, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved and ordered the use of U.S. military forces in graduated and sequenced strike operations against the government of Libya (GOL)….

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn

U.S. Africa Command Commander General Carter Ham is the theater commander of U.S. military forces.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, commanded by Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III, is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical control of the U.S. portion of enforcement of UNSCR 1973.
….
The Joint Task Force Commander is supported by:

Joint Force Maritime Component Commander, Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris who controls maritime assets, located aboard USS Mt. Whitney.

Joint Force Air Component Commander, Maj Gen Margaret Woodward, based in Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
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http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6227&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
March 20, 2011

Navy and Marine Corps Aircraft Strike Libya
Joint Maritime Component Command Odyssey Dawn Public Affairs

Mediterranean Sea: U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers positioned in coalition military bases and U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD3) [were] launched….

U.S. Navy Growlers provided electronic warfare support over Libya while AV-8B Harriers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted strikes against Qadhafi’s ground forces and air defenses….
….
Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya….JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III.

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Russia, Arab League, India Blast U.S.-NATO Indiscriminate Use Of Military Force In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47703318.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

Anti-Gaddafi coalition uses indiscriminate force – Russia

This country criticizes the anti-Gaddafi coalition for using indiscriminate force in its military assault on Libya.

Diplomatic spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was speaking about this in Moscow Sunday after reports emerged of damage to civilian installations in coalition air raids on several Libyan cities. Coalition bombs and rockets destroyed roads, bridges and a heart clinic, leaving 65 civilians dead and over 150 injured.

Mr Lukashevich called attention to the fact that the Libya resolution of the UN Security Council, although flawed, clearly demands that the coalition protect Libyan civilians, not kill them.

There have been similar pronouncements from the government of India and from the Arab League. Both spoke about a worsening plight of the Libyan people. Arab League head Amr Moussa also said the coalition’s assault has nothing to do with enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.
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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47701771.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

Anti-Gaddafi coalition hits civilians – Russia

This country criticizes the anti-Gaddafi coalition for using indiscriminate force in its military assault on Libya.

Diplomatic spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was speaking about this in Moscow Sunday after reports emerged of damage to civilian installations in coalition air raids on several Libyan cities.

Coalition bombs and rockets destroyed roads, bridges and a heart clinic, leaving 65 civilians dead and over 150 injured.

Mr Lukashevich called attention to the fact that the Libya resolution of the UN Security Council, although dubious, clearly demands that the coalition protect Libyan civilians, not kill them.

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U.S. Africa Command: U.S. Missiles Hit 20 Of 22 Libyan Targets

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110320/163109898.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 20, 2011

At least 20 of 22 Libyan targets hit by U.S. missiles – U.S. military

Washington: U.S. and British missiles hit at least 20 of Libyan 22 targets, the U.S. Africa Command said on Sanday.

“It looks like things have gone well as far as the strikes are concerned,” AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander James Stockman said. “We had 20 of 22 targets hit,” he continued. “The other two targets are still under assessment,” he added.

“We struck key integrated air defense and SAM [surface-to-air missile] sites near Tripoli, Misrata and Sirte,” Stockman said.
….
Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.

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Protests Outside U.S. And French Embassies In Moscow

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=230041

Interfax
March 20, 2011

Pickets condemning hostilities in Libya held outside U.S., French embassies in Moscow

MOSCOW: Individual pickets in support of Libya are held outside of the U.S. and French embassies in Moscow, a source in law enforcement told Interfax on Sunday.

“There have been individual pickets outside of the diplomatic missions of the United States and France throughout Sunday with participants expressing support for Libya and demanding an end to hostilities by Western countries,” the source said.

He added that as the pickets are individual they don’t require any permits or authorization.

The situation outside of the embassies is calm.

At the city police headquarters Interfax was told that the situation is also calm outside of the Libyan embassy and that no incidents have been recorded. The embassy is guarded as usual by its own security and by police units specializing in guarding diplomatic missions.

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Eight Belgian F-16s, Ship Ready For Libyan Combat Tomorrow

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13789060.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Belgium forces to ready for combat against Libya Monday

-Belgian Defense Minister Pieter De Crem told Belgian radio that “the ultimate goal is to topple the Gaddafi regime and establish a dignified society for the Libyan people.”
However, he warned that the military operation could take a long period of time and cause heavy casualties.
“We can’t exclude a large number of casualties in this operation….”

BRUSSELS: The Belgian fighter jets and a minesweeper will be ready for military actions against Libya on Monday, as Belgian defense chief warned Sunday that the international military operation could cause a large number of casualties.

Belgium has promised to contribute eight Belgian F-16 fighter-bombers and a minesweeper to the international military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

A senior Belgian military official, quoted by the Belga news agency, announced Sunday that the jets, which have arrived at Araxos air base in Greece, would be ready for combat on Monday.

A total of 200 Belgian military staff will join the mission, the official said.

Meanwhile, Belgian Defense Minister Pieter De Crem told Belgian radio that “the ultimate goal is to topple the Gaddafi regime and establish a dignified society for the Libyan people.”

However, he warned that the military operation could take a long period of time and cause heavy casualties.

“We can’t exclude a large number of casualties in this operation….There are of course going to be risks associated with this mission,” he said.

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U.S., NATO Air Strikes Kill 64 Libyans: Health Official

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13789016.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

Western air strikes kill 64 in Libya – health official

TRIPOLI: Sixty-four people have been killed and 150 others wounded in the air strikes launched by western forces since Saturday, Libya’s health officials said on Sunday.

Western warplanes have bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing the casualties, the state television reported.

Several fuel tanks were also hit, it said.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Sunday called the Western attacks “a crusader war” against the Libyan people, saying that the air strikes were designed to “terrify the Libyan people” and were “terrorist means.”

Gaddafi vowed to snatch a victory over Western forces, which began on Saturday to launch air strikes against his troops, saying the western forces would be defeated.

All the Libyan people were united and have been given weapons, “ready for a long war” in the country, he said in a brief audio message carried out by Libya’s state television.

The world’s major powers, Britain, the United States and France, Saturday started to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi’s forces after the UN Security Council had passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians in Libya.

France carried out initial four air strikes, while the U.S. military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 Libyan coastal targets.

The western forces also reportedly launched fresh waves of air attacks on Sunday.

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Libyan War: Greater Middle East Project Prelude To WW III

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47697444.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

War fine pretext to change political atmosphere in Europe

Geidar Jemal, Chairman of the Islamic Council of Russia

-It is absolutely necessary to change the whole construction of the Greater Middle East before one can unleash destructive forces and begin the third world war. And the third world is the most immediate agenda of our times. The general civilizational, economic and political crisis (in the fundamental sense and not just some kind of recession), the crisis of humanity is one of the most important aspects, necessitates the drastic threshold, the drastic going over this threshold as it was at the beginning of the last century, in the First World War, after which the whole system of values – political, social and cultural – was changed.
-We are now undergoing a very hard and difficult process of shedding off the skin of that humanity, the humanity that appeared after 1945.
First, the socialist system was gone and now we are witnessing the collapse and departure of the whole electoral democracy that has been the facade of the western world for so many generations. We are witnessing a new political system looming behind the scenery – the political system which is more a return to the old conservative values, but at a new, more hard and inhuman level.

Well, in this situation we find a little bit more than meets the eye, something behind the scene. To begin with, there is a serious problem with the American economy in terms of the ongoing inflation process and the decreasing consumer trust.

In a few weeks, the commission of the Federal Reserve will have to discuss the situation, and there is no possibility to explain this situation to the people of the United States.

So, the war comes very handy to be the main ground for blocking it out. Also, the European economic situation is going to pieces. Yes, in one or two years probably, the living standards of Europeans will be probably down 60 percent, as some experts think now. And this is one side of the problem. Another side is the whole reconstruction of the political scenery inside the ‘Greater West’, because now we are witnessing the disintegration of electoral democracy. Some forces standing behind the process are very serious about arriving at their goals.

So, the war is a fine pretext to change the entire political atmosphere in Europe, concerning diasporas, concerning electoral matters and so on, just as it was with the Patriot Act after 9/11 in the United States, as you remember. So, the Libyan war provides a pretext for that too. You know, there are rumors about a whole series of terrorist acts in the world prepared by certain special services of the West, like the one in Mumbai for example, which was a fake terrorist act produced by the Indian special services supported by the CIA. Some rumors insist that now it is the turn for a nuclear power plant in France, and these rumours are dated several months from now.

So, I also see the war as a fine ground to stage this terrorist act and to motivate it by the necessary response of Colonel Gaddafi. So, his games with so-called al-Qaeda could be also explained by this machinery behind the scene.

His appeal to al-Qaeda terrorists for a joint response to western aggression and the rejection of this appeal by the leaders of al-Qaeda, at least as revealed by an Internet resources, are strange games that could be explained by preparation going on behind the scenes for something drastic, explaining political and social changes that will take place within the European Union during and after this war.

And we also should not forget the issue of migrants in the EU. Millions of Arabs and Turks who will probably become an economic burden following the disintegration of the economy and the decrease of living standards for ordinary Europeans. There will be a need to place them somewhere and the most drastic solutions to this problem will be absolutely greeted.

This is connected with the possible election, with coming to power, of Marine Le Pen who now enjoys the support of the majority of the French electoral masses, as well as with the discrediting of Mr. Sarkozy, whose transactions with Gaddafi’s family were revealed by the Colonel’s son, Saif al-Islam. So, probably the whole turmoil around Libya is be explained by the far-reaching plans for the remodeling of the political situation in the European Union and, speaking in broader terms, the remodeling of the ‘Greater West’.

How about Greater Middle East? Do you see the war in Libya also as their plan to re-model the Greater Middle East?

Well, I think the process will go on and the next country to change its political regime will be Saudi Arabia. And the way to change the regime in Saudi Arabia now goes through Bahrain and Yemen. Saudi Arabia will be followed by Morocco probably.

Mr. Jemal, my next question may sound naive, but I still want you to make things clear. What could be the ultimate goal for such remodeling of a Greater Middle East? If we look at those countries, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Morocco are all US allies, all loyal to the US and western civilization.

It is absolutely necessary to change the whole construction of the Greater Middle East before one can unleash destructive forces and begin the third world war. And the third world is the most immediate agenda of our times. The general civilizational, economic and political crisis (in the fundamental sense and not just some kind of recession), the crisis of humanity is one of the most important aspects, necessitates the drastic threshold, the drastic going over this threshold as it was at the beginning of the last century, in the First World War, after which the whole system of values – political, social and cultural – was changed.

The world before WWI in 1914 for instance and the world in between the wars – there were two different worlds, two different systems of values.

And now we are cutting a line after some period of living by the values of the Second World War established in 1945. We are now undergoing a very hard and difficult process of shedding off the skin of that humanity, the humanity that appeared after 1945.

First, the socialist system was gone and now we are witnessing the collapse and departure of the whole electoral democracy that has been the facade of the western world for so many generations. We are witnessing a new political system looming behind the scenery – the political system which is more a return to the old conservative values, but at a new, more hard and inhuman level.

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Heavy Anti-Aircraft Fire, Explosions Heard In Libyan Capital

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1848935.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 20, 2011

Heavy anti-aircraft fire in Tripoli

Anti-aircraft fire was heard in Libya’s capital Tripoli early Sunday morning, hours after Western nations launched their first air strikes against Libyan defences and began enforcing a no-fly zone, dpa reported.

Explosions had also been heard in Tripoli, US broadcaster CNN reported, though it was not clear whether this was the result of any more missiles fired by Western fighter jets or ships.

The anti-aircraft fire lasted about 10 minutes, according to British broadcaster BBC.
….
The United States and British ships fired some 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at more than 20 Libyan air defences in Tripoli and Misrata, while French and British planes patrolled the skies over the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

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U.S. Stealth Bombers Drop 40 Bombs On Libyan Airfield

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47686317.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

US drops 40 bombs on Libya

Three American B-2 stealth bombers have dropped 40 bombs on Libya’s major airfield, CBS News reported without mentioning any details.

On March 19th, French planes fired the first shots, destroying Gaddafi’s tanks and armored vehicles outside the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Later, U.S. and British warships and submarines launched at least 110 Tomahawk missiles against the Colonel’s air defenses.

The western coalition in Libya comprises the US, Great Britain, France, Norway, Spain and Denmark. Qatar has also expressed its intention to join in.

According to the Libyan television, missile attacks on that country killed 48 people and injured another 150.

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Norway Provides Six F-16s For Strikes Against Libya

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1848939.html

Trend News Agency
March 20, 2011

Norway to send 6 F16 jet fighters for operations against Libya

Six F-16 jet fighters from Norway will take part in the Western-led military operations against Libya after the Norwegian Air Force has been given the go-ahead, the Norwegian news agency NTB reported on Saturday.

The Norwegian Air Force was ordered on Saturday night to have six F16 jet fighters and over 100 pilots and other personnel ready for military operations in Libya, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

The warplanes will take off right at the beginning of next week and will be based in Sicily, Italy.

Attending a summit in Paris on Saturday, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said that Norway will participate in operations aimed at enforcing the UN-backed no-fly zone in Libya.

“Norwegian aircraft will be able to participate in all types of missions, both the enforcement of the no-fly zone and the bombing of military targets on the ground, ” Stoltenberg said.

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Canadian Prime Minister: Strikes On Libya “Act Of War,” Expect Civilian Casualties

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/strikes+Libya+Harper/4471863/story.html

Montreal Gazette
March 19, 2011

Air strikes on Libya an ‘act of war': PM Harper
Canadian fighter jets could be ready to participate in 48 hours
By Mark Kennedy

PARIS: As the international community launched aerial military missions against Libya on Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the action amounts to an “act of war” that is critical to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power….

Harper made the comments after an emergency summit of world leaders who had gathered to discuss how they will implement a UN-sanctioned no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi’s suppression of civilians.

The coalition wasted no time, with French jets becoming the first, on Saturday, to begin enforcing the no-fly zone.

It was the first step in the largest international military exercise in the Arab world since the Iraq war.
….
The prime minister acknowledged that the military operation will be complex and could lead to casualties among the very civilians that nations are trying to protect, and perhaps among the military personnel being sent to Libya.

“We should not kid ourselves. Whenever you engage in military action – essentially acts of war – these are difficult situations,” Harper said.

“And we will have to monitor this very closely and be very careful what we do every step of the way.”

Canada has committed six CF-18 fighter jets and a contingent of 140 pilots and support personnel. They have arrived in the region and a government spokesman said they could be ready within two days to participate in the aerial missions.
….
“These campaigns are complicated and one cannot promise perfection. One cannot promise there will not be casualties on our side, either. But obviously, all precautions will be taken to minimize our own casualties and minimize those of innocent civilians.”
….
The summit Saturday was hastily organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Among those in attendance were British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of the Arab League and African Union.
….
Nations, including Canada, announced Friday that they will contribute military assets – such as fighter jets – to enforce a no-fly zone over Libyan skies.
….
A military jet – flown either by the regime’s air force or the rebels – was shot down in the city.
….
Little is known about how the military operation will evolve, but it’s expected the first steps will include attacks on Libyan air defences. It’s possible U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea would knock out Gadhafi’s radar and surface-to-air missile sites along Libya’s coastline.

That would clear the way for military jets to move in to strike any Libyan jets that are in the air. Moreover, it appears the coalition has the clearance to strike any Libyan military ground forces that are threatening civilians, including the rebels who have been doing battle with government forces.

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Russia: NATO Attacks Kill 48 Libyan Civilians, Wound Over 150

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110320/163108359.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 20, 2011

Moscow urges western nations to stop indiscriminate use of force in Libya

Moscow: Russia urges western nations to stop the indiscriminate use of force in Libya, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

“The reports say that during air raids on Libya strikes were also delivered on non-military facilities….As a result, 48 civilians are reported dead and over 150 wounded,” the ministry said in a statement.

‘In this connection, we are calling on the respective states to halt the indiscriminate use of force,” the statement said.

The military operation against Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled the country with an iron fist for more than 40 years began on Saturday, involving the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and other countries.

A new UN Security Council resolution on Libya adopted on Thursday encompasses a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” against forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.

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Chinese, Russian Foreign Ministries Call For End To Attacks On Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47684188.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

Russia, China warn not to use force against Libya

Russia and China have warned against the use of force in international affairs, expressing regret over the West coalition’s military action against Libya.

On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zyang Yui urged the UN Security Council to stick to the UN Charter and take steps in line with Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He was echoed by Russian counterpart Alexander Lukashevich who called for an immediate halt of the bloodshed and the beginning of peace talks in Libya.

The two men also warned against escalating the Libyan conflict, which they said is fraught with further loss of human life in the political unrest-hit North African country.

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African Union Panel Rejects Foreign Military Intervention In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/20/c_13788058.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011

AU panel says opposed to foreign military intervention in Libya: media report

NOUAKCHOTT: The high-level African Union panel on the Libya crisis has said it opposes any foreign military intervention in Libya, a media report said on Saturday.

AFP quoted Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz as saying that the panel rejects any kind of foreign military intervention in Libya.

The Mauritanian president said that the situation in the north African country demands urgent action so an African solution can be found to the very serious crisis.

Aziz also said the solution to the Libya crisis must take into account “Our desire that Libya’s unity and territorial integrity be respected as well as the rejection of any kind of foreign military intervention.”

The AU panel on the Libya crisis, which was formed a week ago, comprises Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz, South African President Jacob Zuma, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso and Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.

The AU said the ad hoc committee was set up to engage with all parties in Libya, facilitate an inclusive dialogue among them, and engage AU parties for the speedy resolution of the crisis in Libya.

The AU has rejected foreign military intervention in Libya.

France, the United States and Britain said on Saturday that they had conducted air strikes on Libyan targets.
….

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U.S.-Led Attacks May Unify Libyans Against West: Expert

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110320/163105798.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 20, 2011

U.S.-led attack on Libya may force rebels to join forces with Gaddafi – expert

-“The American and French military who have attacked Libyan sites are treading on a very dangerous line beyond which irreversible consequences may start and cause large-scale combat operations.”

Moscow: The military action launched by the United States and its allies against Libya may force rebels to join forces with Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi, a military diplomat in the region told RIA Novosti over the phone on Sunday.

The expert said that the air strikes launched by the U.S. and allied forces could also inflict casualties on the rebels.

“The situation in Libya is very complicated; the conflicting parties are at a short distance from each other and the missile attacks launched by the NATO countries the other day may trigger an opposite reaction, as a result of which the so-called opposition and rebels will join forces with Gaddafi,” the expert said.

The expert said that the air strikes were destroying civilian and economic facilities and the declared goals of creating a no-fly zone over Libya ran counter to the U.S.-led coalition’s real actions.

“The American and French military who have attacked Libyan sites are treading on a very dangerous line beyond which irreversible consequences may start and cause large-scale combat operations,” the expert said.
….
The U.S. Pentagon reported that a U.S. warship fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi’s air defense sites. The U.S. operation is named “Odyssey Dawn”.

Libyan television reported citing military officials that at least 50 civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in military attacks of the coalition forces, adding that many health and education facilities were ruined.

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U.S., NATO Allies Turn North Africa Into War Zone

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110320/163101148.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 20, 2011

Gaddafi says arms Libyan people to fight against ‘foreign aggression’

Cairo: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday he started arming people in his country to fight against the ‘foreign aggression.’

“We are opening arms depots and giving people all kinds of weapons to defend the independence of Libya,” Gaddafi said on a national television.

The Libyan leader also said that interests of all countries involved in the attack on his country will be in danger in Libya and called their actions as the “aggression of crusaders and colonialists.”

“As a result of such open aggression and irresponsible behavior, the Mediterranean and North African territories turned into a war zone,” he said.

Unlike the previous times, Gaddafi’s address on the television on Sunday was not live and was broadcast in a form of an audio recording.

On Thursday the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Libya. Paris has taken the leading role in coordinating the world’s response to the tumult. U.S., British and French military have all launched strikes against Gaddafi.

Around 20 French Rafale and Mirage warplanes were sent to patrol the skies over the city of Benghazi. Since the beginning of the attack, the French aviation has destroyed four government tanks in the neighborhoods of the rebellious city.

British forces are in action in Libya, and its Navy submarine has fired Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Libyan air defense facilities.

U.S. Pentagon reported earlier that a U.S. warship fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi’s air defense sites. The U.S. operation is named “Odyssey Dawn”.

Countries including Canada, Denmark, Spain and Norway have sent jets to Libya, while Italy said it would permit the use of airbases such as Sigonella in Sicily and Aviano in the north to launch strikes.

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Libya Denounces West’s Colonialist Crusade

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47678276.html

Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011

Gaddafi declares the Med “war zone”

Muammar Gaddafi has declared the Mediterranean a war zone and threatens to strike out at the region’s military and civilian installations. He also brands as a “colonial crusade” the ongoing western military operation against his regime.

In a phoned-in message aired by state television on Sunday Gaddafi called on the African, Arab and Latin American nations to support Libya in what he termed as a “struggle against a common enemy”, and said he was beginning to arm the population to fight off foreign aggression.

The UN-backed military operation, involving the US, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, was launched on Saturday. The coalition forces have already fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Libyan air defense installations and delivered numerous airstrikes on civilian sites in Tripoli and other big sites and on oil reservoirs in Misrata.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 20, 2011

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http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com

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Britain: Elite NATO Corps Gets New Commander

Guard Kills Two NATO Soldiers In Afghanistan

United Arab Emirate Troops Arrive In Bahrain

Pakistani Elders Vow Revenge For U.S. Drone Attack

Yemen: Tanks Deployed After Government Snipers Kill 51 Protesters

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Britain: Elite NATO Corps Gets New Commander

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/news/New-commander-Nato-corps/article-3351186-detail/article.html

Thisisgloucestershire
March 20, 2011

New commander for Nato corps

Soldiers from an elite Nato corps that arrived in Gloucestershire last summer have a new commander.

Lieutenant General James Bucknall has taken command of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC).

He replaces General Sir Richard Shirreff who has become Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

General Bucknall has been serving as the Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since September 2010 and could remain in this post until January 2012.
….
Lieutenant General James Bucknall, a dad-of-two, was born in 1958 and educated at Winchester.

He enlisted in the army in 1977 and was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1978. His early service was with the 2nd Battalion and included postings in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Germany and Cyprus.

After Staff College in 1990 and Company Command, he served on the operations staff in Headquarters Northern Ireland.

He commanded 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards in the armoured infantry role in Germany before being appointed Chief of Staff, 1st (UK) Armoured Division in 1998.

More recently, in 2004 he was appointed Director Counter-Terrorism and UK Operations in the Ministry of Defence before deploying in 2006 to Baghdad.

On completion, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. He served as Assistant Chief of the General Staff from 2009-2010.

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Guard Kills Two NATO Soldiers In Afghanistan

Guard Kills Two NATO Soldiers In Afghanistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1627255.php/Guard-kills-two-NATO-soldiers-in-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 19, 2011

Guard kills two NATO soldiers in Afghanistan

Kabul: A security guard in Afghanistan killed two foreign soldiers working with NATO-led troops, the alliance military said Saturday.

‘Two international security assistance forces service members died in southern Afghanistan following a shooting incident with a security guard,’ the coalition forces said in a statement, without giving more details.

The statement did not state whether the security guard was an Afghan or foreign national, and if the incident took place on a NATO base.

NATO officials declined to comment, saying the alliance needs to inform the family members of the deceased before giving out details.

The incident is currently under investigations, the NATO official said.

Troops from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada are stationed in southern Afghanistan. More than 140,000 international troops are currently fighting Taliban insurgents who have been waging a bloody war since 2001.

Around 90 foreign soldiers have been killed so far this year, according to iCausalities, an independent website that tracks military fatalities in Afghanistan.

Separately, a NATO airstrike killed one and injured two others in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the provincial governor’s spokesman said.

The operation took place on Friday night in Khogyani, a district in Nangarhar.

‘We are investigating to identify if those killed and injured were civilians or insurgents,’ Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the spokesman said.

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United Arab Emirate Troops Arrive In Bahrain

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1848500.html

Trend News Agency
March 19, 2011

UAE troops arrive in Bahrain

Troops of the United Arab Emirates have arrived in Bahrain to join the Saudi Arabian troops which have been there since earlier this week, Press TV reported.

On Friday, Bahrain TV showed footage of a convoy of troops from the UAE arriving in the capital Manama.

Earlier, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa announced that three or four Persian Gulf countries would be sending troops to help quell the anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country.

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Pakistani Elders Vow Revenge For U.S. Drone Attack

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/19/47658395.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

Pakistan elders vow revenge for US drone attack

Pakistan’s tribal clans of Pakistan’s North Waziristan province have vowed to avenge the death of dozens of tribesmen in a recent US drone attack by carrying out suicide attacks on Americans.

Over 40 people, a majority of them members of a jirga and personnel from a government militia force, mistaken for Taliban leaders, were killed in drone strikes in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan on Thursday.

Islamabad has lodged a strong protest with Washington demanding an end to such attacks.

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Yemen: Tanks Deployed After Government Snipers Kill 51 Protesters

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/19/c_13788007.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 19, 2011

Heavy troops deployed as death toll of protesters rises to 51 in Yemen

SANAA: Tanks and heavy security military forces flooded the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other major cities on Saturday, enforcing a state of emergency after Friday’s snipers killed 51 protesters.

An official of the Interior Ministry told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the forces have been deployed since Saturday dawn to enforce the 30-day state of emergency that was declared by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Ali al-Fakih, one of the organizers of Sanaa anti-government protests, told Xinhua that death toll from Friday’s snipers against the protesters rose to 51 till Saturday noon as other hundreds injured were still in critical conditions.

Al-Fakih also said that three more protesters were wounded by police gunshots in al-Moualla district in the souther port city of Aden.

Meanwhile, a republican decree was issued on Saturday to appoint Tariq Mohamed al-Shami as chairman of the state-run Saba news agency to replace Nasr Taha Mustafa, who declared his resignation in protests against what he described “Friday’s massacre against protesters in Sanaa.”

Tens of thousands of protesters reportedly took to the streets of the southern provinces of Ibb, Taiz, Aden, Hodayda and Hadramout on Saturday to condemn what they described “bloodbath by the security authorities against Sanaa’s peaceful protesters” and show support to the families of victims.

Categories: Uncategorized

Randolph Bourne: The War and the Intellectuals

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Randolph Bourne: Selections on war

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Randolph Bourne
The War and the Intellectuals (1917)


1886-1918

[Emphasis added]

To those of us who still retain an irreconcilable animus against war, it has been a bitter experience to see the unanimity with which the American intellectuals have thrown their support to the use of war-technique in the crisis in which America found herself. Socialists, college professors, publicists, new-republicans, practitioners of literature, have vied with each other in confirming with their intellectual faith the collapse of neutrality and the riveting of the war-mind on a hundred million more of the world’s people.

And the intellectuals are not content with confirming our belligerent gesture. They are now complacently asserting that it was they who effectively willed it, against the hesitation and dim perceptions of the American democratic masses. A war made deliberately by the intellectuals! A calm moral verdict, arrived at after a penetrating study of inexorable facts! Sluggish masses, too remote from the world-conflict to be stirred, too lacking in intellect to perceive their danger!

An alert intellectual class, saving the people in spite of themselves, biding their time with Fabian strategy until the nation could be moved into war without serious resistance! An intellectual class, gently guiding a nation through sheer force of ideas into what the other nations entered only through predatory craft or popular hysteria or militarist madness! A war free from any taint of self-seeking, a war that will secure the triumph of democracy and internationalize the world! This is the picture which the more self-conscious intellectuals have formed of themselves, and which they are slowly impressing upon a population which is being led no man knows whither by an indubitably intellectualized President. And they are right, in that the war certainly did not spring from hysteria, of the American people, however acquiescent the masses prove to be, and however clearly the intellectuals prove their putative intuition.

Those intellectuals who have felt themselves totally out of sympathy with this drag toward war will seek some explanation for this joyful leadership. They will want to understand this willingness of the American intellect to open the sluices and flood us with the sewage of the war spirit. We cannot forget the virtuous horror and stupefaction which filled our college professors when they read the famous manifesto the their ninety-three German colleagues in defense of their war. To the American academic mind of 1914 defense of war was inconceivable. From Bernhardi it recoiled as from blasphemy, little dreaming that two years later would find it creating its own cleanly reasons for imposing military service on the country and for talking of the rough rude currents of health and regeneration that war would send through the American body politic.

They would have thought anyone mad who talked of shipping American men by the hundreds of thousands – conscripts – to die on the fields of France. Such a spiritual change seems catastrophic when we shoot our minds back to those days when neutrality was a proud thing. But the intellectual progress has been so gradual that the country retains little sense of the irony. The war sentiment, begun so gradually but so perseveringly by the preparedness advocates who come from the ranks of big business, caught hold of one after another of the intellectual groups. With the aid of Roosevelt, the murmurs became a monotonous chant, and finally a chorus so mighty that to be out of it was at first to be disreputable and finally almost obscene. And slowly a strident rant was worked up against Germany which compared very creditably with the German fulminations against the greedy power of England. The nerve of the war-feeling centered, of course, in the richer and older classes of the Atlantic seaboard, and was keenest where there were French or English business and particularly social connections. The sentiment then spread over the country as a class-phenomenon, touching everywhere those upper-class elements in each section who identified themselves with this Eastern ruling group.

It must never be forgotten that in every community it was the least liberal and least democratic elements among whom the preparedness and later the war sentiment was found. The farmers were apathetic, the small business men and workingmen are still apathetic towards the war. The election was a vote of confidence of these latter classes in a President who would keep the faith of neutrality. The intellectuals, in other words, have identified themselves with the least democratic forces in American life.

They have assumed the leadership for war of those very classes whom the American democracy has been immemorially fighting. Only in a world where irony was dead could an intellectual class enter war at the head of such illiberal cohorts in the avowed cause of world-liberalism and world-democracy. No one is left to point out the undemocratic nature of this war-liberalism. In a time of faith, skepticism is the most intolerable of all insults.

Our intellectual class might have been occupied, during the last two years of war, in studying and clarifying the ideals and aspirations of the American democracy, in discovering a true Americanism which would not have been merely nebulous but might have federated the different ethnic groups and traditions. They might have spent the time in endeavoring to clear the public mind of the cant of war, to get rid of old mystical notions that clog our thinking. We might have used the time for a great wave of education, for setting our house in spiritual order. We could at least have set the problem before ourselves.

If our intellectuals were going to lead the administration, they might conceivably have tried to find some way of securing peace by making neutrality effective. They might have turned their intellectual energy not to the problem of jockeying the nation into war, but to the problem of using our vast neutral power to attain democratic ends for the rest of the world and ourselves without the use of the malevolent technique of war. They might have failed. The point is that they scarcely tried.

The time was spent not in clarification and education, but in mulling over nebulous ideals of democracy and liberalism and civilization which had never meant anything fruitful to those ruling classes who now so glibly used them, and in giving free rein to the elementary instinct of self-defense. The whole era has been spiritually wasted. The outstanding feature has been not its Americanism but its intense colonialism. The offence of our intellectuals was not so much that they were colonial – for what could we expect of a nation composed of so many national elements? – but that it was so one-sidedly and partisanly colonial. The official, reputable expression of the intellectual class has been that of the English colonial. Certain portions of it have been even more loyalist than the King, more British even than Australia. Other colonial attitudes have been vulgar.

The colonialism of the other American stocks was denied a hearing from the start. America might have been made a meeting-ground for the different national attitudes. An intellectual class, cultural colonists of the different European nations, might have threshed out the issues here as they could not be threshed out in Europe. Instead of this, the English colonials in university and press took command at the start, and we became an intellectual Hungary where thought was subject to an effective process of Magyarization. The reputable opinion of the American intellectuals became more and more either what could be read pleasantly in London, or what was written in an earnest effort to put Englishmen straight on their war-aims and war-technique. This Magyarization of thought produced as a counter-reaction a peculiarly offensive and inept German apologetic, and the two partisans divided the field between them. The great masses, the other ethnic groups, were inarticulate. American public opinion was almost as little prepared for war in 1917 as it was in 1914.

The sterile results of such an intellectual policy are inevitable. During the war the American intellectual class has produced almost nothing in the way of original and illuminating interpretation. Veblen’s “Imperial Germany;” Patten’s “Culture and War,” and addresses; Dewey’s “German Philosophy and Politics;” a chapter or two in Weyl’s “American Foreign Policies;” – is there much else of creative value in the intellectual repercussion of the war? It is true that the shock of war put the American intellectual to an unusual strain. He had to sit idle and think as spectator not as actor. There was no government to which he could docily and loyally tender his mind as did the Oxford professors to justify England in her own eyes. The American’s training was such as to make the fact of war almost incredible. Both in his reading of history and in his lack of economic perspective he was badly prepared for it. He had to explain to himself something which was too colossal for the modern mind, which outran any language or terms which we had to interpret it in. He had to explain his sympathies to the breaking-point, while pulling the past and present into some sort of interpretative order. The intellectuals in the fighting countries had only to rationalize and justify what their country was already doing. Their task was easy. A neutral, however, had really to search out the truth. Perhaps perspective was too much to ask of any mind. Certainly the older colonials among our college professors let their prejudices at once dictate their thought. They have been comfortable ever since. The war has taught them nothing and will teach them nothing. And they have had the satisfaction, under the rigor of events, of seeing prejudice submerge the intellects of their younger colleagues. And they have lived to see almost their entire class, pacifists and democrats too, join them as apologists for the “gigantic irrelevance” of war.

We had had to watch, therefore, in this country the same process which so shocked us abroad – the coalescence of the intellectual classes in support of the military programme. In this country, indeed, the socialist intellectuals did not even have the grace of their German brothers and wait for the declaration of war before they broke for cover. And when they declared for war they showed how thin was the intellectual veneer of their socialism. For they called us in terms that might have emanated from any bourgeois journal to defend democracy and civilization, just as if it was not exactly against those very bourgeois democracies and capitalist civilizations that socialists had been fighting for decades. But so subtle is the spiritual chemistry of the “inside” that all this intellectual cohesion – herd-instinct – which seemed abroad so hysterical and so servile, comes to us here in highly rational terms. We go to war to save the world from subjugation! But the German intellectuals went to war to save their culture from barbarization! And the French to save international honor! And Russia, most altruistic and self-sacrificing of all, to save a small State from destruction! Whence is our miraculous intuition of our moral spotlessness? Whence our confidence that history will not unravel huge economic and imperialist forces upon which our rationalizations float like bubbles? The Jew often marvels that his race alone should have been chosen as the true people of the cosmic God. Are not our intellectuals equally fatuous when they tell us that our war of all wars is stainless and thrillingly achieving for good?

An intellectual class that was wholly rational would have called insistently for peace and not for war. For months the crying need has been for a negotiated peace, in order to avoid the ruin of a deadlock. Would not the same amount of resolute statesmanship thrown into intervention have secured a peace that would have been a subjugation for neither side? Was the terrific bargaining power of a great neutral ever really used? Our war followed, as all wars follow, a monstrous failure of diplomacy. Shamefacedness should now be our intellectuals’ attitude, because the American play for peace was made so little more than a polite play. The intellectuals have still to explain why, willing as they now are to use force to continue the war to absolute exhaustion, they were not willing to use force to coerce the world to a speedy peace.

Their forward vision is no more convincing than their past rationality. We go to war now to internationalize the world! But surely their league to Enforce Peace is only a palpable apocalyptic myth, like the syndicalists’ myth of the “general strike.” It is not a rational programme so much as a glowing symbol for the purpose of focusing belief, of setting enthusiasm on fire for international order. As far as it does this it has pragmatic value, but as far as it provides a certain radiant mirage of idealism for this war and for a world-order founded on mutual fear, it is dangerous and obnoxious. Idealism should be kept for what is ideal. It is depressing to think that the prospect of a world so strong that none dare challenge it should be the immediate prospect of the American intellectual. If the League is only a makeshift, a coalition into which we enter to restore order, then it is only a description of an existing fact, and the idea should be treated as such. But if it is an actually prospective outcome of the settlement, the keystone of American policy, it is neither realizable nor desirable. For the programme of such a League contains no provision for dynamic national growth or for international economic justice. In a world which requires recognition of economic internationalism far more than of political internationalism, an idea is reactionary which proposes to petrify and federate the nations as political and economic units. Such a scheme for international order is a dubious justification for American policy. And if American policy had been sincere in its belief that our participation would achieve international beatitude, would we not have made our entrance into the war conditional upon a solemn general agreement to respect in the final settlement these principles of international order? Could we have afforded, if our war was to end war by the establishment of a league of honor, to risk the defeat of our vision and our betrayal in the settlement? Yet we are in the war, and no such solemn agreement was made, nor has it even been suggested.

The case of the intellectuals seems, therefore, only very speciously rational. They could have used their energy to force a just peace or at least to devise other means than war for carrying through American policy. They could have used their intellectual energy to ensure that our participation in the war meant the international order which they wish. Intellect was not so used. It was used to lead an apathetic nation into an irresponsible war, without guarantees from those belligerents whose cause we were saving. The American intellectual, therefore has been rational neither in his hindsight, nor his foresight. To explain him we must look beneath the intellectual reasons to the emotional disposition. It is not so much what they thought as how they felt that explains our intellectual class. Allowing for colonial sympathy, there was still the personal shock in a world-war which outraged all our preconceived notions of the way the world was tending. It reduced to rubbish most of the humanitarian internationalism and democratic nationalism which had been the emotional thread of our intellectuals’ life. We had suddenly to make a new orientation. There were mental conflicts. Our latent colonialism strove with our longing for American unity. Our desire for peace strove with our desire for national responsibility in the world. That first lofty and remote and not altogether unsound feeling of our spiritual isolation from the conflict could not last. There was the itch to be in the great experience which the rest of the world was having. Numbers of intelligent people who had never been stirred by the horrors of capitalistic peace at home were shaken out of their slumber by the horrors of war in Belgium. Never having felt responsibility for labor wars and oppressed masses and excluded races at home, they had a large fund of idle emotional capital to invest in the oppressed nationalities and ravaged villages of Europe. Hearts that had felt only the ugly contempt for democratic strivings at home beat in tune with the struggle for freedom abroad. All this was natural, but it tended to over-emphasize our responsibility. And it threw our thinking out of gear. The task of making our own country detailedly fit for peace was abandoned in favor of a feverish concern for the management of war, advice to the fighting governments on all matters, military, social and political, and a gradual working up of the conviction that we were ordained as a nation to lead all erring brothers towards the light of liberty and democracy. The failure of the American intellectual class to erect a creative attitude toward the war can be explained by these sterile mental conflicts which the shock to our ideals sent raging through us.

Mental conflicts end either in a new and higher synthesis or adjustment, or else in a reversion to more primitive ideas which have been outgrown but to which we drop when jolted out of our attained position. The war caused in America a recrudescence of nebulous ideals which a younger generation was fast outgrowing because it had passed the wistful stage and was discovering concrete ways of getting them incarnated in actual institutions. The shock of war threw us back from this pragmatic work into an emotional bath of these old ideals. there was even a somewhat rarefied revival of our primitive Yankee boastfulness, the reversion of senility to that republican childhood when we expected the whole world to copy our republican institutions. We amusingly ignored the fact that it was just that Imperial German regime, to whom we are to teach the art of self-government, which our own Federal structure, with its executive irresponsible in foreign policy and with its absence of parliamentary control, most resembles. And we are missing the exquisite irony of the unaffected homage paid by the American democratic intellectuals to the last and most detested of Britain’s tory premiers as the representative of a “liberal” ally, as well as the irony of the selection of the best hated of America’s bourbon “old guard” as the missionary of American democracy to Russia.

The intellectual state that could produce such things is one where reversion has taken place to more primitive ways of thinking. Simple syllogisms are substituted for analysis, things are known by their labels, our heart’s desire dictates what we shall see. The American intellectual class, having failed to make the higher synthesis, regresses to ideas that can issue in quick, simplified action. Thought becomes any easy rationalization of what is actually going on or what is to happen inevitably tomorrow. It is true that certain groups did rationalize their colonialism and attach the doctrine of the inevitability of British seapower to the doctrine of a League of Peace. But this agile resolution of the mental conflict did not become a higher synthesis, to be creatively developed. It gradually merged into a justification for our going to war. It petrified into a dogma to be propagated. Criticism flagged and emotional propaganda began. Most of the socialists, the college professors and the practitioners of literature, however, have not even reached this high-water mark of synthesis. Their mental conflicts have been resolved much more simply. War in the interests of democracy! This was almost the sum of their philosophy. The primitive idea to which they regressed became almost insensibly translated into a craving for action. War was seen as the crowning relief of their indecision. At last action, irresponsibility, the end of anxious and torturing attempts to reconcile peace-ideals with the drag of the world towards Hell. An end to the pain of trying to adjust the facts to what they ought to be! Let us consecrate the facts as ideal! Let us join the greased slide towards war! The momentum increased. Hesitations, ironies, consciences, considerations, – all were drowned in the elemental blare of doing something aggressive, colossal. The new-found Sabbath “peacefulness of being at war”! The thankfulness with which so many intellectuals lay down and floated with the current betrays the hesitation and suspense through which they had been. The American university is a brisk and happy place these days. Simple, unquestioning action has superseded the knots of thought. The thinker dances with reality.

With how many of the acceptors of war has it been mostly a dread of intellectual suspense? It is a mistake to suppose that intellectuality necessarily makes for suspended judgments. The intellect craves certitude. It takes effort to keep it supple and pliable. In a time of danger and disaster we jump desperately for some dogma to cling to. The time comes, if we try to hold out, when our nerves are sick with fatigue, and we seize in a great healing wave of release some doctrine that can immediately be translated into action. Neutrality meant suspense, and so it became the object of loathing to frayed nerves. The vital myth of the League of Peace provides a dogma to jump to. With war the world becomes motor again and speculation is brushed aside like cobwebs. The blessed emotion of self-defense intervenes too, which focused millions in Europe. A few keep up a critical pose after war is begun, but since they usually advise action which is in one-to-one correspondence with what the mass is already doing, their criticism is little more than a rationalization of the common emotional drive.

The results of war on the intellectual class are already apparent. Their thought becomes little more than a description and justification of what is going on. They turn upon any rash one who continues idly to speculate. Once the war is on, the conviction spreads that individual thought is helpless, that the only way one can count is as a cog in the great wheel. There is no good holding back. We are told to dry our unnoticed and ineffective tears and plunge into the great work. Not only is everyone forced into line, but the new certitude becomes idealized. It is a noble realism which opposes itself to futile obstruction and the cowardly refusal to face facts. This realistic boast is so loud and sonorous that one wonders whether realism is always a stern and intelligent grappling with realities. May it not be sometimes a mere surrender to the actual, an abdication of the ideal through a sheer fatigue from intellectual suspense? The pacifist is roundly scolded for refusing to face the facts, and for retiring into his own world of sentimental desire. But is the realist, who refuses to challenge or criticise facts, entitled to any more credit than that which comes from following the line of least resistance? The realist thinks he at least can control events by linking himself to the forces that are moving. Perhaps he can. But if it is a question of controlling war, it is difficult to see how the child on the back of a mad elephant is to be any more effective in stopping the beast than is the child who tries to stop him from the ground. The ex-humanitarian, turned realist, sneers at the snobbish neutrality, colossal conceit, crooked thinking, dazed sensibilities, of those who are still unable to find any balm of consolation for this war. We manufacture consolations here in America while there are probably not a dozen men fighting in Europe who did not long ago give up every reason for their being there except that nobody knew how to get them away.

But the intellectuals whom the crisis has crystalized into an acceptance of war have put themselves into a terrifying strategic position. It is only on the craft, in the stream, they say, that one has any chance of controlling the current forces for liberal purposes. If we obstruct, we surrender all power for influence. If we responsibly approve, we then retain our power for guiding. We will be listened to as responsible thinkers, while those who obstructed the coming of war have committed intellectual suicide and shall be cast into outer darkness. Criticism by the ruling powers will only be accepted from those intellectuals who are in sympathy with the general tendency of the war. Well, it is true that they may guide, but if their stream leads to disaster and the frustration of national life, is their guiding any more than a preference whether they shall go over the right-hand or the left-hand side of the precipice? Meanwhile, however, there is comfort on board. Be with us, they call, or be negligible, irrelevant. Dissenters are already excommunicated. Irreconcilable radicals, wringing their hands among the debris, become the most despicable and impotent of men. There seems no choice for the intellectual but to join the mass of acceptance. But again the terrible dilemma arises, – either support what is going on, in which case you count for nothing because you are swallowed in the mass and great incalculable forces bear you on; or remain aloof, passively resistant, in which case you count for nothing because you are outside the machinery of reality.

Is there no place left then, for the intellectual who cannot yet crystallize, who does not dread suspense, and is not yet drugged with fatigue? The American intellectuals, in their preoccupation with reality, seem to have forgotten that the real enemy is War rather than imperial Germany. There is work to be done to prevent this war of ours from passing into popular mythology as a holy crusade. What shall we do with leaders who tell us that we go to war in moral spotlessness, or who make “democracy” synonymous with a republican form of government? There is work to be done in still shouting that all the revolutionary by-products will not justify the war, or make war anything else than the most noxious complex of all the evils that afflict men. There must be some to find no consolation whatever, and some to sneer at those who buy the cheap emotion of sacrifice. There must be some irreconcilables left who will not even accept the war with walrus tears. There must be some to call unceasingly for peace, and some to insist that the terms of settlement shall be not only liberal but democratic. There must be some intellectuals who are not willing to use the old discredited counters again and to support a peace which would leave all the old inflammable materials of armament lying about the world. There must still be opposition to any contemplated “liberal” world-order founded on military coalitions. The “irreconcilable” need not be disloyal. He need not even be “impossibilist.” His apathy towards war should take the form of a heightened energy and enthusiasm for the education, the art, the interpretation that make for life in the midst of the world of death. The intellectual who retains his animus against war will push out more boldly than ever to make his case solid against it. The old ideals crumble; new ideals must be forged. His mind will continue to roam widely and ceaselessly. The thing he will fear most is premature crystallization. If the American intellectual class rivets itself to a “liberal” philosophy that perpetuates the old errors, there will then be need for “democrats” whose task will be to divide, confuse, disturb, keep the intellectual waters constantly in motion to prevent any such ice from ever forming.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war

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Operation Odyssey Dawn: U.S. Leads Onslaught Against Libya

Libya: French Warplane Downed, Civilians Killed

U.S. Fires Over 100 Cruise Missiles: West Bombs Civilian Targets, Oil Depots In Libya

Venezuela Calls For End To Western Attack On Libya

NATO’s First African War

French Warplanes Begin Libyan War, Aircraft Carrier On Way

U.S. Launches Cruise Missile Attacks Inside Libya

Russia Deplores Foreign Military Action In Libya

NATO Nations Begin War Against Libya

Sarkozy: French Warplanes To Intervene In Benghazi

Britain Moves Warplanes Into Libyan War Theater

U.S. To Launch Missile Attacks On Libya Today

Mediterranean Sea: Italy Positions At Least Five Warships For Libya Operations

NATO Completes Comprehensive Plan For War In Libya

Libya: Fourth Target Of Western Military Attacks In 12 Years

Moscow: Police Break Up Anti-War Demo Outside NATO Mission

Following Summit, Western Attack On Libya Can Begin In Days

Libya: NATO Seeks Multinational Camouflage, Mulls Ground Operations

Report: Turkish F-16s To Participate In NATO Assault On Libya

Spain Provides Air Bases, Submarine For NATO Attack On Libya

Video/Text: U.S. Duplicity On Libya Versus Bahrain, Yemen And Pakistan

Yemen: Tanks Deployed After Government Snipers Kill 51 Protesters

NATO Representative For South Caucasus And Central Asia Cancels Trip To Caucasus To Coordinate North Africa Operations

John Kerry: U.S., NATO Must Take “Robust Action” Against Libya

NATO Speeds Up Planning For Action Against Libya

“NATO Willing To Implement No Fly Zone” Over Libya

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Operation Odyssey Dawn: U.S. Leads Onslaught Against Libya

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63225

U.S. Department of Defense
March 19, 2011

Coalition Launches Operation Odyssey Dawn
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: Coalition forces launched “Operation Odyssey Dawn” today to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973….

[O]fficials said…that the coalition…wants to degrade the ability of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime to resist a no-fly zone being implemented.

U.S. military forces are on the leading edge of the coalition operation, taking out Libya’s integrated air and missile defense system, Defense Department officials said. The ordnance is aimed at radars and anti-aircraft sites around the capital of Tripoli and other facilities along the Mediterranean coast.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear aboard the command ship USS Mount Whitney. The Mount Whitney joins 24 other ships from Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and France in launching the operation.

Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will “open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.”

In addition to the cruise missiles, the United States will provide command and control and logistics. American airmen and sailors also will launch electronic attacks against the systems.

The United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada already have announced that they are part of the coalition. Officials expect Arab countries will publicly announce their participation soon.

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Libya: French Warplane Downed, Civilians Killed

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47676819.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

French warplane shot down in Libya

Libyan air defenders have shot down a French warplane outside the nation’s capital Tripoli. The US, Britain, France, Italy and Canada are taking part in the ongoing military operation and Spain is to join in shortly.

Coalition forces have already fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Libyan air defense installations and delivered numerous airstrikes on civilian sites in Tripoli and other big sites and oil reservoirs in Misrata.

There’ve been reports of many civilians already killed and injured.

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Venezuela Calls For End To Western Attack On Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/20/47676469.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

Venezuela’s Chavez condemns Libya airstrikes

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez demands an end to the international military operation in Libya where he says the US and its European partners are pursuing their own goals.

The military intervention in Libya came on Saturday following an emergency summit in Paris called by President Nicolas Sarkozy. The western warplanes and missiles are targeting Col. Gaddafi’s forces outside the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi.

Meanwhile, Libyan state television reports massive airstrikes on civilian installations in Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi and Zawiya.

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U.S. Fires Over 100 Cruise Missiles: West Bombs Civilian Targets, Oil Depots In Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110319/163099898.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 19, 2011

Western aviation pounds civilian targets, oil depots in Libya – media

Cairo: Western aircraft are bombarding civilian objects in the Libyan city of Tripoli, the Libyan Al Jamahiriya satellite TV channel said on Saturday.

Other Libyan media reported that oil depots near the city of Misrat were pounded. “The whole region is in jeopardy of fires,” the Libyan news agency Jana said.

On Thursday the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Libya. Paris has taken the leading role in coordinating the world’s response to the tumult. U.S., British and French military have all launched strikes….

Around 20 French Rafale and Mirage warplanes were sent to patrol the skies over the city of Benghazi. Since the beginning of the push, the French aviation has destroyed four government tanks in the neighborhoods of the rebellious city.

British forces are in action over Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed….

A U.S. warship has fired over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Gaddafi’s air defense sites, U.S. Admiral William Gortney said. The U.S. operation is named “Odyssey Dawn”.

Countries including Canada, Denmark, Spain and Norway have sent jets to Libya, while Italy said it would permit the use of airbases such as Sigonella in Sicily and Aviano in the north to launch sorties.

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NATO’s First African War

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/19/uk-libya-paris-berlusconi-idUKTRE72I3BX20110319

Reuters
March 19, 2011

Berlusconi says offered NATO base for Libya operation

PARIS: Italy has proposed using a NATO base at the southern city of Naples as the command centre for a coordinated military intervention by allied powers in Libya, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday.

“I have proposed that the military coordination of the operation be in the NATO base at Naples,” Berlusconi told reporters after a meeting of world powers in Paris to plan a U.N.-mandated operation against Muammar Gaddafi’s troops. He said Italy’s military could also participate at a later stage.

“For the time being we are making the bases available, but if they request it, even military intervention (is possible),” he said.

(Reporting by Daniel Flynn; Writing Catherine Bremer; Editing by Jon Boyle)
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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/19/47675494.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

US missiles hit targets in Libya

US military officials have confirmed the first American Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired at targets inside Libya from ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

The move is the first direct U.S. involvement in the international operation, meant to end attacks by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on opposition strongholds and enforce a U.N.-backed no-fly zone.
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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/19/47675313.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

French jets knock out 4 Gaddafi tanks

French warplanes destroyed four Libyan tanks in the eastern city of Benghazi, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday evening.

The attack came shortly after a first strike on Libyan territory by France….

The decision to intervene militarily in the Libyan conflict was made by representatives of the EU, the Arab League, the US, Canada and other countries who were meeting in Paris on Saturday.
….

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French Warplanes Begin Libyan War, Aircraft Carrier On Way

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16065661&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 19, 2011

French Air Force destroys first target in Libya

PARIS: The French Air Force has destroyed the first target in Libya, the French Defence Ministry said on Saturday, March 19.

“A first target was engaged and destroyed,” ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire said.

French Air Force planes started delivering air strikes in Libya at 1645 GMT.

About 20 French planes are involved in the coalition operation in an area of 100 to 150 kilometres around Benghazi.

The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will head from its base in Toulon to Libya on Sunday, March 20.

British military planes will keep patrolling the sky over Libya in the next several hours, the BBS reported.

And the United States will provide unique military possibilities for the coalition forces in Libya, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

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U.S. Launches Cruise Missile Attacks Inside Libya

Fox News
March 19, 2011

U.S. Launches Cruise Missiles Against Qaddafi’s Air Defenses

-Warplanes from the United States, Canada, Denmark arrived at Italian air bases Saturday as part of an international military buildup. Germany backed the operation but isn’t offering its own forces.

The U.S. Navy fires the first U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles against Libyan leader’s Muammar al-Qaddafi’s air defenses Saturday, a military source tells Fox News.

The U.S. military strikes clear the way for European and other planes to enforce a no-fly zone designed to ground Qaddafi’s air force…U.S. officials said.

Hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended an international conference in Paris that endorsed military action against Qaddafi, the U.S. was poised to kick off its attacks on Libyan air defense missile and radar sites along the Mediterranean coast….

French fighter jets fired the first shots at Qaddafi’s troops on Saturday, launching the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising that had seemed on the verge of defeat. The French military says warplanes have carried out four air strikes, destroying several armored vehicles of pro-Qaddafi forces, according to AFP.
….
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris that French jets were already targeting Qaddafi’s forces….

Saturday’s emergency meeting involved 22 leaders and top officials, including Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the foreign ministers of Jordan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. It was the largest international military action since the beginning of the Iraq war, launched almost exactly eight years ago.

Earlier Saturday, a plane was shot down over the outskirts of Benghazi, sending up a massive black cloud of smoke. An Associated Press reporter saw the plane go down in flames and heard the sound of artillery and crackling gunfire.

Before the plane went down, journalists heard what appeared to be airstrikes from it. Rebels cheered and celebrated at the crash, though the government denied a plane had gone down — or that any towns were shelled on Saturday.
….
At a news conference in the capital, Tripoli, the government spokesman read letters from Qaddafi to Obama and others involved in the international effort.

“Libya is not yours. Libya is for the Libyans. The Security Council resolution is invalid,” he said in the letter to Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

To Obama, the Libyan leader was slightly more conciliatory: “If you had found them taking over American cities with armed force, tell me what you would do.”
….
Italy, which had been the main buyer for Libyan oil, offered the use of seven air and navy bases already housing U.S., NATO and Italian forces to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya.

Italy’s defense minister, Ignazio La Russa, said Saturday that Italy wasn’t just “renting out” its bases for others to use but was prepared to offer “moderate but determined” military support.

A French fighter jet fired Saturday on a Libyan military vehicle, the first reported offensive action in the international military operation against Qaddafi’s forces, French Defense Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhard said.

Warplanes from the United States, Canada, Denmark arrived at Italian air bases Saturday as part of an international military buildup. Germany backed the operation but isn’t offering its own forces.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said after the summit: “The time for action has come, it needs to be urgent.”

====

Russia Deplores Foreign Military Action In Libya

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=230018

Interfax
March 19, 2011

Russia deplores intl military action in Libya

MOSCOW: Russia deplored international military action against Libya’s regime of Muammar Gaddafi that was launched on Saturday and is based on “the hastily passed Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council.”

“This armed action with reference to the hastily passed Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council is deplored in Moscow,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement.

“We again urge all the parties in Libya and the military operation participants to do everything possible to avoid sufferings among civilians, achieve a ceasefire and put an end to violence as soon as possible,” he said.

“We demand exhaustive measures to ensure the security of foreign diplomatic missions and their personnel. We specially insist on the immunity of the Russian Embassy in Tripoli and Russian nationals in Libya, something that has already been the subject of representations by Russia,” Lukashevich said.

====

NATO Nations Begin War Against Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/19/c_13788023.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 19, 2011

Military action to be launched against Libya

PARIS: Top leaders from the United States, Europe and the Arab world on Saturday announced the start of military action against Libyan government forces.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after an emergency summit in Paris that France has already taken military action against Libya.

Sarkozy said “our determination is total.”

The leaders decided to carry out “all necessary measures, including military” to enforce a U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized all necessary measures to protect Libyan civilians.

“We are determinded to take all necessary action, including military, consistent with UNSCR 1973, to ensure compliance with all its requirements,” according to a statement issued after the summit.
….
A French official said Mirage and Rafale fighters were flying over the eastern city of Benghazi and could strike tanks of the Libyan military.

The Paris summit was attended by Sarkozy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and some other world leaders.

Earlier, several French reconnaissance planes were flying over Libya, a French military source said.

The warplanes took off in the afternoon from their base in eastern France. The reconnaissance mission will last all Saturday afternoon and the planes encountered no problems after overflying Libyan territory several hours.

Earlier Saturday, Libyan government forces stormed into the rebel capital of Benghazi, apparently ignoring a proclaimed cease-fire and potentially complicating any allied military action.

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Sarkozy: French Warplanes To Intervene In Benghazi

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110319/163096839.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 19, 2011

Sarkozy: French air forces thwart Gaddafi’s attacks on Benghazi

Paris: French air forces are defending the rebellious Libyan city of Benghazi from the troops loyal to strongman Muammar Gaddafi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Saturday.

Paris has taken the leading role in coordinating the world’s response to the tumult in Libya and takes efforts to halt Gaddafi’s attacks on the poorly armed rebel forces.

“At unity with our partners our air forces will counteract any attacks from Col. Gaddafi planes on…Benghazi. Other French aircraft are ready to countervail against armored vehicles which may threaten civilians,” Sarkozy said after the completion of international meeting dedicated to the situation in Libya which was held in Elysee Palace.
….
NATO members Britain, Denmark, Spain and Canada, along with the United States, have also pledged planes to a mission over Libya, while Qatar said it would participate in the plan. The allies have already geared up for Libya push.
….

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Britain Moves Warplanes Into Libyan War Theater

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/uk/news/article_1627268.php/Britain-redeploys-aircraft-to-Mediterranean-ahead-of-Libya-mission

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 19, 2011

Britain redeploys aircraft to Mediterranean ahead of Libya mission

London: Britain on Saturday began to redeploy military aircraft to the Mediterranean in anticipation of a military campaign over Libya, the BBC reported.

The campaign would include Tornado bombers and Eurofighter jets, as well as Nimrod surveillance aeroplanes and VC tankers, reported the broadcaster.

Military experts assume that the Tornado bombers will be called into service in case of a conflict over Libya. The bomber’s precision weapons could be used to weaken ground-based targets such as anti-aircraft systems or to block Libyan troops from attacking rebel forces.

Eurofighter jets would probably prove superior over Libyan jets if it came to a fight over Libyan airspace. However, it remained unclear how many aircraft Britain would be able to send into any potential fray.

Possible bases for any Libyan action include southern France, southern Italy, Cyprus and Malta.

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U.S. To Launch Missile Attacks On Libya Today

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7480614.html

Associated Press
March 19, 2011

Officials: US missile attack on Libya prepared
By Robert Burns

WASHINGTON: The U.S. prepared to a launch a missile attack on Libyan air defenses…according to two U.S. officials familiar with the unfolding intervention.
….
An attack against those defenses with Navy sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles was planned for later Saturday, one official said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of military operations.

The official said that depending on how Libyan forces responded to initial intervention by the French and others, the U.S. could launch additional attacks in support of allied forces. The intention was to leave it to other nations to patrol a no-fly zone over Libya once air defenses are silenced, the official said.
….
Clinton said “unique” American military capabilities will be brought to bear in support of the coalition, and she reiterated Obama’s pledge on Friday that no U.S. ground forces would get involved. She was not more specific about U.S. involvement.
….
Among the U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean were two guided-missile destroyers, the USS Barry and USS Stout, as well as two amphibious warships, the USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce, and a command-and-control ship, the USS Mount Whitney. The submarine USS Providence was also in the Mediterranean.

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Mediterranean Sea: Italy Positions At Least Five Warships For Libya Operations

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201103191646-pol-ren1064-libya_5_italian_navy_ships_in_the_mediterranean

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
March 19, 2011

LIBYA: 5 ITALIAN NAVY SHIPS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Rome: At least 5 Italian Navy ships are preparing for a possible military intervention in the Mediterranean.

The destroyer Andrea Doria, which specialises in anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, is currently in the Strait of Sicily alongside the naval replenishment and logistic support ship Etna which leads the NATO Standing Maritime Group.

The patrol ship Libra is sailing towards the Libyan coasts, while the frigate Euro is acting as a support unit.

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NATO Completes Comprehensive Plan For War In Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1627311.php/NATO-preparing-military-action-plan-against-Gaddafi

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 19, 2011

NATO preparing military action plan against Gaddafi

-According to diplomats, NATO would first attempt to destroy Gaddafi’s radar and air defences.
A second goal may be to stop from the air the advance eastwards of Gaddafi’s ground forces.

Brussels: NATO was Saturday putting together a comprehensive plan of military action against the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi at a meeting in Brussels – even though its mandate does not yet got that far, according to a NATO diplomat.

Ambassadors of the 28 member nations of the alliance were mulling the details of a military mission to curb the Gaddafi regime.

‘This is a huge operation, which must be minutely planned. We want to be ready to go when necessary,’ said one diplomat.

The NATO talks are expected to go on all weekend, and focus on the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.

There is no authorization as yet for air strikes against Gaddafi’s ground forces.

It is unclear which countries will participate in the no-fly zone. French planes have already begun missions, with Britain likely to join them. Italy has said it will provide military airports.

The discussions are focussing on the logistics of the military means – aircraft and weaponry – and the exact goals of the mission.

According to diplomats, NATO would first attempt to destroy Gaddafi’s radar and air defences.

A second goal may be to stop from the air the advance eastwards of Gaddafi’s ground forces.

Air cover would need to be provided out of Cyprus, Sicily and possibly some aircraft carriers, such as the French ‘Charles de Gaulle.’

Belgium has already pledged the use of six F16 fighter-bombers. ‘The end of the Gaddafi regime is the absolute priority – a regime that is killing its own citizens,’ Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme told Belgian radio RTBF on Saturday.

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Libya: Fourth Target Of Western Military Attacks In 12 Years

http://rt.com/politics/libya-russia-security-council-un/

RT
March 18, 2011

Russia warns of “full-scale military action” following Security Council vote on Libya
Robert Bridge

-“We must not forget how NATO and US aircraft bombed Yugoslavia, and that is not the only precedent. Libya may become the fourth country in 12 years to be threatened with direct military foreign interference after Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.”
-“Responsibility for inevitable humanitarian consequences caused by excessive use of outside force in the Libyan situation would be fully born by those who resorted to such actions….They potentially open the door for a large-scale military intervention.”
-“The imposition of a no-fly zone is a military operation. It envisions attacks on aerodromes and air defense systems, not just a ban of flying.”

Following a decision by the UN Security Council to take “all necessary measures” against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Russian politicians and experts are warning of further destabilization in the region.

­The UN Security Council voted on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone, which includes the possible use of military force, against pro-Gaddafi forces.

Presently, the Libyan strongman’s military is successfully beating back a large anti-government uprising, and is in the process of consolidating his forces around Benghazi, a city to the north where the “interim Libyan government” is penned in.

Diplomats said the resolution, which was written in the eleventh hour of the Libyan conflict, allows for a wide range of actions, including strikes on air-defense systems and missile attacks from ships.

Indeed, full-blown military activity could commence “within hours,” they said.

Russia and four other council members – China, Germany, Brazil and India – abstained from the vote.

Will outside interference aggravate situation?

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russian Liberal Democratic Party leader and State Duma vice speaker says the Security Council resolution does not bode well for the prospects of peace in the region.

“The consequences will be extremely negative,” the LDPR leader said at a press conference at Interfax on Friday, adding that the resolution is “a symptom of preparations for a full-scale military operation.”

The outspoken Russian politician, who is known for his loaded language, drew parallels between yesterday’s Security Council vote and past military actions undertaken on the part of NATO and the United States military.

“We must not forget how NATO and US aircraft bombed Yugoslavia, and that is not the only precedent,” Zhirinovsky warned. “Libya may become the fourth country in 12 years to be threatened with direct military foreign interference after Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.”

He said the international community should understand the danger of such interference “on the pretext of protecting peaceful Libyans.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said the blame for “humanitarian consequences” following any military action will be on the shoulders of those involved in such operations.

“Responsibility for inevitable humanitarian consequences caused by excessive use of outside force in the Libyan situation would be fully born by those who resorted to such actions,” Churkin told reporters following the Security Council vote.

The Russian ambassador warned that some provisions of the resolution may result in a large-scale use of force.

“They potentially open the door for a large-scale military intervention,” Churkin said. “During our discussion, assurances were voiced about the absence of such intentions. We take them into account.”

The ambassador added that no explanations were provided as to how the no-fly zone would be enforced and “what will be the rules and limits of the use of force.”

Asserting that Russia did not veto the resolution as it was “guided by the necessity to protect civilians and by general humanitarian values,” he remained convinced that “an immediate ceasefire is the shortest way to reliable security of the peaceful population and long-term stabilization in Libya.”

With no details as to how the Security Council will organize a military response against Gaddafi, military experts are waiting to hear from NATO, which is convening a meeting in Brussels on Friday to discuss the issue.

A diplomatic source in the Russian mission to NATO told Interfax that the meeting is the first such meeting since the adoption of the resolution and “it is better to refrain from making any predictions.”

Meanwhile, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov has ruled out the possibility of Russia’s involvement in a military operation against Libya.

“No, that is out of the question,” he told Interfax on Friday.

A “lesson” for would-be proliferators of WMD?

Finally, military involvement on the part of international forces may play into the hands of violators of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction regime, Alexei Arbatov, the head of the International Security Center of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in an interview with Interfax.

“An attack against Libya would be a gift for all violators of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Arbatov said. “If Libya becomes an object of a military operation, it will lead some countries to believe that no one would think of threatening Gaddhafi with a military operation now if he had not voluntarily given up his nuclear program several years ago.”

“The imposition of a no-fly zone is a military operation,” he said. “It envisions attacks on aerodromes and air defense systems, not just a ban of flying.”

Arbatov predicted that any military action taken against Libya will be watched carefully by certain states that are now borderline pariah states, at least as far as the United States, and some other governments, is concerned

“This will lead Iran, Syria, and some other countries violating the non-proliferation regime to make a new powerful step towards obtaining nuclear weapons,” the expert said.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi officially halted the development of weapons of mass destruction programs in December 2003, a move that temporarily restored his reputation in the eyes of the global community.

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Moscow: Police Break Up Anti-War Demo Outside NATO Mission

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=229997

Interfax
March 19, 2011

Police thwart Moscow demo against anti-Gaddafi strikes – activist

MOSCOW: Police on Saturday thwarted a demonstration by a Russian opposition party outside the NATO mission in Moscow against a planned international military action against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the party’s coordinator said.

“A team from the Yakimanka [police department] have just arrived and asked me and Dmitry Talantov to come with them in order to check criminal records,’ as they put it,” Sergei Udaltsov, coordinator of the Left Front, told Interfax. This “in effect derailed” the demonstration, Udaltsov said.

The demonstration near the building on Mytnaya Street had brought together about 20 Left Front activists, who were holding banners reading “NATO, hands off Libya” and “No to aggression against Libya.”

Udaltsov told Interfax before being detained by police that the demonstration was a series of one-person pickets and that police were not trying to disrupt it and “have confined themselves to writing down the content of the banners and the passport details of some of the activists.”

“We believe that any military intervention on the part of other states on Libyan territory is unacceptable without an international military investigation into the political situation in that country,” Udaltsov said.

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Following Summit, Western Attack On Libya Can Begin In Days

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/19/47648454.html

Voice of Russia
March 19, 2011

Military operations may begin within days in Libya

Western countries could launch a military operation in Libya a few hours after an international meeting devoted to the Libyan crisis, which is due to be held today in Paris according to France’s UN representative Gerard Aro in an interview with the BBC.

“On Saturday we will hold a summit in Paris, bringing together all the major countries that will participate in operations and diplomatic efforts. I think it would be a good time to give a last warning” ITAR-TASS quotes him as saying.

The meeting will be attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, representatives of the European Union, Arab League and African Union.

The UN will be represented by its Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

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Libya: NATO Seeks Multinational Camouflage, Mulls Ground Operations

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16064682&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
March 19, 2011

Air force operation in Libya prepared by individual countries

BRUSSELS: An international air force operation against Libya is being prepared by individual countries. NATO will only help them with military planning and will coordinate their actions, a high-ranking military expert in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

“Most countries share the opinion of France that an armed intervention of NATO in the Arab world would be very much undesirable. An ability to take action, using the forces of the leading European countries and the United States, with the support of some Arab countries, is coming to the forefront today. This model will actively use NATO’s potential in military planning and the coordination of actions of participants in the coalition, but officially the operation will be conducted under the command of Paris or London, and not of Brussels (the NATO Headquarters or Mons [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe – SHAPE]),” the source said.

At the same time, forecasting a possibility of “the ground component part” of the operation, if air strikes at Libya do not make Gaddafi resign, the source did not rule out a situation, in which NATO would have to take the operation under its control. He stressed that a possibility of a ground operation was being considered, but it is still regarded as highly undesirable for all the NATO countries.

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Report: Turkish F-16s To Participate In NATO Assault On Libya

PanArmenian.net
March 19, 2011

Turkey may participate in NATO’s military operations in Libya

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held negotiations with the representatives of the Libyan opposition in Ankara. Cessation of riots in Libya was on the negotiations agenda. Besides, Libyan rebels hope that Turkey will be able to persuade Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to stop military actions against the opposition, TRT reported.

Meanwhile, according to Sabah, Turkey has altered its position, agreeing to be involved in NATO operations in Libya.

In case of Gaddafi’s continued hostilities against the rebels, F-16 Turkish jets will probably participate in military operations.

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Spain Provides Air Bases, Submarine For NATO Attack On Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/19/c_13787965.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 19, 2011

Spain expected to join NATO no-fly zone enforcement over Libya

MADRID: Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is expected to confirm Spain’s contribution of two air force bases at a summit in Paris to discuss the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya Saturday.

The no-fly zone resolution was passed early Friday at the U.N. Security Council.

Spain, which already has a patrol boat and a submarine stationed off the coast of Libya, offered NATO two air-force bases on Friday in the south of the country for any military operation against the north African country.

This Saturday’s meeting in Paris is hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and will be attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, representatives of the Arab League and the African Union as well as the leaders of UAE and Qatar.

The Spanish leader also met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday at his official residence in the Palacio de Moncloa.

In their joint press conference afterwards Zapatero took a tough line against Gadaffi, saying “the international community is not going to allow itself to be deceived by the Libyan regime and is going to verify the (U.N.) resolution with all means in its power.”

Both Zapatero and Ban Ki-moon described the U.N. Security Council resolution as “historic,” while Ban added he was grateful for Spain’s efforts in ending the crisis in Libya.

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Video/Text: U.S. Duplicity On Libya Versus Bahrain, Yemen And Pakistan

http://rt.com/usa/news/usa-libya-neglects-bahrain-yemen/

RT
March 18, 2011

US focuses on Libya, neglects abuses elsewhere

Video

Libya declared a cease-fire following a UN vote which authorized a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures” to prevent the government from attacking its people. However, the measure does nothing to address violence in Bahrain, Yemen or elsewhere.

While the next few moves appear uncertain in Libya, recent US drone air strikes in Pakistan killed 40 civilians and at least 50 people were killed when Yemeni security forces opened fire on an anti-government protest following Muslim prayers.
….
The United Nations called the abuses in Bahrain “shocking and illegal” but the US-backed regime continued to wage a violent crackdown against anti-government protesters unrestrained by foreign governments.

Why has all the focus been on Libya when atrocities, some argued to be worse, have taken place elsewhere in the region.

Michel Chossudovsky, the director of the Center for Research on Globalization in Montréal, Canada said the system is full of double standards.

“They’ve killed more than a million people in Iraq, they can’t tell us they’re coming to the rescue of civilians. It’s absolute nonsense,” he said.

“The situation in Bahrain is very very serious,” Chossudovsky added. “There you have the [US Navy] Fifth Fleet and they didn’t intervene, they just let it happen.”

He explained that Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, are a part of the general coalition that works with the west and is actively supported by the US. There is a rise in factions and the west uses these states as part of their coalition to handle the “dirty work” in the region.

“What world public opinion must understand is we are on verge of a fourth war theater in North Africa,” Chossudovsky argued. “That means military intervention, and that means war and that means civilian casualties.”

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Yemen: Tanks Deployed After Government Snipers Kill 51 Protesters

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/19/c_13788007.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 19, 2011

Heavy troops deployed as death toll of protesters rises to 51 in Yemen

SANAA: Tanks and heavy security military forces flooded the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other major cities on Saturday, enforcing a state of emergency after Friday’s snipers killed 51 protesters.

An official of the Interior Ministry told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the forces have been deployed since Saturday dawn to enforce the 30-day state of emergency that was declared by President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Ali al-Fakih, one of the organizers of Sanaa anti-government protests, told Xinhua that death toll from Friday’s snipers against the protesters rose to 51 till Saturday noon as other hundreds injured were still in critical conditions.

Al-Fakih also said that three more protesters were wounded by police gunshots in al-Moualla district in the souther port city of Aden.

Meanwhile, a republican decree was issued on Saturday to appoint Tariq Mohamed al-Shami as chairman of the state-run Saba news agency to replace Nasr Taha Mustafa, who declared his resignation in protests against what he described “Friday’s massacre against protesters in Sanaa.”

Tens of thousands of protesters reportedly took to the streets of the southern provinces of Ibb, Taiz, Aden, Hodayda and Hadramout on Saturday to condemn what they described “bloodbath by the security authorities against Sanaa’s peaceful protesters” and show support to the families of victims.

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NATO Representative For South Caucasus And Central Asia Cancels Trip To Caucasus To Coordinate North Africa Operations

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1848699.html

Trend News Agency
March 19, 2011

NATO Special Representative’s visits to Georgia and Armenia postponed
E. Ostapenko

Baku: NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai’s first visits to Tbilisi and Yerevan that were scheduled for next week were postponed due to developments in the North Africa.

“Unfortunately, Appathurai was forced to postpone his visit to Georgia and Armenia. The NATO Secretary General asked him to stay in Brussels to coordinate political operations to stabilize the situation in North Africa,” the NATO press service told Trend.
….
Following the adoption of UN Security Council resolution calling for the closure of airspace over Libya, the officials announced on Friday the cessation of all hostilities against the rebels.

The resolution imposes a ban on Libyan aircraft flights, and also provides for possible military action except the use of ground forces.

Appathurai will visit the South Caucasus at the first opportunity, since NATO attaches great importance to relations with the countries of the region.

Originally scheduled for March the visit was delayed due to certain technical grounds, NATO stressed.

Appathurai took the office in November 2010. He replaced Robert Simmons, who worked 7 years in this position.

The Special Representative is intended to support working contacts with regional leaders to develop the objectives of NATO in the region by contributing to regional security and further promoting cooperative programs of NATO.

NATO cooperates with the South Caucasus states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia – in accordance with programs of the Partnership for Peace and Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), as well as Planning and Analysis Process. Those documents define the goals and intentions of NATO’s talks with the partner countries on reforms in the defense, security and military policy.

The cooperation of the South Caucasus with NATO is regarded as a step towards European integration and security and stability in the region.

====

John Kerry: U.S., NATO Must Take “Robust Action” Against Libya

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110318-711032.html

Wall Street Journal
March 18, 2011

US Must Be Prepared to Take Robust Action in Libya – Sen. Kerry

WASHINGTON: U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D, Mass.) on Friday added his voice to the chorus from U.S. officials that Col. Moammar Gadhafi must immediately implement a ceasefire or an international coalition will follow through with threats of military intervention.

Libya’s foreign minister Friday promised a ceasefire and said the country would abide by a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for military action against rebel-held towns suggest the fighting continues.

“If Qaddafi does not comply with the requirements of the U.N. resolution, we must be prepared to take robust action with our NATO partners and the Arab League to enforce it,” Kerry said in a statement.

His comments came shortly after he and other U.S. lawmakers met with President Barack Obama to discuss the situation in Libya….

–Sam Dagher contributed to this article.

====

NATO Speeds Up Planning For Action Against Libya

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201103181642-pol-ren1065-libya_nato_to_speed_up_military_action_planning

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
March 18, 2011

LIBYA: NATO TO SPEED UP MILITARY ACTION PLANNING

Brussels: NATO member states have agreed to speed up planning for possible military action in Libya.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the ambassadors agreed to accelerate the military planning and to try to complete the process as soon as possible.

The decision to speed up the process seems to have been backed also by those nations that are less favourable to military action, such as Germany and Turkey. Rasmussen, however, pointed out that a final decision as to whether or not take military action has not yet been made.

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“NATO Willing To Implement No Fly Zone” Over Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1627103.php/NATO-consensus-on-Libya-no-fly-zone

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 18, 2011

NATO “consensus” on Libya no-fly zone

Brussels: NATO nations are ready to police a no-fly zone over Libya, but the details of how that military action will be implemented still need to be decided, a diplomat said after a key meeting of the military alliance.

NATO ambassadors held talks in Brussels in the wake of the United Nations Security Council approving late Thursday a resolution authorising the no-fly zone and the use of military force to enforce it.

‘We see a consensus that NATO will be willing to implement the no-fly zone but it is still unclear how partners will participate in it,’ the diplomat told the German Press Agency dpa.

The source indicated that NATO ambassadors were expected to hold further discussions over the weekend.

Earlier, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Friday’s talks had been convened ‘to discuss the implications of the resolution and advance planning for all eventualities.’
….
On Friday, Belgium said it was ready to contribute to a NATO military operation with six F16 fighter jets and a mine-sweeping vessel, while Spain announced it would allow the use the Rota and Moron military bases in the south of the country.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011 1 comment

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stopnato-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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1. U.S. Congress Backs Obama’s Long-Term Afghan War Strategy

2. NATO Says It Backs Action Against Libya

3. Azerbaijan: NATO Expands Influence In South Caucasus

4. Russia Warns Against Military Intervention In Libya

5. NATO Could Strike Libyan Military In Hours: Spokesman

6. Denmark, Norway To Supply NATO Warplanes For Libya Operation

7. NATO Says Conditions Met For Military Action

8. Pakistan Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Deadly Missile Strike

9. Russia To Protect Diplomats In Libya In Face Of NATO Intervention

10. NATO Intervention In Libya Could Trigger Major Conflict Between West And Arab World: Russian Parliamentarian

11. Italy Closes Embassy In Libya, Offers Seven Bases For NATO Attacks

12. Germany To Assume Other Tasks, Freeing Up NATO For Libya Intervention

13. Belgium Offers NATO Six F-16s, Warship For Libya Operation

14. Armenian Government To Preempt “Daffodil Revolution” Reprise

15. French Official: Military Strikes Against Libya In Hours

16. NATO Campaign Against Libya A Dangerous Precedent

17. Foreign Minister Bildt: Sweden Ready To Assist NATO In Libya

18. Greece To Allow Bases To Be Used For NATO Operations In Libya

19. NATO Command To Strengthen Integration With U.S. Joint Command

20. Video/Text: Bahrain Bleeds From American Bullets

21. Pakistan Boycotts U.S.-Afghan Talks Over Missile Deaths

22. U.S. Deploying More Warships To Mediterranean

23. Operation Ellamy: Britain Amasses Naval, Air Power For Libya Strikes

24. U.S. Submarine Crosses Suez, Joins Armada Off Libya

25. No-Fly Zone Paves Way For Cruise Missile, Drone Attacks

26. Italy: NATO Bases To Be Used For Attack On Libya

27. Canada To Deploy Six Warplanes For Action Against Libya

28. Qatar, United Arab Emirates To Join Air Strikes Against Libya

29. Egyptian Military Council Arms Libyan Insurgents

30. Russia: Libya No-Fly Zone Could Lead To Military Intervention

31. Senator Lieberman Congratulates Obama On Libya

32. Libya: British Warplanes To Fly From France, Cyprus And Possibly Egypt

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1. U.S. Congress Backs Obama’s Long-Term Afghan War Strategy

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/03/18/us-house-rejects-call-pull-out-afghanistan

Pajhwok Afghan News
March 18, 2011

US House rejects call to pull out of Afghanistan
by Lalit K Jha

WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected a resolution calling for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by year’s end, favouring President Barack Obama’s long-term war strategy.

Republicans and Democrats joining together favored Obama’s Afghan policy of drawdown beginning July 2011 and completing the transition by 2014.

“President Obama has announced his intention for a drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan beginning July of this year. I look forward to reviewing this course of action and will work with the President in Congress to ensure that all US troops are brought home safely and expeditiously,” Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, said after the resolution sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich was defeated by the House.

As many as 321 Congressmen voted against the Kucinich resolution, which received support from just 93 lawmakers.
….
“To quit the area before we’ve rooted out the terrorists would not only hand al-Qaeda a propaganda victory of immeasurable value, but it would cede them a sanctuary from which they could mount fresh strikes at the West with virtual immunity. To withdraw from Afghanistan at this point, before we’ve finished the job, is to pave the way for the next 9/11,” said Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in her speech on the floor of the House.

The defeat of such a resolution came a day after General David Petraeus, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the House Armed Services Committee that the passage of a resolution mandating the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would be viewed as a “victory” by al-Qaeda and the terrorist organization’s patron, the Taliban.

General Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Forces—Afghanistan and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), also said passage of any such resolution would also “undermine” the efforts of US troops serving in Afghanistan.

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2. NATO Says It Backs Action Against Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110318/163074289.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 18, 2011

NATO says backs action against Gaddafi

Brussels: NATO backs a UN resolution authorizing military action against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, an alliance spokesperson said on Friday.

“The NATO Secretary General welcomes United Nations Security Council resolution 1973, which authorises all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian areas against ongoing violence by the Gaddafi regime,” spokesperson Oana Lungescu told reporters in Brussels.

She said NATO “stands ready to act as part of the broad international effort”….

The UN Security Council on Thursday voted in favor of a no-fly zone and air strikes against Gaddafi’s forces, with five abstaining, including China, Russia and Germany.

Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, said Libya was “not afraid”, in comments carried by the ABC news channel. Gaddafi’s troops are reported to be closing in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

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3. Azerbaijan: NATO Expands Influence In South Caucasus

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1848143.html

Trend News Agency
March 18, 2011

Special Representative: NATO believes in vivid dialogue with Azerbaijan on security issues
E. Ostapenko

Baku: NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai believes in a vivid dialogue with Azerbaijan on security issues and plans to discuss topics of common interest in Baku.

“NATO and Azerbaijan have a broad range of common interests,” Appathurai said in an interview with Trend. “I believe NATO and Azerbaijan should have a vibrant dialogue on security issues, as political developments are taking place at a quick pace these days.”

He said the sides should use this dialogue also to identify areas where NATO and Azerbaijan can develop further mutual cooperation.

Appathurai is expected to pay his first visit to Azerbaijan as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus in June. Originally scheduled for March, the visit was delayed due on certain technical grounds, NATO stressed.

Appathurai took the office in November 2010. He replaced Robert Simmons, who worked for seven years in the position. The Special Representative is intended to support working contacts with regional leaders to develop the objectives of NATO in the region by contributing to regional security and further promoting cooperative programs of NATO.
….
Appathurai also hopes to attend a closing ceremony of the NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund project, implemented with the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Actions (ANAMA) over the past 5 years.
….
NATO cooperates with the South Caucasus states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia – in accordance with programs of the “Partnership for Peace” and “Individual Partnership Action Plan” (IPAP), as well as the “Planning and Analysis Process.” Those documents define the goals and intentions of NATO’s talks with partner countries on reforms in the defense, security and military policy.

The cooperation of the South Caucasus with NATO is regarded as a step towards European integration and security and stability in the region.

Azerbaijan has been cooperating with NATO within the IPAP since 2005. The program was originally designed to last two years. Today, cooperation is held within the second phase of the Individual Partnership Action Plan between Azerbaijan and NATO, which covers 2008-2010.

Appathurai said the framework of NATO’s Individual Partnership Action Plan with Azerbaijan offers ample scope to do so, as it allows the two sides to set new concrete objectives every two years.
….

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4. Russia Warns Against Military Intervention In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/18/47609214.html

Voice of Russia
March 18, 2011

Russia warns against military intervention in Libya
Vladimir Fedoruk

The UN Security Council has authorized a no-fly zone over Libya to finally ground Muammar Gaddafi’s air force. Five of the 15 members, including Russia, abstained during the vote on a draft resolution. The approved document permits air strikes on ground targets, such as Libyan tanks, heavy artillery and infantry troops. Initial air raids on their positions may be carried out as early as Friday, March 18th. Moscow fears that this will prompt a large-scale military intervention.

The new resolution closes Libya’s air space to its own military aircraft to protect opposition-controlled areas from bombings by government forces. To this end, the UN has provided for the possibility of offensives by the international community, nevertheless precluding land operations. There was no real expectation about the vote’s being unanimous. China, Germany, India and Brazil abstained along with Russia. Our country’s envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin thus explained the decision:

“Unfortunately, work on this document was not in line with existing Security Council practices. In essence, a whole range of specific and absolutely logical questions concerning the maintenance of the no-fly zone regime and rules for the use of force raised by the Russian Federation and other Security Council members remained unanswered. The text included clauses paving the way for a large-scale military intervention,” Vitaly Churkin said.

In the course of debates on the draft resolution, a number of UN Security Council members assured those present of their not having such intentions. Having taken this into account, Vitaly Churkin, however, thought fit to give a warning to all those taken by the idea of using force to resolve the Libyan issues.

“The responsibility for the inevitable humanitarian consequences of the excessive use of outside force in Libya will fall fair and square on the shoulders of those who might undertake such action. If this comes to pass, then not only the civilian population of Libya but also the cause of upholding peace and security throughout the whole region of North Africa and the Middle East will suffer. It is necessary to avoid such destabilizing developments,” the Russian envoy to the UN warned.

Moscow has at the same time praised the resolution’s demands for an immediate ceasefire and the non-use of violence towards the civilian population in Libya.

“We consistently and firmly support the unconditional protection of civilians. In accordance with this essential principle and the humanitarian values it shares with the co-authors of the project and other Security Council members, Russia did not hamper the adoption. An immediate ceasefire is the shortest way to reliable security of the peaceful population and long-term stabilization in Libya,” the diplomat said.

Along with the earlier approved sanctions, the UN also ruled to freeze the assets of the North African country’s Central Bank and National Oil Company in western banks.

Actions to bar the Colonel’s air force from thee sky, which may start within the next few hours, will most likely involve France, the UK, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Canada and Norway are also ready to join in, whereas Italy voiced its readiness to make its military bases available to enforce the resolution. In the meantime, the Libyan military continues to deliver air strikes against the opposition. Three powerful explosions occurred in Benghazi while the draft resolution was being discussed in New York. Earlier, the government air force launched a missile attack on an airport 10 kilometers away from Benghazi.

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5. NATO Could Strike Libyan Military In Hours: Spokesman

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/18/47608283.html

Voice of Russia
March 18, 2011

NATO poised for Libya airstrikes

NATO is prepared to launch an international aerial operation against Libya, says official spokesperson for the alliance Oana Lungescu.

According to her, there is an obvious need for such an operation, as well as firm regional support and legislative framework. Given these three conditions, NATO is prepared to strike, Lungescu said in a statement.

According to earlier reports, NATO may deliver airstrikes at Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s troops in the next few hours.

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6. Denmark, Norway To Supply NATO Warplanes For Libya Operation

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1848166.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 18, 2011

Norway, Denmark prepared to contribute to Libya operation

Norway and Denmark said Friday they were prepared to contribute to the no-fly zone operation approved by the UN Security Council, dpa reported.

Norwegian Defence Minister Grete Faremo and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said Oslo was analyzing its contribution with other NATO allies.

At a joint news conference the two ministers said the Norwegian contribution could comprise F-16 fighter jets or transport planes as part of a humanitarian operation.
….
In Copenhagen, the ministers of defence and foreign affairs were to brief the Foreign Affairs Committee and seek approval for a Danish military contribution.

Defence Minister Gitte Lillelund Bech said Denmark aimed to contribute six F-16 jet fighters, of which four would take part in the operation and two serve as backup planes, and a transport plane.

Denmark was investigating where the planes would be based. Parliamentary approval was needed before they were actually deployed in upholding the no-fly zone, Bech said.

Both Scandinavian countries are members of NATO.

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7. NATO Says Conditions Met For Military Action

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703512404576208462846383944.html

Wall Street Journal
March 18, 2011

NATO Says Conditions Met for Military Action
By Stephen Fidler

BRUSSELS: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization decided Friday that conditions had been met for its involvement in military action against Libya, and said it would continue planning to this end.

The decision follows a United Nations Security Council resolution Thursday authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan citizens.

However, diplomats said the alliance had taken no formal decision to get involved, though a number of NATO countries, including France, Spain and Britain, have said they would. Meetings by the alliance’s decision making body — the North Atlantic Council, which comprises ambassadors to NATO from the alliance’s 28 member governments — would likely continue into the weekend.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO “is now completing planning in order to be ready to take appropriate action.”

Alliance defense ministers meeting last week set three conditions for NATO’s involvement in military action: a demonstrable need, a clear legal basis and support from the region. Planning continues on ways to provide humanitarian assistance, enforce an arms embargo and impose a no-fly zone, the diplomats said. Planning wasn’t complete on how to manage the no-fly zone, one diplomat said.
….
Military action could go ahead without a NATO agreement, but the organization has joint command and control and surveillance assets in the region that may allow the operation to be mounted more quickly.

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8. Pakistan Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Deadly Missile Strike

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/18/c_13786692.htm

Xinhua News Agency
March 18, 2011

Pakistan summons U.S. ambassador over civilian deaths

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday summoned the U.S. ambassador and lodged a protest over a drone strike which killed about 44 in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Two U.S. drone aircraft Thursday fired four missiles into North Waziristan at the participants of a jirga or tribal council, who had gathered to resolve a dispute over the sale of mines in the area.

“The U.S. ambassador, Cameron Munter, was summoned to the Foreign Office by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir in pursuance of the directives of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani,” the foreign ministry statement said.

“Ambassador Munter was categorically conveyed that such strikes were not only unacceptable but also constituted a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law,” it said.

“It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited. Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state. It was for the White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-U.S. relationship away from the track,” the statement said.

Ambassador Munter was also conveyed that under the current circumstances, Pakistan would not be able to participate in the Trilateral meeting between Afghanistan-Pakistan-U.S., proposed by the U.S. in Brussels on March 26, 2011.

Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, was initially expected to participate in the Trilateral meeting.

“Ambassador Munter said that he understood clearly that this was not a pro forma demarche. He will rush to Washington to convey Pakistan’s message to the U.S. administration at the highest levels,” said the statement.

Thousands of people rallied on Friday in Miram Shah, the main city of North Waziristan, to condemn the drone attack and the speakers said that they would take revenge of the blood of innocent people.

Earlier, in a rare condemnation, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Arm