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Archive for April, 2011

Stop NATO News: April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011 1 comment

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U.S. And NATO Allies Initiate Libyan Scenario For Syria

Updates on Libyan war and Syria: April 30

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Report: NATO Strike Kills Gaddafi’s Son, Three Grandchildren

Libya: NATO Bombs School For Down’s Syndrome Children, Orphanage

EU Support Of Georgian Claims May Trigger New War: South Ossetia

U.S. Criticizes Russian Foreign Minister’s Visit To “Separatist Regions”

Saakashvili: Georgia To Continue To Modernize Armed Forces

U.S.’s Pet Despot Saakashvili: No Illusion About Who Real Enemy Is

Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister Meets With NATO Advisers

Karabakh Soldiers Killed: Another New Caucasus War Looms

Commando Units, Air Strikes No Solution For Unrest In Arab World

Pakistan: NATO Oil Tanker Destroyed

Roundtable: World War III Scenarios

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Report: NATO Strike Kills Gaddafi’s Son, Three Grandchildren

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13251570

BBC News
April 30, 2011

Nato strike ‘kills Saif al-Arab Gaddafi’, Libya says

A Nato air strike in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, has killed the son of the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, a government spokesman has said.

Colonel Gaddafi himself was in the large residential villa which was hit by the strike, the spokesman added, but he was unharmed.

His son Saif al-Arab was killed, as well as three of his grandsons.

Journalists say the building was extensively damaged and one unexploded bomb remains at the site.

Saif al-Arab was the youngest of Col Gaddafi’s sons, with a lower profile than his brother Saif al-Islam.

He had been studying in Germany and returned to Libya recently.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the villa was attacked “with full power.”

“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” he said.

“The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives, the leader himself is in good health, he wasn’t harmed.”

“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” the spokesman added.

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Libya: NATO Bombs School For Down’s Syndrome Children, Orphanage

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE73T0AG20110430

Reuters
April 30, 2011

Libya disabled children school hit in NATO strike
By Lin Noueihed

TRIPOLI: Shattered glass litters the carpet at the Libyan Down’s Syndrome Society, and dust covers pictures of grinning children that adorn the hallway, thrown into darkness by a NATO strike early on Saturday.

It was unclear what the target of the strike was, though Libyan officials said it was Muammar Gaddafi himself, who was giving a live television address at the time.

“They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non-governmental building,” said Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council, which licenses and oversees civil groups in Libya.

The missile completely destroyed an adjoining office in the compound that houses the government’s commission for children.

The force of the blast blew in windows and doors in the parent-funded school for children with Down’s Syndrome and officials said it damaged an orphanage on the floor above.

“I felt sad really. I kept thinking, what are we going to do with these children?” said Ismail Seddigh, who set up the school 17 years ago after his own daughter was born with Down’s.

“This is not the place we left on Thursday afternoon.”

There were no children at the school when the missiles hit early on Saturday morning, since Friday begins the weekend in Libya. Children had been due to come in on Saturday morning.

A mound of rubble was all that remained of one wing of the main building that adjoined the school, though an antenna of some kind protruded from the ruins.

Both Mehdi and Seddigh said they had assumed that the antenna on the building was there to strengthen mobile phone signals and were not aware of any other use.

In the rubble of the main building, a shredding machine packed with sliced up documents lay on its side. A fax and phone were nearby and shelves of files could be seen.

The Libyan government has repeatedly said that NATO airstrikes have hurt and killed civilians….

NATO has hit inside or near Gaddafi’s compound before, or struck military or logisitical sites. Saturday’s government-organised visit was the first to bring journalists…to a civilian site.

Inside the school, the power had been knocked out by the strikes, the floor was wet because of a leaking pipe and desks were covered in glass and debris.

Seddigh’s school prepared children with Down’s Syndrome up to the age of 6 to go to normal schools, giving them speech therapy, handicrafts and sports sessions and teaching them to read and write. It handles 50 to 60 children a day.

(Reporting by Lin Noueihed)

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EU Support Of Georgian Claims May Trigger New War: South Ossetia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110430/163796323.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 30, 2011

EU support of Georgian claims may trigger new conflict – South Ossetia

Mowcow: Comments by EU’s top diplomat Catherine Ashton which has backed Georgia’s groundless territorial claims to South Ossetia may incite Georgia into new acts of aggression, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia said on Saturday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was visiting the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia earlier this week without the permission of Georgian authorities. The European Union on Thursday condemned the visit.

“The European Union notes with concern that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, has paid a visit to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without prior consent of the Georgian authorities,” Ashton said.

“Signs of support from the West, like Mrs. Ashton’s ones, which are addressed to the ‘fighters for Georgia’s territorial integrity’ in fact incite them to a new conflict,” the South Ossetian comment said.

“The time is ripe for the West to draw lessons from the realities which arose more than twenty years ago, and stop deceiving themselves,” the document said.

“Only owing to Russia the people of South Ossetia have preserved and are now building and developing their country. Russia recognized the Republic of South Ossetia and is now developing relations with it on an internationally accepted base. The development of bilateral ties stipulates close cooperation, including reciprocal official and working visits,” Ossetia’s ministry said.

Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after a five-day war in 2008 and has since been the guarantor of their security, deploying thousands of troops and border guards to the tiny republics.

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U.S. Criticizes Russian Foreign Minister’s Visit To “Separatist Regions”

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1869359.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 30, 2011

US criticizes Russian FM’s visit to Abkhazia, South Ossetia

The United States on Saturday criticized Russia’s recent efforts to conclude formal state-to-state agreements with the “de facto” authorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, dpa reported.

The visits by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the week to “those separatist regions are inconsistent with the principle of territorial integrity and Georgias internationally recognized borders,” the US Department of State said in a statement.

“The United States remains committed to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Georgias separatist regions and the restoration of Georgias sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman.

“We further call upon all parties to the conflict to fully implement their commitments pursuant to the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement,” Toner said.

Lavrov signed bilateral agreements on transport, rescue operations and cultural centres, according to Russian media.

The two territories were at the centre of a brief war in 2008 between Russia and Georgia. Russia now recognizes the two South Caucasus regions as independent, while the West considers them to be part of Georgia.

On Thursday, the European Union also denounced the foreign minister’s visit.

“The EU does not consider these visits compatible with the principle of territorial integrity,” said a statement from the EU’s foreign policy chief.

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Saakashvili: Georgia To Continue To Modernize Armed Forces

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1869323.html

Trend News Agency
April 30, 2011

Georgian President: Georgia to continue modernizing its armed forces
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgia will continue to modernize and equip its army with modern materiel, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said at the training ground in Vaziani.

Field exercises of all kinds by the Georgian armed forces at battalion level were held in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Georgian army. The exercises were commanded by the Georgian land forces commander Giorgi Kalandadze. About 79 units of materiel – tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, helicopters and airplanes – were used.

“Every day we think about how to strengthen the army, which is the main protection of our homeland,” the president said.

After the exercises, about 200 servicemen were awarded with various medals by the president and defense minister Bacho Akhalaia.

The minister said that these exercises are held regularly.

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U.S.’s Pet Despot Saakashvili: No Illusion About Who Real Enemy Is

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23394

Civil Georgia
April 30, 2011

Military Drills in Vaziani

-President Saakashvili, who watched the drills together with his five-year old son dressed in a military uniform, said that although during exercises the enemy “is hypothetical”, there was “no illusion” about who Georgia’s real enemy was.

Tbilisi: Despite “the enemy’s attempts to demoralize” the Georgian army, “we have managed not only to maintain a combat spirit, but also to accelerate the pace of modernization,” President Saakashvili said after attending military exercises in Vaziani, outside Tbilisi on April 30.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense said up to 680 soldiers, 14 battle tanks, 15 armored personnel carriers, six BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers, 18 DANA self-propelled howitzers, 10 SU-25 (Frogfoot) ground attack aircraft, four Mi-24 (Hind) helicopter gunships, six Mi-8 and three UH-1H helicopters, and one Hermes unmanned aerial vehicle were involved in the exercises.

The MoD said the goal of the exercises, which coincided with the Day of the Georgian Armed Forces, was to enhance interoperability and coordination between various military units during “defensive battles.” Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, said that the drills in Vaziani were “routine exercises”.

President Saakashvili, who watched the drills together with his five-year old son dressed in a military uniform, said that although during exercises the enemy “is hypothetical”, there was “no illusion” about who Georgia’s real enemy was.

“We know very well who has intruded into Georgia, who is occupying our territories and who has further aggressive plans in respect to Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

He said that “very serious reforms” had been carried out in the armed forces.

“Of course when the country faces problems and when the country is attacked, each of its citizens becomes a soldier,” he told soldiers. “But you are in a forefront of our defense and a major guarantor of our future.”

“Because of that we will continue providing all kinds of assistance to the armed forces, its modernization with maximum pace, and we will achieve a situation wherein the Georgian armed forces will be very well prepared, equipped to accomplish all those tasks – including those which are almost impossible to accomplish – which will be put upon us by history,” Saakashvili said.

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Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister Meets With NATO Advisers

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1869025.html

Trend News Agency
April 29, 2011

Georgian vice prime minister, NATO advisers hold discussions
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Baramidze met with members of the NATO Office of the Legal Adviser.

The efforts of the NATO-Georgia Commission and ongoing reforms in Georgia were discussed at the meeting, Baramidze said.

According to Baramidze, they also talked about the visit of the North Atlantic Council scheduled for November.

In addition, results of the last NDI survey were considered at the meeting. As for the results, the number of those wishing to affiliate with NATO has increased in Georgia compared to previous years.

According to Baramidze, constant consultations and relations are necessary not only with NGOs and the political majority but also with the opposition.

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Karabakh Soldiers Killed: Another New Caucasus War Looms

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=240862

Interfax
April 30, 2011

Armenia urges world to condemn Azerbaijan for killing N. Karabakh servicemen

Yerevan: The international community should strictly condemn Azerbaijan’s actions, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday, referring to reports that three servicemen from the armed forces of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic were killed and one more wounded by sniper fire from the Azeri side.

“The situation that has taken shape as a result of Azerbaijan’s actions is causing additional tension and negatively affecting the negotiating process. Azerbaijan shows that it can ignore calls by various international organizations and countries to promote the armistice regime, withdraw snipers from the frontline, improve the atmosphere of confidence, and solve the problem in a purely peaceful way,” the ministry said.

“Azerbaijan’s conduct should be strictly condemned by the international community,” it said.

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Commando Units, Air Strikes No Solution For Unrest In Arab World

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/30/49679660.html

Voice of Russia
April 30, 2011

Arab revolutions rage on

-“Foreign interference in a settlement of Syria’s internal problems is very dangerous. Any country has an opposition that may cause mayhem on the assumption that it will gain the support of other countries that seek instability or the coming to power of people who would pursue a policy that would suit these countries. But this is no way to guarantee peace and security. If we follow that path, we are in for a period of chaos. That is why Russia’s stand on Syria is based on international law provisions and commonsense.”
-Experts point out that the Egyptian or Tunisian scenario of a peaceful presidential resignation is unfeasible for other regional nations. That is why the international community should jointly look for new, non-standard ways to settle the chain of conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Commando units and/or airstrikes are clearly insufficient to be seen as a solution.

Expectations that mass-scale unrest in North African and Middle East countries are over have proved short-lived. This past week the situation remained tense in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and other regional nations.

The case of Libya has proved that the West’s military interference in internal conflicts invariably leads to an impasse. The oft-repeated promise of aid to the civilian population that is allegedly being massacred by “criminal regimes” proves empty words. It is civilians who suffer the worst from military operations. But experts believe that efforts should be made to improve the situation in North Africa, or else things will grow still worse. But the mechanisms of influence have still failed to be agreed.

Libya’s so-called “peaceful population” that western politicians and the military decided to take care of a month ago are more often than not well armed and equipped rebels, while the obvious exceeding of the UN Security Council mandate that only authorized the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya served to further destabilize the situation. Russian politicians have repeatedly (and with good reason) warned against the use of force that would run counter to the letter and spirit of relevant Security Council resolutions. The armed standoff between the supporters and opponents of Muammar Gaddafi is continuing, while the Libyan leader remains out of reach of western allies’ bombs and is not about to lay down arms.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin levelled scathing criticism at the coalition’s moves during his visit to Denmark earlier this week. He said the western countries seem to be acting on the assumption that they will get away with whatever harm they may do in Libya, while their plans are increasingly at variance with the substance of the relevant Security Council resolution.

Vladimir Putin says that the internal contradictions that have arisen in Libya have spilt over into an armed conflict: “Why should there be any outside interference in the armed conflict? There’s a world of a difference between the imposition of a no-fly zone and daily airstrikes at Gaddafi palaces. Besides, Gaddafi has long since left his palaces. So, the strikes kill civilians. What’s more, some western officials admit that the West does seek to kill Gaddafi. By what right, may I ask? Was Gaddafi tried and sentenced?”

The threat of a ground operation in Libya looms large, with the Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin claiming that the European Union is prepared to send up to 1,500 troops to the North African country. This may cause a full-scale humanitarian disaster and push Libya dozens of years back, Moscow warns.

But the interest in Libyan oil, as well as the need to dictate their will to other countries, clearly outweighs the risk of this kind of consequence in the western countries’ eyes. But then, the coalition is not at one about interference in the internal Libyan conflict. An Italian government Minister, Umberto Bossi, who is an ally of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, warns that Rome’s decision to join NATO airstrikes on Libyan military facilities may split Italy’s ruling coalition.

And now for Yemen. The road map plan that the ruling General People’s Congress party has adopted to settle the drawn-out conflict has been called into question. Earlier this week, the foreign ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf came out with a plan, whereby President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen should, within 30 days, step down in a move that would be followed by a democratic election of a new president.
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But blood was again shed in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on the 27th of April, which again gave cause for talking about an escalation rather than a settlement of the conflict. 11 people died in Sana’a, while more than a 100 others were wounded when an antigovernment demonstration was dispersed there. Unrest in Yemen has been on since January this year. Hundreds of people have already died as a result.

Nor is the situation calm in Syria. The opposition continues calling for the now traditional Days of Anger to protest against the brutal suppression of antigovernment protests. Dozens of people have died in the city of Deraa in recent days. The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement also calls for civil disobedience. Protests in Syria have been going on unabated for a month and a half now.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a statement denouncing the Syrian authorities’ violence against the opposition. Russia voted down the draft for a number of reasons, specifically because it grows increasingly clear that some people in Syria, as well as in other countries, say openly that it is their cherished hope that an aggravation of the situation will cause the international community to interfere under the pretext of rendering assistance and to side with one of the parties to the conflict. That this is true is borne out by the example of Libya. But this actually amounts to a chain of violence and to a sort of invitation to civil war, says the Deputy Director of the Institute for the US and Canada Studies Pavel Zolotarev, and elaborates.

“Foreign interference in a settlement of Syria’s internal problems is very dangerous,” Pavel Zolotarev says. “Any country has an opposition that may cause mayhem on the assumption that it will gain the support of other countries that seek instability or the coming to power of people who would pursue a policy that would suit these countries. But this is no way to guarantee peace and security. If we follow that path, we are in for a period of chaos. That is why Russia’s stand on Syria is based on international law provisions and commonsense.”

In Bahrain, too, the situation remains tense. Bahrain’s Military Tribunal has sentenced four antigovernment protesters to death. According to an official of Bahrain’s opposition Shia party Al Wefaq, another three participants in the unrest that occurred in the kingdom in February and March of this year have been sentenced to life in prison. Mass protests erupted in Bahrain in the middle of February, with the participants being mostly Shia Muslims pressing for more rights in the country that’s being ruled by a Sunni minority. The Tribunal decisions may serve to fuel the conflict.

Experts point out that the Egyptian or Tunisian scenario of a peaceful presidential resignation is unfeasible for other regional nations. That is why the international community should jointly look for new, non-standard ways to settle the chain of conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Commando units and/or airstrikes are clearly insufficient to be seen as a solution.

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Pakistan: NATO Oil Tanker Destroyed

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/30-Apr-2011/NATO-Oil-tanker-destroyed

The Nation
April 30, 2011

NATO Oil tanker destroyed

A NATO oil tanker used to transport oil to NATO forces caught fire after an explosion although no loss of life was reported here in Peshawar on Saturday.

The NATO oil tanker caught fire and exploded. The flame engulfed and destroyed trucks that were parked nearby….The crew of the oil tanker was not present at the time of the accident.

The oil tanker on its way to Afghanistan via Tourkham exploded near the Karkhano market area. According to eyewitnesses, the oil tanker was stationary due to a technical problem when it suddenly caught fire at 4:30am on Saturday….

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Roundtable: World War III Scenarios

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20110428/163758009.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 28, 2011

WWIII scenarios

-Experts cannot rule out that the United States will opt for a military strike against Iran, although most likely it would not initiate the war but rather would be part of a NATO peacekeeping force operating in highly probable conflicts between Iran and Israel or Iran and Saudi Arabia. “In any event there will be a showdown between Iran and the United States sooner or later.”
-[T]he situation in Transdnestria could escalate. “It is difficult to predict the consequences of the current Romanization of Moldova. For instance, the EU is already willing to introduce its peacekeepers in Transdnestria…It is very hard to say whether they will cope with a possible escalation in Transdnestria.”
-“No doubt, Nagorno-Karabakh may become a bone of contention. Azerbaijan is actively developing its foreign policy concepts and building up troops. Armenia, where we have a military base, is acting in the same manner.”
-“There is no case in history of a new world order taking shape without a war. A new world order came into being twice – in the early 20th century as a result of WWI and in mid-century as a result of WWII.”
-[T]here is the division between the “financial bubble” and the real economy. “This division played a significant role in Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. This is why Henry Ford kept a small bust of Hitler on his desk.”
-[A] new world war could last from 6-7 to 25-30 years and involve more than 100 million people on both sides. The aggregate human losses could exceed several hundred million.

The Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia, Asia-Pacific – these regions command the attention of military experts and diplomats. Where are the geopolitical fault lines in today’s world, and where can we expect military conflict tomorrow? How likely is a third world war, and will it be a nuclear war? How can we prevent the destruction of civilization? These were among the questions addressed by experts at the round table discussion “Military Concepts and Challenges of the 21st Century,” organized by the magazine Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Affairs), and held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on April 26.

Classifying wars

Before one can talk about the likelihood of armed conflict, one should define what armed conflict consists of in today’s world. The average person thinks war is tanks and airplanes. But wars come in all shapes and sizes.

At the round table, First Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Konstantin Sivkov said that armed conflicts are classified by Russia’s Institute of Military-Strategic Studies according to causes, geography, duration and the number of troops involved.

At the low end of the classification system are border conflicts that last from a week to a month, requiring about 10,000-50,000 troops.

Next come armed conflicts involving about 100,000 and lasting from a month to several years.

This is followed by local wars, which involve at least one million troops (incidentally, this is the projected size of the Russian armed forces after the reform process) and last from several months to several years.

A regional war involves 5-6 million people. The Great Patriotic War (i.e. the Eastern Front of WWII) falls into this category.

Finally, at the other extreme of the classification system is a world war. “In terms of its structure, a world war can involve a number of regional and local wars and armed conflicts, or simply local wars and armed conflicts in a considerable portion of the world’s territory,” Sivkov explained.

Future hot spots

Based on a similar taxonomy of armed conflicts and existing disputes in the world, military experts predict probable threats. It is important to emphasize that this is just a long-term forecast. There are no predictions about exact dates or any guarantees that these events will come to pass.

“Existing disputes show that there is potential for war,” Sivkov said. In his opinion, there is a fifty-fifty chance of a local war in the Middle East (the military operation in Libya being a vivid example). Experts cannot rule out that the United States will opt for a military strike against Iran, although most likely it would not initiate the war but rather would be part of a NATO peacekeeping force operating in highly probable conflicts between Iran and Israel or Iran and Saudi Arabia. “In any event there will be a showdown between Iran and the United States sooner or later,” said Grigory Tishchenko, head of the defense policy department at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

Armed conflicts could break out in Central Asia, drawing in Russia, who will act in support of its allies in the region.

Head of the Military Forecast Center Anatoly Tsyganok believes that “a conflict over water is possible in the region in the next three to five years.” Tishchenko noted that “a change in the region’s leaders” is just around the corner. “It is quite possible that this process will not be peaceful, all the more so since Central Asian countries already find themselves in a conflict over the Fergana Valley, which is the region’s only bread basket,” he explained, adding that “the Afghan conflict could also spread to Central Asia.”

Speaking about Russia’s neighbors, Tishchenko noted that the situation in Transdnestria could escalate. “It is difficult to predict the consequences of the current Romanization of Moldova. For instance, the EU is already willing to introduce its peacekeepers in Transdnestria but its troops have not yet proven themselves anywhere. It is very hard to say whether they will cope with a possible escalation in Transdnestria,” he explained.

Armed conflict is also likely in the Caucasus. “No doubt, Nagorno-Karabakh may become a bone of contention,” Tishchenko said. “Azerbaijan is actively developing its foreign policy concepts and building up troops. Armenia, where we have a military base, is acting in the same manner.” Tsyganok added: “The most interesting aspect to this is that Russia has no dispute with either Azerbaijan or Armenia, and we don’t have a clue as to what we will do if tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh spill over.”

Sivkov believes that an armed conflict or local war is also likely in Asia-Pacific, in particular between Cambodia and Thailand.

In his opinion, similar local conflicts in different parts of the world are the result of a changing world and the formation of a new world order. “There is no case in history of a new world order taking shape without a war,” Sivkov said. “A new world order came into being twice – in the early 20th century as a result of WWI and in mid-century as a result of WWII,” he explained.

Is war inevitable?

With time, humanity has learned how to resolve conflicts more or less peacefully. But a conflict-free world is a utopia. Disputes between countries are inevitable, just as they are between people. Now experts identify three types of disputes or divisions that can provoke armed conflicts at different levels.

First there are internal divisions within a state, which are primarily caused by two factors. The first is socio-economic in nature (divisions between the upper and lower classes over the distribution of material wealth). This division becomes acute when the incomes of the wealthiest 10% exceed those of the poorest 10% by more than 15 times over,” Sivkov said, adding that in Russia this threshold has long been passed.

The other factor is ethnic, cultural and religious tensions, which can be found in Russia and other countries, particularly in the United States.

Then there are regional disputes, for instance the territorial disputes between Russia and China, China and India, Russia and Japan, India and Pakistan. There are internal divisions in the Arab world, between Iran and the Arabs and between North and South America. Such disputes could easily boil over into regional conflicts.

Finally, there are global divisions, first among them being the division between the scale of production and consumption and the Earth’s resources that are left at the disposal of humanity, which puts at stake the entire direction of civilization’s development,” Sivkov said. He believes that this division is antagonistic because it can only be resolved by one of two options – either by restricting consumption or by changing the social system.

The second division is caused by the disproportionate distribution of production capacity and raw materials. “Some countries have high tech production, whereas others are rich in raw materials. The inadequate exchange between them is enriching some and impoverishing others,” Sivkov explained. “There are two ways of resolving it – either leave some countries in a subordinate position or establish a fair distribution of revenue, which will impoverish other countries without changing their social system.”

The third global division that is playing an increasing role is between “the immorality of the free market and the spiritual values of traditional civilizations – Muslim, Orthodox Christianity and others,” Sivkov said.

“This division gives rise to that volatile mass of future militants and suicide bombers. The current market is incompatible with the spiritual values of traditional civilizations. And the new globalized world is trying to decide whom to join – the free market or the traditional civilizations,” Sivkov said.

Finally, there is the division between the “financial bubble” and the real economy. “This division played a significant role in Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. This is why Henry Ford kept a small bust of Hitler on his desk,” Sivkov said. “This is the division between financial and industrial capital, and to resolve it one form of capital must be subordinate to the other.”

Third global reality

None of the experts at the round table believe that any of the world powers is likely to launch a premeditated aggressive war, including a nuclear attack. Fortunately, not only civilized countries but the rest of the world understands the consequences of such a war.

However, a new world war could start uncontrollably, as a “natural escalation of local or regional conflicts into large-scale hostilities,” Sivkov said, adding that the likelihood of such a war is low. The use of weapons of mass destruction would be the final stage of such a global war.

If unleashed, a new world war would have catastrophic consequences. In his time, Winston Churchill cautioned that “the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science.” Now experts are more specific. They maintain that a new world war could last from 6-7 to 25-30 years and involve more than 100 million people on both sides. The aggregate human losses could exceed several hundred million.

Experts emphasize that the forecast of probable armed conflicts is important not so much as a means of preparing national armies for hostilities. Militaries have long ceased initiating wars. Only politicians or “captains of the economy,” as Sivkov put it, are capable of preventing the unavoidable divisions in the world from escalating into a world war.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Alfred Noyes: The Wine Press

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

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Alfred Noyes: Out of the obscene seas of slaughter

Alfred Noyes: War they tell me is a noble thing

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Alfred Noyes
From The Wine Press (1913)

A murdered man, ten miles away,
Will hardly shake your peace,
Like one red stain upon your hand;
And a tortured child in a distant land
Will never check one smile to-day,
Or bid one fiddle cease.

The News

It comes along a little wire,
Sunk in a deep sea;
It thins in the clubs to a little smoke
Between one joke and another joke,
For a city in flames is less than the fire
That comforts you and me.

The Diplomats

Each was honest after his way,
Lukewarm in faith, and old;
And blood, to them, was only a word,
And the point of a phrase their only sword,
And the cost of war, they reckoned it
In little disks of gold.

They were cleanly groomed. They were not to be bought.
And their cigars were good.
But they had pulled so many strings
In the tinselled puppet-show of kings
That, when they talked of war, they thought
Of sawdust, not of blood;

Not of the crimson tempest
Where the shattered city falls:
They thought, behind their varnished doors,
Of diplomats, ambassadors,
Budgets, and loans and boundary-lines,
Coercions and re-calls.

The Charge

Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!
The cold machines whirred on.
And strange things crawled amongst the wheat
With entrails dragging round their feet,
And over the foul red shambles
A fearful sunlight shone.…

The maxims cracked like cattle-whips
Above the struggling hordes.
They rolled and plunged and writhed like snakes
In the trampled wheat and the blackthorn brakes,
And the lightnings leapt among them
Like clashing crimson swords.

The rifles flogged their wallowing herds,
Flogged them down to die.
Down on their slain the slayers lay,
And the shrapnel thrashed them into the clay,
And tossed their limbs like tattered birds
Thro’ a red volcanic sky.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war and Syria: April 30

April 30, 2011 1 comment

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U.S. And NATO Allies Initiate Libyan Scenario For Syria

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Libya Calls For Ceasefire As NATO Bombs Capital

NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 4,400 Air Missions In One Month

U.S. Submarine Returns Home After Firing Over 90 Cruise Missiles Into Libya

Castro: NATOs’ Assault On Libya Can Be Repeated Throughout Third World

Libyan War: Nicaragua Says British Royal Wedding Stained With Blood

NATO Intervention In Libya Contravenes UN Charter

Commando Units, Air Strikes No Solution For Unrest In Arab World

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Libya Calls For Ceasefire As NATO Bombs Capital

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/gaddafi-calls-for-ceasefire-as-nato-strikes-tripoli/2011/04/30/AFWPndKF_story.html

Washington Post
April 30, 2011

Gaddafi calls for ceasefire as NATO strikes Tripoli
By Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel

TRIPOLI, LIBYA: Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi called for a ceasefire and negotiations with NATO Saturday but refused to surrender power, as alliance warplanes struck a government complex in the capital.

…Gaddafi appeared both calm and defiant, describing military intervention by NATO, designed to protect civilians from his regime, as a massacre.

In Brussels, a NATO official told the Associated Press the alliance needed “to see not words but actions,” and that NATO would keep up the pressure….

“The gate to peace is open,” Gaddafi said, sitting behind a desk and occasionally glancing at copious hand-written notes. “You are the aggressors. We will negotiate with you. Come, France, Italy, U.K., America, come, we will negotiate with you.

“Why are you attacking us? Why are you killing our children? Why are you destroying our infrastructure?” he asked, while denying his forces had killed Libyan civilians.

As he spoke, NATO warplanes attacked government buildings close to the television center in Tripoli in what the Libyan government described as an attempt to kill Gaddafi. The TV images briefly went black on three occasions but the signal was quickly restored and Gaddafi, speaking from an undisclosed location, carried on without interruption. The TV center was not damaged.

The Libyan leader…said he would negotiate and uphold a ceasefire if NATO “stopped its planes.”
….
He also refused to step down or leave the country as the rebels and the leaders of the United States, Britain and France demand.

“I’m not leaving my country,” Gaddafi said. “No one can force me to leave my country and no one can tell me not to fight for my country
….
Sitting in front of a painting of tribal horsemen, he spoke on the anniversary of a famous battle near his hometown of Sirte against the Italian occupation 96 years ago, a battle he says his grandfather was killed in.

He described young rebels as children “tricked” by NATO, and promised to reward them if they lay down their weapons.
….
Fadel reported from Benghazi.

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NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 4,400 Air Missions In One Month

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110430_110430-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 30, 2011

NATO and Libya
30 April. JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 4398 sorties, including 1821 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 29 April: 156

Strike sorties conducted 29 April: 55
….

Key Targets and Engagements

29 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 command & Control Building, 1 Self Propelled Artillery Piece.

In the vicinity of Zintan: 13 Ammunition Storages, 1 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

In the vicinity of Brega: 1 Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

In the vicinity of Sirte: 4 Ammunition Storages.
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

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U.S. Submarine Returns Home After Firing Over 90 Cruise Missiles Into Libya

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60079

Navy NewsStand
April 29, 2011

Florida Returns from Historic Submarine Deployment
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class(SW) James Kimber, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. – Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay April 29, following a 15-month deployment in both Central and European Command areas of responsibility.

During the deployment, the crew partnered with U.S., joint and coalition forces in support of U.N. Security Council resolution 1973….Florida was ordered to deploy in theater and remain submerged and undetected until further notice.

As tensions in Libya escalated, the order to use military forces in graduated and sequenced strike operations against the government of Libya was given by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Operation Odyssey Dawn was executed.

During the operation, Florida launched more than 90 Tomahawk land attack missiles (TLAM). The strike marked the first time a guided-missile submarine launched Tomahawks in conflict.

“Submarines proved their worth by giving us maximum flexibility in Operation Odyssey Dawn. They provided unprecedented intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and terrific firepower, all from the sea. They are critical to winning any war against any adversary today and tomorrow,” said Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and maritime component commander for Operation Odyssey Dawn.

Florida is scheduled to begin its maintenance cycle while in homeport.
….

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Castro: NATO’s Assault On Libya Can Be Repeated Throughout Third World

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&i\

d=5432:fidel-castro-classifies-nato-attacks-on-libya-as-fascist&catid=3:world&It\
emid=14

Radio Havana
April 29, 2011

Fidel Castro Classifies NATO Attacks on Libya as Fascist

Havana: Leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, warned that the violent, Nazi-Fascist aerial attacks of NATO against the Libyan people could be used against any country in the Third World.

In his most recent written reflections, entitled, ¨A Fire that Could Burn Us All,¨ Fidel expressed his surprise about the resistance of the North African country, and emphasized that Libyan leader Al Gaddafi is not accepting the demands of the militaristic organization, and will remain in history as an important figure in this Arab country.

Fidel Castro affirmed that no one has the right to question the existence of Libya as an independent state and member of the United Nations, even if they do not agree with the political ideas of Al Gaddafi.

The leader of the Revolution continued to express his disbelief about the public behaviour of British Defense Minister, Liam Fox, during his recent meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Fidel said that when observing the television transmissions of their discussions about the criminal war in Libya, he thought that he had never seen a more horrible attitude of hatred, frustration, and nervousness as that which the British Defence Secretary expressed.

Fidel said that Fox seemed absolutely indignant that the powerful NATO planes had not been able to fold the resistance in Libya in 72 hours.

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Libyan War: Nicaragua Says British Royal Wedding Stained With Blood

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/nicaraguas-daniel-ortega-royal-wedding-stained-with-libyas-blood-15149136.html

Belfast Telegraph
April 30, 2011

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega: Royal wedding ‘stained with Libya’s blood’

Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, has attacked the British monarchy and said he was offended by William and Kate’s gala marriage ceremony.

Left-winger Mr Ortega said the hands of the monarchy “are stained with blood because they are celebrating while Libya is being bombed, while blood is being spilled in Libya”.

Nicaragua’s leader made the comments in a speech to thousands of supporters hours after the lavish royal wedding that was watched by an estimated two billion people around the world.

The governments of Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia are staunch allies of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and have criticised US and European air strikes.

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NATO Intervention In Libya Contravenes UN Charter

http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/nato-intervention-contravenes-un-charter-20110429-1e13e.html

Sydney Morning Herald
April 30, 2011

Letter
NATO intervention contravenes UN charter
Lawry Herron
Sandy Beach

The Russian Prime Minister is reported as saying that the NATO campaign in Libya violated the principle of sovereignty and the wishes of the Libyan people (“Putin steps up critique of Libya strikes”, April 28). Apart from this report there has been a singular dearth in the Australian media of critiques or commentary on the legality or motivations of the NATO powers in Libya, nothing like in Britain, for example, where there is considered and anguished analyses by Adrian Hamilton and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown from The Independent.

Without rehearsing their arguments, it is worth noting that what is going on in Libya departs violently from the United Nations Charter obligations on members to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and not to intervene in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.

In the early post-colonial decades of the UN these obligations, of all charter provisions, were the ones most zealously maintained and fought for by small and emergent states against former imperial powers.

What we are seeing now looks very like opportunistic imperial recidivism by Western permanent members of the Security Council using Chapter 7 action “as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security”.

Colonel Gaddafi certainly is not everyone’s idea of a stable and benevolent dictator, but he has not been the most repressive of his kind and has enjoyed a fair measure of domestic support. Thousands of willing guest workers from North Africa and Eastern Europe have enjoyed working in Libya for several decades rather than in their home states. He also had reached a modus vivendi with the West over Lockerbie and nuclear weapons development so that Libya was accepted as a desirable partner in arms, oil and other commercial deals.

No wonder Arab League members and other small states are having second thoughts about their initial support for the UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

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Commando Units, Air Strikes No Solution For Unrest In Arab World

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/30/49679660.html

Voice of Russia
April 30, 2011

Arab revolutions rage on

-“Foreign interference in a settlement of Syria’s internal problems is very dangerous. Any country has an opposition that may cause mayhem on the assumption that it will gain the support of other countries that seek instability or the coming to power of people who would pursue a policy that would suit these countries. But this is no way to guarantee peace and security. If we follow that path, we are in for a period of chaos. That is why Russia’s stand on Syria is based on international law provisions and commonsense.”
-Experts point out that the Egyptian or Tunisian scenario of a peaceful presidential resignation is unfeasible for other regional nations. That is why the international community should jointly look for new, non-standard ways to settle the chain of conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Commando units and/or airstrikes are clearly insufficient to be seen as a solution.

Expectations that mass-scale unrest in North African and Middle East countries are over have proved short-lived. This past week the situation remained tense in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and other regional nations.

The case of Libya has proved that the West’s military interference in internal conflicts invariably leads to an impasse. The oft-repeated promise of aid to the civilian population that is allegedly being massacred by “criminal regimes” proves empty words. It is civilians who suffer the worst from military operations. But experts believe that efforts should be made to improve the situation in North Africa, or else things will grow still worse. But the mechanisms of influence have still failed to be agreed.

Libya’s so-called “peaceful population” that western politicians and the military decided to take care of a month ago are more often than not well armed and equipped rebels, while the obvious exceeding of the UN Security Council mandate that only authorized the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya served to further destabilize the situation. Russian politicians have repeatedly (and with good reason) warned against the use of force that would run counter to the letter and spirit of relevant Security Council resolutions. The armed standoff between the supporters and opponents of Muammar Gaddafi is continuing, while the Libyan leader remains out of reach of western allies’ bombs and is not about to lay down arms.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin levelled scathing criticism at the coalition’s moves during his visit to Denmark earlier this week. He said the western countries seem to be acting on the assumption that they will get away with whatever harm they may do in Libya, while their plans are increasingly at variance with the substance of the relevant Security Council resolution.

Vladimir Putin says that the internal contradictions that have arisen in Libya have spilt over into an armed conflict: “Why should there be any outside interference in the armed conflict? There’s a world of a difference between the imposition of a no-fly zone and daily airstrikes at Gaddafi palaces. Besides, Gaddafi has long since left his palaces. So, the strikes kill civilians. What’s more, some western officials admit that the West does seek to kill Gaddafi. By what right, may I ask? Was Gaddafi tried and sentenced?”

The threat of a ground operation in Libya looms large, with the Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin claiming that the European Union is prepared to send up to 1,500 troops to the North African country. This may cause a full-scale humanitarian disaster and push Libya dozens of years back, Moscow warns.

But the interest in Libyan oil, as well as the need to dictate their will to other countries, clearly outweighs the risk of this kind of consequence in the western countries’ eyes. But then, the coalition is not at one about interference in the internal Libyan conflict. An Italian government Minister, Umberto Bossi, who is an ally of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, warns that Rome’s decision to join NATO airstrikes on Libyan military facilities may split Italy’s ruling coalition.

And now for Yemen. The road map plan that the ruling General People’s Congress party has adopted to settle the drawn-out conflict has been called into question. Earlier this week, the foreign ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf came out with a plan, whereby President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen should, within 30 days, step down in a move that would be followed by a democratic election of a new president.
….
But blood was again shed in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on the 27th of April, which again gave cause for talking about an escalation rather than a settlement of the conflict. 11 people died in Sana’a, while more than a 100 others were wounded when an antigovernment demonstration was dispersed there. Unrest in Yemen has been on since January this year. Hundreds of people have already died as a result.

Nor is the situation calm in Syria. The opposition continues calling for the now traditional Days of Anger to protest against the brutal suppression of antigovernment protests. Dozens of people have died in the city of Deraa in recent days. The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement also calls for civil disobedience. Protests in Syria have been going on unabated for a month and a half now.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a statement denouncing the Syrian authorities’ violence against the opposition. Russia voted down the draft for a number of reasons, specifically because it grows increasingly clear that some people in Syria, as well as in other countries, say openly that it is their cherished hope that an aggravation of the situation will cause the international community to interfere under the pretext of rendering assistance and to side with one of the parties to the conflict. That this is true is borne out by the example of Libya. But this actually amounts to a chain of violence and to a sort of invitation to civil war, says the Deputy Director of the Institute for the US and Canada Studies Pavel Zolotarev, and elaborates.

“Foreign interference in a settlement of Syria’s internal problems is very dangerous,” Pavel Zolotarev says. “Any country has an opposition that may cause mayhem on the assumption that it will gain the support of other countries that seek instability or the coming to power of people who would pursue a policy that would suit these countries. But this is no way to guarantee peace and security. If we follow that path, we are in for a period of chaos. That is why Russia’s stand on Syria is based on international law provisions and commonsense.”

In Bahrain, too, the situation remains tense. Bahrain’s Military Tribunal has sentenced four antigovernment protesters to death. According to an official of Bahrain’s opposition Shia party Al Wefaq, another three participants in the unrest that occurred in the kingdom in February and March of this year have been sentenced to life in prison. Mass protests erupted in Bahrain in the middle of February, with the participants being mostly Shia Muslims pressing for more rights in the country that’s being ruled by a Sunni minority. The Tribunal decisions may serve to fuel the conflict.

Experts point out that the Egyptian or Tunisian scenario of a peaceful presidential resignation is unfeasible for other regional nations. That is why the international community should jointly look for new, non-standard ways to settle the chain of conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East. Commando units and/or airstrikes are clearly insufficient to be seen as a solution.

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Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. And NATO Allies Initiate Libyan Scenario For Syria

Stop NATO
April 30, 2011

U.S. And NATO Allies Initiate Libyan Scenario For Syria
Rick Rozoff

On April 29 the White House issued an executive order to enforce new and more stringent sanctions against Syria and appealed to European North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to follow suit.

In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives President Barack Obama wrote, “I have determined that the Government of Syria’s human rights abuses….constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and warrant the imposition of additional sanctions.”

His order targeted among others Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brother Mahir and cousin Atif Najib and also included – in an indication that broader objectives are also being pursued however tenuous, even farfetched, the link – the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with the presidential demarche contending: “Despite the Government of Iran’s public rhetoric claiming revolutionary solidarity with people throughout the region, Iran’s actions in support of the Syrian regime place it in stark opposition to the will of the Syrian people.”

Immediately afterward a White House official threatened that President Assad himself could be sanctioned next.

On February 25 Obama issued a comparable – in fact an almost identical – order against Libya, only ten days after anti-government protests began in the nation and three weeks before U.S. cruise missiles and bombs landed on its soil.

Employing a standard template in which only proper and place names need be changed, the earlier version stated:

“I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates have taken extreme measures against the people of Libya…The foregoing circumstances…pose a serious risk to its stability, thereby constituting an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.” [1]

One cannot help be reminded of the couplet of Percy Bysshe Shelley:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Washington seized $32 billion dollars worth of Libyan assets in the U.S., with special emphasis placed on those belonging to “any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State…to be a senior official of the Government” or “to be a child of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi.”

Twenty-two days later bombing missions and missile attacks were unleashed against Libya, initially under U.S. Africa Command’s Operation Odyssey Dawn and since March 31 through NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, which are continuing into their seventh week.

Libya and Syria are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to U.S. and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East.

Neither has participated in NATO’s almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. Lebanon is subject to a naval and internal (that is, on its border with Syria) blockade run overwhelmingly by NATO nations under the post-2006 expanded United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon mission.

Jordan and Morocco are supporting the NATO war against Libya and members of another NATO partnership program – the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, are supplying fighter-bombers for combat missions over Libya. Fellow Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partner Kuwait announced on April 24 that it will grant $180 million to pay the salaries of employees of the rebel Transitional National Council in Libya.

With renewed efforts earlier this year to recruit Cyprus into NATO’s Partnership for Peace transitional program [2] – member Sweden, for example, has provided eight Gripen warplanes for the campaign against Libya – Libya and Syria were prospectively the last outposts of independence and non-alignment in the entire Mediterranean region.

On April 24, Easter Sunday, three leading members of the patrician branch of the U.S. regime (and effective modern-day proconsuls) – Senators John McCain, who had just returned from meeting with Libyan insurgents in Benghazi, and Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – appeared on CNN’s “State Of The Union” program, the first two live and the other in a segment taped two days before.

In what Americans and the rest of the world have come to accept as specimens of U.S. foreign policy expertise, international diplomacy and seasoned statesmanship, Lieberman stated that United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 “gives justification if NATO decides it wants to, for going directly after Gadhafi,” and Graham added that “my recommendation to NATO and the administration is to cut the head of the snake off, go to Tripoli, start bombing Gadhafi’s inner circle, their compounds, their military headquarters.”

McCain and Graham are Republicans and Lieberman is a self-described independent who caucuses with Democratic Party colleagues in the Senate and was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2000. The once almost second-in-command of the world’s sole military superpower, to use Obama’s phrase, added: “You can’t get into a fight with one foot.” The transition from republic to empire cost Rome the eloquence of Cicero. The United States has nothing to lose on that score.

Graham, further working himself into a frenzy of unbridled bellicosity and not to be outdone by his colleague in either fury or coarse bluster, asserted that “the goal is to get rid of Gadhafi” and added “Let’s get this guy gone.”

He offered these specifics:

“The people around Gadhafi need to wake up every day wondering, ‘Will this be my last?’ The military commanders in Tripoli supporting Gadhafi should be pounded.” As the expression has it, beating – or more accurately killing – the servant to punish the master. The model of interstate relations the imperial metropolis is enforcing around the world with the resources of the most powerful military machine in history.

To demonstrate to Russia and China, nuclear powers and veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, how much their obsequious compliance in allowing the U.S. and its NATO allies to launch the war against Libya by abstaining on the March 17 Security Council vote has gained them respect and gratitude as “responsible” partners on the global stage, Graham also said:

“You can’t let the Russians and the Chinese veto the freedom agenda. So any time you go to the United Nations Security Council, you run into the Russians and the Chinese. These are quasi-dictatorships, so I wouldn’t be locked down by the U.N. mandate.”

Lieberman, not content with a Libyan campaign that will soon enter its third month on the calendar with no indication of abating, advocated the replication of its lead-up in regard to Syria, calling for the seizing of government officials’ assets and an arms embargo against the nation he took pains to link with Iran.

In his words, “This is a moment of extraordinary opportunity for the cause of freedom in Syria, and it has tremendous strategic significance for the region.”

On April 28 Lieberman, McCain and Graham released a joint statement targeting Syria in earnest, which opens with this paragraph:

“The escalating crackdown by Bashar al Assad’s regime against the Syrian people has reached a decisive point. By following the path of Moammar Qaddafi and deploying military forces to crush peaceful demonstrations, Assad and those loyal to him have lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria. We urge President Obama to state unequivocally – as he did in the case of Qaddafi and Mubarak – that it is time for Assad to go. The President should take tangible diplomatic and economic measures to isolate and pressure the Assad regime, including through targeted sanctions against Assad himself and other regime officials who are responsible for gross human rights abuses.” [3]

From “Let’s get this guy [Gaddafi] gone” to “it is time for Assad to go” in four days.

The following day the Obama administration in large measure obliged them.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have, in addition to U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO Active Endeavor military assets permanently deployed in the Mediterranean, warplanes, warships and submarines engaged in the assault against Libya that can be used against Syria at a moment’s notice.

On April 27 Russia and China evidently prevented the U.S. and its NATO allies from pushing through an equivalent of Resolution 1973 against Syria in the Security Council, with Russian deputy ambassador to the UN Alexander Pankin stating that the current situation in Syria “does not present a threat to international peace and security.” Syria is Russia’s last true partner in the Mediterranean and the Arab world and hosts one of only two Russian overseas naval bases, that at Tartus. (The other being in Ukraine’s Crimea.)

Last May Russian President Dmitry Medvedev became the first Soviet or Russian head of state to visit Syria where he pledged assistance in developing the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure and discussed constructing a nuclear power station.

However, blocked in the Security Council this time, the West has resorted to unilateral, what it refers to as “coalitional,” expedients, the first of which is Obama’s executive order.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal circulated a draft for a Resolution 1973-type initiative against Syria earlier in the week, failing which Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain later on the 27th demanded the Syrian ambassadors to their countries condemn their government’s actions at home.

Synchronized with the U.S. action on the 29th, the European Union announced it plans to impose a wide range of sanctions against Syria including the now typical portfolio of travel bans, the freezing of assets and an arms embargo.

What is underway currently is the realization of the former George W. Bush administration’s project for “regime change” in Syria of six years ago following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri in Lebanon and the subsequent Cedar Revolution – a term coined by then-U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky – the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country and the recall of the American ambassador from Damascus.

In 2005 the major Western powers – the U.S., Britain, France and Germany – acted against Syria in the United Nations. At the time Russia and China blocked more punishing measures than were taken under Security Council Resolution 1636 in October of that year.

In the same month Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz acknowledged that Syria could be the target of American military action, saying “I won’t be surprised if Syria gets a red card,” according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

Shortly before National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and the State Department’s Karen Hughes visited Turkey where, according to the Turkish Daily News, “Both U.S. officials said the Washington administration is in search of ways to facilitate a change of regime in Syria.”

Six years ago American and allied plans for overthrowing the government of Syria through subversion, military aggression or a combination of both were being justified by accusations of Syria’s alleged role in the Hariri killing, subversion of the U.S. client regime in Iraq and support for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Today the rationale is that used for the war against Libya: The violent suppression of protests.

Justifications change. Political, particularly geopolitical, objectives do not.

1) http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/2011libya.eo_.rel_.pdf
2) 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/

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean
Stop NATO, March 25, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/3973/

3) http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=9cae435d-f7dd-27c7-bd7d-39e78c5ba2d0

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 29, 2011

April 30, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war and Syria: April 29

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Bulgaria: U.S. Launches Latest Joint Military Exercises

NATO Hails Petraeus’ New CIA Role

Strategic Partnership: State Department Backs Georgia Versus Russia

Western-Backed Oil Pipelines From Caspian To Baltic Seas

Germany Pushes EU Regime Change Package For Syria

Chinese Envoy Rules Out Threat Of External Force In Syria

Russian Interview On Western Media Lies About Syria

Uncle Sam’s Century And Control Of World’s Sea Routes

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Bulgaria: U.S. Launches Latest Joint Military Exercises

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=127705

Sofia News Agency
April 27, 2011

Bulgaria, US Militaries Start ‘Thracian Spring’ Drills

The joint Bulgarian-US military training “Thracian Spring 2011″ began Wednesday in the Plovdiv region, the Defense Ministry announced.

The 2011 “Thracian Spring,” an annual Bulgarian-American military exercise, will last from April 27 till May 5, and will be concentrated around the Plovdiv Airport and the Krumovo Air Base.

Units of the Bulgarian Army, Bulgarian Air Force and Bulgarian Navy will partner with detachments from US forces in Europe.

The American military will take part in the joint drills with two C-130 Hercules military cargo aircraft and up to 150 servicemen.

The Bulgarian forces will be represented by one military transport plane Spartan C-27J, two Cougar AS 532AL helicopters, and up to 600 soldiers.

The 2011 Thracian Spring drills will include night and day training of parachute units, low altitude tactical flights, transportation of troops and equipment….

The annual “Thracian Spring” exercise is one of the prominent examples of the extensive Bulgarian-US military cooperation developed in the recent years.

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NATO Hails Petraeus’ New CIA Role

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-401A5C7F-882F934A/natolive/news_72939.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 29, 2011

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the nomination of General Petraeus

I would like to extend my congratulations to General David Petraeus on his nomination as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I have enjoyed working with him and would like to thank him for a particularly successful tour of duty in Afghanistan.

ISAF has seen many successes under his command, which is due in no small part to his hard work and dedication. We will continue our joint efforts to further campaign progress and implement Transition between now and his departure.

I wish him every success in his future role.

————————————————————————–

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17956688?nclick_check=1

Associated Press
April 29, 2011

NATO welcomes Petraeus’ CIA nomination

BRUSSELS: NATO is congratulating Gen. David Petraeus on his nomination as CIA head, saying its forces in Afghanistan will continue implementing his strategy of handing control to local security forces.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday the 150,000-strong NATO force “has seen many successes under his command.”

Petraeus assumed command in Kabul in June, after President Barack Obama fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
….

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Strategic Partnership: State Department Backs Georgia Versus Russia

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41288&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 27, 2011

Kaidanow sums up results of her visit to Tbilisi

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow summed up results of her visit to Tbilisi at a press conference after the 4-hour meeting, which was held within the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership.

At the press conference Tina Kaidanow especially stressed the importance of developing democratic institutions in the country.
….
Kaidanow also said U.S. strongly supports Georgia`s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The next meeting on economic issues within the US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership is expected to be held in Washington in a few months.

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Western-Backed Oil Pipelines From Caspian To Baltic Seas

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20110429104618.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
April 29, 2011

Odessa-Brody oil pipe could run to Baltic Sea

Kiev: Ukraine is interested in extending the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to the Baltic Sea, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said Thursday at a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

“The Odessa-Brody pipeline has finally become operational. Needless to say, we would like it to run as far as the Baltic Sea.” Yanukovich said, adding: “We will work on extending this pipeline to the Baltic Sea.”

The 674-kilometer pipeline with an annual capacity of 9m tons of oil, was built in 2001 to transit Caspian oil to Europe. However, it was commissioned only in 2004 in reverse mode to pump Russian oil to Black Sea ports and in 2010 to the Odessa refinery. Since February, the pipeline has been moving Azeri oil to Belarus.

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Germany Pushes EU Regime Change Package For Syria

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15038596,00.html

Deutsche Welle
April 29, 2011

Germany pushes for tough sanctions against Syria

Ahead of a series of international meetings, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for broad sanctions against Syria for its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Speaking on German television Friday morning, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle urged the international community to implement tough sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

“We strongly condemn in all severity the violence against one’s own people,” Westerwelle told the ARD morning news program, Morgenmagazin.

European Union ambassadors in Brussels are slated to discuss a joint EU reaction to the escalating violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria at a meeting Friday afternoon.

A push by the EU to condemn Syria in a United Nations resolution failed in the Security Council on Thursday.

Clear response needed

Westerwelle stressed that it was important that the international community now speak with one voice.

“We Europeans will be implementing sanctions,” he said.

The chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament, Ruprecht Polenz, also called for “targeted sanctions” and a “clear response” to Assad.

“I am for clearly showing Syria that what they are doing in unacceptable,” he said.

Polenz raised the prospect of sanctions aimed at travel restrictions for members of the Syrian regime, the freezing of assets, a weapons embargo and political isolation.

….

Author: Gregg Benzow (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Sean Sinico

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Chinese Envoy Rules Out Threat Of External Force In Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-04/29/c_13852195.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 29, 2011

Use of force not solution to Syrian crisis: Chinese envoy

GENEVA: The use or threat of force should be ruled out in dealing with the Syrian crisis, Chinese Ambassador He Yafei said at a special session of UN Human Rights Council on Syria Friday.

The use or threat of force “cannot not bring a solution to the problem and will only cause a greater humanitarian crisis,” He said.

Addressing the Human Rights Council, he said China welcomed the moves taken by the Syrian government, such as the lifting of the state of emergency and beginning of political reforms, as well as a call for national dialogue and decision to investigate all the recent events.

The Chinese envoy also expressed his concern over the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. The unrest, he said, has not only affected those countries’ stability and disrupted their economic and social development as well as people’s normal life, but also undermined the regional security.

Apart from the principle of non-use of force, China also insists that the solution to the Syrian crisis should be in accordance with the UN Charter and international law while respecting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, and refraining from interfering in their internal affairs.

“Any help from the international community has to be of a constructive nature, which is conducive to the restoration of stability and public order and ensuring the maintenance of normal economic and social life,” He said.

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Russian Interview On Western Media Lies About Syria

http://rt.com/news/syria-lies-interview/

RT
April 29, 2011

Western media lie about Syria – eyewitness reports
­Nadezhda Kevorkova

-It was quite a shock to see Al-Jazeera presenting rallies in support of the president as if they were protests against him. It was just as surprising to see the Israeli websites post photos and videos of supporters’ rallies with comments saying those were opponents of the regime. There you have people holding portraits of Bashar al-Assad and flags, and we’re told that these people are against him.
-Reuters broadcast their material around the world, including Russia. One source lies, and then this lie is like a snowball rolling downhill creating a fake reality, and picking up rumor and speculation.
-People in Syria watch the footage. What do they see? A picture allegedly from Yemen. A picture allegedly from Egypt. A picture allegedly from Syria. But the pictures all show people dressed in the same fashion. People in Syria can tell their fellow countrymen from their neighbors – both by their faces and their clothes.
-I repeat, policemen are unarmed. The Syrian police are not too good with guns, because nothing like this has happened here for a long time. But the killed rookies are reported as either victims among the protestors, or as policemen who refused to shoot at their fellow countrymen, depending on the editors’ preference. Goebbels’ words seem to be true: the bigger the lie, the more easily they believe it.
-Rumor has it that trained commandos came across the border from Iraq. People in Syria are well-aware that after the US occupied Iraq, they formed special squads there. They were killing people, stirring up conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni communities, and between Muslims and Christians; they were blowing up streets, markets, mosques and churches….Such militants were detained in Deraa and Latakia. They had US-made weapons.

While media reports paint a picture of the situation in Syria as a mass public uprising brutally suppressed by the dictatorial government, the events are viewed in a totally different way by those living there.

­RT caught up with Ankhar Kochneva, director of a Moscow-based tourist firm specializing in the Middle East. She often travels to Syria, and stays in touch with hundreds of people in the region. She shared what her contacts say about the unfolding unrest and who they blame for the spreading violence.

RT: What’s happening in Syria? What have you seen? And that are the Syrians saying?

Ankhar Kochneva: Not even once did I come across anyone who would in any way support these riots; and mind you, in the line of my job, I deal with all sorts of people. There are many vehicles with the president’s portraits driving the streets throughout the country – ranging from old, barely moving crankers to brand new Porsches and Hummers. You can’t force people into hanging up portraits. It means that people, irrespective of their status and income, support the president rather than the rebellion. I saw quite a number of young people walking or driving around with Syrian flags. How can you force a young person hanging out with friends to wave flags? I think it’s difficult too. If you understand the mentality of the Syrians you can tell there is a sincere impulse rather than a forced obligation.

On March 29, I saw a rally in Hama to support the president – indeed, many thousands of men and women, with their children, and entire families went out. The streets were flooded with people. It was quite a shock to see Al-Jazeera presenting rallies in support of the president as if they were protests against him. It was just as surprising to see the Israeli websites post photos and videos of supporters’ rallies with comments saying those were opponents of the regime. There you have people holding portraits of Bashar al-Assad and flags, and we’re told that these people are against him.

RT: The media reports mass anti-government rallies.

A.K.: There’s a powerful misinformation swell going on. On April 1, the media reported a large anti-governmental rally in Damascus. I was in Damascus on that day. This rally never happened – I didn’t see it, and neither did the locals.

On April 16, Reuters news agency wrote that 50,000 opponents of the regime took to the streets of Damascus, and that they had been dispersed with tear gas and batons. Damascus’ residents realize that such a rally could not take place in the city unnoticed. How many policemen would it take to disperse it? And how come nobody saw it except Reuters? Five hundred people in the streets of Damascus are a large crowd. Reuters broadcast their material around the world, including Russia. One source lies, and then this lie is like a snowball rolling downhill creating a fake reality, and picking up rumor and speculation.

People in Syria watch the footage. What do they see? A picture allegedly from Yemen. A picture allegedly from Egypt. A picture allegedly from Syria. But the pictures all show people dressed in the same fashion. People in Syria can tell their fellow countrymen from their neighbors – both by their faces and their clothes.

There are videos on the internet showing how amateur footage of the so-called riots is made. There’s a parked car and nothing’s going on around. And there’s a man standing next to it throwing rocks. And people around are taking pictures.

There are a lot of staged videos. A Lebanese can tell the difference between footage taken in Lebanon and that taken in Damascus at a glance. And they show footage from Tripoli, or footage taken several years ago in Iraq, and say it is unrest in Syria.

There are many online forums for women in Arab countries. Women share information following TV reports on ‘mass unrests’. Women write – what’s happening outside your window? And they reply: we looked down from the balcony, and didn’t see anything that the TV was talking about.

Presently, a lot of young unarmed policemen get killed. The media propaganda immediately labels them as victims of the regime. I repeat, policemen are unarmed. The Syrian police are not too good with guns, because nothing like this has happened here for a long time. But the killed rookies are reported as either victims among the protestors, or as policemen who refused to shoot at their fellow countrymen, depending on the editors’ preference. Goebbels’ words seem to be true: the bigger the lie, the more easily they believe it.

RT: But why are policemen dying if there are no mass protests?

A.K.: Policemen die because they get shot by those who know that they are unarmed.

RT: Who shoots policemen?

A.K.: They talk a lot about it in Syria. Rumor has it that trained commandos came across the border from Iraq. People in Syria are well-aware that after the US occupied Iraq, they formed special squads there. They were killing people, stirring up conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni communities, and between Muslims and Christians; they were blowing up streets, markets, mosques and churches. Those terrorist attacks targeted civilians rather than the occupying regime.

Not long ago, they caught three such commandos in the outskirts of Damascus, when they were randomly shooting at people. They turned out to be Iraqis.

Syrian TV showed footage of somebody shooting at policemen and passers-by from bushes and rooftops. They occasionally get caught, and they either turn out to be Iraqis, or they admit that they were paid for it. Such militants were detained in Deraa and Latakia. They had US-made weapons.

The Lebanese security service intercepted several cars carrying weapons as they were coming into Lebanon. One such car was stopped coming from Iraq. There were American weapons in those cars too. Also there are reports about detained people who had large sums of money with them – with US dollars. These people carried expensive satellite phones that cannot be tapped by the Syrian security service.

In Syria, it is no longer a secret to anyone that the Americans have an unhindered opportunity to recruit and train the commandos in Iraq, and then send them wherever they want.

Hilary Clinton has already stated that if Syria cuts its relations with Iran and withdraws its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, the demonstrations would stop the next day. They don’t even bother to keep secret the hand instilling riots in Syria.

There’s plenty of evidence of foreign interference.

Finally, people say protestors are brought in from afar for the rallies. Those people speak and look differently from the locals. Nobody in the neighborhood knows them. Who rents the buses and finances the delivery of these people? The question stands.

The former Syrian Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam had initiated the riots in the coastal regions. He had plundered half of the country. He was involved in corruption schemes and finally fled to the West. It was he who tried to accuse Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of assassinating the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Syrians firmly believe that Sayed Hariri had personally given a villa to Abdel Halim Khaddam for spreading this version of Rafik Hariri’s murder. But when that version fell apart and was not confirmed, the villa was taken away. Today, those who shot at cars in Banias are shouting: “We don’t want Bashar. We want Abdel Halim!”

There are peaceful and cultured opposition members in Banias who have been against al-Assad’s regime for many years. But they are shocked by what’s going on and do not support Khaddam at all. They say: “He’s a thief. He who stole most calls to fight corruption and thievery.”

RT: What role are Syrian emigrants playing in the Syrian destabilization?

A.K.: It’s an open question. There was a leak claiming that Dan Feldman, Hillary Clinton’s special representative for the Middle East, met representatives of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul in mid-April and suggested the tactics for assassinations of civil and military officials. In less than three days, on April 19, several military officials had been brutally killed in Syria. Not only were they attacked and shot dead, some victims of the attacks, including three teenage children of a Syrian general, who were in a car with him, were cut to pieces with sabres.

Murders committed with a high degree of brutality are aimed at intimidating the population. The news that children had been cut to pieces served that purpose quite well.

RT: Media reports used to say that the riots started after the arrest in the city of Deraa, in southern Syria, of several children writing anti-government slogans? Is it really so?

A.K.: All the children had been released very quickly. Moreover, the government-owned Syrian newspapers published the release orders.

RT: Have troops been brought into Deraa?

A.K.: Yes, troops are there. After an Islamic emirate had been proclaimed in Deraa, the local residents asked the government for help. Troops have been brought in. I’ve just seen the videos. The demonstrators published them on the internet and shortly after erased them. But people made copies. There are soldiers, and people come to them and talk peacefully. Nobody shoots anyone.

RT: Is there a sentiment in Syria that if it gets rid of Hamas support and the Palestinians and strike a peace deal with Israel, all the riots will end immediately?

A.K.: No, there’s no such sentiment. There’s consolidation of society. The people are sticking together because they see that the enemy is extremely dangerous. For instance, previously I never heard anything except pop music and the recital of the Koran on the radio when I rode in a taxi. Now, patriotic music is coming from all cars. When Bashar al-Assad was speaking on television, the people who were listening to him at the market applauded him. You cannot force people to applaud a president who speaks on television.

RT: What has the public mood been in recent days?

A.K.: People are afraid of going out. In some regions, people risked their lives to record with a secret camera how unidentified persons sneaked into a car, moved off and started shooting in all directions. This is how they are sowing panic in residential areas.

Bandits blocked a bridge on the road near the coast. Soon, the military pushed them back. One of my Syrian contacts told me: “you don’t need many people to plunge the country into trouble.”

Putting five people on a major road would be enough to paralyze the whole area. People are unable to deliver foodstuffs or reach hospitals. And the whole country is in shock because of a handful of bandits.

Now, Syrian television is making live broadcasts from various parts of Damascus and other cities for people to see how the situation is unfolding and how life is getting back to normal, whatever the Western media show.

It’s noteworthy that bandits intentionally tried to rouse hatred among various communities. Recently, a sheikh was insulting the Druze, particularly women, in an address to the residents of the south. This video is being broadcast by the foreign media and is advertized on the internet. Nothing like that ever happened in Syria before. Provocations failed in Damascus though attempts were made to set religious communities against each other. Provocateurs lack support in rural areas too – the sowing campaign has started there.

The most massive demonstrations in Dera gathered 500 people. But they say 450 people have been killed.

RT: Has the government launched any reforms?

A.K.: The government has lifted martial law and has allowed the staging of authorized rallies if permission for them is obtained five days ahead. Foreigners have been allowed to buy real estate. The Kurds have been granted citizenship. The Kurdish population didn’t have it before for a number of historical reasons. The government is opening business courses for women in northern Syria. Many provincial governors have been dismissed. Unfortunately, in some cases they were honest people. Like those who refused to free criminals from prison for bribes and had been targeted by smear campaigns in public for it.

RT: Have the number of flights to Syria been cut?

A.K.: There are no tickets for Syria. We wanted to dispatch a group of tourists to Syria but there were no air tickets to Damascus for April 30. But Russians are not fleeing from Syria. I have full information about it for my job.

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Uncle Sam’s Century And Control Of World’s Sea Routes

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20114\29\story_29-4-2011_pg3_4

Daily Times
April 29, 2011

Uncle Sam, this is your century
Wasay Majid

Today we have it; the neocons eventually evolved a pathway for their ideology, turning it into a system dictating the future of mankind

-World War II and its end (the UN was born) brought about the Washington Treaty of 1949 to give birth to a global attack force, abruptly named NATO. These were the sweet beginnings of the Cold War era. Baby Sam was out of the cot…
-[T]his god complex to monitor the world has also been reflected in the US Navy’s new strategy, presented in 2007, called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. Basically, it raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war.
-Sammy’s childhood toy soldiers came to life. RAND’s decision in the 1950s to re-model the globe towards a new world order changed everything. With the development of Rational Choice Theory, it turned people from citizens into consumers, as rights and responsibilities were replaced with choices and people’s lives slowly came to be dominated not by integrity or principle, but by what they spent their money on.
-Ideas are in constant conflict throughout the ages as that is their characteristic. They rise and fall. They win battles, arguments, discussions and regime changes but the war continues.

The world has always been in conflict and the decisive player has always had access to sea routes. It has usually been said, throughout time, that whoever controls the seas controls the world. Well, in this present century, all other navies of the world combined are insignificant when compared to the US Navy. All oceans of the world are ruled by the US. Europe had its day and enjoyed it for the last 500 years but after World War II the US reigned supreme on the much coveted North Atlantic route to dominate the world, at last.

While our Uncle was just a baby, he started his end goal’s grand design as early as the end of World War I (when the League of Nations was born) with the Treaty of Versailles. Baby Sam’s annoying dictates were unwittingly painful for the Germans and it was only a matter of time before it would result in its inevitable end — conflict.

Germany was to follow strict orders on handing over territory, restrict its military, pay damages to the amount chosen at will by damaged nations and was to sign and accept a ‘War Guilt Clause’. Surely, even Germans have a tipping point. In 1933, Hitler refused to pay up and this started the systematic breaking of the terms. Thus came World War II and its end (the UN was born) brought about the Washington Treaty of 1949 to give birth to a global attack force, abruptly named NATO. These were the sweet beginnings of the Cold War era. Baby Sam was out of the cot and knowingly used containment of communism as its main strategy to put the Soviet Union into a cot.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, interestingly, saw arrogance being flaunted by a proud and promising adolescent Sam, albeit in a clandestine manner initially. The sudden birth of the neo-conservatives was synonymous with the US becoming the dominant power of the world. Unlike the Dalai Lama, I think Sammy was becoming more a worldly kinda guy.

Looking at a brief history of neoconservative ideology takes us back to the 1930s and 1940s where one can explain it as once being leftist or liberal. Seeing Stalinism, they moved towards the right and supported the Cold War, thus moving into the realm of foreign affairs.

They found refuge in the ideology of the liberal democrats in the 1960s, who demanded a hard line against the Soviet Union. They rejected the New Left of the 1960s, aka the ‘hippies’. The New Left was considered anti-American by the neocons. Their focus on human rights abuses around the world and support for labour unions domestically was in contrast to a logical and superior pathway the US had paved out for its prosperity and control over the globe. Looking at Sam’s moral value and family ethics, do we not all want our daddy to be just like Sam?

The neocons were moving forward. They had think tanks, academic institutes and government covered.

They had a plethora of white papers ripe to make them government policy.

Most notably, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) achieved its systemic penetration. PNAC has its roots in neconservative ideology. PNAC outrightly blurts that after the end of the Cold War, the US is the most powerful state on the globe and it fears no one.

If I am allowed to explain in plain words, the philosophy of the project has been that the US has to prevent an emergence of any rival and to make damn sure of this it can act in isolation and can pre-empt an attack.

Secondly, it is required to police the world and has to keep tabs on all other nations and any conflicts. Academics like Paul Wolfowitz and Francis Fukuyama are original signatories of PNAC, including Dick Cheney, Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad and Donald Rumsfeld. Prominent members include Robert Zoellick, Richard Perle and Richard Armitage. Sam became the company he kept.

Furthermore, this god complex to monitor the world has also been reflected in the US Navy’s new strategy, presented in 2007, called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. Basically, it raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war.

PNAC’s fundamentals reflected the exact philosophy that the Roman Republic evolved into and were eloquently orated and cherished by Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero, who among his numerous legacies, as a republican, inspired the founding fathers of the US.

A similar philosophy has been around in the military establishment. RAND — a private sector think tank — is its base. RAND originated in the minds of leading air force generals after World War II.

Sammy’s childhood toy soldiers came to life. RAND’s decision in the 1950s to re-model the globe towards a new world order changed everything. With the development of Rational Choice Theory, it turned people from citizens into consumers, as rights and responsibilities were replaced with choices and people’s lives slowly came to be dominated not by integrity or principle, but by what they spent their money on. Sam’s entrepreneurial itch started to play.

Interestingly, if you look into Leo Strauss’s views of the Republic, being a political philosopher, he points to Cicero’s explanation of Plato’s Republic through a quote of his: “The Republic does not bring to light the best possible regime but rather the nature of political things — the nature of the city.”

In effect, the system is not stirred by efficiency and humanism, but lineage, law, society and suffrage. That is the reason Strauss believes politics and philosophy are intertwined and Socrates’ trial was the inception point of this fact. Strauss feared that people trying to force a world state to come into being in the future would eventually result in it being a tyranny. Sam always knew tyranny is never suffered by the tyrant.

Today we have it; the neocons eventually evolved a pathway for their ideology, turning it into a system dictating the future of mankind. All their white papers are policy. It is inevitable. It is not forced but merely an eventual pathway.

Looking closely we see that people, thinkers, leaders, are products of their previous generations to an extent, and ideas, although they have the luxury of centuries to shape and penetrate, hardly evolve. Ideas are in constant conflict throughout the ages as that is their characteristic. They rise and fall. They win battles, arguments, discussions and regime changes but the war continues.

In short, the new century will be a dangerous one: lots of conflict, war and death, not to mention the plethora of natural disasters gaining probability.

Historically, Sam likes war. He reflects an increasing trend towards it. Though he has the muscle and will, he is still young and immature, and that is what makes him dangerous.

Wherever the US takes its wars, its effects will be detrimental to those countries and their future, but for Americans these constitute distant skirmishes not affecting daily life. I reiterate: this is your century Uncle, though I will always be expecting presents on Christmas and Easter, at least.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stephen Crane: War Is Kind

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

American writers on peace and against war

Stephen Crane: There was crimson clash of war

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Stephen Crane
War Is Kind (1899)

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind,
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die.
The unexplained glory flies above them.
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom -
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind!

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war and Syria: April 29

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NATO Warplanes Target Tripoli As Air Missions Reach 4,242

NATO To Establish Post In Eastern Libya

NATO Mission To Benghazi Prelude To Ground Operations: Expert

130 Missions: Danish Warplanes Bomb Libyan Ammunition Depot

“Human Rights Overriding Sovereignty”: Threat Of World Disorder

Germany Pushes EU Regime Change Package For Syria

Chinese Envoy Rules Out Threat Of External Force In Syria

Russian Interview On Western Media Lies About Syria

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NATO Warplanes Target Tripoli As Air Missions Reach 4,242

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110429_110429-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 29, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 4242 sorties, including 1766 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 28 April: 142

Strike sorties conducted 28 April: 67
….
Key Targets and Engagements

28 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 command and control building. 1 helicopter maintenance area, 7 ammunition storage bunkers, 5 infantry fighting vehicles.

In the vicinity of Zintan: 1 ammunition storage facility.

In the vicinity of Brega: 1 command and control building.
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 19 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

24 Vessels were hailed on 28 April to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) was conducted.

A total of 706 vessels have been hailed, 21 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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NATO To Establish Post In Eastern Libya

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110427/world/nato-to-establish-civilian-post-in-libya.362472

Times of Malta
April 27, 2011

NATO to establish civilian post in Libya

NATO allies have agreed to establish a civilian post in Libya’s eastern rebel bastion of Benghazi in an effort to step up political contacts with the opposition, an alliance source said today.

Ambassadors of the 28-nation alliance backed late Tuesday the “general principle” of having a “contact point” in the country, and the details of the post will be worked out in the coming days or weeks, the source said.

The alliance representative will likely be a diplomat from a NATO country that already has a representative in Benghazi, the souce added.

NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said Tuesday that the goal was to “improve and enhance these political contacts with the (opposition’s) interim national council.”

France and Italy are the only NATO countries to have officially recognised the opposition Transitional National Council. Qatar, which is contributing to NATO’s operations in Libya, has also recognised the TNC.

France, Italy and Britain announced last week that they were sending military advisers to assist Libya’s rebel shadow government in Benghazi.

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NATO Mission To Benghazi Prelude To Ground Operations: Expert

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/29/49652127.html

Voice of Russia
April 29, 2011

Does NATO have a clear goal in Libya?

Permanent members of the North Atlantic Council have approved the initiative of NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen to name a point of contact in Libya’s rebel-held city of Benghazi to improve political links with the rebel leadership there. The contact point was likely to be a diplomat from a NATO state which already has representation in Benghazi. Many experts see this as the alliance making its final decision on joining the anti-Gaddafi forces.

Citing a source in NATO headquarters, The Financial Times Deutschland says that a new NATO representative will be responsible for developing initial contacts between the alliance and the rebels’ Benghazi-based interim national council. The paper notes that until recently Brussels had been trying to maintain neutral position in the Libyan conflict, though it did not prevent the coalition forces from bombing Gaddafi`s residence. But now the alliance has openly taken the side of the insurgents.

Viktor Litovkin, executive editor-in-chief of ‘Independent Military Observer’ newspaper is certain about NATO`s true reason for naming a point contact in Benghazi:

“I see it as a step towards ground operation, no matter who will lead it. All these aides and experts are expected not just to teach the insurgents to fight Gaddafi but also explore Libyan territories to know where to dispatch troops and place weaponry.”

France, Italy and Turkey have already announced that they are ready to send their diplomats to Libya. However, not all NATO members are said to have approved Rasmussen`s proposal since it takes the western coalition even further from the UNSC resolution on a no-fly zone above Libya and protection of peaceful civilians there. More and more experts agree that the alliance still does not have a clear goal on Libya.

A prominent Russian political analyst Fiodor Lukyanov described the NATO-led campaign in Libya ‘a war without a goal’. He notes that there is a kind of mystery about NATO`s true position on the Libyan crisis. Besides, very little is known about the number and military might of the insurgents.

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130 Missions: Danish Warplanes Bomb Libyan Ammunition Depot

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1867941.html

Trend News Agency
April 28, 2011

Danish F-16 jets bomb Libyan ammunition dumps

Danish F-16 fighters attacked ammunition dumps in Libya while an accident at the fighters’ forward operating base in Sigonella, Sicily of Italy, led to them being diverted to Trapani, also in Sicily, said Denmark’s Air Force on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Air Force said Danish F-16s have carried out three missions in areas south of the Libyan capital Tripoli, and south of its third-largest city, Misrata, in the past 24 hours, with eight precision-guided bombs being dropped against ammunition dumps, Xinhua reported.

Six Danish F-16 fighter jets are currently deployed as part of the NATO-led intervention against Libya, and are operating out of Sigonella Air Force Base in Sicily.

The statement added that Danish F-16s returning from missions over Libya are being directed to land at Trapani, Italy, after a United Arab Emirates (UAE) fighter jet suffered an accident on the runway at Sigonella.

The UAE F-16 veered off the runway Wednesday, but no casualties were reported. The runway remains closed.

In all, Danish aircraft have carried out 130 missions since deployment to the Libya mission in mid-March.

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“Human Rights Overriding Sovereignty”: Threat Of World Disorder

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90780/91345/7366136.html

People’s Daily
April 29, 2011

‘Human rights overriding sovereignty’ only a mask of hegemony
By Wang Hanlu

Some Western countries recently have been claiming the “human rights overriding sovereignty” [principle] in high-sounding [language].

However, it is only a public mask for some western clowns to hide their true faces of hegemonism and a public excuse for them to pursue their own national interests and carry out their values behind [the process].

Apparently, they are holding up the moral flag for safeguarding the human rights of all people on this planet, but in doing that they violate other countries’ sovereignty optionally, interfere un their internal affairs, overthrow governments in other countries, attack with military forces and even operate “Decapitation Action” toward other countries’ leaders.

Covering the mask, they act like “preachers of human rights,” and issue the so-called Country Reports on Human Rights to criticize the “terrible” situations regarding human rights in more than 190 countries, excluding themselves.

Using the excuse, they disrespect other countries’ laws when talking of human rights, and turn mutual dialogue into unilateral pressure.

Under the circumstances, “human rights overriding sovereignty” has already become the most powerful weapon of some Western countries.

However, nothing hints at the “human rights overriding sovereignty” being legal in the UN Charter, but the saying does violate the UN Charter.

The Charter regulates clearly that “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. (Chapter I)”

“No State or group of States has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State.”

“No State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind.”

Regulated in “The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations” issued on Oct. 24 of 1970 by the United Nations.

After listing 28 items of human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written in the U.N. in 1948 says “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

The principle of a country’s sovereignty is a basic right the basic supported by the purposes and principles of the United Nations. If that basis is waved, the world is going to be in disorder.

When coming down to its own sovereignty, America, the country that is claiming the “human rights overriding sovereignty” right all the time, will never make any compromise.

As of now, United States still refuses to sign the Ottawa Treaty, which aims at stopping the effects of anti-personnel landmines (AP mines) around the world, as well as the Kyoto Protocol, which aims at controlling global warming, because such treaties will absolutely affect its sovereignty and national interests.

“Human rights overriding sovereignty” stands for messing up the whole world. When the Western coalition intervening in Libyan civil affairs under the name of humanitarian [intervention] uses military force to target places, including TV stations and the accommodation of Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, which has nothing to do with protecting civilian and human rights. Obviously, it is intended to effect a “Decapitation Action” for Qaddafi.

Further, the most horrible aspect about the saying is it’s borderless. What else cannot be done, even to kill a country’s leader can be done under the excuse of it?

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Germany Pushes EU Regime Change Package For Syria

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15038596,00.html

Deutsche Welle
April 29, 2011

Germany pushes for tough sanctions against Syria

Ahead of a series of international meetings, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for broad sanctions against Syria for its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Speaking on German television Friday morning, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle urged the international community to implement tough sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

“We strongly condemn in all severity the violence against one’s own people,” Westerwelle told the ARD morning news program, Morgenmagazin.

European Union ambassadors in Brussels are slated to discuss a joint EU reaction to the escalating violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria at a meeting Friday afternoon.

A push by the EU to condemn Syria in a United Nations resolution failed in the Security Council on Thursday.

Clear response needed

Westerwelle stressed that it was important that the international community now speak with one voice.

“We Europeans will be implementing sanctions,” he said.

The chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament, Ruprecht Polenz, also called for “targeted sanctions” and a “clear response” to Assad.

“I am for clearly showing Syria that what they are doing in unacceptable,” he said.

Polenz raised the prospect of sanctions aimed at travel restrictions for members of the Syrian regime, the freezing of assets, a weapons embargo and political isolation.

….

Author: Gregg Benzow (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)
Editor: Sean Sinico

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Chinese Envoy Rules Out Threat Of External Force In Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-04/29/c_13852195.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 29, 2011

Use of force not solution to Syrian crisis: Chinese envoy

GENEVA: The use or threat of force should be ruled out in dealing with the Syrian crisis, Chinese Ambassador He Yafei said at a special session of UN Human Rights Council on Syria Friday.

The use or threat of force “cannot not bring a solution to the problem and will only cause a greater humanitarian crisis,” He said.

Addressing the Human Rights Council, he said China welcomed the moves taken by the Syrian government, such as the lifting of the state of emergency and beginning of political reforms, as well as a call for national dialogue and decision to investigate all the recent events.

The Chinese envoy also expressed his concern over the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. The unrest, he said, has not only affected those countries’ stability and disrupted their economic and social development as well as people’s normal life, but also undermined the regional security.

Apart from the principle of non-use of force, China also insists that the solution to the Syrian crisis should be in accordance with the UN Charter and international law while respecting the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, and refraining from interfering in their internal affairs.

“Any help from the international community has to be of a constructive nature, which is conducive to the restoration of stability and public order and ensuring the maintenance of normal economic and social life,” He said.

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Russian Interview On Western Media Lies About Syria

http://rt.com/news/syria-lies-interview/

RT
April 29, 2011

Western media lie about Syria – eyewitness reports
­Nadezhda Kevorkova

-It was quite a shock to see Al-Jazeera presenting rallies in support of the president as if they were protests against him. It was just as surprising to see the Israeli websites post photos and videos of supporters’ rallies with comments saying those were opponents of the regime. There you have people holding portraits of Bashar al-Assad and flags, and we’re told that these people are against him.
-Reuters broadcast their material around the world, including Russia. One source lies, and then this lie is like a snowball rolling downhill creating a fake reality, and picking up rumor and speculation.
-People in Syria watch the footage. What do they see? A picture allegedly from Yemen. A picture allegedly from Egypt. A picture allegedly from Syria. But the pictures all show people dressed in the same fashion. People in Syria can tell their fellow countrymen from their neighbors – both by their faces and their clothes.
-I repeat, policemen are unarmed. The Syrian police are not too good with guns, because nothing like this has happened here for a long time. But the killed rookies are reported as either victims among the protestors, or as policemen who refused to shoot at their fellow countrymen, depending on the editors’ preference. Goebbels’ words seem to be true: the bigger the lie, the more easily they believe it.
-Rumor has it that trained commandos came across the border from Iraq. People in Syria are well-aware that after the US occupied Iraq, they formed special squads there. They were killing people, stirring up conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni communities, and between Muslims and Christians; they were blowing up streets, markets, mosques and churches….Such militants were detained in Deraa and Latakia. They had US-made weapons.

While media reports paint a picture of the situation in Syria as a mass public uprising brutally suppressed by the dictatorial government, the events are viewed in a totally different way by those living there.

­RT caught up with Ankhar Kochneva, director of a Moscow-based tourist firm specializing in the Middle East. She often travels to Syria, and stays in touch with hundreds of people in the region. She shared what her contacts say about the unfolding unrest and who they blame for the spreading violence.

RT: What’s happening in Syria? What have you seen? And that are the Syrians saying?

Ankhar Kochneva: Not even once did I come across anyone who would in any way support these riots; and mind you, in the line of my job, I deal with all sorts of people. There are many vehicles with the president’s portraits driving the streets throughout the country – ranging from old, barely moving crankers to brand new Porsches and Hummers. You can’t force people into hanging up portraits. It means that people, irrespective of their status and income, support the president rather than the rebellion. I saw quite a number of young people walking or driving around with Syrian flags. How can you force a young person hanging out with friends to wave flags? I think it’s difficult too. If you understand the mentality of the Syrians you can tell there is a sincere impulse rather than a forced obligation.

On March 29, I saw a rally in Hama to support the president – indeed, many thousands of men and women, with their children, and entire families went out. The streets were flooded with people. It was quite a shock to see Al-Jazeera presenting rallies in support of the president as if they were protests against him. It was just as surprising to see the Israeli websites post photos and videos of supporters’ rallies with comments saying those were opponents of the regime. There you have people holding portraits of Bashar al-Assad and flags, and we’re told that these people are against him.

RT: The media reports mass anti-government rallies.

A.K.: There’s a powerful misinformation swell going on. On April 1, the media reported a large anti-governmental rally in Damascus. I was in Damascus on that day. This rally never happened – I didn’t see it, and neither did the locals.

On April 16, Reuters news agency wrote that 50,000 opponents of the regime took to the streets of Damascus, and that they had been dispersed with tear gas and batons. Damascus’ residents realize that such a rally could not take place in the city unnoticed. How many policemen would it take to disperse it? And how come nobody saw it except Reuters? Five hundred people in the streets of Damascus are a large crowd. Reuters broadcast their material around the world, including Russia. One source lies, and then this lie is like a snowball rolling downhill creating a fake reality, and picking up rumor and speculation.

People in Syria watch the footage. What do they see? A picture allegedly from Yemen. A picture allegedly from Egypt. A picture allegedly from Syria. But the pictures all show people dressed in the same fashion. People in Syria can tell their fellow countrymen from their neighbors – both by their faces and their clothes.

There are videos on the internet showing how amateur footage of the so-called riots is made. There’s a parked car and nothing’s going on around. And there’s a man standing next to it throwing rocks. And people around are taking pictures.

There are a lot of staged videos. A Lebanese can tell the difference between footage taken in Lebanon and that taken in Damascus at a glance. And they show footage from Tripoli, or footage taken several years ago in Iraq, and say it is unrest in Syria.

There are many online forums for women in Arab countries. Women share information following TV reports on ‘mass unrests’. Women write – what’s happening outside your window? And they reply: we looked down from the balcony, and didn’t see anything that the TV was talking about.

Presently, a lot of young unarmed policemen get killed. The media propaganda immediately labels them as victims of the regime. I repeat, policemen are unarmed. The Syrian police are not too good with guns, because nothing like this has happened here for a long time. But the killed rookies are reported as either victims among the protestors, or as policemen who refused to shoot at their fellow countrymen, depending on the editors’ preference. Goebbels’ words seem to be true: the bigger the lie, the more easily they believe it.

RT: But why are policemen dying if there are no mass protests?

A.K.: Policemen die because they get shot by those who know that they are unarmed.

RT: Who shoots policemen?

A.K.: They talk a lot about it in Syria. Rumor has it that trained commandos came across the border from Iraq. People in Syria are well-aware that after the US occupied Iraq, they formed special squads there. They were killing people, stirring up conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni communities, and between Muslims and Christians; they were blowing up streets, markets, mosques and churches. Those terrorist attacks targeted civilians rather than the occupying regime.

Not long ago, they caught three such commandos in the outskirts of Damascus, when they were randomly shooting at people. They turned out to be Iraqis.

Syrian TV showed footage of somebody shooting at policemen and passers-by from bushes and rooftops. They occasionally get caught, and they either turn out to be Iraqis, or they admit that they were paid for it. Such militants were detained in Deraa and Latakia. They had US-made weapons.

The Lebanese security service intercepted several cars carrying weapons as they were coming into Lebanon. One such car was stopped coming from Iraq. There were American weapons in those cars too. Also there are reports about detained people who had large sums of money with them – with US dollars. These people carried expensive satellite phones that cannot be tapped by the Syrian security service.

In Syria, it is no longer a secret to anyone that the Americans have an unhindered opportunity to recruit and train the commandos in Iraq, and then send them wherever they want.

Hilary Clinton has already stated that if Syria cuts its relations with Iran and withdraws its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, the demonstrations would stop the next day. They don’t even bother to keep secret the hand instilling riots in Syria.

There’s plenty of evidence of foreign interference.

Finally, people say protestors are brought in from afar for the rallies. Those people speak and look differently from the locals. Nobody in the neighborhood knows them. Who rents the buses and finances the delivery of these people? The question stands.

The former Syrian Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam had initiated the riots in the coastal regions. He had plundered half of the country. He was involved in corruption schemes and finally fled to the West. It was he who tried to accuse Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of assassinating the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The Syrians firmly believe that Sayed Hariri had personally given a villa to Abdel Halim Khaddam for spreading this version of Rafik Hariri’s murder. But when that version fell apart and was not confirmed, the villa was taken away. Today, those who shot at cars in Banias are shouting: “We don’t want Bashar. We want Abdel Halim!”

There are peaceful and cultured opposition members in Banias who have been against al-Assad’s regime for many years. But they are shocked by what’s going on and do not support Khaddam at all. They say: “He’s a thief. He who stole most calls to fight corruption and thievery.”

RT: What role are Syrian emigrants playing in the Syrian destabilization?

A.K.: It’s an open question. There was a leak claiming that Dan Feldman, Hillary Clinton’s special representative for the Middle East, met representatives of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul in mid-April and suggested the tactics for assassinations of civil and military officials. In less than three days, on April 19, several military officials had been brutally killed in Syria. Not only were they attacked and shot dead, some victims of the attacks, including three teenage children of a Syrian general, who were in a car with him, were cut to pieces with sabres.

Murders committed with a high degree of brutality are aimed at intimidating the population. The news that children had been cut to pieces served that purpose quite well.

RT: Media reports used to say that the riots started after the arrest in the city of Deraa, in southern Syria, of several children writing anti-government slogans? Is it really so?

A.K.: All the children had been released very quickly. Moreover, the government-owned Syrian newspapers published the release orders.

RT: Have troops been brought into Deraa?

A.K.: Yes, troops are there. After an Islamic emirate had been proclaimed in Deraa, the local residents asked the government for help. Troops have been brought in. I’ve just seen the videos. The demonstrators published them on the internet and shortly after erased them. But people made copies. There are soldiers, and people come to them and talk peacefully. Nobody shoots anyone.

RT: Is there a sentiment in Syria that if it gets rid of Hamas support and the Palestinians and strike a peace deal with Israel, all the riots will end immediately?

A.K.: No, there’s no such sentiment. There’s consolidation of society. The people are sticking together because they see that the enemy is extremely dangerous. For instance, previously I never heard anything except pop music and the recital of the Koran on the radio when I rode in a taxi. Now, patriotic music is coming from all cars. When Bashar al-Assad was speaking on television, the people who were listening to him at the market applauded him. You cannot force people to applaud a president who speaks on television.

RT: What has the public mood been in recent days?

A.K.: People are afraid of going out. In some regions, people risked their lives to record with a secret camera how unidentified persons sneaked into a car, moved off and started shooting in all directions. This is how they are sowing panic in residential areas.

Bandits blocked a bridge on the road near the coast. Soon, the military pushed them back. One of my Syrian contacts told me: “you don’t need many people to plunge the country into trouble.”

Putting five people on a major road would be enough to paralyze the whole area. People are unable to deliver foodstuffs or reach hospitals. And the whole country is in shock because of a handful of bandits.

Now, Syrian television is making live broadcasts from various parts of Damascus and other cities for people to see how the situation is unfolding and how life is getting back to normal, whatever the Western media show.

It’s noteworthy that bandits intentionally tried to rouse hatred among various communities. Recently, a sheikh was insulting the Druze, particularly women, in an address to the residents of the south. This video is being broadcast by the foreign media and is advertized on the internet. Nothing like that ever happened in Syria before. Provocations failed in Damascus though attempts were made to set religious communities against each other. Provocateurs lack support in rural areas too – the sowing campaign has started there.

The most massive demonstrations in Dera gathered 500 people. But they say 450 people have been killed.

RT: Has the government launched any reforms?

A.K.: The government has lifted martial law and has allowed the staging of authorized rallies if permission for them is obtained five days ahead. Foreigners have been allowed to buy real estate. The Kurds have been granted citizenship. The Kurdish population didn’t have it before for a number of historical reasons. The government is opening business courses for women in northern Syria. Many provincial governors have been dismissed. Unfortunately, in some cases they were honest people. Like those who refused to free criminals from prison for bribes and had been targeted by smear campaigns in public for it.

RT: Have the number of flights to Syria been cut?

A.K.: There are no tickets for Syria. We wanted to dispatch a group of tourists to Syria but there were no air tickets to Damascus for April 30. But Russians are not fleeing from Syria. I have full information about it for my job.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 28, 2011

April 29, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war: April 28

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CIA, Pentagon, NATO Afghan Command: U.S. Reshuffles Posts

U.S. Billion Dollar Democracy: Model For The World

International Investigation Needed Into Kosovo Murder-For-Organs Trade

Turkey: Bosnia And Serbia Should Join NATO

Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

Afghan War: U.S. Marine General Praises USMC-Trained Georgian Troops

NATO Festival Begins In Norfolk, Virginia

NATO Trains Iraqi Proxy Army In Europe, At Home

Polish Navy “Makes History” In Leading NATO Naval Group

U.S. Forecasts 50 Percent Growth In World Energy Demand

South Asian Asymmetries, U.S. Drone Warfare And The Peloponnesian War

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CIA, Pentagon, NATO Afghan Command: U.S. Reshuffles Posts

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/28/49586948.html

[Panetta will be the second defense secretary in a row who had been a director of the CIA.]

Voice of Russia
April 28, 2011

Big reshuffle in Obama’s administration ahead
Sergei Sayenko

President Obama is making new appointments for top security jobs in his administration. On Thursday the US president is expected to name the country’s new defense secretary, CIA director, NATO forces commander in Afghanistan and US ambassador to Afghanistan.

CIA Director Leon Panetta will be nominated to take over from Robert Gates as US defense secretary. General David Petraeus, the US head of international forces in Afghanistan, will be nominated as CIA director, and his post will go to Lieutenant General John Allen, currently deputy head of US Central Command. Veteran diplomat with 37-year experience Ryan Crocker will become the next US ambassador to Afghanistan, taking over from Karl Eikenberry, whose term is running out and who failed to hit it off with President Hamid Karzai.

All four candidacies are likely to sail smoothly through the Senate given that even the Republicans have nothing against them. The appointment of Leon Panetta is likely to be approved in July, and David Petraeus will be able to get down to work as CIA chief at the beginning of September.
….
As for Gen Petraeus, who led the US and international forces during the war in Iraq and took over leading NATO forces in Afghanistan from Gen Stanley McChrystal in summer last year, he will have to explore new ground. An army general, straightforward and used to open warfare, the secret war run by the CIA might be a challenge, to say the least.

Lt Gen Allen is likely to find it easier in Afghanistan, having served in the army and boasting enough experience in conducting military operations. His success will largely depend on whether he will be able to find common language with the Afghan leadership and the country’s new Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Crocker is familiar with work in hot spots, having served as US ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon.
….
In reality, the situation in Afghanistan is challenging, to say the least.

Many fear that there can be Taliban fighters among Afghan security services recruits and that they might attack coalition servicemen and foreigners. Wednesday’s incident at Kabul Airport in which an Afghan pilot killed eight US servicemen, is glaring proof of that. Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident. All this testifies to the highly explosive situation in Afghanistan.

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U.S. Billion Dollar Democracy: Model For The World

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/28/49592701.html

Voice of Russia
April 28, 2011

How much does it cost to get into the White House?
Valentin Zorin

-Chasing votes is nothing unusual for American democracy. And it’s no longer a secret that top jobs in Washington are up for sale….[A] seat in the House of Representatives cost more than one million dollars during the last elections, a seat in the Senate cost much more. Many politicians, the report says, are elected to Congress just because no one else can top them with money.
-Recently the US Supreme Court gave Washington political sponsors a free hand, de facto disabling the laws that ban corporations from financing candidates.
-There are quite a few in Washington who see that as genuine democracy. They are ready to advise others on democratic elections but should actually start with themselves.

How much money do you need to get the job of US president? One billion dollars for a start, say those who oversee Barack Obama’s election campaign ahead of presidential elections in November 2012. The organizers of the campaign plan to raise the needed sum over the next few months. To this end, the election headquarters has moved from Washington to Chicago, which is home to one of the most powerful financial and industrial groups, which has invested over four billion dollars in President Obama’s political career.

The organizers of the presidential campaign talk openly about what it costs to secure votes in favor of a candidate. Chasing votes is nothing unusual for American democracy. And it’s no longer a secret that top jobs in Washington are up for sale.

Commenting on the outcome of the 2010 election, Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said that it was money that won on the November election day. There is a special chart according to which a seat in the House of Representatives cost more than one million dollars during the last elections, a seat in the Senate cost much more. Many politicians, the report says, are elected to Congress just because no one else can top them with money.

The Center for Responsive Politics described the election campaign last autumn as the costliest in US history. The campaign bills ran into billions of dollars. And some candidates’ expenses amounted to six-digit figures, the Center’s report says. For one, Meg Whitman, a candidate for California Governor from the Republican Party, spent 140 million dollars.

The Republicans succeeded in the elections because they were loaded with more dollars than their Democratic rivals. When asked where the money came from, Barack Obama replied with a sincerity uncommon for Washington officials that it could come from oil companies, insurance businesses or Wall Street. Nobody knows, where, the president said, as they keep their mouths shut and financial flows channels open.

Recently the US Supreme Court gave Washington political sponsors a free hand, de facto disabling the laws that ban corporations from financing candidates. The judges said that they proceeded from freedom of expression guaranteed by the country’s Constitution. They provided no explanation though, as to what connection they saw between this constitutional principle and undisguised bribery.

There are quite a few in Washington who see that as genuine democracy. They are ready to advise others on democratic elections but should actually start with themselves.

The one billion dollars which the organizers of the campaign from the Democratic Party are rushing to raise may spell an unprecedented in scale election race. Naturally, the Republicans aren’t lagging behind, particularly since Wall Street is definitely prone to back them.

The election battle of American fat cats has got under way.

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International Investigation Needed Into Kosovo Murder-For-Organs Trade

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/28/49595923.html

Voice of Russia
April 28, 2011

“Black” transplantology in Kosovo: international investigation needed
Timur Blokhin

-“[T]rafficking in human organs is a profitable type of business, in which some people in Kosovo were engaged earlier and that there are people who remain engaged in it now too. Such crimes were committed during the conflict with NATO, and the majority of people disappeared exactly at that period of time – according to our information, 300 to 500 people are listed missing, who, again according to our information, disappeared in the north of Albania.”

Serbia’s proposal for the establishment of an independent investigative body with a mandate of the UN Security Council is expected to be considered in New York in the middle of May. The new body will tackle the cases of human organ trafficking in Kosovo. The Serbian side came up with this proposal after consultations between Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Yeremic and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During his visit to Belgrade on April 19th he said that regarding this issue, Moscow would offer Serbia its support.

Despite the loud words – just those – of the international community to the effect that criminals have no nationality, it is very hard to deny the fact of the 10-year-long “demonization” of the Serbs by Western media.

What appeared as a result was Dick Marti’s report about the “black” transplantology in Kosovo and about the involvement of the current Kosovo ruling clique in this dirty business, which came as a bombshell.

In an exclusive interview with Voice of Russia correspondents, who visited Serbia during their business trip, Serbian Deputy Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric answered a few questions concerning this subject.

“What is meant here are several people having information about human organ trafficking in Europe of today. That is why if we start divulging the details just now, this may hamper the on-going developments in the investigation. However, there’s still one thing we should stress here – that many people tried to give a political colour to this matter while we are sure that this is a classical example of a criminal business.”

Belgrade politologists fear that after the shocking information concerning the human organ trafficking in Kosovo came to the surface, the members of the world community will do their utmost so that the investigations dedicated to all these facts will remain deeply hidden.

“Let’s proceed from the analysis of the current state of affairs in Kosovo. The so –called ‘grey zone’ accounts for approximately 60 per cent of business there. And we start believing that trafficking in human organs is a profitable type of business, in which some people in Kosovo were engaged earlier and that there are people who remain engaged in it now too. Such crimes were committed during the conflict with NATO, and the majority of people disappeared exactly at that period of time – according to our information, 300 to 500 people are listed missing, who, again according to our information, disappeared in the north of Albania.”

So why do the Albanian prosecutors refuse to take part in the investigation?

“For political reasons, I believe”, Bruno Vekaric says, adding the following: “We have an agreement on cooperation with the Albanian prosecutors, which was signed back in 2005, and we would like to conduct a joint investigation on its basis.

“Had such an investigation been carried out at that time, there’s reason to believe that Marti’s report would have never appeared. We have proved that that there were camps of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the north of Albania and that there were special medical centres in four of them where surgical operations, possibly, were performed. Western channels interviewed witnesses in this case. And after all, Dick Marti’s report does exist. Therefore, we should not turn a blind eye to that. The Albanian side refuses to cooperate on this issue. Albania even did not allow Dick Marti to check some facts on its territory.

“And as regards Kosovo and Metohija, it is in the interests of the Albanian leader Hashim Thachi that the investigation should be completed since he says that he was not involved. Because otherwise, he will remain suspected of committing crimes unprecedented in their cruelty.”

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Turkey: Bosnia And Serbia Should Join NATO

http://www.sify.com/news/turkey-bosnia-and-serbia-should-join-nato-eu-news-international-le3guqbbcdj.html

Associated Press
April 28, 2011

Turkey: Bosnia and Serbia should join NATO, EU

Turkey wants to help turn the war-ravaged Balkans into a region of cooperation with a joint future in the European Union and NATO, the Turkish president said Tuesday, as part of his country’s increased involvement in the region where it has historic influence.

“It is our desire to have the whole region united under a wider umbrella of the European Union and NATO,” Abdullah Gul said after talks with Serbia’s President Boris Tadic and the three members of Bosnia’s multiethnic presidency.

“We believe that the Balkans is not at the end of Europe, but that it is the heart of Europe,” Gul said. “We want to … strengthen cooperation and move jointly toward solving burning issues.”

The talks at the Karadjordjevo residency near the border with Croatia came a year after Turkey hosted a similar summit in Istanbul, aimed at bringing former Balkan foes Serbia and Bosnia closer together.

Turkey’s diplomatic initiative illustrates its bid to renew its influence in the Balkans stemming from centuries-long Ottoman rule and close ties with the region’s Muslims.

“Turkey has its historic reasons and … legitimate interests for its presence in the Balkans,” Serbia’s president Tadic said. “We want the entire region to be integrated into the European Union as soon as possible … this is our main political goal.”

Tadic pledged to put the past behind and “create a better future” for the region that was in the 1990s engulfed in the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II.

Tadic did not elaborate on Gul’s proposed NATO ties. The issue is sensitive among the Serbs because of the Western military alliance’s 1999 bombing of Serbia that ended Belgrade’s rule over Kosovo, Serbia’s former province.
….

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

http://channel6newsonline.com/2011/04/three-coalition-service-members-die-in-afghan-attacks-4/

BNO News
April 28, 2011

Three coalition service members die in Afghan attacks

KABUL: Three coalition service members were killed in two separate attacks in eastern and southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed on Friday.

ISAF said a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan killed two of its service members, while an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan claimed a third service member. The nationalities of the service members were not immediately disclosed. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” a brief statement said.

Coalition casualties in Afghanistan have been rising sharply in recent years, with a total coalition death toll of 709 in 2010, making it the deadliest year for international troops since the war….

So far this year, more than 155 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians.

On Wednesday, one of the deadliest days so far this year for coalition troops, eight American service members were killed when an Afghan military officer opened fire at an air force base at North Kabul International Airport. An American civilian with ISAF was also killed.

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Afghan War: U.S. Marine General Praises USMC-Trained Georgian Troops

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23387

Civil Georgia
April 28, 2011

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Praises Georgian Troops in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: U.S. Marine Corps General Richard Mills, a former commander of coalition forces in southwest Afghanistan, praised Georgian troops serving in the coalition forces for “absolutely superb work.”

Speaking with journalists in Washington on April 27, Gen. Mills, who oversaw operations in the Afghan Helmand and Nimruz provinces from April 2010 until earlier this month, gave some details of assignments undertaken by the Georgian forces under his commend.

Two Georgian battalions – the 31st and 32nd from the 3rd infantry brigade – were serving in Afghanistan under Mills’ command. Georgia started rotating its 32nd battalion with the 33rd battalion earlier this month.
….
“Georgians like to fight, they are professional soldiers, who understand what their tasks are and they are more than willing to carry them out. As a matter of fact they asked if they could be given even more duties and so one of their companies was sent to help out in place called Sangin…where a rather significant battle is being fought…,,” Gen. Mills said.
….
Gen. Mills said in Sangin the Georgian company was given “a tough” tasks against “a very determined enemy.”
….
He also said that as part of the assistance, the U.S. Marines provided the Georgian troops with “correct vehicles to resist mines.”

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 to 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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NATO Festival Begins In Norfolk, Virginia

http://www.act.nato.int/multimedia/archive/42-news-stories/593-flag-raising-kicks-off-annual-norfolk-nato-festival

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
April 27, 2011

Flag raising kicks off annual Norfolk NATO festival
Written by U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Chris Carrothers

-“[W]e take it above all as a salute to the brave men and women from all our nations who, as we speak, are serving in Afghanistan, over Libya, off the Horn of Africa and elsewhere….”

NORFOLK, Va. – Despite an unseasonably rainy day, Norfolk community leaders joined with staff from Allied Command Transformation to kick-off the Norfolk NATO festival with a flag raising ceremony at the ACT headquarters flag complex yesterday.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation French Air Force General Stéphane Abrial presided over the ceremony, which officially begins Norfolk’s NATO Festival.

The ceremony began with the raising of all 28 NATO member nations, with the U.S. flags hoisted on the ceremonial flag poles. Once the flags were in place, Abrial addressed the guests and staff.

“We greatly appreciate the NATO festival as a heartfelt gesture towards ACT personnel, but we also know that it goes beyond: we take it above all as a salute to the brave men and women from all our nations who, as we speak, are serving in Afghanistan, over Libya, off the Horn of Africa and elsewhere, putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of our common security and our shared values.”

“And no symbol, perhaps, demonstrates this more clearly than the flags of all our nations rising in a ripple of colour during today’s ceremony.”

Next to speak was Ambassador to the Norfolk NATO Festival U.S. Navy Petty Officer first Class Carla Burdt who is also HQ SACT’s Military Member of the Year for 2011. Burdt emphasized the long-standing friendship between Norfolk and the international military community that the festival represents.
….
After Petty Officer Burdt’s address she was presented with the Mace of the city of Norfolk by Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim. The mace was a colonial-era symbol of the authority bestowed by English royalty and was originally presented to the Norfolk Common Council by then Royal Lt. Governor Robert Dinwiddie April 1, 1754. Fraim then addressed the guest and staff.
….
Following the addresses, the Atlantic Fleet Band passed in review, while playing a mixture of U.S. and NATO songs….

This is one of several events leading up to the main week of the annual Norfolk NATO Festival April 26-30. Other events also include a parade in downtown Norfolk followed by a salute to NATO Nations at Town Point Park.

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NATO Trains Iraqi Proxy Army In Europe, At Home

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424204844.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
April 27, 2011

NATO Training Mission-Iraq Deputy Commander meets Iraq’s Chief of Defence

-[Italian Army Maj. Gen Claudio Angelelli and Iraqi Army Gen. Babakir Zebari] discussed training to be conducted at the Iraqi International Academy, where, once established, Iraq will have the premier Advanced Military Studies Complex in the Gulf Region; and the development of a Structured Cooperation Framework as a fundamental instrument for a long-term relationship between NATO and Iraq.

BAGHDAD – NATO Training Mission-Iraq Deputy Commander, Italian Army Maj. Gen Claudio Angelelli, met with Iraq’s Chief of Defence, Iraqi Army Gen. Babakir Zebari, here to discuss Iraqi military training conducted outside Iraq April 25.

During the meeting the two discussed efforts to better coordinate training courses conducted outside Iraq, of particular interest is a one-week long logistics course.
….
In addition to the logistics course several other significant achievements have been accomplished in recent months, including: Iraq’s Operational Centres achieving self-sustainable capability at the ministerial level (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister Office) last November and other completed courses as well as many currently in progress. Additionally, NATO has provided the Iraqi military with more than 112.2 million Euros worth of needed equipment through the Equipment Donation Programme.

They also discussed training to be conducted at the Iraqi International Academy, where, once established, Iraq will have the premier Advanced Military Studies Complex in the Gulf Region; and the development of a Structured Cooperation Framework as a fundamental instrument for a long-term relationship between NATO and Iraq.
….
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Mission

The NTM-I mission has always been fundamentally concerned with structures and institutions – building and developing enduring, national self-sustaining capabilities in the Iraqi Security Forces. Furthermore, NTM-I has always been a relatively small, tactical size organization, with limited resources but one that has had a strategic impact on Iraq.

Mission statement

Provide training and assistance to the Iraqi Security Forces in order to contribute to the development of Iraqi training structures and institutions, so that Iraq can continue to build effective and sustainable multi-ethnic security forces which address the security needs of the Iraqi people.

Participating nations

The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546 and currently, the NTM-I footprint is a small tactical force of around 170 NATO/PfP personnel, representing 14 member nations (as of April 2011) as part of 28 NATO countries.

14 member nations: Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania Turkey, Ukraine (Partnership for Peace), UK, USA.

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Polish Navy “Makes History” In Leading NATO Naval Group

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-36FEC94C-5571C740/natolive/news_72943.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 28, 2011

Polish naval command makes NATO history

Making history is not something every commander can say when they hand over the rotational lead of one of NATO’s maritime groups. For Commander Krzysztof Jan Rybak, completing a year at the helm of NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Maritime Group 1 (SNMCMG1), meant he was the first ever Pole to lead Alliance ships.
….
The Polish Navy initiated Poland’s involvement in NATO manoeuvres in 1993. Since then, as one of the newer members of NATO (1999), Poland has been participating in various NATO operations and training.

“Leading the group proved that even though Poland is the youngest member-country to take over we were well prepared to lead multinational forces throughout 2010,” says Cdr. Rybak. “Back then we were writing a completely new page in the history of the Polish Navy, and I was starting a new chapter in my personal career.”

NATO has 4 standing maritime groups – Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMG) 1 and 2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Maritime Groups (SNMCMG) 1 and 2. Each is comprised of between three to five ships on rotational cycles. While ships in these groups are not always on active operation, they continue to conduct exercises all year round.

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U.S. Forecasts 50 Percent Growth In World Energy Demand

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1868364.html

Trend News Agency
April 28, 2011

U.S. forecasts 50-percent growth of world demand for energy resources
A. Badalova

Baku: World demand for energy resources will grow by 50 percent from 2009 to 2035, the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) reported in its annual report on the energy review.

The major part of the growth during this period will be accounted for by countries which are not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where energy consumption will increase by 84 percent. In the developed OECD countries, this figure will hit 14 percent.

Among the countries that are not OECD members, the maximum growth in energy consumption for the period from 2009 to 2035 will be observed in the Middle East at 82 percent and in Africa and Central and South America at 63 percent.

According to the EIA forecasts, the consumption of liquid hydrocarbons in the OECD countries will rise to 47.9 million barrels per day in 2035, while in countries that are not members of this organization to 62.9 million barrels per day.

In the case of high oil prices by that year (about $200 per barrel), the consumption of liquid hydrocarbons in the OECD countries according to the EIA expectations will fall to 53.1 million barrels per day. In countries that are not members of the organization, on the contrary, an increase will be observed in energy consumption against the backdrop of high GDP growth. According to the EIA forecasts, the level of energy consumption in these countries in 2035 will hit 70 million barrels per day.

EIA forecasts the world’s liquid hydrocarbon production from non-traditional sources in 2035 at 10.4, 13.5, or 19.4 million barrels per day, depending on the scenario of changes in world oil prices.

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South Asian Asymmetries, U.S. Drone Warfare And The Peloponnesian War

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=88878

Pakistan Observer
April 29, 2011

Symmetry of asymmetries
Abid Latif Sindhu

Imperialism is a strange thing; by default it is taken as a de jure phenomenon for the smart and the beautiful. The West even coined euphemistic terms like Islamic Imperialism and Oriental Militarism, whereas nothing of this sort exists in the Muslim world. The Madina state, the Abbasids, the Omayyad, the Moguls and even the Ottomans were not imperialist in their intent. They were not even expansionist.

At the maximum these were self-satisfying monarchies with aggrandizing politics of the durbars. Is imperialism a Western theory of subjugation?

Modern history is full of Western hegemony and drive for Oriental and backyard colonialism.

It is said that history repeats itself. Now it is believed that history comes in concentric circles; the Romans invaded surrounding countries three millenniums ago on the plea that the Roman law applies the world over and authorized them to take action anywhere to secure the mainland from even future threats.

What a historical analogy with the present day USA state establishment!

Uncle Sam has come to this region to probably teach a lesson or two in intellectual history. The AfPak is a strategy of America and its allies to create or achieve symmetry in the sphere of regional power politics.

Amongst the states it is almost achievable, thanks to the strings attached with the tag of globalization, but things a little more primitive than the states in this part of world are really difficult to control and tame.

Here then come the drones, the Roman way or the traditional Ku Klux Klan with a bang. The Peloponnesian War is the most important historic simile of the present day problems in Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Three things played important parts in the conduct of this war: one, the repeated campaigning season of summer; second, the motivating and incisive speeches of both the Spartan and Athenian Generals at every stage of war; and thirdly, the absence of religion and theocratic inferences.

If the AfPak policy is designed on these lines, then the chances of success are increased, so Uncle Sam gets a leaf from history and makes General Peterson read the Peloponnesian War. It is said that already Thucydides is the favorite author of many American generals engaged in this war and the Peloponnesian War is on their coffee tables. The situation on the ground is getting more complexed, the political cam is not even creating a torque by a single degree.

Drones are proving to be anathema to the complete matrix of this war; the protagonist who uses it as a force multiplier is actually losing whatever little power left in the military system which is waging this war.

Any war which has murkier tones of engagement is going to be an unending affair. The players the USA, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban and the bold and beautiful CIA along the ISI are protagonists. The March 17 drone attack emerges as another Gordian knot after the Raymond Davis case. It targeted the jirga of the Madda Khel tribe which was called to solve an inter-tribe sale of a chromite mine at Datta Khel. Drones are being used as the unilateral weapon of choice; these are more of a political destabilizer than a force multiplier.

The Pakistan government has now reached a point where it cannot take more of these attacks. The military is also getting jittery on the subject.

Over 700 drone attacks are enough to disturb the barometric readings of any nation or people. To counter the negative atmospherics of the tribal region, especially North Waziristan, General Kayani announced the construction of an 80-kilometer road from Bannu to Ghulam Khan, the border town at the Pak Afghan border and the most important crossing place for trade and tribal movements for centuries. Another irritant in the regional distemper between Pakistan and USA is the presence of intelligence operatives in Pakistan.

Once the ISI chief protested on the issue in Washington; he was told that the number is difficult to reduce, rather it is a matter which cannot be take into account Pakistan’s perspective.

On the other hand Pakistan has showed its willingness to allow the Taliban to open an office in Turkey, magnanimity at its best. For the USA it will be difficult to leave Afghanistan in the hands of Afghan national forces, which are still in their seminal stage. Afghanistan and the tribal region of Pakistan are at the historical equinox, whether night prevails or the dawn emerges is a million dollar question which can only be answered by getting the priorities right at the grass root levels of engagement.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Update on Libyan war: April 28

April 28, 2011 2 comments

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Tripoli Bishop: Bombs Striking Everywhere, Italian Government Should Resign

Libya: Robin Hood And Robbers

Several Injured, Perhaps Dead In NATO Air Strike On Libyan Capital

Libya To Take Legal Action Against NATO Over Gaddafi Assassination Attempt

NATO’s Month-Long Air War: 4,100 Sorties, 1,700 Strike Missions

Russia Says EU, NATO Ready To Start Ground Operation In Libya

West Plans Libyan Invasion Under Humanitarian Guise

Libya Trains Volunteer Army To Fight Against NATO Invasion

Bishop Denounces NATO Bombing Campaign In Libya

War Against Libya As Seen From Caribbean, Latin America

Russia, China Oppose Foreign Interference In Syria

Libya: Africa And Politics of Contradictions

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Tripoli Bishop: Bombs Striking Everywhere, Italian Government Should Resign

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/This-%E2%80%9Cwar-makes-no-sense%E2%80%9D,-the-Italian-govt-should-%E2%80%9Cresign%E2%80%9D,-Tripoli-bishop-says-21417.html

Asia News
April 28, 2011

This “war makes no sense”, the Italian govt should “resign”, Tripoli bishop says

Tripoli: “NATO’s war makes no sense. People want peace. What have people done to deserve all this?” asks Mgr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, apostolic vicar of Tripoli. “Targeting military objectives” is crazy because “bombs are striking everywhere,” the prelate said. “We cannot sleep and people are panicking,” he added. “Just last night, there were some explosions just a few kilometres from our area.”

The situation is desperate and the West should stop the war, Mgr Martinelli urged. “We can see women and children crying in the streets. Many Muslim women have come to church crying, asking the Pope to stop the conflict,” the prelate said.

“Bombs solve nothing. NATO and the rebels must stop the military intervention and accept diplomatic talks with the regime,” he explained.

The prelate is also very critical of the positions taken by the Italian government. After backing Gaddafi and his regime for years, now Rome has decided to take part in the air strikes.

“If this is the government’s choice, it would be better for everyone that it resign,” the bishop said.

“How can anyone say that everything is normal and right? If the war continues, the gap between the Libyan and Italian peoples could get bigger, with unforeseeable consequences.”

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Libya: Robin Hood And Robbers

http://print.dailymirror.lk/opinion1/42367.html

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
April 29, 2011

Libya’s Robin Hood and the Robbers
Ameen Izzadeen

With every passing day, the Libyan picture becomes clearer. The emerging picture confirms what most people, including imperialists, know — that the reason for the military action against Libya is anything but humanitarian.

Protecting Libya’s civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces is only a cover for a campaign aimed at regime change and the plunder of the resources not only of Libya but also of the whole of Africa.

According to a shocking article posted on OpEdNews.com, the Libyan war has its roots in oil and Lockerbie. The author, Susan Lindauer, a CIA ‘asset’ turned anti-war activist, says Libya was made a fall guy in the Lockerbie bombing that was carried out by the CIA’s drug mafia.

{For a compilation of the CIA’s drug operations, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_drug_trafficking.}

Lindauer claims that Gaddafi was the fall guy and he was forced to cough up about 2.7 billion dollars in compensation for the 270 victims who died when a bomb planted on Pan Am flight 103 exploded on December 21, 1988 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Gaddafi paid the money in 2008 after admitting to a crime which he had not committed to save his country from the pangs of gruelling UN sanctions.

When Gaddafi improved relations with the West in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, US oil companies wasted no time in striking deals. But they withdrew last year, complaining about the huge kickbacks Gaddafi was demanding.

Justifying the Libyan leader’s demand, Lindauer says, “Gaddafi took on the role of a modern-day Robin Hood, who insisted on replenishing his people for the costs they’d suffered under UN sanctions….You’ve got to admit that Gaddafi’s attempt to balance the scales of justice demonstrated a flair of righteous nationalism.”

She adds: “Don’t kid yourself. This is an oil war, and it smacks of imperialist double standards”.

{Visit http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/Libya-s-Blood-for-Oil-The-by-Susan-Lindauer-110327-21.html for Lindauer’s article.}

If oil is the reward that the US is seeking from the Libyan war, the enslavement of Africa is perhaps what France and Britain are after.

Though Gaddafi courted the West by dismantling Libya’s weapons of mass destruction programmes soon after the US invasion of Iraq, the Libyan leader had other ideas. He conceived a vision to free Africa from the West’s neocolonialist clutches.

In 1992, 45 African nations formed RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation) aimed at bringing down the cost of communications in the continent. Africa was paying some US$ 500 million a year as satellite fees to French and other European companies, and the call charges in the continent were the highest in the world. RASCOM had a plan to launch its own African satellite. The project would cost US$ 400 million. For 14 years, they went behind the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other donors. These imperialist-run institutions made borrowing difficult by placing tough conditions.

Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas and offered US$ 300 million. The African Development Bank with US$50 million and the West African Development Bank with US$27 million contributed to the project which was brought to fruition in December 2007. Africa’s gain was Europe’s loss. No wonder Gaddafi has become a villain for France, Britain and other imperialists though he is a hero for Africa.

Gaddafi had also pledged to fund three ambitious African projects — the creation of an African investment bank, an African monetary fund and an African central bank. Africa felt that these Africa-centred institutions were necessary to end its dependence on the IMF and the World Bank — institutions that prescribe unrealistic and unpopular measures to qualify for loans. These conditions which include measures to privatize natural resources and allowing unlimited access to foreign companies are designed to keep Africa eternally poor or dependant on the West. Libya had pledged funds for these projects from its investments in the United States. The US$ 30 billion which the Barack Obama administration froze (or robbed) at the first signs of the orchestrated troubles in the Libyan town of Benghazi was meant to finance these three African projects which would have given Africa some economic freedom.

Besides oil and Africa’s economic freedom, Libya’ refusal to join Africom, the United State’s African Command, is also a casus belli for the war on Libya. Though Africom’s stated objective is to assist African nations, critics say its military objective is to prevent China from gaining a strategic foothold in Africa. At present Africom operates from an old French base in Djibouti. Is the Libyan war aimed at bringing Africom to Libya? The one who controls Libya controls the Mediterranean, the Middle East and half of Africa. Since the end of World War II, the United States had a huge military base in Libya until Gaddafi in 1969 told the US to get out. Amidst uncertainty over the direction a civilian government in Egypt will take, a base in neighbouring Libya assumes added significance. Gaddafi opposed these moves and played a dangerous game with the West — offering them oil deals while taking steps to check the West’s influence on Africa and the Middle East.

In one such anti-West tirade in 2003, Gaddafi at an Arab summit slammed Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who was seated opposite him. “You are a product of Britain and protected by the US.”

Six year later, he repeated the accusations at another summit, saying “After six years, it has been proven that with…the grave before you, it is Britain that made you and the Americans that protected you.”

No wonder that Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Gulf states have joined the military campaign against Libya — something they would not even dream of doing to protect the Palestinian people from Israel.

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Several Injured, Perhaps Dead In NATO Air Strike On Libyan Capital

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/04/28/2741s634609.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 28, 2011

At Least 4 Injured in NATO Airstrikes on Tripoli

At least four people were injured in NATO airstrikes on Libyan capital Tripoli early Thursday morning, which had struck a military target in the eastern part of the city, a Xinhua reporter said.

At least four people were pulled out from the explosion sites and sent to hospital, but it was unclear whether they were fatally wounded, said the reporter, adding that more casualties are possible.

NATO airplanes fired four rockets on Tripoli in the latest raid, hitting a military academy. An administrative building of the academy and a government-owned warehouse was destroyed.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen above the areas struck by the rockets, said the reporter whose home is just 2 km away from one of the explosion sites.

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Libya To Take Legal Action Against NATO Over Gaddafi Assassination Attempt

http://www.afriquejet.com/news/africa-news/libya-takes-legal-action-against-nato-for-attempt-on-kadhafi’s-life-2011042810243.html

Afrique en ligne/Pan-African News Agency
April 28, 2011

Libya takes legal action against NATO for attempt on Kadhafi’s life

Tripoli, Libya: Libya has undertaken legal proceedings before the ‘competent courts’ against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its allies for attempting to assassinate the country’s leader, Mouammar Kadhafi, an official source said here Wednesday.

On Sunday, Kadhafi’s office, located in his residence at Bab Al-Aziziya in Tripoli, was totally destroyed by the air strikes launched by NATO. Legal services at the Libyan General People’s Committee said Wednesday that ‘NATO, on 25 April, bombarded the administrative building at Bab Al-Aziziya, used for administrative purposes and this was in an attempt to assassinate Kadhafi,’ the Libyan News Agency (JANA) said.

The Libyan judicial services said ‘with regard to the violation of the international law, which this criminal act represents, the absence of all basis on international legality, as well as its violation of the content of the 1970 and 1973 UN Security Council resolutions, the legal competent services at the Libyan General People’s Committee for Justice have undertaken actions for a complaint before the specialized courts against NATO and those responsible for those acts.’

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NATO’s Month-Long Air War: 4,100 Sorties, 1,700 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110428_110428-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 28, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 4,100 sorties of which 1,699 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 April: 119

Strike sorties conducted 27 April: 41

….

Key Targets and Engagements

27 April: in the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Communications facility; 2 vehicle storage buildings; 1 surface-to-air missile storage facility.

In the vicinity of Misurata: 2 rocket launchers; 2 artillery vehicles; 1 armoured personnel carrier.

In the vicinity of Mizdah: 7 ammunition storage bunkers.

In the vicinity of Sirte: 12 ammunition storage bunkers.

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 19 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

20 Vessels were hailed on 27 April to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 682 vessels have been hailed, 20 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

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Russia Says EU, NATO Ready To Start Ground Operation In Libya

http://rt.com/politics/nato-ready-ground-libya/

RT
April 28, 2011

Russia says EU, NATO ready to start ground operation in Libya

Russia’s envoy to NATO says that the European Union is ready to send up to 1,500 soldiers to conduct a ground operation in Libya, albeit this will be called support of the humanitarian mission.

­Dmitry Rogozin told Russian news agencies on Thursday that the European Union had prepared an operation to enforce the security of the humanitarian mission and at present there were only some logistical details to be fixed. Rogozin said that the EU will send about 1,500 people divided into tactical groups and according to his information these will be soldiers from Germany and the Netherlands.

The EU Council made the decision to start preparations for the humanitarian operation on April 1, but in order to turn the operation into the practical phase the union needs a request from the United Nations which has not yet been received.

NATO was also considering ground operations in Libya despite the fact that the UN resolution on the situation in the country only allows an air blockade. At present, NATO is sending a civilian representative to the city of Benghazi to establish ties with the Libyan opposition forces. The Russian envoy said that such a move can be explained by ambitions more than practical reasons.

“Sending the NATO civilian mission to Benghazi fully matches the ambitions stated in the alliance’s new strategic concept that reads that from now on NATO will be holding all-in-one operations without using any services from the European Union or other international organizations. NATO wants to show now that it is able to conduct universal work. Be a universal soldier, a nurse and a babysitter all in one,” Rogozin said.

Dmitry Rogozin earlier warned that the international coalition could use the humanitarian operation as a disguise for a large-scale ground operation against Muammar Gaddafi’s troops.

Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported earlier on Thursday that a diplomatic source had confirmed that NATO was sending a civilian representative with a small staff of aides to Benghazi in order to secure political contacts with the National Transitional Council….

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West Plans Libyan Invasion Under Humanitarian Guise

http://rt.com/politics/press/nezavisimaya/gaddafi-ground-un-operation/en/

Nezavisimaya/RT
April 28, 2011

Gaddafi asks Russia to be his counsel
Coalition members are planning a ground “humanitarian” operation
Olesya Khantsevich

The Western coalition is looking for ways to initiate a ground operation in Libya, which would not violate the current UN resolution and not trigger the adoption of a new one.

The EU’s secret plan for a ground operation became available to the press.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in the combat zone is deteriorating day by day. While the West continues strikes and its aerial hunt for Gaddafi, the rebels are receiving significant financial support from abroad – the US, Australia, and Kuwait. The Libyan authorities have asked Russia to initiate an emergency UN Security Council meeting in order to stop “the excessive aggression of the colonialists and Crusaders”.

The German newspaper Bild had published the EU’s secret plan for a ground operation in Libya. Despite the fact that the mission is officially called humanitarian, the 60-page document provides for the involvement of soldiers, sappers, air traffic controllers, and special military machinery. The headquarters of the mission are expected to be located in Rome, the term of operation – no more than four months. The military campaign, named EUFOR Libya, could start after the EU receives an appropriate request from the UN. A source in the EU has confirmed this information, while a representative of NATO headquarters in Brussels said that plans for this type of a ground operation are also nurtured by the alliance.

Despite the fact that the Western collation leaders continue to assert that a ground invasion is not in their plans, the leadership of the NATO countries is considering the option of bypassing the UN resolution of March 17 – this conclusion is being drawn by the media.

On Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had excluded the possibility of launching a ground operation, underscoring that it would violate the UN Security Council resolution, but at the same time he left room for the possibility of sending reconnaissance units and military experts, which according to him is not prohibited by the resolution.

Earlier, French authorities had spoken in favor of aiming NATO bombers from the ground; otherwise, they “blindly” deliver strikes, which leads to fatal mistakes.

And British Prime Minister David Cameron had accepted the possibility of supplying arms to the Libyan rebels. “We do not exclude the possibility of delivering arms supplies, but we have yet to make a decision on this issue. The legal and practical issues must be carefully examined,” he said. Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, expressed the opinion that the arms embargo is not obsolete. “In certain circumstances, it is legal under the UN resolution to supply equipment to protect civilian lives,” said the foreign secretary. The media had repeatedly reported that special ground units from Great Britain, France, and Italy are secretly operating in Libya.

Meanwhile, despite the all-round assistance, the opposition is unable to overturn Muammar Gaddafi. His loyal army continues to strike against Misurata.

A month and a half after the Western coalition launched the airborne mission, the bloodshed continues.

Residents of east Libya, which is under the control of Gaddafi’s opposition, could face food shortages. Meanwhile, the financial support of the rebels rises day by day – US President Barack Obama has instructed to allocate $25 million, Australia donated ten time less for humanitarian relief, and Kuwait provided $180 million to the rebels.

Moreover, the US Treasury had allowed American companies to buy oil from the Libyan rebels. The Libyan leader, meanwhile, was not discouraged after the bombing of his residence in Tripoli. He is actively seeking support from abroad. Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, said that a delegation from Libya had arrived to his country “in search for a political solution”. He called Gaddafi a friend and condemned the “military intervention” of the US and members of the EU. “They are dropping bombs on military barracks, schools, shopping centers….Who gave them this right? We are searching for a peaceful solution to the situation,” said Chavez.

Libyan authorities have also turned to Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, urging it to convene an emergency meeting. In the appeal it is stated that the topic of discussion at the meeting needs to be “the excessive aggression of the colonizers and Crusaders, who are striking civilian targets and trying to liquidate Muammar Gaddafi, which violates the UN Security Council resolutions and the principles of international law”.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has not yet decided to initiate an emergency meeting; but recently, Russia has been acting as Libya’s chief defender in the international arena.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently confronted NATO by telling journalists in Copenhagen that “Libyans need to be allowed to resolve the situation themselves”.

He recalled the UN Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya. “Where is there a no-fly zone, if the palaces, where Gaddafi resides, are bombarded from the sky on a daily basis? They say: no we don’t want to destroy him. Then why strike the palaces? What are they trying to do there, get rid of mice?” said the head of the government.

Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that Russia will use its veto right and will not support a new UN Security Council resolution on Libya “if it, one way or another, leads to further exacerbation of the civil war, including by outside intervention”.

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Libya Trains Volunteer Army To Fight Against NATO Invasion

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE73Q8ZZ20110427

Reuters
April 27, 2011

Libya’s Gaddafi trains volunteer army to fight NATO
By Lin Noueihed

TARHUNAH, LibyaL The man squats down and fires. A rocket-propelled grenade shoots into the desert to calls of “Allahu Akbar,” God is Greatest. Another man takes his place.

These are members of the volunteer army being trained by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the name of fighting any NATO ground invasion.

Libyan officials have said in recent weeks that they had begun arming and training civilians across government-controlled western Libya, in an effort to put the country’s tribes at the forefront of the fight against NATO attacks.

In a government-organised trip on Wednesday, journalists were taken to Tarhunah, 85 km (53 miles) southeast of Tripoli, to meet the volunteers who are being armed and trained there.
….
“We have trained 400 people so far and given them arms. We started with the NATO strikes,” said Jamal Ibrahim Abu Ghrara, an agricultural engineer and head of the local people’s committee who was supervising the training.

Another 14 committees have also trained volunteers to fight what they see as a possible NATO invasion.
….
Sitting on the grass, cradling his Kalashnikov rifle, 22-year-old Mohammed Jumaa, said he volunteered with his two brothers and two sisters, to protect their family in any war.

“We are all volunteers. Even the girls,” Jumaa said softly.

“We’re not expecting a rebellion here or the rebels to reach here. It is about NATO. They are planning to come by land and they want to come here and take our oil.”
….

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Bishop Denounces NATO Bombing Campaign In Libya

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=10141

Catholic Culture
April 28, 2011

Bishop denounces continued bombing campaign in Libya

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed his condemnation of the bombing of Libya by NATO forces.

“On Easter Monday, we witnessed a terrible bombing in Tripoli, but this did not stop the faithful from being present in church,” Bishop Giovanni Martinelli told the Fides news agency. “The United Nations has decided to make war and does not allow any form of dialogue as a means of resolving disputes. Everyone wants to continue to pursue the solution of the bombs. It is sad, terrible, because nothing will change. It is a defeat for humanity.”

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War Against Libya As Seen From Caribbean, Latin America

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/commentaries/Caricom_s_watch_on_Libya-120756154.html

Trinindad Express
April 27, 2011

Caricom’s watch on Libya
By Rickey Singh

Caribbean Community governments whose economic development programmes are linked to some vital funding from Libya, are in deep agony as the powerful and wealthy western nations now intensify their military battle for “regime change” in Tripoli with direct bombing strikes on the office complex of President Moammar Gadaffi.

Among Caribbean leaders expressing concerns are Caricom’s current chairman, Prime Minister Tillman Thomas of Grenada and counterparts in St Vincent and the Grenadines (Ralph Gonzales); Antigua and Barbuda (Baldwin Spencer); Dominica (Roosevelt Skerrit); St Lucia (Stephenson King) and St Kitts and Nevis (Denzil Douglas).

As the Guardian (UK) was reporting on Easter Monday’s official Libyan complaint that two successive bombing strikes were part of a plan to assassinate Gadaffi, the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) was pointing to the consequences for some regional economies in view of the deteriorating situation in Libya.

Immediate projects expected to be affected include the opening of a Libyan embassy in St Lucia and a bank in St Kitts. As Prime Minister Spencer contends, “whether we like it or not, we are still very much dependent on oil from the Middle East and most of our economies are driven by that…and we are nervously watching developments in the North African country of Libya….”

Prime Minister Spencer and a lot of other Caribbean leaders — if not all of them — would also be conscious of another reality beyond our dependency on oil.

It is the reality that the western nations currently driving the campaign for regime change in Libya — namely the US, Britain and France — and distorting in the process last month’s UN Security Council’s “no fly zone” resolution to “protect civilians” — do not give a damn as to what the governments and people of the Latin American and Caribbean region think about how they wage their campaign to get Gadaffi out of power.

In the March 23 column on an “Arab ‘fig leaf’ for regime change” in Libya, I made clear that as a journalist of this region, I have no tears to shed for Gadaffi who has been ruling Libya with an iron first for some four decades.

Further, it was evident that the support sought from the Arab League by the US and its allies for the UN Security Council’s “no-fly zone” resolution could not mask the real objective of “regime change” in Tripoli.

Since then, the spreading turmoil in that region, with thousands dead and injured and widespread destruction in Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, have served to confirm the real objective of the UN ‘no-fly zone’ resolution — getting rid of Gadaffi, by all means necessary..

In contrast to the double-speak on the bloody battles in that region, the US and its two most formidable “partners in war” on Libya — Britain and France — have been demonstrating that “regime change” in Tripoli is the name of the game — as was done in Baghdad to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Then it was done with open contempt for the UN when then-President George Bush ignored the world body in launching the US military invasion of Iraq.

The people and governments of the Caribbean are mere spectators — like people and governments in other poor and developing regions of the world — to the hypocrisy of the US and its major European allies as they expediently engage in muted criticisms against the brutal repression of western-backed regimes in the Middle East but are pressing for regime change in Libya. Even if, as of now, it means taking taking out the Libyan dictator dead.

It should be recalled that back in 1986 President Ronald Reagan had authorised the bombing of Libya — with US jets flying from British bases — and including the residential compound. There were more than 100 civilian deaths, among them Gadaffi adopted baby daughter, Hannah.

In Libya, unlike elsewhere in that region, the US and its NATO allies are actually involved in warfare on behalf of armed rebels committed to the goal of ending the Gadaffi regime. Not satisfied with the gains of Gadaffi’s political opponents, they are no longer pretending about simply restricting themselves to the original intent of the UN Security Council resolution on “protecting” civilians.

Under enormous pressure from the Obama administration, the UN had refused Libya’s request for a hearing of its position in the current conflict. The UN had made no prior effort to seriously broker negotiations between Gadaffi’s government and the coalition of rebel forces.

While Caricom ponders the usefulness of at least issuing a collective “statement of concern” about the politics of regime change in Libya, the government in Tripoli has denounced what it regards “as an attempt to assassinate the (Libyan) leader and unifying the figure of our country….”

Do not expect America and its NATO allies to give any credence to Gadaffi’s claim that the war currently being waged against Libya reveals a violation of the letter and spirit of the UN Security Council resolution authorising military intervention “to protect civilians”

One does not, however, have to be a political sympathiser of the Libyan leader to make an independent judgment on what’s occurring at present in Libya — in the name of “democracy”.

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Russia, China Oppose Foreign Interference In Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/28/49589323.html

Voice of Russia
April 28, 2011

Russia warns against interference in Syria
Konstantin Garibov

-It is becoming increasingly obvious that some people in Syria and other countries hope that the deteriorating situation will compel the international community to interfere under the pretext of assistance and side with one of the parties involved, like it happened in Libya. This is a provocation of violence and a sort of invitation to a civil war….

Members of the UN Security Council have failed to agree upon a statement condemning the Syrian government’s violence against the opposition.

Great Britain, France, Germany and Portugal suggested that the UN condemn Damascus for its disproportionate use of force against the peaceful population and urged an independent enquiry into all the related facts.

Responding to this proposal, UN Envoy in Syria Bashar Ja’afari said that Damascus has nothing to hide and is ready to carry out its own investigation. The Syrian army’s military operations are not targeted against the peaceful population but aim to do away with extremist terrorist groups, the official stressed.

Russia, China and Lebanon, which is the only Arab country in the UN Security Council, have taken a stand against the draft statement. Russian deputy UN Ambassador Alexander Pankin urged members not to ignore the fact that Syrian violence “does not all originate from one side.” He referred to the killing of a military convoy by anti-government forces, armed assaults on military facilities and checkpoints, as well as murders of police officers. The Russian diplomat does not however consider the conflict in Syria a threat to international security.

There was another reason behind Russia’s refusal to back the draft statement. It is becoming increasingly obvious that some people in Syria and other countries hope that the deteriorating situation will compel the international community to interfere under the pretext of assistance and side with one of the parties involved, like it happened in Libya. This is a provocation of violence and a sort of invitation to a civil war, deputy director of the Institute for US and Canada Studies Pavel Zolotarev said.

“Any outside interference in the settlement of Syria’s domestic issues is exceedingly dangerous in this context. Every country has some internal opposition forces capable of provoking chaos, presuming that other countries, interested in Syrian instability or the ascent to power of people who will pursue a policy beneficial to them, will start supporting these forces. This is not the way to ensure peace and stability. We will definitely trigger chaos if we follow this track. Therefore, Russia’s stand on Syria is clearly based on the principles of international law and common sense,” Pavel Zolotarev emphasized.
….
On Thursday, April 28th, the UN Security Council is going to discuss the situation in Libya. No draft resolution has been prepared as yet. Russia will not endorse any new resolution unless it contains an appeal to cease violence, bloodshed and military operations, as well as to immediately sit down at the negotiating table and finally agree on the Libyan future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the day before. But if the resolution leads to further exacerbation of the civil war, including outside interference, Russia will find it completely impossible to uphold it.

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Libya: Africa And Politics of Contradictions

http://allafrica.com/stories/201104280016.html

The Herald (Zimbabwe)
April 27, 2011

Africa And Politics of Contradictions
Reason Wafawarova

-It is people without love who talk about love most often. It is people without grassroots participation in the decision-making process of their own countries who preach about democracy the most. It is people with atomic bombs and earth-shattering nuclear weapons who preach loudest about international peace.
It is people with lethal bombs and sophisticated military aircraft who preach most about the protection of Libyan civilians while spraying Libyan cities with deadly bombs….
-In fact, imperialism maintains itself largely on the effect of the apathy and hopelessness of its victims. It is purely the apathy and ignorance of Africans that is maintaining the Western aggression in Libya today.
It is quite unthinkable that a coalition of the willing from Africa could decide to go and bomb a European country, banking on the apathy and ignorance of Europeans.
As Libya is burning, Africa is busy fearing who could be next and our own people are heard bragging that Zimbabwe could be next, Uganda is next, Ethiopia is next and so on.
-What is discussed in white written slave history is the nature and condition of slavery, not the nature and condition of the slave master….And today we are made to discuss the nature and condition of democracy and human rights, not the nature and condition of the democratisation masters pushing all nationalities into compliance with the West’s dictates.

There is an unexplained wonder of political history where the people with a track record of going to war, who are ready to go to war, and have gone to war and destroyed millions of lives, are the most vocal in talking about peace, human rights and the protection of civilians from military attacks.

The United States, France and the UK have a terrible history of murderous slavery, cruel colonisation of other peoples, and despicable modern-day imperialistic tendencies.

This history is indelible and cannot be denied or wished away.

But Amos Wilson noted: “If accepting the truth about the situation of African peoples and other people in the world today means exposing the European to himself, of course he is going to ignore that expose.”

When writers expose the real motives of Westerners for the unjust war they are currently launching on Libya, what Western powers can only do is ignore that expose, while pushing a propaganda line that says the war is about protecting Libyans from their monstrous leadership.

It is people without love who talk about love most often. It is people without grassroots participation in the decision-making process of their own countries who preach about democracy the most. It is people with atomic bombs and earth-shattering nuclear weapons who preach loudest about international peace.

It is people with lethal bombs and sophisticated military aircraft who preach most about the protection of Libyan civilians while spraying Libyan cities with deadly bombs – of course in the name of benefitting the very civilians whose lives and infrastructure they are destroying.

What we must always recognise is that Africans do have a huge stake in ensuring the continuation of the failure of large segments of our own population, and Libya is no exception.

There are numerous contradictions in African society and these are issues of great importance in determining the problems bedevilling the continent.

Many of our people have an amazing excuse that says the circumstances determining our lives today are beyond our control. So there is a belief that other people are totally responsible for the state of Africa today and therefore we have neither say in nor control over these issues.

There is an extent to which this might be true when one looks at colonial history and what slavery did to the people of Africa. But when post-colonial influences end up creating psychological problems for the African individual it becomes time for self-reflection.

One has to see the apathy Africa is expressing over the military aggression in Libya today. The African leadership is apathetic if and when not complicit. They have given up and most have resigned from the African life, leaving the fate of their countries to the dictates of Western aid and to the will of Western political elites and their NGO arms.

When a president of a country becomes a victim of psychological problems to the extent of giving up effort and acknowledging that Africa is powerless and cannot do without handholding from Westerners, then we have to be alive to the reality that our hope as a continent is right in the abyss.

It is the apathy and resignation on the part of our African leadership that helps a great deal in maintaining the post-colonial imperial system that subjugates Africa today.

There is a fear of uniting and trusting each other, the inexplicable fear of coming together and solving our problems together. This explains a lot the great deal of political polarisation within our body politic.

Political parties in Africa are like armies going to war against each other, as opposed to mental bodies competing in the battle of ideas. We threaten our political rivals with sloganeering, violence, financial muscle, and the eventuality is often intolerance and armed confrontation.

It is probably only in Africa where singing, shouting, dancing, eating and drinking are integral components of structuring a successful political party.

Not only are we convinced that it is just not in us to unite and solve our problems together as a people, but many of us are so much awed by the might of white imperialism that there is this belief that the dominance of imperial powers is in itself indomitable.

In fact, imperialism maintains itself largely on the effect of the apathy and hopelessness of its victims. It is purely the apathy and ignorance of Africans that is maintaining the Western aggression in Libya today.

It is quite unthinkable that a coalition of the willing from Africa could decide to go and bomb a European country, banking on the apathy and ignorance of Europeans.

As Libya is burning, Africa is busy fearing who could be next and our own people are heard bragging that Zimbabwe could be next, Uganda is next, Ethiopia is next and so on.

Cheering the monster in the house is quite understandable when it is coming from individuals with psychological problems emanating from the effects of slavery and colonisation. It is a socially constructed mental disorder.

We are witnessing a period when a section of our people is drowned in the fear of the white man, resigned from life and hope, incapable of self-initiative, and absolutely mesmerised by the glitter of Western civilisation.

There are those among us who try to deal with the discrepancy between what the imperial system dictates Africa can achieve, and our failure to achieve even that.

One easy way out has always been the lowering of the African aspiration, fitting the African story into a lesser place that will not tamper with Western interests within our own continent.

So, South Africa battles to lower the aspiration of blacks in repossessing their colonially stolen lands; to lower the aspiration of the black person in having control over the mineral resources of that country, and to lower the aspiration of the African to become an employer and not an employee, as is defined by colonial tradition.

The moment Julius Malema talks land redistribution or nationalisation of mines, there are always those among us who are quick to remind the rest of Africa that such aspirations must be lowered so that white investors are not scared. The irony of protecting one’s own chains is exactly what perpetuated slavery and colonialism.

And, Africa is openly threatened that the West will do a Zimbabwe on anyone that dares threaten post-colonial imperial economic interests on the continent. Of course Zimbabwe embarked on an ambitious land redistribution programme that resulted in the strangulation of its economy through a murderous sanctions regime illegally imposed by the US, the EU and other Western outposts.

Then there are other African leaders who try to inflate their achievements, to inflate their personalities. They gloat and brag about economic growth that is based on over 70 percent Western donor aid. They gloat about rising to political power as puppets funded and directed by Western elites. They look around pompously as they showcase what they describe as “our friends from the international community”.

We see the average African middle class citizen being very boastful, being so egocentric, bragging a great deal about personal achievements, pumping themselves up, and pumping even smallest of achievements up into gigantic exploits.

This is just a measure of the destruction that has occurred to the self-esteem of the African – the effect of colonial hegemony over the African life. A family car is to an average African middle class citizen what Virgin is to Richard Branson.
….
[T]hose who tell us about Libya cannot be expected to condemn themselves. But it really needs no explanation to figure out that the invasion of a sovereign state for the sake of removing its political leadership is illegal and unacceptable.

So what is discussed in the media today is the nature and conditions of the politics of Libya, not the nature and condition of the invading Western forces.

What is discussed in white written slave history is the nature and condition of slavery, not the nature and condition of the slave master.

The same goes for colonialism. White written colonialism discusses the nature and condition of colonialism itself, not the nature and condition of the colonial master.

And today we are made to discuss the nature and condition of democracy and human rights, not the nature and condition of the democratisation masters pushing all nationalities into compliance with the West’s dictates.

The questions dealt with in the history that shapes our lives today are not questions about the mental stability and characteristics of those who enslaved and colonised us, those who continue to dominate us today, and we never get to ask if these same people should continue to be influential over our lives.

This is why some among us believe that the same people are fighting on behalf of Libyan civilians today – even by bombing the same civilians in whose name they fly their murderous planes over Libyan air space, of course with the full blessing of Ban Ki-moon’s United Nations.

We have been made to see an imaginary genocide “averted” by real Western firepower and the world is being coerced to imagine that Gaddafi was about to commit genocide in Benghazi just before the messianic West came with the love and mercy of the Archangel Michael.

Africa we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 27, 2011

April 28, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libya war: April 27

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Russia Alarmed By NATO Expansion On Its Borders

NATO Death Toll At Nine In Afghan Airport Attack

Six NATO Soldiers Killed In Attack At Kabul Airport

Attack On Military Post Sign NATO Pushing Afghan War Into Pakistan

Afghan, NATO Troops Attack Pakistani Checkpoint, Several Dead

Three Afghan, Two Pakistani Soldiers Killed In Border Clash

After Libya, France And Italy Turn Attention To Syria

AFRICOM: U.S. Marines Conduct Amphibious Drills With Senegal, Nigeria

Ethiopia: AFRICOM Air Force Holds Conference With 20 African Nations

New Macedonian Army Chief Must Meet NATO Criteria

Iraqi General Staff To Develop Relations With NATO

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Russia Alarmed By NATO Expansion On Its Borders

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE73Q3GH20110427

Reuters
April 27, 2011

Russia worried by NATO expansion near its border

Stockholm: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed worries again Wednesday about the expansion of NATO, which has already taken in former Soviet states as members.

“The expansion of NATO infrastructure towards our borders is causing us concern,” Putin told a news conference after meeting Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

“NATO is not simply a political bloc, it is a military bloc. No one cancelled the agreements on how the bloc reacts to external threats. It is a defence structure,” added Putin.

NATO has already taken in the three former Soviet Baltic states as members, as well as old Warsaw Pact nations including Poland and the Czech Republic.

Moscow has long been worried by the military alliance’s growth and the possibility of its further expansion to take in former Soviet republics such as Georgia or Ukraine. And it is wary of U.S. and NATO plans for a European missile defence shield, which it fears could be a threat to its security unless Russia too is integrated into such a system.

Visiting Denmark Tuesday, Putin criticized the Western coalition attacking Libya, saying it had neither the right nor the mandate to kill the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Sweden is taking part in the NATO operation in Libya, though it is not a member of the military alliance.

In the context of the Libya operation, Putin also said decisions on using military force were being taken too easily.

He contrasted this with the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when he said Soviet commanders were much more careful in their use of force for fear of causing civilian deaths and casualties.

(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski and Patrick Lannin, editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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NATO Death Toll At Nine In Afghan Airport Attack

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/27/c_13848966.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 27, 2011

Death toll of NATO casualties at shootout in Kabul airport rises to 9

KABUL: The death toll of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as a result of the shootout in Kabul airport on Wednesday reached nine, a statement of the military alliance released here said.

“Eight International Security Assistance Force service members and one ISAF civilian died following a shooting incident here today,” the statement confirmed.

However, it did not identify the nationalities of the victims, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

In the previous statement the alliance put the number of casualties suffered at the incident which happened at Afghan Air Corps at 11:00 a.m. local time just six soldiers.

Earlier, Afghan Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement that shootout between an Afghan pilot and his foreign colleagues at Afghan Air Corps which located in western part of Kabul airport left a number of people dead and injured.

The Afghan Defense Ministry in the statement also noted that more details would be released after completion of investigation.

Meantime, Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan claimed responsibility, saying in the incident carried out by a Taliban loyalist nine foreign and five Afghan soldiers were killed.

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Six NATO Soldiers Killed In Attack At Kabul Airport

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1867697.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 27, 2011

Six NATO soldiers killed in Afghan shooting at airport

Six NATO troops were killed Wednesday when an Afghan army pilot opened fire on his foreign trainers at the Kabul airport, officials said, DPA reported.

“Six International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members died following a shooting incident,” the alliance military said in a statement.

The shooting began after an argument between the attacker and foreign officers inside the military airfield, adjacent to the capital’s international airport, the Defence Ministry said.

Army spokesman General Zahir Azimi said the attacker, a veteran military pilot, was killed in the exchange of fire. He said two Afghan army soldiers were also injured.

The ISAF statement did not disclose the nationalities of the deceased soldiers, but Al Jazeera’s English-language news service quoted a source saying six of those killed were US soldiers.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid took responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media. He claimed the shooter was a sleeper agent who used an Afghan army uniform and gained access to the military airport with the cooperation of an insider.

He said nine NATO troops and five Afghan soldiers were killed in the suicidal attack, while the shooter, identified as Azizullah, was also killed after he spent his ammunition.

Recent weeks have seen a wave of attacks by militants dressed in Afghan military uniforms, including several suicide bombings.

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Attack On Military Post Sign NATO Pushing Afghan War Into Pakistan

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=44002&Cat=5&dt=4/28/2011

News International
April 28, 2011

Nato attack on Pakistani post flayed

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Syed Munawar Hasan has strongly condemned the NATO forces attack on a Pakistani post on Pak-Afghan border and warned that NATO seemed bent upon thrusting its lost Afghan war on Pakistan.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said the NATO attack was not accidental but a calculated and planned move to target Pakistan so as to hide its failure in Afghanistan. The violation of Pakistani territory indicated that the US was planning to push the war inside Pakistan.

He said that had Pakistan pulled out of the US war the US forces would not have dared to carry out this attack. He said the armed forces were the custodian of the Pakistani territory and if the US and its allies did not change their nefarious designs, the Pakistani nation would stand shoulder to shoulder with its armed forces and frustrate enemy’s unholy designs.

Syed Munawar Hasan said that instead of acknowledging Pakistan’s huge sacrifices in the so-called war on terror, the US was now branding Pakistani institutions as terrorist. Pakistan, he said, had incurred a loss of 70 billion dollars in this war besides losing thousands of precious lives. However, the US administration was blaming Pakistani institutions for its own failure. On one hand, innocent Pakistanis were being killed in drone attacks and on the other hand people were falling victim to terrorist activities by Blackwater and other US and Indian agencies, he said, adding that now US and NATO forces had launched a direct attack on the Pakistani armed forces.

In such a situation, he said it was time that the government and the armed forces reviewed their strategy and announced pulling out of the US war.

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Afghan, NATO Troops Attack Pakistani Checkpoint, Several Dead

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Pakistan-Fatal-shoot-out-as-Afghan-and-Nato-forces-attack-checkpoint_311948647656.html

ADN Kronos International/Dawn News
April 27, 2011

Pakistan: Fatal shoot-out as Afghan and Nato forces attack checkpoint

Peshawar: Three Afghan soldiers were killed and two Pakistani security force personnel were wounded Wednesday in a shoot-out when Afghan and Nato forces attacked a border checkpoint in northwest Pakistan, DawnNews reported.

Pakistani security forces said they returned fire when they came under attack from Afghan and Nato forces in Pakistan’s restive tribal area of South Waziristan….

The Pakistani government did not immediately issue an official statement confirming the incident which took place in South Waziristan’s Angoor Adda area.

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Three Afghan, Two Pakistani Soldiers Killed In Border Clash

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1867529.html

Trend News Agency
April 27, 2011

3 Afghan soldiers killed, 2 Pakistani troops injured in clash along border area

At least three Afghan soldiers were killed and two Pakistani troops were injured in a clash that broke out at Wednesday noon time along the border area of the two countries, reported local Urdu TV channel Duniya.

According to the report, the firing between the two sides is still going on following the intrusion of the Afghan government forces into the Pakistani side in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan, a tribal area in northwest Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan, Xinhua reported.

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After Libya, France And Italy Turn Attention To Syria

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110427/163741348.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 27, 2011

Italy, France urge EU sanctions as Syria violence escalates

Rome: Italy and France are calling on other EU countries to discus the introduction of sanctions against Syrian authorities to prevent the further escalation of violence against protesters, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Wednesday.

Addressing Italian lawmakers, Frattini expressed hope that the European Union would be able to discuss the issue as early as in May.

Frattini and his French counterpart Alain Juppe met in Rome on Tuesday and demanded that an independent UN investigation be launched into the recent crackdown on protesters in the Middle Eastern country.

France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain summoned on Wednesday respective Syrian ambassadors to condemn the use of violence against protesters by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
….
In response to the protests, Assad formed a new government, promised a score of political and economic reforms, and even lifted on Tuesday the almost five-decade long state of emergency in the country.

However, these measures failed to pacify the opposition prompting the government to resort to violence in dealing with the protesters.
….

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AFRICOM: U.S. Marines Conduct Amphibious Drills With Senegal, Nigeria

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6496&lang=0

Marine Corps Forces Africa
April 27, 2011

Senegalese, Nigerian Special Forces Show Marines Small Boat Amphibious Tactics During APS-11
By Master Sergeant Grady Fontana

-The live-fire course was part of APS-11, a U.S. Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) maritime security engagement program that is designed to strengthen participating nations’ maritime security capacity. Marine Corps Forces, Africa is supporting APS 11 with a security assistance force based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. The SCTF began its deployment in Ghana in March and is slated to continue its follow-on mission at Gabon in June.

TOUBAKOUTA, Senegal:…In the spirit of multilateral collaboration and cross-border cooperation – both cornerstones of Africa Partnership Station 2011 – the Nigerian Navy provided six instructors to share their experiences with the Security Cooperation Task Force (SCTF) in riverine operations, while the Senegalese contributed their expertise is small boat maneuver.
….
The riverine range comprised of about 400 meters of river banks lined with various targets at river and tree levels. The river boats motored off gyrating up and down while U.S. marines, with 60 rounds each, applied their new marksmanship skills to the test.

“We are conducting a live-fire range for riverine operations,” said Lieutenant Moses K. Omopariola, chief instructor, Special Boat Service, Nigerian Navy….

“It’s important to apply the fundamentals because you don’t want to waste rounds by shooting in the water, you want to be able to hit your targets,” said Omopariola, a 2006 graduate of The Basic School, a U.S. Marine Corps officers’ course in Quantico, Va. “You really need to conduct it proficiently.”

Omopariola and his cadre of instructors provide three days of classes before the Marines hit the range. The instruction involved a lot of tactics on river operations. The river range is not something Marines typically train to do….

The Senegalese marines also showed their proficiency in maneuvering the boat on the river. The boat driver skillfully leaned the boat to its side to allow the U.S. Marines a better position and a more open view of the targets.

“The big thing with this type of training is the cooperation that’s going on between the Nigerians, the Senegalese and the U.S. Marines,” said 1st Lieutenant Michael J. Thomas, 2nd platoon commander and executive officer of the Ground Combat Element, SCTF, APS-11. “[River operation] is something the Nigerians are very good at and the Senegalese have some skills, so it’s something they bring to the table and show us how to do.”
….
The live-fire course was part of APS-11, a U.S. Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) maritime security engagement program that is designed to strengthen participating nations’ maritime security capacity. Marine Corps Forces, Africa is supporting APS 11 with a security assistance force based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. The SCTF began its deployment in Ghana in March and is slated to continue its follow-on mission at Gabon in June.

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Ethiopia: AFRICOM Air Force Holds Conference With 20 African Nations

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123253423

Air Forces Africa
April 27, 2011

Air force leaders from Africa, United States meet in Ethiopia
by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Air force leaders from more than 20 nations across Africa joined with U.S. Air Force leaders April 26 to discuss aviation issues and develop partnerships across the continent.

The 2011 African Air Chiefs Conference, which runs through April 28 and is hosted by Air Forces Africa (17th Air Force), is the largest gathering of air chiefs across African nations to date.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, and Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, Air Forces Africa commander, spoke during the opening day of the conference and listened to issues faced by many partner nations across the continent.

General Schwartz addressed an audience of more than 150 military and diplomatic leaders as the keynote speaker….

“This conference brings together a community of Airmen who are connected by an appreciation of what air power can do to present additional strategic and operational options for our national and coalition leaders…,” General Schwartz said.

In discussing how the U.S. military supports American foreign policy objectives and vital national interests, General Schwartz said joint military leadership is being recalibrated to be more effective by emphasizing three key areas:

- Mutual responsibility, respect, and support with and to U.S. interagency and international partners;

- Full-spectrum military capabilities to underpin U.S. foreign and defense policy; and

- Direct and indirect leadership approaches as facilitator, enabler, convener, and guarantor of support to broader U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives, and those of U.S. friends and allies around the world.

According to General Woodward, “the conference gives us an opportunity to work together on issues that are most important to regional cooperation and stability.”

She said the air chiefs will also “strengthen the personal and professional relationships that bring us together as Airmen, colleagues and friends, so that we are better able to build bi-lateral and multi-lateral air partnerships that benefit us all.”
….
AFAFRICA, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is the Air Force component to U.S. Africa Command and is responsible for U.S. Air Force activities and programs in Africa. Since the unit activation in 2008, Air Forces Africa has worked in partnership with African nations to employ a full spectrum of capabilities, to include humanitarian airlift support, as well as civil and military engagements on the continent.

(The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this story.)

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New Macedonian Army Chief Must Meet NATO Criteria

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/18034/45/

Macedonian International News Agency
April 27, 2011

Ivanov: New ARM chief of staff has to meet NATO criteria

Serious consultations are under way involving the election of a future chief of the Macedonian Army’s General Staff. The procedure will be transparent and a candidate who meets the NATO criteria will be appointed, President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Gjorge Ivanov told reporters on Wednesday.

The current chief of the ARM General Staff is Lieutenant General Miroslav Stojanovski whose second mandate ends in June.

“Talks aim at creating a profile of the future chief of staff. We’re not talking about individuals, but about profiles that need to be met by the ARM chief of staff. The future chief of staff has to meet NATO criteria, since Macedonia is a candidate country. Consultations are under way with the defense minister and the incumbent chief of staff,” said President Ivanov.

Accompanied by Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Miroslav Stojanovski and Deputy Defense Minister Emil Dimitriev, the President met with officers and cadets of the “Mihailo Apostolski” Military Academy.
….

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Iraqi General Staff To Develop Relations With NATO

http://www.thememriblog.org/blog_personal/en/36935.htm

Middle East Media Research Institute
April 27, 2011

Iraqi COS To Develop Relations With NATO

Iraq’s chief of general staff general Babkar Zibari has said that Iraq is keen on developing its relations with NATO countries and on its efforts to establish “a civilized army that respects the people and supports the federal democratic system.”

At his meeting with Maj. Gen. Claudio Angelelli, deputy commander of NATO Training Mission-Iraq, Zibari emphasized the need for maintaining the training both inside and outside Iraq of qualified army officers.

Source: Imn.iq, April 26, 2011

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Categories: Uncategorized

Richard Le Gallienne: The Illusion of War

April 27, 2011 Comments off

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Richard Le Gallienne
The Illusion of War (1915)

War
I abhor,
And yet how sweet
The sound along the marching street
Of drum and fife, and I forget
Wet eyes of widows, and forget
Broken old mothers, and the whole
Dark butchery without a soul.

Without a soul – save this bright drink
Of heady music, sweet as hell;
And even my peace-abiding feet
Go marching with the marching street,
For yonder, yonder goes the fife,
And what care I for human life!
The tears fill my astonished eyes
And my full heart is like to break,
And yet ’tis all embannered lies,
A dream those little drummers make.

O it is wickedness to clothe
Yon hideous grinning thing that stalks
Hidden in music, like a queen
That in a garden of glory walks,
Till good men love the thing they loathe.
Art, thou hast many infamies,
But not an infamy like this;
O snap the fife and still the drum,
And show the monster as she is.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libya war: April 27

April 27, 2011 Comments off

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NATO Air Strike Kills 12 More Libyan Rebels

NATO To Establish Official Relations With Libyan Insurgents

African Union Calls For Halting NATO Attacks On Libyan Officials

Russian Prime Minister Reiterates Criticism Of NATO’s War Against Libya

Italy Provides Eight More Warplanes For NATO’s Libyan War

NATO Warplane Involved In Libyan War Crashes In Italy

After Libya, France And Italy Turn Attention To Syria

As War Drags On, NATO Targets Libyan Capital

Britain Foreign Secretary Says NATO May Target Gaddafi; EU Plans Large-Scale Military Operation

NATO’s Libyan War: 3,981 Air Missions, 1,658 Strike Sorties

Libya: Obama “Promoting Democracy” After 1980s Afghan Model

Libya Urges Russia To Call Emergency UN Security Council Meeting

Middle East, North Africa: U.S. Risks War With China And Russia

The War In Libya: Another Vietnam

NATO Chief To Visit Atlanta To Address Afghan, Libyan Wars

U.S., British Defense, Military Chiefs Discuss Afghan, Libyan Wars

Venezuela Condemns NATO’s War Against Libya

Bulgarian Warship Leaves Black Sea For Libyan Coast

Ethiopia: AFRICOM Air Force Holds Conference With 20 African Nations

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NATO Air Strike Kills 12 More Libyan Rebels

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/africa/28libya.html

New York Times
April 27, 2011

NATO Strike Kills 12 Libyan Rebels in Misurata
By C. J. CHIVERS

MISURATA, Libya: NATO warplanes attacked a rebel position on the front lines here on Wednesday, killing 12 fighters in what rebel fighters called another friendly fire accident.

The rebels, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, were at first reluctant to admit the accident had occurred, not wanting to discourage further strikes against the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The pace of NATO strikes had picked up noticeably in recent days, after rebel leaders complained of a lack of support in the weeks after the United States turned over operational control of the air campaign to NATO.

The airstrike hit a salt factory in the Qasr Ahmed neighborhood at 4:30 p.m. local time. The rebels had been using it as a forward position since at least yesterday, they said, and had notified NATO of their presence there. NATO could not be immediately reached for comment.
….

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NATO To Establish Official Relations With Libyan Insurgents

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1635527.php/NATO-to-establish-official-contact-with-Libyan-opposition

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 27, 2011

NATO to establish official contact with Libyan opposition

Brussels: NATO is set to send an envoy to Benghazi to establish official contact with the Libyan opposition which has its headquarters there, a diplomat from the Western military alliance said on Wednesday.

‘We are going to establish a civilian contact point in Benghazi,’ the source told the German Press Agency dpa.

The diplomat could not confirm the identity of the ‘liaison officer’ to be sent to Libya or when his mission would start.

‘Details will be worked out later,’ the source said.

The decision followed ‘informal talks’ NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen held with Libyan opposition envoy Mahmoud Jibril, on the sidelines of an international conference in Doha on April 13, the source added.
….

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African Union Calls For Halting NATO Attacks On Libyan Officials

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/28/c_13849008.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 28, 2011

AU calls for halting NATO attacks on Libyan officials

TRPOLI: The African Union (AU) called on NATO to stop targeting Libyan officials in their air raids, after NATO forces on Monday bombarded an office of Libyan Leader Muammer Gaddafi in the capital Tripoli, reported Al-Arabiya news channel on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Libya urged the pan-African body to hold an emergency summit in order to discuss means of facing the Western airstrikes.
….

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Russian Prime Minister Reiterates Criticism Of NATO’s War Against Libya

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110427/163739739.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 27, 2011

Putin says ‘dumb-founded’ over NATO operation in Libya

STOCKHOLM: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin continued on Wednesday to criticize NATO military operations in Libya, saying that he was “dumb-founded” over how easy decisions are made to use force against countries.

When asked by a Swedish journalist, Putin, who is currently on a visit in Stockholm, said “this happens despite human rights and humanity concerns which the civilized world is believed to advocate,” apparently referring to reports about NATO planes bombing civilian objects in Libya.

“Don’t you think that there is a serious controversy between words and practice of international relations?” he said, adding that this “misbalance” should be eliminated.

Russia, one of the UN Security Council’s permanent members, did not use its veto right to block a UN resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, preferring to abstain.

On Tuesday, speaking during a news conference in Copenhagen, Putin made several strong statements criticizing NATO’s operation in Libya, saying that the North African state was being illegally destroyed by “so-called civilized society.”

The premier said the Western coalition had gone beyond the UN mandate when it dropped guided bombs on embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in central Tripoli last week.

“What kind of no-fly zone is this if they are striking palaces every night?” Putin said. “What do they need to bomb palaces for? To drive out the mice?” He also suggested that Libya’s waste oil resources could be “the main object of interest to those operating there.”

This is not the first time Putin has publicly criticized the NATO-led intervention in Libya. In late March, he made international headlines by likening the UN Security Council resolution to enforce a no-fly zone in the country to a “call to a medieval crusade.”

Comparing the situation in Libya to what happened in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Putin told the journalist a story about his friend, a KGB officer serving there at that time. When Putin asked him about his success, the officer told him that he was measuring it by the number of airstrikes that he did not approve, explaining that Soviet airstrikes were killing civilians along with rebels.

NATO deputy spokeswoman Carmen Romero said on Wednesday the alliance was not commenting on Putin’s remarks, adding that the UN resolution stipulates the use of “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians from forces loyal to Gaddafi and that NATO was implementing this mandate.

The unrest in the North African country, which began in mid-February, has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite massive NATO airstrikes against them.

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Italy Provides Eight More Warplanes For NATO’s Libyan War

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110427/163739878.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 27, 2011

Italy assigns 8 combat aircraft for Libya airstrikes

ROME: Eight Italian combat aircraft will be directly involved in airstrikes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said on Wednesday.

The strike group comprises four Tornado fighter jets and four AV8 Harrier attack aircraft.

“The planes and the pilots are ready and will be assigned to take part in airstrikes immediately,” La Russa announced at a meeting with Italian lawmakers.

An additional four Italian F-16 fighters are taking part in patrolling the Libyan skies in line with the UN-authorized enforcement of a no-fly zone over the North African country.

The Italian defense minister insisted that NATO airstrikes were “absolutely necessary” to continue applying pressure on the Gaddafi regime.

A total of 14 of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo.

The alliance has stepped up airstrikes around Tripoli and four other major cities in recent days.
….

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NATO Warplane Involved In Libyan War Crashes In Italy

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/27/c_13848947.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 27, 2011

Pilot ejects as F-16 fighter jet crashes at Italian base

BRUSSELS: An F-16 fighter jet participating in the NATO-led military operations against Libya crashed Wednesday at a base in Italy, the alliance said in a statement.

The pilot ejected safely and his condition was being assessed, said the statement, which didn’t release the nationality of the aircraft in line with NATO policy.

“An F-16 aircraft participating in the NATO-led operation was involved in an incident upon landing on the outbound runway of Naval Air Station Sigonella at approximately 11:35 a.m.,” the statement said.

Italian authorities will launch an investigation to determine the cause of the incident, the statement said.

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After Libya, France And Italy Turn Attention To Syria

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110427/163741348.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 27, 2011

Italy, France urge EU sanctions as Syria violence escalates

Rome: Italy and France are calling on other EU countries to discus the introduction of sanctions against Syrian authorities to prevent the further escalation of violence against protesters, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Wednesday.

Addressing Italian lawmakers, Frattini expressed hope that the European Union would be able to discuss the issue as early as in May.

Frattini and his French counterpart Alain Juppe met in Rome on Tuesday and demanded that an independent UN investigation be launched into the recent crackdown on protesters in the Middle Eastern country.

France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain summoned on Wednesday respective Syrian ambassadors to condemn the use of violence against protesters by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
….
In response to the protests, Assad formed a new government, promised a score of political and economic reforms, and even lifted on Tuesday the almost five-decade long state of emergency in the country.

However, these measures failed to pacify the opposition prompting the government to resort to violence in dealing with the protesters.
….

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As War Drags On, NATO Targets Libyan Capital

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-libya-airwar-20110427,0,1401656.story

Los Angeles Times
April 27, 2011

NATO widens air war in Libya, targeting key sites in Tripoli
By David S. Cloud
Reporting from Washington

Frustrated at their inability to break the military deadlock in Libya and to stop the shelling of civilian areas, NATO commanders are expanding their air war by launching strikes against military command facilities and other regime buildings used by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi and his top aides.

NATO officials said the escalation, supported by armed U.S. Predator drones, is meant to sever Kadafi’s communication and supply links with army units battling the rebellion based in eastern Libya. But privately, some NATO officials say the goal is to strike directly at the pillars of the regime, including Kadafi, in the heart of Tripoli.

“This is a shift, absolutely,” a senior NATO officer said Tuesday. “We’re picking up attacks on these command-and-control facilities. If he happens to be in one of those buildings, all the better.”
….
NATO’s ability to identify Kadafi’s command facilities increased with the deployment last week of the Predator drones, which can circle overhead for as long as 20 hours, beaming live video to intelligence analysts responsible for selecting targets.

Kadafi also has to worry that the drones, which are armed with Hellfire missiles, could be used to track and attack his location.

The U.S. has supplied NATO with a Global Hawk drone as well, which can fly even longer missions than the Predator but is unarmed.

The U.S. has largely stopped using attack planes to conduct strikes in Libya but is providing intelligence and surveillance aircraft for the mission, a role that could grow as NATO seeks additional targets.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is also intercepting cellphone conversations and other communications to find facilities used by the regime’s inner circle, senior NATO officers said.
….
An airstrike Monday on a broadcasting facility in Tripoli, which briefly knocked Libya’s state television off the air, was the first sign of the new target list.

U.S. officials said the attack on what could be considered a civilian facility was authorized because Kadafi’s commanders use state TV to transmit messages and propaganda to supporters across the country. NATO warplanes also struck a compound in Tripoli that Kadafi has used as an official residence, the third attack on that facility since the air war began.
….

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Britain Foreign Secretary Says NATO May Target Gaddafi; EU Plans Large-Scale Military Operation

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/27/49531876.html

Voice of Russia
April 27, 2011

NATO may target Gaddafi – William Hague

The British Foreign Secretary William Hague does not rule out that NATO may wipe out the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during the ongoing military operation, reports The Guardian daily.

The Foreign Secretary said this in a statement for the BBC.

He also said that the alliance would continue to bring military pressure to bear on Gaddafi. Earlier Moscow officially denounced western politicians’ attempts to usurp the right to punish or pardon the leaders of other countries.

EU readies for large-scale military operation in Libya

The European Union is preparing for a large-scale military operation if the United Nations authorizes the international coalition to scale up its military action in Libya. This comes in a 60-page document that has landed in the hands of reporters of Germany’s biggest daily publication, Das Bild.

According to the paper, all branches of arms are due to take part in the operation in question. The plan also enumerates the threats that the western force will come to face in Libya, specifically terrorist attacks, road and field mining and the drawing of the troops into inter-clan and inter-tribal conflicts.

A ground operation in Libya would thus prove a dangerous undertaking for Europe, the document says. According to the plan, the operation should last no more than four months.

NATO strikes fail to ensure Libya settlement

NATO airstrikes have failed to ensure a settlement in Libya, says the African Union Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra. He was speaking during a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The meeting focused on the situation around Libya. The African Union has reiterated that it rejects any foreign interference in Libya. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said Tuesday that the humanitarian situation was worsening in the North African country.
….

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NATO’s Libyan War: 3,981 Air Missions, 1,658 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110427_110427-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 27, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….
Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,981 sorties of which 1,658 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 April: 123

Strike sorties conducted 26 April: 52

Key Targets and Engagements

26 April: In vicinity of Misurata: 6 military vehicles, 7 technical vehicles and 1 surface-to-air missile
launcher.

In the vicinity of Al-Khums: 4 Tanks; 2 Heavy Equipment Transporter trucks.

In the vicinity of Brega: 1 rocket launchers; 3 military vehicles.

In the vicinity of Mizdah: 8 ammunition bunkers.
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 19 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

22 Vessels were hailed on 26 April to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 662 vessels have been hailed, 18 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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Libya: Obama “Promoting Democracy” After 1980s Afghan Model

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/27/49541595.html

Voice of Russia
April 27, 2011

Libyan rebels are “democratic’ – Barack Obama
Boris Volkhonsky

-25 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket of overall US expenditures on “imposing democracy” wherever possible – be it by military means or subversive activity. Libyan oil is important for Southern Europe (countries like France and Italy, which quite naturally stepped in the vanguard of the whole operation)….But both decisions made by the administration bear rather symbolic significance. And the events show that the West (now including the US) is more and more determined to go till the final goal. And the goal has been outlined clearly – that is, the elimination of the Gaddafi regime.
-[I]n the 1980s when the Afghan mujahedeen were fighting against the Soviets, it was the West, and most of all CIA with the assistance of Pakistani intelligence, who actually created Al Qaeda as one of the forces fighting the Soviet troops.

On Tuesday Barack Obama’s administration decided to allocate $25 million for the rebels fighting against the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya. It was specifically noted that the aid is not meant for military purposes and primarily presupposes supplying the rebels with all kinds of civilian vehicles, including passenger cars, petrol tankers, ambulance cars, etc.

Also, the allocated sum includes expenditures on binoculars, medical equipment, camouflage and food for the rebels.

Even putting aside the question why things like camouflage, binoculars and petrol tankers are NOT regarded as serving military purposes, the very fact of supplying military aid to the rebels seems to speak for itself. After several European countries recognized the Transitional Council as the only legitimate authority in Libya, the US look like it is following suit.

More so, recently it became known that the US administration actually gave its nod to American businesses to do business with the rebels rather than the Gaddafi regime. This includes, among other things, buying crude oil from rebel-controlled ports.

Actually, economically speaking, both facts are of minor importance. 25 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket of overall US expenditures on “imposing democracy” wherever possible – be it by military means or subversive activity. Libyan oil is important for Southern Europe (countries like France and Italy, which quite naturally stepped in the vanguard of the whole operation). But for the US, it is of much lesser importance compared with oil from the Persian Gulf or from Venezuela.

But both decisions made by the administration bear rather symbolic significance. And the events show that the West (now including the US) is more and more determined to go till the final goal. And the goal has been outlined clearly – that is, the elimination of the Gaddafi regime.

Some media have even reported that the West is revealing its aims even more clearly – that is, eliminating Gaddafi himself. As the British Secretary for the Defence has pointed out, Gaddafi is the main obstacle on the way to settling the Libyan problems, and therefore he becomes a legitimate target for NATO airstrikes.

This forced Russian Premier Vladimir Putin who was on a visit in Copenhagen to use rather a harsh tone in answering such claims. Mr. Putin pointed out that eliminating anyone without a proper trial is contrary to basic principles of today’s civilized world. “Who gave them the right to execute a person whoever he may be?” asked the Russian Premier. Of course, the question remained unanswered.

But what seems to be even more striking in the whole story, is the way how easily the West has recognized the rebels as belonging to their (that is, democratic) camp. In fact, the rebels have not yet come out with any positive program apart from toppling Gaddafi. Who, what political forces and groups will prevail after the primary aim is achieved, today there is no answer.

It should be remembered that back in the 1980s when the Afghan mujahedeen were fighting against the Soviets, it was the West, and most of all CIA with the assistance of Pakistani intelligence, who actually created Al Qaeda as one of the forces fighting the Soviet troops. What it led to is too well known.

It remains a big question whether Barack Obama’s administration understands the fact that assisting the rebels on a single proposition that they are fighting against your obvious enemy is not enough. Who and what will become their new target after they attain power using this aid, no one can say. And won’t it be the forces that now have made their point to eliminate Gaddafi and his regime with the help of people whose real intentions remain unclear?

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Libya Urges Russia To Call Emergency UN Security Council Meeting

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/27/c_13847227.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 27, 2011

Libya urges Russia to call a UN Security Council meeting

TRIPOLI: Libya urged Russia on Tuesday to call an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss what it called the “colonial and crusader aggression” against the North African country, state-run JANA news agency reported.

“Libya officially urged Russia to ask the UNSC to convene an urgent meeting to discuss the crusader aggression against Libyan civilian sites, and the attempt to target leader Muammar Gaddafi,” JANA said.

The Libyan government accused NATO Monday of trying to assassinate Gaddafi after the coalition sent at least two large guided bombs into the sprawling office, residential and military complex where he lives in Tripoli, destroying offices and a library.

Libyan state TV said, without giving details, late on Monday that the “crusader aggressors” bombed civilian and military sites in Bir al-Ghanam, 100 km south of Tripoli, and the Ayn Zara area of the capital, causing casualties.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier criticized the NATO-led coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, saying they have gone beyond the UN mandate.
….

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Middle East, North Africa: U.S. Risks War With China And Russia

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/176776.html

Press TV
April 26, 2011

US risks war with China and Russia
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to US Treasury, Panama City.

While revolts in Tunisia and Egypt caught the US by surprise there is speculation that they are behind revolts in Libya and Syria. Russia and China are also see observing these developments.

Press TV talks with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to US Treasury in Panama City who concisely provides insight as to the larger scope of American hegemonic strategy that seriously risks Russian and Chinese interests.

Press TV: There is talk about Washington being advised to arm the revolutionaries in Libya. Do you think this is a good idea?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: They are already arming them. That is what’s unique about the Libyan revolt. It’s not a peaceful revolt; it’s not taking place in the capital; it’s an armed revolt from the eastern part of the country. And we know that the CIA is involved on the ground and so they are already armed.

Press TV: How do you compare this military intervention to the one in Bahrain?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: We don’t want to overthrow the government in Bahrain or in Saudi Arabia where both governments are using violence against protesters because they’re our puppets and we have a large naval base in Bahrain.

We want to overthrow Gaddafi and Assad in Syria because we want to clear China and Russia out of the Mediterranean. China has massive energy investments in eastern Libya and is relying on Libya along with Angola and Nigeria for energy needs. This is an American effort to deny resources to China just as Washington and London denied resources to the Japanese in the 1930s.

The interest in the Syria protests, which Wikileaks shows the Americans are behind — we are interested in that because the Russians have a large naval base in Syria and it gives them a presence in the Mediterranean. So you see that Washington is all for invading against Libya and is putting more and more pressure to intervene in Syria because we want to get rid of the Russians and the Chinese.

We don’t have anything to say about the Saudis — how they treat protesters or anything to say about the violence used against protesters in Bahrain.

Press TV: Are you saying the ultimate goal in attacking Libya is because of the oil factor?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: It’s not just the oil, it’s the fact of China’s penetration of Africa and China lining up oil supplies for its energy needs. You may be aware that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a report that says that the ‘Age of America’ is over and that the American economy will be bypassed by China in five years and then the US will become the second largest economy rather than first. So one of the things Washington is trying to do is to block; to use its superior military and strategic capabilities at this time to block China’s acquisition of resources in order to make the development of the Chinese economy slow down.

This is a major reason why the CIA has been active in eastern Libya and it’s the reason protests broke out in the east not in the capital like in the other Arab countries and it’s the reasons it’s armed.

Press TV: Do you think Libya’s diplomatic isolation was the main reason for this military intervention?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: I don’t think it was the main reason. The main reason I think was to evict China from Libya, which is what is happening. The Chinese had 30,000 people there and they’ve had to evacuate 29,000 of them.

It’s also payback to Gaddafi for refusing to join the US Africa Command (Africom). It became operative in 2008 and was the American response to China’s penetration of Africa; we created a military response to that and Gaddafi refused to participate — he said it was an act of imperialism trying to purchase an entire continent.

And I think the third reason is that Gaddafi in Libya controls an important part of the Mediterranean coast; as does Syria.

So I think those two countries are just in the way of American hegemony in the Mediterranean and certainly the Americans don’t want a powerful Russian fleet stationed there and they certainly don’t want China drawing energy resources.

Washington was caught off guard by the outbreaks of protests in Tunisia and Egypt, but quickly learned that they could use and hide behind Arab protests to evict Russia and China without a direct confrontation, they wouldn’t want that, so they’ve engineered these protests.

We know for a fact that the CIA has been stirring discord in eastern Libya for some time, this is a known fact. And the release of Wikileaks cables show that the Americans are involved in stirring up unrest in Syria.

We didn’t stir up unrest in Egypt or Bahrain or Tunisia or Saudi Arabia. We probably are responsible for the unrest in Yemen because we were using drones and strikes against various tribal elements.

So, that is the big difference that the Syrian and Libya affairs have American hands in them, organizing the demonstrations, providing money and so forth. There are always discontented people that can be bought and promises given.

Press TV: Drones are now being used in Libya. From where do these drones operate? Technically they cannot fly from Italy because of a shortage of fuel so where do they operate from?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: I don’t know — could be from American naval vessels. I believe the last report about the drones did come from a Navy officer.

I’d like to add something to this conversation. Probably the biggest risk and the one that’s being ignored is China’s attitude. The Chinese companies are losing hundreds of millions (dollars) from this intervention. They have 50 massive investments there all going down the drain and this is clearly perceived by China as an act against them. They don’t have any illusions; they don’t read the New York Times or Washington Post and believe all of that crap. So what they see is a move of the Americans against China.

Press TV: Are you suggesting that the Americans want to take out China and replace these investments with American companies?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Or anybody, that’s right. And I think the Russians are beginning to perceive that the whole Syrian thing is a move against them and their base there.

So what we’re really doing is antagonizing two large countries: China, which has an economy that is probably better than the US because their people have jobs; and the Russians have unlimited nuclear arsenal — and so we’re starting to press very strong countries in a very reckless way. We’re behaving in a very reckless and dangerous way.

Once you start this and Russian and China come to the conclusion that the Americans simply cannot be dealt with in any rational way and are determined to somehow subdue them and do them damage, all kinds of escalations can result. This is the real danger and we’re risking a major war.

Press TV: (Italy is heavily reliant on Libyan oil) What about the role of Italy (as part of NATO) in Libya?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: This is another unique thing with this Libyan intervention. What is NATO doing fighting a war in Africa? NATO was formed to guard against the potential of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The Soviet Union has been gone for twenty years. Steered by the US and the Pentagon it has been turned into an auxiliary force and we now have NATO involved in an aggressive war in Africa. This is a war of aggression, a war of attack.

So this is an extraordinary development. Why is this happening? We didn’t use NATO in Egypt, Tunisia and will certainly not use it in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain so we see something highly unusual — NATO at war in Africa. This needs an explanation.

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The War In Libya: Another Vietnam

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-war-in-Libya,-another-Vietnam-21393.html

Asia News
April 26, 2011

The war in Libya, another Vietnam
by Maurizio d’Orlando

The military escalation appears to be going beyond the initial UN mandate. Appeals by the Pope and the bishop of Tripoli to give diplomacy rather than weapons a chance have been ignored. The war between Libyan rebels and Italy (in the early part of the 20th century) lasted about 20 years. The military intervention marks the end of the Peace of Westphalia as well as Western democracy

-We are, apparently, back to the Great War, and the Franco-British Entente Cordiale of 1904.
In 1914, the French and the British thought that the war would be short, but just a few months later, ammunition had to be imported from the United States. In 1917, the Western allies, who by then had run out of men as well as ammunitions, turned down a peace proposal by Charles I of Austria, later beatified by John Paul II. On that occasion, no one listened to the Church nor heeded Pope Benedict XV’s pleas against the “useless massacre”.
-Libya thus appears to herald another guerrilla war, the way Vietnam was for the United States. Sending instructors brings back ominous memories, suggesting that Europe might have found its own Vietnam.
-[T]he military involvement in Libya is not only a neo-colonial war, but also the death warrant for the era that began with the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. Thus, United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 mark the end of the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs (based on the principle ‘Cuius regio, eius religio’) of an internationally recognised sovereign and independent nation.

Milan: The ghost of another Vietnam is haunting the Mediterranean. What a month ago was still called a “humanitarian action” to save Libyans from Gaddafi’s violence has become a war. Despite appeals by Benedict XVI (on Easter Sunday for instance) in favour of diplomacy against the use of weapons, Italy has opted for escalation, agreeing to bomb “targets in Libya”. A few days ago, the United States approved the use of drones against military objectives (the same drones that kill civilians in Pakistan).

The turning point came on 20 April, when the defence ministers of Great Britain and Italy decided to send ten military instructors each to train rebels Libya. They would join those already officially deployed in the North African country by France after Paris recognised in March the Benghazi-based Libyan National Council, the political body representing Libyan rebels, as the sole governing authority of Libya. Italian and British instructors will thus link up with French and UK Special Forces already unofficially in the country.

The decision was taken the day before, 19 April, when Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa was summoned to Washington for talks with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. The decision represents a turning point in the war in Libya. It comes ahead of Eufor Libya, officially an operation that would see land troops deployed to Libya to establish a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the city of Misrata, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said. The European action is on stand-by, waiting for a formal request from the United Nations or the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), he added.

The Libyan conflict is still presented as a humanitarian action even though it is not clear how humanitarian it actually is. So far, no evidence of a humanitarian crisis has presented itself despite the initial propaganda campaign launched by some media and TV networks. Indeed, in the first weeks of the war, some reports claimed that up to 10,000 people had been killed. Al-Jazeera (the Qatar-based Islamic satellite network) said that Libyan planes had bombed civilians protesting against the government. This report, which later turned out to be false, gave the UN Security Council the pretext to pass Resolution 1973, which was adopted without China or Russia exercising their veto power. Based on the resolution, the United Nations authorised member nations to institute a Libyan no-fly zone to stop planes loyal to the Tripoli government from taking off to crush the uprising.

The BBC, once highly regarded as an independence voice, adapted to the needs of war propaganda. In order to justify the use of ground troops, it claimed that troops loyal to Gaddafi used cluster bombs against civilians in Misrata, a heinous action against the population. Even though such action does not constitute a “war crime” because it was not used against enemy territory, it was powerful enough to give credence to the “humanitarian” arguments for military action.

The government in Tripoli easily dismissed the claim. A Libyan official said that not only are they not criminals who use cluster bombs against civilians, but they are certainly not that stupid. Cluster bombs leave traces for days and months, something which the BBC did not show. It would also be stupid to give those bombing Libya such a propaganda tool.

Likewise, the situation in Misrata appears different from what is shown in many media. The city’s hospitals report that the number of women with war-related injuries constitutes only 3 per cent of the total, which suggests that most of those wounded are armed fighters, not civilians.

As for the United Nations, its turnaround verges on hypocrisy. Until a few months ago, it viewed Gaddafi’s Libya as one of the best nations in Africa in terms of wealth distribution, education, and health care.

What justifies a military humanitarian intervention? We may never find out, as we did not in the case of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, ostensibly the official motive for the invasion of Iraq.

Of course, Gaddafi is not blameless or beyond criticism. However, what started in Libya was not a peaceful mass protest, but an armed uprising or an attempted secession that no state can allow if it wants to preserve its national independence and sovereignty. Cracking down on military sedition or secession entails the use of force. Gaddafi may not be Abraham Lincoln, but the United States did fight a civil war, not over slavery since some northern states still allowed slavery but over the secession of southern (Confederate) states (not all of them slave-owning).

In Gaddafi’s case, when clashes had just started and it was not yet clear what was happening, an international warrant for his arrest had already been issued for “crimes against humanity”. NATO announced that Gaddafi had to go, which is the goal of the war. Where he would go, no one knows. Perhaps, those who had instigated and pushed for an insurrection hoped it would be over quickly with Gaddafi’s departure or capture. This did not happen. What was supposed to be a quick victory has instead turned into a civil war, caused, funded and armed by outside forces.

This “humanitarian” intervention in Libya is in fact a war, a neo-colonial war by any definition. According to Bloomberg,[1] the first thing the rebels did after their uprising was to set up a central bank and the Libyan Oil Company in Benghazi.

Anyone embarking on a war must consider its cost and duration. Like the “spontaneous” insurrections in Egypt and Tunisia, Franco-British air strikes against Libya were planned well ahead, as early as 2 November of last year, when “France and Great Britain signed an unprecedented agreement on defence and security.” [2] The exercise, called “Southern Mistral 2011”, included a response against a dictatorship code-named Southland ostensibly attacking France’s national interests, a not-so-veiled reference to Libya. Probably, decision-makers had realised that, unlike Ben Ali and of Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi had his own political agenda and would not easily step aside. Perhaps they thought that a few bombs might remove him. Instead, it appears that Europe’s arsenals are running low on bombs whilst Gaddafi is still there.

Since the start of the conflict, Mgr Giovanni Martinelli, bishop of Tripoli, called for talks, but neither NATO nor the Benghazi-based Libyan National Council showed any interest in them. We are, apparently, back to the Great War, and the Franco-British Entente Cordiale of 1904.

In 1914, the French and the British thought that the war would be short, but just a few months later, ammunition had to be imported from the United States. In 1917, the Western allies, who by then had run out of men as well as ammunitions, turned down a peace proposal by Charles I of Austria, later beatified by John Paul II. On that occasion, no one listened to the Church nor heeded Pope Benedict XV’s pleas against the “useless massacre”.

After that, a million US soldiers arrived in Europe and the Western allies had their victory unsullied by any compromises….

Unlike 1917, the United States is for now against sending ground troops. The Europeans will thus have to act on their own. Italy’s colonial experience shows that they will have to do it for a long time. After Italy invaded the country in 1911, Libyan resistance lasted about 20 years.

Libya thus appears to herald another guerrilla war, the way Vietnam was for the United States. Sending instructors brings back ominous memories, suggesting that Europe might have found its own Vietnam. At the start, the war in the Southeast Asian nation was low-key but then things began escalating. President Kennedy’s initial deployment of 900 military instructors in 1961 jumped to 11,000 by 1962. At its peak, US troop deployment in 1969 was 543,000.

The prospect that Islamist and extremist (Salafis and al-Qaeda) leaders could replace Nasserite nationalist Arab leaders (Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi and Ben Ali) in the Mediterranean and the Arab world is a source of real concern. If that should pass, a world wide clash between secularist and Islamist fronts would be a real possibility.

What is also of great concern is the fact that the military involvement in Libya is not only a neo-colonial war, but also the death warrant for the era that began with the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. Thus, United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 mark the end of the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs (based on the principle ‘Cuius regio, eius religio’) of an internationally recognised sovereign and independent nation. A world directory or government and a world central bank thus appear to be real possibilities. If this were the case, the war in Libya would mean the end of Western democracy and the system that developed in the past 300-400 years.

[1] See Bill Varner, “Libyan Rebel Council Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,” in Bloomberg, 21 March 2011.

[2] See Southern Mistral Scenario, by Air Defence and Air Operations Command, 4 March 2011.

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NATO Chief To Visit Atlanta To Address Afghan, Libyan Wars

http://www.globalatlanta.com/article/24741/

GlobalAtlanta
April 26, 2011

NATO’s Secretary General to Visit Atlanta May 9
Phil Bolton

-He specifically asked to stop in Atlanta, one of only three cities he will be visiting outside of Washington on this tour, because of the large presence of Georgia National Guard troops in both war zones.

Atlanta: The World Affairs Council of Atlanta is hosting a luncheon presentation by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 12th secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, at the Commerce Club on Monday, May 9.

Mr. Rasmussen, who assumed his current position on Aug. 1, 2009, is to give a major policy address concerning NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.

He specifically asked to stop in Atlanta, one of only three cities he will be visiting outside of Washington on this tour, because of the large presence of Georgia National Guard troops in both war zones.
….
More recently NATO has intensified its air strikes and bombed Mr. Gaddafi’s residence in Tripoli, the capital.

The current war in Afghanistan is now in its 10th year.

A Dane, Mr. Rasmussen has held many government posts in Denmark including prime minister from 2001-09.

During the Danish presidency of the European Union in 2002, he played a key role in the accession of 10 candidates for EU membership.

As Denmark’s minister for economic affairs from 1990-92, he was the Danish signatory to the Masstricht Treaty, which eventually led to the introduction of the single currency, the euro. Denmark, however, decided to opt out of the euro-zone and uses its national currency, the krone.

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U.S., British Defense, Military Chiefs Discuss Afghan, Libyan Wars

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1867366.html

Trend News Agency
April 27, 2011

U.S., British defense chiefs discuss Libya, Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday met with his British counterpart Liam Fox, and the two focused their discussions on the situation in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, Xinhua reported.

Fox and Gen. Sir David Jackson of the British army met with Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington, D.C. “Our talks included military operations over Libya, where the U. S. continues to be in a supporting role in the NATO-led campaign, along with our Arab allies,” Gates told reporters after the meeting.

“We talked about the way ahead in Afghanistan, where more than 9,000 British troops are in the thick of the fight.”

Afghanistan is the main theater of operations for U.S. and British efforts, Fox said. About 100,000 American servicemembers and 9,000 British troops are in Afghanistan….

The Obama administration announced in late 2009 that the United States would begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July 2011, but more and more people have been speculating that the drawdown would only be symbolic.

The defense chiefs also played down the possibility of a Libya-style intervention in Syria. “We can’t do everything all the time and we have to recognize that there are practical limitations to what our countries can do, ” said Fox.

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Venezuela Condemns NATO’s War Against Libya

http://www.macon.com/2011/04/26/1539181/chavez-condemns-libya-strikes.html

Associated Press
April 26, 2011

Gadhafi seeks Venezuela’s help in ending conflict

CARACAS, Venezuela: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has sent a delegation to Venezuela to seek peaceful solutions to the conflict in the North African nation, President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday.

Chavez provided few details about the delegation sent by Gadhafi, saying only that “they have come to our country to search for a political way out of Libya’s crisis.”

The meeting is in preparation for a Latin America and Caribbean summit that will be held in Caracas next July. Shortly after the violent upheaval in Libya began in February, Chavez proposed the creation of an international peace commission to mediate an end to the conflict. He said his government is continuing to seek a negotiated solution.

The Venezuelan president calls Gadhafi a friend and has been a staunch opponent of the military intervention by U.S. and European air forces. The leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia have taken similar stances.

“They are launching bombs at the military barracks, schools, commercial centers,” Chavez said in a televised speech. “Who gave them the right to do that? We are dedicated to seeking a peaceful solution to the drama the Libyan people are living with.”

Earlier Tuesday, Chavez stepped up his criticism of NATO’s airstrikes in Libya during a meeting of Latin American and Caribbean foreign ministers. He particularly denounced Monday’s bombardment of Gadhafi’s compound, saying such attacks are aimed at killing Gadhafi.

“How can that be supported?” he said.

“We don’t agree with everything Gadhafi does or has done, but who can assume the right, I repeat, to drop bombs … to achieve the fall of a regime?” he added.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said diplomats from various Latin American countries discussed a “need to break the inertia of the war” in Libya and support the African Union’s calls for dialogue between the rebels and Gadhafi’s government.

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Bulgarian Warship Leaves Black Sea For Libyan Coast

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n248160

Focus News Agency
April 27, 2011

Bulgaria’s Drazki frigate sails to join NATO operation in Libya

Burgas: Bulgaria’s Drazki frigate is to sail from the naval base in the coastal city of Burgas to join the NATO operation Unified Protector in Libya, the press center of the naval base announced.

The official farewell ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, at 4:00 p.m. local time in the naval basis.

The Bulgarian frigate joins the operation of enforcing an arms embargo in Libya following a government’s decision. Commander Pancho Panchev heads the vessel crew. It is planned that Drazki will participate in the NATO operation for some 40 days. It costs BGN 1,5 million a month to maintain the vessel. The crew will not take part in direct military actions.

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Ethiopia: AFRICOM Air Force Holds Conference With 20 African Nations

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123253423

Air Forces Africa
April 27, 2011

Air force leaders from Africa, United States meet in Ethiopia
by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Air force leaders from more than 20 nations across Africa joined with U.S. Air Force leaders April 26 to discuss aviation issues and develop partnerships across the continent.

The 2011 African Air Chiefs Conference, which runs through April 28 and is hosted by Air Forces Africa (17th Air Force), is the largest gathering of air chiefs across African nations to date.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, and Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, Air Forces Africa commander, spoke during the opening day of the conference and listened to issues faced by many partner nations across the continent.

General Schwartz addressed an audience of more than 150 military and diplomatic leaders as the keynote speaker….

“This conference brings together a community of Airmen who are connected by an appreciation of what air power can do to present additional strategic and operational options for our national and coalition leaders…,” General Schwartz said.

In discussing how the U.S. military supports American foreign policy objectives and vital national interests, General Schwartz said joint military leadership is being recalibrated to be more effective by emphasizing three key areas:

- Mutual responsibility, respect, and support with and to U.S. interagency and international partners;

- Full-spectrum military capabilities to underpin U.S. foreign and defense policy; and

- Direct and indirect leadership approaches as facilitator, enabler, convener, and guarantor of support to broader U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives, and those of U.S. friends and allies around the world.

According to General Woodward, “the conference gives us an opportunity to work together on issues that are most important to regional cooperation and stability.”

She said the air chiefs will also “strengthen the personal and professional relationships that bring us together as Airmen, colleagues and friends, so that we are better able to build bi-lateral and multi-lateral air partnerships that benefit us all.”
….
AFAFRICA, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is the Air Force component to U.S. Africa Command and is responsible for U.S. Air Force activities and programs in Africa. Since the unit activation in 2008, Air Forces Africa has worked in partnership with African nations to employ a full spectrum of capabilities, to include humanitarian airlift support, as well as civil and military engagements on the continent.

(The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this story.)

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 26, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: April 26

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Atlantic Club’s Passy: EU Must Become Collective Member Of NATO

Middle East, North Africa: U.S. Risks War With China And Russia

To Protect U.S. Interests, International Companies: 15,000 U.S. Troops, Thousands Of Contractors To Remain In Iraq

Romania: U.S. Marines Deploy For Black Sea, Balkans, Caucasus

U.S.’s Bryza Discusses Military Exercises In Azerbaijan

U.S. Arms Merchants Make Strong Comeback In Turkish Market

NATO Chief To Visit Atlanta To Address Afghan, Libyan Wars

U.S., British Defense, Military Chiefs Discuss Afghan, Libyan Wars

BRICS, SCO, ALBA Can Counter Imperialism With Global Multipolarity

Raytheon Delivers Next-Generation Ship-Defense Missiles

Pakistan Confronts U.S. Afghan Strategy

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Atlantic Club’s Passy: EU Must Become Collective Member Of NATO

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=127639

Sofia News Agency
April 26, 2011

EU Must Become Collective Member of NATO – Bulgaria’s Ex Foreign Minister

President of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria Dr. Solomon Passy believes the EU must become a collective member of NATO

The European Union must become a collective member of NATO as a way of fashioning a qualitatively new relationship between the two organizations, according to former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy.

In an exclusive interview for Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) on the occasion of the 6th year since Bulgaria signed its EU accession treaty and the 20th year since the founding of the Bulgarian Atlantic Club, its President Solomon Passy put forth his view that EU’s potential collective membership of NATO would enhance greatly its bid to become a global actor, a goal stipulated by the Lisbon Treaty.

“We should start thinking in a qualitatively new direction which will contribute greatly to the “globalization” of the EU. What I mean is that it will be very beneficial for the EU and international politics as a whole if the EU decides in favor of becoming a collective member of NATO, and one day achieves this goal. This will bridge to a great extent the differences within the EU between the countries which are also NATO members and those which are not,” Passy declared.

He pointed out that the EU has been struggling for months, maybe years, to get a special recognition through a UN resolution in order to earn the right to vote within the UN but that such ambitions will be much easier to achieve if it has the special status of being a collective member of NATO.

Passy, who is a former Bulgarian Foreign Minister (in the government of Simeon Saxe-Coburg in 2001-2005) presiding over the country’s NATO accession and completion of its EU accession talks, and Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2004, also reiterated an earlier idea of his – the setting up of a NATO-EU Council similar to the NATO-Russia Council and NATO-Ukraine Council. He is convinced that such a council will become an important instrument for constant dialogue between the EU and NATO exactly the way the existing NATO councils work.

Passy further outlined two crucial goals that he sees as a must-do priority for Bulgaria and that the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, an organization with a 20-year history, will work to help get achieved – namely, that Bulgaria should become one of the founders and first member states of the common EU defense, and that it should seek a membership in the global club of rich countries – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The Lisbon Treaty stipulates that the EU needs to create a common EU defense. I actually have some very good news in that regard. While giving a lecture on the occasion of the 20th birthday of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria last week, the Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva accepted our idea to have the Bulgarian Parliament lend strong support to this process by encouraging the Bulgarian institutions to do what is necessary for Bulgaria to get involved as a founder and one of the first members of the common EU defense. Bulgaria has been applying to join various EU structures for a very long time. I think that we are now mature enough to become the founders of such structures. The benefits of the common EU defense – and, in the long run, of a common EU army – are countless – starting with the optimization of forces and funds all the way to global warming policies. In a nutshell, the benefits are worth trillions of euros,” the ACB President explained.

As far as Bulgaria’s potential aspiration to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development headquartered in Paris is concerned, the former Foreign Minister is convinced that it will automatically make Bulgaria behave in a way that will turn it into a rich country.

Passy believes that after Bulgaria achieved its goals of joining NATO and the EU, it is short of national goals that can mobile the energies of the state.

“The Atlantic Club is now ready with new ideas and message such as seeking OECD membership and Bulgaria’s role in the common EU defense from its very beginning,” he stressed.

With respect to Bulgaria’s signing of its EU accession treaty 6 years ago, in which Passy took part as Foreign Minister, he is convinced that the Bulgarian negotiators’ team back then managed to achieve the best possible scenario in the sense of getting the earliest possible – and simultaneously last possible accession date for a long period of time.

“Figuratively speaking, Bulgaria got into the last door of the last car of the last train of EU enlargement, and it grabbed it with only one hand while hopping on one leg. But we did manage to get on the EU train… We can now be satisfied that we realized the one good scenario for Bulgaria by signing the accession treaty on April 25, 2005, and joining the EU on January 1, 2007,” he concluded.

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Middle East, North Africa: U.S. Risks War With China And Russia

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/176776.html

Press TV
April 26, 2011

US risks war with China and Russia
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to US Treasury, Panama City.

While revolts in Tunisia and Egypt caught the US by surprise there is speculation that they are behind revolts in Libya and Syria. Russia and China are also see observing these developments.

Press TV talks with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to US Treasury in Panama City who concisely provides insight as to the larger scope of American hegemonic strategy that seriously risks Russian and Chinese interests.

Press TV: There is talk about Washington being advised to arm the revolutionaries in Libya. Do you think this is a good idea?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: They are already arming them. That is what’s unique about the Libyan revolt. It’s not a peaceful revolt; it’s not taking place in the capital; it’s an armed revolt from the eastern part of the country. And we know that the CIA is involved on the ground and so they are already armed.

Press TV: How do you compare this military intervention to the one in Bahrain?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: We don’t want to overthrow the government in Bahrain or in Saudi Arabia where both governments are using violence against protesters because they’re our puppets and we have a large naval base in Bahrain.

We want to overthrow Gaddafi and Assad in Syria because we want to clear China and Russia out of the Mediterranean. China has massive energy investments in eastern Libya and is relying on Libya along with Angola and Nigeria for energy needs. This is an American effort to deny resources to China just as Washington and London denied resources to the Japanese in the 1930s.

The interest in the Syria protests, which Wikileaks shows the Americans are behind — we are interested in that because the Russians have a large naval base in Syria and it gives them a presence in the Mediterranean. So you see that Washington is all for invading against Libya and is putting more and more pressure to intervene in Syria because we want to get rid of the Russians and the Chinese.

We don’t have anything to say about the Saudis — how they treat protesters or anything to say about the violence used against protesters in Bahrain.

Press TV: Are you saying the ultimate goal in attacking Libya is because of the oil factor?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: It’s not just the oil, it’s the fact of China’s penetration of Africa and China lining up oil supplies for its energy needs. You may be aware that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a report that says that the ‘Age of America’ is over and that the American economy will be bypassed by China in five years and then the US will become the second largest economy rather than first. So one of the things Washington is trying to do is to block; to use its superior military and strategic capabilities at this time to block China’s acquisition of resources in order to make the development of the Chinese economy slow down.

This is a major reason why the CIA has been active in eastern Libya and it’s the reason protests broke out in the east not in the capital like in the other Arab countries and it’s the reasons it’s armed.

Press TV: Do you think Libya’s diplomatic isolation was the main reason for this military intervention?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: I don’t think it was the main reason. The main reason I think was to evict China from Libya, which is what is happening. The Chinese had 30,000 people there and they’ve had to evacuate 29,000 of them.

It’s also payback to Gaddafi for refusing to join the US Africa Command (Africom). It became operative in 2008 and was the American response to China’s penetration of Africa; we created a military response to that and Gaddafi refused to participate — he said it was an act of imperialism trying to purchase an entire continent.

And I think the third reason is that Gaddafi in Libya controls an important part of the Mediterranean coast; as does Syria.

So I think those two countries are just in the way of American hegemony in the Mediterranean and certainly the Americans don’t want a powerful Russian fleet stationed there and they certainly don’t want China drawing energy resources.

Washington was caught off guard by the outbreaks of protests in Tunisia and Egypt, but quickly learned that they could use and hide behind Arab protests to evict Russia and China without a direct confrontation, they wouldn’t want that, so they’ve engineered these protests.

We know for a fact that the CIA has been stirring discord in eastern Libya for some time, this is a known fact. And the release of Wikileaks cables show that the Americans are involved in stirring up unrest in Syria.

We didn’t stir up unrest in Egypt or Bahrain or Tunisia or Saudi Arabia. We probably are responsible for the unrest in Yemen because we were using drones and strikes against various tribal elements.

So, that is the big difference that the Syrian and Libya affairs have American hands in them, organizing the demonstrations, providing money and so forth. There are always discontented people that can be bought and promises given.

Press TV: Drones are now being used in Libya. From where do these drones operate? Technically they cannot fly from Italy because of a shortage of fuel so where do they operate from?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: I don’t know — could be from American naval vessels. I believe the last report about the drones did come from a Navy officer.

I’d like to add something to this conversation. Probably the biggest risk and the one that’s being ignored is China’s attitude. The Chinese companies are losing hundreds of millions (dollars) from this intervention. They have 50 massive investments there all going down the drain and this is clearly perceived by China as an act against them. They don’t have any illusions; they don’t read the New York Times or Washington Post and believe all of that crap. So what they see is a move of the Americans against China.

Press TV: Are you suggesting that the Americans want to take out China and replace these investments with American companies?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Or anybody, that’s right. And I think the Russians are beginning to perceive that the whole Syrian thing is a move against them and their base there.

So what we’re really doing is antagonizing two large countries: China, which has an economy that is probably better than the US because their people have jobs; and the Russians have unlimited nuclear arsenal — and so we’re starting to press very strong countries in a very reckless way. We’re behaving in a very reckless and dangerous way.

Once you start this and Russian and China come to the conclusion that the Americans simply cannot be dealt with in any rational way and are determined to somehow subdue them and do them damage, all kinds of escalations can result. This is the real danger and we’re risking a major war.

Press TV: (Italy is heavily reliant on Libyan oil) What about the role of Italy (as part of NATO) in Libya?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: This is another unique thing with this Libyan intervention. What is NATO doing fighting a war in Africa? NATO was formed to guard against the potential of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The Soviet Union has been gone for twenty years. Steered by the US and the Pentagon it has been turned into an auxiliary force and we now have NATO involved in an aggressive war in Africa. This is a war of aggression, a war of attack.

So this is an extraordinary development. Why is this happening? We didn’t use NATO in Egypt, Tunisia and will certainly not use it in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain so we see something highly unusual — NATO at war in Africa. This needs an explanation.

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To Protect U.S. Interests, International Companies: 15,000 U.S. Troops, Thousands Of Contractors To Remain In Iraq

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/26/c_13846834.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 26, 2011

Over 15,000 U.S. servicemen to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 deadline

Baghdad: The Iraqi government is preparing to accept the presence of more than 15,000 U.S. servicemen in Iraq to protect U.S. interests after the deadline of U.S. troops’ pullout by the end of 2011, an Iraqi newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“The Iraqi government will arrange a special status that would allow more than 15,000 U.S. servicemen to stay in Iraq beyond the end of this year,” al-Mashriq newspaper quoted well-informed sources as saying.

It also said that thousands of employees working for foreign security firms will stay in the country to protect the U.S. embassy staff, American civil contractors, engineers and investors.

“The full U.S. troops withdrawal will be announced as scheduled (by the end of 2011) and the remaining thousands of U.S. troops will be assigned to protect the embassy staff, foreign diplomatic corps and international companies in the country,” the newspaper said.

Maliki is planning to send a delegation headed by Abdul-Haleem al-Zheiri, a leading figure in Maliki’s Dawa part, to neighboring Iran to explain his move and to give assurances to Tehran that the remaining U.S. troops will not be used against Iran, it added.
….
On April 9, anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened to resume activities of his Mahdi Army militia against the American troops if they stay in the country after the end of 2011.

Earlier, Maliki ruled out signing a new security pact with the United States to extend the presence of its troops in the country.

“The Prime Minister ruled out the possibility of any new security agreement to prolong the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq, because the (current) document of the strategic agreement (SOFA) is clear in this respect,” Maliki said in a statement.

However, Maliki noted that not signing another security agreement doesn’t mean that Iraq will not cooperate and coordinate with the United States in the fields of training and arming Iraqi troops, the statement said.

In mid 2010, U.S. troops in Iraq had been reduced to below 50,000 soldiers. Washington said that the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq are conducting support and training missions.

U.S. military forces are to pull out completely from Iraq by the end of 2011 according to the security pact named (Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA) signed late in 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.

====

Romania: U.S. Marines Deploy For Black Sea, Balkans, Caucasus

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/69372/marines-return-romania-security-cooperation-bigger-unit-larger-mission-new-facilities-bsrf-11

Black Sea Rotational Force
April 27, 2011

Marines Return to Romania for Security Cooperation: Bigger unit, larger mission, new facilities for BSRF-11

-“I think this is a great opportunity for the U.S. to build and strengthen partnerships with some nations around the Black Sea region that are considering being part of NATO.”

MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania: Almost 200 Marines and sailors of Black Sea Rotational Force 11 arrived in Romania last week to begin the second rotation of a multi-year security cooperation program in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions of Europe. BSRF is a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force and will operate from Mihail Kogalniceanu Romanian Land Forces Base and Airfield.

The first week has been spent orienting to the area, preparing for training and meeting and working with Romanian counterparts.
….
It is important to train together “in order to reach a common language regarding NATO procedures,” said Romanian Commander Ion Tatarici, the director and primary liaison officer for BSRF-11, “and improve younger military members and to be ready for any kind of [operational] requirements.”
….
BSRF has grown from last year’s three-month deployment to a six-month deployment by extending the military advising, community relations and peace keeping operations and support programs….

In addition to the changes in scale, the BSRF is the first unit to occupy a brand new operating base adjacent to the airfield. Capable of accommodating 1,500 personnel the new facility has ample workspace, new barracks, a motor transportation maintenance bay and “motor pool,” and amenities such as a gym, theater and recreation center.

“Right off the bat, we’ve hit the ground running with the new facilities,” said Lt. Col. Douglas D. Stumpf, the Air Combat Element commander, BSRF-11. The new Romanian Army barracks are a great improvement from the more austere living conditions of BSRF-10, added the Aledo, Texas, native.
….
“I think this is a great opportunity for the U.S. to build and strengthen partnerships with some nations around the Black Sea region that are considering being part of NATO,” said Sgt. Marco A. Mardini, the armory chief, BSRF-11.
….
BSRF-11 has been making preparations to support upcoming training exercises in the country, including several logistics runs by the ACE to countries such as Rota, Spain, for ammunition, and Ramstein, Germany, for internal support and maintenance, said Stumpf.

Additionally, other preparations have been made, like the Medical Evacuation drill on April 21 that tested both nations’ responsiveness in case of medical emergency to U.S. or foreign military troops.
….

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U.S.’s Bryza Discusses Military Exercises In Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/society/1866753.html

Trend News Agency
April 25, 2011

Azerbaijani defense minister and U.S. ambassador discuss date of military exercises
T. Hajiyev

Baku: The Defense Minister of Azerbaijan and the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan held discussions over the date of conducting the Regional Response-2011 military exercises.

Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, Gen.-Colonel Safar Abiyev, has received the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza on Monday, the Defense Ministry’s press service reported.

Current issues and prospects of development of bilateral military cooperation between the U.S. and Azerbaijan were examined and date of the postponed Regional Response-2011 military exercises was discussed at the meeting. In addition, the sides exchanged views on energy security issues.

The meeting was also attended by the U.S. Military Attaché to Azerbaijan, Col. Melvin Douglas Sax.

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U.S. Arms Merchants Make Strong Comeback In Turkish Market

http://www.today.az/news/regions/85072.html

Hurriyet Daily News
April 26, 2011

US arms industry makes strong comeback to Turkish market

- Lockheed Martin will provide Turkey with 30 modern F-16 Block 50 fighter aircraft worth nearly $1.8 billion soon. Lockheed Martin is also modernizing most of Turkey’s older F-16 jets.
In addition Turkey is taking part in the Lockheed Matin-led, multinational program for new-generation and stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II fighter aircraft, and plans to buy around 100 aircraft.

For a long time the United States defense giants have failed to win a lucrative Turkish contract in the face of competition from European and non-European rivals, but the spell was broken last week when Sikorsky Aircraft, a top US helicopter maker, grabbed the job to lead the production of Turkey’s next utility helicopter for the military.

Under the move by Turkey’s top decision-making body on defense procurement last Thursday, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a United Technologies company, defeated Italy’s AgustaWestland in a $3.5 billion competition to lead the joint manufacture of 109 T-70 platforms, a Turkish version of the company’s S-70 Black Hawk International.

AgustaWestland is a subsidiary owned by the Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, the closest defense partner for Turkey in recent years. It was competing with the TUHP-149, a proposed Turkish version for its newly developed AW-149.

Turkey has two methods of defense procurement from foreign sources. The first is single-source purchases through government-to-government agreements, and the second is commercial tenders that are international competitions where more than one foreign company is competing.

In the first method, the U.S. is still the largest supplier of Turkey’s weapons systems. For example the U.S.’s Lockheed Martin will provide Turkey with 30 modern F-16 Block 50 fighter aircraft worth nearly $1.8 billion soon. Lockheed Martin is also modernizing most of Turkey’s older F-16 jets.

In addition Turkey is taking part in the Lockheed Matin-led, multinational program for new-generation and stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II fighter aircraft, and plans to buy around 100 aircraft.

Commercial tenders

But in commercial tenders, U.S. companies have been failing against other foreign firms in the past 10 years. For example, in 2007 AgustaWestland won a multibillion-dollar Turkish tender to provide the Turkish Army with 51 T129 attack helicopters. Later the company grabbed another contract to make Turkey another nine T129s.

Also, U.S. companies, over the past 10 years, lost bids against Israeli firms to modernize the M-60 main battle tanks and to buy unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, a South Korean company, Korean Aerospace Industries, won a Turkish tender for basic trainer aircraft, and an Italian company, Telespazio, topped U.S. rivals and won a Turkish contract to build a military satellite.

Turkey in recent years managed to locally design, develop and produce most of what it needed for its Land Forces and Navy by manufacturing armored vehicles and smaller vessels, and its new defense industry strategy calls for greater self-sufficiency in other fields, including some fixed-wing and rotating-wing aircraft.

Sikorsky is no stranger to the Turkish military. In the 1990s it sold more than 100 S-70 Black Hawk International helicopters in two batches. In 2006, it finalized a deal to sell 17 S-70B Seahawk naval warfare helicopters to the Turkish Navy. Recently it started deliveries, and in the face of a delay in deliveries, it accepted a Turkish request to provide an 18th S-70B free of charge.

Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Stratford, Connecticut, was founded in 1925 by aircraft engineer Igor Sikorsky, an American immigrant originally born in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Disappointment

AgustaWestland said it was disappointed it had lost the latest utility helicopter competition to Sikorsky.

“Unfortunately Turkey’s decision was to opt for an old design of helicopter instead of leveraging on the fruitful collaboration and advantages achieved with the T129 program for attack helicopters,” said Ugo Rossini, vice president head of AgustaWestland for Europe. “With that decision Turkey’s aerospace industry has lost a unique opportunity to become a major player in the helicopter industry through the co-development of a new generation helicopter.”

But Turkish procurement officials said Sikorsky Aircraft’s financial and commercial cooperation package was better and more concrete, providing Turkey with benefits worth billions of dollars for the $3.5 billion utility helicopter program.

Now, whether the U.S. defense industry’s comeback to the Turkish market will remain in place will mostly be up to who wins a new multibillion-dollar Turkish contract for long-range missile and air defense systems.

For that program the U.S. Raytheon-Lockheed Martin is offering its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) systems, and is in competition with the Italian-French MBDA, Europe’s largest missile maker competing with Aster 30 SAMP/T, and Russian and Chinese rivals.

Most defense experts here suggest that the Chinese and Russian options are not compatible with NATO systems, so the actual competition will take place between the PAC-3 and SAMP/T systems.

In addition, the U.S. so far has not accepted a Turkish request made more than two years ago for the purchase of MQ-9 Reaper armed drones. “It will remain to be seen whether the positive climate between the U.S. and Turkey created by Turkey’s selection of Sikorsky Aircraft will extend to cover the sale of Reapers,” said one defense analyst.

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NATO Chief To Visit Atlanta To Address Afghan, Libyan Wars

http://www.globalatlanta.com/article/24741/

GlobalAtlanta
April 26, 2011

NATO’s Secretary General to Visit Atlanta May 9
Phil Bolton

-He specifically asked to stop in Atlanta, one of only three cities he will be visiting outside of Washington on this tour, because of the large presence of Georgia National Guard troops in both war zones.

Atlanta: The World Affairs Council of Atlanta is hosting a luncheon presentation by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 12th secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, at the Commerce Club on Monday, May 9.

Mr. Rasmussen, who assumed his current position on Aug. 1, 2009, is to give a major policy address concerning NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.

He specifically asked to stop in Atlanta, one of only three cities he will be visiting outside of Washington on this tour, because of the large presence of Georgia National Guard troops in both war zones.
….
More recently NATO has intensified its air strikes and bombed Mr. Gaddafi’s residence in Tripoli, the capital.

The current war in Afghanistan is now in its 10th year.

A Dane, Mr. Rasmussen has held many government posts in Denmark including prime minister from 2001-09.

During the Danish presidency of the European Union in 2002, he played a key role in the accession of 10 candidates for EU membership.

As Denmark’s minister for economic affairs from 1990-92, he was the Danish signatory to the Masstricht Treaty, which eventually led to the introduction of the single currency, the euro. Denmark, however, decided to opt out of the euro-zone and uses its national currency, the krone.

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U.S., British Defense, Military Chiefs Discuss Afghan, Libyan Wars

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1867366.html

Trend News Agency
April 27, 2011

U.S., British defense chiefs discuss Libya, Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday met with his British counterpart Liam Fox, and the two focused their discussions on the situation in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, Xinhua reported.

Fox and Gen. Sir David Jackson of the British army met with Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington, D.C. “Our talks included military operations over Libya, where the U. S. continues to be in a supporting role in the NATO-led campaign, along with our Arab allies,” Gates told reporters after the meeting.

“We talked about the way ahead in Afghanistan, where more than 9,000 British troops are in the thick of the fight.”

Afghanistan is the main theater of operations for U.S. and British efforts, Fox said. About 100,000 American servicemembers and 9,000 British troops are in Afghanistan….

The Obama administration announced in late 2009 that the United States would begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July 2011, but more and more people have been speculating that the drawdown would only be symbolic.

The defense chiefs also played down the possibility of a Libya-style intervention in Syria. “We can’t do everything all the time and we have to recognize that there are practical limitations to what our countries can do, ” said Fox.

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BRICS, SCO, ALBA Can Counter Imperialism With Global Multipolarity

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-brics-counter/782018/

Indian Express
April 27, 2011

The BRICs Counter
Manoj C G

The CPM [The Communist Party of India (Marxist)] views the formalisation of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — as a welcome sign, believing it has the potential to emerge as a countervailing global force to US imperialism. It believes BRICS can lead the world towards a genuine multi-polarity. But for that, it must strengthen relations with other formations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA).

The editorial in CPM mouthpiece People’s Democracy notes that the resistance to democratising the UN — mainly from the US — has demonstrated that the global body does not reflect 21st century realities. “BRICS could be an effective forum that can also catalyse a democratic re-structuring of the United Nations,” it says.

Further, BRICS can play an important role in resisting US-driven attempts to hijack global negotiations on important issues like climate change and the Doha round of negotiations under the WTO.

Although Brazil, Russia, India and China as current members of the UN Security Council have abstained from the vote imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, it feels the BRICS should however have gone a step forward in opposing it. “Such coordinated political positioning can emerge in the future as a check to imperialist hegemonic designs,” it hopes.

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Raytheon Delivers Next-Generation Ship-Defense Missiles

http://azstarnet.com/business/local/article_5f31585d-f829-54fb-b530-e90bc60b2b63.html

Arizona Daily Star
April 26, 2011

Raytheon delivers first of ship-defense missiles
David Wichner

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has delivered the first production copy of its next ship-defense missile to the U.S. Navy for final testing.

The first Standard Missile-6, a longer-range version of the Standard Missile-2 series of ship-defense weapons, was delivered on time and on budget in March after five years of development, the company said Monday.

The first SM-6 was delivered after final assembly at the company’s plant in Camden, Ark. The weapon will undergo operational testing this summer, one of the last steps before a decision to deploy the SM-6 on Navy ships, said Frank Wyatt, vice president of Raytheon’s air and missile defense systems product line.

The first missile is part of an initial batch of 89 missiles Raytheon is producing under a three-year, $368 million contract for low-rate initial production awarded last year.

The latest in the Standard Missile series of ship-defense missiles first developed in the 1960s, the SM-6 adds a rocket booster for extended range as well as onboard “active” radar-targeting adapted from Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

Like prior SM-2 versions, the SM-6 also can be guided by semi-active radar, which uses the firing ship’s sensors for targeting.

The active radar enables the SM-6 to detect and track targets itself “over the horizon,” out of reach of the firing ship’s sensors.
….
The range of the supersonic SM-6 is classified but is substantially longer than SM-2’s official range of about 90 nautical miles….

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Pakistan Confronts U.S. Afghan Strategy

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/27/stories/2011042752501200.htm

The Hindu
April 27, 2011

Pakistan confronts U.S. Afghan strategy
M.K. Bhadrakumar

The Pakistani military leadership wishes to draw a redline for the U.S.’ covert operations so that Washington will be compelled to deal with militant Afghan groups through the single window of the ISI

-Mr. Mullen betrayed the deep frustration within the Barack Obama administration that the stalemate in the Afghan war cannot be broken militarily. A ferocious Taliban counter-offensive is expected and American officials are nervously anticipating a sharp escalation in war casualties, which may happen at an awkward time as the U.S. presidential election campaign begins to get livelier by the day.
-The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been holding direct talks with the Taliban. It has been able to do this largely because of the extensive intelligence network it has created in Pakistan — which became possible because Islamabad allowed it to happen.
-During the six weeks of gruelling interrogation of U.S. intelligence operative Raymond Davis, the Pakistani military caught on to a host of home truths. By now, the Pakistani military would have a fair idea of the extent of the American intelligence network and its potential to play merry havoc by splintering insurgent groups, pitting one group against another, manipulating factionalism within groups, monitoring the terror network and, conceivably, even turning some of the insurgent groups into instruments of U.S. regional policies. (Tehran insists that the U.S. is indulging in covert operations in Pakistan and Iran.)
-The core of the U.S.’ strategic dilemma is that the Pentagon desperately wants to perpetuate American military presence in Afghanistan, but knows that the majority of Afghans and the regional powers disfavour it. Therefore, the U.S. is opting for a strategy of selective reconciliation with “friendly” insurgent groups….

In his 22nd visit also, Admiral “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of the United States armed forces, failed to achieve what he couldn’t at the previous 21 calls he made to Pakistan since assuming his assignment in the Pentagon in October 2007. Yet, of all top U.S. officials, Mr. Mullen is projected by Washington as a dogged believer in America’s cooperation with the Pakistani army leadership.

As he proceeded to Islamabad last Wednesday, he spoke with extraordinary candour on the troubled U.S.-Pakistan relationship. “We have had a very turbulent time,” he told Reuters, but despite tensions, both the U.S. and Pakistan acknowledged that the relationship was vital. “I think that all of us believe that we cannot afford to let this relationship come apart. It’s just too dangerous. It’s too dangerous, in each country, for each country. It’s too dangerous for the region.” The relationship was difficult, but “we walk away from it at our peril, quite frankly.”

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship couldn’t have been framed more aptly. But then, Mr. Mullen went on to make the stunning allegation that what caused tension most is the “relationship” between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and the so-called Haqqani network of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

Mr. Mullen couldn’t have arrived at this realisation on the ISI-Haqqani nexus, which has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the Afghan bazaar, belatedly. The latest bunch of WikiLeaks cables pertaining to Guantanamo Bay actually reveals that the U.S. military, which Mr. Mullen heads, has all along listed the ISI as a “terrorist” organisation alongside the al-Qaeda, the Hezbollah, the Hamas and the Iranian intelligence!

Surely, the issue is the timing of Mr. Mullen’s statement. He deliberately upped the ante, holding the ISI directly and primarily responsible for the stalemate in the war; in effect, he challenged the Pakistani military leadership that it would be held accountable for the Taliban’s summer offensive.

Mr. Mullen betrayed the deep frustration within the Barack Obama administration that the stalemate in the Afghan war cannot be broken militarily. A ferocious Taliban counter-offensive is expected and American officials are nervously anticipating a sharp escalation in war casualties, which may happen at an awkward time as the U.S. presidential election campaign begins to get livelier by the day. The war has become unpopular in the American public opinion and the political class doesn’t have the stomach to continue with it. The U.S. coalition partners too (including Britain) are in a tearing hurry to exit.

Over and above, there is an acute “resource crunch.” David Ignatius of The Washington Post wrote recently that the current budget crisis “should force some hard decisions about America’s foreign policy priorities …

“Today, the U.S. is allocating about $110 billion annually for the Afghan war, about $3.2 billion for military and economic aid to Pakistan, and about $150 million in special assistance to help Egypt’s democratic revolution. In terms of U.S. national interests, those spending levels don’t make sense. The pyramid is upside down … we should spend less [on AfPak], going forward, as we move along the exit ramp. This will mean a smaller military footprint, more use of paramilitary forces and more emphasis on diplomacy.”

Prima facie, the Washington-Islamabad acrimony is due to the U.S. displeasure that the Pakistani military continues to baulk at launching operations in the North Waziristan region, where the Haqqani group is entrenched, while Islamabad opposes the manner in which the U.S. is conducting drone attacks and intelligence activities within Pakistan. However, the acrimony is quintessentially an attempt to set the bottom line of the Afghan peace talks. The Pakistani suspicion is that the U.S. is deliberately withholding its long-term Afghanistan strategy, which leaves Islamabad groping in the dark about American intentions.

Bypassing the ally

The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been holding direct talks with the Taliban. It has been able to do this largely because of the extensive intelligence network it has created in Pakistan — which became possible because Islamabad allowed it to happen.

That, ironically, enables Washington to dispense with the good offices of the Pakistani military and the ISI, and opt for direct interaction with the insurgent groups. The U.S. intelligence network within Pakistan has penetrated the range of insurgent groups — the Afghan Taliban, the “Pakistan Taliban,” and non-Taliban (Afghan and Pakistani) militant groups. Evidently, if the drone attacks are becoming more “result-oriented,” it is due to real-time intelligence inputs.

During the six weeks of gruelling interrogation of U.S. intelligence operative Raymond Davis, the Pakistani military caught on to a host of home truths. By now, the Pakistani military would have a fair idea of the extent of the American intelligence network and its potential to play merry havoc by splintering insurgent groups, pitting one group against another, manipulating factionalism within groups, monitoring the terror network and, conceivably, even turning some of the insurgent groups into instruments of U.S. regional policies. (Tehran insists that the U.S. is indulging in covert operations in Pakistan and Iran.)

Suffice it to say the Pakistani military leadership wishes to draw a redline for the U.S.’ covert operations so that Washington will be compelled to deal with militant Afghan groups through the single window of the ISI — within the parameters set by what old-timers call the “[Ronald] Reagan rules” during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s. There is hardly any leeway for Pakistan to compromise on this demand, which aims at revising the ground rules of the U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership in the conduct of the Afghan war (based hitherto on unspoken, unwritten, ever-deniable and flexible templates of collaboration).

To be sure, Pakistan is insisting on the need to reset the ground rules as the endgame advances, in order to avoid the horrible prospect of its so-called “strategic assets” in Afghanistan — which it created at enormous cost and sacrifice and at great risk over the past three decades — getting systematically cannibalised by the American intelligence operatives scavenging the Pakistani territories, on one side of the Durand Line, and by the Special Forces under General David Petraeus relentlessly scouring the Hindu Kush, on the other — the famous “hammer and anvil approach.”

Therefore, Pakistan has done the logical thing by reaching out to Afghan President Hamid Karzai in an attempt to form a condominium to kick-start formal reconciliation with the Taliban in a swift sequential process, which would present Washington with a fait accompli.

Mr. Karzai is willing to cooperate in this sideshow since he has his own problems with the Obama administration. The Washington establishment is annoyed with Mr. Karzai due to his inability (or unwillingness) to deliver a status of forces agreement that would effectively legitimise long-term American military presence on Afghan soil. On his part, Mr. Karzai expects a pivotal role in any peace process so that he doesn’t become politically expendable by 2014, whereas Washington quietly incites the non-Pashtun elements to challenge his zeal for reconciliation with the Taliban. So, it is this congruence of interests between Kabul and Islamabad that manifests as their joint demand that any Afghan peace process should be Afghan-led and not “dictated from outside”.

The core of the U.S.’ strategic dilemma is that the Pentagon desperately wants to perpetuate American military presence in Afghanistan, but knows that the majority of Afghans and the regional powers disfavour it. Therefore, the U.S. is opting for a strategy of selective reconciliation with “friendly” insurgent groups, which allows the drawdown of U.S. troops and gradually turns the war into a matter of Special Forces operations or pinpointed air strikes. The strategy aims at creating a political environment within which American forces can relocate themselves to the tranquil northern regions of Afghanistan (without having to fight and get killed or maimed), while vast areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan and the tribal tracts in the border regions lapse into “cold peace.”

Of course, Pakistan is justified in wondering what is there for it in this scenario. This wasn’t how the war was supposed to end.

Obviously, Washington’s priorities will change once the intensity of the fighting declines. For one thing, the U.S. aid flow will decline. Once the U.S. strengthens its direct line to the insurgents, its dependence on the Pakistani military can only decline. But Pakistan’s objective of gaining “strategic depth” in Afghanistan remains elusive. Equally, Pakistan will be left grappling with an assortment of militant groups along its long, disputed border with Afghanistan that have been highly radicalised by the U.S.-led war. These include some groups which have been alienated one way or the other by Pakistan’s role as the U.S.’ “key non-NATO ally.”

Pakistan faces an existential crisis in its Pashtun tribal tract that has borne the brunt of the U.S.-led war. As last Saturday’s London Times report shows, there will be all sorts of attempts to muddy the waters. It suits the U.S. strategy to give the Afghan endgame the exaggerated overtones of an India-Pakistan turf war. The Indian establishment acted wisely to open dialogue with Pakistan in Mohali.

(The writer is a former diplomat.)

===

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Observes Easter By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya

April 26, 2011 3 comments

Stop NATO
April 26, 2011

NATO Observes Easter By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya
Rick Rozoff

As it has done daily since it assumed control of the air war and naval blockade against Libya on March 31, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on April 25 posted on its website a report on the number and nature of air missions flown by warplanes assigned to it over Libya the preceding day.

The North Atlantic Alliance flew 143 sorties on April 24, of which 62 were described as strike sorties; that is, air deployments involved in the dropping of bombs and firing of missiles. As of the above date, NATO aircraft had flown a total of 3,725 sorties and 1,550 strike sorties since the Western military bloc took command of the war against Libya from U.S. Africa Command’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. By April 25 the figures had risen to almost 4,000 and over 1,600, respectively.

April 24 was Easter Sunday, this year on the same date for Western Christendom and Orthodox Christianity. The most sacred day on the calendar for two billion Christians.

France, Britain and other NATO powers in fact bombed Libya throughout Holy Week, during which 848 total air missions and 501 strike sorties were flown.

On Easter Sunday, when almost a third of humanity celebrated the resurrection of the Prince of Peace, NATO acknowledged bombing government targets in and near the cities of Misrata, Sirte, Mizdah and Zintan.

Hours later NATO warplanes bombed the residence of Muammar Gaddafi, wounding 45 people, 15 seriously.

Three days before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the Netherlands and, invoking the U.S. and NATO war against Yugoslavia twelve years earlier, said:

“We’ve been at this a relatively short period of time. I would remind you that the United States and other partners bombed targets in Serbia for 78 days.”

She confirmed what some at the time – like Isaiah and St. John the Baptist voices in the wilderness, prophets without honor in their own lands and time – warned would become the precedent it has: That in being permitted to launch an unprovoked war against a European nation for the first time since Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy did the same from 1939-1941, the U.S. and NATO would be given license to employ the model in other parts of the world, as they have done to different degrees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and now Libya.

In 1999 leading Western and Eastern Christian church leaders urged Clinton’s husband and his NATO allies to halt the bombing of Yugoslavia on both Gregorian and Julian Easter, April 4 and 11, to no avail.

Clinton’s assertion that bombing any targeted nation on Earth for at least 78 days is sanctioned by the Yugoslav precedent, incidentally, was made on Holy Thursday, which commemorates the day before Jesus’s crucifixion during the final hours of which Jesus warned one of his followers to “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

The leaders of the NATO states that have bombed and fired cruises missiles into Libya for almost forty days all profess to be Christians, at least – particularly in the U.S. – making much of their religiosity during election years. The type that American author Ambrose Bierce, member of an organization that begs to be revived in the 21st century, the Anti-Imperialist League formed at the advent of America’s emergence as a global military power in 1898, described in his Devil’s Dictionary as:

“One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”

And violence. War.

For members of the Western political elite laws, conventions, principles, morality and commandments are for suckers, for losers; applied solely to the comparatively weak and powerless but never to themselves who are beyond good and evil, transcending constraints and limitations imposed on the rest of the human race. Empire-building is an amoral enterprise ne plus ultra.

The Gospel of St. Matthew records Jesus making another comment that Hillary Clinton, her commander-in-chief Barack Obama and their British, French and other NATO allies have evidently never bothered to acquaint themselves with: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

After French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s troops and helicopter gunships attacked the government of then-incumbent Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, leading to his capture and humiliation by French troops on April 11, Clinton delivered herself of this pronouncement:

“This transition sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the world. They may not disregard the voice of their own people in free and fair elections, and there will be consequences for those who cling to power.”

Of late the self-anointed would-be universal tyrannicide has, directly or through her spokesman Mark Toner, issued equally magisterial and undisguised threats against nations like Belarus and, with increasing frequency and ominous overtones, Syria.

The U.S. and its NATO allies have been at war in each of the eleven years of the new century, the new millennium – the longest continuous period of combat in the history of both – with not only no indication of the war cycle ever ending but with every assurance that it is now a permanent state of affairs.

As with the last ten Easter Sundays, Washington and Brussels are laying the groundwork for future bombing campaigns, ground operations and military occupations for succeeding ones ad aeternum or until the Second Coming, according to one’s lights.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 26

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U.S. Discusses Providing Arms To NATO Allies To Prolong Libyan War

Catastrophic International Anarchy: Western Interventions Violate UN Charter

Libya Calls On African States For Help In Resisting NATO Attacks

Ukraine: Left-Wing Party Grants Gaddafi Anti-NATO Award

Libya: NATO Uses Yugoslav Model, Targets Government Infrastructure To Demoralize Nation

Russia’s Putin: Libya Being Destroyed By “So-Called Civilized Society”

Libyan Oil, Natural Gas Main Goals Of NATO’s Libyan War: Putin

Dangerous Intentions: Russian Foreign Minister Says NATO Takes Rebels’ Side

NATO’s African War: Nearly 4,000 Sorties, Over 1,600 Strikes

Economic War: NATO Invasion Of Libya Inevitable

NATO Playing With Fire In Libya: Analyst

NATO Intensifies Bombing Of Tripoli As Former Colonial Master Italy Enters War

NATO Escalates Bombing Assault, Libyans Fear Protracted War

Algeria Warns Foreign Intervention In Libya Can Destabilize Region

EU Troop Deployment Targets All Of Libya

NATO Nations’ Leaders: Gaddafi Must Die

Syria: “Targeted” Sanctions Or Preparation For New War?

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U.S. Discusses Providing Arms To NATO Allies To Prolong Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iTNq5eogxECfXa7fKtQKk0Gfcf_A?docId=CNG.17e3806625fad53ce9d38b16c2d5c8a2.321

Agence France-Presse
April 26, 2011

US, allies discuss munitions supplies for Libya strikes

WASHINGTON: Washington is in talks with NATO allies to ensure a sufficient supply of munitions for the Libya bombing campaign, the Pentagon said Tuesday, amid reports of a shortage of precision-guided arms.

European allies have not yet asked the US military to replenish stocks of precision-guided bombs or related munitions, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said.

“There haven’t been any requests yet. There have been discussions about munitions,” Lapan said.

“Some of the allies are talking about their munitions stores, their capabilities,” he said.

The discussions were “looking forward at, you know, the pace of operations, the munitions that they have, their capacity for procuring more, those types of things,” he added.
….
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Britain, France and some other European countries involved in the air campaign were running low on supplies of precision-guided weapons.
….
Britain and France are carrying out about half of the bombing raids in Libya with four other countries — Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Norway — conducting the rest.
….
Italy said Monday it would join in the UN-mandated air strikes, designed to protect civilians from the forces of Libayn leader Moamer Kadhafi.
….
In talks on Tuesday at the Pentagon, Britain’s Defence Minister Liam Fox was due to discuss the air war in Libya with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

====

Catastrophic International Anarchy: Western Interventions Violate UN Charter

http://thecitizen.co.tz/magazines/32-political-platform/10361-operation-violates-un-charter.html

The Citizen (Tanzania)
April 26, 2011

Operation violates UN Charter
Mwesiga Baregu*

In this column last week, I expressed my concerns and misgivings about French intervention in Cote d’Ivoire as well as the Nato operation in Libya. Both of these operations have been undertaken under the general rubric of humanitarian intervention arising from the notion of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P).

In the last few days, however, some permanent members of the Security Council and others have openly questioned the intentions (regime change) and conduct of the Nato forces as well as the behaviour of the UN Secretary General in handling the Libyan situation.

It would seem that the imperialist aims of western powers have conspired with the ambitions of a Secretary General gunning for a second term to violate the fundamental purposes and principles of the UN enshrined in Chapter One of the Charter. (see especially, Ch. 1 Art. 2 (3&4). To gain some insights on the issues involved and in anticipation of points of contention that are likely to arise in the ensuing debate, I provide a brief background.

The notion of (R2P), arising out of a 2001 report The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), revolves around the rather dubious and still evolving idea that sovereign states have the primary responsibility to protect and defend their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe. However, when states are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the broader community of states.

The concern to protect people from extreme forms of suffering such as mass murder, large-scale torture, massive disappearances, starvation, etc. is essentially a post-Cold War phenomenon. It became particularly pronounced in the wake of the crises in Bosnia and Somalia in the early 1990s, the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the Kosovo campaign in 1999 as well as Srebrenica in 1995.

In the wake of these crises ‘Responsibility to protect’ has since evolved into the controversial doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” which has raised so much debate and discussion in the international community on a number of contentious issues.

At the theoretical level the debate raises concerns about the eventuality of the principle of the sovereign right of exclusive jurisdiction within states and non-intervention between them, which lies at the core of the United Nations Charter. At the same time, the debate acknowledges the equally important principle of the right of people to protection (by the international community?) from gross human rights violations enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Can the two principles be reconciled?

At the practical level one encounters numerous and quite controversial questions such as: who is to decide when to intervene, at what point in time, for what reasons, by whom, with what mandate and objectives, with what means, for how long, etc. it should be noted that the conceptual and operational are not exclusive domains.

Indeed failure to address and resolve some of the conceptual difficulties has resulted in serious disagreements in the UN between those members up-holding the sovereignty principle as primary to the UN and those propagating human rights as a fundamental moral principle….

At the centre of the controversies are at least two fundamental questions. One question is whether, in principle, within the spirit and letter of the present UN Charter, the UN Security Council can defend state sovereignty and promote intervention at the same time.

The second question is whether humanitarian intervention is, in fact, a smokescreen for unilateral or coalitional intervention of the powerful states in the weaker states in pursuit of their national interest (as happened in Iraq (2003) and to some extent in Kosovo) thus rendering the UN system, a form of ‘organised hypocrisy’ as recently described in a book by Stephen Krasner.

It is largely for these reasons the ICISS adopted the term ‘intervention’ discarding the ‘humanitarian’ part in acknowledgement of the fact that “…states seldom intervene for purely humanitarian reasons” The commission thus defines intervention as “action taken against a state or its leaders, without its or their consent, for purposes which are claimed to be humanitarian or protective”.

Given the mission creep in Libya the UN is embarked upon a slippery slope to potentially catastrophic international anarchy!

*Professor Mwesiga Baregu lectures at Saut

====

Libya Calls On African States For Help In Resisting NATO Attacks

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h5ILBcgW4MuutFcywzx3RzIG1XzQ?docId=6672531

Associated Press
April 26, 2011

Libya’s foreign minister calls on African leaders for help to deal with NATO attacks

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Libya’s foreign minister has called on Africa’s leaders to help his country resist NATO’s intervention.

Speaking on Tuesday at the African Union Peace and Security Council ministerial meeting on Libya, Abdelati al-Obeidi called for a meeting between heads of states of the African Union member countries to look for ways “to face the external forces.”

The AU has denounced the U.N.-sanctioned military action in Libya, saying it undermines attempts at finding an African solution to an African problem.

====

Ukraine: Left-Wing Party Grants Gaddafi Anti-NATO Award

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110426/163718107.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 26, 2011

Ukrainian far-left party awards Gaddafi anti-NATO award

Kiev: Ukraine’s far-left Progressive Socialist Party said on Tuesday it has delivered an award to the Libyan embassy in Kiev naming Muammar Gaddafi a “soldier of anti-NATO resistance.”

The Marxist-Leninist party fiercely criticized attempts by the last Ukrainian leadership to join NATO and supports the closer integration of Ukraine with Russia and Belarus.

“Today, the central committee of the Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party unanimously awarded Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with a ‘soldier of anti-NATO resistance’ award for his heroic fight to protect the Libyan people from NATO aggression,” the party said in a statement.
….

====

Libya: NATO Uses Yugoslav Model, Targets Government Infrastructure To Demoralize Nation

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/world/middleeast/27strategy.html

New York Times
April 26, 2011

NATO Says It Is Broadening Attacks on Libya Targets
Thom Shanker

-“It was when we went in and began to disturb important and symbolic sites in Belgrade, and began to bring to a halt the middle-class life in Belgrade, that Milosevic’s own people began to turn on him.”

WASHINGTON: NATO planners say the allies are stepping up attacks on palaces, headquarters, communications centers and other prominent institutions supporting the Libyan government, a shift of targets that is intended to weaken Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power and frustrate his forces in the field.

Officials in Europe and in Washington said that the strikes were meant to reduce the government’s ability…link by link, the command, communications and supply chains required for sustaining military operations.

The broadening of the alliance’s targets comes at a time when the rebels and the government in Libya have been consolidating their positions along more static front lines, raising concerns of a prolonged stalemate….

Strikes on significant bulwarks of Colonel Qaddafi’s power over recent days included bombing his residential compound in the heart of the capital, Tripoli — an array of bunkers that are also home to administrative offices and a military command post — as well as knocking state television briefly off the air.

If the new approach effectively cripples Colonel Qaddafi’s ability to command his military and visibly erodes his legitimacy, NATO strategists say, it may eventually persuade him to flee into exile — or it might prompt someone in his inner circle to force him out.

The strike on Colonel Qaddafi’s palace and command center was denounced by Libyan officials as an assassination attempt….Pentagon officials said the mission was mounted against a legitimate military target, and noted that it was carried out by F-16 jets from Norway….

For now, they said, the armed Predator drone aircraft being used in Libya have been flying over rebel-held towns that are under attack or are threatened by loyalist forces — not over the capital.

But officials acknowledged that the alliance is turning to intelligence based on cellular phone and radio intercepts that might indicate which barracks, buildings or compounds are serving as the government’s hidden command posts.
….
NATO put its new campaign plan in place over the past week or more, but so far the North African climate has not been cooperative. The alliance had intended to step up airstrikes on prominent institutional targets over this past weekend, but the effort was postponed because of bad weather.

In interviews, NATO officials acknowledged that overall, their air campaign had been frustratingly slow in taking shape after a vigorous start. But they said it was following a carefully planned step-by-step progression spanning the front lines, the middle echelons of the supply chain and now the rear areas, mostly in the capital, where the centralized command and control institutions are located.

The heavy strikes by American cruise missiles and warplanes across the country that began the campaign were aimed mainly at crippling air defense systems so allied combat jets could fly without hindrance. The American military turned over command of the mission to the alliance once it had established a no-fly zone for Libyan warplanes. NATO strikes then focused on the front lines of the fighting, to suppress government forces’ attacks on the rebels….
….
As the front lines began to stabilize — some senior officials describe the current situation as a stalemate — NATO warplanes tried to smash the supply lines snaking toward government troops in the field, which were calling for ammunition and reinforcements as they besieged rebel-held cities.

So last week, as Western political leaders pronounced that they had no intention of allowing Colonel Qaddafi to remain in power indefinitely, the alliance turned its attention to a target set of static military and government structures.

“Now we are going after his rear echelon,” one NATO official said. “We are going after his ability to command and control his forces — his headquarters, his command posts, his communications — all those things that allow him to coordinate his attacks at the front.”

Military officials privately acknowledge that removing Colonel Qaddafi from power is the desired secondary effect of striking at state television and other symbols of his…rule. “His people may see the futility of continued resistance,” one Pentagon official said.
….
Senior officers who served in NATO’s previous air war, fought in 1999…said that the current air campaign over Libya drew on lessons from Kosovo.

Gen. John P. Jumper, who commanded United States Air Force units in Europe during the Kosovo campaign, recalled that allied “air power was getting its paper graded on the number of tanks killed” — even though taking out armored vehicles one by one was never going to halt “ethnic cleansing.”

So NATO began to hit high-profile institutional targets in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, instead of forces in the field. While they were legitimate military targets, General Jumper said, destroying them also had the effect of undermining popular support for the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

“It was when we went in and began to disturb important and symbolic sites in Belgrade, and began to bring to a halt the middle-class life in Belgrade, that Milosevic’s own people began to turn on him,” General Jumper said. “They began to question why the whole thing in Kosovo was going on, because it was ruining the country.”

====

Russia’s Putin: Libya Being Destroyed By “So-Called Civilized Society”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110426/163721016.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 26, 2011

Putin slams NATO on Libya attacks

Copenhagen: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sharply criticized NATO’s military actions in Libya on Tuesday, saying the North African state was being illegally destroyed by “so-called civilized society.”

“We must act within international law, with an awareness of our responsibility, with concern for peaceful civilians,” Putin told a news conference in Copenhagen after talks with his Danish counterpart. “And when the whole of so-called civilized society gangs up on one small country, destroying infrastructure that has been built over generations, is it good or bad? Personally I do not like it.”

This is not the first time Putin has publicly criticized the NATO-led intervention in Libya. In late March he made international headlines by likening a UN Security Council resolution to enforce a no-fly zone in the country to a “call to a medieval crusade.”

At today’s news conference, the premier also criticized the Western coalition for dropping two guided bombs on Gaddafi’s compound in central Tripoli last week.

“What kind of no-fly zone is this if they are striking palaces every night?” Putin said. “What do they need to bomb palaces for? To drive out the mice?”
….
Putin lashed out at the West for attacking Libya in the interests of oil.

“Libya has the biggest oil resources in Africa and the fourth largest gas resources,” Putin said during a news conference in Copenhagen. “It raises the question: isn’t that the main object of interest to those operating there.”

Russia abstained from the UN Security Council resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been less critical than Putin of the Libya intervention and publicly called Putin’s crusade remarks “unacceptable.”

The Russian premier made a further dig at the West in answer to a journalist’s question about international media criticism of him running in the 2012 presidential elections.

“Future presidential candidates in Russia do not need support from abroad. They need support from the Russian people,” he said

Putin, who served two presidential terms from 2000 to 2008, is widely expected to run again in 2012.

—————————————————————————

http://rt.com/politics/putin-rasmussen-visit-denmark/

RT
April 26, 2011

Putin states the West has no legal right to execute Gaddafi

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared that the Western forces taking part in the military operation in Libya are not entitled to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi, as doing so is against international law.

The Russian premier noted that UN Security Council resolution 1973 allowed for enforcing a no-fly zone over the North African state. But the coalition forces are “bombing palaces” every night.

“Are they exterminating mice this way?”, he said, adding that civilians are being killed.

Initially, Putin noted, it was claimed that there was no plan to eliminate the Libyan leader. However, some officials are now saying the opposite, he observed.

“Who allowed them to do so?”, he demanded, speaking at a joint media conference with his Danish counterpart in Copenhagen. “Has there been a court decision? Who has the right to execute a human, no matter how good or bad one is? But everyone keeps silent.”

The Russian premier stressed that the coalition states should act in accordance with international law, while clearly realizing the responsibility they bear, in particular in caring for civilians.

“When the entire so-called ‘civilized’ community, with all its might, [attacks] a small country, eliminates its infrastructure…I do not know whether it is good or not. But I do not like it,” he said.

Putin also noted that there are many countries where the situation is similar to Libya – countries that are far from democratic and with internal tensions resulting in violence.

“Should we interfere everywhere? Should we be bombing them, too?” he questioned.

….

====

Libyan Oil, Natural Gas Main Goals Of NATO’s Libyan War: Putin

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110426/163720280.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 26, 2011

Putin says Libyan oil main goal of NATO campaign

Copenhagen: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Libya’s oil resources were the main object of the NATO-led military campaign in the country.

“Libya has the biggest oil resources in Africa and the fourth largest gas resources,” Putin said during a news conference in Copenhagen. “It raises the question: isn’t this the main object of interest to those operating there.”

—————————————————————————

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/26/49505819.html

Voice of Russia
April 26, 2011

The West has no right to kill Gaddafi – Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has lashed out at the West over attempts to do away with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Addressing reporters in Copenhagen after talks with his Danish counterpart Lars Løkke Rasmussen on Tuesday, the Russian premier said that despite earlier assurances by Western nations that they did not want to kill Gaddafi, they are now saying “yes, we trying to kill him”. “Who took on the right to execute this man? Has there been any trial?” he wondered.

Mr. Putin condemned the bombings of the presidential residence in Tripoli, saying that they went far beyond the “no-fly zone” resolution passed by the UN Security Council in March. He feels that Libya’s rich oil deposits are the real reason behind active foreign interference in Libyan affairs.

====

Dangerous Intentions: Russian Foreign Minister Says NATO Takes Rebels’ Side

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16185873&PageNum=1

Itar-Tass
April 25, 2011

RF suspects West, NATO take Libyan rebels’ side – Lavrov

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lavrov said the African Union’s initiative on the peaceful settlement had been rejected.

“Inevitably suspicions occur that the Western states and NATO [they coordinate the implementation of Resolution 1973] took rebels’ side.”

“These are dangerous intentions,” the Russian minister said.

====

NATO’s African War: Nearly 4,000 Sorties, Over 1,600 Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110426_110426-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 26, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,858 sorties and 1,606 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 25 April: 133

Strike sorties conducted 25 April: 56

….

25 April: In vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Tank; 3 surface-to-air missile launchers; 3 infantry fighting vehicles; 1
rocket launcher; 1 vehicle depot:.

In vicinity of Misurata: 1 surface-to-air missile training facility.

In vicinity of Sirte: 3 ammunition depots.

In the vicinity of Al-Khums: 2 Tanks; 2 infantry fighting vehicles.

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 19 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

30 Vessels were hailed on 25 April to determine destination and cargo. 3 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 640 vessels have been hailed, 17 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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Economic War: NATO Invasion Of Libya Inevitable

http://print.dailymirror.lk/opinion1/41711.html

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
April 22, 2011

Economic war: NATO invasion of Libya inevitable
Ameen Izzadeen

-The imperialists will not change their habits. They want to make the poor poorer so that they can be richer. When they foresee a decline in their power either because of an economic crisis or because of a military threat, they resort to wars and interventions in resource-rich countries.
Their modus operandi has been the same throughout history. They fund and sustain opposition groups in target countries before they invade it.
-The British-French decision to send military advisors reminds one of the Vietnam War. The United States in 1961 sent some 400 troops to advise the South Vietnamese military. But a decade later the US troop presence in Vietnam rose to 500,000.
-Well, a provocation is all that the imperialists want so that they can launch an all-out war and start plundering Libya in a bid to boost their flagging economies. The US government has allocated 700 billion dollars for defence in next year’s budget at the expense of cuts in education and health while the budget deficit is a gaping 1.6 trillion dollars.

It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man (read imperialists) to enter the Kingdom of God. As the Christian world marks Good Friday today, this saying of Jesus Christ is totally lost on today’s greed-driven imperialists who are gearing up to gobble Libya’s resources.

Libya was relatively a peaceful country with a high literacy rate and advanced health and education facilities. On last year’s Human Development Index, it was ranked 53rd — ahead of 116 countries. Dissent was not unheard of in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi had a way of dealing with it. He rehabilitated the dissidents. Even pro-al Qaeda elements who had resorted to terrorism were rehabilitated and pardoned. None accused Gaddafi of killing political opponents.

If not for the western intervention or interference, the present crisis would also have been solved by peaceful means or by a minimum use of violence. The crisis is no more a Libyan crisis. The imperialist forces — the United States, Britain, France and Italy — have hijacked it. The Libyan rebels merely do what the imperialists order them to do.

Unfortunately, the rebels seem to have not understood that the imperialists have little interest in the well-being of the Libyan people. The imperialists only want to further their agenda of militarily dominating the world to plunder the resources of the weaker nations.

The imperialists will not change their habits. They want to make the poor poorer so that they can be richer. When they foresee a decline in their power either because of an economic crisis or because of a military threat, they resort to wars and interventions in resource-rich countries.

Their modus operandi has been the same throughout history. They fund and sustain opposition groups in target countries before they invade it. The opposition groups support the imperialists in the hope that they would be made the rulers. This was how the imperialist British colonised India, Sri Lanka and the Ottoman empire’s Arab provinces in the past. This was how the United States colonized Iraq and Afghanistan in the recent past. The same plan is now being executed in Libya by the imperialist West on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.

That the war in Libya comes at a time when the Western economies are facing a bleak future is no coincidence. The United States’ economy is in the doldrums with its debt burden rising to a catastrophic 14 trillion dollars — that is 14 with 12 zeroes.

What is more alarming to the Americans and the rest of the world is that the signs of recovery are few and far between with international rating agency Standard and Poor downgrading the outlook on the US sovereign bond from stable to negative. In fact, the real situation is much worse than what Standard and Poor had rated. A Chinese rating agency had commented that western rating agencies were highly politicized and therefore usually cushioned the ratings for Western economies. The negative rating has alarmed China, the biggest investor (1.5 trillion dollars) in US sovereign bonds. China is worried about the United States’ ability to sustain the sovereign bonds amid a huge budget deficit and public debt.

The economic crises facing Britain and France are no better. To overcome the situation, the imperialists resort to wars. In the short-run, wars in the Middle East may increase oil prices and affect economic growth but once the wars are over, the plunder begins, boosting the economies of the imperialist nations. Last week, leaked documents in Britain showed how the Tony Blair government discussed Iraq invasion plans with British oil giants a year before the war actually began. It was Iraq yesterday and it is Libya today, tomorrow, as the imperialists’ economies face further crises, it may even be Saudi Arabia, no matter how servile or submissive its rulers are to the imperialists.

In Libya, the imperialists have taken a step closer to a ground invasion, interpreting UN resolutions 1973 to their advantage. France and Britain have decided to send small groups of military advisors to assist the rebels, while the Western media deliberately exaggerate the casualty figures in Misrata and report largely one-sided stories. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, a British non-governmental fact-finding team returning from Libya accused the Western media of distortion, manipulation and “failing in their duty to report the conflict truthfully”.

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/19/gaddafi-violence-exaggerated-british-group?CMP=twt_gu)/.

A video posted on youtube shows NATO-guided rebels lynching a captured soldier in public while a shocked crowd pleads for clemency. A comment on the video asked where the CNN was when this horror was taking place. If only Gaddafi’s forces had done such an act, the Western media would have repeatedly shown the gory video.

The British-French decision to send military advisors reminds one of the Vietnam War. The United States in 1961 sent some 400 troops to advise the South Vietnamese military. But a decade later the US troop presence in Vietnam rose to 500,000. It is a matter of time before tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of imperialist soldiers roam the length and breadth of Libya. Some reports say groups of western military officers are already in Libya guiding the rebels’ war. Gaddafi’s government has warned NATO that it will deem any ground troop deployment as a hostile military act.

Well, a provocation is all that the imperialists want so that they can launch an all-out war and start plundering Libya in a bid to boost their flagging economies. The US government has allocated 700 billion dollars for defence in next year’s budget at the expense of cuts in education and health while the budget deficit is a gaping 1.6 trillion dollars. But how long can the imperialists depend on wars and plunder for economic growth? The breaking point is not far away.

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NATO Playing With Fire In Libya: Analyst

http://rt.com/news/libya-nato-rebels-gaddafi/

RT
April 26, 2011

NATO playing with fire in Libya – analyst

Video

Italy has approved the use of its fighter jets in NATO’s airstrikes in Libya, despite its earlier refusal to join the bombings. Fighting perseveres in the besieged town of Misrata in western Libya.

According to the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, from now on his country will participate in NATO bombing raids in order to better protect Libyan civilians. He added that Italian raids will only target the military.

Italy had previously refused to take part in NATO airstrikes in Libya given its 40-year-long colonial rule over the country.

Violence has yet to subside in Libya, torn between the rebel-held east and the west, controlled by pro-Gaddafi supporters.

Six people were killed in the town of Misrata on Monday as a result of a shelling blamed on Gaddafi forces, Al Jazeera television reports.

NATO airstrikes on Monday badly damaged Colonel Gaddafi’s compound in the capital Tripoli. According to the Libyan government, the attack was an attempt on Gaddafi’s life and three people were killed.

The Western alliance confirmed that it has intensified attacks on targets linked to the Gaddafi government. A NATO spokesman announced that the compound was targeted as a military command post, AP reports.

According to Igor Khokhlov from the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, NATO is playing a dangerous game in Libya.

“What we see now [are] NATO countries and their leadership so obsessed with getting Gaddafi out of power that they do not actually care who the rebels are,” he said. “What we see now in Maghreb countries, in Tunisia, in Egypt and in Libya, where Al Qaeda terrorist cells are extremely effective, is that those cells could easily come into power.”

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NATO Intensifies Bombing Of Tripoli As Former Colonial Master Italy Enters War

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15027770,00.html

Deutsche Welle
April 25, 2011

Further blasts rock Tripoli as Italy agrees to boost Libya operations

More blasts hit Tripoli on Monday night, at the same time that Italy agreed to step up involvement in missions against military targets….

There were explosions in and around Tripoli on Monday night, a day after a NATO strike destroyed a building in the residential compound of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Explosions were reported in the east of the city and in the Bir Al-Ghanam district, which lies 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the southwest, late on Monday.

Military and civilian sites were hit according to Libyan state television, which said there had been casualties but gave no further details.

Italy was already providing bases and reconaissanceMeanwhile, Italy said it would increase its level of involvement in Libya, being prepared to carry out “targeted missions against military objects in Libyan territory to protect the civilian population.”

Until now, Rome has provided military bases and reconnaissance planes for operations in the country, a former Italian colony. A statement from the office of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he had informed US President Barack Obama by telephone that Italy had “decided to respond positively” to an appeal by NATO leaders.

NATO forces had struck Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli early Monday, while loud explosions were also heard elsewhere in the capital.

A government official showed foreign journalists around the ruined building a few hours after the attack. He claimed 45 people had been wounded in the bombing, 15 of them seriously….”It was an attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadhafi,” he said.

Seif al-Islam, Gadhafi’s son, described the bombing as “cowardly.”

Intensification in bombing raids

NATO forces appear to have stepped up the pace of air strikes in Tripoli in recent days.

Heavy explosions shook the center of Tripoli shortly after midnight on Monday. Smoke was seen rising from the building at around 3 a.m. local time, watched by dozens of people shouting pro-Gadhafi slogans.

Libyan state television broadcasts were briefly cut off after the bombing raid.

A meeting room opposite Gadhafi’s own office was badly damaged by the blast. African leaders had met there two weeks ago to put forward a peace plan that was accepted by the regime, but turned down by the rebels.

The United States, Britain and France have said they will not stop their air campaign over Libya until Gadhafi leaves power.
….
Author: Joanna Impey, Richard Connor (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Rob Turner

====

NATO Escalates Bombing Assault, Libyans Fear Protracted War

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1867118.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 26, 2011

NATO resumes airstrikes; some Libyans fear months-long fighting

NATO launched fresh airstrikes to weaken Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi’s forces, state media reported Tuesday, as many Libyans have begun to fear that the fighting between rebels and government forces will go on for months, DPA reported.

Frustrations and fears were coming to the surface among residents in the coastal city of Derna, located between the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and Tobruk town.

“If we don’t see progress soon, people will get very frustrated,” said Iman El Kuf, who used to work in the tourism industry in Derna.

“There are already pockets of resistance against the rebel movement. After dark, they come out. Perhaps if the rebels do not advance soon, others might join them,” she said.

Mohamed Founi complained that many people can’t find jobs and that schools were still closed. He said one litre of oil, which was sold for 1.5 Libyan dinars (1.2 dollars) before the revolution now costs up to 3.5 dinars.

“That’s fine if you are in Benghazi, the centre of the movement, but here, we are just waiting and waiting,” said Founi.

NATO has been in control of military operations in Libya for more than three weeks….

State media reported that “foreign ships have attacked a communications cable off the Libyan coast, cutting communications to several eastern cities.”

The cable connected Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte with the key oil towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega. Local and international calls to many cities east of the capital, Tripoli, have not been possible for weeks.

NATO carried out airstrikes in Tripoli Monday targeting a communications headquarters….

Government officials said the attack on the buildings in Gaddafi’s Bab Al Aziziya compound was an assassination attempt.

….
Speaking to the German Press Agency dpa by telephone, rebels spokesman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga said…”the employment of Predator drones has taken the NATO air campaign into another phase.”

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Algeria Warns Foreign Intervention In Libya Can Destabilize Region

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/26/c_13845509.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 26, 2011

Algeria warns against foreign intervention in region through Libyan conflict

ALGIERS: Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci warned of the existence of foreign forces seeking to break the region through the Libyan crisis, stressing Algeria’s rejection of any foreign intervention under any pretext.

Medelci told the local Echorouk newspaper in an interview posted on Monday that “if we compare Libya and some other Arab countries, we would conclude that as soon as the Libyan conflict was sparked, foreign forces intervened, contrary to what happened in Tunisia and Egypt.”

He warned that “the split of Libya may be a target of some forces,” yet he praised “the position of Libyans, either in Benghazi or in Tripoli, who insist on keeping Libya united.”

Medelci said Algeria fears Libya may become “a new Iraq or Afghanistan.”

The fear is increasing, because terrorism takes advantage of the spread of weapons. Al-Qaida has recently announced the establishment of several emirates in Libya, he said.

Algeria has warned for several times that the proliferation of weapons in Libya would lead to an escalation of terrorist attacks in the region.

Medelci further added that his country has paid a high price to restore its security, political and economy stability, stressing that “the repercussions of what happening in Libya is perceived as affecting neighboring countries, Algeria included.”

The official warned that the deteriorating security situation in Libya can encourage terrorist activities in the region which would have disastrous consequences on all neighboring countries.

Medelci reiterated Algeria’s position in favor of a political solution to end the crisis in Libya. “Libya’s unity should be achieved by the Libyans themselves, without any foreign intervention. Libyans can do it in the interest of the people, in the interest of reconciliation between them, and in the interest of the whole region. A political solution is still the only way out to the crisis,” Medelci said.

As for the possibility that the transitional council would take power in Libya, Medelci said “For now, we don’t think it’s possible,” adding “I want to seize this opportunity to hail Algeria’s stand regarding Libya’s unity, no matter what side comes to power.”

Medelci said his country wholly backs the African Union’s mediation drive to find an early solution to the current conflict in Libya.

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EU Troop Deployment Targets All Of Libya

http://rt.com/news/eu-troops-aid-libya/

RT
April 26, 2011

EU troops would guard aid throughout Libya – report

The German newspaper Bild has given a sneak peek of operation EUFOR Libya, the plan to use EU ground troops to protect humanitarian convoys….

The plan, fist announced in mid-April, provides for troops of the European Union Military Staff (EUFOR), to perform guard duties for organizations involved in relief efforts in Libya….

The 60-page concept of the mission, according to Bild, sets the whole territory of Libya as a lawful operative zone for the EU force. The troops would secure sea ports and airports, defend humanitarian aid convoys from possible attacks and supply fuel to aid organizations.

The document does not set out the exact number of troops to be sent to Libya, but earlier comments from European officials pointed to 1,000 as the top limit. The mission would have a set duration of four months.

The force involved in the operation would include several companies of regular foot soldiers as well as minesweepers, combat divers, air traffic dispatchers and aerial teams for the evacuation of wounded personnel, the newspaper says.

Risk assessment of the mission considers the possible threat to the force as ranging from high to critical. The greatest threats include terrorist attacks and drawing EU troops into tribal violence.

The international involvement in the civil conflict in Libya under a UN mandate started on March 19. The mission, which has a stated goal to prevent the escalation of violence and protect the civilian population, has been under increased criticism, as skeptics see the NATO-led force acting as a de facto party to the conflict.

Russia, one of the critics, says NATO’s anti-Gaddafi and pro-rebel actions set a bad example for all opposition groups in the region.

“Alas, [the West’s message] may be contagious, because it is expressed in other regional countries with the hope that the international community will come to their assistance if the situation exacerbates,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

“In fact, this is an invitation to a series of civil wars,” he added.

Earlier, several EU nations announced that they will send military advisors to aid rebel forces, which many commentators believe is a violation of the UN Security Council resolution, which allows only an aerial operation in Libya.

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NATO Nations’ Leaders: Gaddafi Must Die

http://rt.com/politics/press/rossijskaya-gazeta/gaddafi-target-killing-discussed/en/

RT
April 26, 2011

Gaddafi must die
Yevgeny Shestakov ­

It is naive to think that the participants in the military operation against Libya have never discussed Colonel Gaddafi’s fate.

It is hard to believe that the leader of the Jamahiriya will be judged by an international tribunal. None of the Western leaders actually say they doubt that events will take such a civilized turn. However, one can only guess as to what is actually discussed behind closed doors, far from the vigilant “human rights-protecting” ears. The longer the NATO operation in Libya continues, the less obvious are its results and the more frequently the NATO generals call Gaddafi their legitimate target.

In reality, the adopted UN resolution does not raise the issue of the demise of the leader of the Jamahiriya. But neither is there any mention of legal guarantees of his security. The resolution does not allow a hunt for Gaddafi, personally, but does not exclude his death as a result of a well-planned tragic accident.

Information about how these types of incidents, which at the intent of the international coalition participants will lead to the demise of the Tripoli regime, will look appear increasingly often in media reports.

For example, British Secretary of Defence, Liam Fox, has flatly called Gaddafi “a target for air attacks”. In turn, the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has permitted the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the destruction of the leader of the Jamahiriya – for the murder, as a prisoner of war, sentenced to death without the possibility of an appeal. This plan is also supported by a number of US Republican senators. They believe that only Gaddafi’s death will bring victory to the rebels.

Talk about the colonel’s physical destruction were particularly prevalent after it became clear that the previous plan, which hoped for the betrayal of the Jamahiriya leader at the hands of close associates, had failed.

Some Libyan ministers did, indeed, flee to the West. But most of the army remained loyal to Gaddafi. London and Washington officials say that despite the adopted sanctions, which have allowed the freezing of around $60 billion of the regime’s money, Gaddafi’s relatives continue to have enough funds to keep their supporters and to fund military operations. This means that no betrayals are to be expected from the people loyal to the colonel.

The strike delivered by NATO aircraft against the Bab al-Azizia residence where, as was stated by Tripoli, Gaddafi held his meetings, is regarded by some experts as a change in the tactics of the coalition forces.

Moreover, there is some speculation that during the bombing Gaddafi was in an underground bunker located under the damaged residence. As a result of the air strike, three buildings were destroyed. The press service of the Libyan government reported 45 people injured.

Unsettling reports for the coalition are coming in from the frontlines. The Libyan army has resumed the shelling of Misrata, Gaddafi’s envoys are recruiting mercenaries from Egypt to fight against rebel forces, and fierce battles have begun in the mountainous regions between the state army and the Berber territorial army. Libya’s official state TV channels report that Gaddafi’s supporters held a demonstration in the rebels’ capital of Benghazi.

Meanwhile, French President Nikolas Sarkozy, during his meeting with the head of the Libyan National Council in Paris, promised to visit Benghazi to raise the rebels’ morale.

British Prime Minister David Cameron may accompany him on his trip as “a formality”. It is possible that during their meeting with the rebels in Benghazi, the head of the British government and the French president will announce that the hunting season for Gaddafi and his relatives has officially begun.

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Syria: “Targeted” Sanctions Or Preparation For New War?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/26/49485041.html

Voice of Russia
April 26, 2011

“Targeted” sanctions or a preparation for a new war?
Boris Volkhonsky

-Obama can easily cast away his image of a pacifist and become what all US presidents were in the last 60 something years – that is, a warmonger.
And then, the “shy war” against Muammar Gaddafi may look like a mild exercise. The real targets are not in Libya, they are elsewhere.

The White House has declared that it is going to impose “targeted” sanctions against Syria as a retaliation measure against the government’s crackdown on popular protests.

Sanctions could include a freeze on Syrian assets and a ban on business with the US.

“The brutal violence used by the government of Syria against its people is completely deplorable,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “The US is pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown and make clear that this behavior is unacceptable.”

The way the Syrian leadership is acting against its opponents is not definitely distinguishable from the actions of the Libyan leadership against the rebels. But the actions taken by the international community differ drastically.

Why so?

Syria has been a “culprit” in Western eyes for an even longer period than Libya. It has always been and still is the main opponent of Israel, and Israeli politicians never tire of insisting that the main target of Western actions in the Middle East should be Syria….

Then why did the White House resort to the lingo of “targeted sanctions”?
….
This time the situation in Syria does not seem to be much different. But the war in Libya has proved the futility of any outside interference, if the majority of the population stays firm behind its leader.

Now, what can the West do? The situation is dubious. On the one hand, “the culprits should be punished” – this is the motto of the “wonderful new world” promoted by Western “democracies” with the USA in the vanguard.

On the other hand, what are the levers for punishing the “culprit”? If it is not a new war, then there seem to be none in the Western hands.

Therefore, clinging to the lingo of “targeted” sanctions serves all possible ends.

It makes almost no difference for the present Syrian leadership. Its assets are quite secure in revenues where American banks have no voice at all. A ban on doing business with the US is also of limited importance – Syrians learned to do business outside the US long ago.

So, at the moment the decision to impose “targeted” sanctions against Syria does not demonstrate anything other from the impotence of the West to act in order to spread its so called “universal values” of democracy and human rights over the whole of mankind, or even over the regions that seem to top the West’s agenda – among them, the Middle East.

But this may change in a matter of months. The re-election of Barack Obama to a second term at this point can be regarded as an 80 percent probability. If and when the Republicans fail to come up with an electable candidate (and this is also of no less than an 80 percent probability), Barack Obama can easily forget about what he said and promised back in 2008. And in this case, the “targeted” sanctions can turn into what they are not meant to be now.

Now, this is only a way to demonstrate to the American public that Obama still can be regarded as a firm global leader. But later, when the need to demonstrate anything to the American public passes, Obama can easily cast away his image of a pacifist and become what all US presidents were in the last 60 something years – that is, a warmonger.

And then, the “shy war” against Muammar Gaddafi may look like a mild exercise. The real targets are not in Libya, they are elsewhere.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 25, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: April 25

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U.S. Marines Bring Iraqi And Afghan War Combat Experience To Gulf Of Guinea

“Made In USA”: Yemen Targeted By Predator Drone Missile Strikes

Economic War: NATO Invasion Of Libya Inevitable

Resurgence Of French Imperialism

New Georgian Military Adventurism Will Be Rebuffed: Russian Foreign Minister

Western Policy Makers Play With Threat Of New Balkans War

NATO General “Supplemented” Income As Head Of California National Guard

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U.S. Marines Bring Iraqi And Afghan War Combat Experience To Gulf Of Guinea

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6481&lang=0

Marine Corps Forces Africa
April 25, 2011

APS-11 Marines Move from Jungle to Senegal GrasslandsBy Lance Corporal Timothy Solano

-[T]he Marines of second platoon…are mostly combat veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan….”It’s exciting to have the opportunity to take what we have learned from those experiences and bring them to the Senegalese and Nigerian military to better serve them when they go to combat.”

TOUBAKOUTA, Senegal: The Marines of second platoon, Ground Combat Element, Security Cooperation Task Force (SCTF), Africa Partnership Station 2011 recently kicked off the Senegal chapter of APS-11’s military-to-military exchanges along the west African coast.

Africa Partnership Station 2011 is a U.S. Africa Command maritime security assistance program that is designed to strengthen participating nations’ maritime security capacity….Marine Corps Forces, Africa is supporting APS-11 with a SCTF based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Amid countless miles of cashew trees, savannah brush and barren Senegal desert, and together with about 100 Senegalese Commandos and Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service troops, the 45-man platoon is welcoming the close of a rigorous first week of training just outside of town here….
….
For the Marines of second platoon, who are mostly combat veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan, a deployment founded on partnership and the exchange of ideas is a welcomed reprieve from previous combat deployments.

“On a combat deployment, Marines are often patrolling and engaging in firefights,” said Corporal Brandon Blackmon, an Afghanistan campaign veteran and fire team leader for first squad, second platoon. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to take what we have learned from those experiences and bring them to the Senegalese and Nigerian military to better serve them when they go to combat.”

So far, the Marines have provided periods of instruction that included fundamentals of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, intelligence gathering and analysis, foot patrolling, military operations in urban terrain, and maneuver warfare. Primarily focused on land warfare tactics, further classes will include combat marksmanship fundamentals, pistol marksmanship and static target engagement.

Likewise, Senegalese and Nigerian troops are bringing forth their knowledge of combat from what they have learned from conflict in areas like the Casamance, the Congo, Darfur, and Cote D’Ivoire. ‘Riverine’ warfare is an amphibious maneuver taught by the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service that encompasses river movement in small craft, embankment landings, shore assaults, withdrawals to the river, and standard operating procedure when receiving enemy contact from shorelines.

After only one week, the three nations’ militaries have come together in fostering a dynamic partnership in which Senegalese, Nigerian and Marine forces transition in leading classes and physical training. The underlying interaction between militaries…and allies is what makes partnerships like these worthwhile because it promotes interoperability….

“This deployment is less about the actual training [tactics, techniques, and procedures] and more about building the relationships between our militaries and between our nations,” said 1st Lieutenant Michael J. Thomas, platoon commander for second platoon and executive officer for the GCE….

The SCTF began its deployment in Ghana in March and is slated to continue its follow-on mission at Gabon in June.

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“Made In USA”: Yemen Targeted By Predator Drone Missile Strikes

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90854/7359913.html

Xinhua News Agency
April 25, 2011

U.S. Predator raids Qaida sites in south Yemen

A U.S. unmanned Predator carried out two air raid…in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan late on Saturday, according to a Yemeni independent media outlet barakish.net.

The portal cited local sources as saying that the first raid was against a site of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Rafdh area and the second strike was on a convoy of two cars allegedly belonging to AQAP in Thaika area.

Both areas were located in Al-Mahfad district in Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa.

Local residents said one of the missiles which was allegedly fired by the Predators did not explode and they found a label reading “Made in USA”.
….
Such strikes could be the second of its kind if this report is confirmed as the US and Yemeni governments admitted to striking against a hideout of the AQAP in Abyan in 2009, in which more than 60 people were killed.
….

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Economic War: NATO Invasion Of Libya Inevitable

http://print.dailymirror.lk/opinion1/41711.html

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
April 22, 2011

Economic war: NATO invasion of Libya inevitable
Ameen Izzadeen

-The imperialists will not change their habits. They want to make the poor poorer so that they can be richer. When they foresee a decline in their power either because of an economic crisis or because of a military threat, they resort to wars and interventions in resource-rich countries.
Their modus operandi has been the same throughout history. They fund and sustain opposition groups in target countries before they invade it.
-The British-French decision to send military advisors reminds one of the Vietnam War. The United States in 1961 sent some 400 troops to advise the South Vietnamese military. But a decade later the US troop presence in Vietnam rose to 500,000.
-Well, a provocation is all that the imperialists want so that they can launch an all-out war and start plundering Libya in a bid to boost their flagging economies. The US government has allocated 700 billion dollars for defence in next year’s budget at the expense of cuts in education and health while the budget deficit is a gaping 1.6 trillion dollars.

It is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man (read imperialists) to enter the Kingdom of God. As the Christian world marks Good Friday today, this saying of Jesus Christ is totally lost on today’s greed-driven imperialists who are gearing up to gobble Libya’s resources.

Libya was relatively a peaceful country with a high literacy rate and advanced health and education facilities. On last year’s Human Development Index, it was ranked 53rd — ahead of 116 countries. Dissent was not unheard of in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi had a way of dealing with it. He rehabilitated the dissidents. Even pro-al Qaeda elements who had resorted to terrorism were rehabilitated and pardoned. None accused Gaddafi of killing political opponents.

If not for the western intervention or interference, the present crisis would also have been solved by peaceful means or by a minimum use of violence. The crisis is no more a Libyan crisis. The imperialist forces — the United States, Britain, France and Italy — have hijacked it. The Libyan rebels merely do what the imperialists order them to do.

Unfortunately, the rebels seem to have not understood that the imperialists have little interest in the well-being of the Libyan people. The imperialists only want to further their agenda of militarily dominating the world to plunder the resources of the weaker nations.

The imperialists will not change their habits. They want to make the poor poorer so that they can be richer. When they foresee a decline in their power either because of an economic crisis or because of a military threat, they resort to wars and interventions in resource-rich countries.

Their modus operandi has been the same throughout history. They fund and sustain opposition groups in target countries before they invade it. The opposition groups support the imperialists in the hope that they would be made the rulers. This was how the imperialist British colonised India, Sri Lanka and the Ottoman empire’s Arab provinces in the past. This was how the United States colonized Iraq and Afghanistan in the recent past. The same plan is now being executed in Libya by the imperialist West on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.

That the war in Libya comes at a time when the Western economies are facing a bleak future is no coincidence. The United States’ economy is in the doldrums with its debt burden rising to a catastrophic 14 trillion dollars — that is 14 with 12 zeroes.

What is more alarming to the Americans and the rest of the world is that the signs of recovery are few and far between with international rating agency Standard and Poor downgrading the outlook on the US sovereign bond from stable to negative. In fact, the real situation is much worse than what Standard and Poor had rated. A Chinese rating agency had commented that western rating agencies were highly politicized and therefore usually cushioned the ratings for Western economies. The negative rating has alarmed China, the biggest investor (1.5 trillion dollars) in US sovereign bonds. China is worried about the United States’ ability to sustain the sovereign bonds amid a huge budget deficit and public debt.

The economic crises facing Britain and France are no better. To overcome the situation, the imperialists resort to wars. In the short-run, wars in the Middle East may increase oil prices and affect economic growth but once the wars are over, the plunder begins, boosting the economies of the imperialist nations. Last week, leaked documents in Britain showed how the Tony Blair government discussed Iraq invasion plans with British oil giants a year before the war actually began. It was Iraq yesterday and it is Libya today, tomorrow, as the imperialists’ economies face further crises, it may even be Saudi Arabia, no matter how servile or submissive its rulers are to the imperialists.

In Libya, the imperialists have taken a step closer to a ground invasion, interpreting UN resolutions 1973 to their advantage. France and Britain have decided to send small groups of military advisors to assist the rebels, while the Western media deliberately exaggerate the casualty figures in Misrata and report largely one-sided stories. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, a British non-governmental fact-finding team returning from Libya accused the Western media of distortion, manipulation and “failing in their duty to report the conflict truthfully”.

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/19/gaddafi-violence-exaggerated-british-group?CMP=twt_gu)/.

A video posted on youtube shows NATO-guided rebels lynching a captured soldier in public while a shocked crowd pleads for clemency. A comment on the video asked where the CNN was when this horror was taking place. If only Gaddafi’s forces had done such an act, the Western media would have repeatedly shown the gory video.

The British-French decision to send military advisors reminds one of the Vietnam War. The United States in 1961 sent some 400 troops to advise the South Vietnamese military. But a decade later the US troop presence in Vietnam rose to 500,000. It is a matter of time before tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of imperialist soldiers roam the length and breadth of Libya. Some reports say groups of western military officers are already in Libya guiding the rebels’ war. Gaddafi’s government has warned NATO that it will deem any ground troop deployment as a hostile military act.

Well, a provocation is all that the imperialists want so that they can launch an all-out war and start plundering Libya in a bid to boost their flagging economies. The US government has allocated 700 billion dollars for defence in next year’s budget at the expense of cuts in education and health while the budget deficit is a gaping 1.6 trillion dollars. But how long can the imperialists depend on wars and plunder for economic growth? The breaking point is not far away.

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Resurgence Of French Imperialism

http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Opinion+++Analysis/Resurgence+of+French+imperialism/-/539548/1150652/-/ucw03sz/-/

Business Daily Africa
April 26, 2011

Resurgence of French imperialism
By Macharia Munene

-In the post-Boigny period, Ivory Coast tried to free itself from the clutches of French control and the man reportedly responsible was a historian named Laurent Gbagbo.
Not willing to let go, France acted quickly to stop Gbagbo thinking like Nkrumah and eventually succeeded in re-conquering its former colony.

The French have a history of imperial grandeur that, although it was occasionally punctured by the English and the Germans, made them feel great, particularly when ruling non-Europeans in IndoChina, Algeria, Madagascar, and large chunks of West Africa.

The end of colonialism removed the “grandeur” and subsequently France uncomfortably appeared to be playing second fiddle to the Anglo-Americans.

French leader Nicolas Sarkozy needed out and, having found a formula, France leads the West in imperial resurgence.

France is a good imperial manipulator, surpassed only by England, and had engaged other Euro-powers in imperial competition for territories in Africa.

Through dubious excuses, each had extended territorial claims to the African continent.

They enjoyed being territorial colonial powers until the 1950s when they had to leave.

Once territorial colonialism became irrelevant, Euro-powers evolved long term strategies on how to fix the Africans.

This is what Kwame Nkrumah popularised as neo-colonialism which he thought was more advanced and sinister than territorial imperialism.

He had, notes Crawford Young, “offered a wager” to Ivory Coast’s Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1957 on the kind of relations that African countries should have with their former colonisers.

This was on whether to resist, Nkrumah, or to accept, Houphouet-Boigny, neo-colonial trappings.

The two Africans were to compare notes after ten years, in 1967, but no one collected the wager because Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966, before the time.

Ivory Coast and Ghana exemplify the dilemma that post-colonial African states faced in rejecting neo-colonialism or later trying to ditch it.

Neo-colonialism occurred in one of two ways. First are those countries whose “nationalist” leaders willingly accepted neo-colonialism because, among other reasons, of a belief that it was in the interests of the country.

Among the former French colonies, Ivory Coast became a model of a successful neo-colonial state while among the former English colonies Kenya willingly played that role.

The second way was one of being forced into the neo-colonial status by intervening to remove “leaders” who could not understand their subservient role in the international arena and to impose new “presidents” who understood. It happened in Congo, Ghana, and now Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast also represents the dilemma faced by a willing neo-colonial state deciding to stop being “willing.”

As soon as it shows signs of adjusting the nature of “civilised relations,” it quickly finds out that it is not free to do so as imperial forces “shock” it back into compliance.

In the post-Boigny period, Ivory Coast tried to free itself from the clutches of French control and the man reportedly responsible was a historian named Laurent Gbagbo.

Not willing to let go, France acted quickly to stop Gbagbo thinking like Nkrumah and eventually succeeded in re-conquering its former colony.

Gbagbo failed to anticipate imperial craftiness. He should have studied the fate of Patrice Lumumba and Nkrumah and what is happening to Robert Mugabe.

Although he survived confrontations in 2003/2004, France had big guns and maps of where the bunkers were because it had built them.

More important, the French controlled the global propaganda machine that in 2011 cheered them on.

The re-conquest of Ivory Coast shows the resurgence of France as the leader of imperialism, not playing second fiddle to others.

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New Georgian Military Adventurism Will Be Rebuffed: Russian Foreign Minister

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/25/49432820.html

Voice of Russia
April 25, 2011

Georgian military adventurism doomed – Lavrov

Russia is always on standby to defeat further outbursts of Georgian military adventurism in the South Caucasus. The new nations in the area can count on Russian protection and support.

Foreign Minister Lavrov told this to the South Ossetian President Edward Kokoity at a meeting in Tskhinval on Monday.

In August 2008, Georgia opened up heavy artillery on Tskhinval, killing local people and Russian peacekeepers and leaving the city in ruins.

Russia had to wade in and wage a five-day campaign to compel Georgia to peace.

According to Mr Lavrov, it has no plans to demand reparations from Georgia.

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Western Policy Makers Play With Threat Of New Balkans War

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/25/49426351.html

Voice of Russia
April 25, 2011

Do the Balkans want a War?
Igor Siletsky

-The first thought that comes to mind after reading all these “journalist investigations” is that the West wants to preserve the status quo in the Balkans, which suits it. In this system Belgrade acts as a “guilty child”, who is still under punishment.
-Should The Hague Tribunal start conducting an unbiased investigation, many influential persons will be surely hurt. And not only in the Balkans.
Suffice it to mention here the information concerning the current Kosovo authorities that was made public by the former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte – that Pristina was involved in the trafficking of human organs.

The Balkans are on the verge of a new war, Western political observers and analysts have been saying. They believe that a precedent for the worsening of the situation was given to the countries of the former Yugoslavia by the international community, when it sentenced Croatian General Ante Gotovina. For their part, Russian political analysts, who see no prerequisites for a new conflict, say that a new outbreak of tensions is beneficial for the West.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY or The Hague Tribunal) delivered a verdict for three Croatian generals on April 15th. All of them were accused of committing crimes against the Serbs during Operation Storm 1995. According to the court ruling, Ante Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years in prison, Mladen Markac to 18 years, and the third defendant, Ivan Cermac, was acquitted.

So why has the verdict triggered such stormy emotions not only among the Croats but also in the Western countries?

The point is that throughout the history of the existence of The Hague Tribunal the key defendant for the UN court, who was often referred to as “Doctor Evil,” was Yugoslavia’s last president Milosevic and of course his supporters and Serbia itself.

There even appeared people in some countries in Europe and in the USA who started saying that the justice of The Hague was one-sided. This postulate needed no proofs for either Russia or the other countries which were not involved in the “anti-Yugoslav coalition”. However, judging by the facts, those in The Hague have decided to improve their image and to put into life the principle that was declared by the tribunal itself, that is, that “all sides are to blame for the atrocities and that no nation was more responsible than the other”. As a result, the Croatian generals, who were accused of ousting 100,000 peaceful civilians and of murdering hundreds of Serbs, were jailed. As it might seem, justice was obtained. And the fact that the Croats have got angry is simply an expected “side effect”.

However, what followed was that the angry “progressive public”- meaning the leading Western media – has undertaken to conduct an investigation of its own. “The Washington Times”, “The Wall Street Journal”, Newsweek, and “The Jerusalem Post”, after studying Storm Operation 1995, came to the conclusion that Ante Gotovina had committed no crimes at all. Moreover, the general is a real Croatian patriot and hero, and his campaign had not only restored Croatia’s territorial integrity but had also destroyed the dream of the deceased Serb ruler Slobodan Milosevic about “Greater Serbia”. Besides, the Western editions said that by its irresponsible verdicts The Hague Tribunal is stirring up a new war.

The first thought that comes to mind after reading all these “journalist investigations” is that the West wants to preserve the status quo in the Balkans, which suits it. In this system Belgrade acts as a “guilty child”, who is still under punishment. And all the other parts of the former Yugoslavia act as sufferers, whose sufferings are linked to the violent “senior” and who receive small presents and bonuses in consolation. Thus, Kosovo has obtained independence, and Croatia is only one step away from accession into the European Union (EU). By the way, the Croats themselves are looking forward to this.

However, there aree other reasons as well. Should The Hague Tribunal start conducting an unbiased investigation, many influential persons will be surely hurt. And not only in the Balkans.

Suffice it to mention here the information concerning the current Kosovo authorities that was made public by the former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte – that Pristina was involved in the trafficking of human organs. Which means that not only Croats also killed the Serbs and not only vice versa. That is why it is necessary to continue studying the latest Balkan crisis, the head of the Centre For the Study of the Modern Balkan Crisis under the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yelena Guskova says:

“The new data about the human organ trafficking and about the atrocities committed by the Croats offer proof that it is necessary to study the Balkan crisis and that it is necessary to be objective while doing this. Of course, there’re many conflicts in the world. But if we start analyzing how all the other countries developed in the 90s and what occurred to the Balkans and to the post-Yugoslav space, we’ll undoubtedly arrive at the conclusion that the Serbs, the Croats and the Muslims have already suffered too much. They have no potential to take up arms again. Thus, to say that a new war will break out in the Balkans soon is no good.”

“Thus, instead of intimidating the Balkan nations by saying that a new war will break out, it is necessary to afford the UN court an opportunity to go on with its investigations. And the Croats, the Serbs, the Albanians, and the Bosnians will decide themselves how they should coexist together. One thing is certain though: they will not start fighting because they had enough of it.”

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NATO General “Supplemented” Income As Head Of California National Guard

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/04/23/2361944/former-california-national-guard.html

Fresno Bee
April 24, 2011

Former California National Guard chief’s dual pay to be probed
By Charles Piller

A top NATO general who formerly led the California National Guard enhanced his salary during his state tenure by collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in dual pay, a Bee investigation has found.

As adjutant general of the Guard, Maj. Gen. William H. Wade II earned an annual state salary of more than $200,000. Wade, now a deputy chief of staff for NATO’s Joint Forces Command in Italy, on average claimed $50,000 extra in federal pay each year. It raised his total earnings above $1 million during his 4 1/2-year California tenure that ended in 2010 – far more than any elected state official, including the governor’s salary.

For the more than 550 federal workdays during his tenure as state Guard commander, Wade attended to duties such as meetings, training and visits to troops. Sometimes he was paid by both the state and federal governments for the same days of work within legal dual-pay limits. Over his full term in office, he got nearly $90,000 in state pay for such permitted federal workdays.

But a review of pay records found that Wade also received nearly $155,000 in state pay for federal workdays in excess of dual pay limits recognized by the California Department of Personnel Administration and current Guard leadership. Records show Wade took 210 dual paydays above those limits, on average, nearly one double-dip workweek – paid by both the state and federal governments – beyond legal limits every month.

A NATO spokesman said that the organization would have no comment, and that Wade declined to comment, instead referring The Bee’s written questions to the Guard.
….
Wade’s term as adjutant general was marked by some of the greatest sacrifices and contributions in Guard history. He presided over deployment of at least 7,800 Guard members called up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four of those were killed in action.

Yet, during his 41-year career, Wade has never deployed to a combat zone. Among the other seven generals for whom records show questionable payments, only two have served in combat, and both have since retired.
….

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Categories: Uncategorized

Samuel Johnson: War is the extremity of evil

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

Samuel Johnson: War is heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved

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Samuel Johnson
From Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland’s Islands (1771)
Excerpts

[W]ar is not the whole business of life; it happens but seldom, and every man, either good or wise, wishes that its frequency were still less. That conduct which betrays designs of future hostility, if it does not excite violence, will always generate malignity; it must forever exclude confidence and friendship, and continue a cold and sluggish rivalry, by a sly reciprocation of indirect injuries, without the bravery of war or the security of peace.
….

As war is the last of remedies, “cuncta prius tentanda,” all lawful expedients must be used to avoid it. As war is the extremity of evil, it is, surely, the duty of those, whose station intrusts them with the care of nations, to avert it from their charge. There are diseases of animal nature, which nothing but amputation can remove; so there may, by the depravation of human passions, be sometimes a gangrene in collective life, for which fire and the sword are necessary remedies; but in what can skill or caution be better shown, than preventing such dreadful operations, while there is yet room for gentler methods!

It is wonderful with what coolness and indifference the greater part of mankind see war commenced. Those that hear of it at a distance, or read of it in books, but have never presented its evils to their minds, consider it as little more than a splendid game, a proclamation, an army, a battle, and a triumph. Some, indeed, must perish in the most successful field, but they die upon the bed of honour, “resign their lives amidst the joys of conquest, and, filled with England’s glory, smile in death.”

The life of a modern soldier is ill represented by heroick fiction. War has means of destruction more formidable than the cannon and the sword. Of the thousands and ten thousands, that perished in our late contests with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an enemy; the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and putrefaction; pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless; gasping and groaning, unpitied among men, made obdurate by long continuance of hopeless misery; and were, at last, whelmed in pits, or heaved into the ocean, without notice and without remembrance. By incommodious encampments and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless, and enterprise impracticable, fleets are silently dispeopled, and armies sluggishly melted away.

Thus is a people gradually exhausted, for the most part, with little effect. The wars of civilized nations make very slow changes in the system of empire. The publick perceives scarcely any alteration, but an increase of debt; and the few individuals who are benefited are not supposed to have the clearest right to their advantages. If he that shared the danger enjoyed the profit, and, after bleeding in the battle, grew rich by the victory, he might show his gains without envy. But, at the conclusion of a ten years’ war, how are we recompensed for the death of multitudes, and the expense of millions, but by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters and agents, contractors and commissaries, whose equipages shine like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations!

These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich, as their country is impoverished; they rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh, from their desks, at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, and cipher to cipher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or tempest.

Those who suffer their minds to dwell on these considerations, will think it no great crime in the ministry, that they have not snatched, with eagerness, the first opportunity of rushing into the field, when they were able to obtain, by quiet negotiation, all the real good that victory could have brought us.

Of victory, indeed, every nation is confident before the sword is drawn; and this mutual confidence produces that wantonness of bloodshed, that has so often desolated the world. But it is evident, that of contradictory opinions, one must be wrong; and the history of mankind does not want examples, that may teach caution to the daring, and moderation to the proud.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 25

April 25, 2011 3 comments

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Russian Diplomat: CIA Replicates 1980s Afghan Model In Greater Middle East

After Phone Call With Obama, Italy Announces Libyan Air Strike Role

NATO’s New “Strategy”: Murder Muammar Gaddafi

Libya: NATO Air Strike Level’s Presidential Residence, 45 Wounded

British Defense Secretary, Military Chief To Visit Pentagon Over Libyan War

Spokesperson: NATO Steps Up Bombing Raids In Libya

NATO’s Air War In Libya: 3,725 Flights, 1,550 Air Strikes

Russia Urges NATO To Stop Bombing Libyan Civilian Targets

Kuwait To Pay Salaries Of Libyan “Transitional” Regime

U.S. Africa Command Conducts 11 Military Exercises Throughout Continent

U.S. Marines Bring Iraqi And Afghan War Combat Experience To Gulf Of Guinea

“Made In USA”: Yemen Targeted By Predator Drone Missile Strikes

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Russian Diplomat: CIA Replicates 1980s Afghan Model In Greater Middle East

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/25/49438252.html

Voice of Russia
April 25, 2011

Middle East time bomb
Ekaterina Kudashkina

Interview with Vyacheslav Matuzov, Russian veteran diplomat and expert in North Africa and Middle East policies.

-I have a question to NATO, to the United States administration, what kind of political forces they intend to bring to power not only in Libya, but in Algeria, in Syria, in Egypt, in Yemen and in Jordan?
-When they are talking about al-Qaeda, when they are talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, I can say only one thing: al-Qaeda was established as a political movement by the CIA, because Bin Laden was a CIA agent in the beginning of fighting, mobilizing of money and the Islamic process in Afghanistan against Soviet military presence in this country.
-The same thing concerns the Muslim Brotherhood. I know quite a lot of memoirs of British intelligence service officers, who remember that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was created by the British intelligence service with the purpose of creating Islamic resistance against spreading communist ideas in the Middle East. And this purpose was working until now, when they were fighting the Russian presence in Syria in 1983-1985, when they were killing Russian officers who were supporting the Syrian army….

Now we are at a new stage of developing events in Libya, when the Western forces acknowledged that they cannot solve the issue with only establishing a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace. I think that a ground operation is inevitable to achieve the goals proclaimed by NATO, by the United States administration.

There had been some discussions about ground operations several weeks ago, when some observers were telling me that there are already advisors in Libya, acting on the side of the rebels. Does that imply that the ground operation has already started?

When I hear about occurrence here and there in Libya with some forces, some regiments, some French, British, American special forces, I can conclude that we have in our experience varieties of the example as in Iraq, in Afghanistan. We know they are operating a private army, established by the United States Defense Department. I think that this kind of military non-governmental forces can easily operate in Libya, in any other country of the world without any responsibilities before their parliaments, before their governments, before the people of the Western countries. It is a dangerous direction in the development of the political situation in the world, not only in Libya.

Do you remember that several weeks ago there were many reports that Gaddafi was using contractors, so, do I get that right, that we are entering a phase where there is a war of contractors, not of regular armies?

It is a big lie to cover other trends, because real non-governmental forces are operating on the side of the opposition, and it is only the physical presence of French, British and American military forces in Libya, but officially they operate under cover of humanitarian purposes, which include unknown kind of materials, it may be huge amounts of money to support the American policy in Libya.

What we are witnessing now in Libya, is it an escalation of tension, to use a cliché, but then very much was being said about the ultimate goal of the operation, and it does look more and more that the ultimate goal of the operation is the removal of Mr Gaddafi. But he is still there. So what’s happening?

The goals of American targets in Libya changed. First of all, it was supporting civilian population, which suffered under Muammar Gaddafi’s pressure; it is a declared goal. But now another target was posited by American policy in Libya – it is changing the government, it is changing all the country; it is an absolutely different approach to what is going on in Libya; it contradicts all the resolutions of the Security Council of the UN.

It is an obvious violation of the Security Council’s work. It is surprising that till now the Security Council is incapable of holding a new meeting to listen to the NATO leadership, what they are doing in Libya and how it corresponds to those restrictions which they had put upon NATO’s work in Libya. This is an obvious pretext to bring to power in Libya certain political forces. But I have a question to NATO, to the United States administration, what kind of political forces they intend to bring to power not only in Libya, but in Algeria, in Syria, in Egypt, in Yemen and in Jordan?

When I have a look at all these processes in all these countries, I can make a conclusion that the only one organized force in all these mentioned countries is based on the traditional Islamic idea, it is traditional Islamic force – the Muslim Brotherhood, or, for example, in Tunisia it is An-Nahda, an Islamic organization, but it is also extremist and fundamentalist in nature.

So when the purpose of the United States is to remove all the leaderships in the Arab world – Assad, Gaddafi, Ben Ali, Ali Saleh Mohammed, King Abdullah II – instead of those leaders they would bring a certain Islamic fundamentalist forces to power.

What interest are they trying to realize here by pushing ahead all these revolutions? I think that these revolutions are not a product of local political situations, especially in Libya, because it is a rich country. They had big difficulties between tribes in Libya, and using all these difficulties to change the government and to bring Islamic fundamentalist forces to power is dangerous, and endangers not only local population, but the whole of Europe, even the United States. Has the administration of the US responsibility for supporting this trend or not? This is the question.

If you remember, the expert community has been involved for some time in discussions about whether the situation in Yemen is going to follow the Libyan scenario; and Yemen, at least as Western experts were telling me, is home to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is even more serious than the Muslim Brotherhood.

When they are talking about al-Qaeda, when they are talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, I can say only one thing: al-Qaeda was established as a political movement by the CIA, because Bin Laden was a CIA agent in the beginning of fighting, mobilizing of money and the Islamic process in Afghanistan against Soviet military presence in this country.

After that the United States lost their ability to govern that process, and we had September 11, where Al-Qaeda began working against those who created it. The same thing concerns the Muslim Brotherhood. I know quite a lot of memoirs of British intelligence service officers, who remember that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was created by the British intelligence service with the purpose of creating Islamic resistance against spreading communist ideas in the Middle East. And this purpose was working until now, when they were fighting the Russian presence in Syria in 1983-1985, when they were killing Russian officers who were supporting the Syrian army; they were coming to Syria from Jordan, through those cities on the border of Jordan, made some terroristic acts against Russian officers and came back to Jordan.

And when Jordanian authorities were asked, why are you permitting such kinds of terroristic organizations to operate in your country, that they are crossing the border to Syria, performing terrorist actions and returning back, the Jordan authorities answered, we cannot control them, because we are prohibited to touch them, because they are under cover of the CIA organization; they are not responsible to us.

So the Muslim Brotherhood through many decades has been supported by the CIA, and when nowadays the New York Times printed an article saying that the CIA one year ago established relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, I don’t believe that it was one year ago, I believe it was at least 40 years ago, when these connections were established and pushing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in all these traditional Arab societies, it may be the same fault which occurred in Afghanistan, when they created al-Qaeda and its head – Bin Laden. History is repeating in this case.

Your point is that those who invented and created and have been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood can lose their control over the organization, just as they seemingly lost control over al-Qaeda?

I think they are dreaming that they are not; they think they will continue controlling all these people afterwards, but I am not sure if they would be capable of keeping control after coming to power in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Libya, in Syria, in Jordan, in many other countries and even in Saudi Arabia.

The revolutions changed those countries inevitably, bringing forward extremist terrorist forces. I think that the need for revolutions is obvious, but alternative political forces are not ready to take their place, except Islamic fundamentalist extremist forces who are operating under cover of the CIA. I do not think that the American government or the EU is responsible for all that is going on; the political leadership of the West in the European Union and the US think three times before they take assorted political decisions to support fundamentalists coming to power in the Arab world.

Just to illustrate how far the ripples, coming from the situation in Libya and in the Middle East, go.

Even the Washington Post published some material saying that they made analyses about the CIA estimating somewhere around 600 Al-Qaeda fundamentalist elements, coming abroad to Iraq, to fight the American army in Iraq; and in the first place it was people from Libya, there are volunteers from Libya coming to Iraq to fight Americans.

I do not think that Americans are unaware of all these developments; they are aware, but till now they are trying to open an opportunity in Libya for coming to power and to replace Muammar Gaddafi.

I think it is the best choice for the West to think twice and if they want free democratic elections in Libya, they should accept African Union proposals for a peaceful political solution of the situation in Libya and on this basis organize under cover of the Security Council of the UN peaceful negotiations inside Libya. The military way inevitably will bring other forces to power, which are unfriendly not only to Western culture, but to American interesta as well.

What actually put me on alert is an opinion peace which I discovered in one of the Chinese newspapers, the Global Times. Its headline says that Russian and Chinese militaries draw conclusions from the Libyan war. Does not it a little bit bring to mind the situation with Iran, and if you remember, the US pressing on Iran actually resulted in making it stronger.

That is correct. I heard a lot of words from our military personal having the same opinion, because they are now drawing conclusions. Now what forces are playing a leading role in military operations in Libya? They are private armies, operating in Libya, Côte d’Ivoire. Who knows where they will appear tomorrow? I do not exclude that even in Yemen, in Syria, in Iran it can be used. The new invention of the American Defense Department is the subject of thorough thinking by military analysts in the Chinese Ministry of Defense and in Russian Ministry of Defense. The world is developing, means of fighting are also changing; all these things should be taken into account by all who are interested in defending their own national interest, including Russia and China.

Just to sum it up, your point is what we are witnessing now in the Middle East and North Africa is some sort of a new time bomb, which is being created by western forces. And the time bomb could blow up the whole world, figuratively speaking.

There are changes in world policy, because these new politics that were demonstrated by the United States administration, they have established a new role for the world order. The new world order in now beginning to test its power in different regions of the world, in Africa, in Côte d’Ivoire, in the Arab world, and it can even be spread afterwards to other regions.

I think that this new approach to world policy is demonstrated very clearly in the Middle East, it is the creation of new and big Middle East with new frontiers.

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After Phone Call With Obama, Italy Announces Libyan Air Strike Role

http://www.agi.it/english-version/italy/elenco-notizie/201104252053-pol-ren1090-italy_s_pm_announces_participation_in_libya_air_strikes

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
April 25, 2011

ITALY’S PM ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATION IN LIBYA AIR STRIKES

Rome: Following phone talks with US president Barack Obama, Silvio Berlusconi announced Italy will take part in NATO strikes.

According to a Cabinet communique’, the decision looks to “increase the scope of the Italian air force’s missions”, by way of “targeted action against specific military objectives in Libya”….

The communique’ goes on to clarify that while “Italy seeks to provide an equitable contribution to allied operations”, all operations “will be carried out within the strict confines of NATO’s mandate and of the UN Security Council’s resolutions.”

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NATO’s New “Strategy”: Murder Muammar Gaddafi

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/25/49442939.html

Voice of Russia
April 25, 2011

NATO starts hunting for Gaddafi

NATO has begun “a hunt for Gaddafi with the aim of eliminating him”, reported the British Sky News TV channel. Blows delivered to Gaddafi’s residence in Tripoli in the small hours of Monday are a reflection of this new course of action.

NATO air forces fired missiles at the building where Gaddafi met with the delegation of the African Union several days ago.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the political leaders of a number of Western countries have appealed to NATO “to recognize Gaddafi as a target for elimination”.

“The situation in Libya is in a deadlock and Gaddafi’s elimination is one of the solutions,” the newspaper quotes some western political scientists’ opinion.

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http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15027770,00.html

Deutsche Welle
April 25, 2011

NATO bomb strikes Gadhafi compound in Tripoli

A building inside Moammar Gadhafi’s vast compound was destroyed by NATO forces early on Monday, in what a government press official described as an attempt on the leader’s life.

NATO forces struck Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli early Monday, while loud explosions were also heard elsewhere in the capital.

A government official showed foreign journalists around the ruined building a few hours after the attack. He claimed 45 people had been wounded in the bombing, 15 of them seriously. The figures could not be independently confirmed.

“It was an attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadhafi,” he said.

Seif al-Islam, Gadhafi’s son, described the bombing as “cowardly.”

“This cowardly attack on Moammar Gadhafi’s office may frighten or terrorize children but we will not abandon the battle and we are not afraid,” al-Islam said, claiming that NATO’s battle was “lost in advance.”

Intensification in bombing raids

NATO forces appear to have stepped up the pace of air strikes in Tripoli in recent days.

Heavy explosions shook the center of Tripoli shortly after midnight on Monday. Smoke was seen rising from the building at around 3 a.m. local time, watched by dozens of people shouting pro-Gadhafi slogans.

Libyan state television broadcasts were briefly cut off after the bombing raid.

A meeting room opposite Gadhafi’s own office was badly damaged by the blast. African leaders had met there two weeks ago to put forward a peace plan that was accepted by the regime, but turned down by the rebels.

The United States, Britain and France have said they will not stop their air campaign over Libya until Gadhafi leaves power.
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Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Rob Turner

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Libya: NATO Air Strike Level’s Presidential Residence, 45 Wounded

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/25/c_13844812.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 25, 2011

NATO airstrikes level Gaddafi’s office

TRIPOLI: NATO warplanes bombed the residence of Muammar Gaddafi here early Monday morning in an attack a government official called an attempt on the Libyan leader’s life.

It was unclear where Gaddafi was at the time of the attack, which occurred shortly after midnight. Local residents said several strong blasts were heard in the Libyan capital.

Hours after the latest bombardment, journalists were invited to Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound, where firefighters were still trying to put out the flames.

A press official at the scene said that 45 people were wounded in the attack, among whom 15 were in serious condition, and some others remained unaccounted for.

Gaddafi’s office in the compound, where he often held ministerial and other meetings, was destroyed along with another multi-story structure.

Last month, a missile attack by intervening foreign forces hit the same compound, knocking down half of a three-story administration building.

The latest strike came as three members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) called Sunday in Washington for more efforts to oust Gaddafi, including targeting his inner circle with airstrikes.
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The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for an immediate cease-fire during a telephone conversation with Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi.

“It is necessary to unconditionally comply with the relevant resolutions made by the UN Security Council and ensure an immediate cease-fire,” the ministry said, adding that such measures would help “create conditions for a truce.”

Lavrov told the Libyan prime minister that Russia stood prepared to work with international organizations to alleviate the humanitarian situation and promote a peaceful settlement in the Northern African country, according to the ministry.

Commenting on reports that Britain would send military officers to Libya to advise rebel forces, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday that China disapproves of any act beyond the authorization of the UN Security Council.

“The UN Security Council shoulders the prime responsibility of safeguarding international peace and security… Parties concerned should act in strict accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.

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British Defence Secretary, Military Chief To Visit Pentagon Over Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5g8tXrOyH0C_2HuOXBPbEddd05wxQ?docId=6660651

Associated Press
April 25, 2011

UK defence secretary to meet with US counterpart to discuss NATO campaign in Libya

LONDON: Britain’s military says Defence Secretary Liam Fox is travelling to the U.S. to discuss the military campaign in Libya with U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

The trip follows a barrage of NATO airstrikes on the compound of Moammar Gadhafi Monday in a sign of mounting pressure against the Libyan leader’s regime.

The ministry said the talks on Tuesday are expected to focus on stepping up NATO’s use of precision targeting, along with how the campaign in Libya has been going.

Fox will be accompanied by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. David Richards, a spokeswoman for the ministry added, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

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Spokesperson: NATO Steps Up Bombing Raids In Libya

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_72888.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 25, 2011

NATO keeps up the pressure

NATO carried out a precision strike in central Tripoli last night. The target was a Communications Headquarter….

…NATO is steadily and deliberatately degrading the ability of the Qadhafi regime….Since NATO took command of Operation Unified Protector on March 31, our aircraft have flown over 3,700 sorties and over 1,500 strike sorties.

In the last 48 hours, NATO aircraft have also destroyed multiple-rocket launchers, armoured personnel carriers, bunkers and storage facilities in and around Misrata, Tripoli and Sirte.

NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said : “We are bringing all our capabilities to bear….As decided by the foreign ministers of NATO and operational partners, we will keep up the pressure….”

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NATO’s Air War In Libya: 3,725 Flights, 1,550 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110425_110425-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 25, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,725 sorties and 1,550 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 24 April: 143

Strike sorties conducted 24 April: 62
….
Key Targets and Engagements

24 April: In Tripoli: 1 communications headquarters.

In vicinity of Tripoli: 1 ammunition storage, 1
ammunition bunker.

In vicinity of Misurata: 1 tank, 1 ammunition storage. In vicinity of Sirte: 4 ammunition shelters,4 ammunition bunkers.

In vicinity of Mizdah: 1 tank, 4 rocket launchers.

In vicinity of Zintan: 2 infantry fighting vehicles.
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 19 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

21 vessels were hailed on 24 April to determine destination and cargo. 0 boarding and 0 diversions were conducted.

A total of 610 vessels have been hailed, 14 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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Russia Urges NATO To Stop Bombing Libyan Civilian Targets

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110425/163691507.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 25, 2011

Russia urges NATO to lay off Libyan civilian targets

TSKHINVALI: Russia on Monday urged NATO to stop targeting civilian objects in Libya, amid reports that a NATO airstrike on the capital of Tripoli hit buildings in Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s compound.

NATO has been bombarding Gaddafi’s forces under a UN-mandated no-fly zone to protect civilians. The alliance said it had stepped up strikes around Tripoli and four other cities in recent days.

“The no-fly zone does not stipulate hitting ground targets,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after talks with South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity in the breakaway Georgian republic’s capital of Tskhinvali.

“The resolution does not stipulate targeting civilian targets or targets not related to the military,” he said.

Two powerful missiles badly damaged Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound early on Monday, Al Jazeera reported.
….

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/25/49424808.html

Voice of Russia
April 25, 2011

Libyan opposition sticks to its guns because of NATO – Lavrov

The Libyan opposition is standing firm because they rely heavily on NATO, says the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is currently on a visit to South Ossetia.

He said that the rejection of the African Union’s ceasefire initiative by the Libyan opposition is a warning signal.

Sergei Lavrov pointed out that western countries are nudging the opposition towards giving up the idea of talks, thereby provoking civil wars in the Middle East and North Africa.

Irresponsible use of force against the civilian population, as well as the opposition’s irresponsible calls for outside assistance should be ruled out, he said.

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Kuwait To Pay Salaries Of Libyan “Transitional” Regime

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/25/c_13843937.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 25, 2011

Kuwait grants Libyan rebels 180 mln dollars

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait said Sunday it would grant the Libyan opposition group 50 million dinars (around 180 million U.S. dollars) after the country’s amir met head of the group Mustafa Abdul Jalil.

Jalil, on a visit to Kuwait, said the amount would be used to pay for the salaries of the employees of the Transitional National Council.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Salem Al-Sabah said earlier this month that the Gulf Arab emirate would follow France, Qatar and Italy to recognize the opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

Jalil did not say whether Kuwait would officially declare recognition of the rebel group.

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U.S. Africa Command Conducts 11 Military Exercises Throughout Continent

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6488&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
April 25, 2011

FACT SHEET: U.S. Africa Command Exercises for 2011U.S. AFRICOM Public

STUTTGART, Germany: …U.S. Africa Command has 13 major joint exercises planned for 2011. A long-term goal of U.S. Africa Command is to leverage existing bilateral and regional exercises….

U.S. Africa Command Annual Exercises for 2011

AFRICAN LION (Morocco) – An annual combined U.S.-Moroccan exercise focusing on joint and combined U.S.-Moroccan air and land combat interoperability missions. (spring)

AFRICA ENDEAVOR (The Gambia) – Annual communications exercise focusing on interoperability and information sharing among African partners with the goal of developing command, control, and communication tactics, techniques, and procedures that can be used by the African Union in support of peacekeeping operations. (summer)

ATLAS DROP (Uganda) – Combined joint logistics exercise highlighting logistics planning and airborne resupply. (spring)

CUTLASS EXPRESS (Indian Ocean) – An exercise training U.S. Special Operations Forces…. (summer)

FLINTLOCK (Senegal) – An annual exercise training small units in Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara partner nations in Northern and Western Africa. (spring)

MEDFLAG (Ghana) – Multinational training to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces operating in central Africa. (summer)

MEDLITE (DRC) – Multinational training to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces operating in central Africa. (summer)

MEDREACH (Malawi) – Multinational training to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces operating in central Africa. (spring)

NATURAL FIRE (Tanzania) – Multinational military exercise focusing on humanitarian aid/disaster response with East African nations. (summer)

OBANGAME EXPRESS (Gulf of Guinea) – Training and exercise conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa focusing on maritime interdiction operation and visit, board, search, and seizure techniques. (spring)

PHOENIX EXPRESS (Mediterranean region) – U.S. and European partners conduct exercises with North African maritime and land forces to increase regional maritime awareness and improve maritime security. (spring)

SHARED ACCORD (South Africa) – Trains U.S. and African forces to conduct peacekeeping operations in sub-Saharan Africa. (summer)

SOUTHERN WARRIOR (South Africa) – Small Unit Regional Training exercise tailored to specific unit and country needs to build regional cooperation. U.S. AFRICOM supports the deployment phase of the exercise. (summer, autumn)

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U.S. Marines Bring Iraqi And Afghan War Combat Experience To Gulf Of Guinea

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6481&lang=0

Marine Corps Forces Africa
April 25, 2011

APS-11 Marines Move from Jungle to Senegal GrasslandsBy Lance Corporal Timothy Solano

-[T]he Marines of second platoon…are mostly combat veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan….”It’s exciting to have the opportunity to take what we have learned from those experiences and bring them to the Senegalese and Nigerian military to better serve them when they go to combat.”

TOUBAKOUTA, Senegal: The Marines of second platoon, Ground Combat Element, Security Cooperation Task Force (SCTF), Africa Partnership Station 2011 recently kicked off the Senegal chapter of APS-11’s military-to-military exchanges along the west African coast.

Africa Partnership Station 2011 is a U.S. Africa Command maritime security assistance program that is designed to strengthen participating nations’ maritime security capacity….Marine Corps Forces, Africa is supporting APS-11 with a SCTF based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Amid countless miles of cashew trees, savannah brush and barren Senegal desert, and together with about 100 Senegalese Commandos and Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service troops, the 45-man platoon is welcoming the close of a rigorous first week of training just outside of town here….
….
For the Marines of second platoon, who are mostly combat veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan, a deployment founded on partnership and the exchange of ideas is a welcomed reprieve from previous combat deployments.

“On a combat deployment, Marines are often patrolling and engaging in firefights,” said Corporal Brandon Blackmon, an Afghanistan campaign veteran and fire team leader for first squad, second platoon. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to take what we have learned from those experiences and bring them to the Senegalese and Nigerian military to better serve them when they go to combat.”

So far, the Marines have provided periods of instruction that included fundamentals of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, intelligence gathering and analysis, foot patrolling, military operations in urban terrain, and maneuver warfare. Primarily focused on land warfare tactics, further classes will include combat marksmanship fundamentals, pistol marksmanship and static target engagement.

Likewise, Senegalese and Nigerian troops are bringing forth their knowledge of combat from what they have learned from conflict in areas like the Casamance, the Congo, Darfur, and Cote D’Ivoire. ‘Riverine’ warfare is an amphibious maneuver taught by the Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service that encompasses river movement in small craft, embankment landings, shore assaults, withdrawals to the river, and standard operating procedure when receiving enemy contact from shorelines.

After only one week, the three nations’ militaries have come together in fostering a dynamic partnership in which Senegalese, Nigerian and Marine forces transition in leading classes and physical training. The underlying interaction between militaries…and allies is what makes partnerships like these worthwhile because it promotes interoperability….

“This deployment is less about the actual training [tactics, techniques, and procedures] and more about building the relationships between our militaries and between our nations,” said 1st Lieutenant Michael J. Thomas, platoon commander for second platoon and executive officer for the GCE….

The SCTF began its deployment in Ghana in March and is slated to continue its follow-on mission at Gabon in June.

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“Made In USA”: Yemen Targeted By Predator Drone Missile Strikes

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90854/7359913.html

Xinhua News Agency
April 25, 2011

U.S. Predator raids Qaida sites in south Yemen

A U.S. unmanned Predator carried out two air raid…in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan late on Saturday, according to a Yemeni independent media outlet barakish.net.

The portal cited local sources as saying that the first raid was against a site of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Rafdh area and the second strike was on a convoy of two cars allegedly belonging to AQAP in Thaika area.

Both areas were located in Al-Mahfad district in Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa.

Local residents said one of the missiles which was allegedly fired by the Predators did not explode and they found a label reading “Made in USA”.
….
Such strikes could be the second of its kind if this report is confirmed as the US and Yemeni governments admitted to striking against a hideout of the AQAP in Abyan in 2009, in which more than 60 people were killed.
….

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 24, 2011

April 25, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war: April 24

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

140 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan So Far This Year

NATO Helicopter Goes Down In Afghanistan

Pakistani Protesters Block NATO Troops’ Supply Line Over Drone Strikes

NATO Attack Wounds Iranian Fishermen, Kills Somalis

Dutch Military Aids Secret U.S. Operations In Senegal, Chad, Mali

Netherlands Commits To Purchase Of U.S. Joint Strike Fighters

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/04/24/general-as-afghanistan_8431967.html

Associated Press
April 24, 2011

NATO: 2 troops killed in explosion in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan: NATO says a roadside bomb has killed two coalition service members in southern Afghanistan where tens of thousands of Afghan and international troops are bracing for an expected resurgence of Taliban attacks this spring.

In a statement released Sunday, the coalition did not provide the nationalities of the service members, who were killed on Saturday.

Earlier, NATO reported that a third foreign service member died Saturday when a coalition helicopter crashed in Alasay district of Kapisa province in the east.

The three deaths brought to 133 the number of NATO troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

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140 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan So Far This Year

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/04/24/4-nato-led-soldiers-killed-roadside-blasts

Pajhwok Afghan News
April 24, 2011

4 NATO-led soldiers killed in roadside blasts
by Syed Abbas Sadaat

KABUL: Four foreign soldiers were killed in separate militant attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, the International Security Assistance Force (IASF) said on Sunday.

The deaths resulted from roadside bombings, a weapon of choice for Taliban fighters, the alliance said in separate statements that neither disclosed the soldiers’ nationalities nor the exact locations of the attacks.

Since the beginning of 2011, 140 international soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan. In 2010, the deadliest year for NATO-led troops, 714 ISAF servicemembers were killed in the country.

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NATO Helicopter Goes Down In Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/23/c_13842483.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 23, 2011

NATO chopper crashes in Afghan Kapisa province

KABUL: A helicopter of NATO-led forces crashed on Saturday morning in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, some 65 km north of capital city of Kabul, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

“A coalition forces helicopter suffered a hard landing in Alah Say district of Kapisa province in eastern Afghanistan today,” said the statement released here by the ISAF.

However, the brief statement did not provide details whether any service members receive injuries in the incident….

The statement also said the incident is currently under investigation.

Meantime, Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the incident.

A Taliban purported spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in talks with media via telephone from an undisclosed location that the militants shot down a chopper in Kapisa province killing several foreign troops on board.

The Alah Say and neighboring Nijrab district, branded as the “Taliban stronghold” in Kapisa, has been the scene of fierce fighting between Taliban insurgents and security forces over the past couple of weeks.
….

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Pakistani Protesters Block NATO Troops’ Supply Line Over Drone Strikes

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=5527&Cat=13&dt=4/25/2011

News International
April 25, 2011

No supply for Nato forces for last three days

PESHAWAR: Not a single vehicle carrying goods for the Nato forces across the border in Afghanistan plied the city roads during the last three days due to the sit-in organized by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) against the US drone attacks.

A police official said that no vehicle carrying goods for Nato forces entered Peshawar since April 21. The management of different parking lots on both sides of the Ring Road had also directed the truckers not to park vehicles at the terminals.

“Some of the trucks and containers carrying goods brought to Peshawar before April 22 remained parked at the terminals. The drivers decided not to move their vehicles a day ahead of the PTI sit-in against US drone attacks,” said Fayyaz Ahmad, manager of a truck terminal on Ring Road.

Dozens of terminals are located on both sides of the Ring Road, Peshawar where hundreds of trucks and containers are parked during the night. However, very few trucks and containers were seen parked in the terminals during the last three days.

—————————————————————————

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/24/us-pakistan-nato-idUSTRE73N0MR20110424

Reuters
April 24, 2011

Pakistanis rally against drone strikes, block NATO supply route
By Aizaz Mohmand

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The main supply route for NATO troops in Afghanistan was temporarily closed on Sunday after thousands of people blocked a key highway in Pakistan to protest against U.S. drone strikes, officials said.
….
The routes through Pakistan bring in 40 percent of supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to the United States Transportation Command. Of the remainder, 40 percent come through Afghanistan’s neighbors in the north and 20 percent by air.

The call for blocking the supply line came from cricket [player]-turn-politician Imran Khan after U.S. officials rejected Pakistan’s demand for sharp cuts in drone strikes in its tribal regions….

Activists from Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI), Khan’s party, and some Islamist parties staged a sit-in on the highway leading to Afghanistan through the Pashtun tribal region of Khyber.

“It is meant to send a message outside that we oppose drone strikes. We will never accept them,” Asad Qaiser, PTI president in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said.

The supply to Afghanistan through Khyber region had been suspended since the protest started on Saturday, a senior provincial government official, Siraj Ahmed, said.
….
The attacks by U.S. pilotless aircraft are a source of concern for the Pakistani government, which says civilian casualties stoke public anger and bolster support for the Islamist militancy.
….
(Additional reporting and writing by Kamran Haider, editing by Chris Allbritton and Sanjeev Miglani)

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NATO Attack Wounds Iranian Fishermen, Kills Somalis

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/176511.html

Press TV
April 24, 2011

NATO fires on Iranian fishermen

On Thursday, a vessel carrying fourteen Iranian fisherman was reportedly caught up in an attack carried out by three helicopters from the international naval forces for the second time in as many days, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Hobyo Police Commander Abdiwli Hassan told Press TV’s correspondent on Sunday that the Iranian nationals had been transferred to the town of Galkayo, about 750 kilometers north of Mogadishu.

Two of the Iranian nationals had been slightly wounded and three Somali civilians were reportedly killed in Thursday’s raid.

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mohamed Ali condemned the NATO attack and demanded an apology from the international forces.

An April 22 report by The Suna Times suggests the Iranian fishermen may have been held hostage at the time of the strikes.

According to the report, the Iranian hostages were first kidnapped in the Gara’ad area and were later moved to the town of Hobyo by the pirates.

However, conflicting reports suggest that they had come to Hobyo with prior arrangements for fishing purposes.

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Dutch Military Aids Secret U.S. Operations In Senegal, Chad, Mali

http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/dutch-military-active-africa

Radio Netherlands
April 23, 2011

Dutch military active in Africa

The Netherlands has been training African troops in the fight against al-Quaeda in the past few years, a Dutch newspaper has revealed.

The Algemeen Dagblad writes that the Dutch military are involved in a secret US mission in Mali, Senegal and Chad.

According to the newspaper, the Dutch ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs do not consider this involvement as problematic.

The ministries, believe that no parliamentary mandate for this operation is necessary, because it is part of a military exercise. Two opposition parties say they are surprised at the news. Socialist Party MP Harry van Bommel says that it is “more than an a ordinary exercise” because it is involves a war zone.

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Netherlands Commits To Purchase Of U.S. Joint Strike Fighters

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/netherlands-buys-second-jsf-test-plane

Radio Netherlands
April 21, 2011

Netherlands buys second JSF test plane

The Dutch Lower House has approved the purchase of a second Joint Strike fighter test plane.

The government proposal was approved by a majority consisting of the conservative VVD, Christian democrat CDA, Freedom Party and Orthodox SGP.

The news comes days after the cabinet announced a one billion euro cut in the defence budget. The two JSFs together cost 270 million euros.

The decision paves the way for the purchase of a series of JSF planes….

The opposition, however, says the purchase of a second test plane means the Netherlands is now committed to buying the Joint Strike Fighter as a replacement for its fleet of aging F-16s.

Minister Hillen said the Netherlands could still withdraw from the JSF project, even though this would cost about 270 million euros, the same amount the Netherlands will have to pay for the two test JSF planes and to join the JSF pilot training programme.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 24

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NATO’s 25-Day War: 3,582 Sorties, 1,488 Air Strikes

Easter Marches: Thousands Of Germans March Against Libyan, Afghan Wars

NATO Warplanes Strike Military, Civilian Targets In Libyan Capital

McCain Meets Head Of Egyptian Military Junta After Libyan Visit

Russia Negotiates Ceasefire With Libyan Prime Minister

Today Libya And Ivory Coast, Tomorrow Ghana

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NATO’s 25-Day War: 3,582 Sorties, 1,488 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110424_110424-oup-update.pdf”>http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110424_110424-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 24, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,582 sorties and 1,488 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 April: 144
Strike sorties conducted 23 April: 56
….
Key Targets and Engagements

23 April: In Tripoli: 1 surface-to-air-site.

In vicinity of Misurata: 1 tank, 1 command and control bunker, 1
semi truck, 3 heavy equipment transporters, 4 multiple rocket launchers, 2 vehicle storage buildings, 1 antenna, 3 artillery rocket launchers.

In vicinity of Sirte: 1 bunker, 1 tank, 1 armoured vehicle, 3 other
vehicles.
….
A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

18 vessels were hailed on 23 April to determine destination and cargo. 0 boarding and 0 diversions were conducted.

A total of 589 vessels have been hailed, 14 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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Easter Marches: Thousands Of Germans March Against Libyan, Afghan Wars

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/23-Apr-2011/Thousands-march-in-Germany-against-NATO-war-in-Libya-and-Afghanistan”>http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/23-Apr-2011/Thousands-march-in-Germany-against-NATO-war-in-Libya-and-Afghanistan

The Nation
April 24, 2011

Thousands march in Germany against NATO war in Libya and Afghanistan

 
Thousands of people marched across Germany to protest against NATO’s wars in Libya and Afghanistan as part of the country’s traditional Easter marches.

German peace and church groups as well as labor unions have planned numerous anti-war campaigns over the Easter holidays in major German cities and towns, including Berlin, Dortmund, Bremen Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Duesseldorf and Stuttgart.

Several US military bases in smaller German cities like Ramstein, Ansbach, Wiesbaden, Heidelberg were also targeted by peace demonstrators as Germany is a major logistics center for US military operations abroad and was also the staging ground for American wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

The German peace rallies focus this year mostly on NATO’s escalating war in Libya.

A NATO member, Germany is not directly supporting the mission of the western military alliance in the north African country.

The Easter marches dwell also on the need for global disarmament, specifically the removal of some 20 US nuclear weapons based in Germany.

The German peace movement has repeatedly called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and has used the Eastern peace marches to press the center-right government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to step up its campaign for a nuke-free Germany.
….
In fact, the history of Easter peace marches dates back to over 50 years and reached its peak when more than 500,000 people demonstrated against the controversial deployment of medium-range US Pershing missiles in Europe in the early 1980s.

However, public interest in the Easter marches has significantly faded since the end of the Cold War.

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NATO Warplanes Strike Military, Civilian Targets In Libyan Capital

 

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/24/c_13843348.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 24, 2011

NATO airstrike hits military, civilian targets in Tripoli

TRIPOLI: NATO warplanes bombed several military and civilian targets in Tripoli, resulting in casualties Saturday night.

Three loud explosions were heard near the Women’s Military Academy in downtown Tripoli after NATO fighter jets flew over the capital, a Xinhua correspondent said.

The NATO airstrike also targeted cities of al-Khums and Sirte, destroying water-supply and sewage systems as well as private cars, the state-run JANA news agency quoted the Libyan military as saying.

Earlier on Saturday, NATO said a U.S. unmanned Predator drone hit a rocket launcher of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the western city of Misrata.

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McCain Meets Head Of Egyptian Military Junta After Libyan Visit

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5itJhRQWEdukWyiLm7lep9kPFKjCQ?docId=CNG.dec4e04ab561746cb17781f343a21762.5d1

Agence France-Presse
April 23, 2011

US Senator McCain in Egypt after Libya visit

CAIRO: Senior US Senator John McCain met Egypt’s military chief and foreign minister on Saturday, a day after a trip to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Egyptian television reported.

It said McCain, a Republican who lost his 2008 presidential bid to Barack Obama, met Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that has ruled Egypt since the February ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

McCain also discussed American aid with Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi, as well as Middle East developments and the conflict in Libya.

The official MENA news agency said McCain briefed Arabi on his talks with Libyan rebel leaders in their Benghazi stronghold.

On Friday, McCain urged the international community to arm and recognise the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as the “legitimate voice” of the Libyan people.

“I would encourage every nation, especially the United States, to recognise the Transitional National Council as the legitimate voice of the Libyan people. They have earned this right,” he told reporters in Benghazi.

France, Gambia, Italy and Qatar are the only countries so far to have recognised the TNC, Libya’s parallel government in the east.

McCain, a US Navy pilot in the Vietnam war, also urged NATO to step up its campaign of air strikes to protect civilians from Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi’s forces, especially in besieged Misrata.

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Russia Negotiates Ceasefire With Libyan Prime Minister

 

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110423/163668602.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 23, 2011

Russia negotiates ceasefire with Libyan PM

Moscow: Libyan Prime Minister, Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi held telephone talks with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov about the possible ceasefire in the turbulent country, Libya’s official news agency Jana said on Saturday.

The telephone conversation between Al-Mahmoudi and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov came after Muammar Gaddafi’s troops pulled out of the insurgents-held city of Misrata.

Lavrov proposed sending observers to Libya and stepping up the peaceful solution of the conflict.

“Russia stands by the Libyan people,” Jana cited Lavrov as saying.

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Today Libya And Ivory Coast, Tomorrow Ghana

 

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=207394

Ghana Web
April 23, 2011

Today Libya and Ivory Coast, Tomorrow Ghana
Transient Justice

When the Ivory Coast situation first started I was among the first writers on Ghanaweb to expose the hypocrisy of the West when it came to their neocolonial foreign policy especially in Africa.

That was roughly 5 months ago. Let me recap what has happened since then. After a long stand off, Alassane Ouattra’s army (the rebels who disarmed in order to have a free election but magically got weapons worth millions of dollars to start fighting again) and the French united and decided to bomb President Gbagbo out of his bunker. After he was forced to surrender he was delivered a few slaps and after his wife was likewise humiliated he was moved to an undisclosed location. Since then, we have not heard any news about him. Is he alive? Nobody knows! What we do know is that his minister Desire Tagro was massacred by the French and Ouattara’s forces.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR7jsaM4aGc Source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/174525.html Source(Graphic): http://www.lvdpg.com/photo/art/default/2900979-4107310.jpg

In this new neocolonial age with the UN (United Neocolonialist) leading the way, it is perfectly normal to massacre and shoot people in the face, and leave them for dead! Democracy only applies to you when you are on the side of the West!

If not, there will be propaganda run against you and local criminals will join the foreigners and help your government while having your constitution damned!! That is the world we live in today! If you don’t believe me ask yourself this simple question, how come Quattara’s forces and the French can massacre 1000-3000 people and there is no talk of taking them before the ICC (International Colonial Court) but, they are talking about Gbagbo and Gaddafi? Source:

http://sweetandsoursocialism.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/civilians-massacred-by-western-backed-forces-in-ivory-coast-world-socialist-web-site/

Source: http://globaltj.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/gbagbo-could-face-international-charges-says-ouattara/

Source”: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/173299.html

In fact, since this racist ICC Court started, only Africans have been put before it! Is that not a form of colonialism? Are they so racist to perpetuate the myth that only Africans are criminals? Why are more Africans not talking about this? Is this something new in Africa that people don’t understand? As someone who reads history I can confidently say that nothing that is happening now is new. What is going on today is similar to what was going on 300 years ago. The game plan has not changed an iota. Let me lay it out for those who don’t know it.

1) Find an area that is within your national interest. 2) Study the area and understand the dynamics of it. 3) Jump on one side of an issue and help them massacre their “brothers”. 4) Now, you have a puppet in power who owes you!!!!

It’s the same game over and over yet it continues to work across the developing world!

But, no one talks about it! As of this article I will continue to expose the neocolonial agenda of outsiders with whatever free time I have in the sprit of Martin Niemoller.

Pastor Martin Niemoller(1892–1984) said the following quote whichI will edit to fit the current situation.

“First they came for the Libyans and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Libyam.

“Then they came for the Ivorians and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an Ivorian. Then they came for the (insert whoever is next) and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t (insert whoever is next).

“Then they came for us and there was no one left to speak out for us.”

This must not be allowed to happen! Is this same narrative going to be African’s story in 2011? From Colonialism to Neocolonialism!! Oh what misery!! Even in our own backyard in this year (2011) ECOWAS is a source of neocolonialism in the region with Goodluck Jonathan and Victor Gbeho wearing “miniskirts” and taking every position the West throws at them. Can you believe that this is the same Goodluck who stood by as his own citizens were massacred?

Source: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=289109

Source: http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=168151

And according to my sources he cannot even visit the North of his country yet he had the audacity to go around looking for money to go attack Ivory Coast when they were down and divided! The problem for him is: his masters did not trust him so; they decided to use the rebels within the country and the rest is history!

In 2011 even the AU is not as strong as I want it to be. This project of Nkrumah which started as a source of liberation is being infiltrated as we speak.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201104220347.html

This is after the West started bombing Libya on the day they were supposed to go negotiate a deal and after the AU was kept out of all major discussions until recently.

The AU has done relatively well this year when compared to the past, but they are still not vocal enough for me and are still not getting many issues right. They have good intentions but as of right now they are not acting strongly. For example, I will reiterate that there has been no condemnation of the massacre of 1000-2500 unarmed civilians by the French and Ouattara’s forces. Are the massacred people worthless because they were killed by forces the West and France endorsed? Damn the International Colonial Court(ICC). Damn the United Colonialist (UN). The whole organization is a facade. All of this while a massacre has been happening over the past month.

Some Pics of ongoing massacre Warning Graphic:

Are Sarkozy and Ban Ki-moon going to go before the court for sanctioning the death of these people via not doing their job as peacekeepers and instead attacking the constitutionally elected president?

How many more do they want to kill? These were not even soldiers but unarmed civilians killed for pathetic and backward reasons.

Are the UN and the French there as peacekeepers for all Ivorians or are they simply there to protect their “puppet”? Right now, the elected president according to Ivorian law has been kidnapped by the French and Ouattara’s men and, there is no outrage! No pride! Very few men of integrity who have spoken out!! All of this while in essence a precedent has been set which states that in Africa our laws don’t matter! Our constitutions are toilet paper, and if the West does not back who wins their UN neocolonial army will bomb you out of power!!!! This will occur essentially everywhere!

Well, everywhere but Southern Africa were they seem to have more dignity. We are very unlucky to be stuck in a region were nobody wants to stand for anything. Does Southern African have some of the puppets we have in West Africa? I can say with some certainty that there are no Goodluck Jonathans and Victor Gbehos in Southern Africa. They wouldn’t survive there.

Southern Africa simply has more men with a little bit more integrity. Not a lot more since South Africa still voted for the no-fly zone in Libya the results of which are 10,000 people dead in a stalemate with more bombs going to kill more, but Southern Africa has a little more integrity because they stood by Robert Mugabe when the English ran three years of propaganda agaist him. Mugabe is still helping his country develop and they have peace. Where is Gbagbo?

We have no idea where he is and may never find out. In the end, all nations must be warned. Learn from this lesson or you are next. If you are going to rely on the United Neocolonialist (UN) and the International Colonial Court (ICC) your heritage will be seized and sold for even cheaper than it was before. The people who worked to overthrow most sensible African leaders in the 60’s are back at it again with full force and the game has not changed much. Let’s make a change so that those coming after us won’t live in such an unjust world.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 23

April 23, 2011 1 comment

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March 31-April 22: 3,438 NATO Sorties, 1,432 Air Strikes

U.S. Confirms First Predator Drone Strike In Libya

U.S. Drone Strikes: Lessons For Libya From Pakistan

NATO Air Strike Kills Three Civilians Near Gaddafi Compound

Sarkozy To Follow McCain To Benghazi

NATO Deploys Bulgarian, Romanian Frigates Off Libyan Coast

French Warplanes Make Emergency Landing In Malta

Algeria: Flow Of Weapons To Libya Can Destabilize Region

China Warns Britain Over Deploying Military Advisers To Libya

Imperialism’s Assault Gang And Complicit United Nations

Obama Administration, Libyan War And Iraq Syndrome

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March 31-April 22: 3,438 NATO Sorties, 1,432 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110423_110423-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 23, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,438 sorties and 1,432 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 April: 138

Strike sorties conducted 22 April: 59

….

Key Targets and Engagements

22 April: In Tripoli: 2 command and control bunkers.

In vicinity of Misurata:3 tanks, 1 bunker, 1 early
warning radar, 1 surface to air radar.

In vicinity of Zintan: 2 tanks, 2 bunkers, buildings

In vicinity of Mizdah: 3 ammunition storage bunkers.

In vicinity of Ras Lanuf: 1 tank, 1 armoured vehicle.

….

A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

47 vessels were hailed on 22 April to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding and 0 diversions were conducted.

A total of 571 vessels have been hailed, 14 boarded and 5 diverted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

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U.S. Confirms First Predator Drone Strike In Libya

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13176645

BBC News
April 23, 2011

US confirms first Predator strike in Libya

The US military has confirmed the first strike by an unmanned Predator drone aircraft in Libya.

The Pentagon did not provide details of the target, but said that it occurred in the early afternoon local time.
….
Earlier, Libya’s government warned that tribes loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi might take over the fight against the rebels in the western city of Misrata.

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U.S. Drone Strikes: Lessons For Libya From Pakistan

http://www.channel4.com/news/us-drones-lessons-for-libya-from-pakistan

Channel 4 News
April 22, 2011

US drones: lessons for Libya from Pakistan

-The number of people killed in 2010 by American drones is thought to be between 607 and 993, yet of those the New America Foundation has estimated that just two per cent of the deaths were senior Taliban or al-Qaeda figures.

As the US approves armed drone attacks on President Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, Channel 4 News looks at America’s record of drone strikes in Pakistan, believed to be led by the CIA.
….
The number of drone attacks has ramped up under President Obama, to an estimated 166. So far that is a 300 per cent increase in the number of drone attacks in Pakistan compared to those during George W Bush’s presidency.

The US Defence Secretary confirmed today that Mr Obama has now given the green light for Predator drone attacks to go ahead in Libya.

However, US drone attacks have previously been criticised for failing to kill a significant number of militant leaders, despite their ability to perform a highly targeted, intelligence-based warfare.

Channel 4 News has also investigated the legality of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) involvement with the drone attacks in Pakistan.

The number of people killed in 2010 by American drones is thought to be between 607 and 993, yet of those the New America Foundation has estimated that just two per cent of the deaths were senior Taliban or al-Qaeda figures.

In the last 12 months there have been at least 113 attacks by secret US drones in Pakistan’s mountainous Waziristan region – double the number of strikes in 2009.

The foundation’s director Peter Bergen told Channel 4 News earlier this year that most victims of the attacks are low level militants.

“So the question is, do those people really represent a threat to the United States or its allies, and in my opinion, they don’t,” he said.

….

CIA involvement

The legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and the alleged role of the CIA has been brought into sharp focus after it was reported that Jonathan Banks, the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, was pulled out of Pakistan after his cover was blown.

He was blamed by tribesmen from North Waziristan for the deaths of their relatives in the drone strikes.

The CIA does not admit or deny that it conducts drone attacks on Pakistan or any other country, but it is widely suggested that “covert” strikes in tribal areas were controlled by CIA from bases in America, some 8,000 miles away from the target.

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NATO Air Strike Kills Three Civilians Near Gaddafi Compound

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/23/c_13842298.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 23, 2011

NATO air raid hits parking lot near Gaddafi compound in central Triploli

TRIPOLI: A NATO air strike hit a parking lot in central Tripoli earlier Saturday, an area close to Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi’s compound, said a government spokesman.

Libyan government spokesperson Mussa Ihbrahim said Saturday’s “very powerful” attack killed three people.

Witnesses said earlier they heard jets flying over the city.

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Sarkozy To Follow McCain To Benghazi

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/23/49342877.html

Voice of Russia
April 22, 2011

Sarkozy accepts invitation from Libyan rebels to visit Benghazi

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has agreed to visit Benghazi, Libya’s insurgent stronghold, at the invitation of the Transitional National Council of Libya. According to the Élysée Palace, the exact date is under consideration.

On Wednesday, the head of the rebel-founded National Transitional Council Mustafa AbdelJalil invited Sarkozy to Benghazi to “boost the spirit of the revolutionaries.”
….
France was the first country to officially recognize the Council as legitimately representing interests of the Libyan people.

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NATO Deploys Bulgarian, Romanian Frigates Off Libyan Coast

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=127541

Sofia News Agency
April 21, 2011

Bulgarian Frigate Sets Out for Libya Embargo Operation April 27

The Drazki (i.e. “Daring”) frigate of the Bulgarian Navy will set out to join NATO’s Operation “United Protector” patrolling off Libya’s coast to enforce a UN arms embargo on April 27.

Speaking at a news conference in Sofia Thursday, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov announced the Drazki frigate will patrol in the Mediterranean for a month, and will take five days to sail to its patrol zone, and five days to come back.

Drazki will stage two patrol courses with a break in the port of Suda on the island of Crete to recharge with fuel and food.

Angelov also announced the Drazki mission, which is Bulgaria’s only military contribution to the NATO efforts…will cost the state budget about BGN 1.5 M.

The frigate will be manned by a 160-member crew who will receive bonuses of EUR 51-53 per day for the duration of the mission.

The Defense Minister emphasized that the funds for the Drazki frigate mission were saved thanks to austerity measures; for example, in the first quarter of 2011, the ministry economized from salaries saving about BGN 500,000.

The Bulgarian government has approved sending the frigate for three months to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO operation….

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 joined 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 follows the example of neighboring Romania, whose President Traian Basescu announced 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.

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French Warplanes Make Emergency Landing In Malta

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1634194.php/French-fighter-jets-make-emergency-landing-in-Malta

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 20, 2011

French fighter jets make emergency landing in Malta

Valletta, Malta: Two French fighter jets on Wednesday made an emergency landing in Malta after running low on fuel following a mission to Libya.

The two Mirage aircraft landed safely on the Mediterranean island at around 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) following a reconnaissance operation over Libya, an aviation source told the German Press Agency dpa.

The pilots obtained clearance to land from the airport authorities in Malta whose government has adopted a military neutral stand in the Libya conflict.

French aircraft are flying sorties over Libya from bases in Corsica, southern Italy and an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean.

The operations are part of NATO’s intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to alleged attacks on civilians by Moamer Gaddafi’s forces.

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Algeria: Flow Of Weapons To Libya Can Destabilize Region

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/23/c_13842008.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 23, 2011

Algeria warns of flow of weapons in Libya

ALGIERS: Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci Friday warned that the flow of weapons to Libya can encourage terrorist activities in the region which would have disastrous consequences on all neighboring countries.

“What is happening in Libya can encourage terrorism everywhere, including on our territory,” Medelci told Algerian state radio.

“We have handled the Libyan crisis taking into consideration the quality of our relations with this country, which is important for us, and at the same time the security risks, as preventing a terrorist threat is among the main concerns of Algeria, not only on its territory but also on neighboring territories,” Medelci said.

Medelci reiterated Algeria’s position for a political solution to end the crisis in Libya. “The political solution is that endorsed by the African Union and supported by Algeria,” he said.

Medelci underlined that Algeria “supports the political solution on which a broad consensus has been reached,” adding that this solution must be preceded by a ceasefire and the setting up of ceasefire monitoring mechanism.

The local Algerian Echorouk newspaper, in its Tuesday issue, reported that “the security chaos in Libya, since the start of fights between rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces on Feb. 17, led to stealing arms from arsenals, and for now about 20 million weapons are in the hands of rebels and extremist groups.”

Algeria has warned several times that the alarming proliferation of weapons in Libya would lead to an escalation of terrorist attacks in the region.

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China Warns Britain Over Deploying Military Advisers To Libya

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFL3E7FN00V20110423

Reuters
April 23, 2011

China warns Britain over Libya advisers

BEIJING: China has warned Britain over plans to send military officers to advise Libyan rebels struggling against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi, saying that Beijing opposes any steps that go beyond the mandate of a United Nations resolution.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stopped short of directly accusing Britain of violating the U.N. Security Council resolution on the Libyan conflict, but he left no doubt that China is unhappy about Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to send about a dozen officers to Libya to help insurgents improve their fighting capabilities.

“China believes that the United Nations Security Council has primary responsibility for protecting international peace and security, and the various sides should strictly abide by the Security Council mandate in handling matters,” Hong said on the Foreign Ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.cn) late on Friday, in answer to a question about the British decision.

“China disapproves of taking any actions that exceed the mandate of the Security Council,” said Hong.

China has now joined Russia in opposing London’s decision to send advisers. Both countries are permanent members of the Security Council, and could have used that status to veto the resolution authorising air strikes against the forces of Gaddafi.

But Moscow and Beijing abstained from that vote, letting it go into force, but have since voiced growing misgivings about the Western military campaign in Libya.

Beijing’s main fear appears to be that Libya could eventually be carved up into divided states, anathema to China’s traditional views about the primacy of sovereignty in resolving security crises.

With the Libyan conflict risking getting bogged down in a stalemate, Western powers are seeking ways to bolster the rebels, whose military campaigns have been disorganised.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday the decision to send military advisers conformed with a United Nations’ resolution aimed at protecting Libyan civilians.

The leaders of the United States, Britain and France pledged last week to continue the military campaign until Gaddafi leaves power.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Imperialism’s Assault Gang And Complicit United Nations

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C04%5C23%5Cstory_23-4-2011_pg3_2

Daily Times
April 23, 2011

Imperialism through UN
Malik Muhammad Ashraf*

-In the post-World War II era, imperialism has assumed a humane configuration and is being practised under different forms in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’, using the UN as a conduit.
-The latest examples of this concept at play are the regime change in Ivory Coast through military action and the intervention in Libya under the umbrella of the UN.
-The most perturbing aspect of these ostensibly humanitarian interventions has been that they have resulted in more human casualties and bloodshed than they were meant to save and protect against. And, regrettably, they have been selectively used by the ‘assault gang’ comprising the US, Britain and NATO to achieve their non-humanitarian objectives.

History presents irrefutable evidence that great powers have invariably shown an irresistible propensity to subjugate small nations, intervene in their internal affairs on different pretexts, impose their cultures on them and even make attempts to create a world order conforming to their cultural values and political ambitions; a phenomenon known as imperialism.

In the post-World War II era, imperialism has assumed a humane configuration and is being practised under different forms in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’, using the UN as a conduit. The powers that be have manoeuvred the UN-adopted concept of ‘responsibility to protect’ to handle international affairs to their own liking.

The driving force behind this concept is that human rights are universal and every state should protect them and if a particular state fails to do so, other states must ensure their protection. Put in simple words, if a regime is guilty of abusing human rights and does not heed the appeals of the international community or the UN in this regard, the other nations or the UN must intervene to save the population of that country from oppressive regimes. The concept was invoked for the first time for intervention in Nigeria in 1967 to end the civil war, followed by similar actions in Bosnia in 1992, Rwanda in 1994 and Serbia in 1999.

The latest examples of this concept at play are the regime change in Ivory Coast through military action and the intervention in Libya under the umbrella of the UN.

The UN resolution for intervention in Libya never authorised military action but the US and its allies, who, long since, had been looking for an opportunity to settle scores with Gaddafi have exceeded the UN mandate by resorting to air strikes against targets inside Libya — which reportedly have also done extensive collateral damage — and extending military support to anti-Gaddafi forces on the ground.

At the start of the Libyan campaign, President Obama had emphatically stated that the action was not aimed at regime change in Libya but to protect the population being persecuted by Gaddafi. However, at the latest moot between the allies in Berlin, it has been unequivocally asserted that the future of Libya with Gaddafi at the helm of affairs was inconceivable, which means that they are definitely striving for a regime change in Libya.

The most perturbing aspect of these ostensibly humanitarian interventions has been that they have resulted in more human casualties and bloodshed than they were meant to save and protect against. And, regrettably, they have been selectively used by the ‘assault gang’ comprising the US, Britain and NATO to achieve their non-humanitarian objectives. Their criminal apathy and indifference to the sufferings of the Palestinians, Kashmiris and other people around the globe groaning under oppression tells the whole story.

The assault gang bypassed the UN to attack Iraq on the pretext of taking out weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. Nevertheless, they succeeded in their real objective, to get Saddam Hussain and to seize control of the oil wealth of the country, remaining oblivious to the human lives that have been consumed by the conflict and the never-ending sectarian strife triggered by their blitzkrieg in Iraq. Do they care about it? Do they feel any grain of remorse for what they have done to that country? Certainly not.

The military action in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 with a mandate from UN is yet another manifestation of the imperialist mindset of the assault gang, considering the fact that some other options could have been tried to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism.

Their actions in Afghanistan and the tribal belt of Pakistan have caused an exponential increase in terrorism worldwide instead of curbing it, the ostensible objective of their offensive in Afghanistan.

It has also badly affected Pakistan. The madness continues with incalculable loss of human lives and resources. The imperialists refuse to recognise the demographic and historical ground realities in Afghanistan.

It is, however, encouraging to note that the representative government in Pakistan, of late, has started resisting the arm-twisting tactics of the US imperialists and is exhibiting unswerving determination to regain the sovereignty that was surrendered by the outgoing dictator. A similar kind of approach and strategy is needed at the global level to forestall the designs of the imperialists.

The philosophy of making the world a better place through the use of military muscle, subscribed to and practised by the American imperialists and their cronies has certainly brought misery to the human race and is likely to trigger more conflicts and abuse of human rights.

Therefore, to make the world a better place, the new form of imperialism in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’ will have to be checked in its tracks through the collective efforts of the world community, particularly the Third World countries.

They must strive for reforms in the UN structure and increase in the permanent members of the UN Security Council that gives equal representation to different geographical regions, vested with the veto power as enjoyed by the current five permanent members.

Another option could be abolishing the veto power altogether and giving effectiveness to the UN Security Council resolutions on the basis of a simple majority. Undoing the monopoly of the western countries and their clout in securing the support of the UN for their ulterior motives can greatly help in saving the world from the depravity of the new form of imperialism.

Apart from UN reforms, the developing countries can also ensure their security and obviate the chances of their vulnerability to the machinations of the assault gang through regional organisations designed to enhance regional security, and economic and political cooperation among the member countries.

*The writer is a former diplomat.

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Obama Administration, Libyan War And Iraq Syndrome

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15004355,00.html

Deutsche Welle
April 23, 2011

Iraq syndrome haunts Obama Administration in Libya

Burdened with Iraq and Afghanistan, US President Obama clearly limited the Libyan operation. But as the ground war drags on, Washington may come under growing pressure for a military escalation to break the stalemate.

From the outset of the intervention in Libya, US President Barack Obama called for a limited American military involvement….NATO allies, particularly Britain and France, would take the leadership role.

However, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi remains in power and the civil war rages on, despite more than a month of allied airstrikes targeting his forces. Pressure has mounted for a military escalation as diplomats have shuffled between London, Doha, Paris and Berlin in search of a Libyan endgame.

[W]ith the rebels and Gadhafi loyalists currently in a stalemate on the ground, Washington may come under growing pressure to launch a military escalation designed to bring the conflict to a decisive close.

Iraq Syndrome

In 2008, as Barack Obama was running for president, he profiled himself as an anti-war candidate, speaking out strongly against the decision to invade Iraq, which he argued distracted America from the critical intervention in Afghanistan, justified on the basis of self-defense and existential national interests.

According to Josef Braml, an expert on American politics, Obama’s position emerged from a compromise with his political base. People close to the major unions as well as the black and Hispanic minority communities were willing to tolerate the operation in Afghanistan so long as the political agenda remained focused on rebuilding America.

“They trusted him to cope with the biggest financial and economic crisis since the 1930s,” Braml – with the German Council on Foreign Relations – told Deutsche Welle. “If he wants to get reelected, he has to make sure he commits resources to the domestic front and has to shift the burden of global responsibility onto the allies.”

Michael Cox, a US foreign policy expert, says America’s inconclusive land wars in the Mideast and Central Asia have made Obama very cautious about being drawn deeper into a third conflict in the Muslim world.

Cox compares this political phenomenon to the so-called Vietnam Syndrome which haunted the White House and Congress during the 1990s. America’s traumatic war in Vietnam during the 1960s made it difficult for Washington to justify interventions in the Balkans and Somalia, nearly 30 years later.

“Now you have an Iraq syndrome effecting how the Obama Administration makes decisions,” Cox – who works with the London-based Chatham House – told Deutsche Welle.

Obama Doctrine

….

Obama argued that the use of limited military force in a multilateral context was justified to protect human rights.

“He made a basic calculation,” Cox said. “If America had not acted and Benghazi had fallen and Gadhafi had gotten back in total control, how would that make the West look?”

….

The 90s revisited

….

NATO intervened in the breakaway Balkan province of Kosovo in 1999 to stop alleged human rights abuses by Serbia. After weeks of airstrikes failed to intimidate Belgrade, only the threat of an allied ground invasion forced Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to give into Western demands.

Escalatory pressure

NATO now faces a similar situation in Libya. Up to this point, airstrikes have proven unable to force Gadhafi from his stronghold in Tripoli. France and Britain have called for the military engagement to intensify….

However, as the conflict drags on without a decisive conclusion, escalatory pressure could begin building in Washington as well. Obama will then have to decide just how important Libya is for a nation still shell-shocked from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There’s going to be disagreement between these capitals on how to conduct this thing,” Biddle said. “Those disagreements are going to get more heated as this thing stalemates and escalatory pressure rises.”

“As that happens, it would not be shocking if governments that say right now they’re willing to accept the inefficiencies of multilateralism in order to get allies to bear the costs might change their mind when they see how that inefficiency gets in the way of bringing a successful end to this conflict.”

Author: Spencer Kimball
Editor: Rob Mudge

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 22, 2011

April 23, 2011 2 comments

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Updates on Libyan war: April 22

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America’s Century Of The Drone

Pakistan: U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least 25, Wounds 20 More

Pakistan: U.S. Evacuates Base Used For Drone Missile Attacks

U.S. Military Chief Widens Rift With Pakistan

Afghanistan: NATO Air Strike Kills Four Road Workers

NATO Air Strike Kills Three Afghan Civilians

U.S. And French Submarine Commanders Meet In Naples

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America’s Century Of The Drone

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hF3C-S92bEb8wj8V8pX8gIdky68w?docId=CNG.1c90e35dcf8cd5714333aa0e426df297.351

Agence France-Presse
April 22, 2011

US drones: weapons of choice in overseas wars
By Mathieu Rabechault

-One patrol dedicated to the Global Hawk, a drone which focuses on surveillance and intelligence gathering, counts at least 400 people, according to Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Black, Predator and Reaper functional manager in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Task Force.
-In 1999 there were only 150 pilots trained to “fly” drones. But…there will be 10 times more by 2013.
Some 82 US Air Force Predators and 26 Reapers are currently deployed in combat zones….And that is not counting those deployed by the CIA in Pakistan.
-“The requirement is so fastly emerging that we need 500 crews,” said Colonel Dean Bushey, deputy director of the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence.
-[T]he Air Force plans to step up combat patrols from 50 in 2011 to 65 in 2013 – involving almost 12,000 personnel and around 250 drones at any given time.

WASHINGTON: In gruelling conflicts in Pakistan and now Libya, the spotlight is being thrust on America’s use of pilotless drones…..

Behind each drone is a team of specialists helping to pilot the aircraft – capable of unleashing deadly missiles against targets on the ground – to their destinations. And the military says they are desperately short-staffed.

In the conflicts triggered in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the drones came increasingly to the fore in Iraq and Afghanistan….

If the Tomahawk cruise missile was America’s much-touted precision weapon in the first Gulf War two decades ago, then Predator and Reaper drones are among the machines of choice in the 21st century.

On Friday, Libyan rebels welcomed a US decision to deploy armed drones to help them in their bloody bid to oust veteran leader Moamer Kadhafi.

But the increasing use of drones has also been mired in controversy, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they have been blamed for inadvertent strikes on civilians, inflaming anti-US sentiment.

A US drone strike targeting the Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan on Friday killed 23 people including three civilians, military officials in the region said.

US military officials say that even if there is no pilot in the cockpit, the drones can still only function thanks to an army of specialists.

“There is really nothing unmanned about the system at all, except for that little piece of fiberglass at the front end of the system,” said retired Lieutenant General David Deptula, former US Air Force deputy chief of staff.

“They are very human. We believe we have more people in the loop regarding these remotely piloted systems than we do in manned systems,” he told a conference organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

One drone combat air patrol (CAP) can involve as many as 180 people – once you count the pilots on the ground, the mechanics, the intelligence analysts.

They are also in charge of four actual drone machines and maintain cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week over their given zone.

One patrol dedicated to the Global Hawk, a drone which focuses on surveillance and intelligence gathering, counts at least 400 people, according to Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Black, Predator and Reaper functional manager in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Task Force.

In 1999 there were only 150 pilots trained to “fly” drones. But…there will be 10 times more by 2013.

Some 82 US Air Force Predators and 26 Reapers are currently deployed in combat zones, Black said. And that is not counting those deployed by the CIA in Pakistan.

“We have most of our assets in the fight. They stay in the fight, they don’t rotate back out because I don’t have to pull my people in and out to give them breaks,” Black added.

Drone operations are run from the Creech Air Force base, close to Las Vegas in the western sate of Nevada. Being able to keep the human task force close to home has definite advantages in helping the missions run smoothly abroad.

“I leave a very small footprint forward and everything is back here in the States. Here’s the big plus: almost 90 percent of our people are in the fight and always in the fight,” Black said.

“I go in the box, I do my mission, I go home to mama, I wash the car on Saturday and then I come back out and I get right back in the fight.”

But even with the flexibility afforded by the drone system, the Air Force still doesn’t have enough personnel.

“The requirement is so fastly emerging that we need 500 crews,” said Colonel Dean Bushey, deputy director of the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence.

And at the current rate of operations, it’s even difficult to keep one drone back for training purposes.

“I can not take a MQ-1 Predator to the National Training Center in San Diego because we don’t have it, they’re all in the theater right now. And every time we produce one we send it on the theater,” Bushey said.

“As we increase our CAPs overseas, we reduce the assets available to train new pilots.”

The manpower shortage is not going to ease up any time soon, as the Air Force plans to step up combat patrols from 50 in 2011 to 65 in 2013 – involving almost 12,000 personnel and around 250 drones at any given time.
….

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Pakistan: U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least 25, Wounds 20 More

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/22/49304029.html

Voice of Russia
April 22, 2011

US drones kill 25 in Pakistan

At least 25 people were killed, while up to 20 others were wounded when US drones attacked a residential compound in North Waziristan, in the northwest of Pakistan, on the Afghan border, earlier today. This comes in a report by Pakistani State Television with reference to the local authorities.

This was the first missile strike following the one on March 17th, when some 40 people were killed while more than 20 others wounded, in air attacks on the area.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry voiced a protest to the United States against the March strike.

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Pakistan: U.S. Evacuates Base Used For Drone Missile Attacks

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/04/22/pakistan.drone.strike/?hpt=T2

CNN
April 22, 2011

U.S. departs Pakistan base, source says
By Nick Paton Walsh and Nasir Habib

-The departure of American personnel — if confirmed — would be significant because of increasing strain between Islamabad and Washington sparked by the drone attacks and the Raymond Davis affair in which a CIA contractor fatally shot two Pakistani men in a Lahore neighborhood.

Islamabad, Pakistan: U.S. military personnel have left a southern base in Pakistan said to be a key hub for American drone operations in the country’s northwestern tribal areas, a senior Pakistani intelligence official told CNN on Friday.

Drones are said to take off and get refueled for operations…from the Shamsi Air Base in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

News of a possible U.S. departure comes amid a public furor over American drone attacks, which have killed civilians.

A suspected U.S. drone strike Friday in the Pakistani tribal region killed 25 people, including eight civilians and 17 militants, a Pakistani intelligence source said. Another one on March 17 killed 44, mostly civilians.

Another senior Pakistani intelligence official, who did not want to be identified discussing a sensitive issue, confirmed Americans had been using the base as a center of operations for launching drone strikes. He was not able to confirm if the Americans had left.

The first official said that American personnel were no longer operating out of the base, but he could not say whether they had left voluntarily or at the request of the Pakistani government.
….
A U.S. military official who did not want to be identified told CNN: “There are no U.S. forces at Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan.” He did not respond at the time or in writing to queries as to whether U.S. personnel had been based there in the past.

The departure of American personnel — if confirmed — would be significant because of increasing strain between Islamabad and Washington sparked by the drone attacks and the Raymond Davis affair in which a CIA contractor fatally shot two Pakistani men in a Lahore neighborhood.

It has always been unclear how many drone bases the United States operates in or near Pakistan. But Friday’s attack in North Waziristan that killed 25 people would indicate the United States maintains the capability to strike tribal areas with drones.
….
In Friday’s attack, a drone fired five missiles on a hideout in Mir Ali of North Waziristan, one of the seven districts of Pakistan’s volatile tribal region bordering Afghanistan, two intelligence officials said.

[T]he attack also killed at least three women when one of the missiles hit a house next to the targeted compound, officials said. The Pakistani intelligence source identified the slain civilians as five women and three children.

Friday’s drone strike was the 20th this year, compared with 111 in all of 2010, based on a CNN tally.

The strike comes two days after Pakistan issued a strongly worded statement condemning deadly suspected U.S. drone strikes in the country’s tribal region.

“Drone attacks have become a core irritant in the counterterror campaign,” a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. “We have repeatedly said that such attacks are counterproductive and only contribute to strengthen the hands of the terrorists.”

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U.S. Military Chief Widens Rift With Pakistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/22/49317968.html

Voice of Russia
April 22, 2011

Admiral Mullen has widened the rift between the US and Pakistan
Boris Volkhonsky

-On Thursday, US President Barack Obama declared that drone strikes will be used not only in the war against the Taliban, but also in the air operation against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Well, the Americans have e wide experience and the drones have proved to be a very useful thing when it comes to killing civilians.

A visit to Pakistan by the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen earlier this week was aimed at diminishing the growing divisions between the two strategic partners in this volatile region of the world. The tensions between the two countries have been growing ever since the beginning of the US “anti-terrorist” campaign against neighboring Afghanistan, but lately have become an issue not only endangering bilateral relations, but capable of undermining all efforts to combat terrorism in the area.

The US claims that Pakistan is doing too little to eliminate the Taliban-related groups based on its territory, especially those taking refuge in the tribal area in the north-west of the country. For anyone who has ever visited that area such claims sound ridiculous: the rough rugged terrain hardly enables any major offensive by any outside force, and the tribal and clan links between people living there (and overwhelmingly not being members of any militant group) enables the small groups of their relatives to safely hide there for indefinitely long. The lesson was too well learned by the British in the 19th century and by the Soviets in 1980s. Now, Americans seem to repeat those mistakes or, rather demand that such mistakes be made by others, in this case – by Pakistan.

On the other hand the main claim that Pakistan has against the US activity is the notorious drone missile strikes, aimed at insurgents but killing anyone on the ground and mostly women and children.

The rift between the two countries lately has become even wider, with drone strikes continuing and the insurgents still hiding in the tribal area. But the “catch 22” of the situation is that neither of the two countries is in a position to totally abandon their strategic partnership. However limited the operations launched by Pakistani Army could be, without them, the whole country might become a safe haven for terrorist overnight.

Therefore, Washington’s officials very well understand the need for building stable and possibly friendly relations with Pakistan. And Admiral Mullen’s visit to Islamabad primarily had this purpose in view.

But something went wrong. Admiral Mullen repeatedly stressed Washington’s “long-term commitment to supporting Pakistan in its fight against violent extremists.” On the other hand, other US officials made conflicting statements showing that the two countries are far apart in their understanding of how the fight against terrorism should be conducted.

More so, Admiral Mullen himself in an interview to the Pakistani Dawn daily said that U.S. officials are aware of the “long-standing relationship” between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and the Haqqani network, an aggressive militant group that supports the Afghan Taliban. He said that the group is aiding and training “fighters that are killing Americans” and that Pakistan’s relations with Haqqani are “at the core” of the bilateral difficulties.

These remarks naturally caused anger among the Pakistani military, who vehemently denied that they in any way coddle Haqqani or pursue a policy of “selective repression and appeasement” of militants and accused Mike Mullen of “negative propaganda”.

Thus, instead of narrowing the rift between the two countries, Admiral Mullen’s visited only added to the mutual exasperation. Now, the voices against the drone strikes will sound even louder – especially in view of the fact that the US military is not going to stop them.

On Thursday, US President Barack Obama declared that drone strikes will be used not only in the war against the Taliban, but also in the air operation against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Well, the Americans have e wide experience and the drones have proved to be a very useful thing when it comes to killing civilians.

So, next stage – Libya? But what if the drone bombs fall indiscriminately and hit the targets in the rebels’ camp? Will it need another Admiral Mullen, or whoever replaces him as the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to try to narrow the gap between the US and its today’s allies?

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Afghanistan: NATO Air Strike Kills Four Road Workers

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/04/22/isaf-airstrike-kills-road-workers-khost

Pahjwok Afghan News
April 22, 2011

ISAF airstrike kills road workers in Khost

KHOST CITY: Three road workers were killed during an airstrike by foreign troops in the southeastern province of Khost, a private construction company official said on Friday.

A fourth worker was wounded during the overnight air raid by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the Sperai district, Faqir Mohammad Zadran told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The Malak Baba Construction Company head said they were building a road linking the provincial capital with the district.

The victims were providing security for the company’s equipment, he added.

On the other hand, the ISAF media office in the southeastern zone said that four “insurgents” were killed during the strike after they fired at coalition helicopters.

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NATO Air Strike Kills Three Afghan Civilians

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/20/three-afghan-civilians-die-in-nato-air-strike.html

Agence France-Presse
April 22, 2011

Three Afghan civilians die in Nato air strike

ASADABAD: A child was among three civilians who died in a Nato air strike in eastern Afghanistan which also killed 14 insurgents, local officials said Wednesday.

The attack by the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) happened late Tuesday in the Dangam district of Kunar province, provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi told AFP.
….
District governor Hamish Gulab said the civilians were two women and a child who died when a missile hit a gathering of insurgents in a house.
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Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, has seen a string of civilian casualties as foreign forces target insurgents, including the deaths of nine children in another air strike for which the US apologised last month.
….

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U.S. And French Submarine Commanders Meet In Naples

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=US-French-Submarine-Commanders-Meet

U.S. European Command
April 22, 2011

U.S. and French Submarine Commanders Meet
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Keen, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

-“Our navies operated together during Odyssey Dawn and now during Unified Protector and we can’t thank the French navy enough for everything they do.”

NAPLES, Italy: The Commander of the French navy’s Submarine Forces met with Commander Submarine, Allied Naval Forces South during a two-day visit to build on the two navies’ strong military ties, April 21, on Naval Support Activity, Naples.

During the visit, French navy Vice Adm. Georges-Henri Mouton met with Rear Adm. James G. Foggo III, to discuss the two nations’ submarine forces and operations in Europe.

“I came to Naples to meet with Rear. Adm. Foggo and discuss the relationship our navies have in regards to our submarine forces, especially our SSNs [Fast Attack Submarines],” said Mouton. “I wanted to discuss ideas on how we can work together better and talk about the future.”

Even though this was the first time Mouton and Foggo had met in person, they have been working together for some time and were able to speak openly about many issues facing submarine operations in Europe.

“It is important to build strong relationships so you are able to sit down and discuss issues frankly and determine a way ahead,” said Foggo. “That is what we did, determined a way ahead and improved on what is already an extremely fruitful and productive relationship between our submarine forces.”

Foggo continued saying that both navies have been operating together and sharing information for a long time.

“Our navies operated together during Odyssey Dawn and now during Unified Protector and we can’t thank the French navy enough for everything they do,” said Foggo.

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Categories: Uncategorized

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

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

American writers on peace and against war

William Dean Howells: Editha

William Dean Howells to Henry James: The most stupid and causeless war

William James: The Philippine Tangle

Edgar Lee Masters: The Philippine Conquest

Mark Twain: To the Person Sitting in Darkness

Leo Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

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William Dean Howells
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League

Spanish Prisoners of War
Literature and Life (1902)

Certain summers ago our cruisers, the St. Louis and the Harvard, arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with sixteen or seventeen hundred Spanish prisoners from Santiago de Cuba. They were partly soldiers of the land forces picked up by our troops in the fights before the city, but by far the greater part were sailors and marines from Cervera’s ill-fated fleet.

I have not much stomach for war, but the poetry of the fact I have stated made a very potent appeal to me on my literary side, and I did not hold out against it longer than to let the St. Louis get away with Cervera to Annapolis, when only her less dignified captives remained with those of the Harvard to feed either the vainglory or the pensive curiosity of the spectator. Then I went over from our summer colony to Kittery Point, and got a boat, and sailed out to have a look at these subordinate enemies in the first hours of their imprisonment.

….

I tried to bewilder myself in the ignorance of a Catalonian or Asturian fisherman, and to wonder with his darkened mind why it should all or any of it have been, and why I should have escaped from the iron hell in which I had fought no quarrel of my own to fall into the hands of strangers, and to be haled over seas to these alien shores for a captivity of unknown term.

[I]f there is anything more grotesque than another in war it is its monstrous inconsequence.

If we had a grief with the Spanish government, and if it was so mortal we must do murder for it, we might have sent a joint committee of the House and Senate, and, with the improved means of assassination which modern science has put at our command, killed off the Spanish cabinet, and even the queen—­mother and the little king.

This would have been consequent, logical, and in a sort reasonable; but to butcher and capture a lot of wretched Spanish peasants and fishermen, hapless conscripts to whom personally and nationally we were as so many men in the moon, was that melancholy and humiliating necessity of war which makes it homicide in which there is not even the saving grace of hate, or the excuse of hot blood.


Spanish Prisoners of War at Portsmouth Navy Yard
(Click to enlarge)

They lay in their beds there, these little Spanish men, whose dark faces their sickness could not blanch to more than a sickly sallow, and as they turned their dull black eyes upon us I must own that I could not “support the government” so fiercely as I might have done elsewhere. But the truth is, I was demoralized by the looks of these poor little men, who, in spite of their character of public enemies, did look so much like somebody’s brothers, and even somebody’s children.

….

At a certain cot the chief surgeon stopped and said, “We did not expect this boy to live through the night.” He took the boy’s wrist between his thumb and finger, and asked tenderly as he leaned over him, “Poco mejor?” The boy could not speak to say that he was a little better; he tried to smile – such things do move the witness; nor does the sight of a man whose bandaged cheek has been half chopped away by a machete tend to restore one’s composure.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 22

April 22, 2011 3 comments

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Britain In Libya: Prospect Of Another Decade-Long Afghan-Style War

Top U.S. Military Chief Orders Gaddafi To Leave, Applauds NATO War Role

United Nations Ignores Its Own Resolution On Libya: Analysts

U.S. And French Submarine Commanders Meet In Naples

EU Readies Troop For “Humanitarian-Military” Deployment To Libya

Libya: Use Of Depleted Uranium, Partition And Regional Risks

Libya: The Destruction Of A Nation

NATO’s Aerial Onslaught In Libya: 3,300 Sorties, 1,373 Air Strikes

U.S. Introduces Armed Predator Drones For Libyan War

Benghazi: McCain Hails Rebels As “Heroes” As Drones Are Deployed

Libya: On The Eve Of A Ground Invasion?

Libya: NATO Air Attack Kills Nine Including Utility Workers

Video And Text: Libyan Rebels Use French Missiles From Qatar

Video And Text: NATO Military Advisers In Libya: “Clear Launch Of Ground Conflict”

Belarus: U.S.-Backed Uprisings Destructive

Will Ongoing Conflicts Lead To World War?

Russia Fears Civil War In Syria

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Britain In Libya: Prospect Of Another Decade-Long Afghan-Style War

http://rt.com/news/uk-long-libya-war/

RT
April 22, 2011

UK committed for long haul in Libya

Video

The UK Ministry of Defense sending military advisors to Libya is seen by many as the most significant step so far towards deploying ground troops. Once that happens, many see Libya turning into another Afghanistan – ten years and counting.

­The allied forces have been engaged in the Libya’s civil conflict for more than a month now.

The coalition is turning up the heat on Colonel Gaddafi as US armed predator drones have joined the mission to seek and destroy the embattled leader’s arsenal.

For Libyans, it has been a long, hard month. Air strike after air strike by NATO forces, in the middle of an increasingly violent civil war. And with little to show for it, the deadlocked war is causing widespread concern about its cost.

“I think the situation just deepened and probably got rather worse,” says Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Member of Parliament. “Britain is putting troops in on the ground as advisers. I think it’s very dangerous, we are involved in a civil war for which there’s no parliamentary authority.”

Priceless human lives are certainly the cost of the Libyan operation. But the Ministry of Defense also refuses to release information as to how much the intervention in Libya is costing the British taxpayer.

Early estimates suggested the bill could run to US$5 million a day.

That means a month’s offensive may have cost the UK as much as $150 million and counting, at a time when the UK is slashing spending on public services, leading to widespread, often violent, demonstrations.

“This is an incredible amount of money when they say there’s no money available,” said Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition. “We could every week be building a new hospital, several new schools and we could be paying the student tuition fees which are going up to 9,000 [pounds] a year next year.”
….
And for all that investment, defense strategists are calling the situation a stalemate.

Gaddafi is still in Libya….Peace seems no nearer, and NATO appears to be settling in for the long haul, until the Libyans themselves can negotiate a deal.

After a month of air strikes, UK forces look more inextricably involved in the conflict than ever.

On Tuesday Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the deployment of experienced military officers to Libya to help the rebels improve military organizational structures and logistics…..

On Wednesday France and Italy followed the UK’s lead, both announcing that they will send similar contingents to the war-torn North-African country.

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Top U.S. Military Chief Orders Gaddafi To Leave, Applauds NATO War Role

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63660

U.S. Department of Defense
April 22, 2011

Mullen: World Community Says Gadhafi Must Go
By Jim Garamone

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq: NATO has come forward in a very positive way to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya and protect Libyan citizens from the Moammar Gadhafi regime, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said here today.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also told service members serving with U.S. Division Center in Baghdad that “the international consensus is that Gadhafi has got to go.”

NATO is in charge of [the war], Mullen said, adding that he is pleased the alliance stepped forward to lead the operation.

Regime change is not a part of the NATO mission, and the U.N. resolution does not address it, Mullen said, but it remains to be seen whether the Libyan dictator will step down.

“The long-term political end-state is to have [Gadhafi] gone,” he said. “Globally, the guy is a pariah, and every single action the vast majority of countries [?] are taking are going to continue to put the squeeze on him until he’s gone. Is [Gadhafi] going to figure that out? I don’t know.”

The NATO operation “is certainly moving toward a stalemate,” Mullen said, as neither rebel forces nor Gadhafi’s forces can win a decisive edge, and tough fighting continues in Misrata and Ajdabiyah.
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“It’s a tougher fight than it was at the beginning,” the chairman said.

“At the same time, we have ‘attritted’ somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of his main ground force capabilities,” Mullen said. “Those will continue to go away over time.”

Mullen stressed the international focus on ousting the Gadhafi regime, noting that members of the Arab League support the military action in Libya. “This is the first time that I’m aware of where the Arab League has voted for something like a no-fly zone,” he said.
….

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United Nations Ignores Its Own Resolution On Libya: Analysts

http://rt.com/news/un-resolution-violation-analyst/

RT
April 22, 2011

UN ignores its own resolution on Libya – political analyst

Video

Russia insists the UN resolution is being violated by allied forces, but these are not purely Russian concerns. There is widening frustration over how the operation in Libya is being conducted, according to political analyst Sergey Strokan.

­“Definitely they have gone far beyond the UN Resolution, which was initially installed just to introduce a no-fly zone,” says Sergey Strokan, a political analyst for Kommersant newspaper.

“What’s going on now is a totally different story,” he added. “The coalition is definitely taking sides and now they are considering another step: to start a land operation, which could really bring unpredictable results for the country. That’s why this is not only Russia’s concern, this is the concern of quite a big part of international community.”

Sergey Strokan agrees that UN is already ignoring its own resolution in the case of Libya.

“We have to understand that this is a really complicated issue because initially by adopting this resolution, the UN was also trying to sort of reinvent itself, to show that it is important, it can play a decisive role,” he said. “And as you remember, the resolution came out as a result of carefully-worded compromises.”

“All parts were discussed and every step when you go beyond the resolution,” he added. “It makes your credibility at stake, it can be jeopardized simply. And this is what’s happening in Libya.”

Speaking about Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with the UN chief, political analyst Sergey Strokan said Ban Ki-moon could hardly actually be seeking Russia’s backing for the allied forces in Libya.

“I think that Ban Ki-moon definitely is a practical man, a practical politician, and he can’t expect Russia to support that,” he said. “Russia is opposed to it. In practical terms, what Ban Ki-moon can expect from Russia is just may be to mute its criticism, to slow it down.”

­Meanwhile, Jim Brann from the Stop the War coalition says that NATO has to follow the course, initially set, right up to the beginning of ground intervention.

“And the logic has to be, I think, ground forces in one way or another,” says Brann. “And even if they from time to time refer back to UN Security Council Resolution 1973, it does not change the fact that they clearly are going for the overthrow of the Tripoli government,” he added.

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U.S. And French Submarine Commanders Meet In Naples

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=US-French-Submarine-Commanders-Meet

U.S. European Command
April 22, 2011

U.S. and French Submarine Commanders Meet
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Keen, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

-“Our navies operated together during Odyssey Dawn and now during Unified Protector and we can’t thank the French navy enough for everything they do.”

NAPLES, Italy: The Commander of the French navy’s Submarine Forces met with Commander Submarine, Allied Naval Forces South during a two-day visit to build on the two navies’ strong military ties, April 21, on Naval Support Activity, Naples.

During the visit, French navy Vice Adm. Georges-Henri Mouton met with Rear Adm. James G. Foggo III, to discuss the two nations’ submarine forces and operations in Europe.

“I came to Naples to meet with Rear. Adm. Foggo and discuss the relationship our navies have in regards to our submarine forces, especially our SSNs [Fast Attack Submarines],” said Mouton. “I wanted to discuss ideas on how we can work together better and talk about the future.”

Even though this was the first time Mouton and Foggo had met in person, they have been working together for some time and were able to speak openly about many issues facing submarine operations in Europe.

“It is important to build strong relationships so you are able to sit down and discuss issues frankly and determine a way ahead,” said Foggo. “That is what we did, determined a way ahead and improved on what is already an extremely fruitful and productive relationship between our submarine forces.”

Foggo continued saying that both navies have been operating together and sharing information for a long time.

“Our navies operated together during Odyssey Dawn and now during Unified Protector and we can’t thank the French navy enough for everything they do,” said Foggo.

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EU Readies Troop For “Humanitarian-Military” Deployment To Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110422/163654156.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 22, 2011

EU prepares humanitarian military mission to Libya – France

Moscow: The EU is preparing to launch a humanitarian military mission to the besieged Libyan city of Misrata within the next few days, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Christine Fages said on Friday.

An EU spokesman said on Thursday the organization was “ready to act” on a proposed humanitarian-military mission in Libya (EUFOR) as soon as the UN gave the green light.

“Because of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Libya, especially in Misrata, the multinational Joint Staff in Rome is preparing a humanitarian military mission,” Fages said.

Fages did not eleborate how the campaign would be carried out.
….
Earlier this week, Britain, France and Italy announced plans to send military consultants to Benghazi in eastern Libya to give support to the rebels.

On Friday Italian ambassador to Russia Antonio Zanardi Landi confirmed that Italy had sent 10 military advisers to Libya to protect civilians.

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Libya: Use Of Depleted Uranium, Partition And Regional Risks

http://allafrica.com/stories/201104220220.html

Pambazuka News
April 21, 2011

Libya: Use of Depleted Uranium, Partition and Regional Risks
Farouk James

-What is now very obvious is that the USA, the UK and France are calling for a full-scale and unabated invasion of Libya à la Iraq, or boots on the ground….The SAS (Special Air Service) and French Special Forces have been operating in the eastern part of Libya since the beginning and now mercenaries are being recruited at an alarming rate, all being told of imminent deployment and action in Libya, contrary to UNSCR-1973.

In the wake of NATO’s imposition of the ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya on 31 March, there is serious scepticism around the United States Pentagon’s denial of the use of depleted uranium (DU), writes Farouk James. With the US, the UK and France now calling for a full-scale invasion, James writes, the veto powers of the UN Security Council’s permanent members should be called into question once again.

On the night of 17 March 2011, holding its 6,498th meeting, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 (UNSCR-1973), approving a ‘no-fly zone’ (NFZ) over Libya, authorising all necessary measures to protect civilians by a vote of 10 in favour with 5 abstentions.

Most interesting to note was the fact that the five abstentions included two permanent veto-wielding member states (China and Russia), and three non-permanent states (Brazil, Germany and India), who coincidentally are vying for permanent seats in the Security Council. Most notably, the fact that the five members of the Security Council who are also members of an economic group of large emerging markets with the acronym BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) all happened to be on the Security Council at the same time is either a coincidence or a very bizarre occurrence.

NATO took on the role of imposing the NFZ over Libya on Thursday 31 March 2011, despite internal divisions among member states of NATO, most notably Turkey and Germany, and the daily flights and bombings continued unabated since then. UNSCR-1973 has provided the political and legal rationale for NATO bombing operations over Libya, with thousands of civilians killed and many more injured as a result of the daily bombings.

The NATO war against the sovereign government of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya proves that this is not a humanitarian war but one that is protecting the West’s interests in and around the oilfields mostly located in the eastern part of Libya, effectively partitioning the country contrary to international law and UNSCR-1973. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has now called for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all sides, including NATO, who are now openly backing the rebels with the sole intention of pushing out the legitimate government in Libya at any cost.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement that the Libyan armed forces had used cluster bombs in Misrata. The Libyan government has denied these charges and challenged HRW to prove them; most interestingly no casualties from cluster bombs have been confirmed in Misrata. Disturbingly, depleted uranium weapons have been used in Libya, both by the USA and subsequently by NATO upon assuming command and control of the NFZ responsibilities.

The United States Pentagon’s denial of use of depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been met with scepticism, especially considering USAF A-10 Warthog tank-buster aircraft deployed over Libya and given that the United States has a long history of only admitting to deploying DU radioactive material months or years after it has been used. Based on news video footage, it is more than likely that depleted uranium has been used more widely than originally thought since the USA has launched shells, bombs and cruise missiles containing depleted uranium in the past in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The use of DU weapons when the USA destroyed the city of Fallujah in Iraq reveals that there have been horrendous health conditions resulting from the US military deployment of these materials. Fallujah represented a stronghold of resistance to the US forces’ invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003-04. High rates of infections, birth defects and cancers have been reported that are the direct result of the use of DU weapons.

In addition, regionally the conflict in Libya could have a devastating effect in Niger and Mali where the nomadic Tuareg peoples in the Sahara Desert regions of northern Niger and Mali and southern Libya have been involved in a spate of kidnappings and armed uprisings known as the ‘Tuareg rebellion’. This is especially dangerous for northern Niger; this is where the town of Arlit, an industrial town, is located in the Agadez region, where uranium is mined by French companies in two large uranium mines (Arlit and Akouta).

Arlit was the subject of the Niger uranium forgeries when President George W. Bush, in the build-up to the (illegal) Iraq war, in his 2003 State of the Union address stated, ‘[t]he British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa,’ when it was alleged that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase ‘yellowcake’ uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis. These 16 words and the intelligence in this regard were later found to be baseless and rubbished by US intelligence agencies, albeit too late for innocent Iraqis who lost their lives over a lie during the war years.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who travelled to Niger to investigate the Iraq/yellowcake plot, concluded that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place, thus clearing Saddam Hussein of any re-starting of Iraq’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programme. Ambassador Wilson was punished for this by the outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent, allegedly by an official working in the then vice-president Dick Cheney’s Office in the White House, which was also the plot of the movie ‘Fair Game’ released in 2010.

What is now very obvious is that the USA, the UK and France are calling for a full-scale and unabated invasion of Libya à la Iraq, or boots on the ground. This has implications for the civilians in cities who support their legitimate government and Colonel Gaddafi, since it is being seen as a popular uprising when in effect it is confined to a few ‘rebellious types’ in the city of Benghazi. The SAS (Special Air Service) and French Special Forces have been operating in the eastern part of Libya since the beginning and now mercenaries are being recruited at an alarming rate, all being told of imminent deployment and action in Libya, contrary to UNSCR-1973.

The United Nations Security Council mandate has been a dinosaur, originally set up after the Second World War, with five permanent Security Council members (China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA) with veto powers. Until and unless the United Nations General Assembly takes decisive action to abolish the permanent seats structure and veto powers and expand the number of members to reflect the continents, the Security Council will continue to serve the privileged few nations while the rest are increasingly at risk of being ‘legally and legitimately’ bombed, invaded and occupied under the United Nations Security Council auspices.

Farouk James is an activist and observer of UN Security Council activities in terms of Peace-keeping Operations and Aid Agencies activities during periods of disasters, famine and conflict. Also monitors the activities of mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan, having investigated the activities of Custer-Battles LLC, a defence contractor who had embezzled millions of US Dollars in Iraq.

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Libya: The Destruction Of A Nation

http://allafrica.com/stories/201104220351.html

Pambazuka News
April 21, 2011

Libya: ‘The Destruction of a Nation’

-The people of the Maghreb are seeing the return of the former colonial powers, notably France, since its expulsion during the Algerian revolution.
The unclear UN mandate that the NATO alliance seized upon seems to have backfired, resulting in a stalemate. And Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, who joined and promoted this campaign, have gone silent. Libya is now seeing itself as a victim of Western aggression.
-What the West did to the rest of Africa before is being repeated in Libya right now. Unfortunately for Libya today, its proximity to Europe and its immense oil wealth has become a curse for it, which should not have been the case. Libya should be free to export its oil to whomever it wants, even to China. The world is now witnessing a new scramble for Africa over oil. There is also this new rivalry over African oil between the West and China.

NATO’s involvement in Libya is a simple case of egotistical self-interest and attempts at control on the part of the Western powers, writes Jenn Jagire: ‘One thing is clear: Libya did not attack any of these countries for this mighty alliance to bring out its entire arsenal against this small country and its traumatised people.’

Libya as a country supposedly freed from European colonisation has existed for quite some time. The country had particularly shaken off the shackles of Western colonialism and influence since 1960s.

With the closure in Libya of the British military base, and the closure of the biggest American military base outside the USA at that time by the Gaddafi regime, Libya could have angered the West, who never gave up the hope of regaining that country for imperial purposes.

So fierce was this independence, certain books promoting Western values above those of Libyans were seen as undesirable and burned to decolonise Libyan children’s education. Gaddafi’s role in decolonisation was also his contribution to ending apartheid in South Africa, as other people have written about. A pan-Africanist will not want to leave the African soil or their country for exile for good. Libya needs reforms, but first the end of the war.

Currently, since the implementation of the ‘no fly zone’ in Libya, Africa has seen American Tomahawks missiles spewed over Libya. So many were the missiles aimed at Libyan targets that the Telegraph reported that the navy could run short of Tomahawk missiles because one-fifth of the navy stockpile had already been used up against Libya within only a few days.

It is a ‘miracle’ that Libya has survived the assault and that there are still people alive in Libya today after such an aggressive campaign. The embarrassment that the alliance’s navy could be talking about now is not about civilian deaths, but rather the running-out of missiles before accomplishing the unpopular mission.

Who knows? It is not likely that the Tomahawks could not have killed women, children and babies along with their military targets. The airstrikes are tearing up the infrastructure in Libya, built over many years. The reconstruction of Libya will, no doubt, come after this country’s immense destruction. Then, of course, the Western contractors will come over to do some booming business.

The UN Security Council resolution that gave the opportunity to NATO to implement the ‘no fly zone’ has largely failed to ‘protect’ civilians. The ‘no fly zone’ over Libya has given way to infantry fighting that has seen the incompetent rebels largely defeated each time they tried to gain territory. The people of the Maghreb are seeing the return of the former colonial powers, notably France, since its expulsion during the Algerian revolution.

The unclear UN mandate that the NATO alliance seized upon seems to have backfired, resulting in a stalemate. And Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, who joined and promoted this campaign, have gone silent. Libya is now seeing itself as a victim of Western aggression. In an interview, Gaddafi admitted to feeling betrayed by the West whom he had supplied with oil while investing heavily there. The US alone has a population of more than 330 million people. Its bombing of Libya, together with other NATO alliance countries of Canada, the UK, France and Italy, makes this campaign a case of ‘Goliath attacking David.’

NATO is now not used for defence purposes or to ensure peace for its members, but to wage war in Libya and to test all their heavy weaponry, civilian deaths notwithstanding. One thing is clear: Libya did not attack any of these countries for this mighty alliance to bring out its entire arsenal against this small country and its traumatised people. The bombing of Libya, therefore, cannot be totally justified as the best way to protect civilians.

NATO’s involvement in trying to impose a kind of gun-point democracy should be blamed for fuelling a vicious civil war in Libya. France strategically recognised the ‘Libyan National Council’ in Benghazi, knowing very well such a hasty move was likely to divide the country. In fact, they exploited the traditional rivalry between Benghazi and Tripoli. France must be after something more than just taking a leading role in policing Libya. Recently, the Francophonie has lost some of its members. For example, in Rwanda and even parts of DR Congo, French as ‘the official language’ has largely been substituted. France may then have to recover from some of that loss by involving itself in some warlike activities in Africa to regain some ‘power’.

Moreover, Saif el Islam’s claim that Libya funded Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign could have humiliated him, and hence the haste in wanting to be seen as playing the major role in implementing the ‘no fly zone’ in Libya in order to fix things at home, with an impending presidential election round the corner. Africa can remember that when the Portuguese colonies of Africa were lost, it caused a revolution in Portugal itself. Western leaders use their ‘victories’ in Africa to promote themselves at home. Molefi Asante writes that some people in the West believe that ‘Africa is a continent that must be acted on’.

Again, nobody should believe that Sarkozy as France’s head is supporting a genuine revolution in Libya. France is better known for helping put down revolutions in Africa. For example, in 1976-77, France helped Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko put down a revolt in Kolwezi in Katanga province. In addition, it is now known that France was about to help put down the revolt in Tunisia, as its foreign minister was holidaying there. And French-speaking Tunisians of Arab origin are now being denied entry into France.

During the previous ‘peaceful’ years, France was a country better known for its ‘diplomacy’, so that if anyone was planning to become a ‘diplomat’ it was necessary to learn French. But even that tradition informed its colonial policy of assimilating the colonised. However, not even that assimilation is genuine, because in 2010 the world saw France cracking down on non-European citizens of France for rioting and burning cars due to the perpetual unemployment for some of them in the country. Rioters, especially descendants of African immigrants, were called obnoxious names by the right-wingers in France.

Again, right now the archaic tactic employed by some of the Western powers is that of the colonial era of ‘divide and conquer’. Apparently, the colonial ideology is being revived and recycled for the purpose of intervention in Libya. Meetings held in London and Berlin excluded AU (African Union) representatives. Perhaps the AU purposely boycotted such meetings. The African Union Chair Jean Ping has separately voiced his concern over the ignoring of the organisation when action was taken against Libya or where it was discussed. But does the AU want to be ‘included’ or coopted by the EU or NATO and be appointed or authorised by them to sort out Libya’s problems, where the West will take credit?

The call that the West makes to Gaddafi depart from his country is reminiscent of previous methods of deportations of African kings who resisted foreign intervention in their countries. The alliance leaders have repeatedly called on Gaddafi to ‘quit and go’ though it is not really clear if such a call will be heeded. Such a call, in itself, could be seen as dictatorial.

Earlier on in Uganda, the British dethroned and deported kings to the Seychelles islands to get their resistance out of the way. One of them, Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda, died in exile. Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro too was deported to the Seychelles where he lived for over 23 years in captivity before returning unceremoniously and tragically dying on his way back to his kingdom.

What the West did to the rest of Africa before is being repeated in Libya right now. Unfortunately for Libya today, its proximity to Europe and its immense oil wealth has become a curse for it, which should not have been the case. Libya should be free to export its oil to whomever it wants, even to China. The world is now witnessing a new scramble for Africa over oil. There is also this new rivalry over African oil between the West and China.

For example, what are French troops doing in Gabon, an ‘independent’ country? Gabon is oil-rich, but small. Moreover, the West’s efforts, in trying to delink Libya from Africa, can be read as racial prejudice towards Africans.

This prejudice is apparently ‘out in the open’ where Africa is portrayed as poor, wretched and infantilised, as not mature enough to have a voice to be heard, or mature enough to give a free hand in mediation in a place like Libya. Western leaders in the Libyan conflict have shown a preference for the Arab League, exalting and glorifying it over the AU. Some hidden agenda is apparent by the Western leaders in trying to pit Arabs against Africans on the continent. But Arabs in North Africa are African Arabs and cannot be delinked from Africa. Moreover, Arabs, even those in the ‘Middle East’, just like Africans, had been colonised by the West.

The purpose and urgency of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resuscitating the recently quiet Arab League, headquartered in Egypt with an Egyptian secretary general, was to try to use this organisation as a junior partner that would comply with the Western agenda of dividing up Libya for its oil wealth. But Egypt, where the Arab League is based, remains in Africa and drinks from the same water source of the Nile originating in Uganda and Ethiopia. Egypt and other North African states stand to gain more by remaining united with the rest of Africa. Moreover, there is nothing like ‘sub-Saharan Africa’ because it is a creation by the West in trying to delink the northern part of Africa from the rest of the continent.

The massacre of innocent people, including women and children, is of course undesirable. Moreover, the war situation created by the West in Libya is not particularly good for all Libyans, including women and children. What the world saw in the former Yugoslavia does not qualify European powers as the most humanitarian to justify their intervention in Libya to protect civilians. They did not do this in time to save women in Yugoslavia during ethnic cleansing.

Calling off this apocalyptic military campaign and leaving Libya to seek a political solution or, better still, an African solution, is the best idea. This war over Libyan oil is egoistic and imperialistic. The terrain is Libya and it is precarious, as more Libyans are being killed by the airstrikes from the sea and from the Libyan skies above. What we have seen is that it is a war that is senseless and needs a political solution. Already there is a so-called stalemate in the Libyan civil war and the West could be blamed for its role in the destruction of that country. With many wounded and maimed, as well as many dead since this unfortunate war, the UN has been misused.

[B]loggers have suggested that President Obama could have lost the support of African-Americans by 26 per cent because of the US role in the NATO bombing of Libya, a country in Africa.

====

NATO’s Aerial Onslaught In Libya: 3,300 Sorties, 1,373 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110422_110422-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 22, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,300 sorties and 1,373 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 April: 152

Strike sorties conducted 21 April: 62

Key Targets and Engagements

21 April: In vicinity of Tripoli: 8 ammunition storage bunkers.

In vicinity of Misurata: 1 tank, 1 anti-aircraft gun.

In vicinity of Zintan: 1 military vehicle.

In vicinity of Ajdabiya: 4 tanks, 5 military vehicles.

In vicinity of Brega: 2 tanks, 1 multiple rocket launcher.

In vicinity of Mizdah: 5 ammunition storage bunkers.

In vicinity of Sirte: 4 military trucks.
….

====

U.S. Introduces Armed Predator Drones For Libyan War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/22/c_13840190.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 22, 2011

U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

WASHINGTON: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drones in the military mission in Libya, and the unmanned aerial vehicles can provide unique capabilities to the NATO forces operating in the Northern African country.

Gates said the drones…have “capability that even the A10 and AC130 couldn’t provide.” A10 and AC130 were ground attacking planes introduced earlier that could decimate tanks and troops.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright, who briefed reporters together with Gates, said Predator drones’ ability to get lower than regular fighter jets allows the coalition to conduct low-level precision attacks on Libyan government forces.

He said the remote-controlled drones can provide better vision of the battleground….Their ability for “extended persistence” in targets, which means they can fly much longer periods of time than regular planes in the sky, brings capability to the conflict that NATO partners don’t have.

Predator drones can fly surveillance missions and fire Hellfire missiles. They were used extensively in Afghanistan, but Gates said the drones used in Libya did not come from Afghanistan.
….
Although the United States has handed over command of the Libyan mission to NATO, it still provides some of the most critical capabilities in the conflict, such as aerial refueling, jamming, surveillance and certain ground attack capabilities.

====

Benghazi: McCain Hails Rebels As “Heroes” As Drones Are Deployed

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2011/04/21/AFWELQKE_story.html

Washington Post
April 22, 2011

McCain visits Benghazi; Libyan rebels welcome armed drone aircraft
By Greg Jaffe, Edward Cody and William Branigin

Libyan rebels welcomed President Obama’s deployment of armed Predator drones and received praise from their most prominent U.S. visitor Friday, as they expressed hope that increased American support would help turn the tide in a conflict that the top U.S. military officer acknowledged is becoming deadlocked.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), an early proponent of helping the rebels in their fight against forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi, arrived Friday in Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital in eastern Libya, and told reporters that the anti-Gaddafi fighters are his heroes.

The previously unannounced visit came a day after the U.S. military sent the first two Predators to Libya but had to cut short their mission because of bad weather. McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was meeting with members of the Transitional National Council, the rebel government in Benghazi, to assess the situation. As he left a hotel in the city with a security detail, he said of the rebels, “They are my heroes,” the Associated Press reported.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conceded that the conflict in Libya is “certainly moving towards a stalemate,” even though he said airstrikes by U.S. and allied warplanes have reduced Gaddafi’s ground forces by “somewhere between 30 and 40 percent.”

Speaking to U.S. troops during a visit to the Iraqi capital, Mullen said the capabilities of those ground forces “will continue to go away over time,” Reuters news agency reported. Ultimately, he said, “Gaddafi’s gotta go,” and coalition actions “are going to continue to put the squeeze on him until he’s gone.” But he said it was unclear how long that would take. “Is he going to figure that out? I don’t know,” Mullen said.
….
Responding to the U.S. decision to deploy Predators, Benghazi-based rebel spokesman Abdul Hafidh Ghoga told al-Jazeera television: “There’s no doubt that will help protect civilians, and we welcome that step from the American administration.” Other rebels made similar comments.

The deployment deepened U.S. involvement in the stalemated conflict and once again put U.S. assets into a strike role against loyalist ground forces.

The U.S. military will continue to maintain at least two Predators over Libya at all times, officials said Thursday.
….
Armed drones are in heavy demand in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, and the announcement of their deployment to Libya seemed designed at least in part to send a message to Gaddafi that the United States remains invested in the conflict.

It also served as a demonstration of U.S. resolve to European allies, who have been pressing for greater involvement by the U.S. military in the weeks since it took on a supporting role in the mission.

Rebel forces in eastern Libya have failed to maintain advances from their Benghazi base and forward positions at the crossroads town of Ajdabiya. Their major prize in western Libya, Misurata, has come under relentless barrages from Libyan army artillery and rocket launchers, causing rebel leaders to plead for intervention by foreign ground troops.

On Thursday, rebels in Misurata were buoyed by news that armed drones had been deployed to the region. “It is wonderful news,” a rebel spokesman said.

He said that NATO airstrikes had helped drive loyalist forces back in the last couple of days…..

The armed Predators’ first mission over Libya was cut short Thursday because of bad weather. The unmanned aircraft can stay over an area for upwards of 12 hours at a stretch, making them much better at distinguishing rebel troops from loyalist forces than faster-moving fighter jets, which also must stay at higher altitudes.

Predators carry relatively small Hellfire missiles that are much more effective than precision guided bombs at striking enemy troops in heavily populated urban areas.
….
The drones could open up targets there were previously off-limits to NATO aircraft.

“The character of the fight has changed,” said Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff….

Libyan officials condemned the use of the drones as a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized intervention in Libya for the sole purpose of protecting civilians.

“On the contrary, they will kill more civilians, and this is very sad,” Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters in Tripoli. “What they are doing is undemocratic, illegitimate, and I hope they will reverse their decision.”

Both Britain and France have clearly stated that a major focus of the air campaign is to destroy Gaddafi’s military and weaken his grip on power. By their yardstick — helping rebel forces topple Gaddafi — the bombing campaign has fallen short.

No one inside the U.S. military expects that the Predators by themselves will be enough to break the stalemate between loyalist and rebel forces in Misurata or other key Libyan cities.

But Thursday, Gates, who had expressed deep skepticism about intervening in Libya, struck a somewhat optimistic note about the progress of the bombing campaign. The sustained strikes were slowly eroding Gaddafi’s ground forces. “Day after day, the capabilities of his military are being reduced,” Gates told reporters.
….
Some European officials have lamented the absence of U.S. A-10 Warthog ground-attack jets — specifically designed for close air support — and AC-130 gunships. While the low- and slow-flying planes were deployed in small numbers during the first two weeks of the campaign, they were rarely used because of fears they would be shot down by the Libyan army.

The Predators can fly at low altitudes without putting a pilot at risk. Last month Gates said that the Air Force was able to maintain about 48 Predators around the world at any given time.
….
Separately, State Department officials Thursday acknowledged delays in releasing $25 million in U.S. aid to the Libyan rebels. The decision to provide the non-lethal support — including vehicles, boots and body armor — was announced Wednesday to address what U.S. officials had described as an urgent need.

….

Cody reported from Brussels. Staff writers Simon Denyer and Joby Warrick and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

====

Libya: On The Eve Of A Ground Invasion?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/22/49322775.html

Voice of Russia
April 22, 2011

Libya on eve of a ground operation?
Konstantin Garibov

In an interview with the Voice of Russia aired on Friday, Vladimir Sotnikov, a Moscow-based Middle East expert, said that the beginning of the West’s ground military operation in Libya is just a question of time.

“I do not rule out that next week may well see the start of such an operation…,” Sotnikov concludes.

He is echoed by his colleague Vitaly Naumkin who warns against jumping to conclusions on the topic.

“Actually, something of a limited ground operation has already begun,” Naumkin argues, remaining skeptical of a full-fledged ground troop intervention in Libya, a move that he says must be endorsed by a relevant UN Security Council resolution, which has yet to be adopted.

Speaking to reporters in Ljubljana on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, warned against a Western ground operation in Libya.

“We are concerned about the latest developments in Libya, where all signs are that a ground operation is in the offing, Lavrov says. We consider such steps to be extremely risky and fraught with unpredictable consequences,” he added, urging a strict adherence to the UNSC’s no-fly-zone-over-Libya resolution, which stipulates protecting civilians from pro-Gaddafi forces’ air strikes.”

The statement came amid confirmed reports about the dispatch of British, French and Italian military experts to Libya, where they will be allegedly tasked with rendering logistical support to the rebels. This is a clear sign that the West is already taking sides in the ongoing civil war in Libya, analysts say.

Meanwhile, the UN’s aid chief Valery Amos has warned against accepting an EU offer of NATO military escorts to protect aid deliveries to Libya. She said that such escorts could put aid workers and the delivery of their supplies at unnecessary risk, right down to the killing of a UN or NATO representative. This may in turn be used as a pretext for the beginning of a ground operation in Libya, Amos said.

On Thursday, the United States asked Algeria for permission to use Algerian airspace for NATO military and transport aircraft in case of a possible ground military operation in Libya, according to Algeria’s Elkhabar newspaper.

The Pentagon also asked Algeria to help assess the potential backlash from such an operation, not least al-Qaeda’s possible expansion of its North African clout, the newspaper reported.

In the meantime, two US reconnaissance drones are making surveillance flights over the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, which experts says may be of great help to Western experts who are now on their way to Libya.

====

Libya: NATO Air Attack Kills Nine Including Utility Workers

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/22/libya-sirte-idUSLDE73L06Z20110422

Reuters
April 22, 2011

Nine killed in NATO attack on Sirte – Libyan TV

RABAT: Nine people were killed overnight in NATO bombardment of the Libyan city of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi’s home town, Libyan state television said on Friday.

The news bulletin of al-Jamahiriya said some of those killed were employees of the state water utility who were working during the attack.

(Reporting by Souhail Karam; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

====

Video And Text: Libyan Rebels Use French Missiles From Qatar

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8466913/Libyan-rebels-train-using-missiles-from-Qatar.html

Daily Telegraph
April 21, 2011

Libyan rebels train using missiles from Qatar
Anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya practise firing anti-tank rockets supplied by Qatar

Video

Libyan rebels have been using French-made MILAN missile launchers to practise hitting targets in the Libyan desert.

The MILAN is a wire guided missile system which means the operator must be able to see their target through the sights on the weapon before firing.

Qatar recently confirmed previously secret deliveries of weapons to the rebels claiming that it is permitted by the UN resolution to supply “defensive weapons”.

The UK government has so far refused calls to arm the rebels, pledging instead to send a team of military advisers to eastern Libya.

The 12 advisers will show Libya’s Transitional National Council “how to improve their military organisational structures, communications and logistics”, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said.

====

Video And Text: NATO Military Advisers In Libya: “Clear Launch Of Ground Conflict”

http://rt.com/news/send-military-forces-city/

RT
April 22, 2011

NATO may send military advisers to Libyan rebels

Video

Rebel forces have claimed a key city on the Tunisian border, in a rare victory over Gaddafi troops, but the win was overshadowed by shelling in Libya’s third-largest city Misrata. It has been under siege by pro-government forces for seven weeks.

­Meanwhile, the NATO allies have announced plans to send military advisers to the rebels’ headquarters to help the opposition break the stalemate with pro-government forces. However, Russia’s foreign minister warned that putting international officers on the ground could have unpredictable consequences.

“The latest developments in Libya are not making us happy,” he told a Thursday press conference in Ljubljana. “It’s a clear launch of a ground conflict. We consider these moves extremely risky which couldlead to unpredictable consequences.

“There’ve been cases in history when it all started with sending in military advisors, and then it dragged out for years and resulted in hundreds and thousands dead on both sides,” Lavrov reminded. “We call on all everyone to respect the UN resolution in solving this conflict.”

====

Belarus: U.S.-Backed Uprisings Destructive

http://news.belta.by/en/news/president?id=627076

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
April 21, 2011

Lukashenko: Nothing good can come out of a revolution

“They should come to the idea on their own. They should not be forced to do it by fighter jets and bombers.”

MINSK: Nobody needs revolutions that break relations and destroy countries. They can bring nothing but harm in the short term, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as he answered questions of Belarusian MPs on 21 April.

Alexander Lukashenko reminded “We’ve been always called revolutionaries. But we need no more revolutions, we have had enough”. He pointed out that the West, including the USA, are the most ardent revolutionaries now.

“They have mastered the methods used by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and are using them. It turns out they need revolutions. I wish revolutions would start in their country so that they would understand what a revolution is and what it costs,” said the President.

He believes a revolution may happen in the distant future and may bring some positive results if it aims for them. “But nobody needs revolutions that radically destroy relations and countries. In the near future they will bring nothing but harm, you will see,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

Alexander Lukashenko believes that things will get worse in Northern Africa. It is just the beginning.

Hosni Mubarak may have been bad and Muammar Gaddafi may have made mistakes. “But those are problems of their nations. The power configuration in Libya may be peculiar. Tribes play a very important role there. Why would we recommend creating political parties to them? They should come to the idea on their own. They should not be forced to do it by fighter jets and bombers,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

He believes that the rise of radicals to power there can have terrible consequences. “Look at Egypt. Mubarak is gone. The new government is not ready yet but they are dividing the pie already,” said Alexander Lukashenko. Revolutions have such consequences, he said.

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Will Ongoing Conflicts Lead To World War?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49280902.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

Will the ongoing conflicts lead to a world war?
Anna Forostenko

-“This is happening not so roughly and blankly like during the colour revolutions in the former Soviet republics. Clearly, the coordinators of these processes have learned to assess the specifics of each country creatively. At present, all is done skillfully, delicately, and accurately using various aspects of information technology for each country by taking into account local specifics.”
-According to several experts, Syria is becoming the battlefield where the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran clash.
Most likely, Saudi Arabia has a country to lean on, the United States. This means the entire region will face a serious conflict and world powers will be involved.

The conflicts in the Middle East and Africa are growing to inter-confessional proportions. An opinion poll conducted among experts by the Voice of Russia shows that they believe that in a worst-case scenario, these conflicts could lead to a world war.

The outcome of presidential election triggered clashes in Nigeria. According to official reports, incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, won 60 percent of votes, while his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari won only little more than 30 percent. The opposition is dissatisfied with the results. As a result, Buhari’s supporters launched attacks on Christians and even set fire to several churches. In response, young Christians attacked mosques.

Some experts draw a parallel between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, disintegration of which into North and South was averted only after the interference of the UN peacekeepers and the French forces. This means that Nigeria may experience a similar fate. It will have to get foreign assistance or it will disintegrate.

Meanwhile, the foreign factor could trigger disintegration of Libya, says a senior lecture of the political science faculty of the St. Petersburg University, Gumer Isaev.

“Libya will disintegrate only in case its situation is deadlocked. This will depend on whether there will be foreign interference or not. If foreign countries interfere, Libya will be divided into at least two parts,” Gumer Isaev said.

The head of the department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of the Institute of the CIS countries, Andrei Grozin disagrees with him. The historical borders of Libya were established artificially after the colonial rule, and consequently, the country will hardly remain within these borders in the future, says the expert.

It’s a different case that ongoing uprisings in several countries have been triggered only by internal problems such as unemployment, poor income, dissatisfied young people and privileges to a small group of people. Lately, a third force has been backing these uprisings, says Andrei Grozin.

“This is happening not so roughly and blankly like during the colour revolutions in the former Soviet republics. Clearly, the coordinators of these processes have learned to assess the specifics of each country creatively. At present, all is done skillfully, delicately, and accurately using various aspects of information technology for each country by taking into account local specifics, Andrei Grozin said.

Possibly, Salafis could be such a group in Syria. According to Syrian authorities, they are behind the unrest in Homs and Baniyas.

However, this could only be the tip of the iceberg. According to several experts, Syria is becoming the battlefield where the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran clash.

Most likely, Saudi Arabia has a country to lean on, the United States. This means the entire region will face a serious conflict and world powers will be involved.

This will be a conflict between various political orientations. Saudi Arabia will be backed by the U.S. and several countries of the European Union, while Iran will be supported by third world nations and perhaps China.

However, neither the U.S nor the EU tries to think about such a scenario. At present, the process is almost unnoticeable but if it goes out of control, emergency steps should be taken.

====

Russia Fears Civil War In Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/22/49316767.html

Voice of Russia
April 22, 2011

Russia fears civil war in Syria

A dialogue within Syria should be stimulated to prevent a civil war, the head of Russia’s State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov told reporters on Friday.

He also noted that a war in Syria can trigger unrest in the neighboring countries, for example in Lebanon.
….

—————————————————————————

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/22/c_13841156.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 22, 2011

U.S. urges Syria to do more on reform

WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Thursday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to do more on reform amid protests in the country.

“I can’t even begin to guess about Assad’s future,” said Toner when asked to respond to comment by a former Syrian official who said Assad “is likely to be overthrown.”

“He’s certainly facing a serious challenge from the Syrian people,” he said.

Al-Assad approved on Thursday the cabinet draft law of lifting the 48- year state of emergency which has been in place since the ruling Baath Party came to power.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 21, 2011

April 22, 2011 2 comments

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Updates on Libyan War: April 21

====

Will Ongoing Conflicts Lead To World War?

Clinton: NATO Will Remain A Nuclear Alliance

U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Europe: Threat Of The Fourth Phase

French Marine Killed, Nine Wounded In Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Child Among 17 Killed In NATO Air Strike

Canada To Deploy 950 Military Trainers To Afghanistan

NATO Tankers Destroyed In Balochistan

“Country’s Most Valuable Export”: NATO Trains 400 Iraqi Oil Police

U.S. Guided Missile Warship In Senegal For Africa Partnership Station Training

Bulgaria To Spend $1.5 Billion On NATO-Compatible Weapons

Kosovo: NATO, EU Integration To Finalize “Independence”

Belarus: U.S.-Backed Uprisings Destructive

====

Will Ongoing Conflicts Lead To World War?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49280902.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

Will the ongoing conflicts lead to a world war?
Anna Forostenko

-“This is happening not so roughly and blankly like during the colour revolutions in the former Soviet republics. Clearly, the coordinators of these processes have learned to assess the specific of each country creatively. At present, all is done skillfully, delicately, and accurately using various aspects of information technology for each country by taking into account local specifics.”
-According to several experts, Syria is becoming the battlefield where the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran clash.
Most likely, Saudi Arabia has a country to lean on, the United States. This means the entire region will face a serious conflict and world powers will be involved.

The conflicts in the Middle East and Africa are growing to inter-confessional proportions. An opinion poll conducted among experts by the Voice of Russia shows that they believe that in a worst-case scenario, these conflicts could lead to a world war.

The outcome of presidential election triggered clashes in Nigeria. According to official reports, incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, won 60 percent of votes, while his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari won only little more than 30 percent. The opposition is dissatisfied with the results. As a result, Buhari’s supporters launched attacks on Christians and even set fire to several churches. In response, young Christians attacked mosques.

Some experts draw a parallel between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, disintegration of which into North and South was averted only after the interference of the UN peacekeepers and the French forces. This means that Nigeria may experience a similar fate. It will have to get foreign assistance or it will disintegrate.

Meanwhile, the foreign factor could trigger disintegration of Libya, says a senior lecture of the political science faculty of the St. Petersburg University, Gumer Isaev.

“Libya will disintegrate only in case its situation is deadlocked. This will depend on whether there will be foreign interference or not. If foreign countries interfere, Libya will be divided into at least two parts,” Gumer Isaev said.

The head of the department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of the Institute of the CIS countries, Andrei Grozin disagrees with him. The historical borders of Libya were established artificially after the colonial rule, and consequently, the country will hardly remain within these borders in the future, says the expert.

It’s a different case that ongoing uprisings in several countries have been triggered only by internal problems such as unemployment, poor income, dissatisfied young people and privileges to a small group of people. Lately, a third force has been backing these uprisings, says Andrei Grozin.

“This is happening not so roughly and blankly like during the colour revolutions in the former Soviet republics. Clearly, the coordinators of these processes have learned to assess the specific of each country creatively. At present, all is done skillfully, delicately, and accurately using various aspects of information technology for each country by taking into account local specifics, Andrei Grozin said.

Possibly, Salafis could be such a group in Syria. According to Syrian authorities, they are behind the unrest in Homs and Baniyas.

However, this could only be the tip of the iceberg. According to several experts, Syria is becoming the battlefield where the interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran clash.

Most likely, Saudi Arabia has a country to lean on, the United States. This means the entire region will face a serious conflict and world powers will be involved.

This will be a conflict between various political orientations. Saudi Arabia will be backed by the U.S. and several countries of the European Union, while Iran will be supported by third world nations and perhaps China.

However, neither the U.S nor the EU tries to think about such a scenario. At present, the process is almost unnoticeable but if it goes out of control, emergency steps should be taken.

====

Clinton: NATO Will Remain A Nuclear Alliance

http://www.state.gov/t/avc/rls/161470.htm

U.S. Department of State
April 20, 2011

Remarks at the United States Naval Academy
Rose Gottemoeller
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Annapolis, MD

As prepared

….
Two years ago in Prague, President Obama spoke about his vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and recognized the need to create the conditions to bring about such a world.
….
NATO is conducting a Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) to determine how to translate NATO’s new Strategic Concept adopted at the Lisbon NATO Summit in 2010 into practical steps designed to strengthen NATO’s collective security and defense in this evolving security environment.

The NATO Lisbon Summit Declaration makes clear that the Alliance will seek to create the conditions needed to reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons assigned to NATO. As part of this effort, we will be working with NATO to shape an approach to reduce the role and number of forward-based U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, as Russia takes reciprocal steps to reduce its non-strategic nuclear weapons and relocate them away from NATO’s borders.

At the end of last week, Secretary Clinton joined her NATO Foreign Ministerial counterparts in Berlin where she discussed how NATO’s ongoing Deterrence and Defense Posture Review can be used to advance these efforts, building on the five principles that she first outlined in Tallinn a year ago. These principles are as follows:

•First, we should recognize that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance;
•Second, as a nuclear Alliance, sharing nuclear risks and responsibilities widely is fundamental;
….
•Fourth, Allies must broaden deterrence against the range of 21st Century threats, including by pursuing territorial missile defense, conducting Article 5 training and exercises, and drafting additional contingency plans to counter new threats to the Alliance;
•And fifth, in any future reductions, our aim should be to seek Russian agreement to increase transparency on non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe, relocate these weapons away from the territory of NATO members, and include non-strategic nuclear weapons in the next round of U.S.-Russian arms control discussions alongside strategic and non-deployed nuclear weapons.

Through the DDPR, NATO will determine the appropriate mix of capabilities needed to deter and defend against existing and emerging threats to the Alliance. The mix of capabilities will include conventional, nuclear and missile defense.

In Berlin, Secretary Clinton reiterated the U.S. commitment to addressing the disparity in non-strategic weapons between the United States and Russia in the next arms control negotiation….
….

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U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Europe: Threat Of The Fourth Phase

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49276706.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

The threat of the fourth phase

Natalya Romashkina, professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences:

We know that NATO started their plan of the antiballistic missile system in Europe in March this year. This is the first part of the plan that will be realized till the end of the year. This plan includes 4 stages, as I know.

The second phase of the project should come into effect by 2015. At this stage there will be developed improved radar stations and SM-3 Block IB missiles.

The third phase should be realized by 2018, the USA will develop SM-3 Block IIA batteries.

At last the fourth stage is expected to be realized by 2020. It will be in Europe. The third phase as I know regarding this USA plan could be in Poland and the second phase could be in Romania. Russia is excited only with the fourth stage, very important.

The first three stages do not undermine Russia’s security and the realization of the fourth stage will allow the USA to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles and medium-range missiles and be able to threaten Russia’s potential. So only the fourth stage could be threatening for the Russian Federation. And it will be around 2020.
….

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French Marine Killed, Nine Wounded In Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49237269.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

One French Marine killed, 9 wounded in Afghanistan

One French soldier was killed and nine were wounded by an improvised explosive device during an operation against the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province Wednesday.

A corporal with the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment died and nine fellow marines were injured by the blast, bringing to 56 the overall number of French nationals killed since the start of the US-led invasion in 2001.

About 4,000 French soldiers are deployed under NATO command with ISAF forces in Afghanistan in the conflict against Taliban insurgents.

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Afghanistan: Child Among 17 Killed In NATO Air Strike

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=5453&Cat=13&dt=4/21/2011

The News International
April 21, 2011

17 killed in Nato air strike

ASADABAD: A child was among three civilians who died in a Nato air strike in eastern Afghanistan which also killed 14 insurgents, local officials said on Wednesday.

The attack by the Nato-led ISAF happened late on Tuesday in the Dangam district of Kunar province. “Fourteen militants, among them some Arab and Pakistani nationals, and three civilians have been killed in last night’s air strikes,” provincial governor Wahidi said.

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Canada To Deploy 950 Military Trainers To Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49285141.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

Canada sends trainers to Afghanistan

Canada is ready to send 950 military trainers to Afghanistan.

They will be deployed in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat up to March 2014.

Now 3,000 Canadian troops are located in the south of the country near Kandahar.

They are to leave the country by late 2011.

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NATO Tankers Destroyed In Balochistan

http://tribune.com.pk/story/153684/two-nato-tankers-torched-in-balochistan/

Express Tribune
April 21, 2011

Two Nato tankers torched in Balochistan

QUETTA: Gunmen on a motorcycle attacked and torched two tankers carrying fuel for Western forces in Afghanistan in Bolan, 70 km east of Quetta, in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, paramilitary officials in the region said.

The bulk of supplies and equipment required by foreign troops in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan.

Nato trucks and tankers are regularly targeted with arson attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt supply to foreign troops in Afghanistan.

In January, The Express Tribune reported that Pakistani officials had blamed Nato for rejecting a security plan that Islamabad had unveiled to Western states last year to curb the growing number of attacks on the supply tankers.

The plan was unveiled to Nato officials in a meeting in Islamabad last year where Balochistan government officials were also present. British diplomats agreed to the plan but Nato officials rejected it without citing any reason.

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“Country’s Most Valuable Export”: NATO Trains 400 Iraqi Oil Police

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424202918.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

252 Iraqi Oil Police students graduate

-“This training strengthens the partnership between NATO and Iraq, paving the way for an enduring post-2011 relationship.”

BAGHDAD: NATO Training Mission-Iraq conducted a graduation ceremony for 252 Iraqi Oil Police upon completion of the third Oil Police training course at Camp Dublin on April 19.

“I am honoured to attend this ceremony in recognition of the outstanding achievement of these 252 students here before us,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commander NATO Training Mission-Iraq. “This program is another example of Iraq’s long-term commitment to providing internal security and stability for its citizens.

The Oil Police serve as an indication of the dramatic improvement in all of Iraq’s security forces,” he said.

“You protect and secure your country’s most valuable export,” said Ferriter, who has served as NTM-I’s commanding officer since January….
….
To date more than 400 Oil Police have been trained by the Italian Carabinieri at Camp Dublin.
….
A number of top students are selected from each course to serve as instructors for future Oil Police course.

“Some of you will return here to become an instructor,” Ferriter said. “You will create your own instructor base so that very shortly you will have Iraqi Oil Police instructors training your fellow policemen, as our Carabinieri continue to provide the world’s best specialized training.

“I want to thank the NATO Training Mission-Iraq, the Italian government, and the Carabinieri for their hard work, dedication, and commitment of resources to provide this excellent training,” Ferriter said.

“This training strengthens the partnership between NATO and Iraq, paving the way for an enduring post-2011 relationship,” he said. “Training partnerships through NTM-I have created an enduring relationship that helps to preserve the progress achieved so far and increases the capability of Iraq’s Police Forces.”

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship In Senegal For Africa Partnership Station Training

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59898

Navy NewsStand
April 21, 2011

Robert G. Bradley Continues APS, Arrives in Dakar, Senegal
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Darryl Wood, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/ Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

DAKAR, Senegal: Guided-missile frigate USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) arrived in Dakar, Senegal, April 20, for its second multinational exercise during Africa Partnership Station (APS) West.
….
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.

“Saharan Express will be a great opportunity for our boarding team and search and rescue (SAR) team to evaluate and train with our African partners” said Lt. j.g. James Carles, Robert G. Bradley boarding officer….

During the exercise, Robert G. Bradley Sailors will conduct SAR operations with the Cape Verde navy. They will also conduct office calls, give tours of the ship, hold a reception onboard and conduct a military-to-military community relations project with Cape Verde navy.

Robert G. Bradley, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Bulgaria To Spend $1.5 Billion On NATO-Compatible Weapons

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/7358140.html

Xinhua News Agency
April 22, 2011

Bulgaria to spend 1.5 billion U.S. dollars on defense

Bulgaria will spend 1.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 on defense procurement, such as acquisition of new systems and support, officials said here Thursday.

Presenting the new investment plan for the next 10 years, Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov said 13 projects, such as the purchase of eight NATO-compatible multirole fighters and anti-ship missile complexes for three Bulgarian E-71 Wielingen class frigates, were included in the plan.

Building a battalion-size battle group with the support of 16 MiG-29 fighters made up the backbone of Bulgaria’s current air defense, Angelov said.

In addition, modernization of navigation systems and development of technical systems for strategic intelligence are part of the program, according to the minister.
….
The minister said defense expenditure this year would be 40 million dollars and would reach 1.5 billion dollars in total by 2020 if the budget of the Defense Ministry at the rate of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product each year.

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Kosovo: NATO, EU Integration To Finalize “Independence”

http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/setimes/newsbriefs/2011/04/21/nb-08

Southeast European Times
April 21, 2011

Kosovo wants constitutional amendment on supervised independence

PRISTINA, Kosovo: The government aims to make constitutional changes that would end the supervised independence by the international community. Addressing his cabinet on Wednesday (April 20th), Prime Minister Hashim Thaci stressed that these changes will be made along with the changes in election laws. Thaci’s first deputy, Hajredin Kuci agreed, telling reporters that “Upon our approximation with NATO and the EU, the need for international supervision should be reduced.”

Independence supervisors say that the completion of this process depends exclusively on progress in Kosovo. Pieter Feith, head of the International Civilian Office, said “the country is making progress, but there are some unfinished issues, such as the North.” He commented after a meeting with Culture Minister Memli Krasniqi. (Telegrafi, Kohavision, RTK, Klan Kosova – 20/04/11)

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Belarus: U.S.-Backed Uprisings Destructive

http://news.belta.by/en/news/president?id=627076

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
April 21, 2011

Lukashenko: Nothing good can come out of a revolution

http://news.belta.by/en/news/president?id=627076

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
April 21, 2011

Lukashenko: Nothing good can come out of a revolution

“They should come to the idea on their own. They should not be forced to do it by fighter jets and bombers.”

MINSK: Nobody needs revolutions that break relations and destroy countries. They can bring nothing but harm in the short term, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as he answered questions of Belarusian MPs on 21 April.

Alexander Lukashenko reminded “We’ve been always called revolutionaries. But we need no more revolutions, we have had enough”. He pointed out that the West, including the USA, are the most ardent revolutionaries now.

“They have mastered the methods used by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and are using them. It turns out they need revolutions. I wish revolutions would start in their country so that they would understand what a revolution is and what it costs,” said the President.

He believes a revolution may happen in the distant future and may bring some positive results if it aims for them. “But nobody needs revolutions that radically destroy relations and countries. In the near future they will bring nothing but harm, you will see,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

Alexander Lukashenko believes that things will get worse in Northern Africa. It is just the beginning.

Hosni Mubarak may have been bad and Muammar Gaddafi may have made mistakes. “But those are problems of their nations. The power configuration in Libya may be peculiar. Tribes play a very important role there. Why would we recommend creating political parties to them? They should come to the idea on their own. They should not be forced to do it by fighter jets and bombers,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

He believes that the rise of radicals to power there can have terrible consequences. “Look at Egypt. Mubarak is gone. The new government is not ready yet but they are dividing the pie already,” said Alexander Lukashenko. Revolutions have such consequences, he said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Roger Martin du Gard: From Nobel Prize in Literature speech

April 21, 2011 Comments off

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

Roger Martin du Gard: Selections on war

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Roger Martin du Gard
From speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm
December 10, 1937

I should like to conclude with a more sombre hypothesis, although I am embarrassed to disturb this festive mood by arousing those painful thoughts that haunt all of us. However, perhaps the Swedish Academy did not hesitate to express a special purpose by drawing the attention of the intellectual world to the author of L’Été 1914 [Summer 1914].

That is the title of my last book. It is not for me to judge its value. But at least I know what I set out to do: in the course of these three volumes I tried to revivify the anguished atmosphere of Europe on the eve of the mobilizations of 1914. I tried to show the weakness of the governments of that day, their hesitations, indiscretions, and unavowed desires; I tried above all to give an impression of the stupefaction of the peaceful masses before the approach of that cataclysm whose victims they were going to be, that cataclysm which was to leave nine million men dead and ten million men crippled.

When I see that one of the highest literary juries in the world supports these books with the prestige of its incontestable authority, I ask myself whether the reason may not be that these books through their wide circulation have appeared to defend certain values that are again being threatened and to fight against the evil contagion of the forces of war.

For I am a son of the West, where the noise of arms does not let our minds rest. Since we have come together today on the tenth of December, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel (that man of action, “no mere shadow,” who in the last years of his life seems indeed to have put his supreme hope in the brotherhood of nations), permit me to confess how good it would be to think that my work – the work that has just been honoured in his name – might serve not only the cause of letters, but even the cause of peace.

In these months of anxiety in which we are living, when blood is already being shed in two extreme parts of the globe, when practically everywhere in an atmosphere polluted by misery and fanaticism passions are seething around pointed guns, when too many signs are again heralding the return of that languid defeatism, that general consent which alone makes wars possible: at this exceptionally grave moment through which humanity is passing, I wish, without vanity, but with a gnawing disquietude in my heart, that my books about Summer 1914 may be read and discussed, and that they may remind all – the old who have forgotten as well as the young who either do not know or do not care – of the sad lesson of the past.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan War: April 21

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Clinton Compares Libyan War To 1999 War Against Yugoslavia

Libya Arms Civilians To Repel NATO Ground Attack

Obama Deploys Predator Drones, Hellfire Missiles For Attacks In Libya

Libyan War: British Defense, Military Chiefs To Ask U.S. For Reaper Drones

Russia Says NATO Trainers In Libya Prelude To Invasion

U.S. Seeks Use Of Algerian Airpace For NATO Invasion Of Libya

Libya: West Risks Large-Scale War, Destabilization Of North Africa

NATO’s North African War: 3,148 Air Missions, 1,311 Air Strikes

Like Afghanistan And Iraq: Libyan War Has Economic, Geopolitical Motives

British Fighter Jets, Nuclear Submarine Target Libya

NATO Warplanes Bomb Libyan Capital, Kill Seven Civilians

New Suez Intervention: Britain Returns To North Africa

Russia Warns Against Ground Operation In Libya

Russian Air Defense Drills Take Libyan Events Into Account

Russian Foreign Minister: Arab Nations Need Dialogue, Not Foreign Interference

United Arab Emirates: Foreign Minister Says NATO’s Libyan War Successful, Yemen Next

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Clinton Compares Libyan War To 1999 War Against Yugoslavia

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5irUgw_3XH5tv2TXQYqnq6CaI0S1w?docId=CNG.9ea60fb38cd63202043ecd72699f62f9.4a1

Agence France-Presse
April 21, 2011

Clinton compares Libya campaign to 1999 Kosovo

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for patience in judging the NATO campaign in Libya, comparing it to the 1999 Kosovo intervention that ended up ousting Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

“We’ve been at this a relatively short period of time,” Clinton said. “I would remind you that the United States and other partners bombed targets in Serbia for 78 days.”

In 1999, a NATO operation was launched to push forces loyal to the former Yugoslav president out of the province of Kosovo, where they led a campaign against separatist Kosovar Albanians.

Clinton said the campaign was a success in protecting Kosovars, but Milosevic remained in power.

“But,” Clinton said, “there had been a dynamic put into motion that eventually led to his being in The Hague,” before an international criminal court.

Milosevic was accused of crimes against humanity. He died before completion of his trial.

On Libya, Clinton said strikes on the city of Misrata represent an “inhumanity” [sic] by forces loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi. Regime forces, she said, are “engaged in activities that are deplorable and which target directly civilians.”

“But the opposition fighters are holding their own against that onslaught,” she added, attributing that in part to the NATO action.
….
Also Thursday, Clinton and Uri Rosenthal, the Dutch minister of foreign affairs, discussed “ways to put more of a financial pressure on Kadhafi’s regime,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Most governments have frozen bank accounts held by Kadhafi and his family.

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Libya Arms Civilians To Repel NATO Ground Attack

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201104212102-cro-ren1097-tripoli_weapons_to_civilians_against_a_nato_attack

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
April 21, 2011

TRIPOLI: WEAPONS TO CIVILIANS AGAINST A NATO ATTACK

Tripoli – Libyan authorities are arming the civilian population in order to resist a possible NATO land attack.

The news was given by the government spokesperson, Mussa Ibrahim: “Many towns are organizing defense squads in order to resist a possible NATO invasion,” he explained, adding that the “whole population” has been equipped with rifles and handguns. “If NATO arrives in Misurata or in any other Libyan town, all hell will break loose. The coalition troops will face a ball of fire and the situation will be ten times worse than in Iraq”, Ibrahim warned.
—————————————————————————

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE73K1TR20110421

Reuters
April 21, 2011

Libya arming civilians to fight any NATO attack
Libya says any NATO ground attack would unleash “hell”
By Lin Noueihed

TRIPOLI: Libya urged rebels on Thursday to sit down to peace talks but said it was arming and training civilians to confront any possible ground attack by NATO forces.

“Many cities have organised themselves into squads to fight any possible NATO invasion,” government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said, adding that authorities were handing out rifles and guns.

“If NATO comes to Misrata or any Libyan city we will unleash hell upon NATO. We will be a ball of fire….We will make it 10 times as bad as Iraq.”

The comments came a day after France promised Libyan rebels it would intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and send military liaison officers to help them.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has spearheaded the U.N.-backed NATO intervention, did not say how NATO-led forces would break the deadlock on the ground after the United States and several European allies declined to join ground strikes.

The expansion of the intervention beyond initially enforcing a no-fly zone and limited airstrikes has raised some fears of a slow creep into a protracted and costly conflict.

“We are arming the whole population, not to fight the rebels,” Ibrahim said. “What we are fighting is NATO and if NATO thinks of coming on land to occupy any city in Libya they will not be confronted by the Libyan army but they will be confronted by the Libyan tribes, young Libyan men and women.”

In Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city and the only one still held by rebels in the West of the country, Gaddafi loyalists and rebels were fighting a ferocious battle.

Ibrahim said government forces were in control of 80 percent of Misrata – besieged by pro-Gaddafi troops for seven weeks.

Rebels were in control only of the port and the nearby Kirzas area, Ibrahim said, adding that the government had evacuated tens of thousands of people from the city and was working with the Red Cross to ensure humanitarian aid.

“We welcome international help but we do not accept any international humanitarian aid to come with military cover. This is a direct occupation of Libya and we will fight against it, the nation and not just the army,” he said.

“The tribes in Misrata and outside Misrata have all declared that they are with the legitimate government of this country.”

PEACE INITIATIVES

Ibrahim called on the international community to press the rebels to reconsider an African Union peace plan they rejected this month or come up with other initiatives rather than force.

“We are saying to everyone in the eastern part of the country and to everyone outside Libya, we need to sit down and talk and get Libya out of this crisis,” he said.

Libya’s government accepted an African Union peace plan earlier this month that called for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, dialogue and a transitional period, but the rebels rejected the plan as it does not guarantee Gaddafi’s exit.

“We are challenging Britain and France especially. We are challenging the rebels to come to a political process without preconditions. The only precondition should be that no political solution is imposed from without Libya,” Ibrahim said.

“Our ministers and officials are travelling to Africa to activate this road map but we are also ready for war. If NATO comes it will be hell.”

(Reporting by Lin Noueihed in Tripoli; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Obama Deploys Predator Drones, Hellfire Missiles For Attacks In Libya

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/world/africa/22military.html

New York Times
April 21, 2011

Obama Sends Armed Drones to Help NATO in Libya War
By Thom Shanker

-The Predator remotely piloted aircraft, outfitted with Hellfire missiles, has been used with effectiveness against pinpoint targets in urban and rural areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen and is a signature weapon of the American military.

WASHINGTON: President Obama has authorized the use of armed Predator drones to attack Libya government forces fighting the rebellion against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as NATO struggles to regain momentum since taking command of the operation from the United States.

The deployment of armed Predators, announced Thursday by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, was in part a reaction to changing tactics by the Qaddafi forces…making them difficult to identify and attack by high-flying NATO fighters and bombers.

The Predator remotely piloted aircraft, outfitted with Hellfire missiles, has been used with effectiveness against pinpoint targets in urban and rural areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen and is a signature weapon of the American military.

But the challenges of the Libyan intervention were apparent again Thursday, when the Predators were sent aloft on their first missions but turned back due to bad weather.

Other NATO nations do not fly armed Predators, although they have unarmed versions for reconnaissance and targeting purposes, and the decision by Mr. Obama to add these weapons to the Libya operation was viewed as another example of the struggle to fill gaps in NATO’s capability to carry out a complicated, extended combat mission with significant American support.

Those gaps have become more apparent as the United States transferred command of the Libya operation to NATO and stepped back to a supporting role.

“The president has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those,” Mr. Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

“And in fact he has approved the use of armed Predators,” the defense secretary added. “So I think that will give us some precision capability.”

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Libyan War: British Defense, Military Chiefs To Ask U.S. For Reaper Drones

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8467101/Libya-Liam-Fox-to-ask-US-for-unmanned-drones.html

Daily Telegraph
April 21, 2011

Libya: Liam Fox to ask US for unmanned drones
By Thomas Harding and Jon Swaine

Liam Fox will make a top level visit to Washington next week to ask for desperately needed unmanned drones in the war over Libya.

The Defence Secretary will be joined by Gen Sir David Richards, the head of the Armed Forces, on the mission to drum up greater air support from the Americans who withdrew their combat fighters from Libya earlier this month.

Dr Fox and Gen Richards will meet their counterparts the American Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in a bid for American assistance.

They will request Reaper armed drones in order to patrol the skies above the besieged town of Misurata with the ability to strike at very short notice.

Nato is experiencing difficulties in getting air power over the port town in time to hit targets as it takes more than an hour to fly jets from southern Italy, although they can remain overhead with air-to-air refueling.

Air force chiefs are growing frustrated that Col Muammar Gaddafi’s tanks or artillery fire off a couple of rounds then withdraw into cover before they can be hit.

The bid has also been made because Nato does not have enough ground attack aircraft to remain permanently overhead “manning a kill box”.

Dr Fox is also likely to ask about resupply of Paveway bombs and Tomahawk missiles that have been used in large numbers over Libya.

The trip has been planned as a Labour peer who is the UN’s humanitarian chief criticised the despatch of British military personnel to Libya to assist rebel fighters against Muammar Gaddafi.

Lady Amos, who has become a key figure in restraining western intervention in the country, suggested the arrival of senior British officers could “blur the line” between military and aid missions.
….
Lady Amos vetoed a plan for the deployment of up to 1,000 EU troops to secure aid missions has been drawn up by senior officials including Lady Ashton, another Labour peer, who is the EU’s foreign policy chief.

But Baroness Amos refused to issue the request.

Aid agencies on the ground have also stressed they do not want to endanger workers by having them associated with armed forces.

Having at least three of the drones would ensure 24 hour coverage over Misurata where the bombardments continued yesterday.

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Russia Says NATO Trainers In Libya Prelude To Invasion

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201104211400-pol-ren1044-moscow_says_nato_trainers_in_libya_prelude_to_invasion

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
April 21, 2011

MOSCOW SAYS NATO TRAINERS IN LIBYA PRELUDE TO INVASION

Ljubljana: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov expressed concerns at NATO plans to send military instructors to Libya.

The move, according to Moscow, could prove to be the first step towards military intervention on land.

A scenario which Lavrov characterised as “extremely risky and unpredictable in terms of its consequences.”

Speaking during an aside in Ljubljana, he underscored how the joint French, British and Italian resolve to assist Libya’s insurgents could prove to be just the first step towards outright intervention. “There are several past instances of wars starting with military instructor missions”, Lavrov said. “Things then dragged on for years and thousands ended up dying on either side.”

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U.S. Seeks Use Of Algerian Airpace For NATO Invasion Of Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110421/163633415.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 21, 2011

NATO asks Libya’s neighbors for assistance in fight against Gaddafi

-The Libyan National Transitional Council’s foreign relations department head, Ali al-Assaoui, said the rebels need military aid and weapons and did not rule out that “Arab, Muslim, and friendly forces on Libyan soil” may be needed to rout out Gaddafi.

Cairo: Western powers involved in a military operation in Libya have asked the country’s neighbors for help in defending rebels against President Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Algeria’s Elkhabar paper reported on Thursday.

The paper said the NATO-led coalition asked for assistance after admitting that it had underestimated the combat capability of Gaddafi’s troops.

NATO asked Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Niger and Chad to close their borders to high-ranking officials and other representatives of Gaddafi’s regime, and prevent imports of military and dual purpose products, including four-wheel drives.

The paper also said that the United States had asked Algeria for permission to use Algerian airspace for NATO military and transport aircraft in case of a possible ground military operation.

But since the country already refused a similar request from France, the appeal is unlikely to be accepted, the paper said.
….
Despite [thousands] of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi’s forces, government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.

The Libyan National Transitional Council’s foreign relations department head, Ali al-Assaoui, said the rebels need military aid and weapons and did not rule out that “Arab, Muslim, and friendly forces on Libyan soil” may be needed to rout out Gaddafi.

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Libya: West Risks Large-Scale War, Destabilization Of North Africa

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49285353.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

Libyan tangle: NATO is frustrated
Igor Siletsky

Libyan rebels believe that only a British and French intervention can save civilians in the country. The rebels in Misrata, which is under siege, have urged the NATO coalition to launch a ground operation. In response, London and Paris pledged to launch more air attacks on government facilities and send military advisers to help the rebels. Moscow has warned the European Union that a ground operation will be fraught with serious consequences and referred to experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our commentary is by Igor Siletsky.

Several senior officers of the British Army will leave for Libya to help the rebels. According to London, they will be accommodated in Benghazi and will try to form a battle-worthy force from the isolated groups.

Meanwhile, France said that a few communications officers will work with the Provisional National Council to protect civilians.

Both countries reject reports that the sending of advisers is linked to a possible ground invasion of Libya. At the same time, the military insist that the problem of Gaddafi cannot be solved only by air attacks. In short, the story reminds of a knot, which is almost impossible to undo as the coalition imagined originally.

Disappointment over the coalition’s action is growing among the so-called “fighters for democracy”. London-based The Financial Times, quoting a senior NATO official, says that the landing of forces in Libya will sharply escalate the conflict. This may split the alliance since many members have no intention to become involved in launching air attacks. Consequently, NATO officers have concluded that there is a need to find a political solution to solve the crisis. The NATO official ended his interview saying that he is frustrated.

During the coalition operation in Libya it has become clear that the West’s target was Gaddafi. Recently, Britain and France have insisted on the need to adopt a new UN resolution that can pave the way for liberating Libya from Gaddafi. It seems that Washington supports such a move. In these circumstances many people are asking whether the West has prepared the fate of Saddam Hussein for Gaddafi. This is logical when taking into account the fact that the coalition is stubbornly rejecting calls by Libyan leaders for holding negotiations. In fact, Tripoli said it was ready to carry out reforms, adopt a constitution and hold elections, and Gaddafi is even ready to step down.

The determination of the coalition to remove Gaddafi may lead to unpredictable consequences, says an expert in oriental studies, Vyacheslav Matuzov.

“Gaddafi cannot withstand the opposition and NATO if he is not supported by some part of the population. This means he is supported. I believe that here the case is a refusal by the U.S. to accept any proposal for holding negotiations. This is an incorrect approach that leads to a deadlock and worsening the military and political situation in the country and North Africa as a whole,” Vyacheslav Matuzov said.

Moscow has warned that the consequences of a ground operation will be unpredictable. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the coalition must be guided by the UN Security Council resolution in solving the Libyan conflict. He reminded that many operations were started sending military advisers and ended with large-scale wars and thousands of casualties.

====

NATO’s North African War: 3,148 Air Missions, 1,311 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110421_110421-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 21, 2011

NATO and Libya

….
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,148 sorties and 1,311 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 April: 132

Strike sorties conducted 20 April: 50
….

20 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: 2 heavy equipment transporters, 3 armored vehicles, 1 ammunition storage site.

In the vicinity of Misurata: 2 tanks, 1 communication tower, 1 radar.

In the vicinity of Zintan: 1 tank, 2 rocket launchers.
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

22 vessels were hailed on 20 April to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding and 2 diversions were conducted.

A total of 484 vessels have been hailed and 11 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

====

Like Afghanistan And Iraq: Libyan War Has Economic, Geopolitical Motives

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-04/21/c_13840003.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 21, 2011

Where is Libya’s way out of crisis?

-Libya’s oil constitutes “two-thirds of the needs of some of the countries participating in the imposition of the no-fly zone over Libya” and “these countries are seeking to secure their oil interests in Libya….[T]here are big countries seeking to draw a new map for north Africa and the southern Mediterranean. The Libyan event has availed a great opportunity for implementing this plan.”

BEIJING: Military operations against Libya launched by multinational forces have lasted one month and pro- and anti-government forces in the country are still locked in their prolonged seesaw war. Where Libya will go and how to get out of the crisis has been the major concern of the international community and the Libyans themselves.

On March 19, France, Britain and the United States took the lead in launching airstrikes on Libya, attacking forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with missiles and bombs….

However, more and more countries, organizations and political parties are raising questions about the motives, methods and the results of Western powers’ military actions. Many political analysts and experts believe that the military action, or military action alone, only worsens, rather than improves the humanitarian situation there.

MOTIVES OF MILITARY ACTION QUESTIONED

Some analysts believed that Western countries may have their own agenda other than enforcing a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians.

Some Sudanese analysts said economic and political interests were behind the Western intervention and that protests in Libya had become a tool for western interests.

Sudanese political analyst Abdullatif Haj Hussein told Xinhua that the intervention was made “under the pretext of implementing the U.N. resolution.”

“We have learnt from Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s experience that foreign intervention is associated, to a great extent, with political and economic interests,” he said.

Libya’s oil constitutes “two-thirds of the needs of some of the countries participating in the imposition of the no-fly zone over Libya” and “these countries are seeking to secure their oil interests in Libya”, Haj Hussein said.

“The ambitions of the big powers have played a key role in changing the path of the Libyan protests and it is now clear that there are big countries seeking to draw a new map for north Africa and the southern Mediterranean. The Libyan event has availed a great opportunity for implementing this plan,” he noted.

Sudanese political analyst Abdul-Rahim Al-Sunny said that the main objective behind the foreign intervention “is to divide Libya into two parts – east and west” and bring the country back to “a historical era that existed before the rule of King Al-Sanousi.”

“The current war in Libya serves the Western economy because the big powers sell arms on one hand and invest on the other,” he said.

It is in the West’s interest “to prolong the conflict in Libya for as long as possible” and they are seemingly not keen “on overthrowing Gaddafi.”

Western countries are afraid that Islamists would control Libya if Gaddafi is overthrown, said Al-Sunny.

These experts said that the importance of Libyan oil does not lie in its quantity but in its quality. Libya produces 2 million barrels of oil per day and it is planning to increase its daily output to 3 million barrels in the coming years. Meanwhile, the oil companies in Libya discovered 24 new oil sites last year.

MILITARY INTERVENTION WILL NOT SOLVE CRISIS

Many countries and international and regional stakeplayers, including the African Union, have expressed their opposition to any military intervention to solve the current crisis in the country and stressed that military intervention can only worsen the humanitarian situation there. This view was shared by many political scholars and experts.

The foreign military intervention will not solve the current crisis in Libya, but worsen the situation with the risk of dividing the country as the conflict lingers, said Ahmed Adhimi, an Algerian professor at Algiers University.

The change in the course of action in the Libyan revolt shows that the conflict may last longer, and even lead to the split of the country into two parts, with the west controlled by Gaddafi and the east led by the National Transitional Council (TNC) representing the rebels, Adhimi added.

In fact, the Libyan opposition had criticized NATO for acting too slowly and ineffectively in its military strikes.

Emphasizing that NATO has taken full responsibility for the military intervention in Libya now, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen argued that the international community and NATO had to act in Libya with the support of the international community, including authorization by UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

NATO’s military action in Libya currently includes three key aspects – policing the arms embargo, patrolling the no-fly zone and protecting civilians from attack….

Handicapped by a shortage of heavy weapons and experienced soldiers, rebels can hardly win the battle without outside support. They were cornered in eastern Libya by advancing pro-Gaddafi forces before multinational forces started airstrikes.

Vittorio Emanuele Parsi, an Italian professor of international relations at the Catholic University of Milan, attributed NATO’s ineffective military action to the marginal role played by the United States which has more advanced weapons that other NATO members do not have.

Western countries are considering stepping up their military intervention in Libya, including sending ground troops to escort humanitarian aid convoys as well as military officers to support rebels, although the Libyan government firmly rebuffed it.

French military officers reportedly have arrived in Benghazi, rebels’ stronghold in eastern Libya. Other European countries such as Austria have said they will send their military officers there.

Parsi said that Western powers are determined to win in this conflict because any other solution would make them lose credibility, and leave them vulnerable “in front of the entire world.”

POLITICAL MEANS KEY TO ENDING CRISIS

As Western countries are planning greater military intervention in Libya, voices for political solutions are also rising. Some officials and analysts said that political means is key to end the conflict in the country.

Jean Ping, chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said in Washington on Wednesday that the AU has never favored a military solution to the crisis in Libya.

“Since the beginning, we thought that the situation in Libya should be solved in a political way, and our roadmap is clear enough concerning the solution in Libya,” he said.

He noted that since the Libya Contact Group met last week in Qatar’s capital of Doha, the AU has observed that “we’re moved now from the military activities to a search of a political solution to Libya.”

Signs of brokering a peace deal between rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces remained absent and a political solution is needed, said Bruce Jones, director and senior fellow of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, adding there is a room for political solutions in Libya.
….
The Arab League supported U.N. Resolution 1973 last month — authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians — but would not go any further, said Omar Turbi, expert on U.S.-Libya relations.

People have rising skepticism on foreign intervention after the West failed in post-war reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, Libyan rebels can benefit from a diplomatic resolution in terms of “power sharing in a country that’s still standing, rather than taking all power in a collapsed state,” Jones said.

Any political solution should be controlled by the Libyan people themselves, Turbi added.
….

====

British Fighter Jets, Nuclear Submarine Target Libya

http://bfbs.com/news/worldwide/raf-fighters-and-nuclear-submarine-strike-heart-gaddafi-regime-46858.html

British Forces News
April 19, 2011

RAF fighters and nuclear submarine strike at heart of Gaddafi regime

The nuclear submarine HMS Triumph and RAF fighter jets have been in action against the Gaddafi regime, attacking multiple targets in Libya.

In the first attack in the Misrata area a Typhoon and Tornado targeted a pair of multiple rocket launchers and a light artillery piece. The aircraft then guided in a second pair of RAF aircraft to destroy a self-propelled gun and tank heading into the same area on a tank transporter.

But the Ministry of Defence has also revealed that a special NATO operation saw a number of Tomahawk missiles fired by HMS Triumph in the early hours of Monday morning.

These were synchronised with precision strikes by Coalition aircraft, including Tornadoes and Typhoons. A further salvo of Tomahawk missiles was launched by Triumph at additional command and control sites last night.
….

====

NATO Warplanes Bomb Libyan Capital, Kill Seven Civilians

http://rt.com/news/tripoli-nato-bombing-report/

RT
April 21, 2011

NATO air strikes hit Tripoli – Libyan state TV

NATO aircraft have bombarded south-western parts of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, killing seven civilians, reports AFP, quoting Libyan state television.

­In addition, the Libyan state information agency Jana says NATO planes have also attacked the town of Bir al-Ghanam, to the south of Tripoli, killing four more civilians there.

The attacks of the “crusader aggressors” were aimed at civilian and military targets and destroyed several houses in Tripoli, claims Libyan TV.

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera reports on Thursday morning that NATO aircraft have struck the crucial oil-production city of Ajdabiya in the west of the country.
….
The military operation in Libya began on March 19….The operation has since been heavily criticized as, according to many analysts, it has brought the situation in Libya to a stalemate and caused even more civilian deaths.

====

New Suez Intervention: Britain Returns To North Africa

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/20/49233941.html

Voice of Russia
April 20, 2011

Great Britain comes back to the North Africa

Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute for Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences:

The situation of the British commanders being involved in the civil war in Libya is a little bit strange.

We can try to understand why the western coalition tries to play some role in a civil war where al-Qaeda troops in Benghazi attack the Libyan leader Gaddafi.

If it is a traditional for Libya war of Cyrenaica against Tripolitania, it is not clear why this new imperialistic-style game must be interesting for London, also for Washington, for Paris.

We can understand why Riyadh and Doha provoked the UN sanctions, we more or less understand Nicolas Sarkozy with his discussion with the Gaddafi clan about 50 million dollars, but we cannot really understand which is the British role: Libya was not a colony of Great Britain, British companies have not such interests there as the Italians or French. More than that, after Afghanistan, after Iraq, it is impossible to understand why the new government of David Cameron tries to play so active a role in the anti-Gaddafi coalition.

Anyway, if the British troops are involved in the civil war, it means that Great Britain comes back to the North Africa, and we cannot understand and make a prognosis whether it will be as a result some special page of the British history, as it was when field marshal Montgomery attacked Rommel under El Alamein or the page of shame like the operation against Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt when France, Great Britain and Israel tried to operate on Sinai in the war of 1956. More or less it looks like the last case rather than the first.

====

Russia Warns Against Ground Operation In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/21/49267057.html

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2011

Russia warns against ground operation in Libya

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned of serious repercussions of a possible ground operation in Libya.

“All signs are that such an operation is already in the offing”, Lavrov said after his talks with Slovenian counterpart Samuel Zbogar in Ljubljana on Thursday.

He urged coalition forces to stick to the relevant UN Security Council resolution, which Lavrov said should help resolve the Libyan gridlock.

Also on Thursday, Britain, France and Italy said that they would send their military experts to Benghazi to assist the armed struggle against forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier, Libyan rebels made it plain that NATO airstrikes against pro-Gaddafi forces were insufficient and called for additional ground troop intervention.

====

Russian Air Defense Drills Take Libyan Events Into Account

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=238187

Interfax Military
April 21, 2011

Libya operation experience taken into account in Russian air defense drill – general

ASHULUK TRAINING GROUND, Astrakhan region: Combat experience in Libya was taken into account during the Russian air and air-defense drill at the Ashuluk training range in Astrakhan region on Wednesday, said chief of the Air Forces’ surface-to-air missile troops Maj. Gen. Sergei Popov.

“The experience gained lately, in all its entirety, was put into the mass missile-air strike scenario, practiced today. Targets were set at an altitude of between 1 and 50 kilometers,” Popov told the press on Wednesday, when asked whether the drill scenario took combat experience in Libya into account.

The general said that while planning tactical tasks for the practical episodes of the drill “various factors were taken into account, including the entire experience gained in local wars and armed conflicts, fought in the world over the past 10-15 years.”

“This includes the most recent events, as well,” Popov said.

====

Russian Foreign Minister: Arab Nations Need Dialogue, Not Foreign Interference

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=238460

Interfax
April 21, 2011

Opposition in Arab countries needs dialog instead of foreign support – Lavrov

LJUBLJANA: The opposition in Yemen and other North African and Middle East countries should not refuse a dialog with national authorities and pin hopes on foreign assistance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Thursday press conference in Ljubljana.

“The Yemenis should reach consent. That is particularly important, as the opposition in a number of regional countries has made just demands but refused from the dialog hoping that it may gain support from abroad,” he said.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed their concern about this situation, Lavrov said.

====

United Arab Emirates: Foreign Minister Says NATO’s Libyan War Successful, Yemen Next

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110420-719875.html

Wall Street Journal
Zawya Dow Jones
April 21, 2011

UAE Min: NATO’s Libya Ops Successful, To Announce Yemen Plan

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister said Wednesday military action against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya has been successful so far, but that there has been discussion among allies of intensifying the operation.

“If we look at previous experiences, both NATO operations and no-fly zone operations, the Libya operation can be considered among the most successful, both in terms of speed and results,” Sheik Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at a press conference after a meeting of the EU-GCC Joint Council.

The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, groups six Gulf Arab states, including the U.A.E. and Qatar, the two Gulf countries that have sent aircraft to help enforce a no fly-zone over Libya.

Sheik Abdulla said the military efforts continued, with countries involved in the operation having discussed at recent meetings boosting the number of aircraft deployed.

“There was a very important discussion that happened in Doha and then in Berlin in the last few days on intensifying the operation, on adding more fighter jets and deploying them in the areas of the operation,” the U.A.E. minister said.

He declined to detail the scope of the U.A.E.’s current military involvement, or of discussions on strengthening the operation.

“We hope there will be a political solution in Libya but unfortunately we do not see that until now,” he added.

Asked if the U.A.E. would officially recognize Libya’s rebels, Sheik Abdulla said he has met with Mahmoud Jebril of Libya’s Transitional National Council and that they discussed how to improve communication between the U.A.E. and the council. He did not say whether the U.A.E. would recognize the council.

Jebril met with the U.A.E. minister in the capital Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

Sheik Abdulla also said Wednesday the GCC was set to announce in a few hours a plan of action on neighboring Yemen, where long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to battle protesters.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 20, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: April 20

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Global Missile Shield: Two New U.S. Warships Equipped With Interceptors

Britain Loses Another Soldier In Afghan War

NATO’s Chemical Warfare In Afghanistan

Report: NATO Backed Cyprus Coup, Turkish Invasion

Lithuanian Foreign Minister: Belarus Nuclear Power Plant “Threatens NATO”

Baltic Region: NATO Backs Anti-Russian Energy War

Russia Condemns NATO-Georgia Commission’s Statement On Caucasus

Russia Insists On Investigation Into Kosovo Leaders’ Crimes

U.S. Military Exercises In Azerbaijan Postponed For Unknown Reasons

Pakistani Parliamentary Committee: Halt NATO Supplies Over Drone Strikes

U.S. Forces Korea To Play Larger Role In Asia Pacific Region

====

Global Missile Shield: Two New U.S. Warships Equipped With Interceptors

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aegis-combat-systems-installed-on-two-new-us-navy-destroyers-120292969.html

Lockheed Martin
April 20, 2011

Aegis Combat Systems Installed on Two New U.S. Navy Destroyers

-Including these two new Navy ships, the Aegis Weapon System is deployed on 95 ships around the globe.

MOORESTOWN, N.J. – The U.S. Navy, supported by Lockheed Martin, has installed the Aegis Combat System aboard two new Navy destroyers, USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109).

The Aegis Combat Systems aboard the ships have also been certified as fully operational through the tests known as Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials.

During the trials, the ships’ Aegis Combat Systems were evaluated for combat-readiness through comprehensive surface, subsurface and anti-air warfare exercises. These included manned raids and electronic attack scenarios, as well as thorough testing of the systems’ tactical data link and air defense capabilities.

“The Aegis systems installed on these two ships represent continued improvements to what is a very agile and capable Aegis system,” said Carmen Valentino, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Future Surface Combat systems. “Our Aegis team has successfully delivered 15 technological evolutions to the Navy, taking the Aegis combat system from an anti-ship missile system to the basis for the U.S. approach to global missile defense.”

The Aegis Weapon System includes the SPY-1 radar, the Navy’s most advanced radar system. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, it is capable of delivering missiles for every mission and threat environment in naval warfare.

Including these two new Navy ships, the Aegis Weapon System is deployed on 95 ships around the globe. Aegis is the weapon system of choice for Australia, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea and Spain. Aegis-equipped ships combined have more than 1,200 years of at-sea operational experience and have launched more than 3,800 missiles in tests and actual operations.

The USS Gravely and USS Jason Dunham are both Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers.
….

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Britain Loses Another Soldier In Afghan War

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1864597.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 20, 2011

British soldier dies from mine blast

A British soldier died from injuries in a mine blast in southern Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, dpa reported

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died as a result of a non-battle related injury in southern Afghanistan yesterday,” NATO said in a statement without giving further details.

Meanwhile, the British Defence Ministry in a statement said a soldier deployed on an operation to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had died on Tuesday, a day after he was injured when one of the devices exploded.

The blast occurred in the Nahr-e Saraj district of the volatile southern province of Helmand, the statement said.

“The soldier was neutralising a complex set of improvised explosive devices on Monday, which had been sown in an alleyway between two compounds when one of the devices detonated,” Lieutenant Colonel Tim Purbrick, spokesman for Task Force in Helmand, said.

He died while receiving treatment in Britain after being evacuated, the statement said.

Roadside bombs, killer number one for Afghan and NATO forces, are a weapon of choice for the Taliban militants who have been waging a bloody war against 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan.

====

NATO’s Chemical Warfare In Afghanistan

http://www.nl-aid.org/continent/middle-east/natos-chemical-warfare-in-afghanistan/

Netherlands Aid
April 20, 2011

NATO’s chemical warfare in Afghanistan
Jon Kofas

Human rights organizations are charging that NATO has been using white phosphorus, a napalm-like chemical to combat the rebels of Afghanistan.

While I would like to hear about use of white phosphorous from the Pentagon or some official NATO source, or at least have empirical evidence independently confirmed before stating as fact that this monstrous and illegal activity is indeed taking place, we have at least one issue that should concern the US if the allegations are correct.

In the June 1984 issue of the State Department Bulletin, the US raised the issue of chemical weapons use in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion. The US argued that chemical weapons use constituted a:

“violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, related rules of customary international law, and the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.”

Moreover, the US took its case before the UN General Assembly at a time that president Reagan’s defense secretary was talking about ‘limited nuclear war’ as ‘acceptable’ as long as it does not take place in the US.

That was then when the Soviets had troops in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, the CIA encouraged Afghan war lords to have peasant grow heroin along with hashish that was sold to Soviet troops. During the last ten years, war lords have used the exact same strategy on NATO troops they used on Soviets. This is one problem facing NATO troops that know better than anyone the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause.

Another problem is that in June 2009, the US media reported that Afghan rebels were allegedly using white phosphorus. But who exactly produces white phosphorus? We know that Israel has used it against Palestinians. The chemical decomposes the human flesh like a strong acid poured. If Afghan rebels acquired white phosphorus, who provided it for them? China and Russia may be candidates, but not the only ones, if they have any role at all.

If there is hard evidence to prove US/NATO use of chemical weapons, should some neutral country – let us say Brazil – take the issue before the UN General Assembly, should human rights groups bring symbolic law suits against US and NATION leadership for violating the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the 1972 Biological and Toxin weapons Convention, for death squads by mercenary soldiers and for committing crimes against humanity?

How much difference does the banned use of chemical warfare make amid mass catastrophe in Afghanistan? And all toward what possible benefit to any one except a few corporations making money from war and destruction?

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Report: NATO Backed Cyprus Coup, Turkish Invasion

http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/file-cyprus-puts-invasion-blame-junta/20110420

Cyprus Mail
April 20, 2011

File of Cyprus puts invasion blame on junta
By Elias Hazou

-“A fundamental policy in various circles in Athens was the prevention of any Soviet influence over Cyprus. This would be achieved through the imposition of a solution that would consolidate NATO interests on the basis of a two-way Enosis [i.e. partitioning Cyprus, giving one part to Turkey and one part to Greece]….”
-[The report] cites a Greek Foreign Ministry document that is said to “confirm that Greece and Turkey had discussed the prospect of working together with the aim of toppling Archbishop Makarios and of imposing a pro-NATO solution for Cyprus.”

The Greek junta, egged on by circles in NATO, was primarily responsible for the 1974 ‘twin crimes’ against Cyprus: the coup and the Turkish invasion, the File on Cyprus, released into the public domain yesterday, concluded.

The full report, compiled by a special House committee, has been posted on the Parliament’s website (www.parliament.cy/). It covers the period 1967 to 1974 and the events leading up to the coup against then President Makarios, and the Turkish invasion.

Heavy on conjecture, the report does not apportion any criminal or other liability for the coup that toppled Archbishop Makarios, as this was not part of the parliamentary committee’s terms of reference.

Yet its wording unmistakably puts the blame squarely on the military dictatorship that ruled Greece in the 1960s and 1970s. The junta, as it is more popularly known, is said to have consistently undermined Makarios and Cypriot independence from the outset.

“A fundamental policy in various circles in Athens was the prevention of any Soviet influence over Cyprus. This would be achieved through the imposition of a solution that would consolidate NATO interests on the basis of a two-way Enosis [i.e. partitioning Cyprus, giving one part to Turkey and one part to Greece], but there was lack of awareness of Turkey’s broader strategic objectives,” the report concludes.

“To that end, Archbishop Makarios needed to be removed from power as he stood in the way of this policy. His removal would come about either via his voluntary withdrawal from the presidency (naturally following pressure) or via a violent overthrow.”

Friction between Athens and Nicosia over who should have had the last say in matters concerning Cypriot security led to strained relations that worsened with time, while external players (such as the United States and NATO) played a key role in influencing Greek decision-making, the report states.

It cites a Greek Foreign Ministry document that is said to “confirm that Greece and Turkey had discussed the prospect of working together with the aim of toppling Archbishop Makarios and of imposing a pro-NATO solution for Cyprus.”
….
The report essentially preserves what is now conventional wisdom, namely, the belief that Cyprus was “betrayed” by Greece in collaboration with elements in the Cypriot National Guard.

It highlights, for example, the fact that Turkish forces were conducting large-scale drills off the Bay of Mersina as early as April 1974, after which they were on heightened alert. The report notes that these wargames were being monitored by Cypriot intelligence….

Among others, the File draws on material from declassified documents of the British Foreign Office and the US government, as well as on material from the Cypriot Secret Service, National Guard and police archives, personal diaries, and the testimony of people summoned before the House committee.

In total, 174 people testified before the committee, although they were not obliged to do so under oath….

Some of the persons listed as testifying had been interviewed prior to 2006 when the current parliamentary committee, under these terms of reference, commenced work. They include such names as: Tassos Papadopoulos, Glafcos Clerides, Vasos Lyssarides, Spyros Kyprianou, Takis Evdokas (Makarios’ opponent in the 1968 presidential elections), Nikos Koshis, radio-show host Lazaros Mavros, Patroclos Stavrou (Under-Secretary to Makarios during the period in question) and Vera Sampson, wife of Nikos Sampson.

The annexes include material such as Makarios’ speech before the UN Security Council on 19 July 1974, four days after the Greek-backed coup against him. In the speech, Makarios appeals to the Security Council “to do their utmost to put an end to this anomalous situation, which was created by the coup of Athens. I call upon the Security Council to use all ways and means at its disposal so that the constitutional order in Cyprus and the democratic rights of the people of Cyprus can be reinstated without delay.”

In a statement with widespread implications, the Cypriot leader told the Security Council that “the events in Cyprus do not constitute an internal matter of the Greeks of Cyprus. The Turks of Cyprus are also affected. The coup of the Greek junta is an invasion, and from its consequences the whole people of Cyprus suffers, both Greeks and Turks.”

This statement has been the object of intense debate among commentators, some of whom argue that it gave Turkey, which was already preparing for invasion, the final green light – or pretext – to move in.

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Lithuanian Foreign Minister: Belarus Nuclear Power Plant “Threatens NATO”

http://telegraf.by/2011/04/belarusian-npp-threatens-nato-lithuanian-foreign-ministry.html

Telegraf
April 20, 2011

Belarusian NPP Threatens NATO, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry

Nuclear energy projects, which are carried out without compliance with international safety standards and are located near the borders of NATO, represent a threat to the security of the Alliance. This was stated on April 18 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis at a meeting with the President and Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Karl Lamers and David Hobbs, respectively.

“Projects of unsafe nuclear power, implemented at the borders of NATO, represent a direct threat to the security of the Alliance, so this issue, vitally important for the international community, should cause the entire Alliance’s concern,” said the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, reports DELFI.

According to Telegraf, the Foreign Minister of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis stated on April 8 that Belarus’s decision to build a nuclear power plant at the site near Astravets, 50 kilometers away from Vilnius, is a provocation. “There is a range of measures for Lithuania to make the situation clear so that the the NPP area could be removed from the border with Lithuania. The current decision of Belarus is nothing but a provocation,” said the Lithuanian Minister.

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Baltic Region: NATO Backs Anti-Russian Energy War

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/23890/?SID=c2d12eadd2224cdb35ad44a3cfbfa32e

Ministry of National Defense
April 20, 2011

Lithuanian Defence Minister meets NATO PA President to discuss regioanl security situation

-“It is crucial for our country to shed dependence on the sole gas provider – Russia,” said R. Jukneviciene. According to the Minister, the Energy Security Centre established this year will seek the status of a NATO Centre of Excellence. K. Lamers stressed that the NATO PA will support development of the centre.
-The National Defence System Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service was presented to the NATO PA President.
During the two-day visit, representatives of the NATO PA will meet with the supreme authorities and visit the Energy Security Centre.

On April 19 Minister of National Defence Rasa Jukneviciene met with Dr. Karl A. Lamers, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and Secretary General David Hobbs and discussed the security situation in the region, processes going on in Lithuania’s vicinity, and the situation in Belarus and Ukraine.

“There are quite a few challenges ahead of us, for example, terrorism, mass destruction weapons, energy security, piracy, cyber attacks, etc. We can face all these challenges only collectively with NATO,” said the NATO PA President.

In the meeting current matters of energy security were also discussed. According to the Minister, energy security is one of the key priorities of the present Government.

“It is crucial for our country to shed dependence on the sole gas provider – Russia,” said R. Jukneviciene. According to the Minister, the Energy Security Centre established this year will seek the status of a NATO Centre of Excellence. K. Lamers stressed that the NATO PA will support development of the centre.

The officials also briefly reviewed the NATO process of the transfer of responsibility to the government of Afghanistan.

The National Defence System Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service was presented to the NATO PA President.

During the two-day visit, representatives of the NATO PA will meet with the supreme authorities and visit the Energy Security Centre.

====

Russia Condemns NATO-Georgia Commission’s Statement On Caucasus

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23364

Civil Georgia
April 20, 2011

Russia Criticizes NATO-Georgia Commission Statement

Tbilisi: The Russian Foreign Ministry said on April 19 that a joint statement of the NATO-Georgia Commission includes the “usual set of biased wordings”, which were far from the realities on the ground in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry particularly stressed the statement in which NATO foreign ministers called on Russia to follow its commitments under the August 12 and September 8, 2008 ceasefire accords.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that “the only remaining disputed issue” in respect of those ceasefire accords was resolved after Russia withdrew its troops from the village of Perevi last October.

“It would have been better if its partners in NATO encouraged the Georgian leadership to adopt a constructive approach towards security and stability issues in the Trans-Caucasus,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that “reiteration of ritual spells about ostensibly unfulfilled Russian commitments is sending false signals” to the Georgian authorities.

—————————————————————————

http://rt.com/politics/russia-nato-georgia-comment/

RT
April 20, 2011

Moscow slams NATO-Georgia commission’s statement on South Ossetia

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has sharply criticized the alliance’s position regarding the situation in the South Caucasus after a meeting of the Georgia-NATO council.

­Representatives of Tbilisi and NATO’s foreign ministers met in Berlin last week to discuss the situation on Georgia’s border with its former provinces, the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the statement adopted after the meeting, the alliance recognized Russia’s removal of its checkpoint in the village of Perevi.

But NATO ministers called it only “the first step.” They urged Moscow “to stand by its commitments” determined by agreements concluded with the EU mediation in September 2008, following the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday’s evening got tough on the NATO statement. The document includes “the usual set of biased wordings that are far from reality,” the ministry said. It added the alliance once again urges Russia “to observe” agreements between the presidents of Russia and France.

The ministry reminded yet again that “the only disputable issue regarding fulfilling commitments of agreements between Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy was completely resolved on October 18, 2010.” Then the Russian frontier guard post was removed from the village of Perevi deep into South Ossetia’s territory.

Earlier, it had not been clear to which side that plot of land belongs. After the move, the boundary between Georgia and South Ossetia was determined.

“NATO partners had better urge the Georgian leadership for a constructive approach to the issues of security and stability in the South Caucasus,” the Russian ministry said. It regretted that the alliance has been repeatedly sending “false signals” about Russia’s alleged commitments.

Meanwhile, the Georgian parliament on Monday unanimously supported President Mikhail Saakshvili’s proposal not to extend the agreement between Moscow and Tbilisi on military cargo and personnel transit.

The agreement that was ratified in 2006 expired and the Georgian leadership chose not to renew it. The pact allowed Moscow to use Georgian territory as a transit for a Russian military base in Armenia.

====

Russia Insists On Investigation Into Kosovo Leaders’ Crimes

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/19/49175763.html

Voice of Russia
April 19, 2011

Russia insists on investigating Kosovo leaders’ crimes

Russia stands for an international investigation of the facts of the Kosovo leaders’ possible involvement in organ trafficking described in a PACE report. This was declared by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press-conference following talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in Belgrade.

Last year PACE published a report which reads that in the late 1990s Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Thaci was at the head of a criminal organization involved in contract killing, kidnapping and organ trafficking.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/19/49175720.html

Voice of Russia
April 19, 2011

Moscow calls for unbiased probe into Dick Marti’s report

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cautioned against double standards for an inquiry into Swiss human rights activist Dick Marti’s report on illegal trade in human organs in Kosovo. Earlier, Serbia promised to come up with proposals concerning a UN probe into organ trafficking charges involving high-ranking Kosovo officials.

Speaking in Belgrade after talks with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic, Mr. Lavrov backed Serbia’s truth-seeking efforts and urged a speedy investigation into Dick Marti’s report delivered in December 2010:

“We favor an impartial and objective inquiry into Dick Marti’s report and we support Serbia in this issue. Sometimes, international investigations are launched into even less significant crimes. There should be no double standards here.”

Meanwhile, the current President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mevlut Cavosoglu, commenting on the situation around Dick Marti’s report ahead of Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Serbia, said that the United States, Britain, Germany and France opposed a UN-led inquiry into the organ trafficking case and suggested an alternative investigation by the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.

Anyway, the investigation must be transparent and it must be carried out by competent bodies within the shortest possible time. It will then become clear who is and who is not interested in establishing the truth.

Economic cooperation between Russia and Serbia was high on the ministerial meeting’s agenda. Last year, bilateral trade rose to $1.4 billion. Serbia will host a section of the South Stream gas pipeline from Russia to southern Europe. Moscow is planning to invest in the modernization of Serbia’s Djerdap-1 and Djerdap-2 hydro-electric power plants and is ready to grant its Balkan partner an $800-million loan for upgrading railway infrastructure.

The possibility of another loan, for the purchase of Russian military hardware, is also being studied. Belgrade may receive a $3 billion loan offer in exchange for the purchase of Russian Yak-130 and MiG-29 planes, and anti-aircraft systems.

Both ministers hailed the successful development of Russian-Serbian relations. Mr. Jeremic said that Moscow’s support was of the kind one can only get from one’s best friend, which Russia is for Serbia. Serbia’s President Boris Tadic is expected to visit Russia this summer to sign an agreement on strategic partnership between Moscow and Belgrade.

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U.S. Military Exercises In Azerbaijan Postponed For Unknown Reasons

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1864480.html

Trend News Agency
April 20, 2011

Embassy: Joint U.S-Azerbaijani military exercises postponed
T. Hajiyev

Baku: Joint U.S.-Azerbaijani military exercises were postponed by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, Terry Davidson, the head of the U.S. Embassy in Baku’s PR Department, told media.

Stressing the productive relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan, the diplomat said joint operations are held in many areas from security to economic and democratic reforms.

According to previously circulated information, the Regional Response-2011 exercises were to be held on May 15-25 and were delayed for unknown reasons.

====

Pakistani Parliamentary Committee: Halt NATO Supplies Over Drone Strikes

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=5421&Cat=13&dt=4/20/2011

The News International
April 20, 2011

Suspend Nato supply in reaction to drones: Parliamentary Committee

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) has demanded that the United States halt drone strikes and said no compromise will be made on the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. The committee has declared that Pakistan will suspend supplies to Nato in response to the ever-increasing drone strikes.

The committee met in the Parliament here on Tuesday. Sources told Online that members of the committee expressed grave concern over increasing drone attacks and demanded that political and diplomatic pressure be mounted on the US.

Talking to the media after the meeting, committee chairman, Senator Raza Rabbani, said more details were being sought with respect to the decisions taken on the matter during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Afghanistan. The western world should take notice that Pakistan has suffered more than any other country in the war on terror, he observed. “A new tale of tragedies is being born due to this war,” Rabbani noted. “No country has suffered as many losses as Pakistan’s army and security forces.”

He said because of Pakistan’s efforts in the war on terror, the country’s economy was completely damaged and it was facing internal instability; even investments were not flowing in, he added. “The world will have to evolve a solution to this,” he said.

“We have a principled stance on drone attacks and believe they are adding to our difficulties. The government should take steps to stop these attacks and we will extend full support to it,” Rabbani underlined.

“There is complete harmony among the political and military leadership on the matter of drones and the US media should not sow the seeds of hatred by continuing attacks. Drone technology should be given to Pakistan.”

Pakistan has refused to attend the Brussels conference for this reason, Rabbani reminded, adding that such steps were necessary and should be taken in the future. Senator Ishaq Dar, Waseem Sajjad, Professor Khurshid, senator Haji Adeel, Afrasyab Khattak and others attended the meeting.

====

U.S. Forces Korea To Play Larger Role In Asia Pacific Region

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/04/21/2011042100550.html

Chosun Ilbo
April 21, 2011

USFK to Take Part in Overseas Training Missions

-Following deployment of latest-model M1 tanks, the USFK plans to introduce newest armored combat vehicles this summer, he said. The M1 tanks deployed at the Second U.S. Infantry Division are ultramodern M1A2 SEP tanks, the same model deployed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the newest armored vehicles are M2A3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

The U.S. Forces Korea will participate in more multinational military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, going beyond its duties to defend the Korean Peninsula.

In a press briefing at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, the commander of the Eighth U.S. Army, said the USFK’s participation in overseas drills will become “routine.” But he claimed the USFK has secured transport so troops can immediately return to South Korea from overseas missions in case of a crisis on the peninsula.

The first large dispatch consisted of about 500 members of the Second U.S. Infantry Division to join Exercise Balikatan 2011 in the Philippines from April 5 to 15. Earlier this year, it had also dispatched a smaller group of troops to join the Cobra Gold war games in Thailand.

Col. Donald Jackson, the Eighth U.S. Army chief of staff, said USFK troops will participate in drills organized by the U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Army-Pacific Command, and this “Pacific integration” will allow the USFK to boost its operational support capabilities in South Korea.

But he declined to go into details because he did not know what drills will be staged in the future.

Johnson said the number of U.S. forces here will be maintained at 28,500 as agreed on by Seoul and Washington. “We are stronger today than we have ever been in the way we share information and capability,” he said.

In other remarks, he said no unusual movement by the North Korean military has been detected. He expressed support for defense reform in South Korea.

Following deployment of latest-model M1 tanks, the USFK plans to introduce newest armored combat vehicles this summer, he said. The M1 tanks deployed at the Second U.S. Infantry Division are ultramodern M1A2 SEP tanks, the same model deployed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the newest armored vehicles are M2A3 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Anatole France: How the U.S. Congress deliberates on wars

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

Anatole France: Selections on war

====

Anatole France
From Penguin Island (1908)
Translation by A.W. Evans

Excerpt

After a voyage of fifteen days his steamer entered, during the night, the harbor of Titanport, where thousands of ships were anchored. An iron bridge thrown across the water and shining with lights, stretched between two piers so far apart that Professor Obnubile imagined he was sailing on the seas of Saturn, and that he saw the marvellous ring which girds the planet of the Old Man. And this immense conduit bore upon it more than a quarter of the wealth of the world. The learned Penguin, having disembarked, was waited on by automatons in a hotel forty-eight stories high. Then he took the great railway that led to Gigantopolis, the capital of New Atlantic….

“Here,” thought the doctor, “is a people far too much engaged in industry and trade to make war. I am already certain that the New Atlantans pursue a policy of peace. For it is an axiom admitted by all economists that peace without and peace within are necessary for the progress of commerce and industry.”

….

“The war for the opening of the Mongol markets being ended to the satisfaction of the States, I propose that the accounts be laid before the finance committee.…”

“Is there any opposition?…”

“The proposal is carried.”

“The war for the opening of the markets of Third-Zealand being ended to the satisfaction of the States, I propose that the accounts be laid before the finance committee.…”

“Is there any opposition?…”

“The proposal is carried.”

“Have I heard aright?” asked Professor Obnubile. “What? you an industrial people and engaged in all these wars!”

“Certainly,” answered the interpreter, “these are industrial wars. Peoples who have neither commerce nor industry are not obliged to make war, but a business people is forced to adopt a policy of conquest. The number of wars necessarily increases with our productive capacity. As soon as one of our industries fails to find a market for its products a war is necessary to open new outlets. It is in this way we have had a coal war, a copper war, and a cotton war. In Third-Zealand we have killed two-thirds of the inhabitants in order to compel the remainder to buy our umbrellas and braces.”

At that moment a fat man who was sitting in the middle of the assembly ascended the tribune.

“I claim,” said he, “a war against the Emerald Republic, which insolently contends with our pigs for the hegemony of hams and sauces in all the markets of the universe.”

“Who is that legislator?” asked Doctor Obnubile.

“He is a pig merchant.”

“Is there any opposition?” said the President. “I put the proposition to the vote.”

The war against the Emerald Republic was voted with uplifted hands by a very large majority.

“What?” said Obnubile to the interpreter; “you have voted a war with that rapidity and that indifference!”

“Oh! it is an unimportant war which will hardly cost eight million dollars.”

“And men.…”

“The men are included in the eight million dollars.”

Then Doctor Obnubile bent his head in bitter reflection.

“Since wealth and civilization admit of as many causes of poverty as war and barbarism, since the folly and wickedness of men are incurable, there remains but one good action to be done. The wise man will collect enough dynamite to blow up this planet. When its fragments fly through space an imperceptible amelioration will be accomplished in the universe and a satisfaction will be given to the universal conscience. Moreover, this universal conscience does not exist.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 20

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Over 3,000 NATO Sorties, 1,261 Strikes Since March 31

NATO Air Strike Kills Four South Of Libyan Capital

Vietnam Parallel: NATO States Send Military Personnel To Libya

Italy, France Deploy Military Instructors To Eastern Libya

EU, Gulf Cooperation Council Call For Libyan, Yemeni Regime Changes

West Has Started Invasion Of Libya, Ground Operations Next Step

NATO Strikes Libyan Civilian Communications Facilities

Russian, Chinese Militaries Draw Conclusions From Libyan War

Russia, China Oppose Repeat Of Libyan Model In Yemen

Libyan War: Humanitarian Disaster, West Getting Bogged Down In Africa

Azores: Portuguese Air Base Used For NATO’s Libyan War

Video And Text: West’s False Humanitarian War In Libya Does More Harm Than Good

U.S. Has Flown 800 Air Missions Since NATO Takeover Of Libyan War

Libya: NATO Doubled Missile, Bomb Strikes In Past Two Weeks

NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 3,000 Sorties, 1,200 Air Strikes Since March 31

State Department: Libyan War “Classic Example” Of Global NATO Partnerships

White House Confident NATO Can Continue To Wage War Against Libya

Biden: NATO To Handle Libya, Freeing U.S. To Take On The Rest Of The World

State Department: U.S. Considers Arming Libyan Rebels

France To Deploy Military Advisers To Eastern Libya

Libya Vows To Fight Foreign Troops, Rejects EU Plan

Spain Extends Libyan War Commitment For Two More Months

Expert: NATO’s New Colonialism Threatens Libya With Protracted Conflict

U.S. Sharpens Tone With Syria

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Over 3,000 NATO Sorties, 1,261 Air Strikes Since March 31

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110420_110420-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 20, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 3,016 sorties and 1,261 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 April: 139

Strike sorties conducted 19 April: 62
….
Key Targets and Engagements

19 April: In vicinity of Tripoli: 2 Ammunition depots.

In vicinity of Misurata: 2 T-62 Tanks, 1 T-55 Tank, 3
Rocket launcher vehicles.

In vicinity of Sirte: 1 Surface-To-Surface (SSM) Missile Site.
….
A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

34 Vessels were hailed on 19 April to determine destination and cargo. No boarding nor diversion was conducted.

A total of 457 vessels have been hailed, 10 boardings and 3 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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NATO Air Strike Kills Four South Of Libyan Capital

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/20/us-libya-raid-idUSTRE73J6RH20110420

Reuters
April 20, 2011

Four killed in NATO strike south of Tripoli: TV

CAIRO: Four people were killed in a NATO strike on “civilian and military targets” southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli on Wednesday, state television Al Jamahiriya said.

“Four citizens were martyred and there were losses in property and farmland in the Bir al-Ghanam area,” the television said. It gave no further details.

Rebels say NATO forces have stepped up attacks on areas under the control of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in recent days.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles)

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Vietnam Parallel: NATO States Send Military Personnel To Libya

http://rt.com/news/eu-instructors-teach-libya/

RT
April 20, 2011

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Italy joins France and UK, sends military experts to Libya

Italy has announced it is sending military instructors to train rebels in Libya. This follows other Wednesday statements by France and Britain, who decided to deploy their military officers to train Libyan rebels as well. Earlier France urged the UN to launch ground troop operations in Libya as the air strikes do not seem to fulfill the needs of the Security Council resolution….

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European instructors will teach Libyan rebels

Video

-“Putting ground troops in will clearly go beyond [the UN Security Council] resolution. It seems to become apparent that we have a no-fly zone in effect becoming an air force of the rebel fighters.”

European members of the NATO-led coalition bombing Libya are sending military instructors to the rebel capital, Benghazi.

The first nation to announce such a move was Britain. On Tuesday Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the deployment of experienced military officers to Libya. The official stressed that the troops will help improve the organization of the Libyan opposition, but will not train them in combat. He did not elaborate on how the two distinguish from each other.

On Wednesday France and Italy followed the UK’s lead, both announcing that they will send similar contingents to the war-torn North-African country.

French and Italian advisor teams will be no more than ten officers strong. Britain plans to send some two dozen, half of whom will be civilian contractors accountable to the group’s commander, a colonel.

Libya’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the move will only delay the peace settlement in the country and the liberal reforms Triopli is pledging to implement.

Earlier in April the EU drafted the “EUFOR Libya” plan, providing for troops to be used to defend humanitarian aid convoys, prompting suspicions that Europe is planning an invasion under the guise of a relief effort.

Tuesday’s decision is a dubious step in the wrong direction, believes John Baron, a UK conservative MP who was one of the opponents of the invasion.

“Putting ground troops in will clearly go beyond [the UN Security Council] resolution. It seems to become apparent that we have a no-fly zone in effect becoming an air force of the rebel fighters. And I question whether it was in the spirit of the resolution as it was originally defined,” he told RT.

Other critics were quick to point out that the American campaign in Vietnam started with the US sending military advisors too.

UN Security Council resolution 1973, which established a no-fly zone over Libya with the goal to stop violence and civilian deaths, does not allow for a ground operation by foreign forces.

====

Italy, France Deploy Military Instructors To Eastern Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/20/c_13838276.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 20, 2011

Italy to send 10 military instructors to help Libyan rebels

ROME: Italy is to send 10 military instructors to help Libyan rebels in their battles against government forces, Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Wednesday.

According to the ANSA news agency, La Russa said the decision was taken after talks between Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will also send 10 trainers to Libya.

The 10 instructors will leave for Libya after planning details are worked out, he told local media after meeting with his British counterpart Liam Fox.

France and Britain have announced their willingness to send military officers to Libya to help rebel forces support the NATO air campaign that has failed to curb the offensive of the Libyan government forces.
….

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/20/c_13838172.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 20, 2011

France sends military officers to Libya

PARIS: France had sent military liaison officers to Libya to assist the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) in Benghazi, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

France had sent a “small number” of liaison officers along with its special envoy to Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the east of Libya, AFP quoted spokesman Christine Fage as saying.

Also on Wednesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy met NTC chief Mustafa Abdul Jalil at the Elysee Palace on the situation in Libya and the process of democratic transition.

France was the first country to recognize the rebel’s administrative body as the legitimate representative of Libya and Libyan people. Currently, only France, Qatar and Italy have recognized the NTC.

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EU, Gulf Cooperation Council Call For Libyan, Yemeni Regime Changes

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/21/c_13838322.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 21, 2011

GCC, EU express common positions on Libya, Yemen

-The two regional blocs reiterated their commitment…calling on all parties in the country to ****immediately forge an agreement on political transition***.
-The GCC, a regional bloc founded in 1981 that has about 45 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, consists of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman.

DUBAI; The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday called for an immediate and genuine ceasefire in Libya, saying Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime has lost its legitimacy.

In a communique released after a joint council meeting in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the two sides expressed support for the newly-formed rebel Transitional National Council “as a legitimate interlocutor representing the aspirations of the Libyan people,” the state news agency WAM reported.
….
They welcomed the international community’s efforts in ensuring the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions on the North African nation, where forces loyal to Gaddafi and anti-Gaddafi rebels chased each other in the UN-mandated no-fly zone.

As for the situation in Yemen, the two sides expressed their deep concern.

The two regional blocs reiterated their commitment…calling on all parties in the country to ****immediately forge an agreement on political transition***.

Meanwhile, the GCC and the EU urged Iran to play a constructive role and stop interfering in the internal affairs of GCC member states and other countries in the region.

On Tuesday, GCC foreign ministers concluded an extraordinary meeting with a delegation of the Yemeni government in Abu Dhabi.

During the meeting, participants stressed the need to make more efforts to resolve the political crisis in Yemen and maintain its security and stability, according to WAM.

The GCC, a regional bloc founded in 1981 that has about 45 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, consists of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman.

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West Has Started Invasion Of Libya, Ground Operations Next Step

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/20/49211540.html

Voice of Russia
April 20, 2011

Western Coalition: Air Operation may turn into Ground Operation
Konstantin Garibov

-“We have the NATO countries staging an intervention in Libya. They are taking part in military action on the side of the opposition: rather than enforcing a no-fly zone, they are bombing the equipment and facilities of the Libyan troops. Against this background, the West’s assurances of the Libya-bound ground troops only escorting the humanitarian convoys look cynical and deceitful.”

The West has already started its invasion of Libya and a ground coalition operation would merely be the next step. Russian experts have come to this conclusion in the wake of the EU’s readiness to send ground troops to Libya to support the UN humanitarian mission in Tripoli.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said that the EU is ready to send up to 1000 troops into the battle zone.

There have already been media reports that NATO countries are developing a plan for a ground operation in Libya. It may begin at the end of April or in early May. At the same time, the Western coalition stresses that the operation would only start after the UN files the respective request. France, Italy and the UK are ready to take part, but Germany is not.

The head of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Filonik, considers the EU’s intentions to guard the UN humanitarian convoy a precursor to a ground operation.

“Such a turn of events cannot be ruled out and indirect indicators support this. You could consider the disembarkation of troops from ships the start of the ground operation. They are not just doing things on the Libyan coast, they are penetrating deeper inside the country to carry out some sort of reconnaissance. Perhaps they are seeking out contacts with the local elite and with authoritative figures, who may provide support in the future.”

On Tuesday, the UK announced that it will send its military advisors to Benghazi to provide consultations to the National Transitional Council, which France, Britain, Italy and Qatar have recognized as the legitimate government. This is nothing other than a de-facto involvement in the civil war on the opposition’s side, contrary to the UN mandate, says Alexei Podtserob, an expert at the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“We have the NATO countries staging an intervention in Libya. They are taking part in military action on the side of the opposition: rather than enforcing a no-fly zone, they are bombing the equipment and facilities of the Libyan troops. Against this background, the West’s assurances of the Libya-bound ground troops only escorting the humanitarian convoys look cynical and deceitful.”

Russian political analyst Alexei Malashenko supposes that while the EU is formally talking about escorting humanitarian cargoes, in practice this will become a confrontation with those who obstruct their delivery. And the death of someone from the European military or the UN will become a reason to start a ground operation.

French politicians, who are calling for a speedy resolution of the Libyan problem, are more and more often saying that it would be good to sort Gaddafi out not just in the sky, but also on land and at sea. Furthermore, the Libyan opposition says NATO isn’t doing enough. This is yet more temptation to switch into ground operation mode, given that Gaddafi’s use of women and children as shields in air raids ties the allies’ hands.

However, the UN Security Council never set the goal to change the regime in Libya, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently reminded. “Thus those who are essentially using the adopted resolution to justify this cause are violating the mandate approved by the Security Council,” – the diplomat emphasized. The problem is that seeing such a position from the West, the oppositional forces in Libya are refusing to sit down for talks, which is why Moscow urges the UN SC to encourage dialogue, not confrontation. Lavrov is sure that only Libyan political and public leaders can decide how they will live in their own country moving forward.

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NATO Strikes Libyan Civilian Communications Facilities

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/20/49209564.html

Voice of Russia
April 20, 2011

NATO strikes Libya communications

NATO jets struck Libya’s radio and telecom facilities in several cities on Wednesday, the country’s state TV reports.

This contradicts previous statements by the alliance that it will only be hitting military facilities pursuant to the UN resolution.

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http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/04/20/1461s633238.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 20, 2011

NATO Targets Telecoms, Broadcasters in Libya: TV

NATO warplanes have launched air strikes on telecommunication and broadcasting infrastructure in several Libyan cities, Libya’s official TV said Wednesday.

“Telecommunication infrastructure, and radio and television broadcasting stations in several Libyan cities were subject to bombardment by warplanes of the crusader colonial aggression,” it said, without mentioning when the attacks took place.
….

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Russian, Chinese Militaries Draw Conclusions From Libyan War

http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/commentary/2011-04/646579.html

Global Times
April 20, 2011

Libyan crisis offers warnings for developing powers
By Gu Di

-Some Russian experts recently said that Russia has no choice but to upgrade its weaponry or it will fall into the same fate as Libya. North Korea also has similar worries.
-From the Libyan crisis, Chinese diplomatic policymakers and the scholars studying international relations should consider more carefully what kind of principles should be preserved, what kind of bottom line should be stuck to and how to develop our military strength without being disturbed.
The Chinese people should not just be onlookers toward Libya.

The Libyan civil war is being watched by the international community.

But in the government-controlled West of Libya, the locals are calling the current situation the “Libyan crisis” instead of a “civil war.” China should calmly analyze the complicated reasons behind the crisis.

So far, it is unclear how the crisis will end.

In the history of the Western countries” intervention in world affairs, they have never previously supported a country”s opposition in overthrowing a regime that had mended its fences with the West, as Muammar al-Gaddafi attempted to do.

When analyzing the current crisis confronting Libya and its future situation in accordance with Libya”s history in the past century, we could find that they have come to a new turning point: The established Western countries with a history of imperialism and those Third World countries with a history of anti-colonialism have collided again.

In the past 100 years, Libya was undoubtedly a representative example of a weak country resisting the Western countries. At one period, Gaddafi claimed to be a leader among the Arab countries opposing the West and Israel….

According to Libyan government officials, those Libyans who are still pro-Gaddafi are so not because they believe Gaddafi will bring them any tangible benefits through oil revenue. Instead, it’s because Gaddafi has a rebellious spirit.

In recent years, the West was also able to achieve huge benefits in Libya after burying the hatchet with Gaddafi. For example, before the Libyan crisis, a large oil field in Libya was handed over to the West. In addition, although Libya previously relied on arms from Russia, it has begun to trade with the West in recent years.

NATO”s bombings made some Libyans distrust the West more. It wins a large number of supporters for Gaddafi, and these people value their support for Gaddafi as a kind of patriotic behavior.

When the world is focusing on how long Gaddafi will survive, they ignore the voices from many other countries that are against the war waged by the allies on Libya.

The mentality of “allowing Libya itself to be trampled upon by the West” appears again in Libya after Libyan”s resistance for 100 years, which also gives a warning to other countries. Gaddafi made many concessions to the West but he still could not avoid another direct collision with the West.

What Gaddafi”s supporters are most worried about is that Libya may follow the same disastrous road as Iraq, Afghan and Somalia. What”s interesting is that some scholars in Russia are also worried that Russia will fall into the same trap as Libya.

Some Russian experts recently said that Russia has no choice but to upgrade its weaponry or it will fall into the same fate as Libya. North Korea also has similar worries.

Just like many countries such as Libya, China also has the history of almost being colonized and striving for independence. Moreover, it has faced Western sanctions and later improved its relationship with the West.

There are only a few countries, including Iran and North Korea, which haven”t experienced the final improvement of relationships with the West.

From the Libyan crisis, Chinese diplomatic policymakers and the scholars studying international relations should consider more carefully what kind of principles should be preserved, what kind of bottom line should be stuck to and how to develop our military strength without being disturbed.

The Chinese people should not just be onlookers toward Libya.

====

Russia, China Oppose Repeat Of Libyan Model In Yemen

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/20/49193010.html

Voice of Russia
April 20, 2011

Russia, China opposed to UN interference in Yemen

Russia and China have come out against any active UN moves in Yemen.

According to the Russian business paper RBC, the recent UN Security Council meeting in New York on Yemen restricted itself to appeals for restraint and for dialogue between the Yemeni authorities and the opposition.

Prior to the meeting, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Yemeni opposition members that they should not count on the West’s support to the same degree as the Libyan rebels.

Mass protests have been under way in Yemen since late January this year urging President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. The opposition rejects all compromise proposals for dialogue to settle the crisis.

—————————————————————————

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/lavrov-lashes-out-at-nato/435403.html

Reuters
April 20, 2011

Lavrov Lashes Out at NATO

BELGRADE, Serbia: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Western attempts to topple Moammar Gadhafi were a violation of a UN resolution on Libya that only authorized the use of force to protect civilians.

Given such a Western position, the Libyan opposition was refusing to negotiate a cease-fire with the regime in Tripoli, Lavrov said. “It is crucial to establish a cease-fire,” he said on a visit to Belgrade.

Lavrov said the opposition in Yemen was apparently also hoping for Western help, similar to the NATO operation in Libya, to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“Probably using the same logic, the opposition in Yemen is refusing the possibility to sit at the negotiating table, hoping for that kind of help from abroad,” Lavrov said.

====

Libyan War: Humanitarian Disaster, West Getting Bogged Down In Africa

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-04/20/c_13837565.htm

China Daily
Appril 20, 2011

Libya’s expanding complications

-The longer the Western allies are embroiled in the domestic conflict in Libya, the stronger Africa’s anti-interventionist sentiments will become, with the result that the political legitimacy of the Libyan opposition will become even more tenuous, compelling the West to undertake more substantial operations in Libya and ultimately bogging them down in Africa.
-[Arab countries] first tried to instigate Western countries to intervene in the Libyan conflict and attempted to let Gadhafi serve as a sacrificial lamb for the upheavals in the Middle East, especially those with their own domestic revolt pressure.

BEIJING: With no end in sight the situation is turning into a humanitarian disaster with far-reaching consequences.

After weeks of seesawing firefights, the Libyan conflict seems to have fallen into a stalemate. The Western allies have assumed that they could intervene and oust Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi through air strikes.

But even with the aid of the allied bombardment the rebel forces have been unable to gain an apparent advantage over the government troops.

Indeed, with increasing civilian casualties and a growing humanitarian disaster, the West’s military operations have merely convinced some of the rebels that the opposition is betraying national interests and resorting to Western powers to further its own interests.

The political impotence of the opposition is gradually being exposed. Besides accusing the Gadhafi regime of corruption and dictatorship, the opposition has found no other convincing arguments with which to attack its legitimacy.

The opposition is composed of a lot of factions scrambling for power, which has undermined the rebels’ unity, and there is concern among the Western allies that in a post-Gadhafi era the opposition would be incapable of restoring order.

For the allies, a long-drawn-out military intervention will inevitably result in a growing number of civilian casualties and serious humanitarian issues, such as the destruction of civilian facilities, swelling numbers of refugees and a shortage of food and medical care. This would enable the Gadhafi regime to make a big fanfare over the misery of the Libyan people and to claim that the people’s suffering was caused by the West and the only way out is to return to the previous state of affairs.

Long-term military intervention by the allies would also consolidate anti-war sentiments in their own countries and because of the financial crisis and the already strained fiscal circumstances in Western countries the allies cannot indefinitely finance their military operations on the battlefield.

After weathering the allies’ air strikes and the opposition’s attacks, Gadhafi quickly began a diplomatic offensive. He has spared no effort to enlist the support of neighboring African Union (AU) countries and has used the fact that Libya, as an African country, is suffering from foreign intervention to arouse simmering anti-colonialist sentiments. The Libyan leader wants the whole AU to back his legitimacy.

In Africa, Gadhafi’s government is increasingly regarded as the standard bearer in the fight against Western colonial intervention. Libya is becoming the front line of African countries’ resistance toward Western interference, rather than a place where the UN mandated a peacekeeping no-fly zone, intended to prevent Libyan civilians from being abused by the Gadhafi regime.

The longer the Western allies are embroiled in the domestic conflict in Libya, the stronger Africa’s anti-interventionist sentiments will become, with the result that the political legitimacy of the Libyan opposition will become even more tenuous, compelling the West to undertake more substantial operations in Libya and ultimately bogging them down in Africa.

Compared with Africa’s increasing unity, the fragmentation of the Arab world might be detrimental to hopes of achieving a resolution to the situation in Libya. In dealing with Libya, the Arab countries seem to be in confusion.

They first tried to instigate Western countries to intervene in the Libyan conflict and attempted to let Gadhafi serve as a sacrificial lamb for the upheavals in the Middle East, especially those with their own domestic revolt pressure.

When Gadhafi managed to stand up against the allies’ military strikes, the Arab League began to hold itself slightly aloof from the West so as to avoid being labeled as “the betrayer of Arab interests” by their people. Those few countries, which are firmly following the West’s footsteps, will likely incur the anger of the Arab world in the future.

To a large extent, the Libya crisis has caused the Arab world to divide into three parts, those countries that have turned to Africa, those to Iran and those to the West. This has further reduced the Arab world’s influence in regional affairs.

The West’s deepening involvement, combined with the complex relations between countries in the region and tribal and religious conflicts and grievances, will further complicate the situation and make it even harder to find peace in the region.

====

Azores: Portuguese Air Base Used For NATO’s Libyan War

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123252427

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
April 20, 2011

Lajes fuels E-3 in support of NATO operations in Libya
by Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

LAJES FIELD, Azores: An E-3 Sentry from the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., stopped at Lajes Field after returning from its mission in support of NATO Operation Unified Protector April 11, 2011.
….
Team Lajes members from the 65th Operations Support Squadron and the 65th Mission Support Group supported the E-3 team by providing lodging for the crew and aircraft security, along with aircraft support by issuing fuel.
….
The E-3 Sentry, after being refueled with more than 2,000 gallons of fuel, was able to return to its home station.

“Lajes airfield sits in the middle of the Atlantic and has historically been an important strategic stopover,” said Colonel Penrod. “As the operations tempo of the USAF increases with emerging taskings, Lajes gives our planners airflow options and eases the burden of our heavily-tasked aerial refueling tanker fleet.”
….

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Video And Text: West’s False Humanitarian War In Libya Does More Harm Than Good

http://rt.com/usa/news/libya-intervention-gaddafi-obama/

RT
April 20, 2011

Libyan intervention doing more harm than good

Video

US President Barack Obama over exaggerated the humanitarian angle used to justify military action in Libya, claimed intervention was necessary to prevent a bloodbath, argue some human rights activists.

A report by Human Rights Watch shows that Gaddafi was not deliberately killing civilians but rather targeting armed rebels fighters who were targeting his government.

Obama insisted civilians were being targeted and that Gaddafi would kill them all if intervention did not take place. However, intervention has not stopped the killing of rebel groups and may have in fact put civilians at greater risk.

US interference has emboldened rebel fighters and encouraged them further, it has placed civilians in between government forces and rebel groups, further prolonging Libya’s civil war and brining about greater casualties.

Alan J. Kuperman, a professor at the University of Texas argued there is simply no evidence Gaddafi was targeting civilians, therefore there is no possibility Obama could have had evidence or reason to enter Libya and begin a military intervention.

“Civilians are caught in the middle,” he said. “We didn’t stop a bloodbath but we are prolonging and perpetuating the suffering of civilians in Libya.”

He argued that Gaddafi is targeting rebel fighters. There was never a bloodbath of civilians at the hands of Gaddafi.

“We knew that if we wanted – if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world,” Obama said in a speech.

“If Gaddafi were trying to massacre civilians there would be thousands killed, not a couple hundred killed,” Kuperman remarked.

Gaddafi said he would show no mercy to rebels, he did not speak about civilians. He even said rebel fighters who laid down their arms and surrendered would receive mercy, explained Kuperman.

“He made clear would not target civilians,” he said. “Obama exaggerated the threat.”

The US lead NATO intervention has prolonged the war. Had there been no intervention the civil war would have ended in March Kuperman argued.

“My rough guess at this point is we have actually increased the net suffering to civilians in Libya,” he said.

The international community should stay out of domestic issues, Kuperman contended. Intervention should be a threat, a potential last result only if civilians are truly targeted.

====

U.S. Has Flown 800 Air Missions Since NATO Takeover Of Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5haxsOsdRXoGGZnFr5XgXSsz1kwog?docId=CNG.c2bfdeae6f04b1a245a230bead308a7a.2a1

Agence France-Presse
April 19, 2011

US has flown 800 Libya sorties since NATO takeover

WASHINGTON: The US military has flown more than 800 sorties over Libya since handing control of the air campaign’s operations to NATO, the Defense Department said Tuesday.

Navy Captain Darryn James said US fighter jets this month unleashed bombs eight times on the air defenses of…Moamer Kadhafi’s government, which is battling anti-regime rebels in the North African nation.

“The US has flown more than 800 sorties in support of Operation Unified Protector since April 1, and of those, more than 150 have been SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) missions,” said James, a Pentagon spokesman.
….
On Monday, an American F-16CJ fighter jet “dropped ordnance on two surface-to-air sites in the vicinity of Tripoli during a single SEAD mission,” James said.

Britain and France, which led the calls for international intervention to stop Kadhafi’s attacks on his people, recently pressed NATO allies to share more of the burden for the operation and deploy more combat aircraft as the Libya conflict enters its second month.

Since NATO took control of operations, allied planes have flown 2,877 sorties, among them 1,199 bombing missions – which include raids aimed at identifying potential targets and which do not always result in a bombardment.

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Libya: NATO Doubled Missile, Bomb Strikes In Past Two Weeks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8461802/Libya-RAF-Tornados-carry-out-deliberate-multiple-strikes.html

Daily Telegraph
April 20, 2011

Libya: RAF Tornados carry out ‘deliberate, multiple strikes’

RAF Tornados have carried out “deliberate, multiple strikes” aimed at robbing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of command and control over his forces as Nato on Tuesday stepped up bombing raids over Libya
By Bruno Waterfield

Brussels: Brigadier-General Mark van Uhm, Nato’s chief of allied operations, also said that Alliance combat aircraft had destroyed significant numbers of tanks, armoured vehicles and rocket launchers besieging the Libyan city of Misurata on Monday night.

“We have been watching the situation in Misurata, and over the past 10 days fighting has been intense,” he said.

“Our forces have conducted numerous strikes in and around Misurata, and we have destroyed over 40 tanks and several armoured fighting vehicles there.”

Nato officials have signalled a new phase in operations, under Alliance control for three weeks, with major attacks on Tuesday by the RAF on communications infrastructure and the headquarters of Gaddafi’s elite 32nd Brigade located six miles south of Tripoli.

The 32nd Brigade, commanded by Col. Gaddafi’s son Khamis, has led and commanded military actions against the Libyan rebels.

“What we are doing is attacking the regime’s ability to supply and sustain these attacks not just in the area of Misurata but across the country,” said Gen. van Uhm.

Alliance sources said the number of Nato strike sorties ending with the use of missiles or bombs without being aborted has doubled over the last two weeks.

“Whenever Gaddafi tries to advance we destroy his supply lines and he has to fall back,” said the official. “We suspect he has had to force his troops to advance and we are whacking them. Now we’re taking out his communications.”

France has provided extra fighters to overcome a shortage of Nato combat planes and was moving its Charles De Gaulle aircraft near to Misurata to provide “faster rotations and targeting”, said a source.

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NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 3,000 Sorties, 1,200 Air Strikes Since March 31

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110419_110419-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 19, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 2,877 sorties and 1,199 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 April: 143

Strike sorties conducted 18 April: 53
….
Key Targets and Engagements

18 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: 9 ammunition bunkers and 1 building (HQ of 32nd Brigade) were destroyed. In the vicinity of Misrata: 6 surface to air missiles, 4 tanks, 3 air defence missile sites and 1 mobile rocket launcher were destroyed. In the vicinity of Sirte: 3 ammunition storage bunkers destroyed. In the vicinity of Zintan: 3 tanks, 1 anti-aircraft weapon system and 1 armoured vehicles were destroyed. In the vicinity of Brega: 1 building was destroyed
….
Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

38 Vessels were hailed on 18 April to determine destination and cargo. No boarding was conducted (no diversion).

A total of 422 vessels have been hailed, 10 boardings and 3 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

====

State Department: Libyan War “Classic Example” Of Global NATO Partnerships

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41166&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 19, 2011

Philip Gordon sums up NATO ministerial in Berlin

US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon summed up the NATO ministerial in Berlin held on April 14-15 and spoke about the participation of the Secretary of State in one of the most important political events.

“Secretary Clinton participated in a NATO ministerial that was an opportunity to consult with key allies and partners not just on Libya, but on a wide range of other bilateral and multilateral issues. The NATO ministerial included sessions on Libya, on Afghanistan – where ISAF, all of the ISAF partners joined NATO members – NATO’s deterrence and defense posture review, NATO’s partnerships in general, and specifically the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Georgia Commission, and the NATO-Ukraine Commission, so it was a busy couple of days.

“[Regarding] NATO partnerships, allies agreed to enhancements for engaging partners across the globe, and indeed, Libya is a classic example of why NATO needs good mechanisms for partnerships, because we’re actually undertaking a partnership mission as we speak.

“The NATO-Georgia Commission met and allies reaffirmed Georgia’s membership aspirations, encouraged further reforms in Georgia, and expressed support for Georgian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and continue to stand by the process of strengthening Georgia’s candidacy for Euro-Atlantic institutions, and are working with Georgia on its Annual National Program and other mechanisms that make Georgia a stronger candidate. And they also expressed appreciation for Georgia’s contribution to the ISAF mission, where Georgia was also represented in Berlin,” Gordon said.

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White House Confident NATO Can Continue To Wage War Against Libya

http://www.zeenews.com/news700869.html

Press Trust of India
April 19, 2011

NATO has the ability to fulfil its Libyan mission: US

Washington: Amidst reports that NATO is running out of ammunition to fight the war in Libya, the US has expressed its full confidence in the organisation and its European allies to achieve its objectives in Libya.

“We believe that NATO has the capability and the capacity to fulfil the mission it has taken to lead, command and control in enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973,” the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his news conference yesterday.

He said that the Obama administration has no plans to change its supportive role in Libya right now.

“Our role is as the (US) President promised it would be, which is to support and assist, and it remains an important role but not a lead role.

“We provide capacities for jamming, for tanker refuelling, for intelligence gathering and the like, and we continue to work with our NATO partners to find if there are other ways that we can assist,” he said.

Demonstrating the capacity of NATO to fulfill its mission, Carney said that in the last 24 hours there has been a dramatic increase in the number of sorties flown by NATO planes as the weather has cleared.

The Pentagon yesterday said US continues to fly approximately seven to nine sorties per day. Over the weekend, there were three strikes by F-16CJs in support of this mission.

====

Biden: NATO To Handle Libya, Freeing U.S. To Take On The Rest Of The World

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j1VjolMepOV24hrq4v05-1Xu5g9g?docId=CNG.a5d6ecdd6514621d679cfc47b47863c6.71

Agence France-Presse
April 20, 2011

NATO does not need US for Libya: Biden

-Biden argued that Washington had to decide whether to spend resources “focusing on Iran, Egypt, North Korea, Afghanistan [and] Pakistan”, or give Libya more attention, stressing: “We can’t do it all.”

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview published Tuesday that NATO can handle Libya without US help, saying Washington’s efforts are better focused on places like Pakistan or Egypt.

“If the Lord Almighty extricated the US out of NATO and dropped it on the planet of Mars so we were no longer participating, it is bizarre to suggest that NATO and the rest of the world lacks the capacity to deal with Libya — it does not,” Biden told the Financial Times.

“Occasionally other countries lack the will, but this is not about capacity,” he told the daily amid deep unease among the US public and lawmakers over military action in Libya.

His comments came after the US Defense Department said the US military had flown more than 800 sorties over Libya since handing control of the air campaign’s operations to NATO.

Navy Captain Darryn James said US fighter jets this month unleashed bombs eight times on the air defenses of…Moamer Kadhafi’s government, which is battling anti-regime rebels in the North African nation.

Washington coordinated operations in the first days of allied intervention in Libya….

It transferred command to the NATO alliance earlier this month, leaving the Pentagon primarily providing refueling and surveillance aircraft, but it still flexes its military might.

Biden argued that Washington had to decide whether to spend resources “focusing on Iran, Egypt, North Korea, Afghanistan [and] Pakistan”, or give Libya more attention, stressing: “We can’t do it all.”

“The question is: Where should our resources be?” he asked.

If it came down to deciding between getting a complete picture of Libya’s opposition or understanding events in Egypt and the role the Muslim Brotherhood — an Islamist group feared by some in Washington — then “it’s not even close,” said Biden.

But the vice president flatly denied that domestic US political considerations had shaped the US handover to NATO.

“This is about our strategic interest and it is not based upon a situation of what can the traffic bear politically at home,” he said.

“The traffic can bear politically more in Libya: There’s a bad guy there, everybody knows he’s a bad guy, the people don’t like him, and so that’s not hard,” he added, referring to Kadhafi.
….
“Where we brought unique benefits to bear and unique assets we have applied those assets and we will.”

====

State Department: U.S. Considers Arming Libyan Rebels

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1864225.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 20, 2011

US still considering arming Libyan rebels

The United States continues to leave open the possibility of arming rebels in Libya who are under heavy attack by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, a US official said Tuesday, dpa reported.

“In terms of arming the rebels, that option’s not been taken off the table. All options remain on the table,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Washington has said for weeks that supplying weapons to the opposition forces had not been decided.

Answering repeated questions from reporters about what the US was doing to help the rebels, Toner noted the international agreement last week to set up financial mechanisms to funnel money to them.
….

====

France To Deploy Military Advisers To Eastern Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110420/163614405.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 20, 2011

France to send military advisers to Libya

Paris: France will send military advisers to the town of Benghazi in eastern Libya to coordinate measures…with rebels, French government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Wednesday.

“These are a few units of advisers carrying out a liaison mission under the National [Transitional] Council. Their task is to ensure protection of the civilian population,” Baroin told journalists in Paris.
….
Britain said on Tuesday it was sending a group of military advisers to Benghazi to coordinate the actions of scattered rebel forces.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) is a political body formed by Libyan rebels. It has been recognized by France, Qatar and Italy.
….

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Libya Vows To Fight Foreign Troops, Rejects EU Plan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/20/c_13836538.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 20, 2011

Libya vows to fight any foreign troops, rebuffs EU proposal

TRIPOLI: The Libyan government on Tuesday firmly rebuffed a proposal by the European Union (EU), saying it would fight any foreign troops that landed on its soil, even if they were supposedly there to escort humanitarian aid convoys, according to state-run JANA news agency.

The EU has drawn up a “concept of operations” that could include sending European troops to the besieged Libyan city of Misrata to protect aid deliveries if approved by the United Nations, although U.N. officials said they want to explore civilian options first.
….

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Spain Extends Libyan War Commitment For Two More Months

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110419/163598102.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 19, 2011

Spanish parliament votes to extend Libya operations

Madrid: The majority of Spanish parliamentary parties voted on Tuesday to extend the country’s participation in NATO’s Libya operation by two months.

Spanish Defense Minister Carme Chacon said the international coalition had to continue its “legitimate intervention in the region” to resolve the conflict.
….
Chacon put the cost of Spain’s three-month participation in the operation at 43 million euros.
….
An international meeting in Rome next month will discuss the Libya crisis amid calls for NATO to increase pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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Expert: NATO’s New Colonialism Threatens Libya With Protracted Conflict

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-04/19/c_13836439.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 19, 2011

Libya faces risk of “prolonged conflict”: Italian expert
by Silvia Marchetti

ROME: The Libyan crisis faces the risk of turning into a “prolonged conflict” which will end up splitting the country in two, a leading Italian expert said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“I see no immediate solution to the conflict between NATO forces and the Libyan rebels on one side, and Muammar Gaddafi on the other. The ongoing civil war is fated to become an internal cancer that will destroy territorial unity and lead to a partition,” Giuseppe Sacco, a professor of international relations at the Rome-based Luiss University said.

According to Sacco, Gaddafi will not easily surrender and will fight till the very end, while rebels of the Transitional National Council (TNC) will pursue a tough resistance. However, the rebels will not be able to oust Gaddafi from the country on their own.

“The rebels are militarily fragile and Gaddafi is strong and still enjoys wide territorial support. Why should he step down from power and go into exile when his regime has not collapsed yet? Since the defection of his foreign minister, nobody else of his entourage has abandoned him,” Sacco said.

The only way to definitely defeat Gaddafi would be through intensified NATO military action, but that would clash with international diplomatic concerns and the rising divergent interests of the allies, the professor said.

“The best solution (for the West) would be that Gaddafi is killed during a raid, which sounds quite unrealistic for two reasons: first, it’s hard to locate where he actually is; and second the rising opposition from the BRICS countries hinders the intensification of the military operations,” he said.

In his view, the NATO operation was a form of new colonialism and the raids could not continue forever. World nations knew this well and they must be careful in not pushing it too far. Their intervention was justified by the many civilians allegedly killed by Gaddafi, but “are we sure there were really so many thousands of deaths as the Western media has reported?” he said.

The professor therefore ruled out the possibility that Western countries might sell weapons to the rebels or deploy ground troops. A possible exit strategy from the crisis would be through intense negotiations, which, however, would simply lead to “a division of territory and natural resources between the TNC and Gaddafi, monitored by the interests of Western nations.”

Sacco also expressed doubt about the support and legitimacy of the recognition of the TNC by several Western nations, including Italy.

Three different components made up the rebel movement and needed to be considered separately when referring to the Libyan rebels, Sacco said.

“It is not true that all these rebels are friends of the West,” he said.

====

U.S. Sharpens Tone With Syria

http://en.trend.az/news/un/1864223.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 20, 2011

US: Syria should not be admitted to Human Rights Council

Syria’s record of violating human rights should bar it from admission to the UN’s Human Rights Council, the US government said Tuesday, dpa reported.

“Given Syria’s actions against its own people … we belive it would be inappropriate and hypocritical for Syria to join the Human Rights Council,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

Syria is one of four candidates for four seats allotted to Asia that will become open in May. If no fifth candidate comes forth, Syria would be likely to win majority backing from the UN General Assembly.

Protests continued Tuesday in Syria as the cabinet approved draft legislation that will end the near half-century state of emergency in the country. The legislation awaits the approval of President Bashar al-Assad.

Toner said the provisions of the law were “unclear,” adding there were some reports that protesters would have to get permission from the Interior Ministry before holding demonstrations.

“This new legislation may prove as restrictive as the emergency law it replaced,” he said.
….
“The Syrian government needs to urgently implement broader reforms and … cease violence against peaceful protesters,” Toner said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 19, 2011

April 20, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war: April 19

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Afghanistan: Top U.S. Military Officer Warns Of Significant Losses This Year

NATO Builds Iraqi Proxy Army, Oil Police

U.S. Sharpens Tone With Syria

State Department: Libyan War “Classic Example” Of Need For Global NATO Partnerships

White House Confident NATO Can Continue To Wage War Against Libya

Georgia: NATO-Standard Training For Caucasus, Black Sea, Mideast Troops

Clinton Backs Georgia Against Russia In South Caucasus

Georgia: U.S. Senators Discuss “Regional Security Issues,” Arms

Lithuania: U.S. Military Participates In Multinational NATO Exercise

Afghanistan: Poland Prolongs 2,600-Troop NATO Deployment

Report: Gambia Rejects Any African Regime Imposed By West

Obama’s Neo-Imperialism In Africa: Triumph Of Deceit Over Legality In Ivory Coast

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Afghanistan: Top U.S. Military Officer Warns Of Significant Losses This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/20/c_13836557.htm

Xinhua News Agency
April 20, 2011

U.S. top military officer warns of tough year in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday that the U.S. military is bracing for a tough year in Afghanistan with potentially significant losses.

Mullen made the comments as he visited U.S. bases in Afghanistan, according to the American Forces Press Service affiliated with the Pentagon.

“We’re going to have a very tough year this year. I’ve been very straight with the American people on that,” he told reporters traveling with him to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I think our losses, which were significant last year, will be significant this year as well,” he said.
….

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NATO Builds Iraqi Proxy Army, Oil Police

http://www.jfcnaples.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page168501125.aspx

Allied Joint Force Command Naples
April 15, 2011

NTM-I DCOM holds talks with Iraqi Ground Forces Commander

-NTM-I advises and supports the National Defence University, National Defence College, War College, Joint Staff and Command College, the Military Academy, the Defence Strategic Studies Institute and the Defence Language Institute….Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

Baghdad: NATO Training Mission-Iraq’s Deputy Commander, Italian Army Maj. Gen. Claudio Angelelli, met with Iraqi Ground Forces Commander Iraqi Army staff Gen. Ali Qadan Majeed at his office on the Victory Base Complex here April 14 to discuss NTM-I activities and plans for future cooperative efforts.

Both officers underlined the progress Iraq has made in senior noncommissioned officer training, especially the significant increase in train-the-trainer course enrollment and the expansion of the Iraqi Senior NCO Course length to 90 days.
….
In regards to future NTM-I assistance to Iraqi Ground Forces, Ali emphasized that a great job has been done thus far, but there is still a need of the professional advising role NTM-I specialists provide.

He also suggested establishing closer cooperation between NTM-I and IGFC senior leaders in the near future. Angelelli and Ali agreed that it is possible to work this issue out in the near term.

NTM-I has been training, mentoring and advising officers in the Iraqi Security Forces since 2004, in order to assist the Government of Iraq resume its important place in the international community….

NTM-I advises and supports the National Defence University, National Defence College, War College, Joint Staff and Command College, the Military Academy, the Defence Strategic Studies Institute and the Defence Language Institute.

The Iraqi Military Academy and the Joint Staff and Command College are based at Ar Rustamiyah to the East of Baghdad with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

NTM–I officers also provide mentoring and advice to the Prime Minister’s National Operations Centre, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior Command Centre and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence Joint Operations Centre that achieved the Self Sufficient Sustainable Capability in November 2010.

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U.S. Sharpens Tone With Syria

http://en.trend.az/news/un/1864223.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 20, 2011

US: Syria should not be admitted to Human Rights Council

Syria’s record of violating human rights should bar it from admission to the UN’s Human Rights Council, the US government said Tuesday, dpa reported.

“Given Syria’s actions against its own people … we belive it would be inappropriate and hypocritical for Syria to join the Human Rights Council,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

Syria is one of four candidates for four seats allotted to Asia that will become open in May. If no fifth candidate comes forth, Syria would be likely to win majority backing from the UN General Assembly.

Protests continued Tuesday in Syria as the cabinet approved draft legislation that will end the near half-century state of emergency in the country. The legislation awaits the approval of President Bashar al-Assad.

Toner said the provisions of the law were “unclear,” adding there were some reports that protesters would have to get permission from the Interior Ministry before holding demonstrations.

“This new legislation may prove as restrictive as the emergency law it replaced,” he said.
….
“The Syrian government needs to urgently implement broader reforms and … cease violence against peaceful protesters,” Toner said.

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State Department: Libyan War “Classic Example” Of Need For Global NATO Partnerships

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41166&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 19, 2011

Philip Gordon sums up NATO ministerial in Berlin

US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon summed up the NATO ministerial in Berlin held on April 14-15 and spoke about the participation of the Secretary of State in one of the most important political events.

“Secretary Clinton participated in a NATO ministerial that was an opportunity to consult with key allies and partners not just on Libya, but on a wide range of other bilateral and multilateral issues. The NATO ministerial included sessions on Libya, on Afghanistan – where ISAF, all of the ISAF partners joined NATO members – NATO’s deterrence and defense posture review, NATO’s partnerships in general, and specifically the NATO-Russia Council, the NATO-Georgia Commission, and the NATO-Ukraine Commission, so it was a busy couple of days.

“[Regarding] NATO partnerships, allies agreed to enhancements for engaging partners across the globe, and indeed, Libya is a classic example of why NATO needs good mechanisms for partnerships, because we’re actually undertaking a partnership mission as we speak.

“The NATO-Georgia Commission met and allies reaffirmed Georgia’s membership aspirations, encouraged further reforms in Georgia, and expressed support for Georgian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and continue to stand by the process of strengthening Georgia’s candidacy for Euro-Atlantic institutions, and are working with Georgia on its Annual National Program and other mechanisms that make Georgia a stronger candidate. And they also expressed appreciation for Georgia’s contribution to the ISAF mission, where Georgia was also represented in Berlin,” Gordon said.

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White House Confident NATO Can Continue To Wage War Against Libya

http://www.zeenews.com/news700869.html

Press Trust of India
April 19, 2011

NATO has the ability to fulfil its Libyan mission: US

Washington: Amidst reports that NATO is running out of ammunition to fight the war in Libya, the US has expressed its full confidence in the organisation and its European allies to achieve its objectives in Libya.

“We believe that NATO has the capability and the capacity to fulfil the mission it has taken to lead, command and control in enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973,” the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his news conference yesterday.

He said that the Obama administration has no plans to change its supportive role in Libya right now.

“Our role is as the (US) President promised it would be, which is to support and assist, and it remains an important role but not a lead role.

“We provide capacities for jamming, for tanker refuelling, for intelligence gathering and the like, and we continue to work with our NATO partners to find if there are other ways that we can assist,” he said.

Demonstrating the capacity of NATO to fulfill its mission, Carney said that in the last 24 hours there has been a dramatic increase in the number of sorties flown by NATO planes as the weather has cleared.

The Pentagon yesterday said US continues to fly approximately seven to nine sorties per day. Over the weekend, there were three strikes by F-16CJs in support of this mission.

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Georgia: NATO-Standard Training For Caucasus, Black Sea, Mideast Troops

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41164&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 19, 2011

Defense Minister visits Armenia

Minister of Defense of Georgia Bacho Akhalaia is paying an official visit to the Republic of Armenia. In the framework of the official visit he has met with his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan and the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

An expanded meeting was also held with the participation of the representatives of the Defence Ministries of Georgia and Armenia, attended by the Defence Ministers, their deputies, the leadership of the Armed Forces and heads of various departments.

The main topics of discussion at the meeting were sharing experience on the ongoing defence reforms, participation in international missions and military education.

The Georgian Defence Minister offered his Armenian counterparts sharing the ten-year experience of participating in international operations.

He also informed his colleague about the plan of establishing the Regional Training Centre in Georgia, where servicemen from Georgia, and in case of will, militaries from Armenia, from the countries of the Caucasus, the Black Sea and the Middle Asian regions will be trained for international operations on battalion level.

According to the statement of the Georgian Minister of Defence, preparation of units by joint exercises will be more effective in terms of sparing financial resources and time compared to other European training centres. Bacho Akhalaia expressed his readiness to provide training for Armenian military servicemen at the Sachkhere Mountain Training School, which has been awarded with the status of a NATO “Partnership for Peace” training and educational centre.
….

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Clinton Backs Georgia Against Russia In South Caucasus

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41181&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 19, 2011

US shares Georgia`s concerns on Russia

`US support for Georgia`s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains steadfast,` US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at the meeting between the Georgian and NATO foreign ministers in Berlin. Clinton said the United States was urging Russia at the highest levels to comply with the cease-fire that followed the former Soviet nations` 2008 war.

`We share Georgian concerns regarding recent Russian activities that can negatively affect regional stability,` Clinton announced.

Clinton voiced support for Georgia`s Western aspirations and thanked the country for its contributions in Afghanistan….

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Georgia: U.S. Senators Discuss “Regional Security Issues,” Arms

http://www.today.az/news/regions/84706.html

Trend News Agency
April 19, 2011

Georgian president discusses regional security issues with U.S. senators

-[T]he question is about anti-tank and anti-missile weapons.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed regional security issues with U.S. senators, the Georgian presidential administration said.

Saakashvili received a delegation of U.S. senators, led by Senator John Kyl, at the Presidential Palace.

The administration said that the main topics of the meeting with the Republican Party senators were close cooperation in defense and security and deepening of cooperation efforts to increase Georgia’s role in international security matters.

The senators focused on the importance of Georgian military units’ participation in the peacekeeping [sic] mission in Afghanistan. The senators have once again confirmed that Georgia is an important partner of the United States both from a political-economic and military point of view, and they once again expressed support for Georgia and the Georgian people.

Earlier at a meeting with the opposition the senators promised to raise the issue of developing new security mechanisms for Georgia, said member of the Christian-Democrats faction Nika Laliashvili after a meeting with the U.S. guests. The leader of the Free Democrats Irakli Alasania also attended the meeting.

“The situation in the occupied territories is very aggravated. It went beyond political and military matters, and the question is about the threat to citizens’ life. In recent years, a number of terrorist attacks have been committed, including one near the U.S. embassy. We have stated that Georgia needs new security mechanisms to avoid approaching threats. When military construction is underway in the occupied territories, defensive weapons become really very important for us,” Laliashvili said and added that the question is about anti-tank and anti-missile weapons.

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Lithuania: U.S. Military Participates In Multinational NATO Exercise

http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_news/?doc=7036

Baltic Course
April 14, 2011

Final phase of multinational exercise Amber Hope 2011 takes place in Nemencine

Vilnius: On April 13-15 the final planning conference of the multinational exercise Amber Hope 2011 will be held in Nemencine, reports BC, the press service of the National Defence Ministry.

Delegates representing participants of the exercise will put the final touches on the preparation process, discuss administration, provision, logistic and other tasks that must be completed before the beginning of the training event, and tour the location and infrastructure of the exercise.

Amber Hope 2011 will be the largest multinational exercise Lithuania will host this year. The event will take place on June 12 –23 in Klaipeda and Pabrade (Svencioniu region).

The crisis-response format exercise will involve over 2 thousand military and civilian participants from 8 NATO members and countries cooperating with NATO under the Partnership for Peace Programme (PfP): Estonia, Georgia, the United States of America, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Finland. Other countries and organisations will also delegate observers to the exercise.

The goal of Amber Hope 2011 is to coordinate collective actions of NATO and other states in multinational crisis response operations with regard to varying equipment and assets, and different structure and procedures in the units of different countries completing the operations. The exercise will also provide an opportunity to test and improve host nation support rendered for incoming allied forces.

Planning of the exercise is done by the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces that will also be in charge of control and command of Amber Hope 2011 due on June 12-23.

The multinational exercise Amber Hope has been held in Lithuania since 1995 with personnel typically deployed by Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. In 1997 the decision was made to organise Amber Hope. The largest event in the series took place in 2001. The event involved 2,800 participants from 14 countries. Last exercise was held in Klaipeda in 2007.

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Afghanistan: Poland Prolongs 2,600-Troop NATO Deployment

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/14-Apr-2011/Polish-president-prolongs-Afghan-mission

The Nation
April 14, 2011

Polish president prolongs Afghan mission

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski signed a decision to prolong the use of the Polish military contingent in Afghanistan, the presidential press office announced.

The motion to prolong the mission was forwarded by the Polish government in March. The president prolonged the use of the contingent till Oct. 13, 2011.

The Polish ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force) counts 2,600 soldiers. Furthermore, a 400-man reserve is stationed in Poland….

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Report: Gambia Rejects Any African Regime Imposed By West

http://news.myjoyonline.com/international/201104/64467.asp

Joy Online (Ghana)
April 18, 2011

Gambia rejects Alassane Ouattara as president of Ivory Coast

-Captain Thomas Sankara was murdered for standing up to imperialism and neocolonialism in Burkina Faso in particular and Francophone Africa in general. He was killed for the same reasons that Patrice Lumumba and other African freedom fighters died, their killers eventually becoming presidents in those African countries and working exclusively for Western interests in Africa.
-The Gambian government would not recognize any president or government in Africa that has been imposed by forces outside of the African continent for whatever reason. We know what those governments and presidents stand for in Africa. They loot African resources on behalf of the powers that brought them to power.

The Gambia said on Saturday that it does not recognize Alassane Ouattara as president of Cote d’Ivoire after the arrest of his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, with the help of UN and French forces.

“The Gambian government will not recognize any president, President Ouattara included, nor African government that has been imposed by forces outside the African continent, no matter the reason,” says the statement.

The Gambian government said that “according to the Ivorian constitution, Laurent Gbagbo is the legitimate president of Cote d’Ivoire.”

“He cannot be tried while Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian President chosen by the international community, is still unpunished after massacring thousands of civilians, only to be president,” the government said.

According to the statement, “the only solution to avoid a protracted civil war in Cote d’Ivoire…is to reorganize an election as soon as possible.”

“It’s very clear today to all Africans that the conspiracy to re-colonize Africa is real and that we must oppose it” it added.

Source: saoti.over-blog.com

Read the full statement below:

Gambia Government’s position on the tradegy in Ivory Coast

The events in Ivory Coast have vindicated us on our earlier assertion that Western neo-colonialist sponsored agents in Africa that owe allegiance only to themselves and their Western masters are ready to walk on thousands of dead bodies to the Presidency. This is what is happening in Ivory Coast.

Africans should not only wake up, but should stand up to the new attempts to re-colonise Africa through so called elections that are organized just to fool the people, since the true verdict of the people would not be respected if it does not go in favour of the Western backed candidates, as has happened in Cote D’Ivoire and elsewhere in Africa.

What is really sinister and dangerous about the neo-colonialist threat is that they are ready to use brute force, or carry out outrageous massacres to neutralize any form of resistance to the Western selected President as has happened in Cote D’Ivoire

In Ivory Coast, we know the role played by the former colonial power who, outside of the UN mandate, first bombarded the presidential palace for days, and eventually stormed it through a tunnel that links the presidential palace to one of the residences of their diplomatic representative.

The reasons for the bombardment of the presidential palace prior to the raid was, according to them, to prevent Gbagbo using heavy weapons against civilians! But both the UN and France were aware of the outrageous massacres of civilians. Entire villages that supported President Laurent Gbagbo were wiped out by the so called republican forces fighting for Ouattara. Were Gbagbo supporters not supposed to be protected by both the UN and French forces against massacres?

These so called republican forces that were supposed to be fighting for democracy, ended up killing thousands with impunity and are now engaged in massive looting!

Our position is very clear. The case of Laurent Gbagbo is a replica of the case of Patrice Lumumba who, as a freedom fighter for the dignity and independence of not only the Congolese people but the entire black race, was overthrown by Western powers including the UN, and handed over to his sworn enemies to be murdered.

History is repeating itself as the same neocolonial forces that overthrew Patrice Lumumba, captured him and handed him over to his enemies almost fifty years ago, are the same forces involved in the Ivory Coast with the only difference being that it is now a different former colonial power.

If justice is to be done, there should be an impartial and comprehensive investigation into all the atrocities carried out in Ivory Coast by a team of honest and decent Allah fearing people. Alassane Ouattara and his forces cannot go scot free and blame everything on President Laurent Gbagbo who according to the Ivorian Constitution is the legitimate President of Ivory Coast. This team should be selected by the Non Align Movement.

One is tempted to ask this question:

How is it possible that the verdict of the constitutional council that decided on who won the elections in some Francophone African countries recently, were accepted – that is after the election in Ivory Coast – but that of the Ivorian constitutional council was rejected by both the Western powers and the UN?

As far as we are concerned, the only solution to avert a long drawn-out civil war with all its attendant consequences in Ivory Coast is to reorganize Presidential elections in the shortest possible time. In the meantime, an interim government of national unity should be formed without Alassane Ouattara, as he also has a lot to answer for as well.

One thing is very clear to all Africans today – the plot to recolonise Africa is very real and we must stand up to it.

It is shameful that the most evil, dictatorial and repressive powers on earth today are calling African leaders dictators. It is also very shocking and interesting as well that the same powers are not saying anything about the popular uprising that has been raging on Burkina Faso for the past three weeks, resulting in the storming of the presidential palace in Ouagadougou, last night, with the whereabouts of Blaise Compaore unknown. This uprising has been going on for more than three weeks now, and not a single international news media is reporting on it. Is it possible in today’s world that such an uprising can take place in a country like Burkina Faso, so close to the Ivory Coast, a dusk to dawn curfew imposed for two weeks, without the Western media including those of the former colonial master knowing about it?

We the new generation of Africans cannot and will not be fooled. We know what Blaise Compaore stands for in Africa with regards to the West.

Captain Thomas Sankara was murdered for standing up to imperialism and neocolonialism in Burkina Faso in particular and Francophone Africa in general. He was killed for the same reasons that Patrice Lumumba and other African freedom fighters died, their killers eventually becoming presidents in those African countries and working exclusively for Western interests in Africa.

Blaise Compaore, is one of them. He has a lot to answer for the civil wars that ravaged Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast then, and now.

That there is such a media blackout of the uprising in Burkina Faso, but an up-to-the-minute reporting of events in Yemen, Syria, Ivory Coast, etc. shows that the so called international news media are the mouthpieces of certain satanic powers with a sinister mission for the rest of the world outside the West.

Why can’t the West respect Africa’s independence and dignity?

In conclusion, we call on the UN to ensure the safety, protection, and well being of President Laurent Gbagbo, the constitutionally legal President of Ivory Coast, and set him free. He cannot be tried whilst Alassane Ouattara, the internationally selected President goes scot free after massacring thousands of civilians just to be President!

The Gambiam government would not recognize any president or government in Africa that has been imposed by forces outside of the African continent for whatever reason. We know what those governments and presidents stand for in Africa. They loot African resources on behalf of the powers that brought them to power.

May the Almighty Allah guide, guard and protect Africans by giving us the courage to stand up in defence of African independence, dignity and the protection of our natural resources from those hungry locusts on the rampage in Africa. The road to total liberation may be tough, but we shall prevail very soon, Insha Allah.

Banjul, le 16 avril 2011

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Obama’s Neo-Imperialism In Africa: Triumph Of Deceit Over Legality In Ivory Coast

http://www.abugidainfo.com/?p=17847

Abugidainfo (Ethiopia)
April 17, 2011

Obama’s neo-imperialism in Africa and the triumph of deceit over legality in Ivory Coast
Part II
By Y. A. Kebede

-What happened afterwards is difficult to believe. On Thursday 2nd December 2010, the electoral commission’s president, Mr. Bakayoko, went to Alassane Ouattara’s campaign headquarters at the Golf Hotel and declared Ouattara the winner.
Everyone (including the other members of the electoral commission) were completely taken unawares by the totally illegal act of Mr. Bakayoko. They say that Mr. Bakayoko received an order from the American ambassador to Ivory Coast to declare Ouattara winner of the presidential poll.
-Obama’s arrogant policy towards Ivory Coast shows that being a promoter of imperialism against Africa is not a question of skin colour.
-Does Ban Ki-moon have the right to act as if he were the superior colonial administrator of Ivory Coast?
For Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Ivorian crisis is a unique occasion to prove his total loyalty to Western members of the Security Council and to get a second mandate even though that means causing havoc and death in Ivory Coast.
-The victory of Alassane Ouattara and the defeat of Mr. Gbagbo had been written years before the November 28, 2010 elections. In other words, it was decided by forces foreign to Africa with the collaboration of African dictators that the November 28 elections should be used as a means to topple Gbagbo and to install Alassane Ouattara by force as president of Ivory Coast.
-To understand Mr. Obama’s imperial interference in Ivory Coast and the West’s determination to topple Laurent Gbagbo, one should take into consideration the high geo-economic interest that the Gulf of Guinea represents for the West in general and for America in particular. The geo-economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea lies in the recent discovery of a huge oil reserve in the area. To control the Gulf of Guinea, the control of Ivory Coast is indispensable. Because not only does Ivory Coast have one of the the most modern infrastructures in Western Africa, but its economy represents also 40% of the economy of the fifteen west African states. The big problem for the West since 2002 had been Mr. Gbagbo. So long as he was in power, the West could not perpetuate the neocolonial status of Ivory Coast.

“Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups, or change constitutions to stay in power. Africa does not need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Barack Obama’s speech to the Ghanian parliament on July 11, 2009.

In the first part of this article, we saw that the victory of Laurent Gbagbo was not open to doubt from the legal point of view. The Ivorian Constitutional Council, which is the highest legal jurisdiction to decide electoral disputes, said unequivocally that Laurent Gbagbo was the winner.

Barack Obama and the Western media said that the decision of the Constitutional Council was “null and void” because, according to them, the members of the Constitutional Council are minions of Laurent Gbagbo.

This is a specious argument used for misleading Western public opinion. It points also to the existence of a grand Western agenda to prise Laurent Gbagbo from power and to make Alassane Ouattara wear the crown of of Ivory Coast.

Moreover, Obama should have known that the United States did not have any right to impugn the neutrality of the Ivorian Constitutional Council.

Obama should not forget how Bush junior was declared winner by the United States’ Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential elections. The American people and the world at large knew that Al Gore was the winner.

But since most of the judges were nominated under Republican presidents, they abused their office to destroy the popular will and replace it by their own.

The problem is that the law always takes precedence when it is inconsistent with popular will until such time that the people change the law.

That is why the American people accepted the ill-gotten victory of George Bush because the United State’s Supreme Court judges’ decision is final according to the United States’ constitution.

However compared to the egregious partiality of the United States’ Supreme Court judges in the 2000 presidential elections, the Ivorian Constitutional Council cannot be accused of being partial to Laurent Gbagbo.

One may not agree with the Council’s decision declaring Gbagbo winner of the elections, but one cannot say that it reflected the non-neutrality of the Council.

To show the non-neutrality of the Council, Obama and Western leaders submit ad hominem arguments saying that the judges of the Constitutional Council are close friends of Laurent Gbagbo; but one can wonder if Obama has ever appointed his enemies as judges of the United States’ Supreme Court? It is an undeniable truth that no Western leader has ever appointed Supreme Court judges whom they know to be their ideological or personal enemies. Besides, the crucial question is not whether the members of the Constitutional Council are cronies of Laurent Gbagbo. The issue is whether their decision is constitutionally legal. No one expects judges to tell the truth of what happened. Only God can know the true truth. As for judges, it behoves them only to tell the law’s solution to a problem submitted to them.

That being said, Obama and other Western leaders forget that the same argument can be returned against them when they say that Alassane Ouattara has been declared winner by the Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission.

But who are the leader and the members of the Electoral Commission? 19 of them belong to opposition political parties, 11 represent different administrative bodies, and only two are from Laurent Gbagbo’s party.

Before and during the first round of elections, no one raised a problem either with the neutrality of the Constitutional Council or with that of the Electoral Commission even though Laurent Gbagbo got the highest number of votes. The problem arose during the second round of elections when the electoral Commission failed to release the election results within the imparted time limit (i.e., a 72-hour period).

Why did not the electoral commission release the election results before the expiration of the deadline as stipulated by the law? The electoral commission’s president Youssouf Bakayoko has never given the answer.

What is indisputable is that because of its failure to release election results within the time fixed by the law, the door was foreclosed for the electoral commission to release results after the expiration of the deadline.

It was up to the Constitutional Council to decide what to do next. That is why the president of the electoral commission, Youssouf Bakayoko, transmitted the election materials to the Constitutional Council after midnight on Wednesday 1st December 2010. Because he knew that he could not release the results within the appointed time.

What happened afterwards is difficult to believe. On Thursday 2nd December 2010, the electoral commission’s president, Mr. Bakayoko, went to Alassane Ouattara’s campaign headquarters at the Golf Hotel and declared Ouattara the winner.

Everyone (including the other members of the electoral commission) were completely taken unawares by the totally illegal act of Mr. Bakayoko. They say that Mr. Bakayoko received an order from the American ambassador to Ivory Coast to declare Ouattara winner of the presidential poll.

And the commission’s president complied with the order by saying that Ouattara won over the incumbent president by securing 54.1% of the vote. The fact remains that the president of the electoral commission knew full well that it was out of his competence to release results, because the deadline for doing so had expired and because election materials had been transmitted to the Constitutional Council. Since then Mr. Bakayoko has gone into hiding in the Golf Hotel, where Mr. Ouattara has taken refuge under the protection of United Nations troops.

It would be very interesting to know why Mr. Bakayoko was led to act illegally after having transmitted the election materials to the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council was going to declare the winner on Friday 3rd of December 2010.

It seems that Mr. Bakayoko was ordered to pre-empt the Constitutional Council decision before it was made public. And here lies the unprecedented international deceit against the laws and institutions of an African nation.

In his July 11, 2009 speech to the Ghanian parliament, Mr. Obama told Africans that Africa needed strong institutions and not strongmen. However the international deceit to prise from power Laurent Gbagbo, the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, and his capture by United Nations troops shows Obama’s shameful decision to render inefficacious Ivorian laws and institutions. Surely Obama will go down into the annals of history as one whose deeds contradict his words. Obama’s arrogant policy towards Ivory Coast shows that being a promoter of imperialism against Africa is not a question of skin colour.

Obama’s blatant interference to change the decision of Ivorian institutions provides also clear proof that the the electoral commission was not neutral. Witness Mr. Bakayoko’s decision to declare the election “results” at the Golf Hotel, that is, in the campaign headquarters of Mr. Ouattara and before Western media.

There was no Ivorian news network. The problem is not only that the conduct of the electoral commission’s president was illegal. But Western media misled world public opinion into believing that the electoral commission had the mandate to announce the winner of the elections.

For example, when Alemayehu Gebremariam criticized Laurent Gbagbo for having refused to accept the decision of his own electoral commission, he misled his Ethiopian readers into believing that the electoral commission wass competent to declare the winner.

That is not true. Alemayehu did not do his homework. The electoral commission was not mandated to declare who the winner was. Its mandate was to declare provisional results. The declaration of the final result belongs to the Constitutional Council in that the provisional results of the electoral commission ought to be validated by the Constitutional Council. This means that it is only the Constitutional Council which can declare a winner in an election. That is why the Constitutional Council was led to invalidate the declaration of the president of the electoral commission that Ouattara was the winner.

The international community of Western nations feigned being scandalized by the decision of the Constitutional Council. It tries to make believe as if the electoral commission could release results after the expiration of the deadline, as if it could declare the winner and as if its declaration of election results were final.

The fact is that a party which feels aggrieved by the declarations of the electoral commission can take an appeal to the Ivorian Constitutional Council, and this is what Laurent Gbagbo did.

Gbagbo claimed that the election in the northern part of the country controlled by the rebel army of Alassane Ouattara was completely rigged. For example the number of those who cast votes was far superior to the number of registered voters.

Neither Alassane Ouattara nor his protector, the United Nations, have disputed this allegation. Neither have they contested the regularity of elections in areas under the control of the Ivorian government.

It is unclear what the international community of Western leaders had expected of Laurent Gbagbo. Should he have refrained from contesting the regularity of the election in the northern part of the country under rebel control since 2004 so that the Western world’s candidate could be declared president?

And yet, it was not only Gbagbo who said that the elections in the north under rebel control were totally rigged. Even though Western governments and media have never talked about it, elections observers sent by the African Union led by former Togolese prime minister Koku Koffigoh declared that the scale of electoral abuses in the northern part of the country under the control of Mr Ouattara’s rebel forces were on such a scale as to discredit the sincerity of the vote in many areas of northern Ivory Coast; the African observers also talked about intimidation, torture and assassination of Ivorians suspected by Mr. Ouattara’s rebels of being pro-Gbagbo.

Mr. Koku Koffigoh also added that two of the African Union observers were confined in the north illegally by the rebel forces. He thanked the United Nations for having facilitated the release of the two African Union observers.

The position of the African Union observers was diametrically opposite to the position of observers sent by the European Union and by the American government.

Observers from America and Europe had already given passing marks to the elections when observers from the African Union said the polls in the north were not credible.

Then American and European observers made racism-tinged commentaries destined at denigrating African Unions observers. Normally, the African Union and the ECOWAS (the Economic Community of Western African States) should have endorsed and defended the position of the African Union’s observers.

Bizarrely, they preferred endorsing the position of observers from the United States and from the European Union. This is something never seen before. You send observers and you disown their observations!

The African Union should henceforth desist from sending observers. Not only that. The African Union also refused to study attentively Laurent Gbagbo’s proposal that the votes be recounted. However, Gbagbo’s proposition of vote recounting was illegal in that it was in violation of the Ivorian constitution which says that the decision of the Constitutional Council is final. But for the sake of peace, Gbagbo expressed his desire that votes be recounted in order to forestall any misunderstanding and suspicion regarding his victory.

Here again, the African Union adopted the position of Ban Ki-moon who was opposed to the recounting of votes. Does Ban Ki-moon have the right to act as if he were the superior colonial administrator of Ivory Coast?

What is sad is that the African Union obeyed the arrogant orders of Ban Ki-moon rather than listening to Laurent Gbagbo’s proposal. Wherein then lies the Africanity of this so-called African Union which gives a listening ear only to non-Africans against Africans?

In reality, the position of Ban Ki-moon was most expected because of his palpable and egregious partiality to Mr. Ouattara.

The Ouattara camp would have certainly accepted the decision of the Ivorian Constitutional Council declaring Laurent Gbago winner of the elections had it not been for Mr. Choi, a South Korean and representative of South Korean UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who declared publicly that the winner was not Laurent Gbagbo, but Alassane Ouattara.

From that time on, Ouattara has never ceased claiming that he is the elected leader. Ouattara seems to say that the United Nations mission chief to Ivory Coast, Mr. Choi, is hierarchically superior to the Ivorian constitution and to the Ivorian Constitutional Council. In reality, Mr. Choi is a simple international “civil servant” who acted beyond his powers and against Ivorian laws. He did that on the order of his fellow country folk, Ban Ki-moon who wants to be elected as UN Secretary General for a second time. To that end, he must act in such a way to please the members of the Security Council.

For Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Ivorian crisis is a unique occasion to prove his total loyalty to Western members of the Security Council and to get a second mandate even though that means causing havoc and death in Ivory Coast.

Indeed, one can argue safely that the post-electoral crisis in Ivory Coast is due mainly to the UN’s refusal to respect the clause of the 2007 Ouagadougou Agreement enjoining the UN to disarm and contain the rebel forces no later than two months before the start of the presidential election.

In other words, the UN Security Council did not uphold its own commitment to disarm the Ivorian rebels and to create favourable conditions for free and transparent elections.

The election took place without the reunification of the country.

Laurent Gbago insisted that the UN disarm the rebels but Ban Ki-moon was not willing to act. Because that was not the desire of the Western members of the Security Council, especially the United States. On the other hand, the United States insisted that the elections should be held as soon as possible.

It pressured Laurent Gbagbo, saying that he could not continue to hold power while his mandate expired in 2005. Gbagbo said that it was not his fault if the elections were not held in 2005. Finally he accepted to go for elections contrary to what was agreed in Ouagadougou in 2007.

The refusal of the UN to disarm the northern rebels as per the 2007 Ouagadougou agreement showed that there was a second plan to resort to violence or to other foul means in case Gbagbo won the elections.

The victory of Alassane Ouattara and the defeat of Mr. Gbagbo had been written years before the November 28, 2010 elections. In other words, it was decided by forces foreign to Africa with the collaboration of African dictators that the November 28 elections should be used as a means to topple Gbagbo and to install Alassane Ouattara by force as president of Ivory Coast.

How does one explain America’s unprecedented involvement in the Ivorian dispute whereas it uttered no word on Burkina Faso’s elections which took place at almost the same time as that of Ivory Coast? Why has not America said anything about the fake re-election of Blaise Compaore in power in Burkina Faso since 1987?

To understand Mr. Obama’s imperial interference in Ivory Coast and the West’s determination to topple Laurent Gbagbo, one should take into consideration the high geo-economic interest that the Gulf of Guinea represents for the West in general and for America in particular. The geo-economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea lies in the recent discovery of a huge oil reserve in the area. To control the Gulf of Guinea, the control of Ivory Coast is indispensable. Because not only does Ivory Coast have one of the the most modern infrastructures in Western Africa, but its economy represents also 40% of the economy of the fifteen west African states. The big problem for the West since 2002 had been Mr. Gbagbo. So long as he was in power, the West could not perpetuate the neocolonial status of Ivory Coast.

From the foregoing, it is not difficult to see that the Western media discourse about democracy and the international media propaganda that Mr. Ouattara is the democratically elected president of Ivory Coast is a red herring. The real objective is not about the future of democracy in Africa since the West is afraid of the true democratization of Africa.

If Africans were to choose freely their leaders, the West could not control Africa and its natural resources. If Mr. Gbagbo were to ingratiate himself towards the West like Alassane Ouattara did between 1990-1993, he would be endorsed now as president of Ivory Coast; the United Nations would not invade and occupy Abidjan to install by force its candidate, Alassane Ouattara.

But Gbagbo could not ingratiate himself before Western leaders. Gbagbo was an African liberation fighter, a true democrat and statesman. Contrary to the belief of many confused people, including the aforementioned Ethiopians, Mr. Gbagbo is not a dictator. He never imprisoned his political adversaries. He never imprisoned journalists. That is why the removal of the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, by the United Nations at the behest of Barack Obama and with the collaboration of the African Union is the defeat of Africa’s stride toward true independence. Poor Africa, when will your own sons refrain from collaborating with foreigners bent on enslaving you?

Conclusion

What is the lesson that Ethiopians should learn from the overthrowing and the capture of the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, by the United Nations? The lesson is that Ethiopians don’t have any other choice but to be united and to act as one man if they want to pass on to the next generation of Ethiopians a united and independent nation. The West is not at all interested in the democratization of Ethiopia. It is interested only in the defence of its geopolitical interests in the Horn of Africa.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Jonathan Swift on war

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

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Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels (1726)

From Part IV: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

The author at his master’s command, informs him of the state of England. The causes of war among the princes of Europe. The author begins to explain the English constitution.

The reader may please to observe, that the following extract of many conversations I had with my master, contains a summary of the most material points which were discoursed at several times for above two years; his honour often desiring fuller satisfaction, as I farther improved in the HOUYHNHNM tongue. I laid before him, as well as I could, the whole state of Europe; I discoursed of trade and manufactures, of arts and sciences; and the answers I gave to all the questions he made, as they arose upon several subjects, were a fund of conversation not to be exhausted. But I shall here only set down the substance of what passed between us concerning my own country, reducing it in order as well as I can, without any regard to time or other circumstances, while I strictly adhere to truth. My only concern is, that I shall hardly be able to do justice to my master’s arguments and expressions, which must needs suffer by my want of capacity, as well as by a translation into our barbarous English.

In obedience, therefore, to his honour’s commands, I related to him the Revolution under the Prince of Orange; the long war with France, entered into by the said prince, and renewed by his successor, the present queen, wherein the greatest powers of Christendom were engaged, and which still continued: I computed, at his request, “that about a million of YAHOOS might have been killed in the whole progress of it; and perhaps a hundred or more cities taken, and five times as many ships burnt or sunk.”

He asked me, “what were the usual causes or motives that made one country go to war with another?” I answered “they were innumerable; but I should only mention a few of the chief. Sometimes the ambition of princes, who never think they have land or people enough to govern; sometimes the corruption of ministers, who engage their master in a war, in order to stifle or divert the clamour of the subjects against their evil administration. Difference in opinions has cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine; whether whistling be a vice or a virtue; whether it be better to kiss a post, or throw it into the fire; what is the best colour for a coat, whether black, white, red, or gray; and whether it should be long or short, narrow or wide, dirty or clean; with many more.

“Neither are any wars so furious and bloody, or of so long a continuance, as those occasioned by difference in opinion, especially if it be in things indifferent.

“Sometimes the quarrel between two princes is to decide which of them shall dispossess a third of his dominions, where neither of them pretend to any right. Sometimes one prince quarrels with another for fear the other should quarrel with him. Sometimes a war is entered upon, because the enemy is too strong; and sometimes, because he is too weak. Sometimes our neighbours want the things which we have, or have the things which we want, and we both fight, till they take ours, or give us theirs. It is a very justifiable cause of a war, to invade a country after the people have been wasted by famine, destroyed by pestilence, or embroiled by factions among themselves. It is justifiable to enter into war against our nearest ally, when one of his towns lies convenient for us, or a territory of land, that would render our dominions round and complete. If a prince sends forces into a nation, where the people are poor and ignorant, he may lawfully put half of them to death, and make slaves of the rest, in order to civilize and reduce them from their barbarous way of living. It is a very kingly, honourable, and frequent practice, when one prince desires the assistance of another, to secure him against an invasion, that the assistant, when he has driven out the invader, should seize on the dominions himself, and kill, imprison, or banish, the prince he came to relieve. Alliance by blood, or marriage, is a frequent cause of war between princes; and the nearer the kindred is, the greater their disposition to quarrel; poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance. For these reasons, the trade of a soldier is held the most honourable of all others; because a soldier is a YAHOO hired to kill, in cold blood, as many of his own species, who have never offended him, as possibly he can.

“There is likewise a kind of beggarly princes in Europe, not able to make war by themselves, who hire out their troops to richer nations, for so much a day to each man; of which they keep three-fourths to themselves, and it is the best part of their maintenance: such are those in many northern parts of Europe.”

“What you have told me,” said my master, “upon the subject of war, does indeed discover most admirably the effects of that reason you pretend to: however, it is happy that the shame is greater than the danger; and that nature has left you utterly incapable of doing much mischief. For, your mouths lying flat with your faces, you can hardly bite each other to any purpose, unless by consent. Then as to the claws upon your feet before and behind, they are so short and tender, that one of our YAHOOS would drive a dozen of yours before him. And therefore, in recounting the numbers of those who have been killed in battle, I cannot but think you have said the thing which is not.”

I could not forbear shaking my head, and smiling a little at his ignorance. And being no stranger to the art of war, I gave him a description of cannons, culverins, muskets, carabines, pistols, bullets, powder, swords, bayonets, battles, sieges, retreats, attacks, undermines, countermines, bombardments, sea fights, ships sunk with a thousand men, twenty thousand killed on each side, dying groans, limbs flying in the air, smoke, noise, confusion, trampling to death under horses’ feet, flight, pursuit, victory; fields strewed with carcases, left for food to dogs and wolves and birds of prey; plundering, stripping, ravishing, burning, and destroying. And to set forth the valour of my own dear countrymen, I assured him, “that I had seen them blow up a hundred enemies at once in a siege, and as many in a ship, and beheld the dead bodies drop down in pieces from the clouds, to the great diversion of the spectators.”

I was going on to more particulars, when my master commanded me silence. He said, “whoever understood the nature of YAHOOS, might easily believe it possible for so vile an animal to be capable of every action I had named, if their strength and cunning equalled their malice.” But as my discourse had increased his abhorrence of the whole species, so he found it gave him a disturbance in his mind to which he was wholly a stranger before.

He thought his ears, being used to such abominable words, might, by degrees, admit them with less detestation: that although he hated the YAHOOS of this country, yet he no more blamed them for their odious qualities, than he did a GNNAYH (a bird of prey) for its cruelty, or a sharp stone for cutting his hoof. But when a creature pretending to reason could be capable of such enormities, he dreaded lest the corruption of that faculty might be worse than brutality itself. He seemed therefore confident, that, instead of reason we were only possessed of some quality fitted to increase our natural vices; as the reflection from a troubled stream returns the image of an ill shapen body, not only larger but more distorted.

He added, “that he had heard too much upon the subject of war, both in this and some former discourses….”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 19

April 19, 2011 1 comment

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Britain Deploys Military Advisers To Aid Rebels As NATO Intenifies Bombing Of Libya

Libya: NATO Gearing Up For Ground Operations

War In Second Month, NATO Vows More “Blows All Over Libyan Territory”

Russia: Western Support For Libyan Rebels Dangerous Precedent

Tanzania: Leading Church Official Condemns NATO Strikes In Libya

NATO Warplanes Bombard Libyan Capital

NATO Intensifies Attacks Against Libyan Ground Targets

“Unified Protector”: 2,877 NATO Sorties, 1,199 Air Strikes

NATO’s Libyan War: Regime Change Under UN Security Council Cover

European Relief Effort Feared Pretext For Libyan Ground Invasion

Russia: NATO’s Libyan War Violates UN Resolution, Yemen May Be Next

West’s Libyan War: A Month In The March Of Folly

Video And Text: French Media Hides Nation’s Three Wars

Interview: Libya In The Face Of Humanitarian Imperialism

Romanian Warship Joins NATO Blockade Of Libya

Obama’s Neo-Imperialism In Africa: Triumph Of Deceit Over Legality In Ivory Coast

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Britain Deploys Military Advisers To Aid Rebels As NATO Intenifies Bombing Of Libya

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-19/britain-sends-military-team-to-libya-as-nato-planes-hit-qaddafi-loyalists.html

Bloomberg News
April 19, 2011

Britain Sends Military Team to Libya as NATO Hits Qaddafi Forces
By Patrick Donahue and Jeffrey Donovan

The U.K. dispatched a team of military advisers to assist Libyan rebels fighting to topple Muammar Qaddafi as NATO jets destroyed tanks, armored vehicles and rocket launchers near a rebel-held city.

The contingent of “experienced British military officers” will help the rebels organize communications and logistics, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement from London. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said its warplanes bombed a convoy of Qaddafi loyalist armored-vehicles bound for the besieged port city of Misrata, where NATO has been unable to stave off attacks….

“At the moment on the ground, I don’t know if it’s a stalemate; certainly it’s not necessarily moving forward,” Admiral Giampaolo di Paola, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, said today in Rome. “The eastern front is constantly moving up and down. It’s fluid, but it’s in the same area.”
….
Five days after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told alliance foreign ministers in Berlin that commanders needed more ground-attacks jets, Brigadier General Mark van Uhm said the alliance had more military assets than it did last week. He declined to say what the new assets were or which countries had supplied them.

Van Uhm, the mission’s chief of allied operations, said more than 30 percent of Qaddafi’s military forces had been eliminated.

Earlier, the Italian government said it’s helping Libyan rebels sell oil from the opposition-held parts of the country.

Oil Sales

“We are working to allow the sale of oil products” from rebel areas…,” Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said at a press conference in Rome after meeting with the head of Libya’s rebel council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

The rebels have agreed to honor existing treaties between Italy and Libya, Frattini said. Oil exports from Libya, which has Africa’s biggest oil reserves, dropped by about 1.3 million barrels a day to a “trickle,” the Paris-based International Energy Agency said last month.

Oil fell for a second day amid signals that oil prices at their highest level since 2008 are pressuring the economy and may cause fuel demand to falter. Crude oil for May delivery fell 42 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $106.70 a barrel at 9:48 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, prices touched $105.50. Futures have risen 31 percent in the past year.

NATO aircraft enforcing the UN-mandated no-fly zone and sanctions on Libya flew 53 missions to identify and engage possible ground targets on April 17.

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Libya: NATO Gearing Up For Ground Operations

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/19/49165481.html

Voice of Russia
Apil 19, 2011

NATO gearing up for ground operations
Artyom Ananyan

The conflict in Libya may be resolved only by a ground assault by the so-called coalition forces, officials in the capitals of the allies believe. Paris is more insistent on the launching of a ground operation as soon as possible.

NATO warplanes continue to attack Gaddafi’s forces on the ground. There are no reports about the scale of the damage or the number of people killed in the air sorties, but it is known that Libyans, especially the rebels, are increasingly becoming angry with the mistakes made by NATO pilots in their bombing missions.

It is obvious that the quick victory over Gaddafi’s troops expected by the military alliance is not likely. A stalemate is expected to ensue. NATO’s support of the insurgents will enable them to hold on to the North-East of the country only, while the Gaddafi’s army will be unable to dislodge them from there because of the bombing by NATO. The ground offensive contemplated by the West may swing the pendulum in favour of the rebels temporarily.

The UN resolution on Libya mandated only the creation of a no fly regime, to protect civilians, and does not contain a mandate for the use of land forces by any country. Paris and London have however agreed to send commando units to Libya, officially to protect convoys of humanitarian goods. Seemingly, there is no violation of the UN resolution, but Paris has let the cat out of the bag relating to the real plans of the coalition. According to a French lawmaker, Axel Ponatowsky, the commando units are to guide NATO’s warplanes, a completely different interpretation of the UN resolution.

France is obviously trying to use the current situation to enhance its geopolitical image within the North Atlantic Alliance, as well as in the world at large, says Azhdar Kurtov of the Institute of Strategic Studies:

“Certain steps by Paris point in that direction. On the other hand, it is clear that the anti-Gaddafi operation by NATO has not produced the desired results, as Gaddafi firmly remains in power. Each day that passes, the cost of the operation increases, and this is spurring Paris into using other methods of waging the anti-Gaddafi war”, says Kurtov.

Analysts believe that Western countries plan to put pressure on the UN Security Council, to make it adopt a new resolution on Libya with the aim of changing the original mandate of civilian protection to that of “liberating Libya from the clutches of Gaddafi’s regime”.

On Monday, Moscow called on the UN and the International Contact Group to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Libya. The Russian Foreign Ministry says that a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Libya pushes the prospect of a political settlement farther away. Moscow insists that all the combatants in the Libyan conflict should respect the norms of international humanitarian law.

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War In Second Month, NATO Vows More “Blows All Over Libyan Territory”

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/19/49166793.html

Voice of Russia
April 19, 2011

NATO will continue operation in Libya

The North-Atlantic alliance will continue the operation of destroying Muammar Gaddafi’s forces….

Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, Chief of Allied Operations, announced this at a briefing at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. He explained that the NATO air force “is not only destroying Gaddafi’s troops…but is also fighting against the second echelon which is preparing to come to the fore.”

“Blows are being struck all over Libyan territory”, the general emphasized….

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Russia: Western Support For Libyan Rebels Dangerous Precedent

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110419/163596524.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 19, 2011

Russia says Western support for Libyan rebels ‘dangerous’

Belgrade: The backing of Libyan rebels by Western powers could lead to further conflict in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Speaking during a visit to the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Russia’s top diplomat argued that the opposition in Yemen “refuses to sit at the negotiating table because they hope that the West will help them. This is a dangerous position and one that may lead to conflict.”

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, paving the way for a military operation against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which began two days later. The command of the operation was shifted from a U.S.-led international coalition to NATO in late March.

Lavrov also reiterated statements by Russia’s NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, who said on Monday that the actions of Western states in Libya were in contravention of the UN resolution on the North African state.

“The U.N. Security Council never aimed to topple the Libyan regime,” Lavrov said. “All those who are currently using the U.N. resolution for that aim are violating the U.N. mandate.”

“We urge the Security Council to encourage not confrontation, but the immediate start of talks,” he went on.

Yemen has been in a state of conflict since February, when protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule broke out amid unrest across the Middle East. Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured in a violent crackdown on protesters by security forces.

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http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=16167523&PageNum=0

Itar-Tass
April 19, 2011

Russia urges int’l community not to fan tensions in Middle East – Lavrov

BELGRADE: Russia urges the international community, and primarily members of the U.N. Security Council, not to fan confrontation between official authorities and opposition in countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, commenting on the situation in Libya and Yemen.

“We call on all international high-ranking officials, first of all, on members of the U.N. Security Council, to encourage a dialogue rather than fan further confrontation,” he stressed.

“We have repeatedly voiced our stance about inadmissibility of the use of force against civilians,” Lavrov recalled. “The U.N. Security Council has reiterated this position in its resolutions on the situation in Libya.”

“But the U.N. Security Council has never targeted to change the regime in Libya or in any other country,” the Russian foreign minister said, adding that those seeking to use these resolutions to change the Libyan regime “are blatantly violating the Security Council mandate.”

“The worst thing is that aware of this position Libya’s opposition is categorically reluctant to come to the negotiating table, although the current top-priority task is to cease fire,” he noted. “This may drive Yemeni opposition to a conclusion that they could get help from abroad. But this is a very dangerous logic.”

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Tanzania: Leading Church Official Condemns NATO Strikes In Libya

http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/-/10098-reverend-condemns-nato-strikes-in-libya

The Citizen
April 19, 2011

Reverend condemns Nato strikes in Libya
By Ray Naluyaga

Mwanza: The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has condemned the ongoing air strikes in Libya by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato).

Speaking during a public forum on social ethics held at St Augustine University in Mwanza Region last week, the secretary of the Commission of Justice of the Catholic Secretariat of the TEC, Rev Fr Vic Missiaen, said the Libyan problem could not be solved by air strikes.

“The conflict in Libya arises from tribalism which Nato and the United Nations do not understand,” he said. According to Fr Missiaen, the African Union (AU) was the only institution which has the mandate and power to solve the Libyan problem as a continental organ and due to its understanding of African tribalism in general and Libya in particular.

Unfortunately, he said, despite the mandate and power the AU has, the organ remains weak for lack of the military strength compared to Nato and the UN. Libya has 140 ethnic groups where Mr Muammar Gaddafi draws his military from three prominent ones, the Warffalah, Magariha and Gaddafi.

Late last month, Mr Gaddafi sent ministers to African Union talks on the Libya conflict, which also included European Union (EU), UN and Arab League representatives as the continent seeks to lead the way out of the crisis. The five-member team from Tripoli turned up for the talks following an invitation from AU Commission chairman Jean Ping, but an invitation to the Libyan opposition to attend was not taken up.

Mr Ping said the AU, which is opposed to foreign military intervention, wants to “facilitate dialogue between the Libyan rivalry parties” and that it favours putting in place an “inclusive transition period that will lead to the elections of democratic institutions.”

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NATO Warplanes Bombard Libyan Capital

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1863971.html

Trend News Agency
April 19, 2011

Libya TV says NATO jets raid Sirte, Aziziyah, Tripoli

Libya’s official TV said NATO bombers attacked on Tuesday the towns of al-Aziziyah and Sirte and the capital Tripoli, Xinhua reported.

Citing a military source, state news agency JANA said NATO warplanes launched air raids in the early hours of Tuesday morning on the capital and Sirte, the heavily defended hometown of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The agency said in another report that NATO raided the al-Hira area in the town of al-Aziziyah, south of the capital.
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http://www.voanews.com/english/news/NATO–Jets-Bomb-Libyan-Capital-120196324.html

Voice of America News
April 19, 2011

NATO Jets Bomb Libyan Capital

NATO warplanes bombed several targets near the Libyan capital Tripoli early Tuesday.

The alliance said the strikes targeted command and control facilities as well as communications infrastructure.

NATO says it also bombed the headquarters of Libya’s elite 32nd Brigade….

State-run media says the strikes took place in Tripoli, Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, and the Al-Hira region located southwest of the capital.
….

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NATO Intensifies Attacks Against Libyan Ground Targets

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-44D603A4-1D61CE2B/natolive/news_72808.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 19, 2011

NATO pounds Qadhafi regime Command and Control Centres

NATO conducted deliberate, multiple strikes against command and control facilities of the Qadhafi regime last night, including communications infrastructure…and the headquarters of the 32nd Brigade located 10 km south of Tripoli.
….

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703789104576272281537022142.html

Wall Street Journal
April 19, 2011

NATO Jets Pound Ghadafi Reinforcements
By CHARLES LEVINSON

MISRATA, Libya: North Atlantic Treaty Organization air planes bombed a column of Libyan government reinforcements on their way to the besieged city of Misrata overnight, according to rebel fighters in the city.
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Details of the air strike on the advancing unit were relayed to rebel commanders via eyewitnesses living along the road near where the strike happened, they said. The reinforcements were coming out of the mountains from the city of Beni Walid south of Misrata when the planes struck them.

NATO also bombed a radar installation near the Misrata port overnight, according to rebels.

On Monday, Tripoli Street, once the bustling commercial avenue leading to Misrata’s center, was littered with the burnt shells of government tanks and armored vehicles, a river of rubble and bombed-out storefronts.
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“Unified Protector”: 2,877 NATO Sorties, 1,199 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110419_110419-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 19, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….
Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 2,877 sorties and 1,199 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 April: 143

Strike sorties conducted 18 April: 53

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Key Targets and Engagements

17 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: 9 ammunition bunkers and 1 building (HQ of 32nd Brigade) were destroyed.

In the vicinity of Misrata: 6 surface to air missiles, 4 tanks, 3 air defence missile sites and 1 mobile rocket launcher were destroyed.

In the vicinity of Sirte: 3 ammunition storage bunkers destroyed.

In the vicinity of Zintan: 3 tanks, 1 anti-aircraft weapon system and 1 armoured vehicles were destroyed.

In the vicinity of Brega: 1 building was destroyed
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Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

38 Vessels were hailed on 18 April to determine destination and cargo. No boarding was conducted (no diversion).

A total of 422 vessels have been hailed, 10 boardings and 3 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
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NATO’s Libyan War: Regime Change Under UN Security Council Cover

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/article1707178.ece

The Hindu
April 19, 2011

Regime change under UNSC cover

-In effect, going through the U.N. was only a smokescreen for regime change. The Obama administration and its allies are repeating all the mistakes and miscalcuations made by George W. Bush and Tony Blair over the infamous and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It is now obvious that Nato’s purported mission, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, to protect civilians in Libya is expanding into a flagrantly illegal attempt at regime change.

With fierce fighting between rebels and government forces reported in the eastern city of Adjabiya and the western one of Misrata, President Barack Obama has stated that a military stalemate obtains. That means Nato has failed to protect civilians and prevent Muammar Qadhafi’s ground forces from recapturing key rebel-held areas, with civilian casualties as a tragic consequence.

In response, however, Mr. Obama and his main Nato collaborators, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, have published a joint article in The Washington Post, The Times, and Le Figaro, holding that “it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power” and that “so long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations.”

The main problems in this exercise in military adventurism have been caused by the Resolution’s lack of a clear political objective; it is the political issues that are now proving the most troublesome for the Alliance.

One major miscalculation was the assumption that Mr. Qadhafi might be sufficiently influenced by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) or the League of Arab States (the Arab League) to consider an agreement with the rebels or even to leave office. The Libyan President’s defiant reaction exposed that idea as vacuous.

Now Mr. Cameron refuses to rule out the deployment of ground troops, despite the fact that the U.N. Resolution specifically excludes that. The coalition’s disarray is further confirmed by France’s proposal, with which the United Kingdom disagrees, of a new Resolution; in any case Russia and China are likely to oppose anything that authorises regime change.

Nevertheless, the evidence is increasingly clear that, even before they obtained the existing mandate, Washington, London, and Paris wanted only to remove Mr. Qadhafi.

The U.S. has since approached various African Union member states about giving asylum to Mr. Qadhafi provided he leaves office.

Secondly, at a recent coalition conference, Qatar and Italy pressed for arms supplies to the rebels. The most damaging evidence, however, is that the U.S. has sent an envoy to Benghazi to learn more about the rebel grouping, the Interim Transitional National Council.

In effect, going through the U.N. was only a smokescreen for regime change. The Obama administration and its allies are repeating all the mistakes and miscalcuations made by George W. Bush and Tony Blair over the infamous and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

====

European Relief Effort Feared Pretext For Libyan Ground Invasion

http://rt.com/news/ground-libya-troops-operation/

RT
April 19, 2011

Libyan relief effort feared guise for ground invasion

The EU has a plan to send up to 1,000 troops to Libya to convoy humanitarian aid. The UN is far from keen, saying it may only go ahead as a “last resort”. Russia has voiced concern that Europe plans an invasion under the guise of a relief effort.

The draft plan, called “EUFOR Libya” was prepared by the 27 EU governments in early April. It provides for ground troops to be deployed in the western Libyan port city of Misrata, which is under siege by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

The troops would be used to defend aid convoys only and not engage in combat unless attacked, said Michael Mann, chief spokesman for the European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, on Tuesday. The number of the force is not set yet, but it would be less than 1,000, he added.
….
Earlier, the head of the French Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Axel Poniatowski called for a ground operation in Libya, saying the bombing campaign against Gaddafi’s regime was inefficient. Some media reports suggested that Gaddafi’s army managed to preserve a bigger share of his equipment by hiding the tanks and other vehicles in the vast system of irrigation tunnels.

Poniatowski said the troops on the ground would coordinate air strikes and help prevent friendly fire incidents. The move, however, would require a UN Security Council mandate, since UN Resolution 1973, which gave the green light for the aerial operation, explicitly forbids any ground invasion.

There is no consensus within coalition members over a possible ground operation. Germany was skeptical over the campaign from the very beginning and said it will not give its troops for a ground operation. However, Berlin said it would back a UN-mandated humanitarian operation, which would be necessary for the EUFOR Libya plan to be implemented. The EU’s 1,500-strong joint forces, which would be used in the operation, are predominantly German.

Fears of disguised invasion­

Russia, which initially abstained from vetoing the no-fly zone operation in Libya, has been increasingly doubtful about how the campaign is being handled. NATO support of the rebels stands in the way of a negotiated peaceful settlement, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“The problem is that the Libyan opposition forces, when they see the position of some western nations, categorically decline sitting at the negotiation table,” the minister explained, adding such attitude may serve a bad example for protesting forces in other countries of the region.

“It’s a very dangerous way of thinking…and we call for all responsible members of the international community, first and foremost the members of the UN Security Council, to foster immediate dialogue rather than confrontation,” he said.

Now, Moscow views the suggested deployment of European troops in Misrata with suspicion.

“Getting more and more tangled in the Libyan situation, some Western countries start talking about a possible ground operation, which would be presented as safeguarding humanitarian convoys to relieve an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe on Libyan territory,” Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO, believes.

He added that the situation in Libya is at the moment a major point of disagreement for Russia and the alliance.

The NATO-led campaign, intended to prevent the escalation of violence in Libya, has entered its second month, with no clear end in sight. Even with the air support of the coalition, rebel forces are no match for Gaddafi’s army and plea for more air strikes and supply of weapons. The latter would violate the arms embargo imposed against Libya by the UN.
….

====

Russia: NATO’s Libyan War Violates UN Resolution, Yemen May Be Next

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/19/us-russia-libya-idUSTRE73I26D20110419″>http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/19/us-russia-libya-idUSTRE73I26D20110419

Reuters
April 19, 2011

NATO war in Libya violates U.N. mandate, Russia says

 
BELGRADE: Russia said on Tuesday Western attempts to topple Muammar Gaddafi were a violation of a U.N. resolution on Libya, which only authorized the use of force to protect civilians.

“The U.N. Security Council never aimed to topple the Libyan regime,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “All those who are currently using the U.N. resolution for that aim are violating the U.N. mandate.”

Given such a Western position, the Libyan opposition was refusing to negotiate a ceasefire with the regime in Tripoli, Lavrov said. “It is crucial to establish a ceasefire,” he said on a visit to Belgrade.

Britain and France have urged other NATO allies to provide more attack aircraft capable of hitting Gaddafi’s ground forces after Washington reduced its role in the operation and passed command to NATO on March 31.

Lavrov said that the opposition in Yemen was apparently also hoping for Western help, similar to the NATO operation in Libya, to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“Probably using the same logic, the opposition in Yemen is refusing the possibility to sit at the negotiating table, hoping for that kind of help from abroad,” Lavrov said.

The United Nations Security Council was due to meet later on Tuesday to discuss Yemen, where Western and Gulf Arab allies fear a prolonged standoff could spark clashes between rival military units in the capital Sanaa and elsewhere.

Lavrov said the opposition’s hope that it will receive Western aid was “a very dangerous logic which can cause a chain reaction.”

“All those responsible, particularly members of the UN Security Council, must not opt for conflicts but for dialogue.”

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Adam Tanner)

====

West’s Libyan War: A Month In The March Of Folly

http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/19/stories/2011041952981100.htm

The Hindu
April 19, 2011

A month in the March of Folly
Suhasini Haidar

A month since the air strikes, the road to interventionist hell in Libya has been paved with nothing but folly

-It must be remembered that the former U.S. President, George W. Bush, took months to prepare the world when he said he would bomb Iraq in 2003, and built several cases, some false, on Saddam Hussein’s stocks of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and his links to the 9/11 conspiracy before going in. It is surprising that the U.S. administration and its European allies didn’t feel the need for these.
-It would seem unthinkable 30 years after the ‘Mujahideen’ experiment — of raising and funding thousands of fighters to carry out a mission of regime change in a foreign land that went so horribly wrong — that the U.S. and Britain can even consider something similar so openly.
-The road to hell is paved with good intentions, they say. It would seem the road to interventionist hell in Libya today has been paved with nothing but folly.

“The easiest way to achieve complete strategic surprise,” reads the motto on U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates’ desk, “is to commit an act that makes no sense or is even self-destructive.” Journalist Peter Bergen uses the maxim to begin his book “The Longest War” which is about U.S. action in Afghanistan, but it has an equally frightening meaning for the ongoing strikes against Libya.

This week marks a month since the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and its allies began their bombardment, after UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorised members “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Arab Libyan Jamahiriya.” The threat to civilians had been portrayed as being dire and imminent. Yet a month later, after more than 1,150 air strikes on Qadhafi-controlled Libya (2,700 sorties in all), the countries carrying them out have yet to prove how dire that threat is, and are no closer to making Libyans any safer than when they started out. In fact, it is quite the reverse.

Reversal of stand

To begin with, the action in Libya itself was based on a shaky premise that led the U.S. to reverse, practically overnight, its stand on the need for air strikes. Just days after Mr. Gates called the need for strikes ‘loose-talk,’ the U.S. was talking war at the Security Council, pushing through the resolution.

France and Britain were the original sponsors of the action, no doubt, but it would have been a non-starter without the U.S. turnaround. Explaining the vote at the time, President Barack Obama said the resolution was to halt “a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.” The need was so urgent that the Security Council didn’t even wait for the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy, who had travelled to Libya, to return with his report. The speed was necessitated by the ‘conscience of the world,’ heavy with guilt over not having moved fast enough in Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda.

Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi may be capable of cruelty, yet weeks later where is the evidence that he had planned or carried out any act of genocide? For more than a month before the strikes, the international media has been freely reporting from Benghazi and other rebel-controlled cities, the areas most threatened by Col. Qadhafi. Many thousands fled these areas to neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia and were free to tell their stories. Yet there was no mass grave, gruesome image of bombed civilian areas or proof of mass casualties.

It must be remembered that the former U.S. President, George W. Bush, took months to prepare the world when he said he would bomb Iraq in 2003, and built several cases, some false, on Saddam Hussein’s stocks of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and his links to the 9/11 conspiracy before going in. It is surprising that the U.S. administration and its European allies didn’t feel the need for these.

What ‘dire threat’?

So what was the ‘dire threat’ Mr. Obama referred to? In his address, he mentioned Col. Qadhafi’s by now famous ‘Zenga-Zenga’ speech in which he threatened to hunt down insurgents in every alleyway. The words were menacing, and could be compared to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud-Al Fasal’s threat, at a press conference the same week, to “cut off any finger” raised against the government during proposed protests.

The double standard has continued through the conflict. The latest worry for the western press have been reports that Col. Qadhafi’s forces are using banned ‘cluster-bombs’ in Misurata — the same weapon Israel used for months in its bombing of Lebanon in 2006, and with no threat of reprisal.

The next false premise was that of international consensus. At the Security Council, 10 countries voted for the strikes, while five including India abstained, with serious reservations.

In an article last week, co-authored by Mr. Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the leaders stressed that they had bombed Libya on the Arab League’s prompting. Yet within 24 hours of the first strike on March 19, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa condemned it.

Foreign Minister of Bahrain (which is a key U.S. ally) Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa told CNN-IBN that the “Western action on Libya isn’t really protecting the people of Libya.” Pushing for regime change was not part of the Arab League’s mandate, he added, and it was only causing more suffering for the people of Libya. Next to follow was the 53-nation African Union’s boycott of the Libya conference in London, expressing disappointment with “western military attacks.”

The emerging nations Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) summit in Sanya last week criticised the strikes, marking a turnaround for South Africa in particular, that had voted for the UN ‘no-fly’ resolution. Within NATO too, there have been sharp differences over the road ahead, putting paid to the Obama-Cameron-Sarkozy contention, in their article ‘Libya’s Pathway to Peace,’ that the coalition has been united from the start and united in what needs to happen next.

Dissonance

Perhaps the greatest dissonance has come from Mr. Obama who on March 27, said “broadening the military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” but in the article on April 14 he said that it was “unthinkable” that Col. Qadhafi should remain in power. Perhaps President Obama should remember the words of Candidate Obama, who had said in December 2007, “The President doesn’t have the power, under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the United States.”

But memory seems in short supply, given the proposal now to arm and train the rebels in eastern Libya against Col. Qadhafi’s forces. It would seem unthinkable 30 years after the ‘Mujahideen’ experiment — of raising and funding thousands of fighters to carry out a mission of regime change in a foreign land that went so horribly wrong — that the U.S. and Britain can even consider something similar so openly. The U.S. has succeeded in confusing even the al-Qaeda now, leaving it unsure ‘who the enemy is’, as this weekend, Ayman Al Zawahiri put out a statement calling for Muslim countries to “rise up and fight both the mercenaries of Gaddafi and the rest of NATO” if they sent ground troops in.

Maybe the best hope for the world now is that Col. Qadhafi, like the West, doesn’t learn lessons from the past. Author and international commentator Mahmood Mamdani quotes a chilling story during a state visit by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to Egypt in the 1970s, where he asked President Nasser about a young man in uniform. “Why?” asked Nasser. “That’s Gaddafi, the new Libyan leader.” “Oh!” replied Zhou, “Well he just asked me what it would cost to buy an atomic bomb!”

Col. Qadhafi must be wondering today if he did the right thing by giving up his dreams of nuclear deterrence at the behest of the West. Instead, he embarked on a mission to please the countries now bombing him, sent his children to be educated in the U.S. and the U.K, gave those countries preferential oil deals, and, in the process, built his own economy.

In 2010, Libya held the highest per capita income in Africa (approximately $12,000), afforded its citizens free housing and had a very low rate of inflation. It was also a remarkably liberal country, one of the few Arab nations without the presence of the al-Qaeda.

As he sits in his Bab el Aziza compound, friendless amidst the ruins of his country, pondering this, it must be hoped that the NATO alliance will also pause its bombings to think of what they are paving the way for — given that the rebels it has relentlessly supported have no popularity in other parts of the country and can never hope to control the whole of Libya. The Gates desk motto “lacking in sense and even self-destructive” comes to one’s mind.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, they say. It would seem the road to interventionist hell in Libya today has been paved with nothing but folly.

(Suhasini Haidar is Deputy Foreign Editor, CNN-IBN.)

====

Video And Text: French Media Hides Nation’s Three Wars

http://rt.com/news/twisting-truth-french-media-keep-public-dark-libya/”>http://rt.com/news/twisting-truth-french-media-keep-public-dark-libya

RT
April 19, 2011

Twisting truth: French media keep public in dark over Libya

Video

France is currently fighting in three wars. It was the first foreign state to intervene in Libya, the largest force in Côte d’Ivoire’s civil war and it has just sent more troops to Afghanistan. But the French media take a different angle.

­Watching the French media gives you an unexpected perspective: the Americans are responsible for the rising civilian death toll, and there’s no mention of the French contingency.

“We’re being fed by propaganda that bears no relation to the truth. We’re told the international community is behind us. But France just wants Africa’s resources”, Stefane Cantin, an anti-war activist told RT.

Moe Seaher, an independent journalist, explained that the French government has a very simple way to dictate national coverage: “You will follow our editorial line on foreign policy or you won’t be invited or included to come back and ask questions at press conferences and we will not be cooperative with you when you seek interviews”.

But if one turns to the internet, the views of Sarkozy’s policies are much more critical. French people are growing increasingly worried about their country being labeled as imperialist, with little regard for its victims. 

Opposition to the war centers on the rising number of casualties and the damage it does to France’s reputation. Activists say the French media’s coverage is one sided, but the real story will eventually get through.

After almost a decade of war in Afghanistan, news of the dozens of French soldiers and thousands of civilians killed is finally hitting home.

“The war in Afghanistan is unpopular, although the media treat it generally quite positively”, said Francois Heisbourg from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The invasion of Iraq brought the biggest anti-war rallies in history. Now experts say Libya could become Sarkozy’s Iraq and despite government efforts, the truth on France’s current wars is also coming out.

====

Interview: Libya In The Face Of Humanitarian Imperialism

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24378

Global Research
April 18, 2011

Libya in face of Humanitarian Imperialism
By Jean Bricmont

Investig’Action
Source: http://www.michelcollon.info

Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan : have the advocates of intervention in Libya not learnt the lesson? Jean Bricmont, who wrote a book about humanitarian imperialism, tells us why the right to interfere is incompatible with world peace, and that it goes against humanitarian principles. Unless, of course, those principles are just an excuse.

Interview : Grégoire Lalieu

Can you remind us of what humanitarian imperialism consists of ?

It is an ideology which aims to justify military interference against sovereign countries in the name of democracy and human rights. The motive is always the same: a population is the victim of a dictator, so we must act. Then all the usual references are trotted out: the Second World War, the war with Spain, and so on. The aim being to sell the argument that an armed intervention is necessary. This is what happened in Kosovo, Iraq or Afghanistan.

And now comes Libya’s turn.

There is a difference here because a United Nations Security Council resolution makes it possible. But this resolution was passed against the principles of the Charter of the United Nations themselves. Indeed, I see no external threat in the Libyan conflict. Although the notion of the “responsibility to protect” populations had been evoked, many shortcuts were taken.

Besides, there is no proof that Gaddafi massacres his people just for the sole purpose of slaughtering them. It is a bit more complicated than that: it is an armed insurrection, and I know not of any government that would not repress an insurrection of this kind. Of course, there are collateral damage and civilian casualties. But if the United States knows a way to avoid such damage, then it should go and tell the Israelis about it, and apply it themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also no doubt that coalition bombings will cause civilian casualties.

From a strictly legal point of view, I think the U.N.S.C. resolution is questionable. It is, in fact, the result of years of lobbying for the recognition of the right to interfere, which proves here to be legitimized.

And yet, many – even among the parties of the left – deemed it necessary to intervene in Libya in order to stop the massacre. Do you think it is an error of judgment?

Yes, I do, and for several reasons. First of all, this campaign ushers in the reign of the arbitrary. Indeed, the Libyan conflict is not exceptional. There are many other conflicts anywhere in the world whether it may be in Gaza, in Bahrain, or in the Congo, which happened some years ago. As for the latter, it occurred within a context of foreign aggression on the part of Rwanda and Burundi. The enforcement of the international law would have saved millions of lives but it was not done. Why not?

Besides, if we apply the underlying principles of interference behind the aggression against Libya, it means that anyone can intervene anywhere they want to. Imagine that the Russians intervene in Bahrain or the Chinese in Yemen: the world would be in a general and ongoing war. Therefore one major feature of the right to interfere is the infringement of standard international law. And if we had to change international law to new laws justifying the right to interfere, it would result in a war of all against all. This is an argument to which the advocates of the right to interfere never give an answer.

And lastly, such interventions strengthen what I call the “barricade effect” : all the countries in the sights of the United States will start to feel threatened and will seek to increase their armaments. We all remember what happened with Saddam.

Moreover, Gaddafi had said to the Arab League : “We have just lost a member state of the league and none of you have done anything. But it can happen to you too, because even though you are all U.S. allies, so was Saddam in the past.” Now the same thing is repeating itself with Gaddafi and the threat which hangs over many states is likely to relaunch the arms race. Russia, which is not an unarmed country, has already announced that it would reinforce its troops. But it can go even further: if Libya had nuclear weapon, it would have never been attacked. Actually, this is why North Korea is untouchable. Therefore, the left which supports the intervention in Libya should definitely realize that humanitarian interference is inevitably going to relaunch the arms race and lead to long-term wars.

And yet, wouldn’t the armed intervention against Gaddafi be a lesser evil?

One has to consider the consequences. Now that the Western forces are involved, they will obviously have to go all the way, overthrow Gaddafi and bring the rebels to power. Then what is going to happen? Libya seems to be divided. Is the West going to occupy the country and embark on an endless war similar to the ones in Iraq or in Afghanistan?

Be that as it may, let us suppose that all goes well: the members of the coalition remove Gaddafi in a few days, the rebels take power, and the Libyan people are united. Everyone is happy and then what? I do not think the West will go : “Well, we did it because we are nice people and fond of human rights. Now you can do whatever you please.” What is going to happen if the new Libyan government is too Muslim-like or does not properly limit migration flows? Do you think the West will let them do [that]? It is obvious that after the intervention, the new Libyan government will be caught up in the interests of the West.

If military intervention is not the solution, then what is?

It would have been better if we had honestly attempted all peaceful solutions. It might not have worked but here, there is a blatant intention to reject these solutions. And by the way, this is an abiding feature of humanitarian wars. Concerning Kosovo, there were very detailed propositions on the part of Serbia in order to come to a peaceful solution but they were rejected.

The West has even imposed conditions that made any negotiations impossible, such as the occupation of Serbia by NATO. forces.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban proposed to try Bin Laden by an international court if they were provided with evidence of his involvement in the W.T.C. attacks. The U.S. refused it and bombed the country.

In Iraq, Saddam had accepted the return of the United Nations inspectors as well as many extremely restrictive conditions. But it was never enough.

In Libya, Gaddafi accepted a cease-fire and proposed to have international observers sent out there. The observers were not sent and it was said that Gaddafi did not respect the cease-fire. The West also rejected Chavez’s offer to mediate in Libya, even though it was backed up by many Latin American countries and the Organization of African Unity as well.

In that connection, I am angry when I hear left-wingers in Europe expose the horrible Bolivarian Alliance for Our America which supports dictator Gaddafi. They got it all wrong! The leaders in power in Latin America have important responsibilities. They are not just small leftists chattering in their corner. And the major issue for these leaders is the interference of the U.S.: the less it can do whatever it pleases, wherever it pleases, the better it will be for all those countries which try to free themselves from tutelage by state power, and also for the whole world.

Does the systematic rejection of peaceful solutions mean that humanitarian interference is an excuse?

Yes it does, but if it works well with the intellectuals, I am more doubtful about the reaction of the peoples of Europe. Will they support their leaders during the aggression against Gaddafi? People consider wars for security to be the most legitimate ones: for instance, if there is a threat against our populations or our way of life, etc. But in the context of an overall climate of islamophobia (that I disapprove, but it does exist) here and in France, you try explaining that we are fighting in Cyrenaica for rebels whom we see screaming “Allah Akbar.” This is contradictory!

At the political level, most parties support the intervention, even the parties of the left. The most moderate ones only supported the implementation of a no-fly zone, but if Gaddafi sends his tanks to Benghazi, what are we to do? During the Second World War, the Germans lost quite quickly control of the air space but they held out for several years yet. Insofar as the objective is to overthrow Gaddafi, the moderates should have suspected that it would go even further than the establishment of a no-fly zone.

Unable to take genuine and alternative stands, the left finds itself trapped by the logic of humanitarian interference and is compelled to support Sarkozy. If the war goes well and quickly, the position of the French President will undoubtedly be secure for the 2012 presidential elections, thanks to the left which would have contributed to it. The left, unable to assume a coherent attitude against wars, is compelled to tag along behind the interventionist policy.

And what if the war does not go well?

It is regrettable, but the only French party that set against the intervention in Libya as regards French interests is the National Front. It particularly alluded to human migration flows and took occasion to distinguish itself from the U.M.P (Union for a Popular Movement) or the S.P. (Socialist Party) by claiming that it had never collaborated with Gaddafi. If the war in Libya does not go according to plan, it will benefit the National Front in the French presidential elections in 2012.

If humanitarian interference is just an excuse, then what is the objective of this war ?

The uprisings in the Arab world surprised Westerners, who were not well informed enough about what was happening in North Africa and the Middle-East. I do not dispute that there are good experts on the issue, but they are seldom listened to at some level of the government, and by the way, they are complaining about it. So now, the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia might not align themselves with the interests of the West any longer, and consequently become hostile to Israel.

To take control of the area and protect Tel Aviv, the West is likely willing to get rid of governments that are already hostile to Israel and the West. The three main ones are Iran, Syria and Libya. The latter, since it is the weaker one, is attacked first.

Can it work ?

The West longed to rule the world but we can see since 2003 with the Iraq fiasco that it cannot. In the past, the United States took the liberty to overthrow rulers that it had brought to power, such as Ngô Dinh Diêm in South Vietnam in the 1960s. But nowadays, Washington cannot do that any longer. In Kosovo, the United States and Europe have to compromise with a Mafia-like regime. In Afghanistan, people say that Karzai is corrupt, but they have no other option. In Iraq, they also have to accept a government they are far from being fully pleased with.

The problem will certainly arise in Libya too. An Iraqi once told me : “In this part of the world, there are no liberals in the Western sense of the word, apart from a few rather isolated intellectuals.” Since the West cannot rely on rulers who share its ideas and who fully defend its interests, it tries to impose dictators through force. But it obviously creates a discrepancy with people’s desires.

Besides, this approach proves to be a failure and people should not be fooled by what is occurring.

The West, which thought it could be in control of the Arab world with puppets such as Ben Ali and Mubarak, would suddenly think : “We had it all wrong, now we are going to support democracy in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.?” It is all the more absurd since one major demand of the Arab revolts is the right to sovereignty. In other words, no interference!

The West has to relinquish its desire for world domination: the Arab world, just like Africa and the Caribbean, does not belong to it. Actually, the regions in which the West most interferes are the less developed ones. If their sovereignty is respected, those regions will be able to develop, just like Asia did, and certainly so will Latin America. The policy of interference is a failure for everyone.

Then what is the alternative?

First of all, one has to know that the policy of interference requires a huge military budget. Without the support of the United States and its outrageous military budget, France and Great Britain might not have become involved in it.

And it is much less the case for Belgium. But all these means which are put at their disposal are not heaven-sent. The budget is based on loans from China that lead to U.S. deficits and all kinds of economic issues.

We rarely think about it. Moreover, we are constantly told that there is no money for education, research, pensions, etc. And, all of a sudden, a huge sum comes out of the blue to wage war in Libya. And it is a limitless sum since no one knows how long the war will last!

In Afghanistan, money is already spent fruitlessly. There is a need to adopt a new political approach and to me, Switzerland is a good example. Its military budget is only devoted to the protection of the Swiss territory. The Swiss have a coherent non-interventionist policy because, as a matter of policy, the Swiss army cannot leave the country. You can say that Switzerland is letting Gaddafi kill the insurgents, nevertheless, it has never committed any genocide nor any other massacre, even though we can criticize its policy on other matters (banks or immigration). And secondly, if all the countries followed the example of Switzerland for the reasons I stated earlier, the world would be much better.

Wars and embargoes have always had disastrous consequences. I think the best alternative is to cooperate with all the countries of the world regardless of their systems of government. Through trade (not the arms trade of course), ideas spread and things can evolve, without wars. We can of course discuss its forms: fair trade, ecological trade, etc. Nevertheless, trade is a much less bloody alternative as opposed to sanctions and embargoes, which are the soft version of humanitarian wars.

Translated from the French by Sheila Carby for Investig’Action

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Romanian Warship Joins NATO Blockade Of Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1633921.php/Romanian-frigate-joins-NATO-blockade-of-Libya-on-Friday

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 19, 2011

Romanian frigate joins NATO blockade of Libya on Friday

Bucharest: A Romanian frigate is due to sail from the Black Sea port of Constanta to join the NATO naval blockade of Libya, the Mediafax news agency said Tuesday.

The Regele Ferdinand, with 250 crew members and two officers, will leave Constanta on Friday. It is to patrol the Mediterranean Sea off Libya’s coast and help intercept ships suspected of smuggling weapons for Moamer Gaddafi’s regime.

Romania, a former Communist nation, joined NATO in 2004. The deployment of the Regele Ferdinand will cost 4.5 million euros (6.3 million dollars).

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Obama’s Neo-Imperialism In Africa: Triumph Of Deceit Over Legality In Ivory Coast

http://www.abugidainfo.com/?p=17847

Abugidainfo (Ethiopia)
April 17, 2011

Obama’s neo-imperialism in Africa and the triumph of deceit over legality in Ivory Coast
Part II
By Y. A. Kebede

-What happened afterwards is difficult to believe. On Thursday 2nd December 2010, the electoral commission’s president, Mr. Bakayoko, went to Alassane Ouattara’s campaign headquarters at the Golf Hotel and declared Ouattara the winner.
Everyone (including the other members of the electoral commission) were completely taken unawares by the totally illegal act of Mr. Bakayoko. They say that Mr. Bakayoko received an order from the American ambassador to Ivory Coast to declare Ouattara winner of the presidential poll.
-Obama’s arrogant policy towards Ivory Coast shows that being a promoter of imperialism against Africa is not a question of skin colour.
-Does Ban Ki-moon have the right to act as if he were the superior colonial administrator of Ivory Coast?
For Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Ivorian crisis is a unique occasion to prove his total loyalty to Western members of the Security Council and to get a second mandate even though that means causing havoc and death in Ivory Coast.
-The victory of Alassane Ouattara and the defeat of Mr. Gbagbo had been written years before the November 28, 2010 elections. In other words, it was decided by forces foreign to Africa with the collaboration of African dictators that the November 28 elections should be used as a means to topple Gbagbo and to install Alassane Ouattara by force as president of Ivory Coast.
-To understand Mr. Obama’s imperial interference in Ivory Coast and the West’s determination to topple Laurent Gbagbo, one should take into consideration the high geo-economic interest that the Gulf of Guinea represents for the West in general and for America in particular. The geo-economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea lies in the recent discovery of a huge oil reserve in the area. To control the Gulf of Guinea, the control of Ivory Coast is indispensable. Because not only does Ivory Coast have one of the the most modern infrastructures in Western Africa, but its economy represents also 40% of the economy of the fifteen west African states. The big problem for the West since 2002 had been Mr. Gbagbo. So long as he was in power, the West could not perpetuate the neocolonial status of Ivory Coast.

“Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups, or change constitutions to stay in power. Africa does not need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Barack Obama’s speech to the Ghanian parliament on July 11, 2009.

In the first part of this article, we saw that the victory of Laurent Gbagbo was not open to doubt from the legal point of view. The Ivorian Constitutional Council, which is the highest legal jurisdiction to decide electoral disputes, said unequivocally that Laurent Gbagbo was the winner.

Barack Obama and the Western media said that the decision of the Constitutional Council was “null and void” because, according to them, the members of the Constitutional Council are minions of Laurent Gbagbo.

This is a specious argument used for misleading Western public opinion. It points also to the existence of a grand Western agenda to prise Laurent Gbagbo from power and to make Alassane Ouattara wear the crown of of Ivory Coast.

Moreover, Obama should have known that the United States did not have any right to impugn the neutrality of the Ivorian Constitutional Council.

Obama should not forget how Bush junior was declared winner by the United States’ Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential elections. The American people and the world at large knew that Al Gore was the winner.

But since most of the judges were nominated under Republican presidents, they abused their office to destroy the popular will and replace it by their own.

The problem is that the law always takes precedence when it is inconsistent with popular will until such time that the people change the law.

That is why the American people accepted the ill-gotten victory of George Bush because the United State’s Supreme Court judges’ decision is final according to the United States’ constitution.

However compared to the egregious partiality of the United States’ Supreme Court judges in the 2000 presidential elections, the Ivorian Constitutional Council cannot be accused of being partial to Laurent Gbagbo.

One may not agree with the Council’s decision declaring Gbagbo winner of the elections, but one cannot say that it reflected the non-neutrality of the Council.

To show the non-neutrality of the Council, Obama and Western leaders submit ad hominem arguments saying that the judges of the Constitutional Council are close friends of Laurent Gbagbo; but one can wonder if Obama has ever appointed his enemies as judges of the United States’ Supreme Court? It is an undeniable truth that no Western leader has ever appointed Supreme Court judges whom they know to be their ideological or personal enemies. Besides, the crucial question is not whether the members of the Constitutional Council are cronies of Laurent Gbagbo. The issue is whether their decision is constitutionally legal. No one expects judges to tell the truth of what happened. Only God can know the true truth. As for judges, it behoves them only to tell the law’s solution to a problem submitted to them.

That being said, Obama and other Western leaders forget that the same argument can be returned against them when they say that Alassane Ouattara has been declared winner by the Ivorian Independent Electoral Commission.

But who are the leader and the members of the Electoral Commission? 19 of them belong to opposition political parties, 11 represent different administrative bodies, and only two are from Laurent Gbagbo’s party.

Before and during the first round of elections, no one raised a problem either with the neutrality of the Constitutional Council or with that of the Electoral Commission even though Laurent Gbagbo got the highest number of votes. The problem arose during the second round of elections when the electoral Commission failed to release the election results within the imparted time limit (i.e., a 72-hour period).

Why did not the electoral commission release the election results before the expiration of the deadline as stipulated by the law? The electoral commission’s president Youssouf Bakayoko has never given the answer.

What is indisputable is that because of its failure to release election results within the time fixed by the law, the door was foreclosed for the electoral commission to release results after the expiration of the deadline.

It was up to the Constitutional Council to decide what to do next. That is why the president of the electoral commission, Youssouf Bakayoko, transmitted the election materials to the Constitutional Council after midnight on Wednesday 1st December 2010. Because he knew that he could not release the results within the appointed time.

What happened afterwards is difficult to believe. On Thursday 2nd December 2010, the electoral commission’s president, Mr. Bakayoko, went to Alassane Ouattara’s campaign headquarters at the Golf Hotel and declared Ouattara the winner.

Everyone (including the other members of the electoral commission) were completely taken unawares by the totally illegal act of Mr. Bakayoko. They say that Mr. Bakayoko received an order from the American ambassador to Ivory Coast to declare Ouattara winner of the presidential poll.

And the commission’s president complied with the order by saying that Ouattara won over the incumbent president by securing 54.1% of the vote. The fact remains that the president of the electoral commission knew full well that it was out of his competence to release results, because the deadline for doing so had expired and because election materials had been transmitted to the Constitutional Council. Since then Mr. Bakayoko has gone into hiding in the Golf Hotel, where Mr. Ouattara has taken refuge under the protection of United Nations troops.

It would be very interesting to know why Mr. Bakayoko was led to act illegally after having transmitted the election materials to the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council was going to declare the winner on Friday 3rd of December 2010.

It seems that Mr. Bakayoko was ordered to pre-empt the Constitutional Council decision before it was made public. And here lies the unprecedented international deceit against the laws and institutions of an African nation.

In his July 11, 2009 speech to the Ghanian parliament, Mr. Obama told Africans that Africa needed strong institutions and not strongmen. However the international deceit to prise from power Laurent Gbagbo, the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, and his capture by United Nations troops shows Obama’s shameful decision to render inefficacious Ivorian laws and institutions. Surely Obama will go down into the annals of history as one whose deeds contradict his words. Obama’s arrogant policy towards Ivory Coast shows that being a promoter of imperialism against Africa is not a question of skin colour.

Obama’s blatant interference to change the decision of Ivorian institutions provides also clear proof that the the electoral commission was not neutral. Witness Mr. Bakayoko’s decision to declare the election “results” at the Golf Hotel, that is, in the campaign headquarters of Mr. Ouattara and before Western media.

There was no Ivorian news network. The problem is not only that the conduct of the electoral commission’s president was illegal. But Western media misled world public opinion into believing that the electoral commission had the mandate to announce the winner of the elections.

For example, when Alemayehu Gebremariam criticized Laurent Gbagbo for having refused to accept the decision of his own electoral commission, he misled his Ethiopian readers into believing that the electoral commission wass competent to declare the winner.

That is not true. Alemayehu did not do his homework. The electoral commission was not mandated to declare who the winner was. Its mandate was to declare provisional results. The declaration of the final result belongs to the Constitutional Council in that the provisional results of the electoral commission ought to be validated by the Constitutional Council. This means that it is only the Constitutional Council which can declare a winner in an election. That is why the Constitutional Council was led to invalidate the declaration of the president of the electoral commission that Ouattara was the winner.

The international community of Western nations feigned being scandalized by the decision of the Constitutional Council. It tries to make believe as if the electoral commission could release results after the expiration of the deadline, as if it could declare the winner and as if its declaration of election results were final.

The fact is that a party which feels aggrieved by the declarations of the electoral commission can take an appeal to the Ivorian Constitutional Council, and this is what Laurent Gbagbo did.

Gbagbo claimed that the election in the northern part of the country controlled by the rebel army of Alassane Ouattara was completely rigged. For example the number of those who cast votes was far superior to the number of registered voters.

Neither Alassane Ouattara nor his protector, the United Nations, have disputed this allegation. Neither have they contested the regularity of elections in areas under the control of the Ivorian government.

It is unclear what the international community of Western leaders had expected of Laurent Gbagbo. Should he have refrained from contesting the regularity of the election in the northern part of the country under rebel control since 2004 so that the Western world’s candidate could be declared president?

And yet, it was not only Gbagbo who said that the elections in the north under rebel control were totally rigged. Even though Western governments and media have never talked about it, elections observers sent by the African Union led by former Togolese prime minister Koku Koffigoh declared that the scale of electoral abuses in the northern part of the country under the control of Mr Ouattara’s rebel forces were on such a scale as to discredit the sincerity of the vote in many areas of northern Ivory Coast; the African observers also talked about intimidation, torture and assassination of Ivorians suspected by Mr. Ouattara’s rebels of being pro-Gbagbo.

Mr. Koku Koffigoh also added that two of the African Union observers were confined in the north illegally by the rebel forces. He thanked the United Nations for having facilitated the release of the two African Union observers.

The position of the African Union observers was diametrically opposite to the position of observers sent by the European Union and by the American government.

Observers from America and Europe had already given passing marks to the elections when observers from the African Union said the polls in the north were not credible.

Then American and European observers made racism-tinged commentaries destined at denigrating African Unions observers. Normally, the African Union and the ECOWAS (the Economic Community of Western African States) should have endorsed and defended the position of the African Union’s observers.

Bizarrely, they preferred endorsing the position of observers from the United States and from the European Union. This is something never seen before. You send observers and you disown their observations!

The African Union should henceforth desist from sending observers. Not only that. The African Union also refused to study attentively Laurent Gbagbo’s proposal that the votes be recounted. However, Gbagbo’s proposition of vote recounting was illegal in that it was in violation of the Ivorian constitution which says that the decision of the Constitutional Council is final. But for the sake of peace, Gbagbo expressed his desire that votes be recounted in order to forestall any misunderstanding and suspicion regarding his victory.

Here again, the African Union adopted the position of Ban Ki-moon who was opposed to the recounting of votes. Does Ban Ki-moon have the right to act as if he were the superior colonial administrator of Ivory Coast?

What is sad is that the African Union obeyed the arrogant orders of Ban Ki-moon rather than listening to Laurent Gbagbo’s proposal. Wherein then lies the Africanity of this so-called African Union which gives a listening ear only to non-Africans against Africans?

In reality, the position of Ban Ki-moon was most expected because of his palpable and egregious partiality to Mr. Ouattara.

The Ouattara camp would have certainly accepted the decision of the Ivorian Constitutional Council declaring Laurent Gbago winner of the elections had it not been for Mr. Choi, a South Korean and representative of South Korean UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who declared publicly that the winner was not Laurent Gbagbo, but Alassane Ouattara.

From that time on, Ouattara has never ceased claiming that he is the elected leader. Ouattara seems to say that the United Nations mission chief to Ivory Coast, Mr. Choi, is hierarchically superior to the Ivorian constitution and to the Ivorian Constitutional Council. In reality, Mr. Choi is a simple international “civil servant” who acted beyond his powers and against Ivorian laws. He did that on the order of his fellow country folk, Ban Ki-moon who wants to be elected as UN Secretary General for a second time. To that end, he must act in such a way to please the members of the Security Council.

For Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the Ivorian crisis is a unique occasion to prove his total loyalty to Western members of the Security Council and to get a second mandate even though that means causing havoc and death in Ivory Coast.

Indeed, one can argue safely that the post-electoral crisis in Ivory Coast is due mainly to the UN’s refusal to respect the clause of the 2007 Ouagadougou Agreement enjoining the UN to disarm and contain the rebel forces no later than two months before the start of the presidential election.

In other words, the UN Security Council did not uphold its own commitment to disarm the Ivorian rebels and to create favourable conditions for free and transparent elections.

The election took place without the reunification of the country.

Laurent Gbago insisted that the UN disarm the rebels but Ban Ki-moon was not willing to act. Because that was not the desire of the Western members of the Security Council, especially the United States. On the other hand, the United States insisted that the elections should be held as soon as possible.

It pressured Laurent Gbagbo, saying that he could not continue to hold power while his mandate expired in 2005. Gbagbo said that it was not his fault if the elections were not held in 2005. Finally he accepted to go for elections contrary to what was agreed in Ouagadougou in 2007.

The refusal of the UN to disarm the northern rebels as per the 2007 Ouagadougou agreement showed that there was a second plan to resort to violence or to other foul means in case Gbagbo won the elections.

The victory of Alassane Ouattara and the defeat of Mr. Gbagbo had been written years before the November 28, 2010 elections. In other words, it was decided by forces foreign to Africa with the collaboration of African dictators that the November 28 elections should be used as a means to topple Gbagbo and to install Alassane Ouattara by force as president of Ivory Coast.

How does one explain America’s unprecedented involvement in the Ivorian dispute whereas it uttered no word on Burkina Faso’s elections which took place at almost the same time as that of Ivory Coast? Why has not America said anything about the fake re-election of Blaise Compaore in power in Burkina Faso since 1987?

To understand Mr. Obama’s imperial interference in Ivory Coast and the West’s determination to topple Laurent Gbagbo, one should take into consideration the high geo-economic interest that the Gulf of Guinea represents for the West in general and for America in particular. The geo-economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea lies in the recent discovery of a huge oil reserve in the area. To control the Gulf of Guinea, the control of Ivory Coast is indispensable. Because not only does Ivory Coast have one of the the most modern infrastructures in Western Africa, but its economy represents also 40% of the economy of the fifteen west African states. The big problem for the West since 2002 had been Mr. Gbagbo. So long as he was in power, the West could not perpetuate the neocolonial status of Ivory Coast.

From the foregoing, it is not difficult to see that the Western media discourse about democracy and the international media propaganda that Mr. Ouattara is the democratically elected president of Ivory Coast is a red herring. The real objective is not about the future of democracy in Africa since the West is afraid of the true democratization of Africa.

If Africans were to choose freely their leaders, the West could not control Africa and its natural resources. If Mr. Gbagbo were to ingratiate himself towards the West like Alassane Ouattara did between 1990-1993, he would be endorsed now as president of Ivory Coast; the United Nations would not invade and occupy Abidjan to install by force its candidate, Alassane Ouattara.

But Gbagbo could not ingratiate himself before Western leaders. Gbagbo was an African liberation fighter, a true democrat and statesman. Contrary to the belief of many confused people, including the aforementioned Ethiopians, Mr. Gbagbo is not a dictator. He never imprisoned his political adversaries. He never imprisoned journalists. That is why the removal of the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, by the United Nations at the behest of Barack Obama and with the collaboration of the African Union is the defeat of Africa’s stride toward true independence. Poor Africa, when will your own sons refrain from collaborating with foreigners bent on enslaving you?

Conclusion

What is the lesson that Ethiopians should learn from the overthrowing and the capture of the legally elected president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, by the United Nations? The lesson is that Ethiopians don’t have any other choice but to be united and to act as one man if they want to pass on to the next generation of Ethiopians a united and independent nation. The West is not at all interested in the democratization of Ethiopia. It is interested only in the defence of its geopolitical interests in the Horn of Africa.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 18, 2011

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Updates on Libyan war: April 18

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Pentagon Increasing Military Bases In Honduras

Pakistan: Thousands Of Internally Displaced Persons To Join Sit-In Against NATO Convoys

NATO-Standard Payloads: Czech Republic Can Sell Combat Jets To Iraq

NATO-Georgia Military Cooperation To Proceed “Indefinitely”

U.S., New Zealand Ships Swap Naval Personnel For First Time In 28 Years

NATO To Build Emergency Medical Airlift Base In Bulgaria

French Defense Chief Visits Troops In Surprise Afghan Tour

Ethiopia Threatens New War With Eritrea

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Pentagon Increasing Military Bases In Honduras

http://www.periodico26.cu/english/index.php/component/content/article/76-informativas/932-us-to-open-a-new-military-base-in-honduras-.html

Peridico 26
April 14, 2011

U.S to Open a New Military Base in Honduras

Tegucigalpa: Douglas M. Fraser, Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, met Honduran Minister of Defense Marlon Pascua and agreed that the United States will increase its military bases in the Honduran northern coast.

Fraser is visiting Honduras, according to him, for concretizing cooperation agreements to fight drug trafficking and for better regional security.

El Heraldo newspaper posted that a new base will be opened in Islas de Bahia with the assessment of U.S. Southern Command.

U.S. Southern Command has been assessing another base since 2010 in Gracias a Dios department, on the border with Nicaragua with the pretext of fighting drug trafficking.

Fraser will meet President Porfirio Lobo, U.S ambassador Hugo Llorens and several Honduran ministers.

This is the second time Fraser visits Honduras, a country he considers is located in a deadly area in the world, like Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Pakistan: Thousands Of Internally Displaced Persons To Join Sit-In Against NATO Convoys

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/18/idps-to-join-move-to-block-nato-supplies.html

Dawn News
April 18, 2011

IDPs to join move to block Nato supplies

-“People are sick with the government, which has put the sovereignty of the country at stake just to placate the US and prolong its corruption-riddled government.”

PESHAWAR: Displaced persons from Bajaur, Khyber and Mohmand agencies have said that they will take part in the sit-in of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) to block the supply of goods to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, tribal elders Saida Jan, Raees Khan, Mullah Khel and Mian Muhibur Rehman said that they would take part in PTI`s sit-in to protest US drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas [FATA].

Flanked by PTI provincial secretary information Zahid Hussain Mohmand, they said that they had always supported Imran Khan for his brave stance against the US strikes in tribal areas.

They said that thousands of internally displaced persons, currently staying in the Jalozai camp, would reach Hayatabad on April 23 to participate in the two-day sit-in.

Syed Ishtiaq Hussain Shah, the organiser of the sit-in, said that they had planned a peaceful protest against drone strikes, which killed innocent people including women and children. “People are sick with the government, which has put the sovereignty of the country at stake just to placate the US and prolong its corruption-riddled government,” he said.

PTI workers from every nook and corner of the province will converge in Hayatabad to block the supply of goods to NATO forces in Afghanistan via Peshawar, he said.

“The weapons supplied to the US and NATO forces through Pakistan are used against innocent people in the tribal areas,” he said, adding the supplies should be blocked to save people from being killed and wounded through no fault of their own.

“The PTI under the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan will not sit idle, rather it will offer tough resistance to the apologetic position of government on drone attacks,” Mr Shah said. The so-called US-led war against terrorism, he said, had caused massive mass exoduses from FATA.

He said that displaced tribesmen were spending sleepless nights in camps owing to lack of electricity, water and sanitation facilities.

The government, he said, was responsible for the prevalent lawlessness in the tribal areas that had exposed the inhabitants to a plethora of problems.

Mr Mohmand said that NATO supplies would be blocked on April 23 as a mark of protest against the US and Pakistan governments. Responsibility for any untoward incident would rest with the government if it tried to create hurdles to the sit-in, he said.

He said that PTI chairman Imran Khan would be present at the sit-in for two days. Arrangements at the district level had been finalised for the sit-in, he said.

Different committees had been assigned tasks to make the event a success, he said, adding that Jamaat-i-Islami had also announced support for the sit-in. The party provincial president Asad Qaisar had met Maulana Samiul Haq of JUI, who also assured participation to show unity against the US aggression, he added.

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NATO-Standard Payloads: Czech Republic Can Sell Combat Jets To Iraq

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110419/163588129.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 19, 2011

Czech Republic may sell combat jets to Iraq

WARSAW: The Czech Republic is planning to offer Iraq a number of light attack aircraft and help Baghdad to modernize its helicopter fleet, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas will visit Iraq on May 23-24 to promote closer economic cooperation with Baghdad and sign an agreement on mutual protection of investments.

“The Czech Republic will offer Iraq L-159 combat aircraft, and we are also ready to take part in the upgrading of Iraqi helicopters,” Schwarzenberg said on Monday after a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Prague.

The single-seat L-159 ALCA is a light multi-role combat aircraft designed for a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and reconnaissance missions.

The jet was developed in the late 1990s by Aero Vodochody on the basis of the proven airframe design and aerodynamic configuration of the L39 Albatros and L59 family of combat trainers.

The aircraft is equipped with an advanced multi-mode radar for all-weather, day-and-night missions and can carry a wide range of NATO-standard payloads including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and laser guided bombs.

The Czech Defense Ministry announced in January that it planned to sell 36 L-159 ALCAs that the Czech military does not need.

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NATO-Georgia Military Cooperation To Proceed “Indefinitely”

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20110418140521.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
April 18, 2011

Georgia to pursue ties with NATO

Tbilisi: Georgia remains committed to political and military cooperation with NATO, Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said at a news briefing today.

“Military cooperation between Georgia and NATO will go on indefinitely and it will be assigned priority in Georgia’s relations with the alliance,” she said commenting on a joint declaration between Georgia and NATO adopted last week in Berlin.

NATO remains committed to supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity as stipulated in the declaration.

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U.S., New Zealand Ships Swap Naval Personnel For First Time In 28 Years

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=59815

Navy NewsStand
April 18, 2011

U.S. Navy Sailors Serve on New Zealand Ship
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

ABOARD HMNZS CANTERBURY, AT SEA: Eight U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) serve on board New Zealand ship HMNZS Canterbury (L 421) Apr. 16-28.

Cleveland and Canterbury are both participating in Pacific Partnership 2011, which is an annual humanitarian assistance mission promoting cooperation throughout the Pacific…..

“Canterbury is very suited to this operation because she has amphibious sea-lift capabilities which allow us to get vehicles and personnel ashore where there is no port facility available.
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The U.S. Sailors were swapped with five New Zealand Sailors who will be working aboard Cleveland. Both groups will spend a week aboard their new ships.
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“This is the first time in 28 years that Americans have checked in aboard a New Zealand vessel…,” said Leading Hand Logan McCrae, a Sailor aboard Canterbury….

NZDF has contributed its personnel and support for the Pacific Partnership mission every year since its inception in 2006.

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NATO To Build Emergency Medical Airlift Base In Bulgaria

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=127398

Sofia News Agency
April 17, 2011

NATO to Build Medical Air Base in Bulgaria*

NATO will provide equipment for a modern air base center for airborne emergency medical help in the vicinity of Plovdiv.

The new medical center will be built on the site of the existing military hospital and it will be equipped with most the sophisticated equipment from the USA and Western Europe.

The center must be fully completed by end-September. Two heavy cargo and paratrooper MI-17 helicopters will be equipped with ICU and emergency apparatus.

The airborne emergency squad will be used by NATO troops during the Cooperative Key 2001 international military drills in September.

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French Defense Chief Visits Troops In Surprise Afghan Tour

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hrkfal6-uVSxs5Qvs1e2AE1OOFUg?docId=6591014

Associated Press
April 17, 2011

French defence minister makes surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet troops, authorities

PARIS: French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet has flown to Afghanistan on a previously unnannounced visit to meet with his nation’s troops and Afghan leaders.

The Defence Ministry announced his arrival in Afghanistan on Sunday, saying he was visiting a military hospital and a detachment of French helicopters.

He is to meet with French soldiers at various bases as well as Afghanistan’s political and military authorities.

Some 3,850 French troops are deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO mission fighting the Taliban, mainly in Kapisa and the Surobi district north and east of Kabul.
….

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Ethiopia Threatens New War With Eritrea

http://allafrica.com/stories/201104170022.html

Sudan Tribune
April 16, 2011

Eritrea: Ethiopia to Step-Up Support to Rebels
Tesfa-Alem Tekle

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia on Friday declared that it will increase its support to Eritrean rebel groups in their struggle to topple the regime of Issaias Afeworki.

“In light of Eritrea’s continuing nefarious campaigns”, Ethiopia has given up on “the passive approach it has pursued in the past in dealing with the Eritrean regime in Asmara”, thus “decided to carry out a more active policy, taking measured action against Eritrea’s activities”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its weekly press release published on Friday.

Last week, Addis Ababa threatened it might be forced to take military action against the Red Sea nation accusing it of continuous “terrorist acts” and attempts to destabilize Ethiopia.
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Ethiopia has given refuge to a number of Eritrean resistance groups including Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), a coalition of some nine political organizations.
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Ethiopia has been providing political support to the Eritrean political groups and it says now the support to the opposition groups will be strengthened further.
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“Ethiopia will continue to work to force the regime to change its policies or failing that it will be prepared to change the government itself through any means at its disposal. In this context, Ethiopian actions will include a proportionate response to any and every act by the regime in Asmara”.

Since a 1998-2000 border war that killed over 70,000 people relations between the two countries have remained tense. Tension has increased recently due to unconfirmed reports of clashes at their disputed border.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration defined the border in 2002 but Ethiopia has refused to recognize the award of the disputed town of Badme to Eritrea.

Eritrea became independent from Ethiopia, making its larger neighbour landlocked, in 1993 following decades of conflict.

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Categories: Uncategorized

James Boswell: On War

April 18, 2011 2 comments

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

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James Boswell
On War (1777)

While viewing, as travelers usually do, the remarkable objects of curiosity at Venice, I was conducted through the different departments of the Arsenal; and as I contemplated the great storehouse of mortal engines, in which there is not only a large deposit of arms, but men are continually employed in making more, my thoughts rebounded, if I may use the expression, from what I beheld; and the effect was, that I was first as it were stunned into a state of amazement, and when I recovered from that, my mind expanded itself in reflections upon the horrid irrationality of war.

What those reflections were I do not precisely recollect. But the general impression dwells upon my memory; and however strange it may seem, my opinion of the irrationality of war is still associated with the Arsenal of Venice.

One particular however I well remember. When I saw workingmen engaged with grave assiduity in fashioning weapons of death, I was struck with wonder at the shortsightedness, the caecae mentes of human beings, who were thus soberly preparing the instruments of destruction of their own species. I have since found upon a closer study of man, that my wonder might have been spared; because there are very few men whose minds are sufficiently enlarged to comprehend universal or even extensive good.

The views of most individuals are limited to their own happiness; and the workmen whom I beheld so busy in the Arsenal of Venice saw nothing but what was good in the labour for which they received such wages as procured them the comforts of life. That their immediate satisfaction was not hindered by a view of the remote consequential and contingent evils for which alone their labours could be at all useful, would not surprise one who has had a tolerable share of experience in life. We must have the telescope of philosophy to make us perceive distant ills; nay, we know that there are individuals of our species to whom the immediate misery of others is nothing in comparison with their own advantage – for we know that in every age there have been found men very willing to perform the office of executioner even for a moderate hire.

To prepare instruments for the destruction of our species at large, is what I now see may very well be done by ordinary men, without starting, when they themselves are to run no risk. But I shall never forget, nor cease to wonder at a most extraordinary instance of thoughtless intrepidity which I had related to me by a cousin of mine, now a lieutenant-colonel in the British army, who was upon guard when it happened. A soldier of one of the regiments in garrison at Minorca, having been found guilty of a capital crime, was brought out to be hanged. They had neglected to have a rope in readiness, and the shocking business was at a stand. The fellow, with a spirit and alertness which in general would, upon a difficult and trying emergency, have been very great presence of mind and conduct, stript the lace off his hat, said this will do, and actually made it serve as the fatal chord.

The irrationality of war is, I suppose, admitted by almost all men: I almost say all; because I have met myself with men who attempted seriously to maintain that it is an agreeable occupation and one of the chief means of human happiness. I must own that although I use the plural number here, I should have used the dual, had I been writing in Greek; for I never met with but two men who supported such a paradox; and one of them was a tragick poet, and one a Scotch Highlander. The first had his imagination so in a blaze with heroic sentiments, with the “pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war,” that he did not avert to its miseries, as one dazzled with the pageantry of a magnificent funeral thinks not of the pangs of dissolution and the dismal corpse. The second had his attention so eagerly fixed on the advantage which accrued to his clan from the “trade of war,” that he could think of it only as a good.

We are told by some writers, who assume the character of philosophers, that war is necessary to take off the superfluity of the human species, or at least to rid the world of numbers of idle and profligate men who are a burden upon every community, and would grow an insupportable burden, were they to live as long as men do in the usual course of nature. But there is unquestioningly no reason to fear a superfluity of mankind, when we know that although perhaps the time “when every rood of land maintain’d its man” is a poetical exaggeration, yet vigorous and well directed industry can raise sustenance for such a proportion of people in a certain space of territory, as is astonishing to us who are accustomed to see only moderate effects of labour; and when we also know what immense regions of the terrestrial globe in very good climates are uninhabited. In these there is room for millions to enjoy existence. In cultivating these, the idle and profligate, expelled from their original societies, might be employed and gradually reformed, which would be better surely, than continuing the practice of periodical destruction, which is also indiscriminate, and involves the best equally with the worst of men.

I have often thought that if war should cease over all the face of the earth, for a thousand years, its reality would not be believed at such a distance of time, notwithstanding the faith of authentick records in every nation. Were mankind totally free from every tincture of prejudice in favour of those gallant exertions which could not exist were there not the evil of violence to combat; had they never seen in their own days, or been told by father or grandfathers, of battles, and were there no traces of the art of war, I have no doubt that they would treat as fabulous or allegorical, the accounts in history, of prodigious armies being formed, of men who engaged themselves for an unlimited time, under the penalty of immediate death, to obey implicitly the orders of commanders to whom they were not attached either by affection or by interest; that these armies were sometimes led with toilsome expedition over vast tracts of land, sometimes crowded into ships, and obliged to endure tedious, unhealthy, and perilous voyages; and that the purpose of all this toil and danger was not to obtain any comfort or pleasure, but to be in a situation to encounter other armies; and that those opposite multitudes the individuals of which had no cause to quarrel, no ill-will to each other, continued for hours engaged with patient and obstinate perseverance, while thousands were slain, and thousands crushed and mangled by the diversity of wounds.

We who have from our earliest years had our minds filled with scenes of war of which we have read in the books that we most revere and most admire, who have remarked it in every revolving century, and in every country that has been discovered by navigators, even in the gentle and benign regions of the southern oceans; we who have seen all the intelligence, power and ingenuity of our nation employed in war, who have been accustomed to peruse Gazettes, and have had our friends and relations killed or sent home to us wretchedly maimed; we cannot without a steady effort of reflection be sensible of the improbability that rational creatures should act so irrationally as to unite in deliberate plans, which must certainly produce the direful effects which was is known to do. But I have no doubt that if the project for a perpetual peace which the Abbé de St Pierre sketched, and Rousseau improved, were to take place, the incredibility of war would after the lapse of some ages be universal.

Were there any good produced by war which could in any degree compensate its direful effects; were better men to spring up from the ruins of those who fall in battle, as more beautiful material forms sometimes arise from the ashes of others; or were those who escape from its destruction to have an increase of happiness; in short, were there any great beneficial effect to follow it, the notion of its irrationality would be only the notion of narrow comprehension. But we find that war is followed by no general good whatever. The power, the glory, or the wealth of a very few may be enlarged. But the people in general, upon both sides, after all the sufferings are passed, pursue their ordinary occupations, with no difference from their former state. The evils therefore of war, upon a general view of humanity are as the French say, à pure perte, a mere loss without any advantage, unless indeed furnishing subjects for history, poetry, and painting. And although it should be allowed that mankind have gained enjoyment in these respects, I suppose it will not be seriously said, that the misery is overbalanced. At any rate, there is already such a store of subjects, that an addition to them would be dearly purchased by more wars.

I am none of those who would set up their notions against the opinion of the world; on the contrary, I have such a respect for that authority, as to doubt my own judgment when it opposes that of numbers probably as wise as I am. But when I maintain the irrationality of war, I am not contradicting the opinion, but the practice of the world. For, as I have already observed, its irrationality is generally admitted. Horace calls Hannibal, demens, a madman; and Pope gives the same appellation to Alexander the Great and Charles XII:

From Macedonia’s madman to the Swede.

How long war will continue to be practised, we have no means of conjecturing. Civilization, which it might have been expected would have abolished it, has only refined its savage rudeness. The irrationality remains, though we have learnt insanire certa ratione modoque, to have a method in our madness.

That amiable religion which “proclaims peace on earth,” hath not as yet made war to cease. The furious passions of men, modified as they are by moral instruction, still operate with much force; and by a perpetual fallacy, even the conscientious in each contending nation think they may join in war, because they each believe they are repelling an aggressor. Were the mild and humane doctrine of those Christians, who are called Quakers, which Mr Jenyns has lately embellished with his elegant pen, to prevail, human felicity would gain more than we can well conceive. But perhaps it is necessary that mankind in this state of existence, the purpose of which is so mysterious, should ever suffer the woes of war.

To relieve my readers from reflections which they may think too abstract, I shall conclude this paper with a few observations upon actual war. In ancient times when a battle was fought man to man, or as somebody has very well expressed it, was a group of duels, there was an opportunity for individuals to distinguish themselves by vigour and bravery. One who was a “robustus acri militia, hardy from keen warfare,” could gratify his ambition for fame, by the exercise of his own personal qualities. It was therefore more reasonable then, for individuals to enlist, than it is in modern times; for, a battle now is truly nothing else than a huge conflict of opposite engines worked by men, who are themselves as machines directed by a few; and the event is not so frequently decided by what is actually done, as by accidents happening in the dreadful confusion. It is as if two towns in opposite territories should be set on fire at the same time, and victory should be declared to the inhabitants of that in which the flames were least destructive. We hear much of the conduct of generals; and Addison himself has represented the Duke of Marlborough directing an army in battle, as an “angel riding in a whirlwind and directing the storm.” Nevertheless I much doubt if upon many occasions the immediate schemes of a commander have had certain effect; and I believe Sir Callaghan O’Bralachan in Mr Macklin’s Love A la-mode gives a very just account of modern battle: “There is so much doing every where that we cannot tell what is doing any where.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 18

April 18, 2011 1 comment

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Senior Official: French Commandos Should Be Deployed To Libya

NATO Warplanes Destroy Libyan Telecommunications Tower

Protecting Civilians Just A Pretext For Libyan Intervention

Interview: Libya Is Not A Cause But A Pretext

NATO’s Air Assault On Libya: 2,771 Sorties, 1,110 Air Strikes

NATO Violating UN Resolution On Libya: Russian Envoy

EU Coordinates Military Actions In Libya With NATO

Libya: Al-Qaeda Chief, Fighters Headed To Besieged Rebel-Held City – Report

Letter: Obama, Congressman Wrong On Libya

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Senior Official: French Commandos Should Be Deployed To Libya

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13124447

BBC News
April 18, 2011

France ‘should send in commandos to Libya’

French commandos should be deployed on the ground in Libya to help guide air strikes, a senior French official says.

Axel Poniatowski, chairman of France’s foreign affairs committee, warned the Nato campaign could become bogged down unless allies put boots on the ground.

The UN resolution authorising force to protect civilians in Libya forbids a “force of occupation” on Libyan soil.
….
“The exclusive use of air power, as imposed on us by UN Security Council resolution 1973, has proved its limitations in the face of targets that are mobile and hard to track,” Mr Poniatowski said.

He said Nato pilots often found it hard to differentiate between pro-Gaddafi forces and the rebels from the air.

“Without information from the ground, coalition planes are flying blind and increasing the risk of friendly fire incidents,” he said.

Rebel convoys have been mistakenly bombed by Nato planes on at least two occasions.

Mr Pontiakowksi argued that special forces could have a limited mission to guide allied air strikes and select ground targets without breaking the “spirit” of the UN resolution.
….

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NATO Warplanes Destroy Libyan Telecommunications Tower

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE73H20M20110418

Reuters
April 18, 2011

NATO hit Sirte telecoms stations – Libya news agency

TUNIS: NATO air strikes destroyed the main telecommunications tower in the city of Sirte on Monday, Libyan state news agency Jana said.

Citing an engineer in the city 450 km (281 miles) east of the capital Tripoli, Jana said “the bombardment of the colonial and crusader aggressors” also hit two other telecommunications stations there early in the morning.

“The three stations provide telephone services for residents across Libya. The stations also provide communications networks for the fire brigades, rescue services and hospitals,” it said.
….
(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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Protecting Civilians Just A Pretext For Libyan Intervention

http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/foreign-view/2011-04/645498.html

Global Times
April 18, 2011

Protecting civilians just a pretext in Libyan intervention
By Ronda Hauben

Recently Harvard Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr spoke about his new book, The Future of Power at the Japan Society in New York City.

During his talk, Nye defined soft power as the ability to attract or persuade others to give you what you want without having to use coercion.

For Nye, it is not the facts that matter in “the information age.”

Instead, soft power is as important as, or even more important than, military action in gaining one’s objectives.

As he says in an online article, “In a global information age, success is not determined just by who has the biggest army, but also by who has the best story.”

In the Q and A period at the end of his talk, Nye was asked about Libya.

Nye responded that what President Barack Obama had done was exactly right in waiting until he had the needed narrative for the action in Libya.

It was important that the US not be seen as once again attacking a Muslim country. Instead the Arab League and the UN Security Council resolutions provided the narrative of “a legitimate enforcement of humanitarian responsibility to protect civilians.”

Nye pointed out that unlike former US President George Bush, Obama had managed to get the approval of the United Nations and was acting with the support of other countries, including France and the UK.

According to Nye, the narrative could be framed as the US taking “collective responsibility,” not as undertaking military intervention.

But there’s a problem with Nye’s argument. By stressing the importance of the narrative, Nye is focusing on how the world perceives the action the US is taking, rather than on the nature of the action itself.

What is actually happening in Libya is that NATO is supporting an armed insurgency against the government of Libya. NATO bombing is not protecting civilians in Libya, but protecting an armed insurrection against the government of Libya.

The March 17 UN Security Council meeting that passed Resolution 1973 authorized the use of military force against Libya. Several ambassadors explained how the resolution was needed to protect nonviolent peaceful protesters in Libya.

None mentioned that there was an armed insurrection in Libya against the government, even if it began after the government opened fire on civilian protesters, and that the resolution was authorizing military intervention supporting the armed insurgents in that military conflict.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin noted a few days later that the claim to protect civilians was the “pretext” which “effectively allowed intervention in a sovereign state.”

During a debate in 2009 at the UN over the concept of the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), the Belgium physicist and philosopher of science, Jean Bricmont, offered a critique of R2P.

He explained the importance of sovereignty as an essential part of the foundation of the United Nations.

“The very starting point of the United Nations was to save humankind from ‘the scourge of war,'” he said, referring to the two world wars. It is only the respect for sovereignty that protects the people of the small nations from the self-serving interests of the great powers, he argued.

Those proposing the need to adopt the R2P doctrine were undermining this respect for sovereignty and in the process encouraging foreign military intervention and war.

Nye’s presentation suggests that a convincing narrative has a power to gain support for actions despite the actual nature of the actions.

There are netizens around the world, however, who recognize the deceit represented by the claim that NATO actions in Libya are to protect civilians.

Articles and debates on the Internet demonstrate that many netizens recognize the self-serving national interests of the great powers that are engaged in military actions against the Libyan government.

“A new colonialism era has started,” writes one netizen.

“The UN is but a puppet in the hands of Western powers,” observes another.
“Civilization, democracy, freedom….It is all about national interest,” writes still another netizen.

Such discussion and analysis demonstrate that the Internet makes it possible to challenge false narratives and to contribute to creating a more accurate narrative that conforms to the facts of the situation.

The author is an award-winning US-based journalist covering the UN. She is also co-author of the book Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet.

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Interview: Libya Is Not A Cause But A Pretext

http://ftp.radio4all.net/index.php/program/50926

CKUW (Canada)
April 2, 2011

Rick Rozoff: Libya is not a cause but a pretext
And where is the anti-war movement?
Scott Price

Interview at red link at lower righthand corner at URL above

Summary: Rick Rozoff is a journalist and has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO international.

Military intervention in Libya is now a reality. A humanitarian mission is the official reason given. But there are many questions that are left to be answered. Why intervene in Libya? Why not Yemen? Why did the US and Britain give weapons to Gaddafi in the first place? And why support the rebels who are know to be a part of al-Qaeda? What interests does this serve?

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NATO’s Air Assault On Libya: 2,771 Sorties, 1,110 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_04/20110418_110418-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 18, 2011

NATO and Libya
JFC Naples, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….
Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 2,771 sorties and 1,110 strike sorties have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 17 April: 145

Strike sorties conducted 17 April: 60
….
Key Targets and Engagements

17 April: In the vicinity of Tripoli: Seven ammunition bunkers destroyed.

In the vicinity of Misrata: Four air defense radars destroyed.

In the vicinity of Sirte: Two hangars; one ammunition depot destroyed.

In the vicinity of Zintan: Four launchers; one air defense radar; one ammunition storage facility destroyed.
….
A total of 18 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

22 Vessels were hailed on 17 April to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding was conducted (no diversion).

A total of 384 vessels have been hailed, 10 boardings and 3 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
….

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NATO Violating UN Resolution On Libya: Russian Envoy

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110418/163580733.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 18, 2011

Russia’s NATO envoy accuses allies of breaching UN resolution on Libya

MOSCOW: Western forces should cease violating the United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya and maintain the embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone, Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Monday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier warned that weapons supplies and ground operations in Libya, regardless of reasons or causes, would be a breach of the Security Council’s resolution.

“More and more European states are declaring support for the Libyan rebels. We request to stop violating the UN Security Council resolution, especially its clause imposing an embargo on arms supplies to the conflict zone,” he said. “No one has ever succeeded in extinguishing a fire with kerosene.”

“Getting more and more entangled in the Libyan crisis, certain Western states have started speculating about the possibility of a ground operation, which would probably be introduced as an operation to secure humanitarian convoys,” Rogozin said.

The statement comes in the wake of recent rumors that France was pushing EU countries to the ground campaign in Libya by sending an EU humanitarian-military mission to the troubled North African state. However, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has ruled out any military role for the EU humanitarian mission.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, paving the way for a military operation against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which began two days later. The command of the operation was shifted from a U.S.-led international coalition to NATO in late March.

Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi’s forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.

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EU Coordinates Military Actions In Libya With NATO

http://www.europolitics.info/sectorial-policies/eu-coordinates-with-nato-on-military-mission-art301837-13.html

Europolitics
April 18, 2011

EU coordinates with NATO on military mission
By Paul Ames

The European Union is intensifying contacts with NATO in preparation for an eventual EU military mission to support humanitarian efforts in Libya. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, restated the Union’s willingness to send a mission when she met with NATO’s foreign ministers in Berlin, on 15 April.

However, the EU is still waiting for a request from the United Nations before it can go ahead with the mission – and UN humanitarian officials are not convinced that a European military mission is needed.

“We also remain seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in Libya and stand ready, if requested by the UN, to send an EU mission to support humanitarian efforts,” Ashton said in a statement released in Berlin. “Pending the request, the planning is at an advanced stage. And in this context we are coordinating with others, including NATO.”

Ashton wrote, early in April, to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that the EU could use military assets to ensure that aid reaches the city of Misurata, which is besieged by pro-Gaddafi forces. But she has yet to receive a positive reply from the UN, where there is concern that the appearance of European troops on the ground could be counter-productive.

Any EU mission would need to be coordinated with NATO, since the alliance is running the maritime mission enforcing the arms embargo on Libya and the air operation against Gaddafi’s forces.

Reports emerging from the Berlin meeting suggested that Turkey could be prepared to lift its long-standing opposition to increased NATO-EU cooperation in order to allow for an eventual EU humanitarian mission to run in coordination with NATO.

Turkey has blocked cooperation between the EU and NATO at a number of levels due to its concern over the role of Cyprus within the EU.

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Libya: Al-Qaeda Chief, Fighters Headed To Besieged Rebel-Held City – Report

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Libya-Al-Qaeda-chief-heading-for-besieged-city-of-Misrata_311917041440.html

ADN Kronos International
April 18, 2011

Libya: Al-Qaeda chief ‘heading for besieged city of Misrata’

The head of Al-Qaeda in Libya is heading for the stricken city of Misrata from the rebel stronghold of Bengasi, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim announced, cited on Monday by pan-Arab daily Al-Quds al-Arabi’s website

“We have learned that a prominent Al-Qaeda leader, Abdelhakim al-Hasari, is heading towards Misurata aboard a ship,” said Ibrahim.

“There are 25 well-trained fighters on board the ship with him,” Ibrahim added.

The humanitarian situation was reported to be dire in Misrata on Monday, which has been the scene of intense fighting between anti-government rebels and forces loyal to longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. A chartered Greek ferry arrived off the port as part of an international refugee rescue operation to help an estimated 10,000 non-Libyans waiting to leave.

The refugees are camping out around Misrata without adequate shelter, clean water or food and no medical care, according to the IOM.

Ibrahim said Misratat was still in rebel hands. “It’s possible that terrorists will gain the upper hand in Libya and this represents a threat for the region and for Europe,” he stated.

He reitereated Gaddafi’s repeated claims that Al-Qaeda is playing a role the uprising against his 40-year-long autocratic rule.

“The evidence that Al-Qaeda is involved in the war in Libya is increasing day by day,” Ibrahim said.

Al-Hasadi was sailing towards Misrata aboard an Egyptian ship, the ‘al-Shahid Abdelwahab’, Ibrahim said….

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Letter: Obama, Congressman Wrong On Libya

http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20110418/OPINION03/104180308/1046/BUSINESS/Rogers-Obama-misleading-Libya?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Livingston Daily
April 18, 2011

Rogers and Obama misleading on Libya

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, stated, “If you have a stalemate with Moammar Gadhafi still in power, when you have this split country where he still possesses stockpiles of some pretty awful stuff, I think you have to worry that he is a terrorist threat.”

Rogers’ false and deceptive comments about weapons of mass destruction and Libyan terrorism fears harken back to the Bush era deceptions on Iraq.

Up until just a few weeks before the uprising, the United States was still approving arms sales to Libya. As seen from the words of Sen. Richard Lugar, there is no clear consensus on Libya. This conflicts with the Powell doctrine of “overwhelming support of the American people.” Any form of aid or intervention in Libya fails all the tests of well-established policy.

If Rogers and Obama alike think that destabilization of Libya, and removing Gadhafi, will bring some Camelot era of peace, they are mistaken. The country has factions that are infighting, and the rebels are one step away from warlords.

We have seen in Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and plenty of other conflicts that there is no win-win solution to military involvement, be it standoff weapons or troops. Such intervention should be ruled out unless there are vital and immediate U.S. interests, or large-scale humanitarian issues.

Libya will now be engaged in conflict for the next decade. Down the road, we could indeed inherit this conflict while the rest of the world backs away, like in Iraq, Vietnam and Korea. Obama himself has said nothing has been ruled out. And his position keeps stepping closer to a new war.

The history of Libya and Gadhafi is many decades old, and is not in need of some immediate crisis intervention from the tarot cards of warmongering. Stirring up and aiding unrest, and then removing yourself from the conflict, is not diplomacy, nor humanitarian. Gadhafi is old, and the world could have waited him out. What is another few years after so many decades?

John Hargenrader
Brighton

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: April 17, 2011

April 18, 2011 1 comment

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Updates on Libyan war: April 17

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Raytheon, Lockheed Compete For $5 Billion, 33,000-Missile Contract

Pentagon Developing Rapidly Deployable ICBM Killer

NATO Loses Three More Soldiers In Afghanistan

Afghanistan: NATO Death Toll At 130

Rising Number Of NATO Soldiers Killed By Afghan Security Forces

Georgian Foreign Minister, NATO Envoy Visits Wounded Troops In Germany

Pakistan: Sit-In Blocks NATO Supply Convoys

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Raytheon, Lockheed Compete For $5 Billion, 33,000-Missile Contract

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2011/04/17/20110417biz-insider0417yantis.html

Arizona Republic
April 17, 2011

Raytheon, Lockheed vying for $5 bil missile contract
John Yantis

It’s not often a company calls a teleconference just to say it will try to land a lucrative government contract. But that’s what Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems did Thursday.

Raytheon, the state’s largest defense contractor, had trade and newspaper reporters call in to a media roundtable so it could answer any questions we might have about the company’s announcement that it would respond to a request for a proposal from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command.
….
The company and a rival, Lockheed Martin, are fighting to secure an estimated $5 billion worth of work building more than 33,000 missiles for the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines.

Lockheed Martin also said Thursday that it would respond to the same request to manufacture the U.S. military’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile, setting up a battle over which company will secure a contract for engineering, manufacturing and an initial low-rate production of the weapons.

“For the next 25 years, this is probably going to be one of the last new-start programs they purchase for something that’s going to be fired off of a helicopter,” said Mike Nachshen, a Raytheon spokesman, during a September interview about the significance of JAGM.

Raytheon is teaming with Boeing Co. in its proposal.

The JAGM could be launched by a half-dozen aircraft, including the AD-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter that is built by Boeing in Mesa.

JAGM will replace three 30-year-old missile programs, particularly the Hellfire and Hellfire Longbow missiles, which are fired from helicopters.
….
The weapon is 6 feet long and 7 inches in diameter, and it weighs 108 pounds. The Boeing-Raytheon team says what separates its design from those of other missiles is the powerful sensor on the front of the missile, which combines semiactive laser guidance, uncooled imaging infrared and millimeter-wave radar.
….
In a news release, Bethesda, Md. -based Lockheed said its missile would build on technology in the precision-guided weapons it makes, including the Hellfire, Longbow and Javelin.
….
A response to the Army’s proposal is due May 31. A selection decision is not expected for at least two months later, Raytheon officials said.

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Pentagon Developing Rapidly Deployable ICBM Killer

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/04/new_missile.html

Huntsville Times
April 17, 2011

MDA contracts will launch an all-new missile and have big impact in Huntsville
By Kenneth Kesner

-The SM-3 Block IIB is to be a smaller, faster, “highly deployable” missile that, in concert with radars, sensors and other missile defense elements being developed as part of Phase Four of the “Phased Adaptive Approach” to missile defense in Europe, will provide an early-intercept capability against medium- and intermediate-range and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.
-“We believe that this is going to be an extremely attractive missile for applications around the world, not just U.S. applications. This is very exciting for us.”

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: In missile defense, as in so many things, sooner is better. Destroying an enemy missile as soon after launch as possible allows more time for other options, if needed, including time to take another shot at it.

The Missile Defense Agency last week awarded Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon three-year contracts worth more than $41 million each to begin planning an all-new interceptor, the Standard Missile 3 Block IIB, as part of a system to hit threatening missiles earlier in their flight.

The SM-3 Block IIB will also be cost-effective as it takes some of the burden off existing missile defense systems, such as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, which are designed to destroy threats later in their flights, said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly.

“Everyone in Washington, I believe, is a strong supporter of the need for a very fast, small interceptor that complements the other missile defense interceptors that we have developed,” O’Reilly said. “It doesn’t replace them, but it adds a new capability that we haven’t developed before.”
….
After a bid competition, the three companies were awarded contracts to work with MDA to define and assess configurations for the new missile and come up with an affordable plan. In 2013, one of the companies is to be selected to develop the rest of the SM-3 Block IIB system, fly the missile and go into production by the end of the decade.

MDA’s budget request for that follow-on contract is more than $1.5 billion, O’Reilly said. These early concept definition contracts will be critical for confidence MDA has selected the missile plan most likely to deliver the capability needed.

At the same time the three companies work to conceive the new missile, MDA is directly funding research by the companies that will provide the underlying technology needed for propulsion, guidance, target “seekers” and more. Prime contractors have traditionally had to fund all the subcontractors below them at this phase, O’Reilly said.
….
The three contract teams will be able to use the results of this government investment as they build the proposals MDA will be evaluating in 2013.
….
The SM-3 Block IIB is to be a smaller, faster, “highly deployable” missile that, in concert with radars, sensors and other missile defense elements being developed as part of Phase Four of the “Phased Adaptive Approach” to missile defense in Europe, will provide an early-intercept capability against medium- and intermediate-range and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.

Those forward-based radars, launch sites and more need to be developed and in position for the new missile to be able to perform its early-intercept mission, and the PAA supports that.

“All of those forward-based sensors give us the ability to track a (threat) missile,” O’Reilly said. “And now we just need to have a fast enough missile. If it’s in the right place, the right location, it can intercept a large number of the missiles that we believe, in the future, we’re going to see simultaneously launched at us.” [?!]

Even if the Phased Adaptive Approach is changed or jettisoned, the new missile is a badly needed weapon in the defense arsenal, he said.

“Regardless of the approach that we take, this is a very valuable, very important capability that our country does not have today,” O’Reilly said. “Any director of MDA, any administration and any combatant commander would want this capability.”
….
“We believe that this is going to be an extremely attractive missile for applications around the world, not just U.S. applications. This is very exciting for us.”

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NATO Loses Three More Soldiers In Afghanistan

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/bomb-kills-three-nato-soldiers-in-afghanistan/story-e6frfku0-1226040607842

NewsCore
April 17

Bomb kills three NATO soldiers in Afghanistan

A bomb killed three NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said today.

This raises the total number killed yesterday to eight, in the deadliest day since June last year.

The three soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device, ISAF said, without confirming the nationalities of the victims.

That report followed the death of five other NATO troops yesterday, who were killed in a suicide attack on an army base in eastern Afghanistan. The suicide bomber was dressed in Afghan Army uniform when he detonated a vest packed with explosives at about 7:30am local time at the gate of an Afghan Army base in Laghman province, Sky News reported.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, the latest in a spate of deadly suicide bombings across the war-torn country.

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Afghanistan: NATO Death Toll At 130

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/04/17/49053345.html

Voice of Russia
April 17, 2011

Death toll for Afghan coalition forces at 130

The number of international military coalition soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year has reached 130, the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) press service reports.

Last year saw some 720 US and NATO military being killed in Afghanistan.

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Rising Number Of NATO Soldiers Killed By Afghan Security Forces

http://www.stripes.com/rising-number-of-coalition-troop-deaths-coming-at-hands-of-afghan-security-forces-1.141313

Stars and Stripes
April 17, 2011

Rising number of coalition troop deaths coming at hands of Afghan security forces
By Nancy Montgomery and Bill Murphy Jr.

The murders on Saturday of five NATO soldiers by a Taliban suicide bomber who enlisted as an Afghan National Army soldier marked the latest in a rising toll of coalition troop deaths at the hands of Afghan security forces they are attempting to train.

Since January, 13 troops with the International Security Assistance Force have been killed when Afghan police, soldiers or security guards — or insurgents who infiltrated their ranks — attacked coalition forces. These types of killings have accounted for the deaths of at least 38 coalition personnel since 2009, according to a Stars and Stripes review, constituting roughly 3 percent of the hostile fire deaths among troops during that time.

By comparison, 27 troops were killed by mortar or indirect fire attacks launched by insurgents during that same time period, according to the independent website icasualties.org.

Surprisingly, the killers are not usually Taliban sleeper agents or impostors. They often appear to be regular Afghan troops who start shooting after some dispute with coalition troops, according to the NATO command in charge of training Afghan security forces.

“[The shootings are] usually related to people getting into arguments,” said Lt. Col. David Simons, spokesman for the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, who said his conclusion was based on incident reports.
….
According to a Stars and Stripes review of media reports, in addition to the 13 coalition forces killed this year, 15 coalition personnel were killed by Afghan security forces in 2010 and 10 in 2009, when ISAF began expanded efforts to train Afghan soldiers and police.

The dead included troops from the U.S., Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, and the killings took place in all parts of Afghanistan.
….
The command said it did not count cases in which Afghan security guards, as opposed to Afghan soldiers or police, were the shooters, such as the guard who killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded four others near Kandahar last month. The guard worked for an Afghan security contracting business and opened fire with an AK-47.
….
Some of the attacks could also have been vengeance for the ill effects of a decade of NATO military operations in Afghanistan. Afghans have been infuriated by night raids, forcible entries, damaged property and checkpoints.
….

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Georgian Foreign Minister, NATO Envoy Visits Wounded Troops In Germany

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41142&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
April 17, 2011

Georgia`s Foreign Minister visits soldiers of ISAF contingent

Georgia`s Foreign Minister and Ambassador to NATO visited soldiers of the ISAF Georgian contingent in the town of Landshut in Germany.

Prior to it, Grigol Vashadze and Grigol Mgaloblishvili attended the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Berlin.

Landshut`s military hospital is the largest and the most significant U.S. military medical facilities beyond the country`s borders.

Soldiers serving in the 32nd Battalion in the province of Helmand within the NATO-led ISAF security operation have been undergoing medical treatment in the hospital since February 2011. They [were injured by mines] when patrolling in province of Helmand.

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Pakistan: Sit-In Blocks NATO Supply Convoys

http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/17/nato-supplies-to-be-blocked-during-pti-sit-in.html

Dawn News
April 17, 2011

Nato supplies to be blocked during PTI sit-in

PESHAWAR: The federal government on Sunday decided to stop supplies to Nato troops in Afghanistan for two days on April 23 and April 24, keeping in view Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s plan to stage a sit-in in Peshawar to protest against drone attacks in the tribal areas.

The provincial government has given directions for a security plan to ensure law and order during the PTI’s sit-in protest.

Sources said that the federal and provincial government decided to stop Nato oil tankers and food supplies during the protests to avoid any incidents of violence.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Romain Rolland: Above The Battle

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

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

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Romain Rolland
Above the Battle (Au-dessus de la mêlée) (1915)

Preface
Translated by C.K. Ogden

A great nation assailed by war has not only its frontiers to protect: it must also protect its good sense. It must protect itself from the hallucinations, injustices, and follies which the plague lets loose. To each his part: to the armies the protection of the soil of their native land. To the thinkers the defence of its thought. If they subordinate that thought to the passions of their people they may well be useful instruments of passion; but they are in danger of betraying the spirit, which is not the least part of a people’s patrimony. One day History will pass judgment on each of the nations at war; she will weigh their measure of errors, lies, and heinous follies. Let us try and make ours light before her!

Children are taught the Gospel of Jesus and the Christian ideal. Everything in the education they receive at school is designed to stimulate in them intellectual understanding of the great human family. Classical education makes them see, beyond the differences of race, the roots and the common trunk of our civilisation. Art makes them love the profound sources of the genius of a people. Science makes them believe in the unity of reason. The great social movement which renews the world, reveals the organised effort of the working classes all round them to unite their forces in the hopes and struggles which break the barriers of nations. The brightest geniuses of the earth chant, like Walt Whitman and Tolstoi, universal brotherhood in joy and suffering, or else as our Latin spirits, pierce with their criticism the prejudices of hatred and ignorance which separate individuals and peoples.

Like all the men of my time I have been brought up on these thoughts; I have tried in my turn to share the bread of life with my younger or less fortunate brothers. When the war came I did not think it my duty to deny these thoughts because the hour had come to put them to the test.

I have been insulted. I knew that I should be and I went forward. But I did not know that I should be insulted without even a hearing.

For several months no one in France could know my writings except through scraps of phrases arbitrarily extracted and mutilated by my enemies, It is a shameful record. For nearly a year this has gone on. Certain socialist or syndicalist papers may have succeeded here and there in getting some fragments through, but it was only in the month of June 1915 that for the first time my chief article, the one which was the object of the most violent criticism, “Above the Battle,” dating from September 1914, could be published in full (almost in full), thanks to the malevolent zeal of a maladroit pamphleteer, to whom I am indebted for bringing my words before the French public for the first time.

A Frenchman does not judge his adversary unheard. Whoever does so judges and condemns himself: for he shows that he fears the light. I place before the world the texts they have slandered. I shall not defend them. Let them defend themselves!

One single word will I add. For a year I have been rich in enemies. Let me say this to them : they can hate me, but they will not teach me to hate. I have no concern with them. My business is to say what I believe to be fair and humane. Whether this pleases or irritates is not my business. I know that words once uttered make their way of themselves. Hopefully I sow them in the bloody soil. The harvest will come.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: April 17

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EU Chief: Final Goal Is Libyan Regime Change, Handing Country Over To Clients

In Libya Richard Perle Finally Gets His War

Libya’s Top Catholic Official Endorses BRICS Call For Peaceful Solution To Conflict

U.S. Town Wants Remains Of First (1804) Libyan War “Hero” Returned

NATO Fighting Another Cold War In Libya: Journalist

NATO Warplanes Unleash Attacks Near Libyan Capital

NATO’s Air War Over Libya: 2,734 Sorties, 1,146 Air Strikes

Libya: Rhetoric Of War And Domination Versus Call For Peace And Harmony

Video And Text: Russia Accuses NATO Of Exceeding And Violating UN Resolution On Libya

Libyan Insurgents Receive Foreign Arms

Los Angeles Times: Bin Laden Contact, Afghan War Veteran, Would-Be Gaddafi Assassin Called In NATO Air Strikes

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EU Chief: Final Goal Is Libyan Regime Change, Handing Country Over To Clients

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n247400

Focus News Agency
April 17, 2011

Gaddafi withdrawal is main objective of international forces in Libya: EU President

Paris: The military pressure on Muammar Gaddafi should continue in order to make him withdraw, European Union President Herman van Rompuy said in an interview with French media, cited by ITAR-TASS.

Gaddafi’s withdrawal is the main objective of the coalition, he said.

“Gaddafi is still holding his post, but his positions have considerably weakened. I think the military pressure should continue. This is not an EU task, but a NATO one.

“And he has to be forced to withdraw. This is the main objective. This is what Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron said publicly and they are right. You cannot ensure adequate protection of civilians, if Gaddafi’s supporters do not leave his base,” said Rompuy.

According to him the National Council of Libya, which has been recognized only by France, Italy and Qatar so far, is “an absolutely acceptable interlocutor.”

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In Libya Richard Perle Finally Gets His War

http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/?p=3239

Bellum
Stanford Review
April 17, 2011

In Libya, Richard Perle Gets His War — Sort Of

April 17th, 2011 Speaking at Yale University last week, Richard Perle criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the unrest in the Middle East, suggesting more military force should have been used much sooner. This is interesting because in the run-up to the war in Iraq, Perle recommended a plan for toppling Saddam Hussein that bears a certain resemblance to the civil war that has unfolded against Qaddafi’s regime.

Under the Perle plan, a mere 40,000 troops would be inserted into the north and south of Iraq to seize the oil fields and effectively starve Saddam Hussein out of his financing. The north and south were also expected to be hotbeds of anti-Saddam resistance, given the Kurdish and Shia uprisings in the past, and it is likely that under the Perle plan (although as far as we can tell Perle never explicitly said this) there would have been a tremendous amount of liaison, supplying, and advising going on between these groups and US troops.

Now take Libya: as the civil war unfolded, the rebels seized key oil facilities and fought to hold them. The intention was to assault Tripoli step-by-step by taking the coastline cities along the way and to cut off Qaddafi’s oil profits. The US quietly supported the arming of these rebels and there was even talk of dispatching ground advisers.

There are key differences, of course: no US ground troops have been deployed in Libya. But the kernel of the idea — the too-clever-by-half plan to grab the money source and hold it while the regime crumbles in the distance — seems clear enough in both cases. The result is that while Perle’s plan was totally ignored in the Iraq War, in Libya we have an opportunity to see how it might have unfolded.

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Libya’s Top Catholic Official Endorses BRICS Call For Peaceful Solution To Conflict

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201104161524-pol-ren1042-libya_tripoli_vicar_people_are_worn_out

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
April 17, 2011

LIBYA: TRIPOLI VICAR, PEOPLE ARE WORN OUT

Tripoli: “Please, Father, let’s put an end to war and bombs. They have destroyed our family, upset our social life, children no longer go to school. We are shocked”, dozen of Libyan Muslim women told Tripoli’s vicar-apostolic.

He declared to the Vatican agency Fides: “For the first time in 40 years of celebrations in Libya, women came to church in tears.”

Monsignor Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli told Fides that “a form of diplomacy which respect to the Libyan situation” is necessary.

“I appreciated,” he added, “the position of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) which, in their latest meeting, rejected the use of force and reiterated that a diplomatic solution to Libya’s crisis is needed.”

“I believe this is wise,” he concluded, “because it favours diplomatic action over the use of force.”

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U.S. Town Wants Remains Of First (1804) Libyan War “Hero” Returned

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-nj-libya-barbarywarr,0,7685208.story

Associated Press
April 17, 2011

NJ town wants Libya to return namesake war hero

SOMERS POINT, N.J.— Residents of a southern New Jersey town named after a Navy hero in the First Barbary War are hoping the turmoil in Libya will lead to the return of his remains.

Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers was born in 1778 in an area that now bears his name. He was ordered in 1804 to blow up the explosive-laden USS Intrepid amid the Libyan fleet in