Archive

Archive for May, 2011

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 1, 2011

May 31, 2011 2 comments

====

Libya: NATO Has Killed 718 Civilians, Wounded 4,067

Final Assault: NATO Deploying Hellfires, Apaches And Bunker-Busters Against Libya

Tripoli Bishop: NATO Bombs Coptic Church, Causes Civilian Casualties

NATO Chief: Libyan War To Last At Least Six Months

NATO Extends War Against Libya For Another 90 Days

Shame On Us For Pulverizing Libya

NATO Spurns, Sabotages African Union Peace Plan By Bombarding Tripoli

NATO’s Devastastion Of Libya’s Infrastructure Unacceptable: Iranian Official

NATO’s Libyan Air War: 9,183 Sorties, 3,489 Combat Missions

Poland: NATO Commandants Discuss Eurasian, Mediterranean Partnerships

Rasmussen: NATO To Replicate Eastern European Model In Arab World

Iraq: NATO Builds Another Proxy Army

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Be “Punished With Missiles And Bombs”

Afghan War: 150,000 NATO Troops Needed For Two More “Fighting Seasons”

Afghan President’s Appeal Over NATO Killings Falls On Deaf Ears

French Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight

NATO Opens Liaison Office In Kyrgyzstan

U.S. Expands Military Ties With Malaysia: Pacific Command Chief

Spain: NATO Launches 25-Nation Plus Submarine Exercise

Video And Text: As Washington Spends Billions On Three Ongoing Wars, Americans Reduced To Scrambling For McJobs

====

Libya: NATO Has Killed 718 Civilians, Wounded 4.067

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/libya-says-nato-raids-killed-718-civilians-20110601-1ff79.html

Agence France-Presse
June 1, 2011

Libya says NATO raids killed 718 civilians Imed Lamloum

Libya has accused NATO of killing 718 civilians and wounding 4,067 in 10 weeks of air strikes, as African efforts for a truce stalled and Italy said Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is “finished.”

The toll of dead and injured was given at a news conference on Tuesday in Tripoli by government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, who also warned the departure of Gaddafi would be a “worst case scenario” for Libya.

“Since March 19, and up to May 26, there have been 718 martyrs among civilians and 4,067 wounded – 433 of them seriously,” Ibrahim said, citing health ministry figures….

He said these figures do not include Libyan military casualties, a toll the defence ministry refuses to divulge.

“If Gaddafi goes, the security valve will disappear,” Ibrahim said….

“Gaddafi’s departure would be the worst case scenario for Libya,” he told reporters, and warned of “civil war.”

Ibrahim also denied that South African President Jacob Zuma, who met Gaddafi in Tripoli on Monday, had discussed an “exit strategy” with him.

Zuma “never discussed any exit strategies as they have been described in the media,” the spokesman said.

Earlier, a statement from the South African presidency in Pretoria said Gaddafi would not leave Libya despite…intensified NATO strikes on his regime.

“Colonel Gaddafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue. He emphasised that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.

NATO pounded Tripoli earlier on Tuesday, only hours after Zuma left Libya’s capital having failed to close the gap between Gaddafi and rebels fighting to oust him since February.

….

Zuma said raids by NATO…were undermining African mediation efforts.

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane called for an immediate ceasefire after Zuma said Gaddafi was “ready” to implement an African Union peace plan already rejected by NATO and the rebels.

….

Italy, the former colonial ruler of Libya and strategic economic partner with Gaddafi’s regime, has joined international calls led by Britain, France and the United States for the Libyan leader to go.

In Washington, State Department spokesman said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the United Arab Emirates on June 9 for a meeting of the Libya contact group.

….

====

Final Assault: NATO Deploying Hellfires, Apaches And Bunker-Busters Against Libya

http://www.businessinsider.com/nato-hellfire-missiles-qadaffi-britain2011-6

Business Insider
June 1, 2011

NATO Is Deploying Hellfires, Apaches And Bunkerbusters As The Libyan War Enters Endgame
Robert Johnson

[Excerpts]

…In mid-May British Army Air Corps Apache AH Mk1 helicopter gunships launched Hellfire missiles at sea for the first time. Hellfires are precision, fire-and-forget warheads, accurate up to five miles away.

Days later Britain announced it was deploying the largest ship in its fleet, a helicopter transport, to the coast of Libya and sending the Apaches into the besieged city of Misrata.

To support its helicopter fleet, The Royal Air Force just received Enhanced Paveway III bombs at the Gioia Del Colle airbase in Southern Italy.

The 2,000 pound “bunker busting” bombs are designed to penetrate fortified and hardened structures….These were being attached to the RAF’s Typhoon and Tornado aircraft yesterday.

With the ordnance in place, NATO forces needed a little bit of time to focus on their mission.

Today they got it, when NATO announced unanimous approval for extending the strikes another 90 days from the June 27 deadline.

….

====

Tripoli Bishop: NATO Bombs Coptic Church, Causes Civilian Casualties

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bishop-of-Tripoli:-NATO-bombs-a-Coptic-church.-Civilian-Casualties.-21722.html

AsiaNews
June 1, 2011

Bishop of Tripoli: NATO bombs a Coptic church. Civilian Casualties.
Last night bombs damaged a Coptic church located near a military barracks. Migrant Filipino Catholics witness charity among the Libyan people affected by war

Tripoli: “NATO has intensified bombings and continues to create victims. Missiles are falling everywhere and, unfortunately, not only affect military zones, but also civilian areas. The people in Tripoli are suffering, even if nobody talks about it.” So says Mgr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. The prelate said that the bombing last night damaged several buildings, including a Coptic church located a few hundred meters from a military barracks.

According to the Libyan government, the NATO operation against Gaddafi has killed more than 700 people and injured over four thousand….Monsignor Martinelli explains that the city lacks fuel and the population is afraid to leave home; psychological damage is also caused by the bombings.

The prelate emphasizes the active presence of more than three thousand migrant Filipino Catholics, working in different hospitals in the city and throughout the country. They attend Mass every week in the cathedral despite the bombings. For the prelate, “they represent the heart of the local Catholic community and are a testimony of love and service to the Libyan people who suffer.”

Meanwhile, NATO today announced the extension of the mission to Libya by an additional 90 days. “This decision is a clear message to the regime of Gaddafi,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO….

On 30 May, Professor Angelo Del Boca spoke to AsiaNews about the unusual duration of this war. According to the historian, “the high cost of the operation against Gaddafi has transformed a lightening conflict into a war of nonsense by the media. What NATO hoped to achieve with the No Fly Zone has now been dissolved.”

====

NATO Chief: Libyan War To Last At Least Six Months

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110601/164366529.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 1, 2011

NATO extends mission in Libya

Moscow: NATO will continue its military campaign in Libya until at least September, NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.

“We are determined to continue our operation…We will keep up the pressure to see it through,” Rasmussen said, adding that the allies would extend the presence in Libya for another 90 days.

Fourteen 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….

Russia abstained in the Security Council vote authorizing the NATO-led military operation to protect civilians in the war-ravaged North African country, and has strongly criticized the alliance’s handling of the operation.

Western media reports claim the United States has suggested the Libyan rebels open a representative office in Washington.

====

NATO Extends War Against Libya For Another 90 Days

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/01/51127201.html

Voice of Russia
June 1, 2011

NATO to prolong operation in Libya by 90 days

NATO and the coalition partners have decided to prolong their operation in Libya by another 90 days, says NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

He spoke of the alliance’s determination not to weaken efforts while acting on the UN mandate to protect the people of Libya. NATO launched its operation on March 19th.

A spokesman for the Jamahiriya Government, Moussa Ibrahim, said on Tuesday that 718 people, mostly civilians, have died in NATO bombing attacks since the outbreak of the military campaign. More than 4,000 others have been wounded.

====

Shame On Us For Pulverizing Libya

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11152/1150408-374-0.stm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
June 1, 2011

Shame on us for pulverizing Libya
By Dan Simpson

-We as a people are acting in Libya like some maddened pit bull that just has to attack something. It is shameful.

Two questions troubled me over Memorial Day: Why is the United States destroying Libya, and why do I care?

For nearly three months America and its pony pal Pokeys – Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom – have been busily destroying Libya.

The war started out as at least vaguely comprehensible and well-meaning. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had responded to the Arab Spring stirrings against his government with furious threats against the Libyan population. The U.N. Security Council, at the urging of three permanent members (France, the United Kingdom and the United States) but with significant abstentions by Brazil, China, Germany, India and Russia, agreed to military action to protect Libyan civilians from the potential ravages of the government’s armed forces. That limited objective made some sense in humanitarian terms.

Libyan rebels launched an effort to oust Mr. Gadhafi from power but quickly ran out of gas. The allies began fighting under the banner of NATO, with the United States in principle having handed over leadership of the effort – which became, clearly, aimed at regime change, allegedly a “no, no” for the regime of President Barack Obama because it saw this as a major fault of the preceding administration of President George W. Bush. The allies, having eliminated Mr. Gadhafi’s air power, began bombing not only government military targets but also making parts of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, look like Joplin, Missouri, after the tornado. This was done in the name of hitting military installations, although it has become evident that Mr. Gadhafi himself was their real target.

The U.S. role moved into semi-clandestine mode. CIA and special operations forces were on the ground, helping with targeting and providing other intelligence support to NATO air forces as they demolished targets in Libya.

In the meantime, the rebels’ provisional “government” in eastern Libya – in Benghazi, formerly known as Cyrenaica – continued to take an informal approach to military action, in principle taking advantage of the NATO air strikes to move westward toward Tripoli. In fact, it remains divided by tribe, ill-disciplined, indifferently led and, in the end, lightly motivated, in spite of all the bold talk about fighting for freedom. The “government” now has 40 ministers and has eliminated women from all significant positions of leadership.

When preparing to go to Libya in 1963 one of the first books I read was on the tribes of Cyrenaica. The Cyrenaicans still operate on a tribal basis. They oppose the tribes of western and southern Libya.

I haven’t figured out yet whether the geniuses who run U.S. foreign policy don’t know that, or whether their reasons for proceeding to destroy Libya as a nation were so compelling that they were willing to put their nickels on the eastern Libyans in spite of the legendary divisions among their tribes and the problems these present.

Mr. Obama is moving ahead even though he is in clear violation of the terms of the U.S. War Powers Act. So what is behind his adherence to a policy of pounding Libya?

It is oil, to a degree. Even though Libya produces only 2 percent of the world’s oil, the companies that Libya nationalized after Mr. Gadhafi took power in 1969 were owned in part by British and American companies with long memories and a lot of lobbying clout in Washington due to their political contributions to parties and congressmen. France, the United Kingdom and the United States would just love to get their concessions back.

It is also clear that Mr. Gadhafi is not anyone’s idea of an enlightened ruler. Even though he handed over his nascent nuclear weapons program during the Bush years, winning big points, he also took down Pan Am 103 in 1988. He paid compensation to victims’ families but that tragedy remains an unsettled score between the United States and Libya. But is he worse than some of the Persian Gulf emirs – not to mention Saudi Arabia’s royalty – that we cuddle up to for oil, arms sales, military bases and whatever else?

Which leaves the fundamental question, what business is it of the United States to decide who should rule Libya or any other country in the world that poses no threat to us? Do we see no conflict of principles between taking the greatest of pride in our own independence, glorifying our founding fathers and praising our troops who fight and die to preserve that independence, while at the same time bombing into rubble some other country’s capital to try to change its current leaders?

My own personal question is, why do I care? Or at least, why do I care more than most Americans? There is no noticeable resistance among Americans or in Congress to the destruction we are bringing to Libya.

The answer is, I think, because I have seen and lived in the Libya that U.S. and NATO armaments are now pulverizing. It is hard for Americans to imagine Libya. There are places where robed women and men with donkeys raise water from wells just like the pictures in the books in Sunday school. There are green hills of Cyrenaica where it is possible to wander through Greek and Roman ruins alone.

It is also hard for Americans to imagine the destruction that modern arms can bring to a city. The videos of Joplin and eastern Japan give us some idea. Grainy black-and-white footage of post-war Europe shows us more. But why Libya? In the name of exactly what?

We as a people are acting in Libya like some maddened pit bull that just has to attack something. It is shameful.

Dan Simpson, a former U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette associate editor

====

NATO Spurns, Sabotages African Union Peace Plan By Bombarding Tripoli

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/458421

Agence France-Presse
May 31, 2011

NATO strikes Tripoli after Zuma ends peace mission

-Zuma said raids by NATO, which is enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya and protecting civilians from a regime crackdown under a UN mandate, were undermining African mediation efforts.
“Even going there had to be delayed because of bombing,” he said in apparent reference to an initial AU mission to Libya.

Tripoli: NATO pounded Libya’s capital on Tuesday, only hours after South Africa’s president left following talks that produced only a commitment to a peace plan already rejected by the military alliance and rebels.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, representing the African Union, held talks on Monday with Muammar Qadhafi as NATO insisted that the Libyan leader’s “reign of terror” is nearing an end.

….

Zuma said before he left the Libyan capital that Qadhafi was “ready” to implement the African Union plan to end the conflict between regime forces and rebels….

“He is ready to implement the roadmap of the AU,” said Zuma, adding it would begin with a ceasefire that must include a halt of NATO-led bombing.

Qadhafi insisted “all Libyans be given a chance to talk among themselves” to determine the country’s future, Zuma said.

Libyan state television reported fresh NATO air raids overnight against targets in Tripoli, the suburb of Tajura and Jafra, a city south of the capital.

The report cited a military source as saying “NATO colonialist crusaders” had targeted military and civilian sites in Tripoli and Tajura, causing deaths and damage.

From the centre of Tripoli, which NATO has been attacking for several weeks now, an AFP correspondent reported warplanes flying overhead and distant explosions around midnight local time (2200 GMT).

The state-run Jamahiriya TV also said there had been air raids on civilian and military sites in the city of Jafra, about 600kms (370 miles) from Tripoli.

Zuma said raids by NATO, which is enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya and protecting civilians from a regime crackdown under a UN mandate, were undermining African mediation efforts.

“Even going there had to be delayed because of bombing,” he said in apparent reference to an initial AU mission to Libya.

“We only went there long after the time that we had taken a decision, and even going there, you have to ask permission from the NATO to get to Libya.”

….

At a meeting of NATO’s parliamentary assembly in Bulgaria, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted: “Qadhafi’s reign of terror is coming to an end.

….

The Libyan regime also got support from two French lawyers who planned to initiate legal proceedings against France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy for crimes against humanity over the Libya campaign.

Libyan justice ministry official Ibrahim Boukhzam told reporters in Tripoli that Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas had offered to represent families he said were victims of the NATO bombs.

….

====

NATO’s Devastastion Of Libya’s Infrastructure Unacceptable: Iranian Official

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1884457.html

Trend News Agency
June 1, 2011

’NATO war on Libya is unacceptable’

Baku: An Iranian official has criticized the West’s double-standard approach to the issue of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa and condemned the NATO-led war in Libya as “unacceptable”, APA reports quoting Press TV.

“Politically motivated and instrumental approaches to the honorable issue of human rights are by no means acceptable and will yield no result,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Ali Ahani said in a meeting with the director general of the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Robert Rydberg, in Tehran on Tuesday.

“The devastation of Libya’s economic infrastructure by NATO’s bombardments, based on wrong and egotistical interpretations of the [UN] Security Council’s resolution, is unacceptable and deplorable,” Ahani stated.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister urged the international community to compel the Western powers to revise their biased approach to the recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The international community’s efforts to enforce a basic democratic framework based on respect for the principle ’one individual, one vote’ will make a great contribution to solving the issues in the region,” Ahani asserted.

….

Recent reports indicate that many civilians have…been killed in the…aerial offensives.

NATO itself has admitted to killing revolutionary fighters and civilians in an airstrike in eastern Libya but has adamantly refused to apologize for the deadly bombardment.

….

====

NATO’s Libyan Air War: 9,183 Sorties, 3,489 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110601_110601-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 1, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 9183 sorties, including 3489 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 31 May: 147

Strike sorties conducted 31 May: 46

….

Arms Embargo Activities

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

15 Vessels were hailed on 31 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no denials) were conducted.

A total of 1119 vessels have been hailed. 63 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Poland: NATO Commandants Discuss Eurasian, Mediterranean Partnerships

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-A55368A0-D45E28CE/natolive/news_74984.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 1, 2011

Deputy Chairman of NATO Military Committee attends Commandant Conference in Krakow

Krakow: Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin, the Deputy Chairman of NATO Military Committee, attended the 40th Conference of Commandants. The conference was organized by the NATO Defence College (NDC) and hosted by the National Defence University of Poland (Akademia Obrony Narodowej) at Krakow, Poland, from 29 May – 1 June 2011.

Polish Minister of National Defence, Bogdan Klich, the Chief of Polish General Staff, Gen. Mieczysław Cieniuch and the Commandant of NATO Defence College LtGen Wolf-Dieter Loeser along with over 120 rectors and commandants of military schools participated at the conference discussing the most important tasks of the military education system from a perspective of global security.

Discussions were also concentrated on budget constrains, Comprehensive Approach and future chances of cooperation, coordination or integration efforts between military and civilians, new challenges of the NATO Strategic Concept and its consequences for Partner [for Peace] and Mediterranean Dialogue countries.

====

Rasmussen: NATO To Replicate Eastern European Model In Arab World

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/opinion/01iht-edrasmussen01.html

International Herald Tribune/New York Times
May 31, 2011

NATO and the Arab Spring
Anders Fogh Rasmussen

-Many allies went through demanding reforms after their own revolutions over 20 years ago and have a wealth of experience to share.
-[T]he Arab Spring has shown the importance of intensifying our political dialogue. NATO already has two partnership frameworks that bring together the 28 allies with many countries of the region: our Mediterranean Dialogue with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, and our Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates….We are open and stand ready to include other countries. A democratic Libya, if it were interested, would be a most welcome new partner.

BRUSSELS: The dramatic developments across North Africa and the Middle East remind me of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. From Tunis to Cairo to Benghazi, people overcame fear to embrace freedom. Some governments in the region have taken important steps to meet the rightful demands of their citizens. Others realized their time was up and moved aside. But I was appalled to see that in some countries, and especially in Libya, the call for freedom and dignity has been met with state violence.

NATO’s reaction to the crisis in Libya has been quick and resolute. In March…the alliance took overall command of military operations….

Three months ago, nobody would have predicted a NATO operation in North Africa. But NATO allies have long understood that our security is closely tied to that of our southern neighbors. That is why it also makes perfect sense to consider how we can help North Africa and the Middle East become a region that is free, democratic, and stable.

….

As the Contact Group and the recent G-8 summit made clear, the question is not if Qaddafi will go, but when.

Second, President Obama has already announced a far-reaching policy to support democratic reform and economic development in North Africa and the Middle East. The European Union could also have a major role to play. NATO, too, can make a unique contribution. Many allies went through demanding reforms after their own revolutions over 20 years ago and have a wealth of experience to share. Modern defense and security institutions which are fully accountable to democratically elected authorities will be a vital reform priority for Libya and many other countries in the region.

Finally, the Arab Spring has shown the importance of intensifying our political dialogue. NATO already has two partnership frameworks that bring together the 28 allies with many countries of the region: our Mediterranean Dialogue with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, and our Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. They form an excellent basis to discuss common security concerns, develop common responses, and build lasting trust between our nations. We are open and stand ready to include other countries. A democratic Libya, if it were interested, would be a most welcome new partner.

….

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the secretary general of NATO.

====

Iraq: NATO Builds Another Proxy Army

http://en.aswataliraq.info/Default.aspx?page=article_page&c=slideshow&id=142860

Aswat al-Iraq
May 31, 2011

Iraq’s Foreign Minister discusses training of Iraqi security forces with NATO delegation

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshiar Zibary, has discussed with a visiting NATO delegation in Baghdad on Monday the training of the Iraqi security forces, according to the Foreign Ministry’s electronic site on Tuesday.

“The Foreign Minister had received on Monday NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General for General Operations, Martin Howard, the Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces for Rehabilitation & Training and NATO’s Special Representative for Central Asian States,” the site reported.

It said that the conferees discussed in the meeting “NATO’s plans and programs in Iraq, especially the rehabilitation and training of the Iraqi Security Forces, as well as the future relations and necessity to carry out a political dialogue between Iraq and the NATO.”

….

The meeting, the site added, was attended by the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s Advisor, the Chairman of its Europe’s Department and Iraq’s Ambassador to Brussels.

====

Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Be “Punished With Missiles And Bombs”

http://www.stripes.com/news/dod-cyberattack-on-u-s-could-warrant-deadly-response-1.145183

Stars and Stripes
May 31, 2011

DOD: Cyberattack on U.S. could warrant deadly response
By Chris Carroll

WASHINGTON: A damaging attack on the United States that comes via the Internet could be punished with missiles and bombs, the Pentagon confirmed Tuesday.

A Defense Department strategy for cybersecurity, to be released in June, points to “the idea that attacks in cyber would be viewed the same way that attacks in a kinetic form are now,” said Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan.

Unidentified military officials who spoke on background to The Wall Street Journal for a story in Tuesday’s editions were even more explicit.

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” one official told the paper.

….

Lapan pointed out Monday that the prospect of a conventional military response to a cyberattack was raised in President Barack Obama’s International Strategy for Cyberspace, announced May 16.

The strategy doesn’t rule out conventional responses to online attacks.

“When warranted, the U.S. will respond to hostile attacks in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,” it said.

Defense officials have previously voiced similar ideas publically.

“You don’t take any options off the table from an attack on the United States of America,” said General Kevin Chilton, who oversaw cyber defense for the Air Forces at the time, at a media event in May 2009. “Why would we constrain ourselves on how we would respond?”

….

====

Afghan War: 150,000 NATO Troops Needed For Two More “Fighting Seasons”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=148360

Azeri Press Agency
June 1, 2011

Three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Baku: Three US soldiers have been killed in eastern Afghanistan in an improvised explosive device attack, the US military says, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The US military announced the deaths on Tuesday, saying the incident happened over the weekend but provided no additional information about the victim’s identities or where the attack had taken place, AFP reported.

Attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan have increased since the Taliban started the spring season offensive. Militants carry out more attacks during spring and summer.

The Taliban recently stepped up attacks on US-led foreign soldiers after vowing to avenge the death of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Earlier on Tuesday, one Czech soldier serving with the US-led forces was killed in a bomb attack in the eastern province of Wardak.

US President Barack Obama has pledged to begin a drawdown of US troops in July 2011, without exactly saying how many soldiers will be pulled out

However, Britain’s senior commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-General James Bucknall, says the current number of forces should be kept for the next two “fighting seasons.”

Bucknall stated that the withdrawal of forces should start with support staff.

A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense has said there will be no reduction in the number of British forces in Afghanistan until they see “sufficient and lasting security.”

Casualties among Afghan civilians have been on the rise recently despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops.

====

Afghan President’s Appeal Over NATO Killings Falls On Deaf Ears

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/01/51141149.html

Voice of Russia
June 1, 2011

Afghan President’s ultimatum means nothing to NATO
Inessa Frolova

On Tuesday, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned that the U.S.-led NATO military in Afghanistan risks becoming an “occupying force” if aerial bombings which cause civilian casualties continue.

Karzai’s statement came after another air strike by NATO forces had killed 16 peaceful citizens including four women and 12 children. Last weekend a unit of the ISAF forces fell into ambush and called air support. The planes almost demolished the village where Taliban insurgents were hiding in one of the houses.

The commanders of the NATO troops in Afghanistan apologized to the Afghan authorities and paid monetary compensation to the families of the victims. But this was not enough, considering that this is not the first tragic episode when NATO forces kill peaceful citizens in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai stressed that the patience of his nation is stretched to the limit.

According to Sergey Demidenko, an expert with the Institute of Strategic assessment and analysis, facing the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan the Afghan president has to listen to the public opinion:

“It is not a secret that Karzai controls only Kabul and the suburbs and he does not enjoy support among the Afghan people. That is why he is running a risk of staying face-to-face with an unfriendly population and Islamists who are very influential in the country. So he has to play a national leader and to take anti-American steps to please his nation.”

On the other hand, Karzai is no longer the political figure the US wants to see as the Afghan president. In fact, already back in 2009, the Americans wanted to see someone else as the Afghan president but there was no alternative to Karzai and they had to deal with him, Demidenko continues:

“Karzai has disappointed the Americans. I do not exclude that within the changing context of their Eastern policy the US is intensively looking for a more suitable candidate to replace Karzai.”

NATO’s officials have already made it clear they are not going to listen to Karzai’s ultimatums. Indeed, victims among peaceful population are a serious thing. The spokesman with ISAF forces told reporters that the coalition will do its best to reduce the number of such victims but NATO won’t give up night air attacks, which are very efficient in fighting insurgents. NATO does not even think that this may lead to the uprising of the local population against NATO, according to Karzai’s warning.

It is unlikely that Kazrai’s attempt to act as the protector of his nation will bring any results. Victims among peaceful citizens are inevitable as long as the military standoff is on. Karzai’s ultimatum won’t help him to raise his rating among the Afghan population.

====

French Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/02/c_13906240.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 2, 2011

French soldier killed in Afghanistan

PARIS: One French soldier was killed by local militants late Wednesday in Afghanistan, marking the 59th death of French servicemen in the war-torn country since 2001, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

The statement said a corporal was killed during an exchange of fire with local insurgents in Alasay Valley, north of the Afghan capital Kabul, while conducting a reconnaissance operation.

….

Around 4,000 French soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan mainly in the district of Surobi and Kapisa province in the east of the country.

====

NATO Opens Liaison Office In Kyrgyzstan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/01/51133242.html

Voice of Russia
June 1, 2011

NATO opens liaison office in Kyrgyzstan

NATO will open its liaison office in Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek, a source in the country’s Defense Ministry reports.

He said that this will provide for better bilateral relations and military and cultural cooperation with NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.

The office will be located at a NATO member embassy.

====

U.S. Expands Military Ties With Malaysia: Pacific Command Chief

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/01/c_13905862.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 1, 2011

U.S. to expand cooperation with Malaysian military: U.S. admiral

KUALA LUMPUR: U.S. Admiral Robert F. Willard said here Wednesday that the United States would improve and expand its military cooperation with Malaysia in its effort to help protect the Asia Pacific region.

Willard, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, who was here to give talks at the 25th Asia Pacific Roundtable, said he has met with Malaysian Armed Forces chief Azizan Ariffin, as both talked about ways to contribute to the security of Asia Pacific region.

“Malaysia and the U.S. already conducted training together,” Willard said….

He commended Malaysia for its “very accomplished military in the region” and its increased participation in the “Cobra Gold” military exercise in Thailand.

The biennial exercise also involves the U.S., Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand.

Willard said Asia Pacific was a strategically crucial part of the world and the U.S. Pacific Command will continue to play its role to keep the maritime and sea lanes safe for use.

====

Spain: NATO Launches 25-Nation Plus Submarine Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60697

Navy NewsStand
June 1, 2011

Bold Monarch 2011 Kicks Off in Spain
By MCC(SW/AW) Katt Whittenberger, Expeditionary Combat Camera

CARTAGENA, Spain: Participants and observers from more than 25 countries departed May 30, for the NATO exercise Bold Monarch 2011, the world’s largest submarine rescue exercise.

The 12-day exercise supports interoperability between submarines and submarine rescue units, and this is the first time a Russian submarine has participated in a NATO exercise.

“In Bold Monarch 2008, NATO and our partner nations demonstrated dramatic improvements in international cooperation and interoperability in this challenging field,” said Capt. David Dittmer, deputy commander, Submarines North….

More than 2,000 personnel and 20 ships have gathered off the coast of Spain, bringing with them rescue forces equipped with a range of sophisticated debris clearance, diver assisted gear and submarine rescue systems (SRS)….

….

Bold Monarch 2011 will culminate with a 48-hour scenario involving the rescue of more than 150 personnel from multiple ships. Aircraft from Italy will deliver divers from the Italy, Russia, and the United Kingdom via parachutes, to provide first response. The medical professionals will respond to multiple mass casualty scenarios. Rescue systems from multiple countries will recover trapped Sailors.

====

Video And Text: As Washington Spends Billions On Three Ongoing Wars, Americans Reduced To Scrambling For McJobs

http://rt.com/news/wage-mcdonald-unemployment-us/

RT
June 1, 2011

Golden archway to jobs in tough US market

Video

Three ongoing military campaigns that are costing the US a fortune give no comfort for millions of unemployed Americans. Food stamps and a minimum wage are the only hope for many, just to avoid a life of hunger.

­They are the golden arches that stretch across the globe – from London to Brussels to Moscow. Millions flock to McDonald’s in search of French fries, Big Macs, and Happy Meals. Some also come in search of a career.

Europeans, when asked about working at McDonald’s, say “it’s just the worst opportunity about a job ever.”

“If I was in dire straits I might go to McDonald’s, but the entire time I was there I would be looking for something else. No offense to McDonald’s workers,” says one passerby in London.

Meanwhile, just across the Atlantic, there is the same aroma, but a much greater sense of appreciation.

Eric Warrior, a McDonald’s Manager in New York shares his opinion about working for Ronald McDonald: “It’s great working here. I was able to go from a grill person to a restaurant manager. The benefits? Ongoing benefits, working with people day in and day out.”

In the US, where nearly 14 million people are unemployed, a career at McDonald’s has become appealing. In April, the company launched its first ever national hiring day. Nearly one million Americans applied for a job at the fast food chain. Yet only six out of every 100 applicants were hired.

Still, McDonald’s created 62,000 new minimum wage jobs in one day.

But over the past seven weeks, more than 400,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment. This, as 45 million Americans are reportedly receiving food stamps.

Les Leopold, economist and author of “The Looting of America”, says Washington is ignoring a ticking time bomb.

“We have the richest country on Earth that can’t put its own people to work. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. By far, the greatest threat to the American people,” says Leopold.

In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination, US President Barack Obama said terrorism continues to be the biggest threat against Americans.

“There’s no doubt that Al-Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us,” said Obama.

In the meantime, the US has become a country where some 44 million Americans do not have health insurance, a reported one of seven children is homeless and a double-war bill tops US$1.2 trillion.

Meanwhile, the richest 400 Americans hold more wealth than the entire bottom 50 per cent combined.

“Two unfunded wars and tax cuts for the super rich. They’ve lost their focus. They no longer have their eye on the prize, which is: you have to put the American people back to work,” says Leopold.

Back to work in what is being dubbed a McJobs US recovery, where a nationwide recruitment drive by a low-wage employer still sends 94 per cent of applicants back to the golden arch queue.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Edward Young: Draw the murd’ring sword to give mankind a single lord

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

Edward Young
From The Love of Fame, the Universal Passion (1728)
Satire VII

While I survey the blessings of our isle,
Her arts triumphant in the royal smile,
Her public wounds bound up, her credit high,
Her commerce spreading sails in ev’ry sky,
The pleasing scene recals my theme again,
And shews the madness of ambitious men,
Who, fond of bloodshed, draw the murd’ring sword,
And burn to give mankind a single lord.
The follies past are of a private kind;
Their sphere is small, their mischief is confin’d;
But daring men there are (awake, my Muse!
And raise thy verse!) who bolder frenzy chuse;
Who, stung by glory, rave, and bound away,
The world their field, and humankind their prey.

The Grecian chief, th’ enthusiast of his pride,
With Rage and Terror stalking by his side,
Raves round the globe; he soars into a god!
Stand fast, Olympus! and sustain his nod.
The pest divine in horrid grandeur reigns,
And thrives on mankind’s miseries and pains.
What slaughter’d hosts! what cities in a blaze!
What wasted countries! and what crimson seas!
With orphans’ tears his impious bowl o’erflows,
And cries of kingdoms lull him to repose.

And cannot thrice ten hundred years unpraise
The boist’rous boy, and blast his guilty bays?
Why want we then encomiums on the storm,
Or famine or volcano? they perform
Their mighty deeds; they hero-like, can slay,
And spread their ample deserts in a day.
O great alliance! O divine renown!
With dearth and pestilence to share the crown.
When men extol a wild destroyer’s name,
Earth’s Builder and Preserver they blaspheme.

One to destroy is murder by the law,
And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
To murder thousands takes a specious name,
War’s glorious art, and gives immortal fame.

When after battle I the field have seen
Spread o’er with ghastly shapes which once were men,
A nation crush’d, a nation of the brave!
A realm of death! and on this side the grave!
Are there, said I, who from this sad survey,
This human chaos, carry smiles away?
How did my heart with indignation rise!
How honest Nature swell’d into my eyes!
How was I shock’d to think the hero’s trade
Of such materials, fame and triumph, made!

Categories: Uncategorized

Audio And Text: Obama Convicting Himself Of War Crimes In Afghanistan

http://www.presstv.com/usdetail/182594.html

Press TV
May 31, 2011

‘Obama is convicting himself of war crimes in Afghanistan’


Audio

President Obama is “convicting himself of war crimes” by saying, “I am ultimately accountable” for civilian deaths in Afghanistan, says Rick Rozoff manager of the Chicago-based Stop NATO.

“The fact that president Obama has acknowledged that he’s accountable for the actions not only in Afghanistan… is something he may want to retract,” Rozoff said in a phone interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Tuesday.

“Because he is essentially convicting himself of war crimes by making that statement,” he added.

He noted that any extension of U.S.-NATO presence in Afghanistan will only mean “daily helicopter gunship attacks on villages where innocent civilians are killed.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called for an increase in the military budget of member states to extend the U.S.-led presence in Afghanistan.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 31, 2011

====

Libyan War: Over 9,000 NATO Air Missions, Nearly 3,500 Strike Sorties

Rebels Reject Truce Offer, NATO Bombs Libyan Cities

Western Troops Seen On The Ground In Libya

Mediterranean: U.S. Leads Naval Exercises With NATO, North African Partners

NATO In Afghanistan “As Long As It Takes To Finish Job”: Rasmussen

Two Australian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Afghan War: Czech Soldier Killed, Two Wounded

Occupying Force: Karzai Tells NATO To Halt Bombing Of Afghan Villages

NATO Helicopters Stage Raid Inside Pakistan

Three NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Pakistan

Youth Groups Oppose Expansion Of NATO Presence In Kyrgyzstan

====

USS Robert G. Bradley guided missile frigate


Chinook helicopter

====

Libyan War: Over 9,000 NATO Air Missions, Nearly 3,500 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110531_110531-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 31, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 9036 sorties, including 3443 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 30 May: 158

Strike sorties conducted 30 May: 58

….

Arms Embargo Activities

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

11 Vessels were hailed on 30 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no denial) was conducted.

A total of 1104 vessels have been hailed. 61 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Rebels Reject Truce Offer, NATO Bombs Libyan Cities

http://www.rferl.org/content/libya_nato_bombing_cease-fire_zuma/24210311.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
May 31, 2011

Fresh NATO Libya Raids As Rebels Reject New Truce Offer

There are reports of renewed NATO air strikes targeting Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, following the apparent failure of a new attempt to mediate in the Libyan conflict by South African President Jacob Zuma.

Libyan television reported NATO air raids against targets in Tripoli and Al-Jafra, a city south of the capital.

On May 30, Zuma, representing the African Union (AU) group of nations, met with Qaddafi in Tripoli and said the Libyan ruler was ready to implement an AU-backed truce that would halt NATO air strikes against his regime.

However, there was no indication that Qaddafi is prepared to meet Western and Libyan rebel demands that he resign, and the new offer was quickly rejected by the rebels who have been fighting Qaddafi’s regime since February.

“Brother leader [Qaddafi] took up his position today that he’s ready to implement the decision of the AU,” Zuma said on Libyan television. “There must be a cease-fire, which is unconditional. The view is that that must include bombing by NATO, [which] must also come to an end.”

….

compiled from agency reports

====

Western Troops Seen On The Ground In Libya

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/05/31/Western-troops-seen-on-the-ground-in-Libya/UPI-11841306825200/?spt=hts&or=1

United Press International
May 31, 2011

Western troops seen on the ground in Libya

TRIPOLI, Libya: A TV report showing Western troops on the ground with Libyan rebels in a possible violation of a U.N. decree brought no immediate comment from the world body.

The al-Jazeera English report showed six armed Western troops, “possibly British, seen liaising with the fighters” in Dafniya, a rebel battle area front line near Misurata, Libya’s third-largest city. The city has been under attack by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Westerners, which al-Jazeera reported may have been facilitating forthcoming helicopter attacks, “left hurriedly” when they spotted the TV camera, the Qatari network reported.

A spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told United Press International Monday night Ban’s office had no comment on the report. She did not say whether the U.N. Security Council intended to investigate the report.

A March 17 Security Council resolution approved a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from attacks by Gadhafi forces and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, but specifically excluded a “foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”

….

The al-Jazeera footage emerged as South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Tripoli in an attempt to broker a cease-fire, hours after NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark said Gadhafi’s “reign of terror” was coming to an end.

….

====

Mediterranean: U.S. Leads Naval Exercises With NATO, North African Partners

http://www.naveur-navaf.navy.mil/article232center.html

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
May 23, 2011

Phoenix Express 2011 Begins at Souda Bay, Crete
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

SOUDA BAY, Crete: Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11), a multi-national maritime exercise between U.S., North African and European naval forces, commenced training here today. PE-11, a three-week evolution divided into two phases, is designed to enhance regional maritime partnerships.

Maritime and land forces from 14 countries will participate in the international military partnering exercise in the Mediterranean Sea from May 23 to June 15, and will serve as a unique training opportunity to enhance each country’s ability to work together….

Exercise events will consist of training in, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Interdiction Operations (MIO), Command and Control from an ashore Combined Maritime Operations Center (CMOC), Search and Rescue operations (SAR), communications, division tactics, and medical response.

“Phoenix Express has evolved over the past six years, growing from six nations in 2005 to 13 participants this year. It is an essential training exercise in the Mediterranean that fosters trust among Allies and Partners, leverages our combined maritime strength, and promotes unity of effort…,” said Capt. Martin Beck, Commander Task Force Phoenix Express 2011….

Once the in-port phase is complete, ships and personnel will depart Souda Bay and sail into the central Mediterranean Sea to begin the underway training phase.

….

U.S. units participating in Phoenix Express include USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49), USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), and Military Sealift Command’s maritime prepositioning ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). Additional U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel will also participate alongside other international naval forces in this exercise.

====

NATO In Afghanistan “As Long As It Takes To Finish Job”: Rasmussen

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20115\31\story_31-5-2011_pg7_26

Agence France-Presse
May 30, 2011

NATO must ‘stay course’ in Afghanistan: Rasmussen

VARNA: NATO must stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to finish the job, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told member states on Monday, urging unfaltering support.

“It is of utmost importance that we stay the course, that we stay as long as it takes to finish our job,” Rasmussen told a session of NATO’s parliamentary assembly in the Black Sea city of Varna. The assembly is NATO’s key link to the parliaments of its member states, which vote on defence budgets and approve troop deployment abroad.

Rasmussen urged the assembly to increase defence budgets and keep up contributions to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, which was far from complete….

[A[ rapid exit from Afghanistan at this point was still “premature,” he added. “In that case we would easily leave behind a security vacuum.”

….

====

Two Australian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/31/c_13902649.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 31, 2011

Two Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

CANBERRA: Two Australian soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston announced on Tuesday.

The incidents on Monday coincided with the arrival home of the body of Sergeant Brett Wood, who was killed in Afghanistan more than a week ago in a bomb blast.

According to Defense force chief Angus Houston, it was “a very bad day” for the Australian Defense Force.

….

One of the soldiers was a 25-year-old, Queensland-based lance corporal who was shot by an Afghan National Army soldier with whom he was serving on guard duty at a patrol base in the Chora Valley.

The Australian, from the Mentoring Task Force, was airlifted to the Australian base at Tarin Kowt but died from his wounds.

The Afghan soldier fled the scene and escaped, despite being shot at by another Afghan soldier.

Houston said it was yet to be determined whether the fatal shooting was accidental or deliberate, adding that the circumstances of the 25-year-old soldier’s death were disturbing, given that Australian personnel were training and mentoring elements of the Afghan National Army.

….

The other soldier died in Afghanistan on Monday was a Victorian- based pilot, a 27-year-old lieutenant traveling as a passenger in a Chinook helicopter that crashed during a resupply mission 90 kilometers east of Tarin Kowt.

Despite immediate medical assistance, Houston said the 27-year-old Army lieutenant from Victoria could not be saved.

The other five soldiers were evacuated to a medical facility at Kandahar where they were in a satisfactory condition. The helicopter could not be recovered and was destroyed “in place”.

Houston said it is not known if the crash was the result of enemy action.

….

The two soldiers’ death bring to 26 the number of Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001.

====

Afghan War: Czech Soldier Killed, Two Wounded

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/czech-soldier-dies-in-afghanistan-another-two-suffer-injuries/644868

Czech News Agency
May 31, 2011

Czech soldier dies in Afghanistan, another two suffer injuries

Kabul/Prague: A Czech soldier died in the Afghan province of Wardak this morning when an Iveco vehicle with him and another three passengers hit an improvised explosive device, Czech general military staff spokeswoman Jana Ruzickova has told CTK.

The soldiers´ Afghan interpreter also died in the accident and another two soldiers suffered injuries.

This is the fourth Czech soldier to have died in Afghanistan.

The accident happened this morning.

The dead soldier who suffered suffered a lethal injury was born in 1980.

Another soldier and the Afghan interpreter suffered severe injuries.

The fourth person in the car, the Czech military Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) commander Michal Kucharsky, received a light injury.

….

The wounded soldiers were transported to the Shank base in Logar province where the Afghan interpreter succumbed to the injuries sustained.

The Czech soldier with severe injuries will be helicoptered to the military hospital in Kabul, Ruzickova said.

Picek has ordered the wounded soldiers and the bodily remains of the dead soldier to be transported to the Czech Republic as soon as possible, Ruzickova said.

Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra expressed deep sorrow at the soldier´s death.

“Like every year, the situation in Afghanistan has worsened in the summer months and the frequence of similar incidents has increased,” he said.

“However, this changes nothing about our further operation in Afghanistan. Our soldiers continue fulfilling their tasks,” Picek said.

….

Before the incident today, the Czech unit had 54 members, mainly troops from the tank base in Praslavice, north Moravia. For most of them this is not their first deployment in a foreign mission.

====

Occupying Force: Karzai Tells NATO To Halt Bombing Of Afghan Villages

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110531/164336578.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 31, 2011

Karzai tells NATO to stop bombing Afghan villages

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday NATO air strikes on people’s homes in pursuit of Taliban insurgents were no longer allowed.

At least nine people, including women and children, were killed in an NATO attack in southern Helmand on Sunday.

“From this moment, air strikes on the houses of people are not allowed,” Karzai told a news conference.

“If after the Afghan government said the aerial bombing of Afghan houses is banned and if it continues, then their presence will change from a war against terrorism to an occupying force,” he said.

NATO has said such strikes are only carried out with Afghan government approval.

—————————————————————————

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/31/night-raids-make-isaf-occupying-force-karzai

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 31, 2011

Night raids to make ISAF occupying force: Karzai
by Frozan Rahmani

KABUL: NATO-led international forces would become occupation troops if they do not stop nighttime raids that caused civilian casualties, President Hamid Karzai warned on Tuesday.

The multinational force killed 14 civilians, including five girls, seven boys and two women, and injured several others three days ago when it bombed houses in the Salam Bazaar area of Nawzad district in southern Helmand.

At a news conference in Kabul, Karzai once again condemned the airstrike and warned international service members to end raids that harmed noncombatants.

“If foreign troops continue night raids, they would turn from a counterterrorism force into an occupying force. And history is witness to the fact how Afghans deal with occupation troops,” Karzai told reporters.

He added his government was duty-bound to take effective steps to prevent civilian deaths, an emotive issue for the Afghan nation.

….

The president reiterated his administration would no longer allow ISAF aerial bombing of civilian houses. “From this moment, airstrikes on the houses of people are not allowed.”

====

NATO Helicopters Stage Raid Inside Pakistan

http://tribune.com.pk/story/179191/nato-helicopters-violate-pakistans-airspace/

Express Tribune/Agencies
May 31st, 2011

NATO helicopters violate Pakistan’s airspace

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: Air-borne troops from the US-led Nato forces intruded into the North Waziristan tribal region on Monday in pursuit of militants and took into custody five suspected militants from the Haqqani network.

….

According to media reports, Nato helicopters violated Pakistan’s airspace in “hot pursuit’” landed in the mountainous area of Gorveet in North Waziristan and took into custody five suspected members of the Haqqani network.

The political agent of North Waziristan confirmed the incident and the arrests. Locals said that fear gripped the area following the incident.

….

—————————————————————————

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/31-May-2011/Nato-frisks-away-5-men-in-unilateral-NWA-raid

The Nation/Agencies
May 31, 2011

Nato frisks away 5 men in unilateral NWA raid

MIRANSHAH: Nato forces violated Pakistani airspace on Monday as two of its helicopters intruded into the Pakistani territory.

Sources said that two Nato choppers entered the Pakistani airspace to hunt insurgents in the border area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA). The Nato helicopters entered the border area, claiming that five members of the Haqqani network have been arrested after the search operation.

It is worth mentioning here that two Nato helicopters had violated Pakistan’s airspace at Admi Kot post in North Waziristan Agency last week and had fired at an army check post, injuring two security personnel.

Meanwhile, tribesmen and citizens have expressed their anguish over repeated violations of airspace by Nato in the border areas. Criticising the suspicious silence of the country’s leadership over Nato violations, they said that sovereignty of the country has been ruined in the hands of the current rulers.

They urged the armed forces to appropriately protest the violation by Nato forces to ensure safety of the citizens. Unconfirmed reports from intelligence sources said that five Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders were arrested Monday morning in the Gorvait area of North Waziristan by Nato forces and later taken away by two Nato helicopters to Afghanistan.

According to the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, the action was taken by the Nato forces without informing the Pakistani government. If so, this is yet another Abbottabad-like operation taken by the foreign forces on the Pakistani soil without the knowledge of the Pakistani side.
A political agent of North Waziristan also confirmed the news. So far there is no official report about the Monday morning’s operation taken by the Nato forces in North Waziristan.

On May 2, US forces conducted a raid in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Abbottabad, during which al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in his compound. As the US side did not inform the Pakistani side until the raid was over, it led to a strong protest from the Pakistani side as Pakistan considers the unilateral action taken by the United States has seriously violated its sovereignty.

====

Three NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Pakistan

http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/15649-3-nato-oil-tankers-torched-in-khuzdar.html

Associated Press of Pakistan
May 31, 2011

3 NATO oil tankers torched in Khuzdar

KHUZDAR: Unknown armed men set on fire three NATO oil tankers and injured one of drivers on National Highway in different incidents on Tuesday.

According to the Levies Force, gunmen opened fire on two Afghanistan-bound NATO oil tankers coming from Karachi near the Wadh area.

Resultantly, the tankers caught fire and were incinerated. Another NATO oil tanker was set ablaze on the National Highway near Mastung while one of its drivers received bullet injuries. The injured was rushed to hospital, where he later was referred to Quetta in view of his precarious condition.

The Levies Force is investigating the incidents.

====

Youth Groups Oppose Expansion Of NATO Presence In Kyrgyzstan

http://eng.24.kg/politic/2011/05/31/18411.html

24.kg News Agency
May 31, 2011

Youth associations are against NATO mission in Kyrgyzstan
Irina Pavlova

Bishkek: Youth associations are speaking against the opening of a NATO mission in Kyrgyzstan, member of the Kyrgyzstan Zhashtar Keneshi public association Almazbek Dzhasybayev stated at a press conference today.

According to him, mass media published the information that NATO’s Special Envoy for Central Asia and Caucasus James Appathurai visited the country. He met with the president for the transitional period Roza Otunbayeva behind closed doors. “They decided to open a NATO mission in Kyrgyzstan. We are urging the people, the head of the state, MPs not to allow this,” said Almazbek Dzhasybayev.

“Russia is a strategic partner of the Kyrgyz Republic; it exports 80-90 percent of POL to Kyrgyzstan. In the case of confrontation, Russia may apply economic sanctions that will impact on the level of living of Kyrgyzstanis. Besides, tens of thousands of Kyrgyz migrants are living and working in Russia. Such betrayal from our side will impact on them. Besides, our pro-Russian neighbors can close borders under various pretences,” explained Almazbek Dzhasybayev.

He noted that the republic is a member of the UN, CSTO, SCO and this is enough to maintain security in the region.

“We think that the report of the Kyrgyzstan Inquiry Commission, statements of the U.S. Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, construction of the biolaboratory of the third security level and opening a NATO mission are links in one chain. The report can cause unpredictable consequences that will give occasion to the enlargement of the foreign military commitment in Kyrgyzstan,” added he.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Alexander Herzen: War and “international law”

====

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

Russian writers on war

Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war

====

Alexander Herzen
From My Past and Thoughts
Letter 4 (1862)
Translated by Constance Garnett

*****

Napoleon waged this war as a remedial measure to pacify the French by the gymnastics of liberation and the galvanic shocks of victory…How was it possible to avert a war which was essential for domestic interests? If it had not been Austria the French would have had to beat somebody else.

*****

Proudhon was perfectly right. There are two or three ideas which are particularly precious to me; I have been repeating them for about fifteen years; fact upon fact confirms them with unnecessary abundance. Part of what I anticipated has come to pass, the other part is coming to pass before our eyes, yet these ideas seem as wild, as unaccepted, as they were.

And what is most mortifying, people seem to understand you; they agree, but your ideas remain like aliens in their heads, always irrelevant, never passing into that integral part of consciousness and the moral being, which as a rule forms the undisputed foundation of our acts and opinions.

It is owing to this inconsistency that people apparently highly cultured are continually being startled by the unexpected, caught unawares, indignant with the inevitable, struggle with the insurmountable, pass by what is springing into life, and apply all sorts of remedies to those who are at their last gasp…

Pedantry and scholasticism prevent men from grasping things with simple lively understanding more than do superstition and ignorance. With the latter the instincts are left, hardly conscious, but trustworthy; moreover, ignorance does not exclude passionate enthusiasm, and superstition does not exclude inconsistency, while pedantry is always true to itself.

At the time of the Italian war a simple-hearted, worthy professor lectured on the great triumphs of ‘international law,’ describing how the principles of Hugo Grotius had developed and entered into the conscience of nations and governments, how questions which had in old times been decided by rivers of blood and the miseries of entire provinces, of whole generations, were now settled, like civil disputes between private persons, on the principles of national right.

Who, apart from some old professional condottiere, would not agree with the professor that this is one of the greater victories of humanity and culture over brute violence? The trouble is not that the lecturer’s judgment is wrong, but that humanity is very far from having gained this victory.

While the professor in eloquent words was inspiring his young audience to the contemplation of these triumphs of peace, very different commentaries on international law were taking place on the fields of Magenta and Solferino. It would not have easy for any international court to avert the Italian war, since there was no international cause for it, for there was no subject to dispute. Napoleon waged this war as a remedial measure to pacify the French by the gymnastics of liberation and the galvanic shocks of victory. What Grotius or Vattel could have solved such a problem? How was it possible to avert a war which was essential for domestic interests? If it had not been Austria the French would have had to beat somebody else. One can only rejoice that the Austrians presented themselves.


Battle of Solferino

Then India, Pekin – war waged by democrats to maintain the slavery of the blacks, wars waged by republicans to obtain the slavery of political unity. And the professor goes on lecturing; his audience is touched; they fancy that they have heard the last creak of the gates of the temple of Janus, that the warriors have laid down their weapons, put on crowns of myrtle and taken up the distaff, that the demobilized armies are tilling the fields…And all this at the very moment when England is covered with volunteers, when at every step you meet a uniform, when every shopkeeper has a gun, when the French and Austrian armies stand with lighted matches, and even a prince – I think it was of Hesse Cassel – put on a military footing and armed with revolvers the two hussars who had from the time of the Congress of Vienna ridden peacefully without weapons behind his carriage.

If war breaks out again – and that depends on thousands of chances, on one casual shot – in Rome or on the borders of Lombardy, a sea of blood would flow from Warsaw to London. The professor would be surprised, the professor would be pained…

To complete the absurdity we ought not to lose sight of the fact that in abstract logic the professor is right, and that if not a hundred but a hundred million men had grasped the principles of Grotius and Vattel, they would not slaughter each other for the sake of exercise or for the sake of a bit of land. But the misfortune is that under the present political regime only a hundred and not a hundred million men can understand the principles of Grotius and Vattel.

Notes:

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865): French political philosopher

Hugo Grotius (1583-1645): Dutch legal philosopher, author of De Jure Belli ac Pacis (Law of War and Peace)

Emerich de Vattel (1714-1767): Swiss legal philosopher, author of Droit des gens; ou, Principes de la loi naturelle appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains (The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law Applied to the Conduct and to the Affairs of Nations and of Sovereigns)

Italian war: Napoleon III’s war with Austria over Italy in 1859, whose major battles were at Magenta and Solferino

“England is covered with volunteers”: Herzen lived in exile in London at the time he wrote the above

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 30, 2011

====

73-Day War: 8,878 NATO Air Missions, 3,385 Combat Flights

USS George H.W. Bush: “World’s Most Powerful Warship” Headed To Central Mediterranean

Libya: NATO Air Strikes Kill Eleven, Wound Scores

NATO Chief Rallies Member States For All-Out War On Libya

Video And Text: NATO To Shed Own Blood In Escalation Of Libyan War

Algeria: Killing Of 50 Soldiers Related To Chaos In Libya

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Can Counter Pentagon And NATO In Central Asia And Middle East

Rasmussen: NATO To Complete Full Integration Of Balkans

Bulgaria: U.S.-NATO Missile System In Strategic Black Sea

Bulgaria: NATO Chief Touts Interceptor Missile System

Leading MP: Unilateral U.S.-NATO Missile Plan Unacceptable To Russia

Afghanistan: Attack On NATO Base Kills At Least Four Soldiers, Wounds 28

NATO General: Deadly Afghan Night Raids To Continue

Afghan Soldier Kills NATO Soldier

Defense Minister: German Troops Can Be Deployed To Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan And Somalia

Reports: Coup Threats In Greece And Turkey

Obamania To Obamanic Depression: Neocon In Sheep’s Clothing

Video And Text: Paranoid Act: America’s Politics Of Fear

====


Tornado fighter-bomber


USS George H.W. Bush nuclear supercarrier


Aegis class warship launches Standard Missile-3 interceptor

====

73-Day War: 8,878 NATO Air Missions, 3,385 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110530_110530-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 30, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8878 sorties, including 3385 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 29 May: 149

Strike sorties conducted 29 May: 58

Arms Embargo Activities

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

11 Vessels were hailed on 29 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no denial) was conducted.

A total of 1093 vessels have been hailed. 60 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

====

Libya: NATO Air Strikes Kill Eleven, Wound Scores

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1883674.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 30, 2011

Libya says 11 killed in NATO strikes south of Tripoli

The Libyan government said that 11 people were killed by NATO airstrikes Monday against civilian and military sites south of the capital Tripoli, a military source said, DPA reported.

Scores were injured by NATO attacks on Zlitan, Jafara and the Ein Kam valley areas, around 600 kilometres south of Tripoli.

He added that this is the second time NATO has conducted daytime strikes in the country.

NATO carried out its first daytime airstrikes in the current operation over Libya on Saturday….

NATO has launched more than 8,800 sorties in its air campaign, which began in late March….

In a speech delivered in Bulgaria, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the “Libya operation was a great success” in terms of NATO managing to act at an early stage of a conflict.

….

====

USS George H.W. Bush: “World’s Most Powerful Warship” Headed To Central Mediterranean

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/05/27/world-s-most-powerful-warship-drops-anchor-off-the-uk-115875-23160942/

Daily Mirror
May 27, 2011

World’s most powerful warship drops anchor off the UK

A giant aircraft carrier which is the world’s newest and most powerful surface ship dropped anchor off the UK today in order for its crew to make a port visit.

A total of 5,300 sailors from the US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush are expected to visit Portsmouth, Hampshire, following the ship’s arrival this morning.

The vessel has to anchor off Stokes Bay because it is too large to fit into Portsmouth Harbour.

The warship completed war games in UK waters with HMS Dauntless and HMS Gloucester from the Royal Navy before its arrival in the Solent.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “The 97,000-ton Bush carries in excess of 70 aircraft from eight squadrons and 5,300 sailors and aircrew.

“The 1,100ft nuclear-powered supercarrier, commissioned at the beginning of 2009, is too large to enter Portsmouth Harbour so dropped anchor in the sheltered waters of Stokes Bay.

“Two other foreign vessels from the exercise – the destroyer USS Truxtun and the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon – will spend the weekend in Portsmouth Naval Base.”

Exercise Saxon Warrior is one of the largest war games hosted by the Royal Navy in UK waters in recent years with other Nato forces, plus RAF and British Army units also taking part.

The USS George HW Bush is set to depart on Tuesday morning.

====

NATO Chief Rallies Member States For All-Out War On Libya

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1883673.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 30, 2011

NATO chief criticises hesitancy over military commitment in Libya

Western allies have been too hesitant in supplying the NATO mission in Libya with the necessary military contributions, the head of the military alliance said on Monday.

In a speech delivered in Varna, Bulgaria, and posted on the NATO website, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the “Libya operation was a great success” in terms of NATO managing to act at an early stage of a conflict, DPA reported.

“Where we were less successful, however, was in backing up that political decision with the necessary military contributions,” he said.

“In the case of Libya, as well as in Afghanistan, we have sometimes struggled to generate the right forces and the right capabilities.”

Urging NATO member states “to demonstrate alliance solidarity not just in words, but also in deeds,” Rasmussen said NATO members needed to “take the political decision to deploy the right forces and capabilities. And this includes deploying them without caveats.”

In Libya, some NATO countries are contributing to the enforcement of the no-fly zone and the policing of the naval arms embargo, but are holding back from taking part in air raids.

Rasmussen said that “the constraints that caveats impose upon (NATO commanders) severely reduce the flexibility they need and limit their options.”

====

Video And Text: NATO To Shed Own Blood In Escalation Of Libyan War

http://rt.com/news/nato-pressure-gaddafi-libya/

RT
May 30, 2011

NATO risks spilling own blood while mounting pressure on Gaddafi

Video

NATO is stepping up its pressure on Colonel Gaddafi as Britain and France are ready to deploy strike helicopters into Libya. But it comes at the risk of suffering their first casualties after two months of one-way bunker buster bombing.

NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday Gaddafi’s “reign of terror is coming to an end”. He added the coalition forces will keep pressuring the Libyan government as it’s coming closer to achieving its goals.

Part of this mounting pressure is the deployment of the strike helicopters, which are soon to provide NATO forces in Libya with new capabilities.

“They can fly low; they can fly slow; so they can hit targets that fast jets can’t hit from the air. They also involve a fair amount of risk. They can be shot down much more easily than a fast jet, so the prospect of NATO personnel being captured on the ground has just gone up,” explains Shashank Joshi, associate fellow a the defense think tank Royal United Services Institute.

The Apaches, which will be joined by a contingent of French helicopters, can maneuver in urban areas and attack fairly small targets. They’ll make it easier to take out arms stores, and target places where Colonel Gaddafi may be hiding.

The deployment is part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s strategy to “turn up the heat” in Libya.

“They seem to think if they quote the UN resolution at the same time as they call for Gaddafi to go and for regime change, it’s a sort of guarantee, or as a laissez-passer. Frankly they’re involved in a civil war in Libya. The deployment of helicopters, the intensive bombing of Tripoli that’s going on – this is a war about regime change,” British MP Jeremy Corbyn believes.

The helicopters mark only the latest escalation of this conflict. Following the no-fly zone, NATO sent in advisors to train the rebels, introduced drone patrols and by the first week of May, had flown nearly 6,000 strike sorties, with Tripoli subjected to the heaviest bombing.

A recent YouGov poll for the Sun tabloid newspaper showed less than half of Britons now support the intervention in Libya. But that number’s likely to plummet once UK troops are in significantly more danger.

“Just wait, if a helicopter crashes and God forbid we lose ten people… If that happened, [if] we started being blown out of the sky – don’t even think about it. So the issue is we haven’t dropped any blood. Yeah, we’ve dropped tens of millions of pounds which we haven’t got, but not single one of our people has died. When that happens, the game, and the PR game, will change,” Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor for The Sun expects.

People have marched against the Libyan war in the UK, but in small numbers compared to the million that marched ahead of the invasion of Iraq. But helicopters bring the fighting closer to the ground, and with it, a higher risk of death, as well as fierce opposition at home.

The government might be able to defend that, as long as the new strategy makes rapid progress. But if it doesn’t, many see the next step as troops on the ground – in clear defiance of the UN resolution that allowed the original no-fly zone to be enforced in Libya.

­The situation is getting worse for the West in Libya, as an operation which they believed would be short and easy is taking longer than expected, said Patrick Hayes, a reporter for the London-based Spiked online magazine.

“In many ways it seems that the situation is getting worse for the West in Libya,” Hayes said. “I think that at first they thought they could swoop in and actually bomb the country into democracy. They thought this is going to be quite a quick process, where they could basically keep their hands [clean] at a distance – bomb [their way] into Libya, get rid of Gaddafi and then everything will be all right. Now obviously that is not the case. And these bunker-buster bombs and helicopters are inevitably going to make the situation worse. They could bring about civilian casualties in Libya, and I think that reeks of desperation.”

====

Algeria: Killing Of 50 Soldiers Related To Chaos In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/30/c_13900135.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 30, 2011

Killing of 40 Algerian soldiers has direct connection with chaos in Libya: PM

ALGIERS: Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said Sunday that the killing of 40 soldiers in clashes with armed groups in the country is due to the spread of Libyan arms in the African Sahel region.

Ouyahia told a news conference here that the unrest in Libya has led to the spread of weapons among “terrorist groups,” adding that the killing of 40 Algerian soldiers in the past few weeks has a direct connection with the spread of arms in the region.

Ouyahia also called for an “immediate cease-fire in Libya.”

Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci had earlier expressed concerns that violence in Libya might have a negative impact on Algeria’s counterterrorism activities.

“We have to take into consideration that in case the crisis in Libya is aggravated, the situation would probably go beyond the Libyan borders and then would become an issue for the region,” Medelci said.

====

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Can Counter Pentagon And NATO In Central Asia And Middle East

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/ea_china0650_05_30.asp

World Tribune
March 30, 2011

Shanghai Cooperation Organization outflanking U.S. in Mideast, Central Asia regions
By Fariborz Saremi

-The most urgent issues for Russia and China, however, have been Western intervention in Libya, events in Syria, charges of the West’s hypocrisy concerning Bahrain, and the U.S. determination to keep a military presence in Iraq, all of which suggest that the West is determined to maintain a controlling presence in the Middle East.
Closer to home, Moscow fears that Obama is preparing to reactivate plans to deploy missile defense shields in Poland and Romania and to establish a long-term military presence in these two countries.

The U.S. government suffered a major diplomatic setback in the Central Asian region when Zalmay Rasoul, the Afghan Foreign Minister, traveled to Beijing to discuss proposals for tightening Afghan relations with the Chinese government despite prior American warnings that it should not do so.

Rasoul’s recent four day trip (May 9-12) was particularly irksome as it came at a time in which the United States has been particularly active in the region and because it reflects the growing confidence of China that it can undermine U.S. ambitions in Central Asia by establishing diplomatic ties with various neighbors.

Moreover, the move was so swift and effective that the Americans seem to have caught on the wrong foot. It has most certainly made U.S. and NATO efforts to secure a long-term military presence in Afghanistan and Central Asia more strenuous than they already were.

The primary mover behind such diplomacy has been the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which has enabled China and Russia to cooperate more closely in their dealings with the Central Asia and the Middle East than in any other region. China has been given a platform to expand interests in the region without inciting Russian ire and at the same time Russia now has a means for indirectly but actively participating in Chinese policy.

The SCO has presented itself to the region as an alternative provider of security to NATO even as China and Russia publicly profess interest in supporting Western security efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Thus, since the SCO already contains China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as members and is now cozying up to Afghanistan, it seriously threatens the USA’s exclusive right to secure military bases in Afghanistan and other parts of the area.

China has other potential allies in its sights too, one of these being India, which has made it clear that it prefers to pursue an independent regional policy rather than simply toe the U.S. line.

Both India and China share an interest in stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan but neither wants the United States to use either the war against terrorism or the conflict in Afghanistan to further its “Great Central Asia” strategy. The SCO provides an ideal framework for cooperation on regional security issues.

Of all the countries in the region, however, Pakistan is the one whose confidence in American intentions and ambitions has been most keenly shaken.

Relations between Islamabad and Washington have never been easy but they were seriously affected by the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. The U.S. government made it clear that it was willing to act inside Pakistan’s territory without concern for Pakistan’s sovereignty or sensitivities. Moreover, Obama has warned Pakistan it would not hesitate to repeat such an operation and that Pakistani public opinion takes second place to American security as Washington’s concerns about Pakistan’s attitude to terrorism seem confirmed.

This has severely damaged the Pakistan government’s self confidence, and weakened its faith in Washington’s interest in real cooperation. It has been embarrassed by the impression it cannot secure its own territorial integrity.

SCO membership would seem to come at an ideal juncture as Islamabad seeks alternative allies to help it provide for its own security.

The most urgent issues for Russia and China, however, have been Western intervention in Libya, events in Syria, charges of the West’s hypocrisy concerning Bahrain, and the U.S. determination to keep a military presence in Iraq, all of which suggest that the West is determined to maintain a controlling presence in the Middle East.

Closer to home, Moscow fears that Obama is preparing to reactivate plans to deploy missile defense shields in Poland and Romania and to establish a long-term military presence in these two countries. This would challenge Moscow’s traditional hegemony over the Black Sea. Russia’s efforts to be a part of discussions concerning the U.S.’s and the European Union’s missile defense program have failed.

All of these developments and the obvious distaste in both the Middle East and Central Asia for prolonged U.S. and NATO military presence in the two regions have encouraged all participants to speed up their diplomatic efforts.

Thus, while Rasoul was courting Beijing, Pakistani President Zardari was visiting Russia and Indian Prime Minister Singh was undertaking an extraordinary two-day visit to Kabul.

These shifting power balances have been provided an ideal shelter, namely the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Dr. Fariborz Saremi is a commentator on TV and radio (German ARD/NDR TV,SAT 1,N24, Voice of America and Radio Israel) on Middle East issues and a contributer to FreePressers.com, WorldTribune.com and Defense&Foreign Affairs.

====

Rasmussen: NATO To Complete Full Integration Of Balkans

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n251044

Focus News Agency
May 30, 2011

We want Western Balkan states integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures: NATO chief
Desislava Antova

Sofia: “We all would like to see Western Balkan states completely integrated into the Euro-Atlantic structures. I think the recent arrest of Ratko Mladic is a very important step,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after meeting with Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov in Sofia, FOCUS News Agency reported.

“First, his arrest sends a very clear message that war crimes are punished sooner or later and second, which is not less important, the arrest removes a very important hurdle on Serbia’s path to the European Union and NATO membership,” said Rasmussen.

“I want to see a stronger and more reinforced cooperation between Serbia and NATO,” he said.

He noted there could be skepticism about NATO in the Serbian society because of historical reasons.

“I would like to send a very clear message to the Serbian people – your future is in a productive and mutually beneficial cooperation between Serbia on the one hand and the EU and NATO on the other, which might lead to full-fledged membership in both organizations. I can assure you we are friends of the Serbian people today. You must not suffer from the mistakes made in the past,” said NATO chief.

“Thanks to the NATO intervention in the Balkans, the peoples of the Western Balkans can live in peace, security and stability. We managed to oust an autocratic system and assist the development of freedom and democracy. Now we call on you to try to use the maximum potential of the opportunities you have. You can do this by drawing closer to the EU and NATO. In this respect, I believe Bulgaria can play a constructive role in the region,” underlined Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

====

Bulgaria: U.S.-NATO Missile System In Strategic Black Sea

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=128734

Sofia News Agency
May 30, 2011

Bulgarian PM: NATO Missile Shield Must Cover Entire Country

-The PM pointed out to participants in the assembly the Black Sea Region, where three countries are NATO members and the other three are partners, is the place of crucial strategic transport corridors.
-Fogh Rasmussen is on an official visit to Bulgaria Monday to take part in the parliamentary assembly.

Bulgaria has a firm position on the NATO missile defense system – it must cover the entire territory of the country, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared.

Borisov spoke Monday at the NATO parliamentary assembly, held between May 27 and May 30 in Bulgaria’s Black Sea capital Varna.

According to Borisov, the missile shield guarantees the security of NATO countries’ territories, but where and what exact elements are to be located, would depend on technical and strategic decisions of the Alliance.

The PM pointed out to participants in the assembly the Black Sea Region, where three countries are NATO members and the other three are partners, is the place of crucial strategic transport corridors.

Regarding NATO’s mission in Libya, Borisov stated Bulgaria is taking part according to its possibilities such as the “Drazki” frigate, adding the Bulgarian State has expressed its support from day one.

….

Bulgaria’s leader announced the country is going to be included next week in the work of a contact group on Libya, and appealed to all to listen to Bulgaria carefully since it has a lot to say about Gaddafi.

Borisov further focused on energy security of NATO members, explaining energy independence is a warrant for the economic one.

“I assure NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen that Bulgaria is a predictable and active ally,” Borisov concluded.

Fogh Rasmussen is on an official visit to Bulgaria Monday to take part in the parliamentary assembly.

====

Bulgaria: NATO Chief Touts Interceptor Missile System

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=128731

Sofia News Agency
May 30, 2011

NATO Secretary General in Bulgaria: Missile Threat Is Real

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is taking part Monday in the spring session of the Alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly, held in Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Varna.

The forum, which began on Friday, May 30, is focusing on issues such as cyber terrorism, nuclear disarmament in Europe, the economic crisis, security, and developments in northern Africa and the Middle East.

The meeting is held in Bulgaria for the second time…

While in Bulgaria, Fogh Rasmussen is also scheduled to meet with President Georgi Parvanov, the Speaker of the Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

“The missile threat is real and NATO needs protection. We have asked Russia for support – our relations are improving. We have no intentions of menacing Russia and we have invited it to negotiations. We believe there have to be two missile defense systems – Russia’s and NATO’s to protect from a direct attack and exchange data,” the Secretary General said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, pointing out a decision on the location of elements of the missile shield, including Bulgaria, is still pending.

====

Leading MP: Unilateral U.S.-NATO Missile Plan Unacceptable To Russia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=4&id=247725

Interfax-Military
May 30, 2011

U.S. proposal of ‘cooperative missile defense’ unacceptable for Russia – State Duma Defense Committee head

MOSCOW: The ‘sectoral missile defense’ suggested by Moscow for Europe is rejected by Western states, while the U.S. initiative of ‘a cooperative missile defense system’ is not acceptable for Russia, Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Viktor Zavarzin told Interfax-AVN.

“While putting forward the proposal of ‘sectoral missile defense’ in Europe, we primarily proceeded from the need to minimize the negative effect of the U.S. missile defense network in Europe on the potential of the Russian strategic nuclear forces and to avoid Russia’s involvement in an arms race and a tough confrontation with the U.S. and other NATO member states,” he said.

“However, the United States and Western countries rejected the Russian proposals. The alternative ‘cooperative missile defense’ offered by Washington is not acceptable for us. This approach means the development of a missile defense without due account of Russian concerns,” he said.

The Russian proposals imply the U.S. decision to not place missile defense elements in northwestern and northern Europe, Zavarzin said. “In exchange, Russia agrees to cooperate in the southern sector without indicating a specific military threat,” he said.

The success of this approach would have NATO interceptor missiles removed from the Russian borders in the north and northwest, he said.

Zavarzin said that he declared the Russian stance on missile defense at a meeting of a subcommittee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which had a spring session in Varna from May 26-30.

====

Afghanistan: Attack On NATO Base Kills At Least Four Soldiers, Wounds 28

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/30/51021549.html

Voice of Russia
May 30, 2011

NATO base in Afghanistan attacked

Insurgents attacked a NATO base in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat on Monday, killing four Italian soldiers in a car blast, the country’s Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa reports.

The second blast ripped through the city center injuring 24 Italians, who
mainly serve in this area.

—————————————————————————

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Afghanistan-Attack-near-Italian-base-killed-at-least-4-Nato-troops_312074679394.html

ADN Kronos International
May 30, 2011

Afghanistan: Attack ‘near’ Italian base ‘killed at least 4 Nato troops’

Herat: A suicide attack in the western Afghanistan city of Herat on Monday killed at least four Nato soldiers, according to a report by Arab-language satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.

The attack, which wounded at least 28 people, took place close to the military base overseen by the Italian Nato contingent.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary said two suicide bombers launched their attack near the joint civilian/military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) base. He gave no details on casualties.


————————————————————————–

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Afghanistan-Five-Italians-wounded-1-seriously-in-attack_312075053581.html

ADN Kronos International
May 30, 2011

Afghanistan: ‘Five Italians wounded, 1 seriously’ in attack

Herat: A suicide attack in the western Afghanistan city of Herat on Monday wounded five Italian soldiers, according to Italian defense minister Ignazio La Russa.

One of the Italian’s wounds are considered serious, he said.

“It was a captain who was wounded in the abdomen,” La Russa said.

At least 4 people died and 27 were wounded by the attack that took place near the base overseen by the Italian Nato contingent, according to reports.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary said two suicide bombers launched their attack near the joint civilian/military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) base. He gave no details on casualties.

====

NATO General: Deadly Afghan Night Raids To Continue

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/30/nighttime-raids-continue-gen-blotz

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 30, 2011

Nighttime raids to continue: Gen. Blotz
by Muhammad Hassan Khetab

KABUL: Despite President Hamid Karzai’s orders for an immediate stop to nighttime raids, the NATO-led force said on Monday it would go ahead with the operations.

On Sunday, Karzai issued a final warning to NATO-led troops over civilian deaths – hours after 14 non-combatants were killed in a new airstrike in southern Helmand province.

The fatalities resulting from a raid in Nawzad district included women and children, said the governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi. Governor Gulab Mangal, condemning the casualties, said a team had been set up to investigate the raid.

Karzai strongly denounced the latest instance of collateral damage, his office said in a statement. “The US and ISAF forces have been told repeatedly that their irresponsible operations are harming innocent and poor Afghans.”

The statement added: “Although such raids trample all human and moral values, NATO-led forces seem not to heed our warnings,” the president was quoted as saying.

On behalf of Afghans, Karzai issued a final warning to foreign soldiers and condemned the Helmand strike as a blunder. He directed the provincial authorities to probe the raid and compensate the victims’ families.

“In order to achieve our goals, we should continue with nighttime raids” ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz said at a joint press conference with NATO senior civilian representative’s spokesman, Dominic Medley.

….

====

Afghan Soldier Kills NATO Soldier

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/30/afghan-soldier-kills-nato-soldier/

CNN
May 30, 2011

Afghan soldier kills NATO soldier

An Afghan soldier shot and killed a NATO soldier Monday in southern Afghanistan, high-ranking officials from the country’s National Directorate for Security said.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said an “individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against” an ISAF service member, “killing the service member.” Afghan officials confirmed that the man who did the firing was an Afghan soldier.

In another incident, two ISAF service members died after an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said.

The nationalities of the service members were not immediately released.

Separately, Afghan and coalition forces repelled an attack on the provincial reconstruction team headquarters in the Herat district of Herat province on Monday, ISAF Joint Command said in a statement.

Insurgents trying to get inside the compound attacked the headquarters with a vehicle-borne IED and small-arms fire, but Afghan and coalition forces returned fire, killing several insurgents, it said.

Several ISAF service members were wounded.

The incidents took place a day after NATO apologized for an airstrike that killed nine civilians in southern Afghanistan.

….

Earlier, Afghan and NATO officials said the attack – an airstrike Saturday in Helmand province – had killed a dozen children and two women. There was no immediate explanation for the disparity between these figure and the toll of nine civilians offered Sunday by Toolan, who also noted that a U.S. Marine was killed immediately before the strike.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike and said he was warning the U.S military and government “for the last time” on behalf of the Afghan people about civilian deaths. He called the operation a mistake.

Journalist Reshad Fazel contributed to this report.

====

Defense Minister: German Troops Can Be Deployed To Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan And Somalia

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=94510

News Network International
May 27, 2011

Germany open to troops deployment in Pak or Yemen

-[German Defence Minister Thomas de Maziere] said in future up to 10,000 soldiers would be able to participate simultaneously in various military missions abroad.

Berlin: German Defence Minister Thomas de Maziere does not rule out deployment of German troops in unstable countries, including Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan or Somalia, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday.

De Maziere said he expected that requests would be made for the stationing of German forces in volatile states as part of international military operations like in Afghanistan or the Balkan region.

‘How we respond to these depends on the type of request as well as our considerations,’ he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The minister underlined the fact that ‘soldiers are part of (German) foreign policy, and a political process must accompany the deployment of soldiers.’ He pointed to Germany’s alliance interests which are ‘usually also national interests.’

De Maziere made headlines earlier this month by saying his country would be ready to boost its global military intervention role.

‘We have to be prepared for many conceivable scenarios,’ the minister told German public broadcaster ZDF.

The spectrum of German military missions abroad could include merely election monitoring as well as a major military interventions like what took place in the Balkans, de Maziere was quoted as saying.

He said in future up to 10,000 soldiers would be able to participate simultaneously in various military missions abroad.

There are presently around 6,750 German troops deployed around the world of whom over 5,300 soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Critics of Germany’s growing global military interventionist role say it smacked of new form of imperialism.

====

Reports: Coup Threats In Greece And Turkey

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=report-military-coup-possible-in-greece-2011-05-29

Hurriyet Daily News
May 30, 2011

Report: Military coup possible in Greece

BERLIN: The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency warned in a report that the tough austerity measures and the dire situation could escalate and even lead to a military coup, according to a report by Germany’s popular daily Bild.

According to he CIA report, ongoing street protests in crisis-hit Greece could turn into escalated violence and a rebellion and the Greek government could lose control, said Bild. The newspaper said the CIA report talks of a possible military coup if the situation becomes more serious and uncontrolled.

Greece is under immense pressure owing to public debt that has swollen to 340 billion euros. The EU, IMF and European Central Bank are pressing Greece to step up a privatization program and get all political parties to approve more austerity and reform measures that have sparked violent protests, but emergency talks called by the president on Friday failed to make any headway, AFP reported.

Opposition parties have mostly refused to support the government in its quest to cut spending by trimming an overblown civil service and the sweeping privatization drive announced this week has attracted even stronger protests.

Meanwhile, the Dutch finance minister said his country, Germany, Finland and other EU members won’t give Greece any more bailout money, if the debt-laden country fails to adopt further austerity measures.

Jan Kees de Jager said Saturday that “it’s vital that Greece will live up fully” to conditions set by the International Monetary Fund if it’s to receive the next batch of a 110 billion euros ($155 billion) bailout loan deal it agreed to last year, the Associated Press reported.

Last year, as the financial crisis battered Greece, Bild went as far as to highlight a suggestion by a conservative politician that Athens sell off some of its many islands to help pay off its debts.

A bailout for Greece was put in place a year ago by the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, involving loans of 110 billion euros ($157 billion) over three years.

But there are now grave doubts whether Athens can meet its repayments and talk of a second bailout, or even a drastic debt restructuring, is rife.

—————————————————————————

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=prosecutor-demands-arrest-of-top-officer-2011-05-30

Hurriyet Daily News
May 30, 2011

Top military officer arrested on coup charges

ISTANBUL: An Istanbul court has ordered the arrest of the highest-ranking active-duty military officer charged with plotting to overthrow the government.

War Academies Commander Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, who testified for three hours in front of the prosecutor before being sent to court and then testified in court for another four hours Monday, is the first active-duty top general arrested in connection with the alleged coup plans.

Gen. Balanlı was arrested as a suspect in the ongoing “Balyoz” (Sledgehammer) case, which is based on documents reportedly seized in February from a house that belonged to Col. Hakan Büyük. A member of the intelligence branch of the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, Col. Büyük has already been arrested on charges of plotting a military coup.

The new evidence regarding the case, according to police reports, consists of written documents, video files and digital material on a flash disk, and includes plans to be put into action if the alleged coup attempt were to fail.

Eight active-duty officers were released early Saturday after providing 12 hours of testimony in Istanbul on the same charges.

The testimonies came at a time when relations between the government and the TSK are increasingly tense, reportedly due to the ongoing investigations of alleged coup plots. Of the TSK’s approximately 300 active-duty generals, 29 are under arrest on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.

More than 160 soldiers – both active-duty and retired – are in prison pending trial on suspected links to the alleged coup plans.

====

Obamania To Obamanic Depression: Neocon In Sheep’s Clothing

http://rt.com/politics/columns/bridge-too/barack-obama-us-bridge/

RT
May 30, 2011

Barack Obama: A Neocon in sheep’s clothing
­Robert Bridge

I admit it; I was one of the estimated 5.9 billion people worldwide who was initially captivated, enraptured, shellacked, call it what you will, by America’s “first black president” Barack Hussein Obama.

But who on earth wasn’t?

Following eight brutal years of being dragged around the planet in search of monsters by a self-declared “war president,” it was all too easy to be seduced by Obama’s honey-dripping message of Hope and Change.

The Bush years, we believed, were an unfortunate and very un-American anomaly and Obama would put the American house back in order. Yes, we’d sit down and chat with tyrants; we’d get tough with transnational corporations; we’d put the long-forgotten rugged individuals back where they belong in the grand order of things. With the triumphant election of Barack Obama, it felt like morning again in America, which had just passed through the longest, darkest night of its history.

Indeed, the need to believe the hype and hysteria was so powerful that it even compelled the otherwise intelligent people at the Nobel Institute to pin the peace laurels on Obama’s chest at the very same time US troops were hunkered down on two fronts.

The international community is no longer enamored by Obama, however, at least not the way they were just three years ago. The American president can still charm the pants off a news conference, and deliver a mesmerizing speech via the teleprompter, but the magic of those early days, when Change was so close you could almost reach out and touch it, has vanished into thin air.

“Obamania” has been downgraded to “Obamanic depression.”

The British betrayed their inner feelings about America’s Commander in Speech when they chose a tongue-in-cheek codename for Obama’s recent UK visit.

According to the Daily Mail: “More than one person has wanted to call Barack Obama a ‘smart alec’, and now British police will get the chance to do so without getting reprimanded. That’s because Scotland Yard has tapped the codename ‘Chalaque’ to refer to the U.S. president for security reasons during his upcoming state visit to the United Kingdom May 24-26.”

And what exactly does “Chalaque” mean? The Mail, quoting a Punjabi speaker, said the word is used “when we want to denigrate someone who we think is too clever for their own good.”

Although Scotland Yard says the name was selected randomly from some cheeky supercomputer, the characterization appears too accurate to be the product of mere chance. Besides, even if the program really did spit out the very applicable designation, the British authorities could have easily commanded the computer to ‘try again.”

Anyways, there is no need for name calling when simply reporting the facts is so much more effective.

GUANTANAMO BAY

Of Barack Obama’s numerous unfulfilled promises, the failure to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is the most glaring and unpardonable. Not only does this prison, situated in a remote corner of communist Cuba, fly in the face of democratic principles, it has actually served to harden the resolve of America’s enemies due to the inhumane treatment of the detainees, some of whom are innocent.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, “Washington has ignored human rights standards in its own treatment of terrorism suspects. It has refused to apply the Geneva Conventions to prisoners of war from Afghanistan, and has misused the designation of ‘illegal combatant’ to apply to criminal suspects on U.S. soil.”

On May 25, 2005, Amnesty International released its annual report calling the detention facility the “gulag of our times.”

Meanwhile, Lord Steyn, a prominent judge in the United Kingdom, called it “a monstrous failure of justice,” because “… The military will act as interrogators, prosecutors and defense counsel, judges, and when death sentences are imposed, as executioners. The trials will be held in secret. None of the guarantees of a fair trial need be observed.”

Remember, Obama was going to reverse all of this insanity. And there is no question about: it is insane.

Guantanamo Bay ranks as one of the most sinister war-time camps ever devised. Who will ever forget (certainly, America’s enemies never will) the images of cuffed detainees kneeling on the ground, inside of barbed-wire enclosures, while sporting sensory-deprivation devices – i.e. no light, no sound, no tactile stimuli whatsoever. All the while, US soldiers, armed to the teeth, were inside of the enclosures as well. Even if there was a chance that one of the bad guys would pull a Houdini and escape, Guantanamo Bay is in the middle of shark-infested waters miles away from nothing. Why so many over-the-top security measures, which only make the American captors look cruel and ridiculous?

On January 22, 2009, much of the free world let out a sigh of relief when Barack Obama announced the facility would be shuttered within one year. At this point, the Democratic president got his first indication as to what a joy it would be trying to work with the Republican Party. With former vice president Dick Cheney suddenly on every news channel, the Neocons came out of the woodwork, arguing that the country with the world’s premier prison system could not handle a couple hundred broken “terrorists” on American soil for their trials. What?!

Obama finally caved in to the incredible pressure, and to this day Guantanamo Bay, the darkest chapter in America’s history since at least the days of slavery, remains open for business. Not only is it open for business, but the detainees, who have been blamed for some of the worst crimes against the United States, will not have an opportunity to tell their story before a civilian court. More importantly, however, nor will the American people get to hear their story. The voice of the detainees of Guantanamo Bay will disappear into the void of military tribunals, where closed courts will keep Americans in the dark.

Not democracy’s best day.

WAR

Barack Obama has failed to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as he promised to do on the campaign trail. In the case of Afghanistan, US troop strength has tripled there, while the death of American soldiers is on the rapid uptick. According to justforeignpolicy.org, since Obama took over the Oval Office, 910 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan, compared to 575 in the seven years that Bush served as president.

In Iraq, where the official close of military operations has been announced, Obama has left behind a 50,000-strong “transitional force” tasked with training the Iraqi Security Forces and conducting counterterrorism operations. Obama says the troops there “may” remain until the end of 2011, but only a fool would take Obama’s golden words at face value.

Did Obama stop the illegitimate and indiscriminate use of drone technology? Here is Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist who lost her son in Iraq: “On day three (of Obama’s presidency), he ordered his first drone bombing strike in the tribal regions of North Pakistan thus murdering a reported 36 civilians. Since that day, the US has used this tactic of abject terror 192 more times resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. In the four years the Bush stain used this tactic of terror it was used 43 times. In this area, Obama is definitely an overachiever.”

Not only has our Nobel Laureate failed to bring home the boys from Afghanistan and Iraq, he threw his support behind military intervention in Libya, where antigovernment rebels are attempting to overthrow Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. NATO forces are now conducting massive aerial bombardments over Tripoli, inflicting untold casualties on the civilian population. According to Bloomberg News, “thousands” have been killed since the bombing campaign started two months ago, and hundreds of thousands have fled the country.

The alleged killing of Osama bin Laden (no proof of this exploit exists, not even a video, which the US Army has proven very adept at providing in the past) can not wash away all of these failed promises, especially when it remains possible that OBL was not even remotely responsible for pulling off 9/11. Indeed, how a man on the run in the mountains could pull off a sophisticated attack against the strongest country in the world will be a question for the historians to ultimately decide.

OBAMA BATTING FOR BUSH

Ok, so you are still unconvinced that Barack Obama has not only continued Bush-era policy, but actually intensified it? In addition to recently continuing with Bush tax cuts for the rich, at a time when the US is facing the deepest deficit in its history, Obama also snuck through an extension of the Patriot Act minutes before it was set to expire.

The Patriot Act, rammed through by the Bush administration when America was in a code-red panic following the events of 9/11, empowers US security agencies to implement wiretaps, as well as conduct extensive searches against private citizens. But that is only the tip of the iceberg concerning its powers, since there has never been a real democratic debate on this autocratic piece of legislation.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon complained that “the government won’t even tell the American people how it interprets these provisions, or whether it sees any limits on its authority at all.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said almost 10 years after the Patriot Act’s passage, “we still haven’t had the debate that we need to have on this piece of legislation.”

Did Obama the Great Changer give America the debate it wants and needs on the subject of this invasion of privacy? Did he listen to his own constituents, many of whom expected the Democratic wunderkind to end this draconian trend toward tyranny? Of course not. In fact, at the eleventh hour, just minutes before the highly controversial Patriot Act was set to succumb to a much-deserved demise, Obama, who once challenged us to have the audacity to hope, signed the legislation for another four years with his autopen while away in France.

And I would imagine the Stature of Liberty, if caught at that moment, blushed; blushed in frustration, anger and hopelessness for what has become of her once proud nation.

====

Video And Text: Paranoid Act: America’s Politics Of Fear

http://rt.com/usa/news/america-politics-of-fear/

RT
May 30, 2011

America’s politics of fear

Video

US President Barack Obama and the US Congress joined forces to successfully extend the Patriot Act until 2015, meaning broader domestic surveillance will pioneer through America for another four years.

The variety of far-reaching surveillance measures being used to collect information from most law-abiding citizens are being criticized as tools to perpetrate fear for political purposes.

The country that created Blackberry phones and gave birth to iPhones has more than 300-million wireless users. And in the name of national security, the US government will soon have a direct link to each and every hand held device.

Gathered at the scene of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Federal and New York City officials joined the presidents of the four largest wireless carriers to announce the nation’s new tech tool. An alert system enabling the president and government agencies to blast every American with text messages warning of terror threats, weather disasters and kidnappings.

“It’s like a police officer’s gun. It’s there for a good reason. But we hope we never had to pull the trigger,” said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

The cell phone alert system will launch in New York City and Washington, DC by the end of this year, expanding nationwide thereafter. Some carriers may allow cell phone users to opt out of receiving certain alerts, but Americans will not be allowed to opt out of the presidential texts.

Opponents say politicians are promoting more fear while providing little protection.

“Now we have a system of mandatory and inescapable alerts through every cellphone in the land. In the event that the government decides that something’s happening that we ought to know about. Just as the introduction of the patriot act came after nine-eleven, this new technological invasion comes to us without any public discussion, right after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, which has raised our terror alerts,” said Mark Crispin Miller, NYU Professor and author.

He added that Americans are living in an age of creeping authoritarianism and scare tactics.

“The use of fear for any kind of government that craves any kind of control over people’s lives and thoughts is that it makes people malleable. It makes people obedient. You go to any airport today and you see this in action. That people are taking off their shoes. Submitting to getting groped,” Miller commented.

Under the auspices of airport safety, babies, senior citizens and everyone in between must now endure pat-downs or pass through body scanners before boarding.

In the case Muslim-Americans, that may not be enough. Six days following the US assassination of Osama Bin Laden, four Imam’s on two separate US flights were illegally kicked off planes for looking suspicious.

“You have a few hate mongers who can evoke emotions and that’s what people do. They play on people’s emotions. They play on people’s ignorance about Islam and Muslims and that’s created a climate of fear you see,” said Imam Al Amin Abdul Latif, President of the Islamic Leadership Council of NY.

In December, the department of homeland security began encouraging Americans to report suspicious activity to American largest food retailer, as Wal-Mart joined Washington’s “see something say something” campaign.The marriage between government and business has been accused of perpetuating a climate of panic and subsequent need for more surveillance.

“You need to create and enemy for people to rally around endless wars and we’re spending fifty percent of our taxes on war and our national defense. When there’s really no threat directly to this country. There’s really a need to keep validating this spending,” said Abby Martin, journalist and founder of Media Roots.

Following the assassination of enemy number one, New York’s senior US Senator Charles Schumer called for an increase in rail safety funding and the creation of a no-ride list.

As US officials warn of more terror threats following Bin Laden’s death, many Americans remain concerned, while others, are left wondering about the dangers of forsaking too much liberty for security.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

John Dos Passos: Three Soldiers

May 30, 2011 1 comment

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

John Dos Passos on Randolph Bourne: War is the health of the state

====

John Dos Passos
From Three Soldiers (1921)

Almost out of sight among the moving tree trunks was a log. It was not a log; it was a bunch of grey-green cloth. Without thinking Chrisfield strode towards it. The silver trunks of the beeches circled about him, waving jagged arms. It was a German lying full length among the leaves.

Chrisfield was furiously happy in the angry pumping of blood through his veins.

He could see the buttons on the back of the long coat of the German, and the red band on his cap.

He kicked the German. He could feel the ribs against his toes through the leather of his boot. He kicked again and again with all his might. The German rolled over heavily. He had no face. Chrisfield felt the hatred suddenly ebb out of him. Where the face had been was a spongy mass of purple and yellow and red, half of which stuck to the russet leaves when the body rolled over. Large flies with bright shiny green bodies circled about it. In a brown clay-grimed hand was a revolver.

Chrisfield felt his spine go cold; the German had shot himself.

*****

Perhaps he was badly enough wounded to be discharged from the army. The thought set his heart beating like mad. That meant that he, who had given himself up for lost, who had let himself be trampled down unresistingly into the mud of slavery, who had looked for no escape from the treadmill but death, would live. He, John Andrews, would live.

And it seemed inconceivable that he had ever given himself up, that he had ever let the grinding discipline have its way with him. He saw himself vividly once more as he had seen himself before his life had suddenly blotted itself out, before he had become a slave among slaves. He remembered the garden where, in his boyhood, he had sat dreaming through the droning summer afternoons under the crepe myrtle bushes, while the cornfields beyond rustled and shimmered in the heat. He remembered the day he had stood naked in the middle of a base room while the recruiting sergeant prodded him and measured him. He wondered suddenly what the date was. Could it be that it was only a year ago? Yet in that year all the other years of his life had been blotted out. But now he would begin living again. He would give up this cowardly cringing before external things. He would be recklessly himself.

The pain in his legs was gradually localizing itself into the wounds. For a while he struggled against it to go on thinking, but its constant throb kept impinging in his mind until, although he wanted desperately to comb through his pale memories to remember, if ever so faintly, all that had been vivid and lusty in his life, to build himself a new foundation of resistance against the world from which he could start afresh to live, he became again the querulous piece of hurt flesh, the slave broken on the treadmill; he began to groan.

Andrews lay, comfortable in his cot, looking into the ward out of another world. He felt no connection with the talk about him, with the men who lay silent or tossed about groaning in the rows of narrow cots that filled the Renaissance hall. In the yellow glow of the electric lights, looking beyond the orderly’s twisted face and narrow head, he could see very faintly, where the beams of the ceiling sprung from the wall, a row of half-obliterated shields supported by figures carved out of the grey stone of the wall, handed satyrs with horns and goats’ beards and deep-set eyes, little squat figures of warriors and townsmen in square hats with swords between their bent knees, naked limbs twined in scrolls of spiked acanthus leaves, all seen very faintly, so that when the electric lights swung back and forth in the wind made by the orderly’s hurried passing, they all seemed to wink and wriggle in shadowy mockery of the rows of prostrate bodies in the room beneath them. Yet they were familiar, friendly to Andrews. He kept feeling a half-formulated desire to be up there too, crowded under a beam, grimacing through heavy wreaths of pomegranates and acanthus leaves, the incarnation of old rich lusts, of clear fires that had sunk to dust ages since. He felt at home in that spacious hall, built for wide gestures and stately steps, in which all the little routine of the army seemed unreal, and the wounded men discarded automatons, broken toys laid away in rows.

Through the window at the opposite side of the ward he could see a bit of blue sky among white scroll-like clouds, with mauve shadows. He stared at it until the clouds, beginning to grow golden into evening, covered it. Furious, hopeless irritation consumed him. How these people enjoyed hating! At that rate it was better to be at the front. Men were more humane when they were killing each other than when they were talking about it. So was civilization nothing but a vast edifice of sham, and the war, instead of its crumbling, was its fullest and most ultimate expression. Oh, but there must be something more in the world than greed and hatred and cruelty. Were they all shams, too, these gigantic phrases that floated like gaudy kites high above mankind? Kites, that was it, contraptions of tissue paper held at the end of a string, ornaments not to be taken seriously. He thought of all the long procession of men who had been touched by the unutterable futility of the lives of men, who had tried by phrases to make things otherwise, who had taught unworldliness. Dim enigmatic figures they were – Democritus, Socrates, Epicurus, Christ; so many of them, and so vague in the silvery mist of history that he hardly knew that they were not his own imagining; Lucretius, St. Francis, Voltaire, Rousseau, and how many others, known and unknown, through the tragic centuries; they had wept, some of them, and some of them had laughed, and their phrases had risen glittering, soap bubbles to dazzle men for a moment, and had shattered. And he felt a crazy desire to join the forlorn ones, to throw himself into inevitable defeat, to live his life as he saw it in spite of everything, to proclaim once more the falseness of the gospels under the cover of which greed and fear filled with more and yet more pain the already unbearable agony of human life.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 29, 2011

====

Libyan Air War: Almost 8,800 NATO Sorties, Over 3,300 Combat Missions

NATO Warplanes Kill Dozens Of Afghan Civilians

Afghan Officials: NATO Air Strike Kills At Least 12 Children, Four Women

Afghan President Gives NATO Final Warning Over Civilian Deaths

U.S. To Modernize Its Nuclear Weapons In Europe

Bulgarian Defense Minister To NATO: Need U.S. Interceptor Missiles

Bulgaria: 2,500 U.S. Troops, Tank Exercises At New Base

New Strategic Concept: NATO Must Back Arab “Revolutions,” Train Armies

Report: Sweden Could Join NATO War With Russia Over The Baltics

Estonia: Push For NATO Nordic-Baltic Cyber Warfare Force

Obama Visit: Strengthening Pentagon, NATO Roles In Poland

Encircling Russia With U.S. Bases

Twelve Years Later: Unexploded NATO Bomb Found Near Serbian Factory

Crete Hosts 13-Nation, Three-Week NATO Naval Exercise

====


Mirage multirole warplane of the sort used in Afghanistan


B61 tactical nuclear bomb


Standard Missile-3 interceptor missile

====

Libyan Air War: Almost 8,800 NATO Sorties, Over 3,300 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110529_110529-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 29, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8729 sorties, including 3327 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 28 May: 134

Strike sorties conducted 28 May: 53

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 20 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

14 Vessels were hailed on 28 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (nodenial) was conducted.

A total of 1082 vessels have been hailed. 59 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Warplanes Kill Dozens Of Afghan Civilians

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20115\30\story_30-5-2011_pg1_3

Agence France-Presse
May 29, 2011

NATO kills dozens of Afghan civilians

KANDAHAR: Afghan authorities said on Sunday that NATO had killed 52 people, mostly civilians, in air strikes against Taliban as violence picked up in recent weeks with the start of the fighting season.

In the southern province of Helmand, local authorities said at least 14 civilians, including women and children, were killed and six injured in an air raid. US Marines in Helmand’s Nawzad district called in air support after their base came under attack from small arms fire, the provincial government said in a statement.

“During the airstrike, two civilian houses were targeted which killed 14 civilians and six others were wounded,” it said. The statement said the dead included five girls, seven boys and two women.

….

Aslam, a local elder of Nawzad district, told AFP he “lost 12 relatives while 10 others including children were injured” in the air strike.

Separately, the governor of Nuristan on Sunday told AFP that 18 civilians and 20 police were killed by “friendly fire” during US-led air strikes against Taliban in his troubled northeastern province.

====

Afghan Officials: NATO Air Strike Kills At Least 12 Children, Four Women

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110529/164299150.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 29, 2011

NATO air strike kills 16 civilians in south Afghanistan

Kabul: A NATO air strike has killed 16 and wounded another six civilians in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, an employee of the provincial governor’s press service who preferred to stay anonymous told RIA Novosti on Sunday.

“By now it is clear that the air strike delivered with Hellfire rockets on houses killed seven girls, five boys and four women who were within the firing range. Not a single Taliban militant has been found on the site of the air strike,” the employee said.

…NATO troops…summoned warplanes for support and the air strike destroyed almost completely the village…the employee said.

It is hard to give the exact figure of victims among the civilians as the police and the local construction company are continuing their work to clear the debris and retrieve dead bodies from the rubble. The exact number of victims is expected to be given by Monday, he said.

….

—————————————————————————

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/29/us-afghanistan-civilians-idUSTRE74S0M720110529

Reuters
May 29, 2011

Afghans say NATO air strike kills 12 children, two women

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan: An air strike called in by NATO-led troops in southern Afghanistan killed 12 children and two women, Afghan officials said on Sunday, one of the worst civilian death tolls by foreign forces in months.

….

“ISAF’s air strike took place on two civilian houses. Unfortunately 14 innocent civilians were killed and six civilians wounded,” the Helmand governor’s statement said.

It said seven boys, five girls and two women were among the dead. Three children were among the six wounded, it said.

An ISAF spokesman in Kabul said: “We are aware of the reports that alleged civilians were killed yesterday in Helmand.” He said an assessment team had been sent to the area and would issue its findings shortly.

….

On Saturday, Karzai ordered the Defense Ministry to take control of so-called “night raids,” saying Afghan troops should be carrying out the sensitive operations themselves.

Afghans say the raids, carried out in darkness on houses suspected of harboring insurgents, often lead to civilian casualties.

Residents and local officials from Helmand’s Nawzad district, where the air strike took place, said the attack began at around 11 p.m. local time (0630 GMT) on Friday night.

Bereaved male relatives cradled the bodies of several young children on Sunday, who were wrapped in bloody sheets and placed side to side, and brought them in the back of a truck to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, Reuters pictures showed.

“My house was bombarded in the middle of the night and my children were killed … the Taliban were far away from my home, why was my house bombed?” relative Noor Agha told Reuters.

The NATO air strike comes at a time of high anti-Western sentiment in Afghanistan and days after deadly protests by thousands of people against a night raid by NATO troops in which four people, including two women, were killed.

Twelve people were killed during those violent protests and clashes with police in usually peaceful northern Takhar province and more 80 were wounded.

In February, four days of joint operations by Afghan and foreign troops killed 64 civilians in the eastern Kunar province, including many women and children.

That assault followed a NATO rocket attack last July which killed 39 civilians, almost all women or children, in Helmand.

….

Despite the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops, violence in Afghanistan last year reached its deadliest phase since U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001, with record casualties on all sides. This year is following a similar trend.

….

(Writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Paul Tait)

—————————————————————————

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/14-Civilians-Killed-in-NATO-Airstrike-in-Afghanistan-122793729.html

Voice of America News
May 29, 2011

At Least 14 Civilians Killed in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan

Officials in southern Afghanistan say a NATO airstrike has killed 14 civilians – all women and children.

Authorities say six people were also wounded Sunday in the strike in Nawzad district of Helmand province.

The provincial governor’s office says two civilian homes were hit in the attack, killing two women, five girls and seven boys.

A NATO spokesman says he is aware of the reports of civilian casualties. He said a joint assessment team has been sent to the site and the coalition will release additional information later.

….

Elsewhere Saturday, coalition troops killed an armed woman during a raid on a compound in eastern Khost province. The alliance said coalition forces discovered she was a woman after killing her.

====

Afghan President Gives NATO Final Warning Over Civilian Deaths

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/29/president-gives-isaf-final-warning-over-civilian-deaths

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 29, 2011

President gives ISAF final warning over civilian deaths

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai issued a final warning to NATO-led troops over civilian deaths on Sunday – hours after 14 non-combatants were killed in a new airstrike in southern Helmand province.

The fatalities resulting from the raid in the Nawzad district included women and children, said the governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi. Governor Gulab Mangal, condemning the casualties, said a team had been set up to investigate the raid.

President Karzai strongly denounced the latest instance of collateral damage, his office said in a statement. “The US and ISAF forces have been told repeatedly that their irresponsible operations are harming innocent and poor Afghans.”

The statement added: “Although such raids trample all human and moral values, NATO-led forces seem not to heed our warnings,” the president was quoted as saying.

On behalf of Afghans, Karzai issued a final warning to foreign soldiers and condemned the Helmand strike as a blunder. He directed the provincial authorities to probe the raid and compensate the victims’ families.

Meanwhile, a statement from the NATO-led force said that it was aware of the reports alleging civilian casualties in Doab district of Nuristan and Nawzad town of Helmand.

….

====

U.S. To Modernize Its Nuclear Weapons In Europe

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/29/50969493.html

Voice of Russia
May 29, 2011

US to upgrade its nuclear arsenal in Europe

The US government plans to modernize its atomic weapons arsenal in Europe, Spiegel Online reports.

The refurbishment will affect B61-4 bombs. The newly built bombs, labeled B61-12, will be based at a German air force base in the southwestern city of Buechel.

Technical developments will start next year and are expected to be completed by 2017.

The US initiative may however be opposed by Germany’s government.

The country`s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had earlier urged for a complete withdrawal of US atomic bombs from German territory.

====

Bulgarian Defense Minister To NATO: Need U.S. Interceptor Missiles

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=128698

Sofia News Agency
May 29, 2011

Bulgaria Under Ballistic Threat, Needs Missile Shield
Defense

-Angelov…touched on the need to develop a specific mechanism for activating Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which mandates that an attack against a member state be considered as a attack against all NATO members.

Bulgaria is located close to countries that might pose a ballistic threat to NATO members, according to Bulgarian Minister of Defense Anyu Angelov.

Angelov spoke Sunday in Varna, where the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO is taking place over the weekend.

The Bulgarian Defense Minister stressed the need for the projected NATO missile shield, and said the country is ready to house facilities for the shield.

….

In his speech, Angelov also touched on the need to develop a specific mechanism for activating Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which mandates that an attack against a member state be considered as a attack against all NATO members.

“We cannot let any NATO member veto Article 5 in case there is aggression against another member,” stated the Bulgarian Minister of Defense.

In his address, Angelov presented the reforms carried out within the Bulgarian military, and underscored the role of the national parliaments in Northern-Atlantic cooperation.

====

Bulgaria: 2,500 U.S. Troops, Tank Exercises At New Base

http://www.khl.com/magazines/international-cranes-and-specialized-transport/detail/item64317/Military-support-from-Potain/

KHL Group
May 25, 2011

Military support from Potain
by Euan Youdale

Twelve Potain self erecting tower cranes and Grove all terrain cranes shared the majority of lifting work on a €50 million (US$70 million) redevelopment of a remote military training base in Bulgaria.

The cranes had to travel more than 400 km from the Sofia headquarters of Manitowoc dealer Euromarket Group, Bulgaria’s largest supplier of construction equipment. Once at the project, the cranes frequently moved to cover a range of jobs over the base’s 144 square km area.

The Novo Selo Training Range supports on site military activities that include a shooting range for tanks as well as training areas for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare.

….

Novo Selo is used by the Bulgarian military and occasionally US troops. Redevelopment of the base is being overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The new buildings will cater for some 2,500 soldiers and should be in operation by 2012.

====

New Strategic Concept: NATO Must Back Arab “Revolutions,” Train Armies

http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/05/29/1096796_nato-must-send-clear-message-of-support-to-revolutions-in-middle-east-and-north-africa-bulgarias-fm-says

Sofia Echo
May 29, 2011

Nato must send clear message of support to revolutions in Middle East and North Africa, Bulgaria’s FM says

-[T]he key messages of the new strategic concept were to maintain the military character of the alliance, a focus on shared capabilities, missile defence, energy security and an “open door” to Nato.

The revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa are rebellions against corruption and a cry for democracy, and Nato must send a clear message of support to the people in those countries, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov told the Nato Parliamentary Assembly in Varna.

Mladenov was speaking on the theme “New Strategic Concept of Nato, new partnerships, new challenges: the view from Bulgaria”.

He said that the key messages of the new strategic concept were to maintain the military character of the alliance, a focus on shared capabilities, missile defence, energy security and an “open door” to Nato.

Mladenov said that if the EU and Nato did not support changes in the Middle East, they would simply witness the fulfillment of all the gloomy predictions about Islamisation and a clash of civilisations.

“So Nato has a historical responsibility,” Mladenov said.

Nato could do much to help those countries by drawing on the vast experience that it had accumulated in reforming the security sector to ensure transparency and transformation.

“We do not intend to lead their armies, but to help them to transform them,” he said.

On Libya, Mladenov said that a political solution had to be sought, but it could not include Muammar Gaddafi staying in power.

….

Mladenov reiterated Bulgaria’s wish to be included in the coverage offered by the missile defence shield and said that as a Nato member state, Bulgaria would participate in the development of the shield, but added that it was premature to discuss where the shield would be located.

====

Report: Sweden Could Join NATO War With Russia Over The Baltics

http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/interview/?doc=41239

Baltic Course
May 23, 2011

Sweden: What would happen if Russia attacked the Baltics?
Juhan Tere

Tallinn: The Royal Swedish Academy of War has prepared a study on how to act if Russia attacked the Baltic States, the Estonian newspaper Ohtulet reports, in reference to story from the Finnish broadcasting service YLE.

The study was prepared by the Royal Swedish Academy of War, which means it is not the official position of the Swedish government, informs LETA.

According to the study, if Russia were to attack the Baltics, it would happen suddenly and the attack would be very swift. Reinforcements would be deployed to Russia’s western borders, and according to Swedish military experts, Russia would not need much time to organize an invasion. The Swedish experts are confident that it would take Russia only about two weeks to double the number of soldiers on its western borders.

The study also points out that NATO would counter the Russian attack from the air, and Sweden would permit the participation of its fighters in such an operation. The study also emphasizes that it is not part of NATO’s defense plans for the Baltics, but only a possible model of how Sweden would react to a hypothetical war with Russia, taking into account NATO’s overall strategy.

NATO’s nightmare – Russia’s nuclear weapons – are deployed near the borders of the alliance….

====

Estonia: Push For NATO Nordic-Baltic Cyber Warfare Force

http://news.err.ee/politics/bd766f96-444c-43a6-acfa-edb53924a0b6

Estonian Public Broadcasting
May 24, 2011

Defense Minister Proposes Nordic-Baltic Cyber Force

At a meeting in Brussels, Defense Minister Mart Laar proposed to his Baltic and Nordic counterparts the formation of a joint cyber security unit.

….

The cyber defense unit would act as an advisory agency for conflict areas and would assist countries in building infrastructure, according to Laar’s plan.

More in-depth discussions will take place at the next meeting of the Nordic and Baltic defense ministers, to be held in Stockhom in November.

Having already launched an IT unit in the Defense League – a voluntary military reserve force – the former defense minister, Jaak Aaviksoo, proposed in January the initiation of a military draft specializing in cyber defense….

NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence already resides in Tallinn. The headquarters of the EU’s IT security agency – housing the Schengen information center and a large-scale fingerprint database – will begin operations in 2012.

====

Obama Visit: Strengthening Pentagon, NATO Roles In Poland

http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/25128,Pres-Komorowski-heralds-new-chapter-in-PolishAmerican-relations

Polish Radio
May 29, 2011

Pres Komorowski heralds new chapter in Polish-American relations

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has said that the visit by US President Barack Obama has opened a ‘new stage in Polish-American relations’.

In an interview for the TVN24 news channel, President Komorowski spoke of the real chance to meet Warsaw’s expectations concerning a US military presence in Poland, saying that an agreement on the establishment of an American aviation detachment in Poland will be signed.

….

Within NATO, Poland could play an important role in lobbying for strengthening Trans-Atlantic ties, Komorowski said, although conceded that the views of Warsaw and Washington are not shared by all members of NATO and the European Union.

According to Janusz Reiter, Poland’s former ambassador to the United States, President Obama’s visit is very important for Poland’s image on the global stage.

Obama’s visit served to remind the world public opinion of Poland’s peaceful transformation to democracy in 1989, an experience that could be a model for countries in Eastern Europe and the Arab world, Richter maintains.

Meanwhile, Andrew Michta, head of the newly-opened Warsaw office of the German Marshall Fund, told Polish Radio that even though no agreements were signed, President Obama’s visit has brought concrete results.

“There is talk of a new formula to ease the visa regime for Poles and how to finalise the stationing of F-16s and C-17s in Poland,” Michta said, adding that “a new normalcy” is being built in Polish-US relations, based on the transformations of the past two decades and on the recognition of Poland as a medium-size country which has a growing importance in Europe.

====

Encircling Russia With U.S. Bases

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

May 29, 2011

Encircling Russia with US Bases
by Stephen Lendman

In 1991, after the Soviet Union dissolved, everything changed but stayed the same. As a result, today’s stakes are far greater, presenting much larger threats to world peace.

In America, neocons are still dominant. Obama is more belligerent than Bush, waging four wars and various proxy ones. The Israeli Lobby, Christian Right, and other extremist elements drive them. Conflict is preferred over diplomacy.

Congressional majorities support Washington’s imperial agenda, including global militarization against potential challengers and America’s main rivals – China and Russia, encircling them belligerently with bases and strategic weapons. It’s a policy fraught with danger.

NATO has 28 member states, including 10 former Soviet Republics and Warsaw Pact countries. Prospective new candidates include Georgia, Ukraine, and potentially others later to more tightly encircle Russia and China.

At the same time, the Middle East and parts of Eurasia have been increasingly militarized with a network of US bases from Qatar to Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond – a clear breach of GHW Bush’s promise to Mikhail Gorbachev that paved the way for unifying Germany in 1990 and dissolving the Soviet Union.

Washington’s promises, of course, aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, a hard lesson many nations later learn painfully.

Moreover, the Pentagon has an expanding network of 1,000 or more global bases, including secret and shared ones for greater control. In fact, at a time no nation threatens America, trillions of dollars are spent anyway for what military planners call “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.

Encroaching Belligerently Near Russia’s Borders

In late summer 2009, Obama suspended Bush administration plans for interceptor missiles in Poland and advanced tracking radar in the Czech Republic, both NATO members. Purportedly targeting Iran and other “rogue states,” they, in fact, very much aimed at Russia, what new ones will do when installed.

At issue is assuring first strike capability, preventing or diminishing retaliation if America attacks Russia or China, a potentially catastrophic possibility under any scenario, but especially if nuclear war erupts.

For now, according to Obama, Washington will pursue “stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies,” including Poland and the Czech Republic. Tactics alone may change, not hardline imperial policies.

Last September [2009], Defense Secretary Gates explained a four-phase missile shield plan, including deploying Aegis class warships in the Eastern Mediterranean equipped with SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles and anti-satellite interceptors, followed by upgraded land and sea versions when available.

Moreover, stationing SM-3s in Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland were announced. Last summer, in fact, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors and about 100 US troops were sent to eastern Poland, close to Russia’s Kaliningrad region, 200 miles from its border.

This same capability was installed in the Persian Gulf, including supplying regional allies with longer range Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile systems, the strategy being to have in place impenetrable interceptors from the Baltic to the Arabian, Black and Red Seas.

In addition, a warning system is planned for the Czech Republic and other countries as well as centrally controlled missile interceptors – from Southern and Eastern Europe through the Middle East to close to Russia’s borders, too close perhaps for comfort.

Instead of abandoning Bush’s scheme, Obama’s plans a far more extensive, sophisticated, flexible, mobile system to be developed through 2020. Included is nearly doubling the number of Aegis class warships to 38 by 2015, equipped with state-of-the-art missile interceptors.

As a result, America’s front line capability will shift from Eastern Germany through the Middle East to the Black Sea and other strategic waterways to the Caucasus and Russia proper, encroaching on Moscow with new Eastern European bases in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

It represents the most significant US presence there since WW II. Currently, only limited troop numbers are involved up to 150 or so permanently, but expect an expanded presence ahead.

Last March, in fact, Secretary of State Clinton said Washington will deploy missile interceptor elements and F-16s in Poland. Russia expressed concern, Dmitry Rogozin, its permanent NATO representative, saying US plans complicate dialogue regarding creating a joint European anti-ballistic missile system, adding:

“Mrs. Clinton’s statement contradicts the foundational relationship (between the) Russian Federation and NATO signed in 1997, (stipulating) that NATO must not strengthen the military structure close to the borders of Russia.”

A Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement also expressed concern, saying:

“We have known about plans regarding (an) anti-ballistic missiles system long ago and we plan to (react in response) in the network of the EuroABM project. As for the idea of (US) Air Force base deployment, it requires an additional explanation.”

In late April, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reacted as well, saying:

“The expansion of NATO infrastructure towards our borders is causing us concern. 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 defense structure,” but it’s acting aggressively.

In a post-G-8 Summit press conference, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said:

“I am not satisfied with the American side’s reaction to my proposals and with NATO’s reaction in general. Why? Because we are wasting time. Even though I spoke about the year 2020 yesterday as a deadline, (the) year when the construction of a four-stage system of the so-called adaptive approach ends. After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real arms race will begin.”

Perhaps much sooner as he’s gotten no assurances that Russia isn’t being targeted. As a result, he added:

“When we ask for the name of the countries that the shield is aimed at, we get silence. When we ask if the country has missiles (able to strike Europe), the answer is no.”

So “who has those type of missiles” interceptors wish to deter? “We do. So we can only think that this system is being aimed against us.”

He and other Russian officials worry about it expanding to Ukraine and Georgia with missile interceptors, attack aircraft, and US troops on its borders, threatening its security.

Obama in Poland

On May 28, Obama met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, discussing, among other issues, reaffirming a US military presence with “American boots on the ground,” including a permanent aerial detachment of F-16s and C-130 transport planes.

White House national security official Liz Sherwood-Randall said:

“What we will be doing is rotating trainers and aircraft to Poland so they can become more inter-operable with NATO. It will be a small permanent presence on the ground and then a rotational presence that will be more substantial.”

On May 28, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said:

“To the east of the Oder River (dividing Germany and Poland), American forces will appear, and this at a time when America is reducing its overall military presence in Europe.”

In fact, redeployment with interceptor missiles, other offensive weapons, and boots on the ground close to Russia’s borders, not reduction, is planned, what clearly has Moscow officials alarmed.

On May 29, however, Obama disingenuously downplayed those concerns, reaffirming mutual defense and inviting Russia to participate in European missile defense plans, saying:

“I am very proud of (America’s) reset process (with Russia). We believe missile defense is something where we can cooperate with Russia….This will not be a threat to the strategic balance.”

Concerned Russian officials very much disagree, Vladimir Putin’s earlier sentiment likely again being discussed.

In February 2007, in response to US planned missile defense then, he said:

“NATO has put its frontline forces on our borders. (It) does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represent a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have a right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?”

At the time, his comments drew a storm of US media Russia bashing, as well as an article by this writer titled, “Reinventing the Evil Empire,” saying:

Russia is back, proud and re-assertive, not about to roll over for America, especially in Eurasia. For Washington, it’s back to the future with a new Cold War, but this time for greater stakes and much larger threats to world peace.

It’s especially true during economic hard times, especially with austerity policies addressing them when social stimulus is needed, provoking spreading discontent for change.

As a result, Western powers may invent threats to distract people, waging greater war for imperial dominance, Russia and China perhaps directly threatened this time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

====

Twelve Years Later: Unexploded NATO Bomb Found Near Serbian Factory

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n250971

Focus News Agency
May 30, 2011

Unexploded NATO projectile discovered during reconstruction work in Serbia

-During the NATO bombing campaign of Yugoslavia, the Zastava facilities were targeted on two separate occasions, unleashing more than 30 missiles.

Belgrade: Workers reconstructing a section of the Fiat automobile complex in the central Serbian city of Kragujevac discovered an unexploded projectile, dating from the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, Xinhua informs.

The projectile was uncovered by a bulldozer operator, digging up a section of a parking lot near the entrance of one of the buildings in the original Zastava automobile complex. Fiat purchased the damaged and largely defunct company in 2010. Police cordoned off the area.

According to Bojan Tomic, head of the Emergency Services in Kragujevac, an expert team is scheduled to arrive on Monday to identify the projectile and to determine how best to deactivate or dispose of the unexploded ordnance.

During the NATO bombing campaign of Yugoslavia, the Zastava facilities were targeted on two separate occasions, unleashing more than 30 missiles.

On the evening between April 8 and 9, 1999, the truck plant and the auto assembly facility sustained significant damage. On Easter, a few days later, the forge, paint shop, an administrative building and tool crib storage facility were completely destroyed.

====

Crete Hosts 13-Nation, Three-Week NATO Naval Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60680

U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
May 29, 2011

Greek Special Forces Instructor Brings Experience to Phoenix Express 2011
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jeff Troutman, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

SOUDA BAY, Crete: Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11), a three-week exercise bringing together 13 different countries that began May 23, combines a vast array of military training and knowledge from all participants in an effort to deter illicit trafficking at sea.

One Special Forces military member from the Greek navy is sharing more than 20 years of his experience with PE-11 participants.

Ens. Alexander Tsaltas, a Greek Special Forces officer who is an instructor at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) here, moved to Crete….His position at NMIOTC gave him the unique opportunity to share 21 years of experience in the Greek military – with 16 of those years in the Special Forces – with other militaries from countries all over the world.

….

====

Categories: Uncategorized

George Santayana on war and militarism

May 29, 2011 1 comment

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

====

George Santayana
From Reason and Society (1905)

*****

A military class is…always recalling, foretelling, and meditating war; it fosters artificial and senseless jealousies toward other governments that possess armies; and finally, as often as not, it precipitates disaster by bringing about the objectless struggle on which it has set its heart.

Since barbarism has its pleasures it naturally has its apologists. There are panegyrists of war who say that without a periodical bleeding a race decays and loses its manhood. Experience is directly opposed to this shameless assertion.

To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.

[T]he panegyrist of war places himself on the lowest level on which a moralist or patriot can stand and shows as great a want of refined feeling as of right reason. For the glories of war are all blood-stained, delirious, and infected with crime; the combative instinct is a savage prompting by which one man’s good is found in another’s evil.

*****

An army, considered ideally, is an organ for the state’s protection; but it is far from being such in its origin, since at first an army is nothing but a ravenous and lusty horde quartered in a conquered country; yet the cost of such an incubus may come to be regarded as an insurance against further attack, and so what is in its real basis an inevitable burden resulting from a chance balance of forces may be justified in after-thought as a rational device for defensive purposes. Such an ulterior justification has nothing to do, however, with the causes that maintain armies or military policies: and accordingly those virginal minds that think things originated in the uses they may have acquired, have frequent cause to be pained and perplexed at the abuses and over-development of militarism.

An insurance capitalised may exceed the value of the property insured, and the drain caused by armies and navies may be much greater than the havoc they prevent. The evils against which they are supposed to be directed are often evils only in a cant and conventional sense, since the events deprecated (like absorption by a neighbouring state) might be in themselves no misfortune to the people, but perhaps a singular blessing.

And those dreaded possibilities, even if really evil, may well be less so than is the hateful actuality of military taxes, military service, and military arrogance.

Their action irresponsible.

Nor is this all: the military classes, since they inherit the blood and habits of conquerors, naturally love war and their irrational combativeness is reinforced by interest; for in war officers can shine and rise, while the danger of death, to a brave man, is rather a spur and a pleasing excitement than a terror. A military class is therefore always recalling, foretelling, and meditating war; it fosters artificial and senseless jealousies toward other governments that possess armies; and finally, as often as not, it precipitates disaster by bringing about the objectless struggle on which it has set its heart.

Pugnacity human.

These natural phenomena, unintelligently regarded as anomalies and abuses, are the appanage of war in its pristine and proper form.

*****

Victory, no doubt, has its fruits for the victor. If fighting were not a possible means of livelihood the bellicose instinct could never have established itself in any long-lived race. A few men can live on plunder, just as there is room in the world for some beasts of prey; other men are reduced to living on industry, just as there are diligent bees, ants, and herbivorous kine.

But victory need have no good fruits for the people whose army is victorious. That it sometimes does so is an ulterior and blessed circumstance hardly to be reckoned upon.

Barrack-room philosophy.

Since barbarism has its pleasures it naturally has its apologists. There are panegyrists of war who say that without a periodical bleeding a race decays and loses its manhood. Experience is directly opposed to this shameless assertion. It is war that wastes a nation’s wealth, chokes its industries, kills its flower, narrows its sympathies, condemns it to be governed by adventurers….

*****

To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love.

Military virtues.

Military institutions, adventitious and ill-adapted excrescences as they usually are, can acquire rational values in various ways. Besides occasional defence, they furnish a profession congenial to many, and a spectacle and emotion interesting to all. Blind courage is an animal virtue indispensable in a world full of dangers and evils where a certain insensibility and dash are requisite to skirt the precipice without vertigo. Such animal courage seems therefore beautiful rather than desperate or cruel, and being the lowest and most instinctive of virtues it is the one most widely and sincerely admired.

In the form of steadiness under risks rationally taken, and perseverance so long as there is a chance of success, courage is a true virtue; but it ceases to be one when the love of danger, a useful passion when danger is unavoidable, begins to lead men into evils which it was unnecessary to face.

Bravado, provocativeness, and a gambler’s instinct, with a love of hitting hard for the sake of exercise, is a temper which ought already to be counted among the vices rather than the virtues of man. To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.

Discipline, or the habit of obedience, is a better sort of courage which military life also requires. Discipline is the acquired faculty of surrendering an immediate personal good for the sake of a remote and impersonal one of greater value. This difficult wisdom is made easier by training in an army, because the great forces of habit, example and social suasion, are there enlisted in its service. But these natural aids make it lose its conscious rationality, so that it ceases to be a virtue except potentially; for to resist an impulse by force of habit or external command may or may not be to follow the better course.

Besides fostering these rudimentary virtues the army gives the nation’s soul its most festive and flaunting embodiment. Popular heroes, stirring episodes, obvious turning-points in history, commonly belong to military life. They are splendid vices. Nevertheless the panegyrist of war places himself on the lowest level on which a moralist or patriot can stand and shows as great a want of refined feeling as of right reason. For the glories of war are all blood-stained, delirious, and infected with crime; the combative instinct is a savage prompting by which one man’s good is found in another’s evil. The existence of such a contradiction in the moral world is the original sin of nature, whence flows every other wrong. He is a willing accomplice of that perversity in things who delights in another’s discomfiture or in his own, and craves the blind tension of plunging into danger without reason, or the idiot’s pleasure in facing a pure chance. To find joy in another’s trouble is, as man is constituted, not unnatural, though it is wicked; and to find joy in one’s own trouble, though it be madness, is not yet impossible for man. These are the chaotic depths of that dreaming nature out of which humanity has to grow.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 28, 2011

May 28, 2011 1 comment

====

NATO States To Have 80,000 Cruise Missiles, 2,000 Nuclear-Powered, By 2020: Russian Commander

Russian General Warns Of NATO Missile Threat

“Just One Step From Sending In Ground Troops”: British Attack Helicopters Wield “Gruesome” Cluster Bomb Missiles

NATO Commander: Helicopter Gunships To Ramp Up Libyan Attacks

African Leaders Demand NATO Stop Air Strikes Against Libya

NATO Bombards Libyan Capital For Fifth Night In A Row

NATO’s Libyan Air War: 8,595 Sorties, 3,274 Strike Missions

French Warplanes Forced To Land In Malta

Obama In Warsaw: U.S. To Redeploy F-16s To Poland

Pentagon Plan To Muscle Out China: New Scramble For Africa

Afghanistan: 15 NATO Soldiers Killed In Three Days

Three German Soldiers, Afghan General Kill In Bomb Attack

McCain Versus Russia: Arm Georgia, Bring It Into NATO

NATO Only Global Force That Can “Integrate” “Depopulated” Balkans

Sanctions-Obsessed Obama: Belarus Political Leadership “Unacceptable”

====


Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile


Apache Longbow attack helicopter


Mirage F-1


German troops in Afghanistan

====

NATO States To Have 80,000 Cruise Missiles, 2,000 Nuclear-Powered, By 2020: Russian Commander

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110528/164287627.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 28, 2011

West to have 80,000 cruise missiles by 2020 – interview

Mowcow: Russian military experts forecast that Western nations will have 80,000 cruise missile by 2020, a deputy commander of the Russian General Staff said on Saturday.

“We expect Western countries to have at least 80,000 cruise missiles by 2020, including about 2,000 of them nuclear-powered,” Gen. Igor Sheremet said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

He added these missiles are clearly not simply designed for drilling or intimidation purposes.

“They can deliver disarming or even ‘decapitation’ strikes,” Sheremet said.

Hence, he said, the plans to develop Russia’s air and space defense system in 2011 as instructed by President Dmitry Medvedev in November.

The new system will combine the existing air defense and missile defense networks, missile early-warning systems and airspace monitoring systems under a unitified strategic command.

In mid-February, Valery Ivanov, commander of the strategic command of the new air and space defense system, said the system would be set up and start operating by the end of 2011.

The Russian political and military leadership have long considered plans to develop strong missile and space defenses by 2020, but no concrete steps have been taken so far and the country does not even have a well-defined command structure to tackle this problem.

According to one proposal, the unified aerospace defense command will absorb some air defense units which are currently part of the Russian Air Force, and Space Forces units.

The Russian military plans to build a comprehensive air and space defense network consisting of S-400 Triumf and future S-500 air defense systems and the Soviet-era MiG-31 Foxhound supersonic interceptors.

The S-500 system is expected to have an extended range of up to 600 km (over 370 miles) and simultaneously engage up to 10 targets. The system will be capable of destroying hypersonic and ballistic targets.

Russia’s leading missile manufacturer Almaz-Antei said last March that it was developing at least six types of advanced air defense systems to be available for the Russian military in around 2015.

====

Russian General Warns Of NATO Missile Threat

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/05/28/Russian-general-cites-NATO-missile-threat/UPI-79331306605061/

United Press International
May 28, 2011

Russian general cites NATO missile threat

MOSCOW: Russia must upgrade its air defenses because Western powers will have 80,000 cruise missiles by 2020, a senior general said Saturday.

About 2,000 of those missiles will be nuclear, Gen. Igor Sheremet, deputy commander of the general staff, told Ekho Moskvy radio in an interview reported by RIA Novosti.

The NATO missiles will be able to launch “disarming or even decapitation strikes,” he warned.

In November, President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to combine existing air defense and missile defense networks, early-warning systems and airspace monitoring systems under a unified strategic command.

Gen. Valery Ivanov, commander of new force, said in February it will be operating by the end of this year.

Russia’s leading missile manufacturer, Almaz-Antei, has said it will have at least six types of advanced air defense systems ready by 2015.

====

“Just One Step From Sending In Ground Troops”: British Attack Helicopters Wield “Gruesome” Cluster Bomb Missiles

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/05/28/apache-goes-in-to-libya-armed-with-mincer-missile-115875-23161899/

Daily Mirror
May 28, 2011

Libya: Apache goes in armed with “mincer” missile
by Chris Hughes

UK forces are sending in attack helicopters armed with a deadly missile dubbed “the mincer” in a bid to oust Colonel Gaddafi.

….

Last night a senior Whitehall source said the deployment was “just one step from sending in ground troops”.

The Apache boasts “the mincer” – a ­gruesome anti-personnel missile containing 80 5in-long steel darts called flechettes.

It opens up as it screams towards the target zone and the darts, right, are blasted out of the missile at subsonic speed.

The two-man 205mph war machines are heavily armoured against small arms and rocket fire but will run high-risk missions against fighters and tanks hidden in cities.

Prince Harry recently qualified as an Apache pilot and they are one of the ­deadliest air-to-ground weapons.

Nato has also confirmed French Tiger attack choppers will also be sent in alongside the Apaches in a bid to launch precision attacks on Gaddafi’s forces.

Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday spurned offers of international help to bring an early end to the three-month campaign in Libya. Russian President Dimitry Medvedev reportedly said he was willing to mediate to hasten Gaddafi’s exit.

But Mr Cameron rejected the proposal at the G8 summit of world leaders in Deauville, France. Mr Cameron also refused to say how much the military operation had so far cost the British taxpayer, despite claims that the bill had now topped £400million.

Chancellor George Osborne said the cost would only be tens of millions of pounds, rather than hundreds of millions. Mr Cameron said yesterday: “There have been various offers to mediate and I don’t particularly recognise the Russian offer from Medvedev. I think the most important thing is to send a message back down the pipe – Gaddafi has to go.”

….

The PM and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy are planning a joint visit to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi shortly.

Mr Cameron told the summit yesterday that the war was entering a “new phase” with a more intense bombardment….

He said there was a growing “momentum” to the Nato campaign and a sense “the regime is very much on the back foot”.

….

====

NATO Commander: Helicopter Gunships To Ramp Up Libyan Attacks

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/27/c_13897806.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 28, 2011

NATO commander says attack helicopters arrive “timely”

BRUSSELS: The commander of NATO’s mission in Libya on Friday welcomed French and British helicopter contribution, saying it will ramp up the alliance’s targeting power against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

“I consider their arrival timely … (They will provide) additional capability to pinpoint exactly those that are much more difficult to see from high altitude,” Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard said via video conference from Naples, Italy.

The helicopters, with higher precision than fighter jets, will be operated under NATO’s command and control, the commander said.

“We are still in the process of developing their capabilities. And they will be brought into action as soon as they are ready,” he said.

The British government said Friday that it was ready to deploy attack helicopters in Libya along with France, which has confirmed the contribution of around a dozen Tiger helicopters.

….

====

African Leaders Demand NATO Stop Air Strikes Against Libya

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/en_us/noticias/africa/2011/4/21/African-Leaders-Urge-Nato-Stop-Airstrikes,fae2e87e-956c-4bc0-8f18-4572b61fa2e3.html

Angola Press
May 28, 2011

African Leaders Urge Nato to Stop Airstrikes

Addis Ababa: The Africa Union (AU) security summit ended today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, calling for an outright end to NATO-led air strikes on Libya.

The 53 state bloc also said the air strikes in Libya have gone beyond the range of the UN resolutions mandated to protect civilians.

“As far as NATO air strikes are concerned, you will see a clear call by heads of state and government for those air strikes to come to an end,” said Ramtane Lamamra, the AU’s Peace and Security Commissioner on Wednesday.

“This is part of the requirement for political solutions to become possible,” he said, adding, “The African Union shares the belief that what is taking place now goes beyond the scope of [UN resolutions] 1970 and 1973.”

AU calls come as Libya’s government proposed a new ceasefire and offered fresh talks with rebels.

Participants in the summit denounced the direct military intervention of western powers and accused the UN Security Council of double standards in their approach to resolutions to different conflicts.

The AU Commission chief, Jean Ping, while addressing 37 heads of states at the opening of the summit on Wednesday, noted that some international players have been undermining the continent’s attempts to resolve the conflict

Some international players seem to be denying Africa any significant role in the search for a solution to the Libyan conflict,” he said adding “Africa is not going to be reduced to the status of an observer of its own calamities” said Ping.

The two day assembly was held on account of the decision out of the 275th meeting of the UN Peace and Security Council on 26 April and has assessed the state of the security, challenges and crises facing the continent.

….

NATO took command of the air campaign on 31 March

====

NATO Bombards Libyan Capital For Fifth Night In A Row

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1883163.html

Trend News Agency/Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 28, 2011

NATO conducts fifth night of airstrikes on Tripoli

NATO carried out airstrikes on Libya’s capital, Tripoli, for the fifth straight night late Friday and early Saturday, news reports said.

State television said several explosions were heard and smoke was seen rising above the city, dpa reported.

The targets of the attack were not immediately known.

NATO has launched more than 8,000 sorties in its air campaign, which began in late March….

The renewed airstrikes followed a Group of Eight meeting in France Friday, at which the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States said, “Gaddafi and the Libyan government have failed to fulfil their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy.”

“He must go,” they said.

US President Barack Obama also said the NATO airstrikes would not end until the Libyan leader was ousted from power.

====

NATO’s Libyan Air War: 8,595 Sorties, 3,274 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110528_110528-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 28, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8595 sorties, including 3274 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 May:

151 Strike sorties conducted 27 May: 45

….

Embargo Activities

A total of 20 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

8 Vessels were hailed on 27 May to determine destination and cargo.

2 boardings (nodenials) were conducted.A total of 1068 vessels have been hailed.58 boardings and 7 denials have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

French Warplanes Forced To Land In Malta

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iH2FcnW0ePrgTDvo0q2iDlUZ3j8Q?docId=CNG.3e52658d1fdbadff778404c0f022f256.a61

Agence France-Presse
May 28, 2011

French Mirages on Libya mission forced to land in Malta

VALLETTA: Two French Mirage F1 fighter planes taking part in NATO’s Libya bombing campaign were forced to make an emergency landing in Malta on Saturday after running short of fuel, aviation authorities said.

It is the fourth time since April that a pair of French Mirages has had to land in the Mediterranean island as a result of fuel problems.

A French Navy Dassault Super Etendard bomber aborted operations over Libya last Sunday and requested permission to make an emergency landing in Malta because of the strong winds.

====

Obama In Warsaw: U.S. To Redeploy F-16s To Poland

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/28/50954563.html

Voice of Russia
May 28, 2011

US Air Force detachment for Poland

In the period to July 2013, the US Air Force will redeploy 16 F16 fighter bombers and Hercules transport jets from a NATO airbase in Italy to an airfield near Las in Poland.

The announcement comes after a Warsaw meeting between President Obama and the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

—————————————————————————

Agence France-Presse
May 27, 2011

Poland To Host U.S. F-16 Rotations: Official

WARSAW: U.S. F-16 fighter jets and Hercules transport aircraft will be deployed in Poland on a rotating basis while a U.S. aviation detachment will be permanently stationed there, a senior U.S. adviser said May 27 as President Obama arrived in the country.

“We are going to announce tomorrow the conclusion of the agreement to establish an aviation detachment in Poland that will allow for our two air forces to cooperate in training the Poles to utilize the American aircraft that they purchased, F-16 and (Hercules) C-130,” Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a senior adviser for European affairs on the National Security Council told reporters. “What we will be doing is rotating trainers and aircraft to Poland so that they can become more interoperable with NATO….”

Ahead of the visit, officials in Warsaw had expressed hope it would bring a deal for the permanent stationing of a U.S. Air Force technical ground crew at a Polish F-16 base, as well as training rotations of U.S. F-16 fighters and Hercules transport aircraft as of 2013.

Last year saw the first three rotations of unarmed training batteries of U.S. Patriot missiles in Poland, a move that also sparked Russia’s ire. Four rotations are planned this year.

====

Pentagon Plan To Muscle Out China: New Scramble For Africa

http://www.southerntimesafrica.com/article.php?title=The_new_scramble_for_Africa&id=5993

Southern Times
May 27, 2011

The new scramble for Africa
By Tirivangani Masawi

Windhoek: Southern Africa has become the battle ground for a new scramble for resources, with the United States seeking to muscle out Chinese influence so as to secure strategic minerals – mainly for its military.

More frightening is the possibility of the US military itself becoming involved in securing these strategic minerals within the next 20 years.

According to a study by Dr Stephen Burgess, a Zimbabwean-born associate professor at the US Air War College, Washington may have to enlist the services of the Department of Defence, the National Security Agency and the Africa Command (AFRICOM) to secure Southern Africa’s resources.

His study, titled ‘Sustainability of Strategic Minerals in Southern Africa and Potential Conflicts and Partnerships’, says the US should move quickly to secure Southern Africa’s uranium, manganese, platinum, chrome, cobalt and rare earth minerals for America’s industrial needs and for its military as well as maintenance of weapons systems.

The study focuses on resource accessibility in the DRC, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and draws parallels with the 1880s scramble for Africa.

To triumph in this new scramble, Burgess notes, ‘all instruments of (US) power’ must be deployed.

Burgess visited all these countries – except Zimbabwe – and makes recommendations on how the US can muscle out China.

He interviewed mining sector experts, government officials and journalists as part of his research.

There were also consultations with American institutions such as the Defence National Stock Pile Centre, the Defence Logistics Agency and the Marine Corps Command.

A note in the study indicates that it has nothing to do with the US Air War College, raising the possibility that Burgess was working as a consultant for Washington.

‘Southern Africa contains strategic minerals, which the USA and its allies require for industrial purposes and that militaries need for production and sustainment of weapons systems.

‘The principal sustainability challenge in SADC for the USA and its allies is uncertain access to strategic minerals.

‘The cause of this challenge is increasing global demand and supply shortages caused by inadequate infrastructure, politicization of the mining industry and China’s aggressive and sometimes monopolistic behaviour in pursuit of minerals.

‘The challenge is most acute in two Southern African countries – South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – and also growing in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

‘Of particular concern is possible future conflict between the United States, which needs strategic minerals for national defence and other purposes, and China, which needs an increasing amount of resources to fuel its accelerating industrialization.

‘There is a rising scramble for and struggle over resources in Africa, especially in petroleum and mining economies.

‘In particular, the US government is concerned about access to ‘defence critical resources’. This requires increased levels of engagement with the African countries concerned, using all the instruments of American power and working with American and Western mining companies, as well as engagement with China and Chinese companies.

‘In the future, a ‘worst-case’ scenario might see the United States having to use coercive diplomacy in the not-too-distant future (perhaps in 10-20 years) in order to regain access to vital resources.

‘The onset of ‘resource wars’ has been predicted by a number of scholars and experts. Given the rising level of Chinese demand for resources, the probability of conflict is likely to rise.

‘The new scramble for African mineral resources (and petroleum) is most similar to the 19th century European scramble for African minerals and land that contributed to interstate conflict, especially the First World War.’

The ever-strengthening Sino-Africa ties are a major headache for the US and Washington must move quickly or else conflict will become unavoidable.

‘The United States produces a range of materials from strategic minerals, including warships, aircraft, and high tech devices and components.

‘Thus far, the United States and its allies have relied on free market forces in Southern Africa and elsewhere. However, US and allied industries may not always have access in the future and may have to reduce output or even close. For example, a worrisome problem has been Chinese control of production of more than 90 percent of rare earth minerals.

‘Recently, Chinese companies withheld them from Japan over the Senkaku/Daioyu Islands dispute and threatening to withhold them from the United States over arms sales to Taiwan.

‘The minerals are the ingredients in key components in communications devices, satellites, and electric fuel cells and batteries that US industry and the military require.’

Burgess says liberation movements (ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, ANC in South Africa and SWAPO in Namibia) are politicizing the mining sector to the detriment of free marketeering and this will pose a serious challenge to the US. Issues of black economic empowerment and nationalization of mining feature prominently.

‘The free market and government taxation of mining profits have tended to provide optimal conditions for states and industry and maintain a steady flow of minerals to meet demand. However politicization has occurred in the form of nationalisation of the mining industry and the intervention of black empowerment companies which have tended to disrupt the market and flow of minerals.’

The DRC, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe all have – or in the process of implementing – policies that will see greater indigenous participation in mining.

• South Africa

South Africa is targeted for its vast platinum resources which stand at about 75 percent of global production, as well as its vast manganese deposits.

‘South African President Jacob Zuma and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu have said that nationalization is not currently part of government policy.

‘However, this does not guarantee it will not be part of government policy in the not-too-distant future. The ANC Youth League managed to get nationalization onto the agenda of the governing party’s September 2010 meeting, fuelling investor worries.

‘Nationalization of South African mines has been given renewed prominence by the ANC Youth League, which in 2009 issued a discussion paper arguing for state control of 60 percent of new mines.’

• Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC is viewed as a source to quench America’s thirst for cobalt, uranium, coltan (columbite and tantalum), tungsten, tin, and rare earth minerals.

The study says Gecamines, the state miner, has too much control of mining and appears to favour dealing with China over the West.

• Zambia

Zambia’s cobalt constitutes 20 percent of global deposits and it is second only to the DRC.

Again, emphasis is on Beijing’s growing presence in Zambia through integrated firms such as the China Railway Group, SinoHydro and the Metallurgical Group Corporation.

• Namibia

Naturally, America’s interest here is in uranium and there is unease about the activities of the recently created state miner, Epangelo.

Namibia’s Cabinet recently said all future mining of strategic minerals should be done in partnership with Epangelo.

Namibia is the fourth largest producer of uranium and global demand is rising faster than the demand for gold.

‘The recently established state owned mining company, Epangelo has virtually no capital and may look to Russian and Chinese companies for support.

‘Kalahari Holdings (a SWAPO firm) are … looking for uranium prospects and joined ventures, possibly with the Chinese and Russian companies.

‘In the long run the politisization of the mining sector could divert uranium to China.’

Recommendations

‘One measure the United States could take is to assist South Africa in developing beneficiation. US aid could help to develop local mineral processing and metal manufacturing and assist South Africa in developing sufficient electricity to power such ventures.

‘In addition, the United States could negotiate off-take agreements with South Africa and provide assistance to benefit local mining communities.

‘The United States could encourage American mining companies to reengage in South Africa and work with Australian, Canadian and South African companies that are committed to the free market.

‘Also, the US government could step up strategic communications, broadcasting Chinese abuses and dissuading forces in the ANC and SWAPO from moving their governments closer to China.’

Burgess goes further.

‘In order to shape the region to maintain the free market, there are a number of actions that the United States and its allies might take. They might use diplomacy to build strategic partnerships with the most important African countries…

‘In the case of strategic minerals, special attention must be paid to South Africa and the DRC.

‘The United States and its allies could develop military-to-military relationships with a number of strategic African countries. The US National Security Council, DOD (Department of Defence) and (the) US Africa Command might develop contingencies to deal with the eventual prospect of resource cutoffs and the possibility of conflict over strategic minerals. At issue is how US agencies might adjust to the forthcoming challenges.’

The building of strategic partnerships is politically difficult, given the ANC regime’s rejection of AFRICOM during the stand-up process in 2007 and 2008.

‘South Africa is the hegemon in the region and must fully accept AFRICOM before military-to-military partnerships can be built throughout the region.

‘The United States also continues to apply sanctions against President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his inner circle, which makes building partnerships with the Southern African Development Community difficult.

‘In addition, there is some resistance to US foreign policy from the (President Joseph) Kabila regime in the DRC; SWAPO in Namibia; and the (President Eduardo) dos Santos regime in Angola.

‘By 2020, US intervention, including AFRICOM, might be needed to ensure sustained US/allied access to strategic minerals, which means that the building of strategic partnerships in the next decade is important.’

About the author of the study

Dr Stephen Burgess farmed commercially in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo Province and ceded land during the government’s agrarian reforms. He left Zimbabwe in 2001 and works for the Air War College in the United States. He is the author of three books; ‘South Africa’s Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (with Helen Purkitt), ‘Smallholders and Political Voice in Zimbabwe’, and ‘The United Nations under Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 1992-97′.

Burgess helped lead in the organization and execution of the Air Force Africa Command Symposium.

He is an associate director of the US Air Force Counterproliferation Centre. Burgess holds a PhD from Michigan State University and has been a faculty member at Vanderbilt University, the University of Zambia, the University of Zimbabwe, and Hofstra University.

The full study can be found on http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/

====

Afghanistan: 15 NATO Soldiers Killed In Three Days

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1642060.php/Two-NATO-soldiers-killed-in-attacks-in-southern-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 28, 2011

Two NATO soldiers killed in attacks in southern Afghanistan

Kabul: Two soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed Saturday in attacks in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said.

One soldier was killed in a roadside bomb while another was killed in a suspected insurgent attack, ISAF said in a statement, without revealing their nationalities or the exact locations of the incidents.

Most of the troops based in the volatile southern region are from the United States, Britain and Canada.

The latest fatalities take the death toll for NATO forces to 15 in three days. On Thursday, eight US soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb in a southern province, the deadliest single attack on American forces so far this year.

More than 200 foreign troops have been killed in the conflict so far this year, according to ICasualties.org, an independent website that tracks NATO military fatalities in Afghanistan.

Taliban-led insurgents stepped up their attacks after their movement announced the spring offensive against more than 140,000 US-led troops, currently based in Afghanistan, last month.

….

====

Three German Soldiers, Afghan General Kill In Bomb Attack

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iWAkp-_Dzhn9wjlRNk-uX-neOdzA?docId=CNG.3e52658d1fdbadff778404c0f022f256.c91

Agence France-Presse
May 28, 2011

Police chief, 3 Germans killed in Afghan attack

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan: The police chief of northern Afghanistan and three German soldiers were among seven people killed in a suicide bombing at the Takhar governor’s office Saturday, an official said.

“Seven people were killed and nine wounded,” Faiz Mohammed Tawhidi, spokesman for the Takhar provincial governor, told AFP.

“Three German soldiers and four Afghans, including General Mohammed Daoud Daoud and the chief of police (for Takhar province) were among the dead,” he said.

Qutbuddin Kamal, a senior aide to provincial governor Abdul Jabar Taqwa, confirmed that General Daoud, who was a former deputy interior minister, and the provincial police chief had been killed, adding that the governor was wounded.

“There was a meeting about security at the complex where the governor’s office is,” he said.

“At the end of the meeting, when we wanted to leave, a suicide bomber waiting in the corridor blew himself up.”

A spokesman for the Taliban, contacted by AFP, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed that it had troops among the victims, without specifying whether they had been killed or wounded.

====

McCain Versus Russia: Arm Georgia, Bring It Into NATO

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41758&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
May 28, 2011

John Mccain gives interview to Rustavi 2 TV channel

Russia violates international law, therefore the international community should convince Moscow to fulfill its commitments to [the] cease-fire, U.S. Senator John Mccain said in an exclusive interview with the Rustavi 2 TV channel.

The influential senator talked about the necessity of selling defensive arms to Georgia, the country`s possible integration into NATO, and situation in Russia.

“I think it`s an international outrage. I`m very disappointed in many of our European friends, because clearly, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognized borders of the sovereign national of Georgia. And I would hope that President Sarkozy, who negotiated the cease-fire, would become active in making true the ceasefire”, Mccain said.

“…I intend to push very hard on the Defense Authorization Bill to authorize the sale of defensive weapons to Georgia so that they can defend themselves. Russians continue to consolidate their position in Eastern countries, to issue Russian passports to some other citizens, violating the norms of international behavior”, he added.

“As you know, NATO is 28 nations and there are varying views among those countries. I think the best way to ensure Georgia`s security in the long-term is to provide them with defensive weapons and include them into NATO. So far this administration has not pursued this goal with any kind of significant effort.

“I think that Russia is not adhering to the standards that would make them eligible at this time for membership into the WTO. There is a breakdown in the rule of law in Russia….I think the Russians have to make significant improvements in adhering to the standards”, he said.

====

NATO Only Global Force That Can “Integrate” “Depopulated” Balkans

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n250868

Focus News Agency
May 28, 2011

Antoniy Galabov: NATO is the only global partner that can integrate the Balkans

Varna: Currently, NATO is the only global partner that can integrate the Balkans. This is what sociologist Professor Antoniy Galabov stated at the Spring NATO Parliamentary Assembly, held near coastal Varna, a reporter of Radio Focus – Varna announced.

Within the Assembly, he delivered a lecture entitled Regional Development and Challenges on the Balkans. According to him, for the Balkan countries remain major risks associated with degraded social and economic infrastructure.

“The infrastructure here was built in the 70’s and 80’s. At the time it is destroyed or is morally and physically obsolete. This creates great risks for the region primarily for environmental and major industrial accidents,” Prof. Galabov said.

He said migration to big cities in the Balkans lead to the depopulation of peripheral areas and thus creating greater social sparsely populated areas that generate risk for terrorism and the criminalization of the region.

Antoniy Galabov pointed out that it is very possible in the Balkans to arise movements on religious grounds. “Soon they will be a factor because of the large percentage of Muslim population in the region. Among this population there is so-called “virtual socialization” – the younger generation of Muslims is educated by the internet and there put their demands,” Prof. Galabov said further.

====

Sanctions-Obsessed Obama: Belarus Political Leadership “Unacceptable”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110529/164293488.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 28, 2011

Obama urges more pressure on Belarus’ Lukashenko

Pressure must be applied to the Belarusian authorities to put an end to political repression of the country’s opposition, U.S. President Barack Obama said during his visit to Poland on Saturday.

“President [Alexander] Lukashenko has shown a total disregard for democratic values, the rule of law and human rights of his own people,” Obama said during a speech in Warsaw that followed talks with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

….

Obama said the situation in Belarus was “unacceptable.”

Tusk said in his turn that Poland fully shared Washington’s position and that Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime had no future in Europe.

On Friday, Obama said the United States was set to expand sanctions against Belarus for its leadership’s crackdown on the dissent, which he described as “a major step backward for democracy in Belarus.”

….

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Erasmus: The Complaint of Peace

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

Desiderius Erasmus:
Antipolemus: or, the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity against War
The Complaint of Peace

=====

Dulce bellum inexpertis (1536)
Translated by Vicesimus Knox as Antipolemus: or, the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity against War

*****

Peace is at once the mother and the nurse of all that is good for man; war, on a sudden and at one stroke, overwhelms, extinguishes, abolishes, whatever is cheerful, whatever is happy and beautiful, and pours a foul torrent of disasters on the life of mortals.

Indeed, at the conclusion, it commonly happens that both sides, the victorious and the vanquished, have cause to deplore. I know not whether any war ever succeeded so fortunately in all its events but that the conqueror, if he had a heart to feel or an understanding to judge, as he ought to do, repented that he ever engaged in it at all.

*****

If there is in the affairs of mortal men any one thing which it is proper uniformly to explode, and incumbent on every man by every lawful means to avoid, to deprecate, to oppose, that one thing is doubtless war.

There is nothing more unnaturally wicked, more productive of misery, more extensively destructive, more obstinate in mischief, more unworthy of man, as formed by nature, much more of man professing Christianity. Yet, wonderful to relate! war is undertaken, and cruelly, savagely conducted, not only by unbelievers, but by Christians.

Nor are there ever wanting men learned in the law, and even divines, who are ready to furnish firebrands for the nefarious work and to fan the latent sparks into a flame. Hence, war is considered so much a thing of course, that the wonder is how any man can disapprove of it — so much sanctioned by authority and custom that it is deemed impious to have borne testimony against a practice in its principle most profligate, and in its effects pregnant with every kind of calamity.

If any one considers the organization and external figure of the body, will he not instantly perceive that Nature, or rather the God of Nature, created the human animal not for war, but for love and friendship; not for mutual destruction, but for mutual service and safety; not to commit injuries, but for acts of reciprocal beneficence? Man she brought into the world naked, weak, tender, unarmed, his flesh of the softest texture, his skin smooth, delicate, and susceptible of the slightest injury. There is nothing observable in his limbs adapted to fighting or to violence.

Unable either to speak or walk, or help himself to food, he can implore relief only by tears and wailing; so that from this circumstance alone might be collected that man is an animal born for that love and friendship which is formed and cemented by the mutual interchange of benevolent offices. Moreover, Nature evidently intended that man should consider himself indebted for the boon of life, not so much to herself as to the kindness of his fellowman; that he might perceive himself designed for social affections, and the attachments of friendship and love.

Then she gave him a countenance not frightful and forbidding, but mild and placid, imitating by external signs the benignity of his disposition. She gave him eyes full of affectionate expression, the indexes of a mind delighting in social sympathy. She gave him arms to embrace his fellow creatures. She gave him lips to express a union of heart and soul. She gave him alone the power of laughing, a mark of the joy of which he is susceptible.

She gave him tears, the symbol of clemency and compassion. She gave him also a voice, not a menacing and frightful yell, but bland, soothing, and friendly. Not satisfied with these marks of her peculiar favor, she bestowed on him alone the use of speech and reason – a gift which tends more than any other to conciliate and cherish benevolence and a desire of rendering mutual services, so that nothing among human creatures might be done by violence.

She implanted in man a hatred of solitude and a love of company. She sowed in his heart the seeds of every benevolent affection, and thus rendered what is most salutary at the same time most agreeable.

Now view with the eyes of your imagination savage troops of men, horrible in their very visages and voices – men clad in steel, drawn up on every side in battle array, armed with weapons, frightful in their crash and their very glitter. Mark the horrid murmur of the confused multitude, their threatening eyeballs, the harsh, jarring din of drums and clarions, the terrific sound of the trumpet, the thunder of the cannon – a noise not less formidable than the real thunder of heaven, and more hurtful – a mad shout like that of the shrieks of Bedlamites, a furious onset, a cruel butchering of each other! See the slaughtered and the slaughtering! heaps of dead bodies, fields flowing with blood, rivers reddened with human gore!

Meanwhile I pass over the corn-fields trodden down, peaceful cottages and rural mansions burnt to the ground, villages and towns reduced to ashes, the cattle driven from their pasture, innocent women violated, old men dragged into captivity, churches defaced and demolished, every thing laid waste, a prey to robbery, plunder, and violence!

Not to mention the consequences ensuing to the people after a war even the most fortunate in its event – the poor, unoffending common people robbed of their little hard-earned property; the great laden with taxes; old people bereaved of their children, more cruelly killed by the murder of their offspring than by the sword, happier if the enemy had deprived them of the sense of their misfortune, and life itself, at the same moment; women far advanced in age, left destitute, and more cruelly put to death than if they had died at once by the point of the bayonet; widowed mothers, orphan children, houses of mourning, and families that once knew better days reduced to extreme penury.

Peace is at once the mother and the nurse of all that is good for man; war, on a sudden and at one stroke, overwhelms, extinguishes, abolishes, whatever is cheerful, whatever is happy and beautiful, and pours a foul torrent of disasters on the life of mortals. Peace shines upon human affairs like the vernal sun. The fields are cultivated, the gardens bloom, the cattle are fed upon a thousand hills, new buildings arise, riches flow, pleasures smile, humanity and charity increase, arts and manufactures feel the genial warmth of encouragement, and the gains of the poor are more plentiful.

But no sooner does the storm of war begin to lower, than what a deluge of miseries and misfortune seizes, inundates, and overwhelms all things within the sphere of its action! The flocks are scattered, the harvest trampled, the husbandman butchered, villas and villages burnt, cities and states that have been ages rising to their flourishing state subverted by the fury of one tempest, the storm of war. So much easier is the task of doing harm than of doing good – of destroying than of building up!

To these considerations add that the advantages derived from peace diffuse themselves far and wide, and reach great numbers; while in war, if any thing turns out happily, the advantage redounds only to a few, and those unworthy of reaping it.

One man’s safety is owing to the destruction of another. One man’s prize is derived from the plunder of another. The cause of rejoicings made by one side is to the other a cause of mourning. Whatever is unfortunate in war is severely so indeed, and whatever, on the contrary, is called good fortune, is a savage and a cruel good fortune, an ungenerous happiness, deriving its existence from another’s woe.

Indeed, at the conclusion, it commonly happens that both sides, the victorious and the vanquished, have cause to deplore. I know not whether any war ever succeeded so fortunately in all its events but that the conqueror, if he had a heart to feel or an understanding to judge, as he ought to do, repented that he ever engaged in it at all.

Such and so great are the evils that are submitted to in order to accomplish an end, itself a greater evil than all that have preceded in preparation for it. We thus afflict ourselves for the noble end of enabling ourselves to afflict others.

If we were to calculate the matter fairly, and form a just computation of the cost attending war and that of procuring peace, we should find that peace might be purchased at a tenth part of the cares, labors, troubles, dangers, expenses, and blood that it costs to carry on a war.

But the object is to do all possible injury to an enemy! A most inhuman object! And consider whether you can hurt him essentially without hurting, by the same means, your own people. It surely is to act like a madman to take to yourself so large a portion of certain evil when it must ever be uncertain how the die of war may fall in the ultimate issue.

Where are there so many and so sacred obligations to perfect concord, as in the Christian religion? Where so numerous exhortations to peace? One law Jesus Christ claimed as his own peculiar law; it was the law of love or charity. What practice among mankind violates this law so grossly as war?

Examine every part of his doctrine, you will find nothing that does not breathe peace, speak the language of love, and savor of charity; and as he knew that peace could not be preserved unless those objects for which the world contends with the sword’s point were considered as vile and contemptible, he ordered us to learn of him to be meek and lowly.

He pronounced those happy who held riches in no esteem. He prohibited resistance of evil. In short, as the whole of his doctrine recommended forbearance and love, so his life taught nothing but mildness, gentleness, and kind affection. Nor do the apostles inculcate any other doctrine – they who had imbibed the purest spirit of Christ, and were filled with sacred draughts from the fountainhead. What do all the epistles of Paul resound with but peace, long-suffering, charity? What else do all the writers in the world who are truly Christian?

But let us observe how Christians defend the madness of war. If, say they, war had been absolutely unlawful, God would not have excited the Jews to wage war against their enemies. But the Jews scarcely ever waged war, as the Christians do, against each other, but against aliens and infidels; we Christians draw the sword against Christians. They fought at the express command of God; we at the command of our own passions.

But even Christians urge, that the laws of nature, of society, of custom and usage, conspire to dictate the propriety of repelling force by force, and defending life, and money too. So much I allow. But Gospel Grace, of more force than all these laws, declares in decisive words that we must do good to those who use us ill, and should also pray for those who design to take away our lives. All this, they tell us, had a particular reference to the apostles; but I contend that it also refers to all Christian people.

They also argue that, as it is lawful to inflict punishment on an individual delinquent, it must be lawful to take vengeance on an offending state. The full answer to be given to this argument would involve me in greater prolixity than is now requisite; and I will only say that the two cases differ widely in this respect: he who is convicted judicially suffers the punishment that the laws impose, but in war each side treats the other as guilty and proceeds to inflict punishment regardless of law, judge, or jury. In the former case, the evil falls only on him who committed the wrong; in the latter case, the greatest part of the numerous evils falls on those who deserve no evil at all – on husbandmen, on old people, on mothers, on orphans and defenseless females.

But the objector repeats, “Why may I not go and cut the throats of those who would cut our throats if they could?” Do you then deem it a disgrace that any should be more wicked than yourself?

Why do you not go and rob thieves? They would rob you if they could. Why do you not revile them that revile you? Why do you not hate them that hate you? Do you consider it as a noble exploit for a Christian, having killed in war those whom he thinks wicked, but who still are men for whom Christ died, thus to offer up victims most acceptable to the Devil, and to delight that grand enemy in two respects, first, that a man is slain at all, and next, that the man who slew is a Christian?

If the Christian religion be a fable, why do we not honestly and openly explode it? Why do we glory in its name? But if Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life,” why do all our plans of conduct differ so far from his instructions and example? If we acknowledge Christ to be our Lord and Master, who is love itself and who taught nothing but love and peace, let us exhibit his model in our lives and conversation. Let us adopt the love of peace, that Christ may recognize his own, even as we recognize him to be the Teacher of Peace.

=====

The Complaint of Peace (Querela Pacis) (1521)
Translated by Thomas Paynell

Peace speaks in her own person

*****

Now then, warrior, halt and consider; if wars, undertaken and carried on at the command of the Deity, (as was the case in David’s wars) pollute and render a man unholy, what will be the effect of wars of ambition, wars of revenge, and wars of furious anger?

How can you say our Father, addressing the universal parent, while you are thrusting the sharp steel into the bowels of your brother? for such you confess him to be by this very prayer, “Our Father.”

And, what is the basest and most flagitious conduct of all, there are crowned heads, who, with the mean cunning that ever characterizes the despot, contrive (because they find their own power weakened by the people’s union, and strengthened by their division) to excite war without any substantial reason for a rupture; merely to break the national union at home, and pillage the oppressed people with impunity.

There is scarcely any peace so unjust, but it is preferable, upon the whole, to the justest war. Sit down, before you draw the sword, weigh every article, omit none, and compute the expence of blood as well as treasure which war requires, and the evils which it of necessity brings with it; and then see at the bottom of the account whether, after the greatest success, there is likely to be a balance in your favour.

The causes of war are to be cut up root and branch, on their first and slightest appearance. Many real injuries and insults must be connived at. Men must not be too zealous about a phantom called national glory; often inconsistent with individual happiness.

*****

Though I certainly deserve no ill treatment from mortals, yet if the insults and repulses I receive were attended with any advantage to them, I would content myself with lamenting in silence my own unmerited indignities and man’s injustice. But since, in driving me away from them, they remove the source of all human blessings, and let in a deluge of calamities on themselves, I am more inclined to bewail their misfortune, than complain of ill usage to myself; and I am reduced to the necessity of weeping over and commiserating those whom I wished to view rather as objects of indignation than of pity.

For though rudely to reject one who loves them as I do, may appear to be savage cruelty; to feel an aversion for one who has deserved so well of them, base ingratitude; to trample on one who has nursed and fostered them with all a parent’s care, an unnatural want of filial affection; yet voluntarily to renounce so many and so great advantages as I always bring in my train, to go in quest of evils infinite in number and shocking in nature, how can I account for such perverse conduct, but by attributing it to downright madness? We may be angry with the wicked, but we can only pity the insane. What can I do but weep over them? And I weep over them the more bitterly, because they weep not for themselves. No part of their misfortune is more deplorable than their insensibility to it. It is one great step to convalescence to know the extent and inveteracy of a disease.

Now, if I, whose name is Peace, am a personage glorified by the united praise of God and man, as the fountain, the parent, the nurse, the patroness, the guardian of every blessing which either heaven or earth can bestow; if without me nothing is flourishing, nothing safe, nothing pure or holy, nothing pleasant to mortals, or grateful to the Supreme Being; if, on the contrary, war is one vast ocean, rushing on mankind, of all the united plagues and pestilences in nature; if, at its deadly approach, every blossom of happiness is instantly blasted, every thing that was improving gradually degenerates and dwindles away to nothing, every thing that was firmly supported totters on its foundation, every thing that was formed for long duration comes to a speedy end, and every thing that was sweet by nature is turned into bitterness; if war is so unhallowed that it becomes the deadliest bane of piety and religion; if there is nothing more calamitous to mortals, and more detestable to heaven, I ask, how in the name of God, can I believe those beings to be rational creatures; how can I believe them to be otherwise than stark mad; who, with such a waste of treasure, with so ardent a zeal, with so great an effort, with so many arts, so much anxiety, and so much danger, endeavour to drive me away from them, and purchase endless misery and mischief at a price so high?

If they were wild beasts who thus despised and rejected me, I could bear it more patiently; because I should impute the affront to nature, who had implanted in them so savage a disposition. If I were an object of hatred to dumb creatures, I could overlook their ignorance, because the powers of mind necessary to perceive my excellence have been denied to them. But it is a circumstance equally shameful and marvellous, that though nature has formed one animal, and one alone, with powers of reason, and a mind participating of divinity; one animal, and one alone, capable of sentimental affection and social union; I can find admission among the wildest of wild beasts, and the most brutal of brutes, sooner than with this one animal; the rational, immortal animal called man.

Among the celestial bodies that are revolving over our heads, though the motions are not the same, and though the force is not equal, yet they move, and ever have moved, without clashing, and in perfect harmony. The very elements themselves, though repugnant in their nature, yet, by a happy equilibrium, preserve eternal peace; and amid the discordancy of their constituent principles, cherish, by a friendly intercourse and coalition, an uninterrupted concord.

In living bodies, how all the various limbs harmonize, and mutually combine, for common defence against injury! What can be more heterogeneous, and unlike, than the body and the soul? and yet with what strong bonds nature has united them, is evident from the pang of separation. As life itself is nothing else but the concordant union of body and soul, so is health the harmonious cooperation of all the parts and functions of the body.

Animals destitute of reason live with their own kind in a state of social amity. Elephants herd together; sheep and swine feed in flocks; cranes and crows take their flight in troops; storks have their public meetings to consult previously to their emigration, and feed their parents when unable to feed themselves; dolphins defend each other by mutual assistance; and everybody knows, that both ants and bees have respectively established by general agreement, a little friendly community.

But I need dwell no longer on animals, which, though they want reason, are evidently furnished with sense. In trees and plants one may trace the vestiges of amity and love. Many of them are barren, unless the male plant is placed on their vicinity. The vine embraces the elm, and other plants cling to the vine. So that things which have no powers of sense to perceive any thing else, seem strongly to feel the advantages of union.

But plants, though they have not powers of perception, yet, as they have life, certainly approach very nearly to those things which are endowed with sentient faculties. What then is so completely insensible as stony substance? yet even in this, there appears to be a desire of union. Thus the loadstone attracts iron to it, and holds it fast in its embrace, when so attracted. Indeed, the attraction of cohesion, as a law of love, takes place throughout all inanimate nature.

I need not repeat, that the most savage of the savage tribes in the forest, live among each other in amity. Lions show no fierceness to the lion race. The boar does not brandish his deadly tooth against his brother boar. The lynx lives in peace with the lynx. The serpent shews no venom in his intercourse with his fellow serpent; and the loving kindness of wolf to wolf is proverbial.

But I will add a circumstance still more marvellous. The accursed spirits, by whom the concord between heaven and human beings was originally interrupted, and to this day continues interrupted, hold union with one another, and preserve their usurped power, such as it is, by unanimity!

Yet man to man, whom, of all created beings, concord would most become, and who stands most in need of it, neither nature, so powerful and irresistible in every thing else, can reconcile; neither human compacts unite; neither the great advantages which would evidently arise from unanimity combine, nor the actual feeling and experience of the dreadful evils of discord cordially endear. To all men the human form is the same, the sound made by the organs of utterance similar; and while other species of animals differ from each other chiefly in the shape of their bodies, to men alone is given a reasoning power, which is indeed common to all men, yet in a manner so exclusive, that it is not at the same time common to any other living creature. To this distinguished being is also given the power of speech, the most conciliating instrument of social connection and cordial love.

Throughout the whole race of men are sown by nature the seeds of virtue, and of every excellent quality. From nature man receives a mild and gentle disposition, so prone to reciprocal benevolence that he delights to be loved for the pleasure of being loved, without any view to interest; and feels a satisfaction in doing good, without a wish or prospect of remuneration. This disposition to do disinterested good, is natural to man, unless in a few instances, where, corrupted by depraved desires, which operate like the drugs of Circe’s cup, the human being has degenerated to the brute. Hence even the common people, in the ordinary language of daily conversation, denominate whatever is connected with mutual good will, humane; so that the word humanity no longer describes man’s nature, merely in a physical sense; but signifies humane manners, or a behaviour, worthy the nature of man, acting his proper part in civil society.

Tears also are a distinctive mark fixed by nature, and appropriated to her favourite, man. They are a proof of placability, a forgiving temper; so that if any trifling offence be given or taken, if a little cloud of ill humour darken the sunshine, there soon falls a gentle shower of tears, and the cloud melts into a sweet serenity.

Thus it appears, in what various ways nature has taught man her first great lesson of love and union. Nor was she content to allure the benevolence by the pleasurable sensations attending it; nor did she think she has done enough, when she rendered friendship pleasant; and therefore she determined to make it necessary. For this purpose, she so distributed among various men different endowments of the mind and the body, that no individual should be so completely furnished with all of them, but that he should want the occasional assistance of the lowest orders, and even of those who are most moderately furnished with ability. Nor did she give the same talents either in kind or in degree to all, evidently meaning that the inequality of her gifts should be ultimately equalized by a reciprocal interchange of good offices and mutual assistance. Thus, in different countries, she has caused different commodities to be produced, that expediency itself might introduce commercial intercourse.

She furnished other animals with appropriate arms or weapons for defence or offence, but man alone she produced unarmed, and in a state of perfect imbecillity, that he might find his safety in association and alliance with his fellow-creatures. It was necessity which led to the formation of communities; it was necessity which led communities to league with each other, that, by the union of their force, they might repel the incursion either of wild beasts or banditti. So that there is nothing in the whole circle of human affairs, which is entirely sufficient of itself for self-maintenance, or self-defence.

In the very commencement of life, the human race had been extinct, unless conjugal union had continued the race. With difficulty could man be born into the world, or as soon as born would he die, leaving life at the very threshold of existence, unless the friendly hand of the careful matron, and the affectionate assiduities of the nurse, lent their aid to the helpless babe. To preserve the poor infant, Nature has given the fond mother the tenderest attachment to it, so that she loves it even before she sees it.

Nature, on the other hand, has given the children a strong affection for the parent, that they may become supports, in their turn, to the imbecillity of declining age; and that thus filial piety may remunerate (after the manner of the stork) to the second childhood of decrepitude, the tender cares experienced in infancy from parental love. Nature has also rendered the bonds both of kindred and affinity strong; a similarity of natural disposition, inclinations, studies, nay of external form, becomes a very powerful cause of attachment; and there is a secret sympathy of minds, a wonderful lure to mutual affection, which the ancients, unable to account for, attributed, in their admiration of it, to the tutelar genius, or the guardian angel.

By such and so many plain indications of her meaning has Nature taught mankind to seek peace, and ensure it. She invites them to it by various allurements, she draws them to it by gentle violence, she compels them to it by the strong arm of necessity. After all, then, what infernal being, all-powerful in mischief, bursting every bond of nature asunder, fills the human bosom with an insatiable rage for war? If familiarity with the sight had not first destroyed all surprise at it, and custom, soon afterwards, blunted the sense of its evil, who could be prevailed upon to believe that those wretched beings are possessed of rational souls, the intellects and feelings of human creatures, who contend, with all the rage of furies, in everlasting feuds, and litigations, ending in murder! Robbery, blood, butchery, desolation, confound, without distinction, every thing sacred and profane. The most hallowed treaties, mutually confirmed by the strongest sanctions, cannot stop the enraged parties from rushing on to mutual destruction, whenever passion or mistaken interest urges them to the irrational decision of the battle.

Though there were no other motive to preserve peace, one would imagine that the common name of man might be sufficient to secure concord between all who claim it. But be it granted that Nature has no effect on men as men, (though we have seen that Nature rules as she ought to do in the brute creation), yet, must not Christ therefore avail with christians? Be it granted that the suggestions of nature have no effect with a rational being, (though we see them have great weight even on inanimate things without sense) yet, as the suggestions of the Christian religion are far more excellent than those of nature, why does not the Christian religion persuade those who profess it, of a truth which it recommends above all others, that is, the expediency and necessity of peace on earth, and good-will towards men; or at least, why does it fail of effectually dissuading from the unnatural, and more than brutal, madness of waging war?

When I, whose name is Peace, do but hear the word Man pronounced, I eagerly run to him as to a being created purposely for me, and confidently promising myself, that with him I may live for ever in uninterrupted tranquillity; but when I also hear the title of Christian added to the name of Man, I fly with additional speed, hoping that with christians I may build an adamantine throne, and establish an everlasting empire.

But here also, with shame and sorrow, I am compelled to declare the result. Among Christians, the courts of justice, the palaces of princes, the senate-houses, and the churches, resound with the voice of strife, more loudly than was ever heard among nations who knew not Christ. Insomuch that though the multitude of wrangling advocates always constituted a great part of the world’s misfortune, yet even this number is nothing compared with the successive inundation of suitors always at law.

I behold a city enclosed with walls. Hope springs in my bosom that men, Christian men, must live in concord here, if any where, surrounded, as they are, by the same ramparts, governed by the same laws, embarked, as it were, in the same bottom, in the voyage of life, and therefore exposed to one common danger. But, ill-fated as I am, here also I find all happiness vitiated by dissension, that I can scarcely discover a single tenement in which I can take up my residence for the space of a few days only, unmolested.

But I leave the common people, who are tossed about, like the waves, by the winds of passion. I enter the courts of kings as into a harbour, from the storm of folly. Here, say I to myself, here must be a place for Peace to lodge in. These personages are wiser than the vulgar; they are the minds of the commonalty, the eyes of the people. They claim also to be the vicegerents of Him who was the teacher of charity, the Prince of Peace, from whom I come with letters of recommendation, addressed, indeed, in general, to all men, but more particularly to such as these.

Appearances, on my entrance into the palace, promise well. I see men saluting each other with the blandest, softest, gentlest expressions of respect and love; I see them shaking hands, and embracing with the most ardent professions of esteem; I see them dining together, and enjoying convivial pleasures in high glee and jollity; I see every outward sign of the kindest offices and humanity; but sorry am I to add, that I do not see the least symptom of sincere friendship. It is all paint and varnish. Every thing is corrupted by open faction, or by secret grudges and animosities. In one word, so far am I from finding in the palaces of princes a habitation for Peace, that in them I discover all the embryos, seminal principles, and sources of all the wars that ever cursed mankind, and desolated the universe.

Unfortunate as I am in my researches for a place to rest in, whither shall I next repair? I failed among kings, it is true; but perhaps the epithet great belongs to kings, rather than good, wise, or learned; and perhaps they are more under the influence of caprice and passion than of sound and sober discretion. I will repair to the learned world. It is said, learning makes the man; philosophy, something more than man; and theology exalts man to the divine nature. Harassed as I am with the research, I shall surely find among these a safe retreat to rest my head in undisturbed repose.

Here also I find war of another kind, less bloody indeed, but not less furious. Scholar wages war with scholar; and, as if truth could be changed by change of place, some opinions must never pass over the sea, some never can surmount the Alps, and others do not even cross the Rhine; nay, in the same university, the rhetorician is at variance with the logician, and the theologist with the lawyer. In the same kind of profession, the Scotist contends with the Thomist, the nominalist with the realist, the Platonic with the peripatetic; insomuch that they agree not in the minutest points, and often are at daggers drawing de lana caprina, till the warmth of disputation advances from argument to abusive language, and from abusive language to fisty-cuffs; and, if they do not proceed to use real swords and spears, they stab one another with pens dipt in the venom of malice; they tear one another with biting libels, and dart the deadly arrows of their tongues against their opponent’s reputation.

So often disappointed, whither shall I repair? Whither, but to the houses of religion? Religion! that anchor in the storm of life? The profession of religion is indeed common to all christians; but they who come recommended to us under the appellation of priests, profess it in a more peculiar manner, by the name they bear, the service they perform, and the ceremonies they observe.

When I take a view of them at a distance, every outward and visible sign makes me conclude, that among them, at least, I shall certainly find a safe asylum. I like the looks of their white surplices; for white is my own favourite colour. I see figures of the cross about them, all symbolical of peace. I hear them all calling one another by the pleasant name of brother, a mark of extraordinary good-will and charity; I hear them salute each other with the words, “Peace be unto you”: apparently happy in an address so ominous of joy. I see a community of all things; I see them incorporated in a regular society, with the same place of worship, the same rules, and the same daily congregation. Who can avoid being confidently certain that here, if no where else in the world, a habitation will be found for peace?

O, shame to tell! there is scarcely one man in these religious societies that is on good terms with his own bishop; though even this might be passed over as a trifling matter, if they were not torn to pieces by party disputes among each other. Where is the priest to be found, who has not a dispute with some other priest? Paul thinks it an insufferable enormity that a Christian should go to law with a Christian; and shall a priest contend with a priest, a bishop with a bishop? But perhaps it may be offered as an apology for these men, that, by long intercourse with men of the world, and by possessing such things as the world chiefly values, they have gradually adopted the manners of the world, even in the retreat of the church and the cloister. To themselves I leave them to strive about that property, which they claim by prescription.

There remains one order of the clergy, who are so tied to religion by vows that, if they were inclined, they could no more shake it off, than the tortoise can get rid of the shell which he carries on his back, like a house. I should hope, if I had not been so often disappointed, that, among these persons, coming in the name of peace, I should gain a welcome reception. However, that I may leave no stone unturned, I go and try whether I may be allowed to fix my residence here. Do you wish to know the result of the experiment? I never received a ruder repulse. What indeed could I expect, where religion herself seems to be at war with religion. There are just as many parties as there are fraternities. The Dominicans disagree with the Minorites, the Benedictines with the Bernardines; so many modes of worship, so various the rites and ceremonies; they cannot agree in any particular; every one likes his own, and therefore damns all others. Nay, the same fraternity is rent into parties; the Observantes inveigh against the Coletae; both unite in their hatred of a third sort, which, though it derives its name from a convent, yet, in no article, can come to an amicable convention.

By this time, as you may imagine, despairing of almost every place, I formed a wish that I might be permitted to seek a quiet retreat in the obscurity of some little inconsiderable monastery. With reluctance I must declare, what I wish were untrue, that I have not yet been able to find one which is not corrupted and spoiled by intestine jars and animosities. I blush to relate on what childish, flimsy causes, old men, venerable for their grey beards and their gowns, and in their own opinions not only deeply learned, but holy, involve themselves in endless strife.

I now cherished a pleasing hope that I might find a place in private, domestic life, amid the apparent happiness of conjugal and family endearment. It was surely reasonable to expect it from such promising circumstances, as an equal partnership founded on the choice of the heart, in the same house, the same fortune, the same bed, the same progeny; add to this, the mysterious union by which two become virtually one. But here also Eris, the goddess of discord, had insinuated herself, and had torn asunder the strongest bands of conjugal attachment, by disagreement in temper; and yet, in the domestic circle, I could much sooner have found a place than among the professed religious, notwithstanding their fine titles, their splendid dresses, images, crucifixes, and their various ceremonies, all which hold out the idea of perfect charity, the very bonds of peace.

At length I felt a wish that I might find a snug and secure dwelling-place in the bosom, at least, of some one man. But here also I failed. One and the same man is at war with himself. Reason wages war with the passions; one passion with another passion. Duty calls one way, and inclination another. Lust, anger, avarice, ambition, are all up in arms, each pursuing its own purposes, and warmly engaged in the battle.

Such then and so fierce, ought not men to blush at the appellation of Christians, differing, as they do essentially, from the peculiar and distinguishing excellence of Christ? Consider the whole of his life; what is it, but one lesson of concord and mutual love? What do his precepts, what do his parables inculcate, but peace and charity? Did that excellent prophet Isaiah, when he foretold the coming of Christ as an universal reconciler, represent Him as an earthly lord, a satrap, a grandee, or courtier? Did he announce Him as a mighty conqueror, a burner of villages, a destroyer of towns, as one who was to triumph over the slaughter and misery of wretched mortals? No. How then did he announce Him? As the Prince of Peace. The prophet, intending to describe Him as the most excellent of all the princes that ever came into the world, drew the title of that superior excellence, from what is itself the most excellent of all things, Peace. Nor is it to be wondered, that Isaiah, an inspired prophet, viewed Peace in this light, when Silius Italicus, a heathen poet, has written my character in these words:

Pax optima rerum
Quas homini natura dedit

No boon that nature ever gave to man,
May be compared with peace.

The mystic minstrel, the sweet psalmist, has also sung:

“In Salem (a place of peace) is his tabernacle.” Not in tents, not in camps, did this prince, mighty to save, fix his residence; but in Salem, the city of peace. He is, indeed, the Prince of Peace; peace is his dear delight, and war his abomination.

Again, the prophet Isaiah calls the work of righteousness, peace; meaning the same thing with Paul, (who was himself converted from the turbulent Saul, to a preacher of peace) when preferring charity to all other gifts of the secret spirit of God, he thundered in the ears of the Corinthians my eulogium, with an eloquence which arose from the fine feelings of his bosom, animated by grace, and warm with benevolence. Why may I not glory in having been celebrated by one so celebrated himself, as this great apostle? In another place he calls Christ the God of Peace; and in a third, the Peace of God; plainly indicating, that these two characters so naturally coalesce, that Peace cannot come where God is not; and that where Peace is not, God cannot come.

In the sacred volumes we find the holy ministers of God called messengers of peace; from which it is obvious to conclude, whose ministers those men must be, who are the messengers of war. Hear this, ye mighty warriors and mark under whose banners ye fight;—they are those of that accursed being who first sowed strife between man and his maker. To this first fatal strife are to be ascribed all the woes that mortal man is doomed to feel.

It is frivolous to argue, as some do, that God is called, in the mysterious volumes, the God of hosts, and the God of vengeance. There is a great difference between the God of the Jews and the God of the Christians, notwithstanding God, in his own essence, is one and the same. But if we must still retain the ancient Jewish titles of God, let God be called the God of hosts, while, by the word hosts, is understood, the phalanx of divine graces, by whose energy good men are enabled to route and destroy the vices, those deadliest enemies of human felicity. Let him still be styled God of vengeance, provided you understand it to be vengeance on those sins which rob us of repose. In like manner, the examples of bloody slaughter with which the Jewish histories are stuffed, should be used, not as incentives to the butchery of our fellow-creatures, but to the utter extermination of all bad passions, hostile to our virtue and happiness, from the territory of our own bosoms.

To proceed, however, as I had begun, with scriptural passages in favour of peace. Whenever they mean to describe perfect happiness, they always denote it by the name of peace; as Isaiah, “My people shall repose in the beauty of peace”; so also, “Peace upon Israel.” Again, Isaiah expresses a rapturous admiration of them who bring glad tidings of peace. Whoever of the sacred writers announces Christ, announces peace on earth. Whoever proclaims war, proclaims him who is as unlike Christ as it is possible to be—the grand destroyer.

What induced the Son of God to come down from heaven to earth, but a gracious desire to reconcile the world to His Father? to cement the hearts of men by mutual and indissoluble love? and lastly, to reconcile man to Himself and bid him be at peace with his own bosom? For my sake, then, He was sent on this gracious embassy; it was my business which He condescended to transact; and therefore He appointed Solomon to be a type of himself; the very name Solomon signifying a peace-maker. Great and illustrious as King David is represented; yet, because he was a king who delighted in war, and because he was polluted with human gore, he was not permitted to build the house of the Lord, he was not worthy to be made the type of Christ.

Now then, warrior, halt and consider; if wars, undertaken and carried on at the command of the Deity, (as was the case in David’s wars) pollute and render a man unholy, what will be the effect of wars of ambition, wars of revenge, and wars of furious anger? If the blood of heathens defiled the pious king who shed it, what will be the effect on Christian kings, of so copious an effusion of the blood of Christians, caused solely by royal revenge?

I do beseech your Christian majesty, (if you are a Christian in any thing besides your title) to contemplate the model of him who is your sovereign; observe how he entered upon his reign, how he conducted it, how he departed from this world, and learn to reign from his example. You will find that the very first object of your heart should be, to preserve your country in a state of peace.

At the nativity of Christ did the angels sound the clarion of war? The horrid din might have been addressed to the ears of Jews, for they were allowed to wage war. Such auspices were well enough adapted to those who thought it lawful to hate their enemies; but to the pacific race of future Christians, the angels of peace sounded a far different note. Did they blow the shrill trumpet? Did they promise triumphs and trophies of victory? Far from it. What then did they announce? Peace and good will, in conformity with the predictions of the prophets; and they announced them not to those who breathe war and bloodshed, who delight in the instruments of destruction, but to those whose hearts are inclined to concord.

Let me cover their malice with what cloke they please; it is certain, that if they did not delight in war, they would not be constantly engaged in its conflicts.

But as for Christ, what else did he teach and inculcate, but peace? He addressed those whom he loved, with the auspicious words of peace: Peace be with you, he repeatedly says; and prescribes this form of salutation, as alone worthy of the Christian character. And the apostles, duly mindful of his precept and example, preface their epistles with a wish for peace to those whom they love. He who wishes health to his friend, wishes a most desirable blessing; but he who wishes him peace, wishes him the summit of human felicity.

As Christ had recommended peace during the whole of his life, mark with what anxiety he enforces it at the approach of his dissolution. Love one another, says he; as I have loved you, so love one another; and again, my peace I give unto you, my peace I leave you. Do you observe the legacy he leaves to those whom he loves? Is it a pompous retinue, a large estate, or empire? Nothing of this kind. What is it then? peace he giveth, his peace he leaveth; peace, not only with our near connexions, but with enemies and strangers!

I wish you to consider with me, what it was which he besought of his Father in his last prayer, at the last supper, when death was at hand. It was a remarkable prayer for one who knew that he should obtain whatever he requested. Father, says he, keep them in thy name, that they may be one, like as we are! Observe, I beseech you, what a wonderful union Christ requires in his followers; he does not pray that they may be of one mind, but that they may be one; nor does he mention this union in a vague manner, but says, “That they may be one, as we are,” who are one and the same in a most perfect, yet unspeakable and inexplicable manner. He indicates at the same time, that mortals can obtain salvation, or immortality, by no other means than the preservation of peace among themselves, during the whole of this transitory life.

Moreover, as the kings of this world usually distinguish their subjects by some mark by which they may be known from others, especially in war, Christ has distinguished his subjects by the badge of mutual charity. By this, says he, shall all men know that you are my disciples; not if you wear this or that uniform, not if you eat this or that kind of food, not if you fast on this or that occasion, not if you say such or such a portion of the psalms; but if you love one another, and that not in the common way, but, as I have loved you. The precepts of philosophers are innumerable, the laws of Moses are various, as well as the edicts of princes; but one commandment, says he, I give you, and it is, love one another.

When he prescribed a form of prayer to his disciples, did he not admonish us, in a wonderful manner, in the very beginning of it, concerning the unanimity which christians are bound to preserve? Our Father! says he. It is the prayer of one; yet it is the common request of all. All then are one house, one family, depending upon one Father; and how can it possibly be allowed that, in such circumstances, they should be tearing each other to pieces in never-ceasing wars?

How can you say our Father, addressing the universal parent, while you are thrusting the sharp steel into the bowels of your brother? for such you confess him to be by this very prayer, “Our Father.”

As Christ wished the sentiments of philanthropy, or universal concord, to be fixed deeply in the hearts of all his followers, by what a variety of emblems, parables, and precepts, has he inculcated the love of peace! He calls himself a shepherd, and his followers his sheep. And, let me ask, did you ever see sheep fighting in earnest with their fellow sheep, so as either to injure limbs, or destroy life? or, what greater harm can the wolves do, if the flock thus tear each other in pieces?

When Christ calls himself the vine, and his disciples the branches, what else did he mean to express, but the most perfect union between him and them, and between themselves? It would be a prodigy, indeed, if a branch were to contend with a branch of the same tree; and, is it less a prodigy, that a Christian fights with a Christian?

If there be anything sacred to Christians, surely that ought to be deemed singularly sacred, and to sink deeply into their hearts, which Christ delivered to them in his last dying commands; when he was, as it were, making his will and testament, and recommending to his sons those things which he wished might never fall into oblivion. And what is it which, on this solemn occasion, he teaches, commands, prescribes, entreats; but that they should preserve inviolate, mutual good-will, or charity? And what means the communion of the holy bread and wine, but a renewed sanction of indissoluble amity? As Christ knew that Peace could not be preserved, where men were struggling for office, for glory, for riches, for revenge, he roots out from the hearts of his disciples all passions which lead to these things; he forbids them absolutely and without exception, to resist evil; he commands them to do good to those who use them ill, and to pray for those who curse them. And, after this, shall kings presume to think themselves Christians, who, on the slightest injury embroil the world in war?

He commands that the man who would be the chief among the people, should be their servant; nor endeavour to outdo others in any thing else but in being better than they, and in doing more good to his fellow-mortals. Then are not certain persons claiming to be chiefs, ashamed, for the sake of making some paltry addition to the outskirts of their domains, (already too large) to set the world in a flame?

He teaches you to live after the manner of the birds of the air, and the lilies of the field; trusting to Providence. He forbids your solicitude to extend to the morrow. He wishes you to depend entirely on God. He excludes all rich men, who trust in riches, from the kingdom of Heaven. And yet are there crowned miscreants, who, for the sake of a poor pittance of money, perhaps, after all, not due to them, will not hesitate to spill torrents of human blood in the field of battle? Indeed, in these very times, the recovery of a sum of money appears to be a very good cause of a just and necessary war!

Christ seems to have had in view this tendency in men to contend for trifles, when he bids his disciples to learn of him to be meek and lowly, and to lay aside all dispositions to revenge. When he orders them to leave their gift at the altar, nor to offer it before they are reconciled to their brother, does he not plainly insinuate, that unanimity is to be preferred to any thing else; and that no oblation on the altar is acceptable to God, unless it is presented by me? God refused the Jewish offering, a goat perhaps, or a sheep, because it was offered by those who were at variance with each other; and shall Christians, at the very time they are endeavouring to cut each other’s throats in the field of battle, dare to make an oblation at the holy communion of the Lord’s supper? When he condescended to compare himself to a hen gathering her chickens under her wing, what a beautiful and expressive picture did he delineate of Christian unity? He gathers his chickens under his wing; and shall Christians, his professed followers, dare to act the part of hawks or kites?

Of a similar tendency is the comparison of himself to a cornerstone, at once supporting and uniting the two walls which rest upon it; and how then can it be reconcilable to the profession of Christians, that those who call themselves his vicars or vicegerents, should excite the whole world to arms, and set kingdom against kingdom? They profess, as kings of Christian countries, that he is their great sovereign and reconciler; and yet they cannot be reconciled to each other by any arguments drawn from Christianity. He reconciled Pilate and Herod; and yet his own followers will not be reconciled by his intervention. He chides Peter, though half a Jew, who drew a sword in his defence when his life was in immediate danger, and orders him to put it up into its scabbard; and yet Christians keep the sword constantly drawn, and are ever ready to use it on their brother Christians, on the most trifling provocation. Could he wish himself, or his cause to be defended by a sword, who, with his dying breath, prayed for his murderers?

Every page of the Christian scriptures, whether you read those parts of the Old Testament which have a reference to Christianity, or the New, speaks of little else but peace and concord; and yet the whole life of the greater portion of Christians is employed in nothing so much as the concerns of war. It is really more than brutal ferocity which can neither be broken in, nor mitigated in its violence, by so many concurrent circumstances. It were best to lay aside the name of Christian at once; or else to give proof of the doctrine of Christ, by its only criterion, brotherly love. How long shall your lives contradict your profession and appellation? You may mark your houses, your vestments, and your churches, with the cross, as much as you please; but Christ will recognize no other badge, than that which he himself prescribed, love of one another.

Men gathered together formerly for the purposes of devotion, saw him ascending into heaven; they that are now gathered together for the same purpose, are ordered to expect the descent of the Holy Ghost: he has promised to be always with those that are for such purposes gathered together; so that none can ever reasonably think to find him in the field of battle. With respect to the spirit of fire that descended on the apostles, what is it but charity? Nothing is more common property than fire. Without any loss, fire is lighted by fire. Would you be convinced that this spirit is the parent of concord? Mark the result of it. There was, says he, among them one heart and one soul. Withdraw the breath or spirit from the body, and immediately the fine contexture of its parts is totally destroyed. In like manner, withdraw peace, and the whole mysterious union with heaven, which forms the divine life, is at once dissolved. Divines tell us, that the Heavenly spirit is infused into our hearts by the sacrament. If they tell us true, where is that peculiar effect of this spirit in those who take the sacrament, the one heart and the one soul? But if they tell us only an amusing story, why is such honour paid to useless things? So much I have ventured to say, not for the sake of detracting from the sanctity of the sacrament, but that Christians may blush to find their manners correspond so little with their solemn profession.

What is meant by denominating the whole body of Christian people, the church, but that it should admonish them that they are united, and ought therefore to be unanimous? Now, what possible agreement can there be between camps and a church? A church implies union and association; camps, disunion and discord. If you say you belong to the church, what can you have to do with the operations of war? If you say you do not belong to the church what have you to do with Christ?

But if you are all of the same house; if you all acknowledge the same head and master of the family; if you all militate under the same captain; if you all receive the same largesses, and are maintained by the same pay; if you are all in pursuit of the same great prize, why these tumults and disorders in your march? You see among those unnatural and cruel comrades, who advance in troops to perform the work of human butchery for hire, perfect concord maintained, because they are led on under the same standards; and shall not so many pacific circumstances unite the hearts of those whose bloodless warfare is to promote piety and peace? Do so many sacraments avail nothing in producing unanimity?

Baptism is common to you all; by means of this you are born again to Christ; you are cut off from the world, and become ingrafted members of the body of Christ. Now what can conduce so much to unity and identity, as to be made members of one and the same body? From this incorporation with Christ, the petty distinctions of bond and free, Greek and barbarian, male and female, cease to separate mankind; and all are one in Christ, who brings them all, whatever their local and physical diversities may be, to unity and identity of heart and disposition.

Among the Scythians, they have a ceremony of drinking a drop of each other’s blood out of a cup, as a cement of friendship; after which, those who have partaken of it will hesitate at no hardship in the service of each other, and will meet death itself with alacrity, in mutual defence. Shall heathens then deem that concord inviolable, which a participation of a draught at the same table has sanctioned; and shall not Christians be kept in love and charity by that Heavenly bread, and that mystic cup, which Christ Himself ordained, in which they every day communicate, constantly repeating, with the most solemn rites, the holy feast of love? If Christ meant nothing by this institution why is it kept up among Christians to this day, with so many ceremonies? If He meant the most serious and important benefit to mankind, then why is it slightly regarded by you, as if it were a farce, or a mere scenic exhibition? Does any man presume to go to that table, the symbol of love; does any one presume to approach the feast of peace, who, at the same moment, meditates war against Christians, and is preparing to destroy those whom Christ died to save, to spill the blood of those for whom Christ shed His own!

Hearts unfeeling as the flint! In many particulars you are united by nature and necessity; yet in life and action, where you may freely choose your conduct, you are rent asunder by unaccountable dissension and strife! By the law of nature, you are all born into the world, of a woman; by the law of necessity, you all wax old and feeble, and then sink into the grave. You are all sprung from the same first parent; you have all the same divine author of your religion; you are all redeemed by the same blood, initiated in the same holy rites, nourished in your spiritual growth by the same sacraments; and whatever advantage flows from all these combined, flows from the same fountain, and flows equally to all. You have all the same church, and all look for the same reward.

That Heavenly Jerusalem, for which every true Christian pants, derives its name from the beatific vision of peace, of which the church, in the mean time, is a typical representation. And how happens it, that the church itself differs so widely from its holy examples? Has nature availed nothing in her various instructions and lessons of love? Has Christ availed nothing, with all His mysteries, all His precepts, all His symbols of peace?

Adversity, or evil, if not good, will cause bad men to cling together; but neither adversity nor prosperity, neither good nor evil, will effect a perfect coalition among Christians. Let us turn our attention to the adverse side, the evils of life, and see if they produce any effect in urging Christians to unite for mutual comfort and protection.

What is more brittle than the life of man? Supposing it unbroken by casualties, how short its natural duration! How liable to disease; how exposed to momentary accidents! Yet, though the natural and inevitable evils are more and greater than can be borne with patience, man, fool as he is, brings the greatest and worst calamities upon his own head. Though condemned to feel the effects of his folly, yet so blind is he that he cannot see it. Headlong he goes with an impetuosity so precipitate as to burst and tear asunder every tie of nature, every bond of Christ. To arms he rushes at all times and in all places; no bounds to his fury, no end to his destructive vengeance. Together they engage, nation with nation, city with city, king with king; and to gratify the folly or greedy ambition of two poor puny mortals, who shortly shall die by nature, like insects of a summer’s day, all human affairs are disarranged, and whirled in confusion. I will pass over the sad tragedy of war, acted on the bloody stage of the world in times long past.

Let us only take a retrospect of the last ten years. In what part of the world, during that short space, have there not been bloody battles both by sea and land? What country in which the earth has not been fertilized with the blood of Christians shed by Christians? What river or sea that has not been discoloured with purple tide of human gore? Yes, I am ashamed to declare, that Christians fight more savagely than Jews, than heathens, than the beasts of the field? The warlike spirit which the Jews displayed towards aliens, Christians are bound to display against their vices; but, on the contrary, they chuse to be at peace with their vices, and at war with their fellow-creatures. And yet, as an apology for the Jews, it must be said, that they were led to war, in a particular case, by divine command, for the purpose of divine Providence; while the Christians (remove but the poor flimsy veil of false pretexts, and judge according to real truth) you will find hurried into the crooked path of ambition by anger, the very worst counsellor, and allured to shed blood by an insatiable avarice of gold. The Jews waged war with foreign nations; while the Christians are, with the Turks, at peace, and, with one another, at war!

As to the heathen despots, it is true, the thirst of glory goaded them to battle; but yet even they conquered fierce and barbarous nations to civilize them; insomuch, that it was often an advantage to be conquered, the conquerors endeavouring to render every service in their power to the people whom they had subdued. They took pains to render their victories as little bloody as possible, that the conqueror might be rewarded with a more honourable renown, and that the clemency of the victor might afford consolation to the vanquished. But I blush to record, upon how infamously frivolous causes the world has been rouzed to arms by Christian kings. One of them has found, or forged, an obsolete musty parchment, on which he makes a claim to a neighbouring territory. As if it signified a straw to mankind, thus called upon to shed blood, who is the person, or what the family of the ruling prince, whoever he be, provided he governs in such a manner as to consult and promote public felicity.

Another alleges that some punctilio, in a treaty of a hundred articles, has been infringed or neglected. A third owes a neighbouring king a secret grudge, on a private account, because he has married some princess whom he intended to be his consort, or uttered some sarcasm that reflects upon his royal person and character.

And, what is the basest and most flagitious conduct of all, there are crowned heads, who, with the mean cunning that ever characterizes the despot, contrive (because they find their own power weakened by the people’s union, and strengthened by their division) to excite war without any substantial reason for a rupture; merely to break the national union at home, and pillage the oppressed people with impunity. There are infernal agents enough, who fatten on the plunder of the people, and have little to do in state affairs during the time of peace, who easily manage to bring about the wished-for rupture, and embroil an unoffending people in a war with an unoffending neighbour. Nothing but a fury of hell could instil such venom into the bosom of a Christian.

Cruelty of despotism like this, in the hearts of kings pretending to Christianity, was never equalled by Dionysius, Mezentius, Phalaris, the most infamous tyrants of antiquity! Degraded wretches! Brutes, not men! Great only by the abuse of greatness! Fools in every thing but the art of doing mischief! unanimous in nothing but in defrauding and oppressing the public! Yet, wretches, brutes, and fools as they are, they are called Christians, and have the impudence to go with a face of piety to church, and dare even to kneel at the altar. Pests of mankind, worthy to be transported out of civil society, and carried with convicts to the remotest islands, in exile for life.

If it be true that Christians are members of one body, how happens it that every Christian does not sympathize and rejoice in every other Christian’s welfare? Now, however, it seems to be cause enough to commence a just and necessary war, that a neighbouring land is in a more prosperous, flourishing, or free condition, than your own. For, if you can but prevail upon yourselves to speak the real truth, what, I ask, has excited, and what continues at this very day to excite, so many combined powers against the kingdom of France, unless it be, that it is the finest and most flourishing country in Europe? Nowhere is there a more extensive territory; nowhere a more august public council; nowhere greater unanimity, and, on all these accounts united, nowhere greater power…

God made man unarmed. But anger and revenge have mended the work of God, and furnished his hands with weapons invented in hell. Christians attack Christians with engines of destruction, fabricated by the devil. A cannon! a mortar! no human being could have devised them originally; they must have been suggested by the evil one. Nature, indeed, has armed lions with teeth and claws, and bulls with horns; but who ever saw them go in bodies to use their arms for mutual destruction? What man ever saw so small a number as even ten lions congregated to fight ten bulls, and drawn up in battle array? But how often have twenty thousand Christians met an equal number on the same plain, all prepared to shoot each other, through the heart, or to plunge the sword or bayonet through each other’s bowels. So little account do they make of hurting their brethren, that they have not the smallest scruple to spill every drop of blood in their bodies. Beasts of the forest; your contests are at least excusable, and sometimes amiable; ye fight only when driven to madness by hunger, or to defend your young ones; but as for those who call themselves your lords, (men and Christians) the faintest shadow of an affront is sufficient to involve them in all the horrors of premeditated war.

If the lower orders of the people were to act in this manner, some apology might be found in their supposed ignorance; if very young men were to act in this manner, the inexperience of youth might be pleaded in extenuation; if the poor laity only were concerned, the frailty of the agents might lessen the atrocity of the action: but the very reverse of this is the truth. The seeds of war are chiefly sown by those very people whose wisdom and moderation, characteristic of their rank and station, ought to compose and assuage the impetuous passions of the people.

The people, the ignoble vulgar, despised as they are, are the very persons who originally raise great and fair cities to their proud eminence; who conduct the commercial business of them entirely; and, by their excellent management, fill them with opulence. Into these cities, after they are raised and enriched by plebeians, creep the satraps and grandees, like so many drones into a hive; pilfer what was earned by others’ industry; and thus, what was accumulated by the labour of the many, is dissipated by the profligacy of the few; what was built by plebeians on upright foundations, is leveled to the ground by cruelty and royal patrician injustice.

If the military transactions of old time are not worth remembrance, let him who can bear the loathsome employ, only call to mind the wars of the last twelve years; let him attentively consider the causes of them all, and he will find them all to have been undertaken for the sake of kings; all of them carried on with infinite detriment to the people; while, in most instances, the people had not the smallest concern either in their origin or their issue.

Then, as to young men being chiefly concerned in this mischief of exciting war; so far from it, that you hide your grey hairs with a helmet; canitiem galea premitis; and you deem it an honour to the hoary head of a Christian, to encourage, or even take an active part in war, though the heathen poet, Ovid, says, turpe senex miles; that an old man, a warrior! is a loathsome object. Ovid’s countrymen would have considered a fighting-man, or one that set others to fight, at seventy years old, a blood-thirsty dotard, with one foot in his grave, a monster of wickedness and folly.

As to the laity only being concerned, it is so far from true, that priests, whom God, under the severe and sanguinary dispensation of Moses, forbade to be polluted with blood, do not blush; that Christian divines and preachers, the guides of our lives, do not blush; that professors of the purest divinity do not blush; that neither bishops, cardinals, nor Christ’s own vicars, blush, to become the instigators, the very fire-brands of war, against which Christ, from whom they all pretend to derive the only authority they can have, expressed his utter detestation.

What possible consistency can there be between a mitre and a helmet, a pastoral staff and a sabre? between the volume of the Gospel and a shield and buckler? How can it be consistent to salute the people with the words, “peace be with you,” and, at the same time, to be exciting the whole world to bloody war! with the lips to speak peace, and with the hand, and every power of action, to be urging on havoc? Dare you describe Christ as a reconciler, a Prince of Peace, and yet palliate or commend war, with the same tongue; which in truth, is nothing less than to sound the trumpet before Christ and Satan at the same time? Do you presume, reverend sir, with your hood and surplice on, to stimulate the simple, inoffensive people to war, when they come to church, expecting to hear from your mouth the Gospel of peace? Are you not apprehensive, lest what was said by those who announced the coming of Christ, “how beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings of peace; who bringeth tidings of good, who bringeth tidings of salvation!” should be reversed, and addressed to you in this manner: “how foul is the tongue of priests; exhorting to war, inciting to evil, and urging men to destruction.” Think of the incongruous idea, a bloody priest!

Among the old Romans, who retained something of true piety in the midst of heathenism, whoever entered on the office of pontifex maximus, or high priest, was obliged to swear that he would keep his hands unstained with blood; and that, if he were provoked, or even hurt by any aggressor, he would not avenge the injury. Titus Vespasian, a heathen emperor, kept the oath religiously, and is highly commended for it by a heathen writer. But among Christians, as if shame had fled from earth, clergymen, solemnly consecrated to God, are often among the first to inflame the minds, both of king and people, to blood and devastation. They convert the sweet accents of the Gospel to the trumpet of Mars; and, forgetting the dignity of their profession, run about making proselytes to their opinion, ready to do or suffer any thing, so long as they can but succeed in kindling the flames of war.

Kings who perhaps might otherwise have kept quiet, are set on fire by those very men, who ought, if they acted in character, to cool the ardour of warring potentates by their official and sacred authority. Nay, what is more monstrous still, clergymen actually wage war in person, and with a view to obtain shares in prizes or preferments; things, which the philosophers among the heathens held in contempt; and the contempt of which is the peculiar and appropriate distinction of men who profess to follow the apostles.

A very few years ago, when the world, labouring under a deadly fever, was running headlong to arms, the Gospel trumpeters blew a blast from the pulpit, and inflamed the wretched kings of Europe to a paroxysm, running as they were fast enough of themselves into a state of downright insanity. Among the English, the clergy fulminated from the pulpit against the French; and among the French, against the English. They all united in instigating to war. Not one man among the clery exhorted to peace; or, at least, not above one or two, whose lives would perhaps be in danger, if I were even now to name them.

The right reverend fathers in God, the holy bishops, forgetting their personal and professional dignity, were continually running to and fro, like the evil-one, adding virulence to the public disease of the world, by their mischievous officiousness; instigating, on one hand, Julius the pope, and, on the other, the surrounding kings, to push on the war with vigour; as if both pope and kings were not mad enough without their inflammatory suggestions. In the mean time, the fathers in God failed not to call their bloodthirsty rage, a zeal for law, order, and religion.

To forward their sanguinary purposes, they wrest the laws of heaven to a constructive meaning never meant, they misinterpret the writings of good men, they misquote and misrepresent the sacred scripture, I do not say, with the most barefaced impudence only, but the most blasphemous impiety. Nay, matters are come to such a pass, that it is deemed foolish and wicked to open one’s mouth against war, or to venture a syllable in praise of peace; the constant theme of Christ’s eulogy. He is thought to be ill affected to the king, and even to pay but little regard to the people’s interest, who recommends what is of all things in the world the most salutary, to both king and people, or dissuades from that which, without any exception, is the most destructive.

In addition to all this, chaplains follow the army to the field of battle; bishops preside in the camp, and, abandoning their churches, enlist in the service of Bellona. The war multiplies priests, bishops, and cardinals, among whom, to be a camp legate is deemed an honourable preferment, and worthy the successors of the apostles. It is therefore the less wonderful that priests should breathe the spirit of Mars, to whom Mars gives ecclesiastical rank, together with loaves and fishes.

It is a circumstance which renders the evil less capable of remedy, that the clergy cover over this most irreligious conduct with the cloke of religion. The colours in the regiments, (consecrated by ministers of peace!) bear the figure of the cross painted upon them. The unfeeling mercenary soldier, hired by a few pieces of paltry coin, to do the work of man-butcher, carries before him the standard of the cross; and that very figure becomes the symbol of war, which alone ought to teach every one that looks at it, that war ought to be utterly abolished. What hast thou to do with the cross of Christ on thy banners, thou blood-stained soldier? With such a disposition as thine; with deeds like thine, of robbery and murder, thy proper standard would be a dragon, a tiger, or a wolf!

That cross is the standard of Him who conquered, not by fighting, but by dying; who came, not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. It is a standard, the very sight of which might teach you what sort of enemies you have to war against, if you are a Christian, and how you may be sure to gain the victory.

I see you, while the standard of salvation is in one hand, rushing on with a sword in the other, to the murder of your brother; and, under the banner of the cross, destroying the life of one who to the cross owes his salvation. Even from the holy sacrament itself, (for it is sometimes, at the same hour, administered in opposite camps) in which is signified the complete union of all Christians, the warriors, who have just received it, run instantly to arms, and endeavour to plunge the dreadful steel into each other’s vitals. Of a scene thus infernal, and fit only for the eyes of accursed spirits, who delight in mischief and misery, the pious warriors would make Christ the spectator, if it could be supposed that He would be present at it.

The absurdest circumstance of all those respecting the use of the cross as a standard is, that you see it glittering and waving high in air in both the contending armies at once. Divine service is also performed to the same Christ in both armies at the same time. What a shocking sight? Lo! crosses dashing against crosses, and Christ on this side firing bullets at Christ on the other; cross against cross, and Christ against Christ. The banner of the cross, significant of the Christian profession, is used on each side, to strike terror into the opposite enemy. How dare they, on this occasion, to attack what, on all others, they adore? Because they are unworthy to bear the true cross at all, and rather deserve to be themselves crucified.

Let us now imagine we hear a soldier, among these fighting Christians, saying the Lord’s prayer. “Our Father,” says he; O hardened wretch! can you call him father, when you are just going to cut your brother’s throat? “Hallowed be thy name:” how can the name of God be more impiously unhallowed, than by mutual bloody murder among you, his sons? “Thy kingdom come:” do you pray for the coming of his kingdom, while you are endeavouring to establish an earthly despotism, by spilling the blood of God’s sons and subjects? “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven:” his will in Heaven, is for peace, but you are now meditating war. Dare you to say to your Father in Heaven “Give us this day our daily bread;” when you are going, the next minute perhaps, to burn up your brother’s corn-fields; and had rather lose the benefit of them yourself, than suffer him to enjoy them unmolested? With what face can you say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us,” when, so far from forgiving your own brother, you are going, with all the haste you can, to murder him in cold blood, for an alleged trespass that, after all, is but imaginary. Do you presume to deprecate the danger of temptation, who, not without great danger to yourself, are doing all you can to force your brother into danger? Do you deserve to be delivered from evil, that is, from the evil being, to whose impulse you submit yourself, and by whose spirit you are now guided, in contriving the greatest possible evil to your brother?

Plato somewhere says, that when Grecians war with Grecians, (notwithstanding they were separate and independent dynasties) it is not a war, but an insurrection. He would not consider them as a separate people, because they were united in name and by vicinity. And yet the Christians will call it a war, and a just and necessary war too, which, on the most trifling occasion, with such soldiery and such weapons, one people professing Christianity, wages war with another people holding exactly the same creed, and professing the same Christianity.

The laws of some heathen nations ordained, that he who should stain his sword with a brother’s blood, should be sewed up in a sack, and thrown into the common sewer. Now they are no less strongly united as brothers whom Christ has fraternized, than those who are related by consanguinity. And yet, in war, there is a reward instead of punishment for murdering a brother. Wretched is the alternative forced upon us by war. He who conquers is a murderer of his brother; and he who is conquered, dies equally guilty of fratricide, because he did his best to commit it.

After all this unchristian cruelty, and all this inconsistency, the Christian warriors execrate the Turks as a tribe of unbelievers, strangers to Christ; just as if, while they act in this manner, they were Christians themselves; or as if there could be a more agreeable sight to the Turks than to behold the Christians running each other through the body with the bayonet. The Turks, say the Christians, sacrifice to the devil; but, as there can be no victim so acceptable to the devil as a Christian sacrificed by a Christian, are not you, my good Christian, sacrificing to the devil as much as the Turk? Indeed, the evil one has in this case the pleasure of two victims at a time, since he who sacrifices is no less his victim than he who is sacrificed by the hand of a Christian and the sword of war. If any one favours the Turks, and wishes to be on good terms with the devil, let him offer up such victims as these.

But I am well aware of the excuse which men, ever ingenious in devising mischief to themselves as well as others, offer in extenuation of their conduct in going to war. They allege, that they are compelled to it; that they are dragged against their will to war. I answer them, deal fairly; pull off the mask; throw away all false colours; consult your own heart, and you will find that anger, ambition, and folly are the compulsory force that has dragged you to war, and not any necessity; unless indeed you call the insatiable cravings of a covetous mind, necessity.

Reserve your outside pretences to deceive the thoughtless vulgar. God is not mocked with paint and varnish. Solemn days and forms of fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving, are appointed. Loud petitions are offered up to Heaven for peace. The priests and the people roar out as vociferously as they can “give peace in our time, O Lord! We beseech thee to hear us, O Lord.” Might not the Lord very justly answer and say, “why mock ye me, ye hypocrites? You fast and pray that I would avert a calamity which you have brought upon your own heads. You are deprecating an evil, of which yourselves are the authors.”

Now, if every possible offence, every little occurrence not exactly to one’s mind, is to excite a war, what is there in human affairs that will not furnish an occasion of deadly strife? In the tenderest connections of domestic life, and between the most affectionate husbands and wives, there is always some fault to be connived at, some omission or commission to be mutually forgiven, some occasion for reciprocal forbearance; unless you assert that it would be better to cut asunder, on the first dispute, all ties of affection.

Suppose some differences, like those of conjugal life, to happen between neighbouring princes, why should they immediately draw the sword, and proceed to the last sad extremities? There are laws, there are sagacious men, there are worthy clergymen, there are right reverend bishops, by whose salutary advice all disagreements might be reconciled, and all disturbance checked at its origin. Why do kings not make these, instead of the sword, their umpires? Even if the arbitrators were unjust, which is not likely, when removed from all undue influence, the disagreeing parties would come off with less injury than if they had recourse to arms; to the irrational and doubtful decision of war.

There is scarcely any peace so unjust, but it is preferable, upon the whole, to the justest war. Sit down, before you draw the sword, weigh every article, omit none, and compute the expence of blood as well as treasure which war requires, and the evils which it of necessity brings with it; and then see at the bottom of the account whether, after the greatest success, there is likely to be a balance in your favour.

The authority of the Roman pontiff is allowed to be paramount and decisive. Kings themselves allow it. And yet when nations, when kings are violently engaged in the most unnatural wars for years together, where is then the paramount and decisive authority of the pontiff, where then the power said to be second to none but Christ in Heaven? On this occasion, if on any, this high power would be exerted, if the high pontiffs themselves were not slaves themselves to the same vile passions as the wretched kings and deluded people.

The pontiff summons to war. He is obeyed. He summons to peace; why is he not obeyed as readily? If men, as they profess, really do prefer peace, and are reluctantly dragged to war, why do they obey Pope Julius with so much alacrity when he calls them to war, and yield no obedience to Pope Leo, when he invites them to concord and peace? If the authority of the Roman pontiff be really divine, surely it ought then to avail most when it prescribes that conduct which Christ taught as the only proper conduct. It is fair to conclude, that those whom Julius has authority enough to excite to a most destructive war, and whom Leo, a really religious pontiff, cannot allure, by the most cogent arguments, to Christian love and charity, are serving (I express myself tenderly of them) under the cloke of serving the church, nothing else but their own vile and selfish passions.

If you are in your heart weary of war, I will tell you how you may avoid it, and preserve a cordial and general amity.

Firm and permanent peace is not to be secured by marrying one royal family to another, nor by treaties and alliances made between such deceitful and imperfect creatures as men; for, from these very family connections, treaties, and alliances, we see wars chiefly originate. No; the fountains from which the streams of this evil flow, must be cleansed. It is from the corrupt passions of the human heart that the tumults of war arise. While each king obeys the impulse of his passions, the commonwealth, the community, suffers; and at the same time, the poor slave to his passions is frustrated in his private and selfish purposes.

Let kings then grow wise; wise for the people, not for themselves only; and let them be truly wise, in the proper sense of the word, not merely cunning, but really wise; so as to place their majesty, their felicity, their wealth, and their splendor in such things, and such only, as render them personally great, personally superior to those whom the fortune of birth has ranked, in a civil sense, below them. Let them acquire those amiable dispositions towards the commonwealth, the great body of the people, which a father feels for his family. Let a king think himself great in proportion as his people are good; let him estimate his own happiness by the happiness of those whom he governs; let him deem himself glorious in proportion as his subjects are free; rich, if the public are rich; and flourishing, if he can but keep the community flourishing, in consequence of uninterrupted peace.

Such should be our king, if we wish to establish a firm and lasting peace; and let the noblemen and magistrates imitate the king, rendered by these means worthy of imitation. Let the public good be the rule of their conduct; and so will they ultimately promote most effectually even their own private advantage.

Now, will a king of such a disposition as I have described, be easily prevailed upon to extort money from his own people to put it into the pockets of foreign mercenaries and alien subsidiaries? Will he reduce his own people to distress, perhaps even for bread, in order to fill the coffers of military despots and commanders? Will he be lavish of blood, as well as treasure, (neither of them his own) and expose the lives, as well as expend the property, of his people? No. I think he will know better.

Let him exercise his power as far as he pleases, within those bounds which he will always see clearly, when he remembers that he is a man governing men, a free man at the head of free men, a Christian presiding over a nation of Christians. In return for his good behaviour, let the people pay him just so much reverence, and yield him just so many privileges and prerogatives as for the public good, and no more. A good king will require no more; and as to the unreasonable desires of a bad king, the people should unite to check and repel them. Let there be on both sides a due regard paid to private happiness. Let the greatest share of honour be ever paid, not to warlike kings, (the world has sorely suffered for its folly in giving them glory) but to kings who entirely reject the war system, and by their understanding and counsels, not by force and arms, restore to bleeding human nature the blessings of concord and repose. Let him be called a great king, not who is continually augmenting his army, and providing military stores and engines of destruction, but who exerts every effort of his mind, and uses every advantage of his situation, to render armies, stores, and engines of destruction totally unnecessary. Truly glorious as is such an attempt; not one, in the long catalogue of kings and princes that has “strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage,” every conceived the thought in his heart, except the emperor Dioclesian.

But if, after all, it is not possible that a war should be avoided, let it be so conducted, that the severest of its calamities may fall upon the heads of those who gave the occasion. Yet kings, instead of suffering at all by it, wage war in perfect consistency with their personal safety. The great men grow rich upon it. The largest part of the evil falls upon landholders, husbandmen, tradesmen, manufacturers, whom, perhaps the war does not in the least concern, and who never furnished the slightest cause for a national rupture.

In what consists the wisdom of a king, if he does not take these things into consideration? In what consists the gracious goodness, the tender feeling of a king, if he thinks such things beneath his notice?

Some method should be discovered to keep kings from shifting their thrones and dominions, and going from one dynasty to another, because innovations in matters of this kind always create disturbance, and disturbance produces war. This may easily be managed, if the children of kings are provided for, or established somewhere within their father’s own dominions; or if it should appear expedient to connect them with neighbouring crowned heads, let all hope of succession be entirely cut off at the time when a marriage, or any other mode of connection with foreign courts, is negotiated. Nor let any king be allowed to sell or alienate in any manner the least portion of his dominions, as if free states were his private property. I say free states, for all states are free that have kings, properly so called, to govern them. States that are not free, are not under kings, whatever they may be called, but despots. By the intermarriage of kings and their progeny, and the rights of succession which thence arise, a man born in the bogs of Ireland may come to reign in the East Indies; and another who was a king in Syria, may all of a sudden start up an Italian prince. Thus it may happen that neither country shall have a king, while he abandons his former dominions, and is not acknowledged by his newly acquired ones; being a perfect stranger, born in another world, for any thing they know to the contrary. And in the mean time, while he is reducing, subduing and exhausting part of his dominions, he is impoverishing and exhausting the other. He sometimes loses both, while he is endeavouring to grasp both, and most likely is not fit to govern either. Let kings once settle among themselves, how much and how far each ought to govern, and then let no marriage connection among them either extend or contract; let no treaty alter the limits once ascertained. Thus every one will endeavour to improve his allotted portion to the utmost of his power. All his efforts will be concentrated on one country, and he will endeavour to transmit it to his posterity in a rich and flourishing condition. The result will be, that when every one minds his own, all will thrive. Therefore let kings be attached to each other, not by political intermarriages, artificial and factitious ties, but by pure and sincere friendship; and above all, by a zeal similar and common to the whole tribe to promote the solid, substantial happiness of human nature. And let the king’s successor be either he who is most nearly related to him, or he who shall be judged fittest for the momentous office, by the suffrages of the people. Let the other great men rest satisfied with being numbered among the honourable nobility. It is the duty of a king to enter into no party cabals, to know nothing of private passions or partialities, but to esteem all men and measures solely as they have a reference and tendency to the good of the public. Moreover, let the king avoid travelling into foreign countries, let him never wish to pass the boundaries of his own dominions; but let him shew that he approves a proverbial saying, sanctioned by the wisdom of ages, frons occipitio prior est: by which was intimated, that nothing goes on well when conducted by secondaries and mercenaries only, and in the absence of the principal.

Let him be persuaded that the best method of enriching and improving his realm, is not by taking from the territory of others, but by meliorating the condition of his own. When the expediency of war is discussed, let him not listen to the counsels of young ministers, who are pleased with the false glory of war, without considering its calamities, of which, from their age, it is impossible that they should have had personal experience. Neither let him consult those who have an interest in disturbing the public tranquillity and who are fed and fattened by the sufferings of the people. Let him take the advice of old men, whose integrity has been long tried, and who have shewn that they have an unfeigned attachment to their country. Nor let him, to gratify the passions or sinister views of one or two violent or artful men, rashly enter on a war; for war, once engaged in, cannot be put an end to at discretion. A measure the most dangerous to the existence of a state as a war must be, should not be entered into by a king, by a minister, by a junto of ambitious avaricious, or revengeful men, but by the full and unanimous consent of the whole people.

The causes of war are to be cut up root and branch, on their first and slightest appearance. Many real injuries and insults must be connived at. Men must not be too zealous about a phantom called national glory; often inconsistent with individual happiness. Gentle behaviour on one side, will tend to secure it on the other; but the insolence of a haughty minister may give unpardonable offence, and be dearly paid for by the sufferings of the nation over which he domineers.

There are occasions when, if peace can be had in no other way, it must be purchased. It can scarcely be purchased too dearly, if you take into the account how much treasure you must inevitably expend in war; and what is of infinitely greater consequence than treasure, how many of the people’s lives you save by peace. Though the cost be great, yet war would certainly cost you more; besides, (what is above all price) the blood of men, the blood of your own fellow-citizens and subjects, whose lives you are bound, by every tie of duty, to preserve, instead of lavishing away in prosecuting schemes of false policy, and cruel, selfish, villainous ambition. Only form a fair estimate of the quantity of mischief and misery of every kind and degree which you escape, and the sum of happiness you preserve in all the walks of private life, among all the tender relations of parents, husbands, children, among those whose poverty alone makes them soldiers, the wretched instruments of involuntary bloodshed; form but this estimate, and you will never repent the highest price you can pay for peace.

While the king does his duty as the guardian and preserver, instead of the destroyer, of the people committed to his charge, let the right reverend the bishops do their duty likewise. Let the priests be priests indeed; preachers of peace and goodwill, and not the instigators of war, for the sake of pleasing a corrupt minister, in whose hands are livings, stalls, and mitres; let the whole body of the clergy remember the truly evangelical duties of their profession, and let the grave professors of theology in our universities, or wherever else they teach divinity, remember to teach nothing as men-pleasers unworthy of Christ. Let all the clergy, however they may differ in rank, order, sect, or persuasion, unite to cry down war, and discountenance it through the nation, by zealously and faithfully arraigning it from the pulpit. In the public functions of their several churches, in their private conversation and intercourse with the laity, let them be constantly employed in the Christian, benevolent, humane work of preaching, recommending, and inculcating, peace. If, after all their efforts, the clergy cannot prevent the breaking out of war, let them never give it the slightest approbation, directly or indirectly, let them never give countenance to it by their presence at its silly parade or bloody proceedings, let them never pay the smallest respect to any great patron or prime minister, or courtier, who is the author or adviser of a state of affairs so contrary to their holy profession, and to every duty and principle of the Christian religion, as is a state of war.

Let the clergy agree to refuse burial in consecrated ground to all who are slain in battle. If there be any good men among the slain, and certainly there are very few, they will not lose the reward of Christians in Heaven, because they had not what is called Christian burial. But the worthless, of whom the majority of warriors consists, will have one cause of that silly vanity and self-liking which attends and recommends their profession more than any thing else, entirely removed, when sepulchral honours are denied, after all the glory of being knocked on the head in battle, in the noble endeavour to kill a fellow-creature.

I am speaking all along of those wars which Christians wage with Christians, on trifling and unjustifiable occasions. I think very differently of wars, bona fide, just and necessary, such as are, in a strict sense of those words, purely defensive, such as with an honest and affectionate zeal for the country, repel the violence of invaders, and, at the hazard of life, preserve the public tranquillity.

But in the present state of things, the clergy (for of their conduct I proceed to speak) so far from acting as servants of Christ, in the manner I have recommended, do not hesitate to hang up flags, standards, banners, and other trophies of war, brought from the field of carnage, as ornaments of churches and great cathedrals. These trophies shall be all stained and smeared with the blood of men, for whom Christ shed his most precious blood, and shall be hung in the aisles of the churches, among the tombs and images of apostles and martyrs, as if in future it were to be reckoned a mark of sanctity not to suffer martyrdom, but to inflict it; not to lay down one’s life for the truth, but to take away the life of others for worldly purposes of vanity and avarice. It would be quite sufficient if the bloody rags were hung up in some corner of the Exchange or kept, as curiosities in a chest or closet, out of sight; disgraceful monuments they are of human depravity. The church, which ought to be kept perfectly pure, and emblematic of the purest of religions, should not be defiled with any thing stained with the blood of man, shed by the hand of man alienated, as is clear by the very act, both from Christ and from nature.

But you argue in defence of this indecent practice of hanging up flags or colours, as they are called, in churches, that the ancients used to deposit the monuments of their victories in the temples of their gods. It is true, but what were their gods but demons, delighting in blood and impurity? not the God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Never let priests, dedicated to a God like this, have any thing to do with war, unless it is to put an end to it, and promote love and reconciliation. If the clergy were but unanimous in such sentiments, if they would inculcate them every where, there is no doubt, notwithstanding the great power of the secular arm, that their authority, personal and professional, would have a preponderance, against the influence of courts and ministers of state, and thus prevent war, the calamity of human nature.

But if there is a fatal propensity in the human heart to war, if the dreadful disease is interwoven with the constitution of man, so that it cannot abstain from war, why is not vent given to the virulence in exertions against the common enemy of Christianity, the unbelieving Turk? Yet — even here let me pause — is not the Turk a man — a brother? Then it were far better to allure him by gentle, kind, and friendly treatment, by exhibiting the beauty of our Christian religion in the innocence of our lives, than by attacking him with the drawn sword, as if he were a savage brute, without a heart to feel, or a reasoning faculty to be persuaded. Nevertheless, if we must of necessity go to war, as I said before, it is certainly a less evil to contend with an infidel, than that Christians should mutually harass and destroy their own fraternity. If charity will not cement their hearts, certainly one common enemy may unite their hands, and though this may not be a cordial unity, yet it will be better than a real rupture.

Upon the whole it must be said, that the first and most important step towards peace, is sincerely to desire it. They who once love peace in their hearts, will eagerly seize every opportunity of establishing or recovering it. All obstacles to it they will despise or remove, all hardships and difficulties they will bear with patience, so long as they keep this one great blessing (including as it does so many others) whole and entire. On the contrary, men, in our times, go out of their way to seek occasions of war; and whatever makes for peace, they run down in their sophistical speeches, or even basely conceal from the public; but whatever tends to promote their favourite war system, they industriously exaggerate and inflame, not scrupling to propagate lies of the most mischievous kind, false or garbled intelligence, and the grossest misrepresentation of the enemy. I am ashamed to relate what real and dreadful tragedies in real life, they found on these vile despicable trifles, from how small an ember they blow up a flame and set the world on fire. Then they summon before them the whole catalogue of supposed injuries received, and each party views its own grievance with a glass that magnifies beyond all bounds; but as for benefits received, they all fall into the profoundest oblivion as soon as received; so that upon the whole, an impartial observer would swear that great men love war for its own sake, with their hearts and souls, provided their own persons are safe.

After all the pretences thrown out, and the artifices used, to irritate the vulgar, there often lurks (as the true cause of wars) in the bosom of kings, some private, mean, and selfish motive, which is to force their subjects to take up weapons to kill one another, at the word of command, and as they wish to evince their loyalty. But, instead of a private and selfish object, there ought to be an object, in which not only the public, that is, not only one single community, but in which man, human nature, is deeply interested to justify the voluntary commencement of a war.

But when kings can find no cause of this kind, as indeed they seldom can, then they set their wits to work to invent some fictitious but plausible occasion for a rupture. They will make use of the names of foreign countries, artfully rendered odious to the people, in order to feed the popular odium, till it becomes ripe for war, and thirsts for the blood of the outlandish nation, whose very name is rendered a cause of hostility. This weakness and folly of the very lowest classes of the people, the grandees increase by artful insinuations, watchwords, and nicknames, cunningly thrown out in debates, pamphlets, and journals. Certain of the clergy, whose interest it is to cooperate with the grandees in any unchristian work, join, with great effect, aided by religion, in a pious imposition on the poor. Thus, for instance, an Englishman they say, is the natural enemy of a Frenchman, because he is a Frenchman. A man born on this side the river Tweed must hate a Scotchman, because he is a Scotchman. A German naturally disagrees with a Frank, a Spaniard with both. O villainous depravity! The name of a place or region, in itself a circumstance of indifference, shall be enough to dissever your hearts more widely than the distance of place, your persons! A name is nothing, but there are many circumstances, very important realities, which ought to endear and unite men of different nations. As an Englishman, you bear ill-will to a Frenchman. Why not rather, as a man to a man, do you not bear him good-will? Why not as a Christian to a Christian? How happens it, that such a frivolous thing as a name avails more with you than the tender ties of nature, the strong bonds of Christianity? Place, local distance, separates the persons of men, but not their minds. Hearts can gravitate to each other through intervening seas and mountains. The river Rhine once separated the Frenchman from the German, but it was beyond its power to separate the Christian from the Christian. The Pyrenean mountains divide the Spaniards from the French, but they break not that invisible bond which holds them together in defiance of all partition, the communion of the church. A little gut of a sea divides the English from the French; but if the whole Atlantic ocean rolled between them, it could not disjoin them as men united by nature; and, while they mutually retain the Christian religion, still more indissolubly cemented by grace.

The Apostle Paul expresses his indignation, that Christians, separating into sects, should say, “I am of Apollos; I am of Cephas; I am of Paul:” nor would he suffer the unnatural distinction of a name to parcel out Christ, who is one with all his members, and who has formed all into one inviolable whole. And shall we think the common name of a native country cause sufficient why one race of men should hunt down another race of men, even to extermination; should engage them with each other in a bellum ad internecionem; a war, to cut off, on one side or the other, man, woman and child, and leave not a tongue to tell the tale?

The hostile distinction of different nations as natural enemies, because they are separated by place, and diversified by name, is not enough to satisfy some among the blood-thirsty wretches who delight in war. Such is the depravity of their minds, that they seek occasions of difference where none is afforded either by nature or institution. They would divide France against itself, in verbal and nominal distinctions of the inhabitants; a country which is not divided by seas, or by mountains, and is indeed one and indivisible, however artful men may endeavour to cause divisions in it by distinctions merely nominal. Thus some of the French they will denominate Germans, lest the circumstance of identity of name should produce that unanimity which they diabolically wish to interrupt.

Now, if, in courts of judicature, the judge will not admit of suits which are frivolous and vexatious; if he will not admit of all sorts of evidence, especially that which arises from a personal pique and resentment, how happens it that, in a business of far more consequence to human nature even than courts of judicature, in an affair the most odious and abominable, such as the promoting discord among human creatures and whole neighbouring nations, causes the most frivolous and vexatious are freely admitted as competent and valid. Let the lovers of discord, and the promoters of bloodshed between nations, divided only by a name and a channel, rather reflect, that this world, the whole of the planet called earth, is the common country of all who live and breathe upon it, if the title of one’s country is allowed to be a sufficient reason for unity among fellow-countrymen; and let them also remember, that all men, however distinguished by political or accidental causes, are sprung from the same parents, if consanguinity and affinity are allowed to be available to concord and peace. If the church also is a subdivision of this one great universal family, a family of itself consisting of all who belong to that church, and if the being of the same family necessarily connects all the members in a common interest and a common regard for each other, then the opposers must be ingenious in their malice, if they can deny, that all who are of the same church, the grand Catholic Church of all Christendom, must also have a common interest, a common regard for each other, and therefore be united in love.

In private life, you bear with some things in a brother-in-law which you bear with only because he is a brother-in-law; and will you bear with nothing in him who by the tie of the same religion is also a brother? You pardon many little offences on account of nearness of kindred, and will you pardon nothing on account of an affinity founded in religion? Yet, there is no doubt but that the closest possible tie among all the Christian brotherhood, is confraternity in Christ.

Why are you always fixing your attention upon the sore place, where the insult of injury received from a fellow-creature festers and rankles? If you seek peace and ensue it, as you ought to do, you will rather say to yourself, “he hurt me in this instance, it is true; but in other instances he has often served or gratified me, and in this one he was perhaps incited to momentary wrong by passion, mistake, or by another’s impulse.” As, in the poet Homer, the persons who seek to effect a reconciliation between Agamemnon and Achilles, throw all the blame of their quarrel on the Goddess Atè; so in real life, offences that cannot be excused consistently with strict veracity, should, good-naturedly, be imputed to ill-fortune, or, if you please, to a man’s evil-genius; that the resentment may be transferred from men to those imaginary beings, who can bear the load, however great, without the slightest inconvenience.

Why should men shew more sagacity in creating misery, than in securing and increasing the comforts of life? Why should they be more quicksighted in finding evil than good? All men of sense weigh, consider, and use great circumspection, before they enter upon any private business of momentous consequence. And yet they throw themselves headlong into war, with their eyes shut; notwithstanding war is that kind of evil which, when once admitted, cannot be excluded again at will; but usually, from a little one, becomes a very great one; from a single one, multiplies into a complication; from an unbloody contest, changes to carnage, and at last rises to a storm, which does not overwhelm merely one or two, and those the chief instigators to the mischief, but all the unoffending people also; confounding the innocent with the guilty.

If the poor people, of the very lowest order, are too thoughtless to consider these things, it can be no excuse for the king and the nobles, whose indispensable duty it is to consider them well; and it is the particular business of the clergy to enforce these pacific opinions with every argument which ingenuity and learning can derive from reason and religion; to enforce them, I say, and inculcate them on the minds of both the great, vulgar, and the small; “instantly, in season, and out of season”; whether they “will bear, or whether they will forbear.” Something will at last stick, if it is incessantly applied; and, therefore, let the pulpits and conversation of the clergy teach the bland doctrines of peace and love everywhere and always.

Mortal man! (for so I address thee, even on a throne) dost thou exult at hearing the rumour of an ensuing war? Check thy joy for a moment, and examine, accurately, the nature and consequences of peace, and the nature and consequences of war; what blessings follow in the train of peace, and what curses march in the rear of war; and then form a true and solid judgment, whether it can ever be expedient to exchange peace for war? It it is a goodly and beautiful sight to behold a country flourishing in the highest prosperity; its cities well built, its lands well cultivated, the best of laws well executed; arts, sciences, and learning, those honourable employments of the human mind, encouraged; men’s morals virtuous and honest; then may it please your Majesty to lay your hand on your heart, and let your conscience whisper to you, “All this happiness I must disturb or destroy, if I engage in this meditated war.” On the other hand, if you ever beheld the ruin of cities, villages burnt, churches battered down, fields laid desolate, and, if the sight could wring a tear of pity from thine eye, then, Sire, remember that these are the blasted fruits of accursed war! If you think it a great inconvenience to be obliged to admit an inundation of hired soldiers into your realms, to feed and clothe them at the expence of your subjects, to be very submissive to them, meanly to court their favour, in order to keep them in good humour, well affected, and loyal; and, after all, to trust (which is unavoidable in these circumstances) your own person and your safety to the discretion of such a rabble; recollect, that such is the condition of a state of warfare, and that these evils, great as they are, become necessary, when you have made yourself their slave, in order to enslave or destroy an imaginary enemy.

If you detest robbery and pillage, remember these are among the duties of war; and that, to learn how to commit them adroitly, is a part of military discipline. Do you shudder at the idea of murder? You cannot require to be told, that to commit it with dispatch, and by wholesale, constitutes the celebrated art of war. If murder were not learned by this art, how could a man, who would shudder to kill one individual, even when provoked, go, in cold blood, and cut the throats of many for a little paltry pay, and under no better authority than a commission from a mortal as weak, wicked and wretched as himself, who does not perhaps know even his person, and would not care if both his body and soul were annihilated? If there cannot be a greater misfortune to the commonwealth, than a general neglect and disobedience of the laws, let it be considered as a certain truth, that the voice of law, divine or human, is never heard amid the clangor of arms, and the din of battle. If you deem debauchery, rape, incest, and crimes of still greater turpitude than these, foul disgraces to human nature, depend upon it that war leads to all of them, in their most aggravated atrocity. If impiety, or a total neglect of religion, is the source of all villany, be assured that religion is always overwhelmed in the storms of war. If you think that the very worst possible condition of society, when the worst of men possess the greatest share of power, you may take it as an infallible observation, that the wickedest, most unprincipled, and most unfeeling wretches bear the greatest sway in a state of war; and that such as would come to the gallows in time of peace, are men of prime use and energy in the operations of a siege or a battle. For, who can lead the troops through secret ways more skilfully than an experienced robber, who has spent an apprenticeship to the art among thieves? Who will pull down a house, or rob a church, more dexterously than one who has been trained to burglary and sacrilege? Who will plunge his bayonet into the enemy’s heart, or rip up his bowels with more facility of execution, than a practised assassin, or thorough-paced cut-throat by profession? Who is better qualified to set fire to a village, or a city, or a ship, than a notorious incendiary? Who will brave the hardships and perils of the sea better than a pirate long used to rob, sink, and destroy merchant vessels inoffensively traversing the great waters? In short, if you would form an adequate idea of the villany of war, only observe by whom it is carried into actual execution.

If nothing can be a more desirable object to a pious king, than the safety and welfare of those who are committed to his charge, then, consistently with this object, war must of necessity be held in the greatest conceivable abhorrence. If it is the happiness of a king to govern the happy, he cannot but delight in peace. If a good king wishes for nothing so much as to have his people good, like himself, he must detest war, as the foul sink of sin as well as misery. If he has sense and liberality enough to consider his subjects’ riches, the best and truest opulence he can himself possess, then let him shun war by all possible means; because, though it should turn out ever so fortunate, it certainly diminishes every body’s property, and expends that which was earned by honest, honourable, and useful employments, on certain savage butchers of the human race. Let him also consider again and again, that every man is apt to flatter himself that his own cause is a good one; that every man is pleased with his own schemes and purposes; and that every measure appears to a man agitated with passion the most equitable, though it is the most unjust, the most imprudent, and the most fallacious in the issue. But, suppose the cause the justest in the world, the event the most prosperous, yet take into the account all the damages of war, of every kind and degree, and weigh them in the balance with all the advantages of victory, and you will find the most brilliant success not worth the trouble.

Seldom can a conquest be gained without the effusion of blood. Therefore, in the midst of the rejoicings, illuminations, acclamations, and all the tumult of joy, excited by knaves among fools, it must occur to a king with a feeling heart that he has embrued hands, hitherto unspotted, in the pollution of human gore. Add to this circumstance, distressing to every humane heart, the injury done to the morals of the people, and the general good order and discipline of the state, and you will find this a loss which neither money, nor territory, nor glory, can compensate. You have exhausted your treasury, you have fleeced your people, you have loaded peaceable good subjects with unnecessary burdens, and you have encouraged the wicked unprincipled adventurers in acts of rapine and violence; and, after all, even when the war is put an end to, the bad consequences of the war still remain, not to be removed by the most splendid victory. The taste for science, arts, and letters, languishes a long while. Trade and commerce continue shackled and impeded. Though you should be able to block up the enemy, yet, in doing it, you, in fact, block up yourself and your own people; for neither you nor they dare enter the neighbouring nation, which, before the war, was open to egress and regress; while peace, by opening an universal intercourse among mankind, renders, in some measure, all the neighbouring dynasties one common country.

Consider what mighty matters you have done by thus boldly rushing into war. Your own hereditary dominions can scarcely be called your own. The possession is rendered insecure, being constantly exposed to hostile invasion. In order to demolish a poor little town, how much artillery, how much camp-equipage, and all other military apparatus, do you find requisite? You must build a sort of temporary town, in order to overthrow a real one; and, for less money than the whole business of destruction costs you, you might build another town by the side of that you are going to level in the dust, where human beings might enjoy, if you would let them, the comforts of that life which God has been pleased to bestow in peace and plenty. In order to prevent the enemy from going out of the gates of his own town, you are obliged to sleep for months out of yours in a tent of the open air, and continue in a state of transportation and exile from your own home. You might build new walls for less than it costs you to batter down the old ones with your cannon-balls, and all the expensive contrivances formed for the hellish purposes of marring and demolishing the works of human industry. In this cursory computation of your expence, (for that I am chiefly considering, and the gain that accures from victory) I do not reckon the vast sums that stick to the fingers of commissioners, contractors, generals, admirals, and captains, which is certainly a great part of the whole.

If you could bring all these articles into a fair and honest calculation, I will painfully suffer myself to be every where driven from you mortals as I am, unless it should appear that you might have purchased peace, without a drop of blood, at a tenth part of the expenditure. But you think it would be mean and humiliating, inconsistent with your own and your nation’s honour, to put up with the slightest injury: now I can assure you, that there is no stronger proof of a poor spirit, a narrow, cowardly, and unkingly heart, than revenge; especially as a king does not risk his own person in taking it, but employs the money of the people and the courage of the poor. You think it inconsistent with your august majesty, and that it would be departing from your royal dignity, to recede one inch from your strict right in favour of a neighbouring king, though related to you by consanguinity or marriage, and perhaps one who has formerly rendered you beneficial services. Poor strutting mortal! how much more effectually do you let down your august majesty and royal dignity when you are obliged to sacrifice with oblations of gold to foreign and barbarous mercenaries, to the lowest dregs, the most profligate wretches on the face of the earth; when, with the most abject adulation, and in the meanest form of a petitioner, you send ambassadors or commissioners to the vilest and most mischievous nations around, to ask them to receive your subsidies; trusting your august majesty’s life, and the property and political existence of your people, to the good faith of allies, who appear to have no regard to the most sacred engagements, and are no less inclined to violate justice than humanity.

If the preservation of peace is attended with the necessity of submitting to some circumstances rather disadvantageous, and perhaps unjust, do not say to yourself, that you incur such a loss by resolving on peace instead of war, but that you purchase the inestimable benefit of peace at such a price. You could not get it cheaper; but the consolation is that it cannot be bought too dearly. Yet methinks a royal objector says, “I would very willingly give up such and such points if I were a private man, and the things in question were my own property; but I am a king, and, whether I like it or not, am under the necessity of acting, as I do, for the public.”

For the public, says your majesty? Let me tell you, “that king will not easily be induced to enter on a war, who has no regard but for the public.” On the contrary, we see that almost all the real causes of wars are things which have no reference at all to the welfare of the public. Is your object to claim and gain possession of this or that part of another’s territory, what is that to the welfare of the people? Do you desire to take royal revenge on a crowned head in your vicinity, who has presumed to refuse your daughter in marriage, or repudiated her after marriage; what is that to the welfare of the people? How is it, in the smallest degree, a business of the state, the community at large? If you mean really to support your august majesty and royal dignity, the only way is, to support the character of a good, just, and wise man, by taking all these things into your most serious consideration, and acting accordingly.

Which of you modern kings ever extended his empire so widely, or governed with so much majesty and dignity, as Augustus Caesar? But he, in all his glory, was desirous of relinquishing his power, if the people could have found any prince to preside over them with more advantage to the commonwealth. The saying of a certain emperor of antiquity, is justly celebrated by the best writers; “perish, said he, my sons and heirs, if any other successor can be found more likely than any of them to consult the happiness of the people.” These two emperors, not being Christians, are called impious, heathenish men, by Christians; by those who would go to war, in defence of law, order, and religion; and yet such benevolent dispositions did these impious, heathen emperors display towards promoting the welfare of the people, the happiness of man in society! In the meantime, Christian emperors consider a whole Christian people as a swinish multitude, as so little worthy of their regard, that they would set the world on fire, without consulting the people, to revenge the disappointment of their own selfish desires or to secure their full gratification.

Still I hear certain potentates captiously exclaiming, that it does not signify arguing, and that they could not be personally safe if they did not repel by fire and sword the power of ill-designing men, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, might even attack, with success, their own august majesty. How happens it, I ask them in return, that among all the Roman emperors, Antonius Pius and Antonius the philosopher were the only ones that were never attacked? From these two instances it appears, that no kings sit more firmly on their thrones, than they who shew that they are ready at any time to quit them, when their resignation appears likely to benefit the public; and that their power is a trust resumable at will, reposed in them by the people for the good of the people, and not to gratify their own pride or avarice, by lavishing away other men’s blood and money.

May it please your most Christian majesties! if nothing will move you, if neither the feelings of nature, the reflections of conscience, nor the actual pressure of calamity; at least, let the reproach of the Christian profession (for which you pretend to be so zealous) bring you back to long relinquished Christian unanimity.

May it please you, who would go to war in defence of religion, as well as of law and order, to consider how small a portion of the terraqueous globe is occupied by Christians. And this portion, small as it is, constitutes what is called in the scriptures, a city situated on a holy mountain, to be constantly reverenced, and preserved inviolate, both by God and man.

But what must we suppose a nation of atheists, (if any such there be) or of unbelievers in Christ, think and say? what reproaches must they vomit out against Christ, when they see his professed followers cutting one another in pieces, from more trifling causes than the heathens; with greater cruelty than atheists, and with more destructive instruments of mutual murder than pagans could ever find in their hearts to use, or in their understanding to contrive.

Whose invention was a cannon? Was it not the invention of the meek, lowly, merciful followers of Jesus Christ, whose law was love, and whose last legacy to his disciples and the world, peace? The cannon was the contrivance of Christians; and to add to their infamy, it is usual to mark the names of the apostles and to engrave the images of saints upon the great guns. Cruel mockery of Christ, and of human misery! Paul, the constant teacher and preacher of peace, gives a name to a piece of artillery, and is thus made to hurl a deadly ball at the head of a Christian; The Church Militant with a vengeance!

If we are so anxious, as we pretend, to support religion, law, and order, and particularly to convert an unbelieving nation to Christianity, let us first prove ourselves to be sincere followers of Christ. Will the nation to whom we intend the favour of conversion to Christianity by fire and sword, believe that we ourselves are Christians, when they see, what is too evident to be denied, that no people on earth quarrel and fight, one among another, more savagely than we Christians; though Christ, the founder of the very religion which we mean to propagate among them, declared his utter detestation of all contention, and particularly of war?

A great heathen poet expresses his admiration, that among heathens, whom we pity for their ignorance, though there is a time when men have enough of the sweetest enjoyments of life, as of sleep, of food, of wine, of the dance, and the melody of music, yet that they seem never to have enough of the miseries of war. What he said of the heathens, his contemporaries and countrymen, is strictly true among those to whom the very name of war, the very word, (as signifying a thing disgraceful to human nature) ought to be held in utter abomination.

Rome, ancient Rome, mad as she was with martial rage, and intoxicated with the vanity of military glory, yet sometimes shut the temple of her Janus. How then happens it, that among you, ye Christian kings and people, no recess, no holiday, no vacations, no rest is allowed in the work of war? With what face should you dare to recommend the Christian religion to an unbelieving nation, as the religion of peace, when you yourselves are never at peace, but engaged in bitter quarrels and hostilities among each other, without the least intermission? What encouragement must it give the common enemy to see you thus divided. Divide and conquer, is a maxim; and no victory is easier than that over men turn to pieces by internal dissension. Would you, as a nation of Christians, be formidable to those who have renounced, or never knew, Christianity? To be formidable, be united.

Why should you, wretched mortals, of your own accord, poison the pleasure, embitter all the enjoyment of this present life, and at the same time cut yourselves off from all chance of future felicity? Few and evil are the days of man, numberless the unavoidable calamities of human life; but a great part of the misery may be alleviated by love and friendship; while, by mutual kind offices all men afford each other, in difficulties that are surmountable, assistance, and, under distress that admits no remedy, consolation. The good that falls to man’s lot will be sweeter in its enjoyment and more extensive in its effects, by concord; while every man considers every other man as a friend, imparts as a share of his possessions where he can; and, where he cannot, makes him a partaker of his good-humour and good-will.

How frivolous! what childish trifles! and how soon will they perish like yourselves! about which you make such disturbance; and, to obtain which, you deal death and desolation round the land. Death! you have no occasion for swords and muskets to accelerate it. Poor insects of a summer’s day! death hovers over all of you, in act to strike, with unerring dart, the king in all his glory, at the head of his armies, as suddenly as the labourer in the field and the manufactory. What a tumult is excited by an animalcule, with a crown on his head! a being who will soon vanish, like the smoke into the air, and leave not a vestige of its existence. At the very portal of your palace, at the entrance of your military pavilion, lo! the brink of eternity! Why then will you fret and fume about shadows, phantoms, air-drawn objects of a waking dream, as if this life were endless, and there were time enough in it to be wantonly mad and miserable.

O wretched men! ye who will not believe in the future happiness of the good, or who dare not hope it for yourselves under that description. Most unreasonable, as well as miserable, if you think that the road to the blissful country of Heaven lies through the field of battle and the walks of war! The very bliss of Heaven itself is but an undescribable union of beatified minds; to take place when that shall be fully accomplished, which Christ earnestly prayed for to his heavenly Father, desiring that Christians might be as intimately and mysteriously united to each other, as he is with the Father. How can you ever be fit for this perfect union, unless you meditate upon it in the interval, and endeavour with your utmost efforts to attain it? As the transition would be too sudden and violent, from a foul and filthy glutton to an angel of light; so would it be, from a bloody warrior to the company of martyrs, and those who have kept themselves unspotted from the world, unstained with human gore.

Enough, and more than enough, of Christian blood, enough of human blood, has been already spilt; enough have you acted the part of madmen to your mutual destruction; enough have you sacrificed to the evil spirits of hell; long enough have you been acting a tragedy for the entertainment of unbelievers. I pray you, after so long and sad experience of the evils of war, (submitted to by the principal sufferers a great while ago too patiently) repent, and be wise.

Let the folly that is past be imputed, if you will, to the destinies, to any thing you please. Let the Christians vote, what the heathens sometimes voted, an entire amnesty of all past errors and misfortunes; but, for the time to come, apply yourselves, one and all, to the preservation and perpetuation of peace. Bind up discord, not with hempen bands liable to be broken or untwisted, but with chains of steel and adamant, never to be burst asunder, till time shall be no more.

Kings! to you I make my first appeal. On your nod, such is the constitution of human affairs, the happiness of mortals is made to depend. You assume to be the images and representatives of Christ, your sovereign. Then, as you wish men to hear your voice shew the example of obedience, and hear the voice of your Sovereign Lord, commanding you, upon your duty, to seek peace and abolish war. Be persuaded that the world, wearied with its long continued calamities, demands this, and has a right to insist on your immediate compliance.

Priests! to you I appeal as consecrated to the God of Love and Mercy. On your conscience I require you to promote, with all the zeal of your hearts and abilities of your minds, that which you know is most agreeable to God; and to explode, discountenance, and repel, with equal ardour and activity, what you know in your hearts he abhors.

Preachers of all denominations! to you I appeal. Preach the gospel of peace. Let the doctrines of peace and good-will for ever resound in the ears of the people.

Bishops, and all who are pre-eminent in ecclesiastical dignity! I call upon you, that the high authority and influence which you possess over the minds of both kings and people, may be exerted to bind upon their hearts, with bonds indissoluble, the sacred obligations to peace.

Dukes, lords, grandees, placemen, and magistrates, of every description! I appeal to you, that your hearty good-will may co-operate in the work of peace, with the wisdom of kings, and the piety of priests.

I appeal to all who call themselves Christians! I urge them, as they would manifest their sincerity, and preserve their consistency, to unite with one heart and one soul, in the abolition of war, and the establishment of perpetual and universal peace.

Here, and in this instance, shew the world, how much can be effected by the union of the multitude, the mass of the people, against the despotism of the few and the powerful.

Hither let all ranks and orders, equally zealous and intent in the glorious cause, bring and unite all their wisdom and abilities. Let eternal concord connect those whom Nature has connected in many points, and Christ in all. Let all act with equal zeal in accomplishing a purpose which will contribute equally to the happiness of all. Hither every circumstance invites you to co-operate; in the first place, the natural feelings of man’s heart, the spontaneous dictates of common humanity; and, in the next, the author and disposer of all human happiness, Christ. The innumerable blessings of peace, and the unutterable miseries of war, I have already endeavoured to describe. Hither also the inclinations of kings themselves, in our times, (the favourable influence of God’s grace impelling their minds to concord) seem to invite. Behold! the mild and pacific Leo, acting the part of Christ’s true vicar, has lifted up the signal of peace, and exhorted all men to flock to its standard. If then you are true sheep, follow your shepherd. If you are true sons, listen to the voice of your Father. Hither likewise Francis, king of France and the most Christian king, not in title only, summons you. He disdains not to purchase peace; nor does he regard his own pomp and external dignity, so long as he can promote and preserve the public tranquillity. He has shewn that the true splendor of royalty, the real majesty of a king, consists in an endeavour to deserve well of the human race, to promote the happiness of individuals, and not to involve them in misery and destruction, in a wild quixotic pursuit of glory. Hither also you are called by the renowned Charles the Fifth, a young man of a disposition naturally good, and happily not yet corrupted. Caesar Maximilian appears to have no objection to peace, nor does Henry, the famous king of England, refuse his concurrence.

As to the people; in all these countries the greater part of the people certainly detest war, and most devoutly wish for peace. A very few of them, indeed, whose unnatural happiness depends upon the public misery, may wish for war; but be it yours to decide, whether it is equitable or not, that the unprincipled selfishness of such wretches should have more weight than the anxious wishes of all good men united. You plainly see, that hitherto nothing has been effectually done towards permanent peace by treaties, no good end answered by royal intermarriages, neither by violence, nor by revenge. Now then it is time to pursue different measures; to try the experiment, what a placable disposition, and a mutual desire to do acts of friendship and kindness, can accomplish in promoting national amity. It is the nature of wars, that one should sow the seeds of another; it is the nature of revenge to produce reciprocal revenge. Now then, on the contrary, let kindness generate kindness, one good turn become productive of another; and let him be considered as the most kingly character, the greatest and best potentate, who is ready to concede the most from his own strict right, and to sacrifice all exclusive privilege to the happiness of the people.

What has been done by mere human policy, and for temporal purposes only, has not yet succeeded; but Christ will give success to those pious designs, which shall appear to be undertaken under his auspices and by his authority. He will be present and propitious, and favour those who favour that state of human affairs, which he himself evidently appeared, while on earth, so remarkably, decidedly to promote.

Let the public good overcome all private and selfish regards of every kind and degree; though in truth, even private and selfish regards, and every man’s own interest, will be best promoted by the preservation of peace. Kings will find, that to reign is a more glorious thing than ever it has been, when they reign by the mild authority of law, and not by arms and violence. The nobility will find their dignity greater in itself, and established on more reasonable, and therefore more permanent principles. The clergy will enjoy their ease with less interruption. The people will possess tranquillity with greater plenty, and plenty with greater tranquillity, than they yet have ever known. The Christian profession will become respectable to the enemies of the cross. Finally, every man will become dear and pleasing to every other man; all will be beloved by all! and, what is still more desirable, beloved also by Christ; to become acceptable to whom is the highest felicity of human nature.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO News: May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011 2 comments

====

Day 70 Of Libyan War: 8,444 NATO Air Missions, 3,229 Combat Flights

Non-Aligned Movement Conference: Cuba Condemns NATO Attacks Against Libya As International Crime

NATO Defies Africa By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya

Britain Deploys Helicopter Gunships To “Turn The Screw” On Libya

H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group In NATO Exercise En Route To Mediterranean

U.S., Poland To Sign Deal For F-16 Deployment After Obama Visit

U.S. Seeks $4 Billion Interceptor Missile Deal With Turkey

Former NATO Ambassador Named State Department Spokeswoman

Georgia Parades Afghan, Iraqi War Veterans, New Armored Vehicles In Front Of Protesters

Eighth Georgian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll At 200 So Far This Year

17 Afghan Police, Several Civilians Among 75 Killed In NATO Air Strike: Report

NATO Visit To Mongolia Heralds New Global Role

U.S. Army Receives THAAD Interceptor Missiles

Global Training: NATO In Tanzania

====


French Rafale fighter jet


F-16s


Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile


THAAD missile launch

====

Day 70 Of Libyan War: 8,444 NATO Air Missions, 3,229 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110527_110527-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 27, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8444 sorties, including 3229 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 May: 140

Strike sorties conducted 26 May: 54

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

10 Vessels were hailed on 26 May to determine destination and cargo. 3 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 1060 vessels have been hailed. 56 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Non-Aligned Movement Conference: Cuba Condemns NATO Attacks Against Libya As International Crime

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5768:cuba-describes-aggression-against-libya-as-a-crime&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

Cuban News Agency
May 26, 2011

Cuba Describes Aggression against Libya as a Crime

-NATO’s strategic concept, which was updated on November 19, 2010, in a Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, not only unilaterally redefines what it regards as risks for its member countries, but it also establishes the access to energy as a strategic target….[A]ccording to that concept, crises and conflicts outside NATO’s borders can turn into a direct threat for the security of the territories and the peoples of the Alliance, which will lead to NATO’s involvement wherever and whenever it can.

Havana, Cuba: Cuba denounced during the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference, in Bali, Indonesia, the aggression against Libya by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as constituting an international crime.

During his speech at the meeting, the Cuban deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Abelardo Moreno, rejected and condemned the aggression carried out as part of the implementation of Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council.

According to the Prensa Latina agency news, Moreno noted that the recent events in Libya concern everyone and warned that this could also happen in other NAM member nations.

The diplomat stated that the U.S. and NATO are getting increasingly more effective in the imposition of actions at all levels of the UN, which opposes the original reasons that gave birth to this organization.

He pointed out that NATO’s strategic concept, which was updated on November 19, 2010, in a Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, not only unilaterally redefines what it regards as risks for its member countries, but it also establishes the access to energy as a strategic target.

Moreno explained that, according to that concept, crises and conflicts outside NATO’s borders can turn into a direct threat for the security of the territories and the peoples of the Alliance, which will lead to NATO’s involvement wherever and whenever it can.

The diplomat said that the Cuban people cannot accept the use of all available means allegedly for the sake of the protection of civilians, making reference to the concept used for the bomb attacks in Libya.

Cuba’s permanent representative to the UN, Pedro Nuñez Mosquera, also condemned the hypocrisy in the use of the concept last May 10 and stated that it was just a pretext to achieve political and economic interests.

On that occasion, Nuñez warned that there are still many aspects to clarify in this sense such as deciding who needs protection and when, what are the grounds and criteria for deciding those actions, and which are the boundaries.

====

NATO Defies Africa By Intensifying Bombardment Of Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/27/c_13897685.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 27, 2011

Africa demands fall on deaf ears amid NATO bombardment on Libya
By Tichaona Chifamba

-In essence, the leaders’ demand for a ceasefire is of no consequence as the western powers have so far simply ignored it, in the same way the French helped remove former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo, despite African resistance to foreign military intervention.
-As NATO continues with its bombardment on Libya and ignoring the AU’s demands, African leaders find themselves stuck with a resolution they cannot enforce.

HARARE: As African leaders recently demanded from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that NATO stop its bombardment on Libya, the West disregarded the call and was in fact intensifying its war against Muammar Gaddafi.

The African leaders met on May 25-26 to find a solution to Libya’s crisis following three months of rebellion that have seen Britain, France and the United States leading a Western onslaught against a stubborn Gaddafi who has vowed to fight to the last drop of blood.

While the leaders have said only a political solution will resolve the country’s problems and want NATO to cease its operations, they remain powerless in the face of Western powers which are unfazed and have vowed to see Gaddafi removed from power.

In essence, the leaders’ demand for a ceasefire is of no consequence as the western powers have so far simply ignored it, in the same way the French helped remove former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo, despite African resistance to foreign military intervention.

British Prime Minister David on Thursday authorized the use of helicopters in Libya, in total disregard to the African position.

Sky News reported Friday morning that the British Apache helicopters would be deployed over Libya in the following 24 hours to boost the campaign against Gaddafi.

Cameron also confirmed that French helicopters would also be deployed to Libya, as NATO forces seek to be more accurate in dealing with ground targets.

The NATO presence in Africa, the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and the support for new governments in Tunisia and Egypt – to mention a few cases – show that the West wants to have greater say in African politics.

And with the G8 offering Arab countries “in transition to democracy” at least 12 billion pounds (nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars) in aid, loans and debt relief, the Libyan conflict is likely to continue as rebels are spurred by the prospect of a financial bailout if they win the war.

Britain is so immersed in the conflict and the “fledgling democracies” in the Arab world that it has also pledged to set aside 110 million pounds (about 181 million U.S. dollars) “over the next four years to foster democracy and economic growth in Tunisia and Egypt as part of a wider international package to show support for the Arab spring.”

Speaking Thursday on the opening day of the G8 summit of leading economies in France, Cameron argued that if Britain did not help the fledgling democracies of North Africa, the result would be poisonous extremism and waves of illegal immigration into the United Kingdom.

….

The group of the world’s most industrialized nations, with the exception of Russia, is generally agreed on the course of action against Gaddafi and is determined to see him leave office while backing Arab “democratic transitions.”

As NATO continues with its bombardment on Libya and ignoring the AU’s demands, African leaders find themselves stuck with a resolution they cannot enforce.

The rebels fighting Gaddafi have rejected the latest overtures for a ceasefire by Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, demanding that the only way forward would be Gaddafi’s exit from power.

The AU now pins its hopes on South African President Jacob Zuma, who is scheduled to head other African leaders to Libya in Monday to find a roadmap for a peaceful resolution to the conflict following an earlier unsuccessful trip in April.

What will remain critical, however, is how Zuma and his High Level Panel for the Resolution of the Conflict in Libya will engage NATO following their meeting with Gaddafi in Tripoli.

====

Britain Deploys Helicopter Gunships To “Turn The Screw” On Libya

http://www.scotsman.com/news/Britain-sends-in-gunships-to.6775168.jp

The Scotsman
May 27, 2011

Britain sends in gunships to break Gaddafi
Four Apache helicopters are to be deployed against Gaddafi’s forces in Libya and could be active within days
By Nick Eardley

Prime Minister David Cameron has approved the use of British helicopters in Libya as Nato forces look to “turn the screw” on Muammar Gaddafi, it was confirmed last night.

The announcement came after Mr Cameron reached the decision following a meeting of the UK’s National Security Council at Downing Street yesterday.

The Apache aircraft could participate in strikes within days.

The French government had already confirmed it would send Tigre helicopters to aid the campaign against the Libyan regime, suggesting they expected their British counterparts to do the same…..

The final decision lay with Cameron, who held discussions with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G8 summit in France yesterday.

….

Four Apache helicopters will now be put at the disposal at the Nato command in the country, alongside existing warplane deployments and the 12 French attack helicopters Mr Sarkozy has already approved.

….

Attack helicopters are capable of flying close to the ground and are expected to target Gaddafi’s forces around Misrata and other urban areas. They are likely to be used to attack a wider range of targets than long-distance aircraft and can reach speeds of 362km/h.

The Apache helicopters also have thermal imaging capabilities and can take enhanced video images that have been used in Afghanistan. There had been fears that low-flying aircraft would be at increased risk of being hit by surface-to-air missiles, which Col Gaddafi’s followers are believed to have access to.

The helicopters are normally based in Suffolk, though they are currently on an exercise in the Mediterranean. It is understood they will be based at HMS Ocean. It is likely they will be deployed within days.

….

Meanwhile, RAF jets have attacked a military vehicle depot in the Libyan desert.

Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of Defence Staff’s spokesman, said last night: “A major target for the Royal Air Force contingent yesterday was the large military vehicle depot at Tiki in the west….Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, accompanied by other Nato aircraft, used Paveway guided bombs to attack multiple targets within the depot, causing very extensive damage.”

====

H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group In NATO Exercise En Route To Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60652

Navy NewsStand
May 27, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Visits First Overseas Port
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Walter, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, England: The Norfolk, Va.-based USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) anchored off the coast of Portsmouth, England, May 26, marking the first ever overseas port call for the nation’s newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

Nearly 5,000 Sailors of George H.W. Bush and embarked Carrier Air Wing Eight will spend several days visiting the historic port and the capital city of London….

The scheduled port call follows George H.W. Bush’s participation in the eight-day, multi-national military exercise Saxon Warrior 11, which was hosted by the U.K.-based Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).

The guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103), assigned to the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, also arrived in Portsmouth for its first foreign port call. Both ships departed Norfolk, Va., May 11 on their first combat deployment.

====

U.S., Poland To Sign Deal For F-16 Deployment After Obama Visit

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110527/164266500.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 27, 2011

Poland, U.S. to sign airbase deal after Obama visit

Warsaw :The Polish defense minister confirmed on Friday that Warsaw and Washington would sign a deal on the permanent deployment of a U.S. air detachment in Poland after U.S. President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to the European state.

Polish media reports have speculated that Obama could announce the transfer of an F-16 squadron from the Aviano base in Italy to the Lask air field in central Poland during his May 27-28 visit to Warsaw.

“An agreement on the permanent deployment of U.S. Air Force assets in Poland and the periodic rotation of F-16 fighters in the country will be signed after Barack Obama’s visit,” Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said in an interview with the TOK FM radio.

The U.S. detachment will service F-16 fighter jets, Hercules transport planes, and land personnel periodically visiting Poland, the minister said.

Klich expressed hope that the F-16 rotation could start as early as in 2013.

Meanwhile, Russia warned Poland against hosting U.S. fighter jets, saying it would counter the move.

====

U.S. Seeks $4 Billion Interceptor Missile Deal With Turkey

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=us-raytheon-announces-nearly-4-billion-worth-missile-project-for-turkey-2011-05-26

Hürriyet Daily News
May 26, 2011

US Raytheon announces missile project worth nearly $4 bln for Turkey
ÜMİT ENGİNSOY

-“Through our contracts with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, the Turkish defense industry [mainly Aselsan and Roketsan] already have agreements worth a few hundred million dollars for the sale of Patriot components to these countries.”
-[U]nder a NATO plan approved during a leaders’ summit meeting in Lisbon in November, the Western alliance will create a collective missile system….NATO now seeks to deploy special X-band radars in Turkish territory for early detection of missiles launched from the region.

ANKARA: A US team led by Raytheon is hoping to win the international competition for Turkey’s long-range-missile and air-defense systems. At least $2 billion of the project would be done by Turkish companies locally, says Mike Boots, Turkey Patriot program manager at Raytheon, implying that the price of the US systems could be around $4 billion.

….

The U.S. partnership of Raytheon, a top missile maker, and Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense company, has offered their Patriot air and missile defense systems in the tender, which seeks to provide for Turkey’s long-range-missile and air-defense systems, or T-Loramids. The systems fire both Lockheed Martin’s Patriot Advance Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Raytheon’s GEM.T anti-air missiles.

….

Mike Boots, the Turkey Patriot program manager at Raytheon, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday that his company had special cooperation agreements with Turkey’s Aselsan, a military electronics powerhouse and the country’s largest defense company, and Roketsan, Turkey’s main missile and rocket maker.

“Through our contracts with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, the Turkish defense industry [mainly Aselsan and Roketsan] already have agreements worth a few hundred million dollars for the sale of Patriot components to these countries,” Boots said.

“If we win the Turkish contract, another $2 billion may come to the Turkish industry related to our sales to several Middle Eastern countries and other customers elsewhere,” Boots said.

“If we win the Turkish contract, the local partners will already be producing Patriot components for the national program…,” Boots said.

….

Potential problems

One potential problem between Turkey and NATO is the presence in the Turkish competition of China and Russia, which are not NATO members and whose systems are not compatible with the alliance’s systems and procedures.

….

“One explanation is that Turkey itself doesn’t plan to select the Chinese or Russian alternatives, but is still retaining them among options to put pressure on the Americans and the Europeans to curb their prices,” one Western expert said.

Separately, under a NATO plan approved during a leaders’ summit meeting in Lisbon in November, the Western alliance will create a collective missile system….

NATO now seeks to deploy special X-band radars in Turkish territory for early detection of missiles launched from the region.

Ideally, in the event of such a launch, U.S.-made SM-3 interceptors – based on U.S. Aegis destroyers to be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean and possibly in Romania – would then be fired to hit the incoming missile mid-flight.

….

====

Former NATO Ambassador Named State Department Spokeswoman

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110527/164259337.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 27, 2011

U.S. State Department names new spokeswoman

Washington: The U.S. State Department on Thursday named Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat and a Russia specialist, its new spokeswoman.

Nuland will fill the job vacated in March by Philip Crowley, who resigned after describing the Pentagon as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid” in its treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning, imprisoned on charges of leaking classified documents to whistleblowing website Wikileaks.

A former NATO envoy and special envoy for Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Nuland will take over from Mark Toner, who will remain a deputy spokesman.

====

Georgia Parades Afghan, Iraqi War Veterans, New Armored Vehicles In Front Of Protesters

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1882308.html

Trend News Agency
May 26, 2011

Georgian armored vehicles presented during military parade in Tbilisi
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgian Armed Forces today at a military parade on Rustaveli Avenue demonstrated a new military technology, created in Georgia. After the infantrymen who have already served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military vehicles were demonstrated at the parade.

Movement of equipment was started by Georgian armored personnel carriers “Didgori” (named after the places where the Georgians won the greatest military victory in history). This was a major innovation in the parade.

The Georgian Defense Ministry stated that all the innovations of the military industry were taken into account in the establishment of the military vehicle. “Didgori” has been assembled in Georgia, particularly in the tank plant.

During the passage of armored vehicles, President Mikheil Saakashvili came down from the tribune, stopped the armored vehicles, personally examined it and talked with the military.

After “Didgori”, there were demonstrated armored vehicles such as “Hammer” – a model HMMWV M1151 (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), transportation of high mobility, the model 1151 with heavy armor, the purpose – the transportation of personnel to the battlefield, export and escort. There are more than 15 modifications.

After the heavy armored vehicles and artillery systems, the aviation participated in the parade.

Aviation was represented by helicopter UH-1H (Iroquois), purpose: amphibious vehicle, the evacuation of wounded from the battlefield, Mi-8 – Model: Mi-8 Mi-8 MT, purpose: transportation of personnel, cargo; helicopters Mi -24 – model: a combat helicopter Mi-24, a purpose: close air support to maneuver ground units.

Also there were demonstrated light combat aircrafts “I-39″ – “Albatross”, a purpose: training, retraining of pilots and combat training, combat aircrafts Su-25, model – Su-25 Su-25UB, Su-25 “Mimino”, purpose: support of infantry from the air, pinpoint strikes, the destruction of the enemy and heavy equipment. After the flight of Su-25, the military parade ended.

Because of yesterday’s events in Tbilisi, the dance of the ensemble “Suhishvilebi” – “Horumi” was canceled.

The parade was headed by the Chief of the Joint Staff of Georgian Armed Forces, Major-General Devi Chankotadze, who gave a report Commander-in-Chief, President Mikheil Saakashvili.

====

Eighth Georgian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23536

Civil Georgia
May 27, 2011

Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Junior Sergeant Lavrosi Ivaniadze from the 33rd battalion was killed in “a mine explosion during patrolling” in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on May 27.

With this latest death, total number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November, 2009, increased to eight.

—————————————————————————

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=247304

Interfax
May 27, 2011

Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

TBILISI: Georgian soldier Lavrosy Ivaniadze has died in Afghanistan’s province of Helmand after he tripped a mine on May 26, the Georgian Defense Ministry reported on Friday.

Ivaniadze served the 33rd battalion of the Georgian Defense Ministry that is deployed in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF.

Seven Georgian soldiers died in Afghanistan before this incident.

====

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll At 200 So Far This Year

http://channel6newsonline.com/2011/05/coalition-death-toll-in-afghanistan-so-far-this-year-reaches-200/

BNO News
May 27, 2011

Coalition death toll in Afghanistan so far this year reaches 200

KABUL: Two coalition service members were killed in southern Afghanistan on Friday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, raising the coalition death toll so far this year to more than 200.

The toll is a grim reminder that insurgent groups such as the Taliban are still capable of inflicting heavy losses on coalition forces…

In Friday’s incident, an ISAF service member was killed in southern Afghanistan as a result of an insurgent attack, the multinational force said, giving no other details. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” a brief statement said.

Another service member was killed as a result of a non-battle related injury in southern Afghanistan, according to ISAF, raising the year’s coalition death toll to 201.

On Thursday, eight coalition service members were killed when an IED exploded in southern Afghanistan. Another service member died in a helicopter crash in Paktika province. It was one of the bloodiest days so far this year for the alliance.

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 began….

====

17 Afghan Police, Several Civilians Among 75 Killed In NATO Air Strike: Report

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/27/police-among-75-killed-nuristan-airstrike

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 27, 2011

Police among 75 killed in Nuristan airstrike
by Abdul Moeed Hashmi

JALALABAD: Sixty-eight [fifty-eight?] Taliban fighters and 17 policemen were killed in an airstrike by NATO-led international soldiers in Doab district of eastern Nuristan province, the governor said on Friday.

The district’s administrative head, Fida Mohammad and police chief, Allah Dad, were wounded in the raid, which also killed a number of civilians, Governor Jamaluddin Badr told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the exact toll was yet to be known, because walkie-talkies did not work in the remote town. Health officials in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces were asked to take the injured to hospitals there.

The bodies of five civilians and some wounded people, including policemen, were brought to the Laghman Civil Hospital, Director of Public Health Abdul Latif Ayubi said.

A member of Meshrano Jirga, Abdul Qayyum, said 20 policemen, 40 militants and several civilians were killed in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) strike.

The NATO-led force confirmed there had been several airstrikes in support of a combined Afghan-ISAF operation in Doab district on Wednesday….

====

NATO Visit To Mongolia Heralds New Global Role

http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6308&Itemid=37

UB Post
May 27, 2011

NATO Visit to Mongolia Heralds A New Global Role
Written by Oyundari

NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy of Alliance, James Appathurai, and his delegates visited Mongolia for the first time ever at the invitation of the Mongolian Defence Minister, Luvsanvandan Bold on 26-27 May.

Appathurai and the delegates were welcomed by the Foreign Minister of Mongolia Zandanshatar and exchanged opinions over the Mongolian-NATO relationship and the possibilities of further cooperation.

On May 26th, the Deputy Assistant called on the Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj.

The president expressed his pleasure over Mr. Appathurai’s visit to Mongolia and conveyed his thoughts relating to the interdependent development with NATO in terms of foreign policy….

Moreover, he indicated his interest in becoming a collaborating country, drafting an independent project within the framework of a NATO project which encourages partnership with all countries.

They also exchanged the views on future cooperation.

Appathurai highlighted the Mongolian contribution to the work of the broader international coalition in Afghanistan. Mongolia recently became the 45th nation to contribute troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

“The main purpose of our visit was to express thanks and appreciation to the Mongolian soldiers in Afghanistan,” said Appathurai. “Mongolia is making an important contribution to the work of the broader international coalition in Afghanistan and it is important to recognize and honor their service.”

The NATO official also mentioned that he came to Mongolia first and foremost to implement the NATO project in order to collaborate with the all world countries and to improve relations and cooperation with Mongolia and bring it to a new level.

====

U.S. Army Receives THAAD Interceptor Missiles

http://www.brahmand.com/news/US-Army-receives-first-THAAD-missiles/7162/3/13.html

Brahmand Defence and Aerospace News
May 27, 2011

US Army receives first THAAD missiles

ALABAMA: The US Army has received the first two Terminal High Altitude Area Defence Missiles from Lockheed Martin, US Army officials announced Thursday.

The THAAD missile is a US Army missile system designed to intercept and destroy short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles.

….

The missile uses kinetic energy to destroy its target, meaning it does not carry a warhead like traditional missiles, but makes a direct hit and destroys the enemy missile.

ADMC will be responsible for maintaining, shipping and escorting the missiles to their destination.

The two missiles have arrived at Anniston Defence Munitions Center of the US Army and will be there until the need arises to ship them to the war-fighter.

====

Global Training: NATO In Tanzania

http://www.act.nato.int/multimedia/archive/42-news-stories/636-dcos-jft-attends-education-and-training-conference

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
May 27, 2011

DCOS JFT attends education and training conference

Deputy Chief of Staff Joint Force Trainer (DCOS JFT) German Air Force Lieutenant General Karlheinz Viereck recently attended the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Development, Education and Training in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Viereck delivered the keynote speech on NATO’s Global Training Architecture during this two-day event.

“The current operating environment of NATO’s and its partners’ forces requires a more agile and responsive training system. The high tempo of change and the speed of introducing new capabilities developed by industry and academia magnify our responsibility to cope with the commander’s requirements in a reduced timescale and a more holistic manner,” said Viereck.

He added, “Encompassing new technologies, collaborating over distance, reacting faster, and being open to opportunities, is at the heart of the consideration. Particularly in the light of scarce resources, NATO needs to re-think and re-design the type of its training architecture in order to enable a paradigm-change. By setting up visual juxtapositions that encourage informal encounters, and instigate further collaboration between NATO and global partners, a new nexus for education and training can be established.”

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Edgar Lee Masters: The Philippine Conquest

May 27, 2011 1 comment

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

Edgar Lee Masters: “The honor of the flag must be upheld”

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

William James: The Philippine Tangle

Mark Twain: To the Person Sitting in Darkness

Leo Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

====

Edgar Lee Masters
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
The Philippine Conquest (1904)

*****

Since then the constitution and the declaration have been duly ravished. The country has settled down to hear the reports of pillage, murder and rapine in the islands in the great work of destroying an Asiatic republic.

Conquest cannot be left to a citizen soldiery, because volunteers fight for a principle. They fight for their rights and their homes. Such were our soldiers before imperialism became a national dream.

So long as imperialism can intercept the interchange of ideas by the modern methods of ostracism and starvation and by the prevention of discussion and publicity in all the ways in which it is done imperialism may flourish. But against reason in a fair and open field it stands no chance of success.

The constitution is a plastic receptacle into which either democracy or despotism can be poured. The insular acquisitions furnished the opportunity for a gigantic stride toward despotism….If these islands were under the constitution then special privilege could not enjoy its spoils in the form of tariff laws, and then a more astute set of reasoners, greedy for power, saw the long-looked-for chance to greatly centralize the government, and not only the government, but the executive branch of it. The Spooner bill which invested the executive with powers equal to any sovereign on earth was the proper sequence of the plan.

Imperialism is anti-humanitarian; the conquest of people is anti-humanitarian; the taxing of people as the Filipinos are taxed is anti-humanitarian.

*****

During the campaign of 1900 the argument advanced against the Philippine aggression was the repudiation of the fundamental principles of the republic involved in that aggression. And coupled with this was the claim of injustice being perpetrated against a helpless people. The problem now seems to be what guarantees have the people at home against infractions of their liberties and why may not the limitless power of a “sovereign” nation be directed against them when the apparent exigency arises in favor of those who control the government? For when a principle is once undermined the principle can no longer be looked to for security. It is then a question of chance as to the means of redress and protection.

Since then the constitution and the declaration have been duly ravished. The country has settled down to hear the reports of pillage, murder and rapine in the islands in the great work of destroying an Asiatic republic. Plutocracy proceeds with solemnity and dispatch to gather in the insular concessions or to obstruct all policies when the concessions are not readily granted. The people at large are paying the taxes and undergoing the obvious moral decline which has set in. In short it is discovered that the United States have embarked on a colonial policy, but not the colonial policy of England today. It is the colonial policy of the England of 1776, maintained to build up a nation of customers for the benefit of a favored class at home. And so we find American ideas sacrificed not merely to commercialism but to special privilege. The people furnish the soldiers; the people pay the taxes; the people build the ships, and the trusts gather in the spoils.

This revolution in our government and ideals has been accomplished by wrenching the fundamental law and the fundamental sentiments of a whole people once devoted to liberty. The whole of society has been shaken. The evil passions, the evil ambitions of men are kept down in a large measure by the unwritten law of ideals which have become intrenched by centuries of indoctrination. There is no written penalty affixed to selfishness, cruelty, lying, hypocrisy, greed, dishonor or hatred or the other demons of human nature exorcised or controlled by the power of civilization. But when the rigor of those ideals is loosened at the top the whole system of morals suffers a relaxation and a relapse. A president may initiate the catastrophe, but its impulse will recoil upon him. The congressman and the senator will feel released from the strict course of rectitude. The judge on the bench will see in the life about him and the policies about him excuse for yielding to the gathering pressure.

All other officials will be similarly affected. The influence will creep into private life. It will dominate the relations between men in business and in society. All principles, whether of government or of individuals, become affected. The highwayman in the alley knows what is going on and merely raves at the system that marks him out for sure punishment At last it is only a mask that conceals the bloated face of society. There is nothing left but organized hypocrisy.

We all expect men as individuals to be more or less illogical. Life is illogical. History is illogical. Governmental policy is still more illogical. But there is a limit to its illogic. When it reaches that point morals are prostrated upon their foundations. A president may change his mind – but not from the right to the wrong. He may contradict himself – but not in the same breath. He may preach one thing and do another – but circumstances must change. There must be reason for such alterations; there must be sound sentiment for them. If these are absent it will not be long until the humblest man in the land will understand. And if the president may do such things why not himself? It is a question of example.

If there ever was an irrational war it was the war with Spain. Americans deride the French as mercurial, sentimental, unsubstantial. And yet what appeared to be the American people demanded war with Spain. The Spaniards were governing without the consent of the governed, but they were willing to concede more than we have conceded. Weyler had instituted the reconcentrado camps, but Spain had yielded on that point. The homes of the islanders were being burned, the people were being butchered and the horrors of war hovered over the desolate land. But they promised to end the war. Spain confessed the objections to her course. And yet there must be war. The Maine incident was eliminated from the controversy by a court of our own selection. And yet there must be war. And the war came.

Then the American people beheld the United States move up and occupy the place vacated by Spain. We took their war and their methods. We tricked the Filipinos, we shot them, we burned their homes. We adopted Weyler’s reconcentrado policy. We taxed them without representation. We put ourselves in the position where a combination of powers could drive us out for the same reason that we drove out Spain, and thereby make us a theme for epic laughter as long as the world should stand. Does the whole of history furnish so illogical a chapter? It seems too puerile to believe of a great nation which traces its liberties to the time when our ancestors were wild men in the north of Germany and when, as barbarians in the British Isles, they resisted Caesar and threw off the yoke of benevolent assimilation. The moral effect of such a course of shuffling and hypocrisy cannot be calculated because it is likely to affect untold generations.

At the very outset of the scheme of conquering the Filipinos it was known that the theory of the army had to be changed. Conquest cannot be left to a citizen soldiery, because volunteers fight for a principle. They fight for their rights and their homes. Such were our soldiers before imperialism became a national dream. With the volunteers we had twice driven back the hosts of monarchy. With volunteers we had met and defeated the greatest Anglo-Saxon army that ever took the field. And yet for the purpose of conquering a people armed in part with primitive weapons the creation of a regular soldiery many times its former size was demanded. This is what Gibbon wrote about the two kinds of armies:

“In the purer days of the (Roman) commonwealth the use of arms was reserved for those ranks of the citizens who had a country to love, a property to defend and some share in enacting the laws, which it was their interest as well as duty to maintain. But in proportion as the public freedom was lost in extent of conquest war was gradually improved into an art and depraved into a trade.”

There is no trouble about the size of the army. It is too large for legitimate purposes. But it is not large enough to be a necessary menace. The trouble is that the theory of our soldiery has been changed. Small in comparison as it is, it is the army of an empire and not of a republic. Our soldiers in the Philippines are not fighting for any principle. They are not defending their homes. They are not staying aggression. They are not repelling an attack upon liberty. There is no sentiment in the struggle. There is no conscience in the fight. It is of no consequence to our soldiers whether they win or lose, except as a matter of honor, advancement and money. For these they are there to conquer, as the Arabs were in Spain, as Spain was in Peru and Mexico, and as Great Britain is in south Africa. To conquer for spoils not for themselves, because they are only hired men, but for the trusts at home – as the Spanish regulars fought for gold for the sovereign, as the Englishman is fighting for the banks of London.

We have been assured by those who have made this army that it is too small to be dangerous to the people at home. But the real danger lies in the change of our ideals. For if a small army can be created for oppression and conquest a large army can be created for the same purpose when a large army is required. And the precedent is already established for the use of such an army at home against the sullen discontent that has already been sown among the people.

This unaccountable revolution was not accomplished without fraud and force, and that more subtle form of coercion known as freedom with starvation. Professors were driven from their chairs, the pulpit was silenced, the press gagged, officials were retired to private life and a spirit of falsehood and misrepresentation pervaded the atmosphere. Imperialism cannot succeed without the satanic influences of life, and these came to the front with promises and threats, with dissimulation and with bribery, with every art that will persuade, silence, repress or purchase. And so as consequences of such an initiation it has followed that freedom of speech is denied; that debate is frowned down as tiresome and intolerable, and that the post-office department has become a censor of the press invested with unbridled despotism. So long as Spain and France could repress discussion by cutting out men’s tongues their forms of monarchy and privilege flourished. So long as imperialism can intercept the interchange of ideas by the modern methods of ostracism and starvation and by the prevention of discussion and publicity in all the ways in which it is done imperialism may flourish. But against reason in a fair and open field it stands no chance of success.

With steam, electricity and the printing press eliminated from the world it would require no great degree of prescience to foretell the ultimate fate of the United States. For up to this time the trend of affairs with us bears such a resemblance to the march of events in the Roman republic up to the reign of Augustus Caesar that the similarities cannot be overlooked.

The constitution is a plastic receptacle into which either democracy or despotism can be poured. The insular acquisitions furnished the opportunity for a gigantic stride toward despotism. These islands, according to historic precedents, according to the spirit of the constitution, which is the declaration of independence, were bound to be treated as territories advancing toward statehood. But those who had become strong through special privilege overthrew the ideals of the republic. If these islands were under the constitution then special privilege could not enjoy its spoils in the form of tariff laws, and then a more astute set of reasoners, greedy for power, saw the long-looked-for chance to greatly centralize the government, and not only the government, but the executive branch of it. The Spooner bill which invested the executive with powers equal to any sovereign on earth was the proper sequence of the plan. And, moreover, it was brought about by the congress as the Roman senate surrendered its powers to Augustus. True, the congress might repeal the Spooner bill, but the executive might veto the repeal. So how is the congress to retrieve its constitutional vigor.

Heretofore the United States have been humanitarian in their spirit, but now they are governmental. Imperialism is anti-humanitarian; the conquest of people is anti-humanitarian; the taxing of people as the Filipinos are taxed is anti-humanitarian. In short, the republican party now stands for might, for power, for glory, not realizing – or if realizing not caring – that the anti-humanitarian spirit and the passion for glory and power destroyed the governments of the past and is hastening the destruction of those of the present. That at the bottom was the real trouble, and that is the virus that has found lodgment among us. For while life is essentially selfish as a condition of self-preservation it consists with the passion for justice which both men and nations must observe or suffer the sure penalty. At last it will fully leak out and be understood by all men that the supreme court upheld the new policy on apparent grounds of expediency. It will be generally understood that the influences which had set in and which had affected every department of the government were too powerful for so worldly a tribunal to resist. For that court said in about so many words that the Porto Rican tax must be constitutional, because otherwise the United States could not safely retain the islands, and, besides, any other construction might obstruct future acquisitions. The supreme court asks how can the Porto Rican tax be unconstitutional, since to hold it so would be to deprive the government of that discretionary power absolutely necessary to profitably hold to the islands. The spirit of this reasoning will eventually produce wide national consequences.

All things having worked out so well to this pass, the accession of Mr. Roosevelt to the presidency was dramatically fitting. If made to order it could not have been better. He will pass into history as the contemporary of Kipling and William of Germany. He is of them and of their spirit and day. Some hoped that Mr. Roosevelt would throw his power on the side of idealism and progress. But they should have remembered that he repudiated his literary productions in the campaign of 1900. All his fine pretensions went the way of the world; nor in any event is he the man to stand out against the accumulated influences of imperialism. He has and will add to them. For, unspeakable as was the assassination of Mr. McKinley, it was not political, and it cannot in candor be made the popular opportunity for suppressing the freedom of speech. It is very significant also that Mr. Roosevelt should inform us that such tragic episodes will merely result in the accession of men to the presidency who are merciless and resolute. How is such a deplorable change to come about? How shall we descend from a Washington to an Alexander of Farnese? And why should he tell us that the one lurid moment of anarchistic triumph would be followed by centuries of despotism? Is the republic on so rocking a foundation as this?

And how is that despotism to come about? Will he be a party to it, or will he in any supreme moment of moral trial return to the apothegms of his books and say, as he has often said, “We have work to do and the only question is whether we will do it well or ill?” It is now his time to invoke the humanitarian spirit and turn from power and glory if he would give the world the moral impulse that men of his own race gave to the world centuries ago. Otherwise, if centralization in government continues and the people are more generally deprived of the chance to obey the better instructions of their natures what may be expected? Not merely a return to the method of selecting presidential electors by the legislatures, as was formerly done, and the rise of a man merciless and resolute to the presidency. A greater reaction than this may be expected.

There is a commonplace optimism which insists that either everything is for the best or that the right is predestined to triumph. Both propositions are false. Very many things are for the worse. Whole nations have gone down to destruction as the result of the excesses, the follies and the villainies of aristocracies.

That nothing can be hoped for from the present administration; that its ideals are wholly wrong; that its desires are selfish, reactionary and despotic, and that it is capable of any perfidy, is a pardonable pessimism. The optimism to be cherished consists in the belief that democracy is not the battle cry of a fraction of men, but that it is a passion, a philosophy, an ineradicable aspiration of the human heart. Armies and navies may be created and the people may be taxed to support them; expensive flummery and glitter may be maintained out of the sweat of labor. All of this may be used to trample down justice and to despoil a helpless race. And yet in the heart of the humblest man there remains the belief that he has a right in this world to live, to labor, to earn and be free. The most ignorant tribes of the Filipinos are equal in intelligence to the natives of Britain in the days of the glorious Julius. Who knows what use the Filipinos may make of our ideals and the spirit of freedom which vibrates in their hearts today? And who knows what will be the relative positions of the Philippine islands and what we now call the United States 1,000 years hence? The thought should teach humility. For did Augustus imagine that the unconquerable Belgae would found a great republic, or that the savages in the worthless islands north of Gaul would produce those great luminaries of civilization before whom Cicero and Virgil pale their ineffectual fires?

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011 1 comment

====

African Union Demands End To NATO Air War Against Libya

U.S. Supplies Bombs To NATO Allies For Libyan War

Canadian Warplanes Have Dropped 240 Bombs On Libya

NATO’s Intensified Air War: 8,394 Air Missions, 3,175 Strike Sorties

India And Africa Call For End To Bombing Of Libya

Indian Party Leader On Libya: NATO Seeks Another Puppet Regime

Russia Seriously Concerned By NATO Deploying Helicopters To Libya

What Powers? Legality Of Libya Operation At Issue

Yemen: Obama’s Fourth War Looming?

U.S. Congress Passes $690 Billion Military Budget For Next Year

Arms Obsession Puts U.S. On One-Way Express Train To Poorhouse

NATO Confirms Missile Shield Site In Bulgaria: Georgia And Ukraine Are Alternative Locations

June: NATO Defense Chiefs To Discuss Libya, Afghanistan, China, Korea

Military Partnership: NATO Holds First High-Level Talks With Mongolia

Transdniester Calls For Dramatic Increase In Russian Peacekeepers

Romania: U.S. Marines Conduct Urban Counterinsurgency Training

Soldier Killed As NATO Helicopter Crashes In Afghanistan

Seven NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

Afghan War Veterans Oppose Kazakh Participation In NATO’s Afghan War

NATO’s Afghan War Transit Increasingly Moves Through CSTO Nations

====


CF-18 Hornets


Apache Longbow helicopter


Mongolian troops in Kyrgyzstan on way to Afghanistan


Obama and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev at NATO summit in Lisbon last November

====

African Union Demands End To NATO Air War Against Libya

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ga1EmrRdyFRynR1pPdaTsh1SgY7w?docId=CNG.41a6ad648b475100f733f7fd2ba1bcbe.81

Agence France-Presse
May 26, 2011

African Union demands end to NATO Libya strikes
By Otto Bakano

ADDIS ABABA: African leaders Thursday demanded an outright end to NATO air strikes on Libya, accusing the West of sidelining African nations in efforts to end a conflict on their home turf.

“As far as NATO airstrikes are concerned… you will see (in the summit declaration not yet made public) a clear call by heads of state and government for those airstrikes to come to an end,” Ramtane Lamamra, the AU’s most senior peace and security official said.

“This is part of the requirement for political solutions to become possible,” he said, adding: “The African Union shares the belief… that what is taking place now goes beyond the scope of (UN resolutions) 1970 and 1973.”

African Union Commission chief Jean Ping said earlier: “Some international players seem to be denying Africa any significant role in the seach for a solution to the Libyan conflict.”

“Africa is not going to be reduced to the status of an observer of its own calamities,” he warned the African leaders gathered for the special summit given over to conflicts on the continent, notably to Libya and Sudan.

He said that the AU would call for an end to NATO operations in Libya and demand that its roadmap be used as a basis for a resolution to the conflict.

“This summit must send a clear unambiguous message to our partners, both bilateral and multilateral, on the need for them to recognise and support Africa’s ownership of efforts to restore peace on the continent,” Ping said.

The pan-African bloc has called for a ceasefire and set up a high-level mediation team, but its efforts have had little impact on the ground as Western powers continue with air raids against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime.

Ping earlier Wednesday reiterated that “only a political solution can lead to a lasting peace” in Libya, telling the summit: “The situation in Libya remains a serious concern for us, for the future of Libya itself as well as for regional countries.”

The ceasefire plan put forward by the AU that included a transition period to organise elections, was accepted by Kadhafi himself but rejected by the Libyan rebels who insisted on Kadhafi’s departure first.

….

Before the talks even opened in Addis Ababa Wednesday, the office of South African President Jacob Zuma said he would visit Tripoli for talks with Kadhafi next week.

….

Libyan rebels have not warmed to the AU’s overtures either, wary of the ties between the continental body and Kadhafi, who is one of the bloc’s main financiers.

However Ping insisted that “the roadmap proposed by the AU has all the elements for a solution. We need to be given the opportunity to effect it.”

….

The alliance this week intensified bombardments against the Libyan regime, seeking to deliver a decisive blow to Kadhafi’s government.

====

U.S. Supplies Bombs To NATO Allies For Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ia_mfLH3HKPQfXVKTOWeJXDUhUPQ?docId=CNG.6d368e1b8c6c3ad77e8681f96fb6d5ee.10e1

Agence France-Presse
May 25, 2011

US supplies bombs to allies for Libya war:Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The US military is supplying bombs and spare parts to allies carrying out strikes in the NATO-led air campaign against Libya’s regime, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

“We have provided material support, including munitions, to Allies and partners engaged in operations in Libya” since April 1, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said in an email.

The statement marked the first time the Pentagon had publicly confirmed it was providing ammunition to NATO allies, amid reports some countries were running out of supplies of precision-guided bombs or parts.

Lapan confirmed that the munitions included precision-guided “smart bombs.”

Since NATO took the lead in the air campaign on April 1, the United States has provided allies and partners with about $24.3 million worth of “repair parts, ammunition, and technical support,” Lapan said.

Details of US support came as a senior NATO military official said the alliance was stepping up operations in a bid to deliver a decisive blow to Moamer Kadhafi’s regime, hitting Tripoli with its heaviest bombardment to date.

====

Canadian Warplanes Have Dropped 240 Bombs On Libya

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/05/25/libya-cda-bombs.html

CBC
May 25, 2011

Canada drops 240 bombs in Libya air campaign

Canadian warplanes have dropped 240 laser-guided bombs on Libya so far in the NATO-led mission, according to the military.

Brig.-Gen. Richard Blanchette made the revelation during a weekly briefing on Canada’s involvement in the air campaign over the North African country….

Six CF-18s have flown 324 attack missions so far. A spare CF-18 is also deployed to the mission.

The announcement comes after the military initially refused to reveal how many bombs have been dropped during the mission, citing operational security concerns.

But Blanchette wouldn’t disclose the cost of the 227-kilogram bombs, or of Canada’s mission so far, saying that decision was up the government, not the Canadian Forces.

Earlier this month, the military published a request to buy 1,300 new $100,000 laser-guided bombs, reportedly all for use in the Libyan campaign.

====

NATO’s Intensified Air War: 8,394 Air Missions, 3,175 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110526_110526-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 26, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8304 sorties, including 3175 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 25 May: 136

Strike sorties conducted 25 May: 42

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

11 Vessels were hailed on 25 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversions) were conducted.

A total of 1050 vessels have been hailed. 53 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

India And Africa Call For End To Bombing Of Libya

http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/26/stories/2011052657681200.htm

The Hindu
May 26, 2011

India, Africa call for end to Libya bombing
Siddharth Varadarajan

ADDIS ABABA: Amid growing regional and international concerns about the conflict in Libya, where NATO has intensified its bombing campaign in recent days, India joined Africa in calling for an immediate ceasefire and for a negotiated end to the violence there.

The Addis Ababa declaration issued here on Wednesday at the end of the Second Africa-India Forum Summit took note of the U.N. resolutions under which the NATO is using military force against Libya and stressed that “efforts to implement them should be within the spirit and letter of those resolutions.”

The declaration urges the parties in the conflict to strive for a political solution through peaceful means and dialogue. India and the 15 African governments including Libya, which took part in the summit, also expressed their support for the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee initiative and the AU roadmap for the peaceful and consensual resolution of the conflict.

At a separate bilateral meeting with Libya’s Foreign Minister, Abdal al Latti al Obedi, on the sidelines of the summit, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna regretted the NATO-led airstrikes and urged an immediate ceasefire in Libya, an end to the violence and any attack on civilians, a senior Indian official told The Hindu.

Mr. Krishna said this in response to Mr. al-Obedi’s request for India to support an immediate ceasefire. The Indian Minister also urged the intensification of efforts to find a lasting, peaceful solution to the conflict.

With its earlier efforts at peacemaking having run aground in the face of the opposition of the Libyan rebels to any dialogue or ceasefire until Colonel Muammar Qadhafi left the country, the AU has now decided to put its political efforts into high gear. An extraordinary summit to discuss the crisis caused by the intensification of NATO’s bombing campaign was held here on Wednesday evening, with several African heads of state flying into Addis Ababa to take part in the discussions.

….

====

Indian Party Leader On Libya: NATO Seeks Another Puppet Regime

http://www.groundreport.com/Business/Panthers-Chief-condemns-NATO-attack-on-Libya/2939211

GroundReport/Scoop News
May 26, 2011

Panthers Chief condemns NATO attack on Libya
by Vijay Kumar Malla

Jammu: Professor Bhim Singh, Chairman of National Panthers Party (NPP),
condemmed the NATO aggression against Libya with the criminal intention to physically liquidate Col. Gadaffi to install a CIA-backed puppet government in Libya as they have done in Iraq, Serbia and other places.

In a statement, Bhim Singh hailed the stand taken by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh with the Ethiopian government, accusing NATO of violating the UN resolutions by the ongoing bombing of Libya.

Prof Bhim Singh, who is also the Chief of the Afro-Asian Solidarity Council in India, was on tour in Egypt. Prof. Bhim Singh leaves for India after a week-long visit.

….

====

Russia Seriously Concerned By NATO Deploying Helicopters To Libya

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=246942

Interfax
May 26, 2011

Moscow concerned about possible sending of NATO helicopters to Libyan coast

MOSCOW: Moscow is concerned about the possible sending of NATO coalition helicopters to the Libyan coast, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a Thursday press briefing in Moscow.

“The fact of the transfer of such armaments causes the most serious fears,” he said.

The Russian partners say they are not preparing a land operation in Libya, he emphasized.

“Such scenarios would totally disagree with UN Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 1973, which is being increasingly breached by the international coalition,” he said.

The Russian policy on Libya is unwavering, Lukashevich said.

“The main task now is not the use of force, which the international coalition is clearly abusing, but the search for ways to ensure the immediate end of the bloodshed and the beginning of the inter-Libyan dialog,” he said.

He called on parties to the Libyan conflict to abide by UN Security Council resolutions and recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s special envoy.

“On its part, Russia assists such peace initiatives the best it can,” Lukashevich said.

—————————————————————————

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110526/164249493.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 26, 2011

Moscow queries NATO ‘plans’ to send more helicopters to Libya

MOSCOW: Russia is concerned by alleged NATO plans to dispatch additional helicopters to Libya, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The statement follows a stream of criticisms from Russia about a NATO-led military operation to protect civilians in the war-ravaged North African country.

“The delivery of such weaponry, if confirmed, arouses very serious concerns,” spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

“The most important task today is not the use of force, something which the international coalition is abusing, but to search for ways to end the bloodshed as soon as possible and start negotiations inside Libya,” he added.

….

Fourteen 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 in response to attacks on civilians.

Russia abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution.

====

What Powers? Legality Of Libya Operation At Issue

http://www.telegram.com/article/20110526/NEWS/105269492/1020

Worcester Telegram
May 26, 2011

What powers?
Legality of Libya operation at issue

The uprising and civil war in Libya is now more than three months old, and shows every sign of having settled into a stalemate that can only be broken by force of arms — arms that are likely to come from one source, the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including the United States. Yet neither NATO nor the U.S. can claim any solid legal footing for their ongoing intervention.

Last Friday marked the 60th day since President Obama committed U.S. forces to the conflict, ostensibly to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for a no-fly zone so as to protect Libya civilians. Under the 1973 War Powers Act, a president is obligated to seek the permission of Congress to continue military action beyond 60 days. Mr. Obama has not done so.

Late Friday, the president did send a letter to congressional leaders noting that their support “…would underline the U.S. commitment to this remarkable international effort,” adding that a resolution of support “is important in the context of our constitutional framework.”

What’s remarkable here is not the military effort, per se, but the fact that NATO undertook an essentially offensive action against a sovereign nation in the absence of an attack on any member state. That is not what the alliance was formed for. Yet, having vowed to merely enforce the no-fly zone — and no doubt envisioning a quick end to Col. Muammar Gadhafi’s regime — NATO is now mulling the use of British attack helicopters, which would constitute a clear escalation of what is already an undeclared, albeit limited, war.

Mr. Obama’s reference to a constitutional framework is ironic, at best. U.S. forces were deeply involved in initial military operations against Libya, and even though our involvement has been scaled back, even one frigate constitutes military action.

U.S. presidents are not granted the power to take the nation to war simply because they think it’s the right thing to do. Ours is a nation of laws, and Mr. Obama’s apparent refusal to comply with the War Powers Act — and Congress’ refusal to hold him to it — constitute a troubling assault on the rule of law.

====

Yemen: Obama’s Fourth War Looming?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/26/50857523.html

Voice of Russia
May 26, 2011

Obama’s fourth war looming?
Boris Volkhonsky

On Wednesday, the US State Department ordered that all “non-essential” US diplomats and family members are to leave Yemen immediately. It also issued a warning to Americans to abstain from travelling to Yemen.

It all happened in the wake of a fierce three-day clash between tribal fighters and government forces. Reports say that up to 72 people died during the fighting.

Yemen is just another stage of the so-called “Arab Spring” that has already toppled governments in a number of Arabic countries and forced NATO to launch a war against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

But the situation in Yemen, in a way, is specific.

What is common with all the other cases is the fact that the national leader President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in the topmost position for several decades (33 years, to be precise).

What is common with some of the cases is the fact that he, seeing the miserable examples of Egypt and Tunisia, stands firm in his desire to hold on to power.

What is different, though, is the nature of the opposition.

In most previous cases, the opposition was (or, pretended to be) democratic. In Yemen, the opposition is comprised of tribal leaders who do not even conceal their radical Islamist nature.

It is also worth noting that in the previous several years, it was Yemen that turned into the real base for Al Qaeda after the fighting in Afghanistan drew some of it out of that country. “Yemeni Al Qaeda” [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] has become the most dreaded branch of the international terrorist network.

While fighting in Yemen escalates, President Saleh stays firm in his defiance of all demands that he should step down.

A plan has been devised by the Gulf Co-operation Council calling on him to step down within a month and hand over power to a unity government. The plan also guarantees him immunity from prosecution.

On Wednesday, after talks with British Premier David Cameron, the US President Barack Obama also called on Saleh to step down immediately.

But an official representative of the Yemeni president quoted him as saying, “I will not leave power and I will not leave Yemen.”

Now, what, in this context, may the US State Department mean in ordering diplomats and their family members to leave the country?

On the one hand it can be a purely precautionary measure aimed at saving American lives.

But the nature of Obama’s foreign policy of the last months has shown that he is ready to pursue a strong-arm approach to whatever “matters of American interest” happen wherever in the world, notwithstanding state borders and other nations’ sovereignty.

So, this might well be a last warning to the ruling regime in Yemen, which, if not heard by President Saleh can mean anything, including a direct American military involvement. In this context, the precaution is quite justifiable.

Of course, Saleh can partly rely on the supposition that the US would not want to start a fourth war. More so, after the NATO coalition clearly surpassed the limits set up for a military operation in Libya by the UN Security Council, most of the SC members will be clearly unwilling to give a “go-ahead” to a new operation. Also, seeing that Gaddafi, who stands firm, is now in a better position than, for example, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he might be willing to follow that example up to the end.

But even if there is no fourth American war in the Middle East, the Obama administration is sure to mount political pressure on the Yemeni leader. But that, in turn, poses another question: who benefits?

Yes, Saleh is a dictator, like most of his colleagues in the Arabic world. But is the option of the opposition coming to power much better?

When Gaddafi said that the Libyan opposition is linked to Al Qaeda, his words could be taken for pure propaganda. But in the Yemeni case such links are not so difficult to find. And would Obama like, while fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan, to receive another regime of the same sort (or, even worse) in Yemen?

====

U.S. Congress Passes $690 Billion Military Budget For Next Year

http://www.stripes.com/news/690-billion-defense-budget-passes-house-despite-veto-threat-1.144726

Stars and Stripes
May 26, 2011

$690 billion defense budget passes House despite veto threat
By Leo Shane III

WASHINGTON: The House passed its version of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill on Thursday, laying out plans for $690 billion defense plan next year and defying a presidential veto threat over rules limiting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

The bill, which was approved by a 322-96 vote, includes $119 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a 1.6 percent pay raise for troops, and a host of military policy updates and family support initiatives.

….

The budget bill would also keep open an alternate engine possibility for the F-35 program, although no new money would be side aside for its development.

….

And amendment by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan except for a small counterterrorism force failed by more than a two-to-one margin, and a similar plan from Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to cut military end strength by 50,000 over the next five years failed by an even larger margin.

But the House did back an amendment preventing future defense funding from being used to deploy ground forces to Libya, a move which lawmakers said was prompted by the minimal consultation the White House had with Congress before committing U.S. forces to the no-fly zone there.

Before any of the provisions become law, the Senate must first pass its version of the authorization bill and reconcile differences with the House measure. Senate leaders are expected to take up debate on the defense budget next month, but a final measure is not expected to be sent to the White House before the end of summer.

====

Arms Obsession Puts U.S. On One-Way Express Train To Poorhouse

http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/foreign-view/2011-05/658999.html

Global Times
May 25, 2011

US arms obsession put nation on path to poorhouse
By Justin Ward

Top Chinese general Chen Bingde’s recent visit to the US was an occasion for photo ops and flowery speeches about the need for greater cooperation between the world’s two great military and economic powers.

But after cameras stopped rolling, the US media began singing a different yet all-too-familiar tune. Commentators rehashed the narrative of a Cold-War-style arms race and battle for spheres of influence as they stoked fears of a Chinese military buildup.

China has become the new boogeyman for the US to justify its ever-expanding military budget. The start of Chen’s visit coincided with the release of news that the US is developing a long-range unmanned carrier-based aircraft.

Analysts believe the drone is designed to counter China’s land-based anti-carrier missile, which is currently operational though untested. Such a move is reminiscent of the kind of military one-upmanship seen at the height of the Cold War.

But if China’s increases in military spending signal the start of a new arms race, then it isn’t much of one considering the US 50-year head start.

If it were a foot race, then America would be sprinting while China is still lacing its shoes.

According to official figures released by the Chinese government, the latest annual military budget is equal to $91 billion, which amounts to about 1.4 percent of China’s GDP, whereas the US military budget is more than seven times that amount and accounts for at least 5 percent of the nation’s much larger GDP.

Though China’s armed forces outnumber those of the US in terms of regular personnel, the US has an overwhelming advantage in both the amount and sophistication of its hardware, which are the real deciding factors in modern warfare.

The US has at least twice the amount of combat aircraft and military vehicles as China does, not to mention 11 aircraft carriers.

China’s military technology is still decades behind.

There are some parallels between the current situation and the Cold War, but not the ones that are most often mentioned.

One is that circumstances prevent the two powers from confronting each other in direct military confrontation.

During the Cold War, it was the threat of nuclear annihilation that kept the peace between the Soviets and the US, a policy known aptly known as MAD, short for Mutually-Assured Destruction.

Now, we have an economic equivalent of this policy. The two nations are so economically intertwined that a war between them would be catastrophic to both and indeed the whole world.

Also, given China’s similar economic interdependence with its neighbors, such as Japan and South Korea, it is unlikely that China will use its improved military might to bully its neighbors.

One of the fundamental strategies of the US during the Cold War was the belief that free enterprise was stronger than the Soviet system, and that by constantly driving the arms race to new extremes, the US could force the Soviets to spend itself to death.

So it is all the more ironic that the same thing seems to be happening to the US, which recently hit its debt ceiling just shortly after a budget crisis nearly forced a government shutdown.

Military spending had no small part to play in this. The total military budget for 2012, including non-Department of Defense expenses and interest paid debt from past wars, is between $1.03 and $1.4 trillion.

China’s possession of an anti-carrier weapon is a threat to the US perceived right to park an aircraft carrier off China’s coast any time it wishes as it did last year.

The US responded like it was a global game of rock, paper, scissors. Paper covers rock, and drone beats missile.

If there is no actual threat that China and the US will engage in a shooting war nor a threat that China will attack its neighbors, why does the US continue to fund projects like the F-35 jet and drone aircraft at the expense of other more important domestic projects?

One reason is that Washington practices what can be called “military Keynesianism,” in which it intervenes in the economy through military spending.

But this policy along with the quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq are taking the US on a one-way express train to the poorhouse.

====

NATO Confirms Missile Shield Site In Bulgaria: Georgia And Ukraine Are Alternative Locations

http://paper.standartnews.com/en/article.php?d=2011-05-27&article=36387

Standart News
May 26, 2011

NATO: Anti-missile shield might be installed in Bulgaria
For the first time NATO officially admits it would like to install anti-missile shield elements in Bulgaria
Panayot Angarev

Bulgaria may accept a radar system from the NATO anti-missile shield…reads the report for the establishment of the anti-missile shield which will be presented at the at the spring session of NATO parliamentary assembly which starts today in the city of Varna. The goal before the forum is to prepare the NATO summit which will be held in Romania at the end of 2011.

The document is worked out by Dutchman Raymond Knopp and will be presented before the Defense and Security committee. With this report, NATO admits officially for the first time it includes Sofia in its plans for the establishment of the anti-missile shield. The radar system should be installed by the end of 2013.

The report points out that the initial plans of NATO and the USA to use the radar systems in Turkey for intercepting ballistic missiles have no satisfactory development and the negotiations were going with difficulties.

This is the reason why Bulgaria is seen as the first possible alternative, in the opinion of Raymond Knopp. Although the country is farther away from Iran it has an outlet on the Black Sea.

So far the idea of positioning the NATO anti-missile shield has been discussed unofficially only. The location the Alliance has chosen is the Botev Peak in the Balkan Range.

Informal talks about it have been conducted at different meetings with US representatives, sources of the Standart said.

Should the agreement on positioning the shield in Bulgaria not be reached, the NATO report envisages two other options: Georgia and Ukraine. The diplomats, however, are sure that they are unrealistic because these two countries are neighboring Russia which is rather unnerved by the building on an antimissile system close to its borders. The Russian side feels apprehensive that this radar will enable the USA to keep a close eye on everything that is going on Russia.

====

June: NATO Defense Chiefs To Discuss Libya, Afghanistan, China, Korea

http://www.newsahead.com/preview/2011/06/08/brussels-8-9-jun-2011-nato-defense-ministers-hold-second-meeting-of-2011/index.php

NewsAhead Agency
May 26, 2011

BRUSSELS 8-9 Jun 2011 NATO defense ministers hold second meeting of 2011

When NATO defense ministers meet in mid 2011, the drawdown of Alliance troops could have started and the Alliance will be have its first look at Afghanistan’s ability to counter the Taliban insurgency. The other security issues include NATO’s involvement in Libya, nuclear proliferation, tensions on the Korean Peninsula and China’s increasingly assertive role in Asia. The Alliance has also voiced security concerns related to China’s rare earths.

The counterinsurgency approach has helped avert an American defeat in Iraq, and may yet do so in Afghanistan. But it has also become politically and financially unsustainable, according to most accounts.

Since the start of the NATO mission in Libya on Mar 31, a definitive military solution has not emerged. The NATO allies are said to be facing a long, attritional campaign.

….

China has claimed “indisputable sovereignty” near the Malacca Strait in the South China Sea, a vital oil shipping corridor. Its “String of Pearls” strategy of building military installations in disputed regions of the area is raising tensions with South China Sea neighbors.

Beijing has slowed up delivery of the rare earths used in electronics and most green technology, using the minerals. A NATO broadcast notes that Beijing is using its curb on rare earth exports as a political and strategic tool. The communique likens the threat to rare earth supplies to the threat to oil supplies. The only economic quantities of the minerals are in China, giving that country control of some 97 per cent of the world’s supply.

====

Military Partnership: NATO Holds First High-Level Talks With Mongolia

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-ECBA3C9B-51E1266D/natolive/news_74801.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 25, 2011

Mongolia and NATO hold high-level talks in Ulaanbaatar

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. James Appathurai, travelled to to Ulaanbaatar from 25-27 May 2011 for the first high-level talks between Mongolia and NATO.

He met with the President of Mongolia, Mr. Tsakhia Elbegdorj in order to discuss Mongolia’s proposals for the development of a partnership with NATO. Mr. Appathurai also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Gombojav Zandanshatar, the Minister of Defence Mr. Luvsanvandan Bold, with Secretary of the National Security Council Mr. Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin, and with the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Security and Foreign Policy Committee Mr. Yaichil Batsuuri.

….

Mongolia is a valued contributor to NATO-led operations. Earlier this month, Mongolia dispatched an infantry platoon to provide flight-line security to Kabul International Airport.

Mongolia has participated in NATO’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan with important contributions to force protection in the Feyzabad area since March 2010 and has sent infantry, artillery and air mentor trainers to the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan in Kabul.

From December 2005 to March 2007, Mongolia paid a valuable contribution to the NATO-led KFOR operation in Kosovo with an embedded platoon within the Belgian contingent.

====

Transdniester Calls For Dramatic Increase In Russian Peacekeepers

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110525/164232675.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 25, 2011

Transdnestr proposes increasing Russian peacekeeping force

Tiraspol: The authorities in Transdnestr believe Russia should dramatically increase the number of its troops in Moldova’s breakaway republic to 3,200 peacekeepers, a Transdnestr official said on Wednesday.

The Russian-speaking province of Transdnestr has maintained de facto independence from Moldova since a brief war in 1992, which erupted during a buildup of tensions following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Tiraspol insists on independence, and even integration, with Russia, while Chisinau says it is willing only to give Transdnestr autonomy within Moldova.

The current peacekeeping force in the conflict zone consists of 402 Russian servicemen, 492 from Transdnestr, 355 from Moldova and 10 military observers from Ukraine.

“The number of Russian peacekeepers should be increased. While there are elements of instability and provocations on the part of Moldova, there are all grounds for this,” Oleg Belyakov, the head of the Transdnestr delegation to the Joint Control Commission which monitors the peacekeeping mission, said.

“In line with earlier signed documents, the number of Russian peacekeepers can be increased to 3,200,” he said.

Official talks on the future of Transdnestr in the “five-plus-two” format, involving Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, Moldova and Transdnestr, with the United States and the EU as observers, have been frozen since February 2006.

====

Romania: U.S. Marines Conduct Urban Counterinsurgency Training

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/70942/black-sea-rotational-force-refine-combat-marksmanship-skills-and-foreign-weapons-familiarization-with-romanian-army

Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System
May 25, 2011

Black Sea Rotational Force Refine Combat Marksmanship skills and Foreign Weapons Familiarization with Romanian Army
Story by Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda Follow This Journalist

BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania: While participating in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping training with U.S. Marines of Black Sea Rotational Force 11, Romanian soldiers recently learned the fundamentals of the combat marksmanship program and foreign weapons familiarization.

The Romanians learned to fire while moving, pivoting and other shooting techniques for close-in engagements that are typical to counterinsurgency operations, such as in an urban environment….

In addition to CMP, the U.S. Marines and Romanian soldiers got to switch with their counterparts’ weapon system. The Romanians familiarized themselves with shooting, reloading, immediate and remedial action drills with the M4 carbine and M16A4 service rifle.

….

The current cycle of Romanian soldiers, from the Romanian army’s 280th Infantry Battalion, are the second in BTA, and the last of the host nation’s troops to undergo the counterinsurgency training package.

“All the techniques we have learned here will help [us] as a whole company for future operations,” said Romanian Capt. Dan Negoita, the executive officer of the Romanian Land Forces, BSRF-11.

“We are going to enforce these techniques as much as possible,” he added.

….

The combined military engagements are an integral part of BSRF’s six-month deployment to the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions of Eastern Europe to participate in a security cooperation that builds military capacity to participating Eastern European nations.

====

Soldier Killed As NATO Helicopter Crashes In Afghanistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1641645.php/NATO-helicopter-crashes-in-eastern-Afghanistan-killing-soldier

Deutsche Presse=Agentur
May 26, 2011

NATO helicopter crashes in eastern Afghanistan, killing soldier

Kabul: A NATO military helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing a foreign soldier, the alliance said in a statement.

The cause of the crash was unknown and an investigation was underway, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.

The military did not reveal the nationality of the deceased as NATO often waits until national authorities have informed the next of kin.

More than 190 foreign troops have been killed in Afghan conflicts so far this year, according to ICasualties.org, an independent website that tracks NATO military fatalities in Afghanistan.

====

Seven NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/27/c_13895961.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 27, 2011

7 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

KABUL: Continued militancy claimed the lives of seven soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Thursday, the alliance said in a statement released here.

“Seven International Security Assistance Force service members died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today,” the statement added.

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.

Troops mostly from U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia have been deployed in the troubled southern region where Taliban militants are active.

More than 190 NATO-led soldiers with majority of them Americans have been in Afghanistan since beginning this year.

====

Afghan War Veterans Oppose Kazakh Participation In NATO’s Afghan War

http://www.rferl.org/content/afghan_war_veterans_oppose_kazakh_participation_isaf/24204941.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
May 25, 2011

Afghan War Veterans Oppose Kazakh Participation In ISAF

ALMATY, Kazakhstan: Kazakh veterans of the Soviet-era war in Afghanistan are protesting a parliament decision to send troops to serve with the NATO-led international force in Afghanistan (ISAF), RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reports.

The statement, issued by Kazakhstan’s Coordination Council of Public Organizations uniting veterans of the war in Afghanistan, says that “sending even one single Kazakh soldier to Afghanistan would propel our young Republic into a large regional military conflict and pose a threat to the security of our citizens both inside and outside Kazakhstan. That would split Kazakhstan’s Islamic community and destabilize interethnic and interreligious harmony within the country.”

The veterans also demand the immediate dissolution of the Kazakh parliament for “its decision to send a Kazakh military contingent to Afghanistan,” and they call on all Kazakh citizens to support them.

On May 18, the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of parliament, ratified Kazakhstan’s agreement with NATO on participating in ISAF.

Astana is offering as many as four servicemen variously described as being “officers” or “medics.”

The agreement will come into force after it is approved by the the upper house, the Senate, and signed by President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

====

NATO’s Afghan War Transit Increasingly Moves Through CSTO Nations

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-45EC1544-5005322B/natolive/news_74763.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 25, 2011

One year on: ISAF’s trans-European supply routes are a success

Today, some 40 per cent of all cargo destined for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) enters Afghanistan by rail through northern and central Lines of Communication (LOC). The remainder is shipped through Pakistan or directly flown into Afghanistan. This is a remarkable success considering that it was only a year ago that the first train with non-lethal cargo for ISAF departed Latvia for Afghanistan, making use of the new northern rail route through Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The establishment of lines of communication for ISAF through Central Asia has involved considerable effort from NATO and the individual nations concerned. The successful operation of these transit routes is also a significant achievement given the lengthy distances, terrain, extreme weather and language challenges involved.

The benefits speak for themselves: the use of the rail route costs approximately 10 per cent of the equivalent for movement by air. Moreover, for many ISAF Troop Contributing Nations, the northern and central routes are more direct than using the southern surface transport route through Pakistan.

Work has continued over the past year to improve the means by which non-lethal cargo for ISAF is moved in and out of Afghanistan. Existing arrangements with a number of European and Central Asian countries for the transit of cargo were amended and improved to complete a reverse transit route for all types of non-lethal cargo….These reverse transit arrangements are also very important to facilitate the rotation of forces and return of damaged equipment or equipment requiring major overhaul.

ISAF Troop Contributing Nations are able to operate under either their own bilateral arrangements with the transit countries concerned or use overarching NATO arrangements.

Multinational coordination of ISAF transit is performed by the Allied Movement Coordination Centre in Mons, Belgium, and the Movement Coordination Centre Europe in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Latvia also plays a key role in coordinating movement with Russia and Central Asian partners.

While rail movement continues to play a significant role in the overall success of the ISAF northern route, NATO is now looking at a more multi-modal transport network, using a mix of rail, road and air movement, to provide optimum efficiency, reliability and flexibility.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Gulf State Gendarmes: West Backs Holy Alliance For Control Of Arab World And Persian Gulf

May 25, 2011 2 comments

Stop NATO
May 25, 2011

Gulf State Gendarmes: West Backs Holy Alliance For Control Of Arab World And Persian Gulf
Rick Rozoff

The standard-bearers of Anglo-American imperialism in the current epoch, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, met in London on May 25 to discuss the world’s two ongoing wars of aggression, those in Afghanistan and Libya, both under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dominated by Washington and London.

As well as joining a barbecue for American and British troops in the prime minister’s haunts, in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street, the two potentates called for continuing to bomb Libya back to the Paleolithic Age.

Displaying what passes for sophisticated humor in the contemporary deadened age, Cameron told the press, “It was…probably the first time in history, as we stood behind that barbecue, that I can say a British prime minister has given an American president a bit of a grilling.”

Correspondents chuckled as Libyan, Afghan and Pakistani civilians writhe in their death throes from the bombs and Hellfire missiles delivered by Cameron’s and Obama’s warplanes.

Waxing as reflective as he is capable of doing, the British prime minister added: “Barack and I came of age in the 1980s and ’90s. We saw the end of the Cold War and the victory over communism. We saw the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and the world coming together to liberate that country. Throughout it all, we saw presidents and prime ministers standing together for freedom.”

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in triumphalism and unbridled militarism, more like.

British, French, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Qatari and United Arab Emirate warplanes have flown over 8,000 sorties and more than 3,000 combat missions against Libya since NATO took control of the war on March 31, before which the U.S. and Britain fired at least 160 cruise missiles into the nation. Hours before Cameron and Obama enjoyed their barbecue, NATO warplanes launched a one-hour bombardment of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the most ferocious attack in more than two months, killing 19 people and injuring over 130 others.

The third plenipotentiary of Anglo-American global power projection, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland – who succeeded former NATO secretary general Javier Solana in the post – was in Washington last week to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and plan more onerous joint sanctions against Syria, with Clinton stating “we discussed additional steps that we can take to increase pressure and further isolate the Assad regime,” exemplifying the diplomatic finesse the world has come to expect from the foreign policy executrix of the world’s sole military superpower.

A week before, the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), whose six member states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, to a one hereditary monarchies, emirates and theocracies, but accounting for 45 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves – are the West’s main allies and proxies in the Arab world and the Persian Gulf, issued a joint declaration demanding that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi abdicate power in favor of the rebel Transitional National Council financed and armed by NATO and GCC nations and advocating the easing out of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in favor of a more pliant and reliable client.

The EU and GCC, with not a scintilla of apparent irony given the above, also demanded that Iran “play a constructive role and stop interfering in the internal affairs of GCC member states and other countries in the region.” On March 14 the first of 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the other GCC states entered Bahrain, two days after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates left the kingdom, to back up the Al Khalifa dynasty against opponents of the religious minority-dominated autocracy.

The following week Kuwait deployed naval forces off Bahrain “to protect the territorial waters of the kingdom” as part of the GCC’s Peninsula Shield Force military intervention.

In announcing the penultimate round of sanctions against Syria in late April, President Obama included Iran, claiming “Iran’s actions in support of the Syrian regime place it in stark opposition to the will of the Syrian people.” The will of the Bahraini people is another matter.

Since April the GCC, of which Yemen is not a member, has been pressuring the Yemeni government to accept its alleged mediation efforts to effect a change of regime, an initiative backed by the U.S. and its NATO allies. As German foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke recently informed the press, “We call on President Saleh not to seek to wait out the situation, and to seriously consider and accept the mediation offer made by the Gulf Cooperation Council.” He added that “The European Union might take new measures to up pressure on the regime ‘should President Saleh stubbornly hang on.'” [1]

During his meeting with Prime Minister Cameron on the same day, President Obama chimed in by stating, “We call upon President Saleh to move immediately on his commitment to transfer power.”

On May 23 European Union foreign ministers levied more stringent sanctions against Belarus, Iran, Libya and Syria, four nations – hardly surprisingly – also targeted by the U.S. for regime change.

Neither the U.S. nor its NATO allies in the European Union have breathed a word about introducing sanctions against the kings and emirs of the GCC states.

Qatar and its GCC partners were the prime movers behind the action by the Arab League, of which they constitute barely a quarter of the members, to call for a United Nations resolution against Libya on March 12. A week later the U.S., Britain, France and their NATO allies began the bombardment of the country.

Diminutive Qatar, an absolute monarchy with a population under 1.7 million, was the first country to recognize the rebel regime in Libya, the first Persian Gulf state to join a NATO combat mission by supplying French-made Mirage fighter jets and U.S.-origin C-17 Globemasters for the war effort and set up a satellite television channel – Ahrar TV – as the mouthpiece for the Transitional National Council, as well as providing it with French-made MILAN missile launchers. Qatar is also managing oil exports from rebel-controlled Libya.

A news source in Azerbaijan published the following account on March 28, nine days after the war against Libya was launched:

“NATO’s operation, worth about $300-500 million a day, on sweeping the sky over Libya opens a new historical era: the beginning of colonial conquests by the Persian Gulf states. At the same time NATO acts as a ‘soldier of fortune’ – a professional mercenary, ensuring colonial conquest itself.

“The defeat of Colonel Qaddafi’s ground forces by NATO aviation has opened possibilities for the opposition for restoration of oil exports from Libya. As a result, according to a representative for the economy and oil of the ‘transitional government’ of the opposition, Ali Tarkhuni, the opposition has already reached an agreement on oil exports under the supervision of Qatar.” [1]

On April 14 President Obama hosted the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, at the White House and praised his guest for “the leadership” he demonstrated in promoting “democracy in the Middle East,” particularly in Libya, adding:

“Qatar has not only supported [the campaign against Libya] diplomatically but has also supported it militarily and we are very appreciative of the outstanding work that the Qataris have done side by side with other international coalition members.” The emir responded by thanking Obama for “the position the U.S. has taken in support of the democratization process that has taken place in Tunisia and in Egypt and what is attempting to take place in Libya.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is one of 49 official Troop Contributing Nations supplying forces for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (Bahrain, though not in that category, also has military personnel assigned to NATO in the war zone), announced last week that it will be the first Arab nation to send an ambassador to NATO headquarters in Brussels. The UAE is also the only other Arab state providing warplanes for the now 68-day attack against Libya.

Along with its fellow GCC member states Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, the UAE is a member of the NATO Istanbul Cooperation Initiative military partnership established in 2004. NATO has conducted conferences, sent leading military commanders and deployed warships to all six GCC nations, including Saudi Arabia and Oman, not yet full members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The Alliance’s ever-expanding role in the Persian Gulf is designed to contain and when the opportunity arises confront Iran.

Two years ago French President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to the UAE to open his nation’s first military base in the Middle East, in the Abu Dhabi emirate, where he stated to his host: “Be assured that France is on your side in the event your security is at risk.”

In the middle of April, starting on the day Obama met with Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, NATO foreign ministers met in Berlin to plan the intensification of the war against Libya, with Hillary Clinton stating that the bloc’s members were “sharing the same goal, which is to see the end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.” The NATO foreign ministers signed a declaration pledging continuation of the war which was also signed by representatives of Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, all members of NATO partnership programs: The Mediterranean Dialogue, Partnership for Peace and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

Ten days ago Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri announced that his nation intends to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the GCC reciprocated by confirming that it was considering the request and a parallel one by Jordan. Neither country is near the Persian Gulf but both are monarchies.

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo, the monarchies in Russia, Austria and Prussia created what became known as the Holy Alliance to unite the European continent under a coalition of kings, czars and emperors exploiting a patina of religiosity to forever fend off the reappearance of republicanism. Of forces they couldn’t control.

The self-proclaimed champions of Euro-Atlantic values gathered under the banner of NATO have now found their fitting complement: The kingdoms and emirates of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A kinship indeed exists, as the majority of nations bombing Libya on both sides are monarchies: Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as NATO partner Sweden which has assigned eight Gripen warplanes for the war and Canada once removed.

Last September the Financial Times reported that Washington planned to sell $123 billion worth of arms to GCC states – $67.8 billion to Saudi Arabia, $35.6 billion to the United Arab Emirates, $12.3 billion to Oman and $7.1 billion to Kuwait – in addition to incorporating the Gulf states into the global U.S. missile shield system.

The White House later confirmed a $60 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, the largest foreign arms transaction in American history.

The U.S., Britain, France, Italy and their NATO allies have revealed their plans for control of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf: A comprehensive military alliance with the royal families of the Arab world.

1) Agence France-Presse, May 25, 2011
2) NATO conquered from Gaddafi control over Libyan oil for Qatar
Azerbaijan Business Center, March 28, 2011

http://abc.az/eng/news/main/52557.html

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011 3 comments

====

NATO Ground Troops Likely To Follow Helicopters In Libya

Latest NATO Air Strikes Kill 19, Wound Over 130 In Tripoli

NATO Air Strike Destroys Libyan Communications Facility

Russia Condemns Intensified Bombing Of Libya

Libya: 8,168 NATO Sorties, 3,133 Strike Missions

Obama-Cameron Talks Focus On Libyan, Afghan Wars

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll Continues To Rise

German Soldiers Killed, Wounded In Afghan Attack

NATO Iraq Training Chief Visits Main NATO Military Headquarters

Britain To Keep Strategic Military Bases In Cyprus

====


British Tornado fighter jet


Dutch F-16


Norwegian F-16


French Mirage

====

NATO Ground Troops Likely To Follow Helicopters In Libya

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ground+troops+likely+follow+attack+helicopters+into+Libyan+fray/4836210/story.html

Vancouver Sun
May 25, 2011

Ground troops likely to follow attack helicopters into Libyan fray
By Jonathan Manthorpe

The French and British-led NATO campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has taken another step toward deploying troops on the ground with the announcement that attack helicopters are to be sent to the conflict.

The statement by French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet that his forces will send 12 ground attack helicopters to operate in Libya, with the British likely to announce similar moves soon, is a significant escalation in the conflict and a further stretching of the March United Nations resolution authorizing military intervention.

That Security Council mandate only authorized the protection of civilians….

In response, North Atlantic Treaty Organization air forces have attempted to impose a no-fly zone over Libya….The NATO forces have also made bombing raids against Gadhafi’s military assets and his command and control centres.

But this intervention has not been conclusive.

Last week Rear Admiral James Faggo, operations head of the United States 6th Fleet, said despite two months of these air raids Gadhafi still has 60 per cent of his military capacity.

Fighting on the ground between the ill-trained and ill-equipped rebels and Gadhafi’s forces has bogged down into a stalemate.

There is persistent talk of dividing the country between the rebel-held east based on the city of Benghazi and Gadhafi remaining in power in the capital Tripoli and the west.

But with the French government of President Nicolas Sarkozy leading the charge, Paris, London and Washington have all said the only acceptable outcome is for Gadhafi to quit power entirely.

….

The deployment of the ground attack helicopters, which allow much more precise attacks on Gadhafi’s forces and close support for the rebels, is a step toward that goal.

But this tactical escalation comes with added risks, making it more likely that at some point NATO ground troops will be dispatched to Libya to finish off the task of ousting Gadhafi and his regime.

NATO’s high-flying bombers have been secure against Gadhafi’s air defences. There have been no NATO combat casualties.

The attack helicopters are a more useful and potent weapon in this kind of infantry war. But they are vulnerable to being brought down by shoulderfired anti-aircraft missiles -of which Gadhafi is known to have ample supplies – rocketpropelled grenades and even small arms fire.

The intensified bombing attacks on Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli and other military sites in the last few days are probably an attempt to minimize the danger of NATO helicopters being downed. The focus appears to be on Gadhafi’s command, control and communications centres, the essential element in managing not only his continued military resistance, but also his response to the helicopters.

If, however, the attack helicopters prove vulnerable and some are brought down, there will be growing calls for intervention on the ground by NATO forces to break the stalemate and end Gadhafi’s resistance.

That’s what happened in Kosovo in 1999 when the air campaign failed to produce results. Indeed, it looks as though NATO planners are replaying the campaign against Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic’s attempts to prevent the secession of Kosovo.

….

====

Latest NATO Air Strikes Kill 19, Wound Over 130 In Tripoli

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1881447.html

Trend News Agency
May 25, 2011

NATO airstrike kills 19 in Tripoli

A NATO airstrike killed 19 people and injured over 130 others in Tripoli overnight Tuesday, a government spokesman said.

Moussa Ibrahim told Xinhua that the air raid, the heaviest against the capital in more than two months, lasted over one hour, and also caused huge property damage.

The NATO military carried out over a dozen attacks against “barracks of the people’s guards,” who are volunteer units supporting the government forces.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya residence was also severely damaged, and the windows of some civilian buildings several kilometers from the residence were shattered.

Locals said the raid caused them to panic as they failed to find shelters.

Late Tuesday, NATO conducted another air attack against the residence, and very powerful explosions could be heard from far away.

—————————————————————————

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1881283.html

Trend News Agency
May 25, 2011

More NATO airstrikes rattle Tripoli

More NATO airstrikes have hit Tripoli, with the latest attacks targeting Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s residence once again, Press TV reported.

Three explosions rang out in the Bab Al-Aziziya district of Tripoli at 11:00 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Tuesday night. Three others were heard minutes later, AFP reported.

NATO warplanes also attacked Gaddafi’s residence on Monday. The Libyan government said nineteen people were killed and more than 150 others were injured in the airstrikes.

NATO is mandated by the UN to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya in order to protect civilians.

On Tuesday, French Defense Minister Gérard Longuet said France will send 12 helicopters to Libya and added that Britain also plans to send helicopters to the country in the near future.

British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey told MPs on Tuesday that the government has not yet decided about the issue of sending attack helicopters to the Libya war.

Meanwhile, pro-Gaddafi forces have continued their attacks on the rebel positions. Several rockets were fired on opposition forces in Zintan on Monday.

====

NATO Air Strike Destroys Libyan Communications Facility

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1641406.php/Libyan-government-says-NATO-struck-communications-facility

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 25, 2011

Libyan government says NATO struck communications facility

Tripoli/Cairo: Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi’s government said NATO airstrikes destroyed a communications facility in the city of Misurata, Libyan state television reported Wednesday.

….

Obama said ‘enormous progress’ had already been made in Libya. Wearing down Gaddafi would be a ‘slow’ process, and it was therefore important to strengthen opposition forces in Libya, he said.

Russia sharply criticized the latest round of air strikes by NATO on the capital Tripoli, which remains in Gaddafi’s control.

A statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the early Wednesday morning strikes were ‘useless’ and a ‘violation of UN resolutions,’ adding that it ‘will lead to even more suffering of the Libyan population.’

….

Russia has accused NATO nations of abusing the spirit of the UN resolution in an attempt to force Gaddafi from power.

NATO has launched more than 8,000 sorties in an air campaign which began in late March….

====

Russia Condemns Intensified Bombing Of Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/25/50786067.html

Voice of Russia
May 25, 2011

Russia condemns airstrikes on Libya

Russia condemns the international coalition’s airstrikes on Libya.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has described the latest bombardment of Tripoli, which resulted in the death of 19 people, as a flagrant violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The coalition insists that the strikes help protect the civilian population, however the air raids have failed to stop military confrontation in Libya, instead adding to people’s suffering, says Russian Foreign Ministry official Konstantin Dolgov.

The diplomat pointed out that Moscow continues to insist on a political settlement of the situation in Libya, as well as on ending immediately all military action in the North African country.

—————————————————————————

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1881604.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 25, 2011

Russia condemns latest round of NATO air attacks on Tripoli

Russia on Wednesday sharply criticized the latest round of air strikes by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on the Libyan capital Tripoli, calling the attacks “useless” and a “violation of UN resolutions.”

A statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the early Wednesday morning strikes “will lead to even more suffering of the Libyan population.”

All sides should lay down their arms immediately, the statement said, DPA reported.

Russia in March enabled international intervention into the Libyan civil war by abstaining from a UN resolution authorizing member nations to use force to protect Libya’s civilian population.

NATO nations since then have launched more than 8,000 sorties in a widening air campaign against armed forces and ground installations controlled by Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi.

Russia has accused NATO nations of abusing the spirit of the UN resolution in an attempt to force Gaddafi from power.

====

Libya: 8,168 NATO Sorties, 3,133 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110525_110525-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 25, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8168 sorties, including 3133 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 24 May: 149

Strike sorties conducted 24 May: 56

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

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

A total of 1039 vessels have been hailed. 51 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Obama-Cameron Talks Focus On Libyan, Afghan Wars

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1b473af4-86b0-11e0-9d41-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1NNOesPNG

Financial Times
May 25, 2011

UK-US talks turn to military affairs
By Elizabeth Rigby

[Excerpts]

Barack Obama and David Cameron held talks in Downing Street on Wednesday morning as the US president’s state visit turned from pageantry to more serious foreign policy issues.

The Nato operations in Libya and Afghanistan were expected to be high on the agenda of the talks – expected to last about 90 minutes – with both Washington and London seeking to show a united front on Libya and push back against perceptions that the fighting had entered a stalemate.

….

The US looked to its allies “to do a great deal” which France, the UK and other nations were doing, said the foreign secretary, but he added: “I don’t think one can fault that”.

The bilateral talks would focus on “intensifying” pressure on the Gaddafi regime, he said.

The two leaders will also discuss Afghanistan….

====

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll Continues To Rise

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1881698.html

Trend News Agency
May 25, 2011

NATO solider killed in Afghanistan

A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in an explosion on Wednesday in north Afghanistan, the military alliance said, Xinhua reported.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in northern Afghanistan today,” said an ISAF statement released here.

However, the brief statement did not disclose the nationality and position of the victim, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

This is the second NATO soldier who has been killed in Afghanistan since Tuesday.

Another soldier, according to ISAF statement released Wednesday, was killed in southern region of Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The simple but lethal homemade Taliban weapon, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), used in making suicide vests and roadside bombs has proved challenging for Afghan and NATO-led forces in the insurgency-hit country.

More than 180 NATO soldiers, with majority of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.

====

German Soldiers Killed, Wounded In Afghan Attack

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1641395.php/German-NATO-soldiers-killed-by-Afghan-bombings

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 25, 2011

German, NATO soldiers killed by Afghan bombings

Kabul: Two soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in roadside bombings in Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday.

One soldier died from a roadside bomb in the northern region Wednesday, the military said in a statement, without revealing his nationality.

But the Green Party in Berlin said the parliamentary defence committee was briefed by the armed forces chief, who said that the blast killed one German soldier and wounded another soldier and an Afghan interpreter.

The soldiers were patrolling in Chardarah district of northern province of Kunduz when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, Gholam Muhayuddin, the district police chief said.

‘There were casualties,’ he said, adding that German forces condoned off the blast site and a military helicopter evacuated the victims.

Taliban also attacked a police post in Dashti Archi district of Kunduz on Tuesday night, sparking a four-hour-firefight that left five insurgents killed and two police forces injured, Sheikh Sadruddin, the district chief said.

Germany has around 5,000 troops in northern Afghanistan, which includes Kunduz.

Separately, a further ISAF soldier was killed in a roadside bomb attack in the southern region on Tuesday, ISAF said. The military did not disclose the nationality of the victim, nor give a precise location of the incident.

Most foreign troops deployed to the volatile southern provinces are from the United States, Britain and Canada.

At least 190 foreign soldiers have been killed in the conflict so far this year, according to iCasualties.org, an independent website that tracks NATO military fatalities in Afghanistan.

….

====

NATO Iraq Training Chief Visits Main NATO Military Headquarters

http://www.aco.nato.int/page42420310.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
May 25, 2011

Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, Commander of the NATO Training Mission – Iraq, visits SHAPE

Lieutenant General Michael Ferriter, Commander of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I), visited SHAPE Headquarters on 25 May and met with Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and General Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, to discuss ongoing NATO military mission in Iraq.

Their discussion centered on the progress in the growing competency and capability of the Iraq Security Forces (ISF), as well as the future of continued NATO commitments to support the Government of Iraq in building an effective and enduring security sector.

….

NTM-I is a highly successful mission. Its achievements constitute valuable experience for NATO’s training operations. However, important decisions will have to be made in the close future: what the strategic relationship between NATO and Iraq will be under the Structured Cooperation Framework, and what is the future of the NTM-I training mission and how it will support the strategic relationship.

The Alliance established NTM-I shortly after the 2004 Istanbul Summit…to provide training, assistance, and equipment to the Iraqi Security Forces….

====

Britain To Keep Strategic Military Bases In Cyprus

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/26/c_13893972.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 26, 2011

Britain says will not abandon bases in Cyprus

-One of the bases on the southern coast of the island near the port city of Limassol is part of a wider complex of strategic NATO military facilities.
Akrotiri air base is both an air and naval facility offering logistical support for current NATO operations in Afghanistan and Libya and a communications base for the collection of world-wide military information.

NICOSIA: Britain said on Wednesday that the review of its military bases in Cyprus does not involve entirely abandoning them.

In remarks to mostly correspondents of Cypriot media, made public in Nicosia, a spokeswoman for the British Defence Ministry said the bases in Cyprus are very important for Britain from a strategic point of view. “Issues which will be reviewed are what we have now there, how do we use it, can we use it in a better way and with less spending, are changes needed and if yes which these changes should be,” the spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

She added the review came as a result of a previous review of all Defense Ministry sectors, resulting in an 8 percent cutting of defense expenses, which showed that a separate review was needed for the Cyprus bases by independent surveyors.

The spokeswoman said the review will be ready by the end of the year.

Britain had retained two extensive sovereign base areas on Cyprus, occupying a total of about 254 square kilometers when the eastern Mediterranean island won independence in 1960.

One of the bases on the southern coast of the island near the port city of Limassol is part of a wider complex of strategic NATO military facilities.

Akrotiri air base is both an air and naval facility offering logistical support for current NATO operations in Afghanistan and Libya and a communications base for the collection of world-wide military information.

About 600 British marines exercised at Akrotiri base last week….

British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday that a review of its bases in Cyprus will be done with a view of extracting maximum value from its defence budget.

The review involves both military personnel estimated at present at just under 3,000 and just over 1,600 civilian workers.

….

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Victor Hugo: The Face Of Cain, Hunters Of Men, Sublime Cutthroats

====

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

Victor Hugo: Selections on war

====

Victor Hugo
From William Shakespeare (1864)
Translated by Melville B. Anderson

Behold the rising of the new constellation! It is now certain that what has hitherto been the light of the human race begins to pale its ineffectual fire, and that the ancient beacons are flickering out.

From the beginning of human tradition men of force alone have glittered in the empyrean of history; theirs was the sole supremacy. Under the various names of king, emperor, chief, captain, prince, – epitomized in the word “hero,” – this apocalyptic group shone resplendent. Terror raised acclamations to salute them, dripping with the blood of victories. They were followed by a train of tumultuous flames; their dishevelled light gleamed portentous upon the children of men. If they lit the sky, it was with flames. They seemed to wish to extend their sway over the Infinite.

Amid their glory was heard the crash of ruin.

That red glare – was it the purple? was it blood? was it shame? Their light suggested the face of Cain. They hated one another. They exchanged flashing bolts. At times these vast stars crashed together amid volleys of lightning. Their look was furious. Their radiance stretched into sword-blades. All this hung terrible above us.

*****

Already certain kinds of despots are no longer possible. The Pharaoh is a mummy, the Sultan is a phantom, the Caesar is a counterfeit. This stylite of the Trajan columns is anchylosed upon its pedestal; its head is covered with the excrement of the free eagles; it is nonentity rather than glory; this laurel garland is bound on with grave-clothes.

The period of the men of violence is past. They have been glorious, certainly, but with a glory that melts away. That species of great men is soluble in progress. Civilization rapidly oxidizes these bronzes…A Louis XIV invading the Palatinate would, in our day, be regarded as a robber. Already in the last century these truths began to dawn. Frederick II in the presence of Voltaire felt and owned himself something of a brigand. To be, materially, a great man, to be pompously violent, to reign by virtue of the sword-knot and the cockade, to forge a legal system upon the anvil of force, to hammer out justice and truth by dint of accomplished facts, to possess a genius for brutality, – this is to be great, if you will, but it is a coarse way of being great.

Glory advertised by drumbeats is met with a shrug of the shoulder. These sonorous heroes have, up to the present day, deafened human reason, which begins to be fatigued by this majestic uproar. Reason stops eyes and ears before those authorized butcheries called battles. The sublime cutthroats have had their day. Henceforth they can remain illustrious and august only in a certain relative oblivion. Humanity, grown older, asks to be relieved of them. The cannon’s prey has begun to think, and, thinking twice, loses its admiration for being made a target.

****

The greatest warrior of modern times is not Napoleon, it is Pitt. Napoleon waged war; Pitt created war. It is Pitt who willed all the wars of the Revolution and of the Empire. He is their fountainhead. Replace Pitt by Fox, and that outrageous battle of twenty-three years would be deprived of its motive-power; there would be no coalition. Pitt was the soul of the coalition; and, he dead, his soul still animated the universal war.

Here is what Pitt cost England and the world; we add this bas-relief to his pedestal:

First, the expenditure of men. From 1791 to 1814, France, constrained and forced, wrestling alone against Europe confederated by England, expended in slaughter for military glory…five millions of men; that is, six hundred men per day. Europe, including France, expended sixteen millions six hundred thousand men; that is, two thousand men destroyed daily for a period of twenty-three years.

Secondly, the expenditure of money. Unfortunately, we have no authentic account, except the account of England. From 1791 to 1814, England, in order to get France crushed by Europe, incurred a debt of twenty milliards three hundred and sixteen millions four hundred and sixty thousand and fifty-three francs. Divide this sum by the number of men killed, at the rate of two thousand per day for twenty-three years, and you arrive at the result that each corpse stretched on the field of battle cost England alone fifty pounds sterling.

Add the figures for all Europe, – numbers unknown, but enormous.

With these seventeen millions of men the European population of Australia might have been formed. With the eight hundred millions of English pounds sterling shot from the cannon’s mouth, the face of the earth might have been changed, civilization planted everywhere, and ignorance and poverty suppressed throughout the world.

England pays eight hundred millions sterling for the two statues of Pitt and of Wellington. It is fine to have heroes, but it is a costly luxury. Poets are less expensive.

The discharge of the warrior is signed. His splendor is fading in the distance. Nimrod the Great, Cyrus the Great, Sennacherib the Great, Sesostris the Great, Alexander the Great, Pyrrhus the Great, Hannibal the Great, Frederick the Great, Caesar the Great, Timour the Great, Louis the Great,  still other Greats, – all this greatness is passing away.

*****

The hunters of men, the trailers of armies, Nimrod, Sennacherib, Cyrus, Rameses, Xerxes, Cambyses, Attila, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Alexander, Caesar, Bonaparte, – all these vast, ferocious men are vanishing.

Slowly they flicker out; now they touch the horizon; mysteriously the darkness attracts them; they have kinship with the shades, – hence their fatal descent; their resemblance to the other phenomena of night draws them on to this dreadful union with blind immensity – submersion of all light. Oblivion, that shadow of darkness, awaits them.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011 1 comment

====

USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Headed To Mediterranean

What Price War?

U.S. Violating War Powers Act In Libya: Lawyer

Ad Majorem US Gloriam: Obama Worse Warmonger Than Bush

NATO Plotting Ground Operation In Libya: Russian Diplomat

NATO Campaign Aimed At Toppling Libyan Government: Russian Envoy

“Thought It Was Day Of Judgment”: Heaviest NATO Bombing Of Tripoli Yet

67-Day Air War: Over 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights

Attack Helicopter Deployment Brings NATO Closer To Libyan Ground War

Washington To Host Libyan Rebel Office

U.S. Drone Attacks In Pakistan: 32 Strikes, At Least 234 Victims

Polish Soldiers Face 12-Year Sentences For Slaying Afghan Civilians

NATO Chief Makes Unscheduled Visit To Afghanistan

NATO Military Plane Down In Afghanistan

NATO-Standard Payloads: Iraq To Buy Czech Combat Jets

Japan To Allow U.S. To Export Interceptor Missiles To NATO Nations

NATO Envoy, Recruiter For Afghan, Iraqi Wars To Become U.S. Ambassador To Armenia

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative To Visit Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan: NATO’s Outpost On The Caspian Sea

Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf: USS Enterprise Carrier Lands 400,000th Aircraft

====


USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier


Tiger attack helicopter


Gazelle helicopters


L-159 combat planes


USS Enterprise

====

USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Headed To Mediterranean

http://www.stripes.com/news/navy/uss-george-h-w-bush-enters-6th-fleet-waters-1.144346

Stars and Stripes
May 24, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush enters 6th Fleet waters
By Geoff Ziezulewicz

NAPLES, Italy: The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which departed Norfolk, Va., earlier this month, has made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and into 6th Fleet waters. This is the maiden voyage for the Navy’s newest and last Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered behemoth.

The carrier will lead the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, which will conduct a variety of operations during the deployment. It is expected to arrive at 6th Fleet headquarters here in Naples early next month.

….

A 6th Fleet spokesman would not give details of the group’s schedule at sea, but the group left Norfolk, Va., on May 11, and is conducting an exercise with allies off the coast of England this week, according to the Navy.

Later this year, the group will move into the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet territory to continue its deployment.

The strike group consists of about 6,000 sailors, five ships and eight aircraft squadrons. The deployment is part of a rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters worldwide, according to the Navy.

====

What Price War?

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/05/24/2028103/what-price-war.html

Bellingham Herald
May 24, 2011

What price war?
Anthony Gregory

-As a senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama criticized President Bush’s war policies. But instead of changing course, President Obama has tripled down in Afghanistan, widened the war into Pakistan, multiplied the drone attacks, bombed Yemen and Somalia, and started an undeclared NATO war in Libya.

After more than two years, President Obama’s national security policy looks all too familiar: like President Bush’s policy.

You remember the Bush doctrine? Its most prominent tenet was the policy of preventive war – using the U.S. military to eliminate potentially dangerous enemies, rather than using military force only when the United States is clearly threatened.

Generally speaking, the Bush administration argued that deposing unfriendly regimes and promoting democracy both militarily and diplomatically were in America’s long-term best interests. President Obama not only has embraced this approach, stressing it again in his May 19 speech on the Middle East, he’s gone further: increasing military spending, expanding the war in Afghanistan, handing off more of the mission to contractors and mercenaries, and bombing Libya without anything resembling a threat to the United States or even a nod from Congress – in violation of the War Powers Act.

Consider the budget. President Obama’s first defense budget, for fiscal year 2010, was $685.1 billion, if we include the “supplemental” funds for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (a budget gimmick he had promised not to use.) This was 3 percent higher than in the previous year.

The Obama administration upped the ante again for FY 2011, requesting a base budget of $548.9 billion, plus $159.3 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq, for a total of $708.3 billion. That was before the bombing of Libya, which already has cost some $750 million, Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed on May 12 at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The president has requested “only” $670.9 billion for fiscal year 2012 – but the Department of Defense baseline request was actually raised from $548.9 billion to $553.1 billion. The overall decrease comes from a projected cut in operational costs for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yet, according to the Congressional Research Service, Afghanistan will still cost $113.7 billion compared to the $43.5 billion spent in 2008, President Bush’s last year. Iraq will be much cheaper than before, but this decline was already in the works. In late 2008, President Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement setting the Iraq drawdown in motion. If anything, President Obama has slowed down the withdrawal, and is now petitioning Iraq to stay past 2011. Meanwhile, the stepped-up war in Afghanistan has offset much of the savings we could have expected in Iraq.

And this is just the financial cost. Last year 559 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan – significantly more than the 469 who died during Bush’s final year in office.

Moreover, a growing number of civilian contractors also have fallen. In the first half of 2010, for example, 250 contractors reportedly died in Iraq and Afghanistan – more than the 235 military personnel who fell during the same period.

As a senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama criticized President Bush’s war policies. But instead of changing course, President Obama has tripled down in Afghanistan, widened the war into Pakistan, multiplied the drone attacks, bombed Yemen and Somalia, and started an undeclared NATO war in Libya.

On surveillance questions, presidential war powers, Guantanamo, detention policy and habeas corpus, he has similarly stayed the course, or even expanded Bush’s precedents.

Almost none of this had anything to do with killing Osama bin Laden.

Those who voted for Obama in 2008, expecting a shift in defense policy, must face a sad fact: The United States would have likely spent less money and spilled less American and foreign blood in its wars had the president simply continued on the path charted by President Bush. Instead, we now have Bush Plus.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Anthony Gregory is research editor at The Independent Institute and author of the coming report “What Price War? Afghanistan, Iraq and the Costs of Conflict.” Readers may write to him at TII, 100 Swan Way, Oakland, Calif. 94621; website: http://www.independent.org. For information on TII’s funding, please go to http://www.mediatransparency.org/recipientgrants.php?recipientID=1119.

====

U.S. Violating War Powers Act In Libya: Lawyer

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=147923

Azeri Press Agency
May 24, 2011

US violating War Powers Act in Libya

Baku: The US military’s involvement in NATO attacks on Libya beyond May 20 has “no legal basis” since it is not authorized by Congress, international lawyer Paul Wolf says, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The War Powers Resolution passed by the US Congress in 1973 “gives the [US] president the power to use the US military for up to 60 days without seeking… congressional authorization. The problem is that, just a couple of days ago, that 60-day time period expired, so now there is no legal basis for the use of the US military in Libya,” Wolf told Press TV.

“It is quite surprising that [US] President [Barack] Obama has not gone to Congress and asked for this authorization, because chances are he would probably get it,” he added.

NATO launched a major air campaign against the forces of the Libyan regime in mid-March under a UN mandate to “protect the Libyan population.”

The United States, France, and Britain say they will not stop their military operation until Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi is removed from power.

The Western coalition airstrikes have claimed the lives of scores of civilians so far.

….

====

Ad Majorem US Gloriam: Obama Worse Warmonger Than Bush

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/24/50743796.html

Voice of Russia
May 24, 2011

Where do the US borders lie?
Boris Volkhonsky

-[Obama] looks much more of a war-monger than his predecessor. The war in Iraq is not over, the war in Afghanistan is going to be lost, there is a new war in Libya, and a number of an uncapped (as appears from Obama’s interview to the BBC) raids and military actions elsewhere in the world.
And the fervor in the US is such that Congress is ready to authorize such policy. One of the amendments to the law on military expenditures now before the House of Representatives aims to turn this policy into law.
-[H]ow many more American soldiers need to die in overseas missions, how many more terrorist attacks are needed against the US and its allies all over the world, and how many more countries, along with Pakistan, need to be alienated to the extent that government forces start firing at American aircraft, before US lawmakers and executives realize that something is going wrong?

On Monday, two top US Senators, Democrat John Kerry and Republican John McCain, together with five of their colleagues, introduced a resolution backing US involvement in the military operation against Libya. President Obama was quick to thank the senators.

In fact, the resolution absolves him of a serious violation of US laws that require that the President gets congressional approval for military action no later than 60 days after the start of the operation. The deadline expired last Friday and by that time the President had not asked Congress to give its approval.

Now, the senators thought it better to give their approval rather than demand that the President abide by the law. The military fervor in the United States is so high that action against Muammar Gaddafi is one of the few issues where Democrats and Republicans see eye-to-eye.

Another issue of the same kind is the operation against Al Qaeda. It has cast a major shadow over a decades-old alliance and partnership with Pakistan, with anti-American sentiments in that country rising sky-high and terrorists seeking revenge on everybody. But Osama bin Laden is dead, and the end justifies the means.

More so, in a recent interview to the BBC President Obama stated that he would repeat such an operation on the territory of any sovereign foreign state, including Pakistan, if he felt that the territory served as a haven for terrorists threatening US security.

It poses another question. Where are the limits to American actions in the world? Or isn’t this a repetition of the old policy of a “global gendarme”?

Well, Obama was elected as a peace dove. But the reality is such that he now looks much more of a war-monger than his predecessor. The war in Iraq is not over, the war in Afghanistan is going to be lost, there is a new war in Libya, and a number of an uncapped (as appears from Obama’s interview to the BBC) raids and military actions elsewhere in the world.

And the fervor in the US is such that Congress is ready to authorize such policy. One of the amendments to the law on military expenditures now before the House of Representatives aims to turn this policy into law. Representatives seek to give the President power to attack Al Qaeda and its associates wherever they are located.

Human rights activists have already stated that such amendments give the president the power to conduct any kind of military operation under the pretext that it is an anti-terrorist one.

There are lone voices opposing such policy. For example, Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich has introduced a draft resolution demanding that Obama pull out all troops from Libya and from areas around Libya.

But this is indeed a lone voice, and such a resolution has no chance of being approved. Unlike the belligerent resolution introduced by Senators Kerry, McCain and Co, which acquits the President when he violated the law without even questioning him.

Well, how many more American soldiers need to die in overseas missions, how many more terrorist attacks are needed against the US and its allies all over the world, and how many more countries, along with Pakistan, need to be alienated to the extent that government forces start firing at American aircraft, before US lawmakers and executives realize that something is going wrong?

It seems that in the context of today’s military fervor, US authorities really believe that their country has no borders at all, and that any coercive action in any part of the world is justified if it serves US national interests.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam – To the greater glory of God – is the centuries-old Jesuit motto. It seems that Obama might rewrite this as “ad majorem US gloriam”.

====

NATO Plotting Ground Operation In Libya: Russian Diplomat

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=246277

Interfax
May 24, 2011

NATO likely to be planning ground operation in Libya – Russian diplomat

MOSCOW: A French plan to use combat helicopters in the current NATO military action in Libya and the possibility that Britain will do the same likely mean that NATO is plotting a ground armed operation, Russian Permanent Envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said in a television program on Tuesday.

“The declared transfer of French and British combat to combat ships that are positioned in Libyan waters raises even more questions. This is, from my point of view, extra evidence that this transfer of combat helicopters is, quite probably, part of preparations for individual actions in a ground operation,” Dmitry Rogozin told Russia’s Rossiya 24 television.

On Monday, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said that, like France, Britain would send combat helicopters to the vicinity of the Libyan coast for more precise aerial attacks….

====

NATO Campaign Aimed At Toppling Libyan Government: Russian Envoy

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110524/164205853.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 24, 2011

NATO campaign aimed at ousting Gaddafi – Russian NATO envoy

NATO operations in Libya are only aimed at bringing down the Gaddafi regime, Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.

….

“These actions have been reduced to [an attempt to] overthrow the Gaddafi regime, not fulfill UN resolutions,” Rogozin said. “This is in open conflict with the UN Security Council resolutions.”

Russia will formally ask NATO to clarify reports about an imminent ground operation in Libya during a NATO-Russia Council meeting on Wednesday, he said.

Fourteen 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 in response to attacks on civilians.

Russia abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution.

Western media reports claim the United States has suggested the Libyan rebels open a representative office in Washington.

====

“Thought It Was Day Of Judgment”: Heaviest NATO Bombing Of Tripoli Yet

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/world/africa/25libya.html

New York Times
May 24, 2011

NATO Bombs Tripoli in Heaviest Strikes Yet
John F. Burns

TRIPOLI, Libya: In the heaviest attack yet on the capital since the start of the two-month-old NATO bombing campaign, alliance aircraft struck at least 15 targets in central Tripoli early Tuesday, with most of the airstrikes concentrated on an area around Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s command compound.

The strikes, within a 30-minute period around 1 a.m., caused thunderous explosions and fireballs that leapt high into the night sky, causing people in neighborhoods a mile or more away to cry out in alarm.

Just as one strike ended, the sound of jet engines from low-flying aircraft in the stormy skies above the capital signaled the imminence of another. Huge plumes of black smoke rose and converged over the darkened cityscape.

“We thought it was the day of judgment,” one enraged Libyan said.

The intensity of the attacks, and their focus on the area of the Bab al-Aziziya command compound in central Tripoli, appeared to reflect a NATO decision to step up the tempo of the air war over the Libyan capital, perhaps with a view to breaking the stalemate that has threatened to settle over the three-month-old Libyan conflict.

As NATO intensified its airstrikes, the American State Department’s highest-ranking Middle East official, Jeffrey D. Feltman, was in Benghazi on Tuesday on a visit aimed at providing fresh impetus to the rebel cause. Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Feltman said that the Obama administration had invited the Libyan opposition to open an office in Washington, but stopped short of offering the formal recognition the rebels have been seeking.

“This step marks an important milestone in our relationship with the Transitional Council,” Mr. Feltman said, referring to the rebel governing body, who he said had accepted the American invitation.

….

On Monday, Mr. Feltman toured the rebel headquarters, a visit that coincided with an announcement by France’s defense minister, Gérard Longuet, that Britain and France would add attack helicopters to the NATO force as soon as possible…..

As the rebels pushed for helicopter attacks, Tuesday’s airstrikes shook the center of the capital near Colonel Qaddafi’s compound. Libyan officials have accused NATO of repeatedly trying to assassinate Colonel Qaddafi with airstrikes on and near the compound, and Colonel Qaddafi himself has mocked the attacks, saying NATO cannot reach him as he “lives in the hearts of millions.”

…A government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the strikes had hit a compound housing units of an auxiliary army force known as the Popular Guard. He said military commanders had largely cleared the compound in anticipation that it would be hit, and that casualties — which he gave as 3 dead and 150 wounded — were civilians from a nearby neighborhood.

….

Reporters taken to the Tripoli Central Hospital were shown three dirt-strewn male bodies in civilian clothes with gaping shrapnel wounds to their heads, and half a dozen other men being treated for what appeared to be light wounds. Mr. Ibrahim said that the other wounded had been treated and released before reporters arrived, or had been treated at another hospital.

….

NATO has called the targets military, and often designates them as “command-and-control” centers; Qaddafi government spokesmen say the bombs and missiles have hit civilian structures.

Despite more than 2,500 NATO airstrikes, and an increasing focus in the past two weeks on targets in Tripoli, there have been few signs of an imminent collapse of the Qaddafi government, and rebel forces in the east, despite recent gains around the city of Misurata, have shown no sign of a broader breakthrough to the west.

Low-flying helicopters, including Britain’s fleet of American-built Apaches and France’s Tigre gunships, would give allied air commanders more flexibility to strike at government targets than the fast combat jets used until now.

Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Benghazi, Libya.

====

67-Day Air War: Over 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110524_110524-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 24, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 8019 sorties, including 3077 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 May: 149

Strike sorties conducted 23 May: 52

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

7 Vessels were hailed on 23 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 1025 vessels have been hailed. 50 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Attack Helicopter Deployment Brings NATO Closer To Libyan Ground War

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/24/50752489.html

Voice of Russia
May 24, 2011

NATO deploys attack helicopters to Libya
Vladimir Gladkov

Britain has announced its intentions to deploy Apache attack helicopters to Libya. This move reflects the frustration of coalition chiefs over their inability to break the stalemate in the troubled region.

A blitzkrieg-style military operation turned out to be an exhausting endless confrontation between the Libyan rebels supported by NATO air forces and Gaddafi troops….At the same time the use of the helicopters takes the NATO offensive much closer to the ground, which goes against the promise of not sending troops into the country.

The decision to send Apaches to Libya demonstrates the late admission by NATO commanders that bombing from an attitude of more than 4500 meters has small chances of protecting civilians….

Apaches, which are being used in counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan, have good mobility and can attack small targets in built-up areas. They are also equipped with night vision equipment and electronic guidance systems, which makes them an effective weapon against enemy targets….

The Apaches will join the Tigers and the Gazelles – French helicopters of a similar class. According to French sources, the battleship Tonnerre, carrying the helicopters, left Toulon last week.

“Our strategy is to step up the military pressure in the weeks ahead…,” – said Alain Juppé, France’s foreign minister, adding that 12 French helicopters would allow the allied forces “to better adapt our ground attack capacity with more precise means of striking”.

His position has been backed by the British foreign secretary William Hague, who, attending an EU ministerial meeting in Brussels, stated that “we certainly agree with France, and indeed with all our partners, including all our partners at the EU meeting here today, that it is necessary to intensify the military, economic and diplomatic pressure on the Gaddafi regime.”

The deployment of helicopters along with the heavy bombing of the Libyan capital Tripoli may be seen as an attempt at an adequate response to the progress recently made by the Gaddafi forces. According to Reuters, government troops intensified operations on the western front, moving troops closer to the mountain region bordering Tunisia. A rebel spokesman also claimed that Gaddafi artillery had started the shelling of the town of Zintan, controlled by rebel troops.

In response, NATO air forces started a bombardment of Tripoli that has already been described by observers as the heaviest attack on the Libyan capital since the beginning of the campaign.

According to British and French officials, even the unveiling of plans to use the helicopters has a chance to break the morale of pro-Gaddafi forces. Considering the developments in the Libyan campaign, such a forecast sounds a little bit naïve, however the move could satisfy, at least temporarily, the rebels’ demand for more effective military support from NATO. The helicopter trick seems to be the last chance for the NATO chiefs to keep their promise. While the officials keep denying any possibility of deploying troops, the failure of the helicopter plan would leave NATO no other option.

====

Washington To Host Libyan Rebel Office

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1881063.html

Trend News Agency
May 24, 2011

Libyan opposition to open office in Washington: U.S. diplomat

The visiting U.S. assistant secretary of state Jeffery Feltman on Tuesday said that at the invitation of U.S. president Barack Obama the Libyan opposition will establish a representative office in Washington, Xinhua reported.

“This step marks an important milestone in our relationship with the National Transitional Council,” Feltman told the reporters at a press conference at the end of his visit in Libyan opposition’s base Benghazi.

Feltman reiterated that Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi had lost legitimacy to rule, calling him to step down immediately and allow the Libyan people to determine their own future.

He delivered a message from Obama….

“President Obama also underscored the U.S. commitment to work with our international partners to support the National Transitional Council and efforts for democratic institutions, and he stressed the U.S. will continue to focus on finding ways to improve the National Transitional Council’s financial situations,” said Feltman.

Feltman was in Benghazi for talks with the opposition leadership during a three-day visit from Sunday to Tuesday. He said he has held talks with the National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil and representatives from various groups.

The opposition is now seeking and gaining more international support in its fight against Gaddafi’s government. Following Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and the European Union high representative of foreign and security policy Catherine Ashton, Feltman is another high-ranking diplomats who visited the opposition’s base.

====

U.S. Drone Attacks In Pakistan: 32 Strikes, At Least 234 Victims

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/24/c_13890296.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 24, 2011

7 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least seven people were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched Monday evening in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan, reported the local English TV channel Express.

According to the report, the U.S. drones fired two missiles at a vehicle in the Machi Khel area of the Mir Ali district in North Waziristan, a place bordering Afghanistan….

Monday’s strike is the 32nd of its kind in Pakistan in 2011. Up to date, at least 234 people, most of whom are believed to be suspected militants, have reportedly been killed in such strikes since this year.

====

Polish Soldiers Face 12-Year Sentences For Slaying Afghan Civilians

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110524/164203223.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 24, 2011

Polish prosecutor demands 12 years for Polish soldiers in Afghan war crimes case

Warsaw: Poland’s military Prosecutor General demanded on Tuesday 12-year sentences for seven Polish soldiers who shot civilians in Afghanistan in 2007.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers fired a heavy machine gun and a 60 mm mortar at the village of Nangar Khel in the Paktika province, killing six civilians, including a pregnant woman and three children. Three other women were left badly injured.

The troops say their commander ordered them to attack the village after their patrol was attacked by militants.

If found guilty, the soldiers face between five and 12 years in prison for violating international law. The Prosecutors are demanding 12 years for commanders and from 8-10 years for privates.

====

NATO Chief Makes Unscheduled Visit To Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/24/50736213.html

Voice of Russia
May 24, 2011

NATO Head in Afghanistan in surprise visit

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is currently in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit, is discussing the handover of responsibility for security in the Asian country to the Afghan authorities.

Currently, security is ensured by a NATO-led international military force. The handover of responsibility to the Afghans is due to be completed by the late 2014.

Meanwhile the situation in Afghanistan remains tense. The Taliban has recently launched another campaign against the foreign military force and the Afghan leadership.

At least 25 died in another explosion, in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, earlier today.

====

NATO Military Plane Down In Afghanistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1881012.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 24, 2011

NATO aircraft crashes in western Afghanistan, no injuries

A NATO aircraft crashed in western Afghanistan on Tuesday but caused no injuries among those aboard, the alliance said, DPA reported.

….

The reason for the crash was unknown and the military did not rule out the possibility of insurgents’ hostile fire.

“An investigation into the incident has been launched,” it said.

====

NATO-Standard Payloads: Iraq To Buy Czech Combat Jets

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110524/164189099.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 24, 2011

DefenseIraq says ready to buy Czech-made combat jets

Mowcow Iraq is ready to buy light attack aircraft, offered for sale by the Czech republic earlier this month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said after talks with his Czech counterpart in Baghdad.

The visit to Baghdad by Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, which began on Monday, focused on bilateral economic and political cooperation.

In mid-April, the Czech Republic announced its plans to offer Iraq 24 L-159 combat aircraft and help in modernizing the Iraqi helicopter fleet.

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.

====

Japan To Allow U.S. To Export Interceptor Missiles To NATO Nations

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110525a7.html

Kyodo News
May 24, 2011

Japan to allow U.S. to export new missile

-[S]ome experts said Tokyo’s position will be tested if the planned destination is involved in conflicts, such as Israel, to which Washington is believed to be considering exporting the interceptors.
Allowing exports to a country in conflict would clearly violate Japan’s “three principles” on arms exports.

The government has decided to allow the U.S. to export to third countries a jointly developed ballistic missile interceptor, in a politically sensitive move that represents a further easing of Japan’s ban on arms exports, sources said Tuesday.

The two countries will discuss each export of the new Block 2A type of the sea-based Standard Missile-3 interceptor to stay in line with Japan’s export controls, such as excluding countries under U.N. arms sanctions.

But it is uncertain whether Japan in reality can turn down requests by its closest ally.

The decision will be conveyed when the two allies’ defense chiefs meet early next month, and will be confirmed at the two-plus-two security talks involving their defense and foreign ministers later in June, the sources said.

SM-3 interceptors are designed to shoot down intermediate-range ballistic missiles. They are fired from warships equipped with the sophisticated Aegis air defense system.

The U.S. plans to begin deploying the advanced version of the SM-3 system in 2018, mainly for a shield in Europe…which is why Washington had urged Tokyo to ease the arms embargo.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s administration has reached a basic agreement to accept the U.S. request…the sources said.

“It is extremely difficult to reject the request from the United States, with which we are bound in an alliance,” a government source said. “Saying no might result in negative repercussions on future joint development of equipment.”

In addition, Tokyo hopes that by agreeing to allow the exports, it would send a message of deepening the bilateral relationship despite the prolonged stalemate over the controversial relocation of the Futenma military base in Okinawa, the sources said.

But while Japan expects the U.S. to exercise strict control of the weapon system in the case of such exports, some experts said Tokyo’s position will be tested if the planned destination is involved in conflicts, such as Israel, to which Washington is believed to be considering exporting the interceptors.

Allowing exports to a country in conflict would clearly violate Japan’s “three principles” on arms exports.

====

NATO Envoy, Recruiter For Afghan, Iraqi Wars To Become U.S. Ambassador To Armenia

http://www.reporter.am/index.cfm?objectid=6217E970-861E-11E0-A9FE0003FF3452C2

Armenian Reporter
May 24, 2011

Envoy to NATO nominated U.S. Ambassador to Armenia
by Emil Sanamyan

Washington: John A. Heffern, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and current deputy chief of the U.S. Mission to NATO, was nominated to become the next U.S. ambassador to Armenia, the White House reported on May 18.

Prior to his latest NATO assignment, Heffern served as deputy ambassador to Indonesia, and his earlier assignments included postings to Japan, Malaysia, Ivory Coast, Taiwan and China.

While working in Brussels as political advisor at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and as deputy representative since 2009, Heffern became involved in some tangentially Armenia-related issues. According to published media reports, these included mobilizing allied and partner support for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and formulating relations with Russia in aftermath of its 2008 war with Georgia.

In Jakarta in the mid-2000s, Heffern was deputy to then U.S. Ambassador Lynn Pascoe who in 1997-98 was U.S. negotiator for Karabakh.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Heffern completed two stints on Capitol Hill.

In 1994-6, as Pearson Fellow on the House International Relations Committee’s Asia Sub-Committee under former Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.). Before joining the State Department in 1982, Heffern was office director and research assistant for the former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.).

….

====

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=147891

Azeri Press Agency
May 24, 2011

NATO Special Representative for Caucasus and Central Asia to visit Azerbaijan
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: NATO Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai plans to visit Azerbaijan in the first half of June, the head of the Azerbaijani representation to NATO, Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim told APA.

It will be Appathurai’s first visit to Azerbaijan in capacity of NATO Special Representative.

====

Azerbaijan: NATO’s Outpost On The Caspian Sea

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=147890

Azeri Press Agency
May 24, 2011

Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim: “Azerbaijan-NATO partnership strengthened and deepened in content passing long way of development”
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: Interview with Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim, head of the Azerbaijani representation to NATO

- How do you characterize the current Azerbaijan-NATO partnership?

- I characterize it as a dynamic and multilateral partnership….Since 1994 the Azerbaijan-NATO partnership has strengthened and deepened in content, passing a long way of development. Mechanisms like the Individual Partnership Action Plan and Planning and Review Process are widely used and intensive work is done towards political dialogue, operations and reforms. Guided by the principle of indivisible security, Azerbaijan intensively contributes to NATO operations.

In its turn, NATO gives special importance to the partnership after the last summit and meeting of foreign ministers….

- Will discussions concerning Azerbaijan be held within the framework of the session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on May 27-30?

-The parliamentary criterion is important in improving the NATO-Azerbaijan partnership. Being an associate member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Azerbaijani parliament takes an active part in the work of the organization and has even hosted some events of the Parliamentary Assembly. For example, our country hosted the Rose-Roth seminar of the Parliamentary Assembly in 2004 and 2008.

It should be noted that according to the rules, the Azerbaijani parliament, as an independent branch of the government and legislative body, is directly realizing cooperation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

-Does Azerbaijan plan to increase its military contingent in Afghanistan?

- Azerbaijan actively contributes to the efforts…on Afghanistan. Azerbaijan is one of the first partner countries which joined ISAF operations and our contribution to the operations has been increased several times in recent years. The last time Azerbaijan sent military doctors and field engineers in 2010.

….

- How do you assess NATO’s military operations in Libya?

- Touching on the international legal aspect of the problem, we need to note that the operation is held on the basis of the UN Security Council’s resolution….

====

Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf: USS Enterprise Carrier Lands 400,000th Aircraft

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60587

Navy Newsstand
May 24, 2011

Enterprise Lands 400,000th Aircraft
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Croft, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

-Enterprise…is the first nuclear-powered carrier and the first nuclear carrier to transit the Suez Canal. Enterprise was the first carrier to fly F-14 Tomcats and is the longest warship in the world. This achievement of 400,000 landings is one more record added to the list.

USS ENTERPRISE, At sea: An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 became the 400,000th aircraft to land on USS Enterprise’s (CVN 65) flight deck May 24.

….

Enterprise is only the fourth Navy aircraft carrier to have more than 400,000 carrier landings, and is the only carrier still in commission to surpass the number.

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, Enterprise’s embarked air wing, was honored to be a part of this great achievement.

….

U.S. Navy aircraft operate from nearly every ship in the fleet, as well as from bases around the world, providing uniquely capable, forward presence and giving naval air assets access nearly anywhere in the world.

“One of the greatest strengths that carrier aviation brings to the table is ‘presence,'” said Capt. Gregory C. Huffman, Enterprise’s executive officer. “Simply by moving into an area of operation, we play a part in shaping world events and defining national strategy.

“In many parts of the world, the carrier and air wing dwarf the capabilities of entire air forces. That is a powerful tool.”

…Enterprise…is the first nuclear-powered carrier and the first nuclear carrier to transit the Suez Canal. Enterprise was the first carrier to fly F-14 Tomcats and is the longest warship in the world. This achievement of 400,000 landings is one more record added to the list.

….

The other three carriers with more than 400,000 traps are USS Lexington (CV 16), USS Independence (CV 62) and USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63).

Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing 1 are in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting close-air support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

May 24, 2011 2 comments

====

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

Russian writers on war

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

====

Leo Tolstoy
From Two Wars (1898)
Translator not identified

Two wars are at the present time being waged in the Christian world. One, it is true, has been ended, while the other is still going on; but they were waged at one and the same time, and the contrast between the two is striking. The first, now ended, was an old, vainglorious, stupid, cruel, untimely, obsolete, pagan war, the Spanish-American War, which by the murder of one set of men decided how and by whom another set of men was to be ruled. The second war, which is still going on, and which will be ended only when all wars shall end, is a new, self-sacrificing, sacred war. It is based on nothing but love and reason – the war against war. As Victor Hugo expressed it at one of the congresses, the best and most advanced part of Christian humanity declared war long ago against the other coarse and savage part of the same Christian humanity.

*****

The other day I received a letter from Colorado, from a Mr. Jesse Glodwin, who asked me to send him “a few words or thoughts, expressive of my sentiments, in regard to the noble work of the American nation and the heroism of her soldiers and sailors.” This gentleman is, with the vast majority of the American nation, fully convinced that the action of the Americans (they beat a few thousand nearly unarmed men – in comparison with the armament of the Americans, the Spaniards were nearly unarmed) is unquestionably a “noble work,” and that those people who, having killed a large number of their neighbors, for the most part survived and were well and comfortably fixed in life, were heroes.

The Spanish-American War, to say nothing of the horrible things which the Spaniards had done in Cuba, and which served as the pretext for the war, resembles this: A decrepit and doting old man, who was brought up in the traditions of false honor, in order to settle a misunderstanding that arose between him and a young man, challenges this young man, who is in the full possession of his strength, to fisticuffs. The young man, who, to judge from his past and from what he has said more than once, should be above such a settlement of the question, accepts the challenge with knuckles in his clenched fist, jumps upon the decrepit and doting old man, knocks out his teeth, and breaks his ribs. He then ecstatically tells his exploits to a vast public of just such young men as he is, and this public rejoices and praises the hero who has maimed the old man.

Such is the one war that has occupied the minds of all in the Christian world. Nobody speaks of the other war. Hardly anyone knows anything about it. The other war is like this: All the states deceive the people, saying, “All of you who are ruled by me are in danger of being conquered by other nations. I look after your well being and security, and so demand that you shall annually give me millions of rubles, the fruits of your labors, which I am going to use for rifles, cannons, powder, and ships for your defense. I demand, besides, that you shall enter the organizations instituted by me, where they will make of you senseless pieces of an immense machine – the army – which I manage. While connected with this army you will cease being men and having your own wills, but will do everything I want you to do. What I want to do first of all is to rule. The means I use for ruling is murder, and so I am going to teach you to commit murder.”

The common people submit to this deception, give up their money for their own enslavement, and themselves enslave one another in spite of the obvious insipidity of the assertion that they are in danger of attack from the governments of other states; in spite of the degradation of that slavery to which men are subjected when they enter the army; and in spite of the cruelty of the business to which they are called. (The governments of other states assert that they, in spite of their desire for peace, are in the same danger.)

And here there appear people who say:

“What you say of the threatening danger and of your concern about protecting us against it is a deception. All the states affirm that they want peace, and at the same time arm themselves against one another. Besides, according to the law that you profess, all men are brothers and it makes no difference whether we belong to this state or to another, and so the attack of other states upon us, with which you frighten us, has no terror and no meaning for us. But the main thing is that, according to the law given to us by God, and which you, who demand of us a participation in murder, also profess, we are clearly forbidden to commit murder or even any acts of violence. We cannot and will not take part in your preparations for murder, will not give you any money for the purpose, and will not join the gangs you establish. You corrupt the reason and the conscience of men by changing them into instruments of violence, who are submissive to every evil man taking this instrument into his hands.”

In this consists the second war, which has for a long time been waged with the representatives of rude force….

*****

People praise the Spanish and American heroes of that savage war, who, wishing to distinguish themselves in the eyes of men and to receive rewards and glory, have killed a very large number of men, or who have died themselves in the process of slaying their neighbors. But no one speaks or knows of these heroes of the war against war; they are not seen or heard by anyone. They have died by being beaten with rods, in stinking cells, or in oppressive exile, and still to their very last breath they remain faithful to the good and to truth.

*****

They say, “These are useless sacrifices. These men will perish, but the structure of life will remain the same.” In the same way, I think, people spoke of the uselessness of Christ’s sacrifice and of the sacrifices of all the martyrs for the sake of truth. The people of our time, especially the scholars, have become so dense that they do not understand, and in their denseness cannot even understand, the significance and the influence of spiritual force. A charge of ten thousand pounds of dynamite sent into a crowd of living men – that they understand, and in that they see strength. But an idea, a truth, which has been realized, which has been introduced into life to the point of martyrdom, which has become accessible to millions, is not force according to their conception, because it does not boom and you do not see broken bones and puddles of blood.

Scholars (it is true, bad scholars) use all the power of their erudition to prove that humanity lives like a herd, which is guided only by economic conditions, and that reason is given to it only for amusement. Governments know what it is that moves the world, and so, from a sense of self-preservation, unerringly and zealously monitor the manifestation of spiritual forces, on which depends their existence or their ruin.

****

Such is the second war, which is being waged in our time, and such are its consequences. Its consequences are of importance, and not for the Russian government alone. Every government that is based on the army and on violence is struck in the same way by this weapon. Christ said, “I have conquered the world.” He really has conquered the world, if people will only believe in the power of the weapons that He has given to them.

The weapons are reason and conscience – for each man to follow his own reason and conscience.

This is so simple, so certain, and so obligatory for every single man. “You want to make me a participant in murder. You demand of me money for the preparation of the implements of murder, and you want me to become a participant in the organized gathering of murderers,” says a rational man, who has not sold or dimmed his conscience. “But I confess the same law with you, in which not only murder, but even every hostility, has long ago been forbidden, and so I cannot obey you.”

It is this means, which is so simple, that will conquer the world.

==========

Cathargo Delenda Est (1899)
Translated by Nathan Haskell Dole

*****

People complain of the evil conditions of life in our Christian world. But is it possible for it to be otherwise, when all of us acknowledge not only that fundamental divine law proclaimed some thousands of years ago, “Thou shalt not kill,” but also the law of love and brotherhood of all men, and yet, notwithstanding this, every man in the European world practically disavows this fundamental divine law acknowledged by him, and at the command of president, emperor, or minister, of Nicholas or William, arrays himself in a ridiculous costume, takes an instrument of murder and says, “Here I am, ready to injure, ruin, or kill any one I am ordered to”?

What must a society be like which is composed of such men? Such a society must be dreadful, and indeed it is so!

*****

La Vita Internationale and L’Humanite nouvelle have sent me the following letter :

“Sir, With the object of furthering the development of humanitarian ideas and civilization, La Vita international (of Milan), with the support of L’Humanite nouvelle (of Paris and Brussels), has deemed it necessary to concern itself with the difficult problem which has of late arisen in all its gravity and importance, owing to the delicate question about which France and the whole world has become so ardently impassioned, we mean the problem of war and militarism. With this aim in view, we beg all those in Europe that take part in politics, science, art, and the labor movement, and even those that occupy the foremost positions in the army, to contribute to this most civilizing task by replying to the following questions :

1. Is war among civilized nations still required by history, law, and progress?
2. What are the intellectual, moral, physical, economical, and political effects of militarism?
3. What, in the interests of the world’s future civilization, are the solutions which should be given to the grave problems of war and militarism?
4. What means would most rapidly lead to these solutions?”

I cannot conceal the feelings of disgust, indignation, and even despair which were aroused in me by this letter. Enlightened, sensible, good Christian people, who inculcate the principle of love and brotherhood, who regard murder as an awful crime, who, with very few exceptions, are unable to kill an animal, all these people suddenly, provided that these crimes are called war, not only acknowledge the destruction, plunder, and killing of people to be right and legal, but themselves contribute toward these robberies and murders, prepare themselves for them, take part in them, are proud of them.

Moreover, always and everywhere one and the same phenomenon repeats itself, viz., that the great majority of people, all working-people, those same people who carry out the robberies and murders, and on whom the burden falls neither devise, nor prepare, nor desire these things, but take part in them against their will, merely because they are placed in such a position and are so instigated that it appears to them, to each individual, that they would suffer more were they to refuse. Whereas those who devise and prepare for these plunders and murders, and who compel the working-people to carry them out, are but an insignificant minority, who live in luxury and idleness, upon the labor of the workers.

This deceit has already been going on for a long time, but lately the insolence of the impostors has reached its extremest development, and a great share of what labor produces is being taken away from the workers, and used for making preparations for plundering and killing. In all the constitutional countries of Europe the workers themselves all, without exception, are called upon to take part in these robberies and murders; international relations are purposely always more and more complicated, and this leads on to war; peaceful countries are being plundered without the least cause; every year, in some place or other, people murder and rob; and all live in constant dread of general mutual robbery and murder.

It seems evident that, if these things are done, it can only be because the great mass of people are deceived by the minority to whom this deceit is advantageous, and therefore that the first task of those who are anxious to free people from the evils caused by this societies like the Quakers, Mennonites, and Nazarenes, and recently by the Dukhobors, of whom a whole population of fifteen thousand are now for the third year resisting the powerful Russian government, and, notwithstanding all the sufferings to which they have been subjected, do not submit to its demands that they should take part in the crimes of military service.

But the enlightened friends of peace not only refrain from recommending this method, but cannot bear the mention of it; when it is brought before them they pretend not to have noticed it, or, if they cannot help noticing it, they gravely shrug their shoulders and express their pity for those uneducated and unreasonable men who adopt such an ineffectual, silly method, when such a good one exists, namely, to sprinkle salt on the bird one wishes to catch, i.e., to persuade the governments, who only exist by violence and deceit, to forsake both the one and the other.

They tell us that the misunderstandings which arise between governments will be settled by tribunals or arbitration. But the governments do not at all desire the settlement of misunderstandings. On the contrary, if there be none they invent some, it being only by such misunderstanding with the governments that they are afforded a pretext for keeping up the army upon which their power is based. Thus the enlightened friends of peace strive to divert the attention of the working, suffering masses from the only method that can deliver them from the slavery in which they are held (from their youth upward), first by patriotism, next by oaths administered by the mercenary priests of a perverted Christianity, and lastly, by the fear of punishment.

In our days of close and peaceful relations between peoples of different nationalities and countries, the deceit called patriotism (which always claims the preeminence of one state or nationality over the rest, and which is therefore always involving people in useless and pernicious wars) is too evident for reasonable people of our age not to free themselves from it; and the religious deceit of the obligation of the oath (which is distinctly forbidden by that very gospel which the governments profess) is, thank God, ever less and less believed in. So that what really prevents the great majority from refusing to take part in military service is merely fear of the punishments which are inflicted by the governments for such refusals. This fear, however, is only a result of the government deceit, and has no other basis than hypnotism.

The governments may and should fear those who refuse to serve, and, indeed, they are afraid of them because every refusal undermines the prestige of the deceit by which the governments have the people in their power. But those who refuse have no ground whatever to fear a government that demands crimes from them. In refusing military service every man risks much less than he would were he to enter it.

The refusal of military service and the punishment of imprisonment and exile is only an advantageous insurance of oneself against the dangers of the military service. In entering the service every man risks having to take part in war (for which he is being prepared), and during war he may be like a man sentenced to death, placed in a position in which under the most difficult and painful circumstances he will almost certainly be killed or crippled, as I have seen in Sevastopol, where a regiment marched to a fort where two regiments had already been destroyed, and stood there until it too was entirely exterminated. Another, more profitable, chance is that the man who enters the army will not be killed, but will only fall ill and die in the unhealthy conditions of military service. A third chance is that, having been insulted by his superior, he will be unable to contain himself, will answer sharply, will break the discipline, and will be subjected to punishment much worse than that to which he would have been liable had he refused military service.

The best chance, however, is that instead of the imprisonment or exile to which a person refusing military service is liable, he will pass three or five years of his life amid vicious surroundings, practising the art of killing, being all the while in the same captivity as in prison, and in humiliating submission to depraved people. This in the first place.

Secondly, in refusing military service, every man, however strange it may seem, can yet always hope to escape punishment upon his refusal being that last exposure of the government’s deceit which will render any further punishment for such a deed, the punishment of one who refuses to participate in their oppression, impossible. So that submission to the demands of military service is evidently only submission to the hypnotizing of the masses, the utterly futile rush of Panurge’s sheep into the water, to their evident destruction.

Moreover, besides the consideration of advantage, there is yet another reason which should impel every man to refuse military service who is not hypnotized and is conscious of the importance of his actions. No one can help desiring that his life should not be an aimless and useless existence, but that it should be of service to God and man; yet frequently a man spends his life without finding an opportunity for such service. The summons to accept the military service presents precisely such an opportunity to every man of our time.

Every man, in refusing to take part in military service or to pay taxes to a government which uses them for military purposes, is, by this refusal, rendering a great service to God and man, for he is thereby making use of the most efficacious means of furthering the progressive movement of mankind toward that better social order which it is striving after and must eventually attain. But not only is it advantageous to refuse participation in the military service, and not only should the majority of the men of our time so refuse; it is, moreover, impossible not to refuse, if only they are not hypnotized. To every man there are some actions which are morally impossible, as impossible as are certain physical actions. And the promise of slavish obedience to strangers, and to immoral people who have the murder of men as their acknowledged object, is, to the majority of men, if only they be free from hypnotism, just such a morally impossible action. And therefore it is not only advantageous to and obligatory on every man to refuse to participate in the military service, but it is also impossible for him not to do so if only he be free from the stupefaction of hypnotism.

“But what will happen when all people refuse military service, and there is no check nor hold over the wicked, and the wicked triumph, and there is no protection against savage people against the yellow race who will come and conquer us?”

I will say nothing about the fact that, as it is, the wicked have long been triumphing, that they are still triumphing, and that while fighting one another they have long dominated the Christians, so that there is no need to fear what has already been accomplished; nor will I say anything with regard to the dread of the savage yellow race, whom we persistently provoke and instruct in war, that being a mere excuse, and one-hundredth part of the army now kept up in Europe being sufficient for the imaginary protection against them. I will say nothing about all this, because the consideration of the general result to the world of such or such actions cannot serve as a guide for our conduct and activity.

To man is given another guide, and that an unfailing one, the guide of his conscience, following which he indubitably knows that he is doing what he should do. Therefore, all considerations of the danger that threatens every individual who refuses military service, as well as what menaces the world in consequence of such refusals – all these are but a particle of that enormous and monstrous deceit in which Christian mankind is enmeshed, and which is being carefully maintained by the governments who exist by the power of this deceit.

If man act in accordance with what is dictated to him by his reason, his conscience, and his God, only the very best can result for himself as well as for the world.

People complain of the evil conditions of life in our Christian world. But is it possible for it to be otherwise, when all of us acknowledge not only that fundamental divine law proclaimed some thousands of years ago, “Thou shalt not kill,” but also the law of love and brotherhood of all men, and yet, notwithstanding this, every man in the European world practically disavows this fundamental divine law acknowledged by him, and at the command of president, emperor, or minister, of Nicholas or William, arrays himself in a ridiculous costume, takes an instrument of murder and says, “Here I am, ready to injure, ruin, or kill any one I am ordered to”?

What must a society be like which is composed of such men? Such a society must be dreadful, and indeed it is so!

Awake, brethren! Listen neither to those villains who, from your childhood, infect you with the diabolic spirit of patriotism, opposed to righteousness and truth, and only necessary in order to deprive you of your property, your freedom, and your human dignity; nor to those ancient impostors who preach war in the name of a cruel and vindictive God invented by them, and in the name of a perverted and false Christianity; nor, even less, to those modern Sadducees who, in the name of science and civilization, aiming only at the continuation of the present state of things, assemble at meetings, write books, and make speeches, promising to organize a good and peaceful life for people without their making any effort! Do not believe them. Believe only the consciousness which tells you that you are neither beasts nor slaves, but free men, responsible for your actions, and therefore unable to be murderers either of your own accord or at the will of those who live by these murders.

And it is only necessary for you to awake in order to realize all the horror and insanity of that which you have been and are doing, and, having realized this, to cease that evil which you yourselves abhor, and which is ruining you. If only you were to refrain from the evil which you yourselves detest, those ruling impostors, who first corrupt and then oppress you, would disappear like owls before the daylight, and then those new, human, brotherly conditions of life would be established for which Christendom weary of suffering, exhausted by deceit, and lost in insolvable contradictions is longing. Only let every man without any intricate or sophisticated arguments accomplish that which to-day his conscience unfailingly bids him do, and he will recognize the truth of the Gospel words:

“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: May 23, 2011

====

Three Killed, 150 Wounded As NATO Warplanes Assault Tripoli

London: Clinton Dragoons More NATO States For Libyan War

Libya: Nearly 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights

Libya: West Universalizes Kosovo Model Of Military Intervention

Founded By Eisenhower: NATO Defense College Ready To Train “Post-Gaddafi” Libyan Officers

NATO To Deploy Attack Helicopters For Libyan War

Russia: Fruits Of Trusting U.S. And NATO For Over 20 Years

U.S. Guided Missile Warship Enters Mediterranean

Pan African Parliament Condemns NATO Attacks On Libya

U.S. Missiles In Europe Can Fuel New Arms Race: Russian Military Chief

Pentagon Chief: Strong Military Needed To Police Trade Routes, Energy Supplies

Balkans Bomber Bill: Clinton Forgets Which Nation He Attacked

Germany: U.S. To Lead NATO Air Exercises

Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan

U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least Four In Pakistan

United Arab Emirates To Open First Arab Embassy At NATO Headquarters

Iran Denounces United Arab Emirates Move Toward NATO

Washington: AFRICOM Hosts Senior Military Leaders From 17 African Nations

After Libya: EU Broadens Sanctions Against Syria, Belarus And Iran

Backing GCC Clients, Clinton Tells Yemeni President To Abdicate

Georgia Deploys Special Forces, Closes Border With South Ossetia

====


Apache Longbow helicopter


USS Anzio


Standard Missile-3

====

Three Killed, 150 Wounded As NATO Warplanes Assault Tripoli

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13514788

BBC News
May 23, 2011

Libya: Nato steps up air strikes on Tripoli

Nato planes have launched a series of air attacks on Libya’s capital Tripoli, with correspondents saying they appear the largest so far of the campaign.

Some of the strikes appear to have targeted Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound.

They came after France announced it and the UK would also deploy attack helicopters to escalate strike power.

….

Plumes of smoke

Between 12 and 20 explosions were reported in the early hours of Tuesday.

The BBC’s Andrew North, in Tripoli, said the first blasts were in the vicinity of Bab al-Aziziya and were followed by more in other parts of the city.

He says the hotel journalists have been staying in was shaken to its foundation by some of the blasts.

After each a Nato aircraft could be heard in the sky.

Plumes of smoke were rising from the area of Bab al-Aziziya and anti-aircraft guns were firing.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said three people were killed and 150 wounded in the strikes.

Mr Ibrahim said barracks of a volunteer unit of the Libyan army had been targeted but most of the casualties were civilians living nearby…..

Our correspondent says he has not been taken to the barracks but was escorted to a hospital and shown people said to have been injured in the strikes.

He says people have come out on to the streets to show support for Col Gaddafi.

The attacks came after French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet confirmed media reports that France was deploying attack helicopters to Nato’s Libya mission.

He also said Britain would send helicopters. He said both countries would deploy the new forces as soon as possible.

….

====

London: Clinton Dragoons More NATO States For Libyan War

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h9OKxPMCYgZ5D9fVbNWTgT4Dv4bA?docId=782399abd5584985941564a1c2287013

Associated Press
May 23, 2011

Clinton: More NATO nations must join Libya mission

LONDON: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday urged more NATO nations to take an operational role in the air campaign in Libya, and defended her own country’s contribution to the mission.

Speaking ahead of President Barack Obama’s scheduled two-day visit to Britain, Clinton acknowledged that additional support would help put military pressure on Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

“We have a lot of confidence in what our joint efforts are producing. We would like to see some other of our NATO friends and allies join in with us, in order to make sure that the pressure is maintained consistently,” Clinton told reporters, following talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Clinton also defended the contribution of the U.S. — which handed control of the mission to NATO in late March — following questions over Obama’s commitment.

“Even today, the United States continues to fly 25 percent of all sorties, we continue to provide the majority of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets,” Clinton said.

NATO said that 13 of its 28 member nations are offering equipment to the 17-nation strong alliance carrying out the air campaign in Libya.

Some British lawmakers have claimed that the U.K. and France have shouldered an unfair burden in the Libya campaign, and called on the U.S. to deploy additional jets in an attempt to increase the pace of airstrikes.

….

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Obama planned talks Tuesday and Wednesday, including on Libya, Syria and the future of the conflict in Afghanistan.

….

Clinton said Britain and the U.S. were in harmony over their approach to Syria after the European Union on Monday imposed an assets freeze and a visa ban on President Bashar Assad and nine other members of his regime. It followed similar action taken by the United States.

….

Hague said that until Assad halted his violent crackdown on protesters Britain would work with the U.S. to ratchet up pressure on his regime.

….

___

Don Melvin in Brussels contributed to this report

====

Libya: Nearly 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110523_110523-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 23, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7870 sorties, including 3025 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 May: 138

Strike sorties conducted 22 May: 50

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

16 Vessels were hailed on 22 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) was conducted.

A total of 1018 vessels have been hailed. 48 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Libya: West Universalizes Kosovo Model Of Military Intervention

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/24/c_13890288.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 23, 2011

Commentary: Libya overshadowed by “Kosovo model”
Wu Liming

-These strategies…are merely employed on a selective basis to get rid of political figures the West dislikes, including Gaddafi and Milosevic. The West would turn a blind eye to similar cases in countries which are considered its own allies….In the 21st century, some Western countries take “neo-interventionism” as their standard practice and even try to apply the so-called “Kosovo model” elsewhere in the world. This should ring an alarm bell to the international community.

BEIJING: The latest moves by Western allies against Libya have shown marked similarities to “strategies” they adopted in Kosovo in the 1990s.

Catherine Ashton, EU’s foreign policy chief, opened the bloc’s office on Sunday in Benghazi,the Libyan opposition’s base camp when he visited the city on Sunday.

Earlier last Monday, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah Al-Sanousi who is Libya’s head of intelligence.

In retrospect, NATO adopted a three-step strategy in the Kosovo war back in 1999.

NATO first supported the Kosovo authority and launched 78-day bombings against former Yugoslavia, forcing the late Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces.

The West then stirred up political unrest in Serbia, leading to the downfall of Milosevic.

The last step was to send Milosevic to The Hague to face trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. Later on, Milosevic died in custody.

Twelve years later, the Western allies again resorted to a similar three-step strategy in Libya.

NATO is launching continuous air strikes against Gaddafi’s forces, while the Western allies are heaping political and psychological pressures on Gaddafi and openly supporting the opposition, in a bid to force Gaddafi to give up power. This was followed by ICC’s issuance of an arrest warrant to bring Gaddafi to The Hague.

Yet, there are some differences between the two scenarios.

In 1999, the West unleashed the bombings without bothering to ask for a UN Security Council mandate, while 12 years later the West launched airstrikes on Libya by overstepping the authorization of UN Resolution 1973 to impose a “non-fly” zone supposedly to protect the civilians in Libya.

In addition, NATO has expanded its military actions from Europe, the defense area defined by the North Atlantic Treaty, to Africa, which is far beyond NATO’s traditional legitimate defense area.

Ironically, the West has claimed to seek a “political solution” while continuing its airstrikes in Libya, but what it really means by “political solution” is something quite different from what is understood by the international community.

Since March 19 when several Western nations started air raids, the West has organized a so-called “Contact Group” on Libya and held several meetings to coordinate actions, claiming to “seek a political solution to resolving the Libya crisis.”

However, the “Contact Group” has openly urged support for the Libya opposition on several occasions.

In short, what happened in Kosovo and Libya may well serve as perfect examples of the so-call “neo-interventionism” pursued by some Western powers.

Under the pretext of “human rights above sovereignty,” they try to interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, even to resort to military means to split them.

The strategies of these neo-interventionists are, more often than not, deceptive.

On the Libya issue, for instance, the Western powers seemed to have complied with international procedures and norms: they first tried to push UN Security Council resolutions and then seek an ICC arrest warrant to bring Libyan leader Gaddafi to justice.

These strategies, however, are merely employed on a selective basis to get rid of political figures the West dislikes, including Gaddafi and Milosevic. The West would turn a blind eye to similar cases in countries which are considered its own allies.

To put it clearly, some forces in the West are using just procedures of the international laws to serve their own political purposes.

In the 21st century, some Western countries take “neo-interventionism” as their standard practice and even try to apply the so-called “Kosovo model” elsewhere in the world. This should ring an alarm bell to the international community.

====

Founded By Eisenhower: NATO Defense College Ready To Train “Post-Gaddafi” Libyan Officers

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-94BA38FB-EF85649D/natolive/news_74533.htm

North Altantic Treaty Organization
May 20, 2011

Secretary General celebrates 60 years of NATO Defense College

NATO’s premier military research establishment, the NATO Defense College, celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation in Rome on 20 May with a ceremony attended by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and senior military and civilian figures from the Alliance and the Italian government.

“For the past 60 years, the NATO Defense College has been at the heart of NATO’s…efforts,” the Secretary General said.

The NATO Defense College was founded in 1951 by General Dwight D Eisenhower, NATO’s very first Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), as a major centre of education, study and research on transatlantic security issues.

His aim was to found an institution which could contribute to the effectiveness and cohesion of the Alliance.

“Since the day this College was founded, it has been NATO’s foremost academic centre. For almost as long as NATO itself, the College has helped to shape generations of officers for the highest levels of service,” the Secretary General said.

Looking ahead, the Secretary General identified two key issues which are likely to shape the College’s work over the coming years: the evolution of NATO’s partnership policies, and supporting reforms in North Africa and the Middle East.

“I could even imagine a new generation of officers from a democratic, post-Qadhafi Libya attending courses on civil-military cooperation at this very College. And I would hope to see that sooner rather than later,” Rasmussen said.

To mark the anniversary, President Napolitano inaugurated a Historical Wall commemorating the first six decades of the College’s life.

The President and the Secretary General also discussed current NATO issues, including operations in Afghanistan and Libya. Italy plays an important role in both operations.

The Secretary General also held talks with Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa.

….

====

NATO To Deploy Attack Helicopters For Libyan War

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/23/us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110523

Reuters
May 23, 2011

NATO to deploy helicopters in Libya: French source

PARIS/MISRATA, Libya: NATO plans to use attack helicopters in Libya to help break a military stalemate with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a French diplomatic source said on Monday.

Continued shelling of the rebel-held western outpost of Misrata illustrated the scale of the problem facing rebel forces and NATO. Rebels said Gaddafi forces were trying to advance into the long-besieged city under cover of rocket and mortar shells.

The French daily Le Figaro reported that 12 helicopters, which could launch more accurate close attacks on pro-Gaddafi forces and targets than fixed wing aircraft, were shipped out to Libya on the French warship Tonnerre on May 17.

“It is not just French helicopters … it’s coordinated action by the coalition,” the diplomatic source said, in response to the newspaper report. “It is at NATO level.”

….

A U.N. Security Council resolution allows NATO to strike Gaddafi forces in defense of civilians, but it explicitly excludes any military occupation. Critics such as Russia accuse NATO of overstepping their mandate in prosecuting a systematic campaign to force the end of Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.

….

According to Le Figaro’s source, French special forces, who have been operating in Libya to help identify targets for NATO planes since the start of air strikes, could now be reinforced and deployed to guide helicopter attacks.

….

====

Russia: Fruits Of Trusting U.S. And NATO For Over 20 Years

http://rt.com/politics/columns/aleksey-pushkov-column/nato-usa-russia-un/

RT
May 23, 2011

Do we have reasons to trust US and NATO guarantees?
­Aleksey Pushkov

-Russia has been cheated more than once. For example, we were cheated in the early 1990s, when Western leaders (figures like Helmut Kohl, James Baker, and John Major) dropped hints and even said directly that if the USSR agreed to the reunification of Germany, NATO, as James Baker said, “would not expand one inch to the east”….NATO states, however, had no intention to keep them. Year 1994 saw the start of a program for the expansion of the alliance, which by this time has come right to our borders.

­During his big press conference, Dmitry Medvedev said he will not back a resolution on Syria if it is similar to the document that the UN Security Council adopted on Libya. He said that Resolution 1973, which Russia chose not to veto, was for all practical purposes violated by other Security Council member states, particularly the USA, France, and Great Britain. As we know, Russia and China abstained, which allowed others to pass, with a majority of votes, a document that paved the way to NATO’s large-scale military operation in Libya.

Thus, our president has admitted that Russia’s abstaining from voting on the Libya resolution actually opened the door to military action instead of protecting the civilian population, as the initial plan had been. Also, he said that no similar resolution can be passed on Syria, because Russia was essentially deceived. Apart from that, Russia’s leader said we were closely monitoring the situation with the American missile defense system in Europe, waiting to be given guarantees of it being not aimed at Russia. That means, the missile defense system must never target Russia’s nuclear potential.

In this connection, a question is bound to arise: do we have any reasons at all to hope for legal guarantees from NATO or to trust the West on this matter? The fact is that our president himself admits that the resolution we allowed to pass was violated. Essentially, we were cheated.

One can also say that Russia has been cheated more than once. For example, we were cheated in the early 1990s, when Western leaders (figures like Helmut Kohl, James Baker, and John Major) dropped hints and even said directly that if the USSR agreed to the reunification of Germany, NATO, as James Baker said, “would not expand one inch to the east”. Later, Gorbachev would often remember those promises, which had never been documented. NATO states, however, had no intention to keep them. Year 1994 saw the start of a program for the expansion of the alliance, which by this time has come right to our borders.

After that, we were assured that no military bases would be established in new bloc members. Deployment of radars and interceptor missiles in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and other countries will automatically mean violation of the Russia-NATO Founding Act signed in 1997. Essentially, this means that the USA and NATO have challenged the second set of political guarantees provided by the act. That’s because they are about to deploy missile defense bases in new NATO member states. After that, we were cheated again (along with the rest of the world), when the USA claimed to have reasons to attack Iraq since the latter allegedly had weapons of mass destruction. Finally, NATO cheated us once again when it defied the resolution on Libya that we had allowed to pass.

Another question bound to arise here is what makes us think that NATO is going to keep its declarations and promises after it secures our consent for the deployment of missile defense installations in Eastern Europe? The thing is that verbal promises (a.k.a. political guarantees) become worthless sometimes even before the incumbent US administration (the one that gave them) leaves office. And when a new administration comes in, the new president definitely doesn’t consider himself bound by any verbal agreements concluded by his predecessor.

As for legal guarantees, the USA is never going to give them, because the US Congress will never ratify such a treaty. In foreign policy, Washington always follows the principle of keeping its hands free in all matters related to national security. This is why we shouldn’t look up at the USA, waiting for any political or legal guarantees from it; we should state clearly the price the USA will have to pay in case it chooses to develop its national missile defense in a way that Russia regards as a threat to it security. I mean, we should clearly quote the price that the American administration will have to pay on the international arena. That, for example, can be Russia’s position on Iran or on Afghanistan-bound transit of American and NATO cargoes through Russia.

As a matter if fact, there are quite a few areas where the USA depends greatly on Russia’s support. I think that we must make the following very clear: if we are partners in the “reset,” Russia’s interests must be taken into account too. And if the USA understands partnership as the “free-hand principle” (Russia’s going to swallow everything, isn’t it?), then we are out.

====

U.S. Guided Missile Warship Enters Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60557

Navy NewsStand
May 23, 2011

USS Anzio Transits Strait of Gibraltar
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian M. Brooks, USS Anzio (CG 68) Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) safely transited through the Strait of Gibraltar to enter into the 6th Fleet area of responsibility, May 21.

….

Anzio is underway as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group. The Strike Group is made up of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Anzio (CG 68), and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).

====

Pan African Parliament Condemns NATO Attacks On Libya

http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=70351

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
May 23, 2011

“NATO attacks on Libya must end,” says PAP
Judith Akolo

The Pan African Parliament has condemned what it calls military aggression by NATO forces in Libya.

In a statement mailed to media houses on the continent, the Pan African Parliament says the bombing of public facilities, infrastructure and residential sites and the targeted assassination of national leaders is uncalled for and expressed shock and displeasure over the security situation and ongoing military operations in the northern Africa country.

The PAP, which concluded its Fourth Ordinary Session of the Second Parliament sittings in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, said the bombardments have lead to the deaths and injuries of innocent civilians in Libya and urged the international community to stop the aggression and allow the people of Libya the chance for better understanding and the opening of dialogue.

“The Pan African Parliament calls for solidarity with Libya in the face of the abuses by the forces of NATO under the UN Security Council Resolutions No. 1970 and No. 1973 (2011) by imposing an economic blockade and air strikes on Libya,” said the statement.

While terming international media reports as propaganda, the Pan African Parliament statement urged media organizations on the African continent to endeavor to report objectively on the situation in Libya instead of depending on the international media for coverage of what is going on in Libya.

The PAP said it appreciates the African Initiative in seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya and endorsed an African solution to the problem facing Libya.

Citing article 3, paragraph 5 of the Protocol establishing the African Economic Community of the Pan -African Parliament, which is read with article 60 of the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union Parliament said it would support the convening of an extraordinary summit of the African Union on May 25 to 26, 2011.

The summit will seek to discuss the status of peace and security in Africa and in particular the situation in Libya. The PAP accused NATO’s saying it (NATO) overstepped all boundaries with regards to the Security Council resolutions on Libya.

====

U.S. Missiles In Europe Can Fuel New Arms Race: Russian Military Chief

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/23/50687606.html

Voice of Russia
May 23, 2011

US missiles in Europe may lead to new arms race – chief of general staff

-A missile defense shield consists of radars, anti-missiles, and other components, such as orbital groups in outer space, laser weapons which the US is building now, and the Aegis naval weapons system. All this might encourage one of the parties to ignore nuclear parity.

A US missile defense shield in Europe may lead to a new arms race. A statement to this effect was made by Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolay Makarov as he addressed a missile defense conference in Moscow.

During a summit of the Russia-NATO Council in November 2010, Russia and NATO agreed that they would cooperate on creating a European missile defense system. Russia offered to cover the northwestern sector of the missile defense shield on condition it had no other missiles “behind its back”. Until now, Moscow has obtained no legal guarantees from the US and NATO to the effect that the European missile defense shield will not be directed against it. For some reason, NATO has resolved to build a missile defense system in four stages by 2020, without Russia. General Makarov has this to say:

“If Russia is to become a full-fledged member of the European missile defense system, it will have to take an immediate part in building it. Unfortunately, Moscow was denied this right. Moreover, the US is deploying anti-missiles in Poland and Romania. It looks like the missile defense architecture has already been built and is now being used as part of the US global missile defense shield. The assurances from the US that it poses no threat to Russia are unsubstantiated because they should be based on technical calculations and reports, both present-day and those which will appear by 2020.”

According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the technical characteristics of the 2020 missile tracking and strike systems are hard to predict. A missile defense shield consists of radars, anti-missiles, and other components, such as orbital groups in outer space, laser weapons which the US is building now, and the Aegis naval weapons system. All this might encourage one of the parties to ignore nuclear parity:

“Russia should take part in missile defense jointly with NATO in order to ward off tension. As new threats and challenges come to the surface, we must join forces to tackle them. Following different routes would be the worst scenario possible. It would change the current balance of strength in a radical way.”

According to Russian experts, the first and second stages of the American missile defense scheme to be implemented by 2015 pose no serious hazard to Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces. However, the next two stages do pose a threat because the US Standard-3 anti-missiles will be upgraded, the missile defense naval group will be enlarged to 40 ships with nearly 400 interceptors, and their deployment base in Poland will be in close proximity to Russian borders. This would pose a danger to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, including ship-based, so Russia would have to take measures to protect itself against such attacks.

In the meantime, General Makarov says Russia has called for a single European missile defense center and an exchange of missile defense technology with NATO.

====

Pentagon Chief: Strong Military Needed To Police Trade Routes, Energy Supplies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20115\23\story_23-5-2011_pg1_4

Agence France-Presse
May 23, 2011

US needs strong military to protect trade routes: Gates

* US defence secretary says US cannot afford to shirk its global responsibilities, scale back its armed forces

WASHINGTON: A strong US military was needed not only for the war in Afghanistan but also “to protect trade routes and energy supplies, and to deter would-be adversaries from making the kind of miscalculations that so often lead to war,” Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday.

“All of these things happen mostly out of sight and out of mind to the average American, and thus are taken for granted. But they all depend on a properly armed, trained and funded US military, which cannot be taken for granted,” he added.

Gates called for maintaining a powerful US military and warned against slashing its budget as a response to the country’s fiscal troubles.In one of his last scheduled speeches before he steps down at the end of June, Gates told students at the University of Notre Dame that the country could not afford to shirk its global responsibilities or to scale back its armed forces.

“As we make the tough choices needed to put this country’s finances in order and to secure our future prosperity – including the sacrifices that will be required of all Americans – there will undoubtedly be calls to shrink America’s role in the world – for us to sharply reduce our international commitments and the size and capabilities of our military,” Gates said. He said after each war there was a tendency for Americans to favour reducing the size of the armed forces, reflecting a view “that we will no longer have to confront foreign enemies with size, steel, and strength.”

“But make no mistake, the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators, and terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power – the size, strength, and global reach of the US military,” Gates said in the commencement speech.

The Pentagon chief has curtailed some major weapons programmes and sought to cut overhead costs in a bid to pre-empt possible dramatic defence cuts by lawmakers concerned about the federal deficit and debt. The vast defence budget for 2010 came to $663 billion, by far the largest in the world.

====

Balkans Bomber Bill: Clinton Forgets Which Nation He Attacked

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Balkans-Bill-Clinton-gaffe-mixes-up-Montenegro-and-Macedonia_312047576233.html

ADN Kronos International
May 23, 2011

Balkans: Bill Clinton gaffe mixes up Montenegro and Macedonia

-“He must be in love again,” said another commentator, referring to Clinton’s love affair with White House staffer Monica Lewinski. “Too bad he didn’t bring Monica.”
“It’s shocking and sad to see what kind of people are ruling this world,” several commentators said.

Podgorica: Former US president Bill Clinton became a laughing stock in the Balkans this weekend after he confused Montenegro – his host – with Macedonia.

Clinton made the gaffe during a speech in the Montenegro tourist resort of Budva by saying he was glad to be in Macedonia – another small Balkan country.

“If its problems are confronted in the right way, the future of the region will be bright, “including the future of Macedonia whose beauties are breathtaking,” Clinton said. “Don’t blow it and God bless you,” he said, triggering guffaws of laughter among his audience.

His gaffe sparked a wave of comments on media forums in Serbia and Montenegro, ridiculing him.

“Poor man, he doesn’t even know where he was,” said one commentator.

“He must be in love again,” said another commentator, referring to Clinton’s love affair with White House staffer Monica Lewinski. “Too bad he didn’t bring Monica.”

“It’s shocking and sad to see what kind of people are ruling this world,” several commentators said.

Clinton was honorary guest at the weekend at a meeting in Budva on Balkans problems and perspectives, organised by the government of Montenegro and a private business company the “Atlas group”.

The meeting marked the fifth anniversary of Montenegro’s independence from state union with Serbia and participants paid up to one thousand euros to attend.

Clinton received an honorary doctor’s degree from a private university in Montenegro.

Clinton was the main driving force in 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro and animosities against him are still running high.

====

Germany: U.S. To Lead NATO Air Exercises

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123256123

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
May 23, 2011

Exercise Allied Strike-2011 on for June 22 – July 2

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany:- Exercise Allied Strike 2011, an annual U.S. and NATO Close Air Support exercise, is scheduled for June 22 – July 2 in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

The exercise is designed to provide realistic training for U.S. and NATO participants in all aspects of Tactical Air Control and CAS. Participating nations include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, the UK and the U.S.

As Europe’s premier CAS exercise, Allied Strike allows participants to conduct robust, realistic training that helps build partnership capacity among NATO nations and refine the latest operational CAS tactics, techniques and procedures.

….

====

Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1640862.php/NATO-says-four-foreign-troops-killed-in-Afghan-blast

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 23, 2011

NATO says four foreign troops killed in Afghan blast

Kabul: Four soldiers with NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the alliance military said in a statement.

The soldiers died following the detonation of a roadside bomb, ISAF statement said, but provided no further details regarding the nationalities of the deceased or the exact location of the incident.

Most of the troops stationed in county’s east are from the United States. Small units of French and Polish soldiers are also deployed to the volatile region that has long border with Pakistan.

A total of 184 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan conflict so far this year, according to iCasualties.org, an independent website that tracks military fatalities in Afghanistan. The number does not include the latest deaths.

More than 140,000 international troops are currently based in the country, fighting a Taliban led insurgency that is now nearly ten years old….

====

U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least Four In Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/23/c_13890044.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 23, 2011

U.S. drone strike kills 4 in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least four persons were killed on Monday as a U.S. drone fired several missiles at a vehicle in northwest Pakistan’s tribal area, local media reported.

====

United Arab Emirates To Open First Arab Embassy At NATO Headquarters

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/nato-looks-into-plan-for-uae-embassy

The National
May 23, 2011

Nato looks into plan for UAE embassy
Habiba Hamid

ABU DHABI: The UAE is to attempting to become the first Arab country to send an ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), but details are yet to be finalised, officials said yesterday.

After talks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said on Wednesday that his country was “very happy that the UAE is to become the first Arab country to open an embassy at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.”

….

“The new partnership policy agreed at the Berlin Nato Foreign Ministers meeting allows all Nato partners to request the opening of diplomatic missions to the Alliance Headquarters in Brussels. This will be done on a case-by-case basis, based on a decision by the NAC [North Atlantic Council]. Allies are currently examining the request by the UAE to open a diplomatic mission to Nato,” a Nato official said.

….

Talks on Nato co-operation began in Istanbul in 2004. The UAE joined Nato’s Istanbul Co-operation Initiative, which was launched at an alliance summit that year to bolster bilateral security co-operation with countries in the Middle East.

Those Istanbul talks resulted in a 2008 visit by Nato’s secretary general – his first to the UAE. In October 2009, Nato and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a conference on “Nato-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Co-operation Initiative”, which took place at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The relationship, which is both military and diplomatic, has progressed since, experts said.

Theodore Karasik, the director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said: “The relationship is mostly strategic in nature, and has developed over the past few years.

“It’s another forward step for the UAE as it links itself to European security. It’s also proactive in the sense of what is occurring throughout North Africa, and that the UAE sees this move as part of its security architectural plan.”

Although Nato primarily deals in security, “terrorism and proliferation are only two examples” of the ways in which the UAE and Nato could co-operate, the Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in 2009.

The UAE has worked with Nato’s International Security Assistance Forces, its military presence in Afghanistan.

“For several years we co-operated with Nato and we also co-operate with the alliance in Afghanistan. We believe that this participation puts us in a specific position…,” Sheikh Abdullah said at the 2009 conference.

With additional reporting by Haneen Dajani

====

Iran Denounces United Arab Emirates Move Toward NATO

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/181272.html

Press TV
May 23, 2011

Iran dismisses UAE’s move on NATO

A top Iranian military figure has slammed efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to get close to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“This move by the UAE sets the stage to officially authorize the presence of an uninvited guest in the region,” Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the director of the Iranian Armed Forces’ Center for Strategic Studies, told IRNA.

Such measures, said the admiral, run counter to the policy of maintaining cordial ties with neighboring countries.

He further touched upon the presence of alien forces in the Persian Gulf region, and said, “Foreign forces cannot guarantee the security of the countries in the region.”

….

====

Washington: AFRICOM Hosts Senior Military Leaders From 17 African Nations

http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64029

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
May 21, 2011

U.S., African Militaries Share Problems, Solutions
By Lisa Daniel

WASHINGTON: Senior leaders representing 17 African national militaries came together with their American counterparts here this week to better understand U.S. Africa Command and to help in developing the noncommissioned officers corps in their nations.

Speaking through interpreters and wearing the uniforms of their home countries – Liberia, Rawanda, Botswana, Kenya, Gabon, and Senegal, to name a few – the officers shared their militaries’ distinct experiences and offered support and advice for others, said U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson, Africom’s senior enlisted leader, who led the group.

….

The second annual, week-long Warrant Officer and Sergeants Major Symposium, co-hosted by Africom and the African Center for Strategic Studies at National Defense University, employs subject-matter experts with experience in Africa to lead discussions on topics such as terrorism and transnational threats, security and health challenges, civil-military partnerships, and U.S. policy in Africa. The symposium also included tours of the Pentagon, U.S. Marine Base Quantico, Va., and the U.S. Capitol.

….

Sgt. Maj. Gilbert Seretse of the Botswana Defense Forces said he was not unusual among the group in that he had trained abroad – for him, at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas – but had never met anyone from some of Botswana’s neighboring countries.

….

====

After Libya: EU Broadens Sanctions Against Syria, Belarus And Iran

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15097888,00.html

Deutsche Welle
May 23, 2011

EU steps up sanctions against Syrian and Belarusian leaders

EU foreign ministers have agreed to tougher sanctions against Syria and Belarus….The sanctions target the leaders of Syria and Belarus.

The European Union has directly targeted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko with new sanctions on Monday.

EU foreign ministers agreed in Brussels to slap a travel ban and assets freeze against the Syrian ruler and a dozen senior Syrian officials….

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said extending sanctions to Assad was the right thing to do….

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said it was important to maintain pressure to ensure “fundamental change” in Syria. He said imposing sanctions on Assad and his entourage was “a clear signal that we will not condone his policy of violence and repression.”

The EU had already imposed an arms embargo against the Syrian government….

Isolating Minsk

The EU on Monday also agreed to tighten sanctions against Belarus….The new round of sanctions raises the number of blacklisted officials in Minsk to 188, including Lukashenko.

….

EU foreign ministers also toughened existing sanctions against Iran and were to reexamine the Middle East peace process and discuss developments in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Author: Darren Mara, Spencer Kimball (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

====

Backing GCC Clients, Clinton Tells Yemeni President To Abdicate

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/23/c_13889367.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 23, 2011

U.S. urges Yemeni president to transfer power

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday urged Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to “peacefully and orderly” transfer power, saying “the time for action is now.”

Clinton said the U.S. is “deeply disappointed” by Saleh’s continued refusal to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered deal. “He is turning his back on his commitments and disregarding the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people,” the top U.S. envoy said in a statement.

She noted that the concerted efforts of the international community, led by the GCC, have been tireless and all sides have agreed – on multiple occasions – to sign the GCC initiative.

Saleh, who has been facing growing calls for his resignation in anti-government protests since mid-February, refused to sign the GCC-brokered deal after the opposition, which unilaterally signed the document on Saturday evening, refused to go to the presidential palace to sign it together with him.

Saleh has thwarted the U.S.-backed deal three times since April.

If Saleh signs the deal, he should leave office within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution according to the terms of the deal, which also authorizes the opposition to form a new government within seven days and prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 days.

….

====

Georgia Deploys Special Forces, Closes Border With South Ossetia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=245929

Interfax
May 23, 2011

Georgia closes border with South Ossetia

TSKHINVALI: Georgian authorities have closed checkpoints on the border with South Ossetia.

Road closures are in place near the South Ossetian villages of Sinagur and Karzman, Pavel Kumaritov, head of South Ossetia’s Dzhava district administration, told Interfax on Monday.

“Three days ago, the Georgian Interior Ministry’s Kutaisi-based special force unit was suddenly introduced to an area adjacent to South Ossetia, causing a road closure. All those traveling to Georgia were forced to go back,” Kumaritov said.

The Mosabruni checkpoint at the border between the Leningorsk district and Georgia has been closed by the Georgian authorities for three days, Alan Dzhussoyev, head of the Leningorsk district administration, told Interfax.

This is due to mass disturbances in Georgia, he said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 22, 2011

May 23, 2011 1 comment

====

NATO’s Air War: 7,732 Sorties, 2,975 Combat Missions

NATO Intensifies Bombing Of Tripoli, Libya’s Main Harbor

Obama In Europe To Boost “Global Action” With NATO Allies

“Here For The Long Term”: EU Opens Office In Benghazi

EU Foreign Ministers Plan Additional Sanctions Against Belarus

U.S. To Build New Radar-Evading, Long-Range Nuclear Bombers

Afghan War: Jordanian Officer Killed, Four Soldiers Wounded

Pakistan: Thousands Participate In Anti-NATO Protest

Elections: Cyprus Heading Toward NATO?

Georgia: U.S.-Trained Army Called Upon To Back Power Transfer

====

NATO’s Air War: 7,732 Sorties, 2,975 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110522_110522-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 22, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7732 sorties, including 2975 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 May: 147

Strike sorties conducted 21 May: 49

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

10 Vessels were hailed on 21 May to determine destination and cargo. Noboardings(nodiversions) were conducted.

A total of 1002 vessels have been hailed.

47 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Intensifies Bombing Of Tripoli, Libya’s Main Harbor

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/22/50635752.html

Voice of Russia
May 22, 2011

NATO stages another air strike on Gaddafi compound

NATO has launched a new air strike on Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, Libyan authorities said on Sunday.

The attack is the latest in a string of airstrikes that the alliance has staged since the beginning of its military action against Libya in March.

Dozens of civilians were killed in the air strikes, which NATO claims are allegedly needed to enforce the UN Security Council resolution on introducing a no-fly zone over Libya.
—————————————————————————

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110522/164165091.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 22, 2011

NATO destroys Libyan warship

NATO aircraft patrolling the skies above Libya carried out 147 sorties on Saturday, destroying a warship and a tank, an alliance spokesperson said on Sunday.

The sorties on Saturday included 49 combat missions, and also hit two air defense radars, two command and control facilities, and one ammunition store, the official said.

Since March 31, when the operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya came under NATO command, alliance aircraft have made 7,732 flights, of which 2,975 were combat.

Russia abstained in the March 17 UN Security Council vote authorizing military operations in Libya, and it has repeatedly criticized NATO for going beyond the bounds of the resolution and bombing “civilian facilities” in Libya, including leader Muammar Gaddafi’s compounds in Tripoli….

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Libyan representatives in Moscow last Tuesday and said the government was ready to comply with UN Security Council resolutions if NATO ends its airstrikes and the rebels cease hostilities.

….

====

Obama In Europe To Boost “Global Action” With NATO Allies

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/22/c_13887849.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 22, 2011

Obama leaves for Europe to reaffirm bond

WASHINGTON: With a variety of issues on agenda, U.S. President Barack Obama is leaving Sunday for a six-day visit to Europe, which will take him to Ireland, Britain, France and Poland.

Addressing the British parliament is supposed to be a key moment of the visit, in which the U.S. leader is expected to reassert his emphasis on trans-Atlantic relations, even it would certainly be viewed by many Europeans as a request for their continent to share some of America’s burdens.

THREE THEMES

Liz Sherwood-Randall, special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs, said there are essentially three themes of the trip.

One is to highlight “our enduring commitment” to Europe because European security and prosperity benefit the United States as much as they do Europe.

The second is to “highlight the vitality of the transatlantic link through the institutions of Europe with which we work every day,” Sherwood-Randall said, noting that Obama has “invested a great deal” in ensuring that the trans-Atlantic military alliance of NATO is modernized and relevant “to the challenges of the 21st century.”

The third and “perhaps most important” theme, he said, is the growing U.S. cooperation with Europe as a “catalyst for global action” on issues like Afghanistan, Libya and the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, described the visit as “a very important visit” for the president to reaffirm “our core alliances” in the world.

….

====

“Here For The Long Term”: EU Opens Office In Benghazi

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13494248

BBC News
May 22, 2011

Libya: Catherine Ashton opens EU office in Benghazi

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has opened an EU office in the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi.

Catherine Ashton said the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) represented the aspirations of Libyans and would receive support from the EU.

Her visit is being seen as a boost for the TNC as it seeks recognition.

It came after Nato warplanes carried out further attacks on government targets in Tripoli, including Col Muammar Gaddafi’s compound.

Opening the new EU mission in Benghazi, Baroness Ashton said: “We are here for the long term.”

….

‘Illegitimate’

So far the TNC has been recognised as Libya’s legitimate government by only a handful of countries, including France and Italy – although most EU countries support the Nato air campaign aimed at protecting civilians.

Baroness Ashton said the EU regarded the council as “people with whom we have a strong dialogue”.

The head of the TNC, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, thanked “the European Union for supporting the revolution”.

In Tripoli, Col Gaddafi’s government said opening an EU office in rebel-held territory was tantamount to the “recognition of an illegitimate entity”.

“This will have repercussions on Libya’s rapport with several EU countries and institutions,” a foreign ministry statement said.

The rebels rose up against Col Gaddafi’s 41-year rule in February, swiftly capturing Benghazi and other eastern cities.

Col Gaddafi’s forces remain entrenched in Tripoli and the west, despite the Nato campaign.

The latest strike on Tripoli struck the port area and Col Gaddafi’s sprawling Bab al-Aziziya compound.

====

EU Foreign Ministers Plan Additional Sanctions Against Belarus

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110523/164169561.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 22, 2011

EU foreign ministers to consider sanctions against Belarus

The European Union’s Council of Foreign Ministers will discuss during its session on Monday additional sanctions against Belarus regarding the country’s human rights record, a European diplomatic source said.

He said additional sanctions may expand a list of Belarusian officials banned from traveling within the EU member states.

….

====

U.S. To Build New Radar-Evading, Long-Range Nuclear Bombers

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/23/c_13888435.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 23, 2011

U.S. to build new radar-evading, long-range bombers: report

-[O]n the Pentagon wish list is a proposed fleet of 80 to 100 nuclear-capable bombers that could operate with or without a pilot in the cockpit, the report said.

LOS ANGELES: The U.S. largest defense contractors are expected to vie for an estimated 55-billion-dollar contract to build a fleet of radar-evading, long-range bombers at Air Force Plant 42 in California’s Mojave Desert, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

Pentagon weapons acquisition chief Ashton Carter met separately with representatives of Northrop, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. last month to discuss plans to build the bombers that the military hopes to have ready for action by the mid-2020s, the Los Angeles Times said.

The plane would be the first long-range bomber built in the U.S. since the last of the 21 bat-winged B-2 stealth bombers by Northrop Grumman Corp. rolled off the assembly lines at Plant 42 more than a decade ago, according to the report.

The Air Force owns the 5,800-acre (2,349-hectare) industrial park and leases space to aerospace contractors.

Now on the Pentagon wish list is a proposed fleet of 80 to 100 nuclear-capable bombers that could operate with or without a pilot in the cockpit, the report said.

….

Although the contractors declined to discuss the high-level meetings, Northrop and Boeing were quick to express interest in competing for the contract when the acquisition plan is laid out, said the report.

“Northrop Grumman employees in California designed, produced and currently maintain the nation’s newest bomber in the U.S. Air Force fleet, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber,” said Randy Belote, a Northrop spokesman.

….

There are 197 million dollars set aside for developing the bomber in the 2012 fiscal budget, and 3.7 billion dollars are allocated for the program over the next five years, Maj. Chad Steffey, an Air Force spokesman, was quoted as saying.

The program’s prospects in Congress also look strong, with the support of prominent congressional Republicans such as Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

“The Defense Department is serious about doing this program,” said Todd Harrison, a defense analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. “The last time they tried to upgrade their bomber force, they bought 21 B-2s. That’s not nearly enough to modernize the fleet.” The B-2 fleet now numbers 20 – one crashed in Guam in 2008. The Air Force also has 66 B-1 bombers, built in the 1980s, and 85 B-52 bombers, which were built in the 1960s and modified for use today.

“The Air Force believes it’s overdue for an upgrade,” Harrison said, adding that funding for the new bomber program could already be underway through the Air Force’s 12.6-billion-dollar classified, or “black,” budget for weapons research and development.

====

Afghan War: Jordanian Officer Killed, Four Soldiers Wounded

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1880000.html

Trend News Agency/Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 23, 2011

Jordanian officer killed, four injured in Afghanistan

A Jordanian officer was killed and four soldiers injured Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded as a…convoy passed through the Afghan province of Lugar, a spokesman for the Jordanian armed forces said in a statement.

….

“The general command of the armed forces is making the necessary arrangements with the Jordanian contingent in Afghanistan to bring home the martyr and the wounded, so that they can receive treatment at Jordanian hospitals,” he added, dpa reported.

This is the second Jordanian fatality in Afghanistan in less than 18 months.

On December 30, 2009, a Jordanian intelligence officer, Captain Ali bin Zeid, was killed along with seven members of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at a US forward base in the eastern province of Khost when a Jordanian doctor, Humam Balawi, carried out a suicide attack.

….

The new fatality is expected to stir a new wave of criticism inside Jordan, which has witnessed a series of demonstrations over the past four months to press demands for reform and fighting corruption.

The authorities so far kept a tight lid on the number of Jordanian troops operating in Afghanistan…but NATO’s website put the number at 90 alongside other contributions to the multinational force.

====

Pakistan: Thousands Participate In Anti-NATO Protest

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C05%5C23%5Cstory_23-5-2011_pg7_5

Daily Times
May 23, 2011

Thousands demand end to drone strikes

* Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s sit-in concludes with announcement of march towards Islamabad next month

* Imran Khan vows to stop NATO supplies if US continues drone attacks

By Asad Farooq

KARACHI: Thousands of people from various political and religious parties participated in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s two-day sit-in protest organised here as a symbolic suspension of NATO forces supply against US drone attacks.

The sit-in concluded on Sunday with an announcement of a march next month from Multan to Islamabad via Lahore. PTI chairman Imran Khan said in his concluding address, “It is time to launch a final drive for saving Pakistan.” Terming the present government incapable, he said, “People have lost their hopes and are ready for a final measure.”

“Contrary to the recent campaigns, we will not demand the Parliament to act upon their passed resolutions but to resign.”

“A revolution has been initiated”, he declared.

Supporting the launch of his campaign, he said, Wikileaks cables had put question marks on the credibility of forces, the government, and the state. He termed the ‘War on Terror’ a war of aliens, saying that the rulers have adopted it for dollars.

“Besides a loss of about $68 billion, we have been deprived of basic necessities such as water, electricity and gas”, he said.

“I had been warning the Parliament against participating in this war but rulers are only interested in dollars and palaces. I asked Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani to look in the eye while interacting with the US,” Khan said.

Khan claimed that a government of the PTI would sweep terrorism [away] within 90 days and Pashtuns and Urdu speakers will join….

He also announced that PTI would suspend NATO supplies everywhere if any drone attack is carried out. Workers of several religious parties from both Shia and Sunni sects participated in the protest. Before the protest Imran Khan invited various political parties, particularly religious parties….

====

Elections: Cyprus Heading Toward NATO?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/23/50659384.html

Voice of Russia
May 23, 2011

Right-wing opposition wins Cyprus election

With 34 percent of votes won, the opposition Democratic Rally party has emerged the victory of Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Cyprus.

The ruling leftwing Progressive party of the Working People came second with 33 percent.

Analysts warn that the right-wingers’ success…may dent the re-election chances of Demetris Christofias, the Communist president, who is handling complex reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots.

====

Georgia: U.S.-Trained Army Called Upon To Back Power Transfer

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23491

Civil Georgia
May 22, 2011

Okruashvili: ‘Army’s Choice Will Decide Georgia’s Fate’

Tbilisi: In a second phone interview with the Tbilisi-based Maestro TV on May 22, ex-defense minister and leader of the Georgian Party called on the Georgian army “to stand beside the people” on May 25, when his party plans to, as he put it, “hit a final blow to the Saakashvili’s regime.”

In an earlier interview with Maestro TV also on Sunday, Okruashvili, who lives in exile in France, said that he would return back to Georgia on May 25 “to put an end to the Saakashvili’s regime.”

….

“Several days ago I called on the soldiers, officers, privates [of the Georgian army] that in a few days – this is May 25 – we will be standing on the one side of the barricade and there will be Saakashvili’s gang on the other side,” he continued. “They [the army] should make a choice where they will be standing; they can’t be neutral in that situation and I want to request them to make a choice in favor of the Georgian people their choice will decide the fate of Georgia.”

“On May 25 I will be in Georgia together with my people. I will not talk about details. On May 25 we will manage to put an end to Saakashvili’s regime with minimal losses. If there is a great public support, the losses will be minimal. So, everybody should acknowledge the responsibility, which should be assumed before our country.”

….

The Georgian Party announced on Sunday that it would launch a decisive struggle against President Saakashvili on May 25 at a rally on Avlabari Square – the presidential palace is located close to that square.

After that announcement the Georgian Party joined the rally outside the public broadcaster on the Kostava Street, which is led by the People’s Assembly in which a key figure is Nino Burjanadze, the ex-parliamentary speaker.

….

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry again reiterated on May 22, that the police would act according to the law and arrest Irakli Okruashvili if he returns back to Georgia.

Since 2007, when he went into opposition, Okruashvili lives in France, where he has received political asylum; in Georgia he was sentenced to an 11-year prison term in absentia in March, 2008.

Okruashvili said that with his planned arrival in Georgia on May 25, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili “will face a great test.”

“A myth about his [Merabishvili’s] omnipotence may be shattered in one day and I will do it, I promise,” Okruashvili said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011 1 comment

====

NATO’s Libyan Air War: Over 7,500 Flights, Nearly 3,000 Combat Missions

Libya: NATO Provokes Humanitarian Crisis By Bombing Tripoli Port

Canada Expends Hundreds Of Bombs, $300 Million On Libyan War

Russia: NATO Wages War For “Regime Change” In Libya

U.S.-NATO European Missile Shield Targets Russia, General Claims

Russia Tests Nuclear Missile Amid Missile Shield Row With U.S.

Russia: U.S. Missile System To Extend To Czech Republic, Bulgaria And Turkey

U.S. Assurances On Interceptor Missiles Ring Hollow: Russia

U.S. Uses Bulgarian Military Bases For Free

German Troops Kill, Wound Afghan Protesters

Central Asia Envoy: NATO Won’t Leave Afghanistan In 2014

Pakistan Stops NATO Convoys After 16 People Killed In Blast

“Tulip Revolution II” Moving Kyrgyzstan Into NATO Column?

U.S. Strengthens Military, Strategic Ties With Saudi Arabia

After North Africa And Somalia: French Warships Head To Indonesia

West’s Eastern Partnership Backs North African “Democratic Processes”

====

NATO’s Libyan Air War: Over 7,500 Flights, Nearly 3,000 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110521_110521-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 21, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7585 sorties, including 2926 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 May: 157

Strike sorties conducted 20 May: 58

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

10 Vessels were hailed on 20 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (nodiversions) was conducted.

A total of 992 vessels have been hailed,47 boardings and 7diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

====

Libya: NATO Provokes Humanitarian Crisis By Bombing Tripoli Port

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/05/21/libya.war/

CNN
May 21, 2011

Libya accuses NATO of causing humanitarian crisis
By Jomana Karadsheh

Tripoli, Libya: Libya on Saturday accused NATO of causing a humanitarian crisis after airstrikes targeted the government-controlled port in Tripoli, saying the attacks have limited movement of supply ships in and out of the country.

The claim by Moammar Gadhafi’s government comes after NATO said it struck Libyan warships that had been targeting its ships….

NATO warplanes have been pounding military targets since March….

The NATO airstrikes against the Tripoli port as well as ports in Al-Khums and Sirte violated the U.N. resolution, said Amran al-Forjani, Libya’s chief coastguard commandant. He called the operation a “crazy attack.”

….

A Libyan official who led CNN personnel on a tour of the area Friday said the commercial port, not the nearby military port, was hit….

Six rockets struck in three strikes that hit five coast guard boats and one navy vessel in dock for maintenance, said Mohammed Ahmed Rashed, the port general manager.

The port remained operational, according to officials, but the strikes would impact the limited movement of supply ships.

Libyan officials said the port is the main food and fuel supply line, and they expect the strikes to deter freight ships from coming because of security concerns and to increase the insurance on ships and goods.

….

====

Canada Expends Hundreds Of Bombs, $300 Million On Libyan War

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Libyan+mission+could+cost+taxpayers+hundreds+millions+retired+colonel/4805598/story.html

Jordan Press, Postmedia News
May 18, 2011  

Libyan mission could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions, retired colonel says
 

Ottawa: Dollar figures for the war in Libya will be made public soon, a Canadian Forces general said Wednesday, but the final cost may not be known for months to come.

One military expert says Canadian spending could easily amount to millions of dollars per day.

“I’d be surprised if it was anything less than $100 million (per month),” said retired Col. Michel Drapeau. “It needs to be asked: What are we getting for all that? It’s not an omnipotent pool of resources. Someone’s got to pay for that.”

Canada currently has 11 planes, one frigate and approximately 560 military personnel deployed for the Libyan mission, which began at the end of March.

Since that time, CF-18 fighter jets have conducted some 300 bombing missions….

The cost for a mission doesn’t just include munitions, fuel and salaries, Drapeau said.

There are also hidden expenses, he said, such as travel costs to send senior officials to conferences and a payment to Italy for hosting Canadian Forces.

“All of that should be counted, as it should, but in times of war, you throw away normal budgetary restraint.”

During a regular briefing on the NATO-led mission in Libya, Canadian Forces spokesman Brig.-Gen. Richard Blanchette wouldn’t say how much Canada has spent in Libya, nor would he say how many bombs Canadian planes have dropped.

Blanchette cited “operational security” as the reason why he couldn’t divulge the number of bombs dropped on Libyan targets, nor the number and cost of laser-guided bombs the department has ordered to shore up munition stocks.

….

On May 12, the U.S. military reported that it had spent about $750 million on the mission in Libya.

….

====

Russia: NATO Wages War For “Regime Change” In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/21/50604318.html

Voice of Russia
May 21, 2011

Moscow thinks NATO seeks regime change in Libya
 

Moscow believes that NATO seeks a regime change in Libya. This was stated by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

According to him, serious doubts arise regarding the true political goals of the coalition’s military campaign in the Jamahiriya.

In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry statement says that the destruction of eight Libyan navy vessels by NATO aircraft the previous night does not comply with the UN Security Council resolution to protect the civilian population.

====

U.S.-NATO European Missile Shield Targets Russia, General Claims

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110520_2687.php

Global Security Newswire
May 20, 2011

European Missile Shield Targets Russia, General Claims

-“If the U.S. deploys its missile defense components in Poland, Romania or other NATO countries, we will have little choice,” the anonymous source said. “We will have to deploy S-400s on the western boundaries of the Belarus-Russian Union.”

A Russian army analysis has concluded that the Obama administration’s planned European missile shield is targeted against Russia and not the Middle East as has been asserted by the United States, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported on Friday (see GSN, May 16).

The army’s analysis shows the missile defense system would undermine the nuclear balance that has governed NATO-Russian strategic relations on the continent, Russian General Staff operations head Lt. Gen. Andrei Tretiak said.

The U.S. “phased adaptive approach” for European missile defense would over the next decade field increasingly advanced sea- and land-based missile interceptors around the continent as a declared hedge against potential missile strikes launched from the Middle East. The Obama plan is to be folded into a broader NATO initiative to link and augment individual member nations’ antimissile capabilities.

Moscow has long been critical of U.S. and NATO antimissile efforts, seeing in them an attempt to weaken the Russian nuclear deterrent.

“Our analysis has shown that the initial phases of the U.S. system do not pose a threat to Russian strategic nuclear weapons,” Tretiak said in remarks carried by Interfax. “This will change by the third and fourth phases, that is by 2015.”

Once completed, the missile shield would “directly threaten the Russian nuclear potential,” the general asserted.

According to the White House fact sheet on the planned system, the third phase of the plan around 2018 would see next-generation Standard Missile 3 Block 2A missiles deployed “to counter short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missile threats.”

The fourth phase would around 2020 see the SM-3 Block 2B interceptor fielded to “help better cope with medium- and intermediate-range missiles and the potential future ICBM threat to the United States,” according to the White House.

Tretiak said the number of interceptors Washington intends to deploy no later than 2015 would give it the ability to eliminate a significant quantity of Russia’s sea- and land-based missiles. Such a capability would jeopardize nuclear parity between the two one-time Cold War antagonists, he said.

The White House said its plan for 2015, in the second phase of the program, is to “deploy a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor (Block 1B) in both sea- and land-based configurations, and more advanced sensors, to expand the defended area against short- and medium-range missile threats” (Deutsche Presse-Agentur/Monsters and Critics, May 20).

A diplomatic-military insider in Moscow told Interfax on Thursday that Russia could send its advanced S-400 antimissile system to Belarus to safeguard the two allies’ western borders if it perceives a threat from U.S. and NATO missile shield activities.

“If the U.S. deploys its missile defense components in Poland, Romania or other NATO countries, we will have little choice,” the anonymous source said. “We will have to deploy S-400s on the western boundaries of the Belarus-Russian Union.”

In November, Russia and the alliance agreed to jointly study areas for potential missile defense collaboration. A report on the matter had been expected in June but recent statements from Russian officials familiar with the expert-level discussions show that Moscow still has considerable concerns about NATO antimissile plans.

While the United States has proposed establishing two separate but coordinated operations that would exchange missile alert warning information, Moscow has advocated a sectoral approach that would see the continent divided into two realms of missile defense responsibility. Washington has shown little interest in that proposal, saying it would never leave any NATO state’s missile protection to Moscow to ensure.

“Since Belarus is Russia’s strategic ally, it would be appropriate to sell it weapons at market prices within the union’s framework,” the Moscow source said. “Therefore, we will look for ways to provide government support that would enable us to build not only a common air defense but also a missile defense and later a space defense system” (Interfax, May 19).

….

====

Russia Tests Nuclear Missile Amid Missile Shield Row With U.S.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/russia-tests-icbm-amid-row-with-us/story-e6frf7jx-1226060049882

Agence France-Presse
May 21, 2011

Russia tests nuclear missile amid row with US

Russia has conducted its second intercontinental ballistic missile test in less than a month as it stepped up its campaign against a US-backed interceptor system for Europe.

News reports said the Sineva missile was launched from a Russian submarine in the Barents Sea and later successfully hit its target on the opposite side of the country on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

“The launch was conducted from a submerged position,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.

“The warheads hit the test range on schedule,” he added.

The Sineva submarine-launched missile is one of the most recent additions to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and was only fully tested for the first time in 2008.

Each missile carries up to 10 warheads and has a range of more than 11,000 kilometres.

It was the second submerged missile launch conducted by Russia since April 26.

Russia occasionally tests its heavy nuclear missiles as it upgrades outdated models with new features and capabilities.

But the tests are also often seen as a show of force that coincide with diplomatic tensions with the US.

Russia had scaled back its testing programme as it negotiated a new nuclear disarmament treaty with the United States that went into effect after nearly a decade of tortuous negotiations earlier this year.

Yet Moscow is currently furious with Washington for pushing ahead with plans to deploy a missile defence system for Europe – a shield that Russia fears could one day be transformed into an offensive weapon that targets its soil.

Russia has demanded an equal say in how the system works and also sought formal security safeguards from the United States confirming the shield’s peaceful long-term intent.

But both the United States and NATO have refused to let Russia have an equal say in the system’s construction and operation.

Moscow diplomats said Washington has also refused their safeguards request.

President Dmitry Medvedev warned earlier this week Washington’s failure to address Russia’s concerns could lead to a new Cold War and his comments were echoed overnight by the chief of the military’s general staff.

General Nikolai Makarov said the system could pose a direct challenge to Russia’s security once it becomes more powerful in 2015 and force Moscow to channel funds on new weapons development that could lead to “a mad arms race”.

“No one needs a new round of the arms race,” Makarov said.

—————————————————————————

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110520/164143850.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 20, 2011

Russia tests Sineva SLBM
 

Moscow: Russia has successfully test-fired a Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missile in the Barents Sea, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

The missile hit the designated target at the Kura test range in the Far East in time, Col. Igor Konashenkov said.

The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO codename SS-N-23 Skiff) is a third-generation liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service with the Russian Navy in July 2007. It has a maximum range of over 10,000 km (6,214 miles) and can carry four to 10 nuclear warheads, depending on the modification.

The previous Sineva test launch was held in April.

====

Russia: U.S. Missile System To Extend To Czech Republic, Bulgaria And Turkey

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/russia-says-u-s-may-extend-missile-shield-to-bulgaria-turkey.html

Bloomberg News
May 20, 2011

Russia Says U.S. May Extend Missile Shield to Bulgaria, Turkey
By Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer

Russia is concerned the U.S. may expand its planned missile shield in Poland and Romania to other eastern European countries and Turkey, a senior military official said.

“Russia is deeply concerned that after Poland and Romania, elements of U.S. missile defense will emerge in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Bulgaria and some other NATO members,” the deputy chief of Russia’s general staff, Valery Gerasimov, told foreign diplomats today in Moscow. “In the future, it may create risks for Russian strategic nuclear forces.”

A U.S. factsheet on its proposed missile shield, published May 3, mentions only Romania and Poland as sites where hardware would be based. The U.S. embassy in Moscow declined to comment.

Russian leaders complain the shield, which the U.S. says is needed to guard against threats from countries such as Iran, will blunt their nuclear deterrent. They have warned of a new arms race within the next decade unless the U.S. and its allies agree to cooperate with Russia on missile defense.

Russia may quit a nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. if it doesn’t get legally enforceable guarantees it won’t be targeted by the shield, President Dmitry Medvedev said May 18.

====

U.S. Assurances On Interceptor Missiles Ring Hollow: Russia

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2037724.ece

The Hindu
May 21, 2011

U.S. assurances on missile defence “ring hollow”: Russia
Vladimir Radyuhin

Russia has upped the ante in its standoff with the United States over missile defence in Europe warning of a “mad arms race” if Washington goes ahead with its plans.

Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Army General Nikolai Makarov said U.S. assurances that the proposed missile defence system in Europe does not threaten Russia “ring hollow” and Moscow would be forced to take countermeasures as early as 2015.

“In five or six years, a mad arms race could start. And the process could last indefinitely,” Army General Makarov told foreign military diplomats at a conference on the European missile defence in Moscow on Friday.

The statement followed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s repeated warning that the world could be thrown back to the Cold War if NATO fails to cooperate with Russia on missile defence.

“If we fail to agree, Europe will slide back to the early 1980s,” Mr. Medvedev said at a judicial forum in St. Petersburg on Friday. “I don’t want to live in such a Europe.”

To avoid this scenario, Russia “must be a participant in building the missile defence system through all its stages, right from drawing up its architecture,” the General Staff chief said. “So far we have only heard the word ‘no’.”

Lieutenant General Andrei Tretyak, chief of operations at the Russian General Staff, said a new Russian Army analysis found that the U.S. shield, when fully deployed during the third and fourth stages of President Barack Obama’s “phased adaptive approach”, would “directly threaten the Russian nuclear potential.”

By 2012, when the U.S. would field more than 300 interceptor missiles in Europe it would “acquire a credible capability to destroy Russian land- and submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles,” L-General Tretyak said, adding that this would upset the nuclear balance between the two countries.

Deputy chief of Russia’s general staff Colonel General Valery Gerasimov said that Russia was “deeply concerned” that after Poland and Romania, elements of U.S. missile defense will be deployed “in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Bulgaria and some other NATO members.”

Moscow has stepped up its rhetoric against the U.S. missile plans for Europe in the run-up to a G8 summit next week in France, on the sidelines of which the U.S. and Russian presidents will hold bilateral talks that will cover the missile defence problem.

====

U.S. Uses Bulgarian Military Bases For Free

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n249552

Focus News Agency
May 13, 2011

U.S. does not have to pay rent for using military bases in Bulgaria, according to agreement

Sofia: The defense cooperation agreement the governments of Bulgaria and the U.S. signed in Sofia on 28 April 2006 and the National Assembly ratified later reads that the U.S. will not pay rent for using facilities, but will cover all expenses on using and maintaining them, Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry says in relation with some statements made today about the joint use of Bulgarian-U.S. military facilities.

….

====

German Troops Kill, Wound Afghan Protesters

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/world/asia/21briefs-Afghanistan.html

New York Times
May 20, 2011

Afghanistan: German Troops Fired on Protesters
By RAY RIVERA

The German Defense Ministry acknowledged Friday that its troops had fired on demonstrators during a violent protest in the northern Afghan city of Taliqan this week, wounding several civilians and possibly killing some.

The demonstrations erupted Wednesday after a joint American and Afghan night raid at a family compound just outside the city that left four people dead, two of them women.

NATO said the four were insurgents who tried to fire at its troops, but local officials insisted they were civilians.

When the protesters tried to attack a small German-run NATO base on the outskirts of the city, the ministry said, German troops fired warning shots in the air before shooting at the legs of the attackers.

Some protesters were hit in the torso and at least one was hit in the neck and head region, the statement said. At least 12 people were killed in the two days of protests. German authorities said they were investigating the shootings.

====

Central Asia Envoy: NATO Won’t Leave Afghanistan In 2014

 

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/21/50617295.html

Voice of Russia
May 21, 2011

NATO not to leave A’stan after transition
 

NATO and the countries participating in the operation in Afghanistan will not leave the country after 2014, when Afghan troops will have taken over the security responsibility.

NATO’s point man on Central Asia and Caucasus James Appaturai told Radio Deutsche Welle that the coalition forces would remain on the ground “until Afghans are ready to ensure security on their own.”

….

720 coalition soldiers died in Afghanistan last year. President Barack Obama earlier promised to start handing over control to Afghan security forces from the beginning of 2011 and complete the transition by the end of 2014.

====

Pakistan Stops NATO Convoys After 16 People Killed In Blast

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/ocountries/1879776.html

Trend News Agency
May 21, 2011

Pakistan stops NATO supplies after 16 people killed in blast

Pakistani authorities Saturday suspended supplies to the foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan hours after a blast at an NATO oil tanker killed 16 persons, officials said, Xinhua reported.

An official said that suspected militants attacked and torched NATO oil tankers in two separate incidents late Friday night at Landikotal, a main town in Khyber region and the borer point of Torkham.

When locals gathered around the tanker at Landikotal to acquire the leaked oil, the tanker blew up due to gas pressure, killing 16 persons there.

Pakistan suspended supplies to nearly 160,000 U.S.-led NATO troops after the incident, officials in the region said.

Witnesses said that hundreds of NATO supplies trucks were stranded on the main Pakistan-Afghan highway after the blockade.

Officials said that some 70 percent supplies for the NATO troops are transported through Pakistan.

Militants, fighting Pakistani forces, regularly target NATO supply trucks, also forcing the U.S. to sign alternate supply routes with Russia.

====

“Tulip Revolution II” Moving Kyrgyzstan Into NATO Column?

 

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63527

EurasiaNet
May 20, 2011

Otunbayeva on Defensive on NATO-Kyrgyzstan Cooperation
by Joshua Kucera

When Kyrgyzstan announced that NATO would be refurbishing border posts and arms depots in the Central Asian country, many observers (including this blog: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63471) took it as a sign of President Roza Otunbayeva’s decision to move the country decisively toward the west and away from Russia.

But in an interview with state radio on May 16, transcribed and translated by BBC Monitoring, she took great pains to disabuse listeners of that notion. She highlights NATO’s cooperation with Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to portray Kyrgyzstan’s cooperation as nothing special. I’ll quote at length because the vehemence of her statement seems telling. The questioner asked a very bland question about the possibility of a NATO liaison office opening in Bishkek:

“NATO is a prestigious security organization of Europe and America. All people know about it. We have had relations with NATO f! or 20 years. It is not only us, but Russia and other CIS countries also have relations. Kyrgyz people too know about it. Major powers have been kicking us to and fro like a ball. We should not surrender. We are pursuing our own goals and we are a sovereign state too.

“We are pursuing our own policies and implementing them. As you know, there is a great deal of reports, particularly in the Russian media that we have got closer to NATO and away from them. We are a little nation compared to Russia. NATO’s cooperation with Russia is enormously broad. Russia has learnt about security issues from Europe and is using its experience. Russia is getting extensive help from them. But when it comes to us, they get jealous and express a view to us something along the lines ‘how do you get ahead and how can you hold talks with them [NATO]‘. This casts a shadow over our independence. A number of our generals sing to Russia [as published] about ways things should be. I want to say that Appathurai is NATO’s representative for Central Asia. He pays a visit once ! or twice a year. Apart from Kyrgyzstan, he visited Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. It was his official visit and he came to us too.

“When I visited Brussels last March, I met NATO’s secretary general. Everyone meets him. [Kazakh President] Nazarbayev, [Uzbek President] Karimov and [Russian President] Medvedev meet him too. There is nothing wrong with it. We, as a country, meet, talk and cooperate. For example, NATO is doing a number of important projects for us. For example, when the Russian army shrank after the 1990s, when they were wondering what to do with all of them and those retired military servicemen aged between 50 and 55 and those military servicemen from Germany, NATO gave them enormous help. NATO helped to turn them into businesses and to find jobs for them. This occurrence has come to us too 20 years later. They want to help us too. We have also reduced the army. The army is now contract-based. We also have a great deal of unemployed people. All of them! do not know where to go after they reach 55 and leave the army. NATO is teaching all of them to do business. What is
 wrong with it? Second, weapons depots are in a very bad state of disrepair. NATO is saying that it can take care of them and repair them since we cannot do it ourselves for now. We held talks on that. Kyrgyzstan needs this too.”

[Passage omitted: some 40-50 Kyrgyz go on UN's peace keeping missions abroad every year]

“NATO’s Central Asian mission has worked in Kazakhstan for three years. They agreed what would come after the three years before Otunbayeva. They work in every republic for three years. They have finished working in Kazakhstan. Now they will move to Kyrgyzstan. After Kyrgyzstan, they will go to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. So it rotates like this. This naturally requires the Kyrgyz parliament’s approval. So, the rotation is not out of turn. There is no need for saying baseless words that Otunbayeva is again drawing closer to the West. We are cooperating as much as we can. We are bringing good things to Kyrgyzstan. We are far from saying that we would join NATO or become NATO’s slave here. I do not understand why we should support someone’s views and dance to their tune and then spread baseless words among people.”

So is she right that Kyrgyzstan’s cooperation with NATO is getting too much attention, or doth she protest too much? My guess is that it’s the latter, but she’s facing internal political pressure from people who aren’t comfortable with NATO cooperation. This is an issue that probably won’t go away soon.

====

U.S. Strengthens Military, Strategic Ties With Saudi Arabia

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/148633/20110519/us-saudi-arabia-defense-iran.htm

International Business Times
May 19, 2011

US and Saudi Arabia deepening military, strategic ties

Amidst the political upheavals in the Middle east and North Africa, the U.S. is expanding its military and defense relations with Saudi Arabia on a grand scale, according to media reports.

Among the elements of this arrangement is a secretive project to create an elite force that will safeguard Saudi’s vast oil wealth future nuclear energy power plants.

….

Washington is reportedly also in talks to senior Saudi officials about the formation of a sophisticated air and missile defense system that will exceed the comparable capabilities of its biggest regional enemy, Iran.

Indeed, the Saudis are seeking to spend $60-billion on dozens of new US-built F-15 combat aircraft that will guarantee military superiority over Tehran.

….

====

After North Africa And Somalia: French Warships Head To Indonesia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/21/c_13886834.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 21, 2011

Three French warships to visit Indonesia 

JAKARTA: Three French navy warships will visit Tanjung Priok Port of Indonesia on May 24-28, Seputar Indonesia daily reported on Saturday.

The warships include Mistral, an amphibious assault ship, Georges-Leygues, a destroyer, and frigate Vendemiaire.

On May 25, there will be an exhibition of French defense equipment on Mistral opened for Indonesian military and public.

During their journey from France, the ships joined several short operations such as evacuation in Tunisia and piracy eradication off Somalia.

====

West’s Eastern Partnership Backs North African “Democratic Processes”

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1879460.html

Trend News Agency
May 21, 2011

EU activates in Eastern Partnership politics
N. Kirtzkhalia

[The Eastern Partnership is the European Union's program to "integrate" all non-Central Asian former Soviet republics except Russia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.]

Tbilisi: The Parliamentary Forum of Democratic Union held in Georgia has adopted a Tbilisi Declaration.

The declaration focuses on the need for the EU’s more active involvement in the Eastern Partnership politics, Georgian Parliamentary Speaker David Bakradze told journalists.

“The document also calls on the European Parliament and the European Commission to more actively involve in and support the processes ongoing in the region, particularly in Georgia, and assist more in the way of European integration,” Bakradze said.

The declaration includes a separate item on Georgia, which positively evaluated reforms in the country.

“The Forum one again reiterated its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity. The 2010-Forum adopted a special resolution which condemned the occupation of Georgia’s territory by Russia. The new resolution has been repeated the main points of the last resolution,” he added.

The Tbilisi declaration also included a separate paragraph on the North Africa.

“The declaration also recorded the support of all those democratic processes that began in North Africa,” Bakradze said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 20, 2011

====

Updates on Libyan war: May 20

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

====

U.S. Missile System In Europe Real Threat To Russia: Generals

Russian Chief Of Staff: Nuclear Parity With U.S. Could Be Disrupted

Missile Shield: Security Sphere Can Be Rolled Back To Reagan Era – Russian President

U.S. Interceptor Missiles Pose Threat To Russian Nuclear Deterrent

Ukraine To Hold Talks With U.S. Romania On NATO Missile Shield

Russian General Staff: No Iranian, North Korean Missile Threats To US, NATO Nations

NATO To Move Central Asian Office To Kyrgyzstan

U.S. Kills At Least 225 Pakistanis In 31 Drone Strikes This Year

Pakistani Opposition Party To Block NATO Supplies Over Drone Killings

Anti-NATO Protest Staged In Another Afghan Province

France Backs Further NATO Integration Of United Arab Emirates

====

====

U.S. Missile System In Europe Real Threat To Russia: Generals

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110520/164133194.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 20, 2011

U.S. missile defense in Europe ‘real threat’ to Russia – General Staff
Topic: U.S. missile shield in Europe

-“Four hundred interceptor missiles on 40 warships and a missile site in Poland. This is a real threat to our strategic nuclear forces.”

Moscow: U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe will pose a genuine threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrence capability if they are carried out in full, a General Staff official said on Friday.

“The situation completely changes with the realization of the third and fourth stages of the missile defense,” said Lt. Gen. Andrei Tretyak, head of the General Staff Main Operations Directorate. “Four hundred interceptor missiles on 40 warships and a missile site in Poland. This is a real threat to our strategic nuclear forces.”

Russia has never had any plans to deploy missile defense elements outside its borders, he said.

President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Wednesday that Russia would have to build up its nuclear capability if NATO and the United States failed to reach an agreement with Moscow on European missile defense cooperation.

Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected address the missile defense issue in late May at the G8 summit in Deauville, France.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that Moscow was concerned by the United States’ refusal to provide legally binding guarantees that its European missile defense system would not be directed against Russia.

Moscow has warned it might pull out of the new START Treaty.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

Russia is opposed to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

====

Russian Chief Of Staff: Nuclear Parity With U.S. Could Be Disrupted

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=245353

Interfax-Military
May 20, 2011

Russian General Staff chief fears disruption of nuclear parity with U.S. by 2020

MOSCOW: The strategic balance between Russia and the United States could be disrupted by 2020, Russian General Staff Chief Nikolai Makarov said on Friday.

“By 2020, one of the sides could start to think that the existing parity can be ignored. I mean nuclear parity,” Makarov said, commenting on possible consequences of further steps by the U.S. to develop its global missile defense shield.

Washington’s global missile defense project involves efforts to develop laser weapons and electronic resistance means, to modernize the missile defense system and the U.S. group of satellites put into orbit, as well as to place interceptor missiles on board naval ships as part of the Aegis program, Makarov said.

Such steps cause the international military-political situation to escalate, he said.

“Russia’s position is that tensions in Europe and the world in general need to be avoided,” he said.

—————————————————————————

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=5&id=245267

Interfax-Military
May 20, 2011

Russia insists on legal security guarantees over U.S. missile shield

MOSCOW: The guarantee that the U.S. missile defense system does not target Russia must be backed up by a legal document, the Russian Army General Staff has said.

“We can only talk about cooperation in the event of the security guarantees being provided by the U.S. A simple statement is not enough for us. We need an official legal agreement,” Lt. Gen. Andrei Tretyak, head of the Army General Staff Main Operations Directorate, told a conference in Moscow on Friday.

There have to be clear criteria allowing the assessment of the impact of both sides’ missile defense programs on strategic stability, he said.

“It is desirable to have these parameters secured by an acknowledgement that the missile defense program is limited and consistent with the stated objectives,” Tretyak said.

A clear schedule must be worked out to ensure that the deployment of missile defense systems in Europe planned by the U.S. and NATO is unable to affect Russia’s deterrent forces, he said.

—————————————————————————

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/20/50568535.html

Voice of Russia
May 20, 2011

Russia wants US guarantees on missile defense

Russia requires the US to provide legally signed guarantees that the American missile defense system is not directed against Russia.

The deployment of a missile defense shield in Europe poses a serious threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent, a senior official from Russia’s General Staff said in Moscow.

Lt. Gen. Andrei Tretyak, Chief of Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, warned that Russia would have to respond by taking appropriate measures if NATO persists with its missile defense plans without consulting Russia or more so, without the participation of Russia.

Not long ago the US and Romania clinched a deal to deploy an American missile base on the territory of Romania.

====

Missile Shield: Security Sphere Can Be Rolled Back To Reagan Era – Russian President

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=245342

Interfax
May 20, 2011

If no agreement reached on missile defense, security will roll back to 1980s – Medvedev

ST. PETERSBURG: If no agreement is reached on missile defense now, the situation in the security sphere will roll back to the 1980s, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

“Ahead of us is the year 2020, when a new missile defense system will emerge in Europe. Let us come to terms now on what it will be like, and then in 2020 we will get an absolutely modern European home well-adjusted for living,” Medvedev told an international lawyers’ forum in St. Petersburg on Friday.

“But if we fail to reach an agreement, we will get a Europe of the early 1980s style. I don’t want to live in a Europe of this kind, and I hope you don’t, either,” Medvedev said.

“One must have courage to make difficult decisions. Our world will be better off then,” he said.

—————————————————————————

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/20/50576080.html

Voice of Russia
May 20, 2011

Not agreeing on ABMs will take back to 1980s – Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that not agreeing on ABMs now will take the security situation back to the 1980s.

Addressing an international forum of lawyers in St. Petersburg, he noted that a new ABM system must appear in Europe in 2020.

Russia is currently negotiating with the US and its NATO allies on the establishment of a joint European ABM system. Medvedev highlighted the need to “courageously make difficult decisions”, which is the only way to make the world a better place.

====

U.S. Interceptor Missiles Pose Threat To Russian Nuclear Deterrent

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20110520/164143767.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 20, 2011

Russia on U.S. missile plan: No Poland deployment
Dmitry Babich

On Friday, May 20, Gen. Andrei Tretyak, head of the Armed Forces General Staff Main Operations Directorate (GOU), confirmed Russia’s position that the deployment of U.S. missile defense system poses a real threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

The general said the threat to Russia’s nuclear deterrent will emerge after 2015, when the United States modifies its SM-3 anti-missiles and brings its seaborne missile defense group to 40 ships with 400 interceptor missiles.

Tretyak put special emphasis on the threat posed by missile defense elements on Polish territory.

While U.S. President Barack Obama’s refusal to deploy interceptors in Poland surely stung, Warsaw would be glad to reopen this topic. There can be no doubt about this. For example, Gen. Stanislaw Koziej, head of the Polish National Security Bureau, urged the United States and NATO to return from Asia to Europe. In his opinion, the deeper NATO gets mired in Afghanistan, the greater the degradation of its main function – to protect its member countries against direct threats under Article 5 of the NATO Charter (mutual assistance in case of an attack on one allied member). Poland has made it clear at all levels that it still considers Russia the main threat.

….

Poland never tires of reminding the United States that 2% of the Wojsko Polskie (Polish Army) units are fighting in Afghanistan and that Poland spends up to 20% of its defense budget to support the mission….

The Russian Foreign Ministry has already expressed regret over the plans to deploy U.S. missile defense hardware in Romania, claiming that the United States is acting as if the Russian-American reset never happened and that the Russian and U.S. presidents did not recognize the interdependence between offensive and defensive missiles at their meeting in Prague.

Moscow is bound to react to Poland’s participation in missile defense as well. At a news conference in Skolkovo, President Dmitry Medvedev said the further development of American missile defense will compel Russia to develop its own offensive missile potential. Let’s recall that it was Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries that refused Medvedev’s proposal at the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon to establish sectoral European missile defense. They declared that NATO will not outsource security, i.e. Russia should not be in charge of the security of Poland, Latvia and Estonia.

….

====

Ukraine To Hold Talks With U.S. Romania On NATO Missile Shield

http://www.actmedia.eu/2011/05/19/top+story/ukraine+seeking+consultations+on+missile+shield+with+romanian,+u.s.+partners+/33781

ACTmedia
May 19, 2011

Ukraine seeking consultations on missile shield with Romanian, U.S. partners

Ukraine wants to hold rounds of consultations both with Romania and the U.S. on the subject of the missile shield components to be deployed in Romania, with Kiev’s stance being that the security of the entire European continent needs to be strengthened and that the ‘political aspects’ of the matter also need to be taken in consideration, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko declared on Wednesday after the meeting with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi.

‘In the context of the steps taken towards security strengthening, we believe that this policy should be aimed at strengthening security for the entire European continent and the political aspects of this matter also need to be taken in consideration. We express our interest in holding rounds of consultations with our partners in both Romania and the United States,’ said the Ukrainian chief diplomat who paid on Wednesday an official visit to Bucharest.

The U.S. anti-missile system will be located at the Deveselu air base, in Olt County (south-west of Bucharest), President Traian Basescu announced on May 3.

….

Several Russian Federation officials, including Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, in recent weeks expressed criticism at Romania’s decision to install elements of the missile shield on its territory, Agerpres reports.

….

====

Russian General Staff: No Iranian, North Korean Missile Threats To US, NATO Nations

http://rt.com/politics/general-staff-iran-korea/

RT
May 20, 2011

Russian General Staff convinced Iran and N. Korea have no intercontinental missiles

-Russia is “seriously concerned with US plans to place its AMD elements near the Russian border,” namely in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech republic and some other NATO countries.

Iran and North Korea do not have ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US and other NATO countries, according to Russia’s General Staff.

­“The threat of missile attack on the leading world powers including the US and NATO member states is extremely insignificant,” deputy head of the General Staff Lieutenant General Vyacheslav Kondrashov said at an international conference in Moscow on Friday.

He noted that there are “no signs of nuclear arms” on Iranian missiles. Vyacheslav Kondrashov added that Teheran and Pyongyang only possess tactical missiles and that neither has the means of creating intercontinental ballistic missiles at this point.

Both Iran and North Korea have “insufficient level of nuclear technology” he said.

“Contrary to the US viewpoint on Iran and North Korea, we believe that these countries are far from the creation of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the official stressed.

He said that Teheran possesses “Shahab 3” missile, but for it to reach the US it is necessary to equip it with a third step and a nuclear warhead. Something which is “technically impossible for Iran” at the moment.

Last week the United Nations released a panel report indicating that prohibited missile technology was shared by North Korea and Iran through a “neighboring third country,” presumably China. The Chinese Foreign Minister later denied such claims.

Another top military official, deputy head of the General Staff Colonel General Valery Gerasimov, also stated that Russia is “seriously concerned with US plans to place its AMD elements near the Russian border,” namely in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech republic and some other NATO countries.

“According to our estimates, the planned AMD could create risks for Russian strategic nuclear forces in the future, and this is a threat to Russia’s national security,” he said, adding that Moscow needs legal guarantees from the United States that the AMD elements are not targeted against Russian nuclear forces.

In this regard, it is necessary to step up efforts for the settlement of the issue and also start working on the concept of the European AMD system. Otherwise, Russia will have to deploy new offensive weapons Gerasimov pointed out.

“But it won’t be our choice. We are ready for a constructive dialogue with our partners,” he outlined.

====

NATO To Move Central Asian Office To Kyrgyzstan

http://centralasiaonline.com/cocoon/caii/xhtml/en_GB/features/caii/newsbriefs/2011/05/19/newsbrief-04

Central Asia Online
May 19, 2011

Kyrgyzstan to host NATO Central Asian office

BISHKEK: NATO will move its Central Asian office from Astana to Bishkek, Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported May 19.

The change is linked to the Kyrgyz parliament’s May 18 ratification of an agreement between Kyrgyzstan and NATO for further co-operation as part of its Partnership for Peace.

As part of Kyrgyz-NATO co-operation, the alliance is considering training Kyrgyz troops to its standards, creating Kyrgyz peace-keeping units, helping fortify border outposts and assist in renovation of artillery and missile storage depots, Nezavisimaya reported.

The timetable for the office move was not given.

====

U.S. Kills At Least 225 Pakistanis In 31 Drone Strikes This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/20/c_13886094.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 20, 2011

4 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least four people were killed as U.S. drones fired two missiles at a vehicle in the Miranshah area of North Waziristan in northwest Pakistan Friday evening, reported local Urdu TV channel Duniya.

Earlier reports by Duniya said the target was a house….The missiles fired by U.S. drones also completely destroyed a nearby house, said the report.

Friday’s U.S. drone strike is the 31st of its kind in Pakistan since 2011.

Since this year, at least 225 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes, most of which were launched in North Waziristan….

====

Pakistani Opposition Party To Block NATO Supplies Over Drone Killings

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=15815

Agence France-Presse
May 20, 2011

PTI to block NATO supplies against drone attacks

KARACHI: Pakistani opposition leader and former cricketer Imran Khan said Friday his party workers would block the port in Karachi to protest against US drone strikes in the country’s tribal [ares].

….

“We’ll sit outside the port’s gate from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening continuously to block the trucks carrying NATO supplies,” said…Khan, who leads Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice).

“It will be our symbolic protest against the US atrocities towards our innocent citizens.”

….

Khan’s party staged a two-day sit-in outside the northwestern city of Peshawar last month, which was called to urge the US to end a covert missile campaign against Islamist militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

Khan said the government had given full liberty to its “American masters to kill Pakistanis at will.”

“We’ll be protesting against the drone strikes till our people are truly liberated from the clutches of monsters,” he said.

NATO supply trucks and oil tankers are the targets of frequent attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt supplies for the more than 130,000 international troops fighting in Afghanistan.

Most supplies and equipment required by coalition troops in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan, although US troops increasingly use alternative routes through Central Asia.

====

Anti-NATO Protest Staged In Another Afghan Province

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/20/hundreds-rally-against-nato-forces-logar

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 20, 2011

Hundreds rally against NATO forces in Logar
by Abdul Maqsud Azizi

PUL-I-ALAM: Hundreds of residents of the Charkh district in central Logar province on Friday protested against NATO-led forces for arresting two sons of a prayer leader.

Foreign troops on Thursday night detained the two sons of Maulvi Sahibzada, prayer leader of the district’s main mosque, in the Bazar area during an operation.

The district development council head, Mohammad Naeem, told Pajhwok Afghan News that hundreds of people took part in the demonstration to condemn nighttime operations by foreign troops. He insisted the two detainees were locals and had been arrested without any charges.

Protestors vowed to continue their protest until the two were released. They said their next demonstration would be held in the capital city.

They demanded of the government to stop unilateral operations by foreign troops, otherwise, the situation could lead to public uprising.

Police chief, Col. Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Liwanai, urged protestors to avoid causing damage to public and private properties during their protest. He said he had talked to local officials about the protest and their demands.

====

====

France Backs Further NATO Integration Of United Arab Emirates

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2167840&Language=en

Kuwait News Agency
May 19, 2011

France “fully supports” UAE request for NATO accreditation

PARIS: The French government said on Thursday that it is completely in favour of a demand by the UAE to be accredited to the NATO organization through the appointment of an Emirati ambassador to the western alliance.

“The United Arab Emirates has just asked for the accreditation of an ambassador to NATO,” a French Foreign Ministry statement said here.

“We fully support this request,” the statement added.

“This is a new step in our relations, which have witnessed an intensity and quality in cooperation between the UAE and the Alliance, notably in the framework of operation Unified Protector in Libya,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

The UAE is one of four Arab nations that have agreed to take part in the NATO-led, international operation against Libyan government forces in Libya.

That operation was given the green light by the UN Security Council last March and the UAE and Qatar were among the first Arab countries to commit air forces to enforce the “no fly” zone in Libya and assist in operations against Libyan military forces attacking the opposition rebels in that country.

Jordan and Morocco also committed to logistical, mainly humanitarian help in the Libya campaign.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Homo homini lupus: William Cowper on war and man’s inhumanity to man

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

William Cowper
From The Task (1782)

But war’s a game, which, were their subjects wise,
Kings would not play at.

*****

War and the chase engross the savage whole;
War followed for revenge, or to supplant
The envied tenants of some happier spot,
The chase for sustenance, precarious trust!

*****

Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war
Might never reach me more! My ear is pained,
My soul is sick with every day’s report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man’s obdurate heart,
It does not feel for man. The natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed,
Make enemies of nations who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature’s broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: May 20

May 20, 2011 1 comment

====

NATO’s Aerial Onslaught: 7,428 Sorties, 2,868 Combat Missions

NATO Uses Libya As Testing Ground For Vacuum Bombs, New Weapons

Russia Condemns NATO Strikes, Urges Peacekeeping Force In Libya

Russia: NATO Hiding Behind Distortion Of UN Resolution To Bomb Civilian Infrastructure

NATO Warplanes Attack Libyan Ships In Three Ports

NATO Bombs Eight Libyan Naval Vessels

Libya: Under Western Military, Media Siege

NATO Targets Libyan Telecommunications: $1.2 Billion In Damages

====


French Mirage jet bombers

====

NATO’s Aerial Onslaught: 7,428 Sorties, 2,868 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110520_110520-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 20, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7428 sorties, including 2868 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 May: 166

Strike sorties conducted 19 May: 60

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

14 Vessels were hailed on 19 May to determine destination and cargo. 3 boardings and 2 diversions were conducted.

A total of 982 vessels have been hailed, 46 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Uses Libya As Testing Ground For Vacuum Bombs, New Weapons

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/20/50584504.html

Voice of Russia
May 20, 2011

NATO keeps relying on bombs in Libya
Maria Chupina

-“We have received alarming information that the alliance used some special bombs in Tripoli early in May. Experts believe that they were so-called vacuum weapons that do not give people any chance to survive. The use of such bombs in populated areas is forbidden by international conventions. Practice shows that the military forces representing the democratic West, very proud of its humanistic ideals, do not consider respecting these conventions as compulsory.”

NATO is stepping up its arsenal of weapons in the hope of settling the Libyan internal conflict. The Canadian Defence Ministry is reported to have ordered 1,300 laser-guided aircraft bombs. It is possible that the alliance, which has not achieved any results in Libya, will try to use that country as a testing ground for new weapons.

The 500-pound bombs that the Canadian Defence Ministry is buying are meant for hitting targets in Libya. Each bomb costs at least $100,000.

It is easy to calculate that Canada is ready to spend $130mln as a contribution to the settlement of the Libyan internal conflict. This information has come together with the news that NATO has begun to experience a serious lack of munitions. Thus, the Libyans and the rest of the world are given to understand that the western coalition, even when experiencing material difficulties, does not intend giving up its plans to eliminate Muammar Gaddafi and his supporters….The use of force still remains the final argument for NATO.

Meanwhile, the alliance’s air force in Libya has been showing its inadequacy so far, believes Vladimir Evseyev, the director of the Centre of Public and Political Research.

“It is impossible to solve the Libyan problem with buying more weapons. In many respects, the problem arose because the USA and its closest allies, first of all France and the UK, interfered in the Libyan civil war. In spite of the long period of hostilities they have not managed to make much progress, which was to be expected. This problem cannot be solved with air raids alone. It was reported earlier that a considerable amount of modern weapons is being used in Libya. This means that Libya has become a testing ground for those weapons. By no means each bomb hits its target, so the civilian population is suffering.”

Meanwhile, the NATO commanders declare that the first stage of the military operation in Libya has been completed. According to the western military, its aim was the stabilization of the situation in the country. Apparently, the aim has been achieved. The next stage is destroying the command posts of Gaddafi’s forces. To all appearances, they will be destroyed with high-precision laser weapons, which also raises doubts whether these tactics are reasonable, Vladimir Evseyev points out.

“We have received alarming information that the alliance used some special bombs in Tripoli early in May. Experts believe that they were so-called vacuum weapons that do not give people any chance to survive. The use of such bombs in populated areas is forbidden by international conventions. Practice shows that the military forces representing the democratic West, very proud of its humanistic ideals, do not consider respecting these conventions as compulsory.”

====

Russia Condemns NATO Strikes, Urges Peacekeeping Force In Libya

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-20/russia-urges-peacekeeping-force-in-libya-condemns-nato-strikes.html

Bloomberg News
May 20, 2011

Russia Urges Peacekeeping Force in Libya, Condemns NATO Strikes
By Henry Meyer

Russia called for peacekeepers to be deployed in Libya and condemned NATO strikes for violating the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorized military action in the North African state.

“We are increasingly concerned about the unfolding situation in Libya, the continued bloodshed as well as the actions of the coalition, which don’t respect UN Security Council resolution No. 1973,” Alexander Lukashevich, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters today in Moscow.

Russia will make the “maximum” political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis by “activating the peacekeeping potential of the UN and African Union,” Lukashevich said.

Russia has been a vocal critic of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air campaign that helped the rebels regain the initiative against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. It accused the U.S. and its allies of violating the Security Council vote in March that allowed them to enforce a no-fly zone to protect civilians. Russia abstained from the vote.

—————————————————————————
http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/20/50567761.html

Voice of Russia
May 20, 2011

Moscow increasingly concerned about Libya
 
 
Moscow is growing increasingly concerned about the coalition’s moves in Libya that are clearly in excess of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Russia urges maximally galvanizing political and diplomatic efforts to settle the crisis, and using the UN and African Union’s peacekeeping potential to that end, says a Russian Foreign Ministry official, Alexander Lukashevich.

He said that Moscow is already making moves to that end. He meant specifically Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent meeting with the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya Abdul Ilah Khatib.

====

Russia: NATO Hiding Behind Distortion Of UN Resolution To Bomb Civilian Infrastructure

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=245429

Interfax
May 20, 2011

NATO should not appropriate UN Libya mandate – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW: The UN Security Council’s mandate on Libya should not be substituted by actions of other organizations, including NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

“We think that it is unacceptable to substitute the [UN Security] Council’s mandate in this sphere by actions of any other associations – whether it be NATO, the Contact Group on Libya or other organizations,” Lukashevich said in a commentary posted on the ministry’s website on Friday.

“NATO’s arguments about the legitimacy of the rules for the use of force referring to their confirmation by all of the alliance’s 28 countries do not look convincing, either,” he said.

“Decisions helping sort out the situation in Libya were adopted by the UN Security Council, which holds a function to control their implementation,” the Russian diplomat said.

During the drafting of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1973, the Russian delegation to New York proposed thoroughly formulating “rules of conduct” for joint efforts to restore order to Libya, he said.

“However, Western countries chose to ignore our suggestions, intentionally leaving vague phrases in the resolution. They are hiding behind them today as they launch strikes against civilian infrastructure, which leads to new casualties among the civilian population, further deteriorates the humanitarian situation in the country and provokes a rise in the number of refugees and internally displaced persons that is already unprecedentedly high for this region, interfering in a domestic conflict on the territory of an independent state and openly supporting one of the sides,” Lukashevich said.

====
NATO Warplanes Attack Libyan Ships In Three Ports

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/world/africa/20libya.html

New York Times
May 19, 2011

NATO Warplanes Attack Libyan Ships in 3 Ports
By Eric Schmitt

NAPLES, Italy: NATO warplanes attacked eight Libyan ships on Thursday night in three coastal locations, including the port of Tripoli, expanding the air campaign….

The allied attacks late Thursday against Libyan vessels in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Surt were the first time in the two-month-old air campaign that the alliance had carried out planned airstrikes against Libyan ships, military officials said….

The airstrikes came as the alliance has tried to increase pressure on Colonel Qaddafi and loyalist troops by stepping up attacks against “command and control” centers in and around Tripoli that allied officials say allow the Libyan leader to direct his forces. So far, however, Colonel Qaddafi has remained defiant.

….

A total of 21 NATO ships are patrolling the Mediterranean as part of an arms embargo against Libya.

====

NATO Bombs Eight Libyan Naval Vessels

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/20/c_13885394.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 20, 2011

NATO planes attack eight Libyan warships 
 

BRUSSELS: NATO fighter jets attacked eight warships of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, NATO said on Friday.

NATO continued its airstrikes against the Libyan government troops with a coordinated strike against Gaddafi’s forces in the ports of Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirte, NATO said in a statement.

“Overnight, NATO aircraft hit pro-Gaddafi warships, striking eight vessels,” said Rear Admiral Russell Harding, deputy commander of NATO’s Libya operations.

NATO said Gaddafi’s forces have been laying mines at ports and trying to disrupt humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, the building of Libya’s intelligence agency in Tripoli was bombed early Friday.

Four loud explosions were heard and a Xinhua reporter saw the building of the External Security agency was on fire in the eastern Tajoura district.

Casualties from the latest bombing were not immediately known.

====

Libya: Under Western Military, Media Siege

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5672:libya-under-western-military-media-seige&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

Prensa Latina
May 19, 2011

Libya: Under Western Military, Media Seige     

 
Tripoli: Pro-Gaddafi forces clashed Thursday with armed rebels, backed by NATO air raids, in different areas of the country, while the government denied reports of desertions by officials and relatives of the Libyan leader.

Gadaffi’s supporters claimed to control strategic territories in the western highlands after intensifying their counteroffensive against opposition militias that attempted to establish another rebel stronghold near Yafrin and Zintan.

While Tripoli’s armed forces dominate most of the western territories, the rebels are trying to reinforce their side with links to Berber tribes and prevent pro-Gadaffi forces from taking over the Nafusa Mountains.

According to contradictory reports from regional television networks, government forces attacked a road in the Nafusa Mountains area to cut off the flow of goods and military supplies from Tunisia to rebels through the so-called Wazen border crossing.

Along with civilians seeking refuge in Tunisia, rebel groups have established bases there, leading Tunisia to carry out occasional military air raids, but without firing shots.

====

NATO Targets Libyan Telecommunications: $1.2 Billion In Damages

http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2011/05/20/telco-claims-nato-air-strikes-have-caused-usd1-2bn-infrastructure-damage-human-shields-used-to-defend-facilities/

TeleGeography
May 20, 2011

Telco claims NATO air-strikes have caused USD1.2bn infrastructure damage

-NATO forces had systematically destroyed Libya’s telecoms infrastructure in order to create a lucrative opportunity for foreign companies to rebuild what has been damaged; he alleged that the lion’s share of the reconstruction process will fall to companies from countries currently participating in the military action against Libya.

According to a story reported by the Pan-African News Agency, PANA, Libya’s telecommunications sector has suffered around LYD1.5 billion (USD1.22 billion) worth of damage as a result of coordinated NATO air-strikes targeting the country’s telecoms infrastructure.

The information was disclosed at a press briefing held in Tripoli by Mohamed Ben Ayad, the president of state-owned ISP Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT) and mobile operator Libyana.

Ayad described the methodical targeting of the country’s telecoms infrastructure as a ‘crime against humanity in the broadest sense’, adding that the lack of communications has interfered with the disbursement of medical aid to the wounded and disrupted fire fighters’ activities and other humanitarian efforts.

He claimed that Libya intends to file a complaint with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), asserting that the sites targeted are of no military use. Telecoms sites alleged to have been destroyed include: one west of Sirte (central Libya), stations in Al-Hisha, Al-Wachka and Al-Qaddahiya, Al-Jil Al-Jadeed equipment, base stations belonging to cellcos Al-Madar and Libyana in Brega, base stations in Al-Ghardabia, Al-H’nioua, Nouflia and parts of the Ras Lanouf Maritime cable.

Ayad went on to complain that NATO forces had systematically destroyed Libya’s telecoms infrastructure in order to create a lucrative opportunity for foreign companies to rebuild what has been damaged; he alleged that the lion’s share of the reconstruction process will fall to companies from countries currently participating in the military action against Libya.

The announcement follows this week’s revelation that tens of thousands of telecoms workers have been pressed into service to act as ‘human shields’ to deter further NATO air raids on the country’s telecoms infrastructure. At a government press conference on Monday, a man claiming to represent more than 20,000 workers read out a statement indicating that the workers have vowed to guard telecoms base stations with their lives. The statement concluded: ‘We, the telecoms workers, are present with our families and children around the clock, and in shifts, to protect this utility. We will be human shields to confront any aggression or bombing aimed at continuing destruction of the communications infrastructure’.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Africa: Battleground For NATO’s 21st Century Strategic Concept

Stop NATO
May 20, 2011

Africa: Battleground For NATO’s 21st Century Strategic Concept
Rick Rozoff

The war by major North Atlantic Treaty Organization member states against Libya is in its third month and has been conducted under the official auspices of NATO for the past fifty days.

According to the military bloc’s daily online tally [1], Alliance military aircraft have flown over 7,200 missions and more than 2,800 combat flights since NATO inaugurated so-called Operation Unified Protector on March 31.

The world’s only military alliance stands to match or exceed the 78-day duration of its air war against Yugoslavia in 1999 if not to deploy troops in Libya in what could expand into protracted combat and occupation roles like those in Afghanistan and adjoining nations where the Pentagon and NATO will mark the tenth anniversary of their invasion this October 7.

Recently Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko “Pointed out that the operation in Libya is becoming the first actual litmus test for NATO’s new strategic concept,” [2] a reference to the latest Strategic Concept adopted by the 28-nation alliance at its summit in Lisbon, Portugal last November, the first in this century and since that endorsed at the Washington summit in 1999 when NATO was waging its first war (against Yugoslavia) and incorporating its first post-Cold War recruits (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland).

The war against Libya was also the test case for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the first overseas military command launched by the Pentagon since the end of the Cold War (its predecessor, Central Command, was created in 1983), whose Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn was in charge of bombing runs and cruise missile attacks in and a naval blockade of Libya from March 19-30.

The activation of AFRICOM as an independent command on October 1, 2008 and the expansion of NATO into Africa were integrally, inevitably related developments, as the top military chief of U.S. European Command, to which almost the entire African continent and the nascent AFRICOM were for years assigned, and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe are and for almost 60 years have been the same person, currently America’s Admiral James Stavridis.

In what may have imminent and menacing implications for the ongoing conflict in Libya, Africa is also the laboratory for the 25,000-troop NATO Response Force, intended to be deployable within five days throughout the world and to sustain operations, including combat missions, for up to six months. In other words, the world’s first international military strike force. The NATO Response Force was an initiative of then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld which was endorsed by the Alliance at its 2002 summit in the Czech Republic, the latter only having been brought into NATO three years before.

In 2006 NATO held a large-scale two-week military exercise in the west African island nation of Cape Verde codenamed Steadfast Jaguar with almost 8,000 troops from 25 of the Alliance’s 26 members at the time. Fighter jets, attack helicopters, warships including the Sixth Fleet flagship USS Mount Whitney and American special forces were also employed in NATO’s first war games in Africa. To indicate the groundbreaking significance of the event, the bloc’s secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the North Atlantic Council – the ambassadors of all NATO member states – traveled to Cape Verde to inspect the exercise.

In the words of Scheffer: “You see here the new NATO, the NATO that has the capacity to be expeditionary. In the 21st century you have to be prepared to project stability over long distances….” Associated Press at the time cited then-NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command Marine General James Jones (later the Obama administration’s first National Security Advisor) as envisioning the role of the NATO Response Force as one that “could entail naval patrols to protect tankers off the coast of West Africa or security for storage and production facilities in areas such as the oil-rich Niger Delta.” Immediately after assuming the dual commands in January 2003 Jones laid the groundwork for the permanent deployment of U.S. and NATO military assets in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea off the continent’s western shores. [3]

Steadfast Jaguar was the first joint infantry-air force-naval operation conducted for and by the global NATO strike force. In the words of a Washington Times report during the war games, “The aim is to help transform the Brussels-based alliance from a static, Europe-centered, defensive organization into a security body with global ambitions and reach.”

In a feature entitled “NATO tests expeditionary force,” the Alliance website stated that the exercise was designed to “test the readiness of NATO’s cutting-edge Response Force to carry out missions anywhere required at very short notice,” and that “the Response Force will give the Alliance the ability to deploy up to 25,000 troops within five days anywhere in the world.”

NATO has also penetrated Africa in recent years by airlifting over 30,000 African Union troops to the Darfur region of western Sudan from 2005-2007 and since then thousands of Ugandan and Burundian forces into the Somali capital of Mogadishu for combat operations in support of the isolated, largely nominal Transitional Federal Government.

Starting in 2008 NATO has established a permanent naval presence off the Horn of Africa in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea with Operation Allied Provider, Operation Allied Protector and since 2009 and into the indefinite future Operation Ocean Shield.

Reports emanating from the region disclose that NATO warships recently intercepted a vessel allegedly bringing weapons to Eritrea as part of operations to enforce a naval blockade against the small Horn of Africa nation, the result of a United Nations Security Council resolution passed in December 2009 – with China abstaining and Libya, now the victim of the same, voting against it – that imposed an arms embargo and travel bans against one of perhaps as few as four African nations, including besieged Libya, not recruited as junior partners to AFRICOM through regular multinational military endeavors like Operation Flintlock, Operation Africa Endeavor, Natural Fire drills and training exercises led by the crews of American warships assigned to the Africa Partnership Station program.

As always, NATO activities parallel those of the Pentagon. African Standby Force brigades now operational in East and West Africa and planned for the north, south and center of the continent are assisted and overseen by both AFRICOM and NATO. In February of 2010 an Alliance website published this account of the bloc’s expanding role in Africa:

“Joint Command Lisbon is the operational lead for NATO/AU [African Union] engagement, and has a Senior Military Liaison Officer at AU HQ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. NATO also supports staff capacity building through the provision of places on NATO training courses to AU staff supporting AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia], and support to the operationalisation of the African Standby Force – the African Union’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force.” [4]

And as the AFRICOM website announced in January ahead of this year’s Africa Endeavor exercise to be held in June, a planning conference in Mali “brought together more than 180 participants from 41 African, European and North American nations and observers from [the] Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Eastern African Standby Force and NATO to plan interoperability testing of communications and information systems of participating nations.” [5]

The following month an article appeared in a Kenyan publication claiming that Ramtane Lamamra, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, “confirmed that Nato is to sign a military cooperation agreement with the AU” with special emphasis to be placed on consolidating the African Standby Force. [6]

As the Russian deputy foreign minister was quoted asserting above, it has taken less than four months from the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept to its initial implementation in North Africa.

The following are extracts from Strategic Concept: For the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [7], endorsed at the NATO summit late last November:

“The citizens of our countries rely on NATO to defend Allied nations, to deploy robust military forces where and when required for our security, and to help promote common security with our partners around the globe.”

“NATO has a unique and robust set of political and military capabilities to address the full spectrum of crises – before, during and after conflicts. NATO will actively employ an appropriate mix of those political and military tools to help manage developing crises that have the potential to affect Alliance security, before they escalate into conflicts; to stop ongoing conflicts where they affect Alliance security; and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict situations where that contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.”

“Instability or conflict beyond NATO borders can directly threaten Alliance security.”

“Some NATO countries will become more dependent on foreign energy suppliers and in some cases, on foreign energy supply and distribution networks for their energy needs.”

The new Strategic Concept calls for plans to “develop and maintain robust, mobile and deployable conventional forces to carry out both our Article 5 responsibilities and the Alliance’s expeditionary operations, including with the NATO Response Force” and to “develop the capacity to contribute to energy security.”

The blueprint for a 21st century global expeditionary NATO also affirms:

“Crises and conflicts beyond NATO’s borders can pose a direct threat to the security of Alliance territory and populations. NATO will therefore engage, where possible and when necessary, to prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction. Where conflict prevention proves unsuccessful, NATO will be prepared and capable to manage ongoing hostilities.”

“Unique in history, NATO is a security Alliance that fields military forces able to operate together in any environment; that can control operations anywhere through its integrated military command structure; and that has at its disposal core capabilities that few Allies could afford individually.”

After launching a full-scale war against a European nation for the first time since the end of World War II in Yugoslavia in 1999 and joining the U.S. in Afghanistan two years later in what is now the longest war in the world, NATO is putting its new global military doctrine into brutal and deadly effect in Africa.

1) http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-EF8DF5B6-C1488A4E/natolive/71679.htm
2) Voice of Russia, May 17, 2011
3) Global Energy War: Washington’s New Kissinger’s African Plans
Stop NATO, January 22, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/global-energy-war-washingtons-new-kissingers-african-plans

4) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
February 24, 2010
…..
New Colonialism: Pentagon Carves Africa Into Military Zones
Stop NATO, May 5, 2010

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/new-colonialism-pentagon-carves-africa-into-military-zones

5) U.S. Africa Command, January 31, 2011

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=5895&lang=0

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

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/africa-global-nato-seeks-to-recruit-50-new-military-partners

7) http://www.nato.int/lisbon2010/strategic-concept-2010-eng.pdf

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 19, 2011

====

Five Afghans In Critical Condition As Anti-NATO Protests Continue

NATO Headquarters Opens Exhibition Of Georgian Afghan War Troops

State Department Concerned About “Unresolved Situation In Georgia”

Sweden: Opposition To NATO Membership Rises

U.S. Interceptor Missile Ship Docks In Greece For Six Days

====


USS Monterey


Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Giorgi Baramidze

====

Five Afghans In Critical Condition As Anti-NATO Protests Continue

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/19/anti-nato-protest-resumes-takhar-5-injured

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 19, 2011

Anti-NATO protest resumes in Takhar; 5 injured

TALOQAN (PAN): Five people were injured on a second day of a protest demonstration against foreign troops for what they said was the killing of four civilians in an airstrike in northern Takhar province, officials said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, more than a dozen people were killed and 85 others wounded when police opened fire at hundreds of protestors in Taloqan, the provincial capital, after a NATO airsrike killed four civilians, including two women, in the Gawmali area, three kilometers from Taloqan, on Tuesday night.

NATO said all four were insurgents, but locals insist they were civilians. The alliance said that two women and two men were killed in the night raid on the outskirts of Taloqan….

The head of the Taloqan civil hospital, Hafizullah Safi, said five wounded people from Thursday’s unrest had been brought to the hospital in critical condition.

He also said two injured people from Wednesday’s incident had been taken to Mazar-i-Sharif hospital in critical condition.

….

President Hamid Karzai condemned the raid, saying the Afghan government had repeatedly warned NATO “about such irresponsible operations”.

====

NATO Headquarters Opens Exhibition Of Georgian Afghan War Troops

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41560&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi2
May 17, 2011

Photos of Georgian soldiers exhibited in NATO headquarters

Eighty photographs of Georgian soldiers, who are serving in Afghanistan within the ISAF mission, have been exhibited in the NATO headquarters today.

Vice Premier and the State Minister of Georgia for European Integration, Giorgi Baramidze, and the NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero opened the exhibition in Brussels today. Mr. Bisogniero and the NATO ambassadors, who were also attending the presentation, hailed Georgia`s participation in the ***peace mission***.

The photographs will remain in the NATO headquarters for a week. The photographs depict how Georgian soldiers fulfill their mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in the hottest point in the world.

In November 2011, it will become two years since Georgian soldiers joined the international peacekeeping mission. Georgia is on the second position with the number of its soldiers serving within ISAF.

====

State Department Concerned About “Unresolved Situation In Georgia”

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23462

Civil Georgia
May 19, 2011

U.S. Official Says Russian Military Presence in Abkhazia, S.Ossetia is a Problem

Tbilisi: Russian military presence in Georgia’s breakaway region, about which Moscow is “not fully transparent, is a problem” and it can lead to just the sort of incident that occurred at the South Ossetian administrative border on May 18 in which two Georgian civilians were wounded, Philip Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said.

He told the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 18 that he would not focus on specifics of that incident as he had no detailed information about it.

“It is precisely this sort of incident that happened today [May 18] that underscores why we are concerned about the unresolved situation in Georgia,” he said.

Gordon said that having no international presence to monitor the situation in the breakaway regions was also a problem, because while knowing what is happening in “undisputed” part of Georgia through presence there of EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), the international community had “little idea” about developments in the breakaway regions.

Gordon said that “some progress” has been made in Geneva talks and cited meetings between the sides in frames of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism to address daily security needs on the ground.

He, however, said this “some progress” was not enough. “We really want to see Russia fully implement all of the points in the 2008 ceasefire and then start tackling broader and more fundamental point of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gordon said.

His remarks followed a question from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen who asked about the May 18 incident at the South Ossetian administrative border. Together with Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, Senator Shaheen co-sponsored a draft resolution in the U.S. Senate recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions “occupied by the Russian Federation”.

During his testimony Philip Gordon also said that U.S. efforts in respect of Georgia’s unresolved conflicts “have so far not been as fruitful as we might like. But we’ll continue to work on that.”

In written prepared remarks before the Senate subcommittee Gordon noted about the U.S. goal to cooperate with Russia “where we have common interests, but not at the expense of our principles or our friends.”

“As such, where we have concerns, such as on Russia’s human rights record, or on Georgia, we will continue to raise concerns with government and foster connections with civil society,” Gordon says.

====

Sweden: Opposition To NATO Membership Rises

http://www.thelocal.se/33862/20110519/

The Local
May 19, 2011

Support for Swedish NATO membership drops

Fewer Swedes support Swedish membership in NATO and roughly half are outright opposed to the idea, a new poll shows.

Every other Swede believes that Sweden should refrain from joining the NATO defence alliance.

In addition, 23 percent indicated they were positively inclined toward Swedish NATO membership, according to a poll conducted by the Sifo polling firm and published on Thursday in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

The results show that the number of Swedes in favour of NATO membership has dropped by 10 percent since a previous poll conducted in March 2009, while the number opposed to Sweden joining NATO remains at the same level.

The remainder of the respondents, 27 percent, are unsure or don’t know about their opinion on the issue.

While the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) has long championed the cause of Swedish NATO membership, the poll revealed that only 29 percent of the party’s voters are in favour of the idea, and 46 percent are opposed, SvD reports.

According to the poll Moderate Party and Sweden Democrat voters are the most positive to NATO membership, with 33 percent and 32 percent, respectively, saying they are in favour of Sweden joining the defence alliance.

However, the figure still represents a 10 percent drop in support for NATO membership among Moderate voters since the 2009 poll.

The number of voters opposed to NATO membership is larger than the number in favour across all political parties, with the Green Party registering the highest percentage of respondents opposed – 62 percent.

The result come from 1,000 telephone interviews conducted between May 4-10.

====

U.S. Interceptor Missile Ship Docks In Greece For Six Days

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Monterey-Visits-Piraeus

U.S. European Command
May 19, 2011

USS Monterey Visits Piraeus
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Viramontes, U.S. 6th Fleet Public, Affairs

PIRAEUS, Greece: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) anchored off the coast of Piraeus, for a scheduled port visit, May 13-18.

During the visit, Monterey’s crew provided tours of the ship to Daniel Bennett Smith, U.S. ambassador to Greece, and four members of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as Greek civilian and military officials.

….

Monterey is homeported out of Norfolk and is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Maxim Gorky on Romain Rolland, war and humanism

May 19, 2011 2 comments

====

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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

====

Maxim Gorky
From About Romain Rolland (1926)
Translated by Olga Shartse

There never was, I believe, an epoch when people in Europe lived in as tragic a state of helplessness, self-abnegation and lack of faith as they are living in now, blinded by the horrors of the slaughter of 1914-1918…

Can one find a period in the past when people worked so strenuously, with such absorption, on devising means of mutual extermination? And there was never an epoch so wretchedly poor in attempts to create an ideology of humanism, and of charity. In our days of dehumanization it is actually considered mauvais ton to speak of humanism. And if, from habit, it is anyway shouted: “Take pity on man,” it is shouted with hatred and a threat of vengeance.

*****

Sinister days. The hollow sounds of destruction are heard everywhere, and there is much spiteful sadness everywhere…

*****

People say that Romain Rolland is a Don Quixote. To my mind that’s the best thing that one can say about anybody. In the great game played by the forces of history with no compassion for us people, a man who craves fairness is also a force, and as such he is capable of opposing the spontaneity of this game.

*****

Romain Rolland was the first writer in Europe to raise his voice against the war. He was hated by many for it. No wonder – who can love a man for the truth?

In L’âme enchantée his heart tells him that soon another, kinder truth the world has long needed will be born. He feels that a new woman will be born to replace the one that is now helping to destroy this world – a woman who understands that she must stimulate culture and therefore she wants to enter the world proudly as its lawful mistress, the mother of men created by her and answerable to her for their acts.


Rolland and Gorky


Rolland and Gandhi


Rolland and Rabindranath Tagore

Romain Rolland
To Maxim Gorky (1917)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

At Geneva, in January, 1917, A. V. Lunacharski delivered a lecture on the life and works of Maxim Gorki. The following tribute to Gorki was read before the lecture.

About fifteen years ago, in Paris, Charles Péguy, myself, and a few others, used to meet in a little ground-floor shop in the rue de la Sorbonne. We had just founded the “Cahiers de la Quinzaine.” Our editorial office was poorly furnished, neat and clean; the walls were lined with books. A photograph was the only ornament. It showed Tolstoy and Gorki standing side by side in the garden at Yasnaya Polyana. How had Péguy got hold of it? I do not know, but he had had several reproductions made, and each of us had on his desk the picture of these two distant comrades. Under their eyes part of Jean Christophe was written.

One of the two men, the veteran apostle, has gone, on the eve of the European catastrophe whose coming he foretold and in which his voice has been so greatly needed. The other, Maxim Gorki, is at his post, and his free-spirited utterances help to console us for Tolstoy’s silence.

Gorki has not proved one of those who succumbed to the vertigo of events. Amid the distressing spectacle of the thousands of writers, artists, and thinkers who, within a few days, laid down their role as guides and defenders of the masses, to follow the maddened herds, to drive these herds yet more crazy by their own cries, to hasten the rush into the abyss, Maxim Gorki was one of the rare exceptions, one of those whose reason and whose love of humanity remained unshaken. He dared to speak on behalf of the persecuted, on behalf of the gagged and enslaved masses. This great artist, who shared for so long the life of the unfortunate, of the humble, of the victims, of the outcasts of society, has never denied his sometime companions. Having become famous, he turns back to them, throwing the powerful light of his art into the dark places where wretchedness and social injustice are hidden away. His generous soul has known suffering; he does not close his eyes to the sufferings of others.

Haud ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco…

Consequently, in these days of trial (trial which we greet, because it has taught us to take stock of ourselves, to estimate the true value of hearts and of thoughts), in these days when freedom of the spirit is everywhere oppressed, we must cry aloud our homage to Maxim Gorki. Across the battlefields, across the trenches, across a bleeding Europe, we stretch forth our hands to him. Henceforward, in face of the hatred which rages among the nations, we must affirm the union of New Europe. To the fighting “Holy Alliances” of the governments, we counterpose the brotherhood of the free spirits of the world!

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: May 19

May 19, 2011 1 comment

====

Libya: 7,262 NATO Sorties, 2,808 Combat Missions

NATO Chief Defends Two-Month-Long War Against Libya

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group En Route To Mediterranean

Endgame In Libya

Poll: 62% Of Russians Oppose “Aggression Against Sovereign Country”

====


USS George H.W. Bush

====

Libya: 7,262 NATO Sorties, 2,808 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110519_110519-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 19, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7262 sorties, including 2808 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 May: 159

Strike sorties conducted 18 May: 53

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

14 Vessels were hailed on 18 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.

A total of 968 vessels have been hailed, 43 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Chief Defends Two-Month-Long War Against Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1640171.php/NATO-chief-defends-Libyan-operations

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 19, 2011

NATO chief defends Libyan operations

Bratislava: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visiting Bratislava, on Thursday defended the alliance’s military operations in Libya….

‘NATO has assumed responsibility for the mission which is based on a clear UN mandate,’ he said during a joint press conference with Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic.

….

Rasmussen said the operations in Libya would continue as long as three goals were achieved in Libya.

….

Rasmussen praised Slovakia for its involvement in international missions, but also criticised the country for a defence budget which was too small.

His remarks came during a one-day visit to Slovakia, during which the NATO chief was scheduled to meet Premier Iveta Radicova, Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda and other top officials.

====

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group En Route To Mediterranean

http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/05/uss-george-h-w-bush-has-embarked-on-its-maiden-deployment/

Houston Chronicle
May 17, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush has embarked on its maiden deployment

The USS George H.W. Bush, the United States’ newest aircraft carrier, has embarked on its maiden deployment under the leadership of the first woman to ever command a carrier strike group.

As strike group commander, Rear Adm. Nora Tyson will be responsible for roughly 6,000 sailors aboard five ships as well as eight aircraft squadrons.

“The world is pretty unpredictable right now. And as we tell our sailors every day, we need to be prepared for any contingency. So it’s all about readiness,” she told reporters last week before Wednesday’s deployment. “If you watch the news every day it’s pretty unpredictable from one day to the next.”

It is the first deployment of the USS Bush and the USS Truxton.

“It’s a pretty historic cruise because it’s the first for those two ships but it’s also the year of our centennial of naval aviation, so that’s a milestone and it’s pretty special for us to be deploying this year specifically,” Tyson said.

The USS Bush is named in honor of the 41st president, who attended its commissioning in January 2009.

….

The strike group is led by the nuclear-powered USS George H.W. Bush, which is being tasked with supporting maritime security in Europe and the Middle East over the next six months, although it isn’t uncommon for cruises to be extended due to world events.

The carrier is the last ship of the 10-carrier Nimitz class and was commissioned in 2009. It has been training with the other four ships in the strike group for the past nine months in preparation for the deployment.

Other ships on the deployment include the Mayport, Fla.-based guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg and the Norfolk-based USS Anzio, as well as Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers USS Truxton and USS Mitscher.

– This post is based on reporting from the Associated Press.

====

Endgame In Libya

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=47857&Cat=9&dt=5/19/2011

News International
May 19, 2011

Endgame in Libya
Tayyab Siddiqui

The Arab Awakening so passionately projected by the Western media, together with euphoric forecasts of a dawn of democracy and the birth of a new Middle East, has to date failed to find any direction or destination, despite the lapse of four months. Chaos, confusion and uncertainty continue to prevail in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, which have gone through this tumultuous transition.

Libya is a case in itself. In the flush of excitement, the violent protests in eastern Libya in mid-February were seized upon by the West to get rid of Qaddafi. President Mubarak was forced by a popular uprising to step down on February 11 at the intervention of the Egyptian army but without external interference, after three weeks of massive demonstrations which resulted in the loss of 846 lives.

The uprising against Col Qaddafi erupted on February 17 and, within a week, France and Britain began to talk of “horrific crimes” by the Qaddafi forces against the rebels. The media reported 400 dead and 2,000 wounded by March 2. The Western powers decided that it was “time for Qaddafi to go.” French president Sarkozy extended recognition to the rebels’ National Council and the UK, Italy and France moved unilaterally to establish a no-fly zone in Libya in support of the rebels.

The UN was manipulated and the Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on February 27 imposing sanctions and authorising “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. Thus, in the name of a “humanitarian mission,” the Western powers began pounding Libyan air defences and Col Qaddafi’s command headquarters, leading to many civilian casualties. Russia, China, India and other countries that had abstained on the Security Council resolution protested against the indiscriminate bombing, stating that air strikes exceeded the mandate of the UN resolution. They asked for an immediate ceasefire.

The Arab League, which had earlier favoured the no-fly zone, endorsed the call: “What we want is the protection of civilians, and not bombardment of more civilians.” Despite growing international criticism, the air strikes, which are patently beyond the UN resolution, have continued unabated.

All this brings out the reality that behind the facade of a “humanitarian mission,” the Western powers’ real objectives are regime-change, division of Libya and control of its oil resources. The situation in Libya is, by any definition, a civil war situation. The Qaddafi government is engaged in putting down an armed insurrection. There are no lofty goals of democracy, human rights, or human freedom that the Western media credits the opposition with. Neither is there any evidence of “violence on a horrific scale” that President Obama mentioned in his speeches, invoking “US moral responsibility.”

In a grotesque distortion of facts, Obama held the high moral ground, declaring that “some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The US is different, and as president, I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” These words have a familiar ring and are reminiscent of Bush’s statement about WMDs in Iraq and the imperative need to destroy Saddam in the interest of global peace and security.

We all know how deception and deliberate lies were employed in aggression against Iraq. The present war against Col Qaddafi is also justified on vastly inflated claims of his barbaric and brutal action against the rebels. The mask of humanitarian mission has been blown over. The removal of Qaddafi is the official objective. “Qaddafi and his regime have completely lost legitimacy and will be held for their action,” declared the final statement of the London Conference on Libya on March 29.

Moreover, Nato’s military intervention has to date failed to halt the fighting or force Qaddafi’s forces into submission. The rejection by the West of the cease fire by Qaddafi on March 22 and of the peace plan by the African Union exposes the mala fide intentions of the West. The African Union rightly accused Western nations of undermining efforts to find a home-grown solution to the Libyan conflict, “specifically the timely implementation of the AU roadmap in a way that is fully consistent with and complementary to the UNSC resolution.”

It has been six weeks since Nato launched air strikes in Libya, and despite heavy bombardment and open support to the rebels, the coalition has failed to make any significant gain. The stalemate may continue much longer than anticipated and may bring more destruction.

From the beginning of the Libyan crisis, it has been obvious that Western intervention has been inspired and driven by a pathological hatred of Qaddafi. Now the scope has been further extended beyond regime-change. The target now is Qaddafi himself, as is evident from the attacks on his residence that killed his 29-year-old son Saif-al-Arab and three grandchildren. In 1986, US jets had attacked Tripoli and killed Qaddafi’s little daughter.

The conflict is likely to turn into a prolonged and bloody stalemate. There is no evidence that Qaddafi’s grip on the situation has been weakened. The situation in Libya never presented any threat to the national interests of the Nato powers or the US. It has been a naked demonstration of gunboat diplomacy, aimed at securing the oil resources of Libya.

The Western adventure in Libya has dangerous manifestations. It is unfortunate that the Arab World has quietly watched the aggression and allowed itself to become complicit. Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan’s assertion that the invasion of Libya is justified under the resolution of the 2005 UN General Assembly that acknowledges a “responsibility to protect population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic-cleansing and crimes against humanity,” is totally disingenuous. None of the above mentioned threats exist in the Libyan situation.

Pakistan’s official reaction calling for a “peaceful political solution to be evolved by the Libyan people themselves in the spirit of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation” represents the most appropriate solution.” Regrettably, however, none of the Muslim nations or organisations such as the OIC and the Arab League have taken the initiative seeking a negotiated political settlement. To their eternal shame, these nations have watched the events as indifferent bystanders, not realising that the Nato invasion constitutes a most dangerous precedent and invoking the “responsibility to protect” could pose serious threats to their integrity and sovereignty in the not-too-distant future. Syria may perhaps be the next victim.

One final thought for serious reflection: A North Korean statement held that Libya’s dismantling of its nuclear weapons programme made it vulnerable to Western military intervention. Libya was duped in 2003 when it abandoned its major weapons programme in exchange for promises of aid and lifting of sanctions. North Korea believes that the West’s offer was “an invasion tactic to disarm the country. The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson.” Is it not?

The writer is a former ambassador.

====

Poll: 62% Of Russians Oppose “Aggression Against Sovereign Country”

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=8&id=244798

Interfax
May 19, 2011

Russians critical of Gaddafi, opposition, coalition operation in Libya – poll

MOSCOW: Sixty-five percent of Russians are neutral in the Libyan conflict, Levada Center said in comment on a poll held in 45 Russian regions on April 15-18.

The indicator grew by 13% since March, the sociologists said.

The number of Russians supporting the Libyan opposition dropped from 23% in March to 17% in April.

Sixty-two percent of the respondents called wrong the UN Security Council resolution on Libya and said that “it was an act of aggression against a sovereign country.” Some 46% said they were indignant at NATO air strikes on Libyan military sites.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents denied to support to all the Libyan stabilization measures discussed in March. They said that foreign states must not interfere in Libyan internal affairs.

As for methods that may be used for overthrowing dictators and promoting democracy, 35% of the respondents said they favored “an economic blockade.” Eleven percent supported “the sending of troops”, and 8% chose “the bombing of military sites.”

Eighty percent of the respondents said that the coalition did not try to prevent civilian casualties in air strikes on military sites in Libya, and 8% voiced the opposite opinion.

Twenty percent said that NATO “seeks control over Libyan oil”, 11% said the coalition “wishes to broaden Western control over Middle East countries”, and 10% presumed the coalition “wishes to display its military might.”

The Libyan events worsened the attitude of the Russians to the United States and the European Union. Fifty-four percent said a month ago they liked the United States, and the indicator stood at 60% in January. The rating is 62% for the European Union (69% in January).

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 18, 2011

May 19, 2011 1 comment

====

Updates on Libyan war: May 18

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

====

Russian President: U.S. Missile Plans Can End START Pact

Russia To Boost Nuclear Strike Potential If NATO Missile Talks Fail

Message To NATO: Russia Unveils Plans For Invincible ICBM

Anti-NATO Protest: 11 Afghans Killed, 85 Wounded; German Soldiers Injured

Afghan Provincal Capital: 2,000 In Anti-NATO Demonstration

Police Kill Ten Afghans In Protest Outside NATO Base

Kazakhstan: NATO Recruits First SCO State Troops For Afghan War

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czechs Join NATO AWACS System

United Arab Emirates First Arab State To Open NATO Embassy

NATO Military Committee Chief, Georgian Vice Prime Minister Meet On Afghan War, Other Missions

Delegation From NATO Headquarters Visits Belarus

====


NATO military officials at the Partnership for Peace Training Center in Kazakhstan


Standard Missile-3 launch


NATO-United Arab Emirates Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative conference in 2009

====

Russian President: U.S. Missile Plans Can End START Pact

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=5&id=244488

Interfax
May 18, 2011

START-3 could be terminated if U.S. presses ahead with European missile shield – Medvedev

SKOLKOVO: Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the new strategic arms reduction treaty in case the United States continues pressing ahead with deploying a missile shield in Europe, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

“The new START treaty has a direct reservation that further development of missile defense would be tantamount to breaking strategic parity, and it may be suspended and even terminated,” Medvedev said at a press conference on Wednesday.

—————————————————————————

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20110518145345.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
May 18, 2011

Medvedev warns of counter measures vs. European anti-missile plans

Moscow: Russia will have to take counter measures, if it fails to work out with the U.S. a cooperation model on the European anti-missile defense program, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said during today’s press conference in Skolkovo. “This would be a bad scenario that would throw us back to Cold War times.”

In this case, Russia would have to speed up the development of its nuclear arms potential. Russia could also suspend the new strategic arms limitation treaty with the U.S., if the European anti-missile system is further developed,” he added.

The European anti-missile system ultimately curtails Russia’s potential because the countries against which the system is allegedly designed do not have a potential comparable to that of Russia, Medvedev said.

====

Russia To Boost Nuclear Strike Potential If NATO Missile Talks Fail

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110518/164091414.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 18, 2011

Russia to enhance strike potential if missile cooperation with NATO fails

-“It is clear that the missile defense shield is directed at blocking the strategic capabilities of certain states,” Medvedev said. “I understand that other states mentioned do not have Russia’s [nuclear] potential and are unlikely to receive them in the coming years…So, it is directed against us.”

Moscow: Russia will boost its strike nuclear capabilities if NATO refuses to cooperate with Moscow in the European missile defense project, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

The United States refused to comply with a Russian request that it provide legally binding guarantees that its European missile defense system will not be directed at Russia.

“I hope we will be able to forge a missile defense cooperation model,” Medvedev told around 800 journalists at a news conference at the Skolkovo School of Management near Moscow. “If we don’t, we will have to take retaliatory measures, which we do not want to have to do. This will mean forcing the development of our strike nuclear potential.”

“This would be a very bad scenario, which would take us back to the Cold War era,” the president added.

Medvedev reiterated a warning issued by the Foreign Ministry that Moscow may pull out of the New START disarmament agreement, which entered into force this year, in response to the United State’s position on the shield.

“It is clear that the missile defense shield is directed at blocking the strategic capabilities of certain states,” Medvedev said. “I understand that other states mentioned do not have Russia’s [nuclear] potential and are unlikely to receive them in the coming years…So, it is directed against us.”

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

====

Message To NATO: Russia Unveils Plans For Invincible ICBM

http://rt.com/politics/nato-russia-missile-defense-europe/

RT
May 17, 2011

Russia unveils plans for “invincible” ICBM
Robert Bridge

In a thinly-disguised message to NATO, which remains uncommitted to the idea of co-operating with Russia in a European missile defense system, the commander of Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (RSVN) said its ICBMs will soon be “invincible”.

According to the commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces (RSVN), Lt. Gen. Sergey Karakayev, Russia’s RS-24 new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) will be capable of defeating any possible missile defense system within the next 15-20 years.

Speaking before journalists in Moscow, Karakayev said: “Speaking about combat effectiveness, it is necessary to note the new missiles’ ability to be invulnerable before launch thanks to their mobility, as well as their ability to tackle the task of defeating any possible missile defense system within the next 15-20 years, should such a need arise.”

Karakayev revealed that some missile complexes are already equipped with the RS-24 missiles.

“The first missile regiment, comprised of two batteries armed with Yars advanced land-based mobile missile systems, equipped with RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads, entered duty
at the Teikovo missile division, based in Ivanov region, on March 4,” the commander told a press conference at Interfax. “This is a weapon that has accumulated the best qualities of the Topol-M missile and has acquired new combat possibilities.”

The missile has characteristics that make it possible to speak about the invulnerability of (these weapons) at all of the sections of their flight course, he added.

Although the Russian commander did not directly mention US plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Moscow has said many times in the past that any missile defense system on its borders will necessarily be perceived as a potential national security threat.

At the NATO-Russia Summit in November, which saw the attendance of President Dmitry Medvedev, it appeared that the ground was set for a real co-operation between Moscow and NATO, the 28-nation military bloc that served as a balancing act against the Warsaw Pact countries during the height of the Cold War.

Medvedev stressed in no uncertain terms that Russia would be forced to defend itself if NATO went ahead and developed the system unilaterally.

If Moscow does not take part in the project, “we will have to defend ourselves,” he warned. The dialog on this issue will continue, but the results should be “clear” to Russia, he added.

Increasingly, and with tremendous possible repercussions for the much-hyped US-Russian reset, NATO seems reluctant to bring the Russians on board the system.

Meanwhile, as talks on missile defense sputter, NATO is attempting to “do its job without sharing know-how and its political and legal guarantees with Russia,” Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Monday.

Arguing that NATO is hoping the present standoff over missile defense in Europe will pass, Rogozin said there is no chance of this happening

“No, it won’t pass,” he said. “We will get what we want with Russia’s interests taken into account, one way or another.”

Meanwhile, Rogozin believes that Russia’s NATO partners will come around to the idea of creating a single European missile defense system with Russia’s direct participation.

Mutual participation in the ambitious project will not only enhance the level of our common security, he stressed, but create a unique co-operation potential.

However, in the unfortunate event that a shared missile defense system does not come to fruition, the NATO ambassador said “Russia will be forced to foot the expense of providing a military-technical answer.”

President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama are expected to continue their dialogue on missile defense, among other issues, in Deauville, France, where a G8 summit is scheduled for late May.

Preparations for the summit are continuing along diplomatic and military channels, Rogozin said, while mentioning that Russia is prepared to be patient on this extremely critical issue.

“We are in no hurry,” he said.

Although Russia has declared its willingness to show patience with NATO on the question of a joint missile defense system, it is clear that Russia’s missile designers will not wait for the last minute to develop their technologies.

====

Anti-NATO Protest: 11 Afghans Killed, 85 Wounded; German Soldiers Injured

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/18/11-dead-85-injured-protest-takhar

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 18, 2011

11 dead, 85 injured at protest in Takhar
by Waheedullah

TALOQAN: Nearly a dozen people were killed and 85 others wounded when a protest demonstration over the deaths of four people in a NATO raid turned violent in the northern Takhar province on Wednesday, officials said.

Police opened fire at hundreds of people protesting against the killing of four people, including two women, in the Gawmali area, three kilometers from Taloqan, the provincial capital.

NATO-led ISAF in a statement earlier said that a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed four insurgents, including two armed females, in Taloqan.

….

But protestors said those killed in the operation were civilians. About 200 people took part in the demonstration. Some angry protestors attacked the governor’s office, and the Germany Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

A doctor at the Taloqan civil hospital, Mohammad Hassan Bassejj, said there had been delivered 10 dead bodies and more than 50 injured at the hospital. Some of the wounded were in critical condition, he said.

However, he said the hospital lacked sufficient beds to accommodate the injured. He said some injured people were transferred to private clinics.

The protest turned violent after demonstrators clashed with police and tried to attack governmental office.

Security forces were trying to control the situation.

Ahmadullah, a protester, said that they were heading toward a NATO base to register their complaint against the deaths of four people when they were shot at. He said some protestors then threw hand grenades toward the base. Most of protestors were equipped with sticks and axes.

The main road leading to Taloqan city remained blocked for several hours. The Afghan National Army was called in to bring the situation under control, officials said.

….

Governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa said that foreign troops had been asked to provide evidence that the dead people had links with insurgents.

It was not immediately clear whether the casualties were victims of police bullets or from another source.

Two German soldiers were also injured in the disturbances, the country’s contingent in Afghanistan said, but did not give details.

====

Afghan Provincal Capital: 2,000 In Anti-NATO Demonstration

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1877773.html

Trend News Agency
May 18, 2011

Afghans protest against alleged killing of civilians by NATO

Some 2,000 Afghans in Taluqan city of Takhar province went to the street Wednesday to protest the alleged killing of four civilians by NATO-led troops, Xinhua reported.

About 2,000 people staged a protest demonstration in Takhar’s provincial capital, Taluqan city, 245 km north of the capital city of Kabul Wednesday morning alleging that NATO-led troops killed four civilians including two women during a raid outside Taluqan city.

Chanting anti-government and anti-NATO slogans, the protesters also brought the dead bodies to the Governor House, calling on the government to punish those responsible for the killing of non-combatant citizens.

The protestors said that the troops had arrested two more civilians during the raid carried out on Golami village outside Taluqan city late Tuesday night.

Provincial governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa told Xinhua that he had confirmed the identity of three of those killed in the raid including two women. “An investigation is underway to find the fact behind the operation,” Taqwa told Xinhua.

The protestors hurled stones at police and policemen have begun aerial firing.

A protestor, who declined to give his name, said that several persons have injured due to firing by the police.
….

====

Police Kill Ten Afghans In Protest Outside NATO Base

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/18/50468156.html

Voice of Russia
May 18, 2011

Ten Afghans die in attack on NATO base

Police opened fire on participants in a spontaneous demonstration when they tried to take by storm a NATO base in the town of Talukan, in the north of Afghanistan. 10 people were killed, while 50 others wounded.

The unrest was sparked by last night’s NATO force special operation, with four civilians killed as a result. But the NATO military claims that all four were insurgents who put up armed resistance. But in the past, Afghan civilians repeatedly died because of NATO friendly fire.

The Afghan President’s cousin was killed in this kind of operation in March this year.

====

Kazakhstan: NATO Recruits First SCO State Troops For Afghan War

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=221170

Reuters
May 18, 2011

Kazakhs to join NATO-led troops in Afghanistan

ASTANA: …Kazakhstan will become the first nation of ex-Soviet Central Asia to send a military contingent to join NATO-led ISAF troops fighting in Afghanistan, Kazakh parliamentarians decided on Wednesday.

An unspecified number of Kazakh soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan on six-month missions with the International Security Assistance Force, in line with a bill passed by the lower house of parliament. The document did not say when the first Kazakh contingent would be going.

The vast nation, five times the size of France, has provided air and ground corridors for the delivery of supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan.

====

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czechs Join NATO AWACS System

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/05/18/czechs-definitively-join-natos-awacs-airborne-warning-system

Czech News Agency
May 18, 2011

Czechs join NATO’s AWACS System

-Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.
-“[T]his has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Geilenkirchen, Germany/Prague: The Czech Republic definitively joined NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) with the hoisting of the Czech flag at the headquarters of the special Boeing E-3 AWACS fleet at the air base in Geilenkirchen Tuesday.

This ceremony has symbolically concluded the accession process and the Czech Republic has become the 18th full member of the AWACS system, known also as NAEW&C (NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control system).

The E-3 A aircraft with the characteristic rotating radardome to detect aircraft guard also the Czech airspace thanks to the country’s entry in the system.

The Czech government decided on joining NAEW&C in December 2009. The accession negotiations were completed in December 2010. On January 18, the Czech Republic officially joined the charter of NAPMO, NATO’s Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Organization.

Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.

Czech chief-of-staff Vladimir Picek said he was proud that the Czech military already had four soldiers actively participating in the programme.

Pilot Milan Vojacek and his navigator Jindrich Snehota joined the E-3 A fleet and two other Czech troops have been trained. In summer, a further four Czech soldiers are to operate in the fleet.

“We have been fully involved in the actions of the multinational team at the (Geilenkirchen) base from the very first day,” Mayor Vojacek said.

Vojacek said this has been an enormous experience “because this has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Vojacek said one of the most difficult tasks was refuelling of the E-3 plane during the flight over Afghan mountains.

He said he believes the experience of Czechs who would fly AWACS aircraft would definitely be a big contribution to the Czech military.

The Czech Republic will pay 170 million crowns for the modernisation of the NATO airborne early warning system by 2013 and it will annually pay about 90 million for the functioning of the system.

….

Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said previously he expects the NAEW&C to enhance Czech participation in the development of NATO’s defence capability.

====

United Arab Emirates First Arab State To Open NATO Embassy

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidANA20110518T130959ZMHL94

Agence France-Presse
May 18, 2011

UAE to be first Arab country with NATO embassy: Poland

WARSAW: The United Arab Emirates is to make a landmark move, becoming the first Arab country to send an ambassador to NATO, Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Wednesday.

“We’re very happy that the United Arab Emirates is to become the first Arab country to open an embassy at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,” Sikorski told reporters after talks with his visiting UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Accrediting an ambassador to NATO is a key step for countries seeking to cement ties with the 28-nation, trans-Atlantic alliance.

The UAE already belongs to NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, launched at an alliance summit in the Turkish city in 2004, which aims to bolster bilateral security cooperation with countries in the Middle East.

The UAE and Gulf neighbour Qatar are unusual in the Arab world in that they are both taking part in the NATO-led military campaign against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in Libya.

====

NATO Military Committee Chief, Georgian Vice PM Meet On Afghan War, Other Missions

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-E7E6B20B-C9CEFEA9/natolive/news_74423.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
May 17, 2011

Chairman of NATO Military Committee meets Georgian Vice-Prime Minister
NATO HQ

Brussels: The Georgian Vice-Prime Minister, Mr Giorgi Baramidze, met today with the Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC), Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, on the occasion of the exhibition held at NATO Headquarters on the subject of Georgian participation to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Alliance’s mission in Afghanistan.

Progresss and the way ahead for the mission were among the main topics of discussion between Mr Baramidze and Admiral Di Paola, where CMC took the opportunity to praise Georgia for the great contribution provided.

Georgia is not only actively contributing to the ISAF mission, but also supporting Operation Active Endeavour, NATO’s…operation in the Mediterranean Sea.

NATO and Georgia pursue an active political dialogue and practical cooperation, including through the unique framework provided by the NATO-Georgia Commission, in order to assist Georgia in achieving its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

====

Delegation From NATO Headquarters Visits Belarus

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/24621/?SID=003234f0b102be60d1d711f2533bc10d

Defence Professionals
May 18, 2011

Consultations with Representatives of NATO Headquarters held in Belarus

On 16-18 May 2011, a delegation of the NATO headquarters is visiting Belarus. The visit is being paid within the framework of Belarusian participation in the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP) and under the Individual Partnership for Peace Programme of Belarus and NATO for 2010 – 2011.

The aim of the visit is to discuss the draft of the PARP Review Document and to hold consultations on the issues of implementing the Partnership Aims.

The delegation of the NATO headquarters, headed by Frank Boland, Director of the Force Planning Department, NATO Defence Policy and Planning Directorate, the military attaches of NATO member states such as Germany, Lithuania, Poland, France accredited to the Belarusian Defence Ministry and representatives of the Belarusian Defence Ministry will discuss the draft of the Review Document of PARP-2011, as well as the results and plans of our country’s implementation of the Partnership Aims in 2010.

The Belarusian delegation in the consultations is headed by Maj. Gen. Alexander Anisimov, State Secretary, Aide to Minister of Defence on Military Policy.

====

====

Russian President: U.S. Missile Plans Can End START Pact

Russia To Boost Nuclear Strike Potential If NATO Missile Talks Fail

Message To NATO: Russia Unveils Plans For Invincible ICBM

Anti-NATO Protest: 11 Afghans Killed, 85 Wounded; German Soldiers Injured

Afghan Provincal Capital: 2,000 In Anti-NATO Demonstration

Police Kill Ten Afghans In Protest Outside NATO Base

Kazakhstan: NATO Recruits First SCO State Troops For Afghan War

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czechs Join NATO AWACS System

United Arab Emirates First Arab State To Open NATO Embassy

NATO Military Committee Chief, Georgian Vice Prime Minister Meet On Afghan War, Other Missions

Delegation From NATO Headquarters Visits Belarus

====


NATO military officials at the Partnership for Peace Training Center in Kazakhstan


Standard Missile-3 launch


NATO-United Arab Emirates Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative conference in 2009

====

Russian President: U.S. Missile Plans Can End START Pact

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=5&id=244488

Interfax
May 18, 2011

START-3 could be terminated if U.S. presses ahead with European missile shield – Medvedev

SKOLKOVO: Russia reserves the right to withdraw from the new strategic arms reduction treaty in case the United States continues pressing ahead with deploying a missile shield in Europe, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

“The new START treaty has a direct reservation that further development of missile defense would be tantamount to breaking strategic parity, and it may be suspended and even terminated,” Medvedev said at a press conference on Wednesday.

—————————————————————————

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20110518145345.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
May 18, 2011

Medvedev warns of counter measures vs. European anti-missile plans

Moscow: Russia will have to take counter measures, if it fails to work out with the U.S. a cooperation model on the European anti-missile defense program, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said during today’s press conference in Skolkovo. “This would be a bad scenario that would throw us back to Cold War times.”

In this case, Russia would have to speed up the development of its nuclear arms potential. Russia could also suspend the new strategic arms limitation treaty with the U.S., if the European anti-missile system is further developed,” he added.

The European anti-missile system ultimately curtails Russia’s potential because the countries against which the system is allegedly designed do not have a potential comparable to that of Russia, Medvedev said.

====

Russia To Boost Nuclear Strike Potential If NATO Missile Talks Fail

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110518/164091414.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 18, 2011

Russia to enhance strike potential if missile cooperation with NATO fails

-“It is clear that the missile defense shield is directed at blocking the strategic capabilities of certain states,” Medvedev said. “I understand that other states mentioned do not have Russia’s [nuclear] potential and are unlikely to receive them in the coming years…So, it is directed against us.”

Moscow: Russia will boost its strike nuclear capabilities if NATO refuses to cooperate with Moscow in the European missile defense project, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

The United States refused to comply with a Russian request that it provide legally binding guarantees that its European missile defense system will not be directed at Russia.

“I hope we will be able to forge a missile defense cooperation model,” Medvedev told around 800 journalists at a news conference at the Skolkovo School of Management near Moscow. “If we don’t, we will have to take retaliatory measures, which we do not want to have to do. This will mean forcing the development of our strike nuclear potential.”

“This would be a very bad scenario, which would take us back to the Cold War era,” the president added.

Medvedev reiterated a warning issued by the Foreign Ministry that Moscow may pull out of the New START disarmament agreement, which entered into force this year, in response to the United State’s position on the shield.

“It is clear that the missile defense shield is directed at blocking the strategic capabilities of certain states,” Medvedev said. “I understand that other states mentioned do not have Russia’s [nuclear] potential and are unlikely to receive them in the coming years…So, it is directed against us.”

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

====

Message To NATO: Russia Unveils Plans For Invincible ICBM

http://rt.com/politics/nato-russia-missile-defense-europe/

RT
May 17, 2011

Russia unveils plans for “invincible” ICBM
Robert Bridge

In a thinly-disguised message to NATO, which remains uncommitted to the idea of co-operating with Russia in a European missile defense system, the commander of Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (RSVN) said its ICBMs will soon be “invincible”.

According to the commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces (RSVN), Lt. Gen. Sergey Karakayev, Russia’s RS-24 new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) will be capable of defeating any possible missile defense system within the next 15-20 years.

Speaking before journalists in Moscow, Karakayev said: “Speaking about combat effectiveness, it is necessary to note the new missiles’ ability to be invulnerable before launch thanks to their mobility, as well as their ability to tackle the task of defeating any possible missile defense system within the next 15-20 years, should such a need arise.”

Karakayev revealed that some missile complexes are already equipped with the RS-24 missiles.

“The first missile regiment, comprised of two batteries armed with Yars advanced land-based mobile missile systems, equipped with RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads, entered duty
at the Teikovo missile division, based in Ivanov region, on March 4,” the commander told a press conference at Interfax. “This is a weapon that has accumulated the best qualities of the Topol-M missile and has acquired new combat possibilities.”

The missile has characteristics that make it possible to speak about the invulnerability of (these weapons) at all of the sections of their flight course, he added.

Although the Russian commander did not directly mention US plans to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Moscow has said many times in the past that any missile defense system on its borders will necessarily be perceived as a potential national security threat.

At the NATO-Russia Summit in November, which saw the attendance of President Dmitry Medvedev, it appeared that the ground was set for a real co-operation between Moscow and NATO, the 28-nation military bloc that served as a balancing act against the Warsaw Pact countries during the height of the Cold War.

Medvedev stressed in no uncertain terms that Russia would be forced to defend itself if NATO went ahead and developed the system unilaterally.

If Moscow does not take part in the project, “we will have to defend ourselves,” he warned. The dialog on this issue will continue, but the results should be “clear” to Russia, he added.

Increasingly, and with tremendous possible repercussions for the much-hyped US-Russian reset, NATO seems reluctant to bring the Russians on board the system.

Meanwhile, as talks on missile defense sputter, NATO is attempting to “do its job without sharing know-how and its political and legal guarantees with Russia,” Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Monday.

Arguing that NATO is hoping the present standoff over missile defense in Europe will pass, Rogozin said there is no chance of this happening

“No, it won’t pass,” he said. “We will get what we want with Russia’s interests taken into account, one way or another.”

Meanwhile, Rogozin believes that Russia’s NATO partners will come around to the idea of creating a single European missile defense system with Russia’s direct participation.

Mutual participation in the ambitious project will not only enhance the level of our common security, he stressed, but create a unique co-operation potential.

However, in the unfortunate event that a shared missile defense system does not come to fruition, the NATO ambassador said “Russia will be forced to foot the expense of providing a military-technical answer.”

President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama are expected to continue their dialogue on missile defense, among other issues, in Deauville, France, where a G8 summit is scheduled for late May.

Preparations for the summit are continuing along diplomatic and military channels, Rogozin said, while mentioning that Russia is prepared to be patient on this extremely critical issue.

“We are in no hurry,” he said.

Although Russia has declared its willingness to show patience with NATO on the question of a joint missile defense system, it is clear that Russia’s missile designers will not wait for the last minute to develop their technologies.

====

Anti-NATO Protest: 11 Afghans Killed, 85 Wounded; German Soldiers Injured

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/18/11-dead-85-injured-protest-takhar

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 18, 2011

11 dead, 85 injured at protest in Takhar
by Waheedullah

TALOQAN: Nearly a dozen people were killed and 85 others wounded when a protest demonstration over the deaths of four people in a NATO raid turned violent in the northern Takhar province on Wednesday, officials said.

Police opened fire at hundreds of people protesting against the killing of four people, including two women, in the Gawmali area, three kilometers from Taloqan, the provincial capital.

NATO-led ISAF in a statement earlier said that a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed four insurgents, including two armed females, in Taloqan.

….

But protestors said those killed in the operation were civilians. About 200 people took part in the demonstration. Some angry protestors attacked the governor’s office, and the Germany Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

A doctor at the Taloqan civil hospital, Mohammad Hassan Bassejj, said there had been delivered 10 dead bodies and more than 50 injured at the hospital. Some of the wounded were in critical condition, he said.

However, he said the hospital lacked sufficient beds to accommodate the injured. He said some injured people were transferred to private clinics.

The protest turned violent after demonstrators clashed with police and tried to attack governmental office.

Security forces were trying to control the situation.

Ahmadullah, a protester, said that they were heading toward a NATO base to register their complaint against the deaths of four people when they were shot at. He said some protestors then threw hand grenades toward the base. Most of protestors were equipped with sticks and axes.

The main road leading to Taloqan city remained blocked for several hours. The Afghan National Army was called in to bring the situation under control, officials said.

….

Governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa said that foreign troops had been asked to provide evidence that the dead people had links with insurgents.

It was not immediately clear whether the casualties were victims of police bullets or from another source.

Two German soldiers were also injured in the disturbances, the country’s contingent in Afghanistan said, but did not give details.

====

Afghan Provincal Capital: 2,000 In Anti-NATO Demonstration

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1877773.html

Trend News Agency
May 18, 2011

Afghans protest against alleged killing of civilians by NATO

Some 2,000 Afghans in Taluqan city of Takhar province went to the street Wednesday to protest the alleged killing of four civilians by NATO-led troops, Xinhua reported.

About 2,000 people staged a protest demonstration in Takhar’s provincial capital, Taluqan city, 245 km north of the capital city of Kabul Wednesday morning alleging that NATO-led troops killed four civilians including two women during a raid outside Taluqan city.

Chanting anti-government and anti-NATO slogans, the protesters also brought the dead bodies to the Governor House, calling on the government to punish those responsible for the killing of non-combatant citizens.

The protestors said that the troops had arrested two more civilians during the raid carried out on Golami village outside Taluqan city late Tuesday night.

Provincial governor Abdul Jabbar Taqwa told Xinhua that he had confirmed the identity of three of those killed in the raid including two women. “An investigation is underway to find the fact behind the operation,” Taqwa told Xinhua.

The protestors hurled stones at police and policemen have begun aerial firing.

A protestor, who declined to give his name, said that several persons have injured due to firing by the police.
….

====

Police Kill Ten Afghans In Protest Outside NATO Base

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/18/50468156.html

Voice of Russia
May 18, 2011

Ten Afghans die in attack on NATO base

Police opened fire on participants in a spontaneous demonstration when they tried to take by storm a NATO base in the town of Talukan, in the north of Afghanistan. 10 people were killed, while 50 others wounded.

The unrest was sparked by last night’s NATO force special operation, with four civilians killed as a result. But the NATO military claims that all four were insurgents who put up armed resistance. But in the past, Afghan civilians repeatedly died because of NATO friendly fire.

The Afghan President’s cousin was killed in this kind of operation in March this year.

====

Kazakhstan: NATO Recruits First SCO State Troops For Afghan War

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=221170

Reuters
May 18, 2011

Kazakhs to join NATO-led troops in Afghanistan

ASTANA: …Kazakhstan will become the first nation of ex-Soviet Central Asia to send a military contingent to join NATO-led ISAF troops fighting in Afghanistan, Kazakh parliamentarians decided on Wednesday.

An unspecified number of Kazakh soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan on six-month missions with the International Security Assistance Force, in line with a bill passed by the lower house of parliament. The document did not say when the first Kazakh contingent would be going.

The vast nation, five times the size of France, has provided air and ground corridors for the delivery of supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan.

====

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czechs Join NATO AWACS System

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/05/18/czechs-definitively-join-natos-awacs-airborne-warning-system

Czech News Agency
May 18, 2011

Czechs join NATO’s AWACS System

-Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.
-“[T]his has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Geilenkirchen, Germany/Prague: The Czech Republic definitively joined NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) with the hoisting of the Czech flag at the headquarters of the special Boeing E-3 AWACS fleet at the air base in Geilenkirchen Tuesday.

This ceremony has symbolically concluded the accession process and the Czech Republic has become the 18th full member of the AWACS system, known also as NAEW&C (NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control system).

The E-3 A aircraft with the characteristic rotating radardome to detect aircraft guard also the Czech airspace thanks to the country’s entry in the system.

The Czech government decided on joining NAEW&C in December 2009. The accession negotiations were completed in December 2010. On January 18, the Czech Republic officially joined the charter of NAPMO, NATO’s Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Organization.

Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.

Czech chief-of-staff Vladimir Picek said he was proud that the Czech military already had four soldiers actively participating in the programme.

Pilot Milan Vojacek and his navigator Jindrich Snehota joined the E-3 A fleet and two other Czech troops have been trained. In summer, a further four Czech soldiers are to operate in the fleet.

“We have been fully involved in the actions of the multinational team at the (Geilenkirchen) base from the very first day,” Mayor Vojacek said.

Vojacek said this has been an enormous experience “because this has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Vojacek said one of the most difficult tasks was refuelling of the E-3 plane during the flight over Afghan mountains.

He said he believes the experience of Czechs who would fly AWACS aircraft would definitely be a big contribution to the Czech military.

The Czech Republic will pay 170 million crowns for the modernisation of the NATO airborne early warning system by 2013 and it will annually pay about 90 million for the functioning of the system.

….

Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said previously he expects the NAEW&C to enhance Czech participation in the development of NATO’s defence capability.

====

United Arab Emirates First Arab State To Open NATO Embassy

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidANA20110518T130959ZMHL94

Agence France-Presse
May 18, 2011

UAE to be first Arab country with NATO embassy: Poland

WARSAW: The United Arab Emirates is to make a landmark move, becoming the first Arab country to send an ambassador to NATO, Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Wednesday.

“We’re very happy that the United Arab Emirates is to become the first Arab country to open an embassy at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,” Sikorski told reporters after talks with his visiting UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Accrediting an ambassador to NATO is a key step for countries seeking to cement ties with the 28-nation, trans-Atlantic alliance.

The UAE already belongs to NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, launched at an alliance summit in the Turkish city in 2004, which aims to bolster bilateral security cooperation with countries in the Middle East.

The UAE and Gulf neighbour Qatar are unusual in the Arab world in that they are both taking part in the NATO-led military campaign against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime in Libya.

====

NATO Military Committee Chief, Georgian Vice PM Meet On Afghan War, Other Missions

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-E7E6B20B-C9CEFEA9/natolive/news_74423.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
May 17, 2011

Chairman of NATO Military Committee meets Georgian Vice-Prime Minister
NATO HQ

Brussels: The Georgian Vice-Prime Minister, Mr Giorgi Baramidze, met today with the Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC), Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, on the occasion of the exhibition held at NATO Headquarters on the subject of Georgian participation to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Alliance’s mission in Afghanistan.

Progresss and the way ahead for the mission were among the main topics of discussion between Mr Baramidze and Admiral Di Paola, where CMC took the opportunity to praise Georgia for the great contribution provided.

Georgia is not only actively contributing to the ISAF mission, but also supporting Operation Active Endeavour, NATO’s…operation in the Mediterranean Sea.

NATO and Georgia pursue an active political dialogue and practical cooperation, including through the unique framework provided by the NATO-Georgia Commission, in order to assist Georgia in achieving its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

====

Delegation From NATO Headquarters Visits Belarus

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/24621/?SID=003234f0b102be60d1d711f2533bc10d

Defence Professionals
May 18, 2011

Consultations with Representatives of NATO Headquarters held in Belarus

On 16-18 May 2011, a delegation of the NATO headquarters is visiting Belarus. The visit is being paid within the framework of Belarusian participation in the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP) and under the Individual Partnership for Peace Programme of Belarus and NATO for 2010 – 2011.

The aim of the visit is to discuss the draft of the PARP Review Document and to hold consultations on the issues of implementing the Partnership Aims.

The delegation of the NATO headquarters, headed by Frank Boland, Director of the Force Planning Department, NATO Defence Policy and Planning Directorate, the military attaches of NATO member states such as Germany, Lithuania, Poland, France accredited to the Belarusian Defence Ministry and representatives of the Belarusian Defence Ministry will discuss the draft of the Review Document of PARP-2011, as well as the results and plans of our country’s implementation of the Partnership Aims in 2010.

The Belarusian delegation in the consultations is headed by Maj. Gen. Alexander Anisimov, State Secretary, Aide to Minister of Defence on Military Policy.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Kurt Tucholsky: The White Spots

====

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

***

Kurt Tucholsky: The Trench

Kurt Tucholsky: Murder in disguise

====

Kurt Tucholsky
The White Spots (1919)
Translated by Harry Zohn

In the Dorotheenstrasse in Berlin stands a building that was formerly the Military Academy. At a man’s height there is a granite border that runs around the house, slab after slab.

These slabs look peculiar: they have white spots; the brown granite is light in many places – what can it be?

White spots, is that what they are? They ought to be reddish ones. This is where the German casualty lists were posted in the “great” years.

This is where those terrible sheets of paper were posted, new ones almost every day, with names, names, names…I own a copy of Number One of these documents; on it the outfits are still carefully noted, there are few dead on this first list; Number One was very brief. I don’t know how many more appeared after it – but there were well over a thousand. Name after name – and each time it meant that a human life had been snuffed out or that a human being was “missing,” crossed out for the time being, or wounded, or maimed.

That’s where they were posted, where these whites spots are now. Hundreds of silent people crowded around them, people who had their dearest ones out there and who were trembling that they might read one name among all the thousands. What did they care about all the Müllers and Schulzes and Lehmanns who appeared on these lists! Let thousands upon thousands perish – as long a he wasn’t among them. And it was on this mentality that the war battened. And it was because of this mentality that it could go on like this for four long years. Had we all risen – all as one man – who knows how long it would have lasted.

People have said that I don’t know the way a German can die; I know it well enough. But I also know how a German woman can weep – and I know how she weeps today, now that she slowly, excruciatingly slowly, realizes what her man has died for. What he has died for….

Am I rubbing salt on wounds? I should like to burn the celestial fire into wounds. I should like to cry out to the mourners: He died for nothing, for a madness, for nothing, nothing, nothing!

In the course of the years the white spots will gradually be washed away by the rain and disappear. But those other spots cannot be effaced. There are traces engraved on hearts that will not go away. And each time I pass the Military Academy, with its brown granite and white spots, I silently say to myself: Promise it to yourself. Make a vow. Be active. Work. Tell the people. Liberate them from national madness, you, with your small power. You owe it to the dead. The white spots cry out. Do you hear them? They cry: No more wars!

Die Flecke

In der Dorotheenstraße zu Berlin steht das Gebäude der ehemaligen Kriegsakademie. Unten, in guter Mannshöhe, läuft eine Granitlage um das Haus herum, Platte an Platte.

Diese Platten sehen seltsam aus; sie sind weißlich gefleckt, der braune Granit ist hell an vielen Stellen…was mag das sein?

Ist er weißlich gefleckt? Aber er sollte rötlich gefleckt sein. Hier hingen, während der großen Zeit, die deutschen Verlustlisten.

Hier hingen, fast alle Tage gewechselt, die schrecklichen Zettel, die endlosen Listen mit Namen, Namen, Namen…Ich besitze die Nr. 1 dieser Dokumente: da sind noch sorgfältig die Truppenteile angegeben, wenig Tote stehen auf der ersten Liste, sie waren sehr kurz, diese Nr. 1. Ich weiß nicht, wie viele dann erschienen sind – aber sie gingen hoch hinauf, bis über die Nummer tausend. Namen an Namen – und jedesmal hieß das, dass ein Menschenleben ausgelöscht war oder ›vermißt‹, für die nächste Zukunft ausgestrichen, oder verstümmelt, leicht oder schwer.

Da hingen sie, da, wo jetzt die weißen Flecke sind. Da hingen sie, und vor ihnen drängten sich die Hunderte schweigender Menschen, die ihr Liebstes draußen hatten und die zitterten, dass sie diesen einzigen Namen unter allen den Tausenden hier läsen. Was kümmerten sie die Müllers und Schulzes und Lehmanns, die hier aushingen! Mochten Tausende und Tausende verrecken – wenn er nur nicht dabei war! Und an dieser Gesinnung ertüchtigte der Krieg.

Und an dieser Gesinnung hat es gelegen, dass es vier lange Jahre so gehen konnte. Wären wir alle für einen aufgestanden, alle wie ein Mann –: wer weiß, ob es so lange gedauert hätte. Man hat mir gesagt, ich wisse nicht, wie der deutsche Mann sterben könne. Ich weiß es wohl. Ich weiß aber auch, wie die deutsche Frau weinen kann – und ich weiß, wie sie heute weint, da sie langsam, qualvoll langsam erkennt, wofür er gestorben ist. Wofür…

Streue ich Salz in Wunden: Aber ich möchte das himmlische Feuer in Wunden brennen, ich möchte den Trauernden zurufen: Für nichts ist er gestorben, für einen Wahnsinn, für nichts, für nichts, für nichts.

Im Laufe der Jahre werden ja diese weißen Flecke allmählich vom Regen abgewaschen werden und schwinden. Aber diese andern da, die kann man nicht tilgen. In unsern Herzen sind Spuren eingekratzt, die nicht vergehen. Und jedesmal, wenn ich an der Kriegsakademie mit ihrem braunen Granit und den weißen Flecken vorbeikomme, sage ich mir im stillen: Versprich es dir. Lege ein Gelöbnis ab. Wirke. Arbeite. Sags den Leuten. Befreie sie von dem Nationalwahn, du mit deinen kleinen Kräften. Du bist es den Toten schuldig. Die Flecke schreien. Hörst du sie?

Sie rufen: Nie wieder Krieg –!

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: May 18

May 18, 2011 2 comments

====

Former American Envoy To Somalia: U.S. Out Of Libya, Afghanistan And Iraq

Benghazi: British Military Advisers Set Up Operations Center, Direct NATO Air Strikes

NATO Conducts Over 7,000 Air Missions

Dutch F-16s Carry Out 180 Missions

Canada Orders 1,800 More $100,000 500-Pound Bombs For War Against Libya

Libya Says It Hit NATO Warship Shelling Misrata

Libyan Model: NATO Upgrades Urban Warfare Capabilities

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czech Republic Joins NATO AWACS System

Two-Month Libyan War: “Unprecedented Alliance Of NATO And Al-Qaeda”

Russia Opposes Repeat Of Libyan Model In Syria

“Isolate Assad Regime”: U.S., NATO Allies Discuss New Syria Sanctions

====


F-16s

====

Former American Envoy To Somalia: U.S. Out Of Libya, Afghanistan And Iraq

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11138/1147192-374-0.stm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 18, 2011

Why can’t we stop our wars?
There’s no reason for the U.S. to still be fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya
By Dan Simpson

-[W]e are enmeshed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Iraq, where the war began in 2003, has 48,000 American troops. Afghanistan, which started in 2001, has 100,000. We don’t know how many U.S. forces are in Libya because our government hasn’t chosen to tell us, or even to call it a war. This avoids involving Congress and an examination of its rationale that observing legal procedures, notably the War Powers Act, would oblige.
-In Benghazi, their “capital,” night-roaming death squads are murdering former Gadhafi officials. (This is supposedly being done in the name of the justice they plan to bring to the place once NATO has put them in power.)

America’s wars tend to become tar babies. We put our hands into an overseas situation; they become gooey, stuck in complexity; then we can’t bear to extract ourselves from the grimy mess.

One unfortunate and expensive aspect of this phenomenon is that we don’t seem able to bring our forces home after a war is over.

World War II ended in 1945. The United States still has 52,000 troops in Germany, 49,000 in Japan and 10,000 in Italy, 66 years later. All sorts of imaginative arguments are put forward to support their continued presence — to provide regional security, to deter common enemies, to act as a tripwire, whatever. But Johnny doesn’t come marching home.

Nor have U.S. forces left South Korea. That war ended in 1953. There are still 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there.

One place we didn’t leave troops was Vietnam – because we lost.

Now we are enmeshed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Iraq, where the war began in 2003, has 48,000 American troops. Afghanistan, which started in 2001, has 100,000. We don’t know how many U.S. forces are in Libya because our government hasn’t chosen to tell us, or even to call it a war. This avoids involving Congress and an examination of its rationale that observing legal procedures, notably the War Powers Act, would oblige.

So, instead of clean withdrawals to bring U.S. wars to an end, Americans are forced to watch and pay for endless, expensive occupations. Long, drawn-out screeches might come from taxpayers if they understood what was going on, but successive Republican and Democratic administrations pay no attention to calls for peace dividends.

In 2008 President George W. Bush negotiated and signed with the Iraq government a status-of-forces agreement that provided for all U.S. forces to be out of Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. As the date draws nigh, some Iraqis – specifically those whom the United States was instrumental in putting in power and who thus have a stake in the status quo – are suggesting that maybe all U.S. forces shouldn’t leave by Dec. 31. They cite internal security, hostile neighbors and the like. There also is the delicate question of the United States continuing to pour money into Iraq after American troops leave.

It is fully predictable that Iraqis with an interest in U.S. forces staying would begin to say how nice it would be if they did. What is not acceptable is that some senior U.S. military and political figures, starting with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are telling the Iraqis publicly that we would be glad to stay if they would just ask.

Such pleas and offers do not reflect the point of view of most Americans, who are ready to wind up this frustrating, expensive, eight-year-old war. The Iraq war may still be beloved of defense industry contractors, congressmen and senators who take their campaign donations and four-star military officers, but the average American is very tired of spending money and losing lives in Iraq.

The truly ironic aspect of the stay-or-leave Iraq debate is that we will probably be forced to leave because the occupation government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is afraid to negotiate an extension of U.S. forces because of the unbending opposition of anti-American fellow Shiite Moktada al-Sadr. So we will be able to do what we should do for good American reasons – leave – through the obdurate opposition to our staying of our most openly bitter enemy in Iraq.

It probably isn’t necessary to use much space to indicate why most Americans believe we should withdraw our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan, beginning in July as President Barack Obama promised. Al-Qaida there is greatly reduced; its leader, Osama bin Laden, is dead; Pakistan as a base for the American war in Afghanistan is “bust;” and most Afghans are ready to cut a deal with the Taliban, for at least part of the country to achieve peace after 10 years of destruction, mayhem and danger.

There again, pitted on the other side of a “clean withdrawal,” are U.S. defense contractors, U.S. generals, the national security industry crowd and the thousands of Afghans on the U.S. payroll. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan costs at least $100 billion a year.

Libya, a newer war, and Mr. Obama’s very own undeclared, incomprehensible conflict, is also already stringing on long past its “sell-by” date. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has helpfully told us that it has cost about $750 million to date. He can foresee no end to it. (Where have we heard this before?)

This war is allegedly justified by the need to protect Libyan civilians. (That’s why NATO killed three of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s grandchildren.) It is supposed to illustrate NATO’s relevance and coherence. (Three countries and the United States out of 28 NATO members are engaged in Libya.)

Now, the still-divided, undisciplined, militarily incompetent rebel Libyans, unable even with heavy NATO air and ground support to gain much ground, are busily engaged in what such operations tend to evolve into. They are asking for big money.

They robbed the Gadhafi government’s central bank of $200 million, but claim they need $30 billion from international donors, plus Libya’s frozen assets. (How else are the rebellion’s leaders to build up their offshore bank accounts for when it is time to bail out?)

In Benghazi, their “capital,” night-roaming death squads are murdering former Gadhafi officials. (This is supposedly being done in the name of the justice they plan to bring to the place once NATO has put them in power.)

Again, why are we doing this in Libya? And continuing to try to run Iraq and Afghanistan?

The sharp budget debates in Washington are making it clear to Americans where our priorities should lie. They certainly do not lie in Baghdad, Kabul, Tripoli or Benghazi.

Dan Simpson, a former U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette associate editor

====

Benghazi: British Military Advisers Set Up Operations Center, Direct NATO Air Strikes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8521977/Libya-British-military-advisers-set-up-joint-operations-centre-in-Benghazi.html

Daily Telegraph
May 18, 2011

Libya: British military advisers set up ‘joint operations centre’ in Benghazi

British military advisers have helped Libyan rebels set up a “joint operations centre” in Benghazi feeding information to Nato for the targeting of air strikes against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s military forces and bunkers.

Eleven British trainers have joined “significant numbers” of military advisers from France and Italy to help the Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council set up an operational command structure capable of taking on the Gaddafi regime.

A senior European diplomat, active in building ties with the Benghazi based rebels, said that the creation of a “joint operations centre” with the help of Western trainers had increased “military capacity”.

“The main job is to coordinate and make more effective the processing of military and tactical information back to Nato so air operations are based on the best information available,” he said.

The admission will fuel concerns that Britain could be drawn into mission creep in Libya and appears to contradict William Hague’s assurance that military advisers would not be involved in training rebel fighting forces.

….

Libya’s National Transitional Council has been open about the role of its “joint operations centre” in coordinating rebel troop movements and Nato military strikes against Gaddafi’s troops.

….

====

NATO Conducts Over 7,000 Air Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110518_110518-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 18, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 7103 sorties, including 2755 strike sorties have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 17 May: 159

Strike sorties conducted 17 May: 53

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

13 Vessels were hailed on 17 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) was conducted.

A total of 954 vessels have been hailed, 41 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

Dutch F-16s Carry Out 180 Missions

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/18/c_13881439.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 18, 2011

Dutch F-16 fighter jets take part in NATO mission over Libya

THE HAGUE: Dutch F-16 fighter jets were taking part in a NATO mission over Libya, but were not involved in air strikes, the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.

A statement issued by Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal and Defence Minister Hans Hillen said although the Netherlands is not against ground attacks to protect civilians, they see no military reason for Dutch planes to be involved.

The statement emphasized that Dutch pilots did not bomb ground targets themselves, but were trying to help their foreign allies by enforcing the no-fly zone.

The Dutch planes secured their NATO partners and provided information on troop movements and bomb damage to the command center, it said.

Since the start of the mission, Dutch F-16s have carried out 180 flights.

====

Canada Orders 1,800 More $100,000 500-Pound Bombs For War Against Libya

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/05/18/Report-Canada-buying-more-bombs-for-Libya/UPI-17851305722508/

United Press International
May 18, 2011

Report: Canada buying more bombs for Libya

OTTAWA: The Canadian government has ordered 1,300 replacement laser-guided bombs to use in its NATO mission in Libya, defense officials in Ottawa said.

…Canadian CF-18 fighter jets have flown about 300 sorties, dropping so-called smart bombs on artillery positions, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

While the defense department wouldn’t disclose how many bombs have been used in Libya or the order for new bombs, it’s known they are 500-pound Paveway GBU-12 bombs.

Various defense groups say each of the bombs cost about $100,000, the report said.

As part of NATO’s Libyan mission Canada has 560 troops deployed. Military equipment includes a naval frigate in the Mediterranean, seven CF-18 fighter aircraft, two large Aurora maritime surveillance aircraft and two refueling planes, the report said.

Canada’s original NATO commitment is scheduled to end June 16, but the government intends to extend it, CTV News said.

====

Libya Says It Hit NATO Warship Shelling Misrata

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFLDE74G2CR20110517

Reuters
May 17, 2011

Libya says hits NATO warship shelling Misrata

CAIRO: Libya said on Tuesday its forces had hit a NATO warship while it was shelling areas in the western parts of the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata.

Libyan state television said “our forces fired (at warships) and hit one directly and severely”.

It gave no further details. It was not immediately possible to verify the report.

(Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

====

Libyan Model: NATO Upgrades Urban Warfare Capabilities

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/17/3632268/standardised-urban-warfare-training.html

Sacramento Bee
May 17, 2011

Standardised Urban Warfare Training is Essential for Future Conflict
By IQPC

LONDON: Joint urban SERE training capabilities will have a huge impact on the way that forces operate in future conflicts especially with regards to coalition missions like the one currently being played out in Libya.

Talking to Defence IQ, ahead of the Joint Personnel Recovery event in June, Major Bart Holewijn, Commander at the Royal Netherlands SERE School says that standard joint capabilities as outlined in the latest NATO doctrine, released in January, will ensure standardised training methods that would not have been considered six months ago.

“Training is now standardised which will very much help in PR missions and future NATO operations as people now know that these are the methods that we need to adhere to. It makes procedure easier to follow.”

….

With defence budgets being cut, Major Holewijn states it makes sense for countries to set up joint training ventures such as the one between the Netherlands and Belgian training schools that he heads up.

Major Holewijn will be leading a session at the Joint Personnel Recovery conference on 28th June 2011, looking at SERE training and PR policy development:

Joint Personnel Recovery will take place at Le Meridien Piccadilly in London on 28th – 29th June 2011….

====

Libyan, Afghan Wars: Czech Republic Joins NATO AWACS System

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/05/18/czechs-definitively-join-natos-awacs-airborne-warning-system

Czech News Agency
May 18, 2011

Czechs join NATO’s AWACS System

-Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.
-“[T]his has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Geilenkirchen, Germany/Prague: The Czech Republic definitively joined NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) with the hoisting of the Czech flag at the headquarters of the special Boeing E-3 AWACS fleet at the air base in Geilenkirchen Tuesday.

This ceremony has symbolically concluded the accession process and the Czech Republic has become the 18th full member of the AWACS system, known also as NAEW&C (NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control system).

The E-3 A aircraft with the characteristic rotating radardome to detect aircraft guard also the Czech airspace thanks to the country’s entry in the system.

The Czech government decided on joining NAEW&C in December 2009. The accession negotiations were completed in December 2010. On January 18, the Czech Republic officially joined the charter of NAPMO, NATO’s Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Organization.

Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, commander of the fleet in Geilenkirchen, recalled that the AWACS fleet currently supports the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the Operation Unified Protector over Libya and over the Mediterranean.

Czech chief-of-staff Vladimir Picek said he was proud that the Czech military already had four soldiers actively participating in the programme.

Pilot Milan Vojacek and his navigator Jindrich Snehota joined the E-3 A fleet and two other Czech troops have been trained. In summer, a further four Czech soldiers are to operate in the fleet.

“We have been fully involved in the actions of the multinational team at the (Geilenkirchen) base from the very first day,” Mayor Vojacek said.

Vojacek said this has been an enormous experience “because this has actually been the first participation of Czech air force members within international forces in real operations since the end of World War Two.”

Vojacek said one of the most difficult tasks was refuelling of the E-3 plane during the flight over Afghan mountains.

He said he believes the experience of Czechs who would fly AWACS aircraft would definitely be a big contribution to the Czech military.

The Czech Republic will pay 170 million crowns for the modernisation of the NATO airborne early warning system by 2013 and it will annually pay about 90 million for the functioning of the system.

….

Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said previously he expects the NAEW&C to enhance Czech participation in the development of NATO’s defence capability.

====

Two-Month Libyan War: “Unprecedented Alliance Of NATO And Al-Qaeda”

http://rt.com/politics/press/trud/gaddafi-operation-nato-resolution/en/

RT
May 18, 2011

Gaddafi is still there
Andrey Kompaneyets

Two months after the adoption of the resolution on Libya it became clear that NATO has failed

Today marks two months since the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Libya. The operation in the country has resulted in NATO’s failure and confirmation of the resiliency of Muammar Gaddafi’s power.

When on the night of March 18 the UN Security Council, under circumstantial pressure, adopted a resolution allowing the bombardment of Libya, it was predicted that Gaddafi would share the fate of Saddam Hussein (the overthrown Iraqi president was hanged according to the sentence of his fellow countrymen). The aerial operation against Tripoli’s loyalist troops had then seemed necessary, and even inevitable. After all, according to Western media reports, a civil war had broken out.

But the two months during which Gaddafi has kept going under NATO’s aerial strikes have significantly shifted the emphasis in the understanding of the entire situation.

The head of the Institute of Middle East Studies, Yevgeny Satanovsky, talks about the failure of the coalition forces. “These two months have shown that Gaddafi’s government is resilient, and that NATO has failed in its operation,” he told Trud. “It was expected that, following a brief bombing campaign, Gaddafi’s troops would break up, but the bombing campaign has dragged on, and the troops have not disbanded.”

The lack of any evident military successes of NATO and Al-Qaeda’s siding with Gaddafi’s opponents has led to another unexpected result. The world’s largest terrorist group has received another tactical element – after looting the military storage facilities, they captured a significant amount of weaponry.

Whereas before Gaddafi was ridiculed when saying that the West and Al-Qaeda were fighting against him, now this has been confirmed, says Satanovsky. Mikhail Delyagin from the Institute of Globalization Studies goes further in his assessment: “This is, in fact, an unprecedented alliance of the NATO forces and Al-Qaeda.”

The main result of the NATO operation is the serious reputational losses sustained by the alliance. “The resiliency of Gaddafi’s power, especially against the background of the operations in Iraq and Serbia, has shown that the only one who is vulnerable to NATO is one who wants to be vulnerable,” says head of the Islamic Committee of Russia, Geidar Dzhemal.
….

====

Russia Opposes Repeat Of Libyan Model In Syria

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=244588

Interfax
May 18, 2011

Russia will not support UN resolution on Syria if it is similar to that on Libya – Medvedev

SKOLKOVO, Moscow region: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will not support a UN Security Council resolution on Syria if it is similar to the one the Security Council earlier passed on Libya.

“I will not support such a resolution,” Medvedev said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“In fact, resolutions No. 1970 and 1973 have been trampled upon by the steps that some states have taken,” Medvedev said.

“While Russia supported one of these resolutions and agreed to the adoption of the other, that is, did not veto it, the following events have shown that such resolutions can be manipulated,” he said.

—————————————————————————

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/18/50473154.html

Voice of Russia
May 18, 2011

Moscow will never back UNSC resolution on Syria – Medvedev

Russia will not back a possible UN Security Council resolution on Syria, President Dmitry Medvedev told a Skolkovo press conference outside Moscow on Wednesday.

“I will never support such a resolution, and even my closest friends will not be able to prod me to do so”, Medvedev said.

Political unrest shows no signs of abating in Syria, where protesters demand an immediate ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier this year, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the introduction of a no-fly zone over Libya.

—————————————————————————

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110518/164090529.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 18, 2011

Medvedev says Russia ‘won’t back’ UN Syria resolution

SKOLKOVO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia will not back a UN resolution on Syria.

Britain, France and Germany have been pushing for the UN Security Council to condemn Syria’s crackdown….

“I will not back this resolution even if my friends are going to beg me to,” Medvedev told a news conference at the Skolkovo School of Management near Moscow.

“It is sad that these resolutions can be manipulated,” he said.

Russia also abstained from supporting resolution 1973 which authorized air strikes to protect Libyan civilians against forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

====

“Isolate Assad Regime”: U.S., NATO Allies Discuss New Syria Sanctions

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/18/c_13879696.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 18, 2011

U.S., EU discuss more sanctions against Syria

WASHINGTON: U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that she and visiting European Union High Representative for foreign policy Catherine Ashton discussed more possible sanctions against Syria.

“Today, we discussed additional steps that we can take to increase pressure and further isolate the Assad regime,” Clinton told reporters after meeting with Ashton at the State Department.

She said the two expressed “serious concern” about the continued violence in Syria.

Clinton accused Syrian authorities of refusing to “honor the legitimate aspirations of their own people.”

“President Assad talks about reform, but his heavy-handed brutal crackdown shows his true intentions,” she said.

She also laid out three demands for the Syrian government: stop the violence and the arrests, release all political prisoners and detainees, and begin to respond to the demands of the Syrian people.

On April 29, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions against Syrian officials and entities.

….

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 17, 2011

====

Updates on Libyan war: May 17, 2011

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

====

NATO Helicopter Attack Wounds Two Pakistani Soldiers

U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 238 Pakistani Civilians So Far This Year

Two NATO Oil Tankers Destroyed In Pakistan

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Two More Soldiers

Interceptor Missiles In Europe: U.S.-Russia “Reset” At Stake

Morocco: U.S. Marines Strengthen AFRICOM’s Ties With “Important Ally”

Libyan Model: NATO Upgrades Urban Warfare Capabilities

====


U.S. Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan


Aegis interceptor missile system


U.S. Africa Command

====

NATO Helicopter Attack Wounds Two Pakistani Soldiers

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ha1ETj_K9UHkc9fZWfIKtXi5wDag?docId=CNG.0e7ec9d4e09bee530653022ee578dcc1.5d1

Agence France-Presse
May 17, 2011

NATO helicopter strike wounds two Pakistani troops
By Hasbanullah Khan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: NATO helicopters from Afghanistan wounded two Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border attack Tuesday, officials said, triggering a “strong protest” from Islamabad as tensions with the US simmered after Osama bin Laden’s death.

The two choppers opened fire on an army checkpoint in a restive tribal region in Pakistan’s northwest after they were shot at, a Western military official in Kabul said, amid conflicting reports of the incident.

The attack occurred just one day after US Senator John Kerry attempted to soothe a row with Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership about the March 2 raid that killed bin Laden north of Islamabad.

Tuesday’s helicopter attack took place in Wacha Bibi, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, officials said.

….

“Pakistan’s army has lodged a strong protest and demanded a flag meeting,” with NATO officials in Afghanistan, a statement issued in Islamabad said.

“Two NATO helicopters violated Pakistan air space today at Admi Kot Post, North Waziristan, in the early hours of the morning.

“The troops at the post fired upon the helicopters and, as a result of exchange of fire, two of our soldiers received injuries.”

….

Pakistani authorities later informed ISAF (the US-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan) that two soldiers had been wounded, he said.

A spokesman for the international military alliance in Afghanistan said ISAF “had reports of a possible incident.

“We are looking into it,” Lieutenant-Colonel John L. Dorrian said.

The Pakistani military often accuses the NATO force in Afghanistan of violating Pakistan’s air space….

Pakistan temporarily shut the main land route for NATO supplies into Afghanistan last September after officials accused NATO of killing Pakistani troops in another cross-border attack.

The northwest region is being targeted by a record number of US drone strikes….

US drone strikes inflame anti-American feeling in Pakistan, which has worsened since a CIA contractor shot dead two Pakistani men in a busy Lahore street in January.

Two US drone strikes targeting a militant compound and a vehicle in North Waziristan on Monday killed at least nine people.

====

U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 238 Pakistani Civilians So Far This Year

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=179277

Online News
May 18, 2011

Drone missile strikes kills 238, injures 40 in 2011

PESHAWAR: Two hundred thirty-eight innocent civilians were killed while forty were injured in drone attacks in tribal areas in the contemporary year since 1st January to the current date.

According to government sources, important members of Al-Qeada were the target of these drone missile strikes.

According to locals, the killed people were locals. From 1st January 2011 till 17th May 2011, 24 drone missile strikes were carried out in North Waziristan and 15 drone missile strikes were carried out in South Waziristan.

45 people were killed in a drone attack on a jirga soon after the release of Raymond Davis, after which the Chief of Army Staff strongly condemned this drone attack.

In the first month of the current year no drone strikes were carried out in South Waziristan while 10 were carried in North Waziristan.

In the month of February, out of a total of three drone strikes, two were targeted on North Waziristan and one on South Waziristan.

In the month of March, six attacks were carried out in North Waziristan while two carried out in South Waziristan.

From the month of April till the present date 43 people died in two drone missile strikes. These strikes were carried out in North Waziristan while American Senator John Kerry was present in Pakistan.

====

Two NATO Oil Tankers Destroyed In Pakistan

http://www.dailyindia.com/show/440258.php

Asian News International
May 17, 2011

Two NATO oil tankers torched near Attock in Pakistan

Attock: Two NATO oil tankers were charred near the Khaur police post, 90 km from Attock on the Fatehjang-Talagang Road on Monday.

Sources said the drivers and helper fled following the attack that occurred at 2 a.m., The Nation reports.

Local police alleged the driver and helper might have torched the tankers. On May 1 more than 18 NATO oil tankers were torched by miscreants on the same road, killing five policemen and injuring six constables.

NATO trucks and oil tankers are regularly targeted with arson attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt the two key supply lines, which cross western Pakistan, bound for foreign troops fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

====

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Two More Soldiers

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/17/c_13879552.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 17, 2011

2 NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan

KABUL: Two soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) died in Afghanistan due to non-battle related injuries on Tuesday, bringing the number of alliance casualties to six over the past two days, a press release of the alliance said.

“Two International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of non-battle related injuries in northern Afghanistan today,” the press release said.

However, it did not reveal the nationalities of the victims or the nature of receiving injury, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

Four more NATO soldiers were killed in Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan’s restive southern region on Monday, the military alliance confirmed in a statement.

More than 170 NATO-led ISAF soldiers with majority of them Americans have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

====

Interceptor Missiles In Europe: U.S.-Russia “Reset” At Stake

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/17/50424542.html

Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011

US-Russia relations “reset” at stake

Washington puts at risks the reset of US-Russia relations.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, if the US and NATO continue to develop the European ABM system regardless of Russia’s interests it [Russia] has the right to withdraw from the strategic arms reduction treaty. Ryabkov made this statement speaking at a meeting of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, on the prospects of the European ABM system. The Russian diplomat stressed that legal, not political, guarantees are needed to remove Russia’s concerns over the US-NATO plans.

Recently, Washington has reached an agreement with Bucharest on the deployment of its interceptor missiles in Romania. Moscow is facing the policy of “accomplished facts” on behalf of the West, which leaves less room for taking Moscow’s interest into consideration on the establishment of the European ABM system. Russia is not happy with empty promises and wants legal guarantees, Ryabkov says.

“The establishment of the ABM system in Europe threatens Russia’s security and may be recognized as an exceptional circumstance for Russia’s withdrawal from the strategic arms reduction treaty. We think it is necessary to sign a juridically-binding agreement between Russia and the US which sets the principles and the limits of interaction on the European ABM system and makes it possible to organize efficient monitoring of missile threats.”

Meanwhile, the US continues to implement the program on the creation of a third zone of ABM within NATO in Europe. Officially, this is being done to protect NATO member states from possible threats from the Middle East but such a system also poses a potential threat to Russia.

Last November, speaking at the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev proposed NATO and the US to create a European ABM in cooperation with Russia. This joint system would imply that Russia and NATO will protect exclusively their own territories, while a special center would coordinate the operation of both systems. But NATO and the US oppose this idea. Unfortunately, the statements of many Western politicians and experts show that that the Cold War mentality still exists despite all the talks about a “reset”.

However, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin is confident that Moscow has good grounds to insist that the European ABM system should take into consideration Russia’s interests.

“The creation of the ABM system in Europe is impossible without Russia. At least for one reason: imagine that we have detected the launch of missiles on the territory of European countries. We have no time to hold press conferences, to call NATO or Washington finding out why the missiles have been launched. Our early warning systems will react on this as on a missile offense with all the consequences. Only this single argument dictates the need of the correlation between Russia and NATO’s ABM systems.”

As for legal guarantees to address Russian concerns over the plans of the US and NATO, it is unlikely that Moscow will receive them.

The Pentagon’s chief Robert Gates said that Congress won’t approve such guarantees. Instead of it he proposed some “political guarantees” to Russia.

But as we know from previous experience, such guarantees do not mean anything. For example, when the Warsaw Pact organization was disbanded, NATO promised no expansion to the East but forgot about this promise quite soon.

That is why Moscow won’t be satisfied with political guarantees.

Nevertheless, the talks between Russia and NATO on the creation of a single ABM in Europe are still under way. This issue will become the key topic during the meeting of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barrack Obama at G8 summit, which will be held in late May in the French city of Deauville.

====

Morocco: U.S. Marines Strengthen AFRICOM’s Ties With “Important Ally”

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6632&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
May 17, 2011

14th Marines Arrive in Morocco to Lead American Participation during Phase II of Exercise African Lion 2011
By Captain Nathan Braden
14th Marine Regiment

AGADIR, Morocco: Marines of Headquarters Battery, 14th Marine Regiment, a reserve unit from Fort Worth, Texas, assumed command of American forces participating in Phase II of Exercise African Lion during a ceremony here May 15, 2011.

African Lion is an annual joint and bi-lateral exercise between Morocco and the United States that involves more than 2,000 U.S. service members and approximately 900 members of the Royal Moroccan armed forces.

Phase II began when U.S. Naval Forces Africa, designated as Joint Task Force-Morocco, transferred command to the 14th Marine Regiment, designated as Task Force-African Lion. Task Force-African Lion has the task of directing and overseeing bilateral command and control functions of a regimental level task force during Phase II.

“We’re here to support the AFRICOM (U.S. Africa Command) commander’s goals of bilateral engagement with one of our most important allies in the region,” said Colonel John Caldwell, commander, Task Force-African Lion. “We have a diverse group of U.S. military and our Moroccan counterparts working together to improve our interoperability.”

….

The Marines of Task Force-African Lion will not only increase their knowledge of working with an ally nation, but they will also gain the experience of working with other services of the U.S. military. Inside the exercise’s combat operations center, personnel from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force can be seen hunched over their computers working to ensure the more than 2,000 personnel exercise runs smoothly.

….

African Lion is designed to strengthen the U.S.-Moroccan partnership and increase understanding of each other’s capabilities and proficiencies while enhancing their ability to operate together.

====

Libyan Model: NATO Upgrades Urban Warfare Capabilities

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/17/3632268/standardised-urban-warfare-training.html

Sacramento Bee
May 17, 2011

Standardised Urban Warfare Training is Essential for Future Conflict
By IQPC

LONDON: Joint urban SERE training capabilities will have a huge impact on the way that forces operate in future conflicts especially with regards to coalition missions like the one currently being played out in Libya.

Talking to Defence IQ, ahead of the Joint Personnel Recovery event in June, Major Bart Holewijn, Commander at the Royal Netherlands SERE School says that standard joint capabilities as outlined in the latest NATO doctrine, released in January, will ensure standardised training methods that would not have been considered six months ago.

“Training is now standardised which will very much help in PR missions and future NATO operations as people now know that these are the methods that we need to adhere to. It makes procedure easier to follow.”

….

With defence budgets being cut, Major Holewijn states it makes sense for countries to set up joint training ventures such as the one between the Netherlands and Belgian training schools that he heads up.

Major Holewijn will be leading a session at the Joint Personnel Recovery conference on 28th June 2011, looking at SERE training and PR policy development:

Joint Personnel Recovery will take place at Le Meridien Piccadilly in London on 28th – 29th June 2011….

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Austin Dobson: Before Sedan

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

====

Austin Dobson
Before Sedan (1873)

“The dead hand clasped a letter”
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE

Here is this leafy place,
Quiet he lies,
Cold, with his sightless face
Turned to the skies;
‘Tis but another dead;
All you can say is said.

Carry his body hence, -
Kings must have slaves;
Kings climb to eminence
Over men’s graves:
So this man’s eye is dim; -
Throw the earth over him.

What was the white you touched,
There, at his side?
Paper his hand had clutched
Tight ere he died:
Message or wish, may be; -
Smooth the folds out and see.

Hardly the worst of us
Here could have smiled! -
Only the tremulous
Words of a child; -
Prattle, that has for stops
Just a few ruddy drops.

Look. She is sad to miss,
Morning and night,
His – her dead father’s – kiss;
Tries to be bright,
Good to mamma, and sweet.
That is all. “Marguerite.”

Ah, if beside the dead
Slumbered the pain!
Ah, if the hearts that bled
Slept with the slain!
If the grief died; – But no; -
Death will not have it so.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: May 17, 2011

====

Libyan War: Almost 7,000 NATO Military Flights, Over 2,700 Combat Missions

Russia: Libya To Accept Ceasefire, African Union Road Map If NATO Halts Bombing

China Presses For Immediate Ceasefire In Libya

Russia: Libyan War First Litmus Test For NATO’s New Strategic Concept

Russian Foreign Minister: West Oversteps UN Resolution In Libya

The Real Reasons For NATO’s Attack On Libya

====


British Typhoon


F-16

====

Libyan War: Almost 7,000 NATO Military Flights, Over 2,700 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110517_110517-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 17, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command 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 6944 sorties, including 2702 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 16 May: 136

Strike sorties conducted 16 May: 46

….

Arms Embargo Activities

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

5 Vessels were hailed on 16 May to determine destination and cargo. No boarding (no diversion) was conducted.

A total of 941 vessels have been hailed, 40 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

====

Russia: Libya To Accept Ceasefire, African Union Road Map If NATO Halts Bombing

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/144119.html

Itar-Tass
May 17, 2011

Tripoli ready to consider African Union road map and to observe the resolutions 1970 and 1973

MOSCOW: Tripoli is ready to consider the road map approaches of the African Union and to observe the resolutions 1970 and 1973, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting with Gaddafi’s envoy here on Tuesday.

“The response, which we heard, cannot be called negative,” the minister noted. “They said to us that Tripoli is ready to consider such approaches, which are based on the road map of the African Union and are ready to fulfill the complete demands under the resolutions 1970 and 1973,” Lavrov pointed out.

“The only thing that our interlocutors from Tripoli noted is that the rebels should take reciprocal steps and that NATO should stop the bombings,” Lavrov added.

“This is actually the task, which the UN General Secretary’s special envoy, who visited Moscow yesterday, is seeking to resolve,” the minister went on to say. “We were discussing the current situation in Libya with him. We support his position to persuade all warring parties in the conflict to reach a ceasefire agreement and to agree on the deadlines and terms of a ceasefire agreement as soon as possible,” Lavrov added.

“If we succeed to do it, there are no reasons for the bombings to continue,” Lavrov pointed out.

The Islamic Appeal world association was established in 1972 at the initiative of the Jamahiriya leader Muammar Gaddafi.

====

China Presses For Immediate Ceasefire In Libya

Xinhua News Agency
May 17, 2011

China calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya

BEIJING: China on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, saying that the future of the North African country should be decided by its own people.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation in Libya, and once again call on relevant parties to cease fire immediately and solve the current crisis through peaceful means, such as negotiations and dialogue,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a regular news briefing.

—-

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/17/50412955.html

Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011

China calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya

China is pressing for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and for a political settlement of the problem.

This came in a statement during a news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday by the Foreign Ministry official Jiang Yu.

The people of Libya should be able to determine their future on their own, she said.

====

Russia: Libyan War First Litmus Test For NATO’s New Strategic Concept

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/17/50408549.html

Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011

Russia-NATO relations depend on Libya – official

The development of Russia-NATO relations will depend on the degree to which the Alliance countries that are currently engaged in a military operation in Libya respect the relevant UN resolution.

This came in a statement in Athens by the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. He was speaking during a conference on European security, organized by the Russian and Greek Foreign Ministries.

Grushko pointed out that the operation in Libya is becoming the first actual litmus test for NATO’s new strategic concept.

The official voiced concern about the fact that the coalition’s moves in Libya increasingly often overrun the limits set by the UN Security Council. According to him, NATO should confine itself to ensuring an embargo on arms supplies, protecting Libyan citizens and maintaining the no-fly zone regime.

====

Russian Foreign Minister: West Oversteps UN Resolution In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/16/50376863.html

Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011

Coalition oversteps UN mandate in Libya – Moscow

At a session in Cairo Sunday, the foreign ministers of the Arab League agreed to ask the Saudi-based Arabsat satellite operators to block the signals of all government-owned broadcasting organizations in Libya.

Russia sees this as deliberate trouble-stirring which has no justification in international law.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about this in Moscow Monday:

“I am at a loss over how my esteemed colleagues in the Arab League could have interpreted Security Council resolution 1973 as a go-ahead to start stifling freedom of speech. I am not taking sides in the civil war that is the Libyan conflict and believe the family of nations must safeguard the freedom of expression and seize on every opportunity to hear from all Libyan quarters.”

At a scheduled meeting with the visiting UN envoy for Libya Abdelilah al-Khatyb, Russian diplomats are going to tell him that the anti-Gaddafi coalition cannot be allowed to overstep its UN mandate for the Libya campaign and should also speed up action on the UN initiative for a humanitarian truce in the Libya war.

On Tuesday, Moscow will also host discussions with delegates from Muammar Gaddafi. Talks with the Benghazi-based rebels will have to wait until they have a logistical opportunity to send a delegation to Moscow.

….

On Sunday, the chief British military officer General David Richards urged the coalition to widen its menu of targets in Libya, so that Gaddafi has no option but to leave his post and go. Apparently, compliance with the UN resolutions to protect Libyan civilians was not on the general’s mind.

Many international analysts have gone as far as to suggest that the Libya crisis may prompt further moves to reshape the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

====

The Real Reasons For NATO’s Attack On Libya

http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/opinion/425947.html#axzz1MZhrSeRD

Caribbean 360
May 16, 2011

The real reasons for NATO’s attacks on the Libyan revolution
The war is less about Gadaffi’s threat to his people and more about his threat to countries seeking to recolonize Libya and take control of its oil
By R. T. Luke V. Browne

-[T]o tell us that you fight to protect Libyans when we see the Sultan of Bahrain massacre unarmed demonstrators with the help of two thousand Saudi soldiers sent by the United States is to insult our intelligence. To say that you fight for democracy in Libya when your helicopters and weapons are used to suppress a democratic uprising in Yemen is to insult our intelligence. Why don’t you fight for social justice at home before you fight for social justice abroad?

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent: My recent article titled “Is NATO Fighting Against the Interests of the OECS?” showed that the Libya crisis has implications for countries in the African Diaspora, particularly those of the Eastern Caribbean. The first job was to show that the fate of Libyans, and by extension Africans, and the fate of Caribbean men and women are tied together. Our African heritage and experience of the Grenadian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution and the more distant Haitian Revolution inform our point of view.

There was beneficial feedback. Karina Johnson, a UWI friend from Grenada, was incensed by Washington’s insults to our intelligence. Karina knows too well that American opposition to the Grenadian Revolution had nothing to do with human rights; and is wary of suggestions that NATO fights to protect civilians and to promote democracy and social justice in Libya. Marlon Stevenson, my countryman, directed me to an article written by Michel Collon, and published the day after my initial commentary appeared, that laid bare the real reasons for American and European attacks on the Libyan Revolution. I bring these reasons to your attention.

Remember that the USA maintained an important army base in Libya before Gadaffi shut it down in 1969. On October 1, 2008 the USA moved to impose military command over Africa with the establishment of AFRICOM (US Africa Command). All but five African nations subjected themselves to AFRICOM; though no one was willing to host its headquarters. Libya was among the defiant five and therefore subjected itself in no way to Western military control.

Don’t forget that forty-five million Americans live below the poverty line. There is apparently no money in the United States to support schools and public services; or in Europe to finance pensions and to create jobs. The point made by Michel Collon is that there are billions at hand to preserve the excess of the wealthy bankers who plunged the world into a financial crisis; we could allow them to distribute US $140 billion last year as rewards and bonuses to their shareholders, traders and speculators; but we just can’t find enough money to ensure that another group of people could eat every day.

They only wage war, at home or abroad, to preserve the profit of multinational corporations; and these corporations profit at our expense. They try to prevent the liberation of poor Americans and Europeans as much they try to prevent the liberation of Africa and the Arab world. Why don’t they demonstrate a concern for social justice at home before they wage war abroad? They should know, as we pointed out elsewhere, that Libya is the highest ranked African country by the Human Development Index and that Libya looks out for its “sub-Saharan” African brothers and sisters.

I remember when a friend called Jedidiah Francis looked out for me; so I could appreciate what Libya has done for Africa. After arriving in the United Kingdom as a student several years ago, I quickly realized how expensive it was to call home from mainstream landlines and cell phones.

The rates were exorbitant but I couldn’t do better if I was going to stay in touch with loved ones. I spent more on telephone bills and less on my other main concerns – food, books and remittances in support of Caribbean families. Other students were in my position and many of them financed their studies through loans from Caribbean banks and by other means. So student loans were used to pay unnecessarily high phone bills; and the student was left with debt and the company with profit. A developed nation was exploiting the wealth of Caribbean countries. Jedidiah Francis was the only other Vincentian at my university and he was my senior. He empowered me when he pointed out much cheaper calling options. That’s what you call economic liberation.

In the 1990s telephone calls to and from Africa were charged at the highest rate in the world. At that time Europe was extracting ½ billion dollars annually in taxes on telephone conversations — even calls within the same African country were subject to the tax—for-voice transit on European satellites such as Intelsat. Africa was paying 500 million dollars every year when securing its own communications satellite would only cost 400 hundred million dollars payable in one installment, remove further obligations to Europe and, ultimately, lower call costs.

So in 1992 forty-five African countries came together to create an entity called RASCOM whose mission was to secure Africa’s very first communication satellite. It was not straightforward to find the initial capital, and for 14 years RASCOM pleaded with the World Bank, the IMF and other Western institutions to finance the purchase of the satellite to no avail. The Western powers were careful enough, though, to dangle the prospect of financing the venture before the Africans every now and then to ensure their good behaviour.

In 2006, Gadaffi took Africa off its knees. He provided 300 million dollars which was later supplemented by contributions from a few other African sources. Call costs plummeted after RASCOM accomplished its mission on December 26, 2007. Since then, a second African satellite was launched and individual African nations have launched satellites. There was also an explosion of African creativity. By 2020, Collon informs us, we expect the first satellite that uses 100% African technology, built on African soil, and that holds its own against the best satellites in the world — but costs ten times less — to be launched. Jedidiah Francis is to me what Muammar Gadaffi is to a continent.

Britain and France were most eager to commence airstrikes against Libya. War is their means of displacing the German and Italian oil companies that make significant contributions to the development of Libya’s infrastructure, including its irrigation systems. These former colonial powers scamper to re-inflate their respective economies and secure an unsustainable energy supply. They approach Libya in 2011 in the same way that they approached the West Indies in earlier centuries.

So to tell us that you fight to protect Libyans when we see the Sultan of Bahrain massacre unarmed demonstrators with the help of two thousand Saudi soldiers sent by the United States is to insult our intelligence. To say that you fight for democracy in Libya when your helicopters and weapons are used to suppress a democratic uprising in Yemen is to insult our intelligence. Why don’t you fight for social justice at home before you fight for social justice abroad?

The war is less about Gadaffi’s threat to his people and more about his threat to countries seeking to recolonize Libya and take control of its oil. Colonel Gadaffi is the enemy because he developed relations with countries and companies that do not subordinate the interests of Libya.

He offends the West because he uses petrodollars to fuel an ambitious programme to renew Libya’s infrastructure, to build schools and hospitals and to industrialize the country when they could be used to pay the bonuses of wealthy executives in the United States, Britain and France. We are at war because he allowed Africa to become independent of European satellites. Gadaffi is a rambling and ranting dictator because he doesn’t take dictates from Washington, London or Paris or subject Libya to America’s military command. He’s a mad tyrant because he’s Africa’s freedom fighter.

Mr Browne is a West Indian politician and writer based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 16, 2011

May 17, 2011 1 comment

====

Updates on Libyan war: May 16

====

Russia Could Withdraw From START Over U.S.-NATO Missile Shield

Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Bomb Blast

Reports: NATO Killed Five Afghan Women, One Boy On Sunday

U.S. Missile Strike Kills At Least Seven In Pakistan

Pakistan: Call For Expulsion Of U.S. Envoy, Ban On NATO Transit

General Leads NATO Delegation To Azerbaijan

Montenegro Moves Closer To Full NATO Membership

Georgian Opposition: U.S. Supports Autocracy, Pseudo-Democracy

British Military Brass Tour NATO Training Mission-Iraq Headquarters

====


Standard Missile-3 launch


NATO in Iraq


Predator drone firing Hellfire missile

====

Russia Could Withdraw From START Over U.S.-NATO Missile Shield

http://rt.com/politics/nato-missile-defense-medvedev/

RT
May 16, 2011

Moscow may quit START over US deploying missile shield in Europe

Further deployment of the US missile defense system in Europe gives Russia the right to withdraw from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said.

“START may become a hostage of the so-called US European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA),” Ryabkov said at Monday’s meeting of the Expert Council on cooperation between Russia and NATO at the State Duma.

The official noted that Moscow has repeatedly warned its partners that if the scale of the US missile defense system creates a threat to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, Russia has the right to withdraw from the agreement. That would be considered “an exceptional circumstance” mentioned in Article 14 of the New START.

He added that Russia will have to take responsive measures if the US and NATO develop their missile defense shield without taking Moscow’s opinion into account.

“In this situation, we will have to take the necessary measures to restore the disrupted balance of power,” Ryabkov said, cites Interfax.

The official also observed that Moscow is disappointed over Washington’s denial to give legal guarantees that the US missile defense system will not be targeted against Russia.

“We are disappointed with the reaction of Washington; this is a negative reaction,” he said.

The historic agreement – the New START – was signed by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev on April 8, 2010, in Prague.

On Saturday, President Dmitry Medvedev sent letters to Russia-NATO Council members in which he reaffirmed Moscow’s readiness to contribute to maintaining strategic stability and security by creating a joint missile defense system in Europe.

“The Lisbon summit of the Russia-NATO Council on November 20, 2010, opened up opportunities for building strategic partnership based on the principles of equality, indivisible security, mutual trust, transparency, and predictability,” the president’s letter reads, the Kremlin press service reported on Saturday.

Medvedev confirmed Russia’s readiness – voiced at the summit – to take a share of responsibility for maintaining strategic stability and security, including through the creation of a joint missile defense system in Europe. He underlined that the system could only be truly efficient and viable if Russia participates in the project as an equal member. The Russian President stressed the need for guarantees that the shield being deployed in Europe will not undermine strategic stability and will not be aimed against one of the sides.

Almost half-a-year on after Moscow was officially invited to participate in the missile defense program, the sides have not managed to iron out differences in their views on the planned system.

Moscow said it was ready to assume protection of its sector in Europe from a missile threat in the framework of the so-called “sectoral” approach put forward by Medvedev. The general idea is that Europe would be divided into sectors and each side – Russia and the Western partners – would defend their sector of responsibility. Moscow has also warned that if no compromise is found on missile defense and the West ends up building its own shield, Russia would have no choice but to respond with military measures.

On May 4, at the meeting of commanders of the general staffs of the Russia-NATO Council 29 member states in Brussels, Russia’s General Nikolay Makarov said that Moscow would insist that the alliance would guarantee that its European missile defense would not pose a threat to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

“We intend to seek firm guarantees on de-targeting missile defense against Russia’s nuclear potential. We will wait for proposals from NATO. We hope that our European colleagues will understand us”, Makarov said. “We cannot create the security situation in Europe depending on the Russian-US agreements as it was during the Cold War times,” he added, cited Itar-Tass.

The gathering took place shortly after the US announced its plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Romania, which raised serious concerns in Moscow.

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday that the Brussels talks brought no breakthrough.

“We cannot watch indifferently as the US is deploying near our borders elements of its missile defense system, which can reach as far as the Urals,” he told journalists in Moscow. Russia is being told that its security would only benefit from it as Americans would be able to intercept missiles over the Russian territory. However, Moscow is not happy with such an approach as it can provide its national security itself, he added.

====

Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Bomb Blast

http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/16/four-nato-soldiers-die-in-afghan-bomb-blast.html

Agence France-Presse
May 16, 2011

Four Nato soldiers die in Afghan bomb blast

KABUL: Four Nato soldiers were killed Monday in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, one of the toughest battlegrounds in a nearly 10-year Taliban insurgency, the alliance said in a statement.

The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Nato’s mission in the war-torn country, did not provide the nationalities of the casualties, leaving it to their native countries to do so.

“Four International Security Assistance Force service members died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today,” it said without giving any further details.

====

Reports: NATO Killed Five Afghan Women, One Boy On Sunday

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/16/nato-examines-civilian-casualty-claims-kunar

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 16, 2011

NATO examines civilian casualty claims in Kunar

KABUL: NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Monday said it was investigating media claims of possible civilian causalities from a military operation in eastern Kunar province.

The force said in a statement that it had learned of local media reports saying its forces killed at least one civilian in Ghaziabad district on Sunday. Some reports said one boy was killed, while others reported that five women died.

….

====

U.S. Missile Strike Kills At Least Seven In Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/17/c_13877751.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 16, 2011

7 killed in U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least seven people were killed Monday night when U.S. drones fired two missiles at a militant school in the Miranshah area of North Waziristan, a tribal area in northwest Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan, the local Urdu TV channel Samaa reported.

====

Pakistan: Call For Expulsion Of U.S. Envoy, Ban On NATO Transit

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C05%5C17%5Cstory_17-5-2011_pg7_22

Daily Times
May 17, 2011

LHC moved to expel US envoy, ban NATO supply

LAHORE: Barrister Iqbal Jaffree moved a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday calling for the expulsion of the US ambassador from the country, a ban on transit facilities to the US until it apologises over the Abbottabad operation, and finally to take the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

He said that “cowardly” policies made by Pakistani rulers, including Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf, gave courage to the US to carry out a military operation within Pakistani territory.

He stated, “All the leaders lack the courage to stand against the US as all have been taking dollars from it by handing over innocent Pakistanis.”

Jaffree stated that the US military operation in Abbottabad challenged the country’s sovereignty and independence. He stated that US Ambassador Cameron Munter should be banished form Pakistan until and unless he offers an official apology to the government as well as the citizens.

He requested that the Pakistani government be directed to take the issue to the ICJ. He stated that the US is bound to accept the jurisdiction of ICJ under a treaty of friendship agreed in 1959.

He also urged that the government should withdraw its ambassador from the US. He further requested that NATO supplies should be stopped at once until the US tenders an official apology over the Abbottabad incident.

====

General Leads NATO Delegation To Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1876514.html

Trend News Agency
May 16, 2011

NATO experts to visit Azerbaijan
K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: Experts of NATO/the USA will visit Azerbaijan on May 23-25 to continue expert assistance to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces Military Academy in the field of education, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

Brigadier General Michael P. Jorgensen, Joint Plans Branch Head at JFC Headquarters Brunssum, will visit the country on May 17-19.

Azerbaijani servicemen this month will take part in events organized by NATO in Baku. The militaries will participate in courses on “Planning of operations and logistical support to the multinational forces” on May 16-20 in Baku. The courses will be conducted by mobile teams of teachers of the NATO Air Staff.

Then, Azerbaijani troops will participate in the next meeting of the working group of supporters and experts in governance at the headquarters of NATO on May 23-27.

====

Montenegro Moves Closer To Full NATO Membership

http://www.balkans.com/open-news.php?uniquenumber=105346

Balkans.com
May 16, 2011

Montenegro is making notable progress in meeting all NATO accession criteria

Montenegro is making notable progress in meeting all NATO accession criteria, most notably in the legislative and oversight activity of the Parliament, state administration reform, fight against corruption and organised crime, and the rule of law and freedom of the media, said Prime Minister Lukšić in his meeting with several NATO member-states’ ambassadors (Bulgaria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain).

“Our European agenda goes hand in hand with our NATO integration, and the sooner we fulfil our European commitments the closer we will be to Alliance membership, since EU integration reforms will bring us closer to NATO standards,” PM Lukšić summed up Montenegro’s integration vision.

…PM Lukšić said…that Montenegro has deployed soldiers and medical teams in peace-keeping operations and will soon take part in the regional team of instructors to be deployed in Afghanistan. The ambassadors welcomed Montenegro’s involvement….

====

Georgian Opposition: U.S. Supports Autocracy, Pseudo-Democracy

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=243920

Interfax
May 16, 2011

Georgia demo demands that U.S. stop backing Saakashvili

TBILISI: About 300 demonstrators who gathered outside the U.S. embassy in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Monday demanded that the United States stop supporting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

“We don’t want pseudo-democracy, and the U.S. support for the regime of Saakashvili means support for autocracy. We want the American government to support the people of Georgia and not Saakashvili,” former ombudsman Sozar Subari, leader of the opposition Georgian Party, said during the demonstration, which represented his party.

“We need normal relations with Russia and great solidarity from the U.S.,” said another Georgian Party leader, Levan Gachechiladze. “With the incumbent president, Saakashvili, being in office, Georgia can have no effective foreign or domestic policy.”

The demonstrators passed to an embassy official a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama.

====

British Military Brass Tour NATO Training Mission-Iraq Headquarters

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424203427.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
May 16, 2011

UK Chief of Joint Operations visits NATO Training Mission-Iraq

Baghdad: British Royal Air Force Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of Joint Operations for the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters, accompanied by the Commander of British Forces-Iraq Brig. Max Marriner visited the NATO Training Mission-Iraq Headquarters at Forward Operating Base Union III here May 13.

NTM-I’s Training, Education and Doctrine Division Chief, British Army Brig. Mark Pountain and NTM-I Chief of Staff, Col. Mike Russell welcomed the generals.

During the visit Peach met with NTM-I Deputy Commander, Italian Army Maj. Gen. Claudio Angelelli; and discussed several issues regarding NTM-I activities.

….

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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 and to improve the security of all Iraqi people with democratic security forces.

The UK supports the NATO Training Mission in Iraq as the second largest contributor and one of the 13 NATO nations present in NTM-I plus one Partner for Peace nation as follows:

Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, United States and one PfP nation, Ukraine.

There are currently 41 UK personnel serving in the NTM-I Mission from all 3 Services; within the NTM-I HQ and at the Iraqi National Defence University in Baghdad; at the Military Academy and Joint Staff College in Rustamiyah; and at the NCOs Training Regional Center in Taji.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Amiel on war

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

Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881)
From the Journal
Translated by Mrs. Humphry Ward

By far the greater number of human beings can only conceive action, or practise it, under the form of war – a war of competition at home, a bloody war of nations abroad, and finally war with self. So that life is a perpetual combat….

War is a brutal and fierce means of pacification; it means the suppression of resistance by the destruction or the enslavement of the conquered….Conflict is the result of the selfishness which will acknowledge no other limit than that of external force.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war: May 16

====

NATO Continues Libyan Air War, Naval Blockade: 6,808 Sorties

NATO Intensifies Bombardment Of Libyan Capital

NATO Bombs Still Claiming Victims: Bishop Calls For Libyan Truce

Russia Backs African Union’s Road Map For Libyan Ceasefire

Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa

Question For Caricom On NATO’s War In Libya

====


French Rafales


British Tornado

====

NATO Continues Libyan Air War, Naval Blockade: 6,808 Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110516_110516-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 16, 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 6808 sorties, including 2656 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 May: 147

Strike sorties conducted 15 May: 48

….

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

8 Vessels were hailed on 15 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversions) was conducted.

A total of 936 vessels have been hailed, 40 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Intensifies Bombardment Of Libyan Capital

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/16/50378582.html

Voice of Russia
May 16, 2011

NATO continues Libya air strikes

The NATO air force destroyed a radar system in the centre of the city of Tadjoura 30 km east of Tripoli. Its residents report three explosions.

According to the JANA Libyan state information agency, “civilian and military facilities have been bombed in Tadjoura which has caused victims among the civilian population and material damage.”

Tadjoura houses several military facilities, thus the anti-Libyan coalition has been bombing it since the 19th of March, when the UN Security Council adopted its resolution on the protection of the Libyan civilian population.

====

NATO Bombs Still Claiming Victims: Bishop Calls For Libyan Truce

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=10334

Catholic Culture
May 16, 2011

Libya: bishop calls for truce

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed has call for a truce in the Libyan conflict.

“Yesterday, in Marsa [el-]Brega, 16 people died, and several were killed in other parts of Tripoli. The [NATO] bombs are still claiming victims,” Bishop Giovanni Martinelli said on May 14. “A truce seems appropriate to help the civilians breathe again. Even last night there were several bombings, the strongest we heard around 3:00 a.m. They do not allow us to sleep.”

“In prayer, we invoke the grace of peace and reconciliation,” he added. “Certainly on one side and on the other there are sins to be forgiven, but you cannot forgive by throwing bombs.”

====

Russia Backs African Union’s Road Map For Libyan Ceasefire

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/16/50365885.html

Voice of Russia
May 16, 2011

Lavrov urges coalition forces in Libya to observe UN mandates

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the coalition forces in Libya to stop violating the mandates stipulated by the UN Security Council resolutions.

At a press-conference following his meeting with his Namibian counterpart Utoni Nujoma he said: “Our countries are interested in an immediate cessation of the bloodshed in Libya. Russia supports the African Union’s proposal of a “road map” for the normalization of the situation in Libya”.

The Russian foreign minister also pointed out that there will be no visit of a Libyan rebels’ delegation to Moscow in the near future.

====

Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa

http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/7361/2011-05-15.html

Black Star News
May 16, 2011

Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa

In the 1960s Kwame Nkrumah warned that unless the African continent united into a single continental government with a Africa-wide national army and command, the individual countries would never be able to protect their independence and secure their rich natural and mineral resources.

NATO’s illegal war against Libya and the vicious bombardments is the best evidence of Nkrumah’s fears coming to realization.

Using the insurgents in Benghazi as cover and abusing United Nations Resolution 1973, crafted to protect civilians caught in the civil war, the leaders of France and Britain, former imperial exploitators of Africa, have launched war on Libya and are determined to instal a puppet regime that will be pliant to Western interests.

All the social gains and programs built in Libya since the monarchy was deposed would likely be reversed and World Bank and IMF sanctioned regimes would take their place.

Yet this is the hour for Africa to stand up.

Challenging NATO’s illegal war would insert the African continent prominently on the world stage and change the continent’s heretofore servitude-like relations with the West. Yet even as NATO continues to destroy billions of dollars of Libya’s property through the bombardments, the entire continent is completely mute because of a leadership vacuum.

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma traveled with a team of African leaders to broker a ceasefire and promote the African Union (AU) peace proposal that called for a halt to the fighting, a relief corridoor for civilians, and negotiations for a constitution and elections. The proposal was dead on arrival. Although embraced by Tripoli, NATO and its mouthpiece, Benghazi, rejected the AU plan.

Yet rather than fading into the underworld, Zuma should call a special meeting in South Africa, invite all African presidents and promote and publicize the plan. Zuma should also invite China, Brazil, India and Russia –which is now reconsidering its position given Vladimir Putin’s angry denunciations of the NATO war – and get these countries to endorse the AU Libyan peace proposal.

African leaders must call for an end to the charade – NATO’s Libyan operation is not about “saving civilian lives.” It is undisguised conquest pure and simple – with daily attacks by NATO planes and multiple failed assassination attempts against Muammar al-Quathafi.

Civil war erupted in Libya in February when insurrectionists in Benghazi seized control of that City. The rebels marched rapidly towards the east and overran several other coastal towns.

By the end of February and into March, the tide quickly reversed when the Libyan army launched counterattacks, rolling back the rebels to Benghazi, where a panicky exodus towards Egypt started. Fearful that a victorious Libyan army would massacre civilians in Benghazi, the United Nations Security Council voted for Resolution 1973 which authorized the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

Instead, NATO – in essence France’s erratic president Nicholas Sarkozi and British prime minister David Cameron – turned the authority into an outright aerial invasion of Libya in support of Benghazi, which has yet to prove that it has support throughout Libya.

Even with NATO taking over the war, spontaneous uprisings have not occurred in Western Libya; unlike as in Syria, where people have stood up against Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless security forces. Ironically, the U.S. and NATO have turned a blind eye to the massacres in Syria.

There are several possible reasons why many Libyans might question and be wary of Benghazi.

[] Benghazi has embraced monarchists, including the son of King Idris, deposed when al-Ouathafi seized power.

[] Benghazi’s leadership includes many former al-Quathafi officials, including the minister of justice, and two former generals in the Libyan army, who are now fighting among themselves for leadership of the rebel army.

[] Benghazi in a front page article in The Financial Times informed the world that Libya’s oil concessions post-Quathafi would be apportioned based on the level of support each Western country provides in deposing al-Quathafi.

[] Benghazi fighters are being trained by former al-Qaeda leaders, as well documented by The Wall Street Journal.

[] Benghazi has been selling oil, Libya’s national asset, illegally –even though the UN knows about it– through the dictatorship of Qatar.

[] Benghazi is being trained by the United States CIA as well as by French and British officers.

[] Benghazi has launched a campaign of revenge and witchhunting, killing anyone suspected of having previously worked with al-Quathafi; this has even been reported on the pages of the pro-Benghazi New York Times. (The International Criminal Court’s Luis Moreno Ocampo has said nothing about this as he focuses exclusively on “investigating” Tripoli).

[] Benghazi has executed Black Africans and dark-skinned Libyans, in the most vicious manner; there are videotapes on YouTube showing cheering Benghazi residents taking video images with cell phone cameras of the bodies of mutiliated Africans. Again the ICC’s Ocampo says nothing about this and The New York Times’ editors are not bothered by the barbarity against Black people.

In sum: Benghazi has demonstrated to nationalist Libyans that they are not capable of ruling the entire country and that their affiliation with the CIA and NATO does not speak well to any independent nationalist credentials.

Even Libyans who have tired of al-Quathafi’s 42-years regime might be wary of such a compromised and corrupted entity such as Benghazi – hence the absence of a national popular uprising.

National popular uprisings occurred in Tunisia and Egypt; and there is one underway in Syria. There was no need for NATO bombardment in each of those countries.

Libya is actually fighting a war against European invaders who are using Benghazi as cover for their own designs on Libya and its phenomenal oil wealth and its independent foreign policy.

How else to explain the fact that NATO is now openly using information from the Benghazi rebels to bombard Libya? How else to explain the multiple attacks against the al-Quathafi compound in Tripoli? Do all these elements fit within the dictate of Resolution 1973?

Yesterday, the mask of neo-colonialism was tossed aside when the British military commander Gen. David Richards said NATO should now start destroying Libya’s infrastructure.

Does this also fit within Resolution 1973? Or is it more in line with maximum infrastructure destruction to pave the way for future reconstruction contracts for Western companies?

The whole world is watching NATO’s criminality against Libya; what Russia’s Vladimir Putin termed a “call to crusade.”

That 53 African countries –Morocco has withdrawn from the AU– are not able to come together and stand with Libya and to challenge and counter NATO’s illegal aerial invasion proves that African countries are not yet independent.

Nkrumah’s fears have been vindicated.

====

Question For Caricom On NATO’s War In Libya

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog/?p=5293

Trinidad and Tobago News
May 15, 2011

Question for Caricom on Nato’s ‘war’ in Libya
Rickey Singh

Last week, while the United Nations humanitarian aid chief, Baroness Valerie Amos, was pleading for at least a pause in hostilities in Libya to help “ease the humanitarian crisis”, NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was arrogantly boasting — amid continuing bombing strikes — that President Moammar Gadaffi’s “days are numbered… There is no future for him or his regime…”

Well, since the Caribbean Community has finally broken its silence on the United States-led NATO war on Libya, perhaps it should at least seek a clarification from the UN Secretary General about the “mandate” by which NATO is currently intensifying its bombing raids to end “the future of Gadaffi and his government.”

Western double standards in its war to rid Libya of the dictatorial regime in Libya, when compared with the spreading uprisings in the Middle East/North Africa region, for democratic governance, has long been noted by scholars and informed commentators and organisations in the USA, Britain and Europe.

But for all the killings and repression by state security/military personnel in those countries, it is on Gadaffi and Libya’s future that the US and its NATO allies remain focused for “regime change” by the use of military force under the pretext of “protecting civilians.”

So, will Caricom move from its recently stated position in favour of a negotiated settlement to the Libyan crisis and enquire of the UN Secretary General as to whose mandate is really being enforced by NATO in Libya to “get rid of Gadaffi”? That certainly was not a stated objective of the original “no fly zone” resolution the US and its NATO allies managed to secure from a divided UN Security Council.

It took some six weeks, after the start of the ferocious bombing strikes against Libya by the USA and its NATO allies before the Caribbean Community summoned the courage to let the people of our region — among the world’s poor and powerless — know where it stands on this very bloody conflict that cries out for a principled negotiated political solution. Better late than never.

And when Caricom Foreign Ministers issued their statement just over a week ago on the Libyan crisis, following a regular meeting in St Kitts and Nevis, they opted to endorse — some say took ‘shelter’ behind — the position earlier enunciated by the African Union (AU) with which our Community has an ongoing working relationship.

The AU which, incidentally, had its inauguration in 1999 in the hometown of the embattled Libyan President, Maommar Gadaffi, had called for an immediate halt to the NATO bombing raids. Some have resulted in deaths.injuries and destruction for both the anti and pro-Gaddafi forces. The AU, and also the Arab League, has called for a negotiated political, not military solution.

In their own assessment of the deepening Libyan crisis since 10 of the 15 permanent members of the United Nation Security Council approved a “no fly zone” resolution to “protect civilians”, Caricom Foreign Ministers have urged a speedy negotiated resolution that “would reflect the legitimate demands and aspirations (read that to involve respect also for democratic governance and national sovereignty) of the Libyan people…”

Those among us in this region — where self-contempt runs deep, and who are ever so willing to side with the wealthy and mighty western powers — may cynically remark: ‘Who cares about Caricom’s stand on Libya? After all Caricom has no economic or political clout of any significance!

They may even scoff at the AU’s plea for an end to bombings and ALSO expediently ignore that the US-led NATO war game in Libya is for “regime change” — getting rid of Gadaffi and his government.

It is, perhaps pertinent for our region’s governments and institutions to keep in mind a well known observation of the late William Demas, that outstanding political thinker and doyen among West Indian economists. He passionately felt that neither geographical size nor economic resources should deter this region from taking principled stand on issues of international importance, particularly in relation to sovereignty and the rule of law.

In the context of the current Libyan crisis, “regime change” in Tripoli, remains the core factor in the waging of an unauthorised war under the pretext of “protecting civilians”. It is also being viewed as a brazen display of abuse of political/military power inconsistent with the rule of law.

Caricom, therefore, now has a moral obligation to at least use its limited resources to help in mobilising support — along with countries of the African Union and Arab League — in backing the call earlier this week for a pause in the bloody conflict. It came from the United Nation’s aid chief to the UN Security Council on why it is essential to have an immediate cessation in bombardment in Libya in order to ease a worsening humanitarian crisis

Even as the Guyana-born former cabinet minister in the Labour Party administration of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair was making her plea, there were media reports of hundreds more non-combat civilians — Libyans and migrant workers — drowning at sea in their desperate attempts to flee from the ‘war games’ in which Libya is now gripped.

In contrast to the UN official’s assessment, NATO’s Secretary General, Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, has been talking tough, declaring that Gadaffi should realise, sooner rather than later, there’s no future for him or his regime…” Since the UN Security Council’s “no fly zone” resolution in March, there have already been some 6,000 NATO military missions to Libya that have resulted in thousands of deaths of Libyans and migrants working in that North African state with which Caricom countries have long established diplomatic and cultural relations.

The US-engineered 2003 war on Iraq to get rid of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship should not become the guiding/example for “regime change” in Libya — or any other nation.

Right now, after the initial “breaking news” by President Barack Obama on the circumstances of the killing of Osama bin Laden, his Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been pushed on the defensive by leaked reports to deny that the death of the Al Qaeda leader was “not an act of assassination”.

Well, while it would be unwise to rush to the defence of those who preach and practice terrorism, the fact, as earlier officially claimed by the Obama White House, is that bin Laden was not armed when he was fatally shot in the head.

Further, no proof has yet been offered that the notorious Al Qaeda leader resisted arrest when confronted by the US special force that went to Pakistan to “take him out” — dead or alive. So, was his authorised “killing” an act of “murder”? And how should that kind of “murder” be differentiated from an “assassination”?

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 15, 2011

May 16, 2011 2 comments

====

NATO Troops Kill Afghan Girl, Wound Four Others

NATO Slays Third Afghan Child In Four Days

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll Reaches 171 For 2011

19 NATO Oil Tankers Set On Fire Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

Blackwater Founder Assembles Mercenary Force For United Arab Emirates

Uganda: AFRICOM Chief Wants More Foreign Troops For Somalia

Three Ugandan Soldiers Killed, Three Injured In Somali Fighting

U.S. Client Djibouti To Deploy Troops To Somalia

====


NATO troops in Afghanistan


NATO airlifts Ugandan troops to Somalia

====

NATO Troops Kill Afghan Girl, Wound Four Others

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1639244.php/Afghan-police-chief-accuses-NATO-of-killing-child

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 15, 2011

Afghan police chief accuses NATO of killing child

Kabul: A 12-year-old child was killed and four others injured Sunday after NATO forces allegedly opened fire on them in the south-eastern Afghan province of Kunar, a police official said.

The children – all girls aged 8 to 15 – were playing in Bargam area of Ghaziabad district when they came under fire from coalition forces, Khalilullah Ziaee, the provincial police chief said.

‘We believe it was the foreign forces that opened fire,’ he said. ‘A 12-year-old girl was killed and four other girls were injured.’

A spokesman from NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said that the alliance was aware of ‘civilian casualties in Kunar province’ but could not provide further details.

….

Civilian casualties at the hands of international forces have been causing increasing resentment among Afghans. President Hamid Karzai has spoken out strongly against NATO raids. Earlier this year he called on the foreign forces to halt all operations in the country.

The alleged civilian killing came a day after hundreds of people took to the streets in the eastern province of Nangarhar to protest at the killing of a teenage boy by NATO troops on Friday night.

The men took the body of the 15-year-old to the Hesarak district headquarters and threw stones at police trying to control the mob. At least three protesters were injured when police opened fire.

A total of 2,777 civilians were killed in the Afghan conflict last year, the bloodiest period for the population since the ouster of the Taliban nearly 10 years ago.

====

NATO Slays Third Afghan Child In Four Days

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/05/15/isaf-kills-another-child-kunar

Pajhwok Afghan News
May 15, 2011

ISAF kills another child in Kunar
by Khan Wali Salarzai

ASADABAD: NATO-led foreign troops on Sunday killed a child and injured three others people in a new incident of civilian casualties during an operation in the Ghaziabad district of eastern Kunar province on Sunday, officials and residents said.

The casualties occurred during a clash between foreign troops and militants in the Yargam area before noon, residents said, blaming foreign troops for killing the 8-to-13-year-old child and injuring three other people.

The governor, Syed Fazlullah Wahidi, confirmed the incident, but said he was unable to say who killed the child.

But the police chief, Brig. Gen. Khalilullah Ziayee, said civilians suffered casualties in firing by foreign troops.

NATO-led ISAF media office in the east said an investigation had been launched into the incident.

Dr. Farooq Sahak, head of Kunar civil hospital, confirmed receiving three injured people, including a young girl, at the hospital, with one of them in critical condition.

The child’s killing was the third such incident this week. NATO-led foreign troops on Friday night raided a house in the Hesark district of neighbouring Nangarhar province, killing a 12-year-old son of a police officer.

Nearly 500 residents of the district on Saturday took to the streets to denounce the killing. They placed the dead body in front of the district headquarters while chanting slogans against foreign troops. Four protestors were killed when police opened fire at them after the protest had turned violent.

On Thursday, Afghan and foreign troops killed a policeman and a girl during a raid on their compound in Nangarhar.

====

Afghan War: NATO Death Toll Reaches 171 For 2011

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1639225.php/NATO-says-foreign-soldier-killed-by-roadside-bomb-in-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 15, 2011

NATO says foreign soldier killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Kabul: A foreign soldier with NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the alliance said in a statement.

The military did not reveal the nationality of the deceased, nor did it say where exactly in the volatile region the incident took place. Most of the troops stationed in country’s south are from the United States, Britain and Canada.

A total of 171 foreign troops have been killed in Afghan conflict so far in 2011. Last year with more than 700 fatalities was the deadliest period for more than 140,000 international forces present in the country.

….

====

19 NATO Oil Tankers Set On Fire Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=6005&Cat=13&dt=5/15/2011

News International
May 15, 2011

19 Nato tankers torched near Torkham

LANDIKOTAL: The number of Nato oil tankers that were burnt in a bomb blast near Afghan border Friday night reached 19, as 14 more tankers caught fire early Saturday, official sources said.

The sources said 14 other tankers parked near the burning tankers gradually caught fire and were reduced to ashes; however, no casualties were reported.

A Khassadar official told The News on condition of anonymity that oil in a tanker caught fire, which engulfed several other oil tankers around it.

Local fire brigade crew members, after hectic efforts lasting two hours, extinguished the fire Friday night, but it again erupted after an hour when the highly flammable JP8 oil exploded after getting heat from the other tankers’ fire.

….

INP adds: The Abdullah Azam Group has claimed responsibility for destroying the Nato oil tankers and warned that all those involved in supplying goods and oil to Nato troops stationed in Afghanistan will be targeted by the outfit’s fighters.

….

====

Blackwater Founder Assembles Mercenary Force For United Arab Emirates

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=founder-of-blackwater-8216hires-mercenaries-for-uae8217-2011-05-15

Agence France-Presse
May 15, 2011

Founder of Blackwater ‘hires mercenaries for UAE’

-The first recruits include Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, who are trained by retired U.S. soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units as well as the French Foreign Legion….

WASHINGTON: The billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, a scandal-plagued U.S. security firm accused of abuses in Iraq, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials and corporate documents, the newspaper said that Erik Prince, who came to live in the United Arab Emirates last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, is using $529 million from the sheikdom to complete the mission.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the report said.

Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest or were challenged by pro-democracy demonstrations in its crowded labor camps in the oil fields or democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year, the paper noted.

The UAE’s rulers also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the report said. Their training camp is located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, according to the report.

The first recruits include Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, who are trained by retired U.S. soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units as well as the French Foreign Legion, the paper said.

Blackwater security guards were accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007. Last month, a U.S. appeals court reopened the prosecution of four of these former guards.

====

Uganda: AFRICOM Chief Wants More Foreign Troops For Somalia

http://www.weinformers.net/2011/05/11/united-states-appeals-for-more-african-troops-to-join-uganda-and-burundi-on-somali-mission/

WeInformers (Uganda)
May 15, 2011

United States appeals for more African troops to join Uganda and Burundi on Somali mission

The United States welcomes and will support other African countries to send peace troops to join Uganda and Burundi on the Africa Union Peace Keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISON).

The new Commander of the U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Carter F. Ham says they would be happy to see more African countries join forces to pacify Somalia, which he described as his “greatest worry”.

Gen. Ham who was addressing a press briefing at the US Mission (embassy) in Uganda on Wednesday said that participation of more countries in AMISON would bring more capacity and capability to efforts of pacifying Somalia.

….

Although many African Union member states pledged to contribute troops to the AU led AMISON, only Uganda and Burndi have contributed troops. Uganda has contributed some 4,480 troops to Somalia, while Burundi has about 2,000 troops.

….

“The priority for the US is to work with all countries to ensure a coordinated approach in helping Somalia stablise and no longer be a safe haven for terrorists,” Gen. Ham said, thanking Uganda and Burundi for contributing troops to AMISON.

At the same press briefing, Gen. Ham said the US command will remain stationed in Germany and not on the African continent, despite earlier reports that the US was considering establishing their Africa Command Headquarters in Uganda.

….

The US General also said they are committed to helping Uganda defeat the Lords Resistance Army rebels and capture or kill its leader, Joseph Kony….

Gen. Ham who took over as head of the US Africa Command on March 9, 2011 on Wednesday concluded his first visit to Uganda, where he met with President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima and other senior commanders of the UPDF.

Ham said he wills later in the day travel to Burundi to meet with political and military leaders as well as visit the AFRICOM training programmes in Burundi.

====

Three Ugandan Soldiers Killed, Three Injured In Somali Fighting

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1162638/-/c1jfjhz/-/

Daily Monitor (Uganda)
May 15, 2011

UPDF officers killed, 3 injured in Somalia
By Mudangha Kolyangha & Agencies

Two UPDF officers were yesterday killed and three others sustained injuries in a fierce gun battle with the al-Shabaab Islamists in Somalia. A statement from the Amison commander, Maj. Gen. Nathan Mugisha, said the Transitional Federal Government [TFG] backed by African Union troops (AMISOM) exchanged heavy gunfire at the Bakara market.

….

The TFG and AMISOM had long been confined to a few blocks, unable to take the battle to the al Shabaab, an Islamist insurgent movement that has controlled most of the Horn of Africa country for two years.

….

====

U.S. Client Djibouti To Deploy Troops To Somalia

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/90048399?Djibouti%20sends%20troops%20to%\20turbulent%20Somalia

All Headline News
May 14, 2011

Djibouti sends troops to turbulent Somalia
Abdi Hajji Hussein

Djibouti on Saturday announced that it will send two battalions of troops to war-torn Somalia to join the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMSIOM).

Mohamoud Ali Yusuf, Djibouti’s minister of foreign affairs, said that his
government was…training and preparing those troops over the last few years, adding they are fully equipped right now and ready to perform regional peacekeeping duties as deputized by African Union (AU).

“At the end of this month or the start of June, our troops will be deployed to Mogadishu…,”Yusuf said in an interview with VOA Somali Service.

Before deploying the troops, Djibouti discussed the issue with a number of
countries and organizations including the Unitet States, the African Union and the neighboring Ethiopia, the minister noted.

Djibouti will be the third African country to send troops to Somalia.

….

Uganda and Burundi, who have more about 9,000 soldiers in Mogadishu, have been the first nations deployed their forces to Somalia under the AU mission in Somalia.

Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, the prime minister of Somalia recently called for an additional 4,000 troops to be deployed as soon as possible. Uganda and Burundi pledged to send an additional 4,000 troops to Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

In March, Burundi deployed one battalion (1,000 soldiers), but the remaining 3,000 soldiers would be deployed around the middle of the year.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Continues Killing Spree in Africa And Asia

May 15, 2011 3 comments

Stop NATO
May 15, 2011

NATO Continues Killing Spree in Africa And Asia
Rick Rozoff

On May 13 President Barack Obama welcomed North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the White House and the two pledged to continue the world’s two major wars, those in Afghanistan and Libya. There are over 150,000 foreign troops engaged in the nearly ten-year war in Afghanistan, at least 130,000 of them serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Since taking command of the war against Libya on March 31 the military bloc has conducted almost 7,000 air missions, including over 2,600 combat flights. Obama and Rasmussen also announced that the U.S. will host next year’s NATO summit.

In a column in the same day’s Wall Street Journal, Rasmussen said, “NATO’s operational commitments have changed beyond recognition in the past 20 years, and we have never been busier.” Indeed.

NATO troops killed a 12-year-old girl and injured four other girls ages 8 to 15 in Afghanistan’s Kunar province on May 15, according to the provincial police chief. The day before NATO forces killed a 15-year-old boy, the son of an Afghan soldier, in a night raid in Nangarhar province, resulting in a demonstration by local Afghans that was fired upon by government forces with four protesters killed, including a 14-year-old boy.

On May 12 NATO troops killed a 12-year-old girl and a policeman, her relative, also in Nangarhar province. According to the girl’s father: “They (foreign troops) hurled a hand grenade at my daughter after she ran out of the room in a panic. She was killed on the spot.” [1]

Two weeks before NATO and Afghan government troops attacked a Pakistani checkpoint in the South Waziristan Agency. Three Afghan soldiers were killed and two Pakistani security personnel were injured. “Pakistani security forces said they returned fire when they came under attack from Afghan and Nato forces….” [2]

According to a leader of a Pakistani opposition party: “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.” [3]

U.S. drone missile attacks killed eight people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency on May 12, after which “locals said the dead were innocent people.” [4] Two days before “U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle, killing at least five people and injuring seven others” in South Waziristan. “The identities of the deceased were not known immediately.” [5]

The U.S. had enough Hellfire missiles left over to launch a drone attack in Yemen earlier this month, missing the intended target and killing two other people instead.

Late last month three NATO helicopters fired on Iranian fishermen 750 kilometers north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the Indian Ocean, wounding three Iranians and killing three Somalis in the second such attack in two days. Iran’s minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mohamed Ali “condemned the NATO attack and demanded an apology from the international forces.” [6]

On May 13 NATO aircraft bombed the Libyan city of Brega, killing 16 civilians, including 11 clerics who were there on a peace mission, and wounding 45 others.

The same day Alliance warships, part of a 20-ship flotilla enforcing a naval blockade of Libya, shelled a Red Crescent Society building in rebel-held Misrata as well as bombing the outskirts of the nearby town of Zlitan.

The preceding day Libyan state television reported that a NATO air strike hit the North Korean embassy in Tripoli. Several other sites were targeted in the capital hours after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made his first television appearance since a NATO strike on April 30 killed one of his sons and three of his grandchildren.

General Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, which was in charge of the air war and naval operations against Libya from March 19-30, spoke in Uganda on May 11 and advocated the deployment of more troops for the ongoing armed conflict in Somalia, offering American assistance for the effort. Since last year NATO has airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops into and out of the Somali capital, where three Ugandan soldiers were killed and as many wounded three days after Ham’s statement.

On May 14 Djibouti, where the Pentagon has its only permanent military base in Africa and at least 2,500 troops assigned to its Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa based there, announced it would deploy two battalions to Somalia to join 9,000 Ugandan and Burundian forces there.

There will be far more innocent people, including children, killed in Africa, Asia and the Arabian Peninsula before the NATO summit convenes in the U.S. next year.

1) Pajhwok Afghan News, May 12, 2011
2) Dawn News, April 27, 2011
3) News International, April 28, 2011
4) The Nation, May 13, 2011
5) Online News International, May 10, 2011
6) Press TV, April 24, 2011

Categories: Uncategorized

1862: Dostoevsky on the new world order

May 15, 2011 4 comments

====

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

Russian writers on war

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Selections on war

====

Fyodor Dostoevsky
From Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (1862)
Translated by Kyril Fitzlyon

The immense town [London], forever bustling by night and by day, as vast as an ocean, the screech and howl of machinery, the railways built above the houses (and soon to be built under them), the daring of enterprise, the apparent disorder which in actual fact is the highest form of bourgeois order, the polluted Thames, the coal-saturated air, the magnificent squares and parks, the town’s terrifying districts such as Whitechapel with its half-naked, savage and hungry population, the City with its millions and its world-wide trade, the Crystal Palace, the World Exhibition…

The Exhibition is indeed amazing. You feel the terrible force which has brought these innumerable people, who have come from the ends of the earth, altogether into one fold; you realize the grandeur of the idea; you feel that something has been achieved here, that here is victory and triumph. And you feel nervous. However great your independence of mind, a feeling of fear somehow creeps over you. Can this, you think, in fact be the final accomplishment of an ideal state of things? Is this the end, by any chance? Perhaps this really is the ‘one fold’? Perhaps we shall really have to accept this as the whole truth and cease from all movement thereafter?

It is all so solemn, triumphant, and proud that you are left breathless. You look at those hundreds of thousands, at those millions of people obediently trooping into this place from all parts of the earth – people who have come with only one thought in mind, quietly, stubbornly and silently milling round in this colossal palace, and you feel that something final has been accomplished here – accomplished and completed. It is a Biblical sight, something to do with Babylon, some prophecy out of the Apocalypse being fulfilled before your very eyes.

You feel that a rich and ancient tradition of denial and protest is needed in order not to yield, not to succumb to impression, not to bow down in worship of fact, and not to idolize Baal, that is, not to take the actual for the ideal…

*****


The Crystal Palace

*****

[If] you had seen how proud the mighty spirit is which created that colossal decor and how convinced it is of its victory and its triumph, you would have shuddered at its pride, its obstinacy, its blindness, and you would have shuddered, too, at the thought of those over whom that proud spirit hovers and reigns supreme. In the presence of such immensity, in the presence of the unbounded pride of the dominating spirit, and of the triumphant finality of the world created by that spirit, the hungry soul often quails, yields and submits, seeks its salvation in gin and debauchery and succumbs to a belief in the rightness of the existing order…

In London you no longer see the populace. Instead you see a loss of sensibility, systematic, resigned and discouraged. And you feel, as you look at all those social pariahs, that it will be a long time before the prophecy is fulfilled for them, a long time before they are given palm branches and white robes, and for a long time yet they will continue to appeal to the Throne of the Almighty, crying: ‘How long, oh Lord?’

*****

From Meditations About Europe (1876)
Translated by Boris Brasol

Everybody predicts lasting peace; everywhere, clear horizons, alliances and new energies are being discerned. Even in the fact that in Paris a republic has been established, people perceive peace; moreover, even in the fact that that republic has been established by Bismarck – even in this, people perceive peace. In the accord of the great Oriental powers people unhesitatingly see great pledges for peace, while some of our newspapers begin to observe even in the present Herzegovina disturbance unmistakable symptoms of the stability of European peace, instead of the former apprehension.

Peace “to the very finish” is altogether impossible there [France]. Acclaiming the republic, everybody in Europe has been asserting that it is needed by both France and Europe by the fact alone that only its existence will render the “revanche” war with Germany impossible, and that the republic alone – among all the governments that have been only recently claiming power in France – will neither risk nor desire it. And yet all this is a mirage: the republic has been proclaimed precisely for the purpose of war, if not with Germany, then with a still more dangerous adversary, communism.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libya war: May 15

May 15, 2011 2 comments

====

British Military Chief: NATO Must Widen Bomb Attacks To Depose Or Kill Gaddafi

Libyan Air War: 6,661 NATO Sorties, 2,608 Strike Missions

NATO Warplanes Blast Libyan Oil Terminal

NATO Bombs Libyan Town Near Tunisian Border

Libya: Clerics’ Funeral Turns Into Mass Anti-U.S. Protest

Libya: NATO Warships Open Fire On “Small Boats”

Libyan War Backers: Eight-Nation Pro-Western Arab Monarchies Bloc?

====


Eurofighters


HMS Liverpool

====

British Military Chief: NATO Must Widen Bomb Attacks To Depose Or Kill Gaddafi

http://rt.com/news/line/2011-05-15/#id10119

Voice of Russia
May 15, 2011

If Gaddafi killed in air strike that would be “within the rules” – British Defense Chief

NATO must widen the target of air strikes in Libya in order to put more pressure on entrenched strongman Muammar Gaddafi, the British Chief of Defense told the Telegraph newspaper, in an interview.

General David Richards and other senior NATO officers want backing from member states to intensify the war effort by directly targeting Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, rather than simply protecting Libyan civilians.

He also hinted that killing Gaddafi would be justified: “We are not targeting Gaddafi directly, but if it happened that he was in a command and control center that was hit by NATO and he was killed, then that is within the rules.”

General Richards also pointed out that “The United Nations resolution allows NATO to use ‘all necessary means’ in Libya.”

—————————————————————————

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/NATO_must_step_up_pace_in_Libya_-_British_official.html?cid=30236044

Reuters
May 15, 2011

NATO must step up pace in Libya – British official

TRIPOLI: NATO must broaden the range of targets it is bombing in Libya or risk failing to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power, Britain’s most senior military officer was quoted as saying on Sunday.

NATO warplanes…have stopped government troops advancing on rebel strongholds but the collapse of Gaddafi’s rule, which many Western governments seek, has not materialised.

After a fresh series of air strikes on his Bab al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, Gaddafi taunted the Western military alliance, saying in an audio recording aired on Friday that he was in a place where NATO could not reach him.

General David Richards, Britain’s chief of defence staff, said the military campaign to date had been a “significant success” for NATO, but it needed to do more.

“If we do not up the ante now there is a risk that the conflict could result in Gaddafi clinging to power,” he was quoted in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper as saying.

“At present, NATO is not attacking infrastructure targets [sic] in Libya. But if we want to increase the pressure on Gaddafi’s regime then we need to give serious consideration to increasing the range of targets we can hit,” he told the paper.

Nearly three months after a revolt began against Gaddafi’s four-decade rule, fighting between rebels and government forces on several fronts has come to a near-standstill.

That creates a dilemma for Western governments who are under pressure to deliver a decisive outcome. They face voters who are impatient for quick results and want to avoid a repeat of the long-drawn out conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An inconclusive outcome is likely to limit Libyan oil exports, keeping world prices high, and also keep driving hundreds of migrants to make the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Previous NATO bombing campaigns, especially in Kosovo in the late 1990s, showed that more aggressive targeting carries with it the risk of civilian casualties.

Libya on Saturday held a funeral for nine imams, or Muslim clerics, it said NATO killed in an air strike on the eastern city of Brega a day earlier.

A crowd of about 500 people gathered at a burial for seven of the nine at a cemetery near Tripoli’s port. Some shouted “May God defeat their (NATO) forces on land, sea and air!”

Mourners hoisted the plain wooden coffins above their heads to carry them into the cemetery. Inside the open caskets were ***what looked like bodies*** wrapped in green shrouds and garlanded with flowers.

The alliance said the building it struck in Brega was a command-and-control-centre.

“We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim, we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur,” NATO said in a statement.

….

Libyan state television broadcast audio remarks by Gaddafi on Friday apparently aimed at quashing speculation about his health sparked by Italy’s foreign minister who said he had likely been wounded in a NATO strike and left Tripoli.

Security officials in North Africa and elsewhere say one of the risks from a lingering conflict in Libya is that al Qaeda’s north African branch could exploit the chaos to acquire weapons and recruit followers.

Tunisian television reported on Sunday that security forces there had arrested two suspected al Qaeda members near the border with Libya. It said they were carrying an explosive belt and several bombs.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers, Sami Aboudi in Cairo, Tarek Amara and Sylvia Westall in Tunisia and David Brunnstrom in Brussels; Writing by Christian Lowe)

====

Libyan Air War: 6,661 NATO Sorties, 2,608 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_05/20110515_110515-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 15, 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 6661 sorties, including 2608 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 May: 136

Strike sorties conducted 14 May: 52

….

A total of 20 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

8 Vessels were hailed on 14 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversions) were conducted.

A total of 928 vessels have been hailed, 39 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.

….

====

NATO Warplanes Blast Libyan Oil Terminal

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110515/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_libya

Associated Press
May 15, 2011

Libya: NATO hits oil port of Ras Lanouf
By Diaa Hadid And Maggie Michael

TRIPOLI, Libya: NATO aircraft blasted an oil terminal in a key eastern city at nightfall Sunday, Libyan TV reported, after Britain urged the alliance to widen its assault on areas controlled by ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

The Libya TV report said the bombs hit methanol tanks at the oil port of Ras Lanouf, causing leaks. NATO officials had no immediate comment.

….

====

NATO Bombs Libyan Town Near Tunisian Border

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2011/05/15/1461s637498.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 15, 2011

NATO Bombs Libyan Town near Tunisian Border

NATO planes on Sunday morning bombed barracks and radar installations in the Libyan town of Boukamache, some 17 km from the Tunisian border, the official TAP press agency reported.

The bombings which could be heard at the Ras El Jedir border crossing point, provoked panic among a number of Tunisians on their way back to Tunisia, TAP said, adding following the bombings, a large number of Libyan refugees fled the region and crossed into Tunisia.

….

More than 200 people tried to enter the Tunisian border, near Tataouine, in an attempt to take rebel forces by surprise. They were repelled back into Libya. No clashes were recorded. In the meantime, the Tunisian army deployed more military vehicles to protect the border area, TAP said.

====

Libya: Clerics’ Funeral Turns Into Mass Anti-U.S. Protest

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/15/50314231.html

Voice of Russia
May 15, 2011

Imams’ funerals turn into anti-US demonstration in Libya

The funeral for nine imams who were killed in a NATO air strike in Libya on Friday grew into mass anti-American demonstrations. The participants chanted slogans in support of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and showed determination to repel NATO’s attacks.

The nine imams were among 11 people killed in a strike on a hotel in the eastern city of Marsa-el-Brega on Friday.

…..

====

Libya: NATO Warships Open Fire On “Small Boats”

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424205141.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
May 13, 2011

NATO ships thwart attack on Misrata harbour

Naples, Italy: In the early hours of Thursday 12 May, while conducting embargo patrols in the waters off the coast of Libya, NATO warships participated in a coordinated defence against a small boat attack threatening the port city of Misrata.

Beginning at approximately 2 a.m. the Canadian Frigate HMCS Charlottetown, acting in concert with the British Destroyer HMS Liverpool and supported by a French warship not under NATO Command, thwarted an attack on the port of Misrata by a number of fast small boats. The boats were forced to abandon their attack and regime forces ashore covered their retreat with artillery and anti-aircraft canon fire directed towards the allied warships.

HMCS Charlottetown responded with a short burst of machine gun fire and HMS Liverpool also returned fire….

====

Libyan War Backers: Eight-Nation Pro-Western Arab Monarchies Bloc?

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/15/c_13875834.htm

Xinhua News Agency
May 15, 2011

Morocco keen on joining Gulf Arab bloc: FM

RIYADH: Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi said his country is very keen on joining the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat quoted him as saying late Saturday.

“Morocco has responded to the Gulf invitation in a positive fashion,” he told the newspaper as he wrapped up his visit to Saudi Arabia after the Gulf bloc invited the North African monarch to join.

The GCC, a political and economic bloc of oil-producing Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, said this week it would consider a request by two Arab monarchies, Jordan and Morocco, to join.

The GCC, which was founded in 1981, is expected to begin talks with Morocco and Jordan, but no date has been set for the talks.

Fassi said Morocco’s inclusion into the bloc needs time and a very in-depth study.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO News: May 14, 2011

====

Updates on Libyan war: May 14

====

Romania: U.S. Adds Land-Based To Ship-Based Interceptor Missiles For Mediterranean And Black Seas

Second Time In Three Days: NATO Night