Home > Uncategorized > Libyan war update/Stop NATO news: June 3, 2011

Libyan war update/Stop NATO news: June 3, 2011

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NATO Maintains Deadly Nightly Onslaughts Against Libyan Capital

77 Days Of Bombing: Over 9,500 NATO Air Missions, 3,500 Strike Sorties

NATO Warplanes Hit Tripoli Again Today

NATO Wants Swedish Combat Role In Ongoing War Against Libya

NATO Wants To Free Africa From The Africans

U.S. Recruits More Georgian Troops For NATO’s Afghan War

Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

Afghanistan: NATO’s Deadliest Month This Year

Four NATO Soldiers Injured In Afghan Bomb Attack

Clinton Applauds Czech Republic’s Willingness To Join NATO Missile System

Japan To Export Interceptor Missiles To NATO Countries

U.S. Horn Of Africa Task Force Marks Death Of Service Members In Djibouti

South Korea Deploys Second Interceptor Missile Warship

U.S. Eurasian/Caspian Energy Envoy To Visit Azerbaijan

Pakistan Complains To NATO Over Deadly Taliban Raid From Afghanistan

State of The Empire: Reflections On The Geopolitical Situation

Kosovo: NATO Soldier Charged With Multiple Rapes

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NATO Maintains Deadly Nightly Onslaughts Against Libyan Capital

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/02/51200386.html

Voice of Russia
June 2, 2011

NATO keeps bombing Tripoli

The NATO air force continues bombing Tripoli every single night, hitting not only administrative and military targets but residential buildings as well. Many hospitals have been destroyed and the rest lack personnel, Libya-based Ukrainian doctors told a news agency correspondent.

According to them, all other foreigners who worked in Tripoli hospitals departed as soon as military operations began. The Ukrainian medical staff hardly manages to aid all those who suffer from the air strikes.

Tripoli groceries can still provide enough food, even though prices have gone up. Another problem is an acute shortage of gasoline.

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77 Days Of Bombing: Over 9,500 NATO Air Missions, 3,500 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110603_110603-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 3, 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 9504 sorties, including 3584 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 02 JUNE: 172

Strike sorties conducted 02 JUNE: 63

….

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NATO Warplanes Hit Tripoli Again Today

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1885647.html

Trend News Agency
June 3, 2011

New NATO airstrikes hit Tripoli

NATO airstrikes again targeted areas in and around the Libyan capital Tripoli, broadcaster CNN reported early Friday.

A number of explosions could be heard in Tripoli late Thursday and early Friday, the report said. According to a Libyan government official, the airstrikes also destroyed several targets in al-Aziziya, a city about 50 kilometres west of Tripoli, including the main police station. Two policemen were killed in the attack, CNN quoted the unnamed official as saying.

Also hit was an area near a compound of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi in Bab al-Aziziya, the report said.

Clashes also continued between rebels and forces loyal to Gaddafi near the eastern city of Misurata. At least one person was killed, DPA reported.

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NATO Wants Swedish Combat Role In Ongoing War Against Libya

 

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/nato-wants-swedens-continued-support-in-libya-57176.html

 
Epoch Times
June 3, 2011

 
NATO Wants Sweden’s Continued Support In Libya
By Barbro Plogander and Aron Lamm

 
Although not a member of NATO, Sweden has participated in NATO’s mission in Libya, and with the extension of the mission by three months announced on June 1 by Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Sweden was also asked to continue and expand its military participation.

So far, Sweden has contributed about 130 people to the mission, along with eight Gripen airplanes and one Hercules airplane, for reconnaissance and aerial refueling. But now, NATO wants the Swedish force to also take on other tasks, such as attacking targets on the ground and sending troops for boarding ships.

….

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is well known for speaking his mind on the Internet, wrote in a May 31 blog post, that Sweden needs to decide “if we are ready to continue our contribution, in one form or another, to the current efforts to support UN resolution no. 1973.”

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NATO Wants To Free Africa From The Africans

 

 

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/nato-wants-free-africa-africans

 

Black Agenda Report
June 1, 2011
NATO Wants to Free Africa From the Africans
Glen Ford
Gulf Arabs, the European Union, heads of state in Washington, Paris and London, the war chiefs of NATO – everyone was consulted on the assault against Libya, except Africans, whose latest peace plan was rejected out of hand. In the end, the opinions of the so-called Libyan “rebels” won’t count, either. “These rebels lost their legitimacy the second they decided to become the ground troops for a neocolonial invasion of North Africa.” As underlings, they’ll just take orders.
 
As far as the United States and Europe are concerned, Africans have nothing to say about what happens in Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma made a second trip to Libya this week, on behalf of the African Union, seeking a diplomatic end to NATO’s war against Mouammar Gaddafi’s government. Just as with a previous African Union peacekeeping mission, back in early April, Col. Gaddafi agreed to the peace plan. And just as before, the so-called rebels and their American and European bosses refused even to consider a cease fire. As has been obvious from the beginning of this “humanitarian” farce, the Great White Fathers of Europe and the “Wall Street mascot” from the United States, as Obama has been called, will be satisfied with nothing less than regime change in Libya – and to Hell with what Africans think!

The Euro-Americans will soon prove just as contemptuous of their erstwhile North African Arab allies, based in Benghazi, who claim to be leading a “revolution” against Gaddafi. But these rebels lost their legitimacy the second they decided to become the ground troops for a neocolonial invasion of North Africa. Revolutionaries fight the Power. The gang from Benghazi are mere pawns of imperialism and have no credibility whatsoever as revolutionaries. This is an imperialist war, fought for imperial objectives. The rebels have chosen to become imperialism’s mascots, waiting like pitiful little Gunga Dins for the British and French to arrive with attack helicopters to burn and kill their countrymen.

NATO orders their Libyan minions around like children. NATO recently “issued instructions” that the rebels not move beyond certain points in the desert, so as not to enter the killing fields that the rich white fathers – plus Obama – are preparing to incinerate Libyan government soldiers. Naturally, the rebels will do exactly as they are told, since this is not their revolution. Rather, Libya is the front line of the European and American counter-revolution. The chain of command reaches to Paris, London and Washington. Benghazi has reverted to the colonial outpost that it was when the Italians ruled – only now, in the 21st century, all of the Europeans plus the Americans get to lord over the Libyans, who grin and skin while thanking the colonizers for coming back to save Africa from the Africans.

And so it makes perfect sense that a peace proposal from the president of South Africa, Black Africa’s most powerful and wealthy country, acting on behalf of the organization that includes every nation on the continent, counts for less than nothing in the imperial scheme of things. The West encourages South African President Jacob Zuma to help bring chaotic Black countries into line, but Zuma and the African Union are not authorized to interfere with imperial wars on the continent. That’s “white folks business.”

When the Western attack helicopters arrive, the Benghazi-based rebels will cheer, as if they won something. The Gunga Dins should carefully study those helicopters and their awesome firepower, because those guns will one day likely be turned against them. The U.S. and Europe have no intention of allowing Libyans to rule Libya. And after all, why should the imperialists hand over all that oil to a bunch of local flunkies who couldn’t even fight their own war.

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U.S. Recruits More Georgian Troops For NATO’s Afghan War

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23575

Civil Georgia
June 2, 2011

Georgia Likely to Send More Troops to Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Georgia, which already has over 900 troops in Afghanistan, will become the largest non-NATO contributor to ISAF operations, it has emerged after the White House released a readout of a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and President Saakashvili.

The Georgian Ministry of Defense has not immediately responded to Civil.ge’s request for comment and one Georgian official told Civil.ge that the announcement on the issue would likely be made after the Georgian delegation returns back from Italy, where the meeting between Biden and Saakashvili was held.

“The Vice President expressed his appreciation to President Saakashvili for Georgia’s significant new contribution of forces to the International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] in Afghanistan, which will make Georgia the largest non-NATO contributor to ISAF,” the White House said after meeting between Biden and Saakashvili in Rome on June 1.

The announcement means that Georgia apparently has committed to send at least one more battalion to Afghanistan.

Currently the largest non-NATO contributor to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan is Australia with about 1,550 troops.

It means that Georgia, which currently has 925 soldiers in Afghanistan, most of them stationed in Helmand province, has to send more than 625 additional servicemen to exceed the Australian troop number and to become the largest non-NATO contributor to the ISAF mission.

Georgia has lost a total of eight soldiers in Afghanistan since joining the ISAF mission in November, 2009.

The Georgian MoD reported about the most recent fatality on May 27, saying that Junior Sergeant Lavrosi Ivaniadze from the 33rd battalion was killed in “a mine explosion during patrolling” in Helmand province.

Georgia had 2,000-strong troops in Iraq, which were withdrawn during the war with Russia in August, 2008. Georgia suffered three combat fatalities and at least 19 servicemen were injured in Iraq, where Georgia first deployed its troops in August, 2003. Also in Iraq one Georgian serviceman died in a car accident and one committed suicide.

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

 

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/03/3-isaf-troops-killed-taliban-assaults
Pajhwok Afghan News
June 3, 2011
3 ISAF troops killed in Taliban assaults
by Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui
KABUL: Three foreign troops have been killed in separate militant attacks in Afghanistan, where violence has escalated in recent months, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Friday.

Two foreign soldiers died in roadside bombings in the south and north, a weapon of choice for the fighters, while a third was killed in a firefight with the rebels in their eastern heartland.

With the Taliban stepping up assaults as part of their spring offensive across the country, the latest fatalities were announced in brief statements from the NATO-led force that gave no further details in line with its policy.

In Berlin, the defence ministry said an ambush in northern Kunduz province on an armoured vehicle killed one German soldier and wounded five others.

The armoured personnel carrier was struck by an improvised explosive device outside Kunduz City, the provincial capital. At least 53 German soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far.

Separately, one Polish corporal was killed and two soldiers were wounded in a Taliban assault on a patrol near an ISAF base in Giro district of Ghazni province. Poland has lost 26 soldiers and a paramedic in the country since the start of the NATO-led mission in 2002.

With the latest deaths, the number of international troops killed in so far this year has reached 222. In 2010, the deadliest year for ISAF, a total of 711 soldiers were killed.

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Afghanistan: NATO’s Deadliest Month This Year

 

http://www.stripes.com/news/coalition-troops-had-difficult-month-of-may-in-afghanistan-1.145513
Stars and Stripes
June 3, 2011
Coalition troops had difficult month of May in Afghanistan
By Matt Millham
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan: May was the deadliest month since November 2010 for coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to data from the independent website icasualties.org, which tracks such statistics.

The number of coalition casualties has not decreased significantly from the same period last year.

….

Between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year, 217 coalition servicemembers were killed in Afghanistan, according to icasualties, compared to 220 fatalities over the same period last year. More than a quarter of those deaths — 57 — came in May. Of those, 36 were American.

The Taliban announced in late April that their “spring offensive” would begin May 1. Since the announcement, the insurgent group has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile and brazen attacks, including a May 28 attack in the relatively quiet northern Takhar province that killed a regional head of the Afghan National Police and two German soldiers and wounded a German general, as well as a May 26 double bombing in Shorabak district of Kandahar province, bordering Pakistan, which took the lives of six U.S. soldiers and two U.S. airmen.

Coalition commanders have said that the Taliban has been severely weakened by operations throughout the winter.

But April was also a violent month, with 51 coalition troops killed, 46 of them American.

Taken together, April and May of this year were far worse than for the same time period in any other year in the now almost decade-long war.

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Three U.S. troops have died in the first three days of June, and at least 158 Americans have died in Afghanistan so far this year, according to icasualties. June 2010 was the deadliest month of the entire war, with 103 coalition deaths.

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Four NATO Soldiers Injured In Afghan Bomb Attack

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/02/4-isaf-soldiers-wounded-baghlan-blast

Pajhwok Afghan News
June 2, 2011

4 ISAF soldiers wounded in Baghlan blast
by Habib Rahman Sherzai

PUL-I-KHUMRI: Four international servicemembers were injured in a roadside bombing in the northern province of Baghlan, officials said on Thursday.

The incident took place at 10am when a military vehicle of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) struck a roadside bomb in the Anarkhel area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district.

The commander of 209th Shaheen Military Corps, Zalmay Weesa, told Pajhwok Afghan News one of the wounded soldiers was in critical condition.

Foreign troops cordoned off the area and did not allow people to pass by, said villager Gul Murad, 34.

ISAF confirmed the improvised explosive device attack, Taliban’s weapon of choice. However, the alliance gave no information regarding casualties.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, saying five foreign soldiers were killed and as many injured.

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Clinton Applauds Czech Republic’s Willingness To Join NATO Missile System

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110603/164401235.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 3, 2011

Czech Republic wants to join NATO missile shield project

Warsaw: The Czech Republic would like to join the NATO European missile shield project, but no practical schemes have been discussed so far, First Deputy Prime Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said.

“We would be glad to play our part [in the missile defense project]….For the moment, we have no concrete schemes,” Schwarzenberg, who is also the country’s foreign minister, said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington.

He also said concrete plans may emerge after discussions on the issue by NATO members and between the U.S. and Russia.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas earlier said his country was ready to host an early warning radar on its territory.

Clinton, in her turn, said the United States “greatly appreciated the Czech Republic’s strong support of a European missile defense and NATO missile defense system.”

“We have discussed in detail at the highest levels of our defense cooperation what role the Czech Republic might play if it so chooses,” she said. “But that is something that we are in constant consultations about, and we will continue to work toward a mutually satisfactory outcome.”

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. The U.S. is reluctant to provide legally binding guarantees that the system will not be directed against Russia.

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Japan To Export Interceptor Missiles To NATO Countries

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/03/japan-usa-idUSL3E7H31ZK20110603
Reuters
June 3, 2011
Japan set to allow exports of missile interceptors
TOKYO: Japan signalled on Friday it would allow exports of missile interceptors it is developing jointly with the United States to other countries, relaxing its ban on arms exports.

Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa told his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates that Japan was studying ways to agree on the criteria for exports of the ship-based Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, the two sides said in a joint statement after a meeting in Singapore.

….

Kitazawa met Gates on the sidelines of the Shangri-La security dialogue in Singapore ahead of another meeting expected later this month where they will be joined by the two countries’ foreign ministers.

Japanese media have said Europe is considered a likely destination for the missile interceptors.

The advanced missile defence system is key to U.S. plans [for] all of NATO’s European territory….
(Reporting by Chisa Fujioka; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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U.S. Horn Of Africa Task Force Marks Death Of Service Members In Djibouti

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6733&lang=0

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
June 2, 2011

AFRICOM Service Members Conduct Memorial Mission to Honor Fallen
By Master Sergeant Ray Bowden
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti: More than 35 Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of
Africa (CJTF-HOA) service members climbed aboard two CH-53 Super Stallion
Helicopters on May 30, 2011, Memorial Day, and traveled to some of Djibouti’s
most remote regions to honor CJTF-HOA members who lost their lives in two
separate aircraft accidents.

….

The group’s first stop was atop a rocky plateau in the Godoria Range, along
Djibouti’s northern coast. On June 23, 2003, two CH-53 helicopter crews were
gathered around their aircraft on this high ground to observe a B-52
Stratofortress on maneuvers when an M117 general purpose bomb exploded, killing
U.S. Marine Captain Seth Michaud and injuring eight others. The second leg of
the mission took the group to a desolate beach on the Gulf of Aden where, on
February 17, 2006, two CH-53 helicopters collided in mid-air, killing eight
Marines, two airmen, and injuring two others.

….

CJTF-HOA members have participated in annual memorial flights since Memorial
Day, 2004.

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South Korea Deploys Second Interceptor Missile Warship

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/03/c_13909747.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 3, 2011

S. Korea deploys 2nd Aegis destroyer

SEOUL: South Korea has put its second Aegis destroyer into service after nine months of test operations, reports said Friday.

The 7,600-ton KDX-III destroyer Yulgok Yi I, equipped with some 120 ship-to-ship and ship-to-air guided missiles and long-distance torpedoes, was deployed Wednesday, local media said citing navy officials.

It can accommodate 300 crew members, carry two mid-sized helicopters and cruise at a maximum speed of 30 knots, according to reports.

The Aegis-class destroyer, built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, was named after a revered Confucian scholar from Korea’s ancient Joseon Dynasty.

The first Aegis destroyer, Sejong the Great, was launched in 2008 as part of the country’s naval buildup plan.

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U.S. Eurasian/Caspian Energy Envoy To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=148519

Azeri Press Agency
June 2, 2011

Special Envoy of U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar to visit Azerbaijan
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: Special Envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar will visit Azerbaijan.

Press secretary of the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan Keith Bean told APA that Morningstar will lead the U.S. delegation at the Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition in Baku on June 7-10. During the visit he will hold official meetings and discuss the issues of energy cooperation between U.S. and Azerbaijan.

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Pakistan Complains To NATO Over Deadly Taliban Raid From Afghanistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1885834.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 3, 2011

Pakistan complains to NATO over Taliban cross-border raid

Pakistan has complained to Afghan and NATO forces over a cross-border militant raid that killed 27 security personnel and eight civilians, DPA reported.

In a statement late Thursday Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that a message had been conveyed to the Afghan ambassador expressing “strong concern on the cross-border attack launched from the territory of Afghanistan in Dir by some 300-400 militants who attacked villages and burnt schools.”

A similar message was sent to NATO and US officials.

Armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, the militants raided the remote Shaltalo checkpoint in the Upper Dir district in the north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday.

During a two-day battle they killed 27 policemen and members of Levies, a tribal border police force, and eight civilians. According to officials, some 46 Taliban fighters also died in the fighting.

Militants torched two school buildings and several houses and blew up a bridge as they besieged three mountain villages.

The attackers were believed to be from a Pakistani Taliban group that fled the Malakand region of which Upper Dir is a part after government forces launched an offensive in early 2009.

They retreated to their hideouts in the Afghan province of Kunar on Thursday after the assault.

….

Pakistan has regularly faced criticism for being unable to stop cross-border raids by Taliban into Afghanistan, but this is the first time it has complained about a militant raid on its soil from across the frontier.

The Pakistani statement “stressed the need for stern action by the Afghan Army, US and NATO/ISAF forces in the area against militants and their hideouts in Afghanistan and against organizational support for the militants.”

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State of The Empire: Reflections On The Geopolitical Situation

 

 

http://www.just-international.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4522:the-state-of-the-empire–some-reflections-on-the-geopolitical-situation&catid=45:recent-articles&Itemid=123
Peace for Life
June 3, 2011

The State of The Empire: Some Reflections on the Geopolitical Situation     
Written by Ninan Koshy    
My attempt is to give or rather get an overview of the geopolitical situation by an examination of the state of the Empire today. This is because the projects and policies of US Empire largely determine developments in international politics today.

Continuing Imperial Geo-strategy

If anybody had hopes that the replacement of a Republican President by a Democratic President would reform, if not begin to dismantle the Empire, their hopes have been totally belied. The continuation of the Bush era policies, military doctrines and strategies by President Obama, is deeply disquieting but not surprising. In the wake of the Bush administration’s disastrous neoconservative ideologies, the Obama administration initially appeared to be seeking to realize the liberal international and diplomatic way of relating to the world. But soon it was clear that US is going to be an aggressive imperial power no matter whom it elects as president, and that what is called ‘neo-conservatism’ is merely an extreme version of normal American assumption of supremacy, one that explicitly promotes and heightens US’s routine practice of empire. Thus there is no fundamental break in foreign policy between the Bush and Obama regimes. The strategic goals and
 the imperatives of the US imperium remain the same as do principal theatres and means of operation.

One noticeable aspect of continuity is with reference to views on war and peace. If Obama was the Commander-in-Chief of two wars when he received the Nobel Peace Prize for Peace, he can now claim to be C-in-C of one more, Libya, though it is a war in denial. In fact a close analysis of the new Libyan adventure of the USA and NATO brings out clearly the continuing imperial geo-strategy.

The Discourse on War and Peace

First, on war and peace. The scrutiny of the term ‘just peace’ is especially important in the context of the confusion deliberately created by the prevailing discourse on war and peace, a discourse reflecting the hegemonic definitional power of the USA. Claiming ‘victory’ in the war against Iraq while speaking to the workers of the Boeing factory, President Bush declared, “We are redefining war on our terms”. He added, “The manufacturers of weapons are the peacemakers”.

The confusion was evident in President Obama’s speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. He had just dispatched additionally 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. He was obviously on the horns of a dilemma. But he came out in favour of war, not peace. He said, “There will be times when nations will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justifiable.” Claims about necessity and moral justification of any war are problematic, especially when such claims are made by the rulers who wage seemingly endless wars. The distance from the necessity of war to the inevitability of war was considerably shortened by the new military doctrines and strategies of the USA under President Bush.

Obama added in his Oslo speech, “Yes, the instruments of war do have a role in preserving peace”, uncomfortably reminding us of Bush’s statement to the Boeing workers. In the speech Obama spoke of the “biggest and strongest military alliance in the world”, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). “Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That is why NATO continues to be indispensable.” Obama was glorifying a military alliance which has the most aggressive strategic doctrine. He was only following the path of his predecessor Bush who had declared that “Pentagon is the biggest force for freedom in the world.” The occupation of Afghanistan by the USA and NATO still continues. In Iraq there will be continued US military presence and a number of bases. Even when imperial wars end, imperial bases continue.

In his speech at the National Defense University in Washington, trying to justify military action against Libya, President Obama said, “I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests.”

He added other occasions for intervention “when our safety is not directly threatened but our interests and our allies’ are”. In this secondary list he lumped everything from “preventing genocide” to “ensuring regional security” and “maintaining the flow of commerce”.

Yes, Obama will take military action to maintain “the flow of commerce”. This was a reiteration of the Bush doctrine of preemption and preventive wars. If Bush thought of preventive wars even in case of presumed future, potential threats to the USA, Obama seems to believe that wars are necessary even when there is no threat to the USA now or in the future. The Libyan action of the Western powers is a war, albeit an undeclared one.

The Bush administration had redefined war objectives in terms of “changing the regime of an adversary state” and “occupying foreign territory until U.S. strategic objectives are met”. The United States and NATO have manipulated and interpreted the Security Council resolution on Libya to suit their imperial objectives.

The Military Action against Libya and International Law

On 17th March 2011, the UN Security council adopted a binding resolution (1973) with the stated goal to protect civilians in the domestic conflict in Libya. Operative paras 4 and 8 of the resolution authorize all member states individually or through regional organizations or arrangements to “undertake all necessary measures” for the protection of civilians and for the enforcement of a so-called no fly zone. To ‘authorize’ states to “use all necessary measures” in the enforcement of a legally binding resolution is an invitation to an arbitrary and arrogant exercise of power and makes the commitment  of the UN to the international rule of law void of any meaning.  The fact that the Security Council adopted the same approach, earlier in resolution 678 dealing with the situation between Iraq and Kuwait, in 1990 does not justify the present action in the context of the domestic conflict in Libya. “All necessary measures” have come to mean
 solely military action excluding the range of possibilities including mediation, negotiation and diplomacy.

While the objective of the Security Council resolution is clearly stated as protecting the civilians, the Western powers have made clear that their real political goal is regime change – ousting Muammar Gaddafi. Ironically by stating that Gaddafi has lost legitimacy, Western leaders are dramatically narrowing the space for a more peaceful removal of the Libyan leader. The one thing that the Europeans share is a seeming lack of exit strategy from a military action marketed as a no-fly zone to the goal of a regime change mirroring the Afghan and Iraq campaigns. Can regime change be sustained without occupation?  Occupation is the highest form of dictatorship which Washington calls democracy.

As the military preparations of the size and magnitude employed in Libya are never improvised there is reason to believe, that the war on Libya as well as the armed insurrection against the regime were planned months prior to the Arab uprising. That is why the Libyan war has to be treated separately.

In Libya the Western powers have intervened in an internal conflict and taken sides in a civil war. There has been no threat to international peace and security from Libya.

Geo-strategic Significance

The name “Operation Odyssey Dawn” is very revealing. It identifies the strategic interest and direction of the war against Libya. The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic by the poet Homer which recounts the voyage and trails of its hero. The main theme here is ‘return home’. The US and other imperialist powers are on their own odyssey of ‘return’ to Africa. That explains why the initiative was taken by Britain and France, the former colonial powers in Africa.

Events in Libya are not exclusive to the military theatre.  There is a geopolitical and economic chess match at play between the West and China in a battle for Africa and with it the largest basket of national resources on earth. The US has already outlined its strategic agenda through the formation of the AFRICOM, a subset of the infamous neoconservative Project for a New American Empire (PMAC). Central to America’s strategic goals is to confront the increasing Chinese influence on the continent. Beijing has assessed that the Anglo-French-American bombing of Libya, apart from its myriad geopolitical implications, has risked millions of dollars to Chinese investments.

Africa Command represents a vital and crucial link for the global military deployment of the USA. Libya is one of the five African countries that have not been integrated into, which is to say subordinated to, the Africa Command. Others are Sudan, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Eritrea.

There are observers who note that the Mediterranean Sea is emerging as the main battlefront in the world superseding the Afghan-Pak war theatre and thus an important zone of the Empire. Libya is the only African nation bordering the Mediterranean which is not a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue Programme. The Mediterranean has been historically one of the most important –if not the most important – strategically crucial sea and the only one whose waves lap the shores of three continents. The defeat and conquest of Libya, directly or by proxy, would secure a key outpost for the Pentagon and NATO on the Mediterranean Sea.

NATO’s entry into Africa is a development that has serious consequences. Originally meant as an alliance to preserve peace and stability along the frontline between the now defunct USSR and the US-European alliance, NATO has now become the major arm of the Empire. It entered Asia through Afghanistan under a dubious authorization by the UN for the International Security Assistance Force. The use of NATO in these regions is further proof that its Cold War function is still active, the old chess pieces are still in place and its Western directors are not hiding the fact at all. The NATO master plan is to rule the Mediterranean as a NATO lake. Under these ‘optics’ (Pentagon speak) the Mediterranean is infinitely more important as a theatre than Afghanistan. NATO is essentially Pentagon rule over its European minions. In fact it is the claim by the US that it has the right to intervene militarily in any part of the world that buttresses the new mandate
 assumed by the NATO.

It should be noted that only a few members of the NATO are directly involved in the Libya campaign. An important ally of the USA and a prominent member of NATO Germany abstained in the voting in the Security Council resolution and do not participate in the campaign. The Bush doctrine of the “coalition of the willing” still prevails. The key point is that while Libya allows the biggest US-European multinational to plunder its oil wealth it did not become a strategic military asset of the Empire. The driving force of US empire building is military and not economic.

The Nuclear Implications

The Libyan war raises important questions about US’s nuclear posture as well as nuclear disarmament.  A critical issue that has been raised is whether the recent test of a B61-11 by the USA is ‘routine’ or was it envisaged by the Pentagon directly or indirectly in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn implying the possible development of mini-nukes at some future stage of the Libya bombing campaign. In the Nuclear Posture Review of 2002, the Pentagon mentioned the need to test small “usable” nuclear weapons. Low yield nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage”.

The decision to use low-yield nuclear weapons (e.g. against Libya) no longer needs the authorization or even the permission of the Commander in Chief, the President. It is strictly a military decision. The new doctrine says that Command Control and Coordination (CCC) regarding the use of nuclear weapons should be ‘flexible’ allowing geographic combat commanders to decide if and when to use nuclear weapons.

The Libyan War raises sharp questions about the nuclear disarmament policy of the United States. North Korea’s foreign ministry has issued a statement condemning the Libyan invasion, claiming that the attack is a likely scenario when a country decides to give up its nuclear weapons. (Libya gave up its nuclear program in 2003). American, British and French forces are now attacking Gaddafi’s military. And uncomfortable questions linger. Would NATO be enforcing a no-fly zone if Gaddafi had not dismantled Libya’s nuclear program?. Does the current military action against Libya send a signal to “rogue states” like Iran that security gained by de-nuclearisation is anything but? The Iranian and North Korean leadership use the nuclear weapon program both to bolster its domestic political prestige and to deter an attack from the US.

It is ironic that just under eight years ago, Gaddafi specifically engaged in an action clearly intended to forestall US military action against his regime and despite that he is now under military attack from US and its allies. The impression may gain currency that the US lures or coerces nations into nuclear disarmament and then attack them.

The Arab Uprising

The Arab uprising is a genuine expression of a long-standing desire for greater freedoms as well as economic justice denied by generally autocratic regimes. The current evolving situation raises several important questions. What are the common factors if any behind the movement? What are the possible outcomes of the demand for political reforms? How will this ongoing struggle impact the outside world? How will this affect the struggle of the Palestinian people for independent statehood? Answers to these questions are complex and difficult given the diversity in history, culture and politics of the Arab world.

However certain observations can be made. These revolts have immediately performed a kind of ideological house-cleaning sweeping away the racist conceptions of a clash of civilizations that consign Arab policies to the past. The struggles for freedom and democracy and the way in which they are being waged have shattered the stereotypes and wrong images of the Arabs created by the West. The Arab street is vibrant and peaceful even when the repression continues with state terrorism.

In the last quarter of a century and more the political developments in the region have been largely shaped by the imperialist policies of the USA especially with a view to ensuring the “security” of Israel. The US has always followed a policy of double standard in the region as it has done in other parts of the world. In response to the Arab revolt too, this double standard.  Washington has no difficulty with autocratic regimes as long as they are pro-American. Regime change means installing “friendly” regimes.

An understanding of U.S. imperial policy in the Middle East requires an analysis which contains three factors:

(i)  The power and influence of Israel and related power configuration on US political institutions.

(ii)  The capacity of the US empire to construct and instrumentalize Middle East client states and regimes

(iii)  An alliance with rightwing regimes and rulers to provide military bases, intelligence and political backing for the colonial occupation of Iraq and economic sanctions and if necessary war against Iran.

All these are under serious challenge by the Arab uprising.

The United States is intervening in the Arab uprising with a view to manipulating and fashioning it to suit its interests and promote those of Israel. Robert Gates on April 19 has identified three regimes only which denies freedom and human rights – Iran, Syria and Libya. They are prominent in the US list of countries for military action. It has started with Libya. In Gates’ view other countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen etc are model democracies with freedom and human rights

Since all the other countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan are all friendly to the US and keep US interests any revolt has to be suppressed; hence, the American approval for the cruel repression in Bahrain with the active involvement of the Saudi military. The implications of any military action against Syria are quite grave but such action cannot be ruled out.

One of the most salutary effects of the Arab uprising is the agreement between Fatah and Hamas for Palestinian unity. They have agreed to reconcile in a surprise Egyptian-brokered accord –also showing a changing role of Egypt – that enraged Israel and left US officials struggling to maintain their influence over Middle East peace negotiations. The power sharing deal which was hammered out includes the formation of a national unity government and a timetable for general election. As a Fatah leader stated, “At this stage we have the best weapon to face the occupation. This weapon is our national unity.”  It is already clear that Israel will use any means including military action to subvert Palestinian unity.

It is quite possible that Palestinian Authority (PA) had already made a strategic decision to move away from the United States and put its fate more squarely in the hands of the UN. They might have assessed a declining influence of the US in the Middle East combined with attempts for increasing support for the beleagured Israel.

Parallel to the apparent decline in American influence, many states have recently intensified their political support for a Palestinian state and criticism of Israel. More than half a dozen Latin American countries have recognized Palestine explicitly while the  governments of France, Spain and Ireland have upgraded Palestinian diplomatic delegations in their countries with other European  countries expected to follow suit.  The PA expects recognition by the vast majority of member-states of the UN when it declares unilateral independence.

The Empire’s “Global Sovereignty”.

The commando action by the Obama administration in Pakistan in which Osama bin Laden was killed, raises many important questions but underlines the fact that the President is following faithfully the imperial doctrine about ‘global sovereignty’ and ‘freedom of action’ of the USA. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashie said that the US forces may have breached his country’s sovereignty. “This violation of sovereignty and the modalities for combating terrorism raises certain legal and moral issues which fall in the domain of the international community”.

The explanation is found in The National Defense Strategy of the United States, March 2005. One of the main strategic objectives listed in the document is to “secure strategic access and retain global freedom of action.’

The Strategy suggests that Washington will not be reluctant to send its forces into other states that, in its opinion, “do not exercise their sovereignty responsibly” or that “use the principle of sovereignty as a shield behind which they claim to be free to engage in activities that pose enormous threats to their citizens or the rest of the international community”.

This raises important questions about sovereignty. The strategy of preventive war is closely bound up with the new vitality of the “hegemonic international law nihilism” (Norman Peach) that is exhibited by the US administration. It is rooted in the idea that the US possesses global sovereignty and all national sovereignties are relative to it. “This notion of global sovereignty means that the USA will lay down international rules (e.g. as alliances or formation of blocs0 determine what constitutes a crisis (a state of emergency), distinguish between friend and foe and make the resulting decision on the use of force.  Only the USA is competent to use force anywhere in the world. This is one of the pillars of the new grand strategy, which is exemplified above all else by the concept of an exclusive right to preventive military action all over the world. Commitments to international alliances, and in particular to the United nations are rejected as
 constituting a restriction of the USA’s freedom to act.” (Rainer Rilling)

Obama’s assertion that the Osama bin Laden-type operations will continue is a declaration that the global empire will retain ‘global sovereignty’ and ‘global freedom of action’ by military might.

Countervailing Powers

Despite the utopian perspectives by the ranks of neo-liberal globalist disciples, cadres of nations and trading alliances have been formed since 2000. BRICS, MENA and other emerging blocs are challenging the preeminence of the traditional Anglo-American and European dominance over the global market and cultural monopolies. Oil, gas, uranium and water feature prominently in this realignment of the global chessboard and with each additional theatre comes the risk of multi-regional wars. The imperium is under attack not only by adversaries but also by those who no longer accept the US economic and ideological models, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007.

The global recession that began in the US in 2007 was perhaps the most significant event impacting the geopolitical environment over the last several years.  It has challenged the present international structures and unsustainable corporate power. Moreover the geopolitical framework has changed, questioning the supremacy of the USA which however maintains its imperial character by its unrivalled military power.

BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – may offer a countervailing power to some features of the Empire but not in military terms. The Sanya declaration –the outcome document of the recent BRICS summit in China– demonstrated five of the largest emerging economies now have “a broad consensus” of views not only on key international economic and financial issues but also on certain international political issues. They demanded reform of financial institutions of global governance enabling developing nations to have a greater say in them.

On the political side two key issues deserve mention. BRICS has voiced support for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council.  On the Libyan crisis however, BRICS has managed to create an ample air of ambivalence. Prior to the Sanya summit four countries abstained on the Security Council resolution, thereby providing a cover for Western intervention, and one (South Africa) in fact supported the resolution. At the summit, however, all five member-states expressed support for avoiding the use of force and ensuring respect for the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a country. Earlier Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia termed Operation Odyssey Dawn, a medieval call to crusade and the Security Council resolution “defective and flawed”. Whether the BRICS will emerge as a counter-weight to the USA, especially with regard to its imperial pursuits is doubtful at present.

The current geopolitical situation poses many challenges to peace movements like Peace for Life. These challenges define our tasks. Let me indicate some of them.

- Recover and recapture the full meaning of peace and critique formulations that do not reflect it

- Expose and contest the continuation of imperial policies by the Obama regime,

- Condemn violations of sovereignty and imperial military interventions,

- Affirm the aspirations of the Arab people for freedom and human dignity,

- Continue to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people and actively support them as they enter a new stage in their struggle for statehood.

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Kosovo: NATO Soldier Charged With Multiple Rapes

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5huMTeIKSXRfIFJxNgE4iOeO6wUGw?docId=7040197
Associated Press
June 3, 2011
NATO peacekeeper in Kosovo charged with raping female employees; sent home to face charges

A NATO official in Kosovo says a peacekeeper has been charged with raping several women working in a military camp in the west of the country.

Cpt. Hans Wichter said the 37-year-old Austrian peacekeeper “intimidated the women and used his position as their superior to rape them and coerce them into sexual acts.”

Wichter said the member of Austria’s reserve force was sent home Friday, where he will faces charges at a local court. NATO peacekeepers in charge of securing Kosovo are exempt from local prosecution.

NATO has some 8,000 troops stationed in Kosovo but aims to reduce them by half this year.

The force was deployed in 1999 after the bombing of Serbia to stop a crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians.

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  1. rosemerry
    June 3, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Morningstar? mr Bean? The world is as mad as the US can make it. Luckily we can all be made safe by NATO darlings Australia and Georgia. Gizzard and Suckiswili-bastions of freedom.

  2. June 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I wrote this article and would like to report an error-in-fact in your choice of a headline. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is not a “command” as you say; instead, it is a joint task force that falls under the aegis and command of U.S. Africa Command. There is no such thing as “U.S. Horn of Africa Command”. Also, not all of the service members who died in the event were soldiers. The term soldiers refers directly to members of an army and is a term usually associated with a ground fighting force. U.S. soldiers, Marines and airmen were killed as a result of these accidents.

    Yours in the pursuit of accuracy,
    Master Sgt. Ray Bowden, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa senior editor

  3. richardrozoff
    June 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for the corrections.
    The headline has been adjusted accordingly.

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