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Libya: NATO Acquires Military Outpost In Third Continent

August 31, 2011 5 comments

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Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 31, 2011

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Voice of Russia
August 31, 2011

Libya: Another country for NATO to take root in
John Robles

Interview conducted on August 27 with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

Can you shed a little light on the situation in Libya, in particular with NATO?

As you know, I’m in Chicago, not in Tripoli, so I’m observing events from afar. Yet there is an old Roman expression which says the game is best viewed by the spectator. So, what I have to say I think is trying to situate developments in Libya, whatever they are on the ground, within both a regional and an international context.

And, within that framework, we know that the African Union has refused recognition to the so-called Transitional National Council, consisting of what by all accounts is a fairly motley, heterogeneous grouping of anti-government forces in Libya, aided and abetted by major NATO powers like France, Britain, the U.S. and Italy and by Persian Gulf monarchies like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

So, the fact that the African continent, on which Libya is located, has collectively refused recognition to the new rebel regime is significant, as is the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry has voiced its concerns and its opposition to any plans that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may entertain for placing troops on the ground in Libya, ostensibly under the guise of a peacekeeping or stabilization force, but also more prominently voiced some concerns about the prospect of NATO military facilities being authorized by the forces opposed to Gaddafi.

Would you characterize everything that you have heard and seen as a true revolution of the people or is it some sort of a western-backed insurgency in your opinion?

The latter is acknowledged by universal accord, even by those celebrating the apparent overthrow of the government in Libya as a triumph of “people’s power” democracy or however they choose to phrase it. What is unquestionable is the fact that, whatever the nature of the rebel coalition is, it would never have succeeded in consolidating support outside of Libya, much less moving into the capital, if it had not been for over 21,000 NATO air missions since March 31 and almost 8,000 combat air sorties in the same period of time. Additionally, more and more information is emanating from sources in Europe, newspapers in Britain and elsewhere, that special operations troops, special forces, from several major NATO countries, including the CIA which is acting in the streets of Tripoli, are actively involved in combat operations on the ground.

Are they hunting Gaddafi or providing air support for the rebels?

There is no question about both. The intent of United Nations Resolution 1973 adopted in March to “use all means necessary to protect Libyan civilians” had been extended and in essence violated by France, Britain, Italy, the U.S., Canada and other major NATO nations to wage what can only be characterized as a war against the incumbent government in Libya, and this includes, according to NATO’s own statistics, over 21,000 air missions flown over Libya since March 31, of which almost 8,000 are combat sorties. And what is documented even in Western news sources, Western newspapers for example, is that as recently as today Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown has been attacked by NATO warplanes and earlier, a couple of days ago, the major governmental compound in Tripoli was attacked by as many as 64 missiles.

These attacks are coordinated with the military activities of rebel groupings, so that NATO basically bombs them into areas, including the capital and other cities in Libya. The coordination of NATO’s aerial bombing and naval blockade of Libya with rebel forces is unquestionably an act of participation on behalf of one of the belligerent forces against the other – the government of Libya. And in that sense it’s a perfect parallel to what happened in Yugoslavia in 1999, where NATO bombed the country mercilessly for 78 days in coordination and in conjunction with the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.

You mentioned that some people from Global Research.ca are in Libya, in Tripoli, and they are trapped in a hotel there.

Actually, the international press corps is there. But there are particular concerns about Canadian-based journalist Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya of Global Research and French journalist Thierry Meyssan of the Voltaire Network, who have voiced concerns about their well-being. Their position is very well-known as not parroting the official line of the Western countries, and that information I’m sure has been passed on by establishment Western journalists within the hotel to rebel forces in Tripoli. And there is concern by the two journalists I’ve mentioned that their lives may be in danger.

What do you see as NATO’s role in Libya after Gaddafi is gone?

Time will tell. But assuming previous Yugoslav and Afghan precedents as a likely scenario, we have a lot to go on. We have the fact that the Turkish Foreign Minister announced yesterday that NATO’s role will continue in Libya after the installation of the rebel government, the so-called Transitional National Council.

And similar soundings have emanated from major figures and NATO countries that suggest, far from NATO’s role ending, it may in a certain sense just be beginning. And that parallels almost identically what happened in Yugoslavia in 1999 and what has happened in Afghanistan in the past decade, where NATO bombs itself into a country and sets up military bases and doesn’t leave. The U.S. still maintains Camp Bondsteel in the contested Serbian province of Kosovo, which is a large, expansive base, by some accounts the largest overseas military facility built by the US since the war in Vietnam. And it remains there over 12 years after the end of the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Similarly, the U.S. has substantially upgraded air bases in Afghanistan, including those bordering Central Asian nations and close to the Iranian border, and there is no indication they are ever going to abandon them, as they are not going to abandon military bases in Iraq and other places. It’s a lot easier to bring NATO into one’s country or have it forced in than to get it out.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011 1 comment

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France’s Military Reintegration Boosts NATO, Pentagon

Pentagon Sending Military Aid, Boats To Libya’s Neighbors

NATO’s Endless Air War In Libya: 20,980 Sorties, 7,886 Strike Missions

Canada Ready To Extend Libyan War Role To End Of Year, Beyond

Report: CIA Recruited 1,500 In Afghanistan To Fight In Libya

Former Nigerian President Condemns NATO’s Invasion Of Libya

Italian Oil Giant Signs Agreement With National Transitional Council

Pentagon Arms Azerbaijan, NATO Allies, North African Nations

Pakistan: NATO Blamed For Taliban Attack That Killed 37

“Hard Decade Of War” Obama Hails 5 Million “9/11 Generation” Troops

CSTO Troops Can Be Used To Thwart “Color” Coups: Belarus

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

NATO Standards: Pentagon Holds Joint Military Drills In Bulgaria

Bulgarian NATO Experience Applied To Serbia

Bulgaria And Israel To Conduct Joint Military Exercises

Joschka Fischer: “Strong, United Europe” Must Ally With U.S. Against China

“Whites Unite”: Romanian President Calls For United States Of Europe

Ukraine: Polish, Ukrainian Troops Train For Global NATO Missions

Georgian, French Troops To Train Afghan Counterparts

AFRICOM: Security Threat To Namibia, African Continent

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France’s Military Reintegration Boosts NATO, Pentagon

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-30/french-embrace-of-nato-s-power-is-a-huge-step-forward-for-the-world-view.html

Bloomberg News
August 30, 2011

French Embrace of NATO’s Power Is a Huge Step Forward for the World: View

-Acting through NATO gave France access to U.S. capabilities such as air-to-air refueling, intelligence collection and long-range drones that the French and other European allies lack. NATO’s partnerships in the Middle East made it easier for nations such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to join the anti-Qaddafi coalition.

The government of France has concluded that its national security can best be served through active leadership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We agree.

With the U.S. displaying increasing ambivalence toward the alliance, the evolving French position couldn’t come at a better time. France had kept its distance from NATO since President Charles De Gaulle pulled out of the alliance’s unified military command in 1966. De Gaulle argued that NATO was dominated by the U.S. and the U.K., and that France needed an independent defense policy to maintain its status as a great power. Subsequent French presidents from both the Gaullist and Socialist parties sought to build a European Union defense capability as a competitor to NATO, free of U.S. influence.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision in 2009 to rejoin NATO’s military structure was the first indication that policy was changing. It now appears that Sarkozy has concluded that NATO is central to the future of France and Europe.

Sarkozy, along with Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron [led] NATO’s successful support for the rebels who overthrew the regime of…Muammar Qaddafi. Acting through NATO gave France access to U.S. capabilities such as air-to-air refueling, intelligence collection and long-range drones that the French and other European allies lack. NATO’s partnerships in the Middle East made it easier for nations such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to join the anti-Qaddafi coalition.

Ironically, it was President Barack Obama’s decision to cede leadership of the Libya operation to the French and British that showed the government in Paris that it could use NATO to achieve its goals, much as the U.S. has done in the past.

The new French view of NATO could have enormous consequences for the West’s ability to act in concert…In an era of declining military budgets, Europe can no longer afford to waste money building an EU defense structure that duplicates NATO’s capabilities. Greater French involvement will have the added benefit of strengthening the trans-Atlantic partnership.

Libya demonstrated that the most important U.S. national security relationship is with Europe…From a U.S. perspective, the strengthening of Europe’s commitment to NATO is good news indeed.

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Pentagon Sending Military Aid, Boats To Libya’s Neighbors

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pentagon-sending-military-aid-boats-to-countries-neighboring-libya/2011/08/30/gIQAS0U7pJ_story.html

Associated Press
August 30, 2011

Pentagon sending military aid, boats to countries neighboring Libya

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is sending more than $25 million in military equipment, small boats and other support to Tunisia and Malta, two nations that flank Libya and are key allies in the tumultuous region.

The funding, detailed in documents obtained by The Associated Press, is part of a $44 million Pentagon aid package…

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NATO’s Endless Air War In Libya: 20,980 Sorties, 7,886 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110831_110831-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,980 sorties, including 7,886 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 30 AUGUST: 109

Strike sorties conducted 30 AUGUST: 38

….

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Canada Ready To Extend Libyan War Role To End Of Year, Beyond

http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/08/should-canada-extend-its-mission-in-libya.html

CBC News
August 31, 2011

Should Canada extend its mission in Libya?

Canada’s contribution to the NATO-led air mission in Libya is scheduled to end Sept. 27, although Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is keeping the option of extending Canada’s mission past that date.

“This is quickly coming to an end. It’s not over yet. Canada will obviously be there in theatre to support the Libyan people,” Baird told host Evan Solomon on CBC’s Power & Politics.

“Canadian Forces, as long as our NATO allies are on this UN-sanctioned mission, are there…,” he said.

Canada’s contribution to the mission was extended once before. In June, the House voted 294-1 to extend the mission, with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May being the lone member of Parliament to vote against.

At the time of the vote, then NDP Leader Jack Layton said his party would only support one extension to the mission.

NATO continues to hit targets within Libya even after the deposition of Moammar Gadhafi. On Tuesday, NATO flew 38 strike sorties, hitting six tanks and more than a dozen armed vehicles, as well as radar installations and other facilities.

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Report: CIA Recruited 1,500 In Afghanistan To Fight In Libya

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/31-Aug-2011/CIA-recruits-1500-from-MazareSharif-to-fight-in-Libya

The Nation (Pakistan)
August 31, 2011

CIA recruits 1,500 from Mazar-e-Sharif to fight in Libya
By Azhar Masood

ISLAMABAD: The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States recruited over 1,500 men from Mazar-e-Sharif for fighting against the Qaddafi forces in Libya.

Sources told The Nation: “Most of the men have been recruited from Afghanistan. They are Uzbeks, Persians and Hazaras. According to the footage, these men attired in the Uzbek-style of shalwar and Hazara-Uzbek Kurta were found fighting in Libyan cities.”

When an Al-Jazeera reporter pointed it out he was disallowed by the ‘rebels’ to capture images.

Sources in Quetta said: “Some Uzbeks and Hazaras from Afghanistan were arrested in Balochistan for illegally traveling into Pakistan en route to Libya through Iran. Aljazeera’s report gave credence to this story. More than 60 Afghans, mainly children and teenagers, have been found dead after suffocating inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan in an apparent human smuggling attempt.

More than 100 illegal immigrants were discovered 20km from the border town of Quetta last week inside the container, which had been locked from the outside.

Aljazeera having a dubious record, gave a human touch to this story as most of the men who intruded inside Pakistan from Afghanistan were recruits for the Libyan rebels’ force.

The sources said: “The CIA funded Libyan rebels with cash and weapons.” In a report the New York Mayor’s TV Channel Bloomberg said, “Leaders of the Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council flew to Istanbul seeking legitimacy and money. They will leave with the official recognition of the US and 31 other nations. As for the cash, they will have to wait.”

The decision to treat the council as the “legitimate governing authority” in Libya is a key step to freeing up some of the government’s frozen assets for rebels seeking the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. Still, obstacles such as existing United Nations sanctions won’t disappear overnight.

“We still have to work through various legal issues, but we expect this recognition will allow the TNC to access various forms of funding,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At stake are about $34 billion in frozen Libyan government assets that are held by the US institutions and as much as $130 billion more held around the world. Speaking via phone from Istanbul, Transitional National Council spokesman Mahmoud Shammam put the total in excess of $100 billion globally.

Qaddafi, in an audio message broadcast to supporters in the town of Zlitan, said the Libyan people “will never give up” in the fight to prevent him being ousted, the Associated Press reported. “The Libyan people will persevere,” he said.

In the coming weeks, US officials will consult with the TNC and international partners on the most effective and appropriate method of making additional significant financial assistance available, according to a Treasury official who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

Shammam said the TNC needs $3 billion to cover the budget for six months. The council is seeking loans secured by the Qaddafi regime’s assets abroad as a means of funding, he said.

Recognition may lawfully allow nations to buy state-owned oil from the TNC, which controls the oil-rich eastern part of the country. Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Total SA are the top oil companies operating in Libya, a former Italian colony.

How much money the Benghazi-based government can get, and when, may be more tied to politics than the law.

“The legal issues are in the eye of the beholder,” said Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “If Obama and Clinton want to go slow in paying out the money, their lawyers can invent plenty of legal issues to justify the chosen pace.”

The US envisions a “short timeframe” for releasing some of the Libyan government assets frozen by the US, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

President Barack Obama signed an order on February 25 freezing any US assets of Muammar Qaddafi, his family and members of his regime in Libya. As a practical matter, most of the frozen $34 billion is tied up in complicated property interests, including ownership interests in non-publicly traded companies or real estate, according to the Treasury official.

The mechanics of how the US will unfreeze assets still has to be worked out. The United Nations sanctions against Libya remain in place, a hindrance to efforts to get money to the rebels.

The UK and France, which led the campaign to unseat Qaddafi, yesterday didn’t commit any financial contributions.

Recognition of the council “will allow some countries to unfreeze some money,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said. Libyan frozen assets in France total $250 million, he said.

Other nations have already found the means to act.

Italy will open a credit line to rebels using frozen assets as collateral, and will provide them with 100 million euros ($141 million), Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said yesterday. Another 300 million euros will be released in two weeks and in total, Italy will release 400 million euros, he said, describing the money as loans.

The council is expecting $100 million from Turkey within three days, Shammam said.

The main criterion for international law for the recognition of a rebel group as the government of a state is its effective control over the territory.

The military campaign against Qaddafi will continue “indefinitely” until he steps down, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters yesterday in Istanbul.

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Former Nigerian President Condemns NATO’s Invasion Of Libya

http://allafrica.com/stories/201108301071.html

Concord Times (Sierra Leone)
August 29, 2011

Libya: Obasanjo Slams Nato Intervention in Libya
Mohamed Massaquoi
29 August 2011

Freetown: Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has strongly condemned the invasion of NATO forces in Libya, noting that the attack on “the brother, leader and former chairman of the African Union, Muammar Gaddafi” was wrong and uncalled for.

Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo was addressing newsmen at State House in Freetown last Friday during a snap visit to President Ernest Bai Koroma in acknowledgement of his Golden Jubilee Award presented to him during the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations on April 27, 2011…

Asked what he made of the current political predicament facing the people of Libya, Mr. Obasanjo said: “It is obligatory for leaders to respect their people and create an enabling atmosphere for good governance, but the NATO intervention in the conflict in Libya is wrong because it will take a long time to address the damages caused.”

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Italian Oil Giant Signs Agreement With National Transitional Council

http://www.ogj.com/articles/2011/08/eni-libyas-national-transitional-council-sign-agreement.html

Oil & Gas Journal
August 30, 2011

Eni, Libya’s National Transitional Council sign agreement
By Eric Watkins

Los Angeles:Italy’s Eni SPA said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) that aims at strengthening cooperation between them.

Under the terms of the agreement, Eni and NTC said they are committed to “creating the conditions for a rapid and complete recovery of Eni’s activities in Libya.”

The two sides also said they are committed to “doing all that is necessary to restart operations on the Greenstream pipeline, bringing gas from the Libyan coast to Italy.”

Eni and NTC, referring to the joint declaration signed on May 31 by the Italian government and NTC, said Eni has begun providing a first supply of refined petroleum products to NTC…

Eni also said it will also provide “technical assistance to assess the state of facilities and energy infrastructure in Libya and to define the type and extent of operations required to…restart activities.”

The agreement came as rebel-held Zawiya refinery near Tripoli, which has been shut down since the beginning of Libya’s rebellion in February, will soon resume operations…

“After tomorrow, it will be operational,” said Zawiya operations manager Mohammad Aziz, who added that the refinery will start processing stored crude first amid hopes of receiving new supplies from southern fields in two days.

Meanwhile, a tank at Waha Oil Co.’s Es-Sider oil terminal was reported to have been damaged during fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Libya’s embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“One tank is on fire now, and we expect it will be damaged completely,” said an oil worker who added that no one was working in the terminal, which has a storage capacity of 6.3 million bbl of crude.

Waha Oil is owned by Libya’s National Oil Corp. in a joint venture of ConocoPhillips, Marathon, and Hess Corp. Waha Oil operates four main oil fields: Waha, Dahra, Samah, and Gialo.

The Es-Sider terminal stores oil produced from Sirte basin fields operated by Total SA and Eni.

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Pentagon Arms Azerbaijan, NATO Allies, North African Nations

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/azerbaijan/1924738.html

Trend News Agency
August 31, 2011

Pentagon sending military aid to Azerbaijan

A $44 million Pentagon military aid package included nearly $10 million for Azerbaijan, The Associated Press reported with reference to documents obtained by the agency.

The aid aimed at improving the counterterrorism capabilities of the naval special forces includes small boats, engines, diving gear and training.

The Pentagon is sending more than $25 million in military equipment, small boats and other support to Tunisia and Malta.

Lithuania and Hungary were also included in the funding plan.

The first package approved earlier this year was for about $43 million and was directed at NATO and other allies in the Afghanistan war. A second package for $145.4 million was directed largely at North African nations…

Initially, military leaders have planned to spend at least $150 million of the fund on aid to Yemen…

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Pakistan: NATO Blamed For Taliban Attack That Killed 37

http://www.dardistantimes.com/content/attack-chitral0-2scouts-backed-nato-local-residents23

Dardistan Times
August 30, 2011

‘Attack on Chitral Scouts backed by NATO’ local residents
Gul Hamad Farooqui

CHITRAL: The attack on the peaceful scenic Chitral valley of Pakistan, in which 37 people died, is now being hinted to be backed by NATO forces in Afghanistan. An eyewitness of the incident has revealed that the attack at Arandu on Saturday was monitored and supported by NATO and Afghan security forces. Sources told that gunship helicopters and jet fighters were seen around the area during the attack on Chitral Scouts. Some local residents claimed that they witnessed heavy shelling and bombardment. They claimed that helicopter gunships and jet planes were flying over the Pakistan side of the border and it was also revealed that the ammunition was dumped near the border by NATO forces.

“We have already informed the provincial and federal authorities that NATO fighter jets and helicopter gunships do tour our airspace over the border outposts.” A district official told this scribe in Chitral, on the condition of anonymity.

Local residents expressed their fear over the presence of NATO forces in the close proximity of the Arandu border.

Major Gen. Athar Abbas, the spokesperson of ISPR, while talking to a British media source, claimed that the TTP’s [Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan's] absconders from Sawat and Bajur have reorganized in the Kunar province of Afghanistan to hit back at the nearest Pakistani regions. He wondered why and who is putting them there. When asked why not a ‘hot pursuit’, he appeared to refrain, terming it ‘a delicate issue’. However, he clearly claimed that the insurgents in Kunar were getting support to carry out cross-border attacks.

It is pertinent to recall that Chitral is a very peaceful tourist region in Pakistan and bloodshed like that on Saturday has never been normal to the local residents.

Gul Hamad Farooqui has contributed to this story from Arandu, Chitral, Pakistan.

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“Hard Decade Of War” Obama Hails 5 Million “9/11 Generation” Troops

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/31/c_131085052.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 31, 2011

Obama salutes “9/11 generation” of U.S. veterans to kick off 9/11 observance

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday paid tribute to “9/11 generation” of veterans and service members, thousands of whom have died in the past decade of war…

“Today we pay humble tribute to the more than 6,200 Americans in uniform who have given their lives in this hard decade of war. We honor them all,” Obama said in a speech to the 93rd annual convention of the American Legion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Most profoundly, we see the wages of war in those patriots who never came home. They gave their all, their last full measure of devotion, in Kandahar and the Korengal and Helmand, in the battles for Baghdad and Fallujah and Ramadi,” he said, referring to the wars the U.S. launched in Iraq and Afghanistan…

Obama said that the nation also salutes the 5 million American servicemen and servicewomen for giving what he called “the extraordinary decade of service” in the past 10 years.

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CSTO Troops Can Be Used To Thwart “Color” Coups: Belarus

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/30/c_131085032.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 30, 2011

CSTO troops may be used to prevent coups: Lukashenko

MINSK: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Tuesday said that members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are weighing the possibility of using its troops to foil coups.

“What I mean is not only the use of the organization’s Collective Operative Reaction Force in the event of interference by states outside the CSTO, but also interference by other states within the CSTO,” he said at a meeting with CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha here.

“It will be important support for countries that are members of the CSTO because no one will unleash a war on us, but many people can’t wait to commit a constitutional coup,” Lukashenko said.

He stressed CSTO countries must protect integrity and independence of the CSTO member states.

The CSTO, founded in May 1992, is an intergovernmental military alliance, whose members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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http://news.belta.by/en/news/politics?id=653072

Belarusian Telegraph Agency
August 30, 2011

Astana summit adopts fundamental decisions on CSTO development

MINSK: The CSTO informal summit in Astana in August was a real breakthrough, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha told media after his meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 30 August. Belarus is currently presiding over the CSTO.

Nikolai Bordyuzha praised the summit for adoption of important decisions on the future development of the organization.

In his words, the heads of state “agreed to use collective rapid response forces for the sake of protecting the constitutional order in a particular CSTO member state.”

The agreement to strengthen the collective rapid response forces both in quantity and quality is meant for the implementation of the collective rapid response forces armament program.

According to Nikolai Bordyuzha, the presidents agreed to enhance the level of joint cooperation against drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

The CSTO Secretary General also said that there are plans to set up a special coordination body “to analyze the situation with information security, information networks that were used for destabilization of the situation in
several CSTO member states.”

“We have discussed a lot of issues at today’s meeting. There have been certain instructions which are to be implemented by the time the next CSTO summit is held. In December the CSTO heads of state will consider draft
decisions on the positions outlined in Astana,” he added.

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

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

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NATO Standards: Pentagon Holds Joint Military Drills In Bulgaria

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=131625

Sofia News Agency
August 30, 2011

Ambassador, Defense Minister Watch US-Bulgaria Military Drills

-The Novo Selo Training Ground is one of the four Bulgarian military facilities used by the United States under an intergovernmental agreement, which also provides for the stationing of 2,500 US soldiers in Bulgaria, and up to 5,000 for up to a month during their rotation.

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister, Anyu Angelov, and the Defense Head, Gen. Simeon Simeonov, are watching Tuesday a stage of the Bulgaria-US military drills.

The Watchful Guard 2011 exercise is held between August 20th and September 2nd at the Novo Selo training ground. 104 servicemen from Military Police, instructors and military policemen from the Tennessee National Guard, and employees from the Special Police Forces Directorate at the Interior Ministry are taking part.

The joint drills of Bulgarian and American military police and special police forces will also be watched Tuesday by US Ambassador in Sofia, James Warlick, the Chief Secretary of the Interior, Kalin Geogriev, and the Land Forces Commander, General-Major, Stefan Vasilev.

The drills aim at better preparation and readiness of military police in carrying out standard operational procedures and compliance with NATO standards.

As part of the Bulgarian-US military cooperation and partnership, Bulgaria is paired with the state of Tennessee (which is similar to Bulgaria in size and population) under the State Partnership Program of the US Department of Defense.

The Novo Selo Training Ground is one of the four Bulgarian military facilities used by the United States under an intergovernmental agreement, which also provides for the stationing of 2,500 US soldiers in Bulgaria, and up to 5,000 for up to a month during their rotation.

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Bulgarian NATO Experience Applied To Serbia

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=131537

Sofia News Agency
August 26, 2011

Borisov, Tadic Cordially Excited by Bulgarian-Serbian Military Drills

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has promised to do all he could in order to get Serbia admitted to the EU after talks with Serbian President Boris Tadic during joint military drills.

The state leaders of Bulgaria and Serbia Borisov and Tadic attended together Friday the joint anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) drills of the Bulgarian and Serbian armed forces in Shabla (taking place August 24-26, 2011) together with Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov and his Serbian counterpart Dragan Sutanovac.

“These military drills are a sign of the close relations between the Serbian and the Bulgarian military. I want to congratulate Boyko Borisov on the results [Bulgaria] achieved as member of NATO and the EU,” Serbian President Tadic stated in Shabla, as quoted by BGNES.

“We would like to use Bulgaria’s experience about its NATO and EU achievements. I hope that with this military exercise we have contributed even more to the stability on the Balkans,” he added.

….

The 2011 Bulgarian-Serbian anti-aircraft military training near Shabla is taking place for a second year in a row – after it first started in 2010.

The drills feature units from the Bulgarian Air Force, the Bulgarian Navy, the Bulgarian Army and the Bulgarian Border Police as well as an AAA brigade from the Serbian Air Force.

The weapons used and tested in the AAA drills included MiG-29 and Su-25 fighter jets and anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile complexes SA-2 Volhov, SA-3 Neva, SA-6 Kub, SA-8 Osa, SA-7 Strela 2M.

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Bulgaria And Israel To Conduct Joint Military Exercises

http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/08/25/1144367_bulgarias-cabinet-approves-israel-military-co-operation-agreement

Sofia Echo
August 25, 2011

Bulgaria’s Cabinet approves Israel military co-operation agreement

The Cabinet in Sofia has approved a draft of an agreement between Bulgaria’s and Israel’s defence ministries on military co-operation in conducting joint military drills and training, Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) said.

The agreement regulates the interaction between the two countries in the planning of the joint drills, the status of the armed forces on the territory of the host country…

It is expected that the conducting of joint military drills with Israel would improve the training of Bulgarian military units operating in multinational environments, BNR said.

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Joschka Fischer: “Strong, United Europe” Must Ally With U.S. Against China

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/30/the-world-needs-a-strong-united-europe/

CNN
Project Syndicate/Institute for Human Sciences
August 30, 2011

The world needs a strong, united Europe
By Joschka Fischer

Editor’s Note: Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was a leader in the German Green Party for almost 20 years.

BERLIN: Slowly, word is getting round – even in Germany – that the financial crisis could destroy the European unification project in its entirety, because it demonstrates, quite relentlessly, the weaknesses of the eurozone and its construction. Those weaknesses are less financial or economic than political.

At the beginning of the crisis, in 2007-2008, the eurozone’s fundamental flaws could have been corrected had Germany been willing to support a joint European crisis response. But German officials preferred to maintain national primacy – and thus a confederational approach to Europe.

Across the Atlantic, America’s fiscal crisis and weak economic growth will force it to reduce its global military commitments. Moreover, the US will orient itself increasingly towards the Pacific rather than the Atlantic. For Europeans, with our turbulent eastern and southern neighborhoods, this presents an additional security challenge for which we are materially and intellectually unprepared. Even today, Europe’s military weakness is working to undermine the transatlantic relationship.

An additional threat to the transatlantic alliance arises from the emerging new world order. The coming years, indeed decades, will be characterized by an increasingly aggressive US-Chinese dualism as China becomes stronger and America’s weakness persists. While this rivalry will have a military component, as evidenced by China’s enormous military buildup, it will manifest itself primarily in terms of economic, political, and normative spheres of influence. East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific will play the central role here.

But China will try to draw Europe into this new global game. Indeed, it has already begun to do so. The recent visits by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Europe’s crisis countries, to which he offered generous loans and assistance, made this strikingly clear. And America’s weakness, the growing dependence of European (especially German) exports on the Chinese market, and the enticements of the Far East more generally, will nurture a new and promising Eurasian perspective as Transatlanticism declines.

European illusions about Asia will no longer be directed at Russia, which, apart from its natural resources, will simply have nothing to offer. No, this time, the temptation will spring from China, which well understands Europe’s significance in its emerging geopolitical contest with (and against) the US.

As with Germany vis-à-vis France, here, too, Europe must stand unwaveringly by its transatlantic partner to avoid putting itself in great jeopardy. The two foundations of Europe’s seven decades of peace are cracking. Repairing them requires nothing less than pressing ahead, at long last, toward a strong, united Europe.

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“Whites Unite”: Romanian President Calls For United States Of Europe

http://www.actmedia.eu/2011/08/23/top+story/president+basescu+on+the+united+states+of+europe%3A+crises+call+for+bold+measures+/35287

ACTmedia
Romanian News Agency
August 23, 2011

President Basescu on the United States of Europe: Crises call for bold measures

-‘I am not sure that today’s politicians have the power to convince the people that setting up the United States of Europe will not affect their culture, traditions or the personality of each nation. I do not believe that the current generation of politicians could convince people. It sounds awful to say that the Value Added Tax will no longer be established by the national governments, but by some people in Brussels. It sounds extremely awful to any Romanian, and yet we will have to take this pill if we want Europe to be a viable construction against the globalisation process.’
-‘Over the past ten years, the EU has been constantly losing competitiveness to China, the US and other big economic powers. When you have no economic power you cannot be a military power either. It would be useless to attack Libya because you will lose the war. Security is a fundamental thing but there is no providing security without money, which can only be generated by a highly performing economy.’

President Traian Basescu said on Monday evening that the idea of establishing the United States of Europe (USE) has already been discussed, pointing out that crises call for bold measures, and adding that he is not sure that today’s politicians can convince the people that a USE will not affect their culture or traditions.

‘The idea of the United States of Europe is no new solution. It has already been raised and discussed. Churchill is one of the last prominent politicians to suggest it, but even before him there were others. This is nothing original, nothing new under the sun. Yet, this is a time of economic crisis where there are risks of recession returning. I say risks because we have not reached that stage, but there are risks nonetheless, and I mean crises call for bold measures,’ Basescu told the TVR public television channel in an interview.

He added that a politician would be hard pressed saying how quick the United States of Europe could be established, but national governments have proved they can be ‘vanquished’ by markets, by the will of investors.

‘The global system will sweep away all that is lacking strength. The states now have to see how to put up with the negative effects of globalisation,’ Basescu added.

He pointed out in the same context that Romania does not give up on its objective to accede to the Eurozone in 2015.

‘We want to become a part of this European family, and the creation of a government of the Eurozone is something said differently than I said. It is clear that a government of the Eurozone will first of all take care of monetary policies, which will still be managed by the European Central Bank, and of the tax policies of each member state,’ Basescu explained.

‘I am not sure that today’s politicians have the power to convince the people that setting up the United States of Europe will not affect their culture, traditions or the personality of each nation. I do not believe that the current generation of politicians could convince people. It sounds awful to say that the Value Added Tax will no longer be established by the national governments, but by some people in Brussels. It sounds extremely awful to any Romanian, and yet we will have to take this pill if we want Europe to be a viable construction against the globalisation process,’ Basescu added.

Last week at Sulina, Basescu said that the European Union has been constantly losing competitiveness to China and the US and that a decision should be taken in the next two-three years whether or not the United States of Europe will be created.

‘Over the past ten years, the EU has been constantly losing competitiveness to China, the US and other big economic powers. When you have no economic power you cannot be a military power either. It would be useless to attack Libya because you will lose the war. Security is a fundamental thing but there is no providing security without money, which can only be generated by a highly performing economy. A fragmented economy with differing policies in 27 states does not make us economically competitive. As Europeans, we need economic performance and security, and these two fundamental things cannot be achieved otherwise than by fundamental political decisions. And I repeat the idea that we have to decide quickly, in the next two-three years, whether or not to create the United States of Europe,’ Basescu told a summer school camp of overseas Romanian students at the Danube Delta resort of Sulina.

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Ukraine: Polish, Ukrainian Troops Train For Global NATO Missions

http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=151656

National Radio Company of Ukraine
August 30, 2011

Ukrainian-Polish exercises “Cossack Steppe – 2011″ start in Mykolaiv

Ukrainian-Polish exercises “Cossack Steppe – 2011″ start at a military training ground “Wide Field” in Mykolaiv. The aim of the exercises – organization of peacekeeping operations in the conditional conflict zone by joint Ukrainian-Polish units.

Training will continue to September 8, the press service of the Defense Ministry informs.

The idea of holding these exercises was initiated in 1996 during a meeting of Defence Ministers of Ukraine, Poland and the UK.

Since then exercises are alternately held in the territories of these countries.

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Georgian, French Troops To Train Afghan Counterparts

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1924586.html

Trend News Agency
August 31, 2011

Georgian, French gunners to train Afghan counterparts
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Eleven French gunners will leave for Afghanistan in a few weeks, where, together with Georgian militaries in the Georgian zone of responsibility, Afghan military will train to handle the 122 B30 guns.

Training will last for five months.

The French Embassy said this will be the second time that joint training of Afghan militaries will coincide with Georgian and French gunner training operations.

“This is an example of a successful cooperation between military departments of the two countries,” the Embassy said.

The Georgian soldiers’ company serves in Afghanistan in France’s zone of ​​ responsibility. Another battalion serves in the U.S. zone of responsibility.

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AFRICOM: Security Threat To Namibia, African Continent

http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=40385&title=Security%20threat%20called%20AFRICOM

New Era (Namibia)
August 31, 2011

Security threat called AFRICOM
by Kamati kaTate

You might not know or heard about AFRICOM. If you saw the name once, you might have dismissed it thinking AFRICOM is a new company to sell cement like Afrisam. Some might conclude that since it has a ‘com’ at the end, maybe it is something online.

These are wrong conclusions. At the end of this column, you will know what AFRICOM is, its activities and why it is a security threat.

AFRICOM, standing for Africa Command, was established by blood-covered former US President George W. Bush and his Secretary of Defence Robert Gates. You will notice that Robert Gates has continued with his duties under Obama who misled many of you except me. The idiots believed AFRICOM’s raison d’être is terrorism in Africa. I would not expect you to know AFRICOM’s mission statement since many of you don’t read.

Allow yourself an education as I make it known that the AFRICOM mission statement is “United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.” Meaning AFRICOM is a fundamental tool of US foreign policy.

We will return to it later. It’s ok that you didn’t know, even your leaders, many without education, didn’t know. AFRICOM is headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart in Germany and is led by General Carter Ham.

Why and how is AFRICOM a security threat to Africa? Firstly, its mission suggests so. In a 2009 journal article on Contemporary Security Policy, Laurie Nathan exposes four key fundamental principles as regards to AFRICOM. The author correctly argues that AFRICOM, in undermining state sovereignty, will “alter the regional balance of power, and be divisive and destabilizing…It would undermine the unity and collective decision-making.” AFRICOM was to be located in Africa, General Ham probably plans to locate it in countries such as Botswana and Namibia with pro-western leadership.

Locating AFRICOM in Africa is a military opportunity for America to overthrow African governments and to attack countries seen as anti-American. Since African and American interests never gel, it would mean that AFRICOM would pursue American interesta, on African soil, at the expense of African interests. Those with a sharp medulla oblongata know that AFRICOM is undermining the African Union (AU) and its Peace and Security Council which deals with peace and security on the continent. We might as well sell the AU to Americans.

I had mentioned American foreign policy. In this domain, Nathan (2009) sees American foreign policy in light of its “unsympathetic attitude to the liberation movements, its unwavering support for Israel despite the illegal occupation of Palestine, its exceptionalism in relation to the International Criminal Court, and its long history of unilateralism, aggression, and disdain for international law…pursues its own interests at the expense of others, and is willing to deploy force offensively to advance those interests.” So if AFRICOM is to achieve its mission statement we discussed earlier, Africa must support and embrace the above as discussed by Nathan.

As your teacher, I need to share recent information made available to us by Wikileaks.

A communication cable dated on Monday, 11 January 2010, at 17h30 UTC, indicates a meeting of AFRICOM Commander’s with French officials on Aqim and other African Security Threats. The meeting, held in Paris, was attended by President Sarkozy’s Diplomatic Advisor Jean-David Levitte, Sarkozy’s Military Advisor, Admiral Edouard Guillaud; they and others briefed then-U.S. AFRICOM Commander General William E. Ward. Wikileaks has also revealed to us how AFRICOM planned the assassination of legendary Robert Mugabe and the fall of his government through the so-called Operation Shumba. (Damn bastards, may God bless Zimbabwe.)

AFRICOM Commander General Ward visited Namibia in early 2010.

Reading his report was so disgusting in many ways. He referred to my country as “Southwest Africa.” Clearly Americans still use lenses of Cold War geopolitics.

General Ward met with Health Minister Dr. Kamwi, and they apparently discussed how AFRICOM “could help the Namibian military and U.S. country team efforts to assist in health related issues.” At a meeting with the Ministry of Safety and Security, they discussed supporting the then “upcoming Namibian police visit to Ramstein Air Base in Southwestern Germany.”

The American was dignified with a fifteen minute appearance on Good Morning Namibia, with Kazembire Zemburuka, in order to brainwash, hypnotize and shower us with American propaganda. General Ward met Education Minister Abraham Iyambo to discuss the school AFRICOM will build in northern Namibia. Lastly and shockingly, he met with the then-Defence Deputy Minister Lempy Lucas. He said “it was very gratifying to hear Ms. Lucas praise our bilateral relationship and her wish to see Africa Command play a greater role in military-to-military relations in the future.”(what?). A close friend said General Ward met significant others not mentioned.

These cosmetic initiatives are not genuine, the devil’s initiatives are never genuine. These are attempts to win the hearts and the minds of the Namibian people.

What is in it for them anyway? Also monitor and analyze the work of MCA very closely.

There is no good devil, the good devil is the dead one.

This is enough for today, add me on Facebook for a more robust engagement of these issues.

‘Shaamonathana omuti nomuti’ – We shall meet again

• Kamati kaTate is a Community Mobilizer whose area of interest is observing Politics as both an art of the possible and as a medium of distribution of resources as to who gets what, when, where and how. kamatikatate@gmail.com

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011 1 comment

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NATO Coordinated, Commanded Assault On Libyan Capital: Russian Analysts

165 Days Of Bombing: 20,751 NATO Sorties, 7,848 Combat Flights

NATO Intensifies Bombardment Of Sirte

NATO To Continue Military Operations In Libya: Spokesperson

NATO Faces “Catastrophic Success” In Libya

NATO Libyan War Rhetoric “Beyond Most Cynical Propaganda”: Russian Envoy

Irene’s Devastation And NATO’s Bombs

NTC: NATO Ensured Victory, Must Stay In Libya

Obama Doctrine: U.S. Libyan War Tactics Model For Syria, Others

Under Fire From Atlanticist Forces, German Foreign Minister Endorses NATO Bombing

Report: Algeria Closes 1,000-Kilometer Stretch Of Border With Libya

European Union Imposes Oil Embargo On Syria

Iraq: NATO Trains Federal Police In Crowd And Riot Control, Oil Police

August Deadliest Month For U.S. In Ten-Year Afghan War

French, Lithuanian NATO Warplanes Collide During Training Exercise

Beginning Of New War: NATO Complicit In Attacks On Pakistani Posts

Thaci: New Deal With NATO “Biggest Success Since Independence”

Top NATO Military Commanders Inspect Kosovo Flashpoint

U.S. Establishes Squadron To Train Air Forces For African Conflicts

After Baltic States, Scotland: U.S. Warship Enters Arctic Circle

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NATO Coordinated, Commanded Assault On Libyan Capital: Russian Analysts

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/30/55396761.html

Voice of Russia
August 30, 2011

NATO help obvious in Tripoli assault
Konstantin Garibov

-[T]roops of the French Foreign Legion landed outside the Libyan capital 24 hours before the assault began. Those were professional mercenaries who survived Afghanistan and Iraq, with NATO commanders only needing Libyan rebels for a mob scene. The latter were instructed to fire in the air and gleefully wave flags of Gaddafi’s predecessor in front of Qatar TV cameras.

Advisers and military instructors from France, Great Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates started patronizing the Libyan opposition right after the coalition launched its campaign in that country. They trained up to 200 militants who helped task force soldiers occupy Tripoli. Now they are hunting for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his family members and associates.

It took the coalition three months to prepare this campaign titled Operation Mermaid Dawn, according to Britain’s The Daily Telegraph. Writing that assault teams were trained in Benghazi by officers of the British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service, the newspaper confirmed the UK task force’s leading role in the Tripoli attack. British media also declassified the involvement of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the operation. Dozens of bloggers, in their turn, said that troops of the French Foreign Legion landed outside the Libyan capital 24 hours before the assault began. Those were professional mercenaries who survived Afghanistan and Iraq, with NATO commanders only needing Libyan rebels for a mob scene. The latter were instructed to fire in the air and gleefully wave flags of Gaddafi’s predecessor in front of Qatar TV cameras.

Rebels would never have been able to seize Tripoli without the assistance of the NATO command, as well as European and Arab mercenaries, believes associate editor of the Independent Military Review Viktor Litovkin.

“The militarily inexperienced opposition force was poorly equipped, scattered and weakly governed. In other words, it appeared as a wild guerilla mass having no idea about tactics and strategy. Without NATO instructors in their ranks and the support of NATO aircraft and navy, the rebels would definitely have failed. So, we witnessed NATO member states engaged in military activities on one of the sides in the civil war,” Viktor Litovkin said.

Now it is known for certain that the hunt for Muammar Gaddafi is guided by servicemen of Great Britain’s 22nd Special Air Service regiment (22 SAS). Deputy Chairman of the military political analysts association Alexander Peredzhiyev does not rule out that the coalition resorted to every means available.

“A considerable role in the Tripoli occupation and the triumph of rebel forces was played by their negotiations with Gaddafi followers. I assume we are dealing with the corruption of top-ranking officials loyal to the Colonel. The lingering NATO operation in Libya prompted the need of taking specific measures. Therefore, I believe, Western instructors and advisers provided with much authority and financial assets decided to buy victory using the rebels’ hands,” emphasized Alexander Peredzhiyev.

This view of the Russian military expert confirms, in particular, confessions of an opposition member who said rebels were suddenly joined by a commander of troops defending Tripoli during the assault. Mohammed Eshkal, who has been harboring grievance against Gaddafi for some 20 years, is said to have come to terms with the National Transitional Council and yielded the city to the opposition.

The Western media also found information that Operation Mermaid Dawn was carried out not only in Tripoli but also in the Qatar-based special pavilions where the rebels’ triumphant entry into the capital city was shot, cut and edited. These videos were broadcast by Arab TV channels at a high price to veil the West’s direct involvement in the fall of Tripoli.

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165 Days Of Bombing: 20,751 NATO Sorties, 7,848 Combat Flights

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110830_110830-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,751 sorties, including 7,848 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 29 AUGUST: 120

Strike sorties conducted 29 AUGUST: 42

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NATO Intensifies Bombardment Of Sirte

http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/2011/08/30/nato-ups-strikes-on-sirte

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 30, 2011

Nato ups strikes on Sirte
Nato jetfighters have intensified strikes in Sirte, the hometown of the fugitive Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, says the alliance

In a daily briefing, Nato said its strikes targeted several military facilities in Sirte, as rebels are awaiting the result of negotiations to enter the city without fighting.

Nato said Tuesday it had carried out 120 sorties, including 42 strikes, over Sirte the previous day.

They targeted three command and control facilities, four radars, one surface-to-air missile system and 22 armoured vehicles.

Sirte is located on the Mediterranean coast between the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.

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NATO To Continue Military Operations In Libya: Spokesperson

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110830/166305234.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 30, 2011

NATO to continue Libya mission ‘to protect civilians’

Brussels: The NATO operation in Libya is still necessary and will continue as long as threats to civilians remain, NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said on Tuesday.

“The NATO mission is important, it has been effective, and it’s still necessary…,” she said.

Once NATO’s job is done, it is for others to take over the lead in supporting Libya, she continued, adding that NATO expected the United Nations to take the leading role.

The NATO secretary general will travel to Paris on Thursday, September 1 to take part in a senior level meeting on Libya, Lungescu said…

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NATO Faces “Catastrophic Success” In Libya

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7584150.html

Jiefang Daily
Translated by People’s Daily Online
August 30, 2011

NATO faces ‘catastrophic success’ in Libya
By An Huihou

-Going against the trend of the times, maintaining blind faith in the use of force, imposing the threat of force and even interfering militarily have not only become increasingly difficult but also do harm to others and themselves. As Western countries have repeatedly failed to take lessons from their blind moves, it is no wonder they has embarked on the path of decline.

The Libya war situation recently underwent dramatic changes. The French and British defense ministers stressed at the end of July that the Libyan opposition could not defeat the government forces or capture Tripoli, the capital of Libya, on its own. However, certain media outlets revealed in mid-August that the Libyan opposition was expected to capture the capital before the end of August, according to a NATO schedule.

As it turned out, the opposition forces entered Tripoli on Aug. 21. There are two main reasons for the sudden victory of the opposition forces. First, Western countries not only launched air strikes and provided a large amount of weapons to the opposition forces but also sent ground troops to Libya. According to recent media reports, France, the United Kingdom and Italy had dispatched special forces to Libya to help the opposition troops finally win the ground war. Second, Western countries reportedly bought out almost all senior officials of the Qaddafi regime. In brief, Western countries planned and directed the opposition forces’ capture of Tripoli.

However, the NATO’s victory in Libya is just a miserable victory. First, in order to reduce civilian casualties, the United Nations Security Council authorized NATO to establish a no-fly zone in Libya. However, the military operations of NATO have enlarged the civil war, led to tens of thousands of casualties of innocent civilians, made countless people homeless, and caused severe property damage and a huge humanitarian disaster.

NATO’s arming of the Libyan rebels and use of land forces in Libya both violated the Security Council’s resolution, which prohibited both actions. In order to overthrow the Qadafi administration, foster a pro-West government and further control Libya, western countries will use any methods. Fair or foul, they do not care. Therefore, they have already failed in morality and justice.

Second, several of the strongest Western countries joined forces, spent a lot of money and manpower, and bombed Libya for five months, but they ultimately still had to adopt illegal actions and command the Libyan rebels to take the capital. It could fully reflect the rudeness, brutality and selfishness of the Western countries. In addition, their actions not only failed to demonstrate their powerful strengths but also revealed their weakness, fragility and incapacity.

U.K.-based The Times reported that NATO is generally using the term “catastrophic success” to describe the opposition’s victory. The relationship among various factions of Libya’s opposition is indeed complicated. Although they have made collective actions to achieve the goal of overthrowing Qaddafi’s regime, it is very difficult for them to remain united in the post-Qaddafi era. Instead, they are very likely to divide and even cause new conflicts to arise. Furthermore, it is very difficult for Qaddafi’s tribes to accept the cruel facts, including the loss of their dominant position, authority and interests.

The international community is universally worried that Libya will likely become a second Iraq or Somalia, and some even forecasted that Libya would likely be divided into three parts. The war and the inevitable future chaos caused by war will make the Libyan people the biggest victim and affect regional and global peace and stability. The Western countries will unlikely obtain the rewards that they are coveting.

Western countries have launched the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade and have participated in the Libyan war in 2011. Although they have all met the goals of regime change, have they really achieved victories? The Iraq war waged by the United States is not worth the costs and has become one of the major reasons behind the fall of the United States from its hegemonic position, which is already a consensus in the international community.

The Afghan war has lasted as long as 10 years, putting those who launched the war into a dilemma. The Libyan war is no exception and can never become a model for Western powers’ successful interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The “gunboat diplomacy” era has long passed, and resolving political differences through negotiations has become the trend of the times.

Going against the trend of the times, maintaining blind faith in the use of force, imposing the threat of force and even interfering militarily have not only become increasingly difficult but also do harm to others and themselves. As Western countries have repeatedly failed to take lessons from their blind moves, it is no wonder they has embarked on the path of decline.

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NATO Libyan War Rhetoric “Beyond Most Cynical Propaganda”: Russian Envoy

http://rt.com/politics/libya-cynical-propoganda-rogozin-425/

RT
August 30, 2011

NATO’s rhetoric on Libya ‘most cynical propaganda’ – Rogozin

The criticism of NATO voiced at an international conference in the Czech Republic is a sign of the growing discontent with the Alliance’s policy both in Europe and in the US, stated Russia’s NATO Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin.

­“I think the ‘Prague wave’, which has reached us, I mean the wave of stinging commentaries regarding NATO, indicates that the Alliance is running a serious risk of undermining its unshakeable reputation as an honest broker in matters of war and peace,” Rogozin told Interfax on Tuesday.

His comments came at the end of a conference titled “Central Europe, EU and New Russia,” a forum organized by the independent Czech think-tank Fontes Rerom and the European movement, an international association aimed at promoting civil society. It was attended by representatives of ten European countries and the US. The Russian delegation was led by the lower house vice-chairman Aleksandr Babakov.

Rogozin said that during the conference many Europeans spoke of NATO as a “police” or even a “criminal” organization. The Russian politician noted that the current mood has been gaining ground since the start of the military operation in Libya.

“Western intellectuals are strongly disappointed with the Alliance’s actions in Libya, as well as the policies of some specific member states,” Rogozin stated, adding that the rhetoric of some NATO representatives concerning Libya is “absolutely outrageous, going beyond the most cynical propaganda.”

Their commentaries suggest that “dozens of thousands of bombs dropped on Libya hit the targets so accurately and gracefully that not a single hair stirred on the heads of ordinary Libyan citizens as the bombs flew over them,” Rogozin said.

The Russian ambassador to NATO believes that saying such things inevitably draws criticism in the West even from politicians who have been traditionally loyal to NATO.

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Irene’s Devastation And NATO’s Bombs

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/Irene+devastation+NATO+bombs/5326725/story.html

Victoria Times Colonist
August 30, 2011

Letter:
Irene’s devastation, and NATO’s bombs

After watching Mother Nature’s wrath, in the form of hurricane Irene, wreak havoc on U.S. cities, I switched news channels to watch how NATO’s wrath, in the form of fighter jets, had wreaked havoc on ancient cites like Tripoli and Sirte in Libya.

Despite so many NATO member countries being in a steep economic decline, they are always financially willing and able to wage war and cause destruction in foreign lands – even while their own infrastructures crumble into neglectful disrepair due to lack of funds.

Parts of Tripoli, founded by Phoenicians in the seventh century BC, lie in ruins as the world’s press cameramen lead us through the rubble, with little said about NATO’s changing role. It had quietly and quickly morphed from implementing a United Nations and Arab League-sanctioned no-fly zone to protect anti-government rebels into a bombing onslaught to decimate all sites Moammar Gadhafi controlled. Tripoli and other cities weren’t devastated by the small machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades launched from the rebels’ pickup trucks; the depredation came from the military might of NATO.

Have things really changed that much since Phoenician times?

Bernie Smith
Parksville

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NTC: NATO Ensured Victory, Must Stay In Libya

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/163189-nato-must-extend-stay-ntc.html

Peninsula (Qatar)
August 30, 2011

Nato must extend stay: NTC

-“We effectively conducted 23,000 flights and destroyed 5,000 military targets in Libya. Nato forces participated in field operations which were accurately led round the clock and the week.”

DOHA: Libya’s National Transitional Council has urged Nato to continue with its presence in the country saying that it fears that a defiant Colonel Muammar Ghadafi might do something unexpected.

Nato is mandated by the UN Security Council to stay in Libya until September 27.

Addressing a meeting of chiefs of staff of the armed forces of the countries that participated in anti-Gaddafi military operations in Libya, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, NTC Chairman, said yesterday that…“Libyan rebels couldn’t have achieved victory without the support of Nato and international alliance forces,” Jalil said.

The rebels were no match for Ghadafi’s forces since he had massive wealth and military might, he added.

The meeting was held to discuss the current situation in Libya after the end of Gaddafi’s rule. Nato was represented at the meet.

Major general Hamad bin Ali al Attiya, chief of staff of the Qatari armed forces, the Libyan Minister of Defense Jalal al Digheily and the representative of Libyan rebels, Abdul Hakim Belhaj, were in attendance.

The meeting discussed Nato’s views and position on the ongoing events in Libya and the general military situation in the country.

Major-General Hamad bin Ali al Attiyah, also said that Nato’s stay in Libya was needed.

“The ongoing developments and field indicators in Libya require Nato to provide military and security support…,” he added.

The speech of Jalal al Digheily, the Libyan Minister of Defense, thanked Qatar, the Emirates, Jordan and Sudan for providing support to the rebels.

“War is still going on to defeat Gaddafi, his sons and aides and the sleeper cells, the so called “revolutionary committees”…,” he said.

“We are still in need of the Nato’s logistic and military support to achieve our goals,” he said.

Admiral Samuel Le Claire, commander of the Nato military operations in Libya, congratulated the NTC.

“We effectively conducted 23,000 flights and destroyed 5,000 military targets in Libya. Nato forces participated in field operations which were accurately led round the clock and the week,” he said.

“We are committed and authorized to continue the military operation till September 27, 2011. We hope the vision will be obvious during the upcoming weeks and we will discuss the suitable ways to support Libya after the end of military operation,” he said.

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Obama Doctrine: U.S. Libyan War Tactics Model For Syria, Others

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/world/africa/29diplo.html

New York Times
August 29, 2011

U.S. Tactics in Libya May Be a Model for Other Efforts
By Helene Cooper and Steven Lee Myers

-[T]he very fact that the administration has joined with the same allies that it banded with on Libya to call for Mr. Assad to go and to impose penalties on his regime could take the United States one step closer to applying the Libya model toward Syria…[A]dministration officials say that the coordinated approach to calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster and imposing financial penalties on the Syrian government show that they are already applying the Obama doctrine there.

WASHINGTON: It would be premature to call the war in Libya a complete success for United States interests. But the arrival of victorious rebels on the ***shores of Tripoli*** last week gave President Obama’s senior advisers a chance to claim a key victory for an Obama doctrine for the Middle East that had been roundly criticized in recent months as leading from behind.

Administration officials say that even though the NATO intervention in Libya, emphasizing airstrikes.., cannot be applied uniformly in other hotspots like Syria, the conflict may, in some important ways, become a model for how the United States wields force ***in other countries where its interests are threatened***.

“We’ve resisted the notion of a doctrine, because we don’t think you can impose one model on very different countries; that gets you into trouble and can lead you to intervene in places that you shouldn’t,” said Ben Rhodes, the director for strategic communications at the National Security Council.

Even so, he said, the Libya action helped to establish two principles for when the United States could apply military force to advance its diplomatic interests even though its national security is not threatened directly.

Mr. Obama laid out those principles on March 28, when he gave his only big address on the Libya conflict, in a speech at George Washington University that in many ways established the principles of the Obama doctrine.

During that speech, Mr. Obama said that America had the responsibility to stop what he characterized as a looming genocide in the Libyan city of Benghazi (Principle 1). But at the same time, he said, when the safety of Americans is not directly threatened but where action can be justified — in the case of genocide, say — the United States will act only on the condition that it is not acting alone (Principle 2).

And so, with Libya, the United States used its might — providing crucial cruise missiles, aircraft, bombs, intelligence and even military personnel — but it did so as part of the larger NATO coalition, led by the French and the British and including Arab nations.

In fact, American officials argued, the Libya strategy worked in large part because it was perceived as an international effort against a brutal dictator and “not a U.S. go-it-alone approach,” as one senior administration official put it.

“ ‘Made only in the U.S.A.’ would have risked it becoming Qaddafi versus the U.S.A.,” the official said.

For now at least, the administration and its allies in the Libya action have stopped far short of threatening military force in Syria. Still, the officials argue that creating the broadest possible diplomatic pressure — what Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last week called an “international chorus of condemnation” — could ultimately have an effect and, if Mr. Assad continues his violent crackdown on dissenters, lay the foundation for more aggressive action.

[T]he very fact that the administration has joined with the same allies that it banded with on Libya to call for Mr. Assad to go and to impose penalties on his regime could take the United States one step closer to applying the Libya model toward Syria. While military intervention in Syria is highly unlikely, administration officials say that the coordinated approach to calling for Mr. Assad’s ouster and imposing financial penalties on the Syrian government show that they are already applying the Obama doctrine there.

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Under Fire From Atlanticist Forces, German Foreign Minister Endorses NATO Bombing

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1659724.php/Under-fire-over-Libya-Westerwelle-commends-NATO-bombing

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 29, 2011

Under fire over Libya, Westerwelle commends NATO bombing

Berlin: Facing calls to resign and derision in the media, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle slackened Monday his stubborn defence of Germany’s refusal to intervene militarily in Libya.

Through a spokesman, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared confidence in Westerwelle. But media suggested he might not last as minister, after a furore over Westerwelle’s refusal to concede that the ouster of Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi did require military force.

‘We are pleased that the reign of the Gaddafi regime is at an end,’ Westerwelle told a conference in Berlin of 200 German ambassadors.

‘Precisely because we assessed the opportunities and risks differently, we respect France and our allies for applying Resolution 1973.’ French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was in the room as a guest at the Berlin meeting.

Germany’s UN ambassador abstained at Westerwelle’s direction on March 17 when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, authorizing force to deny Gaddafi air superiority.

The abstention upset allies and was criticized by many Germans. A former foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, a Green, has called the abstention Germany’s biggest diplomatic blunder in six decades.

Last week, Westerwelle held fast, arguing that economic sanctions, not force, had been a major factor in ousting Gaddafi.

His refusal to admit that events had proved him wrong revived Westerwelle-bashing, which had gone quiet in the media after he gave up his leadership of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in May.

Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s spokesman, said, ‘The chancellor and her foreign minister are working in full confidence with one another.’

Asked if she was now concerned about Westerwelle’s future, he said, ‘She is not worrying.’

In a newspaper guest article on Sunday, Westerwelle yielded a little, writing, ‘We are the glad that the Libyans managed, with help as well from the international military operation, to oust the Gaddafi regime.’

The new FDP leader, Philipp Roesler, disowned Westerwelle’s views by expressly praising the NATO intervention, but rebuffed calls to sack the minister. To avoid fanning the flames, the FDP cancelled a Berlin news conference set for Monday.

Media commentators said the FDP seemed concerned that dumping Westerwelle would hit its vote share in two state elections next month.

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Report: Algeria Closes 1,000-Kilometer Stretch Of Border With Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110830/166290016.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 30, 2011

Algeria partially closes border with Libya – paper

Cairo: Algeria has closed a 1,000-km stretch of its border with Libya and put troops and police there on high alert, an independent Algerian newspaper said.

Al-Watan newspaper said that troops, police and customs officials received relevant orders late on Monday.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry said earlier that wife and three children of fugitive Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi had arrived in Algeria despite the warning issued by Western powers that countries neighboring with Libya should not give refuge to Gaddafi family members or loyalists.

The whereabouts of Col. Gaddafi, who ruled the country for 40 years, remain unknown since rebels seized control over his headquarters in the capital, Tripoli, almost a week ago.

Algeria has not yet recognized Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) as a legitimate power in conflict-torn North African state.

Algerian authorities have repeatedly called against international interference in the domestic conflict in Libya.

Algeria fears that the instability in Libya may be used by al-Qaeda to strengthen its positions in the neighboring countries.

Algerian media have reported on several occasions that there were many criminals and members of radical Islamist groups among the Libyan rebels.

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European Union Imposes Oil Embargo On Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/30/55396732.html

Voice of Russia
August 30, 2011

EU imposes oil embargo on Syria

The European Union member states have agreed to impose an embargo on imports of Syrian oil by the end of next week to mount pressure on President Assad for a tough crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria.

The move comes next after a similar decision was made by the US earlier this month.

Syria exports around 95% of its crude oil to the EU.

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Iraq: NATO Trains Federal Police In Crowd And Riot Control, Oil Police

http://www.aco.nato.int/nato-training-missioniraq-completes-three-courses-for-the-iraqi-security-forces-in-camp-dublin-and-taji.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
August 30, 2011

NATO Training Mission-Iraq completes three courses for the Iraqi Security Forces in Camp Dublin and Taji

BAGHDAD: In the last week, the NATO Training Mission in Iraq scored three more achievements in its endeavour to assist the Iraqi Security Forces: the completion of the first Federal Police Crowd and Riot Control course, with all Iraqi instructors, and the fifth Oil Police Basic course, both of which took place at Camp Dublin, and the conclusion of the second Unit Instructor course at Taji.

One hundred policemen graduated from the first Crowd and Riot control course, 221 graduated the fifth Basic Oil Police course and 35 Army NCOs completed the second Unit Instructor course.

Background: The NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004…The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions…

The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. NATO has an enduring commitment to Iraq.

NTM-I advises and supports the Defence University for Military Studies, National Defence College, War College, and the Defence Language Institute with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

Currently, NTM-I is a small tactical force of NATO/PfP personnel, representing 14 member nations (as at August 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), UK, USA.

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August Deadliest Month For U.S. In Ten-Year Afghan War

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/30/501364/main20099087.shtml

CBS News/Associated Press
August 30, 2011

Deadliest month yet for U.S. in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan: Sixty-six U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this month, making August the deadliest month for American forces in the nearly decade-long war.

Nearly half of the troops killed died on Aug. 6 when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter in eastern Afghanistan. That was the single deadliest event of the war and sent the monthly total soaring, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

The 30 American service members — most of them elite Navy SEALs — were aboard the helicopter as it flew in to help Army Rangers who had come under fire. Most of the SEALs who died were from the same unit that killed bin Laden, although none of the men took part in that mission.

Aside from the 30 killed in the crash in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, 23 died this month in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in southern Afghanistan, the main focus of Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces. The remaining 13 were killed in eastern Afghanistan.

The deadliest month for American forces until now was July 2010 when 65 were killed.

In addition to the 66 Americans killed so far this month, the NATO coalition suffered the loss of two British, four French, one New Zealander, one Australian, one Polish and four other troops whose nationalities have not yet been disclosed.

So far this year, 402 international service members, including 299 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan.

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French, Lithuanian NATO Warplanes Collide During Training Exercise

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110830/166300964.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 30, 2011

NATO’s French, Lithuanian warplanes collide in midair, no casualties

VILNIUS: A NATO French Air Force Mirage fighter and a Lithuanian L-39 Albatross trainer collided during an exercise in Lithuania on Tuesday, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Ruta Putnikeke said.

The Lithuanian plane fell and the pilot ejected safely on a lake, Putnikeke said.

The French fighter landed without further incident.

The crash took place around 7:30 GMT near Lake Rekyva not far from Lithuania’s Siauliai airbase.

“We regret the incident. We do not know all the circumstances yet. We can only say with relief that there have been no human casualties,” Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said.

“Unfortunately, such things happen sometimes.”

Lithuania joined NATO in 2004.

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Beginning Of New War: NATO Complicit In Attacks On Pakistani Posts

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=111606

Pakistan Observer
August 29, 2011

It was NATO’s raid not Afghans

The attack from across the border in Chitral on Saturday once again highlighted the fact that some sinister campaign is in the offing to further pressurize and destabilize Pakistan. Though different accounts of the casualties are being given, officials have admitted the killing of 25 security personnel and the capture of two border posts by militants who simultaneously attacked seven check posts.

The attack by about 300 armed men is being given a new colour in that it was carried out by Afghan-based militants but one thing is for certain, that this was done with the backing of occupation forces in Afghanistan.

NATO and US forces are deployed all along the border with Pakistan and with sophisticated intelligence gadgets it is not possible for a big group of people to cross the Durand Line without their knowledge.

Cross-border raids from Afghanistan started in April this year and so far about 75 troops and civilians have been killed in at least six such attacks. Some people argue that the incursions were planned and executed by militant leader Fazlullah who is reportedly hiding in Kunar and Nooristan provinces, but one is certain in saying that he cannot maintain a sanctuary there without the backing of anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies.

It was an organised military-like operation which one cannot be imagined conducted by a stray group of militants and it is also totally unacceptable that they have the capability to fight for long hours or capture Pakistani posts.

In the past, too, similar attacks were carried out and the matter was raised with the Afghan government and the NATO command.

We are of the considered opinion that this type of attack from the Afghan side are indicators to the beginning of a new war. It is therefore essential that the security posts along the Afghan border must be beefed up with the additional deployment of manpower and armaments so as to give a fitting response to the aggressor.

At the same time we would impress upon the government that the incident should not be taken as routine and a diplomatic protest is lodged because it hurt the sovereignty of Pakistan and President Asif Ali Zardari must raise it with President Obama, urging him to direct the American forces to stop all types of incursions from the Afghan side of the border.

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Thaci: New Deal With NATO “Biggest Success Since Independence”

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n258123

Focus News Agency
August 29, 2011

Kosovo PM announces deal with NATO on border posts

-“This is a new beginning for Kosovo.”
Under the agreement, the disputed crossings would be named military security zones and manned by NATO’s KFOR troops, and would effectively remain closed for security reasons, [Thaci] added.

Pristina: Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci on Friday announced he had reached a deal with NATO over two disputed border posts, which could settle the crisis that has engulfed Kosovo’s majority Serb north, AFP reported.

The government in Pristina “has reached an agreement for preserving the newly established situation at the border,” Thaci said.

“Kosovo has finally managed to establish full control on its borders,” he added.

“This is the biggest success we have achieved since the declaration of independence of the republic of Kosovo,” he said of the deal, which he had initially rejected.

“This is a new beginning for Kosovo.”

Under the agreement, the disputed crossings would be named military security zones and manned by NATO’s KFOR troops, and would effectively remain closed for security reasons, he added.

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Top NATO Military Commanders Inspect Kosovo Flashpoint

http://www.aco.nato.int/admiral-stavridis-and-admiral-di-paola-visit-nato-forces-headquarters-in-kosovo-kfor.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
August 30, 2011

Admiral Stavridis and Admiral Di Paola visit NATO Forces Headquarters in Kosovo (KFOR)

Admiral James G. Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander U.S. European Command, together with Admiral Giampaolo di Paola, the Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO, visited KFOR Headquarters and troops in Kosovo on August 29, 2011.

Both Admirals were welcomed by Major General Erhard Bühler, Commander KFOR, at KFOR Headquarters in Film City in Pristina. Gen Bühler briefed them about the general situation in Kosovo and the developments in the North of Kosovo after the recent unrest in July when a Crossing Point in the North was attacked and part of the infrastructure destroyed.

When Admiral Stavridis was asked about this incident during a radio interview with Radio KFOR he said, “Anytime people resort to violence it’s a mistake and it does not move us forward. So I condemn the [ethnic Serbian] violence in the strongest terms. I am very happy that our KFOR forces were able to help restore order and I look forward to a continuing dialogue so that we can resolve problems like this without violence.”

After the visit to the Headquarters, the delegation went to the troubled Crossing Point to look at the situation on the ground and visit the KFOR and EULEX units who are now patrolling the area.

Major General Bühler, who is completing one year in Command of KFOR and leaving the mission in a few weeks, was thanked by the SACEUR for his outstanding commitment and expert crisis management during the last weeks. “I think General Bühler has done an excellent job. One thing that we look for always is that he has been able to maintain a safe and secure environment.”

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U.S. Establishes Squadron To Train Air Forces For African Conflicts

http://www.stripes.com/news/squadron-established-to-train-air-forces-in-africa-1.153604

Stars and Stripes
August 29, 2011

Squadron established to train air forces in Africa
By John Vandiver

-The formation of an Africa-focused squadron is yet another sign that the military is looking to do more in Africa. In recent months, AFRICOM has added an Africa-focused Navy Special Warfare Unit, and the Marines have authorized a task force focused on training militaries to counterterrorist groups across the northern part of the continent and around the Horn of Africa.

STUTTGART, Germany: A squadron of airmen with key skill sets, including air traffic control and civil engineering, is preparing for a mission to train air forces in Africa to deliver supplies and large numbers of troops into conflict zones.

The New Jersey-based 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron was established in April and is expected to become operational later this year in support of U.S. Africa Command, according to Air Force officials.

The squadron, which operates under the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, will provide training in loading peacekeepers onto aircraft, setting up air traffic control and using aerial intelligence gathering tactics, officials said.

“It is going to be very useful. We’ve struggled in the past a little bit by not having assigned forces,” said Col. David Poage, director of plans and strategy for the 17th Air Force, based in Ramstein, Germany. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

While not formally assigned to AFRICOM, the squadron has been formed to conduct missions primarily in Africa, with a focus on building the air mobility capacity of African militaries, Poage said. The training, which doesn’t involve flight instruction, covers the support skills required to deliver resources and personnel to remote locations.

Though missions have yet to be doled out, the main focus will likely be on lending assistance to nations that have militaries taking part in United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions, such as the current AU mission in Somalia, Poage said.

The formation of an Africa-focused squadron is yet another sign that the military is looking to do more in Africa. In recent months, AFRICOM has added an Africa-focused Navy Special Warfare Unit, and the Marines have authorized a task force focused on training militaries to counterterrorist groups across the northern part of the continent and around the Horn of Africa.

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After Baltic States, Scotland: U.S. Warship Enters Arctic Circle

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Carr-Departs-Edinburgh-Arrives-Tromso

United States European Command
August 30, 2011

USS Carr Departs Edinburgh, Arrives in Tromso
Ensign Brian T. Lance, USS Carr (FFG 52) Public Affairs

EDINBURGH, Scotland: The guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) departed Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 26, concluding a four-day port visit that was part of U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build maritime global partnerships with European nations, and improve maritime safety and security.

Following their visit to Edinburgh, Carr passed into the Arctic Circle and arrived in Tromso, Norway, Aug. 28, for a two-day visit…

For many Carr Sailors, this was their first visit north of the Arctic Circle…

Carr is homeported out of Norfolk, Va., and is on a three-month deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Photo gallery: NATO bombs bring democracy to Europe, Asia and Africa

August 29, 2011 2 comments

Conquests to date:

Bosnia 1995
Kosovo (Serbia) 1999
Macedonia 2001
Afghanistan 2001
Iraq 2003
Ivory Coast 2011
Libya 2011

The conditions currently obtaining in the above states are an indication of what faces the next targets of NATO intervention.

To come, either as attacks against “hostile regimes” or as counterinsurgency and pacification – “stabilization” and “peacekeeping” – operations (a by no means exhaustive list):

Algeria
Belarus
Bolivia
Central African Republic
Chad
Cuba
Congo (Kinshasa)
Cyprus
Ecuador
Eritrea
Iran
Lebanon
Madagascar
Mali
Moldova-Transdniester
Myanmar
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
Pakistan
Palestine
Somalia
South Caucasus (Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia)
Sudan
Suriname
Syria
Uganda
Venezuela
Western Sahara
Yemen
Zimbabwe

Pictured below are the new millennium’s preeminent representatives of the West’s commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights, transparency and Euro-Atlantic values, brought to power by cluster, thermobaric, bunker buster, “daisy cutter” and graphite bombs and Tomahawk and other cruise, Hellfire and Brimstone missiles.

Marie-Jeanne Roland (1754-1793): O Liberté, que de crimes on commet en ton nom!
Freedom, what crimes are committed in your name!

*****

Kosovo

“Prime Minister” Hashim Thaci and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen


Chinese embassy in Belgrade, 1999

*****

Afghanistan


Hamid Karzai and Rasmussen

*****

Libya


Mahmoud Jibril with Rasmussen

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO News: August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 4 comments

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Libyan War: NATO Uses And Abuses The United Nations

Sarkozy’s Libya War: Russia The Next Target?

NATO Commanders Prepared Capture Of Tripoli: British Daily

Western Troops In Libya “Since Day One”

Libya: 20,751 NATO Sorties, 7,806 Combat Missions

NATO Continues To Bomb Tripoli

NATO’s Dirty Plan In Libya: Another Nation Falls To Western Imperialism

Russia: Drug Transit In North Africa Follows Iraqi, Kosovo, Afghan Models

Russia Wants Action Against Afghanistan-Kosovo-Colombia Drug Nexus

Chicago: Conference Plans Mass Demonstrations Against NATO, G8 Summits

Meeting With Top Commander: NATO Trains Iraqi Navy

NATO Attack On Syria To Result In Quagmire: Iranian Foreign Minister

Washington Post: “Syrians Demand” NATO Intervention

Canadian Military: Boost U.S.-Led Surveillance Against Russia, China

Welcome To Colonialism 2.0

Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

U.S.-Based NATO Command Implements New Strategic Concept Measures

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Libyan War: NATO Uses And Abuses The United Nations

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/29/55345487.html

Voice of Russia
August 29, 2011

Russia concerned over Libya
Konstantin Garibov

-From the very start, coalition countries made it no secret that they were aiming at Libyan oil reserves and at establishing spheres of influence in the region, bypassing the UN. Libya is seen as a valuable trophy, and it’s up to those who dropped bombs on it to distribute the trophies. For this reason, the UN is not something to reckon with…
-“NATO’s statements of the past two years suggest an attempt to replace the UN. By crushing Gaddafi, even though a complete victory is nowhere in sight, NATO is trying to reap the fruits of victory bypassing other countries and the UN Security Council…”

The recent developments in Libya have triggered a lot of speculation across the political spectrum in Russia with political and media circles alike offering wide-ranging opinions on Libya in recent weeks.

NATO air strikes, the civil war in Libya and the collapse of the country’s state system are seen as the demise of Libya as a state. According to recent surveys, up to 80 percent of Russians condemn air strikes against Libya. Sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky comments:

“Russian attitudes towards NATO are mostly negative,” the expert says, “which is fully in line with the global trend. While revolution and mass protests received widespread support in Arab countries, NATO’s intervention caused an outcry from the public.”

In Russia, NATO’s campaign against Libya was immediately compared to the bombardments of Yugoslavia and Iraq and the developments in Afghanistan. Russian bloggers described the Libyan campaign as barbaric and “a gang shootout in the style of Wild West”. Russians oppose the use of force and consider the West’s intervention an overt aggression, particularly since UN Security Council Resolution 1973 did not authorize coalition forces to bomb cities or take part in ground operations.

The Transitional National Council, which sees itself as the only legitimate body in Libya, is split and is highly unlikely to normalize the situation. Political analysts in Russia say that the civil war in Libya will go on and years will pass before the country sees peace, stability or effective leaders. While it tacitly watches coalition forces distribute Libyan oil and establish control over oil wells and export terminals, the Transitional Council says that Russia, along with China and Brazil, might face problems with energy contracts for “political reasons”.

From the very start, coalition countries made it no secret that they were aiming at Libyan oil reserves and at establishing spheres of influence in the region, bypassing the UN. Libya is seen as a valuable trophy, and it’s up to those who dropped bombs on it to distribute the trophies. For this reason, the UN is not something to reckon with. A statement to this effect came a few days ago in the run-up to an international conference on Libya in Paris. Russia was not invited. The Russian Foreign Ministry made it clear that the key role belongs to the UN and the UN Security Council.

Russia didn’t take part in the military campaign against Libya. Neither did China, Germany, South Africa or Brazil. Moscow didn’t stay indifferent either: it didn’t veto Resolution 1973 and it joined sanctions against Libya. In this respect, any attempts from NATO to exclude Russia and the above countries from discussions on Libya are shortsighted, Azhdar Kurtov of the Russian Strategic Research Institute says:

“NATO’s statements of the past two years suggest an attempt to replace the UN. By crushing Gaddafi, even though a complete victory is nowhere in sight, NATO is trying to reap the fruits of victory bypassing other countries and the UN Security Council, whose permanent members include Russia and China. This is why Russia was not invited to join the conference of so-called ‘friends of Libya’ in Paris.”

Russia warns all parties involved that post-war restoration of Libya should proceed under the aegis of the UN Security Council. Oriental expert Stanislav Tarasov is sure that the West will have to honor Russia’s position eventually:

“Russia maintains the status of a powerful regional power with its own interests in the region. Its position and tactics are explicit enough. Russia is among the leading global powers and the world’s top players will achieve nothing without Russia. Contact groups, or “Libya friends” groups will be useless without Russia.”

While keen on making the UN a key figure in a Libyan settlement, Moscow is helping NATO to see the deadlock it has driven itself into and to find a way out of it.

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Sarkozy’s Libya War: Russia The Next Target?

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20110829/166283734.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 29, 2011

Sarkozy’s Libya war
Dmitry Babich

-[S]uch words are all too familiar. We heard such talk several times from Levy himself and other French left-wing intellectuals, who on March 17 signed an appeal to Sarkozy and heads of NATO nations, published in Le Monde, calling for military intervention in Libya. At least one-third of the people who signed this appeal also signed appeals in 1995, 2000 and 2004, also published by Le Monde, which supported the secessionist Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya and its governments led by “presidents” Dzhokhar Dudayev and Aslan Maskhadov. In those appeals, Levy, his fellow “philosopher” Andre Glucksmann, deputy of the European parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit and others called on Western leaders to boycott the celebration in Moscow of the 50th anniversary of the victory in WWII, to revoke Russia’s membership in international organizations, and to provide assistance to Maskhadov. In 2011, the same group of people implored Sarkozy to help Mahmoud Jibril and the Libyan rebels.

Among the key issues that will emerge once the war in Libya inevitably ends will be the political future of the Western backers of the intervention in Libya, primarily, the French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his advisors. Will these politicians reap the benefits of victory, or will they be blamed for what still could be a protracted war? This is a big issue in Europe, as it was French planes that fired the opening shots in the NATO operation.

According to Le Monde, Sarkozy has made this war his own. He has staked his reputation on the Western intervention. For months, he spent hours poring over war maps and kept in constant contact with the Libyan rebels and his informal publicist, Bernard-Henri Levy, who humbly presents himself to the world media as a philosopher defending the cause of peace.

During his meeting in Paris last Thursday with Mahmoud Jibril, the number two in the rebel leadership, Sarkozy announced an international conference on assistance to Libya, to be held in France on September 1. Sarkozy says that the NATO military operation and the activities of the international contact group are winding down, and that Russia, China, India and Brazil – members of the UN Security Council who did not support the NATO military intervention – are invited to participate in the upcoming conference. “In this way, Sarkozy let Russia know that it can play a role in the new Libya,” believes former Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom Anatoly Adamishin.

But what does the invitation really mean? Does it show confidence in ultimate victory, or is it just a last-ditch attempt to get as many players as possible involved in this failing project? Was the NATO intervention a success or a failure? This question will be answered, to a large extent, by the actions by the new Libyan government, which will be formed by the National Transitional Council (NTC), the rebel government recognized by France in March in the run-up to the military intervention. Will the new government be able to prevent a bloodbath and brutal retaliation against loyalist forces? By bringing new people to power in Tripoli, Sarkozy and his advisors have assumed a great responsibility. Many in France wonder now if the decision made in March was the right one.

Bernard-Henri Levy played a pivotal role in the intervention. He is the one who called Sarkozy’s cell phone in early March and told him that he “absolutely must see the Libyan Massouds,” alluding to the leader of the Afghan mujahedeen.

Sarkozy agreed and 24 hours later, on March 10, 2011, France recognized the NTC. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was informed about the meeting only after the fact – a testament to the influence of the “philosopher.” Today, Levy is convinced that he did the right thing. Answering a question on his website about the fate of Gaddafi, his family and supporters, he said coolly: “Let the Libyans decide…I’m not in the least bit concerned, because the leaders of the National Transitional Council have proved their political maturity. They are not motivated by a desire for revenge; we are now witnessing the laying of the first bricks of a nation of laws.” In all his interviews since March, Levy invariably says that the rebels managed to overcome “the temptation of Islamism” and have no connections with radical Islam. Regarding detractors of the rebel movement, Levy fancifully described them as “adepts of despotism hypnotized by a modern Medusa – the belief that
tyrants cannot be toppled.”

Alas, such words are all too familiar. We heard such talk several times from Levy himself and other French left-wing intellectuals, who on March 17 signed an appeal to Sarkozy and heads of NATO nations, published in Le Monde, calling for military intervention in Libya. At least one-third of the people who signed this appeal also signed appeals in 1995, 2000 and 2004, also published by Le Monde, which supported the secessionist Chechen Republic of Ichkeriya and its governments led by “presidents” Dzhokhar Dudayev and Aslan Maskhadov. In those appeals, Levy, his fellow “philosopher” Andre Glucksmann, deputy of the European parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit and others called on Western leaders to boycott the celebration in Moscow of the 50th anniversary of the victory in WWII, to revoke Russia’s membership in international organizations, and to provide assistance to Maskhadov. In 2011, the same group of people implored Sarkozy to help Mahmoud Jibril and the
Libyan rebels.

When asked whether Maskhadov and his fighters were involved in global terrorism, Glucksmann and Levy answered with more fanciful metaphor. According to Glucksmann, the rebels “resisted the call of the radical Islamist sirens.” We had many chances to judge the veracity of this statement since 2002.

Lie just once and no one will ever believe you again. The objectivity of the intellectual force behind the Libya intervention is called into question by their support for the Chechen rebels. It is entirely possible that soon the world will see acts of vengeance and terrorism and the rise of radical Islam in Libya. In that case, it will be hard to say that Sarkozy won.

====

NATO Commanders Prepared Capture Of Tripoli: British Daily

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/29/55336157.html

Voice of Russia
August 29, 2011

Capture of Tripoli prepared by NATO – Daily Telegraph

NATO commanders prepared the capture of Tripoli code-named Operation Mermaid Dawn for three months, the Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the newspaper, the personnel of the British MI6 service and special operations troops, and also officers from France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates trained the Libyan opposition troops in Benghazi. Hundreds of guns and pieces of ammunition were smuggled into Tripoli and hidden.

Apart from that, the commander of the troops defending the city turned to the opposition’s side. He is said to have harboured resentment towards Gaddafi for 20 years, so he came to an agreement with the rebels and surrendered the city to them at the right moment, the newspaper points out.

====

Western Troops In Libya “Since Day One”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110829/166274046.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 29, 2011

NATO admits UK and France may have troops in Libya

MOSCOW: NATO has revealed its member countries may have troops on the ground in Libya.

In an interview with the EUobserver website, an unnamed NATO official admitted Britain and France may have deployed troops in Libya, but said that it would be “unfair to call them NATO forces.”

In comments carried by state news channel Rossiya 24 on Sunday, the Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said there was “direct evidence” that British and French special forces were carrying out ground operations in Libya in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973.

The resolution, passed in March, authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

British Defense Secretary Liam Fox told Sky News last week the rebels were getting intelligence and reconnaissance assistance from NATO.

Last week, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper claimed Britain’s elite Special Air Service regiment (SAS) were helping the rebels hunt down Col Muammar Gaddafi, whose forces have lost control of most of the country including the capital Tripoli.

Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown, though the transitional government says he is still in hiding in Tripoli.

A former member of the SAS told RIA Novosti last week that UK special forces had been in Libya “since day one” of the insurrection.

The rebels, who seized Tripoli a week ago, have offered a $1.3 million reward and amnesty from prosecution for anyone who kills or captures Gaddafi.

Meanwhile, the rebels are trying to advance toward Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte east of Tripoli, but are continuing to meet resistance from the deposed leader’s loyalists.

====

Libya: 20,751 NATO Sorties, 7,806 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110829_110829-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 29, 2011

NATO and Libya

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,751 sorties, including 7,806 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 28 AUGUST: 118
Strike sorties conducted 28 AUGUST: 38

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NATO Continues To Bomb Tripoli

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/nato-warplane-flies-over-tripoli-20110829-1jh6p.html

Agence France-Presse
August 29, 2011

NATO warplane flies over Tripoli

A half dozen explosions were heard in the distance early on Monday in Tripoli just after a NATO warplane flew over the Libyan capital.

The blasts were heard just before 1am (0900 AEST)…an AFP correspondent reported.

The violence of the blasts indicated the presence of pro-Gaddafi forces near the capital…

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NATO’s Dirty Plan In Libya: Another Nation Falls To Western Imperialism

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=111418

Pakistan Observer
August 29, 2011

NATO’s dirty plan in Libya
Dr. Samiullah Koreshi

During Ramazan, I am not writing my columns and therefore this letter to the editor on the situation in Libya after NATO’s and Western powers surrogates have entered Tripoli is in lieu of a column.

The question arises what should be our attitudes towards these foreign puppets’ victory. I had no doubt at any stage in the past what would be the end result of this conflict. The power equations of Ghaddafi supporters and the rebels/traitors, mask of NATO, was not too difficult to understand and the end result of the NATO/Western surrogates was but expected.

That Ghaddafi stood against NATO’s filthy war so long should be an indication that Ghaddafi had the support of Libyan nationalists to the hilt and is sticking to the war because he has that even now, small as it may be, which is causing Ghaddafi’s heroic stand. Let no one glorify this Western proxy war. Sarkozy has bagged one of the richest oil fields of the world and that was what The Western game plan in Libya was.

It should be noted that despite NATO’s dirty game, and the rebels/traitors implementing the dirty plan, no one should at all give it any fancy name of liberation or any such high-sounding description. It is the obvious success of traitors promoting NATO’s interests, selling Libya to foreign powers. Many traitor regimes have established themselves by serving enemies’ interest. This is another such case. We should not be among the first fools to extend recognition to the NATO surrogates. Another country falls to Western imperialism.

Even as a diplomat I have stuck to my principles and I believe principles should be upheld in diplomacy also. This NATO war for foreign oil and resources must be viewed as what it is. All the usual false and sanctimonious statements that will come from Obama, Sarkozy, Ban Ki-moon, not withstanding all high-sounding concern for humanity and what not would be another blah, blah, blah.

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Russia: Drug Transit In North Africa Follows Iraqi, Kosovo, Afghan Models

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=269023

Interfax
August 29, 2011

Russian chief drug enforcer affirms increased drug traffic through Africa

MOSCOW: Political destabilization in Africa has increased drug transit through that continent, Federal Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov told a Monday press conference at the Interfax main office.

“Events of the recent years have intensified the deliveries of Afghan heroin via African countries,” he said.

The drugs are smuggled through Iraq, where many criminal groups intensified their business amid the hostilities. Now they are smuggling drugs to East Africa through Somalia and to North Africa, where constant armed clashes cover up drug operations, he said.

“We are witnessing a significant increase of heroin transit from Africa across the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.

Russia is interested in stabilization on the African continent, in particular in Libya, Ivanov said.

“Russia is interested in the soonest end of the hostilities and stabilization. In that case Europe will have a good shield to protect itself from drugs transited through Africa,” he said.

Drug trafficking may have a negative effect on the political situation, Ivanov said.

“We can see that drug transit has entailed riots in Cote d’Ivoire and coups in Guinea and Guinea Bissau. Huge drug profits are larger than national budgets. Criminal groups are growing in number, merge and develop into structures, which have their own armies, armaments and budgets much larger than budgets of the countries of their operation,” he said.

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Russia Wants Action Against Afghanistan-Kosovo-Colombia Drug Nexus

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/29/55358104.html

Voice of Russia
August 29, 2011

Barrier against Kosovo drug route proposed
Nina Dmitriyeva

The current heroin output of Afghanistan is twice that of the entire world ten years ago. Afghan-produced heroin – an estimated 150 tons of it each year – flows to buyers in Russia and Europe by way of Central Asia and by way of Iran, Turkey and the Balkans. And in the latter area, Kosovo is the main conduit. Its 15 major drug cartels control some 70 percent of the heroin market on the continent, and close to 20 percent on the British Isles. The annual traffic amounts to 50 tons, generating 3 billion euros. This is twice the annual budget of the breakaway territory in southern Serbia. To make matters worse, Kosovo drug gangs also traffic South American cocaine, which reaches them by way of West Africa.

Although backed by the EU, Kosovo is powerless to get on top of the problem. Russia proposes a solution in the form of an international group for cutting the Kosovo drug route.

Mr Viktor Ivanov is Russia’s chief counternarcotics officer:

“The group should be a quintet bringing Russia together with four powers in the Balkans – Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and, of course, Serbia, which already acts as a shield against Kosovo-routed drugs. Joint action on the quintet would be aided by generous intelligence sharing. Russia, for instance, possesses vast drug intelligence from American and Afghan sources in Afghanistan. The reaction to the initiative so far gives rise to hopes that the proposed front can be in place before January. Security against drugs is part of the overall European security.”

Two members of the proposed quintet, Russia and Serbia, do not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state. They hope, however, that this will not be an obstacle to cooperation against drug trade. Cutting the drug route across Kosovo would narrow the market for Afghan and South American drugs and bring forward a time when both are brought under international control.

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NATO Missile Shield: Russia To Upgrade ABM, Air Defense Strength

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/29/55349847.html

Voice of Russia
August 29, 2011

Russia to beef up ABM, air defence muscle
Oleg Nekhai

The American cruiser USS Monterey with Aegis interceptor rockets on board cruised the Black Sea in June, stirring Russian suspicions that the US is less than serious about honouring understandings at the NATO-Russia summit in Lisbon last November to develop anti-missile systems in and around Europe in close cooperation.

If NATO opts to go it alone, Russia will have to consider a serious beefing-up of its ABM and air defence muscle. We hear about this from Lower House deputy. Colonel General Igor Puzanov:

“Russia’s Air and Space Defence Force already possesses capabilities to knock out jets, ballistic and cruise missiles and even satellites. Now, it will also have to deploy systems for neutralizing anti-missile defenses, positioned close to its western and southwestern borders.”

Accordingly, there are plans for more and more S-400 air defence missile batteries and for a new constellation of missile-monitoring satellites. An integrated air and space defence force is taking shape, cemented by a single command chain.

We have more about this programme from Editor-in-Chief of the Natsionalnaya Oborona (or National Defence) journal Dr Igor Korotchenko:

“Integrating firepower, intelligence, communications and decision-making should dramatically boost the capability of Russia’s space and air defenses. An even further boost should come from putting S-500 batteries into service.”

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Chicago: Conference Plans Mass Demonstrations Against NATO, G8 Summits

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-local-activists-gear-up-for-g8-nato-summits-planned-for-city-20110828,0,1771314.story

Chicago Tribune
August 28, 2011

Local activists gear up for G8, NATO summits planned for city
By Andy Grimm

Activists are planning massive demonstrations to coincide with the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago scheduled for spring 2012, with crowds of protesters likely to reach “tens of thousands,” organizers said.

More than 160 members representing about 50 groups from across the U.S. and Canada gathered Sunday at the Chicago-Kent College of Law to discuss strategy and start planning two large-scale protests and a march that during the week-long joint summit, which is set for mid-May.

The G8 and similar economic forums have for more than a decade drawn thousands of demonstrators. With the world economy in turmoil and NATO leaders set to discuss Afghanistan war policy, the joint summit should draw protesters on behalf of a wide array of causes, activists said.

Chicago could see crowds of protesters similar to the 35,000 or so activists who descended on St. Paul, Minn., during the 2008 Republican National Convention, said Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator for the New York-based United National Anti-War Committee.

“With the war (and) the global economy as they are, and the (U.S. presidential) election in full swing next spring, I think it will have the potential to be bigger than the protests in Minnesota,” said Lombardo, a retired New York state government worker who has participated in demonstrations since the 1960s. “Those issues are not going to go away (by May) and Chicago is a larger city than some of the other places they’ve had these summits recently.”

Chicago activist Joe Iosbaker, who helped organize the RNC protests in 2008 and whose home was raided by FBI agents last October, said he applied for permits to hold demonstrations in Daley Plaza and Federal Plaza downtown the day the White House announced the city would host the summits.

So far, he has not heard anything about the status of the permits from the county about using Daley Plaza or the agency that controls Federal Plaza. City officials also have said organizers will not be able to apply for a permit for a planned march through the city until the first of the year, Iosbaker said.

“They told me they would get back to me in two weeks to let me know at least that we were in the process of getting the permit,” Iosbaker said. “That was nine weeks ago.”

Local activist Andy Thayer said demonstrations will be peaceful, despite a recent statement by police Superintendent Garry McCarthy that the department is preparing for “mass arrests” of protestors during the summit.

The remarks were especially galling given Chicago’s mixed history of dealing with large demonstrations, Thayer said. Police in 2003 arrested about 900 people who marched to protest the start of the Iraq war, with some protesters held for up to 36 hours. The arrests prompted a class-action lawsuit, Thayer said.

“Statements like that from McCarthy have a chilling effect,” he said. “The city has a history of attacks on civil rights.”

Iosbaker noted that events like the G8 and World Trade Organization summits have seen some violence in their host cities. Iosbaker attributed the clashes to aggressive police, and said his group is planning to do nothing to disrupt the city or the conferences.

“What we want is a safe, permitted, legal protest,” Iosbaker said. “Something that parents feel safe bringing their babies in strollers to, and we want our voice to be heard.”

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Meeting With Top Commander: NATO Trains Iraqi Navy

http://www.aco.nato.int/iraqi-navy-commander-meets-nato-training-mission-iraq-deputy-commander.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
August 26, 2011

Iraqi Navy Commander meets NATO Training Mission–Iraq Deputy Commander
Ali Hussein Al-Rubaye

BAGHDAD: NATO Training Mission-Iraq Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, and NTM-I advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, Col. Caimmi, met with the Iraqi Navy Commander, Rear Adm. Ali Hussein Al-Rubaye at the Iraqi Ministry of Defence for the first time Thursday.

The group discussed possible ways ahead with cooperation and assistance for the Navy training and education system.

During the meeting, the admiral said he was interested in courses on specific naval subjects that NTM-I could provide. Maj. Gen. Armentani said he would seriously consider the request and added that NTM-I is ready to offer advising and mentoring in the fields of training, maintenance and doctrine.

The Navy commander also expressed an interest in out-of-country initiatives conducted by NATO Nations and asked for a calendar of these activities in order to organize Navy participation. Armentani said NTM-I is also evaluating the possibility of supporting English language courses. General Armentani finally expressed his wish to visit the Iraqi naval base in Umm Qasr and the Arabian Gulf Maritime Academy in Basrah.

The NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546.

The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and self-sustainable capability that address the needs of the nation.

NTM-I…is a distinct training mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. NATO has an enduring commitment to Iraq.

NTM-I advises and supports the Defence University for Military Studies, National Defence College, War College, and the Defence Language Institute with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

Currently, NTM-I is a small tactical force of NATO/PfP personnel, representing 14 member nations (as at August 2011).

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NATO Attack On Syria To Result In Quagmire: Iranian Foreign Minister

http://tehrantimes.com/index.php/politics/2061-syria-would-be-a-quagmire-for-nato-iran-says-

Tehran Times
August 28, 2011

Syria would be a quagmire for NATO, Iran says

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that NATO will get bogged down in a quagmire if it launches a military campaign against Syria.

Salehi made the remarks during an interview with IRNA published on Sunday in reference to the threats of military action against Damascus if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not step down.

“If, God forbid, such a thing happens, NATO will be drawn into a quagmire, which it will never be able to extricate itself from,” Salehi stated.

“Syria is in the forefront of resistance in the Middle East, and NATO cannot threaten this country with attack,” he added.

Salehi also said, “The threats being issued by the United States and the West will have no effect on the resolve of the Syrian people.”

“Regional nations have certainly woken up, and the awareness of nations will prevent the West from doing anything through launching a military campaign,” he stated.

Salehi also described the West’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as “ineffective”, saying, “If the West continues this path, it will not reach a favorable result.”

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Washington Post: “Syrians Demand” NATO Intervention

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/calls-in-syria-for-weapons-nato-intervention/2011/08/26/gIQA3WAslJ_story.html

Washington Post
August 28, 2011

Calls in Syria for weapons, NATO intervention
By Liz Sly

[Excerpts]

BEIRUT — The success of Libya’s rebels…is prompting calls within the Syrian opposition for armed rebellion and NATO intervention…

Protesters in recent days have carried banners calling for a no-fly zone over Syria akin to the one that facilitated the Libyan revolt. “We want any [intervention] that stops the killing, whether Arab or foreign,” said one banner held by protesters in…Homs.

Activists who have recently visited Homs say protesters there also have begun carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles…Videos have appeared on Facebook pages teaching activists how to make molotov cocktails.

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Canadian Military: Boost U.S.-Led Surveillance Against Russia, China

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Military+calls+boost+ocean+surveillance/5317051/story.html

Postmedia News
August 27, 2011

Military calls for boost in ocean surveillance
By David Pugliese

Canada’s military wants the Harper government to take part in rebuilding a Cold War ocean surveillance system, arguing that the country’s waters, including the approaches to the Arctic, are vulnerable to Chinese and Russian submarines.

The current system, overseen by the U.S., involves specialized vessels and underwater sensors scattered around the globe to detect submarine movements.

But with the end of the Cold War in the 1990s and the collapse of the former Soviet Union, that sensor technology, including systems called arrays, were not modernized. They now need to be upgraded or replaced. In some cases Canada shut down its facilities for monitoring underwater activities.

“The oldest portions of the global infrastructure were terminated without replacement – Argentia, Nfld and Shelburne, N.S. fixed arrays – creating gaps covering the Arctic approaches and major portions of the Eastern Atlantic,” reads a briefing note sent by defence chief Gen. Walter Natynczyk to Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

That September 2010 document was obtained under the Access to Information Act.

The military wants to become more involved in the U.S.-led underwater surveillance system, arguing that it would be too expensive to put its own sensors into the ocean.

The warning about Chinese submarines echoes similar concerns contained in a report issued Wednesday by the Pentagon. It pointed out that China’s military capabilities are growing and that could threaten stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Welcome To Colonialism 2.0

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Welcome-to-Colonialism-2-0-by-Rakesh-Krishnan-Si-110826-680.html?show=votes

OpEd News
August 28, 2011

Welcome to Colonialism 2.0
By Rakesh Krishnan Simha

The assault on Libya by a coalition of mostly Western nations begs the question: Is colonialism making some sort of a comeback? While their economies are collapsing in slow motion, it is hard to picture Western countries prospecting for real estate across the globe, as they did 300 years ago. But as unreal as it seems, it is happening.

Few will shed tears for Gaddafi because it was his impetuosity that cost Libya its freedom; of more concern is the fact that after 40 years the country’s considerable oil wealth has reverted to Western control. Iraqi oil too is flowing west. Iran could very well be the next target of American and British warplanes.

Ironically, it is when the West is weak that the emergent nations of Asia and Africa have reason to worry. Colonialism 2.0 isn’t just a catchphrase; it is simple economics: the wealthy will always need to be vigilant against the desperate.

In the 18th and 19th centuries when the world was being colonized by the likes of Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal and the Dutch, India and China were the two richest countries in the world, together accounting for over 50 per cent of world GDP. And yet the two giant Asian nations ended up under colonial jackboots.

If you think colonization happened when the East was decadent and the West was rising or that India and China neglected their militaries and ignored the foreign threats lurking at their shores, you couldn’t be more wrong. Both countries had very powerful armies and naval flotillas led by able commanders.

Military edge

In the early 1700’s, India’s legendary Admiral of the Fleet, Kanhoji Angre, routed the British, Dutch and Portuguese navies on the high seas. For 33 years until his death in 1729, the Indian remained undefeated. The British were so pissed they called him a pirate.

Indian ships of that time were so advanced in design and durability that the British inducted them into their fleet. In the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Horatio Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was an Indian built vessel.

According to the Indian Navy’s website, “This so agitated British shipbuilders on the River Thames that they protested against the use of Indian built ships to carry trade from England. Consequently, active measures were adopted to cripple the Indian shipbuilding industries.”

The southern Indian kingdom of Mysore was the first in modern history to use rockets in war, and they used it with deadly effect against the British in the Battle of Guntur in 1780. The literally shell-shocked British army fled from the battlefield. A few unexploded rockets were later shipped to the Royal Arsenal in London, where William Congreve, the British weapons expert, reverse engineered them to launch modern rocketry in Europe.

Most Indian rulers also possessed keen geopolitical awareness. For instance, they did not allow European merchants to keep garrisons or conduct inland trade. When Thomas Roe, the British monarch’s emissary, landed in western India in 1616, he was made to wait a year before the Indian emperor granted him an audience. Three years later, Roe despite many entreaties and considerable bowing before the grandees at Delhi, returned without a trade treaty because the emperor saw no point in trading with a country that had not one product or commodity to offer India.

Thin end of the wedge

However, one slip-up by a weak emperor let in the hordes. A hundred years after Roe’s exit, an English embassy had a stroke of luck when one of its members, William Hamilton, a physician of questionable medical skills, managed to relieve the figurehead emperor of severe pain in his groin. The emperor gratefully signed a decree giving the British inland trading rights, customs duty exemptions, and the right to keep a garrison. The rest as they say is history.

According to professor Rajesh Kochhar, emeritus scientist at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Chandigarh, “These exemptions gave the English traders commercial advantages not only over other European companies but also over Indian traders. More importantly, the various official orders granting trade concessions gave the British a cause to defend, with military strength if needed.” Does that sound familiar?

Return of the East

Today, the east is rising once again. Economists are stunned by the unprecedented flow of manufacturing, finance and wealth to the east. Magid Igbaria, former professor of management information systems at Tel Aviv University, wrote in The Virtual Workplace: “For all but the last 500 years of human history, the world’s wealth measured in human capital and in goods was concentrated in Asia. During the past five centuries, the world’s wealth has been concentrated in the West. This era is coming to an end. Today, the great concentrations of human capital, financial power, manufacturing power, and informated power are once again accumulating in the East.”

Indeed, in 30 years India is predicted to overtake the US, even though it is only one-fourteenth the size of the US economy now. That is an incredible rate of wealth accretion.

The question is will the US and Europe simply watch the world go past? On the contrary, there is a concerted effort by a US-led coalition to stop this trend. Here are a few ways the West is trying to stay on top:

Base instincts: Today the US-led coalition has over 750 military bases across the globe. Despite the huge costs, this extension of military power is essential to their hegemony. A slew of European nationalities has followed the American military in its misadventures around the world. No empire in history has attempted such sweeping control. In Pliny’s days the Roman, Indian and Chinese empires co-existed in their spheres of influence and never attempted to destabilise each other. The good old days.

Divide and rule: The Americans are playing up India as a major “regional” power allied with the West. This is not only insulting to the Indians (why should India only be a regional power?), it also scares the hell out of the Chinese. The communists in Beijing, therefore, come out with kneejerk statements calling for India’s breakup, which in turn makes the Indians consider China a natural enemy. Amazingly, in the past 2500 years, China and India never had even a skirmish, until the British arrived on the scene and planted the seeds of border problems.

Climate bogey: After polluting the environment for more than a century, the West now wants India and China to reduce emissions. It’s a thinly disguised attempt to slow these rapidly growing economies. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has done an about turn and now his views seem to align with Western interests, which led to key Indian negotiators quitting in disgust. Newsweek, the Pentagon mouthpiece masquerading as journalism, was sufficiently pleased with Ramesh to label him the “global rock star of climate change”.

Dollar gambit: Wouldn’t you feel almighty if you obtained a license to print US dollars off your home printer? While the rest of the world has to earn a living the hard way, the Americans just print dollars to pay their bills. Need a few hundred billion dollars to pay for the war in Iraq? Want to buy Venezuelan oil? Russian titanium? No problem. The US mint cranks the lever and billions of dollars start rolling off the presses. In fact, in recent years even that pretense has been given the heave-ho – now trillions of dollars are generated electronically in the accounts of the US Federal Reserves. It’s as simple as that.

There is another way the dollar trade works against the interests of non-Western countries. Countries like China and Russia invest their earnings in US treasury bonds; these dollars are used by the Americans to maintain their global military supremacy, build increasingly modern weapons, and reward their allies with cash, weapons, and security umbrellas.

WTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called it “archaic, undemocratic and inflexible” and dominated by a small group of developed countries which indulge in protectionism. One of its aims is to pry open the agricultural markets of Asia, including India. Incidentally, India has the highest number of farmer suicides in the world.

Nixing nuclear tech: The 11th commandment: Thou shall not acquire nuclear technology. Indian and Japanese nuclear scientists perfected the fast breeder reactor (which generates more nuclear fuel than it uses) so they never have to look outside for hard-to-get uranium). However, most likely under US pressure, both nations have quietly shelved their technologies.

Space crunch: America’s space ambitions are currently grounded because of deep cuts. India has the world’s largest number (177) of satellites in space. NASA is aware of it; it is looking at joint ventures with the Indian Space Research Organisation which has reliable rockets and something like 20,000 engineers and scientists. Few are aware that during the 1990s, India requested the Russians for a role in the International Space Station, but the Americans said no. Now NASA wants a free ride on Indian rockets, and India’s feckless politicians are happy to oblige.

According to former Panama ruler General Manuel Noriega, who now languishes in an American prison despite doing decades of dirty work for the CIA, “if there is someone willing to buy a country, there is someone willing to sell it.” Worryingly for emerging nations, there are plenty of collaborators like Noriega in their amidst willing to sacrifice national interests for a few million dollars in a Swiss bank account and green cards for their families.

In the first era of colonialism, the then dominant Eastern nations opened up their economies and territories to comparatively backward Western nations over a span of several decades, finally ending up as their colonies. Under the guise of globalization and ‘free’ trade, Colonialism 2.0 could happen in much the same way.

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/08/28/3-nato-soldiers-killed-in-southern-afghanistan/

Voice of America News
August 28, 2011

3 NATO Soldiers Killed in Southern Afghanistan

NATO said Sunday three of its service members were killed in southern Afghanistan.

A NATO statement said the first soldier died in an insurgent attack, another one was killed by a roadside bomb and the third died during a military operation.

Also Sunday, a group of suicide bombers attacked a NATO reconstruction base in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, but failed to breach its defenses.

Officials said that one of the assailants blew himself up outside the gate of the base, another one was captured and the third one managed to escape. Two civilians were wounded in the attack.

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U.S.-Based NATO Command Implements New Strategic Concept Measures

http://www.act.nato.int/multimedia/archive/42-news-stories/719-act-designs-measurements-of-nato-performance

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
August 24, 2011

ACT designs measurements of NATO performance
Written by Ken Ruml, JALLC intern Wednesday

Allied Command Transformation (ACT) recently completed a report proposing a simple set of defence measurements to foster political will to improve defence capabilities that will form the basis of discussions by Defence Ministers during the October 2011 Ministerial Meeting.

In response to a tasking from the NATO Secretary General, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Stephane Abrial tasked the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) in February 2011 to provide the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning with a proposed set of metrics that would reflect the need expressed in NATO’s Political Guidance. The guidance was derived from the new NATO Strategic Concept agreed by heads of state in Lisbon to measure actual output to NATO from Nations’ defence capabilities.

The aim of the measurements is to identify principal capability shortfalls and to foster resolve among Allies at the political level to rectify them. A secondary aim is to encourage further discussion within NATO on Alliance defence capabilities.

The new measures complement the existing usability initiative, which measures deployability and sustainability of NATO land and air forces and sets targets for Allies to reach into those areas…

NATO International Staff in charge of Defence Policy and Planning based at NATO Headquarters, together with national defence counsellors, will staff the JALLC report and forward a final proposed list of metrics to defence ministers for approval at their October 2011 meeting. Ideally, the measurements will then form an integral part of the NATO defence planning process.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 2 comments

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Libya: NATO Sorties Approach 21,000, Combat Sorties 8,000

Cyber Warfare, Armed Extremists, Bribery: Russian General Says NATO Makes Deals With Anyone To Promote Its Aims

NATO Provided Special Forces, Air Force For Regime Change

Iran Warns NATO Not To Enter Syria

Afghan War: At Least 413 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year

NATO Tankers Destroyed In Capital Of Balochistan

U.S. Soft Power Tactics Conceal Devious Strategy For Global Domination

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Libya: NATO Sorties Approach 21,000, Combat Sorties 8,000

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110828_110828-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,633 sorties, including 7,768 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 AUGUST: 115

Strike sorties conducted 27 AUGUST: 36

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Cyber Warfare, Armed Extremists, Bribery: Russian General Says NATO Makes Deals With Anyone To Promote Its Aims

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/28/55272800.html

Voice of Russia
August 28, 2011

Libyan game over?
Ekaterina Kudashkina

Interview with Lieutenant-General Gennady Yevstafyev, expert in international security.

It appears that Libyan game is almost over and it gives us a chance to draw certain conclusions from what has happened in the last four months. Among those conclusions there are some very important ones. The first conclusion is that the victory for the West in Libya became possible only by creating a very unnatural coalition between NATO and extremist Muslim forces and a small amount of liberals that are very unnatural for Libya. So, it clearly shows that when there is a need NATO people can make deals with anybody in order to promote their aims and achieve the necessary results.

The second conclusion which we can draw from this situation is that there is a brand-new situation with cyber attacks. Maybe for the first time in recent history we see tremendous amount of cyber attacks and disorganization of the internal life of the whole state.

The states which are not very developed must take note of this because it appears that cyber attacks were extremely efficient and they really created a very explosive situation in the country, especially when you have a multinational country and you have all kinds of local tribes, and so on, and so on. So, you can use certain people to start the movements, then you spread it with cyber and internet facilities, and then you are taking over quite a big amount, quite broad layers of local population. This is quite clear and it will be very advised to think about it and to make certain decisions about the cyber attacks and the use of social media for internal and unlawful purposes. By the way, I think the British should be very susceptible to this after the events which happened in London recently.

The third conclusion is that the democrats in NATO are quite capable of rethinking international decisions. I mean the Security Council resolution which allowed the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, but they have interpreted this to the extent that they made it a NATO-only fly zone in Libya and then they openly helped one party in the internal conflict and bombed the legally-formed government of Gaddafi with whom I do not sympathize but we have to admit that only recently the Western countries dealt with him like with an officially recognized political force. That means that when supporting certain UN resolutions we have to think in broader terms and look more carefully into the possible consequences of supporting certain resolutions.

One more conclusion which we can draw: the Libyan crisis on the surface is almost over, but we are only witnessing possible unpredicted, unexpected developments in the internal affairs of this country because the amount of extremist organizations, including al-Qaeda, in the ranks of Libyan opposition is very sufficient and it is very interesting to see how the West that is stating that they are enemies of Islamic extremists, how they are going to cope with this situation and what is going to happen there.

In this sense I believe that the position of Moscow as far as the other Islamic countries of the Middle East concerning Syria is very much justified because there is no use in these circumstances to support any UN resolutions which allow the use of force because we now see the way the resolution was interpreted by NATO and the way it was used to crush the unpleasant regime. We understand that it is not only the problem of atrocities (nobody speaks about atrocities though it was the reason why this resolution was taken), but it is now very clear that the war was for Libyan oil and in this sense we have to watch carefully because among the countries which suffered from this unprecedented use of force against the Libyan state is Russia, which lost about $4 billion of possible contracts with Libya.

This is the situation which brings us to a very calm conclusion that NATO has to be taken seriously as an organization that can not be really relied upon in certain situations and we cannot have confidence in this organization when it comes to its own interest.

But how would you assess the rapid progress which actually came in only week’s time? Just a week ago everyone was saying that the Libyan opposition is so disunited that during the previous six months of NATO operation they still failed to achieve any progress whatsoever, and now we see rapid progress just in a week’s time. Do you think that there could be some involvement from external forces?

I would make a point and this point has a historic parallel.

You must remember when Saddam Hussein was thrown out of power during the military operation, an open military operation by Americans; everybody was also surprised how fast it occurred, but there was no secret about that, the secret was in the first three-four days but then it came out in the open. It is a betrayal because the United States, the Western countries, operate not only by military force, but mostly they operate by buying certain crucial figures of the regime with which they fight, by giving them money and by allowing this money to be spread among their subordinates.

I am sure that in this particular case there was a tremendous amount of money thrown into last week’s operations through which they managed to buy a number of crucial military people in Gaddafi’s military establishment. The other reason was that they have intensified their bombardments and there is a suspicion that NATO units took direct part in attacking the vital installations of Gaddafi’s regime.

But one has to see parallels between Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. It is not spoken very loudly about but there was a very influential military leader in Saddam Hussein’s regime who was famous for his atrocities against Kurds and Shiah. Then, he suddenly left the Saddam Hussein regime and escaped abroad; he landed in Denmark but there he was taken under house arrest, he was allowed to live in Denmark but he was not allowed to leave the country under any circumstances. Just about a month before Saddam Hussein was crushed this man disappeared from Denmark and Danish officials were saying: oh, we do not know how it happened and all this kind of funny explanations, but this man disappeared and he was taken by Americans and he was the instrument through whom the Americans bought a number of crucial Iraqi military people who betrayed Saddam Hussein. I am sure that the same thing happened here.

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NATO Provided Special Forces, Air Force For Regime Change

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/310878

Digital Journal
August 28, 2011

Op-Ed: Libya: How the West was won…by NATO and special forces
Stephen Morgan

[Edited]

Last week NATO shamelessly weighted in on the side of the rebels with the help of special forces on the ground. Without it the rebels would never have won. There is now much talk that NATO has broken international law. So what role did they really play?

“Subka and his unit waited at the rebel frontline, known as Kilometre Sixty, aboard a column of battered, black pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and a few tanks recently captured from Gaddafi’s forces. “We are with the England team,” he told the Guardian “They advise us.”
Special forces from Britain and France are on the ground advising on strategy and tactics for the coming assault and pin pointing targets for NATO airstrikes, in order to clear the path for the rebel advance. Resistance from loyalists has been stiff, but Subka is confident. “We don’t worry about those units – they are Nato’s concern.”

However, on Friday NATO was quick to deny the crucial role it was playing. Al Arabiya reported a press conference at which its spokesperson Lungescu insisted that NATO was sticking to its United Nations mandate, limited to protecting civilians from any attacks. “There is no military coordination with the rebels,” she said.

When asked for his opinion on the statement Shashank Joshi, a Libyan war expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, pulled no punches. The NATO denials are “absolute rubbish,” he said. “There’s overwhelming evidence that NATO was not only helping the rebels but that it was a decisive and critical partner to the rebels. It was really engaged in a close and intimate level of coordination and support, without which the rebels could not have won this conflict, so I don’t believe a single word NATO is saying,” he added.

More and more information is now coming to light on the decisive role played by NATO in the fall of Tripoli. Moreover, while kept secret until now, we are also learning more about how special forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Jordan helped pave the way for the victory. It is now clear that Gaddafi would probably still be in power without them.

In an op-ed on Saturday Andrew Rawnsley said “ I asked a member of the National Security Council whether there was any chance that the rebellion could have overthrown Gaddafi without outside assistance. He responded bluntly: “None at all. There’s no chance they could have done it without us.”

Just two weeks ago the situation was entirely different. Everything seemed bogged down in a protracted stalemate on all fronts. The assassination of General Younes had cast doubts over the opposition’s ability to remain united enough to overthrow the regime and conversely, Gaddafi appeared to be more durable than anyone had expected. All eyes were fixed on political efforts to find a negotiated settlement, which seemed the only plausible solution to end the conflict.

What broke the stalemate in Libya was the West’s decision to make a radical change in its strategy of regime change and the character of its military intervention through NATO. With fears about splits in NATO and even doubts about its very existence if the mission floundered, together with the overhanging fear that the West would again be held responsible for another failed state, envoys bent over backwards in talks with the regime to find a way out of the conflict, even to the point of offering Gaddafi the possibility of staying in Libya, exempt from ICC prosecution.

But Gaddafi wouldn’t budge and he evidently had the support of his inner circle, who gave no indication that they were likely to cave in. Caught between a clicking clock and a closed door, the West decided it had no choice but to launch a major military offensive, in the hope that it would force Gaddafi to surrender.

NATO swung into action quickly. Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller from the Washington Post reported that NATO and U.S. military and intelligence officials had revealed that, ”an opposition strategy (was) put in place two weeks ago with the advice of British, French and Qatari special forces on the ground”

Preparations for a possible attack upon Tripoli had, in fact, been going on much longer. British, French, Qatari and Jordanian special forces had spent months training rebels from the Western Mountains for a future attack on Tripoli. Eventually, they succeeded in organizing the raggedy groups of rebels into a cohesive force, which was prepared to follow an organized battle plan, under a central command.

On the key Saturday, August 13, when the rebel forces advanced on coastal and southern towns and rebels in Misrata made a determined push on Zlitan, TIME reported that NATO flew 105 sorties “including 36 strike missions against targets near Tripoli, Brega, Gharyan, Sirte and Zlitan. The targets included military facilities, command and control nodes, and both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile sites.”

A reporter with the rebels described the scene around Zlitan, “Testimony to the deadly effect of Nato’s bombing was evident along the highway leading out of the city. Concrete buildings used as bunkers by Gaddafi’s forces were flattened, while tanks were ripped apart, their turrets and tracks strewn across the road. Further south, all that remained of an ammunition truck was a blackened carpet of splinters.”

When asked if NATO was acting as the rebel’s air force a NATO official acknowledged in a typically oblique way that “the effect of what we were doing was not dissimilar.”

Such precision bombing wasn’t possible without the profession expertise of special forces troops on the ground spotting targets and advising on tactics. This was underlined by another report in the Guardian, which explained that “the information from the ground gave British commanders the confidence to order RAF pilots to release laser and GPS-guided bombs and missiles on buildings identified as being used by Gaddafi forces. (Even including a Turkish restaurant!)

However, the Washington Post revealed that these special forces also involved undercover US intelligence units. “CIA operatives inside the country intercepted communications within the government” providing “a deeper understanding of just how badly Gaddafi’s command structure had crumbled.” The effect was devastating. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that NATO had destroyed Gaddafi’s military communications to such an extent that “he is forced to use the TV to send messages to his troops about where to attack and defend.”

Intelligence gathered was, in turn, passed onto the rebels on the ground to facilitate their advance. NATO “provided a lot of imagery on the locations of the Gaddafi forces, so, as the rebels were getting into their positions when they came around the south and up into the west side of Tripoli, (they) had a good sense of where (Gaddafi’s) forces were at.”

In this way, NATO obliterated Gaddafi’s defenses often in advance of rebels reaching each town and/or during key moments in the battles. The BBC reported that “Nato’s relentless pounding of armour and artillery east of Zawiya greatly softened up government units, breaking down much of the resistance that would otherwise have slowed the rebel path.”

Illustrating how effective the attacks were and how grateful the rebels were, the UK Independent printed an interview with a rebel soldier involved in the attack on Sabratha. “Mr Nato came and fired six missiles at seven o’clock in the morning. Boom, boom, boom and it was all over,” “Oh yes, we are all very grateful to Mr Nato here.” Asked why he thought they would win, another rebel replied “I believe in Allah – and Nato.”

Intoxicated with their successes, the rebels sights were fixed on one goal only – getting as quickly as possible to the center of Tripoli and hoisting the rebel flag on Martyrs’ Square. Once reports of uprisings in the capital came through, nothing was going to hold them back. neither NATO nor the NTC, nor even their own commanders.

Consequently NATO had no choice but to go the whole nine yards and hope for the best. As the rebels approached Tripoli, global intelligence agency STRATFOR described the scene “What is happening now is the movement of the forces into attack positions, logistical support being brought in, preliminary targeted artillery fire and air strikes with special operations teams already in place doing careful targeting, and psychological warfare against the defenders.”

Worrying pockets of resistance from Gaddafi forces remain, which suggest that the West is not quite won. Indeed, the Libyan “Wild West” will take a long time to be tamed. ‘Order first, then law will follow” was a motto of the earlier American frontier settlers. Bringing order to Libya’s “Wild West” is likely to be a difficult and bloody affair and, until such time as the multitude of different militias and tribes agree to lay down their arms, power and law may well continue to rest mainly in the hands of gunslingers.

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Iran Warns NATO Not To Enter Syria

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4114875,00.html

Reuters
August 28, 2011

Iran warns NATO against entering Syria

Iran warned NATO on Sunday against any temptation to intervene in Syria, saying that rather than the defeating a regime it would be bogged down in a “quagmire” similar to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Syria’s closest ally in the Middle East, Iran has in recent days tempered its strong support for President Bashar al-Assad with calls for him to respect the “legitimate demands” of his people.

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Afghan War: At Least 413 NATO Soldiers Killed This Year

http://wireupdate.com/wires/19728/roadside-bomb-kills-nato-soldier-in-southern-afghanistan-7/

BNO News
August 28, 2011

Roadside bomb kills NATO soldier in southern Afghanistan

KABUL: A roadside bomb killed a coalition service member in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Sunday.

ISAF said one of its service members was killed in southern Afghanistan as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack. As usual, the multinational force gave no other details about the incident, including the exact location.

The nationality of the service member was also not immediately disclosed by ISAF. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” a brief statement said.

Coalition casualties in Afghanistan have been rising sharply in recent years, with a total coalition death toll of 709 in 2010, making it the deadliest year for international troops since the war began in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

There are currently more than 132,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers…

So far this year, at least 413 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are American and are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. The deadliest incident happened earlier this month when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.

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NATO Tankers Destroyed In Capital Of Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C08%5C28%5Cstory_28-8-2011_pg7_8

Daily Times
August 28, 2011

Two NATO tankers destroyed in Quetta

QUETTA: Two NATO oil tankers were set on fire by unidentified armed persons in the Mithri area of the Bolan district on Saturday, Levies officials said.

According to the officials, the two oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were on their way from Karachi to Kandahar when unidentified armed men on motorcycles intercepted the tankers and opened fire at them on the National Highway near Mithri. As a result, the tankers caught fire and were completely destroyed. The assailants managed to escape from the scene after committing the crime. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack until the filing of this report.

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U.S. Soft Power Tactics Conceal Devious Strategy For Global Domination

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/672909/Soft-approach-conceals-devious-new-US-strategy.aspx

Global Times
August 28, 2011

Soft approach conceals devious new US strategy
By Zhu Bingyuan

The Chinese media have recently been excited about US Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to an ordinary Beijing restaurant and Ambassador Gary Locke’s low-key arrival in Beijing. In fact, the public performances of the politicians didn’t come spontaneously, but have a certain political complexity.

What are the diplomatic objectives behind Biden and Locke’s low-profile visit? The US is having a tough time recently and it needs China’s lasting support on its national debt more than ever after Standard and Poor’s lowered its credit rating. To display the art of democracy and a low-key profile in front of its creditors is truly a highlight of US smart-power diplomacy – rebuilding the image of the “world leader” while dodging wide criticism.

It’s clearly much more powerful than a designated speech on special occasions or even the routine cruise of a carrier battle group in the South China Sea. Some believe that the smart-power policy could help US dump unilateralism and therefore ensure China’s peaceful rise. But I’m afraid things might never be as easy as people could imagine.

We shouldn’t refuse the “modest and friendly” approach of the US but keep in mind to see through the essence of the phenomena in order to stay alert on this technique. It’s clearly not a new diplomatic style that leads to the implementation of the smart power policy, but something more like a compromise against a globally complex background. George W. Bush’s addiction to hard power, reflected in the launching of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, saw the US trapped in a jungle of gunfire and its reputation ruined.

Economically, the US has been feeling weaker and weaker after the disastrous financial crisis, especially when seeing the rising power of the BRICS nations. Therefore a unique way forward must be found if the US wants to maintain the super-power status. The coherent reexamination of domestic and global situation of the US has made the smart power strategy possible.

The use of smart power was never only image oriented, but also diplomatically focused. The US cemented its partnership with South Korea and Japan via its position on the Yeonpyeong Island incident and let France and the UK lead in airstrikes against Libya in order to dodge critics.

The latest conflicts over South China Sea issue also saw smart diplomatic maneuvers by the US, which declared its neutrality but was virtually on the side of Vietnam and the Philippines.

All of the above proves that the use of smart power has nothing to do with building a more “friendly and modest” national image, but is aimed at long-term strategic goal. The US is determined that the maintenance of global dominance, which guarantees the security and prosperity of US, shall never be weakened.

It also believes that only by holding onto allies and friends can it survive current challenges, and believes that a non-military policy will improve the validity, effectiveness and persistence of US strategy, making it much easier to solve tough tasks with minimum casualties.

The most important thing is to make ourselves even stronger in order to stay powerful in regional disputes, leaving the US little room to play tricks. Next will be the diplomatic contest.

We can learn from the US government, blasting and coaxing other countries at the same time. This way, we can fend off the diplomatic offensive of US smart power.

Anyway, an iron hand is still needed when our core interests, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity, was infringed or violated.

The author is dean of the Institute of Marxist Philosophy at Suzhou University.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 27, 2011

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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NATO Bombs Tripoli, Sirte; Marauding Mobs Ransack Libyan Capital

Libya: 20,518 NATO Air Sorties, 7,732 Combat Missions

Libya Falls Victim To NATO, Mailed Fist Of 21st Century Neo-Imperialism

Libya: NATO Proxies On Murderous Racist Rampage

CNN: Hundreds Of Pro-Al-Qaeda Extremists Released From Tripoli Jail

NATO Special Forces Pave Way For Al-Qaeda, Somalia/Iraq-Type Black Hole

Sanitized Slaughter: NATO Wages War But Avoids The Word

Reintegrated Into NATO, Frances Takes On Ivory Coast, Libya…Syria

Lesson Of Libyan War: Completely Capitulate As Soon As Possible Or Develop Sophisticated Weapons

Pentagon’s Horn Of Africa Task Force Hosts 11-Nation Gathering

Britain Boosts Military Ties With Azerbaijan Versus Armenia, Iran

Canada Expands Military Role In Arctic For Local, Global Missions

NATO Rejects Presidential Election In Abkhazia

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NATO Bombs Tripoli, Sirte; Marauding Mobs Ransack Libyan Capital

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/27/55259117.html

Voice of Russia
August 27, 2011

NATO planes bomb Tripoli, Sirte

In Libya British warplanes have struck a large bunker in Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, and US aircraft keep swooping on Gaddafi-loyalists in the capital Tripoli as NATO focuses on loyalist forces trying to hold back advancing rebels.

Meanwhile marauding mobs are on a rampage in Tripoli ransacking foreign embassies and government offices and even the state museum.

Tensions remain high on the Tunisian border where the opposition forces, backed by British and French commandos, on Friday overran the major Ras-Djdir checkpoint…

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Libya: 20,518 NATO Air Sorties, 7,732 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110827_110827-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,518 sorties, including 7,732 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 AUGUST: 123

Strike sorties conducted 26 AUGUST: 42

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Libya Falls Victim To NATO, Mailed Fist Of 21st Century Neo-Imperialism

http://thecitizen.co.tz/business/14-international-business/14147–libyas-forced-collapse-what-does-it-portend-for-africa.html

The Citizen (Tanzania)
August 27, 2011

Libya’s forced collapse: What does it portend for Africa?
By Amengeo Amengeo

-The coup was underway. The “rebels,” a motley band of weekend thugs were no match for the Libyan army which legally was bound to defend itself against armed insurrection, so Nato [the new mailed fist of 21st century neo-imperialism] unleashed its aerial might, special forces [French Foreign Legion commandos, SAS and US SEALS] against the legitimate government of Libya. It was inevitable that sooner or later this lopsided military power would take its toll as Nato bombed Tripoli and other parts of Libya on a daily basis.
-What happens in Libya is a harbinger of what the West has in store for Africa. True independence and African unity will not be tolerated. Africa is too rich in resources that the world needs to be allowed to control its own destiny. This war is not just about Gaddafi. It is an opening salvo in a war to reclaim the continent for foreign interests, just as it was in 1896 in the Scramble for Africa…[T]he West will set up permanent military bases to control the Mediterranean Sea and a bridgehead for the re-conquest of Africa will have been established.

By the time this article is published, the sovereign government of Libya would have been overthrown in a blatant Western armed, sponsored and supported coup by the striking arm of the new imperialism – Nato [North Atlantic Treaty Organization.]

Some six months ago, the French and British governments frantically sponsored a United Nations resolution to “protect the civilians of Libya from their own government.”

Never mind that this sovereign government was facing an armed revolt by a dissident region of the country; never mind that these “rebels” had no legitimacy whatsoever; never mind that the so-called “democratic protesters” were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of black Africans in xenophobic racist pogroms in the year 2000.

None of this mattered. What mattered was that in the turmoil of the so-called “Arab Spring” a heaven-sent opportunity presented itself to the West to get rid of a political thorn in its side, one that was leading the African Continent dangerously close to realizing a greater deal of autonomy than had been afforded under the pretence of Western “aid,” economic advice and structural development.

Gaddafi, his personal flamboyance notwithstanding, has consistently sought to involve his country in unity with first the Arabs and then the Africans. When Gaddafi proposed pan-Arab unity, he was scoffed at, ridiculed as an ambitious madman and insulted and ignored by the Arabs. He finally and sensibly gave up and turned his eyes to Africa, believing that Africa held out more hope for unity.

While under sanctions by the West, the Africans unswervingly supported Gaddafi. Neslon Mandela upon his release from apartheid’s prisons defied Western sanctions and went overland to visit and thank Colonel Gaddafi for his moral and financial support during the long struggle against apartheid. Other African leaders followed and regular visits with Gaddafi made the sanctions totally irrelevant.

After the Iraqi war of aggression by the Bush administration broke out, Gaddafi cut a deal with the West, relinquishing his weapons programs, which included nuclear weapons, for re-inclusion in the global economic system. Still Gaddafi sought to develop African unity and to this end relieved Africa of the burden of paying for satellite usage $500 million annually to Europe.

At his encouragement Africa bought its own satellites and now the continent communicates without relying on Europe. Gaddafi also proposed a single African currency backed by gold which would have sounded the death-knell for the CFA and removed much of France’s influence and power in Africa.

An African Monetary Fund was also in the works, which would have further set Africa on the road to true economic and political independence. Then there was the Libyan leader’s mooting of a million-man African army. This was the red line where the West decided to checkmate Libya.

Events surrounding the so-called “Arab Spring” seemed tailor-made for Western plans. Overnight, armed groups showed up in Benghazi and an organized pattern emerged for the overthrow of Gaddafi. First there was the “concern” for civilian life, always a good tear-jerker.., then the French and British stepped in, forcing a UN Security Council vote.

Despite senior officials in the US administration dismissing Libya’s strategic importance to US interests, the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, pushed her hawkish agenda and dragged the US president on board for this war of blatant aggression.

The coup was underway. The “rebels,” a motley band of weekend thugs were no match for the Libyan army which legally was bound to defend itself against armed insurrection, so Nato [the new mailed fist of 21st century neo-imperialism] unleashed its aerial might, special forces [French Foreign Legion commandos, SAS and US SEALS] against the legitimate government of Libya. It was inevitable that sooner or later this lopsided military power would take its toll as Nato bombed Tripoli and other parts of Libya on a daily basis.

When this conflict was forced on the Libyan people, the African Union insisted that there must not be any military intervention, but was soon sidelined and completely ignored by the coup-makers and a compliant Western press. While a sovereign nation, a member of the AU was being attacked, African efforts to find a mediated solution were completely ignored and ridiculed.

The leaders of Africa who should have denounced with one voice the aggression against an African country cravenly acquiesced with the Nato war, making lame token protests.

What happens in Libya is a harbinger of what the West has in store for Africa. True independence and African unity will not be tolerated. Africa is too rich in resources that the world needs to be allowed to control its own destiny. This war is not just about Gaddafi. It is an opening salvo in a war to reclaim the continent for foreign interests, just as it was in 1896 in the Scramble for Africa.

African leaders lack faith in their own abilities and in the power of their people. Libya could have been saved, had Africans united and spoken resoundingly to the world, voicing their opposition to this war of aggression. The AU could have called for the expulsion of diplomats from the Nato countries taking part in the war, they could have urged their citizens into the streets to demonstrate for “hands off Libya.” The oil-producing countries could have slowed down their oil taps, driving up the price of gasoline, they could have protested more loudly.

The same forces which broke Sudan in half are continuing the process of fragmenting Africa into even more manageable, weaker pieces. What will happen after Gaddafi is overthrown? All progressive programmes that he had initiated will be dismantled and the idea of Africa unity repudiated as the dreams of madman.

Foreign economic interests will come in to carve up the pie, instability will take root as in Iraq under the guise of multi-party democracy [which should be anathema to Africans since it has brought more chaos than comfort in its wake] the West will set up permanent military bases to control the Mediterranean Sea and a bridgehead for the re-conquest of Africa will have been established.

This is no fantasy. The West is not prepared to relinquish its hegemony and go quietly into the night. The neo-colonializing of Africa had begun immediately after ‘independence’ with aid programs that created dependencies, French military bases that never closed, structural adjustments, missionaries dividing and spiritually confusing the people, dumping of toxic waste and the signing and enforcement of economic agreements that were never in the interests of the African peoples.

Many African leaders for selfish, mostly pecuniary, reasons collaborated with this plunder of Africa, ignoring the will of its peoples. Gaddafi’s removal from power should not be anything to celebrate for Africans, but to mourn, for we are being thrown back into eras when we were truly without freedom. As this neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism intensifies, it would be ironic if twenty years from now Africans would have to fight all over again the bitter revolutionary wars that ostensibly brought them freedom.

The author is a specialist in Spanish, Latin American, Caribbean as well as African history.

====

Libya: NATO Proxies On Murderous Racist Rampage

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/rebels-settle-scores-in-libyan-capital-2344671.html

The Independent
August 27, 2011

UN urges restraint as the rebels wreak their revenge on ‘loyalists’
By Kim Sengupta in Tripoli
The killings were pitiless

[Excerpts]

They had taken place at a makeshift hospital, in a tent marked clearly with the symbols of the Islamic Crescent. Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came.

Around 30 men lay decomposing in the heat. Many of them had their hands tied behind their back, either with plastic handcuffs or ropes. One had a scarf stuffed into his mouth. Almost all of the victims were black men. Their bodies had been dumped near the scene of two of the fierce battles between rebel and regime forces in Tripoli.

“Come and see. These are blacks, Africans, hired by Gaddafi, mercenaries,” shouted Ahmed Bin Sabri, lifting the tent flap to show the body of one dead patient, his grey T-shirt stained dark red with blood, the saline pipe running into his arm black with flies. Why had an injured man receiving treatment been executed? Mr Sabri, more a camp follower than a fighter, shrugged. It was seemingly incomprehensible to him that anything wrong had been done.

The corpses were on the grass verges of two large roundabouts between Bab al-Aziziyah, Muammar Gaddafi’s compound stormed by the revolutionaries [sic] at the weekend and Abu Salim, a loyalist district which saw three days of ferocious violence.

The United Nations issued an urgent call for restraint by both sides in the bloody and bitter endgame to the civil war yesterday. But the thirst for vengeance has been difficult to control, to which the morgues, hospitals and the urban killings fields of the Libyan capital bore testimony.

The atrocities have apparently not been confined to Tripoli: Amnesty International has reported similar violence in the coastal town of Zawiyah, much of it against men from sub-Saharan Africa who, it has been claimed, were migrant workers.

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CNN: Hundreds Of Pro-Al-Qaeda Extremists Released From Tripoli Jail

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/26/libya.militants.analysis/

CNN
August 26, 2011

Islamic militants among prisoners freed from Libyan jail
By Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank, CNN

“This is potentially a very dangerous development,” a former Libyan jihadist tells CNN
Moammar Gadhafi’s regime imprisoned thousands of suspected pro-al Qaeda militants

-Former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) have assumed leadership positions in several rebel brigades, according to Benotman.
-The former leader of the LIFG, Abdullah al Sadeeq, now commands one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli, according to Benotman and, according to reports, took charge of successful rebel efforts earlier this week to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound…Sadeeq was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there.
-In the east, where radicalization has historically run highest, young Salafi jihadists have linked up with foreign militants and may even have started their own training camps to train volunteers to fight the Gadhafi regime, according to Benotman. A number of jihadists, he says, have entered Libya from other Arab countries.

Tripoli, Libya: Hundreds of Islamist militants were among the prisoners freed from a…Tripoli prison this week, according to a former Libyan jihadist.

The freed militants had been imprisoned in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime during the height of the insurgency in Iraq, according to Noman Benotman, once a senior figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Benotman said he believes as many as 600 militants may have been among the prison population at Abu Salim.

Benotman said many of the militants released are pro-al Qaeda.

“Nobody knows what these released prisoners are going to do next,” he said. “Will they take part in the fighting and if they do will they join pre-existing rebel brigades or form a separate fighting force?”

Gadhafi’s regime imprisoned thousands of suspected pro-al Qaeda militants after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq stoked radicalization in Libya, especially in its impoverished eastern provinces. According to Benotman, those rounded up by the regime included militants who had tried to travel to Iraq and some who had returned from fighting against U.S. forces there…

Internal al Qaeda in Iraq records seized by the U.S. military in 2007 indicated that proportionately more Libyans traveled to fight with al Qaeda in Iraq than from any other Arab country…

Wednesday’s prison release, which occurred as rebel forces took control of the Abu Salim area of Tripoli, comes as Islamists are taking on an increasingly prominent role in the fight against the Gadhafi regime…

Former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) have assumed leadership positions in several rebel brigades, according to Benotman. Their current prominence, he said, was due to their quick mobilization – as armed opposition replaced peaceful protests in Libya – and their valued military skills.

The former leader of the LIFG, Abdullah al Sadeeq, now commands one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli, according to Benotman and, according to reports, took charge of successful rebel efforts earlier this week to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks.

Sadeeq was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there. In the mid-1990s the LIFG conducted a deadly campaign of attacks on Libyan security services, before a crackdown largely constrained the group’s ability to operate inside the country. After the fall of the Taliban, Sadeeq fled Afghanistan to Iran and was eventually arrested in Hong Kong in 2004…

LIFG members and the younger generation of Salafi jihadists were often incarcerated in the same wing of Abu Salim prison. Benotman believes the presence of former LIFG commanders in rebel front lines will enhance their credibility amongst the released prisoners.

But he says some among the younger generation of jihadists have already begun operating outside the orbit of the NTC. In the east, where radicalization has historically run highest, young Salafi jihadists have linked up with foreign militants and may even have started their own training camps to train volunteers to fight the Gadhafi regime, according to Benotman. A number of jihadists, he says, have entered Libya from other Arab countries. In June, the NTC detained two suspected Jordanian jihadists in al-Brega in eastern Libya and expelled them, according to Benotman.

Neighboring Algeria, which waged a long battle against Islamist insurgents in the 1990s, has already expressed concern about the instability in Libya being exploited by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadist groups. Algerian officials are also concerned that weapons such as ground-to-air missiles may have fallen into militant hands, a worry that has also been expressed by U.S. commanders.

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NATO Special Forces Pave Way For Al-Qaeda, Somalia/Iraq-Type Black Hole

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/27/55268402.html

Voice of Russia
August 27, 2011

Libya: contradictory recognition of new power
Boris Pavlishchev, Sergey Anisimov and Vladimir Fedoruk

-According to different reports, more than half of rebels who are now fighting against Gaddafi are members of Al Qaeda.

The League of Arab States has recognized Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council (TNС) as a legitimate representative of the Libyan people. At the same time the African Union says it won’t recognize TNC until the war is over in Libya and the new government including both supporters and opponents of Gaddafi is established.

Yuri Zinin, an expert in Oriental studies says that in the current situation he does not see any turning point back to reconciliation and stability.

“The opposition is not able to fill the political vacuum. In fact, we see a dual power in that country. No police in the streets, violence and looting in Tripoli. I fear that the country will be gripped by chaos like Iraq was. The spirit of guerrilla wars and regionalism keeps leaders of TNC from negotiating with each other. It is not a coincidence that the Council’s chairman threatened to resign if the situation does not change in the near future. That makes me fear for the future of Libya. According to different estimations, 2,000 to 5,000 people have been killed in this civil war and the bloodshed continues.”

It is too early to speak about the victory of the opposition, the head of the International institute of political expertise Evgeny Minchenko says.

“Considering the current chaos it looks more like Gaddafi’s victory. His location is still unknown but it is very likely he will be overthrown with the help of Western troops. The consequences will be catastrophic because if Gaddafi’s regime falls Libya will likely split into three parts and turn into a global black hole, something between Iraq and Somalia. Libya will pose a serious problem to the international stability.”

Evegeny Satanovsky, the president of the Institute of Middle East, shares this opinion but confirms it using different arguments.

“The most serious force in North Africa, in Sahara, today is Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the “classic” Al Qaeda too. If Western troops enter Libya, thousands of mercenaries from Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Afghanistan and Iraq will come to kill European and American soldiers. There is a scenario of turning Libya into a democratic state of a European type but this is very unlikely.”

Earlier this week in an interview with BBC a military expert Robert Fox admitted that Tripoli was attacked by special troops from Qatar and United Arab Emirates with the support of the US, Britain and France. The elder son of Gaddafi Mohamed also confirmed that foreign mercenaries and NATO troops took part in combat for the Libyan capital. Earlier Muammar Gaddafi said that mercenaries from Iraq and Egypt were fighting on the side of the rebels and some of them had been taken prisoners.

Meanwhile, the US, Britain and France have asked the countries neighboring Libya to strengthen their border controls to prevent the move out of Gaddafi’s money, gold and weapons abroad. Western powers fear that all these resource as well as toxic substances can be appropriated by Al Qaeda. According to different reports, more than half of rebels who are now fighting against Gaddafi are members of Al Qaeda.

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Sanitized Slaughter: NATO Wages War But Avoids The Word

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/08/26/nations-sanitize-libya-lingo-for-the-war-weary/

National Post
August 26, 2011

Nations sanitize Libya lingo for the war weary
Charles Lewis

-“Apparently killing people and destroying property on behalf of one side in a civil war does not rise to the level of war for the purposes of the Obama administration, at least…This is the first case I know of where we’ve taken full-scale military action where the president has avoided Congress.”

On March 19, a coalition of nations allied with rebel fighters in Libya to help drive Muammar Gaddafi from power. NATO forces, including Britain, France, Canada and the United States began with sorties, a naval blockade and the firing of deadly Tomahawk cruise missiles.

On that day, all became participants in a bloody fight, putting their military forces at risk and adding to the carnage already taking place on the ground.

Yet, with rare exception, their leaders did everything possible to avoid the word that made it clear what they had got themselves and their citizens into — a war.

They have reached for every euphemism possible — “military action,” “use of force,” “mission,” “operation,” “conflict,” “intervention” and “responsibility to protect” have all acted as stand-ins for “war.”

Even the use of “no-fly zone” sounded benign enough, with its implications of clearing the skies in the manner of air traffic controllers. But as Robert Gates, then-U.S. Secretary of Defense, said early in March, “Let’s just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences.”

The term “humanitarian mission” was also often used — a term that could mean anything from food aid to dropping medical supplies to bombing.

“Apparently killing people and destroying property on behalf of one side in a civil war does not rise to the level of war for the purposes of the Obama administration, at least,” noted John Samples, a director at the Washington-based Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Several days after NATO involvement began, he wrote, “War is commonly defined as ‘a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.’ By that definition, the United States and its allies have been at war with Libya since late last week.”

The reasons for these kinds of obfuscations are complex, especially in the heated political climate of the United States. But several factors point to why Barack Obama, in particular, may have wanted to sanitize the risks of U.S. involvement.

After a decade of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, polls show Americans are war weary and increasingly hostile to playing the role of the world’s policeman.

Two days after the start of U.S. involvement, Gallup found 47% of Americans approved of Mr. Obama’s actions, the lowest level of support for the 10 military actions the country has been involved in since 1983; 37% disapproved and 16% had no opinion.

By June 22, support had dropped to 39%, with 46% disapproval.

Meantime, the Pew Research Center found the United States experiencing the highest level of isolationist sentiment in more than half a century. In May, 46% of Americans said the United States should “mind its own business” internationally a 16-percentage-point increase from 2002.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has also avoided any mention of war, stressing his country’s role is to enforce the UN Security Council resolution. Britons, too, have endured engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Polls showed tepid enthusiasm for action in Libya, dipping recently to a mere 31%.

Stephen Harper has been a rarity among Western leaders when it comes to using direct language. When the attacks began, he said the action being taken by Canada and other NATO forces amounted to an “act of war.”

The avoidance of the word war is not something new. For example, despite the United States losing close to 37,000 troops in Korea, U.S. schoolchildren were taught for years the proper term for what took place was “a police action,” not a war.

Mr. Samples said there is another reason why Mr. Obama may not want to call the Libyan action a war.

The U.S. Constitution says a president must go to Congress to declare war. This has not happened since 1941, when the United States declared war on the Axis powers, but the normal protocol has been for the president to at least get some form of Congressional approval.

“This is the first case I know of where we’ve taken full-scale military action where the president has avoided Congress,” Mr. Samples said.

Roger Sarty, a professor of military history at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ont., believes the vagueness of language is something that developed in the late 1940s when the meaning of war implied the potential for total annihilation.

“In our modern age the distinction between war and peace has become a whole lot less clear,” he said.

Because of the nuclear threat, the idea of all-out war became too much to contemplate. Still, any military action can quickly slip into something much larger and politicians need to make that clear.

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Reintegrated Into NATO, Frances Takes On Ivory Coast, Libya…Syria

http://euobserver.com/13/113408

EUobserver
August 26, 2011

Libya victory summit, warns Syria
By Andrew Rettman

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called a high-level meeting on Libya’s post-Gaddafi future and promised support – but no military action – for opposition forces in Syria.

The event is to take place in Paris on 1 September – the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought Colonel Gaddafi to power.

It is to be co-hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron and to include rebel leaders Mahmoud Jibril and Abdel Jalil, delegates from the 28-country-strong anti-Gaddafi coalition, the Libya Contact Group, as well as states hostile to Western intervention in Libya – China, India, Russia and South Africa.

Speaking with Jibril in the French capital on Wednesday (24 August), Sarkozy said Gaddafi’s defeat has brought the Western and Arab worlds closer and that he was right to put France fully back into Nato in 2009.

“The reintegration of France into the principle organs of Nato did nothing to weaken French independnce – on the contrary, since France was, naturally, in the front lines during the military operations [in Libya].”

Sarkozy ruled out military intervention in Syria due to the lack of a UN mandate. But he warned President Bashar Assad to draw lessons from Libya and the Ivory Coast, where France also used force this year.

…”We now have precedents – the Ivory Coast and Libya. This is not to say we will get involved in more conflicts. But we will not give up on our principles. Syrian people have the right to freedom.”

The TNC has asked the UN to unfreeze $5 billion out of the $110 billion of Gaddafi assets reportedly held in banks round the world. The US has so far drafted a UN text allowing for the unfreezing of $1.5 billion, with a vote at the UN Security Council expected by the weekend.

With Gaddafi still at large, Sarkozy pledged to keep up military support for the TNC…

Nato spokeswoman Oana Lugnescu told the AP news agency on Wednesday that an options paper for a potential joint UN-Nato mission will come up for discussion next week.

“The council provided Nato military authorities with a set of political guidelines for a possible future Nato supporting role in Libya … in support of wider international efforts,” she said, referring to the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s political governing body.

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Lesson Of Libyan War: Completely Capitulate As Soon As Possible Or Develop Sophisticated Weapons

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7580138.html

People’s Daily
August 25, 2011

Reflect on negative effects of Libya war

-The war seems to be a conflict between Libyan rebels and the governmental forces but is actually manipulated by the Western powers. Without NATO’s large-scale, long-lasting air strike, the war would not have lasted more than five months.
-The war has sent a strong signal to anti-West state leaders: once they become the enemies of the West, they should either completely capitulate as soon as possible, or develop sophisticated weapons to ensure their own safety.

The civil war in Libya will come to an end now that the opposition forces have entered into Libya’s capital Tripoli. However, the five-month regional war will pose a long-term impact on the situation in West Asia and North Africa.

The unexpected civil war cannot just be viewed as the democratic fight against tyranny and the suppression of freedom but a resistance against the unfair distribution of political and economic interests within the context of a “tribal war.” Tribal wars are characterized by their winner-take-all nature. As the opposition forces have incited deep hatred of Qaddafi’s tribes during the war, whether or not they can properly treat the pro-Qaddafi tribes after coming into power is still unknown. Some Western countries that have participated in the military operations against Qaddafi have also shown their concerns.

The end of the war does not necessarily mean that Libya will enter into a new era of democracy and freedom. Afterward, the country will face a very difficult test of how to avoid tribal retaliations and internal rivalries among opposition forces. Furthermore, issues such as restoring the infrastructure damaged by the war and dealing with the increasing number of refugees cannot be addressed without strong external support. History never repeats itself in a linear way, and it is still uncertain what is next in Libya’s next round of political changes.

The Libyan war forcibly changed many factors influencing the situation in West Asia and North Africa. The turmoil in West Asia and North Africa at the beginning of this year was mainly caused by internal factors: people there seek democracy and improvement of people’s livelihood as well as oppose dictatorship and unfair distribution.

The war cannot fully meet the demands of the Libyan people with Western interference, and the opposition is nothing more than a bargaining chip picked up by the Western countries to achieve their own strategic goals. For a considerably long period of time, NATO has had no idea of the constitution and political views of the rebels that they support, which did not stop NATO providing various kinds of assistances for the war-torn country. The external causes of the Libyan war have made the instability in West Asia and North Africa even more complicated.

The spillover effect of this war is more negative than positive. The proper operation of the international community needs all countries to abide by basic game rules, and the bottom-line rule refers to basic norms of international law. The Libyan war started under the banner of U.N. Resolution 1973, but whether NATO’s air strike has exceeded the power granted by the resolution has long been questioned by all parties. The war seems to be a conflict between Libyan rebels and the governmental forces but is actually manipulated by the Western powers. Without NATO’s large-scale, long-lasting air strike, the war would not have lasted more than five months.

Gaddafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program and surrendered to the West in political and economic areas in 2003, but Libya still suffered military attacks from Western countries. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently said publicly that it has proved to be a right decision for Iran not to abandon its nuclear program.

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has also said publicly that the Libya war shows it is absolutely necessary for Russia to build up its military forces and to enhance national security. The two leaders’ remarks have shown the negative effects of the war in Libya. The war has sent a strong signal to anti-West state leaders: once they become the enemies of the West, they should either completely capitulate as soon as possible, or develop sophisticated weapons to ensure their own safety. As more and more anti-West leaders preferring to the latter choice, the world is facing larger risk of re-entering a “political jungle.”

All parties involved should draw a lesson from the negative outcome of the Libya war. According to media reports, NATO is using the term “catastrophic success” to describe the victory against the Qaddafi regime. It would be much better to avoid the war than to achieve such “catastrophic success.”

Greater attention should have been paid to the political solution and other peaceful means that certain countries had suggested before and during the Libya crisis. Although history cannot be rewritten, a rethink is definitely necessary because it can prevent some Western countries from making the same mistakes when similar tough issues arise.

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Pentagon’s Horn Of Africa Task Force Hosts 11-Nation Gathering

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7117&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
August 26, 2011

Building Esprit de Corps – CJTF-HOA Hosts Senior NCO Symposium
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti: For the first time in its nine-year history, the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa hosted a senior enlisted conference, August 22 to 24, 2011, bringing together service members from 11 countries, spanning four continents, to enhance regional and international partnerships…

The CJTF-HOA 2011 Senior Non-Commissioned Symposium hosted representatives from Djibouti, Rwanda, Japan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Spain, Seychelles, Mauritius, Burundi, Uganda and the United States…

In addition to a familiarization with the mission and processes of CJTF-HOA, the conference focused on the importance of a unified military presence in the Horn of Africa.

With roughly 30,000 cargo ships and 11 percent of the world’s oil passing through the waters off the Horn of Africa every year, an increase in piracy has become a primary concern for the region’s military forces, said Mykoo.

Mykoo said CJTF-HOA is branching out into the region with a whole of government approach, utilizing the 3-D process, which is diplomacy, development and defense.

The goal is to create a unity among partner nations before strategic decisions are made by higher leadership. This is designed to foster collaboration, coordination and cooperation…

U.S. Army Sergeant Major Samuel Metzger, U.S. Africa Command East Africa Regional Engagements senior enlisted leader, said the discussions and questions raised during this symposium will serve to strengthen ties between enlisted service members, their commanders and partners from other nations.

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Britain Boosts Military Ties With Azerbaijan Versus Armenia, Iran

http://www.news.az/articles/politics/43022

AzerTAc
August 23, 2011

Azerbaijan, Great Britain boost military cooperation

It is time to sign an agreement on military cooperation, the Assistant Chief of the Defense Staff of Great Britain says.

Azerbaijan`s defence minister, colonel-general Safar Abiyev, met Mr. Graham Howard, Air Vice Marshall, Assistant Chief of the Defense Staff (Logistic Operations) of Great Britain.

Mr. Abiyev briefed the guest on the military-political situation in the Southern Caucasus and the 20-year occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. He said talks carried out by the OSCE Minsk group didn`t yield any results and four resolutions of UN Security Council were not fulfilled.

Boosting cooperation in military sphere was also discussed at the meeting. Mr. Howard said it is time to sign an agreement on military cooperation.

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Canada Expands Military Role In Arctic For Local, Global Missions

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/military+gone+north/5297447/story.html

Ottawa Citizen
August 24, 2011

Why the military has gone north
By Peter McKenna*

-Canada’s elite Special Operations Regiment…were engaging in specialized expeditionary training with their own equipment – testing their performance capability in austere conditions and rugged terrain (where it could come in handy in other parts of the world).
-[T]he senior military leadership views the Arctic (especially in a post-Afghanistan milieu) as a means of further justifying its reason for being…This is critical because it allows the military to make the case to political masters that the defence budget should be insulated from any deep cuts in the rush to balance the federal books….[T]he Canadian military is perfectly content to play around in the Arctic just as long as the money taps stay open and they can utilize their training there for other “hot spots” around the world.

Having just returned from Operation Nanook 11 – which involves roughly 1,100 Canadian Forces personnel from the navy, air force, army and even special forces in Resolute Bay, Nunavut – as an invited observer, it’s not hard to tell that both the Canadian government and the military are preparing for a larger presence in the North…

Canada’s elite Special Operations Regiment (probably a handful or so) in their tan berets could be spotted around the Resolute camp. Since they were basically operating on their own, not much was said about what exactly they were doing there. We were told that they were engaging in specialized expeditionary training with their own equipment – testing their performance capability in austere conditions and rugged terrain (where it could come in handy in other parts of the world).

While we didn’t actually observe the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in action, a Gagetown, N.B., regiment was gearing them up (five U.S.-manufactured ScanEagles and one nighttime version) for their first-time deployment in the windy North…

The UAVs (at a cost of roughly $200,000 each) were going to be used as part of the larger operation’s search and rescue simulation – feeding back video images of the mock disaster scene. But their chief functions or missions involve surveilling convoy and troop movements, detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and observing harbours (looking for fuel re-supply).

This raises an obvious question: Why is there this burgeoning military presence in Canada’s High Arctic – especially since, unofficially at least, many in the military dread a posting to the North?

Yes, there is the whole sovereignty question and symbolism, nationalistic Canadian sentiments about the Arctic and its domestic political import for federal politicians. Of course, it is also important to be sending out the right signals to our Arctic neighbours like the Americans, the Danes, the Norwegians and the Russians.

More significant, one could argue that the senior military leadership views the Arctic (especially in a post-Afghanistan milieu) as a means of further justifying its reason for being. Stated differently, it gives them a mission priority that has the firm backing of the Conservative government in Ottawa.

This is critical because it allows the military to make the case to political masters that the defence budget should be insulated from any deep cuts in the rush to balance the federal books. If anything, they will argue that military resources should be bolstered if the Harperites want the Canadian Forces to be meaningfully engaged in the Arctic, properly equipped for northern conditions, and operationally/strategically robust.

Indeed, the one thing that the Department of National Defence does not want to see happen is additional resources going to the Coast Guard instead of them. It would be better for the military to wrap itself in an Arctic mission (and to secure the requisite procurement) rather than have the Coast Guard squeeze out more money for sovereignty patrols, scientific investigation and a polarclass icebreaker.

In short, the Canadian military is perfectly content to play around in the Arctic just as long as the money taps stay open and they can utilize their training there for other “hot spots” around the world. And if this is the case, you can look for the CF. to deepen its military footprint in the Arctic going forward.

*Peter McKenna is professor of political studies at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

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NATO Rejects Presidential Election In Abkhazia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110827/166230076.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 27, 2011

NATO refuses to recognize presidential elections in Abkhazia

BRUSSELS: NATO has refused to recognize presidential elections in Abkhazia, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Saturday.

Presidential elections held on August 26 in Abkhazia, which NATO refuses to recognize as an independent state and considers it part of Georgia, were won by Alexander Ankvab, who received 54.86% of votes.

“The holding of such elections does not contribute to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the situation in Georgia,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.

“The alliance reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders,” he added.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Marcel Proust: Every day war is declared anew

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Marcel Proust
From Time Regained (1927)
Translated by Stephen Hudson

“The war continued indefinitely and those who had announced years ago from a reliable source that negotiations for peace had begun, specifying even the clauses of the armistice, did not take the trouble, when they talked with you, to excuse themselves for their false information. They had forgotten it and were ready sincerely to circulate other information which they would forget equally quickly. It was the period when there were continuous raids of Gothas. The air perpetually quivered with the vigilant and sonorous vibration of the French aeroplanes. But sometimes the siren rang forth like a harrowing appeal of the Walkyries, the only German music one had heard since the war — until the hour when the firemen announced that the alarm was finished, while the maroon, like an invisible newsboy, communicated the good news at regular intervals and cast its joyous clamour into the air.”

“…Be frank, my dear friend, you yourself exposed the theory to me that things only exist thanks to a perpetually renewed creation. You used to say that the creation of the world did not take place once and for all, but necessarily continues day by day. Well, if you said that in good faith you cannot except the war from that theory. It is all very well for our excellent Norpois to write (trotting out one of those rhetorical accessories he loves, like ‘the dawn of victory’ and ‘General Winter’) ‘now that Germany has wanted war, the die is cast’; the truth is that every day war is declared anew. Therefore he who wants to continue it is as culpable as he who began it, perhaps more, for the latter could not perhaps foresee all its horrors. And there is nothing to show that so prolonged a war, even if it has a victorious issue, will not have perils. It is difficult to talk about things which have no precedent and of repercussions on the organism of an operation which is attempted for the first time…”

“Nevertheless, what may not happen after such an exhaustion as that induced by an uninterrupted war lasting for several years? What will the men do when they come back? Will they be tired out? Will fatigue have broken them or driven them mad? All this may turn out badly, if not for France, at least for the Government and perhaps for the form of Government.”

“To return to the war itself: did the Emperor William begin it? I strongly doubt it and if so, what act has he committed that Napoleon, for instance, did not commit? Acts I, personally, consider abominable but I am astonished they should inspire so much horror in the Napoleonic incense-burners, in those who, on the day of the declaration of war, shrieked like General X: ‘I have been awaiting this day for forty years. It is the greatest day of my life;’ Heaven knows if anyone protested more loudly than I when society gave a disproportionate position to the Nationalists, to soldiers, when every friend of the Arts was accused of doing things which were injurious to the Fatherland, when every unwarlike civilisation was considered deleterious. Hardly an authentic social figure counted in comparison with a general.”

“And yet Germany uses so many of the same expressions as France that one might think that she’s copying her. She never stops saying that she is fighting for her existence. When I read: ‘We are fighting against an implacable and cruel enemy until we have obtained a peace which will guarantee our future against all aggression and in order that the blood of our brave soldiers should not have been shed in vain,’ or ‘who is not with us is against us’, I do not know if this phrase is Emperor William’s or M. Poincaré‘s, for each one has used the same words with variations twenty times, though to tell you the truth I must confess that the Emperor in this case was the imitator of the President of the Republic. France would not perhaps have held to prolonging the war if she had remained weak, but neither would Germany perhaps have been in such a hurry to finish it if she had not ceased to be strong…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011 2 comments

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NATO Destroys Yet Another Country

160-Day Air War: 20,395 NATO Sorties, 7,681 Air Strikes

British Warplanes Fire Missiles At Government Facility In Sirte

CIA Operating In Tripoli

NATO Proxy War In Libya Far From Over: Expert

ALBA Condemns NATO For Assault On Venezuelan Embassy In Libya

Syrians Fear NATO To Attack Their Country After Libya

NATO: Canada Third Largest Contributor To Bombing Of Libya

Libya: NATO’s Long-Drawn-Out Bay Of Pigs

German General: NATO “Played Decisive Role” In Libyan War

International Expert Says NATO Fights Proxy War In Libya

Barely Independent: U.S. AFRICOM Commander In South Sudan

NATO Conducts Integrated Interceptor Missile Test In Europe

Lockheed Opens New Testing Ground For Advanced Interceptor Missile

Northrop Produces Viper Strike Missiles For U.S. Marine Corps

NATO’s International Killing Machine At Work In Afghanistan

Afghan Drugs Destabilize Political Situation In Balkans: Russia

U.S. Drone Crashes At Pakistani Military Facility

U.S.-India Military Partnership Priority For Pentagon, Obama Administration

European Union Appoints New South Caucasus, Georgian Crisis Representative

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NATO Destroys Yet Another Country

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=111013

Pakistan Observer
August 26, 2011

NATO destroys yet another country
Geopolitical notes from India
M D Nalapat*

-[I]n the 21st century the UN seems to have regressed into the period between 1919 and 1939, when the League of Nations awarded “mandates” to dominant countries that permitted them to rule weaker ones. In the past decade, similar mandates have been proferred in the case of Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. In the case of Libya, President Sarkozy’s takeover of the Libyan state via the creation of the NTC has been similarly legitimized by the UN in an astonishing abdication of principle.
-Over the past decade, tens of thousands of civilian deaths have resulted from NATO operations, without even a mild protest from the International Court or the Human Rights Council. Such inaction is leading to the same loss of respect for the UN system as took place in the past with the League of Nations, which became seen as being controlled by a small group for their own purposes.
-The use of military power for commercial advantage ought to have vanished when the 19th century did. Its reappearance in Iraq and Libya is a worrisome sign that NATO has not learnt the lessons of history.

Some years ago, on the Indian site http://www.bharat-rakshak.com, this columnist had written of the NATO militaries as resembling an army of simians. Such a force – if let loose within a confined space – can create immense damage, but are unable to clean up the resultant mess.

This is precisely what the world has witnessed in Iraq. Despite more than a decade of sanctions that directly resulted in nearly a million extra deaths during that period (because of shortages created by the UN-approved measures), the regime of Saddam Hussein was able to provide food, energy and housing to the people of Iraq, whereas eight years after “liberation” by key NATO members, the country and its population are worse off than before the 2003 invasion that led to the execution of Saddam Hussein.

As for Afghanistan, after a decade of the world’s most modern military force fighting against a ragtag band of insurgents, more than a third of the country is back in the hands of the Taliban, while a fifth of the rest is on the brink of a similar fate. As a consequence of its failure to subdue this force, NATO is desperately clutching at plans for engaging the “moderate Taliban”, an oxymoron if ever one was created.

Serbia has yet to recover from its brief burst of battle with NATO, and now Libya has joined the lengthening list of countries devastated by the attentions of NATO.

Clearly, the top brass in a military alliance designed to do battle in Europe against the USSR were reluctant to close shop. They have therefore redesigned NATO as a military instrument with multiple uses, especially against “asymmetric threats”, a term which refers to countries that have ramshackle militaries.

Both Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gaddafy followed the dictates of the NATO powers in surrendering whatever WMDs were in their possession, unlike Syria and North Korea, two countries that have been left undisturbed by NATO as a consequence. Clearly, military planners within the alliance are ready for action only against those rivals that have had their conventional capabilities degraded to the point at which they do not represent any significant risk against the alliance. Had George W. Bush and Tony Blair truly believed their own rhetoric about Saddam Hussein having WMD, they would never have sent their armies into Iraq the way they did.

As mentioned in these columns, Gaddafy’s fate got sealed when he accepted the advice of his Europe-dazzled sons to disarm and place the survival of his regime in the hands of NATO. Since 2003, Muammar Gaddafy dismantled his WMD program, synchronised his intelligence services with that of NATO and generally accepted each of the prescriptions handed over to him.

Had NATO been an alliance that respects reciprocity, all this ought to have made NATO turn a blind an eye to his battle with sections of the population as we have seen in the case of Bahrain, where the ruling family has been given a free hand to sort out the situation.

Instead, the situation changed when Nicolas Sarkozy was informed by French banks that Colonel Gaddafy may withdraw the immense bank deposits of Libya from them to institutions in China, and when he learnt that several contracts that French enterprises were expecting to come to them would vanish because Gaddafy wanted to spend less on French military and other toys and more on social services. Libya had to be made an example of, lest other Arab governments think of shifting their money elsewhere than within the NATO bloc as a consequence of the loss of $1.3 trillion by the GCC and its people alone because of the financial fraud perpetrated in 2008 by banks and other financial entities headquartered within the NATO bloc.

These days, companies based within NATO are finding it difficult to retain the monopoly position they have enjoyed, sometimes for generations. In particular, Chinese companies are challenging them in numerous markets, as are companies based elsewhere in Asia, including within South Korea and India. As a consequence, they now rely on military force to retain their privileges. This has been illustrated with commendable transparency in the case of Iraq and Libya. In the latter case, even though the fumes of battle have not ceased (and are unlikely to), oil companies such as ENI and Total are hard at work figuring out the assets they can seize because of the local victories of the Sarkozy-appointed “National Transitional Council”.

Interestingly, even though the NTC is a creation of Paris, the UN has accepted it as the legitimate government of Libya. Indeed, in the 21st century the UN seems to have regressed into the period between 1919 and 1939, when the League of Nations awarded “mandates” to dominant countries that permitted them to rule weaker ones. In the past decade, similar mandates have been proferred in the case of Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. In the case of Libya, President Sarkozy’s takeover of the Libyan state via the creation of the NTC has been similarly legitimized by the UN in an astonishing abdication of principle.

However, just as in other locations, facts on the ground may not follow the script favoured by NATO. In the case of Libya, this columnist has warned for five months that the NATO intervention would only result in civil war and in the steady destruction of the infrastructure that made Libya one of the more prosperous countries in the region.

All this is at risk today, as chaos descends in the form of armed gangs set loose by NATO across the country. Not that there is ever any chance of those responsible for such a catastrophe being held accountable by so-called “international” bodies, most of which are now firmly in the control of the NATO powers in a way that their own economies are not. Over the past decade, tens of thousands of civilian deaths have resulted from NATO operations, without even a mild protest from the International Court or the Human Rights Council. Such inaction is leading to the same loss of respect for the UN system as took place in the past with the League of Nations, which became seen as being controlled by a small group for their own purposes.

Whether it is Libya or any other country, each has the right to develop its societal dynamic in its own way. Unless a country poses a threat to others, the way the Talban-controlled Afghanistan did, it is not a legitimate target for international action.

In the case of Libya, since 2003 Colonel Gaddafy disarmed his military of WMDs and fully cooperated with the US-led War on Terror. His fate has become a lesson to others who may have been tempted to follow in his path of conciliation with NATO.

Small wonder that the other regimes in the sights of NATO – Syria and Iran in particular – are in no hurry to follow the Libyan example. Rather than seek to finish off a leader who buried the hatchet publicly and fully the way Gaddafy did, NATO would have been better advised to show its magnanimity and its willingness to keep agreements in good faith.

That would have acted as an incentive for Syria, Iran and even North Korea to follow suit, thereby making the globe a safer place. Today, all three states – understandably – have zero faith in the bona fides of the NATO powers, and as a consequence are each going their own way. Combine this with the economic desolation seen within NATO (much of which has been caused by the huge spike in military spending caused by foreign adventures), and overall even the medium-term prognosis for NATO is dim, despite the smiles of congratulation at the advance of NATO proxies into Tripoli.

Unlike during the Vietnam war, when the Pentagon extensively sourced its procurement from Asia, the Bush-Cheney team sought to give US entities a monopoly over the supply of the items needed, even items as militarily inconsequential as toothpaste. The result of such an autarchic policy has been a big increase in spending, with the US alone spending more than a trillion dollars in its wars with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Indeed, we have seen this use of the state machinery to block competition across several sectors. The EU, for example, has banned Indian pharmaceuticals from its market, despite the low cost and high quality of medicines produced in India.

Just now, the EU has banned Samsung hi-tech products. A time will come when Asia bans German cars and French defense equipment in retaliation for the frequent bans on Asian products on specious grounds. The US and the EU cannot protect their way out of economic trouble. They need to give their citizens access to the benefits of a global market, rather than break every canon that they have been preaching for decades.

As for NATO, it will soon become clear that while it may be possible to defeat a ramshackle force with the massive use of airpower, that may not translate into monopoly privileges over Libyan oil reserves. Should China or India come up with better terms than Italian or French companies, the people of Libya will ensure that their government act in a way that protects their interests, rather than only those of NATO. The use of military power for commercial advantage ought to have vanished when the 19th century did. Its reappearance in Iraq and Libya is a worrisome sign that NATO has not learnt the lessons of history.

*The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

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160-Day Air War: 20,395 NATO Sorties, 7,681 Air Strikes

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110826_110826-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,395 sorties, including 7,681 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 25 AUGUST: 133

Strike sorties conducted 25 AUGUST: 46

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British Warplanes Fire Missiles At Government Facility In Sirte

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/26/c_131077605.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 26, 2011

British forces fire missiles at Gaddafi stronghold

LONDON: British military officials on Friday confirmed that RAF Tornado GR4s struck a military facility in Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sirte.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that “a formation of Tornado GR4s fired a salvo of Storm Shadow precision-guided missiles against a large headquarters bunker” in Sirte.

The bunker housed a command and control center. There is no indication that Gaddafi was in Sirte or in the bunker itself at the time of the attack.

As events in Tripoli continue to unfold, with reports of fighting continuing, as well as members of Libya’s National Transitional Council beginning to move into the city, it has been announced that an international conference on Libya co-chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be held in Paris next week.

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CIA Operating In Tripoli

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/26/55186178.html

Voice of Russia
August 25, 2011

CIA joins search for Gaddafi

US intelligence has joined in the search for Muammar Gaddafi, a White House spokesman said in Washington on Thursday.

He said CIA operatives, reconnaissance planes and drones were all being used in the operation. The CIA believes the embattled Libyan leader may be hiding in one of an estimated 40 shelters in the capital Tripoli and elsewhere in the country.

The Americans share the obtained information with the opposition Transitional National Council.

Meanwhile, in a radio address on Thursday Gaddafi urged his supporters to take up arms and crush the rebels.

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NATO Proxy War In Libya Far From Over: Expert

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/26/55214837.html

Voice of Russia
August 26, 2011

Libyan conflict far from being over
Polina Chernitsa

Libya’s National Transitional Council has moved from Benghazi to Tripoli. Opposition members say that from now on, all political guidance will be provided from the official capital, which the rebel army would never be able to occupy without NATO assistance. This sensational statement may expose the alliance’s reputation to risk and is fraught with major political complications within the coalition, experts claim.

Colonel Fadlallah Harun, the official spokesman for the NTC’s armed force, said, in particular, that NATO’s role was generally limited to forming battle groups to be secretly redeployed to Tripoli. Another evidence of the alliance’s ground presence in Libya was established by British and French journalists. Such a scenario was rather predictable, according to deputy director of the Institute for African Studies Leonid Fituni.

“Three weeks ago, NATO claimed to be acting in compliance with the UN Security Council’s resolution banning it from direct interference in the conflict. Today we see that all conventions were discarded and NATO got involved in Libya’s confrontation as a third party, the rebel’s ally. This was obvious even before the assault of Tripoli when NATO instructors began to appear in the opposition ranks. Thus, Tripoli was attacked not so much by Libyan rebels as members of NATO security services disguised as Arabs. It was them who cleared the way for the opposition to enter a direct fight against Gaddafi troops. If the US now joins the search for the Colonel, this will mean an open phase of the ground operation,” Leonid Fituni said.

Despite the National Transitional Council’s official statements, video and photo evidence, NATO leaders keep insisting that its activity does not run counter to the UNSC’s mandate. On August 23rd, its spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said NATO had no troops on the ground and was not going to ever fall back on their help.

Such a course of events may have a negative impact on the Alliance itself. Experts say a number of UN Security Council’s member states are likely to express their condemnation over the situation soon. If it fails to prevent a split within its own ranks, NATO will be suspended from the power transfer process in Libya, which will inevitably demoralize the opposition, Leonid Fituni goes on to say.

“The opposition proclaimed that it had seized power. However, the absence of a common enemy during any revolution leads to the sides’ getting into an argument as to who was right and who was wrong. Eventually, a moment will come when one of the groups proves to be stronger than the others and starts sorting things out in its own way,” Leonid Fituni concluded.

According to some experts, both NATO and Libyan rebels drove themselves into a trap when occupying Tripoli. First of all, Gaddafi’s whereabouts and capacity are still unknown, with his followers still controlling a number of the capital’s districts. Analysts say Tripoli’s surrender could have only been a tactical move. Secondly, the NTC acknowledged the day before that it cannot put an end to marauding within its army, which may provoke a feedback from local residents who are still considered loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. In other words, the conflict in Libya is far from being over and may even linger for a long time in view of the new circumstances.

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ALBA Condemns NATO For Assault On Venezuelan Embassy In Libya

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/6446

Venezuelanalysis
August 25, 2011

ALBA and Others Condemn Armed Assault on Venezuela’s Diplomatic Residence in Libya
By Juan Reardon

-“They have torn apart a country, and it wasn’t Gadafi who did it. They have set the country ablaze, and it wasn’t Gadafi who did it – no, it was precisely imperial madness and capitalism’s global crisis who did it,” said Chavez.
Reports estimate that recent NATO bombings of the Libyan capital have resulted in over 2,000 deaths in Tripoli alone, with the total number of dead expected to rise.
Chavez said he was concerned that the “tragedy in Libya has just begun” as rumors spread about a possible ground invasion by NATO special forces.

San Francisco: On Wednesday Venezuela’s ambassador in Libya denounced the looting of his official residence by armed men, calling the assault “a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty” by “NATO itself.” The governments of Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, among other ALBA nations, denounced the violent attack as a “breach of international law,” as did Venezuela’s ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV).

Speaking to TeleSUR on Wednesday, Venezuelan Ambassador to Libya Afif Tajeldine explained that “a group of armed men” had shot their way in to the official residence, “began searching the house and asking for me,” before “looting all things, including the vehicles, the entire house, leaving nothing in the residence and shooting in the air as they left.”

“This is an act that violates international law, since this site is part of our territory, Venezuelan territory, which they must respect as such,” said the ambassador.

This breach of international law, affirmed Tajeldine, “was carried out by armed groups supported by NATO, leading us to consider it a violation, by NATO itself, of our sovereignty.”

Venezuela’s Tajeldine pointed out that it was the official residence, and not the embassy, that had suffered yesterday’s attacks, clarifying conflicting reports including comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that the country’s embassy had been ransacked.

“At the embassy itself nothing has yet occurred,” he said.

Condemnation of the Armed Assault

In response to the attack on the diplomatic residence, the countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) released a statement “deploring” what they called another “violation of international law,” caused by the “the illegal military aggression by NATO governments and their allies.”

“The countries of the Bolivarian Alliance congregate votes so that this important African country (Libya) recovers the road to peace and harmony and so that the internal conflict in Libya find a political solution that preserves its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” read the statement.

The governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines all signed the condemnation.

In Argentina on Thursday, the countries meeting at the Forum for Cooperation between Latin American and East Asia (FOCALAE) added their collective “condemnation” of the armed assault, calling it “a clear violation of the principles of international law.”

Venezuelan Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Temir Porras, present at this week’s FOCALAE summit, thanked his colleagues for the “show of solidarity” and said that the importance of the collective statement was that it “denounced the chaos sowed in Tripoli by these armed groups.”

Venezuela’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the largest party in the country with some seven million members, also denounced the attack.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, International Affairs Secretary of the PSUV Rodrigo Cabezas denounced the attack on Venezuela’s representatives in Libya within the context of NATO’s war on Libya.

“That country (Libya), and our country (Venezuela), are members of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) and we know that we will always face the transnational threat, the imperial outlook, because we are oil nations.”

Cabezas went on to affirm that the PSUV “demands compliance with international law as it relates to the Venezuelan embassy in Libya, and that our representatives in that country be given immunity.”

Cabezas explained that since NATO first began bombing Libya in March 2011, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “had formulated proposals to the world with respect to finding peaceful alternatives, based on dialogue, a negotiated settlement of the conflicts that exist among the Libyan people.”

On Wednesday, Venezuela’s Chavez said NATO and its allies “are demolishing the country [Libya] for the entire world to see, cutting it into pieces” and affirmed that Venezuela had “fulfilled its moral commitment by denouncing [the NATO war] from the very first day.”

“Independent of the internal situation in Libya,” said Chavez, “nothing justifies this outrageous act, a disregard for the world, a threat towards the entire world.”

“They have torn apart a country, and it wasn’t Gadafi who did it. They have set the country ablaze, and it wasn’t Gadafi who did it – no, it was precisely imperial madness and capitalism’s global crisis who did it,” said Chavez.

Reports estimate that recent NATO bombings of the Libyan capital have resulted in over 2,000 deaths in Tripoli alone, with the total number of dead expected to rise.

Chavez said he was concerned that the “tragedy in Libya has just begun” as rumors spread about a possible ground invasion by NATO special forces.

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Syrians Fear NATO To Attack Their Country After Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/26/55202767.html

Voice of Russia
August 26, 2011

Syria fears Libya’s fate
Oleg Gribkov and Natalya Kovalenko

Damascus fears that NATO may redeploy its forces to Syria after the termination of its military campaign in Libya. If this happens, Syria’s prospects for democratic development will be killed stone dead, according to both left-wing and liberal groups of that country’s moderate opposition.

Member of the Syrian Communist Party’s political bureau Najmeddin Khreit is sure the time is ripe for reforms in his country. Even though its economic situation is better than in other riot-stricken Arab countries, the life of ordinary people is becoming increasingly difficult. Yes, unemployment rates are not as high as in Egypt or Tunisia but they keep growing, especially among the youth, and have eroded the society alongside a simultaneous increase in corruption. Our frozen political system, Najmeddin Khreit says, prevented us from having a free discussion of all the problems and ways to solve them.

The last few months witnessed a launch of democratic changes but even leaders of the ruling Baath Party recognize that it was already late for reforms. The situation only escalated when the regime’s radical opponents appealed to arms, Najmeddin Khreit explains.

“For the sake of our homeland and its interests, all Syrians have to join efforts and help the country out of the crisis. The most urgent objective is to stop violence on both sides because it can only generate more violence in response. Of course, armed anti-government groups should cease their raids. The authorities need to promptly start a broad dialogue with the opposition and also cope with the issue of partially released political prisoners. These measures will create conditions for doing away with the crisis if taken without delay, in view of the world’s alarming situation,” Najmeddin Khreit said.

Nearly the same ideas were outlined by authoritative Syrian human rights activist Salim Kheirbek in his recent letter to President Bashar al-Assad. Kheirbek, who spent 13 years in prison for his beliefs, possesses quite a variety of awards for his activity. He said presidential administration officials were favorably disposed when receiving his letter and even met with him several times. Salim Kheirbek is sure reforms should not be delayed and shared his view with our correspondent. Being a graduate of the Moscow-based Peoples’ Friendship University, he has a good command of Russian.

“With Gaddafi’s rule about to end, NATO will most likely send its forces to Syria. Our president believes they are preparing for an attack against us, which will hardly facilitate democratic changes. I have no idea of what will happen to Syria in such a case,” Salim Kheirbek says.

Damascus is anxiously following the developments in Libya. Neither Syrian leaders nor constructive opposition want a repetition of the Libyan scenario which will cost a lot to ordinary citizens, like any of the NATO-masterminded campaigns.

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NATO: Canada Third Largest Contributor To Bombing Of Libya

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/08/25/canada-contributed-a-disproportionate-amount-to-libya-air-strikes-sources/

National Post
August 25, 2011

Canada contributed a disproportionate amount to Libya air strikes: sources
Tom Blackwell

Canadian fighter jets were in the air again this week, striking at the Gaddafi regime’s tanks and artillery, part of this country’s surprisingly substantial contribution to the five-month-long NATO bombing campaign in Libya.

As one of three nations carrying out the bulk of the sometimes-controversial air war, Canada with its aging CF-18 fighters has made a contribution clearly disproportionate to the compact size of its air force, say alliance and academic sources.

While Britain and France have about three times as many fighter-bombers in the operation as this country and are usually credited with most of the fighting, Canada has been close behind in its role, said a NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It has also provided three planes for air-to-air refuelling and two reconnaissance aircraft, all of the crews based in the Italian island of Sicily. Canada is among a handful of NATO members that took on the bulk of the mission after the U.S. withdrew its 50 or so fighter jets early in the campaign.

“The burden of the strike sorties fell on the shoulders of predominately the Canadians, the British and the French,” said the NATO official. “I must say that, Canada in particular, being the smaller of the three air forces, once again punched well above its weight.”

NATO was keeping up its campaign on Thursday — bombing Sirte, Col. Gaddafi’s birthplace. Meanwhile, fighting continued to rage over pockets of Tripoli…

Support for the operation among Canadians has been mixed, amid accusations of mission creep and controversy about civilian casualties; it seems clear, however, that for better or worse this country has well exceeded the peripheral role that many observers expected it to play.

The six CF-18s — backed up by one spare — have logged 733 bombing sorties above the North African nation, while the Canadian refuelling and reconnaissance aircraft have added hundreds more flights.

“The folks that are flying are flying hard and they’re flying a high tempo of operations,” said Brigadier-General Derek Joyce, commander of Task Force Libeccio, as the Italy-based Canadian team is called…

It is difficult to get a precise picture of who is contributing what to the campaign, said Prof. Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute, a British defence think-tank.

However, “the Canadians are reported to be doing a lot of [sorties],” he said in an emailed response to questions. “Only Canada, France and the U.K., among the allies, have kept up a constant high tempo of ground attacks. The other five who have done some attacking have been more variable. Also, Canada has the right aircraft for the role and has more appropriate weapons systems to deploy than some other allies.”

Critics complain that the campaign has morphed into an attempt to overthrow the Gaddafi regime, as targets have grown to include the ruler’s family compounds in Tripoli, and several of his family members were reportedly killed by NATO bombs.

The Canadian CF-18s conduct two types of missions — planned “air interdiction” attacks on static military infrastructure, including buildings used for command and control, plus “surveillance, co-ordination and reconnaissance” sorties where pilots hunt for government tanks and other mobile weaponry to bomb, said Brig.-Gen. Joyce from his Naples headquarters. There was an initial sense of “euphoria” among the Canadians this week when rebels started streaming into Tripoli, but the pilots have continued their strikes, as it became clear the regime was still alive, firing artillery and rockets into Tripoli and other cities, the commander said.

Civilian casualties have repeatedly sparked concern, with Italy at one point calling for a pause in bombing…

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Libya: NATO’s Long-Drawn-Out Bay Of Pigs

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20110826/166211240.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 26, 2011

NATO troops in Libya: No entry, no exit
Konstantin Bogdanov

-Libya, of course, is not the “Bay of Pigs” where in April 1961 CIA-trained Cuban exiles, backed by the U.S. Air Force, landed on the island in the hope that they would overthrow the Castro regime. The European allies are getting bogged down in Libya much more slowly and therefore more deeply. All they can do is clench their teeth and try to push on through until victory can be proclaimed, if not actually achieved.

The Libyan rebels’ somewhat dubious success in Tripoli threatens to draw NATO into a ground operation while Washington is wondering whether the European coalition was right to rush into battle.

Who is fighting on the side of the rebels in Libya?

The saga of Tripoli’s fall and the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya continues. The European allies seem to be launching a new phase of their Libyan operation, one that is marked by even greater military involvement. So far, only one thing is certain: increased activity in terms of technical intelligence gathering and on the part of the Special Forces.

“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to the NTC (National Transitional Council) to help them track down Colonel Gaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” Britain’s Defense Minister Liam Fox said Thursday in an interview with Sky News.

But all the signs are that this involvement is not limited to sharing intelligence with the rebels. Citing UK defense sources, The Daily Telegraph reported “the SAS has been in Libya for several weeks.” If the newspaper’s sources are to be believed, British Special Forces “played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli” and that they were even to be found mingling in rebel ranks “dressed in Arab civilian clothing and carrying the same weapons as the rebels.”

The Special Forces being referred to are the elite 22 SAS Regiment comprising experts in air assault and counter-terrorist operations. The newspaper’s sources add that SAS men will now be re-oriented to hunting down Gaddafi. Reporting Liam Fox’s interview with Sky News, Reuters noted that he declined to comment on this Daily Telegraph story.

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy was less ambivalent than Fox, and on Wednesday he denied reports that French Special Forces were involved in the ground operation in Libya. This denial proved timely, considering the proliferation of unconfirmed reports online about French Foreign Legion fighters taking part in the operation around Tripoli. There are also reports of Arab mercenaries from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and members of private security firms being engaged in combat operations in Libya.

Earlier Gaddafi announced that his forces had captured Iraqi and Egyptian mercenaries who were fighting with the rebels. True, these individuals were never paraded before the journalists, and the fact that the alleged incident was not exploited to the max places a question mark over the initial claims.

NATO boots on the ground?

Despite the heavy media and blogger presence around Tripoli nobody has yet provided convincing evidence of direct European military participation in the ground operation, although it is probable.

First, the initial phase of the storm of Tripoli went so smoothly that raises the suspicion that it was carried out by well-trained units with a much broader tactical prowess than the ragtag rebel army can surely muster.

Second, the direct participation of NATO personnel on the ground is inevitable: coordinating air strikes within city limits required qualified people who were both familiar with modern battlefield reconnaissance systems and up to date on NATO target identification procedure.

The theory that these professionals could be trained up by NATO instructors locally within two to three months should be dismissed as totally unrealistic. That is barely enough time to prepare passable cannon fodder, i.e. to train people not so much to use modern military hardware and weaponry as to obey discipline and form combat units.

That is the most that can be achieved within such a short time. Such doubts seem to be reinforced by The Daily Telegraph reports that the British SAS embedded in the rebel ranks had effectively organized and conducted the storm of Tripoli and are now hunting Gaddafi.

One can issue any number of denials of the European commandos’ presence on the ground in Libya, but world practice of covert support for similar operations suggests that if the Special Forces are not present, it indeed would be such an extraordinary approach, so very much out-of-the-box, that it would require an explanation.

So, NATO is most probably involved in the ground operation. The strength and scale of this operation remain to be seen, and the exact functions it is performing (apart from the air support and intelligence transfers admitted officially) also require some clarification.

A short victorious war for the new Entente

The slow pace of the Libyan campaign may be in some way related to the thinking of those running the operation: just one little push and everything will come tumbling down all by itself. Perhaps “the Arab spring”, which swept away several regimes across North Africa and the Middle East, gave Paris and London a false sense that the Gaddafi regime was on its last legs.

But the Gaddafi regime is not crumbling yet. Force and perhaps even a full-scale invasion will be needed to finish it off. Everyone, except perhaps the euphoric rebels, oppose that scenario. However, NATO finds it hard to backtrack and will find it harder with every day the Libyan campaign lasts.

But is this talk of NATO correct? Looking at what led up to this Libyan adventure and considering how events unfolded, it should be called a Franco-British operation – of course with a sprinkling of other Europeans, Americans and Arabs from the Gulf States. Moreover, the secondary coalition members, who can hardly be described as having been enthusiastic from the start (not counting the Arabs), have been gradually scaling down their participation in the operation. This is especially true of the United States.

On Tuesday former U.S. NATO envoy Kurt Volker published a long, bitter and acerbic article in the journal Foreign Policy about the woeful lack of coordination between European countries and the U.S. in this joint NATO-led operation.

France and Britain have not been very successful in pursuing this complex campaign independently. Not that the European powers are lacking in ambition: last autumn Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron essentially committed themselves to forming a close bilateral military-political alliance. That included joint military deployment where it is in the two countries’ common interests as well as joint control and improvement of their nuclear forces.

The Libyan operation has become the first test of this “new Entente.” It seems to be punching above its weight.

Libya, of course, is not the “Bay of Pigs” where in April 1961 CIA-trained Cuban exiles, backed by the U.S. Air Force, landed on the island in the hope that they would overthrow the Castro regime. The European allies are getting bogged down in Libya much more slowly and therefore more deeply. All they can do is clench their teeth and try to push on through until victory can be proclaimed, if not actually achieved.

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German General: NATO “Played Decisive Role” In Libyan War

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15346089,00.html

Deutsche Welle
August 26, 2011

NATO has ‘played a decisive role’ in Libya

NATO has played and continues to play a decisive role in the Libyan rebels’ campaign to topple Moammar Gadhafi and his regime, says retired German General Egon Ramms.

NATO is continuing its air campaign in Libya and turning its attention to Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte. The alliance is also providing Libyan rebels intelligence so they can get a clearer picture about what is happening around the capital Tripoli, according to retired German General Egon Ramms.

Bettina Klein of Deutschlandfunk radio spoke to Ramms about NATO’s role in Libya and if it has stayed within the bounds of its UN-approved mandate.

Bettina Klein: In your estimation, what role have NATO countries played in the recent developments in Libya?

Egon Ramms: In considering NATO’s mission that began in March, I think the alliance has played a decisive role in helping the rebels push forward. If you remember, Gadhafi almost succeeded in pushing the rebels back to Benghazi at one point. I think that without NATO support, the rebels would not have been able to make it to Tripoli. NATO is still engaged in giving the rebels intelligence and, I’d say, clarifying the situation on the ground in Tripoli. You see now in the reporting on Gadhafi, his sons and the events in Tripoli that we are still faced with a very fluid situation.

British Defense Minister Liam Fox made statements, perhaps inadvertently, about the participation of NATO troops or troops from NATO member states in the hunt for Gadhafi. Would that be covered by NATO’s mandate?

No! That would clearly not be covered by the NATO mandate. Mandate 1973 from March talks about air support and the protection of the civil population – it does not allow for anything else. That means any additional actions or participation would have to be approved in a new mandate in the UN Security Council. I don’t see that happening right now. And the question of armed forces in Libya when Gadhafi is captured and the fighting is over is a difficult one, because you have a lot of different interest groups involved in the equation.

That means it look like troops there are acting without a mandate?

What do you make of the German government’s position? It’s trying to draw attention to its own contribution by saying that its abstention on the Libya vote in the UN Security Council was right.

I don’t see it that way. The abstention in the Security Council was not right because it simply sent out the wrong message to NATO’s underlying principle of solidarity. The decision made at the time – where Germany sided with Russia, China, Brazil and India – sent the wrong message to the other NATO members in the Security Council as well as NATO member states in general. In retrospect, it has to be said that when you consider the critical situation in Benghazi in the latter half of March, the rebels’ progress was actually made possible by the British and the French who intervened very quickly.

The NATO mission is basically meant to protect the civilian population. Earlier this year, we had a debate about what protecting the civil population actually means – possibly that it means providing the rebels with weapons and intelligence to support them in their fight against Gadhafi. So we’re in a legal grey zone. Is it just a kind of interpretation that hasn’t been thought through or discussed to the end?

It’s certainly true that it hasn’t been discussed to the end. And I’d like to point out that due to different national laws in the individual NATO member states, different interpretations of the mandate are possible. Some countries such as France and Britain interpret it more offensively and some like the United States a bit more reservedly. And then there are states, for example like Poland and Germany, who interpret the mandate from a much more defense-oriented standpoint.

Interviewer: Bettina Klein
Editor: Rob Mudge

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International Expert Says NATO Fights Proxy War In Libya

http://gbcghana.com/index.php?id=1.358617.1.534850

Ghana Broadcasting Corporation
August 25, 2011

International expert on NATO and Libyan crisis

A Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, Dr. Yao Gebe, says the end of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi has not come yet.

He thinks as long as Col. Gaddafi evades capture, the situation remains murky.

In an interview with GBC’s Radio Ghana, Dr. Gebe said the rebel forces could not have achieved the upper hand in the fighting without support from NATO and other Western powers.

He accused NATO of going beyond the UN mandate over Libya.

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Barely Independent: U.S. AFRICOM Commander In South Sudan

http://www.sudantribune.com/U-S-Africom-commander-starts-a,39944

Sudan Tribune
August 25, 2011

U.S. Africom commander starts a visit to South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan: The Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Carter F. Ham arrived in South Sudan capital of Juba for talks on the government’s strategy to boost internal security in the newly established state.

South Sudan officially seceded from the rest of Sudan last month and countries around the world were quick to recognize the new nation.

North and South Sudan fought more than two decades of civil war that ultimately ended through a U.S. brokered peace deal which gave Southerners the right of self determination.

But daunting challenges are facing South Sudan, particularly the outbreak of several rebellions as well as tribal clashes.

Last week around 600 people were killed and hundreds other wounded in fighting that erupted between Murle tribe and the Lou-Nuer tribe.

In his meeting with Africom commander, President Salva Kiir commended the role being played by the US in facilitating peace and security to the people of South Sudan, according to a statement on the government’s website.

Kiir called for Washington’s help in building the military capacity of South Sudan.

Gen. Ham said in a press statement that the meeting discussed principle topics on military partnership between the two countries.

He added the partnership would provide the armies in both states a framework for close collaboration in addressing security concerns in the future.

The Africom chief also presented to Kiir a symbol of military partnership between the in form of a silver jar.

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NATO Conducts Integrated Interceptor Missile Test In Europe

http://www.mmdnewswire.com/nato-missile-defences-63696.html

Mass Media Distribution
August 25, 2011

NATO missile defences pass first field test

-“This is a very significant event for NATO. It has, for the first time, demonstrated that NATO ballistic missile defence capabilities from a number of Alliance members, including the US, can operate in a seamless manner under a unified command structure to accomplish this new NATO mission.”
-In line with the Lisbon Summit decision of November 2010, the ALTBMD capability will also be expanded to protect NATO European territory and populations as well as deployed NATO forces.

NATO has taken a significant step forward in providing its commanders the capability to defend deployed forces against attacks from ballistic missiles. The NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) Interim Capability, which was made available to the NATO operational community at the end of last year, has been successfully tested in a realistic operational environment.

The test was the first of two field tests scheduled by NATO’s commanders prior to the missile defence capability being declared as having reached military initial operating capability.

Challenging scenario

The test took place between 22 and 24 August and was conducted in conjunction with a previously-planned test of the command and control network of the United States Ballistic Missile Defence System’s European Components. The test involved operational units from Germany, the Netherlands, United States systems and the NATO command and control headquarters in Uedem and Ramstein, Germany. The units involved include Patriot missile battalions from Germany and the Netherlands, US Aegis systems, as well as the command and control headquarters for the US and NATO forces.

The units involved in the test responded to a simulated attack. They received information from space- and land-based sensors about a simulated ballistic missile attack, and executed simulated interception missions against that attack, based on tactical information shared between all of the participating units under the direction of the NATO commander.

“This is a very significant event for NATO. It has, for the first time, demonstrated that NATO ballistic missile defence capabilities from a number of Alliance members, including the US, can operate in a seamless manner under a unified command structure to accomplish this new NATO mission,” said General Alessandro Pera, Programme Manager of NATO ALTBMD. “It is an excellent beginning for NATO’s growing capability in this new mission area.”

Under the ALTBMD Programme, NATO provides a command and control system that links sensors and interceptors from nations into a capability that can protect deployed forces from ballistic missile attacks.

The ALTBMD Programme Office will continue to upgrade the NATO Command and Control System for Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence in incremental steps from 2013 to 2018, to field a more robust operational capability. In line with the Lisbon Summit decision of November 2010, the ALTBMD capability will also be expanded to protect NATO European territory and populations as well as deployed NATO forces.

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Lockheed Opens New Testing Ground For Advanced Interceptor Missile

http://lawrencecounty.waff.com/news/news/59045-lockheed-martin-announces-new-location-missile-testing

WAFF
August 22, 2011

Lockheed Martin announces new location for missile testing
By Kym Graves

Lockheed Martin announced they will be expanding local manufacturing to include testing on a new missile in Lawrence County.

Officials with the company said their Courtland facility will start testing the standard missile-3 Block IIB (SM-3 IIB).

It’s a 660-acre development facility that’s already up and running, It’s located 45 minutes outside of Huntsville.

The facility is now used to assemble, integrate and test ballistic missiles. Officials at Lockheed Martin said keeping more of these projects local is key.

Lockheed Martin is a ***global security*** company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide.

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Northrop Produces Viper Strike Missiles For U.S. Marine Corps

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/08/northrop_grumman_to_produce_vi.html

Huntsville Times
August 25, 2011

Northrop Grumman to produce Viper Strike missiles for Marines

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to produce additional Viper Strike missiles for the Marines’ Harvest Hawk aircraft as well as the KC-130J refueling and cargo aircraft.

Under the terms of the contract, Northrop will deliver the missiles this year to the Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office within the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space at Redstone Arsenal. The Viper Strikes are produced at Northrop’s facility in Huntsville. The company did not release the value of the contract nor the number of missiles it will deliver.

The Viper Strikes on Harvest Hawk have updated software to enhance their effectiveness against moving targets. During flight testing at China Lake, Calif., the missiles scored multiple hits against moving vehicles in a variety of scenarios.

The Viper Strike is a 3-foot long, unpowered glider. It can be launched from long distances using GPS-aided navigation and a laser seeker.

Its size, precision and high agility [make it] suitable for urban warfare.

The laser guidance also enables the missile to hit vehicles – moving or stationary – and small targets, Northrop said.

“In today’s irregular warfare environment, Viper Strike provides the right characteristics needed to support our warfighters in the current fight – high precision and agility to hit moving and stationary targets in complex terrain..,” said Steve Considine, programs director, Aviation and Weapons for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “The KC-103J represents the latest military airborne asset to be equipped with Viper Strike’s formidable capabilities.”

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NATO’s International Killing Machine At Work In Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/26/55211935.html

Voice of Russia
August 26, 2011

NATO planes kill five Afghan civilians

NATO aircraft killed five Afghan civilians, including three women, when attacking the assumed positions of Taliban militants in the east of Afghanistan. This comes in a report by the Xinhua news agency with reference to the local authorities.

The planes attacked an area in the Logar province, about 60 kilometres south of Kabul…

Later on, three bodies of civilians were found on the site of the airstrike.

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Afghan Drugs Destabilize Political Situation In Balkans: Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/26/55208108.html

Voice of Russia
August 26, 2011

Afghan drug production destabilizes political situation in Balkans

Afghan drug production is destabilizing the political situation in the Balkans, which serves as a transshipment point for some 70% of heroin, says the Chief of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service Victor Ivanov in an interview with the ITAR-TASS news agency.

According to the official, major cartels not only take care of shipping drugs, but draw extensively on their huge funds to set political objectives.

According to the United Nations, some 150 tons of heroin are shipped from Afghanistan via the Balkans.

Victor Ivanov says that the Balkan route got a second breath since NATO launched its military operation in Afghanistan, with subsequent drug production growing 40-fold.

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U.S. Drone Crashes At Pakistani Military Facility

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8419&Cat=13

News International
August 26, 2011

US drone crashes in Chaman
By Muhammad Ejaz Khan

QUETTA: An unmanned US spy plane crashed on the premises of the Frontier Corps (FC) Fort near the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, some 120 kilometers from here, on Thursday evening.

Reports reaching here said that the drone crashed while flying over the FC Cantonment in Chaman and was completely destroyed. FC officials said that the cause of the crash might be some technical faults developed in the plane. Sources said the plane entered Pakistani territory near 5:30 pm and crashed around Iftar time. The Frontier Corps had taken away the debris of the plane and an investigation is under way. The sources said that the US or Nato officials have not yet contacted the Pakistani authorities concerning the crash.

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U.S.-India Military Partnership Priority For Pentagon, Obama Administration

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65131

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
August 25, 2011

Routine Interactions Build U.S-India Defense Relations
By Cheryl Pellerin

-All three of the Indian military’s current service chiefs went to school in the United States during their careers, Scher noted.
“Air Marshal [Norman Anil Kumar] Browne graduated from the Air Command and Staff College, he said. “General [Vijay Kumar] Singh is a graduate of both the U.S. Army Ranger School and the U.S. Army War College. And Adm. [Nirmal Kumar] Verma is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.”
-India routinely has more exercises with the United States than with any other country, Scher noted. “Over the last six years, we’ve done nearly 50 major exercises with India…and our exercises are evolving in complexity,” he said.
-Defense sales to India increased from virtually no defense trade relationship in the 1990s to nearly $6 billion today in foreign military sales alone, Scher said.

WASHINGTON: The U.S.-India defense relationship is a natural partnership created by shared interests and values and driven by increasingly routine day-to-day interactions, a senior Defense Department official said here today.

Robert Scher, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, spoke to an audience at the New America Foundation.

Day-to-day successes that lay the groundwork for the U.S.-India defense relationship are rarely in the spotlight, Scher said, “but they are an important factor in driving our relationship forward and helping us understand each other.”

The U.S.-India relationship is a priority for the Obama administration and the Defense Department, Scher said, one that President Barack Obama has called a defining partnership of the 21st century. In recent years, he added, high-level visits have cemented the commitment of both nations to the bilateral relationship.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the United States in 2009, and Obama traveled to India in 2010. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s July attendance at the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue was her second trip there as secretary of state.

“India is a major regional and global power,” Scher said. “We view our relationship with India as a partnership…with a commonality of security interests in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.”

Three key areas in the U.S.-India defense relationship are people-to-people ties, military engagement and defense sales, the deputy assistant secretary of defense said.

Examples of people-to-people ties include attendance by service members from both nations at U.S. and Indian military educational institutions, Scher said.

“In 2010, we had nearly 100 members of the Indian armed services at military schools or courses in the United States,” he said…

All three of the Indian military’s current service chiefs went to school in the United States during their careers, Scher noted.

“Air Marshal [Norman Anil Kumar] Browne graduated from the Air Command and Staff College, he said. “General [Vijay Kumar] Singh is a graduate of both the U.S. Army Ranger School and the U.S. Army War College. And Adm. [Nirmal Kumar] Verma is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College.”

In the United States, Scher added, retired Navy Adm. Walter L. Doran attended the Indian Defense Service Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, India, in 1979. There, he formed a close relationship with Indian colleagues who included former Indian Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Arun Prakash and Adm. Sureesh Mehta.

The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School recently formalized a memorandum of understanding with India’s Defense Institute of Advanced Technology, he added.

“This September,” Scher told the group, “they will jointly conduct a defeating-terrorism workshop that will bring together senior leaders from both sides, including the director general of India’s Defense Research Development Organization and the [U.S.] chief of naval research to discuss ways to leverage research capabilities to contribute to the defeat of terrorism.”

A similar workshop on cybersecurity is planned for the near future, he said.

Military-to-military engagements are another element of the U.S.-India defense partnership, Scher said.

India routinely has more exercises with the United States than with any other country, Scher noted. “Over the last six years, we’ve done nearly 50 major exercises with India…and our exercises are evolving in complexity,” he said.

Over a decade, Malabar, a regularly scheduled bilateral naval field training exercise with India, has advanced from little more than a passing exercise to a full engagement that exercises all functional warfare areas, Scher said.

“Malabar allows our navies to work cooperatively in integrated air and missile defense, antisubmarine and naval special warfare scenarios, for example,” he said.

The major U.S. exercise with the Indian army, Yudh Abyhas, started in 2004 as the first conventional army-to-army training with India since 1962, Scher said.

“The exercise, in addition to sharing training and capabilities, promotes cooperation between our armies on partner readiness,” he said. “The first deployment of Stryker vehicles outside the United States other than to a war zone was to India [to support their participation] in Yudh Abyhas.”

Together, the United States and India have an important role in fostering multilateral cooperation in Asia and supporting the emerging regional security architectures, Scher said.

Defense sales to India increased from virtually no defense trade relationship in the 1990s to nearly $6 billion today in foreign military sales alone, Scher said.

“It is clear that the Indian military in the future will routinely use U.S. equipment and all services across a full range of mission areas,” he added.

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European Union Appoints New South Caucasus, Georgian Crisis Representative

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=153968

Azeri Press Agency
August 25, 2011

European Union appoints Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia
Philippe Lefort replaces Peter Semneby in this post

Baku: The European Union appointed a Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, APA reports quoting the EU’s website. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, welcomed the appointment of Philippe Lefort as European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia.

Previously, Peter Semneby was the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Pierre Morel the EU Special Representative for the crisis in Georgia.

Philippe Lefort is a French diplomat of more than 20 years’ experience. He has devoted large parts of his career to the Caucasus and Russia, among other things as French Ambassador in Georgia (2004-2007) and as Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in Russia (2007-2010). Since 2010, he has been the Head of Continental Europe General Directorate at the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

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Categories: Uncategorized

William Faulkner: There is only the question: When will I be blown up?

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

William Faulkner: To militarists, all civilians, even their own, are alien intruders

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William Faulkner
Nobel Prize in Literature speech (1950)

Audio

Ladies and gentlemen,

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work – a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing.

Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.

I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 25, 2011

August 25, 2011 1 comment

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British SAS In Libya From Day One; NATO Hunting Gaddafi

Operation Mermaid Dawn: “NATO Played Big Role In Liberating Tripoli”

Libya: 20,262 NATO Air Missions, 7,635 Combat Flights Since March 31

South African Deputy President Calls On ICC To Investigate NATO Commanders

Video And Text: Was The CIA Behind Libyan Uprising?

NATO Pushes For “Somalization,” “Afghanization” Of Libya: Expert

Istanbul: Neo-Ottomans, NATO Allies Plan Recolonization Of Libya, Region

Turkey Deploys 3,000 Troops For Attack Inside Iraq

Video And Text: Analysts Say Western-Directed War In Libya Far From Over

Interview: Return Of The NATO, Cruise Missile Left And Liberal Imperialism

Video And Text: John McCain Says “Fire Of Uprisings” Should Move To Syria, Russia, China

Video And Text: Western Carve-Up Of Libyan Oil Deposits In Full Swing

Arab World: U.S. Chooses Which Dictators To Embrace

Top NATO, U.S. European Command Military Chief In Georgia

Georgia: NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Inspects Caucasus Outpost

Black Sea: U.S. Army Builds Georgian Ship Repair Yard

Cam Ranh Bay: First U.S. Navy Port Visit In Vietnam In 38 Years

“Too Delicate” To Discuss New Zealand NATO Role In Afghanistan Post-2014

U.S. Air Force Back In Sri Lanka After 20-Year Hiatus

Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

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British SAS In Libya From Day One; NATO Hunting Gaddafi

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110825/166162499.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 25, 2011

Britain admits NATO helping rebels hunt down Gaddafi

MOSCOW: British Defense Secretary Liam Fox has admitted NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assistance to Libyan rebels hunting Col Muammar Gaddafi.

“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to the NTC [National Transitional Council] to help them track down Colonel Gaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” Fox told Sky News.

Fox made his comments after an article appeared in the Daily Telegraph newspaper claiming British special forces were guiding the hunt for Gaddafi after the rebels seized his heavily-guarded compound in the capital, Tripoli.

Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown, though he is believed to still be in or around Tripoli.

[A] former member of the SAS told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity that Britain’s special forces had been there “since day one.”

In March, Al Jazeera TV filmed a group of six Westerners in Libya and said the footage was ”evidence for the first time of allied boots on the ground”.

The report said the foreigners shown talking to the rebels were “possibly British.”

Fox said that despite “some understandable euphoria in recent days about the overthrow of the regime,” world leaders “must maintain a sense of perspective.”

NATO operations will continue until the remaining pockets of resistance in south Tripoli and other areas are eliminated, he said.

Meanwhile, NATO’s actions in Libya have begun to draw sharp criticism among Western politicians.

In a statement, U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich said NATO had, all long, pursued regime change in Libya, in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

“NATO acted with impunity. The NATO command recklessly bombed civilians in the name of saving civilians. Usurping the United Nation’s traditional role, NATO looked the other way as the arms embargo was openly violated by UN member nations,” Kucinich said.

“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international law but they are not exempt from international law. If members of the Gaddafi regime are to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing.”

“Otherwise we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism.”

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Operation Mermaid Dawn: “NATO Played Big Role In Liberating Tripoli”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jpawaGWxzxfAEicEAI476DxSNVWA?docId=31549df72cf6448585832b8e0ebabe71

Associated Press
August 24, 2011

Rebels tell story of plan to take Tripoli
By Hadeel Al-Shalchi

BENGHAZI, Libya: They called it Operation Mermaid Dawn, a stealth plan coordinated by sleeper cells, Libyan rebels, and NATO to snatch the capital from the Moammar Gadhafi’s regime’s hands.

It began three months ago when groups of young men left their homes in Tripoli and traveled to train in Benghazi with ex-military soldiers.

After training in Benghazi, the men would return to Tripoli either through the sea disguised as fishermen or through the western mountains.

“They went back to Tripoli and waited; they became sleeper cells,” said military spokesman Fadlallah Haroun, who helped organize the operation.

He said that many of the trained fighters also stayed in the cities west of Tripoli, including Zintan and Zawiya, and waited for the day to come to push into the capital.

Operation Mermaid Dawn began on the night of August 21…

Haroun said about 150 men rose up from inside Tripoli, blocking streets, engaging in armed street fights with Gadhafi brigades, and taking over their streets with check points.

He said another 200 men from Misrata.

Haroun said NATO was in contact with the rebel leadership in Benghazi and were aware of the date of Operation Mermaid Dawn.

“Honestly, NATO played a very big role in liberating Tripoli — they bombed all the main locations that we couldn’t handle with our light weapons,” said Harouin.

Analysts have noted that as time went on, NATO airstrikes became more and more precise…indicating the presence of air controllers on the battlefields.

…An increasing number of American hunter-killer drones provided round-the-clock surveillance as the rebels advanced.

Diplomats acknowledge that covert teams from France, Britain and some East European states provided critical assistance.

The assistance included logisticians, security advisers and forward air controllers for the rebel army, as well as intelligence operatives, damage assessment analysts and other experts, according to a diplomat based at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels…

Foreign military advisers on the ground provided key real-time intelligence to the rebels, enabling them to maximize their limited firepower against the enemy. One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the Qatari military led the way, augmented later by French, Italian and British military advisers…

Bolstering the intelligence on the ground was an escalating surveillance and targeting campaign in the skies above. Armed U.S. Predator drones helped to clear a path for the rebels to advance.

Baja said as the time for Operation Mermaid Dawn came close to execution, NATO began to intensify their bombing campaign at Bab al-Azizya and near jails where weapons were stored and political prisoners were held.

Al-Shalchi reported from Cairo.

====

Libya: 20,262 NATO Air Missions, 7,635 Combat Flights Since March 31

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110825_110825-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,262 sorties, including 7,635 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 24 AUGUST: 141

Strike sorties conducted 24 AUGUST:48

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South African Deputy President Calls On ICC To Investigate NATO Commanders

http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/08/25/probe-nato-commanders-motlanthe-urges-court

The Times (South Africa)
August 25, 2011

Probe Nato commanders, Motlanthe urges court
Caiphus Kgosana

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has urged the International Criminal Court to investigate Nato commanders for possible crimes against humanity during the organisation’s bombing operations in Libya.

He was replying to questions in parliament on the volatile situation in the North African country.

Motlanthe said the court – which has issued warrants of arrest for the embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and some of his close associates – should extend its investigation to the role played by Nato forces in assisting the rebels in their bid to topple the Gaddafi regime.

“We note they [Nato] are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks into Tripoli but there are clear links and co-ordination at that level.

“The question is whether the [court] will have the wherewithal to unearth that information and bring those who are responsible to book, including the Nato commanders on the ground,” he said.

In Johannesburg, a group of “concerned Africans” addressed an open letter to Nato saying Africa ran the risk of being “re-colonised”.

One of the signatories, University of Johannesburg head of politics Chris Landsberg, said Nato had “violated international law . they had a regime-change agenda”.

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NATO Pushes For “Somalization,” “Afghanization” Of Libya: Expert

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/25/55159289.html

Voice of Russia
August 25, 2011

What price will West pay for war in Libya?

Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute of the Middle East in Moscow:

The Western bloc, at a minimum France, will play the role of occupants in this intervention like it was with the United States and the international coalition in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Will it be good for anybody except Al-Qaeda, classic Al-Qaeda in the city of Derna where they create an Islamic Emirate and Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb in the Sahara? Nobody knows.

Sarkozy by his own hands ruined the secular regime (which was not the regime of a pussycat) and opened the gates for the radical Islamization of Libya, for civil war of everybody against everybody and for potential “Somalization” and “Afghanization” of this country.

Will Libya be destroyed by the methods of Iraq, the methods of Afghanistan, other methods of Somalia? Nobody knows.

The only problem is that the last time when the Western bloc supported Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan in the 80s and the price was very high ‑ that was 9/11. A new 9/11 will be organized by the Libyan Al-Qaeda in France, we can predict it just now.

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Video And Text: Was The CIA Behind Libyan Uprising?

http://rt.com/usa/news/cia-gaddafi-rice-libya-936-087/

RT
August 25, 2011

Was the CIA behind the Gaddafi oust?

Video

Congressman Dennis Kucinch has suggested that the CIA has had a role in the start-up of the Arab Spring this year. Jack Rice, a journalist and former officer at the CIA himself, says it is not that unlikely at all.

“Let’s be honest,” Rice said to RT. “The CIA is involved in every place that they try to get involved in. They try to be on the ground in every major country in the region.”

“To deny is,” thinks Rice, “would be naive.”

Rice adds, however, that he thinks the relationship the United States has with the Middle East in general is one that is “very schizophrenic.” While the US insists on spreading democracy, he argues that America often acts hypocritical, saying one thing and doing another. While the US might be pushing for change, how does the country react when it isn’t the change they want?

Despite America’s encouragement for an uprising against Colonel Gaddafi’s rule in Libya, Rice says the consequences could turn out to be against what the US is actually in favor of. Rice posed the question of what will happen when those looting Gaddafi’s compound walk out with the weaponry the dictator had in his possession and wants to use it to enforce an Islamic rule that goes against what westerners want? Americans are pushing for stability, said Rice, but are they going to get it with the way they are handling it?

What we can expect, said Rice, is a shadow war typical of America. The US will move into the region and try to control it from the sidelines, hoping that they can install their ideals in a new country with new leadership, without necessarily putting a figurehead in the forefront.

====

Istanbul: Neo-Ottomans, NATO Allies Plan Recolonization Of Libya, Region

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/25/c_131074634.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 25, 2011

Turkish FM calls on Libya contact group to assist NTC in every way possible

-[Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu] called on NATO to sustain its operations in Libya until security is completely established.

ISTANBUL: Senior officials from 29 countries and convened here on Thursday to seek ways on how the international community can cooperate to provide political guidance to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and potentially release frozen funds as the rebels look to strengthen their grip on the reins of power.

“The victory of the NTC is a historic turning point not only for Libya but the entire region,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in opening remarks at the meeting.

Representatives from seven organizations, including NATO and the African Union, also attended the Libya contact group meeting at the level of political directors.

Senior officials, ambassadors and council generals from 29 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States are present at the meeting.

The meeting will discuss financial support for NTC and the Libyan people, the protection of civilians, and NTC’s efforts to achieve an inclusive and broad-based democratic transition, and urgent needs for essential services and humanitarian relief.

Davutoglu called on the international community to assist the NTC in every possible way as soon as they can and to work towards releasing frozen Libyan assets for the NTC’s use.

He said the NTC has proven to be a trustworthy and valuable partner to the international community.

He did warn about complacency and said the transition towards democracy is a lengthy process. “I also hope to see the flag of the NTC raise at the United Nations General Assembly as the legitimate government of Libya,” said Davutoglu.

He also called on NATO to sustain its operations in Libya until security is completely established.

Members of the NTC are participating in meetings in various parts of the world after the rebels entered Tripoli.

The United Nations Security Council began meeting on Wednesday to discuss a U.S. proposal to release frozen Libyan assets to pay for emergency humanitarian aid.

The Libya contact group was created in London on March 29 and comprises around 30 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League.

The rebels say they need at least five billion U.S. dollars from frozen Libyan assets to pay state salaries and maintain vital services.

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Turkey Deploys 3,000 Troops For Attack Inside Iraq

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15342116,00.html

Deutsche Welle
August 25, 2011

Turkey prepares for ground assault on Kurdish rebels in Iraq
Thousands of Turkish troops have been stationed near the Iraqi border

Turkish forces have begun massing on the Iraqi border ahead of an expected attack on Kurdish rebels in the neighboring country’s mountainous northern region. The attack would follow days of airstrikes on the area.

Recent days have seen an escalation in the conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebel group the PKK, with Turkish forces bombarding rebel positions in neighboring northern Iraq.

The airstrikes, which the government claimed killed some 100 rebels and the PKK said killed only three, followed the killing of nearly 40 Turkish solders by the PKK in recent weeks.

Those PKK attacks were carried out in retribution for earlier special forces operations which reportedly eliminated more than 20 rebels. Stoking Kurdish anger, soldiers were reportedly ordered to leave rebel corpses to decompose, prompting the PKK to vow revenge.

The PKK has been fighting an armed conflict against the Turkish state for greater Kurdish autonomy since 1984.

Turkey’s recent military responses to the rebels have strengthened the hand of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he maintains a tough anti-PKK platform.

Erdogan promised this week that the counter-strikes would continue: “Carrying out operations for the peace of the nation is the most natural right of the government. It is an obligation and we will carry it out whatever it takes,” he said.

But pro-Kurdish member of parliament Ertugral Kurkcu said the spiraling violence was of great concern.

Erdogan has vowed continued strikes against the PKK

“The prime minister has the wrong idea that Kurds [will be put in place by] force. But he is totally wrong,” Kurkcu said. “So these incorrect policies are going to be corrected through open struggle.”

War on the ground

But the violence was expected to escalate further with an anticipated cross-border operation by the Turkish army into Iraq’s northern mountainous regions, where the bulk of the PKK rebels are based. In recent days, over 3,000 Turkish soldiers have been relocated to the border area.

A decision by the army to cancel its Victory Day banquet on August 30, which is usually attended by all senior officers, has been viewed as a sign of the imminence of the operation.

But Brigadier Haldun Solmazturk, a veteran of more than 30 Iraq operations carried out by the Turkish army since the 1990s, says the efficacy of any cross-border attack in solving the wider conflict would be limited.

“The problem is mainly a Turkish problem inside Turkish borders,” Solmazturk said. “I mean, the existence of PKK elements in [Iraq's] Kandil Mountains is just a small extension of the major problems inside Turkey.

Thousands have perished in the decades-long conflict with the PKK

“So we have to accept that, and we have to avoid giving the Turkish people a false impression that once we cross the border, even way into northern Iraq, and imprison their leaders, that all of sudden the whole problem will evaporate – this is not the case.”

Furthermore, any such operation would likely severely damage the close relations that have developed between Ankara and the regional Iraqi Kurdish leadership, which promptly condemned this week’s airstrikes over its territory.

In Turkey, meanwhile, there is concern that such an operation could further diminish any hope of a peaceful resolution to the near-30-year conflict.

Author: Dorian Jones in Istanbul
Editor: Rob Turner

====

Analysts: Western-Directed War In Libya Far From Over

http://rt.com/news/gaddafi-guerrilla-tripoli-strategy-093/

RT
August 25, 2011

‘Gaddafi switching to guerrilla mode’

Video

Gaddafi has told the Libyan people that his retreat from his compound in Tripoli, which was seized by rebels on Tuesday, is a tactical move. Michael Maloof, an ex-Pentagon official, explains to RT why the war in Libya is far from at an end.

­After almost six months of stalemate, the rebel assault on Tripoli came as a surprise to many. But strategically speaking, some analysts find the rebels advance has left them spread thinly and therefore vulnerable to a counter-attack by loyalist forces.

“Two thousand tribes have pledged support to Gaddafi. We have not heard of them yet,” remarks Michael Maloof, who used to be an official at the Pentagon.

Maloof believes Gaddafi’s leaving Tripoli to the rebels “could be a strategic retreat on his part to begin waging guerilla warfare.” And the colonel still has the means to do that.

“Where are the Scuds? Where are all the chemical weapons he is said to have? I don’t think those have been discovered yet,” he continues.

On the other hand, the Libyan rebels look “undisciplined”, especially when they start firing in the air to mark military successes. And the rebels’ National Transitional Council does not seem to be doing anything to bring this under control, Maloof told RT.

Moreover, it is hard to account for rebels’ progress without acknowledging they get foreign assistance on the ground.

“The rebels had to have had some expert assistance in moving and logistical support of some kind,” says Michael Maloof. “They would be there as advisors and moving people around suggesting how to deploy. There also had to be somebody on the ground to coordinate targets for NATO aircraft to bomb.”

­Walid Phares from the Washington DC-based National Defense University believes that Gaddafi’s whereabouts and remaining military resources depend heavily on whether he managed to leave Tripoli on the day of the attack.

“If he didn’t leave Tripoli that day, then he is somewhere in Tripoli, hidden,” Phares said. “But that would be a negative thing for him because he would be found. If he had left Tripoli, it’s going to be very difficult for the current rebels, the future government, to find him in the desert.”

“Gaddafi has many supporters in his birthplace Sirt, and many supporters in the south. If Gaddafi has left for the south he could unleash a new insurgency. His regime would go, but would become the new rebels. And the current rebels now will become the new regime,” Phares added.

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Interview: Return Of The NATO, Cruise Missile Left And Liberal Imperialism

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=726427&songID=10986724&showPlayer=true

Unusual Sources
August 24, 2011

The Return of the Cruise Missile Left
Brendan Stone

The laptop bombardiers are happy with the results in Tripoli. But it requires a framework that supports intervention in order to invade a country. Maximillian Forte takes us on a journey through ‘liberal imperialism,’ and the ‘NATO left.’

On-Line Listening:
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10986724

Download MP3:

http://tinyurl.com/MaximilianForte

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Video And Text: John McCain Says “Fire Of Uprisings” Should Move To Syria, Russia, China

http://rt.com/news/russia-democracy-senator-mccain-091/

RT
August 25, 2011

Russia needs democracy just like Libya does – Senator McCain

Video</a>

US Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain has lashed out at Russia, saying it could be the next country to experience a Libya-style uprising.

­But Senator McCain has a very far-fetched outlook, believes RT’s Washington correspondent Gayane Chichikyan.

McCain is sure that the Arab Spring will rage on and will make it to countries like China and Russia, which according to him “need democracy” just as Libya does.

At some point he even said that Libya has already achieved democracy, which is far from reality according to the situation on the ground.

Even as the National Transitional Council takes over in Tripoli, it is not the government chosen by the Libyan people. And many Libyans are outraged by the fact that foreign powers have essentially made this choice for them.

And looking back to Egypt, people there too do not seem to have achieved what they were fighting for.

As far as democracy is concerned in these countries, there are still a lot of questions, but according to McCain “It is all great and the fire of uprisings should move on to other countries.”

And according to him the “next stop” is Syria. “After Gaddafi it is Bashar Assad who is next to fall,” McCain said.

With his statements, Gayane says, McCain is seen as a mouthpiece for those forces in Washington who would want to see some countries, especially rich and strategically important ones, go upside down.

It is quite interesting that Senator McCain is pointing at some of the world’s richest countries and basically calling for revolutions in those countries, presuming that their “livelihood is so bad, that they need to rebel immediately.”

Meanwhile, polls show that most Americans are not happy with where their economy is going. And following McCain’s logic the question arises: does this mean that Americans too need to take to the streets and revolt?

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Video And Text: Western Carve-Up Of Libyan Oil Deposits In Full Swing

http://rt.com/news/libya-italy-oil-berlusconi-835-097/

RT
August 25, 2011

Libyan deposits turn Italy oily

Video

Libya’s opposition claims to be in control of most of Tripoli, but there are still reports of resistance by government loyalists. And while the battle continues, the carve-up of Libya’s vast oil riches is already in full swing.

­Drill to the heart of most modern wars and you will strike oil. Regardless of whether or not that saying is true, when it comes to Libya, oil is going to play a pivotal role in the country’s future.

“Here we have two very strong interests that meet. It is the Western interests to tap Libya’s oil, but also the rebels’ or the future Libyan government’s interests to restart selling oil as soon as possible, as this is the first source of revenue for the country. It was under Gaddafi and it will definitely be under Gaddafi’s successors,” journalist Fabricio Moronta told RT.

No stranger to the concept of friends with benefits, Prime Minister Berlusconi has been quick to cozy up to the new transitional council inviting the public face of the group Mahmoud Jabril to Italy for talks.

Once Gaddafi’s closest European ally, when the NATO bombing campaign began back in April, Rome abruptly switched sides and began courting the rebels instead.

Top of the agenda for Mahmoud Jabril’s visit is expected to be discussions about Italy’s lucrative energy contracts with Libya.

Before the war, almost a third of Italy’s daily energy needs were imported from Libya, and oil giant ENI was the largest foreign operator in Libya, with oil and gas contracts running until 2042 and 2047.

The Italian government has done all it can to safeguard these contracts. But Italy’s ability to maintain its previously close business ties with the country is by no means a given – in a post Gaddafi Libya, the future looks extremely uncertain and little is guaranteed.

One of the biggest problems for both Italy and other Western countries since the beginning of the war has been the struggle to adequately understand the internal workings of the rebels themselves.

“Amongst the rebels there are many factions, Islamists, Tunisian people, Al-Qaeda; it’s disorganized and chaotic. And many chiefs of these groups of rebels are former politicians that before were with Gaddafi and then they completely changed their face; they went with the wind as they say in Italy. I think they are corrupt politicians,” said Yvonne Di Vito, an activist from Libyanfriends.com.

Di Vito met Gaddafi personally on a number of occasions through business connections. Less than three weeks ago, she returned from a fact finding trip to Libya with a letter she says was written by Gaddafi to Berlusconi.

In it Gaddafi allegedly says:

“We were surprised by your decision to join the coalition against Libya – especially after we signed a friendship and co-operation treaty between our two sides.”

The treaty he refers to was signed just two months before the Libyan uprising. The letter goes on to ask:

“Why did you join our enemies without any diplomatic dialogue and investigation?”

Berlusconi now seems too busy making new friends. And whilst it may be the final chapter for the Gaddafi many fear the conflict will continue.

And Italy, along with many in the West, may well now find that previous lucrative relations could turn out to be just as fickle as their own former fair-weather friendships.

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Arab World: U.S. Chooses Which Dictators To Embrace

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central/stripes-central-1.8040/democracy-stability-or-just-opportunity-washington-chooses-which-dictators-to-embrace-1.153121

Stars and Stripes
August 24, 2011

Democracy, stability or just opportunity? Washington chooses which dictators to embrace
By Kevin Baron

Photograph: On a Persian Gulf tour promoting stability early in the Arab Spring, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 24, 2011.

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama praised Libyans this week for being the latest Middle Easterners to prove that “the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.”

It helps when the Washington does not support the dictator. First, the U.S. backed the downfall of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, then Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and now Syria’s President Bashar Assad. So, why not more?

In the name of “stability,” U.S. military leaders since the start of the Arab Spring have continued unapologetically backing undemocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

It’s tradition. Since the early 20th Century, America has embraced autocrats who permitted a strategic foothold in the region. The U.S. military, coldly, must deal with the foreign leaders and military officers they are dealt, officials say.

Look to Bahrain, where the royal family tolerated protestors until the day after former Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the al-Khalifa regime in Manama. Then that regime’s iron fist turned deadly, firing military-grade weaponry on peaceful protestors and imprisoning human rights activists.

Bahrain is home thousands of Americans and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Last November, the U.S. established a new forward-deployed headquarters for Marines in Central Command. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is already telling troops he expects a high-tempo of counterterrorism operations requiring the U.S. to maintain a forward-deployed presence across the region.

So, while rebels in Tripoli have received four-months of legitimizing U.S. rhetoric and thousands of NATO sorties overhead, protestors in other countries fend largely unaided.

“To me, opportunism is a good word in foreign policy, not a bad word,” said Greg Gause, Middle East professor and chairman of the political science department at the University of Vermont. “I want my foreign policy to be opportunistic.”

The White House was right, Gause said, to wait before jumping on the Arab Spring bandwagon until oppositions in some countries showed they had gained a foothold, instead of trying to lead revolutionary change. He disagreed with Obama’s decision to involve the U.S. military in Libya.

“I don’t think we should lead on Syria, I think we should follow,” he said. “And if the regime collapses, it collapses and we’ll deal with what comes next. … But I don’t think that it’s worth spending any of our capital and certainly no military force to push a political change in Syria.”

Just look at the Bush administration, he said, which pushed for Palestinian democracy in Gaza only to legitimize a Hamas electoral victory.

Obama seems content avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. Bahrain’s protestors have never shown serious signs of toppling the royal family, which has agreed to some reforms.

Saudi Arabia’s rulers prevented the Arab Spring from awakening there by promising a bloodbath on demonstrators should Saudis get any ideas about self-determination. Still, both Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen made it a point to stop in Riyadh this year before retiring.

Further south, in Yemen last year, Gen. David Petraeus publicly courted President Ali Abdullah Saleh with millions in military aid and counterterrorism forces after discovering the attempted Christmas “underwear bomber” went through that country. Critics were glad the U.S. gave more attention to Yemen’s fomenting extremism. But they questioned Petraeus’ hasty visit that put the U.S. on the same side with a deeply unpopular autocrat, stirring anti-U.S. sentiment where none previously existed.

Saleh on Tuesday returned to Sanaa for the first time since a June bombing, Yemen is flailing, and the U.S. remains a marginal player.

“There’s always going to be complaints about double-standards in U.S. foreign policy,” Gause said, “because liberals in the Arab world want us to force governments to be more liberal. On the other hand, nobody in the Arab world wants to be seen as a client of the United States.”

Andrew Cordesman, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ prolific Middle East security expert, warned this week: “We need to consider the very real risk – and probability – of elections [in Libya] that trigger deep political divisions and elect leaders with little real political experience and no experience in governance.”

In other words: instability.

====

Top NATO, U.S. European Command Military Chief In Georgia

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23867

Civil Georgia
August 25, 2011

U.S., NATO Military Commander in Europe Visits Georgia

Tbilisi: U.S. Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis, American and NATO commander in Europe, met with President Saakashvili and Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia in Tbilisi on August 25.

The Georgian President’s administration said that Georgia’s participation in NATO-led Afghan operation was discussed during the meeting.

Adm. Stavridis thanked Georgia “for outstanding participation in Afghanistan.”

“We are very proud of soldiers from Georgia who have fought alongside the rest of NATO coalition,” he said after meeting with the Georgian Defense Minister.

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Georgia: NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Inspects Caucasus Outpost

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=1&Id=1120

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
August 25, 2011

James Stavridis Visits Georgia

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James Stavridis pays a two-day official visit to Georgia. The U.S. Admiral visited the Georgian Defence Ministry today. The NATO Commander was received by the Minister of Defence of Georgia Bacho Akhalaia. The Defence Minister briefed the NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe about the ongoing reforms in the defence sphere. At the meeting the sides discussed Georgia’s participation in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces) operation.

As Admiral James Stavridis declared after the meeting, he is very proud of the Georgian soldiers who are taking part in the ISAF operation. “I am very happy to be here today in Tbilisi, in Georgia, to say thank you to the Republic of Georgia for the outstanding participation in Afghanistan. We are very proud of the soldiers from Georgia who have fought alongside the rest of the NATO coalition,” declared Stavridis.

“Admiral Stavridis is NATO’s highest ranking military officer and at the same time the Commander of the United States European Command. We discussed the ISAF operation and Georgia’s participation in the mission. You are aware of the fact that Georgia is not only one of the largest but also one of the most important contributors to the operation,” declared Defence Minister Akhalaia after the meeting.

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James Stavridis will leave Georgia today.

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Black Sea: U.S. Army Builds Georgian Ship Repair Yard

http://www.today.az/news/regions/93134.html

Trend News Agency
August 25, 2011

U.S. will assist Georgia in building ship repair yard

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass and Deputy Interior Minister Zaza Gogava will today lay a foundation, near the Poti port, of a shop for the repair of the Georgian Coast Guard’s ships. The U.S. government will allocate funds worth $4 million for the project, the U.S. Embassy reported on Thursday.

Construction will be led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A local construction company will perform the construction. The shop will be equipped with modern facilities.

The ship repair yard construction is a part of the U.S. government’s “Export Control and Border Security” program. This program funds are $10 million. With the help of this program, the U.S. assisted the Georgia Coast Guard to repair two major patrol vessels and perform a complete modernization of the third patrol boat. The U.S. hopes that the program will contribute to the development of shipbuilding industry in Georgia.

With the program “Export Control and Border Security” the U.S. government is helping Georgia…

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Cam Ranh Bay: First U.S. Navy Port Visit In Vietnam In 38 Years

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62322

Navy NewsStand
August 24, 2011

Military Sealift Command Ship Completes First U.S. Navy Ship Visit to Vietnam port in 38 years
By Edward Baxter, Military Sealift Command Far East Public Affairs

CAM RANH BAY, Vietnam: Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Richard E. Byrd left Cam Ranh Bay in southern Vietnam Aug. 23, marking the end of a historic visit – the first by a U.S. Navy ship to the port in more than three decades.

Byrd spent seven days at Cam Ranh Shipyard for routine maintenance and repairs…

Cam Ranh Bay is 180 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon. From 1965 to 1973, Cam Ranh Bay was one of the largest in-country U.S. military facilities during the Vietnam War.

MSC Ship Support Unit Singapore routinely contracts shipyards throughout Southeast Asia to conduct maintenance and repairs on the command’s Combat Logistics Force ships. The Navy saves both time and money by using multiple commercial shipyards throughout the region, reducing transit times to more distant shipyards, and thereby also reducing the amount of time these ships are off-mission.

“Working at Cam Ranh Bay provides the U.S. Navy with an additional option to repair our ships efficiently and in a cost effective manner,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Little, officer in charge of MSC SSU Singapore. In addition, these ship visits foster positive relations between the U.S. and Vietnam.

“The U.S. Navy’s return to a port symbolic of the Vietnam conflict proves that our two countries have come a long way in building relations over recent years,” said Byrd’s civil service master Capt. Lee Apsley. The U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1995.

Cam Ranh Bay is a deep-water and sheltered harbor which can easily accommodate larger naval vessels with deep drafts. Byrd measures more than 680 feet in length and displaces more than 41,000 tons.

Byrd’s repairs in Vietnam are the third such repairs on MSC vessels in that country over the last two years: rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50)completed repairs at Saigon Shipmarin Shipyard near Ho Chi Minh City in September of 2009. Cam Ranh Shipyard performed maintenance on Byrd in March of last year, but the work was performed at Van Phong Bay, located about 80 miles north of Cam Ranh Bay.

Work was completed Aug. 22 and Byrd got underway today out of the harbor to return to normal duties as one of U.S. 7th Fleet’s primary supply vessels operating in the Western Pacific.

Byrd is one of MSC’s eleven dry cargo/ammunition ships that operate worldwide delivering ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to U.S. Navy ships at sea.

MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

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“Too Delicate” To Discuss New Zealand NATO Role In Afghanistan Post-2014

http://www.3news.co.nz/Too-delicate-to-discuss-future-of-NZ-troops-in-Afghanistan/tabid/423/articleID/223475/Default.aspx

3 News
August 25, 2011

‘Too delicate’ to discuss future of NZ troops in Afghanistan
By Lloyd Burr

Britain’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan is remaining tight-lipped today about the outcome of discussions he had with the defence minister.

Mark Sedwill met with Defence Minister Wayne Mapp last night to discuss the role of NATO combat forces beyond 2014 when they are expected to withdraw.

But Mr Sedwill is coy about the details of the conversation and says “it’s too delicate to talk about detail in public”.

But he could give a general overview of the discussion, “we discussed two things – one is the transition between now and 2014 and a lot of that was sharing experience…the second was what our commitment should be after 2014”.

“It’s not for me to make announcements about our own or your announcements after that,” he says.

“People are always going to welcome the presence of a force with the skills that New Zealand can bring to it…It’s not about the size of the deployment but the effect and the effect New Zealand is achieving is one you should be proud of.”

And while he is not explicitly asking for help, he says NATO will be approaching all coalition forces about ongoing funding for security.

“Every country can make its own decisions, it’s too early for any of us to be making decisions about that, we are certainly not planning to so we certainly wouldn’t be urging the Government of New Zealand to do so either.”

He says the New Zealand Government is looking at security threats and issues New Zealand faces in the southern hemisphere.

He also paid tribute to Corporal Douglas Grant, a New Zealand SAS soldier who was killed by insurgents last week.

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U.S. Air Force Back In Sri Lanka After 20-Year Hiatus

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123269168

U.S. Air Force
August 23, 2011

Pacific Air Rally starts in Sri Lanka
by Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young
Defense Media Activity

COLOMBO AIRPORT, Sri Lanka: More than 300 military members from the U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Sri Lankan Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force gathered together for the start of Pacific Airlift Rally 2011 Aug. 22 here.

PAR is a Pacific Air Force sponsored, biennial multilateral tactical military airlift symposium held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

It’s designed to enhance military airlift interoperability and cooperation between nations of the Pacific Region…

This exercise re-energizes a training relationship that was previously established.

“No one in the U.S. Air Force has had the opportunity to come train in Sri Lanka in 20 years,” said Lt. Col. Tim Rapp.

PAR will run from Aug. 22-26 and will have aircrews from each nation flying daily to produce a cohesive team by week’s end.

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Three NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/08/25/roadside-bombs-kill-3-nato-soldiers-in-afghanistan/

Voice of America News
August 26, 2011

Roadside Bombs Kill 3 NATO Soldiers in Afghanistan

NATO says roadside bombs have killed three of its service members in Afghanistan.

The soldiers were killed Thursday in two separate attacks in the south. The coalition did not give details.

Taliban insurgents are increasingly using improvised explosive devices to target both security forces and Afghan civilians.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Ernest Hemingway: Combat the murder that is war

August 25, 2011 1 comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Ernest Hemingway: Selections on war

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Ernest Hemingway
Notes on the Next War (1935)

*****

Every move that is made now to deprive the people of their decision on all matters through their elected representatives and to delegate those powers to the executive brings us that much nearer war.

No one man nor group of men incapable of fighting or exempt from fighting should in any way be given the power, no matter how gradually it is given them, to put this country or any country into war.

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin.

Italy is a country of patriots and whenever things are going badly at home, business bad, oppression and taxation too great, Mussolini has only to rattle the sabre against a foreign country to make his patriots forget their dissatisfaction at home in their flaming zeal to be at the throats of the enemy.

A man has ambitions, a man rules until he gets into economic trouble; he tries to get out of this trouble by war. A country never wants war until a man through the power of propaganda convinces it. Propaganda is stronger now than it has ever been before.

War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule. And we in America should see that no man is ever given, no matter how gradually or how noble and excellent the man, the power to put this country into a war which is now being prepared and brought closer each day with all the premeditation of a long planned murder.

*****

Not this August, nor this September; you have this year to do in what you like. Not next August, nor next September; that is still too soon; they are still too prosperous from the way things pick up when armament factories start at near capacity; they never fight as long as money can still be made without. So you can fish that summer and shoot that fall or do whatever you do, go home at nights, sleep with your wife, go to the ball game, make a bet, take a drink when you want to, or enjoy whatever liberties are left for anyone who has a dollar or a dime. But the year after that or the year after that they fight. Then what happens to you?

First you make a lot of money; maybe. There is a chance now that you make nothing; that it will be the government that makes it all. That is what, in the last analysis, taking the profits out of war means. If you are on relief you will be drafted into this great profitless work and you will be a slave from that day.

If there is a general European war we will be brought in if propaganda (think of how the radio will be used for this), greed, and the desire to increase the impaired health of the state can swing us in. Every move that is made now to deprive the people of their decision on all matters through their elected representatives and to delegate those powers to the executive brings us that much nearer war.

It removes the only possible check. No one man nor group of men incapable of fighting or exempt from fighting should in any way be given the power, no matter how gradually it is given them, to put this country or any country into war.

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

No European country is our friend nor has been since the last war and no country but one’s own is worth fighting for. Never again should this country be put into a European war through mistaken idealism, through propaganda, through the desire to back our creditors, or through the wish of anyone through war, notoriously the health of the state, to make a going concern out of a mismanaged one.

Now let us examine the present set-up and see what chance there is of avoiding war.

No nations, any more, pay their debts. There is no longer even a pretence of honesty between nations or of the nation toward the individual. Finland pays us still; but she is a new country and will learn better. We were a new country once and we learned better. Now when a country does not pay its debts you cannot take its word on anything. So we may discard any treaties or declarations of intentions by any countries which do not coincide completely and entirely with the immediate and most cynical national aims of those countries.

A few years ago, in the late summer, Italy and France mobilised along their border to fight over Italy’s desire for colonial expansion in North Africa. All references to this mobilisation were censored out of cables and radiograms. Correspondents who mentioned it in mailed stories were threatened with expulsion. That difference has now been settled by Mussolini’s shift of ambition to East Africa where he has obviously made a deal with the French to abandon his North African plans in return for France allowing him to make war on a free sovereign state under the protection of membership in the League of Nations.

Italy is a country of patriots and whenever things are going badly at home, business bad, oppression and taxation too great, Mussolini has only to rattle the sabre against a foreign country to make his patriots forget their dissatisfaction at home in their flaming zeal to be at the throats of the enemy. By the same system, early in his rule, when his personal popularity waned and the opposition was strengthened, an attempted assassination of the Duce would be arranged which would put the populace in such a frenzy of hysterical love for their nearly lost leader that they would stand for anything and patriotically vote the utmost repressive measures against the opposition.

Mussolini plays on their admirable patriotic hysteria as a violinist on his instrument but when France and Jugo-Slavia were the possible enemy he could never really give them the full Paganini because he did not want war with those countries; only the threat of war. He still remembers Caporetto, where Italy lost 320,000 men in killed, wounded and missing, of which amount 265,000 were missing, although he has trained a generation of young Italians who believe Italy to be an invincible military power.

Now he is setting out to make war on a feudal country, whose soldiers fight barefooted and with the formations of the desert and the middle ages; he plans to use planes against a people who have none and machine guns, flame projectors, gas, and modern artillery against bows and arrows, spears, and native cavalry armed with carbines. Certainly the stage is as nearly set as it ever can be for an Italian victory and such a victory as will keep Italians’ minds off things at home for a long time. The only flaw is that Abyssinia has a small nucleus of trained, well armed troops.

France is glad to see him fight. In the first place anyone who fights may be beaten; Italy’s Black Caporetto, her second greatest military debacle, was administered by these same Ethiopians at Adowa when fourteen thousand Italian troops were killed or driven from the field by a force which Mussolini now describes as 100,000 Ethiopians. Certainly it is unfair to ask fourteen thousand troops to fight one hundred thousand but the essence of war is not to confront your force of fourteen thousand with a hundred thousand of anything. Actually the Italians lost more than 4500 white and 2000 native troops, killed and wounded. Sixteen hundred Italians were taken prisoners. The Abyssinians admitted losing 3000 men.

The French remember Adowa and less possibly though more recently, Baer and Braddock (who knows but what Owney Madden may have bought a piece of the Ethiopians?), and they know that anybody who fights may be beaten.

Dysentery, fever, the sun, bad transport, many things can defeat an army. There are also a number of tropical diseases which can only become epidemic when given the opportunity afforded by an invading army of men unused to the climate and possessing no immunity against them. Anyone who fights near the equator can be beaten by the mere difficulty of keeping an army in the field.

Then France feels that if Italy wins or loses, the war will cost her so much that she will be in no position to make trouble in Europe. Italy has never been a serious problem unless she has allies, because she has no coal and no iron. No nation can make war without coal and iron. Lately Italy has tried to overcome this by building up an enormous air-force and it is her air-force that makes her the threat she is in Europe today.

England is glad to see Italy fight Ethiopia. First she may be whipped which, they figure, will teach her a lesson and lengthen the peace of Europe. Secondly if she wins that removes the annoyance of Abyssinian raids along the northern frontier province of Kenya and gives someone else the responsibility of suppressing the perennial Abyssinian slave trade across to Arabia. Next England must undoubtedly have an arrangement with the possible victor about the water project in north-eastern Ethiopia which she has long coveted for the watering of the Sudan. It is only logical that Anthony Eden should have arranged about that when he was in Rome recently. Lastly she knows that anything Italy finds and brings out of Ethiopia must come through the Suez Canal or, taking the long way around, the straits of Gibraltar, while if Japan had been permitted to penetrate into Ethiopia and thus gain a foothold in Africa what she took would go direct to Japan and in time of necessity there would be no control over it.

Germany is glad to have Mussolini try to gobble Ethiopia. Any change in the African status quo provides an opening for her soon-to-be-made demands for return of her African colonial possessions. This return, if made, will probably delay war for a long time. Germany, under Hitler, wants war, a war of revenge, wants it fervently, patriotically and almost religiously. France hopes that it will come before Germany is too strong. But the people of France do not want war.

There is the great danger and the great difference. France is a country and Great Britain is several countries but Italy is a man, Mussolini, and Germany is a man, Hitler. A man has ambitions, a man rules until he gets into economic trouble; he tries to get out of this trouble by war. A country never wants war until a man through the power of propaganda convinces it. Propaganda is stronger now than it has ever been before. Its agencies have been mechanised, multiplied and controlled until in a state ruled by any one man truth can never be presented.

War is no longer made by simply analysed economic forces if it ever was. War is made or planned now by individual men, demagogues and dictators who play on the patriotism of their people to mislead them into a belief in the great fallacy of war when all their vaunted reforms have failed to satisfy the people they misrule. And we in America should see that no man is ever given, no matter how gradually or how noble and excellent the man, the power to put this country into a war which is now being prepared and brought closer each day with all the premeditation of a long planned murder. For when you give power to an executive you do not know who will be filling that position when the time of crisis comes.

They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. Hit in the head you will die quickly and cleanly even sweetly and fittingly except for the white blinding flash that never stops, unless perhaps it is only the frontal bone or your optic nerve that is smashed, or your jaw carried away, or your nose and cheek bones gone so you can still think but you have no face to talk with. But if you are not hit in the head you will be hit in the chest, and choke in it, or in the lower belly, and feel it all slip and slide loosely as you open, to spill out when you try to get up, it’s not supposed to be so painful but they always scream with it, it’s the idea I suppose, or have the flash, the slamming clang of high explosive on a hard road and find your legs are gone above the knee, or maybe just below the knee, or maybe just a foot gone and watch the white bone sticking through your puttee, or watch them take a boot off with your foot a mush inside it, or feel an arm flop and learn how a bone feels grating, or you will burn, choke and vomit, or be blown to hell a dozen ways, without sweetness or fittingness; but none of this means anything. No catalogue of horrors ever kept men from war. Before the war you always think that it’s not you that dies. But you will die, brother, if you go to it long enough.

The only way to combat the murder that is war is to show the dirty combinations that make it and the criminals and swine that hope for it and the idiotic way they run it when they get it so that an honest man will distrust it as he would a racket and refuse to be enslaved into it.

If war was fought by those who wanted to fight it and knew what they were doing and liked it, or even understood it, then it would be defensible. But those who want to go to the war, the élite, are killed off in the first months and the rest of the war is fought by men who are enslaved into the bearing of arms and are taught to be more afraid of sure death from their officers if they run than possible death if they stay in the line or attack. Eventually their steadily increasing terror overcomes them, given the proper amount of bombardment and a given intensity of fire, and they all run and, if they get far enough out of hand, for that army it is over. Was there any allied army which did not, sooner or later, run during the last war? There is not room here to list them.

No one wins a modern war because it is fought to such a point that everyone must lose. The troops that are fighting at the end are incapable of winning. It is only a question of which government rots the first or which side can get in a new ally with fresh troops. Sometimes the allies are useful. Sometimes they are Rumania.

In a modern war there is no victory. The allies won the war but the regiments that marched in triumph were not the men who fought the war. The men who fought the war were dead. More than seven million of them were dead and it is the murder of over seven million more that an ex-corporal in the German army and an ex-aviator and former morphine addict drunk with personal and military ambition and fogged in a blood-stained murk of misty patriotism look forward hysterically to today. Hitler wants war in Europe as soon as he can get it. He is an ex-corporal and he will not have to fight in this one; only to make the speeches. He himself has nothing to lose by making war and everything to gain.

Mussolini is an ex-corporal, too, but he is also an ex-anarchist, a great opportunist, and a realist. He wants no war in Europe. He will bluff in Europe but he never means to fight there. He can still remember what the war was like himself and how he left it after being wounded in an accident with an Italian trench mortar and went back to newspaper work. He does not want to fight in Europe because he knows that anyone who fights may lose, unless of course one can arrange to fight Rumania, and the first dictator who provokes a war and loses it puts a stop to dictators, and their sons, for a long time.

Because the development of his regime calls for a war he chooses Africa as the place to fight and the only surviving free African state as his opponent. The Abyssinians unfortunately are Christians so it cannot be a holy war. But while he is making Ethiopia Fit for Fiats he can, of course, suppress slavery on paper, and doubtless in the Italian War College it looks like a foolproof, quick and ideal campaign. But it may be that a regime and a whole system of government will fall because of this foolproof war in less than three years.

A German colonel named Von Lettow-Vorbeck with an original force of 5000 troops, only two hundred and fifty of whom were whites, fought 100,000 allied troops for a period of over four years in Tanganyika and Portuguese Africa and caused the expenditure of 72,000,000 pounds sterling. At the end of the war he was still at large carrying on guerrilla warfare.

If the Abyssinians choose to fight on in guerrilla warfare rather than make peace Italy may find that Ethiopia will be an unhealing wound in her side that will drain away her money, her youth and her food supplies and return men broken in health and disgusted with suffering and the government that sent them to suffer with promises of glory. It is the disillusioned soldiers who overthrow a regime.

It may be that this war in Africa will prolong the temporary peace in Europe. In the meantime something may happen to Hitler. Of the hell broth that is brewing in Europe we have no need to drink. Europe has always fought, the intervals of peace are only Armistices. We were fools to be sucked in once on a European war and we should never be sucked in again.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011 1 comment

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Armed Gangs On Rampage In Libyan Capital

Algeria Protests To UN Over Attacks On Its Libyan Embassy

Lies And Deception: America’s Movie Script For Libyan War

U.S. Rule Of Law Is Casualty Of Libyan War

NATO’s Planned Bloodbath In Tripoli

Over 200 African Leaders: NATO’s Libyan War Part Of Plan To Recolonize Continent

Ex-South African President Slams West’s Gunboat Diplomacy In Libya

NATO’s First African War: 20,121 Sorties, 7,587 Combat Missions

NATO Partnership In War Against Libya Serves As Model: Panetta

Turkish Foreign Minister: NATO To Stay In Libya

Video And Text: Afghanistan 1992, Libya 2011: NATO Creates Another Failed State

NATO Pressures Compliant Canada To Stay Involved In Libyan War

Canadian Drones, Mercenaries Aid Anti-Gaddafi Attacks

Harper Inspects Largest Canadian Arctic Military Exercise In History

NATO, EU To Give Stolen Libyan Financial Assets To Clients

Germany Gives Libyan Rebels Advance On Seized Government Cash

Video And Text: France Wants Total Control Of Libyan Oil

Video And Text: Second Colonization Of Africa Underway

Venezuela Condemns Western Neanderthals For Devastating Libya

CNN Poll: Should NATO Intervene In Syria?

West Preparing Syria For Yugoslavia-Libya Scenario

West Pushes Opposition To Topple Syrian Government

NATO States Push Arms Embargo, Blockade Against Syria

Pakistan: Eight U.S. Spy Planes; Tribesmen Mauled Beyond Recognition; 1,200 Killed By U.S. Drone Strikes So Far This Year

South Ossetia Prepares For Georgian Provocation, Confrontation

Poland Returns Body Of 28th Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War

Afghanistan: NATO Oil Tankers Torched

Biden At Military Base In Japan: “The United States Is A Pacific Power”

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Armed Gangs On Rampage In Libyan Capital

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/24/55124698.html

Voice of Russia
August 24, 2011

Chaos in Tripoli

Russian agencies quote Ukrainian medical workers in the Libyan capital Tripoli as speaking of chaotic shooting, barricading of buildings, carjacking and mass looting around. Residents try to stay indoors.

Eyewitnesses say armed gangs have ransacked the Embassy of Bulgaria and attacked the Embassy of South Korea and the residential compound of the Ambassador of Ukraine.

In central Tripoli, supporters of Muammar Gaddafi are believed to be still holding out. The whereabouts of their leader himself is everyone’s guess.

Analysts believe it is too early to say that the rebels are in full control in Tripoli.

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Algeria Protests To UN Over Attacks On Its Libyan Embassy

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/25/c_131071884.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 24, 2011

Algeria protests to UN over assaults on its embassy in Libyan capital

ALGIERS: Algeria has filed a protest with the United Nations over the attacks on its embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the Algerian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Algeria’s permanent representative to the world body handed over a protest letter of Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the official news agency APS reported, quoting a foreign ministry spokesman.

The spokesman, Amar Belani, said Ban insists on restoring public order in Tripoli and protecting diplomatic missions there.

The UN chief also indicated that he is to discuss the assault on the Algerian embassy with Mustapha Abdul Jalil, chief of the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC), Belani said.

Ban said he is to give instructions to his personal representative so that the issue would be discussed in upcoming regional meetings, according to Belani.

Ban also called on Libyan parties to take required measures to prevent such incidents from reoccurring, and to protect foreign nationals in Libya.

The embassy of Algeria in Tripoli has been subject to violent acts, as several vehicles and properties were damaged and stolen by armed men Sunday night and early Monday morning, after the rebels captured Tripoli, APS reported.

Rebels have been charging Algeria of backing up the regime of Gaddafi with mercenaries and arms, an accusation categorically denied by Algeria.

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Lies And Deception: America’s Movie Script For Libyan War

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20110824/166126942.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 24, 2011

Gaddafi conspiracy saga over?
Dmitry Kosyrev

-Narrator: “Early last autumn, the U.S. Administration began discussing possible unrest in the Middle East that might not necessarily be beneficial for the United States. It seemed equally disagreeable either to support or condemn the riots. After lengthy deliberations, it was decided that the lesser evil would be to represent the events there as a fight for democracy. But what is now happening in Libya does not really fit in with the whole picture…”

Lies and deception have always been a weapon in military conflicts. The strange story of Libyan rebels’ unsuccessful attempt to take the capital, Tripoli, by storm offers a striking example of deliberate misrepresentations in war.

The Libyan war will inevitably become the basis for the script of an action movie eventually, so in anticipation, let’s just imagine what this might look like.

On the set of the film, “Looking for Col. Gaddafi”

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been conspicuously absent from all international media reports about this week’s rebel offensive on his stronghold in Tripoli. In fact, he has not been seen in public since June, except in occasional video footage. It has become clear that the Libyan leader has disappeared. This is not uncommon in times of war.

This scene opens with a close-up shot of a crater created by a bomb explosion. The site is Bab al-Azizia in Libya, where Gaddafi has been allegedly hiding out in a bunker since the war broke out six months ago. The camera respectfully fades away from the sight of human remains scattered near the crater, stopping to hover around the figures of Western-looking personnel in white overalls working on the ground.

A voice-over narration: “Several weeks ago, rebels in Benghazi mistakenly detained a group of British agents that was dispatched here. London said that they were diplomats. Later, Britain’s The Telegraph reported that those diplomats had assisted the rebels in the Tripoli offensive. As it turned out, there happened to be specialists in forensic medicine among them, which are hard to come by in Libya.”

Now we see one of the diplomats raise a test tube, with some mysterious reddish liquid in it, up to the light. “It’s him,” he says. “No doubt about it. Gaddafi is no more.” The film director, cursing angrily, demands a re-write of the script.

The shot is of a hospital-like structure sitting among ruined buildings; paramedics are covering a person lying in bed with a blanket, drawing it up over his head. We hear voices whispering, “It’s him.”

In a news reel, Barack Obama appears before the camera in a button-down shirt with no necktie and declares an end to Gaddafi’s 42-year rule. The U.S. President is speaking from the Martha’s Vineyard holiday retreat in Massachusetts. A narrator solemnly confirms Obama’s statement that the onslaught in Tripoli has indeed brought an end to the Gaddafi era.

We see a small boat approaching a submarine on the open sea, and an old man is lifted aboard. Steven Seagal slowly emerges from the submarine’s hatch. ‘The journey won’t take long, Colonel,” he says.

A man, dressed in a brown Arabian hooded cloak looks out at the dunes, listening carefully to the murmur of the sand.

Voiceover: “All documents regarding Muammar Gaddafi’s financial and political deals with EU and U.S. leaders burned up during the Tripoli offensive.”

Once upon a time there lived a father with his two clever sons…

There are some high-profile celebrities whose death has been reported so many times that one cannot help wondering about the secret behind their apparent immortality.

If you count the number of times Gaddafi’s two sons, Saif al-Islam and Muhammad, have appeared in the news since the start of the Libyan war, you will come to understand that Muammar himself is not the main protagonist. The real hero will be one of his sons with whom the Benghazi Transitional National Council will choose to sign peace agreements.

According to Auric Goldfinger, an eponymous and worthy villain of the James Bond franchise, “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

As for the Gaddafi brothers, Muhammad was arrested during a live Al-Jazeera broadcast, but was set free by Gaddafi loyalists shortly thereafter. And Saif – the one who spoke to reporters at Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel Tuesday – had been taken prisoner earlier by rebels, but allegedly escaped.

So far, this looks like coincidence, especially given the number of reports claiming the death of the two men.

Voiceover: The father was a villain, but his children are innocent.

Then, the muffled voice of the director suggesting Spiderman should appear before the camera and haul Saif up a vertical wall.

Holiday season

Curiously, the storming of Tripoli by two poorly coordinated rebel groups – attacking the capital from the east and from the west – coincided with the summer holiday season. While high-profile vacationers, such as Obama, are relaxing at resorts, Libyan rebels are slogging away trying to seize government strongholds.

Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has written a letter to the alliance’s secretary general, highlighting the loss of life among Libya’s civilian population as a result of Allied bombings. But Rogozin’s message was never delivered. It turned out everyone was away on vacation.

Narrator: “Early last autumn, the U.S. Administration began discussing possible unrest in the Middle East that might not necessarily be beneficial for the United States. It seemed equally disagreeable either to support or condemn the riots. After lengthy deliberations, it was decided that the lesser evil would be to represent the events there as a fight for democracy. But what is now happening in Libya does not really fit in with the whole picture…”

The film director cuts abruptly, shouting: “What’s with all this conspiracy stuff? Get Steven Seagal and Spiderman back on the set right now!”

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U.S. Rule Of Law Is Casualty Of Libyan War

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/7234102-417/us-rule-of-law-is-libya-war-casualty.html

Chicago Sun-Times
August 24, 2011

U.S. rule of law is Libya war casualty
Jacob Sullum

After U.S.-backed rebels entered Tripoli on Sunday, the Washington Post noted that NATO “has been anxious not to be seen acting as the rebel air force in a coordinated strategy” because its “United Nations mandate is limited to the protection of Libyan civilians.” Still, a “senior NATO official” admitted, the alliance’s firepower and intelligence sharing helped bring about “the collapse of the regime and its capability to direct its forces,” so “the effect of what we were doing was not dissimilar.”

No kidding. Since the U.S. and its allies began taking sides in Libya’s civil war five months ago, it has been clear that protecting noncombatants was a pretext for overthrowing Moammar Gadhafi. But even if the U.N. had endorsed the latter goal (a dicey proposition, given the implicit threat to the autocracies that supported the intervention), a vote to replace Gadhafi would not have explained why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…had a legitimate stake in the internal power struggles of a North African desert kingdom.

Nor could any U.N. resolution, no matter how broad, authorize American participation in the assault on Gadhafi’s forces, because the U.S. Constitution gives Congress — and not, as President Barack Obama seems to think, the U.N. Security Council — the power to declare war. Since there was no threat to national security, let alone an immediate one along the lines of an armed invasion, Obama was required to seek congressional approval for his war against Libya.

In a New York Times op-ed piece published a few weeks ago, Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker and Yale law professor Oona Hathaway suggested “the president didn’t try very hard to get Congress to agree to the intervention” because “he didn’t think he had the votes.” Didn’t try very hard? He didn’t try at all. Only after the operation was under way did he let it be known that a congressional endorsement would be swell — though not, in his view, strictly necessary. And who, aside from U.S. presidents and rebellious children, thinks it’s OK not to ask for permission because the answer might be no?

Obama not only failed to seek the constitutionally required declaration of war; he disregarded the War Powers Act, which says troops must be withdrawn from hostilities within 60 days in the absence of congressional authorization. His rationale — that bombing military targets in Libya and helping to overthrow its government did not constitute “hostilities” — was so laughable that it was rejected even by the war’s supporters in Congress and the press, not to mention his own Office of Legal Counsel.

Congress, for its part, never got around to taking a position on the war one way or the other, presumably because legislators did not want to be blamed for the consequences. Obama may not end up paying a political price either, since the elimination of [the Gaddafi government] is apt to overshadow the crimes and failures of whatever regime takes its place for the foreseeable future — or at least until next year’s elections.

This combination of presidential presumption and congressional cowardice gives one person the power to attack other countries at will, without even bothering to pretend that the violence has anything to do with national defense. Under Obama’s rules of war, excuses for armed intervention are everywhere. In his March 28 speech explaining the motivation for his Libyan adventure, he declared that “we should not be afraid to act” in situations where “our interests and values are at stake,” which include genocide, mass murder, the threat of war, regional insecurity, natural disasters, and the possibility of disrupted commerce.

To the contrary, we should be afraid of using military force to pursue such a wide-ranging, never-ending mission. We should be even more afraid of entrusting this power to a single man, especially one who blithely risks other people’s lives to satisfy the inscrutable demands of his own troubled conscience.

====

NATO’s Planned Bloodbath In Tripoli

http://www.opednews.com/articles/NATO-s-Planned-Bloodbath-i-by-Stephen-Lendman-110823-353.html

OpEd News
August 23, 2011

NATO’s Planned Bloodbath in Tripoli
By Stephen Lendman

NATO intends to get the bloodbath it wants through intensified terror bombing and low-level strafing of civilians and nonmilitary sites.

No matter that it grossly violates international and constitutional law, what Washington-led member states long ago trashed.

Through August 22, air operations included 19,877 sorties and 7,505 strike ones, with no elaboration of their intensity or deadliness. What is known is that powerful, high-explosive munitions are used, able to cause deadly force casualties and destruction.

In recent days, strikes intensified. Without them, rebels would disintegrate and collapse. Most of them are little more than ragtag mercenary hooligans, imperial tools, used for what won’t benefit them.

It’s largely true of all wars, especially America’s waged for conquest, dominance, plunder and exploitation, never for democracy or humanitarian reasons Washington doesn’t give a damn about and never did.

NATO is no different. Established in April 1949, a previous article said it calls itself a “political and military alliance for peace and security.”

In fact, it was more for offense than defense. Cold War hysteria was contrived to incite fear and assure an arms race for corporate enrichment. Napoleon once said, “Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.”

Until the Soviet Union dissolved, communism was the alleged enemy. Today it’s terrorism, as bogus now as then. Both, however, were used for hugely profitable imperial wars from Korea to Libya to numerous proxy ones, as well as trillions of dollars for military readiness – in fact, scandalous amounts in America without enemies for justification since WW II.

Strategically intervening under US control, NATO, in fact, threatens world peace and human survival. In November 2010, Robert Griffiths, general secretary of Britain’s Communist Party (CPB) said:

Under NATO, “(a) global military and reconnaissance infrastructure is being created to support US, British and western European big business interests, especially energy, financial and armaments monopolies.” What began “as a cold war provocation against a non-existent Soviet threat (now) invent(s) or exaggerat(es) threats from so-called failed or rogue states, Islamic fundamentalism and cyber-terrorism.”

Petre Ignat, general secretary of the New Communist Party of Romania, called for NATO’s disbandment, saying:

“We cannot and will not recognize such a murderous alliance, with such a horrible track record….which includes the murder of thousands of innocent civilians in places like Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. We cannot and will not recognize an alliance which, through its aggressive policy of expanding East and setting up new military bases there, through its gross interference in other countries’ internal affairs, through its gross violation of international law, can only increase the likelihood of an inter-imperialist war between Western imperialism and emerging capitalist powers, like Russia.”

Its original member countries included America, the five (1948) Treaty of Brussels states (Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Canada, Portugal, Italy, Denmark and Iceland. It’s now expanded to 28 states and dozens of partners, threatening world peace and stability.

Membership, however, is a bonanza for Western and Israeli weapons industries as current members and entering states must maintain modern arsenals to state-of-the art readiness, despite no enemies except ones Washington creates to wage wars.

Today, Libya is Exhibit A for NATO lawlessness, attacking a nonbelligerent country for colonization, dominance and plunder, not liberation. Libyans resolve to resist, doing what they can despite ferocious air attacks.

On August 22, government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said Sunday casualties included 1,300 killed, another 5,000 or more wounded. Local hospitals can’t keep up, yet casualties mount as street fighting continues.

The Australian AP quoted Hugo Chavez denouncing NATO’s war, saying:

Western powers are “destroying Tripoli with their bombs,” while street clashes continue. He added that bombs are “falling on schools, hospitals, workplaces, and farmland.”

“Let’s pray to God for the Libyan people….They’re practically demolishing Tripoli with their bombs” to take over another country. “It’s the excuse to intervene and seize (it) and its riches.”

Independent journalists on the ground are threatened and targeted. They’ve also been confined to their hotel, knowing exposure risks being shot by snipers. They’re marked men and women, making it essential they get help to leave. It’s too unsafe to stay.

In a morning email, Lizzie Phelan said:

“I am extremely exhausted, confused, a little scared, and I was feeling a little nervous about making the necessary political points (on Press TV live with this writer Monday morning) because of the present situation.”

Nonetheless, she felt buoyed being on air with a friend and supporter. She called it “massively reassuring and a timely reminder amidst my exhaustion of what we are fighting for.”

She also highlighted the death and injury toll. In the past two days alone, it surpassed Israel’s three-week Cast Lead slaughter. Moreover, much more is likely, besides the last six months toll, ravaging populated Libyan areas without letup.

What greater reason to indict NATO as a killing machine, a destructive US-led evil force everyone needs to understand, condemn, and struggle to abolish.

As long as this monster exists, no one anywhere is safe!

On August 21, Voltaire Network’s Thierry Meyssan headlined, “NATO carnage in Tripoli,” reporting on what he witnessed firsthand, saying:

On August 20, NATO launched “Operation Mermaid Dawn.”

“The Sirens were the mosque loud speakers which were used to launch Al Qaeda’s call to revolt against the Gaddafi government. Immediately ‘sleeper cells’ went into action. Organized in small, highly mobile, groups, they carried out multiple attacks.”

The overnight toll left about 350 killed, another 3,000 wounded. Early Sunday, conditions stabilized ahead of greater evening violence, supported by NATO drones, other aircraft, and “helicopters straf(ing) civilians in the streets with machine guns to clear the way for the jihadis.”

Ahead of the attacks, “a NATO warship….anchored just off the shore of Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking Al Qaeda jihadi forces, which were led by NATO officers.”

The Rixos hotel where Meyssan, other independent journalists, and Western ones stay came “under heavy fire.” By evening, another 1,300 dead and 5,000 wounded were reported. The toll keeps mounting.

UN Resolution 1973 empowering NATO to protect Libyans, in fact, facilitated their slaughter.

Heavy fighting is reported in Tripoli. Independent journalists are threatened with death, supported by NATO and rogue Western journalists. They’re known, so if exposed outside, they face execution. Mahdi Nazemroaya had a near miss. Franklin Lamb was wounded in the leg. He’s OK and recovering.

Nazemroaya said he “was putting up a sign on top of (his) hotel. (He) took the initiative to do that and write ‘Press’ (on it) – and a sniper shot at” him.

Other than during NATO bombing and strafing, he believes Libyans will fight to defend their country. The possibility of being NATO ruled is too intolerable to accept.

It’s an exploitive killing machine, wanting Libyans exploited, not liberated. At 5PM Monday Tripoli time, Franklin Lamb told Press TV that large explosions were heard nearby, likely 1,000-pound bombs, he believed.

On August 22, Nazemroaya’s Global Research.ca article headlined, “Western Media Complicit in NATO’s ‘Humanitarian Bloodbath,'” saying:

He and other foreign journalists are trapped in their hotel “as practically all the staff and security personnel have run for their lives.”

Calling the situation “critical,” he expected “the next several hours (to) be decisive.”

Despite ongoing intense NATO bombing and strafing civilians, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brazenly called conditions in Libya “a hopeful moment,” shamelessly calling on Gaddafi to cease fighting and surrender.

A NATO tool, he opposes his right of self-defense, adding that he’ll tried by the International Criminal Court. In fact, it’s an imperial tribunal, a hanging one, convicting by accusation. At the same time, it absolves Western war criminals entirely, solely targeting their victims.

Nazemroaya said NATO’s using “Yugoslavian” tactics against Libya, “bombing out military and civil infrastructure to clear the way for the rebels.”

“NATO (heavy bombing and strafing) did all the work here….and their leaders must be help accountable as war criminals for killing civilians.”

At the same time, Washington and its NATO partners turn a blind eye to atrocities in Bahrain, Egypt under military junta rule, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, other pro-Western rogue states, and Israel’s crimes of war and against humanity against Palestinians.

Nazemroaya and other independent journalists are endangered. As a result, they need exit help to leave. Their lives are literally on the line.

He said “(t)wo of Gaddafi’s sons have been arrested with some reports suggesting the leader himself is in a specialist cardiac unit in a town 14 kilometers east of (Tripoli). Following a night of chaos in the capital, crowds have gathered in the city’s central square waving revolutionary flags.”

On Sunday, Gaddafi appealed to Libyans to deter the rebel offensive, saying:

“It is the obligation of all Libyans. It is a question of life or death.”

He’s made past similar appeals. It bears observing. At most, hundreds of insurgents (as few perhaps as three or four hundred) now terrorize Tripoli because of heavy NATO support. Without it, they’d be easily routed.

The situation remains chaotic, violent and fluid. Events are fast-moving. What appears one way can shift quickly to another.

Moreover, Gaddafi isn’t at issue. Libyans will decide their fate, not him, TNC turncoats, insurgents, or NATO, though a long liberation struggle may lie ahead.

Nonetheless, a shameless August 22 White House statement said:

“The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.”

In fact, if justice prevailed, Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and other NATO war criminals would face international court prosecutions for waging war against humanity.

Ongoing ruthlessly for over six months against Libyans alone, it rages lawlessly out of control because justice humanity cries for is denied.

Unless gotten, people everywhere won’t be free. The stakes are that high.

====

Over 200 African Leaders: NATO’s Libyan War Part Of Plan To Recolonize Continent

http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=151539

Business Day (South Africa)
August 24, 2011

Libyan bombing illegal says concerned group
More than 200 African intellectuals say Nato’s bombing of Libya is part of a re-colonisation of the continent
By Livhuwani Mammburu

A group of concerned African leaders have issued a statement warning about Africa being re-colonised as Nato continues its support of the Libyan rebels.

Speaking to media in Johannesburg today, leaders released a letter lamenting “misuse of the United Nations Security Council to engage in militarised diplomacy to effect regime change in Libya” and the “marginalisation of the African Union”.

University of Johannesburg head of the politics department Professor Chris Landsberg spoke for the group saying Nato has violated international law.

“Nato has empowered itself openly to pursue the objective of regime change and therefore the use of force and all other means to overthrow the government of Libya, which objectives are completely at variance with the decisions of the UN Security Council,” Landsberg said.

The letter was signed by more than 200 prominent Africans, including former African National Congress president Thabo Mbeki, Prof Shadrack Gutto of the University of SA, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, Prof Chris Landsberg the head of the Department of Politics at the University of Johannesburg, Prof Mahmood Mamdani from the University of Columbia, former deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad, author and poet Dr. Wally Serote and many other influential Africans.

Serote says the African Union (AU) Road Map remains the only way to peace for the people of Libya.

“The AU stand for peace, democracy and freedom of all people. This is the role that the AU still wants to play whether you talk about the Ivory Coast, whether you talk about Sudan, whether you want to talk about Libya or whichever African country on the continent, the AU stand for that. It has a plan to put in place,” Serote said.

Its not clear if the AU leadership approached the Libyan rebels or the government for their points of view before making the statement.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule has been teetering on the brink of collapse after months of Nato airstrikes causing most of his forces to flee as rebel forces took control of the capital and the dramatic rebel takeover of his Bab al-Azizya compound yesterday.

====

Ex-South Africa President Slams West’s Gunboat Diplomacy In Libya

http://www.iol.co.za/mercury/mbeki-slams-west-s-gunboat-diplomacy-against-gaddafi-1.1124279

The Mercury (South Africa)
August 24, 2011

Mbeki slams West’s gunboat diplomacy against Gaddafi

Former president Thabo Mbeki has joined more than 140 other prominent Africans in condemning the gunboat diplomacy aimed at overthrowing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

In an open letter, Mbeki and other signatories have sharply criticised “the misuse of the UN Security Council to engage in militarised diplomacy to effect regime change in Libya”.

Some of the “Concerned Africans” who have signed the letter are to brief the press in Joburg today. The full text of the letter and list of signatories will be released at the briefing.

The signatories include former cabinet ministers Essop Pahad and Ronnie Kasrils, former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Njongonkulu Ndungane, author and poet Wally Serote, and foreign policy analysts Chris Landsberg and Siphamandla Zondi, and Mahmood Mamdani, of Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Columbia, New York.

Other issues to be addressed in their open letter include:

l The UN Security Council’s rejection of political solutions to conflict.

l The need to allow the Libyans to decide their own fate and rulers without outside interference.

l The marginalisation of the African Union.

l The threat of the recolonisation of Africa, especially its resource-rich countries.

Meanwhile, it appeared that South Africa and the African Union had been sidelined from diplomatic efforts in the aftermath of the collapse of Gaddafi’s government. The International Contact Group, which has been conducting military operations in support of the Transitional National Council (TNC) rebels fighting Gaddafi, is planning to meet in Istanbul tomorrow to discuss how to manage a post-Gaddafi Libya.

But the group has no plans to include the AU, according to International Contact Group official sources.

African leaders are to meet at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss Libya tomorrow and on Friday. But officials indicated that the main issue there would be whether or not to recognise the TNC government, rather than any role the AU could still play in stabilising Libya after the civil war which now seems all but over.

On Monday International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane suggested that South Africa would withhold recognition of the TNC until an inclusive transitional government was in place.

However Nigeria threw down a challenge to Africa yesterday by immediately recognising the TNC.

Zuma yesterday repeated his criticism of Nato for “misinterpreting” UN Security Council Resolution 1973 – which South Africa supported – to try to oust Gaddafi rather than just protect civilians.

He also said that Nato had caused unnecessary bloodshed by continuing to drop bombs on Libya after the AU had asked it to stop to allow the AU Roadmap to take effect. He insisted that the road map, which he failed to persuade either side to adopt, “still has room in the situation right now”.

“It’s not too little, too late” he told journalists after meeting Ghana’s John Atta Mills in Cape Town.

====

NATO’s First African War: 20,121 Sorties, 7,587 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110824_110824-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 20,121 sorties, including 7,587 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 AUGUST: 127

Strike sorties conducted 23 AUGUST: 46

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NATO Partnership In War Against Libya Serves As Model: Panetta

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65119

U,S. Department of Defense
August 23, 2011

NATO Partnership in Libya Serves as Model, Panetta Says

MONTEREY, Calif. – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today called U.S. support for the NATO mission that’s helping opposition forces make progress against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime Libya an example of the international cooperation that will be critical in the future.

“It is a good indication of the kind of partnership and alliances that we need to have for the future if we are going to deal with the threats that we confront in today’s world,” Panetta told students during addresses at both the Naval Postgraduate School and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Panetta said he is particularly proud of the mission the United States performed as a NATO partner in Libya, including the establishment of a no-fly zone…

This support and assistance, he said, has been “part of the key in being able to help the opposition forces there ultimately be able to succeed.”

Panetta expressed hope that the opposition will succeed and NATO will have completed its mission. “It’s clear that the opposition has made significant gains. It’s clear that the regime forces are collapsing and that Gadhafi’s days are numbered,” he said.

The United States continues to monitor events, but the situation remains dangerous and “very fluid,” he said.

The Arab Spring, the name given to recent revolutions for democracy throughout the Middle East, is bringing change and in many cases, turmoil to the region, Panetta said. But it also offers “a chance to make that part of the world a better region, one that enjoys some of the values and some of the reforms and some of the political opportunities that we have in this country,” he said.

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Turkish Foreign Minister: NATO To Stay In Libya

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=gadhafi-regime-ends-as-turkey-gives-libya-nato8217s-vow-2011-08-23

Hurriyet Daily News
August 24, 2011

Gadhafi regime ends as Turkey gives Libya NATO’s vow
Sevil Küçükkoşum

Turkey will side with Libya’s National Transitional Council completely, says Turkey’s foreign minister, adding that NATO will remain in the country for its safety

BENGHAZI: Turkey will support the new Libyan administration in the strongest sense of the term, stressing the need for reconstruction in the country, and NATO will remain in Libya until security is fully restored, said Turkey’s foreign minister, who became the first international leader to visit Benghazi following the defeat of Moammar Gadhafi.

“I repeat once again: Turkey will be on the side of Libya, the National Transitional Council [NTC] and (Mustafa) Abdul-Jalil with all of our means,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters in a joint press conference with opposition leader Abdul-Jalil. Davutoğlu headed to Benghazi from Ethiopia early Tuesday, ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Istanbul. The Istanbul meeting will be a preparatory session for the contact group’s gathering in Paris next week at the level of foreign ministers.

NATO to remain in Libya

Before arriving in Benghazi, Davutoğlu held a number of phone conversations with his interlocutors, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. “We have talked about the economic issues and military situation, and wanted to have discussions here before the Libyan Contact Group meeting in Turkey,” he said. Extraordinary security measures were visible during Davutoğlu’s talks in Benghazi. “I hope to continue my monthly visits to Benghazi,” said Davutoğlu adding, “The belief in the success of the Libyan revolution is more absolute following the success in military operations. Libya is passing through historical times.”…

Although opposition forces can beat Gadhafi’s troops in Tripoli, NATO will not cease operations, Davutoğlu said. “What is important is the protection of territorial integrity and the stability of Libya,” he said. NATO said Tuesday the situation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli remained very dangerous and the alliance would continue its operations in the country, the AP reported.

Turkey, so far, pledged $300 million in aid to the Libyan opposition, which is in need of cash to pay salaries and supply food. More than $100 million of aid was given in cash to Abdul-Jalil on Tuesday along with $100 million in aid for projects and $100 million in donations through humanitarian materials.

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Video And Text: Afghanistan 1992, Libya 2011: NATO Creates Another Failed State

http://rt.com/news/atwan-libya-muslim-gaddafi-nato-029/

RT
August 24, 2011

‘Libya rebels to divide in victory vacuum’

Video

-“NATO is not a charitable organization” so there must be some sort of oil deal between the Libyan rebels and the alliance which helped the insurgents to gain everything by bombing out military objects of Libya.

Libyan rebels are united by hatred towards the current leader. Once Colonel Gaddafi is out of the game, they will turn on each other and NATO, predicts Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of London-based pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

­As the civil war in Libya rages, many say the country could go the way of Egypt and end up with a disillusioned society impatient for reform, but others believe it could be much worse.

Abdel Bari Atwan says there is a huge potential of Libya turning into a new Afghanistan.

The NATO-led regime change in Libya might well turn the country into a failed state, following the example of Afghanistan.

Once Gaddafi leaves power, one way or another – because it is simply impossible for him to fight the whole of the NATO – the National Transitional Council (NTC) will have huge divisions within its own rank and it is highly doubtful it will be able to keep Libya as a united state.

Abdel Bari Atwan predicts that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi will stay in Libya and nobody knows either where he is or what will happen to him, though he and his sons still have political power in the country.

“The problem of post-Gaddafi era could be actually more problematic than the problem before the removal of Gaddafi regime, because there is a huge split among the rebels themselves.”

“The majority of people who are fighting Gaddafi are Muslim extremists or people who believe they must create an Islamic state in Libya,” Abdel Bari Atwan acknowledged, saying that legitimizing this group would be a great problem for NATO.

Once NATO decides officially to start a ground operation in Libya it will turn the rebels and Muslim extremists that are now fighting Gaddafi against the troops that would invade Libya.

“You cannot parachute democracy to people in Libya, in Iraq or Afghanistan,” the editor said.

“Talks about democracy are very sweet and we know about that. Under the banner of democracy the West intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq – and look what happened,” he said, recalling that it is the 10-year anniversary of the American invasion in Afghanistan this year.

“NATO is not a charitable organization” so there must be some sort of oil deal between the Libyan rebels and the alliance which helped the insurgents to gain everything by bombing out military objects of Libya.

“Libyan cake is lucrative and already shared” shared Abdel Bari Atwan and the NTC will pay the demanded price to aggressors: exploration contract and military bases.

“[The] Libyan future government should pay and will pay a very heavy price – this is not a free service” acknowledged the editor, saying the NTC definitely has a secret oil agreement with the NATO countries.

As for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement that NATO is going to stay in Libya as long as needed, that is a pure imperialism and the Libyan people will not tolerate this and will fight the aggressors, insists Abdel Bari Atwan.

====

NATO Pressures Compliant Canada To Stay Involved In Libyan War

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/23/nato-may-pressure-canada-to-stay-on-in-libya

Toronto Sun
August 23, 2011

NATO may pressure Canada to stay on in Libya 6
By Daniel Proussalidis

OTTAW: [A]most no options have been ruled out for extended Canadian involvement in the North African country.

Parliament has supported Canadian military action there until Sept. 27.

Other than rejecting the idea of sending ground forces to Libya, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not specified what he’d like to see after that date.

“For now, our military forces will remain in place and we will consult our allies on the next steps,” Harper said in the lobby of the House of Commons on Monday.

Canadian and allied diplomats were holed up at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday discussing the Alliance’s role in the event Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is defeated, as seems likely.

…Col. Roland Lavoie, military spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, says NATO must stay involved in Libya as long as Gadhafi is in power.

“There’s nobody who could predict when exactly the Gadhafi forces will drop their weapons,” said Lavoie during a briefing in Brussels…

While the NDP has called for Canada’s air force and naval presence in Libya to end in September, NATO talks may place pressure on Canada to stay involved longer.

Early on in the conflict, the Canadian embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations and Canadian officials left the country.

====

Canadian Drones, Mercenaries Aid Anti-Gaddafi Attacks

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/libyan-rebels-assisted-by-canadian-made-drones/article2139481/

Globe and Mail
August 23, 2011

Made in Canada
Libyan rebels assisted by Canadian-made drones
Tu Thanh Ha

-There have been reports that British, French, Qatari or Jordanian special forces have been involved. Journalists have also spotted armed Westerners who appear to be either special forces operators or former soldiers employed by private companies.
-[T]he Scout is unarmed and classified as a consumer good so that it is not bound by the more restrictive export rules for military products…
Each device retails for $100,000 to $150,000.

Nearly a month ago…a fishing boat brought a former Canadian soldier to the besieged rebels stronghold carrying with him two small cases packed with high-tech gear.

Charles Barlow, who heads a private security firm, was bringing the rebels a remote-controlled aerial drone they had purchased from an Ontario robotics manufacturer.

The mission had been approved by the Canadian government, which played matchmaker, putting the Libyan rebels in touch with Aeryon Labs Inc. of Waterloo, Ont.

With the rebels’ entry into Tripoli this week, Aeryon has now revealed its role in providing them drones, offering a peek into how foreign governments have discreetly gone beyond the framework of the NATO bombing missions to help the anti-Gadhafi forces.

“I hope we did a little tiny part to help get rid of that man,” Mr. Barlow said in an interview.

How much outside assistance the rebels have received on the ground remains a secretive issue. There have been reports that British, French, Qatari or Jordanian special forces have been involved. Journalists have also spotted armed Westerners who appear to be either special forces operators or former soldiers employed by private companies.

A key development that brought Aeryon to Libya, Mr. Barlow said, was the federal government’s June 14 decision to recognize the rebel National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

This allowed Canadian companies to legally do business with the rebels.

Aeryon CEO Dave Kroetsch said his company was contacted by federal officials who knew through NTC representatives in Canada that the rebels were looking to purchase their own drones. “We were approached by the Canadian government. They were very much aware of our technology.”

The American Predator drones flying over Libya are armed aircraft with 17-metre wingspans that are controlled by operators based in the United States. The rebels, however, needed something of their own, smaller, cheaper and able to give them video images in real time.

Two years ago, Aeryon had developed the Scout, a micro-drone. Shaped like a spider and electrically powered, the Scout weights only 1.3 kilograms and is about the size of an open umbrella. The rebels could use its cameras to observe enemy positions and plan tactical moves.

At the same time, the Scout is unarmed and classified as a consumer good so that it is not bound by the more restrictive export rules for military products, Mr. Kroetsch said.

Each device retails for $100,000 to $150,000. Mr. Kroetsch would not say how much the council paid but it is believed that only one or two were sent to the rebels.

The council paid upfront for the drones, Mr. Barlow said.

Since May, the NATO members, Arab states and other nations that make up the Libya contact group have set up a fund to assist rebel groups, financing it in part with frozen Gadhafi-regime assets.

Mr. Barlow now runs the Ottawa firm Zariba Security Corp. For the past two years, he has conducted drone training for Aeryon for prospective clients such as the Interior and Defence ministries of India and the governments of Oman and Saudi Arabia.

At the end of July, Mr. Barlow flew to Malta where he boarded a former South Korean tuna boat now operated by the council…

After an 18-hour sea journey, he landed in Misrata and was taken to the airport where he unpacked his hardware. He then showed the rebels how to fly the Scout, using it to check a pro-Gadhafi artillery position four kilometres away.

By the next day, Mr. Barlow was on his way out of the besieged city, but the Scouts stayed behind.

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Harper Inspects Largest Canadian Arctic Military Exercise In History

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/24/c_131071743.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 24, 2011

Harper stresses Canada’s capability building in high Arctic

RESOLUTE, Canada: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday that the buildup of various capabilities in high Arctic is crucial to Canada’s interests in the region.

Harper made the remarks in Resolute, Nunavut, on the first leg of his sixth routine annual tour of the northern part of Canada since he took power in 2006.

In an address, Harper told hundreds of Canadian military personnel at a tent hall that the Armed Forces have played an important role in maintaining civilians’ interests and ***world peace***.

He also admitted that it’s not an easy job to build up capabilities in the vast territories of the Arctic region, where it is sparsely populated and under bad weather, promising to provide government financial support in the long process.

Three days before Harper’s arrival in Resolute, Canada’s First Air’s civilian Boeing 737-200 flight crashed into a hill slope near the Resolute Bay Airport, killing 12 of the all 15 people aboard.

Harper appreciated the efforts and professionalism shown by the military personnel who were participating in Operation Nanook – the largest Canadian Arctic military exercise in history – in Resolute and rushed to the site to manage to rescue three survivors and ferried them to advanced hospitals in Ottawa and another city.

The prime minister began his tour early Tuesday. His schedule will see him travel to the Resolute Bay area for a brief visit before moving on to other northern communities, including Baker Lake, Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Haines Junction in the North’s three territories.

The Canadian Armed Forces are stationed in Resolute Bay as part of Operation NANOOK 11 – a joint Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force operation – which works with other federal departments and international partners, in order to provide a visible presence in the Arctic…

It builds upon previous NANOOK Operations conducted every summer since 2007, primarily in the eastern and high Arctic.

More than 1,100 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and 180 members of the Canadian Coast Guard are taking part in the exercise from Aug. 5 to Aug. 26, 2011.

====

NATO, EU To Give Stolen Libyan Financial Assets To Clients

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904279004576526401361037210.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Wall Street Journal
August 23, 2011

EU, NATO Try to Move Frozen Cash to Rebels
By John W. Miller

BRUSSELS: European Union and NATO officials said Tuesday they had started talks on giving aid and unfreezing key Libyan assets in overseas banks, but that it was too early to declare victory in Libya.

“This is not over yet,” Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-policy chief, said at a news conference.

EU officials and leaders including Ms. Ashton have talked to Mahmoud Jibril, chair of the National Transitional Council…

What is left of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, said North Atlantic Treaty Organization Col. Roland Lavoie, “gives no sign of giving up their aggressive actions.” NATO “will take out and target forces..,” he said, highlighting fighting in the town of Brega, and around Tripoli.

NATO ambassadors met Tuesday afternoon in private…Its planes have flown some 20,000 sorties over the Northern African nation.

Leaders from the EU, U.N. and Arab League will meet Friday in New York, said Ms. Ashton.

A key point will be unfreezing the overseas assets of the Libyan Central Bank, its sovereign wealth fund and other important entities, Ms. Ashton said. The EU “is really very convinced that it will be a very fast procedure,” an EU official said afterward. “There is an urgent need of fresh money, to pay army, police and others.”

—Laurence Norman contributed to this article.

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Germany Gives Libyan Rebels Advance On Seized Government Cash

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1922133.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 23, 2011

Germany to loan funds to Libyan rebels within days

Germany is to begin lending 100 million euros (140 million dollars) to Libya’s rebel leadership within days, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Tuesday in Berlin, dpa reported.

Under an accord signed Monday in the Libyan city of Benghazi, the first tranche of the loan will be sent to the Transitional National Council to finance its operations.

Benghazi is to keep the money until the frozen foreign assets of the Gaddafi regime are released. Germany alone is holding assets worth 7.2 billion euros.

Westerwelle also called for the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution on Libya “as soon as possible,” so that billions of dollars in frozen assets could be returned to the Libyan people.

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Video And Text: France Wants Total Control Of Libyan Oil

http://rt.com/news/french-total-oil-libya-013/

RT
August 24, 2011

French want Total control of Libyan oil

Video

French oil companies are likely to be among those hoping for lucrative oil contracts with a new government in Libya. But the cost of the intervention and the unknown agenda of the rebels could mean more losses than gains.

­France feels like a winner as the first power to recognize Libya’s rebels, the first to bomb the country and now the first in talks with rebel leaders. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says victory gives him “great satisfaction.”

Opposition MP Jack Lang adds that “everyone can be thankful that France inspired action at the United Nations.” Corporations in states that voted for the UN intervention in Libya are certainly now rubbing their hands.

“One of the first members of the French team in Bengazhi in March was a representative of Total, the French oil company, and Total is not very far from all this of course,” says Rony Braumann, president of Doctors without Borders (1982-1994).

French oil giant Total has been named as this war’s big winner. Rebel oil firm AGOCO has threatened to block Brazil, Russia and China for “political issues”. They are three states who refused strong sanctions against Gaddafi.

Those nations had vast contracts with the former regime. One Russian official says “we’ve lost Libya completely.”

“It’s well known it’s a war for oil, the so-called opposition government has promised to give the oil to France,” investigative journalist Michel Collon told RT.

France officially claims its war mission is over. But analysts tip it to secretly stay on in Libya, and make sure it profits.

France and the UK are maintaining their military presence in Libya, even though it’s not part of the resolution,” Pierre Guerlain of Paris West University has said.

But keeping troops in the country means heavy costs drag on. Latest polls say most French people now oppose the military intervention. French MP and vice president of the National Front, Wallerand de Saint-Just, sees further bloodshed and a hefty price tag to deal with it.

“The war is far from over,” he said. “And this invasion is already costing much more than we get back.”

Fears are growing that Libya’s new leaders are too divided to win the peace. Pierre Guerlain points to the rebels’ murder of their military chief General Younes last month. Experts warn widespread rebel looting and executions mean France’s problems may have only just begun.

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Video And Text: Second Colonization Of Africa Underway

http://rt.com/news/second-colonization-africa-554/

RT
August 22, 2011

Video

NATO’s operation in Libya is a perfectly planned political spectacle which marks the beginning of the second colonization of Africa, declared former Belgian Parliament deputy speaker Lode Vanoost.

“The US and the European Union have very good professional analysts,” he said. “They are not going to say it out loud, but they know perfectly well that there is not going to be a smooth and peaceful transition. That’s what they are counting on. That will give them a perfect excuse to intervene militarily on the ground.”

NATO will not pull out by the end of its mandate in September, he predicted.

“I don’t like big words, but what I see is the beginning of the second colonization of Africa,” Vanoost added.

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Venezuela Condemns Western Neanderthals For Devastating Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/24/55079841.html

Voice of Russia
August 24, 2011

Venezuelan President condemns overthrow of Gaddafi

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez says there is only one Libyan government his country regards as legitimate – that of Col Gaddafi.

President Chavez has condemned involvement of the West in the Libyan situation accusing it of not taking into account freedom and laws of poorer nations by setting them against each other. Such actions are reminiscent of what life was like in primitive societies of the prehistoric past.

Mr Chavez has stressed that the Libyan scenario will never happen in Venezuela.

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CNN Poll: Should NATO Intervene In Syria?

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/23/should-nato-intervene-in-syria/

CNN
August 23, 2011

Should NATO intervene in Syria?

Yes
No
It depends…

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West Preparing Syria For Yugoslavia-Libya Scenario

http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/syria-un-first-predictable-steps

Radio Netherlands
August 21, 2011

Syria: UN – first ‘predictable’ steps
By Steven Kay QC*

The steps being taken in the UN and ICC to take international legal measures against Syria were predictable. Syria was warned that the recent outbreaks of violence would be an opportunity for those opposed to its government to make moves to destabilise its regime and prosecute its leadership.

The political and legal consequences of such measures are very uncertain but it is clear that the ICC process is being used during conflicts to aid one side against another.

Legal weapon

This use of international legal procedures as a weapon in a conflict was seen first in the 1999 Kosovo conflict when the ICTY Prosecutor entered the fray to issue for the first time an indictment against the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic as a form of support to NATO in its campaign.

The indictment was not charging him with crimes in Srebrenica, Vukovar, Bosnia or Croatia. It only concerned Kosovo, which NATO was attempting to wrest from the control of Serbia, with measures that also included attacks in Serbia which is outside Kosovo.

Libya – ICC propaganda

It has also occurred this year in Libya, where the ICC, NATO and the Security Council have been combining their efforts. This conflict concerns the right of a sovereign state to protect itself from civil uprising.

Of course measures taken must be proportionate and lawful. But here we also heard the ICC enter into the propaganda business by claiming the Gaddafi troops were issued with viagra to rape women.

Iraq – illegal invasion

Consider now the allied invasion of Iraq. This is viewed by all international legal jurists as plainly falling into the illegal invasion category. Much death and destruction has been caused.

But was there any international prosecution notwithstanding such overwhelming evidence and weight from legal experts? Where is that ICC Prosecutor when you need him?

*Steven Kay is an international criminal lawyer based in London

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West Pushes Opposition To Topple Syrian Government

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/24/55104403.html

Voice of Rusia
August 24, 2011

West pushes opposition to topple Assad
Inessa Frolova

The Syrian opposition has set up its own National Council with headquarters in Istanbul and the declared aim of coordinating the overthrow of President Bashar Assad, the opposition said in a statement.

Russian analysts believe that such statements would have been impossible unless supported by the West.

Earlier, a draft resolution on Syria was put to a vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council…It called for new sanctions against the Syrian president and his entourage and for asking the International Court to issue an arrest warrant for Bashar Assad.

Russia, China, Cuba and Ecuador voted against the proposed resolution. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Valery Loshchinin described the document as “politicized and lopsided”.

Commenting on the above resolution, the Kremlin’s former ambassador to Libya and Tunisia and Director of the Partnership and Civilization Center at the Russian Diplomatic Academy Veniamin Popov said that it might be used as a tool to fuel instability in Syria. Gripped by a strong desire to topple Assad, the West is stubbornly pretending not to notice his democratic reforms:

“A mixed batch of forces ranging from Islamists to secular organizations offended by the regime feel strong support from the West. The West is pushing them to unite. In my opinion, Bashar Assad said quite sensible things in his recent TV statement: the West is demanding his resignation, but he was elected by the Syrian people and not by the West. Second, the Syrian government has approved a package of democratic reforms and is actively implementing them. But the most important thing is that Assad is open for dialogue with the opposition.”

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition prefers armed confrontation to dialogue. A Voice of Russia special correspondent, Andrei Ontikov, visited Syria and talked to local residents. While Western news agencies are awash with reports about a brutal crackdown on protesters, the residents tell a different story:

“We have visited a military hospital in the suburb of Damascus and met servicemen who were wounded in clashes with armed opposition formations in the cities of Hama and Dayr az-Zawr. They said that the demonstrators were not as peaceful as they are being portrayed. They have weapons and they offer fierce resistance to government forces.”

A group of Russian scholars, political scientists and journalists are in Syria to see for themselves what’s really going on there. Orientalist Vyacheslav Matuzhov shares his impressions:

“There is a great difference between the information portrait of Syria one receives outside of its borders and the things one sees with one’s own eyes, for example in Hama or Damascus. Some Western and Arabic news channels report that tanks have been moved into Hama and that troops are suppressing peaceful demonstrations. Meanwhile, we have been travelling calmly around the city, talking to residents.”

The West has made clear it will not change its anti-Assad stance. And although NATO military intervention as in Libya seems unlikely, the situation in Libya proves how hot confrontation might become. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently remarked that hardly any sensible person could be harboring intervention plans for Syria. But there is little hope that the West will leave the Assad regime in peace, says Veniamin Popov:

“Syria has always had its own position on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Unlike Egypt or Jordan, it refuses to sign a peace treaty until the issue of the Golan Heights is resolved. Syria has always backed the Palestinians and insisted that only a fair settlement could be the framework for a peace treaty with Israel. Besides, Syria has a special relationship with Iran. It is actually Tehran’s sole Arab ally. And Iran is a bone in the throat of our Western partners. That’s why the West’s position towards Syria is so tough and irreconcilable.”

Unable to interfere directly, the West relies on the opposition to do the job. Its signals are so unambiguously clear that Bashar Assad’s opponents outside Syria are uniting, making no secret of their plans to depose him.

This certainly makes it very hard for President Assad to restore stability at home as demanded by the West.

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NATO States Push Arms Embargo, Blockade Against Syria

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1922591.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 24, 2011

Western diplomats hope to impose UN sanctions on Syria

Western diplomats were hoping Wednesday to push through United Nations sanctions against the Syrian regime, a day after the UN Human Rights Council strongly condemned Damascus for the violent repression of pro-democracy protesters, DPA reported.

A draft document proposing sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was being circulated among UN Security Council members, according to diplomatic sources in New York.

The paper, presented jointly by the United States and European states, was to be discussed by the UN Security Council on Thursday, diplomats said – adding that veto-wielding members Russia and China had initially reacted with scepticism.

If approved, the Western proposal would lead to the freezing of foreign assets of the Syrian president, his brother Maher and more than 20 members of al-Assad’s government.

On top of this, it would restrict international travel for several regime supporters and impose an arms embargo, banning countries from selling or exporting weapons and military equipment to al-Assad’s regime.

The international community would also be called upon to inspect transport to Syria and impound any weapons found.

The draft reportedly threatened to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, for the investigation of possible human rights abuses since the regime began its brutal crackdown mid-March on pro-democracy protesters.

Russia and China, who could both veto the proposed sanctions in the UN Security Council, voted against Tuesday’s Human Rights Council resolution.

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Pakistan: Eight U.S. Spy Planes; Tribesmen Mauled Beyond Recognition; 1,200 Killed By U.S. Drone Strikes So Far This Year

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=64357&Cat=7&dt=8/24/2011

News International
August 24, 2011

Concern grows in NWA as drone attacks increase

MIRAMSHAH: There has been once again an increase in the US drone strikes in North Waziristan after a meaningful silence of some time.

Four people were killed Monday in the latest missile attack by the CIA-operated unmanned air vehicle (UAV) on a house in the Sheenpond village of the Mir Ali subdivision situated on the border with Afghanistan’s troubled Khost province.

Residents said the four slain men were local tribesmen. Their bodies were damaged beyond recognition.

It was the 43rd attack by the US drones this year in North Waziristan. More than 1,200 people have reportedly been killed and many others were injured. Most of the injured have become disabled.

On Tuesday, around eight US spy planes were seen flying over various villages in Miramshah, Mir Ali and Dattakhel subdivisions of North Waziristan tribal region.

In some of the villages, the tribesmen complained they were performing their Isha prayers and Taraveeh in fear and tension due to the constant flying of drones over their villages and towns.

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South Ossetia Prepares For Georgian Provocation, Confrontation

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/210765.html

Itar-Tass
August 24, 2011

Border guards in S Ossetia on alert ahead of Georgia’s Aug 26 rally

TSKHINVAL: Russian border guards in South Ossetia are taking measures to prevent the Georgia-inspired “peace march” on August 26, head of the Federal Security Service’s border department in South Ossetia Alexander Murzin told reporters on Wednesday.

“The border guards are taking all measures to prevent the actions that might lead to confrontation between the two peoples. The measures are being taken together with South Ossetia and the EU mission in Georgia,” Murzin said.

The South Ossetia Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that it had information about the Georgian authorities’ plans to carry out a large-scale provocation on the border with South Ossetia on August 26, 2011, which marks the third anniversary of Russia’s recognition of the republic’s independence.

Tskhinval views Tbilisi’s actions as a provocation, fraught with new unsettling of the situation. South Ossetia urged the EU observer mission in Georgia to take measures to prevent a new provocation.

On August 23, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Tbilisi was set on carrying out a large-scale provocation in connection with the third anniversary of Russia’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia, marked on August 26.

“A ‘peace march’ is being prepared from the Georgian settlement of Odzisi to the border post on the road to Leningori, a town in South Ossetia,” the Ministry said in a press release, adding that Tbilisi intends to enlist up to 3,000 dwellers of the refugee camp in the village of Tserovani, and settlers from the Chechen republic who live in Georgia’s Akhmetsky district. The scenario of the action envisions an attempt of a mass illegal invasion into South Ossetia under the slogan of returning refugees to their native homes.

“According to the available information, recruiting of ‘the peace march’ participants was arranged within the scope of scheduled re-registration of refuges by the Georgian Ministry for Refugees and Settlement. The authorities broadly use the methods of pressure and threats. In a number of cases, citizens are forced to give written pledges to participate in the ‘peace march’.

“Tbilisi’s new irresponsible provocative idea is extremely dangerous. It is fraught with unsettling the already fragile situation in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned.

On Monday, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity conferred with senior law-enforcement officials over public security during the festivities marking the third anniversary of Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia’s independence and state sovereignty.

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Poland Returns Body Of 28th Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War

http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/53838,Fallen-soldier-in-Afghanistan-arrives-home

Polish Radio
August 23, 2011

Fallen soldier in Afghanistan arrives home

A coffin with the body of Lance Corporal Szymon Sitarczuk, who died in Afghanistan last Thursday, was brought to Poland onboard a military plane today.

The body was received with military honors at the airport in the western city of Wrocław.

The funeral ceremony of will take place in the locality of Głogówek on Thursday.

The 28-years-old served in the Polish Army since 2004 and was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) during a patrol in the Ghazni province, south east Afghanistan.

He is the 28th Pole killed in Afghanistan since 2007 when Poland became involved in the NATO – led multinational ISAF mission.

There are currently around 2,500 troops stationed in the country.

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Afghanistan: NATO Oil Tankers Torched

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/24/nato-supply-tankers-torched

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 24, 2011

NATO supply tankers torched
By Maqsud Azizi

PUL-I-ALAM: Two NATO supply fuel tankers were torched by militants in the Mohammad Agha district of central Logar province, an official said on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rough Liwanai, the provincial police chief, said the incident took place in the Mughul Khel village on the Kabul-Logar highway at about 9am.

As usual, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the assault, which caused no casualties.

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Biden At Military Base In Japan: “The United States Is A Pacific Power”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/24/c_131071810.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 24, 2011

U.S. VP praises troops, lauds alliance with Japan

TOKYO: United States Vice President Joe Biden concluded his nine-day Asian trip Wednesday with an audience at the U.S. Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo…

“The United States is a Pacific power,” Biden said during the telecast speech Wednesday. He called the U.S. military a ” stabilizing force” in the region that has contributed to its security and economic growth.

“The role you all play will become increasingly important,” Biden told the U.S. troops. “You are the glue that holds this all together.”

Biden said that the U.S.-Japan alliance would continue to deepen and that Japan was an “anchor” to security and prosperity in the Pacific basin, remarking that, “Our alliance with Japan will even become more important than in the past. It continues to be absolutely critical.”

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 2 comments

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New International Gangsterism: Kucinich Wants NATO Commanders Tried

NATO’s Air War Against Libya: 20,000 Sorties, 7,541 Attacks

U.S. Flies 27% Of NATO’s 20,000 Air Missions Over Libya

American Air Strikes Against Libya Nearly Doubled In Past 12 Days

Libya: West Engaged In Information Warfare

Information Warfare: How Far Will NATO Go To “Liberate” Libya?

Supplanting UN: NATO Decides When To Start War, When To Finish It

Libya: British MI6, Bombers Behind Short-Lived “Rebel” Advance

NATO Uses Bombs, Missiles In Battle For Tripoli

French Demand More NATO Bombing, Ivory Coast Model For Libya

South African President Condemns NATO’s Killing Of Libyan Civilians, Undermining Of African Union

Iraq Scenario: NATO States Intensify Oil Grab In Libya

Oil Grab, Suez Precedent, Bahrain Contrast: Libya Faces Recolonization – Expert

Turkey Says NATO To Continue Air War Against Libya

Egyptian Military Junta Recognizes Libyan Rebels

CFR Chief Haass: NATO Boots On The Ground In Libya

Israeli Daily Celebrates NATO “Victory” Over Libya

Danish Foreign Minister: NATO Learned From Bosnia, Kosovo Campaigns

NATO Intervention In Syria May Lead To Wider War

Over 400 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan This Year

Russia Warns Georgia Against Invasion Of South Ossetia

Atlantic Community: NATO Must Strengthen Ties With Asia

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New International Gangsterism: Kucinich Wants NATO Commanders Tried

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61920.html

Politico
August 23, 2011

NATO’s Libya generals should be hauled to court, says Dennis Kucinich
By Reid Epstein

NATO commanders who authorized the Libya bombing campaign should be “held accountable” to international law and hauled before the world court for civilian deaths, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.

“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international law, but they are not exempt from international law,” Kucinich said in a statement released by his office. “If members of the Qadhafi regime are to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise, we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism.”

Kucinich, who in March suggested President Barack Obama’s authorizing of airstrikes on Libya were “an impeachable offense” and sponsored a July measure to defund the military effort there, criticized what he called an evolving rationale for the NATO offensive.

The seven-term Cleveland congressman released his statement just as forces loyal to Qadhafi appeared to have abandoned their defense of his heavily fortified Tripoli compound. It was not clear where Qadhafi is, though a Russian chess official said he spoke with the dictator and reported he remains in the capital.

“The reasons for the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya keep changing,” he said. “First, it was about the potential for a massacre in Benghazi. When the massacre did not materialize and once the war against Libya was under way, the reasons for intervention changed.”

And Kucinich questioned the motivation behind U.S. intervention in Libya.

“Was the United States, through participation in the overthrow of the regime, furthering the aims of international oil corporations in pursuit of control over one of the world’s largest oil resources?” he asked. “Did the United States at the inception of the war against Libya align itself with elements of Al Qaeda, while elsewhere continuing to use the threat of Al Qaeda as a reason for U.S. military intervention, presence and occupation?”

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NATO’s Air War Against Libya: 20,000 Sorties, 7,541 Attacks

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110823_110823-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,994 sorties, including 7,541 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 AUGUST: 117
Strike sorties conducted 22 AUGUST: 36

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U.S. Flies 27% Of NATO’s 20,000 Air Missions Over Libya

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iwPIjVTq38bU-qQs4UEnV4RsWJfw?docId=CNG.f83ec61b463c427ae51d6ee4c5c2e5c7.751

Agence France-Presse
August 22, 2011

US flies a quarter of all NATO sorties in Libya

WASHINGTON: The US military carried out 5,316 flights in Libya since the allied “Operation Unified Protector” began, comprising 27 percent of all NATO missions, the Pentagon said Monday.

The United States, which initially led the air campaign before handing over the lead to NATO, played a support role for the alliance since April 1, mainly providing refueling tankers and surveillance aircraft.

Of 19,877 NATO sorties, US aircraft have carried 5,316 flights so far, with close to 400 of the sorties in the past 12 days, according to figures released by the Pentagon.

US planes carried out 1,210 strike missions, including 101 strike sorties by Predator drones, with 262 bombs or missiles launched, it said. Unmanned US aircraft in the campaign included a total of four Predators, Firescout helicopters and at least one Global Hawk, a large surveillance jet.

As of August 19, the United States sold NATO allies and partners about $221.9 million worth of ammunition, repair parts, fuel, and technical assistance.

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American Air Strikes Against Libya Nearly Doubled In Past 12 Days

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/08/22/us.libya.costs/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

CNN
August 23, 2011

U.S. has nearly doubled air attacks on Libya in past 12 days

Washington…U.S. warplanes have been increasing their attacks on government positions as part of the NATO campaign.

New numbers released by the Pentagon on Monday show that the number of U.S. air attacks on Libyan air defenses, ground forces and other targets has nearly doubled over the past 12 days, compared with air attacks in the first 132 days of the NATO mission.

There was an average of 1.7 strike sorties a day from April 1 to August 10, compared with 3.1 strike sorties in the past 12 days.

The Pentagon release indicates that attacks by armed Predator unmanned planes have more than doubled to 1.4 attacks a day, compared with .6 attacks a day between April 1 and August 10.

The cost to the U.S. taxpayers for America’s share of the Libyan mission, known as Operation Unified Protector, is approaching $1 billion.

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Libya: West Engaged In Information Warfare

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/23/55026110.html

Voice of Russia
August 23, 2011

West engaged in information warfare

One son of Muammar Gaddafi, Seif el-Islam said that the West is engaged in an information war against Libya, to sow chaos there.

He refuted the evidence that Tripoli is under rebel control. His words were confirmed by British broadcaster BBC.

According to information from its journalists, the rebels handed over the positions they had and have already left the Libyan capital.

Earlier, the opposition reported that three of Gaddafi’s sons had been arrested, including Saif al-Islam.

However, he met with Western reporters on Monday night in Tripoli, proving that is he is free.

He said that Colonel Gaddaffi is alive and well and at his residence in the Libyan capital.

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Information Warfare: How Far Will NATO Go To “Liberate” Libya?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/23/55045556.html

Voice of Russia
August 23, 2011

Libya: new outburst of information war
Konstantin Garibov

-“We have encountered an explicitly mendacious group of world media, reporting facts that were never confirmed. Obviously, this is not a mistake but a planned blatant disinformation attempt. As far as I understand, Tripoli is currently under Gaddafi control. It appears that there has been an initially successful operation by the NATO task force. Its failure may be used as an argument for bringing heavy armaments to Libya and carrying out a full-scale military operation. This does not look very nice and inflicts a severe blow to both the Middle East stability and NATO countries’ reputation.”

A flow of rather controversial information is coming from the Libyan capital city of Tripoli. Foreign media reports insist the city is almost completely in the hands of Muammar Gaddafi’s opponents, whereas the Colonel’s officials say the opposition only controls a fifth part. The more often rebels claim to have reached another success, the less credible their information appears.

The day before, Gaddafi rivals for the third time said to have killed his son Khamis before reports appeared that he was seen leading a military force towards downtown Tripoli to help his father.

This night, Seif al-Islam, the youngest of Gaddafi’s seven sons allegedly captured by opposition members, had a conversation with foreign journalists at the Rixos hotel in the Bab Al-Aziziya district. He denied assertions about Tripoli’s being under full control of the rebel army.

“Firstly I want to deny all the rumors. NATO and the West have modern technology and they blocked and jammed communications. They sent messages to the Libyan people through the Libyana network, I think. They stopped the (state TV) broadcasts, they’ve created a media and electronic war to spread chaos and fear in Libya,” Seif al-Islam said.

He also invited foreign journalists to accompany him on a trip around the capital, insisting that videos of the Tripoli’s seizure were made in another Libyan city.

Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain a puzzle as well. Seif al-Islam says he is in Tripoli, even though many people are doubtful about this, assuming that the Colonel could have departed to Venezuela, South Africa or neighboring Algeria. No one has so far managed to provide accurate data about this, with head of the National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil hoping that Gaddafi will be taken alive to face trial.

“He has no soldiers left, only a handful of volunteers and mercenaries. But these people are mistaken – the regime collapsed, Tripoli fell and the Gaddafi era is over,” Mustafa Abdel Jalil said.

Such an assessment is not shared by director of the “Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace” organization Franklin Lamb who is also paying a visit to Tripoli. According to him, Gaddafi is simply luring the rebels into a trap and will soon launch a massive counter-attack. This could be true if we believe government spokesman Musa Ibrahim who claims there are 65,000 professional soldiers waiting to repel “NATO’s rebels” from entering Tripoli, Mr. Lamb said.

The information could be accurate indeed, with BBC reports arguing that the languishing Libyan rebels have already left Tripoli and other sources saying Gaddafi troops are moving along the city streets. Here we have an opinion from director of the International Institute of Political Expertise Yevgeny Minchenko.

“We have encountered an explicitly mendacious group of world media, reporting facts that were never confirmed. Obviously, this is not a mistake but a planned blatant disinformation attempt. As far as I understand, Tripoli is currently under Gaddafi control. It appears that there has been an initially successful operation by the NATO task force. Its failure may be used as an argument for bringing heavy armaments to Libya and carrying out a full-scale military operation. This does not look very nice and inflicts a severe blow to both the Middle East stability and NATO countries’ reputation,” Yevgeny Minchenko pointed out.

The political analyst’s point of view is confirmed by a statement coming from Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, who said the rebel ranks include military advisers of the leading Western powers, as well as private protection agencies. There is only one question left in this context: how far is NATO ready to go in its desire to “liberate” Libya from Gaddafi?

====

Supplanting UN: NATO Decides When To Start War, When To Finish It

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=4&id=267662

Interfax
August 23, 2011

Rogozin calls on UN to draw conclusions from NATO’s Libya campaign

-Rogozin said he was convinced that NATO used the resolutions on Libya to promote its narrow, selfish goals to seek the “establishment of control over this country, which has a small population, but practically limitless oil reserves.”

MOSCOW: The recent events in Libya have shown that NATO has appropriated the right to tackle issues of war and peace that lie within the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council, Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin told Interfax.

“I think that the most painful conclusions will be drawn by the UN, which NATO has already evidently put on par with itself and does not view it as the sole exclusive force capable of making decisions on the start and completion of war,” Rogozin said.

In this situation, the UN Security Council, which holds exclusive jurisdiction over issues of war and peace in line with international law, “risks becoming an agency that is constantly ignored,” he said.

“From now on, NATO will decide when to start a war and when to finish it,” the Russian envoy said.

The first conclusions can already be drawn from the “campaign we have witnessed against our own will,” he said.

Since the early days of the civil conflict in Libya, Russia has been opposed to any expansion of this conflict, Rogozin said.

“Furthermore, it was categorically opposed to NATO using resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council as blotting paper,” he said.

Rogozin said he was convinced that NATO used the resolutions on Libya to promote its narrow, selfish goals to seek the “establishment of control over this country, which has a small population, but practically limitless oil reserves.”

====

Libya: British MI6, Bombers Behind Short-Lived “Rebel” Advance

http://rt.com/news/british-train-libyan-rebels-975-70939/

RT
August 23, 2011

British brains, brawn and bombs bolster Libyan rebels

Britain’s MI6 officers have been engaged in drilling Libyan rebels, helping them to establish a proper military plan for an assault on the capitol Tripoli.

­On Tuesday, British newspapers revealed that the UK not only detached spies and former SAS gurus to train militants, but was also providing them with ammunition for the operation, including night-vision goggles, advanced communication equipment and no less than 1,000 sets of body armor.

The Telegraph published an article about MI6 consultants working in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi “for weeks”, culminating in the raid on the Libyan capital.

Needless to say, the technical military capabilities of the British air force were supposed to take the most active part in these plans, which they actually did on Saturday night, bombing out four Libyan communications centers and destroying artillery positions and tanks on the streets of the Libyan capital.

But even British warfare professionals were surprised at the speed with which the rebel forces were advancing deep into Colonel Gaddafi’s defenses, only to find out later they have been lured into a trap.

The rebels had actually smuggled guns and ammunitions, as well as fighters, into Tripoli beforehand, so when the hour came they just rolled through the streets in increasing numbers and met practically no resistance at all.

The rebels hoped their advance would spark an uprising in the capital, but the actual number of citizens who chose to join premature democratic celebrations on Green Square was considerably moderate in comparison with the thousands who preferred to stand by the country’s leader in the governmental district of Bab al-Aziziya armed with the handguns distributed among the locals earlier.

During all that time, Royal Air Force Tornadoes and Typhoons continued to bomb governmental objects inside the Libyan capital, including Muammar Gaddafi’s bunker in Bab al-Aziziya and other buildings that the loyalist troops could use to their benefit, including schools – empty due to summertime – and the RAF still continues to do so, now focusing on the central part of the city. On Sunday alone the fighter jets made 46 attacks on various objects

The assault on the Libyan capital has been nurtured, orchestrated and co-ordinated by former and serving British intelligent officers. Questions now emerge as to how many of them have been KIA on the streets of Tripoli and if Gaddafi’s troops will be capable to present living proof of the UK plotting a military coup in a sovereign state.

====

NATO Uses Bombs, Missiles In Battle For Tripoli

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/23/55053351.html

Voice of Russia
August 23, 2011

Street battles continue in Tripoli

NATO aircraft are dropping bombs and shooting missiles at government troops in Tripoli, first of all, at the Bab al-Azizia district with a complex of government buildings, the British Sky News TV channel reports.

Both conflicting parties are using heavy artillery alongside with rifles. Troops loyal to Gaddafi are trying to reestablish their control over a number of districts of the Libyan capital.

Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown but the British media say that he is still in Tripoli.

Several regions of Jamahiriya continue to resist the rebels.

====

French Demand More NATO Bombing, Ivory Coast Model For Libya

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/france-calls-on-nato-to-intensify-bombing-of-gadhafi-s-compound-1.380244

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 23, 2011

France calls on NATO to intensify bombing of Gadhafi’s compound

-Ouattara’s forces were only able to arrest Gbagbo after French and UN helicopters pounded the compound’s defences with airstrikes and French armored vehicles surrounded the building.

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet on Tuesday pushed NATO to step up its bombardments of Moamer Gadhafi’s compound to try to hasten the Libyan leader’s exit….

Speaking on France Inter public radio, Longuet said that NATO bombardments Monday night had not yet breached the defenses of Gadhafi’s compound, “contrary to what France is asking.”

Breaching the perimeter was symbolically important, because it showed “there is no sanctuary,” he said, adding: “We want to destroy the idea of a sanctuary.”

Gadhafi’s whereabouts are unknown but there is some suspicion he is still in Tripoli. A US defense spokesman said Monday the United States believed he was still in Libya.

Early Tuesday, his son Saif al-Islam, who had been reported to be in the hands of the rebels, reemerged at his father’s Bab al-Azizya compound,
surrounded by regime supporters.

On Monday night French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the situation with British Prime Minister David Cameron by telephone. The two leaders agreed to “continue their efforts in support of the legitimate Libyan authorities as long as Colonel Gadhafi refuses to lay down arms,” Sarkozy’s office said in a statement.

Sarkozy and Cameron also agreed to begin “without delay” talks with “the legitimate Libyan authorities and their international partners” on holding an expanded meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Paris next week.

Sarkozy also spoke to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon. The two agreed that the United Nations “would have an important role to play in accompanying the transition phase” in Libya, if the “legitimate” Libyan authorities – doublespeak for the Transitional National Council – sought UN assistance.

As the battle for Tripoli threatens to drag on, French officials were backpedalling after rushing to declare victory on Monday. Longuet declared in a radio interview Monday that Gaddafi’s regime had “fallen.”

On Tuesday, he was forced to admit the regime was “isolated, encircled, cornered” but “not yet fallen.” Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, in an interview with Europe 1 radio, also conceded the rebels’ victory was “not yet complete.” In a blog post on Monday, Juppe had hailed the “end of a dictatorship.”

France sees parallels between the situation in Tripoli and the conflict in Ivory Coast, where French and United Nations peacekeeping forces assisted in the capture of [President] Laurent Gbagbo in April.

Gbagbo..held out at his Abidjan compound for days as pro-Ouattara forces battled his remaining loyalists.

Ouattara’s forces were only able to arrest Gbagbo after French and UN helicopters pounded the compound’s defences with airstrikes and French armored vehicles surrounded the building.

====

South African President Condemns NATO’s Killing Of Libyan Civilians, Undermining Of African Union

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1658613.php/South-Africa-s-Zuma-says-NATO-campaign-cost-lives-in-Libya

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 23, 2011

South Africa’s Zuma says NATO campaign cost lives in Libya

Johannesburg: Lives could have been saved in Libya had NATO allowed the African Union (AU) to take the lead in the troubled country, South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday.

‘Those who have the power to bomb other countries have undermined the AU’s efforts and initiatives to handle the situation in Libya,’ said Zuma, after talks with the visiting president of Ghana, John Atta Mills.

‘We could have avoided a lot of loss of life in Libya,’ Zuma was quoted as saying by the SAPA news agency.

It was Zuma’s latest condemnation of the Western military campaign in Libya, which has been deemed crucial for the advancement of rebel troops, who have reached Tripoli, with fierce firefights ongoing.

South Africa voted in favour of the United Nations resolution in March that allowed for the creation of a no-fly zone over the North African country, but since then Pretoria has said the mandate has been abused.

The AU will hold high-level talks later this week on the situation in Libya. So far, the organization’s efforts to mediate, led by Zuma and other African heads of state, have failed.

Mills was meeting Zuma in Cape Town, on his first state visit to South Africa as the two countries tried to increase their trade ties.

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is seeking to expand its commerce in Africa, and sees Ghana as a major market in the western region, after Nigeria. Trade between the countries has tripled over the last decade, according to official figures.

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Iraq Scenario: NATO States Intensify Oil Grab In Libya

http://rt.com/news/libyan-oil-dogfight-europeans-975-915/

RT
August 23, 2011

Crude Western interests in Libya

Video at URL above

The fight is not over in Tripoli, but the carve-up of Libya’s vast oil riches – the biggest in Africa – is already beginning and no doubt the process will not come cheaply for the Libyan people.

­The Italian Foreign Minister fired the starting gun, saying Italy’s ENI oil company will play the number-one role in the region.

British PM David Cameron already delivered a promise, seen by many as more of a threat, that the NATO mission in Libya, which is “to protect civilians,” will continue for “as long as it is needed” to ensure a safe transition to democracy.

As allied forces lend air support to the rebels to take Tripoli, the Stop the War Coalition warns Libyans not to expect that they are getting something for nothing.

“The Western powers do not do this without asking for a payback. Why is it that the head TNC [Transitional National Council] is running off to Paris to meet with the French President?” questions John Rees from the Stop the War Coalition. “Well of course that is one very important issue that was why the Western powers and Tony Blair and others struck a deal with Gaddafi in the first place. It will be exactly what they’re seeking to continue with the TNC to further exploit those oil riches.”

The British government makes no secret of the fact that its motives in supporting the rebels are not entirely altruistic. Last year alone the UK exported around US$40 billion worth of goods and services to North Africa and the Middle East.

But “black gold” is the key – Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa.

“When Western powers look at the region, they talk about humanity and democracy, but they’re thinking about oil,” reveals Greg Muttitt, War on Want campaigns and policy director.

Muttitt says it is impossible not to draw a comparison with Iraq. He has written a book about the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, in which he maintains Western powers imposed a democracy which played on sectarian divisions. That ensured years of tribal struggle, but meant the allies retained control of the oil supply. While the UK government insists lessons have been learnt from Iraq, Western oil firms are moving into Libya.

Even before the fate of Tripoli is sealed, the great oil grab is already beginning. BP has a contentious oil and gas exploration contract in Libya, which the UK government will be anxious for it to resume. Italian oil giant ENI is the first to send staff back to Libya, and its shares rose on the news. France’s Total and Austria’s OMV also did well as investors hoped they would soon be able to resume production in Libya. But at what price to the Libyan people?

“The great fear is that just as they did in Iraq they’ll create a democracy that serves British interests or the West’s interests or the oil companies’ interests and does nothing for the people of Libya,” Greg Muttitt explains.

====

Oil Grab, Suez Precedent, Bahrain Contrast: Libya Faces Recolonization – Expert

http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30531048&SRCH=1

Islamic Republic News Agency
August 23, 2011

Libya risks being re-colonised, says political analyst

London: Post-Gaddafi Libya risks being re-colonised with the main interest in the country’s vast oil resources, according to journalist and political analyst Sajid Ali Khan.

“Libyans will have to take care they are not re-colonised, mainly by the perfidious French,” said Khan, former editor of World Affairs.

He referred back to the example of France and Britain, the leading members of Nato’s military intervention in Libya, attacking Egypt during the 1956 Suez crisis.

Rebels seeking to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi have reportedly met strong resistance since entering the capital, Tripoli, on Sunday.

In an interview with IRNA, Khan compared Nato’s intervention to support the rebels in Libya with the refusal by the US and Europe to save the Bahraini people from brutal attacks that are still continuing.

“Rather the UK went to sell more arms to the brutal, unelected Bahrain rulers,” he said, while also pointing out the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf island, which accommodates a US naval base.

The chief difference leading to Nato’s military intervention in Libya “seems to be extensive oil available in Libya,” Khan suggested.

Underlining the Nato’s determination, he said that it was continuing its air attacks under the ‘UN cover’ of a no-fly-zone “not withstanding the new Libyan charge d’affaires in London asked for NATO to cease operations forthwith.”

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Turkey Says NATO To Continue Air War Against Libya

http://af.reuters.com/article/tunisiaNews/idAFL5E7JN0VO20110823

Reuters
August 23, 2011

Turkey says NATO to maintain Libya operation

BENGHAZI: NATO will continue its military campaign in Libya until full security is established in the nation, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday.

Davutoglu also told a news conference in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi that frozen Libyan assets should be released before the end of the Muslim holy month for the benefit of the people.

“Security support provided by NATO forces will continue…,” Davutoglu said at the news conference held jointly with Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who chairs the rebel National Transitional Council.

“Frozen assets of Libya should be unfrozen to help Libya before the end of Ramadan,” Davutoglu said. “Libyans need financial resources rapidly.”

[I]n May, Ankara called on Gaddafi to step down and recognised the rebels now fighting government troops in Tripoli as the legitimate government.

Davutoglu said he had spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 10 foreign ministers from the contact group on Libya on Monday to discuss political, economic and military support for Libya during a transition period.

(Reporting by Ibon Villelabeitia in Benghazi, Daren Butler and Ece Toksabay in Istanbul)

(Writing by Daren Butler and David Stamp; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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Egyptian Military Junta Recognizes Libyan Rebels

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1921630.html

Trend News Agency
August 23, 2011

Egypt recognizes Libyan opposition goverment

Mohammed Kamel Amr made the announcement in Cairo on Monday during a joint press conference with Abdel Moneim al-Honi, the TNC envoy to Egypt and the Arab League, who defected from Muammar Gaddafi’s camp in early March, PressTV reported.

“It pleases me at this historical occasion to announce that Egypt recognizes the new regime in Libya and the National Transitional Council that represents it,” AFP quoted Amr as saying.

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CFR Chief Haass: NATO Boots On The Ground In Libya

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/559804f8-cc7f-11e0-b923-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1VpFrzmHO

Financial Times
August 23, 2011

Libya now needs boots on the ground
By Richard Haass

The rebels – in effect a disparate mix (“coalition” suggests something more structured than is the case) of individuals and groups, from former regime loyalists to liberal secularists to Islamists – have little in common beyond their opposition to the continued rule of the first family. Now that this goal is about to be realised, their disagreements could take centre stage.

The 7,000 sorties flown by Nato aircraft played a central role in the rebel victory. The “humanitarian” intervention introduced to save lives believed to be threatened was, in fact, a political intervention introduced to bring about regime change. Now Nato has to deal with its own success.

International assistance, probably including an international force, is likely to be needed for some time to help restore and maintain order…President Barack Obama may need to reconsider his assertion that there would not be any American boots on the ground; leadership is hard to assert without a presence.

It is up to Nato, the European Union and the UN, working with the Libyan opposition, the African Union and the Arab League, to put together a response to the new Libyan reality…

Please respect FT.com’s ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/559804f8-cc7f-11e0-b923-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1VpGp3lMT

The author is president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars

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Israeli Daily Celebrates NATO “Victory” Over Libya

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/gadhafi-s-fall-a-victory-for-nato-but-not-for-obama-1.380172

Ha’aretz
August 23, 2011

Gadhafi’s fall: A victory for NATO, but not for Obama
By Anshel Pfeffer

Libya might yet descend into tribal anarchy and civil war as Iraq and Afghanistan did. But on Sunday, with the rebels’ entry into Tripoli, the European leaders who led NATO’s campaign to aid them − French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron − could allow themselves a few moments of satisfaction.

Five months after it began helping the rebels, NATO has tipped the scales in their favor. The many skeptics said the West could never unseat Muammar Gadhafi’s regime by air strikes alone, that the strikes hit too many civilians, that this was a waste of military resources.

Two months ago, it seemed as if Europe had lost patience. The rebels were treading water, and calls for stopping the air strikes grew. But in reality, NATO was quietly revamping its mission. It tightened operational coordination with the rebels and gave them arms, equipment, military advisers and trainers. It also posted spotters who spoke both Arabic and English among the rebels…The spotters were trained to identify enemy targets and relay real-time information to NATO aircraft, guiding the bombs to the most important targets.

Over the last month, NATO planes flew almost 20,000 sorties over Libya and conducted 7,500 air strikes that broke the regime’s resistance. Speed was essential: Next month, NATO was slated to discuss a third extension of the mission, while the UN General Assembly…was planning to assail NATO for exceeding its UN mandate of creating a no-fly zone and protecting civilians.

The mandate definitely didn’t include close aerial support of the rebel forces. But NATO went ahead anyway…

Now, his [Obama's] administration will have to coordinate a policy on Syria − once again belatedly. In Syria’s case, the main players are Assad’s patron in Tehran, which will do whatever it can to preserve his regime, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now backing the opposition.

Syrian opposition leaders met in Istanbul yesterday to plan for the day after Assad’s fall. They know who’s in charge − and he isn’t in Washington.

====

Danish Foreign Minister: NATO Learned From Bosnia, Kosovo Campaigns

http://www.cphpost.dk/news/international/52024-espersen-denmarks-role-in-libya-not-over-after-conflict.html

Copenhagen Post
August 23, 2011

Foreign minister Lene Espersen compares Nato 1995 intervention in Bosnia to alliance’s support of Libyan rebels

Denmark has been a keen ally of the Libyan rebels, formally recognising the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the only representative of the Libyan people in June when the foreign minister, Lene Espersen, visited the rebel stronghold in Benghazi.

Denmark also joined the Nato force supporting the rebel army in March, providing six F-16 fighter jets to lend air support for the advancing army.

But speaking to Jyllands Posten newspaper earlier this week, Espersen stated that Denmark’s role in Libya would not end once the fighting was over.

To Espersen, the Nato support of the rebel army was as important as the Nato intervention in Bosnia in 1995 that helped bring about an end to the Bosnian war.

“War is never good and it’s always weighs heavily when innocent people lose their lives. But it shows that Denmark and Nato have learned from Bosnia and Kosovo. I’m pleased with our effort,” she said.

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NATO Intervention In Syria May Lead To Wider War

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/asia-mainmenu-33/8696-potential-syria-intervention-may-lead-to-wider-war

The News American
August 23, 2011

Potential Syria Intervention May Lead to Wider War
Written by Alex Newman

Numerous sources report that NATO is already plotting an invasion as foreign powers covertly arm Syrian rebels. And some analysts believe military intervention against Damascus would merely serve as a prelude to an attack on Iran.

But amid widespread international condemnation of Assad, the Obama administration and various American officials have emerged as among the most vocal critics so far. President Obama even called for Assad to step down and leave Syria earlier this month. And the State Department has been busy building international support for its anti-Assad campaign.

“The United States will continue to work with our partners to turn this growing consensus into increased pressure and isolation for the Assad regime,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a recent press conference, citing European and Middle Eastern governments that had also condemned the Syrian government. “President Assad has lost the legitimacy to lead, and it is clear that Syria would be better off without him.”

Among the biggest public advocates of military intervention have been American legislators. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for example, suggested a UN-backed “humanitarian” war similar to the NATO campaign in Libya might be a suitable option.

“If it made sense to protect the Libyan people against Kaddafi, and it did because they were going to get slaughtered if we hadn’t sent NATO in when he was on the outskirts of Benghazi, the question for the world [is], have we gotten to that point in Syria,” he told CBS in mid-June. “We may not be there yet, but we are getting very close.”

Tensions have escalated significantly since then.

A sought-after UN resolution demanding international “humanitarian” intervention through military force has failed to materialize so far. But the Russian government’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said earlier this month that NATO was already planning a military campaign to overthrow Assad, with the eventual goal of taking down the government of Iran as well.

“The noose around Iran is tightening,” he was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. “Military planning against Iran is underway. And we are certainly concerned about an escalation of a large-scale war in this huge region.”

Citing the potential for devastating international consequences from more war and the lessons learned from Libya, Rogozin said the Russian government would continue to oppose any UN resolutions calling for military intervention. But according to Western officials cited in news reports, blueprints for a NATO attack on Syria have already been drafted.

While the uprising has generally been portrayed in establishment media outlets as a peaceful demonstration being brutally suppressed by a power-hungry dictator, the true situation is obviously not that simple. And when protests began in March of this year, news reports showed that there was indeed another side to the story.

According to Israel National News, at least seven police officers were killed by anti-government forces during the early days of the original protests. Rebels also set ablaze the ruling Baath Party headquarters and a local court.

“Syrians want change,” former British intelligence MI6 officer Alastair Crooke, who serves a high-level EU advisor and runs a non-governmental organization in Lebanon, told the EU Observer online newspaper. “But whether Westerners believe it or not, most people in Damascus, in Aleppo, the middle classes, the merchant classes and the [sectarian] minorities believe Assad is the only person who can bring in reforms.”

Crooke said the two things Syrians are most afraid of include civil war and Western military intervention. And he noted that outside forces including foreign Islamists and the U.S. government were largely behind the efforts to bring down the Assad regime — often through deception.

Regardless of what is really going on, however, the geopolitical implications of the situation in Syria are monumental. Analysts have speculated that after “regime change” in Syria, the Islamic dictatorship of Iran will be the next target. And since the Iranian regime maintains close ties with the Russian and Chinese governments, the possibility of a wide-scale war that has been contemplated for years becomes more and more plausible.

The Russian government has also maintained relatively warm links with the Assad regime, emerging as one of its main defenders on the UN Security Council. Russia even sold advanced weaponry to the Syrian government, and it possesses a military base in the country.

So, according to observers, the potential for an expanded conflict certainly exists. And Iran would almost certainly be next on the list.

Retired U.S. General Wesley Clark, who served as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO until 2000, made an astonishing claim during a 2007 TV interview that would seem to support such a scenario. Clark said that while serving in the Defense Department in late 2001, he learned of a plan to make war on seven nations including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Somalia — and, eventually, Iran.

American analysts have warned for years about the potential danger of an attack on Iran. But even a military campaign against Syria could lead to massive problems.

“Any force used on Syria would be a total shot in the dark, a hope the military under attack will turn on the regime,” cautioned former CIA officer Robert Baer, who served in Syria, as quoted by the Center for Research on Globalization. “But when has this ever happened? It didn’t with [late Iraqi leader] Saddam or [Libyan leader] Gaddafi.”

Where the conflict goes from here remains to be seen. Some European governments have recently said a military invasion of Syria was off the table for now. But with the credibility of governments on all sides…increasingly under fire, the truth remains elusive.

====

Over 400 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/23/c_131069445.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 23, 2011

One NATO solider killed in Afghanistan’s restive south

KABUL: A NATO soldier was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan’s restive southern region on Tuesday, bringing the number of the military alliance casualties to two since Monday morning, NATO said in a statement.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today,” said the statement issued by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here on Tuesday.

However, the brief statement did not disclose the victim’s casualties, only saying “it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

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

Another NATO soldier was killed in similar incident in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

The simple but difficult to be detected Taliban weapon, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), used in making suicide vests and roadside bombs, has proved a challenge for Afghan and NATO-led forces in the insurgency-hit country.

Over 400 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.

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Russia Warns Georgia Against Invasion Of South Ossetia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110823/166076164.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 23, 2011

Moscow warns Tbilisi against ‘invasion’ of S. Ossetia – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW: Russia warned Georgia on Tuesday against an invasion of South Ossetia under the guise of a so-called Peace March, marking the third anniversary of South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s independence, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after a five-day conflict between Russia and Georgia. In response, Tbilisi cut off diplomatic ties with Moscow and declared both republics occupied territories.

Moscow warned Tbilisi against staging the march, saying that “the scenario of this event includes an attempted illegal invasion into the territory of South Ossetia under the slogan of repatriating refugees to their homes.”

The ministry said that Georgian authorities planned to recruit up to 3,000 refugees living in a refugee camp in Georgian village of Tserovani, some 15 kilometers from Tbilisi in Georgia’s eastern Akhmetsky district, to join in the march.

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Atlantic Community: NATO Must Strengthen Ties With Asia

http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/articles/view/NATO_Partnerships%3A_Strengthening_Ties_with_Asia

Atlantic Community
August 18, 2011

NATO Partnerships: Strengthening Ties with Asia

Memo 33: To remain effective in a multi-polar world, NATO should strengthen its collaborative ties with Asia. The Alliance must strive to make China more partner than rival, develop a multilateral plan for stability in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and strengthen existing regional partnerships.

Atlantic Community members call upon NATO to strengthen its existing partnerships and develop new collaborative ties in Asia to remain effective in an increasingly multi-polar world. In particular, outreach to China and India will help address shared challenges such as piracy and cyber security. Dirk Brengelmann, the NATO Assistant Secretary General Political Affairs and Security Policy, affirmed that the Alliance’s new partnership policy allows for more flexibility in its external relations than in the past.

1. Strive to make China more partner than rival.

Increased NATO cooperation with China, with its wealth of human and material resources, would help improve global governance and address complex and multiplying challenges across the world. Allied engagement with China would be more effective than the current “brittle” bilateral US-China dialogue, and should assess shared security challenges such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, piracy and cyber security, as well as deepen military cooperation in humanitarian aid operations, peacekeeping, and maritime security. Open dialogue is needed to build the mutual trust that both China and the transatlantic actors desire, but each area presents challenges. China’s growing military capacity allows it to secure its sphere of influence on its own terms, limiting Beijing’s potential for maritime engagement with NATO. Partnership in cyber security is also uncertain, as the government’s role in several attacks originating in China remains suspect, and Chinese approaches to counter-terrorism are very different from those of the Alliance. The potential for enhanced cooperation between the two sides remains, but these specific differences must first be resolved (Seidler).

In addition to direct outreach to China, NATO should also identify collaboration partners under the multilateral framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) (Christman). The SCO has shown promise as a stabilizing force in Central Asia and has enhanced its profile with countries like Pakistan and India eyeing SCO membership. NATO and China may both benefit from closer cooperation in addressing regional challenges with implications that are increasingly global in scale (Titoff).

2. Develop a multilateral plan for stability in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

NATO’s diplomatic efforts in Central Asia are hindered by a lack of cooperation with the SCO and another regional initiative, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Invigorating these relationships would lend more transparency to NATO activities in the region and help stem the growing drug trade from Afghanistan, a major source of tension between the Alliance and regional states. If NATO does not improve security in Afghanistan ahead of its withdrawal, regional states will increasingly seek closer ties with Russia and China (Shilibekova).

Strained relations with Pakistan and the Central Asian republics require more than a short term fix, and sustained cooperation with Russia and India will be paramount to stabilizing this volatile region. One way for NATO to enhance its relations with these two powers would be to engage with them jointly, in a new trilateral group, and develop shared strategies for this region (Straus).

3. Strengthen existing regional partnerships.

Every region presents unique challenges, so NATO and the United States should embrace a global security architecture based on regionalism, not pretensions to universalism. While NATO should limit future full-scale military interventions to Europe (Lawson), better cooperation with its Contact Countries – Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – along with emerging states like Brazil, India and South Africa would help ensure the safety of the seas, cyberspace, and the security of resources (Seidler). A wide, flexible network of global partnerships will help add both “legal and moral legitimacy and operational efficiency” to NATO undertakings in the future (MacLachlan).

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011 4 comments

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Bombing War For Regime Change: Almost 20,000 NATO Sorties

157 Days Of Bombing: 19,751 NATO Sorties, 7,459 Strike Sorties

NATO Bombers Pound Tripoli, Anti-Gaddafi Bloodbath Expected

Aided By Luftwaffe, Fifth Column, Franco Forces Enter Madrid

NATO Bombing, “Sleeper Cells” Open Tripoli To Assault

U.S., NATO Coordinate Attack On Libyan Capital

Venezuela: NATO Destroying Tripoli With Bombs

Rebels Request NATO Attack Helicopters For Assault On Tripoli

Sarkozy Summons Libyan Rebel Chief To Paris

NATO, EU Poised To Take Major Role In Libya

Russian MP: Libyan Rebels To Reward NATO Sponsors With Oil Contracts

Italian Oil Company Returns To Libya, To “Regain Prominent Role”

Stocks Up: Italy Helps Oust Strongman Selassie, Liberate Ethiopia

Germany Prepares Troop Deployment For Libya

Wisconsin Guard Unit Helping Libyan Rebels As Part Of NATO Campaign

Russian Expert: NATO War On Libya Undermines International Law

Arab Political Parties: NATO Plans Repeat Of Libyan War In Syria

U.S. Drone Attack Kills Three In Pakistan

Balochistan: At Least 19 NATO Oil Tankers Set On Fire

Georgian Foreign Minister Plans Early NATO Accession

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Bombing War For Regime Change: Almost 20,000 NATO Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110822_110822-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 22, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,877 sorties, including 7,505 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 AUGUST: 126

Strike sorties conducted 21 AUGUST: 46

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157 Days Of Bombing: 19,751 NATO Sorties, 7,459 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110821_110821-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,751 sorties, including 7,459 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 AUGUST: 105

Strike sorties conducted 20 AUGUST: 36

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NATO Bombers Pound Tripoli, Anti-Gaddafi Bloodbath Expected

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/21/54967924.html

Voice of Russia
August 21, 2011

Gaddafi compound pounded

According to Al-Jazeera, NATO jets have been pounding the Tripoli compound of Muammar Gaddafi. The beleaguered leader is somewhere in hiding, as his opponents are encircling the capital. Pro-Gaddafi forces are reported to have foiled rebel attempts to break into Tripoli from the west.

Earlier on Sunday, the government offered the insurgents a truce. It also cautioned the West to expect an anti-Gaddafi bloodbath as soon as the rebels are in Tripoli.

Dozens more foreign nationals have left the embattled Libyan capital.

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Aided By Luftwaffe, Fifth Column, Franco Forces Enter Madrid

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/22/54972709.html

Voice of Russia
August 22, 2011

1,300 dead in Tripoli – gov’t spokesman

In Tripoli a government spokesman said on Monday that the death toll from Sunday’s firefights in the capital had climbed to 1,300, 5,000 more were wounded and the local hospitals were unable to handle them all.

Musa Ibrahim asked NATO to check the rebels’ onslaught and start peace talks without any preliminary conditions.

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NATO Bombing, “Sleeper Cells” Open Tripoli To Assault

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20095356-503543.html

CBS News
August 22, 2011

Tripoli opened to rebels by sleeper cells, NATO
By David Morgan

six months of grueling deadlock, the rebels’ advance into the capital of Tripoli…was startlingly quick.

Anti-Qaddafi forces have continued to have considerable help from U.S. and NATO aerial surveillance and airstrikes against government targets, but Sunday’s march into the capital represented a closely coordinated plan by NATO, the insurgents, and secretly-armed residents of Tripoli.

A senior rebel official, Fathi al-Baja, told The Associated Press that over the past three months – as the fighting appeared to have stalemated – the National Transitional Council worked with NATO to set up sleeper cells within Tripoli, armed with weapons smuggled in by the rebels.

The New York Times reports that, regardless of NATO’s mandate to protect civilians rather than to take sides in the conflict, the coordination between NATO and the rebels had become more sophisticated in recent weeks.

Special forces from France and the U.K. on the ground in Libya also trained and armed rebel groups, a NATO diplomat told Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers of the Times.

As the learning curve of the rebels rose, the effectiveness of the Libyan government to maintain control over its own forces (let alone the insurgency) declined, thanks to incessant NATO airstrikes that damaged its ability to deploy, supply and maintain its forces.

Through Saturday, The Times reports, NATO and its allies had flown 7,459 sorties, attacking thousands of targets, greatly diminishing Qaddafi’s ability to withstand the final assault upon Tripoli. On Sunday NATO helped thwart an attempt by loyalist troops to retake Zawiya.

In recent weeks the United States also established around-the-clock surveillance over areas still controlled by Libya’s military, with armed Predator drones tracking (and occasionally firing at) those forces.

On Thursday and Friday, airstrikes against Tripoli increased; on Saturday the sleeper cells awoke.

The Daily Mail writes that on Saturday night public messages broadcast from mosques in Tripoli urged citizens to take up arms against Qaddafi’s regime – a cue for the sleeper cells to engage in gunfights against loyalist soldiers and snipers.

The battle comes to Tripoli

In the city’s eastern Tajoura district, 200 rebel fighters from Misrata who entered Tripoli by sea, fought…against Qaddafi forces…

When the rebels reached Tripoli, the special battalion entrusted by Qaddafi with guarding the capital promptly surrendered – its commander secretly loyal to the rebels’ cause.

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U.S., NATO Coordinate Attack On Libyan Capital

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/world/africa/22nato.html

New York Times
August 21, 2011

Surveillance and Coordination With NATO Aided Rebels
By Eric Schmitt and Steven Lee Myers

Photograph: Rebels in Zawiyah examined the body of a Qaddafi soldier killed in what the rebels said was a NATO airstrike. Through Saturday, NATO and its allies had flown 7,459 missions to attack targets.

WASHINGTON — As rebel forces in Libya converged on Tripoli on Sunday, American and NATO officials cited an intensification of American aerial surveillance in and around the capital city as a major factor in helping to tilt the balance after months of steady erosion of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s military.

The officials also said that coordination between NATO and the rebels, and among the loosely organized rebel groups themselves, had become more sophisticated and lethal in recent weeks, even though NATO’s mandate has been merely to protect civilians, not to take sides in the conflict.

NATO’s targeting grew increasingly precise, one senior NATO diplomat said, as the United States established around-the-clock surveillance over the dwindling areas that Libyan military forces still controlled, using armed Predator drones to detect, track and occasionally fire at those forces.

At the same time, Britain, France and other nations deployed special forces on the ground inside Libya to help train and arm the rebels, the diplomat and another official said.

Through Saturday, NATO and its allies had flown 7,459 strike missions, or sorties, attacking thousands of targets, from individual rocket launchers to major military headquarters. The cumulative effect not only destroyed Libya’s military infrastructure but also greatly diminished the ability of Colonel Qaddafi’s commanders to control forces, leaving even committed fighting units unable to move, resupply or coordinate operations.

On Saturday, the last day NATO reported its strikes, the alliance flew only 39 sorties against 29 targets, 22 of them in Tripoli. In the weeks after the initial bombardments in March, by contrast, the allies routinely flew 60 or more sorties a day.

The rebels, while ill-trained and poorly organized even now, made the most of NATO’s direct and indirect support, becoming more effective in selecting targets and transmitting their location, using technology provided by individual NATO allies, to NATO’s targeting team in Italy.

“The rebels certainly have our phone number,” the diplomat said. “We have a much better picture of what’s happening on the ground.”

Rebel leaders in the west credited NATO with thwarting an attempt on Sunday by Qaddafi loyalists to reclaim Zawiyah with a flank assault on the city.

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Venezuela: NATO Destroying Tripoli With Bombs

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/chavez-denounces-west-over-libya/story-e6frfku0-1226119609790

Australian Associated Press
August 22, 2011

Chavez denounces West over Libya

VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez…has slammed Western powers for “destroying Tripoli with their bombs,” as rebels surged to seize control of the Libyan capital.

“Today we are seeing images of the democratic governments of Europe, along with the supposedly democratic government of the United States, destroying Tripoli with their bombs,” Chavez said on Sunday.

The bombs, Chavez said…were “falling on schools, hospitals, workplaces, farmland.

“Let’s pray to God for the Libyan people,” he said.

“Let’s pray to God for the Libyan people,” Chavez said during a televised speech.

Chavez condemned the latest NATO airstrikes in the country, as well as the roles of the United States and some European nations.

“Today they dropped I don’t know how many bombs, and they’re falling in a shameless and open way…on schools, hospitals, homes, work places, factories, farm fields at this very moment,” Chavez said.

“They’re practically demolishing Tripoli with their bombs.”

He said US and other powers had sought excuses to try to take over the country.

“It’s the excuse to intervene and seize a country and its riches,” Chavez said.

Chavez – Gaddafi’s main supporter in Latin America – has consistently denounced the months-long military operation in Libya claiming it is an oil grab by Western powers.

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Rebels Request NATO Attack Helicopters For Assault On Tripoli

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Rebels-say-Tripolis-fall-imminent-urge-Nato-to-help-with-Apache-assault-helicopters/articleshow/9686845.cms

Agence France-Presse
August 21, 2011

Rebels say Tripoli’s fall ‘imminent’, urge Nato to help with Apache assault helicopters

DUBAI: Libyan rebels said victory in Tripoli was imminent on Sunday and urged NATO to join the final battle with Apache assault helicopters.

….

Insurgents, Nayad added, have formally requested NATO deploy more assault Apache helicopters to assist them in combat.

“The Apaches are very precise and we are in great need of their intervention. We made a formal request last night,” he said.

The regime in Tripoli retorted that “thousands” of professional and volunteer troops were ready to defend the capital against NATO-backed rebels.

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Sarkozy Summons Libyan Rebel Chief To Paris

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1921512.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 22, 2011

Sarkozy invites Libya rebel council leader to Paris talks Wednesday

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Libyans to begin a process of national reconciliation and invited the chairman of the Transitional National Council, Mahmoud Jibril, to Paris for talks Wednesday, DPA reported.

In a statement Monday, Sarkozy condemned Moamer Gaddafi’s “irresponsible and desperate” calls to his loyalists to fight on…

Sarkozy said he had spoken with Jibril by telephone and invited him to Paris Wednesday.

France led the diplomatic campaign in March for international military intervention in Libya and for the rebel council to be recognized as Libya’s legitimate government.

France also recently airlifted weapons to rebels fighting Gaddafi’s forces in the Nafusa mountains, in a move that is believed to have been central to the rebels gaining terrain.

Sarkozy said the end of Gaddafi and his regime was “unavoidable and close” and called for remaining regime loyalists to lay down arms “without delay.”

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NATO, EU Poised To Take Major Role In Libya

http://blogs.wsj.com/brussels/2011/08/22/eu-nato-set-to-play-major-role-in-post-gadhafi-libya/?mod=google_news_blog

Wall Street Journal
August 22, 2011

EU, NATO Set for Major Libya Role
By John W. Miller

In Brussels, diplomats and analysts said Monday that the overthrow of Col. Moammar Gadhafi offers…a new place at the top for the EU and NATO.

“In the Balkans, it took years for the EU to take a leadership role,” Ian Lesser of the German Marshall Fund said in a phone interview. “It’s very notable that EU resources played a determining role here.”

On Sept. 1, Mr. Lesser will take over as the new director of the key think tank’s Brussels office. Libya will immediately be a top item on his agenda, he said.

NATO will “try from an institutional point of view to capture this as a success for the coalition,” said Mr. Lesser…

EU officials admitted that some hard work lies ahead. “We have post-Gadhafi planning going on… we do have a number of scenarios that we have worked in terms of our assistance post-Gadhafi,” EU spokesman Michael Mann said Monday, according to Reuters.

The stakes for the EU to get it right are high. “One has to consider the possibility that it’s continuing chaos,” said Mr. Lesser. “There are groups within these rebels we would not like to see come to power.”

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Russian MP: Libyan Rebels To Reward NATO Sponsors With Oil Contracts

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=267542

Interfax
August 22, 2011

New Libyan authorities will thank NATO during contracts distribution – Kosachyov

MOSCOW: Russia will no longer be able to compete with the NATO countries on equal terms in the distribution of Libyan oil projects, said Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee.

“I am absolutely certain that the economic reasons – particularly those which concern energy resources – played a crucial role in forming the position of the Western countries and NATO on Libya,” he said in an interview with the Russia Today television channel.

The future Libyan government, which gained support from the NATO members, “will now be very grateful to them, and in distributing contracts to rebuild the Libyan economy, will give priority to the NATO countries,” he said.

“Neither China, nor Russia, nor South Africa or any other country, which did not participate in this ‘humanitarian’ operation, will be able to compete with the NATO countries on equal terms,” he said.

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Italian Oil Company Returns To Libya, To “Regain Prominent Role”

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Business/Italy-Oil-company-Eni-has-returned-to-Libya-and-will-regain-prominent-role_312374326848.html

ADN Kronos International
August 22, 2011

Italy: Oil company Eni ‘has returned to Libya and will regain prominent role’

Rome: Eni, the largest foreign oil company operating in Libya before civil war broke out, has returned to that country to restart wells as Muammar Gaddafi’s government Monday appeared on the brink of collapse after rebels captured large parts of the capital,Tripoli, Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said.

Speaking in an interview on Monday with Italian state television Rai, Frattini said Rome-based Eni will return to the role it played as Libya’s main oil producer prior to the fighting that began in February.

Eni in July said due to the conflict, production from Libya has fallen to around 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from 280,000 barrels.

Italy was Libya’s biggest trading partner before it supported UN-mandated military action by Nato forces to protect civilians from attack by Gaddafi’s armed forces and to enforce a no-fly zone.

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Stocks Up: Italy Helps Oust Strongman Selassie, Liberate Ethiopia

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hDlWbcux46iCM9sMQgJ4cAF8P0_w?docId=CNG.0497408f3906e966284470ac4a190494.41

Agence France-Presse
August 22, 2011

Shares of Italian companies active in Libya rise

MILAN: The shares of Italian companies active in Libya, such as energy giant Eni and technology company Ansaldo STS, soared on Monday by over eight percent as rebels overran the capital Tripoli.

Ansaldo STS, a subsidiary of industrial group Finmeccanica which specialises in railway and telecommunication infrastructure and had large contracts in Libya before the conflict, shot up 8.02 percent in afternoon trade.

“Ansaldo STS had to cancel two large contracts worth a total of 660 million euros because of the conflict and was forced to revise down its targets for 2011 and 2012,” said analyst Enrico Coco from investment bank Banca Leonardo.

“The markets seem to be betting on the situation returning to normal and the contracts being picked up again,” he said.

Finmeccanica was up 3.71 percent to 4.81 euros.

“We hope that there will quickly be a stable government with which to rebuild our contracts,” Finmeccanica head Giuseppe Orsi said during a conference, adding: “We believe the contracts will be respected in the future.”

Oil major ENI, which was the biggest foreign energy producer in Libya before the conflict, saw its shares climb 8.01 percent to 13.48 euros mid afternoon.

“Eni was one of the biggest operators in Libya, where it produced 17 percent of the total production,” analyst Anne Pumir from Natixis Securities said.

“It’s one of the petroleum stocks which has suffered the most since the start of the year,” she said, adding: “It’s now picking up because the situation in Libya is getting better.”

Libya’s former colonial ruler, Italy enjoyed strong economic ties with Kadhafi and was the country’s top trade partner before the start of the conflict in mid-February.

As the country’s biggest exporter – with 17.5 percent of the market – and 180 businesses on the ground, Italy’s economic interests were hit hard by the uprising.

Milan’s benchmark FTSE Mib index, boosted by the soar in shares, was up 3.87 percent by mid afternoon as the Libyan lead encouraged investors after weeks of turmoil sparked by fears over Italy’s weak economy and debt problems.

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Germany Prepares Troop Deployment For Libya

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110822-37113.html

The Local (Germany)
August 22, 2011

Berlin mulls troops for post-Qaddafi Libya

As the regime of…Muammar Qaddafi teetered on the brink Monday, German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière said Bundeswehr troops could soon help secure the peace in the North African nation.

“When there are requests about the Bundeswehr, we will examine them constructively, as we always do,” de Maizière told the Rheinische Post newspaper without elaborating further.

The Interior and Foreign ministries also declared a willingness to consider military assistance and said they were mulling how else to help stabilize the country after Qaddafi’s departure.

Berlin irked its closest allies this spring by refusing to back a UN resolution authorizing military action against Qaddafi. However, German officials signalled early on they would consider sending peacekeepers and civilian reconstruction personnel to help Libya rebuild once Qaddafi was finally out of the picture.

Germany’s involvement in Libya has been fraught with controversy. Initially Germany refused to participate militarily in NATO air strikes, isolating itself within the transatlantic alliance and earning the ire of allies including the United States, Britain and France.

But German officials recently faced criticism at home after it emerged that Bundeswehr personnel were helping identify attack targets in Libya for NATO to strike…

On Monday, Germany reiterated its call for Qaddafi to resign.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular press briefing that it
was clear Libya had reached a “turning point.” He said Qaddafi had lost all vestiges of legitimacy.

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Wisconsin Guard Unit Helping Libyan Rebels As Part Of NATO Campaign

http://www.wisn.com/news/28932876/detail.html

WISN Channel 12 (Milwaukee)
August 22, 2011

Wisconsin Guard Unit Helping Libyan Rebels
Air Guardsmen Part Of NATO Effort
Brendan Conway

MILWAUKEE: As Moammar Gadhafi’s 40 year rule in Libya looked all but over Sunday night, members of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing realize they are part of history.

The guard members are part of the NATO force that has been protecting Libyan citizens against Gaddafi’s troops since earlier this summer. A Marquette University graduate who was held captive in Libya said NATO’s involvement has been key.

“Gaddafi had such heavy armor and tanks and the rebels were poorly trained. Most of the major advances were with heavy NATO support,” said Jim Foley.

Foley was reporting on the early uprising in Libya this spring for http://www.GlobalPost.com when he was taken prisoner by the Gaddafi government.

He was released six weeks later.

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Russian Expert: NATO War On Libya Undermines International Law

http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2011/08/21/365230.htm

Syrian Arab News Agency
August 21, 2011

Russian Researcher: Foreign Attempts to Interfere in Syria’s Internal Affairs Reflect West’s Old colonial Policies
R. Milhem and M. Ismael F.Allafi

MOSCOW: Chairman of the Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation Mikhail Dimitri Prokhorov in Russia said that events taking place in Syria and foreign attempts to interfere in the Syrian internal affairs reflect clearly the old colonialist policies of the Western countries to impose their hegemony on Syria and countries of the region.

Prokhorov pointed to the criminal and provocative acts of the murderers who seek to destabilize the situation, which are a source of mounting concern for the Russian society.

He clarified that Russian public opinion supports Syria as it backs the Russian stance, which frequently declared its firm support to Syria.

Prokhorov stressed the importance of encountering the fierce media war launched against Syria through a stronger media war, pointing out that honesty is the best weapon for achieving that.

Director of the Institute of Globalization Problems: Foreign Powers Provide Weapons, Money to “Peaceful Protesters” in Syria

Director of the Moscow-based Institute of Globalization Problems, Mikhael Delyagin, stressed on Sunday that there are foreign powers providing weapons and money and media coverage to those who are called by the West “peaceful protesters”.

Dilyagin said in a statement to SANA that foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs should be prevented and diplomatic support should be offered to it, underlining the need to stop the fierce media aggression targeting Syria.

He described the Russian official stance towards Syria as correct, adding that the Russian stance takes into consideration the bitter experience of Libya as the NATO exploited the UN Security Council resolution to carry out its aggression against the Libyan people.

He said that international law has lost its effectiveness after the NATO aggression on Libya and that the only means for self-defense and protecting the lives of citizens is increasing the national power to confront any aggression.

He criticized the US double-standard policy towards issues of the region.

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Arab Political Parties: NATO Plans Repeat Of Libyan War In Syria

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/08/22/365383.htm

Syrian Arab News Agency
August 22, 2011

General Conference of Arab Parties: Western Countries’ Interference in the Region Affairs Attempts to Escape their own Crises
R. Raslan and M. Ismael F. Allafi

BEIRUT: The General Conference of Arab Parties called upon Arab, Islamic and international liberation powers to confront the new imperial conspiracy launched against the countries of the region, indicating the aggressive campaign led by the US against Syria.

In its statement, the conference added that escalation of the western countries’ interference in the internal affairs of the region is an attempt to escape from facing their internal crises through creating foreign crises.

The statement said that Washington has recently escalated its interference in Syria and provoked the NATO Alliance for similar escalation which indicates that the conspiracy entered a new and serious phase targeting its security and stability.

The statement called upon all freedom and independence powers to shoulder their responsibilities in the face of this campaign and to differentiate between popular demands and suspicious plots.

Kansou: US, West Escalate Attitude Because Syria Passed Crisis Successfully

Lebanese Minister of State, Ali Kansou, stressed on Monday that the United States and the West escalated their attitudes against Syria because Syria has largely passed the crisis after succeeding in dealing with the armed groups.

In an interview with the Kuwaiti Nahar Newspaper, Kansou said that the March 14 Alliance is betting on destabilizing Syria because it tries to create a new equation in Lebanon to regain control.

He added that the region is heading towards a new form of conflict between the resistance powers and the division powers, noting that the Arab nation will win in that conflict.

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U.S. Drone Attack Kills Three In Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/23/c_131067229.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 22, 2011

3 killed in U.S. drone strike in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least three people were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched Monday night in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan, reported the local Urdu TV channel Duniya.

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Balochistan: At Least 19 NATO Oil Tankers Set On Fire

http://paktribune.com/news/Baluchistan-19-NATO-oil-tankers-set-on-fire-243004.html

Pakistan Tribune
August 22, 2011

Baluchistan: 19 NATO oil tankers set on fire

DASHT: At least 19 oil tankers were set fire when some unidentified miscreants opened fires on NATO suppliers near Dasht on Monday.

Police said that miscreants attacked the tanker carrying oil for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan near Dasht area of Mastang district of Baluchistan. The tanker caught fire as a result of gunshots.

Police cordon off the entire area and started search for the miscreants.

Currently about 70 percent of the NATO supplies are shipped into Afghanistan through two border ports in Pakistan, namely the Chaman port in Balochistan and the Torkham port in Khyber Agency in northwest Pakistan.

Attacks on NATO supplier containers are common in Northwest and Southwest Pakistan where militants have destroyed hundreds oil tankers and other equipments to be supplied to US led NATO troops engaged in war against Taliban in neighboring war-turn Afghanistan.

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Georgian Foreign Minister Plans Early NATO Accession

http://austrianindependent.com/news/Politics/2011-08-22/8777/Georgian_foreign_minister_eyes_up_early_NATO_accession

Austrian Independent
August 22, 2011

Georgian foreign minister eyes up early NATO accession

Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze has said he was certain his country would join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) sooner than the European Union (EU).

Vashadze – who is currently in Salzburg to attend an international meeting of businesspeople and politicians – told the Austrian Kurier newspaper today (Mon): “I’m hesitant about telling you a date (on when Georgia could become a member of the EU). The next generation of politicians will decide about that.

“What I know for sure is that we’ll be in NATO much quicker than in the EU. We are also working on being a bridge between Asia and Europe,” he added.

Georgia was at war with Russia about Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. “I know we will recapture the regions in our competition for peace with Russia. We are offering better schools, a better healthcare system, more prosperity, a better quality of living as well as democracy and human rights (to people living in the embattled regions),” Vashadze said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Nazim Hikmet: Sad kind of freedom, free to be an American air base

August 22, 2011 2 comments

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

Nazim Hikmet: The Little Girl

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Nazim Hikmet
A Sad State Of Freedom
Translated by Taner Baybars

You waste the attention of your eyes,
the glittering labour of your hands,
and knead dough enough for dozens of loaves
of which you’ll taste not a morsel;
you are free to slave for others –
you are free to make the rich richer.

The moment you’re born
they plant around you
mills that grind lies
lies to last you a lifetime.
You keep thinking in your great freedom
a finger on your temple
free to have a free conscience.

Your head bent as if half-cut from the nape,
your arms long, hanging,
you saunter about in your great freedom:
you’re free
with the freedom of being unemployed.

You love your country
as the nearest, most precious thing to you.
But one day, for example,
they may endorse it over to America,
and you, too, with your great freedom –
you have the freedom to become an air-base.

You may proclaim that one must live
not as a tool, a number or a link
but as a human being –
then at once they handcuff your wrists.
You are free to be arrested, imprisoned
and even hanged.

There’s neither an iron, wooden
nor a tulle curtain
in your life;
there’s no need to choose freedom:
you are free.
But this kind of freedom
is a sad affair under the stars.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 20, 2011

August 20, 2011 3 comments

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 20,000, Strike Sorties 7,500

American Troops Can Stay In Afghanistan Until 2024

Afghans Protest Against NATO’s Killing Of Four Civilians

U.S. Drone Crashes In Somali Capital

NATO Eyes Early Missile Interception Capability

30-Story, 50,000-Ton U.S. Interceptor Missile Radar Deployed After Repairs

Joint Strike Fighters: Australia’s Largest Military Build-Up Since WW II

Most Combat Deaths Since Second World War: Poland Loses 28th Soldier In NATO’s Asian War

NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Reaches 400

Statue Of Liberty Renovation, Rupert Murdoch And Mike Royko

Lockheed Martin To Reveal New Interceptor Missile Production Facility

U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines: China, Russia “Kept In Check By Silent Behemoths”

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 20,000, Strike Sorties 7,500

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110820_110820-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,646 sorties, including 7,423 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 AUGUST: 130

Strike sorties conducted 19 AUGUST: 26

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American Troops Can Stay In Afghanistan Until 2024

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/20/54931669.html

Voice of Russia
August 20, 2011

US troops may stay in Afghanistan till 2024

A US military contingent of several thousands servicemen will stay in Afghanistan till 2024 under a new strategic pact which have been prepared by the US and Afghanistan for signing, the Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the British newspaper, these will be US instructors who are coaching Afghan servicemen and policemen.

The agreement was prepared on the initiative of Afghanistan which fears an aggravation of the situation after the withdrawal of the US troops in 2014.

Experts say that the agreement is also advantageous for the US, which will retain its presence near Pakistan, Iran and China.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8712701/US-troops-may-stay-in-Afghanistan-until-2024.html

Daily Telegraph
August 19, 2011

US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024
By Ben Farmer

Kabul: America and Afghanistan are close to signing a strategic pact which would allow thousands of United States troops to remain in the country until at least 2024, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build up the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain.

The prospect of such a deal has already been met with anger among Afghanistan’s neighbours including, publicly, Iran and, privately, Pakistan.

It also risks being rejected by the Taliban and derailing any attempt to coax them to the negotiating table, according to one senior member of Hamid Karzai’s peace council.

A withdrawal of American troops has already begun following an agreement to hand over security for the country to Kabul by the end of 2014.

But Afghans wary of being abandoned are keen to lock America into a longer partnership after the deadline. Many analysts also believe the American military would like to retain a presence close to Pakistan, Iran and China.

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Afghans Protest Against NATO’s Killing Of Four Civilians

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/20/isaf-operation-sparks-protest-ghazni

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 20, 2011

ISAF operation sparks protest in Ghazni
by Mirwais Himmat

GHAZNI CITY: Residents of southern Ghazni province protested on Saturday against the killing of four civilians during a nighttime operation by international troops.

NATO-led troops killed the civilians during an offensive in the Ghonday area of the Gilan district late on Thursday night, resident Zainullah told Pajhwok Afghan News.

As a mark of protest, angry residents carried the dead bodies through the Jandi bazaar and blocked the Kabul-Kandahar highway, he said.

Haji Abdul Wali Khanzada, the provincial council deputy chief, confirmed the incident and said the identities of the dead were yet to be ascertained.

Provincial police chief, Col. Zarawar Zahid, said the operation was conducted unilaterally. Afghan forces were not taken into confidence, he added.

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U.S. Drone Crashes In Somali Capital

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/194810.html

Press TV
August 20, 2011

US drone crashes in Somalia

A US-flagged surveillance drone has crashed in the south of Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu near a refugee camp in Hodan district, Somali government officials say.

The remains of the drone were removed by Somali government and African Union (AU) forces, a Press TV correspondent reported.

In June, the US military started using remote-controlled drones in Somalia to carry out targeted killings in the African country.

Somalia is the sixth known country where Washington uses remote-aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance and air strikes.

The United States has employed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to launch aerial bombings.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.

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NATO Eyes Early Missile Interception Capability

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2011/08/22/AW_08_22_2011_p23-360745.xml&headline=NATO%20Eyes%20Early%20BMD%20Capability&channel=awst

Aviation Week
August 19, 2011

NATO Eyes Early BMD Capability
By Amy Butler, Robert Wall

Huntsville, Ala., Moscow: European missile defense proponents have long feared they will face a so-called Hobson’s choice — gain a missile shield by signing up to U.S. technology, or do without.

There are indications that this concern is about to play out, with some observers in NATO suggesting one effort to jump-start the building of an expanded European missile shield by a pooling concept where the alliance collectively buys some Raytheon SM-3 interceptors for use on European ships. This would add capacity to the magazine of firepower and sensing capabilities offered by the U.S. Aegis ships with the SM-3 IA missile. German and Dutch frigates could be equipped with the weapons, says Lt. Gen. Friedrich Ploeger, a German officer and deputy for NATO’s allied air command, based in Germany.

France has quietly subcontracted with Raytheon on interceptor studies, according to industry officials.

NATO embraced an expanded vision of missile defense as a core mission in the fall; having previously agreed to protect deployed forces, it now has also taken on the territorial defense role…

After many delays, there is finally progress, with alliance officials having fleshed out technical details to support a plan to declare initial operational capability at a meeting next April. Plans today, however, are limited to funding for linking the command-and-control architectures of NATO, with its Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) system, and the U.S., using its Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications (C2BMC) system.

A simulated flight test is slated for this week to evaluate the interface between the two command-and-control systems, Ploeger says. Another test, slated for November, will include an actual hit-to-kill attempt — with the interceptor flying from Crete, and a short-range target launched from 100 km (62 mi.) away, he says. Ploeger spoke last week at the Space and Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville, Ala.

Ploeger acknowledges that the NATO missile defenses are few, and contributions from European nations are limited to legacy lower-tier systems, with the U.S. providing high-level protection through the Aegis-based Phased Adaptive Approach. Last year, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance contribution would cost €200 million ($286 million) over the next 10 years to upgrade ALTBMD, with Ploeger suggesting the C2 portion would be in the “low hundreds of millions,” likely the lion’s share of the obligation.

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30-Story, 50,000-Ton U.S. Interceptor Missile Radar Deployed After Repairs

http://www.nwcn.com/home/?fId=128090223&fPath=/news/local&fDomain=10212

NWCN Channel 5
August 19, 2011

Huge radar departs shipyard after successful maintenance

SEATTLE: For months it puzzled people strolling along Seattle’s waterfront, but now it’s leaving for good.

The huge white radar and floating platform that sat in the shipyard since May will head back out to sea Saturday.

According to the U.S. Navy, scheduled upgrades and maintenance is complete on the Missile Defense Agency’s Sea-Based X-Band Radar (or SBX for short).

SBX has a big job – it’s one of three of America’s sensors that gets deployed along our coastlines to detect any ballistic missile threats.

When SBX begins its move out to sea on Saturday, a Naval Vessel Protection Zone will surround it, preventing any other crafts from getting too close.

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Joint Strike Fighters: Australia’s Largest Military Build-Up Since WW II

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/17/australia-f-idUSL3E7JH0GG20110817

Reuters
August 17, 2011

Australia to decide on F-35 fighter purchase in 2012: Govt

-Australia recently took delivery of the first of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by Boeing to replace ageing strike bombers…The close U.S. ally has already begun a multi-billion-dollar upgrade of its military that includes new air defence destroyers, two large amphibious assault ships, helicopters, tanks, long-range cruise missiles and 12 new long-range missile submarines costing $25 billion.

CANBERRA: Australia will decide in 2012 whether to continue with a $16.8 billion purchase of 100 of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters or seek an alternative amid continuing delivery delays and cost overruns, the government said on Wednesday.

Repeated delays and ballooning costs in the F-35 programme were bumping against delivery and cost limits set by the government and military planners, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith told parliament.

“I will not allow and the government will not allow a gap in the capability of our air combat capability,” Smith said, pointing to 2013 as the last possible decision deadline given a looming air combat gap in the country’s military.

“I’m not proposing to wait until the last minute,” he said. “I’m proposing to recommend to the government that we make that decision next year.”

Australia, which is helping develop the F-35, has committed to buying 14 of the stealth aircraft and had initially planned for first deliveries in 2011. That has now been pushed back to 2014 and even that date may be in jeopardy. The delays could also mean Australia will not proceed to purchase more aircraft beyond the initial commitments.

Australia recently took delivery of the first of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft manufactured by Boeing to replace ageing strike bombers. Smith said Canberra could consider buying more of these in place of the F-35.

The close U.S. ally has already begun a multi-billion-dollar upgrade of its military that includes new air defence destroyers, two large amphibious assault ships, helicopters, tanks, long-range cruise missiles and 12 new long-range missile submarines costing $25 billion.

Lockheed is developing three F-35 versions for the United States and eight international partners at a projected cost of more than $382 billion for 2,443 aircraft over the next two decades. It is the most expensive U.S. arms purchase. ($1 = 0.953 Australian Dollars)

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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Most Combat Deaths Since Second World War: Poland Loses 28th Soldier In NATO’s Asian War

http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/53626,Polish-sapper-killed-in-Afghanistan

Polish Radio
August 19, 2011

Polish sapper killed in Afghanistan

[Twenty-two Polish soldiers were killed in Iraq]

Lance Corporal Szymon Sitarczuk was killed yesterday during a patrol in the Ghazni province, south east Afghanistan.

The sapper was investigating an improvised explosive device (IED) when it exploded, killing him and wounding one of his colleagues and two Afghan policemen.

He is the 28th Pole to be killed in Afghanistan since 2007, when Poland became involved in the multi-national ISAF mission, with around 2,500 troops stationed in the country.

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Afghan War: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Reaches 400

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/19/isaf-death-toll-reaches-400

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 19, 2011

ISAF death toll reaches 400
by Javed Hamim Kakar

KABUL: A foreign soldier was killed in eastern Afghanistan, taking NATO fatalities in the country during the current year to 400, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Friday.

One servicemember was killed in east Afghanistan yesterday, the western military alliance said in a brief statement. In line with its policy, the force did not disclose the soldier’s nationality.

According to the Polish Defence Ministry, one of its soldiers was killed and another injured in southern Ghazni province. Poland has 2,579 troops in the province. Twenty-nine of them have been killed so far.

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Statue Of Liberty Renovation, Rupert Murdoch And Mike Royko

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/11/us-statue-liberty-closing-idUSTRE77A5U220110811

Reuters
August 19, 2011

Statue of Liberty interior to close for yearlong renovation
By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK: The Statue of Liberty will undergo a yearlong safety make-over, temporarily closing its interior to visitors at the end of October on the 125th anniversary of its dedication….

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http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-05-13/news/8501290879_1_haitians-real-problem-short-supply

Chicago Tribune
May 13, 1985

A Rich Lesson In Citizenship
Mike Royko

It`s always poignant when a boatload of half-starved Haitians tries to land in this country, only to be turned away because they don`t qualify.

But that`s the way our immigration laws are written. Not just anybody can become an American.

People can`t come here only because they want to improve themselves economically, as the skinny Haitians do.

If that were the only qualification, half the hungry world would be streaming into this country.

Thus, we have the limited immigration quotas, most of which have long waiting lists. And we take some people who are fleeing communist tyranny. (If you happen to be fleeing from a right-wing tyrant, you have a real problem.)

We also admit people who have a skill in short supply here. That`s how many foreign doctors and nurses made it.

So I`m a little puzzled by the matter-of-fact way Rupert Murdoch announced that he intends to quickly become a citizen of this country.

I don`t see how Murdoch qualifies.

For one thing, he`s not fleeing communism or any other form of tyranny. He`s already a citizen of Australia, which is a very nice, freedom-loving country. He`s treated with great respect in Australia because he`s rich and powerful, and anybody who doesn`t treat him with respect will feel bad in the morning.

Nor does he have a skill that is in short supply. By profession, Murdoch is a greedy, money-grubbing, power-seeking, status-climbing cad.

Since when is that skill in short supply? Stroll along Chicago`s LaSalle Street or New York`s Wall Street, and you`ll see thousands of greedy, money-grubbing, power-seeking cads.

Just read the financial pages. It`s all corporate raids, greenmail, hostile takeovers and other forms of modern-day piracy. If John Dillinger were alive, he`d put away his pistol, get an MBA, and if he could pull off a big enough heist, he`d be invited to join the best clubs.

So why does Murdoch want to become a citizen?

For the very same reason that those rejected Haitians and all the Mexican illegals want to come here – except on a much grander, greedier scale.

He`s already incredibly rich, but he wants more and more. That, in turn, will allow him to exercise more and more political influence.

Now, you might think that a man who is already one of the richest, most powerful men in Australia, and who owns newspapers and magazines all over the United States and in England, would be content with his bottom line.

But not Murdoch. Hundreds of millions aren`t enough. He wants billions. He wants all he can get, and then some.

To get it, he`s set out to buy a chain of TV stations in some of America`s major cities, creating his own network. That way, he will make even more money while tinkering with the minds of the viewers.

But a sensible law stands in his way. Because of the potential of television to scramble, shrink or soften our brains, only an American citizen can own more than a minority interest in a TV station.

And because of that restriction alone, Murdoch says he is going to become a citizen of this country.

Well, that doesn`t seem fair. If a Haitian on a leaky boat can`t come here to improve his pitiful economic condition, why should a bloated millionaire be welcome? And for the opportunity to earn a living, the Haitian would be willing to sweep stables, behead chickens or clean toilets. Murdoch? His approach has been to fire American workers and break unions in order to increase his own cash flow.

We might also consider the question of character, of which Murdoch has little.

For one thing, he is a proven ingrate. His willingness to switch national loyalties establishes that. If you had more money than you could ever spend, would you consider giving up your American citizenship just to add to the pile?

But Murdoch is willing to wave goodbye to Australia, because he`s already taken as much as he can out of his homeland. And in England, where he also wheels and deals, the antimonopoly laws frustrate him.

He`s also a proven liar. Only 18 months ago, when he bought the Chicago Sun-Times, he vowed to improve the paper and said he was making a journalistic commitment to this city. Some commitment. He promptly trashed and gutted that once-fine paper. And now he`s casually put it up for sale because he wants to switch to the TV business.

Finally, why would we want to give citizenship to somebody who has contempt for Americans? In his heart, if such an organ exists, Murdoch thinks we`re boobs. That`s why he publishes boob-mentality newspapers. He thinks that`s all we can understand. And he hires only Australian or English editors because he thinks American editors don`t understand what boobs Americans really are.

So if Murdoch is allowed to become a citizen – while we`re turning away people who are running from death squads or starvation – then we should make one small change in the plans to renovate the Statue of Liberty.

Get rid of the torch. Just have the lady hold up her hand – with the middle finger extended.

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Lockheed Martin To Reveal New Interceptor Missile Production Facility

http://www.decaturdaily.com/stories/Lockheed-Martin-to-announce-facility-for-missile-production-Monday,83867?content_source=&category_id=&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=

Decatur Daily
August 19, 2011

Lockheed Martin to announce facility for missile production Monday
Nancy Glasscock

Lockheed Martin will announce Monday the facility it has selected for future production of a missile to intercept intermediate and long-range missiles.

The decision is part of the bid that Lockheed Martin intends to submit for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s upcoming product development phase to be awarded in 2013.

The Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a $43.3 million contract in April for development of the missile. Lockheed Martin has North Alabama facilities in Huntsville and Courtland.

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U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarines: China, Russia “Kept In Check By Silent Behemoths”

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/08/20/tribute-to-captain-and-crew-uss-alaska/

Fox News
August 20, 2011

A Tribute to the Captain and Crew of the USS Alaska
By Dr. Elan Singer

-Unpredictable global players such as China, Iran, North Korea, and even Russia are kept in check by these silent behemoths, for they are our last resort in a doomsday scenario.

In an era where celebrities and professional athletes fill the airwaves and newspaper headlines, I recently had the honor of meeting some real larger-than-life individuals…I’m speaking about the crew of the USS Alaska (SSBN 732), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine first put into service in 1986.

On June 28th, I, along with 14 others were guests of Submarine Group TEN. We were traveling with the Kaplan Public Service Foundation (a non-profit organization that encourages civilians to become more involved in the support of our servicemen and women) and were given the rare privilege of a 24 hour first-hand look at this great ship.

From the moment you see the sub cutting through the water, the USS Alaska is 18,000 tons of pure American muscle.

We boarded specially designed tug boats in Kings Bay, Georgia in the early morning for a two hour steam to the rendezvous point with the Alaska…

USS Alaska (SSBN 732) is an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine first put into service in 1986. Since she was first put into service during the height of the Cold War, USS Alaska has had one mission—nuclear deterrence. Bombers can be shot down, land-based missiles can be destroyed, but Trident submarines are the core survivable arm of the nuclear triad. They operate in an environment that few others dare to and where attention to detail rules all. And no one knows where they are at any given moment in time—no one.

The Cold War is over, but the “MAD” (mutually assured destruction) Doctrine is still alive and well. The significance of these massive weapons is not the devastation they are capable of inflicting; rather, it’s simply that they exist and stand ready. Unpredictable global players such as China, Iran, North Korea, and even Russia are kept in check by these silent behemoths, for they are our last resort in a doomsday scenario.

The Navy has adapted, however, to changing times by converting several other Ohio-class submarines to a multi-role platform including conventional weapons systems and deployment of special operations forces.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Paul Éluard: True law of men despite the misery and war

August 20, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Paul Éluard
It’s The Sweet Law Of Men
Translated by A. S. Kline

It’s the sweet law of men
They make wine from grapes
They make fire from coal
They make men from kisses

It’s the true law of men
Kept intact despite
the misery and war
despite danger of death

It’s the warm law of men
To change water to light
Dream to reality
Enemies to friends

A law old and new
That perfects itself
From the child’s heart’s depths
To reason’s heights.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 19, 2011

August 19, 2011 2 comments

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NATO’s Libyan Air War: 19,516 Air Missions, 7,397 Strike Sorties

Last Oil Frontier: Carter Doctrine Applied To Africa

American Guided Missile Destroyer Leaves Malta

FAIR: NATO Air Strikes, Libyan Deaths And Media Silence

U.S. NATO Quad Partners Demand Regime Change In Syria

Syria: NATO Versus BRICS

U.S. Keeps Cuba, Iran, Sudan And Syria On “Terror” Blacklist

Israeli Missile Chief Briefs U.S. Space/Interceptor Missile Conference

U.S. Space, ABM Conferences “Bigger And Bigger” Each Year

War Training In Eastern Europe: U.S. National Guard “Partners” With 65 Nations

U.S. Army Plans $1 Billion 100 Unmanned Helicopter Fleet

Canada Restores Monarchy To Military

NATO Soldier Killed In Attack On British Consulate In Capital

Pakistan: U.S. Missile Strikes Kill At Least 24 In Past Ten Days

NATO Tanker Set Ablaze In Balochistan

Five NATO Tankers Destroyed In Pakistan

Strategic Partnership: Turkish Defense Officials To Visit Azerbaijan

Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Guided Missile Frigate In Seychelles

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NATO’s Libyan Air War: 19,516 Air Missions, 7,397 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110819_110819-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,516 sorties, including 7,397 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 AUGUST: 133

Strike sorties conducted 18 AUGUST:48

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Last Oil Frontier: Carter Doctrine Applied To Africa

http://www.southerntimesafrica.com/article.php?title=Black%20Gold&id=6173

Southern Times
August 19, 2011

Black Gold
By Philip T Shingirai and Mabasa Sasa

-Africa is the last oil frontier, with the resources in the Middle East, Russia and the upper North Atlantic already fully accounted for.
-“According to the International Monetary Fund, Libya’s Central Bank is 100 percent state-owned and estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults.
“Gaddafi could change the purchasing terms of his oil and other Libyan commodities sold on the world market and only accepted gold as payment; a policy like that wouldn’t be welcomed by the power elites who control the world’s central banks.
“That would certainly be something that would cause his immediate dismissal.”
-With rising demand for oil, Africa should prepared for more of what is happening in Libya.

Windhoek: In just the past 30 days, four huge petroleum firms have expressed a firm desire to get a stake of Africa’s oil.

Significantly, none of them are African. Apart from the corporate advances for Africa’s ‘black gold’, NATO’s bombing of Libya has largely been interpreted as an attempt by France, the United States and Britain to control that country’s petroleum industry.

According to a report by African Petroleum – an oil-focused website – the past month has seen French, British and Kuwaiti companies moving into the continent.

Petrol Africa, an industry monitoring body, has since documented the scramble for the black gold.

Africa is the last oil frontier, with the resources in the Middle East, Russia and the upper North Atlantic already fully accounted for.

Some of the multinationals that are scrambling for the resource include Tap Oil, which recently poured in US$1.5 million to increase its stake in Ghana’s oil fields by 15 percent; Noble Corp International, which is exploring oil in conjunction with the Egypt’s Gujarat State Petroleum; while Chariot Gas has moved into Namibia’s nascent oil sector.

Chariot Gas is using a wholly-owned subsidiary, Enigma Oil and Gas to explore the resource in Namibia.

To go about its business, Chariot has signed an agreement with geophysical specialists PGS that gives them a 10 percent stake in that firm in return for funding for pre-feasibility studies.

Chariot will retain 90 percent equity upon completion of the pre-feasibility study, while PGS will fund 50 percent of the 3D seismic studies.

The survey will cover a minimum area of 2 500 square kilometers at a gross cost of US$25 million, and is expected to take approximately 75 days to complete.

The programme will start in the last quarter of 2011.

Chariot’s venture was announced by CEO Paul Welch, who said: ‘We are very pleased to have completed this farm-out with PGS… this commitment and expenditure by PGS further demonstrates the growing industry interest in offshore Namibia where Chariot has an enviable acreage position.’

Namibia’s oil is attracting a lot of interest, with HRT of Brazil moving into the country in a really big way.

The last four months have seen HRT expending considerable resources to get a foothold in the Orange and Walvis basins of Namibia, although the firm is still to complete drilling feasibility studies to ascertain the profitability of the venture.

France’s Total has announced that it is looking to expand its position on Africa’s east coast with the addition of significant acreage in Kenya.

Martin Heya, the country’s Commissioner for Petroleum, announced through Petroleum Africa last week that Total Kenya had approached the government in May about a specific block.

‘Total is waiting for the government to survey the block and negotiate,’ Heya said.

China has announced its interest to tap into the Northern Sudan’s oil fields and Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi was in that country last week.

‘While a significant amount of the newly created Republic of South Sudan’s crude is produced by Chinese firms, China is looking to secure its ties to the Khartoum government and secure exploration acreage in the north,’ said Jeichi.

Exploration will be carried out by China National Petroleum Corp.

But the scramble for Africa’s oil has not been all about cash and diplomacy.

As has already been seen in Libya, oil-hungry nations are prepared to go to war to get their hands on the resource that is vital to the military-industrial complex.

Analyst Brian E Muhamma, in a paper titled ‘Africa’s Curse of Oil and Gold’ earlier this year wrote that the war in Libya was about petroleum and not human rights or democracy as was being claimed.

Quoting Professor Jean-Paul Pougala of the Geneva School of Diplomacy, he wrote: “It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.”

He added: “According to the International Monetary Fund, Libya’s Central Bank is 100 percent state-owned and estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults.

“Gaddafi could change the purchasing terms of his oil and other Libyan commodities sold on the world market and only accepted gold as payment; a policy like that wouldn’t be welcomed by the power elites who control the world’s central banks.

“That would certainly be something that would cause his immediate dismissal.”

Writing in The New Statesman as early as June 2007, Christopher Thompson foresaw armed conflict in Africa over oil.

“The west’s increasing dependency on African oil…gives particular urgency to these new directions in the fight against terrorism.

“Africa’s enormous, and largely untapped, reserves are already more important to the west than most Americans recognize.

“In March 2006, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General James Jones, the then head of EUCOM (Europe Command, the equivalent of Africa Command), said: “Africa currently provides over 15 percent of US oil imports, and recent explorations in the Gulf of Guinea region indicate potential reserves that could account for 25-35 percent of US imports within the next decade.”

“These high-quality reserves – West African oil is typically low in sulphur and thus ideal for refining – are easily accessible by sea to Western Europe and the US.

“In 2005, the US imported more oil from the Gulf of Guinea than it did from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined. Within the next ten years it will import more oil from Africa than from the entire Middle East.

“Western oil giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, France’s Total and Britain’s BP and Shell plan to invest tens of billions of dollars in sub-Saharan Africa (far in excess of ‘aid’ inflows to the region).”

Other analysts also see growing militarization of Western ‘diplomacy’ in Africa in the context of oil.

According to Nicholas Shaxson, the author of ‘Poisoned Wells: the Dirty Politics of African Oil: ‘(AFRICOM) comes in the context of a growing conflict with China over our oil supplies.’

Another analyst, Daniel Volman, adds: “Africa is the final frontier as far as the world’s supplies of energy (both oil and natural gas) are concerned.

“World oil production is only just meeting world demand and old fields are being drained faster that new production can be brought on line.

“Supplies will be tight for the foreseeable future, so any new source of supply is significant. Most importers are also trying to reduce their dependence on Middle Eastern oil. In the next 10-15 years, most of the new oil entering the world market is going to be coming from African fields because it is only in Africa — and to a lesser extent in the volatile Central Asia region — that substantial new fields have been found and brought into production.

“As in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region before it, Africa is now a target for military intervention by the United States, France, China, and other powers competing to gain control over energy supplies.”

Volman notes that since 1980, the US has been officially committed (in the words of President Jimmy Carter which have become known as the ‘Carter Doctrine’) to the use of “any means necessary, including military force’ to ensure the free-flow of Persian Gulf oil.

“President Clinton announced the establishment of military ties with the new republics of Central Asia as needed because ‘in a world of growing energy demand, our nation cannot afford to rely on any single region for our energy supplies’.

“Now the ‘Carter Doctrine’ has been extended to Africa.”

With rising demand for oil, Africa should prepared for more of what is happening in Libya.

====

American Guided Missile Destroyer Leaves Malta

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Carney-Departs-Malta

United States European Command
August 19, 2011

USS Carney Departs Malta
USS Carney (DDG 64) Public Affairs

VALLETTA, Malta: The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departed Valletta, Malta, Aug. 17. The regularly scheduled port visit was part of the 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations…

Carney is homeported in Mayport, Fla., and is on a three-month deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

====

FAIR: NATO Air Strikes, Libyan Deaths And Media Silence

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4379

Fairness & Accuracy in Media
August 18, 2011

Libyan Deaths, Media Silence
Were Dozens Killed in Majer NATO Airstrikes?

Allegations of Libyan civilian deaths as a result of NATO bombing have often been covered in the corporate media as an opportunity to scoff at the Gadhafi regime’s unconvincing propaganda (FAIR Blog, 6/9/11).

But dramatic new allegations that dozens of civilians were killed in Majer after NATO airstrikes on August 8 have been met with near-total media silence.

According to Libyan officials, 85 civilians were killed in Majer – a town south of Zliten, a site of frequent clashes and NATO airstrikes. There is no reason journalists should take this claim at face value. But reports from the scene suggest that something significant happened. According to Agence France Presse (8/9/11), “Reporters attended the funerals of victims and saw 28 bodies buried at the local cemetery….In the hospital morgue, 30 bodies – including two children and one woman – were shown along with other bodies which had been torn apart.”

The AFP report included NATO denials, with a spokesman claiming that the target “was a military facility clearly.”

A Reuters correspondent (8/9/11) “counted 20 body bags in one room, some of them stacked one on top of the other….In total, reporters saw about 30 bodies at the Zlitan hospital.” The New York Times (8/10/11) ran a 170-word version of a Reuters dispatch which noted: “There was no evidence of weapons at the farmhouses, but there were no bodies there, either. Nor was there blood.”

Amnesty International has called for an investigation, which led to this mention from CNN anchor John King (8/11/11):

“Amnesty International is demanding that NATO investigate whether a Monday strike on Moammar Gadhafi”s forces killed 85 Libyan civilians including 33 children. NATO says it has no evidence of civilian casualties at this point.”

A Nexis database search yields very little coverage in U.S. outlets beyond that brief comment. But that is not because no reporters were present. CNN correspondent Ivan Watson covered a mass funeral after the strikes. But his report aired only on CNN International (8/10/11). Watson reported a visit to “three or four houses that had been demolished by some kind of missiles from the sky.”

He added:

“We were also shown a morgue where there were the bodies of at least 25 people. Many of them appeared to be men. There were some women and children included among those corpses.”

Watson noted that it was “impossible for us, from this perspective, to confirm whether or not 85 people were in fact killed, but it does appear that at least some women and were among those hurt in this deadly strike.” (You can watch Watson’s report here).

Watson’s CNN.com report (8/10/11) included an interview with a Libyan who claimed that nine members of his family were killed in the attack, including his two-year old daughter. Watson also interviewed a man who was burying his daughter.

It is curious that Watson’s reporting was shared with CNN’s international audience, but not broadcast to its domestic audience.

But Watson did appear on CNN a few days earlier from the scene of another NATO strike in Zliten. The point of that report (8/5/11) was to suggest that official claims of civilian deaths were suspicious. In that segment, Watson noted that on a visit to a law school that had been attacked by NATO forces, he found what “appear to be uniforms over here, these olive green pants. And then we have got boxes here that look an awful lot like they could have been holding ammunition.”

Reporting that undermines Libyan claims of civilian casualties has been a staple of the war so far – as evidenced by headlines like “Libya Government Fails to Prove Claims of NATO Casualties” (Washington Post, 6/6/11) and “Libya Stokes Its Machine Generating Propaganda” (New York Times, 6/7/11).

Is Majer being ignored by the media because it is just more clumsy Libyan propaganda? Or is it because the story might conflict with the media’s overriding message that Libyan civilians aren’t dying in NATO’s airstrikes? In any event, corporate media outlets that have so diligently sought to debunk Libyan claims of civilian deaths should investigate what happened in Majer. On the BBC website, reporter Matthew Price published one such effort (8/11/11), headlined “What really happened in Libya’s Zlitan?” There should be more like it.

====

U.S. NATO Quad Partners Demand Regime Change In Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/19/c_131059117.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 19, 2011

France, Germany, Britain jointly urge Syrian president to quit

PARIS:- French, German and British leaders on Thursday called for further sanctions against Syrian authorities on the European level, quoting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost “all legitimacy” and should step down from power.

In a joint statement published by the Elysee Palace, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the months-long military operations and mass arrests in Syria.

The leaders “actively support further strong EU sanctions against the regime of President Assad,” and urged the Syrian authorities to immediately stop violent conflicts with protestors, and allow a UN team to assess the situation in Syria, the statement said.

The three countries believe that al-Assad “has lost all legitimacy and no longer claimed to lead the country,” it added, calling on al-Assad to “step down, in the best interests of Syria and the unity of its people.”

The statement followed similar calls by U.S. President Barack Obama and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in the same day.

====

Syria: NATO Versus BRICS

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/19/syria.world.reaction/

CNN
August 19, 2011

News agency: Russia opposes calls for Syrian president to resign

-Senior U.S. officials, diplomats and members of the Syrian opposition have argued that the next several weeks will be critical in terms of isolating al-Assad, strengthening sanctions against the regime and bolstering domestic opponents of the regime.
The campaign against Syria’s leadership, involving intense diplomatic outreach by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama, has been based on the one the United States used in Libya, where the U.S. administration built international consensus for the NATO mission…
-France and other European countries are pushing for a Security Council resolution condemning the al-Assad regime, but they are still facing stiff resistance from Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Russia opposes U.S. and European leaders’ calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign, Interfax news agency reported Friday, saying that the leader should get more time to implement reforms.

The move by Russia counters efforts by leaders ratcheting up international pressure against a regime criticized for its brutal crackdown against protesters calling for reforms and the ouster of al-Assad.

“We do not support such calls,” a Russian Foreign Ministry official says
Russia wants the Syrian president to have time to implement reforms
It is encouraged by al-Assad’s statement that military operations have stopped

The White House has previously said al-Assad had “lost legitimacy,” but resisted calling explicitly for his ouster until now.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” President Barack Obama said in a statement Thursday. “We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union echoed Obama’s demand.

The refusal by Russia to go along with U.S. and European leaders’ calls is a departure from its stance in June when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the crackdown and called for pressure to be put on Syria to stop the violence.

The Russian Foreign Ministry official, according to Interfax, said “what counts most is al-Assad’s statement yesterday that they are stopping all military operations.”

Russia also was encouraged with Syria’s agreement to accept a humanitarian mission from the United Nations into the country to look for the effects of the months-long military crackdown on anti-government protesters, the official told Interfax.

The humanitarian mission will travel to Syria on Saturday, and spend three to four days in the country, the United Nations said.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said al-Assad has issued 20 reforms since March that will lead toward democracy by the end of the year.

“This is, after all, what the peaceful demonstrators are calling for,” he said

The Foreign Ministry official, according to Interfax, said al-Assad has taken steps to implement a number of reforms, such as the adoption of “appropriate laws,” the announced amnesty for political prisoners and readiness to hold general elections before the end of the year.

Senior U.S. officials, diplomats and members of the Syrian opposition have argued that the next several weeks will be critical in terms of isolating al-Assad, strengthening sanctions against the regime and bolstering domestic opponents of the regime.

The campaign against Syria’s leadership, involving intense diplomatic outreach by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama, has been based on the one the United States used in Libya, where the U.S. administration built international consensus for the NATO mission to protect civilians.

U.S. and European authorities remain opposed to any military intervention in Syria – a sharp contrast to their response to regime-sponsored violence in Libya.

“I don’t think anybody believes that is the desired course of action on Syria,” one senior administration official said Thursday.

Russia also has threatened to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria that opens the door to international intervention.

Several Middle Eastern countries with traditionally close ties to Syria, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have been consulted in recent weeks, according to senior administration officials.

France and other European countries are pushing for a Security Council resolution condemning the al-Assad regime, but they are still facing stiff resistance from Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa.

The United States is pushing for special session on Syria at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Switzerland as early as next week.

CNN’s Alla Eshchenko, Elise Labott, Alan Silverleib, Nada Husseini, Elise Labott, Hamdi Alkhshali and Joe Sterling contributed to this report.

====

U.S. Keeps Cuba, Iran, Sudan And Syria On “Terror” Blacklist

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1920287.html

Trend News Agency
August 19, 2011

US keeps Iran, Syria, Sudan, Cuba on terror blacklist

The United States retained Iran and its ally Syria as well as Sudan and Cuba on a list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism Thursday, after blacklisting the countries the previous year, AFP reported.

In an annual report, the State Department said “Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2010,” citing “financial, material and logistic support” for militant groups in the Middle East and Central Asia.

It said Iran backed Palestinian groups Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, along with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraqi Shiite Muslim militant groups.

The State Department said its support for such groups “had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf, and undermined the growth of democracy.”

Iran was first designated a state sponsor of terror in 1984.

The Country Reports on Terrorism was published late, more than three months after its April 30 due date, at which time US law requires the secretary of state to provide Congress a full report about countries and groups deemed to be implicated in terrorism.

====

Israeli Missile Chief Briefs U.S. Space/Interceptor Missile Conference

http://www.al.com/42/index.ssf/2011/08/post_114.html

Huntsville Times
August 18, 2011

Israeli missile development chief updates SMD conference on missile threats
By Mike Kelley

-Rubin directed the development in the 1990’s of Israel’s Arrow anti missile program, in partnership with Boeing.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: The head of Israeli missile defense knows something about defending against rocket and missile attacks…

Dr. Uziel Rubin, Founder and first Director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, gave an overview of Israeli missile defense and the status of missile development efforts among some of its middle eastern neighbors as the luncheon speaker at the 14th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference Wednesday.

…Rubin said six Middle Eastern nations: Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, have carried on missile development programs in recent years.

At least four of those six states – Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Eqypt – have stockpiles of perhaps thousands of rockets and a variety of short to medium range missiles…

Iran, said Rubin, is a major threat with its advanced Shahab II and III missiles having ranges up to 2000 kilometers. Another missile system, the Sejjil, may have a range of up to 3000 kilometers. He said these could be used by Iran to effectively seal off the Persian Gulf.

The weapons could also become a threat to the southern United States, since Iran is suspected of providing them to the regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. “The move from the middle east to the Caribbean could be the next big threat in missile defense,” to the U.S., he said.

Rubin directed the development in the 1990’s of Israel’s Arrow anti missile program, in partnership with Boeing. These missiles, he said, have been a major boon to Israel’s security, with eight kills on nine incoming rockets in one period this past April.

====

U.S. Space, ABM Conferences “Bigger And Bigger” Each Year

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/08/space_and_missile_defense_conf_3.html

Huntsville Times
August 19, 2011

Space and Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville ‘exceeded our expectations’
By Kenneth Kesner

-“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said retired Maj. Gen. Al Sullivan, a former commander of Redstone Arsenal and the Aviation and Missile Command, and now CEO of BFA Systems and of ABT.
-Via was followed by Commodore Rob Bauer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, who talked about cyber and missile defense in his region. Burger pointed out there had been strong international participation at the 2011 SMD Conference, including presentations by German Lt. Gen. Friedrich Ploeger, deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein at Ramstein Airbase in Germany, Dr. Uzi Rubin, founder and first director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, and others.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: Exhibitors began packing, and there were slightly fewer uniforms, suits and “swag bags” in evidence Thursday morning as the 14th annual Space and Missile Defense Conference wrapped up at the Von Braun Center.

“I think it exceeded our expectations,” said Larry Burger of the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association. ASMDA, the National Defense Industrial Association’s Tennessee Valley Chapter and the Air Defense Artillery Association presented the SMD Conference, with support from corporate sponsors.

Registration seemed as strong as ever, or stronger, officials said. And the attendees were able to visit with a record number of companies, large and small, exhibiting their products and services.

“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” said retired Maj. Gen. Al Sullivan, a former commander of Redstone Arsenal and the Aviation and Missile Command, and now CEO of BFA Systems and of ABT.

He was program chairman for this year’s version of the annual conference, which he called a showcase for the intellectual capital that resides here. The event is an opportunity to advertise the capability in Huntsville as leaders in Washington, D.C., work on reducing defense budgets and other federal spending.

“That’s one of the reasons we do it,” Sullivan said.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, said he appreciated the chance to hear from missile defense leadership and their industrial partners at the conference, along with a hands-on look at many of their products.

The command has also been overseeing the movement of equipment from Iraq as the U.S. draws down from the country. Via said half the gear used during the “surge” in Afghanistan had been moved from Iraq – a logistical feat that would have been impossible five or 10 years ago.

“We want to use this opportunity of the BRAC relocation, we want to use the lessons from the war over the past 10 years, to fundamentally change the way we do business for the future,” Via said. “We don’t want to perfect the past.”

Via was followed by Commodore Rob Bauer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, who talked about cyber and missile defense in his region. Burger pointed out there had been strong international participation at the 2011 SMD Conference, including presentations by German Lt. Gen. Friedrich Ploeger, deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein at Ramstein Airbase in Germany, Dr. Uzi Rubin, founder and first director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, and others.

“They bring a different perspective,” Burger said.

One message countries like the Netherlands bring to the conference is that their contributions, though they may be smaller, can help fill operational gaps in missile defense. And that means the United States doesn’t have to spend resources in those areas, he said.

====

War Training In Eastern Europe: U.S. National Guard “Partners” With 65 Nations

http://www.stripes.com/news/officials-national-guard-s-role-in-eastern-europe-vital-1.152514

Stars and Stripes
August 18, 2011

Officials: National Guard’s role in Eastern Europe vital
By John Vandiver

-“I think the State Partnership Program is a perfect example of how we should be using military forces in this 21st century,” Stavridis said.
-The training runs the gamut, from infantry tactical collaboration to fighter jet operations that prepare air forces to operate together. Another focus in Europe is on preparing allies for missions in Afghanistan, where guard units frequently deploy alongside European partners.

STUTTGART, Germany — The mission started small: three National Guard units matched with military units from three former Soviet bloc nations.

Nearly two decades later, U.S. European Command and Guard officials are touting the program — which today pairs militaries of 65 nations with state Guard units — as an efficient way to conduct joint training at a time of looming budget cuts. Twenty-two of those programs are in Europe.

…Military officials from the U.S. and 22 European countries wrapped up the 2011 United States European Command and National Guard Bureau State Partnership conference in Garmisch on Thursday, which focused on ways to bolster training missions across the region.

“This is exportable,” said McKinley. “It’s something that can grow.”

For EUCOM, the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, has long been regarded as a force multiplier. The Guard currently conducts nearly half (46 percent) of security cooperation activities in the EUCOM theater of operation, according to Guard statistics.

EUCOM chief [and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe] Adm. James Stavridis, who hosted the event in Garmisch, told the conference’s attendees that the Guard’s citizen soldiers have played a key role in strengthening relations between the U.S. and eastern European militaries. Going forward, the Guard’s citizen soldiers also could play an important role by bringing their private sector expertise to challenges such as cyber security, he said.

“I think the State Partnership Program is a perfect example of how we should be using military forces in this 21st century,” Stavridis said.

[W]hile officials discussed the need for more attention to disaster response planning, the core of what the Guard does today in Europe remains rooted in more traditional military functions.

The training runs the gamut, from infantry tactical collaboration to fighter jet operations that prepare air forces to operate together. Another focus in Europe is on preparing allies for missions in Afghanistan, where guard units frequently deploy alongside European partners.

In Afghanistan, a team of Pennsylvania guardsmen and Lithuanian soldiers is now deployed to advise a group of Afghan national police officers. The mission’s commander is a Lithuanian major.

“It’s the only one (Guard mentor team) I know of that’s under command of a foreign officer,” said Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Guardsmen and Lithuanian troops have been working side-by-side for 18 years as one of the three founding partnerships of the program. In that time, much mutual trust has been built up, according to Maj. Gen. Arvydas Pocius, Lithuania’s chief of defense.

====

U.S. Army Plans $1 Billion 100 Unmanned Helicopter Fleet

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-16/u-s-army-may-start-1-billion-helicopter-drone-project-in-2012.html

Bloomberg News
August 16, 2011

U.S. Army May Start $1 Billion Helicopter Drone Project in 2012
By Brendan McGarry

The U.S. Army is proceeding with development of a minimum $1 billion program to buy at least 100 unmanned helicopters, an official said.

The service plans to award two initial contracts valued at between $100 million and $125 million each as part of a competition slated to start sometime after Jan. 1, 2012, according to Tim Owings, deputy project manager for the Army’s unmanned aircraft systems.

“We are moving forward with that program,” Owings said, referring to the vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, unmanned aerial vehicle program. Owings spoke today at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington.

He said eight companies responded to the Army’s request for information, including Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA), whose A160 Hummingbird helicopter drone was on display in the exhibit hall.

====

Canada Restores Monarchy To Military

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/canada-restores-monarchy-to-military-2011-08-18?reflink=MW_GoogleNews

MarketWatch
August 18, 2011

Canada restores monarchy to military
Commentary: Restoring the “Royal” moniker to military a silly ideaStories By Bill Mann

VANCOUVER, B.C. — “I love Canada,” said the Sikh student at the University of British Columbia, “but this is a very bad idea. My family remembers all too well what it was like in India under British rule. This name change brings back some bad memories.”

To younger Canadians — both immigrants and native-born — this week’s decision to restore the Royal designation to Canada’s navy and air force reminds them more of a popular, long-running CBC TV comedy sketch show, “The Royal Canadian Air Farce,” than anything.

The name change announced this week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government Defence Minister Peter MacKay to restore the names Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force to those two armed services after being dropped four decades ago (in favor of the generic-sounding Canadian Forces) caught most Canadians by surprise. Canada’s Land Force Command, aka Canada’s army, will be also renamed to, well, the Canadian Army.

The recent Royal “honeymoon” tour by Prince William and his new bride Kate to Canada was a big hit, but not THAT big a hit, many in Canada would argue. The name change is a silly idea, it seems to me, and runs a real risk of opening old wounds and further alienating residents of Quebec, a hotbed of anti-monarchism, as well as the official opposition New Democratic Party.

The NDP was already decidedly cool to the British monarchy even before it won most federal parliamentary seats from Quebec in May’s national elections.

I was in Olympic Stadium in Montreal and heard Queen Elizabeth booed when she opened the 1976 Summer Olympics there.

An online poll of 1,016 Canadians conducted by Ipsos-Reid between June 20 and 27 suggested that 67% of Quebecers want to get rid of the monarchy while only 42% of Canadians outside the province support such a move.

Long live the king?

Support for the monarchy was up in Canada, according to the poll, with 58% wanting to maintain it once Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends, up from 50% in a similar poll in 2010. The poll also found that most Canadians believed the royal visit did boost the monarchy’s popularity.

This impending name change came right after I’d watched a well-done CBC made-for-TV film, “Trudeau,” starring Ontario actor Colm Feore as the late Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau. It was Trudeau who dropped the monarchy from the military.

Paul Hellyer, Trudeau’s Defence Minister, oversaw getting rid of the “Royal” designation from the navy and Air Force in 1968 and creating the Canadian Forces.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador was a British colony until 1949 when it finally joined Canada. But one Newfoundland Member of Parliament, the NDP’s Jack Harris, was not thrilled with MacKay’s royal decision, either.

“It pleases people who are strong loyalists or monarchists or with a great attachment to the United Kingdom, but it doesn’t please people who see themselves as Canadians with a separate country,” he said

As I’ve reported, poll after poll has shown most Canadians indifferent to the monarchy, especially younger Canadians, who overwhelmingly see it as irrelevant to their lives.

MacKay pointed to an online petition signed by 6,000 people supporting the Royal reversion as proof that there’s support to restoring the former name dropped in 1968.

But Tom Freda, director of anti-monarchist group Citizens for a Canadian Republic, blasted the move, saying the announcement was made when parliamentarians were on summer vacation, adding:

“We’ve had gradual, incremental changes toward putting our colonialist symbols into the dustbin of history, and this is the first time a government has taken steps to restore it. This is wrong-headed and they’re making a mistake. Canadians don’t think the monarchy is appropriate for the 21st century.”

Immigrants from former British colonies, like the Sikh man above interviewed on a Vancouver TV newscast, won’t be thrilled by the royal “restoration,” he adds:

“They immigrate to Canada for a better life and lo and behold, they’re surprised to find, there it is again. There is that colonialism they left behind decades ago.”

====

NATO Soldier Killed In Attack On British Consulate In Capital

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/coalition-soldier-killed-in-kabul-attack-20110819-1j2qi.html

Agence France-Presse
August 19, 2011

Coalition soldier killed in Kabul attack

A soldier serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan was killed Friday after an insurgent attack on the British Council in Kabul, the force said.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an insurgent attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, today,” ISAF said in a statement, which gave no further details in line with its policy.

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Pakistan: U.S. Missile Strikes Kill At Least 24 In Past Ten Days

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1657890.php/US-missile-strike-kills-four-in-north-west-Pakistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 19, 2011

US missile strike kills four in north-west Pakistan

Islamabad: At least four people were killed Friday when an airstrike from a US drone struck a compound in north-western Pakistan, an intelligence official said.

The missile strike took place in the Burmal area of South Waziristan…

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles into a compound, killing four people and destroying the mud buildings, said an intelligence official who requested anonymity.

‘The death toll might rise as locals are still doing rescue work,’ he said.

The United States has intensified its missile strikes in the tribal belt along the border…

In the past 10 days, more than 24 people have been killed in US drone attacks in the district of North Waziristan.

Islamabad has officially condemned the US drone strikes, but its intelligence agencies are believed to cooperate with their US counterparts in the CIA to identify the targets.

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NATO Tanker Set Ablaze In Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C08%5C18%5Cstory_18-8-2011_pg7_12

Daily Times
August 18, 2011

NATO tanker set ablaze in Quetta

QUETTA: Unidentified armed men set fire to a NATO container in Mian Ghundi, a suburb of Quetta, on Wednesday, police said.

The NATO container was carrying goods for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan and was returning from Kandahar to Karachi when unidentified armed men set it on fire. The men also fired at the container, but the driver and cleaner remained unhurt.

A case has been registered against the unidentified people and investigations are underway. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack until the filing of this report.

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Five NATO Tankers Destroyed In Pakistan

http://tribune.com.pk/story/235113/5-nato-tankers-destroyed-in-dasht/

Express Tribune
August 19, 2011

5 NATO tankers destroyed in Dasht

QUETTA: Unidentified gunmen attacked North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) tankers in the Dasht area of Balochistan on Friday, destroying five of the vehicles.

Express 24/7 correspondent Muhammad Kazim reported that the tankers were passing through the area when two men on a motorbike opened fire.

The tankers caught fire as a result of the firing and one of the tankers is reported to have exploded after.

The men escaped after the attack.

No casualties have been reported so far, but a cameraman of Express 24/7 was injured when the tanker exploded.

There is no information on the whereabouts of the drivers.

Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants frequently launch such attacks across Pakistan, targeting the en route oil tankers.

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Strategic Partnership: Turkish Defense Officials To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=153588

Azeri Press Agency
August 19, 2011

Turkish defense officials to visit Azerbaijan
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: A visit of Turkish defense officials to Azerbaijan is expected in the near future, military sources told APA.

The discussions will be held on in the sphere of military-technical cooperation according to the agreement on “Strategic partnership and mutual assistance between Azerbaijan and Turkey” within the visit scheduled to the mid-September. Several perspective projects in the field of military industry between the countries will be discussed at the meeting with the participation of the representatives of the Turkish Defense Ministry’s corresponding institutions and defense industry companies.

The final situation on Modern Infantry Rifle project established by Turkey’s Machine and Chemical Industry Organization, artillery systems and joint missiles production projects and etc. are among the projects which will be discussed during the visit.

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Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Guided Missile Frigate In Seychelles

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62243

Navy NewsStand
August 18, 2011

USS Samuel B. Roberts Departs Seychelles
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Jamieson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe- Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

VICTORIA, Seychelles: USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) departed Seychelles Aug. 18, after six-days of training in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East.

Cmdr. Angel Cruz, Samuel B. Roberts’ commanding officer, said he felt the training had been productive for both his crew and for the personnel from participating African partner nations.

“Maritime security should be a goal for all countries, and that goal won’t be achieved unilaterally,” said Cruz. “We have to work together as nations and as maritime services to achieve safe and secure waters on the East African coast. I think the partnerships we have built, and are continuing to build through the Africa Partnership Station initiative, are going to be instrumental to making this goal a reality.”

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

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Categories: Uncategorized

Yannis Ritsos: Peace

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Yannis Ritsos
Peace
Translated by Kimon Friar

The dreams of a child are peace
The dreams of a mother are peace
The words of love under the trees are peace

The father who returns at dusk with a wide smile in his eyes
with a basket in his hands full of fruit
and the drops of sweat on his brow
which are like drops on a jug as it cools its water on the windowsill,
are peace

When wounds heal on the world’s face
and in the pits dug by shellfire we have planted trees
and in hearts scorched by conflagration hope sprouts its first buds
and the dead can turn over on their side and sleep without complaining
knowing their blood was not spilled in vain,
this is peace.

Peace is the odour of food at evening
When an automobile stopping in the street does not mean fear
When a knock on the door means a friend
And the opening of a window every hour means sky
Feasting our eyes with the distant bells of its colours,
this is peace.

Peace is a glass of warm milk and a book before the awakening child
When wheat stalks lean toward one another saying: the light, the light
And the horizon’s wreath overbrims with light,
This is peace.

When death takes up but little room in the heart
And chimneys point with firm fingers at happiness
When the large carnation of sunset
can be smelled equally by poet and proletariat,
this is peace.

Peace is the clenched fist of men
it is warm bread on the world’s table
it is a mother’s smile.
Only this.
Peace is nothing else
And that ploughs that cut deep furrows in all earth
Write one name only:
Peace. Nothing else. Peace.

On the backbone of my verses
The train advancing toward the future
Laden with wheat and roses
Is peace.

My brothers
all the world with all its dreams
breathes deeply in peace.
Give us your hands, brothers,
This is peace.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 18, 2011

August 18, 2011 3 comments

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NATO, Rebels Accused Of War Crimes In Libya

NATO Warplanes Bombard Libyan Capital

153 Days Of Bombings: 19,383 NATO Sorties, 7,349 Strike Sorties

U.S. Deploys Two More Predator Drones For NATO’s Libyan War

NATO Bombs UNESCO World Heritage Site In Libya

Angolan President Calls On NATO To Halt Bombing Of Libya

Obama Orders Syrian President To Resign

U.S. Star Wars Conference Targets Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Venezuela

NATO To Test European Interceptor Missile Initial Operational Capability

246,000 U.S. Troops Abroad: “Space Has Revolutionized How We Fight”

1.2 Million Combat Hours: Robots To Give Pentagon Casualty-Free Wars

U.S. Navy On Arctic: Facing New Ocean For First Time In 500 Years

Canada Expanding Military Capabilities In The Arctic

Kosovo: U.S. Backs Valued Ally Thaci, “Rule Of Law”

NATO’s New Maritime Strategy: Prowling The World’s Waterways

U.S. Military Storms Nigeria

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NATO, Rebels Accused Of War Crimes In Libya

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/africa-mainmenu-27/8651-nato-rebels-accused-of-war-crimes-in-libya

The New American
August 18, 2011

NATO, Rebels Accused of War Crimes in Libya
Written by Alex Newman

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being heavily criticized for civilian casualties and a series of bombings apparently targeting essential non-military infrastructure in Libya, with some observers calling the actions war crimes. The Libyan rebels being supported by coalition forces have also been accused of wanton savagery and even crimes against humanity.

Most recently, a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children. The attack sparked a new wave of outrage worldwide as journalists and activists called for investigations.

Representatives of the Gaddafi regime took a large group of foreign reporters to the site. They were reportedly shown bodies of women and children, including the remains of a baby. Multiple bombed out homes were also presented to international journalists.

“Today was yet another crime by NATO against civilians,” Libyan regime spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was quoted as saying by Fox News about the attack, noting that over 1,000 civilians had been killed by NATO so far. “They are killing women and children. This happens every day. Help us to stop this madness.”

The Western military alliance defended the strikes, saying they were against “legitimate” targets. According to NATO spokespeople, the coalition believed the town was being used as a staging ground for pro-Gaddaffi forces and tribes aimed at repelling an upcoming rebel invasion of Tripoli.

But the victims cited in news reports said that was not the case. “NATO bombed us, for what reason? We did not do anything to them. We are civilian people,” a man who lost his daughter and his home in the strike was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper. “Why did they kill us? We had peace in my house with our family. What did we do to the other countries?”

International law expert Franklin Lamb, writing in the Foreign Policy Journal from Tripoli over the weekend, accused NATO of committing a “massacre” after visiting the bombing site. Citing international lawyers, U.S. congressional staffers and human rights activists visiting the war-torn nation, he charged that NATO had “committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Other foreign reporters — particularly from Russia — have been fiercely critical of the NATO campaign for months. “Do those who planned this and other crimes have a right to live? I’m talking about the Bilderberg club. What would they feel if their families are also deprived of a quiet life, and then killed in cold blood?” wrote Russian columnist Konstantyn Scheglikov following the bombings, attacking the “NATO maniacs who do not like the resistance of the small North African country.”

Other reporters who toured the site offered similarly devastating analysis of what happened. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya with the Centre for Research on Globalization said civilians in Tripoli and other major Libyan cities were “bombed indiscriminately by NATO” in recent weeks.

“In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure,” he wrote, posting a dozen pictures showing the aftermath of the attack, which he called “photographic evidence of NATO war crimes.”

International human rights groups also had questions about the bombing. “NATO continues to stress its commitment to protect civilians,” said Amnesty International’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui in a statement. “To that effect, it should thoroughly investigate this and all other recent incidents in which civilians were reportedly killed in western Libya as a result of air strikes.”

In addition to the hundreds or even thousands of “collateral damage” deaths so far, NATO is also under fire for air strikes on civilian infrastructure. On July 25, the Associated Press reported that the international coalition bombed a hospital, leaving several doctors dead.

Another infrastructure attack that drew international condemnation was the bombing of facilities associated with Libya’s so-called Great Man-Made River system, a pipeline that delivers water to a large percentage of the population. The Pakistan Observer said the attack was “a clear war crime” and could easily lead to a “humanitarian disaster.”

On July 30, NATO warplanes also repeatedly bombed a Libyan television station, killing three and injuring 15. Surviving journalists blasted the attack and called for international support from other reporters.

“We are not a military target, we are not officers in the army and not a threat to civilians,” the Libya Broadcasting Department Employees said in a statement after the attack, which it called an “act of international terrorism” and a violation of international law. “We are doing our job as journalists in representing what from the bottom of my heart we believe is the reality of the NATO aggression and violence in Libya.”

Countless press-freedom groups including the International News Safety Institute and the International Federation of Journalists have demanded an investigation of the attack. But NATO defended the bombing, saying the TV station was being used to spread pro-Gaddafi propaganda.

A separate incident in early August involving NATO’s alleged failure to rescue ocean-bound refugees in distress has also been widely criticized around the world. According to news reports, up to 100 people died escaping Libya on a rickety boat after the engine died and nearby NATO ships failed to respond to SOS calls.

“The idea that NATO, with all its surveillance technology, was not aware of a boat of this size is a story that not even Little Red Riding Hood would believe,” charged Italian Parliamentarian Roberto Castelli. The government of Italy has requested an inquiry to find out why the refugees were apparently left to die.

The internationally backed rebels trying to seize power in Libya have also been accused of numerous war crimes and wide-scale barbarity — some of it too horrendous even to mention. Numerous gruesome videos have been posted online showing beheadings, lynchings and other crimes, proving that at least some of the allegations are true.

“The evidence provided by these videos makes clear that the rebels’ conception of warfare has more in common with that of Al-Qaeda than that of the Geneva Conventions,” explained John Rosenthal in a piece for the U.S.-based Hudson Institute. “The abuses documented in the videos could serve as textbook examples of precisely the sort of savagery that the Geneva Conventions were supposed to prevent.”

As The New American and countless other sources have reported, the NATO-backed rebels are, in many cases, led by self-described leaders of al Qaeda and other extreme Islamic groups that have boasted of battling American forces everywhere from Iraq to Afghanistan. Some of the leaders are even former U.S. prisoners who were held in Guantanamo Bay.

Suspicions about the rebels’ true motives and supporters were also raised when the self-proclaimed Interim Transitional National Council announced the creation of a new central bank weeks after the NATO invasion. It remains unclear whether the new monetary authority will follow the Gaddaffi regime’s state-owned model, or if it is to be privately owned like the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Though Western powers were arming the rebels well before intervention became official, the Obama administration and NATO publicly intervened in Libya in mid-March to enforce a United Nations resolution. Since then, the “mission” has morphed into “regime change,” with foreign powers hoping to oust dictator Gaddafi and install the rebels as the new government.

Without congressional approval, which Obama himself acknowledged in 2007 is required by the U.S. Constitution prior to foreign militarism, critics have charged that American involvement is itself illegal. And while the administration has already informed Congress that it would ignore any attempt to rein in the war, critics worldwide are still hoping that there will eventually be some accountability and justice if crimes were indeed committed.

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NATO Warplanes Bombard Libyan Capital

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8287370/explosions-shake-libyan-capital

Ninemsn
August 18, 2011

Explosions shake Libyan capital
Bassam Hatoum

Five loud explosions have shaken the Libyan capital’s city centre.

The thunderous blasts on Thursday afternoon could be felt at a hotel where foreign journalists stay in Tripoli.

NATO jets were heard minutes after the blasts exploded. It wasn’t immediately clear what was hit or if there were civilian casualties.

Since a no-fly zone was instituted in March, NATO has been bombarding..,targets in Libya.

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153 Days Of Bombings: 19,383 NATO Sorties, 7,349 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110818_110818-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 18, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,383 sorties, including 7,349 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 17 AUGUST: 130

Strike sorties conducted 17 AUGUST: 50

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U.S. Deploys Two More Predator Drones For NATO’s Libyan War

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFN1E77G1KU20110817

Reuters
August 17, 2011

U.S. sends two more Predator drones to Libya

WASHINGTON: The United States has deployed two more Predator drones for surveillance operations over Libya, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday, as Muammar Gaddafi’s forces face unprecedented pressure.

The drones arrived earlier this week, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was not immediately clear how many U.S. drones were currently deployed on the NATO mission.

The U.S. decision to send additional drones follows calls last month by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for members of the alliance to provide more air support…

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Todd Eastham)

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NATO Bombs UNESCO World Heritage Site In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/18/54821739.html

Voice of Russia
August 18, 2011

NATO bombs UNESCO heritage site in Libya

NATO aircraft have bombed the unique ancient city of Leptis Magna in Libya, the Libyan official news agency reports.

Sprawling along the Mediterranean coast, Leptis Magna is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its antique Roman architecture. The city was founded around 1100 B.C. and is often dubbed Rome in Africa. Five huge color mosaics dating to the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. have been found their recently.

In a strong condemnation of the bombing, the Libyan government accused NATO of not distinguishing between military and civilian targets and of grossly violating all international norms and conventions.

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Angolan President Calls On NATO To Halt Bombing Of Libya

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/en_us/noticias/politica/2011/7/33/President-dos-Santos-calls-NATO-halt-raids-Libya,4f3632eb-9743-45ca-8451-0ebade65c68f.html

Angola Press
August 18, 2011

President dos Santos calls on NATO to halt raids in Libya

Luanda: The Angolan head of State and acting chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Thursday, here, called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to cease the military intervention in Libya.

President dos Santos urged the concerned parties to negotiate a political solution without preconditions, adopting the ‘road-map’ proposed by the African Union (AU).

The Angolan leader was speaking in Luanda during a closing ceremony of the 31st Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the regional body.

On the other hand, the president appealed to region-based countries to pay attention and express solidarity with the people of Somalia, affected, for ten years, by armed conflict now coupled with hunger.

He also encouraged the international community to step up its efforts to send more humanitarian assistance with a view to lessen the suffering of the population, in particularly children.

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Obama Orders Syrian President To Resign

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110818/165902333.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 18, 2011

Obama calls for Assad to resign

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign “for the sake of the Syrian people.”

“The time has come for President Assad to step aside,” he said in a written statement.

“His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people,” the U.S president went on.

Obama also announced “unprecedented sanctions to deepen the financial isolation of the Assad regime and further disrupt its ability to finance a campaign of violence against the Syrian people”.

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U.S. Star Wars Conference Targets Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Venezuela

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/08/space_and_missile_defense_conf_2.html

Huntsville Times
August 18, 2011

MDA director tells Space and Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville the threats continue growing
By Kenneth Kesner

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly said part of his message Wednesday to the Space and Missile Defense Conference was, unfortunately, similar to last year’s: the threat of ballistic missile attacks continues to rise.

O’Reilly, director of the Missile Defense Agency based on Redstone Arsenal, said they’re now seeing more anti-ship missiles being procured…

Dr. Uzi Rubin, founder and first director of the Israeli Missile Defense Organization, later told a luncheon crowd that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ballistic missiles in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt – four of six Middle East countries in turmoil. There are more in Iran and other nations.

“Who knows what’s going to happen?” he asked.

As “rogue states” or unfriendly nations develop longer-range capabilities, Rubin said it is important not to underestimate the growing menace. He even raised the specter of such missiles being placed in, say, Venezuela, where they could threaten the southeastern United States.

“Maybe this is the next big thing in missile threats,” he said.

O’Reilly also updated his audience on improvements to elements of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. GMD uses a network of land, sea and space-based radars and sensors to track the launch of an enemy missile, then fire a ground-based interceptor missile from silos at Fort Greely, Alaska, or Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The GBI intercepts the threat in space and deploys a kinetic-energy warhead – the Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle – to collide with the threatening missile and destroy it.

“We are planning for a flight test in the second or third quarter of next year,” O’Reilly said. “The purpose … is to shake, rattle and roll this thing, put it in the worst environments it would ever see, and validate that we have corrected the issue.” Then, about this time next year, they will repeat the test that failed last January.

The conference, presented by the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association, the Air Defense Artillery Association and the Tennessee Valley chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association, ends today.

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NATO To Test European Interceptor Missile Initial Operational Capability

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aerospacedaily&id=news/asd/2011/08/17/01.xml&headline=NATO%20Eyes%20IOC%20For%20BMD%20Shield%20Next%20Spring

Aviation Week
August 17, 2011

NATO Eyes IOC For BMD Shield Next Spring
By Amy Butler

-Ploeger suggests that one way to contribute an upper-tier defense would be for the alliance to cooperatively purchase Raytheon SM-3 interceptors, which are used for defenses from U.S. Aegis ships.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A key test is slated next week leading up to a planned declaration of initial operational capability (IOC) for NATO ballistic missile defenses next spring, says Lt. Gen. Friedrich Ploeger, a German officer and deputy for NATO’s allied air command based in Germany.

During this test, a target missile will be launched from Crete, and an actual interceptor will be dispatched as well. The goal is to allow the system to track the interceptor and test linkages between the U.S. battle management command and control architecture and NATO’s system, called ATLBMD. He did not identify which interceptor will be used.

A second trial is also slated prior to the planned IOC declaration, which is hoped for in advance of the April summit planned for member countries, Ploeger told an Aug. 16 luncheon audience at the 2011 Space and Missile Defense conference here.

Ploeger acknowledges that the NATO missile defenses are few, and linking them together will be a major task as the alliance moves forward after declaring missile defense a key mission last fall.

Many of the capabilities offered by NATO for a collective defense in Europe are in the lower tier, or shorter range. They were largely designed to support deployed forces, rather than for a homeland defense mission.

Ploeger suggests that one way to contribute an upper-tier defense would be for the alliance to cooperatively purchase Raytheon SM-3 interceptors, which are used for defenses from U.S. Aegis ships. German and Dutch frigates, he suggests, could be equipped with the missiles and add to the capabilities against longer-range threats that the U.S. can provide. And the existing sensors on these frigates can be an additive capability to the long-range sensor network eyed in the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach.

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246,000 U.S. Troops Abroad: “Space Has Revolutionized How We Fight”

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/08/space_and_missile_defense_conf_1.html

Huntsville Times
August 17, 2011

Soldiers in spotlight at opening of Space and Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville
By Kenneth Kesner

-More than 30 nations now have or are developing a ballistic missile capability, said German Lt. Gen. Friedrich Ploeger, deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein at Ramstein Airbase in Germany. At Tuesday’s luncheon, he outlined NATO’s perspective on missile defense in Europe.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: Lt. Gen. Richard Formica started the 14th annual Space and Missile Defense Conference Tuesday morning by reminding the large audience of the main reason they are in Huntsville this week.
Ten soldiers lined up in front of the podium to a standing ovation. Most are recent inductees into the Army’s prestigious Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, and the group included the Space and Missile Command’s Soldier of the Year, Spc. Brandon Kitchen of B Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, Fort Meade, Md., and SMDC’s Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, Staff Sgt. Andrew Brown of 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Formica, the SMDC commander, said the Army has been performing “magnificently” around the world, with 246,000 deployed troops, including about 114,000 in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 6,000 soldiers and civilians have died in those wars, he said, pointing out that Alabama Army National Guard Capt. Waid “Chip” Ramsey – who served with “selflessness and pride” – had been laid to rest in Huntsville on Sunday.

“They understand service and they understand sacrifice,” Formica said, adding that it is to them that SMDC and the hundreds of contractors and leaders gathering at the Von Braun Center this week are dedicated to providing space and missile-defense capabilities.

That’s one reason why, despite tighter budgets and talk of even more reductions in defense spending, so many people are attending the conference, said Joe Fitzgerald, who worked on the SMD Conference and is also state president of the Association of the U.S. Army. Final registration is expected to be between 1,300 and 1,400, he said.

“I believe it will exceed last year’s,” Fitzgerald said. “There’s a desire to provide ongoing support to the warfighter.”

“It’s a pretty amazing turnout,” said Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, the first female military astronaut, now commander of the Air Force Space Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

She pointed out that navigation used to be by sextant and clock, and communication by telegraph. Today, warfighters use satellite technology for communications, surveillance, navigation and much more at a pace almost unimaginable.

“Space has revolutionized how we fight,” Helms said.

But it’s presenting new challenges, including finding ways to protect space assets and the computer and communication systems that make them useful. And, of course, paying for them.

“Budgets are tight. Costs are a challenge,” Helms said, acknowledging that here in Huntsville she’s preaching to the choir.

She said ways must be found for more users to have access to the information and capability that a satellite or other space asset provides, and to work with private industry to use some of their space tools when needed if an enemy disrupts those used by the military.

“We’ve got a lot of sensors in a lot of places,” she said.

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1.2 Million Combat Hours: Robots To Give Pentagon Casualty-Free Wars

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65064

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
August 17, 2011

Robots Could Save Soldiers’ Lives, Army General Says
By Cheryl Pellerin

WASHINGTON: Robots and unmanned systems potentially could improve enemy surveillance, reduce a soldier’s workload and save lives on the battlefield, an Army general said here this week.

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command and assistant Army chief of staff for installation management, addressed an audience at a session of the 2011 Unmanned Systems North America conference hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

“As I think about what’s happening on the battlefield today,” Lynch said, “I contend there are things we could do to improve the survivability of our service members. And you all know that’s true.”

His audience included some of AUVSI’s 7,000 attendees, representing the international defense enterprise; industry; commercial, civilian and first-responder developers; researchers; robotic system operators and users; and acquisition interests.

“When I look at the 153 soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Lynch said, referring to soldiers who died under his command in Iraq, “I know that 80 percent of them were placed in a situation where we could have placed an unmanned system in the same job.”

As an Army officer and U.S. Military Academy graduate, Lynch went to graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics. As part of his thesis at MIT, he designed a robotic manipulator that could be used to load 60-pound main gun rounds in a tank moving at 30 mph.

The Army has used increasingly capable robotic and unmanned systems for nearly 10 years. As a robotics engineer, Lynch said, he’s seen some progress in the Army’s use of such systems, but he makes a case for expanded and accelerated use.

In Iraq, in a place called Arab Jabour southeast of Baghdad, Lynch commanded 25,000 soldiers who were part of Task Force Marne…

“What I realized I was lacking on the battlefield then, and I contend it’s probably still lacking today, is the ability for a persistent stare,” the general said.

What he did have, Lynch said, were unmanned aerial systems, which he called “a magnificent capability for watching that area from the air.”

“The problem was they didn’t have sufficient loiter time, [and] … I didn’t have sufficient assets,” he added.

Today over Iraq and Afghanistan, such systems have flown more than 1.2 million combat hours. The Army has about 4,000 robots at work in the war zones on various tasks, including detecting roadside bombs, James Overholt, senior research scientist for robotics at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., told American Forces Press Service.

But if unmanned aerial systems are going to improve surveillance, Lynch said, “we could focus on capabilities like persistent stare. I’ve seen the technology over the last 28 years – I know where we are.”

Lynch said these systems, which fly from Point A to Point B at operational speeds, could be used in modified ways to produce the same results afforded by persistent stare, Lynch said.

“That would be powerful – an additional application on the battlefield today to improve situational awareness,” he added.

The Army uses robotic ground systems that haul gear, navigate tunnels and rough terrain, monitor remote areas, capture and transmit images, search for roadside bombs, remove obstacles from roads and sometimes go where no soldier can safely go.

Such robots can be used to reduce a soldier’s workload, and even can make up for the reduction in the Army’s civilian workforce that will occur over the next year as the defense budget is cut.

As commander of the Army’s Installation Management Command, Lynch is responsible for what he calls “120,000 dedicated civilians worldwide.” Defense cuts are reducing Lynch’s by about 7,000 by the end of fiscal 2012, he said. “Could we use robotics to address some of those issues?” he asked the audience. “I contend the answer is yes.”

Not many of the Army’s robots, though, are completely autonomous. Most are remotely controlled or tele-operated, meaning real-time control of remotely located machines.

“I’m an advocate of autonomous vehicle technology. … There’s a place on the battlefield for tele-operated systems, [but] we have to continue to advocate for pursuit of autonomous vehicle technology,” he said.

In 2009, as 3rd Corps commanding general at Fort Hood, Texas, Lynch organized a Robot Rodeo. As part of the festivities, Lynch and Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, rode on a fully autonomous vehicle called TerraMax, developed by Oshkosh Defense.

“We got in the bed of a truck that [had] traveled across country in an autonomous fashion,” Lynch said. “It was she and I, and somebody sitting behind the wheel for safety reasons, but he didn’t have to touch the wheel or the brakes or the accelerator. He didn’t have to touch anything, because it was an autonomous system,” the general added.

“We all know that could happen,” he said. “What I’m concerned about is people saying, ‘We don’t need that. Tele-operated is good enough.’ But I don’t believe that’s true.”

To reduce the workload, Lynch said, “we’ve got to keep the warfighter in the loop, but he doesn’t have to be dedicated to a particular mission.”

“You can give the system a certain degree of autonomous capability so [the warfighter] can monitor and supervise multiple systems and continue his mission with a reduced workload,” he said.

Over the last 28 years, Lynch added, he has made it a point to host some kind of robotic vehicle demonstration everywhere he’s been. “And I’ve seen the evolution of technology,” he added. “I believe candidly we can accelerate the evolution of autonomous technology if people would just acknowledge that it’s important.”

Maj. Gen. Walter L. Davis, deputy director of the U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center, part of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, joined Lynch at the conference. Today, he said, unmanned systems improve persistence, endurance and protection across all warfighting functions.

“They provide situational awareness, unmanned lethal and nonlethal fires, unattended precision target attack and acquisition, maximum standoff from threats, … and perform unmanned logistics support and services,” he said.

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U.S. Navy On Arctic: Facing New Ocean For First Time In 500 Years

http://www.stripes.com/news/amid-melting-ice-navy-assesses-strategic-demands-in-arctic-1.152431

Stars and Stripes
August 17, 2011

Amid melting ice, Navy assesses strategic demands in Arctic
By Geoff Ziezulewicz

NAPLES, Italy: The Navy has completed its latest assessment of the Arctic region, where melting ice is raising strategic questions as well as commercial opportunities.

“In the past, the Arctic was largely inaccessible, but increased seasonal melting of the sea ice is opening the region and creating opportunities for oil and gas exploration, maritime shipping, commercial fishing and tourism,” Rear Adm. David Titley, director of the Navy’s task force for climate change, said in a statement Tuesday. “We are confronted by a new ocean for the first time in 500 years.”

The assessment is part of a five-year plan, released in May 2009, to guide Navy policy, actions and investment regarding the Arctic.

“With Alaska’s coastline, the U.S. can lay claim to roughly 200 thousand square miles of territorial and exclusive economic zone waters,” Cmdr. Blake McBride, Arctic affairs officer for the Navy task force, said in a statement Tuesday.

Questions of territorial claims are among key issues for the eight Arctic nations, which include Russia, as nations jockey for control of potentially lucrative resources buried beneath the ocean floor.

The task force assessment noted that scientific research and oil and gas exploration have already increased in the region, which it said could be largely ice-free during the summer melt season in roughly 25 years, according to a Navy press release summarizing the report.

“The Navy has over a half-century experience in Arctic submarine operations, but we have very limited experience with surface and air operations in the region,” McBride was quoted as saying. “In the past, we had little need to go there.”

The 2009 five-year plan, an “Arctic Roadmap,” noted the opening of the Arctic Ocean could lead to increased oil and gas development and reshape the global sea transportation system, offering “opportunities for growth, but also … potential sources of competition and conflict for access and natural resources.”

“The fact that the U.S. is an Arctic nation is one that, in the past, has gone unrecognized by much of the American public due to Alaska’s separation and distance from the contiguous 48 states,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said at a July hearing on the emerging Arctic Ocean. “But that is changing — and the Arctic is changing.”

In 2007, there was a record low in sea ice and the trend has continued, Titley told the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard in July. Increased melting in the Bering Strait could, in a few decades, allow goods to be shipped across the Arctic instead of through the Panama Canal. “The changing Arctic has important national security implications for the Navy,” Titley said.

Strategically speaking, the value of an open Arctic lies in the emerging trade routes, and who controls those is key, according to Christian Le Mière, research fellow for naval forces and maritime security at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Canada and the U.S. are at odds over the Northwest Passage, which Canada asserts is in its territorial waters, while the U.S. contends it is an international waterway, Le Mière said.

“It’s unclear how it will be resolved, because it currently appears to be an intractable dispute,” he said. “There is very little overlap between the two positions.”

[E]arlier this year, the Defense Department restructured responsibilities for representing U.S. military issues domestically and internationally.

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Canada Expanding Military Capabilities In The Arctic

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/17/military-capabilities-expanding-in-north-canadian-forces

Toronto Sun
August 18, 2011

Military capabilities expanding in North: Canadian Forces
By Kristy Kirkup

OTTAWA: Members of the Canadian Forces say military capabilities are growing and becoming more complex in the North – a key component of reasserting claim to the region.

Lt.-Gen. Walter Semianiw, who leads Operation NANOOK, will head to the Arctic next week with Prime Minister Stephen Harper for military exercises. Harper has made habit of visiting the North each summer to assert Canadian presence in the area.

During August, navy, army and air force personnel will come together to complete annual military exercises including air, land and sea patrols, and the simulation of major air and maritime disasters.

“The Canadian military is not looking at what the issues are today but what are the threats and hazards that Canadians could see, governments could see, not only today, but in the future, to see what capabilities we could need to address those threats and hazards,” Semianiw said.

Unmanned aircraft will be tested in the North for the first time during this month’s military exercises. The Canadian Forces use the remote-controlled aircraft overseas and may start using them in the North.

Surveillance systems, including radar and sonar, are also being used to monitor air and maritime traffic.

The Arctic has recently become a site of international attention, particularly as Arctic warming thaws ice. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than anywhere else in the world, according to scientists, and that could open up key waterways like the Northwest Passage for shipping.

Coastal countries including Canada and Russia have been mapping the ocean floor and want to expand their sovereign claims in Arctic areas.

Researchers believe a quarter of the world’s undiscovered gas and oil could be contained in the region.

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Kosovo: U.S. Backs Valued Ally Thaci, “Rule Of Law”

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Kosovo-Establishing-law-and-order-is-key-priority-US-official-says_312359534694.html

ADN Kronos International
August 17, 2011

Kosovo: Establishing law and order is key priority, US official says

-Belgrade appealed to the UN and the EU on Wednesday to take measures to restore freedom of movement in Kosovo.
But Ricker, whose country spearheaded Kosovo’s independence drive, commented: “Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state and has the right to assert its authority on the entire territory”.

Pristina: Kosovo’s independence, declared by majority ethnic Albanians in 2008, is irrevocable and establishing law and order on the entire territory is a key priority, a senior United States official said Wednesday.

“The sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Kosovo is clear and what we need is the will to establish the rule of law,” visiting United States deputy assistant secretary of state Philip Ricker told media.

After talks with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, Ricker said the US supported Finish diplomat Marti Ahtisaari’s plan for Kosovo’s independence, which Serbia opposes.

Serbia’s key ally Russia blocked the plan’s approval in the United Nations Security Council. But a total of 79 countries, including the US and 22 out of 27 members of the European Union, have recognised Kosovo so far.

“We should focus on establishing peace and order in northern Kosovo and the implementation of Ahtisaari’s plan,” Ricker said.

Kosovo minority Serbs, who form the majority of the population in the north, oppose independence and don’t recognise the Pristina government. They set up roadblocks three weeks ago to protest Kosovo police taking over two border crossings with Serbia and one Kosovo policeman was killed in clashes.

After Kosovo police withdrew from the border crosssings, a mob of Serb attackers set fire to one border post and fired on Nato peacekeepers sent to quell the violence.

The Serbian government said on Wednesday that the Nato-brokered agreement wasn’t being respected, because the Kosovo government had stopped Serbian buses from entering Kosovo, violating an agreement on freedom of movement.

Belgrade appealed to the UN and the EU on Wednesday to take measures to restore freedom of movement in Kosovo.

But Ricker, whose country spearheaded Kosovo’s independence drive, commented: “Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state and has the right to assert its authority on the entire territory”.

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NATO’s New Maritime Strategy: Prowling The World’s Waterways

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_77240.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 17, 2011

Maritime security: Protecting vital sea lines

The world’s seas contain some of its most important communication, commerce and transport routes. Their security is vital to the international community. NATO helps secure and protect its member countries’ maritime resources and international commerce from potential threats…

NATO adopted a new Alliance Maritime Strategy in January 2011. This further promotes operational flexibility and emphasises the importance the Alliance places on working with its partners to ensure maritime security.

Operation Active Endeavour

Under Operation Active Endeavour (OAE), launched following the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, OAE ships patrol the Mediterranean. [T]he operation’s mandate has been regularly reviewed and its remit extended.

NATO has gained unparalleled expertise…in the Mediterranean Sea through its Active Endeavour operation. This expertise is relevant to wider international efforts…

Counter-piracy operations

Growing piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa has undermined international humanitarian efforts in Africa and the safety of one of the world’s key maritime routes – the Suez Canal. NATO has been helping to deter and disrupt pirate attacks in the region since 2008…

The current operation – Operation Ocean Shield – has a wider remit than previous operations. Not only does it provide maritime security in the region, but it also offers regional countries training to develop their own counter-piracy capacities .

NATO’s counter-piracy activities are often carried out in coordination with other organisations, such as the European Union…

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U.S. Military Storms Nigeria

http://leadership.ng/nga/emmanuel_iriogbe/3920/2011/08/17/us_military_storms_nigeria.html

Leadership
August 17, 2011

US Military Storms Nigeria
Emmanuel Iriogbe

The United States military led by the Commander of its Africa Command, General Carter Ham, is presently in the country to explore areas of cooperation with their Nigerian counterparts.

General Ham led other US military generals to the three Nigerian services, Army, Navy and Air force.

At the air force, Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward led a delegation of other military airforce officers to meet with the chief of air staff, Air Marshal Dikko Umar and his top officers.

Woodward who is commanding the US Air force Africa Command told journalists that she was in the country to seek ways the United States Air force can cooperate with its Nigerian counterpart.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Romain Rolland: Ara Pacis and Ave, Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

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Romain Rolland
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

Ara Pacis (1914)

De profundis clamans, out of the abyss of all the hates,
To thee, Divine Peace, will I lift up my song.

The din of the armies shall not drown it.
Imperturbable, I behold the rising flood incarnadine,
Which bears the beauteous body of mutilated Europe,
And I hear the raging wind which stirs the souls of men.

Though I stand alone, I shall be faithful to thee.
I shall not take my place at the sacrilegious communion of blood.
I shall not eat my share of the Son of Man.

I am brother to all, and I love you all,
Men, ephemerals who rob yourselves of your one brief day.

Above the laurels of glory and above the oaks,
May there spring from my heart upon the Holy Mount,
The olive tree, with the sunlight in its boughs, where the cicadas sing.

Sublime Peace who holdest,
Beneath thy sovran sway,
The turmoil of the world,
And who, from out the hurtling of the waves,
Makest the rhythm of the seas;

Cathedral established
Upon the perfect balance of opposing forces;
Dazzling rose-window,
Where the blood of the sun
Gushes forth in diapered sheaves of flame
Which the harmonising eye of the artist has bound together;

Like to a huge bird
Which soars in the zenith,
Sheltering the plain beneath its wings,
Thy flight embraces,
Beyond what is, that which has been and will be.

Thou art sister to joy and sister to sorrow,
Youngest and wisest of sisters;
Thou holdest them both by the hand.
Thus art thou like a limpid channel linking two rivers,
A channel wherein the skies are mirrored betwixt two rows of pale poplars.

Thou art the divine messenger,
Passing to and fro like the swallow
From bank to bank,
Uniting them.
To some saying,
“Weep not, joy will come again”;
To others,
“Be not over-confident, happiness is fleeting.”

Thy shapely arms tenderly enfold
Thy froward children,
And thou smilest, gazing on them
As they bite thy swelling breast.

Thou joinest the hands and the hearts
Of those who, while seeking one another, flee one another;
And thou subjectest to the yoke the unruly bulls,
So that instead of wasting
In fights the passion which makes their flanks to smoke,
Thou turnest this passion to account for ploughing in the womb of the land
The furrow long and deep where the seed will germinate.

Thou art the faithful helpmate
Who welcomest the weary wrestlers on their return.
Victors or vanquished, they have an equal share of thy love.
For the prize of battle
Is not a strip of land
Which one day the fat of the victor
Will nourish, mingled with that of his foe.
The prize is, to have been the tool of Destiny,
And not to have bent in her hand.

O my Peace who smilest, thy soft eyes filled with tears,
Summer rainbow, sunny evening,
Who, with thy golden fingers,
Fondlest the besprinkled fields,
Carest for the fallen fruits,
And healest the wounds
Of the trees which the wind and the hail have bruised;

Shed on us thy healing balm, and lull our sorrows to sleep!
They will pass, and we also.
Thou alone endurest for ever.

Brothers, let us unite; and you, too, forces within me,
Which clash one upon another in my riven heart!
Join hands and dance along!

We move forward calmly and without haste,
For Time is not our quarry.
Time is on our side.
With the osiers of the ages my Peace weaves her nest.

I am like the cricket who chirps in the fields.
A storm bursts, rain falls in torrents, drowning
The furrows and the chirping.
But as soon as the flurry is over,
The little musician, undaunted, resumes his song.

In like manner, having heard, in the smoking east, on the devastated earth,
The thunderous charge of the Four Horsemen,
Whose gallop rings still from the distance,
I uplift my head and resume my song,
Puny, but obstinate.

*****

Ave, Caesar, Morituri Te Salutant (1917)

Dedicated to the Heroic Onlookers in Safe Places.

In one of the scenes of his terrible and admirable book, Under Fire, a record of experiences in the trenches of Picardy, dedicated “To the memory of the comrades who fell by my side at Crouy and on Hill 119,” Henri Barbusse depicts two privates going on leave to the neighbouring town. They quit the hell of mud and blood; for months they have been suffering unnamable tortures of body and mind; they now find themselves among comfortable bourgeois who, being at a safe distance from the front, are, of course, bursting with warlike enthusiasm. These carpet-heroes welcome the two men as if they had just returned from a wedding feast. No questions are asked concerning what goes on at the front. The soldiers are told all about it. “It must be splendid, an attack! These masses of men marching forward as to a revel; there’s no holding them; they die laughing!” All that our poilus can do is to hold their tongues. One of them says resignedly to his companion: “They know more than you do about war and all that goes on at the front. When you get back, if you ever do, with your little bit of truth you will be quite out of it amid that crowd of chatterers.”

I do not believe that when the war is over, when all the soldiers have returned home, they will so readily submit to being put in their places by these braggarts of the rear. Already the real fighters are beginning to speak in a singularly bitter and vengeful tone. Barbusse’s book bears powerful witness to the fact.

We have other testimonies from the front, less known but no less moving. All of those to which I shall refer have been published. It is my rule, as long as the war lasts, to make no use of personal confidences, oral or written. Things I have been told by friends, known or unknown, are a sacred trust. I shall not use them without special permission, nor until the conditions make it safe. The testimonies I reproduce here have been published in Paris, under a censorship which is extremely strict in the case of the few newspapers that have remained independent. This proves that they describe things that are widely known, things which it is useless or impossible to conceal.

I leave the authors to speak for themselves. Comment is superfluous. The tones are sufficiently clear.

Paul Husson, L’Holocauste (a collection entitled Vers et Prose, published by F. Lacroix, 19 rue de Tournon, Paris, January 10, 1917).

This is the notebook of a soldier from the Ile de France. The author “went to the front without enthusiasm, detesting war and devoid of martial ardour. As a soldier he did what all the others did.”

p. 19. “In the name of what superior moral principle are these struggles imposed on us? Is it for the triumph of a race? What remains of the glory of Alexander’s soldiers or of Caesar’s? To fight, one must have faith. A man must have faith that he is fighting in God’s cause, in the cause of some great justice; or else he must love war for its own sake. But we have no faith; we do not love war and we know nothing about it. Yet men fight and die believing neither in the cause of God nor in the great justice; men who do not love war, and who die none the less with their faces to the enemy…Many, unawakened, go to their deaths without thinking; but others die with anguish in their hearts, anguish at the futile sacrifice and at their realisation of the madness of men.”

p. 20. In the trenches. “Everyone was cursing the war, everyone hated it. Some were saying: ‘Frenchmen or Germans, they are men like ourselves, they suffer as we do in body and in mind. Do not they, too, dream of the home-coming?’ Passing through a village and seeing a man unfit for service because he had lost two fingers, the soldiers had said to him: ‘You lucky devil; you needn’t go to the war!'”

p. 21. “I am not one of those who believe in the coming of Beauty, Goodness, and Justice…Nor am I one of those who regild the idols of the past, symbols of obscure forces which it behoves us to worship in silence. I am neither submissive nor a believer.

“I love Pity, for we are unfortunates, and it does us good to be solaced, even if we be executioners and butchers. If we do not need consolation for the ills we are suffering, we need consolation for the ills we have done or shall do. We need solace because we have to make others suffer, to kill and be killed.”

p. 22. “Lying prone, while the shells whistle overhead, I think. Die! Why should we die on this battlefield?…Die for civilisation, for the freedom of the nations? Words, words, words. We are dying because men are wild beasts killing one another. We are dying for bales of merchandise; we are dying for squabbles about money. Art, civilisation, and culture are equally beautiful, be they Romance, Teutonic, or Slav. We should love them all!”

p. 59. “With Baudelaire, we detest the weapons of warriors…The great epoch was the one in which we were living before the war. The flapping of the banners, the long files of soldiers, the roaring of the guns, and the blare of the bugles — these things cannot inspire us with admiration for collective murder and for the monstrous enslavement of the peoples…Young men lying to-day in your graves, they strew flowers on your tombs and proclaim you immortal. What to you are empty words? They will pass even more quickly than you have passed! It is true that, in any case, within a few years you would have ceased to be. But these few years of life would have been your universe and your strength.”

André Delemer, Waiting (leading article in the fourth issue, dated March, 1917, of the review “Vivre,” edited by André Delemer and Marcel Millet, 68 boulevard Rochechouart, Paris).

“If the patriarch of Yasnaya Polyana had been granted a few additional years, superadded to a life already long and full of grief, he would have shuddered before the tragedy of the younger generations. Tolstoi was a man of infinite compassion, and his heart would have been torn with suffering as he contemplated our fate, the fate of those who were suddenly thrust into this colossal war, those who had proclaimed their love for life, those whose faith in the future had seemed an infallible talisman, those who had fervently uttered this great cry of vital affirmation:

“‘To live out our youth’ — how poignant is the irony of these words; what vistas do they suddenly evoke! All the happiness we have failed to secure, the joys of which we have been deprived, because one evening the order came to us to shoulder our rifles! In twenty years’ time people will write about what we have suffered, a suffering which may be compared with the Passion; but we die daily. One galling privilege is ours, that we have lived through a convulsion, that we have been the ransom of past errors and a pledge for the tranquillity of the future. This mission is at once splendid and cruel; simultaneously it exalts and revolts; for the spasm through which we are passing wounds us and immolates us!…To-day the poor quivering refuse raked from the furnace knows all the bitterness of the laurels. Such pride as we retain makes it impossible for us to accept an illusory and transient glory. We know the falsity of attitudinising, and we have probed the emptiness of certain dreams. The fire has licked up the scenery, has reduced the tinsel to ashes. We are now face to face with ourselves, perhaps more fully awakened, certainly more sincere and more disillusioned, for we have secret wounds to heal and great sufferings to lull in the shade! The passing of the days is like wormwood in the mouth…How painful will be the transition, and how numerous will be the waifs! Already a fresh anguish oppresses our minds; it is this that will afflict when the day comes for the return of those who are still fighting. Terrible will be the anguish as we gaze upon the ruins and the dead encumbering the battlefields! How it will cramp the young wills and annihilate the fine courage of their souls! Troubled and confused epoch, wherein men will be doggedly seeking safer roads and less cruel idols!…

“Young man of my generation, it is you of whom I think as I write these lines, you whom I do not know, though I know that you are still fighting or that you have returned broken from the trenches. I have met you in the street, wearing an almost shamefaced air, doing your best to conceal some infirmity; but in your eyes I have read the intensity of your inward agony. I know the terrible hours through which you have lived, and I know that those who have endured like trials end by having like souls…I know your doubts; I share your uneasiness. I know how you are obsessed with the question, ‘What next?’ You, too, are asking what can be seen from the heights, and what is going to happen. I understand your ‘What next?’ — ‘To live!’ You sing this straight to the hearts of all of us. ‘To live!’ You embody the cry of our cruel epoch. I have heard this cry, simple yet tremendous, from the lips of the wounded who were aware of the oncoming footsteps of victorious death. I have heard it in the trenches, murmured low like a prayer. Young man, this is a grievous hour. You are a survivor from the ghastly war; your vitality must affirm itself; you must live. Stripped of all falsehoods, freed from every mirage, you find yourself alone in your nakedness; before you stretches the great white road. Onward, the distance beckons. Leave behind you the old world, and the idols of yesterday. March forward without turning to listen to the outworn voices of the past!”

In the name of these young men and their brothers who have been sacrificed in all the lands of the world engaged in mutual slaughter, I throw these cries of pain in the faces of the sacrificers. May the blood sting their faces!

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 17, 2011

August 17, 2011 2 comments

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NATO’s Air Assault Against Libya: 19,000 Sorties, 7,000 Combat Missions

African Union Monitoring NATO’s Attacks On Libya

Russia, Iran Blast Western Interventon In Middle East, North Africa

Iran, Russia Oppose Western Interference In Caspian Sea Basin

Clinton Calls On Turkey, Saudis To Pressure Syria’s Assad To Resign

Lockheed, MEADS Unveil European Interceptor Missile Battle Manager

South Korea Builds Supersonic Cruise Missiles To Strike Aircraft Carriers

South Korea To Deploy Powerful Anti-Submarine Missiles On Aegis Class Destroyers

Warfighting Capabilities: U.S. Applies Afghan, Iraqi Combat Experience In Massive South Korean War Games

Raytheon, Rafael Market U.S.-Compatible Israeli Missile Shield

U.S. Shelling Injures Nine Afghan Civilians, Including Seven Girls

Video And Text: Journalists On Drone Deaths Reject CIA Spin Machine

Obama Dispatches AFRICOM Commander To Nigeria For Gulf Of Guinea Counterinsurgency

Italy: U.S. Army Africa Commander Meets With Angolan Counterpart

U.S. Guided Missile Warship Leaves Latvia, Arrives In Poland

Czech Soldiers Decorated For NATO Missions In Afghanistan, Kosovo

Romania: Israeli Air Force Resumes Joint Training

Saudi Arabia, Israel: Germany Multiplies Weapons Sales In Middle East

Looking More Like Mussolini Every Day

U.S. Starts Multinational Military Drills In Panama Canal, Gulf Of Mexico

Ex-United Nations Official: NATO’s KFOR Violates UN Mandate In Kosovo

NATO Labels Kosovo Serb Leaders “Criminals”

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NATO’s Air Assault Against Libya: 19,000 Sorties, 7,000 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110817_110817-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) approximately 19,000 sorties, including 7,000 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Approximate sorties conducted 16 AUGUST: 100

Approximate strike sorties conducted 16 AUGUST: 50

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African Union Monitoring NATO’s Attacks On Libya

http://www.afriquejet.com/au-monitoring-natos-attack-on-libya-2011081620695.html

Afrique en ligne
August 16, 2011

Libya: AU monitoring NATO’s attack on Libya

The African Union (AU) Tuesday disclosed it was monitoring the ongoing NATO attacks on Libya, PANA reported, quoting a press statement by the AU Commission.

‘The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Jean Ping, continues to closely follow the situation in Libya. In this regard, he notes with deep concern the recent attacks, including the one of 8 August on Majar, south of the city of Zlitan, resulting in the death of civilians, including women and children,’ said the AU statement.

The statement quoted Ping as stressing that it was ‘critical that all concerned scrupulously comply with the letter and spirit of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011).’

According to the statement, AU will continue to spare no efforts towards a political solution, convinced that its roadmap and subsequent proposals as adopted in Malabo in July 2011 offer a viable basis for a way out of the current impasse.

‘The chairperson calls, once again, on all AU partners to lend their full support to the efforts aimed at achieving an early and lasting political solution in Libya,’ the statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stressed.

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Russia, Iran Blast Western Interventon In Middle East, North Africa

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=266628

Interfax
August 17, 2011

Foreign players mustn’t interfere in dialog in Middle East, North Africa – Moscow, Teheran

MOSCOW: Moscow says no interference should be ventured in the dialog between the governments and opposition in countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

“Foreign players must not obstruct the efforts of different conflicting political forces to gather at a negotiating table,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference on Wednesday after talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.

“They must give them all possible encouragement to maintain dialog instead of inciting the feeling in one of the conflicting parties that if it sharpens the confrontation help will arrive and air strikes will be dealt on its opponents. We are observing this in Libya and we can see what the consequences are,” Lavrov said.

Salehi agreed with Lavrov. “We reject all attempts of non-regional interference and we condemn all instances of interference in the affairs of those countries,” he said.

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Iran, Russia Oppose Western Interference In Caspian Sea Basin

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/205991.html

Itar-Tass
August 17, 2011

Russia, Iran stand for not putting pressure on Caspian states – Lavrov

MOSCOW: Russia and Iran stand for not putting pressure on Caspian countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi on Wednesday.

“Our bilateral partnership yields results in our joint work in the Caspian region. Russia and Iran want the region to be stable and prosperous. We want countries located in this area not to have pressure out on them from outside. We want their choice to be respected and we seek to freely build multifaceted cooperation,” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister said he did not doubt that Moscow and Tehran had big prospects for cooperation. “Our interests should not be restricted only by the Caspian region. There are good, close relations with many states of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

“It is rather useful that Russia and Iran exchange views on the events in these regions and try to make their contribution to the peaceful settlement of a series of conflicts and situations that are not calming down, unfortunately,” Lavrov stressed.

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Clinton Calls On Turkey, Saudis To Pressure Syria’s Assad To Resign

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=153424

Azeri Press Agency
August 17, 2011

US calls on Turkey to press Bashar al-Assad to step down
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Turkey and Saudi Arabia to press Bashar al-Assad to step down. Attending the event together with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Hillary Clinton called US’ policy toward Libya and Syria “smart power”.

“We are leading, but part of leading is making sure that you get other people on the field. And that’s what I think we are doing,” she said.
“It’s not going to be any news if the United States says Assad needs to go,” Clinton said, suggesting the world’s reaction to such a move would be, “Ok, fine. What’s next?”

“If Turkey says it, if King Abdullah (of Saudi Arabia) says it, if other people say it, there’s no way the Assad regime can ignore it,” Clinton said.

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Lockheed, MEADS Unveil European Interceptor Missile Battle Manager

http://www.waff.com/story/15279130/lockheed-meads-officials-unveil-missle-defense-battle-manager

WAFF
August 16, 2011

Lockheed, MEADS officials unveil missile defense Battle Manager

HUNTSVILLE AL: Lockheed Martin and MEADS officials unveiled what they called the future of air and missile defense Tuesday in Huntsville. Much of its development was completed in North Alabama.

Developers called it the brains of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). The Army and the Pentagon have wrangled over whether to complete the replacement for the Patriot Air Defense System, but Lockheed Martin’s “Battle Manager” will soon be tested.

They rolled out the [?] for the space and missile defense conference at the Von Braun Center. Lockheed and government officials said it can detect threats in airspace, coordinate missile launchers on other tactical vehicles, and military personnel inside can make the decisions.

“Much greater capability in terms of 360 degree coverage. Much greater capability in terms of reduced strategic lift. When you respond somewhere else in the world, you have to take this and deploy it on aircraft. The fewer aircraft used, the better off we are. We have greatly decreased the air lift requirements to deploy a MEADS system,” said John Holly, Lockheed’s Vice President of Missile Defense Systems.

The Battle Manager is a joint project between the United States, Italy and Germany, with software development and integration done at Research Park…

Lockheed Martin and MEADS officials people said the Battle Manager has 360 degree detection capability, and can cover eight times the defended area at half the cost while using fewer military personnel.

Testing will begin at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2012.

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South Korea Builds Supersonic Cruise Missiles To Strike Aircraft Carriers

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/08/17/2011081700566.html

Chosun Ilbo
August 17, 2011

Supersonic Cruise Missile in Development

[Of course North Korea has no aircraft carriers...though China is now developing one.]

South Korea is developing a supersonic cruise missile that can be used to attack aircraft carriers, Aegis ships and up-to-date destroyers.

“Think tanks like the Agency for Defense Development have been developing a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile for some years now. They’re expected to complete development in three to four years at the earliest,” a government source said Tuesday.

The missile under development is modeled after Russia’s powerful Yakhont missile, which is 8.9 m long and weighs 3 tons, but will be smaller, the source added. It will be able to reach speeds of up to Mach 2.5, with a range of 250-300 km.

Currently, the Navy has homegrown Haesung ship-to-ship missiles with a range of 150 km and the American-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles with the same range. But they can be intercepted by short-range anti-aircraft missiles or machine guns, as they fly slower than the speed of sound.

But supersonic missiles are harder to intercept as they fly fast a few meters above the surface. Russia has been developing various models to respond to American aircraft carriers. China and Japan already have such missiles or are developing them.

The missile South Korea is developing will also be capable of hitting targets on the ground, including North Korean coastal artillery batteries and long-range artillery.

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South Korea To Deploy Powerful Anti-Submarine Missiles On Aegis Class Destroyers

http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110815000212

Korea Herald
August 15, 2011

S. Korea to deploy powerful anti-sub missile this month

-Some military experts pointed out that the new missiles are of crucial importance particularly at a time China has been beefing up its naval capabilities. China has recently tested its first aircraft carrier Varyag…Under a project, codenamed KDX-III, South Korea has built three 7,600-ton Aegis destroyers to become the centerpiece of its strategic mobile…

A Korean-made powerful anti-submarine missile is expected to be deployed on one of the Navy’s Aegis-equipped destroyers later this month in a move to bolster its maritime defense capabilities.

Dubbed a “submarine killer,” the Hongsangeo missile with a range of 30 kilometers is regarded as one of South Korea’s key strategic weapons…Hongsangeo means red shark in Korean.

“Late last month, the Navy finished the installment of the launch system for Hongsangeo missiles on the destroyer, the Sejong the Great. Starting from Aug. 8, it began its final tests (on the system),” Rep. Song Young-sun of the minority Future Hope Alliance party said in a press release.

“Should there be any problems with the test results, the missile is to be deployed on it later this month. As it has a range of 30 kilometers, its operational deployment has a great meaning (in terms of maritime security).”

Song belongs to the National Assembly’s National Defense Committee.

Some military experts pointed out that the new missiles are of crucial importance particularly at a time China has been beefing up its naval capabilities. China has recently tested its first aircraft carrier Varyag…

In collaboration with LIG Nex1, a local defense firm, the state-funded Agency for Defense Development spent nine years developing the missile since 2000 with a budget of 100 billion won ($92.5 million).

After launch, the missile flies to the area above where the target submarine is operating. The missile then deploys a torpedo, which then dives into the water to track and destroy the target submarine. The 5.7-meter-long missile carries a price tag of around 2 billion won.

The Navy reportedly seeks to deploy the Hongsangeo missile on the country’s second Aegis destroyer, the Yulgok Yi Yi, by the end of this year and on the third one, the Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong, next year.

Under a project, codenamed KDX-III, South Korea has built three 7,600-ton Aegis destroyers to become the centerpiece of its strategic mobile…

====

Warfighting Capabilities: U.S. Applies Afghan, Iraqi Combat Experience In Massive South Korean War Games

http://www.army.mil/article/63609/Eighth_Army_trains_for_full_spectrum_operations_in_UFG/

U.S. Army
August 15, 2011

Eighth Army trains for full-spectrum operations in UFG
By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army Public Affairs

Eighth Army will hone its full-spectrum warfighting capabilities during Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Aug. 16-26, 2011, in South Korea

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea: The U.S. Army’s top operational headquarters in South Korea will train with its Republic of Korea counterparts to confront and defeat a variety of external threats during Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Aug. 16-26.

Eighth Army, together with its Republic of Korea, or ROK, allies and joint partners, will train for full-spectrum operations through multiple computer-based scenarios which include mission command, sustainment, and protection against chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological threats.

Ulchi Freedom Guardian, or UFG, is an annual command post exercise that will also leverage the lessons learned from the U.S. military’s combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“UFG provides us the opportunity to hone our warfighting capabilities, train new team members, enhance the interoperability of the United States and Republic of Korea military forces, and continue to improve the combat readiness of the alliance,” said Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson.

UFG is one of the largest computer simulation exercises in world, involving units and personnel from bases in the United States and across the Pacific region.

The exercise is named after Ulchi Mundeok, an early Korean military leader.

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Raytheon, Rafael Market U.S.-Compatible Israeli Missile Shield

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/raytheon-teams-with-rafael-to-market-iron-dome-weapon-system-2011-08-16?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Raytheon
August 16, 2011

Raytheon Teams with Rafael to Market Iron Dome Weapon System

-Raytheon and Rafael are also teaming on the David Sling Weapon System, which is a mobile, land-based missile defense program, and the Blue Sparrow missile defense targets program.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Raytheon Company and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd have teamed to market the Iron Dome weapon system in the United States. Rafael developed the original Iron Dome to provide protection against rockets, artillery and mortar attacks.

The program has completed flight test trials, and the weapon system is currently used in Israeli population centers…based on an Israeli Ministry of Defence decision.

“Iron Dome complements other Raytheon weapons that provide intercept capabilities to the U.S. Army’s Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar initiative at forward operating bases,” said Mike Booen, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems’ Advanced Security and Directed Energy Systems product line. “Iron Dome can be seamlessly integrated with Raytheon’s C-RAM systems to complete the layered defense.”

Raytheon and Rafael are also teaming on the David Sling Weapon System, which is a mobile, land-based missile defense program, and the Blue Sparrow missile defense targets program.

“The Iron Dome teaming builds on our decade-long, ongoing cooperation with Raytheon Missile Systems to provide air and missile defense solutions,” said David Stemer, Rafael executive vice president and general manager of Rafael’s Missile Division. “Iron Dome delivers a leap-ahead, affordable capability for future customers.”

Rafael designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of advanced defense systems. These leading edge products include naval, air and ground precision weapons, electro-optic systems, electronic warfare systems, C4I and unmanned systems, acoustic defense systems, armored protection, breaching munitions and space technologies.

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U.S. Shelling Injures Nine Afghan Civilians, Including Seven Girls

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/16/dozen-civilians-injured-kunar-clash

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 16, 2011

A dozen civilians injured in Kunar clash
By Khan Wali Salarzai

ASADABAD: A dozen civilians, including women and children, were wounded during a clash between Taliban and international troops in the eastern province of Kunar, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident took place late on Monday night when militants stormed an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base from a nearby mountain in the Qalawoon area of Narang district.

Governor Syed Fazlullah Wahidi told Pajhwok Afghan News some shells landed in civilian houses, injuring six children, four women and two men. He would not say who fired the shells.

Asadabad Civil Hospital Director Dr. Farooq Sahak confirmed receiving 12 injured people from the district. The wounded were in stable condition, he added.

Shells fired by US troops landed in two houses, including one of a government servant, wounding seven girls and two men, said Dr. Momin, the victims’ attendant.

Area people, meanwhile, urged militants and ISAF troops not to clash near residential areas.

The ISAF media office in eastern Afghanistan said the troops targeted the area from where they were attacked. The civilians were injured by Taliban-fired shells, it alleged.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed NATO-led troops had suffered casualties in the attack. The soldiers targeted civilians in retaliatory fire, he said.

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Video And Text: Journalists On Drone Deaths Reject CIA Spin Machine

http://rt.com/news/pakistan-civilians-deaths-cia/

RT
August 17, 2011

Journalists behind drone death report reject CIA-backed spin machine

Video at URL above

A recent report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism says US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed as many as 775 civilians – including up to 170 children. Washington claims there have been no civilian deaths at all.

­To assess these contradictions, RT spoke to Chris Woods, a senior reporter with the bureau.

RT: What did your investigations uncover in Pakistan?

Chris Woods: We’ve been looking at the subject for about a year now, and we’ve uncovered clear evidence of between 2,300 and 2,800 people killed in Pakistan. Of those, a minimum of 385 civilians, [and] we think as many as 775 civilians, were among those killed. Just to be clear, the CIA has now admitted that they have killed around 50 civilians in Pakistan during the duration of the seven years of the drone war. But they say that they haven’t killed the civilians since May of last year, and our evidence suggests entirely the contrary.

RT: Where were you getting your evidence from? What were your sources?

CW: Initially, we went back and looked at over 2,000 individual media reports from Pakistani, US, UK and international media looking at the strikes. And then, once we’d actually untangled that process and got the clearest idea of what had taken place, we then cross-referenced that with a host of material which included legal studies, case notes of lawyers who were fighting cases on behalf of civilians in Pakistan, leaked intelligence documents, US secret cables that were leaked by WikiLeaks earlier this year, and so on. So we tried to build up, really, as comprehensive a public view as we could of what’s actually been taking place with the CIA attacks.

RT:Although you say the CIA has admitted to 50 civilian deaths, nevertheless, they did try to thwart your investigation efforts, didn’t they?

CW: They were quite aggressive toward us over the last few days. Certainly, we are hearing rumors of US officials in Washington trying to cast aspersions on our study before it was even published and, for example, trying to link us to someone they were claiming was a spy in Pakistan, and also raising doubts about the validity of our research itself. And we were leaked documents by other journalists from the CIA, which were raising serious doubts on their side about our work. We have absolutely no trouble with what we put forward, and we are very robustly defending it against these attacks.

RT: Drone attacks are meant to be extremely precise, aren’t they? Why are mistakes made?

CW: The US has described the drones as the most precise weapon in the history of warfare, but you are still talking about missiles fired from a great distance away into housing compounds and vehicles where are the people going to be in the vicinity. And the history of the drone strikes, as we’ve seen it, reveals many, many strikes in which civilians have been killed: 114 of a reported 292 strikes have recorded civilian deaths attached to them.

RT: Are there any signs that the Obama administration is learning lessons from this and trying to avoid such tragedies in the future?

CW: There are some indications that civilian deaths have been dropping since 2010. Certainly, on the question of child deaths: they’ve gone from being a large numbers of children killed in strikes to individual children, really, killed by flying shrapnel, as far as we can see in the vicinity. But we have to temper that slightly. There was a huge escalation in the number of strikes last year, and reporting suffered accordingly – it’s very difficult to report from Waziristan. So while it’s indicative that civilian deaths declined, we are not 100 percent clear that that actually took place.

====

Obama Dispatches AFRICOM Commander To Nigeria For Gulf Of Guinea Counterinsurgency

http://nigerianbulletin.com/2011/08/16/securityobama-dispatches-army-chief-to-nigeria-tribune/

Nigerian Bulletin
August 16, 2011

Security: Obama dispatches Army Chief to Nigeria – Tribune

The commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Carter F. Ham, dispatched to Nigeria by President Barack Obama to get first-hand information on Nigeria’s defence and security-related challenges, arrived in the country on Monday.

The arrival of the army chief was confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune by the US Embassy in Abuja. He took over command of AFRICOM on March 9, 2011.

The itinerary of General Ham revealed that he will hold a high-level meeting with Nigeria’s top military chiefs, including Minister of Defence, Dr Bello Mohammed and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin.

————————————————————————-

http://allafrica.com/stories/201108160443.html

Daily Trusr
August 16, 2011

Insurgency – U.S. Pledges Support for Military
Misbahu Bashir

The Commander of the United States-Africa Command (AFRICOM) General Carter F. Ham said the US is prepared to train the Nigerian armed forces on how to tackle insurgency.

The military join task force was accused of using excessive force in handling militancy in the Niger Delta region and the Boko Haram unrest in Maiduguri.

General Ham said yesterday at a press briefing in Abuja there are ranges of options for the security agents to look at in handling civil strife…

He said the US is willing to conduct joint operations with Nigerian military on handling civil strife ‘if Nigeria wants.’

General Ham has held discussions with the National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi and is expected to also to meet with the authorities of the defence ministry, the chief of defence staff as well as the leadership of the ECOWAS peace and security directorate.

The discussions will provide the Commander facts of the US-Nigeria military relationship and Nigeria’s military priorities for the future.

The AFRICOM conducts joint exercise s with Nigerian armed forces to improve military operations and conduct. He said the Command is currently working together with the navy to provide security in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Italy: U.S. Army Africa Commander Meets With Angolan Counterpart

http://www.usaraf.army.mil/NEWS/NEWS_110816_AMARAL_VISIT.html

U.S. Army Africa
August 16, 2011

Angolan military leader sits down with U.S. Army Africa command team
By Mindy Anderson, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

VICENZA, Italy: To mark the beginning of a growing relationship with Angola, General Lucio Amaral, commander of the Angolan Land Forces, recently spent three days with U.S. Army Africa Commander Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg at Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy.

Amaral participated in three briefings, met with 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Soldiers, and made site visits to USARAF’s Skills Engagement Center, Contingency Command Post, and the Current Operations Integration Center.

“Angola is a very important country in south central Africa, and because of their history we haven’t really done a lot with them,” said Lt. Col. Ulises Calvo, desk officer with USARAF’s Security Cooperation Directorate.

“We hope that’s going to change this year, and if you look at the activities we have planned for the next couple of years with them, I think it’s the start of a good, growing relationship,” he said.

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship Leaves Latvia, Arrives In Poland

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Carr-Arrives-Gdynia-Poland

United States European Command
August 17, 2011

USS Carr Arrives in Gdynia, Poland
Ensign Brian T. Lance, USS Carr (FFG 52) Public Affairs

GDYNIA, Poland: The guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) arrived in Gdynia, Poland, Aug. 15, as part of a regularly scheduled port visit supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.

While inport, Carr leadership will attend office calls with senior Polish military officials, hold a reception onboard for Polish and U.S. dignitaries, and Sailors will conduct a community relations project at a local orphanage.

Carr Sailors will also compete in a soccer game with Polish navy sailors, and attend a reception aboard Okret Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej ***Kosciuszko, a former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate***.

Carr is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is on a scheduled three-month deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

————————————————————————-

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Carr-Departs-Riga-Latvia

United States European Command
August 17, 2011

USS Carr Departs Riga, Latvia
Ensign Brian T. Lance, USS Carr (FFG 52) Public Affairs

RIGA, Latvia: The guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) completed a four-day port visit to Riga, Latvia, Aug. 13.

While in port, the U.S. ambassador to Latvia, Amb. Judith Garber, hosted a reception aboard Carr, where she welcomed dozens of guests, city leaders, and Latvian dignitaries to the ship.

“We are excited to have Carr in Latvia,” Garber said. “This reinforces our partnership with Latvia, and helps us relate our shared values.

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Czech Soldiers Decorated For NATO Missions In Afghanistan, Kosovo

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/czech-troops-decorated-after-return-from-afghanistan-kosovo/674170

Czech News Agency
August 16, 2011

Czech troops decorated after return from Afghanistan, Kosovo

-Deputy Defence Minister Michael Hrbata who decorated the soldiers said more than 2000 Czech troops took part in the military´s foreign missions last year. In Afghanistan, there are about 700 Czech troops now, he said.

Namest nad Oslavou: Forty Czech soldiers who have returned from the Afghan and Kosovo missions were decorated at the Namest air base today.

Nineteen Czech pilots spent the past four months in Kabul, training local pilots on the helicopters of the Afghan National Army.

Rudolf Straka, commander of the Czech pilots, said his team operated at Kabul airport.

He said the security situation started worsening after the departure of the coalition armies was announced.

Straka was deployed in Afghanistan for a third time, before this he operated in Bosnia and Herzegovina…

Two of the Czech pilots suffered light injuries when their helicopter had an accident. When they were landing, the helicopter got into a dust cloud.

Deputy Defence Minister Michael Hrbata who decorated the soldiers said more than 2000 Czech troops took part in the military´s foreign missions last year. In Afghanistan, there are about 700 Czech troops now, he said.

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Romania: Israeli Air Force Resumes Joint Training

http://www.romania-insider.com/israeli-air-force-back-to-romania-for-exercises-after-helicopter-crash-last-year/30953/

Romania Business Insider
August 16, 2011

Israeli Air Force, back to Romania for training after helicopter crash last year
Irina Popescu

The Israeli Air Force returned to Romania earlier this month for training in joint Israel-Romania aviation exercises, for the first time since an Israeli military helicopter crashed in Romania last year, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The training exercises took place across Romania and in the Carpathian Mountains. Throughout the two-week joint aviation exercises, the Israel Air Force’s Hercules squadrons mastered mountain navigation in the face of complex, unfamiliar topography and irregular weather, according to IDF.

In 2010, a Sikorsky helicopter crashed in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains, causing the death of six IDF soldiers and one Romanian soldier. Sikorsky squadrons did not participate in this summer’s joint aviation exercises held in Romania.

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Saudi Arabia, Israel: Germany Multiplies Weapons Sales In Middle East

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/08/15/Germany-boosts-arms-sales-to-Mideast/UPI-80511313427538/

United Press International
August 15, 2011

Germany boosts arms sales to Mideast

BEIRUT, Lebanon: All of a sudden, it seems, Germany has become a key arms supplier in the Middle East despite stringent export controls that have inhibited weapons sales in the past.

Germany is providing 200 Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks built by Munich’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall to Saudi Arabia as well as Dolphin-class submarines produced by Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft of Kiel, owned by ThyssenKrupp, to Israel.

And now, in a bizarre twist, Israel and Germany are jointly developing the Pilum smart air-to-ground missiles to be sold with the Eurofighter jet in service with Saudi Arabia and other countries.

The Eurofighter, also known as the Typhoon, is produced by a consortium of British, German, Italian and Spanish companies.

NATO forces employ the twin-engined Eurofighters for their air campaign against Gadhafi’s beleaguered regime.

These days, 70 percent of German defense manufacturers’ products are sold abroad.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which monitors global arms sales, says Germany ranks third among top arms suppliers after the United States and Russia.

Figures released by the Berlin government indicate Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most prolific arms buyers, has been among Germany’s top 20 military customers even though its main source of arms is the United States and Germany considers the Middle East a conflict zone.

“Deals involving the export of missile parts, machine guns, munitions and artillery shells to Riyadh were approved – even in the years when Germany was led by a coalition government made up of the center-left Social Democrats and the Green Party in 1988-2005,” the German news magazine Der Spiegel observed in July.

But the Leopard tank deal, unveiled in July, a month after it was quietly approved by Merkel’s government, was a game-changer.

The Leopard contract alone is worth an estimated $2.85 billion. That’s about one-fifth the value of all Germany’s global arms exports in 2009, of which arms sales to Saudi Arabia totaled $167.9 million.

There were questions that the deal could jeopardize Germany’s delicate relations with Israel, which remain heavily influenced by the Holocaust.

German media even mused whether Berlin had sought Israel’s approval for the tank deal, as it had with the United States. Israel has been non-committal on the issue.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said during a visit to Berlin: “It’s in the nature of such matters that one does not speak about them publicly. But I can assure you we fully and completely trust Germany’s government.”

That’s no doubt because Merkel’s coalition is supplying Israel’s expanding navy with three more Dolphin submarines, reputedly capable of launching nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, at heavy discounts.

These will double the strength of Israel’s submarine fleet and reinforce its strategic reach, particularly against Iran.

The Jerusalem Post said Israeli defense analysts don’t see the Leopards as a threat. “What ostensibly took place,” it observed, “was that Berlin updated the Israeli government and Israel simply said nothing.”

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Looking More Like Mussolini Every Day

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=310592

Gulf Daily News
July 27, 2011

Looking like Mussolini
By Sherwood Ross

President Obama alleges “the tide of war is receding” in Afghanistan, thus allowing him to reduce US forces there by 10,000 this year, but the fact is Allied strength has been rising, not falling.

That’s because the 10,000 US fighters Obama plans to bring home by the end of this year have been replaced in advance, so to speak, by troop surges of Nato allies and other nations.

What the New York Times of June 23 called Obama’s “Rapid Troop Cuts” is not only hardly “rapid” but is part of an overall strategy for continuing a pointless, illegal, 10-year-long war whose casualty rates are higher than ever!

There are more than 40 countries that have dispatched troops to Afghanistan and a majority have increased their forces since July 2009, according to nation-by-nation reports.

The UK, for example, from July 2009 to June 2011 increased troops from 9,000 to 9,500, up 500; Spain from 780 to 1,550, up 770; Germany from 4,050 to 4,800, up 750; Italy from 2,800 to 3,900, up one,100; Canada, from 2,800 to 3,000, up 200; Czech Republic from 340 to 500, up 160; Bulgaria from 470 to 600, up 130; Poland from 2,000 to 2,500, up 500; Romania, from about 1,000 to 2,000, up 1,000; and France, from 3,100 to 3,900, up 800.

No wonder Obama can make a token withdrawal in force: he has already largely replaced his announced troop cuts for 2011 with foreign fighters.

Some nations convinced by Obama’s open appeals or behind-the-scenes arm-twisting are: Albania, 210; Armenia, 40; Austria, 3; Azerbaijan, 94; Belgium, 507; Bosnia and Herzegovina, 55; Bulgaria, 602; Croatia, 320; Denmark, 750; Estonia, 163; Finland, 156; Georgia, one; Greece, 162; Hungary, 383; Iceland, four; Ireland, seven South Korea, 426; Latvia, 139; Lithuania, 237; and Luxemburg, 11, Macedonia, 163; Malaysia, 31; Mongolia, 74; Montenegro, 36; the Netherlands, 192; New Zealand, 191; Norway, 406; Portugal, 133; Singapore, 21; Slovakia, 308; Slovenia, 80; Sweden, 500; Tonga, 55; Turkey, 1,786; the UAE, 35; and Ukraine, 55. (The Dutch pulled out their troops in December 2010).

Additionally, Obama’s commanders have the support of 94,000 troops of the Afghan National Army and perhaps 100,000 US contractors, thousands of whom are armed.

And if the tide of war is “receding,” as Obama claims, why are civilian casualties at an all-time high? Since Obama took office, Afghan civilian deaths have soared. In 2008, under president Bush, in his last year in office they were 2,118; in 2009, they rose to 2,412; and last year to 2,777. Does this sound to you like the war is winding down?

According to Wikipedia, counting US and International Security Assistance Force deaths, “2010 was the deadliest year for foreign military troops since the US invasion in 2001, continuing the trend that has occurred every year since 2003.” Does this sound to you like the war is winding down?

In its report of June 23, the New York Times says, “Most American forces are expect to leave Afghanistan by 2014.”

At the rate Afghan civilians are dying, if past is prologue, Obama’s decision means some 6,000 more civilians are liable to be killed.

Since he said the US had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, what is the point of prolonging the war for another three years?

Obama’s plan is not a peace plan. It is a war plan. Ditto for his attacks on Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. He looks more like Mussolini every day.

====

U.S. Starts Multinational Military Drills In Panama Canal, Gulf Of Mexico

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/17/c_131054493.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 17, 2011

Multi-national military exercise launched in Panama Canal

WASHINGTON: A multi-national military exercise was launched Tuesday to test plans to defend the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most strategic and economically crucial waterways for global trade, U.S. military officials said.

Some 3,500 military and civilian personnel from 17 countries are participating in the 12-day exercise dubbed PANAMAX 2011, said U.S. Southern Command officials.

The military drill, co-sponsored by Southcom and the Panamanian government, will take place off the coasts of Panama, Texas, Florida and Mississippi.

“We hope the Panama Canal will never have to be defended from a serious threat,” said Southcom spokesman Jose Ruiz, adding “but capacity is a very important part of being able to respond to emerging threats.”

This year’s exercise focuses on building the inter-operability and capacity that would be necessary to defend the canal in the event of a threat, Ruiz said.

The first edition of PANAMAX was staged in 2002 with the participation of Chile, the United States and Panama. Since then more countries have joined.

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Ex-United Nations Official: NATO’s KFOR Violates UN Mandate In Kosovo

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=08&dd=17&nav_id=75958

Beta News Agency
August 17, 2011

KFOR violated its mandate, ex-UN official claims

-“If any effort were made at the Security Council to reprimand NATO or strip it of its Kosovo mandate, a US veto would prevent its passage. The Quint can have its way.”

BELGRADE: Ex-UN Regional Representative in Kosovska Mitrovica Gerard Gallucci says that KFOR has violated its UN mandate by closing off administrative crossings.

Gallucci points out that such KFOR actions are illegal and aimed at completely isolating the northern Serb population for purely political ends.

The former U.S. diplomat quoted several UN Security Council Resolution 1244 paragraphs, that, as he said, show that KFOR has gone far beyond its mandate.

“According to UNSCR 1244, NATO has no political mandate, none whatsoever. This means that once order was secured at the northern Kosovo crossing points, responsibility there returned to the civil presence, in this case EULEX under the November 2008 agreement with the UN,” Gallucci stressed.

“There can be no doubt that KFOR’s imposition of Priština’s trade blockade is beyond NATO’s mandate, as is (KFOR Commander) General (Erhard) Buhler’s ‘negotiating’ political agreements,” he added.

The former UN official explained that “if any UN-mandated element played such a political role, it would be UNMIK or EULEX.”

“Of course, UN resolutions do not self-enforce. Members either follow their UN commitments or not. In this case, the Quint countries – led by the U.S. and Germany – have disregarded the UN mandate. If any effort were made at the Security Council to reprimand NATO or strip it of its Kosovo mandate, a US veto would prevent its passage. The Quint can have its way. Russia is unlikely to strenuously resist as it will no doubt be glad to pocket the unfortunate precedent set by the Western powers for use elsewhere at its pleasure,” Gallucci points out.

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NATO Labels Kosovo Serb Leaders “Criminals”

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=08&dd=17&nav_id=75954

Danas
August 17, 2011

NATO labels north Kosovo Serb leaders as “criminals”

BELGRADE: NATO has labeled North Kosovo Serb National Council President Milan Ivanović and Democratic Party of Serbia official Marko Jakšić as organizers of riots.

NATO documents contain files of more than 400 persons from Kosovo.

Ivanović and Jakšić are in the documents labeled as organized crime leaders who control smuggling and finance extremist groups that provoke riots and violence.

“Milan Ivanović is a xenophobic person who controls all fuel routes in northern Kosovo, medicine and construction material smuggling,” reads the confidential NATO document that Kosovo media allegedly received from a source close to French KFOR troops, daily Danas has learned.

Both Ivanović and Jakšić have denied that such files exist, adding that this is nothing but Kosovo media propaganda.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Ronsard: Far away from Europe and far from its wars

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Pierre de Ronsard
From The Fortunate Islands (1560)
Translated by Dr. Sahar Amer

Let us sail away, friends, since the wind commands
That we unmoor; let us go with vigorous arms,
Let us push the ship towards the blessed fields,
Towards the happy port of the Fortunate Isles,
Which the Ocean surrounds with its arms of blue waters,
Far away from Europe and far from its wars,
For our benefit, my friends.

*****

Or sus, amis, puisque le vent commande
De démarrer, sus, d’un bras vigoureux
Poussons la nef vers les champs bien-heureux,
Au port heureux des îles bien-heurées,
Que l’Océan de ses eaux azurées,
Loin de l’Europe et loin de ses combats,
Pour nous, amis, emmure de ses bras.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 16, 2011

August 16, 2011 1 comment

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150-Day Libya War: Over 19,000 NATO Sorties, 7,223 Strike Sorties

Mediterranean: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Arrives In Malta

Report: $3.7 Trillion For U.S. Wars, $12,000 Per Person

Iran Calls On Regional States To Oppose U.S.-NATO Intervention In Syria

Russian Solidarity Activist Warns Of Libyan Scenario In Syria

NATO Troops Arrest Five Afghan Civilians, Torch Two Vehicles

NATO Tankers Destroyed Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

Pakistan: Supplies For NATO Troops Suspended After Latest Attacks

Pakistan: 47 U.S. Drone Strikes This Year, 450 Deaths

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Proceeds Apace

Kosovo Serbs Protest New Threat To Security

86,000 U.S., South Korean Troops Begin Joint Military Exercise

Canada Renames Navy, Air Force “Royal”

Czechs Offer Iraq Warplanes For Oil

U.S. Guided Missile Warship In 17-Nation Panama Canal Exercises

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150-Day Libya War: Over 19,000 NATO Sorties, 7,223 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110816_110816-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,011 sorties, including 7,223 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 AUGUST: 127

Strike sorties conducted 15 AUGUST: 49

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Mediterranean: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Arrives In Malta

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62173

Navy NewsStand
August 15, 2011

USS Carney Arrives in Malta
From USS Carney Public Affairs

VALLETTA, Malta: The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) arrived in Valletta, Malta, for a port visit, Aug. 14.

The visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security.

Carney is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a three-month deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Report: $3.7 Trillion For U.S. Wars, $12,000 Per Person

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/15/1415218/true-cost-of-afghan-iraq-wars.html

McClatchy Newspapers
August 15, 2011

True cost of Afghan, Iraq wars is anyone’s guess
Nancy A. Youssef

WASHINGTON: When congressional cost-cutters meet later this year to decide on trimming the federal budget, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could represent juicy targets. But how much do the wars actually cost the U.S. taxpayer?

Nobody really knows.

Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department. There are long Pentagon spreadsheets that outline how much of that was spent on personnel, transportation, fuel and other costs. In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1 trillion price tag.

But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.

Lawmakers remain sharply divided over the wisdom of slashing the military budget, even with the United States winding down two long conflicts, but there’s also a more fundamental problem: It’s almost impossible to pin down just what the U.S. military spends on war.

To be sure, the costs are staggering.

According to Defense Department figures, by the end of April the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — including everything from personnel and equipment to training Iraqi and Afghan security forces and deploying intelligence-gathering drones — had cost an average of $9.7 billion a month, with roughly two-thirds going to Afghanistan. That total is roughly the entire annual budget for the Environmental Protection Agency.

To compare, it would take the State Department — with its annual budget of $27.4 billion — more than four months to spend that amount. NASA could have launched its final shuttle mission in July, which cost $1.5 billion, six times for what the Pentagon is allotted to spend each month in those two wars.

What about Medicare Part D, President George W. Bush’s 2003 expansion of prescription drug benefits for seniors, which cost a Congressional Budget Office-estimated $385 billion over 10 years? The Pentagon spends that in Iraq and Afghanistan in about 40 months.

Because of the complex and often ambiguous Pentagon budgeting process, it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate breakdown of every operating cost. Some funding comes out of the base budget; other money comes from supplemental appropriations.

But the estimates can be eye-popping, especially considering the logistical challenges to getting even the most basic equipment and comforts to troops in extremely forbidding terrain.

In Afghanistan, for example, the U.S. military spent $1.5 billion to purchase 329.8 million gallons of fuel for vehicles, aircraft and generators from October 2010 to May 2011. That’s a not-unheard-of $4.55 per gallon, but it doesn’t include the cost of getting the fuel to combat zones and the human cost of transporting it through hostile areas, which can hike the cost to hundreds of dollars a gallon.

Just getting air-conditioning to troops in Afghanistan, including transport and maintenance, costs $20 billion per year, retired Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson told National Public Radio recently. That’s half the amount that the federal government has spent on Amtrak over 40 years.

War spending falls behind tax cuts and prescription drug benefits for seniors as contributors to the $14.3 trillion federal debt. The Pentagon’s base budget has grown every year for the past 14 years, marking the longest sustained growth period in U.S. history, but it seems clear that that era is ending.

Since the U.S. government issued war bonds to help finance World War II, Washington has asked taxpayers to shoulder less and less of a burden in times of conflict. In the early 1950s Congress raised taxes by 4 percent of the gross domestic product to pay for the Korean War; in 1968, during the Vietnam War, a tax was imposed to raise revenue by about 1 percent of GDP.

No such mechanism was imposed for Iraq or Afghanistan, and in the early years of the wars Congress didn’t even demand a true accounting of war spending, giving the military whatever it needed. Now, at a time of fiscal woes and with the American public weary of the wars, the question has become how much the nation’s largest bureaucracy should cut.

“The debt crisis has been a game changer in terms of defense spending,” said Laura Peterson, a national security analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog.

“It used to be that asking how much the wars cost was unpatriotic. The attitude going into the war is you spend whatever you cost. Now maybe asking is more patriotic.”

Still, deep cuts to the Pentagon remain unpalatable to many lawmakers. The debt limit deal that Congress passed earlier this month calls for $350 billion in “defense and security” spending cuts through 2024, but that’s expected to be spread across several government agencies, sparing the Pentagon much of the blow.

However, if the 12-member bipartisan “super-committee” of lawmakers can’t agree on further federal budget cuts later this year, the law mandates across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years, with half of that coming from the Pentagon. The prospect of such deep defense cuts is thought to provide a strong incentive for deficit hawks to compromise and spread the pain more broadly.

Politics aside, finding defense savings is complex, even with the Obama administration trying to wind down two wars. For one thing, reducing troop levels doesn’t necessarily yield commensurate cost reductions, given the huge amount of infrastructure the military still maintains in each country.

In Afghanistan, the cost per service member climbed from $507,000 in fiscal year 2009 to $667,000 the following year, according to the Congressional Research Service. Fiscal year 2011 costs are expected to reach $694,000 per service member, even as the U.S. military begins drawing down 33,000 of the 99,000 troops there.

In Iraq, even with the overall costs of the war declining and the U.S. military scheduled to withdraw its remaining 46,000 troops by the end of this year, the cost per service member spiked from $510,000 in 2007 to $802,000 this year.

In fiscal year 2011, Congress authorized $113 billion for the war in Afghanistan and $46 billion for Iraq. The Pentagon’s 2012 budget request is lower: $107 billion for Afghanistan and $11 billion for Iraq.

In the more austere fiscal climate, the Pentagon has tried to be proactive, proposing cuts to some major military programs such as the controversial and hugely expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has called the national debt the biggest threat to U.S. national security. Before leaving office last month as defense secretary, Robert Gates ordered his department to find ways to cut $400 billion from the defense budget over 12 years, under Obama’s orders.

Among the challenges of determining the costs of war is defining what to include. Rising health care costs for veterans? The damage done to Iraqi and Afghan families, cities and institutions? Holding tens of thousands of detainees at U.S. military prisons in those two countries and others around the world? The massive interest on war-related debt, which some experts say could reach $1 trillion by 2020?

“The ripple effects on the U.S. economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases, and those effects have been underappreciated,” wrote a team of Brown University experts who authored a June report called “Costs of War.”

Critics of the defense budget process note that the U.S. already has paid a heavy cost for the wars, spending billions to wind up with older equipment and troops receiving less training.

Winslow Wheeler, who worked on national security issues on Capitol Hill for 30 years, said the Navy and Air Force fleets were smaller after a decade of war. The Army has been left with run-down, overworked vehicles and equipment.

“The danger of that is that as we blithely go on not paying attention, things happen that we don’t notice, like the older, less trained forces,” Wheeler said. Because the cost of replacing equipment has risen dramatically over the past decade, “what we are paying is a higher cost for a smaller force.” He likened it to replacing a Lamborghini with a Volkswagen.

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Iran Calls On Regional States To Oppose U.S.-NATO Intervention In Syria

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005253423

Fars News Agency
August 16, 2011

Iran Urges West to Avoid Interference in Syria’s Internal Affairs

TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday called on the western countries, specially the US, to keep out of the Syrian issue, and asked the regional states to help the government in Damascus to settle its internal problems.

“The important point is cooperation among countries to establish durable stability and security in Syria and the regional countries should help to the establishment of stability in the whole region,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said, adding that intervention of the other countries in Syria’s internal affairs is not justified and can create numerous problems.

“Any interference of the western forces, specially the Americans, in the internal affairs of the regional countries will merely increase the hatred of the people towards them,” he added.

Earlier, Head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi had called on all the regional countries to help Syria settle its internal problems and support the country against any possible US or NATO intervention.

“We should not let Syria become a US victim,” Boroujerdi said in a press conference at Iran’s Interests Section in Cairo, Egypt, last Tuesday.

“We should mobilize ourselves to help Syria, as a center of the Palestinian resistance, to stand firm,” he said, addressing Muslim countries and nations of the region.

Also, a senior Syrian lawmaker had warned against military intervention in his country, and stressed that any war on Damascus will leave devastating impacts on the Middle-East.

“If pressures mount on Syria, the Middle-East will move towards a devastating war and that would be a heavy cost,” Shahada Kamel told FNA last Tuesday.

“In case of a military attack on Syria, resistance groups in the region will not keep silent,” Kamel stated, and dismissed the existence of a trans-regional capability to start military intervention in the Arab country.

The remarks by the Syrian parliamentarian came after Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said that military intervention in Syria is “not a remote possibility” as he called on the international community to exert stronger pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Meantime, the French authorities ruled out the possibility of military intervention in Syria, citing that the situation in Syria was different from Libya.

“The situation in Libya and Syria are not similar. No option of a military nature is considered,” Christine Fages, deputy spokeswoman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a regular press briefing.

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Russian Solidarity Activist Warns Of Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/16/54733884.html

Voice of Russia
August 16, 2011

‘Rebels want no talks with govt in Syria’ – expert

Information warfare in Syria has reached its peak, Mr. Oleg Fomin, the deputy chief of the Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria and Libya, said during a conference held by the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Mr. Fomin stressed that western media focus more on details rather than the roots of the crisis in Syria.

He warned against the Libyan scenario in Syria.

Many experts who took part in the conference agreed that armed gangs now active in Syria are not interested in dialogue with the authorities.

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NATO Troops Arrest Five Afghan Civilians, Torch Two Vehicles

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/15/isaf-soldiers-burn-civilian-vehicles-zabul

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 15, 2011

ISAF soldiers burn civilian vehicles in Zabul
by Naseem Hotak

QALAT: International troops torched two civilian vehicles during an operation in the Shah Joi district of southern Zabul province, official said on Monday.

During the overnight operation in Karatash area, the foreign forces arrested five people and burnt two vehicles, said the district chief, Muhammad Siddique.

In a similar action, the ISAF personnel detained a man with alleged links to the Taliban in the Tazee area, Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The alliance confirmed the operation but said nothing about the burning of the vehicles.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, said the detainees were ordinary residents. The fighters shot down a drone in Kajirkhel area last night and killed five policemen in a bomb attack in Tazee on Monday morning, he claimed.

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NATO Tankers Destroyed Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/15/militant-attack-destroys-three-nato-oil-tankers.html

Dawn
August 15, 2011

Militant attack destroys three Nato oil tankers

PESHAWAR: An explosion at the Torkham bypass in Khyber Agency has left three Nato oil tankers, one container and a private car on fire.

According to security officials the Nato oil tankers, which were going from Peshawar to the Torkham border crossing, were attacked by militants with bombs in Landi Kotal.

The oil tankers caught fire and were set ablaze soon after the attack.

After the attack, the Pak-Afghan border crossing has been blocked, which has resulted in a long traffic jam. Security forces have now sealed off the area and are conducting search operations.

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Pakistan: Supplies For NATO Troops Suspended After Latest Attacks

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131053285.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Supplies to NATO forces suspended after attacks in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan were suspended on Tuesday a day after nearly 10 NATO oil tankers were attacked and torched, local media reported.

Nine tankers, carrying oil for NATO troops in Afghanistan, were attacked in Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border.

Four oil tankers, a container and a taxicab were completely gutted when a powerful bomb blast caused a huge fire in one of the vehicles near Landi Kotal Bazaar in Khyber Agency on Monday evening. No one was hurt as the drivers were breaking fast at a nearby hotel.

It was the second attack on NATO lorries in the northwest in three days. Earlier more than a dozen NATO tankers had caught fire following a blast in a container terminal in Peshawar on Saturday.

Also gunmen opened fire on NATO tankers in Punjab province late Monday night, police said. Gunmen opened fire on the tanker at Muzzafar Garh as they were passing through a square, they said. No one was hurt. Attacks on NATO trucks in Punjab are rare.

Geo television said that supplies for NATO troops were temporarily suspended over security concerns.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Taliban suspects routinely claim responsibility for such attacks.

Some 70 percent of the supplies for around 150,000 U.S.-led NATO troops is transported through Pakistan, the shortest supply route.

The United States has struck deal with Russia and few central Asian states for alternate supply routes.

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Pakistan: 47 U.S. Drone Strikes This Year, 450 Deaths

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131051024.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Four killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least four people were killed and two others injured early Tuesday morning as U.S. drones fired two missiles at a house in Miranshah of North Waziristan in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area bordering Afghanistan, reported local media Duniya.

Tuesday morning’s strike is the second of its kind during Ramadan, a holy month of Muslims. On August 10th, the U.S. drones fired several missiles at a house in which a lot of militants were preparing their pre-dawn meal, killing 21 of them on the spot.

Tuesday’s U.S. drone strike is the 47th strike (counted on a daily basis) in Pakistan this year. Nearly 450 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes since the beginning of 2011.

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Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Proceeds Apace

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1918863.html

Trend News Agency
August 16, 2011

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan discuss TAPI gas pipeline project
H. Hasanov

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat: A meeting was held with a delegation from the Afghani Ministry of Mines at the Turkmen Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the “Neutral Turkmenistan” newspaper said.

The implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) construction project was the main topic of the talks.

Confirming the need for rapid implementation of the TAPI project, the parties agreed on a number of economic and technical issues associated with laying out a transnational power line through the territory of neighboring countries, the newspaper said.

According to the project feasibility study, the 1,735-kilometer-TAPI gas pipeline will begin in eastern Turkmenistan, where the largest gas fields are located.

Passing through the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the pipeline will reach the Fazilka settlement in India, along the Pakistan-Indian border.

More than 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas will be supplied through the pipeline in a single year.

The main provisions of a number of intergovernmental documents were also specified within the meeting.

They are planned for consideration during the next TAPI project meeting by the technical working group and steering committee.

The vital importance of creating a new transnational energy corridor was also stressed.

The “Vatan” newspaper said that representatives of the Afghan side expressed their full support for the official Ashgabat peacekeeping policy, as well as for constructive international initiatives.

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Kosovo Serbs Protest New Threat To Security

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131051241.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Kosovo Serbs protest reconstruction of bridge linking ethnic villages

BELGRADE: Several hundred Serbs from the enclave of Priluzje, northwest of Pristina, on Monday protested the reconstruction of a bridge over the River Sitnica for security concerns, local media reported.

According to the Serbian news agency Tanjug, the protesters insisted that the reconstruction plan would give ethnic Albanian villages on the other side of the river direct access to a major highway, thus leading to an upswing in tensions.

“If the bridge is built, it will undermine the pretense of peace we have achieved,” said Mayor Zoran Rakic.

As groundwork for the bridge continued unabated on the other side of the river, local Serbs have announced additional protests in the coming days.

Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is spotted with numerous Serb enclaves which reject Kosovo authorities and seek direction from civil authorities in Belgrade.

The enclaves are caught in the struggle between Belgrade, which has said it would never recognize the secession of its southern province, and Pristina, which is striving to exert greater control over Kosovo after having been recognized by some European countries and the United States.

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86,000 U.S., South Korean Troops Begin Joint Military Exercise

http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=119254&code=Ne2&category=2

Arirang News
August 15, 2011

Annual Korea-US Joint Military Drill Set to Begin on Tuesday

South Korea is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday its annual joint military exercise with the United States, dubbed the “Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”

Some 56-thousand South Korean soldiers and around 30-thousand American personnel are participating in the exercise through August 26th.

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Canada Renames Navy, Air Force “Royal”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/15/canada-royal-idUSN1E77E19020110815

Reuters
August 15, 2011

Canada to put “Royal” back in its Navy, Air Force
By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA: Canada’s Conservative government, stressing traditional ties to Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy, is reinstating the names Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy after a gap of 43 years.

The Liberals removed the “royal” designation in 1968 when they amalgamated the branches of service and called the military the Canadian Forces.

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, announced the decision to bring back the word “royal” for the official names of the two branches of the military in a memo posted on Monday on the military discussion site Milnet.ca.

“The initiative to restore the historic names of Canada’s three former services is aimed at restoring an important and recognizable part of Canada’s military heritage,” Natynczyk said.

“These were the services that fought and emerged victorious from the Second World War and Korea and contributed to the defence of Europe and North America from the early days of the Cold War. These were also the services that paved the way in terms of international peacekeeping missions.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and other Conservative members of Parliament have scheduled what they describe as “significant” announcements on Canada’s military history on Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth is Canada’s head of state, and a tour by Prince William and his wife Kate last month revived interest in the monarchy.

“I think Canadians in general are going to be quite pleased and quite happy to have a little piece of their history back,” said Robert Finch, chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada.

Not all politicians agreed.

“I shall steadfastly refuse to call them Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force. Shameful. We are our own nation,” Ian Capstick, a former spokesman for the leftist New Democratic Party, tweeted on Monday.

(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

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Czechs Offer Iraq Warplanes For Oil

http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/business/companies/czechs-ready-trade-l-159-fighters-iraqi-oil

Czech Position
August 12, 2011

Czechs ready to trade L-159 fighters for Iraqi oil
Aero Vodochody boss Ladislav Šimek says Iraq now interested in obtaining 36 Czech L-159 fighter planes – in exchange for oil

During the visit by Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) to Iraq in May, his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki, announced that the two sides were negotiating the sale to Baghdad of 24 L-159 fighter planes manufactured by the Czech firm Aero Vodochody and owned by the Czech Air Force. On Friday, the daily E15 cited Aero Vodochody boss Ladislav Šimek as saying the Iraqis are now interested in acquiring 36 of the Czech planes in exchange for oil.

“In technical and price terms, the Czech offer is unrivalled and the best. What’s more, it contains benefits such as the option of paying not with money, but crude oil deliveries,” Aero Vodochody President, Ladislav Šimek, told the daily E15.

The Czech offer also has the advantage in that the planes could be delivered very quickly. As of 2000, the Czech military took delivery of 74 L-159s, but only 24 are in service. With the exception of two L-159s that were sold to Spain, the remaining planes are in storage.

Tough competition

The Czech offer faces competition from British Hawk light combat and training plane manufactured by BAE Systems, and the T-50 Golden Eagle, developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin of the US together with Korea Aerospace Industries and Korea’s Agency for Defense Development. Like the L-159 and the Hawk, the T-50 Golden Eagle is a training plane and light fighter plane but is the only supersonic model of the three.

“There are strong players standing against us. With similar such contracts, political battles decide and the characteristics of the plane are secondary,” Šimek said.

Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (ODS), who was part of the official Czech delegation to Iraq headed by Nečas in May, announced at the time that the Iraqi armed forces had opted for the Czech L-159s. Vondra also said the Czech side had offered to modernize Iraq’s Soviet-designed T-72 tanks, which are still in production in Russia, and Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters, which are also still in production.

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship In 17-Nation Panama Canal Exercises

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62170

Navy NewsStand
August 15, 2011

USS Thach Arrives in Panama for PANAMAX 2011
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Steve Smith, Southern Seas 2011 Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Panama: The guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) arrived in Panama City, Panama, for the start of PANAMAX 2011, a multinational exercise focusing on the defense of the Panama Canal, Aug. 13.

Thach will participate with forces from 17 nations in live and simulated scenarios conducted in the region surrounding Panama…

“During PANAMAX, Thach will operate as part of the Pacific Task Force, a multinational force that will provide maritime domain awareness in the Pacific approaches to the Panama Canal,” said Cmdr. Jeff Scudder, Thach commanding officer. “Maintaining awareness of the maritime commons and the VBSS missions will ensure the exercise’s opposing forces are not able to threaten the Panama Canal.”

PANAMAX 2011 officially began Aug. 15 and runs until Aug. 25. The Pacific Task Force, which includes Thach and navy ships from Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, will work together at sea during the two-week exercise.

PANAMAX 2011 is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal…The exercise includes 3,500 personnel and 22 vessels from 17 nations and is conducted off the coasts of Panama and in U.S. locations.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in…the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Nikos Kazantzakis: Francis of Assisi

August 16, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Nikos Kazantzakis
From the novel Saint Francis (1962)
Translated by Peter Bien

“Peace, my bothers,” he cried in a voice that was supplicating, afflicted. “How can we bring peace to the world if we do not have peace in our own hearts? One war begets another, and this still another, and thus there is no end to the shedding of human blood. Peace! Peace!…”

*****

Francis…had been admiring the majestic coat-of-arms above the lintel: a lion rampant, holding a heart, and above the heart the words “I fear no one.”

Francis pointed out the bearings to me. “Apparently this noble lord fears no one, perhaps not even God. The heart of man is a pretentious idiot, Brother Leo; pay no heed to what it says, but forgive and pass on. If we were to have a coat-of-arms, what device would you suggest?”

“A lamb – a lamb eating a lion,” I replied with a laugh.

“No, lamb of God. The trouble is you’re hungry and are prepared to eat even a lion. The day will come, however, when lions and lambs shall live together in peace; therefore, do not make yourself so ferocious. If you asked me, I would have a tiny bird emblazoned on our escutcheon, a tiny, humble bird which mounts to heaven each morning – singing.”

“The skylark,” I said, recalling Francis’ words to the brothers at the Portiuncula. “The bird with the hood.”

*****

The bishop lifted his arms. “Be brief,” he commanded. “The banquet is ready.”

“The banquet is ready in heaven!” began Francis, seizing upon the bishop’s words. “The banquet is ready, my brethren; the Day of Judgment approaches. There is little time left, but even now we can still be saved, we can mount to heaven and take our seats at God’s immortal tables. But with iron armor, with spurs of gold, with silk veils, with parties and laughter and a life filled with comforts one does not mount to heaven. The ascent is rigorous, my brethren; it exacts sweat, and struggle, and abundant blood.”

*****

One day a wild hare dashed up to him and burrowed beneath his frock. We knew the terrified creature must have been running for its life, because we heard the piercing cry of a fox in the distance.

Francis stroked the hare and spoke to it with such tenderness that I was astonished. He had never spoken so tenderly to a human being.

“Put your hand over its tiny heart, Brother Leo, to see how the poor thing is trembling. Its whole body is shaking. I’m sorry, Brother Fox, but I’m not going to let you eat this hare. God sent it to me so that I could save it.”

The hare remained near him from that moment on, and the days when Francis was breathing his last, it crouched at his feet, quivering and refusing to eat.

*****

His face was resplendent, his eyes wide open and fixed upon the air. Suddenly he stirred. Calling up all his strength, he turned and glanced slowly at each of us, one by one. His lips moved; he seemed to have some final word to says to us. I went close to him.

“Poverty, Peace, Love…”

His voice was muted and extremely frail, as though coming from far far away – from the other shore. I held my breath, trying to hear more. There was nothing.

Then, suddenly, we all fell upon his body, kissing it and wailing the dirge.

At the exact sacred instant I inscribed these final words, huddled over in my cell and overcome with tears at the memory of my beloved father, a tiny sparrow came to the window and began to tap on the pane. Its wings were drenched; it was cold. I got up to let it in.

And it was you, Father Francis; it was you, dressed as a tiny sparrow.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 4 comments

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NATO’s Libyan War: Over 19,000 Air Missions, 7,200 Strike Sorties

Gaddafi Calls On Libyans To Take Up Arms Against NATO

Gaddafi Support Soars Amid NATO Bombing

Libyan War: U.S. Global Hawk Drone “Reaches Critical Milestone”

Afghan War: Over 50,000 NATO Sorties In Last Year, 10,000 Special Forces Air Missions

U.S. Holds Space and Missile Defense Conference At Von Braun Center

Drones And Children

Iran Blasts NATO’s Meddling In Region As “Big Mistake”

Israel Plants New Mines, Deploys More Troops Along Syrian Border

NATO’s Arm, The Neo-Ottomans

State Department: U.S. Shifts Geostrategic, Military Focus From Middle East To Asia

Trillion Dollar War Budget: Old Days Of Entitlement In U.S. May Be Gone

NATO, ICC Criminalise Stone Throwing, Legitimise Street Shooting

China To Deepen Military Cooperation With Russia

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NATO’s Libyan War: Over 19,000 Air Missions, 7,200 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110815_110815-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 15, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,003 sorties, including 7,200 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 AUGUST: 119

Strike sorties conducted 14 AUGUST: 26

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Gaddafi Calls On Libyans To Take Up Arms Against NATO

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFLDE77E00A20110815

Reuters
August 15, 2011

Gaddafi urges Libyans to take up arms against NATO

TRIPOLI: Libyan state television early on Monday broadcast what it said was a live speech by Muammar Gaddafi calling on the Libyan people to arm themselves to liberate the country from “traitors and from NATO.”

The speech, which was broadcast in audio only with no images, was the first time Gaddafi had spoken in public since rebel fighters launched their biggest offensive in months in the area around Tripoli.

“The Libyan people will remain and the Fateh revolution (which brought Gaddafi to power in 1969) will remain. Move forward, challenge, pick up your weapons, go to the fight for liberating Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO,” the Libyan leader said.

“Get ready for the fight…The blood of martyrs is fuel for the battlefield.”

Gaddafi says the rebels are criminals and al Qaeda militants, and has described the NATO bombing campaign as an act of colonial aggression aimed at stealing Libya’s plentiful oil reserves.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Tim Pearce)

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Gaddafi Support Soars Amid NATO Bombing

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1258350.html

Chronicle Herald
August 15, 2011

Gadhafi support soars amid NATO bombing
By Scott Taylor On Target

The rebellion in Libya has been more of a media war than a full-scale armed clash. Sure, the rebels seized tanks and weapons from government troops in the early stages. This led to some skirmishes between rebels and Gadhafi loyalists in seesaw battles along Libya’s coastal highway.

Between Feb. 15, when the uprising began, and March 19, when the UN Security Council authorized international intervention, the vast majority of Libya’s foreign workers fled the country.

In those chaotic days, the British Foreign Ministry reported that President Moammar Gadhafi had fled to Venezuela. The rebels seemed poised to snatch a quick victory. But Gadhafi had no intention of fleeing and his shaken followers soon regained their composure and began mounting an effective defence against rebel advances.

Not being professional troops, the rebels were soon in a head-long retreat back to their eastern stronghold in the city of Ben-ghazi.

To prevent Gadhafi from inflicting reprisals on the rebels, the UN authorized a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Libya to protect unarmed civilians from being bombed. That, of course, did not apply to civilians living in Gadhafi-controlled sectors, as the Canadian-led NATO coalition soon began mounting airstrikes against government targets.

For more than five months now NATO planes have supported the rebels, and NATO warships have enforced a one-sided arms embargo against Gadhafi’s forces. And all foreign-held Libyan financial assets have been frozen, making it virtually impossible for Libya to purchase any war materiel, or even basic necessities such as fuel.

Despite all these measures, the ragtag collection of fractious units that compose the rebels have been unable to make any serious tactical headway against Gadhafi loyalists — let alone topple the dictator.

On a fact-finding trip into Tripoli last week, I saw first-hand that Gadhafi has solidified his control over the capital and most of western Libya. Foreign diplomats still based in Tripoli confirmed to me that, since NATO started bombing, Gadhafi support and approval ratings have actually soared to about 85 per cent.

Of the 2,335 tribes in Libya, over 2,000 are still pledging their allegiance to the embattled president. At present, it is the gasoline shortage due to the embargo and lack of electricity from NATO’s bombing that are causing the most hardship to Libyans inside Gadhafi-controlled sectors.

However, at present, the people still blame NATO — not Gadhafi — for the shortages. In an effort to combat that sentiment and to encourage a popular uprising against Gadhafi, NATO planes have taken to dropping leaflets in canisters over the streets of Tripoli.

Unfortunately for the NATO planning staff, the canisters are heavy enough to cause injury and damage roofs when they plummet to the ground.

As for the messages on the leaflets, the Libyans are quite amused at the clumsy translations. On one such note, the intended slogan is meant to urge civilians to go forward and “embrace” the rebels. Instead, it translates to encourage Libyans to go out and “copulate” with the rebels.

Another NATO missive was intended to advise those living within Gadhafi’s sector to pack up and move to a rebel-occupied territory. This somehow became garbled into a request for citizens to relocate to a “possessed” (as in, by the devil) area of Libya.

It is possible that the continued embargo, shortage of fuel and downgrading of Libyan utilities will create a humanitarian crisis inside Gadhafi’s Libya so severe that his followers have no choice but to turn on him for their own survival.

However, if that indeed transpires it will be impossible for the West to justify this as being a humanitarian intervention.

Scott Taylor is an author and editor of Esprit de Corps magazine.

====

Libyan War: U.S. Global Hawk Drone “Reaches Critical Milestone”

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123267947

Air Force Link
American Forces Press Service
August 12, 2011

RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk reaches critical milestone
by Scott Knuteson
Air Combat Command Public Affairs

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – The commander of Air Combat Command declared initial operational capability for the RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk Aug. 10.

The Air Force successfully deployed the Block 30 RQ-4 Global Hawk in support of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN in Libya and Operation TOMODACHI in Japan, and the IOC declaration is another significant milestone for the aircraft.

“The basic requirement for Block 30 IOC is to support one continuous Block 30 24-hour orbit for 30 days,” said Gen. William M. Fraser III. “There are enough assets and infrastructure in place to support the one continuous Block 30 orbit requirement for IOC.”

“There is still much that needs to be done to reach Global Hawk full operational capability,” Fraser added. “To that end, we’ll continue working closely with Headquarters Air Force and Northrop Grumman.”

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Afghan War: Over 50,000 NATO Sorties In Last Year, 10,000 Special Forces Air Missions

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/15/c_131050415.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 15, 2011

NATO carries out over 50,000 air missions in Afghanistan

KABUL: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has carried out more than 50,000 air missions in Afghanistan over the past one-year period, ISAF spokesman said on Monday.

“Over the past year ISAF has flown more than 50,000 rotary aircraft missions. Of those missions altogether three aircraft were lost through enemy activities of which one was last week’s loss,” Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson told reporters in ISAF weekly press briefing here.

According to Jacobson, NATO and Afghan forces have carried out over 2,800 special operations which captured or killed Taliban leaders over the same period of time.

“Ten-thousand missions were flown in the same timeframe for special operation forces, supporting over 2,800 operations,” ISAF spokesman asserted.

He made these comments ten days after American forces suffered its largest single-day loss in Afghanistan since the war began by U.S.-led Coalition against terror in Afghanistan nearly ten years ago.

Thirty U.S. troops were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by a Taliban rocket propelled grenade on Saturday Aug. 6, many of whom were members of the Navy SEALs special force. Seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter were also killed in the air crash.

Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan and NATO-led forces claimed of responsibility for shooting down the NATO’s helicopter on August 6 which took place in Wardak province west of capital city of Kabul.

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U.S. Holds Space and Missile Defense Conference At Von Braun Center

http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/08/space_and_missile_defense_conf.html

Huntsville Times
August 15, 2011

Space and Missile Defense Conference opens today in Huntsville
By Kenneth Kesner

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama: Despite looming budget cuts and talk of the desire for more “efficiencies” in defense spending – or perhaps because of them – the 14th annual Space and Missile Defense Conference at the Von Braun Center today through Thursday is expected to be as well-attended as ever.
Exhibit space has sold out and this year will even extend into the arena, said Tony Jones, industry co-chair for the conference. Registrations for the event, presented by the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association, the National Defense Industrial Association’s Tennessee Valley Chapter and the Air Defense Artillery Association, are on par with last year.

The economic and political environment is “dynamic” and these are tough times, he said. “But I think people need to hear from leadership. They need to hear from the people who are in charge of strategically and tactically significant programs for our nation and for our military.”

To address this year’s theme – “Providing Capabilities to the Warfighter” – conference organizers have again brought a number of high-ranking presenters from the military and government.

“It lets us hear their perspective on how we’re doing,” said Jones, who is also the Huntsville site executive and a vice president for Boeing, which is “Titanium Sponsor” of this year’s conference…

Scheduled speakers include a number of officers from commands and agencies based on Redstone Arsenal, including Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command; Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, director of the Missile Defense Agency; Lt. Gen. Dennis Via, deputy commander of the Army Materiel Command; and others.

In programs, panel discussions, receptions and other events, conference attendees, who come from around the world, will have plenty of opportunities to listen and to ask questions, Jones said. There will also be chances to meet with a number of elected officials at local, state and federal levels who are participating.

On Wednesday evening, Boeing is inaugurating a “Tribute to Service” reception that will recognize military and civilian leadership in the Huntsville community – particularly appropriate this year, when so many were involved in relief and recovery efforts from the April tornadoes, he said.

On the VBC exhibit floors, agencies and industry will have hundreds of booths, featuring everything from full-size missile mockups and battle command simulators to the tiniest of sensors, parts and tools. Large and small businesses will be able to show the world what they’re working on, and industry partners can talk, in a businesslike but also social and even fun setting.

“It’s all contained in the Von Braun Center for one week,” Jones said. “It would take months to get out and reach so many of those people if you tried to go where they are or have them come to you.”

The conference is also an opportunity to highlight Huntsville and the Rocket City’s partnership with the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Army Materiel Command, Aviation and Missile Command, NASA and dozens of other agencies at Redstone Arsenal, he said.

“It’s our chance to showcase what Huntsville does and the importance of this community,” Jones said, “to tell people what we do in space, missile defense, cyber, technology” and more, and let them see the passion for this work across the community.

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Drones And Children

http://arabnews.com/opinion/editorial/article488456.ece

Arab News
August 15, 2011

Drones and kids
2,292 attacks have so far claimed 775 civilian victims, 168 of them children

While some of Pakistan’s politicians and journalists have been making some noise from time to time, the issue hasn’t attracted the attention it truly deserves. Even international rights groups have tended to soft-pedal this gross abuse of civil liberties and the basic right to life.

The issue is often lost in the fog of America’s decade long “war on terror” where all legal lines and rules blur and little attention is paid to the identity of victims, let alone the fundamental question if they were really “terrorists” or innocents caught in a directionless, disastrous conflict.

Yet few politicians, including those in power except Imran Khan, the charismatic former cricketer, and the Islamist parties, have so far managed to muster the courage to protest these attacks, lest they are seen as being on the side of “terrorists” and defying Uncle Sam. This silence may have ended up claiming many an innocent life, not that Washington takes protestations by its so-called ally and friend any seriously.

An independent study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism based in the UK released on Thursday says that there were 775 innocent civilians among the 2,292 drone attack victims so far. More disturbingly, at least 168 children were among the victims. Although the US has dismissed the report as “way off the mark,” there is no reason to question the findings of the BIJ report, which is based on independent data and has been corroborated by verified media reports.

Ironically, there has been an upsurge in the terror of these flying machines since President Barack Obama took over. There have been 291 drone strikes since 2004 — 250 of them took place since January 2008. Year 2010 has been terrible for civilians with thousands of them being driven from their homes. Yet the top US counterterrorism official John Brennan has the temerity to insist there have been “zero civilian casualties”, a claim slammed by even the New York Times.

How long will this go on? How many innocent children have to die before the world conscience wakes up to this outrage? For there’s something terribly wrong with all of us when young children are eliminated with deadly precision using Hellfire missiles and governments hide behind spin and obfuscation.

No one has any sympathy for Al-Qaeda terrorists or their Pakistani allies Tahreek-e-Taleban. No tears are shed in Pakistan or anywhere else in the Muslim world over their end although the issue of due process still hangs in the air. But the loss of even one innocent life is unacceptable, especially if it happens to be that of a child. As the UNESCO chief argued yesterday, “even one child death is one child death too many.”

More important, every time an innocent life is taken, the extremist cause gets another boost, another lease of life. If this war is really a war on terror, it is best fought together with Pakistan and in coordination with the Pakistani authorities. After all, it’s their country, isn’t it?

Islamabad has repeatedly demanded control over the drones from time to time but in vain. However, the US appears in no mood to do so. Pakistan is only a small part of the story of continuing US hegemony, even if crucial. Indeed, bases are being built across the region from where the reign of machines will continue for years to come.

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Iran Blasts NATO’s Meddling In Region As “Big Mistake”

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005230788

Fars News Agency
August 14, 2011

Ahmadinejad Blasts NATO’s Meddling in Region as “Big Mistake”

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at NATO for its interference in the Middle-East and North Africa, Libya in particular, stressing that the regional states are able to govern their own affairs.

Speaking about the recent popular uprisings in the region during the past few months, President Ahmadinejad said that these developments display that people in the region are afflicted with major problems.

“The entire world is not satisfied,” he said in an interview with Russia Today.

“There are class distinctions, there are pressures, armed conflicts, and a large number of nations are being humiliated all the time. Today, justice and dignity are among the requirements of all human beings. Nations in our region and in North Africa have the same aspirations.”

Ahmadinejad added that Iran believes that nations in the Middle-East and North Africa have the ability to run their own affairs and that NATO and the United Nations have made a big mistake by meddling in Libya.

“NATO has interfered in Libya’s affairs. The (UN) Security Council has made a mistake,” he said, adding, “Instead of sending bombs and planes to Libya they should have sent mediation groups, in order to (help them) prepare for free elections, under the auspices of the United Nations.”

Ahmadinejad opined that the Security Council’s hasty resolution has complicated the situation and led to numerous deaths among the civilian population.

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Israel Plants New Mines, Deploys More Troops Along Syrian Border

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110814/165781099.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 14, 2011

Israel army plants new mines on Syrian border

TEL AVIV: Israel’s army is planting new land mines along the armistice line with Syria in a bid to dissuade protesters from attempting to rush into the Golan Heights, Israeli media said on Sunday.

The old mines failed to explode when the Palestinian and Syrian supporters crossed the borders into Golan in mid May, according to the Israeli army’s weekly magazine Ba’mahaneh.

The preparations come as part of Israel’s increased measures ahead of demonstrations that Palestinians plan to hold in September, Ba’mahaneh reported.

The Israeli army announced a few days ago that it will also deploy more troops along the northern borders with Syria and the northwestern borders with Lebanon…

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NATO’s Arm, The Neo-Ottomans

http://www.daralhayat.com/portalarticlendah/297693

Dar Al-Hayat
August 13, 2011

NATO’s Arm, the Neo-Ottomans
Mostafa Zein

Turkey does not get its reputation from the history of its empire, despite the theories of its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and despite the attempt to renew Ottomanism and return to the country’s roots and to its neighborhood, after the illusion of exile to Europe. Neither does it get its reputation from the history of its army, which ruled it and upheld “its secularism and its democracy” until the Justice and Development Party (AKP – Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) came to power, nor from oppressing Kurds and forbidding them from speaking their language.

Turkey gets its reputation and its power from being the second military force in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). In other words, Turkey is the arm of the Europeans and the Americans in the Middle East, not to say the policeman entrusted with guarding Western interests, without being accepted into the European Union because of its ancient and modern Islamic history. And it is well known that the United States has always been exerting pressures on the EU in favor of Ankara, and that France and Germany were those most opposed to its entry into the Union.

The Middle East’s policeman had also not been accepted in the region when the military controlled its political fate, and had adopted a path opposed to Arab causes, with the Palestinian Cause at their forefront. In fact, Turkey’s military went as far as sealing a strategic alliance with the Hebrew state in order to confront any Arab attempt to rise up.

Such recent history could not be erased by the leader of the ruling AKP party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His stances on Shimon Peres at the Davos forum, as well as his stance on the Gaza war, were only attempts at distinguishing himself from the Europeans and the Americans in order to prove that he had a regional role to play, without this meaning to depart from the interests of both, especially when it comes to issues that have a direct impact on his own domestic situation, such as his stance on the Iraq war.

Based on such a stance, Erdoğan started, from the first day of the events in Syria, behaving on the basis that this was an “internal Turkish matter”. He thus went on to exercise his policies on this basis. He hosted conferences for the Syrian opposition and adopted its slogans. Moreover, he contributed to shaping an Arab and international public opinion opposed to the Syrian regime, making use of the presence of thosee displaced from Jisr Al-Shughur on Turkish soil near the Syrian border.

Erdoğan was coordinating each of the steps he was taking with the United States and Europe, believing that the Syrian regime was doomed to fall, wagering on playing a role in shaping another regime that would succeed that of Assad, and presenting himself as a model of “democratic” Islamists acceptable to the West. And after the events developed and reached what they have in Syria, he was systematically used by the Americans to convey messages to Assad – messages that could be summed up as “reform now or leave”. He is well aware that such a condition cannot be fulfilled. The violence will not stop, because it has gone beyond the phase of confrontation between security forces and peaceful protesters to one between armed fighters whom Damascus calls “terrorists” and the army. Another reason is that reform “now” is not possible in Syria, nor in any other country. Moreover, the promises made by Assad and the laws he is drafting are not
being accepted by the opposition nor by Western countries, which considered them to be “provocation”, as French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said.

It is not true that Davutoğlu did not convey an American message to Assad. And it is not true that the warning directed at him by Erdoğan of “reform within 15 days or face dire consequences” was a warning from Ankara alone. Rather, such a warning sums up the stances of the Europeans and the Americans, and those of the Arabs as well, however with a Turkish Islamic eloquence which both the West and the East understand. Moreover, the United States would prefer to arrive at consensus by “the international community, including Arab countries”, for many reasons, most importantly the fact that it does not want to take decisions “unilaterally”. Indeed, the US has learned from its experience in Iraq. And here it is waging the war in Libya with NATO forces and the support of some Arab countries, without bearing the blame alone for killing civilians and for the failure of the war to topple Gaddafi and spread democracy.

Turkey is preparing itself to lead change in Syria and in the Middle East, believing itself to be qualified to do so. Indeed, it is acceptable for both the Muslim World and the West, and its relations with Israel no longer represent an obstacle after “the threat of the Hebrew state has gone”, in addition to the fact that its situation is ideal for confronting Iran and its influence.

Turkey has returned to the region through the Syrian gateway, and it has the ambition of consecrating its leadership status by changing a regime that does not agree with its “democratic Islamism”, nor with its role as NATO’s arm. As for the legitimate and urgent demands of Syrians, neither Erdoğan, nor the United States, nor Europe will fulfill them.

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State Department: U.S. Shifts Geostrategic, Military Focus From Middle East To Asia

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/us-keeps-an-eagle-eye-on-asia/story-e6frg6ux-1226114780126

The Australian
August 15, 2011

US keeps an eagle eye on Asia
Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor

-“I think what you see is an across-the-board effort (by the US) to articulate India as playing a greater role in Asia, and also revitalising relations with ASEAN – both ASEAN as an institution, and with its key members, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, and revitalising what used to be a very important relationship with The Philippines.”
-Campbell has made it a personal mission to revive US activism in the South Pacific, and recently led a US delegation around the region.

Washington’s foreign policy needs to pivot away from the Middle East and towards the Asia-Pacific, says US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian, he says: “One of the most important challenges for US foreign policy is to effect a transition from the immediate and vexing challenges of the Middle East to the long-term and deeply consequential issues in Asia.”

Few officials would put the choice so starkly. Campbell is not suggesting that the US neglect its responsibilities in the Middle East. But his comments reflect a desire, widespread across the Obama administration, to deepen and widen US engagement in Asia.

Campbell has found that the economic troubles of the US have meant that he has to project a more basic message to Asia: that the US is in Asia to stay, and that its security and economic commitments in Asia remain as strong as ever.

This took particular form when Campbell’s boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was scheduled to deliver an economic speech in Hong Kong recently. She had had various messages about market-opening and intellectual property to deliver. But the sense of the region changed the content of the speech.

“When we travelled through Asia, before and after the ASEAN regional forum, it became clear that what a lot of Asians were interested in hearing about was the continued effectiveness and relevance of the United States,” Campbell says.

When I conducted the interview with Campbell at the Perth meeting of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, I also spoke to Mike Green, a former Asia director at the National Security Council under president George W. Bush, and now a professor at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. “It’s inevitable that the economic problems have put a dent in our soft power,” he says. “In material terms, it’s almost a non-story. The math in the Standard & Poor’s downgrade was incorrect.”

Campbell is a Democrat and Green a Republican, but they represent something of a broad continuity of the centre ground in US foreign policy, especially in relation to Asia.

Campbell believes the US will recover from its present economic problems and that reports of US decline are vastly overblown.

“At the end of the Vietnam War, there was enormous dialogue about US power and whether we could continue to be effective. At the end of the Cold War there was rhetoric that the Cold War was over and that Japan had won,” he says. “We’ve repeatedly proved the critics wrong. The underlying fundamentals – economic performance and political stability – make me confident we can do so again.”

The broader question is whether the US in particular, and the West in general, are seen as declining powers in Asia.

Green thinks that, outside Beijing, this view of Western decline is not widespread in Asia. But, he says: “There is a feeling in Beijing that’s palpable that the West is in rapid decline and that China’s century of humiliation is over.”

The minority of Chinese who do not buy the triumphalist line that the West is in radical decline, Green says, includes the Chinese leadership. “The netizens and others are constantly pressuring the government to stand up to America, and this is encouraged by the People’s Liberation Army.”

I asked Campbell about…the general disposition of China in Asia, especially in its massive military modernisation. “There is an undeniable assertive quality to Chinese foreign policy and we’re seeing that play out in the South China Sea and elsewhere ” he says.

“What has been effective in the past year or so is the number of countries in the Asia-Pacific (that) have been prepared to say to China that greater transparency (from China in military matters) is in the interests of the Asia-Pacific region.”

Campbell does not see, or present, US diplomacy in Asia as a zero sum game between Washington and Beijing. And the US is taking a wide array of measures to enhance its own many-layered dialogues with China. But at the same time it is deepening its relations with China’s neighbours.

“I think what you see is an across-the-board effort (by the US) to articulate India as playing a greater role in Asia, and also revitalising relations with ASEAN – both ASEAN as an institution, and with its key members, such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore, and revitalising what used to be a very important relationship with The Philippines.”

Green is much less diplomatic about China. He believes the PLA’s doctrine and practice of serial episodes of assertive confrontation with neighbours has not substantially changed, but that the Chinese Foreign Ministry has been given permission to negotiate some modest protocols for maritime engagements, especially with southeast Asian neighbours.

I asked Green what, then, is the thinking behind the PLA’s leadership…

“The Chinese say it’s defensive because the US is creating a string of encircling alliances with troublemakers like Vietnam and Japan,” Green says.

“The second reason is they say it’s their right. The PLA has a new doctrine, which they call the Near Sea Doctrine, which is a bit ambiguous but takes their navy way out beyond the littoral chain of islands. The PLA view is that they should be able to deny foreign navies in this area and they also feel they need longer-range blue-water capabilities to defend their interests.

Campbell, a great champion of the US-Australian alliance, believes it is a central part of the Asia-Pacific architecture and that it is growing more significant to both nations. “The US-Australia alliance is undeniably more important. It requires more attention, it’s stronger and more durable than ever. I’m certain it is moving to become a more intimate alliance.”

But Green thinks Australia should stand up to China with more assertiveness.

Campbell has made it a personal mission to revive US activism in the South Pacific, and recently led a US delegation around the region.

“This is your backyard,” he says. “The US does have deep strategic interests in the South Pacific. We do see increased Chinese activity. We welcome it so long as it’s transparent and constructive.”

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Trillion Dollar War Budget: Old Days Of Entitlement In U.S. May Be Gone

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/670848/Old-days-of-entitlement-may-be-gone-in-US.aspx

Global Times
August 14, 2011

Old days of entitlement may be gone in US
By Rong Xiaoqing

-The US economy is likely to remain in intensive care or critical condition for some time to come. It could easily drag down the rest of the world with it. Tighten your seatbelts.

The US may just be starting to come to terms with some home truths.

No nation’s government can continue to spend $1 for every 60 cents it gets in revenue, and think it can borrow the rest. No country living beyond its means like that can spend $692 billion a year on its military, more than the spending by the next 16 countries added together, including China and all the leading countries in Europe. No nation can be so spendthrift and continue to waste tens of billions of dollars on a disastrously inept system of healthcare in which simple operations and drugs cost more than anywhere else in the world.

If you want to know why Standard & Poor’s cut the US triple-A credit rating, just consider some of these numbers and cringe at all the criticism leveled at the rating agency by Treasury and White House officials who behaved as if the US hadn’t gone on a spending and tax cutting spree in the past 11 years.

Remember that under former President Bill Clinton the budget was balanced and the US debt started to get paid off. But then the administration of George W. Bush began two very expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivered two costly tax cuts, and then created the conditions for the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Oh, and that financial crisis was caused by ridiculously exuberant borrowing by homebuyers and equally as ridiculous lending by the banks. The nation took its cue from the government: Spend today because there may be no tomorrow.

Well, now we are at that moment of truth which means that tomorrow is going to be very different from today and yesterday.

Things could be about to get very grim. Talk of a recession, which started about two weeks ago when the nation’s GDP figures were much worse than expected, has really picked up steam now as the markets have been sinking. The fear is that consumers will stop spending and businesses will stop investing because of the economic uncertainty, and this at a time when the government and the Federal Reserve have run out of money or monetary policy tools to stimulate demand.

It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility to imagine the jobless rate, already at 9.1 percent, surge well above double digits, or to see the economy contract next year, home prices fall another 10-20 percent, and social unrest in some major cities. This week’s riots in London could be a sign of things to come.

So, how can the Americans get out of this nightmare? First of all, they have to learn from countries that have been through major financial crises, such as Latin America in the 1980s or much of Asia in the 1990s. These nations bounced back through lower currencies, lower standards of living, increased savings rates, and austerity. In the same way as you or me would balance our personal income and spending if we had gone on a shopping binge, by cutting back.

For the US, the adjustment process would mean lower wages, less welfare, higher retirement ages, and more tax. And I almost forgot – this great nation can no longer spend as much on soldiers and weapons. It can’t afford it.

But will it happen? Unfortunately it may not anytime soon. Already, polls show that while Americans are concerned about the budget deficit and the massive debt burden, they don’t want to see the so-called entitlements of American society go away. Those entitlements include the social security pension system, the healthcare support for the elderly and poor, and the food stamps that tens of millions of Americans receive.

The US economy is likely to remain in intensive care or critical condition for some time to come. It could easily drag down the rest of the world with it. Tighten your seatbelts.

The author is a New York-based journalist. rong_xiaoqing@hotmail.com

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NATO, ICC Criminalise Stone Throwing, Legitimise Street Shooting

http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/pages/feature/201108/71038.php

Joy Online (Ghana)
August 15, 2011

NATO and ICC: Criminalising stone throwing and legitimising street shooting
Bernard Anbataayela Mornah

“This is pure criminality and must be confronted and defeated”. Just in case you were wondering where I was going with this statement, these are the words of Prime Minister David Cameron, which also represents the official position of No.10 Downing Street on the current unrest in what we use to know as the Great Britain. You know what; I will come back to that.

Comrades, I thought since it was our collective responsibility not to maintain silence on what is happening in the north of our continent I hold this discussion with you. Indeed, the silence from the leadership of our continent on the on-going uprisings in the north of Africa, most particularly the rebellion in Libya, suggests there are no more nations in the African Union.

Today, the neo-colonialism Osagyefo mentioned takes on much more meaning to me.

As we are all witnessing the most aggressive form of neo-colonialism in the north of our continent? Overnight, the Brits and the French have become so concerned about Africa as to have to appointed themselves as the overseers of the mixed reactions in the north of our continent.

I call it mixed because the external beneficiaries of these uprisings would want us to believe that these uprisings were conducted in the same manner and that there were no dynamics in the uprisings from one country to the other. I don’t remember it that way; what I remember is that in Tunisia and Egypt there were unarmed civilians on the streets that shouted their voices so loud as to be heard.

This, in my opinion, is a great departure from what we see in Libya today. You already know my position on brother Gaddafi – too much long service does not help. However, it is for the Libyan people to decide that and not the Brits or the French.

Only last month, two dramatic but revealing events took place. The first was a large-scale demonstration across Great Britain by unionists demanding a stop to some proposed changes in the pension scheme by the coalition government of the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems. The crowd I saw on the streets of Great Britain didn’t look any different from the one I saw in Tunisia in the wake of the Tunisian uprising. In fact, I could have confused the two for each other. Now for a moment let us move the location of Great Britain to anywhere in Africa: you know the obvious that would have happened more than I do.

The second and most dramatic event was the grappling of President Nicholas Sarkozy by a man from the crowed while he seems to be on a familiarisation tour, which I believe will count towards his re-election campaign. But for the immediate and swift intervention of his security he would have been brutally manhandled. It was not mentioned why the man in the crowed did what he had to do. However, my guess is on three premises.

1. The first might be an expression of dislike for his style of leadership.
2. The second, could be due to his involvement in the north of our continent and
3. Third, probably, his perceived involvement with the Strauss Kahn issue.

Either way there is a suggestion that some of the citizenry have rejected him just as it is in the case of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Interestingly, Sarkozy is still a hero in the European Union, going about resolving the financial crisis in Europe as we speak. Again, if Sarkozy was an African president you know the obvious that would have happened to him more than I do.

Comrades, I promised to come back to the opening quote that preceded our entire conversation. I therefore wish to do that now. Very recently, by dinner time, 563 people had been arrested in the unrest that was triggered by the gruesome murder of Mr. Mark Duggan (RIP) by the London Metropolitan Police. Just like the self-immolation of Mr. Mohamed Bouazizi that sparked the unrest in Tunisia, the murder of Mark Duggan cannot be treated as the remote reason for the uprising in Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham and, most particularly, on the streets of Peckham, Hackney, Croydon and Tothingham. However, his death should be remembered as the explosion point for ordinary people that could no longer identify their role in the future of their own communities and nation because it has been taken away from them.

Comrades, I do not wish that we think of the consequences if this was an African country. What I would rather we do is to think of the advice Brother Gaddafi would have had for Prime Minister David Cameron if they were seated shoulder to shoulder. He would have probably whispered into his ears brotherly advice from Ambassador Karbral- “If they come for your brother in the morning they will come for you in the evening”. In fact, such advice would have certainly left us with a difficult question.

Admittedly, NATO came for one brother in the morning but who will come for the other brother in the evening? My guess is the American Army. I almost forgot, the American Army is probably tired from the invasion in Iraq. This is evident in the American privatisation of the war by employing the service of private American security companies to participate in the invasion because their hands were full. Maybe the French or even the Germans could be an option. Hmm, again, forgive my forgetfulness; they are equally tired from the Iraq invasion. Of course, the only option left now is NATO but their hands are equally full, simply because their over-“generosity” to the Libyan people has made them overstep the UN mandate on Libya.

I just thought of it, what about the human rights abuses that arise out of this “pure criminality that must be confronted and defeated”. At least, one thing comes to mind, the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) is watching, and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the sword-bearer of the ICC must be encouraged to act with keen interest and with supersonic speed. However, as to whether he will not mince his words is something we can only hope for.

In conclusion, I have a proposal to make that is outside our earlier discussion. I have for a while now observed that our continent is gradually tilting away from the west. My proposition is that we move forward in search for a permanent interest rather than a permanent relationship because our newly found friends in the east might not be any different. Let Africa unite lest we perish in a world of cheats.

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China To Deepen Military Cooperation With Russia

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7569662.html

People’s Daily
August 15, 2011

China to deepen military cooperation with Russia
By Chen Xuehui

General Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army of China, made an official visit to Russia from Aug. 3 to Aug. 8. The six-day visit featuring high-level meetings proved fruitful and received wide media attention both at home and abroad.

Military cooperation is an important component of the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia. As their bilateral relations have developed from “friendly neighboring relations” into a “constructive partnership” and then into “strategic cooperative partnership,” the two countries have made great efforts to promote the healthy and rapid development of bilateral military ties in a comprehensive way. Their military cooperation boasts pragmatism as well as multiple layers and fields. Chen’s visit has provided fresh impetus for greater military cooperation between the two countries.

Chen met with Russian Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov and held talks with Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, during the visit. According to a joint statement made by the heads of the two countries’ General Staff, both sides have agreed to continue to strengthen military exchanges at various levels, enhance strategic communication and actively coordinate so as to cope with new regional and global threats and challenges as well as maintain and perfect the China-Russia General Staff-level strategic consultation mechanism. The two countries have expressed their great willingness to conduct military cooperation through the joint statement, which is the first time in the history of the two countries’ General Staff-level exchanges and is of symbolic significance to deepen their military cooperation.

The visit has also enriched the content of two countries’ cooperation in terms of military operations and education. China and Russia have set a good example for major countries in terms of practical military cooperation. The pragmatism of their military cooperation has manifested itself in the formation of a cooperative mechanism for military operations and the continuous expansion in their military education cooperation.

The two countries’ “Peace Mission” joint military exercises have transformed from bilateral to multilateral, developing into a series of military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This has become a major highlight of the pragmatic military cooperation between China and Russia, promoted regional military cooperation and become one of well-known routine joint military exercises in Asia.

The Chief of Staff Chen and the Chief of Staff Makarov confirmed that China and Russia will continue to carry out bilateral joint anti-terrorism exercises within the frame of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It indicates that the cooperation in the realm of military operations between China and Russia will continue to develop deeply and widely. Regarding the cooperation in the realm of military education between the two countries, the large number of military students sent by each other, the large investment put in by the two countries, the rich and specific contents of the training and the high level of training could rarely be seen in the military cooperation between any other large countries. Both sides undertook to keep carrying out the military education cooperation and successfully do the work of sending military students to each other. It was one of the specific results that the Chief of Staff Chen achieved during this visit.

Both sides also exchanged the experience of military training and reform. Since Russia started to carry out a military reform in 2009, the military establishment and system of Russia’s armed forces have changed, and their military training has also been strengthened. The Chief of Staff Chen and the military delegation of China visited the Western Military Region and watched the training of the Fifth Independent Central Guard Motorized Infantry Brigade and its equipment. They also visited the headquarters of the Northern Fleet and observed the “Admiral Kuznetsov” aircraft carrier and “Panther” nuclear-powered submarine. The Chief of Staff Chen closely observed the achievements of the system and establishment reform and training reform of Russia’s armed forces and widely communicated with Russian officers and soldiers.

The Chief of Staff Chen’s visit to Russia is an important practice for promoting the practical military cooperation between China and Russia and will definitely bring about positive effects for the further development of the two countries’ military cooperation.

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Categories: Uncategorized

H.L. Mencken: New wars will bring about an unparalleled butchery of men

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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H.L. Mencken
From In Defense of Women (1918/1922)

The present series of wars, it seems likely, will continue for twenty or thirty years, and perhaps longer. That the first clash was inconclusive was shown brilliantly by the preposterous nature of the peace finally reached — a peace so artificial and dishonest that the signing of it was almost equivalent to a new declaration of war. At least three new contests in the grand manner are plainly in sight — one between Germany and France…one between Japan and the United States for the mastery of the Pacific, and one between England and the United States for the control of the sea. To these must be added various minor struggles, and perhaps one or two of almost major character: the effort of Russia to regain her old unity and power, the effort of the Turks to put down the slave rebellion (of Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, etc.) which now menaces them, the effort of the Latin-Americans to throw off the galling Yankee yoke, and the joint effort of Russia and Germany (perhaps with England and Italy aiding) to get rid of such international nuisances as the…Polish republic, the petty states of the Baltic, and perhaps also most of the Balkan states. I pass over the probability of a new mutiny in India, of the rising of China against the Japanese, and of a general struggle for a new alignment of boundaries in South America. All of these wars, great and small, are probable; most of them are humanly certain. They will be fought ferociously, and with the aid of destructive engines of the utmost efficiency. They will bring about an unparalleled butchery of men…

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 14, 2011

August 14, 2011 2 comments

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Libya: Almost 19,000 NATO Sorties, Over 7,000 Strike Missions

New Massacre: NATO Plans Intensive Air Strikes On Libyan-Tunisian Border

British Warplanes Fly 3,000-Mile Sorties To Bomb Libya

Turkey May Join NATO Action Against Syria

NATO To Arm Syrian Insurgents, Prepares Military Intervention

Egypt Launches Large-Scale Military Operation In North Sinai

New U.S. AFRICOM Services Battalion Joins Marine, Special Warfare Units

Pentagon Prepares For Prospective War With China

Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert

Fall Of The Last Superpower In A Trillion Dollar War

Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll At 392

Obama And Karzai To Forge U.S.-Afghan Strategic Cooperation

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Libya: Almost 19,000 NATO Sorties, Over 7,000 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110814_110814-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 14, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 18,884 sorties, including 7,174 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 13 AUGUST: 110

Strike sorties conducted 13 AUGUST: 47

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New Massacre: NATO Plans Intensive Air Strikes On Libyan-Tunisian Border

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/14/54625109.html

Voice of Russia
August 14, 2011

NATO plans air strike on Libyan-Tunisian border

NATO plans an air strike on the checkpoint in Ras-Jedir on the Libyan-Tunisian border to open the way for the rebels, Ibragim Moussa, an official with the Libyan government, said Sunday.

According to him such activities may lead to new bloodshed. He urged the UN to condemn weapon supplies to the opposition via the Tunisian border, which contradicts the UN Security Council resolutions N 1970 and 1973.

Meanwhile troops of Muammar Gaddafi clashed with the opposition forces near Ras-Jezir. The highway from Tripoli to Tunisia via this border check point is strategically important for the governmental troops.

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http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/41453/libya-says-nato-planning-raids-on-tunisia-border

Agence France-Presse
August 14, 2011

Libya says NATO ‘planning raids’ on Tunisia border

TRIPOLI: NATO is planning raids on Ras Jedir, a border post with Tunisia, to open the way to a rebel advance, Libya’s government spokesman said on Sunday.

“We have information that NATO is planning intensive bombardments of the Ras Jedir border post to help the armed bands, some of whom are positioned on the Tunisian side, to enter Libyan territory,” Mussa Ibrahim told AFP.

He described the North Atlantic alliance’s intentions as “very dangerous,” pointing out that Ras Jedir was a crossing point for “thousands of Libyans, including women and children.”

“By bombing it, NATO will be committing a new massacre,” Ibrahim said, warning against an “illegal act.”

He declared: “We salute the Tunisian government and we encourage it to make more efforts for Tunisia not to transform itself into a departure point for aggression against Libya.

“We salute the Tunisian people who have prevented the unloading of a cargo of arms” destined for Libyan rebels in the south Tunisian port of Zarzis, he went on.

Ibrahim called on the United Nations to “denounce and condemn the arms traffic to Libya from Tunisia, which violates UN (Security Council) resolutions 1970 and 1973.”

The Ras Jedir frontier post has for several months been the only exit point for the Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi, hit by international sanctions.

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British Warplanes Fly 3,000-Mile Sorties To Bomb Libya

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/tornados_bomb_libya_again_from_raf_marham_in_norfolk_1_992185

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
August 12, 2011

Tornados bomb Libya again from RAF Marham in Norfolk
Chris Bishop

RAF Tornado jets have flown further 3,000 mile sorties from the Norfolk base to attack Col Gaddafi’s forces, it emerged last night.

Storm Shadow is equipped with a powerful UK-developed warhead…

Mission data, including target details, is loaded into the weapon’s main computer before the aircraft leaves on its mission. After release, the wings deploy and the weapon navigates its way to the target at low level using terrain profile matching and an integrated Global Positioning System.

On final approach to the target the missile climbs, discards its nose cone and uses an advanced infrared seeker to match the target area with stored imagery. This process is repeated as the missile dives onto the target, using higher-resolution imagery, to ensure the maximum accuracy.

Supported by VC10 and TriStar aerial refuelling tankers, the warplanes flew south across Europe and the Mediterranean to launch a “large salvo” of Storm Shadow precision guided missiles at command bunkers near Sebha, 700km south of Tripoli, out in the Sahara.

The Weapons use a sophisticated GPS tracking system and terrain matching technology to locate their targets.

The MoD said the aircraft landed at Gioia del Colle after a mission lasting seven hours, and will return to Marham.

In the early hours of Monday morning, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted precision strikes on an ammunition and vehicle depot, and a military communications facility, both near Zlitan.

An armed reconnaissance patrol over Brega, in the east of the country, was also identified and two armed pick-up trucks destroyed.

On Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday, RAF jets successfully bombed a Libyan frigate in Tripoli harbour.

The ship had been damaged previously by NATO air strikes, but damage assessment showed it retained an offensive capability.

The RAF strike inflicted further serious damage and left the vessel taking on water.

UK aircraft also attacked a command and control node and a weapons depot in Bir al-Ghanam in the Djebel Nafousa, and a staging post in Zlitan.

On Tuesday night, an RAF patrol returned to Zlitan and conducted a precision strike on a barracks and military staging post.

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Turkey May Join NATO Action Against Syria

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201108132154-pol-ren1062-turkey_does_not_exclude_military_intervention_in_syria

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
August 13, 2011

TURKEY DOES NOT EXCLUDE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA

Jerusalem: The Turkish government does not exclude an international interventions in Syria, and warns it may take part.

If Bashar al Assad’s regime does not cease its bloody repression against its people Turkey may “collaborate” if the action were to have UN approval.

According to a report from Israel’s Haaretz, a Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to the newspaper “Hurriyet” made the statements.

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http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-threatens-to-join-international-military-action-in-syria-1.378427

Ha’aretz
August 13, 2011

Turkey threatens to join international military action in Syria
By Zvi Bar’el

Turkey may consider cooperating with international powers in the event they decide to intervene militarily in Syria, according to a report in the Turkish “Hurriyet” newspaper on Saturday.

Turkey has lost its patience with Syria, according to Turkish officials, and Turkish President Abdullah Gul has issued an ultimatum to Syrian President Bashar Assad via Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who visited Syria on Tuesday.

According to officials, the Turkish foreign minister made it clear to Assad that in the event that Syrian forces continue to act aggressively against demonstrators Syria will no longer be able to rely on friendship from Turkey.

The Turkish officials told the Hurriyet that “Turkey had initially tried to convince its Western allies to grant Assad time to implement reforms eight months ago. We have been as friendly toward Syria as we could, but a regime that doesn’t listen to advice from its friend and neighbor cannot be a friend of Turkey’s.”

The letter from Turkish President Gul and the leaking of its content to the Turkish media is testimony to Turkey’s strategic decision to deem Assad’s regime as illegitimate, thereby allowing it to move toward an operative stage against Syria.

Arshet Hormozlo, an adviser to the Turkish president, made clear in an interview with the Iraqi newspaper “Zaman” that Turkey will not intervene militarily in Syria and will not allow international forces to enter Syria from Turkish territory.

However, Turkey’s consent to join an international coalition that may launch a military offensive against Syria is a dramatic turning point in Turkey’s stance. Hormozlo’s statement is proof that talks on military involvement have already reached the decision-making stage.

At the first stage, Turkey is expected to withdraw its ambassador from Damascus, following the example of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. The next step Turkey would take is freezing its projects and investments in Syria. Turkey will only take military action against Assad in the event that an international decision to intervene is made.

Turkey is furious with Iran for its criticism of Turkey for its stance toward Syria. Iran called Turkey a “subcontractor of U.S. policy”.

In the event that military action is taken against Syria, other fronts may be opened if Iran decides to protect Assad’s rule beyond sending monetary aid and equipment by way of Iraq. In such a scenario, Iran could open a tactical front in the Gulf, send forces to Bahrain or start large-scale military maneuvers in the Gulf.

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http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=syria-intervention-not-off-table-2011-08-12

Hürriyet Daily News
August 12, 2011

Syria intervention not off table
Turkish presidential sources has leaked parts of a letter from Gül to Assad on Friday to the semi-official Anatolia News Agency

Istanbul: Turkey isn’t ruling out international intervention in Syria if the Bashar al-Assad regime doesn’t stop using violence against its own people, a Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

The source also said that a letter from Turkish President Abdullah Gül to Assad delivered by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Tuesday was considered by Ankara as an “ultimatum” to Damascus that, if violence by Syrian troops continued, Assad would no longer be able to rely on Turkey’s friendship.

“Up until eight months ago, we were trying to convince our Western allies to give some more time for Assad to implement reforms. We were as friendly as to convene joint Cabinet meetings and lift visas,” the source told the Daily News. “But if a regime is not listening to the advice of its friend and neighbor and continues opening fire on its own people, that regime can no longer be Turkey’s friend.”

Another factor why Turkey’s patience is “being exhausted,” as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says, is the open support that the Iranian government has declared for the Syrian government.

“Syria is already ruled by a religious minority that is close to the Shiite majority in Iran,” the source said. “A further escalation of tension might lead to sectarian fights not only in Syria but also in Iraq, and Turkey is naturally uncomfortable, having relatives from all Islamic sects in the region on both sides of the border.”

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NATO To Arm Syrian Insurgents, Prepares Military Intervention

http://www.presstv.com/detail/193902.html

Press TV
August 14, 2011

NATO plans to arm Syria criminal gangs

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Turkey are preparing the ground for military intervention in Syria especially through providing criminal Syrian armed gangs with weaponry.

Large caches of weapons including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, mortar bombs and heavy machine guns will be sent via ground to major Syrian cities witnessing unrest, according to a report by Dekba.

Turkey’s military will protect the arms caches on their passage to Syrian rebels.

Syrian rebels have been receiving training inside Turkey to use the weapons for two weeks.

Turkey has warned that it will join any possible military action against neighboring Syria.

On Saturday, Ankara recalled its retired officers to be deployed to cities along the border with Syria. Ankara is a NATO member seeking EU membership.

More than 1,600 people have lost their lives since a wave of unrest gripped Syria five months ago.

Syrian authorities blame foreign-backed armed gangs for the killings. Damascus says as many as 500 soldiers and police officers have been killed by armed groups.

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Egypt Launches Large-Scale Military Operation In North Sinai

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110814/165769454.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 14, 2011

Egypt prepares large-scale military operation in North Sinai
The operation, which also involves dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, is scheduled to begin shortly

CAIRO: The military command of the Egyptian army has sent some 1,000 soldiers to the North Sinai for a large-scale operation against armed extremists in the province, Egypt’s media reported on Sunday.

The operation, which also involves dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, is scheduled to begin shortly, local media reported.

International Arabic daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reports that the operation will be held near the border of Gaza in the area of El-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah cities.

The North of the Sinai Peninsula is considered as the most troubled region of Egypt from the view of security. Numerous groups of smugglers involved in weapons trafficking are active in the area.

They use underground tunnels to provide the Gaza Strip, blockaded by Israel since the radical Islamic group Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007, with weapons food, petrol and household appliances.

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New U.S. AFRICOM Services Battalion Joins Marine, Special Warfare Units

http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/u-s-army-africa-adds-services-battalion-in-vicenza-1.151936

Stars and Stripes
August 12, 2011

U.S. Army Africa adds services battalion in Vicenza
By John Vandiver

STUTTGART, Germany: U.S. Army Africa added a small support services battalion on Friday, which Army officials said would help free the command to focus more on its mission on the continent.

With the establishment of a new Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command will now be able to provide increased support services to its personnel.

“Standing up a unit is an important step that demonstrates we are actively creating a force capable of carrying out its mission,” said Maj. Gen. David Hogg, USARAF commander, during an activation ceremony in Vicenza, Italy, according to prepared remarks.

The new battalion adds only 13 personnel to the 450-strong U.S. Army Africa team. However, the addition of the unit “basically demonstrates a continued growth in importance of this command,” Konop said. “We can expect more to be happening in the future.”

USARAF was established in 2008 to support Stuttgart-based Africa Command, the military’s youngest combatant command. In recent months, other components also have been busy assigning units to lend more assistance to AFRICOM. A new Marine task force has been assigned to AFRICOM as part of an effort to ramp up training partnerships with militaries…on the continent. And earlier this year, the Navy commissioned an Africa-focused Naval Special Warfare unit, which is based in Stuttgart.

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Pentagon Prepares For Prospective War With China

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/08/13/sino_us_stephen_glain

Salon
August 13, 2011

The Pentagon’s new China war plan

Despite budget woes, the military is preparing for a conflict with our biggest rival – and we should be worried
By Stephen Glain*

This summer, despite America’s continuing financial crisis, the Pentagon is effectively considering trading two military quagmires for the possibility of a third. Reducing its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan as it refocuses on Asia, Washington is not so much withdrawing forces from the Persian Gulf as it is redeploying them for a prospective war with its largest creditor, China.

According to the defense trade press, Pentagon officials are seeking ways to adapt a concept known as AirSea Battle specifically for China, debunking rote claims from Washington that it has no plans to thwart its emerging Asian rival. A recent article in Inside the Pentagon reported that a small group of U.S. Navy officers known as the China Integration Team “is hard at work applying the lessons of [AirSea Battle] to a potential conflict with China.”

AirSea Battle, developed in the early 1990s and most recently codified in a 2009 Navy-Air Force classified memo, is a vehicle for conforming U.S. military power to address asymmetrical threats in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf – code for China and Iran. (This alone raises a crucial point: If the U.S. has had nothing but trouble with asymmetrical warfare for the last 45 years, why should a war with China, or Iran for that matter, be any different?)

It complements the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance, a government white paper that precluded the rise of any “peer competitor” that might challenge U.S. dominance worldwide. The Planning Guidance is the Pentagon’s writ for control of what defense planners call “the global commons,” a euphemism for the seaways, land bridges and air corridors that are the arteries of international commerce. For a foreign power to challenge this American dominion is to effectively declare war on the United States, and that is exactly what China appears to be doing in the South China Sea, a resource-rich and highly contested waterway in Southeast Asia.

It was in this spirit that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, at a dinner hosted by the Center for a New American Security in late May, remarked that the wars in the Persian Gulf were denying Washington the resources it needed to cope with an increasingly assertive China. “We’d like to turn that around,” he said. “I don’t think we’re there to [the extent] we need to be.” In his candor, Amos became the latest U.S. military leader to speak about his service’s plans following the Afghanistan drawdown.

A U.S. mobilization in Asia is well underway, in faith with a spring 2001 Pentagon study called “Asia 2025,” which identified China as a “persistent competitor of the United States,” bent on “foreign military adventurism.” Three years later, the U.S. government went public with a plan that called for a new chain of bases in Central Asia and the Middle East, in part to box in the People’s Republic. Similarly, the nuclear energy cooperation deal signed by the U.S. and India in 2008 was an obvious containment maneuver aimed at Beijing. In late March, press reports detailed a major buildup of American forces in Asia, including increased naval deployments and expansive cooperation with partner countries. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is forging ahead with a multi-year effort to transform Guam into its primary hub in the Pacific, an initiative so vast that John Pike of the Washington, D.C.-based GlobalSecurity.org has speculated that Washington wants to “run the planet from Guam and Diego Garcia by 2015.”

Unlike America’s allies in Asia and Europe, however, China is not about to outsource its national security obligations to a foreign power, particularly when it comes to the South China Sea. There more than ever, and not without reason, Beijing identifies the U.S. not as a strategic partner but as an outright threat. In 2007, when China destroyed one of its weather satellites with a ballistic missile, it served as a warning to Washington after the ramming six years earlier of a U.S. spy plane by a Chinese fighter jet off the coast of Hainan Island. Though the crisis that followed was defused diplomatically, it was interpreted by some in Washington as vindication of the throaty Asia 2025. In fact, the clash followed a dramatic rise in the frequency of U.S. overflights in the area during the twilight of the Clinton years, which triggered a demarche from Beijing that slipped through the cracks of the transition to the Bush administration. The Hainan incident, as affair is known, was the inevitable outcome of a highly intrusive American surveillance regime.

In addition to China, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines all have competing claims on several clusters of South China Sea islands. Rather than intervening with quiet diplomacy to untangle this incendiary thicket, the U.S. has starkly sided against Beijing. In March 2010, when a Chinese official was quoted by Japanese media as identifying the region as a “core interest” of Chinese sovereignty, the White House retaliated by declaring that freedom of maritime navigation is a U.S. “national interest.”

As it turns out, according to the China scholars Nong Hong and Wenran Jiang, writing in the July 1 edition of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation’s China bulletin, the core interest to which the official referred was “the peaceful resolution” of the disputes in question. Despite this, the White House refuses to climb down. Two weeks ago, three U.S. Navy ships paid call on Vietnam, China’s ancient antagonist, for a weeklong joint exercise at a time of strained relations between Beijing and Hanoi, prompting a formal protest from the Chinese. In Manila last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointedly assured her hosts that the U.S. would honor its mutual defense pact with the Philippines and sell it new weaponry on discounted terms.

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. government has encountered the practical limits of the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance. In its story about AirSea Battle and the China Integration Team, Inside the Pentagon revealed an oblique, if profound insight from Andrew Krepinevich, the highly regarded head of Washington’s Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. China, he said, is clearly jousting for control of the Western Pacific and “we have to decide whether we’re going to compete or not. If we’re not, then we have to be willing to accept the shift in the military balance.” Otherwise, “the question is how to compete effectively.”

Here is a noble appeal for Washington to match its commitments with the resources needed to sustain them, the absence of which has fueled the debt crisis that nearly reduced the United States to a mendicant state. Such are the crippling costs of a defense policy that makes global hegemony a mindless imperative.

*Stephen Glain is a freelance writer with extensive experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and the Middle East. He has written for the New Republic, the Atlantic Monthly, the Nation, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications. His latest book, “State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire,” is just out from Crown.

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Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert

http://www.worldcrunch.com/arctic-canada-flexes-its-military-muscle-puts-russia-alert/3576

Le Figaro
August 13, 2011

Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert

Canada is looking for ways to exert its authority in the Great North, as global warming invites competition for the region’s valuable resources. Of particular concern is Russia, which is seeking permission from the UN to extend its Arctic borders
By Ludovic Hirztmann

MONTREAL: Canada is keeping a cautious eye on the Great North, preparing for a fight, if needs be, to protect valuable natural resources that global warming is making more accessible – to everyone.

Its latest military preparation is a large-scale Arctic mission dubbed “Operation Nanook 11,” which Canada just launched together with the United States and Denmark. The mission to defend Ottawa’s sovereignty in the Far North will extend until the end of August in the straits of Lancaster and Davis, in Baffin Bay and on and around Cornwallis Island.

Nanook 11 involves some 1,100 soldiers, a modest number by Canadian standards. The operation goes hand-in-hand, however, with other military efforts in the region. Ottawa has recently increased the number of Inuit rangers it relies on to protect the Arctic region. It has also modernized its far northern facilities.

Analysts say Nanook 11 was planned as a warning to Russia, Canada’s main rival in the area. Russia has announced it wants to extend its Arctic borders, with the Kremlin promising to file an official request to the UN in 2012 asking for an expansion of Russia’s continental shelf.

“The north is ours. We want to show our international partners that we are settled here. This is what we’re aiming at,” Lieutenant-Commander Luc Tremblay recently told Radio Canada.

At the beginning of his first term in 2006, Canada’s conservative Prime minister Stephen Harper made a military buildup in the Far North a top priority…

The government’s heightened interest vis-à-vis the Great North has much to do with global warming, which is making it easier for boats to move in the Arctic. Last week’s Arctic voyage by Michel Rocard, the French ambassador in charge of the international negotiations regarding the Arctic and Antarctica regions, was a case in point. Rocard traveled aboard the Quebecois icebreaker Admundsen.

Last month, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC, the ice floe hit its lowest level for this time of year since satellite-assisted measurements began in 1979. The gradual melt has sparked an international wrestling match over control of the Arctic’s oil, gas and massive fish resources.

The new Promised Land

Snow crabs could soon taste like oil. The Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs granted block licenses to oil companies such as Husky Energy, ConocoPhilips, Imperial Oil, MGM Energy and Shell in the Beaufort Sea and in the Canadian Far North. For oil companies, the Arctic is the new promised land. “This land is of strategic interest for us,” said Colleen McConnel, a spokeswoman for Husky Energy.

Arctic oil and gas resources would represent about one fifth of the planet’s undiscovered hydrocarbon stocks, and Canada’s conservative government has ruled out any moratorium on the region.

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Fall Of The Last Superpower In A Trillion Dollar War

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/08/the-fall-of-the-last-superpower-in-the-trillion-dollar-war/

The Vanguard (Nigeria)
August 14, 2011

The fall of the last superpower in the trillion dollar war
By Hugo Odiogor

-“The attempt to use deficit budgeting to power the economy seems to have failed Americans as they tried to promote an economic principle that you have your bread and bullet at the same time but they have failed as we saw in the deficit budget debate.
“America has since become less productive in viable economic fields. It has gone into unproductive military economics, leaving the field for China, Japan, Germany, India and Brazil to produce goods and services that support human existence while Americans specialize in producing weapons to exterminate life.”
-[E]ight years into the conflict in Iraq, Obama has hit a monthly expenditure of $10.5 billion a month. The budget of nine states in America is squandered in Afghanistan, where America spends about $16 billion a month.
-There are fears that the costs of the Libyan operations “could rise up to $1 billion or $1.5 billion, if the war drags on for 12 months”. So far, NATO has not established any edge in the battle for Libya after four month of military strikes.

When the Republican Party leaders decided to hold President Barack Obama hostage over the request to raise the debt ceiling and save the United States (US) from defaulting in its fiscal obligation, it was an act of political hostage taking that has downgraded America and dealt a mortal blow to the image of the last superpower of the 21st century.

Led by the Speaker of the Republican Party dominated Congress, Mr. John Boehner, the lawmakers pushed America to the precipice before they agreed on half-measure deals that averted the August 2, 2011 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. They invariably blighted America’s image as a world power.

But, more importantly, the crisis raised the issue of the social and economic costs of the American foreign military operations which have stretched its resources to the limits with little or no tangible results.

Credit rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, compounded their woes when it downgraded US credit rating from its Triple A status to Double A plus and rattled the global markets, pushing them into negative territory for the greater part of last week

Obama was put on the spot and he had to appeal directly to Americans to put pressure on their Congress men and women to end the “war of attrition” and put the interest of their country above partisan politics. For the Tea Party, which won some seats in the November mid term election, it was an opportunity to push their ultra-right-wing agenda. Secretly supported by the Republican Party, they teamed up to frustrate what they called the liberal agenda of the ruling Democratic Party.

Comedians and talkshow hosts had a field day during the deficit budget debate which they tagged “Obamaggedon” or “Barackapocalypse”. They ridiculed their country, making it look as if it was Obama that plunged America into battles in Afghanistan, Iraq and the NATO operations in Libya. It was lost on Americans that when the Bush administration was in office, the debt ceiling was raised eight times without the world being treated to the shameful spectacle that Speaker Boehner, the Ohio Republican Party representative, took them through.

Secondly, when former President George W. Bush returned to the bellicose ways of his father, American played down social and financial implications of embarking on military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. His spin doctors told Americans that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were going to be fast, decisive and less expensive. His military advisers said they expected a quick and inexpensive conflict, but “we have a war that is costing more than anyone could have imagined”.

The disruptive debate over capping the US debt and proposed 12-man committee to decide on areas of cut in the next ten years can be best seen from the prism that the foreign military campaigns have crippled the American economy and, by extension, put the global economy in peril. For the Republican Party, their philosophy was that a black man, who must be punished for having the audacity to become US president at a time of fiscal recklessness of embarking on war in three different fronts, was exerting its impact on the US and global economy.

The global economy and the cost of war

The author of the Global Economic Recession and the Human Condition: An African Perspective, Mrs. Uchenna C. Ekwueme, said: “As we all know, the origin of the current financial crisis can be best understood as a crisis of global political economy enveloping the United States, Europe and China, with one overriding issue of illiquidity and the relationship between macro-economic management in political and economic life of nations in the international system”.

She described what is happening as a crisis of political economy of the world’s major economies, but “at the national level, there was the subprime mortgage meltdown in the United States in 2008 when the financial sector began to generate paper assets whose value depended on the prices of housing”. According to her, people at that time were encouraged to borrow at subprime rate to purchase houses. This was based on the assumption that the price of property would always rise but if the prices were to fluctuate, the value of the paper could still be determined.

“The price of housing declined and, worse still, the value of the paper assets became indeterminate. This placed the entire American financial system in a state of gridlock. Because of the process of globalisation, it spread to Europe where many financial institutions had purchased the paper as well”, she added. Dr. Awele Maduemezie, another expert in international relations, said: ”The attempt to use deficit budgeting to power the economy seems to have failed Americans as they tried to promote an economic principle that you have your bread and bullet at the same time but they have failed as we saw in the deficit budget debate.

“America has since become less productive in viable economic fields. It has gone into unproductive military economics, leaving the field for China, Japan, Germany, India and Brazil to produce goods and services that support human existence while Americans specialize in producing weapons to exterminate life. See where it has landed them. They have failed to recognize that the economic law of opportunity cost is still operative.”

Paul Kennedy’s prophetic book: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), prophesied the global financial meltdown that manifested in 2008, based on the fact that the manufacturing capacity of the economy was eroding while the budget deficit and the defence budget were rising. Kennedy noted that “in 1929, the US claimed 43% of the world manufacturing production, but, by 1991, it had shrunk to 22%, by 2008 it had declined to 16%”. The idea of Americans living above their income became the vogue during the 1980s, thereby resulting in low savings and mobilisation of capital for investment purpose. There was high rate of consumption among the people with the attainment of efficiency in technology and high income. This reached its zenith before the economic recession in 2008.

In their book: The Three Trillion Dollar War (2008), the former World Bank chief economist and the 2001 Nobel Prize winner for Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard University lecturer in public policy, Linda Bilmes, attributed America’s economic woes to its policy of fiscal profligacy in the past two decades. According to them: “The US Treasure has been borrowing and using paper money to finance the foreign military campaigns.

“It has refused to raise taxes which will affect the average American yet they are patronising the upper class that will reap maximum benefits from post-war construction contracts”. They said the operational cost of the war in Iraq is as high as that of the 12-year old Vietnam War. It doubled the cost of the Korean War, and “ten times higher than the cost of the first Gulf War”. According to them, “the Second World War, which gulped $ 16.3 million in a period four years, was the most expensive; by contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of $400,000 per troop.”

When the cost of the war in Iraq was first estimated at $200 billion eight years ago, former Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, lampooned the projected cost. He rather put the cost of the war at between $50 billion to $60 billion, but the coalition partners would share in the cost. He insisted that the post-war reconstruction contracts and increased oil revenues could pay for the war. But eight years into the conflict in Iraq, Obama has hit a monthly expenditure of $10.5 billion a month. The budget of nine states in America is squandered in Afghanistan, where America spends about $16 billion a month.

The cost of the war has been hidden from the public but Stiglitz and Blime said: “The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion, incurred only by the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.”

At another front, US military officials argue that maintaining a no-fly zone covering just the northern portion of Libya likely will cost between $30 million and $100 million per week. But because it required coalition forces to deal with Libyan air defense systems, there are one-time bills that could cost between $400 million and $800 million. There are fears that the costs of the Libyan operations “could rise up to $1 billion or $1.5 billion, if the war drags on for 12 months”. So far, NATO has not established any edge in the battle for Libya after four month of military strikes.

The rise and fall of America

Americans have been counting the cost of the wars that they are involved in. Notable among the issues that dominated the discussion of US debt ceiling debates was the cuts in military spending. While both sides (Democrats and Republicans) agree on the need to cut down on the military budget, there were significant differences to ensure that the lives of US troops on foreign missions are not endangered.

Dr. Francis Oshodi, an expert in international affairs, said the crisis does not mean the collapse of the US, as the country has substantial political legitimacy to count on. He said: “There was a crisis of confidence in the financial system and a crisis of confidence in the political system. There are so many sub-systems, namely the military, the financial, the academic and so on. It is one of the systems, the financial system, that failed, due to the decisions made by the financial elite. This created a massive political problem centered not so much on the quality of leadership of President Obama because he is still rated high in the way that he handled the crisis; his competence is not in doubt and we cannot say that it was a sign of no confidence in his leadership. The crisis started before he came to office and the wars, apart from the no fly zone in Libya, were already there before he came to office. “

Origin of the crisis

On her own, Mrs. Ekwueme said, “We must recognize the fact that the American financial elite violated all principles of fiduciary, social and moral responsibility, in seeking its own personal gain, at the expense of the entire society. Obama and the political leadership have tried to stabilize the financial system by offering them bail-outs to deal with the failures in the system but this has failed to achieve the desired result because of the huge cost of prosecuting the wars.

This is still draining the treasury. The disenchantment with the economic system created another level of crisis in the political cycle where the Tea Party sprang up to challenge the political status quo in Washington. It is all about the sovereign debt crisis and the power game in Washington. Its argument was that the political class has used the financial crisis to increase the power over the people”. London-based Pastor Bisi Odoh said the years ahead will be difficult for Americans who will have to contend with regimes of austerity measures, saying it is time for them to have a taste of the pill they have been advocating for the third world countries. Are we seeing the demise of the last superpower. How are the mighty fallen!

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Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll At 392

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/14/isaf-soldier-dead-insurgent-attack

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 14, 2011

ISAF soldier dead in insurgent attack

KABUL: An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, the alliance said.

The death was announced in a brief statement from the multinational force that neither disclosed the victim’s nationality nor the exact location of the assault.

With the latest fatality, the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan so far in 2011 has increased to 392. Americans have borne the brunt of the casualties.

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Obama And Karzai To Forge U.S.-Afghan Strategic Cooperation

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/13/karzai-obama-talk-strategic-cooperation

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 13, 2011

Karzai, Obama talk strategic cooperation
By Lalit K Jha and Zarghona Salehi

KABUL/WASHINGTON: Afghanistan and the United States have agreed on a security advisor-level meeting on strategic cooperation in September, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said on Saturday.

President Hamid Karzai has assured the strategic pact with the US would pose no threat to Afghanistan’s neighbours. A traditional Loya Jirga will decide on whether or not Afghanistan should enter the deal.

In a video conference with Karzai on Friday night, President Barack Obama supported an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, a statement from Presidential Palace said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

John Galsworthy, 1911: Air war last and worst hideous development of the black arts of warfare

August 14, 2011 4 comments

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

John Galsworthy: Selections on war

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John Galsworthy
Peace of the Air
Letter to The Times
April 7, 1911

Beyond all the varying symptoms of madness in the life of modern nations, the most dreadful is the prostitution of the conquest of the air to the ends of warfare.

If ever men presented a spectacle of sheer inanity it is now – when, having at long last triumphed in their struggle to subordinate to their welfare the unconquered element, they have straightway commenced to defile that element, so heroically mastered, by filling it with engines of destruction. If ever the gods were justified of their ironic smile – by the gods, it is now! Is there any thinker alive watching this utterly preventable calamity without horror and despair? Horror at what must come of it if not promptly stopped; despair that men can be so blind, so hopelessly and childishly the slaves of their own marvellous inventive powers. Was there ever so patent a case for scotching at birth a hideous development of the black arts of warfare; ever such an occasion for the Powers in conference to ban once and for all a new ghastly menace?

A little reason, a grain of common sense, a gleam of sanity before it is too late; before vested interests and the claims of a new habit have enslaved us too hopelessly. If this fresh devilry be not quenched within the next few years, it will be too late. Water and earth are wide enough for men to kill each other on. For the love of the sun, and the stars, and the blue sky, that have given us all our aspirations since the beginning of time, let us leave the air to innocence! Will not those who have eyes to see, good-will, and the power to put that good-will into practice, bestir themselves while there is yet time, and save mankind from this last and worst of all its follies?

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 13, 2011

August 13, 2011 2 comments

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Libyan Air War: Nearly 19,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 7,000 Strike Sorties

Italy Deploys First Unmanned Drones For War Against Libya

Africa Must Challenge Military Occupation Of World By One Superpower

Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots: U.S. Hosts 6,000 Experts From 30 Nations

Turkey, U.S. Preparing For War With Syria?

NATO: U.S. Commando Raids In Afghanistan Almost Tripled Since 2009

Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Approaches 400

Swedish Soldier Wounded In Afghan Firefight

Pakistan: Opposition Party Leader Condemns U.S. Drone Strikes

NATO’s Depleted Uranium Use In Balkans Continues To Claim Victims

CSTO: Former Soviet Republics Hope To Contain NATO

U.S. Ship Pays Africa Partnership Station Visit To Ghana

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Libyan Air War: Nearly 19,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 7,000 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110813_110813-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 13, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 18,774 sorties, including 7,127 strike sorties*, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 12 AUGUST: 118
Strike sorties conducted 12 AUGUST: 48

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Italy Deploys First Unmanned Drones For War Against Libya

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Libya-Italian-pilotless-drone-completes-first-surveillance-mission_312345967031.html

ADN Kronos International
August 12, 2011

Libya: Italian pilotless drone completes first surveillance mission

Rome: The first Italian pilotless Predator drone has completed a 12-hour surveillance flight over Libya after taking off from an air base in Foggia, southern Italy.

The Predator B drone took off from the Amendola air base in the Puglia region Wednesday and carried out its surveillance mission, crossing the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean between Italy and North Africa.

Aircraft taking part in Nato’s Unified Protector mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya…are now taking off from six Italian military bases located across the country.

Italy is currently remotely operating two unarmed Predator drones which are being used for reconnaissance flights.

Since the beginning of the United-Nations mandated Nato operation on 31 March a total of 18,656 flights, including 7,079 strike sorties have been conducted, the alliance said in a statement on Friday.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed alarm at the rising number of civilian casualties in the Libya conflict, including those inflicted in NATO airstrikes…

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Africa Must Challenge Military Occupation Of World By One Superpower

http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=40111&title=Defend%20the%20homeland

New Era (Namibia)
August 12, 2011

Defend the homeland

The youth leagues of Southern Africa’s former liberation movements should be commended for speaking out in defence of the homeland when so many of their leaders have gone to sleep.

Africa’s leaders have dropped their guard of the African revolution. Many of them have gone to bed, while others have joined their former colonial masters in pursuit of self-serving agendas.

Were this not the case, the African countries that sit on the United Nations Security Council, for instance, would not have – like sheep being led to the slaughter – bought into the west’s military adventure in Libya by voting for the enforcement of a so-called No Fly Zone over Libyan skies.

Ironically, as things stand today, the hands of the three African countries that authorised the mayhem in Libya cannot escape responsibility for the blood of innocent women and children that are being butchered by western countries in their quest to lay their hands on Libya’s oil and strategic location in a region so vital to their imperial and colonial interests.

When former British Prime Minister Harold Mcmillan made his famous “winds of change” speech, Africans were elated that finally, their destiny was sealed as a free and independent people.

But decades later, the continent is far from being out of the woods. Africa is still grappling with subjugation, albeit subtle, as a bunch of homegrown foremen that answers to Europe and America sits comfortably at the helm with support from their masters.

Africa is very much under threat as the imperial west seeks to reverse the gains of the continent’s revolutions that rebelled against western hegemony and mass exploitation and ushered in freedom and independence.

Europe and the United States of America have never forgiven Africa’s freedom fighters for daring to challenge their misrule and colonial occupation of the African continent.

Theirs has been work in progress in order to continue the subjugation of the continent and its people and access its wealth. The west, under the leadership of the United States of America, is pursuing an agenda of domination of the African people and indeed the whole world.

Or, why else would America spread its military tentacles far beyond its borders and so wide across the globe if not for an expansionist and imperialist agenda?

Estimates put US military bases across the world close to 700 in over 130 countries. At any given time, the US stations more than 250 000 troops outside its borders at these bases.

Notably, these military bases are mostly found in countries where the US has fought wars and conquered. These countries include Japan which has a number of military bases, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Guantanamo, Cuba to newly-conquered states like Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan as well as other Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. There are a few such military bases in Africa, including one in Djibouti. The French are also known to have some of their units permanently stationed in a number of countries in West Africa.

This situation speaks to a world that is essentially under military occupation by one superpower, the United States of America aided by small units of French and British forces also deployed in some parts of the world.

It is this militarisation of the world and particularly of Africa that the youth leagues of the former liberation movements strongly oppose. And they are right.

Southern Africa is not up for sale. So is the entire Africa. Africom or United States African Command is not welcome in Southern Africa and any country in the region that seeks to get the Americans in through the back door is playing a dangerous game.

The youth leagues of the former liberation movements in Southern Africa must therefore step up the pressure and remain resolute in their rejection of foreign influence in our region. They owe this to the freedom fighters of Southern Africa whose immense sacrifices brought about the peace that we enjoy today. Southern Africa must remain free. It should not be carved into anybody’s sphere of influence or pander to the rivalry of world powers.

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Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots: U.S. Hosts 6,000 Experts From 30 Nations

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65015

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
August 12, 2011

Show to Display Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots
By Cheryl Pellerin

-Dean, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and paratrooper with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, said a revolution is occurring today in automated systems for use in the air, on the ground and on and under the sea…More than 3,000 of Qinetiq North America’s Talon robots have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan…

WASHINGTON: For four days next week, more than 6,000 experts from 30 countries will gather here for this year’s largest robot and unmanned systems show.

Held by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, called AUVSI, Unmanned Systems North America 2011 will feature workshops, panels and demonstrations of robots used by the military services, civil and law enforcement agencies and the commercial sector.

The conference will run Aug. 16-19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center here, and service members, police and other public servants in uniform will have free access to the exhibit hall and to conference panels on the final day.

“Robots are key – we’ve seen this throughout the military and first responder operations over the last decade in particular – to extending the distance between operators and the dangerous environments in which they operate,” said Charlie Dean, director of business development in the Unmanned Systems Group of Qinetiq North America.

He spoke to reporters during an Aug. 10 briefing at the National Press Club about the upcoming conference.

Dean, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and paratrooper with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, said a revolution is occurring today in automated systems for use in the air, on the ground and on and under the sea.

“The alternative to using unmanned systems,” he said, “is human exposure.”

More than 3,000 of Qinetiq North America’s Talon robots have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly to deal with improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs, according to the British global defense technology company.

Qinetiq is one of more than 450 exhibitors who will demonstrate automated systems and other products at the conference.

Another is iRobot Corp., a Massachusetts advanced-technology company whose ground and marine robots – including PackBot, Ranger, Warrior, Seaglider and others — are supporting the Army and other military services.

David “Duncan” Hines, vice president of the iRobot Maritime Division, said iRobot deployed Seaglider, its underwater robot, worked during the three-month-long 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Also at work in war zones, over national borders and in disaster areas are unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles and the Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4 Global Hawk.

John Priddy, director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Air Security Operations Center in Grand Forks, N.D., said his organization operates two MQ-9 Predators.

“More specifically,” he added, “we have seven MQ-9s operating in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and shortly we should have nine.”

They’ve used the unmanned aircraft primarily for law enforcement purposes, Priddy said, “but residing within the Department of Homeland Security, we have had reason to apply the technologies toward disaster relief and civil support operations,” including California wildfires.

The Global Hawk is being used in Afghanistan but it also has been used in disaster-relief efforts like the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti and in Japan.

“The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance asset, so it’s an unmanned system,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Thomas, the functional manager for the $13 billion Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk program.

“In the Air Force we call it an RPA, a remotely piloted vehicle…,” Thomas said.

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Turkey, U.S. Preparing For War With Syria?

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/75787/

PanArmenian.net
August 12, 2011

Is Turkey preparing for war?

PanARMENIAN.Net: On August 12 reservists of the Turkish army were mustered and dispatched to the border with Syria, where to all appearance clashes are expected.

The Turkish Zaman newspaper quoted a government official as saying that in case of an armed conflict a huge flow of Syrian refugees will head for Turkey. According to official data, 7,239 refugees have already penetrated into the country. Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the situation in Syria.

Meanwhile, an Iranian official told the website of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that if the U.S. and Turkey launch a military operation in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan will become a new Afghanistan.

The same official stated that Iran will declare war on Turkey, should the latter attack Syria. However, the post was later removed from the website.

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NATO: U.S. Commando Raids In Afghanistan Almost Tripled Since 2009

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-12/afghanistan-raids-by-u-s-commandos-nearly-triple-since-2009-nato-says.html

Bloomberg News
August 12, 2011

Afghanistan Raids by U.S. Commandos Almost Triple Since 2009, NATO Says
By Tony Capaccio

Afghanistan has nearly tripled since 2009 the frequency of commando raids launched against Taliban or insurgent groups, according to NATO figures.

This year, from Jan. 1 through this week, the U.S. – with Afghanistan and NATO assistance – has launched 1,879 missions, with 916 “targets” killed or captured, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

That compares with 1,780 missions for all of last year, with 825 targets killed or captured, and 675 missions in 2009, when 306 adversaries were killed or captured, according to a NATO spokesman, U.S. Army Major Jason Waggoner.

“Even if the primary target is not killed or captured on these missions, 35% of those times, the next closest associate or another individual directly linked to the target is killed or captured,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

Roughly 7,000 of the 61,000 personnel under the U.S. Special Operations Command are in Afghanistan today.

Commando Deaths

Interest in the size and scope of U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan has escalated since a U.S. CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down Aug. 6, killing the 30 U.S. personnel aboard – 17 Navy SEALS, five sailors assigned to SEAL units, five Army pilots and three Air Force special tactics commandos. The crash also killed an interpreter and seven Afghan troops who were working with the Americans.

Those fatalities brought to 44 the number of U.S. special operations troops killed in Afghanistan this year, up from 40 last year, 33 in 2009 and 220 overall since late 2001, when small teams of U.S. Army Green Berets landed in Afghanistan and worked with CIA paramilitary teams to temporarily rout the Taliban, according to figures.

The increased raids reflect a greater number of commandos in Afghanistan as Iraq operations wind down, following the increased use of conventional forces for securing the population under President Barack Obama’s troop “surge.”

Inside the Pentagon, Michael Vickers, an advocate of strikes by special operations forces, has risen in influence from a 1980s-era Green Beret and CIA paramilitary specialist to an analyst at the CSBA to assistant secretary of defense for special operations to his current position as the Defense Department’s undersecretary for intelligence.

Post-9/11 “tactical cooperation grew and was expanded and refined” under U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, “whose hunter-killer” teams in Iraq were replicated when he took over in 2009 command of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker write in a new book, “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.”

The pace of the “intelligence-driven operations skyrocketed” with more than 12 raids a night supported by the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, they write.

Resilient Foe

“That kind of seamless operational cooperation became common on a smaller scale in Yemen, Pakistan and other shadowy battlegrounds,” they write in their book, to be published Aug. 16.

Brian Katulis, a national security specialist at the Center for American Progress, a policy group in Washington, said “the targeted strikes, combined with increased drone attacks across the border in Pakistan, demonstrate the Obama administration’s attempts to marginalize the insurgency.”

“It’s a much more aggressive approach than you saw in the first eight years of the war,” Katulis said in an Aug. 10 interview. “The question is whether this leads to greater overall stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

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Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Approaches 400

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/12/2-more-foreign-soldiers-killed

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 12, 2011

2 more foreign soldiers killed

KABUL: Two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) servicemembers have been killed in Afghanistan, the alliance said on Friday.

One soldier was killed in a bomb attack in the south, the NATO-led force said, without disclosing the victims’ nationality or the exact location of the blast.

Another soldier died in a similar assault in the east. On Thursday, five international troops were killed in an explosion in the south.

With the latest fatalities, the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan so far in 2011 has increased to 391. Americans have borne the brunt of the casualties.

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Swedish Soldier Wounded In Afghan Firefight

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/13/swedish-soldier-injured-balkh-clash

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 13, 2011

Swedish soldier injured in Balkh clash
by Zabihullah Ihsas

MAZAR SHARIF: One foreign soldier was injured and a militant killed in a joint Afghan-ISAF operation in the Chamtal district of northern Balkh province on Saturday, official said.

Militants attacked a joint patrol of Afghan and international forces in Chamtal at 9am, provincial police spokesman Sher Jan Durrani told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The ISAF press office in Mazar Sharif said one Swedish soldier was injured in the attack. He was evacuated to an ISAF hospital, where doctors said he was in stable condition.

Resident confirmed the clash and said they remained indoors. Jarkala villager Muhammad Usman said he heard fire around 8am. Later, helicopters also arrived, but they dropped no bombs, he added.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed three foreign soldiers were killed and a fourth injured in the incident.

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Pakistan: Opposition Party Leader Condemns U.S. Drone Strikes

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Lahore/13-Aug-2011/Imran-condemns-US-drones

The Nation
August 13, 2011

Imran condemns US drones

FAISALABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has once again condemned the latest US drone attack that killed 18 innocent Pakistanis in the tribal area.

Talking to local PTI office-bearers here on Friday, he said the government is busy in striking deals with its political allies, innocent blood continues to be shed in Karachi and FATA and it seems that the government has all but collapsed.

The extra-judicial killings in FATA and increasing incidents of gang war in Karachi by private armies that are backed by political parties is slowly turning Karachi into a war zone, he added

The PTI chief said that the ruling party and its allies are directly responsible for turning Pakistan into a killing field where life and property of citizens is at the mercy of militants and US drones.

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NATO’s Depleted Uranium Use In Balkans Continues To Claim Victims

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/13/54610625.html

Voice of Russia
August 13, 2011

Depleted uranium continues to claim victims

A court in Cagliari in Italy has ruled that the Ministry of Defence must pay a half million euros in compensation to the family of a soldier who died from exposure to depleted uranium in NATO bombs that were dropped on Kosovo.

Depleted uranium is used in rockets and bombs for increasing their piercing capacity. It is slightly radioactive and highly toxic. The first Italian death from exposure to it was reported in 2001.

NATO widely used DU munitions during its 1990s campaigns in Kosovo and Bosnia.

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CSTO: Former Soviet Republics Hope To Contain NATO

http://rt.com/politics/security-table-csto-summit/

RT
August 12, 2011

Former Soviet republics hope to contain NATO

The heads of states within the Collective Security Treaty Organization intend to strengthen its role, its current chairman, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, said after an informal summit in the Kazakh capital Astana.

­Made up of seven former Soviet republics, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the organization, which is sometimes referred to as the “NATO of the East,” is aimed at countering external military threats and the defense of the territorial integrity of its member-states.

Six leaders have gathered for the summit: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose country currently holds the rotating CSTO presidency, Armenian President Serge Sargsyan, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, and Kyrgyz President Roza Otumbaeva. The Uzbek leader Islam Karimov did not attend the summit.

“Critically assessing our work, we have noted that there are several internal drawbacks,” the Belarusian leader told journalists during a media briefing on Friday. “I mean not only the domestic problems of the CSTO member states but also divisive issues between the countries.”

As for positive developments, Lukashenko said that by the end of the year they may complete the formation of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force.
He added that by December the member states will ratify a package of recently signed international documents within the organization.

“We [Belarus] have ratified all these documents. The other countries are now in the process of ratifying them,” Lukashenko went on to say.

Another important outcome of the summit was the agreement to jointly counter potential threats in cyber space.

“Many new goals have appeared in light of recent world events, including those in the Arab states and in North Africa,” the Belarusian leader pointed out. “We have agreed that our countries will work out measures to fight potential threats, primarily in the information sphere and cyber space.”

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U.S. Ship Pays Africa Partnership Station Visit To Ghana

http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201108/70951.php

Information Section
US Embassy, Ghana
August 12, 2011

US’ Swift to visit Sekondi as part of Africa Partnership Station

The U.S. Navy’s High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) is scheduled to visit Sekondi, Ghana August 14-20 as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011.

During the visit, Swift will be the primary venue for instructional courses for Ghanaian naval forces. These courses will be Expeditionary Combat First Aid and Maintenance Management. A Small Boat Hull Maintenance course will be taught in conjunction with Swift’s visit but will be held off ship; this course is set to run for two weeks, concluding August 26. The training courses are meant to strengthen maritime capabilities of Ghanaian naval forces in order to enhance maritime security.

APS began in October 2007 with the deployment of Swift and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) to West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. Now in its fourth year, maritime partners continue a mission that has grown to bring together 34 African, European and South American countries…

HSV 2 SWIFT Fact Sheet

HSV-2 SWIFT is an Australian built, privately-owned, privately-operated vessel that has been militarized for the US Navy. She is a 321.5 ft, shallow-draft, high-speed catamaran capable of going in excess of 40 knots while carrying a cargo package equivalent to 10 C-17s. Her permanent manning consists of 17 Contract Mariners (CONMARs) and 23 Military personnel…

SWIFT is the fourth Incat-built high-speed wave piercing catamaran to enter military service, following behind HMAS JERVIS BAY, U.S. Army Vessel (USAV) Theater Support Vessel (TSV) 1X SPEARHEAD and JOINT VENTURE.

It is a wave-piercing, aluminum-hulled, commercial catamaran with military enhancements, such as a helicopter flight deck, strengthened vehicle deck, small boat launch and recovery capability, and an enhanced communications suite.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Thomas Carlyle: What blood-filled trenches, and contentious centuries, may still divide us!

August 13, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Thomas Carlyle
From Sartor Resartus (1833-1834)

“What, speaking in quite unofficial language, is the net purport and upshot of war? To my own knowledge, for example, there dwell and toil, in the British village of Dumdrudge, usually some five hundred souls. From these, by certain `Natural Enemies` of the French, there are successively selected, during the French war, say thirty able-bodied men; Dumdrudge, at her own expense, has suckled and nursed them: she has, not without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up to manhood, and even trained them to crafts, so that one can weave, another build, another hammer, and the weakest can stand under thirty stone avoirdupois. Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they are selected; all dressed in red; and shipped away, at the public charges, some two thousand miles, or say only to the south of Spain; and fed there till wanted. And now to that same spot, in the south of Spain, are thirty similar French artisans, from a French Dumdrudge, in like manner wending: till at length, after infinite effort, the two parties come into actual juxtaposition; and Thirty stands fronting Thirty, each with a gun in his hand. Straightaway the word `Fire!` is given; and they blow the souls out of one another; and in place of sixty brisk useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcasses, which it must bury, and anew shed tears for. Had these men any quarrel? Busy as the Devil is, not the smallest! They lived far enough apart; were the entirest strangers; nay, in so wide a Universe, there was even, unconsciously, by Commerce, some mutual helpfulness between them. How then? Simpleton! their Governors had fallen out; and instead of shooting one another, had the cunning to make these poor blockheads shoot.–Alas, so is it in Deutschland, and hitherto in all other lands; still as of old, `what devilry soever Kings do, the Greeks must pay the piper!`–In that fiction of the English Smollett, it is true, the final Cessation of War is perhaps prophetically shadowed forth; where the two Natural Enemies, in person, take each a Tobacco-pipe, filled with Brimstone; light the same, and smoke in one another’s faces, till the weaker gives in: but from such predicted Peace-Era, what blood-filled trenches, and contentious centuries, may still divide us!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011 2 comments

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Libyans Appeal To UN Secretary-General Over Deadly NATO Bombings

NATO’S Massacre At Majer, Libya

Libyan War: 18,656 NATO Sorties, 7,079 Strike Missions

South African President Condemns NATO Over Libya

Denmark Extends NATO War Mission In Libya

Report: Turkey Fears NATO Attack On Syria

Abbas: Security Of Palestinian State To Be “Handed To NATO Under U.S. Command”

Afghan War: Seven NATO Soldiers Killed In One Day

Afghanistan: French Death Toll Rises To 73

U.S. Drones Kill Civilians And Create New Militants

U.S. Drone Warfare: Tyranny Of Flying Terror

NATO Continues Covert Drive To Incorporate Sweden And Finland

NATO: Over 1.3 Million Reservists In 34 Member, Partner Nations

Canadian Military Priority: Boost “Operational Capability In The Arctic”

Russian Arctic Force Could Include Paratroopers

With 1,500 Troops On The Ground In Kosovo, Germany Says “Map Of The Balkans Has Been Decided”

Israel, Saudi Arabia Bid For U.S. Military Equipment In Iraq, Afghanistan

Romania: U.S. Marines Conduct Urban Warfare Training

Poll: Chinese See U.S. And Japan As Main Military Threats

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Libyans Appeal To UN Secretary-General Over Deadly NATO Bombings

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/08/12/162026.html

Al Arabiya With agencies
August 12, 2011

Libyan’s Demand NATO to End Casualties
By Ikram al Yacoub

Around one hundred Libyans rallied outside the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli protesting against NATO air strikes that have killed dozens of civilians in a village east of Tripoli, calling for an end to the air attacks on August 11.

The protesters gathered to hand over a letter to the ambassador addressed to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling on him to intervene to stop on civilian target air strikes.

Ibrahim Al Majeri, the head of the Libyan Doctors Union, said, “Mr. Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General, we are the families of the victims who were killed by NATO air strikes on Majar village, which killed 85 martyrs, most of them were children and women, we are appealing to you to take a firm stand against these crimes which NATO commits everyday.”

On August 9, Libyan officials said that 85 civilians had been killed in a NATO strike in Majar village east of the coastal city of Zlitan, but the alliance countries believe it hit a legitimate military target.

The Libyan government said the dead included 33 children, 32 women and 20 men.

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NATO’S Massacre At Majer, Libya

http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb08122011.html

CounterPunch
August 12, 2011

Residents Say NATO’s Air Strikes Killed 85 People, Including 33 Children, 32 Women and 20 Men
NATO’S Massacre at Majer, Libya
By Franklin Lamb

Majer, Libya: Located about 20 miles east of the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna, six miles south of Zliten, and off Libya’s southern coast across the Mediterranean from Rome, Majer was a picturesque village known for the fine quality of its dates and is claimed by locals to produce the best tarbuni (date juice) in Libya.

Family members, eyewitnesses and Libyan government officials claim that NATO’s air-strikes at Majer killed 85 people, including 33 children, 32 women and 20 men. Reporters and visitors were shown 30 of the bodies in a local morgue, including a mother and two children. Officials and residents explained that approximately 50 bodies were taken to other locations for family burial and most of the injured rushed to hospitals at Tripoli.

At Majer, NATO chose to bomb three neighboring compounds and visitors examined a total of five bombed-out houses. There was no evidence of weapons at the farmhouses, but rather mattresses, clothes and books littered the area. One badly injured 15-year old young lady, Salwa Ageil Al Jaoud, had earlier written her name inside one notebook found amidst the rubble. She was later visited in hospital and attested, like the witnesses at Qana had, that there was no military presence in the homes that were bombed.

NATO used the same tactic that Israel used during the two Qana massacres. After the first three bombs dropped at around 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) on Monday, August 8, many residents of the area ran to the bombed houses to try to save their loved ones. NATO then instantly struck with more bombs slaughtering 85 Libyans.

The badly burned and mangled bodies of two boys named Adil Moayed Gafes and Aynan Gafees were pulled from the rubble by family members deeply in shock. One anguished gentleman repeated the words, “”There is no God but Allah, and a martyr is loved by Allah,” and soon others joined in.

Standing on a pile of rubble, Libyan government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, declared, “This is a crime beyond imagination. Everything about this place is civilian!”

According to Libyan officials interviewed at the Rixos Hotel here in Tripoli last night, NATO attacked Majer “to try to help rebel fighters enter the government-held city from the south as it deepens its involvement and military command and control of one side in what has become a civil war hoping for billions of dollars in reconstruction contracts and special oil deals from its chosen team set up in eastern Libya.”

Seemingly borrowing a page from the Israeli army media office, NATO’s Carmen Romero, the NATO Deputy Spokesperson and Colonel Roland Lavoie, Operation ”Unified Protector” military spokesperson on 8/9/11 told a joint Brussels-Naples news conference that “the village bombed contained a military assembly area and that NATO to date had no evidence of any civilian casualties but that NATO always takes extraordinary measures to assure the safety of civilians.”

It is predictable, that as the evidence of the massacre at Majer becomes public and NATO is pressed to explain the killing of yet more Libya civilians, NATO, probably within the next 48 hours, will announce “an internal investigation” into the events at Majer while asserting in advance, as the Israelis regularly do, that their bombing was only directed at “legitimate military targets.”

Every Muslim and Christian Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, and every Lebanese citizen whose family members or loved ones were slaughtered during Israel’s two massacres at Qana, Lebanon, is reminded today of the indescribable loss suffered yesterday by their Libyan sisters and brothers at Majer, Libya.

The Majer massacre was perpetrated yet again with American weapons once more gifted by American taxpayers without their knowledge or consent and against every American humanitarian value shared by all people of good will.

As at Qana, the inventory of American weapons that has been provided to NATO and available for use here in Libya since March 29, 2011, sometimes indiscriminately, in order “to protect civilians” includes, but if not limited to, the following:

B-2 stealth bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, F-15Es currently based at the 492nd Fighter Squadron and 494th Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, Britain, F-16CJ “defense-suppression” aircraft based at the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, EC-130 Commando Solo psychological operations aircraft from the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, Middletown, PA, KC-135s from the 100th Air Refueling Wing currently based at Mildenhall, Britain and the 92nd, Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, WA,C-130Js recently based at the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and A-10 attack fighters, and AC-130 gunships. The NATO attacks on Libya began with the bombing of claimed Libyan air-defense equipment using 110 American Tomahawk and Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles. Also launched were bombing attacks using three American B-2 Spirit Bombers delivering 45 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) against Libyan air bases. Tomahawks were also fired from British ships in the area.

U.S. Navy ships being used by NATO “to protect Libyan civilians” include:
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55) and USS Barry (DDG 52),Submarines USS Providence (SSN 719), USS Scranton (SSN 756) and USS Florida (SSGN 728),Marine amphibious ships USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and USS Ponce (LPD 15) Command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20), Support ships Lewis and Clark, Robert E. Peary and Kanawha,AV-8B Harrier fighters, CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft aboard the Kearsarge and Ponce, KC-130J tanker aircraft flying from Sigonella Air Base, Italy, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft of VAQ-132, based at Whidbey Island, WA and flying from Aviano Air Base, Italy (the above listed aircraft were diverted from Iraq at NATO’s request “to help protect Libyan civilians”), P-3 Orion sub-hunters and EP-3 Aries electronic attack aircraft.

In addition to the above listed weapons, more than 50 types of American bombs and missiles are stockpiled for NATO use “to protect civilians in Libya” and their use to date is illegal under both American and International law, because it has resulted in the killing, maiming or wounding of approximately 7,800 Libyan civilians between March 29 and August 9, 2011.

A survey of NATO bombing sites, ground inspections, cataloged serial numbers from unexploded ordnance, examination of bomb and missile fragments at civilian sites in Western Libya, and consultation with Libyan military sources confirm what two US Senate Armed Services Committee staffers and international lawyers have postulated. NATO, like their Israeli allies at Qana, Lebanon, committed war crimes and crimes against humanity at Majer, Libya on August 8, 2011.

Specifically, NATO stands accused of committing the following crimes against the people of Libya according to a consensus from meetings with an increasing number of visiting international lawyers and human rights advocates who have come here from Europe, Asia and South and North America.

Applicable international law includes but is not limited to Article 3 of the Statute of The Hague International Penal Court which clearly states that one criterion for indictment for war crimes is: “Attack or bombardment, by whatever means, against undefended cities, towns, villages, buildings or houses”. 



NATO’s continuous use of civilian targets for military purposes, a scenario which NATO wantonly and callously calls “collateral damage” fits this clause exactly and would be a cornerstone of a case accusing this organization of being guilty of war crimes. 

Violation of the Geneva Convention IV, Article 3 (a): “To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds.”

These are similar causes of action that were filed against Israeli officials by American lawyers at the New York based Center for Constitutional Rights in Ali Saadallah BELHAS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Moshe YA`ALON, Defendant (466 F.Supp.2d 127 (2006) A case that educated the international legal community and the public about the necessity to strip sovereign immunity from international outlaws and allow lawsuits in domestic as well as international courts.

The NATO massacre at Majer requires international lawsuits that achieve nothing less.

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Libyan War: 18,656 NATO Sorties, 7,079 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110812_110812-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 12, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 18,656 sorties, including 7,079 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 11 AUGUST: 123

Strike sorties conducted 11 AUGUST: 42

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South African President Condemns NATO Over Libya

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Zuma-hits-out-at-Nato-over-Libya-20110811

South African Press Association
August 11, 2011

Zuma hits out at Nato over Libya

Johannesburg: Nato allies could be seeking a regime change in Libya in a manner that is “unacceptable”, President Jacob Zuma told the Parliament of Burundi on Thursday.

“We have found ourselves in a situation where the developed world has decided to intervene in Africa in a manner that was not agreed to when the UN resolution 1973…was passed,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery.

“We have found this resolution being abused in a manner that is totally unacceptable.”

Zuma reiterated the African Union’s (AU) call for an “African solution”, and a need for a cessation of hostilities to allow Libyan dialogue.

“Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has agreed not to be part of the Libyan dialogue. What we need now is for the allies to allow the space for such a dialogue to take place.

“We urge African parliamentarians to work with us in promoting such African solutions….so that its voice can be heard on matters of conflict resolution on the continent, from Somalia to Libya.”

Transparent

Zuma said South Africa committed itself to working with other “like-minded” states towards improving the working methods of the United Nations Security Council for a more legitimate, accountable, transparent, representative and effective body.

“The council needs to be responsive to the needs of the developing world when it comes to the quest for peace and security,”he said.

“More importantly, it must be in tune with the African continent and give Africa the space to solve its problems.”

Zuma departed for Burundi for a state visit on Wednesday.

The delegation accompanying him include the ministers of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Higher Education Blade Nzimande, Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu and Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Thandi Tobias-Pokolo.

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Denmark Extends NATO War Mission In Libya

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1656420.php/Denmark-to-continue-Libya-operation

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
August 11, 2011

Denmark to continue Libya operation

Copenhagen: Denmark was to continue to contribute to a NATO-led mission over Libya, two cabinet members said Thursday after talks with parliamentary leaders.

‘We agreed that Denmark should be patient and stand firm,’ Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said after the meeting with foreign affairs and defence affairs spokesmen from other parties.

Former foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft of the opposition Social Democrats and Holger K Nielsen of the Socialist People’s Party said it was unsatisfactory that Gaddafi was still in power. Parliament earlier this year approved the deployment of six F-16 jet fighters. The jets were to remain until October 1, when the current NATO mandate expires, the parties attending Thursday’s meeting said.

Four of the jets take part in action, while two serve as backup planes.

Defence Minister Gitte Lillelund Bech, who also attended Thursday’s meeting, earlier this week visited the base in Sicily from where the Danish jets operate.

Only one party, the leftist Unity List-the Red-Green Alliance, has been opposed to extending the operation.

Espersen said the parties also supported opening ties with the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC).

Earlier this week, the last two Libyan diplomats stationed in Denmark were ordered to leave the Scandinavian country.

Neighbouring Norway, a NATO member like Denmark, last week ended its jet fighter deployment in the Libya operation.

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Report: Turkey Fears NATO Attack On Syria

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/news/politics/16796.html

Vestik Kavkaza
August 12, 2011

Turkey fears NATO attack on Syria

Turkey is taking measures to enforce security on the Syrian border,
Zaman reports. Turkey fears refugees from Syria, especially if NATO
attacks Syria. Another round of talks was held in Sarakebe on August
11. Hundreds of Syrian refugees went to Turkey. Some media say that
17,000 refugees are heading to the Turkish border.

Turkish naval forces in the Iskanderun are ready to act. Turkey halted
mine-clearing on the border zone, Newsru.co.il reports.

————————————————————————–

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=233555

Reuters/Jerusalem Post
August 12, 2011

‘Turkey: Retired officers to deal with Syrian refugees’

Ankara reportedly fears NATO intervention, expects additional 17,000 Syrian refugees may be headed for border, ‘Zaman’ says

Turkey has called in every officer retired from the military in the past five years to help staff its provinces bordering Syria, reported Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman on Thursday. Turkish officials have announced that 7,239 Syrians are currently seeking refuge in Turkey and the number is expected to rise drastically with another 17,000 Syrians in transit.

According to the report, the Turkish government is also concerned about the possibility of a NATO intervention in Syria, fearing that Ankara would be most affected by such a move and that it could spark a larger backlash in the Muslim world.

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Abbas: Security Of Palestinian State To Be “Handed To NATO Under U.S. Command”

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=412599

Ma’an News Agency
August 12, 2011

Abbas tells US lawmakers: NATO role in Palestinian state

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting US Congressmen on Thursday that the security of the future Palestinian state will be handed to NATO under US command, his adviser said Friday.

The Palestinian state must also be “empty of [Israeli] settlements,” the President said, according to official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA.

Members of the US Congress and Senate delegation, headed by Democrat Senator Steny Hoyer, met with the President in Ramallah on Thursday, and quizzed Abbas on Israel’s designation as a Jewish state, the status of refugees, and reconciliation between the President’s Fatah party and rival Hamas, Presidential adviser Nimir Hamad said.

Abbas reiterated the Palestinian Authority’s well-known positions on these matters, Hammad added, and specified that security responsibility for the Palestinian Authority would be handled by a third party, suggesting the US-Europe military alliance NATO.

In September 2010, Abbas had outlined the government’s acceptance of international forces from NATO or similar to the UNIFIL force operating in southern Lebanon playing a role in Palestinian security, as long as forces did not include one single Israeli, whether from the civilian population or the military.

On Thursday, WAFA reported that Abbas stressed to the delegates that the Palestinian bid for recognition as a state at the UN was “not an attempt to isolate or delegitimize Israel, but rather aimed at promoting the two-state solution.”

The “first, second and third Palestinian option is establishing a Palestinian state through talks,” Abbas said.

On Friday, Hamad also criticized the Israeli Ministry of Interior to build more than 4,000 new settlement homes near Jerusalem, saying the move was a “clear challenge to the international community that rejects the policy of settlements and the Judaization of [Palestinian] lands.”

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Afghan War: Seven NATO Soldiers Killed In One Day

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1917366.html

Trend News Agency
August 12, 2011

Two NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two more NATO soldiers were killed on Thursday bringing to seven the number of military alliance fatalities in a single day, NATO confirmed on Friday, Xinhua reported.

“An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in eastern Afghanistan yesterday,”said the statement issued by NATO-led ISAF.

According to the brief statement the second service member was killed in an insurgent attack in restive southern Afghan region on Thursday.

Five U.S. soldiers serving with ISAF were killed in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group announced to launch spring offensive from May 1 against Afghan and NATO-led troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Over 380 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.

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Afghanistan: French Death Toll Rises To 73

http://us.mc1117.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welcome?.tm=1313151720#_pg=compose&&.rand=342216347&clean&.jsrand=887880

Xinhua News Agency
August 12, 2011

French soldiers killed in Afghanistan rise to 73 since 2001

PARIS: A French soldier was killed Thursday in Afghanistan after his vehicle was hit by an explosive device, bringing French troops’ death toll in the country to 73 since 2001, the Elysee Palace said Friday.

The convoy was struck in the region of Kapisa, northeast of Afghanistan, and left other four soldiers wounded, according to a statement issued Friday by the Elysee Palace.

Last month, on the eve of the French National Day, the active participator of NATO’s Afghan mission born its biggest loss of five soldiers in a day.

About 4,000 French soldiers are deployed on Afghan territories as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)…

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U.S. Drones Kill Civilians And Create New Militants

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/12/54572431.html

Voice of Russia
August 12, 2011

US drones kill civilians and create new militants
Boris Volkhonsky

-The arrogance of the US and NATO is such that it is becoming more and more difficult to “sell” to the public what they are doing – be it in Libya, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or elsewhere.

A new independent study conducted by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed that the number of civilian deaths in Pakistan as a result of US drone attacks within the last seven years has been much higher than previously anticipated. Since 2004 at least 2,292 people have been killed in US attacks, among them more than 160 children. The total credible number of civilians is estimated at 385 people, although the actual number is believed to be much higher – up to 775.

Around the same time US officials also disclosed similar numbers. According to that information, the total number of those killed in drone attacks is 2,050 people – of whom all but an estimated 50 are combatants.

The drone strikes were initiated in 2004 by the CIA and targeted suspected militants and terrorists hiding in the border regions in Western Pakistan – mostly in the troubled area of Northern Waziristan. During the seven years, the strikes have constantly given rise both to official protests by the Pakistani authorities and mass protests by the Pakistani people. As a result, today’s US–Pakistani relations are at the lowest point in history. More so, as in the case with the mythological Hydra, every drone strike gives rise to radical Islamist feelings all over the region and now the prospects of Pakistan turning into a radical Islamist state do not seem improbable.

What is even more striking in the Bureau’s findings is that the number of strikes has risen sharply during President Obama’s tenure, who took office two and a half years ago on the wave of anti-war sentiment promising to put an end to the two increasingly unpopular wars. He not only failed to fulfill his promises, but in fact initiated a further escalation of the country’s military activity. Of the total 291 CIA attacks, under President Obama alone there have been 236 strikes – one in four days.

Actually, there is absolutely no legal base for such activity – the CIA operations are covert ones, and the US apparently is not involved in military activity on the Pakistani territory. Amnesty International has expressed its deep concern over the findings of the Bureau. Amnesty’s Asia Pacific Director Sam Zarifi has said: “The Obama administration must explain the legal basis for drone strikes in Pakistan to avoid the perception that it acts with impunity.”

The Bureau’s report has prompted the CIA to fight back. Although it would not discuss the drone program publicly, several officials have already stated that the overwhelming majority of those killed have been militants with no collateral casualties within the last few months.

Now, the question is whether such strikes are going to continue well beyond the announced deadline for US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Day by day it is becoming more and more obvious that the primary aims of the operation (apart from the elimination of Osama bin Laden) have not been achieved by NATO and the US and are becoming less and less likely to be achieved before the deadline.

The militants are there to stay – be it on Afghan or the Pakistani territory. And the war itself is not becoming more popular with the US public, especially now that the US participates in three and not just two wars.

The latter fact has already started dawning on some US politicians, especially in view of the forthcoming elections in 2012. On Thursday, Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich called on the United Nations to ensure that government is held accountable for civilian deaths in Libya.

Well, the number of civilian deaths during the five months of airstrikes against Libya are a little bit smaller that those during the seven years of war in Pakistan. The Libyan authorities are accusing NATO of killing 85 villagers in air strikes, including 33 children.

Kucinich’s call on the UN was made before the Bureau made its report public. But it is hardly a mere coincidence that the two appeared almost simultaneously. The arrogance of the US and NATO is such that it is becoming more and more difficult to “sell” to the public what they are doing – be it in Libya, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or elsewhere.

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U.S. Drone Warfare: Tyranny Of Flying Terror

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=108381

Pakistan Observer
August 11, 2011

Drones: Tyranny of flying terror
Dr Jassim Taqui

The CIA resumed drone attacks against the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] during the holy month of Ramadan even as people are fasting and facing immense economic, social and security difficulties. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been compelled to leave their homes because of the twin terror: the terror of TTP [Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan] on one side, and the terror of CIA drones on the other. Yet, the morally bankrupt Obama administration insists on using brutal and massive force against unarmed and hapless civilians in gross violation of international law and in flagrant breach of basic human rights.

The Obama administration claims that no civilian was targeted during the drone attacks in Pakistan in 11 months, despite 116 attacks that have killed 740 people. The figures speak for themselves. According to the administration, the drones are hunting 100 remnants of Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Who, then, are the 640 additional people killed?

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has just published a detailed report that challenged the CIA’s claims. The report listed the names of hundreds of civilians including women and children who were brutally killed by the CIA’s drones.

Killing civilians with Helfire missiles is the worst form of state terrorism. The drones have become absolute terror to the people. They instill fear and terrorize civilians in total abuse of international law and the UN Charter. Killing defenseless people and assassinating individuals randomly is the worst kind of terror.

Fearing human losses, the US military introduced the drones in Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2002) and Pakistan (2004). The British followed by introducing drone in Afghanistan (2007), and the Israelis introduced drones in Gaza, occupied Palestine (2008). It is estimated that drones are being used or developed by over 40 countries. The United States and Israel, who accuse other nations of involvement in terrorism, produce the majority of armed drones.

Recent media reports reveal that the US established new drones bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen. These locations provide safe routes for US drones to attack targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and soon Iran.

Increasingly, the US military and CIA are using drones controlled via satellite communication to launch missiles and bombs on population centers indiscriminately, often at distances of many thousands of miles.

Barack Obama should surrender his Nobel Prize for peace, since he is acting as a warmonger. His black terror has indeed blackened the White House.

====

NATO Continues Covert Drive To Incorporate Sweden And Finland

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/nordic-holdouts-sweden-and-finland-mull-joining-nato-60297.html

Epoch Times
August 12, 2011

Nordic Holdouts: Sweden and Finland Mull Joining NATO
By Aron Lamm

-In an article in Swedish newspaper DN recently, former Swedish minister for defense, Thage G. Peterson, and a former Swedish United Nations Ambassador Anders Ferm, accused the government of trying to sneak Sweden into NATO….[T]he former commander-in-chief of the Swedish armed forces says that the reality is Sweden has been a silent member of NATO since the end of World War II.

The simmering NATO membership debate in the supposedly neutral Nordic strongholds of Finland and Sweden has come to the fore lately.

In Sweden, a NATO assessment of the Swedish military led to questions about whether the Swedish conservative government is trying to sneak the country into NATO. In neighboring Finland, the minister for defense recently stated that Finland should consider joining NATO for financial reasons.

Officially speaking, neither country has plans to join NATO, but both are members of the Partnership for Peace program. They also both participate in NATO operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and Sweden is also participating in the Libya effort. Every now and then, voices in both countries are raised for full membership.

[T]his would mean…they would lose their status as neutral peace brokers on the international stage.

Some say that this status is in fact already in jeopardy due to the countries’ current close collaboration with NATO. Sweden’s Defense Ministry recently announced that the armed forces have been reviewed by the NATO Planning and Review Process.

In an article in Swedish newspaper DN recently, former Swedish minister for defense, Thage G. Peterson, and a former Swedish United Nations Ambassador Anders Ferm, accused the government of trying to sneak Sweden into NATO.

“Sweden is in a gray area where we can neither reap the full benefits of a NATO membership, nor claim to be unaligned. The rest of the world sees Sweden as a NATO appendage — but only one Swede in five thinks we should join,” the article says.

In a direct reply, the former commander-in-chief of the Swedish armed forces says that the reality is Sweden has been a silent member of NATO since the end of World War II.

Meanwhile, Finnish Defense Minister Stefan Wallin, told newspaper Salon Seudun Sanomat this week that the recent cutbacks on military spending raises the question if Finland would be able to defend itself effectively if needed, or if NATO membership would be prudent.

His fellow cabinet member, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, quickly dismissed this idea, however. He told TV station YLE on Wednesday that NATO membership was “not on the table under the current administration.”

The official stance in Sweden is similar, with only one party in the Swedish Parliament and less than one Swede in five supporting a NATO membership, according to a 2010 survey by SOM, an organization affiliated with the University of Gothenburg.

Yet, the door to NATO seems wide open for the day the Swedes change their minds.

NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in response to a question during his visit at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in March that Sweden already fulfills all criteria for a full NATO membership.

Rasmussen said, “Our door remains open for all democracies in Europe that fulfill the necessary criteria,” a category that would most likely include Finland as well, but he added that he did not wish to interfere with a nation’s domestic policy.

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NATO: Over 1.3 Million Reservists In 34 Member, Partner Nations

http://www.act.nato.int/multimedia/archive/42-news-stories/710-reservists-making-important-cost-effective-contributions

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
August 10, 2011

Bieniek: Reservists making important, cost-effective contributions

Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Polish Army General Mieczysław Bieniek last week spoke at the Symposium of the 64th annual Summer Congress of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR) and National Reserve Forces Committee in Warsaw, Poland.

“CIOR, as an organisation representing more than 1.3 million reservists across 34 participating nations within and beyond NATO, you are making an important contribution to the Alliance,” said Bieniek.

Bieniek opened the symposium together with the Chief of the Polish General Staff, General Mieczysław Cieniuch.

Bieniek briefed the congress on Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) current priorities and shared some of his thoughts on “NATO’s Transformation and Reform” in the context of NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

About the importance of Reserve officers and NCOs he went on to say:

“National Reserve Forces must be an integral part of transformation and reform so that they can be relevant, ready, cost-effective, and deployable. We come to the table with the understanding that each nation’s Reserve Forces look very different. Some have strategic reserves, some have operational reserves, and some do not have standing reserves. We also acknowledge the difficult financial decisions, which are being made during these economic conditions.”

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Canadian Military Priority: Boost “Operational Capability In The Arctic”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/canada/canadian-forces-begin-arctic-sovereignty-operation-60261.html

Epoch Times
August 11, 2011

Canadian Forces Begin Arctic Sovereignty Operation
By Omid Ghoreishi

Canadian Navy ships sail to the Arctic this week to launch the annual sovereignty and training mission called Operation Nanook.

The operation, which involves forces from the Navy, Army, Air Force, and the Canadian Rangers, focuses on Arctic sovereignty exercises and will continue until late August. Forces from the Royal Danish Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard are also taking part in the Canadian-led mission.

“Operation Nanook demonstrates our Government’s commitment to Canada’s sovereignty and cooperation in the Arctic region,” Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay said in a statement.

“With world attention on the region on the rise and with an increasing travel into and over the vast territory of Canada’s north, our government has made it a priority to enhance the Canadian Forces’ operational capability in the Arctic.”

With melting ice in the north expected to make the Arctic more navigable and open up access to resources, the region has become the focus of sovereignty claims.

Tensions over the issue were heightened when a Russian submarine placed a Russian flag on the Arctic seabed under the North Pole in 2007.

An opinion poll conducted by Ekos Research for the Munk School earlier this year found that a majority of Canadians rank Arctic sovereignty as the most important foreign policy priority.

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Russian Arctic Force Could Include Paratroopers

http://www.barentsobserver.com/russias-arctic-force-may-include-paratroopers.4947261-116320.html

BarentsObserver
August 11, 2011

Russia’s Arctic force may include paratroopers
Trude Pettersen

Units of the Russian Airborne Troops may be deployed in the planned Arctic special forces brigade on the border to Norway.

According to Chief of staff of the Russian Airborne Troops, Lt. Gen. Nikolay Ignatov, Russian militaries are now considering the possibility of deploying paratroopers in the Arctic Spetsnaz brigade planned to be established in Pechenga, Interfax reports.

It was earlier announced that the brigade might be established already within the end of 2011, as BarentsObserver reported.

The first unit to be specially equipped and prepared for military warfare in Arctic conditions, is the 200. motorized infantry brigade in Pechenga, some 10 kilometers from the Russian-Norwegian border and 50 kilometers from the Norwegian town of Kirkenes.

The soldiers will be trained in a special program and equipped with modern personal equipment. The unit will get modern means of communication and transportation, including DT-30P Vityaz tracked vehicles.

Ignatov said the possibility of paratroopers joining the Arctic contingent was being studied on orders of the Airborne Troops commander, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov. As soon as the analysis is completed, a report will be submitted to the Defense Ministry, which will make the final decision.

The unit in Pechenga was established in 1943 as the 45. division, which took part in the liberation of Petsamo (Pechenga) and Kirkenes. It was later reorganized to the 131. motorized infantry division, before it became the 200. independent motorized infantry brigade some 15 years ago.

Russia’s Airborne Troops currently number 32,000 personnel in four airborne divisions, an airborne assault brigade, and a Special Forces reconnaissance regiment, according to RIA Novosti.

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With 1,500 Troops On The Ground In Kosovo, Germany Says “Map Of The Balkans Has Been Decided”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/11/us-kosovo-germany-idUSTRE77A41E20110811

Reuters
August 11, 2011

Germany rules out Kosovo partition on ethnic lines
By Fatos Bytyci

PRISTINA: Germany will oppose any partition of Kosovo, its foreign minister said Thursday following a warning by Kosovo Albanian leaders that Serbia wants its former province divided along ethnic lines.

Guido Westerwelle said the map of the Balkans had been decided and the issue of territorial changes was closed.

“For us it is clear that the situation and territorial integrity in this region is decided; this means this is out of discussion for us,” Westerwelle said at a news conference with Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian premier during a visit to Pristina.

Westerwelle said German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pass on the same message during a visit to Serbia later this month.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO bombing halted a Serbian military crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians. But 60,000 Serbs in north Kosovo rejected the breakaway and still deem Belgrade their capital.

Some Serbian officials have floated the idea of partitioning Kosovo, effectively hiving off its northern Serb enclave.

Violence flared in the enclave two weeks ago after Pristina authorities tried to seize border posts controlled by Serbs in order to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia and gain control of its northern part.

One Kosovo police officer was shot dead and Serb mobs blocked all the roads in the north and torched a border station.

With 1,023 troops, Germany has the biggest military contingent in Kosovo’s NATO peacekeeping mission (KFOR). It is sending another 500 after the recent violence.

Mediated by the NATO commander in Kosovo, a German general, Serbia and Kosovo last week reached a temporary deal to ease tension through mid September when Belgrade and Pristina are scheduled to resume talks in Brussels to resolve trade issues.

However, ethnic Serbs in Kosovo have only partially accepted the accord and have not completely removed roadblocks.

Under the deal, KFOR will continue to guard two border posts and let civilians pass in and out of Kosovo. No goods from Serbia will enter Kosovo but Pristina will not send its police and customs officers to the northern border posts.

After arresting recently the two last Bosnian Serbs wanted for war crimes in Bosnia’s conflict, Serbia’s road to join the European Union now partly depends on its relations with Kosovo.

Although Germany, the United States and most EU members have recognized Kosovo’s independence, Belgrade, with the backing of Russia and China, does not.

(Additional reporting by Branislav Krstic in Mitrovica, editing by Adam Tanner and Mark Heinrich)

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Israel, Saudi Arabia Bid For U.S. Military Equipment In Iraq, Afghanistan

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=233531

Jerusalem Post
August 12, 2011

IDF looks to buy US equipment after withdrawal from Iraq
Yaakov Katz

-Saudi Arabia…recently received new Black Hawk helicopters and is purchasing $60 billion worth of advanced American military platforms.
Egypt is also the recipient of $1.3b. in annual foreign military aid from the US, and Congress was recently notified of Pentagon plans to sell the Egyptian military new Abrams tanks. It would be the first major sale to Egypt since the revolution earlier this year.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Israel Air Force completed a week of joint maneuvers with the Romanian Air Force in the Carpathian Mountains.

The Defense Ministry is in talks with the Pentagon about the possibility of buying American military equipment that will be retired following the US withdrawal from Iraq.

The advantage in purchasing used military equipment from the US is the price, which is dramatically lower than buying the same equipment new.

The IDF Ground Forces Command is looking to renew its aging fleet of Humvee combat vehicles with ones that the US will be phasing out as it reduces its troop numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel is also interested in acquiring surplus weapons and ammunition the US will no longer require following the withdrawals.

“It seems that in some cases it is cheaper to sell to other countries than to transport back to the US or bases in Europe,” one defense official said.

Other countries in the region may also try to buy some of the equipment, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are both longtime customers of the US defense industries.

Saudi Arabia, for example, recently received new Black Hawk helicopters and is purchasing $60 billion worth of advanced American military platforms.

Egypt is also the recipient of $1.3b. in annual foreign military aid from the US, and Congress was recently notified of Pentagon plans to sell the Egyptian military new Abrams tanks. It would be the first major sale to Egypt since the revolution earlier this year.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Israel Air Force completed a week of joint maneuvers with the Romanian Air Force in the Carpathian Mountains. It was the first IAF deployment in Romania since the helicopter accident there last summer, although this time it consisted of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft and not helicopters.

Six IAF servicemen – pilots and technical crew – were killed when a Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion – called Yasour in the IAF – crashed into a mountain during a military exercise in which crews were trained to fly at low altitudes. A Romanian military officer who was observing the IAF crew aboard the helicopter, was also killed.

An IAF inquiry concluded that the accident was most likely the result of human error.

The air force is interested in continuing to train in Romania and particularly in the Carpathian Mountains, which are known for the unstable weather as well as thick forests and high mountains, terrain that Israeli pilots do not often get to train in.

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Romania: U.S. Marines Conduct Urban Warfare Training

http://www.camplejeuneglobe.com/news/article_731f7904-c381-11e0-858a-001cc4c002e0.html

Camp Lejeune Globe
August 11, 2011

American, Romanian Marines Conduct Bilateral MOUT Training
Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson

CAPU MIDIA, ROMANIA: Marines and sailors with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted military operations in urban terrain training aboard Capu Midia, Romania, July 31, 2011.

The training was part of the Summer Storm Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 11, a five-day exercise with Romanian Marines from the 307th Marine Infantry Battalion, to increase the interoperability between American and Romanian forces.

Old, abandoned, stone buildings made a perfect setting to demonstrate MOUT operations. The Romanian and U.S. forces used the buildings to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting two-man room clearing, four-man room clearing, hallway clearing, and other MOUT techniques.

The Marine Corps’ well-developed MOUT doctrine combined with Echo Company’s combat experience gave the Romanians real-world experience to learn from and implement.

“The training helped my Marines understand the way that they should act in a real environment,” said 1st Lt. Liviu Visan, a Romanian Marine platoon commander with the 307th Marine Infantry Battalion. “I saw a few details, that my Marines also observed, that, in the future, will be implemented into their training.”

The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group serving as a potent, formidable and deterrent force who continues to train and improve their capability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.

The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.

Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps’ smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and each is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to hostile environment or crisis.

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Poll: Chinese See U.S. And Japan As Main Military Threats

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-08/12/content_13097389.htm

China Daily
August 12, 2011

Bitter memory of collision off Diaoyu Islands remains divisive
By Qin Jize

-Fifty-one percent of Chinese people believe that Japan’s strategic policy always follows the United States, which makes it a military threat to China.
And 49.7 percent are worried about the Japanese attitudes toward the war.
-36.7 percent of the students say Japan has begun to dispatch self-defense forces abroad, a move that is likely to help the country to develop into a military power.
-Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has attached great importance to the US military presence in Japan and this alliance and Japan’s current implementation of US policy toward China will hinder the improvement of Sino-Japanese strategic relations.

BEIJING: A fishing boat collision in waters off the Diaoyu Islands remains a major obstacle in cementing Sino-Japanese ties, according to a public opinion poll.

The poll found that 51 percent of the Chinese general public believes the Japanese government’s tough stance escalated the incident. And 62.1 percent of Chinese students hold the view that the sensitive nature of the territorial disputes has made the situation worse.

Sino-Japanese relations have been at a low point since a Chinese fishing boat and two Japanese patrol boats collided in waters off China’s Diaoyu Islands last September.

The Chinese captain was held in custody in Japan for half a month, and the incident disrupted official and non-official exchanges between the two countries.

Forty-eight percent of the general public says the collision remains an obstacle because of the different views the two nations have toward sensitive issues, and 41.2 percent says it is because of the lack of negotiations and consultation between the two governments.

The Japanese elite respondents think the two reasons above are equally important.

According to the poll, the people of Asia’s two biggest economies view each other as a military threat.

The poll showed that most of the Chinese general public and students think the No 1 threat to China is the United States and Japan is second.

Fifty-one percent of Chinese people believe that Japan’s strategic policy always follows the United States, which makes it a military threat to China.

And 49.7 percent are worried about the Japanese attitudes toward the war.

Unlike the general public, Chinese students pay more attention to conflicts between the two countries, with 70.8 percent of students believing the disputes over territory and maritime resources have made Japan a military threat to China. Less than 40 percent of the general public shares that opinion.

Also, 36.7 percent of the students say Japan has begun to dispatch self-defense forces abroad, a move that is likely to help the country to develop into a military power.

In Japan, 57.5 percent of the general public views China as a threat, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. Among the Japanese elite, the figure is even higher.

Eighty percent of the Japanese elite respondents express concern about China’s growing power, while 69 percent believe the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a threat.

This is the first time since the question was placed on the survey in 2006 that more members of the Japanese elite consider China more of a threat than the DPRK.

Also, 58.3 percent of the Japanese general public says the reason for seeing China as a threat is the territorial and maritime disputes between the two countries, and 64.5 percent says the Chinese should reconsider their protest against Japan after the fishing boat collision.

Only 0.7 percent of the Japanese general public says Japan shares responsibility for the incident.

In its 2011 annual defense report released last week, Japan officially challenged Beijing’s military budget and voiced concern over China’s “assertiveness” in dealing with international conflicts.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense jointly criticized the report’s “irresponsible comments” and reaffirmed that “China has not and will never be a threat to any other country”.

Analysts said that Japan’s political strategy toward China has been twisted – on one hand it wants to make good use of China’s economic development and on the other it always tries to constrain China in the defense and security sector.

Liu Jiangyong, a professor of Japanese studies at Bejing’s Tsinghua University, said the responses and mentality of the Japanese have something to do with Japan’s current defense guidelines, which were adopted at the end of last year.

In these, it was claimed that China’s military development and lack of transparency were matters of concern to the region and international community.

Japan labors under a long-standing Cold War mentality and is trapped in the US-Japanese alliance, Liu said.

He said Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has attached great importance to the US military presence in Japan and this alliance and Japan’s current implementation of US policy toward China will hinder the improvement of Sino-Japanese strategic relations.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Avetik Issahakian: Eternal fabricators of war, erecting pyramids with a myriad skulls

August 12, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Avetik Issahakian (Isahakyan)
From Abou Ala al-Mahari/Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (1909)
Translated by Mischa Kudian

“I hate and abhor with vehemence,
I hate both justice and law:
Men oppress with their abominable justice,
Crush and slaughter with their vile laws.

“With sevenfold hatred, indeed, do I loathe
authority, which swallows up generations,
Greedy usurers, voracious parasites,
eternal fabricators of wars.

“It is the great executioner and the great brigand
of past centuries and of centuries to come.
The path it has trodden is all crime and massacre,
the vengeful band, aborting terror.

“It sits upon my bosom like a monster,
its terrible fist pressing upon my brow,
And at every step I take, it chains me up,
and padlocks my tongue and my thoughts.

“It has always crushed our shoulders
and reached everywhere, squashing man;
And in the stern name of justice, it has
erected pyramids with a myriad skulls.

“And authority is everything:
justice, law and right.
It is conscience itself, and evil, and good;
whereas you are mere dust, a nonentity.

“I curse authority, that raving
hyena with a thousand claws;
Its every step is a wine-press of blood
in which it squeezes the old and the infants.

“Impotent people, slaves and cowards, who put
swords into the hands of you and your kind?
Who gave you the right of vengeance,
to dominate and to slaughter your fellow beings?

“Take me away, caravan, hand me to the vipers,
bury my miserable heart under the sands;
Carry me away, rescue me from authority,
rescue me from its ferocious protection!”

The violent lightnings with fiery swords
tore to shreds the mass of clouds,
And rapidly crumbled upon the white
manes of the distant mountains.

And the storms bellowed away, the palm
and the cypress rustled and rattled;
And the caravan, destroying bridges,
galloped headlong into the distance.

It galloped and flew, tinkling away,
covering the road with clouds of dust,
As if fleeing from the vengeful fist
of wicked authority, out of its reach.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011 3 comments

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NATO’s Libyan Air War: 18,533 Sorties, 7,037 Strike Missions

Southern Africa Liberation Movements Youth Groups: All NATO Leaders War Criminals

U.S. Launches Anti-Libya African Offensive

Blueprint For NATO Attack On Syria Revealed

Prompt Global Strike: Pentagon To Launch New Hypersonic Aircraft

Contra U.S.-NATO ABM System: Russia Restoring Missile Umbrella

New Russian Submarine Supermissile Can Penetrate U.S. Missile Shield

Russian Air Force To Increase Combat Capability, Number Of Bases

Six NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

Study: Deadly Drone Strike In Pakistan Every Four Days Of Obama’s Tenure

U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 168 Pakistani Children

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NATO’s Libyan Air War: 18,533 Sorties, 7,037 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110811_110811-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 11, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 18,533 sorties, including 7,037 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 10 AUGUST: 134

Strike sorties conducted 10 AUGUST: 46

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Southern Africa Liberation Movements Youth Groups: All NATO Leaders War Criminals

http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=250243&sn=Detail&pid=71616

Politicsweb (South Africa)
August 10, 2011

All NATO leaders are war criminals – NLM Youth Wings
John Moonde

Meeting calls on Botswana to explain its puzzling pro-Western stance

Meeting of the Former Liberation Movements in Southern Africa, Session of Youth Wings, Windhoek, Namibia, Hilton Hotel, August 9 2011

[Excerpts]

We, the youth of Former Liberation Movements in Southern Africa, represented by members of the Executive Leadership of SPYL of Namibia, ANCYL of South Africa, UVCCM of Tanzania, OJM of Mozambique, JMPLA of Angola and ZANU-PF YL of Zimbabwe having gathered at the Hilton Hotel Windhoek, Namibia on the 9th of August, 2011.

Having presented, discussed and reflected on the following:

1. Opening Statements by Heads of Youth delegations and welcoming remarks by Comrade Dr Elijah Ngurare, Secretary SPYL of Namibia.

2. A presentation on the importance of Sister Party meetings, by Cde Peya Mushelenga, MP Secretary for International affairs of Namibia and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Namibia.

3. Youth Economic Empowerment and the Development Agenda by Cde Ronald Lamola, Deputy President of ANC Youth League.

4. The Youth wings and the task of fighting the effects of cultural (media) imperialism which gave rise to the social ill in our societies by Cde Martine Shigela, Secretary General, UVCCM of Tanzania.

And having further noted and appreciated that:

1. The efforts of the leadership of our parties in having realised the outcome of the Dar es Salaam Declaration taken in 2010 by the Presidents of our Parties, which called for regular interaction and cooperation at all levels of our parties, including with those of the youth, women and veteran’s wings of our respective movements.

2. Namibia for hosting of this meeting and extend appreciation to the SWAPO Party and the people of Namibia for the hospitable and comradely conditions in which this meeting was held.

Declare as follows in relation to Inter Party Cooperation, Culture and African Issues:

1. Africa’s political leaders must be bolder in defending the interest of the continent, and must not compromise on the sovereignty of the continent. African leaders must further ensure the strengthening of mechanisms to ensure that African problems are solved by Africans. In this regard, Africa must ensure the further establishment of African based monitoring and warning systems to help us detect and respond to African problems.

2. That our governments must peruse all means including the forming of alliances to defend the sovereignty and integrity of our countries, included here must also be amongst other measures, the establishment of party schools, establishment of media houses free of western influence and the cementing of inter party relations of our respective movements at all levels.

8. Solidarity must be reinforced and actualised in the true sense of the word and in practical terms. Imperialism will continue to score victories over our countries as long as we don’t stand in true unity and in defence of our peoples.

9. That the Eurocentric International Criminal Court (ICC) is done away with as a matter of urgency, unless it is able to transform itself to conform to the will of all the peoples of the world. That we declare all NATO leaders as war criminals.

Issued by John Moonde, Secretariat, Youth Wings of Former Liberation Movements in Southern Africa, August 10 2011 (via the ANC Youth League.)

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U.S. Launches Anti-Libya African Offensive

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/us-launches-antigaddafi-africa-offensive-20110810-1impz.html

Agence France-Presse
August 10, 2011

US launches anti-Gaddafi Africa offensive

The United States has launched a diplomatic offensive against Libya among African nations as Tripoli accused NATO of a “massacre” of 85 villagers in air strikes in support of rebels.

Meanwhile, Libyan state television broadcast images of a man it says is Muammar Gaddafi’s youngest son, footage that looks to undercut rebel claims of his death at a time when the opposition is showing signs of strain and disarray six months into its battle with the Libyan leader.

American diplomats are visiting several African countries as part of efforts to urge leaders to press Muammar Gaddafi to leave power immediately, officials in Washington said on Tuesday.

Several African states…have been reluctant to call for him to step down, and have criticised the NATO-led military campaign in Libya.

Gene Cretz, the US ambassador who left Tripoli…in February, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Donald Yamamoto arrived Monday in Addis Ababa, headquarters of the African Union, State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

They “are in Africa to meet with African Union members to discuss the crisis in Libya and the need for Gaddafi to relinquish power now”, he told Agence France-Presse.

Gaddafi, meanwhile, said world powers would be held responsible for the “ugly massacre committed by NATO” on the village of Majer where 85 people were killed, Libya’s official JANA news agency reported.

Majer, east of Tripoli, was attacked late on Monday to try to help rebel fighters enter the government-held city from the south, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.

“After the first three bombs dropped at around 11pm on Monday, many residents of the area ran to the bombed houses to try to save their loved ones. Three more bombs struck,” he told reporters on an organised visit.

Thirty-three children, 32 women and 20 men from 12 families were killed in the “massacre”, Mussa said.

Reporters attended the funerals of victims and saw 28 bodies buried at the local cemetery where hundreds of people vented their anger against NATO.

The images broadcast on state television of a man said to be Gaddafi’s youngest son, Khamis Gaddafi, showed him visiting several people wounded in a NATO airstrike.

Khamis Gaddafi’s appearance at a Tripoli hospital on Tuesday, if genuine, would make the first time he has been seen in public since the reports of his death.

The rebels had claimed on Friday that the younger Gaddafi was killed in a NATO airstrike on the western front-line town of Zlitan.

Tripoli had dismissed the report as an attempt to deflect attention from the killing of the rebels’ top military chief, Abdel-Fattah Younis, possibly by other rebels.

Younis’ body was found two weeks ago, dumped outside the rebel’s de facto eastern capital, Benghazi, along with the bodies of two colonels who were his top aides. They had been shot and their bodies burned.

Tensions over Younis’ death spurred the leaders to sack their own cabinet late Monday and on Tuesday order the movement’s various armed factions to integrate in hopes of imposing some order.

The footage of Khamis Gaddafi could add to the troubles of the opposition, raising questions about the veracity of their reports even as they try to shore up their image after Younis’ killing through the cabinet reshuffle.

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Blueprint For NATO Attack On Syria Revealed

http://euobserver.com/13/113245

EUobserver
August 10, 2011

Strike on Syria is technically feasible, former French general says
By Andrew Rettman

A Nato strike to disable the Syrian army is technically feasible according to experts, such as former French air chief Jean Rannou. But it could make the country’s internal situation worse.

Nato member countries would begin by using satellite technology to spot Syrian air defences. A few days later, warplanes, in larger numbers than Libya, would take off from the UK base in Cyprus and spend some 48 hours destroying Syrian surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and jets. Alliance aircraft would then start an open-ended bombardment of Syrian tanks and ground troops.

The scenario is based on analysts in the French military, from the specialist British publication Jane’s Defence Weekly and from Israel’s Channel 10 TV station.

The Syrian air force is said to pose little threat. It has around 60 Russian-made MiG-29s. But the rest – some 160 MiG-21s, 80 MiG-23s, 60 MiG-23BNs, 50 Su-22s and 20 Su-24MKs – is out of date.

Its latest SAMs could shoot down a handful of Nato pilots. In the past three years, Syria deployed hundreds of Russian-made SA-17s, which come up on radars for a very short time before firing. Israel in 2007 bombed a suspected nuclear site in Syria using a cyber attack cut electricity to air defences. The SA-17s are believed to be cyber-insulated and Israel might not share its secrets with Nato, however.

Syria in 2006 bought around 30 Russian-made Pantsyr-S1 anti-aircaft cannon…It has stocked up on modern SA-18 missiles from Belarus and Russia. But these are short-range weapons that would only pose a danger to Nato helicopters in a later stage of the operation.

There are also assymetric threats – Nato countries have vulnerable troops in Unifil, the UN mission in neighbouring Lebanon…

“I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” Jean Rannou, the former chief of the French air force, told EUobserver. He added that action is highly unlikely because Russia would veto a UN mandate, Nato assets are stretched in Afghanistan and Libya and Nato countries are in financial crisis.

Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in Syria, said there is small hope a Nato strike would bring peace: “Any force used on Syria would be a total shot in the dark, a hope the military under attack will turn on the regime. But when has this ever happened? It didn’t with [late Iraqi leader] Saddam or [Libyan leader] Gaddafi.”

Baer previously told this website the turmoil in Syria is more complicated than the image in mainstream media of a downtrodden Sunni Muslim majority calling for reform by the Shia Muslim ruling elite.

Alastair Crooke, a former MI6 officer and high-level EU advisor who runs an NGO in Beirut, backed up Baer’s views.

“Syrians want change. But whether Westerners believe it or not, most people in Damascus, in Aleppo, the middle classes, the merchant classes and the [sectarian] minorities believe Assad is the only person who can bring in reforms,” he said. “They fear two things above all else – civil war and Western intervention … They would like to avoid the example of Libya because it would lead them into civil war.”

Crooke said two important forces behind events are Sunni radicals and Syrian exile groups in France and the US.

He said the radicals follow the teaching of Abu Musab Zarqawi, a late Jordanian Islamist, who aimed to create a Sunni emirate in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria called Bilad a-Sham. They are experienced urban guerillas who fought in Iraq and have outside finance. They infilitrate protests to attack Assad forces, as in Jisr al-Shagour in June, where they inflicted heavy casualties.

Crooke said the exile groups aim to topple the anti-Israeli regime. They are funded and trained by the US. They pay Sunni tribal chiefs to put people on the streets, work with NGOs to feed uncorroborated stories of atrocities to Western media and co-operate with radicals in the hope that escalating violence will justify Nato intervention.

“There is a huge difference with [the revolution in] Egypt,” he added. “But the picture you see in the European and American press is that you are dealing with peaceful protests and that Assad has nothing better than to do than to kill his own people.”

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Prompt Global Strike: Pentagon To Launch New Hypersonic Aircraft

http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/local/military/vandenberg/article_0f8226c2-c24f-11e0-936f-001cc4c002e0.html

Lompoc Record
August 9, 2011

Hypersonic vehicle to make second flight, first failed in 2010
Minotaur rocket to carry military weapon
By Janene Scully

More than 15 months after the first one failed, the Defense Department plans a second test of its super-fast weapon that will ride in a rocket scheduled to launch Wednesday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Minotaur 4 Lite rocket, assembled by Orbital Sciences Corp. crews from retired Peacekeeper missile stages, is scheduled to blast off between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday from Space Launch Complex-8 on South Base.

The rocket will carry the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle or HTV-2 for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Tactical Projects Office.

HTV-2 is an arrowhead-shaped weapon that can fly at super fast speeds, a way to deliver a conventional warhead anywhere in the world.

“The ultimate goal is a capability that can reach anywhere in the world in less than an hour,” DARPA’s website says.

Pentagon officials have dubbed this Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability.

Specifically, the weapon is designed to fly at Mach 20, or 13,000 mph, DARPA officials said. For perspective, this speed means a flight between New York City and Los Angeles would last less than 12 minutes, DARPA says on its website.

The total projected cost for the development, fabrication and flight test of the two HTV-2 vehicles is $308 million, a DARPA official said in 2010. Earlier, Air Force officials put a $40 million price on the cost of each launch.

Another Minotaur 4 Lite rocket launched in April 2010 with the first HTV-2, but DARPA officials announced the day after the blastoff that the experiment had failed.

Before the flop, the HTV gathered nine minutes of flight data, “including 139 seconds of Mach 22 to Mach 17 aerodynamic data.”

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Contra U.S.-NATO ABM System: Russia Restoring Missile Umbrella

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/201969.html

Itar-Tass
August 11, 2011

Defence Ministry restoring missile umbrella

MOSCOW: The Russian Space Troops will receive two sophisticated Voronezh-DM radars in December 2011, to be incorporated in the system of early warning of missile launches.

One of them will start operating in Armavir, and the other in Kaliningrad, the Russian westernmost city. This radar will ensure Russian nuclear parity in case a Euro ABM is deployed, writes the Izvestia newspaper on Thursday. In 2012 a similar facility will be put into operation in the Irkutsk Region.

The task of the advanced radars will be to detect missiles, blasted off from other countries. Using these radar stations, Russia will fully restore control over air space around its borders.

“The commissioning of the Voronezh-DM radars is to restore the integrity of radar control over air space. In some cases, we plug the present gaps, in others, we increase capacities of old stations,” the newspaper learnt at the Space Troops.

In contrast to “Soviet predecessors” – the radars in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – the new radars will be stationed in Russian territory. Besides, they consume 40 percent less energy and can see what is going on in the skies and outer-space at a distance of 4,500 kilometres.

The first new-type radar Voronezh-DM was handed over for test operation in 2009 near St. Petersburg, in the village of Lekhtusi. It will be already combat-ready in December. Its operation offset the loss of a radar in Latvia. The Space Troops got the chance to see air space from the Morocco coast to Shpitsbergen as well as the US east coast.

The next year witnesses the commissioning of the second radar in Armavir, “inspecting” South Europe up to the North Africa coast. Its capacities closed the gap that formed as a result of Moscow’s refusal to operate a station in Sevastopol.

“The construction of the radar in the Kaliningrad Region, in the village of Pionerskoye, covers the western sector which was guarded by stations in Mukachevo and Belarussian Baranovichi. The second station under construction in Armavir will supplement capacities of the Gabalinskaya radar in Azerbaijan.

The next year will see the commissioning of a facility in the Irkutsk Region, which will “search” the space from China to the US western coast. Following this, “we can say that we fully restored the radar system of early warning of a missile attack,” the Space Troops emphasised.

Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov who recently visited the Azerbaijan Gabalinskaya radar (“Daryal”), said that the military leadership does not intend to abandon the old Soviet stations, located in neighbouring republics. “Everything remains as it is for the time being. We do not give up a single station and do not plan to,” Serdyukov said.

According to Izvestia, Russia is not likely to stop with construction of the radar near Irkutsk. The Defence Ministry’s plans provide for complete replacement, under the state programme of armaments till 2020, of all Soviet long-distance radars with the new Voronezh-DM and construction of several new ones.

It is planned to spend several billion roubles for their erection. The military say that the Arctic alone remains inaccessible.

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New Russian Submarine Supermissile Can Penetrate U.S. Missile Shield

http://rt.com/news/new-nuclear-submarine-missile/

RT
August 10, 2011

New submarine supermissile can pierce ABM shield

The new Russian liquid-fuel Liner missile is world’s most advanced submarine-based strategic weapon with range and payload capabilities surpassing every model deployed by any other country, its developer says.

The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Liner can carry up to 12 low-yield MIRV nuclear warheads and has a payload/mass ratio surpassing any solid-fuel strategic missiles designed by the US, UK, France and China, the developer Makeyev State Rocket Center said in a statement. It is very flexible in terms of what its payload can be, varying and mixing warheads of different capabilities.

The design bureau believes that the missile, which was first tested on May 20, will ensure the use of Delta IV class submarines until at least 2030.

There are seven vessels of this class in the Russian Navy, and they are armed with the SLMBs Sineva. The Liner is a highly advanced version of the Sineva missile.

There is little further detail about the Liner’s specifications so far. Sineva is a three-stage ballistic missile. It has a reported operational range of almost 12,000 kilometers, listed throw-weigh of 2.8 tonnes and can be launched from up to 55 meters deep.

“Submarines armed with such missiles can operate from Russia’s safe territorial waters, where they are covered by the Russian Air Force and its surface Navy. They can also have electronic equipment, necessary to suppress the US antiballistic missile system, as part of their payload in addition to the warheads themselves,” Igor Khokhlov from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations explained.

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Russian Air Force To Increase Combat Capability, Number Of Bases

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/11/54520500.html

Voice of Russia
August 11, 2011

Russia to upgrade its combat capability
Oleg Nekhai

The combat capacity of the Russian Air Force will significantly increase as it gets new advanced fighter jets, bombers and helicopters. The number of airbases will increase from 8 up to 14 by 2020. Russia will set up a new pilot group besides the existing “Strizhi” and “Russian Knights”. This was stated by the Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Air Force Colonel-General Zelin.

As part of Russia’s State Armament Programme, the Air Force will purchase over a thousand helicopters. In fact, Russian helicopters excel similar ones produced by western companies in their technical and tactical characteristics as well as reliability, says Victor Litovkin.

“It’s important that the Air Force will get new helicopters. Among these are K-52-Aligator and Mi-28H, which are all-weather helicopters that can fly round the clock to support ground forces. Moreover, Mi-37 helicopter will be developed. The quality of Russian helicopters is confirmed by the fact that Americans buy them for the Afghan army,” says Victor Litovkin.

This year, the Air Force will get several Su-34 fighter bomber aircraft. In their manoeuvrability and the possibility of fulfilling tasks, these aircraft are close to long-range bombers. Su-34 can fly from Moscow to Vladivostok refueling in air twice. During such a flight pilots do not get tired because the aircraft is equipped with an autopilot.

The Commander–in-Chief of Russia’s Air Force said that Russia would get A-100 advanced airborne warning and control system plane by 2016. He believes that this might happen even earlier.

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Six NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fgw-afghan-bombs-20110812,0,5333516.story

Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2011

Bombs kill 6 NATO soldiers in Afghanistan
The attacks occur in southern Afghanistan, where most of the foreign forces are American or British
By Laura King

KABUL, Afghanistan: Insurgent bombs killed six Western soldiers on Thursday, the NATO force reported, five of those in a single attack.

All the deaths took place in southern Afghanistan, the Taliban movement’s main base. The nationalities of those killed were not immediately disclosed, but most of the foreign forces serving in the south are American or British.

The five deaths in a single explosion Thursday were unusual but not unprecedented, as the Taliban and other insurgents have employed more and more powerful bombs in recent months.

Prior to the latest deaths, 382 NATO troops had been killed so far this year, including 285 Americans, according to the independent Web monitor icasualties.org.

There are currently almost 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, making up more than two-thirds of the total North Atlantic Treaty Organization force…

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Study: Deadly Drone Strike In Pakistan Every Four Days Of Obama’s Tenure

http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/234892

Asian News International
August 11, 2011

One US drone strike every four days in Pakistan during Obama tenure: Research

London: There have been 236 drone strikes in Pakistan – one every four days – during US President Barack Obama’s tenure, according to an extensive new research published by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The Bureau’s fundamental reassessment of the covert US campaign reveals that CIA drone strikes have led to far more deaths in Pakistan than previously understood.

“More than 160 children are among at least 2,292 people reported killed in US attacks since 2004. There are credible reports of at least 385 civilians among the dead,” the Bureau said, noting that under President George W. Bush, one in three of all attacks is reported to have killed a child.

“In a surprise move, a counter-terrorism official has also released US government estimates of the numbers killed. These state that an estimated 2,050 people have been killed in drone strikes – of whom all but an estimated 50 are combatants,” it added.

The report said that the minimum number of reported deaths is far higher than previously believed – with 40% more recorded casualties, and that most of those killed are likely to be low-ranking militants.

For the first time the Bureau has compiled accurate details of recorded injuries in drone strikes, revealing that at least 1,114 people have been wounded.

In the wake of the Bureau’s findings, Amnesty International has called for more transparency by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“The Obama administration must explain the legal basis for drone strikes in Pakistan to avoid the perception that it acts with impunity. The Pakistan government must also ensure accountability for indiscriminate killing, in violation of international law, that occurs inside Pakistan,’ said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty’s Director of Asia Pacific.

However, US intelligence officials are understood to be briefing against the Bureau’s work, claiming ‘significant problems with its numbers and methodologies.’

Iain Overton, the Bureau’s editor said: “It comes as no surprise that the US intelligence services would attack our findings in this way. But to claim our methodology is problematic before we had even published reveals how they really operate. A revelation that is reinforced by the fact that they cannot bring themselves to refer to non-combatants as what they really are: civilians and, all too often, children.”

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U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 168 Pakistani Children

http://www.channel4.com/news/study-reveals-168-child-deaths-in-pakistan-drone-war

Channel 4 News
August 11, 2011

Study reveals 168 child deaths in Pakistan drone war
US drone strikes in Pakistan have killed more civilians than previously reported, including 168 children, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Remote-controlled US drones have been targeting militants in Pakistan for seven years – in a covert war led by the CIA.

The airstrikes are largely focused on the mountainous areas of Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.

In December 2010, Channel 4 News spoke to witnesses on the ground who said that women and children had perished in the bombing raids, as well as rebel fighters.

Now a detailed study by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has been published containing new figures on civilian casualties.

Its findings suggest the number of ordinary people killed could be 40 per cent higher than previously reported and that as many as 168 children have died since the strikes began.

Commenting on the findings, Unicef said: “Even one child death from drone missiles or suicide bombings is one child death too many.

“Children have no place in war, and all parties should do their utmost to protect children from violent attacks at all times.”

The drone reports so far have been made from listening to intelligence agencies’ chatter in Peshawar and Islamabad which is ironic as it’s only the victor’s history. Mirza Shahzad Akbar

The database put together by TBIJ is based on more than 2,000 media reports, witness testimonies, NGO field reports, secret US government cables, leaked intelligence documents and accounts from lawyers, journalists, politicians and former intelligence officers.

Chris Woods, who led the study, said: “The CIA’s insistence that it is not killing civilians in Pakistan is at odds with the reported evidence.”

In response, a senior US official told Channel 4 News that “the claims of extensive non-combatant casualties are uncorroborated”.

The source explained: “Our information is by far the most accurate because we have real-time eyes on the targets, as well as multiple other forms of collection to assess who may have been killed. Nobody is arguing perfection over the life of the policy, but this [the use of drones] remains the most precise system we’ve ever had in our arsenal.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News in December 2010 former CIA officer Mike Baker said: “People who argue that any secret or covert operations are terrible and must be exposed have never operated in the real world.”

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s key findings. Since 2004 a minimum of 291 drone strikes have been launched by the US – almost 10 per cent more attacks than previously understood. A minimum of 2,292 people have been killed in the attacks – 40 per cent more than generally reported. The number may be as high as 2,863. The bureau has identified 126 named militants killed. At least 385 civilians have been killed, with a possible upper figure of 775. Some 168 children have reportedly been killed in the drone strikes – 56 of them during President Obama’s first 20 months in office.

Lawyer Mirza Shahzad Akbar is mounting legal proceedings on behalf of 25 families whose relatives have been killed in drone strikes.

He brought the first case against the CIA when Kareem Khan (pictured below), a Pakistani journalist, began a campaign for justice following the deaths of his son and brother in Mirali in December 2009.

Mr Akbar told Channel 4 News he believes TBIJ’s study will help these people get their voices heard.

He said: “The drone reports so far have been made from listening to intelligence agencies chatter in Peshawar and Islamabad, which is ironic as it’s only the victor’s history.”

He said that this resulted in civilian victims being “overlooked”.

He added: “TBIJ’s work is important in this regard and I believe it will strengthen our stance that there is a larger number of civilian deaths than reported and we need to independently investigate.

“Once we settle this basic question, then we can move on to redressing the harm done to victim families.”

Latest Pakistan drone attack

A drone operation this week killed 28 people and injured a further eight in a missile attack on a compound at Miramshah in North Waziristan.

“The drone first fired one missile and hit the building, killing most of them standing in the courtyard of the house. 10 minutes later, it fired another missile and hit the remaining portion of the small building and razed it to the ground,” a Taliban commander said, according to a Channel 4 News source.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Walter Benjamin: Self-alienated mankind experiences its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure

August 11, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Walter Benjamin
From the Epilogue to The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)
Translated by Ralph Manheim

*****

The destructiveness of war furnishes proof that society has not been mature enough to incorporate technology as its organ, that technology has not been sufficiently developed to cope with the elemental forces of society. The horrible features of imperialistic warfare are attributable to the discrepancy between the tremendous means of production and their inadequate utilization in the process of production – in other words, to unemployment and the lack of markets.

*****

All efforts to render politics aesthetic culminate in one thing: war. War and war only can set a goal for mass movements on the largest scale while respecting the traditional property system. This is the political formula for the situation. The technological formula may be stated as follows: Only war makes it possible to mobilize all of today’s technical resources while maintaining the property system. It goes without saying that the Fascist apotheosis of war does not employ such arguments. Still, Marinetti says in his manifesto on the Ethiopian colonial war:

“For twenty-seven years we Futurists have rebelled against the branding of war as anti-aesthetic…Accordingly we state:…War is beautiful because it establishes man’s dominion over the subjugated machinery by means of gas masks, terrifying megaphones, flame throwers, and small tanks. War is beautiful because it initiates the dreamt-of metalization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns. War is beautiful because it combines the gunfire, the cannonades, the cease-fire, the scents, and the stench of putrefaction into a symphony. War is beautiful because it creates new architecture, like that of the bi