Archive

Archive for October, 2011

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

October 31, 2011 1 comment

====

Libya War Reaffirms Global Air Power Dominance Commitment Of “World’s Sole Superpower”

Daalder, Stavridis Hail NATO’s Unprecedented “Victory ” In Libya

Assad: Western Attack On Syria To Set Entire Region On Fire

U.S. Plans NATO Of The Persian Gulf

Iran: NATO’s Plot To Dominate Region Hatched 10 Years Ago

U.S. To Expand Military Power In Persian Gulf

Turkey: NATO Missile Radar Opponents Plan More Protests

Afghan War: NATO Loses 16 Soldiers In One Day

Germany Trains Azeri Troops For NATO’s Afghan War

U.S. Drone Attack Kills Six In Northwestern Pakistan

Imran Khan Rallies 100,000 Pakistanis Against U.S. Missile Strikes

5 Killed, 45 Wounded: Kenya Bombs Refugee Camp In Somalia

NATO Furthers Humilates Ukraine Over Integration Demands

====

Libya War Reaffirms Global Air Power Dominance Commitment Of “World’s Sole Superpower”

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?

Al-Manar
October 30, 2011

Nato’s Libya Experiment Encourages US Aircraft Production

-“From humanitarian relief operations to potential regional conflicts or even global war, air power is the crucial underlying factor that helps make the United States the world’s sole superpower.”

AFP published a report Sunday in which it explained that supporters of US military dominance and air power have taken the outcome of Nato’s intervention in Libya as evidence of their position, after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had diminished their effectiveness.

Nato’s military operations in Libya that helped in ending Moammar Gaddafi’s regime yet killed many civilians along it were perceived positively by US air power advocates who considered that regardless of the growing pressure the US defense budget is under, it should invest in new fighters, bombers, tankers, and drones.

AFP quoted retired Air Force General David Deptula as saying: “if America wants to retain its military edge around the world, it has to ensure that it enjoys air dominance.”

“From humanitarian relief operations to potential regional conflicts or even global war, air power is the crucial underlying factor that helps make the United States the world’s sole superpower,” he told AFP.

====

Daalder, Stavridis Hail NATO’s Unprecedented “Victory ” In Libya

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/31/opinion/31iht-eddaalder31.html

International Herald Tribune/New York Times
October 30, 2011

NATO’s Success in Libya
By Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis

Monday, Oct. 31st, seven months after it started, NATO’s operation in Libya will come to an end. It is the first time NATO has ended an operation it started. And it comes on the heels of an historic victory for the people of Libya who, with NATO’s help, transformed their country from an international pariah into a nation with the potential to become a productive partner with the West.

Seven months ago…NATO took command of a significant force of dozens of ships and hundreds of airplanes and commenced military operations…

This was a true alliance effort. The United States played a leading role, first by taking out Libya’s integrated air defense system, then by providing the critical enablers that allowed other NATO countries and partners to shoulder their significant share of the burden. Meanwhile the U.S. provided the vast majority of the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to monitor Qaddafi’s forces and equipment…the targeters that turned this information into targets for NATO forces to strike, and the aerial refueling that enabled our partners to stay up long enough to locate and destroy those targets.

The crucial and irreplaceable U.S. contribution to the overall effort was to enable other allies and partners to fully participate in the operation. In all, 14 NATO members and 4 partner countries provided naval and air forces for NATO’s three missions.

Together, these 18 countries bore the heaviest brunt of the alliance effort. While U.S. planes flew a quarter of all sorties over Libya, France and Britain flew one third of all missions — most of them strikes — and the remaining participants flew roughly 40 percent. The non-U.S. NATO and coalition partners flew 75 percent of the sorties overall.

Ten years earlier, in NATO’s war in Kosovo, the United States was responsible for dropping 90 percent of all precision-guided munitions, with other allies responsible for the remaining 10 percent. In this operation, the percentages were reversed: Allies struck 90 percent of the more than 6,000 targets destroyed in Libya. And they did so with a precision that is historically unprecedented.

Importantly, this was a collective effort. France and Britain played an extraordinary part in the operation, leading the pack in providing air and naval assets and striking over 40 percent of all targets. Italy, too, made an outstanding contribution. Not only was it the fourth largest contributor to the strike mission, it was an indispensable host to hundreds of aircraft at seven airbases.

Smaller allies also punched above their weight. Denmark and Norway together destroyed as many targets as Britain; Denmark, Norway, and Belgium dropped as many bombs as France. Canada, too, was part of the strikers coalition. And Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece and Romania played useful parts, enforcing the no-flight zone and arms embargo at sea. Those NATO members that didn’t contribute forces still supported the operation by staffing the command structure; not one of the 28 members balked at the challenge. Even Sweden, not a NATO member, was a crucial partner, contributing its own naval and air forces.

…Four key Arab partners — the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Morocco — participated in the effort…

As Operation Unified Protector comes to a close, the alliance and its partners can look back at an extraordinary job, well done…And as the alliance ends its operations, NATO remains committed to Libya’s future, ready to help as needed and requested.

Every operation offers lessons to be learned. The Libya operation exposed some shortfalls in allied capabilities, and highlighted the importance of allied commitments to addressing these shortfalls. It also made clear the need for like-minded partners around the world…

Demonstrable need. Regional support. A sound legal basis. These are what made intervention necessary. NATO is what made successful intervention possible.

Ivo H. Daalder is the U.S. permanent representative to NATO. Adm. James G. Stavridis is supreme allied commander, Europe, and commander of the United States European Command.

====

Assad: Western Attack On Syria To Set Entire Region On Fire

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111030/168261519.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 30, 2011

Assad says Western action against Syria ‘could burn the whole region’

MOWCOW: Western intervention against Syria, which has been rocked with protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, could cause ‘an earthquake’ that would ‘burn the whole region,’ Assad said in an interview with The Sunday Times.

Western countries “are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely. But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different,” Assad told the paper.

“Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?” he asked.

Assad said the West was nurturing plans to divide Syria.

“Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region,” he told the paper.

Assad admitted that “many mistakes” had been made by his forces at the early stage of the uprising, but added that only “terrorists” were now being targeted.

====

U.S. Plans NATO Of The Persian Gulf

http://rt.com/news/us-military-iraq-iran-171/

Voice of Russia
October 31, 2011

US envisions NATO of the Gulf

-[W]ith Qatar and the United Arab Emirates participating in the latest NATO-led campaign against Libya, this new “security architecture” will mostly likely expand to carry out a similar function throughout the Middle East.
-[A]s the United States moves towards integrating the six states of the Gulf Co-operation Council into a security alliance that would increase both US and Saudi domination in the region, Iran could very well find itself the next victim of a US-led “humanitarian intervention.”

The end of the Iraq war will do little to sway America’s desire to strengthen its foothold in the Middle East. As the US seeks to beef up its military presence in the Persian Gulf via a NATO-style military alliance, Iran has much cause for alarm.

­After eight years of fighting, one trillion in US taxpayer dollars, and 4,481 US troops killed, Barack Obama is making good on his campaign promise to pull out the last remaining troops in Iraq by the end of the year. But as regional allies believe a US reduction of troops could lead to “instability or worse,” the US is busy working out a contingency plan to keep its grip on the region.

According to a New York Times (NYT) report, the United States is seeking to “foster a new ‘security architecture’ for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton echoed this point recently while visiting Tajikistan:

“We will have a robust continuing presence throughout the region, which is proof of our ongoing commitment to Iraq and to the future of that region…,” she was cited by the NYT as saying.

More specifically, while the Obama administration rebuffed Iraqi requests to keep up to 20,000 US troops on the ground past the end of the year, the NYT report noted the US is currently engaged in “negotiations over maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait,” as well as “considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.”

The new plans could result in a security apparatus that would resemble NATO.

Facing close to a half trillion dollars in defense spending cuts, the Obama administration’s desire to expand military co-operation with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman – will more than likely help the US spread the burden of both intelligence-gathering and more traditional combat operations while remaining firmly behind the wheel.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior US official told the NYT: “It’s not going to be a NATO tomorrow,” but the idea is to move to a more integrated effort.”

And though it still might take some time to develop a highly complex alliance centering on collective defense for the region, with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates participating in the latest NATO-led campaign against Libya, this new “security architecture” will mostly likely expand to carry out a similar function throughout the Middle East.

­‘Cut off the head of the snake’­

When it comes to security in the region, few have any doubt that the target, as always, is Iran.

In a letter written to the chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, 12 Republican senators argued “the complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq is likely to be viewed as a strategic victory by our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime,” as cited by the NYT.

In this context, the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington on US soil could in fact provide the justification to step up its military presence and co-operation in the region even as the war in Iraq comes to an end.

Since leaked US diplomatic cables published in 2010 by WikiLeaks revealed that Saudi King Abdullah has “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program,” calls to invade Iran have only intensified among US hawks.

In the same vein, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to Washington and would-be victim of the highly implausible Iranian assassination plot, went on to tell General David Petraeus in April 2008 that King Abdullah wanted to “cut off the head of the snake,” as cited by Reuters.

Meanwhile, Iran has frequently called on the Gulf States to not allow the United States to divide and conquer the oil-rich Gulf.

Following revelations of the alleged assassination plot earlier this month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said:

“If the US administration is under the impression that by doing this it can create conflict between us and Saudi Arabia, then I have to say the US administration is sorely mistaken.”

He went on to state:

“The US administration is not interested in Iran or in Saudi Arabia. They see their interests in having a dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia – they want to dominate our region,” as cited by Reuters.

[A]s the United States moves towards integrating the six states of the Gulf Co-operation Council into a security alliance that would increase both US and Saudi domination in the region, Iran could very well find itself the next victim of a US-led “humanitarian intervention.”

====

Iran: NATO’s Plot To Dominate Region Hatched 10 Years Ago

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9007271368

Fars News Agency
October 30, 2011

Ahmadinejad: NATO’s Plot to Dominate Region Hatched 10 Years Ago

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned about the western countries’ long-term plans to loot the regional states’ wealth and resources, and said NATO started its plans for dominating the region 10 years ago.

“The information and reports show that NATO decided to move eastwards to occupy this region over 10 years ago,” Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with a number of Muslim world reporters and journalists in Tehran on Saturday.

“And their main goal was revising the era of colonialism under new slogans,” he added.

Ahmadinejad called on all the regional nations to keep vigilant against such plots, and differentiate “freedom-seeking, justice-seeking and independence from NATO and Zionists’ interference”.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast in September [recalled] the western states’ dual approach towards the developments in the region, and said while the western countries launch a military raid on Libya to guarantee future oil deals and kill scores of civilians in their strikes on the Arab state, they ignore similar popular demands in Yemen and Bahrain, “and this double-standard approach of the West is unacceptable”.

====

U.S. To Expand Military Power In Persian Gulf

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/30/59585733.html

Itar-Tass
October 30, 2011

U.S. to enhance military presence in the Gulf

The United States is planning to enhance its military presence in the Persian Gulf after pulling its troops out of Iraq.

The New York Time quotes U.S. diplomatic sources as saying that additional rapid response units will be deployed in Kuwait in case of a worsening situation in Iraq or confrontation with Iran.

The decision followed the Iraqi government’s refusal to extend the U.S. presence in the country and to grant U.S. servicemen immunity from prosecution.

====

Turkey: NATO Missile Radar Opponents Plan More Protests

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-261376-kurecik-protestors-denounce-nato-radar-plan-further-protests.html

Today’s Zaman
October 30, 2011

Kürecik protestors denounce NATO radar, plan further protests

İSTANBUL: Local associations and residents of the Kürecik district of Malatya province met on Saturday to denounce the planned construction of a NATO missile defense radar.
 
Ercan Kısacık, president of the anti-radar Kürecik Cooperation and Consultation Foundation (KYDD), announced at a press conference his concern that the radar would cause health problems for local residents, stating: “The radioactive materials [in the radar] will bring destruction to people and nature. It will poison the water and increase the rate of cancer.”

Kısacık’s words were part of a small meeting to underline local residents’ continued opposition to the radar installation, which Ankara agreed to host this September as part of a defensive “shield” meant to protect NATO countries from ballistic missiles. Opponents of the NATO radar held protests throughout October and promised that another protest would be held on Nov. 19.

The protests against the Kürecik installation have been spearheaded by Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and head of the CHP Malatya branch Veli Ağbaba, who have organized protests and demanded that the radar plan be put to a local referendum. Opponents of the radar argue that the strategic information it gathers will be shared with Israel, while government officials deny that the NATO installation will share any information with Israel, which is not a NATO country.

====

Afghan War: NATO Loses 16 Soldiers In One Day

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158436

Azeri Press Agency
October 29, 2011

16 foreign troops killed in single day in Afghanistan

Baku: The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) experienced a bloody day in Afghanistan as the military alliance lost 16 service members on Saturday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car next to a military convoy in western Kabul at around noon, killing 13 foreign troops and four Afghans, including three civilians and a policeman, according to ISAF and Afghan official statements.

An ISAF spokesman did not identify the nationalities of the dead service members, but all the victims were reportedly Americans.

Taliban militants fighting Afghan and NATO-led troops have claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack.

In an earlier attack in southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, a man in Afghan military uniform shot dead three Australian soldiers and a local interpreter during morning training of Afghan soldiers, an Afghan army officer in the southern region General Abdul Hamid Wardak said.

====

Germany Trains Azeri Troops For NATO’s Afghan War

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1951564.html

Trend News Agency
October 31, 2011

Azerbaijani, German militaries to pass military trainings
M. Aliyev

Baku: Battalion staff exercises will be carried out for Azerbaijani and German soldiers, who will take part in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on Monday.

The trainings are scheduled for Nov. 8-16 in Berlin and will be held within the framework of bilateral military cooperation program.

Under the same program, there will be organized staff training for militaries of the air force and ground forces. The trainings scheduled for Nov. 9, 2011-to July 31, 2013.

Berlin will also host consultations at the expert level on bilateral military cooperation on Nov. 2-4.

====

U.S. Drone Attack Kills Six In Northwestern Pakistan

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/31-Oct-2011/US-drone-kills-six-in-NWA

The Nation
October 31, 2011

US drone kills six in NWA

NORTH WAZIRISTAN: As many as six suspected persons were killed in a US drone attack on a vehicle in North Waziristan Agency on Sunday.

The drone fired four missiles into a vehicle in Datta Khel tehsil, some 30 kilometers west of Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, killing six suspected people.

The sources said that the targeted vehicle was damaged completely. They said that the identity of those killed was not known.

Besides, it has also been reported that a house located nearby the site of the attack was also partially damaged in the missile strike…

Agencies add: A house was also partly destroyed in the attack, said intelligence officials.

It was unclear whether any of the six suspected militants who were killed were in the house at the time, or all in the vehicle. However, according to the locals all the slain people were peaceful tribesmen and didn’t have any connection with militancy or any such other activity.

====

Imran Khan Rallies 100,000 Pakistanis Against U.S. Missile Strikes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/us-missiles-kill-6-suspected-militants-in-pakistans-tribal-region-say-officials/2011/10/30/gIQA6HH9UM_story.html

Associated Press
October 31, 2011

Pakistani cricket legend rallies 100,000 people in significant display of political strength

ISLAMABAD: Cricket legend and opposition politician Imran Khan railed against the government and its alliance with the U.S. before more than 100,000 flag-waving supporters Sunday, establishing himself as a force in Pakistani politics.

Khan, 58, entered politics 15 years ago when he founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or the Movement for Justice Party, but up to now he has struggled to translate his fame into votes. The rally in the eastern city of Lahore indicated his message may have found new resonance at a time when Pakistanis are fed up with the country’s chronic insecurity and economic malaise.

“I have come here to register my hatred against this corrupt system,” said 29-year-old Nadeem Iqbal, who attended the rally.

A poll conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center in June found Khan, the captain of Pakistan’s 1992 world champion cricket team, to be the most popular political figure in the country.

Khan’s rising popularity could be a concern for the U.S., given his harsh criticism of the Pakistani government’s cooperation with Washington…

He has been especially critical of U.S. drone strikes…The latest suspected strike killed six alleged militants Sunday.

Khan has argued that Pakistan’s alliance with the U.S. is the main reason Pakistan is facing a homegrown Taliban insurgency.

“Our leaders owned this war on terror for the sake of dollars,” Khan told the crowd assembled around the country’s most important national monument, the Minar-e-Pakistan. “Let me curse you. You sold out the blood of innocent people.”

Pakistan’s state news agency, The Associated Press of Pakistan, estimated the crowd was over 100,000 people.

The suspected U.S. missile strike Sunday targeted a vehicle in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The U.S. refuses to acknowledge the CIA-run drone program in Pakistan, but officials have said privately that the attacks have killed many senior Taliban and al-Qaida commanders.

Pakistani officials often criticize the attacks as violations of the country’s sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to support the strikes in private. They are extremely unpopular among ordinary people who believe they mainly kill innocent civilians.
____

Associated Press writer Rasool Dawar contributed to this report from Peshawar, Pakistan.

====

5 Killed, 45 Wounded: Kenya Bombs Refugee Camp In Somalia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/31/59642592.html

Itar-Tass
October 31, 2011

Kenya bombs refugee camp in Somalia

At least 5 people were killed and 45, mostly women and children, were wounded when Kenyan planes bombed a refugee camp in Somalia on Monday.

This information was published in the local media.

====

NATO Furthers Humilates Ukraine Over Integration Demands

http://un.ua/eng/article/357833.html

Ukrainian News Agency
October 30, 2011

NATO To Consider Tymoshenko Trial When Evaluating Implementation Of Ukraine-NATO Cooperation Program For 2011

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intends to take into account the trial of former prime minister and leader of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Association party Yulia Tymoshenko when evaluating the implementation of the Ukraine-NATO annual national cooperation program for 2011.

James Appathurai, NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs and security policy, announced this in an interview with the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia newspaper.

“The general secretary of NATO, through the press secretary of the organization, has expressed his disappointment at the Tymoshenko case. I think that members of the alliance will express their opinions on the implementation of ANP (annual national program), taking account of the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko,” he said.

Appathurai stressed that it was obvious that implementation of this program is not only an important priority for Ukraine, but also the basic format for development of further cooperation with NATO.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Cabinet of Ministers approved an action plan for implementation of the Ukraine-NATO annual national cooperation program for in 2011 in July.

On October 11, the Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority during the conclusion of gas contracts with Russia in 2009.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: NATO Planning First Strike Operations Again

October 29, 2011 1 comment

Voice of Russia
October 19, 2011

NATO planning first-strike operations again
John Robles

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

Audio

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011 4 comments

=====

As Many As 60,000 Libyan Civilians Killed In “Most Successful” War In NATO’s History

NATO Gives Libyans Choices: Tyranny Or Theocracy – Russian Envoy

Libya: NATO To Stop Bombing But Not War

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part III)

Portugal: NATO Military Committee Builds On Past Wars For New Ones

Thirteen NATO Soldiers Killed In Attack In Afghan Capital

Afghan Soldier Kills Two NATO Troops, Wounds Six

NATO’s 2011 Afghan War Death Toll At 497

Pakistan: Huge Rally Condemns U.S. Drone Massacres

Pakistan: NATO’s Unbearable Provocative Acts

U.S. And Iran: Might Is Right

Denmark Contributes To NATO Military Build-Up Off Somalia

AFRICOM/Africa Partnership Station: U.S.-Led Eight-Nation Naval Exercise In Somali Basin

Ambassador: U.S. Supports Kenyan Attacks Inside Somalia

U.S. Plans To Shut Down “Rogue Websites”

Greeks Fear Second German Takeover

U.S. Middle East Envoy Speaks Of “West Bank Spring”

Turkish-Azeri Energy Deal To “Change Existing Balance In Region”

=====

As Many As 60,000 Libyan Civilians Killed In “Most Successful” War In NATO’s History

http://rt.com/news/nato-libya-operation-success-999/

RT
October 28, 2011

Biggest success? NATO proud of Libya op which killed thousands

With Gaddafi dead and its “military job now done,” NATO has declared its campaign in Libya one of the “most successful in NATO history.” However, untold casualties and a country devastated by war call into question the alliance’s notion of success.

­Coming through on last week’s promise to end military operations in Libya, on Friday NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared the military operation in Libya would be wrapped up on October 31, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

His announcement came a day after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to lift the no-fly zone over Libya.

Speaking from Brussels, Rasmussen said that following the death of Gaddafi, military operations were able to wind down quickly, noting triumphantly that “Operation Unified Protector is one of the most successful in NATO history,” as cited by AP.

US President Barack Obama was equally full of praise for the operation. Speaking on the popular late night talk show The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Obama told the host operations in Libya “only cost us a billion dollars” and no US troops were killed or injured.

­The price of success

­Speaking on March 31, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, reported that “the so-called humanitarian air raids have taken the lives of dozens of civilians in various areas of Tripoli.”

The senior cleric went on to say “in the district of Buslim, a building collapsed because of the bombing, killing 40 people,” as cited by Agenzia Fedes, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

However, despite the decision to turn a blind eye to the casualty figures, one of the few instances the alliance could not deny culpability in was a June 19 NATO missile strike that resulted in the deaths of nine civilians.

Attacks of this nature were happening on a daily basis throughout the intense bombing campaign.

Speaking in September, the health minister in the new Libyan government estimated that at least 30,000 people had been killed and 50,000 wounded during the first six months of the war. Some, however, have estimated that the real figure could be much higher.

Writing back in September, Thomas C. Mountain, an independent journalist currently living in Africa who was a member of the 1st US Peace Delegation to Libya in 1987, estimated that NATO had dropped over 30,000 bombs on Libya, with an average of “two civilians killed in each attack.” Thus, Mountain has estimated that some 60,000 Libyan civilians had been killed by NATO air strikes alone by the end of August.

Shortly thereafter, when rebel forces began the siege of Sirte, Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for the now-deceased Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, told Reuters via telephone on September 19 that “in the last 17 days, more than 2,000 residents of the city of Sirte were killed in NATO air strikes.”

As of today, some 26,000 NATO sorties and 9,600 strike missions have been conducted by NATO, with an average of four bombs used per attack.

­A country in ruins

­Though it may never be known just how many died in “the most successful operation in NATO history,” the alliance has shown little interest in rebuilding a nation that has in many ways been wrecked by its seven-month military campaign.

According to Palestinian human rights activist Shawan Jabarin, “The military operation damaged everything in Libya, not just Gaddafi and his regime, but the society [as well].”

Former MI5 agent Annie Machon went further, telling RT that NATO’s intervention had plunged Libya back into the Stone Age.

“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age,” Machon asserted.

“They will not have the same quality of life. Women probably will not have the same degree of emancipation under any new transitional government. The national wealth is probably going to be siphoned off by Western corporations. Perhaps the standard of living in Libya might have been slightly higher than it is now in America and the UK with the recession,” she concluded.

Outside of the damage done to Libya’s infrastructure and economy, Thursday’s UN resolution also expressed “concern at the proliferation of arms in Libya and its potential impact on regional peace and security,” as cited by Reuters.

As the circumstances surrounding Muammar Gaddafi’s death remain a mystery following his capture by a mob on the streets of Sirte, analysts fear that armed groups answering to no central authority could prove to be the new ruling model for some time to come in NATO’s newly-liberated Libya.

====

NATO Gives Libyans Choices: Tyranny Or Theocracy – Russian Envoy

http://rt.com/politics/nato-right-libyas-future-001/

RT
October 28, 2011

NATO force-fed Libya tyranny or Islamism- Envoy

NATO has practically privatized the right to choose Libya’s future, which comes down to choice between tyranny and Islamism, said Russia’s ambassador to the military bloc, Dmitry Rogozin.

Rogozin said he disagreed with NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen who claims that NATO stuck to the letter of the UN mandate on establishing a no-fly zone over Libya, protecting its civilian population and enforcing the arms trade embargo.

“We will not evade the analysis of the consequences of NATO’s actions in Libya where the alliance used the most liberal interpretation of the UN resolutions to actually take the right to decide about the country’s future, depriving the Libyans of such right,” Russian news agencies quoted Rogozin as saying on Friday.

The people of Libya are now forced to choose between tyranny and Islamism, Rogozin said.

The NATO Council on Friday agreed to end the operation in Libya on October 31. This came after a UN Security Council vote on Thursday to end the international military operation on October 31 at 23:59.

The military operation, which began on March 17, resulted in the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and a victory for the National Transitional Council.

————————————————————————–

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/259052.html

Itar-Tass
October 28, 2011

NATO assumes right to choose Libyan future – Rogozin

BRUSSELS: NATO has assumed the right to choose the Libyan future, and this choice is between a tyrant and Islamism, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told Itar-Tass on Friday.

He did not quite agree with the statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who said that the alliance had fully complied with the UN Security Council mandate in the protection of civilian population, the provision of the no-fly zone and the arms embargo.

The ministerial conference of the Russia-NATO Council due on December 8 “will have a rather hard time analyzing the lessons of Libya,” he said.

“We cannot avoid an analysis of the aftereffects of the NATO campaign in Libya, where the alliance freely interpreted the UN resolution and actually assumed the right to choose the future for Libya,” Rogozin said.

====

Libya: NATO To Stop Bombing But Not War

http://en.rian.ru/opinion/20111028/168226264.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 28, 2011

NATO will stop bombing Libya but won’t leave
Yelena Suponina

-It was only after the victors tied up the loose ends that the issue was submitted for a vote at the Security Council. Important political decisions are no longer made in the UN, no matter how much China and Russia are trying to resist this or present it in a different light.
-NATO forces will remain in Libya at least to the end of this year and maybe even longer, even after adopting to the resolution. They will simply change the name of the operation and slightly alter the staff.
-[M]military officials that attended the meeting suggested to me that the aircraft of the partner countries may continue patrolling Libya’s air space. Libyans will be steadily adopting NATO standards in military training.

NATO’s war in Libya will come to an end on October 31, 2011. Preparations are currently underway. On Thursday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution announcing that Libya’s air space will be open to both NATO aircraft and local airliners starting next Monday. This resolution ends the no-fly zone introduced by the Security Council in mid March, just two days before the war. The draft resolution, proposed jointly by Russia and Britain, was unanimously approved.

The Security Council did not end the war

Does this mean that the war in Libya is over? Will NATO forces really leave? How can the Security Council make the decision to end a war it did not start?

Let’s recall that Resolution 1973 of March authorized force against the Gaddafi regime but did not mention war as such.

Russia still maintains that this document did not sanction combat operations and that the Western countries that started the war with the support of several Arab monarchies, particularly Qatar, violated the resolution. Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said yesterday that the lessons of the events in Libya must be learned. Western politicians, for their part, tell Moscow not to play dumb – it allowed the resolution to pass with its abstention. Experts had no doubt that this would automatically lead to war.

Today I have seen for myself that it was not the Security Council and not Russia that made the decision to end NATO’s military actions in Libya. I saw firsthand in Doha (the capital of the small but significant Qatar) how such strategic plans are adopted.

Friends of Libya set Oct. 31 deadline

As a political scientist, I was allowed to attend the Doha meeting of the Libya Contact Group (also called the Friends of Libya), which is now winding down. Established in London on March 29, ten days after the start of the war, it was initially involved in overthrowing the Gaddafi regime. Now it has embarked on building a new Libya.

The new Libyan leaders have been meeting with high-ranking diplomats and military officials from allied countries in different cities of the world. Russia’s official representatives have not yet attended these meetings. On this occasion, the Friends of Libya gathered in one of the Doha’s finest hotels.

Libya was represented by National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdul-Jalil and some of his deputies and associates, including Defense Minister Jalal al-Digheili. The Islamist Abdul Hakim Belhadj is also considered to be a leader of the rebel military forces. A fierce struggle for the top spots in the new government is underway.

Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar, attended the opening of the meeting. On October 26, one day before the Security Council passed its resolution, they finalized their earlier agreement that NATO should officially announce the end of combat operations in Libya. The meeting was lead by Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Attiya, Qatari chief of staff and a relative of the emir. He told me that they had also suggested the date – October 31.

A new military coalition to help Libya

It was only after the victors tied up the loose ends that the issue was submitted for a vote at the Security Council. Important political decisions are no longer made in the UN, no matter how much China and Russia are trying to resist this or present it in a different light.

Some meticulous analysts have noted that at the very same meeting in Doha Libyan leader Abdul-Jalil declared for some reason that he would like NATO to continue its activities in Libya “at least up to the end of this year.” Some commentators see this as a contradiction: the agreement was to wind down NATO involvement by the end of this month, and yet there is this suggestion that it could be extended.

This is not a contradiction. Abdul-Jalil (a former justice minister in the Gaddafi government) is not well versed in big time politics. He said what was on his mind and what is actually happening on the ground. NATO forces will remain in Libya at least to the end of this year and maybe even longer, even after adopting to the resolution. They will simply change the name of the operation and slightly alter the staff.

This would no longer be a NATO operation but a mission of the Friends of Libya coalition. Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Attiya told me that it “will consist of 13 or more countries,” led by Qatar. The United Arab Emirates will likely join. France, Britain, the United States and some other NATO members have already agreed to participate. So in reality NATO forces will continue to be geared towards Libya, although this won’t be so obvious to the public eye.

Moreover, the military officials that attended the meeting suggested to me that the aircraft of the partner countries may continue patrolling Libya’s air space. Libyans will be steadily adopting NATO standards in military training.

The allies are refining their mission as events develop. However, all participants in the meeting agreed that the war in Libya was not yet over. The Libyans talked at length about Gaddafi supporters that were still fighting, and the inability of the new leaders to protect the country’s land and maritime borders or put an end to arms trafficking.

To sum up, the war will continue for some time, and NATO will remain in Libya for a long time to come, even though it has achieved its main goal – the Libyan opposition and its friends from several dozen Western and Arab countries have ousted Gaddafi.

Yelena Suponina is a Middle East scholar and a commentator for The Moscow News. She filed this report for RIA Novosti from Doha, the capital of Qatar.

====

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part III)

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7817:fidel-castro-natos-genocidal-role-part-iii&catid=24:reflections-by-comrade-fidel-castro&Itemid=17

Radio Cadena Agramonet
October 27, 2011

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part III)           

On February 23, under the title “Cynicism’s danse macabre,” I stated:
“The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis.”

“Thanks to Sadat’s betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.

“The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.

“The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn’t know how to control it.

“They are going to try and take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there.
All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.

“It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Nomura Japanese bank, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits.”

“…What will be the consequences for the food crisis?

“The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister David Cameron, informed ANSA, `…admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.'”

“His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, `The prolonged brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is repugnant.'”

“Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared `believable’ the figure of one thousand dead in Tripoli […] `the tragic figure will be a bloodbath.'”

“Hillary Clinton declared, `…the bloodbath is completely unacceptable and has to stop…'”

“Ban Ki-moon added, `The use of violence in the country is absolutely unacceptable.'”

“…’the Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides.'”

“‘We are considering a number of options.'”

“What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is that Obama give the final word.

“The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO European allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.

“The empire’s mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.

“In any event, Obama’s role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world’s reaction be if much blood is spilt in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention?

“In Iraq the innocent blood of more than a million Arab citizens was shed when this country was invaded on false pretenses. Mission accomplished, George W. Bush proclaimed.

“No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself, would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed every day by yankee drones and this organization’s soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

“It is a danse macabre of cynicism.”

While I was meditating on these events, the United Nations debate scheduled for yesterday, Tuesday, October 25 on the “Necessity of ending the commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba began. This is something which has been demanded by the vast majority of this institution’s member countries for 20 years.

This time the numerous elemental and just arguments – which for United States governments were no more than rhetorical exercises – revealed, like never before, the political and moral weakness of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, and to whose oligarchical interests and insatiable thirst for power and riches all the planet’s inhabitants have been subjected, including the very people of that country.

The United States is tyrannizing and plundering the globalized world with its political, economic, technological and military might.

That truth is becoming more and more obvious in the wake of the honest and courageous debates which have taken place in the United Nations during the last 20 years, with the support of states which one would imagine are expressing the will of the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants.

Before [Cuban Foreign Minister] Bruno’s speech, many country organizations expressed their points of view through one of their members. The first was Argentina, in the name of the Group of 77 plus China; followed by Egypt,in the name of the Non-Aligned Movement; Kenya, in the name of the African Union; Belize, in the name of CARICOM; Kazakhstan, in the name of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and Uruguay, in the name of MERCOSUR.

Independently of these expressions of a collective nature, China, a country of growing political and economic weight in the world, India and Indonesia strongly supported the resolution via their ambassadors; between the three of them they represent 2.7 billion inhabitants. The ambassadors of the Russian Federation, Belarus, South Africa, Algeria, Venezuela and Mexico did likewise. The impassioned words of solidarity expressed by the ambassador of Belize, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean community, and those of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Bolivia, resonated among the poorest countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Their arguments in the context of the solidarity of our people – despite a blockade which has already lasted 50 years – will be a constant stimulus for our doctors, educators and scientists.

Nicaragua spoke before the vote, to bravely explain why it would vote against this perfidious measure.

The United States representative also spoke before the vote, in order to explain the inexplicable. I felt sorry for him. It is the role that they assigned to him.

At the hour of voting, two countries were absent: Libya and Sweden; three abstained: Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau; two voted against: the United States and Israel. Adding together those who voted against, abstained or were absent: the United States, with 313 million inhabitants; Israel, with 7.4 million; Sweden, with 9.1 million; Libya, with 6.5 million; Marshall Islands, with 67,100; Micronesia, 106,800; Palau, with 20,900, the total amounts to 336.948 million, equivalent to 4.8% of the world population, which has already risen to seven billion this month.

After the vote, speaking in the name of the European Union, Poland explained the votes of members of this bloc which, in spite of its close alliance with the United States and its obligatory participation in the blockade, is against this criminal measure.

Subsequently, 17 countries addressed the Assembly to explain, resolutely and decisively, why they voted for the resolution against the blockade.

I will continue Friday the 28th.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 26, 2011

====

Portugal: NATO Military Committee Builds On Past Wars For New Ones

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_79808.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 27, 2011

Military Committee visits Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Lisbon

Lisbon: The NATO Military Committee (MC), led by its Chairman Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, conducted their annual meeting with the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Lisbon.

Discussions focused on “Lessons Learned of Yesterday to the Solutions of Tomorrow”.

Welcomed by General Stephane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), the ACT staff discussed with the MC lessons learned from current operations and the implications for training, exercises, capability development, and the NATO Command Structure, in order to draw a comprehensive vision of future requirements.

The Commanders of the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) and Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) contributed to the meeting by illustrating the ongoing work to make training more integrated and sychronized.

Following the discussions, the NATO delegation proceeded to Monsanto where they visited the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), NATO’s lead Agency for Joint Analysis, where the Commander, Brigadier General Peter Sonneby, briefed the Military Committee on the most important current projects.

====

Thirteen NATO Soldiers Killed In Attack In Afghan Capital

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/29/c_131219466.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 29, 2011

13 NATO soldiers killed in Kabul suicide attack

KABUL: Thirteen soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, the coalition force confirmed.

====

Afghan Soldier Kills Two NATO Troops, Wounds Six

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/29/foreign-troops-among-4-killed-afghan-soldier

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 29, 2011

Foreign troops among 4 killed by Afghan soldier
By Bashir Ahmad Naadem

KANDAHAR CITY: An Afghan soldier shot dead two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers and one of their interpreters in central Uruzgan province on Saturday, an official said.

The shooting happened during a training session in Tirinkot, the provincial capital, Brig. Gen. Abdul Hamid Hamid, a Kandahar-based commander of the 205th Atal Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

One Afghan National Army (ANA) officer was also killed in the incident before noon, according to Gen. Hamid, who said that another six international servicemembers were wounded.

“An individual in Afghan National Army (ANA) uniform apparently turned his weapon on Afghan and coalition forces,” an ISAF statement said, adding the shooter was also killed during the incident.

Since the beginning of the current year, 499 foreign soldiers have been killed in the country, where the NATO-led force lost 711 soldiers in 2010. Mostly, Australian troops are stationed in Uruzgan.

====

NATO’s 2011 Afghan War Death Toll At 497

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/28/foreign-soldier-killed-roadside-bombing

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 28, 2011

Foreign soldier killed in roadside bombing
By Mir Agha Samimi

KABUL: An International Security and Assistance Forces (ISAF) soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan on Friday, the alliance said.

The soldier was killed in a roadside bomb attack, an ISAF statement said, without revealing the servicemember’s nationality or the exact location.

Mostly, US, British and Canadian soldiers are deployed to the volatile south – the heartland of the Taliban insurgency.

A day earlier, coalition troops and Afghan police beat back an insurgent assault on a US-run base in Kandahar province. One Afghan interpreter was killed in the group attack.

Since the beginning of the current year, 497 foreign soldiers, including 396 US troops, have been killed in the country, where the NATO-led force lost 711 soldiers in 2010.

====

Pakistan: Huge Rally Condemns U.S. Drone Massacres

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/29/c_122211364.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

Huge Pakistan rally demands halt to U.S. drone strikes
By Muhammad Tahir

ISLAMABAD: A large number of tribesmen rallied here Friday to demand an immediate halt to the U.S. drone strikes in tribal regions.

Tribesmen from the North Waziristan tribal region marched on Islamabad’s main road leading to the house of parliament and chanted slogans against the United States.

They were holding banners and placards against the strikes by American spy aircraft in the tribal areas and described the CIA operation as a violation of international law.

The U.S. routinely fires missiles into Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region…

The anti-U.S. rally was organized a day after two drone strikes in North and South Waziristan on Thursday killed at least 10 people…

Earlier, tribesmen from North Waziristan held a traditional Jirga, or council of elders, in Islamabad and they said in a resolution that the drone strikes were “killing innocent civilians.”

“The Jirga takes note of the fact that the CIA, the secret service of the United States, is carrying out these drone attacks and that these attacks are coordinated through CIA officials operating from within and outside Pakistan, thus violating Pakistani and international law by intentionally killing Pakistani citizens,” the resolution said.

Several tribesmen who lost family members also took part in the Jirga and the rally who recalled the miseries they are undergoing due to drone strikes.

17-year Saadullah, who lost his two legs in a drone strike, also attended the rally. He said three relatives were killed when a U.S. unmanned aircraft struck his house last year.

Karim Khan, who lost his son in a U.S. drone attack in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, now runs the campaign against the drone strikes and has also filed a case against the former CIA station chief in Islamabad for running the secret drone strikes operation.

Khan said that the majority of tribesmen are opposed to the drone strikes on their soil and said he will pursue the legal case against the United States.

A tribal elder from North Waziristan, Malik Khan Mirjan, told the Jirga that the infamous American Blackwater is using some Western-funded NGOs to disrupt peace in their areas. He said tribesmen would fight a holy war against the United States in Afghanistan if the drone strikes were not stopped.

President of the Tribal Union of Journalists, Safdar Hayat Khan, said that 70 percent of the people in the area, particularly women and children, have become psychologically sick due to drone strikes fear. He said the drone strikes have also caused the spread of different diseases.

A former Pakistani ambassador, Ayaz Wazir, told the Jirga that drone aircraft fly almost daily over the Waziristan region, creating panic among the people, especially women and children.

After the Jirga, the tribesmen started a procession and marched on the main road leading to the parliament house.

Chief of Tehrik-e-Insaf (Justice Party), Imran Khan, told the huge rally that U.S. drone strikes and military operations are actually creating and strengthening militants in the tribal regions.

He said Pakistan should quit the U.S.-led international coalition, stop military operations and take into confidence the tribal elders who are able to contain the militants’ activities.

====

Pakistan: NATO’s Unbearable Provocative Acts

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=122110

Pakistan Observer
October 28, 2011

NATO’s unbearable provocative acts

After Admiral Mike Mullen’s tirade last month against the ISI created a diplomatic row, followed by a series of retractions, twists and clarifications often loaded with paradoxes, it appears that the United States is bent upon taking some sort of action inside Pakistani territory under the pretext of hot pursuit.

First US troops allowed militant attacks from the Afghan side of the border on our security check posts and on Wednesday NATO helicopters violated our airspace over North Wazirtistan

The intrusion of two helicopters several kilometres inside Pakistani territory coupled with other similar acts ring alarm bells and Pakistani authorities will have to understand these red signals.

American covert raids into Pakistan in the past, about a dozen since its invasion of Afghanistan, were kept secret by the Pakistani authorities to avoid strong public reaction.

In our view the statement of Admiral Mullen was a clear indication that the US was creating a justification to launch attacks in North Waziristan against alleged Haqqani network [personnel] and reports in the American media also quoted American intelligence officials arguing that more aggressive ground raids in Pakistan were necessary.

If that happens, it would be an unbearable provocative act and the Pakistani armed forces and the people would not tolerate it. No sovereign country would allow the boots of American troops on its soil, and a proof of that was the refusal of the Iraqi government to allow even limited US presence there.

A vast majority of Afghans are opposed to the presence of foreign forces in their country and the swelling ranks of Taliban are a proof of that.

The US had better see the writing on the wall and avoid indulging in provocative acts against Pakistan. Perhaps they are not aware that any breach of Pakistan sovereignty will further unleash extremist forces not only on this side of the border but in Afghanistan as well. Already Al-Qaeda and Taliban on this and that side of the Durand Line and other militant outfits have started joining hands to give a crushing blow to the Americans before they leave Afghanistan. Therefore we would suggest that Washington should avoid provocative acts against Pakistan, find a negotiated solution of Afghanistan for an honourable exit so that it could pay more attention to overcome its financial crisis.

====

U.S. And Iran: Might Is Right

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/28/59516425.html

Voice of Russia
October 28, 2011

“Might is Right”
Boris Volkhonsky

-[N]ow that the Internet has proved to be a weapon no less powerful than air-strikes, and has been very fast and productive in overthrowing governments, it is hardly surprising that the administration is going to resort to virtual means in trying to deal with a regime they do not like.
-[As] the U.S. no longer has a deciding voice in the Security Council, the administration is ready to use alternative ways to achieve its goals – the main one being the change of regime in Iran, whether by means of a covert war or by a “virtual embassy”, the two being not much different from one another.

“La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure,” (“The reason of the strongest one is always the best”) wrote Jean de La Fontaine in his “Le Loup et L’Agneau” (The Wolf and the Lamb) fable. Or to put it into English, “Might is Right”. Something of the kind comes to mind when you try to look at the recent developments in U.S.–Iranian relations.

Two recent events require close attention. One is the hearing at the House of Representatives where some conservatives demanded that the Obama administration should take retaliation measures against Iran. The other one (or, rather, two) is the two interviews given by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Persian language services of the BBC and Voice of America.

The rhetoric used by this high-ranking member of president Barack Obama’s team and his critics may differ in wording, but is similar in its essence.

“Why are we permitting Quds Force leaders who have been organizing this killing of us for 30 years to go around still walking around?” The Los Angeles Times cited retired General Jack Keane speaking at a House subcommittee hearing. “Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who are running terrorist organizations against the United States.”

He and his conservative fellows also urged Obama’s administration to wage a covert war against Iran and criticized the administration’s approach to Iran as not aggressive enough. Their suggestions ranged from limited cyber attacks to covert CIA action and unilateral U.S. raids.

“The only way that I would argue that you are going to stop that type of mentality is that you have to convince them that you will escalate,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer now at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. “You don’t want to run away from that war, you want to run towards it.”

Ms. Clinton in her interviews was overtly much less aggressive, but, to think of it, her proposals concerning U.S. policy towards Iran may be even much more far-reaching than a “covert war” proposed by the administration’s conservative critics.

The core of her proposal was the establishment of a “virtual U.S. embassy” in the Internet that would allow the U.S. to make contact directly with the Iranian people circumventing the Iranian government. Overtly, the proposal aims at giving more information to ordinary Iranians on U.S. visas and education and other programs. But isn’t it an open secret that any U.S. embassy is a hub of activities that cannot always can be called purely diplomatic? And now that the Internet has proved to be a weapon no less powerful than air-strikes, and has been very fast and productive in overthrowing governments, it is hardly surprising that the administration is going to resort to virtual means in trying to deal with a regime they do not like.

In this context only a few people in the U.S. really question whether there has been substantial evidence that Iranian authorities are in any way involved in the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Most take the official reasoning for granted – and Ms. Hillary reiterated it in her interviews, saying, “I taught criminal law some years ago. It’s a very strong case. It certainly raises the right questions and I think it will be a successful case.”

So, before the suspects are convicted, and even before any evidence has been presented, the fate of the Iranians seems to be decided. And not only of the two alleged assassins, but of the ruling authorities as well. In clear violation of the presumption of innocence, the U.S. is only eager to bring the case to the U.N. Security Council, thus turning it into a courtroom with a pre-designed verdict and sentence.

While this is unlikely to succeed, since the U.S. no longer has a deciding voice in the Security Council, the administration is ready to use alternative ways to achieve its goals – the main one being the change of regime in Iran, whether by means of a covert war or by a “virtual embassy”, the two being not much different from one another.

The fact that the administration and its conservative critics, albeit in different voices, are basically demanding the same thing is also easily explainable. While the power struggle for both the Capitol Hill and White House is intensifying, he (or, she) who exposes more “bad guys” and proposes the strictest measures, will have the better chances to win in 2012.

====

Denmark Contributes To NATO Military Build-Up Off Somalia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_131218434.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

Denmark to deploy surveillance aircraft against Somali pirates

-Meanwhile, the Danish frigate Absalon is sailing again to the waters off the Horn of Africa with a crew of 150 to strengthen the NATO mission known as Operation Ocean Shield…

COPENHAGEN: Denmark will deploy one surveillance aircraft off Somalia’s coast in a bid to tackle piracy in the region, the Danish government said Friday.

From January 2012, the Challenger surveillance aircraft will assist in aerial patrols for an initial two-month period as part of a NATO coalition force operating…in the Gulf of Aden.

“Other countries have aircraft there, but it is a gigantic nautical area,” said Defence Minister Nick Haekkerup.

“Therefore it is important to know where to place the (coalition’s) ships,” he added, explaining the need for deploying surveillance aircraft.

The decision to deploy the aircraft was confirmed at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Danish Parliament on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Danish frigate Absalon is sailing again to the waters off the Horn of Africa with a crew of 150 to strengthen the NATO mission known as Operation Ocean Shield, said Danish news agency Ritzau.

The Absalon has already seen action in the region and its tour of duty is now extended by six months. Its arrival means there will be four international ships operating under Ocean Shield as of Nov. 1.

With the latest developments, the total number of Danish military personnel deployed in the Gulf of Aden operations rises to 190 persons, Ritzau said, marking a sharp increase in Danish counter-piracy initiatives.

Ocean Shield has operated since 2008, and been involved in several actions against pirates…

====

AFRICOM/Africa Partnership Station: U.S.-Led Eight-Nation Naval Exercise In Somali Basin

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63526

U.S. Navy
U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
October 28, 2011

Exercise Cutlass Express
By Lt. Cmdr. Suzanna Brugler, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS, At Sea: USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) completed the inaugural at-sea portion of exercise Cutlass Express, in the Somali Basin region, Oct. 25-28.

Cutlass Express is an exercise sponsored by U.S. Africa Command, and focuses on addressing piracy through information sharing and coordinated operations among international navies.

The at-sea portion of Cutlass Express was a multinational communications exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations to increase counter-piracy capabilities in the waters off the Horn of Africa. In addition, this exercise is a branch of Africa Partnership Station (APS), during which Samuel B. Roberts was the training platform in the most recent edition of APS East that took place July through September of this year.

“Exercise Cutlass Express was the culmination of all the relationship-building Samuel B. Roberts has facilitated in the East African region over the past four months while executing the APS mission,” said Cmdr. Angel Cruz, commanding officer of Samuel B. Roberts.

Samuel B. Roberts’ role in Cutlass Express was primarily geared towards providing ship-boarding operation training to the eight marines of the Uganda People’s Defense Force who were embarked aboard the ship. The ship also had two ship riders from the South African navy who observed Cutlass Express and the day-to-day underway operations aboard Samuel B. Roberts…

The ashore portion of the exercise featured simulated civilian and military operations centers that seek to enhance both cooperation and capacity on the East African coast, which took place July 18-22. The weeklong table-top planning exercise paved the way for all that would happen during the recent at-sea portion of Cutlass Express.

Exercise Cutlass Express is yet another pillar that demonstrates U.S. and participant-nation commitment to regional stability and maritime security, with participating nations including Djibouti, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, The Seychelles, Uganda and the United States…

Exercise Cutlass Express took place at sea in the vicinity of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mombasa, Kenya, and The Seychelles with coordination among regional maritime operations centers. Samuel B. Roberts provided at-sea U.S. warship platform participation while several Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet staff personnel also participated as exercise planners and trainers.

Samuel B. Roberts is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate that is homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.

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

====

Ambassador: U.S. Supports Kenyan Attacks Inside Somalia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_122211298.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

U. S. says backing Kenya’s military operation in Somalia

NAIROBI: The United States said on Friday it has sold military equipment and offered logistical support and military training to Kenyan troops on a mission to flush out the Al Qaeda-linked militia group in Somalia, Al Shabaab.

“We have been providing our assistance in an overt way through the Kenya Navy, Army and Air Force for long time and we will continue…, ” U.S Ambassador in Kenya Scott Gration said during a courtesy call on Kenyan Defense Minister Yusuf Haji.

Gration, a retired major general of the U.S. Air Force, said in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that his government will continue supporting Kenya…

Earlier reports indicated that Washington shipped military equipment worth 45 million U.S dollars to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in June. The equipment included four drones, body armor and night vision communication equipment…

The remarks came amid reports last Friday of a U.S. drone attack which killed 44 Al Shabaab militia in the town of Ras Kiamboni, fueling speculation of the Washington’s involvement.

====

U.S. Plans To Shut Down “Rogue Websites”

http://rt.com/news/us-bill-rogue-websites-991/

RT
October 28, 2011

US eyes blackout of ‘rogue websites’

New anti-piracy legislation placed before the US House of Representatives would allow copyright law to be used to close down websites. Sites such as Wikileaks would be vulnerable, sparking fears that the bill could be used to stifle free speech.

The bill, submitted on Wednesday, is called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and will be reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee on November 16.

If approved, SOPA will enable individuals or organizations claiming copyright to effectively block any website they suspect of infringing their rights. They would simply send complaints to advertisers, payment services, search engines and even internet service providers operating in the US, who would stop doing business with the site in question.

No court decision would be necessary, and third parties would be granted immunity from any reprisals resulting from their voluntary action against the alleged offenders. Not-for-profit websites would not be spared.

The lawmakers behind the “rogue websites” bill say it would deal a blow to online pirates and producers of counterfeit brand products like designer fashion items or medicines, reports AFP.

“The bill prevents online thieves from selling counterfeit goods in the US, expands international protection for intellectual property, and protects American consumers from dangerous counterfeit products,” House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, said in a statement.

Howard Berman, a Democrat from California who co-sponsored the legislation, said it is “an important next step in the fight against digital theft and sends a strong message that the United States will not waiver in our battle to protect America’s creators and innovators.”

This stance is not shared by some human rights groups, however. The Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) says the House bill “raises serious red flags.

“It includes the most controversial parts of the Senate’s Protect IP Act, but radically expands its scope,” the CDT said in a statement. “Any website that features user-generated content or that enables cloud-based data storage could end up in its crosshairs.”

There are fears that the legislation could be exploited to gag political rivals. Recently, the controversial whistleblower website WikiLeaks had to stop publishing new leaks due to what they called an unlawful financial blockade by payment services and banks. The move leaves open the possibility of the US State Department copyrighting cables to give them protection under SOPA.

====

Greeks Fear Second German Takeover

http://rt.com/news/greek-germany-people-bailout-011/

RT
October 28, 2011

Greeks wary of Germans bearing bailout gifts

Harsh austerity measures imposed on the Greek people are making them look to the past for unfavorable comparisons. Overnight, posters featuring Chancellor Angela Merkel dressed as a Nazi officer have appeared all over the capital, Athens.

Berlin’s interference in the Greek economy has caused people to make comparisons with Hitler’s occupation and destruction of the country 65 years ago. For many, Germany’s involvement in their affairs is pure meddling, while some have actually called on Germany to bail out Greece “on the grounds it owes Athens money for war atrocities in the past.”

And it’s not just the ordinary citizens who feel this way. Even the Greek Prime Minister, while claiming that the move has helped his country avoid “a national mortal danger,” mentioned the national gold “taken” by Nazi Germany during the occupation and never “returned.”

The deal, which will see half of Greece’s national debt written off, has infuriated the country’s people. That’s despite many economists calling it a last-ditch effort to stave off a Greek default on its sovereign debt – which is tantamount to bankruptcy. But opposition parties claim the $130 billion deal will put the country through “nine more years of collapse and poverty”.

Greek government officials who agreed to the belt-tightening moves have been portrayed in cartoons giving the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute. And Reuters news agency reports that German tourists flocking to ancient heritage sites are not receiving a warm welcome either. And despite the fact that protests in the country have cooled down, for many this is just the calm before the storm.

====

U.S. Middle East Envoy Speaks Of “West Bank Spring”

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1951282.html

Trend News Agency
October 29, 2011

US envoy: Palestine not immune to Arab Spring

The revolutions rocking the Arab world could upturn Palestinian politics if a real peace process got off the ground, a top US diplomat has suggested AFP reported

Hamas could be swept out of power if the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority is able to show “tangible” results from peace negotiations with Israel, US envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Thursday.

The envoy said that the PA had yet to show the benefits of talks, but warned that pursuing statehood at UN bodies could undo the peace process.

PLO officials say they are taking the membership application to the UN because 20 years of negotiations have brought them no closer to independence and with nothing to show for their efforts but more Israeli settlement on Palestinian land.

Hale said while the security and economic reforms that have been achieved by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank are “valued” they “aren’t enough.”

When the Palestinian people “see that the leadership that is committed to peace has something to offer, then I think then you will see a very different dynamic underway,” he added.

“The Palestinians are no more immune to the currents of change and demand for democratization, reform and freedom than any of the other people in the region,” Hale said.

“I think you will see those same forces affect Hamas because clearly their leadership is not characterized by any of those words.”

Hamas – which is blacklisted by the US – won democratic national elections in 2006, before seizing the Gaza Strip after fighting with long-term rivals Fatah erupted into near civil war, and split Palestinians into separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

Hale cautioned that Palestinian attempts to seek statehood at the United Nations – including Monday’s vote to grant Palestine full member status at the UN cultural agency UNESCO – could instead complicate, delay or even “derail” the peace process.

“Peace will not come through statements or actions or votes in the United Nations,” he said, adding that such action will simply raise expectations “that we fear will be frustrated because it will do nothing to change the situation on the ground the day after the vote.”

====

Turkish-Azeri Energy Deal To “Change Existing Balance In Region”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158421

Azeri Press Agency
October 29, 2011

Turkish Minister of Energy: We have signed an agreement with Azerbaijan that will change the existing balance in the region

Baku: “We have signed an agreement with Azerbaijan that will change the existing balance in the region,” Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz told local journalists, APA reports quoting Haberturk. He said the agreement signed with Azerbaijan on Shah Deniz 2 project is the only real document signed in the area of natural gas in the region.

Minister said with this agreement Turkey demonstrated to Europe its decisiveness in the transfer of natural gas.

“We have included the construction of the new pipeline into the agreement. This pipeline is a strong alternative, but is not designed against Nabucco,” he said.

Taner Yildiz said the companies in Shah Deniz consortium will invest approximately $22 billion in this project and the first gas will be transported in 2018.

“Within the framework of this project Turkey will import 6 billion cu m of gas. We have the right to reexport this gas. 10 billion cu m of gas will be exported to Europe,” he said.

Minister said the right of revision of prices of the natural gas purchased by Turkey from Azerbaijan within the framework of Shah Deniz 1 project had been frozen.

Turkey pays for Azerbaijan’s natural gas 30% less than for the gas purchased from other countries.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Thomas Campbell: The snow shall be their winding-sheet, every turf a soldier’s sepulchre

October 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Thomas Campbell
The Soldier’s Dream (1804)

Our bugles had sung, for the night-cloud had lower’d,
And the centinal stars set them watch in the sky,
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower’d,
The weary to sleep and the wounded to die!

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night, a sweet vision I saw,
And twice ere the cock crew, I dreamt it again.

Methought, from the battle field’s dreadful array,
Far, far I had roam’d on a desolate track,
Till nature and sunshine disclos’d the sweet way
To the house of my Father that welcom’d me back.

I flew to the pleasant fields travell’d so oft,
In life’s morning’s march when my bosom was young,
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And well knew the strain that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledg’d we the cup, and fondly we swore,
From my home, and my weeping friends never to part;
My little ones miss’d me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobb’d aloud in the fulness of heart!

Stay! stay with us! rest! thou art weary and worn;
And fain was the war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow return’d with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.


Battle of Austerlitz

Hohenlinden

On Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

But Linden saw another sight
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet fast arrayed
Each horseman drew his battle blade,
And furious every charger neighed,
To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rushed the steed to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of heaven
Far flashed the red artillery.

And redder yet those fires shall glow
On Linden’s hills of blood-stained snow,
And darker yet shall be the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

‘Tis morn, but scarce yon lurid sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave!
And charge with all thy chivalry!

Ah! few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier’s sepulchre.

Categories: Uncategorized

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

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

====

NATO Chief: Libya War “Great Success,” Nation To Revert To AFRICOM Control

State Department: NATO Shifts To “Post-Conflict” Role In Libya

Libya, Somalia, Uganda: AFRICOM At War Across African Continent

Clinton, Panetta: Libyan NTC Fighters To Be Treated In Boston

Pentagon To Treat Proxies, AFRICOM Resumes Libyan Mission

NATO’s Actions: White Man’s Burden?

Expanded Syrian Conflict: The West’s Unwinnable War

2,000 Innocent Civilians Killed: Pakistanis Protest Against U.S. Drone Attacks

Second U.S. Drone Attacks Kills Six In Pakistan

Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen: U.S. Drones Kill 50 In One Day

U.S. Operating Armed Drones From Ethiopia

U.S. Congress Authorizes Covert Operations Against Iran

NATO Continues Training Iraqi Federal And Oil Police

Afghan War: NATO Soldier Killed, Five Wounded

Australia: Obama To Secure New Military Bases

Canada To Spend Nearly Half Billion Dollars On U.S. Military Satellites

Ten Years Of NATO Policing The Mediterranean Sea

Berlin: NATO Chief Discusses Global Operations, Chicago Summit

New Maginot Line: Top U.S. Cyberwarrior Stresses Integration With Allies

North Atlantic Council Visit: “Georgia Will Definitely Join NATO”

U.S. Troops Lead 200 Bulgarian Counterparts In Jump Exercise

Push For Global Democracy May Backfire On U.S.

====

NATO Chief: Libya War “Great Success,” Nation To Revert To AFRICOM Control

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1950580.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 28, 2011

Rasmussen calls NATO Libya operation “great success”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday the seven-month NATO operation in Libya had been a “great success” and that the decision to end it was final, DPA reported.

Speaking in Berlin after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said the operation had probably been one of the most successful in NATO’s history.

Rasmussen said NATO would make an official declaration on Friday that the operation would terminate on Monday, October 31, in line with a UN Security Council resolution in New York.

NATO had fulfilled its mission fully, the former Danish prime minister said, adding that he saw no major role for the alliance in Libya from now on. The National Transitional Council had previously appealed to NATO to continue its operation to the end of the year.

====

State Department: NATO Shifts To “Post-Conflict” Role In Libya

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/nato-weighs-new-role-post-kadhafi-libya-1

Agence France-Presse
October 27, 2011

NATO weighs new role in post-Kadhafi Libya

NATO was weighing a possible new role in Libya following Moamer Kadhafi’s death, as France said the UN would vote on Thursday to end the alliance’s mandate for an air war on October 31.

Tripoli’s interim rulers have pleaded for an extension to the alliance’s mandate, but French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the request was unlikely to be granted.

“The fall of Sirte led the Libyan authorities to declare the liberation of Libyan territory as of October 23,” Valero told a media conference in Paris.

In Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said discussions had started at NATO headquarters in Brussels and with Libya’s NTC about the end of the UN mandate.

She said the NTC “may foresee a future role for NATO,” and that discussions have been held about that as well.

“Some things have been discussed, like support for border security, support for demobilisation, decommissioning of weapons, these kinds of things,” she said.

NATO “does have quite a bit of experience after the combat phase is over in helping countries around the world, and particularly partner countries, to train and equip their own military, restructure, particularly in the decommissioning of weapons,” Nuland said.

====

Libya, Somalia, Uganda: AFRICOM At War Across African Continent

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/from-western-to-eastern-africa-us-military-increases-focus-on-militant-threats/2011/10/27/gIQA5siYMM_story.html

Associated Press
October 27, 2011

Somalia, Libya, Uganda: US military increases focus on militant threats from Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya: While putting few U.S. troops at risk, the United States is playing a growing role in Africa’s military battles, using special forces advisers, drones and tens of millions of dollars in military aid…

Once again, the focus is Somalia, the lawless nation that was the site of America’s last large-scale military intervention in Africa in the early 1990s. By the time U.S. forces departed, 44 Army soldiers, Marines and airmen had been killed and dozens more wounded.

While putting few U.S. troops at risk, the United States is providing intelligence and training to fight militants across the continent, from Mauritania in the west along the Atlantic Ocean, to Somalia in the east along the Indian Ocean.

This time the United States is playing a less visible role, providing intelligence and training to fight militants across the continent, from Mauritania in the west along the Atlantic coast, to Somalia in the east along the Indian Ocean.

“If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it is the thought of an American passport-holding person who transits through a training camp in Somalia and gets some skill and then finds their way back into the United States to attack Americans,” Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of the U.S. Africa Command, said in Washington this month. “That’s mission failure for us.”

The U.S. is conducting counterterrorism training and equipping militaries in countries including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia…according to the U.S. Africa Command.

In Somalia, the U.S. helps support 9,000 troops from Uganda and Burundi to fight militants in Mogadishu, the Somali capital. In June, the Pentagon moved to send nearly $45 million in military equipment, including four drones, body armor and night-vision and communications gear, for use in the fight against al-Shabab.

The U.S. also announced this month it is sending 100 advisers, most of them special forces, to help direct the fight against the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa and efforts to kill or capture its leader, Joseph Kony…In Libya, U.S. fighter planes helped rebels defeat…Moammar Gadhafi.

====

Clinton, Panetta: Libyan NTC Fighters To Be Treated In Boston

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_131217532.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

U.S. to treat 24 seriously wounded Libyan fighters

WASHINGTON: The United States will offer medical treatment to 24 Libyan fighters who were seriously wounded in the recent battles to oust former leader Muammar Gaddafi, senior U.S. officials said Thursday.

The United States will be transporting 24 seriously wounded fighters to Spaulding Hospital in Boston for treatment on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a joint statement.

“All of these patients were injured as a result of recent fighting and suffer from conditions that cannot currently be treated in Libya,” the two officials said.

The offer was made in response to a request by the National Transitional Council (NTC), the interim governing body in Libya.

An additional six critical cases will be transferred to Germany for immediate care.

====

Pentagon To Treat Proxies, AFRICOM Resumes Libyan Mission

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7367&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
October 28, 2011

U.S. military transports wounded Libyans to hospitals in U.S. and Germany

-U.S. Africa Command, commanded by General Carter F. Ham, last month directed its Army component, U.S. Army Africa, to establish Joint Task Force Odyssey Guard to plan for any potential U.S. military missions in post-conflict Libya. Major General David R. Hogg, the U.S Army Africa commander, is also commander of the joint task force.

CASERMA EDERLE, Vicenza, Italy: The U.S. military is assisting the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) by transporting approximately 30 Libyans injured during recent fighting from Tripoli to hospitals in Europe and the United States.

According to a joint press release from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, “Saturday, in response to a request by the Transitional National Council, the United States is transporting 24 seriously wounded fighters to Spaulding Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. An additional six critical cases will be transferred to Germany for immediate care. All of these patients were injured as a result of recent fighting and suffer from conditions that cannot currently be treated in Libya.”

Two U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying medical teams will fly the injured to medical facilities in Germany and the United States. Specialized U.S. Air Force medical teams will care for the injured on the two flights.

The TNC requested this U.S. humanitarian assistance through the U.S. Department of State. “The United States offers this humanitarian gesture of emergency medical evacuation assistance as a small token of our support, because we are committed to Libya’s future,” reads the joint statement.

U.S. Africa Command, commanded by General Carter F. Ham, last month directed its Army component, U.S. Army Africa, to establish Joint Task Force Odyssey Guard to plan for any potential U.S. military missions in post-conflict Libya. Major General David R. Hogg, the U.S Army Africa commander, is also commander of the joint task force.

====

NATO’s Actions: White Man’s Burden?

http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/28/nato-actions-white-mans-burden.html

Dawn
October 28, 2011

Letter
Nato actions: white man’s burden?

Col Qadhafi has been killed by an angry Libyan or died in a ‘cross-fire’ as claimed by the TNC. This ends an era of what has been termed a despotic rule by a tyrant.

His body was placed in a meat-house and was being visited by people wearing masks, apparently because of the stench.

I hold no brief for the slain. One report says that he was very generous in doling out money to his people, but it is true that he did little for his country. With the wealth from oil he had, he could have made Libya an ideal place.

Irrespective of what he was, he deserved at least a kangaroo court like Saddam Hussein while he was alive, and a better treatment now that he was dead.

Another thought that comes to mind is what appears as a new sanction of international law called ‘R2P’, i.e., responsibility to protect people. This means that any so-called civilised country can attack or ask an obedient organisation like Nato to attack a sovereign state to save its people from the real or perceived hardship that they might be suffering at the hands of an unkind ruler, but in reality to take undue benefit from that country’s natural wealth: a new exposition of ‘white man’s burden’. We should be wary of what is likely to happen in Balochistan.

S.M. ANWAR
Karachi

====

Expanded Syrian Conflict: The West’s Unwinnable War

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206968.html

Press TV
October 27, 2011

Syria, America’s unwinnable game
By Arash Zahedi

In its latest foreign diplomacy move, the US State Department has recalled its ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, citing safety reasons.

Tensions were running high as the ambassador had recently been touring different Syrian cities and been involved in talks with the heads of the country’s opposition.

The ups and downs in Syria-US relations in the past few months definitely represent a gesture of anything but good will as they now host no envoys in one another’s lands.

The situation has been aggravated even more with the death of Libya’s once long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. America, having been more or less disengaged from the Libya game, is now building up pressure against Syria by escalating accusations against it.

The once US presidential hopeful, Republican Senator John McCain, best known for its “bomb, bomb” rhetoric, is now describing Syria as the focal point of US attention. He has also talked of the use of military force against Damascus. A choice always on the US’s famous “table of options”, that can be considered when it unilaterally deems it necessary or when it fails to meaningfully engage in talks.

There are growing fears among political circles now that Damascus might, to some extent, play the role of the next Tripoli given recent US rhetoric that comes along with sanctions and intimidations.

Given the UK’s and France’s recently emboldened anti-Damascus views as well as the role the allegedly foreign-backed armed gangs play in today’s Syria, one has to watch the events of the next few weeks or months with caution.

The West’s Libya adventure is largely characterized by the bloc’s hunger for Libya’s riches and energy resources. Syria, however, is not of great energy or resource significance when compared with Libya. So what is at stake for the US in Syria?

Experts say it is the geographical location of Syria which makes it extremely strategic to Israel’s existence. Syria is so far the only country experiencing an upheaval that shares a border with Israel. The two sides have never enjoyed the best of ties and even have a history of war.

Given the reality that almost all the uprisings in the Middle East were, to some extent, fueled by Arab nations’ anti-US and anti-Israel sentiments, one can quickly realize why Syria has become the “focal point” at this juncture and not Yemen for instance.

Yemen, a poor regional country, has seen its own wave of uprising along with other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But, unlike Libya and now Syria, it has never been threatened militarily by the US or any of its Western allies.

But what if such, as some term it, Western sabre-rattling turns into an all-out war?

Experts warn seriously against such a move. They argue this is going to turn the whole region into a burning ball of fire which the US will by no means be able to handle. Many say it will be the West’s unwinnable war.

Another argument is that seeing the end of Gaddafi and speculations over the future conditions of Libya or studying the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the situation in that country today after eight years of its US occupation will even unite the Syrian government and supporters with some of today’s dissidents against a foreign threat, enabling Syria to put up a genuinely strong resistance, thus making losses greater than gains for the Western countries whose public opinion resents the loss of 30,000 lives in Libya and the two million that died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In terms of military might, Syria and Libya belong to two different leagues. Unlike Libya, Syria’s army is one of the strongest in the Arab world and observers say it will resolve to fight to the end in case of war. This means a longer war with far too many casualties for both sides.

In the meantime, let’s not forget about Israel’s geographical proximity to Syria…

As mentioned, the anti-Israeli and anti-US feelings, to a certain degree, characterized the Arab world’s recent Islamic awakening. A US attack on Syria and likely Israeli involvement will cause people in other countries to put pressure on their governments to intervene. The issue will not be overlooked in Cairo, for instance, where people had even attacked the Israeli embassy, deeming Tel Aviv as the root cause of many of their historical miseries. Also of immeasurable concern to Israel and the US will be the reaction of other regional sympathizing powerhouses.

There is no doubt the West will have to pay dearly in case of opening another front, with Damascus this time around, and the price will not be the same as with Libya.

Launching another war for the US that is seeing its Wall Street occupied by angry tax payers, if not an empty threat, may mean the nation will, for a long time to come, completely fall out with a government that needs their support in these hard economic times and their votes in future elections.

====

2,000 Innocent Civilians Killed: Pakistanis Protest Against U.S. Drone Attacks

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_131217738.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

Tribesmen to rally against U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan
By Muhammad Tahir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani tribesmen will march in Islamabad on Friday against the U.S. drone aircraft strikes in the tribal regions, in which they said many innocent people had been killed, local media reported on Friday.

Several victims of the drone attacks will also join the protest march outside the parliament house.

Representatives of foreign and Pakistani human rights groups will also take part in the protest.

The protest comes just a day after two strikes conducted by U.S. spy aircraft killed at least 10 people in the Waziristan tribal region.

Tribal elders Thursday told a news conference in Islamabad that nearly 2,000 innocent people have so far been killed in 300 drone strikes in the tribal regions.

The tribal elders will meet before their march and will discuss a protest plan and legal action against the CIA which runs the secret drone mission.

Chief of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (Justice Party) Imran Khan will preside over the tribal jirga and will later lead a protest march.

Mr. Khan said Pakistan was capable of shooting down drones but the government was reluctant to do so because it was beholden to the West.

Mr. Khan wondered why human rights organizations had failed to see the gross violation of human rights and international laws in the case of drone attacks.

He said his party had made efforts to stop American aggression against innocent people by trying to stop NATO supplies through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Karachi port, but the protesters were detained by the administration despite parliament’s resolutions against drone attacks.

Khan said the government should resign if it was unable to stop the drone attacks. He alleged that the attacks were being carried out with the tacit consent of the rulers.

====

Second U.S. Drone Attacks Kills Six In Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_122206776.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

Second U.S. drone strike kills 6 in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A U.S. pilotless aircraft fired four missiles on a house in Mir Ali area in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region Thursday night, killing at least six people, Dawn TV reported.

It was not clear who was targeted in the second strike on Thursday.

Earlier in the morning, an American unmanned aircraft fired missiles on a vehicle at Azam Warsak in South Waziristan tribal region, an area near the Afghan border, killing six people…

Pakistan publicly opposes the drone strikes, which are run by the CIA. The U.S. has refused to halt the strikes despite Islamabad’s protest and insists that it is an effective operation to target suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

====

Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen: U.S. Drones Kill 50 In One Day

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206934.html

Press TV
October 27, 2011

US drones kill nearly 50 in single day

Nearly fifty people have been killed in separate US assassination drone strikes in Somalia, Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, and Yemen in a single day.

On Thursday, 13 people were killed and several others were injured when the US military launched an attack using a remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle on the outskirts of Bilis Qooqaani town, which is located 448 kilometers (278 miles) southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The US also launched drone strikes on the outskirts of Afmadow city, situated in the middle of the Juba region and 620 kilometers (385 miles) south of Mogadishu, on Thursday. At least 25 people were killed in the aerial attack.

In addition, six people were killed in a non-UN-sanctioned US drone attack on Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.

According to Pakistani officials, two unmanned aircraft fired six missiles at a vehicle traveling through Tura Gula village in the Azam Warsak area on Thursday.

Three people were also killed in attacks carried out by unmanned US aircraft in southern Yemen on Thursday.

A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the drone strikes targeted Shaqra village in Abyan Province. He added that six people were also injured in the aerial attacks.

The US says its remote-controlled unmanned drones only target militants. However, reports have shown that most of the people killed in the drone strikes are civilians.

====

U.S. Operating Armed Drones From Ethiopia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/28/c_131217219.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 28, 2011

U.S. operating armed drones in Ethiopia: report

WASHINGTON: The United States is using armed drones to carry out counterterrorism missions in Ethiopia, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The secret operations involving Reaper drones have been confirmed by Master Sergeant James Fisher, a spokesman for the 17th Air Force, which oversees operations in Africa, according to the report.

Fisher said an unspecified number of Air Force personnel are working at the Ethiopian airfield “to provide operation and technical support for our security assistance programs.”

The drone flights “will continue as long as the government of Ethiopia welcomes our cooperation on these varied security programs,” he added.

The drone base is located at the Arba Minch airport, about 480 km south of Addis Ababa and about 960 km east of the Somali border, within the 1,840-km reach of standard models of the Reaper, according to the report.

The newspaper reported last month that the United States is building a series of secret drone bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of counterterrorism efforts targeting al-Qaida’s affiliates in Somalia and Yemen. But it did not disclose the location of the Ethiopian base and the fact that it became operational this year.

The report came at a time when the United States has been expanding the use of drones on counterterrorism missions, and has increasingly targeted al-Qaida’s affiliates outside South Asia, particularly in Yemen and Somalia.

====

U.S. Congress Authorizes Covert Operations Against Iran

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206959.html

Press TV
October 27, 2011

US Congress for black ops against Iran
By Ismail Salami

The US secret agenda for tightening its vice-like grip on the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken on an apparently new form after the anti-Iran alleged assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, raised many eyebrows among experts and analysts around the world.

With a strong penchant for pushing for tougher action on Iran, the Obama administration has already imposed a series of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. However, a Republican-controlled congressional committee has recently heard testimony demanding an extensive range of covert operations against the country.

The operations, which range from cyber attacks to political assassinations, are speculated to be conducted under the feeble excuse that Iran was the alleged architect of an assassination plot against the Saudi envoy to the United States. By political assassination, the US congressmen unconsciously mean the liquidation of the Iranian nuclear scientists, an act they actually started long ago.

Retired Army Gen. John Keane told a hearing of two key subcommittees of the House Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday, “We’ve got to put our hand around their throat now. Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who kill others.”

Also, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) poured some pearls of wisdom over others and called for “sober, reasoned discussion.”

“Iran’s leaders must be held accountable for their action,” she said, “but we cannot take any reckless actions which may lead to opening another front in the ‘War on Terror,’ which the American people do not want and cannot afford.”

Naturally, the US government, in essence, cannot afford to wage another war, at least in view of the economic woes it has wrought upon American citizens, regardless of other influencing factors.

The stone that started rolling fell into the hands of New York Congressman Peter King, who made an extremely bizarre comment. He suggested that the US should kick out Iranian officials at the UN in New York and in Washington and accused them of being spies, ignorant of the fact that the UN is considered an independent international body and that the US has no authority to ‘kick out’ diplomats accredited there en masse.

Overwhelmed with a sense of false eagerness, he renewed the anti-Iran alleged assassination ploy and said excitedly, “So you have the assassination of a foreign ambassador, you have the willingness to kill hundreds of Americans – this is an act of war,” King said, “I don’t think we can just do business as usual or even carry out sanctions as usual.”

The volley of vitriolic words against Iran which issued from Mr. King reeks of blind enmity long egged on by other hawks in Washington.

In point of fact, the anti-Iran moves practically started in 2007 when the US Congress agreed with George W. Bush, the then-US president, to fund a major increase in covert operations against Iran.

According to the intelligence officials who spoke to the Blotter on ABCNews.com, the CIA was then given presidential approval to commence its covert ‘black’ operations inside Iran. To that effect, over four hundred million dollars were allocated in a Presidential Finding signed by George W. Bush. The ultimate goal of the finding was to cripple Iran’s religious government and the operations involved throwing support behind minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchis and other opposition groups as well as amassing intelligence about Iran’s nuclear sites.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, the intelligence officials confirmed that Bush had signed a “nonlethal presidential finding” giving the CIA carte blanche to engage in any sabotage activities including a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions in order to destabilize and eventually achieve regime change in Iran.

“I can’t confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime,” said Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA senior official, an expert on Iran and the Middle East (ABCNEWS.com May 22, 2007).

In June 2007, The New Yorker magazine also ran a similar story by Seymour Hersh, confirming that the finding had been signed by Bush and intended to destabilize the Islamic government.

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” the article cited a person familiar with its contents as saying, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.”

From an intelligence point of view, the fact that the US government is resorting to covert black operations against Iran rules out the possibility of a military strike against the country.

According to reports, US ambassadors in Islamabad have repeatedly asked for opening a consulate in the province of Baluchistan, a suspicious demand from the US. In 2011, the call was renewed by US ambassador Cameron Munter to Islamabad. Persistence in this demand is to be taken seriously. Baluchistan is strategically important as it is a harbor for the anti-Iran terrorist group Jundullah in the first place and a separatist Pakistani province in the second place.

In fact, Washington greatly favors the establishment of a ‘Greater Baluchistan’ which would integrate the Baluch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran. Military expert Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters suggests that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of a separate country: ‘Greater Baluchistan’ or ‘Free Baluchistan’ (June 2006, The Armed Forces Journal). As a result, this would incorporate the Baluch provinces of Pakistan and Iran into a single political entity which can be tailored to suit the interests of Washington.

So it seems that the US harbors two main ulterior motives if this demand is answered. First, it can fulfill its dream of establishing a Greater Baluchistan, consolidate a firm presence in this separatist part of Pakistan and, secondly, it will be in a position to avail itself of this influence to carry out its sabotaging activities within Iran.

Earlier in 2007, the Blotter on ABCNews.com revealed the role of the US government in backing the terrorist Iranian group, which is responsible for a number of gruesome assassinations of Iranian civilians on the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The terrorist group spares no efforts in sowing the seed of terror in the southern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan and their lust for murder and cruelty knows no remission. The victims the group has so far claimed include many women and children who have become the direct targets of their killing. In July 2010, the group mounted a pair of suicide attacks on a major Shi’ite mosque in the city of Zahedan, the capital of Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan Province, killing dozens of worshippers and wounding over 100 people.

Although US officials deny any ‘direct funding’ of the terrorist group, they acknowledge that they are in contact with the leader of the group on a regular basis. A similar terroristic attack was launched by the same group on a mosque in Zahedan in May 2009, which led to the martyrdom of many worshippers.

Sadly enough, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) implicitly supports the group and reportedly shelters some of its high-profile members in coordination with the CIA.

Isn’t it paradoxical that Jundullah, a terrorist group and an offshoot of al-Qaeda, is directly funded by the US government which keeps bandying about its so-called ‘war on terror’ in the world?

This is enough to cause the US to hang its head low in shame and humility.

– Ismail Salami is an Iranian author and political analyst. A prolific writer, he has written numerous books and articles on the Middle East. His articles have been translated into a number of languages.

====

NATO Continues Training Iraqi Federal And Oil Police

http://www.aco.nato.int/ntmi-and-un-assistance-mission-for-iraq-strengthen-their-relationship-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
October 27, 2011

NTM-I and UN Assistance Mission for Iraq strengthen their relationship

Baghdad, Iraq: Deputy Commander of NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I) Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani met with United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (political) Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, as well as police and military advisors at UNAMI Headquarters on 26 October 2011.

During the meeting, Maj. Gen. Armentani and Mr. Skuratowicz discussed the current activities and plans of their organizations, and the increasing importance of providing political advice to Iraqi Institutions…Maj. Gen. Armentani also stressed that Human Rights and Rule of Law education formed an integral component of training provided by NTM-I to the Iraqi Federal and Oil Police. Senior representatives also agreed to work on the possibility of UNAMI delegate participation in the next Joint Committee for Future Training, which will meet in January 2012.

At the end of meeting, Maj. Gen. Armentani and Mr. Skuratowicz agreed to develop closer coordination between NTM-I and UNAMI, and to continue to strengthen relations in the future.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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…

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 Office for Security and Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) Chief, 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 13 member nations (as of October 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), UK, USA.

====

Canada To Spend Nearly Half Billion Dollars On U.S. Military Satellites

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/26/ottawa-to-spend-up-to-477m-on-u-s-military-satellites/

National Post
October 26, 2011

Ottawa to spend up to $477M on U.S. military satellites
By Lee Berthiaume

-“After Afghanistan and Libya, our efforts in those two countries have proven that the exchange of information between headquarters and deployed elements is critical to modern military operations and their success,” said Daniel Blouin, a spokesman for Canada’s Department of National Defence.
-The federal government is looking to create a two-satellite system over the Arctic to provide Canada with improved military communication services and aid in defence operations.

OTTAWA: The federal government is planning to spend as much as $477-million to participate in a U.S.-led military satellite program that has been subject to delays and cost overruns over the past decade, Postmedia News has learned.

The Wideband Global Satellite system has been advertised by the U.S. Defense Department as a communications system for “U.S. warfighters, allies and coalition partners during all levels of conflict, short of nuclear war.”

The idea is to have as many as nine military satellites hovering over different parts of the world, ready to provide high-frequency bandwidth for U.S. and allied forces wherever they may be operating.

Daniel Blouin, a spokesman for Canada’s Department of National Defence, said the Canadian Forces has identified improved communication capabilities as a necessity.

“After Afghanistan and Libya, our efforts in those two countries have proven that the exchange of information between headquarters and deployed elements is critical to modern military operations and their success,” Blouin said.

“So, in order to meet that intent…we’re seeking out an agreement with international allies that will provide Canadian forces with access to an international constellation of satellites.”

If Canada does join the Wideband Global Satellite System, or WGS, it will be the latest ally to get onboard the project.

Australia agreed in 2007 to contribute more than $800 million US to pay for the sixth satellite in return for a portion of the system’s overall bandwidth. New Zealand, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands also have expressed interest.

Several weeks ago, Cabinet gave Defence Minister Peter MacKay permission to pay up to $477-million to ensure Canadian participation.

The federal government is looking to create a two-satellite system over the Arctic to provide Canada with improved military communication services and aid in defence operations.

Blouin said the Polar Communications and Weather Mission may complement the WGS, which does not cover the High Arctic, but the two systems are separate.

The U.S. military’s intention to secure allied participation in the WGS is no secret.

“Our close ally Australia has bought into the system, and the [U.S.] Air Force is in the final phases of developing similar arrangements with several other allies,” Gregory Schulte, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, told a conference in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4.

The second satellite, positioned over the Middle East and Afghanistan, was declared operational in June 2009 and the third, placed over the Atlantic Ocean, in March 2010.

The assessment also says the cost per satellite has increased 27.2 per cent, and the overall project is 39.5 per cent above budget projections.

The program is now expected to cost more than $3.5 billion US. The U.S. military has asked Congress for $469 million US for the WGS for the coming fiscal year alone.

Liberal defence critic John McKay said he was worried about handing too much control over Canadian capabilities to the U.S.

“The thing that comes to mind immediately is the vulnerabilities that come with sharing your sovereignty with the Americans, which is essentially what you’re doing,” he said.

By participating in such a program, he said, there’s a risk of making Canada more likely to become involved in future U.S. military operations.

====

Afghan War: NATO Soldier Killed, Five Wounded

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/10/28/nato-service-member-killed-in-afghanistan/

Voice of America News
October 28, 2011

NATO Service Member Killed in Afghanistan

NATO said Friday a roadside blast has killed one of its service members in southern Afghanistan.

The international coalition did not give any other details.

Separately, Afghan officials said Friday Taliban insurgents have killed an Afghan interpreter in an attack on a U.S.-run base in Kandahar city.

NATO says five service members, a U.S. contractor and two Afghan security guards were wounded in the attack that began Thursday.

At least three armed militants fired shots at the base from a nearby building. The interior ministry said two of the attackers were killed by security forces.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said the assault continued for several hours, with the attackers also firing rocket-propelled grenades at the base.

The Kandahar base is home to NATO troops and a provincial reconstruction team.

A nearby road was blocked as security forces worked to defuse explosives found in vehicles parked near the base.

====

Australia: Obama To Secure New Military Bases

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/obama-visit-australias-far-north

Agence France-Presse/Radio Netherlands
October 27, 2011

Obama to visit Australia’s far north

US President Barack Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit Australia’s Northern Territory next month, the White House said on Thursday.

Obama will visit Darwin after making a previously announced address to the Australian parliament in Canberra during his one night stay in Australia, a trip that has been postponed twice under the pressure of US domestic politics.

The president’s visit on November 16 and 17 will mark the 60th anniversary of the military alliance between Australia and the United States and stress an increasing US diplomatic and military focus on the Pacific region.

Obama will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali following Australia for the East Asia summit and will begin his visit by hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit (APEC) in his native Hawaii.

====

Ten Years Of NATO Policing The Mediterranean Sea

http://www.aco.nato.int/ten-years-of-operation-active-endeavour-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
October 27, 2011

Ten years of Operation Active Endeavour

Naples: “On 26 October 2001 – ten years ago today – Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) was formally activated. It was a clear and solid demonstration of NATO’s resolve and solidarity…,” said Vice Admiral Rinaldo VERI, Commander Allied Maritime Command Naples and Commander OAE…

The activation followed the 12 September implementation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty following the 11 September Terrorist attacks against the United States. For the first time in NATO’s history, Alliance assets were deployed in support of Article 5 operations. NATO contributed Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft (AWACS) to the United States and also deployed elements of its Standing Naval Forces to the Eastern Mediterranean. AWACS provided air surveillance and early warning capability by transmitting data to command and control centres on land, sea and in the air. The Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED), which was participating in Exercise Destined Glory 2001 off the southern coast of Spain, was re-assigned in order to provide an immediate NATO military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

There have been significant milestones in the development of OAE. These include the 29 April 2003 decision to begin boarding operations…

On 16 March 2004, NATO announced the extension of the Area of Operations to the whole Mediterranean and that EAPC/PfP Partners, Mediterranean Dialogue countries and other selected nations would be asked to support OAE.

Furthermore at the NATO Summit in Istanbul, on 28 June 2004, the Alliance decided to enhance Operation Active Endeavour, including through the contributory support of partner countries, including the Mediterranean Dialogue countries…

The first flagship of OAE was HMS Chatham and since then numerous surface and sub-surface assets have rotated through the Operation. (HMS Chatham was flagship of STANAVFORMED which then also comprised FGS Bayern, frigate, Germany; HS Formion, destroyer, Greece; ITS Aliseo, frigate, Italy; HNLMS Van Nes, frigate, The Netherlands; SPS Santa Maria, frigate, Spain; TCG Giresun, frigate, Turkey; USS Elrod, frigate, US.)

Today the SNMG2 flagship, TCG ORUCREIS along with FGS SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN is patrolling the Mediterranean Sea in support of OAE.

Building on the experience acquired over the years, OAE has become largely network-based and has developed a considerable Maritime Situational Awareness through the use of modern tracking and analysis technologies. It also benefits enormously from cooperation with non-NATO contributing nations. However, surge operations remain an integral part of OAE…in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Vice Admiral Veri: “The ship remains at the centre of NATO’s presence in the Mediterranean but it is what lies behind and supports this presence which is now so very impressive. Networking both in the sense of NATO networking with other countries and organisations, as well as in the sense of computer and digital networks, gives me a vision of the Area of Operations that just wasn’t there for the first commander of OAE. And although they are two distinct operations, the situational awareness that OAE has given me has been of enormous use during the maritime operations carried out in Operation Unified Protector.”

====

Berlin: NATO Chief Discusses Global Operations, Chicago Summit

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-4F77E646-AE153B26/natolive/news_79963.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 27, 2011

NATO Secretary General discusses NATO operations in Berlin

-The Secetary General praised the reforms conducted by Germany in order to make its armed forces leaner, more capable and more deployable.

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Berlin on Thursday, 27 October and met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in order to discuss Alliance operations and preparations for the summit to be held in Chicago next year.

The Secretary General thanked the Chancellor particularly for Germany’s commitment to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and in Kosovo.

“Your troops are doing a magnificent job”, the Secretary General said. “I saw that for myself recently in Kosovo. Over the past 12 years, KFOR, now led by Germany, has helped turned one of Europe’s hotspots into a largely peaceful place. And we will not allow recent tensions to turn back the clock.”

The Secretary General noted that Germany is the third largest troop contributor to NATO’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan.

The Secretary General also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle and with Minister of Defence Thomas de Maizière.

During his meetings, the Secretary General also discussed how to make sure that the Alliance remains flexible and effective in order to counter modern challenges. The Secetary General praised the reforms conducted by Germany in order to make its armed forces leaner, more capable and more deployable.

“The reforms show that Germany is committed to spending better on defence, even when we may not be able to spend more”, the Secretary General said. “This is what I call Smart Defence and it will be a key item on the agenda for our summit in Chicago next May.”

In Berlin the Secretary General also addressed the NATO Review Conference organised by the German Foundation SWP.

====

New Maginot Line: Top U.S. Cyberwarrior Stresses Integration With Allies

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65846

U.S. Department of Defense
October 27, 2011

Cyber Defense Requires Teamwork, Agility, Alexander Says
By Donna Miles

-“We are the guys who helped create the Internet. We are the ones that built that. We ought to be the first ones to secure it.”

WASHINGTON: The commander of U.S. Cyber Command called for increased collaboration among the government, industry and America’s allies in developing more defensible networks to confront escalating global cyber threats.

Current network security protections aren’t nimble enough to defend against the exploding number of threats, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander told government, academic and private-sector professionals yesterday at the Security Innovation Network’s Showcase 2011 conference here.

“It’s like the Maginot Line,” Alexander explained, referring to the fortifications France built along its border with Germany after World War I with hopes of preventing another cross-border attack. Germany responded during World War II by doing the unexpected: attacking instead through the Ardennes Forest.

“That’s the same thing that happens in your network,” Alexander said, noting in cyberspace adversaries have “all the advantages.” They can scan networks, he said, and identify what software is being run, and pounce when they identify a vulnerability.

“That’s the dynamic we have to change,” Alexander said.

“We are the guys who helped create the Internet. We are the ones that built that. We ought to be the first ones to secure it.”

The White House’s International Strategy for Cyberspace and Defense Department strategy represent a start in that direction, Alexander said. But he emphasized that developing more defensible systems isn’t something the Defense Department or any other entity can do alone.

It requires government agencies working as a team, he said, while also working with industry and U.S. allies and partners.

Alexander cited the explosion of network communications around the world. As of March 31, 30 percent of the world population had access to the Internet. During 2010, 107 trillion emails were sent – that’s 294 billion per day. By 2015, he said, it’s predicted that there will be twice as many Internet devices as people on the planet.

Such growth, the general said, has created vulnerabilities which leave no sector immune – from hackings at well-respected companies such as Nasdaq, RSA Security and Booz Allen Hamilton to denial-of-service attacks in ***Estonia, Georgia*** and elsewhere.

[A] pilot program in which the Defense Department shares classified threat intelligence with industry is helping to increase military cyber defenses and preventing enemy intrusions into other sensitive government networks.

Alexander called the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot, launched in partnership with the Homeland Security Department, “a huge step”…

====

North Atlantic Council Visit: “Georgia Will Definitely Join NATO”

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24076

Civil Georgia
October 27, 2011

NATO Envoy Speaks of Ties with Georgia

-“In principle the decision is already made by all the [NATO-member states] that Georgia will join NATO,” Baramidze said referring to 2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision.

Tbilisi: The North Atlantic Council (NAC) will hail Georgia’s progress in reforms when this senior decision-making body of NATO visits Tbilisi in two weeks, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said on October 27.

“This visit by the North Atlantic Council, led by the General Secretary, will be first and foremost a visible sign of commitment the NATO has to our partnership with Georgia,” he said at a joint news conference with Georgian State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues Giorgi Baramidze.

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and diplomats from NATO’s senior decision-making body, North Atlantic Council, will visit Georgia on November 9-10.

“I am quite sure that President Saakashvili and the leadership of the country will hear from the North Atlantic Council that they are very positive on the reform progress that Georgia has achieved over the past year,” said Appathurai, who is in Tbilisi to prepare the upcoming visit.

Appathurai said he would not start speculating on what might happen during the NATO summit in Chicago in May, 2012 and whether it would be possible or not for Georgia to receive a Membership Action Plan. He, however, said that the Chicago summit would reaffirm “very clearly” the decision of the 2008 Bucharest summit that Georgia would one day join the Alliance.

He said that NATO’s assessment of Georgia’s implementation of its Annual National Programme (ANP) was in overall positive. ANP, a mechanism of cooperation introduced in December 2008, outlines reform targets; it is drawn by the Georgian government and reviewed annually by NATO. The document is not publicly available. Appathurai said that progress in reforms would create “a positive environment” for taking next steps in NATO-Georgia relations.

Giorgi Baramidze, the Georgian state minister for Euro-Atlantic integration issues, said that because of progress in reforms Georgia “deserves” to be granted “a serious step forward” on its path of NATO integration.

He, however, also said that Georgia already had all the necessary mechanisms with NATO – Annual National Programme and NATO-Georgia Commission – required for the country to carry out reforms in order to prepare for membership. 

Referring to the Membership Action Plan (MAP), which Georgia was not granted at NATO’s 2008 Bucharest summit, Baramidze said that “the name of the mechanism does not matter.”

“What matters is what we are doing; what matters is that Georgia’s democratic institutions are being upgraded to NATO standards,” Baramidze said, adding that skepticism of some countries towards Georgia’s NATO integration is related to the timeframe and not to the principle itself.

“In principle the decision is already made by all the [NATO-member states] that Georgia will join NATO,” Baramidze said referring to 2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision.

He said that bar set for Georgia “is higher” than it was for other aspirant countries, “but this bar is not so high not to overcome it.”

“There should not be inadequate expectations about NATO accession. But there should not be frustration either, because Georgia will definitely join NATO. It will take not too much time, but not too little time either. It will take several years; we have to pass upcoming elections [in next two years] and after that the process becomes easier. We are focused on reforms,” Baramidze said.

====

U.S. Troops Lead 200 Bulgarian Counterparts In Jump Exercise

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123277140

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
October 27, 2011

Joint jumpmasters soar in sky with Bulgarian armed forces
by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria: A successful personnel drop starts with proper preparation and that can only be accomplished through practice.

With the help of one Airman from the 435th Contingency Response Group, four Soldiers and two sailors, more than 200 Bulgarian armed forces members took a dive out of a C-130J Super Hercules.

According to Staff Sgt. Myron Austin, a jumpmaster for the 435th CRG, nothing else compares to it.

“Most people don’t want to do it; for me, it’s something different,” said Austin. “Being in a unit like the CRG, provides me an airborne capability that I wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise.”

With the conclusion of Operation Thracian Fall 2011, Austin has been involved in four exercises and operations involving coalition and fellow armed services jumps…

After the two weeks of the OTF11 jumps were complete, five of the Army jumpmasters came back to the jump site to for some on-the-job training with the Bulgarian parajumpers.

The 435th CRG played an integral part of accomplishing the training, from the drop-zone team who set up the area where the jumpers land, to gathering the available jumpmasters from the Kaiserslautern Military Community, including the Navy and Army.

As the lead airborne planner, gathering those jumpmasters was Austin’s main objective before the operation started.

====

Push For Global Democracy May Backfire On U.S.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/681252/Quest-for-global-democracy-may-backfire-on-US.aspx

Global Times
October 27, 2011

Quest for global democracy may backfire on US
By Aaron Adams

-Washington must ask itself which it values more: promoting democracy around the world, or its empire. Burdened by massive deficits while paying for an already overstretched military, it would be the height of folly for the US to assume it can always have both.

It is a basic assumption among US political leaders that a democratic China would only contribute to maintaining the US-led international order. But this logic stems from the belief first, that the wishes of the Chinese people would be consistent with the security goals of the United States, and second, that democratic governments are inherently peaceful. Yet the US insistence that Western-style democracy is a panacea for world conflict will ultimately undermine international stability as well as US national interests.

In their book, Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go To War (2005), and their earlier journal articles, such as “Democratization and the Danger of War,” Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder presented extensive research to prove that states transitioning from authoritarianism to democracy have been twice as likely to go to war. More importantly for China, they found that when great powers have democratized almost every one of them “has gone on the warpath during the initial phase of its entry into the era of mass politics.” A key reason, the authors observed, is that leaders of democratizing nations have more incentives to exploit nationalist passions to win elections.

Belief among Americans that the triumph of democracy in China would solve our two countries’ foreign policy differences also stems from the assumption that any desire on the part of everyday Chinese citizens for a more assertive foreign policy is a fabrication by the Communist Party of China.

This misconception marred US press coverage of the reaction of the Chinese people to the 1999 bombing of their embassy in Belgrade. Sinologist Peter Hayes Gries noted that “a brief review of major US editorials (during the demonstrations in China) reveals a consensus view: The Chinese people are not angry with America; they were, rather, manipulated by Communist propaganda.”

A typical example appeared in the Boston Globe, attributing the outrage in the streets of China to “state-supervised anger that had no constituency among the majority of the Chinese people.” The American press also failed to give any credit to the Chinese government for its role in calming public passions and bringing the riots under control.

As many Chinese know already, the cautious realists that lead their nation are a model of restraint, considering the temptations of popular nationalism in a rising power, particularly one that has grievances over unresolved historical injustices and current US policies. If the leadership in Beijing had to constantly cater to the latest poll numbers, China’s foreign policy would be far more hawkish and far less patient.

Popular nationalism and frustration with China’s current and past treatment on the world stage are not the invention of China’s leaders, but originate from the concerns of the people.

A survey of Chinese social science professors, published in the academic journal Asian Perspectives in 2006, asked what the main reasons were for the revival of nationalism in their country. The most popular answer, chosen by 53 percent of respondents, was that the rise of nationalism was a defensive reaction to both the West’s viewing China as a threat and Japan’s overall refusal to apologize for the commission of past war crimes, such as the Nanjing Massacre.

Although China’s current policy of a “peaceful rise” is arguably best for China’s long-term interests, it does not poll as well among the Chinese people as an aggressive foreign policy. Huanqiu.com conducted a survey last June of over 23,000 Chinese citizens, asking how they wanted their government to resolve the South China Sea disputes. 80 percent favored resolving the issue through military action, while only 18 percent supported the current cautious foreign policy.

If, in such an environment, electoral politics were to dictate foreign policy, China’s leaders could attempt to tap into nationalist sentiment by outbidding each other with ever more strident proposals for resolving the Taiwan or South China Sea issues.

By lending money to the US at generous interest rates, China has made itself a critical part of US attempts to recover from the current financial crisis. In a democracy, the expressed will of the Chinese people might favor halting new loans to the US, and instead, spending China’s $2 trillion surplus to become a dominant military power, as the authors of Unhappy China, a runaway best-seller, advocated. If this were the outcome, would the US still cheer the arrival of Chinese democracy?

Washington must ask itself which it values more: promoting democracy around the world, or its empire. Burdened by massive deficits while paying for an already overstretched military, it would be the height of folly for the US to assume it can always have both.

The author is a researcher with the history department of the University of Washington.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Louis Aragon: The peace that forces murder down to its knees for confession

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

====

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

Louis Aragon: Selections on war

====

Louis Aragon
Song of Peace (1954)
Translation by Sylvia Manning

I say the peace pale and sudden
Like a happiness long dreamt of
Like a happiness you barely
Believe you’ve found

I say the peace like a woman
I’d open the door then all at once
Her two arms around my soul and
Around my neck

I say the peace an old window
That rattles on a fine morning
When the whole world has only the
Fragrance of thyme

I say the peace so it can light
Your steps during this new season
But like an ordinary thing
In any home

For the birds and for the brushes
Green and black above the waters
And for the busy little fish
In the rushes

I say the peace for all the stars
For every hour of the day
Every roof tile and for you
Shadow and love

I say the peace for childhood games
Where you run and jump, laugh and cry
Where you lose your train of thought on
The wide prairie

I say the peace but this is strange
This feeling of fear that I have
Because my heart itself changes
Lightly lightly

I say the peace howsoever
Precarious fragile voiceless
Because it’s like a bee who works
Though it’s unseen

Just a sudden breeze through the leaves
Just a simple hesitation
Ray of sunlight on the threshold
Of our passions

Peace falters as though uncertain
Like steps of a convalescent
Still attuned to disabling wounds
And how they bled

The war lets its tight reins go slack
The war has even lost its fight
What’s left is a dull silence
Poorly cushioned

Wagons that go to the barracks
Are still making a little noise
We will dance in the alfalfa
Until night falls

You will see tomorrow you will
The school children on the playgrounds
And lovely weather though not what
Was predicted

Now we will fight for a new youth
Of houses and some happy days
And for lovers who want to have
Lots of children

We will pull it back together
Through the burnt marvels of our world
Life will come around without your
Having to beg

Soon now you will want me to name
The new palaces we will make
The tunes in the people’s minds
And our pipedreams

And the immense laboratory
Where the miracles are human
And the pillars of history
Are in our hands

I know I know it’s all to do
In this century where Death made camp
And to look for Peace at all
Is so far out

Brief scattered fires die dully down
One can easily see how it is
Someone always offers the wolf
A place to live

Someone somewhere always dreams of
Being the fist on the table
And thus beneath the cloth of truce
Nothing happens

I know I know what one can say
And the risk of falling asleep
How man at his best and his worst
Is the problem

I know but it’s the Peace even so
The monster retreats before us
This that I defend that I love
Lives forever

It’s the Peace people know about
Vaguely everything more or less
Against the master for the slave
To be witness

It’s the Peace of the people
Deaf from roar of deepest liberty
It’s a silence of drumbeats
When May’s begun

It’s the Peace hued by evidence
Where the murderer left his name
To whom the veil of the widow
Cries out her No!

It’s the Peace that forces murder
Down to its knees for confession
And that cries out with the victims
Stop the killing!

Categories: Uncategorized

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

October 27, 2011 5 comments

====

NATO’s Global Juggernaut: Dominos Falling, Hunting Season In Full Swing

Bodies Of 267 Libyan Loyalists Found In Sirte Mass Graves

Bacchanal of Blood: Putin Condemns World Media’s Coverage Of Gaddafi Killing

Might Is Right: Libya, New NATO Model For Syria And Beyond

America’s Pastime Is War: After Libya, Syria…Iran

War Against Syria: Risky Gamble For The U.S.

Oakland Versus Damascus: Time For No-Fly Zone Over U.S.

Venezuela Won’t Recognize Libyan Regime NATO Has Installed

Military Partner: NATO Validates Tunisian Election

Ukraine: NATO Wants To Oversee Legal System, Dictate Verdicts

U.S. Aegis Class Guided Missile Ship Visits Bulgaria

Georgian Defense Conference: NATO Agenda From Lisbon To Chicago

U.S., NATO Preside Over Georgia Defense And Security Conference

Georgia: NATO Caucasus Representative Prepares Chieftain’s Visit

NATO Head’s Visit To Demonstrate Support For Georgia

Azerbaijan, Turkey Finalize Caspian-EU Direct Energy Route

EU Holds Talks With Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan On Trans-Caspian Pipeline

Eastern Partnership: “South Caucasus Very Important For European Union”

Azerbaijan Euro-Atlantic Council Conducts Inaugural Meeting

Canada, U.S. Jointly Host NATO’s Largest-Ever International Non-Lethal Capabilities Technology Showcase

Afghan War: NATO Base Under Attack In Kandahar

Pakistan Fires Warning Shots At NATO Helicopters In FATA

Pentagon Strengthens Military Ties With Cambodia, ASEAN

====

NATO’s Global Juggernaut: Dominos Falling, Hunting Season In Full Swing

http://rt.com/politics/columns/bridge-too/nato-gaddafi-us-yugoslavia/

RT
October 27, 2011

NATO hunting season in full swing
Robert Bridge

Like dominoes they are falling: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Even al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was taken out in a surprise ambush by US special forces at his secret hideout inside of nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Since its first act of aggression on the territory of a sovereign state (on February 28, 1994, NATO aircraft shot down four jets in the Bosnian War) each successive NATO operation is revealing an increasingly disturbing trend: the leaders of the condemned countries are meeting violent, even barbaric ends. Has the rule of law taken a back seat in NATO’s global juggernaut?

Compare the ‘natural’ death of Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Serbia and Yugoslavia, with that of the grisly murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Shortly after the end of the Yugoslavian War, which saw a massive NATO aerial bombardment that lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999, Milosevic was sent to The Hague to stand trial for charges of war crimes. Milosevic surprised his accusers by deciding to represent himself in the five-year trial. The case, however, abruptly ended without a verdict when the former four-term leader died of an apparent heart attack.

Although NATO’s participation in the Yugoslav War was flawed from the start (it did not have the full support of the UN Security Council), at least Milosevic was treated to a semblance of civilized legal procedure and decorum. Incidentally, Yugoslavia filed a complaint at the International Court of Justice against ten NATO member countries (Belgium, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United States). The Court did not decide upon the case, however, because it ruled that Yugoslavia was not a member of the UN during the war.

NATO’s next violation of international law occurred in Iraq, where the United States led a wild goose chase in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, which failed to materialize.

The Bush administration was then obliged to change its mission statement in Iraq to “democracy building” – an interesting concept from a man who entered the White House due to his selection by a right-leaning Supreme Court, as opposed to his election by We the People.

Meanwhile, Iraq President Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a hole in Tikrit, whereupon he was treated to the humiliation of a medical examination in full view of media cameras. It was a nice gesture, but Hussein was ultimately hanged on Dec. 30, 2006 by the Iraqi interim government. Many observers questioned why the Baathist leader was not granted a ‘fair trial’ at the ICC as opposed to a show trial arranged by his political opponents.

That brings us to Libya, where the world was just treated to ghastly images of Muammar Gaddafi being torn apart by a wild mob moments after his capture. Not only does this barbaric execution – the autopsy revealed Gaddafi died from a gunshot wound to the head – speak volumes about what the future holds for this North African nation (which was doing fairly well for itself with free healthcare and education before the civil war began) it shows exactly how callous NATO has become in its coordination of these jolly little wars.

Although NATO was the primary firepower behind the Libyan opposition’s victory, it did nothing to protect Muammar Gaddafi and ensure that he received a fair trial at the ICC. This was in its power. NATO could have made specific demands on Libya’s opposition that it wanted Gaddafi taken alive. But, possibly not wanting a replay of another highly publicized international trial (ala Slobodan Milosevic), NATO even attacked Gaddafi’s caravan as it was attempting to flee from Sirte. The United Nations resolution never mentioned NATO taking sides in the civil war. It only mentioned that the western military bloc was empowered to “protect civilians.”

Commenting on Gaddafi’s demise, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, 85, denounced NATO for its role in the overthrow of Libyan leader, saying the “brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression the history of humanity has known.”

Castro also expressed indignation at the killing of Gaddafi and the subsequent treatment of his body, which he said was “kidnapped and exhibited like a trophy of war, a conduct that violates the most elemental principles of Muslim norms and other religious beliefs.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called images of Gaddafi being beaten by the mob “disgusting.”

The killing of Gaddafi was not the first time that a wanted individual received what could best be described as barbaric treatment at the hands of his enemies.

As horrible as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was, what did the US forces who killed him at his ‘secret’ hideout in Pakistan have to gain by not taking him out alive? By all accounts, bin Laden was unarmed and offered no resistance during the much-hyped gunfight. After his summary execution, his body was dumped into the sea, yet flying him back to Afghanistan alive would have been a much shorter trip. And imagine all the secrets bin Laden took to his grave!

Yes. Osama bin Laden was suspected of committing terrible crimes, but what did his enemies gain by killing him and then disposing of his body in a way that would only further enrage his followers? The answer is simple: nothing.

When will NATO and its member states begin to behave better than their avowed enemies?

====

Bodies Of 267 Libyan Loyalists Found In Sirte Mass Graves

http://en.ria.ru/world/20111027/168149469.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 27, 2011

Bodies of 267 Gaddafi loyalists found in Sirte

The bodies of 267 people have been found buried in mass graves in Sirte…Fox News said.

Most of the dead were supporters of Gaddafi and had been executed, Fox News reported late on Wednesday citing a Red Cross source who spoke with an online Libyan newspaper.

The discovery of mass graves in Sirte and its surroundings comes a day after Gaddafi and one of his sons were buried at a secret location in the Libyan desert.

====

Bacchanal of Blood: Putin Condemns World Media’s Coverage Of Gaddafi Killing

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111026/168144832.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 26, 2011

Putin condemns footage showing Gaddafi death

MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday condemned the way world media covered the death of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“Nearly the entire Gaddafi family was killed. His corpse was shown on all world TV channels. It’s impossible to look at it without disgust!” Putin said at a meeting of the coordination council of the All-Russian People’s Front.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, died shortly after being captured alive by National Transitional Council fighters near his hometown of Sirte last week.

Putin said journalists should be aware of what they are doing when they show such footage.

“Inside of their community, people should realize what they are doing and bear moral responsibility,” he said.

====

Might Is Right: Libya, New NATO Model For Syria And Beyond

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-10/26/c_131214016.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 26, 2011

Syria next?
By Li Hongmei

Media worldwide have been bent on speculation since Colonel Gaddafi was dragged out of a drainpipe and met a violent end: the killing of Gaddafi would send shivers down the spine of Syria’s al-Assad regime.

This coincided with the tit-for-tat ambassador withdrawal between Damascus and Washington.

The U.S. withdrew its ambassador to Syria on October 24 over “fears for his safety” in the face of what the U.S. said was a growing campaign of incitement against him being orchestrated by the Syrian regime.

The Syrian government gave a quick response the same day, ordering home its envoy to Washington for the sake of consulting on its relations with Washington, actually raising the diplomatic stakes.

With NATO operations in Libya coming to an end, which is said to conclude on October 31, some NATO members somewhat suggested Syria could be the next target.

France, which started the air strikes on Libya, is currently pushing for the UN to take “responsibilities” and sanction the “bloody repression” in Syria.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was cited as saying, “France is asking the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities and [enforce] sanction[s against] the bloody repression.”

“I hope we will soon reach an agreement on multilateral action that can step up pressure on the Syrian regime,” Juppe said.

U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden, last week triggered the speculation by saying that the military model used in Libya – US air power in support of rebels on the ground backed by French and British special forces – could be used elsewhere.

Further, U.S. senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain has also hinted that there is a real chance of intervention in Syria.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, he said: “Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria.”

It seems that NATO, especially the U.S., finally relished and so cherished the rare victorious fruit from its battle fronts on foreign soils, and Libya acts as an outlandish model which has satisfied the appetite of the powers involved for the unchallenged position of super-military might, as well as its logic: Might is Right.

But, whether or not NATO would recalibrate its focus upon Syria is not merely a question of its willingness and ambition to sweep away all the “anti-West regimes”, but more of a question whether or not the Libya military model could be replicated elsewhere, and how far the proxy war can go.

At least, one thing needs pondering: To launch operations is to “protect civilian lives” from “bloody repression”, but is “friendly casualties” – civilians killed through mistaken bombing, accident and negligence – any less bloody?

====

America’s Pastime Is War: After Libya, Syria…Iran

http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2011/10/26/after-libya-syria

Asian Tribune
October 27, 2011

By S.H. Moulana

Riyadh: On a recent visit to Jordan, US Republican Senator John McCain stopped short of referring to striking Syria by US or NATO, but said, “there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered” against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

McCain said that military action to protect civilians in Syria might be considered now that NATO’s air campaign in Libya is ending.

The US seem to be having a very busy schedule. It started with Afghanistan, then it moved to Iraq, followed by Libya and now eying Syria with the intention of having a go at Iran too. The senator, who is a Vietnam War veteran, has said, “No issue unifies the American people more than the need to protect our friends, our allies — Israel — from the comprehensive threat posed by the Iranian regime.” It looks that the US will never get fed up with war; in short, it has become a pastime for it. However, all these wars are fought not to protect its own borders but thousands of miles away in foreign countries.

The excuse being fighting a “threat to American security”! In the meantime, one wonders why it does not worry about the Yemeni people as much as it worried about the Libyans and the Syrians. The region has become a happy hunting ground for the warmongers because of the two impotent organizations, namely the Arab League and the OIC in which these affected or threatened countries are members.

====

War Against Syria: Risky Gamble For The U.S.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7628570.html

China.org.cn
October 27, 2011

War in Syria: Gamble for US

-If the West launches a war in Syria, it probably will have to pay a price that is much higher than the price it had paid for the Libyan War. The war probably will even turn into a blasting fuse and lead the entire Middle East into irremediable chaos.

The U.S. State Department recently withdrew its ambassador in Syria Robert Ford because of serious concerns about his personal safety.

It seems that the recent changes of situations are proving that Syria will be the next Libya. Since Qaddafi was killed, the contradictions between the United States and Syria have been intensifying. Both countries have withdrawn their ambassadors. As the U.S. ambassador in Syria was being withdrawn, the severity of United Sates’ accusations against Syria is also escalating. John McCain, a senator of the Republican Party of the United States, said that Syria is a focal point of the United States’ attention and the military operation is an option for the United States.

According to the current situations faced by Syria, including the sanctions and intimidations from the United States, United Kingdom, France and other countries and the prepared Syrian rebels, it seems that Bashar al-Assad will be the next Qaddafi.

Though it may not have the same natural resources as Libya, Syria is important for its strategic geographic position. If the West launches a war in Syria, it probably will have to pay a price that is much higher than the price it had paid for the Libyan War. The war probably will even turn into a blasting fuse and lead the entire Middle East into irremediable chaos. Therefore, it is a gamble for the West to launch a war in Syria, and it is uncertain that whether the West will win or not.

Some media agencies and experts said that the losses were greater than gains in the Libya war. Particularly, the serious injury and death of the long-term leader Muammar Qaddafi have enabled some countries to see through many things. Syrian President Bashar Assad has perhaps been very impressed with Qaddafi’s suffering just before and after his death. The miserable end of Qaddafi will only make Assad tougher.

The death toll in the Libya war has reached at least 30,000. If a war takes place in Syria, Assad, who is clearly aware of the consequences of failure, will perhaps take lessons from Qaddafi and try all means to fight the opposition. Such a mindset would likely result in a higher number of deaths and injuries related to the Syria war.

Syria has a far stronger military than Libya. Syria’s military is the strongest in the Arab world. If Assad resolves to fight to the end, the Syria war will be crueler than the Libya war, with more deaths and a longer duration.

At the same time, al-Assad may make the desperate move of attacking Israel. According to a report by the Israel-based Jerusalem Post in July, the Israeli intelligence agency found that the Syrian military was conducting unusual troop movements in border areas and might launch long-range ballistic missiles toward Israel. Israel said that Syria might want to distract domestic and international attention by fighting a war with Israel.

If a war in Syria occurs, blood, violence, and chaos will again become key buzzwords in the Middle East and North Africa. Under current circumstances, a Syrian war would cost Western powers dearly, and it would be an unwise move and a risky gamble to launch such a war.

====

Oakland Versus Damascus: Time For No-Fly Zone Over U.S.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/27/59455904.html

Voice of Russia
October 27, 2011

Damascus, Oakland and further on…
Boris Volkhonsky

-In the end, the only type of measures the U.S. establishment seems to resort to is teargas. But then, who can tell in what way Oakland is different from Damascus? And won’t this become a habitual practice for the governments of the “civilized” world to handle whatever challenges they may face in future?

“If Occupy Oakland was in Damascus, the U.S. State Department would be telling Wolf Blitzer (a famous CNN journalist and TV show host. – BV) how unacceptable it was to teargas peaceful marchers,” The Huffington Post writes citing a Twitter blogger.

In fact, what started as a marginal event and a kind of theatrical performance staged by a few dozen activists in New York some six weeks ago, has now grown into a global phenomenon no one can put a blind eye to. Protesters are marching in all major U.S. cities and all over Western Europe. Politicians are making conflicting remarks on the “Occupy” movement. Still, the exact goals of the protesters and a possible outcome of the protests remain unclear.

It is clear what they are against – the corporate greed, the unevenness of the public wealth’s distribution, the corrupt legal authorities and governing structures that have proved their complete impotence in the face of the crisis that erupted in 2008, but is far from being over yet.

It is even less clear what reaction is to be expected from local authorities confronting a phenomenon unheard-of in major Western nations since 1968. The recent events in Oakland, where the police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, show that the U.S. authorities are not too different in their methods than the much-condemned rulers of Syria. Some blame what happened in Oakland on Mayor Jean Quan, stating that was just an excess of zeal. But while the protests are gaining momentum, many more U.S. mayors might be ready to follow Ms. Quan’s example. At least, according to “Occupy Arrests” Twitter feed, there have already been more than 2,500 arrests world-wide, associated with the Occupy movement. How many are to follow?

The funny thing (if anything can be funny about the use of teargas) is that several weeks ago Jean Quan herself marched with the protesters – in line with Democratic Party policies to position the Occupy movement as a left-wing counter-balance to the Tea Party on the right. But despite the deep political distinction between the two, there is one thing they do have in common – that is, a complete distrust in the existing governing system.

The mistrust of the government is clearly demonstrated by all the latest polls. President Barack Obama enjoys the low rating of 46 percent. A slight consolation for him might be that the Congress is even less trusted – with only about 9 percent approval.

This trend is developing against the growing popularity of the “Occupy” movement. The latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows that 43 percent of Americans agree with the views of the movement.

As usually happens at crisis times, too many people and institutions seek to use the growing popularity of a public phenomenon they have never been associated with. For example, a married couple in Long Island has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register a trade mark “Occupy Wall Street”, seeing a potential of it becoming a global trend.

This only reminds of one the early 2000s, when Osama bin Laden’s portrait was printed on thousands of T-shirts in countries like Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden remained the most dreaded terrorist despite the fact that his face was looking out from T-shirts. Likewise, the “Occupy” movement still remains a growing trend and a growing threat to the establishment, while the establishment itself seems not to know how to handle it.

In the end, the only type of measures the U.S. establishment seems to resort to is teargas. But then, who can tell in what way Oakland is different from Damascus? And won’t this become a habitual practice for the governments of the “civilized” world to handle whatever challenges they may face in future?

====

Venezuela Won’t Recognize Libyan Regime NATO Has Installed

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/venezuelas-chavez-says-he-wont-recognize-new-government-in-libya/2011/10/26/gIQA7mzjJM_story.html

Associated Press
October 26, 2011

Venezuela’s Chavez says he won’t recognize new government in Libya

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that he won’t recognize Libya’s new government and predicted more war in the country.

“For us, there is no government in Libya,” Chavez told reporters at the presidential palace.

“We don’t recognize the government that NATO has installed. It’s installed a government through bombs in Libya and through a genocide…and an assassination,” Chavez said.

“Independently of who the president was, whether you or others didn’t like him…he was the president of Libya,” Chavez said.

He said the conflict has left behind a shattered country, and he predicted that it isn’t over.

“Libya isn’t under anyone’s control. A war will start there now,” Chavez said. “Well, it already started, imposed by NATO and the United Nations Security Council.”

“They destroyed that country, and now there’s chaos there, violence everywhere,” he added.

====

Military Partner: NATO Validates Tunisian Election

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-0EB95426-F45A5B10/natolive/news_79860.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 24, 2011

NATO Secretary General statement on the Tunisian elections

I congratulate the Tunisian people who participated in the country’s first free and fair elections for the Constituent Assembly. They showed their firm commitment to freedom and democracy. This is a historic achievement for the country that opened the way for the Arab Spring and another important milestone for the whole region.

Tunisia is a valued partner in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and I look forward to enhancing our partnership.

====

Ukraine: NATO Wants To Oversee Legal System, Dictate Verdicts

http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/83658/

Interfax-Ukraine
October 26, 2011

NATO member-states may discuss situation in Ukraine while assessing implementation of annual national plan, says Appathurai

-The official…said that during their work in Ukraine they would hold meetings not only with Ukrainian authorities, but also with representatives of the country’s opposition.

NATO member-states may discuss the latest political developments in Ukraine in the context of the country’s implementation of its annual national program for 2011, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday

The latest political events in Ukraine cannot but cause concern and the alliance has already expressed its position, Appathurai said. He stressed the importance of the observance of the law in Ukraine.

Appathurai didn’t rule out that these issues would be considered by the member-states during the assessment of the implementation of the annual national program for 2011, since it has a political aspect.

“The national annual plan has a section on legal reform – the reform of the judicial system. Thus, I cannot rule out the possibility that it will also be discussed when we put up this issue (the implementation of the annual national plan) for general discussion by the NATO countries,” he said.

The official said that the alliance’s delegation arrived in Ukraine to assess the implementation of the annual national program for 2011. Appathurai recalled that the national program deals with the reforms that Ukraine itself put on the plan.

The official also said that during their work in Ukraine they would hold meetings not only with Ukrainian authorities, but also with representatives of the country’s opposition.

====

U.S. Aegis Class Guided Missile Ship Visits Bulgaria

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63460

U.S. Navy
October 26, 2011

USS Philippine Sea Visits Bulgaria
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary A. Prill, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Sigonella

BURGAS, Bulgaria: Guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) arrived in Burgas, Oct. 25, for a regularly scheduled port visit as part of U.S. 6th Fleet’s strategy to enhance regional stability in the Black Sea by strengthening maritime partnerships.

During their visit to Burgas, the first by a U.S. Navy ship in 12 years, the crew will host a reception for local military and civilian officials.

“We have a very busy schedule to include a formal dinner with local military and civilian leaders,” said Capt. Stephen Shinego, commanding officer of Philippine Sea…

====

Georgian Defense Conference: NATO Agenda From Lisbon To Chicago

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=&Id=1178

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 26, 2011

Georgian Defence and Security Conference

On October 27-28 the Georgian Defence and Security Conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Iveria hotel. Georgian and international representatives will discuss the new challenges of the global security sphere, ongoing defence reforms of Georgia and achieved progress at the conference organized by the Ministry of Defence of Georgia…

Duirng two days the participants of the conference will discuss important issues such as the NATO Agenda from Lisbon to Chicago, Georgia’s NATO membership perspectives, the Black Sea Region in the Euroatlantic security dimension, challenges of the security sphere, the ongoing reform in the Georgian defence sphere, main trends in military education, view of civil society and its contribution, democratic control and existing challenges and the way ahead for the ISAF mission.

Along with the forum, the participants of the conference will also hold bilateral meetings with foreign visitors.

10:00    –     opening remarks – Vice Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze;
(During 10 minutes photo and video shooting are allowed)

10:45 –     Vice Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze meets with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense  Celeste Wallander;
(At the beginning of the conference cameramen will be allowed only for 3 minutes)

14:30        Minister of Defence of Georgia Bacho Akhalaia meets with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense  Celeste Wallander.
(At the beginning of the conference cameramen will be allowed only for 3 minutes)

After the end of the meeting, official statements will be made for media.

====

U.S., NATO Preside Over Georgia Defense And Security Conference

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43582&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 27, 2011

Tbilisi hosts Georgia`s Defense and Security Conference

The Hotel Radisson is hosting a conference dedicated to defense and security issues in Georgia. The Personal Representative of the NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, and the ambassador of the United States to Georgia John Bass are attending the conference along with Georgian authorities.

The conference was opened by the Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Baramidze. But before the beginning of the event, James Appathurai talked to journalists about the goals of the visit.

“This is a defense and security conference and shows the evolution of the strategic culture here in this country. The program will be very interesting and there are a number of very important issues to be addressed. I will have series of bilateral meetings to prepare the important visit coming up which is the visit of the North Atlantic Council led by the Secretary General.

“They are all very much looking forward to this meeting, because they want to do a few things. One is to reconfirm with this visit the commitment of the NATO to out partnership with this country. The principles of our partnership with Georgia have not changed and that includes the Bucharest decisions, which the allies continue to stand by. But we also want to learn more about very substantial reforms carried out by Georgian government,`

Appathurai said and emphasized the significance of Georgia`s participation in the ISAF mission.

====

Georgia: NATO Caucasus Representative Prepares Chieftain’s Visit

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=7&id=283210

Interfax
October 27, 2011

Appathurai preparing NATO secretary-general’s visit to Georgia

TBILISI: NATO Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai arrived in Tbilisi on Thursday to lay the groundwork for a November visit to Georgia by NATO Council members and the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Appathurai said that the first thing he would do upon arrival in Tbilisi would be to open an important conference on NATO’s role in security.

The NATO official said he planned to meet with Georgia’s leadership, and the main issue he would discuss at these meetings would be the NATO Secretary General’s upcoming visit.

—————————————————————————-

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43578&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 27, 2011

Appathurai arrived in Tbilisi

The Personal Representative of the NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, has arrived in Georgia this morning. Within the two-day visit, Appathurai will hold meetings with the Prime Minister, Vice PM and the National Security Secretary. Meetings will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs too.

One of the main goals of his second visit to the country is to prepare the upcoming visit of the NATO Secretary General to Georgia.

Appathurai is attending the defense and security conference at the Radisson Blu Iveria at the moment.

====

NATO Head’s Visit To Demonstrate Support For Georgia

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1950157.html

Trend News Agency
October 27, 2011

Special representative: NATO Secretary General’s visit to Tbilisi – display of support for Georgia
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s visit to Tbilisi is a display of the Alliance’s support for Georgia, NATO Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai told journalists in Tbilisi on Thursday.

“Georgia has achieved great successes with its NATO integration, reforming the country, and we recognize this success of Georgia,” he said.

However, Appathurai said Georgia will have to carry the reforms on the democratization of the country and armed forces to completion to meet NATO standards.

“We help Georgia in this matter. In this regard the Georgia-NATO Commission was established and we implement annual programs. All this brings Georgia close to accession to the Alliance,” he said.

====

Azerbaijan, Turkey Finalize Caspian-EU Direct Energy Route

http://en.trend.az/capital/viewpoint/1949697.html

Trend News Agency
October 26, 2011

Europe becomes closer to Azerbaijani gas
Trend Agency expert Seymur Aliyev

BAKU: Azerbaijan and Turkey have recently agreed on a package of documents in the gas sector. This has historical importance for these countries, Europe and Caspian Basin countries. In essence, these agreements, including the most important document on gas transit via Turkey, opened a direct route for Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

Moreover, by signing this agreement, Azerbaijan removed the last obstacles to implement several major energy projects, such as the development of the second stage of the giant field Shah Deniz and the construction of major export gas pipelines (Nabucco, ITGI, TAP). However, this agreement will facilitate the implementation of such projects as the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, the development of new gas fields in the Caspian Sea and, especially, in Azerbaijan.

The agreement on gas transit allows Baku to determine the route of transporting gas to Europe. Earlier, the Nabucco, ITGI, and TAP pipelines, included in the Southern Gas Corridor submitted their proposals to the Shah Deniz partners. A route will be chosen in the nearest future. Afterwards, a sanction will be given to implement the Shah Deniz second stage (before the end of this year).

Gas, produced from the field, is considered as the main source for the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor. It is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It intends to diversify the routes and sources of energy supplies and thereby increase EU ***energy security***.

Azerbaijan plans to supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe from 2017 within the Shah Deniz 2 project.

Another 6 billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey in addition to 6.6 billion cubic meters within the Shah Deniz first stage of development.

The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed June 4, 1996. Participants in the agreement are: BP (operator) – 25.5 percent, Statoil Hydro – 25.5 percent, NICO – 10 percent, Total – 10 percent, LukAgip – 10 percent, TPAO – 9 percent, SOCAR-10 percent.

Reserves of the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

Presently gas has been transported to Georgia and Turkey via the South Caucasus gas pipeline.

Peak production at the field is projected at 9 billion cubic meters in the first phase.

According to forecasts, gas production will be brought up to 24 billion cubic meters per year within the second stage of field development.

However, gas supplies to Europe may begin much earlier. Today, Turkey re-exports part of Azerbaijani gas to Greece. The signing of the transit agreement will allow transporting direct gas supplies to this country. There is an agreement between the countries participating in this process.

The transit agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey actually connected Europe and the Caspian region by an energy chain. This agreement opens the way to Europe not only for gas from the Shah Deniz field. Gas from such big Azerbaijani gas fields as Umid, Absheron and other prospective structures may be delivered through this way in the future.

This corridor will also transport natural gas from other countries of the Caspian region.

One can say that after signing the transit agreement, Europe has become even closer to Azerbaijan. Brussels is closer to Baku. It is explained by the necessity to diversify energy supplies to the EU to ensure energy security. This is also explained by the fact that Azerbaijan is the only real supplier of natural gas in this direction today. It has large proven gas reserves worth 2.6 billion cubic meters.

————————————————————————–

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1949881.html

Trend News Agency
October 26, 2011

Shah Deniz partners hail signing of gas agreements package between Azerbaijan and Turkey

BAKU: The partners in the development of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field welcome the signing of an agreement to purchase Azerbaijani gas, its transit and an intergovernmental agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey signed on Oct. 25, BP-Azerbaijan Foreign Relations Department head Tamam Bayatli told Trend on Wednesday.

“The signed agreements will contribute to BP and its partners’ efforts on the development of the Shah Deniz field, making a final investment decision on the implementation of the second phase of its development, as well as the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor projects,” Bayatli said.

She said the signing of these documents will allow the Shah Deniz consortium to continue choosing a pipeline for gas export to Europe, as well as approve agreement on gas sale with potential buyers.

The transit agreement is necessary for the implementation of projects of Azerbaijani gas transportation to Europe within the Southern Gas Corridor.

The gas produced during the second stage of Shah Deniz field development is regarded as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor project. Within Shah Deniz-2 project, Azerbaijan is planning to deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe.

====

EU Holds Talks With Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan On Trans-Caspian Pipeline

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158229

Azeri Pres Agency
October 27, 2011

European Union starts negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on Trans-Caspian gas pipeline
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: The European Union started negotiations on the legal basis of a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

APA reports that Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmud Mammadguliyev said that the first meeting in this framework was held in Brussels: “The first talks were held in the second week of October in Brussels. Representatives of the European Union, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan participated in the negotiations”.

On September 7, the EU approved the mandate given to the European Commission to negotiate an agreement for the legal framework for a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline system with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The Trans-Caspian pipeline is supposed to connect the Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan shores of the Caspian Sea to export gas via Azerbaijan to Europe. The expected annual capacity of the Tengiz (Kazakhstan) Turkmenbashi (Turkmenistan) Baku (Azerbaijan) Tbilisi (Georgia) Erzurum (Turkey) route amounts to 20-30 billion cubic meters of gas. The cost of the project is estimated at 7.9 billion euros.

On September 13, Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the realization of Trans-Caspian project was impossible till the determination of the legal status of the Caspian Sea by five Caspian littoral states.

====

Eastern Partnership: “South Caucasus Very Important For European Union”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158270

Azeri Press Agency
October 27, 2011

Philippe Lefort: “The South Caucasus is very important for the European Union”
Victoria Dementieva

-“Your region has an enormous potential. After the settlement of conflicts, which slows the development of the region, the region’s significance will increase more”.

Baku: “EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton dispalys a great interest in the South Caucasus region, that’s why this region is very important for the European Union”, European Union’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crises in Georgia Philippe Lefort, APA reports.

Lefort recalled that within the Eastern Partnership Summit held recently in Poland, Ashton met with leaders of all three South Caucasus countries: “She plans to visit the region, but the date of the visit is still unknown”.

Lefort said that the EU displayed great interest in the region especially because of the gas export project to Europe: “Your region has an enormous potential. After the settlement of conflicts, which slows the development of the region, the region’s significance will increase more”.

====

Azerbaijan Euro-Atlantic Council Conducts Inaugural Meeting

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158235

Azeri Press Agency
October 27, 2011

Azerbaijan Euro-Atlantic Council holds inaugural meeting
Ramil Mammadli

Baku: The inaugural meeting of Azerbaijan Euro-Atlantic Council has been held today. APA reports that the agenda of the meeting was approved after its official opening. Chairman of the organization’s organizing committee Sulhaddin Akbar delivered a speech. Then the members of inaugural meeting’s chairmanship, editorial staff and counting commission were elected.

The decision was passed after the discussions on inauguration of the council, the organization’s charter was approved after amendments and annexes. The organizing issues were also considered at the meeting. The council’s Board of Directors and Utilization Review Committee were elected. Former Chairman of Musavat Party’s Assembly Sulhaddin Akbar was elected the Chairman of Euro-Atlantic Council.

The Council’s Manifest was adopted at the conference. Then the current issues were considered.

The council was founded by 145 organizations represented in the NGO sector and an individual person.

====

Canada, U.S. Jointly Host NATO’s Largest-Ever International Non-Lethal Capabilities Technology Showcase

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/canada-and-us-jointly-host-natos-largest-ever-international-non-lethal-capabilities-technology-showcase-2011-10-26

Department of National Defence
October 26, 2011

Canada and U.S. Jointly Host NATO’s Largest Ever International Non-Lethal Capabilities Technology Showcase

OTTAWA, ONTARIO: The 2011 North American Technology Demonstration (NATD) being held at the Ottawa Convention Centre is bringing together a thousand of the world’s leaders in defence and security. NATO’s three-day technology demonstration is hosted jointly by the Department of National Defence (DND) and the United States Department of Defence’s Non-Lethal Weapons Program and is expected to attract military and civilian members from over 30 different countries. The 2011 NATD will showcase non-lethal capabilities that can be acquired and fielded quickly in support of NATO and counter-terrorism operations.

“Non-lethal capabilities provide operating forces with an important capability that reduces casualties and collateral damage, and saves lives in situations where distinguishing between adversaries and innocent civilians is difficult,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “In hosting this year’s conference, we are injecting over $1.5 million dollars into the Canadian economy.”

Canada is the chairman of the NATO Defence Against Terrorism (DAT) programme of work’s 11th Initiative on non-lethal capabilities. The programme of work for the DAT’s 11th initiative serves to provide NATO forces with better response capabilities that minimize collateral damage.

The schedule for the 2011 NATD includes NATO and Allied Working Group Meetings on 25 October, a conference and static display on 26 October, and a dynamic demonstration of non-lethal capabilities on 27 October.

====

Afghan War: NATO Base Under Attack In Kandahar

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/27/prt-office-kandahar-comes-under-attack

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 27, 2011

PRT office in Kandahar comes under attack
By Bashir Ahmad Naadem

KANDAHAR CITY: A group of militants attacked the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) office in southern Kandahar on Thursday afternoon, a witness said.

The American PRT office in the Shirkat Miwa area of the 10th police district came under gunfire at 2.30pm from fighters holed up in a house, Basir told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Kandahar deputy police chief, Col. Rahmatullah Atrafi, acknowledged the assault but gave no further details.

A Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, said a group of insurgents had launched an attack on a joint Afghan-ISAF base in the area. Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the armed clash was still ongoing.

====

Pakistan Fires Warning Shots At NATO Helicopters In FATA

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\10\27\story_27-10-2011_pg1_3

Agence France-Presse
October 27, 2011

NATO helicopters violate Pakistan’s airspace

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials on Wednesday accused NATO helicopters of violating Pakistan’s airspace over…North Waziristan, along the Afghan border.

“Two helicopters intruded several kilometres inside Pakistan territory in Datta Khel town around 2:00 am (2100 GMT Tuesday),” a military official told AFP.

The helicopters flew in from the eastern Afghan province of Paktia and circled the border village of Zoi Nara for more than five minutes, the official in the provincial capital Peshawar said.

A Pakistani military official said the choppers left after “warning shots” were fired by Pakistan troops. Officials said they were not attack helicopters.

====

Pentagon Strengthens Military Ties With Cambodia, ASEAN

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/27/c_131216282.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 27, 2011

Cambodia’s visit paves way for military cooperation: senior U.S. defense official

PHNOM PENH: The United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Robert Scher, said Thursday that his two-day visit to Cambodia is fruitful and creates opportunities for the two countries’ future bilateral military cooperation.

“It’s a fruitful visit. I participated in a series of productive meetings with the Cambodian Ministry of Defense and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to discuss the growing U.S.-Cambodia bilateral defense relationship and how the two countries can continue to make progress together,” he said during a press briefing to conclude his visit.

He said that he also had discussions about Cambodia’s objectives as it approaches to take over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Defense is committed to continuing to work with the RCAF to develop a professional force that will contribute to regional and international peace and stability, he said, adding that the United States’ overall commitment is to enhance its engagement in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.

“I’d like to stress that the department is committed to continuing to assist in building up the professional capacity of the RCAF…,” he said.

He said the visit reaffirmed to him the important role that a stable and prosperous Cambodia can and does play within ASEAN and the region.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Milton: Men levy cruel wars, wasting the earth, each other to destroy

October 27, 2011 1 comment

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

John Milton
From Paradise Lost

Oh shame to men! Devil with Devil damn’d
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of Heavenly Grace: and God proclaiming peace,
Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife
Among themselves, and levy cruel wars,
Wasting the earth, each other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes enow besides,
That day and night for his destruction wait.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011 3 comments

====

Libya: Clients Want NATO To Stay At Least To End Of Year

Pentagon Chief Panetta: Libya To Be Left To NATO

International Criminal Court: Gaddafi Family To File War Crimes Complaint Against NATO

Russia Accuses U.S. Of Violating International Law

Video And Text: In Praise Of Lynching – U.S. Media On Gaddafi

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part II)

NATO In Libya: From Arab Spring To Sharia Autumn

Video And Text: Charges Of U.S. Enriched-Uranium Weapon Use In Iraq

State Department Acknowledges U.S. Nuclear Superiority Over Russia

Pentagon: Central African Operation Similar To Bosnian, Georgian Ones

Pentagon Pivoting From Middle East To Asia-Pacific

Pentagon to Expand Activities In Asia‎

Pentagon Chief’s Distorted Account Of Chinese Military

Pakistani Warning Shots Chase Off NATO Helicopters

U.S. Readies THAAD Interceptor Missiles For Deployment

NATO MEADS Missile Interception Launcher Ready For Flight Test

Emirates Seek French Military Satellite, 60 Warplanes Against Iran

Kosovo Serbs Remind German NATO Troops Of Ancestors’ Fate

====

Libya: Clients Want NATO To Stay At Least To End Of Year

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111026/168131136.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 26, 2011

Libya interim leader urges NATO to stay till yearend

MOSCOW: Acting Libyan leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil has urged NATO to continue its operations in the country until at least the end of 2011, al Jazeera television reported on Wednesday.

Jalil, the head of Libya’s National Transition Council (NTC), was speaking during a conference in Qatar, one of the first countries to recognize the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government.

“We look forward to NATO continuing its operations until the end of the year,” Jalil said.

Last week, following the killing of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, NATO said it would end its operations by October 31.

However, a NATO official said a meeting of the alliance’s ambassadors to formalize the decision, originally set for Wednesday, had been postponed until Friday.

“The Libya discussion has been moved to Friday to accommodate the ongoing consultations with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council,” the NATO official said.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Gaddafi’s relatives told a French radio station the family would take NATO to court over his killing.

====

Pentagon Chief Panetta: Libya To Be Left To NATO

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/world/panetta-says-ties-with-libya-depend-on-a\

llies.html

New York Times
October 26, 2011

NATO to Lead on Libya Ties, Panetta Says
By Elizabeth Bumiller and Martin Fackler

TOKYO: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta declined on Tuesday to say whether the
United States would have a future military relationship with Libya and instead
said he would take cues from allies in Europe.

“What I would do at this point is leave the decision as to a future security
involvement in the hands of NATO,” Mr. Panetta said. “And then, beyond that,
that will give us a basis on which to determine whether there’s an additional
role that we can play.”

[I]nitial concerns within the Obama administration that the rebels might have
ties to Al Qaeda and other militant groups have for the most part been assuaged.
The United States maintains military ties with many nations around the world,
and also frequently trains foreign militaries.

====

International Criminal Court: Gaddafi Family To File War Crimes Complaint Against NATO

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gvlhl5jDadetqJh0M2Z9o7ytWWyw?docId=CNG.a69844f3690cbcf8b940a50b773de124.4b1

Agence France-Presse
October 26, 2011

Kadhafi family to file NATO war crimes complaint

-“The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC’s Rome Statute…”Kadhafi’s homicide shows that the goal of (NATO) member states was not to protect civilians but to overthrow the regime.”

PARIS: Moamer Kadhafi’s family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alliance’s alleged role in his death, the family’s lawyer said Wednesday.

The 69-year-old ex-leader was captured and killed Thursday near the city of Sirte in circumstances that are still unclear, but it has been confirmed NATO aircraft fired on pro-Kadhafi vehicles driving in a convoy from the city.

Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Kadhafi’s regime and now represents his family, told AFP that a complaint would be filed with the Hague-based ICC because NATO’s attack on the convoy led directly to his death.

“The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC’s Rome Statute,” he said.

He said he could not yet say when the complaint would be filed, but said it would target both NATO executive bodies and the leaders of alliance member states.

“Kadhafi’s homicide shows that the goal of (NATO) member states was not to protect civilians but to overthrow the regime,” Ceccaldi said.

“Either the ICC intervenes as an independent and impartial jurisdiction or it doesn’t, in which case force will overrule the law,” he said.

International disquiet has grown over how Kadhafi met his end after NTC fighters hauled him out of a culvert where he was hiding following NATO air strikes on the convoy in which he had been trying to flee his falling hometown.

====

Russia Accuses U.S. Of Violating International Law

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111026/168132544.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 26, 2011

Moscow accuses Washington of violating international law

MOSCOW: Russia is worried by U.S. violations of international law and UN regulations , Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Lavrov said that Russia had enough “causes for concern about U.S. activity.”

“Our concern is about the necessity to prevent new violations of the internatioanal law as well as new violations of UN rules,” he added.

Lavrov’s comments come after U.S. House of Representatives speaker John Boehner called on the Obama administration to rethink its approach to Russia, warning that the country was trying “to restore Soviet-style power and influence” and would soon be led by a man who “harbors intense Soviet nostalgia.”

“We realize our concerns not through the lists game, inexplicably loved by the United States, but through outlining direct issues like the ones we put forward during the Libyan conflcit,” Lavrov went on.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry unveiled a list of ‘undesirable’ U.S. officials barred from entry to Russia. Moscow’s move comes after Washington issued in August the ‘Magnitsky blacklist’, a list of Russian officials, implicated in the death of Moscow lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Lavrov also urged U.S. officials to discuss issues in the correct format, instead of posting on micro-blogs.

“I can understand the appeal of communication in Twitter, but for expressing official, serious suggestions, other formats are used,” he said.

====

Video And Text: In Praise Of Lynching – U.S. Media On Gaddafi

http://rt.com/news/us-media-gaddafi-death-747/

RT
October 26, 2011

US media on Gaddafi: In praise of lynching

Video

The mainstream US media has reacted to Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal lynching with a tidal wave of cheers and approval, trumpeting the Colonel’s death as the start of a new era for Libya.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the triumphant celebrations of Gaddafi’s death with her immortal line, “We came, we saw, he died!” – words which are sure to be remembered far beyond America’s shores.

Joy at the killing of the killing of the African leader spread like wildfire through the US media.

“It cost us a trillion dollars to get Saddam and a billion dollars to get Gaddafi,” remarked television host Bill Maher.

“And Libya says they’re going to pay back the billion that we spent, too. So it’s going to end up being sort of free for nothing,” cheered the host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.

Senator Lindsey Graham gave it to us straight:

“Let’s get in on the ground, there is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya, there is a lot of oil to be produced,” he said.

Not a single American soldier killed and great opportunities ahead – it seems like the perfect new warfare, and one that serves as a sharp lesson to others.

“I think it sends an important message to other leaders in the region,” lectured a CNN commentator.

“Boy, I tell you, these Arab dictators – they’re not very original. Just like Saddam Hussein, caught him in a hole,” sneered Bill Maher.

“Muammar Gaddafi was a bad guy,” Fox concluded.

Although many Libyans would argue whether he was really so bad, considering what Gaddafi did for the country’s social welfare and women’s rights, in the eyes of the US media, he was the ultimate evil.

“It is a demonization, every step of the way, against Gaddafi. In the media today always one man, one leader of a country, becomes a justification for destroying an entire country,” acknowledged Sara Flounders, member of the Workers World Party.

For a few days, the media savored the bloody images of Gaddafi’s killing and laughed at similarities between his capture in a ditch and that of Saddam Hussein.

In the eyes of the American public, the celebration of Gaddafi’s killing effectively erases the bad taste left by the NATO campaign – no mention of Libyan civilians killed in NATO strikes, not much talk about the destruction to the country caused by those strikes. Gaddafi’s killing is presented as a triumph, creating a perception that somehow it is perfectly OK to invade a country and help its leader be lynched. But if it is presented as such a success – doesn’t it become more tempting to try the same methods somewhere else?

====

Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part II)

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=425455&Itemid=1

Prensa Latina
October 25, 2011

Reflections by Fidel Castro: NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part II)

Havana, Oct 25 (Prensa Latina) “NATO’s Genocidal Role” (Part II) is the title of the latest reflection by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Prensa Latina is posting below the full text of Fidel Castro’s reflection.

REFLECTIONS BY FIDEL: NATO’S GENOCIDAL ROLE (PART II)

A little more than eight months ago, on February 21 of this year, I affirmed with full conviction, “NATO’s plan is to occupy Libya.” Under this title I addressed the issue for the first time in a Reflection the content of which appeared to be pure fantasy.

I include in these lines the facts which led me to that conclusion.

“Oil became the principal wealth in the hands of the large yankee transnationals; with that source of energy, they had at their disposal an instrument that considerably increased their political power in the world.”

“Current civilization was developed on the basis of this source of energy. Of the nations in this hemisphere it was Venezuela which paid the highest price. The United States made itself the owner of the vast oilfields which nature endowed upon that sister nation.

“At the end of the last World War it began to extract large volumes from oilfields in Iran, as well as those of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These came to be the principal suppliers. World consumption rose progressively to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels per day, including those pumped in U.S. territory, to which gas, hydro-electric and nuclear energy were subsequently added.”

“The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, totally unresolved, being endured by humanity: climate change.”

“In December of 1951, Libya became the first African country to attain its independence after World War II, during which its territory was the scene of significant battles between German and British troops…”

“The total desert covers 95% of its territory. Technology made it possible to find significant fields of excellent quality light oil, currently providing 800 billion barrels per day, and abundant natural gas deposits. [… ] Its harsh desert is located above an enormous lake of fossil water, equivalent to more than three times the land surface of Cuba, which has made it possible to construct a broad network of fresh water pipes which extends throughout the country.”

“The Libyan Revolution took place in September 1969. Its principal leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who was inspired in his early youth by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that came about when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.”

“One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kind of news, especially through the mass media. We shall have to wait the time needed to discover precisely how much is truth or lies, or a mix of the events, of all kinds, which, in the midst of chaos, have been taking place in Libya. What is absolutely evident to me is that the government of the United States is totally unconcerned about peace in Libya and will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, possibly in a matter of hours or a few days.

“Those who, with perfidious intentions, invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, as they did yesterday afternoon Sunday, February 20, today received a worthy response from Nicolás Maduro…”

“For my part, I cannot imagine the Libyan leader abandoning the country, eluding the responsibilities attributed to him, whether or not this news is partly or totally false.”

“An honest person will always be against any injustice committed against any nation of the world, and the worst injustice, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people.

“The chief of that military organization is being urged to do so. This must be condemned!”

At that early date I had taken note of what was absolutely obvious.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25, our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez will be speaking in the United Nations headquarters denouncing the criminal United States blockade of Cuba. We shall be closely following this battle which will once again demonstrate the need to bring to an end, not only the blockade, but the system which engenders injustice on our planet, squanders its natural resources and is placing humanity’s survival at risk. We will pay special attention to Cuba’s arguments.

I will continue Wednesday the 26th.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 24, 2011

====

NATO In Libya: From Arab Spring To Sharia Autumn

http://abc.az/eng/news_25_10_2011_58957.html

Azerbaijan Business Center
October 25, 2011

NATO establishes its first Islamic state and surprises that

Baku: “The Arab Spring” has been replaced in the Maghreb countries with “Sharia autumn”.

Democratic Libya, created by NATO member states’ bombers and task forces, has declared itself an Islamic state. The Transitional National Council of Libya has already announced that no other laws, except for sharia, will act in the country any longer.

The “Founding Fathers” from NATO, engaged by internal debt problems and division of Libyan oil and gas resources, only sluggishly called the TNC to comply with democratic norms and human rights.

The peacekeepers on the aircraft carriers did not want to admit that “dictator” Gaddafi, who trampled on NATO money and who actually created a unified Libya 40 years ago, warned that he fought Islamic militants. Instead, the father of the new Libyan democracy and a newborn girl, President Sarkozy, suggested Prime Minister of Great Britain James Cameron to shut up and to not pry into the affairs of the Eurozone.

In parallel, the Islamist party Ennahda (Revival) has won in the elections in Tunisia, from which the Arab Spring began. The party was supported by at least 40% of voters. As well as in Iran in 1979, this party is headed by a politician who was in 20-year exile.

Probably, the process of Islamization of the Maghreb will continue and cover at least Egypt, much to the surprise of NATO. Although, actually, all this happens within the conclusions made by the French Orientalists: when socialism goes, Islam comes. And all the overthrown regimes in the Maghreb, at least once, declared their socialist status.

====

Video And Text: Charges Of U.S. Enriched-Uranium Weapon Use In Iraq

http://rt.com/news/uranium-birth-defects-fallujah-729/

RT
October 26, 2011

US uranium to blame for deformed babies in Fallujah?
Alleged use of uranium-enhanced weapons by US-led forces might have caused birth defects and cancer increase

Video

-This material from the Gulf Wars is slowly contaminating the whole planet. It is poisoning the human gene pool, leading to increases in cancer, congenital anomalies, miscarriages and infertility. We must stop the military from using it. It has probably been employed in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital disease appears there.

A number of reports have been published claiming that the use of uranium in Iraq was much more widespread than originally believed. Christopher Busby, a visiting biomedical studies professor at the University of Ulster, is the coauthor of two such reports. Busby sat down with RT to discuss the findings in his reports.

RT:Professor Busby, you have now made two studies of Fallujah. Before we move to the latest one, can you remind us what you found in the first study?
Christopher Busby: A lot of cancer, birth defects, sex ratio change after 2004, showing big genetic damage to the population starting after the battles there. But that was just a health study, we didn’t investigate any cause.

RT: What did you do next?

C.B.: We needed to examine the environment and look inside the people. We obtained 25 parents of children with congenital anomalies and measured the concentration of 52 elements in the hair of the mothers and fathers. We also looked at the surface soil, river water and drinking water. We used a very powerful scientific technique called ICPMS.

RT: What did you find?

C.B.: We found high levels of a number of common elements – calcium, aluminum, strontium, bismuth mercury – but the only substance we found that could explain the high levels of genetic damage was the radioactive element uranium.

RT: So the cause, as everyone thought, was depleted uranium, DU?

C.B.: No. Astonishingly, it was not depleted uranium. It was slightly enriched uranium, the kind that is used in nuclear reactors or atomic bombs. We found it in the hair and also in the soil. We concentrated the soil chemically so there could be no mistake. Results showed slightly enriched uranium – manmade.

RT: Could you explain the difference between enriched and depleted uranium?

C.B.: When uranium is mined, it is refined in such a way that one of the isotopes, U235, which is used in nuclear power stations and in atom bombs, is separated. And the rest of the uranium which does not contain so much U235 is called depleted uranium, and it’s a sort of waste product. The other sort, which is, as I said, used in atom bombs and nuclear power stations…we found in the environment of Fallujah – that is, in the soil, in the water and also in the hair of the parents whose children had anomalies. [That] is what we believe is the cause of the cancer increase, anomalies and other genetic effects that we found in earlier studies.

RT: Could you connect this with the battles in 2004?

C.B.: Yes. We did something clever. Uranium is excreted into hair and hair grows at a known rate: 1 centimeter per month. We obtained very long hair samples from some women and measured the uranium along the lengths of the hair, which gave us historic levels back as far as 2005. In one woman, whose hair was 80 centimeters, the uranium concentration went up toward the tip of the hair, showing very high exposures in the past.

RT: Very high relative to what? Could this have been from a local uranium deposit or from drinking water?

C.B.: The levels were compared with measurements made in many countries, but specifically with Israel and Sweden. They were significantly higher now and massively higher in the past. The measurements in soil and water could not explain these levels in the hair, and in any case, the uranium was manmade, it was enriched uranium. Not natural.

RT: So where is the enriched uranium from? Why use it?

C.B.: We are not sure. We believe these results prove the existence of a new secret uranium weapon. We have found some US patents for thermobaric and directed charge warheads which employ uranium powder to increase their effect. It seems clear these uranium weapons have moved on from the simple anti-tank penetrators used in the first Gulf War, which were basically lumps of metal. Since 2003, it seems the military has been using something else entirely. Something quite scary.

RT:But why enriched uranium? Isn’t that expensive?

C.B.: Well, war is expensive. A cruise missile is expensive. The cost of using slightly enriched uranium would make very little difference, a marginal cost, and there will be a lot of it about from the decommissioning of nuclear weapons, which would cost a lot of money to dispose of. We don’t really know the answer. One suggestion is that it could cover their tracks, so they could truthfully say they didn’t use depleted uranium, and save themselves from any war crimes litigation that might emerge when the civilians began to die. And they almost got away with that one. It is only the development of these modern sophisticated measuring systems that enabled us to find it. Another suggestion is that there is an entirely new weapon, a neutron bomb, which employs enriched uranium with heavy hydrogen to produce cold fusion and a neutron blast which would kill people only.

RT: Do you have any supporting evidence?

C.B.: We investigated bomb craters in Lebanon in 2006 after the Israeli attacks and found one which was radioactive and which contained enriched uranium. We found enriched uranium in car air filters from Lebanon and also from Gaza. Others have found evidence of its use in Afghanistan and possibly also in the Balkans.

RT: So what is the overall importance of these findings? What comes next?

C.B.: This is an astonishing discovery with many global implications.

We have to reexamine the health of the Gulf War veterans, especially those from the second Gulf War. They are having children with congenital anomalies and are themselves suffering ill health. They were found to have high levels of uranium in urine tests, but because the uranium was not depleted, the findings were dismissed. This has to be revisited, since we now know why this is.

It is clear that the military has a secret uranium weapon of some sort. It causes widespread and terrifying genetic defects, causing cancer and birth anomalies and poisoning the gene pool of whole populations. This is a war crime and must be properly investigated.

The focus of activists and parliaments on depleted uranium is misplaced. All uranium weapons must be banned as weapons of indiscriminate effect, like poison gas.

This material from the Gulf Wars is slowly contaminating the whole planet. It is poisoning the human gene pool, leading to increases in cancer, congenital anomalies, miscarriages and infertility. We must stop the military from using it. It has probably been employed in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital disease appears there.

====

State Department Acknowledges U.S. Nuclear Superiority Over Russia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111025/168112458.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 25, 2011

U.S. has ‘nuclear superiority’ over Russia

WASHINGTON: Data published by the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday indicates that the United States has some 300 more deployed nuclear weapons than Russia.

According to New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms facts sheet, posted on the State Department’s website, the United States has 822 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers, while Russia has 516.

Russia is also at a disadvantage in the number of warheads on deployed carriers – 1,566 warheads against 1,790 American warheads.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which entered into force on February 5, 2011, commits the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce and limit the number of deployed and non-deployed strategic offensive arms to the agreed aggregate numbers.

Beginning April 6, 2011, inspections under the New START Treaty are regularly conducted in the Russian Federation and the United States with consistent data exchange carried out every six months.

To date, the U.S. has conducted twelve inspections while Russia has conducted eleven inspections. These inspections have taken place at ICBM, SLBM, and heavy bomber bases, storage facilities, conversion or elimination facilities, and test ranges.

====

Pentagon: Central African Operation Similar To Bosnian, Georgian Ones

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65810

U.S. Department of Defense
October 25, 2011

Official: Troops in Central Africa for Months, Not Years
By Lisa Daniel

WASHINGTON: About a hundred U.S. troops being deployed to Central Africa will be there for months – not years – and only until the national armies of the region are capable of dismantling the terrorist group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, a senior Pentagon official told Congress members today.

…Alexander Vershbow, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee…

…He appeared before the committee alongside Donald Yamamoto, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, to explain the operation President Barack Obama announced Oct. 14.

The U.S. troops – mostly Army Special Forces – will work with the militaries of Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan to capture or kill Kony and other LRA commanders, Vershbow said.

U.S. Africa Command has provided training and equipment to central African militaries, and those militaries have been successful against the LRA, which is down to about 200 core fighters and about 600 supporters…

[S]ome U.S. troops already have moved into the affected area, Vershbow said. Most will stay in Uganda, but some will forward deploy with African troops, he added.

The cost and duration of the deployment is unclear, Vershbow said, but it likely will cost tens of millions of dollars and last several months.

The action is similar to those the U.S. military undertook in training and equipping Georgian and Bosnian militaries in recent years, Vershbow said.

====

Pentagon Pivoting From Middle East To Asia-Pacific

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/25/pivoting-from-middle-east-to-the-pacific/

CNN
October 25, 2011

Pivoting from Middle East to the Pacific
By Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy in Tokyo, Japan

If there’s been one theme U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has tried to hammer home at every opportunity during his weeklong tour of Asia it is this: “The United States, as a Pacific nation, is and will remain a Pacific power in this region. We will always maintain a strong presence in the Pacific.”

Those assurances come from a defense secretary facing major cuts at home.

“It’s no secret that the United States faces some very tough fiscal decisions back home,” Panetta said Tuesday during a news conference with the Japanese defense minister. “But let me reassure the people of Japan: The one thing that we have agreed upon is that the Pacific will remain a key priority. I will continue to strengthen our forces in this part of the world.”

So if the Department of Defense has to make cuts, and it’s clear it will, how will the American military be strengthened in the Far East? Perhaps by looking to the west.

The U.S. military will be out of Iraq by New Year’s Day and the mission in Libya with NATO could be over by Halloween. Even in Afghanistan, where no one is claiming victory, America’s troop presence is shrinking; 10,000 troops are to come out by the end of 2011.

Panetta called it a “turning point after a decade of war.”

Will the Pacific nations that count on the U.S. military benefit from that “turning point”?

Panetta hinted Monday that might be the case.

“We have the opportunity now to be able to focus on those challenges,” he told a gathering of American troops at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. “Most importantly, we have the opportunity to strengthen our presence in the Pacific. And we will.”

But when asked at his Tuesday news conference about some details, he wasn’t clear.

“There are a number of steps that we can take, it seems to me, to strengthen our position in the Pacific,” he said. One of the few specifics he mentioned was more training exercises for U.S. troops and their Japanese counterparts.

“Probably the greatest opportunities in the years ahead will be found in the Asia Pacific region, which is why we have renewed America’s leadership and pre-eminent role there,” Clinton said in the speech October 12.

====

Pentagon to Expand Activities In Asia‎

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203911804576653160176584104.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Wall Street Journal
October 26, 2011

Pentagon to Expand Activities in Asia‎
Pentagon Will Add to Asia Operations
By Adam Entous

TOKYO: The Obama administration plans to conduct more military exercises in Asia and take other steps to expand its influence in the region, amid concerns about China’s buildup, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

The stepped-up military activity, to be planned with U.S. allies in the region, would be a component of what officials describe as a global “rebalancing” of U.S. interests as Washington shifts more of its attention to the Pacific while winding down the war in Iraq and beginning to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

In his first trip to Asia since becoming Pentagon chief on July 1, Mr. Panetta promised to strengthen the U.S. military presence in Asia…

At a news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa, Mr. Panetta said the Pentagon was “looking at increasing exercises in the Pacific region,” including training drills with Asian allies.

Mr. Panetta didn’t say whether the U.S. planned to deploy more aircraft carriers or station more troops permanently in the region. The U.S. has six carriers based in the Pacific.

Mr. Panetta has ruled out cutting U.S. forces in the region, but also made clear that the Obama administration expects its Asian allies to play a larger role to keep Chinese ambitions in check.

“It is very important that we work with our partners in the Pacific region to try to develop their capabilities so that they, too, can improve the security that they provide to this region,” he said.

He cited U.S. efforts to strengthen security cooperation with South Korea, Australia and other allies as a way to “more effectively address the many shared challenges that we face” and to “encourage China’s emergence as a responsible and positive partner.”

Asking Asian allies to share the burden reflects President Barack Obama’s general approach to global security challenges. In the conflict in Libya, for example, he insisted that European states play a leading role.

At each stop, first in Bali, Indonesia and then in Tokyo, Mr. Panetta touted the coming shift in U.S. focus to Asia and toughened his tone on Beijing and Pyongyang.

In newspaper op-eds published this week, Mr. Panetta said China was rapidly modernizing its military with a “troubling lack of transparency.” He likewise warned of North Korea’s “reckless and provocative” behavior.

In Tokyo, Mr. Panetta said expanding the security alliance with Japan was a critical part of the Obama administration’s realignment in Asia.

Of about 47,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan, about half are in Okinawa.

—Yuka Hayashi contributed to this article.

====

Pentagon Chief’s Distorted Account Of Chinese Military

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-10/25/c_131211850.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 26, 2011

Pentagon chief distorted story of Chinese military
By Li Hongmei

-Abroad, the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the removal of the U.S. “thorn in flesh” with the death of Libya’s Gaddafi might mark a pivot turning point for the U.S. military, which must now focus on “looming threats” such as the rising military might – an allusion to China.
-His restatement of “China Threat” also echoed a well-accepted American logic: We can wield stick at your doorsteps, but you should never flex muscles for self-defense.

BEIJING: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta kicked off his debut visit to the Asian allies. The visit is Panetta’s first since he took over from his predecessor Robert Gates, and he appears keen to follow up on the Pacific vision defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, showing a clear U.S. dedication to all-round engagement and diversified presence in Asia as part of its global repositioning strategy.

To reiterate the U.S. intention to “come back” to Asia and to refocus on the region, and to soothe the nerves of its regional allies in the presence of a rising power like China might well serve as the new Pentagon chief’s paramount mission during his week-long Asia trip.

Panetta’s Asia tour is tightly-scheduled – he arrived in Japan Monday from Bali, Indonesia, where he met with defense ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. On Tuesday, Panetta is scheduled to meet with Japan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, as well as his defense and foreign ministers. On Wednesday he is to meet with U.S. sailors aboard a ship at the nearby Yokosuka Naval Base and then travel to South Korea for annual security consultations.

The U.S. defense chief marked a sharp change in tone from his predecessor Robert Gates who used to reach out to China to seek after an improved tie between militaries albeit strained by U.S. arm sales to Taiwan.

Panetta produced an opinion piece in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper as he arrived there, warning of a “troubling lack of transparency” over China‘s rapid military modernization, and expressed concern over China’s “increasingly assertive activity in the East and South China Seas.”

His comments came against such a backdrop: At home, the intense pressure to slash military spending as part of a deficit-reduction effort. Abroad, the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the removal of the U.S. “thorn in flesh” with the death of Libya’s Gaddafi might mark a pivot turning point for the U.S. military, which must now focus on “looming threats” such as the rising military might – an allusion to China.

The visit also coincided with a time when the U.S. is considering near-term possibilities of bolstering its position in Asia by increasing U.S. Navy port calls and conducting more regular exercises with Asian and Pacific nations.

As expected, Panetta used his first Japan trip to sound an emerging theme of the Obama administration: America will remain a global economic and military power despite coming budget reductions, and the Asia-Pacific region will be vital to U.S. national security strategy.

His restatement of “China Threat” also echoed a well-accepted American logic: We can wield stick at your doorsteps, but you should never flex muscles for self-defense.

In actuality, China’s consistent good-neighborly policy is all based on considering neighboring countries’ security concerns and enhancing military mutual trust and cooperation with neighbors. In so doing, China can avoid being plunged into a “security dilemma” itself and thereby it does not engage in regional arms race or try to pursue regional hegemony.

China is one of the few countries facing a complicated geopolitical environment. It has a vast territory with a land border of more than 22,000 kilometers and a coastline of over 18,000 km. Therefore, it is justified in modernizing its defense capabilities for its national security and to protect its peaceful development.

History has proven and will continue to prove that the build-up of the Chinese military is to safeguard its sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and its people’s peaceful life, rather than pursuing hegemony and external expansion.

The upgrading of the Chinese military is all in response to the need of the national defense. Panetta’s “anxiety” that China will turn its growing economic strength into military might and thus pose a threat to the region is totally baseless.

====

Pakistani Warning Shots Chase Off NATO Helicopters

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j8oL876nT2jFAU_tsCsgU43El38Q?docId=CNG.cc59353d99b600f9b8c76a51ed2cbd9c.1f1

Agence France-Presse
October 26, 2011

NATO choppers violated air space: Pakistan officials

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Pakistani officials on Wednesday accused NATO helicopters of violating Pakistan’s air space over…North Waziristan, along the Afghan border.

“Two helicopters intruded several kilometres inside Pakistan territory in Datta Khel town around 2:00 am (2100 GMT Tuesday),” a military official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The helicopters flew in from the eastern Afghan province of Paktia and circled the border village of Zoi Nara for more than five minutes, the official in the provincial capital Peshawar said.

A Pakistani military official said the choppers left after “warning shots” were fired by Pakistan troops…

Dildar Khan, a tribal police official in Datta Khel, said the helicopters flew at a relatively low altitude and returned after the warning shots.

====

U.S. Readies THAAD Interceptor Missiles For Deployment

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pratt-whitney-rocketdyne-propulsion-systems-successfully-maneuver-missile-defense-interceptors-to-destroy-ballistic-missile-targets-2011-10-25

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
October 25, 2011

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Propulsion Systems Successfully Maneuver Missile Defense Interceptors to Destroy Ballistic Missile Targets

CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor successfully positioned missile defense interceptors to simultaneously destroy two short-range ballistic missile targets in a demonstration of the weapon system’s ability to help protect troops and other U.S. interests around the world. The THAAD operational test was conducted by the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency, with the support of the Missile Defense Agency, at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii on Oct. 5…

“Both interceptors scored direct hits,” said Craig Larson, THAAD program manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne developed the Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) for the THAAD interceptor. DACS is a high-precision, quick-reaction propulsion system that positions the interceptor to defeat an incoming ballistic missile. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is under contract with Lockheed Martin, the THAAD Weapon System Prime contractor, to produce the DACS.

THAAD is designed to protect deployed troops around the world, and other important assets and population centers against short to medium range ballistic missiles in the final phase of flight.

====

NATO MEADS Missile Interception Launcher Ready For Flight Test

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/10/25/MEADS-launcher-readied-for-flight-test/UPI-45621319538105/

United Press International
October 25, 2011

MEADS launcher readied for flight test

ORLANDO, Fla. – The first Medium Extended Air Defense System launcher has arrived in New Mexico for an initial flight test following system integration testing.

MEADS is to demonstrate an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of a PAC-3 MSE against a simulated target that attacks from behind.

The test will demonstrate a 360-degree capability that current air and missile defense systems cannot provide. The 360-degree coverage is necessary to protect soldiers and critical assets from highly maneuverable cruise missiles and easily relocatable short- and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles.

“The lightweight MEADS launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today and it is easily adaptable to different nations’ vehicles,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency General Manager Gregory Kee.

“With this upcoming test, we will demonstrate the ability to launch an interceptor 360 degrees from a single launcher, thereby providing more capability to the warfighter at a lower cost to protect our soldiers against a growing air and missile threat.”

The lightweight MEADS launcher is easily transportable, tactically mobile and capable of rapid reload. It carries up to eight PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement Missiles and achieves launch readiness in minimum time.

MEADS International, a multinational joint venture with headquarters in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major sub-contractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy, LFK in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.

The MEADS program management agency is in Huntsville, Ala.

MEADS International said integration and checkout tests are continuing in preparation for a November flight test.

====

Emirates Seek French Military Satellite, 60 Warplanes Against Iran

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/10/25/Emirates-seek-French-military-satellite/UPI-68091319553234/

United Press International
October 25, 2011

Emirates seek French military satellite

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates has reopened negotiations with France for a military surveillance satellite, underlining the Persian Gulf state’s concerns about Iran…

The move, however, could also be linked to the protracted negotiations to buy 60 Dassault Aviation Rafale multi-role fighter jets, a deal that could be worth up to $10 billion.

The satellite project was first mooted in 2008, shortly after the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, consisting of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, scrapped its HudHud program.

That at one point involved French-Italian Thales Alenia Space company, which would produce radar-optical observation satellites for a joint Saudi-Qatari-Emirates program. The project was abandoned in 2008.

On April 24, the emirates launched its fifth communications satellite into orbit, the first to provide secure and independent telecommunications for its armed forces amid a drive by Arab states in the gulf to boost their military capabilities against Iran.

The Emirates’ Y1A satellite was launched from the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket.

It was built by Yahsat, the Emirates’ Al Yah Satellite Communication Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Co., which has headquarters in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich economic powerhouse of the seven-member federation.

Mubadala, the government’s investment arm, is heavily involved in the Emirates’ drive to build up its defense industry.

The satellite was developed and built by Astrium, the aerospace subsidiary of the European Aeronautics Defense and Space Co. and Thales Alenia Space, which has headquarters in Cannes, France. That’s owned by Thales Aerospace of France and Finmeccanica of Italy.

The satellite, based on Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 platform, had been originally scheduled to be launched March 31 but that was delayed for technical reasons.

A second satellite, Y1B, should be launched before the end of the year to complete the $1.6 billion Yahsat program.

Y1A and Y1B will also provide commercial communications across the Middle East, Africa, South West Asia and Europe.

The emirates spearhead efforts by the GCC states to acquire their own military surveillance satellite system to bolster the early warning system they have been seeking to develop for several years.

The GCC states have been talking about a joint early warning system for a decade.

But, largely due to dynastic squabbles within the alliance established in 1982 at the height of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war this and other GCC military aims remain unfulfilled.

However, the growing tension between the GCC states and Iran could provide the spur for them to set aside their differences and work together to develop their common military capabilities and lessen dependence on the United States for early warning.

The development of the emirates satellite has strategic implications for the Gulf Arab states. The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology runs the satellite program.

The United Arab Emirates has established itself as the space technology hub in the region and has had dealings with foreign companies that specialize in military satellites.

In September 1997, the U.S. Hughes Space and Communications International signed a $1 billion communications satellite deal, at that time the Arab world’s largest satellite contract, with Abu Dhabi’s Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Organization, which groups investors in 14 Arab states.

Thuraya has sent three communications into orbit. It’s one of the region’s biggest telecommunications companies. Its main shareholder is the state-run Emirates Telecommunications Co.

====

Kosovo Serbs Remind German NATO Troops Of Ancestors’ Fate

http://www.rferl.org/content/serb_nationalist_flyers_decry_kfor_occupation_alleged_killings/24370932.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
October 26, 2011

Serb Nationalist Flyers Decry KFOR ‘Occupation,’ ‘Killings’
Leaflets in German and Serbian have been targeting German troops serving in the NATO-led Kosovo Force

The…organization Nasi has begun distributing leaflets in German and Serbian, targeting German troops serving in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) contingent in Kosovo.

The leaflets show photographs of German soldiers from World War I, World War II, and KFOR with the captions: “We killed your great-grandfather. We killed your grandfather. We will defeat you as well.” And under it all is the general slogan: “Kosovo Is Serbia!”

In an October 20 press release announcing the new propaganda campaign, Nasi said its purpose is to “encourage the Serbian people to resist the occupation of NATO forces.”

The group said the campaign was “accelerated” because of recent clashes between KFOR troops and ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo.

“The aim of the German-language posters is to influence German soldiers to understand they are making the same mistake and committing an injustice against Serbs and their ancestors and to remind them that Serbia will not be conquered,” the press release states.

Earlier this month, Nasi launched a “1,001 Candles” campaign to remember what the group claims are “the 1,001 ethnic Serbs who have been killed in Kosovo since the beginning of the occupation.”

– Robert Coalson

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Aesop: The lies of lupine liberators

October 26, 2011 4 comments

====

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

====

Aesopiana

*****

Babrius
Translated by Ben Edwin Perry

Peace by Surrender

Envoys from the wolves once came to a flock of sheep offering to make a solemn treaty of guaranteed peace, on condition that the dogs be given to them for punishment; it was only because of them that the wolves and the sheep were hostile to each other and ever at war.

The sheep, being silly creatures given to bleating helplessly on all occasions, were about to hand over the dogs. But an old ram among them, whose wool began to bristle from the roots up, exclaimed: “What a strange deal this is! How am I to live with you unguarded? It’s on their account, the wolves’, that even now I can’t graze in your company without danger, though the dogs are guarding me.”

*****

From The Aesop Romance
Translated by Lloyd W. Daly

The wolves said to the dogs: “Why, since you are like us in every way, don’t you show a brotherly spirit toward us? The only difference between us is one of principle. We live a life of freedom together, but though you skulk and slave for men, all you get from them is beatings; you get collars put around your necks, and have to guard their sheep. But when they eat, all they throw you is the bones. Why don’t you listen to us. Turn the flocks over to us; we’ll share everything and have all we want to eat.” So the dogs did as they said but as soon as they got into the shelters where the sheep were kept, the dogs were the wolves’ first victims.

*****

Ivan Krylov
Translated by Bernard Pares

The Wolves and the Sheep

The wolves so plagued the sheep, that life was not worth living;
It got so bad, that in the end,
The rulers of the beasts, their best attentions giving
Sought how the sheep they might defend.
So High Commissioners were summoned to attend;
Now, some of these were wolves, the truth to tell;
But wolves there are of whom report speaks well;
Such honorable wolves – and oft the story’s told,
With proofs that cannot be rebutted -
Were seen to walk right past the fold
In perfect peace – when they were fairly glutted;
Then why refuse a vote to wolves of good repute?
The sheep may claim a hearing for their suit: -
No reason there, the wolves to persecute!

Deep in the forest’s wilds the Council opens session,
To every plea gives due expression,
And drafts a law quite perfect and complete;
And word for word this law I here repeat: -
“So soon as wolf on fold shall make aggression,
And sheep thereby suffer from oppression,
Then straightway shall that sheep be free,
No matter who that wolf may be,
To seize him by the throat, and drag to judgment-seat
In nearest copse or wood.”
There’s nothing left to add, and nothing to delete;
Only the way it works is not so good.
For though the court, they say, is scrupulously fair,
The sheep may plaintiff or defendant be -
The dragging’s never done by him, and he
Has yet to make his first appearance there.

*****

Jean de La Fontaine
The Wolves and the Sheep

By-gone a thousand years of war,
The wearers of the fleece
And wolves at last made peace;
Which both appear’d the better for;
For if the wolves had now and then
Eat up a straggling ewe or wether,
As often had the shepherd men
Turn’d wolf-skins into leather.
Fear always spoil’d the verdant herbage,
And so it did the bloody carnage.
Hence peace was sweet; and, lest it should be riven,
On both sides hostages were given.
The sheep, as by the terms arranged,
For pups of wolves their dogs exchanged;
Which being done above suspicion,
Confirm’d and seal’d by high commission,
What time the pups were fully grown,
And felt an appetite for prey,
And saw the sheepfold left alone,
The shepherds all away,
They seized the fattest lambs they could,
And, choking, dragg’d them to the wood;
Of which, by secret means apprised,
Their sires, as is surmised,
Fell on the hostage guardians of the sheep,
And slew them all asleep.
So quick the deed of perfidy was done,
There fled to tell the tale not one!

From which we may conclude
That peace with villains will be rued.
Peace in itself, ’tis true,
May be a good for you;
But ’tis an evil, nathless,
When enemies are faithless.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011 5 comments

====

26,323 Sorties: NATO Continues Strike Missions In Libya

NATO Bombed Libyan Oil Fields To Ensure Post-War Control: Expert

National Transitional Council Asks NATO To Stay In Libya

Pentagon Chief: NATO May Stay In Libya

Syria: U.S. Preparing Military Expedient?

Afghan Lower House Rejects Military Agreement With NATO

Kabul: Afghans Protest Against Permanent U.S. Military Bases

NATO Deploying Missiles Near Russian Strategic Nuclear Bases

NATO tests 360-Degree Interceptor Missile In Florida

Pentagon Chief: 50 More Years Of U.S.- Japan Military Alliance In Asia

Targeting China: Pentagon To Shift Military Forces From Greater Middle East To East Asia

U.S. Forward-Deployed Amphibious Assault Ship In Philippines Drill

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative On Way To Georgia

Turkish Tanks, Jet Fighters Move Into Iraq

Turkey On Azerbaijan, Karabakh Crisis: “One Nation, Two States”

Karabakh: Azerbaijan Boasts Of Military Prowess

U.S. Military Academies Training More Cyberwarriors

====

26,323 Sorties: NATO Continues Strike Missions In Libya

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111024_111024-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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:

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 26,323 sorties, including 9,658 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 OCTOBER: 42

Strike sorties conducted 23 OCTOBER: 12

====

NATO Bombed Libyan Oil Fields To Ensure Post-War Control: Expert

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1948935.html

Trend News Agency
October 24, 2011

Foreign companies to fight for Libyan oil
A. Tagiyeva

Baku: Foreign companies will begin fighting for Libyan oil and gas fields; particularly they will be the companies of countries that were active in the struggle to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime, said a leading economist at the Egyptian Al-Ahram Center for Strategic and Political Studies, Ahmed al-Sayed Al-Naggar.

“Countries such as France, Italy, UK and USA will compete for the exploration and development of oil fields,” Al-Naggar told Trend by telephone from Cairo.

According to the expert, during the struggle to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime, “NATO intentionally inflicted air strikes on oil fields, as a result of which the mining infrastructure of the country was practically destroyed. This was done so that Libya would be in need of foreign investments and Western aid in the energy sector after the war”.

“The new government of Libya is unlikely to nationalize Libyan oil, since they do not have sufficient capacity for its production. Libya needs foreign investments to restore the oil industry,” said Al-Naggar.

Al-Naggar also believes that along with major Western companies, smaller firms are also expected to participate, since there are plans to explore new oil fields, which will create a chance for those who have not previously participated in the country’s oil sector.

Libya is the eighth in terms of crude oil production among the 12 OPEC countries and the third in Africa after Nigeria and Angola. The main importer of Libyan oil is Italy, followed by Germany, France and Spain.

Libya’s proven oil reserves are estimated at 45 billion barrels. Before the war, Libya produced 1.5 million barrels of oil per day.

The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, Nuri Beruin, said in September that currently Libya produces oil only on the Sarir field, but over the next six months, the oil production will begin on country’s all oil fields and will reach from 800,000 to 1 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, the former head of the Corporation, Shokri Ghanem, said Tuesday that Libya will be able to enter the pre-war level of oil production not earlier than 18 months from now.

With regards to oil prices, according to Al-Naggar, the restoration of oil production in Libya will to some extent affect world oil prices, but major changes in the prices is not expected, since full recovery of production and supply of oil will take a certain period of time.

====

National Transitional Council Asks NATO To Stay In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/25/59324698.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 25, 2011

NTC asks to extend NATO operation in Libya

Libya’s National Transitional Council has asked NATO to extend its military operation in Libya for at least another month, Agence-France Presse reports.

Earlier, NATO said it would decide when to end the Unified Protector operation in Libya at a NATO Council meeting on October 26.

Last Friday, the NATO Council passed a preliminary decision to end the Libyan campaign on October 31 and until then to monitor the security situation in the country and react to any threat to its people.

====

Pentagon Chief: NATO May Stay In Libya

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111025/168105660.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 25, 2011

NATO may stay in Libya longer than planned – U.S. defense chief

MOSCOW: NATO may not end its mission in Libya as early as planned, CNN quoted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as saying on Tuesday.

Last week, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was planning to wind down its operation in Libya by October 31. The preliminary decision was approved during a NATO council meeting on Friday, with the formal statement expected to be made this week.

But Panetta told journalists during his visit to Japan on Tuesday that the Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council wanted NATO to extend its mission.

“I noticed today that there were comments from some of the Libya leadership asking that NATO continue its mission during this interim as they are trying to establish some of their governance,” CNN quoted the U.S. minister as saying.

The decision is up to NATO, he said, adding that the United States is looking at its long-term relations with Libya’s military.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said last week Russia was introducing a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an end to the no-fly zone over Libya. Moscow hopes that the resolution will be passed “in the next few days,” he said.

The U.S.-led military operation in Libya began on March 19. NATO took over control of the operation on March 31.

Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for 42 years, was buried in a secret grave in the Libyan desert earlier on Tuesday. He died after being captured alive by National Transitional Council fighters near his home town of Sirte last week.

====

Syria: U.S. Preparing Military Expedient?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/25/59316258.html

Voice of Russia
October 25, 2011

Is the ambassador an ostensible move?
Maria Chupina

-“[T]he USA is likely to try to finish off al-Assad by hook or by crook. This means that after Libya there is Syria in store.”
-“Recalling the ambassador strangely coincided with Gaddafi’s murder and this action against the late Libyan leader can be considered an act of inspiration for the Syrian opposition. The coincidence of these two events is hardly a mere chance. From this angle, recalling the diplomat can be considered the next stage of a campaign against the Syrian regime.”
-If we retrace the US attitude towards the recent revolutions in North Africa we cannot guarantee that the USA will not continue to support the Syrian opposition or that the West will not try to settle the typical internal conflict with military methods.

       
Concern for the personal safety of the American ambassador in Syria has forced US authorities to recall the diplomat. He is reported to have already left the country swept by disorders. Experts believe that this move heralds America’s serious intentions concerning Syria.

The reason was the diplomat’s attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of that country balancing on the brink of a full-scale civil war. At least this is what Damascus accuses Robert Ford of. The Department of State gives little comment on the situation, stressing a weighty threat to the ambassador’s personal safety. The Department of State does not specify the date of the ambassador’s return to Damascus, giving an evasive explanation that this will depend on Washington’s  estimation of the situation in Syria.

This precedent is rather disturbing, believes expert of the Institute of Strategic Evaluations and Analysis Sergey Demidenko.

“Even after the terrorist acts against the US Embassy in Damascus in 2005 the ambassador was not recalled. Undoubtedly we should consider this demarche of the USA towards Syria as a sign of certain intentions. Hard to say why they need this, because if they start to smash Bashar al-Assad’s regime with diplomatic, economic or military methods this will endanger the entire situation in the Middle East. On the other hand, the USA may have some relatively painless way of changing power in Syria up its sleeve. This can only be one thing: a coup on the ruling top level, inside the military elite which could overthrow Bashar al-Assad and put forward another clan which would stabilize the situation. For this reason, the USA is likely to try to finish off al-Assad by hook or by crook. This means that after Libya there is Syria in store.”

Damascus has been displeased with some of the ambassador’s actions for a long time, for example, his trip to the city of Hama swept by disorders. Incidentally, after this visit an angry crowd threw tomatoes, eggs and stones at the US Embassy in Damascus. However, this did not thwart the diplomat’s plans and he visited another “hotbed of the revolution”, the city of Jassem, in spite of the ban of the Syrian Foreign Ministry. This caused more eggs and stones, which proves that the ambassador’s safety was not at a very high level indeed. Whether this was his own doing is an open question.

Recalling the ambassador is the next stage in the West’s information war against the Syrian regime, says the head of the Arab and Islamic Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies Alexander Filonik.

“Recalling the ambassador strangely coincided with Gaddafi’s murder and this action against the late Libyan leader can be considered an act of inspiration for the Syrian opposition. The coincidence of these two events is hardly a mere chance. From this angle, recalling the diplomat can be considered the next stage of a campaign against the Syrian regime.”

The situation with the ambassador is developing in the context of Washington’s uncertainty about its future policy towards Syria. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the opposition has not asked for help so far. The UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria has been vetoed by Russia and China because the resolution did not contain the exact wording of the inadmissibility of military interference in Syria’s internal affairs.

Does the USA listen to other countries’ opinions and what will happen if the Syrian opposition asks Americans for help? If we retrace the US attitude towards the recent revolutions in North Africa we cannot guarantee that the USA will not continue to support the Syrian opposition or that the West will not try to settle the typical internal conflict with military methods.

Naturally, Washington’s demarche with recalling the ambassador did not remain unnoticed in Syria. In reply Syria has also recalled its ambassador. Imad Moustapha left Washington on Monday.

====

Afghan Lower House Rejects Military Agreement With NATO

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111024/168068676.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 24, 2011

Afghan lawmakers reject military agreement with ISAF

KABUL: Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament rejected on Monday an agreement on technical and military cooperation between the Afghan government and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Pajhwok news agency reported.

The military-technical agreement between the interim government in Afghanistan and ISAF was signed in December 2001 but submitted to the lower house of Afghan parliament only in September 2011.

The majority of lawmakers stated on Monday that the agreement with ISAF violated the country’s sovereignty.

The decision could seriously undermine the efforts of the current Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai to strike a strategic cooperation pact with the United States later this year.

ISAF has been deployed since 2001 under the authority of the UN Security Council which authorized the establishment of the force to assist the Afghan government in the maintenance of security in the war-torn country.

Under the agreement, the ISAF has complete and unimpeded freedom of movement or action throughout the territory and airspace of Afghanistan.

====

Kabul: Afghans Protest Against Permanent U.S. Military Bases

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/24/hundreds-oppose-idea-permanent-us-bases

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 24, 2011

Hundreds oppose idea of permanent US bases
By Khwaja Basir Ahmad

KABUL: Hundreds of people on Monday staged a protest demonstration in the capital Kabul, opposing permanent US military bases in the country.

Organised by the National United Front (NUF), the protesters, including former mujahedeen, students and teachers, gathered in front of the Kabul University at around 9am.

The protestors chanted: “Down with America and long live Islam, national consensus is the only way to resolve the conflict and we don’t want the presence of foreign troops in our country.”

Former lawmaker and NUF member Haji Farid said the presence of international forces had had a negative impact on national security over the past decade and would continue to do so in the future.

NATO-led troops flouted Afghan traditions by conducting irresponsible nighttime raids and house searches, Farid alleged, insisting insecurity had increased after the US-led invasion of the country.

Terming the upcoming traditional Loya Jirga slated on a strategic pact with the US as illegal, he claimed the gathering was aimed at granting approving foreign military bases in the country.

Jirga members would be nominated by the government, he alleged, suggesting the participants should be selected from amongst district council members.

Haji Farid said: “If the US is allowed permanent military bases, will it promise that it won’t leave Afghanistan in ruins? And will it give Afghanistan the nuclear bomb? The answer is a big no, and that’s why permanent bases should not be allowed.”     

NUF member Eng. Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai said there was no need for permanent foreign military presence in the country. “We support the peace process, but the goal could not be realised with foreign forces fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

He believed peace could be brought after the withdrawal of foreign troops, an end to war and neighbours’ incursions into Afghanistan. “After the foreign troops’ pullout, we are ready to mediate between militants and the government.”

====

NATO Deploying Missiles Near Russian Strategic Nuclear Bases

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/25/59326145.html

Interfax
October 25, 2011

NATO not transparent on missile defense – Rogozin

       
NATO is not transparent on European missile defense, Russia’s ambassador to the alliance Dmitry Rogozin said in Brussels on Tuesday. Optimistic statements by NATO’s official spokesman James Appathurai about cooperation in this area must not be a folding screen hiding the existing problems between Russia and NATO, Mr. Rogozin told reporters.

He accused NATO of building an interceptor missile system close to Russia and deploying it not in areas of potential missile risks but near Russian strategic nuclear bases. “If Mr. Appathurai is so confident that the U.S.-led European missile defense cannot deter the Russian nuclear forces, then what motivates the United States’ refusal to provide written guarantees?” Rogozin said.

====

NATO tests 360-Degree Interceptor Missile In Florida

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lightweight-meads-launcher-arrives-at-white-sands-for-initial-flight-test-2011-10-24

MEADS International
October 24, 2011

Lightweight MEADS Launcher Arrives at White Sands for Initial Flight Test

-Through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat, MEADS improves the ability to defend troops, friends and allies in critical areas around the globe.
-“The lightweight MEADS launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today, and it is easily adaptable to different nations’ vehicles,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) General Manager Gregory Kee.

ORLANDO, Fla., MUNICH and ROME: After completing extensive system integration testing, the first Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) launcher has arrived at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., ready to demonstrate its advanced capabilities.

The lightweight MEADS launcher is easily transportable, tactically mobile and capable of rapid reload. It carries up to eight PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles and achieves launch readiness in minimum time.

Through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat, MEADS improves the ability to defend troops, friends and allies in critical areas around the globe.

At White Sands Missile Range, MEADS will demonstrate an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of a PAC-3 MSE against a simulated target that attacks from behind. The test will demonstrate a 360-degree capability that current air and missile defense systems cannot provide. 360-degree coverage is necessary to protect soldiers and critical assets from highly maneuverable cruise missiles and easily re-locatable short- and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles. Integration and checkout tests are continuing in preparation for a November flight test.

“The lightweight MEADS launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today, and it is easily adaptable to different nations’ vehicles,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) General Manager Gregory Kee. “With this upcoming test, we will demonstrate the ability to launch an interceptor 360 degrees from a single launcher…”

Using its 360-degree defensive capability and advanced radars, MEADS will defend up to eight times the coverage area of other systems while using far fewer system assets. This reduces deployed personnel, equipment and demand for airlift to a fraction of that for current systems.

MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy, LFK in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.

The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.

====

Pentagon Chief: 50 More Years Of U.S.- Japan Military Alliance In Asia

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65779

U.S. Department of Defense
October 24, 2011

Panetta Praises U.S.-Japan Alliance
By Karen Parrish

-En route to Japan, a senior defense official told reporters traveling with the secretary that the topics of discussion for those meetings will range from arms exports and ballistic missile defense to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology and U.S. troop basing in Japan.

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today cited the importance of America’s alliance with Japan in maintaining peace and security across the Pacific region.

During a town hall meeting with some 200 U.S. and Japanese troops gathered in the 459th Airlift Squadron hangar, Panetta said the U.S.-Japan alliance stretches more than 50 years and is, in many ways, the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Pacific.

“And it will be for the next 50 years as well,” he added.

In line with President Barack Obama’s strategic guidance, U.S. defense forces will maintain and build on regional relationships with Japan and other countries, the secretary said.

“I just had the opportunity to be in Indonesia and meet with the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] defense ministers,” he noted. “And I conveyed the same message to them: the United States will continue to work with all of them to improve our cooperation, to improve our assistance, and to make sure that we strengthen security for all nations in the Pacific region.”

America’s strength, he said, lies in its people serving in uniform at home or in Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere around the globe…

“Make sure they never have anyplace to hide – whether it’s Pakistan, whether it’s Yemen, whether Somalia, whether it’s the Maghreb in North Africa,” the secretary said. “We have to keep the pressure on and do what the president said we must do, which is to dismantle, disrupt and defeat al-Qaida and its militant allies. And we will do that.”

With the announced withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of this year, Panetta said, the world must understand the United States will continue to have both a lasting security relationship with Iraq and a troop presence in the Middle East.

Turning to Libya, Panetta said he commends NATO forces and their partner militaries for the successful conclusion of the mission there…

“All of us can take a great deal of pride in the work that was done to achieve that mission,” he said.

“Work remains,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to confront terrorism, … nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, … [and] a whole new battlefield of the future, called ‘cyber.’”

Those challenges, along with rising powers and continued unrest in the Middle East, will be met by an American military that is capable, agile and responsive to threats, the secretary said.

“Most importantly, we have the opportunity to strengthen our presence in the Pacific – and we will,” he said. “This is an important region. The security of the world, in many ways, is dependent on the security of the Pacific.”

Panetta said his main purpose in visiting the troops was to thank them.

“You are the long arm of American military power,” he said…

The new greatest generation in America, the one that has gone to war over the last 10 years, includes more than 6,200 who have died and 46,000 who have been wounded in the nation’s service, Panetta said.

This is Panetta’s first trip to Asia as defense secretary. He is in Japan after a visit to Indonesia, and he will travel to South Korea later this week. The Japan leg of his trip will continue with scheduled meetings with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Foreign Affairs Minister Koichiro Gemba and Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa.

En route to Japan, a senior defense official told reporters traveling with the secretary that the topics of discussion for those meetings will range from arms exports and ballistic missile defense to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology and U.S. troop basing in Japan.

====

Targeting China: Pentagon To Shift Military Forces From Greater Middle East To East Asia

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\10\25\story_25-10-2011_pg4_1

Reuters
October 24, 2011

No US troop cuts in Asia: Panetta

YOKOTA AIR BASE: Defence Secretary Leon Panetta ruled out troop cuts in Asia as part of US belt-tightening as he arrived in Japan on Monday, flagging concerns about a “reckless” North Korea and Chinese military assertiveness.

Panetta, on his first trip to Asia since taking over the Pentagon’s top job in July, has been assuring allies in the region that the US military will maintain a strong posture in the Pacific despite looming defence spending cuts at home. “We are not anticipating any cutbacks in this region. If anything we are going to strengthen our presence in the Pacific,” Panetta, a former CIA director, told a gathering of US and Japanese forces at Yokota Air Base outside Tokyo.

…Panetta said the complete US military withdrawal from Iraq this year and the gradual drawdown in Afghanistan would enable the United States to shift more attention to the Asia-Pacific region. They would also allow for more focus on concerns like the threat posed by cyber warfare technologies.

…Panetta’s stop in Japan follows a meeting in Indonesia with defence ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations. After visiting Japan, he completes his week-long visit to Asia in South Korea.

In an opinion piece Panetta wrote for Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper, the defence chief noted that China was rapidly modernising its military “but with a troubling lack of transparency, coupled with increasingly assertive activity in the East and South China Seas”. In comments to U.S. troops in Italy this month, Panetta cited concerns about China as one reason the US military presence in the Pacific was so critical. “In the Pacific, we’re concerned about China. The most important thing we can do is to project our force into the Pacific,” Panetta said.

“To have our carriers there, to have our fleet there, to be able to make very clear to China that we are going to protect international rights to be able to move across the oceans freely.” Panetta, in his opinion piece in Japan, also renewed his concerns over North Korea’s “reckless and provocative behaviour”…

====

U.S. Forward-Deployed Amphibious Assault Ship In Philippines Drill

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63416

Navy NewsStand
October 24, 2011

Essex Arrives in Subic Bay for Amphibious Landing Exercise
By Seaman Sade T. Lucas, USS Essex Public Affairs

SUBIC BAY, Philippines: Forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines Oct. 22 to offload elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) for participation in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX).

PHIBLEX is a bilateral training exercise between U.S. Sailors and Marines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines designed to improve interoperability…


During the exercise, U.S. and Philippine forces will conduct air-ground and amphibious training. Exercises such as PHIBLEX allow the two nations to practice integrated operations through the full range of military operations…

The exercise is scheduled to run until Oct. 28. This year marks the 28th iteration of PHIBLEX and the 60th year of the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. U.S. and Philippine forces regularly work together in bilateral exercises such as PHIBLEX…

====

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative On Way To Georgia

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43547&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 24, 2011

James Apathurai to visit Georgia on October 27

-The sides will discuss all issues tied with Georgia`s integration into the alliance.

The Personal Representative of the NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, will visit Georgia on October 27, 2011, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze announced at a briefing today.

Kalandadze said the visit confirms NATO`s political support to Georgia and its firm positions towards Georgia.

Appathurai will hold meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, Vice PM Giorgi Baramidze, National Security Secretary Giga Bokeria and defense ministry authorities. The sides will discuss all issues tied with Georgia`s integration into the alliance.

====

Turkish Tanks, Jet Fighters Move Into Iraq

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/25/59288134.html

Itar-Tass
October 25, 2011

Turkish tanks cross into Iraq

Turkish tanks and armored vehicles, backed by air power, crossed into northern Iraq on Monday heading towards a Kurdish militant camp, Reuters reports, citing Turkish security sources.

The incursion came as cross-border operations continued in the wake of last week’s attack by Kurdistan Workers Party fighters that killed 24 Turkish soldiers.

Turkey’s military chief of staff, General Necdet Ozel, said in televised remarks that Turkish air strikes had killed an estimated 270 Kurdish militants, wounded 210 and destroyed many arms stores in northern Iraq since August 17.

====

Turkey On Azerbaijan, Karabakh Crisis: “One Nation, Two States”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158082

Azeri Press Agency
October 22, 2011

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: We will continue to struggle side by side with Azerbaijan till the occupation of Karabakh ends
Mayis Alizadeh
                      

Baku: “The occupation of Karabakh distresses each citizen of Turkey as much as it distresses my Azeri brothers. I believe that my Azeri brothers grieve over the killing of every young person in the terrorist attacks as much as we do. We are ‘one nation, two states’ and we share one heart,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the petrochemical enterprise that will be built in Izmir by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic and Turcas company of Turkey, APA’s Turkey correspondent reports from Izmir.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will continue to struggle side by side with Azerbaijan till the occupation of Karabakh ends.

“We are grateful to the friendly, fraternal Azerbaijan for sincere support in our struggle against terrorism,” he said.

====

Karabakh: Azerbaijan Boasts Of Military Prowess

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=158026

Azeri Press Agency
October 25, 2011

Ilham Aliyev: The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not and will never be a subject of negotiations

BAKU: “Unfortunately, there is no any progres in the settlement of the most difficult problems for us – the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh…We will not step back from this position. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not and will never be a subject of negotiations. We will strive, using all possible, to restore our territorial integrity”, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in his speech at the Cabinet meeting on the outcome of the country’s socio-economic development in 9 months of 2011, APA reports quoting AzerTAc.

…“That is, the status quo is unacceptable, should be changed, the conflict is not “frozen”, and changing the status quo, of course, demands the withdrawal of occupying forces from the occupied lands and the settlement way of the conflict passes through it. The occupying forces must be withdrawn from the occupied lands…We will strive, in a short time, to resolve this issue in our favor…Economic indicators both this year and the previous years, our military capabilities suggest that the gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan is increasing. These two countries are not comparable, the difference between us as between sky and earth…

“…With regard to military matters, all the statistics in the economic sphere clearly show who is who. Simply, all can see that what a great way Azerbaijan passed and country is increasing day by day. As for the military balance, I can say that until recently – perhaps as a result of Armenian propaganda a difference in this area, the difference in our favor, not enough was realized by international agencies and observers. However, the parades, held recently in both Azerbaijan and Armenia, have demonstrated that who’s who. I believe that holding military parade in Armenia was their big mistake. Because after that so called ‘parade’ all realized that how weak the Armenian military is…”

====

U.S. Military Academies Training More Cyberwarriors

http://www.stripes.com/news/cyberwarfare-joins-the-curriculum-at-service-academies-1.158642

Stars and Stripes
October 24, 2011

Cyberwarfare joins the curriculum at service academies
By Chris Carroll

WASHINGTON: A cyberattack took place recently in a darkened classroom at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Part of the Navy’s response…is the Center for Cyber Security Studies recently set up at the Naval Academy…

The head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, in March painted a grim picture in congressional testimony.

Cyber Command, which oversees DOD cyberoperations and network defense, did not supply a representative to talk to Stars and Stripes about current staffing levels. But Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, the commander ultimately in charge of Cyber Command as head of U.S. Strategic Command, told reporters earlier this week that there remains a shortage of skilled cyberwarriors.

The other service academies are also working to fill the demand. Both the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy have had research centers up and running for years, and both require students to learn the basics of computer security.

Lt. Col. Robert Fanelli, a West Point professor who runs West Point’s cybersecurity academic track, told Stars and Stripes earlier this year that cadets learn cybersecurity essentials in a number of classes.

“It’s nearly mandatory now for the cadets,” he said…

Educators at the Air Force Academy, which has long had a cyber component in required computer science courses, say interest in the area is growing. More cadets are using the academy’s “cyber range,” an isolated computer network for testing simulated operations, and more are enrolling in courses and programs that teach state-of-the-art cyberwar tactics and techniques.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Taras Shevchenko: The civilizing mission…at sword’s point

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

====

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

Ukrainian writers on war

====

Taras Shevchenko
From The Caucasus (1845)
Translated by John Weir

You love your brother as is writ
Within the Golden Rule?!
O damned by God, O hypocrites,
O sacrilegious ghouls!
Not for your brother’s soul you care,
But for your brother’s hide!
And off your brother’s back you tear:
Rich furs for daughter’s pride,
A dowry for your bastard child,
And slippers for your spouse.
And for yourself, things that your wife
Won’t even know about!

For whom, O Jesus, Son of God,
Then wert Thou crucified?
For us good folks, or for the word
Of truth…Or to provide
A spectacle at which to laugh?
That’s what has come to pass.
Temples and chapels, icons and shrines,
And candlesticks, and myrrh incense,
And genuflexion, countless times
Before thy image, giving thanks
For war and loot and rape and blood, -
To bless the fratricide they beg Thee,
Then gifts of stolen goods they bring Thee,
From gutted homes part of the loot!…

“We’re civilized! And we set forth
To enlighten others,
To make them see the sun of truth…
Our blind, simple brothers!!!
We’ll show you everything! If but
Yourselves to us you’ll yield.
The grimmest prisons how to build,
How shackles forge of steel,
And how to wear them!…How to pleat
The cruelest knouts! – Oh yes, we’ll teach
You everything! If but to us
Your mountains blue you’ll cede.
The last…because your seas and fields
We have already seized.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Castro: NATO Most Perfidious Instrument In History Of Humanity

Libya: NATO Bombing Continues, Strike Sorties Approach 10,000

21st Century Colonial Barbarism: Gaddafi Murder Message For Entire World

NATO Operation In Libya Dangerous Precedent For Balkans: Yevgeny Primakov

James Bissett: NATO Still Getting It Wrong In Kosovo

NATO’s Massacre Of Innocents In Libya

Expert: U.S., NATO May Create New Iraq In Libya

U.S.’s McCain Calls For Military Intervention In Syria

U.S. Recalls Ambassador From Syria

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Three Soldiers In Two Days

Afghan War: NATO Yearly Death Toll Nears 500

Global Military Integration: NATO Teaches Iraqi Defense Officials English

Pentagon To Strengthen Forces In Pacific, Southeast Asia: Panetta

U.S., Filipino Marines Stage Amphibious Assault Near Disputed Area

Clinton’s Asian Silk Route And Nuclear War With Pakistan

Canadian Military Build-Up Benefits U.S. Arms Merchants

====

Castro: NATO Most Perfidious Instrument In History Of Humanity

http://www.solvision.co.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2772:fidel-castro-nato-the-most-perfidious-instrument-in-the-history-of-humanity-&catid=18:reflexiones-de-fidel&Itemid=146

Prensa Latina
October 24, 2011

Fidel Castro: NATO, The Most Perfidious Instrument in the History of Humanity

Guantanamo: In a reflection published under the title “NATO´s Genocidal Role,” Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro says that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has become the most perfidious instrument of repression ever known in the history of humankind.

NATO took on its global repressive role as soon as the USSR ceased to exist; it was the USSR that was taken as pretext by the United States to set up the alliance, Fidel explains, and notes that NATO´s criminal objective was felt in Serbia, whose people heroically fought the Nazis troops during WWII.

Fidel recalls that in an effort to disintegrate Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito, NATO countries sent their troops in March 1999 to support secessionists in Kosovo, but they were met with strong resistance.

The Yankee administration, on the advice of the right-wing Jose Maria Aznar government, attacked Serbia´s TV stations, the bridges over the Danube River and Belgrade; while the Chinese embassy in that country was destroyed by US bombs that killed several diplomats.

President Slodoban Milosevic overwhelmed by the powerful aggressors and the disappearance of the USSR, yielded to NATO´s demands by admitting its troops into Kosovo under a UN mandate, which finally led to his political defeat and indictment by the Hague court, which was not impartial at all. He died in prison under weird circumstances.

Fidel says that he published nine articles on the Cubadebate website from February 21 to 27 on the role of NATO in Libya and about what he thought it would happen. And he adds that he is now obliged to offer a wrap-up of the main ideas that he expressed then, and about the events that have been taking place as they were predicted, precisely when a protagonist of the story, Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was seriously wounded by the most modern NATO warplanes that attacked his vehicle; he was captured alive and then murdered by men of the military organization.

His (Gaddafi´s) dead body has been kidnapped and exhibited like war booty, in what is a behavior that violates the most elemental principles of Muslim habits and of other religions prevailing in the world. They have announced that Libia will soon be declared a “Democratic State and Defender of Human Rights,” Fidel says and notes he will continue to write about these important and outstanding developments.

====

Libya: NATO Bombing Continues, Strike Sorties Approach 10,000

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111024_111024-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 26,323 sorties, including 9,658 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 OCTOBER: 42

Strike sorties conducted 23 OCTOBER: 12

====

21st Century Colonial Barbarism: Gaddafi Murder Message For Entire World

http://rt.com/politics/mccain-putin-gaddafi-peskov-423/

RT
October 23, 2011

‘McCain losing common sense’

John McCain’s statements are making “less and less common sense,” Vladimir Putin’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov has said, commenting on the US senator’s remarks that the Russian PM may be “nervous” after Gaddafi’s death.

“We consider it is below our dignity to react to these words in any way,” Peskov told Interfax agency on Friday. The prime minister’s press-secretary assumed that the American senator has apparently been “very tired.”

Earlier, the former Republican presidential candidate said in an interview with BBC that he believes that the events in Libya may make leaders of some other countries, including Putin, worried.

“It is the Spring, not just the Arab Spring,” McCain said.

First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Communist Party’s Central Committee and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov believes Gaddafi’s murder is a striking illustration of American and their NATO allies’ policy in the North-African country.

“I think that the entire world should watch today the published photographs and video records of Gaddafi’s murder. It is not just a dead former leader of Libya. It’s the symbol of sovereignty of an independent country that was torn to pieces by Americans,” he told journalist on Friday, as cited by Interfax. He added that the US only interest was to put their hands on vast resources of the rich country and they do not care about Libya’s future fate.

A similar thing was done in Iraq and its President Saddam Hussein, Melnikov noted.

“Back then some still had illusions about NATO and Americans’ intentions.

Now it is clear to everyone: it’s a colonial barbarism performed on the 21st century scene,” the legislator stated.

====

NATO Operation In Libya Dangerous Precedent For Balkans: Yevgeny Primakov

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=5&id=282302

Interfax
October 24, 2011

NATO operation in Libya sets dangerous precedent for Balkans – Primakov

MOSCOW: The threat of inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts remains in the Balkan countries experts define as “the European tinderbox,” which means the Libyan scenario may be repeated, ex-Russian Prime Minister, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yevgeny Primakov said at an international conference in Montenegro on October 17.

The newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta published an article based on his speech on Monday.

“I fear that the NATO operation in Libya may cast shadow on the Balkans. Such a scenario is not so unrealistic, and ways to avoid it must be found,” he said.

The precedent set by the NATO operation in Libya is extremely dangerous especially for turbulent regions and countries whose policy does not meet the wishes of NATO, he said.

The threat of inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts in the Balkans mostly exists in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Primakov said.

There had been armed clashes between the NATO KFOR and Serbians who live in Kosovo’s Metohija, and NATO forces sided with Pristina, which wanted to separate Kosovo Serbs from Serbia and to open customs posts on the currently non-existent border, he said.

Primakov recalled the position of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in September. Lavrov strongly rejected the opinion that Libya might become “a model for the future.”

Russia has a principled stand on “the problem zones”, which remain since the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, the academician said.

It does not recognize the independence of Kosovo and Metohija and views these territories as an organic part of Serbia.

“If the West welcomes the separation of Kosovo from Serbia due to the independence demands of local Albanians, why not apply the same approach to the compact Serbian areas in the northern part of Kosovo and Metohija?” he wondered.

There is a realistic chance to avoid tensions with the division of Kosovo, he said.

Russia also opposes the transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina into a unitary state and says this transformation will not follow the Dayton Agreement. “If we speak about the development of the Dayton Agreement, apparently, it is necessary to strengthen sovereign rights of Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims within the framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any other way will lead to bloodshed,” Primakov said.

Those who think that Russia opposes the accession of the Balkan countries to the European Union distort its position intentionally or unintentionally, Primakov said.

“Moscow is perfectly aware of the reasons why the Balkan countries want to join the EU. At the same time, Russia seeks to prevent the weakening of its economic, cultural and political relations with the Balkan countries by their involvement in the EU,” he said.

The Balkans are a junction of three civilizations: West European, East European and Asian Muslim. Stability and security of the forming multi-polar world depend on the solution of pressing problems of the peoples populating that special region, Primakov said.

====

James Bissett: NATO Still Getting It Wrong In Kosovo

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/NATO+still+getting+wrong+Kosovo/5595475/story.html

Ottawa Citizen
October 24, 2011

NATO still getting it wrong in Kosovo
By James Bissett*

In the three years since Kosovo, urged on by the United States, declared its unilateral independence, there has been no final resolution of this long-festering wound in the heart of the Balkans.

After the expulsion of the Serbian military from Kosovo in 1999 there was a systematic purging of the non-Albanian population and a rampage of revenge killing, and destruction.

In March, 2004, the Albanian mobs burned or dynamited more than 204 Christian churches and monasteries – some of them heritage structures dating back to the 14th century. This veritable orgy of devastation was accomplished under the watchful eyes of NATO troops who did nothing to stop the violence.

On Sept. 15, the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visited Pristina, the capitol of Kosovo, and again repeated the usual refrain that NATO was there to maintain a secure and safe environment and emphasized that “We will continue to do so – firmly, carefully, and impartially.”

Less than two weeks after his departure from Kosovo on Sept. 27, his impartial NATO troops opened fire with live ammunition on a crowd of Serbian civilians demonstrating against the establishment of Kosovo customs posts along the border between Serbia and northern Kosovo, effectively cutting them off from Serbia proper. At least six of the demonstrators were wounded. The standoff continued over the weekend.

This incident took place at the same time our NATO leaders were vigorously protesting the shooting of protesters in Syria and Yemen.

So far, there have been no apologies from the NATO leadership and no demands for a full inquiry.

Kosovo, since its so-called liberation from Serbia, has become a failed state with massive unemployment, crime and corruption prevalent, and a leadership deeply involved in the importation of heroin and arms, and human smuggling – not to mention serious allegations about the harvesting of human body parts.

Nevertheless, Kosovo is the stepchild state of the U.S.-led NATO powers, and therefore must be seen to be a success. NATO cannot admit to failure.

After all, we are told 80 countries have recognized its independence. Little mention is made that there are 113 countries of the United Nations who refuse do so – including Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Slovakia – all members of NATO.

There is a larger than life statue of president Bill Clinton in Pristina. Shortly after the occupation of Kosovo the Americans constructed the enormous Camp Bondsteel. Kosovo is their baby and at all cost it must be accepted as a sovereign state. Unfortunately, the costs are high and may well spell the demise of NATO as a respected champion of the rule of law and democratic freedom.

Canada was involved in drafting Article 1 of the North Atlantic Treaty that stated that NATO would never use or threaten to use force in the resolution of international disputes and would always act in accordance with the principles laid down by the United Nations Charter. Alas, we never hear anything more about Article 1.

After the collapse of the Soviet empire, Article 1 came to be seen by the United States as an obstacle in preventing NATO (read the United States) from intervening in out-of-area disputes and in using force to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives, frequently under the guise of humanitarian intervention.

The first opportunity of doing this was the bombing of Serbia on the false grounds that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was planning to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of its majority Albanian population and that genocide was taking place there.

Without consulting the United Nations and in violation of its own treaty, NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days and nights and was successful in tearing away an integral part of that country’s territory.

The United States and some of the NATO countries, including Canada, have gone further by recognizing the declaration of independence of Kosovo, despite UN Resolution 1244 that reaffirmed Serbia’s sovereignty over that province.

By doing so they have opened Pandora’s Box and issued an open invitation to the many groups and tribes around the world aspiring for their own state to do so by simply declaring independence. Can anyone really blame the Palestinians for expecting anything less?

*James Bissett is former Canadian ambassador to the former Yugoslavia.

====

NATO’s Massacre Of Innocents In Libya

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=120945

Pakistan Observer
October 23, 2011

Massacre of innocents in Libya
Geopolitical notes from India
M D Nalapat*

-As for BBC and CNN, which used to be hysterical about the “loss of civilian lives caused by Kadhafi“, these days they tiptoe in silence across the graveyard that much of Libya has become.
They seem to believe that the thousands of NATO-supplied rockets and artillery shells fired into so-called pro-Kadhafi areas have the miraculous quality of killing only military personnel…
-Why does the International Court not take suo motu action against the killings in Libya of so-called “pro-Kadhafi“ elements? Because it has never been international. In effect, the Court is controlled by NATO powers, who use it to diplomatically intimidate foes while ignoring the misdemeanours of themselves and their friends.
-It should not be forgotten that it was an oil company – Unocal – that bankrolled the Taliban. In Libya as well, it is French banks and NATO oil companies that have led the charge against Muammar Kadhafi, who negotiated much fairer agreements with them than they liked.

Since the collapse of the USSR caused the Cold War to end, the NATO powers have been responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands, beginning with the many afflicted by the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq after Operation Desert Storm. These had zero effect on Saddam Hussein and his family, but caused havoc within the vulnerable sections of the Iraqi population, who had to do without medicines and other necessities of life.

Although several within the UN protested at the genocidal nature of the sanctions, the US, France, Germany and the UK refused to dilute them sufficiently to allow the vulnerable within Iraq to subsist. “They ought to be taught a lesson for accepting a man like Saddam Hussein as their president”, was the rationale offered to this correspondent in Washington by a Clinton administration official.

That the people of Iraq had no say in either the coming to power of Saddam Hussein or his continuance in office mattered little to this individual, who spoke approvingly of the way then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had “faced down the softies in the UN bureaucracy who wanted the sanctions to be lifted”. The multitude who perished as a result of Albright, Blair and other champions of the Iraq sanctions regime will press on their conscience on the Day of Judgment.

But clearly not before. Whether it is Henry Kissinger of “Bomb SE Asia” fame or Albright (who may yet be given the Nobel Peace Prize), they travel the world as champions of human rights, in yet more evidence of the fact that history is always written by the stronger side. And now they have been joined by Nicholas Sarkozy of France and David Cameron of the UK, who – along with Hillary Clinton – are responsible for the situation in Libya.

Reports from the field speak of hundreds of presumed “Kadhafi loyalists” being shot or tortured, most because of tribal and other rivalries than because of the colonel. In both Sirte as well as Bani Walid, hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed by the ceaseless bombardment of both towns by the Sarkozy-appointed “Transitional Council” forces.

Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon…has been silent about the way in which so-called “Kadhafi loyalists” are being hunted down and killed in cities and towns across Libya. Some estimates claim that at least 9,000 have been killed in this way, while others give higher figures.

Although their UN mandate was to “protect civilians”, NATO forces from the start took sides in the civil war, and actively participated in the destruction of lives and property of those whom its spies denounced as “pro- Kadhafi“.

More than $800 million in infrastructure has been destroyed by NATO bombing, yet there is no talk of restitution, there is talk only of French, British and US companies getting oil contracts at concessional rates.

As for BBC and CNN, which used to be hysterical about the “loss of civilian lives caused by Kadhafi“, these days they tiptoe in silence across the graveyard that much of Libya has become.

They seem to believe that the thousands of NATO-supplied rockets and artillery shells fired into so-called pro-Kadhafi areas have the miraculous quality of killing only military personnel, when in fact each such projectile is putting at risk dozens of innocent civilians.

Today, Libya has become a hell, with much of the country going without sanitation, electric power or employment. However, any complaint is met by detention as a suspected “Kadhafi loyalist”. Interestingly, most of the anti-Kadhafi fighters are also against the NATO powers, which is why they are ensuring the concealment of large quantities of lethal weaponry supplied to them by NATO to kill the other side.

These will get used in the years ahead, against the very countries that supplied them in the first place. A few days ago, Hillary Clinton was in Libya in a bid to recover these weapons. She failed, because those she is dealing with have no control over the actual fighters, who control territory in Libya the way warlords once did in Afghanistan, and still do in some parts of that ravaged country.

As in Afghanistan, NATO has armed those who will in the future strike them.

Why does the International Court not take suo motu action against the killings in Libya of so-called “pro-Kadhafi“ elements? Because it has never been international. In effect, the Court is controlled by NATO powers, who use it to diplomatically intimidate foes while ignoring the misdemeanours of themselves and their friends.

This has been facilitated by the fact that so many so-called “international” institutions are headquartered within Europe. Why should a single continent (and a small one at that) have a monopoly over the numerous global institutions, including the IAEA, the WHO, the ILO, the International Court of Justice and so many others?

Such a location makes it impossible for 99% of the people of the poorer countries to access them, for Europe is a high-cost destination to which visas are only sparingly given. Had such institutions been located in poorer countries, then they would have been much more accessible to the world’s poor.

US Presidential candidates from the Republican Party are demanding that their country stop giving funds to the UN. The reality is that the UN spends more (directly and through the expenditure of its well-paid staff) in the US than it gets from that country. Hence hopefully funds will indeed be cut, thereby ensuring that the UN Headquarters move to another country, one that is more representative of the majority of the global population. A good candidate would be Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean.

Nearly two years ago, this columnist was invited to the International Interfaith Dialogue meeting in Geneva. This is an initiative of the Muslim World League, which has been tasked by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to promote dialogue between people of different faiths. Not only was the hotel in Geneva prohibitively expensive (although the rooms were such that even ordinary hotels in India offered more amenities) but the Swiss embassy in New Delhi gave only a 10-day visa, thereby making it clear that they did not want any Third World trash (such as this columnist) lingering around in their country or in their continent.

Fortunately, the next conference is being held in a country that is more friendly to those of average income than Switzerland. As yet, countries in Asia have not retaliated for the barriers on movement of people, goods and services to Europe. Rather, Asia has become the only expanding market for high-cost (and low value) luxury goods from France, Italy and Germany. Over the coming years, Asian countries need to coordinate their trading decisions, the way the EU does, so that retaliation can take place over transparent efforts to block Asian goods from European markets, even if (and especially if) these be cheaper and better than local alternatives.

That Asian countries are beginning to understand the importance of a unified stance is becoming clear from a very healthy development, which is the discussion now taking place between India and Pakistan over trade. Both countries are natural partners of each other, and economists estimate that more than 2 million jobs can be created were trade barriers to get lifted between Delhi and Islamabad, 40% of which will be in Pakistan. In an era of economic turmoil, it is important to gain synergy wherever it can be found, and India-Pakistan is one of the last holdouts to better trade relations. This year, India is expected to sign a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN, and soon afterwards, with the EU, once that grouping drops its insistence on a one-sided pact that gives all the pain to India and all the gain to its manufacturers. As NATO will soon find in Libya, trade is a much better way of getting geopolitical benefits than bombings and barrages.

It should not be forgotten that it was an oil company – Unocal – that bankrolled the Taliban. In Libya as well, it is French banks and NATO oil companies that have led the charge against Muammar Kadhafi, who negotiated much fairer agreements with them than they liked. The use of military power to seize assets, the way it has happened in Iraq and now Libya, will soon come back to bite the NATO oil companies. Winning a war on the battlefield is easy. Holding back the civilian population is not. And in both Libya and Iraq, the people of these two ancient civilisations will ensure that efforts at grabbing their resources by force will fail. Peace is not simply the best way, it is the only way to Prosperity through Equity.

*The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

====

Expert: U.S., NATO May Create New Iraq In Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/24/c_122188660.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 24, 2011

Austrian expert warns of new conflicts in Libya

-The Islam expert didn’t rule out that Libya would face a similar situation as that in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. NATO and the United States always trade at a profit, he said.

VIENNA: Austrian Islam expert Amer al-Bayati warned Sunday that the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi didn’t mean the situation in Libya was stable, saying new conflicts even a civil war could break out in the country.

In an interview with the Austrian Press Agency (APA), he said that Libya would not have a powerful government at least in the foreseeable future.

The current Libyan National Transitional Council was “founded spontaneously and without solid foundation,” which would make the next government formation difficult due to political infighting and disagreements, said the expert.

Although a consensus would be found, the government would be weak. This would form a political vacuum and forces of foreign countries would become the strongest power in the country, he said.

He pointed out that, if foreign forces care only about “cake-cutting,” the democracy-building in that country would be seriously hindered and the situation would be the same as in Iraq: sham democracy.

The Islam expert didn’t rule out that Libya would face a similar situation as that in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. NATO and the United States always trade at a profit, he said.

He also believed that supporters of Gaddafi were still there after his death…

Another uncertainty for the development of Libya was that many weapons were still in the hands of civilians and about half of the weapons would not turned in to the government, he added.

====

U.S.’s McCain Calls For Military Intervention In Syria

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111024/168036230.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 24, 2011

U.S. Senator McCain calls for military intervention in Syria

DAMASCUS: U.S. Senator John McCain proposed a military intervention to protect civilians in Syria now that NATO’s operations in Libya are almost completed.

“Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria,” McCain said addressing the World Economic Forum in Jordan on Sunday.

He said that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “should not consider that it can get away with mass murder,” adding that the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “made that mistake and it cost him everything.”

Gaddafi was captured and killed last week by forces loyal to the new government of Libya.

McCain, who is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, did not specify whether he meant the U.S. or NATO presence in Syria.

====

U.S. Recalls Ambassador From Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/24/59254786.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 24, 2011

US recalls its Ambassador from Damascus

The United States is recalling its Ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, for security reasons, reports the Reuters news agency with reference to a diplomatic source.

The Syrian authorities have accused Ford of interference in the country’s internal affairs.

Damascus was especially displeased by the Ambassador’s visit in July to the unrest-swept city of Hama, to support the opposition there.

====

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Three Soldiers In Two Days

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/24/c_131210040.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 24, 2011

Blast kills one NATO soldier in Afghanistan

KABUL: A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lost his life in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Afghanistan on Monday, a press release of the alliance said.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today,” the press release admitted.

However, it did not identify the nationality of the victim and the exact place of the incident, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

This is the third NATO soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan over the past two days.

Two more NATO soldiers had lost their lives in the eastern and southern Afghanistan on Sunday in insurgents’related activities, the alliance confirmed in separate statements.

So far this year, 493 NATO soldiers with 371 of them Americans have been killed in Afghanistan, according to iCasualties, a website tracking U.S. and NATO-led forces casualties in the war on terror in Afghanistan.

====

Afghan War: NATO Yearly Death Toll Nears 500

http://wireupdate.com/news/insurgents-kill-nato-soldier-in-eastern-afghanistan.html

BNO News
October 23, 2011

Insurgents kill NATO soldier in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL: A coalition service member was killed on Saturday as a result of an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

ISAF said one of its service members was killed as a result of an insurgent attack in Afghanistan’s east. 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…

So far this year, at least 488 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 in August when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.

—————————————————————————-

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/23/2-foreign-troops-killed-insurgent-attacks

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 23, 2011

2 foreign troops killed in insurgent attacks

KABUL: Two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday, the alliance announced.

The servicemembers were killed in insurgent attacks in the south and east, the NATO-led forced said in brief statements.

In accordance with its policy, ISAF deferred casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

So far during the current year, 479 foreign troops, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan.

====

Global Military Integration: NATO Teaches Iraqi Defense Officials English

http://www.arrc.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page168503138.aspx

NATO Training Mission – Iraq
October 20, 2011

English Language Training Course Graduation at the Iraqi Defence University for Military Studies

-Deputy Commander of NTM-I, MG Giovanni Armentani, delivered a speech and said: “…The knowledge of foreign languages opens the doors to other great opportunities. I am referring for example to the possibility of realizing stable partnerships with friendly countries…”

Baghdad, Iraq: The graduation ceremony for the English Language Training – Train the Trainer course (ELT T3) took place on Thursday 20 October at the Defence University for Military Studies (DUfMS).
   
Thirty students from across the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, who have been successfully studying to become English Language Instructors over the past five months, received their certificates of completion from the President of DUfMS, sLTG Jasim Hussein.

The organizations represented on the course are the Defence Language Institute (DLI), the Iraq War College (IWC), both the Iraqi Air Force and the Air Force College and the Iraqi Ground Forces.

Both the US Office for Security and Cooperation in Iraq (OSC-I), which funded and ran the course, and the NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I) continue to provide mentoring support and advice for the development of the Iraqi Armed Forces ELT capability and this graduation represents a tangible result of this endeavour.

Deputy Commander of NTM-I, MG Giovanni Armentani, delivered a speech and said: “…The knowledge of foreign languages opens the doors to other great opportunities. I am referring for example to the possibility of realizing stable partnerships with friendly countries…What you achieved today and the dedication you will put into your future daily work to improve your skills, as English teachers, is going to make a real difference to the future shape of the Iraqi Armed Forces in the years to come.”

Another ELT T3 course is planned for the New Year and this time it will be entirely delivered by Iraqi instructors.

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…

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 Office for Security and Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) Chief, 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…tactical force of NATO/PfP personnel, representing 13 member nations (as of October 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), UK, USA.

====

Pentagon To Strengthen Forces In Pacific, Southeast Asia: Panetta

http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/u-s-to-strengthen-presence-in-the-pacific-panetta-says-1.158530

Stars and Stripes
October 23, 2011

U.S. to strengthen presence in the Pacific, Panetta says
By Chris Carroll

BALI, INDONESIA: Identifying himself as a son of the U.S. Pacific coast, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta promised there would be a stronger American military presence in the Pacific, and in Southeast Asia in particular, in the years to come.

Panetta, on his first trip to the Asia-Pacific region since taking office, met Sunday with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro to discuss growing bilateral military relations and broader issues facing Southeast Asia. Chief among those issues: China’s growing assertiveness in an area it considers its own backyard.

“I’ve made it very clear… that the United States remains a Pacific power, that we will continue to strengthen our presence in this part of the world and that we will remain a force…in this region,” Panetta said.

Panetta said the United States would push for free commerce and open access in the sea and in the air. The comments were seemingly aimed at China’s recent territorial claims – disputed by various Southeast Asian countries – to the South China Sea.

Panetta met late Sunday with defense ministers from 10 nations at a meeting of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, to discuss regional issues…

“I’ve made clear that even with the budget constraints that we are facing in the United States…that there is no question in discussions within the Pentagon and discussions with the White House that the Pacific will be a priority for the United States of America,” he said.

Panetta was scheduled to meet early Monday with Indonesian President Susilo Bambeng Yudhoyono before flying to Japan. There, meetings with defense officials are expected to be dominated by the realignment of American military bases on Okinawa.

====

U.S., Filipino Marines Stage Amphibious Assault Near Disputed Area

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/A/AS_PHILIPINES_US_MILITARY?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-10-23-06-45-55

Associated Press
October 23, 2011

US, Filipino marines hold drill near disputed area
By Jim Gomez

SAN ANTONIO, Philippines: More than 200 U.S. and Filipino marines staged an amphibious assault on a beach in a combat drill Sunday near a South China Sea shoal disputed by China and the Philippines.

U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Craig Timberlake said the exercise at a sprawling Philippine naval reserve in the coastal town of San Antonio in Zambales province would allow the military allies to operate jointly in a range of scenarios…

He refused to discuss whether or not the annual drill, which has been staged for 28 years, was now being held partly to address concerns by Asian countries like the Philippines over China’s growing naval power. China has expressed unhappiness in the past over such drills near disputed South China Sea regions.

The Oct. 17-28 military maneuvers involve about 2,000 Marines and 1,000 Filipino counterparts….

Philippine officials have said the government is also looking at buying more ships, helicopters, jet trainers and air defense radars to better patrol its territorial waters and safeguard its claims over the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands in the South China Sea which are also being claimed by China and four other countries.

Scarborough shoal, which is disputed by China and the Philippines, lies off Zambales, the venue of Sunday’s exercises. An Oct. 27 drill will involve a mock raid by about 100 U.S. and Filipino marines from an American warship to capture a hostile beachhead in western Palawan province, which faces the Spratly Islands.

====

Clinton’s Asian Silk Route And Nuclear War With Pakistan

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=121252

Pakistan Observer
October 24, 2011

Hillary’s myth of Asia silk route
Rizwan Ghani

-Hillary vehemently defended US sponsored the anti-Pakistan, Pak-Afghan Trade Agreement (PATA) as a harbinger of trade and prosperity for the people of Pakistan.
The fact is America is using the PATA to dictate an American version of an “Asian Silk Route” linking Turkey, Afghanistan and India in the region.
-Hillary has said that America has no plans to stay in Afghanistan. It is a bluff. America will maintain its military bases in Afghanistan…
-Use of force is not an alternate to diplomacy and America’s use of its military card is reaching its end. Washington’s use of drones in Libya and other parts of the world including Pakistan is going to meet its logical end in The Hague. Hillary by defending US drone attack policy has made it easy for the International Courts to prosecute her also…
-Pakistan can be made safe within days by reducing the size of US diplomats to a single digit, seal the Pak-Afghan border, cut NATO supplies and use SCO observers on the border so that the world knows that Afghan resistance is indigenous.
-Washington has to withdraw from Afghanistan and accept its defeat in the region. It should respectfully seek Pakistan’s assistance to use the Gwadar-China Asia Silk Route to compete for its fair share in regional trade. It is a different debate if America can compete in Asia because it has lost its manufacturing edge to its corrupt bankers and failed capitalism.

If there was any doubt about Hillary’s warning about a US military attack on Pakistan, it was further clarified by Carl Levin’s (chairman, Senate Committee on Armed Services). He said that US interests would be protected at the cost of Pakistan. It settles the issue. Officially, America has made it clear that Pakistan would be attacked to save America. Thus, the clock is ticking against Islamabad to ‘do more’ or ‘return to the stone age’. It settles the issue and now it is clear that on the streets that America is willing to attack Pakistan on one pretext or the other.

Washington has increased its military presence on the Afghan side of the Pakistan border to show that it means business. There is a problem with Washington’s bullying approach. India had to accept humiliation by withdrawing its entire military might which it had amassed against Pakistan in 1986 (Operation Brasstacks). America is welcome to attack Pakistan.

It will not be the first time that it will cross Pakistan’s border in violation of international law, but what will America do if Pakistan nukes illegal forces on Pakistan soil and its supporters across the border? America is conversant with Pakistan’s policy of using nuclear forces in self-defense. The world knows that Pakistan is a responsible state and unlike imperial America it will resort to the ‘talk-talk’ option instead of resorting to tried, tested and failed ‘fight-talk’ option. But under no circumstances can America’s agenda be imposed at the cost of Pakistan’s national security and interests in the region.

The American narrative of the so-called war against terrorism (SWAT) is now twisted into a Haqqani narrative to secure America’s security and economic interests in the region. Pakistan therefore has to expose their double-speak and stand up for its interests.

If America has made up its mind, our political leadership should call Washington’s bluff to attack Pakistan to free Islamabad from its dictator-era imperialist agenda in the name of bilateral relations.

Hillary vehemently defended US sponsored the anti-Pakistan, Pak-Afghan Trade Agreement (PATA) as a harbinger of trade and prosperity for the people of Pakistan.

The fact is America is using the PATA to dictate an American version of an “Asian Silk Route” linking Turkey, Afghanistan and India in the region.

Hillary’s words that the stakes are too high to leave Pakistan alone show the scale of economic and strategic advantages for the Pakistan-China shortest possible “Asian Silk Route” from Gwadar to Europe via South China and Russia. Both Russia and China have already established rail links with Europe.

India is supporting America to gain access to the markets of the Central Asian Republic States (CARS). India lacks the requisite infrastructure and technology to compete with China. Delhi needs markets to support its military ambitions in the region and access to CARS is of critical importance to save India from disintegration.

Istanbul is also trying to grab a stake in the Great Game in return for its support for Israel in the Middle East and permanent European Union membership. Istanbul will be the only Muslim country that will stand with Israel and the US in the wake of a favorable UNSC decision on Palestine’s statehood based on UN Resolution legitimizing the pre-1967 borders. Since Washington and Tel Aviv don’t intend to uphold international law, Istanbul is supporting the US version of the Asian Silk Route. A careful look at the world map will show that the start of the Asian Silk Route from Pakistan to China will leave the Mediterranean Sea route redundant.

China alone will use Gwadar to import 25 percent of its energy supplies from the Middle East and it will boost Saudi Arabia’s exports. In short, it is a fight for an over $700 bn annual trade corridor which America is not ready to let go under any circumstances. Pakistan therefore needs to identify friends from opportunists. Pakistanis remember how Washington and Istanbul failed to support Pakistan during the 1971 war…In short, Hillary’s promise of a Pak-US partnership is in fact as ill-fated a consummation of the ‘black widow’ relationship. It can be averted provided Washington withdraws its plans to attack Pakistan and returns to the ‘talk-talk’ option.

America has to give clear timeline to win the confidence of regional powers. Hillary has said that America has no plans to stay in Afghanistan. It is a bluff. America will maintain its military bases in Afghanistan and it is using SWAT to re-write a new deal with Pakistan. The PPP government, weakened by corruption, a failed economy and an energy crisis is supporting Washington’s game plan. Delhi has shown that it does not support a US attack on Pakistan. In a statement it was said that Pakistan and America should return to dialogue.

India cannot afford to allow permanent a US presence in Afghanistan against the wishes of Pakistan and in the process Delhi would not like to anger regional powers demanding US withdrawal from the region as a precondition for restoring peace. China, Russia and most CARS states have demanded an end of foreign occupation of Afghanistan. Delhi cannot stand against the regional consensus and expect to gain trade and commerce corridors.

Delhi may have tickled America to play its final card of ‘gunboat’ diplomacy by threatening a sovereign state but it cannot support and stand with Washington because it could cost it its stakes in ASEAN and the SCO. Use of force is not an alternate to diplomacy and America’s use of its military card is reaching its end. Washington’s use of drones in Libya and other parts of the world including Pakistan is going to meet its logical end in The Hague. Hillary by defending US drone attack policy has made it easy for the International Court to prosecute her also. India should therefore distance itself from American polices in the region if it really wants to restore peace in the region and gain from the Pak-China Asia Silk Route.

The US and Afghanistan have lost the Great Game. The Gwadar-South China trade corridor is the only Asia Silk Route and India can only benefit if it is willing to settle the Kashmir issue so that trade corridor is further widened and both countries can benefit from it. Afghanistan can also join Pakistan as its allies not as supporter of anti-Pakistan and ant-region American policies.

American cannot maintain anti-Pakistan security setups in US embassies in Pakistan and expect to have support at the grassroots. Hillary did not deny the presence of US contractors in Pakistan. Islamabad should not succumb to US threats.

America is welcome to attack Pakistan. It will help the public to get rid of the PPP US puppet regime in elections and allow it to pursue an independent foreign policy to protect its national interests.

Pakistan can be made safe within days by reducing the size of US diplomats to a single digit, seal the Pak-Afghan border, cut NATO supplies and use SCO observers on the border so that the world knows that Afghan resistance is indigenous.

America cannot blame Pakistan for freedom fighters’ resistance against Afghan occupiers which is legitimate and recognized by UN laws. The bottom line is that America and Afghanistan have been left out of the Asian Silk Route. Washington has to withdraw from Afghanistan and accept its defeat in the region. It should respectfully seek Pakistan’s assistance to use the Gwadar-China Asia Silk Route to compete for its fair share in regional trade. It is a different debate if America can compete in Asia because it has lost its manufacturing edge to its corrupt bankers and failed capitalism.

====

Canadian Military Build-Up Benefits U.S. Arms Merchants

http://technorati.com/business/finance/article/canada-makes-big-investments-in-its/

Technocrati
October 23, 2011

Canada Makes Big Investments In Its Defense, U.S. Industry To Benefit
Dag Potter

Since 9/11 Canada has been one of the most supportive allies of the United States committing troops multiple times to Afghanistan. They have suffered over 150 military casualties and four civilian ones in that fighting. The Canadian government has also made efforts to modernize and equip their forces with better equipment to aid in their operations such as Boeing’s (BA) CH-47 heavy lift helicopters and Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) C-130J transport aircraft.

At the same time both the Liberal and Conservative Party government’s that have been in power since 2001 have planned to improve the nation’s basic armed forces. One of their responses to the world economic downturn since 2008 has been to spend targeted funds on selected military projects to aid the economy and counter unemployment. This has included investments in infrastructure and training capabilities. Canada has benefited from these contracts even when they award them to foreign suppliers, primarily the big U.S. defense contractors, because they have a 100% offset requirement.

This means that the foreign company must invest an amount equal to 100% of the value of the contract in the Canadian economy. This means they may hire Canadian suppliers for parts or maintenance or just do it in a completely unrelated part of the economy. For example Sikorsky Aircraft, part of United Technologies (UTX), sold helicopters to upgrade Canada Navy’s anti-submarine, search and rescue and surveillance capability. The program has seen delays and cost growth and Canada adjusted it by accepting more offsets from UTX.

In this vein the country announced two major contracts this week to continue their improvement of their military. The first is a major new armored vehicle upgrade contract that will go to General Dynamics Land Systems (GD).

GD has been building wheeled military vehicles for Canada and the U.S. for several years. This $1 billion contract will allow the current LAV III fleet of vehicles to remain in service for another 20 years by improving armor, weapons as well as survivability against the IED and mine threat. GD is an American company and the contract will help it weather cuts in the U.S. defense budget but it will also help Canada as most of the work will be done in that country and it will employ significant amounts of domestic workers.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Yehuda Amichai: Knowledge of peace passes from country to country, like children’s games

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000)
Translated by the author and Ted Hughes

Even my loves are measured by wars:
I am saying this happened after the Second
World War. We met a day before the
Six-Day War. I’ll never say
before the peace ’45-’48 or during
the peace ’56-’67.

But knowledge of peace
Passes from country to country,
like children’s games,
which are much alike, everywhere.

*****

Memorial Day for the War Dead

Memorial day for the war dead. Add now
the grief of all your losses to their grief,
even of a woman that has left you. Mix
sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history,
which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning
on one day for easy, convenient memory.

Oh, sweet world soaked, like bread,
in sweet milk for the terrible toothless God.
“Behind all this some great happiness is hiding.”
No use to weep inside and to scream outside.
Behind all this perhaps some great happiness is hiding.

Memorial day. Bitter salt is dressed up
as a little girl with flowers.
The streets are cordoned off with ropes,
for the marching together of the living and the dead.
Children with a grief not their own march slowly,
like stepping over broken glass.

The flautist’s mouth will stay like that for many days.
A dead soldier swims above little heads
with the swimming movements of the dead,
with the ancient error the dead have
about the place of the living water.

A flag loses contact with reality and flies off.
A shopwindow is decorated with
dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white.
And everything in three languages:
Hebrew, Arabic, and Death.

A great and royal animal is dying
all through the night under the jasmine
tree with a constant stare at the world.

A man whose son died in the war walks in the street
like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.
“Behind all this some great happiness is hiding.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Hymn to Mother Earth

October 24, 2011 4 comments

====

Musical selections

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

====

Demon Fuzz: Hymn to Mother Earth (1970)

Homeric Hymns
To Earth, Mother Of All
Translated by H.G. Evelyn-White

I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honour O holy goddess, bountiful spirit. Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.

AUDIO:

Hymn to Mother Earth

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Almost 10,000 Combat Missions: NATO Still Bombing Libya

Video And Text: Gaddafi Killing, Firsthand Account Of NATO’s Final “Triumph”

Gaddafi Killing: U.S. Hellfire Missile, British SAS, French Laser-Guided Bombs

Deceit In NATO Bombing Of Libyan Cities And Loyalists Revealed

German BND Tracked Gaddafi For Killing

After Libya War, U.S.’s McCain Targets Syria

Gaddafi’s Widow Calls For UN Investigation Into Killing

ASSASSINS R US: Libya – The UN and NATO Enjoin “Multi-State Terrorism”

U.S.’s Preeminent “Democratic” Ally In The Arab World: Obama Condoles Saudis On Loss Of Crown Prince

Kenyan Air Strikes Kill At Least 64 Somalis, Wound 130

NATO Immunity/Impunity: Turkey Amasses 15,000 Elite Troops On Iraq Border

Karzai: Afghanistan To Support Pakistan In Case Of War With U.S.

Russia Backs Afghan Bid For Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership

U.S. Increases Afghan War Military Transit Through Uzbekistan

NATO Oil Tanker Destroyed In Balochistan

Serbs To NATO: We Defeated Your Fascist Grandfathers, We Will Defeat You

Kosovo Serbs Fend Off NATO Attack

Envoy: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships In Baltic Aimed At Russia

Ukraine: U.S. Interceptor Missile Warship In Sevastopol

Two Ossetians Killed In Mine Explosion On Georgian Border

Long-Range Penetration: Pentagon To Modernize Nuclear Triad

====

Almost 10,000 Combat Missions: NATO Still Bombing Libya

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111023_111023-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 26,281 sorties, including 9,646 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 OCTOBER: 58

Strike sorties conducted 22 OCTOBER: 12

====

Video And Text: Gaddafi Killing, Firsthand Account Of NATO’s Final “Triumph”

http://rt.com/news/no-accountability-gaddafi-death-503/

RT
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi ‘killer’ tells of Colonel’s last moments

Videos

Claims made by Sanad al-Sadek al-Ureibi in a video leaked onto the Internet on Friday contradicts earlier reports made by the NTC which said that Gaddafi died of his wounds after being caught in crossfire between his supporters and NTC forces.

“We came across Gaddafi in a street, as he was walking with some children and girls,” the man said.

“I fired two bullets at him. One hit under his armpit, the other his head. He did not die immediately. It took him half an hour.”

The young fighter claimed that he did not like the idea of taking Gaddafi alive.

The men interviewing al-Ureibi showed a bloodied shirt allegedly taken from the dead Gaddafi and a golden ring engraved with the name of the colonel’s second wife, Safia, to the camera.

Libya’s interim government has not yet commented on the man’s claims although they run counter to the official version of the event.

Dr Ibrahim Tika, who performed the post-mortem examination of the deposed leader’s body, said he had been shot in the abdomen and head.

The UN Human Rights Office and Amnesty International are calling for an investigation into Gaddafi’s death as it raises concerns over what may be the unlawful killing of a prisoner.

However, Dr Benjamin Barber, an analyst at a US think tank, does not expect anyone will be held accountable for the colonel’s death.

“The question is whom they expect to hold accountable – one individual soldier who in the frenzy of battle did it, the militia from Misrata of which that individual was a part, or the NATO forces that in effect bombed the caravan?” he told RT.

“There will be a lot of talk here and in the end nothing will happen because everybody inside Libya and outside Libya will be basically glad that he’s dead and not alive,” he explained.

Middle East expert Shirin Sagedhi also doubts whether the person who killed Muammar Gaddafi will be persecuted and says that the international community now calling for an investigation has also been “complicit” in his death.

In fact, it now does not really matter if anybody will be held accountable, Sagedhi told RT. “The only thing that mattered from the beginning of the war was that Gaddafi would die. And that’s done now.”

According to the expert, the gruesome and public killing of Gaddafi was insulting to the people of Libya and the people of the region, as well as the “idea that democratic forces would brutally kill someone like that.”

Gaddafi held Libya’s tribes and ethnicities together, Sagedhi noted. “What we are going to see over the next months and years is massive tribal, and specifically, ethnic divisions,” she warned.

She concluded that NATO is not going to leave Libya completely as it has “serious corporate and business interests” in the country.

====

Gaddafi Killing: U.S. Hellfire Missile, British SAS, French Laser-Guided Bombs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8843684/Gaddafis-final-hours-Nato-and-the-SAS-helped-rebels-drive-hunted-leader-into-endgame-in-a-desert-drain.html

Daily Telegraph
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi’s final hours: Nato and the SAS helped rebels drive hunted leader into endgame in a desert drain
By Ben Farmer

Utterly ravaged by months of bombardments, Sirte was a skeleton of a city – a place without food, water or light; a city without citizens. Its streets were turned into rivers by burst pipes, as fighters battled through waist-high swathes of mud brown water, street by bloody street.

But as the sun rose over the shell of Sirte on Thursday, it was immediately apparent that something had changed.

I had arrived at the rebel position in the western suburb of Zafran in anticipation of another massed assault into District Two – the final pocket where Gaddafi loyalists had been holding out. Rebels from Misurata had told me the day before to be ready early to witness a home-made armoured battering ram, and their few tanks spearhead what they boasted would be a decisive thrust into the remaining bastion of defenders.

Little did we know, at that point, that Gaddafi had also decided that it was time for the endgame.

The embattled leader had been forced to retreat to an area 1000 yards by 500 yards, and was desperately moving from house to house, trying to evade capture.

Seeing the noose tighten to strangulation point, he had ordered his men on Wednesday night to pack a convoy of 75 vehicles in preparation for a move towards Wadi Jarif, 25 miles away.

“We decided to leave Sirte and go to Jarif because it had become unsafe,” said Mansour Daou, Gaddafi’s cousin and bodyguard. The Colonel, he said, was “tense, but not afraid”.

But Gaddafi, like us, was unaware of the chain reaction which he had sparked by making that dash for freedom.

More than 6,000 miles away, deep in the lunar landscape of the Nevada desert, American specialists trained to their computer screens spotted unusual activity at around 7.30am in District Two. From their windowless bunker, lit by constantly flickering computer screens, the analysts directed their unmanned Predator drones to zoom in on the convoy as it picked up speed and headed west. Nato’s eyes were suddenly trained on Gaddafi’s convoy.

High above Sirte the heavily-armed American USMQ1 Predator drones, which are piloted by satellite link and can provide surveillance or fire missiles in all weather, day and night, had been circling.

The aircraft, which can remain “on station” for up to 18 hours, were being remotely flown from Creech air force base in Nevada. One of the predator pilots had now received permission to attack the fleeing convoy.

Around 40 miles off the Libyan coast a Nato AWAC early-warning surveillance aircraft, flying over the Mediterranean, took control of the battle and warned two French jets that a loyalist convoy was attempting to leave Sirte.
As the convoy sped west, a Hellfire missile was fired from the Predator and destroyed the first vehicle in the convoy.

By now, the NTC troops had realised that the loyalists were escaping and a small number of lightly armed rebels began to give chase.

To me it seemed like a wild, chaotic situation. But we now know that it had, in fact, been foreseen by the British SAS and their special forces allies, who were advising the NTC forces.

British military sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that small teams of SAS soldiers on the ground in Sirte, armed but under strict orders not to get involved, had warned them throughout the siege to be alert to the fleeing of loyalists.

Assisted by other special forces – in particular the Qataris, with whom the SAS have a long relationship dating back 20 years – the SAS tried to impress on the Libyans the need to cover all escape routes.

A senior defence source has told The Sunday Telegraph that at this point the SAS urged the NTC leaders to move their troops to exits points across the city and close their stranglehold.

After the Hellfire missile struck its target, the convoy changed direction, possibly hoping to avoid a further strike, before heading west again. It had begun to fracture into several different groups of vehicles.

The French jets were also given permission to join the attack.

By now a group of 20 vehicles in the convoy had reached a point around three miles west of the city. The shattered streets had been left behind, and the convoy had halted next to a walled electricity sub station, in arid farmland dotted with breeze block compounds and trees.

Just then, the French pilot began his bombing run, seconds later releasing two 500lb GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, into the centre of the convoy.

The bombs unleashed massive force. Arriving at the site, a few hours later, their devastating power was clear to see: at least a dozen vehicles were shredded and burned out, while I counted more than 25 bodies, some lying twisted and charred inside the vehicles and others lying in clumps nearby.

The air strike marked the end of any attempt at an ordered retreat and the convoy’s remnants scattered.

Col Gaddafi had survived the air strike, but was apparently wounded in the legs. With his companions dead or dispersed, he now had few options.

Mobile phone footage shows Col Gaddafi alive but weak and bloodied, with blows raining down on him from frenzied fighters. At one point he was hauled onto the bonnet of a pickup truck, then pulled down by his hair…

Omran el Oweyb, the commander who captured Gaddafi, said that he only managed to stagger ten steps before he fell to the ground.

Sometime in the next hours or minutes he died of a bullet wound to the left temple. The official NTC account says he was caught in crossfire as he was being driven to hospital. “He was already under arrest and he was hit in the crossfire,” explained Mahmoud Jalil, the prime minister.

However the ambulance driver who ferried him said Col Gaddafi was already dead when he was loaded into the ambulance, around 500 yards from his point of capture.

One NTC member, who did not want to be named, admitted that this version of events was likely. “They beat him very harshly and then they killed him,” he said. “This is a war.”

[Gaddafi] moved nightly, terrified of surveillance and air strikes from the Nato coalition planes and drones which had supported the rebels since March.
He had good reason for such precautions.

- Additional reporting by Sean Rayment

====

Deceit In NATO Bombing Of Libyan Cities And Loyalists Revealed

http://opinion.inquirer.net/15883/deceit-in-nato-bombing-of-gadhafi-cities-and-loyalists-revealed

Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 23, 2011

Deceit in Nato bombing of Gadhafi cities and loyalists revealed
Manuel F. Almario
Spokesman, Movement for Truth

The Nato bombing of the cities of Sirte and Bani Walid tore the mask off Nato’s claim that it intervened in the Libyan conflict in order to “protect civilians.”

It goes against reason that Moammar Gadhafi’s die-hard defenders would be killing the very people loyal to them and, apparently, fighting to the death in support of the former Libyan leader.

It is a Western-propagated racist myth that non-Western peoples like Africans, Asians, Arabs and Indians value human lives less than Westerners do. Western media often claim that non-Western peoples would use “human shields” to protect themselves, or would “kill their own people” to resolve civil or political conflicts.

During the Korean war, American media were saying that the North Korean troops were using “human shields.” But the same accusation was not made against the South Koreans, the allies of the United States.

In the Vietnam war, the US media reported that the North Vietnamese were staging “human wave” attacks against the American military bases because they had “less respect” for human lives, even their own. This presumably justified the carpet bombing of North Vietnam by US B-29s, including the use of napalm and chemicals that converted large swaths of North Vietnam into a wasteland and a graveyard.

In 1901, during the Philippine-American war, US General Jake Smith ordered his soldiers to convert Samar into a “howling wilderness.” He said, “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn; the more you kill and burn, the more it will please me.” Those to be killed included “anyone over 10 years of age…(who) could carry a rifle and swing a bolo.” To justify the savagery, the Americans had to be taught to look at the Asiatic Filipinos as less than human.

Thus in an American newspaper, one Col. “Marse” Watterson described Filipinos as “the riff-raff; injun, nigger, beggar-man, thief — both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound, and cur of low degree.” (From “Little Brown Brother,” by Leon Wolff, quoting from the Louisville Courtier-Journal.)

To justify the bombing and invasion of Iraq, then-US President George W. Bush painted then Iraq President Saddam Hussein as a madman who was killing his own people with chemical weapons and who was keeping “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) presumably for use in a planned attack on the United States. After the invasion, which killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, no WMD was found.

In the Arab Spring, government forces have killed hundreds of protesting civilians in Yemen and Bahrain, but since their governments were pro-American, the West did not intervene. In Syria, Nato has not yet intervened but has made moves to do so. It is clear that Nato bombed Libya not to protect civilians because civilians have been killed by Nato bombs, but in order to grab its oil and for this, it was necessary to change the Gadhafi regime which had nationalized its oil resources.

====

German BND Tracked Gaddafi For Killing

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/23/59200508.html

RosBusinessConsulting
October 23, 2011

Germany helped locate Gaddafi

…Muammar Gaddafi was located thanks to the help of the German secret service BND, who knew his whereabouts for weeks, Radio Deutsche Welle reports.

Even though German intelligence officials say they did not provide the exact coordinates of Gaddafi’s whereabouts, the date provided was still sufficient to accurately locate the Colonel and his entourage.

The convoy of vehicles carrying the deposed leader was initially hit by NATO warplanes and then by NTC soldiers, who ultimately lynched Gaddafi.

====

After Libya War, U.S.’s McCain Targets Syria

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-senator-talks-military-option-syria-14795846

Associated Press
October 23, 2011

US Senator Talks About Military Option in Syria

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan: U.S. Senator John McCain says now that NATO military intervention in Libya is ending, military action to protect civilians in Syria might be considered.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Jordan Sunday, the Republican senator said like Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, Syrian President Bashar Assad is committing “mass murder” against his people and warned he will not get away with it. McCain said the Assad regime has “spilled too much blood” and its days are numbered.

====

Gaddafi’s Widow Calls For UN Investigation Into Killing

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1948258.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi’s widow calls for UN investigation

The widow of slain leader Moamer Gaddafi called for a UN investigation into the circumstances of her husband’s death after he was captured alive in Libya, a pro-Gaddafi television reported Saturday.

“We call on the United Nations to investigate the circumstances of the death of the Mujahid (holy warrior) Moamer Gaddafi,” Safia Gaddafi was quoted by the Syria-based Al Rai television as saying, DPA reported.

Controversy still prevails about the circumstances around which Gaddafi was killed on Thursday. It is still unclear whether he died caught in crossfire, as the ruling National Transitional Council claims, or he was executed on the field by the council’s fighters, DPA reported.

“I am proud of the courage of my husband and my sons who confronted the aggression of 40 countries and their agents for six months, and who died as martyrs,” Safia was quoted as saying.

Safia Gaddafi fled to Algeria with her daughter Aisha – and two Aisha’s brothers, Hannibal and Mohamed – after the council’s fighters entered the capital Tripoli in August.

====

ASSASSINS R US: Libya – The UN and NATO Enjoin “Multi-State Terrorism”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27225

Global Research
October 22, 2011

ASSASSINS R US: Libya: The UN and NATO Enjoin “Multi-State Terrorism”
by Felicity Arbuthnot

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians: 6:12.)

What a decade it has been for assassinations, liquidations, exterminations – for state terrorism led by the Land of the Free. Summary executions include Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. On 5th February 2003, General Colin Powell stating that he headed a deadly terrorist network within Iraq – just six weeks before the US headed a deadly terrorist network, in an illegal invasion, which entirely destroyed Iraq.

On 7th June 2006, at Hibhib, near Baquba, al-Zarqawi was killed by two five hundred-pound bombs, dropped by USAF F-16 jets, killing five others including his wife and child. Legality, trying in law those accused of wrong doing, is, seemingly, so yesterday.

President Saddam Hussein and some of his sovereign government were subject to a kangaroo court, laughable had it not shamed and disgraced the word “legal” at every level. Then he was lynched.

Osama bin Laden’s alleged death, with still unaccounted for others, was another blot on legality and humanity, with his body seemingly summarily disposed of as shark food. Why observe religious and legal niceties, when they may, in turn, preserve forensic, legal evidence?

Hilary Clinton and her partners in crime, were, of course, shown “watching” this gruesome slaying, by illegal immigrants, who had entered ally Pakistan, without bothering to request permission for air space or passage. It then had to be admitted there was in fact no transmission from a video, previously said to be screened from one of the assassins helmets. Hollywood meets Capitol Hill?

Subsequently this tasteless, part-fictional scenario with Ms Clinton’s hand over her mouth, feigning personal “shock and awe” was, the gullible were informed, due to “an allergy.”

Her repellent performance on CBS(i) shortly after Quaddafi’s death, assassination, execution, street dragging – early days for the exact sequence of another bloody illegality, was Madame Clinton for real. She near punched the air, roared with laughter and announced:

“We came, we saw, he died.”

“Did this have anything to do with your visit?” (On 18th October) she was asked

“Nnn …” Then: “I’m sure it did.” Grin.

During her brief trip she had stated: “We hope he [Col Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon …”

Arguably, not since Madeleine Albright, when US Ambassador to the United Nations (“… avowed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…”) stated that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were “A hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it”(60 Minutes, 12th May 1996), has such abhorrent, shaming filth been spewed over the air waves.

But then, the UN was the vehicle for the silent killing fields which were the strangulating thirteen-year embargo on Iraq. The silence on thirteen years of illegal, unsanctioned bombing by the US/UK. Then this last March, they endorsed UNSCR 1973, which became the completely overt mass murder of Libyans in a seven-month (and ongoing) “humanitarian” blitzkrieg.

In the UK, the newspapers did their best to vie with Clinton’s sewer rhetoric. Seldom has a bloody, illegal, apparent summary execution, assassination of a head of state, been more tastelessly lauded.

“Bullet in the Head – That’s for Lockerbie” (The Sun). Apart from their excursion to the literary drainage pipes, they Sun apparently neither attended the trial, or has registered the deep legal concerns surrounding the Lockerbie verdict. “End of a Tyrant” trumpeted The Independent, of whom a little more is expected. “Tyrant Showed no Mercy, Shot by Rebels”, celebrated The Mirror. “Gaddafi’s Death: Key Moments”; MSN was in trash movie mode.

“Death of a Tyrant” is the choice of many, with The Star perhaps managing to plunge to an all-time journalistic depth with: “Mad Dog Put Down.”

NATO’s depraved allies in the “New Libya” are – in defiance of all decency, and of any religion, especially Islam – displaying his body, and that of his son Mutassim (37) naked to the waist, in freezers, in a meat store in Misrata, inviting souvenir photographs.

It is a pitiless, shocking re-run of the display of the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday, also summarily executed, rather than being treated in accordance with the law, as prisoners of war, along with Hussein’s fifteen-year-old grandson, courtesy US troops in Mosul, northern Iraq.

Islam is specific as to rituals for the deceased: “After the soul leaves the body, eyes must be closed.” (Colonel Quaddafi’s were not for considerable time, according to pictures.) “When the soul is taken, the eyesight follows.” The washing must follow specific procedure and then body fully covered, including the head and face. Necrophilic tourism is not an option – and bodes a sinister future if indicative of the values of those now seemingly holding power, legally or otherwise.

There may be worse to come. Seizing the illegal precedent which has been set by the disposal of Osama bin Laden’s bullet-ridden remains, by the body snatching killers in Afghanistan, there is talk of burying Libya’s head of state at sea. As with bin Laden, it would get rid of the evidence. Dead men don’t talk of past deals, commitments, betrayals – and disappeared ones leave no forensic evidence of, seemingly, a murderering mob of NATO-facilitated thugs.

Will pressure for the body to be handed over to his tribe tempt another disgraceful act? That tribe has issued this statement: “We call on the UN, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International to force the [National] Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs’ bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules.”

Further pressure is building from the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur, is adament: “The Geneva conventions are very clear that when prisoners are taken they may not be executed willfully and if that was the case then we are dealing with a war crime, something that should be tried”, he told Al Jazeera. (21st October 2011.)

One eyewitness allegation of Colonel Quaddafi’s death hardly seems to meet with Geneva Convention criteria: “ … he was being beaten, kicked, with rifle butts, boots. He looked confused … he was saying ‘help me, help me’, but his voice was really strained, he was croaking. A few of us were around him, we thought we should get him somewhere we could question him about the others. But he was then taken away in a wave of people and then there were shots.”

There are more similarities between Iraq and Libya. Two leaders who took over countries crippled by colonialism and turned them in to thriving, largely well-developed nations, with high-quality free health care, education, living standards.

In threatened crises, US Presidents and their administrations cower in hidden bunkers deep in mountains, British Prime Ministers and their Cabinet, and ranking officials, are not renowned as front-line operators either. Indeed, the speed with which the British and American Ambassadors and their staff left Libya, at the first sign of trouble, was pathetic – and nationally humiliating.

Both Saddam and his sons said they would never leave their country and would die there. They did. Colonel Quaddafi did the same. Saddam faced out “Shock and Awe”, Quaddafi twenty-six thousand Nato sorties and over nine thousand, six hundred strike missions in seven months; sixty-eight strikes, seemingly, around Sirte on the day he was killed near there. Whatever their failings, their courage was towering.

Saddam lost his sons and grandchild and never saw his surviving family before he died. Quaddafi lost three grandchildren and three sons, and a fourth died with him. After the deaths, the Western media sneered because he failed to appear on the air waves for a few days.

However, the rats are crawling back on to the deck of the remains of the ship. On 21st October, Britain’s replacement Defence Minister – his predecessor got in to a little local difficulty – Phillip Hammond, announced that the UK had presented a license to drill for oil request to the National Transitional Council, far less than twenty four hours after the announcement of Quaddafi’s death. Further:

“Libya is a relatively wealthy country with oil reserves, and I expect there will be opportunities for British and other companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Libya.

“I would expect British companies, even British sales directors, (to be) packing their suitcases and looking to get out to Libya and take part in the reconstruction of that country as soon as they can”, he said. (Independent, 22nd October 2011.)

When the US ambassador, Gene Cretz, ran the Stars and Stripes up over the American embassy in Tripoli at it’s re-opening ceremony on 22nd September, he remarked: “We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libya’s natural resources.”

There have been many reports of Predator drones over Libya these last seven months. Seems there may be even more predators on the ground.

On Sunday 23rd October, 2011, the non-elected insurgents (sorry, National Transitional Council) are to declare Libya’s “liberation.”

The day marks the centenary of an Italian pilot becoming the first to use aircraft in war, taking off from Libya to observe Turkish troops in the Turko-Italian war. (23rd October 1911.)

Ironically it also marks the fist meeting of the UN General Assembly (23rd October 1946), a body which has strayed so far from its fine, stated, aspirations.

Drone: “Person who lives off the work of others.” (Oxford Dictionary.)

UPDATE: As I finish this, it is being announced that Colonel Quaddafi’s body will be returned to his family for burial. It is indeed, if disgustingly belatedly so incumbent upon the “authorities” to do so. We will see.

i. i. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlz3-OzcExI&feature=youtube_gdata

====

U.S.’s Preeminent “Democratic” Ally In The Arab World: Obama Condoles Saudis On Loss Of Crown Prince

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/23/c_131206976.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 23, 2011

Obama expresses condolences on death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday expressed his “deepest condolences” on the death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, according to a statement issued by the White House.

“It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia,” Obama said in the statement.

He said Crown Prince Sultan, as Saudi Defense and Aviation Minister for almost 50 years, dedicated himself to the welfare and security of his people and country, and was a valued friend of the U.S.

Obama also hailed him as a strong supporter of the “deep and enduring partnership” between the two countries that was forged almost seventy years ago.

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz passed away on Saturday. He was one of the top figures in the oil- rich kingdom. He had various medical issues in recent years, and have traveled to Morocco for treatments. He had been in the United States since June and underwent a medical operation in July.

====

Kenyan Air Strikes Kill At Least 64 Somalis, Wound 130

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/206171.html

Press TV
October 23, 2011

Kenyan airstrikes kill 64 in Somalia

Kenyan airstrikes have claimed the lives of at least 64 Somali civilians, while leaving dozens of others injured, Press TV reports.

The fatal airstrikes were carried out by Kenyan jet fighters near the southern town of Afmadow, a Press TV correspondent reported. At least 130 people were also injured in the air attacks.

Kenyan troops have advanced about 100 kilometers (60 miles) into the southern areas and, having seized the key Somali town of Qooqani last Tuesday, are bracing for another round of attacks on the strategic city of Afmadow, largely controlled by al-Shabab main target of the joint Somali-Kenyan offensive is to flush out the militants from the port city of Kismayo – Shabab’s economic headquarters, located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) to the southeast of Afmadow.

====

NATO Immunity/Impunity: Turkey Amasses 15,000 Elite Troops On Iraq Border

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157882

Azeri Press Agency
October 22, 2011

Turkey launches ground operations in Northern Iraq

Turkish forces entered Nazdere region in Turkey-Iraq-Iran triangle

Baku: Turkish Army continues operations in the territory of Iraq to strike [against Kurdistan Workers Party] camps.

About 15,000 elite Turkish forces have gathered on Turkey-Iraq borders. The forces launched ground operations hunting for militants.

Local officials of northern Iraq said the first operations have been launched in Nazdere, Hakuruk province in the Turkey-Iraq-Iran triangle.

Additional forces are gathering now in the Turkish provinces of Uludere, Cukurca and Semdinli bordering with Iraq.

Turkish forces continue air strikes on the…camps. The planes taking off from the Diyarbakir military base launched continuous air strikes on PKK camps in the Zargos mountain chain stretching from northern Iraq to Iran.

Before the large-scale operations, unmanned aircraft carried out reconnaissance flights over the…camps…

====

Karzai: Afghanistan To Support Pakistan In Case Of War With U.S.

http://en.rian.ru/news/20111022/168003195.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 22, 2011

Afghanistan to support Pakistan in case of war with U.S.

MOSCOW: In case of war between Pakistan and the U.S., or any other country, Kabul will support Islamabad, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday.

“If, Lord forbid, a war begins between Pakistan and the USA, Afghanistan will be on the side of Pakistan,” Karzai said in an interview to Pakistani television channel.

Karzai added that no other state, including China, India or the U.S., could ever set Afghan people against Pakistan, but also mentioned the difficulties in relations between the two countries.

====

Russia Backs Afghan Bid For Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/22/russia-backs-afghan-bid-sco-membership

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 22, 2011

Russia backs Afghan bid for SCO membership
By Mir Agha Samimi

KABUL: Moscow would support Kabul’s bid for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) membership, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan promised on Saturday.

Zamir Kabulove held out the promise at a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

They also discussed preparations for the upcoming Istanbul conference and stressed joint regional cooperation efforts, the statement added.

Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are members of the organisation, founded on June 15, 2001. Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia have observers’ status while Turkmenistan and Afghanistan attend SCO gatherings as guest nations.

Russia would provide 3,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan in food aid, said the diplomat, who added his country was ready to increase reconstruction assistance.

====

U.S. Increases Afghan War Military Transit Through Uzbekistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\10\23\story_23-10-2011_pg7_27

Agence France-Presse
October 23, 2011

US seeks to increase flow of military goods via Uzbekistan

TASHKENT: The United States is trying to increase the flow of non-lethal supplies to US troops in Afghanistan via Uzbekistan, as it may not always be able to count on the Pakistan route, a US official said on Saturday.

The official spoke as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as part of the US military’s Northern Distribution Network (NDN), following a trip to Pakistan to discuss troubled ties there.

“As a general rule, we’re trying to get more (goods) through Central Asia and through Uzbekistan,” the senior State Department official, who was accompanying Clinton, told reporters on condition of anonymity. “We’ve always said that we prefer to use the Pakistan route because it’s cheaper, it’s shorter,” the official said, recalling that the northern route goes via the Baltic states, Russia and Kazakhstan.

“But still, it’s (the northern route) is a good thing to have,” he added.

“And again with our (often troubled) relations with Pakistan, we always have to be prepared should they decide to either want to restrict our access or, even in the worst case, close it off,” the official said. “We would be prepared to move north through Central Asia if necessary,” he said.

The route from Uzbekistan is a rail link that distributes fuel and other non-lethal goods. He said about 50 percent of surface shipments take that route. The Uzbeks however are “sensitive” about publicising the route to Afghanistan for fear that it will prompt “retribution” from the Taliban and other Islamist militants in the region, he added. In February 2009, during improving relations with Washington, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said he would allow the United States to transport non-military supplies through his country as part of the NDN.

====

NATO Oil Tanker Destroyed In Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\10\23\story_23-10-2011_pg7_7

Associated Press of Pakistan
October 23, 2011

NATO oil tanker gutted at Bakhtiarabad

SIBI: An oil tanker was completely gutted when it caught fire due to two explosions at Bakhtiarabad Oil Terminal on Saturday.

“An explosive device was planted in the oil tanker parked at the terminal,” police said and added the tanker was carrying oil for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan.

The law enforcement agencies rushed to the site and cordoned off the area to trace out the suspects. The police were also in search of the driver of the fuel tanker who had left the oil terminal before the explosions. Further investigation was underway.

====

Serbs To NATO: We Defeated Your Fascist Grandfathers, We Will Defeat You

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-barricades-stand-off-477/

RT
October 22, 2011

Border disorder: Kosovo stand-off continues

Video

As months of tension between Serbs and ethnic Albanian Kosovans continue, roads in Northern Kosovo remain closed, for some. Serbs are fortifying their barricades and see themselves again as victims of history.

At least a thousand Serbs and NATO soldiers in riot gear remain in a face-off on the Kosovo border. The Serbs have been ordered once again to remove the barricades and roadblocks they have erected at the Rudare crossing.
Local Serbs compare the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR, with the fascist occupiers of the past.

Cartoons which are being passed from hand to hand read “We defeated your granddads, we defeated your fathers – we will win again!”

“Why do they think they can come and take our land?” one local man wonders. “Serbia is our home! We don’t want to live in Albania!”

As one local woman says, local Serbs “have nothing, but a flag and faith in God,” against well-armed forces.

And some 200 meters away, NATO-KFOR soldiers keep watching.

“I would prefer a peaceful solution by talks, by an agreement,” says KFOR Commander General Erchard Drews. “But if that is not to be reached, I will have to be on my own. I will have to fall back on my own means. Some of them are behind me.”

No surprise that the general’s “own” means are military ones.

The status quo in Northern Kosovo remains. The standoff between KFOR soldiers and local Serb civilians is no closer to resolution, but people from both sides of the barricades are glad to avoid any further violence.

But away from the media glare, hostility is commonplace.

Dobrivoje Putnik, a 23-year old Serb, was with his father when he was shot dead just three weeks ago, while visiting an Albanian village in Kosovo’s South. Serbs are a minority there, living in tiny enclaves.

“I was waiting for him in a car,” Putnik said. “I saw him coming out of the Albanian cafeteria. Then I heard two gunshots and my dad fall down. I rushed to him, but I was late. He died immediately, I didn’t even say goodbye to him.”

Dobrivoje was shot too, when his father’s killers tried to eliminate the only witness.

“I will never return to that place,” he said. “They will chase me… I’m worrying about my family and myself.”

In a separate incident, just last week, another unarmed Serb, the father of a large family, was killed in a confrontation with a local. Miodrag, together with two his friends, went to see what used to be Serb land, now owned by ethnic Albanians since Serbs fled after NATO’s 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.

They were stopped by the new occupier.

“We talked for five minutes,” said Dejan Bodicevic, a friend of the killed Serb. “Then [the occupier] said he needed to come back to his car to take his cell phone, but came back instead with a Kalashnikov. ‘Do you want your land back?’ he shouted and started firing at us. Miodrag was killed at the scene.”

The men who just lost their friend say there is only one reason he was killed: “That’s just because we are Serbs. Period.”

Eleven years after the end of major conflict, and despite the presence of international peacekeepers, violence seems to be still part of everyday life for some in this troubled breakaway province. And there is little sign that is likely to change.

====

Kosovo Serbs Fend Off NATO Attack

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/22/59181727.html

Itar-Tass
October 22, 2011

Kosovo Serbs protect barricades on border with Serbia

Kosovo Serbs have prevented the attempts of NATO’s KFOR servicemen to remove the barricades and roadblocks they built on the entries to the check points on the border with Serbia in the north of the region.

Earlier this week KFOR soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowd of Serbs protecting barricades on the way to Brnjak check point. In clashes eight peacekeepers and 2- protesters were wounded.

The Albanian authorities of Kosovo are trying to get full control over the check points on the border with Serbia.

====

Envoy: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships In Baltic Aimed At Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/22/59183319.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 22, 2011

US’ Aegis ships in Europe contradict declared ABM’s goals – Rogozin

A possible deployment of the US’ Aegis ships in northern seas as part of the European anti-ballistic missile system would contradict the earlier declared goals of the European ABM, Russia’s envoy in NATO Dmitry Rogozin said Saturday in an interview with the Moscow Echo radio station.

Rogozin said that the Aegis system includes counter missiles, which are capable of destroying short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. In future, they will be capable of destroying missiles of any range, he added.

Rogozin stressed that the only country in the region which has intercontinental strategic missiles is Russia.

====

Ukraine: U.S. Interceptor Missile Warship In Sevastopol

http://en.ria.ru/mlitary_news/20111021/167948863.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

U.S. missile cruiser visits Ukraine’s Sevastopol port

-Locals in Ukraine’s Crimea, which has a largely Russian-speaking population, frequently protest against visits by NATO ships as Sevastopol also hosts the main headquarters and the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

SEVASTOPOL: A U.S. missile cruiser arrived on Friday in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol on an official visit which local authorities tried to kept secret to avoid protests, a source in the Sevastopol port said.

USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) had to wait for several hours before entering the Sevastopol harbor to skip an “unwelcome reception” by the crowds of protesters who had been gathered at the port since early morning.

“In order to avoid protests, the city authorities kept the timing of the visit a secret. The American officials will hold several meetings with their Ukrainian colleagues, but no major exercises are scheduled,” the source said.

Locals in Ukraine’s Crimea, which has a largely Russian-speaking population, frequently protest against visits by NATO ships as Sevastopol also hosts the main headquarters and the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Philippine Sea is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser equipped with the Aegis combat system and 26 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It is one of the U.S. warships being deployed in the Mediterranean as part of the Phased Adaptive Approach program designed to shape the European segment of the U.S.-led project to build a global missile defense network.

The Philippine Sea has earlier made a stop at the Georgian port of Batumi for exercises with the Georgian coast guard ships.

====

Two Ossetians Killed In Mine Explosion On Georgian Border

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=282216

Interfax
October 22, 2011

Two people killed in mine explosion on Georgian-Ossetian border – official

TSKHINVALI: A mine blew up in the village of Ikoti in South Ossetia’s Tskhinvali district close to the border with Georgia, the republic’s prosecutors told Interfax on Saturday.

Early reports suggest that two people have been killed as a result of the explosion, the source said.

South Ossetian bomb disposal experts and law enforcement officers have travelled to the scene.

The preliminary theory is that the mine was planted there during the August 2008 events.

An inquiry is under way, the results will be announced later, prosecutors said.

====

Long-Range Penetration: Pentagon To Modernize Nuclear Triad

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65721

U.S. Department of Defense
October 19, 2011

Stratcom Chief Discusses U.S. Nuclear Triad
By Karen Parrish

-The U.S. nuclear triad includes 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic missiles deliverable by 76 Air Force B-52s and 20 B-2s, and 18 Navy Ohio-class submarines carrying ballistic or cruise missiles.
-The Air Force plans to replace the B-52 fleet with a long-range strike platform or family of systems, which Air Force leaders have said would center on a new long-range, penetrating bomber, a global strike system, a long-range standoff weapon, and an enabler system.
Stratcom’s chief said his organization has set three requirements for the new system: it must be truly long range; it must be able to penetrate defenses; and it must serve as both a conventional and a nuclear platform.

WASHINGTON: While 10 years of war have focused the military on conventional weapons, the nation’s nuclear force is in need of attention, a senior officer told Defense Writers Group reporters yesterday.

Air Force Gen. C. Robert “Bob” Kehler leads U.S. Strategic Command, which with its subordinate and functional commands is responsible for missile defense; global strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; cyber defense and space operations, as well as combating weapons of mass destruction.

Stratcom’s nuclear mission is one of its “big three” responsibilities, along with space and cyber, Kehler said.

The U.S. nuclear triad includes 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic missiles deliverable by 76 Air Force B-52s and 20 B-2s, and 18 Navy Ohio-class submarines carrying ballistic or cruise missiles.

While sustaining current systems is an immediate issue, the triad also needs to be modernized in the coming decades, Kehler said, noting the Ohio-class submarine fleet likely will reach the end of its service life in the late 2020s.

“That will come because of reasons that the Navy understands well about operating platforms that are constantly subjected to [pressure variations],” he said. “We’re going to have to make some decisions … [that will] require us to have some modernization programs in place.”

All three of the triad legs “need to be sustained … until replacements come along. And, of course, the replacements are being discussed in the budget discussions, as well,” Kehler said.

The Air Force plans to replace the B-52 fleet with a long-range strike platform or family of systems, which Air Force leaders have said would center on a new long-range, penetrating bomber, a global strike system, a long-range standoff weapon, and an enabler system.

Stratcom’s chief said his organization has set three requirements for the new system: it must be truly long range; it must be able to penetrate defenses; and it must serve as both a conventional and a nuclear platform.

While Stratcom has not set a specific intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance requirement for the new system, Kehler said, the value of a platform that can both drop bombs and gather intelligence is clear.

“The more flexibility that we can include in platforms today, the better,” he said.

Over the course of its active service with the Air Force beginning in 1955, the B-52 has served as a platform for conventional bombs, smart weapons and nuclear weapons, he said.

The current challenge is sustaining the B-52 as a standoff nuclear platform until a new long-range strike capability comes on line, Kehler said.

What aircraft or missiles the Air Force will ultimately select and fund for future long-range strike missions still is under discussion, he added.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has been clear that he wants defense budget decisions to be based on strategy, and planning discussions now underway are taking that approach, Kehler said.

“I continue to stand by the need for a triad; certainly in the near term, I believe that we can sustain a triad,” the general said. “I think there are going to be interesting questions about both the scope and pace of modernization as we go forward.”

The U.S.-Russia strategic arms reduction treaty known as “New START” that took effect this year sets nuclear force ceilings at 1,550 deployed weapons and 750 deployed launchers, Kehler noted.

A viable nuclear force requires sufficient force structure, expertise, and industrial-base support for weapons, he said.

“You can have a hollow nuclear force, and we need to be very careful about that,” he added.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Boethius: Provoking death’s destined day by waging unjust and cruel wars

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

====

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

====

Boethius
From The Consolation of Philosophy
Translated by H.R. James

The Unreasonableness of Hatred

Why all this furious strife? Oh, why
With rash and wilful hand provoke death’s destined day?
If death ye seek – lo! Death is nigh,
Not of their master’s will those coursers swift delay!

The wild beasts vent on man their rage,
Yet ‘gainst their brothers’ lives men point the murderous steel;
Unjust and cruel wars they wage,
And haste with flying darts the death to meet or deal.

No right nor reason can they show;
‘Tis but because their lands and laws are not the same.
Wouldst thou give each his due; then know
Thy love the good must have, the bad thy pity claim.

*****

The Former Age

Too blest the former age, their life
Who in the fields contented led,
And still, by luxury unspoiled,
On frugal acorns sparely fed.

No skill was theirs the luscious grape
With honey’s sweetness to confuse;
Nor China’s soft and sheeny silks
T’ empurple with brave Tyrian hues.

The grass their wholesome couch, their drink
The stream, their roof the pine’s tall shade;
Not theirs to cleave the deep, nor seek
In strange far lands the spoils of trade.

The trump of war was heard not yet,
Nor soiled the fields by bloodshed’s stain;
For why should war’s fierce madness arm
When strife brought wound, but brought not gain?

Ah! would our hearts might still return
To following in those ancient ways.
Alas! the greed of getting glows
More fierce than Etna’s fiery blaze.

Woe, woe for him, whoe’er it was,
Who first gold’s hidden store revealed,
And – perilous treasure-trove – dug out
The gems that fain would be concealed!

Categories: Uncategorized

Libya: A Brutal, Gratuitous Slaying, the New World Order in All Its Transparent Barbarism

October 22, 2011 10 comments

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/22/59134146.html

Voice of Russia
October 22, 2011

“A brutal, gratuitous slaying”
John Robles

Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca.

How are you today, Mr. Rozoff?

Rather distressed by the news of this morning. Or yesterday morning in your case.

Ok, what is your first impression?

It was a brutal, gratuitous slaying of an almost 70-year-old man, killed after being captured. And if the intent of 216 days of NATO bombing was to kill him in the first place, which is clearly the case, with the multiple bombings of his compound in Tripoli, which in one case killed one of his sons and three grandchildren, it is clearly targeted killing and I suppose NATO can now claim success. It has got what it wanted.

President Barack Obama said that there is going to be a pull-out from Libya very soon, so in your mind does that mean the objective has been met?

Yes, it has entirely. Regime change, take-over of Africa’s largest oil reserves, the incorporation of Libya, which hitherto had been the only North African country that was not a member of NATO’s so-called Mediterranean Dialogue, into what is now according to Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen a military partnership with the North Atlantic Alliance…So in every sense their objective has been accomplished. It’s certainly nothing that is going to benefit the Libyan people.

You don’t see this as being justice for the oppressed Libyan people? I mean there are people saying that Gaddafi was a terrible guy. He killed thousands so he deserved to die.

There is just so much – what term do I want to use? – low taste, gratuitous reveling in the murder of this man, who was born 70 years ago in the very city he was murdered in on the 216th day of NATO’s bombing of his country. He was born under Italian Fascist occupation and he died under NATO occupation. I think the parallel there can’t be missed, including the fact that Italy supplied some of the warplanes that have devastated his country since the middle of March, since March 19th. If he was the monster they’ve portrayed him as being – and I invite your listeners to go to the NATO website and see some of the crude caricatures of Gaddafi they’ve posted over the last few days – wall graffiti and so forth – portraying him in a demeaning and belittling way, to further dehumanize him preparatory to murdering him.

Alright, I saw some television coverage of his naked body being thrown around like a piece of meat. I am sorry for the expression.

Yes, after they brought him to Misrata. This is sickening, barbaric and worse than barbaric treatment and it’s in a long line of similar travesties. This is true with Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, with any leader of a country that doesn’t kowtow entirely. I am not putting all these people in the same basket. Let’s rephrase that. Any leader whose time has come according to the United States and NATO can expect death. Hussein was hanged, Gaddafi was shot. Whereas Gaddafi was considered to be – he was only nominally so, but he was considered to be – the head of state and even the head of the military, and the bombing of his private residences under the guise of their being command and control centers suggests that he was considered by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to be in charge of the Libyan military, when he was captured on Thursday his treatment was governed by the Geneva Conventions, but instead he was shot through the head and murdered. This is the new regime that is being implanted in Libya, and for all the West’s talk of the rule of law and humanitarian concerns and so forth this is a graphic image of its true intentions, just like the death of Slobodan Milosevic in a veritable dungeon in the Netherlands because he was denied proper medical treatment in Russia, and the grotesque hanging of Saddam Hussein. This is the image of the new world order, a world order in all its transparent barbarism.

What do you mean he was denied medical treatment in Russia?

Russia offered to make a deal with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to bring Slobodan Milosevic to Moscow for medical treatment, but he was denied that opportunity and he died shortly thereafter. Even more foul play may have been involved but the message is very clear.

Do you see a pattern, I am sorry to interrupt you there. Do you see a pattern here, I am sure you do, between Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and now Gaddafi? I mean, we have countries, for example, Hussein and Gaddafi, they pretty much stopped their weapons’ programs. They cooperated with the CIA, in this case from what I’ve heard, and it’s pretty much a given, Gaddafi was assisting the war on terror fight by the United States by allowing rendition flights to Libya. He stopped his weapons programs. Do you see a pattern here?

Yes, there’s a very clear pattern. That the United States and the North Atlantic allance use somebody for whatever purpose they want to and then get rid of them and kill them afterwards. Slobodan Milosevic, at political risk to himself inside at that time the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, played a role in negotiating an end to the armed hostilities in Bosnia, in gratitude for which his country was bombed for 78 days in 1999 by the United States and its NATO allies and subsequently he was left to die in prison.

He had a deal with the CIA, I think, it came out, and I think that it’s pretty much a part of the public record that he believed that he was going to be protected.

I don’t know the details about that but at the end of the day what we see is there are a lot of corpses and we see the killings of heads of state. We have to recall that, again, even though he was a titular, a nominal, head of state, Muammar Gaddafi was the longest reigning leader in the world. He was the last personal link – since Fidel Castro retired as president of Cuba – between the post-World War II national liberation struggles and the emergence of new nations during the Cold War era and the post-Cold War era that issued in NATO as an international military strike force that can topple governments at will around the world. NATO boasts on its website as of today of flying over 26,000 air missions over a country of six million people, with well over 9,000 of those being combat sorties. So this monster has been unleashed over the last 20 years and Libya will not be the last country so targeted. That you can be assured of.

What do you think is going to happen next?

I don’t know if Libya is able to be put back together again. The Western powers incited regional and tribal differences in order to topple the former Gaddafi government, and believing you can put that genie back in the bottle is overly optimistic – and disingenuous. With the military commander of the National Transitional Council [Abdel Hakim Belhaj] being somebody the United States incarcerated and interrogated as part of its “extraordinary rendition” program and a former fighter in Afghanistan, past leader of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, you have al-Qaeda elements and tribal separatists – they’ve created real pandemonium here and now they claim that they want to stabilize Libya. I don’t see it happening. At the end of the day, with the alleged no-fly zone and humanitarian intervention, NATO has transparently waged a war against a government on behalf of insurgents, period. This was clearly the intent from the beginning and now it’s proven successful.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011 1 comment

====

NATO’s Air War Continues: 26,223 Sorties Over Libya

Pentagon Chief Praises NATO For Libyan War Role

Russian Foreign Minister: West Plans To Effect Libyan Scenario In Syria

Libya: Canada’s Latest War

Obama Praises NATO Ally Norway For African, Asian War Efforts

Russian Foreign Minister Rebuffs McCain Over Gaddafi Fate For Putin Remark

NATO Moves Troops, Helicopters, Tanks, Artillery To Pakistan Border

NATO Trains Iraqi Top Officer Corps At Joint Warfare Centre In Norway

NATO Combat Vehicles Headed Toward Serbian Barricades

NATO Week: Western Bloc Further Integrates Armenian Military

U.S. Demands Immediate Transfer Of Power In Yemen

Azerbaijan: U.S. Plans Joint “Energy Security” In Caspian

Iran Summons Azeri Ambassador Over Deadly Border Incident

Hidden Agenda Behind U.S. Military Deployment To Uganda

U.S. Marines Train Moroccan Army In Sahara Desert

American Troops Train Liberian Counterparts

Rise Of China, India: U.S. To Expand Military Forces In Australia

Retiring General: Pentagon To Focus On Alaska

====

NATO’s Air War Continues: 26,223 Sorties Over Libya

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111022_111022-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 22, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

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

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 26,223 sorties, including 9,634 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 OCTOBER: 67

Strike sorties conducted 21 OCTOBER: 0 [No one left to kill]

====

Pentagon Chief Praises NATO For Libyan War Role

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65763

U.S. Department of Defense
October 21, 2011

Panetta Lauds NATO, Partners for Libya Operation
By Karen Parrish

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today commended all of the forces that have been involved in Libya as the NATO mission there nears completion.

“There’s been a proposal to bring that mission to a close by the end of this month, with probably a two-week transition period to take place,” the secretary told reporters traveling with him to Indonesia on the first leg of a three-nation overseas trip.

Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, the alliance’s supreme allied commander for Europe, made that recommendation to NATO leaders, Panetta said. “Obviously, we’re awaiting NATO’s final decision with regard to that recommendation,” he added.

On his last overseas trip, Panetta said, he visited Naples, Italy, and observed the operations NATO developed to support the Libya mission.

“This has been a successful mission – by NATO, by all of NATO’s members, and by NATO’s partners as well,” he said…

Panetta will land in Indonesia tomorrow evening local time – tomorrow morning in Washington – and will visit Japan and South Korea later in the week.

====

Russian Foreign Minister: West Plans To Effect Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111021/167958394.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

Moscow slams Western draft resolution on Syria

Moscow: The Western draft resolution on Syria could provoke a Libyan scenario in the country, Russian Prime Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

He underscored that Russia is opposed to Syria sanctions.

“The Western resolution is fraught with the repetition of a Libyan scenario although its co-authors are trying to convince us otherwise,” he said.

The main problem with the document is that it lays the blame squarely at President Bashar Assad’s doorstep, which Lavrov described as a “one sided approach.”

On October 4, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that urged the Syrian regime to immediately stop using violence against protesters or face “targeted measures.”

The draft resolution, sponsored by France with Britain, Germany and Portugal, was supported by nine of 15 Security Council members. Four others – Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon – abstained.

President Assad said in late August that Washington and its European partners were hindering the political changes that represent the only way out of Syria’s crisis.

=====

Libya: Canada’s Latest War

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/20/f-libya-nato-mission.html

CBC News
October 21, 2011

Canada’s military contribution in Libya

Canada has been involved in the NATO-led mission in Libya since March. During the seven-month conflict, it has committed a total of 635 personnel, seven jet fighters, two patrol aircraft, two tankers and two frigates.

The air component of Operation Mobile, as Canada’s mission is known, has been focused on enforcing the no-fly zone imposed on Libya…

The sea component has helped enforce the arms embargo on Libya and escort supply ships and other vessels involved in NATO operations. Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard, a Canadian, heads up the overall NATO uperation in Libya, dubbed Unified Protector.

Below is a breakdown of Canada’s military contribution.

Task Force Libeccio

This is the land- and air-based component of Operation Mobile. The headquarters are in Naples, Italy, the same location as the central NATO command centre for the Libya operation, dubbed Unified Protector. The task force is commanded by Brig.-Gen. Derek Joyce.

Flight operations are co-ordinated out of Poggio Renatico, Italy. The command centre, which is overseen by Col. Eric Kenny, provides support to the Canadian units carrying out flight operations in Libya, collectively known as Sicily Air Wing. The units fly out of Trapani-Birgi, an Italian air force base in the west of Sicily, and Sigonella, a naval base on the east coast of Sicily. The commander of the air wing is Lt.-Col. Daniel McLeod.

Personnel (estimates):

Headquarters: 80

Air command centre: 30

Sicily Air Wing: 270 (from Air Force units across Canada)

Ships and planes:

Trapani detachment:

Seven CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft (three pairs and a spare) from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta.

Three transport aircraft configured as in-flight refuellers (tankers): two CC-150 Polaris tankers from 437 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., and one CC-130J Hercules airlifter from 436 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.

Sigonella detachment:

Two CP-140 Aurora aircraft, one from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., and the other from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, B.C.

Sicily Air Wing sorties (a sortie is an operational flight by one aircraft.)

Aircraft/tanker    Total sorties to date (as of Oct. 20, 2011)
CF-188 Hornet fighters    942
CC-150 Polaris tankers    247
CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft    180
CC-130J Hercules airlifters    21
CC-130 Hercules tankers (redeployed to Canada in September 2011)    139
Source: Department of National Defence

Task Force Vancouver

This is the maritime component of Operation Mobile, headed by Cmdr. Bradley Peats. It consist of one patrol frigate, HMCS Vancouver, which has a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment on board. The vessel, which has 255 personnel on board, escorts and provides air defence for supply ships and other “vulnerable” vessels, such as minesweepers, and patrols the arms embargo zone in the central Mediterranean Sea off Libya.

HMCS Vancouver deployed from Esquimalt, B.C. on July 7, 2011, and arrived in the region in mid-August. It replaced HMCS Charlottetown, which had been patrolling the waters near the northern Libyan port of Misrata since March. HMCS Charlottetown had been originally sent to Libya to bring Canadian citizens home but by the time it arrived, its mission had changed. It was attacked by shore-based artillery on May 12, the first time since the Korean War that a Canadian warship had come under fire.

According to the Defence Department, HMCS Charlottetown conducted 313 hailings and five boardings of “vessels of interest’ over five months. Aside from escort and patrol missions, it was also involved in several defence operations against attacks by pro-regime forces launched from small boats.

====

Obama Praises NATO Ally Norway For African, Asian War Efforts

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/21/c_131203491.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 21, 2011

Obama and Norwegian PM discuss Libya and economy

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday talked with visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg about a number of issues including Libya and the global economy.

Meeting with reporters after their Oval Office talks, Obama thanked Stoltenberg for Norway’s “important contribution” to the NATO-led mission in Libya, saying that “Norway punched above its weight.”

Norway sent six F-16 fighters to join the mission during the first few months.

Obama stressed how relieved he was after learning that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been caught but died of wounds later on Thursday. In response to a question, Obama said that he was “very proud” of the NATO operation in Libya, and that “We did exactly what we said we were going to do.”

He said that as close NATO allies and partners, the U.S. and Norway cooperate in a “wide variety of endeavors” all around the world, noting that he and Stoltenberg discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, the global economy, the Arctic, global health, climate change, Sudan, cooperation at the United Nations and support for the new democracies in North Africa.

Stoltenberg stressed that Norway, which joined the NATO mission in Afghanistan from the beginning and has more than 500 troops and police trainers there, would only withdraw its troops together with its NATO allies.

====

Russian Foreign Minister Rebuffs McCain Over Gaddafi Fate For Putin Remark

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111021/167958654.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

Russian Foreign Minister rebuffs McCain’s dig at Putin

Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday lashed out at U.S. Senator John McCain, who called the death of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi “reason to be nervous” for powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

“I think dictators all over the world, including Bashar al-Assad, maybe even Mr. Putin, maybe some Chinese, maybe all of them, may be a little bit more nervous,” McCain said in an interview with the BBC late Thursday. “It’s the spring, not just the Arab spring.”

In an interview with three Russian Radio stations Lavrov shrugged off McCain’s remarks, saying the senator’s opinion is not decisive for U.S. politics.

“It’s not the first time we have heard such exotic remarks from Mr. McCain. I don’t think his remarks deserve serious comment. He is a famous person with his phobias, his ‘rats in the attic’ if you wish. I do not believe he defines the position of the United States.”

====

NATO Moves Troops, Helicopters, Tanks, Artillery To Pakistan Border

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=9744&Cat=13

News International
October 22, 2011

Nato troops deployed on border with NWA again
Malik Mumtaz Khan and Mushtaq Yusufzai

MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: Hundreds of US-led coalition forces were again shifted, along with heavy arms, to Afghan areas bordering North Waziristan on Friday and the Pak-Afghan border was sealed for all types of movement.

Pakistani security officials and tribesmen living in the border town of Ghulam Khan, adjacent to the Khost province of Afghanistan, said US forces had clamped a curfew in Tarkhobi and adjoining villages and launched a major search operation in the area.

US and Afghan authorities had earlier asserted that the operation was directed against the Haqqani network. Locals said this was the second time this week that the US-led Nato forces had moved in a big way to the area bordering Pakistan with heavy arms, including gunship helicopters, tanks and long-range artillery guns.

Tribal sources said more than 400 heavy trucks and containers carrying goods to Afghanistan had been stranded on the Ghulam Khan-Khost Road in North Waziristan. They said around 300 stranded vehicles were waiting on the Afghan side of the border to enter Pakistan.

According to sources in the area, US-led Nato and Afghan security forces had moved to the Gurbaz district close to Pakistan on Sunday last and established checkpoints and observation posts. The border between the two neighbouring countries had been closed for traffic as well. However, US troops subsequently packed up all of a sudden and left the border area a few days later.

According to tribal sources, now more troops and arms have been moved to the border and curfew was clamped prior to the search operation. The Gurbaz tribe, living on the Afghan side of the border, had been directed through loudspeakers to stay home until further orders following the imposition of curfew.

Some of the Gurbaz tribesmen crossed the border into North Waziristan through unfrequented routes and said US troops had suspended cellular phone services in the area. The villagers claimed US troops conducted some raids in the Gurbaz area and made arrests.

Villagers living on the border with Khost said a number of helicopter gunships were seen flying over the area since the arrival of US forces on the border. Pakistani government officials confirmed that the Pak-Afghan border had been closed for traffic, but refused to provide details.

They said that besides trucks taking food items, heavy containers carrying supplies for the Nato forces had also been denied entry into Afghanistan. A Pakistani security official based in North Waziristan said on condition of anonymity that US forces had reached the border with Pakistan and established observation posts on hilltops. Other officials said Nato had started a major military operation in Afghan provinces along the border with Pakistan and the latest surge of US troops near the border could be part of an offensive against the Afghan Taliban, particularly the Haqqani network.

They said Pakistan had well-equipped armed forces deployed on the border with Afghanistan to secure the countryís frontiers against any aggression…

====

NATO Trains Iraqi Top Officer Corps At Joint Warfare Centre In Norway

http://www.aco.nato.int/joint-warfare-centre-announces-end-of-iraqi-key-leader-training-in-norway.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
October 21, 2011

Joint Warfare Centre announces end of Iraqi Key Leader Training in Norway

-The JWC [Joint Warfare Centre] has delivered this training since it was selected to host NATO’s first out-of-country course for Iraqi security leaders in November 2004 as part of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I).
-Sixteen key Iraqi security officials including two Major Generals, nine Brigadier Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel and one civilian coming from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office and Ministries of Defence and the Interior participated in the twelve-day course…
-Major activities further included briefings to promote a greater understanding of NATO, its Member and Partner Nations and their armed forces…
-We take great pride here at the JWC in being recognized as NATO’s premier operational training centre. We take no less pride in the confidence that the Iraqi Government has placed in our ability to provide the same quality training to the Iraqi key leaders all the way since 2004,” Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander JWC noted.
To date, the JWC has trained more than 200 key Iraqi officials at Ulsnes.
-In the future, the JWC is considering offering a similar training for key Afghan security personnel as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A).
-[T]he NTM-I has made a tangible contribution not only to the rebuilding of military leadership in Iraq, but also to the development of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Iraqi Security Forces.

Since the first course in 2004, the Joint Warfare Centre has provided bi-annual Iraqi Key Leader Training at Ulsnes to assist Iraqi Security Forces…

The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) concluded its fifteenth and last Iraqi Key Leader Training (IKLT) course with the official closing ceremony held today (October 19) at the JWC’s Interim Training Facility at Ulsnes, Stavanger, Norway.

The JWC has delivered this training since it was selected to host NATO’s first out-of-country course for Iraqi security leaders in November 2004 as part of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I).

The purpose of the IKLT is to train key Iraqi security officials in order to ensure the development of effective and accountable security institutions in Iraq and to strengthen the overall capability of the Iraqi Security Forces.

“This course has helped Iraqi Key Leaders operate more jointly and has given them an ***inspirational insight into international relations***. We must remember that Iraq has been isolated from the outside world for many years. Here, we teach an extremely relevant multi-disciplinary training programme with top-notch security specialists from both within and outside NATO providing first-hand knowledge in the operational context and leadership disciplines,” said Norwegian Army Brigadier Gunnar E. Gustavsen, IKLT Director and Special Advisor to Commander JWC.

Sixteen key Iraqi security officials including two Major Generals, nine Brigadier Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel and one civilian coming from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office and Ministries of Defence and the Interior participated in the twelve-day course, scheduled from 8 to 20 October 2011, to gain competence in areas such as operational Command and Control, staff planning and decision-making, provision of effective and efficient inter-agency leadership, communication skills, practice of operational law and Security Sector Reform, management and use of information, as well as Strategic Communications in a counterinsurgency campaign. Also to note was a facilitated discussion on the topic of “Iraq: Beyond Counterinsurgency to Reconciliation.”

Major activities further included briefings to promote a greater understanding of NATO, its Member and Partner Nations and their armed forces, as well as practical workshops on interacting with the media.

During the course, students visited Stavanger Police Headquarters…

The last JWC-run IKLT is the culmination of a seven-year old training curriculum that has been assiduously developed using feedback from participants at all iterations of this training, which had simultaneous interpretation for both English to Arabic and Arabic to English.

“We take great pride here at the JWC in being recognized as NATO’s premier operational training centre. We take no less pride in the confidence that the Iraqi Government has placed in our ability to provide the same quality training to the Iraqi key leaders all the way since 2004,” Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander JWC noted.

To date, the JWC has trained more than 200 key Iraqi officials at Ulsnes.

An Iraqi Army Major General who participated in the IKLT, said: “I found the course to be extremely relevant and successful. We received expert training and instruction on a broad range of topics, as well as an insight into the training, equipment and organizational structures of the armed forces of various NATO nations. The course also was a chance for us to engage with our counterparts across NATO Member and Partner Nations. I believe it is very important for the Iraqi military to establish contact with western militaries and participate in their training and exercises. The IKLT helps bring us up to the level of western militaries.”

Starting from 2012, the IKLT will be hosted and conducted by the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. The decision to this effect was made taking into account JWC’s Programme of Work, which aims to support current NATO operations as well as continue to provide NATO’s operational level training. In the future, the JWC is considering offering a similar training for key Afghan security personnel as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A).

BACKGROUND

IKLT started out as part of the NTM-I, which has been running since 2004 when NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to…train Iraqi Security Forces…

Since then, the NTM-I has offered specialized, strategic-level training inside and outside Iraq to selected members of the Iraqi Security Forces. Through its important mission, the NTM-I has made a tangible contribution not only to the rebuilding of military leadership in Iraq, but also to the development of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Iraqi Security Forces. The NTM-I is financed via a trust fund, which is entirely funded by voluntary contributions provided by individual NATO Member and Partner Nations.

The NTM-I has since 2004 helped to build a strategic and enduring partnership between Iraq and NATO. Reflecting on the NTM-I’s out-of-country training efforts for the Iraqi Security Forces, the former Commander NTM-I, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Barbero said: “Out-of-country courses are important not just because of their content, but also because they provide an unparalleled opportunity to expose Iraqi security professionals to NATO best practices and allow Iraqi officers to network with NATO counterparts and develop lasting partnerships both on a personal and a professional level.”

====

NATO Combat Vehicles Headed Toward Serbian Barricades

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=21&nav_id=76957

B92/Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency
October 21, 2011

KFOR headed toward barricades, Serbs say

ZUBIN POTOK: Serbs at the barricades have been told that two KFOR combat vehicles equipped with water cannons are headed to the village of Jagnjenica.

Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Ristić claims he has information that KFOR’s combat vehicles left from an Albanian-populated village of Čabar and that they are headed to Jagnjenica.

The Serbs at the barricades were informed around 11:00 CET that Portuguese and German KFOR troops were on their way to the barricade in the village of Zupče and that they had removed the barbed wire which had been placed in front of the barricade that had been set up by the local Serbs.

According to Beta news agency reporter, residents of the Ibarski Kolašin region headed to Zupče a little after 10:00.

Several hundred Serbs have gathered at the barricades in the Ibarski Kolašin region, including mayors of Serb towns, priests and local monks.

The situation in northern Kosovo is at the moment peaceful but tense. The Albanian media reported on Friday morning that KFOR had removed the barricades from the roads leading to the Brnjak administrative crossing.

Night passes peacefully at barricades

Northern Kosovo Serbs spent the night in their cars, tents and around the fire on several locations in the villages of Jagnjenica and Zupče.

KFOR troops did not take any actions last night.

Local self-government representatives and Kosovska Mitrovica District Head Radenko Nedeljković spent the night with the local Serbs.

Four loaded trucks are separating the local Serbs from KFOR troops. The trucks are blocking a KFOR convoy which attempted to get to the Brnjak administrative crossing.

KFOR troops are still located around 150 meters from the barricades that Serbs set up in the village of Zupče and they still have not tried to remove them.

—————————————————————————

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=21&nav_id=76966

Tanjug News Agency
October 21, 2011

Town marks 70 years since German massacre

KRAGUJEVAC: The town of Kragujavac is today remembering thousands of Serb civilians slaughtered there 70 years ago by the occupying German Nazi forces.
 
The executions of civilians in October 1941 came in retaliation for the casualties the Germans suffered in clashes with the Serbian resistance on October 16 along the Kragujevac-Gornji Milanovac road.

Ten German soldiers were killed and 26 wounded in the conflict.

The massacre came as a result of an order issued by German General Franz Boehme on October 10, which said that 100 Serbs were to be shot for every German killed and 50 for every German injured.

The killings started in villages around Kragujevac on October 19, continued in the city itself on October 20 and 21. Among the victims was an entire class of high school students.

According to official data provided by the memorial park dedicated to the victims of the massacre – which included women, men and children – 2,794 people were killed in the space of three days. Of that number, 2,379 were executed in the town itself, and 415 in neighboring villages.

Artists, students and people from all over Serbia come to the the Šumarice memorial park in Kragujevac every year to commemorate the victims.

Today, SPC Bishop Jovan of Lipljan held the memorail service, while the ceremonies were attended by Serbian President Boris Tadić, Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković with members of his cabinet, Russian Ambassadors to Serbia Aleksandr Konuzin, and German Ambassador Wolfram Maas.

====

NATO Week: Western Bloc Further Integrates Armenian Military

http://news.am/eng/news/78829.html

News.am
October 21, 2011

NATO Week in Armenia: Seminar examines border security

YEREVAN: Within the framework of NATO Week in Armenia, a seminar on border security was convened at the MFA on Friday. The event was jointly organized by the Armenian MFA, National Security Council, and NATO International Staff.

NATO’s delegation, led by Steven Sturm, Director of Defence Policy and Capabilities Directorate of Defence Policy and Planning Division, had arrived in the capital of Yerevan to attend the seminar, the MFA Press Service informed Armenian News-NEWS.am.

During the two work sessions, the discussants looked into integrated management of national borders, development of a risk analysis model, and other matters.

On Thursday, Steven Sturm delivered a lecture at the Diplomatic Academy of Armenia.

On the same day, Armenian MFA representatives, NATO delegation members, and Charles Lonsdale, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Armenia, paid a visit to the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade and familiarized themselves with its activities.

====

U.S. Demands Immediate Transfer Of Power In Yemen

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/22/c_131205519.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 22, 2011

U.S. urges immediate power transfer in Yemen

WASHINGTON: The United States urges an immediate power transfer in Yemen following the UN Security Council resolution addressing the ongoing crisis in the country, the State Department said Friday in a statement.

“Today the international community sent a clear, unified message that the time has come for President Saleh to allow the Yemeni people to live free from violence and insecurity. UN Security Council Resolution 2014 on Yemen is an important step toward realizing a brighter future for all Yemeni people,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner in the statement.

“The only way to meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people is immediately to begin a transition of power in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative,” he said.

The statement came after the UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution to voice “grave concern at the situation in Yemen,” demanding that “all sides immediately reject the use of violence to achieve political goals.”

Toner…also urged the Yemeni government to investigate “those responsible for violence against peaceful protesters and hold them accountable for their crimes.”

====

Azerbaijan: U.S. Plans Joint “Energy Security” In Caspian

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1947698.html

Trend News Agency
October 21, 2011

Azerbaijani officials, U.S. experts mull energy infrastructure risks on Caspian Sea
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: A team of the Azerbaijani officials worked with U.S. experts to understand how to assess the risks facing critical energy infrastructure on the Caspian Sea, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said on Friday in Baku.

Bryza noted that the Azerbaijani officials visited one of the largest offshore platforms in the world, where it managed to respond to the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Los Alimos national laboratory, where the tools to assess risks to infrastructure are being developed.

“The delegation finished its trip in Washington working with colleagues in the U.S. government on a joint action plan to address and cover the risks in the Caspian Sea,” Bryza said.

====

Iran Summons Azeri Ambassador Over Deadly Border Incident

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157819

Azeri Press Agency
October 21, 2011

Iran sends note of protest to Azerbaijan
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: The Azerbaijani ambassador to Iran Javanshir Akhundov was invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

A note of protest concerning an armed incident on the Azerbaijan-Iran border was submitted to the ambassador. Akhundov expressed regret for the incident and said he would deliver the note to the government of Azerbaijan.

The violation of the border was observed on the Azerbaijan-Iran border near the Aranli village of the Bilasuvar region at 14.00 on October 19. Extra frontier guards were involved to prevent the violation of the border…the trespasser was wounded…

The name of the trespasser, who was killed on the Azerbaijan-Iran border, has been made public. Law-enforcement bodies told APA that the trespasser was 20-year-old serviceman of the Border Troops of the Islamic Republic of Iran Akbar Hasanpour. His body has been handed over to the Iranian side on October 20.

====

Hidden Agenda Behind U.S. Military Deployment To Uganda

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7622333.html

People’s Daily
October 20, 2011

Hidden motives lie behind US mission to Uganda
By Pan Jinghai

-Certainly, the mission in Uganda also indicates that the United States is seeking to secure a new foothold in Africa. Such a foothold can possibly be developed into a new headquarters of the U. S. Africa Command at an appropriate time.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently announced a plan to send about 100 special forces to Central Africa to help the army of Uganda and other nations fight the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The first batch of the troops arrived in Uganda on Oct. 12.

The United States said that the 100 troops’ mission is limited to providing information and advice as well as “helping train local forces” to combat the LRA, adding that the troops are not called upon to “actively fire on” the LRA, though they will defend themselves when necessary. Analysts believe that the move of the United States deserves special attention.

Although the Ugandan military estimated earlier this year that the LRA was composed of merely 200 to 400 fighters, Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that this operation may not be plain sailing. The United States has once before, at the end of 2008, sent advisers and logistical backup to help the Ugandan army root out the LRA, but intelligence leaks, poor cooperation between the Ugandan and other African armies and bad weather hampered the operation.

The deployment of U.S. troops in Uganda has shown the country’s growing concerns about the security threats in Africa from “terrorist networks, pirates, and unstable nations.” At present, the U.S. efforts to combat terrorism in Africa have been mainly focused on the Horn of Africa, a region in East Africa including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and other countries, and on the trans-Sahara region. This time, the United States has expanded its counter-terrorism activities to Uganda and other nearby countries.

Certainly, the mission in Uganda also indicates that the United States is seeking to secure a new foothold in Africa. Such a foothold can possibly be developed into a new headquarters of the U. S. Africa Command at an appropriate time.

The United States established the U.S. Africa Command in October 2007. The United States once tried to establish the headquarters in Africa, but it finally had to set it up in Stuttgart, Germany because of the opposition from African countries. The U.S. military has so far had only a military base in Djibouti in northeastern Africa. The United States will likely ask for permission from related countries to deploy troops there if the U.S. operations in Uganda make some progress. In fact, the U.S. military has stepped up its assistance to Uganda over recent months. The United States provided Uganda and Burundi with 45 million U.S. dollars worth of military assistance in June 2011, including four unmanned aircraft, night vision facilities and telecommunications equipment.

Obama has explained the reasons behind such assistance and the military operation in Uganda that deploying these U.S. armed forces “furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy.” According to public opinion, apart from the need to find footholds for the fight against terrorism, the United States is also coveting African oil and natural gas resources.

African countries have already questioned the U.S. military operation. Although the United States said that the Ugandan government had already agreed on the deployment of the U.S. military personnel, a spokesperson for the Ugandan military said, “We did not request this kind of assistance and only expect the U.S. troops to help us to remove the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army.”

The realistic attitude adopted by countries such as Uganda implies that they will not surely satisfy the demands of the United States such as establishing military bases. Furthermore, if any African country wants to meet the demands of the U.S. military for military deployment must take into account the feelings of its neighboring countries.

====

U.S. Marines Train Moroccan Army In Sahara Desert

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/af_morocco1307_10_21.asp

World Tribune
October 21, 2011

U.S. trains with Moroccan Army in Sahara Desert

CAIRO: The United States has been training with Morocco’s army in an effort to enhance desert combat.

The militaries of Morocco and the United States have been conducting joint training in the desert of the North African kingdom. Military sources said the training was meant to help U.S. forces work in the vast deserts in the Gulf as well as North Africa…

“Training here is good because the terrain is a lot like in Afghanistan,” Marine Corps Cpl. Charles Thames said.

In 2011, Morocco and the United States staged a six-week exercise that exposed U.S. forces to desert combat. The exercise, called African Lion, consisted of more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers and 900 members of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and took place in several locations including Cap Draa in the Sahara Desert.

“The exercise serves as a way for U.S. and Moroccan military members to hone skills and learn to work together to accomplish missions,” a U.S. military statement said.

During May, the Marines taught the Moroccans a range of skills, including counter-insurgency techniques as well as command post, live fire, aerial fueling and low-level flight training. They said the U.S. force also demonstrated its light armored vehicle arsenal for the Moroccan military.

The U.S. military has established a presence in southern Morocco. Officials said U.S. officers were training Moroccan troops…

Officials said the U.S. military was also introducing air and ground equipment to Morocco. They cited light armored vehicles, main battle tanks and air refueling platforms.

The Marines who participated in African Lion were expected be used to instruct others in desert combat. They said the Marines would gain experience in understanding desert conditions…

====

U.S. Troops Train Liberian Counterparts

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Deployed_Kansas_Guard_Soldiers_Train_With_Liberian_132325608.html

WIBW
October 21, 2011

Deployed Kansas Guard Soldiers Train With Soldiers In Liberia
By Josh Mabry

LIBERIA: The 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard, deployed to the Horn of Africa earlier this year. The unit recently trained with soldiers from the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The battalion is comprised of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery and from the 35th Military Police Company. The 1-161st FA is headquartered in Wichita, with subordinate units in Dodge City, Great Bend, Lenexa, Liberal, Hutchinson, Newton, Paola, Pratt and Topeka. The 35th MPs are headquartered in Topeka.

====

Rise Of China, India: U.S. To Expand Military Forces In Australia

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201110/s3344470.htm

Radio Australia
October 20, 2011

Australia, US to discuss increasing joint military exercises

Australia’s Defence Minister Stephen Smith is in the northern port city of Darwin, touring military bases in the region.

There is speculation the minister’s visit could be a precursor to an expected stopover in the Northern Territory capital by US President Barrack Obama, who will be in Australia next month.

The United States is keen to bolster military co-operation with Australia as part of an increased presence in the Asia Pacific region.
—————————————————————————-

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3344729.htm

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
October 20, 2011

US close to NT military agreement

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says Australia is close to an agreement on expanding the US military presence in the Northern Territory.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Government says the rise of China and India as forces in the Asia Pacific region will most likely lead to a bigger American military presence in northern Australia.

After visiting Darwin’s Robertson military barracks, Defence Minister Stephen Smith confirmed Australia and the United States were close to an agreement on increased training and exercises in the Northern Territory.

STEPHEN SMITH, DEFENCE MINISTER: We believe that the United States’ ongoing presence in the Asia Pacific is essential to peace and stability in our area. Indeed, as the world moves to the Asia Pacific, it’s even more important that there’s a United States presence, indeed an enhanced presence…We currently have exercises and training, which we see. We’re looking at whether we can enhance or increase that, what I have colloquially described as more troops in, troops out, more planes in, planes out, more ships in, ships out.

TONY JONES: Mr Smith said the Government also planned to base more Australian military personnel in the north to help protect the country’s growing offshore energy resources.

====

Retiring General: Pentagon To Focus On Alaska

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2011/10/21/lt-general-atkins-prepares-to-hand-off-command/

KMXT
October 21, 2011

Lt. General Atkins Prepares to Hand Off Command
By Jennifer Canfield

Air Force Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, the senior military officer responsible for all military activities in Alaska, is retiring soon. Atkins has been in charge of the Alaska Command for three years.

In Kodiak this week, he said his replacement will be Major General Steve Hoog.

Atkins says there are four areas the new commander will need to focus on: the F-22’s, Russian long-range aviation, the military evolution of the Arctic and training exercises. He says Alaska is poised to become the premier location for military exercises as training facilities in the Lower 48 have increasingly more restrictions placed on them. Atkins says there are currently 10 sites in Alaska considered potential training grounds. He says the state’s size is a major part of its appeal.

Hoog will take command on Nov. 7. That will give him a few months to settle in before environmental impact studies on the proposed training sites are released in March 2012.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Miguel Hernández: Wretched Wars

October 22, 2011 2 comments

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

Miguel Hernández
Translated by A. S. Kline

Wretched Wars (1941)

Wretched wars
when love is not our aim.
Wretched, wretched.

Wretched weapons
those that are not words.
Wretched, wretched.

Wretched men
that die not out of love.
Wretched, wretched.

*****

Elegy for Federico García Lorca (1937)

Death traverses, with rusty lances,
bearing its cannon, the barren plains
where men cultivate roots and hopes,
raining salt, and scattering skulls.

Green of the gardens,
what skies let happiness thrive?
Sunlight rots the blood, sets it with snares,
and renders the shadows more sombre.

Grief and its cloak
come to meet us once more.
And once more into an alley of tears
rain-soaked I enter.

Ever I see myself within
the shadow of withdrawn bitterness
formed by eyes and staves,
that a candle of agony posts at the entrance
and a furious necklace of hearts.

To weep into a well,
into the one disconsolate source
of water, of sobbing,
of the heart’s longing;
where none would see my voice or image,
or would witness the rest of my tears.

I enter slowly, I bow my head
slowly, my heart is torn
slowly, and slowly and blackly
I weep again at the foot of a guitar.

Amidst all the dead of the elegies,
without forgetting the echo of any,
my tear-stained hand chooses one,
who resonates most in my soul.

Federico Garcia
he was once called: dust is his name.
Once he had his place in the sun
today he lies in a hole in the grass.

So much! So much, and now nothing!
Your joyful energy
that energised columns and rows,
you shake and uproot with your teeth,
and now you are sad, and only wish
for the paradise of the grave.

Formed as a skeleton,
dreaming of lead,
armed with indifference and respect
between your eyebrows, you I see, if I gaze.

It has blown away your dovelike life,
that circled the sky and the windows
with foam and cooing
in a torrent of feathers,
that wind, that blows the months away.

Cousin to the apples,
the worm cannot quench your sap,
the maggot cannot consume your death,
and to add fierce health to its fruit
the apple tree will elect your bones.

Though they choke the source of your saliva,
son of the dove,
grandson, of the nightingale and the olive:
you will still be, while the earth turns,
husband of the immortelle
rich soil at the root of the honeysuckle.

How simple death is: how simple,
but how unfairly won!
It can’t move slowly, and inflicts
when you least expect it, its turbid wound.

You, the strongest building, ruined,
you, the highest hawk, despoiled,
you, the loudest roar,
hushed, hushed, ever hushed.

May your joyful illustrious blood fall
like a cascade of furious hammers
on those who fatally detained you.
May saliva and sickles
fall on the stains on their brows.

A poet dies and creation feels
the hurt and the dying inside.
A cosmic tremor of icy sweats
shakes the mountains in terror,
and splendour of death the wombs of the rivers.

I hear villages moan and valleys lament,
I see a forest of eyes never dry,
avenues of mourning and veils:
in gusts of wind and leaves,
sorrows on sorrows on sorrows,
tears on tears on tears.

They will not scatter, or blow away, your bones,
volcano of sweetness, thunder of honeycombs,
poet entwined with the bitter and sweet,
who felt the warmth of kisses
between two long files of daggers,
vast love, vast death, vast fire.

To accompany your death,
peopling the corners of sky
and earth, come harmonious flocks,
bolts of blue lightening.

Rattlesnakes hail in abundance,
battalions of gypsies, flutes, tambourines,
showers of bees and violins,
storms of guitars and pianos,
irruptions of trumpets and brass.

But silence exceeds any instrument.
Silent, abandoned, caked with the dust
in the desert of death,
it seems your tongue, it seems your breath,
have shot home the bolt of a door.

As if I walked with your shade,
I walk with mine,
on earth that silence has clothed,
that the cypress would see ever darker.

Your agony grips my throat
like the iron of a gallows,
and I taste a funeral libation.
You know, Federico García Lorca,
I am of those who suffer death each day.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sergei Prokofiev: Dove of peace, sounds of war

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Musical selections

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

====

Sergei Prokofiev

From Some Reflections on Prokofiev’s Music
By Bruce Turlish

On Guard for Peace: This oratorio, based upon a text glorifying the ideal of peace in the world, is another example of first-rate Prokofiev. Again, the music sounds sincere, as if Prokofiev did genuinely believe in the ideals embodied in the work. In musical terms, this work is rich in melodic invention and compositional skill. Prokofiev’s use of a children’s chorus and boy soprano lends a great charm and poignancy, as in the sections “To Those Who are Ten Years Old,” “A Lesson in the Mother Tongue,” and “Dove of Peace.” The writing for adult chorus is extremely powerful, surpassing even “Alexander Nevsky” in terms of vigor and fertility of invention…It is possible that some listeners may be offended by the cheerful, perhaps fulsomely joyful tone of this work’s concluding sections, but I think Prokofiev can be forgiven for going overboard in this respect, given the positive intentions that the composition so obviously has. This work definitely deserves to be better known; be advised, however, that like much of Prokofiev’s output, it requires repeated hearings in order to gain a full appreciation of it.

*****

Symphony No. 2
End of Second Movement

*****

Symphony No. 3
Fourth Movement

*****

Symphony No. 5 (1944)
First Movement

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011 4 comments

====

Russian Envoy Slams West’s Sadistic Triumphalism Over Gaddafi Killing

High-Class Terrorists: After Libya, NATO Powers To Target Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Iran, Syria

Gaddafi Convoy Among Targets Of 26,156 NATO Sorties, 9,634 Strike Sorties

Report: U.S. Drone, French Fighter Jet Hit Gaddafi Convoy

U.S.’s Next Libyas: Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen

Gaddafi Killing: McCain Says Russia, China, Syria “Got Reason To Be Uneasy”

Obama: NATO’s Strength Key To Killing Gaddafi

Albright Applauds Gaddafi Killing, No Loss Of American Lives

Senator: Libyan War Inspires Central African Intervention

U.S. Trains Djibouti Army For War In Somalia, With Eritrea

U.S. Troops May Invade Western Pakistan: New York Times

Chicago NATO Summit To Launch First Phase Of Missile Shield

U.S. Secretary Tells 110-Nation Meeting: Navy Will Continue Global Presence

American Destroyer In Joint Naval Training Off Cambodia

Bulgaria: NATO Holds “Collective Defense” Exercise

Bulgaria: U.S. Super Hercules Aircraft In Low-Level Training

Black Sea: USS Philippine Sea Hosts Bulgarian Military

Turkey: U.S. Guided Missile Warship Continues Black Sea Visits

Video: NATO Uses Tanks And Tear Gas Against Kosovo Serbs

====

Russian Envoy Slams West’s Sadistic Triumphalism Over Gaddafi Killing

http://rt.com/politics/blasts-western-leaders-gaddafis-417/

RT
October 21, 2011

Envoy slams ‘sadistic’ triumphalism

-The official added that Russia must make a conclusion from the existing situation. “We must bear in mind who we are dealing with in the face of Western democracies,” Rogozin said.

Russia’s NATO envoy has written in his microblog that the Western elation over the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi could have sadistic grounds.

­“The faces of the leaders of ‘world democracies’ are so happy, as if they remembered how they hanged stray cats in basements in their childhoods,” Russian envoy to NATO and the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote in his twitter status on Friday.

This statement apparently is a reply to the international reaction to the death of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed as the forces of the National Transitional Council stormed the town of Sirte on Thursday.

Rogozin currently holds the position of Russia’s envoy to NATO and he was among the first Russian politicians to embrace the opportunities of social networks. He often shares his views on international politics via his Twitter account, and these posts have repeatedly made news in Russian and international media.

Rogozin is also the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities – the organization of ethnic Russians living abroad aimed at protecting their interests and strengthening the ties with the Motherland.

On Thursday evening Rogozin told Russian radio Echo of Moscow that NATO was directly involved in the operation to kill the former Libyan leader. “Apparently there were orders that oriented the military servicemen who are in Libya and that directed them to ensure the physical elimination of Gaddafi,” Rogozin said.

The official added that Russia must make a conclusion from the existing situation. “We must bear in mind who we are dealing with in the face of Western democracies,” Rogozin said.

====

High-Class Terrorists: After Libya, NATO Powers To Target Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Iran, Syria

http://rt.com/news/europe-usa-libya-gaddafi-425/

RT
October 21, 2011

‘High-class terrorists running US, UK and France’

-“This is just the beginning and part of global regime change. This means orange alert for Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and definitely red alert for Syria and Iran. This is the kind of democracy US, France and Britain want for the whole world.”
-“Their aim is to control Libya and effect the change in Libya to make it easier to reinstitute an American base in Libya which existed until 1969, as well as to control the oil industry in Libya and the privatization of the country.”

As some European leaders demonstrate a celebratory mood over the violent death of Colonel Gaddafi, they are no less terrorists themselves, claims international consultant and author Adrian Salbuchi.

­Salbuchi said Gaddafi’s death was undoubtedly a message for the whole world, as it is not just about Libya.

“We are seeing how Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State expressed it very clearly: ‘We came, we saw, he died,’ and then started laughing. This is a message to the world of how this new world order model actually works,” he stated. “When they decide to change the regime, they do so with the utmost violence, and it is a whole model. First they target a country by calling it a rogue state; then they support local terrorists and call them freedom fighters; then they bring death and destruction upon civilians and they call it UN sanctions. Then they spread lies and call it the International Community’s opinion expressed by the Western media. Then they invade and control the country and call it liberation and finally they steal appetizing oil and call it foreign investment and reconstruction,” Salbuchi explained.

At the moment Western powers are hailing a democratic future for Libya. When Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 the US also thought it was all over – but it had only just begun. And according to Salbuchi, it is going to be the same, or even worse, for Libya.

“I think one of the reasons why Gaddafi’s country has been invaded and he has been killed is because he had plans to introduce the gold dinar as a golden currency that could very easily have become a major currency at least in North Africa and in the oil market,” he said. “Don’t forget Libya has the ninth-largest oil reserve in the world and the main oil reserve in all of Africa, so I think this definitely smells of oil and greed on the part of Western companies. They are just using this to justify they have supported the worst terrorists probably because in the White House and Palais de l’Élysée in France, and at 10 Downing Street, we also have very high-class terrorists and mafias running those countries and the better part of the world,” he pointed out.

He added the US, France, Britain and NATO should be held accountable for the sectarian violence, should it take place in Libya.

“In any country, Libya included, there is always about a half of the population that is against the ongoing government. Should we also be invading Greece because of the way they are handling their own internal divisions?” he posited.

A rebel-assisted victory in Libya will not mark the end of NATO’s interest in the country, Salbuchi emphasized.

“This is just the beginning and part of global regime change. This means orange alert for Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and definitely red alert for Syria and Iran. This is the kind of democracy US, France and Britain want for the whole world,” he concluded.

­NATO and the US in particular are interested in a long-term intervention in the North African country. They would have designs on involvement in Libya’s domestic affairs for decades, believes Mazin Qumsiyeh, a professor from Bethlehem University.

“Their aim is to control Libya and effect the change in Libya to make it easier to reinstitute an American base in Libya which existed until 1969, as well as to control the oil industry in Libya and the privatization of the country,” professor stated.

====

Gaddafi Convoy Among Targets Of 26,156 NATO Sorties, 9,634 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111021_111021-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 26,156 sorties, including 9,634 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 OCTOBER: 67

Strike sorties conducted 20 OCTOBER: 16

Key Hits 20 OCTOBER:

11 Armed Vehicles were struck in the vicinity of Sirte

====

Report: U.S. Drone, French Fighter Jet Hit Gaddafi Convoy

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1947500.html

Trend News Agency
October 21, 2011

Report: US drone, French jet fired on Gaddafi convoy

A US drone and a French fighter jet fired shots on a convoy believed to be carrying Moamer Gaddafi shortly before his death, a defence source told Fox News on Thursday.

The convoy of around 80 vehicles was seeking to leave Sirte when it came under fire, dpa reported.

[Gaddafi] died of serious gunshot injuries to the head and stomach, inflicted during his capture, according to medical sources in Libya.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the details of Gaddafi’s death remained unclear.

====

U.S.’s Next Libyas: Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=6&id=281894

Interfax
October 21, 2011

Gaddafi death hasn’t stopped war in Libya – expert

-“What we have been witnessing is a redistribution of spheres of influence, where the United States is the main player.”
-The American economy is in need of inexpensive oil, so the U.S. government is even ready to wage wars, if only oil arrives…Any country with large reserves of energy resources – Iran, Syria, Venezuela or Nigeria, could come next…”The U.S. will be turning the enslaved countries into a replica of Iraq: it will plant a puppet government there and give the use of the country to oil companies. The same will happen to Libya, of course.”

MOSCOW: Fighting will continue in Libya by all accounts after Gadhafi’s death, and Syria, Iran, Yemen, Venezuela and Nigeria could be the next in the line of countries likely to follow in Libya’s footsteps, said experts, polled by the daily Kommersant.

“Citizens of Libya have realized that the new government is not bringing anything good to the nation and even attacked Tripoli, inflicting serious damage on the authorities. Exactly they could become a replacement to Gaddafi, but the West will do all it can to ward off this prospect. A Libya with an independent government will not suit it,” said Leonid Ivashov, the president of the Geopolitical Problems Academy. The war did not end after Gadhafi’s death, he said.

Asked by Kommersant who will be the next, most experts said Syria and Iran will not escape Libya’s fate.

“As one watches the general trend in the Arab revolutions one can see that the secular-type dictators, with whom at least some sort of a deal could be reached, are being removed in an attempt to replace them with Wahhabis. Behind all this stands Saudi Arabia, which has been building up its influence in search for a dominating role in the region,” said Yevgeny Satanovsky, the president of the Middle East Institute.

This is extremely dangerous since no agreement at all can be forged with the radicals. “The entire sequence of the Arab revolutions is the outcome of one game played by the Islamists,” Satanovsky said.

Deputy head of the Liberal Democratic Party faction Maxim Rokhmistrov agrees with this opinion and he argues that exactly the leaders “who are not dictators” are being removed in the Arab revolutions.

“All those who have been to Libya know that Gaddafi was not a tyrant, while living standards in that country where higher than in many of the industrialized states…,” he said.

“What we have been witnessing is a redistribution of spheres of influence, where the United States is the main player,” he said.

State Duma Deputy Vadim Solovyov of the Communist Party faction shares this opinion. The American economy is in need of inexpensive oil, so the U.S. government is even ready to wage wars, if only oil arrives, he said. Any country with large reserves of energy resources – Iran, Syria, Venezuela or Nigeria, could come next, he said.

“The U.S. will be turning the enslaved countries into a replica of Iraq: it will plant a puppet government there and give the use of the country to oil companies. The same will happen to Libya, of course,” he said.

====

Gaddafi Killing: McCain Says Russia, China, Syria “Got Reason To Be Uneasy”

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/21/59119568.html

Voice of Russia
October 21, 2011

Gaddafi’s death may dismay Russia – McCain

The death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi may dismay Russia and some other countries, US Senator John McCain said in an interview with the BBC aired on Friday.

He mentioned Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and “some Chinese leaders”, who McCain said “got a reason to be uneasy.”

“They saw us giving a helping hand to Libyan people who staged an uprising in their country, “McCain added.

====

Obama: NATO’s Strength Key To Killing Gaddafi

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-20/obama-says-nato-s-strength-key-to-success-in-libya-mission.html

Bloomberg News
October 20, 2011

Obama Says NATO’s Strength Key to Success in Libya Mission

-Asked whether Qaddafi’s death today vindicated U.S. strategy, Obama said, “We did exactly what we said we were going to do.”

President Barack Obama told Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg that the strength of the NATO alliance made the mission against Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in Libya successful.

The U.S. president said he appreciates NATO-member Norway “helping to give Libya an opportunity to become a democracy.”

Asked whether Qaddafi’s death today vindicated U.S. strategy, Obama said, “We did exactly what we said we were going to do.” Qaddafi died after being captured in his hometown of Sirte, ending a search for the deposed leader that began when he fled Tripoli in August.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization “accomplished our aim in Libya,” Stoltenberg said.

Obama and Stoltenberg met in the Oval Office today with an agenda that also included the debt crisis in Europe, the war in Afghanistan, the battle against terrorism and the stalled Middle East peace process.

–With assistance from Marianne Stigset and Tasneem Brogger in Oslo.
Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Justin Blum

====

Albright Applauds Gaddafi Killing, No Loss Of American Lives

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/20/141562153/albright-gadhafis-death-a-watershed-moment

National Public Radio
October 20, 2011

Albright: Gadhafi’s Death A ‘Watershed Moment’

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reflects on the death of ousted Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi. She calls it a watershed moment for the people of Libya, the international community and “what is known as the Arab Awakening.”

-[I]t does mean that international intervention can be done in this particular way through an alliance structure in – and a way that is through the air and with no loss….And I think that it really is – I mean, no loss of American lives.
-[T]here was a new strategic concept for NATO that the Secretary-General Rasmussen put together. But before he did that, he was, in fact, asked by the heads of state to have a group of experts that would help in putting some ideas forward, and I chaired that group. And we looked at a whole host of issues about what NATO was about in the post-Balkan experience and how it operated in Afghanistan and what the next years were going to be about.

NEAL CONAN, host: Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi died outside of his hometown of Sirte, earlier today, but the decisive moment in Libya’s civil war came this past spring, when NATO launched an air campaign to…provide protection for rebel fighters. Back in 1999, Madeleine Albright served as secretary of state when NATO intervened in the civil war in the Balkans and launched weeks of air strikes there. She’s now chairman of the National Democratic Institute and joins us by phone from Atlanta. Secretary Albright, nice to have you back on TALK OF THE NATION.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: Thank you. It’s great to be with you, especially on such an important day.

CONAN: And why is it so important, do you think?

ALBRIGHT: Well, because I think the people in Libya have been able to really, now, see a new path to themselves after four decades of a really brutal dictator. And there’s so many aspects of this that show how important it is for the international community to really get involved in helping on this. It is important for the people of Libya. It is important for the possibilities of democracy on the ground. So there are just many, many aspects of this that I think are kind of a watershed in a lot of different events that are taking place in what is known is the Arab Awakening.

CONAN: The United States, its NATO partners and some Arab allies, including, most prominently, Qatar, joined in the air attacks against the Gadhafi forces. There were no boots on the ground, no American casualties. And the whole thing, according to Vice President Biden, cost about $2 billion, a sharp contrast to other American interventions.

ALBRIGHT: Well – exactly. I think it’s very, very important. It shows so many different things. I mean, there have always been discussions about whether you can win through an air war. That was one of the issues that happened when we were dealing with the Balkans. I think when – it doesn’t mean that NATO has to be on the ground…But it does mean that international intervention can be done in this particular way through an alliance structure in – and a way that is through the air and with no loss.

And I think that it really is – I mean, no loss of American lives. And so I think it’s very important. I do think that this shows the leadership of the Obama administration on this. They took a lot of flak, frankly, but I think that they knew what they were doing, and that this was a very important step forward for how America gets involved these days.

ALBRIGHT: Many – and frankly, let me tell you, one of the things that happened last year – there was a new strategic concept for NATO that the Secretary-General Rasmussen put together. But before he did that, he was, in fact, asked by the heads of state to have a group of experts that would help in putting some ideas forward, and I chaired that group. And we looked at a whole host of issues about what NATO was about in the post-Balkan experience and how it operated in Afghanistan and what the next years were going to be about. And the issues we did talk about, was how the economic constraints in a variety of countries were hurting their defense budgets, who is doing what, whether people were really fulfilling their responsibilities.

One of the issues in Afghanistan was – also, and continues to be – is that each country has kind of national mandates that makes it difficult to have a joint command. But I think NATO is learning, we all are, as we are in a somewhat different situation. But I know there are questions of, kind of, coalition a la carte or how this is going to work. But despite the constraints, I think obviously this is a NATO victory.

…I think the hardest part really is always telling people that each situation is different, you know? One wishes that everything were always the same, but it’s not. And the part that’s so interesting generally about what’s going on in the Arab world is that while there is obviously a similarity to people motivated by social media and by demonstrations, there is a difference in each of these countries. You know, whether it’s Libya or Tunisia or Egypt or Syria. Every one of these is a bit different.

CONAN: Or Bahrain. Secretary Albright, thank you very much for your time today. We appreciate it.

ALBRIGHT: Good to be with you. Thank you.

====

Senator: Libyan War Inspires Central African Intervention

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/lawmaker-says-libya-success-supports-decision-to-send-us-troops-to-aid-africa-anti-insurgency/2011/10/20/gIQA0bsx0L_story.html

Associated Press
October 20, 2011

Lawmaker says Libya success supports decision to send US troops to aid Africa anti-insurgency

WASHINGTON: A senator said Thursday that Moammar Gadhafi’s death and the promise of a new Libyan regime are arguments for the measured U.S. military response in central Africa where the U.S. has sent roughly 100 troops as advisers in the battle against a guerrilla group…

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee that oversees African affairs, told reporters that he backs President Barack Obama’s decision to dispatch U.S. forces against the Lord’s Resistance Army and help to hunt down its leader, Joseph Kony.

Coons said that since 2001, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been listed as a terrorist organization…He spoke shortly after officials from the State and Defense departments privately briefed members of the Foreign Relations Committee about the operation.

Last Friday, Obama said he was sending U.S. troops to central Africa as advisers, a move that drew strong bipartisan support in Congress…

Still, lawmakers expressed some concern about the United States ending up on a slippery slope of military involvement. Coons said he was reassured that the administration will continue to consult with Congress on the operation. He said developments out of Libya show that the United States can succeed in a limited role.

“I think it is a good day to celebrate that we can use some of the unique strategic assets of the United States in measured, modest and responsible ways…in partnership with our allies,” Coons said.

U.S. military forces have been part of the NATO operation enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya…

====

U.S. Trains Djibouti Army For War In Somalia, With Eritrea

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7344&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
Office of Security Cooperation, U.S. Embassy Djibouti
October 20, 2011

Newest Battalion with Djiboutian Armed Forces Takes Part in ACOTA Training Program

ALI OUNEY CAMP, Djibouti: The Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) of the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti began a nine-week training program, October 9, 2011, for the newest battalion of the Djiboutian Armed Forces (FAD). This recently created 850 troop peacekeeping unit will deploy in the coming months as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The unit, which is organized as a motorized infantry battalion, includes male and female soldiers with a variety of skill sets, as well as gendarmes, civilian police officers, and an attached group of 100 military trainers, who will work to build the security capabilities of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia.

The training is sponsored by the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA) through the U.S. State Department. This program, in conjunction with Africa Peacekeeping Program (AFRICAP), has already provided more than $6.8 million to Djibouti via training, equipment, and basic facilities construction, and will provide more to support Djibouti’s continuing peacekeeping efforts in the future.

====

U.S. Troops May Invade Western Pakistan: New York Times

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/21/59109833.html

Voice of Russia
October 21, 2011

US troops may invade western Pakistan – NYT

US troops may invade western Pakistan to wipe out the militants who are based there and who attack military and civilian facilities in Afghanistan, according to The New York Times.

The daily reports with reference to sources in the White House that this may happen if State Secretary Hillary Clinton, currently engaged in talks in Islamabad, fails to make the Pakistani Government launch this kind of military operation against the Taliban ally, the Haqqani network, on its own.

Washington feels that the destruction of Haqqani bases would prove crucial to a final defeat of Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

====

Chicago NATO Summit To Launch First Phase Of Missile Shield

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/10/nato_chicago_meeting_building_.html

Chicago Sun-Times
October 21, 2011

NATO Chicago meeting: Building toward missile defenses
By Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON: Groundwork continues to be laid for NATO to have missile defenses by the May NATO meeting in Chicago. The NATO summit will overlap with a G-8 meeting.

Ellen Tauscher, Undersecretary at the State Department for Arms Control and International Security, delivered a speech to the Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference Tuesday on that subject. Her talk was titled, “Transatlantic Missile Defense: Phase II and the Lead Up to the NATO Chicago Summit.”

Timeline towards Chicago, according to Tauscher:

“On September 13, Secretary Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Baconschi signed a Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement for Phase 2. Once ratified by the Romanian Parliament, this agreement will allow the United States to build a land-based SM-3 interceptor site at Deveselu Air Base in Romania.”

“…On September 15, our Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement with Poland entered into force for Phase 3. It is the first such agreement that reached entry into force and we greatly appreciate all of the effort and support we have received from Poland.

“…Most recently, Spain agreed in October to serve as a home port for four Aegis ships to support future deployments to Europe. This contribution by Spain supports the commitment made by NATO to missile defense.

“…Over the coming months, we will continue these efforts with our NATO Allies. As we said from the start, we want our missile defense deployments to be part of a NATO missile defense effort, where our system will be the U.S. contribution. NATO is working hard on developing the necessary command and control arrangements for this system.

“…It is NATO’s goal and our desire that enough of this work be completed by the May 2012 Summit in Chicago to declare an initial NATO missile defense capability.”

====

U.S. Secretary Tells 110-Nation Meeting: Navy Will Continue Global Presence

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63358

Navy NewsStand
October 20, 2011

SECNAV Addresses International Seapower Symposium Delegation
By Lt. John Ripley, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

-More than 110 nations, with many of the senior-most officers from their navy or coast guard, are attending this biennial event. With 75 heads of navy and 22 heads of coast guard expected, this marks the largest meeting of naval leaders in the conference’s history…First held in 1969, ISS has become the largest gathering of maritime leaders in history.
-The Naval War College established programs in 1956 and 1972 for international officers. A number of delegates attending the ISS are graduates of those programs.
The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert welcomed the delegates on Wednesday, along with a video-taped message from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

NEWPORT, R.I. – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus addressed the world’s maritime leaders at the 20th International Seapower Symposium (ISS) at the U.S. Naval War College Oct. 20.

The secretary stressed the importance of maritime cooperation and global presence as nations work to manage a plethora of shared challenges, such as combating piracy, regional security, ensuring the free flow of commerce, peacekeeping and providing humanitarian assistance.

“But despite those challenges one thing should be very clear: the United States Navy is and will continue to be a global presence, wherever and whenever we are called upon,” Mabus said.

Mabus noted that since the first ISS more than 40 years ago, the world has become increasingly inter-connected. And despite amazing advances in technology, he said, more than 90 percent of trade goes by sea, and 95 percent of telecommunications resources remain under the oceans.

“These ongoing exercises around the world serve to strengthen our common partnerships,”…

“Energy and security are increasingly affecting how the world looks at its relationships,” he said, stressing that finding alternative fuel resources is one key way that nations can continue to collaborate.

More than 110 nations, with many of the senior-most officers from their navy or coast guard, are attending this biennial event. With 75 heads of navy and 22 heads of coast guard expected, this marks the largest meeting of naval leaders in the conference’s history.

Many of the delegates toured the Navy’s littoral combat ship, USS Independence (LCS 2), which was visiting Naval Station Newport in conjunction with ISS.

First held in 1969, ISS has become the largest gathering of maritime leaders in history…

The Naval War College established programs in 1956 and 1972 for international officers. A number of delegates attending the ISS are graduates of those programs.

The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert welcomed the delegates on Wednesday, along with a video-taped message from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The symposium concludes on Oct. 21.

====

American Destroyer In Joint Naval Training Off Cambodia

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63359

Navy NewsStand
October 20, 2011

US, Royal Cambodian Navies Head to Sea for CARAT 2011 Exercise
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Robert Clowney, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia: U.S. and royal Cambodian navies began their 2nd annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia exercise Oct. 20, with a pierside opening ceremony at the port of Sihanoukville.

“Last year marked an important step forward in the relationships between the U.S. and Cambodian Navies,” said Rear Adm. Tom Carney, commander, U.S. Navy’s Task Force 73. “This year, for the first time, a ship from the U.S. Navy, one of our newest destroyers, will be getting underway with royal Cambodian navy ships for a series of at-sea events.”

During the week-long exercise, Sailors and from both countries are participating in training exchanges ashore on topics as diverse as maritime domain awareness, vessel boarding procedures, dive and salvage operations and various maritime symposia….

At sea, both U.S. and several royal Cambodian navy ships will conduct communication drills, division tactics, surface gunfire drills and more. Participating U.S. aircraft include the P-3C Orion, and the SH-60 Seahawk.

Approximately 400 U.S. Sailors are participating in CARAT Brunei 2011. Two U.S. ships, guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) and the dive and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), are participating.

CARAT is a series of annual, bilateral maritime exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

====

Bulgaria: NATO Holds “Collective Defense” Exercise

http://www.mfa.bg/en/news/view/31899

The Republic of Bulgaria
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 20, 2011

Bulgaria – Annual NATO crisis management exercise

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, together with the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Ministry, is participating in the annual NATO politico-military exercise in crisis management, being held from October 19 to 26.

The exercise is based on a virtual scenario. It is aimed at practicing at strategic level the Alliance’s procedures for times of crisis.

The scenario is based on the commitment within NATO’s collective defence to carrying out political consultations and joint actions by member states. The exercise provides for synchronization of responses in NATO in meeting new challenges and threats to Euro-Atlantic security, which are defined in the new strategic concept of NATO as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber attacks and threats against energy infrastructure.

The exercise involves the International Secretariat and Allied Command of NATO, and civilian and military staffs of the Member States of the Alliance. Teams from the United Nations, European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the International Committee of the Red Cross have observer status.

====

Bulgaria: U.S. Super Hercules Aircraft In Low-Level Training

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123276304

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
October 20, 2011

C-130Js take flight in mountains of Bulgaria in OTF11

[Photographs} An Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, conducts low-level flight training during Operation Thracian Fall 2011, Oct. 18, 2011 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

OTF11 is off-station training designed to enhance interoperability between U.S. and Bulgarian Air Forces as well as build partnerships with paratroopers from both.

====

USS Philippine Sea Hosts Bulgarian Military

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63295

U.S. Navy
October 17, 2011

USS Philippine Sea Hosts Bulgarian Military
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gary A. Prill, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ISTANBUL: Four Bulgarian sailors embarked aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), Oct. 15, to gain a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy conducts operations underway.

The two Bulgarian naval officers and two Bulgarian chief petty officers visit to the ship is part of the U.S. 6th Fleet Maritime Partnership Program, which is designed to develop and sustain relationships with maritime forces of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) area of responsibility theater security cooperation strategy.

During their visit, the Bulgarian officers and chiefs will interact with their U.S. counterparts, and receive training that can only be received within an operational environment. By observing training evolutions, routine maintenance, and basic shipboard operations, the Bulgarians will observe how the U.S. Navy operates underway.

The goal of the program is to provide the Bulgarian officers and chiefs a window into the workings of the leadership aboard a U.S. Navy vessel…

Philippine Sea is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the Black Sea and serves to promote ***peace and security*** in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

====

Turkey: U.S. Guided Missile Warship Continues Black Sea Visits

http://jacksonville.com/military/mayport-mirror/2011-10-19/story/philippine-sea-completes-port-visit-istanbul

Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Sigonella
October 19, 2011

Philippine Sea Completes Port Visit To Istanbul
By MC2(AW/SW) Gary A. Prill

USS Philippine Sea completed a four-day regularly scheduled port visit to Istanbul, Turkey, Oct 12-15.

During the busy port visit Officers and crew hosted a formal reception for Turkish military and civilian leaders…

This visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnership with European nations and enhance maritime safety and security.

“Our regular visits to the Black Sea Region show the continuing strengthening of U.S. maritime partnership and safety in the European Union,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Herbert Hadley…

====

Video: NATO Uses Tanks And Tear Gas Against Kosovo Serbs

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Émile Zola on war mania: A blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

====

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

Émile Zola: One sole city of peace and truth and justice

Émile Zola: War’s vast slaughterhouse

Anatole France on Émile Zola, military terrorism and world peace

====

Emile Zola

From the last chapter of Nana (1880)
Translated by George Holden

[Paris 1870]

The darkness was deepening, and in the distance gas-lamps were lighting up one by one. Meanwhile curious faces could be seen at the windows, while under the trees, the human flood swelled from one minute to the next, till it ran in one enormous stream from the Madeleine to the Bastille. The carriages in its midst rolled along slowly. A dull murmuring came from this dense mass of people, silent as yet, who had left their homes out of a desire to form a crowd, and were now shuffling along, their blood stirred by the same fever. But suddenly a strong movement divided the throng. Among the jostling, scattering groups, a band of men in workman’s caps and white smocks had appeared, uttering a regular cry which had the rhythmical beat of hammers on an anvil.

“To Berlin! To Berlin! To Berlin!”

Nana dead! It was a blow for them all. Without a word Muffat had gone back to the bench, his face buried in his handkerchief. The others burst into exclamations, but they were cut short by another group that passed by howling:

“To Berlin! To Berlin! To Berlin!”

These shadowy masses rolling by in a dizzying human flood exhaled a sense of terror, a pitiful premonition of future massacres. Broken cries came from their throats as they rushed in a fever of excitement towards the unknown, out of sight beyond the dark wall of the horizon.

“To Berlin! To Berlin! To Berlin!”

The room was empty. A great breath of despair came up from the boulevard and filled out the curtains.

“To Berlin! To Berlin! To Berlin!”

*****

From the end of La Bête Humaine (1890)
Translated by Leonard Tancock

Now out of control, the engine tore on and on. At last the restive, temperamental creature could give full rein to her youthful high spirits, like a still untamed steed that had escaped from its trainer’s hands and was galloping off across country. The boiler was full of water, the newly stoked furnace was white-hot, and for the first half-hour pressure went up wildly and the speed became terrifying. The front guard had presumably succumbed to exhaustion and gone to sleep. The soldiers, whose drunkenness was getting worse through their being so tightly packed, suddenly saw the funny side of this mad race and sang louder than ever. They went through Maromme like a rocket. No more whistling before signals or through stations, just the all-out gallop of an animal charging head down and silent between obstacles. The engine ran on and on as though lashed to madness by the strident sound of her own breath.

They should have taken water at Rouen, and the station was transfixed with horror when this mad train rushed past in a whirlwind of smoke and flame, the engine without driver or fireman and cattle-trucks full of troops yelling patriotic songs. They were off to war and this was to get them sooner to the banks of the Rhine. Railwaymen gasped and waved their arms. Suddenly there was one general cry: that driverless train would never get clear through Sotteville station, which was always blocked by shunting operations and cluttered up with vehicles and engines like all large depots. They rushed to send a warning by telegraph. A goods train standing on the line could, as it happened, be backed into a shed just in time, for the roar of the escaping monster could already be heard in the distance. It had charged through the two tunnels on either side of Rouen and was approaching at a furious pace, like some prodigious, irresistible force that nothing could now stop. It scorched through the station at Sotteville, finding its way unscathed through the obstacles, and plunged into the night again, where the roar gradually died away.

By now all the telegraph bells along the line were ringing and hearts were beating fast as the news came through about the ghost train seen going through Rouen and Sotteville. It made you shake with fright; an express running ahead was bound to be caught up with. But the train, like a wild boar in the forest, held to its course, heedless of the red lights and detonators. At Oissel it almost smashed into a light engine, it terrified Pont de-l’Arche, for its speed showed no sign of slackening. Yet again it vanished, on and on into the darkness, whither no one knew.

What did the victims matter that the machine destroyed on its way? Wasn’t it bound for the future, heedless of spilt blood? With no human hand to guide it through the night, it roared on and on, a blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder, these soldiers already silly with fatigue, drunk and bawling.

*****

Auguste Andre Lancon:
After the Battle of Sedan

*****

From the final chapter of The Debacle (1892)
Translated by E. P. Robins

When at about nine o’clock the train from Sedan, after innumerable delays along the way, rolled into the Saint-Denis station, the sky to the south was lit up by a fiery glow as if all Paris was burning. The light had increased with the growing darkness, and now it filled the horizon, climbing constantly higher up the heavens and tingeing with blood-red hues some clouds, that lay off to the eastward in the gloom which the contrast rendered more opaque than ever.

The travelers alighted, Henriette among the first, alarmed by the glare they had beheld from the windows of the cars as they rushed onward across the darkling fields. The soldiers of a Prussian detachment, moreover, that had been sent to occupy the station, went through the train and compelled the passengers to leave it, while two of their number, stationed on the platform, shouted in guttural French:

“Paris is burning. All out here! this train goes no further. Paris is burning, Paris is burning!”

Henriette experienced a terrible shock. Mon Dieu! was she too late, then? Receiving no reply from Maurice to her two last letters, the alarming news from Paris had filled her with such mortal terror that she determined to leave Remilly and come and try to find her brother in the great city. For months past her life at Uncle Fouchard’s had been a melancholy one; the troops occupying the village and the surrounding country had become harsher and more exacting as the resistance of Paris was protracted, and now that peace was declared and the regiments were stringing along the roads, one by one, on their way home to Germany, the country and the cities through which they passed were taxed to their utmost to feed the hungry soldiers. The morning when she arose at daybreak to go and take the train at Sedan, looking out into the courtyard of the farmhouse she had seen a body of cavalry who had slept there all night, scattered promiscuously on the bare ground, wrapped in their long cloaks. They were so numerous that the earth was hidden by them. Then, at the shrill summons of a trumpet call, all had risen to their feet, silent, draped in the folds of those long mantles, and in such serried, close array that she involuntarily thought of the graves of a battlefield opening and giving up their dead at the call of the last trump. And here again at Saint-Denis she encountered the Prussians, and it was from Prussian lips that came that cry which caused her such distress:

“All out here! this train goes no further. Paris is burning!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Antonin Dvorak: For a new world

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Musical selections

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

====

Antonin Dvorak
Symphony No. 9
From the New World
Fourth Movement

Philip Freneau
From George the Third’s Soliloquy (1781)

‘Tis these, ah these, have ruined half my sway,
Disgraced my arms, and led my slaves astray
Cursed be the day when first I saw the sun,
Cursed be the hour when I these wars begun…”

Stephen Foster
There’s a Good Time Coming (1846)
Lines by Charles Mackay from the London Daily News

There’a a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming;
We may not live to see the day,
But earth shall glisten to the ray.
Of the good time coming,
Cannon balls may aid the truth
But thought’s a weapon stronger;
We’ll win our battle by its aid; -
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming:
The pen shall supersede the sword,
And right, not might, shall be the lord
,
In the good time coming;
Worth, not birth, shall rule mankind,
And be acknowledg’d stronger;
The proper impulse has been giv’n;
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
War in all men’s eyes shall be
A monster of iniquity
.
In the good time coming,
Nations shall not quarrel then,
To prove which is the stronger;
Nor slaughter men for glory’s sake; -
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
Shameful rivalries of creed
Shall not make the martyr bleed.
In the good time coming,
Religion shall be shorn of pride,
And flourish all the longer;
And Charity shall trim her lamp; -
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
And a poor man’s family,
Shall not be his misery,
In the good time coming;
Ev’ry child shall be a help,
To make his right arm stronger;
The happier he, the more he has;
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
Little children shall not toil
Under, or above the soil.
In the good time coming,
But shall play in healthful fields,
Till limbs and minds grow stronger;
And ev’ry one shall read and write; -
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
The people shall be temperate,
And shall love instead of hate,
In the good time coming.
They shall use, and not abuse,
And make all virtue stronger;
The reformation has begun; -
Wait a little longer.

There’s a good time coming, boys,
A good time coming,
A good time coming;
Let us aid it all we can,
Ev’ry woman ev’ry man,
The good time coming.
Smallest helps, if rightly giv’n,
Make the impulse stronger;
‘Twill be strong enough one day; -
Wait a little longer.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011 4 comments

====

NATO Air Strike Killed Gaddafi: NTC
Al Jazeera: NATO Air Attack Killed Gaddafi, Defense Minister

NATO Proxies Claim To Have Killed Muammar Gaddafi

Libya: 26,089 NATO Air Missions, 9,618 Strike Sorties

Libya’s National Transitional Council First To Recognize Syrian National Council

Videos And Text: NATO Deploys 100 Armored Vehicles, Drones Against Kosovo Serbs

U.S. Backs GCC Allies, Tells Yemeni President To Resign

Real War Just Starting: Obama’s Fatal Afghan Gambit

NPR: Afghan, U.S. Troops Forced Civilians Onto Mined Roads

Quadrupling In Two Years: U.S. Spy Drones Swarm In Droves Over Afghanistan

Romania: Draft Law On U.S. Missiles Approved

Russia Prepares Response To U.S.-NATO Missile Deployments

U.S.-Russia Missile Shield Talks At Complete Deadlock

Belgrade: Serbs Protest U.S. Ambassador On Eve Of NATO Attack

Historic “Surge” Exercises For U.S. Combat Commands “Across The Globe”

U.S. Activates Special/Psychological Operations Units For Africa

U.S. Navy: Asia Is Crucial Global Priority

Hawaii: U.S. Pacific Command Hosts 27-Nation Military Leaders Meeting

U.S.-Philippine Military Drills Signal Strategic Shift In South China Sea

Washington To Deliver More Warships To Philippines

NATO And Russia In Geopolitical Battle For South Caucasus

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Reaffirms America’s Support For Georgia’s NATO Membership

Georgia’s Saakashvili Invokes NATO, EU Membership Against “Invaders”

====

NATO Air Strike Killed Gaddafi: NTC

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/20/c_131203098.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 20, 2011

NATO launches air raids in Sirte on Thursday: spokesman

BRUSSELS: NATO aircraft struck two military vehicles on Thursday as they fled Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, a NATO spokesman said.

“At approximately 0830 local time (GMT0630) today, NATO aircraft struck two pro-Qadhafi forces military vehicles which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte,” said Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO’s Libyan mission.

The spokesman didn’t say whether Gaddafi was in the convoy or not.

A commander of the Libya NTC (National Transitional Council) said Gaddafi has been killed when an air strike hit a convoy trying to flee Sirte.

However, NATO didn’t confirm the media report that Gaddafi was captured or killed.

A NATO official told Xinhua that it is up to the NTC to confirm the alleged capture of Gaddafi, not the military alliance.

———————————————————————————-

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1947337.html

Trend News Agency
October 20, 2011

Media: Gaddafi is murdered
T. Konyayeva

Baku: Libya’s former leader Moamer Gaddafi was murdered during NATO’s bombing attacks on a convey of cars fleeing from Sirte, the Al Jazeera reported.

His dead body was brought to the city of Misrata.

Earlier, Aljazeera reported that Gaddafi was wounded in the leg and arrested together with his son, Motasem.

Former Libya’s Defense Minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr was also killed during the air strikes.

====

NATO Proxies Claim To Have Killed Muammar Gaddafi

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/20/c_131203056.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 20, 2011

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi dies of wounds, NTC field commander tells Xinhua

SIRTE, Libya: Libya’s fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi died of his wounds on Thursday, a National Transitional Council (NTC) field commander told Xinhua.

The commander, Momhemed Buras Ali Al-Maknee, told Xinhua earlier a group of fighters from the western Libyan city of Misrata captured Gaddafi in Sirte, who had been severely injured.

The allegation on Gaddafi’s death has not yet been officially confirmed by the NTC.
—————————————————————————-

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111020/167898653.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 20, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi dead – reports

Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has died of his injuries near his hometown of Sirte, the National Transitional Council said on Thursday.

The ousted [leader] was reportedly captured, wounded in both legs and taken away in an ambulance.

According to some reports, Gaddafi was also hit in his head during an NTC raid on Sirte.

Earlier reports said Gaddafi was captured and “critically injured.”

However, Al Libya, a TV channel loyal to Gaddafi, has denied the reports.

====

Libya: 26,089 NATO Air Missions, 9,618 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111020_111020-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 26,089 sorties, including 9,618 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 OCTOBER: 67

Strike sorties conducted 19 OCTOBER: 16

====

Libya’s National Transitional Council First To Recognize Syrian National Council

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157684

Azeri Press Agency
October 19, 2011

Libya’s new leaders recognize Syrian opposition

Baku: A senior Libyan official says the country’s transitional government has formally recognized the Syrian opposition’s council as the country’s legitimate representative, making it the first country to do so, APA reports quoting AP.

Members of the Syrian National Council are visiting the Libyan capital to drum up support for their 7-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad. The Syrian council is a broad-based opposition umbrella group that was formed in September.

Hassan al-Sughayer, a member of Libya’s National Transitional Council, told reporters Wednesday in Tripoli that the NTC has formally recognized the Syrian council’s legitimacy as the representative of the Syrian people.

Syria’s government has threatened tough measures against any country that recognizes the opposition council.

====

Videos And Text: NATO Deploys 100 Armored Vehicles, Drones Against Kosovo Serbs

http://rt.com/news/nato-tear-gas-kosovo-259/

RT
October 20, 2011

Tear gas at the barricades: NATO sprays Serb protests

Video

NATO peacekeepers have used tear gas against Serb protesters in northern Kosovo. They dispersed the crowd in order to start dismantling barricades erected in a protest against deployment of customs checkpoints on the border.

Some 300 Serbs tried to prevent the Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) from tearing down the barricades, but the soldiers were armed with anti-riot equipment to cordon off the barricaded area, reports RT’s Maria Finoshina.

KFOR used loudspeakers to try to convince the Serb to go home, but it failed to help. There was a lot of shouting from both parties, but otherwise the conflict was not violent.

NATO soldiers fired tear gas grenades at the protesters and managed to disperse them, says AFP. RT’s Maria Finoshina says it was more likely pepper spray than tear has. She adds KFOR is erecting a barbed wire fence to isolate Serbs from the barricade and threatens to use force against them.

At least 100 armed transport vehicles are involved in the operation, which is aimed at removing the 16 barricades on the border. KFOR is also using a number of drones, which are circling over the area of the conflict.

No injuries were immediately reported. The actual dismantling of the barricades has not started yet and Serbs are watching KFOR actions closely.

The situation remains tense with fears high that it could escalate into violence.

NATO action follows a week of tense negotiations with the protesters, which failed to produce a peaceful solution.

Serbs living in northern Kosovo had blocked two cross-border roads into Belgrade-controlled Serbian territory in July. The move was in a protest by Pristina’s plan to take over checkpoints at the crossings.

This was meant to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia, which was part of a trade dispute with Belgrade. Officials in Pristina said ethnic Serbian customs officers had sabotaged the ban and planned to replace them with ethnic Albanians.

Northern Kosovo is home to some 40,000 Serbs, who constitute a majority in several towns in the area. They do not recognize the Albanian government in Pristina. Many of them complain of persecution by Albanians.

John Laughland from the Paris-based Institute for Democracy and Co-operation blames KFOR for igniting the border tension.

“What’s happening today in northern Kosovo is the direct result of this ridiculous idea that Kosovo can be an independent state. KFOR and EULEX, the European Union authorities, which now run Kosovo – illegally, by the way, because only the UN has authority in Kosovo – are determined to push this policy through to its logical conclusion. I’m afraid it’s a very bad sign for those Serbs who are hanging on to the north of the province,” he told RT.

====

U.S. Backs GCC Allies, Tells Yemeni President To Resign

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157704

Azeri Press Agency
October 20, 2011

US says Yemen’s Saleh should sign deal to quit

Baku: The United States called Wednesday on Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign without delay a deal for him to quit, rejecting his call for international guarantees on a timetable, APA reports.

The embattled leader said earlier Wednesday that he was willing to sign a deal brokered by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to quit after 33 years in office but wanted US and European guarantees on the timetable.

“We don’t believe any further guarantees are necessary,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

“We would just urge that President Saleh fulfill his pledge to sign the GCC agreement without further delay (and) arrange for presidential elections to be held before the end of the year within the framework of that agreement,” he said.

Violence has raged in recent days in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, with troops loyal to Saleh using deadly force against anti-regime protesters.

Saleh did not elaborate on the timetable he was seeking, but the GCC initiative calls for him to hand over to the vice president 30 days after the agreement is signed, with an election after 60 days.

A prime minister from the opposition would lead a national unity government and Saleh and his aides would be granted immunity from prosecution.

====

Real War Just Starting: Obama’s Fatal Afghan Gambit

http://rt.com/news/afghanistan-us-troop-death-209/

RT
October 19, 2011

Obama’s fatal Afghan gambit
­William Echols

The total number of US troops killed in Afghanistan has officially doubled since President Barack Obama took office less than three years ago. But as the US president claims the conflict is drawing down, the real war might just be getting started.

­The number of US troops killed in the decade long war in Afghanistan reached 1,728 over the weekend, according to the latest figures from icausalities.org. With some 575 troop deaths recorded during the seven years the Bush administration prosecuted the war, the latest figures show that the total number of war dead has more than doubled under Obama’s watch.

The spike in US casualties indicates the dramatic escalation in military operations since President Obama’s announced his surge policy before cadets at West Point Military Academy.

While there were some 31,000 US troops serving there by the end of 2008, troop levels in the country have seen a twofold increase since 2009. But as US causalities grew at a rate parallel with the increase of soldiers on the ground, President Obama claimed the war was actually beginning to wind down.

Speaking from the White House on June 22, he told the American people “we can take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding. Fewer of our sons and daughters are serving in harm’s way. We have ended our combat mission in Iraq, with 100,000 American troops already out of that country. And even as there will be dark days ahead in Afghanistan, the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance. These long wars will come to a responsible end.”

But as the tide of war “receded,” this past August would mark the deadliest month for US forces since the war began, with some 66 soldiers reportedly killed.

The following month, Taliban insurgents would launch a brazen attack on the US embassy in the heart of Kabul. While the US ambassador in Afghanistan played down the September 14 embassy attack as being “no big deal,” many Afghans have come to believe that the Taliban is increasingly establishing a foothold in the once secure capital.

­Obama goes for broke

­President’s Obama’s doubling down in Afghanistan and the ensuing violence it inspired hinged on a threefold set of goals.

“When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on al-Qaida; reverse the Taliban’s momentum; and train Afghan security forces to defend their own country.”

In regards to Al-Qaida, the dwindling number of foreign fighters actively operating in Afghanistan has rendered them mostly irrelevant in the ongoing struggle for the future of the country.

In fact, the real problem seems to lie in making ethnic Pashtuns, who compromise some 42 per cent of the population and share deep preexisting cultural and religious ties with the Taliban, loyal to the notoriously corrupt Karzai government.

The United States attempts to defeat a cultural mindset through military means might shed light on the difficulties in stamping out the insurgency via increased troop levels.

The Taliban have long recognized what they believe is a failed strategy on behalf of the United States and NATO forces to fight the Afghans into submission.

And any hopes of finding a peace with the Taliban through negotiations fell through when the former President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber last month. Rabanni, who was serving as the head of Karzai’s Peace Council, had been tasked with reaching out to the insurgents. And while Karzai vowed to stop talks with the Taliban, Rabanni’s death represented a clear blow to the Afghan president’s ability to effectively govern.

Such chaos seems to be perfectly in line with the Taliban strategy.

“In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul and they will never be able to do so in future,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid proclaimed, as cited by Al Arabiya.

Perhaps recognizing that the insurgency has actually grown despite the intensification of military operations, President Obama’s assertion that the “Afghan people will be responsible for the own security” is less cut and dry then it might have originally appeared.

According to the Telegraph, US and Afghan officials are expected to sign a strategic pact before the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan in December which would could see up to 25,000 American troops staying in Afghanistan until 2024.

But as many Afghans increasingly view the war as a struggle against foreign occupiers, the decision to maintain a seemingly permanent military presence in Afghanistan could prove that the increased bloodshed seen in recent times might only be a sign of things to come.

====

NPR: Afghan, U.S. Troops Forced Civilians Onto Mined Roads

http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/npr-afghan-soldiers-with-u-s-mentors-present-forced-civilians-to-walk-mined-road-1.158251

Stars and Stripes
October 20, 2011

NPR: Afghan soldiers, with U.S. mentors present, forced civilians to walk mined road

Villagers in southern Afghanistan say that Afghan troops, along with several American mentors, forced civilians to march ahead of soldiers on roads where the Taliban were believed to have planted bombs and landmines, National Public Radio reported Thursday on its website.

No one was hurt, according to the NPR report. If the allegations are true, NPR noted, the act would appear to violate the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of civilians.

Faizal Mahmud, the deputy head of Panjwai’s council of elders told NPR that village elders and residents from the hamlets of Zangabat, Talukan and Mushan all told a similar story: Afghan troops, accompanied by American soldiers, pulled them out of their homes, lined them up and forced them to walk in front of the soldiers for more than a mile, through areas believed to be mined by the Taliban.

Col. Daniel J. W. King, a spokesman for NATO’s joint command, said an investigation is under way.

—————————————————————————-

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/20/141518344/afghan-civilians-allegedly-forced-onto-mined-roads

National Public Radio
October 20, 2011

Afghan Civilians Allegedly Forced Onto Mined Roads
By Quil Lawrence

Villagers from a violent part of southern Afghanistan say that Afghan troops, along with several American mentors, forced civilians to march ahead of soldiers on roads where the Taliban were believed to have planted bombs and landmines.

No one was hurt. But if the allegations are true, the act would appear to violate the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of civilians. The episode also raises questions about how civilians are caught between the two sides in the war.

The Afghan general in charge of Afghan troops in the Panjwai district, southwest of Kandahar, vehemently denied that any such incident took place. Panjwai’s district governor also denied it. Meanwhile, a spokesman for NATO’s joint command said the incident is under investigation.

Villagers’ Accounts Of Forced March

The Panjwai district was a Taliban fortress for years, until the U.S. troop surge in 2010 began to displace the insurgents. At first, the violence spiked, as U.S. and Afghan troops brought the front line through Panjwai and other districts outside Kandahar.

Now, for the first time in several years, the 20-minute drive out to Panjwai is safe enough for regular traffic. But that doesn’t mean the Taliban are gone.

These days, the Taliban fight with roadside bombs and suicide bombers, says Faizal Mahmud, the deputy head of Panjwai’s council of elders. His constituents tell him they feel caught between the insurgents and Afghan government forces with their American allies. Last month that went to extremes, Mahmud told NPR in an interview.

Mahmud said scores of villagers came to the district meeting hall in Panjwai to complain last month. Along with their village elders, people from the hamlets of Zangabad, Talukan and Mushan all told a similar story. They said Afghan troops, accompanied by American soldiers, pulled them out of their homes one evening in early September.

Mahmud said the soldiers detained a group of villagers, lined them up and forced them to walk in front of the soldiers for over a mile, through areas believed to be mined by the Taliban. Mahmud’s story was corroborated by local residents, including a truck driver from Talukan who goes by one name, Hamidullah.

“They brought in people from all the villages on the sides of the main paved road. The Taliban had told us not to go through this way because there were a lot of mines. All of the road to the next village was mined. But the soldiers told us to keep walking in front of them,” Hamidullah told NPR.

Other local residents reached by phone told the same story. Ahmad, a 22-year-old man from Zangabad village, said he was also forced to walk through what he believed to be a mined road.

“They kept telling us to show the mines. We said we didn’t know where the Taliban planted mines. Then they told us to move forward to the next village, on the way if anything happens, you are responsible for the consequences. We kept praying, oh, God, save us,” Ahmad told NPR.

Allegations Under Scrutiny

Col. Daniel J. W. King, a spokesman for NATO’s joint command, said an investigation into the incident is under way.

“We take all allegations of human rights violations very seriously. At this time there is no credible information or evidence to substantiate these claims. It is our top priority to continue to assess the situation, and if any information or evidence does come to light, we’ll take the appropriate legal actions,” he said, adding that he cannot answer further questions about what is now an ongoing investigation.

Reporting in Panjwai is still dangerous, which limits the possibility of confirming exactly what took place in the villages and how closely involved international forces may have been.

Multiple sources have confirmed, however, that on Sept. 18 and 19, a large number of elders from the community did meet at the Panjwai district center, where Afghan and American officials apologized to them for the incident and promised it wouldn’t happen again, according to the deputy head of the elder’s council, Faizal Mahmud. His boss, the district governor, and the Afghan general in charge deny any such meeting took place. But Mahmud described it in detail to NPR.

====

Quadrupling In Two Years: U.S. Spy Drones Swarm In Droves Over Afghanistan

http://rt.com/usa/news/afghanistan-us-drones-nato-243/

RT
October 19, 2011

American spy drones swarm in droves over Afghanistan

Following a surprise visit in Libya earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unannounced stop in Afghanistan today. She’s not the only American export people overseas are getting used to seeing, though.

In the first nine months of 2011 leading up to the 10-year anniversary of the Afghan War, US-led spy drones operating with NATO conducted nearly 23,000 surveillance missions in the Afghanistan sky.

With nearly 85 flights a day, that figure is nearly double the daily amount from only two years earlier.

In 2009, daily spy mission by NATO drones occurred 22 times a day. Though the Obama administration has assured America that the US military’s presence in Afghanistan is being diminished more and more in the days to come, the number of robotic, unmanned spy planes conducting surveillance operations has only skyrocketed, amounting to nearly four times the amount daily now compared with statistics from only two years ago.

As criticism continues to surround the controversial aircraft, it looks as if the US is doing little to halt its drone operations. This summer the military announced that they would be increasing their fleet of Global Hawk spy drones by more than 50 new planes at a cost of $23 billion, despite the president insuring America that the war in Afghanistan is coming to a close and the United States continues to hemorrhage money, made more severe by a military that spends more than any other country in the world several times over.

Although the Pentagon insists that drone aircraft are crucial to the Department of Defense, problems continue to amass pertaining to its expensive fleet. RT reported only last week that a computer virus recently infiltrated the drone’s command center, to which the military’s network operations team was unaware of until the news made its way to the Internet. The Air Force responded by saying that the infectious worm was “more of a nuisance than a threat,” but meanwhile civilians across the Middle East, Africa and Asia see the biggest threat as the US military itself — drones have taken hundreds of lives since the American military added the stealth craft to its arsenal.

Just this week the US government admitted that miscommunication between remotely located drone operators led to the deaths of two Americans.

As the Pentagon adds to the number of drones to aid in NATO missions over Afghanistan, attacks by insurgents have gone up by nearly 50 percent since 2009, reveals a media brief issued last month from the Afghanistan International Security Assistance force. Despite what appears to be an ineffective battle complicated by drone aircraft, the US is continuing its operations with full force. The US is currently constructing new bases in remote locations in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to more quickly conduct operations over areas considered a threat to American defense.

====

Romania: Draft Law On U.S. Missiles Approved

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/E/EU_ROMANIA_US_MISSILE_SHIELD?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-10-19-09-27-55

Associated Press
October 19, 2011

Romania approves draft law on US missile shield

BUCHAREST, Romania: Romania’s government has approved a draft law that permits the building of an anti-ballistic interceptor site in the country as part of a U.S. missile shield.

Romania and the U.S. signed an accord in September to install interceptors at Deveselu former air base near Romania’s border with Bulgaria.

The government on Wednesday approved the law, which must now be voted by Parliament this year.

====

Russia Prepares Response To U.S.-NATO Missile Deployments

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/19/59011890.html

Itar-Tass
October 19, 2011

Russia prepares its response to Euro ABMs

Russia is preparing its response over Euro ABM deployment in Europe, the country’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Wednesday. He noted that the country will still talk the issue over with the US and Moscow and Washington will try to settle it by the Chicago summit and Russia-NATO Council in May 2012.

Russia hasn’t accepted the invitation yet and this is up to a new president that will be elected in March 2012. Rogozin wouldn’t recommend to hold the Council if the US gives no specific and constructive proposals by that time.

Now the diplomat considers the situation to be at a standstill.

====

U.S.-Russia Missile Shield Talks At Complete Deadlock

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111019/167871608.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 19, 2011

U.S.-Russia missile defense talks deadlocked

Moscow: Missile defense talks between Russia and the United States are deadlocked, but Moscow will not make concessions at the expense of its own security, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.

Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security said on Tuesday that the United States was ready to offer Russia written assurances that the NATO-backed Euro missile defense shield being built is not directed against the country. She, however, refused to provide any legally binding commitments demanded by Moscow.

“The missile defense talks with the United States have come to a complete deadlock,” Rogozin said.

“We will continue the talks, there is still time, but little,” he added, recalling that a NATO summit will be held in Chicago in May 2012. “It’s quite possible that we will combine certain response measures and continuation of talks. But the the president has the last word.”

“Our position is not rock solid; it is very intelligent and open to compromise, we offer different outcomes,” Rogozin said.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile defense system at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

Washington has invited Russia to use its own radars to measure the test-flight of one or more U.S. interceptor missiles.

Russia has agreed to cooperate on the new system, but warned it may strengthen its own defenses if it is not made a full partner in the U.S.-led shield.

====

Belgrade: Serbs Protest U.S. Ambassador On Eve Of NATO Attack

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=19&nav_id=76935

Tanjug News Agency
October 19, 2011

MPs protest U.S. ambassador’s presence

BELGRADE: The opposition SRS party protested in parliament today because of a meeting between the Group of Friendship with the U.S. and U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick.

About ten SRS MPs blocked the entrance to the hall where the meeting with Warlick, in view of 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, was due to begin.

After 20 minutes, the Radicals stepped away.

During the brief protest, the Radicals carried banners saying “We will not forgive you our children,” “Stop killing Serbs in Kosovo,” “NATO = crime,” and “Bloody Mary.” They also sang the national anthem.

After the incident, SRS MP Boris Aleksić criticized the government for receiving Warlick at the Serbian parliament at the moment when, as he said, NATO is getting ready to attack the Serbs’ barricades in Kosovo.

Aleksić accused the government that Warlick arrived at the Assembly to “give them orders to jointly plan the operation against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.”

He said this is the reason why SRS MPs gathered in front of the hall, “where the government is celebrating relations with the U.S.”

Aleksić stressed his colleagues wish to send a clear message that “the U.S. has been carrying out a crime against the Serbian people for 20 years, and is now preparing to do away with them once and for all.”

“They did not allow us to attend the meeting. What is it that they are hiding from MPs,” wondered Aleksić.

====

Historic “Surge” Exercises For U.S. Combat Commands “Across The Globe”

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123276362

U.S. Air Force
October 18, 2011

Historic ‘surge’ exercises airlift crisis, contingency response
by Maj. Michael Meridith
18th Air Force Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – A surge of C-5 Galaxies, slated to take place Oct. 17-21, will bring together 18 active-duty and 23 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command crews and aircraft to fly cargo in support of combatant commanders across the globe.

The assembly of the nation’s largest military airlifters will more than double its normal day-to-day workload, exercising the ability of U.S. Transportation Command and its air component, Air Forces Transportation, to rapidly provide strategic airlift in response to large-scale crises and contingencies, officials said.

“The 41 daily missions will more than double the 18 we normally execute on a typical day,” said Maj. Sandy Thompson, the AFTRANS lead planner. “To put it in a historical context, the best C-5 daily achievement since 2007 was 33 C-5s flown.”

With its ability to carry more than any other U.S. military aircraft and to fly 6,000 miles without refueling, the C-5 has been a “workhorse” for the Air Force since the 1970s, according to the Air Force fact sheet. In addition, the C-5 can transport fully equipped combat units rapidly anywhere in the world and then provide the support needed to sustain them.

In total, six total force units will provide aircraft and crews for the surge, illustrating what officials here describe as a “seamless integration of active-duty and reserve component forces.”

====

U.S. Activates Special/Psychological Operations Units For Africa

http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2011/10/19/1130996?sac=Mil

Fayetteville Observer
October 19, 2011

Birth of 7th Military Information Support Battalion is a special event
By Henry Cuningham

-The 7th is the final battalion to be activated as part of the growth of military information support operations, formerly known as psychological operations.
Those soldiers’ job is to convey selected information to foreign audiences to influence emotions, behavior, reasoning and behavior.
-The Army on Aug. 26 provisionally activated the 8th MISO group to oversee half of the Army’s active-duty battalions. The 8th Group has about 1,000 soldiers…Plans call for Fort Bragg to have about 2,700 MISO soldiers within three years…

The 7th Military Information Support Battalion was activated Tuesday, looking backward to its World War II heritage and forward to operating in Africa.

The airborne battalion will add between 200 and 250 soldiers and their families to the Fort Bragg community.

The unit flag was unfurled with campaign streamers from Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland, the Bulge and central Europe.

Soldiers of the newly activated battalion stood in formation in the maroon beret of paratroopers during the ceremony at Meadows Field at U.S. Army Special Operations Command headquarters.

The 7th is the final battalion to be activated as part of the growth of military information support operations, formerly known as psychological operations.

Those soldiers’ job is to convey selected information to foreign audiences to influence emotions, behavior, reasoning and behavior.

The battalion will work for the special operations commander of Africa Command, which has headquarters in Germany and oversees U.S. military activity in Africa.

[Col. Reginald] Bostick is commander of the 4th MISO Group, the battalion’s higher headquarters. The group has between 650 and 800 soldiers, Bostick said.

“We have violent, extremist organizations that are operating on the continent of Africa,” Evans said after the ceremony. “As a special operations unit, specifically military information support operations, we influence the population to not support those organizations.”

The Army on Aug. 26 provisionally activated the 8th MISO group to oversee half of the Army’s active-duty battalions. The 8th Group has about 1,000 soldiers, said Col. Brian Cavanaugh, the commander.

Plans call for Fort Bragg to have about 2,700 MISO soldiers within three years, said Michael Miller, an Army civilian in charge of force management.

The MISO groups belong to U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which oversees specially trained forces that usually work in small groups in austere or hostile overseas locations.

MISO, civil affairs and Special Forces battalions are oriented to geographic regions of the world. Their soldiers are trained in the languages and cultures of those regions.

The 7th Battalion’s soldiers mostly speak French, whose use on the continent is widespread from the colonial past, Evans said. Some speak Swahili, which is widely spoken in east Africa. A few speak Arabic.

The Army on Friday activated the 92nd Civil Affairs Battalion, which will add 230 soldiers to Fort Bragg. The 92nd is the fifth and final battalion of the expanding 95th Civil Affairs Brigade.

Growth in civil affairs and MISO is expected to replace the 2,000 soldiers of 7th Special Forces Group who relocated this year from Fort Bragg to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

====

U.S. Navy: Asia Is Crucial Global Priority

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hg2VI875DlrXiOMzosiFMyTFhpbw?docId=CNG.1b8d06e6744ae77bf443892ad3eb4d4e.281

Agence France-Presse
October 19, 2011

For US Navy, Asia is crucial priority: admiral
By Dan De Luce

-The Navy now constantly maintains an aircraft carrier – the USS George Washington – in the Pacific, compared to 10 years ago when a carrier was available only 70 percent of the time…
US officials have vowed to expand the American naval presence in Southeast Asia and to uphold “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea, despite China’s territorial claims in the area.
-Greenert cited a new agreement to station four US destroyers in the Spanish port of Rota for NATO’s new missile defense system as an example of more efficient “forward” deployments, which are designed to save time, fuel and personnel costs.
-The pace of operations has increased in the past decade due to the new missile defense mission using Aegis ships, counter-piracy and counter-proliferation efforts and a decision to keep two aircraft carrier groups in the Arabian Sea at all times as well as amphibious ship groups, according to Greenert.

WASHINGTON: The US Navy views the Asia-Pacific region as a top strategic priority even as it faces possible budget cuts that could curtail other global missions, the naval chief said Wednesday.

With China’s clout rising and its military might expanding, President Barack Obama’s deputies and military commanders increasingly portray Asia as a key to American national security.

The new chief of naval operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, echoed that view and suggested growing pressure on the US defense budget would not derail plans to focus on the Pacific region.

“Asia will be clearly a priority and we will adjust our operations accordingly,” Greenert told reporters in a teleconference.

The Navy now constantly maintains an aircraft carrier – the USS George Washington – in the Pacific, compared to 10 years ago when a carrier was available only 70 percent of the time, he said.

US officials have vowed to expand the American naval presence in Southeast Asia and to uphold “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea, despite China’s territorial claims in the area.

Apart from Asia, the Navy also needs to ensure a presence around the world but budget pressures will require having to make “trade-offs” when it comes to operations and joint exercises with partners, the admiral said.

“If you’re not in some areas of the world at all, then things can fester there and become a bigger problem later,” he said.

“The trade-offs become how we distribute our Navy around the world both from the perspective of security operations and also exercises with allies,” he said.

Greenert cited a new agreement to station four US destroyers in the Spanish port of Rota for NATO’s new missile defense system as an example of more efficient “forward” deployments, which are designed to save time, fuel and personnel costs.

The pace of operations has increased in the past decade due to the new missile defense mission using Aegis ships, counter-piracy and counter-proliferation efforts and a decision to keep two aircraft carrier groups in the Arabian Sea at all times as well as amphibious ship groups, according to Greenert.

Greenert, who took over as naval chief last month, spoke to reporters from Newport, Rhode Island, where he addressed an international conference on sea power.

====

Hawaii: U.S. Pacific Command Hosts 27-Nation Military Leaders Meeting

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/132051473.html

Associated Press
October 18, 2011

Asia-Pacific military leaders meet in Hawaii

Senior military leaders from around the Asian-Pacific region are gathering on Oahu this week for a conference hosted by Adm. Robert Willard, the head of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Representatives from 27 nations including Australia, Japan, and South Korea are attending the meeting at a Ko Olina hotel.

The Pacific Command says the annual Chiefs of Defense Conference is meant to bring leaders together to discuss security challenges, improve relationships, and foster cooperation.

Last year’s conference was held in Seoul and was co-hosted by the U.S. and South Korea. The four-day meeting ends Thursday.

====

U.S.-Philippine Military Drills Signal Strategic Shift In South China Sea

http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/10389/u-s-philippine-military-drills-signal-strategic-shift-in-manila

World Politics Review/Trend Lines
October 19, 2011

U.S.-Philippine Military Drills Signal Strategic Shift in Manila
By Guy Taylor

Some 3,000 U.S. and Filipino marines have begun two weeks of joint training drills, including a hostile beach-assault exercise near the Spratly Islands – a patchwork of islets and atolls at the center of maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

While U.S. military officials assert the drills are not aimed at China or any other country as a specific target, Marvin Ott, an Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, says they represent an obvious strategic move by Washington to counter growing Chinese efforts to claim sovereignty and exert dominance over the South China Sea.

“This exercise is a tangible and logical early expression of what will I think be an emerging posture of U.S. deterrence in the South China Sea, meaning deterrence vis-à-vis the Chinese military,” Ott told Trend Lines on Tuesday.

Perhaps more importantly, Filipino “support for an exercise like this is a statement that the Philippines are ready to play an important role in the strategic stance designed to cope with the rise of China.”

“What’s happening now is quite dramatic, sort of a 180 degree shift compared to where the Philippines has been over the better part of the past 20 years,” said Ott. He added that the joint military exercise is designed to send a message…

“It also represents a complete volte-face from the tone and tenor of U.S.-Philippine relations during the Arroyo period,” he added. “The Philippines has in effect stepped forward as a serious player in what will become an emerging strategic game in Southeast Asia, in particular within the context of the South China Sea.”

====

Washington To Deliver More Warships To Philippines

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/10/19/11/ph-navy-chief-eyes-2nd-us-warship

ABS-CBN News
October 19, 2011

PH Navy chief eyes 2nd US warship
by Rodney Jaleco

-Rear Admiral Orwen Cortez, Philippine Navy vice commander, is scheduled to visit the US in early November to inspect another Hamilton-class all-weather high-endurance cutter (WHEC) that could be retired and turned over to the Philippines next year.   
A first Hamilton-class cutter was turned over earlier this year and is now deployed with forces patrolling western Palawan.   
The third Hamilton-class cutter is projected to be acquired by the Philippine Navy in 2013.
Pama also revealed that they are now preparing to acquire some missile technology.

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Philippine Navy will likely get its second Hamilton-class cutter next year, boosting its capability to patrol the country’s maritime borders even as it races to finally acquire missiles for its ships.
 
But Vice Adm. Alexander Pama, Navy Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC), said the bigger challenge is not in getting the new weapons the Philippine Navy needs but in improving its “absorptive capacity” to operate and maintain them.
 
“We have to consider everything,” he told ABS-CBN News. “Buying equipment is the easiest thing to do. The more difficult part is the capability of people because for so long we were concentrated on helping in the counter-insurgency effort. Now we’re shifting to external defense and a conventional navy. That needs a re-adjustment of the skills of our people and that doesn’t happen overnight.”
 

 
Pama was on his way to the biennial Sea Power Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island where he will address about 70 chiefs of navies from all over the world on “maritime terrorism”. The event is organized by the US Navy.
 
He stopped briefly in Washington DC to brief think tank groups on the state of the Philippine Navy and naval challenges in the South China Sea.
 

 
[A]s the Philippine Navy’s focus turn increasingly on the Spratly Islands and the country’s need to tap its vast resources, Pama stressed that “no matter what and no matter with what, we will carry out our mandate even if all we can do is spit on them.”
 
Pama said they are laying down plans to upgrade the Philippine Navy’s capabilities all the way to the end President Aquino’s term…
 
Rear Admiral Orwen Cortez, Philippine Navy vice commander, is scheduled to visit the US in early November to inspect another Hamilton-class all-weather high-endurance cutter (WHEC) that could be retired and turned over to the Philippines next year.
 
A first Hamilton-class cutter was turned over earlier this year and is now deployed with forces patrolling western Palawan.
 
The third Hamilton-class cutter is projected to be acquired by the Philippine Navy in 2013.
 
Pama also revealed that they are now preparing to acquire some missile technology. The Philippine military is the only one in Southeast Asia that still does not have missiles.  “It’s in the drawing board. I can’t say when but if things turn out as planned, it will be more sooner than later,” he told ABS-CBN News.
 

====

NATO And Russia In Geopolitical Battle For South Caucasus

http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2466_october_19_2011/2466_econ_two.html

The Messenger
October 19, 2011

Europe and Russia in Geopolitical Battle for South Caucasus

The leader of one of Armenia’s opposition parties, Aram Karapetian, recently stated that Europe and Russia are carrying out a serious geopolitical battle for the South Caucasus.

The receent visit of French President Nicholas Sarkozy in the region could also be understood as a part of this battle. Sarkozy wanted to see the situation in the region personally and in particular Karapetian thinks that France will be promoting Armenia for integration into the EU and NATO.

Karapetian also touched upon the issue of the Eurasian Union promoted by Russia expressing his positive assessment of the organization. The only obstacle in the way of development of this region Karapetian thinks is the Karabakh conflict.

====

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Reaffirms America’s Support For Georgia’s NATO Membership

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43499&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 19, 2011

Deputy Secretary of State meets with Georgian journalists in Tbilisi

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with Georgian journalists in Tbilisi today and discussed democratic development, free media, independent court and prospects of Georgia`s integration into NATO with them.

“President Obama and Secretary Clinton attach big significance to our partnership with Georgia. The U.S. is deeply proud of the relationships between our two countries. We have a shared interest in advancing democracy, in strengthening peace and security in this region…

“Let me just make a few points: first – the American people deeply appreciate Georgia`s contribution of troops to the International Security Assistance in Afghanistan. I want to personally thank the Georgian people and especially the families of the soldiers…

“Second – as President Obama has stressed on many occasions, the United States remains strongly committed to Georgia`s territorial integrity and sovereignty, also your aspiration to become a member of NATO.

“Third – we will use the Georgia-U.S. strategic partnership format to assist self-defense, trade, democratic institutions, deepening inter-personal relations and in other fields…”

====

Georgia’s Saakashvili Invokes NATO, EU Membership Against “Invaders”

http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2466_october_19_2011/2466_misha.html

The Messenger
October 19, 2011

Saakashvili: Our land must be returned by peaceful means

Our land must be returned by peaceful means. It is our territory, where the graves of our ancestors are located, our homes, the place where we were born, and the schools where we grew up, President Mikheil Saakashvili stated at the opening ceremony of a new settlement for IDPs in Poti on October 17.

The president also focused attention on the Russian aggression…

“I want to tell the conquerors, who are currently on our soil, and everyone else that their plans have not succeeded…,” the president stated.

Saakashvili talked about Georgia’s NATO and EU membership and emphasized that Georgia had never been so close to achieving its goals as now.

“Never before we have been so close to achieving our historic goals as now; never before we have been so [close] to NATO and never before we have been so close to EU as now. Although our invader still rules [in parts] of our territories…our invaders have never before had so few chances as now,” the president said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Wordsworth: We felt as men should feel at vast carnage

October 20, 2011 1 comment

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

William Wordsworth
After Visiting the Field of Waterloo (1820)

A winged Goddess – clothed in vesture wrought
Of rainbow colours; One whose port was bold,
Whose overburthened hand could scarcely hold
The glittering crowns and garlands which it brought,
Hover’d in air above the far-famed Spot.
She vanished – All was joyless, blank and cold;
But if from wind-swept fields of corn that roll’d
In dreary billows from the meagre cot,
And monuments that may soon disappear,
Meanings we craved which could not there be found;
If the wide prospect seemed an envious seal
Of great exploits; we felt as Men should feel,
With such vast hoards of hidden carnage near,
And horror breathing from the silent ground!

Alternate version:

A winged Goddess – clothed in vesture wrought
Of rainbow colours; One whose port was bold,
Whose overburthened hand could scarcely hold
The glittering crowns and garlands which it brought -
Hovered in air above the far-famed Spot.
She vanished; leaving prospect blank and cold
Of wind-swept corn that wide around us rolled
In dreary billows; wood, and meagre cot,
And monuments that soon must disappear:
Yet a dread local recompence we found;
While glory seemed betrayed, while patriot-zeal
Sank in our hearts, we felt as men should feel
With such vast hoards of hidden carnage near,
And horror breathing from the silent ground!

Categories: Uncategorized

Alexander Scriabin: You bring to light the new day which consoles us

October 20, 2011 4 comments

====

Musical selections

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

====

Alexander Scriabin

Symphony No. 1 (1900)
Sixth Movement

Oh you, splendid vision,
You, who exalt and refresh us,
No gift on this earth where we live
Compares with your illusion or your grace.
In the dark, hopeless hour
When the soul falls into vain torments,
Torch of the arts, you bring to light
The new day which consoles us.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011 3 comments

====

215 Days Of Bombing: Over 26,000 NATO Sorties, 9,600 Strike Missions

NATO: “Premature To Set Timetable” For End Of Libyan War

History Repeating Itself: U.S. Hawks Hover Over Iran

Central Africa: Obama’s New War

U.S. In Search Of The Absolute Weapon

U.S. Army Micro-Drones To Bomb “Human Targets”

War Games: U.S. And Philippines Test China’s Military Nerves

Kosovo: NATO Forced To Back Down For Now

Battlefield Training: U.S. Leads Two-Week Exercise In Bulgaria

28 NATO Members, Sweden, Finland In Article 5 Scenario Exercise

Estonia: NATO Practices Implementation Of “Collective Defense”

NATO’s North Atlantic Council To Hold Session In Georgia

Saakashvili, State Department Discuss U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership

Azerbaijan: State Department Engineers Anti-Russian Energy War

Conflict With West: Russia To Shift Gas Shipments Eastward

State Department: Initial NATO Missile Capability By Chicago Summit

Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll At 471

U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama Doubles Entire Bush-Era Total

Pakistan: NATO Co-Responsible For Cross-Border Attacks

Over 200 NATO Vehicles Torched In Balochistan In Two Years

U.S. Goes Ahead With New Arms Deal For Bahrain

====

215 Days Of Bombing: Over 26,000 NATO Sorties, 9,600 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111019_111019-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 26,022 sorties, including 9,602 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 OCTOBER: 61

Strike sorties conducted 18 OCTOBER: 18

====

NATO: “Premature To Set Timetable” For End Of Libyan War

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65701

U.S. Department of Defense
October 18, 2p11

NATO: End in Sight As Libya Mission Continues
By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON: As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visits Libya today to reaffirm U.S. support for the country’s transitional government, NATO officials emphasized that the mission there, while nearing completion, isn’t over.

“It is premature to set a timetable now” for ending Operation Unified Protector, NATO deputy spokeswoman Carmen Romero told reporters in Brussels.

“We are very close to the end, but there are still threats to the population,” she said. “And as long as these threats persist, we will continue with our operation.”

Meanwhile, NATO’s military spokesman for the operation reported on the advancing capabilities of the Libyan council’s forces. Col. Roland Lavoie of the Canadian army emphasized, however, that NATO remains committed to fulfilling its mandate in Libya and will intervene as necessary to enforce it.

“There should be no doubt that NATO remains ready to engage, using all necessary force…in Libya,” he said. “Our mission may well be near completion, but we will maintain a strong, vigilant posture until relieved of our duties.”

Clinton arrived in the Libyan capital of Tripoli today to meet with Transitional National Council President Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and pledge additional support as Libya forms its new government.

Clinton is the most senior U.S. official to visit Libya since the uprising against strongman Moammar Gadhafi began in February.

====

History Repeating Itself: U.S. Hawks Hover Over Iran

http://rt.com/news/iran-war-assassination-plot-113/

RT
October 18, 2011

US hawks hover over Iran
­William Echols

-Whether calls for war against Iran are meant to placate American allies in the Middle East who cannot stomach its supposed nuclear ambitions, are an attempt to reassert US dominance in the oil rich region, or are the last signs of a flagging empire lashing out in self-denial, those who are longing for it to be morning again in America might very well expedite its imperial twilight.

History seems to be repeating itself as the hawks who called for the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein are now rattling their sabers for war against Iran. But why are those who once called for a new American Century hopelessly stuck in a bygone era?

­In a bellicose diatribe published in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard, senior editor William Kristol accuses Iran of having the blood of American soldiers on its hands. Claiming that “force” is the only language the regime understands, he proceeds to call on the US Congress to “consider authorizing the use of force against Iranian entities that facilitate attacks on our troops, against IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) and other regime elements that sponsor terror, and against the regime’s nuclear weapons program.”

In an October 17 Foreign Policy initiative (FPI) Bulletin, executive director Jamie Fly toes the same line, proclaiming:

“Until now, the president has chosen to be the hapless victim of Iran’s machinations. It is time for President Obama to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and stand up to tyrants who kill Americans and threaten our interests.

“It is time to take military action against the Iranian government elements that support terrorism and its nuclear program. More diplomacy is not an adequate response.”

Speaking to Fox News on Monday, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said it was “unfortunate” that Iran did not fear a possible military response in light of recent allegations of an Iranian assassination plot on US soil. Somewhat ironically, Bolton also described President Barack Obama’s recent decision to send 100 troops to stem off a humanitarian crisis in Central Africa as “damaging to our efforts to preserve our military budget.”

It is little wonder that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserts the latest accusations that Iran sought to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US was eerily reminiscent of the weapons of mass destruction claims which provided the casus belli for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“In the past the US administration claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They said it so strongly, they offered and presented documentation and everyone said ‘yes, we believe in you, we buy it’,” Ahmadinejad said in a live interview on Al Jazeera television.

Ahmadinejad’s cause for alarm might seem justified under the circumstances. Ever since George W. Bush’s January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address, wherein Iran (along with Iraq and North Korea) were labeled as the “Axis of Evil”, neo-conservative policy wonks and senior-level government officials have had the country in their sights. And much like Iraq, the case for war is as mercurial and adaptive as the public opinion it caters to.

Kristol for his part was one of the key proponents for regime change in Iraq, outlining the case in a 2003 book he co-authored entitled The War Over Iraq: Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission. But his desire to effect regime change in the Middle East has earlier roots.

In a 1996 Foreign Affairs article, William Kristol, challenging what he believed was “a tepid consensus that accepts decline of US power in the world as inevitable,” called for a neo-Reaganite foreign policy which would pursue “benevolent hegemony” and “wield its authority unabashedly.”

By June 1997, William Kristol, along with several other prominent neo-conservatives who would have high-level administrative positions in the Bush administration (including Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Elliot Abrams), not to mention his brother Jeb Bush, signed off on a statement of principles intended to usher in this halcyon era of American military strength and moral clarity. This statement of principles would come to define the Project for a New American Century.

The four key principles called for increased defense spending and force modernization, the strengthening of ties with democratic allies and the willingness to confront regimes hostile to American interests, the promotion of political and economic freedom abroad, and the “need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.”

Subsequently, on January 26, 1998, the group sent a letter to then-President Bill Clinton urging his administration to implement “a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power.”

The history of what happened when a sympathetic Bush administration coupled with the tragic events of 9/11 provided the pretext for implementing this neo-Reaganite foreign policy is well-trodden territory. The question is, why are they doing it again?

On most counts, the allegations against Iran seem to defy logic. Writing for Time Magazine, former CIA field officer Robert Baer claimed that the plot as described by FBI Director Robert Muller was something one might find in “a truly awful Hollywood script.” He went on to say that “none of it measures up to Iran’s unsurpassed skill in conducting assassinations.”

But while the idea of an Iranian-American used-car salesman attempting to organize a hit on the Saudi Arabian ambassador via the proxy of a Mexican drug cartel seems out of character for the fiercely professional Quds Force – a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard responsible for extraterritorial operations – the far-fetched tale seems a perfect match for the American imagination. Such a flourish for the theatrical has been on display before, most notably, when then US Secretary of State Colin Powell held up a vial he said could contain anthrax while speaking to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003.

However, with US national debt at some 15 trillion dollars, a potential $1 trillion in defense spending cuts on the table, and a recent report carried out by the Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University predicting that the cost of war in Afghanistan and Iraq could reach some $4 trillion, does the American public have the stomach or the means to prosecute another war?

When taking all of those factors into account, the murky world of realpolitik and multilateralism that many neo-conservatives helped bring about by aggressively pushing America towards the brink of imperial overstretch during the Bush years does not sit well with an ideology that views the world within a good vs. evil binary. Kristol for his part saw America sinking into the abyss during an era when the United States economic and military dominance ushered the term hyperpower into the collective consciousness.

But as an entrenched economic crisis limits the United States’ ability to project its military dominance and a decade of war has evaporated its moral currency around the world, it has become clear that many of the neo-conservatives pushing for war against Iran now ultimately have their own chief ideologues to blame for America’s precipitous decline. Whether calls for war against Iran are meant to placate American allies in the Middle East who cannot stomach its supposed nuclear ambitions, are an attempt to reassert US dominance in the oil rich region, or are the last signs of a flagging empire lashing out in self-denial, those who are longing for it to be morning again in America might very well expedite its imperial twilight.

====

Central Africa: Obama’s New War

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/19/58994871.html

Voice of Russia
October 19, 2011

Barack Obama’s new war?
Boris Volkhonsky

-[A]ll previous and present U.S. military operations abroad have shown that the issue of “human rights” and similar slogans are raised selectively, whenever there is a need for the U.S. to establish its presence in this or that part of the world. This was the case with Afghanistan and Iraq; this is the case with Libya and the prospective cases of Syria and Iran.
-Three years ago, [Obama] was elected bearing the image of a dove of peace and promising to end the two wars – in Afghanistan and Iraq. None of the two is over, a third one in Libya is going on at full scale and two others – in Syria and Iran – are looming. Now, why Uganda?
Oil is the primary reason, but not the only one.
-It is worth reminding that the Vietnam War also started from sending advisors. What it ended in is too is too well known. If Barack Obama wishes to be remembered as the President who launched the biggest number of wars in American history, he has all the right to proceed with widening military presence in Uganda and elsewhere.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s last Friday’s decision to send 100 American troops to Uganda has sent waves over the political space both in the U.S. and abroad. The move seems to be quite justifiable since the primary adversary of American military “advisors” will be the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has been operating in Uganda and several neighboring countries for over 20 years and is known for mass murders, rapes, abductions, arsons and other crimes.

What does not allow one to acknowledge that the U.S. military mission is a purely humanitarian character aimed at protecting the civilian population, is a series of facts related to the whole story. First, the LRA today is at its weakest point in the last 15 years. The Ugandan army has been launching relatively successful operations against the guerillas and now they are smaller in numbers than 10 years ago, scattered and based mostly in the Central African Republic and South Sudan rather than in Uganda itself.

Second, all previous and present U.S. military operations abroad have shown that the issue of “human rights” and similar slogans are raised selectively, whenever there is a need for the U.S. to establish its presence in this or that part of the world. This was the case with Afghanistan and Iraq; this is the case with Libya and the prospective cases of Syria and Iran. The main thing based in the core of all these current or prospective military actions is oil. And whatever the U.S. diplomats in Uganda might say trying to deny the obvious U.S. commercial interest does not sound true.

This fact is not only dawning upon outside observers, but even on such U.S. mainstream politicians as, for example, Senator John McCain. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, he warned the administration to be careful and to remember the failed missions of the kind in Somalia or Lebanon.

“I worry about, with the best of intentions, that we somehow get engaged in a commitment that we can’t get out of,” said Senator McCain.

In fact, “a commitment the U.S. can’t get out of” is probably the least desired thing for President Obama. Three years ago, he was elected bearing the image of a dove of peace and promising to end the two wars – in Afghanistan and Iraq. None of the two is over, a third one in Libya is going on at full scale and two others – in Syria and Iran – are looming. Now, why Uganda?

Oil is the primary reason, but not the only one. For a decade or more, Africa has been largely neglected by the U.S. foreign policy. Being preoccupied with the “Greater Middle East”, successive administrations did not have the time, resources, power and intention to handle the problems of the “Dark Continent”. To fill the vacuum, China and lately India were only eager to replace the U.S. as the main partner of Africa. And instead of their American counterparts and competitors, the method used by the two emerging powers was that of “soft power” rather than blunt military pressure.

Such a policy has yielded its results and now Obama is frantically trying to reverse the tendency. But sending 100 troops is hardly an adequate answer to billions of dollars worth of Chinese and Indian investments.

More so, one has to agree with Senator McCain that such an engagement will be difficult to get out of. He said he remembers Somalia and Lebanon, but the Vietnam War veteran might as well remember more distant times.

It is worth reminding that the Vietnam War also started from sending advisors. What it ended in is too is too well known. If Barack Obama wishes to be remembered as the President who launched the biggest number of wars in American history, he has all the right to proceed with widening military presence in Uganda and elsewhere. But it is highly doubtful that this is really his intention. Rather, the force of inertia of the whole machine forces him into reckless adventure like the one in Uganda.

====

U.S. In Search Of The Absolute Weapon

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/18/58930679.html

Voice of Russia
October 18, 2011

The U.S. in search of an absolute weapon
Boris Volkhonsky

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Tripoli bringing with her millions of dollars of U.S. aid to the interim government and a message of peace and encouragement to the Libyan people. As reported by The Washington Post, her talks focus on “how we set the table for a long-term, completely different partnership between the United States and Libya that is deep and broad.”

Be it a coincidence or a pre-planned move, the day before Ms. Clinton’s trip to Libya, several American newspapers published a story disclosing that the Pentagon had planned to use cyber attacks against Muammar Gaddafi’s air defense systems. The exact manner in which the U.S. military had planned to disrupt the country’s air defense system and thus secure U.S. and NATO aircrafts, still remains classified, but the general picture looks as such: massive hacker-like penetration would have disrupted all computer networks of the Libyan military and prevented early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries.

Why the U.S. decided not to use these techniques is also not entirely clear. One reason might have been that they just ran short of time since such operations need a lot of preparation. On the other hand, it is possible that they did not want to provoke and set an example for other countries possessing advanced computer technologies.

In any case, if such techniques had been used it would have set a precedent of a completely new type of warfare, presently known only from Hollywood blockbusters. The advantages of such warfare are obvious – the party being more advanced than the adversary, can feel 100 percent safe and operate deadly weapons inflicting strikes on enemy targets, even while comfortably sitting in their own bedrooms.

What is even more dangerous for the adversary is that sometimes it is not so easy to detect where exactly the attack had originated.

In recent times, cyber attacks have already happened several times, hitting vital facilities of the countries listed as foes of the U.S. For example, last year a Stuxnet computer worm affected Iran’s computers, wiping out a part of the nuclear centrifuges and delayed the country’s ability to produce nuclear fuel. Until now, it remains unclear what the source of the virus was, although there is ground to believe that the virus was of Israeli-American origin.

But what remains not so obvious is the fact that no party, even the most advanced one, can feel safe forever. Technology is advancing everywhere, and sometimes it is hard to predict who and may strike back and when.

In August of this year, the former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center Cofer Black said that cyber attacks constitute the next biggest threat to the U.S. security and that the attitude of the U.S. administration to such threats is similar to the attitude towards terrorism before 9/11.

Also, this year there have been several hacker attacks on some American commercial organizations allegedly originating in China. They may not amount to cyber-terrorism or cyber-warfare, but what makes them even more dangerous is that such attacks can be launched by non-state actors and thus are virtually impossible to be detected at early stages and prevented completely.

Many years ago, a famous American science fiction writer Harry Harrison wrote a story picturing a world where no wars are possible because one community has invented an absolute weapon forcing all others to acknowledge its leading role. “Now that any war is impossible,” the father says to his children, “we can use the weapon for peaceful means.”

====

U.S. Army Micro-Drones To Bomb “Human Targets”

http://news.yahoo.com/us-army-fly-kamikaze-drones-232345942.html

Agence France-Presse
October 18, 2011

US Army to fly ‘kamikaze’ drones

A miniature “kamikaze” drone designed to quietly hover in the sky before dive-bombing and slamming into a human target will soon be part of the US Army’s arsenal, officials say.

Dubbed the “Switchblade,” the robotic aircraft represents the latest attempt by the United States to refine how it takes out suspected militants.

Weighing less than two kilos, the drone is small enough to fit into a soldier’s backpack and is launched from a tube, with wings quickly folding out as it soars into the air, according to manufacturer AeroVironment.

Powered by a small electric motor, the Switchblade transmits video in real time from overhead, allowing a soldier to identify an enemy, the company said in a press release last month.

“Upon confirming the target using the live video feed, the operator then sends a command to the air vehicle to arm it and lock its trajectory onto the target,” it said.

The drone then flies into the “target,” detonating a small explosive.

The United States currently uses larger Predator and Reaper drones to hunt down suspected militants in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The robotic planes fire powerful Hellfire missiles and drop heavy bombs that can cause civilian casualties and extensive damage, which has fueled popular anger with the United States in Pakistan.

The US Army in June approved a $4.9 million contract for AeroVironment to supply the new drones as soon as possible. Officials have not said how many Switchblade drones were ordered or when the robotic weapons would make into the hands of US forces.

Human rights groups have raised concerns that the use of drones by the CIA has allowed the conduct of a secret assassination campaign abroad without public scrutiny and little oversight by lawmakers in Congress.

====

War Games: U.S. And Philippines Test China’s Military Nerves

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/19/58988699.html

Voice of Russia
October 19, 2011

U.S. and Philippines test China’s military nerves
Konstantin Garibov

-“The U.S is rapidly losing its influence in South East Asia, and is trying to keep the status quo not through diplomacy, but with the flexing of military muscle. The exercises are designed to prevent a likely Chinese invasion of the disputed territory. Of course, Beijing has no such intentions, but it is important for America to show that it still has allies in the area. China’s reaction will be extremely negative. Beijing usually defends its territories very robustly, and will do the same over the disputed Spratly archipelago.”

The U.S and the Philippines are carrying out large-scale military exercises near the Spratly Islands in South China sea, which are reported to be an energy trove. Washington and Manila say that the exercises do not pose a threat to Beijing. The ownership of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and even Taiwan.

The U.S and the Philippines agreed to carry out the exercises towards the end of June immediately after the escalation between Beijing and Manila in the region of the Spratlys. The Philippine navy deliberately removed some Chinese installations in the disputed region, declaring a readiness to robustly defend the region. Beijing responded by staging large-scale military exercises, speaking about plans to increase the number of patrol boats in the disputed archipelago. The situation in the area has worsened significantly in recent years, says Vladimir Portakov, deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for the Far East:

“The escalation is due to two factors. The first is the expiration of the UN moratorium on the submission of ownership claims over the shelf adjacent to the islands. The second factor is the discovery of huge reserves of gas and oil in the region. That is why the situation has worsened and why the Philippines and Vietnam have stepped up their activities. In May this year, Chinese fishing trawlers and geology research vessels were hounded out of the area. Vietnam and the U.S. have used the opportunity to strengthen their position in the region. Some countries, among them the Philippines, have started to use their connection with the U.S to push their ownership claims over the disputed islands. The joint training exercises by the U.S and the Philippines should be seen in this context”, Vladimir Portakov said.

The U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has blessed the exercises, speaking of America’s unqualified support of the Philippines in the ownership dispute with China. Alexei Maslov of the Higher School of Economy looks at another vital feature of the joint military exercises:

“The U.S is rapidly losing its influence in South East Asia, and is trying to keep the status quo not through diplomacy, but with the flexing of military muscle. The exercises are designed to prevent a likely Chinese invasion of the disputed territory. Of course, Beijing has no such intentions, but it is important for America to show that it still has allies in the area. China’s reaction will be extremely negative. Beijing usually defends its territories very robustly, and will do the same over the disputed Spratly archipelago.”

The Philippines remains, in essence, the only real ally of the U.S in South East Asia, but it is taking a great risk by teaming up with America to conduct military exercises, which are obviously meant to annoy Beijing. Manila wants to show that it is not a lapdog of China, that it pursues an independent policy in South Easth Asia.

====

Kosovo: NATO Forced To Back Down For Now

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/nato-serbs-standoff-over-kosovo-barricades

Radio Netherlands/Agence France-Presse
October 18, 2011

NATO, Serbs in standoff over Kosovo barricades

NATO confronted Serbs manning a roadblock in northern Kosovo on Tuesday but agreed to wait 24 hours for a compromise that will allow its KFOR force to supply troops in the sensitive area, Serb officials said.

A KFOR convoy turned back from one of the main roadblocks on the road to the disputed Brnjak crossing with Serbia after the agreement, the Serb mayor of nearby Zubin Potok told AFP.

The convoy approached the roadblock as a “test” of KFOR’s demand that all 16 roadblocks set up by Kosovo Serbs on roads leading to the Bnjak and Jarinje crossings be removed by Tuesday, according to spokesman Uwe Nowitzki.

Tuesday morning the barricades were still all there and Serbs stepped up their numbers to guard them, reporters on the ground said.

Zubin Potok mayor Slavisa Ristic said: “We have agreed with KFOR representatives that they return to their bases and await the outcome of the meeting Wednesday” of the four Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo.

That meeting is set to approve a compromise allowing KFOR to supply their troops in the area occasionally while Serbs maintain the barricades, set up to keep Kosovo Albanian customs and police officials away from the border posts.

There was no immediate comment from KFOR on the reported deal.

The local Serbs are angry over a move by the Pristina government in September to put Kosovo Albanian customs and police officials on the border, fearing that their access to Serbia proper will be severely limited.

====

Battlefield Training: U.S. Leads Two-Week Exercise In Bulgaria

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123276303

U.S. Air Force
October 18, 2011

Thracian Fall exercise kicks off in Bulgaria
by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria: Service members from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Bulgarian air force are participating in a two-week jump exercise here from Oct. 9 through 22.

Operation Thracian Fall 2011 is part of a semi-annual, off-station training that gives U.S. and coalition jumpers and pilots an opportunity to hone their battlefield skills together.

“We are here to further the U.S., Bulgaria ties through cooperative training with Bulgarian forces,” said Capt. Beau Tresemer, the mission commander for Thracian Fall 2011. “It’s a great opportunity to see how other countries train and prepare to fight.”

C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, along with Bulgarian C-27 Spartans will continue to drop more than 100 coalition service members near a designated drop zone the rest of this week, he said…

“Our pilots are accomplishing day and night flying with simulated combat drops in unfamiliar mountainous terrain,” said Tresemer. “At the same time. we are helping Bulgarians get their personnel airdrop qualifications.”

“The Bulgarian airspace allows us the training we can’t get in Germany,” he said. “There are less restrictions on altitudes. Here, we are allowed to fly as low as what our regulations say we can.”

====

28 NATO Members, Sweden, Finland In Article 5 Scenario Exercise

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_79269.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 18, 2011

NATO conducts annual Crisis Management Exercise (CMX)

NATO will conduct its annual Crisis Management Exercise (CMX) between 19 and 26 October 2011. The exercise is designed to practice Alliance crisis management procedures at the strategic political level and will involve civilian and military staffs in allied capitals, at NATO Headquarters, and in both Strategic Commands. Unlike a live exercise, however, no forces are actually deployed for the purpose of these exercises.

Originally scheduled to take place on 23-30 March 2011, the exercise was postponed to October 2011 due to the Libya crisis and that NATO took control of all military operations regarding Libya…This postponement also ensured that full Alliance attention could be devoted to operations as well as to exercising crisis management.

…The portrayed emerging crisis will be based on a scenario focusing on NATO’s collective defence task involving consultations on the basis of Article 4 and potential invocation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, in line with NATO’s new Strategic Concept adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The scenario will also contain aspects related to some of the new security threats identified in the new Strategic Concept.

Sponsored by NATO’s Secretary General, CMX 2011 is jointly run by the International Staff, the International Military Staff and the two NATO Strategic Commands, Allied Command Operations and Allied Command Transformation. This is NATO’s 17th CMX since 1992.

All 28 NATO Allies have been involved in planning CMX 2011 and EAPC Partners have been informed. In addition, because the exercise will be set in the Northern Euro-Atlantic area, Finland and Sweden have been invited to be involved in this exercise, and staffs from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been invited to observe relevant aspects of the exercise.

====

Estonia: NATO Practices Implementation Of “Collective Defense”

http://www.isria.com/pages/19_October_2011_116.php

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 19, 2011

Estonia – NATO to Practice Implementation of Collective Defence

-The scenario laid out in the exercise will describe an escalating threat to the territorial integrity, political autonomy and security of a NATO ally, which will lead to the implementation of collective defence on the basis of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The scenario will also include aspects of the new security threats addressed by NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

Estonia will participate in the NATO Crisis Management Exercise (CMX 2011) taking place from 19-26 October.

The CMX is a regularly scheduled NATO Crisis Management Exercise, the goal of which is to practice political, military and civil organisation and crisis management procedures in order to be able to support NATO consultations and the collective decision-making process in a crisis situation.

CMX 2011 will focus on practicing the implementation of the procedures in Articles 4 and 5. The exercise will practice NATO crisis management on the strategic political level. The exercise will include the participation of civil and military personnel in member states, NATO Headquarters, and the leadership of NATO’s strategic military units.

…The scenario laid out in the exercise will describe an escalating threat to the territorial integrity, political autonomy and security of a NATO ally, which will lead to the implementation of collective defence on the basis of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The scenario will also include aspects of the new security threats addressed by NATO’s new Strategic Concept.

One aim of the exercise is to practice consultation procedures with the NATO partner states and international organisations participating in the exercise. Participating in CMX 2011 will be all 28 NATO member states, the partner states Finland and Sweden, and the representatives of many international organisations as observers. About 2,500 people will be involved in the exercise.

Institutions from Estonia that will be included in the exercise are the Foreign Ministry, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to NATO, the Defence Ministry, the Headquarters of the Defence Forces, the State Chancellery, the Security Police, the Ministry of Economics and Communications, the Interior Ministry, the Finance Ministry, and the Justice Ministry. This is Estonia’s fifth time participating in the CMX exercise (earlier exercises took place in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010).

In accordance with NATO’s new Strategic Concept, approved in November 2010, ensuring the collective defence of allies and crisis management are NATO’s primary tasks, which are accomplished though the routine compilation of defence plans and regularly scheduled trainings.

====

NATO’s North Atlantic Council To Hold Session In Georgia

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43483&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 18, 2011

NATO Council session to be held in Georgia in November

The next session of the NATO Council will be held in Georgia. The representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will arrive in Tbilisi in the first half of November and the Secretary General of the Alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, will also arrive in Georgia to chair the session, the press speaker of the president of Georgia, Manana Manjgaladze, announced at the briefing held at the president`s palace today.

====

Saakashvili, State Department Discuss U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1946809.html

Trend News Agency
October 19, 2011

Georgian President, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State discuss bilateral relations
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has today met with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.

The sides discussed bilateral relations between the countries and the intensification of the cooperation within the Georgian-U.S Charter on Strategic Partnership, the presidential administration told Trend…

On behalf of the U.S government, William Burns thanked Georgia for its participation in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan…

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass, National Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria and Deputy Foreign Minister Tornike Gordadze also attended the meeting.

====

Azerbaijan: State Department Engineers Anti-Russian Energy War

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1946276.html

Trend News Agency
October 18, 2011

U.S. top official: U.S. continues to support development of Azerbaijan’s energy sector

Baku: The U.S. continues to support the development of a strong, vibrant and competitive energy sector in Azerbaijan, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told journalists on Tuesday.

“We continue to support diversification of export routes and diversified pipelines,” he said.

Burns said it is in the interest of Azerbaijan, but it is also in the interest of the global economy.

“We believe that the emergence of multiple export routes and pipelines is a good thing,” he added.

====

Conflict With West: Russia To Shift Gas Shipments Eastward

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/250452.html

Itar-Tass
October 18, 2011

Russia to diversify gas supplies in view of controversies with EU – Yanovsky

PARIS: Russia is going to diversify gas supplies and to re-orient part of them to countries in Asia and the Pacific, as there has been no reply to its proposals from the European Commission to this day and in view of the introduction of the “third energy package” in Europe, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said on Tuesday. He is taking part in the ongoing enlarged ministerial meeting of the board of governors of the International Energy Agency.

“In cooperation with Europe there are emerging questions related to the rules of the third energy package, as well as the fact that our proposals for creating exclusive or special rules of implementing certain trans-border projects for gas and electricity supplies to Europe from Russia have regrettably received no support from the European Commission,” Yanovsky said.

“In a situation like this we, of course, shall activate our general pattern of gas industry development. The purpose of these efforts will be the diversification of gas export routes. Supplies will be diversified to the Asia-Pacific region – to Korea and to China,” Yanovsky said.

Diversification will also envisage an increase in the amounts of liquefied natural gas, which would increase the flexibility of export.

====

State Department: Initial NATO Missile Capability By Chicago Summit

http://www.state.gov/t/us/175693.htm

U.S. Department of State
October 18, 2011

Transatlantic Missile Defense: Phase II and the Lead Up to the NATO Chicago Summit

Remarks
Ellen Tauscher
Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference
Washington, DC

-It has been a great privilege for me to have worked so closely with all of our Allies over the last couple of years to reach this point, especially my colleagues in Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.
We also are grateful for the other national contributions by our NATO Allies to this effort, including the recent announcement by the Netherlands that it will spend close to 250 million Euros to modify the radars on its frigates to detect and track ballistic missiles at long ranges.
Over the coming months, we will continue these efforts with our NATO Allies.
-It is NATO’s goal and our desire that enough of this work be completed by the May 2012 Summit in Chicago to declare an initial NATO missile defense capability.
-In addition to full implementation of the EPAA, we are committed to the deployment of the Ground Based Interceptors in Alaska and California…

Thank you, Fred, for that kind introduction and for inviting me to participate in this conference. I want to particularly thank you for your leadership and the important efforts of the Atlantic Council around the world. I appreciate the opportunity to be back at the Atlantic Council to share some insights on the progress that we have made on missile defense in Europe.

Let me also acknowledge my good friend General O’Reilly. I cannot say enough about his hard work and dedication to the Missile Defense Agency. We have been making frequent trips together to Europe. His support has been essential to our efforts to protect our homeland and our NATO Allies from the growing threat from ballistic missile proliferation.

When I was last here in October 2009, President Obama had just announced his decision to shift from the deployment of 10 Ground-Based Interceptors in Europe to a system using land- and sea-based SM-3 interceptors to provide protection of the United States homeland and our NATO European Allies.

During those remarks, I explained why the Obama Administration’s approach provided more protection sooner against the existing threat, using proven systems, and at a lower cost than the previous proposal.

Moreover, the Obama Administration’s approach has the added advantage of protecting our European Allies against the existing threat. That focus on the “now” distinguishes our approach from the previously proposed system, which was focused on a long-range missile threat that has been slower to develop than previously anticipated.

Some press reports even declared that the Obama Administration had decided to shelve missile defense in Europe.

Now, two years later, we have made tremendous progress. We already have begun implementing Phase 1 of what is known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), and we have put in place the arrangements necessary to implement the three follow-on phases.

Let me run through some of the achievements of the last two years.

First, in November 2010, NATO made the landmark decision to develop a missile defense capability to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territories, and forces…

The Alliance also agreed to use NATO Common Funding to enhance the capabilities of the Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense system (or ALTBMD) to give it the ability to provide command and control for this expanded system. Finally, Allies at Lisbon welcomed the EPAA as the U.S. national contribution to NATO’s missile defense capability.

In March of this year, the USS Monterey became the first U.S. ballistic missile defense asset deployed to Europe for the defense of NATO…

The USS Monterey is the first ship of a continuous deployment to Europe as part of the EPAA. As part of that commitment, the USS Monterey will be replaced shortly by the USS The Sullivans.

Then in September, just a few days shy of the two-year anniversary of the EPAA announcement, we rolled out three missile defense agreements that put the final pieces in place for the EPAA.

I will discuss these developments in a phased order, rather than chronological order.

On September 14, we announced that Turkey agreed to host the AN/TPY-2 missile defense radar as part of Phase 1 of the EPAA. This is a vital contribution by Turkey to NATO missile defense.

Basing the AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey will significantly increase the size of the area that can be defended by the deployed Aegis systems. We plan to have the radar in place by the end of this year.

On September 13, Secretary Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Baconschi signed a Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement for Phase 2. Once ratified by the Romanian Parliament, this agreement will allow the United States to build a land-based SM-3 interceptor site at Deveselu Air Base in Romania.

This will be the first operational deployment of a land-based SM-3 site. Once operational in the 2015 timeframe, the site will provide additional missile defense protection for Southern Europe.

On September 15, our Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement with Poland entered into force for Phase 3. It is the first such agreement that reached entry into force…

Following the September 2009 announcement of the EPAA, we were able to work quickly with our Polish allies to modify the Bush Administration’s BMD Agreement to allow for the deployment of the land-based SM-3 site instead of the GBIs. As a result of the strong NATO support for the EPAA, we were able to sign that agreement in July 2010.

We are working with our Polish colleagues on next steps in order for the deployment to proceed in the 2018 timeframe. When Phase 3 is fully implemented, the system will provide coverage to all of our European NATO Allies.

Most recently, Spain agreed in October to serve as a home port for four Aegis ships to support future deployments to Europe. This contribution by Spain supports the commitment made by NATO to missile defense.

Home-porting these ships in Europe will allow the United States to respond more rapidly to a crisis in the region by reducing transit times. Another advantage is that the overall wear and tear on these vessels that comes with crossing the Atlantic will be reduced.

Throughout this process, NATO allies have responded with a tremendous amount of cooperation and support. Together, we have worked hard to make NATO’s landmark Lisbon decision to protect all NATO European members’ territories, populations, and forces with missile defense a reality.

It has been a great privilege for me to have worked so closely with all of our Allies over the last couple of years to reach this point, especially my colleagues in Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.

We also are grateful for the other national contributions by our NATO Allies to this effort, including the recent announcement by the Netherlands that it will spend close to 250 million Euros to modify the radars on its frigates to detect and track ballistic missiles at long ranges.

Over the coming months, we will continue these efforts with our NATO Allies. As we said from the start, we want our missile defense deployments to be part of a NATO missile defense effort, where our system will be the U.S. contribution. NATO is working hard on developing the necessary command and control arrangements for this system.

It is NATO’s goal and our desire that enough of this work be completed by the May 2012 Summit in Chicago to declare an initial NATO missile defense capability.

Finally, let me reiterate that the Obama Administration is fully committed to implementing all phases of the European Phased Adaptive Approach…

As President Obama stated in his December 2010 letter to the Senate,

“My Administration plans to deploy all four phases of the EPAA. While advances of technology or future changes in the threat could modify the details or timing of the later phases of the EPAA – one reason this approach is called “adaptive” – I will take every action available to me to support the deployment of all four phases.”

In addition to full implementation of the EPAA, we are committed to the deployment of the Ground Based Interceptors in Alaska and California…

We cannot provide legally binding commitments, nor can we agree to limitations on missile defenses, which must necessarily keep pace with the evolution of the threat…

Chief among our missile nonproliferation tools is the Missile Technology Control Regime, or MTCR. Working with the other 33 MTCR Partners, we have created the global standard for controlling the transfer of equipment, software, and technology that could contribute to missile developments.

As my remarks demonstrate, the work we do at the State Department with the Pentagon and the Missile Defense Agency advances our efforts in Europe and around the world to protect our Allies, our citizens, and our forces from the dangers posed by ballistic missile proliferation.

====

Afghanistan: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll At 471

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqlhZi3K6lJtm75jPrxTmHMmKLZg?docId=d86b021abb3f4d9380acd2118d87c844

Associated Press
October 19, 2011

Roadside bombs kill 2 NATO and 5 Afghan troops

KABUL, Afghanistan: A roadside bomb killed two NATO service members on Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said, in a day of violence that left a total of seven Afghan army and NATO personnel dead.

The U.S.-led coalition did not provide additional details, but the deaths raise to 471 the number of NATO troops killed so far this year in the country.

====

U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama Doubles Entire Bush-Era Total

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/10/17/us-deaths-in-afghanistan-obama-doubles-entire-bush-era-total/

Antiwar.com
October 17, 2011

US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama Doubles Entire Bush-Era Total
Figures Show Overwhelming Increase in Military Casualties
by Jason Ditz

A grim new milestone was reached in the US occupation of Afghanistan this week, as the death toll in less than three years under President Obama has now more than doubled the number of US soldiers slain during President Bush’s seven plus years in the nation.

The figures put the US death toll at 575 during Bush’s era in Afghanistan, but with the repeated escalations of President Obama 1,153 troops have already died in just 33 months, with no end in sight.

Indeed, the 33 months haven’t seen a flat rate of deaths for US soldiers either, but have been increasing since President Obama took over, with 2009 more than double the rate of the last year for President Bush, and 2010 dramatically higher still. 2011, though still in progress, looks to be much worse than 2009, suggesting the momentum is worsening.

Despite extremely ugly metrics, the Obama Administration has continued to insist that the war is going quite well by their estimation, today saying the Taliban’s inability to destroy a hydroelectric dam in the Helmand Province proved their “weakness.”

====

Pakistan: NATO Co-Responsible For Cross-Border Attacks

http://tribune.com.pk/story/276728/nato-equally-responsible-for-cross-border-attacks/

Express Tribune
October 18, 2011

NATO equally responsible for cross-border attacks: Iftikhar Hussain

NOWSHERA: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, has held NATO forces along with the Afghan security forces equally responsible for cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

Addressing the media in Nowshera, Iftikhar Hussain said that the US has made a case for the Pakistan security agencies to take stern action against the Haqqani Network, however, after dialogue, the situation has receded.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan both have separate borders and no dictation will be tolerated from across the border.

====

Over 200 NATO Vehicles Torched In Balochistan In Two Years

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/19-Oct-2011/2-Nato-tankers-torched-in-Mastung

The Nation
October 19, 2011

2 Nato tankers torched in Mastung

-NATO suppliers are regularly targeted in Balochistan and more than 200 containers and oil tankers have been attacked during the last two years.

QUETTA: Unidentified armed men on Tuesday, torched two NATO tankers in Dasht area of Mastung district, a local Levies official reported.

The tankers were heading towards Afghanistan from Karachi carrying fuel for NATO forces, when the attackers opened fire and set them ablaze on RCD Highway. ‘The tankers were completely gutted’, an official said, adding, that a driver sustained bullet injuries in the attack and was shifted to Quetta for treatment.

The perpetrators of the attack escaped on motorbike after committing the crime.

A case has been registered against unidentified assailants.

NATO suppliers are regularly targeted in Balochistan and more than 200 containers and oil tankers have been attacked during the last two years.

====

U.S. Goes Ahead With New Arms Deal For Bahrain

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1946428.html

Trend News Agency
October 19, 2011

Bahrain arms deal moves closer to completion

The US State Department says it will move forward with a plan to sell $53m worth of weapons, despite concerns, Al Jazeera reported.

A controversial US plan to sell $52mn worth of weapons to Bahrain has moved one step closer to completion, according to the State Department.

Early media reports on Tuesday suggested that the deal had already been finalised….

The proposed arms sale includes Humvees, TOW missiles – typically used as anti-tank weapons or against buildings – and other equipment.

“At this point congress has expressed no concern, no opposition to this sale,” [Stephen Seche, deputy assistant secretary of state for Arabian Peninsula affairs] said. “So the intent is to go forward with this process.”

The tentative agreement with Bahrain has been criticised by dozens of human rights groups, who urged the Obama administration last month to block the sale until the Bahraini government “ends abuses against peaceful protesters and takes meaningful steps towards political reform”.

Dozens of people have been killed, and thousands more wounded or arrested, during months of political unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

Bahraini security forces have been accused of widespread human rights abuses; they have tortured detainees, targeted doctors and other medical personnel, and destroyed dozens of mosques across the country, according to independent reports and human rights groups.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Robert Herrick: The olive branch, the arch of peace

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

The Olive Branch

Sadly I walk’d within the field,
To see what comfort it would yield;
And as I went my private way,
An olive-branch before me lay;
And seeing it, I made a stay,
And took it up, and view’d it; then
Kissing the omen, said Amen;
Be, be it so, and let this be
A divination unto me;
That in short time my woes shall cease,
And love shall crown my end with peace.

*****

The Rainbow

Look how the rainbow doth appear
But in one only hemisphere;
So likewise after our decease
No more is seen the arch of peace.
That conv’nant’s here, the under-bow,
That nothing shoots but war and woe.

*****

The White Island; Or Peace of the Blest

In this world, the Isle of Dreams,
While we sit by sorrow’s streams,
Tears and terrors are our themes,
Reciting:

But when once from hence we fly,
More and more approaching nigh
Unto young eternity,
Uniting

In that whiter Island, where
Things are evermore sincere:
Candour here, and lustre there,
Delighting: -

There no monstrous fancies shall
Out of hell an horror call,
To create, or cause at all
Affrighting.

There, in calm and cooling sleep,
We our eyes shall never steep,
But eternal watch shall keep,
Attending

Pleasures such as shall pursue
Me immortalized, and you;
And fresh joys, as never too
Have ending.

Categories: Uncategorized

Gustav Holst: Mars, the Bringer of War. Venus, the Bringer of Peace

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Musical selections

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

====

Gustav Holst
From The Planets (1914-16)

Gustav Holst conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, 1926

“The full horror of mechanised warfare confronts us face to face in this bleakest of all tone poems. Its face is unrepentent, unrelenting and merciless and it offers us no hope of redemption. Thousands of pairs of jackbooted feet parade across the landscape, scurrying to their graves. Tanks pound cities into rubble. Bullets fly and bombs fall. Airplanes swoop low overhead. How surprising it is, then, to learn that Holst completed this piece long before the opening of the First World War, before the invention of the tank, before any plane had ever been fitted out to carry bombs, before the slaughter in the trenches, before the use of poison gas.” Bryan Trussler

Wolfut Victor II
Hercules and Minerva Expelling Mars

*****

Charles Joseph Natoire
Le Reveille de Venus

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 3 comments

====

NATO’s Ongoing Libya War: 9,584 Sorties, 25,661 Combat Missions

Clinton Arrives In Libya On Unannounced Visit

Libya War: Need To Strengthen War Powers Resolution

NYT: U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare In Attack Plan On Libya

NATO-Iraq Partnership: Italian Military Trains 11,000 Federal And Oil Police

Video And Text: NATO Plans Final Solution For Kosovo Serbs

Thousands Of Serbs Prepare For NATO Assault

Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Confront NATO With Stones And Sand

U.S. Warship Arrives In Georgia Despite Russian Anger

NATO’s Sun King: Saakashvili Says Today’s Louis XIV Visited Georgia

Canada Hails Saakashvili’s Georgia As NATO Partner

Assembly: NATO Plans Drone Attacks In Balochistan

Survey: 56% Of Afghans See NATO Troops As Occupiers

NATO To Provide 166 Aircraft To Afghan Proxy State

New NATO: Estonia Loses Ninth Soldier In Afghanistan

Gulf Of Guinea: U.S. Strengthens Military Cooperation With Nigeria

====

NATO’s Ongoing Libya War: 9,584 Sorties, 25,661 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111018_111018-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 18, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

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

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 25,661 sorties, including 9,584 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 17 OCTOBER: 63

Strike sorties conducted 17 OCTOBER: 16

====

Clinton Arrives In Libya On Unannounced Visit

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/18/c_131198791.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 18, 2011

Clinton arrives in Libya on unannounced visit

TRIPOLI: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived here Tuesday on an unannounced visit for talks with Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council which was struggling to consolidate its control over a war-torn country.

Clinton is the first U.S. cabinet-level official to visit the North African country. She will hold talks with top officials including NTC chief Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of NTC’s executive board Mahmoud Jibril and finance chief Ali Tarhouni.

====

Libya War: Need To Strengthen War Powers Resolution

http://www.iar-gwu.org/node/353

International Affairs Review
October 17, 2011

After Libya: The Need to Revise the War Powers Resolution
The debate over U.S. involvement in NATO’s Libya mission shows that Congress must revise the War Powers Resolution and ensure effective oversight of future military operations.
By Chris Economou

Before U.S. President Barack Obama committed American forces to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission in Libya last spring, he neglected to provide an adequate reason for America’s involvement or seek approval from Congress. Because of this decision, Obama faced extensive criticism as the conflict dragged on. In a letter sent to the president in March 2011, House Speaker John Boehner wrote that he was “troubled” that Obama committed U.S. military forces to the conflict “without clearly defining” what the mission is and without first consulting Congress.

Additionally, on June 3, 2011, the House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution demanding that President Obama define U.S. goals in Libya. Obama’s failure to consult with Congress creates a dangerous precedent that denies Congress a say in deciding when and how U.S. military forces should be used and instead places these decisions into the hands of just one person – the president. To ensure that this practice does not continue, Congress should learn from Obama’s actions in Libya and make the War Powers Resolution binding and more specific.

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare wars and fund the military. However, the Constitution simultaneously empowers the president to carry out wars as commander-in-chief. Both branches of government have long debated this dichotomy of war powers.

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 meant to end this debate by requiring closer collaboration between the branches when the United States enters into a conflict. The War Powers Resolution states that the president may not engage the U.S. military in any conflict for more than 60 days unless Congress has declared war extended the sixty-day period, or cannot convene due to an armed attack on U.S. territory. Passed over a presidential veto, the War Powers Resolution means to serve as a check on the president’s ability to commit U.S. forces to lengthy military engagements without approval from Congress.

Since the start of U.S. involvement in NATO’s Libya mission, President Obama has neglected the War Powers Resolution by denying that the conflict is actually a war. In a 38-page report sent to lawmakers on June 15, 2011, the Obama administration asserted that since “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops,” the Libyan conflict does not constitute a war or fall under the War Powers Resolution.

Despite Obama’s argument to the contrary, the Libya mission is exactly the type of conflict that the War Powers Resolution was meant to control.

Through air support and strategic bombings, NATO’s mission was clearly of a military nature and directly assisted the Libyan rebels’ takeover of the capital city of Tripoli on August 23, 2011. Considering that America provided the bulk of NATO’s military capabilities and funding in Libya, this was as much America’s war as it was NATO’s. Therefore, Obama should have consulted with and sought approval from Congress and adhered to the 60-day deadline, as the Resolution requires.

To prevent future presidents from ignoring Congress’ role in military conflicts, the War Powers Resolution should be revised to make it more specific and binding. Such revisions should include accurately defining terms used in the original resolution such as “engaging in hostilities” that are ambiguous and can be easily circumvented by the executive branch.

These revisions should also include penalties which are automatically enacted should the president fail to uphold the resolution’s requirements. Such penalties would most likely include the automatic withholding of funds reserved for the conflict without a congressional debate or vote. The outcome would be a new War Powers Resolution, which still allows the president to dispatch American armed forces when necessary, but ensures effective oversight by elected officials in Congress.

====

NYT: U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare In Attack Plan On Libya

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/18/world/africa/cyber-warfare-against-libya-was-debated-by-us.html

New York Times
October 17, 2011

U.S. Debated Cyberwarfare in Attack Plan on Libya
By Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON: Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system…

While the exact techniques under consideration remain classified, the goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government’s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes.

In the end, American officials rejected cyberwarfare and used conventional aircraft, cruise missiles and drones to strike the Libyan air-defense missiles and radars used by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government.

This previously undisclosed debate among a small circle of advisers demonstrates that cyberoffensives are a growing form of warfare. The question the United States faces is whether and when to cross the threshold into overt cyberattacks.

Last year, a Stuxnet computer worm apparently wiped out a part of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and delayed its ability to produce nuclear fuel. Although no entity has acknowledged being the source of the poisonous code, some evidence suggests that the virus was an American-Israeli project…

The Obama administration is revving up the nation’s digital capabilities, while publicly emphasizing only its efforts to defend vital government, military and public infrastructure networks.

The debate about a potential cyberattack against Libya was described by more than a half-dozen officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified planning.

In the days ahead of the American-led airstrikes to take down Libya’s integrated air-defense system, a more serious debate considered the military effectiveness…of using cyberattacks to blind Libyan radars and missiles.

Gen. Carter F. Ham, the head of the military’s Africa Command, which led the two-week American air campaign against Libya until NATO assumed full control of the operation on March 31, would not comment on any proposed cyberattacks. In an interview, he said only that “no capability that I ever asked for was denied.”

The War Powers Resolution, a Vietnam-era law enacted over President Richard M. Nixon’s veto, does not define “hostilities.” In describing its actions to Congress and the American people, the White House argued that its use of conventional forces in the Libyan intervention fell short of the level of hostilities requiring Congressional permission under either the Constitution or the resolution…

Charlie Savage contributed reporting.

====

NATO-Iraq Partnership: Italian Military Trains 11,000 Federal And Oil Police

http://www.aco.nato.int/nato-gendarmerie-training-unit-achieves-important-milestone-in-iraq-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organziation
Allied Command Transformation
October 17, 2011

NATO Gendarmerie Training Unit achieves important milestone in Iraq

-Armentani stressed that while this “tactical” phase of the NTM-I mission had come to its end, a new, more strategic phase, was beginning. The Carabinieri who will continue to serve within the Police Advisory and Training Division, led by Col. Michele Facciorusso, will provide advice to the most senior stakeholders in the Iraqi Security Forces at the ministerial level, and will increase the number of the Out-of-Iraq activities in schools and centres of excellence of NATO member States.

Baghdad, Iraq: The NATO Training Mission-Iraq Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, recently bid farewell to the Carabinieri of the Gendarmerie Training Unit who are scheduled to leave Iraq after four years of uninterrupted service in the NATO mission.

The general congratulated unit members on their exceptional work and said: “The result you achieved speaks by itself: you have trained nearly 11,000 Policemen from the Iraqi Federal and Oil Police since 2007 on 20 basic courses. You also ran 17 courses to train instructors and 41 specialty courses ranging from Counter IED and Counter Insurgency to Crime Scene Investigation.

“Your efforts covered more than twice the number of requests for training made by the Iraqi authorities…”

Furthermore, Armentani stressed that while this “tactical” phase of the NTM-I mission had come to its end, a new, more strategic phase, was beginning. The Carabinieri who will continue to serve within the Police Advisory and Training Division, led by Col. Michele Facciorusso, will provide advice to the most senior stakeholders in the Iraqi Security Forces at the ministerial level, and will increase the number of the Out-of-Iraq activities in schools and centres of excellence of NATO member States. Also, specialty police training will be offered, and facilitated, by NATO mobile training teams.

A ceremony to commemorate the lowering of the flag in Camp Dublin – the Carabinieri training base – marked the beginning of NTM-I’s transformation into an organization better suited to assist Iraq…and will set the conditions for a solid partnership between Iraq and NATO in the future.

Finally, Maj. Gen. Armentani praised Lt. Col. Sergio Di Rosalia, who commanded the Gendarmerie Training Unit for seven months…and Col. Michele Facciorusso, Chief PATD, for his steadfast support and guidance.

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…

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…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.

====

Video And Text: NATO Plans Final Solution For Kosovo Serbs

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-serbs-barricades-ultimatum-065/

RT
October 18, 2011

Kosovo border dispute escalates

Video

NATO forces have extended the deadline for Serbs in northern Kosovo to remove barricades near the Kosovar-Serbian border, delivering them an ultimatum to clear the roadblocks by early Tuesday or face forced removal.

Pristina, the capital of Albanian-dominated Kosovo, wants to erect customs posts between the Serb-dominated part of the self-proclaimed republic and Serbia, tearing the Serb enclave in Kosovo from Belgrade and urging Serbs to leave their homes and depart for Serbia.

That means the clock is ticking for Kosovar Serbs because NATO’s Kosovo Peacekeeping Force (KFOR) is on the side of the Albanians, and they have already shown that they will not hesitate to fire at Serb protesters with live rounds.

But the Serbs who were born in Kosovo do not want to leave their motherland, and they have attempted to prevent Albanian police and customs officials from seizing control of the border crossings to Serbia.

Still, KFOR appears to mean business, and seems intent on delivering Kosovar officials to border checkpoints under the protection of their guns.

But Kosovar Serbs have nowhere to retreat. When RT visited the site of the protests, the roadblocks remained in the same place they have been for the last two months.

With the Tuesday deadline approaching, tensions in the area are boiling.
On Saturday, KFOR Commander General Erhard Drews met with the mayors of four northern Kosovo towns, claiming that KFOR needs the roads cleared in order access northern parts of Kosovo. At the moment, supplies for the KFOR troops stationed there – water, food and fuel – are being delivered by helicopters.

Last month KFOR attempted to bulldoze the Kosovar Serb barricades, but the only result was violence that left 11 Serbs wounded. Despite KFOR’s attempt to cover up the scandal by saying soldiers were only shooting rubber bullets, the doctors who treated the injured confirmed all the wounds were real gunshots. It could be said that blood has already been spilled, and it was Serb blood.

The situation on the border might look peaceful for now, but this could change in the blink of an eye.

====

Thousands Of Serbs Prepare For NATO Assault

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=17&nav_id=76893

Beta News Agency
October 17, 2011

Serbs in north organize “rehearsal” protest

ZUPČE: Serb gathered this morning near the main barricade in the northern Kosovo village of Zupče to protest against the announced removal of the road blocks.

Local Serbs blocked roads after Kosovo Albanian authorities moved to install their customs and police on the administrative line between central Serbia and Kosovo.

Serbs, who form a majority in northern Kosovo, reject both the authority of the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština, and the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of independence made in early 2008.

Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Ristić addressed several thousand people gathered today to say that they were not there protecting “beeches and tree trunks”, but rather their country, homes, and the future of their children.

Ristić pleaded with the citizens to remain “calm and wise”, and called on them to gather again on Tuesday morning at Zupče.

“If members of KFOR try to break through the barricades tomorrow, we will stand calmly, we’ll take our chairs too, and sit down. If that’s what their justice and freedom is about – then we don’t need it,” the mayor told the crowd.

“We ask nothing from them, except to be left alone, to stay and live in the state of Serbia. If there is no Serbia here, there will be none in Belgrade either,” warned Ristić, and added that the people defending their homes recognize and appreciate the help they are receiving from friends at this difficult time.

Previously, the residents of the Ibarski Kolašin region say that they will spend Monday at the barricades, and that the protest will be peaceful.

Reports said there were women and children at the barricades, while schools are today closed in the area.

The locals said today’s events were a “rehearsal” for what Serbs intend to do if KFOR starts removing their barricades.

Farther up north, in Leposavić, Serbs were also ready to peacefully resist Priština’s attempts to install its institutions here.

The citizens are saying that if there is no solution that will be acceptable to them, and if KFOR dismantles their road blocks, they will react by putting up new barricades.

Last night, residents of the towns of Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvečan manned the barricades.

====

Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Confront NATO With Stones And Sand

http://rt.com/news/stones-firm-kosovo-border-083/

RT
October 18, 2011

Army of stones: Serb barricades stand firm

Video

As the deadline for Serbs in northern Kosovo to dismantle their border barricades nears, they remain firm in their protest. The barricades are meant to stop attempts by Kosovan police, and NATO and EU forces to take over border crossings with Serbia.

Stones and sand of the barricades are the only weapons the Serbs living in Kosovo have in their arsenal to make the others listen to them.

The roadblocks they have set up throughout the northern part of the region are making headlines and getting feedback.

Local resident Voityla is reading a leaflet that KFOR, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, has been distributing here recently: “We ask you not to participate in any event that may threaten your safety or may have negative consequences for you and for your country!“

He comments: “Bastards! They are talking about us! While they are the only negative here.”

“Look at their propaganda! We will not buy it! We don’t want them here, those occupiers; we don’t even want to talk to them!” he adds as he crumbles the leaflet and throws it into a campfire.

Unlike the barricade sentries, the mayor of the Northern Kosovo town of Leposovic is talking to KFOR. Branko Ninic has been among the four delegates from Serbs to negotiate with the peacekeepers on dates and terms for the barricades’ removal.

KFOR announced a Monday deadline, but then postponed it till Tuesday. The Serbs have claimed they need even more time.

Initially designed to prevent Kosovan customs officers from reaching the checkpoints at the northern border with Serbia, rubble on the roads has made trouble for many.

The KFOR complain they have no land access to their troops in the north. They are using helicopters to transport supplies and soldiers.

And the Serbs themselves are suffering too. They are building new alternative roads to reach Serbia from Kosovo, because the main routes have been blocked – by Serbian barricades – in the last several weeks.

The only other alternative is a train, but it runs only once a day and is always packed, so it is not necessarily a viable option.

New bypass roads appear with phenomenal speed. An RT crew has seen at least seven of them.

“This is stupid. We have many roads but we have to make more! But we have no choice – they make us do that! And we’ll not give up. Never,” says Vladimir, a road engineer, who is involved in constructing bypass roads.

Vladimir is one of the volunteers. He is a Kosovan Serbian and says he speaks for all of them.

“This is our state. It’s ridiculous to think we’ll ever recognize an ‘independent’ Kosovo. We’ll never give up,” he vows.

Back at the barricades people are still waiting. All of them have regular jobs as teachers, engineers or miners, but here they call themselves soldiers and use war rhetoric.

“This is our land. We will not surrender!” they say. “That’s for truth. For the future. For our children and Motherland!”

They say one man cannot win a war, but together people may form a real army. Even if their weapons are just stones and sand.

====

U.S. Warship Arrives In Georgia Despite Russian Anger

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gCq-SQ7hoeXcAUV734eGTac5DnXg?docId=CNG.4628a41e0bbd69f6920140df9ed59f22.521

Agence France-Presse
October 17, 2011

US warship visits Georgia despite Russia anger

TBILISI: A US warship arrived Monday in Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi for exercises with the country’s coast guard, the US embassy said, in the latest of a series of such calls which have angered Russia.

The guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea’s “regularly scheduled” port call will include “combined training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard,” the US embassy in Tbilisi said in a statement.

“This visit serves to continue US 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with Black Sea nations and improve maritime safety and security,” the embassy said.

US warships delivered humanitarian aid to Georgia after the Caucasus nation fought a brief war with Russia in August 2008.

Moscow has criticised the decision to send the sophisticated warships, saying it might contravene international conventions and that the ships were unsuited for aid missions.

====

NATO’s Sun King: Saakashvili Says Today’s Louis XIV Visited Georgia

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24040

Civil Georgia
October 17, 2011

Saakashvili: ‘Georgia Close to Achieving its Historic Goals’

Tbilisi: President Saakashvili said on October 17 that Georgia had never been so close to achieving its goals as now, including on its drive to join the EU and NATO.

“Never before we have been so close to achieving our historic goals as now; never before have we been so [close] to NATO and never before we have been so close to theEU as now. Although our invader still rules [in parts] of our territories, and although it still bars you from returning back to your homes, our invaders have never before had so little chances as now,” Saakashvili said.

He was speaking at an opening ceremony of an EU-funded apartment complex for internally displaced families in the Black Sea town of Poti.

Saakashvili said centuries ago Georgian kings were sending letters and envoys to Europe requesting help and then added by citing a verse from Georgian poetry, that one such envoy had to wait in a long queue before a meeting with the Sun King, Louis XIV of France.

“A week ago, today’s Louis XIV arrived and addressed [public] and pledged friendship and assistance from Tbilisi’s central square,” Saakashvili said referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit in Tbilisi on October 7.

He said that the major goal was to strengthen Georgia in order to peacefully return territories now occupied by Russia.

====

Canada Hails Saakashvili’s Georgia As NATO Partner

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/18/c_131197820.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 18, 2011

Canadian PM lauds Georgia ties

OTTAWA: Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with his Georgian counterpart Nika Gilauri here Monday and praised bilateral ties.

“We have good relations with your country, which has been a strong partner, particularly a partner with NATO,” Harper was quoted by his office as saying. “We really do appreciate that.”

The two leaders didn’t talk to the press, neither did they issue any communique.

Canada has been building strong military and political ties with the Caucasian nation and has been backing Georgia’s bid for NATO membership.

Two-way high-level exchanges have been frequent in recent years, including Harper’s meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili during the NATO Lisbon summit in November 2010. Several high-ranking Canadian delegations visited the South Caucasus country in 2008. Canada also provided some 2.94 million U.S. dollars in humanitarian assistance to Georgia.

====

Assembly: NATO Plans Drone Attacks In Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C10%5C18%5Cstory_18-10-2011_pg7_4

Daily Times
October 18, 2011

BA members resent NATO airspace violations
By Mohammad Zafar

QUETTA: Resentment over the violation of Pakistani airspace by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) echoed in the Balochistan Assembly on Monday.

During the session, the parliamentary leader of ANP demanded that the federal government raise the issue with NATO and the United States.

Deputy Speaker Matiullah Agha chaired the session in absence of Speaker Aslam Bhootani, who was in his hometown in Lasbela over the death of his mother.

Provincial Minister for Revenue and ANP Parliamentary Leader Zamruk Khan Achakzai took the floor on a point of order and informed the House that NATO had again violated Pakistani airspace by making a low flight in the area for 20 minutes. “The NATO and International Alliance Forces have a mandate to stay in Afghanistan. These violations are creating fear and panic amongst the local people. We assume these violations are an indication that NATO forces will soon launch drone attacks in Balochistan,” he said.

====

Survey: 56% Of Afghans See NATO Troops As Occupiers

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,792436,00.html

Der Spiegel
October 18, 2011

Survey in a War Zone
More than Half of Afghans See NATO as Occupiers

Fully 60 percent of Afghans fear that the country will descend into civil war once NATO forces leave, but over half see the Western alliance as occupiers. A new survey carried out be the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has found that the mood in Afghanistan is worsening.
 
The troops are there, according to the mission statement, to “provide a secure environment for sustainable stability.” But 10 years after NATO entered Afghanistan to drive out al-Qaida beat back the Taliban, a majority of the local population has come to see the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as little more than occupiers.

According to a survey published on Tuesday by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 56 percent of Afghans now see the foreign troop contingent as an occupying force. Furthermore, only 39 percent of those surveyed said they saw ISAF as a guarantee for security, well down from the 45 percent result found in the same survey in 2010. Fully 60 percent think that the country will descend into civil war once NATO forces withdraw.

Babak Khalatbari, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Afghanistan office, said on Tuesday that the results were “a matter of concern.”

The survey has been completed each year since 2008 and is carried out in conjunction with the National Centre for Policy Research at the University of Kabul. Some 5,000 Afghans were interviewed in five provinces in late September. Though the Konrad Adenauer Foundation warns that the poll is not strictly representative, the results are broadly consistent with the impression most in the West have about Afghanistan: The situation appears to be worsening.

Far from Subdued

“The survey results show that in Afghanistan, there appears to be an increasing amount of anxiety and fear rather than hope,” Khalatbari said.

With a decade having elapsed since the US and NATO marched into Afghanistan…many in the West have begun to see the mission as a failure. Security in the country is perceived as fragile and the Taliban are far from subdued.

Indeed, violence in the country has increased in recent years, though NATO released a report on Saturday indicating that the number of Taliban attacks has dropped sharply in recent months compared to the same late summer period in 2010. The alliance is planning to withdraw combat troops by 2014 and turn over responsibility for security entirely to Afghan forces. The survey found that a mere 22 percent of Afghans are satisfied with the security situation in the country, though there were significant geographical variations.

Whereas 33 percent if those living in the western province of Herat were satisfied, just 7 percent found security up to snuff in Nangarhar, in the far east of the country.

But even as Afghans have an increasingly negative view of NATO troops, their view of the Taliban is plummeting as well. In 2010, 74 percent of those surveyed were in favor of talks with the Islamists; this year, that number has dropped to 63 percent. Only 51 percent would be in favor of granting the Taliban a share of power in the country, down 10 percentage points from last year.

The survey likewise did not reflect well on Afghanistan’s political leadership under President Hamid Karzai. Just 31 percent of those surveyed are pleased with the work of their government, down four percentage points from last year. In the capital Kabul, just 17 percent thought the government was doing a good job. Trust in state institutions is also abysmal. Just 28 percent of those surveyed had faith in the country’s ministries and agencies.

====

NATO To Provide 166 Aircraft To Afghan Proxy State

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/17/nato-give-ansf-166-aircraft

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 17, 2011

NATO to give ANSF 166 aircraft
By Hasan Khitab

KABUL: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will provide 145 multi-type airplanes and 21 helicopters to Afghan National Security Force (ANSF), an official said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, the commander of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) said the coalition would procure an additional 100 aircraft for the Afghan Air Force, which already had over 50 planes.

Without giving the planes’ types, costs and delivery dates, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell said 21 new choppers worth $380m, scheduled to be handed over to Afghan forces in the coming year, were bought by the US and were being assembled. “One special aircraft used for special operations will also be provided to Afghan forces.”

Currently, 120 Afghan pilots were under training outside Afghanistan, he said, adding five of them, including four women, were being trained in the US. “We have also inked an agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to train Afghan pilots.”

Caldwell continued the first group of the trainee pilots, whose training was nearing completion, would return to Afghanistan next year.

Caldwell also told the press conference that ANA and the police did not have armoured vehicles two years ago. At the moment, they have 2,400 armoured vehicles, with 2,200 more to be delivered soon.

The commander said…if the Afghan government agreed, they would extend the training mission beyond 2014.

====

New NATO: Estonia Loses Ninth Soldier In Afghanistan

http://baltic-review.com/2011/10/estonian-soldier-25-year-old-corporal-agris-hutrof-killed-in-afghanistan/

Baltic Review
October 17, 2011

Estonian soldier 25-year-old Corporal Agris Hutrof killed in Afghanistan

An Estonian soldier deployed as part of the Estcoy-12 mission to Afghanistan was killed after a firefight with militants during a foot patrol in south of the war-torn nation on October 15, the Baltic country’s military announces.

Estonian military spokesman Georgi Kokoshinski said Corporal Agris Hutrof died after his unit came under attack in Helmand on Saturday morning.

While on a patrol mission in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, 25-year-old Corporal Agris Hutrof’s unit became engaged in two battles with anti-government forces, according to information from the Defense Forces Headquarters.

Hutrof was evacuated to Camp Bastion for treatment, but doctors were unable to save him. Three other wounded members of Estcoy-12 were evacuated along with him. Their injuries are reported to be non-life-threatening.

Hutrof, who joined the army as a conscript in 2008 and then opted to turn professional, had been serving in Afghanistan since May 2011.

Estonia’s 160-strong contingent is part of NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

There are currently about 150,000 US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan, 100,000 of whom are from the United States.

Saturday’s death was Estonia’s ninth fatality in Afghanistan since the Baltic state first sent troops in 2003 after the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

====

Gulf Of Guinea: U.S. Strengthens Military Cooperation With Nigeria

http://leadership.ng/nga/articles/6742/2011/10/16/nigeria_us_strengthen_defence_ties.html

Leadership
October 16, 2011

Nigeria, US To Strengthen Defence Ties
Abiodun Oluwaratimi

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defence for Africa, says that her country and Nigeria will strengthen ties in defence. Huddleston gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja when she paid a courtesy call on the minister of state for defence, Mrs Olusola Obada, in her office.

She said that she came to have talks with the minister because of the meeting between U.S. president Barrack Obama and president Goodluck Jonathan on some issues bordering on security.

“We want to discuss with you on how we can further our co-operation on security. Security is a critical issue for Nigeria; it is a critical issue for West Africa and, indeed, the whole world.

Huddleston said that Nigeria and the U.S. could partner in developing security programmes…by expanding co-operation in military issues.

Obada thanked the U.S. for its assistance in the training and re-training of Nigeria’s military personnel.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Huddleston was accompanied on the visit by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Terence McCulley and other top U.S. officials.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Paul Verlaine: The joy of sweet peace without victory

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Paul Verlaine
Hear The Sweetest Song (1880)
Translated by A. S. Kline

Hear the sweetest song pass
That weeps for your sole delight.
It is discreet and so light:
A water-drop trembling on glass!

A voice known to you (and dear?)
But at present misted and veiled
Like a widow desolate, assailed,
Yet like her still proud, it appears,

And in the long folds of a veil
Stirred by the autumn breeze,
Hidden, to startled heart reveals
The truth like the star so pale.

It says, that voice you know,
That our life is goodness at last,
That hatred and envy pass,
Nothing’s left, death lays all low.

It speaks to us also of glory
Of humility, of asking no more,
And the marriage of golden ore
To sweet joy of peace without victory.

Welcome the voice that persists
In its naïve epithalamium,
Nothing more for the soul, now, come,
Than to render soul-sadness less.

It is hard-pressed, and passing by,
The suffering soul without anger,
And the moral is all too clear!
Listen to the song that is wise.

Categories: Uncategorized

Duncan Browne: Icarian strivings

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Musical selections

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

====

Duncan Browne (1947-1993)

*****

Bernard Picart: The Fall of Icarus

*****

Erasmus Darwin
From The Botanic Garden:

“With melting wax and loosened strings
Sunk hapless Icarus on unfaithful wings;
Headlong he rushed through the affrighted air,
With limbs distorted and dishevelled hair;
His scattered plumage danced upon the wave,
And sorrowing Nereids decked his watery grave;
O’er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the passing bell,
And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell.”

*****

Galiban (1968)
Words: David Bretton

*****

The Death of Neil (1968)
Words: David Bretton

*****

Final Asylum (1970)

*****

Mignon (1973)

*****

Ovid
From Ars Amatoria

Now Icarus delights in the strange journey,
and, fear forgotten, he flies more swiftly, with daring art.
A man catching fish, with quivering rod, saw them,
and the task he’d started dropped from his hand.
Now Samos was to the left (Naxos was far behind
and Paros, and Delos beloved by Phoebus the god)
Lebinthos lay to the right, and shady-wooded Calymne,
and Astypalaea ringed by rich fishing grounds,
when the boy, too rash, with youth’s carelessness,
soared higher, and left his father far behind.
The knots give way, and the wax melts near the sun,
his flailing arms can’t clutch at thin air.
Fearful, from heaven’s heights he gazes at the deep:
terrified, darkness, born of fear, clouds his eyes.
The wax dissolves: he thrashes with naked arms,
and flutters there with nothing to support him.
He falls, and falling cries: ‘Father, O father, I’m lost!’
the salt-green sea closes over his open lips.
But now the unhappy father, his father, calls, ‘Icarus!
Where are you Icarus, where under the sky?
Calling ‘Icarus’, he saw the feathers on the waves.
Earth holds his bones: the waters take his name.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 2 comments

====

213-Day Bombardment: Almost 26,000 NATO Air Missions Against Libya

Libya: 25,840 NATO Sorties, 9,554 Air Combat Missions

Sirte: NTC Driven Off, Retreats To Allow More NATO Bombing

NATO Bombs “NTC’s” Way Into Bani Walid

Britain Gave India Secret Presentation On Missiles Used Against Libya

U.S. Troops In Uganda: Only The Beginning

Ex-Senator’s Relatives: NATO Troops Kill Afghan Teacher, Two Daughters

Death Toll At 485: Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

NATO Helicopter Violates Pakistani Airspace In Balochistan

Thousands Hold Anti-U.S./NATO Rally In Lahore

Reason For War: NATO Issues Ultimatum Over Roadblocks In Kosovo

U.S.-NATO Missile Shield And Russia’s Response

Philippines: U.S. Marines Hold Joint Exercises Near Disputed Spratlys

Azerbaijan: NATO To Hold Workshop With Host, Afghanistan, Five Central Asian Nations

NATO’s Georgia Program Equivalent To Membership Action Plan

U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Black Sea Port

Opposition: U.S. Deploys Soros II To Contro; Its Georgian Colony

====

213-Day Bombardment: Almost 26,000 NATO Air Missions Against Libya

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111017_111017-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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) a total of 25,898 sorties, including 9,568 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 16 OCTOBER: 58

Strike sorties conducted 16 OCTOBER: 14

====

Libya: 25,840 NATO Sorties, 9,554 Air Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111016_111016-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 16, 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 25,840 sorties, including 9,554 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 OCTOBER: 47

Strike sorties conducted 15 OCTOBER: 12

====

Sirte: NTC Driven Off, Retreats To Allow More NATO Bombing

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/17/c_131194902.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 17, 2011

Libya’s NTC steps back after heavy fighting with Gaddafi remnants in Sirte

TRIPOLI: Fighters of Libya’ s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) on Sunday retreated from several positions in the northern coastal town of Sirte, so as to allow NATO to bomb sites that are holding up the remaining forces of the previous leadership.

According to a source close to the NTC, their fighters fought fierce battles on Sunday with the diehard loyalists of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi at the Dollar district and the so-called Area Two of Sirte, hometown of the country’s 42-year-long ruler.

The battles forced the NTC fighters to pull back, which will give way to NATO’s aircraft and heavy artilleries aiming at hideouts of the pro-Gaddafi forces, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

====

NATO Bombs “NTC’s” Way Into Bani Walid

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1945364.html

Trend News Agency
October 16, 2011

NATO planes hit convoy carrying weapons to Gadhafi forces

NATO-led warplanes hit on Sunday a convoy of trucks carrying weapons and munitions to forces loyal to the ousted Libyan leader in Bani Walid, said a military official with the National Transitional Council, or NTC, Anadolu reported.

More than 40 pro-Gadhafi troops were killed as they tried to enter the city from south, Suleiman Kureyri, member of an NTC military council in Sabratha, told the Anadolu Agency correspondent.

====

Britain Gave India Secret Presentation On Missiles Used Against Libya

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UK-held-secret-briefing-for-India-on-missiles-in-Libyan-war/articleshow/10379496.cms

Press Trust of India
October 16, 2011

UK held secret briefing for India on missiles in Libyan war

MANCHESTER: At a time when NATO forces were destroying the bases of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Britain gave a secret presentation to the Indian Air Force (IAF) about the performance in the Libyan war of MBDA missiles, which have been offered to New Delhi.

“A presentation was given to the Indian Air Force two months ago where senior officers including the present chief (Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne) were present, about the performance of the Brim Stone precision guided missile,” Frank Morgan, a senior MBDA executive, told a group of Indian reporters here.

MBDA is a four-nation European missile manufacturing consortium and has its facilities spread across Italy, the UK, France and Germany.

The Brim Stone precision guided missile is part of the MBDA’s missile package on offer to the IAF for its tender for procuring 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA).

Morgan said the presentation to the IAF was made by Air Commodore E Stinger, the Air Component Commander of the Royal Air Force at the Air Headquarters in New Delhi.

The IAF is in the final stages of the contract for procuring the aircraft and is also looking to finalise the missiles to be equipped on them.

India has shortlisted two European aircraft manufacturers for the tender – the four-nation Eurofighter and the French Rafale – after holding extensive trials of six aircraft such as American F-16 and F/A-18 E/F, Russian MiG 35 and Swedish Saab Gripen.

====

U.S. Troops In Uganda: Only The Beginning

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/17/58862982.html

Voice of Russia
October 17, 2011

US to send troops to Uganda

       
Gennady Yevstafyev, retired Lieutenant-General of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service:

I am afraid it is only the beginning. Americans, if they go into some country, it is very difficult to kick them out of the country.

We will see, unfortunately, growing American presence in Uganda, In South Sudan.

The very presence of the American troops in particular areas provokes all kinds of extremists to attack the Americans and Americans will use it as a pretext to increase their presence especially if there will be casualties among the Americans.

They would invent all kind of pretexts of a political nature to justify their presence. Unfortunately, this is the way the American foreign policy is done.

====

Ex-Senator’s Relatives: NATO Troops Kill Afghan Teacher, Two Daughters

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1669133.php/Afghan-teacher-two-daughters-killed-by-NATO-led-forces

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 16, 2011

Afghan teacher, two daughters killed by NATO-led forces

Kabul: A teacher and two of his daughters were killed late Saturday, allegedly in an operation by the NATO-led international forces in central Wardak province, an official said.

‘NATO troops conducted an operation in Chak-e-Wardak district and during the operation, a teacher, and two of his daughters were killed,’ said Shahidullah Shahid, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Shahid said they are investigating the incident to determine if the teacher was affiliated with the Taliban.

A NATO spokesman in Kabul avoided giving further details about whether the Taliban commander had been arrested.

—————————————————————————-

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/16/foreign-troops-kill-ex-senator%E2%80%99s-relatives

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 16, 2011

Foreign troops kill ex-senator’s relatives
By Mohammad Farid Karimi

MAIDAN WARDAK: International troops killed three family members of a former senator, Sami Jan Sherzad, and detained two others during a nighttime raid in the central province of Maidan Wardak, officials said on Sunday.

Noor Agha, a nephew of Sherzad, was killed along with two daughters, aged 18 and 20 years, during a raid on their house at midnight in the Momad village of Gardan Masjid Valley in Chak district, said a relative of the victims, Hayatullah Halim.

Air-dropped in the area, the NATO-led troops stormed Agha’s house, he said, adding the man and his daughters, both primary schoolteachers, were killed in the operation.

“The troops opened fire from the rooftop of the house at sleeping people,” he said. When Noor came out of his room after his daughters were shot dead, the soldiers sprayed him with bullets.

The soldiers also took away Sherzad’s two nephews, who had no ties to militants, the relative alleged, saying Agha was also a high schoolteacher.

Criticising the foreign troops, he said: “They don’t differentiate between militants and civilians, killing innocent Afghans.”

Chak district chief Mohammad Ismail Wafa confirmed the death of three family members of Sherzad, without giving details.

However, the governor’s spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said US troops were fired upon from the house, and the soldiers returned fire. It was not clear who killed the three, he added.

A delegation, led by the Chak district chief, has been appointed to investigate the incident.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) media office in Kabul said they had launched an investigation into the case and would soon release details.

====

Death Toll At 485: Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://en.ria.ru/world/20111016/167741817.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 16, 2011

Two NATO soldiers killed in south Afghanistan

Two soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed on Saturday in the south of Afghanistan, the coalition said in a statement on Sunday, giving no other details.

The UK Ministry of Defense has said that a British soldier was killed on Saturday during security operations with Afghan police in the Nahr-e Saraj region of the Helmand province.

“Whilst protecting a checkpoint, his team came under insurgent small arms fire, during which he received a fatal gunshot wound,” the ministry said in a statement.

Since the beginning of the year, 485 international forces have been killed in insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.

====

NATO Helicopter Violates Pakistani Airspace In Balochistan

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/17-Oct-2011/Nato-copter-intrudes-into-Balochistan

The Nation
October 17, 2011

Nato copter intrudes into Balochistan

CHAMAN:- Violating the airspace of Pakistan on Sunday, a Nato helicopter entered into the Chaman area of Balochistan and went back after a 15-minute flight.

Sources said that Afghan authorities closed the Chaman border for an hour as Nato officials carried out an illegal visit to the border area. The violation of Pakistani airspace has increased over the past few days.

—————————————————————————

http://www.sananews.net/english/2011/10/nato-chopper-violates-pak-aerial-boundary-at-chamman/

South Asian News Agency
October 17, 2011

NATO chopper violates Pak aerial boundary at Chamman

CHAMMAN: A NATO military helicopter violated the aerial boundary of Pakistan at the Pak-Afghan border in the Chamman area of Balochistan on Sunday. On the other hand, high officials of NATO forces had visited the Pak-Afghan boarder at Chamman due to which the boarder was closed by Afghan forces for one hour.

Sources told a private TV channel that a NATO helicopter violated the aerial boundary of Pakistan and entered one kilometer inside Pakistani territory and took low-level flights.

The sources said that the helicopter continued violation of the aerial boundary of Pakistan for 15 minutes and later on returned to Afghanistan.

====

Thousands Hold Anti-U.S./NATO Rally In Lahore

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/ocountries/1945375.html

Trend News Agency
October 16, 2011

Thousands stage anti-US rally in Lahore

Thousands of Pakistanis have staged a protest against US violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty and Washington’s growing influence over the government in Islamabad, Press TV reports.

The protest was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami students and activists, who gathered in the eastern city of Lahore from across the country to voice their support for the battle against the US for national sovereignty.

“Pakistan is under threat and the Americans are openly threatening Pakistanis. They are intervening in our tribal areas through drone attacks and they are also threatening that they can enter Pakistan with their forces and NATO forces,” Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hussain Ahmed said.

Religious party leaders criticized US intervention in Pakistan’s domestic affairs and the Pakistani government’s apologetic behavior towards the US.

Jamaat-e-Islami has called for the nation’s unification against the US and its interfering in Pakistan’s religious and national priorities.

Meanwhile, a vast majority of Pakistanis view the county’s worsening security situation and instability the result of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The US invaded Afghanistan with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region. However, ten years after the occupation began, the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded to Pakistan.

Pakistan has lost more than 35,000 people in militant attacks and bomb explosions since 2007, according to the Associated Press. Millions more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy across the country.

Moreover, the US also has frequently carried out attacks by unmanned American planes on Pakistan’s tribal areas. These attacks have left hundreds of people dead in the volatile region over the past years.

Washington claims the drone strikes target militants, although casualty figures indicate that the aerial bombings have led to the loss of hundreds of Pakistani civilian lives.

====

Reason For War: NATO Issues Ultimatum Over Roadblocks In Kosovo

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/16/58807436.html

Voice of Russia
October 16, 2011

NATO issues ultimatum over roadblocks in Kosovo
Ekaterina Kudashkina

       
NATO has given Serbs time until Monday to remove roadblocks on the border between Kosovo and Serbia, as tensions in the area continue to grow after violence broke up in the region last month, when the Kosovo Albanians placed their customs officers and police troops at the Jarinje and Brnjak checkpoints.

In late July Kosovo made an attempt to seize the checkpoints, which resulted in clashes between the police and local Serbs. (RIAN)

Reason for war

Interview with Borislav Korkodelovic, Serbian journalist based in Belgrade.

American Ambassador Walker, who is now an honorary citizen of Pristina, the capital of so-called independent Kosovo, claimed that Serbian security forces killed during the massacre about 30 to 40 civilians in Racak, but in fact those civilians according to the Serbian police were guerillas or rebels belonging to the Albanian so-called Liberation Army and they were just in civilian clothes.

Without waiting for the final results of the international commission which was headed by Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta, without waiting for that, Mr. Walker issued a statement that such things can happen all over Kosovo. So, that was the direct cause, but good diplomatic exchange was refused by the access of some elements of the plan which was arranged during the Rambouillet Conference which was going on from the end of 1998 to February 1999. So, that was because Serbia could not accept some of the conditions, like allowing NATO troops to enter Kosovo ‑ that was another reason for the attack. Also the Western media were speaking about plans to expel as many as possible of ethnic Albanians from the province and particularly the German government and its minister of defense at that time claimed that concentration camps were established at the football stadium in Pristina, that columns of Albanians – old people, women and kinds ‑ had been touring
towards the borders of Macedonia, which later on happened but when the bombardments started, which lasted 78 days up to the middle of June 1999.

Do I get you right that the cases you have mentioned have been more to justify the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia?

Yes, you are right and also it is because I think more or less during in human history that such incidents were used for wars between countries.

I would just like to draw your attention to the latest such incidents – the so-called “imminent massacre” which was linked to the situation in Libya, “imminent massacre” in Benghazi. So, that was in fact the claim which has its roots in some emotional comments by Colonel Gaddafi; his statements were used as a pretext for the voting in the Security Council of the United Nations and that threat to Benghazi had never materialized and it is still a last thing. So, nobody was massacred in that particular case in Benghazi at that moment, but tens of thousands of people had been killed later on and still lots of people are losing their life in Libya.

====

U.S.-NATO Missile Shield And Russia’s Response

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/15/58784848.html

Voice of Russia
October 15, 2011

Russia’s response to US missile defense plans
Sergey Anisimov, Igor Siletsky

-While missile defense talks are in progress, Washington signs agreements on the deployment of missile defense elements with Romania and Turkey. A tracking system may soon appear in Georgia and US ships with anti-missiles may soon be deployed in Spain. The new US ambassador to Russia made it crystal clear that Washington would continue to build its missile defense system, with or without Russia.
-“Russia’s missile manufacturers are working to modernize the country’s ballistic missiles, so by the time the US missile defense system grows to pose a threat to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, Moscow will have enough potential to neutralize it.”
-Washington faced mortgage bubbles, a financial meltdown and an Arab Spring on the streets of New York. Many politicians, particularly among the Republicans, are looking for an external enemy to rescue the US economy from lack of military orders and reinstalling both ordinary Americans and those in power in their comfortable, trouble-free existence.

       
US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul said during his address to Congress this week that Washington will not sign any agreements to the effect that the American missile defense project is not directed against Russia. Russia got the message and is preparing an appropriate response.

Mr. McFaul’s statements reduced to zero the dwindling hopes for a diplomatic move at talks between the US and Russia. The US ambassador de facto accused Russia of political blackmail and made it clear that talks on missile defense had reached a deadlock over the position of Moscow. Russia’s position is simple and clear. Moscow wants legal guarantees that the US missile defense shield is not directed against it. The tone of the US ambassador was fairly tough. Experts explain this by a strong political pressure on the Obama administration when it comes to Russia-related issues.

Russia did set the US an ultimatum but only after years of unsuccessful talks on missile defense cooperation. Moscow warned Washington that it would not cut down its tactical nuclear arsenals before the two sides reached consensus on the missile umbrella. The Obama administration insists that the issue concerning tactical nuclear reductions should be included in the next round of disarmament talks. In its turn, Moscow requires Washington to provide legal guarantees that the US missile defense elements pose no threat to Russia.

In September 2009, the US administration chose to give up its original plan of deploying a missile defense bases in the Czech Republic and Poland. Until 2015, Washington expects to make do with anti-missiles on ships.

Nevertheless, the US does plan missile defense bases in Eastern Europe after 2015. During the Lisbon summit last year, President Dmitry Medvedev suggested a common missile defense system with two areas of responsibility. NATO ignored the proposal saying that talks on the issue would continue and that the planned missile defense shield would guarantee protection against missile threats from Iran and North Korea. While missile defense talks are in progress, Washington signs agreements on the deployment of missile defense elements with Romania and Turkey. A tracking system may soon appear in Georgia and US ships with anti-missiles may soon be deployed in Spain. The new US ambassador to Russia made it crystal clear that Washington would continue to build its missile defense system, with or without Russia.

Russia is currently working to produce an adequate response. The Kremlin has said that it has a plan of action and is hoping to resolve the conflict “in a simple but efficient manner”. A Voice of Russia correspondent met with Viktor Litovkin, editor of Independent Military Review journal.

“Contemporary nuclear missile deterrent consists of strategic ballistic missiles and these missiles which Russia possess have the capacity to penetrate foreign missile defenses, so Russia has long had a response to US missile defense plans. And Russia is going farther than that. Russia’s missile manufacturers are working to modernize the country’s ballistic missiles, so by the time the US missile defense system grows to pose a threat to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, Moscow will have enough potential to neutralize it.”

Director of Russia’s International Security Center Alexei Arbatov believes that Moscow has nothing to worry about as Russia’s missile defense technology is years ahead as compared to US analogues.

“Russia’s missile defense systems launched over the past decade were designed to outstrip any systems which the US would plan to create in Europe in 10 years time. Russia’s current response to the US missile defense plans is a political tactic in light of stalemated talks. In fact, it prepared this response years ago.”

One of the options in response to US missile defense plans which Moscow announced several years was the deployment of Iskander missiles in Russia’s Kaliningrad Region. Vladimir Yevseev of the Public and Political Research Center says there are other options as well.

“Russia could ramp up its striking potential through boosting the production of strategic missiles, first and foremost, the RS-24 Yars intercontinental missiles. RS-24 is an upgraded version of the Topol-M, which can carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. Also, Russia will step up efforts to bring the Bulava-30 sea-based missile into service at an early date. At present, Russia has at least two submarines capable of carrying missiles. And apart from that, the government has resolved to build an air and space defense system.”

President Medvedev repeatedly warned the US that it would have to reach a compromise on missile defense or face a new arms race. Washington’s unwillingness to respond in the positive is easy to understand if we recall the Cold War period in relations with the Soviet Union which guaranteed huge financial injections into the American military-industrial complex.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the recently proclaimed reset stripped the US of the “life-giving” influx of military orders. As a result, Washington faced mortgage bubbles, a financial meltdown and an Arab Spring on the streets of New York. Many politicians, particularly among the Republicans, are looking for an external enemy to rescue the US economy from lack of military orders and reinstalling both ordinary Americans and those in power in their comfortable, trouble-free existence. But these games are bound to fall through.

====

Philippines: U.S. Marines Hold Joint Wxercises Near Disputed Spratlys

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gEoCydzcL45ovC85CfIki_nK80Tw?docId=09ca7f26eb2d462688c582627765b174

Associated Press
October 17, 2011

US, Philippine marines begin drills near Spratlys
By Jim Gomez

MANILA, Philippines: About 3,000 U.S. and Filipino marines started two weeks of annual military drills in the Philippines on Monday that will include a hostile beach assault exercise near the disputed Spratly Islands.

The exercises would ensure that U.S. and Philippine forces could jointly respond to “anything that arises,” he said.

The United States irked Beijing last year by asserting that Washington had a national security interest in the peaceful resolution of the disputes over the Spratly Islands.

The potentially oil-rich islands are located in the South China Sea, between Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, and straddle some of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

Philippine military spokeswoman 1st Lt. Cherryl Tindog said an Oct. 27 drill will involve a mock raid by about 100 U.S. and Filipino marines from an American warship to capture a hostile beachhead west of Palawan province, which faces the South China Sea.

Other events include a live-fire exercise in Crow Valley in Tarlac province, north of Manila…

The Philippines and Vietnam, another Spratlys claimant, have separately accused Chinese vessels of intruding into what they say is their part of the contested areas and of disrupting oil explorations in their territorial waters this year.


—————————————————————————-

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/15279/us-philippine-marines-to-hold-war-games-near-spratlys

Philippine Inquirer
October 13, 2011

Philippines, US Marines to hold joint outreach, war games
By DJ Yap, Kate Evangelista

United States Marines will conduct joint military exercises with Philippine troops…as part of the annual RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex), the military said Thursday.

Phiblex 2012, the 28th such joint exercise between the two countries’ military, will involve joint and combined training between US forces and the Marine Corps of the Philippines, the latter said in a statement.

Following the launch on Monday, the training exercises will be held simultaneously in different venues, including Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Basa Air Base in Clark, Pampanga; Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite; Crow Valley in Tarlac; Naval Station San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales; and in Palawan.

“The exercises will focus on revitalizing the interoperability of the Philippine and US militaries in a post-conflict response…,” said First Lieutenant Cherryl Tindog, the Marine Corps’ public affairs chief.

On the Philippine side, the 4th Marine Battalion, field artillery battalion, in-shore boat battalion, assault armor battalion and the Marine Corps Training Center will participate, Tindog said.

On the US side, it will be the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. The US contingent will be coming on board the USS Germantown but Tindog could not say exactly how many US troops would be participating.
The joint exercises are going to Palawan for the first time…

Palawan fitted the training requirements and was a good exercise venue for territorial defense, Tindog said.

The island is also one of the Marine Corps’ areas of responsibility, she noted.

====

Azerbaijan: NATO To Hold Workshop With Host, Afghanistan, Five Central Asian Nations

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1945646.html

Trend News Agency
October 17, 2011

NATO to hold regional workshop in Baku
M.Aliyev

Baku: NATO will hold a regional workshop in Azerbaijan on combating drug smuggling through border crossings, Azerbaijani State Border Service Head Elchin Guliyev said at an event dedicated to the 20th anniversary of restoration of Azerbaijan’s independence.

“NATO appealed to Azerbaijan with a proposal to hold in Baku the regional workshop on combating drug trafficking through border checkpoints,” Guliyev said.

He said the workshop with the participation of border guards of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is scheduled for November.

Guliyev said the Azerbaijani State Border Service’ experience is studied at the international level upon NATO’s initiative.

====

NATO’s Georgia Program Equivalent To Membership Action Plan

http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2464_october_17_2011/2464_edit.html

The Messenger
October 17, 2011

Georgia and NATO: Prospects

The Georgian-NATO relationship since the 2008 Bucharest summit has been based on the formula: “The doors are open, but do not come in.” The Georgian leadership keeps repeating that NATO integration is the ultimate will of the Georgian people. NATO for its part states that a strategic decision on Georgia’s entry into the organization has been made although no precise date has been named….

[T]he country wants to enter NATO, it does whatever is possible to comply with demands, it participates in all NATO operations very diligently, it receives official encouragement, but the result appears to be frustration. Yet recently there has been speculation about the possible granting of a MAP to Georgia. MAP is a membership action plan which is the last step before an official invitation for NATO membership. This possible move would be as reciprocation for Georgia’s commitments and its reliable support in securing peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Former Shevardnadze-period foreign minister Irakli Menagarishvili thinks that most NATO countries support granting Georgia a MAP. According to him, Georgia has successfully fulfilled all the tasks envisaged by the Bucharest summit.

In reality the program which Georgia is fulfilling currently is a MAP-type of program though it does not have that name. One of the major supporters of Georgia’s NATO ambitions is the US…

====

U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Black Sea Port

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24038

Civil Georgia
October 17, 2011

U.S. Warship Visits Batumi

Tbilisi: The U.S. guided missile cruiser Philippine Sea arrived in Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on October 17.

The U.S. embassy said it was “a regularly scheduled” port call that would include “combined training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard.”

“This visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with Black Sea nations and improve maritime safety and security,” the embassy said, adding that the cruiser crew was also planning to participate in a community relations project in Batumi.

—————————————————————————-

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1945565.html

Trend News Agency
October 17, 2011

U.S. warship enters Batumi Port
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The U.S. warship Philippine Sea has entered the Batumi port. As the U.S. Embassy in Georgia said on Monday, U.S. sailors will conduct exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard.

The warship was welcomed at the port by officials of Adjara and local residents…

“This visit is part of the strategy of European Command and U.S. Navy. This strategy envisages ensuring regional stability and strengthening the maritime partnership,” U.S. embassy in Georgia said in its report.

====

Opposition: U.S. Deploys Soros II To Control Its Georgian Colony

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43473&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 17, 2011

Labour Party calls Ivanishvili Soros II

-“Washington has traditionally applied blocking measures to prevent national forces, first of all the Labour Party, from coming to power as we are its colony. They know the feature of a significant part of our society to respect the rich and they have found a new Soros II with a Georgian name – Ivanishvili. I hope that spiritually hungry people in Georgia will not sell out the homeland.”

The Labour Party of Georgia says the Georgian billionaire, who wants to enter politics, is the second Soros in Georgia sent by Washington for preventing national forces to come to the power. Party leader Shalva Natelashvili briefed the media in response to the statements of the business tycoon released during the past few days, calling upon society not to sell out the homeland.

“Washington has traditionally applied blocking measures to prevent national forces, first of all the Labour Party, from coming to power as we are its colony. They know the feature of a significant part of our society to respect the rich and they have found a new Soros II with a Georgian name – Ivanishvili. I hope that spiritually hungry people in Georgia will not sell out the homeland,” Natelashvili said.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011 5 comments

====

Libyan War: 25,793 NATO Sorties, 9,542 Combat Missions

Libya: Loyalists Resume Resistance Against Usurpers In Capital

NATO Military Chief Praises France’s Role In African, Asian Wars

Afghan War: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Reaches 480

NATO Delivers Ultimatum To Kosovo Serbs

Kosovo: NATO Commander Demands “Unconditional” Removal Of Barricades

AFRICOM’s New War: Obama Deploys Troops To Four Central African Nations

Somalia: U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least 78, Wounds 64

U.S. Loses Two Drones In Southern Somalia

Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 16 In Two Days

THAAD: Lockheed Sure Of Continued Contracts For NATO Missile System

NATO Tankers Attacked In Capital Of Balochistan

England: U.S. Warplanes Conduct Night Training

====

Libyan War: 25,793 NATO Sorties, 9,542 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111015_111015-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 25,793 sorties, including 9,542 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 OCTOBER: 67

Strike sorties conducted 14 OCTOBER: 16

====

Libya: Loyalists Resume Resistance Against Usurpers In Capital

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/15/c_131192179.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 14, 2011

NTC forces, Gaddafi supporters clash in Libyan capital

-As the NTC saw with surprise the first fierce clashes in Tripoli in over 50 days with Gaddafi supporters after their capture of the Libyan capital, its fighters were also forced to retreat from Sirte, one of a couple of Gaddafi strongholds, the previous day due to strong resistance.

TRIPOLI: Forces of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) and some supporters of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi exchanged gunfire in the Abu Salim neighborhood in southern Tripoli on Friday, the first in over 50 days, witnesses said.

Continuous gunshots were heard in the Libyan capital on Friday afternoon, after a number of pro-Gaddafi loyalists, who were armed, tried to raise a Gaddafi-era green national flag in the area, witnesses near Abu Salim told Xinhua.

Some 40 supporters of the previous regime then fired into the sky with machine guns and roamed in the streets, chanting pro-Gaddafi slogans.

Security checkpoints have been currently set up across Tripoli, and streets in the city’s downtown are heavily deployed with NTC fighters, who are searching for the diehards of the previous administration. Meanwhile, a witness told Xinhua that clashes were also seen in the al-Hadba area in southwestern Tripoli. There are no immediate details on casualties in the incident. Some areas in Tripoli have been currently cut off of water supply, but it has to be confirmed whether this is related to the incident.

A source close to the NTC said there were planned demonstrations by remnant Gaddafi supporters in Tripoli on Friday, a weekend day when almost all businesses in the city are closed. As the NTC saw with surprise the first fierce clashes in Tripoli in over 50 days with Gaddafi supporters after their capture of the Libyan capital, its fighters were also forced to retreat from Sirte, one of a couple of Gaddafi strongholds, the previous day due to strong resistance.

====

NATO Military Chief Praises France’s Role In African, Asian Wars

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-24E71A13-4B8FAF42/natolive/news_79461.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 14, 2011

Chairman of NATO Military Committee praises France for the critical contribute to Alliance’s Operations

-[T]his was the first official visit of NATO’s most senior military Official after France’s full reintegration into the NATO Command Structure….Speaking on France’s full reintegration into the NATO Command Structure, Admiral Di Paola underlined that “this has been remarkably successful and will be a foundation for even greater achievements in the Alliance’s future endeavors.”

On the invitation of Admiral Édouard Guillaud, French Chief of Defence, NATO’s Military Committee Chairman (CMC) Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola paid his first official visit to France.

Following the welcoming ceremony at the Ecole Militaire, Adm. Guillaud and Adm. Di Paola held bilateral talks focused on France’s role in Operation Unified Protector and the relevant lessons from NATO’s engagement in Libya.

All the other ongoing operations such as NATO’s operation in Afghanistan (ISAF), Kosovo (KFOR) and the anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield were at the top of their agenda…

Vice Admiral Richard Laborde, the Director of the Institute of Higher National Defence Studies and of Higher Military Training, emphasized that this was the first official visit of NATO’s most senior military Official after France’s full reintegration into the NATO Command Structure.

In his address to the Ecole de Guerre, the Institut des hautes études de défense nationale (IHEDN), and the representatives of the Institut national des hautes études de la sécurité et de la justice (INHESJ), NATO’s senior military officer applauded France’s key role in NATO’s engagement in Libya.

“Libya has demonstrated that NATO works; that NATO has been able to act with unprecedented speed..,” Di Paola said.

Elaborating on the current challenges the Alliance and the Euro-Atlantic area are facing, the Chairman of the Military Comitee remarked that the current security environment provides unique challenges and opportunities for the Alliance to strengthen cooperation among Allies and foster relationships with Partners.

The NATO Delegation concluded his visit with a meeting with Senator Jacques Gautier, Vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces Commission and Gen. Benoît Puga, Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic.

Speaking on France’s full reintegration into the NATO Command Structure, Admiral Di Paola underlined that “this has been remarkably successful and will be a foundation for even greater achievements in the Alliance’s future endeavors.”

====

Afghan War: NATO’s 2011 Death Toll Reaches 480

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/14/3-isaf-soldiers-killed-mine-blasts

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 14, 2011

3 ISAF soldiers killed in mine blasts
By Hakim Basharat

KABUL: Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers were killed in separate incidents of violence in different parts of the country, the alliance said on Friday.

One of the soldiers was killed in the east while the two others were killed in southern Afghanistan in last two days in mine blasts, an ISAF statement said.

In line with its policy, the force does not disclose the soldiers’ nationality.

With the latest deaths, the number of international soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year has reached 480. The toll was 711 last year.

====

NATO Delivers Ultimatum To Kosovo Serbs

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/14/58738606.html

Itar-Tass
October 15, 2011

NATO sends ultimatum to Kosovo Serbs

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kosovo has sent an ultimatum to Kosovar Serbs to remove barricades blocking the roads to the Jarina and Brnyak check points on the border with Serbia by next Monday, Major General Erhard Drews, commander of the ISAF forces in Kosovo told reporters in Pristina Friday.

He did not elaborate on the sanctions to be taken in case the ultimatum is not observed.

====

Kosovo: NATO Commander Demands “Unconditional” Removal Of Barricades

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=15&nav_id=76872

Tanjug News Agency
October 15, 2011

KFOR commander demands “unconditional removal of barricades”

LEPOSAVIĆ: KFOR Commander Erhard Drews is demanding from representatives of the local self-government in northern Kosovo to unconditionally remove all roadblocks.

The meeting between Drews with mayors of four northern Kosovo towns started Saturday afternoon at the KFOR Camp Nothing Hill near Leposavić.

According to KFOR, Drews has told the Zvečan, Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Leposavić mayors that he expects unconditional removal of roadblocks to ensure that people, emergency services, EULEX and KFOR can move freely on the roads leading to the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative crossings.

Today’s meeting between the KFOR commander and the municipal representatives is the first since the German general assumed command of the military mission in Kosovo and it was organized at the initiative of local self-governments in northern Kosovo.

====

AFRICOM’s New War: Obama Deploys Troops To Four Central African Nations

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65664

U.S. Department of Defense
October 14, 2011

Obama Sends U.S. Forces to Help in Central Africa
By Cheryl Pellerin

-“[T]hese U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
The U.S. forces supporting this operation are primarily special operations forces…

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has authorized the deployment to central Africa of 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces whose mission is to help regional forces fight the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, president pro tempore of the Senate, Obama notified Congress of his actions…

On Oct. 12, the president wrote, the initial team of U.S. combat-equipped military personnel deployed to Uganda. A total of 100 service members and civilians will deploy to the region over the next month, including a second combat-equipped team and headquarters, communications and logistics personnel.

Obama said the forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces and act as advisers to partner forces that seek to remove Kony and other senior LRA leadership from the battlefield.

“Since 2008,” the president wrote, “the United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA…”

Even with limited U.S. assistance, regional military efforts have been unable to remove Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield, Obama said.

In the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, enacted in May 2010, the president wrote, Congress expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA…

“Subject to the approval of each respective host nation,” the president wrote, “elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

The support provided by U.S. forces, he added, will enhance regional efforts against the LRA.

“I believe that deploying these U.S. armed forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy,” Obama wrote, “and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

During an Oct. 4 military strategy forum, Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, commented on the LRA.

“If you ever had any question if there’s evil in the world, it’s resident in the person of Joesph Kony and that organization,” Ham said.

The U.S. military, Ham said, has focused on facilitating intelligence, and in a State Department-led effort, U.S. personnel trained a battalion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s armed forces. Ham said the U.S. government was looking to increase support to the counter-LRA efforts by increasing the number of military advisors and trainers and training another battalion.

A senior Defense Department official said today that since 2008, the United States has provided $33 million in support to the Ugandan military’s counter-LRA efforts and is providing logistical support, nonlethal equipment, training and intelligence assistance to other militaries working to counter the LRA.

For example, the official said, the United States is working to provide some equipment to the Central African Republic’s armed forces and coordinating with them to help in capitalizing on their counter-LRA efforts in the eastern part of that country.

The U.S.-trained Democratic Republic of Congo battalion now is deployed to Dungu in northeastern Congo, an area that has been affected by LRA operations, the official said, adding that Africom also is exploring ways to support South Sudan’s military.

The 100 U.S. personnel whose deployment the president announced today are going to regional capitals and other areas to work with governments, their militaries, and the peacekeeping missions in order for these forces to counter the LRA threat and protect civilians, the official said…

The U.S. forces supporting this operation are primarily special operations forces who will work to build the capacity of the units they are working with, the Pentagon official said.

====

Somalia: U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least 78, Wounds 64

http://presstv.com/detail/204501.html

Press TV
October 14, 2011

US drone strike kills 78 in Somalia

An attack by a US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has killed at least 78 people and injured 64 others in southern Somalia, Press TV reports.

The Friday attack took place near Qooqani town located in southern Somalia, a Press TV correspondent reported.

In a different incident on Friday, another US drone attack killed 11 civilians and wounded 34 more in the Hoosingow district in the south of the country.

Somalia is the sixth country where the US military has conducted drone strikes.

The US has employed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to launch aerial bombings.

Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, though most such attacks have resulted in civilian casualties.

====

U.S. Loses Two Drones In Southern Somalia

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/october132011/predator-drone.php

Salem-News.com
October 13, 2011

Two US drones crash in south Somalia

TEHRAN: A Somali government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Press TV that the American remote-controlled drones went down in close proximity to Dhoobley town, situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Kenyan border and about 500 kilometers (312 miles) southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu, late on Tuesday.

He added that the remains of the aircraft were retrieved by Somali government forces.

Somalia is the sixth known country where Washington uses remote-aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance and airstrikes.

The United States has employed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to launch aerial bombings.

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.

====

Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 16 In Two Days

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=119779

Pakistan Observer
October 15, 2011

Six more killed in drone attack

Peshawar: American planes in yet another missile hit in North Waziristan agency Friday killed at least six more people. The drone attack was carried out on second a consecutive day and was the third within 48 hours.

Earlier on Thursday too, the US CIA operated pilotless planes targeted a vehicle and a compound in the Danday Darapa Khel area of the NWA, killing as many as 10 people, though the international media and the local officials also claimed to have killed Jamil Haqqani, an important logistic commander of the Haqqani network and a close aid of Haqqani network’s incumbent chief Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Reports reaching here said the predator planes or the notorious drones on Friday targeted a compound in the Shehzad Kot area a few kilometers from Miram Shah with the Hellfire missiles killing at least six inhabitants of the house which the officials said was used by militants.

However, locals said they had reports about the drone strikes, yet the identity of those killed as militants could not be established and there was a likelihood that those killed were ordinary tribesmen having nothing to do with militancy.

“The American planes fired two missiles on the compound along the Pak-Afghan border and killed six people present.” A local official said the casualties occurred in a missile attack on a vehicle.

American drones have been making mockery of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty since August 2008, killing over two thousand people. The attacks have occurred in recent days at a time when Pakistani legislators are flexing their muscles to say a big no to the drone attacks and called for a decisive policy in this regard.

====

THAAD: Lockheed Sure Of Continued Contracts For NATO Missile System

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C10%5C15%5Cstory_15-10-2011_pg4_8

Reuters
October 14, 2011

Lockheed confident of budget for NATO missile system

-Lockheed Martin is supplying core components of US President Barack Obama’s missile defence project, which will be the basis of the NATO-wide system agreed last year.
The Maryland-based company also said it had a number of other programmes relevant to the NATO effort and expected that “virtually every NATO country” would be involved in some way…Lockheed’s MEADS ground-based missile defence system, being developed by the United States, Germany and Italy, was envisioned by the European partners as their contribution to the NATO system, and the firm’s THAAD missile system could also become part of the overall architecture for Europe. 

US defence firm Lockheed Martin says it is optimistic a key NATO missile defence programme for which it is a primary supplier will not be hurt by budget cuts in the United States and elsewhere, given its importance to the alliance.

The system is…due to start operating from next year and to become fully operational in 2018. It is based around Lockheed’s ship-based Aegis Combat System which uses computers and radars to track and destroy missiles and a second phase basing this system ashore. “That’s a very important programme for us,” Scott Harris, president of Lockheed Martin’s European division, said in an interview. “We are quite pleased with the progress we’ve seen to date and the prospects for the future.

“(NATO’s) Strategic Concept…makes this a central mission for the alliance, and as a result, the member states will all be looking for ways that they can contribute,” he said, referring to NATO’s statement of security priorities for the coming decade. He added: “I am hopeful that in missile defence… we will be able to maintain the funding profile. We may have to adapt to austerity and there will be trade-offs made. But today I would say that would be met.” Lockheed Martin is supplying core components of US President Barack Obama’s missile defence project, which will be the basis of the NATO-wide system agreed last year.

The Maryland-based company also said it had a number of other programmes relevant to the NATO effort and expected that “virtually every NATO country” would be involved in some way. Harris said Lockheed’s MEADS ground-based missile defence system, being developed by the United States, Germany and Italy, was envisioned by the European partners as their contribution to the NATO system, and the firm’s THAAD missile system could also become part of the overall architecture for Europe.

Despite concern about the impact of massive US defence budget cuts and European austerity steps, the missile defence initiative has taken significant steps forward this year. This month the United States and Spain reached a deal to base US Aegis warships in Spain and plans have been announced for ground-based systems in Romania, Poland and Turkey. Harris conceded that with defence budgets under severe pressure “it’s impossible to predict what will survive and what will be cut in such an environment”. However, it appeared missile defence had been afforded “very high priority”. “I would think that it would be…one of the least likely programmes to be reduced,” he said.

This is a view echoed by senior NATO diplomats…In an interview with news agencies on Friday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasised the need for the missile defence system. “The fact is that there is a real missile threat. The fact is that more than 30 countries in the world have missile technology or are aspiring to get missile technology, some of them with a range to hit targets on NATO territory. So the missile threat and the potential threat is real, and against a real threat we need to have a real defense,” he said.

Lockheed also said it was confident it would complete development of its F-35 fighter aircraft by 2016 and that partners in the project were currently sticking to their purchase plans, despite the pressure of spending cuts.

====

NATO Tankers Attacked In Capital Of Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C10%5C15%5Cstory_15-10-2011_pg7_7

Daily Times
October 15, 2011

Three injured in attack on NATO tankers

QUETTA: Three people were injured when armed men attacked the convoy of NATO tankers in Mianghundi near Quetta on Friday, police said.

According to a police official, the tankers were carrying fuel and goods for NATO forces in Afghanistan when some unidentified armed men opened fire on them.

Resultantly, three drivers received bullet injuries and an oil tanker was partially damaged. The other tankers remained safe in the attack.

The assailants escaped on motorcycles before the personnel of law enforcing agencies reached the spot. The injured were taken to the Bolan Medical Complex for treatment where they have been identified as Nasar Hiyat, Atiqur Rehman and Umer Daraz. “Three drivers were injured while oil tankers remained safe,” police constable Kuda-e-Dost said.

====

England: U.S. Warplanes Conduct Night Training

http://www.stripes.com/news/lakenheath-sets-night-training-for-pilots-1.157719

Stars and Stripes
October 13, 2011

Lakenheath sets night training for pilots

The night skies over eastern England will be a bit louder for the next month as the Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing conducts night training.

Flying the wing’s F-15 Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles at night allows crews to maintain proficiency using night-vision equipment, which they could not do during daytime hours, according to an Air Force release.

The night training will continue until mid-November.

“Due to the limited hours of darkness in the summer here, most of the 48 Fighter Wing’s night operations occur between the months of October and March,” wing spokeswoman 1st Lt. Ashley Skillman said in an email. “The extended hours of darkness are optimal for training.”

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Gabriel García Márquez: Five wars and seventeen military coups

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Gabriel García Márquez
From Nobel Prize in Literature lecture (1982)

Eleven years ago, the Chilean Pablo Neruda, one of the outstanding poets of our time, enlightened this audience with his word. Since then, the Europeans of good will – and sometimes those of bad, as well – have been struck, with ever greater force, by the unearthly tidings of Latin America, that boundless realm of haunted men and historic women, whose unending obstinacy blurs into legend. We have not had a moment’s rest. A promethean president, entrenched in his burning palace, died fighting an entire army, alone; and two suspicious airplane accidents, yet to be explained, cut short the life of another great-hearted president and that of a democratic soldier who had revived the dignity of his people. There have been five wars and seventeen military coups; there emerged a diabolic dictator who is carrying out, in God’s name, the first Latin American ethnocide of our time. In the meantime, twenty million Latin American children died before the age of one – more than have been born in Europe since 1970. Those missing because of repression number nearly one hundred and twenty thousand, which is as if no one could account for all the inhabitants of Uppsala. Numerous women arrested while pregnant have given birth in Argentine prisons, yet nobody knows the whereabouts and identity of their children who were furtively adopted or sent to an orphanage by order of the military authorities. Because they tried to change this state of things, nearly two hundred thousand men and women have died throughout the continent, and over one hundred thousand have lost their lives in three small and ill-fated countries of Central America: Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. If this had happened in the United States, the corresponding figure would be that of one million six hundred thousand violent deaths in four years.

One million people have fled Chile, a country with a tradition of hospitality – that is, ten per cent of its population. Uruguay, a tiny nation of two and a half million inhabitants which considered itself the continent’s most civilized country, has lost to exile one out of every five citizens. Since 1979, the civil war in El Salvador has produced almost one refugee every twenty minutes. The country that could be formed of all the exiles and forced emigrants of Latin America would have a population larger than that of Norway.

I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters. A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune…

*****

I do not mean to embody the illusions of Tonio Kröger, whose dreams of uniting a chaste north to a passionate south were exalted here, fifty-three years ago, by Thomas Mann. But I do believe that those clear-sighted Europeans who struggle, here as well, for a more just and humane homeland, could help us far better if they reconsidered their way of seeing us. Solidarity with our dreams will not make us feel less alone, as long as it is not translated into concrete acts of legitimate support for all the peoples that assume the illusion of having a life of their own in the distribution of the world.

*****

On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said, “I decline to accept the end of man”. I would fall unworthy of standing in this place that was his, if I were not fully aware that the colossal tragedy he refused to recognize thirty-two years ago is now, for the first time since the beginning of humanity, nothing more than a simple scientific possibility. Faced with this awesome reality that must have seemed a mere utopia through all of human time, we, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of the opposite utopia. A new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth.

Categories: Uncategorized

Euripides: The crown of War, the crown of Woe

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

====

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

====

Euripides
From The Trojan Women
Translated by Gilbert Murray

POSEIDON
The groves are empty and the sanctuaries
Run red with blood. Unburied Priam lies
By his own hearth, on God’s high altar-stair,
And Phrygian gold goes forth and raiment rare
To the Argive ships; and weary soldiers roam
Waiting the wind that blows at last for home,
For wives and children, left long years away,
Beyond the seed’s tenth fullness and decay,
To work this land’s undoing.

****

HECUBA.
O Fire, Fire, where men make marriages
Surely thou hast thy lot; but what are these
Thou bringest flashing? Torches savage-wild
And far from mine old dreams. – Alas, my child,
How little dreamed I then of wars or red
Spears of the Greek to lay thy bridal bed!

****

CASSANDRA
And they whom Ares took,
Had never seen their children: no wife came
With gentle arms to shroud the limbs of them
For burial, in a strange and angry earth
Laid dead. And there at home, the same long dearth:
Women that lonely died, and aged men
Waiting for sons that ne’er should turn again,
Nor know their graves, nor pour drink-offerings,
To still the unslaked dust. These be the things
The conquering Greek hath won!

Would ye be wise, ye Cities, fly from war!
Yet if war come, there is a crown in death
For her that striveth well and perisheth
Unstained: to die in evil were the stain!

****

A MAIDEN.
I was among the dancers there
To Artemis, and glorying sang
Her of the Hills, the Maid most fair,
Daughter of Zeus: and, lo, there rang
A shout out of the dark, and fell
Deathlike from street to street, and made
A silence in the citadel:
And a child cried, as if afraid,
And hid him in his mother’s veil.
Then stalked the Slayer from his den,
The hand of Pallas served her well!
O blood, blood of Troy was deep
About the streets and altars then:
And in the wedded rooms of sleep,
Lo, the desolate dark alone,
And headless things, men stumbled on.

And forth, lo, the women go,
The crown of War, the crown of Woe,
To bear the children of the foe
And weep, weep, for Ilion!

****

ANDROMACHE
O Helen, Helen, thou ill tree
That Tyndareus planted, who shall deem of thee
As child of Zeus? O, thou hast drawn thy breath
From many fathers, Madness, Hate, red Death,
And every rotting poison of the sky!
Zeus knows thee not, thou vampire, draining dry
Greece and the world! God hate thee and destroy,
That with those beautiful eyes hast blasted Troy,
And made the far-famed plains a waste withal.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 14, 2011

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Libyan War: 25,726 NATO Air Missions, 9,526 Strike Sorties

NATO Proxies Retreat From Sirte

NATO’s Use Of Kosovo War Model Disastrous For Syria, Middle East

U.S., NATO Could Continue To Use Kyrgyz Air Base After 2014

Afghanistan, “Operation Enduring Slaughter”: Ten Bloody Years

NATO Continues Training Iraqi Proxy Army

Afghan, Japanese, South Korean, Pakistani MPs At NATO Headquarters

Kurils: Russia Increases Military Build-Up As U.S. Backs Japan

NATO In Air Corridors Deal With Libya, Egypt, Tunisia And Malta

General: NATO Missile Shield In Turkey Endangers Iranian Interests

U.S. Senators Recommend Stationing Troops In Georgia

U.S. Senate Issues “Policy Road Map To Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Future”

American Ambassador-Designate Backs Georgia Against Russia In Caucasus Conflict

Four NATO Oil Tankers Set Ablaze In Pakistan

U.S. Atlantic Council Invites Azerbaijan To Attend Black Sea Energy Forum

U.S. Strikes Energy Cooperation Deal With Kazakhstan

Europe Interested In Turkmenistan Energy To “Diversify” Supplies

Russian President: Pipeline Requires Approval Of All Caspian States

====

Libyan War: 25,726 NATO Air Missions, 9,526 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111014_111014-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 25,726 sorties, including 9,526 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 13 OCTOBER: 88

Strike sorties conducted 13 OCTOBER: 22

====

NATO Proxies Retreat From Sirte

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/13/58673435.html

Itar-Tass
October 13, 2011

NTC forces retreat from Sirte

Forces loyal to Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council have retreated from Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte on Thursday, Arab media outlets said on Thursday, citing a flurry of attacks by Gaddafi loyalists earlier in the day.

Last week, an NTC spokesman claimed that 80 percent of Sirte was being controlled by the rebels and that they will soon launch what will be their “final assault” on the city.

====

NATO’s Use Of Kosovo War Model Disastrous For Syria, Middle East

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7616492.html

People’s Daily
October 13, 2011

Military force, sanctions cannot solve Syrian crisis
By Huang Peizhao
Edited and Translated by Han Shasha

-It is worrying that Syria has become a “new target” when the war in Libya is coming to an end. According to the reports by media agencies in West Asia, Western countries will possibly bypass the U.N. Security Council to adopt the “pattern of Kosovo” to handle the crisis in Syria.

The European Union Conference of Foreign Ministers was held in Luxemburg on Oct. 10. The conference made a statement harshly condemning the Syrian government for bloodily suppressing civilians and requiring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down to complete the political transition in Syria.

In fact, Western countries are strengthening their sanctions against Syria and will use military force if necessary in order to force Syria to do things according to democracy, freedom and human rights standards set by the west. The Resolution on the Syrian Issue drafted recently by France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal was proof. Because of the vetoes from China and Russia, the United Nations Security Council did not approve the resolution.

Arab media said that the resolution on the Syrian issue drafted by Western countries covers content that flagrantly interferes in the internal affairs of a sovereign country and tries to put the national situation in Syria on the same road of development as Libya. China and Russia’s decision to exercise their veto power is to safeguard the tenet of the Charter of the United Nations and the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs and maintenance of the peace and stability in Syria and the entire West Asia region.

It reflects that China is a country with principles, responsibilities and a sense of justice. Media of West Asia [Middle East] believe that if the resolution had been approved, it meant that the door had been opened for possible military interference from Western countries. The flames of war will appear in West Asia once again, and West Asia will fall into a more uncertain situation. Therefore, it could be said that the vetoes from China and Russia have stopped Syria from walking on the old road of Libya.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently stressed that Russia will not allow Western countries to turn the United Nations into a tool for toppling political regimes of other countries and the United Nations was not founded for this purpose. Furthermore, Russia is opposed to the proposal to file an ultimatum to Syria. This has also echoed the desires of China and countries including India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon, which were absent from the vote, to preserve the foundation and tenet of the Charter of the United Nations. According to latest news, the Russian foreign minister has disclosed that Russia is working with China to formulate a new resolution on Syria that is “more fair and balanced.”

It is worrying that Syria has become a “new target” when the war in Libya is coming to an end. According to the reports by media agencies in West Asia, Western countries will possibly bypass the U.N. Security Council to adopt the “pattern of Kosovo” to handle the crisis in Syria. Some Arab scholars said that Syria is considered a major player in West Asia and is of significance to almost every country in the region. Any change in Syria will affect the overall situation in the region, showing its geopolitical importance and sensitiveness to the region. It is estimated that any military attack against Syria will pose a broad and deep impact on the region and even lead to disastrous consequences.

It has been proven again and again that violence is no solution, and only makes things worse. In order to fix the deteriorating situation in Syria, all parties involved should try prudent self-restraint, immediately stop all acts of violence, push the Syrian government to honor its reform promises and promote the formation of a Syria-led inclusive political process. At the same time, effective measures should be taken to protect the rights of the Syrian people so as to complexly resolve the crisis.

When trying to help resolve the Syria crisis, the international community should adhere to the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, especially the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. Major powers should make constructive efforts to ease the explosive situation in Syria, to promote the use of political dialogue in settling differences and disputes and to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, instead of adding fuel to the fire by threatening to use force.

====

U.S., NATO Could Continue To Use Kyrgyz Air Base After 2014

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-13/kyrgyzstan-open-to-u-s-access-to-manas-air-base-after-2014.html

Bloomberg News
October 13, 2011

Kyrgyzstan Open to U.S. Access to Manas Air Base After 2014
By Bill Varner and Flavia Krause-Jackson

-In May 2010, 55,000 troops passed through Manas…

Kyrgyzstan is open to extending U.S. military access to the Manas Transit Center, used to supply U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan, following the planned 2014 departure of the troops.

“If the American government officially requests prolongation of our bilateral agreement, we will certainly consider it in due course,” Talaibek Kydyrov, Kyrgyzstan’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a written answer to questions. “Transit facilities and infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan could play an even more effective role after 2014…”

Kyrgyzstan previously suggested the U.S. would have to leave the Manas base after 2014. The base will become a civilian hub, the Russian news service Interfax said on Aug. 30, citing Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev.
The U.S. is paying $77.1 million a year for use of Manas, according to the Congressional Research Service. In May 2010, 55,000 troops passed through Manas, served by 850 soldiers and 750 contractors, according to CRS. The leasehold was renegotiated in 2009, when the yearly rent was raised to $60 million a year from $17.4 million. That excludes jet fuel payments and money paid for upgrades to the air base’s infrastructure.

====

Afghanistan, “Operation Enduring Slaughter”: Ten Bloody Years

http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=27064

Global Research
October 14, 2011

Afghanistan, “Operation Enduring Slaughter”: Ten Bloody Years
By Felicity Arbuthnot

As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth,
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face And the international wrong.
(W.H. Auden, 1907-1973.)

What a murderous, infanticidel, appalling, shameful, ignorant – and arguable, decade-long war crime.

“Operation Enduring Freedom”, turned “Operation Enduring Slaughter.”

Announcing the assault on Afghanistan on 7th October 2001, George W. Bush said, citing “Enduring Freedom”, that it defended: “… the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.”

Further, that: “If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves, (a) lonely path …”

Moreover: “the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we’ll also drop food, medicine and supplies, to the starving and suffering men, women and children of Afghanistan.”

“We’re a peaceful nation”, the President assured the world.

In London, “ally”, the then Prime Minister Blair was reading from the same script: “We are peaceful people. But we know that sometimes to safeguard peace, we have to fight … We only do it if the cause is just. This cause is just.”

In persuit of justness, between 7th October and 10th December 2001, 12,000 bombs were dropped in 4,710 sorties, on a population of just 28 million people (Globe and Mail, 19th January 2002) with 42% of the population aged 0-14; children being thus raised in unimaginable terror, rather then “free from fear.”

With the bombs, aid parcels were indeed dropped. They were the identical colouring to the accompanying cluster bombs.Resultantly, those who rushed to collect brightly coloured yellow packages, in anticipation – so often children – had limbs blown off at best, or life blown away. Exited anticipation turned terminal. The US belatedly issued warnings.(i)

Between October 2001 and early 2002, United States aircraft dropped 1,228 cluster bombs containing 248,056 bomblets, in 232 strikes on locations throughout the country., according to Cluster Munitions Monitor.(ii)

It is unclear whether they have been further used. Though Coalition forces have confirmed deploying cluster munitions for possible use.(iii)

Lest the indiscriminate carnage of the early days be obscured by that of the subsequent years mass graves and ongoing, frenetic destruction by :“The United States of America, a friend to the Afghan people, and of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith”, as also declared by Bush in his 7th October address.

On 11th October, Khorum a village of mud huts, 29 kilometres west of Jalalabad, was “systematically bombed” by US warplanes. As many as 200 people were killed, with whole families wiped out. (iv)

“Survivors accounts were consistent. Just after early morning prayers, two US warplanes circled, then attacked the village.”

On the first run, only a few were injured, but as people came out, they returned twice, killing men, women and children, including refugees from Jalalabad, who had fled to the isolated dwellings feeling they would be safer there. There was no military, or Taliban presence nearby., wrote Norman Dixon, in his carefully researched piece at the time.

Donald Rumsfeld’s denials, first as “ridiculous”, then lies, then declaring “certain knowledge” of a nearby military installation (statements now so familiar in mass murders across Afghanistan, Iraq and since March, Libya) were soon found to be baseless.

A reporter in the village showed Nightline “extensive footage” of the destruction, confirming: “that the village had been ‘completely obliterated’ estimating at least 100 people had been killed. Giant craters were where houses once stood. Dead animal carcasses littered the area. Survivors angrily denied that there were military installations or al Qaeda ‘training camps’ anywhere near Khorum.”

Further: “Having run out of targets within days of the start of the bombing campaign, Washington has authorised pilots to seek ‘emerging targets’, meaning that they can blast just about anything they like.

“Four workers employed by a United Nations mine-clearing operation died while they slept, when a US cruise missile demolished their Kabul building in early hours of October 9th.

On October 12th, a 900-kilogram satellite-guided US ‘smart’ bomb, hit houses almost two kilometres from Kabul airport, destroying four house, killing at least four people.

“On October 13th, a bomb landed in a busy market in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing five people.

“A refugee (stated) that 160 people were taken to hospital when US bombs hit Khushkam Bhat, near Jalalabad airport, on October 13th. An unknown number may have died. More than 100 houses were‘damaged or flattened’.

“On October 16th, at least two US bombs hit Red Cross warehouses near Kabul, wounding an employee, and setting them on fire. Wheat, medicines and supplies were destroyed. The roofs of the buildings were emblazoned with vast Red Cross insignia.

“The Pentagon confirmed the strike.

“The previous day as US missile exploded just 150 metres from a World Food Programme warehouse in Kabul as trucks were loading, injuring a worker.

“Later on the same day that US warplanes had bombed the Red Cross warehouses, President Bush was visiting the headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington to promote his appeal for US kids to give a dollar each for the children of Afghanistan.

“‘Winter arrives early in Afghanistan. It’s cold, really cold. “The children need warm clothing, they need food, they need medicines. And thanks to the American children, fewer children in Afghanistan will suffer this winter’, Bush told an assembled group of children.

He didn’t mention the bombs.” (v)

Lying and destroying food stocks, medicines and essential services are tried and tested (illegal) tactics. In Iraq the UK and US repeatedly did the same in 1991, and then between 1993 and the 2003 invasion – even dropping lighted flares on harvested wheat and crops (a crime still, allegedly, ongoing.)

In Libya, the same is happening – the vocabulary has changed, they call it bombing: “command and control posts.”

If the above carnage is a tiny snap shot, of several very small areas, and that wrought in little over three months, what is the true cost of Afghanistan, in human terms, little over 3,650 days later?

In June 2004, with “President” Hamid Karzai, in the White House, Bush declared Afghanistan a success, indeed, a model for Iraq. Womens’ rights and education had “risen from the ashes”, Iraq would follow in the same mould. (China Daily, 16th June 2004.) Iraq is now estimated to have an upper estimate of approaching two million excess, invasion-related deaths, since 2003.

Just before last year’s marking of the ninth anniversary of the onslaught on Afghanistan, of which George W. Bush had predicted in his invasion speech: “.we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes ..”, Professor Marc Herold wrote an encyclopaedic, searing summary of these “successes.”(vi)

Included was: “In Afghanistan, according to the United Nations’ Childrens Fund, about 600 under-five children perish every day from preventable diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, parasitic worms and pneumonia.”

Dr Gideon Polya, author of “Body Count – Global Avoidable Mortality Deaths since 1950”, cites the death rate for under 5 Afghan infants, as higher in percentage than their Polish counterparts in Nazi occupied Poland, or French-Jewish children in Nazi occupied France.

Afghanistan’s child mortality is the second highest on earth. (vii) Life expectancy for men and women is just 44 years old. Further, according to the Afghan Human Rights Monitor, in 2010, an average of 7 civilians were killed by occupying forces, every day. Given the remoteness of so much of the country, an underestimate almost certainly.

In Blair’s near carbon copy of Bush’s onslaught-day speech, he said: “It is now nearly a month since the atrocity occurred (9/11.)

It is more than two weeks since an ultimatum was delivered to the Taliban to yield up the terrorists or face the consequences… They were given the chance of siding with justice (or) terror. They chose terror.”

Well, no, as Iraq’s non existent “WMD’s” were a fabrication for war, so was this. On the same day, CNN reported:

“The White House on Sunday rejected an offer from Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban to try suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan under Islamic law.

The offer came as the United States massed forces in southwest Asia for a possible strike against Afghanistan if the Taliban refuse to surrender bin Laden. A Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, rejected the Taliban offer and repeated U.S. demands that bin Laden be turned over unconditionally.

The Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, made the offer at a news conference in Islamabad. Zaeef said the Taliban would detain bin Laden and try him under Islamic law if the United States makes a formal request and presents them with evidence.” Emphasis mine, CNN 7th October 2001. (viii)

On 7th October this year, General Stanley McCrystal, who commanded coalition forces in Afghanistan 2009-2010, told the US Foreign Relations Committee that the US had gone in to Afghanistan with a “frighteningly simplistic view.” After ten years they still lack knowledge, were little better than 50% towards reaching their war goals. (That gas pipeline through the country still not built, then?)

“We didn’t know enough and we still don’t know enough,” he said. “Most of us, me included, had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years.” Can they not read? Did they truly know nothing of this “graveyard of Empires”?

In 330 BC., even Alexander the Great met his match, nearly being killed by an arrow to his leg and with one of his soldiers writing:

“Here the foe does not meet us in pitched battle, as other armies we have dueled in the past. . . . Even when we defeat him, he will not accept our dominion. He comes back again and again. He hates us with a passion whose depth is exceeded only by his patience and his capacity for suffering.”(ix)

Little has changed. Seemingly, US Generals and military planners ignore the lessons of history.

They did not make enough effort, said the General, to understand the culture; forces made little effort to learn thelanguages.There forty nine listed languages in Afghanistan, General. And here is just one of many history reading lists, with, at a quick count, about three hundred titles.(x)

Going in to Iraq under two years later, whined the General, didn’t make things any easier. It didn’t make them any easier for the Iraqis in their mass graves since, either. The culture and language was also not understood there. Remember the countless shootings at road blocks, where culturally ignorant troops stood with arm up, palm out? Uncounted car loads of families, individuals, ended blown to pieces as they resultantly drove through. It means “Welcome.”

“The headlines of the past decade in Afghanistan have been written in blood”, wrote Declan Welsh this week, in the Guardian, adding: “the greatest failures have been political.”

Indeed, and towering arrogance and pig ignorance of not even the desire to learn and understand the ways of ancient lands, McDonald-free civilizations. Simply to kill, smash, grab – and then blame the invaded.

To return to George W. Bush’s words, Britain and America, have seemingly become: “government sponsors, the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves, (a) lonely path …”

Felicity Arbuthnot is Global Research’s Huamn Rights Correspondent based in London, UK.

Notes

i. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/monitoring/media_reports/1624787.stm

ii. http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/news/?id=3394

iii. ibid

iv .http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/24053

v. ibid.

vi. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21174

vii. http://pulitzercenter.org/articles/afghanistan-poverty-child-mortality

viii. http://articles.cnn.com/2001-10-07/us/ret.us.taliban_1_abdul-salam-zaeef-surrender-bin-taliban-offer?_s=PM:US

ix. http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-afghan-campaign/

x. http://www.afghanweb.com/books/books.html
====

NATO Continues Training Iraqi Proxy Army

http://www.aco.nato.int/fifth-joint-committee-discusses-iraqi-training-perspectives-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
October 13, 2011

Fifth Joint Committee Discusses Iraqi Training Perspectives

Baghdad, Iraq: The NATO Training Mission–Iraq (NTM-I) leadership and senior training authorities from Iraqi Defence and Interior Ministries, as well as representatives from Iraq’s other security agencies, conducted the 5th Joint Committee for Future Training (JCFT) on 11 October 2011, in the military base home to the NTM-I Headquarters.

NTM-I Deputy Commander, Italian Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, opened the session by introducing to the attendees: the NTM-I Commander, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., and his co-chairmen, Iraqi Staff Maj. Gen. Abbas Mohamed Fizzaa, representing the Deputy Chief of Staff for Training of the Ministry of Defence and Iraqi Staff Maj. Gen. Ezzat Noel Aziz, Chief Training & Qualification Institute of the Ministry of Interior. He also welcomed Mr. Hamza Shareef Hasan, Director General National Security Advisory and Ambassador Alaa Abdul al-Hashemi, Head of Europe Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as distinguished guests.

The Committee discussed Out-of-Iraq (OOI) activities including courses and visits to NATO Countries’ Military Institutions, Schools and Centres of Excellence, confirming the priorities and requirements for future activities. The Committee unanimously agreed on the importance of establishing, at the earliest opportunity, the Joint Training Coordination Cell (JTCC), which had been approved by the Iraqi Prime Minister in August. The JTCC will coordinate pan-ministerial training requirements and will manage all aspects of course attendance administration.

…”I guarantee that NTM-I will remain steadfast in this effort. For the next two years, NTM-I will have advisors and mentors at the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministries of Defence and Interior therefore enabling us to better support the development of the Iraqi Security Forces,” the General added.

Lt. Gen. Caslen also praised the initiative of establishing the JTCC, which will work directly with NATO for the provision of Out-of-Iraq activities and will build a permanent forum to set the conditions for a durable partnership between NATO and Iraq.

The JCFT will meet again in January 2012.

BACKGROUND:

The Joint Committee for Future Training was established in October 2009. The requirements for the Joint Committee for Future Training was agreed to by the Government of Iraq Minister of Defence and Ambassador Howard, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations, during his visit to Iraq in 2009 and subsequently the Committee was established and began work.

Previously, NTM-I had held meetings to discuss the training support to the Iraqi Security Forces through two separate Joint Committees for Future Training. One meeting occurred between NATO and Iraqi MoD and another between NATO and the Iraqi MoI with appropriate representatives from the PMO. Towards the end of 2010 the respective chairmen of the two separate Committees agreed on the need to have a single Committee.

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…

NTM-I is not a combat mission but 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): Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), UK, USA.

====

Afghan, Japanese, South Korean, Pakistani MPs At NATO Headquarters

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_79346.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 13, 2011

NATO welcomes parliamentarians and senators from Afghanistan, Japan, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea at NATO Headquarters

As part of the Alliance’s ongoing initiative to engage with its partners on global security issues, a group of 12 parliamentarians and senators from Afghanistan, Japan, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea came to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

During the one-day information programme held on 11 October, the visitors had the opportunity to have an open discussion with NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero. Ambassador Bisogniero spoke of the preparations for the next NATO Summit planned for May 2012 in Chicago, outlining key themes such as the Organization’s enduring commitment to the transatlantic relationship, the need to generate key capabilities and the Allies’ intent to enhance NATO’s connectivity to a global world. The discussion also touched upon the NATO mission in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, cyber defence, maritime security and missile defence.

Dr Stefanie Babst, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division briefed the visitors on NATO’s public diplomacy efforts. “For us, public diplomacy is very much an instrument of soft power…We are fully aware of some of the stereotypes about NATO that still drive public perceptions in some countries…”

The visit was part of the Alliance’s public diplomacy initiative for global partners aimed at developing cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Before coming to NATO, the parliamentarians and senators took part in the General Assembly meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest, Romania.

====

Kurils: Russia Increases Military Build-Up As U.S. Backs Japan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/13/58676130.html

Voice of Russia
October 13, 2011

Russia to focus on Kurils
Igor Siletsky

-[T]he U.S., which has been losing its influence on the Asia-Pacific region, decided to make its “contribution” to the bilateral dispute. Last summer, after American-Japanese security consultations, the two sides made the following statement: Washington and Tokyo will press for the normalization of Russian-Japanese relation by solving the “territorial issue”.

Russia has deployed “Buk-M1” anti-aircraft missile systems and a battalion of T-80 tanks on the Kurils. The Defence Ministry is strengthening the military contingent on the islands which are claimed by Japan. It says that this is only the first part of the plan aimed at equipping the troops on the island with advanced military hardware and weapons.

Russian experts welcome the plan, though admit that what has been done is yet insufficient. The Pacific Fleet has to be modernized and the ships should be equipped with smart anti-ship weapons and even air force units should be deployed on the islands, says a defence analyst at the Moscow-based daily “Komsomoltskaya Gazeta”, Victor Baranets:

“Special weapons are needed to guarantee the security to the Kurils. I believe that the Russian Air Force will return there. There is an excellent airport, which has been abandoned although it is strategically important. I believe that the Defence Ministry will have no problems to deploy a squadron of fighter jets to start with,” Victor Baranets said.

In fact, the Defence Ministry plans to deploy special weapon systems as the expert said. The mobile “Pantsir–S1” surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems and Buk-2 surface-to-air missile systems will be deployed on the Kurils in the near future. At the same time, the construction of contemporary military settlements with the necessary infrastructure will be built on Kunashir and Iturup.

The Russian government has been prompted to put special emphasis on the islands in the Okhotsk Sea because Japan has claimed for Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and several other small isles of the Kurils Archipelago. Tokyo refers to the 1855 Russian-Japanese Treaty on trade and borders. Moscow says that the Southern Kurils were included in the Soviet Union as an outcome of the Second World War and Russia enjoys sovereignty over the islands as the successor of the USSR. The situation is complicated by the fact that the two countries have not yet signed a peace treaty after the Second World War and are de jura still at war. Both Moscow and Tokyo have a desire to sign a peace treaty and end the conflict. But Japan has set the resolution of the territorial dispute as the main condition for signing the treaty.

The long-time dispute has grown deeper since November 2010 when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Kunashir. At the time, the Japanese government threatened “negative consequences”. But Moscow said that the Russian President was free to visit any part in his country. Meanwhile, the U.S., which has been losing its influence on the Asia-Pacific region, decided to make its “contribution” to the bilateral dispute. Last summer, after American-Japanese security consultations, the two sides made the following statement: Washington and Tokyo will press for the normalization of Russian-Japanese relation by solving the “territorial issue”. It’s unclear how the allies will solve the issue. In any case, Russia has decided to strengthen its border territories in the Far East.

====

NATO In Air Corridors Deal With Libya, Egypt, Tunisia And Malta

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20111013/local/libya-nato-agree-on-air-corridors-for-civilian-aircraft-during-malta-meeting.389036

Times of Malta
October 13, 2011

Libya, Nato sign air corridors agreement in Malta

Libyan and Nato officials meeting in Malta have signed an agreement on the establishment of air corridors to be used by civil aviation.

The air corridors will cover flights which will link Benghazi to the rest of the world and Benghazi to Tripoli and Misurata…

The agreement applies with immediate effect, despite the United Nations no-fly zone over Libya.

The signing took place at the Hilton Hotel during a conference which grouped air traffic controllers from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Nato and Malta.

Libyan Provisional Government Transport Minister Anwar El Feitori signed for Libya and Lt General Ralph J. Jodice for Nato.

Officials explained that over the past few months, the limited air traffic over Libya has been coordinated from Malta and other neighbouring countries. The lifting of the UN-imposed No Fly Zone will take place gradually.

====

General: NATO Missile Shield In Turkey Endangers Iranian Interests

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9007160746

Fars News Agency
October 13, 2011

General Sees NATO Missile Shield in Turkey Endangering Iran’s Interests

TEHRAN: An Iranian General warned Ankara to rethink its decision on hosting a NATO missile shield as the move is a direct threat to Iran’s interests.

“The installation of a NATO anti-ballistic missile systems in Turkey threatens Iran’s national interests,” Iranian military expert General Hossein Alayi said in an interview with “irdiplomacy.ir”.

“NATO has declared that Turkey will host the NATO ABM to be protected from Iranian or Russian missile attacks, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says they are not against Iran,” said the expert.

The Iranian expert stated that those are diplomatic statements which are not warranted.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi and many more have expressed deep concerns over Turkey’s decision to host a NATO missile battery.

====

U.S. Senators Recommend Stationing Troops In Georgia

EurasiaNet
October 13, 2011

U.S. Senators Recommend Stationing Troops In Georgia
Joshua Kucera

A Washington task force headed by two U.S. senators has released a report on Georgia and its relations with the U.S. and Europe, “Georgia in the West: A Policy Road Map to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Future.” It makes a variety of recommendations for U.S., European and Georgian policymakers, including some provocative ones in the security realm:

- Propose an international security presence in the occupied territories: As part of an effort to go on the offense diplomatically, the United States should work with its allies to lay out a clear vision of what security arrangements should be in the context of a fully implemented cease-fire agreement: in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in which additional Russian forces and border guards have withdrawn and security is provided by a neutral international security presence working closely with local authorities…

- Advance Georgia’s NATO aspirations. US officials should use the NATO summit in Chicago to advance NATO’s commitment to Georgia’s membership aspirations in practical ways, including by adopting a package of intensified cooperation, reiterating that Georgia will become an ally, and making clear that the NATO-Georgia Commission and Georgia’s Annual National Programme are mechanisms through which Georgia can eventually achieve membership…

- Bolster the US footprint in Georgia. Georgia’s security strategy is premised on deterrence. Any US presence in Georgia helps to augment that deterrence, and just as importantly, reinforces a psychological sense of security among the population. In the absence of formal security guarantees, the United States should augment a small military footprint associated with its: 1) program to train Georgian forces for coalition operations; 2) support to NATO’s Partnership for Peace Training Center; and 3) facilities and logistics to handle transit of forces and equipment from Afghanistan now and, in smaller numbers, in the future, and to serve as a logistics hub for access to Central Asia.

- Normalize military-to-military relations. US officials should normalize military-to-military relations with Georgia, including restarting defensive arms sales and Special Forces training. Any procurement agreements should help Georgia to better defend itself, participate in coalitions operations, and meet NATO Partnership Goals. These efforts should proceed in a manner that makes clear that the US decision is linked to the Georgian government’s continuing commitment to its nonuseof-force pledge; is in coordination with NATO allies to avoid surprises among potentially skeptical allies, and to ensure similar moves by allies who have had traditional defense relationships with Georgia; and ensures transparency in all US defense cooperation with Georgia.

- Join the EU Monitoring Mission. The EUMM has won the respect of all actors, including Russia, and is in a position to expand its role to ensure greater transparency along the occupation lines. Working off the precedent of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), the United States should consider participating in the EUMM, along with other third parties.

Particularly striking is the proposal to station U.S. troops in Georgia as a method of deterrence. On the surface, it seems like an aggressive move, and a reckless one: does the U.S. really want to be the tripwire in Georgia in case Russia does something? And what if Georgia starts something with Russia, and then U.S. troops are in the middle of a war: what do they do?…

[T]he list could be titled “Ways For The U.S. To Antagonize Russia.” When I was in Moscow, I met with Yevgeny Buzhinsky, until last year the Russian MoD’s top international cooperation official, and asked him what would happen if the U.S. started selling weapons to Georgia:

“Of course, it would spoil our relations. Georgia is a very special case, and if I were an American decisionmaker, I would give a very low profile to Georgia for the time being…if you want to antagonize Russia, you can forget about transit [i.e. Russia’s cooperation on shipping military cargo to Afghanistan]. It will again be a ‘Cold Peace.'”

====

U.S. Senate Issues “Policy Road Map To Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Future”

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43449&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
October 14, 2011

Senators present a road map to Euro-Atlantic structures for Georgia

A Washington task force headed by two U.S. senators has released a report on Georgia and its relations with the U.S. and Europe, “Georgia in the West: A Policy Road Map to Georgia`s Euro-Atlantic Future.”

The group of senators worked on the document for over a year. It includes recommendations towards the US administration, European Union and the government of Georgia, the implementation of which should facilitate Georgia`s integration into NATO and the EU. The document also presents the attitude of American lawmakers to the Russian aggression.

Senators Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen, who are the authors of the report, condemned Russian aggression once again.

The document has been sent to the US administration for consideration and the authorities will prepare for introducing it to European leaders.

====

American Ambassador-Designate Backs Georgia Against Russia In Caucasus Conflict

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24032

Civil Georgia
October 13, 2011

U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Russia Speaks of Georgia

No way for Russia ‘to go around Georgia’ over WTO;
Supporting Georgia’s security is ‘top priority';
U.S. supports Georgia ‘in a multifaceted way';
Russia, Georgia ‘tensions remain too high’
Liberal democracy ‘important part of making Georgia more secure’

-[McFaul] made the remarks while responding a question from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who presided over the hearing and who co-chairs Georgia Task Force at the U.S. think-tank Atlantic Council – a bipartisan group aimed at promoting policy debate on Georgia. The group has just released a report laying out policy recommendations on Georgia to the U.S. and EU.
-“In last three years there have not been gas wars, cyber wars or military wars in Europe. And yet Russian soldiers still occupy Georgian territories; tensions between Russia and Georgia remain too high and that’s why we continue to give this issue our highest priority.”

Georgia’s territorial integrity and strengthening Georgia’s security “remains a top priority for Obama administration,” said Michael McFaul, a top White House adviser on Russian policy, who has been nominated as U.S. ambassador to Moscow.

During his nomination hearing at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on October 12, Mcfaul said that the U.S. considered Russia’s occupation of Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia “to be a very serious issue.”

He said, that the U.S. support to Georgia’s security was done “in a multifaceted way”.

One of the directions, he said, was on the diplomatic front, involving discouraging other countries from recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia. McFaul said that was the issue on which the U.S. and Russia “radically disagree”.

Being “very persistent” in reaffirming Georgia’s territorial integrity at various multilateral forums was also part of the diplomatic efforts, McFaul said.

“Third – we support Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Fourth – we continue to press Russia to adhere…to the 2008 ceasefire agreement, which we believe they are not respecting. Fifth – we continue to push for international monitors and greater humanitarian access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And sixth – we work directly with Moscow to try to reduce pressure and sometimes coercive pressure that they put on Georgia,” McFaul said.

“Part of our argument and part of what we try to do is to develop substantive relationship with Russia so that the cost of coercive behavior in that part of the world are higher to Russia than they may have been three years ago. President Obama has personally engaged President Medvedev on this set of issues and we’ll continue to do so,” he said.

In parallel, he said, the U.S. was providing assistance to Georgia to help with its internal reforms and economic development.

Making Georgia Secure through Democracy

He made the remarks while responding a question from Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who presided over the hearing and who co-chairs Georgia Task Force at the U.S. think-tank Atlantic Council – a bipartisan group aimed at promoting policy debate on Georgia. The group has just released a report laying out policy recommendations on Georgia to the U.S. and EU.

McFaul said that he agreed with the conclusion of the report, that “supporting Georgia’s consolidation of liberal democracy is very important part of making Georgia more secure.”

“Supporting economic growth in Georgia we think is also important component of making Georgia more secure,” McFaul said.

He said that the U.S. needed Georgia to succeed as a democracy, especially against the background of “troubling things” happening in the region – he particularly pointed at sentencing of former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko. He said that success of democracy in Georgia – in this post Soviet state – would send a powerful signal throughout the region.

Military Assistance

In terms of military, he said, there were broad cooperation in two fronts with Georgia.

“First – on comprehensive reforms that Georgia is undertaking to modernize its Ministry of Defense. Second – training and equipping Georgian soldiers that are serving with us in Afghanistan,” McFaul said, adding that Georgia’s contribution to ISAF was very important for the United States.

WTO

During the hearings, McFaul reiterated the Obama administration’s position that it was “vigorously supporting Russia’s accession to WTO, because we believe that’s a good deal for the United States.”

He said that one of the stumbling block on Russia’s WTO entry remained a dispute between Georgia and Russia – the issue, which “has not been resolved.”

“WTO works by consensus and without Georgian agreement to Russia’s WTO membership it won’t move forward,” McFaul said, adding that the U.S. was supporting “a very active mediation” process between Moscow and Tbilisi led by Switzerland.

“We think that the Swiss have come up with very creative ideas and we are urging the both sides to take these negotiations very seriously,” he said.

Asked what the role the U.S. should be playing in this process, McFaul responded that although from time to time various Russian officials were suggesting that it was Washington’s job to convince Georgia to remove its objections, or suggesting that joining WTO was possible with voting, by-passing consensus mechanism, the U.S. made “it very clear” to Moscow that it “is firmly not our view.”

In his written testimony submitted to the committee before the hearing, McFaul says on this issue: “We have made it clear to Russia that there is no way to go around Georgia: the two countries must resolve their differences through the mediation process. We believe the Swiss have formulated a fair, creative, and balanced proposal that can work, but the parties themselves must find that it is in their interest to come to agreement.”

Russia, Georgia ‘Tensions Remain Too High’

In his opening remarks at the hearing, McFaul said that with the Obama administration’s reset policy with Russia made progress, including over security issues in Europe. He, however, also said that problems remained.

“In last three years there have not been gas wars, cyber wars or military wars in Europe. And yet Russian soldiers still occupy Georgian territories; tensions between Russia and Georgia remain too high and that’s why we continue to give this issue our highest priority.”

In his written testimony submitted to the Foreign Relations Committee, McFaul says: “While the probability of conflict between Russia and Georgia has decreased, the potential still remains. There are clearly issues on which the United States and Russia are not going to agree – and Georgia is one of them.”

====

Four NATO Oil Tankers Set Ablaze In Pakistan

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hRVtwqWoAFmCzWJfpiBksLeoUF1g?docId=CNG.b3174af5b2dab53399ff7c43047374eb.431

Agence France-Presse
October 13, 2011

Four NATO oil tankers torched in Pakistan

KARACHI: Gunmen on Thursday torched four oil tankers in southern Pakistan carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan, police said.

Gunmen attacked the vehicles, parked at a roadside restaurant near the agricultural town of Shikarpur, 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Karachi, police official Ashraf Chandio told AFP by telephone.

The assailants fired several rounds of bullets on the vehicles with automatic weapons and after setting them on fire fled on motorbikes, Chandio said, adding that there were no casualties.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in Sindh province. It was the first such attack in the province in nearly two and half months.

Pakistan is the largest single route into Afghanistan for supplies and equipment required by foreign forces, although the United States has increasingly tried to find alternative routes through Central Asia.

====

U.S. Atlantic Council Invites Azerbaijan To Attend Black Sea Energy Forum

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1944551.html

Trend News Agency
October 14, 2011

Azerbaijan invited to Black Sea Forum
E. Ismayilov

Baku: The Atlantic Council invited Azerbaijan to take part in the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum held in Istanbul on Nov.16-18. US Atlantic CounciL CEO Frederick Kempe voiced the invitation at a meeting with the Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev in Baku.

Kempe asked the Industry and Energy Ministry to participate in this forum. Aliyev informed the guest about energy projects in Azerbaijan and their achieved successes. Noting Azerbaijan’s growing influence in the region and the world, Kempe provided detailed information about the activities of the Atlantic Council.

The Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum in Istanbul is one of the most successful initiatives of the Atlantic Council. The Forum annually brings together business leaders and prominent political leaders to discuss economic and energy issues in Eurasia.

The Atlantic Council intends to hold the next Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum in Baku in 2012.

Established in 1961 the Atlantic Council is an influential structure that promotes transatlantic cooperation and international security.

====

U.S. Strikes Energy Cooperation Deal With Kazakhstan

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1944903.html

Trend News Agency
October 14, 2011

Kazakhstan, US adopt energy cooperation plan

Baku: Kazakh and U.S. energy officials have today adopted a joint plan on energy cooperation, Kazinform reported referring to the Oil and Gas Ministry.

The joint plan was undersigned by Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, who co-chaired the 8th meeting of the joint Kazakh-American energy cooperation commission in Astana.

The governments agreed to boost cooperation in strengthening nuclear security, accumulation of new knowledge and practice in atomic energy, renewable energy sources and energy-efficiency, as well as contribute to regional energy cooperation, reduction of methane emissions and diversification of export oil and gas routes.

The next meeting of joint Kazakh-American energy cooperation commission is expected to take place in Washington in 2012.

Edited by E. Ostapenko

====

Europe Interested In Turkmenistan Energy To “Diversify” Supplies

http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/turkmenistan/1944915.html

Trend News Agency
October 14, 2011

Austrian President: Europe interested in Turkmen gas
H. Hasanov

Ashgabat: European countries express great interest in natural gas supplies from Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is one of the largest gas suppliers to world markets, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said. His statement was published in the local press after his visit to Ashgabat on Oct. 12-13.

Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary state news service said that the Austrian President spoke about the possibilities of cooperation to implement the Nabucco pipeline project. The Austrian side is very interested in this project.

According to the “Neutral Turkmenistan” newspaper, President Fischer expressed his support for the policy implemented by Turkmenistan in the field and aimed at diversifying energy export routes, including in the European direction.

Turkmenistan is one of the most important partners in the field of energy security for Austria and the EU. In particular, the Nabucco project will deliver gas from the Caspian region and Middle East to the EU countries. This will diversify the sources of supplying raw materials.

Turkmenistan could join this project thanks to the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to be constructed in the future. The Austrian delegation includes representatives of the OMV company, which is one of equal partners in the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International – Nabucco project company.

President Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan considers Austria as an important potential partner in the development of the national fuel and energy complex. It is ready to create all necessary conditions for Austrian companies.

Turkmenistan exports natural gas in three directions – to the Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

====

Russian President: Pipeline Requires Approval Of All Caspian States

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157323

Azeri Press Agency
October 14, 2011

Russian President: “Construction of the Trans Caspian pipeline requires approval of all the Caspian littoral countries”
Victoria Dementyeva

-Along the route Tengiz (Kazakhstan) – Tukrmenbashi (Turkmenistan) – Baku (Azerbaijan) – Tbilisi (Georgia) – Erzurum (Turkey) 20-30 billion cubic meters of gas be will annually transported.

Baku: Construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline requires the approval of all the Caspian littoral countries, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council, APA reports quoting Russian media.

“The Trans-Caspian pipeline issue is complex and, of course, is directly dependent on the status of the Caspian Sea as an inland sea, requiring the coordination of positions of all member states of the Caspian summit,” said Medvedev.

The European Commission was given a mandate to negotiate with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the legal aspects of the implementation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. It is expected that negotiations will begin in the near future. The project considers transportation of Azeri and Turkmen gas to European countries. Along the route Tengiz (Kazakhstan) – Tukrmenbashi (Turkmenistan) – Baku (Azerbaijan) – Tbilisi (Georgia) – Erzurum (Turkey) 20-30 billion cubic meters of gas be will annually transported.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: 10th Anniversary Afghanistan War Rally and March – Chicago, October 8, 2011

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

10th Anniversary Afghanistan War Rally and March – Chicago, October 8, 2011

Chicago Independent Television

chicagoindymedia.org

Categories: Uncategorized

John Donne: War and misery are one thing

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

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

John Donne
From Sermon XII (1621)

1 Cor. xv. 26.

The last Enemy that shall be destroyed, is Death.

[E]nemy is the metaphor which the Holy Ghost hath taken here to express a want, a kind of imperfectness even in heaven itself. As peace is of all goodness, so war is an emblem, a hieroglyphic, of all misery…

If the feet of them that preach peace be beautiful, (and, 0 how beautiful are the feet of them that preach peace? The prophet Isaiah asks the question, Lii. 7.; and the prophet Nahum asks it, i. 15. and the apostle St. Paul asks it, Rom. x. 15. they all ask it, but none answers it) who shall answer us, if we ask, How beautiful is his face, who is the author of this peace, when we shall see that in the glory of heaven, the centre of all true peace? It was the inheritance of Christ Jesus upon the earth, he had it at his birth, he brought it with him, Glory be to God on high, peace upon earth. It was his purchase upon earth, He made peace (indeed he bought peace) through the blood of his cross. It was his testament, when he went from earth: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Divide with him in that blessed inheritance, partake with him in that blessed purchase, enrich thyself with that blessed legacy, his peace.

Let the whole world be in thy consideration as one house; and then consider in that, in the peaceful harmony of creatures, in the peaceful succession, and connexion of causes, and effects, the peace of nature.

[T]he Holy Ghost, to intimate to us that happy perfectness, which we shall have at last…chooses the metaphor of an enemy, an enmity, to avert us from looking for true peace from anything that presents itself in the way. Neither truly could the Holy Ghost imprint more horror by any word, than that which intimates war, as the word enemy does. It is but a little way that the poet hath got in the description of war, Jam seges est, that now that place is ploughed, where the great city stood…[W]hen the prophet Isaiah comes to the devastation, to the extermination of a war, he expresses it first thus; Where there were a thousand vineyards at a cheap rate, all the land become briars and thorns: that is much; but there is more, the earth shall be removed out of her place; that land, that nation, shall no more be called that nation, nor that land: but, yet more than that too; not only, not that people, but no other shall ever inhabit it. It shall never be inhabited from generation to generation, neither shall shepherds be there; not only no merchant, nor husbandmen

In a word, the horror of war is best discerned in the company he keeps, in his associates. And when the prophet Gad brought war into the presence of David, there came with him famine and pestilence. And when famine entered, we see the effects; it brought mothers to eat their children of a span long; that is, as some expositors take it, to take medicines to procure abortions, to cast their children, that they might have children to eat. And when war’s other companion, the pestilence entered, we see the effects of that too: In less than half the time that it was threatened for, it devoured three score and ten thousand of David’s men; and yet for all the vehemence, the violence, the impetuousness of this pestilence, David chose this pestilence rather than a war. Militia and malitia, are words of so near a sound, as that the vulgate edition takes them as one. For where the prophet speaking of the miseries that Jerusalem had suffered, says, Finita militia ejus, Let her warfare be an end, they read, Finita malitia ejus, Let her misery be at an end; war and misery is all one thing…

Categories: Uncategorized

Update on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011 1 comment

====

Libya: 25,638 NATO Sorties, 9,504 Air Combat Missions

Damascus: Protesters Denounce “NATO Recognition Of Syrian Opposition”

U.S. State Department: Missile Radar In Turkey To Cover All NATO States…Israel?

Flight Test For U.S.-NATO Mid-Range European Interceptor Missile System

Finland Hosts NATO Crisis Management Exercise

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Ineffectual United Nations Leaves Africa At The Mercy Of NATO

Brave New Wars Of The 21st Century: From Drones To Cyber Wars

U.S. Deploys Drones From Secret Kenyan Bases: Report

U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least Three In Northwest Pakistan

Euro Hawk: German Military Unveils Super Drone

Rasmussen Attends NATO Special Forces Exercise In Homeland

Pentagon Chief To Visits East Asia, Meet ASEAN Defense Chiefs

NATO Sets Up New Checkpoint To Block Serbia-Kosovo Transit

West’s Connivance With Kosovo Separatists Exacerbates West Balkans Tensions: Russia

U.S. Atlantic Council Head In Azerbaijan

Top U.S. NATO Advocacy Group To Hold Energy Forum In Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Again Threatens New Caucasus War Over Nagorno-Karabakh

Turkish, Azeri Defense Chiefs: Time To “Liberate” Nagorno-Karabakh

Azeri Energy Supplies To Europe Have Regional, Global Significance

NATO Sees Off U.S. Marine-Trained Georgian Troops Heading To Afghan War Front

====

Libya: 25,638 NATO Sorties, 9,504 Air Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111013_111013-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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 25,638 sorties, including 9,504 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 12 OCTOBER: 88

Strike sorties conducted 12 OCTOBER: 26

====

Damascus: Protesters Denounce “NATO Recognition Of Syrian Opposition”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/13/c_131188022.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 13, 2011

Scores of Syrians protest against Libyan NTC stance toward Syria

DAMASCUS: Scores of Syrians staged Wednesday a sit-in before the Libyan embassy in Damascus to protest against the recognition from Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) of Syria’s opposition National Council.

Demonstrators shouted slogans condemning the Libyan NTC and said that “it’s a NATO recognition of the Syrian opposition,” witnesses told Xinhua.

Mussa al-Koni, a member of the NTC, recently said during a news conference in Libya’s capital of Tripoli that “the NTC has decided to recognize the Syrian National Council as the sole legitimate government in Syria.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Sunday the Syrian National Council is “illegitimate,” and warned that Syria would undertake retaliatory measures against any country that might recognize the council.

====

U.S. State Department: Missile Radar In Turkey To Cover All NATO States…Israel?

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-259620-us-radar-intelligence-to-protect-all-nato-allies.html

Zaman
October 12, 2011

US: Radar intelligence to protect all NATO allies

[Nuland was American ambassador to NATO under the previous administration]

İSTANBUL: Intelligence to be gathered from a NATO early warning radar system planned to be deployed in Turkey to help spot missile threats coming from outside Europe will be used to protect all NATO allies, a US official has said, declining to say whether it will also be shared with Israel.

During a daily press briefing on Tuesday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was asked whether intelligence gathered through the early warning radar as part of a NATO missile defense system would be shared with Israel through the United States or NATO.

“This is a NATO system that Turkey is contributing to. We’re very grateful for Turkey taking on this role within NATO. The information from the radar is designed to protect all NATO allies,” Nuland briefly replied.

====

Flight Test For U.S.-NATO Mid-Range European Interceptor Missile System

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/asd/2011/10/12/06.xml&headline=Meads%20Prepares%20For%20Critical%20November%20Test

Aviation Week
October 12, 2011

Meads Prepares For Critical November Test
By Andy Nativi

GENOA, Italy: The fate of Lockheed Martin’s Medium Extended Air Defense System (Meads) is far from assured, but the chances it will at least persist through its development phase are increasing.

One decisive event is the upcoming flight test, the first of a planned series of three. After integration and testing at Pratica di Mare in Italy, and then at Lockheed Martin facilities in Dallas, the Meads battery was moved to White Sands, N.M., in preparation for the Nov. 17 test.

Further flight tests are scheduled in 2012 and 2013…

The missile defense effort was a hot target on Capitol Hill this year. Both House defense committees made cuts to the program, while the Senate Armed Services Committee sought to eliminate all funding for the trinational effort.

While supporters and enemies of Meads are still battling in Congress, in Europe the two international partners — Germany and Italy — are pledging support not only to complete system development, but also to proceed into the production phase in 2014.

In Italy, the defense ministry’s procurement chief took the unusual step of issuing a public statement confirming his country’s commitment to the program, arguing that Meads “is a latest-generation system which [will have no] rival for the next decades and will provide complete anti-ballistic [missile] defense for deployed forces as well as for civilian targets during major events” (Aerospace DAILY, July 20).

On Oct. 12, the so-called “5 power” meeting in Brussels is expected to see the formal approval of an updated Meads program schedule and goals that were defined in February at the level of the partners’ national armament directors. The Italian statement also refers to letters of support for Meads written by the U.S. Army’s deputy chief of staff and the head of U.S. European Command.

It also points out that there are other nations interested in being involved in Meads as partners. Indeed, Italy want Meads as the cornerstone of its anti-air/anti-ballistic missile capabilities. At least three batteries are planned by the Italian air force (the initial requirement was for nine batteries, which was repeatedly cut down to its current level of three).

The Italian defense ministry also is considering backup plans in case the program is torpedoed by the U.S. either before it completes development or just prior to a production decision. At a minimum, Italy wants to preserve as much as possible of the technologies developed for Meads. A European variant of the system is one of the alternatives being evaluated.

But for the time being, every effort is being made to assure Meads’ survival. The Italian undersecretary of defense, Guido Crosetto, wrote a strongly worded letter to his U.S. counterparts pointing out that if the U.S. decides unilaterally to end the development, it will have to pay the full termination costs alone.

Some military sources say it seems incongruous that the U.S. is asking its European partners to spend money on missile defense, while at the same time it plans to kill the most advanced trans-Atlantic missile defense cooperation program.

====

Finland Hosts NATO Crisis Management Exercise

http://www.yle.fi/uutiset/news/2011/10/finland_prepares_for_nato_crisis_management_exercise_2944337.html

Finnish Broadcasting Company
October 12, 2011

Finland prepares for NATO crisis management exercise

-Finland’s participation falls under Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty, which calls on states to consult in times of crisis. The issue of Finland’s full membership in NATO is an ongoing matter of domestic political debate.

Finland is gearing up to participate in NATO training exercises next week. As a partner country of the Partnership for Peace programme, Finland will join the NATO Crisis Management Exercise 2011 (CMX11) on 19-26 October.

CMX is NATO’s annual exercise open to non-NATO members. Finland most recently took part in the training last year.

Partner countries Finland and Sweden will be joined by NATO allies at this year’s event.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Mission of Finland to NATO in Brussels, the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Command and other authorities are involved in the operation.

Finland’s participation falls under Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty, which calls on states to consult in times of crisis. The issue of Finland’s full membership in NATO is an ongoing matter of domestic political debate.

====

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/10/12/un-member-states-must-demand-probe-action-against-nato-war-crimes/

LankaWeb
October 12, 2011

UN member States must demand probe & action against NATO War Crimes
Shenali Waduge

Why & how is it that international laws & international bodies & international public figures paid to maintain peaceful co-existence keep silent while even endorsing repeated NATO bombings that have killed thousands of innocent men, women & children & destroyed public & private property in a show of supremacy & arrogance over the nations they have targeted? NATO war crimes extend from Yugoslavia, to Iraq, to Afghanistan & now Libya. Why are international laws being manipulated to pressurize nations politically less powerful yet bountiful in natural resources or placed in influential economic routes? This simply explains why nations are invaded in the present context & how NATO has become above the law.

Were there terrorists in power plants, electricity grids, water supply networks? Were there terrorists among shops, universities & schools, stores, hospitals, farms & markets? These have been key targets of NATO in its endless bombing campaigns which totally violate its own Charter & the UN Charter. So if justice is quiet what is the use of the International Criminal Court at The Hague? If the ICC is a tool, a manipulative organism that twists legal principles, it is time the rest of the world knew about these duplicities, ambiguities & double standards & demands that it either stops the double standards or these members vote for another alternative.

NATO in Yugoslavia

The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia formed in 1993 was only a means to justify Western intervention in the Balkans. It has no links to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague. The Tribunal is made up of US-influenced appointees, so will NATO crimes in Kosovo be investigated? Was it a surprise when the Tribunal branded President Milosevic a war criminal & the US is against the establishment of any international court that can charge US military & political personnel with war crimes?

What NATO is accused of is violating the UN Charter – it is a violation to attack a sovereign nation that was innocent of any aggression. NATO’s Charter Articles 1 & 7 have also been violated – NATO is supposed to function as a “DEFENSIVE organization, & only committed to force if ONE or MORE of its members are attacked! The NATO Treaty in fact recognizes the UN Security Council to maintain international peace & security. NATO’s violation of the Hague Convention Articles 22 & 23, Geneva Convention Article 19, Nuremberg Principle VI a,b,c & the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8, Clause II is for “killing & injuring a defenseless population through Yugoslavia”.

The usual excuse is given as “humanitarian” intervention & that was what the Clinton administration used; incidentally Mussolini used it to invade Ethiopia to save them from slavery & Hitler used it to occupy Sudetenland to save Germans.

If the US used the Nuremberg principles to charge Germany for “starting an unprovoked war” shouldn’t the US be charged on similar grounds?

On 22 September, 2000 in the District Court of Belgrade, the president of the Court handed down guilty verdicts against government leaders of NATO countries for “war crimes”. These defendants were Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, Robin Cook, George Robertson, William Cohen, Hubert Vedrine, Alain Richard, Gerhard Schroeder, Joschka Fischer, Rudolf Scharping, Javier Solana and Wesley Clark. The sentence was for 20 years in a Yugoslav prison & thus arrest warrants were issued upon all, charging each for crimes against humanity & breaches of international law, inciting an aggressive war, war crimes against civilians, use of weapons banned under international law, violating Yugoslavia’s territorial sovereignty & attempting to murder Slobodan Milosevic, president of Yugoslavia between March 24 & June 10, 1999.

Former US President Bill Clinton was sent a verdict on April 18th, 2001 sentencing him in absentia to 20 years in prison for “crimes against civilians”.

The entire West is not as inhuman as we think. The Commission of Inquiry of the International Action Center in 1999 charged Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and William Cohen for violating the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, the Helsinki Accords & the US Constitution. The 19 charges included starting a war, the deliberate targeting of civilians infrastructure & violating & destroying the peacemaking role of the UN. One of the main arguments was that despite the Yugoslav parliament agreeing to NATO’s demand of autonomy & armed UN peacekeepers in Kosovo, why was it bombed! Instead of the mass graves that were similar to the WMD in Iraq, there were perhaps just 200 dead persons – the 100,000 dead Albanians that NATO & US were promoting as grounds to attack were just a lie.

NATO’s air strikes in Serbia killed over 2,000 civilians & wounded more than 7,500. NATO has owned up to only 460 civilian deaths. The dead included farmers, city dwellers, reporters, diplomats, people traveling in public transport, patients in hospitals, the elderly & even children. That is the human factor – what about the enormous damages to the environment as a result of these NATO bombings – poisoning water supplies, and loss of electricity that affects hospitals & other emergency requirements? There is evidence that some Spanish pilots refused to drop bombs on non-military targets.

Another accusation against NATO was the bombing of all bridges across the international waterway through Eastern Europe – the River Danube. Some of these bridges were bombed while civilians were on them. All that NATO leaders said were that the incidents were “accidents”. This clearly violates the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12th August 1949 & the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) – 8th June 1977.

NATO strategy was to destroy the whole infrastructure of Yugoslavia – that was why it targeted public services, rail & road networks, waterways. The objective was always to detach Kosovo.

If one were to read the book (The White Book) published by the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO crimes in Yugoslavia, the book will reveal the damage caused by NATO bombings & lists 400 civilian deaths & over 40 incidents involving civilian fatalities.

If NATO’s actions were illegal under its own treaty, in particular since aggressive military action was taken without UN mandate, the killings that ensued were war crimes.

What is clear is that the US & UK governments deliberately waged war against Yugoslavia by building a propaganda campaign that would be internationally welcomed & accepted by their countrymen.

On 5th January 2000, the Yugoslav government stepped up pressure to indict NATO country leaders – US President Bill Clinton & UK Prime Minister Tony Blair – for crimes against humanity in Yugoslavia in 1999. This followed a submission for instigating proceedings before the International Court of Justice in April 29, 1999 & ICC setting a deadline for legal action on 30th June 1999 & Yugoslavia meeting that deadline on 5th January 2000.

“Yugoslavia demands that the Court declare these countries responsible for the violation of major international obligations, which ban the implementation of force against countries, interference into their internal affairs or the violation of their sovereignty, as well as other international obligations. The indictment also included the demand for confirming the responsibility of these countries for their failure to prevent the genocide against the Serb people and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, in which way they violated the obligations stemming from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crimes…Yugoslavia is also demanding that the Court instruct all countries, which are being sued to pay compensation for all the damages inflicted”.

NATO war crimes in Iraq

The Geneva Conventions are clear that “Civilians shall not be the object of attack.” According to the UN Security Council resolution, military forces were tasked with expelling Iraqi forces that invaded Kuwait in 1990. That task involved 88,000 tons of bombs that killed civilians & killed more civilians through the destruction of power grids, food, and water treatment and sewage systems. US soldiers used napalm to incinerate entrenched Iraqi soldiers. US soldiers dropped fuel-air explosives and cluster bombs that use razor-sharp fragments to shred people. Depleted uranium was used to penetrate tanks, causing long-term health hazards, and the economic embargoes killed as many as 1 million Iraqis.

Why did the US & its allies deliberately destroy Iraq’s water supply & not repair it? Why did these Western nations repeatedly bomb infrastructures for flood control, municipal & industrial water storage, communication towers, irrigation & hydroelectric power? (8 multi purpose dams, 7 major pumping stations, 31 municipal water & sewage facilities were destroyed). These have nothing to do with Saddam or his supporters – these are services needed for the people of Iraq.

They were bombed to create waterborne diseases which have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians & the bombs & weapons used have caused radiation poisoning as a result of depleted uranium shells.

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states that “it is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population,” including foodstuffs, livestock & drinking water supplies & irrigation works”.

Why were these acts not treated as war crimes under the Geneva Convention & does this not constitute genocide by US & allies?

NATO war crimes in Afghanistan

If NATO has committed war crimes in Iraq & Yugoslavia, should we be surprised to read of NATO war crimes in Afghanistan? Indiscriminate bombings killing unarmed civilians have only been answered with an “apology” by NATO. The presence of US & NATO troops in Afghanistan was similar to that which took place in Yugoslavia – without any proof a country has been taken over. Indiscriminate bombings mean rebuilding projects being handed over to profit-driven private corporations. The irony is that the Afghan government is compromising the welfare of its own citizens for its own financial benefits. This has caused a rise in Pashtun nationalism & indirect support for the Taliban. Thus it has been easy to pass blame for NATO killings on to the Taliban while civilian deaths keep piling up, infrastructure continues to be bombed & anarchy prevails throughout Afghanistan.

NATO in Libya

NATO’s Libya operation followed a UNSC Resolution which NATO has violated, seen through its presence on the ground and the bombing of civilian structures. The greatest violation is by NATO taking sides, which is illegal; illegal too is the murder or attempt to murder government officials with no formal declaration of war. NATO is also using cluster bombs & depleted uranium which is also illegal. NATOs violations in Libya are many & what we would like to know is why is the ICC silent?

In the case of Libya, the ICC has no jurisdiction as Libya never ratified the Rome Treaty nor has the US. However, under international laws a Head of State has immunity. So if the ICC does not question the US & its crimes against humanity why should the ICC question Libya when the UN Security Council cannot refer to the ICC according to its Statute? ICC has been considering action against Georgia since 2008, against Guinea since 2009 & against Colombia since 2006, but the ICC took just 3 days to find Libya guilty.

The NATO countries participating in air strikes in Libya include France, UK, US, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands & Italy. What excuse does NATO have for bombing a Downs Syndrome school, the University of Tripoli, the man-made waterway irrigation system which supplies most Libyans with drinking water, bombing a hospital killing over 50, many of whom were children, bombing villages and killing the civilian population – is this not genocide & can the ICC continue to watch while doing nothing?

The sinister campaign to take over Libya was by first projecting to Gaddafi that the US “deeply valued the relationship between the United States & Libya” (2009). This was because British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Conoco, Marathon Oil & industrial giants like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical & Fluor signed investments & sales deals with Libya. The US State Dept awarded a $1.5m grant to train Libyan civilian & government security forces in 2009. Many of these “trainees” are now leading the NATO-backed “rebel forces”.

Thus, the pretence of being a “friend” to Gaddafi by the US since 2009 was to get Gaddafi to agree to allow foreign presence in Libya.

For months now NATO has been pounding Libya. Over 30,000 air & missile assaults on mostly civilian infrastructure was expected, so too was the “rebel uprising,” for they had been already been trained to rise up against Gaddafi. NATO also bombed Libyan airports, ships, energy depots, ports & highways, warehouses, hospitals, waterplants & civilian homes. NATO was able to garner diplomatic support inclusive of the Arab League and NATO availed itself of the services of hired mercenaries in Qatar. Libyan assets amounting to billions of dollars were frozen. Economic sanctions were imposed by NATO, cutting off Libya’s income from oil sales.

International media also controlled by Western imperialists were relaying images that portrayed rebels waving rifles & shouting against Gaddafi. These rebels entered towns that had been devastated by NATO air attacks! What these rebels did was to rob homes and banks & destroy public institutions on the instructions of NATO. Going against Gaddafi does not equate to ruining infrastructure & destroying property that is used by one’s own people!

NATO wanted Libya to be destroyed. Like NATO destroyed Yugoslavia & Iraq. NATO wanted to ensure Libya had to be “reconstructed” because all these contracts would eventually go to profit-making Western companies!

Incidentally, Libya is a country that had boasted the highest per capita income & standard of living in Africa.

What took place in Libya is a message from the imperialists for other nations in North Africa, Asia & Latin America. US-NATO are already engaged in colonial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen & Somalia. What about the fall of Mubarak of Egypt & Ben Ali in Tunisia while uprisings in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria were all associated with movements demanding an end to EU-US & Israeli domination of the region & would have caught their intelligence services by surprise?

NATO provided the money to silence the “people’s march to democracy” & the situation in Egypt is far worse than during Mubarak’s reign! In Bahrain the West called for “reform” while continuing to arm the Bahraini royal family as seen in the NATO-backed Saudi invasion of Bahrain to support the royal dictatorship. In Yemen, the West continued to support the Ali Saleh regime. Nevertheless, NATO is apparently providing support to Islamic fundamentalists in a move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad.

What did Libya do to anger the West? Did the West not like its pursuance of a pro-African agenda which had funded an independent regional bank & communications system designed to bypass the IMF & World Bank control?

What has ensued is that like in Iraq & Afghanistan there is likely to be a dominating US-NATO presence that is looking towards a military offensive in Iran & Syria. Sub-Saharan Africa may like to remember Gaddafi’s generous aid, grants & loans that helped these nations against the IMF and World Bank. Who will remember Gaddafi’s development programs, construction projects that offered many jobs to sub-Saharan African immigrant workers? Despite all these maneuvers, China is still racing ahead over its Western counterparts.

July 22, 2011 is the date when NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. Days later NATO hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it. Both incidents could not have been accidents. NATO went on to target the civilian water supply network that supplied water to 70% of the Libyan population. Nevertheless, the truth will emerge, just like Libya is now revealing how it funded French President Sarkozy’s election campaign & the numerous secret meetings Tony Blair held with Gaddafi & there must surely be more in the Pandora’s box, which is why the West is in a haste to bump off Gaddafi as they did Osama & Saddam – all previous friends of the West.

It is certainly time that UN member states stood up against aggression by Western neo-imperialism. Member states must demand a probe into all the atrocities by NATO & demand that the nations steering NATO be charged with war crimes. Russia & China need to champion this cause.

With only 28 nations making up the NATO alliance, the UN has 53 African member nations & 48 Middle-East & Asian nations & 12 nations in South America. It is opportune for these non-NATO members to make a voice within the UN & demand that NATO be investigated for all of its war crimes & be charged for every war crime committed.

====

Ineffectual United Nations Leaves Africa At The Mercy Of NATO

http://thecitizen.co.tz/sunday-citizen/-/15936-tanzania-challenges-au-to-focus-on-solving-africas-problems

The Citizen
October 8, 2011

Tanzania challenges AU to focus on solving Africa’s problems Send to a friend
By Paul Amoru

Johannesburg: The indecisiveness and internal contradictions within the African Union have resulted in the proliferation of wars and conflicts in Africa and exposed the continent to external interference, Tanzania’s representatives to the Pan African Parliament (PAP) have said.

Engineer Hamad Yussuf Masauni and Mr Stephen Julius Masele, in reference to the Libyan conflict, also accused the United Nations of defaulting on its duties and leaving Africa at the mercy of NATO.

Eng Masauni described Western governments as insincere. “Western governments have double standards and breathtaking hypocrisy when it suits them in propping up some of the most hideous and undemocratic regimes in Africa and elsewhere in the world. What I am however concerned about for now is the relevance of the African Union in finding lasting solutions to Africa’s problems,” he said and added: “The major weakness of AU is its inability to be proactive rather than reactive to spontaneous conflict situations in Africa.”

During the intense deliberations, his counterpart Mr Masele said: “Mr President, I am very concerned with the way UN is handling issues and conflicts in Africa. Apparently, the UN has failed to perform its duties thereby leaving all the major and crucial decisions to be taken by NATO.”

He cautioned AU to be more cohesive, lest it lose relevance in the affairs of the African people, and described the UN as becoming functionless. “As a young leader, I am very sad, afraid and also getting worried about the future of Africa. It would be very unfortunate if the AU followed the UN’s steps,” the Tanzanian representative added.

The MPs implored members of PAP to intensify efforts to pressurise AU to make stronger statements with regard to the problems of Africa. For his part, Mr Luhaga Joelson Mpina observed that the AU’s seeming lack of independence is caused by poor funding rendering the institution needy and toothless.

“The Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), whose role is to deal with prevention, management and resolution of conflict in Africa is getting funds to finance at least 90 per cent of its budget from the European Development Fund (EDF),” Mr Mpina said, adding that however poor Africa is, its leadership should not allow the funding of its programmes on peace and security to be financed by Western powers.

The MPs were responding to the State of the African Union address, sent by Mr Jean Ping, the chairperson of the AU Commission, for plenary discussion by the Pap’s fifth ordinary session which reopened at Midrand in South Africa last Monday.

The PAP is the legislative arm of the AU, constituted by elected Members of Parliament from across Africa. Mr Ping, who sent a written statement, had, however, raised among other challenges the issues of security, service delivery, good governance and the rule of law which he urged Pap to address. The Parliament still suffers legislative limitations limiting it merely to an advisory organ.

However, Pap is now seeking to redefine its role at a time when AU’s credibility and image has suffered severely over its perceived indecisiveness in the handling of the recent political standoff in Ivory Coast and Libya, among others.

====

Brave New Wars Of The 21st Century: From Drones To Cyber Wars

http://newsclick.in/international/wars-21st-century-drones-cyber-wars

Newsclick
October 12, 2011

Wars in the 21st Century: From Drones to Cyber Wars
Prabir Purkayastha

[With hyperlinks at URL above]

-The US has resisted all attempts till now to have an international treaty on cyber war. This is in line with its basic position on all matters of international law – it applies to all countries but not to the US – the case for US exceptionalism. From drone attacks – undeclared war and extra judicial killings to cyber war – all of this is permitted to only the US.
-Irrespective of IAEA and subsequent UN sanctions, any physical attack on Iran’s Natanz plant would constitute an act of war. There is very little doubt that the US reads that any attack on Natanz – a US or Israeli air-strike like the Israeli attack on Osirik reactor – would rapidly escalate to war, with this strike as the first act. Therefore the choice of a virus attack instead of physical one that could still delay or derail the Natanz fuel enrichment plant.

Wired has reported that a virus has hit the US drone fleet operating out of Creech Airbase in Nevada. This has not stopped the Predator and Reaper drones from operating in Afghanistan, West Asia and now also North Africa, the areas the US considers as “war zones” – a shadowy war in which the ratio of high valued targets to actual “kills” are now (2009-2010 figures) running at 1: 147.

The issue I am writing here is not about the drones per se, but about the newest form of war that is now upon us – cyber war. And the virus against the drones fleet is not the first act in this new game of war – the first undoubtedly was Stuxnet, the virus that targeted Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

The current virus afflicting the drone fleet seems to be logging the “pilot’s” keystrokes, therefore recoding what the pilot’s actions are. The pilots of the drones of course sit, not in the war zone, but thousands of kilometres away in what are called “ground control station” or virtual cockpits in Nevada. From here, using a bank of computers, the pilot carries out his kill missions.

The virus seems to have infected both the classified networks to which the virtual cockpits are connected and the public networks connected to the outside world. Though, the two sets of machines – the ones on the classified network and those on the public network – are supposed to have no connection and infection in one should not affect the other, use of USB sticks can lead to this “air gap” being bridged. At this stage it is hard to tell whether this virus is simply a virus that has travelled through the public network and infected the classified network inadvertently or it is a targeted attack mounted by an adversary like Iran similar to the one that the US launched on the Iranian uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

What is this new form of war – cyber war? If for instance, a virus targeting a facility can be used to partially or fully damage equipment, in what way is it different from say a bomb attack? It is possible to use a virus to take “malicious control” of equipment in a nuclear power plant and make it do things that can lead to a core meltdown. This can result in an accident of catastrophic proportions; the Fukushima disaster has already clocked up a bill of $52 billion in damages. So how we should look upon this malicious software that can lead to such damage, specifically if creating this software and targeting a specific facility is done with intent? This is not just maladjusted individuals sitting somewhere creating viruses for generating indiscriminate chaos in the computer networks. In what way is it different from an act of war?

The US had proclaimed in its Strategic Doctrine – Pentagon’s “Joint Vision 2020,” which first appeared in 2000, of full spectrum dominance. It speaks of full spectrum dominance as involving not just four – space, sea, land, air – as stated earlier but the fifth dimension as well: “information” or cyberspace. Full spectrum dominance means both defensive as well as offensive capabilities. in May 2010 the Pentagon set up its new U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), complementing its other Commands.

The US has resisted all attempts till now to have an international treaty on cyber war. This is in line with its basic position on all matters of international law – it applies to all countries but not to the US – the case for US exceptionalism. From drone attacks – undeclared war and extra judicial killings to cyber war – all of this is permitted to only the US.

The US has however publicly declared that any cyber attack on its infrastructure will be considered as an act of war and will draw a physical retaliation. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. Sauce for the gander is not sauce for the goose.

Defining what constitutes an act of war as against trying to access unauthorised data or cyber crime is important. A number of attempts were made by groups originating apparently from China to access data from computers and have been reported widely in the press, the one with Google leading to a public spat between the US and China. All this could be categorised as espionage – either security related or for stealing commercially valuable data. This would be categorised as akin to conventional espionage – not nice but what all governments seem to do.

This changes, if for instance software can access the controls of vital equipment – power plants, national grids, telecommunications network, etc and make them misbehave or shut them down. Shutting down a grid can have catastrophic consequences. Causing control equipment used for vital infrastructure such as power plants could cause plant failures. In the opinion most people this would constitute as an act of war. The grey area would be an attack which leads to vital data – for some this is akin to an act of war while for others, not so.

By this definition, Stuxnet is a virus that seems to have been designed explicitly to target the centrifuges in Iran’s Natantz plant. Detailed accounts are available on the Stuxnet virus. It was analysed by Symantec when it first appeared in 2010 who found that out of more than 100,000 computers were infected, about 60% from Iran, about 20 per cent in Indonesia with India coming third with about 10 per cent infections.

The target was a specific combination of machines – it targeted PC’s with Windows Operating System and connected to Siemens PLC’s. From the beginning, it was clear that it was not a run of the mill virus but had a very specific end in mind. Also surprising was the pattern of infection – it was not reflecting the pattern of computer usage but clearly also had a geographical target.

PLC’s or Programmable Logic Controllers are classes of computers which control physical processes – they are used for industrial controls. They can control various equipment are found widely in all plants and equipment.

After analysing the code, it was found that the target was even more specific – it seemed to have targeted two sets of frequency converters – one manufactured by Finland and the other by a manufacturer in Iran. From this, the short hop to the conclusion that the target was the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

The confirmation was came from the kind of numbers and configuration that the code analysis threw up – it identified an array of equipment which was known to be similar to the centrifuge array in one of the Natanz blocks. The code was designed at periodic intervals to speed up and slow down the centrifuges via the frequency converters. Once this was correlated with what was known by the IAEA inspectors of the Natanz plant – that a large number of centrifuges had got damaged and had been taken out – the entire sequence of operations became clear. This was a cyber attack that had taken out vital equipment in Natanz.

Some of the issues that flow from this are whether Natanz was an “illegal” facility and therefore a legitimate target? It is clear from the NPT provisions that Iran has a right to enrich uranium. The US and other western countries argue that Iran has “lost” this right by virtue of its violations of certain IAEA provisions.

If we look at international law, it is clear that the IAEA decision to report Iran for such violations was a political one and had very little to do with actual NPT obligations or IAEA violations. That is why India’s breaking ranks with other non-aligned countries in the IAEA Board who had opposed the US move is particularly galling and has bedevilled India and Iran relations since.

Irrespective of IAEA and subsequent UN sanctions, any physical attack on Iran’s Natanz plant would constitute an act of war. There is very little doubt that the US reads that any attack on Natanz – a US or Israeli air-strike like the Israeli attack on Osirik reactor – would rapidly escalate to war, with this strike as the first act. Therefore the choice of a virus attack instead of physical one that could still delay or derail the Natanz fuel enrichment plant.

There is little doubt that the US was a part of this attack, though some claim it was a joint US-Israeli operation. The sophistication of the virus and the knowledge it had to have of Natanz precludes it being a private enterprise. In any case, the US and the Israelis have been doing a nudge-nudge, wink-wink denial of the Stuxnet attack, leaving very little doubt of the origin of this virus.

The question we need to ask is by changing the mode of attack, is it any different than a conventional attack which fulfils the same purpose? The second question is that if Iran retaliates by a similar virus attack on an US installation, what would be the US reaction? And the third, perhaps the most important – how do we prevent such viruses attacking other vital installations in any country which might not be targets, but could still get infected.

The US position is clear on this – while the US is allowed to attack other countries using such cyber attacks, any attack on US installations would lead to a conventional retaliation – in the US books, there is no difference between a conventional or a cyber attack as long as it creates a similar impact. But it still retains the right to target others it considers attack worthy. As it explained privately and its proponents state publicly, Stuxnet is justified as it “saved” Iran for bombing.

What should concern all of us is that we have now added a new dimension to war as it is understood. War in cyber space is also war, but the problem who is the originator and whether the attack is deliberate is far more difficult to define. By initiating this new form of attack, the US has deliberately brought in a whole new range of warfare and weapons into play. And as the infection of drone attack centre shows, others will surely follow where the US has lead – whether it is drones or other new forms of warfare.

Welcome to brave new wars of the 21st century: drones and computer wars.

====

U.S. Deploys Drones From Secret Kenyan Bases: Report

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/204121.html

Press TV
October 12, 2011

‘US drones fly from secret Kenya bases’

US drones are flown to southern Somalia from secret US bases in neighboring Kenya, Press TV reports, quoting a Somali official.

A Somali government official, who spoke on the condition of unanimity, told Press TV that there are secret US bases in Kenya mainly used for flying American pilotless drone bombers.

He also said that there are secret US jails in Kenya where hundreds of young people, captured in Somalia, are being held.

The US has increased the number of its attacks by unmanned surveillance aircraft in Somalia. Many civilians have died as a result.

Somalia is the sixth country where the US military has engaged in unauthorized aerial bombing campaigns through the use of its remote-controlled aircraft.

The United States has also deployed its drones for aerial attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

Washington claims the airstrikes target militants, though most of such attacks have largely resulted in civilian casualties.

====

U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least Three In Northwest Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/13/c_131188831.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 13, 2011

Three killed in drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least three people were killed when a drone attacked a house Thursday morning in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region, local media reported.

====

Euro Hawk: German Military Unveils Super Drone

http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20111012-38155.html

The Local
October 12, 2011

German military unveils super drone

The German military on Wednesday unveiled the new “Euro Hawk” super drone, whose size and range is set to revolutionize the Bundeswehr’s intelligence-gathering capabilities.

“It’s a milestone for us,” project leader Rüdiger Knöpfel told Die Welt newspaper in Manching, Bavaria, where the drone was presented by the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement.

The Euro Hawk weighs 15 tonnes, has a wingspan of 40 metres, and can fly non-stop for 30 hours, covering a distance of up to 25,000 kilometres – enough to fly from Berlin to Tokyo and back without a break.

The drone will be used for reconnaissance missions in conflict regions like Afghanistan, scanning terrain and spotting enemy positions from a height of up to 20,000 metres – way above the altitude reached by commercial jets. The drone is also able to pick up TV and radio signals and intercept phone calls and text messages.

Knöpfel said the drone would vastly improve the Bundeswehr’s intelligence capabilities. “At the moment we’re deaf when it comes to electronic reconnaissance,” he said.

The data it collects will be transmitted in real time to a base in Nienburg, Lower Saxony, though it is still being tested in Manching. In July, a Euro Hawk prototype successfully completed a 10,000-kilometre test flight from California to Bavaria.

The US armed forces already use a similar super drone called “Global Hawk,” built by the armaments company Northrop Grumman. The Euro Hawk, which took ten years and €1.2 billion to develop, will be built by Cassidian, the military arm of European aeronautics and defence company EADS.

Eleven Bundeswehr pilots have been trained to steer the Euro Hawk from the ground. Further test flights will take place in Bavaria this week. The drone is expected to fly its first missions next summer.

====

Rasmussen Attends NATO Special Forces Exercise In Homeland

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-B65EC8DD-964A605C/natolive/news_79307.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 12, 2011

NATO Secretary General attends a Special Forces joint exercise in Denmark

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is attending a joint Special Forces exercise, NIGHT HAWK, in Denmark on 12-14 October.

The exercise brings together representatives of Special Forces from 8 NATO Allies and Partner nations in a scenario involving simultaneous hostage rescues in multiple locations. It is hosted and organised by Denmark.

The Secretary General is accompanying a Special Forces group from the Netherlands on the initial stages of the mission, and observing the final stage of the operation from close to the site.

Land and air units from NATO Allies Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and partners Finland and Sweden, are also taking part in the exercise.

====

Pentagon Chief To Visits East Asia, Meet ASEAN Defense Chiefs

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/13/c_131188032.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 13, 2011

U.S. Defense Secretary to visit Asia Pacific

WASHINGTON: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is to make his first trip to Asia Pacific as the Pentagon chief later this month, the Defense Department announced here on Wednesday.

During his visit from Oct. 21-28, Panetta will be making stops in Bali, Indonesia, Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Republic of Korea, according to Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a department spokeswoman.

Panetta is “expected to attend a series of cabinet-level meetings, including meetings with his counterparts,” said Hull- Ryde, noting that in Bali, Panetta will meet with defense ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In Seoul, Panetta will conduct the annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) with Republic of Korean Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin.

====

NATO Sets Up New Checkpoint To Block Serbia-Kosovo Transit

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/nato-in-kosovo-expands-checkpoint-on-disputed-border-with-serbia/2011/10/13/gIQAXKIDhL_story.html

Associated Press
October 13, 2011

NATO in Kosovo expands checkpoint on disputed border with Serbia

PRISTINA, Kosovo: A NATO spokesman in Kosovo says peacekeepers have set up a checkpoint on a dirt road between Kosovo and Serbia used by minority Serbs to bypass an official customs point and avoid EU and Kosovo officials.

Cmdr. Frank Martins said NATO-led peacekeepers expanded the border crossing Thursday and are supporting EU officials that check cars coming from Serbia.

The route was set up by minority Serbs to defy Kosovo’s attempt to establish a customs checkpoint with Serbia. NATO and Serb protesters clashed last month when peacekeepers closed down the road.

====

West’s Connivance With Kosovo Separatists Exacerbates West Balkans Tensions: Russia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=280018

Interfax
October 13, 2011

Connivance with disproportionate ambitions of Kosovo Albanians harmful for Kosovo settlement – Moscow

MOSCOW: Moscow is concerned about the exacerbating situation in Kosovo, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a Thursday press briefing in Moscow.

“We think that the connivance with the disproportionate ambitions of Kosovo Albanians, the deviation of the international forces from the neutrality status and the stake on the use of force invariably lead to negative consequences for the Kosovo settlement,” he said.

The northern sector of Kosovo “has become a scene of dramatic events,” he said. The use of force “damages the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, which is being developed with much difficulty,” he added.

The outbreak of violence in Kosovo leads to the general growth of tensions in the Western Balkans, he said.

“We hope conclusions will be drawn to avoid a new confrontation; the strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is the guarantee that it won’t happen again,” the diplomat said.

—————————————————————————-

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/13/58666384.html

Itar-Tass
October 13, 2011

No sides should be taken in Kosovo conflict – Russia

       
The Kosovo conflict regulation is hampered by playing into Kosovo Albanians’ ambitions, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich stated on Thursday.

He noted that a troublesome Belgrade-Pristina dialogue is negatively affected by military actions and breaching the region’s neutrality status.

Russia believes that the conflict can be solved only through direct talks resting upon a UN resolution.

====

U.S. Atlantic Council Head In Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1944370.html

Trend News Agency
October 13, 2011

Azerbaijani President receives CEO of US Atlantic Council

Baku: President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received Frederick Kempe, chief executive officer of the US Atlantic Council.

The parties shared views on international and regional issues.

====

Top U.S. NATO Advocacy Group To Hold Energy Forum In Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157228

Azeri Press Agency
October 13, 2011

Baku to host international energy forum
Ali Ahmedov

Baku: Azerbaijani Minister of Industry and Energy Natig Aliyev has received a delegation led by US Atlantic Council Frederick Kempe.

According to the Ministry, Natig Aliyev informed about energy projects in Azerbaijan. Stressing Azerbaijan’s increasing influence in the region and the world, the guest spoke about the activity of Atlantic Council. He also noted that the Council suggested holding an energy forum in Azerbaijan. The Atlantic Council intends to hold the next meeting of the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum in 2012, Baku.

Note that the Atlantic Council holds such forums in different countries every year. As a rule, presidents, well-known businessmen and politicians attend the forum. The next forum will be held on November 16-18 in Istanbul. Kempe invited the Ministry of Industry and Energy to attend this forum.

Leading businessmen and well-known political leaders will be gathered for discussion of Eurasian economic and energy challenges.

Note that the Atlantic Council was established in 1961 and promotes cooperation and international security.

====

Azerbaijan Again Threatens New Caucasus War Over Nagorno-Karabakh

http://en.trend.az/news/karabakh/1944323.html

Trend News Agency
October 13, 2011

Top official: Maintaining status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict threatens new war in region
K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: Maintaining the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may cause a new war in the region, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Social and Political Department Chief Ali Hasanov told the press on Thursday.

“The international community makes every effort for Azerbaijan not to start a war to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said. “However, the Azerbaijani President has repeatedly stated that Azerbaijan can lose all patience. Azerbaijan can not wait for eternal maintenance of the status quo in the conflict. Azerbaijan uses legal and other means to ensure the territorial integrity.”

He said that from this point of view, the international community, especially the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen, insistently call for changing the current situation, by considering its preservation unacceptable.

“Somebody tries to deter Azerbaijan from using other means,” he said. “…Azerbaijan is maximally trying to take advantage of the negotiation process not to resort to military actions. However, if the status quo is not changed, Azerbaijan will likely use its right. It does not intend to make concessions to anyone else.”

====

Turkish, Azeri Defense Chiefs: Time To “Liberate” Nagorno-Karabakh

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157213

Azeri Press Agency
October 13, 2011

Azerbaijani and Turkish Defense Ministers issue statement: “The time has come to withdraw Armenian occupation army from the Azerbaijani lands”

Baku: On October 13, a delegation led by Turkish National Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, who is on an official visit to Azerbaijan, met with Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Safar Abiyev.

the press service of the Defense Ministry told APA that the solemn welcoming ceremony of the Turkish Minister was held in the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, and the national anthems of both countries were sounded.

At the large meeting Abiyev congratulated Yilmaz on his appointment and wished successes in his activity. The ministers exchanged view on the development of military cooperation between the two countries. The ministers discussed the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict and noted that the time has come to restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and to withdraw Armenian occupation army from the Azerbaijani lands.

Abiyev said that though the negotiations were held for peaceful settlement of the conflict, there was no concrete result yet and Armenia continued its aggression. He said, in such situation, there is no other way for Azerbaijan [but] to prepare its armed forces seriously.

Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic also participated in the meeting.

====

Azeri Energy Supplies To Europe Have Regional, Global Significance

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1944166.html

Trend News Agency
October 13, 2011

SOCAR: Azerbaijan attaches great importance to ‘Southern Gas Corridor’ project
E. Ismayilov

Baku: Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the project “Southern Gas Corridor” in terms of gas supplies for branch export routes, the head of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev said on Wednesday at a meeting with Austrian Federal Economy, Family and Youth Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner.

“At present, preparation for the second phase of development of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea is close to completion,” Abdullayev said.

The Austrian guest appreciated the importance of the global and regional significance of oil and gas projects implemented in Azerbaijan.

Reserves of the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

The contract to develop the offshore Shah Deniz field was signed June 4, 1996.

Participants in the agreement are: BP (operator) – 25.5 percent, Statoil Hydro – 25.5 percent, NICO – 10 percent, Total – 10 percent, LukAgip – 10 percent, TPAO – 9 percent, SOCAR-10 percent.

At present, gas is transported to Georgia and Turkey via the South Caucasus gas pipeline.

Europe is interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan in the energy sector, in particular within the Southern Gas Corridor framework.

The Southern Corridor is a priority EU energy project diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).

The Austrian company OMV is one of the shareholders of the Nabucco Consortium, which is one of the pipeline projects of the Southern Gas Corridor.

====

NATO Sees Off U.S. Marine-Trained Georgian Troops Heading To Afghan War Front

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=1&Id=1160

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 12, 2011

Georgian Peacekeeping Mission

The 31st light infantry battalion of the Georgian armed forces composed of 749 military service members is leaving for Afghanistan. They will take part in the NATO-led ISAF operation. The Georgian peacekeeping battalion will be engaged in the international security mission in the province of Helmand as part of the US military contingent. During 6 months they will be involved in counterinsurgency operations side by side with US Marines.

The farewell ceremony has been held today at the Vaziani military base. Among the guests attending the event were Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia, Chief of the Joint Staff of GAF Major-General Devi Chankotadze, top brass of MoD and armed forces, as well as foreign ambassadors and military attaches accredited in Georgia. The Georgian soldiers were accompanied on their way to Afghanistan by NATO delegation members led by Director of Force Planning, NATO Defence Policy and Planning Directorate Frank Boland.

Since April of 2010, the 31st infantry battalion of III infantry brigade consisting of 749 servicemen has been deployed in the province of Helmand, the south of Afghanistan, to perform a wide-range of operations under the support of the US forces. The 31st battalion was rotated by the 32nd battalion of III Infantry brigade in November 2010. Since April of 2011 the 33rd battalion has been fulfilling the mission. Now again the 31st light infantry battalion will be stationed in Afghanistan to replace the 33rd battalion.

It is already the second rotation for the 31st battalion personel, who are characterized by a high level of combat preparation and experience. The battalion has undergone a 6-month-long intensive training course getting ready for participation in the ISAF operation ongoing under the aegis of NATO. The Georgian soldiers were trained by the command of Trainers and Advisors Group of the US Marines…

The military unit underwent a special preparation on the bases of Vaziani and Krtsanisi Training centers. The battalion personnel were prepared in the German town of Hohenfelse in the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC). The level of training of the Georgian peacekeepers to perform the concrete tasks was positively assessed both by the Center’s experts and Trainers and Advisors` Group of the US Marines.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Henry Fielding: On the condign fate of Great Men and conquerors

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Henry Fielding
From The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great (1743)

Chapter One

Shewing the wholesome uses drawn from recording the achievements of those wonderful productions of nature called GREAT MEN

…But before we enter on this great work we must endeavour to remove some errors of opinion which mankind have, by the disingenuity of writers, contracted: for these, from their fear of contradicting the obsolete and absurd doctrines of a set of simple fellows, called, in derision, sages or philosophers, have endeavoured, as much as possible, to confound the ideas of greatness and goodness; whereas no two things can possibly be more distinct from each other, for greatness consists in bringing all manner of mischief on mankind, and goodness in removing it from them. It seems therefore very unlikely that the same person should possess them both; and yet nothing is more usual with writers, who find many instances of greatness in their favourite hero, than to make him a compliment of goodness into the bargain; and this, without considering that by such means they destroy the great perfection called uniformity of character. In the histories of Alexander and Caesar we are frequently, and indeed impertinently, reminded of their benevolence and generosity, of their clemency and kindness. When the former had with fire and sword overrun a vast empire, had destroyed the lives of an immense number of innocent wretches, had scattered ruin and desolation like a whirlwind, we are told, as an example of his clemency, that he did not cut the throat of an old woman, and ravish her daughters, but was content with only undoing them. And when the mighty Caesar, with wonderful greatness of mind, had destroyed the liberties of his country, and with all the means of fraud and force had placed himself at the head of his equals, had corrupted and enslaved the greatest people whom the sun ever saw, we are reminded, as an evidence of his generosity, of his largesses to his followers and tools, by whose means he had accomplished his purpose, and by whose assistance he was to establish it.

Now, who doth not see that such sneaking qualities as these are rather to be bewailed as imperfections than admired as ornaments in these great men; rather obscuring their glory, and holding them back in their race to greatness, indeed unworthy the end for which they seem to have come into the world, viz. of perpetrating vast and mighty mischief?

We hope our reader will have reason justly to acquit us of any such confounding ideas in the following pages; in which, as we are to record the actions of a great man, so we have nowhere mentioned any spark of goodness which had discovered itself either faintly in him, or more glaringly in any other person, but as a meanness and imperfection, disqualifying them for undertakings which lead to honour and esteem among men.

As our hero had as little as perhaps is to be found of that meanness, indeed only enough to make him partaker of the imperfection of humanity, instead of the perfection of diabolism, we have ventured to call him THE GREAT; nor do we doubt but our reader, when he hath perused his story, will concur with us in allowing him that title.

*****

Chapter Fourteen

Wild proceeds to the highest consummation of human greatness

The day now drew nigh when our great man was to exemplify the last and noblest act of greatness by which any hero can signalise himself. This was the day of execution, or consummation, or apotheosis (for it is called by different names), which was to give our hero an opportunity of facing death and damnation, without any fear in his heart, or, at least, without betraying any symptoms of it in his countenance. A completion of greatness which is heartily to be wished to every great man; nothing being more worthy of lamentation than when Fortune, like a lazy poet, winds up her catastrophe awkwardly, and, bestowing too little care on her fifth act, dismisses the hero with a sneaking and private exit, who had in the former part of the drama performed such notable exploits as must promise to every good judge among the spectators a noble, public, and exalted end.

But she was resolved to commit no such error in this instance. Our hero was too much and too deservedly her favourite to be neglected by her in his last moments; accordingly all efforts for a reprieve were vain, and the name of Wild stood at the head of those who were ordered for execution.

At length the morning came which Fortune at his birth had resolutely ordained for the consummation of our hero’s GREATNESS: he had himself indeed modestly declined the public honour she intended him, and had taken a quantity of laudanum, in order to retire quietly off the stage; but we have already observed, in the course of our wonderful history, that to struggle against this lady’s decrees is vain and impotent; and whether she hath determined you shall be hanged or be a prime minister, it is in either case lost labour to resist. Laudanum, therefore, being unable to stop the breath of our hero, which the fruit of hemp-seed, and not the spirit of poppy-seed, was to overcome, he was at the usual hour attended by the proper gentleman appointed for that purpose, and acquainted that the cart was ready. On this occasion he exerted that greatness of courage which hath been so much celebrated in other heroes; and, knowing it was impossible to resist, he gravely declared he would attend them. He then descended to that room where the fetters of great men are knocked off in a most solemn and ceremonious manner. Then shaking hands with his friends (to wit, those who were conducting him to the tree), and drinking their healths in a bumper of brandy, he ascended the cart, where he was no sooner seated than he received the acclamations of the multitude, who were highly ravished with his GREATNESS.

The cart now moved slowly on, being preceded by a troop of horse-guards bearing javelins in their hands, through streets lined with crowds all admiring the great behaviour of our hero, who rode on, sometimes sighing, sometimes swearing, sometimes singing or whistling, as his humour varied.

When he came to the tree of glory, he was welcomed with an universal shout of the people, who were there assembled in prodigious numbers to behold a sight much more rare in populous cities than one would reasonably imagine it should be, viz., the proper catastrophe of a great man.

But though envy was, through fear, obliged to join the general voice in applause on this occasion, there were not wanting some who maligned this completion of glory, which was now about to be fulfilled to our hero, and endeavoured to prevent it by knocking him on the head as he stood under the tree, while the ordinary was performing his last office. They therefore began to batter the cart with stones, brick-bats, dirt, and all manner of mischievous weapons, some of which, erroneously playing on the robes of the ecclesiastic, made him so expeditious in his repetition, that with wonderful alacrity he had ended almost in an instant, and conveyed himself into a place of safety in a hackney-coach, where he waited the compulsion with a temper of mind described in these verses:

Suave mari magno, turbantibus aequora ventis,
E terra alterius magnum spectare laborem.

We must not, however, omit one circumstance, as it serves to shew the most admirable conservation of character in our hero to his last moment, which was, that, whilst the ordinary was busy in his ejaculations, Wild, in the midst of the shower of stones, &c., which played upon him, applied his hands to the parson’s pocket, and emptied it of his bottle-screw, which he carried out of the world in his hand.

The ordinary being now descended from the cart, Wild had just opportunity to cast his eyes around the crowd, and to give them a hearty curse, when immediately the horses moved on, and with universal applause our hero swung out of this world.

Thus fell Jonathan Wild the GREAT, by a death as glorious as his life had been, and which was so truly agreeable to it, that the latter must have been deplorably maimed and imperfect without the former; a death which hath been alone wanting to complete the characters of several ancient and modern heroes, whose histories would then have been read with much greater pleasure by the wisest in all ages. Indeed we could almost wish that whenever Fortune seems wantonly to deviate from her purpose, and leaves her work imperfect in this particular, the historian would indulge himself in the license of poetry and romance, and even do a violence to truth, to oblige his reader with a page which must be the most delightful in all his history, and which could never fail of producing an instructive moral.

*****

Chapter Fifteen

The character of our hero, and the conclusion of this history.

…Jonathan Wild had every qualification necessary to form a great man. As his most powerful and predominant passion was ambition, so nature had, with consummate propriety, adapted all his faculties to the attaining those glorious ends to which this passion directed him. He was extremely ingenious in inventing designs, artful in contriving the means to accomplish his purposes, and resolute in executing them: for as the most exquisite cunning and most undaunted boldness qualified him for any undertaking, so was he not restrained by any of those weaknesses which disappoint the views of mean and vulgar souls, and which are comprehended in one general term of honesty, which is a corruption of HONOSTY, a word derived from what the Greeks call an ass. He was entirely free from those low vices of modesty and good-nature, which, as he said, implied a total negation of human greatness, and were the only qualities which absolutely rendered a man incapable of making a considerable figure in the world. His lust was inferior only to his ambition; but, as for what simple people call love, he knew not what it was. His avarice was immense, but it was of the rapacious, not of the tenacious kind; his rapaciousness was indeed so violent, that nothing ever contented him but the whole; for, however considerable the share was which his coadjutors allowed him of a booty, he was restless in inventing means to make himself master of the smallest pittance reserved by them.

[O]ur hero, by a constant and steady adherence to his rules in conforming everything he did to them, acquired at length a settled habit of walking by them, till at last he was in no danger of inadvertently going out of the way; and by these means he arrived at that degree of greatness, which few have equalled; none, we may say, have exceeded: for, though it must be allowed that there have been some few heroes, who have done greater mischiefs to mankind, such as those who have betrayed the liberty of their country to others, or have undermined and overpowered it themselves; or conquerors who have impoverished, pillaged, sacked, burnt, and destroyed the countries and cities of their fellow-creatures, from no other provocation than that of glory, i. e., as the tragic poet calls it,

a privilege to kill,
A strong temptation to do bravely ill;

yet, if we consider it in the light wherein actions are placed in this line,

Laetius est, quoties magno tibi constat honestum;

when we see our hero, without the least assistance or pretence, setting himself at the head of a gang, which he had not any shadow of right to govern; if we view him maintaining absolute power, and exercising tyranny over a lawless crew, contrary to all law but that of his own will; if we consider him setting up an open trade publickly, in defiance not only of the laws of his country but of the common sense of his countrymen; if we see him first contriving the robbery of others, and again the defrauding the very robbers of that booty, which they had ventured their necks to acquire, and which without any hazard, they might have retained; here sure he must appear admirable, and we may challenge not only the truth of history, but almost the latitude of fiction, to equal his glory.

Nor had he any of those flaws in his character which, though they have been commended by weak writers, have (as I hinted in the beginning of this history) by the judicious reader been censured and despised. Such was the clemency of Alexander and Caesar, which nature had so grossly erred in giving them, as a painter would who should dress a peasant in robes of state or give the nose or any other feature of a Venus to a satyr. What had the destroyers of mankind, that glorious pair, one of whom came into the world to usurp the dominion and abolish the constitution of his own country; the other to conquer, enslave, and rule over the whole world, at least as much as was well known to him, and the shortness of his life would give him leave to visit; what had, I say, such as these to do with clemency? Who cannot see the absurdity and contradiction of mixing such an ingredient with those noble and great qualities I have before mentioned? Now, in Wild everything was truly great, almost without alloy, as his imperfections (for surely some small ones he had) were only such as served to denominate him a human creature, of which kind none ever arrived at consummate excellence. But surely his whole behaviour to his friend Heartfree is a convincing proof that the true iron or steel greatness of his heart was not debased by any softer metal. Indeed, while greatness consists in power, pride, insolence, and doing mischief to mankind — to speak out — while a great man and a great rogue are synonymous terms, so long shall Wild stand unrivalled on the pinnacle of GREATNESS. Nor must we omit here, as the finishing of his character, what indeed ought to be remembered on his tomb or his statue, the conformity above mentioned of his death to his life; and that Jonathan Wild the Great, after all his mighty exploits, was, what so few GREAT men can accomplish — hanged by the neck till he was dead.

As to all the other persons mentioned in this history in the light of greatness, they had all the fate adapted to it, being every one hanged by the neck, save two, viz., Miss Theodosia Snap, who was transported to America, where she was pretty well married, reformed, and made a good wife; and the count, who recovered of the wound he had received from the hermit and made his escape into France, where he committed a robbery, was taken, and broke on the wheel.

Indeed, whoever considers the common fate of great men must allow they well deserve and hardly earn that applause which is given them by the world; for, when we reflect on the labours and pains, the cares, disquietudes, and dangers which attend their road to greatness, we may say with the divine that a man may go to heaven with half the pains which it costs him to purchase hell. To say the truth, the world have this reason at least to honour such characters as that of Wild: that, while it is in the power of every man to be perfectly honest, not one in a thousand is capable of being a complete rogue; and few indeed there are who, if they were inspired with the vanity of imitating our hero, would not after much fruitless pains be obliged to own themselves inferior to MR. JONATHAN WILD THE GREAT.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011 3 comments

====

U.S. NATO Envoy: Due To Libya War, Bloc Has Become Global Force

Devastation, Conquest Of Sirte Won’t End NATO War: Commander

Libya War: 25,550 NATO Air Missions, 9,478 Strike Sorties

Video And Text: Floundering In Libya, NATO Sets Sights On Fresh Targets

Syria And Beyond: World’s Strongest Non-NATO Nations Challenge U.S.-NATO World Agenda

U.S. Launches Propaganda Barrage Against Iran

U.S. To “Unite The World” Against Iran: Vice President Biden

29 Killed, Hundreds Wounded: Poland Extends Afghan Troop Deployment

Afghan War: Sweden To Transit Troops, Weapons Through Russia

Interview: Afghan Prisoner Abuse Exposes U.S. “Human Rights” Concerns

U.S. Military Plans New Airfield On Island Near Guam

“Enduring Commitment To Iraq”: NATO Continues Military Training

Iraq: Request For 5,000 U.S. Trainers, Expansion Of NATO Mission

Sadr Movement Strongly Opposed To Expanded NATO Role In Iraq

====

U.S. NATO Envoy: Due To Libya War, Bloc Has Become Global Force

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2195926&Language=en

Kuwait News Agency
October 12, 2011

NATO is now based on global security partnership due to Libya operation -official
By Hani Al-Bahrani

BRUSSELS: NATO has evolved from an Alliance focused on a singular threat, to an Alliance based on security partnership between the 28 members and the rest of the world, thanks to the military intervention in Libya, a senior NATO official said here.

“The Libya operation was a logical outflow of the view that we need to have partnerships with countries around the world. NATO would not have been intervened in Libya without the Arab League making this request to the UN Security Council,” said Ivo H. Daalder, United States Ambassador to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

His remarks were during a briefing on “US Policy on NATO”; as part of the US-NATO Program for Opinion Makers from the Middle East, held at NATO Headquarters last night.

In a response to a question by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Ambassador Daalder said, “NATO is a source of stability in an unpredictable world. You become a source of stability by being ready; to be able to act if a crisis demands that action.”

“Who wouldve though in November 2010 in Lisbon that four months later, NATO would lead a military operation in North Africa (Libya), under a UN mandate and at the behest of the Arab League….No one.”

NATOs 2010 Lisbon summit adopted a new “Strategic Concept”, the alliance’s new ten-year plan following the expiration of the previous plan adopted at the 1999 Washington summit.

“The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Morocco not only supported the operation, but also participated in it…

President Barack Obama appointed Daalder as the United States Ambassador to NATO in May 2009. He was a Director for European Affairs on President Clinton’s National Security Council staff from 1995 to 1997, where he was responsible for coordinating US policy toward Bosnia.

====

Devastation, Conquest Of Sirte Won’t End NATO War: Commander

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/October/international_October426.xml&section=international&col=

Agence France-Presse
October 11, 2011

Fall of Sirte won’t mean end of NATO mission

BRUSSELS: The fall of Moamer Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte will mark an “iconic” moment in Libya but it will not spell the end of NATO’s air campaign, the alliance’s top military officer told AFP on Tuesday.

Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of the NATO military committee, said Gaddafi loyalists were like a “cornered beast” as the new regime forces took control of key positions in the coastal town.

“When the ferocious beast is cornered, she will fight until the end,” Di Paola said in an interview at NATO headquarters. “On the one hand, yes, I am surprised by their capacity to resist but, on the other hand, they have no other choice.”

The Italian admiral said NTC victory in Sirte “will be an iconic moment” but that NATO will only end the mission once civilians are definitely out of harm’s way and the NTC is capable of keeping the whole country safe.

“The fall of Sirte is an important element, but like any decision it will not be the only factor,” he said.

A NATO diplomat said some allies will want the six-month-old mission to end once Sirte falls but others will argue that the alliance should make sure that all of Libya is secure before terminating the operations.

“It’s premature to work on closing the operation,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Despite a dramatic reduction in alliance air strikes in recent weeks, NATO defence ministers vowed after talks last week to keep bombing Gaddafi loyalists…

The last air strike in Sirte, for instance, took place on October 7 against a military vehicle.

Di Paola said any decision to end Operation Unified Protector will be taken in concert with the NTC…

====

Libya War: 25,550 NATO Air Missions, 9,478 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111012_111012-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 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

Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR air assets continue monitoring missions over Libya.

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 25,550 sorties, including 9,478 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 11 OCTOBER: 94

Strike sorties conducted 11 OCTOBER: 32

====

Video And Text: Floundering In Libya, NATO Sets Sights On Fresh Targets

http://rt.com/news/libya-nato-syria-operation-653/

RT
OCtober 12, 2011

Floundering in Libya, NATO sets sights on fresh targets
Lights. Camera. Faction! NATO’s pressure on war-press

Video

Massive civilian casualties and failure to finish the job in Libya have turned opposition to NATO’s invasion into open anger at the intervention, and at manipulation of media coverage of the conflict.

Watch Western TV and you would think all Libyans were thrilled with NATO’s bombing of their country.

Those who have visited Libya are hearing a very different story.
“They were just insulting Sarkozy, they were wondering, ‘why are they bombing us?’ They had no idea what was going on,” recalls Fred Dahlmann, an observer with the international mission to Libya.

Some of the French media who have been acting as cheerleaders for NATO and Sarkozy’s bombing campaign have left themselves open to charges of a conflict of interests – or, indeed, of shared ones.

As journalist and author Simon De Beer points out, “Le Figaro is owned by the guy who builds the planes Sarkozy is bombing Libya with.”  The leading French newspaper belongs to Serge Dassault, maker of the Dassault Rafale, France’s principal attack jet in Libya.

As NATO continues to battle alongside transitional government forces to secure the last pro-Gaddafi strongholds of Sirte and Bani Walid, some believe that is far from the end of the story.

“It is of course rather easy to win the battle, but not the war,” warns Ludo De Brabander from the Vrede Peace Movement. “So even with the fall of Sirte and Bani Walid maybe soon, that doesn’t mean victory for NATO or the Transitional Council. It depends in which way the rebel government is supported by the population.”

People in Libya say the thousands of civilians killed are turning the population against NATO. And that is why the West still cannot declare victory despite many months of bombing.

With the fighting not yet over in Libya, Washington and Brussels are now setting their sights elsewhere, pressing for a UN resolution against Syria, similar to the one that gave the green light to the intervention in Libya.
But how can the West lecture Damascus, asks former Belgian Senator Pierre Galand, after the humanitarian catastrophe it has just caused?

“We have double vision: one vision in Syria and crimes against humanity, and quite another vision in Libya with the 10,000 civilians dead – and yet, that is a ‘war of liberation,’” exclaims Galand.

NATO stands accused of turning a blind eye to huge civilian casualties in Libya. But that approach may come back to haunt the alliance, as the people at the sharp end of the intervention count the cost of their losses and grief.

====

Syria And Beyond: World’s Strongest Non-NATO Nations Challenge U.S.-NATO World Agenda

http://rt.com/politics/columns/aleksey-pushkov-column/syria-us-russia-military/

RT
October 11, 2011

Bye bye, American lie
Aleksey Pushkov

-The UNSC vote has…demonstrated that the world’s most prominent non-NATO countries are no longer willing to unquestioningly stand behind the United States and its allies in all of their military adventures. The stonewalled resolution on Syria is not a one-off, occasional failure of US diplomacy: it is a yet another event signaling a fundamental change in the global balance of power. America’s free-shoot bonanza of the 1990s–2000s is over, and there is no way Washington will turn the tide.

The biggest foreign policy event of the past few weeks has been the UN Security Council vote on the draft resolution on Syria, tabled by a US-led group of Western countries and eventually vetoed by Russia and China. The United States and its allies were hoping to push through a resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad and his government for their crackdown on anti-government protesters, which would provide for an increased international pressure on Damascus, and possibly pave the way for a military operation. Their intended scenario appeared similar to that in Libya: using the country’s internal violence to justify an intervention and launching an air strike campaign to depose Syria’s present government. But this time, Russia and China made it clear they would not allow the West to stage the same stunt in Syria.

Following this slapdown, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that Moscow and Beijing would now have to “explain their vetoes to the Syrian people.”

What I find most remarkable is how the United States always manages to assume a self-righteous posture and point fingers without even trying to apply a similar reasoning to itself.

For starters, why doesn’t Washington try to explain itself to the people of Iraq? What do you say was your case for invading that country – and whatever it was, was it worth the 100,000 to 300,000 civilians that have since perished there?

Furthermore, Senator Clinton should have something to tell the people of Afghanistan with regard to all the “collateral damage” regularly inflicted by coalition forces.

Last but not least, the US and NATO owe an explanation for the ongoing bombing campaign in Libya, which was launched on the pretext of protecting the civilian population and has claimed hundreds of civilian lives, including women and children, with NATO jets pulverizing urban neighborhoods for their own safety.

Secretary of State Clinton’s rant has testified to the fact that the US under President Obama is not giving up its double standards on foreign affairs, not by a long shot. All its human rights rhetoric and posturing boils down to a familiar attitude: we are the force for good, and we define what “good” means, so either you jump on our bandwagon or shut up.

The bottom line is that, in stark contrast to US actions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Russia has not committed any crimes against civilians in Syria. So it is not Russia that owes an explanation.

The veto imposed by Russia and China was to be expected. Neither Moscow nor Beijing would like to see the Libyan scenario replayed in Syria. The UNSC Resolution 1973 on Libya has taught the world a lesson, as it was used by NATO to provide direct military support to the insurgents by supplying them with arms and deploying spec op squads in a supposedly internal conflict.

The UNSC vote on Syria was also telling in that three other up-and-coming international players chose to abstain from it: Brazil, India and South Africa, which form the BRICS together with Russia and China. The policy makers in Washington had presumably pushed for the vote hoping that Moscow and Beijing would eventually back down and not go as far as exercising their right to veto. Turns out they guessed wrong.

The argument in the Security Council saw a proper exchange of harsh criticism between the US and Russian delegations. Russia’s Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin blasted the Western draft resolution, saying it could “spark off a full-scale military conflict in Syria and eventually destabilize the entire region.”

US Ambassador Susan Rice retorted by describing the Russian-Chinese stance as a “cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.”

The Russian envoy returned the accusation, saying he found it odd that such criticism should come from the representative of a nation that has been “pumping hundreds of billions of dollars worth of military hardware into the area.”

The UNSC vote has also demonstrated that the world’s most prominent non-NATO countries are no longer willing to unquestioningly stand behind the United States and its allies in all of their military adventures. The stonewalled resolution on Syria is not a one-off, occasional failure of US diplomacy: it is a yet another event signaling a fundamental change in the global balance of power. America’s free-shoot bonanza of the 1990s–2000s is over, and there is no way Washington will turn the tide.

====

U.S. Launches Propaganda Barrage Against Iran

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/12/58609692.html

Voice of Russia
October 12, 2011

Iran under US propaganda attack
Boris Volkhonsky

-Some experts find the scandal well-timed. Iran has been the main Mideast irritator for the US for too long, hampering its total control of the Great Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan. At the same time US main allies in the region are Saudi Arabia and Israel…Thus, even if no plot existed at all it should have been invented not to miss this ideal moment to launch a propaganda attack on Iran.

The US and Iran are in the middle of the worst scandal ever. On Tuesday Washington accused two Iranians, including one naturalized American, of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Washington Adel al-Jubeir. The conspiracy was revealed by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration which found two suspects, Manssor Arbabsiar, and Gholam Shakuri, who are claimed to have asked Mexican drug cartels for help in arranging the murder. The arrested testify that they were masterminded by Iranian high-ranking officials and planned to explode Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Washington.

House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers said that Iran’s government, the Republican Guard, and its special operations unit, the Quds Force, obviously knew about the plot.

The Saudi government reacted briefly stating that the plot is a despicable violation of international norms, standards and conventions. The Wall Street Journal cites a source in the Saudi government who noted that the plot targets King Abdullah as Ambassador in the US is his confidant. Iran in its turn has denied all accusations calling them “big lies that will go nowhere”.

“These sorts of cliché behaviors are based on the old hostile policies of America and the Zionists, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmaparast, and are just foolish games”.

Iran’s UN envoy Mohammad Khazaee forwarded a letter of complaint to Ban Ki-moon saying that Iran strongly condemns these shameful claims of being linked to the crime.

And now let’s look at what we have: no murder attempt was carried out. Evidence of the plot and its mastermind are indirect: only the ethnic origin of the arrested and their alleged claims. This case seems to lack the presumption of innocence as the suspects pled guilty even before the trial.

Some experts find the scandal well-timed. Iran has been the main Mideast irritator for the US for too long, hampering its total control of the Great Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan. At the same time US main allies in the region are Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Religion also has its say in the situation – Sunni Arabia and Jewish Israel can’t be close friends with Shiite Iran.

High tension in the region is proved by the recent events – the Arab Spring, the spy scandal in which Iran arrested several alleged US spies, and the murders of Iranian nuclear physicists for which Iran blamed Israel.

Thus, even if no plot existed at all it should have been invented not to miss this ideal moment to launch a propaganda attack on Iran.

====

U.S. To “Unite The World” Against Iran: Vice President Biden

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/12/national/main20119095.shtml

CBS News/Associated Press
October 12, 2011

U.S. aims to “unite the world” against Iran

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration plans to leverage charges that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States into a new global campaign to isolate the Islamic republic.

“It’s critically important that we unite the world in the isolation of and dealing with the Iranians,” Vice President Joe Biden said on “The Early Show” Wednesday. “That’s the surest way to be able to get results.”

U.S. officials say the administration will lobby for the imposition of new international sanctions as well as for individual nations to expand their own penalties against Iran based on allegations that Iranian agents tried to recruit a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi envoy on American soil.

Biden also said that U.S. action against Iran could go beyond sanctions, but added that “we’re not going there yet.”

“This really, in the minds of many diplomats and government officials, crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. She said she and President Barack Obama want to “enlist more countries in working together against what is becoming a clearer and clearer threat” from Iran.

Britain’s government said Wednesday it was consulting with the U.S. and others over new international sanctions against Iran. “We would support any measures that help hold Iran accountable for its actions,” said Steve Field, spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Clinton and other U.S. officials said the alleged plot is a gross violation of international law and further proof that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, a label Washington has for decades applied to the Iranian government. The officials said it also underscores concerns that despite its denials Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian atomic energy program.

Mr. Obama called al-Jubeir on Tuesday to declare that the foiled assassination plot was a “flagrant” violation of U.S. and international law, the White House said. The president expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia and said he was committed to ensuring the security of diplomats in the United States. White House press secretary Jay Carney disclosed broad outlines of the call in a statement.

Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, called the Justice Department’s claims a “childish game.”

“These are cheap claims. By giving it a wide media coverage, it was evident that they are trying to cover up their own problems,” Larijani told an open session of the parliament Wednesday.

“They (Americans) suffered a political stroke and learned that they had begun a childish game,” he said. “We have normal relations with the Saudis. There is no reason for Iran to carry out such childish acts.”

====

29 Killed, Hundreds Wounded: Poland Extends Afghan Troop Deployment

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20111012/167594727.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 12, 2011

Poland extends military presence in Afghanistan until Apr. 2012

WARSAW: Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski extended on Wednesday the mandate for the country’s peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan until April 13, 2012, the Polish press agency said.

The decision was made upon a proposal from the government, led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Poland currently maintains a 2,600-troop contingent in the war-torn Central Asian country as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

In line with Wednesday’s decision, Poland will have 2,500 troops deployed in Afghanistan.

Twenty nine Polish soldiers have been killed and hundreds wounded since Poland sent its troops to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in the country in 2002.

====

Afghan War: Sweden To Transit Troops, Weapons Through Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/12/58569506.html

Itar-Tass
October 12, 2011

Russia and Sweden sign deal on military transit to Afghanistan

       
The foreign ministers of Russia and Sweden have signed an agreement on Swedish military transit across Russian territory to Afghanistan.

The intergovernmental document refers to arms, military equipment and personnel. The agreement was concluded in line with Swedish armed forces’ efforts to contribute to the stabilization process in Afghanistan.

====

Interview: Afghan Prisoner Abuse Exposes U.S. “Human Rights” Concerns

http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/204043.html

Press TV
October 11, 2011

Afghan prisoner abuse discredits US alleged human rights concern

Audio:

The recent UN report that sheds light on widespread torture and mistreatment of inmates in Afghan prisons exposes the false claims of Western powers’ alleged concern for the well-being of Afghan civilians, says the manager of Stop NATO.

“It also exposes once again the lack of honesty from western powers when they talk about civil society and human rights and such like” Rick Rozoff told Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Tuesday.

According to a report released Monday by the United Nations, detainees in Afghan prisons are mistreated and tortured. They are hung from ceilings by their wrists, severely beaten with cables and wooden sticks and are treated with electric shocks. The report said that many of the detainees are not yet charged with crimes.

Both U.S. and NATO military trainers and counterparts have been working closely with these authorities, consistently supervising the detention facilities and funding their operations, according to Antiwar.com.

Rozoff concluded that such treatment of suspected militants is “reprehensible”, “shocking” and “inexcusable”.

====

U.S. Military Plans New Airfield On Island Near Guam

http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/u-s-military-mulls-new-airfield-on-islands-near-guam-1.157450

Stars and Stripes
October 11, 2011

U.S. military mulls new airfield on islands near Guam
By Travis J. Tritten

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa: The U.S. Air Force said Tuesday it is looking into the possibility of constructing an airfield on one of the islands near Guam to support…training in the Asia-Pacific region.

If built, the facility could provide extra runway space in the event of a major disaster in Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, or other countries in the region and could allow U.S. military aircraft on Guam to continue flying if military airfields on the U.S. territory are knocked out, said Capt. Timothy Lundberg, a spokesman for Andersen Air Force Base.

Officials said the proposal is unrelated to U.S. plans for a historic military buildup on Guam that could cost about $24 billion over the next decade and include turning the territory into an Air Force reconnaissance hub…

The Air Force is considering the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota as possible locations for the facility, which would ideally have a 10,000-foot runway and be big enough to accommodate a squadron of KC-130 aircraft and about 500 personnel, according to an Air Force notice in the Federal Register.

====

“Enduring Commitment To Iraq”: NATO Continues Military Training

http://www.arrc.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page16850214.aspx

NATO Training Mission – Iraq
October 6, 2011

Training Standards Authority Course Graduation

BAGHDAD, Iraq: A graduation ceremony took place on October 6, at the Ministerial Training and Development Centre (MTDC), Baghdad, at the conclusion of the Training Standards Authority (TSA) Course delivered by the Training Management Team of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I).

The course graduating this week is the first Training Standards Authority Course to be offered. It is aimed at Iraqi Staff Officers from branch directorates who are responsible for defining Training Standards and evaluating the outcome of training.

The TSA course is one element of the Training Management Development programme led by NTM-I that aims to provide the Iraqi Security Forces with opportunities to further develop their Training Management process.

In his speech during the ceremony, Iraqi Staff Major General Mizher Shaher Ensaif, Chief of Staff to the Iraqi Deputy Chief of Staff Training, congratulated the students for their achievement and stressed how the course had provided a useful opportunity for the students to develop the Iraqi training system. Brigadier General Russ Wardle, Chief Training, Education & Doctrine Advisory Division of the NATO mission…

The Training Management Programme will continue with selection of dedicated MTDC instructors who will work with NTM-I to deliver future courses. A further Training Managers’ course will follow in November. The first Training Delivery Authority courseis scheduled towards the end of the year, andit is intended thatthis will be delivered jointly by NTM-I and MTDC Instructors.

“This is a very important step forward in the direction of developing the Training Management expertise within the Iraqi Security Forces,” said Major General Armentani, Deputy Commander of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq.

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…

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

====

Iraq: Request For 5,000 U.S. Trainers, Expansion Of NATO Mission

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/11/2449098/iraq-says-its-asked-for-5000-us.html

McClatchy Newspapers
October 12, 2011

Iraq says it’s asked for 5,000 U.S. trainers, awaits reply
By Sahar Issa

-“If the Americans do not agree to leave behind the trainers without immunity, then we have three choices: to ask for trainers of the (weapons) manufacturing companies, to seek the assistance of NATO or to send members of the Iraqi armed forces to train abroad,” Talabani said.
-Whether the NATO training mission, whose troops do have immunity from prosecution under Iraqi laws, could be expanded to include the sought-after American trainers isn’t clear. That mission has existed since 2004. Some of its training takes place outside Iraq.

BAGHDAD: Iraq has requested that more than 5,000 U.S. military trainers stay on past the formal U.S. withdrawal date of Dec. 31, and it’s awaiting a “yes or no” from the United States, according to a statement that President Jalal Talabani issued late Monday.

The statement, which appeared in most Iraqi newspapers Tuesday, is the first by any American or Iraqi official to detail the size of the U.S. training contingent that the Iraqis have requested. It seemed to make clear that there were no further discussions likely on the thorny issue of immunity, something U.S. officials have always said was a non-negotiable condition of leaving American troops in Iraq.

“We have agreed to retain more than 5,000 American trainers, without giving them immunity,” Talabani said. “We have sent them our agreement to retain this number and are awaiting their response: yes or no.”

Last week, Iraqi officials, including Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, released a statement that said they’d agreed to ask for U.S. trainers but wouldn’t submit the deal to the Iraqi parliament for approval and wouldn’t request immunity. The statement was without details, and U.S. officials, expressing uncertainty about its meaning, said that negotiations were continuing.

Talabani’s more specific statement seemed intended to clarify that, at least from an Iraqi perspective, negotiations were over, and the U.S. was expected merely either to agree to stay on or decline to do so.

“If the Americans do not agree to leave behind the trainers without immunity, then we have three choices: to ask for trainers of the (weapons) manufacturing companies, to seek the assistance of NATO or to send members of the Iraqi armed forces to train abroad,” Talabani said.

U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington, including at the White House, declined to comment Tuesday.

The issue of immunity is a major one for both sides. U.S. officials have insisted that they can’t agree to leave American troops in Iraq unless they’re protected from prosecution by Iraqi authorities.

But Iraqi lawmakers told McClatchy last week that the U.S. has proved unreliable in prosecuting Americans who killed Iraqis on its own during the last eight years, citing specifically the failure to convict any of eight Marines charged with killing women and children in the town of Haditha in 2005. Only one of the Marines was taken before a court-martial, and he was acquitted. Charges were dropped against six others and the eighth has never been tried.

Talabani said the decision to request the U.S. trainers came after Iraq’s military leaders reported that their troops didn’t know how to use “the modern weapons recently imported.”

Whether the NATO training mission, whose troops do have immunity from prosecution under Iraqi laws, could be expanded to include the sought-after American trainers isn’t clear. That mission has existed since 2004. Some of its training takes place outside Iraq.

The decision to request the 5,000 U.S. trainers came after months of discussions within Iraq’s political groups, and the agreement not to seek a formal vote in parliament was symptomatic of the controversy that surrounds it. Even supporters of extending the American presence would find it difficult to take that position in public.

Many key political blocs remain vocal in their opposition.

Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of an influential bloc whose backing allowed Maliki to form a government after the last elections, made certain that his opposition to the American presence was clear in a posting on the Sadr bloc’s website.

“I do not approve of the continued presence of any of the occupiers; not the military, not the bases, trainers, embassy, militias (contractors) or anything else American,” he wrote. “If my finger were American, I would cut it off.”

(Issa is a McClatchy special correspondent.)

====

Sadr Movement Strongly Opposed To Expanded NATO Role In Iraq

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9007160594

Fars News Agency
October 12, 2011

Sadr Movement Strongly Opposed to Deployment of NATO Forces in Iraq

TEHRAN: A senior member of the Shiite Sadr Movement voiced people’s strong opposition to the deployment of the NATO forces in Iraq, describing such plans as a “ridiculous idea”.

“The Sadr Movement strongly condemns the yesterday statements of the Iraqi prime minister (Nuri al-Maliki) on the deployment of the NATO forces in Iraq’s soil and believes that such remarks are against the will of the Iraqi nation and that they will never accept such a thing,” Hussein al-Sharifi told FNA on Wednesday.

He underlined the necessity for the pullout of all occupying forces from Iraq as a main demand of all Iraqi people, and said, “The Sadr Movement is still opposed to the presence of the US occupying forces under any name and any pretext.”

Sharifi’s remarks came after the Monday statements by Maliki that US troops might still be able to stay in Iraq as trainers beyond a 2011 withdrawal date, even though the country’s political blocs have rejected giving immunity to any American soldiers.

Maliki told Reuters US troops could be attached to the existing US embassy training mission, or join a broader NATO training group, rather than seek a bilateral deal requiring US immunity that would fail to pass Iraq’s parliament.

“Since the need for training exists and all the political blocs acknowledge that, we have a number of choices. Now there is a dialogue between us and the Americans,” Maliki said in an interview at his presidential residence in Baghdad.

“We are heading toward securing trainers and experts for the American weapons we purchased, but without immunity and without going to parliament.”

The US military agreement signed between Baghdad and Washington at the end of November 2008 stipulates the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq by December 31, 2011 as a deadline.

But, the US has been pressing senior Iraqi officials to revise their decision on the US pullout and demand Washington to keep its troops in the country beyond their scheduled departure in the yearend.

Iraqi state officials as well as religious and political figures have all condemned the US attempts to extend the mission of its troops in the country.

A large number of Iraqi politicians and religious leaders believe that the US is seeking to find or even create a pretext for extending its military presence in the country.

Last month, a prominent member of the Iraqi parliament cautioned that the US has slowed down training of Iraq’s security forces in a bid to find an excuse to prolong its military presence in the war-torn country.

“The US has deliberately avoided strengthening the Iraqi forces and refrained from providing them with the necessary training in an attempt to prepare the ground for extending the security deal for a number of years,” Nabil Harbo, who is a member of al-Iraqiya Coalition, told FNA at the time.

The lawmaker lashed out at the US for its inaction in fulfilling its undertakings as stipulated in the Baghdad-Washington security deal, and stressed training Iraq’s forces is merely an excuse for a longer occupation of the country.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Stephen Leacock: The war mania of middle age and embonpoint

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Stephen Leacock: In The Good Time After The War

It is easy to pay with the blood of others: Simone de Beauvoir

*****

Stephen Leacock
The War Mania of Mr. Jinks and Mr. Blinks (1915)

*****

What I noticed chiefly about the war mania of Jinks and Blinks was their splendid indifference to slaughter. They had gone into the war with a grim resolution to fight it out to a finish. If Blinks thought to terrify Jinks by threatening to burn London, he little knew his man. “All right,” said Jinks, taking a fresh light for his cigar, “burn it! By doing so, you destroy, let us say, two million of my women and children? Very good. Am I injured by that? No. You merely stimulate me to recruiting.”

*****

They were sitting face to face at a lunch table at the club so near to me that I couldn’t avoid hearing what they said. In any case they are both stout men with gurgling voices which carry.

“What Kitchener ought to do,” – Jinks was saying in a loud voice.

So I knew at once that he had the prevailing hallucination. He thought he was commanding armies in Europe.

After which I watched him show with three bits of bread and two olives and a dessert knife the way in which the German army could be destroyed.

Blinks looked at Jinks’ diagram with a stern impassive face, modelled on the Sunday supplement photogravures of Lord Kitchener.

“Your flank would be too much exposed,” he said, pointing to Jinks’ bread. He spoke with the hard taciturnity of a Joffre.

“My reserves cover it,” said Jinks, moving two pepper pots to the support of the bread.

“Mind you,” Jinks went on, “I don’t say Kitchener will do this: I say this is what he ought to do: it’s exactly the tactics of Kuropatkin outside of Mukden and it’s precisely the same turning movement that Grant used before Richmond.”

Blinks nodded gravely. Anybody who has seen the Grand Duke Nicholoevitch quietly accepting the advice of General Ruski under heavy artillery fire, will realize Blinks’ manner to a nicety.

And, oddly enough, neither of them, I am certain, has ever had any larger ideas about the history of the Civil War than what can be got from reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin and seeing Gillette play Secret Service. But this is part of the mania. Jinks and Blinks had suddenly developed the hallucination that they knew the history of all wars by a sort of instinct.

They rose soon after that, dusted off their waistcoats with their napkins and waddled heavily towards the door. I could hear them as they went talking eagerly of the need of keeping the troops in hard training. They were almost brutal in their severity. As they passed out of the door, – one at a time to avoid crowding, – they were still talking about it. Jinks was saying that our whole generation is overfed and soft. If he had his way he would take every man in the United States up to forty-seven years of age (Jinks is forty-eight) and train him to a shadow. Blinks went further. He said they should be trained hard up to fifty. He is fifty-one.

After that I used to notice Jinks and Blinks always together in the club, and always carrying on the European War.

I never knew which side they were on. They seemed to be on both. One day they commanded huge armies of Russians, and there was one week when Blinks and Jinks at the head of vast levies of Cossacks threatened to overrun the whole of Western Europe. It was dreadful to watch them burning churches and monasteries and to see Jinks throw whole convents full of white robed nuns into the flames like so much waste paper.

For a time I feared they would obliterate civilization itself. Then suddenly Blinks decided that Jinks’ Cossacks were no good, not properly trained. He converted himself on the spot into a Prussian Field Marshal, declared himself organised to a pitch of organisation of which Jinks could form no idea, and swept Jinks’ army off the earth, without using any men at all, by sheer organisation.

In this way they moved to and fro all winter over the map of Europe, carrying death and destruction everywhere and revelling in it.

But I think I liked best the wild excitement of their naval battles.

Jinks generally fancied himself a submarine and Blinks acted the part of a first-class battleship. Jinks would pop his periscope out of the water, take a look at Blinks merely for the fraction of a second, and then, like a flash, would dive under water again and start firing his torpedoes. He explained that he carried six.

But he was never quick enough for Blinks. One glimpse of his periscope miles and miles away was enough. Blinks landed him a contact shell in the side, sunk him with all hands, and then lined his yards with men and cheered. I have known Blinks sink Jinks at two miles, six miles – and once – in the club billiard room just after the battle of the Falkland Islands, – he got him fair and square at ten nautical miles.

Jinks of course claimed that he was not sunk. He had dived. He was two hundred feet under water quietly smiling at Blinks through his periscope. In fact the number of things that Jinks has learned to do through his periscope passes imagination.

Whenever I see him looking across at Blinks with his eyes half closed and with a baffling, quizzical expression in them, I know that he is looking at him through his periscope. Now is the time for Blinks to watch out. If he relaxes his vigilance for a moment he’ll be torpedoed as he sits, and sent flying, whiskey and soda and all, through the roof of the club, while Jinks dives into the basement.

Indeed it has come about of late, I don’t know just how, that Jinks has more or less got command of the sea. A sort of tacit understanding has been reached that Blinks, whichever army he happens at the moment to command, is invincible on land. But Jinks, whether as a submarine or a battleship, controls the sea. No doubt this grew up in the natural evolution of their conversation. It makes things easier for both. Jinks even asks Blinks how many men there are in an army division, and what a sotnia of Cossacks is and what the Army Service Corps means. And Jinks in return has become a recognized expert in torpedoes and has taken to wearing a blue serge suit and referring to Lord Beresford as Charley.

But what I noticed chiefly about the war mania of Jinks and Blinks was their splendid indifference to slaughter. They had gone into the war with a grim resolution to fight it out to a finish. If Blinks thought to terrify Jinks by threatening to burn London, he little knew his man. “All right,” said Jinks, taking a fresh light for his cigar, “burn it! By doing so, you destroy, let us say, two million of my women and children? Very good. Am I injured by that? No. You merely stimulate me to recruiting.”

There was something awful in the grimness of the struggle as carried on by Blinks and Jinks.

The rights of neutrals and non-combatants, Red Cross nurses, and regimental clergymen they laughed to scorn. As for moving-picture men and newspaper correspondents, Jinks and Blinks hanged them on every tree in Belgium and Poland.

With combatants in this frame of mind the war I suppose might have lasted forever.

But it came to an end accidentally, – fortuitously, as all great wars are apt to. And by accident also, I happened to see the end of it.

It was late one evening. Jinks and Blinks were coming down the steps of the club, and as they came they were speaking with some vehemence on their favourite topic.

“I tell you,” Jinks was saying, “war is a great thing. We needed it, Blinks. We were all getting too soft, too scared of suffering and pain. We wilt at a bayonet charge, we shudder at the thought of wounds. Bah!” he continued, “what does it matter if a few hundred thousands of human beings are cut to pieces. We need to get back again to the old Viking standard, the old pagan ideas of suffering – “

And as he spoke he got it.

The steps of the club were slippery with the evening’s rain, – not so slippery as the frozen lakes of East Prussia or the hills where Jinks and Blinks had been campaigning all winter, but slippery enough for a stout man whose nation has neglected his training. As Jinks waved his stick in the air to illustrate the glory of a bayonet charge, he slipped and fell sideways on the stone steps. His shin bone smacked against the edge of the stone in a way that was pretty well up to the old Viking standard of such things. Blinks with the shock of the collision fell also, – backwards on the top step, his head striking first. He lay, to all appearance, as dead as the most insignificant casualty in Servia.

I watched the waiters carrying them into the club, with that new field ambulance attitude towards pain which is getting so popular. They had evidently acquired precisely the old pagan attitude that Blinks and Jinks desired.

And the evening after that I saw Blinks and Jinks, both more or less bandaged, sitting in a corner of the club beneath a rubber tree, making peace.

Jinks was moving out of Montenegro and Blinks was foregoing all claims to Polish Prussia; Jinks was offering Alsace-Lorraine to Blinks, and Blinks in a fit of chivalrous enthusiasm was refusing to take it. They were disbanding troops, blowing up fortresses, sinking their warships and offering indemnities which they both refused to take. Then as they talked, Jinks leaned forward and said something to Blinks in a low voice, – a final proposal of terms evidently.

Blinks nodded, and Jinks turned and beckoned to a waiter, with the words, –

“One Scotch whiskey and soda, and one stein of Wurtemburger Bier -“

And when I heard this, I knew that the war was over.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 1 comment

====

Libya: 25,456 NATO Air Missions, 9,446 Strike Sorties

NATO To Stay In Libya As Long As It Chooses To: Rasmussen

Libya, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Somalia: NATO “Indispensable Alliance”

Romania: NATO Thanks Host For War Support On Three Continents

Maliki: U.S. Troops Can Stay In Iraq Under NATO Auspices

Saudi Arabia: Largest Weapons Exports In U.S. History

Analyst: Turkey May Attempt Overthrow Of Syrian Government With NATO Backing

NATO States Plan UN Resolution On Yemen

Cairo Massacre Ruined Last Illusion About “Arab Spring”

Indian Ocean: NATO Follows Pentagon Into Seychelles

Pakistan’s New Option: Turning To Eastern Neighbors

U.S. Congressional Delegation: Georgian NATO Integration “Irreversible”

U.S. Congressmen Pledge Georgian NATO Bid For Chicago Summit

Ultimate Stealth Warplane: U.S. Navy Tests Robotic Strike Fighter

Mediterranean: NATO’s Plans For Spain, Gibraltar, North Africa

Czech Republic Loses Fifth Soldier To NATO’s Afghan War

After Sarkozy Visit, Azerbaijan Pushes “Peacekeepers” In Karabakh

GUAM Pushes Trans-Adriatic, Caspian-To-Baltic Oil Pipelines

GUAM Chief: Azerbaijan Can Export 40 Billion Cubic Centimeters Of Gas To Europe

China-Russia Cooperation Conducive To More Balanced World

Guam: Indigenous Group Protests U.S. Warplane Exercises

====

Libya: 25,456 NATO Air Missions, 9,446 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_10/20111011_111011-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 11, 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 25,456 sorties, including 9,446 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 10 OCTOBER: 89

Strike sorties conducted 10 OCTOBER: 24

====

NATO To Stay In Libya As Long As It Chooses To: Rasmussen

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/11/c_131183598.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 11, 2011

NATO to stay in Libya as long as it takes: Rasmussen

BUCHAREST: The North-Atlantic alliance is to remain deployed in Libya as long as there are threats to the local civil population, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.

“We are…going to keep our operation as long as it takes…,,” Rasmussen told a joint press conference with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi.

However, the NATO Secretary General said NATO’s mission in Libya was close to its end, and that the alliance was ready to conclude its operation as soon as the situation on the field requires it.

Rasmussen is in Bucharest for the 57th annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held between October 7 and 10.

He also met during his visit wi