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Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

NATO allow weapons to Rebels OPENLY

Telegraph August 12th, 2011

By kingsley

Arms controls continue to be flouted in the context of the Libyan armed conflict. Both France and Qatar have openly admitted to supplying arms to the rebels as a complementary strategy to the NATO-led air strikes. Such actions not only undermine the United Nations arms embargo regime, but may also violate contractual obligations between arms-exporting and arms-importing states.

When arms are officially exported from one government to another, the recipient government is usually required to endorse an end-user certificate. This is a written commitment from the arms-purchasing government that it will not transfer the arms to other parties, especially if such a transfer is in violation of a UN arms embargo. However, there is no international end-user monitoring and enforcement process in place. Monitoring is the sole preserve of the exporting state, but such monitoring is typically under-developed, with the US ‘Blue Lantern’ programme being the most advanced.

Qatar’s arming of the Libyan rebels is particularly problematic as Qatar imports the vast majority of its arms, and hence would have been required to endorse end-user certificates. Over the past five years Qatar’s main arms supplier has been the United States (in monetary terms), but it has also imported arms from many other states, such as France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and South Africa. The key question to be asked is, to what extent has Qatar reneged on end-user agreements?

Article

Video of smuggled armaments

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Politicking in the Mos Eisley Cantina

Monday 25 April 2011
by: Davidson Loehr, Truthout

Our economic and political mess became more clear once I realized that most of the important political deals take place in the Mos Eisley Cantina. You know the scene from the first “Star Wars” movie in 1977: a dark, smoky bar located somewhere in a twilight zone: a liminal and lawless hideout where the ethically reprehensible is the norm.

We know our elected officials don’t do their political work up in the daylight of our world, because none of the big ticket laws they pass have anything to do with what the majority of our citizens want. There are differences between the two political parties, but they’re differences of degree, not kind. How can it be that the people we elected to serve us routinely sell us out to the highest bidders?

The majority of US citizens are against our illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and our bombing of Libya to remove Qaddafi, the brutal dictator we have coddled for decades. And a majority of our citizens would also be against our other four military operations – in Yemen, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa and Columbia – if they knew about them. Most of us were not fooled when President Obama said he unilaterally authorized bombing Libya because his heart bled for the half million citizens Qaddafi will probably kill – though for the past week, it seems we’ve stopped caring. If our hearts really bled that easily for the slaughter of innocents, why didn’t we invade countries that had no oil? And if we think the death of a half million innocents is repugnant enough to demand preventative action, what about President Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq, which caused the deaths of half a million Iraqi children? When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US secretary of state] thought that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children from sanctions in Iraq was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.” (See here.)

The majority of our citizens want our soldiers brought home now. As John Kerry said to our House Foreign Relations Committee in 1970 about the ongoing Vietnam War: “How do you ask someone to be the last person to die for a mistake?” Today’s answer seems to be that members of Congress do it without much genuine emotion, because wars – whether right or wrong – are immensely profitable for some of the corporations whose lobbyists woo our representatives in dark places. And few if any of their children are going to be in those wars.

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McClatchy Newspapers April 12, 2011

By Shashank Bengali

BENGHAZI, Libya — Khalifa Hifter thought he’d be America’s man in Libya.

He’d spent the last 24 years living under what he calls U.S. government protection in suburban northern Virginia. Before he returned to Libya last month, State Department and CIA officials sought him out for meetings. He delivered to them wish lists of weapons and vehicles to bolster the fight against Moammar Gadhafi.

To his frustration, however, U.S. officials haven’t contacted him since. They’ve ignored his pleas for direct military support while the rebels steadily lose ground to Gadhafi’s better-equipped forces.

“The United States is a second home to me,” Hifter said. “They should be cooperating with me to help the Libyan people.”

There’s also a dispute about his role with the rebel army, a controversy that may help explain why the rebels appear nearly as disorganized now as they were when their revolt began two months ago.

In one of his first interviews since he returned to Libya, Hifter said that he’d been appointed the rebels’ field commander this week. The hourlong interview he gave to two reporters Monday was arranged by the official rebel military spokesman and conducted in an office in the rebels’ military headquarters. An organizational chart Hifter displayed showed him as equal to Gen. Abdelfatah Younis, a former Gadhafi interior minister who also lays claim to rebel command.

Read all about it at

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Militarized Conservatism and End(s) of Higher Education

Tuesday 5 April 2011
by: Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

The Pathologies of War

There can be little doubt that America has become a permanent warfare state.(1) Not only is it waging a war in three countries, but its investment in military power is nearly as much as all of the military budgets of every other country in the world combined. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states, “The USA’s military spending accounted for 43 per cent of the world total in 2009, followed by China with 6.6 per cent; France with 4.3 per cent and the UK with 3.8 per cent.”(2) The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans a staggering $1 trillion to date, second only in inflation-adjusted dollars to the $4 trillion price tag for World War II.”(3) Pentagon spending for 2011 will be more than $700 billion. To make matters worse, as Tom Englehardt points out, “We dominate the global arms trade, monopolizing almost 70% of the arms business in 2008, with Italy coming in a vanishingly distant second. We put more money into the funding of war, our armed forces and the weaponry of war than the next 25 countries combined (and that’s without even including Iraq and Afghan war costs).”(4) Moreover, the United States maintains a massive ring of military bases and global presence around the world, occupying “over 560 bases and other sites abroad”(5) and deploying over 300,000 troops abroad, “even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services.”(6) In spite of how much military expenditures drain much-needed funds from social programs, the military budget is rarely debated in Congress or a serious object of discussion among the public. Rather than avoid squandering resources and human lives on foreign wars, we avoid “the realities and costs of war.”(7)

War is now normalized even as the United States becomes more militarized, moving closer to a national security state at home and an imperial/policing power abroad. Military historian Andrew Bacevich is right in arguing, “The misleadingly named Department of Defense serves in fact as a Ministry of Global Policing.”(8) War has become central to American character, but what is often unacknowledged is that its perpetual wars abroad are increasingly matched by a number of wars being waged on the domestic front. Such a disconnect becomes clear in the refusal of politicians, anti-public intellectuals and the general public to acknowledge how the federal deficit has been run up by our military adventures. As Frank Rich argues, “The cultural synergy between the heedless irresponsibility we practiced in Iraq and our economic collapse at home could not be more naked. The housing bubble, inflated by no-money-down mortgage holders on Main Street and high-risk gamblers on Wall Street, was fueled by the same greedy disregard for the laws of fiscal gravity that governed the fight-now-play later war[s]” in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently in Libya.(9) Similarly, as the spirit of a hyper-militarized America bleeds into everyday life, politics increasingly becomes an extension of war, and right-wing, liberal and conservative politicians eagerly embrace a militaristic approach to policy and the need to cleanse the social order of any institution, mode of dissent, social group and public sphere willing to question its state of permanent war and its militarized and unchecked embrace of economic Darwinism. These foreign and domestic wars are not unrelated, given that they are waged in the interests of right-wing militarists, neoconservatives, liberals and corporate moguls – all of whom have a political and economic stake in such military incursions abroad and wars at home. Wars make the economic elite even richer just as they undermine civil liberties, public services and public dissent. A hyper-militarized America has not only fueled violations of executive power, it has also promoted armed conflicts that are directly related to an economic crisis that has produced a wave of political extremism in the United States, while furthering the rise of a punishing state that places the burdens of the current economic crisis on the backs of the poor. We seem to have no trouble in spending money for the production of organized violence designed to kill people, but we have little money to spend on education, health care, or other serious social problems facing the United States. As one educational journal pointed out:

This juxtaposition of robust war spending and inadequate support for education highlights the moral bankruptcy of political and economic leaders who seem to find endless piles of money to kill people abroad but not much to educate them at home. And, of course, the relationship is plain: The more dollars spent on war, the fewer available for human needs – whether alternative energy, food stamps, in-home elder care, public libraries or keeping teachers in their classrooms.(10)

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A World View Interview with Benjamin Netanyahu

Uploaded by israelnews on Mar 31, 2011

Channel 2 and YouTube bring you a special interview with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in which citizens ask questions about the peace process, unrest in the Middle East, and more.

Hogwash, how about the question about Israel funding of mercenaries? This was brought up by Firedoglake in early May, but, of course, not repeated in the main stream media, so the question is…

Did the Israeli government authorize the Israeli company, Global CST, to finance and arm and supply Gaddafi with 50,000 African Mercenaries?

The US demands that Israeli-funded African Mercenaries be granted Immunity from War Crimes!

FireDogLake

By: marsdragon Friday March 4, 2011 9:29 am
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Edward Teller first posted a story about this yesterday, but its not up on the front pages anymore so, I need to hat tip him first by linking to it here.

Second, I want to add some more details that have come to my attention since he posted it. This story is important because it involves the potential use of US Military personnel in a theater of war where they may be harmed, and it involves the use of US tax dollars to pay for those forces. It also involves the right of an indigenous people, Libyans, to determine their future for themselves, and how they have risen up to oppose a brutal tyrant of over 40 years. Finally, this story involves the potential that our Commander-in-Chief and President, Barack Obama, may be lying through his teeth to us, the American people, and that NATO, the United Nations Security Council, and other European nations may also be doing one thing but claiming to do another.

~More~

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Obama Libya Case Speech Coming

TOM RAUM   03/28/11 06:46 AM ET   AP via: HuffPost

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is offering Congress and an anxious public his first detailed accounting of his rationale for U.S. military involvement in Libya and perhaps an answer to the burning question: What’s next?

His speech, set for 7:30 p.m. EDT Monday, comes after the administration scored an important diplomatic victory. NATO ambassadors on Sunday approved a plan for the alliance to assume from the U.S. command all aerial operations, including ground attacks.

That will help Obama assure the nation he can deliver on his promise that the United States will be a partner in the military action against Libya, but not from the driver’s seat. Bickering among NATO members delayed the process.

Ahead of Monday’s speech, Obama and his top national security officials worked to set the stage for the address – Obama in his weekly radio and Internet address, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates with appearances on Sunday television news shows.

But as they made the rounds, neither Clinton nor Gates could say how long the U.S. mission would last or lay out an exit strategy.

“I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that,” Gates told ABC News’ “This Week” when asked pointedly about reports that some officials within the Pentagon believed the mission could last many months.

Clinton was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” what would be an acceptable outcome given that Obama has both said that Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi must go and that he is not a military target. Would a partitioning of Libya be a possible solution? “I think it’s too soon to predict,” she said.

The interviews were conducted Saturday and aired Sunday.

Obama’s speech from the National Defense University in Washington comes as leading GOP lawmakers and some from within Obama’s own party are pressing him for more clarity about his goals.

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Libyan Airspace ‘Under Control’ As Two Sides Meet

Huffpost- First Posted: 03/25/11 08:48 AM Updated: 03/25/11 08:48 AM

BENGHAZI, Libya — France declared Libya’s airspace “under control” on Friday, after NATO agreed to take command of the no-fly zone in a compromise that appeared to set up dual command centers and possibly new confusion. Coalition warplanes struck Moammar Gadhafi’s forces outside the strategic eastern gateway city of Ajdabiya.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES)

Representatives for the regime and the rebels were expected to meet formally for the first time Friday, in Ethiopia, in what the U.N. described as a part of an effort to reach a cease-fire and political solution.

The overnight French and British strikes on an artillery battery and armored vehicles were intended to give a measure of relief to Ajdabiya, where residents have fled or cowered under more than a week of shelling and fighting between rebels and government troops. Explosions also could be heard in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, before daybreak Friday, apparently from airstrikes.

“Libyan airspace is under control, and we proved it yesterday, because a Libyan plane in the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces, which had just taken off from Misrata in order to bomb Misrata, was destroyed by a French Rafale,” Adm. Edouard Guillaud said on France-Info radio.

But the compromise that puts NATO in charge of clearing the skies still leaves the U.S. responsible for the more difficult task of planning attacks on Gadhafi’s ground forces and other targets.

Ajdabiya has been under siege for more than a week, with the rebels holding the city center and scattered checkpoints but facing relentless shelling from government troops on the outskirts. Residents are without electicity or drinking water, and many have fled.

The U.S. military said coalition jets flew about 150 on Thursday, about 70 of them with American planes.

“The operation is still focusing on tanks, combat vehicles, air defense targets – really whatever equipment and personnel are threatening the no-fly zone or civilians on the ground in such locations as Ajdabiya and along some other areas on the coast,” Marine Corps Capt. Clint Gebke told reporters from aboard the USS Mount Whitney.

The U.S. has been trying to give up the lead role in the operation against Gadhafi’s forces, and NATO agreed late Thursday to assume one element of it – control of the no-fly zone.

MORE HERE

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