Monday, May 23, 2011

Libya Turmoil 144

New York Times confirms NATO is supplying and aiding to supply weapons to Misurata.

Sealift Extends Lifeline to a Rebel City in Libya

ABOARD AL IRADAH 6 — Near midnight, in the darkness of the deliberately unlit Misurata harbor, the tugboat’s crew loosened its lines from the pier and pulled them aboard.
Bryan Denton for The New York Times
Rebels taking a break last month at an operations center in Benghazi, Libya, where they were organizing a sealift to Misurata.
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Interactive map of the major clashes in Libya, day by day.
    C.J. Chivers/The New York Times.
    Saif Nasser, left, captain of the Al Iradah 6, talking with a NATO warship as his rebel-controlled tug boat makes its way across the Gulf of Surt.

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    The helmsman engaged Al Iradah 6’s dual engines and it spun into the basin, gathered speed and headed for the gap in the jetties. A few miles beyond, outside the range of Col.Muammar el-Qaddafi’s artillery, was the safety of the open sea.
    There, the helmsman turned the round bow eastward, toward Benghazi, the Libyan rebel capital about 300 miles away. The latest leg for an unlikely smuggling vessel was complete. In a little more than 24 hours, Al Iradah 6 would reach rebel-controlled territory and line up for a fresh cargo of medicine, food and guns — fuel for a city besieged.
    There have been many reasons for the rebels’ success in Misurata, where they recently drove the Qaddafi forces out of the city and seized the airport. One of them is this: a determined and surreptitious sealift by a small fleet of Libyan boats.
    Combining the talents of those who procure a city’s wartime needs with those of merchant mariners and fishermen, rebels have organized about two dozen fishing vessels and former Qaddafi-controlled tugboats into an impromptu fleet that has provided Misurata with a lifeline of supplies. The fleet sails with NATO’s approval and support. (Rebels and organizers in both Benghazi and Misurata spoke openly of the smuggling effort, but asked that certain locations and shipping schedules not be disclosed.)
    At a basic level, it has assumed missions of both mercy and war. The mixed cargo — baby formula and medicine beside crates of ammunition — has helped civilians survive and equipped Misurata for its fight.
    The strategic significance of Misurata has not been lost on the crew of Al Iradah 6. For months, rebels trapped in the city, 130 miles from Tripoli, provided Libya’s opposition movement with a powerful argument against any discussion of the war’s end that called for national partition.
    As long as Misurata’s armed men held on to their city, the nation’s third largest, the Qaddafi government could never credibly say that the war was a contest between east and west, and propose that the country, divided by history and tribal allegiances, be split.
    These were among the political and human motivations for many sailors who chose to join the rebels’ war effort. Outside the harbor, the captain of Al Iradah 6, Saif Nasser, said something else propelled him, too — the sense of self-respect and self-determination that came with rising up.
    “Qaddafi thought the people are not strong,” the captain said. “For more than 40 years we were his prisoners, and he thought we are like animals. But now he has found that we are very strong people.”
    The scenes aboard Al Iradah 6, which completed a round-trip voyage earlier this month, captured the mix of planning, security, passion and energy that has characterized the effort.
    Al Iradah 6, an 85-foot vessel assembled in Libya with Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, is yet another of the Qaddafi government’s procurements that rebels have put to use to try to push Colonel Qaddafi from power. In excellent condition and equipped with modern marine electronics and safety gear — the sort of harbor vessel an oil state could afford — it has been in rebel service since March.
    After its arrival late in the afternoon, its wartime cargo was unloaded by rebels who materialized from Misurata.
    Working quickly, sometimes chanting and singing, they carried off medicine, baby formula, food, recoilless-rifle ammunition, machine-gun cartridges and Kalashnikov and Belgian-made FN FAL rifles. Spare machine-gun barrels were visible, too.
    The captain disappeared briefly to confer with the harbor authorities. The tug had entered the harbor unchallenged. But Misurata’s port had been shelled repeatedly in previous weeks and mined at least twice. He opted to wait for nightfall to slip back to sea.
    By now, the Qaddafi forces arrayed to Misurata’s southeast almost certainly knew that the tug was in the harbor, and their artillery observers might be waiting for Captain Nasser to leave. Better to head back at night, running lights switched off.
    After darkness, a second tug, the Saladin, steamed into port. Its cargo was stacked high on its aft deck and under tarps. Al Iradah’s crew stood at the rails and called out into the night. “You are here! Welcome!” they shouted. “God is great!” The Saladin tied off nearby. A fresh scrum of pickup trucks full of rebels arrived at the pier. The unloading began.
    Soon Al Iradah 6 returned to sea. As it left the harbor it radioed ahead to NATO warships beyond the horizon, to request permission to pass through their blockade.
    “The sea and sky?” Captain Nasser said. “Nothing crosses without permission from NATO.”

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Libya Turmoil 143

    The writings of Gaddafi

    Is Qaddafi a dictator? A Canadian citizen takes a look

    Posted: 2011/05/19
    From: Mathaba
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    A must watch for every person living in the so-called "west": it's much easier

    Video has been mirrored with the permission of John (the engineer) Turmel.

    His channel and the rest of the videos are here.

    Please scroll down to watch the videos below, simply press the play button on the first video below, to begin:

    Part 1: Qaddafi and Democracy

    Part 2: How Direct Democracy Can Work

    Part 3: Economics: Meet Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (Not)

    Part 4: Socialism - Qaddafi is Too Generous

    Part 5: A Socialist World, Education, Blacks, Sports

    Libya Turmoil 142

    Libya’s money

    In Tripoli the “journalists” of ABC asked me how long Gaddafi could last financially?
    I answered them much longer than the US.
    They couldn’t believe me and continued: ”no seriously, how many months can he last?”
    My answer, 10/20 years, brought a very big surprised expression on their faces: “NO, impossible”.
    Our society of money changers and bean counters is not able anymore to think about a solid society, not based on debt or credit.
    Libya has known an embargo for decades and a real ostracism for 42 years.
    Gaddafi was never understood nor accepted. He was declared crazy and loony from the very beginning because he didn’t accept the orders from his “betters”. His feeling of oppression by the Western powers that be and afterwards his betrayal by the Soviets convinced him to look for an alternative solution, based on their native tribal structure.
    He didn’t spend money because he couldn’t, the embargo obliged him to save money.
    This frugal lifestyle wasn’t really bad for the country, they learned to live with it.
    Only the Western educated and latter “revolutionaries” wanted more pieces of the cake.
    I have seen governors of provinces, with budgets of billions, walking around in old army fatigues and plastic sandals, driving in old Toyota Corolla’s, with absolutely no desire for more luxury.
    Gaddafi himself is of the same ilk, money doesn’t drive him, the fate of his country is his only driving force.
    If that is enough to consider him a lunatic than he will proudly declare himself a lunatic.
    As far as the money of the country is concerned, the calculation is rapidly made.
    The total revenue during 42 years went far over a trillion dollars.
    During the embargo time Libya spent only the interest of its investments, they didn’t touch their capital.
    They had some amounts in foreign, US, European and Arab countries and banks.
    That money was continuously siphoned off by those banks, they didn’t receive any interest on their money, the paid expenses every year on that money, pure highway robbery.
    Gaddafi is a very astute investor and made several very good investments worldwide, which saved Libya a lot of money and kept their capital intact.
    Today Libya is still sitting on a cash hoard of far over one trillion, the second largest after China, but safer. China has too much worthless US paper.
    Because of his cash position, Libya was thinking to make Africans benefit of their commodities by introducing their own gold backed currency and their own Reserve Fund.
    This would have shown the decrepit situation of the world credit system and the real abysmal situation of the Western banks.
    Because the emperor had no clothes anymore Gaddafi had to disappear.
    Russia and China are still hesitating what to do and whom to join. The sirene songs of Wall Street are very seductive but extremely empty. The main US corporations are already voting with their feet to Asia, just in case.
    I hope Gaddafi survives the criminal onslaught and will have the chance to see his enemies crumble. The stakes are extremely high.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Libyan Turmoil 141

    Either Wesley Clark is crazy or we are run by a bunch of loonies.
    Libyan Turmoil 140

    "Free Benghazi"


    Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi

    Under rebel control, Benghazi residents are terrorized, many “too frightened to drive through the dark streets at night, fearing a shakedown or worse at the proliferating checkpoints.” One man said unless they know you, they assume you’re pro-Gaddafi

    by Stephen Lendman
    A Libyan rebel walks past a military position decorated with the rebellion flag at the southern entrance to Benghazi. Photograph: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images.
    In London, at a June 1999 anti-Yugoslavia war rally, Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter scathed US and UK leaders, saying:
    “Let us face the truth….(N)either Clinton nor Blair gives a damn about the Kosovar Albanians. This action has been another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile….to consolidate….American domination of Europe.”
    Today, Obama doesn’t give a damn about Libyans, any more than about Iraqis, Afghans or working Americans. At issue only is Washington wanting unchallenged dominance everywhere, including over the Mediterranean Basin, using two missiles – NATO and so-called rebels, enlisted, funded, trained and armed well before bombing began on March 19.
    Besides civilians and former regime soldiers, Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) paramilitaries comprise their hardcore – Al Qaeda-linked insurgents, cutthroat killers, showing no mercy for suspected pro-Gaddafi sympathizers.
    On March 23, London Telegraph writer Rob Crilly headlined, “Libya: it wasn’t supposed to be like this in free Benghazi,” saying:
    Every night, vigilante gangs “mop up (suspected) pro-Gaddafi elements.” Foreign workers long ago fled the city. Most refugees, in fact, are foreign workers, not Libyan nationals, what major media reports don’t explain.
    Under rebel control, Benghazi residents are terrorized, many “too frightened to drive through the dark streets at night, fearing a shakedown or worse at the proliferating checkpoints.” One man said unless they know you, they assume you’re pro-Gaddafi.
    On April 17, Financial Times writer Robin Wigglesworth headlined, “Fears rise as Gaddafi loyalists purged,” saying:
    Former Benghazi mayor and Gaddafi loyalist Huda Ben Amer’s mansion “is now a charred husk….gutted by fire and obscene graffiti….”
    Throughout rebel-held areas, “firebombed buildings, defaced posters, incendiary graffiti, (and other actions) testify to the depths of hatred (toward) the regime.”
    Perhaps it’s also effective recruiting, choosing the right fighters and convincing them that Western imperialism is humanitarian intervention when, in fact, it’s to carve up another conquered nation’s corpse, installing new leaders to serve Washington, not Libyans.
    As a result, “(m)any associated with (Gaddafi) have been arrested, exiled or killed,” in a rampaging purge, “raising some uncomfortable issues” for rebel leaders and independent observers.
    Claiming only pro-Gaddafi supporters “with blood on their hands” are being targeted, youth gangs are terrorizing Libyans, using “rat-hunting” harassment, arrests, and “spontaneous roadside executions.”
    Actions, in fact, are so out-of-control that unchecked witch-hunt justice threatens anyone suspected of pro-regime support. In other words, they’re guilty by accusation, rebels acting as judges, juries and executioners with full Western backing.
    On May 10, New York Times writer Kareen Fahim headlined, “Killings and Rumors Unsettle a Libyan City,” saying:
    Bodies are showing up around Benghazi. “Three weeks ago, a traveler spotted (one) in farmland on the city’s outskirts, shot twice in the head with his hands and feet bound.” He disappeared the previous day after visiting a market. Days later, another one was also found, murdered the same way. “Masked, armed men had taken him from his home the night before, without giving a reason, his wife said.”
    Like many others, both killings are unsolved, and in rebel-held territory, investigations aren’t conducted in a climate of death squad justice. As a result, Benghazi residents are “paranoid,” wondering who’s next, and when lawless killings will stop.
    In fact, the entire city is unsettled, intimidated by rebel gangs rounding up suspected Gaddafi sympathizers. Unless stopped, “it will pose a (stiff) challenge to (insurgent leaders) trying to present a vision of a new country committed to the rule of law, while potentially undermining hopes for” peace and justice.
    For weeks without letup, episodes like the following have raged:
    In early May, “about a dozen men wearing balaclavas (ski masks) and carrying guns arrived at the house of Youssef al Tobouli in three pickup trucks.” A former prison guard, he defected and was at his store. “His terrified relatives called friends, and in the gunfight that followed, the room (he) shared with his wife and three children was destroyed by fire.”
    Numerous other attacks are reported. According to Benghazi Jalaa Hospital’s Dr. Omar Khalid, bodies of executed men show up regularly though no one knows if they were regime sympathizers. Some were shot. Others had their throats cut. They all came dead on arrival.
    Deadly episodes leave everyone gripped with fear. “Last week, rebel fighters in pickup trucks rushed to the city’s radio station,” suspecting Gaddafi loyalists inside. “Guns were fired, and a bystander was….killed….This is a war of rumors,” said the station’s security guard. “People are very edgy” with good reason.
    Even defectors like Hussein Gaith turn up dead, his wife saying:
    “He didn’t have any enemies. He joined the revolution 20 days after it started.”
    Yet he was abducted and killed, showing signs he resisted. Until America intervened, Libya functioned normally. Now it’s the wild west, becoming the worst of what Iraqis and Afghans face daily, including deep poverty, unemployment, repression, and extreme violence, mostly affecting civilians.
    Oscar Wilde once called a “hypocrite (someone) who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”
    Twenty-eight months into his presidency, Obama mastered the art of duplicity, contemptuously calling imperial slaughter humanitarian intervention, using NATO and human “missiles” for regime change, no matter how many corpses it takes.
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. The Progressive News Hour.