Thursday, May 19, 2011

Libya Turmoil 138

NATO is really seeking the physical elimination of M. Gaddafi.

Our democratic values are rapidly flushed down the toilet.

Russians seem to be the only people with a clear picture of the situation, at least they voice their opinion while the people of the West don't seem to have a voice anymore.

Updates on Libyan war: May 19

Libya: 7,262 NATO Sorties, 2,808 Combat Missions
NATO Chief Defends Two-Month-Long War Against Libya
George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group En Route To Mediterranean
Endgame In Libya
Poll: 62% Of Russians Oppose “Aggression Against Sovereign Country”

USS George H.W. Bush
Libya: 7,262 NATO Sorties, 2,808 Combat Missions
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 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, 08.00GMT) a total of 7262 sorties, including 2808 strike sorties have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 18 May: 159
Strike sorties conducted 18 May: 53
A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.
14 Vessels were hailed on 18 May to determine destination and cargo. 2 boardings (no diversion) were conducted.
A total of 968 vessels have been hailed, 43 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
NATO Chief Defends Two-Month-Long War Against Libya
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 19, 2011
NATO chief defends Libyan operations
Bratislava: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visiting Bratislava, on Thursday defended the alliance’s military operations in Libya….
‘NATO has assumed responsibility for the mission which is based on a clear UN mandate,’ he said during a joint press conference with Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic.
Rasmussen said the operations in Libya would continue as long as three goals were achieved in Libya.
Rasmussen praised Slovakia for its involvement in international missions, but also criticised the country for a defence budget which was too small.
His remarks came during a one-day visit to Slovakia, during which the NATO chief was scheduled to meet Premier Iveta Radicova, Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda and other top officials.
George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group En Route To Mediterranean
Houston Chronicle
May 17, 2011
USS George H.W. Bush has embarked on its maiden deployment
The USS George H.W. Bush, the United States’ newest aircraft carrier, has embarked on its maiden deployment under the leadership of the first woman to ever command a carrier strike group.
As strike group commander, Rear Adm. Nora Tyson will be responsible for roughly 6,000 sailors aboard five ships as well as eight aircraft squadrons.
“The world is pretty unpredictable right now. And as we tell our sailors every day, we need to be prepared for any contingency. So it’s all about readiness,” she told reporters last week before Wednesday’s deployment. “If you watch the news every day it’s pretty unpredictable from one day to the next.”
It is the first deployment of the USS Bush and the USS Truxton.
“It’s a pretty historic cruise because it’s the first for those two ships but it’s also the year of our centennial of naval aviation, so that’s a milestone and it’s pretty special for us to be deploying this year specifically,” Tyson said.
The USS Bush is named in honor of the 41st president, who attended its commissioning in January 2009.
The strike group is led by the nuclear-powered USS George H.W. Bush, which is being tasked with supporting maritime security in Europe and the Middle East over the next six months, although it isn’t uncommon for cruises to be extended due to world events.
The carrier is the last ship of the 10-carrier Nimitz class and was commissioned in 2009. It has been training with the other four ships in the strike group for the past nine months in preparation for the deployment.
Other ships on the deployment include the Mayport, Fla.-based guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg and the Norfolk-based USS Anzio, as well as Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers USS Truxton and USS Mitscher.
– This post is based on reporting from the Associated Press.
Endgame In Libya
News International
May 19, 2011
Endgame in Libya
Tayyab Siddiqui
The Arab Awakening so passionately projected by the Western media, together with euphoric forecasts of a dawn of democracy and the birth of a new Middle East, has to date failed to find any direction or destination, despite the lapse of four months. Chaos, confusion and uncertainty continue to prevail in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, which have gone through this tumultuous transition.
Libya is a case in itself. In the flush of excitement, the violent protests in eastern Libya in mid-February were seized upon by the West to get rid of Qaddafi. President Mubarak was forced by a popular uprising to step down on February 11 at the intervention of the Egyptian army but without external interference, after three weeks of massive demonstrations which resulted in the loss of 846 lives.
The uprising against Col Qaddafi erupted on February 17 and, within a week, France and Britain began to talk of “horrific crimes” by the Qaddafi forces against the rebels. The media reported 400 dead and 2,000 wounded by March 2. The Western powers decided that it was “time for Qaddafi to go.” French president Sarkozy extended recognition to the rebels’ National Council and the UK, Italy and France moved unilaterally to establish a no-fly zone in Libya in support of the rebels.
The UN was manipulated and the Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on February 27 imposing sanctions and authorising “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. Thus, in the name of a “humanitarian mission,” the Western powers began pounding Libyan air defences and Col Qaddafi’s command headquarters, leading to many civilian casualties. Russia, China, India and other countries that had abstained on the Security Council resolution protested against the indiscriminate bombing, stating that air strikes exceeded the mandate of the UN resolution. They asked for an immediate ceasefire.
The Arab League, which had earlier favoured the no-fly zone, endorsed the call: “What we want is the protection of civilians, and not bombardment of more civilians.” Despite growing international criticism, the air strikes, which are patently beyond the UN resolution, have continued unabated.
All this brings out the reality that behind the facade of a “humanitarian mission,” the Western powers’ real objectives are regime-change, division of Libya and control of its oil resources. The situation in Libya is, by any definition, a civil war situation. The Qaddafi government is engaged in putting down an armed insurrection. There are no lofty goals of democracy, human rights, or human freedom that the Western media credits the opposition with. Neither is there any evidence of “violence on a horrific scale” that President Obama mentioned in his speeches, invoking “US moral responsibility.”
In a grotesque distortion of facts, Obama held the high moral ground, declaring that “some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The US is different, and as president, I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” These words have a familiar ring and are reminiscent of Bush’s statement about WMDs in Iraq and the imperative need to destroy Saddam in the interest of global peace and security.
We all know how deception and deliberate lies were employed in aggression against Iraq. The present war against Col Qaddafi is also justified on vastly inflated claims of his barbaric and brutal action against the rebels. The mask of humanitarian mission has been blown over. The removal of Qaddafi is the official objective. “Qaddafi and his regime have completely lost legitimacy and will be held for their action,” declared the final statement of the London Conference on Libya on March 29.
Moreover, Nato’s military intervention has to date failed to halt the fighting or force Qaddafi’s forces into submission. The rejection by the West of the cease fire by Qaddafi on March 22 and of the peace plan by the African Union exposes the mala fide intentions of the West. The African Union rightly accused Western nations of undermining efforts to find a home-grown solution to the Libyan conflict, “specifically the timely implementation of the AU roadmap in a way that is fully consistent with and complementary to the UNSC resolution.”
It has been six weeks since Nato launched air strikes in Libya, and despite heavy bombardment and open support to the rebels, the coalition has failed to make any significant gain. The stalemate may continue much longer than anticipated and may bring more destruction.
From the beginning of the Libyan crisis, it has been obvious that Western intervention has been inspired and driven by a pathological hatred of Qaddafi. Now the scope has been further extended beyond regime-change. The target now is Qaddafi himself, as is evident from the attacks on his residence that killed his 29-year-old son Saif-al-Arab and three grandchildren. In 1986, US jets had attacked Tripoli and killed Qaddafi’s little daughter.
The conflict is likely to turn into a prolonged and bloody stalemate. There is no evidence that Qaddafi’s grip on the situation has been weakened. The situation in Libya never presented any threat to the national interests of the Nato powers or the US. It has been a naked demonstration of gunboat diplomacy, aimed at securing the oil resources of Libya.
The Western adventure in Libya has dangerous manifestations. It is unfortunate that the Arab World has quietly watched the aggression and allowed itself to become complicit. Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan’s assertion that the invasion of Libya is justified under the resolution of the 2005 UN General Assembly that acknowledges a “responsibility to protect population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic-cleansing and crimes against humanity,” is totally disingenuous. None of the above mentioned threats exist in the Libyan situation.
Pakistan’s official reaction calling for a “peaceful political solution to be evolved by the Libyan people themselves in the spirit of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation” represents the most appropriate solution.” Regrettably, however, none of the Muslim nations or organisations such as the OIC and the Arab League have taken the initiative seeking a negotiated political settlement. To their eternal shame, these nations have watched the events as indifferent bystanders, not realising that the Nato invasion constitutes a most dangerous precedent and invoking the “responsibility to protect” could pose serious threats to their integrity and sovereignty in the not-too-distant future. Syria may perhaps be the next victim.
One final thought for serious reflection: A North Korean statement held that Libya’s dismantling of its nuclear weapons programme made it vulnerable to Western military intervention. Libya was duped in 2003 when it abandoned its major weapons programme in exchange for promises of aid and lifting of sanctions. North Korea believes that the West’s offer was “an invasion tactic to disarm the country. The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson.” Is it not?
The writer is a former ambassador.
Poll: 62% Of Russians Oppose “Aggression Against Sovereign Country”
May 19, 2011
Russians critical of Gaddafi, opposition, coalition operation in Libya – poll
MOSCOW: Sixty-five percent of Russians are neutral in the Libyan conflict, Levada Center said in comment on a poll held in 45 Russian regions on April 15-18.
The indicator grew by 13% since March, the sociologists said.
The number of Russians supporting the Libyan opposition dropped from 23% in March to 17% in April.
Sixty-two percent of the respondents called wrong the UN Security Council resolution on Libya and said that “it was an act of aggression against a sovereign country.” Some 46% said they were indignant at NATO air strikes on Libyan military sites.
Fifty-one percent of the respondents denied to support to all the Libyan stabilization measures discussed in March. They said that foreign states must not interfere in Libyan internal affairs.
As for methods that may be used for overthrowing dictators and promoting democracy, 35% of the respondents said they favored “an economic blockade.” Eleven percent supported “the sending of troops”, and 8% chose “the bombing of military sites.”
Eighty percent of the respondents said that the coalition did not try to prevent civilian casualties in air strikes on military sites in Libya, and 8% voiced the opposite opinion.
Twenty percent said that NATO “seeks control over Libyan oil”, 11% said the coalition “wishes to broaden Western control over Middle East countries”, and 10% presumed the coalition “wishes to display its military might.”
The Libyan events worsened the attitude of the Russians to the United States and the European Union. Fifty-four percent said a month ago they liked the United States, and the indicator stood at 60% in January. The rating is 62% for the European Union (69% in January).


  1. - Russians seem to be the only people with a clear picture of the situation, at least they voice their opinion while the people of the West don't seem to have a voice anymore.

    The Belorussians, Ukrainians, Serbs and Bosnians, the Iranians. And what of the Pakistani?

    Earlier today I visited a blog of my British acquaintance in China. The second article I read was exactly his lament about the informational self-isolation of China.

  2. The people of the West don't have a voice anymore because they are distracted by and then recruited and enslaved into a circus type freak show put on by their media and ruling elite who are as scattered brain and supercillious as they are culpable for the havoc they are wreaking on the world. Hey, did DSK get bail?

  3. "NATO is really seeking the physical elimination of M. Gaddafi."

    I believe that is what I said early on in this fiasco. Again combination of incompetence i.e., policymakers; and competence, i.e., recognition among experienced national security and defense officials that Gaddafi is not someone you want left standing, actually it's a sign of respect and recognition that he is a serious actor, even if his satorial choices are not.

    Of course, such a combination is seldom the stuff of great moments in history, though it does call to mind Macbeth's 'a tale told by an idiot.' Any bets on which idiot has claimed the right to be first idiot among equals to announce Gaddafi's demise?

    Alternative outcomes? Russia is important but it won't play unless it sees an even bigger opportunity. Putin has proven himself very capable in foreign policy, I suspect he'll see the opportunity if it arises. Also Americans could finally wake up to the mess they may be left with if the Sarkozy/Cameron tough wiseguys' farce plays itself out. However, for now Gaddafi will probably be limiting his interviews with western media.