March 31st, 2011

Iraqi civil war next on the menu? Libya

[While I'm catching up on the coalition interference in Libyan insurgency]

The peacocks posture and lie about the Libyan insurgency while the allied forces are pulling out of Iraq where there is no firm border defined between the Kurdish and Arab territories.

Iraq and the Kurds: Confronting Withdrawal Fears
In the past, Crisis Group has argued that Kirkuk should gain special status as a stand-alone governorate, under neither Baghdad’s nor Erbil’s direct control, for an interim period, with a mechanism for ultimately resolving its status, and with a power-sharing arrangement in which political representatives of the main ethnic and religious groups are represented fairly. A deal along these lines appears within reach, and now is the time to pursue it. In January, building on their success in forming the coalition government, Baghdad and Erbil negotiated a tactical agreement on oil exports from the Kurdistan region whose implementation should prove beneficial to both. They ought to take this a step further by starting talks on the range of issues that have plagued their post-2003 relationship.
In June 2009, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) set up a high-level task force whose stated goal was to work toward a negotiated solution – initially through confidence-building mechanisms – for the disputed territories, the broad swathe of land from the Syrian to the Iranian border that Kurds claim as historically part of Kurdistan. UNAMI realised full well, however, that the task force was unlikely to make progress in the months leading up to and following legislative elections, so its real objective was to keep the parties at the table until a new government was formed. This period, which lasted a year and a half, has now come to an end; today, the initiative should be invested with new life.
At the core of the territorial dispute lies the disposition of Kirkuk, the name for three separate but overlapping entities – city, governorate and super-giant oil field – that are subject to competing claims. The 2005 constitution lays out a process for resolving the status of Kirkuk and other disputed areas, but it has run aground on profound differences over interpretation and lack of political will. Meanwhile, the situation in the disputed territories has been left to fester. In areas with a rich ethnic mix, such as Kirkuk city and several districts of Ninewa governorate, this has produced strong tensions and politically-motivated provocations aimed at sparking inter-communal conflict.
To prevent small incidents from escalating into a broader conflagration, the U.S. military in 2009 established so-called combined security mechanisms along the trigger line – the line of control between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish regional guard force, known as the peshmergas, that runs along the disputed region’s spine. The mechanisms’ key features are joint checkpoints and patrols involving army and guard force personnel with embedded U.S. officers, as well as coordination centres designed to improve communication and build trust between the two sides. Moreover, Baghdad and Erbil agreed to a set of rules governing the deployment of their respective security forces in these areas.
Together, these steps have reduced tensions, but the security forces’ presence and posture in their designated sectors remind a weary population the conflict is far from resolved. The standoff between the army and the peshmergas in Kirkuk’s environs, in particular, and provocative conduct of the Kurdish security police, the asaesh, inside the city augur trouble for the period after U.S. withdrawal, scheduled for the end of 2011. Events in late February-early March, when peshmerga forces deployed around Kirkuk city over the vehement protestations of local Arab and Turkoman leaders, were another warning that the security situation, relatively stable since 2003, may not hold. /Overview PDF Full PDF Press release (Crisis Group)

Latest from Libya.

(TV) The rag tag insurgents’ taxies are taking them away from Bin Jawad as government forces advance.

Over 300,000 have fled the coalition bombing and the insurgency. How long does it take illegals to get from S. Italy to the French “UK immigrant aid points”? The next surge will bring Cameron even greater disapproval over the war against the Libyan government and interference in the insurgency.

Italians block port in protest over migrants. Fishermen on Lampedusa seal off harbour in symbolic demonstration against flow of illegal immigrants.

Sen. Rand Paul Responds to President Obama’s Address (Youtube video)

The Libyan situation developed from violent protests in Benghazi that turned to armed insurgency and civil war when the west intervened.

Libya Live AlJ
President Barack Obama told Americans on Monday the United States would work with its  allies to hasten the day when Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi leaves power, but would not use force to topple him.

Back to the TV. “We fell into a trap” and “The plan for most of these youngsters seems to have been to drive along this road to see how far they could get.” They have seen. The insurgents outside Sirte appear to have been isolated. Will their air force come to the rescue?
A Chatham House rep takes the first step towards a reversal of Cameron’s “get Gaddafi” objective by reiterating Obama’s statement that regime change is not in the purview when asked about the meeting of the eager and not so eager Libyan war mongers attending the NATO meeting.
“Pro democracy army” redefined back to “pro democracy protesters”.

Misurata, Government forces are making headway whilst the coalition is bombing 3 Libyan ships there “in case they fire on civilians”. Puke-worthy.

Is the war about control of currency and oil? Farage - Rompuy

Let me control the economy and I care not which puppet is on the throne. (Or something like that)

The facts revealed below virtually guarantee a divided Libya if the government doesn’t regain control. Once again a protest gets hijacked and escalated by external manipulators. Opportunism on the part of the cartel or is this what the coalition intervention is really about?

Wow That Was Fast! Libyan Rebels Have Already Established A New Central Bank Of Libya
The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company. Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants. They sure do get a lot done. What a skilled bunch of rebels – they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever. If only the rest of us were so versatile! But isn’t forming a central bank something that could be done after the civil war is over? According to Bloomberg, the Transitional National Council has “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.” Apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed.
Of course it is probably safe to assume that the new Central Bank of Libya will be 100% owned and 100% controlled by the newly liberated people of Libya, isn’t it?
Most people don’t realize that the previous Central Bank of Libya was 100% state owned. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s article on the former Central Bank of Libya….
The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is 100% state owned and represents the monetary authority in The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and enjoys the status of autonomous corporate body. The law establishing the CBL stipulates that the objectives of the central bank shall be to maintain monetary stability in Libya , and to promote the sustained growth of the economy in accordance with the general economic policy of the state.
Since the old Central Bank of Libya was state owned, it was essentially under the control of Moammar Gadhafi.
But now that Libya is going to be “free”, the new Central Bank of Libya will be run by Libyans and solely for the benefit of Libyans, right?
Of course it is probably safe to assume that will be the case with the new national oil company as well, isn’t it?
Over the past couple of years, Moammar Gadhafi had threatened to nationalize the oil industry in Libya and kick western oil companies out of the country, but now that Libya will be “free” the people of Libya will be able to work hand in hand with “big oil” and this will create a better Libya for everyone.
Of course oil had absolutely nothing to do with why the U.S. “inva—” (scratch that) “initiated a kinetic humanitarian liberty action” in Libya.
When Barack Obama looked straight into the camera and told the American people that the war in Libya is in the “strategic interest” of the United States, surely he was not referring to oil.
After all, war for oil was a “Bush thing”, right? The Democrats voted for Obama to end wars like this, right? Surely no prominent Democrats will publicly support this war in Libya, right?
Surely Barack Obama will end the bombing of Libya if the international community begins to object, right?
Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. He wouldn’t deeply upset the other major powers on the globe and bring us closer to World War III, would he?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has loudly denounced “coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi’s forces” and he believes that the U.S. has badly violated the terms of the UN Security Council resolution….
We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution.”
So to cool off rising tensions with the rest of the world, Obama is going to call off the air strikes, right?
Well, considering the fact that Obama has such vast foreign policy experience we should all be able to rest easy knowing that Obama will understand exactly what to do.
Meanwhile, the rebels seem to be getting the hang of international trade already.
They have even signed an oil deal with Qatar!
Rebel “spokesman” Ali Tarhouni has announced that oil exports to Qatar will begin in “less than a week“.
Who knew that the rag tag group of rebels in Libya were also masters of banking and international trade?
We sure do live in a strange world.
Tonight, Barack Obama told the American people the following….
Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”
So now we are going to police all of the atrocities in all of the other countries around the globe?
The last time I checked, the government was gunning down protesters in Syria.
Is it time to start warming up the Tomahawks?
Or do we reserve “humanitarian interventions” only for those nations that have a lot of oil?
In fact, atrocities are currently being committed all over Africa and in about a dozen different nations in the Middle East.
Should we institute a draft so that we will have enough young men and women to police the world with?
We all have to be ready to serve our country, right?
The world is becoming a smaller place every day, and you never know where U.S. “strategic interests” are going to be threatened next.
The rest of the world understands that we know best, right?
Of course the rest of the world can surely see our good intentions in Libya, can’t they?
Tensions with Russia, China and the rest of the Arab world are certainly going to subside after they all see how selfless our “humanitarian intervention” has been in Libya, don’t you think?
In all seriousness, we now live in a world where nothing is stable anymore. Wars and revolutions are breaking out all over the globe, unprecedented natural disasters are happening with alarming frequency and the global economy is on the verge of total collapse.
By interfering in Libya, we are just making things worse. Gadhafi is certainly a horrible dictator, but this was a fight for the Libyan people to sort out.
We promised the rest of the world that we were only going to be setting up a “no fly zone”. By violating the terms of the UN Security Council resolution, we have shown other nations that we cannot be trusted and by our actions we have increased tensions all over the globe.

I wonder if the bank cartel will lose their deposit?

Here’s the disappeared post:

Farage: Rompuy says it is about regime change


Accompanying text from Youtube:
The UN says it’s alarmed by the looming humanitarian crisis in Libya. Officials warn food supply lines have been disrupted and over three hundred thousand refugees have already fled the country. Nigel Farage, MEP and leader of the UK Independence Party, believes the whole military strategy in Libya has not been thought through.

One thing that Farage makes clear is that Rompuy says it is about regime change and that it requires Bilderberg controlled European Council  permission. As the EU part of the coalition intervention has proceeded to aid the insurgents and attack Gaddafi directly the EC must have sanctioned regime change against the UN resolution and charter. Did the EU parliament sanction such? I didn’t hear of any vote on it. Libya presented no threat to EU countries and was stemming the flow of immigrants while suppressing extremists.

Has a UK exit strategy been planned yet? Will the government abide by the UN time limit? How long is a piece of string is not an exit strategy nor are the gang-green burdened public gifted with Rothschild wealth even as a nation.
Is there any sign that coalition participants will now abide by the UN resolution?
Is NATO a defence or now an attack force? Can we see where the change was agreed in writing if in fact it has changed its purview?
It is obvious that without an air force government forces are more than a match for the insurgents even with coalition assistance.
It appears that government forces now use residential buildings. How is the coalition going to deal with that from the air, especially if such becomes prevalent?
Why is nothing done about unarmed protesters being killed across the M.E and Africa?
when can we have news about what Europe can expect as a result of attacking Libya? A wave of immigrants at the very least considering over 300,000 have left the scene. Will the government allow them in - how many - will the public even be consulted?
It appears the European Council sanctioned the war. The UK needs permission to act on UN resolutions? Please, do tell.
Without the imperatives of oil and control of Libyan currency would this war even have been on the radar?
This intervention has more secrecy, confusion and double entendre than a Sherlock mystery. Is that how the public should be treated?

It would be interesting to see Seif make good on his words about evidence of funding Sarkozy. I would have expected him to have released it by now if it exists.
Why did the alleged rape victim refuse a medical check?
Has Gaddafi buried all the gold at a secret location in the desert only he knows?

DT's Libya Live excerpts from
07.41 William Hague will be concerned by the latest opinion polls as he prepares to host the international summit on Libya's future in London today.
A ComRes survey for The Independent found that 47 per cent of British voters do not agree with the decision to commit British forces to action over Libya, compared with 43 per cent who are in favour.
Some 71 per cent of voters are concerned Britain could be "dragged into a prolonged conflict like the Iraq war", the poll found.
07.48 US military aeroplanes have been dropping leaflets as well as bombs as they try to stir up more opposition to Gaddafi among the Libyan people.
American officials said the latest batch of leaflets was dripped near Misrata on Sunday, while the US has also been flying a propaganda plane that broadcasts across AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands.
08.47 William Hague's claims that there is no evidence of civilian casualties from allied or rebel actions came a day after the Libyan authorities produced their most detailed evidence yet that innocent people had been injured from coalition strikes, Radio 4 has reported.
Libyan news sources yesterday reported that the dawn bombing of the city of Sabha had resulted in several civilian casualties, with a number of homes destroyed and children among the casualties.
Western leaders and journalists have repeatedly questioned the claims of Libyan authorities, but the latest account is more detailed than anything previously issued by the Gaddafi regime.
08.52 The Syrian government is to resign today, with a new cabinet to be appointed within 24 hours, the Agence France-Presse is reporting.
The move would bring to an end fifty years of "emergency rule" in the middle eastern country.
09.28 Here are some fuller comments from William Hague on the Today programme earlier:
Quote One of the things that we will launch at the conference today is the political process that will, of course, include that national council.
We are not in control of where [Gaddafi] might go. I am not going to choose Colonel Gaddafi's retirement home.
Of course I believe he should face the court...people who committed crimes, if the prosecutor has the information on them, should be before the International Criminal Court.
But of course where he goes, if goes, is up to him and the people of Libya to determine and we will not necessarily be in control of that.
Asked what would happen if the rebels started attacking civilians, Mr Hague said:
"I'm not going there, that is a very hypothetical situation...What we are doing is making very clear to the opposition that we do not expect them to attack the civilian population in any other town."
09.49 The Italian coastguard has claimed about 1,000 refugees from Libya and Tunisia arrived on the islands of Sicily and Lampedusa this morning, prompting tension among the local population.
Lampedusa, a small Italian island, has drawn about 20,000 immigrants in recent weeks, the AFP reported.
09.56 The US will soon send an envoy to Libya to meet with rebel leaders in Benghazi, in the hope of establishing better ties with the groups hoping to oust Col Gaddafi, a senior official has told the Associated Press.
10.23 The Telegraph's Nick Squires has sent the following report of US military activity from southern Italy:
US warships and aircraft have attacked Libyan coast guard vessels which were reportedly shelling the port of Misrata.
A Libyan Coast Guard boat and two smaller vessels were "engaged" by a US Navy P-3C Maritime Patrol aircraft, a US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry, according to a statement from the US military.
The Libyan vessels were "firing indiscriminately" at merchant vessels in Misrata.
The maritime patrol aircraft fired Maverick missiles at the Coast Guard boat, forcing it to be beached.
The two smaller vessels were attacked by the Thunderbolt, using its 30mm gatling cannon.
One was destroyed and the other had to be abandoned by its crew.
The American aircraft and ship are in the Mediterranean as part of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.
11.52 Rob Crilly, en route to Pakistan, has blogged some reflections on the Libyan conflict on his website:
Rob Crilly The rebels are going to have to evolve from a chaotic rabble, charging headlong at government forces before retreating as soon as they come under fire, into a more sophisticated fighting unit if they are to have any chance at all of taking Sirte – or even defend what they’ve got. They have after all been as far as Ras Lanuf before, until losing it all.
For the time being they are an army winning the war without ever having won a battle.
12.54 The New York Times has an interactive map tracking the flashpoints in Libya day-by-day since the conflict began.
16.57 The French ambassador appointed to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi has been named as Antoine Sivan, a 53-year-old Arabic-speaking diplomat, AFP news agency reports, quoting a senior official source. Mr Sivan has held several posts in the region including that of French ambassador to Qatar.
[I wonder, when the conflict returns to Benghazi whether he will decide the grass is greener on the other side of the Med.]
17.09 Al Jazeera English tweets:
Twitter Opposition driven from Bin Jawad, pro-Gaddafi forces pounding Ras Lanuf
17.30 More information on the explosions this afternoon in Tripoli from correspondents at AFP in the city. Two loud explosions rocked the Libyan capital close to the tightly-guarded residence of leader Gaddafi. The first struck around 1630 GMT, followed by a second some three minutes later. At around the same time, seven other explosions were reported in the suburb of Tajoura, site of several military camps and an almost-nightly target of the bombing raids. A resident said planes were seen dropping five bombs on a military target in the area. Nato-led coalition aircraft had been seen in the skies over the capital earlier in the afternoon.
18.24 Hillary Clinton has said that under the US interpretation of the UN resolution arming the rebels would be legal. She said that this had not been discussed however. Financing the Libyan transfer had been discussed she said, admitting that she was just "getting to know" who the rebels really are. She said:
Quote It is our interpretation that (UN Security Council resolution) 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition on arms to anyone in Libya, so that there could be a legitimate transfer of arms if a country should choose to do that.
18.46 France is prepared to hold discussions with its allies over supplying military aid to Libyan rebels fighting Moamer Kadhafi's forces, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe tells AFP. He said:
Quote I remind you it is not part of the U.N. resolution, which France sticks too, but we are ready to discuss it (arming) with our partners.
19.37 Hillary Clinton has told reporters that a UN special envoy will soon visit Tripoli to urge Col Gaddafi to implement a real ceasefire, and discuss with him the option of leaving the country. She said:
Quote I'm not sure that we know exactly when we will get to any change in attitude by Gaddafi and those around him.
19.39 A doctor in the western Libyan city of Misurata has told the AFP news agency that 142 people have been killed and 1,400 wounded there since 18 March. Earlier, rebels said tanks and troops loyal to Col Gaddafi moved through the streets of Libya's third largest city, firing shells.
20.07 A coalition of countries conducting air strikes against Col Gaddafi's forces launched 22 Tomahawk missiles in the last 24 hours, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Coalition countries also flew 115 strike sorties, the Pentagon said in a new tally of military activities over the last 24 hours.
20.46 Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Libya's situation cannot be solved by military action alone.
Speaking after an international coalition pledged to continue military action against Gaddafi and agreed to set up a contact group to coordinate political efforts, Rasmussen urged all parties to seek a political solution as soon as possible. He said:
Quote But I do hope that we'll see a political solution to the problems in Libya as soon as possible. Clearly there's no military solution, solely, to the problems in Libya.
20.49 Libya's rebels are not the anti-Western militants Gaddafi says they are, but worsening turmoil and killings of civilians by the West would help al Qaeda get a foothold, according to a British think tank. Quilliam, a group that studies Islamists, said in a report that while Libya had jihadist groups, "they are nowhere near as powerful or as widespread as the Gaddafi regime has claimed". It commented:
Quote That said, the breakdown in Libyan government control over much of Libya, combined with the ongoing fighting in many parts of the country, clearly gives jihadists and extreme Islamists more scope than ever before to operate in Libya.
It also said the amount of weapons becoming available in Libya as a result of the war was a serious cause for concern.
21.04 Gaddafi has written an open letter to the international community calling for a halt to the "monstrous assault" on Libya and maintaining that that the rebels are supported by the al-Qaeda terrorist network. He said:
Quote What is happening now is providing a cover for al-Qaida through airstrikes and missiles to enable al-Qaida to control North Africa and turn it into a new Afghanistan.
21.06 There appears to be a split between Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen who says the role of the coalition is to protect civiliians and Hillary Clinton who has interpreted the 1973 UN resolution to mean that it would be legal to arm rebels. William Hague has insisted that arming rebels was not discussed at the summit in London today.
21.41 Nick Clegg has given his endorsement on intervention in Libya while on a foreign policy trip to Mexico City. He hailed a "new axis of openness" in international affairs and said:
Quote I was a strong opponent of the war in Iraq. It was wrong. But the action being taken in Libya today is right.
23.32 President Obama has said in an NBC interview that the goal for the allies is to apply steady pressure to Gaddafi's regime so that he will "ultimately step down". He also stressed that the use of military force in Libya did not indicate that the US would intervene in other conflicts.

Libya: putting the lie to bed

I wonder how Cameron (or whichever European Commission rep occupies the chair) will respond when the pro democracy protests come to the UK? Will government forces fire on protesters, will they call in the EU gestapo with a licence to kill? Who will aid the Brits?

Putting the lie “it’s about protecting civilians” to bed:
Hillary Clinton: no decision on whether to arm Libyan rebels
An international coalition piled pressure on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit, resolving to continue military action against his forces until he complies with a U.N. resolution to protect civilians.

I wonder has anyone thought to approach the only legal government in Libya? People don’t talk to Rothschild when they want the UK to do something.

Reported yesterday Clinton (spokesperson for Soros and seemingly the US war councillor)
DT Libya live 29 March “21.06 There appears to be a split between Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen who says the role of the coalition is to protect civiliians and Hillary Clinton who has interpreted the 1973 UN resolution to mean that it would be legal to arm rebels. William Hague has insisted that arming rebels was not discussed at the summit in London today.”

The UN charter states that national laws apply. Libyan national law provides for the suppression of armed insurgency as do most if not all nations.
The intervention was permitted based on what might happen if the Libyan air force was allowed to fly that appears to based on the words of 2 deserting Libyan airmen seeking asylum and Gadaffi’s rants, while at the same time Gadaffi is claimed to be insane.
Clinton has an extraordinarily liberal interpretation of the UN resolution pertaining to the Libyan situation, presumably paragraph 4 that “authorises the use of all necessary means (short of an occupation force)“  that is about protecting civilian populated areas under threat of attack.
Lawyers paid to get justification out of the resolution have said it does not prohibit arming rebels. They have not said it supercedes the UN charter that prohibits supplying arms to combatants during conflict. The UN is a toothless doormat as well as a puppet. The puppets in charge of coalition countries are twisting the laws to justify what they want to do and are doing.
The UN appears to have been ignored before the question of arms was raised in that Cameron visited Egypt with arms dealers just prior to the intervention, Egypt has since supplied the insurgents. The US asked Saudi to do the same but they were too busy killing protesters in Bahrain and suppressing protests in their own country.
Considering the numbers the missiles, bombs and bullets from the coalition have killed, the additional deaths due to up-scaling and prolonging the insurgency, personally I question both the sanity of the warmongers, the moral justification for the intervention and the motives of all involved especially in view of the alacrity with which a cartel central bank and new oil company have been established by the insurgents’ council and the insertion of an ambassador by Sarkozy.
Additional factors that the secret services of the countries leading the charge must have been aware of prior to the action is the fact that terrorists involved in killing US and UK forces in Iraq are involved in the uprising. As a specialist in sharia law the head of the council, the insurgents’ leader appears to be an islamic extremist. The insurgents in the main are no more than a small number of amateurs, most ferried in private cars and pick-ups with no clue and no professional leadership that are easily chased away by regulars. In a proper confrontation they would be massacred, perhaps an objective of the coalition. The council certainly has widespread support in Benghazi but it is an extremely dubious assumption to think that it has majority support of the nation.
The Arab League was cajoled to call for the NFZ. Most are dictatorships. Many are seeing protests and responding similarly to Libya except their protesters are unarmed. The African Union was ignored because it called for a peaceful solution.
Vested interests: Sarkozy triggered the intervention. He had signed contracts to supply arms and nuclear energy to Libya that became an embarrassment due to his imminent end of term elections. The US had been mulling fomenting widespread M.E. disruption since 2007. Libya supplies 4% of the world’s oil and its supply and price is controlled by the Libyan government that Gaddafi influences. For other bank clerks like Cameron and Rompuy the state bank is not cartel owned, has a huge gold reserves and Libya has investments in many countries and money in many international banks that could be pocketed were Gaddafi killed and the present government ousted.

This is one kettle of fish a premier that is moral, sane, honest and with an IQ above that of a plank would have been well advised to avoid. Russia or Germany could have vetoed, I suspect Putin wanted to but his boss forbade him. Merkel is as much guided by Bilderberg as her addiction to power. Abstaining was the middle ground between what the “think tank” asses wanted and what the electorate would accept.

In summing up, the threat to Benghazi and permission of the UN were a pretence used to get into Libya and spread mayhem on behalf of interests other than those publicly stated. Fighting a war for a poorly supported insurgence with grandiose ideas was never part of the deal whichever way the UN regulations are contorted.

Now a new conundrum presents. NATO has taken over the NFZ control from the US. NATO is an impartial organisation, it is not allowed to take sides.

With the insurgents that were to attack Sirte still running, currently 70km east of Sirte and beyond the oil town of Ras Lanuf, my recommendation to NATO is to have the insurgents declare a cease fire before an insurgent massacre occurs in Benghazi without a Libyan air force. Let the AU and Turkey mediate a peaceful solution that, unlike Cameron, Sarkozy and Clinton’s methodology, will save lives. Tell the egotists to swallow their personal ambitions and oil and bank vested interests to get TF out.

Western air and naval strikes against Libya are threatening the Arab Spring.
Ironically, one of the reasons many people supported the call for a no-fly zone was the fear that if Gaddafi managed to crush the Libyan people's uprising and remain in power, it would send a devastating message to other Arab dictators: Use enough military force and you will keep your job.
Instead, it turns out that just the opposite may be the result: It was after the UN passed its no-fly zone and use-of-force resolution, and just as US, British, French and other warplanes and warships launched their attacks against Libya, that other Arab regimes escalated their crack-down on their own democratic movements.
In Yemen, 52 unarmed protesters were killed and more than 200 wounded on Friday by forces of the US-backed and US-armed government of Ali Abdullah Saleh. It was the bloodiest day of the month-long Yemeni uprising. President Obama "strongly condemned" the attacks and called on Saleh to "allow demonstrations to take place peacefully".
But while a number of Saleh's government officials resigned in protest, there was no talk from Saleh's US backers of real accountability, of a travel ban or asset freeze, not even of slowing the financial and military aid flowing into Yemen in the name of fighting terrorism.
Similarly in US-allied Bahrain, home of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, at least 13 civilians have been killed by government forces. Since the March 15 arrival of 1,500 foreign troops from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, brought in to protect the absolute power of the king of Bahrain, 63 people have been reported missing.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said: "We have made clear that security alone cannot resolve the challenges facing Bahrain. Violence is not the answer, a political process is."
But she never demanded that foreign troops leave Bahrain, let alone threatened a no-fly zone or targeted air strikes to stop their attacks.
More (22 March)

The rebel interim council is demanding the right to buy arms to defend the insurgency and their gains against liberation by gov't forces.
Sorry, I'll right that.
The rebel interim council is demanding the right to buy arms to defend the freed cities against capture by Gaddafi.
Media is taking on board the fact that the coalition has enabled a civil war to develop from a protest.

BBC 18:25: RANsquawk tweets: "Libya rebel military spokesman says fighting under way in Brega. Ajdabiya will be new line of defence."
18:33: Following on from that last tweet, rebel spokesman Ahmad Bani tells Reuters that civilians are under threat from the advancing Libyan army and he called on coalition planes to "take out" Gaddafi's forces. He added: "We are seeking weapons that will be able to destroy the heavy weapons they are using against us such as tanks and artillery."
If the rebels lay down their arms and declare a cease fire then the call to protect them as citizens can be justified imo.

First indication of the size of the Libyan forces from Sirte:
BBC 1850: Wednesday's chaotic retreat by rebel forces from a number of towns and villages they had seized in recent days came after they were confronted by thousands of Chadian Republican Guards, rebel spokesman Col Ahmed Bani told reporters in Benghazi.

Amnesty International has released a briefing report about those forcibly "disappeared" in Libya.

Libyan rebels are reportedly fighting Gaddafi's troops in the oil town of Brega, and have asked coalition forces for arms supplies and air support.
Ahmad Bani, a rebel army spokesman in the stronghold of Benghazi, said they had to pull back after the better-equipped Libyan military gained ground. Bani said civilians were under threat and that warplanes should "take out" Gaddafi's forces.
" Fighting is now under way at Brega and Ajdabiya will be a new defence point. We are seeking weapons that will be able to destroy the heavy weapons they are using against us such as tanks and artillery."
2:59am Nancy Soderberg, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, says the United States may consider providing "defensive weapons" to anti-Gaddafi fighters in Libya - but doing so "quietly".
She tells Al Jazeera that officials will always seek to further their strategic interests, but that the US did not create the armed rebel groups, and doesn't entirely know who they are.

[Via Qatar? (Note, the country has a history of hospitality to terrorists.)]

16.44 An air strike was carried out on Gaddafi's forces near Ajdabiyah, where rebels are sheltering after having been routed from their front lines, an AFP reporter witnessed. The strike, about 10 kilometres (6.5 miles) west of Ajdabiyah, sent a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky and brought cries of jubilation from the rebel fighters, who had earlier called for air support by coalition jets. The air raid was the first in two days in eastern Libya, where rebel forces were pushed back some 200 kilometres on Wednesday by Gaddafi's forces who blazed through town after town with tanks and heavy artillery.
[Ajdabiyah (deserted when the insurgents arrived) is the last stop before Benghazi. What if The Libyan forces go for the council?
NATO has officially stepped beyond neutrality and is now an aggressor.]

20:09 The influential chairman of the US House of Representatives' intelligence committee has just said he opposes supplying arms to the rebels. Republican Mike Rogers said:
Quote As we publicly debate next steps on Libya, I do not support arming the Libyan rebels at this time. We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them.

Is Libya being bombed by bloody U.S. Zio thugs because Gaddafi wants to introduce gold dinar?
Doubtful it is the whole reason but it could be an additional factor.

2040: The Libyan government has warned foreign companies against signing oil deals with the Benghazi-based rebels. "No country can leave the management of this commodity to armed gangs to tamper with it as a commodity or with its revenues," the statement by the General People's Committee said. It was carried on the state news agency Jana, as translated by BBC Monitoring.

BBC quicky leaks
2105: President Obama has signed a secret order authorising covert US support for the Libyan rebels, Reuters reports, citing government sources. The CIA and the White House have declined immediate comment.
Get Gaddafi? Not much time left before the oil fields are recovered if the push continues. As the number of fronts dwindles more Libyan forces can be deployed to Misurata and Ajdabiyah. Maybe they'll keep Misurata at stalemate, bypass Benghazi and go for Tobruk or the softer towns in between. Either way that will leave the insurgents with 1/2 Misurata, Benghazi and maybe Tobruk isolated.
(I'm off to the bookies. Damn, too late. )

Like watching a chess game.
Was the CIA permission backdated? Does it comply with the UN resolution?
The facade the UN presents has been undermined and contributions to the empty drum should be stopped immediately.
The UN needs to state whether the UN resolution has greater authority than the charter. That will resolve the arms issue and if the UN follows the script, they will approve arms supply to parties in conflict opening a whole new era of conflict escalation.
NATO, the UK should withdraw as it can no longer be relied on to be neutral.
The UK could actually end up better off for once.
Just the EU left. The European Council is "the buck stops here" nomination. They sanctioned an apparently illegal intervention in an internal affair.
Time to get out of the EU before the country gets screwed any further.

2124: Another tweet from CNN's Nic Robertson: "This woman w/injured leg is only purported civilian injury we hv seen despite govt claims numerous civilians wounded and killed n air strikes"

Business is bombing
No Business Like War Business: Who Stands to Profit from Intervention in Libya?
From the Pentagon to the French government to the water privatizers, here are some of the beneficiaries of the campaign in Libya.
March 30, 2011
Lies, hypocrisy and hidden agendas. This is what United States President Barack Obama did not dwell on when explaining his Libya doctrine to America and the world. The mind boggles with so many black holes engulfing this splendid little war that is not a war (a "time-limited, scope-limited military action", as per the White House) - compounded with the inability of progressive thinking to condemn, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the Muammar Gaddafi regime and the Anglo-French-American "humanitarian" bombing.
...Incidentally, the "coalition of the wiling" fighting Libya consists of only 12 NATO members (out of 28) plus Qatar. This has absolutely nothing to do with an "international community".
Freudian slip, Wiling?

Did Levy mislead Sarkozy? Here is some propaganda.
A Washington Post correspondent visited Tripoli and was convinced that Muammar Gaddafi is still a "beloved leader for much of the population".
"To all outward appearances, this is a city deeply enamored of Muammar Gaddafi. His portraits hang from lampposts, adorns shopping centers and sprouts from the gleaming new office blocks rising from the seafront.
Sayings from his Green Book are posted in government buildings - says journalist of The Washington Post. - How deep that support runs in a populace is impossible to tell. But six days into the allied bombardment of Libyan military targets, it is clear that Gaddafi can count on the fierce loyalties of at least a significant segment of the population in the vast stretches that lie beyond the enclave of rebel-held territory in the east".
After just six days, writes, in turn, the French Le Figaro, Europe has already started to think over how to implement some (! - KC) national reconciliation (i.e., how to get out of the military adventure without losing face - KC). On the background of the U.S. that distanced from the role of coordinator in the operation of the allies, the European Union began to worry about its image".
Meanwhile, a well-known former Soviet-era dissident of Orthodox-Nationalist orientation, Vladimir Osipov, who is living in Alexandrov, Vladimir region (Russian-occupied Muromia), condemned the attacks of the Western crusaders on Libya and told about the religious aspects of this dirty war:
For "enlightened" West, which renounced Christ, it is not enough to have two "teaching" wars in Asia. It needed a new, a third war - this time in Africa. They wanted to torture Libya. The West needs oil, and to kill the rebellious leader who causes it trouble. All the states are unanimous in that.
All of them line up before the main Tyrant (Obama - KC). And only a few countries, just a few that can be counted on fingers on one hand, refuse to obey America. Refusing to kneel before the godless alliance in the name of Globalization. The Antichrist globalization. In front of the New World Order. In front of information and mobile society with a chip from Antichrist. In front of the World Government.
The rest of the article has some startling (if proved right) implications for the actors.

American media silent on CIA ties to Libya rebel commander

It has been six days since Khalifa Hifter was appointed the top military commander for the Libyan rebel forces fighting the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. His appointment was noted by reporter Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers, a US regional chain that includes the Sacramento Bee and the Kansas City Star.
Two days later, another McClatchy journalist, Chris Adams, wrote a brief biographical sketch of Hifter that left the implication, without saying so explicitly, that he was a longtime CIA asset. It headlined the fact that after defecting from a top position in Gaddafi’s army, Hifter had lived in northern Virginia for some 20 years, as well as noting that Hifter had no obvious means of financial support.
The World Socialist Web Site published a perspective March 28 taking note of both the McClatchy articles and earlier reports providing more details of Hifter’s connections to the CIA. These included a 1996 article in the Washington Post and a book published by the French weekly Le Monde diplomatique. (See A CIA commander for the Libyan rebels” )

Former Libyan Al Qaeda Leader Says There Are 1000 jihadists Amongst Rebels
US, UK still wants to supply them with weapons
A former leader of an al Qaeda linked group in Libya claims that there are around 1000 fundamentalist Islamic fighters in the country that have joined the uprising against Col. Moammar Gaddafi’s forces, a number that jives with intelligence reports and independent estimates. Yet still the allied NATO forces are considering arming the rebels.
Former jihadist Noman Benotman, who renounced his al Qaeda affiliation in 2000, said in an interview that he estimates 1,000 jihadists are in Libya, reports the Washington Times.

Newly appointed Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi has said that his country is ready to promote ties between Tehran and Cairo.§ionid=351020101

Ouattara forces seize Ivorian capital
Latest reports indicate that forces loyal to Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized president Alassane Ouattara have taken control of the capital, Yamoussoukro.§ionid=351020506
DT 30 March [defected, didn't defect, did too]
A British official said Mr Koussa's decision to resign represented a significant blow to the Gaddafi regime but warned that there were delicate issues to be worked through in talks with the foreign minister. Late last night it was said to be impossible to predict the outcome of the negotiations.
As head of Libya external intelligence, Mr Koussa was an MI6 asset for almost two decades. He was charged with conducting negotiations to bring Libya in from the cold and giving up its weapons of mass destruction in 2003.
The British government has announced controversial plans to ban protestors from taking part in public gatherings following the weekend anti-cuts rallies, which were marred by violence.

Despite the Bahraini regime's violent suppression of pro-democracy protestors, the British ambassador to the Persian Gulf kingdom is calling for even closer ties with the regime.
The ambassador, Jamie Brown, introduces visitors of the website of the British embassy in Bahrain to the “long history of… friendship” between London and Manama regardless of the ongoing bloody crackdown on Bahraini demonstrators.

Summary for my time challenged friends.
Government forces have gained the upper hand with the insurgents chased back to Ajdabiyah, the last major town before Benghazi.
The coalition appear to be in a quandary having apparently seriously overestimated the strength and capability of what the Libyan government termed armed gangs.
Sarkozy may be looking for a graceful exit before he is likely less than gracefully exited from politics by (a pretty-for-her-age far-right National Front VP or) Dominique de Villepin who established a new political party on Saturday, the "Republique solidaire" (United Republic).
Is the French ambassador still in Benghazi? Silly man.
NATO appears to have gone from neutral defender of the innocent to aggressive attacker - there Yugo again.
Syrian protests continue and a reinforced security presence is evident. Only one death AFAIK 30 March
Syria claims a terrorist cell has been found.
BBC sometimes types faster than DT live journos.
I suspect real reporters have been let off the leash there as DT and other reportage makes propaganda irrelevant. No wonder the political classes that think they are a dictatorship want a policeman to accompany every internet connection. Ha. If it was so easy.
Doesn't it make you sick? All those criminal cannabis abusers are less likely to get some common cancers. Some cancer victims are likely to see remission. Official. I'll dig out the link tomorrow 'cos it's g'night from me.

Screen cap from NYT Map of the Rebellion in Libya, Day by Day

CCNet: Green Climate Politics Turn Into A Toxic Hazard

CCNet – 31 March 2011 The Climate Policy Network

Green Climate Politics Turn Into A Toxic Hazard

A UK poll for this week’s Climate Week found 45% of the younger generation think climate change is man-made, but only 26% of people close to retiring age agree. –The Mirror, 25 March 2011

The public are sick of the climate change debate, and resentful at being constantly blamed every time they drive a car or fly to Majorca.  We don’t believe it, we won’t vote for it, we won’t pay for it. And the sooner the government catches up with the public mood, the better. –Roger Helmer, MEP, Brussels 31 March 2011

Benny Peiser’s talk was the one that intrigued me. He essentially argued that the science is irrelevant – that the public have made their minds up and that they vote out any party that pushes the green line too far. He also noted that they have moved on to other issues, such as the economy. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 30 March 2011

The global warming hysteria is well and truly over. How do we know? Because all the relevant indicators – polls, news coverage, government u-turns and a manifest lack of interest among policy makers – show a steep decline in public concern about climate change. –Benny Peiser, 23 March 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces a fight over her plans to tax carbon emissions and mining profits after her Labor party was defeated in elections in New South Wales, the country’s most populous state. “This is doom and gloom for Julia Gillard,” said John Warhurst, a political analyst at Australian National University. –Gemma Daley, Bloomberg, 28 March 2011

While greens spent nearly $100 million over the past two years lobbying to pass their biggest prize of all — cap-and-trade legislation — Senate Democratic leaders probably lost votes during more than a year of negotiations and opted to not even hold a floor debate.  In the coming weeks, House Republicans are planning to hold a vote to halt the Obama administration’s climate agenda. It’s a slam dunk to pass, with the only suspense being how many Democrats will side with Republicans. –Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 30 March 2011

The greens’ political punch has grown weaker as their issues stay in the headlines, from California’s rolling blackouts a decade ago to last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill to more warnings about global warming. None of those have translated into political victories they can claim credit for. “I don’t understand how these guys, the funders, don’t ask for their money back or start suing for political incompetence,” a longtime Democratic strategist said of the Washington-based environmental movement. “You’re judged by how many campaigns you win, lose or come damn close. They haven’t gotten anywhere with that.” –Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 30 March 2011

1) Carbon Tax Kills Labour Government In Australia’s NSW – Bloomberg, 28 March 2011

2) 75% Of Middle-Aged Britons Harbour Doubt About Man-Made Climate Change – The Mirror, 25 March 2011

3) Roger Helmer, MEP: Winning The Argument On Climate Policy – Roger Helmer, MEP, Brussels 31 March 2011

4) It’s Not Easy Being Green Anymore – Politico, 30 March 2011

5) Spectator Debate Result: ‘The Global Warming Concern is over. Time for a Return to Sanity.’

6) Andrew Montford: The Spectator Debate – Bishop Hill, 30 March 2011

7) Americans Least Concerned About Global Warming

Gallup, 28 March 2011

8. David Whitehouse: Don’t Ignore Nature – The Observatory, 28 March 2011

9) Cardinal George Pell To Deliver 2011 Annual GWPF Lecture - The Global Warming Policy Foundation