April 6th, 2011

Libyagate: Monday DT & Al Jazeera Libya live

Prison planet titled the following piece: Former CIA officer blows lid off libya fraud live on CNN
The American Dream - This Is What Happens When Establishment Control Of The Media Cracks For A Moment
Every once in a while, establishment control of the mainstream media cracks for a moment. In an effort to achieve higher ratings, mainstream news programs will invite guests on that promise to be "interesting", but then they will say something that is not part of the script and the entire system will go into a state of chaos for a moment. One example of this happened recently when two CNN "infobabes" interviewed former CIA officer Michael Scheuer about the situation on the ground in Libya. They asked Scheuer some questions regarding the role of the CIA in Libya, but the interview rapidly moved in some directions that the "infobabes" were not anticipating. Instead of sticking to the "Republican" or the "Democrat" script, Scheuer ripped both parties and he detailed many of the reasons why we should have never gone into Libya at all.
Vid - youtube.com/watch?v=dDVt_hSo_EU
/continues


RAF 'needs more cash' says Air Chief Marshall
The RAF needs "more investment" if it is to continue running the range of operations ministers demand, the head of the force said. /Indy here
[Cameron - uuuuuunlucky, we gave it all to the insurgents...]
Wars are continued as finance dictates. Libya did not have a national debt as it had not participated in the private central bank scam and has large reserves both of gold and currency apart from that "confiscated" or "frozen" by central bank owned countries.
Libya National Budget and Public Debt
Budget:
revenues: $35.08 billion expenditures: $35.9 billion (2009 est.)
revenues: $56.35 billion expenditures: $29.12 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt: 6.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
4% of GDP (2008 est.)
3.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
Info from economywatch.com/economic-statistics/Libya/National_Budget/
The UK national debt is over £8 with 12 zeros if pension etc commitments are included. Cameron is shooting for the stars, attempting to equal the US debt.


Excerpts from live updates:
Al J April 4
blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-april-4
GMT +2
12:02am In a bit of good news emerging out of Libya, Lotfi Al Masoudi, one of four Al Jazeera journalists detained by Libyan forces has been released.


12:05am As Libya's deputy foreign minister meets the Greek prime minister in Athens, the editor of the Greek magazine Odyssey tells Al Jazeera that Greece doesn't believe there is a military solution to the conflict in Libya.

12:09am Chad has called on coalition forces to protect its citizens in opposition-held areas, saying dozens had been accused and executed for allegedly being mercenaries paid by Gaddafi.
"Since the beginning of the Libyan crisis, Chadians in Libya, especially those in areas controlled by the transitional national council, have been singled out," a statement from Chad's government spokesman Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet said.
"Dozens of Chadians have known this sad fate."
The statement said several Chadian nationals had been arrested, some were "paraded on television as mercenaries and sometimes executed" despite denials that Libya had recruited any mercenaries from its southern neighbour.


2:14am The United States has agreed to a NATO request to conduct air strikes on Libya through Monday, the Pentagon confirmed to Al Jazeera.
[Poor Obama, wham bam thank you ma'm just ain't going to plan as with the whole Libyan mess. As with his ratings in the US. If the puppeteers have cast him adrift, Obama may stay the course in Libya, guaranteeing his ouster come the elections, even impeachment is possible.]


5:59am The current official line from the US Defence Department on why it's not actually drawing down its forces from NATO operations yet:
"Due to poor weather conditions over the last few days in Libya, the United States has approved a request by NATO to extend the use of some U.S. strike aircraft. These aircraft will continue to conduct and support Alliance air-to-ground missions throughout this weekend."


9:23am Seif al-Islam and Saadi Gaddafi, two of the leader's sons, are floating a plan to end the conflict in Libya by removing their father from power, the New York Times has reported, citing "a diplomat" and a Libyan official.

10:19am [Deja vu] US warplanes will withdraw from Libyan airspace late today, the AP reports, citing a NATO official. America kept its jets in the area on Monday in response to a request from NATO.

11:39am Rebels and government troops are exchanging fire in Brega, and the opposition still appears unable to completely retake the strategic oil town for the fourth straight day of fighting.
A column of fighters moved to within one kilometre of the university on the western edge of town, the AFP news agency reported.
Al Jazeera's Sue Turton, reporting from 10 kilometres east of the city, said the rebels managed to advance west after retreating the previous day due to help from overnight coalition air strikes. They're also fearful of the ground on either side of the main coastal highway, which they say has been mined by Gaddafi's forces.
Human Rights Watch confirmed that the regime's troops have used anti-tank and anti-personnel mines.
[Is the HRW biased?]


12:06pm Italy appears to have become the third country to effectively recognise the opposition Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
[AFAIK meaningless until the UN says it isn't. Until there is a decisive coalition - I mean insurgent victory, such is unlikely.]


1:52pm A separate aid shipoperated by Doctors Without Borders took 71 wounded Misurata residents from the city to the Tunisian port of Sfax on Sunday. The injured had bullet wounds and broken limbs; one man's face had been "completely disfigured" by burns, Reuters reported.

1:47pm The Ankara, the converted Turkish cruise ship that carried more than 250 refugees from Misurata to Benghazi, will reach Cesme, Turkey, on Tuesday night. Reuters reports that thousands of Misurata residents tried to board the ship when it docked.

1:55pm The Liberian-registered tanker Equator is due to arrive in Tobruk on today, where it will take on board the rebels' first shipment of crude oil for sail, the Platts news agency reports.

3:15pm Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee has just been speaking with Iman Bugaighis, a spokesperson for the Transition National Council, who says that the TNC believes that "more defections will occur", and that the matter of safe passage for Muammar Gaddafi is for him to take up with NATO, not with the opposition.
She said that the opposition has clearly laid down the preconditions for a ceasefire, including the pulling back of Gaddafi's forces and freedom of expression across the country.
She said the TNC refuses to negotiate with any member of Gaddafi's family.
Bughaighis also said that Gaddafi's decision to bomb oil fields was an "act of desperation" to "exert pressure on NATO", as well as to "deprive [the opposition] of any resources".

------------------------
DT April 4 telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8390035/Libya-Live.html
07.20 An interesting report from the New York Times that appears to show even Gaddafi's sons are turning against him. The paper says that Saif and Saadi el-Kadhafi are proposing a transition to a constitutional democracy that would include their father's removal from power. It is not clear whether Gaddafi himself has signed off on this proposal or whether they are working against him.
Opinion - At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.


07.27 Meanwhile Aislinn Laing reports on the deteriorating situation in Ivory Coast where two presidents are battling it out for power. Her report - France sends more troops as Ivory Coast worsens - details how civilians are now being caught up in the violence with most barricading themselves in their homes with dwindling power, water and food supplies as armed looters roam the city.

07.40 The US has agreed to Nato's request for a 48-hour extension of American participation in coalition airstrikes against targets in Libya. The US Defence Department said:
Quote - Due to poor weather conditions over the last few days in Libya, the United States has approved a request by NATO to extend the use of some U.S. strike aircraft. These aircraft will continue to conduct and support Alliance air-to-ground missions throughout this weekend.
[That will not be good for Obama's re-election prospects. He is already a week past his get out by date. ]


08.22 Al Arabiya news channel is reporting that 400 people have been wounded in police clashes in Yemen.
Opinion - Police using live rounds and tear gas wounded more than 400 protesters who tried to march to a presidential palace in Yemen's Red Sea city of Hudaida early on Monday, as reports said that President Barack Obama's administration has shifted position on President Ali Abdullah Saleh and now believes he should leave office.


09.07 Nato says the US military is pulling its warplanes from front-line missions today and shifting to a support role in the Libyan conflict. Britain, France and other Nato allies will now provide the fighter and attack jets to conduct intercept and ground attack missions. The hand-over is expected to take place late in the day, said a Nato official who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Congress the US will continue to provide assets that others don't have in sufficient numbers. These are expected to include AWACS air surveillance planes, electronic reconnaissance aircraft and aerial refueling tankers.


09.25 The opposition is renewing its offensive at Brega today with a column of Libyan rebel fighters pushing towards the key oil town after having beaten a scattered retreat when ambushed by Gaddafi's forces the previous day.
The fighters made it to within five miles of the outskirts of Brega without encountering any resistance from loyalist forces, an AFP correspondent reported.
[Gov't forces seem to have ambushing down to a fine art. Is this another?]


09.39 The Libyan rebels' Transitional National Council has rejected any transition under Gaddafi's sons after The New York Times reported that two of them had proposed that. Speaking in the rebel strongyhold of Benghazi spokesman Shamseddin Abdulmelah said:
Quote - This is completely rejected by the council. Gaddafi and his sons have to leave before any diplomatic negotiations can take place.


11.49 Al Jazeera television, citing unnamed witnesses, has reported that forces loyal to Gaddafi have bombarded Misla oil field in eastern Libya. Misla, operated by the eastern-based Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) which is under the control of rebels, lies in the desert about 400 km (250 miles) south of the rebel-held town of Ajdabiyah.
[Insurgents illegally selling oil likely provoked this, maybe too it is added leverage.]


12.30 The head of Italian oil group Eni (ENI.MI) Paolo Scaroni has visited Benghazi in the past two days to discuss eneregy cooperation with the rebel movement, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says.
Quote - The CEO of Italian company Eni visted Benghazi two days ago. He contacted the council. He had important meetings on restarting cooperation about energy with the council that has the responsibility and the possiblity to restart economic cooperation.
Meanwhile Libyan rebels will this week load the first tanker with crude since the uprising against leader Muammar Gaddafi fully suspended exports from the North African country, Platts news agency reports.
[Cynically I wonder what price the coalition's insurgency is selling the oil to its air force?]


13.00 An envoy for the Libyan opposition is also expected to go to Turkey. Turkey said it was seeking to broker a ceasefire in Libya and expected to hold discussions with an envoy from Muammar Gaddafi's government due in Ankara on Monday and a representative of the opposition.

14.14 Britain is not pursuing an exit strategy for Gaddafi, David Cameron's spokesman has confirmed. He said:
Quote - There have been lots of reports of envoys and of the regime reaching out in a number of ways. We have been very clear throughout about what the next step should be and that needs to be a genuine ceasefire and an end to violence.
[There is no exit strategy to pursue. Cameron will be drawing his bank and EU pension before this ends the way it is going.]


14.20 The bombardment of Misurata by Gaddafi forces continues. Government troops been shelling the rebel-held city since early this morning, a rebel spokesman said.

15.06 Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Turkish officials today as an envoy of Gaddafi arrived in Ankara for talks on a possible ceasefire in Libya. Rasmussen held talks behind closed doors with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a meeting attended also by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul.

Libyagate: Tuesday

The amount of people that fled the violence in Libya to date numbers 400,000, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said here Friday. Link
[Is that since the coalition's humanitarian aid bombing began?]

Rebels execute black immigrants while forces kidnap others
While much of the world’s attention is focusing on crude oil prices and the Libyan pipelines in the east of the country– human right groups say rebels are committing crimes against humanity.
In east Libya, African hunt began as towns and cities began fall under the control of Libyan rebels, mobs and gangs. They started to detain, insult, rape and even executing black immigrants, students and refugees. /Link
[It would be enlightening to discover how many were killed in east compared to west Libya.]

How Libya kept migrants out of EU – at any cost
European leaders have been criticised for the selective humanitarian impulses that impelled them to turn against their erstwhile ally Colonel Gaddafi, while remaining passive in the face of the repression of pro-democracy protests in Yemen or Bahrain. Libyan oil has been cited as one of the main reasons for this discrepancy.
But there is another aspect of European hypocrisy and double-standards in dealing with the Libyan dictator that has received less attention ­ namely Libya’s crucial role as a barrier against Europe’s unwanted immigrants.
With a possible endgame in the Libyan civil war now beginning to emerge, with Gaddafi sending his envoy Abdelati al-Obeidi to Greece to discuss a way out of the conflict, it is worth reminding ourselves of the extent of such cooperation. /full woeful tale here

2 Qaddafi Sons Are Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out NYT link
At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.

Yanks asking why the US is involved in Libya
youtube.com/watch?v=Fbd8WgfjAos

Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings Daily Telegraph
Moussa Koussa could face criminal proceedings in a British court for his alleged involvement in IRA bombings within weeks, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The legal team representing nearly 160 British victims of IRA bomb attacks which used Libyan-supplied Semtex are considering bringing a private prosecution against the former Libyan foreign minister within weeks. /Link

The ‘dirty secret’ of British arms sales to Libya just months before Gaddafi slaughtered pro-democracy protesters Mail
Britain sold weapons to Libya and other dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East just four months before Colonel Gaddafi’s regime slaughtered hundreds of protesters, a damning report reveals today.Ministers approved the export of sniper rifles, bullets, tear gas and other ‘crowd control’ ammunition to Tripoli shortly before the murderous dictator ordered his military to crush a pro-democracy uprising.

Do we really have the stomach to keep bombing Gaddafi for six months? Mail
So it becomes official: this will not be over by Easter. Yesterday the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, revealed that he expects his Tornados to fly many more missions over Libya.
‘In general terms’, he said, ‘we are now planning on the basis of at least six months, and we’ll see where we go from there’.
[Then another, and another, 12 years may still be conservative. Gaddafi will not go for free.]

Al Jazeera GMT+2 blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-april-5
Monday
10:30pm Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, has once again reiterated his government’s stance that Muammar Gaddafi “must go”.

10:32pm The US government says that it has lifted sanctions on Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned from his post and left Libya for the UK, AFP reports.

10:42pm Training for Libya’s rebel army is an ongoing process. These pictures were taken today at a training camp near Benghazi by Reuters.

10:52pm Lawrence Gonzi, the Maltese prime minister, met with Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, Libya’s acting foreign minister, today, though officials remain tightlipped about the content of the talks.
[out of 'arms way?]

11:13pm A statement is expected within a few minutes regarding those talks between Gaddafi’s envoy al-Obeidi and the Maltese PM.
Karl Stagno-Navarro, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Malta, reports that it is possible that Libya is looking for Malta and Greece to act as mediators with the European Union in order to ease the pressure.
Navarro reports that it is possible that Malta could play an important role, but the prime minister has put the precondition that Gaddafi’s forces must lay down their arms.

11:30pm Libyan state television has shown footage of Muammar Gaddafi saluting supporters at his Bab Al Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, Reuters reports.

Tuesday
12:23am A Libyan government spokesperson said Libya is ready for a “political solution” with world powers, the Reuters news agency reports.
[Talk to the dog rather than the tail?]

12:31am Libya has said Gaddafi must stay, but the country is ready to discuss reforming its political system, Reuters reports.
The government said only Libyans themselves can decided if Gaddafi should stay or not.

12:37am The Libyan government says it’s ready to hold elections, a referendum or any other reform to its political system, Reuters reports.

2:27am The US Treasury is ending its freeze on former Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa’s assets following his decision to sever ties to Gaddafi’s government and flee to Britain last week, a senior US Treasury official said.

3:20am Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi’s forces are worried about their financial resources and want to start exporting both oil and natural gas, the UN special envoy to Libya said.

4:03am The European Union said it could provide special assistance to member countries facing a refugee crisis and ease refugees’ conditions after political upheaval in north Africa.
“In case of a massive inflow of displaced persons and refugees (from Libya, Tunisia or Egypt), the European Commission would be ready to make use of the 2001 directive that provides immediate protection” to these people, said Cecilia Malstroem, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, on Monday, the AFP news agency reported.
This comes as more than 22,000 migrants, mostly from Tunisia, have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa since the Tunisian revolution in January.
[Any accepted by the UK should cause the number allowed in from elsewhere to be reduced, and not a "quango" type reduction either.]

7:00am Moussa Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman, tells reporters that they are ready for negotiations as long as it is from within Libya.

8:00am US fighter jets have ended their combat missions in Libya, with Nato to take full command of operations.

8:15am Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports on how the pro-democracy fighters have managed to push Gaddafi’s troops into the old town of Brega. And how many of the residents are desperate to leave due to shortage of basic supplies.

I’ll add DT Libya Live items that Al J hasn’t already reported to this post a little later.

Some stories I’ll be reading later:
World Socialist Web Site
Two or Three Things You Need to Know About Afghanistan
Egypt: Revolution or Coup?

Russians Have Second Thoughts on Libya Israel Shamir
Russia is different. The Americans, the British, the French by and large approve of their forces’ Libya bombing spree (yes, some doubt whether it’s good value for their tax money). The Russians are flatly against it, without ifs and buts. The Russian Ambassador in Tripoli Vladimir Chamov came back to hero welcome in Moscow. President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed him publicly after the Ambassador had sent him a cable. In the five-points cable leaked to the press, the Ambassador called Medvedev’s response to Libya crisis “betrayal of Russian national interests”.  (Later, the two sides climbed down a bit: the Foreign Office said Chamov was not “fired”, just “called back” from Tripoli, and that he retains his ambassadorial rank and salary, while Chamov denies he used the word “betrayal”.)
The Russians do not like the Western intervention in Libya. The rebels do not appear genuine, note the Russian internet critics; they are a peculiar, mixed bag of Kaddafi’s ministers fired for corruption, al-Qaeda mujahedeen,  riff-raff beefed up by SAS soldiers and supported by these best friends of every Arab, American cruise missiles. The Russian media discovered that the first reports of massive civil casualties inflicted by ruthless Kaddafi appears to have been invented by editors in London and Paris. More civilians were killed by the Western intervention than by the rebels. The mass-readership Komsomolskaya Pravda published reports from Russians in Libya that flatly disproved claims of Kaddafi’s planes bombing residential quarters: this was done by the French and British bombers. /more

A Very Dirty Trade-Off: the US / Saudi Deal on Libya and Bahrain
Fukushima Forecast: 417,000 Cancers, Will George Monbiot Donate His Bone Marrow?

Etceteras
Migrant crime wave revealed: Foreign arrests have almost doubled in just THREE years Mail
On climate time series, although the raw data is still inaccessible BEST have produced data that is not dissimilar to previous findings. Motl is still trying to download gigabytes of data from their website. We know T increased around 0.6C last century as a net, about a tenth of a degree above the average since the LIA ended. I’m expecting there to be a renewed war of attrition over hundredths of degrees when the graphs come out. Motl pointed out the speed with which the exercise reached a conclusion and the speed with which the conclusions were related to the US Houses.
The alarmist NYT piece (to stymie claims of bias) here

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Update

Comment on this Tuesday
08.41 Reports are emerging of a family rift opening up between Gaddafi’s two sons Mutassim and Saif over plans for a ceasefire.
Damien McElroy reports in today’s paper: Gaddafi sons split over plans for ceasefire
While Saif believes that talks would be impossible without a ceasefire, Mutassim wants to ensure the regime cannot be beaten. He is reported to have said ‘people get sick of dying, we have to keep fighting until we’ve beaten the opposition’.

08.18 Ministers have been criticised by MPs over arms exports to regimes in Libya and Bahrain.
Telegraph In a report MPs from the arms export control committees accused the Coalition Government of misjudging the risk that arms could be used for internal repression. Sales only stopped in January this year.
(Article)

08.45 Col Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi claims Moussa Koussa was allowed to leave Libya and insists he knows nothing about the Lockerbie bombing. He tells BBC world affairs editor John Simpson:
“The British and the Americans they know about Lockerbie, they know everything about Lockerbie so there are no secrets anymore. Come on. The British government say this: you have no immunity unless you co-operate. He [Moussa Koussa] is sick, he is sick and old so if you put it this way, no immunity of course… [he] will come out with the funny stories.”

08.55 Meanwhile in war-torn Ivory Coast, The Telegraph’s Africa Correspondent Aislinn Laing is reporting that defeated Presidential candidate Laurent Gbagbo is negotiating his surrender.
(Article)

09.28 The Telegraph’s Damien McElroy reports that al-Qaeda meanwhile have benefited from the Libya unrest, with convoys of weapons looted from barracks to be taken to camps in northern Mali.

13.01 David Cameron, who is in Pakistan, has sought to reassure the Muslim population that the military operation in Libya is not an “attack on Islam”.
Opinion Nothing could be further from the truth.
I don’t think anyone can seriously argue that international action in Libya is an attack on Islam. Backed by the United Nations and the Arab League, we have taken action to protect people – predominantly Muslim people – from slaughter, just as we did in Kosovo over a decade ago.
(Article)

09.31 In Yemen, the US has quietly signalled it no longer backs embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
(Article)

09.33 And in Syria, authorities are to unveil new legislation to replace the country’s emergency laws before the weekend, according to the al-Watan newspaper.
(Article)

10.14 Libyan rebels have been sent scattering under a barrage of shelling early today by Gaddafi forces on the edge of Brega, according to AFP.

10.25 Reports from AFP breaking that Nato has launched its latest airstrike on Gaddafi forces near the eastern oil town of Brega.

10.49 The Gbagbo camp is now saying that an assault by UN and French forces on two military camps killed many, as soldiers lived with their families on the bases.

11.06 Gbagbo’s camp is also now denying that he has reached the point of surrender.

11.59 William Hague yesterday assured the House of Commons that Britain is not involved in arming Libyan rebels but that non-lethal military equipment may be provided to support them.
[Cameron went to Egypt before starting the war sightseeing?]

12.33 The International Criminal Court prosecutor has now said he wants to speak with Moussa Koussa, the former foreign minister, for his investigation into crimes against civilians in Libya.

13.20 Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the African Union chairman, has condemned foreign military intervention in Ivory Coast and Libya

13.55 Alistair Burt, Britain’s foreign minister, stressed there will be no foreign occupation in Libya in an interview with the Arabic daily El Chourouk.
Opinion There will be absolutely no foreign occupation or invasion in Libya… the UK believes that Gaddafi should go, and should go now. Libya has no future with him at the helm.
[" ... unleashed hell", evidence please. Did he use British supplied weapons? The invasion will start when Italian troops "accompany" aid workers. Hell is Somalia, the Ivory Coast and dictatorships where unarmed protesters are shot.]

NYT’s gov’t approved view of events
Libya, an oil-rich nation in North Africa, has been under the firm, if sometimes erratic, leadership of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi since he seized power in 1969. But in February 2011, the unrest sweeping through much of the Arab world erupted in several Libyan cities. Though it began with a relatively organized core of anti-government opponents in Benghazi, its spread to the capital of Tripoli was swift and spontaneous. Colonel Qaddafi lashed out with a level of violence unseen in either of the other uprisings, but an inchoate opposition cobbled together the semblance of a transitional government, fielded a makeshift rebel army and portrayed itself to the West and Libyans as an alternative to Colonel Qaddafi’s erratic control.
Momentum shifted quickly, however, and the rebels faced the possibility of being outgunned and outnumbered in what increasingly looked like a mismatched civil war. As Colonel Qaddafi’s troops advanced to within 100 miles of Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the west, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military action, a risky foreign intervention aimed at averting a bloody rout of the rebels by loyalist forces. On March 19, American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against Colonel Qaddafi and his government, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war.

Etceteras
Tata group chairman Ratan Tata quizzed over ‘G band allocation scam The Hindu
Tata spoke frankly, says PAC chief.
[Tata is renown in the UK for a charity that failed to disclose funding, Pachauri, (TATA chair) Houghton, Tickell vouched for it then didn't.]

Quake jolts north India The Hindu
A “moderate” 5.7 magnitude earthquake, with its epicentre on the India-Nepal border, jolted north India on Monday evening.
[No nuclear reactors were harmed in the shaking of this quake.
Reminds me, Piers Corbyn may be the man who almost always right about the weather but his N.US quake prediction failed to deliver. No great shakes, so to speak
.]

Update 2
Al J
3:59pm Denmark and Norway have expressed their support for an open-ended military campaign against Gaddafi, while all five Nordic nations have called for him to immediately step down.

4:21pm Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, NATO’s chief of allied operations, says that coalition airstrikes have continued apace since NATO took command of bombing operations from the US.
Van Uhm says that Misurata is the new priority for NATO. Residents of the western town report that they have come under constant bombardment from pro-Gaddafi forces, and have repeatedly called for NATO to intervene in the city.
“Misurata is a number one priority because of the situation on the ground over there. We have confirmation that in Misurata tanks are being dispersed, being hidden, (and) humans being used as shields in order to prevent NATO sorties to identify targets.”
Van Uhm also says that pro-Gaddafi forces are changing their tactics to cope with coalition airstrikes.
“What we have seen is that pro-Gaddafi forces have changed their tactics over days, what we see is that they are more and more using trucks and light vehicles to move their personnel to the frontline. We are trying to identify where those heavy assets like tanks and armoured vehicles are because we have seen that they have chosen to hide in urban areas, even using human shields in order to not be targeted.”

4:34pm A tanker has docked at the eastern Libyan oil port of Tobruk to pick up the first oil cargo to leave Libya for 18 days, says Michelle Bockmann, markets editor of shipping news and data provider Lloyd’s List.
The boat is expected to be loaded on April 6.

4:38pm The Associated Press reports that diplomats are dangling offers of immunity from prosecution and the lifting of asset and travel freezes to members of Gaddafi’s family in order to persuade them to withdraw their support for the Libyan leader.
[Clutching at straws? Who is the genius that came up with this idea? ]

4:40pm Chris Stevens, the US deputy ambassador to Libya, has arrived in Benghazi to hold talks with the opposition’s national council there, according to a US official who was speaking to the Associated Press.
Stevens will be discussing humanitarian and possible financial assistance to be provided to the opposition by the US.

4:53pm Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Tripoli, reports that Libyan state television is planning to broadcast live from Brega at some point this evening.
Hoda Abdel-Hamid, our correspondent who has been reporting from the frontlines, says that it can be said with a fair degree of certainty that Gaddafi’s forces have taken all of Brega, given the intensity of their assault this morning towards Ajdabiya.

5:33pm Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee has been reporting from Benghazi on the status of the conflict near Brega, as well as other stories out of the opposition stronghold.
youtube.com/watch?v=FPDPnGxpDuU

DT
15.00 Sky News’s Jeremy Thompson, who is in Tripoli this week, Tweets that a mosque on Zawiyah that was the subject of a Sky report three weeks ago, is now no longer there.
Twitter #Zawiya mosque now flattened was scene of #skynews Alex Crawford’s dramatic report 3 wks ago.
[Rockets, shells, grenades and bullets don't flatten.]

15.30 Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary has told the Commons that the international community will learn the lessons of Iraq in planning to rebuild Libya.
[Anxious to help, cartel banks will lend the funds needed...]

15.46 Shifting focus to Yemen for a moment, William Hague has said he is “appalled” by the bloodshed. At least 24 people have been killed in as many hours.
[No goodwill humanitarian bombing for them then? The Yemenese people say thank the gods.]

15.47 Nato’s Brig Gen Mark van Uhm has said that the death of Libyan civilians in an air strike last week was an “unfortunate accident”. The air raid on Friday killed 13 people, four of them civilians, 10 miles east of Brega after rebels fired celebratory gunfire into the air prompting warplanes to act in self defence.
[And the 9 combatants?]

16.02 The International Criminal Court proescutor is alleging that Libyan authorities decided they were ready to kill unarmed proesters opposed to Gaddafi’s rule as early as January, even before unrest spread from Tunisia and Egypt.
[The war against Libya was planned in Nov. by some accounts. If so and the UN was aware, perhaps agreement had been secretly made and hence the unique speed the published approval was given for the assault.]

17.10 Watch the Telegraph’s latest Libya video here.
Rebels in Brega with waging war with a homemade rocket launcher mounted on the back of trucks.
[Milk bottles? Joking apart, these things have no guidance. Are they targetting the gov't forces in civilian areas?]

Marsa al Hariga

Google Earth map of Tobruk with Marsa al Hariga indicated

Libyagate: Will the coalition allow the insurgents to fail?

No. They will maintain the war till Gaddafi dies of old age. If the Libyan gov’t goes democratic with Gaddafi behind the scenes, perhaps like an EU president over a facade parliament, while the humanitarian aid bombs continue to fall, who will be the bad boys (terrorists) in that scenario?

Excerpts from the action as it happened from DT and Al J. (Catch up with the BBC here)

There Was Nothing Friendly About the GCC Invasion Why Zogby is Wrong About Bahrain

The Many Qaddafis The man’s changing influence on affairs of Libya and elsewhere.

DT Late Tuesday
18.10 Two boats with 600 migrants have arrived at Lampedua island. Silvio Berlusconi has promised to evacuate.

19.59 The Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent Richard Spencer reports on how a major town in Yemen has fallen to al-Qaeda-backed rebel forces:

20.06 Top Libya rebel commander says NATO leaving people of Misurata to die. (Article)

21.19 Full details of this evening’s rebel press conference: Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Tuesday criticised Nato as too slow to act and said they would ask the U.N. Security Council to suspend its mission unless it “did its job properly”.
[Tail wagging the dog?]

21.33 Read our full report on Nato asking the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after the alliance yesterday said a third of the Libyan leader’s forces had so far been destroyed.  (Article)

DT Wednesday
07:32 From the Telegraph’s front page today: Nato will ask the RAF to contribute more warplanes to step up ground strikes against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. (Article)

08:09 MI5 believed the former Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, was “involved in killing dissidents in Britain”, according to security service files, Duncan Gardham, the Telegraph’s Security Correspondent, writes. (Article)

09:05 Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, has weighed in over Misrata:
“Misrata is in a situation which cannot continue and I am going to discuss it in a few hours time with the Secretary General of NATO.”
Abdelfatah Yunis, the rebel commander, says:
“NATO waits one more week, there will be nothing left in Misrata.”
[If the insurgents return...]

09:08 Jordan has sent fighter aircraft to a European air base to support the no-fly zone over Libya and protect humanitarian flights from the Arab kingdom, its foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, told the Jordan Times newspaper.

10:10 Libyan rebels will now be able to supply the besieged city of Misurata by sea, according to the French defence minister, Gerard Longuet, who said:
“We are going to ensure that aid comes from Benghazi and that at no moment Gaddafi’s military forces will be able to stop this.”
[Would they anyway? Who is vetting the cargo for weapons? Will Libyan army forces receive humanitarian aid bombs to just in case they try to prevent it? I smell a tactic.]

10:38 Gaddafi’s men using human shields, according to NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero.
[Insurgents being suicidal don't fire from private residences and mosques ... There is nothing clean about an armed uprising nor the measures to counter it. The insurgents are no better than the gov't according to the reports on ethnic cleansing.]

11:44 Battles have reportedly been raging for hours today on the Mediterranean coast road as both sides try to break the stalemate. Mohamed el-Masrafy, a member of a rebel special forces unit, said clashes began at 4am (GMT) after Gaddafi’s forces were resupplied with ammunition and moved eastwards out of the oil port of Brega.

12:03 Denmark has appointed a special envoy to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, the Danish foreign ministry has said. The country does not have an ambassador in Tripoli.

12:21 NATO has dismissed rebel criticism of the pace of its military campaign in Libya, saying the number of its airstrikes is increasing every day.

12:28 More than 200 Iranian parliamentarians have condemned the “frightening crimes” of Saudi troops in Bahrain and demanded their departure, state television website reported.

12:30 As fuel supplies continue to paralyse parts of Libya, a source told AFP that Gaddafi has been able to import 19,000 tonnes of petrol from a foreign tanker that had been anchored in Tunisian waters. In the rebel-held east of the country, oil exports were set to resume for the first time since mid-March after the arrival of a tanker capable of holding 100 million dollars’ worth of crude.

*************
Al J GMT+2 Late Tuesday
6:04pm The United Nations has doubled its aid appeal for Libya to $310 million, Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says.
[Both sides have plenty of money, is the aid for Libya or for the migrant refugees and illegals or just an excuse to get funding?]

6:30pm More on NATO operations near Misurata: coalition aircraft launched 14 strikes on Monday, including “a number” targetting air defence systems, tanks and armoured vehicles in the area around the besieged Western town, the alliance says.
The alliance also hit a rocket launcher near Brega on Monday, and ammunition storage facilities in other parts of the country.
[Didn't the insurgents flee at least 18km towards Ajdabiya? How is it besieged?]

7:50pm Algeria is concerned by a noticeable increase in al-Qaeda presence in Libya, Abdelkader Messahel, the country’s deputy foreign minister, said today.

7:56pm Two boats carrying 600 migrants, including Eritreans and Somalians feeling Libya, arrived at Lampedusa island today.
[Fleeing the insurgents by all accounts.]

7:57pm Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, says he wants to question Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who has resigned and fled to London.
Moreno-Ocampo said that Koussa could have crucial information about the inner workings of Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

7:58pm Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has paid tribute to the countries bordering Libya for taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees during the current crisis in the country. He has also paid tribute to Italy and Malta for sheltering thousands of economic migrants and refugees from North Africa – even though Rome says that it wants to send many Tunisians seeking a better life in Europe back home.

8:17pm Geoff Morell, the Pentagon’ spokesman, says that no decision has yet been made on whether or not the US will be helping to arm rebels. At the moment the topic of “non-lethal” aid is being discussed, he says.
[The US has little regard for the UN. Expect more funding cuts if the UN does not support the US more directly.]

8:19pm Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have razed a mosque in Az Zawiyah that had been used by rebels as a base, as well as a graveyard in a central square where opposition fighters are buried in that city.
Gaddafi’s forces are now in firm control of the city, which for weeks had fought back against siege by government troops.
[Army or citizenry? We need a report.]

8:54pm Responding to a question on whether there are divisions on the front line in the rebel army, Younis says:
“I don’t know why the journalists these days are picking up on these rumours. These rumours, whether right or wrong, do not influence the position of the armed forces. There is no disagreement, no problems, between the rebel forces.
“The front line is OK, and there is opportunity for every citizen to join us at the front line.”

[There are several reports on the insurgents leader's speech. He talks about the army invading forgetting that insurgents invaded the oil towns. Then he talks about the slow response of the air force in bombing targets insurgents have designated.]

9:10pm “The situation in the southern areas, as we said the forces that we command the regular armies are on the front line. The oil fields have some patrols and some of our rebel youths that have joined the rebellion. They have tried to shell the Sidr oil field, and there are some damages, but are working on reparing them. All of this is to deny the eastern area access to its oil. Because now the National Council has the legitimacy to sell the oil. And we have started these contacts with Qatar. And the Gaddafi regime does not want the people to enjoy their rights.
“Yesterday we intercepted a brief from their forces saying that they have destroyed the field. These Gaddafi forces have been lying so that they would not be executed by the regime. We also informed NATO about these groups that are trying to sabotage the fields. We told NATO about them, NATO says we cannot shell them when they are in the oil field.
“But these people are on tarmac, and it would not influence the oil fields, but unfortunately they were not bombed.
“The security of the oil fields have intercepted these groups and defended the oil fields. ”

9:33pm General Carter Ham, the chief of the United States’ Africa Command, has been testifying before American lawmakers in Washington DC.
He has reiterated that NATO is now in full command of the mission, and the US is acting only in a supporting role.
Regarding al-Qaeda, he says that it remains the “number one security threat” to the US, particularly in eastern Africa.
[Some bloggers have retitled the group Cialquaeda.]

10:36pm Reuters reports, citing a rebel spokesman, that shelling in Misurata stopped at about 5:00pm local time, after beginning at 10:00am.

10:46pm AFP reports that Abdelati al-Obeidi has been formally appointed as Libya’s foreign minister, replacing Moussa Koussa, who fled the country to the United Kingdom.

11:11pm The Associated Press reports that rebels in towns southwest of Tripoli have banded together to fight pro-Gaddafi forces, pushing them out of the mountain town of Yefren.
Shaban Abusitta, a rebel leader from the town of Nalut, said youths from Nalut and Az Zintan infiltrated Yefren and helped their allies there to fight against government forces, who had surrounded the town. The rebels, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, attacked the armed forces’ lines and pushed them away from the town.
Abusitta said at least 25 families from Yefren were now taking shelter in Nalut, and that many others were escaping towards the Tunisian border.

0:00pm With oil tankers now docking at the eastern oil ports of Tobruk and Marsa el Hariga, and the rebels desperate for an inflow of funds, as much to prove their viability as a government as to  fund their opposition, Laurence Lee reports on the state of play on Libya’s oil.

————————
Al J Wednesday
12:52am Two people were killed and 26 injured in shelling by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the besieged city of Misurata on Tuesday, a rebel told the Reuters news agency.

1:47am Libyan opposition leaders continue to say that Gaddafi must leave before talks can take place. And that is a key dilemma in the country overcoming it’s current crisis.
[So prolonging the misery.]

4:26am Libyan anti-government soldiers are reportedly being tortured and executed in an underground prison in Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, according to one prisoner who since escaped.
Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports that there are more and more stories emerging across the country of abuse and suffering at the hands of the Gadaffi forces.

6:01am [The Lockerbie card is played in the propaganda war despite Gaddafi being forgiven (while claiming no part) and compensation paid.]

6:17am Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee, reporting from Benghazi, says the criticism of NATO from opposition forces reflects the fact they continue to struggle in their battles against pro-Gaddafi forces, and that the conflict may be prolonged.
[Recognition that the insurgents can't win without an air force and or heavy armour.]

10:37am AFP – NATO, accused by Libyan rebels of failing to protect civilians in the besieged city of Misurata, vows to do everything to protect the population.

**************
If the puppeteers are throwing Obama to the wolves, Obama will take little part in their campaigns and laugh at them from the sidelines.

The Libyan army has been let off the leash. It seems Brega, Ajdabiya, Tobruk and the inland oil fields are the main bargaining pieces now Misurata has been returned to Libyan gov’t control. I can’t see the coalition recovering it. Brega looks to have been secured and Ajdabiya may go by the weekend. Tobruk is likely to be the next domino after Ajdabiya. If the fields go that will mean all the coalition has to offer is Benghazi, a bank and more bombs. Short of invading the UN puppets, the US and NATO puppets are powerless.
I wonder just how strong the insurgent force would be without islamic extremist assistance? That the extremists are a force to be reckoned with is shown by the ongoing presence of christian invasion forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and now AQ is starting a takeover in Yemen. It seems that the Libyan conflict has expanded their capability by putting more weapons in their hands. Mali appears to be a distribution centre. It is unlikely to be attacked as many part of the extremist organisations appear to be under secret services’ control and direction.

I believe a division should happen, the border to be along old tribal divisions. That would give the western Libyans the biggest slice. The state bank should be mutually shared under public ownership and controlled by representatives according to population in each tribal zone. Oil revenue proportionate to population rather than which side the oil is on going to each government. The border should not be more than a definition of liability to the laws and taxes of each gov’t and should not be visible. The army should remain as one unit overseen by reps of both sides. The banksters should be kicked out and refused the possibility of controlling the gov’ts as they do everywhere else. The coalition should go back to minding its own business of which its parts are making such a mess.
The banksters’ UN should be defunded. The banksters’ NATO should be disbanded. The banksters’ ECs (both of them) should be dismissed as they are both as harmful to humanity as the UN and NATO.
Now the masses are becoming aware of how they are being played, the various gov’ts should be put on trial alongside the secret services. Perhaps then the truth about Libya, IraQ, Afghanistan, ME disturbances, 9/11, Lockerbie and other atrocities will emerge.

Despite Gaddafi and the Libyan gov’t’s abuse of the people Libya was the healthiest and probably the richest African country. It will be interesting to see if a democratically elected gov’t can do better. Massive projects like pyramids and making a dry nation wet are not undertaken by wimps such as Cameron and Bush. Gaddafi will be remembered for exploiting the immense aquifer that is enabling Libya to slowly become self dependent with regards to food as the deserts are greened long after Cameron (that has only aided the rape of the UK and can’t even get the leaky UK water infrastructure fixed) is forgotten. If both Libyas decide to sell to the highest bidder (China) they should be allowed.

Cameron’s excuse for joining the civil war was to protect civilians. How many deaths in total have occurred compared to how many would have died had the coalition not partied? How much stronger are extremist groups because of the intervention?

One consolation. The coalition is making such a cock up with their rag tag army on the ground, China has felt no need to intervene.

Libya Live Telegraph link, Al Jazeera link