Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - "I repeat that I have never said that Gaddafi has been injured, or gone abroad, " Archbishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli says to Fides, referring to some news released by the international press about this. " My position has been communicated in a letter to the Italian Foreign Ministry - says Archbishop Martinelli - in which I also hope that the Italian government implements a truce, as requested also by the Holy Father and the United Nations" .Archbishop Martinelli said that "yesterday, in Marsa Brega, 16 people died and several were killed in other parts of Tripoli. The bombs are still claiming victims. A truce seems appropriate to help the civilians breathe again. Even last night there were several bombings, the strongest we heard around 3a.m. They do not allow us to sleep”. "With regards to the Church - Archbishop Martinelli continues - we are still respected, and even foreigners are. We conduct our regular religious services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Yesterday there was a good participation of the faithful to mass. In prayer, we invoke the grace of peace and reconciliation. Certainly on one side and on the other there are sins to be forgiven, but you cannot forgive by throwing bombs, " concludes the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/05/2011) Link
Pandora's box. If the various secret services are behind the unrest across the Middle East and N. Africa (US embassy cables: APRIL 6 Activist met with US officials in 2008 & discussed Regime Change “Plan” in EGYPT by 2011, there are abundant references to UK and French involvement with Libya's LIFG and NTC on the 'net), is the direction that they are taking having the desired effect?
NATO is forcing hostility towards the US in a former allied (domesticated) country. At the funeral of the clerics killed by NATO there were expressions of anti US sentiment and calls for revenge. The same thing happened when Gaddafi's son was buried. Link
In Egypt a recent poll showed an overwhelming majority wanted an islamic government and more recently there were anti Israeli demonstrations, the latest: Huge anti-Israel demonstration in Cairo.
U.S. gov't official finds it "puzzling" that bin Laden would support "Arab Spring" uprisings
It is puzzling, if one is operating on the assumption that those uprisings, given a moniker that alludes to the Prague Spring, will lead to modern, pluralistic, tolerant democracies. Indeed, from the Balkan wars onward, U.S. foreign policy toward the Islamic world has been damaged by the tendency to see every popular uprising, and every separatist movement through the lens of the struggle for freedom from behind the Iron Curtain and the eventual liberation of now-former components of the Soviet Union and neighboring subject states.
Bringing down a dictator anywhere is now hoped and somewhat expected to bring the same results. And the resulting policy based on wishful thinking continues to be disastrous.
Meanwhile, bin Laden recognized that the uprisings in the Arab world have presented a golden opportunity to launch a wave of renewed Islamic states governing by Sharia, and that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are poised and ready to seize upon the chance. It is only natural that he would be in favor of the uprisings, because whatever rivalries may exist with the Ikhwan and other groups, Sharia states will ultimately be friendlier to al-Qaeda, its members, and its agenda, and more openly hostile to the United States, Israel, and the rest of the West. "Unreleased bin Laden audio message called 'puzzling'," from CNN, May 13: /more
Ante mortem thoughts
What did Mrs T do right with the Falklands? First of all a clear threat to UK citizens and UK territory was identified. Secondly the objective was clear, to neutralise the threat. Thirdly the mission was constrained to the objective. Fourthly the public supported the mission with minimum coercion of the media, a little island attacked by a big country.
Mr Blair clone Cameron repeated his original's mistakes in Iraq with the Libya intervention. There was no clear threat or objective identified. There was no constraint to the at best hazy objective. There was no major support even with heavily coerced media before the attack even started. A sad reflection on the Brits perhaps is that the lack of support was found to be rooted in the cost although a gang of big countries attacking a little'un must have made some uncomfortable. All in all this strongly suggests that bank clerks do not make for good leadership. Mr Cameron should go out with some dignity. He made a serious error in judgement that, whatever the treasury says will cost the country. Admit it and retain respect. Stay put and earn contempt.
People who need people
While I'm doing the Marjorie Proops thing, I know Jeremy is a fan of this blog if not as much as I am a fan of his. He should consider what, if it was a friend of his in the predicament, he would advise as his sageness is well recognised. The best I can do is say to him to stop wallowing in self-pity and get back to his family, whatever it takes because they are all that matter at the end of the day. A bunch of roses and a box of chocs with a note to say "sorry my ambition and success led to this. It is all my fault." (It doesn't matter one jot if it wasn't.)