Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
By Darryl Mason
Despite apparently being almost out of money, the United States, France and the UK have all found the necessary cash to launch a new war on Libya, under the guise of enforcing a UN-mandated No Fly Zone. For the United States alone, the cost of military action against Libya is estimated at more than $100 million per day.
The official American government/media narrative is that Libyan rebels are a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters trying to take down one of the world's most evil & sadistic tyrants. Well, Gaddafi is now, again, anyway, an evil tyrant, after being feted and praised for planning to open up his country to more western oil deals and development in the past few years by a conga-line of world includes including Bush, Obama, Blair & Sarkozy.
But Libya is not Egypt, or Bahrain, or Tunisia. Libya is an energy, water & resources rich nation with tens of billions in trade, energy and development deals with Russia and China.
Russia's Putin could not speak anymore plainly about what he believes is the real motivation behind the War On Libya :
Russia is, in fact, warning that the attacks on Libya could lead to a wider, world war :
“Any bombing of Libyan territory could provoke a large-scale conflict between the so-called West and the so-called Arab world,” a Russian Parliament leader said commenting on French and British plans to carry out aerial attacks in Libya.“Any foreign military intervention will give Libya legal grounds to defend itself. We should do our best to avoid this highly dangerous scenario,” said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned ground operations by foreign forces will lead them deeper into protracted war :
“You and I understand what ground operations mean: they probably mean the beginning of war, and not civil war but war involving international forces.”Now China is getting involved :
China's most important political newspaper ratcheted up the country's criticism of Western airstrikes against Libya on Monday, comparing them to the U.S.-led invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan.China is getting very, very involved :
The Communist Party's flagship newspaper, The People's Daily, said in a commentary that the United States and its allies are violating international rules and that in places like Iraq "the unspeakable suffering of its people are a mirror and a warning."
"The military attacks on Libya are, following on from the Afghan and Iraq wars, the third time that some countries have launched armed action against sovereign countries," it said."No matter what pretext the military actions were under, they should not be at the cost of people's lives and properties. This is not only the moral standard, but also the appeal from the world's people," it continued.
"People have good reason to express misgivings about the consequences that this military action may precipitate," it said.
Why is China getting involved?
China's deep involvement with the North African dictatorship has also exposed a vulnerability in the world's second-largest economy.
In Libya, the world's 12th-largest oil exporter, China has emerged as a major investor and financial partner of strongman Moammar Kadafi. China is now the third-largest buyer of Libyan crude behind Italy and France. European and American oil firms have worked in Libya for years, but their governments have long sought to punish Kadafi for terrorist ties. Meanwhile, China has stuck to a hands-off policy it has dubbed "non-interventionism."Before the Libyan conflict erupted, about 75 Chinese firms reportedly were laboring on an estimated $18 billion worth of contracts there, including construction of rail lines, irrigation systems, and Internet and cellphone networks.
But China's primary interest is energy. State-owned China National Petroleum Corp. has partnered with Libya's national oil company to build hundreds of miles of pipeline and explore for oil and gas offshore.
The world's No. 2 petroleum user, China imports more than half of the 8.3 million barrels it consumes daily. It buys from nations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Venezuela, which also supply the United States, the world's top oil consumer. Libyan oil accounts for only about 3% of China's imports, but it won't be easy to replace.
Paul McGeough :
The War On Libya has only just begun, is barely a few days old in fact, but already the 'coalition of support' is said to be crumbling,
Even if Gaddafi is eliminated from the equation - figuratively or literally - a daunting number of what-ifs will remain. What if the internal conflict in Libya is less a democracy uprising that unites the nation and more a tribal civil war? What if the Western intervention gives a leg-up to one side, the rebels, who in time could be no better and no worse that the Gaddafi loyalists - sans Gaddafi?
There is no evidence to support Gaddafi's claims that al-Qaeda and teen drug addicts have fomented the uprising. But there is historical evidence of tribal enmity in Libya that could support the colonel's claim that the revolt is a tribal war of those from the east against those in the west.
What if the country fell back to its pre-Gaddafi iteration of tribal distrust and infighting - and what if one side, in what could become a prolonged conflict, has been armed by the West? We could hardly be surprised if in such a stalemate , the underdog was drawn to or co-opted by al-Qaeda or its ilk.
AntiWar's Justin Raimondo :
Barely 24 hours after the first Allied air strikes, President Obama’s high-flying Libyan adventure is losing altitude. The smoke hadn’t cleared from the first air strikes when the head of the Arab League complained that “what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives. What we want is civilians’ protection, not shelling more civilians.” Russia and China, who abstained at the Security Council, are already getting restless.
There’s trouble on the horizon.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 06, 2011
A February 22 story that didn't get much attention in the media :
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy blamed Google Inc in an interview published on Tuesday for stirring up trouble in the revolution that ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
"Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told the Wall Street Journal.
Such strong comment from one of Putin's most trusted deputies is a clear signal of growing concern among Russian hardliners about the role of the Internet in the unrest which has swept across the Arab world.
Sechin gave no further details on his concerns. Google executive, Wael Ghonim, became an unlikely hero of the uprising in Egypt which led to Mubarak's deposition.Russia has so far resisted placing restrictions on the Internet, but analysts say there are a group of hardliners close to Putin who would like to impose controls similar to China's.
Friday, March 04, 2011
Been very slack here keeping track of the Arab Uprisings that have unleashed so much chaos and so many joyous scenes in the past 3 months.
But Antiwar has an excellent round-up :
- Morocco: Thousands take to the streets of Rabat and Casablanca demanding the king give up many of his powers.
- Algeria: Several injured as police broke up protests in central Algiers.
- Tunisia: Seeks the extradition of their former dictator to charge him with crimes related to the crackdown.
- Libya: Seriously? Too much stuff to mention in a single blurb.
- East Libya: Virtually a separate country at this point.
- Albania: Still facing growing unrest.
- Egypt: Strikes linger despite Mubarak’s ouster.
- Syria: Struggling to buy off growing protests with cash payments.
- Jordan: Eight injured as protests continue.
- Iraq: Protests across the south and in Iraqi Kurdistan.
- Iran: Major police presence, protests planned for later in the week.
- Bahrain: Protesters are still there, despite government crackdowns.
- Pakistan: Threats for revolution if govt releases Raymond Davis.
- China: Govt censors foreign news. Small protest at Beijing McDonalds.
The Guardian also has a more detailed round-up here, from February 20.
This story was published on February 22, but nothing's changed in the past few weeks. If anything, it sounds like the problems with Afghan soldiers gets worse by the day :
....German troops in (Afghanistan) are in a state of near revolt against their commanders.Afghans know NATO troops won't be in there country forever, they know they just have to wait them out. In the meantime, they get trained & paid & housed, turn up for work stoned & don't even bother to suppress their resentment towards their invaders.
The reason? The danger they face training Afghan soldiers who, in the words of one German trooper quoted by the magazine, "consider us to be infidels who don't belong in their country."The reason for this angst is the attack last Friday by an Afghan soldier being trained by the Germans that killed three Bundeswehr soldiers and injured six others, some of them critically. The 26-year-old Afghan attacker, who Spiegel reported is believed to be a Taliban sympathizer, was killed in a hail of return fire from the Germans' comrades.
With German morale at "rock bottom," the publication said, many Germans soldiers are "now refusing to go on further patrols or missions with Afghan troops."
Afghan trainees that don't owe their true allegiance to the Taliban, the German soldiers also report, are as likely to be ripped to the eyelids on hashish. "Many of our Afghan comrades wander around here completely stoned," said another soldier quoted in the story. "It is impossible to tell if they are fit for duty or not."
More On This From Speigel Online Here
Thursday, March 03, 2011
A few days ago, EOTAD published a list of 14 Potential Justifications For An Invasion Of Libya By The US. Many of these are already getting a good work by US State Department officials and, interestingly, some of the same old NeoCons who chanted a reluctant America into War On Iraq eight years ago.
The List :
#1 "We Can't Stand Aside And Watch Gaddafi Kill His Own People"
#2 "It Would Just Be A Humanitarian Mission"
#3 "Libya Is Torturing Prisoners"
#4 "The Libyan Rebels Will Not Be Able To Take Down Gaddhafi With Our Help"
#5 "U.S. Interests Are Being Threatened"
#6 "Gaddafi Is Crazy"
#7 "Gaddafi Has Weapons Of Mass Destruction"
#8 "Gaddafi Will Use Chemical Weapons If We Don't Stop Him"
#9 "Gaddafi Has "1,000 Metric Tons Of Uranium Yellowcake"
#10 "European Energy Companies Are Deeply Invested In Libyan Oil And Gas Fields"
#11 "Millions of Dollars Worth Of Infrastructure Will Be Destroyed If We Don't Intervene"
#12 "The Crisis In Libya Is Bad For The Global Economy"
#13 "Someone Has To Protect The Oil"
#14 "We Have Got To Go Into Libya To Keep Al-Qaeda From Getting A Foothold"
If an invasion is on the immediate horizon, they'll have to work hard and fast. A recent poll claimed 67% of Americans wanted their military to stay the hell out of Libya.
The special forces of the US, the UK, Germany and others are already inside Libya, but my prediction is an (official) US/NATO invasion of Libya will begin March 11. All the big, long range world changing events seem to happen on the 11th of the month.