The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia's military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space – and the pictures tell a different story.
According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 22 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi – the country’s largest city – and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground.
At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred. The same sources in Russia’s military establishment say they are also monitoring the situation around Libya’s oil pumping facilities.
Look at what happened in 1999 when the criminals in Washington reported that 100,000 Albanian muslimes were killed by Serb forces or claims of genocide. No retraction, no apologies and most importantly, no charges against the slanderers and liars.
Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi was easily able to stock up after the 18-year arms embargo on his country ended in 2004. According to an EU report, European Union member states provided the dictator with defense equipment worth €344 million ($474 million) in 2009 alone.
Egyptian women's rights protest marred by hecklers.
AP By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI updated 3/8/2011 4:59:00 PM ET
CAIRO — A protest by hundreds of Egyptian women demanding equal rights and an end to sexual harassment turned violent Tuesday when crowds of men heckled and shoved the demonstrators, telling them to go home where they belong.
The women — some in headscarves and flowing robes, others in jeans — had marched to Cairo's central Tahrir Square to celebrate International Women's Day. But crowds of men soon outnumbered them and chased them out.
"They said that our role was to stay home and raise presidents, not to run for president," said Farida Helmy, a 24-year old journalist.
Sexual harassment remains widespread in Egypt, where women often are afraid to report sexual assault or harassment for fear they and their families will be stigmatized. A 2008 survey by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights found that 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women in Cairo said they had been harassed — while 62 percent of men admitted to harassing.
Tahrir Square was the epicenter of the protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last month after nearly 30 years in power. Women in Egypt had reported that Tahrir had been free of the groping and leering endemic in the country, but on Feb. 11, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten on the final night of the 18-day revolt. The Associated Press does not name victims of sexual assault unless they agree to be identified.
At Tuesday's march, men scolded protesters and said their concerns were not urgent in the aftermath of the uprising. When the women argued back, some were verbally abused or groped. Others were beaten and had to be ripped away from the groups of men.
Mostafa Hussein, 30, said many protesters had to flee the area and hide in a park nearby.
"They were running for their lives and the army had to fire a shot in the air to break up the mob chasing them," Hussein said.
Passant Rabie, 23, said she was surprised that the women were abused after the role they played in the uprising. Women were central to the protests, leading chants, spending cold nights in the square and even fighting during the battle of Black Wednesday, when pro-government henchmen attacked the protesters.
"I thought we were going to be celebrated as women of the revolution because we were present during the days of Tahrir," Rabie said. "Unless women are included now, we are going to be oppressed."
On the occasion of the International Women's Day, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, said on Tuesday that the transitions from autocracy in Egypt and Tunisia would be incomplete as long as half of society remained blocked from participating in governance.
"The United States will stand firmly for the proposition that women must be included in whatever process goes forward," she said.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 10, 2011 14:47:13 GMT -5
Nato moving warships and planes closer to Libya
Today @ 19:38 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Nato defence ministers have agreed to reposition warships and airplanes currently deployed in the Mediterranean closer to the Libyan coast and to "further explore" the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone.
"Today we have taken two decisions: to increase the presence of Nato maritime assets in the central Mediterranean ... and to continue planning for a no-fly zone in case Nato were to receive a clear UN mandate," Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a press conference at the end of a meeting in Brussels on Thursday (10 March) dedicated to the Libyan crisis.
The repositioning of warships comes a few days after the military alliance increased its air surveillance missions on Libya from 10 to 24 hours a day.
"This will improve Nato awareness, which is vital in these circumstances, including a better monitoring of the UN arms embargo," the former Danish Prime Minister explained.
Mr Rasmussen also responded to an AFP report saying that France is calling for Nato powers to strike three Gaddafi military hubs.
The French ideas "were not discussed at all," he said, while sitting at the same table as the French defence minister. "We don't look for an intervention in Libya, we need a clear legal basis for any action."
Other ministers at the meeting confirmed that the French colleague kept silent about the airstrike plans which, according to AFP, French President Nicholas Sarkozy plans to present on Friday to fellow EU leaders during a special summit on the Libyan crisis.
"There was no such proposal [at the Nato meeting]. Maybe it was something for media consumption," Czech defence minister Alexander Vondra told this website.
US defence minister Robert Gates, speaking to reporters after the event, said that "planning continues for a no-fly zone."
"A number of ministers made it very clear that we want to put ourselves in a position to assist the UN, the African Union or the Arab League. It's essential that Nato is responsive in this endeavour rather than taking initiative on its own," he added.
Earlier this week, Mr Gates told Congress that a no-fly zone entails airstrikes and requires a UN mandate.
Nato's reluctance to "go in with the big guns" - as one diplomat put it - is also a reflection of wariness among some of its members, notably Turkey, to support any military action in Libya.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said that "Nato has no business being there" and his defence minister on Thursday tried to downplay plans for a no-fly zone.
Mr Rasmussen was wary of labelling the situation in Libya as a "civil war" but did warn of the consequences of a prolonged conflict.
Speaking instead of an "armed upheaval," he said Nato was particulary concerned of "the risk of division within the country and the risk of seeing a failed state that could be a breeding ground for terrorism."
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 11, 2011 16:44:48 GMT -5
Sarkozy says France, U.K. ready to hit Libya.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France and Britain are ready to launch "targeted air strikes" on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces if they use chemical weapons or warplanes against civilians.
Sarkozy said he would urge European leaders to follow France's lead in recognizing the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Libyan Council, as he arrived for an emergency EU summit on Libya on Friday.
He urged defensive limited strikes on Gaddafi's key military command positions as pro-Gaddafi forces were reported to be retaking control of the cities of Zawiya and Ras Lanuf, previously held by the rebels.
Sarkozy and British Prime Minister are in Brussels to win EU backing for a UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
Russia joined UN arms embargo on Libya on Thursday, but says it is opposed to Western military intervention.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 13, 2011 13:28:36 GMT -5
French diplomacy rekindles Bulgaria's pain over captive nurses
ANDREW WILLIS 12.03.2011 @ 06:39 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy's push to recognise Libyan rebels has caused anger in Bulgaria, with Sofia alleging that key members of the Libyan National Transitional Council were closely linked to the torture of six Bulgarian nurses held captive in the north African country during the last decade.
"I explained [to EU leaders] that representatives of this council in Benghazi are the people who tortured the Bulgarian medics for eight years and that this cost us nearly $60 million," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told journalists at a European Summit in Brussels on Friday (11 March).
Accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV-contaminated blood, the Bulgarian nurses were eventually released in 2007. As part of the deal, Bulgaria waved $60 million in debt owed by Tripoli.
No formal investigation has ever been conducted, but last month Libya's former Justice Minister Mustafa Abudel-Jalil said the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was responsible for infecting the roughly 400 children.
Exactly which members of the transitional council Borisov was referring to remains unclear. The Bulgarian premier also likened the situation in Libya to the fall of Communism in his own country.
"You remember what happened in 1998-99, who took power in Bulgaria? The people from the [Communist] Politburo, the foreign minister and the military," he said.
Reports suggest Romanian President Traian Basescu also echoed doubts over the rebels' credentials during the EU leaders' discussion, causing an angry outburst from Sarkozy and leading German Chancellor Angela Merkel to call for calm.
Both Romania and Bulgaria are known to be unhappy with French opposition to them joining the Schengen visa-free travel zone at the current juncture.
Since violence erupted in Libya in February, EU countries have agonised over whether to recognise rebels groups, predominately situated in the east of the country. On Friday leaders said they would treat members of the temporary council as "political interlocutors".
France has gone further however, dispatching a diplomatic envoy to Benghazi on Thursday after French President Sarkozy met with two rebel representatives the same day.
Speaking to journalists after an extraordinary EU summit on the subject, Mr Sarkozy hit back at accusations his country was moving too fast.
"I don't think there is any country that has gone from dictatorship to perfect democracy. We can't say you've worked with Gaddafi therefore we won't talk to you. They are now risking their lives, they have shouldered their responsibilities."
Tensions between France and Bulgarian over the kidnapped nurses are not new.
In 2007, former French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy flew to Libya to secure the release of the six nurses, but officials in Berlin and Brussels considered the move a PR stunt after weeks of careful negotiations. The event however was deemed a media coup for Nicolas Sarkozy.
Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov (R) shown at a prior meeting with European Council President Herman Van Romuy (L) in Sofia. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Last Edit: Mar 13, 2011 13:42:28 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 14, 2011 15:53:35 GMT -5
‘Libya’ Does Not Exist - It was a fake country from the beginning.
Antiwar.com by Justin Raimondo, March 14, 2011
The idea that there is a nation called “Libya” is the central problem with our understanding of what is going on in that fake “country,” the flaw in our projections of what will or ought to happen.
The country known today as Libya has only existed since the end of World War II, and was the product of a shotgun marriage of the three “provinces”: Tripolitania, in the West, Cyrenaica, in the East, and Fezzan in the South. “Libya” was created, first, by the Italians in 1933, who sought to incorporate the three distinct areas into a unified colony, under a single Fascist proconsul. After the defeat of the Axis powers, the British took control and installed an “emir” in Cyrenaica. Writing in the New York Daily News recently, Diedreick Vandewalle, a professor of government at Dartmouth, gives us some historical perspective:
“History has not been kind to this nation. Its three provinces — Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fazzan — were united for strategic purposes by the Great Powers after World War II. Cyrenaica in the east, and Tripolitania in the west, the two most important provinces, shared no common history and were suspicious of each other.
“The monarch, King Idris al-Sanusi, the heir to a Sufi Islamic movement that had its headquarters in Cyrenaica, kept complaining to the U.S. ambassador that he wanted to rule only as Amir of Cyrenaica, not as King of Libya.”
The kindness of history is found lacking, by Vandewalle, because, as he complains later on in his piece,
“In many ways, Libya remains the tribal society it was in 1951, when the country became independent. As a political concept, Libya for many of its citizens remains limited to tribe, family or province: The notion of a unified system of political checks and balances remains terra incognita.
“The danger for future governments is that they could easily continue this hands-off government, remaining little more than a conduit for the country’s vast natural resources. The real challenge for Libya will not only be reconstruction — but the creation, for the first time since 1951, of a true state with a shared national identity.”
Has Gadhafi’s long reign of terror really been an episode of “hands-off government”? Although, in theory, Gadhafi has several times proclaimed the abolition of the Libyan government, with power supposedly devolving to the local “revolutionary committees,” in reality – as we can see with our own eyes – anyone who who challenges the Gadhafi dictatorship is flirting with their own mortality.
Gadhafi and the mid-level officers who led the coup against King Idris in 1967 were modernizers who emulated the Western model of a super-centralized unitary state. That Gadhafi had to mask this centralism under the rubric of his Jamahiriya variant of socialism – which claims that Libya is a direct democracy, where power is vested in local “Basic People’s Congresses” – merely underscores the difficulty of imposing any sort of central government in a society that naturally resists it.
This is the “factual” basis of the daffy dictator’s seemingly crazy argument that he can’t step down from office, since he doesn’t hold any in the (officially nonexistent) Libyan state.
In order to maintain his rule, Gadhafi had to set up a system that limned the already existing state of affairs, which Professor Vandewalle bemoans as “the tribal society it was in 1951.” The ideological fiction of Jamahiriya, however, has been abruptly unmasked by the dictator’s brutal response to the Benghazi-based rebellion. I’m surprised he hasn’t already styled himself as the Libyan equivalent of Abraham Lincoln, the heroic leader who will stop at nothing to save the sacred unitary state.
Western intellectuals and politicians bring their cultural bias in favor of cosmopolitanism to bear on a region that has always lived in another way altogether: Vandewalle enthuses over the idea that Libya may some day see the emergence of “a true state” and enter a state of grace by achieving “a shared national identity” – but why should Libyans want any such thing?
After all, their experience with the unitary state – from the idiocies of the Green Book, to the decrees of colonial administrators – has been entirely negative. The only periods of relative peace, prosperity, and stability have been when the peoples of the region are allowed to revert to local “tribal” allegiances.
A fine network of social and religious associations and loyalties – inextricably linked to the two pillars of society in the region, which are family and faith – has always existed beneath the thin veneer of Gadhafi’s state apparatus. As the façade falls away, the underlying structures stand revealed.
The Benghazi rebellion is essentially a secessionist movement, which seeks to break Cyrenaica away from what used to be the entirely separate and distinct state of Tripolitania – now the seat of the central government and Gadhafi’s chief stronghold. Cyrenaica has a long history as an independent and quasi-independent entity, which goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks, and continued into modern times. That history is now reasserting itself. Cyrenaica was the center of resistance to the Italians. It is also the center of the Sanussi sect’s influence – a version of Islam, founded in 1837. The Sanussi, based in the Bedouin tribes of the East, have always been the most troublesome for would-be colonizers and empire-builders: they resisted the rule of the Italians just as they fought the Ottomans – and are now fighting Gadhafi.
King Idris I, who took the throne after World War II, descended from the original Sanussi emir – and, it turns out, he was right in his reluctance to extend his rule to Tripoli. If the Western powers, hiding behind the UN, had taken the King’s advice and allowed Cyrenaica to go its own way, the present tragedy might have been averted. As it is, the rebellion against Gadhafi has turned into a stalemate, with the Eastern part effectively liberated from the eccentric despot’s control.
This is no doubt unacceptable to the Western powers, which want a single state to deal with and exploit, and it is doubly unacceptable to the Arab League, because it opens up a whole new can of worms, throwing into question the borders of states created in the wake of the Ottoman collapse. If Cyrenaica can secede from Tripoli, then why can’t the Kurds secede from Iraq – and the Shi’ites of the Saudi Kingdom’s Eastern province rid themselves of their Sunni overlords?
In any case, the fiction of “Libya” is falling by the wayside. What will succeed it remains an open question. However, Western intervention, if and when it occurs, cannot bring stability to a “nation” that never really existed in the first place.
The great Arab Awakening now sweeping North Africa and the Middle East is not only bringing down the old order of Western-supported dynasties, and tinpot dictators of Gadhafi’s ilk – it is also erasing arbitrary borders drawn by Western colonizers and Ottoman caliphs, and redrawing them to reflect underlying realities more accurately. Any attempt by the West to intervene, and favor one outcome over another, is bound to draw the ire of indigenous peoples – and redirect their anger away from local despots, and towards us.
That is why it’s in our interests to stand aside and let the upsurge play out, without aiding the rebellion in Cyrenaica or standing in its way. Let the recent arrest and expulsion of a British “diplomatic” delegation, which landed in the Eastern region in the dead of night, serve as a lesson and a warning to the West. The sign clearly says: “No Trespassing.” We defy it at our peril.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 15, 2011 14:03:35 GMT -5
Gaddafi Threatens to Break Business Ties with West.
Novinite.com World | March 15, 2011, Tuesday
Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has effectively issued threats to break business ties with hostile western nations and re-sign contracts with companies from elsewhere.
Speaking for German TV channel RTL, Gaddafi expressed worries about the trustworthiness of western companies.
"We do not trust their firms - they took part in the conspiracy against us. Our oil contracts will be given to Russian, Chinese and Indian companies. The West will be forgotten," said the Libyan leader.
At the same time, he commended Germany for taking a "balanced" position and opposing the introduction of a no-fly zone over Libya. He said that on that account his country could well do business with Germany.
Earlier on Thursday, the UN Security Council approved a resolution which allowed military action against Libyan forces as long as they helped stop violence in the country and did not include any ground operations.
After the resolution came into force, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia were reportedly ready to begin air strikes on government troops in several hours.
What a fucking mockery. Saudi Arabia is going to bomb Libya. For what? Not being a democracy? And the Saudis are pussies they would be smaller than a pea, if they actually bordered Libya.
I partly understand Russia not wanting to go out on a limb on behalf of Tony Blair's bestest buddy Muammer Gaddafi, but still this shit is pretty outrageous, I don't get it why didn't Russia put in a veto??
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 18, 2011 12:36:37 GMT -5
Patrick Cockburn: Saudi response reveals fear that Sunni power is fading.
Independent.co.uk Thursday, 17 March 2011
There is growing anger in the Shia community, estimated to number at least 250 million world-wide, at the intervention of troops from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in Bahrain to help repress the Shia majority which has been demanding political and civil rights.
"There is a general campaign against the Shia," said Yusuf al-Khoei of the al-Khoei Foundation, a leading Shia charitable organisation. "The best way for these [Sunni Muslim] states to gain the allegiance of the Shia is to treat them nice and stop accusing them of being Iranian spies."
Mr Khoei said it was significant that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the only two Arab states to recognise the Taliban government of Afghanistan which was notorious for persecuting Shia as heretics. He added that suicide bomb attacks on Shia in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq are justified according to Wahhabism, the fundamentalist version of Islam predominant in Saudi Arabia.
"The Bahraini army is wholly Sunni and the police almost entirely so, apart from some community policing officers," said Mr Khoei. The Shia make up some 60 per cent of Bahrain's 600,000 population.
Bahrain is one of only four countries in the world where there is a Shia majority, the others being Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan. The Shia make up only 10 per cent of Saudi Arabia's population.
The protests in Bahrain started in February as non-sectarian demands for political, civil and legal reform. But the killing of demonstrators by the police has led to radicalisation, demands for an end to the monarchy, and growing sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shia.
The al-Khalifa royal family has previously claimed that reformers and protesters are agents of Iran. But, according to cables from the US embassy, it has never been able to produce evidence of this. The Shia demonstrators, supported by some liberal Sunni, have continually emphasised that they are peaceful.
The Gulf monarchies along with Jordan, Egypt and other Sunni Arab states have always been paranoid about a Shia threat. This paranoia has grown deeper since the Shia majority in Iraq has taken power after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In practice the Shia have only gained influence where they make up a substantial portion of the population. By opting for military intervention to quash the movement of mainly Shia protesters in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia is likely to deepen sectarian division.
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5