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Break the Vengeance Cycle: Why We Should Not Go To War Over James Foley

By John Grant


Back in June 2011, James Foley gave an hour-long interview to an auditorium of students from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he had graduated three years earlier with a Master’s degree in journalism. It was 15 days after he had been released from 45 rough days of captivity in Libya. He was a handsome young hero returning to his alma-mater.

A Meditation on Peacemaking: Americans Need to Break the Cycle of War

By John Grant


All we are saying is give peace a chance
             -John Lennon


Libya News - July 22, 2014


In a week Libya clashes between rival militias over Tripoli airport kill 47 - Fox News


Libya Airlines Cut Operations 70% After Damage to Planes - Bloomberg


Libya: Airport battles lead to at least US$200-mln losses - asiainsurancereview.com


VIDEO: Tripoli airport destroyed by clashing militias - YouTube


VIDEO: Tripoli Airport: Afriqiyah Airways A330 plane explosion - YouTube


Libyan militias' battle for Tripoli airport forces hundreds of families to flee - The Guardian


Libyan air controllers strike to protest against airport shelling - Reuters


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Seven killed in clashes between army and Islamic militants in Libya's Benghazi - Reuters


VIDEO: Army helicopter bombs Ansar Al- Sharia positions in Abu Atni Benghazi - YouTube


Militia Behead Filipino Construction Worker Allegedly Because He Was Non-Muslim, Philippines raises alert level 4 in Libya - ibtimes.com


U.N. mission pulls staff from Libya - usatoday.com


Update: Kidnappings, Ransoms and Stability In Libya - The Libyan Insider


Libya publishes parliamentary election results, Liberals Set to Oust Islamists in Libya Parliament - Naharnet


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Rebels siphoning off Libya’s oil bring Tripoli to halt - The Times


Eni, Repsol Expatriates Evacuated from Libya - WSJ


Libya asks U.N. Security Council for help protecting oil, ports - Reuters


Libyan Turmoil Sends Oil Prices on a Roller Coaster - WSJ


Libya Has Resumed Oil Exports, But Will It Last? - oilprice.com


Recent Violence Will Hurt Libyan Economy, Oil Revenue, Experts Say - ibtimes.com


Reserves crisis jeopardizes Libya's future - Al-Monitor


Libya will exhaust monetary reserves in 5 years - Al-Monitor


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Egyptian border guards killed at a military checkpoint near Libya, gunmen unknown - www.ajc.com


Algeria foils Ansar Sharia plan to assassinate Al-Sisi - Echorouk Online


Egyptians fear Islamist militants gathering on Libyan border - defenceWeb


Foreign ministry urges Egyptians in Libya to take measures of ‘extreme caution’ - Daily News Egypt


Algeria, Tunisia to carry out joint military operations against terrorism along the border - middleeastmonitor


Algeria's Sonatrach recalls workers from Libya - TVC NEWS


Tunisia arrests 63 terror suspects, tightens security around militant hideouts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Libyan jihadists in Syria and Iraq returning home to fight Haftar: security sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Ex-Libyan rebel commander appeals ruling on British torture case - Reuters

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

War Stories: Bad Wars and the Voice of Disillusion

By John Grant

 

      When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,

      Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .

Libya News - June 6, 2014


Libya's Supreme Court Declares PM's Election Illegal - VOA


VIDEO: Libyan Prime Minister may be forced to step down after election declared ‘illegitimate’ - euronews


Libyan outgoing premier visits Benghazi, "We came to Benghazi to support the city's residents, special forces and security forces" - Reuters


Libya's intel chief resigns, news portal says he was frustrated with parliament's insistence on appointing a new prime minister - AP


Libya’s Haftar after assassination bid: ‘I am well...There will be a strong response’ - Al Arabiya News


Haftar: some Libyan officials support al-Qaeda - Al Arabiya News


Interview with Haftar - Al-Monitor


Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb urges Libyans to fight rogue general - GlobalPost


Red Cross Suspends Libya Operation After Murder - VOA


Four UN staffers 'roughed up' at Libya airport: boss - THE DAILY STAR


Freed Gitmo detainee becomes al-Qaida Libyan commander - wnd.com


VIDEO: Promotional Video of Batalion Ansar Al Sharia From Benghazi  - YouTube


REPORT: Libya: Muslim Brotherhood’s tenuous hold - IISS


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Libyan Turmoil Threatens Tunisian Security, Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs "extremely worried” - Tunisia Live


Interview with Tunisia foreign minister - Al-Monitor


Tunisia captures Al Qaida operatives near Libyan border - World Tribune


REPORT: Tunisian Jihadists Establishing New Networks with Libyan Islamists - The Jamestown Foundation


VIDEO: Tunisia alarmed over armed conflict in neighboring Libya - YouTube


Maghreb countries wary of returning Syria jihadists - Al-Shorfa


Algeria: Arab Spring Has Boosted Terror Groups - ABC News


Algeria deploys 5,000 troops to the Libyan border - Middle East Eye


Gang of smugglers kills six Egypt guards on Libya border, "This attack comes after border guards successfully arrested 68 traffickers and seized a large quantity of weapons" - Yahoo News


Jihadist Groups' Threat To U.S. Grows, RAND Report Says - WSJ


RAND Analyst Seth Jones: The Accelerating Spread of Terrorism - WSJ


Increase in Jihadist Threat Calls for New U.S. Strategy to Combat Terrorism - RAND


REPORT: A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of al Qa'ida and Other Salafi Jihadists - RAND


CHART: The number of Salafi-jihadist groups has grown 58% since 2010 - Twitter / RANDCorporation


CHART: AlQaeda-related attacks are on the rise. 99% of the attacks are against local, non-Western targets - Twitter / RANDCorporation


CHART: These Are The Countries Where Terrorists Pose The Greatest Threat To The US - RAND


To contact Bartolo email Peaceloversingle@Gmail.com

Libya News - May 30, 2014


Rogue Libyan General Resumes Airstrikes Near Benghazi Against Islamist Militants (VIDEO) - VOA


Libya standoff emerges as premier refuses to yield to successor - Reuters


Rival cabinets meet in Libya political chaos, polls to be held June 25 as planned - Yahoo News


Analysis: GNC,-Maetig-versus-Haftar - Al-Ahram Weekly


Current alignment of Libyan militias in response to Haftar - TRAC


Pro-Islamist militia attack Libya interior ministry unit as chaos deepens - unyanews.tv


Head of the militants controlling oil ports: We will not recognise the government of Meitik - middleeastmonitor


Thousands across Libya march in support of a renegade general’s campaign against Islamist militias - The Washington Post


Libya's Haftar hails electoral win by Egypt's Sisi - Anadolu Agency


Statement (English): Declaration by the Conference of Tribes of Libya - tortillaconsal.com


VIDEO (Arabic): Al-Azizia conference of Libyan tribes and cities releases 15 points road map for Future Libya - thevoiceoflibya.com


Oil Outages Cost Libya $17.8 Billion, Rebels seeking more regional autonomy have kept the majority of oil exports shut in Eastern Libya -  NASDAQ.com


Libya Disorder Dealing Harmful Blow to Oil and Gas Exploration - ibtimes.co.uk


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Obama’s $5 Billion Counterterrorism Fund Already in Trouble in Congress - The Daily Beast


Terror’s Front: Obama says local groups pose “the most direct threat” to the United States and its interests, especially abroad  - NYTimes.com


French, American and Algerian special forces sent to the south of Libya to attack terrorist networks - The Times


Africa: Laboratory and Battleground for Pentagon's 21st Century Warfare - RIA Novosti


Pentagon to use drones to speed response times in sensitive hot spots like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - Washington Times


Libya, Mali chaos alarms neighbours, Experts and military officers from eight African countries wrap up a five-day conference in Algiers focused on Sahel-Saharan security - Magharebia


AU to cooperate with Arab League to resolve Libyan crisis - 4-Traders


Egypt's FM dicusses Libyan and Syrian crises with Algerian PM - Ahram Online


Statement: Fahmy Calls the Foreign Ministers of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League to discuss the latest developments in Libya - Egypt Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Crisis alert level 3 raised in Libya urging Filipinos to leave - philstar.com


10 Chadians killed in southern Libya - GlobalPost


Islamist Gunmen in West Tunisia Attack Interior Minister’s Home, Killing 4 Guards - NYTimes.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Libya News - May 28, 2014


New Libya PM's home attacked as unrest over his rule grows - AFP


Renegade former Libyan general says PM must go, vote must wait - AFP


Libyan Journalist Outspoken Critic of Islamists Shot Dead In Benghazi - AP


Prominent journalist Abu Zeid killed in Libya - Committee to Protect Journalists


Libya: Investigate Killing of Benghazi Editor Abu Zeid - Human Rights Watch


VIDEO: Hndreds of journalists and activists demonstrated on Monday in Martyrs' Square in Tripoli protesting Abu Zeid's murder - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Abu Zeid TV appearance on Sunday on which he discussed his recent meeting with Gen. Hifter and the threat of civil war - YouTube


Libya: Police officer guarding diplomats killed in Tripoli - panapress.com


Libya: Ansar Asharia calls for institution of Sharia law in Libya - panapress.com


Eastern Libya oil rebel rejects new government - Reuters


Libya Oil Disruption Worsens Amid Anti-Government Protest - Bloomberg


Libyan Oil May Suffer More Disruption, General Says - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Libyans express little optimism with new PM - Al Jazeera


VIDEO: Libya, where militias reign - France 24


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State Dept. Issues Warning For Americans To Leave Libya Immediately - NPR


US deploys warship off Libya with about 1000 marines in case the US embassy has to be evacuated - Sky News


Libyan Islamists to U.S.: Don't interfere or face worse than Iraq - Reuters


U.S. Training Elite Antiterror Troops in Four African Nations - NYTimes.com


Report: Libya Militia Stole US Weapons in Raid - AFP


Sisi says Egypt will not allow threats to security from Libya - Reuters


Once a U.S. asset, Gen. Hafter recruited Libya’s entire military command with Egypt’s backing - SHOAH


In lawless Libya, Egypt's Sisi becomes a star - Reuters


Algeria 'not ready' to coordinate with Libya's Haftar - Worldbulletin News


Tunisian officials divided over Libya crisis - Al-Monitor


Tunisia economy set to suffer blow from Libya violence - Al-Monitor


Maghreb ministers arrange 'urgent' talks on Libya - Magharebia


Failed security cooperation leads to border problems in Sahel - Al-Monitor


The terrorist threat to energy infrastructure in North Africa - polity.org.za

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Libya News - May 22, 2014


Libyan prime minister refuses to step down; confrontation with ex-general Haftar grows - The Washington Post


Libya's rogue general Haftar gains stream of new allies - Yahoo News


Military Intelligence and Police Join Libyan Rebel General - Matthew Aid


Two Former Libya PMs Jibril and Zeidan back ex-general’s call to dissolve parliament - FT.com


Oil Rebels Back Rogue Libyan General Khalifa Haftar - ibtimes.co.uk


Haftar: I want to cleanse Libya of Muslim Brotherhood, radicals - Ya Libnan


A Q&A with Khalifa Hafter, the mastermind behind Libya’s new revolt - The Washington Post


Libya to vote next month amid rising unrest - Yahoo News


Libya parliament moves to luxury hotel after militia attack - defenceWeb


Muslim Brotherhood Chief Urges Libya Dialogue - haberler.com


Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: Haftar is trying to repeat the Egyptian scenario - middleeastmonitor


Libya Muslim Brotherhood Statement on General Haftar's Desperate Coup Attempt - Ikhwanweb


Libya jihadists vow to defend Benghazi bastion - Cairo Post


Gunmen kill Chinese engineer in Libya's Benghazi: source - Yahoo News


Reporters Without Borders voices deep concern about the fate of the country’s journalists - Reporters Without Borders


International War Crimes Court Wants Gadhafi Son for Trial, Rejects a final bid by Tripoli's lawyers to try him in the country - ABC News


Libya: Final ICC Ruling on Gaddafi - Human Rights Watch


Libya must immediately surrender Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi to the ICC - Amnesty International


VIDEO ARCHIVE (Arabic): Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Head of the National Transitional Council, Admits Ghadafi Did not Kill Protesters - YouTube


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US Weighs Options in Libya - VOA


State Department: US committed to assist elections in Libya, working with all parties to encourage dialogue and to avoid further violence - KUNA


US ambassador Deborah Jones says Libyan general Haftar is going after 'terrorists' - Al-Monitor


VIDEO (Full Interview): Ambassador Deborah Jones talks about violence in Libya, and the political transition since the fall of Gaddafi - C-SPAN.org


VIDEO: Pentagon: "Prudent Measure" as Libya Unrest Grows - YouTube


After Benghazi, Specialized Crisis Response Teams Are Now the 'New Normal' - NationalJournal.com


Effort to train Libyan troops 'still in the planning phase’: U.S. Africa Command - Marine Corps Times


Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt agree to deny Jihadists entry into Libya - Euro Asia News


Tunisia arrests eight "terrorism" suspects from Libya - GlobalPost


Tunisia in the Libyan tempest - Al Akhbar English


Newspaper: Egypt establishing training camps for Libyan rebels - middleeastmonitor


Gunmen attack United Arab Emirates Embassy in Libyan capital - middleeastmonitor


Oil Companies Pull Some Staff From Libya on Security Concerns - WSJ.com


Libya: Enough reserves for 4 years: Central Bank - The North Africa Post

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Libya News - May 20, 2014


Rival militias prepare for showdown in Tripoli after takeover of parliament - The Washington Post


Libya crisis deepens as renegade former general gains control of airbase - The Guardian


Libyan special forces commander says his forces join renegade general - Reuters


Al Qaeda-inspired group vows to fight general who attacked Libya's parliament - Fox News


Outgoing Libyan gov't demands parliament halt work, nullify election of PM - chicagotribune.com


Khalifa Hiftar: career soldier leading Libyan rebellion - The Guardian


Coup leader? CIA asset? Mystery surrounds Libya’s rogue General Hiftar - France 24


VIDEO: Gunmen storm Libya parliament - YouTube


VIDEO: Renegade Libyan General Says Parliament Suspended - YouTube


VIDEO (Arabic): Full Statement of Ex Libyan General on TV: "Parliament Suspended" - YouTube


VIDEO: Libya army orders Islamist-led militias to capital - Yahoo News


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Senior U.S. Diplomat Sent to Libya Amid Political Turmoil - ABC News


Libya evacuation decision 'minute by minute,' U.S. official says - CNN.com


VIDEO: US Marines Evacuation in Libya - CNN


US crisis response Marines moved last week from Spain to southern Italy in response to new security concerns in northern Africa - Stripes


Report: US and Abu Dhabi aiding Gen. Haftar’s bid to stabilize Libyan rule by ousting Islamists - DEBKAfile


Security concerns delay NATO assistance to Libya - Stripes


Algeria's Sonatrach recalls workers from Libya, land border closed: sources - Reuters


Algeria closed Libya embassy over 'real and imminent threat’last Friday - Al Arabiya News


Report: Algeria considered military intervention in Libya to deter jihadist groups - middleeastmonitor


Tunisia to send 5,000 extra troops to Libyan border because of Libya crisis - Lybia Herald


Saudi Arabia closes embassy in Libya due to security concerns - Reuters


Turkey shuts Benghazi consulate due to security threat - hurriyetdailynews


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Washington Fights Fire With Fire in Libya

How Not to End Violence in a War-Torn Land 
By Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? And if not, are they planning to?

That’s what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). “I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands,” he responded by email.  “I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this.”

As it happens, mention of this shadowy mission on the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa was revealed in an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez in the fall of 2013.  In the months since, the plan may have been permanently shelved in favor of a training mission carried out entirely in Bulgaria.  The document nonetheless highlights the U.S. military’s penchant for simple solutions to complex problems -- with a well-documented potential for blowback in Africa and beyond.  It also raises serious questions about the recurring methods employed by the U.S. to stop the violence its actions helped spark in the first place.   

Ever since the U.S. helped oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with air and missile strikes against regime targets and major logistical and surveillance support to coalition partners, Libya has been sliding into increasing chaos.  Militias, some of them jihadist, have sprung up across the country, carving out fiefdoms while carrying out increasing numbers of assassinations and other types of attacks.  The solution seized upon by the U.S. and its allies in response to the devolving situation there: introduce yet another armed group into a country already rife with them.   

Follow the Money: Three Energy Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. using its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the global gas market.

U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu at the U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Photo Credit:  U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Though 14 combined witnesses testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice received an invitation. Climate change and environmental concerns were only voiced by two witnesses. 

Using the ongoing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports of U.S. oil and gas obtained mainly via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the lack of discussion on climate change doesn't mean the issue isn't important to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon's recently published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a "threat force multiplier" that could lead to resource scarcity and resource wars. Though directly related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and gas marketing, with fracking's accompanying climate change and ecological impacts, "threat force multiplication" impacts of climate change went undiscussed. 

With another LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Coos Bay, Ore., to non-Free Trade Agreement countries on March 24 (the seventh so far, with two dozen still pending), the heat is on to export U.S. fracked oil and gas to the global market.   

So, why wasn't the LNG climate trump card discussed in a loud and clear way? Well, just consider the source: ten of the witnesses had ties in one way or another to the oil and gas industry.

A ‘60-Minutes’ Scandal: Lara Logan, Hotness and Benghazi Gone Wild

By John Grant


Lara Logan is a formidable TV reporter who has covered wars and other stories at significant risk. She’s supremely confident and has a powerful journalistic institution supporting her. But as a would-be ethical journalist, she seems to rely too much on her sexual allure and to be too tight with elite elements of the US military establishment.

Humanitarian Wars and Their NGO Foot-Soldiers

By Daniel McAdams

October 05, 2013 "Information Clearing House -   In February, 2011, Soliman Bouchuiguir told a lie. It was a big one. As the head of the Libyan League for Human Rights, Bouchuiguir initiated a petition that was eventually signed by 70 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) demanding that the US, EU, and UN “mobilize the United Nations and the international community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people.”

The petition invoked the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, a 2005 UN policy shift away from respect for national sovereignty toward green-lighting “humanitarian intervention,” including with military force, anywhere human rights are suspected of being violated.

Bouchuiguir’s petition was designed to tick all the necessary boxes of the R2P criteria. It reported that Libyan leader Gaddafi was deliberately killing peaceful protestors and innocent bystanders. He was using snipers to fire on Libyans at random, using helicopter gunships and fighter jets to attack, and even firing artillery shells into the crowd. The petition was where we first saw the oft-repeated line that the Gaddafi regime was employing foreign mercenaries against his own people.

Speaking in support of his petition before the UN Human Rights Council a few days later, Bouchuiguir claimed that Gaddafi had already killed 6,000 of his own people and was determined to kill many more. Based on his testimony and the petition signed by the 70 NGOs, Libya was suspended from membership in the UN Human Rights Council. On the strength of that suspension the issue was moved along rapidly to the UN Security Council, where teeth would soon be put into the campaign for military intervention.

What is behind this human rights NGO? The Libyan League for Human Rights is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights, which as an organization took up and added the weight of its large membership to Bouchuiguir’s petition. It should not be much of a shock to learn that the International Federation for Human Rights relies heavily on governmental sources for funding. Governmental funding of NGOs has been an increasingly effective tool for mobilizing popular support for governmental policies. A land or resource grab is hardly as compelling to the masses as a claimed human rights crisis when a foreign intervention is planned.

Given this, it should be no surprise that the US government, through its own well-funded “democracy-promotion” NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is a major supporter of the International Federation for Human Rights. In fact, NED’s long-serving president, Carl Gershman, was one of the first signatories to Bouchuiguir’s Libya regime-change petition.

In the powerful film, Lies Behind the Humanitarian War in Libya,” filmmaker Julien Teil asks Bouchuiguir whether it was difficult to gather 70 NGOs behind his petition. He replies, “to tell the truth it’s not very difficult at all, cause all NGOs are acquainted.” That is key: the NGOs are all under the umbrella of US and other government-funded organizations like the International Federation for Human Rights. The seeming diversity of 70 signatures is in fact a Potemkin Village, masking the true uniformity of opinion and sponsors.

Why is the story of Bouchuiguir’s petition turning into a UN Human Rights Council action turning into a UN Security Council action turning into a NATO war on Libya so important? His claims were all lies. They were all made up, as he himself admits in the Teil documentary.

Asked months later by Teil how his claims of the number of deaths, rapes, wounded, and missing could be documented, Bouchuiguir replied, “there is no way.” He added that he got the numbers he used from the Libyan rebels themselves, a fact which was never pointed out when the numbers were first cited. The UN Security Council took up his claims, passing the fateful UNSC Resolution 1973 authorizing force against Libya, without investigating them. Pressed one last time in the film for evidence of his claims, Bouchuiguir answered finally, “there is no evidence!”

For his efforts, Bouchuiguir was made Libyan ambassador to Switzerland once the NATO invasion was over and the rebel government was put in place. The international community gathered its NGOs together and moved on to the next target: Syria. Close to 99 percent of the mainstream media articles on Syria rely on a single source, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It is a one-man operation in London run by Rami Abdulrahman, whose day job is running a small clothing shop. Once again, one man and an NGO have been able to ignite international opinion in favor of “humanitarian” intervention. It would do us well to more closely examine the role of the NGOs in promoting international conflict, particularly the governments behind them.

After decades US still has huge poison gas stash: Washington Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split

By Dave Lindorff

 
The US is demanding, in negotiations at the UN, that all Syrian chemical weapons, stocks and production facilities be eliminated by June 30 of next year. This has an element of hypocrisy, because the US itself has been incredibly slow about eliminating its own stocks of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Syria as having one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. But the US and Russia both still have stocks of chemicals many times as large. Syria’s neighbor Israel, which refuses to admit it has the weapons and has yet to ratify the treaty banning them, is suspected of also having a large arsenal.

We don’t gas children, we shred them: Obama’s Grotesque Hypocrisy over Cluster Munitions

By Dave Lindorff


Syrian civilians and children should count themselves lucky that mass opposition in the US, the UK and much of the rest of the world to the idea of a US bombing blitz aimed at punishing the Syrian government for allegedly using Sarin gas in an attack on a Damascus neighborhood forced the US to back off and accept a Russian deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons.


The Bellicose Obama Regime: Once Again, the Answer Is Bombing

By John Grant


Here we go again.

Polls suggest the American people are fed up after two full-bore wars and the killing of an ambassador in Benghazi following our escapade in Libya. Yet, the Obama administration seems poised to launch another war in Syria.

“We can’t do a third war in 12 years!"

Libyan Door to Syrian Door to Iran

"Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

I do assess with varying degrees of horror (some of the varying degrees rather high even) that a lot of people are going to die.  And how dare they die from chemical weapons when they should be dying from hellfire missiles and cluster bombs and napalm and depleted uranium and white phosphorous.  We have a responsibility to protect these people from dying of the wrong type of weapon and in too small numbers.

I'm in Dallas protesting the rehabilitation of our last criminal president because of the precedents he set for our current criminal president.  So, precedents are on my mind.  One precedent for an illegal humanitarian NATO war on Syria is, of course, the illegal humanitarian war on Libya two years ago.  And the pair of precedents (Libya and Syria) will put the target of the neocon/neoliberal cooperative war project squarely on Iran.

Syria will suffer, of course.  There will be no more an example of a humanitarian war that actually benefitted humanity after Syria than before.  The precedent will not be one of having accomplished something, but of having gotten away with something.

For some truly illuminating background on what was done to Libya, and some relevant discussion of what awaits Syria (if we don't prevent it), I recommend Francis Boyle's new book, Destroying Libya and World Order. 

Boyle served as a lawyer for the government of Libya repeatedly, over a period of decades, more than once successfully preventing a military assault by the United States and the United Kingdom.  Boyle details the aggression toward Libya of the Reagan administration: the lies and false accusations, the sanctions, the provocations, the assassination attempts, the infiltration, the blatant disregard for international law.

Boyle's history brings us up to and through the 2011 assault, and traces its precedents to a very similar war over a decade earlier in Bosnia.  Boyle finds the unconstitutional and illegal assault on Libya a clear impeachable offense for President Obama.  And why would we think otherwise?  Only because we let Clinton and Bush get away with everything they got away with.  It would seem unfair now to impeach Obama for a crime his predecessors committed as well.

But past, as well as current, presidents can be impeached, censured, prosecuted, and/or publicly shamed.  Five of them came to Dallas today; there shouldn't be any trouble finding them.  And the criminal attack on Libya can be treated as the crime it was.  The excuse of protection was used to quite openly pursue the overthrow of a nation's government, bombing large numbers of civilians in the process, while arming brutal thugs and creating predictable blowback in neighboring nations as well.

In contrast, in Bahrain, nonviolent pro-democracy activists are left to their own devices as a U.S.-backed dictatorship jails, tortures, and murders them.

In Syria, the United States has worked against peace and for violence.  That violence is not a justification for further and heightened violence.  And every member of an intelligence "community" that announces that Syria might possibly have used a chemical weapon should be doing community service for the people of Fallujah and Basra and Baghdad, not prodding the world's only stupor power into another genocide.

 

Reaping the Whirlwind: A Violent Act Again in a Violent Nation

 

By Dave Lindorff


I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race -- about four hours from the starting gun -- that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.

The Future's So Much More Fun than the Past: How to Avoid the Bummer Myth

 

By John Grant


“The elite always has a Plan B, while people have no escape.”
            - Ahmad Saadawi


True, He’s the First Black President But Obama’s the Worst President Ever

 

By Ron Ridenour


Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!


We’ve had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We’ve had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.


Individual Honor versus Unpleasant History The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means

 

By John Grant


"The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do."

                -- Slavoj Zizek

Links? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Links: Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times

 

By Dave Lindorff


For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the  managing editor of the New York Times, who ran two stories in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all.


Hey, Hey, Barack! What Do You Say? How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?

 

By Dave Lindorff


I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:


US Intelligence Analysts: American Power is in Terminal Decline

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The US is on the way out as a hegemonic power. 


That is the primary conclusion of a new report out of the National Intelligence Council -- a government organization that produces mid-term and long-range thinking for the US intelligence community.


A Case of Just Looking Stupid? The Not-So-Bright Bulbs at the White House and Pentagon

 

By Dave Lindorff


Let me see if I’ve got this right.


Remember Bani Walid

 

Remember Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For courageous Jamahiriya fighters, it's their finest hour. Despite overwhelming force, use of chemical and other illegal weapons, and US-sponsored mass murder, they hang on valiantly.

 

Western major scoundrels shamelessly ignore the slaughter or misreport it. More on that below.

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington bears full responsibility for waging multiple wars on humanity. It planned, initiated and controls direct and proxy conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

 

Bani Walid made headlines for three weeks. Genocide threatens its residents. Obama's dirty hands are all over this crime of war and against humanity. Media scoundrels ignore it. More on this below. 

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