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By John Grant
Supplying an army at a distance drains the public coffers and impoverishes the common people.
--Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
With the killing of Osama bin Laden by a 79-member JSOC hunter/killer team inside Pakistan, the nation has entered yet another of those moments when a news media that professes independence has become an unashamed cheerleader for militarism.
No one can deny the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) Seal Team executed its killing mission with great competence and aplomb. They were also lucky that the bin Laden entourage had apparently become so confident of its safety that it was a bit lackadaisical.
Kucinich to Obama: Keep Your Promise to American, Libyan People; Protect Seized Assets for All Libyans
Washington D.C. (May 5, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the leader of Congressional opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) war in Libya, today sent the following letter to President Obama after news reports indicated that the United States would make available frozen assets of the Gaddafi regime to the Libyan rebels to finance their operations.
May 5, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama,
On March 28, 2011, you stated that the United States “will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Qaddafi regime so that it’s available to rebuild Libya. After all, the money doesn’t belong to Qaddafi or to us – It belongs to the Libyan people.” I wholeheartedly agree.
By TARIQ ALI, CounterPunch
The US-Nato intervention in Libya, with United Nations security council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one dictator in particular and by so doing to bring the Arab rebellions to an end by asserting western control, confiscating their impetus and spontaneity and trying to restore the status quo ante.
America's New Middle East Agenda - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article on Syria quoted Middle East analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, explaining Washington's longstanding plan to "creat(e) an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan."
He explained it also includes redrawing the Eurasian map, balkanizing or reconfiguring countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, perhaps Baltic states, the entire Persian Gulf, Syria, Lebanon, and, of course, Libya to assure Western control of its valued resources, besides already having created three Iraqs. The strategy involves "divid(ing) and conquer(ing to serve) Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region."
NATO attack in Civilian Neighborhood Undermines U.N. Mandate
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has repeatedly challenged the Obama Administration’s policy on Libya, today made the following statement after a Libyan spokesman announced that a NATO missile attack on a residence in Tripoli killed Saif al-Arab, the youngest son of Colonel Gaddafi, and three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren. According to the spokesman, Gaddafi and his wife were in the home, but survived the attack. Saif al-Arab was reported to be a 29 year-old student and a civilian.
“NATO's leaders have blood on their hands. NATO's airstrike seems to have been intended to carry out an illegal policy of assassination. This is a deep stain which can never fully wash. This grave matter cannot be addressed with empty words. Words will not bring back dead children. Actions must be taken to stop more innocents from getting slaughtered.
Robert Parry , Consortium News
Having laughed off Libyan government peace feelers, Official Washington is now beating the drum for a new round of “shock and awe” bombings and close-combat air strikes to “finish the job” of ousting Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
Typically, this Washington debate is being framed as a series of choices for President Barack Obama and NATO: one, abandon the current campaign of air strikes and let Gaddafi prevail; two, continue the conflict at its current pace and accept a stalemate; or three, commit more military resources to “win.”
By John Perkins
"Information Clearing House" -- WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- World Bank President Robert Zoellick Thursday said he hopes the institution will have a role rebuilding Libya as it emerges from current unrest.
Zoellick at a panel discussion noted the bank's early role in the reconstruction of France, Japan and other nations after World War II.
"Reconstruction now means (Ivory Coast), it means southern Sudan, it means Liberia, it means Sri Lanka, I hope it will mean Libya," Zoellick said.
On Ivory Coast, Zoellick said he hoped that within "a couple weeks" the bank would move forward with "some hundred millions of dollars of emergency support."( By Jeffrey Sparshott, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES –full article here - http://tinyurl.com/3hj8yyp .)
Washington (April 22) - - U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich challenged the Obama Administration's expansion of the U.S. involvement in Libya through ordering drones, remote-controlled missile-firing aircraft to assist Libyan rebels.
"The Administration can stop their grim charade and dispense with its false pieties about humanitarian intervention," said Kucinich. "Putting U.S. aerial weaponry in the service of the Libyan rebels deepens U.S. involvement in a civil war, escalates the civil war and prolongs the civil war. This means more civilian casualties, not less."
"Drones are notorious for causing substantial civilian deaths, occurring as 'collateral damage'" said Kucinich. "Pakistan is in revolt over the number of innocent civilians who have been killed in drone strikes."
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” -Senator Barack Obama, 2007
On March 19, 2011, the President, without Congressional approval, ordered the attack on multiple targets in Libya. Under the guise of enforcing a “no-fly zone” the United States launched over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles and flew over 113 sorties. At a cost of $1,066,465 per missile that amounts to $117,311,150 for just the munitions, not to mention the fuel and operating costs for the ships and planes used in the attacks. A USAF F-15E Strike Eagle was also lost in the conflict at a cost of $31.1 million. There was also the unseen cost of the aircraft used in the rescue mission and an unknown number of civilians injured.
Hindsight can be a troublesome thing. I distinctly remember ranting on this very blog about Gaddafi’s barbaric treatment of his own people. I never went so far as to suggest that we should send in the gunboats, so to speak, but rest assured, I thought it. When I read David Cameron’s words to the Kuwaiti Parliament and then again in the UK Parliament, I felt reasurred that we should back the uprising on humanitarian grounds. A popular uprising against four decades of Gaddafi rule being violently quashed by a bloke who, to be frank, I never really liked.
Now, regime change is looking ever more likely in Libya as we try to get more involved but become more evasive about being involved. We’ve sent in ‘advisers’ to assist in organisational matters. Not ground troops. OK? Peter Brookes’ cartoon in The Times today was a good one. Soldiers marching on their hands, their legs facing the sky: “No boots on the ground…” Yes, very good Peter, I’ve definitely heard that somewhere before.
This is all relative to Biteback, we’re publishing War is a Lie by David Swanson. But on re-reading it last night in preparation for writing a blog to let you all know it was available, I read this:
“Imagine if war were really fought for strategic, principled, humanitarian goals… wouldn’t we count the foreign dead in order to make some sort of rough calculation of whether the good we were trying to do outweighed the damage?”
It goes without saying that not enough has been made of the death-toll in Libya. I’ve tried to find out and I still don’t know how many have died. But – in the understatement of the century – aerial bombardment isn’t the most accurate of strategies. In light of what’s going on in Libya each point in Swanson’s polemic is more urgent, more pertinent.
He argues that there is no such thing as an honest war, that every war ever fought has been sold to both sides as a fight between the forces of good and evil and that politicians are willing to tell any lie to ensure the public believe they are in the right and the enemy undeniably in the wrong.
David Swanson is an anti-war activist and in War is a Lie he deconstructs virtually every argument ever put forward in favour of war. Drawing on examples throughout history, including the Second World War and the Iraq War, he shows how politicians will use any excuse not simply to justify war but to continue it after the death toll has long since shown the utter futility of continuing with the bloodshed.
War is a Lie is as relevant now as it will ever be.
You can buy a copy now, priced £9.99
Mission Creep in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Escalated intervention keeps incrementally building toward sending combat troops against Gaddafi, French and UK leaders signaling what may, in fact, have been planned all along, perhaps including US marines. More on that below.
On April 16, New York Times writer Rod Nordland admitted what's already known headlining, "Libyan Rebels Say They're Being Sent Weapons," saying:
Interviewed by Al Arabiya on Saturday, rebel military leader General Abdel Gattah Younas said "his forces had received weapons supplies from unidentified nations that supported their uprising." National Transitional Council spokesman Mustafa Gheriani confirmed it without naming sources thought to be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and NATO members directly.
Gheriani also said that rebels had "professional training centers," adding:
"We have a lot of people being trained, real professional training, that we don't talk to the world about."
(Scroll page for issues - latest at top)
64 Pages:THE WAR ON LIBYA: Stop arming dictators. Stop killing civilians, Medea Benjamin & Charles Davis, Our trillion dollar turd sandwich, David Swanson; Oil, banks, the UN and troubled waters, Felicity Arbuthnot; War in Libya, control of the Mediterranean, Rick Rozoff; Obama on Libya: A war for US interests, Bill van Auken; Hurwitt’s eye, Mark Hurwitt
TRIBUTE TO JOE BAGEANT: My brother Joe, Tony Sutton; Man who cared about people, not money, Fred Reed; Poet and redneck revolutionary, Marc Campbell
PLUS: The Gold and the Stone, Uri Avnery; Not war, not peace, Jack Laurenson; Victim of the military empire, John W. Whitehead; It’s still their fault, Bernard Porter; Bait and switch, Sam Pizzigat; Libya and the Holy Triumvirate, William Blum; Bendib’s World, Khalil Bendib; A tale of two countries, David Michael Green; Not your father’s culture war, Bill Berkowitz; So this is how the other half lives, Damian Bathersby
STOP THE WAR COALITION
Newsletter No. 1198
18 April 2011
Tel: 020 7801 2768
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
1) WHY WE SAY STOP BOMBING LIBYA NOW
2) LONDON LIBYA PROTEST: 19 APRIL
3) CONFRONTING ANTI MUSLIM HATRED IN BRITAIN AND EUROPE
4) CONFERENCE: AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR ON TERROR
5) VIDEO: OIL AND POLITICS IN OCCUPIED IRAQ
1) WHY WE SAY STOP BOMBING LIBYA NOW
A packed special meeting of the Stop the War national steering
committee last Saturday brought delegates from across the country
and from affiliated organisations to discuss the issues arising
from the attack on Libya and wider issues of the "war on terror".
The statement last week signed by Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy made
it clear that this is now a war of regime-change, which is
Legislation Invokes War Powers Resolution
Washington D.C. (April 19, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced plans to introduce legislation that will assert Congress’ constitutional responsibility to make decisions about declaring war. He made the announcement in the following letter to colleagues:
Earlier this month, President Obama made his case for U.S. participation in a United Nations-sanctioned war in Libya. The President’s Office of Legal Council recently released the Administration’s legal justification for the war, arguing that he was not required to come to Congress for prior authorization because the war is in our national interest and because it is not really a war. But our actions in Libya and the Administration’s failure to seek authorization from Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, cannot be justified.
What Next in Libya? - by Stephen Lendman
So far, weeks of conflict produced more stalemate than resolution, policy disagreement among NATO partners, and hawkish US broadsheets like The New York Times and Washington Post calling for escalated conflict to oust Gaddafi.
In its April 14 editorial headlined, "Stop the Blame Game," The Times called for stepped up bombing, arming so-called rebels, and saying, "No political settlement in which the dictator remains in place will work. The West and its partners must be ready to maintain political, economic and military pressure until (he's) gone."
On April 16, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "The Libya stalemate," saying:
"THE CONTRADICTIONS at the heart of US policy in Libya are becoming more acute." On the one hand, Obama, France's Sarkozy, and Britain's Cameron said bombing will continue until Gaddafi's gone. On the other, Obama "acknowledged that the war between rebels and (Gaddafi's forces) is stalemated."
By Alan J. Kuperman, Boston Globe
EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.
But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.
Kucinich Calls Upon the United Nations to Uphold the Arms Embargo of Libya
Washington D.C. (April 14, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led Congressional opposition to the war in Libya, today sent an urgent request to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asking him to take immediate action against U.N. member state Qatar for providing anti-tank weapons to Libyan rebels in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, which established an international arms embargo of Libya.
See a signed copy of the letter here.
France and UK Bypass UN, to NATO: “More Airstrikes!”
Civilians At Risk in Expanded War
WASHINGTON (April 12) - - United States Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who has led Congressional opposition to the war in Libya, today asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take action to ensure that its member states acting in Libya do not take actions that exceed the authorization provided in United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. Britain and France have called for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to intensify air strikes in Libya.
In a letter to the Secretary General, Kucinich referred to today’s reports that the British and French foreign ministers appear to be trying to push NATO to go beyond the actions that were authorized by the international community.
Planned Libyan Invasion - by Stephen Lendman
In his book, "Winning Modern Wars," General Wesley Clark said Pentagon sources told him two months after 9/11 that war plans were being prepared against Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Months earlier, they were finalized against Afghanistan.
"And what about the real sources of terrorists - US allies in the region like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia? Wasn't it repressive policies of the first, and the corruption and poverty of the second, that were generating many of the angry young men who became terrorists? And what of the radical ideology and direct funding spewing from Saudi Arabia?"
"It seemed that we were being taken into a strategy more likely to make us the enemy - encouraging what could look like a 'clash of civilizations' - not a good strategy for winning the war on terror."
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press
Libyan rebel fighters with vehicle-mounted multiple rocket launchers loaded on flatbed trucks head to the front line, from the western gate of Ajdabiya, Libya Thursday, April 7, 2011. Rebel fighters claimed NATO airstrikes blasted their forces Thursday in another apparent mistake that sharply escalated anger about coordination with the military alliance in efforts to cripple pro-Gadhafi forces.
Libyan rebels riding on the back of an armed pickup truck retreat east towards Benghazi from Ajdabiya, Libya Thursday, April 7, 2011. Rebel fighters claimed NATO airstrikes blasted their forces Thursday in another apparent mistake that sharply escalated anger about coordination with the military alliance in efforts to cripple Libyan forces. At least two rebels were killed and more than a dozen injured, a doctor said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 8, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement responding the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion regarding the President’s authority to use military force in Libya:
In the legal memo provided by the President’s Office of Legal Counsel, the Administration argues that the President had the authority to attack Libya absent Congressional authorization because he determined it was in the national interest and because the U.S. is engaged in limited military operations that do not constitute a war.
In the good old days of Bybee and Yoo, before we let them get away with it, thereby guaranteeing worse things to come, Justice Department memos "legalizing" the crime of aggressive war were secret. Now they're published quickly, and there's a new one out on Libya (PDF). It begins:
"The President had the constitutional authority to direct the use of military force in Libya because
he could reasonably determine that such use of force was in the national interest. Prior congressional approval was not constitutionally required to use military force in the limited operations under consideration. April 1, 2011."
April Fools! Ha Ha! They had me going.
Remember Libya: One of History's Terror Bombing Victims - by Stephen Lendman
Like Cast Lead against Gaza, Odyssey Dawn is criminal imperial war, willfully attacking non-combatants and civilian targets, including vital infrastructure, hospitals, non-military airports and buildings, ports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military necessity.
These and more besides so-called rebels killing hundreds on the ground, targeting anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi, including African guest workers there for employment, not political allegiance.
In his article titled, "Libya and Obama's Defense of the 'Rebel Uprising,' " James Petras said:
Obama's Terror War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Since WW II, America's gone to war as much to wage as win them because so many profiteers benefit. The prospect of peace, in fact, terrifies government, military officials, and corporate predators, so new enemies are invented when old ones are vanquished, are no longer of interest, or conflicts end for other reasons.
Wars are solely for wealth and power, never humanitarian intervention to liberate oppressed people or promote democracy. They're notions, in fact, US leaders won't tolerate, notably Obama, doubling down on Bush, waging his Iraq and Afghan wars, fighting two others in Pakistan and Libya, another allied with Israel against Palestine, as well as proxy wars in Somalia, Central Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working Americans.
(to hear the song, go to ThisCantBeHappening! and click on the link.
New Song by Dave Lindorff:
That Tea Party Racket (Ain't Playin' So Well No More) Blues
Governor Scott Walker tried to
Take union rights away
But the workers of Wisconsin
Are gonna make him pay
We’re working on those recalls
Gonna show those bums the door.
That Tea Party racket
Ain’t playin’ so well no more!
Oh here in Pennsylvania
Corbett’s slashing aid to schools.
That means more local taxes.
They’re playing us for fools
But meanwhile with natural gas
He’s giving away the store.
This Tea Party racket
Ain’t playin’ so well no more!
Over in Ohio
The legislature threw
Union rights of cops away
And firefighters too.
What happens if a fire
Starts on the capital floor?
Then that Tea Party racket
Won’t play so well no more!
There’s twenty percent unemployed
Home prices in the the gutter
2 April 2011 - A terrible thought has struck me. Could the excitement over the war in Libya serve to make Tony Blair look less awful and deprive the Chilcot inquiry of what little sting it may have when it finally publishes later this year?
Of course the Government, and the many MPs who supported military intervention, argue that this time is different, that they have learnt the lessons of Iraq, sought proper UN sanction and eschewed action on the ground.
By Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait
I've talked to a number of people in the last 10 days who describe themselves as "hoping for the best" from the US intervention into the North African country of Libya. They choose to believe the US arguments that the intervention is 1) for humanitarian reasons limited to "saving civilian lives"; 2) is legitimate because it has the backing of the UN and NATO.
But the facts don't support those hopes.
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