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Now we know why Obama has gone to such outrageous lengths to keep Bush's lawyers out of prison, claiming powers of secrecy and immunity beyond Cheney's wildest dreams and pressuring foreign nations to clamp down on any outbreaks of law enforcement.
If the Bush lawyers who "legalized" aggressive war, lawless imprisonment, and torture were not consulted on how to keep the war in Libya going in perpetuity, they were certainly the inspiration for the latest White House brainstorming session.
Remember when Alberto Gonzales claimed that the U.S. Constitution gives no one the right to habeas corpus by merely asserting that if you had that right it could not be taken away? Amateur work.
Remember when John Yoo and Jay Bybee explained that a man tortured but never tried had no rights due to his guilt? Child's play.
By Marjorie Cohn
The United States, France and Britain invaded Libya with cruise
missiles, stealth bombers, fighter jets and attack jets. Although NATO
has taken over the military operation, U.S. President Barack Obama has
been bombing Libya with Hellfire missiles from unmanned Predator
drones. The number of civilians these foreign forces have killed
remains unknown. This military campaign was ostensibly launched to
enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 in order to
protect civilians in Libya.
In addition, the United Nations and France have been bombing the Ivory
Coast to protect civilians against violence by Laurent Gbagbo, who
refuses to cede power to the newly elected president after a disputed
election. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon insists that the United Nations is
“not a party to the conflict.” France, former colonial ruler of Ivory
Coast, has over 1,500 troops stationed there. Ivory Coast is the
STOP THE WAR COALITION
Newsletter No. 1203
15 May 2011
Tel: 020 7801 2768
DO TO LIBYA WHAT WAS DONE TO GAZA AND IRAQ SAYS HEAD OF UK ARMY (SEE http://bit.ly/lEuOtZ )
MONDAY 16 MAY: PARLIAMENT DEBATES LIBYA
EMERGENCY PROTEST 5PM
DOWNING STREET, WHITEHALL
LONDON SW1A 2AA
Just as Stop the War Coalition predicted when it began, the Nato intervention
in Libya is leading to full scale war. In just two months, we have gone from
"no-fly zone" to "no-drive zone" to "let's assassinate Gaddafi".
Now, the head of the British armed forces, General Sir David Richards, is
calling for the destruction of Libya's infrastructure.
Over 2000 bombing raids by the US, Britain and their allies have only produced
stalemate and the western powers are facing another disaster in the third
By John Grant
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
-- Sons Of The Pioneers
We live in frustrating times for anyone politically opposed to the relentless militarization and financialization of virtually every facet of life in America.
The idealism of the Sixties and Seventies was overwhelmed first by Reaganism, then by the tsunami of post-911 fear and, finally, by the momentum of two, now three, on-going foreign wars. We live in an enforced condition of permanent war and unfettered piracy.
Voluntary group Global Civilians for Peace return to Libya for their second visit since the war began with plans to meet civil representatives, record and document the facts as they find them and contribute to peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Global Civilians for Peace in Libya is embarking on its second fact-finding mission into the war-torn country. The delegation is comprised of academics, professionals, journalists and ex-military personnel from Europe, North America, England, Middle East and Africa. The delegates are independent and not allied to any government or official body. Italian camera crew will be embedded with the group, a TV producer from Britain and a French well-known Journalist.
STOP THE WAR COALITION
Newsletter No. 1202
13 May 2011
Tel: 020 7801 2768
IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
1) PROTEST WHEN PARLIAMENT DEBATES LIBYA
2) FRENCH MUSLIM DEFYING VEIL BAN JOINS ISLAMOPHOBIA CONFERENCE
3) PROTEST: END THE SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE
4) PROTEST IN SOLIDARITY WITH THIRD INTIFADA
1) PROTEST WHEN PARLIAMENT DEBATES LIBYA
PROTEST: STOP THE BOMBING OF LIBYA
MONDAY 16 MAY 5PM
DOWNING STREET LONDON SW1 2AA
On Monday parliament will be debating the military intervention
in Libya. Claims that the war on Libya is humanitarian have been
exposed by missile attacks on the Gaddafi family’s residence and
by the thousands of refugees fleeing the onslaught whose plight
has been ignored by NATO.
Check this out. Obama is pretending to partially comply with the War Powers Act in Libya. He thinks he gets a 60-day pass for undeclared war, but the 60 days runs out next week. Among the ideas to weasel around this: PAUSE the war for a minute and then start with a fresh 60 days. Dubya would be proud. John Yoo will probably claim credit.
War Powers Action to Toll on May 23
Washington D.C. (May 12, 2011) – In the wake of reports published today which indicate that Congress will not have a vote on the war in Libya, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today reiterated his determination to force the House of Representatives to vote to end military operations in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1973.
“As soon as Congress returns on May 23, 2011, I will introduce a bill, pursuant to the War Powers Act, to force a vote in the House of Representatives to end U.S. military operations in Libya,” Kucinich said.
The bill will use the War Power’s process to insist upon Congress’ constitutional responsibility to make decisions pertaining to the use of U.S. military force abroad. “We must not let any war continue absent legal authorization by Congress,” he said.
Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi - by Stephen Lendman
In London, at a June 1999 anti-Yugoslavia war rally, Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter scathed US and UK leaders, saying:
"Let us face the truth....(N)either Clinton nor Blair gives a damn about the Kosovar Albanians. This action has been another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile....to consolidate....American domination of Europe."
Today, Obama doesn't give a damn about Libyans, any more than about Iraqis, Afghans or working Americans. At issue only is Washington wanting unchallenged dominance everywhere, including over the Mediterranean Basin, using two missiles - NATO and so-called rebels, enlisted, funded, trained and armed well before bombing began on March 19.
Frozen Assets are for the Libyan People, Must not be ‘Lost’ Like Money ‘Lost’ in Iraq and Afghanistan
Washington D.C. (May 9, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has consistently challenged the Administration’s and North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) military intervention in Libya, wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner to request that he “assiduously ensure the safekeeping and close tracking of the seized assets with proper oversight so as to guarantee that they are used for the purpose of rebuilding Libya,” following news reports that the United States was planning to provide some of the money seized from the Libyan government to rebels in the country.
NATO Given an Inch, Takes a Mile
Washington D.C. (May 7, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich, (D-OH), the leader of Congressional opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) war in Libya, wrote to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
In the letter, Kucinich urges both the ICC and the UN to take “immediate action” to ensure that United Nations Member States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is acting to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973, are in compliance with UNSCR 1973 and relevant international law. Further, any actions taken outside compliance of UNSCR 1973 and relevant international law must be considered by the ICC.
April seemed to drift in, whimpering and, then, banging shut. Caresses and blows.
Easter slid by. Where was I? North Carolina? Kentucky? Maryland?
Easter’s just candy, anyway, shaped like eggs, and a White House lawn with children on the hunt. Though I do remember something about a rock rolled away from a tomb.
Prince William and Kate were royally rocking and rolling, a circumstance of pomposity.
Now, we’re a week into May, Derby time with a parade of hats and thoroughly bred animals. Oh, and horses, too, racing for the first jewel in the Triple Crown, no thorns allowed.
This is celebration season. And many are celebrating death—the assassination of that mythical decider who claimed responsibility for “inspiring” 9-11 and scared us to bookstores to purchase bibles in freedomville where we can shop and choose a wireless plan with a special friends-and-family rate, radiation exposure, dropped calls, and surveillance included.
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."