Stop NATO News March 13, 2011

13 March — Stop NATO

1. Venezuela Says U.S., NATO Preparing For War In Libya
2. NATO’s Threat
3. African Union Gives Rebuff To NATO Intervention Plans In Libya
4. Russia Opposes Foreign Military Intervention In Libya
5. Armenia: NATO’s Third Partner In The Caucasus
6. Afghanistan’s Karzai: U.S., NATO Should Halt Operations From:
7. New NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan From: Rick Rozoff
8. After Trump Meeting: Saakashvili Says Georgia Is Model For Former Soviet States, North Africa
9. Donald Trump: Saakashvili One Of The Great Leaders Of The World
10. Philippines: Farmers, Church Groups Oppose U.S. War Games From: Rick Rozoff
11. NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Pakistan

1. Venezuela Says U.S., NATO Preparing For War In Libya

www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jxH1EtK_SAPMWMNA6qPrqJqMHrpw?docId=6224099

Canadian Press March 11, 2011

Venezuela’s Chavez says US, NATO preparing for war in Libya, warns it would be madness By Jorge Rueda

-”Today I saw Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, saying that he’s concerned about the price of oil,” Chavez said.

Chavez has accused the U.S. of manoeuvring to seize control of Libya’s oil. He said he believes events in Libya are being distorted to lay the groundwork for a conflict, and likened it to the situation in Venezuela in 2002 when he survived a failed coup.

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned Friday that it would be madness for the United States and its NATO allies to go to war in Libya to try to topple Moammar Gadhafi.

Chavez…criticized President Barack Obama for expressing support for the Libyan opposition.

“Right now they are preparing a war, the Yankees and their NATO allies,” Chavez said in a televised speech.

He predicted a larger war in Libya could push world oil prices to $200 a barrel, and he echoed Gadhafi’s warnings that a foreign military intervention would unleash much more bloodshed.

“If the Yankees (attempt) the madness of invading Libya — Gadhafi already said it a few days ago — it would be a new Vietnam,” Chavez said.

The Venezuelan president has proposed forming a “humanitarian commission” to travel to Libya to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

His stance has been echoed by Latin American allies including Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia. But other countries have dismissed Chavez’s mediation idea, and rebels in Libya have not expressed willingness to negotiate as long as Gadhafi remains in power.

Obama said Friday in Washington that the U.S. and the world community are “slowly tightening the noose” on Gadhafi. It was not clear what next steps Obama might be willing to take, but he said he was considering all options, including military efforts with NATO partners.

“Today I saw Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, saying that he’s concerned about the price of oil,” Chavez said.

Chavez has accused the U.S. of manoeuvring to seize control of Libya’s oil. He said he believes events in Libya are being distorted to lay the groundwork for a conflict, and likened it to the situation in Venezuela in 2002 when he survived a failed coup.

“In its desperation, the Yankee empire is continuing and will continue to threaten nations that struggle for their dignity … conspiring against governments,” Chavez said.

He said his proposal for a peace effort would respect “the self-determination and freedom of Libya, which is a sister nation.”

As for the conflict raging in Libya, Chavez said: “That’s a matter the Libyans should resolve.”

2. NATO’s Threat

nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/12-Mar-2011/NATOs-threat

The Nation March 12, 2011

NATO’s threat

It is rather disturbing that NATO has brazenly warned that, if needed, it can respond at a very short notice in Libya, despite the fact that it has no mandate to fiddle with the issue. Granted, the unrest is on a large scale, but NATO has no business to poke its nose into Libya’s internal affairs. It is for the people of Libya themselves to decide what is best for them.

NATO’s warning only reeks of the arrogance and eagerness of the Western powers to resort to the use of force where the Muslim world is concerned.

Its sabre-rattling also strengthens the perception that in order to maintain their economic and military supremacy around the world they are allergic to seeing rivals, especially the Muslim world, achieve a measure of stability to grow and develop.

US military adventurism in Iraq, Afghanistan, its sanctions on Iran, and drone attacks in Pakistan are part and parcel of the ploy to keep the Muslim world from getting on the path to progress.

The West has at this point of time achieved unprecedented progress but it appears it does not want others to catch up with it. This policy of world domination is highly destructive and its fallout will only spell disaster for the West.

The US must understand that these days a revolutionary fervour has swept the Muslim countries, which are going through an evolutionary phase. In the circumstances of the sort, fishing in troubled waters will be highly counterproductive and create a new wave of anti-Americanism. French President Nicolas Sarkozy must have taken leave of his senses when he stated that France was ready to carry out targeted attacks on Libya. These hawkish designs make it pretty clear that the name of the game is to turn Libya into another Iraq.

NATO must first worry about the military defeat it is suffering at the hands of Taliban in Afghanistan before thinking of undertaking any other venture. The voice and passion of the Libyan people for change that is manifest in countrywide demonstrations must be respected.

3. African Union Gives Rebuff To NATO Intervention Plans In Libya

www.euractiv.com/en/global-europe/african-union-speaks-libya-message-west-expected-analysis-503032

EurActiv March 11, 2011

African Union speaks up on Libya, but not message West expected

-Putting NATO’s role at the fore of discussions of a no-fly zone and other limited military confrontations with Libyan forces is a serious miscalculation. The EU summit must not endorse this misstep as it is likely to set back agreement on a united international approach, including with Russia, China and others. Unsurprisingly, the African Union itself has now declared strong opposition to any NATO-led action.

Western leaders must understand that regardless of recent demarches by Arab and African regional organisations, the African Union is the organisation more likely to speak with credible authority on the sort of international interventions in Libya that will be acceptable, writes Oladiran Bello, a researcher at Madrid-based think-tank FRIDE.

“Events in Libya continue to ebb and flow, defying any clear trend analysis as the EU and US scramble for a coordinated response. A number of swift retakes of formerly-rebel held cities by forces loyal to Muammar Gadaffi has upped the stakes, whilst the European Union summit seems set to take its cue from the increasingly hardline position taken by especially Britain and France.

Potentially tortuous UN Security Council debates have also convinced Western officials to offer NATO as one possible route for action. Putting NATO’s role at the fore of discussions of a no-fly zone and other limited military confrontations with Libyan forces is a serious miscalculation. The EU summit must not endorse this misstep as it is likely to set back agreement on a united international approach, including with Russia, China and others. Unsurprisingly, the African Union itself has now declared strong opposition to any NATO-led action.

First, eventual UN blessing of military action is extremely unlikely – if not inconceivable – without some sort of AU support. Most tellingly, never have Africans turned to NATO even in for the continent’s hour of serious need such as in Ituri, eastern Congo, where well-equipped international forces were required to prevent a massacre in 2003. And Washington should know better given the negative African reactions to the US’s own Africa Command (AFRICOM) initiative.

Second, the EU’s biggest member states with long experience in Africa – supposedly Brussels’ biggest assets in relations with the continent – are once again proving to be one of its big liabilities. Putting the cart before the horse – and in defiance of recent exhortations to a multilateralist approach – Paris, followed by London, have declared official recognition for rebel authorities in eastern Libya. It is one thing to invite fellow EU states to follow their lead post hoc but taking such unilateral measures without coordination with the AU completely contradicts even the EU’s rhetoric of the past few years about a new equal partnership with Africans and their pan-continental body.

Third, the imperative of standing up for the protection of civilian rights in Libya is all well, but using it as justifications for NATO actions that could provoke Africa’s non-interference reflexes will be less than smart. And who is to blame those who argue, including in the Arab street, that the rush to unilateral initiatives by outside powers conceals cynical designs around access to Libyan oil?

Fourth, EU political advisers at this week’s summit must also remind leaders of Libya’s very successful rebranding effort of the last decade, effectively presenting itself as a pivotal African power, rather playing a progressively less influential role within the Arab League. This rebranding has gone hand-in-hand with building networks for Muammar Gadaffi among many sub-Saharan African actors…

What are the clear imports for policy? Western leaders must understand that regardless of recent demarches by Arab and African regional organisations on potential joint actions regarding Libya, the AU is the organisation more likely to speak with credible authority on the sort of international actions or interventions in Libya that will be acceptable or otherwise.

The Arab League and collusive dynamics in Middle Eastern geopolitics may also lend Gulf Arab opinions to talks of NATO intervention in Libya, but the AU is a different animal altogether. AU opposition to intervention in Africa by a Western military alliance may well represent a reflexive knee-jerk reaction, but the depth of opposition and the potential price of failing to heed must not be under-estimated.

4. Russia Opposes Foreign Military Intervention In Libya

en.rian.ru/russia/20110312/162965407.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti March 12, 2011

Russia opposes foreign military intervention in Libya

Foreign military intervention in Libya is inadmissible in any form, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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.

“Foreign military intervention should be ruled out,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry’s statement welcomes the recent African Union resolution, which supports Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemns any foreign military intervention.

The statement comes ahead of an emergency meeting by foreign ministers of Arab League member states, who will gather in Cairo to discuss whether to support introduction of a no-fly zone above Libya.

Calls for the zone closure have stepped up in recent days after Libyan armed forces launched further air strikes on the rebel frontline in the east of the country.

According to some media reports NATO’s military staff have started drawing up contingency plans for sending air and naval forces into combat if called upon.

5. Armenia: NATO’s Third Partner In The Caucasus

times.am/2011/03/12/s-ohanyan-spoke-about-armenian-nato-relations/

Times.am March 12, 2011

S. Ohanyan spoke about Armenian-NATO relations

On March 11 Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan met his counterparts from different countries and NATO military authorities in Brussels.

Especially, bilateral cooperation issues were discussed with Georgian and Polish counterparts. Armenian-NATO military cooperation was discussed with the NATO military authorities, the press service of the Defense Ministry of Armenia reports.

The Armenian Defense Minister delivered a speech on NATO activities in Afghanistan and hoped the efforts would succeed.

6. Afghanistan’s Karzai: U.S., NATO Should Halt Operations

english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/12/47307301.html

Voice of Russia March 12, 2011

Karzai fed up with NATO

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai on Saturday stated that NATO and US troops should “stop their operations in the country”, when meeting the families, whose relatives were mistakenly killed by the Coalition in the city of Asadabad, the center of Kunar province.

Witnesses say that the president cried as he held a girl who had her leg amputated following a US chopper attack.

Seventy four civilians, including 40 children, have been mistakenly killed in Kunar from February 15 to March 1 . Karzai himself lost his father’s cousin killed in the Kandahar province.

7. New NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jOu9kVryvV0UuNwg_SEWn1t2Ua-w?docId=6225358

Associated Press March 12, 2011

NATO says 2 service members killed in bombing in southern Afghanistan

KABUL: NATO says two of its service members have been killed in bombings in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition on Saturday did not provide the nationality or details of how the service members were killed. It said both died Friday. The deaths bring to nine the number of coalition troops who have died in combat so far this month.

8. After Trump Meeting: Saakashvili Says Georgia Is Model For Former Soviet States, North Africa

rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=40658&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Ruatavi 2 March 12, 2011

Saakashvili gives interview to Fox News

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gave an interview to the Your World talk show of Fox News after the meeting with Donald Trump during his visit to New York.

The host of the show asked Saakashvili about the latest developments in Georgia as well as the agreement signed with the Trump organization in New York.

President Saakashvili talked in his interview about Georgia`s capacities and reiterated that the country is ranked by the World Bank number one easiest place to do business.

Mikheil Saakashvili also stressed the significance of freedom and carrying out reforms in the country.

“Now, the other question is — and that is exactly what happened in Georgia, that we all know what people don`t want. They don`t want oppression. We all want — know that they want freedom.

“But how are they going to achieve it? Today, there — is there a clear program of reform? Is there a clear program of efficient government and institution-building up to now? We — by the way, we have lots of people right now all around our place. And in our region around us, there are countries in Central Asia, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine that are learning from our reforms.

“We also learn from other places that kind of had revolutions before us. Now we hear lots of Egyptians and the Tunisians want to come and learn. And that`s the main thing. It`s not about waving flags only or taking to the streets only. The — well, except when there`s violence, and, somehow, we escaped without violence in that one — but it`s still a fun part of it. The hard work part of it is much more reform.

9. Donald Trump: Saakashvili One Of The Great Leaders Of The World

rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=40659&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2 March 12, 2011

Foreign media comment on Trump-Saakashvili meeting

-”I`m dealing with one of the great leaders of the world,” Trump said. “I understand how the world works. I deal with the world,” the story says.

Foreign media commented on the agreement signed between the Trump Organization and Georgia`s Silk Road Group in New York on Thursday.

“Trump praised Saakashvili for political and economic reform efforts in that country, suggesting the U.S. was lagging far behind.

“You see what`s happened with the Republic of Georgia and you see what`s happening to our country,” Trump said, pointing to high unemployment, spiking gas and food prices and the weak U.S. dollar. “You see what can be done with the proper leadership. We in this country, we don`t have that leadership. We`re being badly decimated in this country. We`re like a whipping post,” the Wall Street Journal writes.

The New York Times published a story titled “Trump`s foreign approach.”

“The real estate mogul — who says he`s flirting with running for president — appeared with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili after announcing that he`s building a new luxury hotel and resort tower in the former Soviet republic.

“In terms of foreign relations I think this is really a great start because this is a country [Georgia] with amazing leadership,” Trump said during a press conference yesterday at Trump Tower.

“I`m dealing with one of the great leaders of the world,” Trump said. “I understand how the world works. I deal with the world,” the story says.

“First made public last September, Trump’s decision to expand into Georgia – first, with a skyscraper complex in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi, followed by a second development in Tbilisi — is being touted by the government as a breakthrough in its longstanding efforts to attract foreign investment,” Eurasianet says.

====

10. Philippines: Farmers, Church Groups Oppose U.S. War Games

bulatlat.com/main/2011/03/12/balikatan-in-nueva-ecija-farmers-fear-more-rights-abuses-displacement/

Bulatlat March 12, 2011

Balikatan in Nueva Ecija: Farmers Fear More Rights Abuses, Displacement

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO

Southeast Asia: West Completes Plans For Asian NATO

MANILA: Immediately in the wake of announcements that at least 6,000 American troops will be arriving in the Philippines to participate in the Balikatan joint military exercises, an alliance of peasant groups and their supporters from ecumenical formations declared their opposition. The farmers groups said that the presence of more military forces in the areas where the exercises will be held is certain to result in more human rights violations against civilians. They also said that farmers will be facing renewed threats of eviction.

The public affairs officer of the Balikatan exercises representing the Philippines, Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto, recently announced that the American troops will join 2,000 Filipino soldiers in a series of exercises beginning April 10. For the next 10 days, the combined forces will hold exercises at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM) in Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

Field training exercises will be held in various training sites, namely in the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR), the headquarters of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and Special Operations Command in Nueva Ecija; Basa Air Base and Clark Air Base, both in Pampanga; Crow Valley Range in Tarlac; Naval Station L. Gantioqui in Zambales; Sangley Point in Cavite City; Marine Base Ternate in Cavite; and in Mactan Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Exercise Balikatan 2011 is a great opportunity to conduct training which is vital in maintaining the readiness and interoperability of the AFP and U.S. Armed Forces,” said Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo Oban Jr., according to a report by the Philippine Information Agency. The report said “the conduct of Balikatan allows a long and lasting partnership…”

A local peasant group said that military exercises in the FMMR should be banned the same way that the whole Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that allows said exercises should be scrapped. The Alyansa ng Magbubukid na Nagkakaisa sa 3,100 Ektarya ng Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (ALMANA 3,100) has been campaigning against military interference in the 3,100 hectare land, while the residents in the military reservation have been fighting for their right to own the land since the 1960s.

They are supported by the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Tanggol Magsasaka, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR).

11. NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Pakistan

www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C03%5C13%5Cstory_13-3-2011_pg7_11

Daily Times March 12, 2011

2 NATO tankers torched in Bolan

QUETTA: Two NATO oil tankers were torched by unidentified men on Saturday in the Karta area of Mach town in the Bolan district.

Official sources said that three oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan were on their way to Kandahar from Karachi when unidentified terrorists on motorbikes opened fire on them on the National Highway near Mach town.

As a result, two of the tankers caught fire and were completely gutted while the third oil tanker was partially damaged in the attack.

The driver of one of the oil tankers, identified as Ehsanullah Khan, a resident of Peshawar, sustained bullet injures and was taken to the Mach Civil Hospital by the locals.

The assailants managed to escape from the scene successfully. Levies personnel reached the site soon after the incident and cordoned off the area. Talking to Daily Times, a levies official confirmed that two NATO oil tankers were attacked and completely destroyed while another was partially damaged.

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