30 March 2011 — Stop NATO
- NATO’s Assault On Libya: 1,800 Sorties, 214 Cruise Missile Attacks
- 70 Percent Of Britons Fear New Iraq-Style War In Libya
- NATO’s Top Military Commander: Foreign Stabilization Force In Libya
- Videos And Text: Obama Establishes Doctrine Around Libya
- France Sends Envoy To Libyan Rebel Base: Report
NATO’s Assault On Libya: 1,800 Sorties, 214 Cruise Missile Attacks
March 29, 2011
For no-fly zone, four NATO sorties: US military
-As part of “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the US military also launched 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the past 24 hours, bringing to 214 the total number of missile strikes since the operation began on March 19, the Pentagon said.
WASHINGTON: Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya required four sorties by NATO aircraft in the past 24 hours, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
As of 1000 GMT, NATO carried out four flights to police the no-fly zone against the Libyan regime, along with four other sorties in support of the mission, according to information released by the Pentagon.
The figures followed comments from US and allied commanders that the regime’s air defenses have been knocked out in earlier coalition raids, with Moamer Kadhafi’s aircraft effectively shut down under a no-fly zone now firmly in place.
The four no-fly zone sorties were flown by Canada and Spain, using F-18 fighter jets, said a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
NATO is due on Thursday to take over from the US military the command of the coalition air campaign, launched under a UN resolution to protect civilians.
As part of “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the US military also launched 22 Tomahawk cruise missiles in the past 24 hours, bringing to 214 the total number of missile strikes since the operation began on March 19, the Pentagon said.
The Tomahawks targeted “storage facilities” for the Libyan regime’s Scud missiles, the defense official said.
The international coalition carried out a total of 200 sorties in the past 24 hours, with about 60 percent of the missions flown by the American military.
During the same period, the international coalition carried out 115 strike sorties, in which combat aircraft sought out targets in Moamer Kadhafi’s armed forces.
Since the air operation began on March 19, the coalition has carried out 1,802 sorties.
President Barack Obama’s administration has said it will soon play more of a supporting role in the air campaign.
The number of “strike” missions by US aircraft has declined slightly in recent days.
In the past 24 hours, the United States conducted 52 sorties, about 45 percent of all the strike flights, compared to 63 percent flown by other countries.
70 Percent Of Britons Fear New Iraq-Style War In Libya
March 29, 2011
Britons fear Libya becoming another Iraq – poll
Seven of 10 Britons fear Iraq-style conflict
LONDON: Seven out of 10 Britons think coalition forces enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya could get sucked into another Iraq-style conflict, a poll showed on Tuesday.
The ComRes poll carried out for the Independent newspaper found 47 percent think the government was wrong to launch air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, while 43 percent approve of the decision.
Tuesday’s poll found that 71 percent of those questioned feared the intervention could drag on, despite Prime Minister David Cameron insisting that Libya is “not another Iraq”.
Respondents’ views were split along party political lines. A majority (58 percent) of Conservative voters, the leading voice in the coalition government, backed the intervention, while coalition partner Liberal Democrats and opposition Labour were less supportive.
A ComRes/ITN poll undertaken a week ago found that 43 of the public disagreed with the action, suggesting opposition was hardening.
ComRes interviewed a random sample of 1,000 adults by telephone between March 25 and March 27.
(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Michael Roddy)
NATO’s Top Military Commander: Foreign Stabilization Force In Libya
Voice of America News
March 29, 2011
NATO Commander Says Libya May Need Foreign Stabilization Force
The top NATO military commander says Libya may need a foreign stabilization force if rebels supported by international airstrikes succeed in ousting the country’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi. U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis made the comment in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Admiral Stavridis says there has been no discussion at NATO of sending ground forces to stabilize Libya, but he believes it may be necessary.
“When you look at the history of NATO, having gone through this, as many on this committee have, with Bosnia and Kosovo, it’s quite clear that the possibility of [the need for] a stabilization regime exists,” he said. “And so, I have not heard any discussion about it yet, but I think that history is in everybody’s mind as we look at the events in Libya.”
He predicted that the military operation, plus international diplomatic and financial pressure and attacks by the rebels, will likely result in Gadhafi’s departure or overthrow.
And he said even without the specific mission to oust Gadhafi, NATO forces are operating under sufficiently broad rules that they can attack wherever necessary in Libya.
“I think that any Gadhafi forces that are demonstrating hostile intent against the Libyan population are legitimate targets,” said Stavridis.
The admiral’s’ NATO forces have taken command of the arms embargo and no-fly zone enforcement from U.S. Africa Command, and he says NATO will take command of the humanitarian and protection of civilians effort within the next day or two…
Videos And Text: Obama Establishes Doctrine Around Libya
March 29, 2011
Obama sets doctrine on Libya
In a televised international speech US President Barack Obama spoke for nearly a half hour on the NATO lead, US backed coalition at war in Libya.
The speech focused on Libya as opposed to grander strategy, emphasizing America’s responsibility as a global leader and the specific Libyan intervention.
“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” the US President said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
Although the details were sketchy, no vision of an endgame was given and many things remain unknown or elusive, one thing is for sure in Obama’s mind – Libya will not be another Iraq.
The US president wants to topple Gaddafi, but swore he would not fall at the hands of US troops. Obama insisted American involvement would end as soon as possible – whenever that may be.
“Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” he stated.
The man who campaigned on an anti-war and pro-diplomacy platform has found himself answering his formed supporters who want to know when Obama shifted his views.
“I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars,” Obama exclaimed, expressing his disapproval of Iraq, but support for his war in Libya. “I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests.”
The Obama doctrine is revealed – use force when I deem necessary.
However, some critics feel his approach does not go far enough.
“If we tell Gaddafi, ‘Don’t worry you’re not going to be removed by force,’– I think that’s very encouraging to Gaddafi,” Republican Senator John McCain told CNN.
On the other side of the spectrum, many Democratic leaders felt the lack of clarity and specific endgame goals was too similar of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Congress needs to ask some tough questions about the endgame,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich blasted Obama for his stance on Libya, saying “The economy is falling apart. Our cities are starved.
People are without health care. All we’re getting is war.”
He argued Libya could easily become Obama’s Iraq and has even proposed, along with Republican Congressman Ron Paul, legislation to defund the entire operation.
“The only real power Congress has here to assert itself as the people’s representatives is to stop funding,” Kucinich said.
The war power belongs to the democratic body, to the Congress, he explained. The US Constitution is clear.
Even President Bush went before Congress to get permission to enter into war with Iraq, he noted.
In addition, Kucinich explained using the military in conflict mode for humanitarian aid simply does not work.
“There’s no way you can avoid civilian casualties,” he said. “What we’re doing here is enlarging a humanitarian crisis with more people becoming refugees, with more civilians put at risk of injury or death due to the bombing.”
In order to get involved in a conflict congress must have a say – even if the conflict is by way of the UN, NATO or other organizations. This is the law of the United States, he explained.
As more and more people seek information on Obama’s war in Libya, it is becoming harder to get factual information from on the ground beyond what NATO and coalition governments claim.
Veteran war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow explained the US and coalition forces are leading an imperialist information war, targeting journalist and preventing truth from being told in Libya.
“Most journalists are not honest,” he said, explaining they are forced to tell half truths.
Journalists are embedded with one side or the other and what they can say is censored by the powers that be. Thus, no one really reports what might actually be going on or what motives may be at play in Libya.
The inability to tell the truth or report all the facts prevents the public from knowing why America may really be in Libya – humanitarianism, access to resources or imperialism.
Radio host Alex Jones argued the war is full of classic propaganda and misinformation, and the US has no business being involved.
The same formula that was used in past interventions is playing out again, he said. Even al-Qaeda is part of the mix. Jones argued the terrorist organization was created by the CIA. It is all part of a major globalist agenda to take away American liberties.
“British Special Forces, US Special Forces were there [Libya] before this began,” said Jones. “The west is setting a precedent through the UN that they can fund rebels to start wars against regimes not favorable to the globalist system.”
Libya is just another piece of the puzzle. It is the beginning of a new front of a global war – it is not humanitarian.
This has nothing to do with humanitarianism, Jones argued. It is about the new world order and their army – al-Qaeda – which is used to strike at America, Russia and others to progress the globalist agenda.
France Sends Envoy To Libyan Rebel Base: Report
Xinhua News Agency
March 30, 2011
France sends envoy to Libyan rebels base in Benghazi: press
PARIS: France has sent an envoy to Benghazi in eastern Libya where the rebels are based, local press quoted an unnamed official on Tuesday as saying.
According to AFP, the veteran French diplomat Antoine Sivan, 55 years old and an Arabic speaker, departed France on Sunday and was on the way to Benghazi via Egypt.
Benghazi is the stronghold of Libyan rebels and now locates their rebel administration National Transition Council (NTC), which France has taken the lead to recognize as the unique legitimate body to represent Libya people.
France has expressed the intention to dispatch an “ambassador” to the rebels’ base in Benghazi after two rebel representatives had a talk with President Nicolas Sarkozy in Elysee Palace on March 10. French foreign ministry later on received rebel representatives one more time and said they had regular contacts with the rebels’ body.
There was no official confirmation from the French administration about the “ambassador,” but local press said a possible confirmation could be unveiled on the sidelines of the Libya-focused international meeting hosting over 35 nations in London.