1 April 2011 — Stop NATO
- Video And Text: Georgia Versus Libya: West’s Double Standards On War And War Crimes
- Rasmussen On Global NATO, Sweden, And Libyan And Afghan Wars
- U.S., British Special Forces Directing Air Strikes From Inside Libya
- NATO Arms Embargo May Exclude Libyan Rebels, Who Are Already Being Armed
- African Officials, Experts: Western Intervention In Libya Aims At Oil
- New Colonialism: Washington’s Pursuit Of World Hegemony
- NATO Uses Greek Naval And Air Bases For Libyan War
- Libyan War: NATO Builds Up War Machine In Mediterranean
- Letters: Libyan War Prospects Go From Bad To Worse
- South African Expert: West Tolerates No Dissent On World Stage
Video And Text: Georgia Versus Libya: West’s Double Standards On War And War Crimes
April 1, 2011
War crimes wash off with West’s help
As top officials worldwide rally against Muammar Gaddafi’s actions, their reaction looks pale as leaders in recent conflicts get away with their crimes – if they have the backing of the West.
The 08.08.08 war is long since over and soon the UN international court is due to announce a decision on Georgia’s legal action against Russia because these days it is Tbilisi that is accusing Moscow of violating an international convention during the conflict in South Ossetia.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili gets a warm welcome everywhere he goes – odd for someone who just three years ago gave the order that led to the death of hundreds of civilians in the republic of South Ossetia.
As the US billionaire Donald Trump puts it, “We’re dealing with one of the greatest leaders of the world.”
The Georgian president, with his fluent English, is a welcome guest on American TV shows, where he is never asked the question: why, in the middle of the night, in August 2008, did Georgia begin the major artillery bombardment of the sleeping city of Tskhinval and peaceful towns nearby.
The region, which Georgia wanted to bring under its control, was razed to the ground. Hundreds were killed in the attack.
Joe Mestas nearly lost his daughter in Saakashvili’s bombings, when she was visiting relatives in one of the towns in South Ossetia.
“I believe Saakashvili should be removed from office, I think he should be tried in an international court for war crimes,” Joe Mestas says.
Mikhail Saakashvili is still supported in the West, even though the EU fact-finding mission determined that he started the 2008 war and ordered the bloodbath in South Ossetia.
“They [the West] have no strategic interests in supporting his overthrow,” believes Phyllis Bennis, director of the New Internationalism Project. “The notion that decisions get made on the basis of humanitarian concerns is simply false: it does not, it is not the basis for the decision about Libya, it is not the basis for the decision about Georgia, about Palestine or about Kosovo,”
“The question who is held responsible and how, is very much a strategic question, it is not a legal question as it should be.”
To boost its strategic importance, among other things, Georgia dispatched 1,000 troops to join allied forces in Afghanistan and became the leading troop contributor, relative to Georgia’s overall population.
Saakashvili’s TV interviews usually are boundless, almost unstoppable praise of the US, and that is also believed to have played a role in the West supporting Saakasvili no matter what his crimes.
Now as the world has declared a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gaddafi, many wonder why a no-fly zone was never on the table when the Georgian president launched his deadly campaign, or when Israel bombed Gaza for three consecutive weeks.
“On the question of Gaza, when you had a blatant act of aggression, clearly a massive violation of not only international human rights norms, but war crimes, crimes against humanity being carried out, more than 1400 people have been killed, 900 of the dead were civilians, more than 300 were children,” Bennis recalled.
“It was a horrific situation that went on for days. The problem there is that Israel is the protectorate of the US and the US was not going to allow anyone, the UN or anyone else, to actually engage in a serious way, stopping that massacre.”
You would think if a leader commits atrocities, he would be treated like, say, Gaddafi, denounced, banned from travel, but history shows, that is not the way politics works: the Georgian president killed scores of civilians but was exonerated by the West.
Politicians accept him as a friend, business leaders are looking to invest in his country and it seems the US is happy to continue turning a blind eye to the blood on Saakasvili’s hands.
Rasmussen On Global NATO, Sweden, And Libyan And Afghan Wars
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 31, 2011
The New NATO and Sweden’s security
-Sweden’s contributions to our operations in the Balkans, as well as in Afghanistan, have been invaluable. As I am sure your contribution to the NATO-led operation to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 on Libya will be…Last year, during the development of the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept, Sweden was a source of much inspiration and many ideas.
-Developing a wide network of partnerships…with countries and organizations across the globe flows from our new Strategic Concept.
-For the past decade there has been both a political and an academic discussion about “The Responsibility to Protect”…In several countries we see support for the NATO-led operations that cuts right across the political spectrum.
-NATO welcomes contributions from all its partners across the world to ensure that the will of the international community is heard. Our Alliance provides the ideal framework for the widest possible participation in implementing the UN resolutions in support of the Libyan people. We have extensive experience of involving partner nations in our operations – partners such as Sweden, but also partners in the Mediterranean and Gulf regions.
-Afghanistan is another example where we can see the value of partnership. 48 countries are now part of the International Stabilisation Force [International Security Assistance Force] ISAF. With one in four UN member states taking part, this is the largest coalition in history. And Sweden is part of it, along with NATO Allies.
-I would encourage Sweden to use its considerable experience to assist other partners in the Euro-Atlantic area, and beyond. I strongly believe that Sweden can play a major role in helping partners to modernize their defence and security institutions as part of wider efforts to reform their societies.
Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Stockholm, Sweden
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to speak here today. The Swedish Institute of International Affairs has a long history of valuable research into critical security issues. Indeed a quick glance at your research programme reminded me of my in-tray at NATO. And it underlined how much NATO and Sweden have in common.
We share the same geography – and that is important…We share the same desire for peace and security. And we share the determination to act to defend our values and to preserve peace, when they are threatened.
In times of trouble, it’s important to have reliable partners. Indeed, Sweden is one of the oldest, and most valued, members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme. You have never failed in your commitment to work with our Alliance, or in your willingness to take part in even the most dangerous and difficult of NATO’s operations.
Sweden’s contributions to our operations in the Balkans, as well as in Afghanistan, have been invaluable. As I am sure your contribution to the NATO-led operation to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 on Libya will be – an issue that I will revert to in a moment. I want to pay tribute to all of your service personnel who have showed tremendous courage and professionalism during these operations. I also want to extend my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who, sadly, have been killed or injured.
But it is not just to our operations that Sweden has made valuable contributions. Last year, during the development of the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept, Sweden was a source of much inspiration and many ideas.
The new Strategic Concept defines the Alliance’s purpose and tasks for next decade. It delivers a road map for dealing with the many different challenges of our rapidly changing world. And it describes the vital role that partners like Sweden can play in addressing those challenges.
Developing a wide network of partnerships for peace and security with countries and organizations across the globe flows from our new Strategic Concept. Working with partners is essential if NATO is to be fully effective. Cooperative security is the key word for the new NATO.
Let me describe the new NATO by three examples. First, how we restore security by responding to a crisis. Second, how we reinforce security against emerging challenges. And third, how we multiply security by strengthening our partnerships.
We are all focused on the dramatic developments in Libya. With United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, the whole world community has sent a clear and strong message to Colonel Gaddafi and his regime…
In this broad international effort, NATO is playing a key part. On Sunday, NATO Allies decided to take on full responsibility for implementing all military aspects of this historic Resolution. Today, we are completing transition to NATO command and control of the operation to protect civilians and civilian centers from the threat of attack.
We call this Operation Unified Protector…
Don’t underestimate that! For the past decade there has been both a political and an academic discussion about “The Responsibility to Protect”. This concept has now found its way into the two Security Council Resolutions on Libya…
The significance of this may have escaped the pundits – but not our publics and parliamentarians. In several countries we see support for the NATO-led operations that cuts right across the political spectrum. Because the cause speaks to us all as human beings!
I strongly welcome the decision of the Swedish government to contribute to our common endeavour. I do not wish to prejudge the important debate in the Riksdagen. But I will say this: Sweden has once again clearly shown its solidarity with the international community…
Not only in words, but also in deeds. Including a willingness to, yes, put its citizens in harm’s way, for a common cause.
At stake is the future of Libya, a country on Europe’s doorstep. And unless the world stands united in these crucial days, we risk sending the wrong message: that violence pays. And we also risk seeing the Arab awakening turn into winter.
NATO welcomes contributions from all its partners across the world to ensure that the will of the international community is heard. Our Alliance provides the ideal framework for the widest possible participation in implementing the UN resolutions in support of the Libyan people. We have extensive experience of involving partner nations in our operations – partners such as Sweden, but also partners in the Mediterranean and Gulf regions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Afghanistan is another example where we can see the value of partnership. 48 countries are now part of the International Stabilisation Force ISAF. With one in four UN member states taking part, this is the largest coalition in history. And Sweden is part of it, along with NATO Allies.
The New NATO is also reinforcing security against emerging challenges.
We all enjoy the benefits of the information age. We take cell phones, internet access, and cash machines for granted. But there are literally millions of cyber attacks every day, targeting these systems – our banks, our infrastructure, and our power grids. Even our computers at NATO are targeted one hundred times a day. So through the internet, you can cause devastating damage to our open societies without a single soldier firing a shot.
NATO is already stepping up its defences against this growing threat — and it makes sense for NATO and Sweden to work together. We can learn from each other. We can share expertise. And we can develop best practices to protect our cyber systems.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The New NATO is based on cooperative security. In order to accomplish our security missions, we need strong partnerships.
Three partnerships in particular are as important for Sweden as they are for NATO: with the European Union; with Russia; and with other countries in Europe and Central Asia – what we call the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.
I belong to those who think a stronger European defence policy is also a source of strength for NATO. NATO-EU cooperation, in particular on developing military capabilities, holds great potential. At a time of tight budgets, we need to look at new ways to build more security with less money.
By pooling and sharing capabilities, and procuring and training together, we could make more efficient use of resources. With 21 countries in common, with only one set of capabilities and with only one set of tax-payers, it makes total sense. I am sure that Sweden will support such efforts.
The NATO-Russia partnership also matters for Sweden. Yes, we do have differences – including on matters of principle such as Georgia’s territorial integrity…
Our Euro-Atlantic Partnership brings together 50 nations from North America, Europe, and Central Asia. It offers a framework for political association with the Alliance based on common values and shared interests.
I would encourage Sweden to use its considerable experience to assist other partners in the Euro-Atlantic area, and beyond. I strongly believe that Sweden can play a major role in helping partners to modernize their defence and security institutions as part of wider efforts to reform their societies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We only have to switch on the news to realize that we live in an unpredictable world. Many of the threats that NATO faces, Sweden faces too. By working even closer together, we can continue to keep Allied nations, and Sweden, safe.
U.S., British Special Forces Directing Air Strikes From Inside Libya
March 31, 2011
US, British operatives in Libya ‘not surprising,’ military expert says
-”The revelation that there are special forces on the ground is not surprising, in fact it would be surprising if we were to hear that there were not; in that case you could argue that the CIA wasn’t doing its job properly.”
-According to recent polls, about half of US public opinion is against US military involvement in Libya. The White House has maintained that no US troops will be used in a potential ground offensive in Libya, but the reports about CIA involvement on the ground are raising fears that it is just a first step that could eventually lead to US soldiers becoming embroiled in messy street battles.
News that the US and Britain have special operatives on the ground in Libya could become a source of irritation to NATO allies who maintain that the coalition forces are not to get directly involved in the conflict.
According to the New York Times, the US Central Intelligence Agency has inserted covert operatives into Libya to gather information to aid in NATO-led military airstrikes, and also to make contact with rebel leaders fighting against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.
In addition to the CIA presence, British officials said that “dozens” of special operatives and MI6 agents are working inside Libya to direct airstrikes from British jets and gather intelligence on military targets.
While clearly a gray area in terms of the scope of the UN resolution on Libya, Dave Hartwell, senior Middle East analyst with IHS Jane’s, told Deutsche Welle that the news was not unexpected.
“The revelation that there are special forces on the ground is not surprising, in fact it would be surprising if we were to hear that there were not; in that case you could argue that the CIA wasn’t doing its job properly,” Hartwell said.
Public opinion against ground troops
Reuters news agency reported that US President Barack Obama signed documents several weeks ago, authorizing the CIA to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels, though the White House and CIA officials have declined to comment on the reports.
The news has stoked criticism in the US over Obama’s handling of the crisis. According to recent polls, about half of US public opinion is against US military involvement in Libya. The White House has maintained that no US troops will be used in a potential ground offensive in Libya, but the reports about CIA involvement on the ground are raising fears that it is just a first step that could eventually lead to US soldiers becoming embroiled in messy street battles.
In Britain, a public weary from military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan likewise has no desire to see troops on the ground in Libya…
The UN Security Council Resolution and the mandate that NATO allies have together with the Arab League states that “all necessary measures” may be used to protect Libyan civilians. This does not rule out the presence of a ground force. At the same time, now that NATO has assumed full control of current operations in Libya, it’s likely that some feathers will be ruffled…
“At the same time, it’s an issue that is not going to go away, because the longer the opposition continues to be weak on the ground, the issue of how we safeguard them is going to remain.”
That, of course, raises the thorny issue of whether or not to supply the Libyan opposition forces with weapons. Publicly, the US, like many other coalition partners, continues to debate the arms issue. On Wednesday, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, released a statement saying that no decision had yet been made on arms provision.
“We’re not ruling it out or ruling it in,” Carney said.
Author: Deanne Corbett
Editor: Rob Mudge
NATO Arms Embargo May Exclude Libyan Rebels, Who Are Already Being Armed
March 31, 2011
NATO pledges to stop arms shipments to Libya
-[Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola] said he was “confident, absolutely confident, that one of the (NATO) allies” were currently arming the rebels.
NATO pledged on Thursday to stop any arms shipments to Libya, but indicated that it might change its mind if some of its members decided to start supplying weapons to the rebels fighting Moamer Gaddafi’s forces, reported dpa.
“If today there is a ship transporting arms or mercenaries, it will be stopped,” the chairman of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola told a news conference in Brussels.
As part of its efforts to enforce all United Nations-authorized military actions against Libya, NATO is enforcing a naval arm embargo in the Mediterranean.
The United States has suggested that the arms embargo foreseen by UN Security Council resolution 1973 could be overridden if the overall objective was to prevent civilian casualties, while Italy said such actions would not be allowed.
“There might be different interpretations, it is not that clear whether (arming the rebels) would be in breach or not in breach of the (UN) resolution,” Di Paola said.
He said he was “confident, absolutely confident, that one of the (NATO) allies” were currently arming the rebels.
African Officials, Experts: Western Intervention In Libya Aims At Oil
Xinhua News Agency
April 1, 2011
African officials, experts question military intervention in Libya
NAIROBI: A number of African officials and experts believe oil is the real motive fueling the ongoing air raids against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his loyalists.
Mahboub Maalim, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), said Western countries always expect a pro-West government to manage Libya’s abundant oil resources.
Political science Professor Bihella Mahoundi at the University of Botswana also echoed Maalim’s opinion, saying Libya’s oil mainly flows to a number of European powers like France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
He said France has a very large stake in Libya’s oil reserves. Most of the 30-plus French firms investing in Libya are doing business in the energy field, with oil companies pouring billions of U.S. dollars into the chaotic North African nation.
Seeking to protect its interests on the ground, France became very active in the coalition mission, trying to oust Gaddafi from power, the professor said.
However, almost 13 days into the campaign against Libya’s government, it seems the air strikes haven’t produced the desired effect with Gaddafi still in control of the situation, Mahoundi said.
He said that if the air raids continue to cause civilian casualties, it would be quite possible for the Libyans to become even more pro-Gaddafi.
He also said huge domestic and international pressure would ferment if further military intervention were carried out, noting that many anti-military operation demonstrators have already staged protests.
For his part, Maalim said military operations may very likely split Libya, shattering this nation into pieces occupied either by pro- or anti- Gaddafi forces.
He also said the worsening situation in Libya would produce waves of refugees which would swarm into neighboring countries and threaten regional security.
Additionally, terrorists from Afghanistan, Somalia and similar nations would use anti-Western intervention as an excuse to penetrate into Libya and the surrounding region, posing a greater security challenge, he said.
Maalim said currently a commission is seeking peaceful means to solve the Libyan crisis.
The commission members include heads of state from five nations – Mauritania, Uganda, Mali, the Republic of the Congo and South Africa – as well as Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union (AU).
Godfrey Ayoo, Kenya’s international political expert, called on the Western nations to immediately cease their military action and urged a ceasefire between the Gaddafi forces and the rebels.
He also said the AU, the Arab League, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union should all play an active role in promoting a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Yet he said those countries involved in military operations in Libya shouldn’t participate in the process to settle the crisis peacefully, and the UN should investigate civilian losses caused by coalition air strikes.
New Colonialism: Washington’s Pursuit Of World Hegemony
March 31, 2011
The New Colonialism: Washington’s Pursuit of World Hegemony
By Paul Craig Roberts
What we are observing in Libya is the rebirth of colonialism. Only this time it is not individual European governments competing for empires and resources. The new colonialism operates under the cover of “the world community,” which means NATO and those countries that cooperate with it. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was once a defense alliance against a possible Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Today NATO provides European troops in behalf of American hegemony.
Washington pursues world hegemony under the guises of selective “humanitarian intervention” and “bringing freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples.” On an opportunistic basis, Washington targets countries for intervention that are not its “international partners.” Caught off guard, perhaps, by popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, there are some indications that Washington responded opportunistically and encouraged the uprising in Libya. Khalifa Hifter, a suspected Libyan CIA asset for the last 20 years, has gone back to Libya to head the rebel army.
Gaddafi got himself targeted by standing up to Western imperialism. He refused to be part of the US Africa Command. Gaddafi saw Washington’s scheme for what it is, a colonialist’s plan to divide and conquer.
The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was created by order of President George W. Bush in 2007. AFRICOM describes its objective:
“Our approach is based upon supporting U.S. national security interests in Africa as articulated by the President and Secretaries of State and Defense in the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy. The United States and African nations have strong mutual interests in promoting security and stability on the continent of Africa, its island states, and maritime zones. Advancing these interests requires a unified approach that integrates efforts with those of other U.S. government departments and agencies, as well as our African and other international partners.”
Forty-nine countries participate in the US Africa Command, but not Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, and Ivory Coast. There is Western military intervention in these non-member countries except for Zimbabwe.
One traditional means by which the US influences and controls a country is by training its military and government officers. The program is called International Military and Education Training (IMET). AFRICOM reports that “in 2009 approximately 900 military and civilian students from 44 African countries received education and training in the United States or their own countries. Many officers and enlisted IMET graduates go on to fill key positions in their militaries and governments.”
AFRICOM lists as a key strategic objective the defeat of the “Al-Qaeda network.” The US Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) trains and equips “partner nation forces “ to preclude terrorists from establishing sanctuaries and aims to “ultimately defeat violent extremist organizations in the region.”
Apparently, after ten years of “the war on terror” an omnipotent al-Qaeda now ranges across Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia in Africa, across the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UK and is such a threat within the United States itself as to require a $56 billion “Homeland Security” annual budget.
The al-Qaeda threat, a hoax as likely as not, has become Washington’s best excuse for intervening in the domestic affairs of other countries and for subverting American civil liberties.
Sixty-six years after the end of World War II and 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US still has an European Command, one of nine military commands and six regional commands.
No other country feels a need for a world military presence. Why does Washington think that it is a good allocation of scarce resources to devote $1.1 trillion annually to military and security “needs”? Is this a sign of Washington’s paranoia? Is it a sign that only Washington has enemies?
Or is it an indication that Washington assigns the highest value to empire and squanders taxpayers’ monies and the country’s credit-worthiness on military footprints, while millions of Americans lose their homes and their jobs?
Washington’s expensive failures in Iraq and Afghanistan have not tempered the empire ambition. Washington can continue to rely on the print and TV media to cover up its failures and to hide its agendas, but expensive failures will remain expensive failures. Sooner or later Washington will have to acknowledge that the pursuit of empire has bankrupted the country.
It is paradoxical that Washington and its European “partners” are seeking to extend control over foreign lands abroad while immigration transforms their cultures and ethnic compositions at home. As Hispanics, Asians, Africans, and Muslims of various ethnicities become a larger and larger percentage of the populations of the “First World,” support for the white man’s empire fades away. Peoples desiring education and in need of food, shelter, and medical care will be hostile to maintaining military outposts in the countries of their origins.
Who exactly is occupying whom?
Parts of the US are reverting to Mexico. For example, demographer Steve Murdock, a former director of the US Census Bureau, reports that two-thirds of Texas children are Hispanics and concludes: “It’s basically over for Anglos.”
Ironic, isn’t it, while Washington and its NATO puppets are busy occupying the world, they are being occupied by the world.
NATO Uses Greek Naval And Air Bases For Libyan War
March 31, 2011
NATO Operation Unified Protector against Libya Making Use of Greek Bases in Crete, the Peloponnese
-Currently, seven Greek airfields (including Souda) are being used for the Libya operation, hosting more than 40 fighter jets from the USA, France, Belgium, UAE, Qatar, Denmark and soon other allied states. Another four Greek jets, one frigate, two or three smaller ships and two rescue helicopters are being employed.
Radar bases in Crete are on full alert, as are the anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic systems…
The Western military offensive against the Libyan government of Moammar Gaddafi has been officially handed over to NATO and allied countries such as Greece are playing a key, if less visible role.
The NATO Mediterranean headquarters in Naples, Italy is overseeing Operation “Unified Protector,” under the command of Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard. Other bases including one in Izmir, Turkey. But the Greek island of Crete – which sits opposite Libya – is strategically more important.
NATO’s naval operations base at Souda Bay, in the northwestern prefecture of Chania, has long been considered the most important base for air and nautical operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Even in ‘peaceful times,’ the base sees much activity.
Along with the large Greek air and naval base at this protected, deep bay, an American NATO base and a NATO maritime interdiction center (among other specialized NATO schools) are located.
Currently, seven Greek airfields (including Souda) are being used for the Libya operation, hosting more than 40 fighter jets from the USA, France, Belgium, UAE, Qatar, Denmark and soon other allied states. Another four Greek jets, one frigate, two or three smaller ships and two rescue helicopters are being employed.
Radar bases in Crete are on full alert, as are the anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic systems, due to the perceived fear of retaliation by Libya with its Scud -C missiles. However, the military believes that such possibilities are slim, as the radius and ability of these missiles is the subject of dispute – it is not sure if they could even reach Crete, should Libyan forces try to use them.
Further north, Belgian F-16?s together with Greek ones have recently conducted exercises in the southwestern Peloponnese. The bomb-targeting exercises were held in the Karavia training grounds, and simulated bombing of military installations in Libya.
Currently, every military center in Crete and the Peloponnese is on high alert, while the crisis center in the Ministry of Defense in Athens has been activated over the past 14 days.
NATO has announced that the operation in Libya may last for up to 90 days, though this is subject to change. This operation is coming at a very difficult time for Greece, which faces considerable public discord over budget austerity measures. For the Libya operation, Greece must spend approximately 4 million euros per day.
A small number of Libyans live and work in Greece, primarily in Athens, and the majority of them have voiced anti-Gadaffi sentiment, even holding demonstrations outside the Libyan embassy in the capital.
Greek security planners are preparing for other risks that could accompany a protracted conflict, including refugee crises, arms smuggling and other forms of organized crime. Colonel Gaddafi’s influential, Western-educated second son, Saif Al-Islam recently told the French Television Arte that Libya could become a “second Somalia,” afflicting the Mediterranean with the scourge of piracy and bringing more opportunities for terrorists to attack European targets.
Libyan War: NATO Builds Up War Machine In Mediterranean
March 31, 2011
Military contributions to NATO-led Libya mission
BRUSSELS: NATO took sole command Thursday of all operations in Libya, including ground strikes formerly conducted by a US-led coalition. The alliance was already leading an arms embargo and a no-fly zone.
Here are details of national contributions so far:
Six F-16 fighter jets, based in Araxos, Greece, are taking part in the ground strikes. A mine-hunting ship, the Narcis, is part of a NATO flotilla off Libya’s coast.
Britain, which has conducted air strikes, has deployed Typhoon and Tornado fighters as well as Sentinel and E3D Sentry reconnaissance aircraft and VC10 refuelling planes.
A submarine and two frigates are patrolling the Mediterranean.
Ottawa has deployed seven CF-18 jets, which conducted bombing missions, as well as two CC-150 Polaris air refuellers and two CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft. A navy frigate is participating in missions off Libya’s coast.
Six F-16 fighter jets are based in Sigonella, Sicily. Denmark has conducted 93 ground strikes against ammunition depots, missile launchers, combat vehicles and artillery since March 23.
Paris, which launched the first air strikes on March 19, has deployed around 20 Rafale and Mirage 2000D combat aircraft. Most use a base in Corsica, but four Mirage 2000-5 jets are located in Souda, Greece, to team up with Qatari planes on missions to enforce the no-fly zone.
The operation includes four AWACs radar and surveillance planes and C-135 refuelling planes.
Escorted by two frigates and a refuelling tanker, the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier is operating 10 Rafale and six Super Etendard attack jets, as well as two Hawkeye electronic surveillance planes.
A Greek frigate is contributing to the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. A Super Puma search-and-rescue helicopter, based in Crete, and an Erieye surveillance airplane are also participating.
Greece has not contributed fighter jets for ground strikes, but it has allowed the coalition to use four military bases.
For the operation to protect civilians, Italy has four AV8-B ground attack aircraft aboard the Garibaldi aircraft carrier. Rome also contributed four Eurofighter and four Tornado ECR warplanes.
The frigate Libeccio, the offshore patrol vessel Comandante Bettica, the logistical support ship Etna and the Garibaldi are taking part in the arms embargo off Libya’s coast.
Seven military bases used by the coaltion are now under NATO command.
Six F-16 jets, based in Crete, are participating in both the no-fly zone and the ground strikes.
Bucharest has not deployed any planes but it has offered a frigate, the King Ferdinand, with a crew of 207 to take part in enforcing the arms embargo from April.
Ankara has ruled out taking part in combat operations, but five of its warships and a submarine were put NATO’s disposal for the arms embargo. More than 1,000 troops and officers are aboard the vessels.
– UNITED STATES
The United States was the lead coordinator of coalition strikes but has now handed control to NATO.
President Barack Obama, eager to reduce Washington’s footprint, says the US will play a supporting role, including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications.
Washington deployed 11 ships and submarines, including the USS Mount Whitney command ship, the USS Kearsage assault ship and the USS Ponce transport dock ship. Two guided missile destroyers, three submarines and three refuelling ships are also in the area.
F-15 and F-16 fighter jets are in Sicily, while the USS Barry and the USS Stout, both destroyers equipped with sea-to-ground Tomahawk missiles, are in the Mediterranean.
Three B-2 stealth bombers based in the United States have also flown missions to Libya.
Six Mirage 2000 fighter jets and two C-17 military transport planes. Qatar participates in the no-fly zone but will not conduct ground strikes.
– UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Six Mirage 2000 jets, six F-16 warplanes and one C-17 to help enforce the no-fly zone.
Stockholm offered eight Gripen fighter jets, a C-130 transport plane and a reconnaissance aircraft. The contribution needs the approval from the parliament, which will vote on it Friday.
Letters: Libyan War Prospects Go From Bad To Worse
April 1, 2011
Germany’s decision to stay out of Libya lauded by readers
The conflict in Libya continues without a sign of a clear victor in the wake of NATO intervention. Readers have been writing in with their thoughts on the situation.
The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
Ongoing conflict in Libya
Covert operatives are indeed the precursor to ground troops in Libya! As you can see the involvement of the West is becoming deeper and deeper, which is no longer the original professed scope outlined by the promoters of the “no-fly zone.” Ground troops will eventually be necessary to save face (the West’s) in the aftermath of the routing of the rebels by loyalist forces. Besides, the rebels by themselves can’t be counted on to oust Gadhafi because of their inexperience and sheer stupidity! Congratulations to Germany and Poland for not participating in this foolish adventure! — Kevin, Philippines
Here the US is trying again to get other people to do the dirty work for their own interests. Why get involved in Libya? To claim the protection and democratization of the Libyan people is pure hypocrisy. If there weren’t oil and other important resources there, they would not give a hoot. Why not concentrate on helping Japan instead? — Merillet, France
Germany and Poland are right in their decision not to join the ongoing conflict in Libya. As everyone can see, the promoters of the no-fly zone are wrong in thinking that it will be a short war and making bombing raids is enough to eventually flush out Gadhafi. That has not happened and now, there’s talk of sending ground troops! — Irma, Philippines
It is somebody else’s turn to rush into this civil war. Sarkozy is eager to do so, Italy was happily befriending Libya. Leave it to the EU, United Nations or the international alliances of African or Arab countries. Saudi Arabia can afford intervention or mediation. The US cannot afford more international armed conflicts while we close schools and cut domestic programs for the elderly. — Felicia, US
I am proud that reason prevailed in the German and Polish stance on Libya. As for the former-US National Security Adviser’s critique, this is all about US interests and falls in the same category as the statement by Joschka Fisher; paid lobbyist for US interests. Zbigniew Brzezinski is still trying to manufacture public opinion with his outdated Cold War mentality. It seems the German government has shed their US apron strings, which was long overdue. Again I have to say, good work for a mature and wise policy on the decision not to take part in a Libyan civil war. — G., Canada
I think Obama is right. He said overthrowing Hussein had a cost of millions upon millions – “we can’t do it again.” It is clear that overthrowing Gadhafi is not possible for the rebels [alone]. Only somebody with a million upon millions [of dollars] can succeed. — Franklin, Costa Rica
I suppose the rebels shouldn’t be armed, otherwise it would seem like Western countries are using Libya’s war as a market for their weapons. Diplomacy should begin immediately on both sides and a ceasefire should be declared. Bombardment will achieve nothing. It begins to smell like the “democracy” brought to Iraq. — Anar, Azerbaijan
Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Martin Kuebler
South African Expert: West Tolerates No Dissent On World Stage
Xinhua News Agency
April 1, 2011
West tolerates no different thinking: South African expert
By Shao Haijun
-”They have humanitarianism as a slogan. But what should happen to Ivory Coast, Somalia, even Zimbabwe, is it possible for them to take military action saying it is humanitarian action?”
JOHANNESBURG: Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Western countries gradually feel they are unsafe in the world and want to eliminate different thinking around the globe. This is one of the in-depth reasons behind the military action toward Libya, a South Africa expert said in an exclusive interview to Xinhua recently.
“The reason (for the military action) is geo-strategic definitely, the alliance of U.S., UK and France [actions] in the Middle East especially in Egypt which was long alliance with U.S. with the Mubarak regime.
“Libyan regime change can strengthen the interest of western countries in the Middle East, especially the U.S.,” said Dr. Ridwan Laher, chief research specialist and head of the Sustainable Development Unit in the African Institute of South Africa.
“Islam in politics has not well integrated into the West,” He added.
He said the United States in recent years reduced troops, but didn’t reduce its footprint. The military action toward Libya is another bad example of external intervention into the domestic politics of a sovereign nation.
“The U.S. is acting in a disruptive manner, even worse so a destructive role in the international order, so have other nations, especially France and the UK.
“They have humanitarianism as a slogan. But what should happen to Ivory Coast, Somalia, even Zimbabwe, is it possible for them to take military action saying it is humanitarian action?” he asked.
He stressed that the proper solution to resolve the Libya issue is through a peaceful way.
“We should resolve the Libya turmoil with a diplomatic approach…We should ask about the role of violence in international relations, it can not destroy the sovereignty, but in terms of self-determination by the people of Libya,” he said.