Libyan War In Third Week As NATO Takes Command By Rick Rozoff

3 April 2011 — Stop NATO

On the morning of March 31 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization assumed full command of military operations against Libya, effecting the transfer of air, naval and preliminary ground operations from U.S. Africa Command’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector. In NATO’s words, ‘The Alliance has the assets in place to conduct its tasks under Operation Unified Protector – the arms embargo, no-fly zone and actions to protect civilians and civilian centres.’

Continue reading

After Libya, “Syria next piece on geopolitical chessboard” — RT

3 April 2011 — RT

The Libyan crisis may repeat itself in Syria, believes independent journalist James Corbett, who joined RT to discuss the latest developments in the Middle Eastern country.

On Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed a new prime minister after dismissing the cabinet in an attempt to ease the unrest in the country.

Dozens have been killed in two weeks of fighting. The government blames outside influences for the unrest.

The extraordinary wave of protests has proved the most serious challenge yet to Assad’s 11-year rule. He earlier pledged he would form committees to look into civilian deaths and the possibility of replacing the decades-old emergency laws.

The situation has raised fears that further foreign military intervention could be on the cards.

‘Syria is going to become the next piece on the geopolitical chessboard for those who are manipulating the current intervention in Libya. We’ve seen a lot of covert intervention going on behind the scenes before and during the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’. And that’s exactly what’s going to be taking place in Syria as a very geo-strategic location starts to become destabilized,’ James Corbett told RT.”

D’Escoto: The United Nations Is a Deadly U.S. Weapon

31 March 2011 — Prensa Latina

United Nations, Mar. 31 (Prensa Latina) — Former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel D’Escoto, now appointed as the representative of Libya to the UN, said Thursday that the United Nations has become a “lethal weapon of the Empire (United States).”

“We have to get it back, because if it dies it will not be born again,” warned D’Escoto, who was president of the 63rd period of sessions of the UN General Assembly (2008-2009).

In an interview with Prensa Latina in New York, D’Escoto, a Catholic priest, said the UN is dysfunctional, unable to fulfill the goals for which it was created.

Continue reading

The Secret History of Violence By Dan Hind

3 April, 2011 — The Return of the Public

On Monday Verso ran a piece about the ambiguities of violent protest. You can read it here. The piece was prompted by this BBC footage, which seems to show someone leaving a crowd of protesters, showing his ID to the police and moving through their lines. The key section begins at around 5 mins 50 seconds.

I argued that the violence played into the hands of the government and the media by distracting attention from the vast TUC-sponsored march, which was almost uncannily calm and well-behaved. I also pointed out that the footage of street battles with the police would lead people to confuse UK Uncut with violent ‘anarchists’.

Given the long history of police manipulation of far-left politics, and the likely consequences of violence in the West End, those who are trying to oppose the Coalition’s economic agenda might want to ask themselves how useful violence is as a tactic. This is not to take a pacifist stance. The – extremely impressive – speakers at the Frontline club’s Egyptian briefing on Thursday of this week were very clear that theirs was not a peaceful revolution – when they were attacked they fought back. But the police in Egypt were attacking vast and peaceful crowds, made up of families with children. Their violent response was proportionate and legitimate.

Later in the week Theresa May announced a review of police powers in the wake of the disturbances in the West End. And in a Newsnight interview Jeremy Paxman was able to conduct a ‘will-you-condemn?’-athon with a UK Uncut spokesperson – time that could have been spent talking about tax evasion and avoidance.

As I say you can read my original post here, at the Verso blog. I am, as ever, very happy to hear from people who disagree with my point of view.

Syria: Banias Refinery Workers March for Syria and Bashar

3 April 2011 — MRZine

Could it be that Syrian refinery workers thought it wise to warn imperialists not to descend on Syria to liberate their oil and jobs from them in the name of liberating them from Bashar? — Ed.

Tartous, Syria, 29 March 2011

Cf. “Syria is the only significant crude oil producing country in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which includes Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.  In 2009, Syria produced about 400,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude and other petroleum liquids.  Oil production has stabilized after falling for a number of years, and is poised to turn around as new fields come on line.  In 2008, Syria produced 213 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas, and is expected to double its gas production by the end of 2010. . . .  Regional integration in the energy sector is expected to increase as a result of the 2008 opening of the Syrian link of the Arab Gas Pipeline and ongoing plans for the expansion of the pipeline network to include neighboring countries Turkey, Iraq, and Iran” (U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Syria,” June 2010); “Iran and Venezuela Will Build Refinery in Syria” (Press TV, 21 October 2011); Oxford Business Group, “Energy,” The Report: Syria 2011 (2011); “The Kirkuk-Banias Pipeline” (Pipelines International, March 2011).


Libya Newslinks 2-3 April 2011

3 April 2011 —

3 April 2011

2 April 2011

VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 2 April, 2011: ‘Perpetual Hell’ Of The Palestinian Refugee Camps

2 April, 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Non-violent marches attacked in at least 4 Palestinian towns
IMEMC – Saturday April 02, 2011 – 14:49, Weekly non-violent anti-Wall protests in a number of towns across the West Bank on Friday, including Bil’in, Nil’in, al Ma’sara and Nabi Saleh, were attacked by Israeli forces wielding tear gas and other ‘less-than-lethal’ weapons. Three protesters were injured when they were hit by high velocity tear gas canisters fired at close range by Israeli soldiers.

Continue reading