17 May 2011 — Stop NATO
- Libyan War: Almost 7,000 NATO Military Flights, Over 2,700 Combat Missions
- China Presses For Immediate Ceasefire In Libya
- Russia: Libyan War First Litmus Test For NATO’s New Strategic Concept
- Russian Foreign Minister: West Oversteps UN Resolution In Libya
- The Real Reasons For NATO’s Attack On Libya
Libyan War: Almost 7,000 NATO Military Flights, Over 2,700 Combat Missions
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 17, 2011
NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:
Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 6944 sorties, including 2702 strike sorties have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 16 May: 136
Strike sorties conducted 16 May: 46
Arms Embargo Activities
A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.
5 Vessels were hailed on 16 May to determine destination and cargo. No boarding (no diversion) was conducted.
A total of 941 vessels have been hailed, 40 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
China Presses For Immediate Ceasefire In Libya
Xinhua News Agency
May 17, 2011
China calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya
BEIJING: China on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, saying that the future of the North African country should be decided by its own people.
“We are keeping a close watch on the situation in Libya, and once again call on relevant parties to cease fire immediately and solve the current crisis through peaceful means, such as negotiations and dialogue,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a regular news briefing.
Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011
China calls for immediate ceasefire in Libya
China is pressing for an immediate ceasefire in Libya and for a political settlement of the problem.
This came in a statement during a news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday by the Foreign Ministry official Jiang Yu.
The people of Libya should be able to determine their future on their own, she said.
Russia: Libyan War First Litmus Test For NATO’s New Strategic Concept
Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011
Russia-NATO relations depend on Libya – official
The development of Russia-NATO relations will depend on the degree to which the Alliance countries that are currently engaged in a military operation in Libya respect the relevant UN resolution.
This came in a statement in Athens by the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko. He was speaking during a conference on European security, organized by the Russian and Greek Foreign Ministries.
Grushko pointed out that the operation in Libya is becoming the first actual litmus test for NATO’s new strategic concept.
The official voiced concern about the fact that the coalition’s moves in Libya increasingly often overrun the limits set by the UN Security Council. According to him, NATO should confine itself to ensuring an embargo on arms supplies, protecting Libyan citizens and maintaining the no-fly zone regime.
Russian Foreign Minister: West Oversteps UN Resolution In Libya
Voice of Russia
May 17, 2011
Coalition oversteps UN mandate in Libya – Moscow
At a session in Cairo Sunday, the foreign ministers of the Arab League agreed to ask the Saudi-based Arabsat satellite operators to block the signals of all government-owned broadcasting organizations in Libya.
Russia sees this as deliberate trouble-stirring which has no justification in international law.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about this in Moscow Monday:
“I am at a loss over how my esteemed colleagues in the Arab League could have interpreted Security Council resolution 1973 as a go-ahead to start stifling freedom of speech. I am not taking sides in the civil war that is the Libyan conflict and believe the family of nations must safeguard the freedom of expression and seize on every opportunity to hear from all Libyan quarters.”
At a scheduled meeting with the visiting UN envoy for Libya Abdelilah al-Khatyb, Russian diplomats are going to tell him that the anti-Gaddafi coalition cannot be allowed to overstep its UN mandate for the Libya campaign and should also speed up action on the UN initiative for a humanitarian truce in the Libya war.
On Tuesday, Moscow will also host discussions with delegates from Muammar Gaddafi. Talks with the Benghazi-based rebels will have to wait until they have a logistical opportunity to send a delegation to Moscow.
On Sunday, the chief British military officer General David Richards urged the coalition to widen its menu of targets in Libya, so that Gaddafi has no option but to leave his post and go. Apparently, compliance with the UN resolutions to protect Libyan civilians was not on the general’s mind.
Many international analysts have gone as far as to suggest that the Libya crisis may prompt further moves to reshape the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
The Real Reasons For NATO’s Attack On Libya
May 16, 2011
The real reasons for NATO’s attacks on the Libyan revolution
The war is less about Gadaffi’s threat to his people and more about his threat to countries seeking to recolonize Libya and take control of its oil
By R. T. Luke V. Browne
-[T]o tell us that you fight to protect Libyans when we see the Sultan of Bahrain massacre unarmed demonstrators with the help of two thousand Saudi soldiers sent by the United States is to insult our intelligence. To say that you fight for democracy in Libya when your helicopters and weapons are used to suppress a democratic uprising in Yemen is to insult our intelligence. Why don’t you fight for social justice at home before you fight for social justice abroad?
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent: My recent article titled “Is NATO Fighting Against the Interests of the OECS?” showed that the Libya crisis has implications for countries in the African Diaspora, particularly those of the Eastern Caribbean. The first job was to show that the fate of Libyans, and by extension Africans, and the fate of Caribbean men and women are tied together. Our African heritage and experience of the Grenadian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution and the more distant Haitian Revolution inform our point of view.
There was beneficial feedback. Karina Johnson, a UWI friend from Grenada, was incensed by Washington’s insults to our intelligence. Karina knows too well that American opposition to the Grenadian Revolution had nothing to do with human rights; and is wary of suggestions that NATO fights to protect civilians and to promote democracy and social justice in Libya. Marlon Stevenson, my countryman, directed me to an article written by Michel Collon, and published the day after my initial commentary appeared, that laid bare the real reasons for American and European attacks on the Libyan Revolution. I bring these reasons to your attention.
Remember that the USA maintained an important army base in Libya before Gadaffi shut it down in 1969. On October 1, 2008 the USA moved to impose military command over Africa with the establishment of AFRICOM (US Africa Command). All but five African nations subjected themselves to AFRICOM; though no one was willing to host its headquarters. Libya was among the defiant five and therefore subjected itself in no way to Western military control.
Don’t forget that forty-five million Americans live below the poverty line. There is apparently no money in the United States to support schools and public services; or in Europe to finance pensions and to create jobs. The point made by Michel Collon is that there are billions at hand to preserve the excess of the wealthy bankers who plunged the world into a financial crisis; we could allow them to distribute US $140 billion last year as rewards and bonuses to their shareholders, traders and speculators; but we just can’t find enough money to ensure that another group of people could eat every day.
They only wage war, at home or abroad, to preserve the profit of multinational corporations; and these corporations profit at our expense. They try to prevent the liberation of poor Americans and Europeans as much they try to prevent the liberation of Africa and the Arab world. Why don’t they demonstrate a concern for social justice at home before they wage war abroad? They should know, as we pointed out elsewhere, that Libya is the highest ranked African country by the Human Development Index and that Libya looks out for its “sub-Saharan” African brothers and sisters.
I remember when a friend called Jedidiah Francis looked out for me; so I could appreciate what Libya has done for Africa. After arriving in the United Kingdom as a student several years ago, I quickly realized how expensive it was to call home from mainstream landlines and cell phones.
The rates were exorbitant but I couldn’t do better if I was going to stay in touch with loved ones. I spent more on telephone bills and less on my other main concerns – food, books and remittances in support of Caribbean families. Other students were in my position and many of them financed their studies through loans from Caribbean banks and by other means. So student loans were used to pay unnecessarily high phone bills; and the student was left with debt and the company with profit. A developed nation was exploiting the wealth of Caribbean countries. Jedidiah Francis was the only other Vincentian at my university and he was my senior. He empowered me when he pointed out much cheaper calling options. That’s what you call economic liberation.
In the 1990s telephone calls to and from Africa were charged at the highest rate in the world. At that time Europe was extracting ? billion dollars annually in taxes on telephone conversations — even calls within the same African country were subject to the tax—for-voice transit on European satellites such as Intelsat. Africa was paying 500 million dollars every year when securing its own communications satellite would only cost 400 hundred million dollars payable in one installment, remove further obligations to Europe and, ultimately, lower call costs.
So in 1992 forty-five African countries came together to create an entity called RASCOM whose mission was to secure Africa’s very first communication satellite. It was not straightforward to find the initial capital, and for 14 years RASCOM pleaded with the World Bank, the IMF and other Western institutions to finance the purchase of the satellite to no avail. The Western powers were careful enough, though, to dangle the prospect of financing the venture before the Africans every now and then to ensure their good behaviour.
In 2006, Gadaffi took Africa off its knees. He provided 300 million dollars which was later supplemented by contributions from a few other African sources. Call costs plummeted after RASCOM accomplished its mission on December 26, 2007. Since then, a second African satellite was launched and individual African nations have launched satellites. There was also an explosion of African creativity. By 2020, Collon informs us, we expect the first satellite that uses 100% African technology, built on African soil, and that holds its own against the best satellites in the world — but costs ten times less — to be launched. Jedidiah Francis is to me what Muammar Gadaffi is to a continent.
Britain and France were most eager to commence airstrikes against Libya. War is their means of displacing the German and Italian oil companies that make significant contributions to the development of Libya’s infrastructure, including its irrigation systems. These former colonial powers scamper to re-inflate their respective economies and secure an unsustainable energy supply. They approach Libya in 2011 in the same way that they approached the West Indies in earlier centuries.
So to tell us that you fight to protect Libyans when we see the Sultan of Bahrain massacre unarmed demonstrators with the help of two thousand Saudi soldiers sent by the United States is to insult our intelligence. To say that you fight for democracy in Libya when your helicopters and weapons are used to suppress a democratic uprising in Yemen is to insult our intelligence. Why don’t you fight for social justice at home before you fight for social justice abroad?
The war is less about Gadaffi’s threat to his people and more about his threat to countries seeking to recolonize Libya and take control of its oil. Colonel Gadaffi is the enemy because he developed relations with countries and companies that do not subordinate the interests of Libya.
He offends the West because he uses petrodollars to fuel an ambitious programme to renew Libya’s infrastructure, to build schools and hospitals and to industrialize the country when they could be used to pay the bonuses of wealthy executives in the United States, Britain and France. We are at war because he allowed Africa to become independent of European satellites. Gadaffi is a rambling and ranting dictator because he doesn’t take dictates from Washington, London or Paris or subject Libya to America’s military command. He’s a mad tyrant because he’s Africa’s freedom fighter.
Mr Browne is a West Indian politician and writer based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.