Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 19, 2011

19 June 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Strike In Libyan Capital Kills Entire Family
  • Angolan Parliament Speaker: West’s Intervention In Africa Targets Energy Resources
  • The Libyan Crisis: The Point Of No Return
  • Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan
  • Georgia: Second U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Visit In Less Than Two Weeks

NATO Strike In Libyan Capital Kills Entire Family

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13826976

BBC News

June 18, 2011

Two killed in ‘Nato strike’ in Libya

Photograph of “apparent,” “alleged” “NATO strike” at URL above.

At least two people have died in an apparent Nato air strike that hit a house in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen was at the scene and he said rescue workers and residents were frantically trying to remove tonnes of rubble.

Our correspondent says a three-storey house was hit in the city’s Suq Al Juma residential area.

He says it will raise more questions about Nato’s mission in Libya, which began in March.

There has been no response yet from Nato, but it has acknowledged mistakenly hitting civilian areas in previous bombing raids.

Our correspondent was taken by Libyan government officials to a Tripoli hospital where he was shown the bodies of a dead woman, a dead man and a dead baby.

The officials said they were members of a family killed in the alleged Nato air strike.

Our correspondent was also shown the body of another man and a dead baby.

Seed of hatred

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said: “Nato is planting the seed of hatred in the hearts of Libyan people for years to come. They won’t allow foreign armies to decide their future.”

Libyan officials say Sunday’s attack, in one of the city’s poorer neighbourhoods, happened shortly after midnight.

Our correspondent was taken to the scene where he saw two dead bodies – one being pulled from the rubble and another being placed in an ambulance.

Scores of men were working alongside the emergency services, pulling at sections of rubble and looking for bodies.

Locals said an entire family had been killed, though our correspondent was unable to immediately verify either of these claims.

The level of damage, our he adds [sic], looked like the aftermath of an air strike, with concrete floors blown out on to the street.

Nato has flown more than 10,000 sorties since operations began, including almost 4,000 strike attacks against government targets across Libya.

On Saturday, Nato said one of its aircraft had mistakenly attacked rebel forces in eastern Libya during an air raid on Thursday.

Nato said it had hit a column of military vehicles near the oil town of Brega, and that the rebels had said there were injuries but no casualties.

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Angolan Parliament Speaker: West’s Intervention In Africa Targets Energy Resources

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/en_us/noticias/politica/2011/5/24/comments-military-intervention-Africa,d9bc9278-c7ce-4abc-ac21-c2cbe3891b24.html

Angola Press

June 17, 2011

Luanda

MP comments military intervention in Africa

Luanda: The military intervention of foreign powers in Africa has hidden interests different from humanitarian duties of defending the local population, an Angolan official has said.

This was said on Thursday by the First Speaker of the National Assembly, João Lourenço, when speaking at the opening of the Third Gathering of National Defence, held by the National Assembly.

“The financial crisis that hits mainly the world’s greatest powers can be the cause of this policy of plundering energy resources, mainly now after the tsunami in Japan, the world tendency points out to the abandonment of the nuclear as the source of power”, he explained.

Thus, João Lourenço called on the attention of the states of the African continent and the African Union, to assume their responsibilities with greater feeling and determination.

The official reminded that the African continent has been facing troubled moments since the beginning of this year, represented by a big foreign military intervention from the world powers, surpassing by a lot the powers provided by the United Nations Security Council.

====

The Libyan Crisis: The Point Of No Return

http://www.modernghana.com/news/335279/1/the-libyan-crisis-the-point-of-no-return.html

Modern Ghana

June 18, 2011

The Libyan Crisis: The Point of No Return

By Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.

-I have all along insisted that by launching this military campaign, the political leaders of the US, Britain, France (NATO, generally) have spun that crisis out of control. As the situation has unfolded so far, nothing but total devastation will be the result of the NATO aggression.

-The overarching question is: Why are the pro-Gaddafi forces still fighting despite all the NATO bombings and the certainty of their being killed — as they know and have seen their compatriots killed in the NATO bombardment in Misrata, Brega, and other areas?

-The Libyan military campaign dubbed as ”Operation Odyssey Dawn/Unified Protector” by the warmongers is indeed a test for the politically immature leaders of the US, Britain, and France who have stuck to only the military option as the solution.

By now, the reality of the situation in Libya must be clear to all that the political crisis cannot be resolved by NATO’s military campaign. All the Doubting Thomases must rise up to be counted. Those still deluded by NATO’s persistent bombardment of Tripoli and anything considered as pro-Gaddafi to think that the rebels are winning the war must be jolted by what is obviously evident.

Some glaring issues make it undeniably clear that the dynamics of the Libyan situation are becoming more complicated. At least, we can infer from some of the latest developments to suggest that those who think that the military campaign by NATO will resolve the Libyan crisis are deceived. The BBC has provided some of these events, which I state below and comment on.

Secret Talks Between Gaddafi And The Rebels

Libya has insisted that it is in talks with rebels, despite the rebels’ denials. Certainly, something is happening behind-the-scene that will either shock NATO and make nonsense of its choice of option to resolve the crisis or suggest that the two factions responsible for the crisis are themselves more interested in seeing the crisis as a purely Libyan one to be solved by none other but Libyans themselves.

Loss of Revenue

Most of Libya’s oil installations are in the rebel-held east but much of the infrastructure has been damaged by war. With this disruption in oil production and sale, neither the rebels nor the Gaddafi government can rake in any revenue to sustain the fight. The need to compromise on how to resolve the crisis without the military option is becoming a political imperative by the day.

Financial Problems Facing the Rebel Leadership

The rebels also say their administration is running out of cash as donors’ pledges have not materialized.

“All of these people we talk to, all of these countries, at all these conferences, with their great grand speeches — we appreciate [them] from the political side, but in terms of finances they are a complete failure,” the rebels’ top oil official, Ali Tarhouni told Reuters news agency. “Our people are dying.”

The rebels must by now be having a rude awakening that those backing them are more interested in empty rhetoric than giving them the material support they need to actualize their dream of removing Gaddafi from office and installing themselves in his place. They must now be waking up to the real intentions of those orchestrating the prolonged devastation of their country.

Accusation against NATO’s Bombing of Civilian Targets

On Friday, Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi said NATO was using a “new level of aggression” — deliberately hitting civilian buildings, even as NATO accuses Gaddafi of using civilians as human shields. Libya regards this form of aggression as “a crime against humanity,” which NATO has denied but which won’t persuade those who object to its presence in Libya.

Obama’s Problems Over the War Powers Resolution

Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported that US President Barack Obama overruled the advice of administration lawyers in deciding the US could continue participating in the Libya conflict without congressional authorization. Obama may be out there on the golf course today, interacting with the Republican Speaker of the House; but I don’t think the clouds darkening his political horizon over his handling of the US’ involvement in the Libyan crisis will disappear soon.

The Reality of the Libyan Situation

The Libyan crisis is not a problem that should have defied solution to this extent had the West not rashly taken sides to deepen it to the point of no return.

I have all along insisted that by launching this military campaign, the political leaders of the US, Britain, France (NATO, generally) have spun that crisis out of control. As the situation has unfolded so far, nothing but total devastation will be the result of the NATO aggression. But their solution in the form of devastation won’t be the answer to the problem. It will only be the genesis for other problems.

Can’t anybody see anything beyond his nose to realize that violence does nothing but begets violence? Even if Gaddafi is assassinated or forced out of Libya, the crisis won’t be over because of the fundamental understanding that his successors (the rebel leadership, if their ongoing insurrection succeeds) would have entered office through violence. That moment will be the genesis of another crisis, which will hurt Libya more than the so-called problems that Gaddafi is being held culpable for.

The Libyan crisis is a political problem that can be solved by only political and diplomatic means, not a military campaign. It is not a military problem for which NATO should be expending its resources attempting to solve. The logic is simple; military problems are solved militarily and political problems solved politically and diplomatically. Anything short of this strategy will worsen the situation, which is what we’ve seen happening in Libya.

But those who hate Gaddafi won’t see things that way. They see him as THE problem and are targeting him as if removing him from office will balance the equation. It won’t, I daresay. That’s been the nub of my arguments all this while.

The overarching question is: Why are the pro-Gaddafi forces still fighting despite all the NATO bombings and the certainty of their being killed — as they know and have seen their compatriots killed in the NATO bombardment in Misrata, Brega, and other areas? They are still pressing on in the face of this danger. What could be motivating them if not their dogged determination not to yield ground to the rebels whom they consider as threats to their country?

These fighters know the extent of danger to which they’ve been exposed — supply links being cut off and exposure of their columns to airstrikes by low-flying NATO jets and attack helicopters — but they are not deterred in their mission to defend their territories. These are soldiers fighting to keep the Gaddafi cause alive, regardless of the price they have to pay.

The Libyan military campaign dubbed as ”Operation Odyssey Dawn/Unified Protector” by the warmongers is indeed a test for the politically immature leaders of the US, Britain, and France who have stuck to only the military option as the solution. It won’t solve that problem and any further commitment that they make will only end up being their curse.

They can learn from a cunning Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi who is politically savvy enough to know how not to play any frontline role by pushing his country into this wild goose chase in the Saharan Desert. Italy has contributed only minimal help, not only because of its being haunted by the memories of its defeat by Libya in the heat of colonization, but also because it may not want to see the military campaign alone as the solution to the Libyan crisis.

The West’s choice of solution is indeed the main cause of the prolonging of this political problem in Libya, which is spinning out of control for nothing. NATO’s persistent devastation of Tripoli only confirms the stalemate situation that the war has reached.

As the NATO bombings continue and the fighting between the rebels and the pro-Gaddafi forces drags on from another angle, we will keep our eyes and ears open to follow the trend.

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Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/19/c_13937949.htm

Xinhua News Agency

June 19, 2011

Four NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan

KABUL: Four NATO soldiers died in Afghanistan’s restive southern region on Saturday, the military alliance said on Sunday.

“Four International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of non-battle related injuries in southern Afghanistan yesterday,” said a statement released by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here.

However, the brief statement did not provide more details.

ISAF generally does not disclose the identity of the casualties, saying “it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

A total of 249 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.

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Georgia: Second U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Visit In Less Than Two Weeks

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23637

Civil Georgia

June 17, 2011

U.S. Warship Monterey to Arrive in Batumi

Tbilisi: The U.S. guided-missile cruiser, Monterey, whose arrival in the Black Sea last week provoked Russia’s protest, will visit Georgia’s port of Batumi on June 20.

The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, will stay in Georgia’s Black Sea port till June 23, according to the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi.

“The USS Monterey is operating in the Black Sea to conduct joint maritime training with several countries adjoining the Black Sea. U.S. ships have regularly deployed in the Black Sea region for many years and represent the continuing U.S. commitment to Black Sea regional stability and maritime security,” the U.S. embassy said on June 17.

The USS Monterey’s arrival in Georgia will come less than two weeks after another U.S. guided-missile cruiser, Anzio, visited the port of Batumi on June 9-12 for a joint damage control exercises with the Georgian coast guard.

The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea last week to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.

Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the U.S. take part in the exercises held from June 6 to June 18. Organizers said the training agenda included counter-piracy operations; non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as board, search and seizure trainings.

In a statement released on June 12, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea.

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not overlook the appearance of any elements of US strategic infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of our borders and will consider any such steps as a threat to our security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia and NATO have failed to agree on forms of cooperation on the missile shield in Europe and Russia says that its concerns are being ignored by the Alliance.

“If we are talking about the usual “visit” to this highly sensitive region, why did they choose a ship armed with this particular version of weapons? And what role was assigned to the Monterey anti-missiles by the scenario of the Sea Breeze 2011 exercise during which “an anti-piracy operation by NATO standards” was being tested and improved?” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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