Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 14, 2011

14 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Africa’s Shame: NATO-Serving Uncle Toms
  • Canadian Firms, NATO Allies Reap Fruit Of Libyan Bombardment
  • South Africa To Host African Union Meeting On Libya
  • U.S. Envoy Not Pleased With Brazil, India, South Africa On UNSC
  • U.S. Missiles, Hundreds More Troops Slated For Romania
  • Poland: U.S. Air Force In Exercise As Air Base Massively Expanded
  • Video: Ten Years On, NATO At War In Afghan Capital
  • Afghan Official Hints At American Bases In Country
  • NATO-Conducts 12-Nation Combat Exercise In Indiana
  • Ex-NATO Envoy: State Department Applauds Turkey’s War Against Kurds

Africa’s Shame: NATO-Serving Uncle Toms

http://news.peacefmonline.com/features/201109/68485.php

Peace FM Online (Ghana)
September 13, 2011

Libya: Ghana Joins Nigeria and Does Obeisance To NATO
Prince Akyeampong

After what recently happened in Libya, one is apt to wonder what democracy really stands for. If democracy is the keyword used to justify the destruction of human lives and property, then God help us all!

Yes, the NATO-aided NTC rebels have apparently managed to do away with Muammar Gaddafi, and Ghana, among other African countries has, after a little hesitation, decided to do obeisance to the western powers by recognizing these anti-Gaddafi miscreants. The question now remains: does a post-Gaddafi Libya hope to become a land of milk and honey? Believe me, that would be a very tall order because actually, whether you like Gaddafi or not, Libya, by all appreciable standards, had the highest standard of living in Africa, under Gaddafi. If western-style democracy was a yardstick for determining developmental success, Ghana, Nigeria and other countries in Africa would not be in their present predicaments. Let’s take a look at some of the comforts and benefits Libyans enjoyed under Gaddafi and draw our own conclusions.

When Gaddafi took over, Libyans had an average annual income of about $60. His government brought Libya from poverty and debt to prosperity and debt-free status education from the kindergarten stage through college was free. Health care was free as well. Under Gaddafi’s oil-revenue-sharing program, each Libyan had $500 (five hundred US dollars) deposited into his or her bank account each month. After marriage, each couple was given as much as $60,000 (sixty thousand US dollars) to spend. Libya gave free land and seeds to anyone who wanted to take up farming as an occupation.

Water and electricity were free in Libya. Petrol/fuel was sold at 75 cents a gallon under Gaddafi. There was virtually no homelessness as everyone was given a home. Undernourishment in Libya under Gaddafi was as low as 2% – a figure lower than that of the world center of ‘democracy,’ the USA. For any medical care or health treatments that were unavailable in Libya, the Libyan citizen’s full expenses for travel, treatment and accommodation to wherever was required for treatment were borne by the Libyan government. Before Gaddafi, literacy in Libya was only 10%. Under Gaddafi’s leadership, literacy has risen to over 80%. Unlike some Arab states, women in Libya under Gaddafi had equal rights; not only as a philosophy, but in practice.

Libyans had a direct participatory democracy based on people’s conferences. The Gaddafi regime invested billions to bring fresh water from southern Libya’s desert to coastal areas like Tripoli and Benghazi. This man-made river is a worldwide acclaimed achievement that stands as a testimony to Gaddafi’s huge contribution to the economic development of Libya. Folks, note that this project which cost Libya about $35 billion (US dollars) was exclusively financed by Libya’s Central Bank without borrowing a cent from abroad.

So, if these eye-popping achievements are not enough, then what exactly is the NATO agenda? What are they bringing to Libya that is better than what Gaddafi achieved? I sympathize with Libyans – and why not? In the name of western-style ‘democracy,’ a hitherto affluent African nation has decided to take a dangerous u-turn and thus join the large group of third world countries in Africa.

The western propaganda machine is so deadly that they pick and choose what to report to the outside world with regards to the situation in Libya. Whatever event goes against their interests and machinations is not reported. How can NATO bomb roads, ports, buildings and oil fields’ equipment and yet claim to be assisting in a just cause? It’s about democracy, they contend; and some of us have ignorantly bought into that nonsense! If this maze of confusion and corruption in Ghana is what democracy is about, I’d rather take a Gaddafi-type system any day. Ultimately, life is about the search for the best means of achieving improved and quality lifestyles. Did Gaddafi fail Libyans in that regard?

For NATO, it’s been a job ‘well executed.’ They have managed once again to bring a strong and thriving economy to its knees. Even as these ignorant rebels chant and wave flags, they are yet to come to grips with reality; they do not realize that they are now in the full clutches of the west – they have now become YES-MEN; and would listen to and obey their NATO masters. As Ghanaians and Africans, we must honestly ask ourselves whether our so-called leaders have what it takes to stand up to the west when it comes to issues that are not in our interest. The usual ‘Uncle Tom’ attitude exhibited by our leaders does not bode well for the African continent. What is the essence of the AU if our leaders cannot take an emphatic stand and come to the aid of one of their own in times of need? A bunch of ‘Uncle Toms,’ that’s what they are!

Ghanaian and African leaders had better wake up and get their act together! If the Libyan situation has not served as an eye-opener to our recalcitrant and NATO-serving leaders, I don’t know what will. God bless mother Ghana!

====

Canadian Firms, NATO Allies Reap Fruit Of Libyan Bombardment

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Canadian+companies+will+benefit+from+military+intervention+Libyan/5394089/story.html

Montreal Gazette/Postmedia News
September 13, 2011

Canadian companies will benefit from military intervention: Libyan official
By Lee Berthiaume

OTTAWA: Libya’s top diplomat in Ottawa expects Canadian companies to benefit from the goodwill earned by this country’s active military involvement in the effort to topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

‘The Libyan people do see a country (Canada) that stood by them and helped them and answered their call when they needed them,’ Abubaker Karmos said Tuesday. ‘They see those countries as better partners probably than some of those other countries that didn’t show as much interest.’

Karmos was speaking hours after Foreign Minister John Baird announced Canada was reopening its embassy in Tripoli, with a particular focus on strengthening business ties between the two countries.

‘Having now taken stock of the situation, we are starting the work of refurbishing and securing our embassy in Tripoli,’ Baird told reporters in the House of Commons foyer. ‘We have also brought in a team of staff members who will enable us to liaise directly with officials of the new government of Libya. The team will also prepare for a larger complement of diplomats that will allow us to resume commercial services to Canadians.’

A senior French official recently estimated it could cost $200 billion over 10 years to rebuild Libya after six months of civil war between rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces.

The North African nation possesses Africa’s largest oil reserves.

Calgary-based energy giant Suncor was producing an estimated 35,000 barrels of oil per day in the country in a joint venture with a state-owned oil firm. Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin had secured Libyan government contracts to build an airport in Benghazi, a water pipeline and a jail in Tripoli.

Karmos reaffirmed agreements that were signed between foreign companies and Libya prior to the war will be honoured. But he said more will be coming down the pipeline.

‘There’s a lot of work to be done in the country in terms of infrastructure and the oil sector,’ the diplomat said, ‘and we are looking for Canadian companies to take a leading role in that.’

French and British companies are already rushing to the door so they can get a piece of the major business opportunities that will be made available in Libya’s post-Gadhafi era.

A Reuters report said 400 executives from such French firms as oil giant Total and carmaker Peugeot met with French officials in Paris last week to discuss the situation in the North African country. Reports indicate the same is happening in the United Kingdom. Both were major proponents of international military intervention in Libya.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty said the Canadian government and private sector must be on the ground and ready to compete sooner rather than later.

‘It’s going to be very important for us to be there, both at the governmental and at the private sector level,’ he said, ‘because the new government of Libya is going to want to be making decisions as rapidly as possible to get their economy moving again.’

Beatty said there are huge opportunities in Libya for Canadian firms, and he had no doubt Canada’s military intervention will result in positive results for business.

Baird also announced that a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee had agreed to unfreeze — with conditions — about $2.2 billion in Libyan funds held by Canadian banks and other institutions since March.

The move comes weeks after the sanctions committee freed up billions held by Canada’s closest allies in the NATO-led military mission — the U.S., France and the United Kingdom. More recently, the Netherlands and Austria were allowed to begin disbursing frozen Libyan assets.

A Canadian naval frigate is still enforcing an arms embargo off the Libyan coast and Canadian fighter jets are continuing to conduct missions over the country…

The NATO and Canadian missions are set to expire on Sept. 27, but NATO is expected to decide over the next week or so whether an extension is necessary. The Conservative government has indicated Canada will continue contributing military assets as long as NATO requires them.

====

South Africa To Host African Union Meeting On Libya

http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/09/13/sa-to-host-au-meeting-on-libya

The Times/South African Press Association
September 13, 2011

SA to host AU meeting on Libya

South Africa will host a meeting of the African Union’s committee on Libya on Wednesday, says the presidency.

Spokesman Bongani Majola could not elaborate on Tuesday on what would be discussed.

Mauritania’s president General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz heads the committee, which, apart from South Africa, includes leaders of Uganda, Mali and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville).

South Africa and the African Union (AU) have so far refused to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the new legitimate authority in Tripoli, Libya.

The AU has attempted to mediate a peace deal between the NTC and the government of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Last week, the South African cabinet reconfirmed the country’s commitment to the AU road map as the best option to resolve the conflict in Libya.

Earlier this month, South Africa boycotted a Paris conference on rebuilding the war-torn country, in protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s military intervention in Libya. Asked if recognition of the NTC would be discussed at the meeting, Majola said he could only confirm the meeting was taking place.

He referred further inquiries to the International Relations and Co-operation Department. Department spokesman Clayson Monyela could not be immediately reached comment.

====

U.S. Envoy Not Pleased With Brazil, India, South Africa On UNSC

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-13/south-africa-brazil-india-fail-to-impress-u-s-with-their-un-performance.html

Bloomberg News
September 12, 2011

U.S. ‘Not Encouraged’ by India, South Africa, Brazil at UN
By Nicole Gaouette

-‘Whether in the context of Libya, or Cote d’Ivoire or Sudan even,’ Rice said, the countries have taken positions ‘that one might not have anticipated, given that each of them come out of strong and proud democratic traditions.’
-The IBSA countries have pointed out that while there was an arms embargo and a call for a cease-fire, it applied to Qaddafi’s forces, while France sent arms to the Libyan rebels.
An oil embargo was put in place against Qaddafi and his officials, while Qatar helped the rebels sell oil with the NATO-led coalition’s awareness.

The U.S. has not been encouraged by the performance of India, Brazil and South Africa during their temporary tenure on the UN Security Council, Ambassador Susan Rice said yesterday.

Splits between the so-called IBSA group of countries and the U.S. arose as protest movements swept the Middle East. India and Brazil, along with Russia, China and Germany, abstained from a UN resolution that formed the legal basis for military intervention in Libya.

As Syria sent troops out to suppress protesters, Brazil, India and South Africa blocked UN moves to pressure the Assad regime and sent diplomats to Damascus last month to engage leaders there. All three countries are serving two-year temporary terms on the Security Council and aspire to permanent seats, a goal the U.S. may block.

‘It’s been a very interesting opportunity to see how they respond to the issues of the day, how they relate to us and others, how they do or don’t act consistent with their own democratic institutions and stated values,’ Rice said at a briefing with reporters. ‘Let me just say, we’ve learned a lot and, frankly, not all of it encouraging.’

Rice said that issues related to the protection of human rights, democracy and the protection of civilians raised U.S. concerns about the IBSA group.

‘Whether in the context of Libya, or Cote d’Ivoire or Sudan even,’ Rice said, the countries have taken positions ‘that one might not have anticipated, given that each of them come out of strong and proud democratic traditions.’

Post-Colonial Viewpoints

That criticism is simplistic, said Fabienne Hara, the vice president of multilateral affairs at the International Crisis Group. Hara, who recently returned from meetings in Brazil and consults widely with other diplomats, said the IBSA countries approached the Libya situation with their own set of concerns.

‘They were all quite surprised that this turned into a NATO-led operation with a bombing campaign, with a variety of targets including Tripoli,’ Hara said.

For countries with colonial histories that now champion non-interference, as India and Brazil do, the NATO action had ugly historical echoes, said Mark Quarterman, director of the program on Crisis, Conflict and Cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

‘There’s almost a third-world sense, a post-colonial sense, that they were meddled in, in ways that didn’t redound to their benefit, and now the same countries are claiming humanitarian reasons for meddling,’ Quarterman said.

Embargoes

The IBSA countries have pointed out that while there was an arms embargo and a call for a cease-fire, it applied to Qaddafi’s forces, while France sent arms to the Libyan rebels.

An oil embargo was put in place against Qaddafi and his officials, while Qatar helped the rebels sell oil with the NATO-led coalition’s awareness.

All this led to concern about what the UN would do when Syrians began taking to the streets. ‘The reason why there is no resolution on Syria now is because of Libya,’ Hara said, ‘the aftermath of this very bitter debate that members of the Security Council had after the Libya bombing.

‘‘They were extremely reluctant to authorize any kind of resolution that could be the first step to’’ another Western intervention, Hara said.

====

U.S. Missiles, Hundreds More Troops Slated For Romania

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/13/us-usa-romania-missiles-idUSTRE78C62N20110913

Reuters
September 13, 2011

U.S., Romania sign missile deal that irked Russia

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday signed an agreement to base anti-missile interceptors in Romania under a NATO missile defense plan that has angered Russia.

Clinton signed the agreement with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and said the United States expected to deploy the interceptor missiles at a Romanian air force base in approximately four years.

‘The agreement we have just signed will position Romania as a central player in NATO’s evolving missile defense capability,’ Clinton said, noting that the agreement must still be ratified by the Senate.

The Romania deal is part of a larger NATO missile defense plan for Europe that has caused friction with Moscow, which wants a bigger role.

At a NATO summit last November, the allies agreed to develop a new missile defense shield linking systems in the United States and Europe to protect member states against long-range attacks from states such as Iran.

The plans involve the stationing of ship-based interceptors in the Mediterranean beginning this year, followed by land-based interceptors in Romania from 2015 and in Poland from 2018.

Russia has agreed to cooperate on the initiative but disagrees over its implementation, saying it should be a single integrated shield rather than two separate defense systems.

The U.S.-Romania deal calls for the United States to construct, maintain and operate a facility at the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal in southern Romania for the land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system.

The facility is expected to house between 150 and 200 U.S. military personnel as well as government and civilian contractors.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

====

Poland: U.S. Air Force In Exercise As Air Base Massively Expanded

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123271584

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
September 13, 2011

Airmen train in Poland at coalition exercise
by Staff Sgt Michael Davis
86th Airlilft Wing Public Affairs

-Operations like this one and the one planned for next February prepare both wings for future operations. As Powidz transitions to becoming a larger base, team Ramstein continues to build on the already strong partnership with their sister wing.
‘They’re building up to make Powidz a mobility hub,’ said Stikeleather. ‘This could be a huge base in the future. There is construction everywhere. It also helps that the Polish are very engaged in all of the operations that we’re doing. They’re with us every step of the way.’

POWIDZ, Poland: Ramstein Airmen took part in Operation Screaming Eagle here for 10 days of off-station training.

The operation provided valuable practice for 42 of Ramstein’s Airmen, including C-130J Super Hercules pilots, aircrew, maintainers and airborne personnel. It also offers the opportunity to share knowledge and build relationships with their Polish counterparts.

‘There are a lot of reasons for coming to Poland,’ said Capt Aaron Stikeleather, 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot, and mission commander. ‘Number one is the 3rd Airlift Wing in Powidz is our sister wing so we get to practice operating in a coalition environment with them. They also have a lot of air space here that allows us to fly at lower altitudes and at night.’

He added that the less restrictive airspace also makes it easier to conduct personnel drops onto the airfield. The 435th Security Forces personnel completed static line jumps during the day and at night, keeping them up to date on their qualifications and prepared for real-world missions.

For the first half of the operation, the Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego, the primary special forces unit for the Polish armed forces, participated in high altitude low opening, or HALO, jumps. There was also one freefall jumpmaster from Ramstein, who took advantage of the opportunity to jump and train with the GROM.

‘This training is mutually beneficial for the U.S. military and for the Polish GROM,’ said Tech. Sgt. Ed Dawejko, U.S. Air Forces in Europe survival, evasion, resistance, and escape program manager, 603rd Air Operations Center. ‘Training together enhances both military forces’ capabilities to perform the HALO missions.’

Although this training helps their proficiency on a tactical level, it also contributes to the big picture objective of strengthening the international partnership.

‘If we have to execute this mission operationally, it will not be the first time we’ve jumped together as allies,’ said Dawejko. ‘I was very impressed with the capability that these forces bring to our mission and it definitely built confidence in our capability for combined operations.’

Operations like this one and the one planned for next February prepare both wings for future operations. As Powidz transitions to becoming a larger base, team Ramstein continues to build on the already strong partnership with their sister wing.

‘They’re building up to make Powidz a mobility hub,’ said Stikeleather. ‘This could be a huge base in the future. There is construction everywhere. It also helps that the Polish are very engaged in all of the operations that we’re doing. They’re with us every step of the way.’

====

Video: Ten Years On, NATO At War In Afghan Capital

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nato-soldiers-fight-back-taliban-attack/2011/09/13/gIQAJ9YGQK_video.html

Washington Post
September 13, 2011

NATO soldiers fight back Taliban attack

In this NATO video footage, soldiers from the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), the NATO-led security force in Afghanistan, defend NATO headquarters in Kabul from a Taliban attack that used rockets, small-arms fire and suicide bombers. (NATO TV)

====

Afghan Official Hints At American Bases In Country

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/13/spanta-hints-us-bases-afghanistan

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 13, 2011

Spanta hints at US bases in Afghanistan
By Khwaja Basir Ahmad

KABUL: The United States may set up military bases in Afghanistan after the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement, President Hamid Karzai’s national security advisor said on Tuesday.

Testifying before senators, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta…recently returned from a visit to the US…

[T]o train and assist Afghan forces, Americans might establish military centres in the country, he indicated.

====

NATO-Conducts 12-Nation Combat Exercise In Indiana

http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/south_central/nato-forces-learn-to-identify-friendlies-at-atterbury

WISH TV
September 13, 2011

NATO forces learn to identify ‘friendlies’ at Atterbury
By: Jay Hermacinski

CAMP ATTERBURY: Soldiers and Airmen from 12 NATO countries are at Camp Atterbury for a joint forces exercise aimed at clearing up ‘the fog of war’ by improving combat identification.

This is the first time NATO forces have trained at Camp Atterbury. The goal is to improve the troop’s ability to identify one another in order to eliminate friendly fire.

Using current and prototype technologies, the soldiers and airman are learning ways to digitally identify who is friendly so they can correctly target enemy forces.

In all there are 750 representatives from 12 countries and the United States participating in the exercise.

====

Ex-NATO Envoy: State Department Applauds Turkey’s War Against Kurds

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/77983/

PanArmenian.net
September 13, 2011

U.S. State Department justifies Turkey’s war against Kurds

?he spokesperson for the United States Department of State commented on Turkey’s request to base U.S. Predator drones on its territory.

‘Hope springs eternal. You know where we are on the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). We believe that Turkey has a right to defend itself, that the PKK is a terrorist organization, and we continue to urge and try to facilitate good dialogue between Turkey and Iraq,’ Victoria Nuland said during a briefing in Washington, AA reported.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.