Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 23, 2011

23 October 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Video And Text: Gaddafi Killing, Firsthand Account Of NATO’s Final ‘Triumph’
  • Gaddafi Killing: U.S. Hellfire Missile, British SAS, French Laser-Guided Bombs
  • Gaddafi’s Widow Calls For UN Investigation Into Killing
  • ASSASSINS R US: Libya – The UN and NATO Enjoin ‘Multi-State Terrorism’
  • U.S.’s Preeminent ‘Democratic’ Ally In The Arab World: Obama Condoles Saudis On Loss Of Crown Prince
  • NATO Immunity/Impunity: Turkey Amasses 15,000 Elite Troops On Iraq Border
  • Karzai: Afghanistan To Support Pakistan In Case Of War With U.S.
  • Russia Backs Afghan Bid For Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership
  • Serbs To NATO: We Defeated Your Fascist Grandfathers, We Will Defeat You
  • Kosovo Serbs Fend Off NATO Attack
  • Envoy: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships In Baltic Aimed At Russia
  • Ukraine: U.S. Interceptor Missile Warship In Sevastopol
  • Two Ossetians Killed In Mine Explosion On Georgian Border
  • Long-Range Penetration: Pentagon To Modernize Nuclear Triad

Video And Text: Gaddafi Killing, Firsthand Account Of NATO’s Final ‘Triumph’

 

http://rt.com/news/no-accountability-gaddafi-death-503/

RT
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi ‘killer’ tells of Colonel’s last moments

Videos

Claims made by Sanad al-Sadek al-Ureibi in a video leaked onto the Internet on Friday contradicts earlier reports made by the NTC which said that Gaddafi died of his wounds after being caught in crossfire between his supporters and NTC forces.

‘We came across Gaddafi in a street, as he was walking with some children and girls,’ the man said.

‘I fired two bullets at him. One hit under his armpit, the other his head. He did not die immediately. It took him half an hour.’

The young fighter claimed that he did not like the idea of taking Gaddafi alive.

The men interviewing al-Ureibi showed a bloodied shirt allegedly taken from the dead Gaddafi and a golden ring engraved with the name of the colonel’s second wife, Safia, to the camera.

Libya’s interim government has not yet commented on the man’s claims although they run counter to the official version of the event.

Dr Ibrahim Tika, who performed the post-mortem examination of the deposed leader’s body, said he had been shot in the abdomen and head.

The UN Human Rights Office and Amnesty International are calling for an investigation into Gaddafi’s death as it raises concerns over what may be the unlawful killing of a prisoner.

However, Dr Benjamin Barber, an analyst at a US think tank, does not expect anyone will be held accountable for the colonel’s death.

‘The question is whom they expect to hold accountable – one individual soldier who in the frenzy of battle did it, the militia from Misrata of which that individual was a part, or the NATO forces that in effect bombed the caravan?’ he told RT.

‘There will be a lot of talk here and in the end nothing will happen because everybody inside Libya and outside Libya will be basically glad that he’s dead and not alive,’ he explained.

Middle East expert Shirin Sagedhi also doubts whether the person who killed Muammar Gaddafi will be persecuted and says that the international community now calling for an investigation has also been ‘complicit’ in his death.

In fact, it now does not really matter if anybody will be held accountable, Sagedhi told RT. ‘The only thing that mattered from the beginning of the war was that Gaddafi would die. And that’s done now.’

According to the expert, the gruesome and public killing of Gaddafi was insulting to the people of Libya and the people of the region, as well as the ‘idea that democratic forces would brutally kill someone like that.’

Gaddafi held Libya’s tribes and ethnicities together, Sagedhi noted. ‘What we are going to see over the next months and years is massive tribal, and specifically, ethnic divisions,’ she warned.

She concluded that NATO is not going to leave Libya completely as it has ‘serious corporate and business interests’ in the country.

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Gaddafi Killing: U.S. Hellfire Missile, British SAS, French Laser-Guided Bombs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8843684/Gaddafis-final-hours-Nato-and-the-SAS-helped-rebels-drive-hunted-leader-into-endgame-in-a-desert-drain.html

Daily Telegraph
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi’s final hours: Nato and the SAS helped rebels drive hunted leader into endgame in a desert drain
By Ben Farmer

Utterly ravaged by months of bombardments, Sirte was a skeleton of a city – a place without food, water or light; a city without citizens. Its streets were turned into rivers by burst pipes, as fighters battled through waist-high swathes of mud brown water, street by bloody street.

But as the sun rose over the shell of Sirte on Thursday, it was immediately apparent that something had changed.

I had arrived at the rebel position in the western suburb of Zafran in anticipation of another massed assault into District Two – the final pocket where Gaddafi loyalists had been holding out. Rebels from Misurata had told me the day before to be ready early to witness a home-made armoured battering ram, and their few tanks spearhead what they boasted would be a decisive thrust into the remaining bastion of defenders.

Little did we know, at that point, that Gaddafi had also decided that it was time for the endgame.

The embattled leader had been forced to retreat to an area 1000 yards by 500 yards, and was desperately moving from house to house, trying to evade capture.

Seeing the noose tighten to strangulation point, he had ordered his men on Wednesday night to pack a convoy of 75 vehicles in preparation for a move towards Wadi Jarif, 25 miles away.

‘We decided to leave Sirte and go to Jarif because it had become unsafe,’ said Mansour Daou, Gaddafi’s cousin and bodyguard. The Colonel, he said, was ‘tense, but not afraid’.

But Gaddafi, like us, was unaware of the chain reaction which he had sparked by making that dash for freedom.

More than 6,000 miles away, deep in the lunar landscape of the Nevada desert, American specialists trained to their computer screens spotted unusual activity at around 7.30am in District Two. From their windowless bunker, lit by constantly flickering computer screens, the analysts directed their unmanned Predator drones to zoom in on the convoy as it picked up speed and headed west. Nato’s eyes were suddenly trained on Gaddafi’s convoy.

High above Sirte the heavily-armed American USMQ1 Predator drones, which are piloted by satellite link and can provide surveillance or fire missiles in all weather, day and night, had been circling.

The aircraft, which can remain ‘on station’ for up to 18 hours, were being remotely flown from Creech air force base in Nevada. One of the predator pilots had now received permission to attack the fleeing convoy.

Around 40 miles off the Libyan coast a Nato AWAC early-warning surveillance aircraft, flying over the Mediterranean, took control of the battle and warned two French jets that a loyalist convoy was attempting to leave Sirte.
As the convoy sped west, a Hellfire missile was fired from the Predator and destroyed the first vehicle in the convoy.

By now, the NTC troops had realised that the loyalists were escaping and a small number of lightly armed rebels began to give chase.

To me it seemed like a wild, chaotic situation. But we now know that it had, in fact, been foreseen by the British SAS and their special forces allies, who were advising the NTC forces.

British military sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that small teams of SAS soldiers on the ground in Sirte, armed but under strict orders not to get involved, had warned them throughout the siege to be alert to the fleeing of loyalists.

Assisted by other special forces – in particular the Qataris, with whom the SAS have a long relationship dating back 20 years – the SAS tried to impress on the Libyans the need to cover all escape routes.

A senior defence source has told The Sunday Telegraph that at this point the SAS urged the NTC leaders to move their troops to exits points across the city and close their stranglehold.

After the Hellfire missile struck its target, the convoy changed direction, possibly hoping to avoid a further strike, before heading west again. It had begun to fracture into several different groups of vehicles.

The French jets were also given permission to join the attack.

By now a group of 20 vehicles in the convoy had reached a point around three miles west of the city. The shattered streets had been left behind, and the convoy had halted next to a walled electricity sub station, in arid farmland dotted with breeze block compounds and trees.

Just then, the French pilot began his bombing run, seconds later releasing two 500lb GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, into the centre of the convoy.

The bombs unleashed massive force. Arriving at the site, a few hours later, their devastating power was clear to see: at least a dozen vehicles were shredded and burned out, while I counted more than 25 bodies, some lying twisted and charred inside the vehicles and others lying in clumps nearby.

The air strike marked the end of any attempt at an ordered retreat and the convoy’s remnants scattered.

Col Gaddafi had survived the air strike, but was apparently wounded in the legs. With his companions dead or dispersed, he now had few options.

Mobile phone footage shows Col Gaddafi alive but weak and bloodied, with blows raining down on him from frenzied fighters. At one point he was hauled onto the bonnet of a pickup truck, then pulled down by his hair…

Omran el Oweyb, the commander who captured Gaddafi, said that he only managed to stagger ten steps before he fell to the ground.

Sometime in the next hours or minutes he died of a bullet wound to the left temple. The official NTC account says he was caught in crossfire as he was being driven to hospital. ‘He was already under arrest and he was hit in the crossfire,’ explained Mahmoud Jalil, the prime minister.

However the ambulance driver who ferried him said Col Gaddafi was already dead when he was loaded into the ambulance, around 500 yards from his point of capture.

One NTC member, who did not want to be named, admitted that this version of events was likely. ‘They beat him very harshly and then they killed him,’ he said. ‘This is a war.’

[Gaddafi] moved nightly, terrified of surveillance and air strikes from the Nato coalition planes and drones which had supported the rebels since March.
He had good reason for such precautions.

– Additional reporting by Sean Rayment

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Gaddafi’s Widow Calls For UN Investigation Into Killing

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1948258.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 22, 2011

Gaddafi’s widow calls for UN investigation

The widow of slain leader Moamer Gaddafi called for a UN investigation into the circumstances of her husband’s death after he was captured alive in Libya, a pro-Gaddafi television reported Saturday.

‘We call on the United Nations to investigate the circumstances of the death of the Mujahid (holy warrior) Moamer Gaddafi,’ Safia Gaddafi was quoted by the Syria-based Al Rai television as saying, DPA reported.

Controversy still prevails about the circumstances around which Gaddafi was killed on Thursday. It is still unclear whether he died caught in crossfire, as the ruling National Transitional Council claims, or he was executed on the field by the council’s fighters, DPA reported.

‘I am proud of the courage of my husband and my sons who confronted the aggression of 40 countries and their agents for six months, and who died as martyrs,’ Safia was quoted as saying.

Safia Gaddafi fled to Algeria with her daughter Aisha – and two Aisha’s brothers, Hannibal and Mohamed – after the council’s fighters entered the capital Tripoli in August.

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ASSASSINS R US: Libya – The UN and NATO Enjoin ‘Multi-State Terrorism’

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27225

Global Research
October 22, 2011

ASSASSINS R US: Libya: The UN and NATO Enjoin ‘Multi-State Terrorism’
by Felicity Arbuthnot

‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ (Ephesians: 6:12.)

What a decade it has been for assassinations, liquidations, exterminations – for state terrorism led by the Land of the Free. Summary executions include Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. On 5th February 2003, General Colin Powell stating that he headed a deadly terrorist network within Iraq – just six weeks before the US headed a deadly terrorist network, in an illegal invasion, which entirely destroyed Iraq.

On 7th June 2006, at Hibhib, near Baquba, al-Zarqawi was killed by two five hundred-pound bombs, dropped by USAF F-16 jets, killing five others including his wife and child. Legality, trying in law those accused of wrong doing, is, seemingly, so yesterday.

President Saddam Hussein and some of his sovereign government were subject to a kangaroo court, laughable had it not shamed and disgraced the word ‘legal’ at every level. Then he was lynched.

Osama bin Laden’s alleged death, with still unaccounted for others, was another blot on legality and humanity, with his body seemingly summarily disposed of as shark food. Why observe religious and legal niceties, when they may, in turn, preserve forensic, legal evidence?

Hilary Clinton and her partners in crime, were, of course, shown ‘watching’ this gruesome slaying, by illegal immigrants, who had entered ally Pakistan, without bothering to request permission for air space or passage. It then had to be admitted there was in fact no transmission from a video, previously said to be screened from one of the assassins helmets. Hollywood meets Capitol Hill?

Subsequently this tasteless, part-fictional scenario with Ms Clinton’s hand over her mouth, feigning personal ‘shock and awe’ was, the gullible were informed, due to ‘an allergy.’

Her repellent performance on CBS(i) shortly after Quaddafi’s death, assassination, execution, street dragging – early days for the exact sequence of another bloody illegality, was Madame Clinton for real. She near punched the air, roared with laughter and announced:

‘We came, we saw, he died.’

‘Did this have anything to do with your visit?’ (On 18th October) she was asked

‘Nnn …’ Then: ‘I’m sure it did.’ Grin.

During her brief trip she had stated: ‘We hope he [Col Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon …’

Arguably, not since Madeleine Albright, when US Ambassador to the United Nations (‘… avowed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…’) stated that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children were ‘A hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it’(60 Minutes, 12th May 1996), has such abhorrent, shaming filth been spewed over the air waves.

But then, the UN was the vehicle for the silent killing fields which were the strangulating thirteen-year embargo on Iraq. The silence on thirteen years of illegal, unsanctioned bombing by the US/UK. Then this last March, they endorsed UNSCR 1973, which became the completely overt mass murder of Libyans in a seven-month (and ongoing) ‘humanitarian’ blitzkrieg.

In the UK, the newspapers did their best to vie with Clinton’s sewer rhetoric. Seldom has a bloody, illegal, apparent summary execution, assassination of a head of state, been more tastelessly lauded.

‘Bullet in the Head – That’s for Lockerbie’ (The Sun). Apart from their excursion to the literary drainage pipes, they Sun apparently neither attended the trial, or has registered the deep legal concerns surrounding the Lockerbie verdict. ‘End of a Tyrant’ trumpeted The Independent, of whom a little more is expected. ‘Tyrant Showed no Mercy, Shot by Rebels’, celebrated The Mirror. ‘Gaddafi’s Death: Key Moments’; MSN was in trash movie mode.

‘Death of a Tyrant’ is the choice of many, with The Star perhaps managing to plunge to an all-time journalistic depth with: ‘Mad Dog Put Down.’

NATO’s depraved allies in the ‘New Libya’ are – in defiance of all decency, and of any religion, especially Islam – displaying his body, and that of his son Mutassim (37) naked to the waist, in freezers, in a meat store in Misrata, inviting souvenir photographs.

It is a pitiless, shocking re-run of the display of the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday, also summarily executed, rather than being treated in accordance with the law, as prisoners of war, along with Hussein’s fifteen-year-old grandson, courtesy US troops in Mosul, northern Iraq.

Islam is specific as to rituals for the deceased: ‘After the soul leaves the body, eyes must be closed.’ (Colonel Quaddafi’s were not for considerable time, according to pictures.) ‘When the soul is taken, the eyesight follows.’ The washing must follow specific procedure and then body fully covered, including the head and face. Necrophilic tourism is not an option – and bodes a sinister future if indicative of the values of those now seemingly holding power, legally or otherwise.

There may be worse to come. Seizing the illegal precedent which has been set by the disposal of Osama bin Laden’s bullet-ridden remains, by the body snatching killers in Afghanistan, there is talk of burying Libya’s head of state at sea. As with bin Laden, it would get rid of the evidence. Dead men don’t talk of past deals, commitments, betrayals – and disappeared ones leave no forensic evidence of, seemingly, a murderering mob of NATO-facilitated thugs.

Will pressure for the body to be handed over to his tribe tempt another disgraceful act? That tribe has issued this statement: ‘We call on the UN, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and Amnesty International to force the [National] Transitional Council to hand over the martyrs’ bodies to our tribe in Sirte and to allow them to perform their burial ceremony in accordance with Islamic customs and rules.’

Further pressure is building from the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur, is adament: ‘The Geneva conventions are very clear that when prisoners are taken they may not be executed willfully and if that was the case then we are dealing with a war crime, something that should be tried’, he told Al Jazeera. (21st October 2011.)

One eyewitness allegation of Colonel Quaddafi’s death hardly seems to meet with Geneva Convention criteria: ‘ … he was being beaten, kicked, with rifle butts, boots. He looked confused … he was saying ‘help me, help me’, but his voice was really strained, he was croaking. A few of us were around him, we thought we should get him somewhere we could question him about the others. But he was then taken away in a wave of people and then there were shots.’

There are more similarities between Iraq and Libya. Two leaders who took over countries crippled by colonialism and turned them in to thriving, largely well-developed nations, with high-quality free health care, education, living standards.

In threatened crises, US Presidents and their administrations cower in hidden bunkers deep in mountains, British Prime Ministers and their Cabinet, and ranking officials, are not renowned as front-line operators either. Indeed, the speed with which the British and American Ambassadors and their staff left Libya, at the first sign of trouble, was pathetic – and nationally humiliating.

Both Saddam and his sons said they would never leave their country and would die there. They did. Colonel Quaddafi did the same. Saddam faced out ‘Shock and Awe’, Quaddafi twenty-six thousand Nato sorties and over nine thousand, six hundred strike missions in seven months; sixty-eight strikes, seemingly, around Sirte on the day he was killed near there. Whatever their failings, their courage was towering.

Saddam lost his sons and grandchild and never saw his surviving family before he died. Quaddafi lost three grandchildren and three sons, and a fourth died with him. After the deaths, the Western media sneered because he failed to appear on the air waves for a few days.

However, the rats are crawling back on to the deck of the remains of the ship. On 21st October, Britain’s replacement Defence Minister – his predecessor got in to a little local difficulty – Phillip Hammond, announced that the UK had presented a license to drill for oil request to the National Transitional Council, far less than twenty four hours after the announcement of Quaddafi’s death. Further:

‘Libya is a relatively wealthy country with oil reserves, and I expect there will be opportunities for British and other companies to get involved in the reconstruction of Libya.

‘I would expect British companies, even British sales directors, (to be) packing their suitcases and looking to get out to Libya and take part in the reconstruction of that country as soon as they can’, he said. (Independent, 22nd October 2011.)

When the US ambassador, Gene Cretz, ran the Stars and Stripes up over the American embassy in Tripoli at it’s re-opening ceremony on 22nd September, he remarked: ‘We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libya’s natural resources.’

There have been many reports of Predator drones over Libya these last seven months. Seems there may be even more predators on the ground.

On Sunday 23rd October, 2011, the non-elected insurgents (sorry, National Transitional Council) are to declare Libya’s ‘liberation.’

The day marks the centenary of an Italian pilot becoming the first to use aircraft in war, taking off from Libya to observe Turkish troops in the Turko-Italian war. (23rd October 1911.)

Ironically it also marks the fist meeting of the UN General Assembly (23rd October 1946), a body which has strayed so far from its fine, stated, aspirations.

Drone: ‘Person who lives off the work of others.’ (Oxford Dictionary.)

UPDATE: As I finish this, it is being announced that Colonel Quaddafi’s body will be returned to his family for burial. It is indeed, if disgustingly belatedly so incumbent upon the ‘authorities’ to do so. We will see.

i. i. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlz3-OzcExI&feature=youtube_gdata

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U.S.’s Preeminent ‘Democratic’ Ally In The Arab World: Obama Condoles Saudis On Loss Of Crown Prince

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/23/c_131206976.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 23, 2011

Obama expresses condolences on death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday expressed his ‘deepest condolences’ on the death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, according to a statement issued by the White House.

‘It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia,’ Obama said in the statement.

He said Crown Prince Sultan, as Saudi Defense and Aviation Minister for almost 50 years, dedicated himself to the welfare and security of his people and country, and was a valued friend of the U.S.

Obama also hailed him as a strong supporter of the ‘deep and enduring partnership’ between the two countries that was forged almost seventy years ago.

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz passed away on Saturday. He was one of the top figures in the oil- rich kingdom. He had various medical issues in recent years, and have traveled to Morocco for treatments. He had been in the United States since June and underwent a medical operation in July.

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NATO Immunity/Impunity: Turkey Amasses 15,000 Elite Troops On Iraq Border

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157882

Azeri Press Agency
October 22, 2011

Turkey launches ground operations in Northern Iraq

Turkish forces entered Nazdere region in Turkey-Iraq-Iran triangle

Baku: Turkish Army continues operations in the territory of Iraq to strike [against Kurdistan Workers Party] camps.

About 15,000 elite Turkish forces have gathered on Turkey-Iraq borders. The forces launched ground operations hunting for militants.

Local officials of northern Iraq said the first operations have been launched in Nazdere, Hakuruk province in the Turkey-Iraq-Iran triangle.

Additional forces are gathering now in the Turkish provinces of Uludere, Cukurca and Semdinli bordering with Iraq.

Turkish forces continue air strikes on the…camps. The planes taking off from the Diyarbakir military base launched continuous air strikes on PKK camps in the Zargos mountain chain stretching from northern Iraq to Iran.

Before the large-scale operations, unmanned aircraft carried out reconnaissance flights over the…camps…

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Karzai: Afghanistan To Support Pakistan In Case Of War With U.S.

http://en.rian.ru/news/20111022/168003195.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 22, 2011

Afghanistan to support Pakistan in case of war with U.S.

MOSCOW: In case of war between Pakistan and the U.S., or any other country, Kabul will support Islamabad, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday.

‘If, Lord forbid, a war begins between Pakistan and the USA, Afghanistan will be on the side of Pakistan,’ Karzai said in an interview to Pakistani television channel.

Karzai added that no other state, including China, India or the U.S., could ever set Afghan people against Pakistan, but also mentioned the difficulties in relations between the two countries.

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Russia Backs Afghan Bid For Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/10/22/russia-backs-afghan-bid-sco-membership

Pajhwok Afghan News
October 22, 2011

Russia backs Afghan bid for SCO membership
By Mir Agha Samimi

KABUL: Moscow would support Kabul’s bid for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) membership, the Russian ambassador to Afghanistan promised on Saturday.

Zamir Kabulove held out the promise at a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

They also discussed preparations for the upcoming Istanbul conference and stressed joint regional cooperation efforts, the statement added.

Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are members of the organisation, founded on June 15, 2001. Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia have observers’ status while Turkmenistan and Afghanistan attend SCO gatherings as guest nations.

Russia would provide 3,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan in food aid, said the diplomat, who added his country was ready to increase reconstruction assistance.

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Serbs To NATO: We Defeated Your Fascist Grandfathers, We Will Defeat You

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-barricades-stand-off-477/

RT
October 22, 2011

Border disorder: Kosovo stand-off continues

Video

As months of tension between Serbs and ethnic Albanian Kosovans continue, roads in Northern Kosovo remain closed, for some. Serbs are fortifying their barricades and see themselves again as victims of history.

At least a thousand Serbs and NATO soldiers in riot gear remain in a face-off on the Kosovo border. The Serbs have been ordered once again to remove the barricades and roadblocks they have erected at the Rudare crossing.
Local Serbs compare the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR, with the fascist occupiers of the past.

Cartoons which are being passed from hand to hand read ‘We defeated your granddads, we defeated your fathers – we will win again!’

‘Why do they think they can come and take our land?’ one local man wonders. ‘Serbia is our home! We don’t want to live in Albania!’

As one local woman says, local Serbs ‘have nothing, but a flag and faith in God,’ against well-armed forces.

And some 200 meters away, NATO-KFOR soldiers keep watching.

‘I would prefer a peaceful solution by talks, by an agreement,’ says KFOR Commander General Erchard Drews. ‘But if that is not to be reached, I will have to be on my own. I will have to fall back on my own means. Some of them are behind me.’

No surprise that the general’s ‘own’ means are military ones.

The status quo in Northern Kosovo remains. The standoff between KFOR soldiers and local Serb civilians is no closer to resolution, but people from both sides of the barricades are glad to avoid any further violence.

But away from the media glare, hostility is commonplace.

Dobrivoje Putnik, a 23-year old Serb, was with his father when he was shot dead just three weeks ago, while visiting an Albanian village in Kosovo’s South. Serbs are a minority there, living in tiny enclaves.

‘I was waiting for him in a car,’ Putnik said. ‘I saw him coming out of the Albanian cafeteria. Then I heard two gunshots and my dad fall down. I rushed to him, but I was late. He died immediately, I didn’t even say goodbye to him.’

Dobrivoje was shot too, when his father’s killers tried to eliminate the only witness.

‘I will never return to that place,’ he said. ‘They will chase me… I’m worrying about my family and myself.’

In a separate incident, just last week, another unarmed Serb, the father of a large family, was killed in a confrontation with a local. Miodrag, together with two his friends, went to see what used to be Serb land, now owned by ethnic Albanians since Serbs fled after NATO’s 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.

They were stopped by the new occupier.

‘We talked for five minutes,’ said Dejan Bodicevic, a friend of the killed Serb. ‘Then [the occupier] said he needed to come back to his car to take his cell phone, but came back instead with a Kalashnikov. ‘Do you want your land back?’ he shouted and started firing at us. Miodrag was killed at the scene.’

The men who just lost their friend say there is only one reason he was killed: ‘That’s just because we are Serbs. Period.’

Eleven years after the end of major conflict, and despite the presence of international peacekeepers, violence seems to be still part of everyday life for some in this troubled breakaway province. And there is little sign that is likely to change.

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Kosovo Serbs Fend Off NATO Attack

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/22/59181727.html

Itar-Tass
October 22, 2011

Kosovo Serbs protect barricades on border with Serbia

Kosovo Serbs have prevented the attempts of NATO’s KFOR servicemen to remove the barricades and roadblocks they built on the entries to the check points on the border with Serbia in the north of the region.

Earlier this week KFOR soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowd of Serbs protecting barricades on the way to Brnjak check point. In clashes eight peacekeepers and 2- protesters were wounded.

The Albanian authorities of Kosovo are trying to get full control over the check points on the border with Serbia.

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Envoy: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships In Baltic Aimed At Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/22/59183319.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 22, 2011

US’ Aegis ships in Europe contradict declared ABM’s goals – Rogozin

A possible deployment of the US’ Aegis ships in northern seas as part of the European anti-ballistic missile system would contradict the earlier declared goals of the European ABM, Russia’s envoy in NATO Dmitry Rogozin said Saturday in an interview with the Moscow Echo radio station.

Rogozin said that the Aegis system includes counter missiles, which are capable of destroying short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. In future, they will be capable of destroying missiles of any range, he added.

Rogozin stressed that the only country in the region which has intercontinental strategic missiles is Russia.

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Ukraine: U.S. Interceptor Missile Warship In Sevastopol

http://en.ria.ru/mlitary_news/20111021/167948863.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

U.S. missile cruiser visits Ukraine’s Sevastopol port

-Locals in Ukraine’s Crimea, which has a largely Russian-speaking population, frequently protest against visits by NATO ships as Sevastopol also hosts the main headquarters and the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

SEVASTOPOL: A U.S. missile cruiser arrived on Friday in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol on an official visit which local authorities tried to kept secret to avoid protests, a source in the Sevastopol port said.

USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) had to wait for several hours before entering the Sevastopol harbor to skip an ‘unwelcome reception’ by the crowds of protesters who had been gathered at the port since early morning.

‘In order to avoid protests, the city authorities kept the timing of the visit a secret. The American officials will hold several meetings with their Ukrainian colleagues, but no major exercises are scheduled,’ the source said.

Locals in Ukraine’s Crimea, which has a largely Russian-speaking population, frequently protest against visits by NATO ships as Sevastopol also hosts the main headquarters and the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Philippine Sea is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser equipped with the Aegis combat system and 26 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It is one of the U.S. warships being deployed in the Mediterranean as part of the Phased Adaptive Approach program designed to shape the European segment of the U.S.-led project to build a global missile defense network.

The Philippine Sea has earlier made a stop at the Georgian port of Batumi for exercises with the Georgian coast guard ships.

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Two Ossetians Killed In Mine Explosion On Georgian Border

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=282216

Interfax
October 22, 2011

Two people killed in mine explosion on Georgian-Ossetian border – official

TSKHINVALI: A mine blew up in the village of Ikoti in South Ossetia’s Tskhinvali district close to the border with Georgia, the republic’s prosecutors told Interfax on Saturday.

Early reports suggest that two people have been killed as a result of the explosion, the source said.

South Ossetian bomb disposal experts and law enforcement officers have travelled to the scene.

The preliminary theory is that the mine was planted there during the August 2008 events.

An inquiry is under way, the results will be announced later, prosecutors said.

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Long-Range Penetration: Pentagon To Modernize Nuclear Triad

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65721

U.S. Department of Defense
October 19, 2011

Stratcom Chief Discusses U.S. Nuclear Triad
By Karen Parrish

-The U.S. nuclear triad includes 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic missiles deliverable by 76 Air Force B-52s and 20 B-2s, and 18 Navy Ohio-class submarines carrying ballistic or cruise missiles.

-The Air Force plans to replace the B-52 fleet with a long-range strike platform or family of systems, which Air Force leaders have said would center on a new long-range, penetrating bomber, a global strike system, a long-range standoff weapon, and an enabler system.
Stratcom’s chief said his organization has set three requirements for the new system: it must be truly long range; it must be able to penetrate defenses; and it must serve as both a conventional and a nuclear platform.

WASHINGTON: While 10 years of war have focused the military on conventional weapons, the nation’s nuclear force is in need of attention, a senior officer told Defense Writers Group reporters yesterday.

Air Force Gen. C. Robert ‘Bob’ Kehler leads U.S. Strategic Command, which with its subordinate and functional commands is responsible for missile defense; global strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; cyber defense and space operations, as well as combating weapons of mass destruction.

Stratcom’s nuclear mission is one of its ‘big three’ responsibilities, along with space and cyber, Kehler said.

The U.S. nuclear triad includes 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic missiles deliverable by 76 Air Force B-52s and 20 B-2s, and 18 Navy Ohio-class submarines carrying ballistic or cruise missiles.

While sustaining current systems is an immediate issue, the triad also needs to be modernized in the coming decades, Kehler said, noting the Ohio-class submarine fleet likely will reach the end of its service life in the late 2020s.

‘That will come because of reasons that the Navy understands well about operating platforms that are constantly subjected to [pressure variations],’ he said. ‘We’re going to have to make some decisions … [that will] require us to have some modernization programs in place.’

All three of the triad legs ‘need to be sustained … until replacements come along. And, of course, the replacements are being discussed in the budget discussions, as well,’ Kehler said.

The Air Force plans to replace the B-52 fleet with a long-range strike platform or family of systems, which Air Force leaders have said would center on a new long-range, penetrating bomber, a global strike system, a long-range standoff weapon, and an enabler system.

Stratcom’s chief said his organization has set three requirements for the new system: it must be truly long range; it must be able to penetrate defenses; and it must serve as both a conventional and a nuclear platform.

While Stratcom has not set a specific intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance requirement for the new system, Kehler said, the value of a platform that can both drop bombs and gather intelligence is clear.

‘The more flexibility that we can include in platforms today, the better,’ he said.

Over the course of its active service with the Air Force beginning in 1955, the B-52 has served as a platform for conventional bombs, smart weapons and nuclear weapons, he said.

The current challenge is sustaining the B-52 as a standoff nuclear platform until a new long-range strike capability comes on line, Kehler said.

What aircraft or missiles the Air Force will ultimately select and fund for future long-range strike missions still is under discussion, he added.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has been clear that he wants defense budget decisions to be based on strategy, and planning discussions now underway are taking that approach, Kehler said.

‘I continue to stand by the need for a triad; certainly in the near term, I believe that we can sustain a triad,’ the general said. ‘I think there are going to be interesting questions about both the scope and pace of modernization as we go forward.’

The U.S.-Russia strategic arms reduction treaty known as ‘New START’ that took effect this year sets nuclear force ceilings at 1,550 deployed weapons and 750 deployed launchers, Kehler noted.

A viable nuclear force requires sufficient force structure, expertise, and industrial-base support for weapons, he said.

‘You can have a hollow nuclear force, and we need to be very careful about that,’ he added.

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