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"Mission Creep"

Earlier British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said he would sanction a 'bunker buster' attack on the Libyan dictator's lair as long as civilian casualties could be avoided.

Dr Fox vowed to destroy the Libyan dictator's entire military infrastructure as senior officials privately admitted they want to engineer regime change.

As the U.S. and its partners launched further strikes using Tomahawk cruise missiles last night, and RAF strike jets prepared for a second night of raids, fears grew of 'mission creep' in the military assault - intended to enforce the United Nations resolution authorising a no-fly zone over Libya.

Libya: We would kill Gaddafi says Defence Secretary Liam Fox as RAF blitz Libya | Mail Online

Defence sources said that they will target Libyan military installations and that Gaddafi's death might be a consequence of that.[/code]

Edited by William Kelly
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More madness. What has Libya ever done to the U.S.? Iraq? Afghanistan?

We are increasingly entrenched around the world, bombing largely innocent people into accepting what we call "freedom." Where was Quadaffi for the past 20 years or so? I thought he was the ultimate boogeyman way back in the early to mid-80s. Reagan quelled that threat to our freedom, however, by killing his little daughter with one of aerial assaults. Made us all proud.

And all of this is being done with an allegedly "peace" Democrat as President. What happened to the promises about complete withdrawal from Iraq? Isn't being at "war" with THREE tiny nations who represent absolutely no threat to us just a bit much, even for our fearless leaders?

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It's pretty curious that CNN keeps repeating that Gadaffi was 'not a target' in last week-end's bombing. Then they repeatedly showed footage of the damage to his compound. Seems like a dehumanizing campaign is in place. If he doesn't leave on his own, he may not get to leave standing up.

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I find it curious that Reagan not only bombed Gadaffi's military infrastructure and his personal residence, but also bombed the French embassy in Tripoli (oops)

allegedly because France refused us permission to utilize their air space for the attack (unconfirmed). This time around, the French really began leading the way

against Gadaffi or at least they did their best to make sure it appeared so. They still fear Reagan...even from the grave, I suppose.

.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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I find it curious that Reagan not only bombed Gadaffi's military infrastructure and his personal residence, but also bombed the French embassy in Tripoli (oops)

allegedly because France refused us permission to utilize their air space for the attack (unconfirmed). This time around, the French really began leading the way

against Gadaffi or at least they did their best to make sure it appeared so. They still fear Reagan...even from the grave, I suppose.

.

Greg,

I was thinking the same thing, but didn't know about us bombing the French embassy in Tripoli, though they certainly did refuse to allow our bombers to fly over French airspace, [see John Lehman's version of events at : Remember the Intrepid: Operation El Dorado Canyon ].

I think that there were some social interludes that also embarrassed the French in the course of this new Arab revolution, including one of the dictator of Tunisia, who said he was impressed with the French president's wife, and the escapades of the French female foreign minister who was wined and dined in Tunisia and established personal business relationships with the government there a week before the revolt began.

Not unlike the president of the London School of Economics, which includes Mick Jagger and Saif Gadahafi among its alumni, who had to resign for accepting Saif's generous donations to the school and granting him a doctorate based on a plagerized thesis, some of these things are just plain embarrasing to those on a high social strata.

Hell hath no fury like that of someone socially scorned.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 2 months later...

WHY WE GO TO TRIPOLI

Congress and the American public want to know why we fight in Libya. While President Obama might have a hard time explaining it, to me it is quite clear.

Those against US and military action seem to view Muammar Gadhaffi as a benevolent dictator, whose behavior is none of America'sbusiness, a view that fails to consider our mutual history that goes back two centuries.

Ghadaffi is more reminiscent of Yusuf Karamanli, the Tyrant of Tripoli [http://www.warandgam...-karamanli.html] who pirated American merchant ships, enslaved their passengers and crews and demanded payment in millions of dollars in tributes and ransom. Americans responded with the motto, "millions for defense but not one sent of tribute,"and a reluctant Congress approved funds for the construction of ships and the founding of a Navy to fight the pirates.[http://www.zianet.com/web/barbary.htm]

Under the command of Capt. John Barry, the "Father of the US Navy," [http://www.ushistory...modorebarry.htm] Stephen Decatur [http://www.app.com/Story_not_found] and Richard Somers [http://www.heritage-history.com/www/heritagebooks.php?Dir=books&MenuItem=display&author=seawell&book=captains&story=somers] were two of the first Midshipmen to enter the service, and became national heroes for their actions against the Barbary pirates. Other officers who distinguished themselves were Lt. Andrew Sterett, of the schooner Enterprise,who soundly defeated the pirate ship Tripoli in the first engagement [http://rememberthein...rop-box_23.html], and Capt. William Bainbridge, [http://www.heritagehistory.com/www/heritagebooks.php?Dir=books&MenuItem=display&author=seawell&book=captains&story=bainbridge] who ran the frigate USS Philadelphia aground while chasing a pirate corsair into Tripoli harbor. Bainbridge spent the rest of the war with his 300 man crew as Karamanli's prisoners in the dungeons of the old castle fort.

Today these heroes are remembered by the ships named after them - the USS Sterret [http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg104/Pages/default.aspx] is patrolling off Africa, the US Navy SEALS shot pirates from the deck of the USS Bainbridge [http://ussbainbridgeassociation.com/] and the USS Barry [http://www.barry.navy.mil/] launched missiles in the first round of the UN backed NATO attack against Gadhafi forces in Libya.

Gadhafi friend Cynthia McKinney once represented Decatur, Georgia in Congress, while Condi Rice visited Ghadafi in Tripoli two hundred and four years to the day that Richard Somers was killed in the explosion of the USS Intrepid in Tripoli harbor. The aircraft carriers Enterprise and Intrepid were named after their Barbary war counterparts.

The old castle fort is now a museum [http://www.temehu.co...-of-tripoli.htm]t hat includes, beside ancient Roman artifacts, the Volkswagon that Col. Gadhaffi drove into Tripoli during his 1969 coup. [http://www.pbase.com.../image/52387567]

We are historically doomed to compare the revolution in Libya to Iraq or Afghanistan, as the US military has made it quite clear that the lessons of Iraq will prevent them, at least in our lifetime, from invading any country with the intention of occupying it, as that is a mission they will not accept again.

What we will see is an increase in the number of missions like the one undertaken by the US Navy SEALS to kill Osama Bin Laden, small special operations with clear and achievable missions. Not unlike the one undertaken by Decatur and Somers in the Intrepid, and William Eaton, [http://www.historycentral.com/bio/nn/Eaton.html] Pesley O'Bannon [http://www.usmarines...om/OBANNON.html], eight marines and a ragtag army of volunteers that resembles the rebels fighting Gadhafi today.

Just as T. E. Lawrence [http://telawrence.in...einfo/index.htm] and his motley band marched acrosss the desert and took Akaba from the defenseless desert side, Eaton's small army took the eastern port city of Derna in a battle that lasted a little over an hour. After repulsing a counter-attackby loyalist forces, they were about to march on Tripli, when American diplomat Tobias Lear agreed to a treaty with Youseff Karamanli to free Capt. Bainbridgeand his men for a payment of ransom. [http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars1800s/p/derne.htm]

That treaty went against the principles they were fightingfor, betrayed those who fought with them, and left Karamanli in power. When the Navy held a ceremony at the graves of the Intrepid men in 1949, a Prince Karamanli was part of the proceedings.

Now the United States, which had previously supported the long entrenched dictatorial Arab regimes because of their support of America's foreign policy, is now pledging support for the revolutionaries, possibly completing the unfinished march on Tripoli that Eaton and Presley began over two hundred years ago.

America goes to Tripoli, not for oil or bases, but to support the principles that were the basis for the American Revolution, principles that have been taken up by the Arab youth today – economic freedom, liberty, justice and democracy.

When the revolution gets to Green Square, and it is renamed Martyr's Square, inhonor of all those who have died fighting for these ideals, the only real martyr's actually buried there are Americans - US Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers and the men of the USS Intrepid.

We go to Tripolito rejoin the continuing American Revolution.

By William E. Kelly, Jr. (billkelly3@gmail.com)

Billkelly3's Blog

Edited by William Kelly
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Kelly quote

We go to Tripoli to rejoin the continuing American Revolution. END Kelly quote ==

SIR, YOU MAKE ME WANT TO VOMIT !!! :blink:

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PART ONE

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God Bless America. And its Bombs

by William Blum

When they bombed Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, El Salvador and Nicaragua I said nothing because I wasn't a communist.

When they bombed China, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, and the Congo I said nothing because I didn't know about it.

When they bombed Lebanon and Grenada I said nothing because I didn't understand it.

When they bombed Panama I said nothing because I wasn't a drug dealer.

When they bombed Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen I said nothing because I wasn't a terrorist.

When they bombed Yugoslavia and Libya for "humanitarian" reasons I said nothing because it sounded so honorable.

Then they bombed my house and there was no one left to speak out for me. But it didn't really matter. I was dead. 1

The Targets

It's become a commonplace to accuse the United States of choosing as its bombing targets only people of color, those of the Third World, or Muslims. But it must be remembered that one of the most sustained and ferocious American bombing campaigns of modern times — 78 consecutive days — was carried out against the people of the former Yugoslavia: white, European, Christians. The United States is an equal-opportunity bomber. The only qualifications for a country to become a target are: (A) It poses an obstacle — could be anything — to the desires of the American Empire; B) It does not possess nuclear weapons; © It is virtually defenseless against aerial attack.

The survivors

"We never see the smoke and the fire, we never smell the blood, we never see the terror in the eyes of the children, whose nightmares will now feature screaming missiles from unseen terrorists, known only as Americans." 2

NASA has announced an audacious new mission, launching a spaceship that will travel for four years to land on an asteroid, where it will collect dust from the surface and deliver the precious cargo to Earth, where scientists will then examine the material for clues to how life began. Truly the stuff of science fiction. However, I personally would regard it as a much greater accomplishment of humankind if we could put an end to America's bombings and all its wars, and teach some humility to The Holy Triumvirate — The United States, the European Union and NATO — who recognize no higher power and believe they literally can do whatever they want in the world, to whomever they want, for as long as they want, and call it whatever they want, like "humanitarian."

The fall of the American Empire would offer a new beginning for the long-suffering American people and the long-suffering world.

Why is the United States waging perpetual war against the Cuban people's health system?

In January the government of the United States of America saw fit to seize $4.207 million in funds allocated to Cuba by the United Nations Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the first quarter of 2011, Cuba has charged. The UN Fund is a $22 billion a year program that works to combat the three deadly pandemics in 150 countries. 3

"This mean-spirited policy," the Cuban government said, "aims to undermine the quality of service provided to the Cuban population and to obstruct the provision of medical assistance in over 100 countries by 40,000 Cuban health workers." Most of the funds are used to import expensive AIDS medication to Cuba, where antiretroviral treatment is provided free of charge to some 5,000 HIV patients. 4

The United States sees the Cuban health system and Havana's sharing of such as a means of Cuba winning friends and allies in the Third World, particularly Latin America; a situation sharply in conflict with long-standing US policy to isolate Cuba. The United States in recent years has attempted to counter the Cuban international success by dispatching the US Naval Ship "Comfort" to the region. With 12 operating rooms and a 1,000-bed hospital, the converted oil tanker has performed hundreds of thousands of free surgeries in places such as Belize, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua and Haiti.

However, the Comfort's port calls likely will not substantially enhance America's influence in the hemisphere. "It's hard for the U.S. to compete with Cuba and Venezuela in this way," said Peter Hakim, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a pro-US policy-research group in Washington. "It makes us look like we're trying to imitate them. Cuba's doctors aren't docked at port for a couple days, but are in the country for years." 5

The recent disclosure by Wikileaks of US State Department documents included this little item: A cable was sent by Michael Parmly from the US Interests Section in Havana in July 2006, during the runup to the Non-Aligned Movement conference. He notes that he is actively looking for "human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess".

Michael Moore refers to another Wikileaks State Department cable: "On January 31, 2008, a State Department official stationed in Havana took a made-up story and sent it back to his headquarters in Washington. Here's what they came up with: [The official] stated that Cuban authorities have banned Michael Moore's documentary, 'Sicko,' as being subversive. Although the film's intent is to discredit the U.S. healthcare system by highlighting the excellence of the Cuban system, the official said the regime knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them." Moore points out an Associated Press story of June 16, 2007 (seven months prior to the cable) with the headline: "Cuban health minister says Moore's 'Sicko' shows 'human values' of communist system."

Moore adds that the people of Cuba were shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008. "The Cubans embraced the film so much it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba. I personally ensured that a 35mm print got to the Film Institute in Havana. Screenings of Sicko were set up in towns all across the country." 6

The United States also bans the sale to Cuba of vital medical drugs and devices, such as the inhalant agent Sevoflurane which has become the pharmaceutical of excellence for applying general anesthesia to children; and the pharmaceutical Dexmetomidine, of particular usefulness in elderly patients who often must be subjected to extended surgical procedures. Both of these are produced by the US firm Abbot Laboratories.

Cuban children suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia cannot use Erwinia L-asparaginasa, a medicine commercially known as Elspar, since the US pharmaceutical company Merck and Co. refuses to sell this product to Cuba. Washington has also prohibited the US-based Pastors for Peace Caravan from donating three Ford ambulances to Cuba.

Cubans are moreover upset by the denial of visas requested to attend conferences in the field of Anesthesiology and Reanimation that take place in the United States. This creates further barriers for Cuba's anesthesiologists to update themselves on state of the art anesthesiology, the care of severely ill patients, and the advances achieved in the treatment of pain.

Some of the foregoing are but a small sample of American warfare against the Cuban medical system presented in a Cuban report to the United Nations General Assembly on October 28, 2009.

Finally, we have the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) immigration program, which encourages Cuban doctors who are serving their government overseas to defect and enter the US immediately as refugees. The Wall Street Journal reported in January of this year that through Dec. 16, 2010, CMPP visas had been issued by US consulates in 65 countries to 1,574 Cuban doctors whose education had been paid for by the financially-struggling Cuban government. 7 This program, oddly enough, was initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security. Another victory over terrorism? Or socialism? Or same thing?

Wait until the American conservatives hear that Cuba is the only country in Latin America offering abortion on demand, and free.

Items of interest from a journal I've kept for 40 years, part IV

"Remember the scene in Battle of Algiers in which, after the French have 'killed off' the revolution, mist fills the screen and then, gradually, coming out of the mist, the Algerians appear waving their fists, ululating with that sound both thrilling and frightening? That's how I see 9/11 for those of us who grew up believing that the US stood for something grand, despite eras such as slavery, indigenous genocide, Jim Crow, etc. Many people say 'Everything changed on 9/11.' I think it's more that 'Everything became clear, finally, on 9/11.' The mist cleared away." — Catherine Podojil

From a reader in Slovakia: I used the word "democracy" and not "capitalism", because we were told [after the dissolution of the Soviet Union] that democracy was introduced in Slovakia, not capitalism. Everything was done in the name of democracy and not in the name of capitalism.

"If someone other than Stalin had gained ascendancy in the Soviet Union, it is likely that millions of lives would have been spared — but millions of others still would have been caught up in the maw of the state machine, because the system itself was based on violence, repression and lawlessness — all in the name of 'preserving the Revolution,' a phrase which served the same function for the Kremlin as 'national security' does for the American elite, or the 'higher law' of God does for religious extremists of every stripe." — Chris Floyd

Bill Richardson, as US ambassador to the UN, re the newly-formed International Criminal Court in 1998: The United States should be exempt [from the court's prosecution] because it has "special global responsibilities".

Russia might be a target of an American invasion some day because it's the most powerful geopolitical opponent of the United States, with the power to extinguish the US in 30 minutes. The US might want to control the Russian oil and have complete control of Central Asia. That's what's behind the many missile sites the US has been building in Europe, not the stated fear of Iran.

Bolivia has South America's largest hydrocarbon deposits after Venezuela.

"The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an extremely serious one, in terms of what we'd have to do when we got there. You'd probably have to put some new government in place. It's not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you'd have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who's going to govern in Iraq strikes me as the classic definition of a quagmire." – Dick Cheney, when he was Secretary of Defense in 1991.

When the plans for a new office building for the U.S. military were brought before the Senate on Aug. 14, 1941, Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan was puzzled. "Unless the war is to be permanent, why must we have permanent accommodations for war facilities of such size?" he asked. "Or is the war to be permanent?" (Steve Vogel, "The Pentagon: A History" (2007) p.84)

The combination of free trade and heavy US subsidies to American businesses has crippled the Mexican agricultural sector, causing impoverished former subsistence farmers to immigrate to the US by any means necessary. Conservative policies of supporting free trade while restricting immigration are inherently incompatible.

The head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the first US occupation administration of Iraq in 2003, Paul Bremer, made free enterprise a guiding rule, shutting down 192 state-owned businesses where the World Bank estimated 500,000 people were working. (UPI, July 25, 2007)

If an individual were behaving as Israel does as a country, that person would be removed to an institution for the criminally insane and subjected to intense drug therapy and a lobotomy. The person might find the guy next door to be named America.

The United States threatens other states sufficient to cause those states to engage in defensive responses in order to exploit these to justify increasing "defense" expenditures.

Bush, Obama and Western Europe have used criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin's authoritarianism as a way of showing their publics how they allegedly stand up for democracy.

US right-wingers have a desire to replace our constitutional form of government with an authoritarian theocracy, and to (militarily) spread that theocratic construct around the world. (Ironically, the exact same objective fundamentalist Muslims have!) — Kerry Thomasi, Online Journal

"Behind the 'unexamined nostalgia for the "Golden Days" of American intelligence' lay a much more devastating truth: the same people who read Dante and went to Yale and were educated in civic virtue recruited Nazis, manipulated the outcome of democratic elections, gave LSD to unwitting subjects, opened the mail of thousands of American citizens, overthrew governments, supported dictatorships, plotted assassinations, and engineered the Bay of Pigs disaster. 'In the name of what?' asked one critic. 'Not civic virtue, but empire'." — Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (1999)

... a more just world, a deeper democracy and a liveable planet ...

"Colin Powell's presentation at the UN, February 5, 2003 seems like something out of Monty Python, with one key British report cited by Powell being nothing more than a student's thesis, downloaded from the Web — with the student later threatening to charge U.S. officials with plagiarism." — Bill Moyers

"Venezuela's well-off complain endlessly that their economic power has been diminished; it hasn't; economic growth has never been higher, business has never been better. What the rich no longer own is the government." – John Pilger

Notes

Full list of US bombings since World War 2 ↩

Martin Kelly, publisher of a nonviolence website ↩

Prensa Latina (Cuba), March 12, 2011 ↩

The Militant (US, Socialist Workers Party), April 4, 2011↩

Bloomberg news agency, September 19, 2007 ↩

Huffington Post, December 18, 2010 ↩

Wall Street Journal, "Cuban Doctors Come In From the Cold" (video), January 14 2011 ↩

William Blum is the author of:

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2

Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower

West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir

Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org

William Blum is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by William Blum

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PART TWO

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The Lies behind the West's War on Libya

Are Those Who Want to Export Democracy Themselves Democrats?

by Jean-Paul Pougala

Africans should think about the real reasons why western countries are waging war on Libya, writes Jean-Paul Pougala, in an analysis that traces the country’s role in shaping the African Union and the development of the continent.

It was Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas.

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn’t finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.

AFRICAN MONETARY FUND, AFRICAN CENTRAL BANK, AFRICAN INVESTMENT BANK

The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only US$25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatisation like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations.

It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around €150 billion. This is what lures the countries that are bombing Libya and they all have one thing in common – they are practically bankrupt. The USA alone, has a staggering debt of $US14,000 billion, France, Great Britain and Italy each have a US$2,000 billion public deficit compared to less than US$400 billion in public debt for 46 African countries combined.

Inciting spurious wars in Africa in the hope that this will revitalise their economies which are sinking ever more into the doldrums will ultimately hasten the western decline which actually began in 1884 during the notorious Berlin Conference. As the American economist Adam Smith predicted in 1865 when he publicly backed Abraham Lincoln for the abolition of slavery, ‘the economy of any country which relies on the slavery of blacks is destined to descend into hell the day those countries awaken’.

REGIONAL UNITY AS AN OBSTABLE TO THE CREATION OF A UNITED STATES OF AFRICA

To destabilise and destroy the African union which was veering dangerously (for the West) towards a United States of Africa under the guiding hand of Gaddafi, the European Union first tried, unsuccessfully, to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM). North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries ,which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilised than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.

Without the driving force behind the African Federation, the UPM failed even before it began, still-born with Sarkozy as president and Mubarak as vice president. The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe is now attempting to re-launch the idea, banking no doubt on the fall of Gaddafi. What African leaders fail to understand is that as long as the European Union continues to finance the African Union, the status quo will remain, because no real independence. This is why the European Union has encouraged and financed regional groupings in Africa.

It is obvious that the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), which has an embassy in Brussels and depends for the bulk of its funding on the European Union, is a vociferous opponent to the African federation. That’s why Lincoln fought in the US war of secession because the moment a group of countries come together in a regional political organisation, it weakens the main group. That is what Europe wanted and the Africans have never understood the game plan, creating a plethora of regional groupings, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC, and the Great Maghreb which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening.

GADDAFI, THE AFRICAN WHO CLEANSED THE CONTINENT FROM THE HUMILIATION OF APARTHEID

For most Africans, Gaddafi is a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. If he had been an egotist, he wouldn’t have risked the wrath of the West to help the ANC both militarily and financially in the fight against apartheid. This was why Mandela, soon after his release from 27 years in jail, decided to break the UN embargo and travel to Libya on 23 October 1997. For five long years, no plane could touch down in Libya because of the embargo. One needed to take a plane to the Tunisian city of Jerba and continue by road for five hours to reach Ben Gardane, cross the border and continue on a desert road for three hours before reaching Tripoli. The other solution was to go through Malta, and take a night ferry on ill-maintained boats to the Libyan coast. A hellish journey for a whole people, simply to punish one man.

Mandela didn’t mince his words when the former US president Bill Clinton said the visit was an ‘unwelcome’ one – ‘No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do’. He added – ‘Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi, they are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.’

Indeed, the West still considered the South African racists to be their brothers who needed to be protected. That’s why the members of the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were considered to be dangerous terrorists. It was only on 2 July 2008, that the US Congress finally voted a law to remove the name of Nelson Mandela and his ANC comrades from their black list, not because they realised how stupid that list was but because they wanted to mark Mandela’s 90th birthday. If the West was truly sorry for its past support for Mandela’s enemies and really sincere when they name streets and places after him, how can they continue to wage war against someone who helped Mandela and his people to be victorious, Gaddafi?

ARE THOSE WHO WANT TO EXPORT DEMOCRACY THEMSELVES DEMOCRATS?

And what if Gaddafi’s Libya were more democratic than the USA, France, Britain and other countries waging war to export democracy to Libya? On 19 March 2003, President George Bush began bombing Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy. On 19 March 2011, exactly eight years later to the day, it was the French president’s turn to rain down bombs over Libya, once again claiming it was to bring democracy. Nobel peace prize-winner and US President Obama says unleashing cruise missiles from submarines is to oust the dictator and introduce democracy.

The question that anyone with even minimum intelligence cannot help asking is the following: Are countries like France, England, the USA, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland who defend their right to bomb Libya on the strength of their self proclaimed democratic status really democratic? If yes, are they more democratic than Gaddafi’s Libya? The answer in fact is a resounding NO, for the plain and simple reason that democracy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a personal opinion, but a quote from someone whose native town Geneva, hosts the bulk of UN institutions. The quote is from Jean Jacques Rousseau, born in Geneva in 1712 and who writes in chapter four of the third book of the famous ‘Social Contract’ that ‘there never was a true democracy and there never will be.’

Rousseau sets out the following four conditions for a country to be labelled a democracy and according to these Gaddafi’s Libya is far more democratic than the USA, France and the others claiming to export democracy:

1. The State: The bigger a country, the less democratic it can be. According to Rousseau, the state has to be extremely small so that people can come together and know each other. Before asking people to vote, one must ensure that everybody knows everyone else, otherwise voting will be an act without any democratic basis, a simulacrum of democracy to elect a dictator.

The Libyan state is based on a system of tribal allegiances, which by definition group people together in small entities. The democratic spirit is much more present in a tribe, a village than in a big country, simply because people know each other, share a common life rhythm which involves a kind of self-regulation or even self-censorship in that the reactions and counter reactions of other members impacts on the group.

From this perspective, it would appear that Libya fits Rousseau’s conditions better than the USA, France and Great Britain, all highly urbanised societies where most neighbours don’t even say hello to each other and therefore don’t know each other even if they have lived side by side for twenty years. These countries leapfrogged leaped into the next stage – ‘the vote’ – which has been cleverly sanctified to obfuscate the fact that voting on the future of the country is useless if the voter doesn’t know the other citizens. This has been pushed to ridiculous limits with voting rights being given to people living abroad. Communicating with and amongst each other is a precondition for any democratic debate before an election.

2. Simplicity in customs and behavioural patterns are also essential if one is to avoid spending the bulk of the time debating legal and judicial procedures in order to deal with the multitude of conflicts of interest inevitable in a large and complex society. Western countries define themselves as civilised nations with a more complex social structure whereas Libya is described as a primitive country with a simple set of customs. This aspect too indicates that Libya responds better to Rousseau’s democratic criteria than all those trying to give lessons in democracy. Conflicts in complex societies are most often won by those with more power, which is why the rich manage to avoid prison because they can afford to hire top lawyers and instead arrange for state repression to be directed against someone one who stole a banana in a supermarket rather than a financial criminal who ruined a bank. In the city of New York for example where 75 per cent of the population is white, 80 per cent of management posts are occupied by whites who make up only 20 per cent of incarcerated people.

3. Equality in status and wealth: A look at the Forbes 2010 list shows who the richest people in each of the countries currently bombing Libya are and the difference between them and those who earn the lowest salaries in those nations; a similar exercise on Libya will reveal that in terms of wealth distribution, Libya has much more to teach than those fighting it now, and not the contrary. So here too, using Rousseau’s criteria, Libya is more democratic than the nations pompously pretending to bring democracy. In the USA, 5 per cent of the population owns 60 per cent of the national wealth, making it the most unequal and unbalanced society in the world.

4. No luxuries: according to Rousseau there can’t be any luxury if there is to be democracy. Luxury, he says, makes wealth a necessity which then becomes a virtue in itself, it, and not the welfare of the people becomes the goal to be reached at all cost, ‘Luxury corrupts both the rich and the poor, the one through possession and the other through envy; it makes the nation soft and prey to vanity; it distances people from the State and enslaves them, making them a slave to opinion.’

Is there more luxury in France than in Libya? The reports on employees committing suicide because of stressful working conditions even in public or semi-public companies, all in the name of maximising profit for a minority and keeping them in luxury, happen in the West, not in Libya.

The American sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote in 1956 that American democracy was a ‘dictatorship of the elite’. According to Mills, the USA is not a democracy because it is money that talks during elections and not the people. The results of each election are the expression of the voice of money and not the voice of the people. After Bush senior and Bush junior, they are already talking about a younger Bush for the 2012 Republican primaries. Moreover, as Max Weber pointed out, since political power is dependent on the bureaucracy, the US has 43 million bureaucrats and military personnel who effectively rule the country but without being elected and are not accountable to the people for their actions. One person (a rich one) is elected, but the real power lies with the caste of the wealthy who then get nominated to be ambassadors, generals, etc.

How many people in these self-proclaimed democracies know that Peru’s constitution prohibits an outgoing president from seeking a second consecutive mandate? How many know that in Guatemala, not only can an outgoing president not seek re-election to the same post, no one from that person’s family can aspire to the top job either? Or that Rwanda is the only country in the world that has 56 per cent female parliamentarians? How many people know that in the 2007 CIA index, four of the world’s best-governed countries are African? That the top prize goes to Equatorial Guinea whose public debt represents only 1.14 per cent of GDP?

Rousseau maintains that civil wars, revolts and rebellions are the ingredients of the beginning of democracy. Because democracy is not an end, but a permanent process of the reaffirmation of the natural rights of human beings which in countries all over the world (without exception) are trampled upon by a handful of men and women who have hijacked the power of the people to perpetuate their supremacy. There are here and there groups of people who have usurped the term ‘democracy’ – instead of it being an ideal towards which one strives it has become a label to be appropriated or a slogan which is used by people who can shout louder than others. If a country is calm, like France or the USA, that is to say without any rebellions, it only means, from Rousseau’s perspective, that the dictatorial system is sufficiently repressive to pre-empt any revolt.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Libyans revolted. What is bad is to affirm that people stoically accept a system that represses them all over the world without reacting. And Rousseau concludes: ‘Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium – translation – If gods were people, they would govern themselves democratically. Such a perfect government is not applicable to human beings.’ To claim that one is killing Libyans for their own good is a hoax.

WHAT LESSONS FOR AFRICA?

After 500 years of a profoundly unequal relationship with the West, it is clear that we don’t have the same criteria of what is good and bad. We have deeply divergent interests. How can one not deplore the ‘yes’ votes from three sub-Saharan countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Gabon) for resolution 1973 that inaugurated the latest form of colonisation baptised ‘the protection of peoples’, which legitimises the racist theories that have informed Europeans since the 18th century and according to which North Africa has nothing to do with sub-Saharan Africa, that North Africa is more evolved, cultivated and civilised than the rest of Africa?

It is as if Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Algeria were not part of Africa, Even the United Nations seems to ignore the role of the African Union in the affairs of member states. The aim is to isolate sub Saharan African countries to better isolate and control them. Indeed, Algeria (US$16 billion) and Libya (US$10 billion ) together contribute 62 per cent of the US$42 billion which constitute the capital of the African Monetary Fund (AMF). The biggest and most populous country in sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria, followed by South Africa are far behind with only 3 billion dollars each.

It is disconcerting to say the least that for the first time in the history of the United Nations, war has been declared against a people without having explored the slightest possibility of a peaceful solution to the crisis. Does Africa really belong anymore to this organisation? Nigeria and South Africa are prepared to vote ‘Yes’ to everything the West asks because they naively believe the vague promises of a permanent seat at the Security Council with similar veto rights. They both forget that France has no power to offer anything. If it did, Mitterand would have long done the needful for Helmut Kohl’s Germany.

A reform of the United Nations is not on the agenda. The only way to make a point is to use the Chinese method – all 50 African nations should quit the United Nations and only return if their longstanding demand is finally met, a seat for the entire African federation or nothing. This non-violent method is the only weapon of justice available to the poor and weak that we are. We should simply quit the United Nations because this organisation, by its very structure and hierarchy, is at the service of the most powerful.

We should leave the United Nations to register our rejection of a worldview based on the annihilation of those who are weaker. They are free to continue as before but at least we will not be party to it and say we agree when we were never asked for our opinion. And even when we expressed our point of view, like we did on Saturday 19 March in Nouakchott, when we opposed the military action, our opinion was simply ignored and the bombs started falling on the African people.

Today’s events are reminiscent of what happened with China in the past. Today, one recognises the Ouattara government, the rebel government in Libya, like one did at the end of the Second World War with China. The so-called international community chose Taiwan to be the sole representative of the Chinese people instead of Mao’s China. It took 26 years when on 25 October 1971, for the UN to pass resolution 2758 which all Africans should read to put an end to human folly. China was admitted and on its terms – it refused to be a member if it didn’t have a veto right. When the demand was met and the resolution tabled, it still took a year for the Chinese foreign minister to respond in writing to the UN Secretary General on 29 September 1972, a letter which didn’t say yes or thank you but spelt out guarantees required for China’s dignity to be respected.

What does Africa hope to achieve from the United Nations without playing hard ball? We saw how in Cote d’Ivoire a UN bureaucrat considers himself to be above the constitution of the country. We entered this organisation by agreeing to be slaves and to believe that we will be invited to dine at the same table and eat from plates we ourselves washed is not just credulous, it is stupid.

When the African Union endorsed Ouattara’s victory and glossed over contrary reports from its own electoral observers simply to please our former masters, how can we expect to be respected? When South African president Zuma declares that Ouattara hasn’t won the elections and then says the exact opposite during a trip to Paris, one is entitled to question the credibility of these leaders who claim to represent and speak on behalf of a billion Africans.

Africa’s strength and real freedom will only come if it can take properly thought out actions and assume the consequences. Dignity and respect come with a price tag. Are we prepared to pay it? Otherwise, our place is in the kitchen and in the toilets in order to make others comfortable.

This article was first published by Pambazuka News

Jean-Paul Pougala is a Cameroonian writer.

Translated from the French by Sputnik Kilambi.

Please send comments to editor@pambazuka.org or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Global Research Articles by Jean-Paul Pougala

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PART THREE (not all pro Gadaffi)

http://moreleftthanthou.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/on-the-libyan-conflict/ Info below from this link

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Today’s Propaganda

Early on during the Libyan rebel uprising there were reports that the Libyan government had carried out air attacks against civilians. Russian satellites monitoring the area did not detect any air attacks, but this fact failed to gain the attention of the media. After reports of mass civilian deaths and the undeclared war against Qadaffi began, President Obama stated that if the US/NATO hadn’t stepped in there would have been a genocide. The need for this narrative is obvious since NATO can only legally intervene in a country to prevent a genocide (link).

A look at a time line of events in Libya show the protests here are of a distinct character from those that took place in Egypt and Tunisia. Despite the obvious differences, all three are continuously lumped together in order to give the impression that all of these protests are of a similar nature and as a way of distancing the US from its former strong allies: Egypt’s Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali. Despite the professed similarities, the distortion starts with the US response to each uprising. While the “worthy” Libyan victims need to be saved through military intervention, the 846 “unworthy” Egyptians apparently didn’t need America’s help.

There have also been reports of mercenaries in Libya, although the finding by Human Rights Watch that didn’t find any, or at least not their widespread use of mercenaries went extremely under reported. Also not mentioned in the news are the members of the three black tribes in Libya that support Qadaffi. There have been many reports of racist beheading, lynchings, and rape of black African migrant workers and soldiers that are suspected of being mercenaries (Link 1, 2, 3). While the often dubious reports of mercenaries being present are widely circulated, the human rights violations by the rebel forces are hardly mentioned.

The purpose of the misinformation about mercenaries is to portray Qadaffi as a marginalized, mad-dog dictator waging war on his entire county and needing an external military to maintain control. The overwhelming lack of information about atrocities committed by the Libyan rebels is meant to cast the rebels as martyrs of freedom and democracy, worthy of US/NATO support. If the media presented an honest, objective view of the conflict the drum beat to war would be muted. Would the US/NATO citizens be so wholeheartedly supportive of an intervention in a civil war in which the waring factions compete militarily for control of the country? Maybe, but there’s a hell of a lot of questions they’d need answered first.

One of the latest pieces of propaganda to come out of Libya is that a child shown to be injured by a NATO air strikes was actually injured in a car crash. This information is based off an anonymous note given to an anonymous foreign journalist and not independently verified. It could very well be true that this child is being used as a propaganda tool by Qadaffi, but the sloppy journalism points to the propaganda model.

The question not being asked by the media is,“why intervene in Libya and not elsewhere?”

Oil: The Lubricant of War

As with most things in the this region, oil is king. Leaked cables and a very public and tenuous relationship with the west give a rare, candid look into some of the possible financial incentives for war.

At the heart of Libyan oil is the National Oil Corporation. They control most of the oil reserves, although there are many International Oil Companies (IOC) that do business in Libya. Eni (30% owned by the Italian government) , is the largest IOC in Libya. Under Qadaffi’s Libya, France was a much smaller player and was mostly confined to the smaller Western oil fields. This is subject to change as the National Transition Council (NTC) redraws contracts. Gazprom (Russian owned) has been increasing their involvement in Libya over the past few years. It’s not coincidental that Russia and Italy where against the bombing of Libya while France and the US fully supported it. As always, those who would gain from destabilization support wars.

At the heart the oil grab is the increased Russian involvement over the past few years. Gazprom has used it’s strangle hold on European natural gas and oil supply/movement to punish Belarus, Georgia, and other European countries.

In 2008 Gazprom offered to buy all excess natural gas, invest in oil production, and build a pipeline from North Africa to Europe (link). In order to make this possible there had to be a deal between Eni and Gazprom. The US feared that this would further strengthen Russia’s strategic control over Europe’s natural gas supply and movement (link). The need to break the Russian monopoly of the European market is one many reasons for regime change.

In January of 2009 Qadaffi announced that he was looking into nationalizing all the oil fields in Libya. He said that “Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production”. One month latter he announced his plan to directly distribute all oil revenue to the people of Libya while weeding out corruption. Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi, Ali Al-Mahmoudi and Farhat Omar Bin Guida, of the Central Bank where very critical of this move citing fears of “capital flight” (link).

In retrospect, much of the corruption of the government would not have been possible with such a transparent distribution of the countries wealth. Many of the high ranking officials that had siphoned off the profits for their own benefit would no longer be able to do so. This is one of the major reasons there was such large scale flight from the government in the early days of the upheaval.

When the measure went to a vote in the General Peoples Committee (Libya is run very similar to Cuba) 64 ministers voted for it and 251 voted to delay its implementation out of 468 members. The measure failed and has not been brought up again.

A Wikileaks cable from 2007 describes Libya as an “exceptionally difficult place to do business” and that “Libya features some of the smallest profit margins in the world for IOCs”. One unnamed IOC is said to make the same profit from a neighboring country (most likely Tunisia) that is at ¼ their production in Libya. Another IOC claimed to have had profit sharing at 6.8%, something unheard of in oil production. The cable also mentions IOC’s frustration with laws passed by the “particularly powerful General People’s Committee” that have required a 2% “Stamp Tax” as well as requiring that one Libyan be added to the payroll for every foreign worker (meant to address the countries 20% unemployment rate). The cable also mentions that the IOC officials “consistently hear expressions of disappointment from senior GOL [Government of Libya] officials that more U.S. firms have not rushed to enter Libya’s market…”.

The NTC has been shipping oil to Qatar, a major participatory of bombing raids, since March and on June 8th the first shipments of Libyan oil reached US refineries. In order to accomplish the sell of oil to US refineries, the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department needed to write new policies, which it did in April. Despite the deal for 1.2 million barrels of crude oil the US has yet to recognised the NTC.

The wikileaks cables and the attempt to nationalize all profits highlight the balancing the act between attracting foreign capital and guaranteeing control of the countries resources so Libyan people can maintain their high living standards. As iconic as Qadaffi is he is still not as powerful as the “particularly powerful General People’s Committee”. Nonetheless, having a man to direct propaganda against is the metronome of the drum beat to war.

The Man America Loves to Hate

Qadaffi’s been alleged to have supported (or is still supporting) the FARC (with questionable evidence), the IRA, Basque and Corsican separatist, anti-apartheid groups in South Africa, the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigades, the Germany’s Baader-Meinhof, the PFLP, various leftist Latin American groups, and essentially anyone else against the U.S’ interest (link). He was also implemented in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II who we now know was solely perpetrated by Mehmet Ali Ağca, an ultra right-winger from Turkey. He also allegedly helped out El Rukin, a Muslim “gang”, reported to have received weapons, training and orders from Libya. When members of El Rukin went to trial the courts ruled that there was no evidence of Libyan involvement, but this was widely under reported.

Essentially anything that the US government is against, it is reported that Qadaffi is for. Some of the times, like in the case of the PFLP, Basque separatist, and anti-Apartheid groups, it’s true. Often though his support is fabricated beyond the point of recognition to make a cause for to militarily/economically intervene.

The problem the West has with Qadaffi is not that he supported “terrorist” but that he supported the wrong side. If he had supported the Contras in Nicaragua, Muerte a Secuestradores in Colombia, or the colonialist government in South Africa he would have been seen as a partner. But to support organizations like this would be against the principles Libya was founded on.

Libya has an office called “Maktab Tafsir al-Thawra” with the rough translation being “the Bureau to Export the Revolution”. This is a tenet of Libyan socialism found in he Green Book, something everyone should read if they truly want to understand this situation.

Despite the condemnations, sanctions, and attacks from the US because on Libyan support for “terrorism” the US government did (and still does) support terrorism for their own benefit. The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (often grouped with al-Qaeda) was funded by Britain and the US in their assassination attempt of Qadaffi in the 1996. I’m sure they regret it as the LISG is the largest contributor to suicide bombers in Iraq according the a 2007 West Point Study (pdf). They are also big players in the current civil war and a few members sitting on the interim council.

The Tribal Factor

Libya has over 140 tribes (over 1000 if you include subgroups) but only 30 are really large enough to be important. The vast majority of the population live around the coastal areas in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica but the majority of the oil reserves are in the less inhabited regions of Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The tribes of Tripolitania (West) and Cyrenaica (East) can trace their division to 11th century when the Banu Hilal (Tripolitania) and Banu Salim (Cyrenaica ) Arabs settled in these different regions.

One of the most important tribes in Libya is the Gadhafis which Qadaffi is a member of. They are made up of 6 sub-tribes and are heavily concentrated in Eastern Libya but also make up a sizable minority in Benghazi. This tribe is not historically significant as they’re relatively small but, do to political maneuvering since the 1969 coup, many Gadhafis are in prominent positions within the armed forces and government.

In order to maintain control of the country Qadaffi formed a long lasting alliance through the Gadhafis with the Warfallah and Magariha tribes, both of which are from Western Libya.

With over 1 million people, the Warfallah tribe is the largest tribe within Libya. They make up a sizable minority in Benghazi, the majority in Tripoli and are mainly centered in Wadi Warfallah and Bani Walid. Warfallah was a strong ally of the Libyan government but members from the tribe sponsored a failed coup attempt in 1993 that helped lead to the 1997 “Charter of Honor” collective punishment law in which whole tribes can (and are) punished for actions of individuals.

The May 29 meeting of 100+ Warfallah leaders (from all 6 sub-tribes) highlights how split the tribe is. Many of the delegates, like their strongest leader Mansour Khalaf, are taking soft pro Qadaffi stances. Some Warfallah leaders want Qadaffi to step down but also reject the NTC based out of Benghazi. There is a loud (in the amount of press they get) sector of the Warfallah tribe that are hard-lined anti-Gadhafi and pro NTC. Mahmoud Jibril is from the Warfallah tribe and is currently leading the executive team of the NTC. He was appointed by Qadaffi in 2007 to head up the National Economic Development Board and is behind for much of the countries privatization and neo-liberalization policies. Although the Warfallah tribe denounced Gadafi in February their support is split between the sub-tribes and even within the sub-tribes.

The Magariha tribe is largest tribe in Fezzan and second largest in Libyia. Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi (AKA the Lockerbie bomber) is a prominent member of this tribe and Qadaffi has further secured their loyalty by orchestrating his release. In February it was reported that they supported the rebels but it is clear that not all tribal members do so as no high ranking Magariha officers have defected.

The Tarhuna Tribe (1/3 of Tripoli’s population) and the Zentan Tribe are from West Libya and are highly integrated into the military. Many civilians of this tribe where given weapons and training to aid in the resistance to an anticipated NATO ground invasion.

The Zuwaya tribe in Cyrenaica are not very large but geographically the most important. They sit on most of the large areas of oil production (Sarir, Messla and Aquila oil fields). They have sided with the rebels early in the uprising in threatening to shut off oil supply. The Libyan government gave them arms during the war with Chad over the Ouzou Strip in the 1980s (wikileaks cable). These are not very high tech or serious weapons but they have used them on the Toubou tribe whose territory they’ve been encroaching on (and stole from in the 1800’s).

The Toubou tribe (one of three black-Libyan tribes) has surprisingly joined Qadaffi loyalist forces. Although not large, many of them work on date farms and in the oil fields on lands they’ve been pushed out of. Bashir Salah Bashir is a Toubou that is in charge of Africa investment within the Qadaffi led government. Many Toubou have joined in the fighting and are being called “mercenaries” while many others have fled to Chad (the tribe overlaps with the boarder) and their return is uncertain under the new, stronger Zuwaya control. Although there is a history of grievances against the government of Qadaffi there is greater danger to them if the Toubou tribe gains more power.

The Tuareg tribe (another black-Libyan tribe) are nomadic and do not recognise national boarders. Qadaffi has helped fund their attempts to gain independence and/or political power in other North African countries. Although their culture has been horribly suppressed within Libya by Qadaffi his son has aided them over the past few years. Some, citing repression from Qadaffi, have chosen to fight with the rebels while others believing in a reformed Libyan have chosen to fight with the government. Many of the Tuareg that are pro, anti, or neutral are being accused of being mercenaries. There are reports that some Tuareg tribesmen are being recruited from outside Libya but their nomadic nature makes it imposable to say how many are native and how many are truly foreign.

Cyrenaica has been historically united (under Italian resistance and the following Monarchy of King Idris I) by the Harabi umbrella tribe with the most important member being the Obeidat tribe. The Obeidat Tribe is made up of 15 sub-tribes and gained influence after the failed 1993 coup in order to balance the power from the Warfallah tribe and others in the West. Because of this they gained some military personal and two high ranking defectors: Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Aboud Al Jeleil and the Interior Minister General Abdul Fatah Younis.

When Qadaffi took power he waned the power of the Harabi tribes in favor of the 3 large Western tribes mentioned above. What united Cyrenaica (aside from geographic location and isolation due to a desert) is Senussi Islam. About ⅓ of the population follow Senussi and are almost exclusively in Eastern Libya. Qadaffi has said that “no caliphate is necessary in order to discover the meaning of the Koran” and has advocated against Senussi teachings. During this uprising there has been a resurgence in various far-right Islamic tendencies (Wahhabi, Senussi, LIFG, ect) in the East with some hoping to use the Saudi Arabia model of Islamic governance.

The political marginalization of the East combined with the repression of far-right religious fervor has had the effect of weakening the regions power but also in unifying it.

A true gauge of tribal loyalty is next to impossible under the constant constraint of the propaganda model. During the July National Conference for Libyan Tribes meeting of 2,000 tribal leaders representing 850 tribes (and sub-tribes) a near unanimous call for the stopping of NATO bombing raids and a disarming of the rebels (link). It is unclear how representative the conference was of all Libyan tribes (especially those in the East) or how much authority they carry over their own tribe. As the propaganda model predicts, this meeting received little coverage but the April announcement of 61 tribal leaders calling for Quadfi removal received widespread coverage.

This tribal breakdown is dynamic and faulty at best. It’s useful in understanding how tribal allegiances can influence regional support but in the age of mass urbanization these allegiances hold less water. Many tribesmen are joining Qadaffi despite their leaders positions (with the same being true for the reverse) and about 15% of Libyans have no tribal allegiance.

The tribal factor is undoubtedly one of the most important factors buy it is not the only one. The ability for Eastern Libya to unite under one ideology (conservative Islam, restoration of a monarchy, etc.), their control of the vast majority of the countries resources, and their ability to capitalize on various disaffected minorities within Libya alone cannot win this civil war alone. Support from NATO and it’s counterpart the Gulf Cooperation Council is needed if the NTC wishes take over Western Libya.

Who to Support

The ideal of a unified Libya seems out of the question for all but the current Qadaffi led government. Due to the tribal nature of Libya there is a real possibility is of the country being broken up into East and West. This would be desirable for the US/NATO military machine as they would find a new excuse to create bases along the boarder to protect the sovereignty of Cyrenaica. There has already been talks of putting in an Israeli base on the Algerian boarder. This is shocking as the current Qadaffi led government has refused to even recognize Israel as a state. The only reason I can see for the rebels pandering so heavily to imperialist interests is to procure weapons and to ensure that NATO continues to act as its air force.

As this conflict continues to play out let us not forget that the dichotomization of opinions is the desired product of the propaganda model. We are to be either fully for Qadaffi or for the rebel led NTC, with any honest discussion being seen as reactionary. One side is always entirely evil while the other is a victim of its circumstances.

In order to pick sides in this civil war a clearer understanding is needed. Let us not project our ideals onto either side of this conflict. The rebels are not fighting against neoliberalism as was widely discussed on the left early in the uprising. Let us stay away from immaterial options such as the a phantasmal pro-socialist rebels. An honest look through the haze of propaganda reveals the grimy truth: this is a civil war based partly on tribal allegiances where one side, the East lead by the National Transition Council, is placating to the US/NATO in order to gain control over the West, lead by an aging champion of what the US considers far-left terrorism.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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Apparently you have a lot backed up to vomit.

Thanks for reading my stuff.

And for another Blum is wrong in calling this a civil war, as it is clearly a revolt and revolution against the established government.

And why does he rant and rave about America's bombing, why not Ghadafi's bombing of his own people?

And yes, I remember the Battle of Algeris, and this is going to be the Battle of Tripoli, with Gadhafi using the same techniques against the revolutionaries as the French did in Algiers.

Remembertheinterpid.blogspot.com

RevolutionaryProgram.blogspot.com

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Alexander Cockburn: Where’s the evidence of Gaddafi’s war crimes in Libya?

10 June 2011 229

By Alexander Cockburn, June 9, 2011.

It’s pitiful, but scarcely surprising. After all the endless disclosures of Nato’s lies concerning its onslaughts on the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, and the hundreds of postmortems and official inquiries into the propaganda blitz before the attack on Iraq in 2003, the Western press is more gullible regarding Libya, less inclined to question official claims than in those earlier failures.

The bar was already low, but now that those supposed lessons have been acknowledged and ignored, it has been lowered even further.

Who can argue with a straight face that UN Resolution 1973, passed on March 17, permits efforts to assassinate Gaddafi by bombs and missiles or escalations in the arsenal of regime change, such as the deployment of British Apache helicopters or the intense bombing of Tripoli on Tuesday?

A hundred years from now this UN/Nato intervention will be seen as a shameless imperial enterprise in the old style, with the increasingly ridiculous rationale of a mission “to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”, as hollow as the self-righteous British claims that the conquest of India was primarily about saving widows from suttee.

In the past few weeks we have had amply documented records of ferocious repression across the Middle East. There are body counts and vivid reports out of Syria. The violence that finally prompted President Saleh’s flight from Yemen to Saudi Arabia was relayed in graphic reportage.

Admittedly, the US press has been less energetic in relaying the savageries being inflicted on erstwhile democracy-seekers in Bahrain, thus reflecting the desire of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton that the topic not be mentioned. Whereas ‘Libya’ appears at least 14 times in the three major declarations issued at the recent G8 summit in Deauville, and ‘Syria’ 12 times, ‘Bahrain’ appears not at all.

Contrast these detailed reports with the amazing vagueness of news stories coming out of Libya. Here, remember, we have a regime accused in Resolution 1973 of “widespread and systematic attacks… against the civilian population [that] may amount to crimes against humanity.” We have a press corps and insurgents ready and eager to report anything discreditable to the Gaddafi regime.

Yet since mid-February the reporting out of Libya has had a striking lack of persuasive documentation of butcheries or abuses commensurate with the language lavished on the regime’s presumptive conduct.

Though human rights groups have furnished some detailed accounts of specific repressions, time and again one reads vague phrases like “thousands reportedly killed by Gaddafi’s mercenaries” or Gaddafi “massacring his own people,” delivered without the slightest effort to furnish supporting evidence.

This is not said out of any singular respect for Gaddafi. But it was the second-hand allegation of fearsome massacres that drove both news coverage and UN activities – particularly in the early stage, when UN Resolution 1970 was adopted, calling for sanctions and the referral of Gaddafi’s closest circle to the International Criminal Court, for an investigation, which Louis Moreno-Ocampo almost immediately agreed to do on March 3.

News reports in mid-March, such as those by McClatchy reporters Jonathan Landay, Warren Strobel and Shashank Bengali, contain no claims of anything approaching a “crime against humanity,” the allegation in Resolution 1973. Yet by February 23 the propaganda blitz was in full spate, with Clinton denouncing Gaddafi and Reagan’s “mad dog of the Middle East” phrase from 1986 exhumed as the preferred way of describing the Libyan leader.

The UN commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, started denouncing the Libyan government as early as February 18; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined Pillay on February 21. The UN News Center reported that Ban was “outraged at press reports that the Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from war planes and helicopters” (my italics).

On this kind of basis, the Security Council’s February 22 session, devoted to ‘Peace and Security in Africa’, became instead devoted to denouncing Libya. In these early days, no one who represented the Libyan government was permitted to address the council. Only defectors speaking on behalf of Libya were given the floor.

Now remember that on March 10, French President Sarkozy, a major player in Nato’s coalition of the willing against Libya, declared the Libyan National Transition Council the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

So Gaddafi was facing a formal armed insurrection – not a protest movement demanding “democracy” – led by a shadowy entity based in Benghazi, one of whose more diligent enterprises appears to have been the establishment of a ‘central bank’. Seven days later, Resolution 1973 made clear that attempts to suppress this insurrection would elicit armed intervention by Nato.

On June 6 the independent International Crisis Group issued a report ‘Making Sense of Libya’, which stated forthrightly that Nato was in the business of “regime change” and was strongly critical of Nato’s refusal to respond to calls for ceasefire and negotiation, a stance which the International Crisis Group says is guaranteed to prolong the conflict, and the tribulations of all Libyans.

On the issue of Gaddafi’s alleged war crimes, the ICG noted reports of mass rapes by government militias, but declared that at the same time, “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no real security challenge.

“This version would appear to ignore evidence that the protest movement exhibited a violent aspect from very early on… There is also evidence that, as the regime claimed, the demonstrations were infiltrated by violent elements. Likewise, there are grounds for questioning the more sensational reports that the regime was using its air force to slaughter demonstrators, let alone engaging in anything remotely warranting use of the term ‘genocide’.”

In this context, since the International Criminal Court’s record of subservience to Nato’s requirements is one of near 100 per cent compliance, one can view with reasonable cynicism its timing in issuing accusations of mass rape against Gaddafi’s militia immediately in the wake of this week’s Nato bombing onslaught on Tripoli.

Nato says it has flown more than 3,000 missions, and it is clear that despite the Benghazi rebels’ pretensions and effusive coverage in the Nato powers’ homelands, the rebels have been unable to make any effective military showing.

In other words, the only serious challenge to Gaddafi is a pirate coalition of Nato forces operating without the slightest mandate in international law, currently engaged in bombing a major city – Tripoli – filled with civilians.

The indifference of the Western press, not to mention the liberal/left in the United States, to these obvious facts has emboldened the coalition to ever more brazen affronts to law, with bluff calls from British generals amid the embarrassing stalemate to cut the cackle and send in the troops.

America’s clients in Bahrain and Riyadh can watch the undignified pantomime with a tranquil heart, welcoming this splendid demonstration that they have nothing to fear from Obama’s fine speeches or Clinton’s references to democratic aspirations, well aware that Nato’s warplanes and helicopters are operating under the usual double standard – with the Western press furnishing all appropriate services.

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Cockburn wants to know where the evidence of war crimes is? Well its on the cell phones of Gadhafi solders who raped women and killed prisoners.

Pro-Gadhafi Soldiers Leave Evidence of Rapes on Phones ~ Cellular Phone Battery and Cell Phone Batteries News

Cockburn - who is also wrong on the JFK assassination, agrees with associates of mine in other battles - Cynthia McKinney, Peter Dale Scott, Wayne Madisen and Rep. Kucinich refuse to acknowledge are the crimes committed by Gadhafi and his mercenary army lead by his sons. These crimes include the murder of prisoners of war, found shot with their hands tied behind their backs, and systematic rape - that is detailed in the cell phone pictures and videos taken from the bodies of Gadhafi Loyalist forces as well as the testimony of the women of Misrata and nurses from hospitals liberated by rebels.

You don't have to view the videos, because if you thought my support for the Arab revolutionaries made you vomit, then you should get some popcorn to eat while you watch the killings and rapes that were documented by Gadhafi's army themselves.

If you are so unsure of your personal feelings about this that you have to quote an already discredited liberal JFK hater like Cockburn, then perhaps you don't know what you are talking about, whether it is JFK or the Libyan Revolution.

Those who support Gadhafi must ignore his illegal power grab in the 1969 coup, his murder of 1,000 political prisoners, his support of the bombing of American servicemen in Germany, the Lockerbie attack and hanging of political opponents for voicing their views, as well as the killing of any and all peaceful protesters in the early days of the revolution, the systematic rapes of the women of Misrata and elsewhere, and the wrongful belief by Gadhafi that he or any one man is bigger than his country.

This is a dictator who paid Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Nelly Furtado a million dollars each from his petro fund for him and his family to be privately entertained by these pop stars, while those who support him claim that the only thing the USA is interested in is his oil. Not one drop of Libyan oil comes to the USA or has come to the USA in decades. Maybe the Libyan people would prefer the income from their one natural resource be better allocated than for the personal enrichment of the Gadhafi family.

The only ones who say there will be a stalemate are those who oppose the UN and NATO support for the rebels, and those who want to see the country divided into tribal areas, but the Libyans are now too educated to allow that to happen.

There will be no embarrassing stalemate, or civil war, as the war mongers and peacenicks alike predict, as more and more of the real Libyan soldiers fighting for Gadhafi come to realize that they are not up against the now melted witch and Boogies man - al Qaeda, but ordinary citizens fighting for the liberation of their country from a ruthless and psyco killing Tyrant.

As in Tunisia and Egypt, the military will either come around to the right side or perish in the upcoming Battle of Tripoli.

And you support the Tyrant and McKinney and Louis Farrakhan, Cockburn and Wayne Madisen, or you are with the revolution, and for the freedom and liberty of the Libyan people.

In a few weeks time, the revolution in Libya will be over, Green Square will once again be Martyr's Square, and the Libyan tricolor will once again fly over the ancient castle fort, and the revolution will move on to Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and even Saudi Arabia, where young women, inspired by the events, have begun to drive cars and exert their influence, where once they were afraid and intimidated.

God Bless the Martyrs and support the revolution against tyranny and dictators.

Sometimes Deep Politics is not so deep but very clear to those who can see the vision of what can be, and try to make it so.

Bill Kelly

See; Remembertheinterpid.blogspot.com

and Revolutionaryprogram.blogspot.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Great stuff, Bill. It is unfortunate that sometimes the history of a region is not taken into account when contemporaries are now judging current affairs. But, without the history there is no frame of reference upon which to base one's evaluation of current events. Everything is out of context without the proper historical back drop. Hopefully the internet will help the accurate reportage of history (as it is being made) as opposed to history being written by the victor after the fact.

WHY WE GO TO TRIPOLI

Congress and the American public want to know why we fight in Libya. While President Obama might have a hard time explaining it, to me it is quite clear.

Those against US and military action seem to view Muammar Gadhaffi as a benevolent dictator, whose behavior is none of America'sbusiness, a view that fails to consider our mutual history that goes back two centuries.

Ghadaffi is more reminiscent of Yusuf Karamanli, the Tyrant of Tripoli [http://www.warandgam...-karamanli.html] who pirated American merchant ships, enslaved their passengers and crews and demanded payment in millions of dollars in tributes and ransom. Americans responded with the motto, "millions for defense but not one sent of tribute,"and a reluctant Congress approved funds for the construction of ships and the founding of a Navy to fight the pirates.[http://www.zianet.com/web/barbary.htm]

Under the command of Capt. John Barry, the "Father of the US Navy," [http://www.ushistory...modorebarry.htm] Stephen Decatur [http://www.app.com/Story_not_found] and Richard Somers [http://www.heritage-history.com/www/heritagebooks.php?Dir=books&MenuItem=display&author=seawell&book=captains&story=somers] were two of the first Midshipmen to enter the service, and became national heroes for their actions against the Barbary pirates. Other officers who distinguished themselves were Lt. Andrew Sterett, of the schooner Enterprise,who soundly defeated the pirate ship Tripoli in the first engagement [http://rememberthein...rop-box_23.html], and Capt. William Bainbridge, [http://www.heritagehistory.com/www/heritagebooks.php?Dir=books&MenuItem=display&author=seawell&book=captains&story=bainbridge] who ran the frigate USS Philadelphia aground while chasing a pirate corsair into Tripoli harbor. Bainbridge spent the rest of the war with his 300 man crew as Karamanli's prisoners in the dungeons of the old castle fort.

Today these heroes are remembered by the ships named after them - the USS Sterret [http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg104/Pages/default.aspx] is patrolling off Africa, the US Navy SEALS shot pirates from the deck of the USS Bainbridge [http://ussbainbridgeassociation.com/] and the USS Barry [http://www.barry.navy.mil/] launched missiles in the first round of the UN backed NATO attack against Gadhafi forces in Libya.

Gadhafi friend Cynthia McKinney once represented Decatur, Georgia in Congress, while Condi Rice visited Ghadafi in Tripoli two hundred and four years to the day that Richard Somers was killed in the explosion of the USS Intrepid in Tripoli harbor. The aircraft carriers Enterprise and Intrepid were named after their Barbary war counterparts.

The old castle fort is now a museum [http://www.temehu.co...-of-tripoli.htm]t hat includes, beside ancient Roman artifacts, the Volkswagon that Col. Gadhaffi into Tripoli during his 1969 coup. [http://www.pbase.com.../image/52387567]

We are historically doomed to compare the revolution in Libya to Iraq or Afghanistan, as the US military has made it quite clear that the lessons of Iraq will prevent them, at least in our lifetime, from invading any country with the intention of occupying it, as that is a mission they will not accept again.

What we will see is an increase in the number of missions like the one undertaken by the US Navy SEALS to kill Osama Bin Laden, small special operations with clear and achievable missions. Not unlike the one undertaken by Decatur and Somers in the Intrepid, and William Eaton, [http://www.historycentral.com/bio/nn/Eaton.html] Pesley O'Bannon [http://www.usmarines...om/OBANNON.html], eight marines and a ragtag army of volunteers that resembles the rebels fighting Gadhafi today.

Just as T. E. Lawrence [http://telawrence.in...einfo/index.htm] and his motley band marched acrosss the desert and took Akaba from the defenseless desert side, Eaton's small army took the eastern port city of Derna in a battle that lasted a little over an hour. After repulsing a counter-attackby loyalist forces, they were about to march on Tripli, when American diplomat Tobias Lear agreed to a treaty with Youseff Karamanli to free Capt. Bainbridgeand his men for a payment of ransom. [http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars1800s/p/derne.htm]

That treaty went against the principles they were fightingfor, betrayed those who fought with them, and left Karamanli in power. When the Navy held a ceremony at the graves of the Intrepid men in 1949, a Prince Karamanli was part of the proceedings.

Now the United States, which had previously supported the long entrenched dictatorial Arab regimes because of their support of America's foreign policy, is now pledging support for the revolutionaries, possibly completing the unfinished march on Tripoli that Eaton and Presley began over two hundred years ago.

America goes to Tripoli, not for oil or bases, but to support the principles that were the basis for the American Revolution, principles that have been taken up by the Arab youth today – economic freedom, liberty, justice and democracy.

When the revolution gets to Green Square, and it is renamed Martyr's Square, inhonor of all those who have died fighting for these ideals, the only real martyr's actually buried there are Americans - US Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers and the men of the USS Intrepid.

We go to Tripolito rejoin the continuing American Revolution.

By William E. Kelly, Jr. (billkelly3@gmail.com)

Billkelly3's Blog

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Gaddafi ....... LOCKERBIE and German disco incidents? ... No Bill, neither of these were done by Gaddafi. Thats the establisment/MSM BS. I have pages on 1969 coup that I dont need to post. Here is a bottom line + proWEST dictator there is silence on crimes and antiWest dictator crimes, hysteria and disinfo. ## "The discovery of oil in 1959 only tightened the American, British and Italian domination of Libya, the hostility toward which created the conditions for Colonel Gaddafi’s military coup in 1969. One of Gaddafi’s first actions was to demand the closure of the Wheelus base, which—like his nationalisation of Libya's oil industry—initially gave the colonel anti-imperialist credentials and a base of popular support", "carried out without bloodshed in 1969 by just 50 officers, ..." ## This was a real popular uprising Bill !! ;)

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHWP0NE4EA0

## please see video till end.## ;)

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Russ Baker: Did Qaddafi Really Order Mass Rapes? Or is the West Falling Victim to a Viagra-Strength Scam? ;)

June 14, 2011

o-------------------oo----------------------oo------------

The story of Qadaffi's “mass rapes” might be too crazy to be true.

By Russ Baker

By arrangement with WhoWhatWhy.Com.

Is Muammar Qaddafi trying to save his government—and his life—by encouraging mass rape? Does that make sense? Personally speaking, if I had the world already against me, and was hoping to retain whatever support I could among my own people, that would not be my preferred course of action.

It seems too crazy. Nevertheless, that’s the infamy of the day against Qaddafi.

As we reported in a lengthy analysis of the true purposes behind the NATO bombing campaign, efforts to rally world opinion behind removing Qaddafi from power have already included promotion of claims that Qaddafi personally ordered the Pan Am 103 bombing (no evidence has been made public), and that a woman was raped by militia backing Qaddafi (no evidence was made public—nor was there any claim that Qaddafi had been connected to it, yet the story was big news around the world.) Now, things are being ratcheted up, with the following claim that it’s not just one woman but hundreds—and that Qaddafi is personally behind this.

If true, this would of course make Qaddafi out to be even more of a monster than he is already perceived to be. It would likely play a tremendous role in persuading otherwise opposed members of the international public to support the NATO bombing campaign.

And maybe even an overt expansion into what it actually is—a thinly disguised invasion/coup.

So, what are the particulars on the latest claims?

The Washington Post’s blog:

In March, a Libyan woman named Iman Al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell journalists she had been raped at the hands of the militia of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

At that time, Blogpost reported that Libyan doctors who treated female rape survivors said they had found Viagra and condoms in the pockets of dead pro-Gaddafi fighters.

Quick question: why are “doctors” who are treating rape survivors going through the pockets of fighters? Who are these doctors? Are the dead soldiers processed by the same doctors who see rape victims?

There was evidence the Libyan authorities bought “Viagra-type” medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy

Let’s continue with the Washington Post:

Amnesty International released a statement that said Libyan authorities must “immediately launch an independent and impartial investigation."

Libyan officials did little to investigate, but the International Criminal Court did, and investigators now say they have evidence that Gaddafi ordered mass rapes and bought containers of sex drugs to encourage troops to attack women, pan-Arab news site Al-Arabiya reported.

By the way, how readily available are large quantities of Viagra in Libya? Has anyone looked into this—or bulk purchases? Back to the Post:

Chief ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against Gaddafi, his intelligence chief, and one of his sons following the new evidence.

…“Now we are getting some information that Gaddafi himself decided to rape, and this is new,” Moreno-Ocampo told reporters.

Moreno-Ocampo said hundreds of women had been raped and confirmed the doctor’s statements about Viagra-type medicines.

“The rape is a new aspect of the repression,” the prosecutor said. “It was very bad—beyond the limits, I would say.”

Based on this, I went to look up the original Al Arabiyah report, which as you can see was actually not an Al Arabiyah report but from the following wire service:

By AGENCE-FRANCE-PRESSE
UNITED NATIONS

Investigators have evidence that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ordered mass rapes and bought containers of sex drugs to encourage troops to attack women, the chief ICC prosecutor said.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against the Libyan strongman following the new evidence.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor is expecting a decision from judges within days on his request for charges of crimes against humanity to be laid against the Libyan leader, one of his sons and his intelligence chief.

“Now we are getting some information that Qaddafi himself decided to rape and this is new,” Mr. Moreno-Ocampo told reporters.

He said there were reports of hundreds of women attacked in some areas of Libya, which is in the grip of a months-long internal rebellion.

There was evidence the Libyan authorities bought “Viagra-type” medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said.

“They were buying containers to enhance the possibility to rape women,” he said.

“It was never the pattern he used to control the population. The rape is a new aspect of the repression. That is why we had doubts at the beginning, but now we are more convinced that he decided to punish using rape,” the prosecutor said. “It was very bad—beyond the limits, I would say."

Mr. Qaddafi’s regime had not previously been known for using rape as a weapon against political opponents and Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said he had to find evidence that the Libyan leader had given the order.

In March, a Libyan woman made international headlines when she entered a Tripoli hotel and said she had been raped by Qaddafi troops.

Iman al-Obeidi was detained but managed to escape from Libya. She ended up in Qatar but was deported back from there to rebel-held Libya. She is now resting at a refugee center in Romania.

Mr. Moreno-Ocampo issued arrest warrants last month against Mr. Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi. ICC judges are to announce in days whether they agree to the charges.

The Libyan government does not recognize the international court’s jurisdiction.

Ok, so it’s not, as the Washington Post made it seem to its readers, an original report from an Arabic language publication. It’s simply them carrying a report from the European wire service Agence France-Press (France being one of the leading members of the coalition seeking to drive Qaddafi out), which in turn was just dutifully reporting what Moreno-Ocampo said at his press conference at the UN. No indication that anyone expressed any healthy skepticism.

But look. Here’s the very same news service Agence France-Press, as published in the Australian paper the Herald-Sun, the next day:

A UN human rights investigator has cast doubts over claims by the chief ICC prosecutor of evidence that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had ordered mass rapes.

The International Criminal Court’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo had said today that there was evidence the Libyan authorities bought “Viagra-type” medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy.

But Cherif Bassiouni, who is leading a UN rights inquiry into the situation in Libya, suggested that the claim was part of a “massive hysteria.”

Mr Bassiouni told journalists that he had heard those claims when he visited rebel-held eastern Libya. But when he went to Tripoli, “the same story comes up.”

“This time it’s the government people telling us, ’you know what? The opponents have a policy of rape, we have discovered that they are giving out contraceptives and Viagra pills,’” he recounted.

…The investigator also cited the case of a woman who claimed to have sent out 70,000 questionnaires and received 60,000 responses, of which 259 reported sexual abuse.

The perennial failures of the Western media to do proper checking before spreading such stories (or after, even) helps explain why the public remains forever in the dark.

However, when the investigators asked for these questionnaires, they never received them.

“But she’s going around the world telling everybody about it …so now she got that information to Ocampo and Ocampo is convinced that here we have a potential 259 women who have responded to the fact that they have been sexually abused,” Mr Bassiouni said.

He also pointed out that it did not appear to be credible that the woman was able to send out 70,000 questionnaires in March when the postal service was not functioning.

Nevertheless, the investigator said his team will examine the claims.



“We’re going to go back and we’re going to look at it,” he said.

For the moment, the team has only heard of three cases.

…“For the moment the numbers are very limited, but they’ve had a tremendous socio-psychological impact on society. Everybody’s talking about it. That’s where we’re at,” said the investigator.

The original allegation got a lot of play. Not the doubts. Even though they came via the exact same news organization. How ’bout that!

Control of information, including psychological operations and propaganda, has always been a central tool in war. The perennial failures of the Western media to do proper checking before spreading such stories (or after, even) helps explain why the public remains forever in the dark______________________________________

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Going Rogue: NATO War Crimes in Libya

by Susan Lindauer / June 7th, 2011

-----------------oo---------------

It’s a story CNN won’t report. Late at night there’s a pounding on the door in Misurata. Armed soldiers force young Libyan women out of their beds at gun-point. Hustling the women and teenagers into trucks, the soldiers rush the women to gang bang parties for NATO rebels or else rape them in front of their husbands or fathers. When NATO rebels finish their rape sport, the soldiers cut the women’s throats.

Rapes are now ongoing acts of war in rebel-held cities, like an organized military strategy, according to refugees. Joanna Moriarty, who’s part of a global fact-finding delegation visiting Tripoli this week, also reports that NATO rebels have gone house to house through Misurata, asking families if they support NATO. If the families say no, they are killed on the spot. If families say they want to stay out of the fighting, NATO rebels take a different approach to scare other families. The doors of “neutral homes” are welded shut, Moriarty says, trapping families inside. In Libyan homes, windows are typically barred. So when the doors to a family compound get welded shut, Libyans are entombed in their own houses, where NATO forces can be sure large families will slowly starve to death.

These are daily occurrences, not isolated events. And Gaddafi’s soldiers are not responsible. In fact, pro-Gaddafi and “neutral” families are targeted as the victims of the attacks. Some of the NATO tactics may have occurred in hopes of laying blame on Gaddafi’s door. However the attacks are back firing.

Flashback to Serbia

The events are eerily reminiscent of Serbia’s conflict in the Balkans with its notorious rape camps — except today NATO itself is perpetrating these War Crimes — as if they have learned the worst terror tactics from their enemies.

Their actions would be categorized as War Crimes, just like Serb leader, Slobadon Milosevic—except that NATO won’t allow itself to face prosecution. According to NATO, International Law is for the other guy.

NATO is wrong. So long as NATO governments provide the funding, assault rifles, military training, ground advisers, support vehicles and air power, they are fully responsible for the actions of their soldiers in the war zone. Libya’s rebels are not a rag tag fighting force, either. Thanks to NATO’s largesse, financed by U.S. and British taxpayers, they’re fully decked out in military uniforms, parading through the streets with military vehicles for all the people to see.

And they do see. In Washington, Congress likes to pretend that America has not become involved in the day to day actualities of military planning. However refugees have observed U.S, British, French and Israeli soldiers standing by as rebel soldiers attack civilians.

“Rape parties” are the most graphic examples of NATO’s loss of moral control. One weeping father told the fact-finding delegation how a couple of weeks ago NATO rebels targeted seven separate households, kidnapping a virgin daughter from each pro-Gaddafi family. The rebels were paid for each kidnapped girl, just as they are paid for each Libyan soldier they kill — like mercenary soldiers. They hustled the girls into trucks, and took them to a building where the girls were locked in separate rooms.

NATO soldiers proceeded to drink alcohol, until they got very drunk. Then the leader told them to rape the virgin daughters in gang bang style. When they’d finished raping the girls, the NATO leader told them to cut the breasts off the living girls and bring the breasts to him. They did this while the girls were alive and screaming. All the girls died hideous deaths. Then their severed breasts were taken to a local square and arranged to spell the word “whore.”

The grieving father spoke to a convention of workers, attended by the global fact-finding delegation. He was openly weeping, as all of us should. NATO’s offenses in Libya are as terrible and unforgivable as Syria’s castration and mutilation of the 13 year old boy that shocked the world. Yet so long as NATO’s the guilty party, the western media has looked the other way in distaste.

Some of us are paying attention. We can see that NATO has gone rogue in Libya. And the Libyan people themselves consider it unforgivable. Last week, 2000 Tribal Leaders gathered in Tripoli to draft a Constitution for the country, as demanded by the British government. Notoriously, British warships and U.S. drones pounded the streets of Tripoli with bunker bombs and missiles for days and nights close to where the Tribal Leaders were meeting. From Tripoli, it felt awfully like the British were trying to stop the Libyan people from bringing this Constitution to life.

Tribal Leaders Condemn British Aggression

Here’s what those 2,000 Tribal Leaders had to say about British aggression, in a statement approved unanimously on June 3. Sheikh Ali, head of the Tribal Leaders, delivered it to Joanna Moriarty and other members of the global fact finding mission:

The Libyan people have the right to govern themselves. Constant attacks from the skies, at all hours of the day have completely disrupted the lives of the families of Libya. There has never been any fighting in Tripoli, yet we are bombed every day. We are civilians and we are being killed by the British and NATO. Civilians are people without guns, yet the British and NATO protect only the armed crusaders from the East by acting as their attack army. We have read the UN resolutions and there is no mention of bombing innocent civilians. There is no mention of assassinating the legitimate authorities in all of Libya.

The Libyan People have the right to select their own leaders. We have suffered occupation by foreign countries for thousands of years. Only in the last 41 years have we Libyans enjoyed property ownership. Only in the last 41 years have we seen our country develop. Only in the last 41 years have we seen all of the Libyans enjoy a better life, and know that our children will have a better life then we have had. But now with the British and NATO bombings of our country, we see the destruction of our new and developed infrastructure.

We leaders see the destruction of our culture. We leaders see tears in the eyes of our children because of the constant fear from the “rain of terror” in the skies of Libya from the British and NATO bombings. Our old people suffer from heart problems, increased diabetes and loss of vigor. Our young mothers are losing their babies every day because of the stress of the British and NATO bombings. These lost babies are the future of Libya. They can never be replaced. Our armies have been destroyed by the British and NATO bombings. We cannot defend ourselves from attacks from anyone.

As Tribal Leaders of Libya, we must ask why have the British and NATO decided to wage this war against the Libyan people? There are a small percentage of dissidents in the east of Libya that started an armed insurrection against our legitimate authority. Every country has the right to defend itself against armed insurrection. So why cannot Libya defend itself?

The Tribal Leaders of Libya demand that all acts of aggression, by the British and NATO, against the Libyan People stop immediately.

June 3, 2011

Does that sound like NATO’s got a winning strategy? If so, they should think again. Even if Gaddafi falls, NATO has no hope of eliminating the entire tribal structure of the Libya, which embraces all families and clans. Instead NATO is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the people with every missile that smashes into another building.

Tribal Backlash

The Libyan people are fighting back. This report arrived from Tripoli today. It is not edited, and describes a backlash in tribal warfare from the City of Darna in the East, where the rebellion is supposed to be strongest:

People found the body of Martyr Hamdi Jumaa Al-Shalwi in Darna city eastern Libya. His head was cut off and then placed in front of the headquarters of the Internal Security Dernah. That was after being kidnapped from a checkpoint complex Herich. In response to this Al-Shalwi family erected a funeral tent to receive condolences in which the green flag [of Libya] was raised. After the funeral the whole city of Darna rose up with all its tribes which include:- the Abu Jazia family, Al-Shalwi family, The Quba families, Ain Marra families. After that, Al-Shalwi family and Bojazia tribe attacked the headquarters of the Transitional Council and shot all the rats (rebels) and green flags were raised. Furthermore, the son of Sofian Qamom was killed, also two members of Al- Qaeda got killed by residents of the city of Darna. The flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya was raised above Darna after the clashes.

CNN has reported none of this. The corporate media continues to lull Americans into false confidence in the progress of the Libyan War. Americans are way out of the loop as to the failures of the War effort. As a result, Libyans are losing trust in the potential for friendships with the West. An unlikely champion might restore that faith. Right now a team of international attorneys is preparing an emergency grievance on behalf of the Tribal Leaders and the Libyan people. The International Peace Community could contribute substantially to restoring Libya’s faith in the West by supporting this human rights action. Indeed, the Libyan people and Tribal Leaders deserve our support. Together we must demand that NATO face prosecution for War Crimes, citing these examples and others.

NATO governments must be required to pay financial damages to Libyan families, on par with what the U.S. and Britain would demand for their own citizens under identical circumstances. The world cannot tolerate double standards, whereby powerful nations abuse helpless citizens. The International Geneva Conventions of War must be enforced, and equal force of the law must be applied.

The Fight for Misurata

Though attacks are widespread, some of the worst abuses are occurring in Misurata. The City has the only mega port in Libya, and handles transportation for the country, including the largest oil and gas depots. NATO will stop at nothing to take the City.

Refugees report that the Israeli Star of David flag was draped over the largest Mosque in Misurata on the second day of fighting, actions guaranteed to humiliate and antagonize the local population.

NATO forces have cut off food and medical supplies throughout Libya. But the seas are plentiful with fish in Mediterranean waters. Brave fishermen have taken their boats out of port, trying to harvest fish for the hungry population. To break their perseverance, American drones and British war planes steadily fire missiles on the fishing boats, deliberately targeting non-military vessels to chase them out of the waters.

Yet for all of its superior fire power and tactical advantages, NATO still appears to be losing. According to the fact-finding delegation, reporting today, many rebels have left Misurata and have taken boats back to Benghazi. The big central part of Misurata is now free and under central military control. The Libyan people shot down two helicopter gunships near the town of Zlitan. And although Al Jazeera played a grand story about a major uprising against Gaddafi in Tripoli, one of the Tribal leaders’ wives lives on the street that claims to be the center of the demonstration, and declared that she saw no crowds out of her window. Buses pictured in Al Jazeera video do not run in Tripoli.

One has to ask: What kind of society does NATO think it’s creating, if in fact Gaddafi can be deposed — which looks very unlikely? Have Washington and London learned nothing from their failure in Iraq? The cruelty and debasement of NATO’s forces is already fueling profound hatreds that will continue for the next generation.

Who could be proud of such “allies?” Not the Libyan people, surely.

NATO soldiers are no better than thugs. Anyone else would be labeled terrorists. Most worrisome, NATO’s actions are guaranteed to have serious consequences for long term political stability in Libya. Vendettas are forming between tribes and family clans that will carry over for decades. It is extremely short-sighted and self destructive.

NATO should take this warning to heart: Its soldiers are not legal-proof. The International Peace Community is already taking action to uphold Libya’s natural rights at the United Nations. Many of us in the International Peace Community shall defend Libya’s women. And we shall demand War Crimes prosecution and major financial damages against NATO governments, on behalf of the people.

Nobody’s fooled by NATO’s story that Gaddafi’s the guilty party. We know that Washington, Britain, France, Italy — and Israel are the real culprits.

The murdered women of Misurata shall have justice. NATO can count on it.

UPDATE from Joanna Moriarty in Tripoli today (9 June):

We have so much documentation that it make your head spin. We spoke with 250 rebels who were released by the Tribal Leaders with the blessings of Ghadafi, the stories they tell of the atrocities that they did are horrifying we have them on tape. We also have many rebels that are documented admitting all the atrocities that they themselves committed. But, here is one truth that is irrefutable – the 2000 tribes of Libya are the actual government here, if anyone does not know this then they do not know Libya. These tribal leaders released 150 rebel prisoners 3 weeks ago, 10 days later another 250 were released. There were about 20 foreigners that witnessed this magnificent show of forgiveness, we have this on tape. There is another release of 200 prisoners in these coming days.

Go to Benghazi and you will not find one single prisoner because they have all been killed. This is a hard fact. Anyone that says they interviewed prisoners in Misurata is a xxxx. The Misurata prisoners that were released said that they were paid 2500 dinar for every soldier they killed and another 1000 dinar for burning the bodies. This is why there are no prisoners, so who is believable 250 prisoners on tape or someone who will not even give his name and makes statements that are unbelievable and unverifiable.

Here in Tripoli, the people say, please tell them to come to Tripoli and speak to us but they will not come because they don’t want the truth. They would like to ask these liars to PROVE what they say, they say none of their lies can be proved. Yesterday was Ghadafi’s birthday, they bombed the H*** out of this place yesterday, many many people crying and big damage, but they are not breaking the back of these people. They had parties and shot off fireworks for 3 hours, we were invited to a wedding because they wanted to show us how life continues here and they celebrate life every day.

NATO is not bombing the rebels in the East. NATO is working for the rebels. People don’t dare complain about the rebels. They are scared for their lives and their family lives. We have met many people who have escaped these place with their lives, but most don’t want their names out because they have family left there and if they show their face or publicly speak about the rebel atrocities then the members of their families that are left will be killed. We know this from first hand, one of our group had this exact problem and could not be filmed, his father called him and said the rebels saw him on TV and if he spoke out one more time against them they would kill his brother one by one and then begin with his other family members.

Today we went to the Roxis hotel. There was a large group of women and children holding signs up that said “tell the TRUTH”, “thank you Qatar for killing our people”, “thank you NATO for destroying our country”. WE love the leader of our revolution, M. Ghadafi. I stopped and took photos and the women came up to me instantly, they thought I was a reporter as all the reporters stay in the Roxis Hotel. They were quite angry and said, TELL THE TRUTH, we want to see the TRUTH outside of Libya we are sick of the lies. One lady had a very small boy with her (maybe 3 years old) he was dressed in a military outfit, he was black, she said you see my son, even our children will fight against this terror, we will never accept NATO or the rebel RATs. [Note: the Libyan people call the rebels "rats."]

This is literally everywhere in Tripoli, tonight thousands were on First of September street in support of their revolutionary leader.

In all the time (5.5 years) we have come here we have never heard of oppression by Ghadafi, the people have great respect and love for him. They all wear green and wear photos of him around their necks, believe me the Western news is so far from the truth they are on another planet. We have never seen anybody beaten, harassed, in prison, in fact we have been days and never even seen a policeman unlike our trips to Cairo where armed guards are on every corner, with tanks around Mosques on Fridays. Believe us, before this mess, it was safer in Tripoli than in Houston.

This is not the Libyan way, they don’t pass out Viagra, this is from the Western mind – I may explode before long, cannot suffer fools lightly and these people have mouths that are not connected to souls.

The final two verifiable truths about the atrocities committed by NATO and the Rebels and the US and UK are:

1. The leader of a tribe of 1 million Libyans living in Benghazi was brutally murdered in his home by the rebels after a kangaroo court which was broadcast in the news on TV here in Libya by Dr. Shakeer. The million people tribe wanted to retaliate against all the rebels, the other tribal leaders and Ghadafi told them please do not kill all these people as there has already been too much bloodshed in Libya. Does this sound like a tyrant?

2. Two days later another pro Ghadafi person was murdered, his head was cut off and placed at the door step of the security office in Dharna (he was a tribal leader) the outrage by most of the population in Dharna was expressed in demonstrations of disgust against the rebels and at the end of the day, the green flag of the legitimate government of Libya was flying. The three major tribes in Dharna proclaimed that they had had enough of the death at the hands of these rats and the Council of Shame as they call the revolution council in Benghazi.

All of these facts are true and verifiable by video and by affidavit of those present, this xxxx cannot prove one thing that he is saying.

The word of some paid CIA mercenary is not worth ****.

Susan believe us when we say, we have huge amounts of documentation, we are collecting it every day. We must file war crime charges against Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron, and NATO.

Question the Libyans constantly ask is: “Who are these countries to dictate who our leader should or should not be, we will pick our own leader, we ask for a vote, let us vote and then you will see who should be our leader.” NATO will never dictate to us, if they impose their puppet leader upon us, we will have another revolution and throw him out, he will not last one week.

The biggest population is Libya as you know, is in the west, the more NATO rains down destruction upon them the more they back Ghadafi. These are a strong and resilient people, they have an ancient culture and they are an endangered species. Misinformation is the tool of the West not Libya. We have nothing to gain by helping these people (except our souls). One cannot stand by and witness this type of tyranny without doing everything possible to stop it.

God Bless them, I pray they will survive this siege that is upon them.

Susan Lindauer covered the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations for seven years before the invasion. She is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq. Read other articles by Susan.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by Steven Gaal
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if you have read the evidence as I have done, and knew some of the families of the victims, as I do, then you couldn't deny that the German disco bombing and Lockerbie were done by Libyan terrorists on behalf of Gadhafi, probably using the ton of C4 explosives provided by CIA agent Ed Wilson, whose wife used to run an antiques store on the Jersey Shore. And thanks for not posting all your research into how the 1969 coup was a popular uprising of 50 officers, led by Gadhafi, who drove his VW Bug into Martyr's Square in Tripoli that he renamed Green Square in honor of his "revolution." Well now you are witnessing a real revolution, and not one instigated by the CIA or NATO.

If Russ Baker doesn't believe that Gadhafi forces raped the women of Misrata, then I no longer believe what he wrote about the Bush family.

If Susan Lindauer says that rebel forces ask families in Misrata if they support the rebels, and if not they are killed, then it would be impossible to believe her since the brave people of Libya's third largest city have withstood a siege and steady bombardment of artillery, mortars and rockets for three months until just last week when they broke out and are now on the road to Tripoli.

As Peter Dale Scott says, rape by enemy forces has been used by both sides in every conflict and was used to justify US invasion of Iraq, so it is a hot-button issue, but I say it is hard not to acknowledge the evidence contained on the cell phones of the dead Gadhafi soldiers in Misrata that show them gang raping young women in front of their families and shooting prisoners with hands tied behind their backs.

Cynthia McKinney is in Tripoli today on a mission to "investigate" the damage being done by NATO bombing and she visited a university where she claimed the students were fighting over girls, and a wayward NATO bomb or missile had destroyed a building, though she acknowledged no one was injured, and the people are confident that the NATO bombs are not targeting them to the point where they go about their daily business.

From Cynthia McKinney: Day Two: Wayne Madsen in Libya - photos (31)

Another former associate of mine, former Navy and NSA veteran Wayne Madsen, is in Libya for the same reason, to rant and rave against US and NATO policies but aren't there to report on the real conditions, or what the Gadhafi army has been doing to its own citizens, especially the mountain tribes who have come out and are now supporting the rebels. WAYNE MADSEN REPORT - Wayne Madsen

I get daily reports from these people, who I know have a personal bias against the US military no matter what it does, and also have received phone calls from Tripoli from reporters, including Simon Denyer, archive | Staff | washingtonpost.com a real war correspondent who read and utilized the info in my blogs Revolutionary Program - that I started in the early days of the Arab Revolution before it even hit Libya, and Remember the Intrepid, which I began in 2008 when I worked with a group that was working personally with Saif Gadhafi.

I know these people and have communicated with them, and know the history of US involvement in Libya goes back two hundred years, and is more complicated than just rapes and bombings.

So don't be posting and quoting intellectual idiots like Cockburn and people like Susan Lindaur, who if what she writes was true, would herself be raped and killed by the rebels, but since she's still alive and writing her gibberish, believed only by people like you, it's quite clear that she is wrong. As are my friends - and I still consider them my friends, and agree with them about Iraq and Afghanistan, and argue with them over the truth of what is happening in Libya -

Revolutionary Program: Open Letter to Cynthia McKinney

But I don't understand why, after years of rebelling against US government and military policy, when a real revolution happens in our lifetime, they support the dictators instead.

Bill Kelly

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 2 weeks later...

WA student murdered by Gaddafi marksman

EXCLUSIVE Joseph Catanzaro, The West AustralianJune26, 2011, 9:30 am

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/9710024/wa-student-murdered-by-gaddafi-marksman/

A Perth student has been murdered bysoldiers loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime after returning home to Libya because he was worried abouthis family's welfare.

Thedeath of the 27-year-old University of WA English language student Omar Swyeb inApril has raised fears among the several hundred Libyans studying in WA. Manysay they and their children will be imprisoned or killed when their visasexpire and they are forced to return home.

Aninvestigation by _The Weekend West _also uncovered claims that a smallcontingent of students loyal to Gaddafi were spies for the regime in Perth andwere taking names and photographs of rebel sympathisers to add to a Libyansecret police blacklist, which earmarked dissidents for death or prison.

Inthe wake of the reports, the Greens will announce today that the party hasmoved in the Senate to have student visas for Libyans extended until the crisisin the war-torn country has been resolved.

OnCurtin University campus yesterday, outside asmall building set aside as a Muslim prayer room, many Libyan students saidthey were too afraid to be seen talking.

One26-year-old who did not want to be named, said his brother had telephoned andwarned him not to go back to Libya, because secret police hadarrived at the family home after footage was posted on YouTube of him in a Perth protest.

Oneman who wasn't afraid to speak out was Hamza Eldenferiq, Mr Swyeb's bestfriend. They were both from the rebel-held western city of Misrata and Mr Eldenferiq is convincedhe would be killed in Libya simply because of where he grewup.

Strugglingto hold back tears, he spoke about the death of his friend, who had been"like a brother".

Describedas a happy young man who had enjoyed taking road trips around WA since arrivingabout a year ago, Mr Swyeb returned to his besieged home town of Misrata in March.

"Hewas always smiling, he had a sense of humour," Mr Eldenferiq, 26, said."He was worried about his family, because they are in trouble; that is whyhe went back."

BiancaPanizza, director of UWA Centre for English Language Teaching, said staff hadpleaded with the "very bright" student not to go.

ButMr Swyeb would not be deterred, dodging checkpoints by hitching a ride in Benghazi on a small boat smuggling gunsinto Misrata.

OnApril 24, he was among a group of rebels that clashed with soldiers invadingthe town.

"Hewas trying to push the soldiers to get out of Misrata because they wereshooting civilians," Mr Eldenferiq said.

"Oneof the snipers shot him in the heart." Another friend, 41-year-old Curtinstudent Jalal Srar, said Mr Swyeb's death proved how dangerous it was forLibyans to return home.

Hisstudent visa about to expire, he feared what would happen to his wife and threeyoung children when they returned to Libya.

Otherstudents were growing desperate because the study allowance from the LibyanGovernment they relied on had been cut off. Murdoch student, Wesa, 56, said ithad been three months since he had received any money.

EveryLibyan interviewed independently said that even in WA, they were not beyond thereach of the Gaddafi regime. Mr Eldenferiq had been warned by students who haddefected from the pro-Gaddafi faction that there were spies working for theregime in Perth.

WAGreens Senator Scott Ludlam said his party's motion came after the precedentset by former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, who in 1989 granted about 19,000Chinese nationals visas to stay in Australia after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Upfor a vote on July 4, the motion proposes students from war-torn countries,including Libya, Syria and Bahrain, be allowed to stay in Australia until it issafe to return to their homes and that work restrictions be lifted in cases offinancial hardship.

A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said anyof the 1446 Libyan students in Australia who believed it was unsafe toreturn home - where rebels claim the conflict has now claimed more than 10,000lives since it began in February - could make an application for a further visain Australia.

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