Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crusaders bomb Libya, says Tripoli ;Putin agrees

Crusaders bomb Libya, says Tripoli ;Putin agrees

I Have Seen this Military-Porno-Movie before.

British Lawyers ;UN Resolution 1973 allows removal of Col Gaddafi 

 By K.Gajendra Singh.22 March, 2011


"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever." - George Orwell.(A comment on Western power ,hegemony and civilization-author), 

"The Security Council resolution [1973] is deficient and flawed; it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. It effectively allows intervention in a sovereign state." Russian PM Vladimir Putin 

"United States air superiority is now so total that "war" no longer accurately describes its one-sided battles. With the risk to US fighter pilots almost as slight as for those flying unmanned drones from Nevada, the days of noble dogfights are over, as Afghans, Pakistanis and now Libyans face attack from a foe sophisticated and distant enough to be feared as a predatory, malign god.-- No knights of the air. No dogfights and sky-jousts. No valor. Just one-sided slaughter and targeted assassinations. That is where air power has ended up. "- Tom Engelhardt 

 (But it misleads political leaders who are seduced by power point projections of how air power can win as happened in Iraq war and even the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006-author)   

During the last few weeks watching BBC and CNN and surfing Western corporate online media ,the similarity with the US led illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 is uncanny and nauseating. On the 16th of March 2003, US president George Bush describing the summit with British PM Tony Blair and Portuguese premier  Jose Maria Aznar as "Moment of Truth' for the World on Iraq demanded that Saddam  'disarm or it's war.' They decided to ignore the U.N. Security Council and declare war on their own accord. There was fierce opposition in the UNSC from Paris and Berlin . 

This time the crucial meeting was held on 19 March at Elysee Palace ,Paris after the Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) two days earlier which affirmed, unequivocally, the international community's determination to fulfill its responsibility to protect civilians from violence perpetrated upon them by their own Government. In adopting this resolution, the Security Council placed great importance on the appeal of the League of Arab States for action.( Arab League is now not happy .The African Union was and remains opposed to the military action against Tripoli) 

French president Sarcozy was leading and cheerleading for the bombing of Libya ,having even recognized the ragtag group of Libyan opposition based in the Bengazi in Libya's East , where oil wells are located .The Germany abstained on the vote for the creation of a NO FLY ZONE (NFZ).So did Russia, China, India and Brazil. The German ambassador to UN said ,"Decisions regarding the use of military force were always extremely difficult to take. Indeed, in the implementation of the resolution just adopted, Germany saw great risks, and the likelihood of large-scale loss of life should not be underestimated. Those that participated in its implementation could be drawn into a protracted military conflict that could draw in the wider region."  

Unlike 2003 the position of the US administration wavered and remains confused . Defense secretary Robert Gates had even warned that US entanglement in another war in Middle East will be fool hardy , with Hilary Clinton agreeing ,but finally Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Hussein Obama joined the warmongers. He even declared that Gaddafi must go.


Let us look at the defense expenditure figures of the parties to the conflict.US spends around $700 billion, France and UK around $70 billion each. Libyan defense expenditure is less than $ one billion (Iraqi defense budget was $ 3 to 5 billion in 2003.Gen Powell called the illegal 'Shock and awe ' a great military operation !) No wonder north Korea wants to increase its nuclear and missile deterrent  to survive the Western warmongers egged on by military-industry complex and financiers, mostly Jews , who benefit from wars and promote them.


The air war on a weak Libya is an obscene display of Western war making machinery and for trying out the newer and latest technological innovations in destruction with little fear of retaliation, to teach a lesson to the natives ie Arabs, Africans and Asians and others and to intimidate and frighten them into submission , a policy pursued since centuries .Air war is the latest version of Gunboat diplomacy . 

The Western Warmongers exhibit brutal Power

US naval vessels fired more than 100 cruise missiles from the sea on 19 March, targeting air defense installations on or near the Mediterranean coastline, not under rebels .US cruise missile attack was on Libya's SA-5 surface-to-air missiles, considered a moderate threat to some allied aircraft. The equipment is from older Soviet technology of 1970s and 80s.Sarcozy's French fighter jets targeted Gaddafi's forces from the air while protecting rebels' territory , which according to Paris is defacto independent . British tried their Tomahawk cruise missiles


Also targeted were early warning radars and unspecified communications facilities West specially US and UK acquired extensive experience in such combat missions by repeated attacks on Iraq's air defenses during the 1990s while enforcing a no-fly zone over Iraq's Kurdish north.


Cruise missiles are the weapon of first choice in such campaigns; no pilots at risk, navigational technologies provide precision. But many times in Iraq and in Libya now civilian facilities are hit .

 The missile assault was the first phase of a multistage mission


The western coalition has 25 vessels with at least 11 US naval vessels in the Mediterranean, including three submarines, two destroyers (USS Barry and USS Stout), two amphibious warfare ships (the USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce), and the USS Mount Whitney, a command-and-control vessel that is the flagship of the Navy's Sixth Fleet.Also in the area are Navy P-3 and EP-3 surveillance aircraft, officials said.


After 12 hours the effectiveness of  the strikes will be checked. A high-altitude Global Hawk unmanned surveillance plane would overfly the target areas to get a more precise view

Italy , which had the closest relations has offered the use of seven air and navy bases already used by US, NATO, and Italian forces. The Sigonella base's size and proximity to Libya makes it a key staging point .Italy's defense minister, Ignazio La Russa, said that Italy also was prepared to offer "moderate but determined'' military support. Warplanes from Canada, Denmark, and Spain arrived at Italian air bases yesterday. There are new American F-18s, two C-17s and a C-130 cargo plane landed at Aviano, home to the 31st Fighter Wing. France deployed eight Rafale and four Mirage jets to survey rebel-held Benghazi. France also sent six C-135 refueling tankers, and one AWACS surveillance plane. French plane fired on a Libyan military vehicle in the first military strike of the operation.


France also sent six C-135 refueling tankers, and one AWACS surveillance plane. Warplanes from Canada, Denmark, and Spain arrived at Italian air bases .Britain's air base in southern Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, is supporting AWACS surveillance aircraft, and Britain has a team of personnel there to coordinate British aircraft movement.


There is a big list of hardware which will suitably impress the Gaddafi and his supporters .Around 60 civilians have been killed around Tripoli. 

With protests pouring in about the expansion and misinterpretation of the UNSC resolution 1973 , Gen. Carter Ham, the head of U.S. Africa Command, said from his headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. ,"We protect civilians. We do not have a mission to support the opposition." 

Ham acknowledged that the line is sometimes fuzzy between helping opposition forces and protecting civilians. Some opposition forces might be "basically civilians trying to protect their civilian lives, business and families," he said. If coalition aircraft will come up against the Libyan military's air defense systems in the West , "Where we encounter them, we will attack them," he added. Almost a carte blanche.


Russian PM Vladimir Putin has come down heavily on the western sir strikes on Libya.


 "The Security Council resolution [1973] is deficient and flawed; it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. It effectively allows intervention in a sovereign state." He added, "This U.S. policy is becoming a stable trend," recalling the U.S. air strikes on Belgrade under Bill Clinton and Afghanistan and Iraq under the two Bush administrations. "Now it's Libya's turn - under the pretext of protecting civilians. Where is the logic and conscience? There is neither. The ongoing events in Libya confirm that Russia is right to strengthen her defense capabilities."


Rift  with President Medvedev.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed as "unacceptable" Putin's description of Western-led attacks on Libya as a "medieval call for a crusade."  This is their first public foreign-policy dispute. Putin, spoke amid a visit to Russia by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


"It's unacceptable to use terms that effectively lead to a clash of civilizations like the crusades," Medvedev said, "Otherwise things could end far worse than what's happening now." Medvedev regretted the civilian casualties caused by the allied campaign."I don't consider this resolution to be wrong, and in fact I consider that it broadly reflects our view of what is happening in Libya, although not across the board," Medvedev said. "That's why we didn't use our right of veto."


The differences  have come up a year before the next presidential election, in which both Putin and Medvedev might run. Putin had also criticized UN resolution 1973 that authorized military action by the U.S. and its allies.


"Under Bill Clinton they bombed Yugoslavia and Belgrade. Bush sent troops into Afghanistan and under completely false pretenses, they sent troops to Iraq and liquidated the entire Iraqi leadership," On a visit to Votkinsk in central Russia Putin said 21 March . 

'Foreign Policy Mistake' 

Putin's reaction may signal that he wasn't fully satisfied with how Medvedev handled the decision to abstain on the Libyan resolution, said Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow. The president as head of state formally has the final say on foreign policy. 

 "It seems as though Putin wasn't fully informed about this decision and is irritated that Russia made what he considers a foreign policy mistake," said Lukyanov. 

The differences also highlight the mental makeup of the two men. Putin is nationalist said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who studies Russia's elites. Medvedev, a trained lawyer who is more accommodating to the U.S. and other Western powers, "is earning plaudits on the international stage, while Putin is earnings plaudits inside the country," Kryshtanovskaya said."The Russian population backs Putin's view that the U.S. is guilty of imperialism," she said. Medvedev, as head of state, formally has the final say on foreign policy. Medvedev is creation of Putin and did not live through the post Yeltsin era , when Russia was besieged by USA. 

Democratic Rep.Dennis Kucinich calls for Obama's Impeachment. 

In an exclusive interview with Raw Story on 21 March, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) tore into President Barack Obama's decision to order U.S. air strikes against Libya, opening the door for impeachment while emphatically declaring that Obama violated the Constitution. 

"President Obama moved forward without the Congress approving. He didn't have Congressional authorization, he has gone against the Constitution, and that's got to be said," Kucinich told Raw Story. "It's not even disputable, this isn't even a close question. Such an action -- that involves putting America's service men and women into harm's way, whether they're in the Air Force or the Navy -- is a grave decision that cannot be made by the president alone." 

Second thoughts in Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi 


It would appear that the countries ( Russia, China, India and Brazil) which abstained on resolution 1973 on Libya have allowed themselves to unwittingly support US led scheme for regime change in Libya by elimination of Col Gaddafi .According to media reports some international lawyers believe that targeting Gaddafi is allowed by UN resolution


But the regime change which many in US and Europe want is not specified in any of the 29 points of the UN text. But the phrase in UN resolution 1973 – "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack" – gives war mongers enough latitude in doing so .


Barak Obama ,had declared that Gaddafi must go .US military spokesman said that regime change was not on cards yet  .


"Sometimes these UN resolutions are [deliberately] not clear," said Anthony Aust, a former British Foreign Office legal adviser who helped draft the Kuwait resolution in 1990. "They are ambiguous because it's the only way to avoid a veto." The ambiguities created by such loose phrasing may even have been intentional.


Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London, said , "The authorisation of 'all necessary measures' is broad and appears to allow the targeting of Gaddafi and others who act to put civilians 'under threat of attack', words that go beyond the need to establish a connection with actual attacks.


Malcolm Shaw, professor of international law at Leicester University, said: "Anything that supports Libyan jets – including the military command structure, airfields and anti-aircraft batteries – would be legitimate."


Britain is contemplating direct attacks on the Libyan leader on the grounds that he is behind the orders to attack civilians in Benghazi, Misrata and other rebellious cities. The British defence secretary Liam Fox told BBC Radio: "It would potentially be a possibility. We are very careful to avoid [civilian casualties] for humanitarian reasons, [and] for the propaganda reasons that it would provide for the regime itself."


British foreign secretary William Hague also did not deny that Gaddafi could become a target by refusing to "get drawn into details about what or whom may be targeted", adding: "I'm not going to speculate on the targets ... That depends on the circumstances at the time."


But the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, who was opposed to any intervention took a different take on the resolution."The one thing that there is common agreement on are the terms set forth in the security council resolution," he said. "If we start adding additional objectives then I think we create a problem in that respect. 

Extracts from my article "Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Rule of Law" dated July 6,2004 

Saddam Hussein and US Policy on Assassinations 

It will remain a matter of speculation why the US led Coalition decided to 'capture' Saddam Hussein last December and not kill him or had him assassinated as they had tried earlier many times. After all his sons Uday and Qusay could have been captured by waiting out but were killed in north Iraq city of Mosul after a 6 hour fierce battle. The last to go down fighting against almost impossible odds was Saddam Hussein's grandson Mustafa Hussein, not yet accused of any crimes . 

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Coalition commander in Iraq had said ,"We remain focused on finding, fixing, killing or capturing all members of the high-value target list." US Administrator L. Paul Bremer appearing on NBC TV's "Meet the Press said without any compunction, "The sooner we can either kill him (Saddam Hussein) or capture him, the better." 

Before the war the US government spokesman had publicly suggested assassination of Saddam Hussein saying that "one bullet would do". White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said "People who are in charge of fighting the war to kill United States troops cannot assume that they will be safe," thus making it clear that Saddam Hussein was included. USA targeted Saddam Hussein many times, based on intelligence reports, but failed to assassinate him. It only brought destruction and death– some more collateral damage. 

In theory, pursuing with intent to kill violates a long-standing US policy banning political assassination. It was President Ford who had put a ban on assassinations in a 1976 executive order. It was reinforced by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and made no distinction between wartime and peacetime. There are no loop holes. How ever bad the leader might be, he could not be targeted by US directly or by a hired gun. But winking at assassination or murder seems to have become a normal policy when it suits. 

The ban was placed after a Senate committee had disclosed a series of US assassination attempts abroad for many years, and not all successful .There were as many as eight attempts on the life of Cuban president Fidel Castro. Patrice Lumumba of the Congo in 1961 and Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam in 1963 were both assassinated, with suspicions about the hand of US agencies. There are many other examples .Assassination was also a weapon of retaliation, like against Libya when its agents allegedly killed US soldiers in a disco in Germany in 1986 and the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 in which 270 persons, mostly American, were killed. 

When asked if the 1986 bombing of Moammar Gadhafi's residence in 1986 was an effort to kill him, President Reagan said ,"I don't think any of us would have shed tears if that had happened,". Recent U.S. assassination attempts have included Osama bin Laden, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic among others. 

Abraham Sofaer, a former State Department legal adviser theorized that, "If a leader ... is responsible for killing Americans, and is planning to kill more Americans ... it would be perfectly proper to kill him rather than to wait until more Americans were killed." Never mind that a White House spokesman said just before the war on Iraq, "There's an executive order that prohibits the assassination of foreign leaders, and that remains in place." 

It will be interesting to learn what policy if any is followed by USA on assassination of foreign leaders . 

K Gajendra Singh served as ambassador of India to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he was ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. Apart from postings in Dakar, Paris, Bucharest , the author spent his diplomatic career in North Africa , Middle east and Turkic countries ( ten years in Turkey in two tenures ). 

He spent 1976 with National Defence college , New Delhi , established the Foreign Service Institute for training of diplomats ( 1987-89), was chairman / managing director of IDPL , India's largest Drugs and Pharmaceuticals company ( 1985  and 1986 ) and while posted at Amman( 1989-92) evacuated nearly 140,000 Indian nationals who had come from Kuwait. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

‘Humanitarian Imperialism’ in Libya Could End the Whiteman’s Burden!

'Humanitarian Imperialism' in Libya Could End the 

Whiteman's Burden!

"Using force to stop slaughter is lawful. The duty to stop the mass murder of innocents, as best we can, has crystallised to make the use of force by Nato not merely 'legitimate' but lawful." Geoffrey Robertson QC ,a member of the UN's justice council


David Cameron, now heading a coalition government of a bankrupt United Kingdom , along with some elements in France and elsewhere in Europe is raring to go to war on Libya in the 21 century version of Whiteman's burden .Still drunk with the colonial power hangover ,Cameron is an apt successor of Tony Blair , who told lies before the 2003 invasion of Iraq and joined George Bush in spite of the original legal advice that it was illegal .Though accused of various crimes he is still roaming around relatively free.


Day of Reckoning

Josh Gerstein wrote in 'Politico' on 22 February ,2011 that the US Justice Department has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials - including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aide Paul Wolfowitz - in a lawsuit by Jose Padilla, who spent years behind bars without charges in conditions his lawyers compare to torture.


Ray McGovern , former CIA officer and now a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) wrote in Information Clearing House on19 February 2011 that former president George Bush abruptly canceled his scheduled appearance that week in Geneva to avoid the risk of arrest on a torture charge. 

Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialism

Writing in Counterpunch.org , Jean Brichmont says that "The whole gang is back' which includes the parties of the European Left and other assorted groups , Bernard-Henry Lévy and Bernard Kouchner, calling for some sort of "humanitarian intervention" against the "Libyan tyrant."

It reminds me of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo war to stop a nonexistent genocide. Since then US led West after the illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq ,has resulted in over 1.4 million Iraqis deaths and the destruction of the country .These European leaders of humanitarian intervention in Libya do not talk of genocide in Iraq. Was not the Afghan war to protect women (go and check their situation now), and the Iraq war to protect the Kurds and find weapons of mass destruction (none were found ). Was not even Hitler "protecting minorities" in Czechoslovakia and Poland, scoffs Brichmont . 

(At New Delhi's National Defence College Seminar last year on the-'Role of Force in Strategic Affairs , Lawrence Freedman ,a member of the Chilcot Enquiry , while presiding at a session claimed that the Iraq invasion was to quickly make a regime change and come out. He even contested my claim, based on my over 50 articles ( 2002 to 2010) on the Iraq war that both former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former Fed reserve chief Alan Greenspan had proclaimed that the invasion was for Iraq's oil .Wikileaks has confirmed that the Chiclot Enquiry is but a whitewash to help save Tony Blair's skin !)

Likely ramifications of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya

Mike Lind writes in Salon ,"The implication [of McCain, Lieberman, Kerry et al.] is that the enforcement of "no-fly zones," by the U.S. alone or with NATO allies, would be a moderate, reasonable measure short of war, like a trade embargo. In reality, declaring and enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya would be a radical act of war. It would require the U.S. not only to shoot down Libyan military aircraft but also to bomb Libya in order to destroy anti-aircraft defenses. Under any legal theory, bombing a foreign government's territory and blasting its air force out of the sky is war.

"Could America's war in Libya remain limited? The hawks glibly promise that the U.S. could limit its participation in the Libyan civil war to airstrikes, leaving the fighting to Libyan rebels.

"These assurances by the hawks are ominously familiar."

Lind then traces us back through the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that each of these turned into wars of larger scale than intended (Afghanistan and Iraq were supposed to be quick and easy, remember?).                                                              

"Stay the Course '  He concludes ;  "The lesson of these three wars is that the rhetoric of lift-and-strike is a gateway drug that leads to all-out American military invasion and occupation. Once the U.S. has committed itself to using limited military force to depose a foreign regime, the pressure to "stay the course" becomes irresistible. If lift-and-strike were to fail in Libya, the same neo-con hawks who promised that it would succeed would not apologize for their mistake. Instead, they would up the ante. They would call for escalating American involvement further, because America's prestige would now be on the line. They would denounce any alternative as a cowardly policy of "cut and run." And as soon as any American soldiers died in Libya, the hawks would claim that we would be betraying their memory, unless we conquered Libya and occupied it for years or decades until it became a functioning, pro-American democracy.

"Those who are promoting an American war against Gadhafi must answer the question: "You and whose army?" The term "jingoism" comes from a Victorian British music-hall ditty: "We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do,/ We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too." Unfortunately for 21st-century America's jingoes, we haven't got the ships, the men or the money."(As for the men, late decorated US Marine Col Murtha had said in 2006 that the US army was broken in Iraq.)

'No-fly zone' is a euphemism for war

Similar views are expressed by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian of 9 March ;" We'd be mad to try it.

 "Cameron's urge to dust himself in military glory may be strong, but he should not interfere in the Libyan rebels' cause. The craving of politicians to dust themselves in military glory is as old as the hills, embedded in leadership psychosis. However daft a war may be, however illegal, however unwinnable, politicians seem helpless before the sound of trumpets and drums. Considerations of prudence, economy or overstretch are nothing. That Britain has been fighting and not winning two wars already in Muslim countries seems to teach nothing in Libya. Jingoism never dies.


"There is no point is repeating that Libya is not our country or our business. It was always going to be bloody one day. I find it incredible that Labour ministers, as they simpered in Gaddafi's presence, could have thought he would lie down like a lamb should his people rise against him. But unless we redefine words, he is not committing genocide and his brutality is hardly exceptional. If the rebels win it should be their victory, emerging from a new balance of power inside Libya. If they fail, they must fight another day. There is no good reason for us to intervene. However embattled they feel, Obama and Cameron should find other paths to glory." 

Cameron outlined his conversation with Obama on BBC1, "We have got to prepare for what we might have to do if he [Gaddafi] goes on brutalising his own people," he said."I had a phone call with President Obama this afternoon to talk about the planning we have to do in case this continues and in case he does terrible things to his own people. I don't think we can stand aside and let that happen." 

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister and the president agreed to press forward with planning, including at Nato on the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo , and a no fly zone. They committed to close co-ordination on next steps."

 US Secretaries of Defense and State oppose 'No Fly Zone "

But only last week Robert Gates , the US defense secretary, criticised "loose talk" over a no-fly zone and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautioned that a no-fly zone would need clear approval by the UN security council and warned of the dangers if the West took charge of any military operation Clinton told Sky News: "We think it's important that the United Nations make this decision, not the United States, and so far the United Nations has not done that.

"I think it's very important that this not be a US-led effort, because this comes from the people of Libya themselves, this doesn't come from the outside, this doesn't come from, you know, some western power, or some Gulf country saying, 'this is what you should do, this is how you should live'."

But British and French diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York have completed a draft resolution authorising the creation of a no-fly zone which could be put before the security council within hours if aerial bombing by pro-Gaddafi forces causes mass civilian casualties .

GCC and OIC oppose intervention

The Gulf Co-operation Council, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the secretary general of the Arab League have called for the protection of Libyan civilians while rejecting the intervention of western ground troops. Turkey, the most reluctant Nato member state, has relaxed its opposition and allowed contingency planning to go ahead. Last week Turkish PM Recep Erdogan had opposed any intervention and described it unacceptable . Both Moscow and China are opposed to Western proposal for a 'No Fly Zone.' 

Even India , now member of UNSC for two years opposes it. "As of now we are not in favour of a no-fly zone. We are opposed to use of force," Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told The Hindu newspaper. "Among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, questions have been raised and reservations expressed," she said. 

The decision to step up air and sea monitoring was taken on Monday by NATO Council at a meeting of ambassadors from Nato's 28 member states. Guardian reported that the West was preparing to act to protect Libyan citizens from Gadhafi forces. 

Western Intervention for Libya and its Oil is On

Prof Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 'Global Research' that "Operation Libya" and "the Battle for Oil" is already on. The US and NATO are supporting an armed insurrection in Eastern Libya, with a view to justifying a "humanitarian intervention". 

"This is not a non-violent protest movement as in Egypt and Tunisia. Conditions in Libya are fundamentally different. The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. The insurrection in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. 

( King Idris was overthrown by Col Gadhafi in 1969 .He was then a Captain but like his idol Col Abdul Gamal Nasser he did not promote himself beyond the rank of a Colonel ) 

"US and NATO military advisers and special forces are already on the ground. The operation was planned to coincide with the protest movement in neighbouring Arab countries. Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.  

"The real objective of "Operation Libya" is not to establish democracy but to take possession of Libya's oil reserves, destabilize the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and eventually privatize the country's oil industry, namely transfer the control and ownership of Libya's oil wealth into foreign hands. The National Oil Corporation (NOC) is ranked 25 among the world's Top 100 Oil Companies. Libya is among the World's largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.

"The planned invasion of Libya, which is already underway is part of the broader "Battle for Oil".  Close to 80 percent of Libya's oil reserves are located in the Sirte Gulf basin of Eastern Libya. The strategic assumptions behind "Operation Libya" are reminiscent of previous US-NATO military undertakings in Yugoslavia and Iraq.


"In Yugoslavia, US-NATO forces triggered a civil war. The objective was to create political and ethnic divisions, which eventually led to the break up of an entire country. This objective was achieved through the covert funding and training of armed paramilitary armies, first in Bosnia (Bosnian Muslim Army, 1991-95) and subsequently in Kosovo (Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), 1998-1999). In both Kosovo and Bosnia, media disinformation (including outright lies and fabrications) were used to support US-EU claims that the Belgrade government had committed atrocities, thereby justifying a military intervention on humanitarian grounds.(Kosovo now has a US military base called Bondsteel of nearly one thousand acres ,also used by Nato)


"Ironically, "Operation Yugoslavia" is now on the lips of US foreign policy makers: Senator Lieberman has "likened the situation in Libya to the events in the Balkans in the 1990s when he said the U.S. "intervened to stop a genocide against Bosnians. And the first we did was to provide them the arms to defend themselves. That's what I think we ought to do in Libya"


"The strategic scenario would be to push towards the formation and recognition of an interim government of the secessionist province, with a view to eventually breaking up the country.


"This option is already underway. The invasion of Libya has already commenced.Hundreds of US, British and French military advisers have arrived in Cyrenaica, Libya's eastern breakaway province,... The advisers, including intelligence officers, were dropped from warships and missile boats at the coastal towns of Benghazi and Tobruk" (DEBKAfile, US military advisers in Cyrenaica, February 25, 2011)


"US and allied special forces are on the ground in Eastern Libya, providing covert support to the rebels  This was recognized when British SAS Special Forces commandos were arrested in the Benghazi region. They were acting as military advisers to opposition forces:


British Agents Caught in Eastern Libya with their Pants Down

 " Eight British special forces commandos, on a secret mission to put British diplomats in touch with leading opponents of Col Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, ended in humiliation after they were held by rebel forces in eastern Libya ( The Sunday Times report).The men, armed but in plain clothes, claimed they were there to check the opposition's needs and offer help." ( Indian Express, March 6, 2011,)


The SAS forces were arrested while escorting a British "diplomatic mission" which entered the country illegally (no doubt from a British warship) for discussions with leaders of the rebellion. The British foreign office has acknowledged that "a small British diplomatic team  [had been] sent to eastern Libya to initiate contacts with the rebel-backed opposition


Ironically, the reports not only confirm Western military intervention (including several hundred special forces), they also acknowledge that the rebellion was firmly opposed to the illegal presence of foreign troops on Libyan soil:


"The SAS's intervention angered Libyan opposition figures who ordered the soldiers to be locked up on a military base. Gadaffi's opponents fear he could use any evidence of western military interference to rally patriotic support for his regime." The captured British "diplomat" with seven special forces soldiers was a member of British Intelligence, an MI6 agent on a "secret mission". 


"Confirmed by US NATO statements, weapons are being supplied to opposition forces. There are indications , although no clear evidence so far ,that weapons were delivered to the insurgents prior to the onslaught of the rebellion. In all likelihood, US NATO military and intelligence advisers were also on the ground prior to the insurgency. This was the pattern applied in Kosovo: special forces supporting and training the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the months prior to the 1999 bombing campaign and invasion of Yugoslavia." 


" In Washington and London, talk of military intervention on the side of the Libyan opposition was muted by the realization that field intelligence on both sides of the Libyan conflict was too sketchy to serve as a basis for decision-making. But The opposition movement is firmly divided regarding the issue of foreign intervention.The division is between the grassroots movement on the one hand and the US supported "leaders" of the armed insurrection who favor foreign military intervention on "humanitarian grounds".


The majority of the Libyan population, both the supporters and opponents of the regime, are firmly opposed to any form of outside intervention.

Extremist Elements in Eastern Libya

When Col Gadhafi said that the opposition to him also consists of Al Qaeda and other fundamentalists , he was laughed off by western leaders and its subservient media .But leaked diplomatic cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph disclose that eastern Libya could be under extremists intent on overthrowing Colonel Gadhafi's regime. The Daily Telegraph of 7 March reported that former jihadi fighters who underwent "religious and ideological training" in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the 1980s have returned to eastern towns in Libya such as Benghazi and Derna to propagate their Islamist beliefs.

One February 2008 US embassy cable to Washington reported a conversation with a local businessman who described the increasingly incendiary rhetoric at backstreet mosques in Derna, where coded talk of "martyrdom operations" had become commonplace. "By contrast with mosques in Tripoli and elsewhere in the country, where references to jihad are extremely rare, in Benghazi and Derna they are fairly frequent subjects,"it added. 

The unemployed, disfranchised young men of eastern Libya 'have nothing to lose' and were  'willing to sacrifice themselves' for something greater than themselves by engaging in extremism in the name of religion. Their lives mean nothing and they know it, so they seek to give meaning to their existence through their deaths'." "not everyone likes the bearded ones" (a reference to conservative imams), "it's jihad – it's our duty, and you're talking about people who don't have much else to be proud of", said a resident.

Another confidential cable to Washington from the US embassy in Tripoli in June 2008 described Derna as a "wellspring" of insurgent fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq.

Further Confusion

Writing on Race and Arab Nationalism , BAR executive editor Glen Ford says that US corporate media apart from spinning facts and telling lies understand little of the confused situation in Libya .The rebels claim that black  mercenaries from Sahara below are fighting for Gadhafi. It may be partly true but more than a million blacks from Libya's adjacent states , who are working in Libya , many for foreign firms are being treated and hounded like Blacks were in USA. 

"The testimony of black African victims is most disturbing. "We were being attacked by local people who said that we were mercenaries killing people. Let me say that they did not want to see black people," 60-year-old Julius Kiluu, an African building supervisor, told Reuters. Even in Tripoli, where the regime is not in full control of neighborhoods,Somalis told they were "being hunted on suspicion of being mercenaries" and "feel trapped and frightened to go out." Ethiopians told of being "dragged from their apartments, beaten up and showed to the world as mercenaries."Ethiopian News and Opinions reported that "Muammar Gadhafi haters are taking revenge on black Africans for money Gadhafi threw for many African dictators. The mob attacked and killed many Africans including Ethiopians for being only black." 

America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels

UK's 'Independent's well respected Middle East Correspondent Robert Fisk wrote on 7 March that Obama has  requested Saudi Arabia to airlift weapons into Benghazi .Riyadh has so far not responded  to Washington's highly classified request. But this is in line with Washington-Riyadh military co-operation in the past .The Saudis were deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration .It was this cooperation in 1980s along with many other western nations and Muslim countries against USSR that permanent nurseries were created in Pak-Af for training of terrorist cadres Their daily terrorist acts hang over the region , including India and are now chewing up the entrails of the Pakistan state itself . 

But the Saudi Kingdom itself had to face upto demonstrations in oil rich north east , where its Shia population is concentrated .It  adjoins Shia south Iraq and Shia majority Bahrain , the latter  under daily sit ins and demonstrations with many deaths .On Friday ,11 February, Riyadh faces , a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community .Of course Riyadh has banned all demonstrations and fatwas were issued by Sunni Clerics.

The continued agitation for majority rule in Bahrain and strikes in Saudi Arabia could be the thin edge of the wedge which could spark turmoil in the Kingdom , even beginning its unraveling , which would be a fatal blow to US dollar and US economic hegemony based on it . 

Interesting times ( as the Chinese would say ) are ahead for the region and the world . 

Libyan State-a brief history

The current official title of the state is the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya . 

Rock paintings and carvings at Wadi Mathendoud and the mountainous region of Jebel are the best sources of information about prehistoric Libya, and the pastoralist culture there. The paintings reveal that the Libyan Sahara contained rivers, grassy plateaus and an abundance of wildlife such as giraffes, elephants and crocodiles. There are underground lakes of water , now being exploited  (The lions in Greek and Romans stories like Androcles and the Lion and during gladiators contests were probably brought over from the forests of Libya ) 

Libya was part of , Carthagian ,Persian, Roman (with magnificent Roman ruins like those of Leptis Magna) and Byzantine empires. In 7 century, the Arabs from the deserts of Arabia under the banner of new faith Islam , conquered Libya and it remained apart of Umayyad and Abbassid empires .Later the Fatimids brought about the migration of as many as 200,000 families from two Bedouin tribes, the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to north Africa—this act completely altered the fabric of Libya and cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabisation of the region. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert. Barring intermittent intervention by the Christians, Libya remained under the Arab rule and was taken over by the Ottomans in mid 16 century . 

Libya became an independent Kingdom in 1952. 

Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometres (679,362 sq milies), making it the 17th largest nation by size in the world. The main language spoken in Libya is Arabic (Libyan dialect ) by 80% of the Libyans, and Modern Standard Arabic is also the official language; the Tamazight spoken by 20% (i.e. Berber and Tuareg languages), which do not have official status, are spoken by Libyan Berbers and Tuaregs in the south beside Arabic language. 

Native Libyans are primarily Berbers; Arabized Berbers and Turks; ethnic "pure" Arabs, mainly tribal desert "Bedouins "; and Tuaregs. Small Hausa, and Tebu tribal groups in southern Libya are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians), and Sub-Saharan Africans. In 2011, there were also an estimated 60,000 Bangladeshis, 30,000 Chinese , 30,000 Filipinos ,18000 Indians ( 12,000 have been evacuated so far) among others in Libya. 

 Libya is home to a large illegal population which numbers more than one million, mostly Egyptians and Sub-Saharan Africans. Libya has a small Italian minority. Previously, there was a visible presence of Italian settlers, but many left after independence in 1947 and many more left in 1970 . 

Libya is a tribal society.  There are about 140 tribes and clans in Libya. Thirty of them are the key, one of them - Warfalla – boasts of 1 million people (out of a population of 6.2 million). Often, they bear the names of the cities they come from. Family life is important for Libyan families


Some observations

While neighbour Egypt has a big population of over 80 million, it is mostly concentrated in the valley of river Nile with an area of around 3% only of the country. Based on agriculture it has been a regulated and well organized polity almost since Pharaohnic times. Libya is a nomadic and tribal jungle and it would not be easy to control it. Even in Iraq , in spite of best US efforts the local populations has not allowed oil production to even come up to Saddam Hussein era level . Any Western intervention in Libya would be like entering a wasps nest . Another quagmire like in Iraq and Afghanistan!

Western intervention will give freer hand to Tehran to fulfill its regional ambitions , which had gained by US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan .The historic blunder of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' has brought Shias to power in Baghdad in place of Sunnis for the first time since Ottoman days and with the ending of the Saddam Hussein regime.

US led West has its hands full with unmanageable problems around Afghanistan (and Iraq ) which in the words of Prof Paul Kennedy is a Gordian Knot so vexed and complicated that it would have tested the wisdom of the greatest leaders and strategists of the past. Imagine "Augustus, William Pitt the Elder, Bismarck or George Marshall pondering over a map which detailed the lands that stretch from the Bekaa Valley to the Khyber Pass. None of them would have liked what they saw." Now add Arabs in revolt from Morocco to Saudi Arabia . What if Palestinians also revolt in Occupied Territories , for example !

K.Gajendra Singh, Mayur Vihar, Delhi.10 March, 2011. 

K Gajendra Singh served as ambassador of India to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he was ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. Apart from postings in Dakar, Paris, Bucharest , the author spent his diplomatic career in North Africa , Middle east and Turkic countries ( ten years in Turkey in two tenures ). 

He spent 1976 with National Defence college , New Delhi , established the Foreign Service Institute for training of diplomats ( 1987-89), was chairman / managing director of IDPL , India's largest Drugs and Pharmaceuticals company ( 1985  and 1986 ) and while posted at Amman( 1989-92) evacuated nearly 140,000 Indian nationals who had come from Kuwait. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author http://tarafits.blogspot.com/


Monday, March 7, 2011

Protests in Saudi Arabia

Protests  in Saudi Arabia

6 March, 2011


Since the fire of Arab masses revolt against west supported rulers with a spark from Tunis after  engulfing Egypt ,the centre piece and prime mover of Arab Sunni Islam is now smouldering from Morocco to occupied Iraq , Shia Bahrain and even inside oil rich Saudi Arabia ,it is necessary to study that country , which remains closed and veiled .


I have gone on a limb , since last few years stating that as long as the Saudi Dynasty is there ,its symbiotic alliance with Wahabbis will keep the Muslims backwards and looking to Riyadh from its excessive petrodollars for Qurans, mosques, and funds for Jihadis and terrorists in non-Muslim and even Muslim countries  (Crown Prince Hassan used to bemoan about it to me in Amman-1989-92).


It is no secret that Washington provides protection and security (why no coups or regime changes in GCC ) to Saud Dynasty in exchange for exploitation of ME oil and for protecting and promoting US interests in the region and elsewhere  .US along with UK, Israel and Saud dynasty/Wahabis and Pak Army/ISI is the real axis of evil or Septagon responsible for keeping Muslims backwards and under dictatorship and the mayhem in the region


It is worthwhile perusing my 4 year old in depth essay on Saudi Arabia .



The US-Saudi-Wahabi Nexus !


"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role", Leo Tolstoy


By K Gajendra Singh  www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16041.htm



01/01/07 "Information Clearing House" -- -- When the powerful US Vice-President Dick Cheney made a rare long haul to Riyadh in November , reportedly it was to create against Iran , Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon , a new US led Sunni alliance in the region, composed of   the six Gulf Co-operation Council states, pro-US Arab governments in Cairo and Amman and willing NATO allies with covert support from Israel.----- 




But do not hold your breath .Democracy , even like US (2000 elections ) or India's (corrupt and callous ) will emerge . The first step will be military rule .What kind of military does Riyadh have ? From which tribes it recruits soldiers  !!. 


Once the fat is in fire in the Gulf where millions of Indians are employed ,what happens if a few hundred thousand if not more Indians have to flee the Gulf.


I had evacuated 138,000 Indians by air from Amman in 1990-91 .I know how disorganised MEA and the govt is .And ungrateful.


Iran as Persia , which used to influence events into Eastern Libya, across Dardanelles and later contest Iraq with Romans and Byzantines , must be watching and trying to influence the events .


I used to enjoy having the French and Iranian ambassadors for lunch in Ankara and listen to them discussing the international events .The Iranian ambassador , a former Pasardani ( intelligence ) was alleged to have encouraged the Kuwaitis , along with the perfidious Brits ,while posted there in 1990s to defy the Iraqis .With what results ! He was later declared persona non-grata and had to leave Turkey.


We would have enjoyed the fun if we were not saddled with a dysfunctional anarchy .


Cheers and take care  6 March, 2011.Delhi


This what Financial Times has to say


Financial Times



Protests build across Saudi Arabia

By Abeer Allam in Riyadh

Published: March 4 2011 22:05 | Last updated: March 4 2011 22:05


Demonstrators staged a rare rally after Friday prayers in Riyadh, marking the first such protest in the Saudi capital, as the kingdom braced itself for an Egypt-inspired "Friday of Rage" next week.

Meanwhile, small protests continued in the oil-rich Eastern Province towns of al-Ahsa and Qateef, with demonstrators demanding the release of political prisoners.

In Riyadh, security helicopters hovered over protesters gathered in front of Al-Rajhi mosque, in the east of the capital, in what an unknown opposition group described as a "Friday of mobilisation".

Some protesters chanted "thieves, thieves, where is the 200bn", "God is great", and "God will destroy the arrogant and unjust", as well as "peaceful, peaceful".---=


 "There is a general sense of disappointment, people want serious reforms," said Mr Qahtani. "There is a different mood now inspired by Egyptian and Tunisian revolts and the current uprising in Libya. People want the government to show real intention for reform. They feel worthless; we lag behind other countries and excluded from the political process."

In Saudi Arabia protests and public displays of dissent are outlawed. The government has become increasingly nervous about the protests that have taken the Arab world by storm, toppling the Egyptian and Tunisian presidents, and which recently reached Oman and Bahrain. –


The governor of the Eastern Province is reportedly meeting with leading Shia figures tomorrow to discuss grievances, including release of so-called "forgotten prisoners".

Separately, anti-government protests resumed in Bahrain on Friday amid rising sectarian tensions. Demonstrators marched from government buildings to the Pearl roundabout, the focal point for the youth-driven movement demanding the downfall of the government.

Fights broke out between Shias and Sunnis in the country on Thursday night, raising the spectre of sectarian violence.

As protests enter their third week, the street battles mark the first escalation into intercommunal violence, amid increasingly bitter rhetoric.

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