Saturday, 22 October 2011

Whether the Iraqis people will have protection from STATE's US contractors, ... is a different question"

Via FLC

"President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,” he said. Don’t believe him.
Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.
But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.
The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security does not have a promising record when it comes to managing its mercenaries. The 2007 Nisour Square shootings by State’s security contractors, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed, marked one of the low points of the war. Now, State will be commanding a much larger security presence, the equivalent of a heavy combat brigade. In July, Danger Room exclusively reported that the Department blocked the Congressionally-appointed watchdog for Iraq from acquiring basic information about contractor security operations, such as the contractors’ rules of engagement.
That means no one outside the State Department knows how its contractors will behave as they ferry over 10,000 U.S. State Department employees throughout Iraq — which, in case anyone has forgotten,is still a war zone. Since Iraq wouldn’t grant legal immunity to U.S. troops, it is unlikely to grant it to U.S. contractors, particularly in the heat and anger of an accident resulting in the loss of Iraqi life.
It’s a situation with the potential for diplomatic disaster. And it’s being managed by an organization with no experience running the tight command structure that makes armies cohesive and effective.
You can also expect that there will be a shadow presence by the CIA, and possibly the Joint Special Operations Command, to hunt persons affiliated with al-Qaida. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has conspicuously stated that al-Qaida still has 1,000 Iraqi adherents, which would make it the largest al-Qaida affiliate in the world.
So far, there are three big security firms with lucrative contracts to protect U.S. diplomats. Triple Canopy, a longtime State guard company, has a contract worth up to $1.53 billion to keep diplos safe as they travel throughout Iraq. Global Strategies Group will guard the consulate at Basra for up to $401 million. SOC Incorporated will protect the mega-embassy in Baghdad for up to $974 million. State has yet to award contracts to guard consulates in multiethnic flashpoint cities Mosul and Kirkuk, as well as the outpost in placid Irbil.
“We can have the kind of protection our diplomats need,” Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough told reporters after Obama’s announcement. Whether the Iraqi people will have protection from the contractors that the State Department commands is a different question. And whatever you call their operations, the Obama administration hopes that you won’t be so rude as to call it “war.”


Via FLC
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Jewish Identity Politics' Panel Discussion Q&A

Jewish Identity Politics' Panel Discussion Q&A

Jewish Identity Politics' Panel Discussion was followed by a very interesting Q&A session. We discussed the following: Anti Semitism, Jews and the Left, Kosher vs. Progressive, Jesus vs. Marx, identity vs. identification and more...
Pt 6-What is so unique about anti Semitism? Left and Judaism, the role of the Internet, Jewish ideology as a form of supremacy.


Pt 7-What is anti Semitism, self love vs self hatred..

Pt 8-A young Jewish woman is feels shame to be with in the same room. Elaborating on issues to do with the role of Jews within the Palestinian Solidarity Movement.

Pt 9-discussing the level of ignorance to do with the relevant discourse, cultural differences, identity vs. identification, Kosher vs. progressive-Jews and the left, Jesus and Marx.

Pt 10-final words.

You can now order The Wandering Who on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

'Hariri-Carnival' Court president Antonio Cassese, also dies

Via FLC

'Busy 24 hours'


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Bandar Bin Sultan Involved in Mughnieh’s Assasination: Report

Local Editor
Recently unveiled Reports have revealed that Former Saudi Ambassador to the United States and the Saudi National Security Council Secretary General Bandar Bin Sultan was involved in the assassination of Hezbollah military Chief martyr Imad Mughnieh.

The report that was published in a short time said that an Arab diplomat accused Prince Bandar of being involved in the assassination of Mughnieh in an operation that was conducted in February 2008.

Fars News Agency further quoted the Arab diplomat saying that Prince Bandar was arrested in the Damascus airport on the 12th of February, 2008; and that during the interrogations that the Syrian authorities conducted with him, Bandar confessed of major information about the assassination of the Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri and Leader Imad Mughnieh, in addition to sabotage schemes planned for Syria.

The report further included information about the latest developments in Syria and Prince Bandar, as well as the Saudi intelligence’s role in arranging for them.

“On the 12th of February, 2008, that is three years after the assassination of Hariri, the major military leader in Hezbollah Imad Mughnieh was assassinated. This reignited the situation, and aimed at creating a critical state that would destroy the relation between Syria and Hezbollah. A few days later, announcements were made indicating that the investigations in Mughnieh’s assassination have come out with important results, and that regional security apparatuses were involved in the crime,” the report stated.

It also pointed out that European countries instantly held talks with Syria after that, asking the latter to cover up its interrogations’ results, and pledging that the United States and its allies would halt their constant accusations against Syria in assassinating PM Rafiq Hariri.

“For its part, Syria refused to give any promises. However, it avoided announcements about its investigations,” the report added.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

I didn’t want to see Gaddafi arrested, killed or tried, I just said "AMERICA MUST ATTACK GADDAFI NOW!"

"I didn’t want to see Gaddafi arrested, killed or tried. However, I am an American and didn’t live under his rule for 42 years. Those who did, people I know of heroism and character, hated him." Wrote Gordon Duff,

I, 8 months ago, just said:  AMERICA MUST ATTACK GADDAFI NOW!

"We can still be a nation of heroes if we are allowed to be, if we are led honorably."

Comment:
You are a nation of sheep led "honarably" by Netanyaho..
Your HANDS are soaked with BLOOD

Meanwhile:
"Our goal was not to kill Gaddafii". Juppe said. "When I say us, I'm talking about the coalition, of France within NATO. Our goal was to force him to relinquish power. It was then up to the National Transitional Council to capture and judge him",  he added

Flashback:


"Believe your instincts and information from reliable independent web sites and other sources.
The struggle to free Libya continues." Stephen Lendman



Mutassim Gaddafi:Last Cigarette,rest and dead body. 


The Zionist Murder Of Muammar Gaddafi
In case you missed it: Stop the NATO Bombing of Libya- Victory to the Arab Revolution.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

A ‘Palestinian Spring’? Not Yet



A ‘Palestinian Spring’? Not Yet

Bashir Abu-Manneh

The ‘Palestinian Spring’ is the only one of the ‘Arab Springs’ to be announced from the General Assembly platform of the UN. “At a time when,” Mahmoud Abbas declared in his speech for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, “the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy – the Arab Spring – the time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence.” This link between the bid and the democratic revolts taking place in the Arab world was repeated the next day in Ramallah. Abbas told cheering supporters who came out to greet him: “We told the world that there is an Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring exists here: a mass, popular, peacefully resisting spring that seeks to achieve our objectives…. raise your heads for you are Palestinians” (Al-Hayat, 26 September 2011).
It is important to note that Abbas’ UN speech did emphasize Palestinian rights of self-determination and of return for the refugees. And it was a powerful indictment of Israeli rejectionism and colonialism. This doesn't change the fact, though, that there is something deeply troubling about Abbas’ Palestinian Spring announcement. Here we have a Palestinian leader whose only distinction in the last 20 years is mostly secret negotiations with Israeli leaders. A leader:
  • whose presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has expired;
  • whose Fatah faction has lost the last elections in 2006 to Hamas;
  • who has spent most of his time as President clamping down on popular movements like Hamas (as well as Islamic Jihad) in the West Bank, closing down hundreds of Islamic charities, firing imams sympathetic to Hamas, and controlling the content of Friday sermons.
  • A leader who, finally, continues to coordinate security on a daily basis with the Israel occupation forces (his CIA-trained battalions are there to protect Israel from the Palestinians rather than the reverse).
How can Abbas now welcome Arab democracy when only yesterday he was regretting the fall of Hosni Mubarak, and when even today he prides himself on the fact that if the U.S. pulls its $200-million in security support for the Palestinian Authority, the Saudis will provide the amount instead, for which read ‘the most undemocratic and authoritarian regime in the region’?
Again: there's something very strange about a U.S.-backed, Western dependent leader going against his main sponsor in the name of Arab democracy. How can we explain Abbas’ diplomatic maneuver?

Abbas’ Diplomatic Maneuver

First: it's an act of political self-preservation on the part of the Fatah elite. After 20 years of negotiations, the occupation has deepened, settlements and settlers have more than doubled (numbering more than half a million settlers now), and the areas Israel controls have increased. Settlers’ attack on Palestinians and their property are on the rise: mosques are burnt on a weekly basis. East Jerusalem is all but lost to the Palestinians, with no way for other West Bankers to get there and no freedom of worship. There's also no freedom of movement within the West Bank. Hundreds of checkpoints and roadblocks continue to exist.
In fact: in the last 20 years the Israeli occupation has only become more entrenched, and looks more permanent than it ever was before. So in order to avoid a real Palestinian revolt against a subservient and Western-backed Palestinian Authority, Abbas decided to preempt and contain it by declaring it himself, in order to keep himself in power. Fatah elite self-preservation here undercuts a self-organized popular democratic mobilization against the effects and fruits of Oslo, and replaces it with even more Palestinian diplomacy. Fatah was here before: its response to the mass revolt of the first intifada was cooptation, and its channeling into the secret diplomacy of Oslo. Here the measure is preemptive.
The ploy seems to have been successful since most Palestinians seem to support the bid; because most Palestinians understand statehood to mean an end of occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. Even Hamas’ objections to the bid were not on matters of principle: they were about the means of achieving statehood rather than its desirability. Hamas also criticized Abbas for not completing the reconciliation and unity talks before heading to the UN, and only came out against the bid when Turkish and Egyptian mediation efforts between the factions failed just before the bid.
By going to the UN, then, Fatah tried to change the Palestinian popular perception of complete subservience to Israel and America: of being a negotiator under any conditions. And this was successful since the U.S. worked very hard to stop the bid and failed. In an interview with Katty Kay in BBC America on 16 September 2011, for example, the U.S. representative to the UN, Susan Rice, called the bid “unproductive” and even threatened that “there won't be sovereignty and there won't be food on the table” as a result of it. No food on the table sounds familiar in the Palestinian context. What Rice was basically saying is that Ramallah risks being starved like Gaza if the PA persists in the bid. Quite an amazing threat to make so openly and without challenge. In any case, frustrated with Israeli intransigence, Fatah utilized the UN platform to expose the brutalities and crimes of the Israeli occupation. It also raised the bar for a return to negotiations: not only a freeze of settlements in all of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, but also an acknowledgment by Israel that 1967 is the basis for negotiations.
The second and crucial reason for Fatah's diplomatic confrontation with Israel is regional developments. The Arab revolts have weakened the U.S. in the region. Coupled with the military and political defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan (empowering its main foe Iran in the region), the U.S. seems to be losing its tight grip over the Arab world. The Arab tyrants, whom the U.S. uses to protect its access and control of oil, are weaker today. Some have been banished even as their regimes persist. Democratic movements are forming and slowly becoming more powerful. The U.S. clearly understands that Arab democracy is contra its interests. Giving people more say in and control over their politics and resources in an area which has seen several American and Israeli wars can only mean a weaker U.S. in the region (the latest catastrophe, for example, in Iraq resulted in 1 million deaths and 5 million internally and externally displaced Iraqis).

Democracy Spreads

Democracy in Bahrain means the end of the U.S. naval presence there: the largest in the region. Democracy in Saudi Arabia would be catastrophic for the USA. Oil in Arabs hands used for self-development and possible projection of regional power: a real strategic threat. Democracy in Jordan means an end to the monarchy and in its place a state governed by the Palestinian majority. Democracy in Egypt, finally, means the end of the peace treaty with Israel, and Egypt back in the Arab-Israeli conflict (reversing one of the U.S.'s main diplomatic achievements in the region and ending Egypt's subservience to the U.S. and Israel). The U.S. then is trying to do everything it can to stifle democracy in the Arab world, and to ensure that the so-called ‘democratic transitions’ are as long and destructive for Arabs as the Oslo peace process has been for the Palestinians. The analogy is actually quite precise: the Oslo process came on the heels of the precursor to the Arab Spring: the mass mobilization of the first Palestinian intifada.
Like the good political opportunists that they are, the Fatah elite smells this U.S. regional weakening. It's a good time, they believe, to bank this politically and diplomatically, especially since there are no serious Israeli concessions on offer, only more occupation. The bid cannot be understood without this regional context. Fatah's ability to resist U.S. pressure is also a reflection, it is worth mentioning, of Saudi Arabia's wish to deflect its internal domestic pressures for democratic reforms onto the external Palestinian issue. Containing Arab democratic aspirations with support for the single most important Arab cause is a tried and tested Arab regime maneuver. No democracy at home, but Israel is seemingly confronted. Such are the populist measures taken to avoid more structural political changes domestically.
What does this brief political sketch tell us about the Palestinian cause today? That: (1) the stronger Arab democracy becomes the better it is for the Palestinians. That: (2) a real Palestinian mass mobilization is yet to come. That: (3) the Palestinian people are currently exhausted after the defeat of two intifadas, the deepening occupation and Oslo capitulation, and the internal factionalism and division. And that: (4) they are waiting for better circumstances of struggle which can only come from the regional developments that would change the balance of power between the Arabs and Israel, forcing the latter to withdraw and reconcile with the neighborhood.

Solidarity

What are the tasks of a solidarity movement in the West under these changing conditions? These can be summarized as follows: principled anti-imperialism and consistent support for the democratic right of Palestinian self-determination. I think the first one is clear: the U.S. out of the Middle East; full withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq; no troops or military camps to remain. Politically it means sympathy and support for Arab democracy and the peoples’ free will to govern themselves: popular sovereignty. So, if anything, the first task is to fight imperial elites here at home: their policies and worldview.
The second is to support Palestinian self-determination. I’ll say a little more about this, because there's more confusion here about what solidarity work entails and who should decide its tactics and mechanisms. It is not the job of the solidarity movement to tell Palestinians which political outcomes they should go for: ending occupation or going for one state, negotiating with Israel or not, voting for Hamas or not, etc. What solidarity work is about is defending a democratic principle of self-government for an oppressed people, within the limits of international laws and universal norms. The right of self-determination basically means that ALL Palestinians (wherever they happen to reside) have a right to actively participate in shaping their political future. That's how one activates and safeguards Palestinian rights – without fetishizing them or assuming that they are carved in stone.
Self-determination requires Palestinian democracy and can only mean participatory democracy in action. Solidarity work is deciding what the best way is to support this principle. It's not a mantra. Nor does it mean that solidarity tactics are the same in every context. What is possible in Europe, for example, is not yet possible in the United States, where a lot of education and information about the occupation needs to be diffused.
Who should be making these judgments about effective tactics and modes of support? Each solidarity movement itself. Democratically and openly. The solidarity movement should be sovereign in deciding how to defend Palestinians against injustices and human rights violations. Americans clearly know the U.S. more than the Palestinians who reside in occupied Palestine do. They know what's possible politically, how to operate in this environment, and how best to gain support for Palestinian justice. Solidarity activists should insist on their freedom to pursue their own modes of organization and objectives.
The good news is that the U.S. public is becoming more open to supporting the Palestinian cause. After Gaza, the truth of Israel as a cruel occupier is clearer than ever for all Americans to see. Polls show that a younger generation of American Jews is less identified with Israel as a result. There are also symptoms of discontent within the American elite: General Petraus himself said to Congress that support for Israel costs American lives in the Middle East. Bill Clinton recently blamed the lack of movement in the peace process solely on Benjamin Netanyahu. These developments should empower solidarity activists to aim to build the broadest possible movement in the United States.
What, then, to prioritize and where to begin in the struggle? The answer is: with the issues that have the broadest support. Take as an example the International Court of Justice ruling on the annexationist Wall in 2004: it called for dismantling the Wall and illegal settlements, and ending the occupation: “all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory….[and] to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end” (clause 159).
The Advisory Opinion also recommended that “further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime” (clause 160). Until that happens, shouldn't the “further action” be sanctions against Israel, especially after the Gaza massacre in 2008-2009 and the continuing siege and blockade of 1.5 million people? This ruling is a huge asset for the solidarity movement in the West. Educating people about it is crucial. Sanctions are the best way to alleviate Palestinian suffering. It is crucial to create a strategy around that in the U.S.: to push the U.S. government to end its military support for Israel and to push American companies to divest from the occupation.
These are big goals. But that is how one can help Palestinians achieve their freedom. And be free to decide for themselves both what they want and how best to resolve one of the longest anti-colonial struggles in contemporary history. •
Bashir Abu-Manneh teaches English at Barnard College.
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NATO Military Mission in Libya Comes to an End, the Reconstruction Mission strats

NATO Mission in Libya Comes to an End
Local Editor
As the Libyan leader has met his fate, NATO was preparing to announce the end of its mission in Libya.

NATO ambassadors will gather at 1300 GMT on Friday to discuss an end to the alliance's six-month air campaign in Libya, diplomats said.

A NATO official said ambassadors from the 28-member alliance would meet in Brussels "with Libya on the agenda of talks".

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, also on Friday, Friday that the western alliance air campaign could be considered over.

"I think we can say that the military operation is finished, that the whole of Libyan territory is under the control of the National Transitional Council and that, subject to a few transitory measures in the week to come, the NATO operation has arrived at its end", Juppe told Europe 1 radio from India.
The Libyans "have their destiny in their hands", Juppe said.

"The operation must now conclude because our objective, which was to accompany the forces of the National Transitional Council in the liberation of their territory, has now been reached", Juppe said.
"Our goal was not to kill Gaddafii. When I say us, I'm talking about the coalition, of France within NATO. Our goal was to force him to relinquish power. It was then up to the National Transitional Council to capture and judge him", he said.

A day earlier, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said an end to NATO's involvement in the oil-rich north African state "has now moved much closer”.

Also on Thursday, a NATO official said that the alliance's Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James Stavridis, is due to issue a recommendation, "probably tomorrow (Friday), for the end of the operation".

French, US and British forces spearheaded the air campaign against Kadhafi's military by the NATO military alliance, which has launched nearly 1,000 strike sorties since March 31.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Friday, 21 October 2011

Gaddafi: How a Despot’s War Was Lost

A Kingdom of Libya flag is seen on the top of a damaged building in Sirte,
 21 October 2011. (Photo: REUTERS - Thaier al-Sudani)

Published Friday, October 21, 2011

Slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi managed to hold on to power for decades and fought hard to outmanoeuvre the rebels and NATO forces. But his decision to hide in his hometown was the strategic blunder that may have spelt his bloody end

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts had been a mystery since the fall of Tripoli on August 23. There were conflicting accounts of where he had fled after Transitional National Council (TNC) troops overran his headquarters at the Bab al-Azizia compound. Some claimed he had gone to Sebha in the desert; others speculated he had crossed into a neighboring African state to regroup his forces; and there was talk of him seeking the protection of Tuareg tribes on the Algerian border. It was considered highly improbable that he would have taken refuge in the exposed and embattled seaside city of Sirte.
But developments over the past two months, and the ferocity of the battles on the Sirte and Bani-Walid fronts, made it seem increasingly likely that Gaddafi was indeed holed up in his hometown. He himself had indicated that he was based close to the battlefronts. In his taped messages broadcast on the Damascus-based Al-Rai TV channel, he repeatedly vowed to remain in Libya, fight to the last breath, and never surrender.

Gaddafi appears to have taken the decision to fight to the end from the moment NATO forces intervened on the side of NTC forces in March. Sources close to his former entourage say that right until the fall of Tripoli, the colonel operated on the assumption that his forces could not be defeated on the ground. They were superior to the rebel forces, and were employing tactics that made NATO air power relatively ineffective in military terms. But NATO responded by moving its operations into an offensive position, enabling the rebels to take Tripoli.

Gaddafi managed to hold out for six months in Tripoli. It had seemed in the early days after the outbreak of the uprising in Benghazi on February 17 that the rebellion would quickly spread to the capital. From Gaddafi’s confused responses, it appears that this nearly happened during the first two weeks. As the popular revolt intensified and spread elsewhere in the country, various parties offered to mediate agreements aimed at sparing Gaddafi the fate of ending up besieged in Tripoli. Negotiations were held on providing him with a safe exit. But the self-styled ‘son of the desert’ opted to fight back. He quickly retook the initiative after absorbing the initial shock, and launched a military counter-offensive throughout the rest of Libya. By the time NATO stepped in at the end of March, his forces were advancing toward Benghazi, birthplace and headquarters of the revolution.

Gaddafi turned near-defeat into near-victory, employing a variety of tactics honed from decades of experience handling internal power-struggles and external conflicts. His aim was to strip the uprising of its popular nature, and turn it into a conflict between rival factions of the regime, or a mutiny by former officials. The leaders of the revolt, after all, had been among some of his closest aides. He employed a variety of strategies to achieve this.

He first sought to divide his opponents. Gaddafi did his utmost to stir up regional and tribal sensitivities and play up fears that the country could split into east and west. He succeeded to some extent in this, creating a major schism that neutralized a significant portion of the tribes and prompted some to rally to his support. But he failed to make any real inroads in the east of the country.

Gaddafi meanwhile set out to portray himself as the sole guarantor of Libya’s stability, to both domestic and foreign audiences, and his enemies as the harbingers of chaos. He consistently depicted the rebels as Islamists of various kinds, and the uprising as having been orchestrated by al-Qaeda. This aroused real fears among the public in Libya, and among Arab and International players, that the alternative to Gaddafi would be a Libya ruled by extreme Islamic groups.

Thirdly, Gaddafi focused on remaining the central player in Libya with final say over the country’s future, no matter how much power on the ground or NATO support his opponents gained. He enlisted the efforts of mediators from around the world – from Turkey, Russia, African and Arab countries, and France – in the service of this goal. Thus as he held out and made advances on the battlefield, envoys in Tripoli, Djerba, Tunis, Paris, and various African capitals were swapping proposals for a deal with the rebels. For the three months preceding the fall of Tripoli, discussions on a possible settlement hinged on questions of whether it would involve Gaddafi or not; whether he would remain in Libya without holding power or leave for good; and whether his sons would retain a role or all his family members be excluded in a new government.

The fourth element of the colonel’s survival strategy was to bring the temple down on the heads of his enemies. Gaddafi meant it when he vowed to fight the rebellion “inch by inch, house by house, alley by alley.” UN officials have attested to the massive scale of destruction wrought on Libyan towns and infrastructure. His forces’ attacks on rebel-held areas were relentless, as though implicitly threatening to turn the country into a pile of rubble.

Gaddafi sought to heighten the extent of alarm about the amount of destruction that the conflict was causing. He thought that this would work to his advantage, especially if the prospect loomed of large-scale destruction of oil installations. But the NATO powers observing this suicidal behavior had different considerations. As they pressed for an escalation of the war, hundreds of US, European, Russian, Turkish, and Gulf companies readied themselves to bid for reconstruction contracts. In this climate, there was widespread talk of deals between the TNC and some Western countries promising Libyan oil in exchange for help in toppling Gaddafi.

The fall of the capital changed the course of the confrontation and left Gaddafi with two options. He could escape with some close supporters to a desert hideout and lay low for a few months to rebuild his following and buy tribal support. He would then have had to wage guerrilla warfare via pockets of his supporters elsewhere – such as the armed groups which emerged a few days ago in the Bani Slim district of Tripoli.

Alternatively, Gaddafi had the option of retreating to his birthplace and make it his redoubt, while awaiting relief from various Saharan tribes. While he chose the latter option, it became clear in the last few days of fighting for Sirte that Gaddafi only had a small number of fighters left beside him. It also transpired that the road he could have taken to flee to the desert was clear. Indeed, the head of the Tripoli Military Council, Abdel Hakim Belhaj, said on Thursday that Gaddafi had been planning to head for the NTC-controlled town of Misrata. Gaddafi could have fled, but instead chose a suicidal option.

Despite the different circumstances, post-Gaddafi Libya is already being likened by some to post-Saddam Iraq in this respect. They say that Libyans won’t be able to make all their own decisions, but will find themselves bound by heavy shackles from foreign mediators.

Western experts have meanwhile taken to stressing that security will remain a major Western concern in Libya. And although NATO insisted at the start of its operation that it would be a short-term affair, there is no sign a disengagement from Libya following the despot’s death. Indeed, there were reportedly discussions about NATO using Libya as a base for operations throughout Africa, and particularly in the ‘war on terror’ in northwest Africa. Gaddafi himself set the precedent for that. In recent years, following his renunciation of his supposed nuclear program, Gaddafi became an active participant in the Western campaign against ‘terror,’ while turning Libya into a preventive barrier against African migration to Europe.

Gaddafi may be the third Arab leader swept away by the tide of Arab revolution, but his exit differs in crucial respects from those of Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine BenAli and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Gaddafi’s downfall was bloody and ended in murder; it was brought about by Western intervention, with local, Arab, and international cover, as well as UN approval. The Libyan uprising led to enormous human casualties and physical destruction. The consequences in Libya will weigh heavily on the rest of the Arab world – especially in Syria and Yemen, where popular revolts are becoming increasingly violent, and where the appetite of foreign powers to intervene is not whetted by local calls for international protection.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

'Kurdish Attack On Turkey Disrupts Plot Against Syria'

Via FLC

"... Another weak point in the plan is the role of Turkey and the role of the Kurds. Turkey's prime minister Erdogan supported some Syrian opposition folks to set up their National Transitional Council in Turkey. But the Syrian Kurds were not amused when they were not included. 

The killing of the Kurdish activist Mashaal Tammo in Syria was not followed, as the plans provided, by the Kurdish main parties joining the insurgency against Assad. They smelled the rat and did not blame him for that death.
Then Erdogan was suddenly confronted with a big attack by 100 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on his military at the Iraqi border. He responded with a division size invasion of North Iraq.
 
I do not believe that the two issues, Turkey plotting against Syria and the Kurdish attacks in south-eastern Turkey are unrelated. As I wrote back in August:
The countries with Kurdish populations, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, have always used the various Kurdish groups to challenge their respective neighbors when they found it necessary or convenient to do so.
After recently damaging the relations with Iran by accepting a NATO anti-missile radar on Turkish ground and by plotting against Syria, Erdogan now had to again sue for piece:
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Ankara on Friday to discuss closer cooperation against the separatist rebels, who have also attacked Iran in the past. 

The Iranians will, of course, support Turkey against the Kurds. Provided, as they will have quietly requested, that Turkey leaves its hands off their Syrian ally. That Turkey has now given in to Iranian demands is visible in its public rejection of the U.S. allegations of an Iranian plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington. ............. Turkey has now accepted that a conflict with Syria (and Iran) is not in its interest. 

Turkey leaving the revolutionary club takes a big and necessary piece out of the plan: A safe base like Benghazi inside Turkey from where the revolutionaries could jump off their attack on Syria under NATO air cover. One wonders how the plotters will adapt their plans to that...."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Ahram: Grapel exchange deal to follow Shalit exchange deal


[ 21/10/2011 - 09:22 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- Egyptian diplomatic sources said that the Egyptian government initiated negotiations with the Israeli side to reach an exchange deal whereby Ilan Grapel, an Israeli-US citizen who is accused of spying, is exchanged with Egyptian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Al-Ahram daily said on Thursday: “Israeli Haaretz newspaper claimed that the Grapel exchange deal could be concluded within the next week.

Egyptian diplomatic sources, however, suggest that any deal would follow the Gilad Shalit deal.”
The paper said that there are some 86 Egyptian prisoners in Israeli jails and that Egyptian intelligence was instructed to start negotiations to reach a deal.
The sources said that the completion of the Shalit deal will take another two months and hoped that it will go ahead smoothly.
An Israeli-American delegation visited Grapel on Tuesday in Cairo and informed him that procedures to release him will be completed within a week. However, Egyptian Today newspaper said that a Judiciary source said that the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office denied reports in this regard and said that Grapel’s and said that his case will be examined by the supreme court.
Israeli-American Illan Grapel was arrested in Cairo in June, accused of spying and inciting violence and attacks on governmental and public properties.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Gaddafi: Dead or Alive?

 - by Stephen Lendman

Either way he became a legend in his own time. Thursday on the Progressive Radio News Hour, James Petras reported information he received from a reliable Argentina source saying he's dead.

last photo taken of Prime Minister
Patrice Lumumba shortly after he
was arrested and later brutally
murdered by Mobutu
If so, he explained, he'll be Africa's greatest martyr since Congo's Patrice Lumumba. After leading its independence struggle successfully in June 1960, a CIA coup ousted him 10 weeks later.

Joseph Mobutu replaced him, renaming the country Zaire. Looting billions until his 1997 removal, he ran it like a kleptocracy.

January 17, 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Lumumba's late night firing squad assassination. Belgium and Washington ordered it. At issue was his fierce opposition to Western colonialism. It cost him his life.

He and two associates, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, were tied to trees and murdered in cold blood. To escape culpability, Belgium exhumed them, dismembered, and dissolved their body parts in acid.

Belgium ruled Congo until 1960. Until his 1909 death, King Leopold II ran it like his private plantation. In his book, "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa," Adam Hochschild wrote:

"....(U)nlike other great predators of history from Genghis Khan to the Spanish conquistadors, King Leopold II never saw a drop of blood spilt in anger. He never set foot in the Congo. There is something very modern about that, too, as there is about the bomber pilot in the stratosphere, above the clouds, who never hears screams or sees shattered homes or torn flesh."

In his journey into the "Heart of Darkness," Joseph Conrad wrote:

"(O)ne comes to hate those savages....hate them to death....Exterminate all the brutes!" Based on what he saw in Congo, he called it "the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience."

He held all Europe responsible. Fifty years ago, Lumumba was a latter day victim. Dead or alive, Gaddafi's his modern day equivalent. If alive, he's a living legend. If not, he's bigger than life, a symbol of imperial resistance, inspiring millions of Libyans to keep struggling for freedom.

Western media, Al Jazeera and other sources reported his death. On October 20, New York Times writers Kareen Fahim and Rick Gladstone headlined, "Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say," saying:

Al Jazeera and other media showed a corpse said to be Gaddafi. Unidentifiable it could be anyone. A circulating video claims to show his capture. It's so jumbled, it's impossible to tell. Al Jazeera, Western media, and NATO repeatedly lied throughout the conflict. Nothing they report is credible.

Reliable independent sources will have to confirm whether Gaddafi's alive or dead. Past reports about Gaddafi sons dead or captured proved false when they turned up safe and alive.

"Libyans rejoiced as news of his death spread," wrote The Times, "as residents poured into the streets to celebrate."

Fact check

Well over 90% of Libyans support Gaddafi. Some polls suggest up to 97%. NATO, puppet Transitional National Council (TNC) leaders, and rebel cutthroats are reviled.

Why else would Jamahiriya loyalists contest NATO's ferocity courageously for seven months. They want to live free and won't quit. Alive, Gaddafi leads them inspirationally. Martyred for a just cause even more so.

Conflicting reports suggest, but don't confirm, Gaddafi's death. Xinhuanet.com headlined, "NATO launches air raids in Sirte on Thursday: spokesman," saying:

In early morning, two military vehicles were struck "maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte," according to NATO.

It couldn't confirm if Gaddafi was in one. A TNC commander claimed he was killed trying to flee Sirte. NATO didn't confirm if he's dead or captured.

"We hope (Gaddafi) will be captured or killed soon."
In Tripoli for a staged photo-op, Hillary Clinton said, "We hope (Gaddafi) will be captured or killed soon."

A NATO official told Xinhua it's for TNC officials to confirm Gaddafi's status, "not the military alliance."

NATO "repeatedly said (he's) not a target of its campaign in Libya, which aims to protect civilians."

For months, NATO ravaged Libya and massacred tens of thousands. Some protection!

Xinhua also said TNC spokesman Mahmoud Shamman couldn't confirm reports of Gaddafi's capture or death.

Moreover, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told Xinhua that Washington "cannot confirm at this time" news about him.

In addition, NATO press releases say nothing. By mid-evening October 20, a disingenuous statement said:

"After 42 years, Colonel Qadhafi's rule of fear has finally come to an end. Libya can draw a line under a long dark chapter in its history and turn over a new page. Now the people of Libya can truly decide their own future."

"NATO and our partners have successfully implemented the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya. We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council."

NATO lied. The struggle to free Libya continues. Libya's "dark chapter" began when NATO's killing machine arrived. Jamahiriya loyalists won't ever quit until they're free.

On October 20, Mathaba.net headlined, "Rumours of Muammar Qaddafi Spread by NTC for Hillary Clinton," saying:

NATO, imperial Washington, Western media, Al Jazeera, Al-Arabia, and other sources first claimed Gaddafi was captured, then reported his death.

"Green Committees have confirmed that the leader is alive, and that the enemy is seeking to take advantage of his being currently out of communications."

They want "to please Hillary Clinton who barked at her Arab slaves that she wants (Gaddafi) 'dead or alive.' "

Reliable analysts told Mathaba that reports of his death hope to demoralize Libyan resistance. They also want to elicit Gaddafi's response to pinpoint his location.

"The Secretary-General of the International People's Conference Organization told Mathaba that (another aim is) to perpetuate the myth that the NTC controls all of Libya," not the Jamahiriya.

They can't declare a new government and secure billions of dollars in stolen Libyan wealth until the country's pacified, even if they have to fake it.

Libya's Jamahiriya "remains the only legitimate government because it rests squarely upon the Libyan people" who support it.

Mathaba and NSNBC repeatedly said NATO desperately needs a victory. So do major media scoundrels caught red-handed reporting lies. Accounts of Gaddafi's death may or may not be their latest.

Responding once to reports of his death, Mark Twain once said in more detail that "Reports of my death were greatly exaggerated."

Maybe Gaddafi will say it soon about himself. Further updates will report whatever else is known.

A Final Comment

With reliable Libyan sources, https://twitter.com/#!/SomaliaSupport provides a running account of events in Libya.

Diana tweeted:

"Today in Bani Walid were killed 160 rats (rebels) and 270 wounded. The rats in Sirte raised the white flag. Hard losses of rats in Sirte.”

TNC officials, Western media scoundrels and Al Jazeera falsified reports about rebels controlling Sirte.

SomaliaSupport2 reported: "Two NATO French rats were killed in Abu Salime. One of them was a member of NATO HQ. Confirmed."

Diana: "Victory or martyrdom. There is no third option."

SomaliaSupport: "My dear brother, this is a fight not only for Libya but the whole mankind. The people must know that fact."

Diana: "From October 1, 2011 till now, there is a massive deratization by Green broom. About 10,000 rates have been killed in Libya."

This link (http://counterpsyops.com/) contains a message Gaddafi reportedly recorded today, including fake images. Translated it says:

"Thank you for all who called to see how I am and ask about me. I am fine and live somewhere no one can find me. I live in every one's heart. If you kill my body you can't kill my soul which lives in every Libyan. The long life for the martyr and the bad life for all who betray their country."

NATO claims it concluded its operations successfully. Believe nothing its spokespeople, political Washington or media scoundrels report.

Believe your instincts and information from reliable independent web sites and other sources.

The struggle to free Libya continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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