Latest Threads
Greatest Threads
Home » Discuss » Journals » Catherina » Archives Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
Catherina's Journal - Archives
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Wed Dec 14th 2011, 12:53 PM
I plan to stick around & rec good threads at DU3 but that's about it.

Several months ago, I made the decision to quit posting here because I felt I had one hand tied behind my back the whole time. My original plan, when I left, was to wait until DU3 was implemented and reconsider.

I almost caved and posted in this excellent #OWS thread Starry Messenger put up

Frankly, I like the random jury system. I don't see how the Admins could have done it any better but there are also several things that jar my sense of democracy- like Superhosts.

I think that, with time, DU3 could be a major improvement on DU2. It will be whatever DU members make of it. Unfortunately, too much time passed between my decision to reconsider and now so I'm sticking to twitter, which I'm convinced is the place to be.

If you do tweet, or make a new account, I'm @Catherina_News there & would be delighted to follow back any DU Leftists.

PS. My older sis, Tinoire, was touched some of you still remember her & sends her love. She specifically mentioned CountryJake & Sapphocrat. Forgive me but I forgot the other two names she said.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

Read entry | Discuss (58 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Sat Apr 02nd 2011, 01:52 PM
Liberals Among Fiercest Libya Critics
by Mike Lillis
As President Obama struggles to sell a contentious Libya strategy to a skeptical Congress, Capitol Hill's most liberal voices have emerged as some of the fiercest critics.

"In two years we have moved from President Bush's doctrine of preventive war to President Obama's assertion of the right to go to war without even the pretext of a threat to our nation," Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, an anti-war liberal, said Thursday during a House floor speech. "This is a clear and arrogant violation of our Constitution. Even a war launched for humanitarian reasons is still a war -- and only Congress can declare war." (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch)


"This is a clear and arrogant violation of our Constitution," he added. "Even a war launched for humanitarian reasons is still a war — and only Congress can declare war."

Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, agrees. Conyers conceded that Congress and the White House "have long grappled over the exact division of powers in times of war." But, he added, "the Constitution grants sole authority to the Congress to commit the nation to battle in the first instance."

"That decision is one of the most serious that we are called upon to make," Conyers said last week, "and we should never abdicate this responsibility to the president."


"How premeditated, and how irresponsible, I believe the current course of events to be," Kaptur said.

... [/div
Read entry | Discuss (53 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Sat Apr 02nd 2011, 05:08 AM

2008-06-02 16:04:00
Embassy Tripoli



E.O. 12958: DECL: 5/27/2018


TRIPOLI 00000430 001.2 OF 004 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, U.S. Embassy - Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C)

1. (C) Summary: Frustration at the inability of eastern LIBYAns to effectively challenge Qadhafi's regime, together with a concerted ideological campaign by returned LIBYAn fighters from earlier conflicts, have played important roles in DERNA's development as a wellspring of LIBYAn foreign fighters in Iraq. Other factors include a dearth of social outlets for young people, local pride in DERNA's history as a locus of fierce opposition to occupation, economic disenfranchisement among the town's young men. Depictions on satellite television of events in Iraq and Palestine fuel the widespread view that resistance to coalition forces is justified and necessary. One LIBYAn interlocutor likened young men in DERNA to Bruce Willis' character in the action picture "Die Hard", who stubbornly refused to die quietly. For them, resistance against coalition forces in Iraq is an important act of 'jihad' and a last act of defiance against the Qadhafi regime. End summary.

2. (C) P/E Chief paid an unofficial visit to the eastern LIBYAn town of DERNA in early May in conjunction with a trip to Benghazi and the ancient Graeco-Roman ruins of Cyrene. P/E Chief traveled from Benghazi in a rented car with a driver/guide. (Note: An apparent lapse in coordination between security officials in Tripoli and Benghazi led to what appeared to be a rare gap in surveillance by security organizations. End note.) Located along LIBYA's eastern littoral in an area bracketed with rocky hills, DERNA's beautiful, if bleak, setting and Soviet-style poured concrete buildings evoke Tyre and Sidon in South Lebanon. While asking directions to the city's old fort, P/E Chief met local resident xxxxxxxxxxxx (strictly protect), who happened to hail from the same tribe as P/E Chief's driver/guide. In typical fashion, xxxxxxxxxxxx promptly dropped what he was doing and spent the next several hours accompanying us around DERNA, a town of some 50,000 people. Asked about his livelihood, xxxxxxxxxxxx described himself as "a free businessman", usually indicating someone who does not hold a full-time job, but instead gets by on a mix of odd jobs and commercial activities.


3. (C) P/E Chief visited the Baab al-Shiha neighborhood, site of the town's old fort (now all but gone) and the district from which a large number of the LIBYAn foreign fighters identified in documents captured during September's Objective Massey operation in Iraq had hailed. The lower-middle class neighborhood, comprising poured concrete homes crowded along largely unpaved streets, sits on a hill overlooking the town. Unbidden, xxxxxxxxxxxx pointed out a number of small, discrete mosques tucked away in side alleys, noting that the profusion of "popular mosques" complicated effective monitoring by security forces. (Note: As reported reftel, another contact indicated previously that while mosques in town centers are closely monitored, it has been more difficult for secruity organizations to effectively monitor smaller, more remote mosques in exurbs and towns in eastern LIBYA. End note.)

4. (C) A number of residents were on the streets; however, they were visibly more wary and less friendly than in other LIBYAn towns. xxxxxxxxxxxx later noted that some residents were closely questioned by security officials after speaking with a visiting Newsweek reporter in April. Told P/E Chief was an American, xxxxxxxxxxxx jokingly swore and said "there goes my evening". Clarifying, he said he had plans that night, but would likely be detained and questioned by security officials about his interactions with an Emboff. While P/E Chief had not obviously been followed, word would doubtless reach security officials' ears that foreigners had visited and inquiries would be made. He dismissed the idea of parting company to avoid creating problems for him, saying it was important that he, as a son of DERNA, not bow down to the central government's authority. "They may have their boot on our throat, but it's important that they know that we are still breathing and kicking", he said.


5. (C) Over lunch at a popular restaurant just off the waterfront, xxxxxxxxxxxx and his business partner (who declined to give his name)discussed at length the local political-economic, cultural and religious scene, noting that it was "well-known" that a large number of suicide bombers (invariably described as "martyrs") and foreign fighters in Iraq hailed from DERNA, a fact in which the town "takes great pride". xxxxxxxxxxxx stressed the importance of the link between the domestic political situation in LIBYA and the flow of foreign fighters in Iraq. Residents of eastern LIBYA in general, and DERNA in particular, view the al-Qadhafa clan as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an inconsequential part of the country who have "stolen" the right to rule in LIBYA. (Note: Qadhafi's hometown, Sirte, is a remote spot located on the coast midway between the leading cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. End note.) Easterners had tried and failed to bring down Qadhafi's regime via the LIBYAn Islamic Fighting Group's (LIFG) insurgency in the 1990s.

6. (C) There was a strong perception, he said, that the U.S. had decided in the wake of Qadhafi's decision to abandon WMD aspirations and renounce terrorism to support the regime to secure counter-terrorism cooperation and ensure continued oil and natural gas production. Many easterners feared the U.S. would not allow Qadhafi's regime to fall and therefore viewed direct confrontation with the GOL in the near-term as a fool's errand. At the same time, sending young LIBYAns to fight in Iraq was "an embarrassment" to Qadhafi. Fighting against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq represented a way for frustrated young radicals to strike a blow against both Qadhafi and against his perceived American backers.

Dismissing P/E Chief's argument that we have privately pressed the GOL to adopt further political and economic reforms, xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that human rights activist Fathi el-Jahmi (who hails from Benghazi), remained in detention. The U.S. surely had the wherewithal to secure el-Jahmi's release if it really cared about human rights; the fact that el-Jahmi remained in detention was viewed as one sign that the U.S. tacitly supported Qadhafi, regardless of his actions. (Note: We heard a similar line of reasoning from LIBYAn contacts in Benghazi. End note.)


7. (C) Rejecting the idea that DERNA was uniformly extremist, xxxxxxxxxxxx and his business partner described the town as being divided between religiously conservative and secular residents. A "large number" of DERNA's citizens were not happy about the increasingly conservative religious atmosphere that had prevailed since the 1980's, he claimed. Elaborating, al-Mansuri attributed adherence to more extreme iterations of Islam to "unnatural foreign influences" on religious practices in DERNA. A number of LIBYAns who had fought and in some cases undergone "religious and ideological training" in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the late 1970's and early 1980's had returned to eastern LIBYA, including DERNA, in the mid to late 1980's. Claiming their return was "not coincidental", he described a deliberate, coordinated campaign to propagate more conservative iterations of Islam, in part to prepare the ground for the eventual overthrow by the LIBYAn Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi's regime, which is "hated" by conservative Islamists. (Note: After taking pains to curry favor with the 'ulema' in LIBYA in the years immediately after the 1969 revolution, Qadhafi broke with them in the late 1970's, criticizing aspects of Islam as "un-revolutionary". Although he renewed efforts to cultivate Muslim leaders in the 1990's, deep suspicions remain. The LIFG waged a successful low-level guerrilla insurgency in the early to mid-1990's, specializing in robbery and raids on remote military garrisons to sustain itself. End note.)

8. (C) According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, these returned former fighters deliberately targeted towns and areas known to be less heavily surveilled and controlled by government security officials. Many of those were located in eastern LIBYA, where authorities have since Ottoman times experienced difficulty extending the writ of the central government. xxxxxxxxxxxx mentioned a small group of LIBYAns who had reportedly fought in Afghanistan, subsequently undergone religious training in northern Syria and Lebanon, and then returned to DERNA in the late 1980's as having been particularly instrumental in steering the community in a more conservative direction. Stressing their conservatism, he said they had spearheaded campaigns against many aspects of daily life, such as smoking cigarettes, which they deemed "un-Islamic". He pointed out the large number of religiously-themed audio cassettes and DVDs on offer in DERNA's markets. Many featured sermons and speeches by conservative imams in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Egypt.


9. (C) A dearth of social outlets for young people in DERNA "created space" for the message of returned fighters and conservative imams, who deliberately sought to eliminate the few social activities on offer for young people to monopolize the social and cultural environment. While DERNA's social life had never been robust, there had been public cinemas, sports leagues and some youth activities organized outside the auspices of mosques. Virtually all of those had petered out in the late 1980's and 1990's, in part because of a campaign to label such activities as "un-Islamic". He cited a popular youth theater group that had staged up to half a dozen productions a year, including western plays. Clerics criticized "un-Islamic" themes and the fact that boys and girls were cast together in some productions; the resulting social stigmatization of families whose children had participated led to the group's demise in the late 1980's.

10. (C) The fact that DERNA's educational system was weak had also enabled conservative clerics. xxxxxxxxxxxx described a situation in which mosques and imams effectively offered the only alternative to schools, sports leagues and after-school activities. A heavy influx of Arabic-language satellite television - a phenomenon that dated to the late-1990's - also fostered a "hard view" of the world, xxxxxxxxxxxx said. Most young men watched a mix of al-Jazeera news, religious sermons and western action films on English language satellite channels broadcast from the Gulf. The result was a heady mixture of violence, religious conservatism and hatred of U.S. policy in Iraq and Palestine. The consensus view in DERNA is that the U.S. blindly supports Israel and has invaded Iraq to secure oil reserves and position itself to attack Iran, he said. He dismissed P/E Chief's attempts to clarify U.S. policy, stressing that most people base their judgments on information they receive from satellite television and at the mosque.


11. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx attributed the flow of foreign fighters from DERNA in part to local pride in the town's reputation as a historical locus of resistance to occupation. While many of the town's citizens were uncomfortable with the town's increasingly conservative Islamist bent, the fact that young men from DERNA traveled to Iraq in disproportionate numbers to fight against coalition forces was viewed through a different lens. Not everyone liked the "bearded ones" (a reference to conservative imams) or their message, xxxxxxxxxxxx said, but the duty of a Muslim in general - and of a son of DERNA in particular - was to resist occupation of Muslim lands through jihad. "It's jihad - it's our duty, and you're talking about people who don't have much else to be proud of." DERNA's residents might take issue with attempts to ban smoking or restrict social activities, but there was consensus on "basic issues" like jihad. Depictions on al-Jazeera of events in Iraq and Palestine fueled the widely-held view in DERNA that resistance to coalition forces was "correct and necessary". Referring to actor Bruce Willis' character in the action picture "Die Hard", who stubbornly refused to die quietly, he said many young men in DERNA viewed resistance against Qadhafi's regime and against coalition forces in Iraq as an important last act of defiance.

12. (C) Claiming "most LIBYAns" shared that sentiment, xxxxxxxxxxxx proudly said the difference was that DERNA's sons actually acted on their beliefs. DERNA had historically resisted "occupations of all kinds - Ottoman, Italian, American (a reference to the 1805 attack on DERNA led by William Eaton), and Qadhafi's." DERNA's role in opposing the Italian occupation in the early 20th century helped foster the near-deification of LIBYAn resistance leader Omar al-Mukhtar, who hailed from eastern LIBYA. A visit to the al-Sahab mosque near the town's center was telling. Large murals on the mosque's exterior (inaccurately) depicted Islamic warriors besting what appeared to be Roman soldiers. The mosque's imam showed P/E Chief a series of small shrines to medieval holy men and a small cemetery filled with graves of "martyrs" who had resisted Ottoman and Italian occupation. Many of the markers were garlanded with flowers; xxxxxxxxxxxx said families often come to picnic in the mosque's garden on holidays and pay their respects at the cemetery.


13. (C) As discussed reftel, xxxxxxxxxxxx drew a direct line between the parlous local economy and the willingness of DERNA's sons to travel to Iraq for jihad. A military base in DERNA closed in the early 1990's, taking with it a large number of jobs (cooks, washerwomen, auto mechanics, electricians, etc.) who helped support the base. DERNA has a small fishing and maritime transport industry; other economic activities are largely restricted to services and smuggling. While a military prison, located along the town's waterfront, remains open, the closure of the base hit the town hard and ushered in a more difficult era of economic austerity. Unemployment, particularly among young men between the ages of 18 and 40, is high - xxxxxxxxxxxx put the percentage of un- and under-employed men in that demographic at 60 to 70 percent. Dim employment prospects leave many young men in DERNA without the means to marry - a key social anchor in what remains a traditional society - and the average age at which men marry has crept upwards. Asked about reports that many now marry in their early- to mid-30's (reftel), xxxxxxxxxxxx said most of his friends and acquaintances actually did not marry until their mid-30's to early- 40's. He half-jokingly noted that the cumulative level of sexual frustration among DERNA's young men was "a big problem".

14. (C) In addition, while Benghazi and other parts of eastern LIBYA had benefited in the last several years from increased government patronage, DERNA continued to "suffer from neglect". Citing an indeterminate grudge between LIBYA's former monarch, King Idriss al-Sanussi, and leading citizens of DERNA, xxxxxxxxxxxx claimed that DERNA had long been the victim of a deliberate government campaign to keep it poor. He compared DERNA's plight to the fortunes of another conservative eastern LIBYAn town, Bayda. While Bayda had been the summer retreat for King Idriss and was initially shunned in the early years of Qadhafi's rule, its fortunes changed after Qadhafi married Sadia Farkhis, daughter of a prominent citizen of the town. The government subsequently established the Omar al-Mukhtar University in what had been the royal palace and sited a number of government-owned enterprises there. By contrast, DERNA had not benefited from any such measures.

15. (C) Comment: xxxxxxxxxxxx remarks suggest that frustration at the inability of eastern LIBYAns to effectively challenge Qadhafi's regime, together with a concerted ideological campaign by returned LIBYAn fighters from earlier conflicts, have played an important role in in DERNA's development as a wellspring of LIBYAn foreign fighters in Iraq. The GOL's limited ability to extend its writ in eastern LIBYA - along with limited social outlets, dim economic prospects and the town's historical role as a center of resistance - have fostered a landscape in which DERNA's angry young men view the conflict in Iraq through the lens of dissatisfaction with their government and with the USG's perceived support of it. Observations of the town, together with information reported reftel, strongly suggest that comments by senior GOL officials to the effect that the east is under control are exaggerated. End comment.

DE RUEHTRO #0430/01 1541659
O P 021659Z JUN 08
Read entry | Discuss (1 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Fri Apr 01st 2011, 01:19 PM
which we have to change before it destroys us and another ancient civilization. We can't allow Coca-cola and cheap gas for industry to be a world priority for first world nations who consume more resources than the rest of the world combined, we sadly being at the top of the list.

The secret wars won't ever end until we, as a people, say no to the using more than our fair share and closing our eyes to how our government gets that fair share to us. If we didn't close our eyes the way we do, corporations would never have been able to take America over the way they did.

In 10 years, people won't even recognize this country anymore because the first world nations can really can win this one. The rest of the world is unwilling to be our slaves while we rape their lands and steal their resources uncaring about how many people we kill to enable a really sick way of life that kills people and the earth.
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Fri Apr 01st 2011, 10:51 AM


Seizing power in Libya by ousting King Idris in a 1969 coup, Gadafi (who intriguingly had undertaken a military training course in England in 1966) quickly became the target of massive covert operations by the French, US, Israeli and British. Stephen Dorril, in his recently published book on MI6, records how in 1971 a British plan to invade the country, release political prisoners and restore the monarchy ended in a complete flop. In 1980, the head of the French secret service, Col Alain de Gaigneronde de Marolles, resigned after a French-led plan ended in disaster when a rebellion by Libyan troops in Tobruk was rapidly suppressed.

Then in 1982, away from the glare of the media, Hissene Habre, with the backing of the CIA and French troops, overthrew the Chadian government of Goukouni Wedeye. Human Rights Watch records: "Under President Reagan, the United States gave covert CIA paramilitary support to help install Habre in order, according to secretary of state Alexander Haig, to 'bloody Gadafi's nose'." Bob Woodward, in his semi-official history of the CIA reveals that the Chad covert operation was the first undertaken by the new CIA chief William Casey and that throughout the decade Libya ranked almost as high as the Soviet Union as the "bÍte noir" of the administration.


US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (also backed by French intelligence and the CIA). But a plan to assassinate Gadafi and take over the government on 8 May 1984 was crushed. In the following year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Gadafi but President Mubarak refused. By the end of 1985, the Washington Post had exposed the plan after congressional leaders opposing it wrote in protest to President Reagan.


Following the April 1986 attack, reports of US military action against Libya disappeared from the media. But away from the media glare, the CIA launched by far its most extensive effort yet to spark an anti-Gadafi coup. A secret army was recruited from among the many Libyans captured in border battles with Chad during the 1980s. And, as concern grew in MI6 over Gadafi's alleged plans to develop chemical weapons, Britain funded various opposition groups in Libya including the London-based Libyan National Movement.


National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)

    The National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) is an opposition movement to Muammar al-Gaddafi's regime in Libya. NFSL was established on 7 October 1981 at a press conference held in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Its original leader was Muhammad Yusuf al-Magariaf, formerly Libyan ambassador to India.<1> Currently the NFSL is led by Ibrahim Abdulaziz Sahad, a former Libyan military officer and diplomat. The most recent National Congress of the NFSL was held in the United States in July, 2007.


    According to various sources, Saudi Arabia and the United States Central Intelligence Agency had supported the NFSL.<3><4><5><6>.


    Having apparently given up the idea of a military takeover, the NFSL continues its opposition to Gaddafi by media campaigns and forming political alliances with other opposition groups. The NFSL was one of 7 other Libyan opposition groups that formed the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) which was formed in June 2005 at the 1st NCLO conference in London.


    The NFSL has continued its media campaigns, primarily utilizing online mediums.


    All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya - financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The rebel "Interim Transitional National Council" is little else than the good ol' National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the "innocent civilians" the "coalition" is "protecting".

    Right on cue, the "Interim Transitional National Council" has got a new finance minister, US-educated economist Ali Tarhouni. He disclosed that a bunch of Western countries gave them credit backed by Libya's sovereign fund, and the British allowed them to access $1.1 billion of Gaddafi's funds. This means the Anglo-French-American consortium - and now NATO - will only pay for the bombs. As war scams go this one is priceless; the West uses Libya's own cash to finance a bunch of opportunists Libyan rebels to fight the Libyan government. And on top of it the Americans, the Brits and the French feel the love for all that bombing. Neo-cons must be kicking themselves; why couldn't former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz come up with something like this for Iraq 2003?

National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO)

    It is clear that the ongoing violent insurrection in Libya has nothing to do with democracy, dictatorship and inequality. It has much to do with a U.S.-sponsored insurrection to topple the current Libyan Government and take control of Libyan valuable natural resources (oil and natural gas). The main group leading the insurrection is the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition which includes the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL, which is leading the violence, is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of mostly Libyan expatriates and tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi. Unlike the peaceful uprisings against U.S.-backed dictatorship regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere, the violence in Libya has been directed against government buildings and properties, including army barracks and police stations.

Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG

    The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they grew angry about what they viewed as the corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime and formed the LIFG to create a state that would show what they believed to be the true character of the Libyan people.

    The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate Gadhafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against government security forces from its mountain bases. Although most LIFG members are strictly dedicated to toppling Gadhafi, intelligence reportedly indicates that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to wage jihad against Libyan and Western interests worldwide.

    After the assassination attempt, Gadhafi cracked down heavily on the LIFG, forcing many of its members to flee Libya and seek refuge in Europe and the greater Middle East. In June 1998 the LIFG warned that it would retaliate against Libyan targets abroad when Gadhafi threatened to eliminate opposition expatriates.
Read entry | Discuss (23 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Wed Mar 30th 2011, 10:32 PM

All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya - financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The rebel "Interim Transitional National Council" is little else than the good ol' National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the "innocent civilians" the "coalition" is "protecting".

Right on cue, the "Interim Transitional National Council" has got a new finance minister, US-educated economist Ali Tarhouni. He disclosed that a bunch of Western countries gave them credit backed by Libya's sovereign fund, and the British allowed them to access $1.1 billion of Gaddafi's funds. This means the Anglo-French-American consortium - and now NATO - will only pay for the bombs. As war scams go this one is priceless; the West uses Libya's own cash to finance a bunch of opportunists Libyan rebels to fight the Libyan government. And on top of it the Americans, the Brits and the French feel the love for all that bombing. Neo-cons must be kicking themselves; why couldn't former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz come up with something like this for Iraq 2003?

Escobar did his homework. Rec'd
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Wed Mar 30th 2011, 08:25 PM

What an exciting time to be an American and believe in magic.
Read entry | Discuss (2 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Wed Mar 30th 2011, 09:36 AM

One of last year’s biggest shocks was Gaddafi’s suggestion to nationalize the country’s oil and gas interests, a consideration that seemed to echo the early days of the Libyan revolution when the industry was partially nationalized. These words set the stage for the National Oil Corp. to renegotiate long-term contracts in Libya’s favor with major oil companies operating in the country, such as Italy’s ENI, the United States’ Occidental, PetroCanada, France’s Total and Spain’s Repsol, St John added.


So where does this all leave Libya and its nervous investors today?
Ghanem’s latest declarations are obviously attempts to “put a positive face on an industry that has not been going well in the last 12 to 18 months,” St John said, adding that these events have prompted “great uncertainty” in the oil and gas industry, and “a lot of that’s their own fault.”


Within the Libyan government there is resistance to encouraging more foreign investment in the oil market, but Ghanem’s argument is the country cannot go it alone, said Henderson. The North African country sorely needs foreign investors but wants them to view such requests as a partnership rather than as an invitation to take over sectors of the economy, he explained.

“The difficult challenge is at home, Arab nationalism is a very strong thing,” Henderson told “Foreign investors are seen as diminishing Arab nationalism and therefore are resisted ideologically. And from a foreign investor’s point of view, selling the notion to your shareholders that you can get a good agreement with an apparent eccentric like Col. Gaddafi is questionable.”


Last year Gaddafi demanded that foreign companies either have Libyans as partners or forget it.

Now we have the rebels, their rapid deals with the French whose intelligence was involved in this uprising, and their emphasis on opening it all up to the private sector as well as protecting the interests and rights of foreign nationals and companies. Could things be any more obvious?

2 + 2 only equals one thing.

Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Wed Mar 30th 2011, 09:05 AM
First with the Chavez Peace commission, then with the African Union's and also Erdogan's initiatives but the rebels refuse. Anyone who even remotely suggests peace talks was demonized by the war hawks.

The Western Nations that so brutally colonized and keep plundering Africa want war at all costs. Rec'd

Head of African Union: UN blocked mediation efforts in Libya

In an interview with the French-language magazine of African affairs Jeune Afrique, the head of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping, has said that an African Union (AU) delegation attempting to mediate between the warring parties in Libya was denied authorization to visit the country by the UN Security Council. The five-member delegation was scheduled to visit the Libyan capital Tripoli on March 20 and Benghazi, the capital of the rebellion, on March 21. The bombing of Libya by coalition forces began on March 19.

Nonetheless, according to Ping, the members of the AU delegation requested permission from the UN Security Council to pursue their mission anyway and were refused. Ping told Jeune Afrique that the Security Council refused the request “because it would have been too dangerous.”

More generally, on the AU’s opposition to the Western-led “humanitarian” intervention in Libya, Ping explained,

    We have already experienced this type of intervention. Remember Somalia. President Siad Barré was overthrown in 1991. Then the UN operation Restore Hope occurred. And then what? The international community came in and it ran away. For twenty years now, Africa has been left to face the problem of Somalia alone.

Ping noted that Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi had accepted the four-point “road map” for resolving the crisis proposed by the African Union. “But for there to be a cessation of hostilities,” he added, “the other side has also to stop fighting.”

... /

AU, AL chiefs discuss roadmap to end Libya crisis
March 27, 2011Laaska News
Laaska News March 27,2011.

CAIRO, March 26 (Xinhua) — Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa said here on Saturday that new suggestions concerning the situation in Libya was in coordination with the African Union (AU).

Moussa met with visiting AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping in the AL headquarter in Cairo, where they discussed the recent developments of the Libyan crisis after the UN imposed a no-fly zone over the North African country.

The AL was informed by Jean Ping about the results of an AU meeting with the Libyan governmental delegation in Addis Ababa Friday over the Libya issue, Moussa said in a joint press conference. The Libyan governmental delegation confirmed that they agreed with the AU roadmap suggestion for resolving the crisis in Libya, he said.

Jean Ping said the AU’s roadmap was supposed to be executed on March 21 in Benghazi city, but was rejected by the UN Security Council after the adoption of the Resolution 1973.

... /

More from Ping


“All our programmes which I mentioned to you were stopped by the decision of UN Security Council. We were supposed to go to Libya on the 18th in Tripoli and on the 19th to Benghazi. Then the decision of the Security Council came. We asked permission to go too they say don’t go. So we stopped going there,” he said.

He said a meeting was scheduled in Paris with the AU but nothing has been heard ever since, even though ministers of western countries on their own have made attempts to resolve the crisis in Cairo.

“Nobody talk to us; no body consult us” he lamented.

Asked if the AU has been ignored in the UN, his answer was blunt: “Totally, totally,” he said.

Read entry | Discuss (1 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 07:34 PM
Today in London a large gathering of foreign ministers will be attempting to resolve some of the contradictions

The Guardian, Tuesday 29 March 2011


Today in London a large gathering of foreign ministers and other representatives will be attempting to resolve some of the contradictions which they themselves have created, while a smaller group of the countries forming the steering committee for what is now a Nato operation will also be meeting. The main issue before them is to decide at what point Nato action ceases to be about protecting civilians from Gaddafi and begins to be about prosecuting a war on behalf of Libyan insurgents who appear unable to take and hold ground on their own.

The rebels have been their own worst enemies in this regard. Three military commanders seem to be functioning independently, if not as rivals, while the regular troops who defected in the west of the country have not been committed to operations in an organised way. Undisciplined charges by pick-up trucks are not a strategy. The political coherence of the National Transitional Council has, meanwhile, reportedly been at times very strained.

Russia, Turkey, and perhaps also Italy and Germany, have made up their minds that the line between civilian protection and regime change has already been crossed. Anglo-French tactics can be criticised, but surely there should be no disagreement that the worst possible outcome in Libya would be partition, with a Gaddafi-held zone holding on for months or years. The objection to the Russian and Turkish positions is that they make such an outcome more likely. The critical question is whether the people of western Libya want Gaddafi or not. If they do not, and that is the way the limited evidence certainly points, then policies like immediately winding down the military effort or facilitating a ceasefire will merely give Gaddafi a second wind, unless there are other, relatively peaceful levers that could then remove him, which seems far from guaranteed.

The emerging compromise may be that for a few more days the current rules of engagement, allowing ground attacks on military assets not directly or actively threatening civilians, will continue in force but then a narrower interpretation will prevail. That gives Nato planes a slender window to tip the military balance further against Gaddafi. Thereafter it may well get much more difficult, and, if it does, some countries may have much to answer for.

The war in Libya: who controls the skies?


The North Atlantic Council (NAC), Nato's governing body, yesterday issued something called a NAC Execution Directive, which gave the order for a Canadian general, Charles Bouchard, who has been running the no-fly zone since Friday, to assume command of air strikes as well. In fact, Nato sources say that the actual handover of command of this most controversial element of the western role in Libya will not happen for some days. "It should be done by the end of the week," one official said.


These operations have been coordinated rather than commanded by the US. In practice, the British and French have been choosing their own targets. For the time being, they can continue to act as the rebels' air force, blowing up pro-Gaddafi forces ahead of the insurgents as they race west along the coastal road.

We do not know what new rules of engagement were agreed in Brussels on Sunday, but it is hard to imagine that the 28 Nato member states, including Turkey and Germany, would have signed off on the very liberal French and British interpretation of the "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in UN security council resolution 1973.

All the signs are that the new rules of engagement will be more restrictive, and not allow Nato pilots to target pro-Gaddafi forces if they do not represent an immediate threat to civilians. Until those rules actually come into operation, the French and British will race to do as much damage as possible to what remains of Gaddafi's military machine.

UPDATE: The Guardian's security editor Richard Norton-Taylor says that British defence officials privately concede that the rules of engagement may be made much more restrictive when Nato takes over. They say Bouchard is expected to give a press conference outlining the new position on Thursday, which may mean he does not actually take command until then.
Read entry | Discuss (12 comments)
Posted by Catherina in Political Videos
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 03:21 PM
Read entry | Discuss (0 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 02:44 PM

On Sunday night at least 18 large explosions were heard in or near Sirte, apparently part of the coalition's campaign of attacking air defences and other military targets. But reports that the city had fallen to the Benghazi-based rebels were evidently wrong – and fuelled Libyan fury at the satellite TV channels that claimed it had.

It was firmly in government hands and its people defiant. "I saw death with my own eyes," said Fawzi Imish, whose house and every other in his seafront street had its windows shattered by a Tomahawk missile strike in the early hours of the morning. "It was just intended to terrify people. And if the rebels come here, we will receive them with bullets."


Residents of Sirte's beachfront area protested angrily at an attack on Saturday night which killed three men picnicking on a breakwater surrounding a small harbour, packed with wooden fishing boats abandoned by their Egyptian and Tunisian crews when the uprising began last month. Fragments of the bomb were embedded in a shallow crater at the end of the stone jetty – which had no conceivable military use.

On Khartoum Street, where one of the dead men lived, a woman could be heard wailing inconsolably as grim-faced relatives arrived to pay their respects.

Read entry | Discuss (9 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 01:35 PM
Libya: Time to Say What is Really Happening

TOP STORY | LEBEDEVA Irina (US) | 29.03.2011 | 16:16

Global media are beaming with enthusiasm over the advancement of the “rebels” in Libya. The Independent, for example, ran a nearly sadistic weekend account of the coalition's raid which caught the forces of the regime amidst open space, with nowhere to hide, and left scores of crippled and burned bodies of Gadhafi's supporters scattered along the road to Benghazi. The people were either grilled in missile-hit tanks or came under shrapnel fire when they attempted to flee. The shocking details highlighted the actual meaning of the term “no-fly zone” in Libya's case and in fact exposed the violations of the Geneva Conventions and protocols which the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 – a de facto blessing of the aggression against Libya - served to justify. It is outrageous that, upon neutralizing Gadhafi's air defense, the coalition concluded that it had the right to kill en masse a sovereign country's servicemen who in any case simply had no right to disobey their commanders.

Regardless of any UN Security Council's resolutions, Libya should have the legitimate right to self-defense, while sanctioning an aggression is by definition illegal. Pentagon chief R. Gates admitted that the no-fly zone was an euphemism for war, but then, according to the customs of war, it had to be declared or Libya had to be confronted with an ultimatum. We have neither of that happen, but the international law still states explicitly that the laws and customs of war are just as applicable to military conflicts which began without a war being declared. The coalition should not feel that somehow it is authorized to disregard the norms which must be observed in armed conflicts of any nature.

The international law contains no regulations specific to air raids. They are subject to the 1907 and 1954 Hague Conventions as well as to the Geneva Conventions and their additional 1977 protocols pertinent to overland and maritime combat, which prohibit bombarding defenseless cities, cultural landmarks, etc. Since in all epochs wars were fought between states, the protection of potential victims falls into the sphere of the international law. As of today, the international humanitarian law is mainly based on the four August 12, 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols along with the IV Hague Convention of 1907. The latter established over a century ago that “The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited”. Protocol I adopted additionally in 1977 reiterated the above, widening the scope of the requirement to encompass any armed conflict. Moreover, from the legal standpoint the means of injuring the enemy are divided into legitimate and illegitimate. The international law disallows third-party support for any side in a conflict and bans employing a country's citizens to fight against it even if they were enrolled in military service prior to the outbreak of the conflict. Bombing defenseless cities, villages, residences and buildings, ruining cultural landmarks and shrines, or destroying potentially hazardous systems like nuclear power plants or dams is illegal. Eyewitness reports of hospitals and dams being pounded by the coalition forces in Libya are available at the moment. Subjecting civilian populations to famine as a means of war is also prohibited, but the recent assets freeze imposed on Gadhafi's regime makes it impossible for the government to buy foodstuffs and therefore clearly makes the threat of famine among the Libyan leader's supporters real. A marine blockade is regarded as legitimate only when individual or collective right to self-defense is being exercised or if it is sanctioned by the UN Security Council, but even that is open to interpretation. A blockade imposed by an aggressor is definitely illegal. Enforcing the currently neglected international law must top the international community's agenda aimed at remedying the conflict in Libya, and serious efforts should be made to prevent the unpunished aggression and use of force in North Africa from setting a precedent that can be invoked elsewhere.


Mark S. Sheetz, Fellow in International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, wrote in a post at the Foreign Policy portal on March 23: «The key lesson that states like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia will draw from the military intervention in Libya is to keep a nuclear development program if you have one and go get one if you do not. One has to believe that Qaddafi is now tormenting himself at night with the question: "Why did I ever agree to give up my WMD programs?» <1>. In fact, the list of countries now learning the lesson may be even longer than suggested above.

Read entry | Discuss (155 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Tue Mar 29th 2011, 11:07 AM
Poor, untrained, harmless, civilian rebels suddenly moving forward to capture heavily-defended towns supported by overwhelming "air only" bombing, and now selling oil? In the middle of a death struggle the rebels had time to set up a central bank? Overnight? Red hot bridges for sale!

Notice how rapidly the central bank structure for this cash flow was put in place. This is so wrong, on so many levels. The oil still belongs to a still sovereign nation. This one's for the Guinness Book of Records. What we have here is a major oil and money play, with the rebels being used as puppets and cover, as the oil/money transfer takes place.

How convenient that the US Treasury had the foresight to put this into place

Treasury will continue monitoring the National Oil Corporation’s operations in Libya. Should National Oil Corporation subsidiaries or facilities come under different ownership and control, Treasury may consider authorizing dealings with such entities.

Nothing was planned in advance. Just a group of spontaneous ragtag rebels with keen financial foresight. That's all. Nothing to see here folks, move along. It's strictly a humanitarian effort.

Red hot bridges! Get em right here!. Red hot bridges for sale!

And all this while the European media is busily uncovering the suspect role French Intelligence played in getting this spontaneous *revolution* going.


November 18, 2010

A French ‘commercial’ delegation leaves for Benghazi. In the delegation there are officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and representitives from Cam Cereals, France Export Cereals, Cargill, Glencore, France Agrimer, Soufflet, Louis Dreyfous, and Comagra. Among the delegation, posing as government officials, there are French secret service agents and military staff. Their ‘business’ was meeting army officers indicated by Mesmari who will be ready to defect from the Libyan army.

While in Benghazi, contact is made with Libyan air defence colonel, Abdallah Gehani, who was indicated by Nouri Mesmari as an army officer who is ready to collaborate to topple Muammar Gaddafi. Gehani had good contacts in Tunisia too.


December 23, 2010

A delegation of Libyans arrives in Paris for meetings with Mesrami and other French officials. The Libyans are Ali Ounes Mansouri, Farj Charrant and Fathi Boukhris. These three men will be known later together with Ali Hajj as leaders of the revolution, that started from Benghazi.

The Libyan delegation together with Mesrami and French military and secret service personnel dined at an elegant French restaurant at the Champs Elisée.


Red hot bridges! Two for one today!

Read entry | Discuss (1 comments)
Posted by Catherina in General Discussion
Mon Mar 28th 2011, 08:26 PM
Seven out of 10 voters fear that Libya 'will become another Iraq'
By Andrew Grice, Political Editor

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The public fears that Britain's armed forces will be sucked into a long, Iraq-style military operation in Libya, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent.

David Cameron has insisted that Libya is "not another Iraq", but voters are not convinced and appear scarred by the long, bloody aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Seven out of ten people (71 per cent) are concerned that the action in Libya could result in Britain being "dragged into a prolonged conflict like the Iraq war", while 24 per cent are not. The fears are greater among Labour supporters, 77 per cent of whom are worried that Libya could turn into another Iraq. That view is shared by 67 per cent of Conservative supporters and 70 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters.


By a margin of 47 to 43 per cent, people do not believe the Government was right to commit British forces to action in Libya. A majority of Conservative voters (58 per cent) back the intervention, compared to 46 per cent of Labour and 45 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters. Despite that, 46 per cent think the operation would be justified in targeting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi himself; 40 per cent do not.

Read entry | Discuss (6 comments)
Profile Information
Profile Picture
Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your ignore list
Not a DU Donor
25477 posts
Member since Mon Mar 3rd 2008
Greatest Threads
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.