Posts Tagged ‘Rebels’

As Syria Continues To Simmer, Lebanon Remains in Limbo

January 16, 2013

Pat_BeirPatrick Henningsen
21stCentury Wire
Jan 16, 2012

BEIRUT – On arrival to Lebanon’s capital city, all seems very functional and normal on the surface, as the city runs business as usual.

Below the surface however, there is a feeling of trepidation, an unspoken collective worry that a city and country who has gradually managed to pick up the pieces from the decades-long conflict which stretched through the 70’s and 80’s, an Israeli occupation of its south, followed by a brief, albeit destructive, ‘33 Day War’ with Israel in 2006 – might once again be dragged into another sub-regional conflict. It goes without saying that police and security services in Lebanon are on high alert.

Tourism Hit Hard

The neighboring conflict has also had a very negative impact on Lebanon’s tourism, keeping away the much-needed outside currency for which many jobs, independent hotels and other SMEs are dependent for their economic survival. But despite the recent problems, Beirut is still moving ahead, still attracting some foreign investment made visible by the hundreds of new building projects springing up all over the city. And as expected, the restaurants seem busy and the cafes are still buzzing.

Already there is a tangible presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and in the capital Beirut, who have fled from the fighting and breakdown of society currently unfolding next door. The impact of the Syrian conflict on its neighbor Lebanon in such a short space of time is substantial.

Latest reports put the number of Syrian refugees recently accumulated in Lebanon at 300,000. This figure is contrasted by the number of Palestinian refugees whose ancestors fled Israel’s ethnic cleanings in 1947-48, still housed in Lebanon today – which is currently estimated at 500,000.

The Issue of Sectarianism

Lebanon is, more than ever, a demonstration of sectarianism par excellence. In of country of 4 million, there is differentiation within the Christian community – Greek Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic, as well as within and the Muslim community – Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Druze.  In addition to this, there is a substantial Armenian community, a large community of foreign nationals from the US and Europe, Asian and African migrant workers, and a small Jewish community. One might also note that the internal rifts between Christian and Muslim factions are almost as great as the polarity separating Christians and Muslim as a whole.

That said, it is also the only society in the region where contrasting religions and cultures are completely intermingled and where tolerance has evolved into a virtue.

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Co-existance: A scene from a recent Christmas illustrates the country’s diversity (PHOTO: Mary Henningsen)

In its totality, Lebanon consists of some of 19 religions and dozens more ethnic , groups. Many a thesis and book have sought to chronicle (and will continue to argue no doubt) this strive towards cultural détente in the Levant. One such writer is Lebanese-American Professor Walid Phares, who sums up the country’s current alignment as follows:

“Although multi-ethic and multi-religious, Lebanon was viewed by the political establishment as a unitary republic which can only have a majority and a minority. Therefore, and without a mechanism of decentralization, Federation or simply pluralism, that establishment was vying over who really represents the “majority” of all Lebanese, and who reduced to a “minority.” The debate was then about numbers, census, demographic changes, communities who have allegedly increased in numbers because of poverty versus communities who have decreased in numbers because of emigration. But that was a false problem.”

Much of the country’s political energy has been expended over the course of the last half century in determining who is the majority and who is the minority, and although the intention was to present a fair solution to representation in its central government, it has also been the source of internal power-politics, which some believe laid down a fertile soil for the sharp upheaval Lebanon experienced from 1975 onward.

Nowhere is the nation’s simmering ‘political ratio’ reflected more than in its own constitution – a document which goes to extraordinary lengths to secure some form of socio-religious balance. The Lebanese constitution mandates that the office President should be held by a Maronite Christian, the Speaker of the House held by a Shi’ite Muslim, and the post of Prime Minister held by a Sunni Muslim.

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Beirut shoulders a diverse collection of ethnic groups, along with their corresponding political issues (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

Many academics such as Phares, feel that the future would be brighter if Lebanon would embrace its multicultural reality and take a feather out of Belgium’s or Canada’s cap, and consider phasing out its historical obsession with ethnic and religious minorities and majorities. In other words, if Lebanon could embrace ‘multiculturalism’, it wouldn’t need the old system. This idea is easier said than done, as vested political interests and blood spilled over decades has, to a large degree, cemented traditional political and social paradigms into place.

Syria Simmering Next Door

What’s foremost on the minds of Lebanese in 2013 is what will happen with Syria, and will Lebanon we dragged to their war. Alongside this, many are left questioning whether or not Lebanon will ever achieve some form of long-term peace with its southern neighbor Israel. The former is the key to its short-term prosperity, while the latter is the key to healing wounds still festering from the wars, as well as the influx of Palestinians it has had to shoulder since 1948.

The situation in Syria is made even more complex by the fact that a number of foreign powers with vested interests in Damascus regime change are supplying fighters, arms, logistics, money and mass media support – which has always been a recipe for chaos throughout history. Among these foreign actors vying for position in Syria are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, US, UK and France (somehow, it’s all beginning to look more and more like pre-WWI power-politics).

Syria has long played an overshadowing role in the stability – and destiny of its smaller neighbor Lebanon. The scares still run deep from Syria’s obtuse and often disjointed alliances with different factions over the course of Lebanon’s Civil Wars in the 70’s and 1980’s. The result of Syria’s hand in those affairs has been a dysfunctional, and often times confusing relationship between Damascus and Beirut, as well as the cause for political dysfunction within Beirut itself.

In 2013, however, the alignments are markedly different from previous decades. For starters, Syria, itself, is now a major piece on the global chessboard, not least of all because of its three major allies, all of whom seem to run contrary tocentral planning in the West – namely, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran and now Russia. All interested parties see Syria as the key domino, and this, rightly so, is the cause for much worry right now.

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Stunning countryside: Sunset over the historic Chouf mountain range in southern Lebanon (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

Lebanon has a number of internal issues I’m sure it would prefer to sort out first before being dragged into another sub-regional conflagration – like it’s own central government, its economy, its potentially massive tourism trade, and of course, the Palestinian refugee issue.

Yesterday, I was able to travel south the ancient city of Tyre, some 16km from the the Israeli border. The ruins are stunning, but so are the Palestinian refugee camp which runs alongside it. It’s was a little tragic, if not amusing to discover there that some Palestinians in need of rock for building their homes had permanently borrowed some of the antiquity ruins next door. In a certain way, some five millennia of history puts the current protracted upheaval into some perspective.

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Ancient city of Tyre in Lebanon (PHOTO: Patrick Henningsen)

The recent past certainly has pulled Lebanon down in a spiral of social tension and extreme economic strife, but set against the larger backdrop of successive empires and cultures who have been overlaid on to this small, but historically pivotal region, it’s merely the latest chapter in a much larger epic novel. Many people outside of Lebanon – academics, archeologists, tourists – all long to see Lebanon achieve stability and one day showcase its incredible cultural and historical wealth to the world.

In essence, making the difficult transition from a fractured state, to one of stability and eventual prosperity. I talked about this to one long-term Beirut resident, named Jamal, who put it simply, “To do all this, first we need to have peace.”

It’s that simple. On paper anyway.

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Writer Patrick Henningsen is a roving correspondent for the UK Column, as well as host of 21st Century Wire TV programme airing Thursdays at 6pm on PSTV SKY channel 191 in the UK.

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Cameron and Obama’s Hired Thugs Now Butchering Their Way Through Syria

December 7, 2012

These people only care about their own lucrative careers, and a life of priviledge on the taxpayers dime.

21st Century Wire
Dec 7, 2012

What a lark. Directing a war from the comfort of a golf course, or over a warm Cognac at Chequers. While they wine and dine in DC and Westminster, their hired hands work overtime to make rivers of blood in Syria.

Barak Obama and David Cameron, flanked by their ‘diplomats’ Hillary Clinton and William Hague, are all doing their bit to increase the bloodshed in Syria by backing the FSA rebel, al Qaida jihadist terrorists, who are presently working their way through the once stable country like termites eating through a once healthy home.

Blood comes cheap, and with budgets tight at home, western leaders are happy with the current arrangement. Rebel terrorist fighters are being paid between $500 and $2000 per month, and arms are free of charge through various NATO proxies and Gulf States. Their job assignment is a blunt one – to intimidate loyal pro-Syrian citizens, and to butcher thousands of innocent civilians – all in all, inflicting a reign of terror much like that one engineered by Washington in Nicaragua during the 1980’s. This is who Washington, London and Paris are backing in their quest to finally bring Syria under their globalist umbrella.

We have never have witnessed this level of open international criminality and hypocrisy by our puppet leaders in the West.

At least with Iraq, Bush and Blair tried to be creative with their lying by making up unbelievable stories of “mobile anthrax labs”.

Nine years on, our well-paid elite political prostitutes don’t even bother with fish stories, they just put the weapons in the hands of terrorists, and pay these professional murderers to kill indiscriminately.

All this will eventually bring shame to the citizens of western nations in the long run, much the same way that the Nazis brought shame to the German people (but no shame to the corporations, bankers and elites though – because you can only feel shame if you have a conscious to begin with).

They will keep using the same tried and tested methods, unless they can be stopped by their own electorate.

Here is a video promoting Obama and Cameron’s favoured operatives in Syria…

Watch:

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“Western Leaders Are Encouraging Terrorist Blood Bath in Syria” says Henningsen

December 3, 2012

Pat3_color21st Century Wire’s analyst Patrick Henningsen talks with RT News about the West and their Gulf state proxies’ backing of terrorist groups in Syria in order to accelerate regime change in Syria and to further destabilize the Middle East region. Washington and Britain are actively supporting al Qaeda and other FSA-related foreign fighters in Syria, a policy which is an international war crime and is costing thousands of innocent lives, and billions of dollars to western taxpayers and to the people in Syria.

http://www.21stcenturywire.com

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‘DAVID CAMERON’S HIT LIST’: Govt supporters are ‘dead men walking’ in Syria

November 12, 2012

The new Syrian opposition coalition is now seeking official recognition from abroad, and aims to administer the flow of funds and potentially arms to rebels. UK Prime Minister is backing them with all they require, and recogizes the Free Syria Army (FSA) terrorists he’s arming as ‘more legitimate’ than the Assad government.

The FSA, and other Saudi and a Qaida terrorists supported by Cameron, Hague, Clinton and Obama – are now executing Syrian civilians whom they suspect are supporters of the national government in Syria. So, if Cameron and Co. support these terrorists. then Cameron and Co. support  the butchering they have been carrying out over the last several months. This is a shocking state of affairs for the West – akin to real war crimes now.

Is Cameron is now officially the new Blair?

But the anti-Assad forces may see direct assistance from foreign troops, as a British top soldier has said hundreds of UK troops could be deployed to Syria if ‘the humanitarian situation worsens’. Meanwhile, fears are mounting that rebel fighters are increasingly targeting civilians for simply showing allegiance to the government, as Maria Finoshina explains:

‘US, UK silent on Bani Walid massacres and chaos’

October 25, 2012

Libya’s government forces claim they have taken control of the opposition stronghold Bani Walid – but say pockets of resistance still remain. That’s after a weeks-long deadly assault – with reports of dozens of residents in the besieged city being killed by pro-government shelling. RT’s Paula Slier has the details. Also, RT’s managed to make contact with an eyewitness in the city. He says militias are carrying out mass killings, as civilians continue to call on the international community to help.

95% of ‘Syrian rebels’ not Syrians – report

October 5, 2012

The Syrian crisis is a result of a coherent collective effort by a gang of foreign states – that’s the message Syria’s foreign minister laid out for the UN General Assembly.

International law professor Daoud Khairallah says that Syrians would never inflict such vicious destruction on their homeland and the fact that foreign fighters are involved in the war runs against the UN charter.

Decline of the West: Blood-lust in the streets of Libya suffices for justice

October 21, 2011

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
October 21, 2011

It appears that Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi may have been handed down his final verdict by NATO rebels, but it’s perhaps an even more bloody awful fate already suffered by a morally detached western civilization.

The man who liberated his country from the tyrannical monarchy of King Idris back in 1969… was tried and sentenced by bullet today.

Gaddafi modeled himself after Omar MukhtarThe Lion of the Desert, the only other man who has led a genuine, independent Libyan resistance, fighting against a brutal Italian colonization in 1927. Yet, our media tell us he’s just another dead tyrant.

Unable to conceal her philistine nature, pathetic US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the opportunity to crack a predictably disingenuous joke. When hearing the news of Gaddafi’s death she cackled as she told reporters, “We came, we saw, he died!”

 News clip of Hillary Clinton’s cackle over the death of Libya’s Gaddafi

This has become the new narrative in the US and western Europe now, where foreign leaders and other non-state actors with brown skin are given lengthy trials through press briefings by suited politicians in places like Washington, London and Paris, echoed by the corporate media until an antagonist is born for public consumption.

Following the White House’s comical staged hoax of SEAL Team 6′s gallant raid on long-dead Osama bin Laden, and with no evidence to show it actually happened other than President Obama’s TV speeches- we get the next public assassination. After all, Obama’s far-fetched tale of the bin-Laden mission somehow vindicated all those innocent lives ruined by US incarceration and outright torture of thousands of young men since the War on Terror officially began in 2001.

Al Jazeera will no doubt play the shaky cell phone video of the man being stripped and dragged through the streets of Sirte by the NATO rebel mob. Somehow they believe, Gaddafi’s brutal post-mortem will vindicate their careless efforts and somehow make right the thousands of innocents who have perished- so that Libya can finally become part of the globalist, debt-based, neoliberal economic IMF system.

The west and its banking elite have nothing left to plunder other than middle class pension funds and incomes at home, so they are relying on plundering countries in the east and south in order to refill its sadly diminishing coffers. This is the only way to get their hands on any real liquidity or assets.

JUSTICE? Gaddafi could never be put on trial by the West, it's a stage they cannot afford to give him.

The same treatment was given to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Like Gaddafi and Osama bin Laden, he worked hand in hand with America’s CIA and Britain’s MI6 in order to help western intelligence agencies achieve their operational goals, and thus the foreign policy objectives of the US, Great Britain and Israel. Grainy cell phone videos of Saddam’s circus execution somehow vindicated those in the west who liquidated so many innocent Iraqi lives since 1991, and arguably before.

This is the new trend in dispensing due process, in a declining western civilization where blood-lust suffices for justice.

After the protracted media trials of both Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, globalist power-brokers will never allow their war criminals to stand trial and spill the beans on all their dirty little secrets.

Over the last few decades, both Americans and western Europeans have become well-trained media consumers, and absorb their talking points much in the same way that grade school children dutifully repeat after their teachers and walk in single file. As adults, their teachers are CNN, FOX, the BBC, and the newest addition to the state information corps, US CENTCOM’s own Al Jazeera. None of them have any genuine moral or ethical perspective left in their editorial vision. The corporate networks will reserve any real humanitarian compassion for a handful of trapped miners, baby seals, missing Caucasian children and Amanda Knox.

Our new teachers have taught the dutifully minded among us that when the mob labels a head of state or non-state actor as a tyrant, then regime change must take place, and that this man deserves to die. They have taught us that one dead US soldier is worth more in headlines than 100 dead brown-skinned Iraqis, Afghanis, Palestinians, or Libyans- women and children included. That is the overwhelming power of the 21st century media.

Will Libya have anything near the stability it enjoyed over the last 30 years? Will its people enjoy the mountain of state benefits available to them under the Gaddafi rein? Will Libyans be able to retain ownership of their country’s bounty of natural resources, and see the state reinvesting its profits back into their country for the benefit of future generations?

History has taught us that the answer to each and every one of these questions is of course…no.

History has written all over the sands of  the Maghreb of North Africa, and Libya in particular. It has always been under the thumb of one empire or another- from the Romans, the Spanish, the Vatican’s Knights of Malta, the Ottomans, and Mussolini’s Italy.

Libya’s first brush with America came in the early 19th century, when war broke out between the United States and what was then  referred to as Tripolitania, in what came to be known as the Barbary Wars. Only this time around the Barbary pirates are on the other side of the fighting, and they are known the world over by the name of ‘NATO’.

It’s only fitting that this latest chapter of history should be written as follows…

It was clear from day one that the Anglo-American empire, along with its clients like Qatar, were actively supporting and planning to bring destabilization to the country. From the very first days of the civil war in January 2011, before the shell casings had even hit the ground, western envoys and consultants worked with known al-Qaida fighters and criminals in Libya to form a new NTC government, a new central bank and a new state oil holding company. NATO were deployed to give brutal air support to these new gangs of rebel paramilitaries, and for nearly 10 months, both those groups killed, tortured, raped and looted everything in their path.

Meanwhile, offshore transnational corporations from the US, Europe and Qatar carved up the country’s assets. Months followed years of instability, infighting and acts of internal retribution followed. The poor became poorer, the rich became richer, organized crime blossomed and thousands of middle class Libyans were allowed to immigrate to the UK, France and Italy.

This would come to be known as Libya’s liberation.

What it means

The UN issued the citation, and NATO came in with the tow truck. Make no mistake, in the real world, NATO is the USA and the USA is NATO. It’s a politically correct way of using military force without being seen to be acting alone as an imperial aggressor. But what about the NTC’s death squads, the theft, the rape, the torture and destruction of citizens’ property, business, and whole lives?

To pass the buck a little further, NATO’s goals and end-game is handed over to Libya’s NTC, this way everyone’s asses are covered.

Politicians in Washington, London and Paris should be proud. They got everything they wanted, and with no dirt under their nails.

If no one in the US, UK, France, the UN or NATO’s technicians of death are held accountable for the sacking and looting of Libya- the crime of the 21st century, then expect that they will simply move forward, and do it again, and again. So who’s next? Syria?

There is no more moral high ground, no more western values, no beliefs to use as a back-stop for western civilization.

Was Gaddafi guilty? Is that it then, a bullet?

He will never be afforded the same trial that anyone reading this article would expect as their god-given right. So what makes any among us believe that we deserve any of these so-called rights we think we enjoy in the west?

Meanwhile, the US and UK corporate media can’t stop parading those barbaric pictures on the front page in exactly the same manner as Libya’s NATO rebels where parading corpses around town. And this is what 2000 years of civilization brought?

Who are we kidding?

NATO’s Destabilization of Libya: Patrick Henningsen reports on Russia Today

October 4, 2011

21st Century Wire
October 4, 2011

 21st Century Wire Editor Patrick Henningsen reports on RT on the destabilization in Libya

Russia Today Reports: Libya’s interim leaders claim they will not stay in power once the last Gaddafi strongholds are defeated. But Patrick Henningsen, a managing editor of the 21st Century Wire news site, believes that the interim government will stay on long after that.

“To have an indication of what the future is going to look like, all you have to do is look over to Egypt,” he said. “The military government is still in power, and will be in power for some time.”

Nevertheless, Henningsen says there is a huge power struggle within the Transitional National Council.

“These rebels are basically fighting for whatever piece of the pie they can get,” he said. “They do not know for how long they are going to be in power. So they are trying to solidify their own personal interests, while they have not even won the war yet.” 

NATO has vowed not to end operations in Libya until civilians are no longer in danger. With thousands fleeing Sirte and Bani Walid because of shelling and water shortages, Henningsen believes the operation will continue until Gaddafi’s last strongholds are emptied of civilians and razed to the ground.

“What they are doing with Sirte is much like it was with Fallujah [in Iraq] – they are trying to empty the city, so that there is only a military presence left, now ‘insurgent’ presence,” he said. “And then they are going to carpet bomb it or just shell it for a week or two, until there is nothing left but a pile of dust.”

Henningsen argued that for now, the West’s main idea seems to be: “It is not stable yet [in Libya]. When stability comes, we will give you democracy.”

But Libya has little chance of growing into a full democratic state, Henningsen says, because the “seeds” planted by NATO’s support for the rebels were not exactly democratic.

“Essentially, NATO has given air cover and military cover to a rebel faction that was not chosen or elected by the people,” he said. “They don’t have a mandate. What we will have, I think, is protracted power struggle, a tribal backlash which is going to occur in Libya as a result of this war.” 

He believes that the West is just carving up Libya, and the only stability it is really interested in is if it is stable enough for Western companies to come in and sign profitable contracts.

‘Millions in Harlem March’ Aims to Stop US, NATO War-making in Libya

August 4, 2011

By Saeed Shabazz
FINAL CALL
August 4, 2011

NEW YORK (FinalCall.com) – Activists representing a broad coalition of anti-war organizations, the Nation of Islam, the political left, Islamic organizations and a plethora of grassroots community organizations recently stood together on the stage of the Assembly Hall at the Riverside Church, proclaiming that “all roads lead to Harlem” for the Aug. 13 “Millions in Harlem March” to stop the bombing of Libya.

There is a huge gap between Western Media reports in Libya and what is actually going on there.

“Where are we going to be on Aug. 13?” asked Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, the main sponsors of the Riverside Church event. “In Harlem!” the standing room only crowd shouted back.

“President Barack Obama never believed that his actions against Libya could galvanize the movement that will be in the streets of Harlem on Aug. 13”, said Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of the Nation of Islam, in response to a question from The Final Call. Marching alongside of the Nation of Islam the second Saturday in August will be members of the “White Left and other progressives, Pan Africanists, Black grassroots organizations and national Islamic organizations,” he added.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will be the keynote speaker at the Harlem march. “Min. Farrakhan will deliver a dynamic speech from 110th Street to 125th Street,” said Mr. Muhammad. The march will start at 110th Street.

The United Nations Security Council March 17 passed resolution 1973 by a vote of 10 in favor with five abstentions, authorizing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to begin a “no-fly zone” over Libyan air space, alleging President Muammar Gadhafi was targeting civilians in the North African nation.

Some Libyans had begun anti-Gadhafi demonstrations in February in the city of Benghazi, which turned into armed rebellion. The UN offered no proof Libya’s leader was killing unarmed civilians, though he vowed to fight those who had taken up arms against the government.

INNOCENT? There is still no evidence that Gaddafi had "gunned down innocent protestors" back in Feb 2011.

The U.S. and France March 18 started bombing so-called military targets, but the damage done by a “peace effort,” according to some observers, was more costly than what the Libyan leader had been accused of. Then came attacks on personal compounds that killed Libyan officials as well as a son of Col. Gadhafi and his grandchildren. NATO bombs hit the home of Libya’s leader at least twice as Western nations declared he had to go, pushing a policy of regime change.

Cynthia McKinney, a six-term former congresswoman from Georgia, was the keynote speaker for the Riverside Church rally. She told The Final Call she agreed with Mr. Muhammad’s assessment. “This will galvanize public opinion, as people see this as being important to them. Obama certainly stumbled this time,” referring to the president’s continued support for the NATO bombing of Libya. According to news outlets, the Obama administration is sending $10 million a day to NATO for the bombing of Libya.

Ms. McKinney had been on an 11-city tour telling packed audiences about her experiences in Tripoli in the early days of the NATO/UN aggression.

“There is definitely a buzz in the streets around Aug. 13,” said Larry Holmes of the Newark-based Bail Out the People Not the Banks movement. “Expect people to be in the streets of Harlem in numbers,” he said.

Information about the street mobilization for the march may be found at www.millionmarchinharlem.com. There are organizing teams in all five New York boroughs that have saturated neighborhoods with green posters announcing the march.

“The people are very excited about the march, and Min. Louis Farrakhan as the keynote speaker is great. We are going to fill up Malcolm X Boulevard,” said one volunteer.

During a June 15 press conference at a hotel across the street from the United Nations, Min. Farrakhan told the media the “United Nations, U.S.-sponsored, NATO-led bombing of the North African country of Libya” was the work of “a coalition of demons,” governments who have joined together to assassinate Col. Gadhafi.

But even some who voted for the initial resolutions and allowed the resolutions to pass have expressed reservation, if not outright regret. The African Union, in particular, has been calling for and working for a negotiated settlement only to be disregarded by Western nations intent on putting a new Libyan government in place.

The South African ambassador to the UN, Baso Sangqu, told the 15-member Security Council July 28 that his country’s delegation “echoes the African Union demand for an immediate pause in the fighting and in the NATO bombing.”

“We have noted the calls that ‘Gaddafi must go.’ We maintain that such statements do not bring us closer to a political solution,” the South African ambassador said. South Africa is occupying a rotating seat on the Security Council and supported the initial resolutions.

In a speech that was not widely covered by the media, Ambassador Sangqu said, “South Africa remains concerned about the implementation of resolutions 1970 and 1973. Taking sides in an internal conflict situation to institute regime change in Libya sets a dangerous precedent that will surely damage the credibility of the Security Council.”

“Clearly action focused on a military solution has not had its intended purpose, instead it has worked to destabilize the country even further,” he added.

Gabon and Nigeria also initially voted yes on resolutions 1970 and 1973, but the African Union has strongly condemned the bombing of any African nation.

The UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya announced July 26 through a press office that the “two sides remain far apart on reaching agreement on a political solution.” The two sides are the Gadhafi government and the rebel Transnational Council, which the U.S., France, Italy, Britain have recognized as the legitimate government of Libya.

The two sides, however, “have reaffirmed their desire to continue to engage with the UN in the search for a solution,” said special envoy Abdel-Elah Al-Khatib, a member of Jordan’s parliament. Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoud reiterated his government’s previous positions against the NATO air strikes and against the removal of Libya’s president.

“There comes a time when people have no alternative but resistance,” Viola Plummer, co-founder of the December 12th Movement one of the sponsoring organizations for the Harlem march, said July 30.

“This march will revitalize the Pan African movement. It will broaden our people’s world view and demonstrate the need for Africans to unite in our own political and economic interests internationally,” she added.

“We must expose the UN Security Council machinations, Western imperialism; the attack on Black people in the U.S. and all collaborations at every turn,” Ms. Plummer said.

March organizers say the Harlem event has garnered worldwide attention. One dignitary supporting the march is Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, a former Nicaraguan foreign minister and the 63rd president of the UN General Assembly.

During his speech at the press conference announcing the march, Father Brockman said the event was important in light of how the media “systemically deceived” the American people.

Meanwhile the killing of a major rebel commander by compatriots raised questions about how the group could stay together and raised again reports that elements of Al-Qaeda were heavily involved in the rebel effort. (See related story on page 12.)

The Chinese news service Xinhuanet reported July 31 NATO’s claim of bombing three satellite dishes in Tripoli to “stop” what was labeled “terror broadcasts” by President Gadhafi. However, there are Twitter messages, also July 31, that say Libya television is still on the air.

Just before the Aug. 1 start of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and prayer, NATO bombs struck Tripoli, and officials in Brussels would not rule other more strikes—though they were worried about a possible backlash in the Muslim world about strikes during the sacred month. “Tripoli shook with the sound of several explosions as NATO warplanes roared overhead doing what they have been doing since March, striking at what are supposedly Al Qathafi strategic infrastructure, particularly in the Libyan capital, Tripoli,” the Tripoli Post reported. “In normal times, much of the economy in Muslim countries world-wide shuts down as everyone enters a 30-day period of all-day fasting, prayer and the strict avoidance of conflict. But for Libyans this year it is an altogether different proposition. Libyans worry about sanctions and NATO strikes during this month.”

“There is an ongoing armed internal conflict as the rebels from the eastern part of the country battle on in order to reach their aim, of toppling or forcing Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi to step down from his high chair. They are involved in a battle that is barely making progress at the best of times, and with NATO forces, attempting to bomb Al Qathafi out of office,” the English language publication said.

“The NATO alliance thought it could finish it off before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in time for a new government to take shape. They failed and this month could become a perilous black hole threatening to undermine their whole campaign,” the Tripoli Post observed Aug. 1. “Muslims are not allowed to fight amongst themselves during Ramadan; they are also not allowed to attack another nation. However, they will fight back if they are attacked first, they are allowed to do that.”

     EDUCATIONAL FILM: The Process of “De-Demonizing” Gaddafi

REVEALED: French Military Air-dropped Arms to Libya Rebels

June 30, 2011

The French military confirmed rumours Wednesday that it had dropped “light weapons” to Libyan rebels earlier this month. The story was reported in French newspaper Le Figaro in early June.

By Alex PARRY / Carlotta Ranieri (video)
AFP
June 30, 2011
The French military confirmed Wednesday that it had air dropped “light weapons” earlier this month to Libyan rebels fighting Moamer Kadhafi’s forces in the highlands south of Tripoli.
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SEE VIDEO REPORT HERE

Earlier, the Le Figaro newspaper and a well-placed non-government source had said that France had dropped several tonnes of arms including Milan anti-tank rockets and light armoured vehicles to the revolt.

But Colonel Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff, told AFP that the shipments were essentially light arms such as assault rifles to help civilian communities protect themselves from regime troops.

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Burkhard said France had become aware in early June that rebel-held Berber villages in the Djebel Nafusa highland region south of the capital had come under pressure from the Libyan strongman’s loyalist forces.

“We began by dropping humanitarian aid: food, water and medical supplies,” he said. “During the operation, the situation for the civilians on the ground worsened. We dropped arms and means of self-defence, mainly ammunition.”

Burkhard described the arms as “light infantry weapons of the rifle type” and said the drops were carried out over several days “so that civilians would not be massacred”.

According to Le Figaro, which said it had seen a secret intelligence memo and talked to well-placed officials, the drops were designed to help rebel fighters encircle Tripoli and encourage a popular revolt in the city itself.

“If the rebels can get to the outskirts of Tripoli, the capital will take the chance to rise against Kadhafi,” said an official quoted in the report.

“The regime’s mercenaries are no longer getting paid and are scarcely getting fed. There’s a severe fuel shortage, the population has had enough.”

A well-placed non-government source told AFP that 40 tonnes of weapons including “light armoured cars” had been delivered to rebels in western Libya.

According to Le Figaro the French arms shipments are dropped from planes across the Djebel Nafusa region, where Berber tribes have risen to join the revolt against Kadhafi’s rule and seized several provincial towns.

The crates hold assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, it said, and also European-made Milan anti-tank missiles, a powerful addition to the rebel arsenal that can destroy a tank or a bunker.

France has taken a leading role in organising international support for the uprising against Kadhafi’s four-decade old rule, and French and British jets are spearheading a NATO-led air campaign targeting his forces.

Rebel forces are based in Benghazi in the east of the country, and hold a besieged enclave supplied by sea in the western coastal town of Misrata, but have been unable to mount a convincing advance on the capital.