Archive | February 23rd, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Monsanto Agrees Clean-Up of Toxic Brofiscin quarry in Wales



Environment Agency finds Monsanto, BP and Veolia liable for clean up after thousands of tonnes of cancer-causing chemicals – including PCBs, dioxins and Agent Orange derivatives – dumped in Welsh quarry


by Tom Levitt

19th February, 2011

Monsanto has agreed to help clean-up a quarry in South Wales it is accused of polluting with a cocktail of toxic substances despite consistently refusing to accept liability, the Ecologist can reveal.

But the taxpayer could still end up meeting the estimated £2 million clean-up bill.

Waste from a Monsanto-owned plant in Newport was dumped at the Brofiscin quarry, near the village of Groesfaen, in the 1960s and 70s. Investigations since have revealed the site is heavily polluted with dangerous toxins leaking from corroding waste containers buried underground.

There are fears a major underground aquifer, which could in future supply nearby Cardiff, may be at risk of pollution from chemicals leaching from the waste. Toxins in the air and ground vapour have also recently been detected at the site.

The Environment Agency took over responsibility for cleaning up the site in 2005 but has been accused in anEcologist investigation of failing to pursue Monsanto for its role in the pollution. In an otherwise unpublicised statement published on its website recently it now says Monsanto has been identified as one of those companies that ‘should be held responsible under the contaminated land laws and be held liable for the cost of remediating Brofiscin Quarry.’

It says it is in discussions with the company to provide them with the ‘opportunity to help remediate the land on a voluntary basis’. It goes on to say if the company fails to cooperate the Environment Agency will pay for the clean up costs itself – that could rise to £2 million – and attempt to recover the costs from the companies involved.

Monsanto has in the past refused to accept responsibility, saying it had contracted out waste disposal to third parties, who were told it was toxic. In a statement to the Ecologist the company still refuses to accept liability, but expressed a willingness to ‘play a minor role’ in cleaning up the site.

‘Due to the nature of its waste hauling arrangements at the time, Monsanto UK, Ltd., is not liable for remediation of the Quarry under Wales Environmental Protection Act. Nevertheless, we are willing to play a minor role in EAW’s work on the Quarry. Consultations with EAW are ongoing,’ said Monsanto.

However, the Brofiscin quarry is not the only site where toxic waste from Monsanto was reportedly dumped.

Douglas Gowan is a pollution expert who represented farmers and landowners in the affected areas and originally traced back the mysterious deaths of livestock in the area to the dumping of toxic waste from Monsanto’s chemical plant in nearby Newport in the 1960s and 70s. He says the Agency should now investigate pollution at least 10 other sites across the UK but fears budget constraints means it has ‘no appetite to investigate and prosecute’ over other locations. Monsanto itself said it not in discussions regarding clean-up costs for any other sites in the UK.

Inadequate clean-up

Gowan, who has led a long campaign against the Environment Agency’s failure to hold Monsanto to account, says the Agency’s current clean-up plans for Brofiscin are also inadequate and fail to deal with the contamination of groundwater supplies from the slow corrosion of the drums containing the toxins.

‘When we are dealing with PCBs or doxins you are dealing with chemicals that have extremely high toxicity at tiny levels so if you do not have adequate treatment you are not going to be successful. Their solution only tackles run-off on the surface and not the real problem which is waste buried underground getting through to the acquifer. The real question is how potent is that leaking liquid? No-one knows because they have not investigated,’ he said.

‘I think they are just hoping it will wash away but with PCBs we just do not know what will happen. They are still there 46 years later and have not biodegraded,’ said Gowan.

The Environment Agency has so far insisted that there is no ‘identifiable harm or immediate danger to human health’ but is keeping residents in the area updated. Speaking in the House of Lords last year, the then government deputy chief whip Lord Davies said the Agency was ‘keen to reach an agreement without the need for expensive litigation’.

The other companies named by the Environment Agency are believed to have a much smaller liability. BP also dumped waste at the site while the waste company Veolia acquired the contractors originally responsible for disposing of the waste for Monsanto. Veolia were unable to comment but a spokesperson for BP said it was cooperating with the Agency.

‬’We are working with the Environment Agency and others on this very old site and are pleased that the remedial actions taken to date are making a positive impact. BP is looking forward to continuing to work with the EAW and others to develop remedial solutions on a voluntary basis,’ said a statement.‬‪

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By Gordon Duff


Two years ago, the 9/11 Truth movement was unheard of by most Americans.  Reviled by the mainstream press, insulted by politicians and looked on as a fringe group by many, it lived in a virtual backwater, powerless, frustrated and brimming over with righteous indignation.

That is no longer the case.  Today, with 4 of 5 Americans turning to the alternative media, having lost all confidence in the phony “right v. left” dialog espoused by the media giants, 9/11 doubters are mainstream.

With polls typically showing “Truther” backing at between 60 and 80 percent worldwide, the mainstream media now appears as it should, a source for press releases from governments that have begun to crumble around the world, even in America as we are now seeing in Wisconsin and Ohio.

The most disturbing aspect of this shift in perspective is that influence over public opinion has fallen to those who don’t understand “the game.”  Alternative media fought for attention through exploiting mistrust in government and the “sex” of conspiracies, real and provable and, too often, insubstantial distractions.

The spotlight fell on those unprepared.

The pseudo-alternative media giant, Huffington Post, demonstrated by its merger with mainstream giant AOL, that telling the truth is both lonely and unrewarding.  Huffington had shed itself of “truth tellers” long ago.

The “corporate” media, during the “post Cronkite generation” had been lulled into trading complicity for access, alternatively receiving press releases and selling them as “journalism” or peddling misdirection as “leaks” and investigative journalism.

The press had become as complicit as the kidnappers and torturers they kowtowed to.

People were looking for answers.  The corporate press didn’t have them.  It was tasked with selling ‘status quo’ beliefs that didn’t explain the economic devastation, the endless scandals, the purposeless wars and the eventual debunking of the very foundations of government and society.  The magic 80% that looked to the alternative media knew, and very rightly so, that the plots were real and the villains more dastardly than any TV bad guy.

Three individuals brought down “the system.”

  1. David Ray Griffin

  2. Christopher Bollyn

  3. Richard Gage

One individual utterly discredited the mainstream media, more through his own duplicity and deception than anything else.  History is about results, not intentions and toward that end, our next name, though ineptitude alone, helped change the world.

  1. Julian Assange

In a just world, these three and maybe a dozen more would wear the Medal of Freedom.  Few people since the crucifixion of Christ have suffered as these three.  In the end, our age will carry the marks of these four more than any Bush or Obama.  One name will be added here, one few know.

  1. Dimitri Khalezov


Khalezov is a former Soviet Army officer who worked in the highly secretive world of nuclear detection.  The doors he opens threaten our view of the last decades, revealing a secret world of deception too devastating for most to accept.  However, as bizarre as his stories may seem, of everyone discussing 9/11, only Dimitri Khalezov has the resume that places him at the forefront.

The rest of us talk about 9/11, profess our theories and connect “dots,” real or imagined, moving the public toward a truth that may well be what the public wishes to believe than what is real.

That has been the trap.

Only Dimitri can testify, not “connect.”  When Dimitri tells us that Mossad Operations Chief Mike Harari admitted planning 9/11, it is because Dimitri was there.  This is testimony, not conjecture, backed by a willingness to take a lie detector test.

No other 9/11 evidence carries this weight.  Science shouldn’t be subjective, but we all know better.  After 9/11, the National Institute of Standards produced a lengthy document, thousands of pages, filled with junk science and ludicrous conjecture.  The 9/11 Commission went even further than that, although most members now admit such, to their credit.

Khalezov says, “Arrest that man, he did it and I will testify.”

This is why his name is listed.

Khalezov also states, backed by an offer of a lie detector test, that, while a Soviet Officer in their nuclear services, he was briefed on the placement of large nuclear demolition charges under the WTC and Sears Tower.

Thus, Khalezov brings two things to the table, admissible testimony in a criminal conspiracy trial that includes Israeli intelligence in the planning and execution of 9/11 and the presence of nuclear demolition devices as known to the Soviet government in accordance with treaties between the two states.

Please not that these “demolition charges” are thermonuclear, buried many meters under the sub-basement and virtually radiation free.

These were not, are not “micro-nukes.”

I have sat trough hours of debriefings of Dimitri which included American nuclear weapons specialists.  Mostly I learned of my own ignorance.  So much of what I believed about weapons and radiation was very wrong and I am not entirely unfamiliar with such things.

Below is a 2002 article from USA today.  There are many such articles that are “out there” which some should wish were not.

In this article, dots are connected that lead many places, some support Dimitri Khalezov and some support Richard Gage, both of whom espouse different scientific theories for the purposeful destruction of the World Trade Center by something other than ‘terrorism.”

Richard Gage proved that jet fuel can never weaken or melt steel.  Debunkers attempt to show how forms of thermite would be difficult to apply.

Those same “debunkers” are a “piece of work.”  If thermite or “nanothermite” is, as “they” claim, unable to destroy the massive structural steel beams that resist thousands of degrees of heat, how could a relatively cool kerosene fire (jet fuel is kerosene) that would have trouble burning a steak on a grill, be so much more powerful?

By the same measure, if a diesel car caught fire, it might just melt through to the center of the earth, according to the wild conjecture represented by the National Institute of Standards in their report on 9/11.  Junk science, nothing more.  Ever hear of a kerosene torch used in welding?

End of story!

Read the censored story below.  See if you can figure why it has been hidden so long.  What deadly errors are exposed in it?  Look for the mistakes and the lies meant to cover them up.

Some World Trade Center victims were ‘vaporized’

01/15/2002 – Updated 08:28 PM ET USA Today

NEW YORK (AP) — Three months after the World Trade Center attack, victims’ families are being forced to face the ghastly possibility that many of the dead were “vaporized,” as the medical examiner put it, and may never be identified. So far, fewer than 500 victims have been positively identified out of the roughly 3,000 feared dead.

Sixty were identified solely through DNA. The city and state have allowed victims’ families to obtain death certificates without proof of a body, but many families place great importance on an ID based on actual remains. “Until you have something tangible, you just keep hoping — maybe there’ll be some sort of miracle,” said Jeanne Maurer, whose 31-year-old daughter, Jill Campbell, is presumed dead. “You can’t accept it until you have something. “I still say, ‘My daughter’s missing,”‘ Maurer said. Many victims will undoubtedly be identified. Nearly 10,000 body parts have been pulled from the mountains of mangled metal and matchstick-size splinters at ground zero.

But Dr. Charles Hirsch, the chief medical examiner, triggered an angry response two weeks ago when he told grieving relatives that many bodies — no one is sure how many — had been “vaporized” and were beyond identification. Hirsch declined to be interviewed.

But spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said he meant that bodies were consumed by blazing fuel from the two crashed airliners, or “rendered into dust” when the 1,100-foot skyscrapers collapsed, one concrete slab floor onto another. Dr. Michael Baden, the state’s chief forensic pathologist and a top expert in the field, said in September that most bodies should be identifiable because the fires — while hot enough to melt steel — did not reach the 3,200-degree, 30-minute level necessary to incinerate a body.

(Editor’s note:  Steel melts at 2800 degrees Fahrenheit , reached in sustained immersion during a smelting process.    Crematoriums typically reach a temperature of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.  Jet fuel fires are unable to sustain temperatures in excess of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Aluminum melts at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and aircraft aluminum turns to vapor long before steel would begin to weaken from heat.   Please check on this yourselves.)

Borakove said her office agrees with Baden’s calculation — as applied to a full body. “But when the planes hit the buildings, the bodies that were in the planes as well as some of the bodies that were in the buildings were fragmented upon impact, and those fragments burn more quickly,” she said.

The combination of fire and compression from tons of rubble could reduce a human body to a small amount of tissue and bone, said Dr. Cyril Wecht, a top forensic pathologist in Pittsburgh. And finding such small samples of DNA in 1.2 million tons of rubble spread over 16 acres is a difficult proposition. “There are pieces,” he said. “But how do you identify and extract it from other similarly appearing pieces at the site — bricks, mortar, rubble?”

Marian Fontana, president of the Sept. 11 Widows and Victims’ Families Association, said: “My fear is that financial incentives will cause the city to clean up the site quickly, rather than to treat it as a retrieval site and do things in a dignified way.” Her firefighter husband, Dave, is among the missing. In particular, families are worried that remains will end up at the Staten Island landfill where trade center debris is taken and sorted.

“The remains shouldn’t end up in the garbage heap,” Maurer said. Forensic pathologists are trying to match the DNA of tissue taken from ground zero with the DNA of known victims. Victims’ families have supplied clothes, hairbrushes and other personal items from which DNA could be lifted for comparison. Hirsch’s task is unprecedented in size.

After the Oklahoma City bombing, all 168 people killed were eventually identified. But even after four years, some of the recovered tissue and bone were never linked to any of the victims.

Borakove said recently developed computer software enables more efficient DNA identification. In the meantime, some families, like the Maurers, are waiting to schedule services. “We’re not ready really for a memorial,” said her father, Joseph Maurer. “We’ll do a funeral with remains — if we find them.”

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Peace Is a Last resort



by David Swanson


When a satirist published a phony U.S. government report in 1967 that recommended against allowing peace to ever break out, most people seemed to fall for the prank. Members of the news media were either in on the joke or victims. The copy I have is marked up with a yellow highlighter by someone who grew angrier and angrier through the book’s pages. Toward the end, when the authors of the “report” advocated reviving slavery, the previous owner of my copy scrawled “BULL SHIT” in all caps across two pages.

This will be a familiar experience to anyone who has ever used both Twitter and sarcasm. No matter how outrageous the joke, there are those who will take it seriously and who will insist on taking it seriously even after having been let in on the joke. Thus the “Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace” still has believers in its authenticity despite being an obvious prank.

Every April First I publish a phony story of some sort. One year recently I produced a wire service story from Europe on the arrest of Bush war crimes lawyer John Yoo. A U.S. reporter who picked up the story was subsequently quite annoyed. As of course are the victims of every stunt pulled by the Yes Men, not to mention the editors of that literary journal a decade or so ago that printed some “postmodern criticism” that the authors later announced was sheer gibberish. But one always hopes that such jokes serve an edifying purpose for some audience.

Outside of the possibility that Machiavelli was actually mocking princes, and with the possible exceptions of the astute readers who thought Jonathan Swift really wanted them to eat their children and the remarks of whoever first joked to John McCain that a certain governor of Alaska would make a good vice president, the “Report From Iron Mountain” may be the grandest satirical fraud we’ve seen. Colin Powell’s war pitch at the United Nations in 2003 doesn’t qualify because Powell was lying but serious. Leonard Lewin, the author of the Iron Mountain report, was clearly very serious about war and peace but cannot have written what he wrote without laughing to himself the whole time.

The Iron Mountain report argues, straight-faced and tongue-in-cheek, that the war industry is too big to be replaced, for economic purposes, by spending in any other areas. Of course we could invest everything we spend on the military and more in education, transportation, green energy, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture if we chose to. Presumably Lewin knew that we knew this. The report argues that such spending becomes tied-up with the rest of the economy, whereas war spending — by virtue of being wasteful and separate — can be increased and decreased as needed to regulate the rest of the economy. But of course war spending does so little good for the economy because it is wasteful, regulates nothing because it is separate, and has never been reduced to benefit the economy. On the contrary, it increases when corruption in Washington increases, namely almost all the time and much to the detriment of everything else.

“Report From Iron Mountain” argues that war is not a tool of public policy, but that society exists primarily for the sake of war. Wars are not a response to conflicts, but conflicts are attempts and excuses to begin wars. The “authors” point out that peace could be negotiated and maintained if desired, thus subtly suggesting what Lewin would clearly really like to see done. But, write the report’s “authors,” nations always choose to find a path to war. And nations make all other projects subservient to war making.

There are many reasons why this is all proper and good, according to the “report.” War employs and kills off those with fascist tendencies and those who are unemployable in other work (as if these groups were genetically determined minorities in any population). War also, we are told, assists in choking off public sympathy for foreigners during times of peace (as if this were an advantage) and binds a society together in opposition to an external enemy. War comes out of some mysterious urge that, when war has been removed, has found outlet through ceremonial human sacrifice (as if such sacrificing didn’t pre-date war). War also, the report points out, can slow population growth (as if education couldn’t do that and also lessen the per-capita environmental destruction). War, the report’s “authors” claim rather absurdly, has been the inspiration of all great works of art and science (as if an all-out campaign to save the planet from environmental collapse wouldn’t involve any scientific or artistic innovation). War releases stress (as if killing people justifies that). War allows the elderly to kill off the young (supposedly a desirable goal). And so forth.

The Report From Iron Mountain makes crazy arguments for eternal war and an economy dominated by war spending, but the war and the war spending already exist justified by no arguments at all. So the crazy arguments — several of which point out bitter truths — seem almost credible, filling a gaping hole and providing the most plausible line of thinking to satisfy the assumption that war comes out of rational planning.

Of course, war planners can be deeply cynical and cruel. Of course, Wall Street does sometimes nose-dive at the threat of peace breaking out. Of course excuses to start wars are ginned up all the time. Of course, human beings have been known to trade massive death and suffering for their own bit of power. Of course no major effort to create lasting peace is underway or planned. But that doesn’t mean anybody sat down and rationally determined that the good of our nation depended on the kind of budget President Obama just proposed in which a greater share of spending than ever goes into the military and wars. Obama backs that budget because the people he wants to please tell him to, because his advisors think it will help his next election, because the corporate media likes it, because the President and most members of Congress have been paid to like it, and because militarism is exciting — NOT because our society couldn’t survive peace. Peace is the only thing we can survive.

The trick with the Iron Mountain Report is to focus on what it says cannot be done (converting the weapons industry to nonviolent production, establishing the U.S. unarmed forces, and so forth) and begin doing those things immediately. That’s how to read satire as well as how to save the world.

Even Obama would understand that if he hadn’t been born in Africa.

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Egypt: Placebos, Protests & Precious Metal



egyptian military

Egyptian military has been painted as a stabilizing force and trusted by the Egyptian people. This article give a far different view. Military is apparently as corrupt as Mubarek!

by Jeb Handwerger

We are constantly being advised that the Egyptian Military has the situation under control. As the situation develops it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is something wrong with this picture. The military and the media assures us that the morganatic wedding between the Generals and the Masses will proceed as scheduled. As the old song goes, “its time to wind up the masquerade…the piper must be paid.” Is Iran sailing through the Suez sending a message of who may be trying to gain power during this chaos?

There is a great hunger in the land. The people have access to Facebook and the faces they see increase their rage. They see Generals, unnamed and anonymous, promising to give them bread and democracy. However, they see that the truth is otherwise. They are well aware as we may not be that the Egyptian Military runs beach resorts, banks and bread factories. Their subsidiaries manufacture automobiles, televisions, furniture, washing machines and other myriad necessities. They even have the hubris to control the bottle water industry. The brand is named “SAFI” after one of the general’s daughters. From this gigantic conglomeration of businesses, the generals pay no taxes, use drafted workers and buy real estate on advantageous terms. They are not responsible to report anything to the Egyptian people or to the legislature. The ouster of Mubarek was merely a placebo to attempt to cover up the fact that the generals have been the power behind the government. Their names are unknown except for the leader, Field Marshall Tantawi, who has often been referred to as “Mubarek’s poodle”. They have established marshall law, dissolved Parliament and cleared Tahrir Square with the carrot stick of eventually permitting democratic elections.

Still unanswered are the protestors with the release of thousand of political prisoners. Such brazen exercise of authority might be justifiably interpreted as a conflict of interest. However, the masses in Egypt as well as the rest of the middle east are growing increasingly restive.

The old games of propping up despots such as Baptista and Trujillo are in this age where internet is accessible to the men on the street and the students in the universities, is growing increasingly thin. Revolutions have never played out according to script.

In Russia, the Czar was overthrown only to be replaced by a small minority party called “The Bolsheviks”. In Germany it was the “Nazis”, that replaced the Weimar Republic. The Iranian revolution gave us the “Mullahs” instead of the Shah. The recent elections in Lebanon gave us the terroristic Hezbollah. What is to be the future role of the military that has for the past thirty years played a crucial behind the scenes role in preserving its own vast business interests? With Iran moving ships through the Suez the situation remains in flux. This a test of the Egyptian Military. The cards have been dealt and Egypt allowing the Iranian boats through the Suez, will show Israel the militaries hand and whose side they are truly on.

This morning the newspapers said that the military has already “begun taking steps to protect the privileges of its gated economy, discouraging changes…that are crucial if Egypt is to emerge as a stable and prosperous country. Protecting its businesses from scrutiny and accountability is a red line that the military will draw…And that means there can be no meaningful civilian oversight.”

Some other disturbing headlines in today’s papers are:

  • “Battle Lines Harden Across The Mideast As Rulers Dig In”

  • “Dozens Reported Killed In Libyan Crackdown”

  • “Yemen Protestors Face Off For The 8th Day”

  • “The Committee Formed To Protect Journalists Fights Attacks”

  • “Egypt Disappearances Raise Concerns About The Military”

What does all this turmoil, restlessness and upheaval mean to us as investors? The message can not be clearer precious metals will assume a more salient role as time goes by. It is interesting to note that when tyrants depart they make sure that the gold they stole has preceded them. In Tunisia, the ousted leader Ben Ali made sure that he looted the government gold coffers before he left. In Egypt, Mubarek’s son Gamal was reported to have carried off large amounts of gold. We do not have to be weathermen to determine which way the winds of change are blowing in the Middle East. Precious metals will remain a viable store of wealth and a quasi-currency, especially if these riots turn violent. Already there are reports that protestors were fired upon in Bahrain.chart

Silver has broken out of a six week consolidation into new highs and is currently showing incredible relative strength. This morning SLV made an ascending triple top breakout on the point and figure chart at $31. I believe we can start seeing another major leg higher and acceleration of the trend in precious metals. The physical demand is increasing in silver and it could continue its rapid rise higher since it is new high territory.

Gold is showing similar strength as it broke the 50 day moving average to the upside. Gold and miners reached oversold levels in January not seen in more than a year. Now many of the bears who sold out and expected a steeper correction will be returning pushing gold, silver and mining stocks into new high territory. This is the perfect storm for precious metal investors. Our buy signal on January 25th has proven to be a short term turning point and the break into new highs may look at that time as one of the best buying opportunities in years. To see the article I wrote in the middle of the panic, click here. Investors who did not trust the 2 year trendline, made a major mistake and sold out into the fear. Those times where fear reaches an extreme turn out to be the best opportunities.

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We the Forgotten People of the United State…




Let’s admit it, the country has been stolen.

By William A. Cook 

We thought we had used the democratic process to rid our country of George W. Bush by the peaceful election of a man who told Americans he would right the wrongs of that Zionist Cabal. Instead we have a houseboy doing the chores of his Mars, Netanyahu. How far can he fall? Is there no principle, no obsequious cringing, no personal shame he will not endure to pay homage to his masters?

They have shackled him hands and feet, dragging him to the hanging tree, where he is now displayed for all to see, a beaten man sans hope, sans freedom, sans dignity, sans everything. And without remorse, they have rewritten the Constitution:

“We the Neo-Con Cabal working in the Obama administration in 2011, in order to form an exclusive club of faithful AIPAC owned contributors and Zionists United in the state of Israel, establish a clandestine corrupt government, the purpose of which is to undermine justice, create domestic instability through fear, provide our military industrial complex with billions of tax dollars to promote our own welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the Liberty that comes with totalitarian indifference to all others by crushing them by coercion, threat, imprisonment, or death, and so ordain and establish this new Constitution to protect us from their wrath and their Courts of Justice.”

Such is the State of the Nation in this month of February, just three weeks into it, blessed we had hoped by the revolution of a truly free people, the people of Egypt, that taught us by show and tell how to be a government of the people, by the people , and for the people. Thus did they give us a chance to demonstrate that we, too, are a free people, free to break the shackles that bind us to the state that has no conscience, no compassion, no sense of justice, and no mercy. But we abrogated our rights by denying once again the rights of the Palestinian people and the voice of all the people around the world who stood ready in the General Assembly and in the Security Council to take on the rogue state that defies every UN convention including Genocide, suggesting rather that all these nations shove their opinions where the sun does not shine, the ultimate consequence of Obama’s veto. Once more the state built on illegality walks free, blessed by Obama’s gift brought to them on a platter, a goblet brimming with impunity, a sour but beloved drink adored by Netanyahu and his bouncer, Avigdor.

Since these masters lack all shame, they immediately run to their word processors to defend their illegal actions by donning the robe of victim. Listen to their laments:

AIPAC: “Far too often, the UN has served as an open forum to isolate and delegitimize Israel—America’s lone stable, democratic ally in the Middle East.” Considering that Israel stands accused by the international community of nations for crimes against humanity and its defiance of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, protected from due process in the International Courts by its bought US veto vote, the only recourse the people of the world have is to continue to try Israel and its accomplice the United States with new resolutions hoping that at some point America might sunder the chains that bind it to Israel. Isolation and delegitimization end when Israel goes before its peers and accounts for its crimes.

U. S. Senator Mark Kirk: “The U.S. should never compromise on its commitment to the preeminent democracy in the Middle East. The administration acted correctly in opposing the latest attempt by the UN to castigate one of America’s strongest allies.” What democracy? How can a state justify citizenship by birth or conversion in a religion? That’s a theocracy; both citizenship and marriage are controlled by the religion. Are there Palestinians living in Israel and called citizens, yes; are they equal in all respects, no.

What democracy requires that its citizens declare allegiance to Judaism if that citizen is not Jewish? What freedom of religion is that? And how is Israel one of America’s strongest allies? Because of our allegiance to Israel, the United States is shunned around the world, seen as complicit in all of Israel’s crimes from the 2006 devastation of Lebanon, the Christmas invasion of Gaza, and the killings of Turkish citizens on a mercy voyage to Gaza last May 31, and understood to be a hypocritical nation that promotes democracy and freedoms but imposes its will by force of arms, especially in the Middle East.

Representative Henry Waxman: “The U.S. veto reaffirms that the only productive course ahead is for the Palestinian leadership to resume direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions.” When will it become obvious to our Israeli representatives that such “peace talks” have been going on for 63 years with no results. Read the newspapers every time a new set of talks is promoted; not one anywhere in the world expects such talks between Israel and Palestinian “leaders” to result in peace.

Israel has no intention of creating a Palestinian state. The reason is simple: for all 63 years Israel has been stealing Palestinian land and they have gotten away with it. Today that intention is even more rigid since they have discovered oil and gas off the coast of Gaza. Recognition of Palestine would require that Israel recognize the legitimate right of the Palestinians to own those resources.

They have no intention of doing that. The solution must be given to the UN. All nations of the UN except the US and Israel accept the right of the Palestinians to have a state within the borders of 1967. Israel refuses. How then can there be a resolution? If the UN were to place Peace Keepers on the green line between the two peoples having declared the existence of Palestine, a termination of hostilities could be achieved, if Israel wanted to cooperate. Until Israel is forced by international law to address its crimes, there can be no peace.

And so the voices cry in the wilderness the lies that have sustained them these many decades.  But the American people now know that their government is not run by the vote of the people who elected a man committed to peace and the inherent rights of humankind. They now know he is a patsy operating on behalf of his masters, a frightful spectacle in this time when people across the globe, and even those in our own country in Wisconsin, have taken to the streets to demonstrate that it is the people that should run the country, not the lackeys of a foreign state.

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Israelophobia in America-Israelophilia Amongst Arab Tyrants



‘Israeli Settlement’ building continues…

 by Mohamed Khodr / Veterans Today

The United States Vetoes a Palestinian Draft Resolution calling Israeli Settlements “Illegal” in the U.N. Security Council. The Vote was 14-1.  This is Obama’s first veto, a veto that gives Israel the impunity to further steal Palestinian land for its terroristic settlers.

This despite Obama’s repeated rhetoric that settlements are “illegitimate”, must be frozen to start peace talks, and are an obstacle to peace. Congratulations Mr. President, you’re fear of Israel has just added one more spark to MidEast unrest, to further hate and oppose America’s heretofore safe hegemony in the region.   Good luck with the Arab and Muslim world of tomorrow.

Like all politicians, Obama is thinking of his reelection prospects without Jewish money, support, and endorsement by the powerful Jewish owned and run media.

This is the 45th Veto cast by the U.S. to protect Israel against world condemnation of Israel for its genocidal occupation, theft, and annexation of Palestinian land.  The entire world, except the U.S. and Israel, believe in and support Palestinian self determination and an independent, free, and democratic Palestinian State

The U.S.’s first veto in the U.N. Security Council was cast by then Ambassador George H. W. Bush on March 17, 1970 in support of British Apartheid rule in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

The second veto was cast by Ambassador Bush on September 10, 1972 to shield Israel from criticism, a hypocritical policy that continues till February 18, 2011; Obama’s first veto in the UNSC, and will continue for the foreseeable future.

In almost all U.N. resolutions dealing with the Middle East only America embarrassingly stands with Israel.  These two alleged democracies who define their opponents as “terrorists” were the only two nations in the entire U.N. to vote against a U.N. General Assembly Resolution dealing with international cooperation against terrorism and in support of the self determination and independence of all peoples living under colonial rule and occupation.     (A/RES/42/159; December 7, 1987)   (2)



The Vote was: 153 – 2.  (Only the U.S. and Israel voted against this Resolution)

No one should or can deny that given Israel’s terrorist, murderous, and ethnic cleansing past and present that it is without a doubt the greatest threat and evil to world peace.  That is a fact brought out by many polls not least of which is the Eurobarometer Poll in 2003 conducted in 15 European nations where Israel was deemed the greatest threat to world peace, even greater than Iran or North Korea.   (Washington Post, “In Europe, an Unhealthy Fixation on Israel”, January 30, 2005)

Israel is the reincarnation of Nazism in the modern world.   It has adopted all of the Nazis brutality, invasions, occupation, mass murder, use of chemical and biological weapons against civilians, ethnically cleansing mass populations, destroying their homes, towns, and villages, herding them into concentration camps, developing a police state with free reign to assassinate, imprison, and torture men, women, and children, and rationalizing their actions to invade, confiscate, and annex other people’s lands as inspired by God and in self defense.

“The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has “exposed their money to Israel.” (Babylonian Talmud: Baba Kamma 37b)

The late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and then chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its ends.”   (3)

There is however one main difference between the Nazis of Germany and the Nazis of Israel.   The western powers united to defeat the Nazis in six years during World War II, but with Israel’s Apartheid Nazism it is Israel that has defeated and owns the western powers since its establishment in 1948.

Israel’s power is limitless and unchallenged in the west.  No greater power of Zionism is evident than in the Arab world where Tyrants know, like every other nation, that the road to America’s blessing, money, weapons and support goes through Tel Aviv.

Without such Israelophobia in the west, particularly in the bought and intimidated U.S. Government, Israel could not sustain the most violent Occupation of millions of Palestinians without a single word of opposition from the world’s most powerful nation.   According to divine and human laws Occupation is violence, terroristic, and illegal.    But this is Israel, a people who are exacting hateful revenge upon the western world,that persecuted and massacred them for 2000 years.

Jews in Europe and Russia suffered unthinkable crimes, but today they are the persecutors and mass murderers of innocent Palestinians and Arabs.

They came, they saw, they killed, they conquered.

“The treatment of the Palestinian Arabs in 1947 (and 1948) was as morally indefensible as the slaughter of six million Jews by the Nazis. Though nor comparable in quantity to the crimes of the Nazis, it was comparable in quality.  The most tragic thing in human life is when people who have suffered impose suffering in their turn.”

–Famed British Historian Arnold J. Toynbee, 1961 Lecture at McGill University to a largely Jewish Audience.   (4)

The self preserving U.S. political establishment is factually and historically subservient to Corporate America and Israel.  The U.S. Government dares not slash One Dollar of foreign aid to Israel, mainly military aid that Israel uses to commit its genocide against innocent Palestinians, but they have the political courage to cut funding to their own citizens.

They’re cutting funding to education, health care, economic development, job training and infrastructure, to state and local governments, to police, firefighters and emergency personnel, cutting Medicare reimbursement to doctors who in turn will drop care for the elderly, to prescriptions for the elderly, and to Medicaid that provides health care to the poor.  They’re cutting Head Start, a program to initiate early education for children, mainly the poor, to cutting public transportation funds which will mean more global warming, and among the most egregious cuts, cutting funds to heating programs that provide gas and oil for heating homes and apartments of the elderly and the poor.

BUT, they are subsidizing multinational Corporations and Israel to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Israel has America by its throat, pocket book, military industrial complex, and its gonads.

JEWISH POWER through the wealthiest people on earth, through ownership of the most powerful positions in government (the White House, Congress, State, Defense and Commerce Departments, the World Bank, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, Hollywood, Academia, and the most important institution of all—THE JEWISH MEDIA that it uses as a ramming rod against any who dare criticize Israel.  Western Governments prior to making any decision must ask themselves:  WHAT WILL ISRAEL THINK OF THIS?

“I know what America is.  America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in their way.”

–Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, Speaking as Citizen in 2001; –Washington Post, July 16, 2010  (1)

In reality, it is the Gentiles who must cry and pray at the Wailing Wall for deliverance from Israel’s power and domination.

“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.”

–Adolf Hitler

While the west endures Israelophobia, the Arab Tyrants, those who’ve fallen and those soon to fall, have directly or indirectly adopted a strategy of Israelophilia to enlist the U.S.’s support to maintain their genocidal rule.

After Tunis and Egypt protests are flaring across the Middle East; from Algeria, to Libya, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Kurdistan Iraq, and Iran.   These tyrants without faith, heart, or conscience are killing their own people using their secret police, military, hired thugs, and even importing foreign mercenaries to shoot civilians at close range in their heads and chest.   Not even a funeral procession in Bahrain was spared from attack by the autocratic self proclaimed King of Bahrain.

This while reports that the Egyptian military has committed atrocities against peaceful protesters and is maintaining an iron fist around Egypt’s economy to protect their amassed corrupt begotten wealth.

The Long American Supported and Funded Rule of Some Arab Dictators




Years of Rule


Muammar Al-Ghadaafi



Ali Abdullah Salah



Hosni Mubarak



Zine El Abidine Ben Ali



King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah 


Family Dynasty since 1820



These are the tyrants of Arab discontent whose people shall continue to rise until all 20 remaining oppressive dictators who’ve stolen their people’s dignity, honor, hopes, wealth and human rights are overthrown into the garbage bin of history.

To Palestine With Love:


No Arab Muslim or Christian has forgotten you.  You live in our blood and in the oxygen we breathe.   We shall not rest until you and Jerusalem are free from the most evil regime of all—Israel and its American blind backing.   We shall strive with our lives and wealth to free you from the cruelest of bondage long supported by Arab dictators despite their lip service for public consumption.  It is our duty to God that all mankind shall live free and in peace.

You must rise up against your corrupt treasonous and Un-Islamic leaders in both the West Bank and Gaza.   They’ve sold you out or brought you nothing but death, misery, siege, and poverty.   Depend not on any government in the world to help you, only you can help yourself and decide your destiny and future.

The Palestinian Authority has been exposed as a puppet security regime for Israel willing to sell you and Jerusalem for their power and wealth, wealth meant to feed and educate your children.

Just as reckless and stupid is Hamas that claims Islam and being a resistance movement while it fails in both categories.  No Islamic organization will kill, imprison, and torture its own people like the P.A. does in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza..

Hamas’ stupidest of all weapons, the rockets, are totally useless and bring nothing but death to you and allow Israel to hijack the world stage that it’s simply defending itself against terrorists.   Stop the useless rockets and follow the example of the rest of the Arab world in peaceful protests to overthrow your dictators, the P.A. and Hamas, and remind the world that you are the longest suffering people, longest living and dying refugees in modern history, at the hand of Israel, a nation that has hijacked both minds and hearts in the civilized west.

The world dares not stand up to Israel but you must.   What else can Israel inflict upon you that it hasn’t done for 63 years?

I for one will not stop fighting for you with whatever God given capabilities I have.   No one with a conscience who sees human suffering anywhere should hide behind the fear of loss of their world comfort.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said:

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”

America will not be truly free and secure until the Palestinian achieve their freedom.

Fight on with your pen, your voices, and your feet.

About the Author: Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim born in the Middle East.  He is political activist who frequently writes on the plight of Palestinians living under the brutal occupation of Israel, U.S. Foreign Policy, Islam, and Arab politics.

Foot Notes

Posted in USAComments Off on Israelophobia in America-Israelophilia Amongst Arab Tyrants

Obama, The Veto and Impeachment



By Alan Hart 

Never before has an American President’s fear of offending the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress been so exposed as it was by Obama’s decision to veto the Security Council resolution condemning continued, illegal Israeli settlement activities on the occupied West Bank and demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease” all such activities. In a different America – an informed America – some might think, I do, that Obama should be impeached. The charge? TREASON.

After she had exercised the Obama administration’s first veto, the plea made by U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice for understanding of America’s position could not have been more absurd. “Our opposition to the resolution before this Council today should not be misunderstood to mean that we support settlement activity. On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

So why the veto? Ambassador Rice said:

“The United States has been deeply committed to pursuing a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, In that context, we have been focused on taking steps that advance the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, rather than complicating it. That includes a commitment to work in good faith with all parties  to underscore our opposition to continued settlements.”

What nonsense! If the Obama administration really wanted to underscore its stated opposition to Israel’s on-going colonization of the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, there was no better or more effective way of doing so than voting for the resolution or abstaining. In either case the resolution would have passed and that would have opened the door to real global pressure on Israel if it continued to defy international law.

As for advancing the goal of a two-state solution, the Obama administration has done the opposite. By allowing Israel to continue its illegal settlement activities and consolidate its occupation, it, the Obama administration, has helped to guarantee that there can never be a viable Palestinian state living side by side with an Israel inside its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war.

In the context of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, the only thing to which the Obama administration has been deeply committed is not provoking the wrath of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress and the mainstream media. For all practical purposes Obama has surrendered policy making on Israel-Palestine to this lobby. (The veto marked the complete surrender).

The essence of the problem this presents can be simply stated. The Zionist lobby’s agenda – unquestioning support for Israel right or wrong – is not in America’s own best interests. (In reality it is not in anybody’s best interests including those of Israeli Jews and the Jews of the world).

As I pointed out on I February in my post Crunch time coming for America in the Middle East?, what all Arab peoples want is not only an end to corruption and repression and a better life in their own countries. They also want an end to the humiliation caused by Israel’s arrogance of power and American support for it.

It is clear that the manifestations of Arab people power the world is witnessing were not instigated by Islamist extremist groups and are spontaneous protests with demands by citizens from all sections of civil society. So at the present time that is no evidence to suggest that change brought about by people power in Arab states will create more cover, more scope and more popular support for extremist and violent forces which use and abuse Islam in much the same way as Zionists use and abuse Judaism. But this could change, in my view will change, if America goes on supporting Israel right or wrong. In other words, the more the administration in Washington D.C. is perceived by the Arab street as being complicit in the Zionist state’s defiance of international law and crimes, the more American interests and citizens are likely to be targeted and hit.

The American Constitution states that a president can be impeached and removed from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanours.”

In my view a president who allows a lobby group to put the interests of a foreign power above those of the country of which they are citizens, and who by doing so puts his fellow citizens more in harm’s way than they otherwise would be, is guilty of treason. (And all the more so when the American-Jewish lobby in question does not speak for more than about a third, and possibly only a quarter, of America’s mainly silent and deeply troubled Jews)


The admirable and courageous Gideon Levy, the conscience of Israeli journalism, has a brilliant article (which I have tweeted) in today’s Ha’aretz with the headline With settlement veto resolution, Obama has joined Likud.

And this is how Gideon concluded his piece:

“If the U.S. had been a responsible superpower, it would have voted for the resolution on Friday to rouse Israel from its dangerous sleep. Instead, we got a hostile veto from Washington, shouts of joy from Jerusalem and a party that will end very badly for both.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Obama, The Veto and Impeachment

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter



       *  Tripoli gets privatised mercenaries at bargain prices



Tripoli gets privatised mercenaries at bargain prices

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 05:40 AM PST


Khamis Gaddafi, a son of Libya ruler Moammar Gaddafi, recruited French-speaking Sub-Saharan African mercenaries to shoot live rounds at pro-democracy protestors, reported Al Arabiya, citing sources in the city of Benghazi.

These sources claim this knowledge because they’ve captured some of the mercenaries, who confessed their identity and the fact that Khamis Gaddafi hired them.

The sources also said they saw non-Libyan mercenaries flown in from other African countries land in the Benina International Airport near Benghazi.

Al Arabiya did not report or speculate on which countries these mercenaries are from. Many African mercenaries have historically come from South Africa. Ironically, Libya is another country known for supplying mercenaries around the continent. However, because these mercenaries are non-Libyan and French-speaking, they’re probably not from these two countries.

Rania Masri, a Lebansese activist, said via her Twitter account that analysts think the mercenaries may be from Chad, a French-speaking African country.



Britain suddenly discovers that democracy is a jolly good idea?

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 05:10 AM PST

Sure, British Prime Minister David Cameron is traveling the Middle East selling weapons of death and yet he’s also giving this curious speech about allegedly backing democracy. So I presume he’ll be calling for immediate engagement with Hamas and Hizbollah, then?

Britain has been guilty of a prejudice bordering on racism for believing that Muslims cannot manage democracy, David Cameronforeign policy in light of protests across the Arab world. will say as he recasts

In a speech at the national assembly in Kuwait, the prime minister will abandon decades of so-called “camel corps” diplomacy by saying Britain was wrong to prop up “highly controlling regimes” as a way of ensuring stability.

Cameron – who is facing anger in the UK for placing defence exports at the heart of his long-planned visit to the Gulf – will use the speech to show that Britain is promoting political reform in the region.

The prime minister, who attended a ceremony in Kuwait with Sir John Major to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Gulf war, said: “Now, once again, this region is the epicentre of momentous changes, but pursued in a very different way. History is sweeping through your neighbourhood.”

Cameron, who on Monday visited the scene of the demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, said the protests had highlighted a hunger for freedom across the Middle East.

He depicted the protests as “movements of the people” that were not ideological or extremist.

But he indicated that the demonstrations presented a challenge for Britain as he dismissed as a “false choice” the old calculation that authoritarian regimes needed to be supported as the price of ensuring stability.

“For decades, some have argued that stability required controlling regimes and that reform and openness would put that stability at risk,” Cameron said.

“So, the argument went, countries like Britain faced a choice between our interests and our values. And to be honest, we should acknowledge that sometimes we have made such calculations in the past.”

He added: “But I say that is a false choice. As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability – rather, the reverse.”

The prime minister said Britain and other western countries cannot impose any democratic model on the Arab world, but stressed: “That’s not an excuse, as some would argue, to claim that Arabs or Muslims can’t do democracy – the so-called Arab exception.

“For me, that’s a prejudice that borders on racism. It’s offensive and wrong and it’s simply not true.”

Cameron’s speech has been designed to lay to rest decades of British foreign policy which held that authoritarian regimes in the Gulf must be supported to guarantee stability. The strongest example is Britain’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The prime minister will not be visiting Saudi Arabia during his three-day tour of the Gulf. This is because King Abdullah is in poor health and not because Cameron wants to distance the UK from the kingdom.

He is also distancing himself from US neocons who believe democracy can be imposed.

Cameron outlined his thinking on this issue on Monday in Cairo, when he said: “Democracy is an important part of our foreign policy.

“But I am not a naive neocon who thinks you can drop democracy out of an aeroplane at 40,000ft or that, simply by holding an election, you have satisfied the needs of democracy. You have had plenty of elections in Egypt, but that does not mean you have had a functioning democracy.”



Australia’s distaste for Muslims gets noticed globally

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 04:59 AM PST



A non-controversial proposal; Arabs have right to vote for whomever they want

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 02:17 AM PST

Here’s to small blessings. A rather good editorial in today’s Sydney Morning Herald that calls for a re-thinking of years of imperial attitudes in the Arab world and an opening to Islamists who get elected. Bravo:

The patronising orientalism that the Arabs or even Muslims in general are somehow culturally conditioned to political slavery is being ripped up in front of our eyes. It is a time of great upheaval, partly the result of an open information age that perhaps ironically one of the Gulf’s autocrats, Qatar’s emir, embraced with his sponsorship of the pan-Arab satellite network Al Jazeera. It will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

The West is left looking flat-footed by developments. Britain has been shamelessly cosying up to Gaddafi. America has relied on regimes now facing popular uprisings. Even Australia has its substantial military presence at the Al Minhad Air Base in Dubai.

The situation demands a steady stand on principles by our governments, firmly supporting the right to free expression. We should be ready to accept, as the West hasn’t always done (as in Algeria, Gaza and Lebanon), that free elections sometimes may not bring the results we want.



West has rather liked Gaddafi for quite some time

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 02:07 AM PST

These were the good old days; 2005:

As it struggles to combat Islamic terrorist networks, the Bush administration has quietly built an intelligence alliance with Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, a onetime bitter enemy the U.S. had tried for years to isolate, topple or kill.

Kadafi has helped the U.S. pursue Al Qaeda’s network in North Africa by turning radicals over to neighboring pro-Western governments. He also has provided information to the CIA on Libyan nationals with alleged ties to international terrorists.

In turn, the U.S. has handed over to Tripoli some anti-Kadafi Libyans captured in its campaign against terrorism. And Kadafi’s agents have been allowed into the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to interrogate Libyans being held there.



CNN reports from inside Libya

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 01:59 AM PST

CNN’s Ben Wedeman reports from eastern Libya, reportedly the first Western TV reporter to enter the country during the current revolution:

“Your passports please,” said the young man in civilian clothing toting an AK-47 at the Libyan border.

“For what?” responded our driver, Saleh, a burly, bearded man who had picked us up just moments before. “There is no government. What is the point?” He pulled away with a dismissive laugh.

On the Libyan side, there were no officials, no passport control, no customs.

I’ve seen this before. In Afghanistan after the route of the Taliban, in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Government authority suddenly evaporates. It’s exhilarating on one level; its whiff of chaos disconcerting on another.

The scene on the Libyan side of the border was jarring. Men – and teenage boys – with clubs, pistols and machine guns were trying to establish a modicum of order.

Hundreds of Egyptian workers were trying to get out, their meager possessions – bags, blankets, odds and ends – piled high on top of minibuses.

Egyptian border officials told us that 15,000 people had crossed from Libya on Monday alone.

“Welcome to free Libya,” said one of the armed young men now controlling the border.

“Free Libya” was surprisingly normal, once we got out of the border area. We stopped for petrol – there were no lines – and saw some stores were open. The electricity was working. The cell phone system is still functioning, though you can’t call abroad. The internet, however, has been down for days.

On the other hand, we did see regular groups of more armed young men in civilian clothing, stopping cars, checking IDs, asking questions. All were surprised, but happy, to see the first television news crew to cross into Libya since the uprising began February 15.

They were polite, if a tad giddy. Having thrown off the yoke of Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule (longer than most Libyans have been alive), it’s understandable.

As we made our way westward from the border, driver Saleh gave me a running commentary on all the sins of the Gadhafi family and its cronies:

“You see all the potholes in this lousy road? This should be a four-lane highway. Gadhafi spent hardly a dinar on this part of the country.”

“You see that rest house? Gadhafi’s son built it, and overcharged the government.”

“You see that house? It was stolen from its owner and given to one of Gadhafi’s sons.”

“You see those flashes? That’s an ammunition dump an army officer loyal to Gadhafi set on fire before fleeing to Tripoli.”

Saleh was also full of useful advice, I think.

“If you get stopped by forces loyal to Gadhafi, tell them you’re a German doctor. Don’t say you’re a journalist. And say your colleagues are doctors, too.”



Villawood guards blow whistle on abuses at detention centre

Posted: 22 Feb 2011 12:32 AM PST

My following investigation appears in today’s edition of Crikey:

Three security guards working at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre have exposed occupational health and safety breaches at their workplace, in exclusive interviews with Crikey.

The three employees of MSS Security, one of the companies contracted by British multinational Serco in its management of asylum seekers, have told of staff being continually forced to work in unhealthy conditions.

MSS Security are contracted to monitor the outside perimeter and provide basic security at the Villawood centre but not manage, guard or interact with the asylum seekers. The Immigration Department told Crikey that MSS is contracted for “non-client contact”.

All three MSS employees spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Greg (not his real name) said that fellow MSS guards are routinely told to undertake tasks for which they have no training. Serco staff are given minimal training to handle refugees (MSS staff call them “clients”) but due to routine Serco understaffing and incompetence, Greg claimed, they are told to guard asylum seekers and then blamed by Serco if anybody escapes.

“During the last protest at Villawood,” he told me, “when a refugee climbed onto the roof, Serco didn’t respond for five hours by which time 11 had got onto the roof. Serco just didn’t want to confront the situation, hence inaction for so long. We all suspect that regular escapes are either gross incompetence on the part of Serco or certain Serco staff knowing the refugees and helping them escape.

“Serco has problems with absenteeism, so MSS sometimes fills the gaps inside the centre, which we aren’t qualified to do. Serco doesn’t want to do outside perimeter monitoring because the facilities [for staff] aren’t very good.”


During the recent heatwave in Sydney, Greg said the MSS staff had no access to cold water because Resolve, another company sub-contracted by Serco at Villawood, which, according to Greg, wants the security contract, switched off the tap. “I’ve been calling for more breaks because in summer we can’t get out of the sun at all,” Greg said. “Twelve hours in the open with often no shade. People looked sunburned when they come off a shift. Workcover has said it’s a disgrace but nobody is doing anything about it.”

MSS is constantly under intense pressure from Serco “because they’re eternally paranoid about losing the contract [with the federal government] and they blame us,” said Greg.

According to Greg, MSS management often takes out its frustrations with Serco by pressuring its own staff, including making them walk many kilometres around the perimeter.

“On the day I was keeling over from heat,” Greg recalled, “my supervisor said, ‘where’s your tie’?”

Another MSS guard, Sharon (not her real name) told Crikey that resentment and physical pain is part of the job and health-and-safety legal requirements are routinely ignored.

“As perimeter guards we have to wait sometimes 20-30 minutes for a toilet break due to how busy our supervisor is and we do not get lunch breaks, as such, so we eat at the [security] boxes, where it’s dusty and muddy, hot or freezing, depending on the weather. Outside the boxes there are ant nests everywhere and inside you find ants and spiders. Fumigation has happened once in six months and did nothing to keep undesirables out.”

Sharon confirmed that Serco remains heavily understaffed at Villawood and as a result MSS is forced to take up the slack. “Serco officers think … that we are taking their jobs, especially in the perimeter. Many Serco staff are being sent to Christmas Island and Darwin even though I’ve seen Serco staff at Villawood playing pool with clients and using the gym.”

She wonders how Serco will handle the ever-increasing influx of refugees being held in mandatory detention. A recentFairfax report confirms that Serco and the Immigration Department are under-resourced countrywide to handle the system imposed by Canberra.

Crikey investigated MSS Security in November and found a lack of accountability between the company and Serco.

MSS did not answer repeated requests for comment, as well as emailed written questions.

MSS has about 20 staff working at Villawood during the week and about 12 people on the weekends.

Serco told Crikey that the company “values health and safety and adopts a policy of zero-harm to all of its employees, including subcontractors. Serco has key performance indicators established with its security subcontractors that must be met or they risk penalties, including termination.”

Serco confirmed that at the end of February Wilson Security will replace MSS Security at Villawood but stressed that this wasn’t “termination” of the contract, merely “an operational decision”.

Greg told Crikey that MSS is currently in the process of “terminating” the employment of many casuals and some full-timers. There is talk of union and legal action.

The three whistle-blowers all expressed concern that Wilson guards would inevitably face the same problems MSS staff has suffered.

The Immigration Department told Crikey that “MSS Security staff members have undertaken proscribed training. It has always been the agreement with Serco that MSS Security staff would provide perimeter and basic security; that is, non-client contact.”

The evidence from the MSS staff directly contradicts this claim, as they are routinely asked to monitor refugees. Sharon said that one day she was told to guard 20 “clients” and she felt “intimidated” without any training or back-up.

A third MSS whistle-blower, Monica (not her real name), said that “the so-called staff from Serco supposed to be dismissed after the last escape are still at Villawood. Serco guards are covering for each other and sleeping on night shift because they are so understaffed that every night staff are being asked to stay back”.

Saturday’s Daily Telegraph claimed in a cover story headlined, “35 Asylum Sneakers”, that refugees have escaped immigration detention and Serco were principally to blame for not carefully guarding refugees during outside excursions. The federal Labor government said it would not hesitate fining Serco again for the alleged breaches.

Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan tweeted to me over the weekend after I had blogged about this story: “Don’t ever let the facts get in the way of a tabloid yarn. There is neither substance nor truth associated with this report.”

Crikey has been told of numerous stories by the three whistle-blowers that suggest that Serco and its various subcontractors are constantly struggling to manage the ever-changing requirements of their main employer, the federal government.

The poor working conditions for MSS staff has caused many of them to resent what they see as the relatively good living conditions of the refugees. Sharon said that, “they get free English classes, computer classes, hair-stylist, dental, glasses, mental health, doctors and hospitalisation or operations as soon as required. During the Muslim fasting period special meals are delivered at a time when they are allowed to eat”.

Resentment increases when security staff are given no guidance as to how to handle the situations before them. Sharon said that “clients can threaten or swear at you but if we do this, clients will lodge formal complaints with Serco or the Immigration Department, which could mean our dismissal.”

She recalled a recent incident when a MSS guard was told that a threat by a refugee against them could not be investigated — Serco allegedly covered up the problem by convincing the “client” not to lodge a formal complaint — but MSS was blamed for the issue.

“After the incident, the MSS guard had to beg for counselling, got one session and then was told by the human resources department of MSS that “my hands are tied” and the only way the guard would get any more counselling would be if they went on worker’s compensation, which they avoided due to the delicate nature of the claim.”

*Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist and author currently working on a book about disaster capitalism and privatisation.



Just another day in British democracy (by selling weapons to thugs)

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 04:31 PM PST

And the West wonders why the Arab world regards its calls for democracy as hollow as Netanyahu’s love of freedom for Palestinians:

David Cameron‘s efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East by becoming the first foreign leader to visit Cairo were overshadowed as it emerged that he will spend the next three days touring undemocratic Gulf states with eight of Britain’s leading defence manufacturers.

After a hastily convened stopover in Egypt, where he spoke of being “inspired” by protesters, the PM began a long-scheduled trade mission by landing in Kuwait, a key military ally. Britain has approved 1,155 arms export licences for Kuwait since 2003, worth a total of £102.3m, according the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

Key deals on the table this week include the sale of Eurofighters to the Gulf.

Meanwhile Gerald Howarth, a British defence minister, was also attending the region’s largest arms fair, in Abu Dhabi, where a further 93 British companies are promoting their wares. They included companies selling rubber bullets and CS gas for crowd control as well as heavily armoured riot vans.

The marketing drive aimed at military and police buyers was backed by a 15-strong delegation from UKTI, the trade promotion wing of the department for business which is co-hosting a British pavilion with ADS, the UK arms trade association.

Critics rounded on Cameron for continuing with his trip despite the crackdown on protesters across the region. Kevan Jones, the shadow defence minister, said: “The defence industry is crucially important to Britain but many people will be surprised that the prime minister in this week of all weeks may be considering bolstering arms sales to the Middle East.”

Denis Macshane MP, a former foreign office minister, added: “It shows insensitivity and crassness of a high order for the prime minister to take arms salesmen with him on his Middle East trip.”

Britain faced embarrassment over the weekend when it was forced to revoke arms export licences to Bahrain and Libyaamid fears that British arms may have been used in the violent crackdown on protesters. Cameron, who is seeking assurances that no British arms were used against protesters, insisted that Britain has some of the toughest rules on arms exports in the world. But he admitted that the system had failed in Libya and Bahrain.



Talking to Finkel, Anderson and Stewart in India on occupation

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 03:41 PM PST

I recently attended the Jaipur Literature Festival in India and moderated a session with three men who know something about war and conflict. Brit Rory Stewart, New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson and the Washington Post’s David Finkel.

The video of the event is now online (the sound and picture aren’t perfectly in sync but you’ll get the idea).



Just how many Afghans is Australia murdering in Afghanistan?

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 03:31 PM PST

It’s called counter-insurgency but in many cases this is simply operations to train, capture and allow the subsequent torture (and/or murder) of supposed Afghan insurgents. A failed strategy that deserves exposure:

Counterinsurgency, also known as COIN, is the main focus in Afghanistan.

It is a partnered effort between Afghan government and coalition forces to bring peace to the nation by gaining the confidence of the people, and it will soon be fully led by Afghan National Security Forces.

Counterinsurgency, also known as COIN, is the main focus in Afghanistan. It is a partnered effort between Afghan government and coalition forces to bring peace to the nation by gaining the confidence of the people, and it will soon be fully led by Afghan National Security Forces.

On Feb. 16, a class of 20 ANSF members and their Australian mentors received training on COIN tactics as part of an ongoing effort to give the Afghan military the lead in upcoming operations.

The goal is to teach ANSF members the best way to defeat the insurgents, which is to build trust in the Afghan government, said Staff Sgt. Neil Frachiseur, COIN instructor from 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

“Everything we do is seen and interpreted – by ourselves, by the enemy and by the population,” said Al Bachus, an instructor for the COIN Training Center in Afghanistan. “Your actions continue to have an effect. Just like when you throw a pebble into the lake; the water will continue to ripple until it hits the shore.”

The key to counterinsurgency, he said, is to understand every ripple and its consequences – good or bad.

The class starts by teaching students how much they already know about COIN. An open discussion led by the instructor allows students to find the answers to common counterinsurgency problems.

From there the instructors build upon what the class already knows, said Frachiseur, a Tampa, Flla., native.

Every class taught at the COIN Training Center is tailored to fit the needs of the class and their level of understanding.

“This training has been very useful,” said Col. Hajji Fazal Ahmad Fahim, operations officer for the Operations Coordination Center – Uruzgan Province. “It helps us separate the enemy from the regular people.”

Ultimately, the plan is to have Afghans teaching COIN to other Afghans and have them learning from each other from the start.

Frachiseur said, the Afghan people know what their country needs, so it’s important for them to take control.

The COIN Training Center now has a permanent team dedicated to training Afghans in the Uruzgan province and plan to continue to offer counterinsurgency training to ANSF.

“Eventually, the Afghans will take control of the entire class,” said Frachiseur. “We’ll still be here in an advisory role, but the course will be theirs.”

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Heated Israeli Suez rhetoric burden on U.S.?

Feb 21, 2011

Ali Gharib


The earth reportedly shook as two Iranian naval boats approached the Suez Canal on Monday morning. For the U.S., though, the building tension over the (delayed, for now) passage could result in diplomatic, not literal, earthquakes.

When the news was first announced last week that the two warships would pass through the canal, Israeli reaction appeared split. Now it seems Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has joined his foreign minister in ratcheting up the rhetoric, saying, “Israel takes a grave view of this Iranian step.”

Following closely on the U.S. veto of a UN Security Council resolution denouncing Israeli settlements, Israel’s blustering approach to the Iranian warships may provide yet another instance where the “special relationship” causes the U.S. to choose between its ally Israel, on one hand, and international law and maintaining regional influence on the other.

Egyptian approval of passage for the Iranian ships was first reported when Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the move amounted to a “provocation” by Iran. “The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations,” he warned ominously.

Covering the comments, the Wall Street Journal pointed to fissures over Lieberman’s blustering and the quieter approach preferred Ehud Barak and the Israeli Defense Ministry.

At the time, Lieberman’s comments seemed to be made for U.S. consumption. Ethan Bronner’s New York Times piece had this nugget (my emphasis):

The first word came from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in an address to a group of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. The speech, which hinted at a possible response, was closed to reporters…

The bellicose comments led National Interest writer Jacob Heilbrunn to comment: “Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman isn’t just a thug. He’s also a moron.” On Sunday, Netanyahu told his cabinet, “Israel takes a grave view of this Iranian step.”

A former State Department senior intelligence official called on Israel “to stand down and avoid any provocative actions.” Middle East Institute scholar Wayne White told LobeLog that Israeli “muscle-flexing” and a perception of “high-handedness” now could be harmful to U.S. (and even Israeli) interests on a wide range of issues. He mentioned the still-developing and fluid situation in Egypt, anti-regime protests in Iran itself, and uncertainty in Jordan, which is facing some unrest and, like Egypt, has a peace deal with Israel.

White’s list of examples gives a taste of just how many crises the U.S. is facing in the region. With protests in several U.S.-allied countries like Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, and even Iraq, the U.S. wants to keep things relatively calm. As White points out, another crisis, with Israel and the U.S. pitted against Iran and Syria (whose waters the Iranian ships are reportedly bound for), could easily inject anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli sentiments into the anti-government movements that have been sweeping the region or permit besieged autocrats to divert popular attention and agitation.

The other elephant in the room is the notion of Suez passage itself. So far, the U.S. has taken a measured tone. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley said on Friday: “If the ships move through the canal, we’ll evaluate what they actually do.” He said the potential issues were the ships’ cargo and destination. Crowley seemed eager to move onto a new topic, repeatedly interrupting the questioner(s).

The lack of U.S. focus on passage itself is perhaps a nod to both the Constantinople Convention (1988) governing Suez Passage and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1983, in force 1994), which allows “innocent passage”through even territorial waters. The Constantinople convention states:

The Suez Maritime Canal shall always be free and of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag.

Consequently, the High Contracting Parties agree not in any way to interfere with the free use of the Canal, in time of war as in time of peace.

One of those contracting parties is, of course, Egypt, which may not interfere or block anyone’s passage. The U.S. relies on this status quo as much, if not more, than any other country. Indeed, if the right of “innocent passage” is questioned in this case, think of all the possible ramifications for the U.S. Navy and its 11 aircraft carrier groups that span the globe, if not always to the acclaim of the natives. It’s not for nothing that the Navy has been the country’s biggest advocate for Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention.

For now, it appears that the passage of the Iranian ships has been delayed, without any reason given. But if the Israelis keep pushing back against Iran, rumblings of the diplomatic sort could soon follow for the U.S. Once again, as when Israel backed ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak until his last days and relentlessly pressed the Obama administration to cast his UN Security Council veto on a resolution that was entirely consistent with U.S. policy since 1967, Washington’s “special relationship” with the Jewish State could become burdensome to broader U.S. strategic interests.

This post originally appeared on Lobelog.

‘The Palestine Cables’: Bahraini elites want to reach out to Israel, but the people don’t

Feb 21, 2011

Alex Kane


The revolt rocking the Gulf state of Bahrain continues, as protesters occupy the Pearl roundabout area, demanding that King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa step down.  One of the root causes driving the crisis in Bahrain is the existence of a “king who shows diminishing care for relations with his Shi’i subjects,” as Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote.  And while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from a root cause of the unrest in Bahrain and other Arab countries, popular sentiment on Israel is one more example of the disconnect between Bahraini and other U.S.-backed Arab elites and their people, and this disconnect is at the core of the uprisings’ demands for democracy and freedom. 

State Department cables on Bahrain released by WikiLeaks reveal the depth of that disconnect in Bahrain. 

Israeli-Bahraini relations can’t be described as close, but recent outreach efforts to Israel by the ruling family have turned heads in that country.  In a July 2009 Op-Ed published in theWashington Post, the crown prince of Bahrain called for dialogue between Israelis and Arabs.  After the piece was published, according to a August 2009 cable from the embassy in Bahrain’s capital city, the prince urged U.S. officials  “to think about ‘a peace dividend’ for those countries, like Bahrain, that were willing to take risks for peace. He specifically mentioned that Bahrain would welcome increased trade and investment from the United States.” 

But the people of Bahrain reacted strongly against the move.  A July 2009 cable states that because of Israeli “settlements, arrests, attacks against civilian populations,” public opinion in Bahrain thought that it was “unacceptable” to “reach out to Israel.”  This sentiment was expressed in “both Sunni and Shia blogs,” with one blogger publishing “photos from Gaza of dead and maimed Palestinian children” in response.  (The cable also reports that one blog posting stated, “as long as normalization is with the people of Israel and not the political leadership (of Israel), it is acceptable.”)

Bahrain’s foreign minister came in for similar criticism in his country in the wake of a 2007 meeting with Tzipi Livni, then Israel’s foreign minister, as a WikiLeaks cable shows.  The cable also reports that Bahrain’s foreign minister told an American Jewish Committee delegation of the need to “shore up President Abbas against the challenge presented by Hamas,” and called for Palestinian refugees to give up their right of return.

Read all of the ‘Palestine Cables’ here.

Alex Kane is a blogger and journalist based in New York City.  He blogs at  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.


‘Once you start looking at the truth you can’t stop’ (soldier pisses on 13-year-old boy, boy is imprisoned for 8 months)

Feb 21, 2011

Philip Weiss


Last week at an event for our Goldstone book at Alwan for the Arts, Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace said that the Gaza onslaught of ’08-’09 had caused “an irreparable rupture” between Israel and “some portion” of the American Jewish community. She added: “Once you start looking at the truth you can’t stop.”

I’ve heard that phrase ringing in my head since. She is talking about the recovery process that more and more American Jews are now engaged in. They start to undo the myth they were told, they become hungry to learn about the reality that exists in Palestine today.

From Aya Kaniuk and Tamar Goldschmidt’s site, “They pissed on him and he got eight months,” a story about Mohammad Mukheir, a 13-year-old sentenced to 8 months in prison for stone-throwing (h/t Ali Gharib):

At first Mohammad’s father was ashamed to tell about the pissing. To even say these words out loud. I think that for him, that was the most humiliating thing they did to his son, more than all the other things.

What kind of person, I wonder, takes a 13-year old boy no matter why, and tortures him like this. And then I answer myself, almost any Israeli. Any soldier in the army when it comes to Palestinians. Any person, in fact, if only the local codes designate that it’s permissible.

The day I first saw him was one of those Mondays at the ‘Ofer’ military court, in hall number 2. That’s where the children are tried. 20, 22, 23 children a day. Children and youths arrive in groups of two, three, sometimes four, wearing brown prisoners’ garb, their feet chained, one hand shackled to the next boy’s hand.

I noticed him in particular because he had soft, round curls, and because he looked very young, and because he wept.

…But why did the lawyer say nothing to the judge about the torture? We asked. Why did he not mention what this boy has gone through? “Because then they might treat him even worse”, the father explained. “Give him another two months for our saying that. That’s what I think..”

Long a supporter of two-state solution, Steve Walt suggests it’s ‘no longer practical possibility’

Feb 21, 2011

Philip Weiss


Glenn Greenwald describes the sad tidings from New York– and acknowledges that the Israel lobby effected Obama’s first veto in the UN Security Council. Note that he uses the language of national interests:

at one of the most critical times in that region in more than a century, the U.S. openly subverts the world consensus to protect the Israelis from censure over blatantly illegal acts — all to avoid angering “its supporters” in the U.S.

Remember, though:  talking about the power of the Israel Lobby and the way it causes the U.S. to sacrifice its own interests for this foreign country is strictly prohibited and a sure sign of deep malice.  And the only possible reason why Muslims in that region might harbor hostility toward the U.S. is because of primitive, crazed religious fanaticism and a contempt for Our Freedoms.

Steve Walt also talks about the Israel lobby, of course, but gets to the point about two states. Excerpts:

Thus far, all that Obama’s Middle East team has managed to do in two years is to further undermine U.S. credibility as a potential mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, and to dash the early hopes that the United States was serious about “two states for two peoples.” And while Obama, Mitchell, Clinton, Ross, and the rest of the team have floundered, the Netanyahu government has continued to evict Palestinian residents from their homes, its bulldozers and construction crews continuing to seize more and more of the land on which the Palestinians hoped to create a state.

Needless to say, the United States is all by its lonesome on this issue. Our fellow democracies — France, Germany, Great Britain, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Colombia — all voted in favor of the resolution, but not the government of the Land of the Free. …

As [many] commentators recognize, the real reason for Obama’s misguided decision was the profound influence of the Israel lobby. Indeed, few observers have missed this simple and obvious fact. One can only conclude that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s repeated claims that they are “friends of Israel” and devoted to its security are nothing more than empty, politically expedient rhetoric. Whatever they may say, the policies they are pursuing — including this latest veto — are in fact harmful to Israel’s long-term future. The man who declared in Cairo on June 4, 2009 that a two-state solution was “in the “Israel’s interest, the Palestinians’ interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest” must have changed his mind, because his actions ever since have merely hastened the moment when creating two viable states will be impossible (if that is not already the case). Then remember what former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in 2007, “if the two-state solution fails, Israel will face a South African style struggle for political rights.” And “once that happens,” he warned, “the state of Israel is finished.”…

If the United States hopes to be on the right side of history, it is time to start thinking about what its policy should be when everybody finally acknowledges that “two states for two peoples” is no longer a practical possibility. This is going to happen sooner or later, and anyone who is still advocating for a two-state solution at that point is going to sound like an ignorant fool. Not because of the flaws in that option, but simply because it will be impossible to implement. What alternative solution will the president and secretary of state support then? Ethnic cleansing? A binational, liberal democracy in which all inhabitants of Israel/Palestine have equal civil and political rights? Or permanent apartheid, in the form of disconnected Palestinian Bantustans under de facto Israeli control? That awkward reality may not be apparent while Obama is president (which is probably what he is hoping), but it will be a damning legacy to leave to his successor, as well as a tragedy for two peoples who have already known more than their share.

Update: I change the original head on this post, Knife in back of two-state solution is traced to Israel lobby, because it was too clever by half.

Last year the ‘Times’ called accomplice in slaughter, Seif Gaddafi, the ‘Western-friendly face of reform’ in Libya

Feb 21, 2011


Gaddafi vows not to flee Libya- sources
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Libyan sources told Asharq al-Awsat that the Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, will not flee the country if the situation escalates, and that he intends to die on Libyan soil.

Full Text of Saif Gadaffi’s TV Address

Highlights of Gaddafi son’s speech
Al-Islam blamed the unrest in Libya on tribal factions and drunken or drugged Islamists acting on their own agendas. 

Gadhafi’s Son Says Father In Libya, Will Fight ‘Until The Last Bullet’
CAIRO — The son of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi warned in a nationally televised address that continued anti-government protests that have wracked Libya for six days might lead to a civil war that could send the country’s oil wells up in flames. Appearing on Libyan state television after midnight Sunday, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi said the army still backed his father, who was leading the fight, although he added that some military bases, tanks and weapons had been seized.

Gaddafi’s son admits ‘mistakes’
Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Sayf al-Islam, says the military over-reacted against protesters but accuses the opposition of trying to break up the country.

Libya on brink as protests hit Tripoli
Muammar Gaddafi’s son warns of civil war in state television address as regime tries to halt uprising 

Eyewitness phonecall near Green Square shortly after Saif’s speech
A Libyan American speaks to his brother in Tripoli after Seif Gaddafi’s speech. Intense combat and heavy artillery being fired in the background.

And more news from the protests in the Middle East/North Africa:

Libya, world reacts to Saif Gadhafi’s address
(CNN) — The White House is “analyzing” the speech of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to see “what possibilities it contains for meaningful reform,” a senior U.S. administration official said Sunday night after the Libyan leader’s son took to the airwaves to propose speedy implementation of significant democratic reforms following days of anti-government demonstrations. 

Gaddafi burns his soldiers in their barracks for refusing to shoot protesters – GRAPHIC
This footage shows the burnt bodies of soldiers who apparently refused to shoot at the protesters when they were ordered to. Warning, the footage is graphic.

Report: Libya air force bombs protesters heading for army base
Protesters take over office of two state-run satellite news channels, set central government building ablaze, as violence escalates on 7th day of protests.

Reported use of heavy weapons may be war crime
EYEWITNESS REPORTS from Benghazi in eastern Libya state that pro-Gadafy forces are using anti-aircraft weapons and heavy machine guns against civilian protesters. Doctors treating those injured in the attacks speak of catastrophic soft tissue injuries to the head, chest and abdomen of those shot by Gadafy’s troops. Significantly, Libyan doctors have been quoted as stating that the majority of the injuries are fatal or untreatable. 

At least 50 people killed in Benghazi Sunday-doctor
TRIPOLI, Feb 20 (Reuters) – At least 50 people were killed and 100 others seriously wounded in Benghazi on Sunday afternoon, a doctor in the Libyan city told Reuters. “Today has been a real tragedy … since 3 p.m. (1300 GMT) and up to 9.15 pm, we received 50 dead, mostly from bullet wounds,” Habib al-Obaidi, who heads the intensive care unit at the main Al-Jalae hospital said by telephone. 

BREAKING: Doctor confirms to Al Jazeera Arabic that bloodbanks in hospitals stolen
A doctor spoke to Al Jazeera earlier today and confirmed that supporters of Gaddafi stormed hospitals in Tripoli last night and stole blood from the blood banks. There is now an urgent call for blood donations as events as set to escalate in Tripoli tonight.

Phones cut in Tripoli amid ‘massacre’ in Green Square
5:50pm: Geneva-based Libyan News Network reports phones cut in Tripoli, amid “massacre” in Green Square. More details being sought.

“Non-stop” gunfire in Libya’s capital
Shortly after Seif Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s longtime leader, warned in a Sunday-night speech that the country would descend into “civil war” if protests continued, a Libyan American spoke with his brother in Tripoli, who described intense combat in the capital, where anti-government protesters were attacked after taking the main square. 

Libyan violence spreads to Tripoli
Violent clashes reportedly broke out late Sunday in Tripoli’s central Green Square. In a televised address just a few hours ago, Saif El Islam Gadaffi said his father would stand firm, and the country could plunge into civil war if the protests don’t stop. He said foreign media, Islamists, even drug addicts were part of a plot to bring down the government, and break up the country. Meanwhile, demonstrators in Benghazi claim to be in control of the city, despite yet another brutal crackdown. Human Right Watch says at least 233 people have died – with security forces continuing to use force to end the demonstrations. Al Jazeera’s Tom Ackerman has the latest. 

Libyan protesters brave bullets to close in on Gaddafi
TRIPOLI, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi will fight a popular revolt to “the last man standing,” one of his sons said on Monday as people in the capital joined protests for the first time after days of violent unrest in the eastern city of Benghazi. 

Death toll rises in Libyan unrest
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is confronting the most serious challenge to his rule in 42 years. Government forces have been unleashed onto protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi, where one hospital official put the death toll at 200. Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker takes a look at the scale of the unrest in the country. 

Libya clashes spread to Tripoli
Clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters escalate as army unit ‘defects’ in Benghazi. 

Protests, “riots” and shooting in Tripoli
Rahma, an activist in Libya’s capital, tells Al Jazeera that her father – a US citizen – was arrested after a joining a peaceful protest in front of Tripoli’s main courthouse on Sunday.

Libyan Muslim leaders order followers to rebel
PARIS, Feb 21 (Reuters) – A coalition of Libyan Muslim leaders has issued a declaration telling all Muslims it is their duty to rebel against the Libyan leadership. “They have demonstrated total arrogant impunity and continued, and even intensified, their bloody crimes against humanity. They have thereby demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him),” said the group, called the Network of Free Ulema of Libya.

Libyan envoy to Arab League joins ‘revolution’
Cairo – Libya’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Abdel Moneim al-Honi, said on Sunday he was quitting his position in order to “join the revolution” that is unfolding in his country.  “I have submitted my resignation in protest against the acts of repression and violence against demonstrators [in Libya] and I am joining the ranks of the revolution,” Honi said. 

Libya justice minister resigns to protest ‘excessive use of force’ against protesters
Ambassadors to the Arab League, India and China have also stepped down to voice dissent with the government, as violent clashes spill into seventh day.

Libya’s ambassador to India resigns in protest against violence-BBC
LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Libya’s ambassador to India has resigned in protest at his government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators calling for the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Monday. 

Benghazi residents say told Gaddafi’s guard defeated
TRIPOLI Feb 20 (Reuters) – Members of a Libyan army unit told Benghazi residents on Sunday they had defected and “liberated” the city from forces supporting veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi, two residents said. 

Workers resign at Libyan Embassy in Stockholm

Arab League demands end to Libya violence
Moussa backs protestors’ demand for ‘reform development and change’; UK summons Libyan ambassador to condemn use of deadly force by security forces. Al-Jazeera: 61 killed in latest protests in Tripoli.,7340,L-4031787,00.html

EU calls for immediate end of violence in Libya
BRUSSELS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on the Libyan authorities to immediately put a stop to violence against anti-government protesters and begin broad-based dialogue on reforms. 

Libya: Governments Should Demand End to Unlawful Killings
(New York) – The African Union and African, Western, and Arab countries that have relations with Libya should urge the Libyan government to stop the unlawful killing of protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. In the last three days, the death toll of protesters reported to Human Rights Watch by hospital staff and other sources has reached at least 173. 

Condemnation grows as Libya massacre feared (AFP)
AFP – World powers rounded on Libya Sunday as fears grew that hundreds of people had been killed in a brutal government crackdown on demonstrators demanding an end to Moamer Kadhafi’s 41-year, ironclad rule.* 

Russia says Libya violence must be stopped
MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Russia called for an end to violence in Libya on Monday, citing what it said were opposition reports of several hundred deaths in unrest.

Europe plans for Libya evacuation
EU foreign ministers discuss plans to transport citizens out of Libya, as violent unrest spreads.

Libya violence threatens economic relations
From France to the United Kingdom, European leaders have condemned the violence in Libya. In recent years, European countries have been cultivating a relationship with Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi – for business reasons. Harry Smith reports. 

Libya protesters sack Tripoli TV, set blocks on fire
Protesters in the Libyan capital Tripoli sacked state broadcast offices and set branches of the People’s Committees that are the mainstay of the regime ablaze overnight, witnesses told AFP on Monday, as the European Union said it would start to evacuate its citizens.

Benghazi defies Gaddafi
Libya’s second city of Benghazi was a scene of chaos and bloodshed yesterday amid reports that anti-regime protesters had seized control. Security forces had earlier fired indiscriminately on mourners attending the funerals of those killed in recent days, but appeared to lose the advantage after a key military battalion came over to the side of the protesters. 

Residents of Tabruk Celebrate the Liberation of the Town from Military Control Sunday Night
Cars honked their horns and people reveled and chanted throughout the streets of Tabruk. Congratulations to the small, brave town! 

Demonstrations in Souq Jumah in Tripoli- Feb. 20: Protesters closing off streets to prevent pro government security forces from patrolling 

Souq Al Jummah is with you Benghazi!

Protesters burning police station Souq Al Jummah, Tripoli

Protests in Zintan
Translation of chants: Look at the knights of Zintan! Gaddafi you coward!

Tripoli Ben Ashoor Street – 20th February 

Benghazi Libya Celebrating Freedom from Gaddafi 

Violent clashes hit Libyan city of Baidah
Video report: The eastern Libyan city of Baidah has been a scene of death and violent clashes. Hospitals are struggling to cope with the influx of patients and people are worried about more chaos ahead.

Protests outside Tripoli Courthouses

Qadhdhafi’s mercenaries
Butchering the brave protesters of Libya

Photos from Libya 2011-02-21

Protesters gather in Egypt to back Libyans
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Feb 20 (Reuters) – At least 100 people gathered on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in solidarity with the Libyan people after witnesses said Libya’s security forces shot anti-government protesters. 

Dearborn, Michigan Protest In Solidarity with Libya- Feb 20, 2011
Despite frigid temperatures, a sizable group of Libyan and Yemeni protesters gathered Dearborn, Michigan in front of Town Hall to show support. They chanted together showing solidarity for their brothers and sisters.

Malta: Demonstrations in support of Libyans

Libya warns U.S. energy firms over diplomatic row
TRIPOLI, March 4 (Reuters) – Libya’s top oil official on Thursday summoned the local heads of top U.S. energy firms to tell them a diplomatic row with Washington could hurt U.S. businesses in Libya, the state oil company said.

Berlusconi under fire for not “disturbing” Gaddafi
ROME, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Opposition lawmakers criticised Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for failing to condemn violence in Libya and saying he did not want to “disturb” Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during the revolt in his country.

Libya protests analysis: ‘For Muammar Gaddafi it’s kill or be killed’
Libya’s leader faces the worst unrest since he seized power, but no-one expects him to give up peacefully

Crushing Libya’s revolt
The unrest in Libya started as a series of protests, but was met by a fierce security crackdown.

Benghazi Despite Gov’t Violence
After a week of deadly unrest in the North African country of Libya, tens of thousands of people celebrated Sunday as they retook the streets of the eastern city of Benghazi. Residents say some soldiers joined the protesters and defeated a force of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s elite guard. Others say the military has left the city. This comes after days of brutal violence. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 300 people have been killed in Libya this week. Clashes have reportedly reached the capital city of Tripoli. For more on the situation in Benghazi, we spoke by phone to a protester named Haithem last night.

Why do you Libyans want Gaddafi gone? Here are some reasons… 

In 2010 NYTIMES called accomplice in slaughter Seif Gaddafi the “Western-friendly face of reform” in Libya 

Gaddafi cruelly resists, but this Arab democratic revolution is far from over | David Hirst
The burning question is, where next? After Ben Ali and Mubarak, others may not fall so easily – but most regimes are candidates. The world has yet to settle on an agreed term for the great events unfolding across the Middle East. I was in the depths of the French countryside – out of touch, and with a BBC World Service that could only fade in and out of hearing late at night and early morning – during their latest, awe-inspiring Egypt phase. But I was soon persuaded that the designation which, in an article in Le Monde, Gilles Kepel, the noted expert on Islamic fundamentalism, assigned them would prove as accurately encapsulating as any. He dubbed them the “Arab democratic revolution”.

The Middle East: People, power, politics | Editorial
It will be only when Gaddafi’s security forces cross lines that his maniacal grip will slip – but that moment could be far off. At the time, it was called the Libyan model, a turnaround so complete that everyone in the US from neocon to liberal claimed the credit for it. When Libya agreed in 1999 to hand over two suspects to the Lockerbie trial and then abandon its WMD programme in 2003, it was hailed an example of how a state once described by the CIA as an uninhibited supporter of international terrorism could come in from the cold. Everyone, not least the then prime minister, Tony Blair, flocked to shake Muammar Gaddafi’s hand. Announcing a new relationship, Mr Blair said he had been struck by how the Libyan leader wished to join Britain in the common cause of fighting al-Qaida, extremists and terrorism. The other part of that common cause was a deal with Shell for exploration rights. Peace with Libya has been lucrative ever since. 

Revolutionary Situation in Libya, Juan Cole
After the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi fell to the protest movement on Sunday, clashes broke out in the Libyan capital of Tripoli late that afternoon, the first time that city saw substantial demonstrations. The events shook the rule of Muammar Qaddafi to the core, eliciting from one of his sons Saif al-Islam Qaddafi a haughty jeremiad about the protesters endangering the future of the country.

How will Libya’s protests play out?
Two factors could be key: whether the violence spreads to Tripoli, and whether the army continues to fire on civilians. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt took us all by surprise, and have still not played out. Libya is the least transparent country in the Middle East at the best of times. Just now, with most communications down, it is truly a mystery wrapped in an enigma. 

“Libya is Forever Changed by These Events”: Libyan Poet and Scholar Khaled Mattawa on the Pro-Democracy Movement Amid Government Violence
After a week of pro-democracy demonstrations in Libya that left more than 300 people dead, protesters have continued to demand an end to the 42-year regime of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. One of Gaddafi’s sons, Seif Islam Gaddafi, addressed the nation over Libyan State TV on Sunday, and threatened there would be civil war if the protests did not end. For more we are joined by the acclaimed Libyan poet and scholar, Khaled Mattawa. “I think the regime is over even if Gaddafi manages to survive,” Mattawa says. “Libyans are saying, ‘Yes we will have a new constitution, perhaps we will have a new flag. But we do not want you or your father or the rest of your plan, so get out of here.”

I told you the Libya chapter will be bloody: (it has been bloody–lest we forget in Tunisia and Egypt–where Bin Ali and Mubarak massacred people to stay in power).  The masses of Libya (the jamahir as that loony leader calls them) hate the leader, and the leader is hated in the region by fellow dictators.  So he has nowhere to go (possibly with the exception of Italy).  So he and his sons will have to fight to the end.  But the end is coming for them, no doubt.

Shots fired at Yemen demonstration
Teenager killed and four people wounded in clash with soldiers in southern port of Aden, as protests enter 11th day.

Unrest spreads across Yemen
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemen president, offered to oversee dialogue between opposition groups and government officials due to civil unrest throughout the country. The offer came on Sunday after 3,000 university students demonstrated at the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, urging the president to step down from power. Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra has more from the Yemeni capital. 

Yemen: President’s offer of talks is rejected by political opposition
Yemen’s embattled President yesterday sought a way out of the political crisis gripping his impoverished nation, offering to oversee a dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition to defuse the stand-off with protesters demanding that he go. 

Yemeni Shiite group announces anti-gov’t march in north on Monday
SANAA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — The Yemeni northern Shiite Houthi-led rebels announced Sunday they would stage rallies in northern Saada province on Monday to press for the resignation of the country’s long time president. “Protest demonstrations will be staged on Monday in Saada province to call for overthrowing the regime and to end the corruption and tyranny,” the spokesman of the Houthi-led group Mohammed Abdusallam told Xinhua. 

Inside Story – Yemen’s ‘days of rage’
On Saturday, Yemeni riot police shot dead a protester and injured at least five as thousands gathered in the capital Sanaa for a ninth day of protests. What are the risks of a political void in this volatile region?

Yemen’s Turn: An Overview
To begin to understand the trajectory of recent political developments in Yemen, it is necessary to cast one’s eye back further than the heady days of 2011. Undoubtedly, events in Egypt and Tunisia have lent considerable force to demonstrations in the capital, Sana’a. However, it would be unfair to the thousands of Yemenis who for years have organized daily protests throughout the country and the thousands who have been killed, imprisoned, injured and tortured by the state to say that the widespread popular organizing against the regime of `Ali `Abdullah Salih had its genesis anywhere but Yemen. 

Live Update: Bahrain
Al Jazeera’s correspondent James Bays has the latest from Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama.

Anti government protests continue in Bahrain
Anti-government demonstrators in Bahrain woke up in their camps in the capital, Manama. Hundreds of people spent the night in the Pearl roundabout after the government ordered the military to withdraw from the area. Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports on what is next for the protesters.

Grief, anger as Bahrain protester lies brain dead
MANAMA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – When she learned that the bullet in Ridha Mohammed’s skull had left him brain dead, his nurse grabbed a glass-framed picture of Bahrain’s prime minister and smashed it on the floor. 

Opposition Demands Dissolution of Bahraini Government
The opposition demanded that the king dissolve the government and fire his uncle, the prime minister, before they agree to enter into talks.

Bahrain opposition demand reforms
Leaders call for political reform but protesters’ demands differ after days of demonstrations in the capital, Manama. 

“Solidarity with the People of Bahrain” (Videos)
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Bahraini embassy in Belgravia, London to demand the end of the Al Khalifa dictatorship in Bahrain.

Mahmood N. Al Yousif, “Bahrain: Teachers on Strike”
“When the General Strike was announced yesterday, I didn’t give it much heed. . . . Teachers, some of them at least, heeded that call. I noticed a few gathering with their Bahraini flags and a couple of hastily written placards standing in front of their school’s gate near where I live. I approached them, took some pictures and interviewed one. Wanting to check the other schools in the area, I hit the motherload at the Duraz Intermediate Girls’ School nearby — you’ll know what I mean when you view the following video — and then off I went to the school next door where they were striking too. . . . Is this the start of another ‘phenomenon’ in Bahrain? One thing is for sure: Bahrain before the 14th of February 2011 is most definitely different from Bahrain after it.” — Mahmood N. Al Yousif 

FEATURE-For Bahraini Shi’ites, a long trudge to equality
MANAMA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Shi’ite computer science graduate Mahdi Mohamed tried hard for a government job.  “But no call. No reply. Not even a rejection,” he said. A Sunni friend from college easily found work. “The other boy has holidays, commissions and allowances. He has an office,” said Mohamed. “Do you know what I do? I deliver computers. My car is my office.”

Robert Fisk in Manama: Bahrain – an uprising on the verge of revolution
Bahrain is not Egypt. Bahrain is not Tunisia. And Bahrain is not Libya or Algeria or Yemen. True, the tens of thousands gathering again yesterday at the Pearl roundabout – most of them Shia but some of them Sunni Muslims – dressed themselves in Bahraini flags, just as the Cairo millions wore Egyptian flags in Tahrir Square.–uprising-on-the-verge-of-revolution-2220639.html 

Statement of Civil Society Organizations in Bahrain Regarding the Brutal Attack on Protesters in The Pearl Roundabout
[This statement was prepared by a coalition of civil society organizations in Bahrain. The original Arabic version can be found here. Translation below is by Khuloud and Ziad Abu-Rish.]

Kuwait: Dozens Injured, Arrested in Bidun Crackdown
(New York) – Hundreds of stateless residents of Kuwait took to the streets on February 18, 2011, to demand their rights, with dozens seeking treatment for injuries in local hospitals and dozens more detained by state security, Human Rights Watch said today. 

‘Five dead’ after Morocco rallies
Five burned bodies are found in a bank which was set on fire following anti-government protests in Morocco on Sunday, officials say.

Morocco: Thousands March for Reform
(Rabat) – Thousands of Moroccans in cities across the country demonstrated in favor of political reform on February 20, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Mostly peaceful demonstrations and marches took place in towns and villages largely without interference from police, who in some areas were barely in evidence. 

Morocco joins Arab world unrest as thousands rally for reforms
At least 5,000 demonstrate in Rabat, waving Tunisian and Egyptian flags in recognition of the popular uprisings that overthrew the two countries’ presidents.

Morocco protesters demand limit on royal powers
RABAT: Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Morocco Sunday demanding King Mohammad VI give up some of his powers, dismiss the government and clamp down on corruption. In the capital Rabat, some people in the crowd waved Tunisian and Egyptian flags in recognition of the popular uprisings that overthrew the two countries’ presidents. 

Morocco Protest Videos 

The Battle of Algeria
The departure of Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation on February 11 sparked conjectures about Algeria as the next country in the Arab world to attempt to rid itself of authoritarian leadership. While Egyptians have lived under “state of emergency” laws since Mubarak came to power after Sadat’s assassination in 1981, Algeria’s version, also prohibiting any public demonstrations, was enacted in 1992 after the country’s first national multiparty elections and runoff set for January 16, 1992 were suspended. A military coup d’etat deposed then President Chadli Benjedid who had ruled since 1979.

One killed and forty seven hurt in Iraq protests
One person has been killed and 47 others injured during overnight protests in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah, police and hospital officials said.

Parliament stops work to listen to Iraqis’ gripes (Reuters)
Reuters – Iraq’s parliament has suspended work for a week and sent lawmakers to their home areas to help soothe rising anger over corruption, food shortages and poor services, the speaker of parliament said on Monday.*

Sunday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 56 Wounded
At least nine Iraqis were killed and 56 more were wounded in new and old violence. Some of the dead were wounded in Thursday’s deadly protests in Suleimanya, while the lion’s share of today’s wounded were injured in protests re-ignited by an attack on an independent television station in the same city last night. 

Monday: 17 Iraqis Killed, 33 Wounded
At least 17 Iraqis and an Egyptian resident were killed in the latest attacks, while 33 more were wounded. Although no new demonstrations reported today, last night Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani gave his support to protesters in a strongly worded statement castigating the government for negligence. Also, Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi reports that two investigative committees are being formed to track down almost $40 billion that has disappeared from the Development Fund for Iraq.

Protest in Egypt after army vehicle kills woman
CAIRO, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Around 1,000 Egyptians protested on Sunday in a city east of Cairo after a woman was killed by an army vehicle during a demonstration, eyewitnesses said.  The incident marked the latest eruption of public anger in the wake of countrywide protests that began on Jan. 25 and led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt appoints first opposition member to govt post
Egypt has appointed a member of the liberal opposition Wafd party as tourism minister in an unprecedented move, state news agency MENA said late Sunday. Mounir Abdel Nour, Secretary-General of the Wafd party, has accepted the position in Egypt’s interim government, MENA said. 

NAC calls for presidential council of five
The National Association for Change presents a detailed account of how Egypt’s transitional period should be managed

Egypt releases 108 political prisoners – state tv
CAIRO, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Egypt has released 108 political prisoners, state television reported on Sunday, following a pledge by Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Shafiq was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA on Saturday that 222 prisoners would soon be freed but did not say when. Shafiq had put the number of remaining political prisoners at 487, MENA said.

Egypt requests freeze on Mubaraks’ foreign assets
CAIRO, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor on Monday told the foreign ministry to seek a freeze on the foreign assets of Hosni Mubarak and his family, the first sign that the former president would be held to account by the military leadership to whom he handed power.

Egypt to rename streets after protest ‘martyrs’
CAIRO, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Monday ordered that streets be renamed to honour “martyrs” who died during the mass protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptian army takes to Facebook 

Hosni Mubarak namesake fined for drinking alcohol in Dubai 

No to neo- Mubarakism
The former president may have gone, but the system that kept him in power is still in place, writes Bahieddin Hassan*

Egypt Burning – The fall of Mubarak
As the calls for regime change move into their third week, Egyptians have broken down the barrier of fear. Cracks between the protesters have started to show, but resolute protesters are standing firm on their call for the president to resign.

How Egyptian Women Took Back the Street Between Two “Black Wednesdays”: A First Person Account
On February 16, Roger Ebert, an American film critic and commentator, tweeted: “The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus.” While the attack on CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was a tragic and upsetting event, it needs to be understood in its political context. Any attempt to propound this in such familiar orientalist terms would be offensive and unfair, not only to Egyptians protesting for democracy, but to Logan herself. She was not attacked as a woman–although the gendered nature of the assault is indisputable; she was attacked as a professional journalist and a supporter of the Egyptian protest. I, too, was attacked, probably by the same type of thugs who attacked Logan. I understand both attacks in light of  Egypt’s political conditions and  the role of the Egyptian women in an ongoing struggle against oppressive and undemocratic government. The heinous attacks mark much more than “attitudes towards women.” Perhaps they mark the desperation of a dying regime.

‘We Stand With You as You Stood With Us’: Statement to Workers of Wisconsin by Kamal Abbas of Egypt’s Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services
About Kamal Abbas and the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services: Kamal Abbas is General Coordinator of the CTUWS, an umbrella advocacy organization for independent unions in Egypt. The CTUWS, which was awarded the 1999 French Republic’s Human Rights Prize, suffered repeated harassment and attack by the Mubarak regime, and played a leading role in its overthrow. Abbas, who witnessed friends killed by the regime during the 1989 Helwan steel strike and was himself arrested and threatened numerous times, has received extensive international recognition for his union and civil society leadership. 

What the world tweeted on #Egypt the day Mubarak resigned

What If the Egyptian Protesters Were Democrats?
Their recent upheaval would certainly have been different, perhaps dramatically different.In the past month, the people of Egypt—inspired by the recent democratic revolution in Tunisia and preceding emergent revolutions in Libya, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria—have undertaken a revolt of truly stunning proportions, one that includes men and women from all class strata, religious and ethnic origins, and ideological commitments.  They managed to rid themselves of a longstanding and brutal dictator worth over $40 billion and supported by the collective power of the United States, European Union, Israel, and the Arab Gulf States. 

Tunisians defy ban on rallies, call for new interim Cabinet
Tens of thousands of people defied security forces Sunday to rally in the Tunisian capital calling for a new interim government.  It was the second straight day of mass protests in the North African country’s main city, in defiance of a government ban on rallies, after a lull following the popular uprising last month which overthrew President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. 

Tunisia seeks Ben Ali’s extradition
Officials have formally requested the extradition of former president from Saudi Arabia, where he fled last month. 

Other Revolution/Uprising Related News
Top US military officer ‘stunned’ by Arab revolts
RIYADH (AFP) – Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday he was “stunned” by the spread of Arab protests as he arrived in Saudi Arabia on a Gulf tour to boost Washington’s ties with regional allies. Mullen’s visit comes as an unprecedented wave of revolts challenges Arab authoritarian regimes, notably in Bahrain and Yemen, after uprisings toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt. “It’s stunning to me that it’s moved so quickly,” America’s highest-ranking military officer said of the revolts. “We’ve talked about the underlying issues for a long time, but it’s the speed with which this is happening,” he told reporters. 

Arab leaders use varying tactics to try to calm anger in the streets
SANAA, YEMEN – As fresh protests erupted across the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday, embattled leaders in the region struggled to contain their discontented masses, deploying a wide variety of tactics – from offers of dialogue to brutal crackdowns – to suppress the pro-democracy forces unleashed by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. 

Sudan’s Bashir will not stand for reelection: party
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will not seek re-election, as part of a package of reforms to democratize the country, a senior ruling party official said on Monday. 

King Abdullah finally has his say on reforms
Jordan’s King Abdullah II yesterday called for “quick and real” political reforms to give the public a greater role in governing and to eliminate corruption, favoritism and nepotism. 

Arab leftists groups call for protests on March 20
BEIRUT Arab Leftist groups which convened in Beirut over the weekend declared March 20 as a day of protests against oppression across the Arab world. “Let’s turn March 20 into an Arab day for protesting against the repressive policies and the policies of impoverishment, hunger and dependency adopted by Arab regimes,” said Lebanese Communist Party politburo member Marie Debs at the end of an extraordinary meeting of Arab leftist groups in Beirut. Salah Adli, from Egypt’s Communist Party, called for toppling the Cabinet of Ahmad Shafiq, saying it was reminiscent of the ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. 

Syrian Blogger Ahmad Abu al-Khair Arrested This Morning 
Close friends of Syrian blogger Ahmad Abu al-Khair reported that he was arrested this morning at 5:00 am local time on his way back to Damascus from the coastal city of Banias. Security forces allegedly have also confiscated his personal computers. Currently his whereabouts and the reason behind his arrest are unknown.

Syria arrests three policemen accused of beating citizen
DAMASCUS, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — The Syrian authorities on Sunday detained three policemen who were accused of beating a citizen in public, local Al-Watan news website reported. The three traffic policemen were accused of insulting and beating Emad Nasab on Thursday at al-Hariqa market in Damascus, according to the report. An anonymous video on a social website showed three policemen quarrelling with a man, while one of them beating him with a stick. 

U.S. condemns crackdown on Arab world protests, but stops short of calling for regime change
Clinton and Rice encourage reforms and protection of human rights, as violence engulfs Libya and Bahrain.

Clinton says Twitter helps US tap into youth unrest (AFP)
AFP – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday highlighted the need for the US government to use Twitter and other social media to connect with young people amid turbulent change in the Middle East and North Africa.* 

Other Mideast/World News
NATO occupation forces kill 64 Afghan civilians
Gen. Khalilullah Ziayi, police chief of Kunar province, said 15 men, 20 women and 29 children or young adults were killed during operations in Ghazi Abad district in the past four days. The Kunar provincial governor, Fazlullah Wahidi, also said that 64 civilians were killed. 

Karzai says NATO air raids killed 50 civilians
President Hamid Karzai on Sunday accused NATO troops of killing more than 50 civilians in a troubled province of eastern Afghanistan, as international troops pledged to probe the allegations. 

Speech delivered by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the martyr leaders 

Israel finalizing plan to protect disputed oil reserves: report
BEIRUT: The Israel Navy is finalizing plans which would see it defend its country’s disputed oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, a popular Israeli tabloid reported Sunday.

Settlers/Land Theft/Ethnic Cleansing
Housing Minister condemns large-scale settlement construction plan in OJ
Gaza Minister of Public Works and Housing Yousef al-Mansi condemned approved plans to erect 3,300 homes for Jewish settlers in Jerusalem as announced by Israeli occupation.

Families forced out as army occupies Jerusalem rooftop
The sound of heavy boots stomping up five flights of stairs resonated throughout the entire apartment building on a recent night as the Israeli military headed towards their post on a roof in the embattled neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. “There may be clashes [between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers], but it doesn’t mean the army has a right to take over the house,” said Abid Abu Ramuz, a Palestinian father of four, as his children quickly moved towards their front door to catch a glimpse of the soldiers.

Citizen injured, homes damaged after savage attack by settlers in Al-Khalil
Armed Jewish settlers last night attacked Palestinian homes in the old city of Al-Khalil, which led to the injury of one citizen and caused material damage in some houses.

Israeli Committee Mulls Bill to Thwart Future Settlement Freeze
Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation debated Sunday a bill that would make it nearly impossible for defense chief to impose a freeze on settlement construction, local media reported.  According to The Jerusalem Post, the committee discussed the bill that calls to apply Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which are currently subject to military rule.  The bill, sponsored by the National Union Party, passed its first reading in the 15th Knesset (Israel’s parliament). Later, in the 16th Knesset, it was shelved after its initiators could not garner enough support to push it through the plenum. 

IOF troops bulldoze Khirbat Tana for fifth time
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escorted huge military bulldozers that razed the Palestinian Khirbat Tana village east of Nablus city for the fifth consecutive time, locals reported.

Tear gas launcher hits Silwan home
During Friday night riot in east Jerusalem tear gas launcher hit Qawasmeh family home, injured two-month old baby. Police investigating incident.,7340,L-4031493,00.html 

Palestinian worker wounded in IOF shooting
A Palestinian worker was wounded on Monday morning when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened gunfire at him east of Gaza city, medical sources reported.

Police raid Information Center director Jawad Siyam’s home
Israeli police stormed Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam’s home this morning, 21 February at 10am. The raid was undertaken, police claimed, to ensure that Siyam is complying with conditions of his current house arrest sentence, which he is serving at his home and the Information Center. Officers withdrew from the house after inspecting it and acknowledging that Siyam was in fact not there. According to the conditions of his sentence, Siyam is permitted to leave his home only in the mornings to attend work at the Center. Undercover police and Israeli settlers living in Silwan were observed by family and neighbors in the vicinity of Siyam’s residence this morning. Eyewitnesses, some of whom were also able to photograph police and settlers, commented that “they are clearly trying to aggravate Siyam and his family in the lead up to his next court appearance.”

The final moments of the martyred Husam Rwidy
Murad Khader Joulani has recalled the last moments of his friend, Husam Rwidy’s life, when they were assaulted by a group of right-wing Israeli extremist youths in West Jerusalem on 11 February. The knife attack resulted in the death of Rwidy and severe injury of Joulani. Joulani recalls that on 11 February, the day of the attack, Rwidy and he were approached by two young Israelis on King George Street in West Jerusalem, who asked them if they were Arabs or not. Rwidy and Joulani ignored them, at which point the two youths lashed out at them with an unseensharp implement, clearly identified as a blade. Joulani saw that Rwidy’s face was bleeding from a deep gash between his ears. 

Voices from the Occupation – Child Fatality
On 27 January 2011, a 14-year-old boy was killed by unexploded ordnance in Rafah, occupied Gaza Strip.

Female prisoner Abeer enters 11th year in Israeli jails
The Palestinian ministry of detainees’ affairs said that female prisoner Abeer Amro, 33, from Dura village in Al-Khalil city, has entered Sunday her 11th year in Israeli jails.

Siege/Humanitarian Issues/Human Rights
Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Jan 23 – Feb 19 

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Jan 23 – Feb 19

Egypt reopens Gaza border crossing
Egyptian officials say emergency laws in the country will be lifted within six months and proposals to amend the constitution are almost ready. Those were some of the demands of pro-democracy campaigners who ousted president Mubarak more than a week ago. With the unrest now over, the country has also reopened its Rafah border to the Gaza Strip.   Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports.

Murad al-Banna cleared of charges by courts
The lawyer of Murad al-Banna had his client cleared of all charges. The 19 year old was accused of violence acts against City of David settler guards during clashes that erupted in Silwan after the shooting of two Palestinian residents in September 2009. Al-Banna spent several months in prison when arrested and is currently serving a house arrest sentence. Once released he faces other charges, details of which Silwanic will publish next week. Omar Siyam and al-Banna’s brother Mahmoud are also currently serving house arrest sentences on charges of violence following events that followed the shooting of Wadi Hilweh Popular Committee member Ahmed Qaraeen and Amir Froukh, a child, by a settler in September 2009. Al-Banna’s case is a rare one in Wadi Hilweh, where many youth are serving or have served prison or house arrest sentences, the majority of them on flimsy charges or evidence. 

Ending the Palestine Schism 

Bil’in marks 6 years of resistance
Feb 19, 2011– The people of Bil’In, along with international supporters and Palestinian political leaders, marked the sixth anniversary of the popular resistance, and entering the seventh year under the slogan “The people demand an end to the division and the occupation.”

PA urges world to boycott J’lem tourism conference
Palestinian tourism minister sends letter to 30 countries invited to conference saying dispatch of official envoys constitutes recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. No cancellations noted yet.,7340,L-4031489,00.html

Dismantling Impunity Fund
The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee is proud to announce a new campaign, the “Dismantling Impunity Fund”. This fund will directly challenge Israel’s culture of impunity surrounding the murder and maiming of Palestinians. The fund will be managed by a committee that will include representatives of Popular Committees and Palestinian human rights organizations. 

Dismantling Impunity Campaign to Help Palestinian Victims of Army Abuse
[Popular Struggle] The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee is proud to announce a new campaign, the “Dismantling Impunity Fund”. This fund will directly challenge Israel’s culture of impunity surrounding the murder and maiming of Palestinians. The fund will be managed by a committee that will include representatives of Popular Committees and Palestinian human rights organizations. 

Political Developments
Fatah wants reconciliation with Hamas: spokesman (AFP)
AFP – The Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is ready for new talks with the rival Hamas movement over a long-elusive reconciliation, a spokesman said on Sunday.* 

IDF deputy chief: Israel’s army needs faith in God more than tanks
Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said the events currently shaking the Arab world ‘were ordained from above’ by a guiding hand.

Iran warships expected to arrive at Suez Canal early Tuesday
Canal officials say ships to pay a fee of $290,000 for the crossing; if ships make the passage, it will mark the first time in three decades that Iranian military ships have traveled the canal that links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

Israel ‘gravely’ concerned as two Iranian naval ships approach Suez Canal
Two Iranian naval ships are set to pass through the Suez Canal for the first time since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. ‘Israel views this Iranian step gravely,’ said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel monitoring Suez-bound Iran ships, but sees no real threat
IDF source says that as long as the ships, as expected, stay outside Israel’s territorial waters and make no aggressive moves, there will be no confrontation. 

Egyptian authorities release Palestinian smuggler
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior released a Palestinian prisoner Sunday, two years after he was arrested for work in the Gaza-Egypt smuggling tunnels, police said.  The freed man was identified as A’la Bruhum, and was said to have been taken by security forces to the Rafah crossing and deported to Gaza.

Other News
Rabbi: Officer died in Carmel fire due to past actions
Rafael Bublil links Lior Boker’s death to his alleged actions against haredim as Hadera police chief 13 years ago. Boker’s wife files police complaint against rabbi.,7340,L-4031409,00.html 

Palestinians prepare for historic home match (AFP)
AFP – The Palestinian national football team is to play an international qualifier match on its home turf for the first time ever, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.*

Israeli education: Molding fascists, one student at a time
The call to oppose the visit to the Tomb of the Patriarchs is a blatant expression of the public’s frustration with the galloping takeover by racist and fascist ideas, thought up by right-wing politicians.

US veto confirms America’s favor in Israel, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP
Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative confirms that the U.S. position in the Security Council through the use of the veto and the disruption of a draft resolution condemning the settlement confirms the American bias in favor of Israel. 

Palestinian Gandhi, mark II, Max Ajl
I am not going to recapitulate the debate about Palestine, non-violence, and Gandhi. We have won the arguments and won them decisively, no matter what non-sense the likes of Joseph Dana (sorry Joseph but I did warn you and you didn’t listen) is willing to invoke in order to ingratiate himself to his liberal audience in the United States. And yes, the discourse in in for another thrashing. It will be coming along presently. My concern here is a new initiative promoted by Dennis Loh called Check it out. Really, go check it out. Here is one of their core principles: “We condemn all violence, especially against civilians.” Is this a group that the New York City-based activist community wants to support? I really hope not. Some suggestions. Get your ideas straight. Read Peter FayPeter Gelderloos, and Derrick Jensen. Forget the Palestinian Gandhi — there was no Indian Gandhi. And then while you’re “condemning” all forms of violence, be aware that condemning violence carries a corollary, which is the expectation of an alternative: in this case, non-violence. Then go stand next to the people in Bil’in having rocket-propelled tear-gas canisters collapse their chests at their demonstrations. You’re not going to do that? Then please send your money to the US Boat to Gaza which has no ridiculous principles condemning Palestinian violence from metropolitan comfort. 

Division in Palestine
On the West Bank, the bigger chunk of a would-be Palestinian state, aging leaders have been pondering how to thwart an eruption by a frustrated people seeking to emulate their Egyptian cousins. Some think they can deflect anger, albeit non-violently, onto Israel. Others have called for elections to all Palestinian governing bodies, including the presidency, the parliament and local councils, within six months.

When tyrants want tear gas, the UK has always been happy to oblige | John Kampfner
When Robin Cook tried to tighten rules on British arms sales to dodgy regimes in 1997 he was told by Tony Blair’s team to grow up. Planned changes to criteria for weapons exports were so watered down that they made no inroads into the trade. Cook’s professed “ethical dimension” to foreign policy was stillborn.

Civil Society in Arab Lands: By Ballot or by Bullet?
Each time I attend a panel, workshop, forum, conference, symposium, brainstorming session, or congressional session on civil society in the United States, I am disappointed yet optimistic! I am disenchanted because at least since 9/11, the Bush administration as well as the Obama administration has not understood the real dynamics within the Arab and Middle Eastern civil societies. Rather than begging for money from the U.S., civil society actors in this region are asking U.S. policymakers to cease baking the Arab Ceausescus -who kept them in the Dark Age for more than four decades- in order to be able to establish a genuine democracy in the region and enjoy its dividends.

Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests, Juan Cole 

The New Arab World
How can you tell that there is a new Arab world and that it won’t be pleasant for US and Israel? Notice that the Palestinian questions has suddenly become more important for Arab tyrants and their lackeys.  Sa`d Hariri–Hariri for potato’s sake–issued a scathing statement criticizing US veto. More significantly, Abu Mazen (head of PA police (non)state received a 50 minute phone call from Obama and yet he did not succumb to pressure from the US to withdraw the resolution before the UNSC.  And the defunct Egyptian foreign ministry found time to criticize the US for its veto.  It is a new world in which Israel will be more unwelcome than ever–the Zionist entity will get the real political feel of Arab popular rejection for the first time since it was founded atop Palestine.

The Marriage of Sexism and Islamophobia; Re-Making the News on Egypt
I find myself intermittently infuriated and nauseated by the news coverage of the sexual assault on a female CBS reporter in Tahrir Square during the celebrations the day that Husni Mubarak resigned. This coverage has ranged from the disappointing silence of Al-Jazeera to the blatant racism of Fox News. What actually happened that day to Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for 60 minutes, is not yet known and I have no interest in speculating over the lurid details of a sexual and physical assault, particularly while the victim remains in recovery. In this post, I want to focus on how much of the coverage of this “affair” has revealed the ways in which female bodies are a site that marries Islamophobia to Sexism. This marriage, in turn, reproduces one of the most enduring colonial tropes; the native (and in this case, foreign) woman who needs to be rescued from uncivilized and misogynist men.[1] Cue the- oh so civilized and feminist military invasions and/or occupations of British controlled India, and US controlled Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition to being a discourse that is used to legitimate war, this use of female bodies (and increasingly, gay bodies) as a mark of civilizational status has also been cynically mobilized to continue colonial projects in apartheid South Africa and contemporary Israel.;-re-making-the-news-on-egypt 

Tawtin or Return, FRANKLIN LAMB
Lebanese opponents of civil rights for Palestinian Refugees often use
less objective and more crude wording to define “tawtin”
(“settlement”) than is normally employed in civil society discussions.
During last summer’s debate in parliament, which failed to enact laws
that would allow the world’s oldest and largest refugee community the
basic civil right to work and to own a home, the “tawtin or return”
discussion took on strident and dark meanings, which were largely
effective in frightening much of the Lebanese public from supporting
even these modest humanitarian measures.

Kind of like taking tea with Mubarak while Tahrir was shaking

Feb 21, 2011

Philip Weiss


Palestinian writers are refusing to meet Ian McEwan, who is in Israel, accepting an award and meeting up with man of yesterday David Grossman. Oh I loved Ian McEwan in the day. HereYnet’s coverage:

Having shrugged off calls to refuse an Israeli literary honor, Ian McEwan has found himself boycotted by Palestinian writers with whom he had sought to help foster peaceful dialogue.


But as a British novelist whose protagonists are shaped by often violent historical fate, McEwan makes no apology for coming to Israel after what he describes as lifelong fascination with its freedoms mixed with misgivings about its tactics…


“No, let us come and engage, keep talking. The worst thing that is going to happen is when everyone stops talking,” he said, responding to the complaints of a small coalition of pro-Palestinian artists and academics in Britain and Israel who had demanded he back out. 

McEwan planned to tour Jerusalem, the stone-walled heart of the Middle East conflict, and meet Israeli authors like David Grossman, whose meditations on the nation’s ills were shot through with tragedy when he lost a son to the 2006 Lebanon war.

But Palestinian writers McEwan had hoped to see begged off.

‘Obama settlements’ –Tel Aviv demo

Feb 21, 2011

Philip Weiss


Animals Lara Logan Arabs brutal animals Lara Logan rape culture Lara Logan

Feb 21, 2011

Philip Weiss


Ten days ago in Israel:

Tel Aviv police arrested three people on Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping a 23-year-old tourist and forcing her into a prostitution ring.

The woman arrived in Israel from Ecuador about a week ago in order to tour the country, according to her.

Last week:

A 19-year-old Jerusalem resident was arrested last week on suspicion of raping a disabled 12-year-old girl in the bathroom of a cafe in Jerusalem.

Dimi Reider reported last year at +972: “Guys, I just totally raped this student chick!”

This, essentially, appears to be the gist of the story of an encounter between an Israeli pick-up artist and a Czech medical student, published four years ago on the “success” forum of The Centre for the Arts of Seduction, an Israeli pick-up school.

At the time, the story went unnoticed by critical eyes – on the contrary, it was met with hoots, cheers and praise by other users of the forum, among them instructors at the school. Last week, however, it was recently rediscovered, rapidly spreading across Facebook and the Israeli blogosphere. The indignation then spilled back into the real world: On Friday, Ireported in Haaretz that three bloggers – Lihi Yona, Reut Cohen and Maayan Sudai, of “Reuma“- filed two complaints with the Israel police, one on rape and incitement to rape against the author of the story, who encouraged readers to follow his example  – and one on incitement to commit a felony and incitement to violence. The bloggers – all law students – say this is a precedent-setting complaint: Incitement to violence has up until now been interpreted as incitement to physical, not sexual, violence.

Candy marketing campaign that went awry a couple years ago in Israel:

An overly creative advertising campaign for a candy bar this week put police and Knesset security on high alert.

The affair began when several women, including three MKs, received letters in the mail that appeared to come from a stalker…

“The main idea was to promote a [confection] product called Ego and to say that female politicians who have a big ego can have a suitor,” the source said.

“Tzipi Hotoveli is a good looking pious woman, and could have a suitor,” the source said in a reference to the Likud MK who was one of the letter’s recipients. “The letter was delicately phrased and there was nothing criminal here. We meant to send a candy basket to the MKs to clarify the point. But the letter reached the media and was blown out of proportion. I think the media hype proves the campaign was successful,” he said.

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Libya: Zionist Qaddafi Bloodshed


Dear friends, 

Hundreds of democracy protesters are being massacred by Qaddafi’s military in Libya. The UN is in emergency meetings right now and could freeze the regime’s assets, impose a no-fly zone, and threaten trials in international courts. Tell the UN to act now to stop the bloodshed: 

Send a message now!

Libya’s armed forces are using machine guns and fighter jets against pro-democracy protesters — hundreds have been killed and, without immediate international action, it could spiral into a national bloodbath.

The United Nations Security Council is holding emergency sessions on Libya now. If we can pressure them to agree to a no-fly zone over Libya, an asset freeze on Qaddafi and his generals, targeted sanctions against the regime, and international prosecution of any military officials involved in the crackdown — this couldstop airforce bombings and split Qaddafi’s command structure. 

We have no time to lose — the people of Libya are being slaughtered by their own government. Click to send a message directly to all the UN Security Council delegations to stop the violence, and share this with everyone — let’s spur the UN to action with a flood of messages: 

Colonel Qaddafi  has ruled with an iron fist for 42 years with no parliament or constitution. He is the longest-serving dictator in Africa and the Middle East. No foreign press are allowed in Libya, and the government has shut down the internet and mobile phone networks in an attempt to hide the brutal violence. But protesters, who are demanding regime change and basic rights, are reporting that thousands of people are still taking to the streets even though hundreds have been massacred. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says the government’s attacks ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’. 

Appalled by the atrocities, Libyan diplomats and some army high command have already defected from the regime. If the UN can ramp up the pressure on Qaddafi and his cohorts — confiscating their riches and threatening them with trials — those commanding the brutality may reconsider and stop the bloodshed.  

The UN Security Council presidency is now held by Brazil, a government with a strong commitment to human rights with whom Avaaz has a strong campaigning reputation. We don’t have long to influence the UNSC — let’s flood their inboxes with messages from across the world! Send a message and forward this to friends and family: 

The people of Libya are being gunned down for demanding freedom, health, education and a decent wage — basic needs that we all share. Today, as a global community, let’s raise our voices from every corner of the world to condemn the shocking massacres, and together take action to end the bloodshed and support the Libyans’ rightful call for change.   

With hope and determination, 

Alice, Ricken, Pascal, Graziela, Rewan and the entire Avaaz team 


UN council to discuss Libya, Al Jazeera 

Choas and bloodshed in Libya

Live updates on Libya from the Guardian and the BBC:

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February 2011
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