Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A CIA Commander For Libyan Rebels

By Patrick Martin

The US and European intervention in Libya is aimed not at bringing “democracy” and “freedom,” but at installing in power stooges of the CIA who will rule... brutally..., while allowing the imperialist powers to loot the country’s oil resources and use Libya as a base of operations.

Continue


Who Are The Libyan Freedom Fighters And Their Patrons?

By Peter Dale Scott

"It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. " Continue


"Bait and Switch"
Libya and The Holy Triumvirate

By William Blum

...Will the state-dominated economy be privatized? Who will wind up owning Libya's oil? Will the new regime continue to invest Libyan oil revenues in sub-Saharan African development projects? Will they allow a US military base and NATO exercises?... Continue


So much for "our concern for civilians"!:

The Kill Team

By Mark Boal

How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon.
Continue


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Libyan Rebel Commander Admits his Fighters Have Al-Qaeda Links

By Praveen Swami, Nick Squires and Duncan Gardham

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
Continue


Libyan “Revolutionaries” Aren’t So Revolutionary..

By Against the Empire

I’m amazed at the police state that they have designed and who is in power in Benghazi. It was no doubt a complete error on the part of so-called “progressives” to take the side of these rebel forces (never mind those who hailed them as “revolutionaries”).
Continue


So much for the lie of "protecting civilians"! . . .

Coalition strikes kill 114 - Libya official: Mr Omar said 104 people were killed in Tripoli and the suburbs between Sunday and Wednesday, while 10 were killed in Sirte, the hometown of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, some 600 kilometres south of the capital.

Pakistan to boycott trilateral Afghan talks over US drone attack civilian casualties: “Pakistan has always opposed US drone attacks, and killing of innocent people is totally unacceptable to us,”


Depleted Uranium: A Strange Way To Protect Libyan Civilians
By David Wilson

March 24, 2011 - In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive....

Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=76182


Revolt Against American Militarism
Timothy V. Gatto

March 24, 2011 - ...This is no joke. The bombing and the cruise missile attacks are killing people that are non-combatants. Women, children the elderly as well as those that are non-political are dying, killed by American weapons systems. The leadership in America is committing war crimes. The hypocrisy of the United States is glaringly evident when Obama called for charges to be brought against Gadhafi by the International Criminal Court, an organization that America no longer recognizes due to the possibility of charges being brought against members of the Bush administration and now the possibility that Obama and his administration may be culpable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile the American public does nothing, while the media ignores the behavior of the government and it’s military....

Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=76181


Libya Rebels: Gaddafi Could be Right About al-Qaeda

Two documents suggest northeast Libya, centre of rebellion, is an al-Qaeda hotspot

By Alexander Cockburn

The war on Libya now being waged by the US, Britain and France must surely rank as one of the stupidest martial enterprises, smaller in scale to be sure, since Napoleon took it into his head to invade Russia in 1812.

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The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq

2007 West Point Study Shows Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk Area was a World Leader in Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber Recruitment


By Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.

TARPLEY.net

March 24, 2011

". . . The rebels are clearly not civilians, but an armed force. What kind of an armed force?. . ."



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya: Murder and Plunder Masquerading as “Humanitarian Intervention


By Orwellwasright



March 23, 2011 "
Information Clearing House" --

On March 20th 2003 Western forces launched their “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, heavily bombarding Baghdad and elsewhere, massacring hundreds if not thousands of innocent men, women and children. On March 20th 2011 the very same forces attacked Libya, beginning what many believe will be yet another mass slaughter.

What is obvious to all but the most duped and apathetic is that once again we have another war launched by the imperialist powers thinly veiled as a “humanitarian intervention”, dressed up as a mission of peace driven by the use of heavy bombardment and murder, where the truth lies diametrically opposed to the propaganda being pushed by the mainstream media.

Nothing is what it seems; the lies and deceptions are as Orwellian as ever. The similarities with Iraq go well beyond the date of the opening salvo – indeed, there are many consistencies between the current attack on Libya and numerous other military interventions and acts of aggression carried out by the US, NATO and their allies in recent years.

The propaganda currently being pumped out by the mainstream media, led by the usual suspects in the American corporate press and the liars and sycophants over at the BBC, is essentially a re-run of the Iraq invasions and Kosovo: a largely fabricated case for humanitarian intervention based on violence stoked by special forces troops and covert operations, with the consistent demonisation of the leader recast as a mass murdering tyrant to justify a heavy saturation bombing campaign in the name of human rights and justice.

Any historical context that might cast the so-called “Allies” in a negative light – for instance large-scale sales of weapons to the new enemy figure – is carefully omitted from the narrative.

The assault on Iraq during the first Gulf War was launched on the back of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait – an invasion carried out with the tacit support of the US, who then betrayed their puppet dictator and launched a huge slaughter, killing more than 100,000 people. The war was sold to the American public with a horror story in which Iraqi troops were accused of throwing Kuwaiti babies out of hospital incubators.

Trouble is, the story was a complete fabrication, utilizing fake testimony from an unnamed nurse who turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States, coached by the pubic relations firm Hill & Knowlton, a company with a track record of providing services to notorious human rights abusers around the globe.

And let’s not forget the fabricated “evidence” to justify the 2003 invasion – the non-existent WMDs, the yellow cake from Niger, the repeated, false association between Saddam and 9/11 … all since proven to be lies, and the occupation continues…

In Kosovo, the Western media went all out saturating their broadcasts of a photograph of a thin man behind a fence accompanied by cries of “concentration camps!” The truth was rather different: the ITN film crew were on the inside of a refugee camp, and had asked the man to take his top off to pose for the camera.

The photo was another propaganda coup from the so-called “free press” of the West, which eventually led to a lethal 78 day bombing campaign which caused a fragmentation of the region from which they have yet to recover.

Around the same time, NATO member Turkey – receiving some 80% of their arms from the Clinton administration – proceeded to murder, torture and massacre Kurds in untold numbers. There was no call for a humanitarian intervention there – after all, they were our allies.

In addition to such fabrications, the Western media conveniently omitted any mention of CIA/MI6 use of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA-UCK) to instigate violence in the region, subsequently used as part of the justification for the NATO “humanitarian intervention”. It should be noted that since this campaign KLA leaders such as Hashim Thaci and Agim Ceku have been tied to criminal syndicates involved in arms, drugs, and human trafficking, prostitution and illegal organ harvesting, in addition to the numerous war crimes carried out under the auspices of NATO.

This blatant criminalization of Kosovo politics was carried out with the full consent of the EU and the US. It should also be noted that the US themselves described the KLA as a terrorist organization up until 1998, when Bill Clinton reclassified them as “freedom fighters” and unleashed them on the Serbs. NATO’s strategy of high altitude bombing quickly moved from legitimate military targets to the wholesale destruction of infrastructure, hospitals, television stations and civilians – all in the name of “humanitarian intervention” …

And as the historical record now shows, the refugee crisis and the swathe of massacres was precipitated by the NATO bombing campaign.

Similarly, the media build-up to the current attack on Libya has been characterised by the same level of fabricated propaganda against a backdrop of covert actions utilising known terrorist groups.

The rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi, which the mainstream media would have us believe is a completely independent and organic grassroots uprising against a brutal oppressor, has actually been manipulated by agents from the CIA, MI6 and covert special forces groups such as the SAS for a number of weeks.

A team of British SAS were recently arrested by Libyan rebels, echoing the arrest of SAS soldiers in Bazra in 2005, equipped with weapons, explosives and Arab-looking disguises, caught shooting at an Iraqi police checkpoint, in a textbook example of divide and rule tactics.

Arms and al-Qaida-affiliated fighters have also been flowing into the country to fuel the insurrection from Saudi Arabia and Egypt directly from NATO and other Western sources in an attempt to foment the overthrow of Qaddafi. There are additional reports that Israeli-affiliated African mercenaries have also infiltrated Libya to support the attempted insurrection.

It is the reaction of the Libyan government – a completely justified response to a violent insurrection aided by agents from foreign governments with reciprocal force – that the Western press is characterising as the oppression of unarmed protesters.

Stories of atrocities carried out by Qaddafi have also turned out to be of questionable veracity, for instance the accusation that Qaddafi was using his air force to strafe crowds of protesters. These accusations remain unsupported, but that hasn’t stopped them being repeated ad nauseum across the mainstream media.

If there is a grain of truth in them (and it’s not simply a case of Qaddafi’s forces legitimately striking back at armed, Western-backed “rebels”), one has to wonder why such a supposedly unpopular leader has recently handed out 1 million machine guns to the public to fight against a foreign occupation. Hardly the tactics of a dictator fearing overthrow from within.

Perhaps the media will release photographic or video evidence supporting their claims, but if the past is anything to go by … well, perhaps they won’t.

Fox News got in on the act of making things up recently as well, using the well worn “human shields” hoax popular amongst defenders of Israeli barbarism towards the Palestinians. Fortunately, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson set the records straight:

A predictable but entirely unfounded response to the above observations is the accusation of being a Qaddafi sympathizer. Those who make such accusations are guilty of obfuscation and missing the broader point. Certainly, Qaddafi is no angel – likewise Slobodan Milošević and Saddam Hussein were guilty of despotism, crimes against humanity and more.

But those who make such charges miss the irony of their rhetoric, given that they support the unbridled use of violence by far more powerful military forces against largely civilian populations, leading to death tolls that far exceed those committed by the puppet dictators they seek to overthrow.

That these dictators and despots committed their own atrocities with weapons supplied by Western nations is never mentioned, for doing so would lay bare their hypocrisy. “We must kill to avoid killing,” is the ideology they promote, oblivious to the inherent contradiction that lies within.

This hypocrisy is plain to see in the recent release of photos of American troops in Afghanistan posing for trophy shots with murdered civilians. While the BBC are busy ramming down the throats of the public endless news about our impressive fighter planes and their “precision” bombing and manufacturing tales of massacres at the hands of Qaddafi, photos such as this are completely ignored:

US Army "Kill Team" pose with murdered civilians

And of course, there’s little mention of the genuinely brutal oppression in places like Bahrain, where the Saudi military were called in to massacre protesters there, or the recent outbreak of airstrikes and incursions into Gaza by the IDF over the weekend. Because they’re our “allies” and their crimes – like our own – are completely permissible.

Just another day in the Empire...

http://orwellwasright.wordpress.com


Click here to go to the complete article, and read or post comments


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Here we go again!

Another imperialist war for control of resources, sold to the public by lies & misinformation.


This time, Libya - with the largest oil supply in Africa - is under criminal attack from the western war mongers of international capitalists, misusing the UN as a false cover for their aggression.

Once again, the corporate-owned mainstream media is playing its role as 'Ministry of Propaganda' for the ruling class.

Once again, we are being told the big lie that this is all about "humanitarian intervention" to save innocent civilians. It is not!

Don't trust the mainstream media - check out the widest source of alternative news & views, and make up your own mind.

Always remember: "In times of war, the first casualty is truth."

Every day, click on INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE to know what is really happening . . .

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/



A Flippant Beginning to Another War

By: Timothy P. Carney

Maybe Obama doesn't think 112 Tomahawk Missiles and a pledge to shoot down Libyan aircraft flying in their own airspace counts as "war" Continue


US / French attack kills 64 civilians in Libya: Broadcaster Al Arabiya quoted the health official as saying that the death toll had increased from the 48 deaths cited by the Libyan armed forces. An estimated 150 people have been injured in the strikes.


Obama's Serbia-Solution for Libya;

By Mike Whitney

All of Libya's resources lie in the eastern province which can be easily split-off Serbia-style with the support of foreign imperialists using their proxy armies and their "democracy promoting" puppets. Continue


Russia calls for halt to Libya attack: "The reports say that during air raids on Libya strikes were also delivered on non-military facilities. ... As a result, 48 civilians are reported dead and over 150 wounded," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the RIA Novosti news agency.


The UN Security Council Has Not Authorized Regime Change in Libya

By Robert Naiman

Some of the reporting on the Security Council resolution has been misleading. The Security Council has not authorized military action for any purpose. The Security Council has authorized military action necessary to protect civilians. Continue


Arab League chief condemns killing of Libya civilians by Western powers: Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa calls for emergency meeting to discuss situation in Libya, says Arabs did not want military strike on Libya by Western powers when the League called for a no-fly zone.

Venezuela’s Chavez: Airstrikes killing civilians in Libya: Chavez was speaking on his Sunday TV and radio program. He called the military intervention “imperial madness.”

UK Government refuses publicly to rule out ground troops in Libya: The UK government's Chancellor has pointedly refused publicly to rule out British ground troops being sent in - despite the clear position of UN Security Resolution 1973 to the contrary.


Libya, Hypocrisy and Betrayal by the United Nations

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Shame on France, shame on Britain and the US and a UN avowed: "... to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Every shattered body, every child maimed or blown to bits, every widow, widower, orphan, will have their name of those countries, and the UN., written in their blood in their place of death. Continue


Selective Nature of UN Intervention

By Sasha Simic

When Israel bombed Gaza at the end of 2008 in a brutal action which killed 1,300 people and destroyed 20,000 buildings, there was no question of the US allowing the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its people, 50% of which are children. Continue


Full text of UN Security Council Resolution on Libya

By United Nations Security Council

Demands the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians. Continue


A Contrarian View on Libya?
Colonialism is Still Alive and Thriving


By Sam Hamod

The truth is that the West wants to dominate the Arab World further, and all of the riches of Africa with it. Continue


Anti-war activists arrested near White House: More than 100 anti-war protesters, including the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, were arrested outside the White House on Saturday in demonstrations marking the eighth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

UK: LIBYA EMERGENCY PROTEST: HANDS OFF LIBYA: Britain and the USA have bombed Libya with more than one hundred Tomahawk cruise missiles. These are not precision guided weapons but weapons of mass destruction that will create many civilian casualties in Libya.

Gaddafi says UN action invalid, rebels hit: The Libyan leader says he sent a message to US President Barack Obama defending his decision to attack rebel cities: "If you found them taking over American cities by the force of arms, tell me what you would do."

West overzealous on Libya: The overzealousness of certain Western powers like Britain, France and, as of late, the US, to interpret the resolution as an open-ended use of force, is worrisome.

Venezuela’s Chavez condemns US, European allies for military intervention in Libya: He says the United Nations has “infringed on its fundamental principles” by backing the no-fly zone in Libya.

U.S. Kills as Many as 80 Civilians in Pakistan: Pakistan's army chief said in a press release that it is highly regrettable that a jirga, or open-air meeting, of peaceful citizens including elders of the area was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How The So-Called Guardians Of Free Speech Are Silencing The Messenger

By John Pilger

As the United States and Britain look for an excuse to invade another oil-rich Arab country, the hypocrisy is familiar. Colonel Gaddafi is “delusional” and “blood-drenched” while the authors of an invasion that killed a million Iraqis, who have kidnapped and tortured in our name, are entirely sane, never blood-drenched and once again the arbiters of “stability”.

But something has changed. Reality is no longer what the powerful say it is. Of all the spectacular revolts across the world, the most exciting is the insurrection of knowledge sparked by WikiLeaks.


This is not a new idea. In 1792, the revolutionary Tom Paine warned his readers in England that their government believed that “people must be hoodwinked and held in superstitious ignorance by some bugbear or other”. Paine’s The Rights of Man was considered such a threat to elite control that a secret grand jury was ordered to charge him with “a dangerous and treasonable conspiracy”. Wisely, he sought refuge in France.


The ordeal and courage of Tom Paine is cited by the Sydney Peace Foundation in its award of Australia’s human rights Gold Medal to Julian Assange.


Like Paine, Assange is a maverick who serves no system and is threatened by a secret grand jury, a malicious device long abandoned in England but not in the United States. If extradited to the US, he is likely to disappear into the Kafkaesque world that produced the Guantanamo Bay nightmare and now accuses Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ alleged whistleblower, of a capital crime....


Greg Barns, director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, says the fears that Julian Assange will “end up being tortured in a high security American prison” are justified. Who will share responsibility for such a crime?


www.johnpilger.com

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Word Games
An American Atrocity in Afghanistan

By Dave Lindorff

"How can Americans reach proper conclusions about this obscene war against one of the poorest peoples in the world if our supposedly “fair and balanced” media simply perform the role of Pentagon propagandist."


The people of Afghanistan know who was flying the two helicopter gunships that brutally hunted down and slaughtered, one by one, nine boys apparently as young as seven years old, as they gathered firewood on a hillside March 1.

In angry demonstrations after the incident, they were shouting “Death to America.”

Americans are still blissfully unaware that their “heroes” in uniform are guilty of this obscene massacre. The ursine US corporate media has been reporting on this story based upon a gutless press release from the Pentagon which attributes the “mistake” to “NATO” helicopters.

The thing is, this terrible incident occurred in the Pech Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, where US forces have for several years been battling Taliban forces, and from which region they are now in the process of withdrawing.

Clearly then, it is US, and not “NATO” helicopters which have been responding to calls to attack “suspected Taliban forces.”

So why can’t the Pentagon say that? And if they won’t say that, why won’t American reporters either demand that they clearly state the nationality of whatever troops commit an atrocity, or exercise due diligence themselves and figure it out?....

There is a second issue too....No way could they have mistaken a 7-year-old for an adult.

No wonder the even the famously corrupt Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to accept an apology proffered for this killing by Afghan War commander Gen. David Petraeus.

Calls by this reporter to the Pentagon for an accurate report on whose troops were flying those two helicopters, and for an accurate accounting of the ages of the nine victims, have thus far gone unanswered. This, I have discovered, is fairly standard for the Defense Department.....

So let’s give an honest report here. Two US helicopter gunships, allegedly responding to a report of “insurgent” activity on a hillside in Kunar Province, came upon the scene of 10 young Afghan boys who were collecting brush for fuel for their families.

The gunships, according to the account of a lone 11-year-old surviver who was hidden by a tree, systematically hunted down the other nine boys, hitting them with machine gun and rocket fire and killing them all--their bodies so badly damaged that their families had to hunt for the pieces in order to bury them.

This atrocity is being described as a “mistake,” but it was no mistake, clearly.

The crews of the helicopters were shooting at fleeing human beings who made no attempt to return fire (obviously, because all the boys had were sticks, which they surely dropped when the first shots were fired).

They almost certainly saw that they were dealing with kids, because it would be hard to mistake even a nine year old for an adult, particularly in a country where young kids go around with their heads uncovered, and don’t have beards, while adult males generally wear head coverings, and have full beards.

But killing kids is part of the deal in America’s war in Afghanistan. Even in Iraq, 12 year olds were being classified by the US military (in contravention of the Geneva Conventions) as being “combat age,” for example in the assault on the city of Fallujah.....

Let’s also be clear that this slaughter of nine Afghan children is the ugly reality behind Gen. Petraeus’s supposed policy of “protecting civilians.”

Here’s a number that tells the true story about that policy: since Gen. Petraeus assumed command after the ousting of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, US airstrikes in Afghanistan have gone up by 172%.

That’s not counting attacks by remote-controlled, missile-firing drone aircraft, which are also up by a huge amount. Those airstrikes and drone attacks are notoriously deadly for civilians--far more so than ground attacks, but of course they have the advantage for our “heroes” in uniform of reducing the number of US casualties in this hugely one-sided conflict.

There are so many aspects to this story that are disturbing, it’s hard to know what’s worse. Clearly we are deliberately murdering kids in Afghanistan, and this particular incident is just an example we know about.

The men who did this will hopefully pay for their crimes by living with their guilt, but hopefully there will be an honest investigation and proper punishment too by military authorities (I’m not holding my breath).

Petraeus and his boss, Commander in Chief Obama, should also be called to account and punished for implementing a war plan that calls for this kind of brutal slaughter of civilians.

But the US media are also guilty here. How can Americans reach proper conclusions about this obscene war against one of the poorest peoples in the world if our supposedly “fair and balanced” media simply perform the role of Pentagon propagandist, running Defense Department press releases as if they were news reports?

The blood of these poor Afghan kids is smeared not just on the hands of Obama and the generals, and the soldiers who pull the triggers and push the buttons that unleash death, but on the desks and keyboards of American newsrooms that cover up their crimes.

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Imprisoned For Life Without Trial
Obama's New Gitmo Policy Is A Lot Like Bush's Old Policy

By Dana Milbank

With Monday's announcement that the Obama administration will resume military tribunals at Gitmo, conservatives rushed out triumphant I-told-you-sos. Liberal supporters were again feeling betrayed.

Continued


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Where Were The Calls For A No-fly zone When Israel Attacked Gaza
Must Listen Interview By BBC

As Western powers look for an excuse to intervene in Libya, George Galloway, interviewed by the BBC, asks where were the calls for a no-fly zone when Israel attacked Gaza.

Continue


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Stealing from Social Security to Pay for Wars and Bailouts

By Paul Craig Roberts

The American Empire is failing. A number of its puppet rulers are being overthrown by popular protests, and the almighty dollar will not even buy one Swiss franc, one Canadian dollar, or one Australian dollar.

Continue


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The Grievous Return of Henry Kissinger

By Professor Lawrence Davidson

President Obama would be a fool to listen to a man whose blood stained career should have long ago come to an ignoble end.

Continue


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

ANSWER National email banner
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March 19 International Day of Action
Resist the War Machine
End the wars and occupations
in Iraq and Afghanistan!

No war against Libya!

The people of the world are in motion. From Egypt to Bahrain, a wave of struggle is sweeping the Arab world. Here, in the United States, hundreds of thousands of working families are marching for union rights in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere. Students are taking action to stop budget cuts and tuition hikes on campuses throughout the country.

These events show that only the people have the power to make change. They also prove once again that collective action matters. It is time for the anti-war movement to take our message to the streets. March 19, the 8th anniversary of the criminal “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq, will be an important step in the struggle.

On March 19, tens of thousands of people will demand an end to U.S. war and military intervention abroad and funding for people’s needs at home. Mass demonstrations are planned in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and many other cities across the United States and the world. Click here for a list of protests.

As we build for March 19, the anti-war movement must strongly oppose all U.S. threats targeting Libya. Eight years after the launch of the Iraq war, which has taken one million lives, the U.S. government is threatening another war, this time in Libya. This is a critical issue for the anti-war movement in the United States.

U.S. threatens Libya with intervention, war

The drumbeat for U.S. intervention in Libya’s civil war is getting louder by the day.

On March 1, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “‘The stakes are high. … A strong and strategic American response will be essential,’ not only in Libya but throughout the Middle East, if the United States is to protect its national security.” (Washington Post)

In the past few days, the United States, the United Nations Security Council, Britain and the European Union have imposed sanctions on the Libyan government. There has been open talk about imposing and enforcing a no-fly zone. Hillary Clinton today said Washington is “taking no options off the table”—a not-so-veiled threat of military attack.

At least three U.S. warships, including a destroyer already in the Mediterranean and two amphibious assault craft in the Red Sea are currently en route to the nearby Suez Canal. These provocative moves are meant to send a clear signal to the Libyan government that the U.S. military is ready, willing and able to intervene to protect its interests.

U.S./U.N. intervention will not bring “democracy” or “freedom” to the Libyan people—quite the contrary. There is no such thing as “humanitarian intervention” for the U.S. government. If Washington truly supported democracy, it would cease propping up the brutal Saudi monarchy, stop supporting the suppression of protesters in Bahrain and Yemen, and end all aid to the Israeli apartheid state.

The U.S. government only takes action to forward the interests of Big Oil, Wall Street bankers and massive corporations. The lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq and countless additional U.S. interventions reveal this to be all too true.

Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. Washington knows this well. It would like nothing more than to have a stable client government in place that would allow U.S. bases on the ground and control of the oil supply.

As we prepare for mass anti-war demonstrations across the country on March 19, it is crucial that all anti-war and progressive people in the United States stand together to oppose any U.S. or foreign military intervention in Libya.

Read these articles below for more background and analysis on Libya:

Your help is needed to make March 19 a successful day of action to resist the war machine. Please make a generous donation today. Click here to donate. Only the people can stop U.S. wars.

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Free Bradley Manning!
The US condemns human rights abuses abroad yet appears to be allowing the psychological torture of Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning was forced to sleep naked in his cell, according to his lawyers. Photograph: EPA


    Bradley Manning and the stench of US hypocrisy

    By Ryan Gallagher,
    guardian.co.uk
    Friday March 2011

    Earlier this week, the soldier accused of leaking thousands of confidential documents to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, was handed an additional 22 charges as part of his ongoing court martial process.

    The 23-year-old, who has been in solitary confinement for more than seven months, stands accused of computer fraud, theft of public records and willfully communicating classified information to a person not entitled to receive it. He now also finds himself faced with a rare charge known as "aiding the enemy" – a capital offence for which he could face the death penalty.

    The revelation will no doubt have come as a blow to Manning, although given his ongoing treatment it is likely he already feared the worst. Made to endure strict conditions under a prevention of injury order against the advice of military psychiatrists, he is treated like no other prisoner at the 250-capacity Quantico Brig detention facility in Virginia.

    Despite that he is yet to be convicted of any crime, for the past 218 consecutive days he has been made to live in a cell 6ft wide and 12ft long, without contact with any other detainees. He is not allowed to exercise or have personal effects in his cell, and for the one hour each day he is allowed free from his windowless cell he is taken to an empty room where he is allowed to walk, but not run.

    One of the few people to have visited Manning, David House, spoke yesterday of how he had witnessed his friend go from a "bright-eyed intelligent young man" to someone who at times has appeared "catatonic" with "very high difficulty carrying on day to day conversation". House drew similarities with the case of Bobby Dellelo, an American prisoner who developed psychosis after a lengthy period in solitary confinement conditions similar to Manning's.

    "For me this has been like watching a really good friend succumb to an illness or something," he said. "I think that Bradley Manning is being punished this way because the US government wants him to crack ahead of his trial."

    While there has been widespread and well publicised condemnation of issues surrounding Manning's detainment, his conditions have failed to improve. In fact, things may have got worse, not better, for the Oklahoma-born soldier who is incidentally entitled to UK citizenship through his Welsh mother. Just two days ago, for instance, only 24 hours after having been told he now faces a capital charge, Manning was made to strip naked in his cell for no apparent reason. According to David Coombs, Manning's lawyer, the soldier was then left without clothes for seven hours. When the wake-up call sounded for the detainees at 5am, in an act of forced humiliation, Manning was made to stand naked at the front of his cell.

    The incident, described as "inexcusable and without justification" by Coombs, is symbolic of the entire twisted saga: a gross injustice on a nauseating scale. We must bear in mind, of course, that Manning allegedly leaked military files because he, according to unverified internet chat logs, saw wrongdoing and had no other course of action because his superiors told him they "didn't want to hear any of it".

    He did not want to be complicit in war crimes, and felt that by leaking the files he could prompt "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms".

    In recent days and weeks the US government has condemned human rights abuses and repression in almost every country across the Middle East – yet at a prison within its own borders it sanctions the persecution, alleged psychological torture and debasement of a young soldier who appears to have made a principled choice in the name of progress.

    "Government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal," said Barack Obama in 2008.

    But the stench of his hypocrisy is no longer bearable. It is time, now more than ever, that Bradley Manning received the justice he so clearly deserves.

    By Ryan Gallagher,
    guardian.co.uk
    Friday March 2011

    *

    Under Obama, Better to Commit a War Crime Than Expose One

    By Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

    R
    ecall when candidate Obama said

    “government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal”?

    .....“Is this Quantico or Abu Ghraib?” asked Rep. Dennis Kucinich in a press release. Good question, congressman. Like the men imprisoned in former President Bush's Iraqi torture chamber, Manning is being abused and humiliated despite having not so much as been tried in a military tribunal, much less convicted of an actual crime.

    So much for the constitutional lawyer who ran as the candidate of hope and change.

    Remember back when Obama campaigned against such Bush-league torture tactics? Recall when candidate Obama said “government whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal”? It appears his opposition to torture and support for whistleblowers was only so much rhetoric. And then he took office.

    Indeed, despite the grand promises and soaring rhetoric, Obama’s treatment of Manning is starkly reminiscent of none other than Richard Nixon.

    Like Obama – who has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any president in history – Nixon had no sympathy for “snitches,” and no interest in the American public learning the truth about their government.

    And he likewise argued that Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, had given “aid and comfort to the enemy” for revealing the facts about the war in Vietnam.

    But there's a difference: Richard Nixon never had the heroic whistleblower of his day thrown in solitary confinement and tortured. If only the same could be said for Barack Obama.


    Medea Benjamin is cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

    Charles Davis is an independent journalist.


    On March 20 CODEPINK and others will be traveling to the Quantico Marine Base to rally in support of Bradley Manning.

    You can sign the CODEPINK petition here asking President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning.


    Continue


America Is NOT Broke

By Michael Moore

Speech delivered at Wisconsin Capitol in Madison, March 5, 2011



Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot.

The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined.

If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite.

Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it....

The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them....

To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:

1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians....

2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked.

As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it's Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future.

It was friggin' awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. "Here! Take our money! We don't care. We'll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!"

The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).

Until now. On Wisconsin!....You have aroused the sleeping giant know as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT!...

....So how do we get this? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.

Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois -- whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning....

Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will win together.

Click here to read all of Michael Moore's speech, or watch it on youtube


Friday, March 04, 2011

The Creeping Militarization of the Libyan Crisis

By Chris Floyd

March 04, 2011

The howling hypocrisy of the American response to the uprising in Libya has been so jaw-dropping and nauseating that I've hardly been able to address it.


Fortunately, Seamus Milne is on the case, and voices much of my thinking about the matter:

The same western leaders who happily armed and did business with the Gaddafi regime until a fortnight ago have now slapped sanctions on the discarded autocrat and blithely referred him to the international criminal court the United States won't recognise.

Yes, does this not, as they say, take the cake ... and the plate and the forks and the napkins too? The United States pushing through a measure to refer Libyan leaders to an international court which the United States resolutely refuses to recognize -- lest its own leaders and their underlings find themselves in the dock for the most monstrous war crimes of this century?

Yet even today, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was sternly wagging his finger at Gaddafi and his underlings, telling them they "will be held accountable" for their actions before the august institutions of international justice, which weigh the whole world in the balance ... except for the Peace prize-winning drone assassin and Continuer-in-Chief of a worldwide campaign of state terror, that is.

But now back to Milne:

With Colonel Gaddafi and his loyalists showing every sign of digging in, the likelihood must be of intensified conflict – with all the heightened pretexts that would offer for outside interference, from humanitarian crises to threats to oil supplies.

But any such intervention would risk disaster and be a knife at the heart of the revolutionary process now sweeping the Arab world. Military action is needed, US and British politicians claim, because Gaddafi is "killing his own people". Hundreds have certainly died, but that's hard to take seriously as the principal motivation.

When more than 300 people were killed by Hosni Mubarak's security forces in a couple of weeks, Washington initially called for "restraint on both sides". In Iraq, 50,000 US occupation troops protect a government which last Friday killed 29 peaceful demonstrators demanding reform. In Bahrain, home of the US fifth fleet, the regime has been shooting and gassing protesters with British-supplied equipment for weeks.

The "responsibility to protect" invoked by those demanding intervention in Libya is applied so selectively that the word hypocrisy doesn't do it justice. And the idea that states which are themselves responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in illegal wars, occupations and interventions in the last decade, along with mass imprisonment without trial, torture and kidnapping, should be authorised by international institutions to prevent killings in other countries is simply preposterous.

One key point Milne makes here deserves underlining: Western military intervention would be "a knife at the heart of the revolutionary process now sweeping the Arab world." But of course, that's exactly what Peace prizeniks and Etonian schoolboys now leading the "Free World" would like to see happen.

As Milne notes, the Arab Awakening is threatening some of the West's favorite dictators and tough guys, from the religious extremists in Saudi Arabia to the ever-complaisant corruptocrats in Bahrain to the client brutalists in Iraq and elsewhere.The dullards directing world affairs have been desperately casting about for a way to put the kibosh on the movement - and Libya might give them the opening they've been fumbling for.

Milne again:

The reality is that the western powers which have backed authoritarian kleptocrats across the Middle East for decades now face a loss of power in the most strategically sensitive region of the world as a result of the Arab uprisings and the prospect of representative governments. They are evidently determined to appropriate the revolutionary process wherever possible, limiting it to cosmetic change that allows continued control of the region.

In Libya, the disintegration of the regime offers a crucial opening. Even more important, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, it has the strategic prize of the largest oil reserves in Africa. Of course the Gaddafi regime has moved a long way from the days when it took over the country's oil, kicked out foreign bases and funded the African National Congress at a time when the US and Britain branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist.
Along with repression, corruption and a failure to deliver to ordinary Libyans, the regime has long since bent the knee to western power, as Tony Blair and his friends were so keen to celebrate, ditching old allies and nuclear ambitions while offering privatised pickings and contracts to western banks, arms and oil corporations such as BP.

Now the prospect of the regime's fall offers the chance for much closer involvement – western intelligence has had its fingers in parts of the Libyan opposition for years – when other states seem in danger of spinning out of the imperial orbit. ... Military intervention wouldn't just be a threat to Libya and its people, but to the ownership of what has been until now an entirely organic, homegrown democratic movement across the region.

Again, that would be -- will be? -- the very point of any type of Western military intervention in Libya: to kill a popular, democratic movement that is at present beyond the control of the imperial militarists along the Potomac.

Such an intervention would allow Gaddafi and other tyrants under threat to paint opponents to their rule as "tools of the imperialists," while rallying many who oppose them back to their side, to defend the nation against outsiders.

This in turn would help "stabilize" the revolutionary situations -- and the leaders, now safe once more, could then turn back to their cynical backroom deals with the West, and hoarding the blood and toil of their people in the cool vaults of Swiss banks. Hey, it's a win-win situation all around.

Events are in free, chaotic flow right now. The Libyan opposition might be able to oust Gaddafi before President Peacey and Prime Minister Fauntleroy go in with guns blazing. And events elsewhere might suddenly erupt and draw off attention and resources.

But we are certainly seeing a creeping militarization in the response to the Libyan uprising -- and behind the exigencies of this crisis, there is the deeper shadow that Milne discerns: the longer-range project to diffuse and destroy the Arab Awakening before it further spreads its genuine threat to the business-as-usual dominance of Western elites.

http://www.chris-floyd.com