Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Children of Chernobyl

Radiation renders Japanese fish unsafe?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lines up behind Obama’s attack on Libya

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lines up behind Obama’s attack on Libya

OpEdNews - Diary: Philip D. Zelikow: The Myth Maker Behind 9/11 And The War on Terror

OpEdNews - Diary: Philip D. Zelikow: The Myth Maker Behind 9/11 And The War on Terror

Jeffrey St. Clair: Inside America's Most Dangerous Nuclear Plant

Jeffrey St. Clair: Inside America's Most Dangerous Nuclear Plant

9/11: Press For Truth (HD)

IMF Prepares For "Threat To International Monetary System" | zero hedge

IMF Prepares For "Threat To International Monetary System" | zero hedge

101 East - Nepal's new prime minister

Riz Khan - The Arab Street

Is there life after the Dalai Lama | Tibet | Video

Dalai Lama | Tibet | Video

TURKEY: Old Colonial Rivalries Revive over Libya - IPS ipsnews.net

TURKEY: Old Colonial Rivalries Revive over Libya - IPS ipsnews.net

Listening Post - Military intervention, warmongering and the media

Myanmar quake victims see no urgent relief

Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

JapanFocus

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean « Stop NATO

Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean « Stop NATO

Creative Destruction: Libya in Washington's Greater Middle East Project

Creative Destruction: Libya in Washington's Greater Middle East Project

Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib psychologist is WH's newest appointment - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib psychologist is WH's newest appointment - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

Bradley Manning Treatment Reveals Continued Government Complicity in Torture | Common Dreams

Bradley Manning Treatment Reveals Continued Government Complicity in Torture | Common Dreams

BP Oil Disaster: Obama Administration Tightens Lid on Dolphin Death Probe | Common Dreams

BP Oil Disaster: Obama Administration Tightens Lid on Dolphin Death Probe | Common Dreams

Is the Libya Intervention Directed at China? | FPIF

Is the Libya Intervention Directed at China? | FPIF

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Live Where You Live - James, music: Thomas Newman

Mosaic News - 03/24/11: Air Strikes Target Tripoli

Gaza Mourns Children Killed by Israeli Airstrikes

March madness -- time to bomb. What differentiates attacks on Libya from Yugoslavia?

The United States of Israel?

Cockburn: Israel defines US politics

Impeach Barack Obama by John V. Walsh -- Antiwar.com

Impeach Barack Obama by John V. Walsh -- Antiwar.com

Neocon Foreign Policy by Philip Giraldi -- Antiwar.com

Neocon Foreign Policy by Philip Giraldi -- Antiwar.com

"Learn from History", 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

"Learn from History", 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Public Information Notice: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2010 Article IV Consultation with the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Public Information Notice: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2010 Article IV Consultation with the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Questions over military mission in Libya

Wonders of the Solar System- Earth in Fast Forward

Six Libyan villagers shot by US team rescuing pilot - Channel 4 News

Six Libyan villagers shot by US team rescuing pilot - Channel 4 News

'Kinetic military action' or 'war'? - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

'Kinetic military action' or 'war'? - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

US navy personnel seen next to a US  MV-22 Osprey vertical take off and lift aircraft, right, and a C-5 Galaxy aircraft in the Sigonella airbase, Sicily, Thursday, March 24, 2011. | AP Photo
A shadow war over the semantics of armed conflict has emerged in the wake of bombings. | AP Photo

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51893.html#ixzz1HYA01IfF

Germany Set to Abandon Nuclear Power for Good | Common Dreams

Germany Set to Abandon Nuclear Power for Good | Common Dreams

Vielen dank

US Soldier Jailed For Killing Afghan Civilians

US Soldier Jailed For Killing Afghan Civilians

US Soldier Jailed For Killing Afghan Civilians

US Soldier Jailed For Killing Afghan Civilians

Ships Were in Position for Odyssey Dawn, Roughead Says

Ships Were in Position for Odyssey Dawn, Roughead Says

James Gundun: Revolution Overloads Faulty U.S. Grid

Revolution Overloads Faulty U.S. Grid

Plastic Particles Circulating Endlessly in World's Oceans - IPS ipsnews.net

Plastic Particles Circulating Endlessly in World's Oceans - IPS ipsnews.net

Marine debris on a Hawaiian beach. / Credit:NOAA
Marine debris on a Hawaiian beach. 
Credit:NOAA
Albatross autopsy. (Photographer: Claire Fackler, CINMS, NOAA)

Peak Water Has Already Come and Gone - IPS ipsnews.net

Peak Water Has Already Come and Gone - IPS ipsnews.net

irrigation at dawn

Killing Civilians in Afghanistan is Terrorism | Common Dreams

Killing Civilians in Afghanistan is Terrorism | Common Dreams

Wake Up! End the Silence on Afghanistan | The Nation

Wake Up! End the Silence on Afghanistan | The Nation

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DocTalk - The Tillman Story

Seymour Hersh: Assassination Wing of the White House (2009)

Mosaic News - 03/22/11: Yemen Clashes

Turkey blocks no-fly zone role for NATO - Europe - Al Jazeera English

Turkey blocks no-fly zone role for NATO - Europe - Al Jazeera English

U.S. dismisses N. Korea's claim Libya's nuke abandonment led to bombings: State Dept.

english.yonhapnews.co.kr

(LEAD) U.S. dismisses N. Korea's claim Libya's nuke abandonment led to bombings: State Dept.

By Hwang Doo-hyong

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Yonhap) -- The United States Tuesday dismissed North Korea's claim that Libya's abandonment of its nuclear weapons programs resulted in the recent bombings of the North African state by the U.S. and its allies and called on the North to abide by its denuclearization pledge for better relations with the U.S.
Mark Toner, State Department spokesman, was reacting to the North Korean Foreign Ministry, which said earlier in the day that the air raids on Libya justify Pyongyang's military-first policy focusing on its nuclear armament as a deterrent against invasion.
   "Where they're at today has absolutely no connection with them renouncing their nuclear program or nuclear weapons," Toner said. "It's a good thing that they did because if they had such weapons of mass destruction, and they turn weapons so easily against their own people, then God help us."
   After years of negotiations, Muammar Qaddafi announced in 2003 he would abandon his programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction in return for improved ties with and economic assistance from the U.S. and its western allies. Washington normalized ties with Tripoli in 2006.
   Toner said the air raids on Libya have nothing to do with Qaddafi's nuclear dismantlement, but with military attacks on civilians.
   "Qaddafi made a decision when he turned weapons against his own people and conducted an armed military campaign, and vowed to show no mercy on the several hundred thousand residents of Benghazi," the spokesman said. "The international community came together to take action to stop that humanitarian disaster. For me to say that that's some kind of retribution for giving up nuclear weapons is -- I don't see how the argument holds."
   Toner fell short of ensuring Washington will not attack Pyongyang after the latter's denuclearization, if it occurs, just saying, "I'm not going to go there."
   "We've made quite clear that North Korea needs to engage in a more constructive way in the region and it needs to live up to its commitments in the joint communique and it needs to denuclearize," he said. "And if it takes those steps, then it can engage with the international community in a more constructive way."
   The six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization have been stalled for more than two years over U.N. sanctions for the North's nuclear and missile tests and most recently Pyongyang's sinking of a South Korean warship and shelling of a border island that killed 50 people last year.
   North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 and test-fired ballistic missiles three times -- in 1998, 2006 and 2009 -- which were seen as a partial success.
   U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in January that North Korea's missiles and nuclear weapons will pose a threat to the U.S. within five years. Some experts say Pyongyang may have already developed nuclear warheads small enough for missile payloads.
   The foreign ministry's statement came as an Austrian scholar predicted the war in Libya will hinder international efforts toward North Korea's nuclear dismantlement.
   "The latest developments in Libya will have a strong effect on North Korea," Ruediger Frank, a professor at the University of Vienna, said in a contribution to the Web site "38 North," specializing in North Korean affairs. "The North Koreans must feel alarmed, but also deeply satisfied with themselves. After all, this is at least the third instance in two decades that would seem to offer proof that they did something right while others failed and ultimately paid the price."
   Frank was referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
   Mikhail Gorbachev's "foolish belief that his policies to end the arms race and confrontation with the West would be rewarded by respect for the Soviet Union's existence and support for its faltering economy" was betrayed by "Western support of anti-communist governments in its European satellites and independence movements in various former Soviet Republics," the scholar said.
   In Iraq, Hussein's compliance with Western control over half of his airspace "did not save Hussein's regime from allegations of hiding weapons of mass destruction, and ultimately from complete annihilation in the Second Gulf War," he said.
   North Korea has said that Hussein's failure to secure a nuclear arsenal led to his collapse.
   Then-South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, currently U.N. secretary general, visited Tripoli in 2005 and urged Qaddafi to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to abandon nuclear weapons.
   Speaking at the National Press Club here through a video conference from Libya in April, Qaddafi dismissed calls for his government to persuade North Korea and Iran to quit their nuclear weapons programs.
   "The problem is that Libya has not been compensated for its good deed," the Libyan leader said.
  "The Libyan example is not attractive to them because Libya has not made any big gain, for example, using the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. So we really don't have much of a strong argument that we can use with Iran or North Korea."
   The U.S. and its European allies began aerial attacks on Libya last week under the authority of the U.N. Security Council to protect the lives of civilians. Qaddafi's forces have attacked revolutionaries who took control of the eastern part of the oil-rich North African state.
   "In the eyes of the North Korean leadership, all three countries took the economic bait, foolishly disarmed themselves, and once they were defenseless, were mercilessly punished by the West," Frank said. "It requires little imaginative power to see what conclusions will be drawn in Pyongyang. If there was anybody left at all in the elite who would dare try to persuade his leaders to sit down with the West and find a way to denuclearize, he will now be silent. Those who thought that the economic price of the military-first policy was too high will stand corrected. Not yielding an inch on the nuclear question will continue to be the key paradigm of North Korea's foreign policy for the foreseeable future."
   Few analysts see the chances of any imminent collapse of the impoverished, nuclear-armed North Korean regime, citing tight control of information, the lack of a civil society, and investment in the status quo by the military and ruling elite.
   North Korea has shown no sign of vulnerability despite a chronic economic crisis and severe food shortages.
   "When the various uprisings began in North Africa and the Middle East in January 2011, the combination of wishful thinking and a lack of knowledge led some to hope for a similar process to occur in North Korea," Frank said. "Drawing such parallels, however, overlooked the very different domestic situation and the dim chances for a coordinated grass roots movements in the DPRK."
   The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is North Korea's official name.
I first saw this story [HERE]

Libya: Obama's Iraq

Libya: Obama's Iraq

LIBYA: Increasing Confusion

LIBYA: Increasing Confusion

Lew Rockwell: US enjoys sending Tomahawks, killing

Pentagon sees Honduras as a FOB

Pentagon sees Honduras as a FOB

African Union at a Loss Over Libya - IPS ipsnews.net

African Union at a Loss Over Libya - IPS ipsnews.net

Qaddafi, Moral Interventionism, Libya, and the Arab Revolutionary Moment | FPJ

Qaddafi, Moral Interventionism, Libya, and the Arab Revolutionary Moment | FPJ

Total Destruction: RT inside demolished 'People's Port' near Tripoli

What intervention in Libya tells us about the neocon-liberal alliance - By Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt

What intervention in Libya tells us about the neocon-liberal alliance - By Stephen M. Walt | Stephen M. Walt

New boss, same as the old boss.
How many of you so called Liberals are still backing this war mongering president.
Is Libya another one of his justified wars?
WAKE THE EFF UP FOLKS.
THEY ARE ALL ONE IN THE SAME.  

War's Corruption of Christianity

War's Corruption of Christianity

ThinkProgress » NBC Terrorism Analyst Roger Cressey Defends Yemen Dictatorship, Fails To Disclose Conflicts Of Interest

ThinkProgress » NBC Terrorism Analyst Roger Cressey Defends Yemen Dictatorship, Fails To Disclose Conflicts Of Interest

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Psychologist's Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush's Torture Program

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Psychologist's Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush's Torture Program

Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya: Imperialist Aggression Shreds UN Charter « TARPLEY.net

Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya: Imperialist Aggression Shreds UN Charter « TARPLEY.net

Behind the 2011 Orgy of Destabilizations: Pre-Emptive Coups by the CIA to Halt an Exodus of US Satraps and Viceroys Leading to a Multipolar World « TARPLEY.net

Behind the 2011 Orgy of Destabilizations: Pre-Emptive Coups by the CIA to Halt an Exodus of US Satraps and Viceroys Leading to a Multipolar World « TARPLEY.net

Yesterday Iraq. Today Libya. "Paying the Price.": Children are the Unspoken Victims of US-NATO Wars

Yesterday Iraq. Today Libya. "Paying the Price.": Children are the Unspoken Victims of US-NATO Wars

Stop Bombing Libya

warisacrime.org

War Is A Crime .org

By Marjorie Cohn
Since Saturday night, the United States, France, and Britain have been bombing Libya with cruise missiles, B-2 stealth bombers, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets, and Harrier attack jets. There is no reliable estimate of the number of civilians killed. The U.S. has taken the lead in the punishing bombing campaign to carry out United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.
The resolution authorizes UN Member States “to take all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” The military action taken exceeds the bounds of the “all necessary measures” authorization.
“All necessary measures” should first have been peaceful measures to settle the conflict. But peaceful means were not exhausted before Obama began bombing Libya. A high level international team – consisting of representatives from the Arab League, the Organization of African Unity, and the UN Secretary General – should have been dispatched to Tripoli to attempt to negotiate a real cease-fire, and set up a mechanism for elections and for protecting civilians.
There is no doubt that Muammar Qaddafi has been brutally repressing Libyans in order to maintain his power. But the purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. The burgeoning conflict in Libya is a civil war, which arguably does not constitute a threat to international peace and security.
The UN Charter commands that all Members settle their international disputes by peaceful means, to maintain international peace, security, and justice. Members must also refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Only when a State acts in self-defense, in response to an armed attack by one country against another, can it militarily attack another State under the UN Charter. The need for self-defense must be overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation. Libya has not attacked another country. The United States, France and Britain are not acting in self-defense. Humanitarian concerns do not constitute self-defense.
The UN Charter does not permit the use of military force for humanitarian interventions. But the UN General Assembly embraced a norm of “Responsibility to Protect” in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit. Paragraph 138 of that document says each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Paragraph
139 adds that the international community, through the United Nations, also has “the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”
Chapter VI of the Charter requires parties to a dispute likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security to “first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own
choice.” Chapter VIII governs “regional arrangements,” such as NATO, the Arab League, and the Organization of African Unity. The chapter specifies that regional arrangements “shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements . . .”
It is only when peaceful means have been tried and proved inadequate that the Security Council can authorize action under Chapter VII of the Charter. That action includes boycotts, embargoes, severance of diplomatic relations, and even blockades or operations by air, sea or land.
The “responsibility to protect” norm grew out of frustration with the failure to take action to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, where a few hundred troops could have saved myriad lives. But the norm was not implemented to stop Israel from bombing Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, which resulted in a loss of 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians. Nor is it being used to stop the killing of civilians by the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There is also hypocrisy inherent in the U.S. bombing of Libya to enforce international law. The Obama administration has thumbed its nose at its international obligations by refusing to investigate officials of the Bush administration for war crimes for its torture regime. Both the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions compel Member States to bring people to justice who violate their
commands.
The United States is ostensibly bombing Libya for humanitarian reasons. But Obama refuses to condemn the repression and government killings of protestors in Bahrain using U.S.-made tanks and weaponry because that is where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed. And Yemen, a close U.S. ally, kills and wounds protestors while Obama watches silently.
Regime change is not authorized by the resolution. Yet U.S. bombers targeted the Qaddafi compound and Obama said at a news conference in Santiago that it is “U.S. policy that Qaddafi needs to go.” The resolution specifically forbids a “foreign occupation force.” But it is unlikely that the United States, France and Britain will bomb Libya and leave. Don’t be surprised to hear there are Western forces on the ground in Libya to “train” or “assist” the rebels there.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates pegged it when he said that a “no-fly zone” over Libya would be an “act of war.” Although the Arab League reportedly favored a no-fly zone, Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, said that “what is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone.” He added, “What we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.” He plans to call a new meeting of the league to reconsider its support for a no-fly zone.
The military action in Libya sets a dangerous precedent of attacking countries where the leadership does not favor the pro-U.S. or pro-European Union countries. What will prevent the United States from stage-managing some protests, magnifying them in the corporate media as mass actions, and then bombing or attacking Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, or North Korea? During the Bush administration, Washington leveled baseless allegations to justify an illegal invasion of Iraq.
Moreover, Obama took military action without consulting Congress, the only body with the Constitutional power to declare war. It is not clear what our mission is there or when it will end. Congress – and indeed, the American people – should debate what we are doing in Libya. We must not support a third expensive and illegal war. There is a crying need for that money right here at home. And we should refuse to be complicit in the killing of more civilians in a conflict in which we don’t belong.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, past president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her latest book is “The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse” (NYU Press).

Diplomacy is a Disguised War: Obama’s Diplomatic "Sleight-of-hand"

Diplomacy is a Disguised War: Obama’s Diplomatic "Sleight-of-hand"

Keeping up Appearances: America's Intelligence Operation in Libya

Keeping up Appearances: America's Intelligence Operation in Libya

Libya: A War We Shouldn't Believe In | by Ted Rall Common Dreams

Libya: A War We Shouldn't Believe In | Common Dreams



Libya: A War We Shouldn't Believe In

U.S. forces fired 110 cruise missiles at Libya on the first day of the war. Each one cost $755,000 to build; $2.8 million to transport, maintain and shoot. Austerity and budget cuts abound; there's no money for NPR or teachers or firefighters. Note to union negotiators: the government has lots of money. They're spending it on war.

For people too young to remember Bosnia, this is what a violent, aggressive, militarist empire looks like under a Democratic president. Where Bush rushed, Obama moseys. No one believed ex-oil man Bush when he said he was out to get rid of the evil dictator of an oil-producing state; Obama, the former community organizer, gets a pass under identical circumstances. Over the weekend, also the eighth anniversary of the start of the Iraq quagmire, there were few protests against Obama's Libya War, all poorly attended.

I spent the weekend in New York at LeftForum, an annual gathering of anti-capitalist intellectuals. "What do you think about Libya?" people kept asking. What passes for the Left is ambivalent.

In part this waffling on Libya is due to Obama's deadpan (read: uncowboy-like) tone. Mostly, however, the tacit consent stems from televised images of ragtag anti-Qadafi opposition forces getting strafed by Libyan air force jets. We Americans like underdogs, especially when they say they want democracy.

Still, the President is not a dictator. He can't declare war. And while he might be able to lie his way into one, he and his party will pay at the polls if he fails to explain why we're attacking a nation that poses no threat to the United States.

There are a lot of questions we--and journalists--should be asking Obama. Obviously, we're broke. Our military is overextended, losing two wars against the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. How can we afford this?

Also:

1. Whom are we helping?

The U.S. and its allies are destroying Libya's air force in order to tip the balance in the civil war in favor of anti-Qadafi forces. A similar approach, aerial bombardment of Afghan government defenses, allowed Northern Alliance rebels to break through Taliban lines and enter Kabul in 2001. It could work again in Libya.

But who are these anti-Qadafi forces? Rival tribes? Royalists? Radical Islamists? What kind of government will they establish if they win? What are their ideological and religious affiliations? If anyone in the media or the White House knows, they're not telling.

Or perhaps, as in Iraq, the White House doesn't have a governance plan for post-Qadafi Libya. Which, as in Iraq, could lead to chaos. No nation should go to war without considering the long-term consequences.

Before we pick sides in a conflict, shouldn't we know for whom we are going billions of dollars further into debt?

2. Does Qadafi have the right to defend himself?

From Shay's Whiskey Rebellion to Confederacy to the Red Scares to the Black Panthers and the Weathermen, the U.S. government has violently suppressed armed rebellions. How then can the U.S. claim moral authority to prevent other governments from doing the same thing? ("The U.S. is more moral than Libya" is not an acceptable response. Obama murders and tortures more people than Qadafi.)

3. What about self-determination?

If the Libyan people rise up and overthrow Qadafi, an authoritarian despot well past his expiration date, that's great. Shouldn't that struggle be a Libyan matter, to be settled between Libyans? Isn't a government that emerges from indigenous internal struggle more likely to enjoy widespread support than one that results from outside intervention?
"Free men set themselves free," said James Oppenheim. Can a people truly feel emancipated when they owe their freedom--and later, inexorably, their oil and gas--to a foreign superpower?

4. Why are we OK with some dictators, but not others?

Since the Middle East began blowing up we've heard a lot of talk about Obama's dilemma: How do we reconcile American values with American strategic interests? In a good country--at least a non-hypocritical one--they are the same.

Obama is employing circular logic. "Why strike only Libya, when other regimes murder their citizens too?" asks Chris Good in The Atlantic Monthly. "Obama's answer seems to be: because the UN Security Council turned its attention toward Libya, and not other places." But the UN reacted in response to the U.S.

In other words: We're agreeing to a request that we made ourselves.

Ideology and policy must be consistent to be credible. If we have a policy to depose dictators, then all dictators must be targeted. We can't just take out those in countries with lots of oil. We ought to start with tyrants for which we bear responsibility: our allies and puppets. At this writing the U.S. supports or props up unpopular authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Yemen, and elsewhere.

5. Is Libya our geostrategic business?

The United States has no substantial historical ties with, innate cultural understanding of, or geographic proximity to, Libya. Even under the imperialist doctrine of "spheres of influence" that governed international relations during the Cold War, Libya falls under the purview of other would-be interventionists. Italy, and to a lesser extent Britain and France, are former colonial masters. The Arab League and African Union have interests there. Even if you buy the sentimental argument--"Are we going to stand by and watch Qadafi slaughter his own people?"--why us? Why not the Africans or Europeans?

The West bombs, the Arab League ducks By Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs



By Pepe Escobar 

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please clickhere. 

History will surely register the irony that the new war doctrine of United States President Barack Obama took shape on board Air Force One on the way to deeply pacifist Brazil; then in a message delivered to America from Brasilia (yes, Operation Odyssey Dawn was launched from the tropics, and not from the Mediterranean); and finally in a war room set up in sunny, sexy Rio. 

Here are the parameters. 

1. The Pentagon must conduct a "limited operation" with no ground troops involved (think the 1990s Bill Clinton approach to Bosnia and Kosovo). 
2. The US is part of a "coalition" (of the willing), but is not leading it (think the opposite of George W Bush in Iraq). 
3. The operation is to "protect civilians", and not about "regime change" (once again Clinton trumps Bush). 
4. It's all based on "solid international legitimacy" – conferred by UN Security Council resolution 1973, which is more explicit than the one authorizing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to act in Kosovo (not to mention the non-existent resolution for Bush to bomb Iraq). 

Yet immediately after the Tomahawks started flying the White House ran into trouble. The "limited operation" - as in bombing Muammar Gaddafi's air defenses and military installations - may be practically over, and the Americans are dying to be relived of the heavy lifting. But who's going to be in charge? General Carter Ham, the head of the US Africom and the present commander of Odyssey Dawn, pretty much summed it all up, saying, "The first thing that has got to happen is identification of what that organization is." 

You fight, we watch
It won't be the Arab League, whose vote for a no-fly zone over Libya has been extensively pimped by every single Western diplomat as laying the groundwork for the United Nations resolution. But then Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa backtracked, saying the attack had gone beyond the initial objective, which was to protect, not kill, civilians. And finally the demagogue, opportunist Moussa got his marching orders again from the House of Saud (who pushed heavily for the no-fly zone); another about face and he said the resolution was fine. 

What is never mentioned by Western corporate media is that among the 22 Arab League members it was Saudi Arabia - as leader of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - which obsessively lobbied for no-fly to apply (thanks to visceral bad blood between King Abdullah and Gaddafi (see The Odyssey Dawn top 10 Asia Times Online, March 22); and that only Qatar will actually send a maximum of four of its Mirage fighters (no one knows when). Even though Obama personally called Sheikh Khalifa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) backtracked from sending its jets and will only assist in "humanitarian" matters. 

The head of the GCC, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, insisted in Abu Dhabi that Qatar and the UAE were part of the "coalition" - but he refused to explain how. As for the King of Bahrain, Hamad al-Khalifa, he preferred to dabble on how the tiny kingdom had thwarted an "external plot" to undermine its security and stability; he also profusely thanked the Saudi invasion forces who are now helping him to repress any peaceful protests. 

The GCC/Arab League astonishing dithering and hypocrisy is compounded by the outright hostility of the African Union (AU) to the "coalition", expressed by a communique from Nouakchott, Mauritania, calling for "an immediate end to all attacks". The AU only demands that Gaddafi makes sure "humanitarian aid" arrives for those who need it. 

This explodes the myth that the "international community" is behind Odyssey Dawn. The Arab dictatorships - which once again have sanctioned an attack on a Muslim country - are scared to death of the backlash from their populations if "collateral damage" balloons. 

The Arab blogosphere is saturated with accusations that the UN and the Arab League have sanctioned a shameless Western plot to get Libya's oil. The African countries are mostly against it. The key emerging powers - Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey - are not part of it. The four top BRIC members (Brazil, Russia, India, China) all abstained from the UN vote. 

China has been very much aware that in both Africa and South America - where its business interests are now rivaling America's - support for the "coalition" is minimal. And Russia has gone one step beyond; according to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, "The resolution is defective and flawed ... It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades." True: Russia has weapons contracts with Libya to the tune of US$4 billion, half of it pending. No wonder Pentagon supremo Robert Gates has not managed to convince Moscow to support the "coalition". 

Catfight 
This means this "coalition" is in fact all about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Or is it? 

There's a major catfight going on inside NATO. No one knows how to interpret this "allow everything" resolution. In Britain, the Ministry of Defense swears that taking out Gaddafi is not part of the mandate (mirroring Gates, who said it would be "unwise"). But the David Cameron government thinks this is all about regime change. As it is in practice for the Obama administration - see everyone from President Obama to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisting "Gaddafi must go". 

France - following President Nicolas Sarkozy's Napoleonic syndrome - doesn't want to relinquish command to NATO. Other NATO members loudly complain that the Anglo-French plus the US monopolize all the decisions. 

Turkey, extremely worried about civilian deaths, and most of all worried about preserving its current very good standing in the Muslim world, is adamantly against a NATO intervention - calling instead for a review of other possible strategies and even for an immediate Western ceasefire. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "Military intervention by NATO in Libya or any other country would be totally counter-productive". 

In this context, it's absurd to believe - like the proverbial think-tank suspects - that a NATO intervention modeled on Kosovo would be "a success". In 1999, NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days; dropped no less than 20,000 tons of bombs; and produced thousands of "collateral damage" - all in the name of humanitarian "protection" of Albanians in Kosovo. The Srebrenica massacre, by the way, happened after NATO imposed a no-fly zone over Bosnia. 

League of crooks 
The Anglo-French-American consortium leading Odyssey Dawn has fallen for its own propaganda - blindly convinced that the Arab League is on board. And even if the Arab League were totally on board, this means Odyssey Dawn is endorsed by the very nasty people the great 2011 Arab revolt is trying hard to get rid of. 

The Arab League's position is based on two very shady motives. One is King Abdullah and the House of Saud's obsession on taking out Gaddafi. The other is Moussa's campaign to become the next Egyptian president. Moussa takes orders from the House of Saud while trying to seduce Washington to support his bid for the presidency. 

The UN resolution has nothing to do with a ceasefire. The "rebels" themselves already said they would settle for nothing except regime change. The resolution points towards regime change - no matter what the British and American militaries are saying. Expect more cruise missiles visiting Gaddafi's compound in Bab al-Aziziya. 

If Gaddafi holds, things will get even messier. Under international law, his regime will still be legitimate. He may even invoke the right to fight against an armed insurrection trying to topple his regime - in fact much more of a right than the dictatorships in Yemen and Bahrain, who have been shooting unarmed protesters.

The real test for the new Obama war doctrine - and its European minions - will be how to get regime change without a land war. Yet history may rule that just like in Georgia, Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kosovo or North/South Korea, we may be on our way to kiss unified Libya goodbye. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). 

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.