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Ear to the Ground

NATO Loses Confidence in Libyan Rebels

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Posted on Apr 26, 2011
Flickr / U.S. Navy

A Qatar Emiri Air Force fighter jet takes off as part of a Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn mission.

Having accepted that the rebels can’t defeat Moammar Gadhafi themselves, NATO is aggressively expanding its list of targets in Libya. The scope of NATO’s mission had initially been limited to providing aerial support for rebel troops on the ground. However, Gadhafi has regained momentum and control of a significant part of the country.

NATO and its allies will now continually attack major government institutions including palaces, offices and communications centers in an effort to thwart Gadhafi’s command over his soldiers in the field. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the new strategy is too destructive and violates the mandate given by the U.N. to “protect civilians.”  —KDG

The New York Times:

Officials in Europe and in Washington said that the strikes were meant to reduce the government’s ability to harm civilians by eliminating, link by link, the command, communications and supply chains required for sustaining military operations.

The broadening of what the alliance views as legitimate targets in recent days comes at a time when the rebels and the government in Libya have been consolidating their positions along more static front lines, raising concerns of a prolonged stalemate. Although it is too soon to assess the results of the shift, a NATO official said on Tuesday that the alliance was watching closely for early signs, like the recent reports of desertions from the Libyan Army.

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By diamond, April 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

Who is a despot? Well, here’s a clue: there have been no elections in Libya for 42 years. In Egypt it is also around 40 years with no elections held. In Yemen it’s thirty something years since they’ve held an election. The situation is the same in all these countries. I think you’ve got a hide claiming that it’s okay for these people not to have elections or any form of democracy,  however flawed, while you demand it for yourself. Remember what they said about the slaves: ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ These people need elections and they need them now and it is to prevent them having elections that all the killing is going on. Should the UN and NATO look the other way and let these armies crush their own citizens? I don’t think so. These people are fighting and dying for a better Middle East and, by extension, a better world and their sacrifices should not be in vain.

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By PatrickHenry, April 28, 2011 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Diamond,

Who is to decide who is a despot and who isn’t? what parameters does NATO need to decide who’s regime needs changing, absent general elections.  I think NATO is simply overthrowing a despot they can’t control for one they can.

You don’t think the US has people murdered like the Russians did that Litvinenko cat?  If you don’t then you are naive.

I believe it is the right of the citizens of any country to have the government they want regardless of what the U.S. thinks or wants.  That is freedom.

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By diamond, April 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

That’s crap, Patrick Henry. Putin had Alexander Litvinenko poisoned with radioactive material in a coffeeshop in London. He had a female journalist, Anna Politskovkaya, who was writing a book detailing his crimes in Chechnyna gunned down outside her apartment. She was shot to death on Putin’s birthday. He is a war criminal and a terrorist and hasn’t got a leg to stand on when he tries to portray NATO as some kind of Murder Inc. on a rampage. That tag fits all the dictatorships in the Middle East, now engaged in killing their own citizens (as Putin has, too) much better than it fits NATO. Gaddaffi is a madman, always has been and if he wants to behave like a rabid dog, well, we all know what happens to rabid dogs. It just doesn’t happen often enough. In any case, NATO didn’t even kill Milosevic, the butcher of Belgrade. Their plan is to make Gaddaffi’s desperate measures to continue to rule as a dictator untenable, as they already have. These tin pot, formerly CIA endorsed, dictators in the Middle East have had their day and the will of the people will not be denied. They can’t kill all of them and they are seriously outnumbered by those who want them gone, even if you call them a minority. A minority cannot bring a government down: they have to have serious support from a large percentage of the population to do that. Gaddaffi has the army but the rebels are on the right side of history and he can’t defeat that.

Even the fascist monarchies of Bahrain and Saudi are feeling a chill breeze up and down what passes for their spines. The alternative to what NATO is doing is to let these despots murder their own people in order to stay in power and deny them some form of democracy. Are you telling me you favor this option? If you do, at least drop the Patrick Henry moniker or you’ll have him spinning in his grave.

“I know not what others may choose but as for me, give me liberty or give me death” - the real Patrick Henry.

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By PatrickHenry, April 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Diamond,

The leaders you cite are performing crimes against their own people, unlike an outside force (NATO) targeting Gadaffi and his supporters for death at the behest of a minority in revolt.

The Chechnyns have performed many assaults against the Russians killing hundreds.  The Russians have just as much right to confront terrorism within its borders as a soverign nation.

Putin has as much credibility as many of our own commanders and corporate security handlers (Xe).  Any crimes committed by him and the Russians he commands pales in comparison to the crimes perpetuated by our own empire.

Its all about the oil and water.

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By diamond, April 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Al Qaeda in Chechnya? I don’t know what they’re sprinkling on your corn flakes, fear not truth, but it’s scrambling your brain. So all those fourteen year old boys that the Russian army dragged away to sexually molest and murder in Chechnya were Al Qaeda, were they? You don’t appear to have the faintest clue as to the monstrous crimes the Russians, under Putin, have committed in Chechnya and elsewhere in the Caucasus. You also appear to know nothing about the terror attacks he and the FSB carried out in Moscow so they could blame it on the Chechens and go to war with them.

The Ryazan Incident

On September 22, 1999 an observant occupant of an apartment building in the city of Ryazan saw two men who seemed to be acting suspiciously carrying sacks into the basement. They were taking them out of a car with a Moscow license plate. He called the police but when they got there the men had gone. Searching the basement they found three 57 kilogram sacks of white powder with a detonator and a timer attached and armed. Yuri Tkachenko of the local bomb squad disabled the bombs and tested the white powder. It was RDX: the military explosive used in all the other Moscow bombings. The police and emergency services then evacuated 30,000 people from the area. By the 23rd September the culprits had been caught. Another vigilant citizen who worked for the telephone exchange tapped into long distance phone calls and overheard someone from out of town advising others to ‘split up’ and ‘make your own way out’. The number was traced to a telephone exchange that served the FSB. And indeed when arrested these people produced FSB identification cards. It should come as no surprise that they were released on orders from Moscow. The head of the FSB, Nikolai Patruschev, said the whole thing had been an ‘exercise’ (shades of Tripod and Vigilant Guardian) to test responses to the genuine bombing crisis. RDX, it seems, is made at only one factory in Russia, a facility at Perm. This facility supplies the military and is extremely well guarded. The idea that mysterious foreign men could enter it and remove huge amounts of RDX was so ridiculous that the FSB had to invent a cover story. It was not in fact RDX at all, they claimed, but a mixture of aluminum powder, niter, sugar and TNT which had been mixed up by Chechen criminals in a concrete mixer at a fertilizer factory in Urus-Martan, Chechnya. The real target and motive of the bombings began to drift into sight. Chechnya had been mentioned.

Putin, former head of the KGB and now Czar of Russia, is the last person in the world to be giving morality classes to NATO.

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By fearnotruth, April 27, 2011 at 12:35 am Link to this comment

RE: [Putin] ...he has nothing helpful to say…

Well, since he couldn’t really defeat Al Queda in Chechnya, guess he’s a looser, like Gahafi, who can’t really seem to defeat them in Libya either…

but then… neither Petraeus nor McChrystal have been unable to eradicate them in Afghanistan and Iraq and now they’re all over Yemen, like cockroaches…

somthin’ fishy - I’m beginning to believe what I read about they’re being fed everything they need from Langley, Vauxhall Cross and Tel Aviv - if that’s true, who the hell can defeat them?

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By diamond, April 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry,

“Putin has a point, who gave NATO the right to kill Gadaffi.”

Who gave Putin the right to kill the Chechens? Who gave Gadaffi the right to kill his own people for the crime of wanting an end to 42 years of dictatorship? Who gave Saleh the right to kill the people of Yemen? Who have the Syrian dictatorship the right to slaughter their own citizens? Who gave the hideous monarchy of Bahrain the right to go into hospitals and drag away the sick and dying with the help of the army of Saudi Arabia to be murdered in the dark somewhere? Wake up to yourself Patrick Henry, Putin has as much credibility, standing there with blood dripping from his hands, as these other tyrants have. I despise the old fascist thug and think he should shut up if he has nothing helpful to say - as he does not.

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By PatrickHenry, April 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Putin has a point, who gave NATO the right to kill Gadaffi.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw5Ij_RFJ1Q&feature=player_embedded

Extrajudicial rendition and assassination coupled with violations of international law and treaty.

NATO needs to be defunded.

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By TDoff, April 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

This should teach you a lesson, NATO. Next time, try to talk your leader, the US, into getting the CIA to hire a better class of rebels when it wants to ‘nation build’.

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