Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Misurata’

Pretext For War On Libya Proven Fraudulent By Casualty Figures

In Activism, Human Rights, Libya, Military, Society, World Government, World News on April 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

TRIPOLI. With leader of the Libyan Revolution ...

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As the EU prepares to invade Libya with ground troops under the contrived pretext of “humanitarian aid,” Texas University Professor Alan J. Kuperman highlights the fact that the entire justification behind the NATO-backed aggression has been proven fraudulent by casualty figures that clearly indicate Gaddafi has not deliberately targeted civilians.

Appearing on Russia Today, Kuperman dismissed the Obama administration’s claim that there would be a “bloodbath” in Libya if there was no foreign intervention, pointing out that there is no evidence Gaddafi is deliberately targeting civilians and engaging in massacres.

The EU is now awaiting the green light from the United Nations as it prepares to do what the initial UN resolution specifically forbade – sending in ground troops in the name of “humanitarian aid”. The EU has made it clear that its troops will attack Gaddafi forces if they are impeded in any way from taking over regions in the east of the country, and securing “sea and land corridors”.

Of course, the ground invasion was already unfolding before the so-called “no fly zone” was even enforced, with hundreds of British, American and French special forces troops arriving in the country at the end of February to train rebels. The humanitarian hoax was then manufactured as a veil with which to camouflage NATO’s wanton act of aggression, with the corporate media dutifully regurgitating baseless claims about Gaddafi slaughtering his own people while concocting lies about his regime using western journalists as human shields.


In addition, lurid claims about Gaddafi forces bombing “protesters” from fighter jets on February 22 over Benghazi and Tripoli were completely dismissed by Russian military experts, who said that sophisticated satellite imagery from space showed no record of such actions.

Asked about claims of Gaddafi violence against innocents, Professor Kuperman responded, “There is no evidence of that in the cities that Gaddafi has captured either totally or partially,” citing Human Rights Watch figures that clearly illustrate how Gaddafi forces are targeting combatants and not innocent people.

In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, Kuperman accuses Barack Obama of “grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya,” highlighting the fact that the evidence clearly indicates Gaddafi is “Not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.”

“Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties,” writes Kuperman, adding that the only thing to deepen the humanitarian suffering of innocents was the NATO-led attack, which will indefinitely prolong the civil war.

Of course, to the western media, rebels driving tanks, flying fighter jets and carrying RPG launchers are still classed as “protesters” or “civilians” in the Orwellian doublespeak world of humanitarian hypocrisy.

While the corporate media has played up Gaddafi’s supposed attacks on innocent people, evidence of which is thin on the ground, videos, images and testimony of rebel fighters engaging in massacres and beatings of innocents, including children, has been universally ignored.

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While it’s obvious that there have been acts of brutal retaliation carried out by both sides that have killed innocent people, to claim that Gaddafi is overseeing a deliberate policy to attack innocents even as he battles against the might of NATO and the western-backed rebel forces is brazenly deceptive. Even the New York Times had to admit that the rebels were “making vastly inflated claims of his (Gaddafi’s) barbaric behavior,” and had “no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda,” after the much promised “bloodbath” in Benghazi never materialized.

The humanitarian hoax behind the assault on Africa’s richest oil country was invented out of whole cloth to prevent what globalist forces feared most, the defeat of their own Al-Qaeda backed rebel forces.

“The actual prospect in Benghazi was the final defeat of the rebels,” writes Kuperman. “To avoid this fate, they desperately concocted an impending genocide to rally international support for “humanitarian’’ intervention that would save their rebellion.”
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NATO Claims Unity on Libya Operation as Russia Questions Military Actions

In Human Rights, Libya, Military, World Government, World News on April 19, 2011 at 12:46 am

Muammar Qaddafi

Muammar Qaddafi, Libya's leader, speaks at an equestrian show at the Tor di Quinto cavalry school in Rome, in August, 2010. Photographer: Victor Sokolowicz/Bloomberg

NATO countries sought to bridge differences over their Libya mission as Russia said the alliance’s actions may be exceeding those authorized by the UN Security Council.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers today in Berlin that he’s confident his request for additional ground-attack aircraft will be met, even though the U.S. and France rejected deploying more planes.

“We have got indications that nations will deliver what is needed,” said Rasmussen, without identifying which countries or confirming reports that the request is for about eight warplanes to attack Muammar Qaddafi’s forces.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders “are now realizing that this is not a very short mission,” German Deputy Foreign Minister Werner Hoyer said in an interview today. “It takes much longer, it’s much more complicated, it’s much more demanding than some had expected.”

NATO’s Libya operations may become “stuck in the sand,” Hoyer said, adding that it would be “a nightmare” if Qaddafi remains in control of a divided and failed state. Germany is one of the NATO members opposed to the military campaign, although it supports economic and political measures to force Qaddafi out of power.

‘Solid and Sustainable’

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the NATO consensus on the goals for Libya is “solid and sustainable” and that “we all need to be a bit patient.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, challenging the extent of the military operations, said that NATO must move “urgently” toward a political solution. In Berlin to participate in talks with NATO foreign ministers, he said that “using excessive military force will lead to additional casualties among civilians.”

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Oil rebounded as U.S. consumer sentiment and industrial output increased, signaling higher fuel demand in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country. Crude oil for May delivery increased $1.50, or 1.4 percent, to $109.61 a barrel at 1:33 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Regional Developments

Elsewhere in the region, Syrian security forces blocked roads to thwart protesters whose defiance of President Bashar al-Assad persisted for a fifth Friday, following the announcement late yesterday of Cabinet changes, activists said. Routes to the Damascus suburbs of Douma and Harasta were blocked by vans and concrete blocks, as thousands took to the streets, Damascus-based human-rights activist Razan Zaitouneh said on her Facebook page. There were rallies in Homs, Aleppo, Qamishli, the port city of Latakia and Daraa, a flashpoint for dissent last month, she said.

Clashes between protesters and authorities in Jordan left 83 security officers and eight civilians injured, Al Arabiya television reported, citing the country’s head of general security. In Yemen, protesters around the country rejected a Gulf Cooperation Council plan to resolve political turmoil because it doesn’t insist on President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s immediate departure.

In Libya, the limitations of NATO’s air campaign have become evident as forces loyal to Qaddafi stepped up their assault on Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city, and pressed their attack on rebels near the oil port city of Brega.

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Misrata Bombarded

Al-Jazeera television cited rebels as saying 20 people, including five Egyptians, were killed in Misrata last night by Qaddafi troops and that tanks bombarded the city today near the Kasr Ahmed district. More than 6,500 foreign nationals are stranded at Misrata’s port, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in an e-mailed statement.

Foreign ministers from NATO’s 28 member states and leaders from other allied nations met in Berlin to discuss the Libyan conflict.

On providing more assistance to rebels, including military aid, Clinton said “there have been a number of discussions on how to best provide that assistance.”

“We are also searching for ways to provide funding for the opposition so that that they can take care of some of these needs themselves,” including helping the rebels sell oil, she said. The rebels are seeking to borrow $2 billion secured by Libyan government assets abroad that have been frozen.

Only 14 NATO members — plus Sweden, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — are participating in some aspect of the military operation known as “Unified Protector,” most under rules preventing them from attacking Qaddafi’s forces except in self-defense. About five NATO nations, led by France and the U.K, are known to be targeting Qaddafi’s ground forces.

U.S. Role Limited

The call for more warplanes, which Rasmussen said wasn’t directed at a specific alliance member, came 10 days after the U.S. withdrew its ground-attack planes from civilian protection missions. The U.S. continues to fly F-16 missions against Libya’s dwindling air defenses, as well as providing a variety of support aircraft for refueling, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Libya is “Europe’s affair” and it’s understandable that the U.S. isn’t playing a leading role, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said in an interview on LCI Television. “The U.S. has two large obligations with Iraq and Afghanistan.”

President Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy jointly declared in a statement published today that allowing Qaddafi to remain in power “would be an unconscionable betrayal.”

The three leaders said that while the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action to protect civilians doesn’t include overthrowing Qaddafi, “it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power.”

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Pressure Qaddafi Regime

“So long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds,” they wrote in a letter published in newspapers, including the Times of London, Le Figaro and the International Herald Tribune.

NATO said in a statement yesterday that allies taking part in the conflict set three conditions for ending air strikes on Qaddafi’s forces: an end to all attacks by Qaddafi loyalists on civilians, withdrawing soldiers to bases, and allowing aid into the country.

NATO said in a statement that its jets yesterday hit eight bunkers, four ammunition storage sites, and two armored personnel carriers near Sirte; three bunkers and a helicopter near Misrata; an SA-3 radar and SA-3 missile launcher near the Tunisian border; and a tank, two ammunition storage sites and a radar near Tripoli. NATO said it flew 60 missions looking for possible ground-attack targets, up from 58 on April 13.


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UNICEF: Snipers targeting children in Libya city

In Human Rights, Libya, World News on April 9, 2011 at 12:08 am


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GENEVA — Snipers are targeting children in the besieged rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata, the U.N.’ s children agency said Friday.

Hundreds of residents have been killed and wounded in the assault by Gadhafi’s forces on Libya‘s third-largest city, and residents are running short of water, food and medicine.

“What we have are reliable and consistent reports of children being among the people targeted by snipers in Misrata,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told reporters in Geneva.

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The information was based on local sources, Mercado said. She was unable to say how many children have been wounded or killed in this way.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it is sending a team to Misrata by boat Friday and would investigate the reports of snipers targeting children.

A spokesman for the Geneva-based aid group, Christian Cardon, told The Associated Press that children and other civilians not involved in hostilities are never a legitimate target in an armed conflict. “But without having any more information, we can’t comment on what is happening there,” he said.


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Air Raids Force Gaddafi Retreat; Rebels Seize The East

In Activism, Human Rights, Libya, Military, Society, World News on March 27, 2011 at 6:57 am


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AJDABIYA, Libya – Libyan rebels clinched their hold on the east and seized back a key city on Saturday after decisive international airstrikes sent Moammar Gadhafi‘s forces into retreat, shedding their uniforms and ammunition as they fled.

Gaddafi Retreats War in Libya

Gaddafi Retreats

Ajdabiya’s initial loss to Gadhafi may have ultimately been what saved the rebels from imminent defeat, propelling the U.S. and its allies to swiftly pull together the air campaign now crippling Gadhafi’s military. Its recapture gives President Barack Obama a tangible victory just as he faces criticism for bringing the United States into yet another war.
In Ajdabiya, drivers honked in celebration and flew the tricolor rebel flag. Others in the city fired guns into the air and danced on burned-out tanks that littered the road.
Their hold on the east secure again, the rebels promised to resume their march westward that had been reversed by Gadhafi’s overwhelming firepower.
“Without the planes we couldn’t have done this. Gadhafi’s weapons are at a different level than ours,” said Ahmed Faraj, 38, a rebel fighter from Ajdabiya. “With the help of the planes we are going to push onward to Tripoli, God willing.”
The Gadhafi regime acknowledged the airstrikes had forced its troops to retreat and accused international forces of choosing sides.”This is the objective of the coalition now, it is not to protect civilians because now they are directly fighting against the armed forces,” Khaled Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said in Tripoli. “They are trying to push the country to the brink of a civil war.”
Ajdabiya’s sudden capture by Gadhafi’s troops on March 15 — and their move toward the rebel capital of Benghazi — gave impetus to the U.N. resolution authorizing international action in Libya, and its return to rebel hands on Saturday came after a week of airstrikes and missiles against the Libyan leader’s military.
Airstrikes Friday on the city’s eastern and western gates forced Gadhafi’s troops into hasty retreat. Inside a building that had served as their makeshift barracks and storage, hastily discarded uniforms were piled in the bathroom and books on Islamic and Greek history and fake pink flowers were scattered on the floor.
Saif Sadawi, a 20-year-old rebel fighter with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in his hands, said the city’s eastern gate fell late Friday and the western gate fell at dawn Saturday after airstrikes on both locations.
“All of Ajdabiya is free,” he said.
Rebels swept into the city and hauled away a captured rocket launcher and a dozen boxes of anti-aircraft ammunition, adding to their limited firepower. Later in the day, other rebels drove around and around a traffic circle, jubilantly firing an assortment of weapons in the air — anti-aircraft weapons, AK-47s, RPGs.
Outside the city, Muftah el-Zewi was driving away, his back seat loaded with plastic bags filled with blankets and clothes that he picked up after going to his home in Ajdabiya for the first time in days.
“We went and checked it out, drove around the neighborhood and it looked OK. Hopefully we’ll come back to stay tomorrow,” he said.
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The turnaround is a boost for Obama, who has faced complaints from lawmakers from both parties that he has not sought their input about the U.S. role in the conflict or explained with enough clarity about the American goals and exit strategy. Obama was expected to give a speech to the nation Monday.
“We’re succeeding in our mission,” Obama said in a radio and Internet address. “So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians — innocent men, women and children — have been saved.”
The U.N. Security Council authorized the operation to protect Libyan civilians after Gadhafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who demanded that he step down after 42 years in power. The airstrikes have crippled Gadhafi’s forces, but rebel advances have also foundered, and the two sides have been at stalemate in key cities.
Ajdabiya, the gateway to the opposition’s eastern stronghold, and the western city of Misrata have suffered under sieges of more than a week because the rebels lack the heavy weapons to push out Gadhafi’s troops. Residents lack electricity, phone lines and water.
A doctor in Misrata said airstrikes there on Saturday put an end to two days of shelling and sniper fire from Gadhafi’s forces. The city was quiet Saturday afternoon, said the doctor, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety if the city should fall. For now, he said, rebels control the city center, just as they have throughout in Ajdabiya.

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A resident of Zwara, a former rebel stronghold in the west, said the regime has the town firmly in its grip again. He said pro-Gadhafi forces are dragging away people there and in the town of Zawiya who participated in protests that began Feb. 15.
“They have lists of demonstrators and videos and so on and they are seeking them out. We are all staying home and waiting for this to be over,” said the resident, who did not want to be named because he feared for his safety if discovered. He said a friend who helped coordinate checkpoints when the opposition held the city was taken away Friday.
“They came with four or five cars with four people in each one, all of them armed to the teeth with Kalashnikovs. They surrounded the house and took him out,” he said, adding that the whole thing was seen by a common friend.
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He said neighbors now fear each other.
“During the demonstrations, many people contributed to the community, doing anything they could. This shows that the regime has collaborators to give them names. It’s a Big Brother type of show, so they can come in and take whomever they want.”
The government’s grip has even tightened in Tripoli, its seat of power, where almost nightly airstrikes have hammered military bases, missile storage and even Gadhafi’s residential compound.
Rahma, a Libyan-American in the capital, said only about one in 20 stores was open and food supplies were dwindling by the day.
“My own family, we’ve just been staying inside, but we had a friend who went to Friday prayers and they could see people ready to shoot them hiding behind the bushes,” she said. She did not want her surname used, for fear of retaliation. “This is at every mosque, so if they start to protest, they’ll get shot right away.”


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