Puppet MastersS

Vader

Qaddafi Strikes Back as Rebels Close In on Libyan Capital

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© Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Benghazi, Libya - Thousands of mercenary and other forces struck back at a tightening circle of rebellions around the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday, trying to fend off an uprising against the 40-year rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who blamed the revolt on "hallucinogenic" drugs and Osama bin Laden.

The bloodiest fighting centered on Zawiya, a gateway city to the capital, just 30 miles west of Tripoli. Early Thursday, Colonel Qaddafi's forces arrived and unleashed an assault using automatic weapons and an anti-aircraft gun on a mosque occupied by rebels armed with hunting rifles, Libyans who had fled the country said.

An exiled Libyan who had been in contact with members of the opposition in Zawiya said the battle lasted four hours and had killed at least 100.

Star of David

Hillary Clinton: Israeli Settlements 'Illegitimate'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Israeli settlements "illegitimate" shortly before the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning continued Israeli settlement expansion as illegal.


In an exclusive interview with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour taped on Friday afternoon, Clinton said, "I think it is absolutely clear to say, number one, that it's been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two-state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians."

The U.N. resolution failed as a result of the United States' veto. The Security Council vote was 14 countries in favor of the resolution and one country, the United States, opposed. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that the resolution risked harming the peace process.

Star of David

Best of the Web: Who is the Superpower, America or Israel?


Comment: The following article, by Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann, gives one of the most clear and straightforward explanations of the real source of the Middle East problem that you're likely to find.


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The Palestinian West Bank (surrounded by an Israeli wall) with illegal Israeli settlement areas in purple.
On February 18, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. The vote raises a question: Who dominates in the alliance between America and Israel?

Judging from the extent to which one partner defies the will of the other, decade after decade, the world's only superpower is the weaker partner. When push comes to shove, American presidents tend to bow to Israeli wishes. Barack Obama is no exception, or he would not have instructed his ambassador at the United Nations to vote against a policy he himself stated clearly in the summer of 2009.
"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop," he said in a much-lauded speech in Cairo.
Compare this with the text of the resolution that drew 14 votes in favor and died with the U.S. veto: "Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."

Linguists may quibble over the difference between "illegal" and "illegitimate" but the substance of the two statements is pretty much the same. So why the veto? It followed an energetic campaign by the Israeli government and its allies in the United States to keep the issue out of the United Nations, seen by Israel as a reflexively anti-Israeli body.

Binoculars

Gaddafi's son denies bombing civilians

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© UnknownSaif al-Islam, the son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi
The son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi has denied the air force having attacked pro-democracy protesters, claiming the aim of reported air raids as targeting ammunitions depots.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said that no one had been injured in the air attacks, Libyan state radio reported late Wednesday.

Witnesses, however, said that fighter aircraft opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the second largest city of Benghazi.

According to the Libyan newspaper Qurina, a pilot who had been ordered to bomb oil fields southwest of Benghazi refused to do so and instead ejected from the plane.

USA

Hypocrite Obama: Libya bloodshed outrageous

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© UnknownUS President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama has condemned the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Libya, saying the perpetrators should be held accountable.

Obama said the recent clampdown by Muammar Gaddafi's regime is "outrageous and unacceptable" and must stop, AFP reported on Wednesday.

"Like all governments, the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need and to respect the rights of its people," Obama said.

The US president also slammed the Libyan government's threats and orders of punishing and shooting the protesters and said these actions "violate international norms and every standard of common decency."

Stop

Gaddafi - Out of control raving lunatic: 130 Libyan soldiers executed for mutiny

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© UnknownLibyan army soldiers and other protesters standing on an army van chant slogans in Tobruk, Feb 23.
Scores of Libyan soldiers have been executed for refusing to open fire on pro-democracy protesters, International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR) says.

An amateur video shows the bodies of some 130 slain soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs. The mutinous soldiers were shot dead in al-Baida near the eastern city of Benghazi.

This comes amid more reports of defiance among army ranks and soldiers who have refused to obey orders by embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi to shoot peaceful protesters.

The IFHR said the brutal crackdown on protesters in Libya is "crime against humanity has to be referred to the International Court of Justice," dpa reported on Wednesday.

Bad Guys

CIA Agent Caught Red-Handed Aiding Pakistani Terrorism?

Raymond Davis
© AFP
CNN notes:
News that the American accused of killing two Pakistani men is a CIA contractor has intensified an already highly charged situation in Pakistan.

"Raymond Davis is a CIA Guy," read the headline in the Daily Times newspaper Tuesday.

Davis was jailed January 27 after fatally shooting two men who pulled up to him on a motorcycle in a bustling Lahore neighborhood.

The 36-year-old Davis is a former member of the U.S. Army special forces and had been employed by security firm XE Services, previously known as Blackwater.

Davis began working for the CIA nearly four years ago. He was assigned to Pakistan in late 2009. He was living with other security personnel at a safehouse in Lahore before the shooting incident.

On Monday, a U.S. government official also said that Davis was a CIA contractor providing security for CIA officers.

Briefcase

Justice drops defense of Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz

Donald Rumsfeld
© APJustice has dropped its representation of Donald Rumsfeld in a suit by an Al Qaeda operative


The Justice Department under President Barack Obama has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials - including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aide Paul Wolfowitz - in a lawsuit by Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla, who spent years behind bars without charges in conditions his lawyers compare to torture.

Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that the government has agreed to retain private lawyers for the officials, at a cost of up to $200 per hour. Miller said "conflicts concerns" prompted the decision. He did not elaborate.

One private attorney involved in the case, who asked not to be named, said the Obama administration apparently concluded "its duty to represent the defendants zealously, which includes the duty to argue any and all defenses, can't be discharged for reasons of policy and other government interests."

Vader

Libya Soldiers Killed for Not Killing Their Own, Hands Tied Behind Their Backs, Shot in the Head

Stop the Genocide happening in Libya


Stormtrooper

Canada, U.S. agree to use each other's troops in civil emergencies

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© Unknown

Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.