Saturday, March 12, 2011

Libya: The west can't let Gaddafi destroy his people

The millions who began this revolution won't be much impressed by a democracy defined only by inertia

The Observer, Sunday 13 March 2011

".....But the truth, since this Libyan phase of freedom's Middle East crisis began, is that there's no point in ruling anything out as Gaddafi's generals and their ground forces take stock. All they have to realise is that, in the end, they can't win – can't be allowed to recapture Benghazi, can't be allowed to carry on killing, can't be permitted to sell their oil or replenish their arsenals. In short, that they are doomed to lose (and see their leader carried off to face international criminal trial). Constructive ambivalence plus implacable resolve.

Instead, alas, we've only been offered the precise reverse.....

....And the Arab street, from Tunis to Cairo to Bahrain, is more than smart enough to discern the reality here. This is a regional uprising of young people seeking freedom, remember? Do you recall all the power of the tweet, as lauded only a fortnight ago?

The millions who began this revolution won't be much impressed by a democracy defined only by inertia. They won't thank the west – or China, India, Russia, the African Union – for letting this Arab spring die in a field of flowery promises. They won't buy the kind of freedom that sells them out at first test. Tripoli isn't Kabul or Baghdad. Libya – in population, terrain and tribal divisions – makes quite different solutions possible.

But the only response that matters now is a common position which brooks no more argument: not to say in divisive detail what may or may not happen just down the road, but to pledge, with the honest passion we affect to feel that, whether repulsed in time or not, this particular tyranny will not be allowed to stand. Libya is part of freedom's future: it must not be buried by a quavering past."

Three questions for Marwan Bishara

As NATO monitors the situation in Libya, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst examines what is at stake.

Marwan Bishara

"NATO defence ministers met on Thursday but did not reach a clear position on Libya. You spoke to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary-general of the alliance, what is the mood like?

The secretary-general has gone out of his way to be cautious and uncommitted. NATO is divided among the likes of the UK, which seeks immediate action, and the likes of Italy, which is hesitant about any NATO involvement that might further complicate its relationship with Libya. There are also divisions between, for example, Turkey and the US over the nature and aims of any NATO role......

Will a NATO imposed NFZ lead to a blowback?

There are certainly risks to any long-term expansive military campaign conducted against an Arab country by NATO, which lost its credibility in Arab eyes after its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Western powers reckon they are in a 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' position.....

Does that explain NATO's hesitation?

Yes to a large degree. NATO powers are worried that any serious military involvement could end up with a blowback against the West.

They also do not see eye-to-eye on the scale and risks of a NFZ and have different national priorities regarding Libya, as well as contrasting views regarding using force in the Arab region.

The Americans have spoken loosely about a NFZ, which according to Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, is a complicated military campaign that will involve sustained bombardments of air defence and communications command - all of which involves serious risks and possible military escalation. And Gates is not alone in his concerns....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Analysis: Arab League backs no-fly zone in Libya

Vultures in Waiting, by Carlos Latuff

(Courtesy of

Yemen police storm protest site

At least three people killed and more than 300 injured as security forces disperse pro-democracy protesters.


"At least two people have been killed and more than 300 injured after Yemen security forces stormed a protest site where thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have been camped out for weeks, demanding the ouster of the country's leader.

In a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, police are said to have used tear gas and hot water mixed with gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, a teenage boy was killed in separate clashes between security forces and protesters in the city of Mukala.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the capital Sanaa, said that the situation remains tense, and that the opposition is accusing the government of committing crimes against the protesters.

"They also say the raid will speed up the revolution, and that president Ali Abdullah Saleh must go now before [he] faces the wrath of the people," he said.

Also on Saturday, at least three students were injured when security forces opened fire at protesters in the city of Taiz, where residents had gathered to demand that Saleh be put on trial....."

Yemen police kill protesters in crackdown on dissent

Four dead and hundreds wounded in Sana'a and Aden as William Hague expresses concern over ongoing violence

Alan Evans and agencies, Saturday 12 March 2011

"Yemeni security forces have killed four people and wounded hundreds more in the second day of a harsh crackdown on anti-government protests, witnesses said. One of the dead was a 15-year-old student.

The assault with gunfire and tear gas was the toughest yet by the government in a month of protests aimed at unseating the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years....

The violence began with a pre-dawn raid on a central square in the capital, Sana'a, where thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been camped out.

Eyewitnesses said security troops surrounded the square with police cars and armoured personnel carriers shortly after midnight and began calling on protesters through loudspeakers to go home. At 5am, security forces attacked, firing bullets and tear gas....

Saturday's raid on the Sana'a square came after Yemen's largest demonstrations in a month the day before were met by police gunfire that injured at least six protesters....."

Killing the Messenger: Al Jazeera staffer killed in Libya

Cameraman Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to eastern city of Benghazi from filing report when he was shot and killed.

"An Al Jazeera cameraman has been killed in what appears to have been an ambush near the rebel-held city of Benghazi in eastern Libya.

Ali Hassan Al Jaber was returning to Benghazi from a nearby town after filing a report from an opposition protest when unknown fighters opened fire on a car he and his colleagues were travelling in. Two people including Al Jaber were shot. Al Jaber was rushed to hospital, but did not survive.

Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley, reporting from Benghazi, said Al Jaber was hit by three shots and was wounded through the heart.

"This is an extension of the campaign against Al Jazeera, and Al Jazeera Arabic particularly - because everyone here watch Al Jazeera Arabic. Their work has been heroic, and it has been a great shock to lose a colleague."

'Cowardly crime'

Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of Al Jazeera, said the network "will not remain silent" and will pursue those behind the ambush through legal channels. He said that the killing came after "an unprecedented campaign" against the network by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

"Al Jazeera condemns the cowardly crime, which comes as part of the Libyan regime's malicious campaign targeting Al Jazeera and its staff," the network said in a statement.

"Al Jazeera reiterates the assault cannot dent its resolve to continue its mission, professionally enlightening the public of the unfolding events in Libya and elsewhere [does that include Saudi Arabia? Yemen? Bahrain? Oman?....]...."

Al-Jazeera Video: Libya revolt: Tobruk

"Libyan troops forced rebels to retreat overnight from the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf, pushing the front line eastwards, and the rebel council's chief said more volunteers were ready to fight.

The front line now stands between the rebel-held town of Uqaylah and Ras Lanuf, where oil storage tanks were hit during Friday's fighting. Rebels blamed an air strike but the government denied hitting the oil plant.

Al Jazeera's Nick Clark has the latest from the town of Tobruk, in Libya's east."

Al-Jazeera Video: Empire - Right to intervene?


"As Muammar Gaddafi strikes to crush rebel forces in Libya, Empire looks at the case for and against intervention."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Gaddafi: Losing the battle for Arab opinion

"The foreign ministers of the six Arab Gulf states met on Thursday in the Saudi capital Riyadh to discuss the ongoing crisis in Libya. They say that the existing Libyan regime is illegitimate and contact should be initiated with the Libyan rebels' national council. The foreign ministers have also urged the Arab League to take the necessary measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya. The Arab Gulf Council countries have already backed a no fly zone over Libya earlier this week. So has Muammar Gaddafi lost another diplomatic battle?"

Real News Video: Would Libya No-Fly Zone Be Legitimate?

Hamid Dabashi: People should give unconditional support to the Libyan people's revolution, but oppose any foreign intervention

Real News Video: Benghazi Rally Wants No-Fly Zone, But No Foreign Troops

Jihan Hafiz reports on mass rally in Benghazi, Libya

More at The Real News

Arab Spring, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Yemen: Police Fail to Stop Attacks on Protesters

Pro-Government Assailants Injure Dozens in Ibb as Security Forces Abandon Posts

Human Rights Watch
March 11, 2011

"(Sanaa) -Yemeni authorities should take immediate steps to ensure that security forces prevent assaults against anti-government protesters and arrest those responsible, Human Rights Watch said today. In city after city in Yemen, security forces have stood by or fled, and failed to protect people exercising their right to peaceful assembly. In some cases it appeared that too few police were deployed to halt the attacks.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that on March 6, 2011, in the south-central city of Ibb, about100 men armed mostly with rocks, sticks, and glass bottles attacked hundreds of demonstrators calling for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounding dozens. Some security staff abandoned their posts. Others who struggled to stop the violence were overrun by the assailants and allowed the attackers to leave the scene after the two-hour rampage without apprehending them. President Saleh said on February 23 that security forces would protect demonstrators from such attacks.

"Three weeks after President Saleh promised to protect demonstrators, pro-government gangs are still viciously assaulting protesters while the security forces largely stand by and watch," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch......"

Gaza: Investigate Torture of Protest Organizer

Hamas Should End Attacks on Demonstrators Calling for Palestinian Unity

Human Rights Watch
March 11, 2011

"(Jerusalem) - Hamas authorities in Gaza should investigate claims that security officials tortured a blogger and activist and prosecute any officials responsible, Human Rights Watch said today. The blogger had called for demonstrations in favor of ending the split between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that Hamas police and plainclothes security officials prevented a demonstration at the Unknown Soldier square in Gaza City on February 28, 2011, without giving any reason, and detained and tortured one of the organizers, Ahmad Arar. Arar, 31, gave Human Rights Watch a detailed account of the abuse he said he suffered, an attempt, he said, to make him confess to being a Palestinian Authority agent. Since late February, Hamas internal security officials have threatened, confiscated equipment from, and repeatedly questioned young activists trying to organize similar protests for March 15, the activists said......"

Palestinians understand Gaddafi better than we do

(UNRWA school in Gaza deliberately shelled by Israel, with white phosphorus shells, in the bloodbath of 2008-2009)


By Robert Fisk

"...."You know we've 30,000 people there, Robert? Gaddafi flung them out more than 10 years ago. Most of them are from Gaza. They went there and the Egyptians wouldn't let them cross and the Israelis wouldn't let them home, and so they came back and now they stay in Libya and hope for the best from this guy!"

Poor old Palestinians. I should have guessed something was up in Jerusalem last year when an Israeli journalist asked me about the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the agency that has been caring for Palestinian refugees for 60 years. "I'm sure," he announced to me, "that they have some connection with terrorism, that they play a role in keeping terrorism going. What are they really doing in Lebanon?" At the time, I thought this all a bit odd. If any UN institution does its job well, it is UNRWA, arranging for the food, education, healthcare and other needs of millions of Palestinians who lost – or whose parents or grandparents lost – their homes in 1948 and 1949 in what is now Israel.

A visit to the filth of the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut, or to Ein el-Helweh in Sidon, is enough to teach anyone that amid this swamp of misery and hopelessness, UNRWA represents the world's only collective sympathy, underfunded, short-staffed, poor though it is. Yet now, the whole organisation is being singled out by a right-wing Israel and its so-called (and self-proclaiming) supporters as purveyors of darkness, "de-legitimisers", a network of support for Palestinians which must be destroyed lest the poorest of the poor – including those in the misery of Gaza – become addicted to their social services. UNRWA – I find it hard to believe this is a real quotation from a research fellow at a major US university, but it is – has "created a breeding ground for international terrorism".

I suppose we might as well laugh as cry, but this comes from a cruel – indeed vicious – article that appeared in the American Commentary magazine a few weeks ago, written by one Michael Bernstam, a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. I single it out not because it is atypical, but because it represents a growing and quite ruthless trend in right-wing Israeli thinking, the kind of self-delusional brutality that is supposed to persuade us that the destiny of the poorest of the Palestinian poor is the destruction of their camps. In his article, Bernstam actually claims that "for 60 years, UNRWA has been paying four generations of Palestinians to remain refugees, reproduce refugees and live in refugee camps", where it is, "in effect, underwriting a self-destructive Palestinian cycle of violence, internecine bloodshed and a perpetual war against Israel". Get the point? The UN is now the fount of all terror.

There was a time when this kind of drivel would be ignored but it is now part of an increasingly dangerous narrative in which charity is turned into evil, in which the one institution supplying help to perhaps 95 per cent of almost five million Palestinian refugees is to become a target. And since UNRWA in Gaza did appear to become a target in the 2008-9 bloodbath, this is pretty frightening stuff.

But hold on. It goes further. "UNRWA's mandate created ... a permanent supranational welfare state in which simply placing most Palestinians on the international dole has extinguished incentives for work and investment ... and created a breeding ground for international terrorism. It is this open-ended refugee status that puts bread on the table in the rent-free house, together with an array of rent-free services." This allows the Palestinians – mark these words – a "permanent refugee ... war as it is fuelled by a particular 'right of return' claim – the argument that the Palestinians should be given title to the land they occupied before Israel's independence".

Note that word "occupied". Far from owning the land, they "occupied" it! They had a "particular" "right of return" claim. And – wait for the next bit: "The claim of the Palestinian right of return is intended for one historical ethnic diaspora of the descendants of perennial refugees to repopulate another people's nation-state, Israel. This is not the right of return to a country; this is the right of return of a country, a reconquest after a lost war, a claim of the right of retake."

And so it goes on and on and on ... UNRWA should be abolished, which "would signal the end of the world body's support for the continuance of the Palestinian's agony ... Israel is obviously unsuitable as a country of resettlement because integration there is not feasible ... Instead of perpetuating the dead end that the international welfare state for the Palestinians represents, ending UNRWA's horrific six-decade reign would instantly create the conditions for an honest, meaningful and viable peace process to begin in the Middle East".

There you have it. Mr Bernstam should meet Mr Gaddafi. They have a lot in common. Total contempt for the Palestinians. Total abuse for a people who have lost their future and their lives. Total abuse for anyone but their own tribe. Wasn't it Gaddafi who invented the word "Israeltine"?"

تفرقة 'اعلامية' بين الثورات



تفرقة 'اعلامية' بين الثورات
عبد الباري عطوان

"سألت الصحافية البريطانية سو اللويد روبرت التي تعمل في محطة تلفزيون 'بي. بي. سي' مسؤولاً سعودياً كبيراً في السفارة السعودية في لندن عما اذا كانت بلاده ستشهد مظاهرات مثل بقية الدول العربية الاخرى. فأجاب بانه لا يستبعد ذلك ولكنه لا يتوقع ان يكون لها اي تأثير، وعندما استفسرت عن اسباب اطمئنــانه الملحوظ والراسخ، قال لها وابتسامة عريضة على وجهه: السبب بسيط وهو انه لن تجرؤ اي قناة عربية او اجنبية على تغطيتها وبث وقائعها مثلما حدث في مصر وتونس ويحدث حالياً في ليبيا.
تذكرت كلام هذا المسؤول السعودي يوم امس، وانا اقلب معظم المحطات التلفزيونية بحثاً عن تقرير او خبر عن مظاهرات احتجاج دعت اليها جهات سعودية معارضة للنظام، او حتى الاستعدادات الامنية المكثفة للتصدي لها في حال قيامها، ولكن دون جدوى، كل ما عثرت عليه هو اخبار مقتضبة جداً، وغير مصورة، عن مظاهرات وقعت في المنطقة الشرقية حيث تتركز الاقلية الشيعية، واصابة ثلاثة اشخاص بجروح نتيجة اطلاق رجال الامن النار على المتظاهرين.
الصحافية البريطانية المذكورة حصلت على تأشيرة دخول الى المملكة لاجراء سلسلة من التحقيقات عن المرأة السعودية، وبعد انتظار دام اكثر من ستة اشهر، وعندما علمت بانباء مظاهرات الهفوف والقطيف في منطقة الاحساء ذهبت الى هناك وصورت هذه المظاهرات، ولكنها فرحة لم تكتمل، فقد هاجمتها مجموعة من رجال الامن وصادرت جميع الافلام، واقتادتها وزميلها المصور رهن الاعتقال الى مدينة الرياض حيث جرى تسفيرهما على أول طائرة مغادرة الى لندن.
هذه الواقعة تؤكد ان هناك 'تفرقة سياسية' في تغطية الثورات في الوطن العربي تمارسها بعض محطات التلفزة العربية والامر هنا يتوقف على اعتبارات عديدة، بعضها يعود الى عامل النفط، والبعض الآخر 'جغرافي'، وثالث له علاقة بامريكا، ورابع 'طائفي' واحيانا يتداخل اكثر من عامل في هذه المسألة.
بمعنى آخر هناك 'ثورات حميدة' واخرى 'خبيثة' في نظر الفضائيات العربية والاجنبية، الاولى تتطلب الدعم المفتوح على الاصعدة كافة، والثانية يجب ان يتم التعتيم عليها، وتطويق فعالياتها، والامتناع عن تقديم اي دعم اعلامي او سياسي لها بكل الطرق والوسائل.
المتظاهرون في البحرين يشتكون مر الشكوى من اهمال الفضائيات العربية لهم، ويقولون انهم يثورون للاسباب نفسها التي ثارت من اجلها الجماهير المصرية والتونسية والليبية. ويتمسكون بالطابع السلمي والحضاري لاحتجاجاتهم، ويطالبون بالاصلاح السياسي. وليس تغيير الحكم، ومع ذلك يواجهون بالاهمال واللامبالاة، واذا حصل خروج عن هذا الوضع، فعلى استحياء شديد.
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الاشقاء في اليمن يولولون، ويقولون انه اذا كانت ضخامة اعداد المتظاهرين هي التي تغري الفضائيات لتكثيف تغطياتها للثورات، فان الملايين يتظاهرون في صنعاء وعدن، واذا كانت المسألة تتعلق بسيل الدماء، فدماء اليمنيين المحتجين تسيل يومياً، ولا احد يهتم، ويتساءلون عما اذا كان الدم اليمني رخيصاً الى هذه الدرجة في اعين اشقائهم العرب؟
ولعل اغرب الانتقادات جاءت من سلطنة عمان، حيث شهدت البلاد سلسلة من المظاهرات الشبابية المطالبة بالاصلاح، مرفوقة بالكثير من العتب بل والغضب، من تجاهل الفضائيات، والاعلام العربي عامة لمثل هذه المطالب، ويصرخون قائلين بانه اذا كان النفط هو عامل الاهتمام فنحن لدينا شيء منه، واذا كان الفقر والبطالة عاملاً آخر فلدينا منهما الكثير ايضا.
المسألة محيرة فعلا، فنحن امام اهتمام عربي وعالمي غير مسبوق بما يجري في ليبيا، قمة اوروبية تعقد، ويسبقها اجتماع لوزراء خارجية حلف الناتو، واليوم ستشهد جامعة الدول العربية في القاهرة اجتماعا لوزراء الخارجية العرب للمطالبة، من دول الخليج والاردن خاصة، بدعم اي توجه لاقامة مناطق حظر جوي فوق ليبيا، بل والتدخل العسكري الكامل اذا تطلب الامر ذلك، بينما لم نر مثل هذا التحرك عندما كانت قوات الامن المصرية تقتل المحتجين بدم بارد وهم المدنيون العزل، ونظيرتها التونسية تفعل الشيء نفسه.
في ليبيا فساد وديكتاتورية قمعية شرسة، وحاكم اطلق العنان لابنائه وافراد اسرته لتحويل البلاد الى مزرعة خاصة بهم يتصرفون بثرواتها وملياراتها كيفما يشاؤون، ولكن هناك فساداً وبطالة وديكتاتورية اكبر في المملكة العربية السعودية واليمن والعراق، وهي دول شهدت وستشهد مظاهرات احتجاجية، فلماذا الاهتمام بثوراتها يتراجع الى الحدود الدنيا سياسيا واعلاميا؟
فاذا كانت ليبيا مهمة بالنسبة الى الغرب لانتاجها مليوناً ونصف مليون برميل من النفط يوميا معظمه من النوع الخفيف الجيد القريب من الاسواق الاوروبية، فان اليمن فيه ما هو اهم من النفط بالنسبة الى العالم الغربي، ونقصد بذلك تواجد تنظيم 'القاعدة' على ارضه، بحيث بات اليمن الفرع القيادي للتنظيم.
الامر المؤكد ان عمليات التعتيم على هذه الثورات الشعبية اليتيمة لن تعطي ثمارها في حجب الحقائق، والحيلولة دون تحقيق جل اهدافها.
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نحمد الله ان الثورة المصرية انتصرت، وان عجلة التغيير الديمقراطي تسير فيها بسرعة متصاعدة، وهذا الانتصار سيصب حتما في مصلحة الثورات العربية الاخرى، سواء التي انفجرت فعلا او التي ما زالت تنتظر، ومصر هي نقطة الارتكاز، وهي القاطرة التي ستقود المنطقة الى بر الامان.
الصحوة العربية التي انطلقت من مدينة بوزيد التونسية ووصلت شرارتها الى دول عديدة، تواجه حاليا بصحوة امريكية مضادة، بهدف حرف هذه الثورات عن اهدافها، ومحاولة تدجينها، وهذا ما يفسر الجولة الحالية للسيدة هيلاري كلينتون وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية في المنطقة التي ستبدأ من تونس مرورا ببنغازي وانتهاءً بالقاهرة.
الادارة الامريكية فوجئت بالثورات العربية، وهذا ما يفسر ارتباكها في بادئ الامر، الآن تريد ان تعوض ما فاتها، وتحاول ركوب موجة هذه الثورات، او ما لم ينتصر منها، وتوظيفها في خدمة السياسات الامريكية الداعمة لاسرائيل والمصرة على استمرار تدفق النفط العربي رخيصا الى الغرب.
صحيح انه لا بواكي على شهداء ثورات 'اليتم الاعلامي' في البحرين وسلطنة عمان واليمن والعراق، ولكن الصحيح ايضا، ان عجلة التغيير انطلقت، وارادة الشباب اقوى من ان تتوقف في منتصف الطريق، حتى تحقيق كل مطالبها العادلة.

Only some revolutions will be televised


By Jody McIntyre
The Independent

"Another ‘million person march’ happened in an Arab state earlier this week. Headline news, you might think. At least on Al Jazeera? Whilst the media continue to focus exclusively on events in Libya, the huge march in the south of Yemen was ignored.

The Qatari-based news channel has played an intriguing role throughout the recent wave of revolutions across northern Africa and western Asia. By “choosing” one uprising at a time to focus on, it has led the gaze of the public, begging the question, would a revolution on the Egyptian model have ever succeeded without the media attention Al Jazeera provides?

On the other side of the coin, these new media sources, and the Internet in particular, have allowed us to follow these uprisings in a way that would never have been possible in the past. The BBC no longer can no longer monopolise our opinions; the corporate media no longer have complete control over which information we do and do not recieve. By viewing Twitter feeds which are updated on a minute-by-minute basis, we are seeing events as they happen, not as they are reported.....

What will be most interesting is how events develop from here. It clear that Western governments have begun to appreciate the ferocity and speed of the domino effect Tunisia initiated, with the French government attempting to cover up its long-time support of Ben Ali by recognising the opposition in Benghazi, the US government asking it’s human-rights-loving Saudi allies to arm the Libyan opposition, and David Cameron travelling to Cairo accompanied by BAE Systems representatives, desperately looking for another puppet leader to sell weapons to. The co-opting process is in full-swing.

Saleh’s speeches whilst his people are up in arms serve a similar purpose. They are an attempt to divide the opposition, and to weaken the revolution. A million people in the streets of Yemen suggests the plan is failing."

Whose Air Force? By Chris Riddel

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

The China Syndrome in Japan? Japan fears nuclear plant meltdown

Blast reported at nuclear plant amid worries that quake-hit reactor can no longer cool radioactive substances.


"Radiation has leaked from an Japanese nuclear reactor and authorities say there is a possibility of a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant about 250km north of Tokyo.

The cooling system of the plant was damaged in the massive earthquake that struck northeastern Japan and triggered a tsunami, killing hundreds of people.

An explosion at the nuclear facility tore down the walls of one building on Saturday as smoke poured out. It was not clear if the damaged building housed the No. 1 reactor which officials fear could melt down.

"We are now trying to analyse what is behind the explosion," Yukio Edano, a government spokesman, said. "We ask everyone to take action to secure safety."

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, said four workers were injured....."

Friday, March 11, 2011

ثورة الشعب في ليبيا .. اليوم الـ 23 .. د. عزمي بشاره

Mid East battle of the sociologists

A new phalanx of anthropologist-warriors are being recruited, carrying "cultural scripts" to battle.

Mark LeVine


"I received an email from BAE Systems the other day. According to the company's website, BAE is the largest military contractor on earth, with 100,000 employees globally "engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence, security and aerospace systems in the air, on land and at sea."......

And besides, the email featured a nice photo of several Middle Eastern-looking women in hijab smiling and interacting with what appears to be an American or European woman, presumably a "sociologist".

She's not wearing a hijab, but she is wearing a keffiyeh-type scarf around her shoulders (I guess this means she's gone "native" and has developed a profound connection with her subjects).

Who knew BAE would be so interested in global feminist solidarity?

Academics in the kill chain

Well, I quickly understood, the company is in fact interested in no such thing. Instead, printed over the photograph in block lettering is the phrase "Human Terrain Systems" (HTS). I almost spilled my coffee.

I had assumed that the Human Terrain System was retired along with president Bush and the neocons who spent much of the 2000s trying to militarise academia in the service of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the email informed me otherwise. Instead, like so much of Bush administration policy towards the Middle East, the HTS program is clearly continuing under his successor.

Originally conceived in the mid-2000s as the Iraqi insurgency gained strength and the US was making little headway in Afghanistan, the "Human Terrain Systems" program brought anthropologists and other scholars or so-called experts into the military "kill chain" to advise field commanders on how better to interact with the local populations in the territories under occupation......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Libyan rebel talks to Al Jazeera

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaddafi pushes back against rebels

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaddafi forces mount onslaught

The birth of Islamic modernity

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"....Ten years later, one may finally say that Kepel’s analysis was spot on. Hardcore Islamism, al-Qaeda-style, is a Muslim box-office disaster. For all its myriad declinations - in Iraq, in the Maghreb, in the Arabian Peninsula - al-Qaeda is no more than a desperate sect, destined to the dustbin of history as much as those Western-backed dictators a la toppled Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak who used to be the pillars of the Western struggle against radical Islam.

Kepel today directs the program of studies on the Mediterranean and the Middle East at the legendary Political Sciences school in Paris. In an article for Italian daily La Repubblica, he seals for good the victory of Islam as democracy over Islam as "revolutionary" vanguard. The money quote:

"Today the Arab peoples have emerged from that dilemma - squeezed between Ben Ali or bin Laden. They have now re-entered a universal history that has seen the fall of dictatorships in Latin America, the communist regimes in Eastern Europe, and also the military regimes in non-Arab Muslim countries such as Indonesia and Turkey."

The local meets the universal

And this is the crucial point; Arab peoples are now starting to build their own, hesitant, modernity.......

The problem is that the diversity of methods employed by tyrants to smash these revolutions is being misread by hagiographers of empire - so they can better legitimize the aura of selected repressive "good guys". Thus we have Pentagon-linked Robert D Kaplan trying to con public opinion into believing there are enlightened despots (the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, both King Abdullahs, in Saudi Arabia and Jordan) as opposed to unredeemable evil dictators (Muammar Gaddafi).....

It’s a long and treacherous road - with so many Gaddafis and al-Khalifas and Abdullahs that must be chased away. The Arab world has been traumatized for too long - almost a century since colonial powers Britain and France betrayed the Arab nation and carved up its land. The real test of the West's self-appointed "civilizing mission" is now; to welcome, and to help, with all its heart, the Arab world to the realm of modernity. "

Real News Video: Gaddafi Launches All-Out Assault on Ras Lanuf

Rebels call for a no-fly zone but do not want other foreign intervention

More at The Real News

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll asks:

Will the protests in Iraq end political sectarianism?

With over 2,500 responding so far, 46% said no.

Yemen: Investigate Killing of Protesters

Soldiers Allegedly Shoot Dead 2 During Peaceful March

March 10, 2011

"(Sanaa) - The Yemeni authorities should immediately investigate the apparent killing of two protesters by soldiers during a peaceful protest on March 4, 2011, near the town of Harf Sufyan, Human Rights Watch said today. Three protesters told Human Rights Watch that soldiers at a military post shot and killed the men as thousands of anti-government protesters marched toward the town.

Yemen's Defense Ministry claimed that no march took place and that rebels from northern Yemen known as Huthis attacked the military post and wounded four soldiers. Over the past seven years, the Huthis - a Zaidi Shia revivalist movement - have battled the military. The Huthis have strong support among the population in the town of Harf Sufyan and the surrounding district of the same name.

"We have credible allegations that thousands of peaceful protesters faced live fire by Yemen's military outside Harf Sufyan and that two unarmed civilians paid with their lives," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Simply dismissing these reports as Huthi rebel propaganda is not good enough, and authorities should immediately investigate what happened there on March 4."....."

King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism

By Robert Fisk

"In what world do these people live? True, there'll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won't even be a backhander – or will there? – which is the Saudi way of doing business. But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter "terrorism", and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from – er – Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?.......

The sad, awful truth is that we fete these people, we fawn on them, we supply them with fighter jets, whisky and whores. No, of course, there will be no visas for this reporter because Saudi Arabia is no democracy. Yet how many times have we been encouraged to think otherwise about a state that will not even allow its women to drive? Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, was telling us again yesterday that we should work more closely with the Saudis, because we "share values" with them. And what values precisely would they be, I might ask?.....

Prince Bandar, formerly Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington, once characterised his country's religion as part of a "timeless culture" while a former British ambassador advised Westerners in Saudi Arabia to " adapt" and "to act with the grain of Saudi traditions and culture".

Amnesty International has appealed for hundreds of men – and occasionally women – to be spared the Saudi executioner's blade. They have all been beheaded, often after torture and grossly unfair trials. Women are shot......"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ثورة الشعب في ليبيا .. اليوم الـ 22 .. د. عزمي بشاره

Part 1:

Part 2:

الآفاق المرعبة والمذهلة للثورة العربية


يجب أن نقول الثورة العربية بالمفرد وليس الثورات العربية، وذلك لأن أسبابها واحدة وأهدافها واحدة ووسائلها واحدة، وحتى طبيعتها واحدة.. وأمام هذه القواسم المشتركة، لا أهمية لأي فوارق طفيفة
من يفقدون السلطة لا يتبخرون ولا يذوبون كالسكر في الماء، وإنما يتراجعون خلف الستار للتآمر على قلب النظام الذي انقلب عليهم، وإن عجزوا عن الأمر بذلوا كل ما في وسعهم لعرقلة المسار الثوري وتشويهه
نظرا لموازين القوى اختار الإنسان العربي أن يسكت دهرا مستبطنا ومفكرا ومقيّما لحظة الانقضاض على جلاديه، وكان الأغبياء يأخذون طول ترقبه لهم على أنه استكانة نهائية واستسلام شامل
صحيح أننا معرضون لأخطار الفوضى والثورة المضادة وعودة الاستبداد مرة أخرى, لكن صحيحٌ أيضا أننا اليوم قاب قوسين أو أدنى من مريخ الحرية والديمقراطية والتقدم
كان القرن الثامن عشر قرن الثورة الفرنسية والأميركية، وكان القرن العشرون قرن الثورة الروسية والصينية. أما القرن الواحد والعشرون فسيقول عنه المؤرخون إنه كان قرن الثورة العربية.

هل سترفعنا هذه الثورة إلى القمم أم سترمينا في بؤر ربما تجعلنا نتحسر على ما فات كما يتحسر الشيوخ والعجائز في قرى روسيا على عهد ستالين؟

إنه التحدي الجبار المرفوع في وجوهنا ونحن أمام واحد من أخطر مفترقات الطريق الذي تمشي عليه هذه الأمة العظيمة منذ 15 قرنا.

قال أحمد شوقي:

وما استعصى على قومٍ منالٌ إذا الإقدامُ كان لهم ركابا

فلندر الظهر لطريق الفوضى والإحباط والعنف، وليكن الإقدام لنا ركابا نحو قمم المجد, فكونوا يا عربُ جديرين بمستقبلكم، وعلى موعد مع الملحمة المتجددة، محركها الثقة في الله وفي النفس وفي قدرتنا نحن أيضا على أن نأتي بما لم تستطعه الأوائل.

As Calls Grow For No Fly-Zone in Libya, Questions Over Legality and Past Precedents Give Pause

"In Libya, troops loyal to Col. Muammaer Gaddafi are locked in intense fighting with opposition forces for control of several cities and towns across the country. While the battles rage in Libya, calls are growing on the international community to impose a no-fly zone to cripple Gaddafi’s airforce. We go to Libya to where Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat interviews Esaam Gheriani, a field member of the Feb 17th Coalition and we talk to international law professor Richard Falk......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Gaddafi's options

"Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, slams Western countries as they weigh the option of a no-fly zone over Libya, and dismisses Libya's rebels as traitors. But as Gaddafi becomes increasingly isolated, what are his options? And as the standoff continues, would an international military intervention be the right solution?"

Al-Jazeera Video: The death of fear

"Rageh Omaar examines how the death of a street vendor led to a wave of uprisings across Arab world."

Al-Jazeera Video: People & Power - Bahrain: Fighting for change

"As unrest sweeps through the Middle East, People & Power looks at the mounting pressure for reform in Bahrain."

Real News Video: US Supports Yemen Dictator

Walid Al-Saqaf: Yemeni people's demand to end dictatorship is irreversible

More at The Real News

Egyptian activists move to shut down infamous secret police

Emad Mekay, The Electronic Intifada, 9 March 2011

"CAIRO (IPS) - The much-feared secret police and intelligence service that protected the regime of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by arresting, torturing and even killing opponents has started a wave of burning documents and evidence that could incriminate them, as calls escalate for abolishing the force altogether and bringing its officers to justice.

Hundreds of protesters surrounded the main office Saturday of Amn al-Dawla, the State Security Police, in 6th of October City, 30 kilometers south of Cairo, to try to stop the burning of files believed to contain incriminating evidence of human rights abuses.

Protesters were shouting "Justice, justice for they fired bullets on us." Army tanks and armored vehicles were cordoning off the offices to protect the besieged secret police officers.

Heaps of documents and files were on fire. Dozens of protesters used wooden ladders to take a peek from above a three-meter-high fence. Some managed to salvage lightly burned files. The documents could provide insights on how the secret police operated with complete impunity under Mubarak for thirty years.

Similar protests broke out in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and in Sharkia, a province northeast of Cairo.....

Human rights groups and revolution activists have vowed to press ahead with their demands to remove all symbols of the former regime.

On Thursday, the Cairo-based Arab Network for Human Rights Information published a series of leaked documents that detail the "crimes" of the secret police. In a statement, the group entitled the release: Countdown to End Amn al-Dawla."

A Neoconservative 'Shock and Awe': The Rise of the Arabs


By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"A pervading sense of awe seems to be engulfing Arab societies everywhere. What is underway in the Arab world is greater than simply revolution in a political or economic sense– it is, in fact, shifting the very self-definition of what it means to be Arab, both individually and collectively.

Hollywood has long caricatured and humiliated Arabs. American foreign policy in the Middle East has been aided by simplistic, degrading and at times racist depictions of Arabs in the mass media. A whole generation of pseudo-intellectuals have built their careers on the notion that they have a key understanding of Arabs and the seemingly predictable pattern of their behavior.
Now we see Libya - a society that had nothing by way of a civil society and which was under a protracted stage of siege – literally making history. The collective strength displayed by Libyan society is awe-inspiring to say the least. Equally praiseworthy is the way in which Libyans have responded to growing dangers and challenges. But most important is the spontaneous nature of their actions. Diplomatic efforts, political organization, structured revolutionary efforts and media outreach simply followed the path and demands of the people. Libyans led the fight, and everyone else either obliged or played the role of spectator.....

Arab society - whether the strikers of Palestine in 1936, the rebels of Baghdad of 1958, or the revolutionaries of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt of 2011 - remain, in a sense, unchanged, as determined as ever win freedom, equality and democracy. And their tormenters also remain unhinged, using the same language of political manipulation and brutal military tactics.

The studious neoconservatives at the Foreign Policy Initiative and elsewhere must be experiencing an intellectual ‘shock and awe’, even as they continue in their quest to control the wealth and destiny of Arabs. Arab societies, however, have risen with a unified call for freedom. And the call is now too strong to be muted."

The So-Called Guardians of Free Speech

by John Pilger, March 10, 2011

"As the United States and Britain look for an excuse to invade another oil-rich Arab country, the hypocrisy is familiar. Colonel Gadhafi 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......

It is difficult to describe, let alone imagine, the sense of isolation and state of siege of Julian Assange, who in one form or another is paying for tearing aside the façade of rapacious power. The canker here is not the far right but the paper-thin liberalism of those who guard the limits of free speech. The New York Times has distinguished itself by spinning and censoring the WikiLeaks material. "We are taking all [the] cables to the administration," said Bill Keller, the editor, "They’ve convinced us that redacting certain information would be wise." In an article by Keller, Assange is personally abused. At the Columbia School of Journalism on 3 February, Keller said, in effect, that the public could not be trusted with the release of further cables. This might cause a "cacophony." The gatekeeper has spoken....."

Andrew's trip to Yemen was followed by arms deal

(Prince Andrew meets the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on his recent visit)

The Independent

"The Government licensed the sale of £160,000 worth of bullets and body armour to the Yemeni government after Prince Andrew met the country's Prime Minister for trade talks.

It was the Duke of York's third meeting in quick succession with leaders of the small Arab republic, which has been ruled with an iron hand for more than 20 years by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but is now experiencing the wave of popular protest sweeping the Middle East.

Though less well-publicised than the more violent events in Libya, the Yemeni protests have persisted for weeks...."

President Saleh, stand aside and give Yemen a chance

By clinging to power Saleh is putting the stability and security of the region at risk – and the west must tell him so

Khalid al-Hureibi
(a medical doctor and political activist from Yemen. He currently lives and works in the UK), Thursday 10 March 2011

"President Ali Abdullah Saleh is rapidly losing control in Yemen. Populist unrest is escalating despite a heavy-handed approach by the government. Last week, in a show of solidarity, the Hashed and the Bakeel – the two largest tribal groups in Yemen, and allies of Saleh over many years – announced their full support for youthful protesters demanding a change of regime.

Saleh has offered unprecedented concessions to the opposition. He retracted his plan for constitutional amendments that would have allowed him to stay in power indefinitely and proposed to form a government of unity. The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the largest Yemeni opposition bloc, categorically rejected the offers and asked for his immediate departure. Some sources say Saleh even offered to let the opposition form a government on its own terms.

The president has lost credibility on the street and across the whole Yemeni political spectrum but western countries, led by the US, have not shown they appreciate the risks in retaining the status quo in Yemen. The longer the current situation continues, the more resentment will grow against the regime and the sooner a civil war will become imminent. This will not only affect Yemen but the repercussions would certainly affect the region and the security of the world at large......"

Saudi expectations high before Friday's 'day of rage' protests

Shia minority have defied ban on demonstrations for two days and are optimistic that change can be effected

Ian Black, Middle East editor
The Guardian, Thursday 10 March 2011

"Al-Qatif in Saudi Arabia's eastern province has a harsh climate: summer temperatures often reach the mid-40s, though the winter is pleasantly mild. But it is not the weather that is exercising locals and the government in these days of political turbulence across the Middle East.
Residents say all seems calm, and see no sign that security has been reinforced. But there is a mood of expectation about Friday's Saudi "day of rage" and whether the "Arab spring" will spread to the conservative kingdom.

The city lies in the heartland of the country's oil-producing area, home to a restive Shia minority that has long complained of poverty and discrimination.

Tensions mounted last month when the neighbouring island state of Bahrain saw an unprecedented uprising that left seven dead and set nerves jangling in a region already deeply unsettled by the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.....

Saudi Arabia shares many problems common to the Arab world – a youth "bulge," lack of opportunities for graduates, precious few political freedoms, plus an absence of transparency and accountability by an absolute monarchy that includes 8,000 princes. Restrictions on women – who are not allowed to drive and cannot travel abroad without the permission of a male relative – are another big negative. The notorious religious police are another. Torture is frequently used on detainees. Unemployment between the ages of 14 and 24 is 40% – in a country where almost 70% of the population is under 20....."

Video: BBC journalists 'arrested and tortured by Gaddafi forces in Libya'

Two journalists working for the BBC in Libya describe how they were arrested, tortured and subjected to a mock execution by Muammar Gaddafi's security forces, Thursday 10 March 2011

Al-Jazeera Video: The women of Benghazi

ثورة الشعب في ليبيا .. اليوم الـ21 .. د. عزمي بشاره


Part 1:

Part 2:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

الثورة الليبية بين نارين !

محمد الزعبي

النار الأولى التي نعنيها هنا  ، هي نار " الأخ العقيد " بكل ماله وما عليه  ، بخيمته المحروسة بالشقراوات ، وجيوبه الملأى بالدولارات ، وثكنات قواه الأمنية المزدحمة بالدبابات والمدرعات ، ومطاراته المحشوة بالطائرات من مختلف الأنواع والأجناس ، وثالثة الأثافي مرتزقته من الليبيين وغير الليبيين ، أولئك المرتزقة الذين يقبض أفرادها من " الأخ القائد " الدولارات بإحدى اليدين ، بينما يقومون بذبح الثوارالليبيين باليد الأخرى !! .
أما النار الثانية التي يعنيها الكاتب هنا ، فهي الخوف والخشية من أن يضطر الثوار الليبيون ، ونتيجة لحصارهم ووقتلهم وتدمير مدنهم وقراهم فوق رؤوسهم من قبل " الكتائب الأمنية " التابعة للقذافي شخصياً وفي غياب عدم التكافؤ المطلق بين مواطنين عزل إلاّ من إرادتهم وإصراهم على التحررمن  الظلم والقهر والفساد والحرمان الذي زاد عمره عن الأربعة عقود من حكم الرجل الواحد واللون الواحد  ، وآخرمدججون بالسلاح والدولارات حتى النخاع ، ولكن العزّل من كل وطنية ، وكل كرامة ، وكل شرف ، نقول نخاف ونخشى أن يضطر هؤلاء الثوار وبسبب هذا الوضع المرعب الذي خلقه العقيد ، أن يستنجدوا بقوى خارجية ( غير عربية ) ، على قاعدة " وداوها بالتي كانت هي الدّاء "  بحيث يصبح وضعهم إذا ماوطئت قدم الأجنبي المعني  أرضهم ووطنهم " كالمستجير من الرمضاء بالنار " !! .

إن مثل هذا الخيار ، خيار " آخر الدواء الكيّ " ، سوف يثلج من جهة صدر القذافي ، الذي سوف يطلع على الناس بصوته " المنكر " ليعلن  من الساحة الخضراء في طرابلس  متباهياً " ألم أقل لكم أن قوى خارجية هي التي تقف وراء حركة هؤلاء " الجرذان "  ، ولكن سوف يثلج من جهة ثانية صدر الغرب الرأسمالي كله بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ، من حيث أن عراقاً جديدا بنفطه وخيراته بات الآن في قبضتهم وتحت سلطتهم ، الأمر الذي معه سيضعون يدهم من خلال تواجدهم العسكري في ليبيا على النظامين الوطنيين الجديدين في تونس ومصر و ذلك بحكم الموقع الجغرافي لليبيا بين هذين القطرين العربيين . لاشك أن الهيمنة على بلد يقع في الوسط بين ثورتي تونس ومصر ،سواء بالاحتلال المباشر او غير المباشر ، إنما هو أمر يسيل له لعاب الغرب على جانبي الأطلسي ، حيث سيمكّنهم مثل هذا الاحتلال من ضرب عصفورين بحجر واحد ، هما عصفور النفط  الليبي ، شريان الحياة بالنسبة للدول الصناعية ، وعصفور حماية إسرائيل مما يمكن أن يترتب على قيام ثورتي تونس ومصر من اختلال في ميزان القوى بين العرب والكيان الصهيوني ، وبالذات من موقف النظام المصري الجديد  من اتفاقية كامبديفد ومن معبر رفح .

إن الكاتب لايشك في أن الثوار المناضلين في ليبيا ، ومجلسهم الوطني في بنغازي هم على دراية تامة بمطامع القوى الأجنبية بالنفط الليبي ، وبالموقع الجغرافي الاستراتيجي لليبيا ،و لهذا فهم يعلنون يوميا وبصورة علنية أنهم في الوقت الذي يقبلون فيه بل ويطلبون من الدول العربية اولاً ، ومن مجلس الأمن الدولي ثانياً حماية الشعب الليبي والمدن الليبية من القصف الهمجي العشوائي المدمر لطيران وصواريخ القذافي وبعض مسانديه من العرب والأفارقة ، إنما يرفضون رفضاً تاما ومطلقا أن  تطأ قدم أي جندي أجنبي أرض وطنهم  أيا كانت المبررات ، وأياً كانت الصعوبات والمخاطر التي يتعرضون لها .

إن الإشكالية الوطنية والقومية التي يمكن أن تترتب على هذا الوضع الليبي المعقد ، هي أن استمرار القذافي وأولاده  على رأس السلطة في ليبيا ، إنما يحمل في طياته خطر وضع كل من ثار ضد القذافي ، اي عملياً الأغلبية الساحقة من الشعب الليبي في قفص الاتهام ، واعتبارهم  ليبيين" مدانين " إلى أن يثبت العكس ، وهو ماقد يحتاج إلى أربعة عقود جديدة  من الديكتاتورية والفساد ، بل وربما سيستلزم الأمر أيضاًًهجرآلاف المناضلين والشرفاء وطنهم ليبيا إلى أماكن أخرى ، بحثاً عن الأمن والأمان ولقمة العيش ، تماما كما حصل في مدينة حماة السورية عام 1982 في ظل حكم عائلة الأسد ، التي اجبرت عشرات آلاف السوريين على مغادرة الوطن هربا من جحيم النظام ، والذين مايزالون يعيشون في المنافي العربية والدولية حتى هذه اللحظة ، بل إن العقيد القذافي وعلى غرار نظام عائلة الأسد في سوريا سوف يستخدم اضطهاده وتصفيته للمناضلين الليبيينن وإبعاده لهم عن وطنهم ، بحجة طابعهم الإسلامي ، كورقة حسن سلوك له أمام النظام الرأسمالي الأورو ـ أمريكي ، وأمام الكيان الصهيوني  كيما يحافظوا عليه ويتمسكوا ببقائه واستمراره كشريك لهم في مكافحة " الإرهاب !!".

إن المخرج الحقيقي لخروج وإخراج الشقيقة ليبيا من هذا المأزق الدموي الذي أدخلها فيه " الأخ القائد !! " إنما يتمثل برأينا بان يتخذ العرب وعلى راسهم النظام المصري الجديد ، نظام 25 يناير 2011 موقفا حازما من هذا " الرجل العجيب " الذي يدعي بأنه لايملك أي منصب رسمي في ليبيا (!! ) ، اللهم إلاً خيمته ورمزيته ، واللتان (الخيمة والرمزية) يمكن أن نضيف إليهما ـ وهو مايعرفه ويعلمه الجميع ــ :  كامل دخل ليبيا من النفط وكل ماهبّ ودبّ على بر وبحر وسماء ليبيا ، وكذلك رسم السياستين الداخلية والخارجية لذلك القطر العربي (الذي اطلق عليه بنفسه اسما جديداًً مثيراً للابتسام) ، بكل  أبعادهما السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية والعسكرية .
نقول ، إن الموقف الحازم المطلوب عربياً ومصرياً ، هو منع ذلك العقيد ، من استخدام الطيران الحربي والدبابات والمدافع والصواريخ ومختلف الأسلحة المحرمة دوليا ضد أبناء الشعب الليبي ، الذين يتلخص ذنبهم في أنهم أرادوا فقط أن يعبروا باقلامهم وألسنتهم وحناجرهم عن رأيهم في هذا الطاغية الذي مازال ينيخ على كواهلهم وكواهل أبنائهم وأحفادهم ــ بدون وجه حق ــ ماينوف عن الأربعة عقود .
 إن ضرورة الموقف العربي هنا، وعلى وجه الخصوص المصري إنما تنبع من خوف الكاتب هوأن يكون هدف القذافي من هذه الحرب القذرة التي يمارسها ضد الشعب الليبي هو الوصول بهذا الشعب إلى مرحلة اليأس ، وبالتالي اللجوء إلى القوى الخارجية (غير العربية) لإنقاذهم من براثن الموت، وهو مايمكن أن يضعه ــ حسب أوهامه ـ في مصاف قادة عرب آخرين قام الاحتلال بتصفيتهم بعد أن احتل بلادهم . إن مايمكن قوله في هذا المقام للسيد العقيد : إنه لايمكن وضع من يصف شعبه بالجرذان ، وذاك الذي وصف شعبه بالأبطال في سلة واحدة ، بالرغم من كل التدليس ، ومن كل التلاعب بالوقائع والكلمات . إن طاغيتين عربيين قد سبقاك إلى مزبلة التاريخ ، وهما بانتظارك الآن هناك ، وأيضا بانتظار البقية البقية من زملائهم الطغاة العرب على أحر من الجمر ، فسارع إليهما ، واقبل عرض المجلس الوطني الانتقالي في بنغازي ، قبل فوات الأوان . لقد أرقت من دم الشعب الليبي الزكي مايسمح لنا بان نقول لك بصوت عال: كفى، كفى ياأخ معمّر ، فلقد بلغ السيل الزبى، وجاوز الحزام الطبين!، إرحل بالله عليك ، فليبيا لم تعد بحاجة إلى خيمتك ولا إلى أولادك.

BBC staff 'arrested and tortured in Libya by Gaddafi forces'

Journalists subjected to mock execution in ordeal which represents most serious incident against international media

Peter Beaumont in Tripoli
, Wednesday 9 March 2011

"Two journalists working for the BBC in Libya say they were arrested, tortured and subjected to a mock execution by security forces of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

The shocking account of their experiences, including being held in a cage in a militia barracks while others were tortured around them, was made available to media colleagues in Tripoli after the men had been released and left the country.

At one point during their captivity the men had shots fired past their heads as they were led into a barracks.

One of the men was attacked repeatedly with fists, boots, rifle butts, a stick and piece of pipe. He also described trying to help other victims of torture whom they saw, some of whom had had their ribs broken during beatings.

The ordeal represents the most serious incident yet involving the targeting of the international media and may offer an insight into the fate of many of those opposition supporters who have been rounded during the regime's crackdown on its opponents....."

Real News Video with Transcript: Repression, Resistance and the CIA in Libya

Author Hisham Matar says father secretly jailed by Gaddafi in 1990; was part of organization likely supported by CIA

More at The Real News

Squatters take over Saif Gaddafi's London home

Protest group Topple the Tyrants seizes what it describes as the Libyan government's 'corrupt and stolen assets'

Esther Addley, Wednesday 9 March 2011

"....Perhaps when occupying the multimillion-pound London mansion of a tyrant's son, food is some way down the list of priorities. More pressing tasks, for the small group of protesters who have moved into Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's redbrick Hampstead home, were affixing banners to the roof reading "Revolution" and "Out of Libya, out of London", and summoning the press, to whom they declared their actions had been taken "in solidarity with the people of Libya, the people of Cairo, the people of Saudi Arabia".

Spokesman Montgomery Jones told the Guardian that the group, called Topple the Tyrants, had been formed in response to the events of the Arab spring; this was their first action. How many of them were there? "We're not doing numbers."

Though there were no Libyans among the group, "we have people from the Middle East and we're hoping to disseminate the protests more widely". Further properties would be targeted "if they are owned by dictators, absolutely"....."

Yemen: Excessive Force Used Against Demonstrators

Security Forces Killed at Least Nine, Injured 150, at Peaceful Aden Protests

"(New York) – Yemeni security forces repeatedly used excessive, deadly force on largely peaceful protesters in the southern city of Aden in February 2011, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Security forces fired weapons that included assault rifles and machine guns at the protesters, killing at least nine and possibly twice that number, and injuring more than 150, some of them children.

The 20-page report, “Days of Bloodshed in Aden,” documents attacks on protesters in the strategic port city of Aden from February 16 to 25. Human Rights Watch found that police and military forces also chased and shot at protesters trying to flee the assaults. The forces stopped doctors and ambulances trying to reach protest sites, fired at people who tried to rescue victims, and removed evidence, such as bullet casings, from the shooting scenes.

Shooting into crowds is no way to respond to peaceful protests,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments in the region and beyond should make clear to Yemen that international assistance comes with the condition of respecting human rights.”

The Yemeni authorities should immediately end these illegal attacks and conduct an impartial investigation into the injuries and deaths in Aden, Human Rights Watch said....."

Download the full report (PDF, 388.58 KB)

Netanyahu's Illusory Peace Plan

Israel Cornered on Every Front


"Benjamin Netanyahu's advisers conceded last week that the Israeli prime minister is more downcast than they have ever seen him. The reason for his gloominess is to be found in Israel's diplomatic and strategic standing, which some analysts suggest is at its lowest ebb in living memory.....

Indications are that Netanyahu will propose a miserly interim formula for a demilitarised Palestinian state in temporary borders. The Jerusalem Post reported that in talks with Abbas late last year Netanyahu demanded that Israel hold on to 40 per cent of the West Bank for the forseeable future.

His comments on Tuesday that Israel's "defence line" was the Jordan Valley, a large swath of the West Bank, that Israel could not afford to give up suggest he is not preparing to compromise on his hardline positions.

His plan accords with a similar interim scheme put forward by Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu's far-right foreign minister and chief political rival on the right....."

When Egypt's Revolution Was at the Crossroads

Twelve Moments That Shook the World



".....Throughout the crisis, Hosni Mubarak displayed total incompetence and arrogance, sometimes even stupidity. All his decisions were a series of missteps, miscalculations and mismanagement. He was always a few days behind the events on the ground. Had he agreed to the modest demands on January 25, Mubarak most probably would have survived. By the time he dismissed his cabinet, hundreds of people had already lost their lives, raising the demands of the revolution.

When he was able to gain some sympathy after his second address, it quickly dissipated when the NDP goons were unleashed on the demonstrators. When the military was willing to let him serve out his term with dignity if he transferred his powers to his Vice President, he arrogantly refused and challenged them. By the end he incredibly dragged with him Suleiman and all the other officials that he had appointed. It was a textbook lesson on how not to handle revolutionary and popular demands.

One wonders if the revolution might have been aborted, slowed down, or taken a different path had Mubarak acted rationally or reasonably. But almost certainly, the youth of Egypt, determined to fulfill their dreams of a free, just and democratic society, would have pressed on until the end.

As one of the great Arab poets of his time, Nizar Qabbani described this generation of the youth that would lead the future Arab revolutions. Before his death in 1998, he foresaw their resolve for action and change when he prophesized:

We do not want an angry generation
To plough the sky
To blow up history
To blow up our thoughts.

We want a new generation
That does not forgive mistakes
That does not bend
We want a generation of giants.

Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains,
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.

Arab children,
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case.
We are as worthless as a watermelon rind.
Don’t read about us,
Don’t ape us,
Don’t accept us,
Don’t accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.

Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation
That will overcome defeat

Rage against the House of Saud

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The key slogan in Tahrir Square in Egypt was "the people want the downfall of the regime". When it comes to Saudi Arabia, it's more like "the House of Saud wants the downfall of its people"....

The US$36 billion question in Saudi Arabia concerns whether an ailing monarch can bribe his subjects into submission with oil money and escape the furious freedom winds of the great 2011 Arab revolt. The world will be able to watch a preview this Friday, as a Facebook-organized "Day of Rage" hits the globe's largest gas station.....

Washington and European capitals are shaken to the core with the prospect of those northern African winds producing a freedom storm in Saudiland - and the Persian Gulf.

So forget about "democracy" or "human rights". Enter the brand new Barack Obama administration "regime alteration" doctrine, where popular aspirations in the Gulf - from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain and Oman - are ditched to the benefit of the "stability" afforded by "key allies", swing producers House of Saud and hosts of the 5th Fleet the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain. Moreover, the House of Saud has told the al-Khalifa that if they do not crush their own Shi'ite-majority revolt, Saudi forces will. And Washington won't bat an eyelid. As it won't bat an eyelid if this Day of Rage turns into a bloodbath."

Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: "This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, It’s a Kind of a Corporate Coup D’Etat"

"As a wave of anti-union bills are introduced across the country in the wake of Wall Street financial crisis, many analysts are picking up on the theory that award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein first argued in her 2007 bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In the book, she reveals how those in power use times of crisis to push through undemocratic and extreme free market economic policies. “The Wisconsin protests are an incredible example of how to resist the shock doctrine,” Klein says....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Libyan aircraft bomb Ras Lanuf

"Libyan military aircraft piloted by officers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the embattled leader of the country, have bombed targets in the rebel-held oil town of Ras Lanuf.

The attacks are the latest in a series of counter-offensives by Gaddafi's military against anti-government forces, which also include members of the military who refuse to recognise Gaddafi's authority.

Al Jazeera's Lawrence Lee reports on the latest developments in the country."

Al-Jazeera Video: Anger grows against Yemen's ruler

"A police raid on an anti-government protest at a university campus in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, has left at least one person dead, and several others seriously injured.

In a separate clash between pro- and anti-government protesters in the country's south, one supporter of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, was killed.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra in Sanaa has more on the brewing political crisis in Yemen."

Al-Jazeera Video: Iraq fears repression and intolerance

"As change sweeps the Middle East, there are fears of a new crackdown in Iraq.

After anti-government demonstrations last week, security forces beat and arrested hundreds of protestors. Although
officials have since apologised, but protesters fear that further repressive measures may be on the way.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad."