Saturday, February 26, 2011

Maliki cracks down on intellectuals

Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers who took part in nationwide demonstrations Friday, in what some of them described as an operation to intimidate Baghdad intellectuals who hold sway over popular opinion.

On Saturday, four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest of thousands at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.

"It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists," said Hussan al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. "Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq."

The Iraq protests were different from many of the revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa in that demonstrators were calling for reform, and not to get rid of the government. Their demands ranged from more electricity and jobs to ending corruption, reflecting a dissatisfaction with government that cuts across sectarian and class lines.

Yet the protests were similar to others in that they were organized, at least in part, by middle-class, secular intellectuals, many of whom started Facebook groups, wrote and gave interviews supporting the planned demonstrations.

More

153 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the news article:

They loaded them into the Humvees, drove them to a side street, where they beat them again. Then, blindfolded, they were driven to a place Mahdi later recognized as the former Defense Ministry building, which houses an intelligence unit of the army's 11th Division.

Inside, they heard soldiers laughing and chanting "Maliki liar!" - mocking a slogan some protesters had shouted. Mahdi said he was taken to a room alone, and soon, he was being beaten with sticks, boots and fists. They took his shoes off, wet his feet and administered electric shocks to them.

In between, the soldiers interrogated him, he said. They accused him of being a tool of outsiders wishing to topple Maliki's government. He told them that he'd been a member of Maliki's Dawa party until he recently became disillusioned.

"They said, 'You're Dawa?' " Hadi said. "Then I realized they were totally stupid."

A soldier accused him of being a traitor and beat him some more. And then Hadi, who comes from a prominent family, was told he and his colleagues would be released, the result of friends who made some well-placed phone calls.

Just before they were freed, however, Hadi was held in a room where about 300 people sat on the floor. They had black hoods over their heads. Many were groaning, their shirts bloodied. An elderly man had passed out.

Freddie Starr said...

Anonymous ate my hamster!

Freddie al-Haqiqi said...

Fake Freddie ate my hamster

Petes said...

Well, our little Oirish democratic revolution is over. The majority party in government has been decimated -- they may end up as one of the smallest parties in opposition. Even among their fourteen cabinet ministers only two were re-elected to parliament. Their minority coalition partners, the Greens, did not get a single member re-elected. Now we have about a week for a new goverment to be formed, in time to go tell the EU and IMF to bugger off with their bank bailouts. (Unfortunately we're likely to have a bunch of ineffectual lefties as minority coalition partners, so I'm not holding my breath).

Petes said...

Here's our brave new leader's performance at a pre-election party leaders' debate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mJ_7SqKxGI

This guy will be our new leprechaun in the White House to present Obama with the customary bowl of shamrock on Paddy's Day in three weeks time.

Bruno said...

"On Saturday, four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest of thousands at Baghdad's Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit."

Seems like the Americans taught their students well. The murkins must be proud.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "The murkins must be proud."

Merkins, Merkins; Evil Merkins!  Always Merkins; Evil Merkins!

Bruno said...

Looks like I got under LEE's skin.

Damn, that was easy.

(Dude's gettin' old)

Bruno said...

I better hurry to find me some articles 'bout the evil Merkins!

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
You liked that did ya?  Good.  That settles it.  I'd already been thinking about putting that one in macro-memory to just have as a throwaway for when you're tryin’ to get under my skin  Sorta like the ‘Lurk; lurk" macro.

Bruno said...

I see LEE is now dusting hisself off, pretendin' that he didn't fall from his horse and make a right fool of hisself.

LULZ

Bruno said...

Hey, LEE ya'll's gotta read this:

"The New Evil Empire
America has become what Nazi Germany
and the Soviet Union used to be"

http://www.rense.com/general49/evil.htm

Hmmm. Intriguing reading, eh?

Bruno said...

Huh. Looks like he either ran off screaming in fear, or put hisself to bed with some warm milk and aspirin.

Nah.

Ran off screaming in fear, sounds better.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
    Lurk; lurk.

Lurker said...

Lurk, lurk, lurk, lurk, lurk.

Truth Seeker said...

Petes is way off topic. Nobody cares, dude.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

Khadhafi sent a group of reporters on a guided tour intended to demonstrate that he was still control in Libya.  One of the stops was the nearby town of Zawiyah (30 miles from downtown Tripoli) where the reporters discovered that the rebels were firmly in control.  Apparently Khadhafi was unaware.
One has to wonder if any of the reporters summoned up the nerve to tell him after the tour.

RhusLancia said...

Yeah, cause everybody knows how much the merkins like to round up, intimidate, and torture reporters.

merkins and merkins and merkins! oh my!

Petes said...

[Truth My Ass]: "Petes is way off topic. Nobody cares, dude."

... except you, obviously. LOL.

... oh, and Bruno cares passionately about all the little countries being IMF-ised. I mean, it's all good for gold prices, right Bruno?

Petes said...

Gotta love the ending of Bruno's "New Evil Empire" link:

"For more information on how to get this book or to financially support his work (seriously needed now)..."

Yeah, evil Merkins, evil corporations, evil empire, blah blah, yada yada ... please send me cash!

LOL

John said...

Shameous: "Now we have about a week for a new goverment (sic) to be formed, in time to go tell the EU and IMF to bugger off with their bank bailouts."

As a debtor nation, Shameous, I'd say defaulting on your loan would lead to even greater embarrassment for you. Your man Noonan is going to have to beg the Germans to reconsider your rate of interest.

An inevitable compromise will be to allow them to take control of your financial policies limiting debt etc. Clearly Germany would consider this to be a good first step.

Anything that might compel you to work longer hours for less money would also have to be considered a positive move. Limiting your personal computer time would be of benefit to all of us.

Of course the real prize for Germany is the ability to adjust your corporate tax rate. Given your current level of dependence, the likelihood that you're going to default or ask for debt forgiveness, they certainly have you in a subservient position.

A consolidated corporation European tax base will be next. The type of arrangement which will further limit your country's financial autonomy.

Haven't you already demonstrated that you can't manage your own financial affairs anyway?

Petes said...

I don't get it, Canadian John ... a few months back you started sounding all lucid, your spelling improved beyond all recognition, and your sentence lengths went down by 90%+. I've been Googling a list of Catholic shrines in Toronto where you might've got your miraculous healing, but to be honest it's all a bit baffling. Do let us in on the secret.

Anyway, in answer to your question, it depends on who you mean by "you". The country has certainly collectively demonstrated that it shouldn't be trusted with a five-year-old's piggybank. On the other hand, we could probably find our way out of the mess if we weren't also saddled with a hundred-odd billion in private bank debts which, to be honest, there is no earthly reason why Irish taxpayers should pay. That is clearly the view of 85% of Irish voters who have just thrown out the gombeen administration who "volunteered" us to pay it.

Minus our banks' debts, our sovereign debt is a smaller ratio of GDP than Germany's and a bunch of other EU countries, so no, I don't think they need to preach to us about fiscal rectitude. The way I see it, our bank problem is Europe's problem -- private European banks lent recklessly to private Irish banks, and they are welcome to privately sort it out between their own private selves. There is no possible moral argument that makes the debt more the responsibility of Irish taxpayers than German ones. So, if by "you", you mean me and all the other taxpayers who had no hand or part in creating the private problems of private banks, then no, I beg to differ.

And if you mean me in particular, then definitely no -- I never got sucked into any property madness, I'm pretty highly paid thank you very much, and penal tax increases aren't likely to cause me a great deal of concern. It'll be cold comfort, though, to have survived unscathed (if that be the case) in the economic wasteland that this country will become if Frankfurt gets its way.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

I was watching CNN on Sunday morning and Fareed Zakaria had on Michael Lewis, author of "The Big Short" & "Liars Poker". He was discussing what happened in Greece and Ireland. He put what is happening in Ireland in perspective by comparing it to what would have to happen in the US, dollar-wise. I understand better your anger at what your government did. They really did dig the Irish people a big hole to fall into. :( And, I rather think Lewis would agree with you.

He also made it clear that we (the US) have not really cleaned up the problems that started the mess we are in. One of the stumbling blocks being that when we bailed out our banks, unlike Fannie & Freddie, our government did not make sure that those who had a hand in the mess in the first place would have no say in how the problems should be dealt with. :(

Um Ayad said...

Wonder how much Gaddafi paid the liar, Tony Blair?

Blair agreed to train Gaddafi's special forces in 'deal in the desert'

Included in the document was an agreement on "co-operation in the training of specialised military units, special forces and border security units".

They also signed up to "exchanges of information on Nato and EU military and civil security organisations". The document was personally signed by Mr Blair and Gaddafi.

A passing reference to it was contained in a joint communique between the two countries, which was issued at the time and posted on the Foreign Office website before being removed a few weeks ago.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Blair+agreed+train+Gaddafi+special+forces+deal+desert/4361429/story.html

Tony Blair agreed to train Gaddafi’s special forces in 'deal in the desert’
Tony Blair used his final foreign trip as prime minister to sign a confidential deal with Muammar Gaddafi to train Libyan special forces and supply him with Nato secrets.

A copy of the accord obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows that the two leaders agreed to co-operate on defence matters in a range of areas, including exchanging information about defence structures and technology.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8353501/Libya-Tony-Blair-agreed-to-train-Gaddafis-special-forces-in-deal-in-the-desert.html

Um Ayad said...

Now Oman!!!!

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

Two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in the Gulf state of Oman, witnesses and officials said.

Hundreds had gathered for a second day in the industrial city of Sohar to call for political reforms.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12590588

Protesters in Oman set supermarket ablaze

Oman, ruled by a powerful family dynasty, marks the latest flashpoint in the Arab world's challenges to authority and suggests that demonstrations could widen in the Gulf with protest rallies planned next month in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Oman shares control with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf the route for about 40 per cent of the world's oil-tanker traffic. Oman also plays an important role as a mediator between Iran and the West because of its strong ties to Tehran and Washington.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Protesters-in-Oman-set-supermarket-ablaze/articleshow/7598594.cms

Petes said...

Gaddafi did an interview today with Jeremy Bowen of the BBC and Christiane Amanpour of CNN among others. It was simply amazing, best summed up by saying that he's somewhere between delusional and barking mad.

Petes said...

Lynnette -- Lewis did a piece on Ireland for next month's Vanity Fair (I think he's also hawking a new book, due out in June):

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/03/michael-lewis-ireland-201103

It's a little long, and a little simplistic, but not a bad summary overall. The most annoying thing about it all is that our government (in my opinion, contrary to what the more cynical or conspiracy-minded might think) didn't actually sink the country in order to save shadowy vested interests. They genuinely were deluded that the banks had a short term liquidity problem which they could get over by underwriting debts with a sovereign guarantee. The finance minister actually boasted that "we're not rushing into the banks like some governments in other countries without knowing exactly what the situation is in those banks…".

Unfortunately, lots of people already knew at that point back in 2008 that the reality was much, much worse -- the banks were insolvent and Lenihan had just shackled us to a millstone that would drag the country down with it. (I certainly knew it, from several academic analyses that were already circulating, and I don't claim any special knowledge). Mind you, Lenihan was one of only two government ministers re-elected to parliament last weekend, so maybe we are being justly rewarded for being terminally frickin' stupid. :(

Ucht said...

^

Animal.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
It appears this morning that Khadhafi is attempting to mount a campaign against the Libyan rebels.  Not clear whether or not he's got the firepower still at his disposal to pull it off.  So far his best units have been stymied in their attempts to re-take Zawiyah.  And an attempt to re-take Misratah hasn't faired much better.  The rebels are said to be short on weapons and ammo though.

Anonymous said...

@ Zeyad.

'U.S. silent as Iraqi regime cracks down. The U.S.-backed al-Maliki government imprisoned intellectuals and used live ammunition on protesters', by Justin Elliott,

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/02/28/iraq_protests_us

Petes said...

The game's up for Gaddafi. It's just a question of whether he's actually as crazy as he appeared in yesterday's BBC/CNN interview. If he is, there will be more bloodshed before he's finally hung from Tripoli's tallest lamppost. Otherwise he could still take the Bruno option, and try to leave with some cash in his pockets. There's probably still a despot or two who would take him in.

Anonymous said...

@ All.

A banner displayed in Benghazi (the city in the hands of the anti-Gaddafi rebels) says:

"NO FOREIGN INTERVENTION.
LIBYAN PEOPLE CAN MANAGE IT ALONE".

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/live-blog-libya-march-1



This shows for what it is the revolting, mass-murderous blathering by that obscene criminal and Pinocchio, "genocidal intent" Varmint Pete, clamouring for a Western military intervention in Libya.

Not happy with his simian American fwiends having destroyed Oyrak only (where torture, murder sanctioned by the government and violation of all human rights go on fweely and democwatically, as Zeyad shows us), the vomitous Maggot and Shame of Oyreland keeps proposing new crimes against oil-connected peoples, in order to steal their revolutions and bind them (& their resources!) under the US Empire.

Ucht said...

And further, dear Italian, I quite imagine that Varmint Pete is salavating at the thought of an Amewican intervention. More bushmeat, naturally.

.................

There arrived some fresh simian meat
Crated especially for Varmint Pete
This may not rhyme
But it sure is time
For Pete's livery Amewican treat!

..................

The sick Pervert and child abuse apologiser should really vanish from these threads for good.

An Italian. said...

Dear Ucht,

I do agree.

:)

Ucht said...

Let us hope Big Z will do the right thing!

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "A banner displayed in Benghazi …[etc]"

I've heard similar comments from Libyans on our news.  I've also heard calls from other Libyans for assistance.  (One man's ‘assistance’ is another man's ‘intervention’.)  I don't believe that any of the Libyans I've heard from can credibly claim to speak for the rebels as a group.  Neither do I believe the author of your banner can credibly make that claim.

Truth Seeker said...

Why are some people so keen to poke their guns in where they're not wanted?

Surely their motivations are entirely benign. Surely....

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "Why are some people so keen to poke their
      guns in where they're not wanted?
"

Not to put too fine a point on it but…  Europeans (and others) calling for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya are lookin’ to poke our guns into the Libyan business, not their own.  (With the possible exception of the Brits, who might actually carry some of the load in such a case.)

Marcus said...

^
Lee's got a point there. I hear some Swedish voices argue for a no-fly zone over Libya but Sweden of course has NO recources to assist in such an endeavor. We have jets, but no carriers and no way to deploy aircraft over Libya, and we would be too hesistant to do anything even if we had the means.

If European leaders are serious about a no-fly zone they should take it up in the EU parlaiment (where such a suggestion would surely fail, not to mention it would take like a decade to get a final decision) and then realise it through the French and the British who are arguably the only EU powers that could handle the task. Bitching at the Americans is not constructive and not in any way justified, in this case.

Marcus said...

That said, I think the best the "west" could do right now is to stay out of this and let the protesters take down Khaddafi (Ghadaffi, Quadaffi, or whatever his name is) on their own.

It would surely be a big boost for the Arab world if they knew they had been the masters of their own faith without foreign intervention, for once.

So, IMO the "west" should prepare to counter a situation that is on par with a genocide, if that should happen, but otherwise stay out of the way.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
The French are making noises about flying in aid and setting up field hospitals in eastern Libya.  The fighting, of course, is taking placew in western Libya.
Viva deGaulle.

Truth Seeker said...

The West's legacy in Africa - and France's in particular - is one of genocide, rape, plunder, and murder on an industrial scale.

It is perfectly rational that the people do not wish to invite imperialst meddlers in.

And as I said before, it would take a truly gullible dolt to imagine a benign motivation on behalf of Western countries.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

Thank you for that Lewis link. I printed it out and will read it when I get the chance. I'm kind of busy at work right now, so haven't had much time.

Lee C,

The rebels are said to be short on weapons and ammo though.

I heard somewhere that Hillary Clinton has let it be known that the United States is willing to help in whatever way the opposition in Libya would like. (For those who are jumping to the conclusion that the US has some intention of invading Libya, I rather doubt that that would be an option, either from the Libyan's point of view, or ours.)

Marcus,

That said, I think the best the "west" could do right now is to stay out of this and let the protesters take down Khaddafi (Ghadaffi, Quadaffi, or whatever his name is) on their own.

If they can, that would be fine, certainly. If they run into difficulties, though, it is nice to have someone to help. Even we had the French to assist us in our revolution. It is up to them.

Anonymous said...

CODEPINK's Jodie Evans attempts Citizens Arrest of Colin Powell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARuNUYSwBBs

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "The West's legacy in Africa - and France's in
      particular - is one of genocide, rape, plunder, and
      murder on an industrial scale.
"

I hadn't noticed the Arabs' African legacy being much better.  Hell, the Arabs are still there, having taken large swaths of the continent for themselves, having driven the indigenous people either into the shadows of society or back into the bush, or leaving their bones to bleach in the sun where they fell.

RhusLancia said...

mebbe Iran would enforce a no-fly zone, since they are so concerned about the protesters' rights & safety and all.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution calling on the United Nations to establish and enforce a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya.  (Preemptively passing that hot potato right back to the yammering do-gooders.)
And Libyan rebels are said to be debating whether to request U.N. sponsored air-strikes against Khadhafi's remaining forces.  (Which will, no doubt, give rise to much future posturing over the difference between ‘assistance’ and intervention’.) 

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
The Chinese had 30,000 oil workers in Libya.  They are not going to allow U.N. sponsored air-strikes, nor a U.N. sponsored no-fly zone.  Doubt the Russians will allow for such either.  (Presumably, the Libyan rebels will realize that after they think it through, and decide to not ask after all.)
The Libyan rebels will not be able to ask for assistance from the Evil Merkins; that's too much of an about face from prior propaganda for their people to accept.  Too much; too soon.  So, we're pretty much off the hook here.

Petes said...

[Truth My Hole]: "It is perfectly rational that the people do not wish to invite imperialst meddlers in. And as I said before, it would take a truly gullible dolt to imagine a benign motivation on behalf of Western countries."

Actually, no, what would be rational would be to beg on bended knee for someone to shoot down the planes that are crucifying rebels with pop guns. But hey, don't let that get in the way of a bit of numbskulled anti-western angst.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
Speaking of planes…  Khadafi's pressing his campaign again today, with air support this time and apparently with more success than his side was having yesterday.

      "Gadhafi said [in a Wednesday speech, that]
      Libya would replace Western banks and other
      companies by others from China, Russia and
      Brazil. He added that the country's oil industry
      was safe.
"

And, Brazil has made the list of potential new Khadhafi buddies.  That's interesting.  Brazil is currently holding a seat on the U.N. Security Council. 

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Cite for above quote.

Marcus said...

I read that a Libyan government plane has made two trips to Belarus. The specualation was that it carried portable valuables for Khadaffi, such as diamonds. He might be looking at an exit strategy after all. But in his speeches he seems convinced (or wants to be seen as seeming convinced) this is just a nuicance and that he will be back on his throne before too long.

I think part of the problem is that he has few viable options to fighting to the bitter end. A long time dictator probably fears ending up humiliated in the Hague more than death. And a long time dictator might have an ego big enough to convince himself he's actually in the right in a situation like this.

My guess is that in the end he'll either kill himself or go down like Cheauchescu in Romania, shot by his "own" troops because the situation was unmanagable. The big issue is how much mayhem he is capable of causing before the end.

Anonymous said...

Petes you are racist orientalist scum.

Petes said...

[Marcus]: "I read that a Libyan government plane has made two trips to Belarus. The specualation was that it carried portable valuables for Khadaffi, such as diamonds."

Nah, I reckon that's a decoy. Gaddafi's voluptuous nurse, Galyna Kolotnitskaya, flew back home to Ukraine on Sunday. I'd be checking for the diamonds down her cleavage. :-)

Petes said...

[Anonymous asshole]: "Petes you are racist orientalist scum."

What, for hoping that Libyan protestors don't get cut down by helicopter chain guns? I don't have a racist bone in my body, but I'm pretty sure you're some scumbag anti-western muppet with more petty adolescent angst than common frickin' sense.

Anonymous said...

Go fuck yourself. Previously you said Arab's were "boorish" !

Petes said...

Go fuck yerself back. I said YOU were boorish (and boy was that a gross understatement). Are you purporting to speak for all Arab's now, you arrogant prick?

Petes said...

Oh, and, how nice of you to Anonymously volunteer Libyans to be cut down with chain guns without any outside help ... when you're living in frickin' LONDON! Prick!

RhusLancia said...

The only thing worser than Gaddafi cutting down his own people with chainguns would be the int'l community stopping him from doing it.

Signed,
Bruno, Anonimo, Boorish Anonymous Guy

Bruno said...

Don't worry Rhusty. the murkins will intervene in ten years time, "to stop the genocide", just like they did in Iraq.

Bruno said...

Rebel forces routed troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi in a fierce battle over an oil port, scrambling over the dunes of a Mediterranean beach through shelling and an air strike to corner their attackers. While they thwarted the regime's first counter-offensive in eastern Libya, opposition leaders still pleaded for outside air strikes to help them oust the long-time dictator. The attack on Brega, a strategic oil facility 460 miles east of Gaddafi's stronghold in the capital Tripoli, illustrated the deep difficulties the Libyan leader's armed forces - an array of militiamen, mercenaries and military units - have had in rolling back the uprising that has swept over the entire eastern half of Libya since February 15.
[...]
For the past week, pro-Gaddafi forces have been focusing on the west, securing Tripoli and trying to take back nearby rebel-held cities. But the regime has seemed to struggle to bring an overwhelming force to bear against cities largely defended by local residents using weapons looted from storehouses and backed by allied army units. Pro-Gaddafi forces succeeded over the weekend in retaking two small towns. But the major western rebel-held cities of Zawiya and Misrata, near Tripoli, have repelled repeated, major attacks - including new forays against Zawiya.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iOpSLti-SZR7zeFXcqaABwhHEJ0w?docId=N0261371299086397614A

Bruno said...

BREGA, LIBYA - Rebels fought off a coordinated assault by military jets and armored ground forces near a key oil port Wednesday, thwarting Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's most significant attempt yet to retake eastern territory that he lost last week amid a nationwide uprising. Despite aged equipment and little training, a ragtag team of thousands that rushed to Brega repelled government forces and retook the port city after setbacks earlier in the day. Emboldened by their victory, the rebels planned to advance west and on to Gaddafi's stronghold of Tripoli, the capital, some said.

"He has the force, but we have the heart," said Suleiman Abdel, a surgeon and, now, a rebel.

The government's assault on Brega, which included multiple airstrikes, showed that Gaddafi still has substantial military resources at his disposal - and that he is willing to use them. Even as the battle unfolded, Gaddafi pledged in a defiant televised address to "fight to the last drop of Libyan blood."

The day's clashes suggested that in the absence of outside intervention, Libya could be headed toward a long and bloody stalemate. Gaddafi holds Tripoli and other western cities, the rebels control the east, and neither side appears able to decisively shift the balance.

"He showed he still has the power to inflict serious damage on the protesters and the places they control," said Ibrahim Sharqieh of the Brookings Doha Center. "If he is willing to use the air force, this could drag on for months."

Rebel leaders in the eastern city of Benghazi called Wednesday for international airstrikes against government targets, as well as a no-fly zone to keep Gaddafi's planes out of the sky. But U.S. officials have said that such steps are unlikely.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/02/AR2011030206907.html?hpid=topnews

Bruno said...

JIHAN HAFIZ, BENGHAZI, LIBYA, (VOICE-OVER): There is already talk of US military intervention in Libya. Here in Benghazi, Libyans overwhelmingly reject this possibility.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): You need to understand there are political issues going on in Libya now. The entire Libyan population is insisting against US intervention or any involvement of foreign powers within Libya.

HAFIZ: Rebels in Benghazi are also rejecting calls from US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman to send the liberated territory weapons to fight Gaddafi's forces. They insist they defeated the security forces of Muammar al-Gaddafi in Benghazi without the use of weapons and without the support of a foreign government. Their victory in the bloody battle for Benghazi has engendered a strong sense of unity and nationhood in a country known for tribal divisions.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Neither a European nor an American military should intervene in the country, but we want to put pressure on Gaddafi's regime to fall. The free Libyan youth will, God willing, oust this criminal dictator from Libya. We only want them to stand strong with us and prevent Gaddafi from bringing mercenaries from other African countries."

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6342

Bruno said...

Below, the ramp opened into a large room supported by cement columns. The air was dense and the only light came from small air ducts near the ceiling. The cases sat piled wall-to-wall, just one of many arms caches hidden away by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But now the weapons are in the hands of his enemies here, a rebellious city of nearly 1 million people who, relatively unarmed, recently drove out Gadhafi’s special forces and mercenaries. Today, the rebels are preparing for further battle — and maybe even an attack on Gadhafi’s stronghold in Tripoli. But this time, they’ve got the weapons that the eccentric tyrant used to oppress his people for 41 years.

“We’ve found everything from bullets to rockets,” the man in the headlamp and blue spelunking jumpsuit said as he climbed out of a nearby hole that led into a small, concrete room. He led me to a manhole that descended around 50 feet to a tunnel not unlike a large sewer system. “There is a huge network of tunnels underneath us. A few friends went in two hours ago and they haven’t come out yet.”

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/inside-gadhafis-secret-underground-arsenal/

Bruno said...

Gates conspicuously didn’t order the aircraft carrier Enterprise, currently floating in the Red Sea, into the Mediterranean. An aircraft carrier would obviously give more options to Obama as a staging ground for launching a no-fly zone over Libya, something that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says is a possibility. Indeed, Gates and Mullen did everything they could to temper talk of a no-fly without actually opposing it.

There’s no United Nations mandate for taking any action, Gates said, and there’s “no unanimity within NATO” for military intervention. “The kinds of options talked about in the press and elsewhere” — i.e., a no-fly zone — “have their own consequences and second, third order effects, so they have to be considered very carefully.”

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/you-know-whos-not-hot-on-military-action-in-libya-the-pentagon/#more-41717

Bruno said...

The usual suspects?

"Prominent neoconservative Richard Perle, the former Reagan-era Defense Department official and George W. Bush-era chairman of the Defense Policy Board, traveled to Libya twice in 2006 to meet with Qadhafi, and afterward briefed Vice President Dick Cheney on his visits, according to documents released by a Libyan opposition group in 2009.

Perle traveled to Libya as a paid adviser to the Monitor Group, a prestigious Boston-based consulting firm with close ties to leading professors at the Harvard Business School. The firm named Perle a senior adviser in 2006.

The Monitor Group described Perle’s travel to Libya and the recruitment of several other prominent thinkers and former officials to burnish Libya’s and Qadhafi’s image in a series of documents obtained and released by a Libyan opposition group, the National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, in 2009.
[...]
A 2007 Monitor memo named among the prominent figures it had recruited to travel to Libya and meet with Qadhafi “as part of the Project to Enhance the Profile of Libya and Muammar Qadhafi” Perle, historian Francis Fukuyama, Princeton Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, famous Nixon interviewer David Frost, and MIT media lab founder Nicholas Negroponte, the brother of former deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence John Negroponte."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0211/Among_Libyas_lobbyists.html

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Hugo Chavez has reportedly (Al Jazeera reporting) proposed a ‘peace plan’ to bring some peace to his buddy Khadhafi.  The Arab League is supposedly on board with the plan.  Details are sketchy at this point, but the salient points appear to be that the rebels shall quit rebelling, and Khadhafi will be much happier, and maybe even get his Ukrainian nurse to return.

Clarifying the request for air-strikes by the rebel council in Benghazi, it appears that they've managed to agree to call for air support from unnamed, unspecified ‘foreign nations’ with casualties strictly limited to non-Libyan mercenaries.  (I'm inclined to wish ‘em luck with that, and otherwise stay way the hell back away from that one.)

Bruno said...

There seem to be quite a lot of conflicting reports on whether or not Libyans want foreign help or not. That seems to fit with the fractious nature of the rebellion. Whether they would get it or not, is another matter. The Americans seem reluctant, for one, and their reasons are not entirely clear. In any case, at the moment it seems as if the Libyans are chewing gum and kicking ass all on their own.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "The Americans seem reluctant, for one, and
      their reasons are not entirely clear.
"

You've apparently not been paying attention.

      "The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution calling
      on the United Nations to establish and enforce a
     
‘no-fly zone’ over Libya."
      Lee C. @ 4:03 AM, supra

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I would further note that South Africa is currently a member of the United Nations Security Council, and yet, so far as I can tell, has had diddly-squat to contribute so far by way of either diplomatic effort or advice or even stating a position.

Marcus said...

This article about a guy who was a prisoner of Al Qaeda is pretty interesting:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/world/asia/03kidnap.html?_r=1&hp

That'd really suck, to be held captive by those fuckers.

Bruno said...

[lee] "I would further note that South Africa"

... is governed by the ANC, who happen to love Gadhaffi. Talk to the hand, Lee.

Bruno said...

[lee] "The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution"

OK. So resolutions by the US senate are now legitimate expressions of American will?

I mean, since the murkins round here vehemently denied that the US senate voting to partition Iraq, is an expression of US will?

All that aside, I think that a no-fly-zone is way preferable to any sort of armed intervention on the ground, if intervention there must be.

Petes said...

"Must", Bruno? Why must there be an intervention? Surely it is infinitely preferable for the brave protestors to embrace the helicopter chain guns.

Bruno said...

@ PeteS

How to Learn English in 3 Months

Spoken by approximately 341 million native speakers and a further 267 million people as a second language, according to the language guide Omniglot, English is one of the world's major languages. Speaking English makes it easier to work not only in English-speaking countries ...

http://www.ehow.com/how_7918099_learn-english-3-months.html

Bruno said...

Meanwhile, I need me one of these:

http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/cars/alfa-romeo/alfa-romeo-4c-gallery-1.1034330?image=3

Petes said...

Or you could buy Amurkin ... the Chevy Corvette looks surprisingly similar :-)

http://www.autos-review.info/images/chevrolet-corvette.jpg

Petes said...

[bruno]: "...if intervention there must be"

Yeah, don't worry, the "if" wasn't lost on me. It just sounded a bit rattled, as if to say: "holy shit, Gaddafi may actually mean what he says about creating a bloodbath and then a teensy weensy bit of intervention might come in handy, just to tip the scales a little".

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "South Africa…happen[s] to love Gadhaffi."

Then perhaps you should concentrate on cleaning out your own nest, and not worry so much what the Evil Merkins might be up to.
   
      "I mean, since the murkins round here
      vehemently denied that the US senate voting to
      partition Iraq, is an expression of US will?
"

There are at least four (4) things wrong with that assertion of yours.  But, I'm not going to bother…
Instead, I will dispatch it with one observation.  When the Senate is controlled by the party which opposes the executive administration, then Senate resolutions cannot be taken to reflect American foreign policy.  You're used to a parliamentary system where the government falls and is replaced when it loses a legislative majority, so this political subtlety has apparently escaped your limited understanding.  Bush had a Democratic Senate to squabble with for the last six years of his administration, covering the time period to which you refer.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I do believe that we've detected Bruno arguing about ‘the meaning of the word “if’.  And, lo and behold:  It was Bruno his own self who started the argument.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Khadhafi's forces have captured three (3) Dutch marines wearing NATO uniforms.  The marines were apparently trying to evacuate some European civilians.

Um Ayad said...

New Fissures Exposed in Iraq Coalition

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s shaky power-sharing government suffered another setback on Thursday when former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi rejected a high-ranking advisory job that had been created to end the country’s protracted political deadlock.

Meanwhile, violence erupted on Thursday in the western city of Haditha, in Anbar Province as a suicide bomber attacked a line of people waiting to get into a bank, killing eight — including six soldiers — and wounding 13.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/world/middleeast/04iraq.html

Um Ayad said...

Tensions rise in Iraq’s Kirkuk as Kurdish leader sends in militias

Tensions are high in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk as the head of Kurdish autonomous region has deployed new units of his Kurdish militias known locally as Peshmerga.

Massoud Barzani, in comments on his decision to send in his militias, said he wanted to protect the Kurds in the city. However, he did not say from whom.

Reports from Kirkuk say Barzani sent in additional militias as his opponents were preparing for a protest against Kurdish practices in the city and the deteriorating conditions of public services.

Barzani controls the city through his militias and has so far turned down calls by Arabs and Turkmen for them to be replaced by Iraqi troops.

Both Arabs and Turkmen fear that Barzani “has political objectives behind his decision to deploy Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk,” Surhan said.

Um Ayad said...

Forgot the link!

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2011-03-02\kurd.htm

Um Ayad said...

Iraq authorities 'using violence and bribes' to curb dissent

Authorities in Iraq are using a mixture of strong-arm tactics and financial persuasion to prevent anti-government protests gaining momentum.

The political stakes escalated significantly when thousands of people took to the streets of Baghdad and other major cities last week to demand reforms, improved services and an end to the corruption associated with Iraq's new political elite.

Those demonstrations, the largest yet in Iraq, were met by force, as riot police opened fire on protesters with live ammunition. At least 29 people were killed, including a 14-year-old boy.

Since then, army and police units have beaten, arrested or threatened scores of political activists and journalists, their colleagues say. Meanwhile, government security and intelligence agencies are trying to root out the organisers of the protests, especially those who are using the internet in an attempt to organise another mass protest.

Hussein Abdul Hadi, a blogger who helped to arrange the "Day of Rage" march in Baghdad, said: "The intelligence services are collecting information about activists and after the demonstrations they have been making arrests and detaining people."

According to Mr Hadi and other activists, the number detained in the past three days runs into the dozens. Abul Razzq Nouri, a blogger from Anbar province who helped to organise last week's demonstration, said protest organisers and demonstrators were being "hunted down". The security services deny any systemic effort to silence demonstrators and have promised to carry out a wide-ranging probe into allegations of abuse.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/iraq-authorities-using-violence-and-bribes-to-curb-dissent?pageCount=0

RhusLancia said...

Bruno: "Meanwhile, I need me one of these:"

850kg? That's light!

Bridget said...

"The big issue is how much mayhem he is capable of causing before the end." Posted by Marcus

Actually, the big issue is what happens when he's gone. I'd speculate that what happens is what would have happened in Iraq had there not been a murkin military presence, inadequate though it may have been. Everybody is going to make a grab it, his sons, generals, Islamists, and Lord only knows who else.

Bridget said...

She's not posting much, but Libyan blogger "Highlander", seen on Zeyad's sidebar as "From My Rock", is in Libya and posting sporadically.

John said...

The pros and cons of America's killing machines being sent into Libya:

Con: Their lack of discernment when determining who they should kill:

ABC: "Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd says it is unacceptable that nine young Afghan boys were killed in a tragic misuse of United States air power.

NATO commander General David Petraeus has apologised for the incident and ordered an investigation into the deadly strike by US helicopters.

Local officials say the strike killed nine boys under the age of 12 who were gathering firewood in Afghanistan's north-eastern region.

One survivor of the attack, an 11-year-old boy, is reported as saying the helicopters hovered over the boys, rose up, fired rockets and then shot the boys one after the other using their canons."

Initially they tried to rationalise the slaughter by saying that the young boys looked like terrorists. (General Petraeus later admitted the strike was a terrible mistake against children.)

The fact is that the majority of these types of incidents in Afghanistan and the countless ones recorded in Iraq (most recently revealed on WikiLeaks)are premeditated thrill killings being executed by jaded boys with psychotic tendencies. Do you really whant to expose the Libyans to that??

Pros: Nil Report

Petes said...

Canuck J, you forgot this:

Pros: 100% guaranteed that Gaddafi has psychotic tendencies.

Petes said...

Bridget -- thanks for the pointer. I see "From the Rock" fears the IMF more than Gaddafi or imminent death. Very comforting :(

Petes said...

Quiz: Charlie Sheen v. Muammar Gaddafi...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/quiz/2011/mar/01/muammar-gaddafi-charlie-sheen-quiz?CMP=twt_gu

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

I finally got a chance to read that Lewis article. Simplistic or not, it got the point across to a layman like me and made me understand how bad things are for Ireland. That's what matters.

Size does matter, and in the case of Ireland, the government just didn't have it to handle things the way they did.

I see "From the Rock" fears the IMF more than Gaddafi or imminent death.

Hmmm...I don't know, that does seem a little extreme to me.

I see that the US is going to help evacuate the refugees on the Libyan/Tunisian border. Good idea.

Bridget said...

Petes, while I think a lot of her ideas are out in left field, she has a point about the IMF.

Bridget said...

Bruno needs to advise her to buy some gold and silver ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Fresh simian meat for Pete$

Um Ayad said...

An article written by Felicity Arbuthnot, a lady who knows Iraq well.

"Liberation" : Beware the Ides of March.

2nd March, marked the twentieth anniversary the mass murder thousands of Iraqis by the US 24th Mechanised Infantry Division, two days after the ceasefire, a final murderous act in the forty two day carpet bombing of Iraq. It also began the continuation of the silent decimation of a nation and people through a United Nations flagged siege of historic severity. Denied were food, medications, medical and dialysis equipment, scanners and X-ray machines and all supplies needed to rebuild a country now reduced to "a pre-industrial age."....

Iraq's infrastructure, education and progress is "liberated" backwards a hundred years, with America's imported fundamentalists dominating. Electricity is often just an hour a day even in Baghdad, social security and government rations have been cut to Iraq's up to seventy percent unemployed (figures differ) and foreign workers are imported by foreign companies, whilst skilled, willing and graduate Iraqis sit desperate and idle. US puppet "Prime Minister" Maliki, allegedly still clutching his foreign passport, has done nothing to put a quota on overseas workers, thus giving Iraqis a chance of a living, in their own land. But then, his orders are from his Master's voice....

Just eight months after the invasion I met a group of Iraqi professionals, anti the former regime to a man and woman. How was everything going? I asked. There was a moment's silence as they caught each others eyes, then: "We wish Saddam was back."

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m75520&hd=&size=1&l=e

Realist said...

Listen carefully and you can hear the demons in Hell howling for your blood.

Listen also for the bellowing roars of the archdemon Allah anticipating taking his pleasure with your black, withered soul.

His gigantic, erect, throbbing, scale covered, double-barbed male member splatters copious amounts of pus, semen, and smegma onto the rough rock walls of his den as he strokes it, dreaming of using it to impale you.

The pit full of boiling excrement in which you will spend eternity is ready and waiting for you, Um Ayad.

You are damned, utterly damned.

Praise Jesus!

Petes said...

Oytalian, I always reckoned it was a gap in your primatology -- you DO know that the simians include the hominids, and Homo sapiens?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I believe there's also a gap in his Italian.  So far as I know, Italian is the only one of the romance languages to have a separate and special word for body hair as opposed to hair on the head or face--translates as "fur".  A uniqueness of Italians it seems.
And yet he's calling everybody else some version of ape or monkey.  I've always found this to be amusing.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "...if intervention there must be"
[petes] Yeah, don't worry, the "if" wasn't lost on me. It just sounded a bit rattled, as if to say: "holy shit, Gaddafi may actually mean what he says about creating a bloodbath and then a teensy weensy bit of intervention might come in handy

I'm not an absolutist. There is a time and a place for intervening.

It's not clear at all that Libya today requires intervention, least of all on the ground.

Frankly I don't trust the folks with the capacity for intervening - ie the murkins, especially after what has gone on in Iraq and Afghanistan. John, as much as he may annoy you, has a point.

However, if folks are getting an itch to help the Libyan people which they have to scratch at all costs (and I'm assuming, probably naively, that such an urge would be out of altruism and not an urge to make sure that Libyan oil doesn't fall into the hands of, uh, "terrorists") then a no-fly zone is far more acceptable than boots on the ground.

Bruno said...

[lee] "When the Senate is controlled by the party which opposes the executive administration, then Senate resolutions cannot be taken to reflect American foreign policy."

LOL! More Lee-esque obfuscation to try and hide the facts. What a pity that on the common ground of US foreign policy, the 'executive administration' and the senate were in concord.

[lee] we've detected Bruno arguing about ‘the meaning of the word “if”’.

Nope. No argument. No confusion. PeteS and I are, it seems, in agreement on the meaning of the word "if". Our disagreement lies on the matter of the necessity of intervention and on who is qualified to do it.

RhusLancia said...

This ok w/you Bruno?

U.S. aircraft to help return Egyptians fleeing Libya

Bruno said...

Don't see the problem, Rhus.

Bruno said...

One after another, Libya's myriad tribes are falling in line against Gadhafi, and the implications are enormous, said longtime observers of Libya, because for centuries, tribes have formed the backbone of the North African nation. Many Americans pride themselves on God and country. In Libya, it's God, tribe, then country. Libya's 140 or so tribes and the clan and family structure that fall under them, remain the most important aspect of a society that lags behind many others in the region in development, said Ronald Bruce St. John, a scholar who has visited Libya numerous times and published several books about the country.

SOme anti- intervention views:

“We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs,” said Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga in Libya’s second city Benghazi last Sunday. “This revolution will be completed by our people with the liberation of the rest of Libyan ­territory.” He was speaking at a press conference to explain how the national revolutionary council is attempting to co-ordinate the rebel cities and administrate daily life.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=24090

Yusuf leans out of the window and yells "victory!" At the same time, two jets are attacking Brega and drop bombs near an ambulance there, as a Danish photographer reports later. But even if Gadhafi should continue his attacks on the rebels, Yusuf and his comrades say they don't want to see Western troops in Libya. A no-fly zone, he says, would be fine. "But if the Americans come," he says, "they would steal our revolution."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,748832,00.html

Russia’s top diplomat has today dismissed plans to create a no-fly zone over Libya as embattled leader Moammar Gaddafi unleashed bombing raids, special forces and army troops in a desperate bid to retain power. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the idea of imposing limits on Libyan air space as ‘superfluous’ and said world powers must instead focus on fully using the sanctions that the UN Security Council approved over the weekend.

http://www.infowars.com/russia-warns-on-libyan-intervention/

Anti-US Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr urged Iraqis on Thursday to protest against any possible US military intervention in Libya, saying the United States installed Qaddafi’ and now wants to remove him.Sadr accused Washington and Western nations of planting agents in Arab states and supporting dictatorships, then intervening in the name of democracy and claiming to liberate Arabs, citing the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.“US tricks do not deceive us any more. We were and still are standing against any intervention from the state of evil, America, in countries’ affairs,” Sadr said in a statement.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article299105.ece

Bruno said...

One after another, Libya's myriad tribes are falling in line against Gadhafi, and the implications are enormous, said longtime observers of Libya, because for centuries, tribes have formed the backbone of the North African nation. Many Americans pride themselves on God and country. In Libya, it's God, tribe, then country. Libya's 140 or so tribes and the clan and family structure that fall under them, remain the most important aspect of a society that lags behind many others in the region in development, said Ronald Bruce St. John, a scholar who has visited Libya numerous times and published several books about the country.

Bruno said...

SOme anti- intervention views:

“We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs,” said Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga in Libya’s second city Benghazi last Sunday. “This revolution will be completed by our people with the liberation of the rest of Libyan ­territory.” He was speaking at a press conference to explain how the national revolutionary council is attempting to co-ordinate the rebel cities and administrate daily life.

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=24090

Yusuf leans out of the window and yells "victory!" At the same time, two jets are attacking Brega and drop bombs near an ambulance there, as a Danish photographer reports later. But even if Gadhafi should continue his attacks on the rebels, Yusuf and his comrades say they don't want to see Western troops in Libya. A no-fly zone, he says, would be fine. "But if the Americans come," he says, "they would steal our revolution."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,748832,00.html

Russia’s top diplomat has today dismissed plans to create a no-fly zone over Libya as embattled leader Moammar Gaddafi unleashed bombing raids, special forces and army troops in a desperate bid to retain power. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the idea of imposing limits on Libyan air space as ‘superfluous’ and said world powers must instead focus on fully using the sanctions that the UN Security Council approved over the weekend.

http://www.infowars.com/russia-warns-on-libyan-intervention/

Anti-US Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr urged Iraqis on Thursday to protest against any possible US military intervention in Libya, saying the United States installed Qaddafi’ and now wants to remove him.Sadr accused Washington and Western nations of planting agents in Arab states and supporting dictatorships, then intervening in the name of democracy and claiming to liberate Arabs, citing the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.“US tricks do not deceive us any more. We were and still are standing against any intervention from the state of evil, America, in countries’ affairs,” Sadr said in a statement.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article299105.ece

Bruno said...

A little something on "The war on drugs" in Mexico:

http://exiledonline.com/wrong-turn-in-san-luis-de-potosi-why-did-the-zetas-ambush-two-ice-agents-on-a-lonely-mexican-desert-road/#more-29263

Marcus said...

About Tribal societies.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali was quoted in one of our swedish newspapers yesterday claiming that western style democracy cannot work in tribal societies. He said that if there are tribes A, B and C and A is the most numerous then in a tribal/democracy society tribe B and C are doomed to be second class citizens. He mentioned that popular vote might not only not be suitable but actually harmful and that a fair allocation from each tribe to the government and then the tribes themselves will have to sort out who to send to represent them would be more likely to work well.

In Libya he took the example of there being about 140 tribes and the Warfalla tribe counts for about 1 million oput of 6.7 million citizens, and they WOULD vote according to tribal lines and favour their own tribe when elected to office.

The Tribal system is so far from my reality I have no way to know whether it is true that tribe goes before country in virtually everything, but I've seen it mentioned many times. Also I have seen examples (that may be isolated incidents or exceptions from the rule, although I'm not so sure of that) of tribal mentality among some immigrants here in Sweden. In the case of legal cases where a perpetrator is very clearly in the wrong and the case is crystal clear, there may yet turn out hundreds of assorted relatives protesting and threatening members of the court and demanding to settle it in a private tribunal. It's very evident that tribe trumps at least the host country and its laws, in these cases. Regardless of right or wrong you stand by your tribe, it seems.

Petes said...

We have a fair allocation from each tribe to the government here in Oirland. We call it Proportional Representation. Boutros-Ghali is talking through his bum, imho. (He is Lebanese though, isn't he, which would have a bearing on his outlook).

Bruno said...

Abu Khaleel had some interesting commentary on tribes.

Marcus said...

He´s a christian copt from Egypt.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "What a pity that on the common ground of
      US foreign policy, the 'executive administration'
      and the senate were in concord.
"
      Bruno @ 12:30 AM

Not on the issue in question, they weren't ‘in concord’.  You sayin’ it's so don't make it so.
However, that is a separate question.  And we can take that up later if we have some reason to do that. 

Back to the question at hand:  You were originally telling us about how resolutions of the U.S. Senate were, ipso facto, official pronouncements of American foreign policy.  So, now that I've explained your error to you, and you've had a chance to reflect upon your error, and perhaps even augment your apparently limited understanding of the differences in a parliamentary system and a federal presidential/congressional system, now that we got all that out of the way…
Now what's your argument for the proposition that a hostile congress will necessarily be issuing resolutions in ‘in concord’ with the administration to which they are hostile?
Or, have you decided to just surrender on that one and admit you were wrong?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

      "Boutros Boutros-Ghali was quoted in one of
      our swedish newspapers yesterday claiming that
      western style democracy cannot work in tribal
      societies.
"

He appears to be limiting his thinking to the European, parliamentary model.  We have an alternate system that's proven itself, over the course of a couple hundred years now, as quite adept at absorbing and integrating different ethnic and religious groups, even tribes.

Bruno said...

Lee does protest at length, I see.

His protests amount to saying I'm wrong, because he says so.

LMAO

Bruno said...

This more or less seals the deal for me:

"In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage US intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week."

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/02/2011227153626965756.html

If those uber-clowns, hypocrites and fans of mass murder are getting involved, then I'm against any sort of venture that incurs their participation.

RhusLancia said...

^ Now that's a more familiar tune from you. For a second I thought there might actually be something the US military could do that would not earn a reflexive response of violent opposition from you.

It may (or may not) interest you to read their actual list of actions in the letter, which strays very little from what has been widely said/done already:

Therefore, we recommend the United States, in conjunction with NATO allies, take the following specific actions immediately:

1) The United States should call upon NATO to develop operational plans to urgently:

* Establish a presence in Libyan airspace to prevent the continued use of fighter jets and helicopter gunships against civilians and carry out other missions as required.
* Move naval assets into Libyan waters to aid in evacuation efforts and prepare for possible contingencies. Establish the capability to disable Libyan naval vessels used to attack civilians.

2) Freeze all Libyan government assets in the United States and Europe.

3) Consider temporarily halting importation of Libyan oil to the United States and Europe.

4) Make a clear statement that Col. Qaddafi and other officials who order and participate in massacres of civilians will be held accountable for their crimes under international law.

5) Provide humanitarian aid to the Libyan people as quickly as possible.

Anonymous said...

[ Dixie Monkey ] "We have an alternate system that's proven itself, over the course of a couple hundred years now, as quite adept at absorbing and integrating different ethnic and religious groups, even tribes."

Americans yelling "Go back home" and "terrorists" at Muslim Americans in Orange County

An Italian. said...

And so we have this evil creep, Pete the Maggot, who FAKES 'humanitarian' concerns in order to incite the Americans to steal the Libyan and Arab revolution (BTW, today the demonstrations against the - US-supported - corrupt Iraqi regime of al-Maliki & Co. are bigger than ever; and bad news for the 'Referendum' Dixiemonkey and his beloved Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well :)).

But Pete$ did NOT object to Iraqi civilians being "cut down with chain guns" by trigger-happy Ahmehwican beasts, he did NOT object at all!

Remember the video of US mass-murderers chain-gunning civilians in Baghdad???
"Look the dead bastards!".

And one remembers that this criminal Pete$ refused to condemn it (while the same obscene vermin immediately made his "condolences" for 7 torturers and international terrorists of the CIA that got their just deserts in Afghanistan, lol!!!).

So everybody can see how "humanitarian" (lol!!!) are these sorts of disgustingly hypocritical concerns...
...like those of the rapist beast in Minnesota, the Omar Suleiman lover Lyingette, who has her snout as purple as her arse.

Ucht said...

Absolutely correct, Italian.

When those international terrorists were rightly snuffed out in Afghanistan the comincal, but evil, clown was all tears.

But when Iraqis are being slaughtered in their hundreds of thousands, well... that can all be rationalized.

Disgusting, no less.

An Italian. said...

@ Zeyad.

'Protesters converge on Iraq capital.
Thousands of Iraqis walk long distances for second week of protests against the government, despite restrictions':

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/03/20113492534217409.html

Now let's see what the 'security' (lol!) forces of the al-Maliki-Iranian regime will do...

Bruno said...

Well, Italian, if we recall, Iraqi civilians killed by US forces retroactively become terrorists, by virtue of being shot by US forces. That's the circular logic that some of these folks operate by.

It makes it very difficult to rationalise help for the Libyans when we consider who will be doing the 'helping'.

Truth Seeker said...

You just need to look at Western imperialism in Afica to understand why Libyans don't want the 'help' some here seem are so insistant upon.

As I said before, I'm sure their motivation is entirely benign and altruistic!

Bruno said...

The Libyan capital Tripoli is the focus of the world's attention again after anti-government protesters called on people to return to the streets and demonstrate against the actions of Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12647344

Bruno said...

"Baghdad’s mayor became the third official to submit his resignation this month following street protests in the country to demand better living conditions and anti-corruption measures, state television channel Iraqiya said. Saber al-Issawi handed his resignation to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the channel reported today. The governors of the southern provinces of Basra and Babil also resigned earlier this month. "

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-03/baghdad-mayor-quits-after-protests-intensify-in-iraq-tv-says.html

Truth Seeker said...

Just turn on Al Jazeera, Bruno, and follow it live.

http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Bruno said...

"Iraqiya Bloc Leader Iyad Allawi met on Thursday with Shiite Leader Muqtada al-Sadr in the city of Najaf to discuss political developments and mass protests that gripped Iraq against bad services. Allawi and Sadr, during a press conference after their meeting at Sadr's house in Lahnana neighborhood in Najaf, co-stressed the right to peaceful protests demanding better services and living conditions."

http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20110304064144

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "Americans yelling ‘Go back home’ and
      ‘terrorists’ at Muslim Americans in Orange
      County
"

But, they didn't have to ‘go back home’ even after they got yelled at. 
A few rednecks and bigots gettin’ loud don't change the historical reality--the average Muslim citizen has more personal freedom and a greater opportunity for political participation here than in almost any majority Muslim nation.  Certainly the equal of any Muslim nation, even the best. 
 
             ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
That was really lame Bruno.  Way lame.  Ain't worth further bother.  I'll leave you to your attempt to convince whomever you're trying to convince.

Bruno said...

Cool, thanks!

Bruno said...

Huh, how 'bout that. A two-fer-one. :)

Bruno said...

Analysis of Iraqi protests:

"The problem is that the government is stuck in between a rock and hard place. They have claimed that the 2010 budget has plenty of money for the people, although some ministries have claimed that they will not have enough for their plans. Maliki has also promised that the power shortages will be solved in 12-20 months, even though others have contradicted that claim. Basically, Baghdad does not have the means or money to meet the people’s demands at this time, and making grand promises of solutions that can’t be met will only make the situation worse."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/03/the-fruits-of-malikis-hollow-promises.html

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
However, Bruno, I will repeat the pending question which you so inartfully tried to dodge.  I do want to leave you with that.  So:

      "Now, what's your argument for the proposition
      that a hostile congress will necessarily be
      issuing resolutions in
‘in concord’ with the
      administration to which they are hostile?
      Or, have you decided to just surrender on that
      one…?
"
      Lee C. @ 3:50 AM

Anonymous said...

We don't give a fig for the Ahmehwican constitutional system, stinky monkey...
hope Bruno will have the wisdom to let 'ya' be, since this is OT & boring.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
      "You just need to look at Western imperialism
      in Afica to understand why Libyans don't want
      the 'help' some here seem are so insistant upon.
"

And…  In a couple of weeks, or maybe a couple of months if Khadhafi manages to hold out that long, you can switch to complainin’ ‘bout how the Western Imperialists just sat back and watched the rebels getting cut down by Khadhafi's air power.  (Ain't gonna be no no-fly zone; ya'll just spinnin’ your wheels here.  Spinnin’ in one spot, imaginin’ that your actually chasin’ your own imaginations.)

Truth Seeker said...

If someone rapes, murders, chops off hands etc. on a vast scale, you generally don't take them seriously when they offer you 'help' five minutes later.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

  
Bruno,
I think that 8:08 posting by the ersatz ‘Italian’ is supposed to be your friendly hint to give it up.  You're screwed; ain't no way to save your position on this one.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Truth Seeker’,
Has it somehow escaped your notice that Libya is nowadays populated by Arabs, not by Africans?  And certainly not by Europeans.

Petes said...

Uh, Lee C., sorry to burst your bubble but Libyan Arabs are Africans -- primarily Berbers with some Tuareg in the west and Toubou in the south. They are Arabic by culture and language, not by genealogy.

Petes said...

Now, from Tuaregs to toe rags ...

[Oytalian toe rag]: "But Pete$ did NOT object to Iraqi civilians being "cut down with chain guns" by trigger-happy Ahmehwican beasts, he did NOT object at all!"

Eh, yes I did.

[Ucht al toe rag]: "But when Iraqis are being slaughtered in their hundreds of thousands, well... that can all be rationalized. Disgusting, no less."

Yep, it can be rationalised alright. It's rationalised as having been "unleashed by the invaders", while you monsters -- Oytalian, Bruno and your slimy self -- never raise a murmur against the actual perpetrators. Disgusting? You can say that again.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

     
      "They are Arabic by culture and language…"

Close ‘nuff 

Petes said...

To what?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
On the offhand chance you're just bein’ slow and not bein’ dim, I'll give you additional time to ponder that one for yourself for a while yet.

Petes said...

[Lee]: "Libya is nowadays populated by Arabs, not by Africans?"
[Petes]: "Libyan Arabs are Africans... Arabic by culture and language, not by genealogy"
[Lee]: "Close ‘nuff"
[Petes]: "To what?"

I would've guessed "close enough to being Arab and not African" to justify your assertion above.

Except, it isn't.

So that means you're being obtuse, or you're bluffing.

Don't feel you need to say which. I'm happy to assume both.

Ucht said...

^

Disgusting criminal.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
Ahhh!  So you are being dim and not just slow.  Okay then… 

  1.  The self-styled ‘Truth Seeker’ was ramblin’ on ‘bout Western Imperialists, or European Imperialists or some such thing; in Africa, doin’ evil deeds.  (4:06 PM, supra)

  2.  I observed that the Arabs weren't any better.  (9:38 PM)

  3.  He returned to his theme ‘bout ‘Western Imperialists’ a little later.  (7:29 AM and 8:16 AM)

  4.  I observed that Libya was populated by Arabs not Africans, ‘[a]and certainly not by Europeans’.  (8:26 AM)

  5.  You came on at 11:10 calling the residents ‘Libyan Arabs’, by culture and language.

That's close ‘nuff to suit me, hell of a lot closer to bein’ conquering Arabs than colonial Europeans.  Point bein’ that Arabs, whether they be Arabs by bloodline or by adoption, got a lot of damn gall to be whinin’ ‘bout Europeans rampagin’ ’round Africa.

Petes said...

Ahhh! So you are being both obtuse, and bluffing.

"hell of a lot closer to bein’ conquering Arabs than colonial Europeans"

By the same token, the Irish are a hell of a lot closer to being English than iron age Celts, by language and culture. You'd find precious few identifying themselves with British colonialism however.

And American Indians are closer to bein' colonial Europeans than ice age migrants from Asia. It doesn't follow that you can argue for taking their land and casinos back.

And it occurs to me that if you go back far enough, Africans invaded Arabia first. So maybe it's you that has a gall raggin' on about Arabs invading them back.

Or maybe you're just talkin' rot.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I'm gonna give ya a little while to think on your reach for an analogy there and then to freak out when ya figure out what you actually wrote there, and then try to take it all back.

Um Ayad said...

Iraqis defy checkpoints, vehicle bans to protest

Thousands rallied across Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq on Friday in anti-government demonstrations that defied security checkpoints and a vehicle ban that forced many to walk for hours to the heart of the capital.

Hana Adwar, an Iraqi political activist, said she'd received several calls from friends who had been prevented by security forces from getting to the square.

Protesters held demonstrations in different locations across the capital. Hundreds rallied in western Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood and in two neighborhoods in southeastern Baghdad. And in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah, hundreds of people gathered in front of the revered Abu Hanifa mosque after prayers, shouting: "Liar, liar, Nouri al-Maliki is a liar!"

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iFE7JBCr2145CJKHmOvy8pNI5JpA?docId=735fbd731c4e4babbe99270536b3c92b

Um Ayad said...

Journalists detained in Basra

Security forces dispersed a demonstration in front of the Basra council after clashes with protestors, eyewitnesses said, noting that a protestor was wounded and a number of journalists were arrested.
“Security forces used force to disperse demonstrators, wounding one of them, and detained a number of journalists, mainly channels and news agencies’ reporters,” eyewitnesses told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

http://en.aswataliraq.info/Default1.aspx?page=article_page&id=141306&l=1

Bomb explodes near U.S. convoy

A bomb went off on Wednesday targeting a U.S.convoy in al-Qanat street in eastern Baghdad, without leaving casualties, according to a security source.
“The bomb exploded near al-Mashtal bridge, eastern Baghdad, causing material damage only to the U.S.
convoy’s vehicles,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

http://en.aswataliraq.info/Default1.aspx?page=article_page&id=141273&l=1

Petes said...

[Lee C]: "I'm gonna give ya a little while..."

Grand. Don't call me, I'll call you.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

 
I guess I gave ya long enough then.  On we go.

        "You'd find precious few [Irish] identifying
        themselves with British colonialism however.
"

Easy ‘nuff to find Libyans who identify with the Arab conquest however, past and anticipated future.  Hard to find Libyans who don't.  After the Saudi, eastern Libyans made up the next largest group of bin Ladin's early al-Qaeda membership.  Libya was a member of the Arab League until the League suspended (but did not revoke) their membership just here lately.  The official name of the country is ‘The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’; prior to that the name was the ‘Libyan Arab Republic’.  The Libyans were way big on the "Pan-Arabism" first promoted by Nasser of Egypt.  I could go on and on and on.  But, I'll be succinct:  ‘Libyans consider themselves very much a part of a wider Arab community’  So Wiki say anyway.

It's only been in the last few years that Khadhafi has tried to turn his people from their self-identification as Arabs to nominating himself as ‘King of All Africa".  So far as I can tell his efforts to divorce Libyans from their self-identified ‘Arabism’ and get them to identify as Africans has been almost entirely unsuccessful.

You have a bad habit of trying to make Arabs out as some sort of Irishmen in keffiyeh.  I've noticed you doing the same thing with the Palestinians.  It's not a good analogy; not a good match. 

      "[I]f you go back far enough, Africans invaded
      Arabia first.
"

Is that so?  ‘Invaded’ did they?  So where from come those native homo sapien residents of Arabia you've imagined up who got themselves invaded by those first African homo sapiens came meandering out of Africa?

      "Don't call me, I'll call you."

You invited yourself into this one.  Now ya gotta deal with it, and that's all on you.

Bruno said...

^
|

LMAO @ the retarded ape

Edo Damara said...

kok bisa gtu ya..?

By: Red Line