Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saif Qadhafi in Zintan

Recent photo of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi dining with Zintan revolutionaries


Marcus said...

I guess they will hang him eventually anyway so they see no reason not to let him dine with them until then.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

A dying man's last meal?


Why do I think he has more lives than a cat?

Um Ayad said...

Former Gaddafi stronghold revolts against Tripoli

BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's ramshackle government lost control of a former stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday after local people staged an armed uprising, posing the gravest challenge yet to the country's new rulers.

Elders in Bani Walid, where militias loyal to the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) were driven out in a gunbattle a day earlier, said they were appointing their own local government and rejected any interference from the authorities in the capital Tripoli.


Um Ayad said...

US Media Iraq Reporting: See No Evil

The Iraq war may be over, at least for US troops, but the cover-up of the atrocities committed there by American forces goes on, even in retrospectives about the war. A prime example is reporting on the destroyed city of Fallujah, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war took place... According to a widely published article written for the Associated Press by Jim Krane, however, all males of "combat age," defined as being from 15 to 55, were turned back from those checkpoints to await their fate in the city. This despite an estimate by the Pentagon that there were only some 3-4000 insurgents in the city... Easy to say but hard to do when some 10,000 buildings are being flattened. Over 6000 residents of Fallujah were reportedly killed in the nine-day sacking of the city which followed, beginning on November 7. Given that the Pentagon concedes that many of the insurgents managed to slip out of the city before the attack, or to hide out until it was over, this means that thousands of civilians, including boys -- many of whom had tried to leave before the attack -- were slaughtered by invading American and British troops...


Um Ayad said...

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has criticised Iraq for executing 34 people on a single day last week.

She called the number of executions on 19 January "terrifying", saying there were "major concerns about due process and fairness of trials".

Her statement echoed the findings by Amnesty International in its 2011 report on human rights in Iraq.

"Trials consistently failed to satisfy international standards for fair trial; defendants frequently alleged that they had been forced to sign 'confessions' under torture or other duress while held incommunicado in pre-trial detention and were unable to choose their own defence lawyers," Amnesty said.


Um Ayad said...

Iraq bans visiting Saddam Hussein’s grave

Sheikh Falah al-Nada, Head of one of ex-president Saddam Hussein’s tribe confirmed that the graveyard that contains Hussein’s body, sons and some of his assistants was closed before ten days by police force. He added that this move was done after news that Hussein’s daughter, Raghad, has the intention to visit the graveyard, in addition to news that a Jordanian engineering company will renovate the tomb and expand the graveyard. "This news is unbelievable", he confirmed. Police sources in the province reported that the closure was made upon orders from the central government in Baghdad.

Since Hussein supporters and schoolchildren used to make visits there on the late dictator’s birthday and hanging date, the Iraqi government in mid-2009 had banned organised group visits to Saddam’s grave. However, visits by individuals from different provinces, including Shiite ones, had continued after the first ban.


Um Ayad said...

Just 3 months in prison!... It should have been life.

The final US Marine to face charges over the killing of unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005 has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty.

Sgt Frank Wuterich was one of eight Marines charged with murder or failure to investigate the killings, but now faces just three months in jail.

Among the dead were women, children and elderly people, including a man in a wheelchair....

The dropping of nine manslaughter charges against Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, 31, and the relative leniency of a maximum three month jail sentence will not be well received by those in Iraq who wanted justice for the death of family members. Especially after all other cases related to the killings have been dropped or acquitted.

The killings severely tainted the reputation of US forces in Iraq, but by 2005, they had already been hit hard by the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. The Haditha massacre is still an emotive issue in the country and prompted calls for US troops to be denied immunity from prosecution in the Iraqi justice system.


Petes said...

It gets better (or worse), Um Ayad. The judge is recommending that Wuterich serves no time. Which means that of eight people charged, not one will spend a day behind bars. Wuterich's pay will also not even be touched because he makes child maintenance payments!!!

I have to say I think this outcome is pretty damned disgusting. There were no extenuating circumstances to justify it. Wuterich pretty much admitted that they opened fire with total abandon. I don't think you have to be Iraqi to see this result as a travesty of justice. I expect the survivors of Haditha will be heartbroken, and understandably so.


Bruno said...

PETES has a morality attack???

Say it aint so!

Obviously, I agree with his comments above, unexpected though they be.

The outcome of the "trial", however, was exactly what I had expected.

Marcus said...

Remember all that "when our troops do wrong we put them on trial for it"-blather?

The kind of blather Lynnette is the undisputed champion of. What have you to say about this latest farce Lynnette?

Bruno said...

Well, there may not have been enough evidence, Marcus. See, the folks that got shot were unable to positively identify their assailants on account of being dead. Also, the troops were under stress, which is why they needed to shoot children. Or, something.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] What have you to say about this latest farce Lynnette? (regarding Haditha verdict)

I deplore the loss of any innocent life. My deepest sympathies go out to all the families of those who have died, not just those in the Haditha incident.

As far as the actual verdict in the Haditha case, I would want to look at all evidence before I made any judgement of guilt or innocence. It is understandable that Iraqis, even those not present, would feel a sense of outrage at this verdict. I think that within the limits of our legal system, an explanation of the verdict would be a good idea. Perhaps for all concerned.

Petes said...

[Bruno]: "PETES has a morality attack??? Say it aint so! Obviously, I agree with his comments above, unexpected though they be."

Why unexpected? You expect me to defend the indefensible? Haditha was fairly obviously a case of soldiers whose comrade had just been blown to smithereens deciding to exact revenge on innocent bystanders. Sad for the soldier who got killed, but it could never excuse what they did. It was exactly the sort of crime that there are rules of war to guard against. From my limited knowledge of the court case, I don't think those involved offered any sort of excuse. They admitted they weren't fired on, that they took a "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude, that they didn't try to identify the people they were shooting at except to the extent it was obvious they were in a civilian area, and so on. I'm not in favour of the death penalty, but I would expect at least the leaders of the squad involved to be jailed for life. I think this outcome sends out an extremely poor message.


Outraged...........Does not even begin to describe how I feel about the whole situation...A mockery of so-called Justice system of the U.S...............24 INNOCENTS MOWED DOWN IN COLD BLOOD TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF 1 SOLDIER......I HOPE THE SOLDIERS BURN IN HELL......SHAME ON THEM

Bruno said...

An excellent bit of obfuscation by Lynnette. I do however, agree that a detailed explanation of how the whitewasher - in - chief, aka 'judge', reached this decision would be nice.

Judging by Iraqi Native's reaction, I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was some sort of violent reprisal within Iraq for this.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...


I only know the bits and pieces of what I have read in the press about this case. And that has only raised questions for me. If one seeks justice, rather than revenge, trying to find out all the facts is certainly within reason. No obfuscation intended.

As to a violent reprisal within Iraq, I am sure that would please you. But it would not bring back the dead.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Iraqi Native,

If there is any guilt among the soldiers involved, and perhaps even if there isn't, they will certainly be living in their own kind of hell.

Bruno said...

Let's just put it like this: I noticed that on most US news reports on the stories, there are copious comments by US citizens expressing their disgust that these 'heroes' were even put on trial. So I'm not holding my breath on the 'guilt' part.

That said, it should also be noted that a vocal minority of Americans rightly slams the whole process up to and including the invasion itself. It just shows that there's still hope for y'all.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

      " I noticed that on most US news reports on the
      stories, there are copious comments by US
      citizens expressing their disgust that these 'heroes'
      were even put on trial.

I suspect you notice those comments in the non U.S. news sources you tend favor.  They tend not to appear in the American press I've seen.  I further suspect that your sources go out of their way to hunt down some citizens who'll express disgust about the trial.  There are some, of course; they can be found.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

      "I further suspect that your sources go out of
      their way to hunt down some citizens who'll
      express disgust about the trial.

That wasn't real clear.  Let's swing ‘round that again…

"I further suspect that your sources go out of their way to hunt down some citizens who'll express disgust about the fact that the soldiers were put on trial in the first place."

Yeah, that's better.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] I'm not holding my breath on the 'guilt' part.

Anyone involved in that kind of incident would be affected in some way. It's unavoidable.

PRACTIC said...

Great pictures, great story, great job in here, GREAT BLOG, you've got all my CONGRATULATIONS and maximum respect, Robert from Ploiesti, Romania !!!

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    said...

More re:  American politics

Gingrich came out of the South Carolina primary with a nine point lead over Romney in Florida, according to the published opinion polls.  Romney has outspent Gingrich, in Florida, on TV and radio ‘attack ads’ at a ratio of about four maybe nearer five to one.  Also Romney did better in the two intervening debates.  As a result, Romney now has a double digit lead over Gingrich, going into today's primary voting.
Gingrich still has a solid lead over Romney nationally, among Republicans anyway, but he's taken a hell of a beating in the state of Florida where voting is going on today.
Gingrich was ahead of Romney in Iowa too, up until about a few weeks before the final vote, and then Romney unleashed a flurry of TV and radio ‘attack ads’ against him, and Romney came in a close second there; Gingrich way down the line.  But, they took their eyes off of Gingrich after that, figuring he'd join a growing list of über-conservative or just plain quirky challengers who rose and then faded away.  (Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain.)  However, once they quit running attack ads against Gingrich, he rose again and challenged them in South Carolina and beat them, and went into Florida with a significant lead, now eroded again by the attack ads. 
And, I think it not just the multiplicity and the content of the attack ads that's made Romney more popular.  It's the attack itself.  The right-wing is angry; they've been working themselves up to a white hot anger since they lost the presidency in 2008.  Fox News has a hell of a marketing strategy going, and part of entails making sure their audience remains angry.  The angry audience wants an angry candidate; they want mean; they want mud thrown, and rocks along with it.  That Romney is now playing to the baser instincts makes them more hospitable towards him.  They want blood in the water is what they want, and Romney wasn't giving it to them up until now. 
They've been telegraphing that it's going to be a really nasty campaign this time, and they weren't seeing what they considered an appropriate amount of nastiness comin' outta Romney ‘til now.
It's unlikely the Romney campaign will make the same mistake twice.  This time they'll not let up on Gingrich after the Florida race is over, but will continue with the paid TV ads against him, pretty much incessantly, if at a somewhat reduced level from their massive Florida offensive.  Gingrich is still ahead of Romney nationally, outside Florida, and they're gonna want to break him down before the ‘Super-Tuesday’ set of six primaries on March 6th.  That's his next shot at pulling even again, or ahead.  They'll wanna bury him before that comes around.
Post Script. 
Gingrich will consider it a ‘win’ at this stage if he can hold his loss in Florida to no more than 7-8 percentage points.
Nota Bene
Romney is proving to be something of an ungracious winner.  He's made a couple of comments late yesterday that can only be interpreted as twisting the knife just for the enjoyment of it.

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