Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011
Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Hermann Missouri UMA Solar Distribution Center Launches

UMA Solar Launches New Midwestern Distribution Center 

UMA Solar, a manufacturer and distributor of solar thermal products for residential and commercial applications, has entered into an exclusive partnership with John Ervin and opened a new distribution point in Hermann, Mo.

"Having a resident renewable energy expert centrally located in the Midwest will increase UMA Solar's presence in an expanding market," says Bob Zrallack, chief operation officer of UMA Solar.

Ervin is a veteran in the renewable energy field, with more than 10 years experience installing solar systems in Arizona, Mexico and Missouri. He is also a practiced sales representative, having sold renewable energy equipment globally with a focus on solar water heating, solar pool heating, solar electric and wind power in both residential and commercial systems.

As part of the new partnership, a new UMA Solar distribution point will be added to the Midwest region, rounding out the company's current network of distribution centers in northern and Southern California, Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania.

“Due to the increase in fuel and energy costs, it seems logical to have equipment available in the Midwest, reducing transportation costs for our customers in addition to reducing fuel use,” said Ervin. “As the demand for green energy grows in this country and as we try to reduce our usage of imported fuels, UMA Solar will continue to be a key player in distributing the equipment necessary in the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable method possible.”

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CIA IN BED WITH GADDAFI: US Embassy in Tripoli 2009 cable “Libya has acted as a critical ally in US counter-terrorism efforts...": Gaddafi Regime Gave Names of Jihadists to CIA and Britain M16


Gaddafi regime fed names of jihadists to the CIA and to Britain


COLONEL Muammar Gaddafi's regime secretly provided information to Britain and the US on Islamic extremists in the east of Libya, according to leaked diplomatic cables and intelligence sources.
The names of hundreds of suspects were passed to the CIA and British intelligence.
“There was a strong, shared concern between Gaddafi and the US and UK Governments about radical Sunni jihadist terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” Paul Pillar, a CIA veteran who negotiated with Libya over its nuclear program, told The Times.
Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks paint eastern Libya as a fertile ground for radical extremism. One source told US officials in 2008 that for young men from Derna, a city east of Benghazi, “resistance against coalition forces in Iraq was an important act of 'jihad' and a last act of defiance against the Gaddafi regime”.
However, Vincent Cannistraro, a former head of the CIA's Libya branch, said that Colonel Gaddafi had “sucked in” the West with allegations of terrorism in the east of Libya.
“Gaddafi conflated the LIFG with al-Qa'ida and that obviously caught the attention of the Americans and the British who, post-9/11, were hungry for terrorism intelligence,” he said. “There wasn't a lot of reporting sources and Gaddafi was providing it - but his motivation was to protect himself.”
Mr Cannistraro agreed that “sometimes you had to do deals with bad people”. But he added: “Gaddafi was an outright murderer. There shouldn't have been so much co-operation.”
In contrast, Dr Pillar maintained that the information was essential. “Some regimes paint their local opponents as part of a larger terrorist picture but this wasn't the case here. There have been an awful lot of Libyans in al-Qa'ida and among the violent resistance in Iraq and in Afghanistan.”
Even among the rebels now hoping to overthrow the regime are “radical Islamists who would be of concern”, he warned. “I think there's a high chance for people who would alarm us having a major influence should Gaddafi fall.”
The CIA first made contact with Colonel Gaddafi in the late 1990s, only 10 years after Libyan intelligence operatives blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. British intelligence is understood to have become involved later, after Colonel Gaddafi renounced weapons of mass destruction in 2003.
Six years on, another leaked cable said that “Libya has acted as a critical ally in US counter-terrorism efforts, and is considered one of our primary partners in combatting the flow of foreign fighters”. The cable, sent from the US Embassy in Tripoli on August 10, 2009, emphasised that the US-Libya “strategic partnership in this field has been highly... beneficial to both nations”.
One senior British intelligence source confirmed that MI6 had close contact with Colonel Gaddafi. “I expect he was only giving us what he wanted,” the source said. “But valuable information was picked up.”
Close political and intelligence co-operation continued until last year despite the US State Department condemning Libya for oppression and human rights abuses in 2009.


‘Libya assault planned months ahead’

Russia Today
March 21, 2011
RT talks to Stephen Lendman, a Chicago based radio host of a political talk show.


Gen. Wesley Clark: Proof Libyan Invasion was Planned 10 Years in Advance

U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.


July 2010 – BP set to begin oil drilling off Libya

BBC News
July 24, 2010
Oil giant BP has confirmed it will begin drilling off the Libyan coast in the next few weeks.
The deepwater drilling will take place in the Gulf of Sirte following a deal signed in 2007 with Libya on oil and gas development.
The news comes amid major concerns over BP’s environmental and safety record following the Gulf of Mexico spill.
It also follows claims, denied by BP, that it lobbied for Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi’s release.

29 May 2007 – BP Agrees Major Exploration and Production Deal with Libya

Release date: 29 May 2007
BP’s single biggest exploration commitment,” says BP group chief executive.
BP and its Libyan partner, the Libya Investment Corporation (LIC), today signed a major exploration and production agreement with Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC). The initial exploration commitment is set at a minimum of $900million, with significant additional appraisal and development expenditures upon exploration success.
The agreement was signed today in Sirt, Libya, by BP’s group chief executive Tony Hayward and NOC chairman, Shokri Ghanem.
BP and the LIC will explore around 54,000 square kilometres (km2) of the onshore Ghadames and offshore frontier Sirt basins, equivalent to more than ten of BP’s operated deepwater blocks in Angola. Successful exploration could lead to the drilling of around 20 appraisal wells.


Alexandra Valiente
Ephemeris 360°.org
U.S. state and state sponsored terrorism in Libya is in direct contravention to International Law.
On Februrary 26, 2011, the U.N. Security council passed Resolution 1970.
Fearing ICC prosecution resulting from disclosures of their own terrorist activities within Libya, not to mention other dangerous, incriminating revelations that would inevitably arise should Gaddafi testify at The Hague, the United States forced the United Nations to include the following clause:
6. [...]nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.
Mainstream media were quick to spin this into “African mercenaries ‘immune from prosecution for war crimes’”.
This was not a benevolent gesture made by the U.S. on behalf of mercenaries hired by Gaddafi to defend against the armed rebel hoardes. The U.S. is shielding only itself and those operating on its behalf.
The US is not a state party to the Rome Statutes and the ICC.
Read full article

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Obama Double-Speak: ‘President Does Not Have Power Under Constitution to Unilaterally Authorize a Military Attack’

Monday, March 21, 2011

(CNSNews.com) - As a presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) emphatically stated that the Constitution does not give the president the authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack unless it is needed to stop an actual or imminent attack on the United States.
Obama made the assertion in a Dec. 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe when reporter Charlie Savage asked him under what circumstances the president would have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without first seeking authorization from Congress.
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama responded.
“As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States,” Obama continued. “In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch.”
Obama did not seek congressional authorization before joining allies, including Great Britain and  France, in taking military action against the regime of Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi in order to establish a no-fly zone over that country. The action was approved by the United Nations Security Council but not by the U.S. Congress.
In a followup question in its December 2007 interview, the Boston Globe asked Obama if the Constitution gave the president the power to disregard a congressional statute putting some type of limit on the way troops could be deployed.  Here, too, Obama deferred to the constitutional authority of Congress.
“No, the President does not have that power,” Obama told the paper. “To date, several Congresses have imposed limitations on the number of US troops deployed in a given situation. As President, I will not assert a constitutional authority to deploy troops in a manner contrary to an express limit imposed by Congress and adopted into law.”

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Congressman Ron Paul comments on how President Obama's actions on Libya are violating the Constitution, ceding authority and sovereignty to the United Nations, and weakening the United States. Action by the American people to return government to its Constitutional limits is critical if we are to change our course.



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Obama Played Grand Tourist While it's Bombs Away in U.S. military strikes in Faraway Libya.


Obama takes in Rio with Libya on his mind

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Jim Kuhnhenn, 
 Mar 20 , 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO – President Barack Obama played grand tourist to Rio de Janeiro's vivid extremes on Sunday, motorcading from brilliant beaches to a notorious slum even as he monitored U.S. military strikes in faraway Libya.
With his whole family in tow on the second day of a Latin American tour meant to knit economic and cultural ties, the president visited the City of God shantytown that gained fame after a movie by the same name was nominated for four Oscars. At a community center in the heart of the jostling slum, the president plunged into the lives of children there, playing soccer with kids and watching enthralled at a dazzling martial arts display.
The president shed his coat and tie, rolled up his sleeves and dribbled one-on-one soccer with one surprised boy. Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia got involved, too, kicking a ball around with the kids.
Then the president walked out into the streets and waved to throngs of residents who cheered him from rooftops and balconies. Dozens of young children pressed up against a chainlink fence trying to get a look.
On the metal roofs of the poor shantybuildings armed guards stood by. It was a short visit but the president got a glimpse of the poverty of the slum, visceral scenes of jumbled dwellings, and people lining the streets.
Meanwhile, seemingly a world away U.S. warplanes launched a coordinated assault against Moammar Gadhafi's defenses a day after the president authorized the military action to enforce an internationally authorized no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. The president had been on a conference call with his top advisers earlier Sunday to get briefed on the effort as juggled his touristing and economic outreach in Latin America with the unceasing demands of being commander-in-chief.
The president's sightseeing Sunday was sure to endear him even more to a diverse and multicultural country where his personal story already makes him popular. That advances the overall goals of the five-day Latin American trip — with Chile and El Salvador next on the itinerary — which aims to cast Obama and the United States as attentive neighbors from the North, eager to capitalize on the region's economic successes while addressing common security concerns.
From the start, however, Obama's attention has been divided. He's been forced to shuttle from meetings with his host, President Dilma Rousseff, and with Brazilian and U.S. executives to briefings and secure calls with his national security team
With the conflict in North Africa sure to continue to intrude, Obama was heading from his shantytown tour to deliver a speech promoted as an address to the Brazilian people. He'll speak from inside the Theatro Municipal performance hall that sits on Cinelandia Plaza, a historic square that was the scene of a 1984 protest that set the stage for the eventual end of a 20-year military dictatorship.
The speech was originally billed as an outdoor event on the plaza open to all, but U.S. officials decided at the last-minute to move the speech inside the theater and make it invitation-only "due to a number of concerns," according to a Friday press release from the U.S. Embassy. Scaffolding for the stage on which Obama was to speak was quickly removed from the square.
The president will end his stay in Rio with a nighttime walking tour of Corcovado Mountain to the Christ the Redeemer Statue that is the very symbol of the city. Initially, Obama had planned to visit the Christ statue at mid-morning. Aides said the change in schedule and shifting the speech to an indoor venue were due to logistical adjustments. They said they feared the statue would be shrouded in fog Sunday — a mist did cover the hills around Rio.

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Hastily Assembled Coalition on Libya Showing Cracks, Criticism of the operation increasing


First cracks emerge in military coalition on Libya

Deborah Pasmantier
March 22, 2011

While the US-French-British core stayed solid, cracks started to show Monday in the military coalition hastily assembled to take action on Libya as the Arab League and some EU countries wavered.
Criticism of the operation came swiftly after French jets took to the skies on Saturday to launch the first air strikes on Libyan targets in support of UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa caused concerns on Sunday when he said the air strikes went beyond the scope of the resolution to implement a no-fly zone and said he was concerned about civilians being hurt in bombing.
But after a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Cairo on Monday, Mussa got back behind the military strikes.
"We are committed to UN Security Council Resolution 1973, we have no objection to this decision, particularly as it does not call for an invasion of Libyan territory," Mussa told a press conference with the UN chief.
However the Arab League's concerns seemed to have left their mark when European Union foreign ministers gathered for talks in Brussels on Monday.
Germany, which abstained in the Security Council vote when the resolution was passed on Thursday, said Mussa's criticism showed that Berlin had been right to fear military intervention.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: "We calculated the risks, and when we see that three days after this intervention began, the Arab League has already criticised this intervention, I think we see we had good reasons."
Italy said its offer to contribute eight Tornado jets to the military operation was accompanied by concerns that the allied campaign "shouldn't be a war" on Libya.
"We want to verify all the actions undertaken are consistent with the mission objectives" under the UN Resolution, said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. "We do not want to go beyond the scope of the resolution."
Analysts say Germany and Italy's criticism stemmed from the coalition's targeting of Libyan tanks and forces on the ground, rather than simply limiting their actions to implementing a no-fly zone.
Germany's objections "are a mixture of political considerations, classic pacifism", annoyance at its fellow European power France's leading role in the operation "or poor diplomatic handling", said Dominique Moisi from the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).
Italy, formerly a close ally of Moamer Kadhafi's regime, was playing its role as "a voice of discord".
While the Arab League returned to a more consensual position Monday, Mussa's approach illustrates the "schizophrenic position" of Arab states, said Jean-Pierre Maulny, of the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations.
Western nations have boasted of Arab participation in the coalition, but until now only Qatar has committed fighter jets.
The United Arab Emirates said Monday its involvement in Libya is limited to humanitarian assistance, despite reports that it too would send warplanes.
"Many countries are torn between the imperatives of their domestic and foreign policy: the Arab League knows Kadhafi is a problem and wants him to go, but at the same time there is a fear that Western intervention will be badly viewed by the Arab public opinion," he said.
In fact, everything hinges on the definition of the "no-fly zone".

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Backtracking on Libya: the Arab world breaks ranks


Over the weekend, Arab League chief Amr Moussa slammed the international air strikes on Libya only to backtrack a day later in what is widely being seen as a sign of the legendary Arab League disunity.

It was an all-too familiar display of backtracking, a quintessential show of Arab world disunity that elicited groans in Middle Eastern policy circles, Western capitals, and among many ordinary Arab citizens who have grown weary with the way the Arab League works – or not works as is more often the case.
The international sighs followed Arab League chief Amr Moussa’s statement slamming Western military strikes on Libya over the weekend.
“What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone,” said Moussa on Sunday. “What we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians."
Moussa’s criticism came as France, Britain and the US were striking targets in Libya, armed with a UN resolution that specifically mentioned the March 12 decision by the Arab League calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over the North African nation.
Western powers sensitive to any portrayal of the international Libyan operation as an attack by the West on a Muslim country, had placed unprecedented weight on the calls for a no-fly zone resolution by the Arab League and the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Moussa’s statement at such a critical time was not welcome in policy circles that had pushed for an international intervention in Libya.
It was however seized by pundits and columnists wary of another Western involvement in a Muslim nation.
But by Monday, the backtracking had begun.
At a press conference with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Cairo on Monday, Moussa stood by UN Resolution 1973, which was passed late last week.
"The Arab League position on Libya was decisive and from the first moment we froze membership of Libya,” said Moussa, before adding, “...then we asked the
United Nations to implement a no-fly zone and we respect the UN resolution and there is no conflict with it."
Over the course of its 66-year existence, the Arab League has established a reputation of disunity, showcased in the popular Arabic quip, “the Arabs have agreed not to agree”. This time, Ban Ki-moon, the seasoned diplomat, was having none of it.
"It is important that the international community speak with one voice to implement the second council resolution," said Ban, referring to UN Resolution 1973.
‘Caught up in the old narrative’
Although Moussa is firmly back on the international-one-voice bandwagon, his seemingly inconsistent Sunday comments did leave many experts scratching their heads.
“When European powers and the US go to war in the Arab world, there are basically two narratives,” explained Christopher Dickey, Middle East editor at US Newsweek magazine.
“The western narrative is about victory, while the Arab narrative is about victims. Clearly, Gaddafi’s people want the narrative of victims,” explained Dickey, referring to uncorroborated official Libyan reports that a children’s hospital had been targeted by Western airstrikes. “I think Amr Moussa was caught up in the old narrative.”
Who is Amr Moussa?
A fixture on the Arab diplomatic scene for decades, 73-year-old Moussa was the Egyptian foreign minister before he was relieved of his post by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for allegedly being too strident in his anti-Israeli rhetoric.
But as Arab League chief, Moussa remained close to Mubarak until the latter’s fall last month, when Moussa threw his hat into the upcoming Egyptian presidential ring.
Dickey believes that Moussa’s populist comments on Sunday were made with an eye on the presidential race.
“I don’t think he was speaking for the Arab League, he was not speaking as the chief of the Arab League, he was speaking as an Egyptian presidential candidate,” said Dickey. “It’s not about the Arab League, it’s about Amr Moussa.”
When one Arab state attacks another
Domestic considerations have always trumped international agendas and in the Arab world, the Libyan operation is particularly sensitive especially because Arab leaders are never comfortable with the image of one Arab state attacking another.
While the Gulf Arab states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are -committed to aiding the international military operations in Libya, they have been notably short on providing details of their military involvement in policing the no-fly zone.
On Sunday, French Defense Ministry spokesman Laurent Teisseire told reporters that Qatari warplanes planned to join the international operation alongside French jets. While Qatar's state news agency confirmed the country's aircraft are participating in enforcing the no-fly zone, it did not provide any details.
Similarly, the UAE has not publicly outlined its contribution to the international mission.
It's foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, was at a weekend meeting in Paris to coordinate the coalition effort. But he declined to provide details over the weekend and during a press briefing in the Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi on Monday, Al-Nahyan did not take questions from reporters.
When Arab leaders meet

Members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UAE and Qatar have joined Saudi forces in Bahrain to support the nation's Sunni leadership following pro-democracy protests mostly by Bahrain’s oppressed Shiite majority.
The GCC’s cross-military operation to prop a regime that has brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protests has raised eyebrows across the Muslim world, where many Sunnis and Shiites are monitoring how Gulf Arab leaders will react to the prospect of the Arab Spring washing up on their shores.
"It's a double standard," Mohammed Tajer, a lawyer defending detained protesters in Bahrain told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend. "The Arab League consists of dictatorships that want to protect their own interests."
In the end, the Arab League support for a Libyan no-fly zone, according to Dickey, is not so much about ideological issues rather than personal grievances. “We tend to look at it as an ideological clash of autocratic presidents and emirs versus the people,” said Dickey. “That’s not the way Gulf leaders see it. They see it in very personal terms.”
And Gaddafi has few friends among the Arab world leadership.
With the Saudi ruling family, a powerhouse in the Arab League, for instance, there has been a historic rift with Gaddafi.
At a 2003 Arab League summit in Egypt, the mercurial Gaddafi launched a vitriolic tirade - broadcast live on Arabic TV stations across the Mideast - against then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
The Saudis have never played up their differences with Gaddafi, but they’ve never forgotten it either. Neither have several longstanding Arab leaders, including Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Just don’t expect them to publicly detail their involvement in Libya though. Arab leaders, like Moussa, have a home audience to cater to - especially at a time when ordinary Arabs seem to be on the winning side of the historic fight for democratic rights.

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Gasconade County Man Accused of Scamming Inmates' Relatives: Owensville, Missouri


Missouri man accused of scamming inmates' relatives

Monday, March 21, 2011

ST. LOUIS • A Gasconade County man has been indicted for allegedly scamming tens of thousands of dollars from the relatives of prison inmates.
Prosecutors say that from 2009 to January of this year, Scott A. Lansford, 33, promised pardons, reduced sentences and other benefts by falsely claiming "connections" to judges, law enforcement and government officials, including Missouri's governor. He had no connections, his indictment says.
To boost his bona fides, Lansford claimed to be a former FBI agent, presidential bodyguard and special forces officer, claimed to be working with an attorney and presented relatives with documents that he falsely claimed he had filed, the indictment says.
The indictment was returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis but not unsealed until Monday.
Public records say Lansford lives in the 1700 block of Buntons Holler in Owensville, in Gasconade County.
In exchange for the services that victims believed he was providing, the indictment alleges, they paid him large sums of money in the form of cash, checks and money orders. One victim made payments to Lansford totaling approximately $35,000.
In Franklin County, Lansford allegedly obtained $7,500 from the family of Gregory Troxel who is serving a life prison sentence for the August 1995 murder of Imogene Schultz who was killed in the Melody Lake development south of Leslie.
Lansford was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of mail fraud. He is scheduled for an initial court appearance on March 28. The indictment was announced on Monday.
Lansford resides in the 1700 block of Buntons Hollow, off the west end of Hecker Road, according to public records.
If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Restitution is mandatory. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Reginald Harris is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“As is always the case,  charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt,” noted the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
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Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya - Attack Decision Based on No Reliable Information Whatsoever


Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya: Imperialist Aggression Shreds UN Charter

Webster Tarpley
March 21, 2011


Late today US and British cruise missiles joined with French and other NATO combat aircraft in Operation Odyssey Dawn/Operation Ellamy, a neo-imperialist bombing attack under fake humanitarian cover against the sovereign state of Libya. Acting under UN Security Council resolution 1973, US naval forces in the Mediterranean on Saturday night local time fired 112 cruise missiles at targets which the Pentagon claimed were related to Libya’s air defense system. But Mohammed al-Zawi, the Secretary General of the Libyan Parliament, told a Tripoli press conference that the “barbaric armed attack” and “savage aggression” had hit residential areas and office buildings as well as military targets, filling the hospitals of Tripoli and Misurata with civilian victims. Zawi accused the foreign powers of acting to protect a rebel leadership which contains notorious terrorist elements. The Libyan government repeated its request for the UN to send international observers to report objectively on events in Libya.
The attacking forces are expected to deploy more cruise missiles, Predator drones, and bombers, seeking to destroy the Libyan air defense system as a prelude to the systematic decimation of Libyan ground units. International observers have noted that US intelligence about Libya may be substandard, and that many cruise missiles may indeed have struck non-military targets.
Libya had responded to the UN vote by declaring a cease-fire, but Obama and Cameron brushed that aside. On Saturday, France 24 and al-Jazeera of Qatar, international propaganda networks hyping the attacks, broadcast hysterical reports of Qaddafi’s forces allegedly attacking the rebel stronghold of Bengazi. They showed a picture of a jet fighter being shot down and claimed this proved Qaddafi was defying the UN by keeping up his air strikes. It later turned out that the destroyed plane had belonged to the rebel air force. Such coverage provided justification for the bombing attacks starting a few hours later. The parallels to the Kuwait incubator babies hoax of 1990 were evident. Qaddafi loyalists said Saturday’s fighting was caused by rebel assaults on government lines in the hopes of provoking an air attack, plus local residents defending themselves against the rebels.
At the UN vote, the Indian delegate correctly pointed out that the decision to start the war had been made on the basis of no reliable information whatsoever, since UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon’s envoy to Libya had never reported to the Security Council. The bombing started shortly after a glittering Paris summit “in support of the Libyan people,” where Sarkozy, Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Harper of Canada and other imperialist politicians had strutted and postured.
Token contingents from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia were supposed to take part in the attack, but were nowhere to be seen, while some Arab states were expected to provide financial support. The minimum estimated cost of maintaining a no-fly zone over Libya for one year is estimated in the neighborhood of $15 billion – enough to fund WIC high-protein meals for impoverished US mothers and infants for two years.

From no-fly zone to regime change
The alleged purpose of the bombing was to establish a no-fly zone and to protect a force of CIA-sponsored Libyan rebels composed of the Moslem Brotherhood, elements of the Libyan government and army subverted by the CIA (including such sinister figures as former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister Fattah Younis), and monarchist Senussi tribesmen holding the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk. But twin Friday ultimatums by President Obama and British premier Cameron, plus a speech by Harper, made clear that the goal was the ouster of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and regime change in the North African oil-producing nation, whose proven reserves of crude are the largest on that continent.
Prospects for military success are uncertain, despite the apparent NATO preponderance. No clear military objective has been articulated, and disagreements about the scope of the war are likely. If Qaddafi’s tanks and infantry are engaged in house to house battles with the rebels in cities like Bengazi and Tobruk, it will be hard for NATO to bring its air superiority to bear without massacring large numbers of civilians.

From hope and change to shock and awe
While Obama’s action is being widely compared to the Bush-Cheney 2003 attack on Iraq, parallels to the April 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco are also strong. In that instance, a force of anti-Castro Cubans organized by the CIA was militarily defeated in an attempt to take over Cuba, resulting in calls from Allen Dulles to President Kennedy for air strikes and a ground invasion. Kennedy rejected those calls and fired the Dulles CIA leadership. Obama, faced by the military collapse of a CIA force in Libya, has ordered such bombing, opening a second phase of the present US debacle.
The rebel region of Cerenaica has long been the scene of Moslem brotherhood agitation against Qaddafi, much of it fomented from across the Egyptian border with US assistance. After the failed 1995 assassination attempt against the Libyan leader reported by MI-5 defector David Shayler (for which MI-6 paid £100,000 to an al Qaeda subsidiary), eastern Libya was the scene of a protracted Islamist insurrection. In the wake of events in Tunisia and Egypt, it has become clear that the CIA has stipulated a worldwide alliance against existing Arab governments with the reactionary and oligarchical Muslim brotherhood, which was created by British intelligence in Egypt in the late 1920s. Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), another CIA front, is trumpeting full support for the rebels on its website.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first to recognize the Benghazi rebels, calling for a no-fly zone and air strikes a week earlier, seconded by British Prime Minister Cameron. Until about 18 hours before the UN vote, top US officials like Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Gates were stressing the difficulties of a no-fly zone. French Foreign Minister JuppĂ© lamented that it was already too late for a no-fly zone. Then, the US abruptly demanded a no-fly zone plus a blank check for aerial bombing. Diplomatic observers are puzzled by Obama’s turnaround. Was he being blackmailed by the British and the French, the same imperialist coalition that invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal back in 1956? Because of Obama’s decision, the US is now at war with a fourth Moslem nation after Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the simmering conflict is threatening to escalate into the open at any time in the wake of the scandal around CIA contractor Ray Davis, accused by the Pakistanis as a terrorist controller.
The Arab League, surprising many analysts, had voted unanimously for a no-fly zone over Libya. The African Union, by contrast, has resolutely opposed foreign intervention. Western diplomats have discounted the AU position, giving rise to suspicions of racism. These are reinforced by reports that the anti-Qaddafi rebels have lynched a number of black Africans, claiming that they were mercenaries hired by Qaddafi.

Interference in Libyan internal affairs violates UN Charter
Diplomatic observers were shocked by the sweeping resolution passed by the Security Council, which allows “all necessary measures” to be used against Libya. The United Nations Charter strictly limits Chapter 7 military actions to threats to international peace and security, which Libya has never represented, but rules out interference in internal affairs of member states. The pretext cited in this case was the protection of defenseless civilians, but it is clear that the rebels constitute an armed military force in their own right. Since no state can be an aggressor on its own territory, the Security Council resolution stands in flagrant violation of the UN Charter. Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, and India abstained. The resolution contains an arms embargo against Libya which the US is already violating by arming the rebels through Egypt.
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