Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 03, 2011

Middle East Struggles

The Egyptians finally managed to get the Mubarak appointed Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq kicked from office. Good. Keep the pressure up. Where is Suleiman? Why isn't he hanging from a rope?

On Libya - the U.S. is sliding to military intervention. If it tries it will be alone in doing so. The reason for intervention is said to be oil prices reaching the $100+ recession zone. Nonsense. While Libya produces light sweet crude, preferable for refineries, it only exports 2 million barrels a day. Not enough to make a long term dent in available supplies and a permanent surge in prices. The U.S. can survive with a short term spike in oil. There is no reason to panic.

Let the Libyans fight it out. Yes, it will get bloody and will take some time. But it is their revolution. Any intervention will be more harmful than staying away.

What's up in Bahrein, Omay, Yemen by the way. And what happens when the big one, Saudi Arabia, explodes?

Posted by b on March 3, 2011 at 19:59 UTC | Permalink

Comments

what's your feeling then b on the effect of the revolutionary situation in libya affecting the other continuing arab revolts

don't know what to make of this

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 20:39 utc | 1

If the Americans have any sense, they'll do nothing more than covertly providing weapons. Stingers would be nice, or whatever has succeeded them. Though I doubt they would supply anything that might knock down a US plane, or might be transferred on, out of US control. Actually old soviet weaponry would be fine to fight the Gaddafi mercenaries - the latter are not very efficient as far as I can see.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 3 2011 21:01 utc | 3

What would Charles Taylor say? Try following that rabbit down Alice's hole, or up it, depending on your level of perversion.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 3 2011 21:07 utc | 4

seamus milne

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 3 2011 21:15 utc | 5

What's happening IN IRAQ BTW? Not just Bahrein, Oman, Yemens, but also KURDISTAN!

Don't expect Hillary the Horrible to ask Maliki to respect the rights of protesters there any time soon. In facet, if she stays true to character, she'll soon fly into Baghdad to hector Iran about respecting the rights of protesters...

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 3 2011 22:23 utc | 6

Why no revolution in Iran?

In short, like France, Russia, and China, Iran has constructed a highly centralized and flexible state apparatus which enables it to better handle domestic uprisings. In addition, like these other states, Iran has emerged out of its revolutionary crisis with a higher standing on the international scale. That is to say, Tehran is no longer at a transnational disadvantage, and thus the transnational conditions for a successful uprising in Iran no longer exist to begin with

The comments are interesting.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 3 2011 23:20 utc | 7

at this moment it seems as if the people in tunisia & egypt are exceptionally vigilant - the labor movement in both countries must not let up

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 4 2011 0:41 utc | 8

The Milne article you linked from the Guardian hits it right on the head, R'Giap. Hopefully the USA will rush into armed involvement in Libya with the same speed and precision it has finalized a national budget for the current year. (In other words, never!)

Posted by: Maxcrat | Mar 4 2011 1:12 utc | 9

GENOCIDE IN LIBYA? NATO INVASION UNDER WAY. ITS THE OIL, STUPID
http://tinyurl.com/62coc9j

Posted by: denk | Mar 4 2011 11:00 utc | 10

The Marvelous Mug might as well throw in the towel now. This is the straw that broke the camel jockey's back. Beyonce and Carey have now turned their back on Libya's gorgeous, charismatic leader.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/03/us-beyonce-gaddafi-idUSTRE72243Q20110303

Singers Beyonce and Mariah Carey have sought to distance themselves from the tainted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, for whose entourage they both performed at glitzy New Year's eve parties.

They joined Canadian artist Nelly Furtado, who used her Twitter account on Monday to declare she would give away the $1 million she received to perform a 45-minute set in Italy for Gaddafi's family in 2007.

Pop stars' association with Gaddafi and his sons has caused considerable embarrassment this week as the Libyan ruler orders a brutal crackdown on an uprising against his rule.

The music press has highlighted how artists including Beyonce and Carey have earned large paydays for sometimes brief appearances at lavish parties hosted by Gaddafi family members, including his son Muatassim. The stars have faced calls from fans and the public to give back the money they made.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 4 2011 14:15 utc | 11

enormous demonstration throughout iraq today. significant demonstrations in bahrain, oman, jordan & yemen

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 4 2011 15:28 utc | 12

Libya is not helped by this prism of propaganda

Media talk of tank battles and swooping bombers is inflating an already serious situation – with dangerous consequences

@r'giap what's your feeling then b on the effect of the revolutionary situation in libya affecting the other continuing arab revolts

Not much. The eastern rebellion in Libya does not look convincing or even promising to me. It might evolve into a split of the country, but I doubt that so far. Unless of course the U.S. intervenes and makes everything, inevitably, worse.

Posted by: b | Mar 4 2011 17:13 utc | 13

b, it's the same kind of talk we heard prior to Iraq.....and Yugoslavia. I guess they want a base in Libya now. How long was that plan in the pipeline, I wonder?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 4 2011 19:03 utc | 14

A split is what seems more likely at this point, with no external influence, because neither side has the capability to mount the kind of campaign required to traverse 1000 km through a desert road with just a few scattered towns on the way.

I have been looking on Google Maps the road from Brega (which was attacked yesterday) all the way up to Sirte and beyond. It's a very long way just to get to Sirte with a few small towns. Incredible long supply line for a rag tag militia or even regular Gaddafi forces without backing in the region. And it's not just getting into Sirte or bypassing it, on the road linking up to Misrata there is a city called Al Qaddahiyah so it's easy to guess who controls the whole region. Basically Gaddafi forces, if they really still have internal support (and capturing three dutch soldiers at Sirte prove they have full control there), have the capability of cutting the west and east without much problems.

Today the anti-Gaddafi faction seems to have taken the next town after Brega, Ras Lanuf, who was previously on their control (but with no real force protecting it). Those two towns control the access to oil and gas ports so they will be likely the future front line. From there to Ajdabiyah and from there to Benghazi there is a sustainable supply line and there is currently a flow of anti-Gaddafi fighters (likely the more aggressive bunch, not the ones waiting and asking for the a foreign air force to bomb their way up to Tripoli).

On the west unless Gaddafi forces are weaker than we know, or there are further desertions or change of sides from tribes/units, they have much more resources, time and weapons to be taking one by one all the cities and town that are in control of anti-Gaddafi forces. They control the roads and can concentrate forces on one after the other while the anti-Gaddafi faction don't seem to have the capability to link with each other.

On long term it will depend if the East is recognized as a separated entity and becomes supplied with weapons (financed by oil if they are able to control part of it) or not. If they remain as today the Gaddafi side will have the time and resources to take it over by buying up their old pals there that have deserted him now or sending a full military campaign. But obviously external influence won't let that to happen.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 4 2011 19:09 utc | 15

Evan Hill, from AJE, has been reporting for two days shots and explosions in Benghazi, source unknown. In theory the journalist has free access to the east so looks a bit surprising they don't know what's going on.

Could be the training or civilians playing with ordinance and getting hurt (I have read a number of reports on this). Or could it be infighting, vandalism or pro-Gaddafi supporters in Benghazi? Some of the main heads of the anti-Gaddafi faction in Benghazi are more than just a bit suspicious. The interior minister from Gaddafi until a week ago as one of the main heads sure raises suspicion.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 4 2011 19:17 utc | 16

The eastern rebellion in Libya does not look convincing or even promising to me. It might evolve into a split of the country, but I doubt that so far. Unless of course the U.S. intervenes and makes everything, inevitably, worse.

Well at least we agree on one thing, b: without outside help, it's unlikely the rebels will win.

Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 4 2011 19:42 utc | 17

ThePaper,

likely the more aggressive bunch, not the ones waiting and asking for the a foreign air force to bomb their way up to Tripoli

I appreciate your cogent analysis of the military situation, and I concur with most of it, but sometimes your commentary gets in the way of your otherwise solid factual reporting.

After all, there is a big difference between the imposition of a NFZ and campaign to "bomb their way up to Tripoli", and I for one unaware of anyone either in Libya or outside who has asked for anything close to your description.

Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 4 2011 20:38 utc | 18

Night Owl, I don't support the US/UK/NATO getting involved on this. There is no such thing as a NFZ without ground bombing and only someone very naive could believe they would stop just at 'air defense' or airport roadways. I have read reports about supposed anti-Gaddafi representatives in Benghazi asking for 'air support'. That's not just a NFZ. Of course a lot of what is being written in the media may be propaganda from one side or other.

The other thing is that I don't really see the very limited, and from some reports ineffective, use up to this point of air force by the pro-Gaddafi faction as very threatening for the anti-Gaddafi side in the East. Of course the pro-Gaddafi faction could be just avoiding more western criticism or whatever but from the facts in the ground the media, or some media, has given excessive importance to the supposed and unproven dangers of the Gaddafi's air force capabilities. They are killing a lot of more people in the west cities and towns with 'simple' machine guns and pickup trucks.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 4 2011 21:13 utc | 19

There is no such thing as a NFZ without ground bombing and only someone very naive could believe they would stop just at 'air defense' or airport roadways.

Let's just agree to disagree on who and who is not being 'naive'. I was just trying to point out your previous description implies a type of sustained and indiscriminate bombing campaign that noone, either inside or outside Libya, appears to be contemplating.

The other thing is that I don't really see the very limited, and from some reports ineffective, use up to this point of air force by the pro-Gaddafi faction as very threatening for the anti-Gaddafi side in the East.

I suggest you might want to pay a little more attention to the impact of Q's control of the Libyan skies on his ability to reinforce and resupply his own forces as well as on his ability to interdict supplies intended for both the rebels and humanitarian aid workers.

Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 4 2011 21:43 utc | 20

brussels tribunal - iraq's days of rage

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 5 2011 0:47 utc | 21

owl

so u still want the perps of such atrocities to *level the playing ground* for the libyan rebels....is this some kind of sick joke ?

Posted by: denk | Mar 5 2011 5:03 utc | 22

In the speech I saw today, Obama is laying down a rationale for US intervention; and looking at CNN today, turning to saturation persuasion techniques, sheer spectacle, it looks like the joints and sinews of the empire are working toward the dreadful decision to get involved , militarily.

What they are perhaps looking at, is some version of palace coup, in the end. Nothing, in short, that benefits the Libyan people.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 5 2011 5:21 utc | 23

Israel has supplied mercenaries and weapons to Gaddafi's side.... they are Africans.

And the US made sure the UN resolution will EXEMPT any foreigners from the ICC - including the African mercenaries armed and trained by old IDF guys.

No, it is pretty clear now that the US is not interested in helping the rebels, even if they kill off Gaddafi. The powers that be in the US and Israel are looking to control the outcome of this violence.

Posted by: Susan | Mar 5 2011 9:44 utc | 24

Critical battle in Az Zawiya right now. With his recent losses at the in the east at Brega and apparently now at Ras Lanuf, Q needs to hang on to this last major oil and gas terminal so he can keep raising cash to pay his mercenaries and resupply.

If Q's forces are repelled at Az Zawiya, expect to hear a lot more from Chavez about his 'mediation' plan.

good map here


Posted by: Night Owl | Mar 5 2011 16:06 utc | 25

No Way Through

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 5 2011 19:29 utc | 26

I see that one or two here support the empire getting involved in Libya. Is there any place on the planet Earth that you think is "none of the business of the USA"? And another question would be, "do you really think USA involvement would help the people?"

Posted by: Joseph | Mar 5 2011 20:13 utc | 27

What to make about the events in Libya?

By all accounts, including some BBC reporter, the pro-Gaddafi faction launches an all out assault with all they have at hand (artillery/mortars, tanks or armored vehicles, technical/pickups, gunboats) against Az Zawiya, a middle sized city which I wouldn't have expected to have a big arsenal, and they can't take it after two days of continuous assault.

On the other side and somewhat unexpectedly anti-Gaddafi fighters advance a few hundred kms more in the way to Sirte practically unopposed. With claims of helicopters and a plane being downed by their 'primitive' anti-air guns (BBC showing video and pictures of some twisted metal remains). And rumors that everything may not be going good on Sirte for the pro-Gaddafi faction. Even after all the fear mongering the paper tiger of the pro-Gaddafi air force doesn't show up, or when it shows is quite ineffective with close to suicidal incompetence.

Meanwhile the western Light-On-Earth brigade becomes even more desperate to get involved using that mythical peacemaking beast called No-Fly-Zone. Now France joins UK on moving the issue to the UNSC.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 5 2011 20:44 utc | 28

And not forgetting that now in Benghazi a second government claims to represent Libya.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 5 2011 20:49 utc | 29

this practically sums it all,
http://tinyurl.com/4a22cca

Posted by: denk | Mar 6 2011 5:12 utc | 30

well, this is embarrassing..MoD silent over report of SAS men captured in Libya

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 6 2011 9:09 utc | 31

Did you know?

The anti-Khadafi forces were armed from almost the very beginning of the uprising and included elements of the military. Unlike the opponents of Egypt's President Mubarak, we know very little about who these rebel Libyans are -- except that they have been getting lots of material help from the Americans and the French and other Europeans. It is also becoming clearer by the day that a vicious, racist pogrom is raging against the 1.5 million sub-Saharan Black African migrant workers who do the hard jobs in Libya, work that is rejected by the relatively prosperous Libyans. Hundreds of Black migrant workers have already been killed by anti-Khadafi forces -- yet the U.S. corporate media express absolutely no concern for their safety. One Western report noted that large numbers of Black Africans were seized in Benghazi and were assumed to have been hanged. That is a war crime, whether these men were soldiers or migrant workers, but the Western correspondent seemed unconcerned. One suspects there are many atrocities occurring in the rebel-held areas of Libya, especially against people that are not members of the locally dominant tribe. Benghazi is not Tahrir Square in Cairo.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/ford030311.html

Posted by: brian | Mar 6 2011 22:17 utc | 33

dan of steel
*well, this is embarrassing..MoD silent over report of SAS men captured in Libya*

may be resue is on the way, just like the last time they demolished an iraqi jail to get their men

brian
*The anti-Khadafi forces were armed from almost the very beginning of the uprising and included elements of the military*

so far this is what happened as per the msm, +it started with a peaceful protest by doctors lawyers etc, it turned ugly after brutal crackdown from the government. the rebels managed to rout the well armed, *genocidal* kadaffi forces, air force n all, in just a matter of days.
they are now poised to storm tripoli+ [sic]
is this fairy tale or what ?

by all accounts, the rebels are heavily armed, i've seen lots of pics where they proudly posed with their artillery,, tanks n aa guns.
http://tinyurl.com/4ay7onf

there's no way a *spontaneous* protest could erupted into a highly sophiscated military campaign in a few days n routed kadaffi's professional soldiers.
this is a well executed op planned long in advance.
i bet the sas n seals etc were already up to their ears in libya mounting recon, sabotages n even assisting the rebels assault on the troops.
by now its common knowledge that anglo special forces were sent into iraq , afghan long before the invasion to carry *covert ops* with their local assets.
its also no secret that this globtrotting assasins have been active in iran doing the same dirty work, paving the ground for a future attack.

Posted by: denk | Mar 7 2011 3:30 utc | 34

r'giap 21. i have heard nothing of this. nothing. amazing link. thank you.

Posted by: annie | Mar 7 2011 6:19 utc | 35

Food for thought..
what does it mean:
'Veteran British Labourite Tony Benn has launched a call for “a broad movement of active resistance” to the UK Conservative/Liberal-Democrat coalition government’s austerity measures.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/aug2010/pers-a14.shtml

whatever do they mean???? are they going to engage in an armed uprising? and just take over as so many are applauding the arabs for doing.,..or trying to do? or is all this just agit theatre?

what would happen in UK or US if there WAS an armed rebellion? How would it be treated? Would they do as in Libya? and how would the govt respond?

Something for armchair rebels to think about,.

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2011 11:00 utc | 36

the future of Libya?

' The anti-Khadafi forces were armed from almost the very beginning of the uprising and included elements of the military. Unlike the opponents of Egypt's President Mubarak, we know very little about who these rebel Libyans are -- except that they have been getting lots of material help from the Americans and the French and other Europeans. It is also becoming clearer by the day that a vicious, racist pogrom is raging against the 1.5 million sub-Saharan Black African migrant workers who do the hard jobs in Libya, work that is rejected by the relatively prosperous Libyans. Hundreds of Black migrant workers have already been killed by anti-Khadafi forces -- yet the U.S. corporate media express absolutely no concern for their safety. One Western report noted that large numbers of Black Africans were seized in Benghazi and were assumed to have been hanged. That is a war crime, whether these men were soldiers or migrant workers, but the Western correspondent seemed unconcerned. One suspects there are many atrocities occurring in the rebel-held areas of Libya, especially against people that are not members of the locally dominant tribe. Benghazi is not Tahrir Square in Cairo.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/ford030311.html

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2011 11:03 utc | 37

so who is worse the 'dictator' Gadaffi or the democratic EU? and the reactionary 'rebels' are set to roll back the real revolution:

'Libyan insurgents begin to reverse decades of progress in African cooperation'

As I have sought to explain here before, the Libyan rebels are not what we consider them to be. Now, before I get the accusation thrown at me that I paint the Libyan rebels with a wide brush, I want to make it clear that not all Libyan rebels share the same goals, motives and behavior.

Gadaffi has sought to emancipate the African continent from centuries of exploitation by outside forces. Mistakes have surely been made, but I can only assume that Gadaffi has the best of intentions. As I mentioned before, Gadaffi blames the emergence of AIDS on American experimentation with biological weapons. Gadaffi is a driving force behind the African Union and other projects that seek to attempt to emancipate the African continent and end the continual division of the continent by outside forces through divide and conquer techniques.

Last year, Gadaffi apologized for the long history of Arab slave trade of black Africans, an issue that many other rulers prefer to ignore. His full words were as following:

"I regret the behavior of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves and traded them in a shameful way. I regret and I am ashamed when we remember these practices. I apologize for this,"

The European Union on the other hand refuses to apologize for what has been done. Formal apologizing is blocked by Britain, the Netherlands (I'm so proud), Portugal, and Spain. Of course these also happen to be the nations that share the greatest responsibility for what has happened over the centuries.
etc
http://davidrothscum.blogspot.com/2011/03/libyan-insurgents-begin-to-reverse.html

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2011 11:18 utc | 38

No more heroes Brian, the wannabe supreme ruler of Africa is a joke all over the continent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_6wI_BqaX8

One time he aspired to lead the Arab world, next he reinvented himself as a champion for Africa, like someone who's been barred from a club trying to get down with the homies in the local sheebeens. Perhaps you see him as some kind of visionary, but he is not viewed in that light in 'his own world'.

Posted by: Shebr shebr | Mar 7 2011 11:48 utc | 39

And did you see what that wicked, wicked Israeli did to him ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBY-0n4esNY

Posted by: Shebr shebr | Mar 7 2011 11:50 utc | 40

The following video, supporting the Libyan version of the following story, was found on You Tube and rebroadcasted here by Axis of Logic. It was shown on Libyan television and the voices and music are in Arabic. But the video alone tells the story.

The on-screen caption as shown on Libyan television states:

"According to the [Saudi-backed] broadcaster al-Arabiya, this helicopter was sent to rescue people, but we can see something else here.

"The helicopter flew into Libyan airspace and landed in Sirte without any permission from the authorities and this is in violation of international law."

The BBC adds:

"Assault rifles, dollar notes, notebooks, pistols, mobile phones, bullets and ammunition, military-fatigue body armour, inflatable life jackets and a Sony digital camera are also shown off in the video."

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62451.shtml

==================
no shebr, the only joke is the foolish people who have once againt been sucked in by the media propaganda offensive.
he neve renvented himself as an african champion...thats been his claom for ages.

who said hes the supreme ruler of africa?

But at least the fact that all you can do is ridicule his supposed pretensions shows thats all you can criticis him for...

Posted by: brian | Mar 7 2011 12:21 utc | 41

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