Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 16, 2011

The Three Stooges Go To War

The glorious three imperialist stooges who are currently bombing Libya, Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy, produced an Orwellian op-ed on what they say is Libya’s Pathway to Peace. In it they widen the mission they stupidly imposed on themselves.

Our duty and our mandate under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Qaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power. [...] It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government.

Of course Gaddafi has never "tried to massacre his own people." He indeed offered amnesty to those rebels who would put down their arms.

But the three stooges have decided that they will continue the war until Gaddafi is gone. They do not have a UN mandate for that which at least the French defense minister thinks is needed:

"Beyond resolution 1973, certainly it didn't mention the future of Gaddafi but I think that three major countries saying the same thing is important to the United Nations and perhaps one day the Security Council will adopt a resolution."

No, it will not. And pitchforks will not remove Gaddafi. Without an illegal invasions and a huge amount of ground troops the day Gaddafi is gone may be years away.

By setting a new condition for the war to end, the removal of Gaddafi whom the three who also threaten to put in front of a court, they have given Gaddafi more motivation to continue the fight. They have also given the rebels motivation to not agree to any ceasefire. They prolonged the war.

But a flight hour of the British Typhoon costs $150,000. A Britain already under austerity can not sustain a years long air campaign. Britain and France are also already running out of precision ammunition which they need for well target strikes. Both facts increases the pressure for a fast invasion.

Just delivering arms to the rebels and not enforcing the UN's arms embargo will not be enough. Some trainers on the ground will not be enough either. There are many, many Libyans Gaddafi can count on to fight for him.

Without a UN resolution the three stooges will have to come up with some excuses to send in ground forces. Today's "Gaddafi uses cluster ammunition" story, which would not even be illegal, may be a try for that. Notice how the reporter didn't observe but only assumes that the mortar rounds used were fired by Gaddafi troops. They might well have been fired by the rebels. And relying even partially on Human Rights Watch with regard to cluster ammunition is a sad joke.

But I do expect more such stories. Like "confirmed" rumors of Gaddafi using gas, a "weapon of mass destruction", on the rebels or some other stupid lie. The three set themselves up for a ground war. Now they will have to find a reason for it.

Posted by b on April 16, 2011 at 15:45 UTC | Permalink


Why wasn't Israel given the same treatment for using cluster bombs on Gaza?

Posted by: Curious | Apr 16 2011 16:14 utc | 1

I'm still trying to reconcile this. Some here have contended that the "Rebels" are the complete concoction of the CIA. I do believe their is strong evidence that outside intelligence services, to include the CIA, have exploited this matter and no doubt have operatives on the ground aiding and abetting a factionalizing of the Libyan people in order to create a pretext for invasion. However, I find it hard to believe they would go to such lengths as to concoct this ruse. I posted it in February, but I still don't have an explanation. Who would be the intended audience? If the message of the "Rebels" is carefully crafted by outside intelligence operatives, what would be the point of this?

The crafty, devious CIA. Look how they're making it appear they want no intervention. They even wrote in it English! denk must be right afterall. The lengths they will go to....

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 2, 2011 4:32:27 PM | 91

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Apr 16 2011 16:55 utc | 2

@MB - The "revolution" has been taken over. Notice how all who are the top dudes have not been on board early on. They are former Gaddafi functionaries and a bunch of "leaders" who have lived for decades in the U.S. and were under CIA protection (Hilfer for one even says so). They installed themselves as "government" and those are the folks that are now used by the three stooges to drive the conflict.

Posted by: b | Apr 16 2011 17:30 utc | 3

Curious: not to mention Fallujah.
Morocco: surely the great bulk of the rebels are simply opportunists looking to get in on the "ground floor" of the new regime. Of course that is generally the case, the momentum of a revolution consisting of the sl;ow accretion of converts to a long suppressed point of view, the throwing off of fear and peoople who just want to be in on the rewards for success.

What strikes me about the banner is that it must have cost a lot to produce.

As to the message, clearly aimed at the TV cameras, it sets up the current Imperialist line which is "we didn't want to intervene; the highly motivated, well organised, massively supported people didn't want us to intervene, so we will only do so in the event that genocide seems otherwise inevitable."

A message which is aimed at the hoi poloi, because the very existence of the banner makes it clear that intervention is already under way. And had started long before hostilities broke out. Whether the Three Stooges were aware of this, however, I find doubtful: the decision to "do" Libya was taken long ago, the risings in Tunisia and Egypt provided perfect cover to activate semi-dormant assets and rush in reinforcements. And the agencies likely to have been responsible act almost independently, off budget and without formal approval, in the early stages of actions of this sort.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 16 2011 17:31 utc | 4

yeah, it is getting really silly. probably the first time war parties take time off to write op-eds in conservative papers - can't they pay hacks to do it for them?

the US is looking for a country for Ghaddafi
remember the time they tried to find countries to take Guantanamo inmates?

oh the complexities: US rolling back the Global War on Terror, or: is Algeria next?

by the way: who will win the free democratic elections in the liberated countries? Badly burned Israel attempts to define democracy

Iran agrees with Israel: It is an Islamic awakening

and how about Qatar:

let me guess: nobody really thought this through?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 16 2011 18:50 utc | 5

oh, I forgot

it is Iran, stupid

Posted by: somebody | Apr 16 2011 19:01 utc | 6

Nato must send in troops to save Misrata, say rebels

The situation grows more desperate in the Libyan city with increasing evidence of the use of cluster bombs against civilians

oh well, now there it is. Anybody remember Prague, Budapest etc. asking for help?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 16 2011 19:27 utc | 7

I'm afraid it won't take that much to take out Gaddafi; maybe it will be the easy part

Once ground invasion begins the rules of engagement will necessarily change, because of course we will have to protect "our boys"; superior weapons, precise targeting for the air force, etc: the Libyan army will have no real chance, so it soon will disband, and then we will have an Iraqi scenario, with insurgency and a bounty on Gaddafi's head; while Libya descends into chaos, the well-known "purple fingers" movie will be played for western tv audiences, the three stooges will claim "mission accomplished" and who cares what really happens next?

Posted by: claudio | Apr 16 2011 23:16 utc | 8

Obama's signature on the oped is important because it means that Germany, Turkey and Russia won't be able to deter the ground invasion

Posted by: claudio | Apr 16 2011 23:17 utc | 9

I thought it over; I can well believe Sarkozy and Cameron are stupid enough to consider a ground invasion (without substantial indigenous support, it would necessarily develop in an senseless escalation unacceptable for western public opinion); but Omaba isn't stupid at all, he is a most intelligent servant of the interests that brought him to White House; besides, the NYT's op-ed sets a target, but doesn't in any way allude to an invasion

So maybe there's a different possible reading of the NYT op-ed:

so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders [emphasis mine]


But it will be the people of Libya, not the U.N., who choose their new constitution, elect their new leaders, and write the next chapter in their history

Could it mean that Gaddafi's sons could be part of the transition? The "rebels" have stressed their refusal to let any of Gaddafi's sons in the transition process, but the NYT oped seems, on the contrary, to stress the fact that only Gaddafi sr. is to be excluded; so maybe, beneath the rhetoric, some sense of reality has grown

Maybe Obama is covering Sarkozy's and Cameron's substantial retreat? (The only way for them (and for Clinton) to save face is to have at least Gaddafi step aside; that's why I always thought that escalation was inevitable; maybe they'll find a way to convince him to go?)

Of course, Gaddafi might still call the bluff. A few days more, and the west will be begging him to please step aside.

Posted by: claudio | Apr 17 2011 0:38 utc | 10

From, an article about likely use of DU, depleted uranium, by the "protectors" of Libya's civilians. Protectors who bring black dust of death, in the short term and long term.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 17 2011 3:05 utc | 11

we're sorry, we cannot accept this data ???

Posted by: denk | Apr 17 2011 3:52 utc | 12

moroco [2]
oh about that banner
i told u this chinese legend remember ?
*there was this man who kept all his fortune in a treasure box
to prevent theft, he pasted this note on top
[there's no money in this box !]*
i thought u'd understand the joke
but u still fall for such a cheap trick :-(
in case u haven noticed, these oh so independent rebels
are calling for more nato bombs raining down on their

countrymen !

u want to know when was this libya regime change thingee

hatched ?
in case u still havent noticed
lots of commentators are referring to general wesley clark's
interview on dn

well u read it here first

Posted by: denk | Apr 17 2011 3:54 utc | 13


i forgot about that tinyurl again !

Posted by: denk | Apr 17 2011 3:55 utc | 14

"but Omaba isn't stupid at all, he is a most intelligent servant of the interests that brought him to White House;"

Where is the evidence for this - I've heard many people say the same thing but I have not seen any evidence to support it - It started in the media prior to the election, "Obama's one smart cookie" they said but the only evidence I could see put forward to support that contention at the time was: "He edited a newspaper at HARVARD!!!" (whopp-dee-doo!)

As far as I can see his very very few achievements before the presidency were very obviously the result of the the actions of those who groomed him for power.

He speaks well - when he has a prepared script, or a list of talking-points - but I've seen him ad-libbing and to be honest he came across as pretty pedestrian to me.

So as far as I can see this notion that he is smart is a completely media-manufactured one

Posted by: hu bris | Apr 17 2011 12:19 utc | 15

@ 15 I would have to agree, but, that has been the utility of education - the Ivy schooling and his work at a law firm and later U of Chicago Law School insures that he is "in" the social realm of the ruling elite and has the highest symbols of elite educational status to "prove" he is smart. Tell an average person that you went to Harvard and watch the response ... Obama's supposed intellectualism (forget its content) has been manufactured but not out of thin air, it is what the 3 tier American educational system has served for all this time, to socialize the ruling bastareds in 'elite' universities, confirm a halo of 'smartness' and keep the rabble from seeing the true nature of how you rise ... not merit, that is for sure.

Posted by: Minerva | Apr 17 2011 13:06 utc | 16

One observer, As’ad AbuKhalil, sees the hand of the Saudi royal family behind many of the events in the Middle East.

After being thoroughly disenchanted with US behavior, the Saudis seem intent on assuring that the Arabian peninsula remains a democracy-free zone. In addition, Hariri is seen as the Saudis' tool in Lebanon, and they are intent on restoring him. The uprisings in Syria may have been promoted by the Saudis, since they were initially concentrated in Sunni areas. Qadhafi is hated by the Saudis, and Western intervention in Libya was sponsored by a Saudi-initiated Arab League resolution. Essentially, the Saudis want to get rid of any regimes that don't play by the Saudis' rules.

Israel shares the Saudis' concerns, and Assad sees a coming Saudi/Israeli alliance being formed to strategically dominate the Middle East. After cleaning up Arab regimes and restoring Sunni despots to power, the alliance would tackle Iran and Iranian influence (ie. war on Iran and severe repression of Shi'a in Arab countires, including Hizbullah).

As for Egypt, the game has only begun. Elections will see a lot of Saudi money injected into the process. And the US is contributing $150 million of its own, a LOT of money, to assure that only suitable candidates win. In other words, democratic elections may merely serve as the process for ushering in the next tyrant.

Though the spotlight is on the Saudis and their increased aggressiveness, I see no reason to doubt that the US is a full, but silent partner in the project. Gates and Feltman were both in Bahrain just before the Saudi intervention, probably to review plans. And I see no daylight between the Saudi position and the US/Israeli one, except for the veneer of "democracy" in which the US wants to envelope the counter-revolutionary project.

Posted by: JohnH | Apr 17 2011 13:44 utc | 17

b, and bevin, thanks for your responses. I'm mulling them over. Both are certainly plausible, and highly probable, explanations for that banner.

b, the only issue I see with your explanation can be found in bevin's explanation. bevin states:

What strikes me about the banner is that it must have cost a lot to produce.

As to the message, clearly aimed at the TV cameras, it sets up the current Imperialist line which is "we didn't want to intervene; the highly motivated, well organised, massively supported people didn't want us to intervene, so we will only do so in the event that genocide seems otherwise inevitable."

Remember, this was pretty early on in this affair. I didn't post that until March 3rd, but it happened in late February. If that's the case, it means that outside intelligence had boots on the ground very early on in this "uprising" since, as you say, b, the replacements for The Mug are CIA protected and coddled stooges.

This leads to what bevin indicated. Outside intelligence services have their hands in so many pots, and plots, planting the necessary seeds that when the time comes, they are ready to harvest if they so choose. They can also let the harvest die on the vine if the Zeitgeist has not manifested properly.

All that being said, I still find the banner curious. I like bevin's explanation about the banner itself. It certainly is a sophisticated attempt to assuage, or persuade, a wider audience, but I'm still puzzled as to the audience. Yes, this gives cover to the covert aims of an inevitable and planned invasion, but if the hoi poloi (means the many) were the intended target, I'm afraid they overestimated the intellect of their target audience. I would think that "the many" in Europe would be against any intervention whatsoever, and so this banner would affirm the stance they reflexively already held. Same holds true in the U.S., although Progressives and Conservatives would have very different reasons for no intervention, and so, once again, their initial reflexive stance would be affirmed by this banner.

One thing also that must be mentioned. This picture was difficult to find, and there are not many others like it. The message after this quickly changed and we saw the "Rebels" pleading for full-scale intervention, so perhaps it was this mentality on the part of the "Rebels" that prompted a more focused and managed Burson-Marsteller media management response.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Apr 17 2011 13:47 utc | 18

@16, I agree, it is about appearances, plain and simple. Managing perceptions. In the case of Obama, he's "smart", from a perception perspective, in both appearance and fact. I would argue that the only thing that matters in this regard is the perception, and that engaging in debate over the accuracy of Obama's actual intelligence is a wasted effort, because it lends sanction to the perception of Obama as the "Decider." As intelligent individuals, we know that it is not possible for Obama to be the "Decider." Remember Bush had to coninually affirm that he was the "Decider"? He that do protest too much....anyone? He was actually revealing that he didn't decide jack shit. Same goes for Obama, although OBama appears more credible because he is playing to the perceptions of a different target not as easily fooled, but still fooled, nonetheless.

Presidents these days are pulled from a bullpen when their particular crafted traits fit the basic theme of the manifesting Zeitgeist. They are purely symbolic figures used to serve as a public face of an operation so vast, no single human could ever conceive of managing it. They are cheerleaders and pitchmen for the Plutocracy, pretending to be of, for and by the people, when in fact they are stooges for the real power behind the curtain. The most powerful vested interests the earth has ever witnessed are not going to allow those interests be decided by the whims of a moronic spoiled brat son of a former president, or a Junior Senator from Illinois who came out of nowhere and no one knows anything about.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Apr 17 2011 14:03 utc | 19

"One observer, As’ad AbuKhalil, sees the hand of the Saudi royal family behind many of the events .."
So, over at MRzine do the Leveretts, just back from a visit.

It really is a question of the revolution having to spread: to succeed anywhere (in the Arab world) it must succeed everywhere (in the Arab world.)
And that means a very big movement indeed. On the other hand: Saudi is the only obstacle (to the gathering momentum) of any substance.
The region is really primed for revolution, (Iraq is a purposefully designed, thrice ploughed, expertly harrowed seed-bed for revolution).

And for revolution of a very incendiary nature because not only is this the epicentre of the muslim world, to which pilgrimages are constantly being made, but it is home to a, potentially explosive oppressed, semi-indentured labour force in constant contact with their home countries.

On the other hand the Saudis and the Gulf Emirates already have plans to import Pakistani and other meercenary forces in Division strength to put down opposition.
On the "one thing leading to another" principle: it is a certainty that any regime which preserves its power by employing a foreign mercenary army does so only for as long as it takes the, said, army to wake up and realise that it, not the Emir or the Saud family, now rules the land.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 17 2011 14:56 utc | 20

The three stooges have no mandate for regime change. Removing a ‘foreign’ leader-king-president-FM-other figurehead is pure power colonialist play. Done before, of course, under various pretexts, see e.g. Milosevic, Saddam Hussein. After Kahdafi, no doubt more to come.

The statement:

But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power.

makes sense insofar as the ‘rebels’ demand that - it looks good in the media, will satisfy in part. One leader with green claws, disgusting CV, and poor dress sense removed - get rid the ‘tyrant’.

Then meet the new boss, same as the old one.

Occupying a country, even a desperately poor one, and installing puppet leaders is a tough slog, see Afghanistan.

Mubarak gone, in jail? Heh, Egypt has been ruled by the army since the last king. At least.

“Mission creep” - when the first aims are not clearly specified and circumscribed, no goals can be checked or judged, even if they partly failed, escalation then becomes a given.

I read NATO is as usual using DU munitions in Lybia. Fukushima is a disaster, yes: who cares about the contamination by DU of the future children of Lybia? (Not to mention Iraq, etc.)

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 17 2011 15:04 utc | 21

@15, 16, 19

my characterization of Obama ("most intelligent servant") is probably inadequate; still, it isn't all about "appearing smart", nor of simply playing a script written by others for him; I see him as an actor in full command of the scene (not of the real events, of course - just how they play out on "democracy's stage"); the ideal president in our era, where politics is reduced to rhetoric and appearance

I can imagine Clinton, war-mongering, eternally looking for the "right" war to add to her presidential candidate curriculum, completely misjudge the situation in Libya (like the clowns Sarkozy and Cameron), not Obama, unemotional and extremely cautious;

he's no democratic equivalent of Reagan or Bush; nor does he seem inclined, like Clinton I, to head a faction within the democratic party: rather, he relies completely on the vested interests he really represents

also the NYT op-ed, the more I think of it, the more I feel it seems designed to put a limit on western intervention, while it defines the face-saving goal of ousting Gaddafi

this probably gives us a clue as the true feelings of the Us military and intelligence community in the Us regarding Libya

Posted by: claudio | Apr 17 2011 15:08 utc | 22

Omaba isn't stupid at all, he is a most intelligent servant of the interests that brought him to White House

yes and no...

Obama is the perfect puppet president.

Elected under false pretenses (if not his fault), as being a black American, actually son of well-off white woman and an ‘alien’ (foreignor.) No home boy he, no African-American roots whatsoever, yes, spendin’ time in Chicago pol pits and...well it is not a calling card. Doesn’t speak to his intelligence, sure.

He understands nothing about the economy and finance. Bows to the long standing, established, so-called experts, deferential, bends down, hums and haws. I might say he seeks the powerful out... either he has no clue and defers, or he is in cahoots with Wall street, who, btw, largely funded his campaign. Those are the only two possibles. Neither look good.

He knows nothing and cares less about education (his record here is worse than Bush’s imho.) The health care boondogle is horrendous - some say, just a deal for the Insurance cos. to cash in.

It is quite clear he doesn’t care, and has no impetus to learn, and will never move in any direction unless forced by the Corporations. His one supposed area of expertise - law, constitutional or not - has actually lead to the most blatant failures and dismal cop-outs - Gitmo, corporate rights, civil rights, torture, terrorism crack-down, etc. etc.

Foreign policy - he has escalated ‘war’ in Afgh, Pak, Yemen.

So ‘smart’ ? No. Not even for protecting his own position and future.

He will lose the election.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 17 2011 15:52 utc | 23

Noirette, that's what I thought too, until this Libya mess. He's shrewd, he gave Clinton enough rope to hang herself with, now he is stepping in (on the military-intelligence community script, surely) and doing crisis management.

His most dangerous opponent for the reelection is Clinton, not this derailed republican party, and she is being taken care of.

Of course, by caring for special interests he risks losing any credibility, fluent speech might not be enough to save him, in which case he will be tossed aside (but with great future personal prospects outside of politics) and substituted with a new actor.

Posted by: claudio | Apr 17 2011 17:35 utc | 24

free libyan girl's message to NATO

her name is Zuhra, i found it online

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2011 22:51 utc | 25

yes Claudio, he has a certain shrewdness, but his failures in understanding and will, determination, are too horrible.

I said Obama would be a one-term president before he was elected.

As the perfect puppet president, he might be re-elected.

However, to win, the Republicans will have to find a credible candidate, and that will be a tough call. He need not be too credible of course, popular anger at Obama is so wide that B.O, I think, will be swept away.

Americans vote with their pocket book (from charles hugh smith, see link for his take, mostly about finance.) Many Dems are totally disgusted with him.

He will have lost a good chunk of the 12% black vote as the one thing they wanted (Class action, the Pigford case - farm subsidies) is proving slow in its application (an accord WAS signed by Obama, it took ages) and beset with all kinds of difficulties, shenanigans, reduced payments. He has achieved some other things, but here I see a case of hopes dashed, aka bitter, angry disappointment, see also Dems. Plus, from the ‘white’ center/right-or fringe, etc., the Tea Party movement should not be underestimated nor pigeon-holed as a grass-roots Republican movement.

The women’s vote is a problematic.

Michelle as First Lady is an idiotic non-entity. Veggies, food deserts, eliminating sugary drinks - trivia at best, risible or objectionable interfering upper class sh*t at worst. By comparison Laura Bush (also officially a non-interfering, non-political wife) was a miracle of ‘support’ and into ‘sensible’, comprehensible issues. Obama should have prevented Michelle from going down that path, as it shows up the couple’s total lack of politics of any kind, and moreover angers a huge part of the electorate. It was, of course, her first effort to transcend her blackness and the pol stances it forced on her (as well as the advantages it garnered) and latch onto something wider. She is unhappy, uncomfortable as First Lady. My guess is that she intuits Obama’s limitations, and her own, and feels her family is too exposed. O.B. should have been Assistant Dean of a Uni, and she one of the long line of ‘minority’ administrators with tons of appointments and a snazzy handbag - A niche. A beaut’ life for the kiddies.

Other prominent women in his admin, besides Hill? Nope.

The votes aren’t there. (? - haven’t looked up any polls..) But the opposition is fractioned and weak, and O.B. has incredible international support - for various reasons, one being he is seen as lame and vulnerable to manipulation - and that counts, international finance gives BIG.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 18 2011 14:29 utc | 26

MB@ 19: That's the long and short of it exactly! Can't speak for elsewhere in the world, but here in the US, autonomy from the president is not an option. With the advent of e-voting, elections are rapidly becoming kabuki also.

Posted by: ben | Apr 18 2011 14:32 utc | 27

“Fate has written our policy for us: the trade of the world must can can be ours. And we shall get it, as our Mother England has told us how..We will cover the ocean with our merchant marine. We will build a navy to the measure of our greatness...Our institutes will follow our trade...American law, American order, American civilization, and the American flag will plant themselves on shores hitherto bloody and benighted, by those agencies of God henceforth made beautiful and bright.”

- US Sen. Albert Beveridge, 1898.



“From the day I took office, I've been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious; such an effort would be too contentious. I've been told that our political system is too gridlocked, and that we should just put things on hold for a while.

For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?

You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations--they're not standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America.

As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.”

-Obama, State of the Union Address, Jan 27, 2010

So...what has he done?

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 18 2011 14:47 utc | 28

guardian: Libya mission creep as British-French advisory team sent to Benghazi

A joint British-French military team of advisers is to be sent to Benghazi in a move that is [clearly] mission creep.

Separately, Nato has said its missiles have targeted Gaddafi's communications network. The moves came after rebels warned that the besieged town of Misrata would fall within days.

The UK-French team will advise the rebels on intelligence-gathering, logistics, and communications. In an indication of the serious nature of the move, the team will be run by a joint force headquarters, the Guardian has learned.

Officials stress that the team consists of advisers, rather than trainers, and that the move does not involve arming the rebels. There are no plans for the team to go to Misrata, the officials added.


Meanwhile, British, French, and Danish aircraft have extended Nato's targets in Libya to include small satellite communications systems and telephone exchanges, officials said. The strikes, which took place over the past two days, were described as representing a clear "shift" in targeting policy, they said.

The British submarine HMS Triumph, returning to the Mediterranean after restocking with Tomahawk missiles, is understood to have fired a number of cruise missiles at Libyan communications targets over the past two days.

Oana Lungescu, Nato's chief spokesperson, told a briefing at the alliance's Brussels headquarters that the coalition had flown more than 2,800 sorties, 1,000 a week, of which half were strike sorties.


Brigadier General Mark van Uhm, Nato's chief of allied operations, ... said over the past 36 hours, Nato air strikes had aimed at degrading Gaddafi's "capacity to command and control, facilities and communicate with his forces".


The general said Nato strikes last night hit mobile rocket launchers and armoured vehicles advancing near Misrata. He added: "But there is a limit [to] what can be achieved with air power to stop fighting in a city."


The BBC understands 10 officers will provide logistics and intelligence training in a UK and French operation.


French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that he was "entirely hostile" to the idea of sending coalition ground troops into Libya, even special forces to guide air strikes.

Juppe made the comments at a lunch with reporters in Paris even as France's chief ally in the conflict, Britain, said it was deploying military trainers and after a senior French lawmaker called for commandos to be sent in.


Bernard-Henri Levy, a celebrity philosopher who has become an unofficial French envoy to the Libyan rebel camp, ... said French and British officers were in the insurgent "control room".

"Yes, of course, the Frenchman and the Briton are there," he told AFP.

The British defence ministry confirmed that, in addition to preparing to send around 20 officers as a "military liaison advisory team", it already has a "small team of defence advisers" working in the eastern city.

Privately, a senior French diplomatic source admitted to AFP that a French officer had indeed been assigned to the control room, but no official in Paris was willing to go on the record to confirm this.

hour-long audio of vijay prashad talking recently on Libya and Beyond

Innocent civilians in Libya were about to be slaughtered en masse, so the world community had to do something. Who propagated that message, and why? And what aren't we hearing about the reasons for the crackdown on people's uprisings in places like Bahrain? Vijay Prashad weighs in on the Arab Spring and the situation, past and present, in Libya.

Posted by: b real | Apr 19 2011 15:05 utc | 29

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