- Le Monde Diplomatique – Who are the libyan rebels? This is the $1 billion dollar question: Democracy Now! speaks with Gilbert Achcar, a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
- An Phoblacht – Thatcher mastermind behind Libyan rebels’ PR offensive: THE LIBYAN REBELS’ propaganda war is being masterminded by Margaret Thatcher’s close friend and former top media adviser, Tim Bell.
Tim Bell guided Thatcher to three successive general election victories. In 1984, Bell was seconded to Britain’s National Coal Board to advise on media strategy at the start of the miners’ strike.
He has lobbied on behalf of the Saudi Arabian Government and performed public relations work for Chilean dictator General Pinochet, another dear friend of Margaret Thatcher.
Bell was knighted in 1990 by a very grateful Thatcher and made a life peer by Tony Blair as ‘Baron Bell of Belgravia’ in 1998.
In addition to working for the prospective rulers of oil-rich Libya, the National Transitional Council, Baron Bell’s Chime Communications plc has also kept its contract with the Bahrain Government, internationally criticised for human rights violations in suppressing its own ‘Arab Spring’ uprising. Bell has additionally advised the governments of Iraq and Yemen.
Now Chime is looking forward to profiting from more unrest in the Middle East and Africa. Bell told Bloomberg:
I see this as a significant area of growth but I don’t know when; it will take time. As countries rebuild, people will start to invest money.
- EUobserver.com – EU, Nato countries to free frozen cash for Libya: EU and Nato officials said Tuesday they have started talks on giving aid to rebels and unfreezing key Libyan assets in overseas banks. Leaders from the EU, UN and the Arab League will meet on Friday in New York, Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-policy chief, told a news conference.
- Spiegel – Rebel Advances in Tripoli; Search Continues for Gadhafi’s Hideout: Next to Zaid is Mohammed Omran, born and raised in Leeds, England. His grandfather, he says, was the foreign minister of the king that Gadhafi toppled on his way to power. His family lost everything and fled to exile in England. He is in Libya for the first time. “In England, I saw all that is possible: freedom, democracy, security,” he says. “I never wanted to live in Libya. But now, that is changing.” He and his comrades just have to win one last battle.
- Irish Echo – The end of Quartermaster Qaddafi:
During those self-same Troubles, one of the most horrific incidents was not as a result of Libyan weapons in the hands of the IRA, but weapons from other sources in the hands of the UVF who, on the night of July 31st, 1975 opened fire on members of the Miami Showband after stopping their van on a country road and at a point between Newry and Dundalk...
A few years back, one of the band members who survived, Stephen Travers, came out with a book entitled “The Miami Showband Massacre, A survivor’s search for the truth.”
It’s still possible to pick up a copy of this absorbing book on Amazon and be reminded of a time when even the musicians, in a land so famous for its music, were not immune from weapons wielded by malevolent hands.
- RT – ‘Gaddafi switching to guerrilla mode’: “Two thousand tribes have pledged support to Gaddafi. We have not heard of them yet,” remarks Michael Maloof, who used to be an official at the Pentagon.
Maloof believes Gaddafi’s leaving Tripoli to the rebels “could be a strategic retreat on his part to begin waging guerilla warfare.” And the colonel still has the means to do that.
“Where are the Scuds? Where are all the chemical weapons he is said to have? I don’t think those have been discovered yet,” he continues.
On the other hand, the Libyan rebels look “undisciplined”, especially when they start firing in the air to mark military successes. And the rebels’ National Transitional Council does not seem to be doing anything to bring this under control, Maloof told RT.
Moreover, it is hard to account for rebels’ progress without acknowledging they get foreign assistance on the ground.
- Wired: Danger Room – U.S. Pledges No Ground Troops in Libya, But…:Through six months of war in the skies over Libya, the Obama administration has had one big, fat red line: it won’t put any troops on the ground. Except that red line turned out to be permeable, as CIA operatives made their way to the shores of Benghazi. And as the fall of Tripoli turns into a battle for the city, NATO isn’t closing the door on sending western peacekeeping forces to Libyan soil.
During a press conference on Tuesday in Brussels, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu assured that there will be “no NATO troops on the ground in the future.” Only Lungescu left herself some wiggle room. Should the United Nations or Libyan revolutionaries request it, NATO “is willing to help in a supporting role,” she said, without elaborating.
That’s consistent with NATO’s attitude from the start of the war. Adm. James Stavridis, NATO’s military chief, testified to Congress in March that the “possibility of a stabilization regime exists” after Moammar Gadhafi’s downfall.
- McClatchy Newspapers – Oil companies see quick return to Libya, once peace restored: Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, told Italian television Monday that workers from Eni, Italy’s government-controlled oil company, were now in eastern Libya looking to restart oil production and transport quickly. Italy’s presence in Libya dates to its brief colonial rule from 1911 to 1934, and Frattini told his countrymen that “Eni will play a No. 1 role in the future…”
Before the war, Libya provided about 1.1 million to 1.6 million barrels per day, roughly about 2 percent of the world’s daily oil demand. But while that production made Libya only the world’s 17th largest oil producer, it has the largest proven reserves in Africa and it played an outsized role in supplying Western Europe, where refineries easily process its lighter grade of crude.
Saudi Arabia stepped into produce more oil, but Saudi oil is more difficult for European refineries to process.
- McClatchy Newspapers – Saif Gadhafi’s freedom proves you can’t believe everything you’re told: What damage Saif Gadhafi’s appearance will have on the transitional council’s credibility has yet to be seen. Rebel leaders are eager to prove they’re able to secure Tripoli, restore order and work openly with international partners. If they bungled Saif Gadhafi’s arrest, allowing him to escape, it raises questions about their effectiveness. Another of Gadhafi’s sons, Mohammed, also escaped rebel custody in uncertain circumstances, according to news reports...
But many just chalked it up to an ongoing campaign to use the news media to maximum effect.
- ZeroHedge / Oilprice.com – Libya’s Post Gadhaffi Future – Who Gets The Oil?: While many analysts believe that Italy’s ENI and France’s Total could be successful in post-insurrection Libya because of their countries’ heavy support for the rebels, it may all devolve down to a question of funding, and given Beijing’s pockets, despite its caution in its foreign policy, that may well give China the edge.
Few promoting the prospects of Italian and French energy firms now remember that just a couple of months ago the Libyan dissidents were literally begging for financial assistance.
Furthermore, particularly in African endeavors, Chinese investment has extended far beyond mere resource acquisition to providing infrastructure essentials such as roads, schools and health clinics, all of which will be in short supply in post-Gadhaffi Libya.
Finally, certainly last but not least, China has no history of colonialism in North Africa…
- Kasama / RT – Journalist reports threats for defying NATO spin: It is hard to know how to evaluate this account, but it is certainly worth seeing and considering. He specifically describes CNN journalists operating as extension of the NATO military.
- The eXileD: War Nerd – Libya; The Berb-Burb Alliance: So I’m gonna say here: Just maybe, the whole thing ended pretty well. Not that expensive, money or lives; gotta be better for the Libyans if anybody actually cares about them; can’t see any risk for the big picture—only 6 million Libyans to start with, for God’s sake, and I don’t see the Berber going on a global jihad any time soon. Jeez, what a thought: What if it turned out good?
- Antiwar.com – Triumph in Libya? Not So Fast, NATO: Gadhafi was reported to have stockpiled 20,000 man-portable anti-aircraft weapons, which could be used by terrorists to shoot down commercial airliners. Many of these weapons have gone missing in Libya, with their wooden cases empty. Andrew J. Shapiro, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, has said that these unsecured missiles in Libya are “one of the things that keep me up at night.” The president of Chad and officials in Algeria, whose countries neighbor Libya, have said that some of those missiles have traveled over their borders to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which calls North Africa home.
- Foreign Policy in Focus – Gaddafi’s Whereabouts Unknown — But Is It Too Soon to Declare Victory in Libya?: But the legitimacy of the TNC remains contested. It is a widely diverse, self-selected group already facing significant and sometimes lethal division within its ranks. It remains unclear how much popular support there was for the TNC’s decision to ask for foreign military intervention. Even now, as Patrick Cockburn wrote in The Independent, the “Transitional National Council (TNC) in Benghazi is now recognized by more than 30 foreign governments, including the U.S. and Britain, as the government of Libya. But it is by no means clear that it is recognized as such by the rebel militiamen who are in the process of seizing the capital. The rebel fighters in Misrata, who fought so long to defend their city, say privately that they have no intention of obeying orders from the TNC.”
- Monthly Review blog – New York Times Points Out “Racist Overtones” in Libyan Rebel Disinformation It Helped Spread:Today’s New York Times has a story by David Kirkpatrick and Rod Norland running down the exaggerations and misinformation that have been spread throughout the Libya War. There’s been “spin from all sides,” they report. Gadhafi’s exaggerations are well known, but this passage is rather striking:
Still, the rebels have offered their own far-fetched claims, like mass rapes by loyalist troops issued tablets of Viagra. Although the rebels have not offered credible proof, that claim is nonetheless the basis of an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
And there is the mantra, with racist overtones, that the Gadhafi government is using African mercenaries, which rebels repeat as fact over and over. There have been no confirmed cases of that; supposedly there are many African prisoners of war being held in Benghazi, but conveniently journalists are not allowed to see them. There are, however, African guest workers, poorly paid migrant labor, many of whom, unarmed, have been labeled mercenaries.
So stories about African mercenaries are a racist mantra? If that’s the case, then point a finger at media outlets like the New York Times. While the warnings about mass rapes and mercenaries fueled the supporters of the NATO bombing, few reporters have detailed — mostly notably Patrick Cockburn in the Independent – that there was never solid evidence to support them. They were nonetheless a regular part of the media coverage of the war, as I pointed out in a recent piece in Extra!…
- Al Akhbar – Libya; NATO’s Gateway to the Arab Revolts: NATO’s successful role in overthrowing Colonel Gaddafi’s regime opens the door for replicating the Libyan model in other countries of the region. The alliance’s new strategy is aimed at redefining its image and strategy while expanding its traditional area of operation towards the Middle East and the Gulf Region.
Current events in Libya will have consequences and repercussions well beyond the country’s borders and across the Arab World. This is the second most vitally important event in this decade after the occupation of Iraq. Arab and international reactions to NATO’s involvement in Libya suggests that what happened in Libya could happen in most Arab countries, particularly those experiencing massive protest movements amid growing rifts between ruler and ruled.
- Kasama – NATO invasion as instrument of Libyan austerity?: “The defeat’s broader context, and the context of the Libyan civil war itself, is the world capitalist recession. At the time Tripoli reached its accommodation with imperialism and began implementing IMF-style austerity measures, the progressive social safety net that had buoyed the lives of millions of Libyans, proletarian, peasant, and bourgeois, began to erode. This was the material basis for the rise of the TNC and the support it initially received in commencing the civil war.“
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SOME FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS…
- Ordinary Germans also suffer to pay the bankers!Anti-German feeling is prevalent in Ireland. One hears it vehemently expressed in the most general terms at public meetings dealing with the economic crisis and even in everyday conversation.A greater amount of caution needs to be exercised concerning such sentiments. The ordinary German citizen is not responsible for the actions of the German banks and thei […]
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The People’s Movement / Gluaiseacht an Phobail
- Irish Referendum Practice from McKenna (1995) to McCrystal (2012): How Irish Governments behaved unconstitutionally in serving the EU agendaBy Anthony Coughlan “We will fix that Stalinist body” … Comment by the late Brian Lenihan TD on the then Referendum Commission, Autumn 2001, in the lead-up to the second Nice Treaty referendum. And How They Fixed It: In December 2001 the Fianna Fail Government then in office put a Bill through the Oireachtas (Legislature) [...]
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Wexford Sinn Féin Local News
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- Francis Hughes remembered in Gorey May 11, 2013Heavy rain failed to break the spirits of those who gathered in Gorey this afternoon to honour the memory of republican martyr Francis Hughes. A large crowd braved the elements to take part in a black flag memorial at the 1798 monument in the town, part of a number of commemorative events being organised by the local branch of Sinn Féin this Summer to mark […]
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NEWS: LATEST UPDATES
- Niall na Naoi Giall – rúsra na nGael May 21, 2013Niall na Naoi Giall – rúsra na nGael Cé sinn, mar Ghaeil? Cá as a dtáinig sinn? Cé hiad ár sinsir? Is iad seo na ceisteanna faoinár gcine atá á gcur inniu acu siúd ar mhian leo stair an chine dhaonna a thuiscint. Insítear dúinn sna fhinscéalta gur tháinig na Gaeil as sliocht a tháinig [...]
- Niall na Naoi Giall – rúsra na nGael May 21, 2013
- Russia expelled ex-US embassy official who rebuffed spy advances May 21, 2013Russian authorities expelled a former American diplomat living in Moscow earlier in May, less than two months after he allegedly rebuffed an offer to spy on the United States for Russia.
- Russia expelled ex-US embassy official who rebuffed spy advances May 21, 2013
- Bison Baby: First Wisent Born in German Wild May 21, 2013After being released into the wild in Germany just last month, a herd of wisents has welcomed its first calf. The first European bison to be born free in Germany in centuries has been named "Quintus," and appears to be healthy.
- Bison Baby: First Wisent Born in German Wild May 21, 2013
- Austria, Luxembourg expected to play ball in tax-evasion clampdown May 21, 2013Germany expects Austria and Luxembourg to take part in the EU-wide effort to clamp down on tax evasion, even though the two countries last week blocked a key EU proposal on the topic.Related StoriesProtests as Germany opens giant Barbie houseGerman politicians outraged at Orban's Nazi jibe
- Austria, Luxembourg expected to play ball in tax-evasion clampdown May 21, 2013
- Growing row between Russia and Azerbaijan over Eurovision scoring. May 21, 2013Azerbaijan snubbed the Russian eurovision entry by not rewarding a single point and Russia is not happy. Now, I've heard half-serious grumbles over Ireland only receiving a single measly point from the UK but the Russian-Azerbaijan spat was taken...
- Growing row between Russia and Azerbaijan over Eurovision scoring. May 21, 2013
- The Threepenny Kino: Network (1976) Dir: Ingmar Bergman Stars: Faye Dunaway tomorrow Wed. May 22nd 9pm @solidaritybooks May 21, 2013Join us in Solidarity Books on Wed. May 22nd 9pm for a ThreePenny showing of "Network (1976)" Dir: Ingmar Bergman Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch Film description follows : " A TV network cynically exploits a deranged ex-TV anchor's ravings and revelations about the media for their own profit. In the 1970s, terrorist viol […]
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- Northern Ireland's (Truth) & Reconciliation Process? May 21, 2013
- The Information Commissioner’s 2012 annual report May 15, 2013The Information Commissioner published her annual report for 2012 yesterday. It’s worth a read to see some of the highs and lows of the Freedom of Information and Access to Information on the Environment regimes in Ireland in 2012. One note in relation to AIE caught our eye. The Commissioner in her role as Commissioner [...]
- The Information Commissioner’s 2012 annual report May 15, 2013
- 2013 Greaves School - dates announcedThe 2013 Greaves School will take place from 13th-15th September in Dublin Enquiries: web:www.greavesschool.com or email:firstname.lastname@example.org. The focus this year is "the scattering" -the Irish abroad.
- 2013 Greaves School - dates announced
BLOGS/OPINION: LATEST UPDATES
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- British are undermining the Good Friday Agreement - Adams May 14, 2013Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams speaking this evening during the party’s PMB on the Good Friday Agreement warned that the British government is “seriously undermining the work of the Executive and of the political institutions”.Teachta Adams cautioned that the “Executive’s ability to demonstrate that peace can deliver real economic change is being damaged by […]
- British are undermining the Good Friday Agreement - Adams May 14, 2013
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- Gender roles and perception… May 21, 2013
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- Progressive Film Club Fundraiser with Ken Loach May 21, 2013
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- Obama’s Catfood Reform April 11, 2013
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- FROOPP – or understanding peoples perceptions of inflation (1 graph) May 20, 2013Carola Binder is somewhat puzzled that so many Europeans see rising prices as one of their two personal top problems (data from May 2012): ” I was stunned that three times as many people consider inflation a top issue as consider health and social security a top issue.” I understand. But we should not confuse […]
- FROOPP – or understanding peoples perceptions of inflation (1 graph) May 20, 2013
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- Hold the Date: TASC Annual Conference 14 June 2013
- 19/5/2013: Namawinelake closure May 19, 2013I do not know the reasons behind the Namawinelake decision to stop operations, but the announcement that the blog will cease publishing new material starting from tomorrow was a shocker for me.I can attest from my own & others' experiences that those of us who run anything independent of the officialdom mouthpieces (regardless of political / ideolog […]
- 19/5/2013: Namawinelake closure May 19, 2013
- Profile in Irish fighting courage - Heffernan’s campaign for respite care for families dealing with fatal rare illnesses such as Batten’s disease (IrishCentral) May 19, 2013Tony and Mary Heffernan with their son Liam. The next time I think of fighting Irish spirit, when your back is against the wall and when all looks hopeless yet somehow a grace and courage comes, I’ll think of Tony and Mary Heffernan. Tony, 41, from Kerry, and his wife Mary, 37, from Cork, have been dealt the most grievous blow life can throw at them. […]
- Profile in Irish fighting courage - Heffernan’s campaign for respite care for families dealing with fatal rare illnesses such as Batten’s disease (IrishCentral) May 19, 2013
- Ann Travers: “If had joined the IRA or a loyalist paramilitary and killed someone, I would be being listened to…” May 21, 2013Ann Travers talks to Wendy Austin earlier on Talkback on the SDLP’s petition of concern that will finally kill the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill. I’ll try and get a better quality recording as and when it becomes available, since for a number of reasons, I think this is an important interview. I’m going to [...]
- Ann Travers: “If had joined the IRA or a loyalist paramilitary and killed someone, I would be being listened to…” May 21, 2013
- The Beginning of the End for the Euro? May 11, 2013In February Germany saw the birth of a new party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, Alternatives for Germany). By April 14th it had 7,500 members, and 1,300 of them participated in the inaugural conference in Berlin on that date. An assembly of top businessmen, lawyers, economists and academics joined forces against the single currency, the euro. Their argum […]
- The Beginning of the End for the Euro? May 11, 2013
- DEATH OF MANX CELTIC LEAGUE STALWART May 17, 2013DEATH OF MANX CELTIC LEAGUE STALWART Deirdre Catherine Moffatt (nee Moore) was a longstanding member of the Celtic League for almost forty years, joining the
- DEATH OF MANX CELTIC LEAGUE STALWART May 17, 2013
- Too soon to tellTen years ago, my part of the world was full of valiant opposition to the new wars being launched far away and at home — and of despair. And like despairing people everywhere, whether in a personal depression or a political tailspin, these activists believed the future would look more or less like the present. If there was nothing else they were confident ab […]
- Too soon to tell
- The Jig Is Up in Guatemala May 21, 2013Guatemala's genocide trial has lifted the curtain on the country's bloody past.
- The Jig Is Up in Guatemala May 21, 2013
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- Ira Forman assumes weighty mantle (and travel budget) of US Special Envoy on anti-Semitism May 21, 2013MJ Rosenberg on Ira Forman: Why is there a Special Envoy on anti-Semitism? Because the lobby wanted it. And it gets to place its ex-lobbyist in it.
- Ira Forman assumes weighty mantle (and travel budget) of US Special Envoy on anti-Semitism May 21, 2013
- Demonstration in support of imprisoned CO Natan Blanc May 21, 2013A demonstration in support of Natan Blanc, who has been sentenced to a tenth term of 28 days in prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli Army, will take place this coming Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 18:00 opposite the Ministry of Defence on...
- Demonstration in support of imprisoned CO Natan Blanc May 21, 2013
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