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Posts Tagged ‘William Hague’

Gaddafi, Lies and Video Tape: Libya and the Rumor Mill

Posted by Admin on May 15, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110514/wl_time/08599207152300;_ylt=Ar_gdLahkMDjCxsglLEGEilvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJtMjUxODRmBGFzc2V0A3RpbWUvMjAxMTA1MTQvMDg1OTkyMDcxNTIzMDAEcG9zAzI5BHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDZ2FkZGFmaWxpZXNh

Truth, as they say, is the first casualty of war. Yet even by those measures, the three-month Libyan conflict has brought a wealth of rumors.

Just five days after the revolt erupted in Benghazi, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters that Gaddafi was headed to Venezuela. His remarks sparked a media frenzy, with journalists converging on Caracas to await Gaddafi’s arrival in exile. Three days later, on Feb. 24, commodities traders said that oil and gold prices had dropped due to rumors that Gaddafi had been injured. Oil prices dropped again on March 7, after rumors that Gaddafi was scrambling to negotiate an exile deal for himself. And on March 21, days after Western fighter jets began bombing Tripoli, a German newspaper reported that a rocket attack had killed Gaddafi’s son Khamis, whose military brigade has led the assault against Libyan rebels. So far, none of the rumors have proved true. (See TIME’s exclusive photos on the ground in Tripoli.)

The latest tale surfaced last Friday, when Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told an Italian reporter that Muammar Gaddafi had fled Tripoli after being wounded in a NATO air strike on his compound the day before. Frattini said he heard the information from Tripoli’s Catholic Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, a Libyan-born Italian with close sources across the capital, thanks to his decades in the country. The Bishop, said Frattini, had said that “international pressure has apparently provoked a decision by Gaddafi to seek refuge in a safer place.”

The rumor lit up Twitter feeds and led to a few celebrations – premature ones. Within hours, Gaddafi went on state-run Libyan Television to tell his supporters that he was still alive, and to vow to survive the NATO campaign. “I live where you cannot reach and cannot kill me – in the hearts of millions of people,” Gaddafi said in a defiant challenge to the coalition. Bishop Martinelli denied the story Frattini attributed to him, telling a French radio station on Saturday that “I’ve never said he [Gaddafi] was injured or had left Tripoli.” (Watch Libya’s ragtag rebels in action.)

The speech included no video. An unnamed regime official told the Guardian newspaper on Saturday that Gaddafi was worried that video footage could help NATO bombers to pinpoint his exact whereabouts. Gaddafi’s statement on Friday was a stark contrast to his wartime television appearances, where he has summoned television crews to film him giving thundering diatribes against the rebels and Western governments. And unlike those hours-long speeches, he spoke for just 90 seconds, igniting speculation among rebel and exile groups that Gaddafi had indeed gone to ground.

Wounded or not, Gaddafi may soon have a legal reason to be out of sight. On Saturday, the International Criminal Court‘s prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo told a Spanish newspaper that he would seek arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief Abdullah Senoussi, when he goes before a judges’ panel in The Hague on Monday. If the warrants are issued, the three men would face extradition orders to stand trial in Holland, for having ordered security forces to open fire on unarmed demonstrators in Benghazi in mid-February. U.N. investigators claim that between 400 and 600 Libyans were killed in the first days of the revolt, before the rebels took up weapons, transforming the protest movement into a civil war.

Bringing Gaddafi and company to justice is going to be a tall order. But a warrant and NATO bombs are enough reasons for anyone to go into hiding.

See TIME’s photos of Gaddafi’s Tripoli.

See TIME’s special report “The Middle East in Revolt.”

View this article on Time.com

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Gaddafi envoy in Britain for secret talks

Posted by Admin on April 10, 2011

http://www.headlinenewsbureau.com/siterun_data/news/politics/docdece502d734d5968f88f91f07bac595b.html

Exclusive: Contact with senior aide believed to be one of a number between Libyan officials and west amid signs regime may be looking for exit strategy All today’s developments in Libya Libyan fixer’s visit to London may show sons want way out Those who have defected – and those who still support Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi‘s regime has sent one of its most trusted envoys to London for confidential talks with British officials, the Guardian can reveal.

Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, visited London in recent days, British government sources familiar with the meeting have confirmed. The contacts with Ismail are believed to have been one of a number between Libyan officials and the west in the last fortnight , amid signs that the regime may be looking for an exit strategy.

Disclosure of Ismail’s visit comes in the immediate aftermath of the defection to Britain of Moussa Koussa, Libya’s foreign minister and its former external intelligence head, who has been Britain’s main conduit to the Gaddafi regime since the early 1990s.

A team led by the British ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, and MI6 officers embarked on a lengthy debriefing of Koussa at a safe house after he flew into Farnborough airport on Wednesday night from Tunisia. Government sources said the questioning would take time because Koussa’s state of mind was “delicate” after he left his family in Libya.

The Foreign Office has declined “to provide a running commentary” on contacts with Ismail or other regime officials. But news of the meeting comes amid mounting speculation that Gaddafi’s sons, foremost among them Saif al-Islam, Saadi and Mutassim, are anxious to talk. “There has been increasing evidence recently that the sons want a way out,” said a western diplomatic source.

Although he has little public profile in Libya or internationally, Ismail is recognised by diplomats as being a key fixer and representative for Saif al-Islam. According to cables published by WikiLeaks, Ismail represented Libya’s government in arms purchase negotiations and as an interlocutor on military and political issues.

“The message that was delivered to him is that Gaddafi has to go, and that there will be accountability for crimes committed at the international criminal court,” a Foreign Office spokesman told the Guardian , declining to elaborate on what else may have been discussed.

Some aides working for Gaddafi’s sons, however, have made it clear that it may be necessary to sideline their father and explore exit strategies to prevent the country descending into anarchy.

One idea the sons have reportedly suggested – which the Guardian has been unable to corroborate – is that Gaddafi give up real power. Mutassim, presently the country’s national security adviser, would become president of an interim national unity government which would include the opposition. It is an idea, however, unlikely to find support among the rebels or the international community who are demanding Gaddafi’s removal.

The revelation that contacts between Britain and a key Gaddafi loyalist had taken place came as David Cameron hailed the defection of Koussa as a sign the regime was crumbling. “It tells a compelling story of the desperation and the fear right at the very top of the crumbling and rotten Gaddafi regime,” he said.

Ministers regard Koussa’s move to abandon his family as a sign of the magnitude of his decision. “Moussa Koussa is very worried about his family,” one source said. “But he did this because he felt it was the best way of bringing down Gaddafi.”

Britain learned that Koussa wanted to defect when he made contact from Tunisia. He had made his way out of Libya in a convoy of cars after announcing he was going on a diplomatic mission to visit the new government in Tunis.

It was also reported that Ali Abdussalam Treki, a senior Libyan diplomat, declined to take up his appointment by Gaddafi as UN ambassador, condemning the “spilling of blood”. Officials were checking reports that Tarek Khalid Ibrahim, the deputy head of mission in London, is also defecting.

The prime minister insisted that no deal had been struck with Koussa and that he would not be offered immunity from prosecution. “Let me be clear, Moussa Koussa is not being granted immunity. There is no deal of that kind,” Cameron said. Within hours of his arrival in Britain, Scottish prosecutors asked to interview Koussa about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The Crown Office in Edinburgh has said that it is formally asking for its prosecutors and police detectives to question him.

But government sources indicated that Britain does not believe Koussa was involved. He was at the heart of Britain’s rapprochement with Libya, which started when Tripoli abandoned its support for the IRA in the early 1990s.

He was instrumental in persuading Gaddafi to abandon his weapons of mass destruction programme in 2003. One source said: “Nobody is saying this guy was a saint, because he was a key Gaddafi lieutenant who was kicked out of Britain in 1980 for making threats to kill Libyan dissidents. But this is the guy who persuaded Gaddafi to abandon his WMD programme. He no doubt has useful and interesting things to say about Lockerbie, but it doesn’t seem he said ‘go and do it’.”

However there is unease among Tories about Britain’s involvement in Libya. Underlining those concerns, Boris Johnson, the London mayor, told BBC Question Time that a continued stalemate in Libya could “have terrible consequences”. Johnson said; “I do worry that if we get into a stalemate; and if, frankly, the rebels don’t seem to be making the progress that we would like, we have to be brave, to say to ourselves that our policy is not working, and encourage the Arabs themselves to take leadership in all of this.”

William Hague, the foreign secretary, said he had a sense that Koussa was deeply unhappy with Gaddafi when they spoke last Friday. “One of the things I gathered between the lines in my telephone calls with him, although he of course had to read out the scripts of the regime, was that he was very distressed and dissatisfied by the situation there,” Hague said.

Libya Middle East Arab and Middle East unrest Muammar Gaddafi Foreign policy Peter Beaumont Nicholas Watt Severin Carrell Guardian News & Media Limited 2011

 

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Libya: The Objective of “Humanitarian Bombing” is Death and Destruction

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23945

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, March 25, 2011

The Bombing of Civilian Targets

The objective is not to come to the rescue of civilians.

Quite the opposite. Both military as well as civilian targets have been pre-selected.

Civilian casualties are intentional. They are not the result of “collateral damage“.

Early reports confirm that hospitals, civilian airports and government buildings have been bombed.

Within hours of the air attacks, a Libyan government health official “said the death toll from the Western air strikes had risen to 64 on Sunday after some of the wounded died.” The number of wounded was of the order of 150. (Montreal Gazette, Gadhafi hurls defiance as allied forces strike Libya, March 19, 2011).

The death toll resulting from aerial bombings and missile attacks (March 24) is of the order of 100 civilians, according to Libyan government sources ( UN Chief Expects Int’l Community to Avoid Civilian Casualties in Libya, March 25, 2011)

Media Disinformation

These deaths resulting from US-NATO missiles and aerial bombings are either denied or casually dismissed as `collateral damage`. According to British Foreign Secretary William Hague modern humanitarian warfare does result in civilian deaths, a totally absurd proposition:

“This operation has been doing what it was meant to do, protect the civilian population of Libya, and there is no confirmed evidence of any casualties at all, civilian casualties, caused by the coalition strikes on the Gaddafi regime,” (British Foreign Secretary William Hague,  No evidence of civilian casualties in Libya strikes: UK | Reuters, March 25, 2011)

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirms that “The coalition is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and most of the targets are air defence targets isolated from populated areas.” (West trying to avoid Libyan civilian deaths: Robert Gates – World – DNA, March 22, 2011)

The objective of the media disinformation campaign is to blatantly obfuscate the loss of life of civilians.  Western media reports on casualties are heavily convoluted. Tomahawk missiles and aerial bombings are upheld as instruments of peace and democracy. They do not result in civilian deaths.

Without media disinformation, the legitimacy of the military operation under R2P would collapse like a deck of card.

Several hundred people gather at a funeral. The latter is dismissed as Qadhafi propaganda.

The funeral is ‘fake” according to Western reports. It is presented as a staged event.

In the words of one report: “Men pray for people supposedly killed in air strikes. But the contents of these coffins remain unclear.( See Civilian Casualties in Question at Tripoli Funeral – WSJ.com, March 24, 2011, In Libya, coffins carry a mystery, SMH, March 26, 2011).

Humanitarian Bombing and Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

The purpose of these bombardments is to destroy the country’s institutions, its productive base. It’s called “humanitarian bombing”. It is justified under the concept of  “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Power generating facilities, bridges, roads, hospitals, TV stations, government buildings, factories, are singled out as strategic targets.

Libyan sources (unconfirmed) report that two hospitals and a medical clinic were bombed:

“Al-Tajura Hospital was hit as was Saladin Hospital in Ain Zara. The clinic that was bombed was also located in the vicinity of Tripoli, the Libyan capital.  Not only were these civilian structures, but they were also all far away from the combat zone.

Civilian air facilities throughout Libya have been attacked. (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Breaking News: Libyan Hospitals Attacked. Libyan Source: Three French Jets Downed, Global Research, March 19, 2011)

In the case of the hospitals, the smart bombs are extremely precise. The Russian Foreign ministry has accused the Western military alliance of conducting an indiscriminate bombing campaign. (Metro – Russia: Stop ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of Libya, March 19, 2011)

Invariably the Western media will state that Qadhafi forces are bombing the country’s hospitals, without supporting evidence.

There are indications that hospitals are included in the list of targets. Canadian CF-18 fighter jets were assigned specific civilian bombing targets. The pilots decided to return to base without attacking their pre-selected target, which was identified as an airfield. According to the press reports, the selected target was adjacent to a hospital: “Lawson said the risk was not related to any threat to the CF-18sbut rather potential damage to civilians or important infrastructure such as hospitals, on the ground.” ( CTV Calgary- Canadian pilots abort bombing over risk to civilians – CTV News, March 23, 2011, emphasis added)

Public opinion is invited to unconditionally endorse a new war theater in North Africa.  The so-called international community has managed through media propaganda to build a consensus.

The Responsibility to Protect has been endorsed by civil society organizations and NGOs. Many sectors of the progressive Left are supporting the bombings of Libya as a means to installing democracy, without even analysing the nature and composition of the rebellion.

Those who speak out against the US-NATO “no fly zone” are casually branded as “Qadhafi apologists”.

The Yugoslav Model of “Humanitarian Bombing”

Humanitarian bombing is part of a historical process. It is embedded in military planning.

The Libyan “humanitarian bombing” campaign is an integral part of military strategy which consists in destroying the country’s civilian infrastructure. It is modelled on previous humanitarian bombing endeavors including the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia and the 2003 military campaign against Iraq.

When Yugoslavia was bombed in 1999, bridges, power plants, schools and hospitals were identified as “legitimate military targets” selected by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vicenza, Italy and carefully “validated prior to the pilot launching his strike.” The same procedure is being applied to Libya: military and civilian targets are validated in advance. The pilot is not always informed as to the precise nature of the target.

In 1999, the children’s hospital located in Belgrade’s embassy area was the object of air attacks. It had been singled out by military planners as a strategic target.

NATO acknowledged that they had done it, but to “save the lives” of the newly borne, they did not target the section of the hospital where the babies were residing, instead they targeted the building which housed the power generator, which meant no more power for the incubators, which meant the entire hospital was for all sakes and purposes destroyed and many of the children died.

I visited that hospital, one year after the bombing in June 2000 and saw with my own eyes how they did it with utmost accuracy. These are war crimes using the most advanced military technology:  The so-called “smart bombs”.

In Yugoslavia, the civilian economy was the target: hospitals, airports, government buildings, manufacturing, infrastructure, not to mention 17th century churches and the country’s historical and cultural heritage.

The diabolical objective of triggering an environmental catastrophe in the Danube river basin was also on the drawing board. NATO targeted the Pancevo petrochemical plant near Belgrade. The objective was no only to disable the plant but also to trigger an environmental catastrophe. How did they do it?

“A thermal imager from a spy satellite or an aircraft can detect infrared radiation emitted from any object situated on the petrochemical plant and convert its readings into a high-resolution video or snap picture. … In the words of a Pentagon spokesman, the U2 “snaps a picture from very high altitude, beams it back in what we call a reach-back, to the States where it is very quickly analyzed”. And from there, “the right targeting data” is relayed to the CAOC in Vincenza which then “passes [it] on to people in the cockpit”.

The “smart bombs” were not dumb; they went where they were told to go. NATO had scrupulously singled out the containers, tanks and reservoirs, which still contained toxic materials. According to the petrochemical plant director, NATO did not hit a single empty container: “This was not accidental; they chose to hit those that were full and these chemicals spilled into the canal leading to the Danube“. … When the smart bombs hit their lethal targets at Pancevo (see photos below), noxious fluids and fumes were released into the atmosphere, water and soil. “More than one thousand tons of ethylene dichloride spilled from the Pancevo petrochemical complex into the Danube [through the canal which links the plant to the river]. Over a thousand tons of natrium hydroxide were spilled from the Pancevo petrochemical complex. Nearly 1,000 tons of hydrogen chloride spilled from Pancevo into the Danube River” (Michel Chossudovsky, NATO Willfully Triggered an Environmental Catastrophe In Yugoslavia, Global Research, 11 April 2004)

A ‘smart bomb’ hit this container with perfect accuracy. (Pancevo petrochemical complex ( ©Michel Chossudovsky, March 2000 )

The container on the right was targeted by NATO because it was full of highly carcinogenic VCM ( © Michel Chossudovsky, March 2000 )

See Michel Chossudovsky, NATO Willfully Triggered an Environmental Catastrophe In Yugoslavia, Global Research, 11 April 2004

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Depleted uranium: a strange way to protect Libyan civilians

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23985

by David Wilson

Global Research, March 27, 2011

“[uranium tipped missiles] fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way… I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.” Marion Falk, chemical physicist (retd), Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads.

DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporises into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neurocognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporised, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.

In the ‘shock and awe’ attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad alone. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than “five hundred thousand tons of ordnance”. All of it DU-tipped.

Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.

William Hague has said that we are in Libya ” to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”.You don’t have to look far for who and what are being ‘protected’.

In that first 24 hours the ‘Allies’ ‘expended’ £100 million on DU-tipped ordnance. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licences in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licences for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadaffi to send the SAS to train his 32nd Brigade.

For the next 4.5 billion years, I’ll bet that William Hague will not be holidaying in North Africa.

Global Research Articles by David Wilson

 

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