Revolution Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Maintaining a revolutionary position in the present Libyan scenario is like walking in a minefield. One cannot applaud imperialists with their undeniable record of ruthless manipulation in pursuit of control of the world’s energy resources nor the violent tyranny of Gaddafi and bevy of Western puppet dictators which infest nations which often hold treasures coveted by mercantilists. In the Financial Times, Roula Khalaf reminds us of the recent history of the Libyan revolution and warns of the impact of Gaddafi’s manipulations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA):

But as the international coalition steps up its attacks on Libyan forces, Muammer Gaddafi is single-handedly, and tragically, transforming the image of the Arab spring, taking the region back to what we have long been used to, a combination of bloody conflict and foreign intervention.

It is important to remember that Libyans began their protests peacefully, marching across the country to demand Col Gaddafi’s departure. They were forced to take up arms to confront a crackdown using every military tool in Col Gaddafi’s arsenal. As army officers broke away and sided with the rebels, and ammunition depots were raided, the stand-off veered towards civil war.

It was also the rebels themselves who were the first to call upon the world community for assistance, specifically asking for a no-fly zone to protect the cities and towns that were under their control. And it is only grudgingly that a coalition has been formed, with the US a late-comer to the game, and everyone insisting that any military operation required Arab backing.

While there are reports that Gaddafi’s compound has been bombed, contrary to previous reports, the Pentagon is denying regime change is the goal:

Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney underlined that strikes are not specifically targeting the Libyan leader or his residence in Tripoli. He said that any of Gadhafi’s ground forces advancing on the rebels were open targets.

Yet the nature of the international coalition is exposed – it is indeed US-led and executed, despite protestations from Obama.

But NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski today knocked down the talk that what is going on militarily is a “huge coalition effort.” Here’s what he said in a remarkable segment this morning:

“Despite the White House attempts to make this look like it’s a huge coalition effort — obviously it required coalition political support — but for now the U.S. military is not only in the lead but conducting almost all military operations, with only minor participation from the French, as you mentioned, even British fighters over night. There’s a U.S. commander. And even this morning I talked to senior military officials, when I asked them how soon will the U.S. turn over the command to the coalition — and the indication is the U.S. military is in no hurry to do that.”

A refugee crisis – another cruel human toll consequent of war – is mounting:

As of 19 March, IOM and UNHCR estimated that at least 320,423 people have fled Libya, and approximately 8,578 remain stranded at the Libyan borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

Meanwhile in Bahrain, Saudi-backed forces menace hospitals and civilians. In Syria, protests continue with more reports of violence.

And in Palestine, Israel’s foul oppression and collective punishment continues with a green light from the West, with opposition leader Livni calling for a repetition of the vile Cast Lead operation against the people of Gaza. Israel has cut a main power line in Gaza. The apartheid state has also admitted holding Gazan electrical engineer Abu Sisi.

Abu Sisi, 42, and a father of six, disappeared from a train while travelling between Kiev and the eastern city of Kharkiv on the night of February 18-19.

The engineer’s wife Veronika said she had been told by train attendants that her husband had been taken away by two men posing as officers of the Ukrainian secret service,

He is being held at Shikma prison in Ashkelon, according to a Ukrainian delegate at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cited by Israeli media.

Hamas condemned the abduction and demanded the engineer’s release.

“This kidnapping violates international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty. It is further proof of the contempt of the (Israeli) occupation for the international community,” spokesman Sami Abu Zohi told AFP.

UPDATES

RT @avinunu: Iraq was devasted by weeks of intensive bombing in 1991 and Saddam held on for 12 more years, despite crippling sanctions. #

Libya Links

Libya: The perils of intervention
Prison massacre helped to spark Libyan revolution
Operation Odyssey Dawn – US DoD site
Drawn-out campaign risks damping down Arab spring
Ancient Poison Bears New Fruit: Western Frenzy Grows in Libya
Timeline of the 2011 Libyan uprising
The “coalition” has no clothes : The administration has insisted that the attack on Libya is a broad international effort — but, so far, it’s not
Gaddafi supporters claim airstrikes hit compound
Robert Fisk: Remember the civilian victims of past ‘Allied’ bombing campaigns
Libyans offer new graves as proof of civilian dead
No Intervention in Libya: John Rees on The Moral Maze 9.3.11 – shows banners asking for no foreign intervention in Libya.
Twitter v the MSM: covering Gaddafi’s war against reality
Arab League condemns broad Western bombing campaign in Libya
The Marxist-Leninist line : Hands off Libya: victory to Gaddafi

Afghanistan Links

US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians : Commanders brace for backlash of anti-US sentiment that could be more damaging than after the Abu Ghraib scandal

Bahrain Links

Letter From Bahrain: Will They Stop Killing Us?
Mullen: US must treat Bahrain differently from Libya

Syria Links

Syria: Protests Continue to Gain Momentum

Palestine / Israel Links

Palestinians eye U.N. recognition of state as Israel hits Gaza by air
Israel has Palestinian who vanished in Ukraine: report
IDF officers confirm special department created to monitor left-wing organizations around the world – how fascist of them :

The new MI unit will monitor Western groups involved in boycotting Israel, divesting from it or imposing sanctions on it. The unit will also collect information about groups that attempt to bring war crime or other charges against high-ranking Israeli officials, and examine possible links between such organizations and terror groups.

. @JuliaGillard Please protect us citzens & tell #Israel to stop spying on ‘leftist’ groups in Australia, thank you http://is.gd/cixCbS #
. @GreensMPs can we please get a denial from @JuliaGillard that Israel is spying on Australians & does she condone this? http://is.gd/cixCbS #
Israeli forces attack prayers near Bethlehem
What some young Jews do in their spare time; defend occupying Israel
This is what grassroots Jewish violence looks like
Worldwide sanctions can erode Israel’s fanaticism
Israeli Army Cooperates with Settlers in Attacks on Palestinians
Australian Greens candidate faces abuse and lies over backing Israel sanction

Australia Links

Are you in favour or against Australia becoming a republic? ‘39% of respondents are in favour of Australia becoming a republic, 34% are against and 27% hold no opinion.’
35% think that the Australian troops in Afghanistan should be increased or maintained and 56% think Australia should withdraw its troops. This is a significant shift (+9%) in favour of withdrawal since this question was last asked in October 2010.

Other Links

Drones over Mexico: Surveillance is needed to contain drug problem

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