Crafty Gaddafi and the Mountain of Gold

With Gaddafi perched on a massive stockpile of gold, enough to pay his troops and buy more for years, the prospect of a quick end to the west’s assault on Gaza seems remote despite Gate’s intonations that the campaign will slow in the next few days.

The gold reserves are believed to have been moved from the central bank in the capital, Tripoli, to another city such as Sebha in the south, which is near Libya’s African neighbours Chad and Niger, after fighting broke out, the Times reported.

While bankers told the Times that international banks or trading houses were unlikely to buy any gold believed to be from Libya, Colonel Gaddafi may find buyers in Chad or Niger.

The British military are squabbling with bloodthirsty imperialist Government Ministers over the legitimacy of targetting Gaddafi directly.

Senior figures in Washington have also emphasised that the coalition is barred by the UN from attempting to hit Gaddafi; the issue is sensitive because of fears that talk of toppling the regime could alienate Arab supporters of the action.

The controversy was sparked when Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, signalled that Gaddafi could be a “legitimate target”. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also left open the possibility in a BBC interview yesterday.

But Gen Richards, speaking after a meeting of ministers and military chiefs on Libya, was adamant that Gaddafi could not be targeted. Asked if it could happen, he replied: “Absolutely not. It is not allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something I want to discuss any further.”

In an emergency Commons debate, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said any military action had to be consistent with the UN mandate, but stopped short of ruling out an attack on Gaddafi under any circumstances.

He said: “Targets must be fully consistent with the UN Security Council resolution. We choose our targets to stop attacks on civilians and to implement the no-fly zone. But we should not give a running commentary on targeting.”

Sir Menzies Campbell, former Liberal Democrat leader, said: “Neither the resolution nor international law would justify the specific targeting or, in truth, assassination of Colonel Gaddafi. But if he were engaged in direct control of military occupations contrary to the resolution, and the command and control centre in which he was to be found were the subject of attack, then he would be a legitimate target.”

..

Last night, the Government won clear backing for the military action, with 557 supporting the involvement of UK forces, and 13 MPs voting against.

A ComRes poll last night for ITV found that public support for the action in Libya is lukewarm, with only 35 per cent believing it was right for the UK to take action against Gaddafi forces and 53 per cent saying it would be unacceptable for British personnel to risk death or injury.

Libya Links

HOW THE UK HELPED ARM LIBYA

In 2005, the UK licensed the sale of £29.5m worth of “military transport aircraft” to the colonel; and in 2009 and 2010 licensed the sale of “bombing computers” and “military aircraft ground equipment” too.

In addition, between 2005 and 2007, sales of armoured all-wheel drive vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, night vision goggles and water cannon got the go-ahead.

The biggest shipments (and most alarming ones, given how Gaddafi’s forces are repressing the population) suggest that the exports didn’t even help boost British manufacturing. In 2007, for example, a job lot of “anti-riot shields, body armour, anti-riot guns, crowd control ammunition, smoke ammunition, tear gas/irritant ammunition, smoke hand grenades & CS hand grenades” were licensed for export to Libya by British businessmen. The materials, however, were from Serbia.

In 2005, a £41m package of battlefield weapons, including heavy machine guns, armour for tanks, day and night sights for weapons and military image intensifier equipment, originally from the Ukraine, was also licensed.

The oddest export, however, was licensed between July and September last year when the Foreign Office approved the sale of what it describes as “spacecraft”. Perhaps this offers a possible way out for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s Mad Dog chum.

Libya and the State of Humanity
What intervention in Libya tells us about the neocon-liberal alliance
The War for Libya’s West: More Qaddafi Massacres
Kicking the intervention habit : Should talks of intervention in Libya turn into action, it would be illegal, immoral and hypocritical. by Richard Falk
Background from July 2010 – BP to start drilling off Libyan coast : Oil giant’s shock revelation is the latest twist in a tale of politics, pollution, terrorism – and violent death
Libya: A conflict of self-interest
No to intervention in Libya! Victory to Arab revolutions! – 12 reasons to oppose airstrikes

Palestine / Israel Links

Civil Society and Palestine: Growing Power of the Ordinary : Ramzy Baroud
Israeli NGO Wins Partial Lifting of Abusisi Gag
Aroma Tel Aviv tells employees to speak Hebrew
Ex-minister and judge support boycott of Israel

WESTERN Cape high court judge Siraj Desai and former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils have come out in support of a Holocaust survivors’ South African campaign for a boycott of Israel.

Speaking at a dinner in Cape Town on Sunday night, Hajo Meyer, an 86-year-old Jewish scientist and a survivor of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz concentration camp, called for a concentrated cultural and academic boycott against Israel.

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Johannesburg U mulls cutting ties with BGU
Bob Geldof
Is Bob Geldof Obnoxiously Shameless?
Ninety percent of water in Gaza is not fit for human consumption. UNICEF and partners are working together to install water pumps and desalination units with safe drinking water. Tuesday 22 March is World Water Day -‘Water for Cities: responding to the urban challenge.’ UNICEF ”
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The largest segment of Gaza factories is the garment industry, with between 700 and 800 production plants. It is also the hardest hit by the siege, since it was the most dependent on exports — still banned by Israel.
Water and sanitation: A Human Right for all, even slum-dwellers and the homeless
Radicalization: It’s Not A Muslim Thing
Israeli jets strike Gaza after Hamas offers truce
After Libya, Obama will have hard time thwarting Palestinian state
More ethnic cleansing by the zioscumbag entity Jerusalem’s bookseller to the stars facing deportation : Munther Fahmi, a Palestinian, was born in Jerusalem and lived there until he was 21, when he left for the United States for 20 years.
Turkey group plans new Gaza flotilla with at least 15 ships
Ban on Israel-Palestine debate ignites free speech row at French university : International petition calls on Ecole Normale Supérieure to restore ‘long history of political expression’
Revealing Gaza: In The Eyes Of The Beholder: Israel bombs Gaza in an over-night air raid (as usual)
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Rethinking Itamar: Eliminating the ‘Palestinian threat’ won’t legitimize Israeli settlements
Letter to President Obama from Congressman Davis expressing concern about FBI repression of the Anti-War and Solidarity Movements.
UN official: Israel engaging in ethnic cleansing :

Investigator Richard Falk says settlement expansion, consequent evicting of Palestinians ‘intolerable’ : The “continued pattern of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem combined with the forcible eviction of long-residing Palestinians are creating an intolerable situation” in the part of the city previously controlled by Jordan, he said.

This situation “can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing,” Falk declared.

Israel declines to deal with Falk or even allow him into the country, accusing him of bias against the Jewish state.

In his speech, Falk said he would like the Human Rights Council to ask the International Court of Justice to look at Israeli behaviour in the occupied territories.

This should focus on whether the prolonged occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem had elements of “colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing inconsistent with international humanitarian law,” the investigator declared.

New Israeli Military Unit to Monitor BDS,“Delegitimization” Groups in OPT & Abroad
Israel bombs Gaza in an over-night air raid (as usual)
Imagining an ‘alternative spatial future’ in Israel/Palestine
What Israeli bombs did to a child today
Settlers attack Aqraba farmland
5 dead, others injured as Israel shells Gaza : IDF Haaretz release says four people killed.
Aid industry doing no harm in Palestine?
Public Support for Israel

Wikileaks Links

Colombia carried out covert military operations in Venezuela: WikiLeaks

Egypt Links

Guardian called to account on Mubarak wealth figures

Bahrain Links

WikiLeaks cables show no evidence of Iran’s hand in Bahrain unrest

Australia Links

Prison union boss demands G4S be sacked
Jerome Small on supporting refugees fighting back

Other Links

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