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Destruction, pollution & more graves: Libya War on top of Iraq War, Afghan War while Planet Earth, World & people need healing


By WcP.Observer - Posted on 22 March 2011

US & allied forces fr France & Britain entered second day of airstrikes.

Hundreds marched in California in protest of US presence in Iraq.

Soldier waits amid the gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.

Obamas arrive in Brasilia. Inset: France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary.

Top left: Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister. Top right: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Bottom: Germany's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig abstains fr Libya resolution vote.

Left: Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Right: Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Libyans needed to determine leader Muammar Gaddafi's fate for themselves.

’Almost 10 years ago, as far as the democratic West [US, France, UK..] was concerned, Gaddafi was no..reprehensible individual..’ Photos: Gaddafi with Obama, Sarkozy, Blair. Bottom right: fighter jet bombarded area southwest of Benghazi in breach of Libyan regime's announcement of ceasefire.

French Rafale warplanes went into attack formation over Libya without waiting for 22 world powers meeting in Paris to finish talking about military action.

Hundreds of anti-war protestors gathered in Hollywood to call for an end to military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

No-fly zone resolution sees many technologically advanced warplanes and fighter jets soaring into Libya's sky...

(quote)

With Obama in Brazil, Clinton in France.. French air strike kicks off attacks on Qadhafi - AL-MARJ (Libya): France launched an air strike on a target in Libya on Saturday. A French warplane “opened fire at 5.45 p.m. (1645 GMT) on an unspecified vehicle,” French army spokesman Colonel Thierry Burckhard told journalists in Paris.

Iraq War: 8th Anniversary Marked By US Intervention In Libya - March 20, 2011 may very well be remembered more as the beginning of the Libyan War - a day when the U.S. began directly intervening in a third Middle East nation - than the anniversary of Iraq War.

Canadians abort Libya attack, fearing casualties - March 20, 2011 may very well be remembered more as the beginning of the Libyan War - a day when the U.S. began directly intervening in a third Middle East nation - than the anniversary of Iraq War. Officials said two CF18 aircraft were assigned to attack a unspecified Libya airfield along with other aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition.

"Upon arrival on the scene in the target area, the air crew became aware of a risk (of collateral damage) they deemed as too high," Major General Tom Lawson, Canada's Assistant Chief of the Air Staff told reporters.

The Canadian jets returned safely to base.

Gaddafi's forces and rebels are hard to tell apart from the air - no one wants to make a mistake and have innocent civilian deaths on their hands. In Libya, giving Nato or UN aircraft the authority to attack Gaddafi forces has produced unique problems: many are not using easily identifiable military equipment, and trying to distinguish friend from foe will be immensely challenging.

A fighter plane was shot down and there were mortar and artillery attacks Saturday morning in the rebel-controlled Libyan city of Benghazi. About the plane, it was, however, not known to which side it actually belonged as Libyan officials said rebels were using helicopters and fighter jets to bomb the forces of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Over the weekend, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said that the Western bombing campaign "differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone." He said, "We want the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians."

Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, has declared the country remains strongly opposed to air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's forces or any other military intervention in Libya. Germany won't send forces to Libya, foreign minister declares. Westerwelle rules out German military involvement, as security council meets to vote on no-fly zone. He said attacking Muammar Gaddafi's forces in Libya could end up weakening the freedom movement there and in other Arab countries.

Speaking to the Guardian, Westerwelle warned the results of western military intervention were 'unpredictable' and could have consequences for freedom movements in the Arab world. 'Your own instinct is to say 'We have to do something.' But military intervention is to take part in a civil war that could go on for a long time. Germany has a strong friendship with our European partners. But we won't take part in any military operation and I will not send German troops to Libya.'

Westerwelle said other options could be used against Libya including 'targeted sanctions, political pressure and international isolation'. "Considering alternatives to military engagement is not the same as doing nothing," he said. He declined to say how Germany would vote this evening at the UN security council.

Westerwelle's comments reveal the gaping divisions within the European Union on how to deal with the fast-moving situation in Benghazi and the relentless advance of pro-government forces. Britain, France and the US are pushing for a no-fly zone to protect civilians but the Germans remain deeply skeptical.

"The military solution seems so simple but is not so simple. It's risky and dangerous," Westerwell said. "We are concerned about the effects on freedom movements in north Africa and the Arab world. We admired the jasmine revolution in Tunisia ... but we want these freedom movements to be strengthened, not weakened.'

USA Today - Five questions about dramatic move against Gadhafi - What is the goal of the attack on Gadhafi? It's not totally clear. British Defense Secretary Liam Fox says Gadhafi is a legitimate target for allied forces. But even though Gadhafi's residential compound was among the sites targeted by Tomahawk missiles, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says it would be 'unwise' to have coalition forces try to kill Gadhafi because "it's not part of the U.N. mandate.'

Reuters - MOSCOW, March 21 - The United States will soon reduce its participation in the coalition operation in Libya, Russia's Interfax news agency cited U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates as saying on Monday. Gates also said it would be a mistake for the coalition to set for itself the goal of killing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the news agency reported.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday Libyans needed to determine leader Muammar Gaddafi's fate for themselves and added the U.S. military's lead in operations there would soon come to an end.
Gates made the comments on the first day of a two-day visit to Russia overshadowed by Western air strikes in Libya that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin compared to "crusades." "I think it's pretty clear to everybody that Libya would be better off without Gaddafi. But that is a matter for the Libyans themselves to decide," Gates told Interfax news agency in St. Petersburg, according to a transcript provided by his aides. "And I think, given the opportunity and the absence of repression, they may well do that. But I think it is a mistake for us to set that (targeting Gaddafi) as a goal of our military operation."

Putin, whose country, as a veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council member, abstained from the vote that authorized the strikes, said Gaddafi's government was undemocratic but stressed that did not justify military action. "The resolution is defective and flawed. It allows everything," Putin told workers at a Russian ballistic missile factory in Votkinsk in central Russia. "It resembles medieval calls for crusades," he said.

Libya Attack Sours Obama-Rousseff Meeting, RIO DE JANEIRO, Mar 21, 2011 (IPS) - The first black president of the United States visited the first woman president of Brazil: their meeting resulted in modest progress in bilateral relations, but a bitter taste could not be avoided over the announcement, in Brazil, of the U.S.-led air attack on Libya.
On Saturday, Obama announced in Brasilia the launch of air strikes against the Libyan regime, in line with the Mar. 17 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which ordered Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to call a ceasefire against rebels demanding his resignation, and authorised the use of force to impose a no-fly zone over the country. Brazil, currently a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, had opposed the military measures and was one of five Council members to abstain from voting.

Together with other emerging powers, Brazil has long demanded reform of the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful political body for international peace and security - and has made it clear it wants a permanent seat. In a speech in Brasilia, Rousseff advocated Security Council reform, but refrained from mentioning the case of Libya.

Brazil calls for ceasefire in Libya
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian government called late on Monday for a cease-fire in Libya, where air attacks by the United States and its allies sought to stop the advance of Muammar Gaddafi's forces on rebel-held towns.

The goal of a cease-fire should be to protect civilians and pave the way for dialogue between the Libyan government and its opponents, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement made just hours after a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to Brazil.

"After regretting the loss of lives because of the conflict in the country, the Brazilian government hopes that an effective cease-fire be implemented as soon as possible to allow the protection of civilians and the start of dialogue," the statement said. Last week, Brazil, China, India, Germany and Russia abstained from passing a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. Last week, Brazil, China, India, Germany and Russia abstained from passing a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to impose a no-fly zone in Libya.

Coalition airstrikes against Libya led by the United States, France and Britain began on Saturday during Obama's visit to Brazil, his first stop on a trip to Latin America. Obama is scheduled to fly to El Salvador from Chile later on Tuesday.

Russia, China, India and Turkey condemn Libya strikes
Brazil and Germany also abstained from the vote, which was backed by 10 nations and allowed use of "all necessary measures" to shield Libyan civilians from a crackdown by Gadhafi forces on a popular revolt.

The international operation has been joined by a host of nations including Britain, France, the United States, Greece, Italy, Spain and notably Qatar.

But India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said the strikes on Libya would lead to more harm to "innocent civilians, foreign nationals and diplomatic missions." "India calls upon all parties to abjure violence and the use of threat and force to resolve the differences. I think the need of the hour is cessation of armed conflict," he told reporters.

China also expressed regret on Sunday, saying in a foreign ministry statement that it opposed the use of force in international relations.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Monday Arab League criticism of alliance action at the weekend showed that Germany had "good reasons" to fear military intervention.

The Arab League's call for the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone was vital to mustering votes to pass the resolution, but on Sunday its secretary general Amr Mussa suggested the air strikes went beyond the resolution.

Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was critical of the formation of the coalition leading the action and stressed the objective should be "not to launch a large-scale war".

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei charged the Western intervention in Libya was aimed at "getting their hands on its oil", as claimed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Sunday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov also said Monday the "adventure" was motivated by "petrol and who will exploit Libya's oil fields".

South Africa, among the countries that backed the UN resolution behind Britain, France and the United States, was also wary. "Operations aimed at enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians should be limited to just that," President Jacob Zuma said, adding South Africa does not support "the regime change doctrine".

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba labelled the strikes an "interference in internal affairs of Africa", backing the 53-nation African Union stance against "any kind of foreign military intervention" in Libya.

African historian and former Mali First Lady Adame Ba Konare called it a "macabre carnival" and called on Africans to defend their "bruised and ridiculed" continent.

Germany's United Nations Ambassador Peter Wittig abstaining from the Libya resolution vote last Thursday. Merkel had just finished explaining her government's position on Libya -- a day after Germany had abstained from the United Nations Security Council vote which authorized the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya and the use of force to protect civilians from violence by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Portugal, a non-permanent member of the Council, joined permanent members France, Britain and the US in supporting the resolution. Germany was the only Western country among the five abstentions.

Merkel told parliamentary conservatives that Germany would not provide crew members for AWACS surveillance flights over Libya. Instead, she explained, she foresees a greater German engagement in Afghanistan as a way of freeing up personnel from other countries which could then be used in operations against Gadhafi. Germany, she made clear, would not be participating in military operations against Libya.

The conservative uprising shows just how difficult it has been for Berlin to find a position on Libya. Since World War II, Germany has been at pains to avoid isolating itself on foreign policy questions. Even in the run up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Berlin had Paris at its side in rejecting military operations. This time around, however, Germany is totally isolated among its allies.

Libya no-fly zone cost could hit $1 billion in months
Zack Cooper, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the initial cost of eliminating Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's air defenses was likely to be between $400 million and $800 million. The expense of patrolling the no-fly zone once it is established is likely to be $30 million to $100 million a week, he said.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of: Getty, Scott Applewhite / AP, www.presstv.ir, EPA, DPA, TopNews.in, Jean-Christophe Verhaegen / AFP / Getty Images, Reuters / Itar-Tass / Presidential Press Service (Russia), and Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

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