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Nonviolent Revolution Clarified: Five Myths and Realities Behind Egypt's Uprising

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2011

http://www.truth-out.org/nonviolent-revolution-clarified-five-myths-and-realities-behind-egypts-uprising/1310067482

by: Dr. Cynthia Boaz, Truthout | News Analysis
 

An Egyptian flag flies as thousands of protesters attend a mass demonstration in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo on July 8, 2011. (Photo: Moises Saman / The New York Times)

The fall of the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt has produced prolific analysis by media commentators across the spectrum. Some of this analysis has been excellent, but much of the conventional media interpretation of the why, how and what behind these events leaves much to be desired. There are a handful of misconceptions that have been parroted repeatedly in media coverage of the “Arab Spring.” These are important to recognize because the dynamics of how power is shifted matters enormously. In Gandhian language, means and ends are inseparable. That which is won through violence must be sustained through violence. That which is won through mass civil nonviolent action is more legitimate and more likely to be sustainable over the long term.

Additionally, how we understand and interpret the source of the power that emerged in Tunisia and Egypt last spring can go on to shape our long-term views about what is possible. If we consciously or unconsciously reinforce misconceptions or negative stereotypes about nonviolent action, we potentially undermine the morale of people engaged in ongoing struggles and, in the worst-case scenario, we can give credibility to the perspectives of the oppressors. What follows are the five most prevalent ways in which mainstream media has gotten the story wrong on the Egyptian uprising and the corresponding correction to each.

Misconception 1: It was spontaneous. Reality:  Although commentators still tend to talk about the Egyptian revolution as though no one could have predicted it, the key variable in the victory was planning. As we saw during the height of Mubarak‘s crackdown, the movement was able to keep the people of Egypt unified and, for the most part, nonviolently disciplined. Considering the lengths to which the regime went to try and provoke violence, it was quite remarkable how focused, creative and disciplined the activists remained. None of that would have been possible without several years of laying the groundwork. Egyptian activists worked for years to identify and neutralize the sources of power in the nation of 83 million. Their effort extended to making personal connections with the military forces and the commanders in particular. It’s a nuanced divide-and-conquer strategy. After building relationships with members of the regime’s pillars of support, the movement then helped them question the legitimacy of the ruler and the system they were upholding. When media analysts talk about an uprising like the one in Egypt as spontaneous, they are revealing their lack of understanding of the dynamics of nonviolent action and, simultaneously, are taking credit away from activists, who in many cases, have worked hard for years – often at great personal risk and sacrifice – to make this kind of victory possible. Regimes like Mubarak’s don’t fall when people just spontaneously show up in the city square. They only fall when movements are capable of exerting sustained pressure on them over a length of time. And that for that to happen, there must be unity, strategy, vision and, most importantly, planning, planning and more planning.

Misconception 2: It was a military coup. Reality: It was a people-power revolution. This misconception stems partly from the fact that, at the end of the day, much hinged on whose side the military took in the struggle. But instead of giving the people credit for winning the military to their side through effective campaigning and salient messaging, many media commentators erroneously regard the military’s defense of the people as a sign that it was they who were actually leading the uprising. But the loyalty demonstrated by the military to the people’s revolution should be interpreted as a sign of how well the movement did its job, not just of how powerful the military is in Egypt. The strategy was about unifying around a shared vision of Egyptian society. This misconception also is partly attributable to the fact that many of us cannot conceptualize power as taking any form other than a militaristic one. That perspective reflects adherence to outdated assumptions and frames about violence and power, namely the notion that those two concepts are interchangeable. Fortunately, the people of Egypt know better and they’ve given the rest of the world an example from which to build.

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Misconception 3: It was orchestrated by the United States, either by backroom deals or “training and support” of activists. Reality: This unfortunate misconception shows a gross lack of knowledge of how nonviolent action works. There is really only one condition essential for the success of nonviolent struggle and that without which a struggle can never succeed: it must be indigenous. To claim nonviolent protests of the scale we saw in Egypt last spring can be manufactured abroad is to grossly overestimate the influence of US agents and agencies. How could US agencies organize broad-based protests and manage to get hundreds of thousands of people to maintain nonviolent discipline while under violent assault from half a world away, while these same agencies were, for more than five decades, unable to remove octogenarian Fidel Castro from his perch only 90 miles from the US border and with a population eight times smaller than Egypt’s? To say that it was the United States that somehow orchestrated the events in Egypt is also to show contempt for what the people did, which is to take control of their own destiny. To question the Egyptian people’s authorship of their own struggle serves the interests of a brutal dictator and others like him, and it risks undermining global support for what was, both at its heart and its implementation, an indigenous people’s movement. This, by the way, is not to say that US agencies have taken no interest in or have made no attempts at influencing democracy struggles around the world. It is just to argue that, in the case of Egypt and other successful people-power revolutions, that offer of help was declined.

Misconception 4It was an Islamist uprising. Reality: Not only is this incorrect, but it flies directly in the face of claims made by the same analysts who say they’re interested in promoting genuine democracy. There were Muslims in the movement, yes. But there were also Christians, Jews, atheists, and many others. In order to test the credibility of this assertion, it is important to look at the proclaimed objectives of the movement: it was about more rights, more freedoms and more democracy. Contrast those objectives to the common stereotypes about Islam held in the West: that it is undemocratic, violent and oppressive. There is no way to reconcile those two things. Either Western analysts must concede that the Egyptian revolution was not Islamist or they must concede that Islam is not a violent, undemocratic religion. The ideal course of action would be to concede the former completely and the latter mostly. But short of that, it must be one or the other. A related argument is that we should be wary about the Egyptian victory because it will create space for the Muslim Brotherhood to assert more control in that society. There are several things to note about this claim, however: first, it has never been an acceptable argument against democracy to say that it should be limited because of the outcomes it might produce. Secondly, those who make this assertion might do well to ask themselves if they would accept Egyptians picking their leaders for them. If the answer is no, then they owe the same courtesy to the Egyptian people. And lastly, the Muslim Brotherhood (a group which itself is widely misunderstood in that it formally renounced violence as a means of change of decades ago) seems to have begun evolving along with the Egyptian people. As of last week, it formed a coalition with one of Egypt’s most liberal political parties in an attempt to broaden – and moderate – its base.

Misconception 5: It wasn’t nonviolent. Reality: It is unrealistic to imagine that a revolution of this scale and with a target as brutal as this regime can be totally nonviolent. But there is a distinction between saying there were a few violent outbursts by undisciplined individuals and that there was violence by the movement. This movement itself was strictly nonviolent and that is what is most relevant. In a country as large as Egypt, it is impossible to train every person individually in nonviolent strategy. And so, not understanding the necessity of nonviolent discipline, there were some incidents of rock throwing, clashes with police, vandalism and a few outbursts of individual rage. There was a militant flank in many historical nonviolent struggles – South Africa, Chile and the US civil rights movement, to name a few. In each case, as in Egypt, the presence of that contingent undoubtedly made the work of the movement both more difficult and more essential. Because of the potential for possible outbursts, the movement had to: a) distinguish itself from undisciplined radicals, b) make it clear that no violence would be tolerated and c) train new activists on the ground. Consider the lengths to which the regime went to provoke violence by the people in order to create the perceptions that what the movement was doing was not nonviolent and, therefore, not legitimate. It was critical that the movement girded against vulnerability to these kind of agents provocateurs and they did that extraordinarily well, especially considering the movement’s enormous size. At the end of the day, the Egyptian uprising was one of history’s most significant nonviolent struggles and that is how history will remember it.

It is important that events like the ones in Egypt are conveyed as accurately as possible by media for many reasons, but one of the most significant is that the victory of mass nonviolent action in Egypt has implications for terrorist organizations and the perceived efficacy of terrorism itself. As nonviolent methods to push grievances succeed, they de-legitimize violence as a means of promoting change. Nonviolent action offers a realistic alternative to both violence and the status quo and it is, simultaneously, a very powerful form of struggle. If we consider that terrorist organizations and members of movements tend to share the same recruitment bases – disaffected people demanding significant change – then the victory in Egypt has likely done serious damage to the PR campaigns of terrorist networks. Because of that, the people of Egypt should not only be lauded for taking back their freedom through almost entirely democratic means, but for making the world a little bit safer for everyone.

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DR. CYNTHIA BOAZ

Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University, where her areas of expertise include quality of democracy, nonviolent struggle, civil resistance and political communication and media. She is also an affiliated scholar at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain. Additionally, she is an analyst and consultant on nonviolent action, with special emphasis on the Iran and Burma cases. She is vice president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and on the board of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. Dr. Boaz is also a contributing writer and adviser to Truthout.org and associate editor of Peace and Change Journal.

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Egypt police clash with youths; over 1,000 hurt

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-police-fire-tear-gas-protesting-youths-082011998.html

By Patrick Werr and Yasmine Saleh | Reuters – Wed, Jun 29, 2011

CAIRO (Reuters) – Police in Cairo fired tear gas on Wednesday at hundreds of stone-throwing Egyptian youths after a night of clashes that injured more than 1,000 people, the worst violence in the capital in several weeks.

Nearly five months since a popular uprising toppled long-serving authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak, Egypt‘s military rulers are struggling to keep order while a restless public is still impatient for reform.

The latest clashes began after families of people killed in the uprising that ousted Mubarak held an event in a Cairo suburb late on Tuesday in their honor.

Other bereaved relatives arrived to complain that names of their own dead were not mentioned at the ceremony. Fighting broke and moved toward the capital’s central Tahrir Square and the Interior Ministry, according to officials.

The Health Ministry said 1,036 people were injured, among them at least 40 policemen.

The ruling military council said in a statement on its Facebook page that the latest events “had no justification other than to shake Egypt’s safety and security in an organised plan that exploits the blood of the revolution’s martyrs and to sow division between the people and the security apparatus.”

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf told state TV he was monitoring developments and awaiting a full report on the clashes.

A security source quoted by the state news agency MENA said 40 people were arrested, including one U.S. and one British citizen, and were being questioned by military prosecutors.

Some said those involved were bent on battling police rather than protesting. To others, the violence seemed motivated by politics.

“The people are angry that the court cases against top officials keep getting delayed,” said Ahmed Abdel Hamid, 26, a bakery employee who was at the scene overnight, referring to senior political figures from the discredited Mubarak era.

By early afternoon, eight ambulances were in Tahrir, epicenter of the revolt that toppled Mubarak on February 11, and the police had left the square. Dozens of adolescent boys, shirts tied around their heads, blocked traffic from entering Tahrir, using stones and scrap metal.

Some drove mopeds in circles around the square making skids and angering bystanders. “Thugs, thugs… The square is controlled by thugs,” an old man chanted.

“I am here today because I heard about the violent treatment by the police of the protesters last night,” said Magdy Ibrahim, 28, an accountant at Egypt’s Banque du Caire.

TREATING WOUNDED

The clashes unnerved Egypt’s financial market, with equity traders blaming the violence for a 2 percent fall in the benchmark EGX30 index, its biggest drop since June 2.

First-aid workers treated people mostly for inhaling tear gas in overnight violence. A Reuters correspondent saw several people with minor wounds, including some with head cuts.

Mohsen Mourad, the deputy interior minister for Cairo, said the security forces did not enter Tahrir overnight and dealt only with 150-200 people who tried to break into the Interior Ministry and threw stones, damaging cars and police vehicles.

The Muslim Brotherhood‘s political party warned Egyptians that remnants of Mubarak’s rule could exploit violence to their ends. Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei called on the ruling military council to quickly clarify the facts surrounding the violence and to take measures to halt it.

U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, visiting Cairo, said he hoped an investigation into the clashes would be “fair and thorough.”

Young men lit car tyres in the street near the ministry on Wednesday, sending black plumes of smoke into the air.

“There is lack of information about what happened and the details are not clear. But the certain thing is that Egyptians are in a state of tension and the reason behind this is that officials are taking time to put Mubarak and officials on trial,” said political analyst Hassan Nafaa.

Sporadic clashes, some of them between Muslims and the Christian minority, have posed a challenge to a government trying to restore order after many police deserted the streets during the uprising against Mubarak. In early May, 12 people were killed and 52 wounded in sectarian clashes and the burning of a church in Cairo’s Imbaba neighborhood.

A hospital in central Cairo’s Munira neighborhood received two civilians and 41 policemen with wounds, bruises and tear gas inhalation, MENA said. All were discharged except one civilian with a bullet wound and a policeman with concussion, it said.

Former interior minister Habib al-Adli has been sentenced to jail for corruption but he and other officials are still being tried on charges related to killing protesters. Police vehicles were stoned by protesters at Sunday’s hearing.

The former president, now hospitalized, has also been charged with the killing of protesters and could face the death penalty. Mubarak’s trial starts on August 3.

(Additional reporting by Dina Zayed and Sherine El Madany; Writing by Edmund Blair and Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Peter Graff)

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We are here

Posted by Admin on May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Greetings, we return this day to provide further insights into the current situation on your planet. As we have said before, and as others have disclosed, there are large numbers of your brothers and sisters from other star systems living among you. (Please note the use of the words, “we” and “us,” in the following message — a further demonstration of the way in which your star sisters and brothers experience the Oneness of all.)

Our presence among you occurs in several ways: First, a soul replacement can take place where one of us exchanges our soul for the existing soul of an Earth human. You call this a “walk in.” There are many of us from different star civilizations who are functioning on your planet in this way. Most often the Earth human recognizes that this has taken place, and a period of adjustment ensues as the newly implanted soul adjusts to its new body, new terrestrial family, and new surroundings. When this occurs we often work as lightworkers; others of us quietly occupy positions of influence.

Second, at the time of the birth of an Earth human one of us from the stars — who is not embodied — may enter into the body of the human child. There are many of us who have had long careers on other star systems who have volunteered to come to your planet in this way. When born we are without memories of our past incarnations in other star systems, however over time we recall our non-earthly origins.

A third way in which this occurs is that certain members of our star races resemble Earth humans so closely that we can live among you without undue notice. Upon closer inspection, you may notice differences in our eyes and other features. The characters in your books, Mark, are some of us.

Some who are descendents of the Atlantian and Lemurian societies are on Earth. They live underground in protected enclaves in several locations about your planet. Though they closely resemble current Earth humans, they are of a higher frequency and generally have little interaction with the current residents on the surface of the planet.

Then there are those of us who little resemble Earth humans. We are sentient beings, but our physical appearance is quite different. We are from several star systems, and, although represented in large numbers aboard the starships about your planet, we generally do not live among you.

In addition, many of us walk beside you each and every day as you go about your ordinary lives. We are of a higher frequency so that you do not detect us with your five senses. If you are sensitive and/or highly conscious, you may “feel” us as we accompany you. Earth humans of similar high vibrations “see” us.

Summing up these many ways of our being among you, there are millions of us, your star sisters and brothers on your planet. There are millions who, in concert with “service to others,” are assisting you in your Transformation. There are also others of us of lower energy who, in alignment with the dark energy and in “service to self,” are allied with the Illuminati and acting against the transition of Earth humans. Allegiance to the light, or functioning with the dark, is not attributable to a particular race or civilization, as individuals of all universe civilizations possess free will and choose their particular way of being. Thus you will find individuals of races or group of us that are generally considered to be of service to others or service to self acting in ways opposite to the majority.

During the so-called “evolution” of this planet bacteria, plants, animals, fish, birds, and insects were all imported from other star systems. This accounts for the rich diversity of life on Earth. Most recently four races of men and women were brought here.

Many of your brothers and sisters from the stars have been on this planet for many thousands of years, in one or more of the forms previously discussed. We have at various times interfered with, influenced, and nurtured Earth human life. The construction of the pyramids in Egypt and elsewhere was undertaken under our directions and with our assistance. Everything from the design of the pyramids to the cutting and moving of the stones was with the assistance of your off-planet sisters and brothers. Your sisters and brothers of the stars imported much of your technology. This occurred either by direct physical interface with Earth humans, by suggestions in dreams, from “insights,” or from the reverse engineering technologies from recovered saucers.

On the other hand, the beginnings of your major religions were at the insistence of some of your sisters and brothers from distant star systems; they demanded worship as beings of a higher order. Since those days those of your brothers and sisters who have not been infused with the light have been involved in many schemes to seize control and enslave earth humans.

As things stand today, your religions generally do not recognize the off-planet influences that gave birth to them, rather they choose a route of disinformation to their followers. Your monetary system is under the control of agents of extraterrestrial origins. Off-planet beings control your governments either directly or indirectly through their influence. Your science, education, medical system, and legal system are all heavily influenced those who would control others for their own ends.

However there is more to the story than the assembling of a vast armada of starships who are lighting the planet in response to Earth’s cry for help. All of the star nations also contributed beings of light who now walk among you, who are totally in service to others, and who love you very much. We are beings who seek to enlighten the darkness on your planet. We are here among you both in physical form and in non-physical higher vibrations.

Those of us in human form walk the halls of your governments, are members of your military, work in critical positions in your banks and corporations, and are teachers to your children. All are helping to transform your civilization from predominately fear-based to predominately love-based.

Those of us in the non-physical communicate with people like you, Mark. There are many aboard the starships who communicate with Earth humans. There are those of us who live in the households of lightworkers as supporters and advisors. We provide a continuous link to the collective that surrounds your planet. Human lightworkers, along with those of us from other star systems, are anchoring the light from the cosmos, and retransmitting it like the coherent light from lasers to those with whom they come in contact.

Your planet is indeed lighting up, based on a joint effort between those of us living among you and your own individual efforts, coupled with the great light from the celestials and from the universe. It is a wondrous symphony of light, it is irresistible to any who are open to it; it is overwhelming to those who cling to the darkness. In a very short time all who are of the light will find themselves in a world of love. Many who have no knowledge of lightworkers are awakening. Many will awaken at the last moment.

Now you have a pictures of all the myriad ways in which light is coming to Earth through your sisters and brothers of the stars. Earth is lighting up like a giant Christmas tree with millions of points of light among her humans. Each of these points of light is infusing other humans like a candle lights the darkness. These points of light are encouraging, consciously or unconsciously, many who are now questioning traditional ways of behaving, questioning the structures in their lives and the reasons behind those structures, and standing up for the truth and love of a better way to live.

The sum total of all these efforts from your brothers and sisters of the stars is a massive infusion of light that is overcoming the final vestiges of the dark energy. There is no doubt in our minds that the new Earth, with a preponderance of light, will emerge within the next few months. We love you very much and wait for the day when you will join us as citizens of the cosmos.

Once again we are pleased to communicate with you and look forward to more opportunities. We hold you in unconditional love. Until next time, I am Adrial, a celestial of this universe, I am Bren-Ton, I am Justine, and I am Moraine, all from Andromeda, and I am Zepher of the Pleiades.

______________________________________

DECLARATIONS

Read archived messages from Adrial, Bren-Ton, Justine, Moraine, and others at this site or by referring to:http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

For observations by Mark Kimmel, go to: http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include the web address.

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Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Gadhafi

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23947

by Prof. Peter Dale Scott

Global Research, March 25, 2011

Peter Dale Scott’s Libyan Notebook
[Editor’s Note: Author’s selected quotations and analysis]

Preface

The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as a memorable, promising, relatively nonviolent achievement of New Politics – the Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt – has morphed very swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits: America, already mired in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic air attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now, bombing yet another Third World Country, in this case Libya.


USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn in the Mediterranean Sea, March 19, 2011. US government handout

The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many, senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.

The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.

To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2

I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?

I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition

1) Historically:

“If Muammar Al Gaddafi behaved paranoid, it was for good reason. It wasn’t long after he reached the age of 27 and led a small group of junior military officers in a bloodless coup d’état against Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969, that threats to his power and life emerged – from monarchists, Israeli Mossad, Palestinian disaffections, Saudi security, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), British intelligence, United States antagonism and, in 1995, the most serious of all, Al Qaeda-like Libyan Islamic fighting group, known as Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya. The Colonel reacted brutally, by either expelling or killing those he feared were against him.”3


Gaddafi and Nasser in a 1969 Photo.Getty image

2) National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)

“With the aim of overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Khadafy, Israel and the U.S. trained anti-Libyan rebels in a number of West and Central African countries. The Paris-based African Confidential newsletter reported on January 5th, 1989, that the US and Israel had set up a series of bases in Chad and other neighboring countries to train 2000 Libyan rebels captured by the Chad army. The group, called The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, was based in Chad.”4

“US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (also backed by French intelligence and the CIA). But a plan to assassinate Gadafi and take over the government on 8 May 1984 was crushed. In the following year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Gadafi but President Mubarak refused. By the end of 1985, the Washington Post had exposed the plan after congressional leaders opposing it wrote in protest to President Reagan.”5

“The FNSL [National Front for the Salvation of Libya] was part of the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London in 2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL and other ‘opposition’ in Libya…. The FNSL held its national congress in the USA in July 2007. Reports of ‘atrocities’ and civilian deaths are being channeled into the western press from operations in Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly organizing resistance and military attacks from both inside and outside Libya.”6

3) National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO),

“The main group leading the insurrection is the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition which includes the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL, which is leading the violence, is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of mostly Libyan expatriates and tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi.”7

4) Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG)

“The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they grew angry about what they viewed as the corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime and formed the LIFG to create a state that would show what they believed to be the true character of the Libyan people.

The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate Gadhafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against government security forces from its mountain bases. Although most LIFG members are strictly dedicated to toppling Gadhafi, intelligence reportedly indicates that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to wage jihad against Libyan and Western interests worldwide. ….
As recently as February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that “one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security] is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited from al-Qaida links. They include … the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.”8

“In recent days Libyan officials have distributed security documents giving the details of Sufiyan al-Koumi, said to be a driver for Osama bin Laden, and of another militant allegedly involved in an “Islamic emirate” in Derna, in now-liberated eastern Libya. Koumi, the documents show, was freed in September 2010 as part of a “reform and repent” initiative organised by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son….

The LIFG, established in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has assassinated dozens of Libyan soldiers and policemen. In 2009, to mark Gaddafi’s 40 years in power, it apologised for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. MI6 [British Intelligence] has been accused in the past of supporting it. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Gaddafi no longer constituted “legitimate” jihad. Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, another freed LIFG member, denied the official claims. “Gaddafi is trying to divide the people,” he told al-Jazeera. “He claims that there is an Islamist emirate in Derna and that I am its emir. He is taking advantage of the fact that I am a former political prisoner.”

Derna is famous as the home of a large number of suicide bombers in Iraq. It is also deeply hostile to Gaddafi. “Residents of eastern Libya in general, and Derna in particular, view the Gaddadfa (Gaddafi’s tribe) as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an inconsequential part of the country who have ‘stolen’ the right to rule in Libya,” US diplomats were told in 2008, in a cable since released by WikiLeaks.

The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February, the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdulwahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida’s top propagandists. Koumi fled Libya and is said to have ended up in Afghanistan working for Bin Laden. Captured in Pakistan, he was handed over to the US and sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002. In 2009 he was sent back to Libya.9 US counter-terrorist experts have expressed concern that al-Qaida could take advantage of a political vacuum if Gaddafi is overthrown. But most analysts say that, although the Islamists’ ideology has strong resonance in eastern Libya, there is no sign that the protests are going to be hijacked by them.10


Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Members released

“Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi’s] security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi’s government “an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty” and declaring its overthrow to be “the foremost duty after faith in God.” [3] This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain…. The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG’s next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler. [4] While Shayler’s allegations have not been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil. At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on the battlefield.” [2005]11

“Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Gaddhafi]. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi. A decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks.”12

“In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited ‘around 25’ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are ‘today are on the front lines in Adjabiya.

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader’.

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, ‘including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries’.

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against ‘the foreign invasion’ in Afghanistan, before being ‘captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan’. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.” (“Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links,” Daily Telegraph [London], March 25, 2011)

5) Transitional National Council

“A RIVAL transitional government to the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi looks set to win US and other international support as momentum builds to oust the longtime dictator.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that the Obama administration was reaching out to opponents of Colonel Gaddafi. She said the US was willing to offer ‘any kind of assistance’ to remove him from power.

Protest leaders who have taken control in Libya’s eastern cities claim to have established a transitional “national council” that amounts to rival rule. They have called on the country’s army to join them as they prepare for an attack on the capital, Tripoli, where the Libyan leader retains control.

Confident the Libyan leader’s 42-year rule was coming to an end, Mrs Clinton said yesterday: ‘We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddafi.'”13

6) Facebook

“He [Omar El- Hariri, Chief of Armed Forces for the Transitional National Council] remained under close surveillance by the security forces until Feb. 17, when the revolution started. It was not initiated by prominent figures of the older generation, he said, but began spontaneously when Tunisia and Egypt inspired the youth. ‘Children of Facebook!’ he declared, in English, with a broad smile.”14

7) Oil

“Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council.
The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the ‘Libyan Oil Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of an interim director general” of the company.
The Council also said it “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”15

Peter Dale Scott’s Libyan Notebook

II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?

Robert Fisk, “Libya in turmoil: America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels;
Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi,” Independent, March 7, 2011:

“Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a “day of rage” from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.

Washington’s request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 ….

But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain – even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.

The Saudis have been told that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by Gaddafi’s armour, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his fighter-bombers.

Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need to be delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If the guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Gaddafi’s strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and Nato – not least from Republican members of Congress – to establish a no-fly zone would be reduced.

US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this kind would necessitate US air attacks on Libya’s functioning, if seriously depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing Washington directly into the war on the side of Gaddafi’s opponents.

For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi’s private jet which flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.

Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle East region.


US Awacs monitor Libya

The data from the Awacs is streamed to all Nato countries under the mission’s existing mandate. Now that Gaddafi has been reinstated as a super-terrorist in the West’s lexicon, however, the Nato mission can easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya if active military operations are undertaken.

Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi’s jet.

An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to Mitiga, Gaddafi’s own VIP airport.

Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: “Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?”

Malta air traffic control replies: “Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight plan.”

But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.

After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations.

Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening fire.

If the Saudi government accedes to America’s request to send guns and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against the Shias of the north-east provinces.

Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region. “16

“Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011

“Reports from the region suggest that the Saudis and Egyptians have been providing arms. Though U.S. officials could not confirm that, they say it is plausible.”17

“Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011:

“CAIRO-Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.

The shipments-mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition-appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states’ unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.

The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response from Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign military intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the 23-member Arab League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary of intervening militarily without a broad regional and international mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military action in support of the rebels.

Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating the draft of the resolution, which calls for “all necessary measures” to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.

Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials said.

Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi. After pro-Gadhafi forces retook the town of Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV broadcast images of food-aid packages bearing the Qatari flag.


Anti-Gadhafi fighters in Benghazi

The White House has been reluctant to back calls from leaders in Congress for arming Libya’s rebels directly, arguing that the U.S. must first fully assess who the fighters are and what policies they will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col. Gadhafi. U.S. officials believe the opposition includes some Islamist elements. They fear that Islamist groups hostile to the U.S. could try to hijack the opposition and take any arms that are provided.

The Egyptian weapons transfers began ‘a few days ago’ and are ongoing, according to a senior U.S. official. ‘There’s no formal U.S. policy or acknowledgement that this is going on,’ said the senior official. But ‘this is something we have knowledge of.’

Calls to Egypt’s foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of reaching Egypt’s military for comment. An Egyptian official in Washington said he had no knowledge of weapon shipments.

The U.S. official also noted that the shipments appeared to come “too little, too late” to tip the military balance in favor of the rebels, who have faced an onslaught from Libyan forces backed by tanks, artillery and aircraft.

“We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can’t be so visible,” said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government since the uprising began.

“Weapons are getting through,” said Mr. Souflakis, who says he has regular contacts with Egyptian officials in Cairo and the rebel leadership in Libya. “Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don’t want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get the green light.”

Western officials and rebel leaders in Libya said the U.S. has wanted to avoid being seen as taking a leadership role in any military action against Mr. Gadhafi after its invasions of Iraq and Afganistan fueled anger and mistrust with Washington throughout the region.

But the U.S. stated clearly it wants Mr. Gadhafi out of power and has signaled it would support those offering help to the rebels militarily or otherwise.

A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments have begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they came from.

“Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it’s coming from, that has been classified,” said the spokesman, Mustafa al-Gherryani.

The U.S. official said Egypt wanted to keep the shipments covert. In public, Egypt has sought to maintain a neutral stance toward the rebel uprising in Libya. Egypt abstained during the Arab League’s vote calling for the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone on Mr. Gadhafi, according to people familiar with the internal Arab League deliberations.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian laborers are believed to still be in Libya.

On the other hand, the Egyptian military’s covert support for the rebels suggests that it has calculated that Mr. Gadhafi is unlikely to remain in power, at least in the eastern half of the country, and therefore Egypt is eager to begin to build good relations with the rebels.

Rebel forces in the past 24 hours appeared to make some progress fending off pro-Gadhafi forces’ assaults and have rolled out new weapons for the first time since the uprising began last month. Among them are rebel tanks that have taken up positions on the front lines in recent days. Rebels also launched fighter-jet attacks on government positions on Wednesday for the first time so far.

The tanks and fighter jets are believed to have been among the weapons seized by rebels from defected units of the Libyan army in the eastern half of the country, but they have received spare parts or trained mechanics from outside the country to help them deploy them, some rebel officials have speculated.
-Sam Dagher and Adam Entous contributed to this article.18

Benjamin Gottlieb, “Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi’s Conquest Continues,” NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011:

Arms shipments from Egypt’s military have begun flowing across the border into Libya with U.S. knowledge, Libyan rebels and U.S. officials said Thursday.

Made up mostly of small arms, such as assault rifles and ammunition, the shipments are the first confirmed reports of an outside government supporting rebel fighters with weapons. Rebels have been loosing ground for days against pro-Gaddafi forces aiming to end the conflict before foreign intervention plans are finalized.

Although the U.N. approved a “no-fly zone” over Libya late Thursday, rebel forces fear that any planned foreign intervention would be too little to late.


No-Fly Zone

The shipment of arms indicated an unusually bold response by an Arab nation intervening in a conflict outside its borders. There have also been rare public decrees for the West to intervene in the conflict – the Arab League voted 23-0 last week encouraging the U.N. to impose the “no-fly zone” over Libya.

In spite of reports of arms flowing across the Egyptian boarder, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters that Egypt would not be involved in any military intervention in neighboring Libya.

“Egypt will not be among those Arab states. We will not be involved in any military intervention. No intervention period,” Bakhoum said.

Bakhoum was responding to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Thursday that discussions were on the table regarding Arab involvement in U.S. and European intervention in the conflict.

Clinton has said repeatedly that the U.S. desires involvement from a neighboring Arab nation in any planned intervention.

A Libyan rebel government spokesman in Benghazi, Mustafa al-Gherryani, said rebels have begun receiving arms shipments from neighboring nations, however he declined to reveal their origin.

“Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount, where it’s coming from, that has been classified,” he said.19

Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar,” New America Media, March 1, 2011

“It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. Credible U.S. intelligence reports have cited evidence pointing to Qatar’s long-running support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan.

The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the wake of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has seized armories across half of the North African country. Libya’s well-stocked arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers and chemical weapons. LIFG is on the State Department’s terrorist list.

Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by CNN, is the probable loss of chemical weapons. The Federation of American Scientists reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of Libya’s mustard gas was destroyed in the second round of decommissioning. Chemical canisters along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved and are now presumably in the hands of armed militants.

After initially letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were organized by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present a heavily filtered account portraying the events as ‘peaceful protests’. To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libyan soldiers during the uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre scenario of 150 dead soldiers in Libya having been executed by their officers for ‘refusing to fight’. The mysterious officers then miraculously vacated their base disappearing into thin air while surrounded by angry protesters! Off the record, one American intelligence analyst called these media claims an ‘absurdity’ and suggested instead the obvious: that the soldiers were gunned down in an armed assault by war-hardened returned militants from Iraq and Afghanistan….
According to a Congressional Research Service report of January 2008, ‘Some observers have raised questions about possible support for Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar’s large ruling family. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Qatar’s Interior Minister provided a safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven in Qatar after September 11, 2001.’

The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ‘to join the Bosnia jihad.’ The report recalls how after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, FBI officials “narrowly missed an opportunity to capture” the suspect in Qatar. ‘Former U.S. officials have since stated their belief that a high-ranking member of the Qatari government alerted him to the impending raid, allowing him to flee the country.'”20


Peter Dale Scott
, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of
Drugs Oil and WarThe Road to 9/11The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of WarHis most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to AfghanistanPeter Dale Scott is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan.
His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Notes

1 “Defense Secretary Gates, who recently warned against any further protracted US ground war, said on March 23 that the end of military action in Libya is unknown and could last longer than a few weeks. ‘I think there are any number of possible outcomes here and no one is in a position to predict them,’ Gates told reporters in Egypt” (C-Span, March 24, 2011).

2 Interested readers may wish to consult my first exploration, “Googling ‘Revolution’ in North Africa.”

3 Dan Lieberman, “Muammar Al Gaddafi Meets His Own Rebels,” CounterCurrents.org, March 9, 2011.

4 Joel Bainerman, Inside the Covert Operations of the CIA & Israel’s Mossad (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1994), 14.

5 Richard Keeble, “The Secret War Against Libya,” MediaLens, 2002.

6Petroleum and Empire in North Africa. NATO Invasion of Libya Underway,” By Keith Harmon Snow, 2 March 2011.

7 Ghali Hassan, “U.S. Love Affair with Murderous Dictators and Hate for Democracy.” Axis of Logic, Mar 17, 2011.

8 Center for Defense Information, “In the Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” January 18, 2005

9 Qadhafi was concerned about Al Qaeda terrorism in Libya, and in 1996 Libya became the first government to place Osama bin Laden on Interpol’s Wanted List (Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror [New York: Columbia UP, 2002], 142). Thereafter American and Libyan intelligence collaborated closely for some years against Al Qaeda. Beginning when?

10 Ian Black, “Libya rebels rejects Gaddafi’s al-Qaida spin,” Guardian, March 1, 2011.

11 Gary Gambill, “The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown Foundation,” Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005,; citing Al-Hayat (London), 20 October 1995 [“communiqué”]; “The Shayler affair: The spooks, the Colonel and the jailed whistle-blower,” The Observer (London), 9 August 1998; Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Ben Laden: La Verite interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth). Cf. also Annie Machon, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And the Shayler Affair (Book Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].

12 Yoichi Shimatsu, “Attack on Libya: Why Odyssey Dawn Is Doomed,” New America Media, March 20, 2011.

13 “US reaches out to Libyan insurgents,” The Australian, March 1, 2011,

14 “How a onetime friend to Gadhafi became his rival,” Globe and Mail [Toronto], March 4, 2011.

15 Libyan Rebel Council in Benghazi Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,” Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.

16 Robert Fisk, “America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels,” Independent, March 7, 2011.

17 “Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011.

18 “Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2011,

19 Benjamin Gottlieb, “Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi’s Conquest Continues,” NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011.

20 Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in Qatar,” New America Media, March 1, 2011. The al-Thani family’s protection of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is confirmed by former CIA officer Robert Baer (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2003). Cf. Robert Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003); Peter Lance, Triple Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 234-37.

Peter Dale Scott is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Peter Dale Scott

 

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Observations

Posted by Admin on March 21, 2011

"The Blue Marble" is a famous photog...

Mother Earth

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Greetings to All from the Starship Athabantian. We join you today to offer our observations of the situation on your planet from our perspective many miles above you.

First our observations about the physical changes you are currently seeing. The extraordinarily severe weather in Australia is part of earth’s cleansing process, as is the abnormally snowy and cold winter in the east of the United States. You will experience more of this colder than normal weather in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. You will also experience above average rainfall and snow along with the cold. During the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere, you will experience warmer than normal weather and will see increased melting of glaciers and icecaps. This will contribute to rising sea levels around the world this year. This is a continuation of the extreme weather you saw during 2010 that affected such countries as Pakistan.

Earthquakes such as experienced in New Zealand will occur with more frequency, particularly around the Pacific Rim of Fire. Areas long dormant will also experience earthquakes, along with volcanic activity. These will increase during this year as a part of Earth’s cleansing. As with extreme weather, these are a continuation of earthquakes such as experienced in Chile and China in 2010. Much of the above can be traced to the energies coming to Earth from the sun and elsewhere in this galaxy. These energies are changing the natural balance heretofore achieved on Earth.

These energies are also impacting individual humans. It is external energies that have encouraged people in the Middle East and Africa to assert their freedom from tyranny. It is energies that have supported them as they risk death in order to achieve freedom. These energies are manifesting themselves among people first in countries where the rule has been the harshest. Next it will manifest itself around the world where the needs of ordinary people are subverted to the desires of greedy elites.

Elites around the world have known these events would occur for some time, and have made preparations to retreat into places of refuge. The elites are as aware as you are becoming so of the energies of change bombarding your planet. We who occupy the great starships have been beaming and focusing energies for many years. It is our light, coupled with the energies from the sun and elsewhere that have made the elites tremble, for they see their days are numbered. Nonetheless they continue to play the game, extracting the final drops of blood from those they oppress, for they have chosen not to see alternatives to their long-standing behavior.

These are extraordinary times; make no mistake about it. This is not a mere business cycle, another environmental anomaly, or a long-term weather cycle. This is the long-awaited metamorphosis of mankind. Rejoice for you will now be given the opportunity to move out of the density you call 3rd dimension into a less dense existence. Look around; awaken to the possibilities. Do not be one of those who refuses to see the larger picture because you wish to remain comfortable in your chosen lifestyle.

Everyone will be shaken by events swirling about them. Many will go to fear and choose to abandon life in this world. A few will increase their vibration and agree to extend their stay becoming Caretakers of the new earth. We are rejoicing because we see many awakening to the possibilities of a grander life beyond the fear-based 3rd dimension. We are calling upon all our Earthly brothers and sisters to heed events swirling about them, and determine if they will commit to work with us to create a new civilization on the new Earth.

Here aboard the starship Athabantian are clustered great numbers of magnificent souls from around this universe, souls who are One with God. They have manifested individuated souls for this particular moment within a quasi-physical costume. Athabantian is like other great starships near your planet in that we are filled with great souls who are sending light to Earth and her people. The density of souls clustered about your planet is so great that their light is overwhelming the last of the darkness on your planet. Never before has there been such a collection of souls in the vicinity of a single planet. We are all here to assist and to witness the transformation of Earth and her humans.

Now back to more observations of your planet. Due to the extraordinary energies coming to you from those of us clustered here, you are feeling the energies of transformation as never before. In addition to impacting Earth, these energies are impacting individual Earth-humans. These are the energies that manifest themselves as a desire for freedom, a desire to know oneself, to assert who you really are, to throw off the shackles of domination, to love one another as brothers and sisters. These are the energies of Oneness, to assist you to see yourselves as One with all: the rocks, the plants, the animals, and with each and every one of your humans brothers and sisters.

It is this energy of Oneness that will ultimately topple governments, collapse monetary systems, and dissolve religions. It is this energy of Oneness that will cause peace in the animal kingdom, causing the lion to lay down with the lamb. The energy of Oneness will supplant the energy of discrimination, the energy of war, the energy of greed, and the energy of fear.

The energy of Oneness will ultimately assist you to become who you really are. You are physical manifestation of one of the great oversouls — creations of God in the early days of this universe. You, Mark Kimmel, are a physical manifestation, of one of these great oversouls. Your soul is an individuated piece of this great oversoul, created for this lifetime. Your soul will return to your oversoul as soon as your physical manifestation is completed.

The movement for freedom in Egypt is commended. It shows that the humans of your planet may be sufficiently aroused to assert their rights as individuals to live in peace and harmony. However, it remain to be seen whether the revolt of the people in Egypt will produce the necessary reforms to create a society based on Oneness — fairness toward all peoples and equality of a monetary system. The great danger is to seek peace too quickly so that the process is thwarted in the name of returning to some semblance of “normality.” The idea is not to return to normality, but rather to completely reform the society so that all are fairly represented, so that all no longer live in fear, and so an elite class no longer has special privileges. Then and only then should the cry to return to normality be heeded. It remains to be seen whether the rebellion in Egypt will meet these objectives.

That the world powers are condemning the bloody battles in Libya is a good sign in that it lays a foundation for all countries that experience an uprising of their people: fearing international criticism, they may be less inclined to use force of arms to crush a rebellion. Nonetheless Libya may turn to civil war. That the great powers are condemning the situation in Libya sets up the world to see that all current governments function for their own benefit, and are willing to criticize another government only when the situation is so dire as to garner international attention. We are hopeful that the rebellion in the countries of the Middle East will spread throughout your world and people everywhere will assert their rights to live equitably, to live without fear or domination, and that even the lowliest of peoples will be accorded the status of humans. We are hopeful that the rule of the elites will be dismantled peacefully, but by force if necessary. We do not condone bloodshed, but we recognize that it may happen in circumstances where the elites resist with force of arms. We are most hopeful that the armies of a country will side with their own people rather than turning their power against their own citizens.

It is our further observation that religion has so far not played a major role in the uprising in the Middle East. We are most encouraged by the apparent desire of the people to simply live in freedom without the over-arching role of religion. Again, just like governments, we are hopeful that religion will be discarded as a force for domination of the masses.

Protests and political upheavals in the United States and England show that the rule by elites will not be allowed to go unchallenged. It is ordinary people who must be served by governments; legitimate governments are not maintained for the accumulation of wealth by the few. It is the needs of the many that must be recognized so that they no longer live in fear, and that an equitable society emerges wherein none are wealthy, and none are starving. Keep in mind that ALL of your brothers and sister are of equal value in the eyes of God. There are none, NONE, who are lesser.

Thus the challenge for those of you who are the lightworkers and the anchors of light is to insist that complete transformation occurs, not a too-quick return to normal. It is your responsibility now that you have seen the way to higher consciousness to insist that it be a choice for all your Earthly brothers and sisters. Do not attempt to preserve the awakening for yourselves alone. Spread the light among all who are open to it. Place your flame of awakening on a tall candleholder for all to see. You are the hope of this world. Be happy that you are leading your planet to the light.

Mark, your dream last night was simply picking up on the energies that are swirling about your world. By watching videos like you did last evening, you lowered your energy. It was no mystery that a dark energy manifested itself in the form of a nightmare. There are many who are angry because they see that men of fear and hatred dominate them. Their tendency is to use and glorify the same fear-based behavior to rid themselves of that domination. This results only in replacing one fear-based behavior with another. If fear is the basis upon which change is made, upon which a tyrant is toppled, then it is most likely that a new fear-based structure will replace the one toppled.

It is only by asserting a love-based behavior that people can rise above their anger and revenge. Young people, who have been oppressed for a shorter time, are more able to create a love-based structure than the old who harbor long-lived resentments against the old structures and old injuries.

And yes, it is true that many of us who are not indigenous Earth-humans now interact in human form with those who are rebelling against domination. We walk among you to offer our love-based perspective to all who will listen. We are there to help create new love-based societies to replace the old. This shows the level of commitment of your space brothers and sisters: We are willing to risk entrapment in the density of Earth in order to assist Earth’s transformation. As we have said before there are more than one million of us who now walk about in Earth-human bodies.

Back to your situation, Mark, you are now quite sensitive to the energies of those around you. You do not recognize it yet, but you will be able to pick up on energies from around the world, and around the universe. And it is not just the energies of your fellow Earth-humans, it is the energies of the animals, the plants, Earth herself, and the energies of your space brothers and sisters. Be grateful for this sensitivity, but recognize it for what it is: a heightened sensitivity. Understand who you are. Know that you are okay just as you are. Love yourself. This will create a loving boundary about you that will separate your personal energy from what is not yours. The energies that swirl about you do not belong to you; they are the energy of others. It is okay to be sensitive to them, but do not bring them into your personal energy field.

Continuing with our observations, we observe that many on your world deny that anything unusual is occurring. They are experiencing time collapse, uncertainty about careers and living conditions, memory loss, heightened energy, lowered energy, and unusual physical ailments. They see earth changes, extreme weather, and global warning, yet they do not admit that these are indicators of fundamental change. This is most unfortunate in that change really is coming to your world. The people seeking freedom in the Middle East are heralding change. Change is occurring as people in the United States rebel against insensitive government, large corporations, and wealthy bankers, all of whom ignore the needs of ordinary people in the pursuit of their selfish goals. Yet it is the voices of ordinary people who will finally change everything. Change will not come from those of the elite because they like it the way it is. Those who have wealth, position, and security will fight to maintain it.

Those among you who are of the light, who see the bigger picture, and who acknowledge the Oneness of all are the hope of this universe. You now have established a core of people who can influence many others simply by allowing your light to shine brightly. The fundamental changes that are required to move your civilization to the light will be based on the lightworkers, those that are anchoring the light, and those who see the need for fundamental change. Half-hearted measures will ultimately lead back to a situation of dominance by a few. Only in Oneness will your world emerge into the light so that its people may join with other star nations.

This fundamental change may take some time to manifest itself throughout your world. What are most needed at this moment are communities where fundamental change can be seen. These will serve as examples for the larger civilization. These pockets of the light are taking shape, based on awareness, love, and self-sustaining measures. These communities must become independent from the larger society to survive and then prosper. Disconnecting from corporations who keep all dependent, disconnecting from monetary systems that entrap, disconnecting from religions that confine, and disconnecting from governments that dominate is required. This will not be an easy task, but it is doable. It will be made easier by the general chaos of a disintegrating larger society.

We who are your brothers and sisters of the stars are prepared to nurture such communities. We are prepared to give special attention to their electrical needs, to their need for water, and their need for transportation. We are not able to assist the entire civilization of your planet in these ways because the energies are too mixed. We are however capable of attending to the needs of enclaves where those who inhabit such are organized in Oneness. Once we see that such a community is asserting itself, we will come to you and provide the extraordinary help of which we speak.

So our charge to you who read these words is this: Organize yourselves into communities of Oneness. Find a situation where others of a like mind will interact with you to form a sustainable community apart from the larger civilization. Here we will found “institutes” to interact with you. There we will nurture inceptions of a new world. We are speaking now to those among you who resonate with such a plan. You must learn to raise your energies so that you can function at the higher levels and interact with us, and so that you can ignore the demands for a return to the same old ways. Learn to function at these higher frequencies so that you may lend a hand to others who desire but do not yet have the skills to do so. Then not only will your space brothers and sisters assist you, but the hosts of celestials will respond. When you make the move toward the light of Oneness, you will find support from throughout the universe.

Please understand that you as individual souls choose the frequency at which you vibrate. You may choose any frequency, and if it is not your current frequency you may work to achieve that vibration. There are many techniques to assist you — seek them out. During the time of the transformation, your soul will align with the particular vibration you have embraced and you will ascend to that level to be with other souls of like frequency.

This is not unlike the process after death of the body when your soul migrates to the frequency to which it is vibrating. It is not unlike the situation when you sleep each night and your soul seeks out others of a like vibration.

Do not think of Earth is a 3rd dimension orb. As 3rd dimensional Earth-humans you see Earth in 3rd dimensional terms. It is not that Earth is in the 3rd dimension; it is that you perceive her in that way, and interact with her in that way. Were you to be of the 4th dimension, you would see Earth in 4th dimensional terms, and interact with her in that lighter density. With the assistance of your star sisters and brothers, Earth is increasing her vibration so that she will be perceived by you in a lighter way.

What is unique about this moment is that you may choose to have your body ascend to a higher vibration, to what you are calling 4th dimension or higher. In 4th density, Earth will seem to you as a veritable paradise. Other Earth-humans will appear as wondrous beings who are functioning without fear, hate, judgment, or competition. All will be on Oneness.

Each person must decide for himself or herself. To achieve a higher vibration, each person must put forth some effort. You may rest in 3rd dimension comfort if that is what you choose. In that frequency you will eventually die and then continue your journey of reincarnations. Or you may choose to ascend to the 4th dimension or to the 5th dimension. The choice is yours.

Now is the time that you must undertake to increase your vibration, if you so choose. Now is the time to rest where you are if you so choose. The choice is yours. Choose well, for the next phase of your ascension to Oneness will be determined by your individual choice.

Those who are reading these words are already engaged in a process of awakening. Now is the time to choose where you wish your vibration to be. We trust that our words are of assistance to you.

We will now address questions regarding our earlier communications.

How different will life be after the transformation?

After the transformation is completed, which will take some years, living in Oneness will change everything. The manifestation of this change will come about slowly as people accommodate to a new way of being. Change in humans will not occur instantly. That is where the institutes of which we speak will assist the forthcoming changes. For example it will take some time for people to accommodate themselves to communicating with each other without spoken words, to living with complete truth, to knowing the true feelings of another, and to interacting with Earth in new ways.

Why is Earth so important?

Earth contains the most diverse species of any planet in this galaxy. Earth is the site of the Star Seed project. Earth fell almost completely under the domination of the dark energies. This combination of factors makes it the ideal candidate for a focus of attention. And so it has been the case, as we said in our earlier message, out of the darkness you the lightworkers of Earth responded to the light of the Creator.

I thought the cosmos was expanding infinitely. How can it now begin to contract?

The purpose of the infinite cosmos is to allow Creator to know Itself in every way. The Creator was waiting for the reflection that Earth-humans have now given. We had conjectured, with our limited minds, that the purpose of creation was to allow the Creator to find a reflection of Itself. It is totally appropriate that you, a human who has undergone significant transformation in his lifetime, should be the one to announce the contraction of the universe.

What are the best indicators that Earth is undergoing a transformation rather than just another cycle?

It is the combination of events. Never before have you had the energies of change in such concentration. Never before have you had earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes, coupled with rebellion to gain freedoms, coupled with monetary system failures, coupled with extraordinary energies from beyond the planet, coupled with the gathering of millions of your space sisters and brothers, coupled with individual reactions to these energies.

We are pleased to communicate with you this day and look forward to more opportunities. We hold you in unconditional love. Until next time, I am Adrial, I am Bren-Ton, I am Justine, I am Moraine, and I am Zepher.

_________________________________________________________

DECLARATIONS

Read archived messages from Adrial, Bren-Ton, Justine, Moraine, and others by referring to: http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

For announcements by Mark Kimmel, go to: http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include the web address.

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Extraordinarily Happy

Posted by Admin on March 21, 2011

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Greetings from the starship Athabantian, we are your sisters and brothers of the light. In this message we will address why all of creation is focused on events of Earth, and why we are so extraordinarily happy.

For eons the Creator spread light enlarging all in wave after wave of creation. The Gods of the universes created many worlds with many sentient beings within their realms. These manifestations of the Creator were to explore all that could be. Throughout this enlargement, there was a searching for a spark of response to this magnanimous outpouring of love. For eons it was a one-way street with the Creator’s love flowing ever outward.

After the creation had been spread to its farthest reaches, after the light and dark had experienced all there was to experience, then and only then did the creation of all pause. The Creator listened for a response from that which had been created; there were responses only from those who knew the Creator. Then from an improbable planet on the fringe of a galaxy, a planet long enslaved by the dark energy, came the faint stirring of a response by creatures of the physical. At first it was but a faint response to all that creation had provided. It knew not what it was intending, but after a while there were more responses, more point of the light stirring within the physical bodies of those who inhabited the darkness. Fear began to melt away in those who saw the love and beauty of the Creator.

Some seventy years ago, fear had all but submerged Earth; she called out for help. Many of us from around the universe responded. When we came we too saw the points of light amidst the darkness and rejoiced. We came by the thousands, then the millions. We came to witness our brothers and sisters emerge from their darkness. We came to see the Creator’s light reflected back to the Creator from the darkness. And behold, that which the Creator desired manifested itself: Creatures reflected light back to the Creator so that the Creator may know Himself in yet another significant way.

In large numbers, from all corners of the universe, from many different planets, and from different civilization your brothers and sisters came to give their light to the struggling Earth and her human race. Celestials from the universes came. It was a glorious cooperative effort as we overcame the dark energy and her minions. There were no battles, just overwhelming love for all.

When we first arrived here, none of us anticipated that the light we were beaming to the planet would have the response it did. What has taken place over the intervening years was totally unanticipated. When we first arrived we saw a planet enshrouded in darkness with very few points of light. Nations were at war, many for the very survival of their people. Darkness gripped most of the planet. Fear was everywhere.

During the intervening years we continued to send light and love to the planet, and to her peoples. The response has been most surprising. Many humans of your planet have responded. Many have realized their lives as captives and have made the choice to live otherwise. It has been most gratifying for us who came from afar.

As we view your planet today, we see some who are condemned as terrorists by the existing power structures as using the only means at their disposal to react to tyrannical oppression. We see some people in freer countries responding with lives in the light. And we see some among the indigenous peoples secretly living lives in the light. The numbers of those now living conscious of the light is beyond what we had hoped for. The planet has become alive with enclaves of light, and the numbers are growing each day.

Keep in mind that those who openly rebel against oppressive governments are doing so in the only way they know. They have been carefully schooled to see force of arms as the means of oppression. They are thus using force to rebel. In countries where more subtle means are used to oppress the people, there is a movement to abandon the controls of the financial system, to do away with oppression by the government and lies by the media, and to see beyond the dogma of religions. More important than the overthrow of a tyrant or a monetary system, are the individual lights that are emerging from the darkness, for it is only with a loved-based civilization that the true emergence of Earth’s people can happen.

Whatever the means to overthrow the darkness, it is encouraging to us who wait and watch. We are here because you are our brothers and sisters. We love you very much, but cannot interfere with your free will. We can however make ourselves known. We encourage those who are just now seeing the light as well as those who are steeped in it. As we do so, just as we are communicating with you this day, something totally unexpected is happening: A planet and her peoples are emerging from the depths of darkness. This emerging is returning light to the Creator. This awakening is the turning point for the expansion of all that has taken place for eons. Now the Creator will call all back to become One, and all will be immersed in the light of Oneness.

We now see sufficient numbers of people who are functioning from the light that we are quite sure that the planet will complete her ascension and that she will have large numbers of people who will accompany her. This awakening from the darkness by individual choice is what signals to the universes that the day of the great turning is upon us. Now everywhere the darkness will wither and all will be of the light.

When we look at your world we see subtle lights as if from glowing embers of a carefully banked wood fire. For indeed that is the situation: Those who control you have subdued your energy in multiple ways to make sure that it does not flare up against them. Each of you precious humans possesses a fire within, a light that would make you all that you could be. This fire of the light — when unleashed — will cause the entire planet to light up as a brilliant sun. But those who control you have submerged your light by convincing you that you are just ordinary humans living ordinary lives of working, eating and sleeping.

Each structure (nation, state, corporation, etc.) has been carefully balanced by the Illuminate to insure that the right mixture of hope and despair will keep people barely alive to do its bidding. Each political and economic organization about the planet has been delicately balanced against one another: A little growth here, stagnation here, repression here, a taste of freedom there.

When we look at the energy signatures of Earth’s human slaves, we see energies igniting. At this moment the people in the political arena known as Egypt are breaking loose from their controls; their energy signature has turn bright blue. This in turn has unbalanced the entire planetary energy field. The controllers are searching mightily for a means to rebalance it before eruptions occur elsewhere around the globe, for the energies of the peoples of Egypt are contagious. Others who are ready to exert their rights to freedom and basic human rights are taking careful note.

So what does this portend for The Transformation? These first small steps will ignite a worldwide revolution that we will fan out with the energies of love and light. No current structure will be spared; all will be converted into that which serves the highest good of the governed, but more than that, once begun, it will not stop until it has completely revolutionized the way in which people relate to each other.

Now we are entering the final days of The Transformation. You are here to bear witness to it. You are here to live thorough it. We wish you well on your wondrous journey. We love you so much and are so happy to see the results finally emerging.

And so as Earth ascends and her humans ascend with her, we see a major turning point for this universe, and for all of creation. It is particularly gratifying for all of us who have been here for some time sending our light and love.

This transformation has implications for all of creation, for now that creatures of a creator God have taken it upon themselves to complete their transformation into beings of the light, it signals a great turning point for all. Remember all is Oneness so what the humans of Earth do affects all in creation. What had been a continuing expansion of the universe of universes will now begin a slow return to the Creator. This will take billion years of your time, but it is most assuredly commencing. Ultimately it will result in the return of all to the Creator in a glorious reunion of the light and dark, for the dark has now given way for the ultimate and last time.

Do not believe that the return will less glorious than the expansion, for it will not. The drama continues, but the script is undeniably altered, the conclusion of the play is foretold: All material, all spiritual creation will unite in a magnificent Oneness. For it is the intense desire to reunite with Creator that will push all back to Oneness. It had been the push from the Gods and oversouls that expanded the universes, now it is the response from the grassroots that will drive all back to One.

You the humans of Earth are to be congratulated, for it was due to your free will decisions that the turning point was reached. It was with your individual choices to anchor the light and become Caretakers of the new Earth that the energies of all were transformed.

So we bid you good-bye for now. Until next time, I am Adrial, I am Bren-Ton, and I am Zepher of the Pleiades.

_________________________________________________________

DECLARATIONS

Read the archived messages from Bren-Ton, Justine, Moraine, Ro-Tan, Adrial, and others by referring to: http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

For special announcements by Mark Kimmel, go to: http://www.cosmicparadigm.com/Marks_Corner/

You may make copies of this message and distribute in any media as long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include the web address.

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Egypt crisis: President Hosni Mubarak resigns as leader

Posted by Admin on February 14, 2011

Hosni Mubarak - World Economic Forum Annual Me...

People power

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12433045

12 February 2011 Last updated at 05:12 GMT

Vice-President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on state television

Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt, after weeks of protest in Cairo and other cities.

The news was greeted with a huge outburst of joy and celebration by thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square – the heart of the demonstrations.

Mr Mubarak ruled for 30 years, suppressing dissent and protest, and jailing opponents.

US President Barack Obama said that Egypt must now move to civilian and democratic rule.

This was not the end but the beginning and there were difficult days ahead, the US president added, but he was confident the people could find the answers.

“The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard,” Mr Obama said. “Egypt will never be the same again.”

“They have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day.”

‘God help everybody’

Continue reading the main story 

President Hosni Mubarak

Hosni Mubarak
  • Elevated from vice-president when Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981
  • Supported Sadat’s policy of peace with Israel
  • Maintained emergency law for entire presidency
  • Won three elections unopposed
  • Fourth term secured in 2005 after allowing rivals to stand
  • Economic development led many Egyptians to accept continued rule
  • Survived 1995 assassination attempt in Ethiopia
  • Faced Islamist threat within Egypt, including Luxor massacre of 1997 and Sinai bombings
  • Regularly suppressed dissent, protests and political opponents

Announcing Mr Mubarak’s resignation, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said the president had handed power to the army.

Mr Suleiman said on state TV that the high command of the armed forces had taken over.

“In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” he said.

“May God help everybody.”

Later an army officer read out a statement paying tribute to Mr Mubarak for “what he has given” to Egypt but acknowledging popular power.

“There is no legitimacy other than that of the people,” the statement said.

The military high command is headed by Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks described Field Marshal Tantawi as “aged and change-resistant”, but committed to avoiding another war with Israel.

Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.

In Cairo, thousands of people gathered outside the presidential palace, in Tahrir Square and at state TV.

They came out in anger following an address by Mr Mubarak on Thursday. He had been expected to announce his resignation but stopped short of stepping down, instead transferring most powers to Mr Suleiman.

Cairo's Tahrir SquarePlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. 

 

Click to play

Protester: ‘I’ll tell my children we made this revolution possible’

“The people have brought down the regime,” they chanted in reaction to the news of his eventual resignation less than 24 hours later.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said: “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“You cannot comprehend the amount of joy and happiness of every Egyptian at the restoration of our humanity and our freedom.”

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s banned Islamist opposition movement, paid tribute to the army for keeping its promises.

“I salute the Egyptian people and the martyrs. This is the day of victory for the Egyptian people. The main goal of the revolution has been achieved,” said the Brotherhood’s former parliamentary leader, Mohamed el-Katatni.

Continue reading the main story 

At the scene

Yolande Knell BBC News, Cairo 


It is hard to know where to look as you walk through central Cairo. Everyone in this mega-city has spilled out onto the streets to party.

Soldiers lift small, smiling children onto their tanks to pose for photos, whole families are flying flags and wearing matching hats in red, white and black as they walk along the Corniche by the Nile, and motorcyclists precariously weave their way through the crowds yelling “Egypt, Egypt”.

The excited din from Tahrir Square, the scene of the massive protests against President Mubarak that began on 25 January, can be heard from miles off. It is packed with huge crowds.

The demonstrators’ barricades that had controlled entry to the square have been dismantled, and security checkpoints at which people showed identification and had their bags searched have all gone.

Some people are already packing up their tents in the campsite nearby. They have achieved what they set out to do.

Ayman Nour, Mr Mubarak’s rival for the presidency in 2005, described it as the greatest day in Egypt’s history.

“This nation has been born again. These people have been born again, and this is a new Egypt,” he told al-Jazeera TV.

Meanwhile Amr Moussa, a former Egyptian foreign minister, announced that he would leave his post as secretary general of the Arab League “within weeks”, the Egyptian news agency Mena reported. He hinted that he might stand for president.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo said the announcement caught everyone by surprise: all over the city, drivers honked their horns and people fired guns into the air.

But the army takeover looks very much like a military coup, our correspondent adds.

The constitution has been breached, he says, because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership.

‘Historic change’

There was jubilation throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including in Tunisia, where people overthrew their own president last month.

A military spokesman on state TV Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. 

 

Click to play

A military spokesman on state TV ‘salutes’ Hosni Mubarak’s service

For the Arab League, Mr Moussa said events in Egypt presented an opportunity to build a national consensus.

Meanwhile, Iran described the recent events as a “great victory”.

A senior Israeli official expressed the hope that Mr Mubarak’s departure would “bring no change to its peaceful relations with Cairo”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he respected the “difficult decision” taken in the people’s interests, and called for an “orderly and peaceful transition”.

European Union leaders reacted positively to the news of Mr Mubarak’s resignation.

Foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said the EU “respected” the decision.

“It is important now that the dialogue is accelerated leading to a broad-based government which will respect the aspirations of, and deliver stability for, the Egyptian people,” she said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said this was a “really precious moment of opportunity to have a government that can bring the people together”, and called for a “move to civilian and democratic rule”.

Continue reading the main story 

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

  • Head of higher council of Egyptian armed forces
  • Minister of defence since 1991
  • Commander-in-chief armed forces since 1991
  • Appointed deputy prime minister 31 Jan 2011
  • Born 31 Oct 1935

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the “historic change” in Egypt.

US Vice-President Joe Biden said Egypt had reached a pivotal moment in history.

The anti-government protests that began on 25 January were triggered by widespread unrest in Egypt over unemployment, poverty and corruption.

They followed a popular uprising in Tunisia which brought about the downfall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

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World food prices seen at record high in January

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2011

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/World-food-prices-seen-record-reuters-194064327.html

A vendor sorts tomatoes at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Chandigarh January 29, 2011. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
On Thursday 3 February 2011, 6:12 AM

 

By Svetlana Kovalyova

MILAN (Reuters) – Surging food prices are on Thursday expected to push the United Nations ‘ food price index to a record high in January for a second straight month, further above the levels which prompted food riots in 2007/2008.

The Food Price Index of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, hit a record in December, above a previous high set in June 2008 during the food crisis.

A mix of high oil and fuel prices, growing use of biofuels, bad weather and soaring futures markets pushed up prices of food in 2007/08, sparking violent protests in countries including Egypt , Cameroon and Haiti.

The Rome-based agency has warned food prices could climb even higher, expressing concern about global weather patterns.

Severe drought in the Black Sea last year, heavy rains in Australia and dry weather in Argentina and anticipation of a spike in demand after unrest in north Africa and the Middle East has helped power grain prices to multi-year highs.

The worst winter storm for decades in the U.S. grain belt kept up pressure on wheat futures on Wednesday.

Surging food prices have come back into the spotlight after they helped fuelled protests that toppled Tunisia’s president in January and have spilled over to Egypt and Jordan, raising speculation other countries in the region would secure grain stocks to reassure their populations.

Algeria on Jan.26 confirmed it had bought almost a million tonnes of wheat, bringing its bread wheat purchases to at least 1.75 million since the start of January, and ordered an urgent speeding up of grain imports, a move aimed at building stocks.

World leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week warned rising food prices could stoke more unrest and even war. French President Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated calls for regulation to rein in speculation and volatility.

Multi-year highs for grain and sugar futures in January helped push higher spot and physical prices which the FAO uses to calculate the index.

(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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Gunfire pounds anti-Mubarak protest camp in Cairo

Posted by Admin on February 3, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110203/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt

CAIROHeavy automatic weapons fire pounded the anti-government protest camp in Cairo‘s Tahrir Square before dawn on Thursday in a dramatic escalation of what appeared to be a well-orchestrated series of assaults on the demonstrators. At least three protesters were killed by gunfire, according to one of the activists.

The crowds seeking an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly three decades in power were still reeling from attacks hours earlier in which Mubarak supporters charged into the square on horses and camels, lashing people with whips, while others rained firebombs and rocks from rooftops.

The protesters accused Mubarak’s regime of unleashing a force of paid thugs and plainclothes police to crush their unprecedented nine-day-old movement, a day after the 82-year-old president refused to step down. They showed off police ID badges they said were wrested from their attackers. Some government workers said their employers ordered them into the streets.

The violence intensified overnight, as sustained bursts of automatic gunfire and powerful single shots rained into the square starting at around 4 a.m. and continuing for more than two hours.

Protest organizer Mustafa el-Naggar said he saw the bodies of three dead protesters being carried toward an ambulance. He said the gunfire came from at least three locations in the distance and that the Egyptian military, which has ringed the square with tank squads for days to try to keep some order, did not intervene.

Footage from AP Television News showed one tank spreading a thick smoke screen along a highway overpass just to the north of the square in an apparent attempt to deprive attackers of a high vantage point. The two sides seemed to be battling for control of the overpass, which leads to a main bridge over the Nile.

In the darkness, groups of men hurled firebombs and rocks from the bridge, where a wrecked car sat engulfed in flames. Others dragged two apparently lifeless bodies from the area.

Egypt‘s health minister did not answer a phone call seeking confirmation of the number killed.

Click image to see photos of anti-government protests in Egypt

At daybreak, the two sides were still battling with rocks and flaming bottles of gasoline along the front line on the northern edge of the square, near the famed Egyptian Museum.

Demonstrators took cover behind makeshift barricades of corrugated metal sheeting taken from a nearby construction site and Mubarak supporters seemed to hold their ground on the overpass. Between them stretched a burning no-man’s-land of smoldering cars, hunks of concrete and fires.

The fighting began more than 12 hours earlier, turning the celebratory atmosphere in the square over the previous day into one of terror and sending a stream of wounded to makeshift clinics in mosques and alleyways on the anti-government side. Three people died in the violence on Wednesday and 600 were injured.

Mustafa el-Fiqqi, a senior official from the ruling National Democratic Party, told The Associated Press that businessmen connected to the ruling party were responsible for what happened.

The notion that the state may have coordinated violence against protesters, who had kept a peaceful vigil in Tahrir Square for five days, prompted a sharp rebuke from the Obama administration.

“If any of the violence is instigated by the government, it should stop immediately,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The clashes marked a dangerous new phase in Egypt’s upheaval: the first significant violence between government supporters and opponents. The crisis took a sharp turn for the worse almost immediately after Mubarak rejected the calls for him to give up power or leave the country, stubbornly proclaiming he would die on Egyptian soil.

His words were a blow to the protesters. They also suggest that authorities want to turn back the clock to the tight state control enforced before the protests began.

Mubarak’s supporters turned up on the streets Wednesday in significant numbers for the first time. Some were hostile to journalists and foreigners. Two Associated Press correspondents and several other journalists were roughed up in Cairo. State TV had reported that foreigners were caught distributing anti-Mubarak leaflets, apparently trying to depict the movement as foreign-fueled.

The scenes of mayhem were certain to add to the fear that is already running high in this capital of 18 million people after a weekend of looting and lawlessness and the escape of thousands of prisoners from jails in the chaos.

Soldiers surrounding Tahrir Square fired occasional shots in the air throughout Wednesday’s clashes but did not appear to otherwise intervene and no uniformed police were seen. Most of the troops took shelter behind or inside the armored vehicles and tanks stationed at the entrances to the square.

“Why don’t you protect us?” some protesters shouted at the soldiers, who replied they did not have orders to do so and told people to go home.

“The army is neglectful. They let them in,” said Emad Nafa, a 52-year-old among the protesters, who for days had showered the military with affection for its neutral stance.

Some of the worst street battles raged near the Egyptian Museum at the edge of the square. Pro-government rioters blanketed the rooftops of nearby buildings and hurled bricks and firebombs onto the crowd below — in the process setting a tree ablaze inside the museum grounds. Plainclothes police at the building entrances prevented anti-Mubarak protesters from storming up to stop them.

The two sides pummeled each other with chunks of concrete and bottles at each of the six entrances to the sprawling plaza, where 10,000 anti-Mubarak protesters tried to fend off more than 3,000 attackers who besieged them. Some on the pro-government side waved machetes, while the square’s defenders filled the air with a ringing battlefield din by banging metal fences with sticks.

In one almost medieval scene, a small contingent of pro-Mubarak forces on horseback and camels rushed into the anti-government crowds, trampling several people and swinging whips and sticks. Protesters dragged some riders from their mounts, throwing them to the ground and beating their faces bloody. The horses and camels appeared to be ones used to give tourists rides around Cairo.

Dozens of men and women pried up pieces of the pavement with bars and ferried the piles of ammunition in canvas sheets to their allies at the front. Others directed fighters to streets needing reinforcements.

The protesters used a subway station as a makeshift prison for the attackers they managed to catch. They tied the hands and legs of their prisoners and locked them inside. People grabbed one man who was bleeding from the head, hit him with their sandals and threw him behind a closed gate.

Some protesters wept and prayed in the square where only a day before they had held a joyous, peaceful rally of a quarter-million, the largest demonstration so far.

Egyptian Health Minister Ahmed Sameh Farid said three people died and at least 611 were injured in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. One of those killed fell from a bridge near the square; Farid said the man was in civilian clothes but may have been a member of the security forces.

Farid did not say how the other two victims, both young men, were killed. It was not clear whether they were government supporters or anti-Mubarak demonstrators.

After years of tight state control, protesters emboldened by the uprising in Tunisia took to the streets on Jan. 25 and mounted a once-unimaginable series of demonstrations across this nation of 80 million. For the past few days, protesters who camped out in Tahrir Square reveled in a new freedom — publicly expressing their hatred for the Mubarak regime.

“After our revolution, they want to send people here to ruin it for us,” said Ahmed Abdullah, a 47-year-old lawyer in the square.

Another man shrieked through a loudspeaker: “Hosni has opened the door for these thugs to attack us.”

The pressure for demonstrators to clear the square mounted throughout the day, beginning early when a military spokesman appeared on state TV and asked them to disperse so life in Egypt could get back to normal.

It was a change in attitude by the army, which for the past few days had allowed protests to swell with no interference and even made a statement saying they had a legitimate right to demonstrate peacefully.

Then the regime began to rally its supporters in significant numbers for the first time, demanding an end to the protest movement. Some 20,000 Mubarak supporters held an angry but mostly peaceful rally on Wednesday across the Nile River from Tahrir, responding to calls on state TV.

They said Mubarak’s concessions were enough. He has promised not to run for re-election in September, named a new government and appointed a vice president for the first time, widely considered his designated successor.

They were bitter at the jeers hurled at Mubarak.

“I feel humiliated,” said Mohammed Hussein, a 31-year-old factory worker. “He is the symbol of our country. When he is insulted, I am insulted.”

The anti-Mubarak movement has vowed to intensify protests to force him out by Friday.

State TV said Vice President Omar Suleiman called “on the youth to heed the armed forces’ call and return home to restore order.” From the other side, senior anti-Mubarak figure Mohamed ElBaradei demanded the military “intervene immediately and decisively to stop this massacre.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with Suleiman to condemn the violence and urge Egypt’s government to hold those responsible for it accountable, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

___

AP correspondents Sarah El Deeb, Hamza Hendawi, Diaa Hadid, Lee Keath, Michael Weissenstein and Maggie Michael contributed to this report.

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Egypt crisis: Israel faces danger in every direction

Posted by Admin on February 2, 2011

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/8296776/Egypt-crisis-Israel-faces-danger-in-every-direction.html

The Egyptian crisis is ringing alarm bells in Jerusalem, writes David Horovitz.

Protesters take part in an anti-Mubarak protest at Tahrir square in Cairo

Protesters take part in an anti-Mubarak protest at Tahrir square in Cairo

The Middle East is in ferment at the moment – but despite the general excitement, the outcome could be a grim one for Israel, and for the West more generally.

In the past few weeks, we have seen a president ousted in Tunisia. We’ve seen protests in Yemen. We’ve seen Iran essentially take control of Lebanon, where its proxy, Hizbollah, has ousted a relatively pro-Western prime minister and inserted its own candidate. We’ve seen the King of Jordan rush to sack his cabinet amid escalating protests. We’ve seen reports that similar demonstrations are planned for Syria, where the president, Bashar Assad, will find it far harder to get away with gunning down the crowds than his father did in 1982. And most dramatically, we are seeing the regime in Egypt – the largest, most important Arab country – totter, as President Mubarak faces unprecedented popular protest, and the likelihood that he will have to step down sooner rather than later.

It is tempting to be smug. Egypt’s blink-of-an-eye descent into instability underlines afresh the uniqueness of Israel, that embattled sliver of enlightened land in a largely dictatorial region. Those who like to characterise it as the root of all the Middle East’s problems look particularly foolish: the people on the streets aren’t enraged by Israel, but because their countries are so unlike Israel, so lacking in the freedoms and economic opportunities that both Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs take
for granted.

Yet the country is deeply concerned. The main worry is over a repeat of the events in Iran a little over 30 years ago, when popular protest ousted the Shah, only to see him replaced by a far more dangerous, corrupt, misogynist and intolerant regime. Iran is plainly delighted by what is unfolding. With peerless hypocrisy, a government that mowed down its own people less than two years ago is encouraging the same spirit of protest in Egypt. Its allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are well placed to fill any leadership vacuum – and, for all the group’s dubious claims to be relatively moderate, it embraces leadership figures deeply hostile to Israel and to the West. The Muslim Brotherhood, it should not be forgotten, gave birth to Hamas, the terrorist group which now runs Gaza, after killing hundreds in its takeover.

The danger for the Egyptians is that, when the protests are over, their brave efforts will have replaced Mubarak not with a leadership more committed to freedom and democracy, but quite the reverse. Yet for Israelis, it underlines the challenges we face when it comes to peacemaking.

Our country, it is often forgotten, is 1/800th of the size of the Arab world, only nine miles wide at its narrowest point. We are not some territorial superpower that can afford not to care if there is hostility all around: we desperately need normalised relations with our neighbours. But if we do a lousy deal, with a regime that is either unstable or not genuinely committed to reconciliation, the consequences could be fatal.

Israelis, I believe, would make almost any territorial compromise in the cause of genuine peace.
But where both the Palestinians and the Syrians are concerned, we’re far from certain that we have a dependable partner. And as the Egyptian experience is demonstrating, even our most concrete certainties can turn fluid overnight.

For half of Israel’s lifespan, our alliance with Egypt has been central to our foreign policy and military strategy. To achieve it, we relinquished every last inch of the Sinai desert – and, until this weekend, we scarcely had a reason to question that decision. Yes, it’s been a cold peace: there’s been no profound acceptance of Israel among ordinary Egyptians, or the country’s media and professional guilds. Yet Egypt under Mubarak has been less critical of Israel than most other Arab states, gradually intensifying the effort to prevent the smuggling of missiles, rockets and other weaponry into Hamas-controlled Gaza. The absence of war on our Egyptian border has also freed our strained military forces to focus on other, more threatening frontiers.

Over the past two years, as Turkey has moved out of the Western orbit, our other vital regional alliance has slipped away. Now Egypt could also be lost – at a time when Iran and its nuclear ambitions cast an ever greater shadow over the region, and over Israel’s future.

But perhaps the most profound concern is over the reversal of momentum that the Egyptian protests could come to represent. For a generation, Israel has been trying to widen the circle of normalisation – to win acceptance as a state among states. We made peace with Egypt, then with Jordan. We built ties with Morocco and the Gulf. We have reached out to the Syrians and Palestinians.

Now, for the first time in more than 30 years, we see that momentum reversing. We wonder whether Egypt will continue to constitute a stable partner. We worry about the potential for instability in Jordan. We see that all our borders are now “in play” – that the Israel Defence Forces must overhaul their strategy to meet the possibility of dangers in every direction.

We had hoped that the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979 would come to be the defining event of the modern era. Now, we fear that our world will be defined by another event from that year: Iran’s dismal Islamic revolution.

David Horovitz is editor-in-chief of ‘The Jerusalem Post’

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