Middle East and North Africa Unrest

Heathrow

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BBC News ? Tripoli protesters 'under fire'

Col. Gaddafi Rant said:
"We shall destroy any aggression with popular will. With the armed people, when necessary we will open the weapons depots. So that all the Libyan people, all the Libyan tribes can be armed. Libya will become a red flame, a burning coal."
So, he is going to arm everyone still loyal to him and is promoting a big shoot out, great leadership Colonel!

You can make your own assessment, but the crowd looked about 10,000 to 20,000 to me. Which was a still little surprising, in contrast the crowd in Benghazi, controlled by opposition forces, looked to be well over 100,000.

* * *

Friday is the start of the weekend and protest day:
BBC News ? Middle East protests: Jordan sees biggest reform rally

BBC News ? Protesters killed in Iraqi 'day of rage'

BBC News ? Egypt protests: Masses demand reform in Tahrir Square

BBC News ? Yemen's president orders forces to protect protesters

BBC News ? Saudi king offers benefits as he returns from treatment

* * *

Covered by Aljezera TV today, the Chinese Navy are now operating in the Mediterranean, unrelated but in addition to the Iranians reported the other day.

World News Website ? China sends navy ship to protect Libya evacuees

The Iranian ships are the first ships since 1979 to enter the Med., the Chinese Navy has probably never been there before.

Interesting times, guys. :think:
 

MacGuffin

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Gaddafi also said that it was a small number of people under the influence of drugs. I wonder what kind of drugs he is on.
As I remember correctly, he also said the drugs were put into people's yogurts o_O

This could be really funny, if people weren't dying there.

Also it's quite obvious, what the main concerns of the Americans and Europeans are. The Americans fear for their oil supply and the Europeans are afraid of African refugees flooding into Europe.

The USA will keep out of this, though, as long as their oil supply isn't at stake. The oil is the real drug here. The drug the Western countries depend on. Our fuel prices are already climbing, don't know how it is in the USA.

There are indications, that the world's oil reserves are actually much lower, than we are made to believe. Exact numbers are being held back by the oil producing countries, so nobody outside the inner circle really knows. Since the Arabian countries are making such a fuzz about keeping the actual numbers to themselves, one can only assume the situation is worse, than most experts believe.

The regimes in most of the countries of the Arabian peninsula are not much better, than Ghaddafi -- they only were able to throw a glamour frock over themselves, are rich enough to buy their people's loyalty and enjoy the support of the United States. Will be interesting to see, how Obama reacts, when Saudi Arabia gets its share of the unrest and the oil support of the USA is threatened.

This can become very dirty.

The optimistic part of me hopes, that everyhing turns out well, that the region stabilizes, that the North African and Arabian countries manage the transition to democracy and that religious fundamentalism isn't part of the game anymore (Al Quaida obviously just sits there open-mouthed at the moment, without a clue about their future strategy).

The pessimistic part of me thinks, that we could actually be seeing the beginnings of wars for resources now.
 
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Crazyjeeper

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Also it's quite obvious, what the main concerns of the Americans and Europeans are. The Americans fear for their oil supply and the Europeans are afraid of African refugees flooding into Europe.
Libya primarily sells oil to Europe. The majority of oil in the United States comes from North America, be it Canada, Mexico or domestic production.

Source, paragraph 14
 

MacGuffin

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Libya primarily sells oil to Europe. The majority of oil in the United States comes from North America, be it Canada, Mexico or domestic production.

Source, paragraph 14
The worldwide oil consumption was 87 million barrels per day in 2008, the USA use up about a quarter of that alone (around 20 million barrels). For comparison: Japan uses up around 5.5 million barrels, China 6 million barrels and Germany 2.7 million barrels.

The oil hunger of the United States is too big to cover everything with domestic reserves. Especially when you consider, that the peak of American oil production was in 1970 (533 million tons, in 2009 it was only 325 million tons).

The biggest reserves are still in the Middle East, therefore the region is of vital strategic interest for the USA, especially when you look at the oil hunger of China and other newcomers. Ever since the beginning of the 20th century it has been one of the key interests of the Western powers to get control over the oil reserves -- and that won't change so quickly.

This all isn't about the present, this is about the future. And it doesn't look good.

There is a simple solution for you Americans of course: Start driving economic cars, get rid of the thirsty petrol engines in trucks and change to diesel. But of course you don't wanna hear that :p
 
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GRtak

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They may sell mainly to the EU, but it is still having and effect on our fuel prices. I don't really care about the prices that much as I know that it is the stock markets types that are driving the cost of a barrel up.
 

Heathrow

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So, the Gaddafi ?Ministry of Truth? people take a group of international hacks to a town called Zawiya to show them they are still in control.

However, the journalists find in the middle of town that it is in rebel hands.

Ooooops! D?oh!

BBC News ? Libya uprising: Anti-Gaddafi forces control Zawiya

BBC News said:
Forces fighting to oust the Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi have seized the city of Zawiya, 50km (30 miles) west of the capital, Tripoli.

The Libyan government took journalists to Zawiya on Sunday morning.

But instead of a show of government force, reporters saw opposition fighters manning the barricades in the city centre and flying their flag.
Subsequently, they were taken to another place on the outskirts, to a hastily arranged pro-Gaddafi demo.

Does this remind you of 2003 when Iraq?s spokesman ?Comical Ali?, who swore to journalists that the US Marines were not in Baghdad, when the journalists could see them across the river behind him?

:rolleyes:

* * *

BBC News ? Libya rescue: UK forces to continue mission

BBC News said:
Further rescue missions are planned to airlift an estimated 300 British nationals still stranded in Libyan desert camps.

Two RAF C-130 Hercules flew 150 oil workers, many of them British nationals, to the safety of Malta on Saturday.
This was presumably done with the regime?s approval, plus approval from the local Tribal Leader. Otherwise Gaddafi?s people would be screaming ?hostile imperialist invaders? etc.
The Brits are also taking out Americans, Europeans and others as well.

* * *

BBC News ? Libya: UN Security Council votes sanctions on Gaddafi

BBC News said:
They (the UN Security Council) backed an arms embargo and asset freeze while referring Colonel Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.
And a travel ban on the Gaddafi family.

I think the sanctions are a good thing.
However, they may antagonise the regime in its death throws and encourage them to kidnap or arrest all foreigners still in Libya, especially Brits., Americans, French, Russians and anyone else on the Security Council.
Now that would be a bad thing, ?mK?
:|
 

AiR

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I think Kadaffi's got the edge over Saaed al-Sahaf there, Comical Ali never blamed al-qaeda putting drugs in the coffe/milk/drinks (I've heard all three translations and can only assume arabic has some word for liquid that is untranslateable) of young people. On Kadaffis 50th birthday and 24th anniversary as a ruler troops marched over the flags of France, USA and UK. Fast forward a few years later he's their best buddy! It's remarkable what a little black gold can do.
 

Heathrow

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BBC News ? Royal Air Force airlifts 150 in second Libya rescue

150 civilian oil workers rescued of which 68 are Brits and 82 are other nationals, one Australian interviewed said he was "never so pleased" to see the RAF C-130s arrive.

The BBC are now allowed to say that the C-130s had ?special forces? on board to protect the aircraft and embarkations. This would be the SAS, although no one is saying so at present, probably because their reputation precedes them. (The news reports of the SBS being involved a few days ago are nonsense, they are marine, artic and mountain warfare specialists.)


BBC News said:
Three RAF Hercules aircraft have rescued a further 150 people - including 20 Britons - from the Libyan desert, the defence secretary has said.

The first and second aircraft have landed in Malta and the third is due to arrive shortly, said Liam Fox.

One plane suffered minor damage after coming under small-arms fire, the Ministry of Defence has since revealed.
:shock:
Must have been an interesting ?moment? during loading, taxiing or takeoff.
 

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Gaddafi also said that it was a small number of people under the influence of drugs. I wonder what kind of drugs he is on.
Do a google image search on him. The man's definitely on something. You can't look that fucked up in half your pictures and be sober.

MacGuffin said:
here is a simple solution for you Americans of course: Start driving economic cars, get rid of the thirsty petrol engines in trucks and change to diesel. But of course you don't wanna hear that :p
Nah people will just learn the hard way. Just like 2008. Gas has gone up something like 10-12% here in the last week and no doubt it will keep rising. Even before the mid-east/Africa unrest pundits were predicting we'd top $4 a gallon again this summer. This is only speeding things along.

We also use crude for a lot more than just gasoline. Just driving more fuel-efficient cars does very little to end our oil addiction in the long run.

:shock:
Must have been an interesting ?moment? during loading, taxiing or takeoff.
Definitely. C130's can take quite a bit of abuse though. I can see a bunch of SAS guys laughing and a bunch of chemical engineers shitting themselves. :lol:
 

WillDAQ

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(The news reports of the SBS being involved a few days ago are nonsense, they are marine, artic and mountain warfare specialists.)
Err.. the SBS will fuck you up regardless of the terrain, it's entirely possible they were used.

Seems the plan was:
- SAS fly in as 'business men'
- Collect weapons from British embassy
- Head out to desert to secure oil compounds
- C130 flown in under radar to pick everyone up.

At a time when our air transport fleet is overstretched in AFG it's amazing we've still got the resources to pull that off.

I assume a bill will be in the post to the other nations who's citizens we recovered.
 
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Heathrow

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Err.. the SBS will fuck you up regardless of the terrain, it's entirely possible they were used.
Oh absolutely, they are very capable of getting the mission completed. Your scenario seems very possible and Sky TV News seemed convinced that they were in the operation

My problem was why it was released to the media before the rescue had been completed. This just sounded like a bit of mis-information given out to the media.

BBC News ? Libya unrest: UK rescue plane had a 'narrow escape'

BBC News said:
Disaster was narrowly averted when small arms fire entered the cockpit of a RAF C130 Hercules evacuating Britons and foreign nationals from Libya, it has emerged.

One round bounced off the pilot's helmet but he was unscathed during Sunday's rescue of oil workers.

(edited)


He said an insurgent group on the ground which fired at the aircraft had mistaken it for a Gaddafi regime plane. They have since apologised for the incident.
If you cannot get the BBC video, here is a youtube version of the rescue which does not show the shooting incident.
[video=youtube;JIXl-_iTW6c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIXl-_iTW6c[/video]
(Not a great quality copy though.)
* * *

BBC News ? US repositioning forces in region

* * *

UK PM David Cameron made a statement today about the possibility of a ?No-Fly Zone? over Libya, however, I am not convinced that it is either necessary or politically desirable.

There are very few reports of any aircraft actually bombing or strafing the rebel groups, a lot of talk of about it in the media and some ?scare them a little? fly pasts, but no actual accounts on the TV News channels of deaths caused by air strikes in the liberated areas.

Politically, the UN Security Council would have to approve a NFZ, where both China and Russia are known to not be keen on the idea, plus Western warplanes over another Muslim, oil producing country would not play well in the Arab world.

It is possible that the threat of a NFZ is just a political ruse to discourage Gaddafi from using his aircraft against the rebels.

* * *

BBC News ? Gaddafi says 'all my people love me'

Yeah, sure they do Colonel. :rolleyes:
 

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WillDAQ

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There are very few reports of any aircraft actually bombing or strafing the rebel groups, a lot of talk of about it in the media and some ?scare them a little? fly pasts, but no actual accounts on the TV News channels of deaths caused by air strikes in the liberated areas.
There have been multiple attacks, but they've mainly focused on military bases in liberated areas. It's very hard to use airpower against rebel type forces without the sort of ISTAR assets that Libya just doesn't have. By contrast attacking your own bases is very easy as you should know exactly where they are.
 

nomix

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And you know what permanent defenses and structures are there too. Want to know where the unseen bunker is? Look at the plan of the base.
 

Heathrow

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There have been multiple attacks, but they've mainly focused on military bases in liberated areas. It's very hard to use airpower against rebel type forces without the sort of ISTAR assets that Libya just doesn't have. By contrast attacking your own bases is very easy as you should know exactly where they are.
The BBC?s John Simpson reported from Ajdabiya that there had been three attacks on the local ammo dump. After the single aircraft attacks, the locals surmised that two aircraft had deliberately missed and the third had just missed. The BBC also reported today that the government of France was lukewarm to the idea of a no fly zone, at present, as are those of Germany, Turkey and Malta.

* * *

A big developing problem is the numbers of foreign migrant workers crossing the border to Tunisia. The numbers are getting very large and only some better off and organised government are looking after their people. Turkey and China being two, Egypt sent 31 aircraft today but the numbers are huge.

BBC News ? Aid crisis on Libya's west border

BBC News said:
The situation on Libya's border with Tunisia has reached crisis point, as tens of thousands of foreigners flee unrest in the country, the UN says.

Aid staff are battling to cope with an exodus that has seen some 140,000 people crossing into Tunisia and Egypt.
The Tunisians have done well so far, but are going to need some help.
:|
 

Gyvon

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I honestly believe that the US specifically and NATO in general should be asking Egypt and Tunisia to allow them to set up aid stations along the border.
 

tigger

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I honestly believe that the US specifically and NATO in general should be asking Egypt and Tunisia to allow them to set up aid stations along the border.
I think that would get the same response as the proposals that we establish a no-fly zone. The US having an overt military presence on the Libyan border would do more harm than good. Besides, UNHCR is already has an operation in place there and they're in dire need of support. Better to act through them.
 
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MacGuffin

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I would suggest, that the West and especially the USA, which has a really bad history of interferring with other countries to their (the USA's) advantage and the countries' disadvantage, should keep a certain distance and just offer humanitarian help and support for the time being but otherwise leave the whole process to the local population. From what I have seen so far, they seem to be capable of sorting things out on their own without going into anarchy or chaos.

If there is even a whiff of suspiscion, that the West is interferring again, it might generate new animosities or even downright hostility.

Things would be different of course, if Ghaddafi should decide it's time for a bit of genocide. Then of course the world community has to step in -- under supervision of the U.N. of course.
 
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jetsetter

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Let us hope then that the U.N. does not bungle Libya like they did the operation in Sierra Leone. Then again when one deploys third world soldiers, as composed the U.N. force, failure should not be surprising. One does wonder who thought it was a good idea to deploy Jordanian soldiers in a tropical African country. In the end success can be placed in the hands of direct British military intervention.

The U.N. is a poor force to use on the offensive and that is something that may be required in Libya.
 
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