Under a Crescent Moon

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Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:05 pm

Libyans to discuss peace 'road map'

11 April 2011


Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gets into his car in Tripoli, Libya

A delegation of African leaders have said that Libya's Muammar Gaddafi has accepted their "road map" for a ceasefire with rebels.

They met hours after Nato airstrikes battered Gaddafi's tanks, helping rebels push back government troops who had been advancing quickly toward the opposition's eastern stronghold.

The African Union's (AU) road map calls for an immediate ceasefire, co-operation in opening channels for humanitarian aid and starting a dialogue between the rebels and the government.

AU officials, however, made no mention of any requirement for Gaddafi to pull his troops out of cities as rebels have demanded.

"We have completed our mission with the brother leader, and the brother leader's delegation has accepted the road map as presented by us," said South African President Jacob Zuma.

He travelled to Tripoli with the heads of Mali and Mauritania to meet with Gaddafi, whose more than 40-year rule has been threatened by the uprising that began nearly two months ago.

"We will be proceeding tomorrow to meet the other party to talk to everybody and present a political solution," Mr Zuma said, speaking at Gaddafi's private Tripoli compound, Bab al-Aziziya, on Sunday. He called on Nato to end airstrikes to "give the ceasefire a chance".

Gaddafi has ignored the ceasefire he announced after international airstrikes were authorised last month, and he rejects demands from the rebels, the US and its European allies that he relinquish power immediately.

Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria, the head of the AU's Peace and Security Council, said the demand to give up power was brought up in Sunday's talks with the Libyan leader.

"There was some discussion on this but I cannot report on this. It has to remain confidential. It's up to the Libyan people to chose their leaders democratically," he told reporters in Tripoli.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:15 pm

Hague to attend global Libya talks

13 April 2011


A young boy is walked back to a checkpoint for his safety by a rebel fighter on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya (AP)

Foreign Secretary William Hague is to attend international talks on Libya amid calls for Nato to step up its military strikes against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

The new international contact group on Libya - created at last month's London conference to co-ordinate the international response to the crisis - is holding its first meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar.

It comes after the rebel leadership in Benghazi flatly rejected a draft ceasefire agreement drawn up by the African Union as it did not include Gaddafi's immediate removal from power.

On Tuesday Mr Hague joined French foreign minister Alain Juppe in calling for Nato states to "intensify" their military action against regime forces attacking rebel cities like Misrata.

Mr Juppe said that Nato's actions were "not enough" and that the alliance, which took over command of the operation from the Americans, needed to "play its role in full".

British ministers, meanwhile, found themselves under fire following the disclosure that Libyan defector Musa Kusa had been allowed to leave the country to travel to Qatar ahead of the talks.

The Foreign Office said that Kusa - an ex-intelligence chief who has been linked to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing - was "free to come and go" from the UK as he wished.

However Conservative MP Robert Halfon, whose family fled Libya when Gaddafi took power, said the Government appeared to be treating Britain as "a transit lounge for alleged war criminals".

Mr Hague defended Mr Kusa's ability to travel to Doha, saying it was for the police and prosecutors to act if they believed they had cause to arrest him and prevent him from travelling. And he said he had not had a meeting with his former counterpart since he arrived in the UK, speaking only by telephone.

"He is not detained, he came here of his own volition. If he was under arrest, he wouldn't be allowed to leave," Mr Hague said.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:59 am

Meanwhile...

Syria protesters clash with police

15 April 2011



Protesters in cities across Syria have called on president Bashar Assad to implement widespread political reforms
Security forces fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons as tens of thousands of people marched towards the centre of the Syrian capital demanding far greater reforms than the limited concessions offered by President Bashar Assad.

The violence in the Damascus suburb of Douma was the only major unrest reported during protests in several Syrian cities.

But the attempt to reach the capital was a bold action by a protest movement that has mostly stayed outside Damascus so far.

The protesters in Douma held up yellow cards, which they said was a soccer-inspired warning to the regime. "This is our first warning, next time we will come with the red cards," said one protester who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone. He asked that his name not be used because of fears for his personal safety.

The month-long protest movement in Syria has steadily gathered momentum as tens of thousands of people demand sweeping reforms in Assad's authoritarian regime.

More than 200 people have been killed during the government crackdown on protesters, according to Syria's main pro-democracy group.

The crowds gathered in several Syrian cities chanting Freedom!" and demanding an end to the decades-old emergency laws, which allow the regime a free hand to arrest people without charge. Lifting the state of emergency has been a key demand of the protesters.

The largest protests were in Douma and in the southern city of Daraa, which has become the epicentre of the protest movement. Witnesses said there were up to 100,000 people outside the capital and at least 20,000 in Daraa.

It was impossible to independently verify the witness accounts because Syria has placed tight restrictions on media coverage.

There was no immediate sign of army and security services in Daraa - a stark change from previous weeks, when Syrian forces fired tear gas and live bullets at the protesters.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:13 am

Arm rebels, urges ex-forces chief

16 April 2011


Allies should seek United Nations approval to arm and train Libyan rebels, Lord Dannatt said

Allies should seek United Nations approval to arm and train Libyan rebels, a former head of the UK armed forces said, amid reports that the regime was using cluster bombs in its assault on Misrata.

Lord Dannatt said that while the Nato-led air strikes had enjoyed some success, equipping the opposition to fight effectively was vital to prevent a vacuum forming that could be filled by extremists.

And the ex-chief of the defence staff said Muammar Gaddafi's illegitimacy as leader had been firmly underlined by the apparent use of controversial cluster munitions against residential areas.

An international pressure group presented photographic evidence that the bombs - banned by more than 100 countries - were being used in Gaddafi's powerful assault on Misrata.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it witnessed at least three cluster bombs explode on Friday night, inspected the remains of one and spoke to ambulance drivers who attended the scene of an explosion.

It said they were Spanish-produced MAT-120 120mm mortar projectiles, which open in mid-air and release 21 submunitions over a wide area, posing a "huge risk" to civilians.

The regime denied using the controversial weapons.

The pummelling of Misrata by forces loyal to Gaddafi has become a focal point for rebel complaints that international allies are not doing enough to meet their UN mandate to protect civilians.

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said he expects member nations to provide extra ground-attack aircraft to strike regime forces, despite a meeting of the alliance ending with no concrete commitments.

Tensions over the operation are high in the UK, with Prime Minister David Cameron facing calls for Parliament to be recalled over claims he and fellow leaders had overstepped the limits of the mission by advocating regime change.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:09 pm

UK to aid evacuations out of Libya

19 April 2011


International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell confirmed plans to help foreign workers escape Misrata

The Government will help 5,000 people escape the besieged rebel-held town of Misrata and provide vital medical supplies to those caught up in violence across western Libya, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has announced.

Speaking before talks with United Nations aid bodies in New York, Mr Mitchell said the emergency evacuations would aim to get foreign workers who had managed to reach Misrata docks safely out of the town.

The evacuations will be carried out by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Britain will also fund critical medical aid, to be provided by the International Medical Corps (IMC), for civilians in towns across western Libya.

Mr Mitchell said: "I am determined that Britain continues to provide help to those innocent civilians who are caught up in the ongoing violence.

"Thousands of foreign workers have managed to reach the port but find themselves at terrible risk from incoming fire, with no way to get out.

"These evacuations will take them to safety and help reduce the demand in Misrata for the very limited supplies of food, water and medical supplies available."

He added: "In conflict-affected areas across western Libya, there's a shortage of doctors - most have no training in war surgery - few nurses, overwhelmed staff, and weak or non-existent post-operative care.

"British support will mean medical supplies and highly-trained teams get into the worse-hit areas, which could mean the difference between life and death for many people."

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun May 01, 2011 4:10 am

Nato rejects Gaddafi ceasefire call

30 April 2011


A giant column of smoke rises in the besieged city of Misrata, Libya, as Nato rejects a ceasefire call (AP)

Nato powers have rejected Muammar Gaddafi's call for a ceasefire and negotiations, saying they need "actions not words," and aid ships were prevented from docking in a besieged coastal city while the alliance swept the port for mines.

Human Rights Watch said two mines had been destroyed by Nato forces combing the Misrata port while a third was being closely monitored. The alliance did not give details but said the process would take time.

"Mine clearance is a precise and highly skilled task, so it will take time to do this in a safe and effective way," Nato spokeswoman Carmen Romero said.

Nato also bombed a government complex that included the state television building in Tripoli. The Libyans alleged the strike was meant to kill Gaddafi as his address was broadcast live on state TV, but the TV building was not damaged and Gaddafi spoke from an undisclosed location.

In a rambling pre-dawn speech that lasted for more than an hour, Gaddafi appeared both subdued and defiant, repeatedly pausing as he flipped through hand-written notes.

"The door to peace is open," Gaddafi said, sitting behind a desk. "You are the aggressors. We will negotiate with you. Come, France, Italy, UK, America, come, we will negotiate with you. Why are you attacking us?"

The alliance has promised to continue operations until all attacks and threats against civilians have ceased, all of Gaddafi's forces have returned to bases and full humanitarian access is granted.

A Nato official noted that Gaddafi's forces had shelled Misrata and tried to mine the city's port just hours before his speech. The city of 300,000 is the main rebel stronghold in western Libya and has been under siege for two months.

With the rebels holding much of eastern Libya, Gaddafi needs to consolidate his hold over the western half, including Misrata and a mountainous region on the border with Tunisia.

"The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians," said the official who could not be named under standing regulations. "All this has to stop, and it has to stop now," the official said, adding that a ceasefire had to be "credible and verifiable".

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun May 01, 2011 4:17 am

Mubarak 'could face death penalty'

30 April 2011


Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could face the death penalty if he is convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak could face the death penalty if he is convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters during the uprisings which brought him down, the country's justice minister said.

Mohammed el-Guindi told the daily Al-Ahram newspaper that Mr Mubarak, his two sons and wife are also facing allegations of corruption.

He added that former first lady Suzanne Mubarak will be questioned for the first time in a few days over her illicit amassing of wealth.

Mr El-Guindi blamed Mr Mubarak for the country's widespread corruption during his almost 30-year rule.

Mr Mubarak, 82, stepped down in February and was placed under arrest in the Sharm el-Sheikh hospital due to heart problems.

At least 846 protesters were killed during the uprising.

"Certainly, if convicted for the crime of killing protesters, it could result in the death sentence," said Mr el-Guindi.

He added that the key to the case was whether former interior minister Habib el-Adly, also under investigation, would testify that Mr Mubarak had given the order to open fire on the protesters.

"The only one capable of pardoning Mubarak... would be the new president," said Mr el-Guindi. "If I were the president, I will not pardon him for killing 800 martyrs."

Egypt will hold new presidential elections in November.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Mon May 02, 2011 4:40 pm

Britain expels Libyan ambassador

02 May 2011


Muammar Gaddafi survived a Nato missile attack (AP)

Britain has moved to expel Libya's ambassador after the UK embassy in Tripoli was attacked by a mob.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said Omar Jelban was "persona non grata" and had been given 24 hours to leave the country.

Diplomatic missions belonging to a number of Nato states have been targeted after an air strike reportedly killed Muammar Gaddafi's youngest son and three of his grandchildren.

Mr Hague said: "I condemn the attacks on the British Embassy premises in Tripoli as well as the diplomatic missions of other countries.

"The Vienna Convention requires the Gaddafi regime to protect diplomatic missions in Tripoli. By failing to do so that regime has once again breached its international responsibilities and obligations.

"I take the failure to protect such premises very seriously indeed. As a result, I have taken the decision to expel the Libyan Ambassador. He is persona non grata pursuant to Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and has 24 hours to leave the country.

"The attacks against diplomatic missions will not weaken our resolve to protect the civilian population in Libya."

Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that Nato's choice of targets in Libya was "in line" with the United Nations Security Council resolution.

Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, died when his house was hit by at least one missile fired by a Nato warplane, according to spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

The Libyan government has accused Nato forces of breaking international law with the attack on the building in Tripoli, which is also said to have claimed the lives of three of the dictator's grandchildren.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Mon May 02, 2011 10:44 pm

Yemen peace deal nears collapse

02 May 2011


An anti-government protestor in Yemen holds a banner reading in Arabic, 'My country, I love you my country' (AP)

A deal to end Yemen's political crisis is nearing collapse after the country's embattled president refused to personally sign it, leaving a deadlock that threatens to plunge the impoverished Arab nation and key US ally deeper into disorder and bloodshed.

An unravelling of the deal for Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after nearly three months of protests against his rule would greatly increase the prospects of more bloodshed in a nation long beset by serious conflict and deep poverty and which is home to al Qaida's most active offshoot.

At least 140 people have been killed in the government's crackdown on the protesters, who have nonetheless grown in number week after week. The violence, which has included sniper attacks, has prompted several top military commanders, ruling party members, diplomats and others to defect to the opposition, largely isolating the president.

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However, Mr Saleh has clung to power, thanks in part to the key backing of Yemen's best trained and equipped military units, which are under the command of one of his sons and other close relatives.

Continued unrest in Yemen risks the stability of a region that is home to important shipping lanes at the southern mouth of the Red Sea. Yemen is also close to the massive oil and gas fields of the Gulf Arab region.

The country has over the years been wracked by rampant corruption, a weak central government, a Shiite rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south and, since early February, the massive protests demanding Mr Saleh's ousting.

Inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the protests pose the most serious threat to Mr Saleh's authoritarian rule. Mr Saleh has sought to cling to power by offering the protesters concessions, pledging not to run again in 2013 elections or allow his son to succeed him. The protesters stood their ground, demanding his immediate resignation and his trial for the killing of protesters and corruption.

A mediation plan put forward by six US allies grouped in the Gulf Co-operation Council, or GCC, looked close to fruition, with the established opposition political parties and Saleh himself agreeing to it. The plan called for Saleh to step down within 30 days and for a national unity government to run the country until elections are held. The proposals also gave Mr Saleh immunity from prosecution.

The street protesters, who say the opposition parties taking part in the talks do not represent them, rejected the deal and said nothing less than Saleh's immediate resignation would persuade them to halt their massive demonstrations. Still, the Gulf initiative held some promise, but that subsequently vanished when Mr Saleh told a GCC envoy late on Saturday that he would send representatives to sign the deal - rather than signing it himself - at a ceremony that had been scheduled for Sunday or Monday in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

The opposition said it would not sign it unless Mr Saleh did too and the GCC, a loose alliance of oil-rich Gulf Arab nations, said it was indefinitely postponing the ceremony, blaming Saleh's refusal to sign.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun May 15, 2011 9:24 pm

'Nato must widen targets in Libya'

15 May 2011


Sir David Richards said Nato must widen the target of air strikes in Libya

Nato must widen the target of air strikes in Libya to increase the pressure on the Gaddafi regime or risk allowing the dictator to cling to power, the head of the UK's armed forces has said.

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards called on the alliance to "up the ante" by allowing the bombing to include infrastructure targets.

"The military campaign to date has been a significant success for Nato and our Arab allies," he said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph.

"But we need to do more. If we do not up the ante now there is a risk that the conflict could result in Gaddafi clinging to power.

"At present, Nato is not attacking infrastructure targets in Libya. But if we want to increase the pressure on Gaddafi's regime then we need to give serious consideration to increasing the range of targets we can hit."

While Gaddafi was not being targeted, he said, should the dictator be killed in a strike on a command and control centre that would be "within the rules". And he insisted that there had so far been "hardly any civilian casualties as a result of the extreme care Nato has taken in the selection of bombing targets".

He spoke as a Nato official said it was aware of reports of civilian deaths in a strike on the coastal town of Brega but insisted that warplanes had targeted a "clearly identified" military command and control site.

The Libyan government claims as many as 11 men were killed and said they were clerics who had met to pray for peace. Others claimed the victims had been sent by the regime to show the town was in their hands.

Many civilians are regularly packed into the heavily-fortified Gaddafi family compound in Tripoli, a Nato target. in what the regime claims is a voluntary effort to defend the leader.

It has tried to counter reports that Gaddafi has been injured by playing a defiant audio recording on state TV in which he taunted Nato that he was "in a place where you can't get to and kill me".

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:20 am

Nato 'deeply regrets' Libya deaths

June 20, 2011


Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has admitted that an alliance air strike was responsible for an attack on a suburb of Tripoli

Nato's secretary general has admitted that an alliance air strike was responsible for an attack on a suburb of Tripoli which killed nine civilians, according to Libyan officials.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Nato "deeply regrets" the incident, which he said was caused by an accident during air strikes designed to protect civilians against the forces of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Rasmussen insisted that Nato would not be deflected from its mission to impose United Nations Security Council resolution 1973, adding: "We will stay committed as long as it takes."

He said there was "no solely military solution" to the crisis in Libya, and called for a political process to establish a future for the north African country, which would have to involve Gaddafi's removal.

A statement posted on the Nato website said a "weapons system failure" may have been responsible for a missile going astray in the early hours of yesterday.

Nato did not disclose which country's aircraft were involved, although the Ministry of Defence said RAF warplanes were not operating in the area at the time.

Mr Rasmussen told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "Unfortunately, it was an accident caused by one of our strikes."

He added: "We do our best to avoid civilian casualties but unfortunately sometimes accidents happen. We deeply regret this loss of civilian life and I convey my condolences to the bereaved families."

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:39 pm

Salman Rushdie: 'The Arab spring is a demand for desires and rights that are common to all human beings'

The Booker prize-winner on dreams of his father, marriage, the fatwa – and the death of Osama bin Laden

Tim Adams The Observer, Sunday 26 June 2011


'Haroun and The Sea of Stories was when I started writing as the dad rather than the child'. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Your latest book, Luka and the Fire of Life, is dedicated to your youngest son, Milan, who is 14. And it's a sequel to Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which was written for your eldest son, Zafar, now 31, at a time when your life was threatened by the fatwa. You've written a lot about fathers and sons…


Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

Well, I only have sons, so in one sense it is all I know. The thing that has shifted with age is that when I was writing Midnight's Children and those earlier books, right up to The Satanic Verses, the point of view was from the child looking up to the parent. Then you realise the point of view has shifted. Haroun was that moment – when I started writing as the dad rather than the child.

Your own father was a storyteller?

Not by profession, but he told us good stories. When people read these two books there is an assumption that the character Rashid is me, but I also think of it as being inspired by my father, the first storyteller in my life. A lot of the early Indian wonder tales I first heard in his version of them. He was a scholar of Arabic and Farsi so he was able to read some of this in the original.

Do you hear his voice when you are writing?

Not so much lately. But he still shows up in my dreams, usually as a quite severe critic. Though even then he is much nicer in my dreams than in life… much more understanding.

I also feel Lewis Carroll hovering around the edge of this new book, Luka and the Fire of Life. When did you first read Alice?

Before I ever came to England. The English children's literature that got out to India was hit and miss. I mean, Arthur Ransome made it, and I just read that [Swallows and Amazons] as a piece of surrealism: who are these children on a lake who go off for days on their own and sleep on islands? Flying carpets were much less extraordinary. Billy Bunter made it; Winnie the Pooh didn't. But Alice did get there and I loved those books. Almost the only thing I am proud of about going to Rugby school was that Lewis Carroll went there too.

I was remembering just after the fatwa that you wrote something about being "in a looking-glass world", where things that seem most improbable become real. Are you writing a memoir of that time?

A looking-glass world was probably more fun than where I was. But yes, I have been immersed in that stuff. And it is almost done. Substantially it is about the period that began with the writing of The Satanic Verses in late 1984 until the police protection ended in early 2002.

Does that time feel like a life outside of your life?

No, it went on too long to feel like that. I didn't always keep journals until this trouble started, but after that there was just so much event I knew I wouldn't remember it unless I started writing it down. The other thing that made it possible is that a university in America, Emory, now has all my papers. They used to be in cardboard boxes in the attic but now every scrap of paper has a barcode. All I have to do is say I want this, this and this, and zing, there it is…

You've been living and writing a lot in New York. Where do you think of as home?

I have different ideas of home, and I don't feel I have to choose between them. There will always be a sense that going to Bombay will feel like going home. London is the place I have lived longer than anywhere else, and both my children are here, and my sister. And then I feel very at home in New York. It's a good place to write, not least because people work incredibly hard there. You feel like a loser if you are not grafting away.

You're not married, but you have spent more time married than not. Would you prefer to be?

Well, I've not been married for four and a half years. And that's fine. People tell me I am this incurable romantic, but perhaps I am finally cured. And I also think that my children may nail my feet to the floor if I tried to get married again.

Would you describe yourself as an atheist?

Of course. It's all nonsense, and I've always thought it was. My father was like that too. The only religion that got into our house was that my mother didn't like eating pig: I never had the flesh of swine till I came to public school in England. I had a ham sandwich and was not killed by thunderbolts.

But you always had faith in stories?

It is what I do. I mean, if you are a carpenter you have faith in carpentry.

Do you ever reread The Satanic Verses?

No, not really. The thing is, when I wrote it I thought it was the least political novel I had ever written. I thought it was a deeply personal book about migration, about examination of the self. One thing that does strike me now, though, is that if I go and talk in colleges, the students were barely born when it was published. All the stuff that went on is like ancient history to them. So they can just begin to read it as a book again, which is great.

But do you think history will also judge it as one moment when our world shifted, a kind of Archduke Ferdinand moment?

It was a harbinger. I don't think it was the first moment but it was certainly one of the first visible signs of what has now become a much larger phenomenon. It didn't feel like that at the time. I suppose it never does.

What did you make of the latest chapter, the news of Osama bin Laden's death?

I thought: good. It's about time. And of course I loved the fact that it turns out he enjoyed looking at pornography, and watching himself on TV – the more of a jerk he looks, the better for everyone. One of the likely consequences of the Arab spring is that al-Qaida immediately starts to look more irrelevant. It shows that this argument (which has been far too prevalent in the west) that there is a different set of criteria you have to use when you look at Muslim countries is bullshit. This is not an ideological revolution, or a theological one; it is a demand for liberty and jobs, desires and rights that are common to all human beings.

I remember you writing once that "life teaches us who we are". Writing your memoir, have you been surprised at what you discovered about yourself?

Absolutely. In years like those you discover all your weaknesses as well as your strengths. And writing it, you have to be most brutally honest about yourself. It's long. It will be 600 pages, so I guess there was plenty to discover…

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:48 pm

Gaddafi threatens to strike Europe

July 02, 2011



A defiant Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to carry out attacks in Europe unless Nato halts its campaign

A defiant Muammar Gaddafi has threatened to carry out attacks in Europe against "homes, offices, families", unless Nato halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya.

The Libyan leader, sought by the International Criminal Court for a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters, delivered the warning in a telephone message played to thousands of supporters gathered in the main square of the capital Tripoli.

It was one of the largest pro-government rallies in recent months, signalling that Gaddafi can still muster significant support.

A green cloth, several hundred meters long and held aloft by supporters, snaked above the crowd filling Tripoli's Green Square. Green is Libya's national colour.

A series of powerful explosions later rattled the heart of the capital, apparently new Nato airstrikes, as Gaddafi supporters cheered, honked horns and fired into the air in the street. Black smoke could be seen rising from the area near Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Gaddafi spoke from an unknown location in a likely sign of concern over his safety. Addressing the West, he warned that Libyans might take revenge for Nato bombings.

"These people (the Libyans) are able to one day take this battle ... to Europe, to target your homes, offices, families, which would become legitimate military targets, like you have targeted our homes," he said.

"We can decide to treat you in a similar way," he said of the Europeans. "If we decide to, we are able to move to Europe like locusts, like bees. We advise you to retreat before you are dealt a disaster."

It was not immediately clear whether Gaddafi could make good on such threats.

In the past, Gaddafi supported various militant groups, including the IRA and several Palestinian factions, while Libyan agents were blamed for attacks in Europe, including a Berlin disco bombing in 1986 and the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people, mostly Americans. Libya later acknowledged responsibility for Lockerbie.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:14 pm

Cameron joins in Assad quit calls

August 19, 2011


Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has been urged to resign by world leaders including David Cameron (AP)

Prime Minister David Cameron has joined other Western leaders in calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stand down and end the brutal repression of his own people.

In a co-ordinated move to ratchet up the pressure, Britain, the United States, France, Germany and the European Union all said the time has come for him to go.

The demands were led by President Barack Obama, who issued a statement accusing Assad of ignoring demands for reform and of "imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people".

"We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way," Mr Obama said. "He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

He was followed a short time later by a joint statement from Mr Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel condemning the regime's "bloody repression of peaceful and courageous demonstrators".

"Our three countries believe that President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country," they said.

"We call on him to face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside in the best interests of Syria and the unity of its people. Violence in Syria must stop now."

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton also issued a statement noting "the complete loss of Bashar al-Assad's legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people and the necessity for him to step aside".

Mr Obama also announced the US is imposing "unprecedented" sanctions against the regime, freezing all Syrian government assets subject to US jurisdiction and banning any transactions involving the regime in Damascus. Britain, France and Germany said they are "actively supporting" further EU sanctions against the regime.

Earlier, a high-level United Nations human rights team said the regime may have committed crimes against humanity with summary executions, torturing prisoners and targeting children in their crackdown on opposition protesters.

AOL

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  tatiana on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:45 pm

i thought this was the thread about the real moon, and something it was doing...or had done..

Oh Well !!!


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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:03 pm

tatiana wrote:i thought this was the thread about the real moon, and something it was doing...or had done.

See the Science section, Tats, for "The Moon" thread.

This thread's about the 'Arab Spring', which appears to be making Al-Quaeda look completely redundant.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  tatiana on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:23 pm

Smile


Crying or Very sad

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:23 am

Kicking off in Libya right now. Muammar Gaddafi's compound is under attack.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  Guest on Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:34 pm

Gaddafi's tunnels





My generous imagination had pictured them more like Ali Baba's cave

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  Nah Ville Sky Chick on Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:15 am

Gaddafi dead, according to BBC reports.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:29 am

Gaddafi Buried In Secret Desert Location
Sky News

By Emma Hurd, in Misratah

Former Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been buried at a secret desert location - five days after he was captured and killed.

The country's interim government said he was buried at dawn along with his son Muattassim and Abu Bakr Younis, the former defence minister.

Fighters from the Misratah brigade, who had placed the body on public display in the city, confirmed that the burial had taken place in accordance with Islamic convention.

"It was a complete funeral ceremony," brigade leader Haitham al Faqueh told Sky News.

"The bodies were washed and prayed over, it was done properly."

Al Faqueh said some of Col Gaddafi's relatives had been present at the burial along with Muslim clerics and other officials.

Wrapped in a blanket, Gaddafi's body had been laid out in a cold storage room in a shopping centre in Misratah since he was killed on Thursday.

Hundreds of people had queued to view his corpse, filing past the body while filming on their mobile phones.

The bloodied bodies of his son Muatassim and that of his former defence minister were laid alongside him.

Officials in the National Transtional Council said the deterioration of the corpses meant it was necessary to arrange the burial.

The bodies were moved late on Monday night, reportedly in a convoy guarded by anti-Gaddafi fighters.

The armed men were told to wait behind while the vehicles moved on ahead to the chosen burial site.

The interim government is determined to keep the location secret to prevent it becoming a shrine for Gaddafi loyalists or being desecrated by his opponents.

Col Gaddafi was killed on Thursday while trying to flee his hometown of Sirte after being on the run for several months.

NTC officials initially said he had been shot dead in crossfire, but mobile phone footage filmed by anti-Gaddafi fighters suggested he had been executed after being captured.

News of his burial came as it emerged 100 people had been killed in Sirte when a fuel tank exploded.

NTC commander Leith Mohammed said: "There was an enormous explosion and a huge fire. More than 100 people were killed and 50 others wounded.

"(The scene is) a heart-wrenching spectacle with dozens of charred bodies."

Meanwhile, an NTC official said Col Gaddafi's son and long-time heir apparent Saif al Islam was set to flee Libya.

"He's on the triangle of Niger and Algeria," he said.

"He's south of Ghat, the Ghat area. He was given a false Libyan passport from the area of Murzuq.

"The region is very, very difficult to monitor and encircle. The region is a desert region and it has... many, many exit routes."

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  Guest on Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:04 pm

My sister told me horrible things about the moment they caught Gadaffi. They beat him and shot him but she said she's heard they sodomized him with sticks before that. I hope it's not true.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:31 pm

Arab League To Suspend Syria After Crackdown
Sky News

The Arab League is to suspend Syria following a violent crackdown on protesters and the regime's violation of an agreed peace plan.

The league has called for sanctions against Syria as the organisation held an emergency meeting to address the rising civilian death toll.

The 22-nation body has called on the country's army to stop its involvement in the killing of civilians, said Qatar's PM, and the group has reportedly invited the opposition to transition talks.

Foreign ministers from the league convened in Cairo amid calls for the regime to be suspended for its continuing clampdown on demonstrators.

Syrian activists say at least 250 people have been killed since November 2, when President Bashar al Assad pledged to implement an Arab League peace initiative.

Under the plan, he pledged to withdraw his troops from towns and cities and begin a dialogue with the opposition.

Instead, according to activists, the violence has intensified in many areas of the country.

In Homs, attacks by government forces have reportedly killed scores of people, including children, in the past few days alone.

Human Rights Watch says the situation indicates the regime is committing "crimes against humanity".

It called on the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership and support action by the UN Security Council.

Even in the capital Damascus, the regime has resorted to brutality to crush dissent.

Videos posted online document days of violence in the suburb of Barzeh.

On Wednesday, the security forces opened fire on a funeral march in the neighbourhood, killing eight people.

The footage shows people running in panic from a hail of bullets. One video appears to show an unarmed man being shot dead at close range.

As Arab League foreign ministers arrived for the meeting in Cairo, more than a hundred protesters shouted anti Assad slogans and demanded the suspension of Syria.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  eddie on Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:10 pm

Syria To Be Suspended From Arab League
Sky News



The Arab League is due to meet to suspend Syria from the organisation following months of violence in the country.

Regional states are stepping up efforts to isolate President Bashar al Assad for refusing to end a crackdown on eight months of protests.

The League will meet in the Moroccan capital Rabat to confirm the suspension four days after deciding on the move.

The regional body is also set to impose economic sanctions on top of the measures already pushed through by the EU and the US.

Syria, which is facing growing international pressure, is due to boycott the meeting due to the regime's fury at the steps.

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah has become the first Arab leader to explicitly call for the president's resignation and the White House has also said he should go.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who had fostered close ties with Syria before this year's unrest, has warned President Assad that his government is on a "knife-edge".

And Prince Turki al Faisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, predicted: "I think it is inevitable that he will have to step down in one form or another."

The League is wary of the repercussions if President Assad falls, given Syria's key position at the faultlines of Middle East conflicts.

Officials have been hesitant to criticise the leader directly or call for fundamental political change but still voted to suspend Syria's membership from today.

They have also asked opposition groups to draw up plans for a transition of power as a prelude to a larger summit on the country's future.

The US said it hoped the League would use the meeting to send a "forceful message to Assad that he needs to allow for a democratic transition to take place and end the violence against his own people".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "President Bashar should stop immediately the killing of his own people."

Pro-democracy protests, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, started in Syria in March - prompting a fierce crackdown by the regime.

The UN says attempts to quash the unrest has left 3,500 people dead. Hundreds are believed to have died this month alone.

On Tuesday, Syrian activists claimed at least 50 were killed during clashes between army defectors and government forces.

Six civilians were also said to have been shot by loyalist soldiers in the north western province of Idlib and during raids on and around the city of Homs.

Syria has blamed the unrest on armed terrorist gangs and foreign-backed militants who they claim have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:38 am

Last weekend (big) pictures from protests in Egypt:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/11/egypt_erupts_with_fresh_protes.html

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Re: Under a Crescent Moon

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