Revolution is in the Air: 3/25/11: US soldier pleads guilty to murdering Afghan civilians

INDEX

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 110

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell

EVENTS

 

Clashes and repression in Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Egypt

 

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

 

 

IMPERIALISM IN WORD & DEED

 

Gates realizes that there are only three authoritarian regimes in the whole Middle East

 

 

 

HISTORY & ANALYSIS

 

Al-Khalifah and the sectarian war

 

 

The sectarian factor in Syria

from The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب by noreply@blogger.com (As’ad AbuKhalil)

Headlines for March 25, 2011

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 110

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell
EVENTS

Clashes and repression in Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Egypt

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

Clashes were reported at Mukalla in southeast Yemen between the regular army and elite Republican Guard loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh March 24, leaving three wounded. It was the second such clash reported this week, pitting Republican Guards against soldiers under the orders of a regional commander who has rallied to the side of anti-Saleh protesters, Gen. Mohammed Ali Mohsen. Two soldiers were killed as the rivals clashed near a presidential palace in Mukalla on March 21. (Middle East Online, March 24) At least 15 people as security forces opened fire on a thousands-strong protest march in Daraa, Syria, on March 25. Hundreds also gathered in the capital, Damascus, after Friday prayers. (CNNNYT, March 25)

read more

US soldier pleads guilty to murdering Afghan civilians

from World War 4 Report blogs by Jurist

Specialist Jeremy Morlock pleaded guilty March 23 to three counts of murder as part of a plot contrived with fellow soldiers to kill Afghan civilians. At the court-martial, held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Morlock also pleaded guilty to one count each of assault, conspiracy, obstructing justice and illegal drug use in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison. According to the plea-agreement, Morlock agreed to testify against his co-defendants. Four other soldiers in Morlock’s unit, the 5th Stryker Brigade, are also charged with the deaths of the three Afghan men, which occurred in the Kandahar province in January, February and May of last year. Morlock told the military judge, Lt.-Col. Kwasi Hawks, that he and his fellow soldiers began plotting the murders of unarmed Afghans in 2009 and killed the three civilians knowing they were unarmed and posed no legitimate threat. Morlock testified that Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who is also charged, took the lead in developing the plot. Gibbs maintains that the deaths were a result of combat. In January, the Washington Post first reported that Morlock accepted the plea agreement offered by US Army [official website] prosecutors. Morlock, charged in June, is the first of the five soldiers to be court-martialed.

read more

Libya: battles rage for Ajdabiya, Misrata; rebels form government

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

As Allied bombardment of Tripoli continued, Libyan rebels advanced on Ajdabiya March 24 in their bid to retake the strategic eastern oil town from troops loyal to Moammar Qaddafi. The rebels, whose weapons range from Kalashnikovs to knives, face cordons of tanks guarding approaches to the city, and the populace is fleeing en masse. In Benghazi, rebel spokesman Ahmed Omar Bani said: “We are trying to negotiate with these people [Qaddafi troops] in Ajdabiya because we are almost sure that they have lost contact with their headquarters. Truthfully some of the Ajdabiya militias have asked to surrender, to be left alone and to go back home. But we cannot leave them to go without interrogation because the answers we get from them will be useful in saving lives.” (Middle East Online, March 24)

read more

NATO takes control of Libya campaign

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report

NATO agreed March 24 to take control of enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after lengthy negotiations the 28-member alliance: “We are taking action as part of a broad international effort to protect civilians against the Qaddafi regime.” Rasmussen said the NATO operation was limited to enforcing the no-fly zone, but reports indicated that NATO members reached a “political agreement” to also command all other operations aimed at protecting civilians—meaning strikes against Qaddafi’s ground forces. The UK’s Defense Secretary Liam Fox said that British Tornado jets launched missiles overnight at Libyan armored vehicles in the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiya.

read more

IMPERIALISM IN WORD & DEED

Gates realizes that there are only three authoritarian regimes in the whole Middle East

“Gates cited Syria, Libya and Iran as examples of “authoritarian regimes (that) have suppressed their people and have been willing to use violence against them.””  And one of the three was a close ally of the US, until a few weeks ago.

Hillary says that Moroccan autocracy is a democratic model

“At a joint press briefing after meeting with Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised Morocco for advancing democratic reforms under His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and for advocating international efforts to protect civilians in Libya. She said Morocco is “well-positioned to lead” for democratic change during this “crucial moment in time for Morocco, the Maghreb, and the Middle East,” and endorsed Morocco’s autonomy plan as a “serious, realistic, and credible” approach to end the Western Sahara conflict.”

Saudi dirty hands

Just like in the Iranian opposition, there are elements–elements, not all–in the Syrian opposition.  They operate through the criminal and corrupt Rif`at Asad (who in turn works for Saudi Arabia) and through the Muslim Brotherhood.  Note that Saudi propaganda claimed that there were members of Hizbullah involved in repression in Iran, just as they now claim that there are members of Hizbullah in Syria, as the repressive regimes require the assistance of few Hizbullah fighters.  This is a clear Saudi agenda, just as Israel claimed in the July Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 that Iranian Revolutionary Guards were found dead in South Lebanon–and Saudi media of course “reported” that with zest.  Syrian opposition is very rich and varied, and it is important that Saudi Arabia does not hijack it as it did in Libya.
HISTORY & ANALYSIS

Al-Khalifah and the sectarian war

“Pakistani emigration to Bahrain jumped to almost 6,000 people in 2010, a sixfold increase from 2001, official Pakistan government figures show. A breakdown of how many Pakistanis go into security-force jobs wasn’t available, but Police of Pakistani origin in Bahrain say as many as 7,000 people from a police force of 25,000 come from Pakistan.  Khalil Almarzooq, a senior member of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition party, claims the government has used foreign Sunni Muslims in the security services to keep control of the population of 1.2 million, two-thirds of whom are Shiites. “The reason for the security apparatus is to protect the regime, not the people,” he says.”

The sectarian factor in Syria

The Alawite ruling elite in Syria would not give up power willingly or unwillingly.  If protests grow in Syria, bloody confrontations are very likely.  This would resemble neither Tunisia nor Egypt.  There is no Army that can stand above the fray.
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This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Background & Analysis, Bahrain, Counterinsurgency, Egypt, Events, Imperialism, Imperialist Interference & Views, Libya, Middle East, Military, Saudi Arabia, US Foreign Policy, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

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