Obama has strongly affirmed his support for “the universal rights of the Libyan people,” including “the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny,” but he has never specified exactly who in Libya is working to uphold and defend those rights. He has praised “the peaceful transition to democracy” that he says is taking place across the Middle East, and yet the countries where uprisings have taken place have no democratic traditions or significant forces calling for the establishment of a secular, Western-style republics.
That may explain why Libyan protesters have defaced Gaddafi’s picture with the Star of David, the hated symbol of the Jews, whom the Koran designates as the “strongest in enmity” toward the Muslims. There has been a notable absence among the protesters of anything equivalent to “Don’t Tread On Me” flags or other signs that what the uprising is really all about is establishing the ballot box and the hearty give-and-take of open-society politics. The Libyan protesters have chanted not “Give me liberty or give me death!” or even “Democracy, whiskey, sexy,” but “No God but Allah!”
Meanwhile, Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan who heads up al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, has warmly praised the uprising in his homeland, calling on Libyans to murder the tyrant and crowing: “Now it is the turn of Gaddafi after he made the people of Libya suffer for more than 40 years.” He said that removing Gaddafi as well as other Middle Eastern autocrats is “a step to reach the goal of every Muslim, which is to make the word of Allah the highest”—that is, to establish a state ruled by Islamic law.
Such a state would be inveterately hostile to the United States. “We have to get rid of our inferiority complex and free ourselves from the West,” declared al-Libi. Of course, the statements of a Libyan al-Qaeda commander 3,000 miles away from Libya don’t necessarily have any traction back home, but it is noteworthy that every Islamic hard-liner, from al-Qaeda leaders to the mullahs in Iran, has warmly praised the uprisings in Libya and elsewhere. Hiezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recently told the people of Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen that Allah would grant them victory “if you persist in your jihad.”
“These revolutions,” Nasrallah enthused, “are the will of the people.” He seems confident that if the will of the people in Libya and elsewhere does indeed find expression, that what will result will not be pluralistic democracies that guarantee the rights of their people and are friendly toward the West, but Islamic states bristling with hatred for the Great Satan.
And America’s Tomahawk cruise missiles will have helped bring about such a state in Libya.
Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad, Stealth Jihad and The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran (all from Regnery-a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).
Hypocrisy run rampant: Obama administration fearmongers about Libyan-backed terrorists carrying out reprisal attacks in America while launching air strikes to support terrorists in Libya
Achieving new heights of hypocrisy, the U.S government is hyping the threat of Libyan-backed reprisal terror attacks inside the United States, while launching air strikes in support of so-called “protesters” who have commandeered fighter jets and tanks, and are in fact Islamic fundamentalist Al-Qaeda cells who want to impose sharia law in Libya.
The New York Times reports that Libya may “lash out” against the Orwellian “no fly zone,” which in reality represents constant bombardment, by sending terrorists to carry out attacks against U.S. interests.
“Asked if American officials feared whether Colonel Qaddafi could open a new terrorism front, President Obama’s top counterterrorism official John O. Brennan said: “Qaddafi has the penchant to do things of a very concerning nature. We have to anticipate and be prepared for things he might try to do to flout the will of the international community.”
“Al Qaeda has a demonstrated track record of trying to exploit political vacuums, political change or uncertainty in a number of countries,” Mr. Brennan added. “The situation in Libya now will be no exception.”
This is pretty rich considering the fact that it was British MI6 and the CIA who paid Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda $100,000 dollars to assassinate Gaddafi in 1996.
In 2002 French intelligence experts revealed how western intelligence agencies bankrolled a Libyan Al-Qaeda cell controlled directly by Bin Laden to hatch a plot to kill Gaddafi that was foiled in March 1996. The cell was led by Anas al-Liby, who was with Bin Laden in Sudan before Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan.
Indeed, it was Gaddafi’s Libya who put out the first Interpol warrant for Bin Laden’s arrest in 1998. Western intelligence agencies blocked the warrant from being pursued, and allowed Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to go on and kill more than 200 people in the truck bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Some of the very rebels now being funded and trained by western forces were part of the Al-Qaeda cell that tried to kill Gaddafi on behalf of the United States and Britain 15 years ago.
As the London Telegraph reports, “The West and al-Qaeda on the same side.” Libyan Al-Qaeda leaders have offered their unanimous support for the ousting of Gaddafi.
“An al-Qaeda leader of Libyan origin, Abu Yahya al-Libi, released a statement backing the insurrection a week ago, while Yusuf Qaradawi, the Qatar-based, Muslim Brotherhood-linked theologian issued a fatwa authorising Col Gaddafi’s military entourage to assassinate him,” writes Richard Spencer, highlighting how the “rebels” are in fact religious extremists hell bent on imposing sharia law in Libya.
While the global establishment media has characterized these mobs as “protesters,” even as they commandeer fighter jets and tanks, and used allegations of Gaddafi brutality against them as a justification for air strikes, in reality they largely comprise of radical Islamic fundamentalists who will end up being more savage in their abuse of power than anything Gaddafi was ever accused of, should the air strikes lead to regime change. The ordinary Libyan people, the majority of whom support Gaddafi, are caught in the middle, which is why many of them are now trying to flee Tripoli.
The UN-backed air strikes have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the human rights of “protesters”. The air strikes and Tomahawk missiles have been launched in support of terrorist cells so that the US military-industrial complex can repeat its age-old trick of installing a radical Islamic regime which they can later overthrow, giving them strategic access to the region and allowing them to control the largest oil reserves on the African continent.
This is about giving war a new facelift, leaving the new world order free to pillage any country they like in the name of “humanitarian” assistance.
The fact that the establishment media, particularly the BBC, which has aggressively pushed this “humanitarian” hoax in its rapacious cheerleading effort for the conquest, is parroting the narrative that this is a just war, when in reality it is about helping Al-Qaeda terrorists to carry through a coup d’état, is the ultimate hypocrisy.
It’s a hypocrisy made more revolting by the fact that liberals who so vehemently opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are now willing to offer their enthusiastic backing for military attacks having bought the sickening lie that the likes of the United States, which kills scores of innocent people every week with predator drone strikes, has now suddenly developed a conscience for human suffering.
It’s also galling to witness the likes of Fox News and mainstream conservatives, who screamed until they were blue in the face about a mosque being built at ground zero in New York, now ignorantly applauding a United Nations-ordered war with no congressional approval which is solely designed to bring Al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fundamentalists to power.
The whole farce mirrors Bill Clinton’s bombing campaigns in Bosnia and Serbia, which were also about helping Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to topple autocratic but relatively moderate regimes, and were also military conquests packaged in the cloak of “humanitarian” deception by the global establishment media.
|Occupied Balochistan: At least 11 people, including seven workers of Frontier Works Organization (FWO), and three of National Highway Authority (NHA) Engineers, were shot dead and two others were wounded when Baloch Freedom Fighters opened fire at their camp near Phelleri area of Gwadar district on Monday night.
The Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani while confirming the incident said “that eight men armed with sophisticated weapons on four motorbikes opened fire at FWO camp in Phelleri area of Gwadar. Resultantly 11 people were killed instantly while two suffered bullet injuries”.
The Baloch freedom fighters also torched two vehicles of FWO after shooting. “They took away the vehicles and set them on fire some 5-kilometer away from the site where they killed the staff of FWO,” eyewitness accounts said. The attackers fled on their motorbikes after killing the military retirees.
The camp was set up by FWO for their employees who were engaged in road construction. The dead were employees of FWO and NHA and most of them belonged to Punjab province. CNNreported that “The Frontier Works Organisation is controlled by the army and staffed by retirees”.
Home Secretary said that without the help of local people no one can carry out such a deadliest attack whereas the Chief Minister of Balochistan Aslam Raisani has expressed his grief and sorrow over the human losses and asked the authorities concerned to take stern against the culprits involved in this heinous crime. “Some elements want to push the Balochistan into darkness by killing skilled workers.
The spokesman of Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) has claimed the responsibility of the attack on FWO camp and vowed to carry out such attacks in future. The BLF has warned other such Companies to stop working in Balochistan against the will of Baloch people.
It is pertinent to mention that the Baloch resistance Organisations [BLA, BLF and BRA] have time and time again warned the Pakistani and other International investment companies to stop working in Balochistan until the liberation of Balochistan. They had also urged the Baloch Nation to stay away from these companies and government infrastructures because the Baloch resistance Organisations will attack them whenever they see opportunity.
Radiation levels in some areas within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) zone around Japan’s troubled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is 1,600 higher than the norm, the Kyodo news agency said, quoting International Atomic Energy Agency officials.
Tests carried out by IAEA specialists in various locations around the plant showed radiation levels ranging between 2 and 160 microsievert per hour, while the normal level for the area should not exceed 0.1 microsievert per hour.
The highest radiation level of 161 microsievert per hour has been detected in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Kyodo said.
The Japanese government has set an exclusion zone covering areas within a 20-kilometer zone around the plant and has urged people within 20 to 30 kilometers to stay indoors.
Work to restore power supplies to three troubled reactors at the Fukushima plant resumed early on Tuesday after several hours of delay, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Repair work at the reactors was suspended on Monday after the No.3 reactor emitted a cloud of gray smoke, leading to the evacuation of workers from the plant.
A powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 triggered a number of explosions at Fukushima. The disaster knocked out cooling systems at several reactors, leading to a partial meltdown of fuel rods inside them and raising fears of massive nuclear contamination.
The official death toll from the disaster has risen to 9,000, with more than 12,000 people missing, Kyodo said.
MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti)
last updated 07/00
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Keywords: wave power, tidal power, oceans, currents, waves, electricity generation
Sources: The New Scientist, 16 May and 20 June 1998, Professional Engineering 10 June 1998, Renewable Energy, Sep-Dec 1996, vol. 9 No. 1-4, pp.870-874, Blue Energy Canada Website at http://www.bluenergy.com.
[Additional material from The New Scientist, 3 October 1998, Renewable Energy 2000 (held at Brighton, England July 2-4 2000), and the wavegen website (http://www.wavegen.co.uk) have been added to the original printed report.]
Generating electricity from the oceans has been widely discussed for 40 years. Time and again attempts have been made to harness the both wave and tidal power, usually with little success. However, with advances in engineering in the past few years, the oceans have become an economically feasible source of energy.
The World electrical energy market is at $800-billion-a-year(US) and rising. It has been estimated that ” there are 2 billion people who still lack electricity today, and the world demand in developing countries is doubling every eight years” (World Watch Institute, May 1997). In order to meet that demand, while limiting production of green house gases, renewable energy sources must be developed.
The sea has long been seen as a source of energy. In the middle ages (1200-1500 AD) farmers used to trap sea water in mill ponds and use it to power water mills as the tide dropped. Over the last fifty years, engineers have begun to look at tidal and wave power on a larger, industrial scale. However, until the last few years, particularly in Europe, wave power and tidal power were both seen as uneconomic. Although some pilot projects showed that energy could be generated, they also showed that, even if cost of the energy generated was not considered, there was a real problem making equipment which could withstand the extremely harsh marine environment.
In the late 1990s, it has become clear that technology has advanced to the point where reliable and cheap electricity from the oceans is becoming a real possibility. The UK will have its first electricity supplied to the national supply by the year 2000, and other countries are seriously considering doing likewise.
Wave Power I – sea-based devices
Europe, and in particular the United Kingdom, are looking again at wave power. A recent review by the government has shown that there are now types of wave power devices which can produce electricity at a cost of under $US0.10/kWh, the point at which production of electricity becomes economically viable. The most efficient of the devices, the “Salter ”Duck can produce electricity for less than $US0.05/kWh.
The “Salter ”Duck was developed in the 1970s by Professor Stephen Salter at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (email Shs@srv1.mech.ed.ac.uk) and generates electricity by bobbing up and down with the waves. Although it can produce energy extremely efficiently it was effectively killed off in the mid 1980s when a European Union report miscalculated the cost of the electricity it produced by a factor of 10. In the last few years, the error has been realised, and interest in the Duck is becoming intense.
Operation of the Salter Duck
The “Clam” is another device which, Like the “Salter ”Duck can make energy from sea swell. The Clam is an arrangement of six airbags mounted around a hollow circular spine. As waves impact on the structure air is forced between the six bags via the hollow spine which is equipped with self-rectifying turbines. Even allowing for cabling to shore, it is calculated that the Clam can produce energy for around $US0.06kW/hr.
Wave Power II- Shore based systems
Where the shoreline has suitable topography, cliff-mounted oscillating water column (OWC) generators can be installed. OWC systems have a number of advantages over the Clam and the Duck, not the least of which is the fact that generators and all cabling are shore-based, making maintenance much cheaper.
The OWC works on a simple principle. As an incoming wave causes the water level in the unit’s main chamber to rise (see diagram), air is forced up a funnel which houses a Well’s counter-rotating turbine. As the wave retreats, air is sucked down into the main chamber again. The Well’s turbine has been developed to spin in the same direction, whichever way air is flowing, in order to maximise efficiency. Although most previous OWC systems have had vertical water columns, that in LIMPET is angled at 45° – which wave tank test show to be more efficient.
OWC machines have already been tested at a number of sites, including Japan and Norway. A commercial-scale (500 kW) installation is due to be commissioned on the Scottish Island of Islay in September 2000. The Islay OWC (known as LIMPET) is a joint venture between Queens University, WAVEGEN, Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal), the European Union and Charles Brand Engineering. It is the direct successor of an experimental 75 kW turbine (built by researchers from the Queen’s University of Belfast) which operated on the island between 1991 and 1999. Another LIMPET is currently being developed (at pilot-plant scale) on the Azores.
Construction of OWCs
One of the great problems with shoreline-based OWCs is their construction, which must necessarily take place on rocky shores exposed to wind and waves. In the case of the prototype Islay OWC system it was relatively easy to build a temporary dam on the shoreline to protect the unit. However, LIMPET is a much larger system, with a lip 20m wide. It was therefore ultimately decided to build the unit back from the coastline and remove a bund to make the system fully operational (see figure, below).
Installing an OWC unit
However, both OWC-systems and ocean-wave systems suffer from trying to harness violent forces. The first Norwegian OWC was ripped off a cliff-face during a storm, the Islay station is completely submerged under storm conditions. Thus, researchers are looking at other ways of generating electricity from the ocean, and are increasingly turning to tidally-generated coastal currents.
Power from tidally-generated coastal currents
Over the past forty years, there has been constant interest in harnessing tidal power. Initially, this interest focused on estuaries, where large volumes of water pass through narrow channels generating high current velocities. Engineers felt that blocking estuaries with a barrage and forcing water through turbines would be an effective way to generate electricity. This was proved by construction of a tidal barrage at St. Malo in France in the mid 1960s. La Rance tidal power plant still provides 90% of Brittany’s, and a major refurbishment program (due for completion in 2007) means it will continue in operation well into the new millenium.
Despite the success of La Rance, no other major tidal barrages have been built since, due in some part to environmental concerns. Barages present a barrier to navigation by boats and fish alike; reduced tidal range (difference between high and low water levels) can destroy much of the inter-tidal habitat used by wading birds; and sediment trapped behind the barrage could also reduce the volume of the estuary over time. By the early 1990s, interest in estuarine-derived tidal power had largely ceased, and scientists and engineers began to look at the potential of tidally-generated coastal currents instead.
As tides ebb and flow, currents are often generated in coastal waters (quite often in areas far-removed from bays and estuaries). In many places the shape of the seabed forces water to flow through narrow channels, or around headlands (much like the wind howls through narrow valleys and around hills). However, sea water has a much higher density than air, meaning that currents of 5-8 knots generate as much energy as winds of much higher velocity. In addition, unlike the wind rushing through a valley or over hilltops, tidally-generated coastal currents are predictable. The tide comes in and out every twelve hours, resulting in currents which reach peak velocity four times every day. Two rival technologies — tidal fences and tidal turbines — are now being developed to catch the energy of these currents.
Coastal currents are strongest at the margins of the world’s larger oceans. A review of likely tidal power sites in the late 1980s estimated the energy resource was in excess of 330,000 MW. South East Asia is one area where it is likely such currents could be exploited for energy. In particular, the Chinese and Japanese coasts, and the large number of straits between the islands of the Philippines are suitable for development of power generation from coastal currents.
Tidal fences (see figure 1) are effectively barrages which completely block a channel. As discussed above, if deployed across the mouth of an estuary they can be very environmentally destructive. However, in the 1990s their deployment in channels between small islands or in straights between the mainland and island has increasingly been considered as a viable option for generation of large amounts of electricity.
A Tidal Fence
The advantage of a tidal fence is that all the electrical equipment (generators and transformers) can be kept high above the water. Also, by decreasing the cross-section of the channel, current velocity through the turbines is significantly increased.
The first large-scale commercial fences are likely to be built in South East Asia. The most advanced plan is for a scheme for a fence across the Dalupiri Passage between the islands of Dalpiri and Samar in the Philippines, agreed between the Philippines Government and Blue Energy Engineering Company of Vancouver, Canada in late 1997. The site, on the south side of the San Bernardino Strait, is approx. 41 m deep (with a relatively flat bottom) and has a peak tidal current of about 8 knots. As a result, the fence is expected to generate up to 2200 MW of peak power (with a base daily average of 1100 MW).
Once given final government approval (expected before the end of 2000), work will begin on a 4km-long structure designed to withstand typhoon winds of 150 mph and tsunami waves of 7 meters. The Dalupiri Ocean Power Plant will utilize 274 ocean-class Davis Turbines, each generating from 7MW to 14 MW. However, the $US2.8 billion project is just the first phase one of a much-larger proposed Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) project that will be transferred to the Philippines after 25 years. Used to generate large scale renewable energy, the San Bernardino passage could help the Philippines to become a net exporter of electrical power.
The modular nature of the Blue Energy Power System allows for power to be generated in the fourth year of the project, with the installation of the first module in the chain, which gradually increases to full capacity by project completion in year six. Once begun, this project will be one of the largest renewable energy developments in the world.
Tidal turbines are the chief competition to the tidal fence. Looking like an underwater wind turbine they offer a number of advantages over the tidal fence. They are less disruptive to wildlife, allow small boats to continue to use the area, and have much lower material requirements than the fence.
Tidal turbines function well where coastal currents run at 2-2.5 m/s (slower currents tend to be uneconomic while larger ones put a lot of stress on the equipment). Such currents provide an energy density four times greater than air, meaning that a 15m diameter turbine will generate as much energy as a 60m diameter windmill. In addition, tidal currents are both predictable and reliable, a feature which gives them an advantage over both wind and solar systems. The tidal turbine also offers significant environmental advantages over wind and solar systems; the majority of the assembly is hidden below the waterline, and all cabling is along the seabed.
There are many sites around the world where tidal turbines could be effectively installed. The ideal site is close to shore (within 1 km) in water depths of about 20-30m. Peter Fraenkel, director of UK-based Marine Current Turbines, believes the best sites could generate more than 10 megawatts of energy per square kilometer. The European Union has already identified 106 sites which would be suitable for the turbines, 42 of them around the UK. Further afield, Fraenkel believes the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Japan could all develop underwater turbine farms.
Fraenkel intends to deploy a commercial-scale prototype turbine off the southwest coast of England in the summer of 2001. It will generate 300 kW (enough to power a small village). Although the cost of energy from the prototype turbine will be $US0.10/kW, costs will drop as the technology matures. Fraenkel hopes that the first “turbine farm” (£MW) will operational by 2004 and aims to have 300MW capacity being installed every year by 2010.
Artist’s impression of turbine farm
image © marine current turbines ltd.
Wave power (and tidal power) are beginning to come into their own. They have many benefits, including:
- Renewable and sustainable resource
- Reduces dependence upon fossil fuels
- Produces no liquid or solid pollution
- Little visual impact
- Construction of large scale offshore devices results in new areas of sheltered water, attractive for fish, sea birds, seals and seaweed
- Present no difficulty to migrating fish (except tidal fences)
- Shelter the coast, useful in harbour areas or erosion zones
- Resource exists on a worldwide scale from deep ocean waters
- Short time scale between investing in the modular construction and benefiting from the revenue
Clearly there are still technical difficulties to overcome, but in the next few years, countries will begin to see wave power connected to national supplies. It will be a big market.
Address by Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of the Reich, before the Reichstag.
Mr Speaker, some weeks ago the people of the Sudetenland took to the streets in protest.
President Edvard Beneš has resisted the wish of the people to take their destiny into their own hands.
Mr Speaker, intervening in another country’s affairs should not be undertaken save in quite exceptional circumstances.
That is why we’ve always been clear that the use of force would require three tests to be met.
The Benes regime has ignored the demand that it stop discriminating against the people of the Sudetenland.
Website for this image
Second, regional support.
France and the United Kingdom have agreed to the Munich Agreement.
We have no further territorial demands.
There will be no occupation force of any form, on any part of Libyan territory.
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Israeli jets carried out at least five air strikes in the Gaza Strip late on Monday in which 17 people were wounded, mostly lightly, Palestinian emergency workers said.
They said that two women and seven children were among those hurt.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
Palestinian witnesses said that among the targets were a police post of the Islamic Hamas movement, which rules Gaza, and a training facility of its military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades which earlier offered to stop cross-border fire into Israel if the Israelis halted attacks on Gaza.
Ezzedine al-Qassam, which lobbed about 50 mortar rounds into Israel on Saturday, made the offer in a statement released after Israeli aircraft raided the enclave earlier on Monday evening.
It said Saturday’s barrage had been in response to an Israeli strike last week which killed two of its members, but that it was ready to call an end to the tit-for-tat violence if Israel also did so.
“If the enemy stops the escalation and aggression against our people we will implement the Palestinian national agreement,” the statement said, referring to a truce reaffirmed by the main militant factions in January.
The offer, however, came with a warning attached:
“The enemy will pay a heavy price if it continues its aggression and crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip,” the statement added.
Israeli military and government officials declined to comment, but the Jewish state’s often-stated standing policy is to “respond forcefully” to every Palestinian attack.
In a later statement, Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said the movement’s Gaza government was committed to preserving the informal truce, with the backing of other militant groups.
“The government affirms that there is consensus among the factions regarding the security situation in the strip,” he said in a statement.
Shortly before the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades offer, Israeli warplanes raided the Gaza Strip, slightly wounding one man, local witnesses and medical officials said.
Witnesses said the target of the raid was a car repair workshop east of Gaza City, owned by the powerful Doghmush clan which has links to Islamic militants.
The Israeli military, however, said its aircraft hit what a spokeswoman described as “a terrorist tunnel” intended to launch attacks under the Gaza border fence into Israel.
Also on Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a death threat against Hamas leaders.
“If Hamas decides to escalate, we will put an end to it… We have several actions before putting ground forces in Gaza, including direct threats against Hamas leaders,” Ayalon told public radio.
A rocket fired from Gaza overnight on Sunday exploded in southern Israel, causing neither casualties nor damage, several hours after another rocket exploded harmlessly in the town of Ashkelon.
After Saturday’s mortar fire Israel pounded Gaza, wounding at least five Palestinians and cutting power supplies.
The mortar attacks, the fiercest since Israel carried out a 22-day offensive codenamed “Operation Cast Lead” against Gaza rocket fire in December 2008 and January 2009, wounded two Israelis and caused minor damage.
In January this year, Gaza’s main militant factions confirmed a year-old truce after weeks of increased rocket fire and spiralling tensions along the border prompted a warning from Arab leaders that Gaza risked a major new Israeli invasion.
On Saturday Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni called for just that in response to the mortar barrage.
“The right way to deal with it is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead,” news website Ynet quoted her as telling local authority heads in the border region.
- Brendan Nicholson
- From: The Australian
- March 22, 2011 12:00AM
AUSTRALIAN authorities have warned that the wind direction in the region surrounding the stricken Japanese nuclear reactors was set to change last night and could carry radioactive contamination over the mainland.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency said the prevailing wind had been carrying radiation out to sea since the Fukushima Daiichi power stations were damaged. But during the next 36 hours, a wind change is likely to produce a complex pattern of wind directions over mainland Japan.
“Any radioactivity that may occur from deterioration in the current status of any of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor units is predicted to pass across mainland Japan during this time.”
ARPANSA said the wind should swing back out over the ocean after that time.
[If we are lucky, Obama will bomb his own Yemeni team.]
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Rival tanks deployed in the streets of Yemen‘s capital Monday after three senior army commanders defected to a movement calling for the ouster of the U.S.-backed president, leaving him with virtually no support among the country’s most powerful institutions
Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the army’s powerful 1st Armored Division, was the most senior of the three commanders to join the opposition. He announced his defection in a message delivered by a close aide to protest leaders at the Sanaa square that has become the epicenter of their movement.
Some of the tanks and armored vehicles deployed in the Sanaa square where protesters have been camping out to call for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose forces opened fire from rooftops and killed more 40 demonstrators on Friday. Others were deployed at state TV, the Central Bank and the Defense Ministry.
Saleh, who has cooperated closely with a U.S.-backed offensive against his nation’s branch of al-Qaeda, looked to be far closer to what analysts increasingly have called inevitable: a choice between stepping down after 32 years in power or waging a dramatically more violent campaign against his opponents.
A senior opposition leader said contacts were underway with the president over a peaceful way out of the ongoing crisis. One option under discussion, he said, was for Saleh to step down and a military council takes over from him to run the country till presidential and legislative elections are held.
The leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the contacts, declined to say how much progress the talks have made, but gave 48 hours as the likely timeframe for a breakthrough.
Also Monday, Saleh sent his foreign minister to Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s powerful neighbor and the on-and-off backer of the Yemeni leader, with a message to King Abdullah. The contents of the message were not known.
At least a dozen tanks and armored personnel carriers belonging to the Republican Guards, an elite force led by Saleh’s son and one-time heir apparent, Ahmed, were deployed outside the presidential palace on Sanaa’s southern outskirts, according to witnesses.
The deployment appeared designed to counter the presence of elements of the 1st Armored Division elsewhere in the city.
All three officers who defected belong to Saleh’s Hashid tribe. A Hashid leader said the tribe, eager to keep the president’s job for one of its own, was rallying behind Maj. Gen. al-Ahmar as a possible replacement for Saleh.
The leader spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Saleh has now lost support from every power base in the nation. He fired his entire Cabinet Sunday ahead of what one government official said was a planned mass resignation, a series of ambassador have quit in protest and Sadeq al-Ahmar, the chief of the Hashid tribe, said Monday that he too was joining the opposition.
Regional TV stations reported that dozens of army commanders and politicians were joining the opposition, but there was no immediate independent confirmation.
Maj. Gen al-Ahmar has been close to Saleh for most of the Yemeni president’s years in power. He has close associations with Islamist groups in Yemen that are likely to raise suspicions in the West about his willingness to effectively fight al-Qaeda operatives active in the country.
He is a veteran of the 1994 civil war that saw Saleh’s army suppress an attempt by southern Yemen to secede. Al-Ahmar also fought in recent years against Shiite rebels in the north of the country.
His defection to the opposition was welcomed by protesters, but the warm reception may not guarantee him a political career in a post-Saleh Yemen given his close links to the president.
Popular among troops and viewed as a seasoned field commander, al-Ahmar also has widely been seen as a rival to the president and his son, who saw him as a threat to him succeeding his father.
Speaking to Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television from Sanaa, al-Ahmar said the death of scores of protesters at the hands of security forces on Friday made him decide to back the opposition after weeks of trying to mediate between Saleh and the protesters.
“The demands of the protesters are the demands of the Yemeni people,” he said. “I can no longer fool myself, it is not the custom of men or tribes to do so.”
The two other officers who announced their defection were Mohammed Ali Mohsen and Hameed al-Qusaybi, who both have the rank of brigadier. Yemen’s ambassadors to Jordan, Syria and parliament’s deputy speaker also announced Monday they were supporting the opposition, further undermining Saleh’s weakening authority.
On Saturday, crowds flooded cities and towns across Yemen to mourn the dozens of protesters killed when Saleh’s security forces opened fire on the demonstration in Sanaa.
Saleh and his weak government have faced down many serious challenges, often forging fragile alliances with restive tribes to extend power beyond the capital, Sanaa. Most recently, he has battled a seven-year armed rebellion in the north, a secessionist movement in the south, and an al-Qaeda offshoot that is of great concern to the U.S.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which formed in January 2009, has moved beyond regional aims and attacked the West, including sending a suicide bomber who came tried to down a U.S.-bound airliner with a bomb sewn into his underwear. The device failed to detonate properly.
Yemen is also home to U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have offered inspiration to those attacking the U.S., including Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens in a 2009 shootout at Fort Hood, Texas.
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Putin Slams West for Libya ‘Medieval Crusade’, Medvedev Says Remarks Unacceptable
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday slammed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s comments on military action against Libya as “unacceptable”, in the most public clash yet between Russia’s ruling tandem.
Putin earlier Monday denounced the U.N. resolution allowing military action on Libya as resembling a “medieval call to crusade”, in one of his most virulent diatribes against the West in years.
“Under no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions which essentially lead to a clash of civilizations. Such as ‘crusade’ and so on,” Russian news agencies quoted Medvedev as saying.
“It is unacceptable. Otherwise, everything may end up much worse compared to what’s going on now. Everyone should remember that.”
Medvedev took over the Kremlin in 2008 after Putin served two four-year terms as president. Putin immediately became a powerful prime minister and until now the two men have steered clear of clashes in public.
Putin said there was no “logic” or “conscience” to the military action against Libya.
“The resolution by the Security Council, of course, is defective and flawed,” Putin told workers on a visit to a missile factory in the central Russian region of Udmurtia.
“To me, it resembles some sort of medieval call to crusade when someone would appeal to someone to go to a certain place and free something there,” he said in televised remarks.
Putin’s comments marked a sharp hardening of Moscow’s rhetoric against the Western military action on Libya after Russia abstained from the U.N. resolution last week, refusing to use its veto which would have blocked its passage.
The Russian prime minister also lashed out at the “steady trend” of U.S. military intervention around the world, accusing Washington of acting without conscience.
“I am concerned about the ease with which the decision to use force was taken,” Putin was quoted as saying in reference to the current international campaign in Libya.
Noting that the United States had already involved itself in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, Putin added: “Now it’s Libya’s turn.
“And all of this under the guise of protecting peaceful civilians. Where is the logic, where is the conscience? There is neither one nor the other,” Putin said.
He did not elaborate over why Russia had abstained in the resolution vote when it was so staunchly opposed to the text.
Putin added that the events in Libya showed that Russia had taken the right decision in strengthening its military capabilities, in possible reference to its massive new $650 billion rearmament plan.
“Today’s events in Libya prove that we are doing everything right in terms of strengthening Russia’s military capabilities,” he said.
He also announced that Russia planned to double the production of strategic and tactical missile systems from 2013.
“Already from 2013 production of missile systems should virtually double,” Russian news agencies quoted Putin as saying.
Russian air-defense troops would also receive the S-400, an advanced surface-to-air missile system, as part of a current army overhaul, Putin was quoted as saying.
Putin’s hardline comments sit awkwardly with the reset in U.S.-Russia ties championed by his successor in the Kremlin, Medvedev, which has seen a swift warming of relations over the last months.
Putin’s comments came despite conciliatory remarks from U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates, who praised Moscow for refusing to block military action against Libya as evidence of “extraordinary” progress in U.S.-Russia ties.
Currently in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg, Gates heads to Moscow on Tuesday to meet his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov, and Medvedev.
However, conspicuously, there was no scheduled meeting with Putin for Gates’ visit.
Observers have long speculated that the U.S. favors Medvedev over Putin. Some reports even suggested that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wanted to warn Putin against considering a return to the Kremlin in 2012 polls, on his visit to Russia this month.
Russia had initially backed international measures against the Gadhafi regime, signing on to U.N. Security Council sanctions that imposed an arms embargo against Libya and other sanctions against Gadhafi’s family.
Some Russian defense officials had initially expressed concern about the sanctions, saying the U.N. arms export prohibition may cost the country some $4 billion in current and future contracts.(AFP)