Badly beaten journalist in Osh ignored by Kyrgyz medics

Shokhrukh Saipov; photo:

Badly beaten journalist in Osh ignored by medics

Shokhrukh Saipov, 26-year old publisher of the website, was brutally attacked on the evening of 10 August in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan. Shokhrukh is the brother of Alisher Saipov, the journalist who was killed in Osh in October 2007.

Shokhrukh was found unconscious at the opposite end of town from his parents’ house in the Aravan district. People who found him were able to find out his details and called a taxi which delivered him at his home at about 8pm.

Doctors described Shokhrukh’s condition as serious. He had been concussed, several teeth had been knocked out, his nose broken and his face so badly beaten that he was barely recognisable. “Half his face was missing,” Shokhrukh’s father Avas says. The victim has also suffered partial memory loss since the incident.

Despite Shokhrukh Saipov’s terrible injuries he was denied essential medical help. Although he was seen by a duty doctor that evening as he was admitted to the emergency department of Osh city hospital, the following day, the next doctor on shift and his medical staff ignored the journalist.

When Shokhrukh’s father, Avas, asked them to examine his son,

Journalist Alisher Saipov (1981-2007); photo:

the doctor answered that if he was dissatisfied with the care Shokhrukh was receiving in hospital he was welcome to take his son home, which he duly did.

Avas Saipov says that he hates to think that his son may have been denied professional care because of his nationality.

The Saipovs are ethnic Uzbeks, and in the south of Kyrgyzstan different ethnic groups are still not reconciled since the pogroms and killings which engulfed Osh and Jalalabad in June 2010.

On 24 October 2007, Shokhrukh’s older brother Alisher Saipov, who was 26, was shot dead in the centre of Osh not far from his office. Alisher was a well-known journalist on the Uzbek-language Siesat (Politics) newspaper.

Most acquaintances of Alisher Saipov believe he was killed because of his journalistic work. He was critical of the Uzbek government many suspected the Uzbek authorities of involvement in his killing.

However, investigators in Kyrgyzstan quickly dismissed Saipov’s journalistic and political activity as grounds for his killing. Subsequently, a man named Abdufarid Rasulov from the Batkent region of Kyrgyzstan was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

During his trial Rasulov said that before his arrest in February 2009 he had never heard of the journalist Saipov, that he had been tortured during his investigations and had been shown to an eyewitness of the killing prior to an identification parade.

“Rasulov was a scapegoat,” the father of the murdered journalist said of Rasulov’s trial.

Today Avas Saipov says that he is grateful that he has the chance to nurse Shokrukh, overjoyed that he is at least alive. But he is very anxious about what the future holds for his family.

Drones Dropping Out of the Sky–4 In One Week

The drone crashed in Chaman, is believed to have been on a surveiillance mission. PHOTO: FILE/MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

CHAMAN: A US spy plane crashed into Pakistani territory in Chaman, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Balochistan, on Thursday evening.

According to Express 24/7 correspondent, Mohamamd Kazim, the drone was surveying the border when it crashed near a cantonment area in Chaman, 300 meters inside Pakistani territory.

Frontier Constabulary officials confirmed the crash and said that they had taken custody of the drone and would attempt the uncover the reason for the crash.

The official went on to say that the drone was not carrying any weapons systems and was probably for surveillance purposes.

The US, which owns and operates much of the drones in this region flies both, armed and unarmed drones for a number of reasons. The Predator and Reaper models of their drones are armed with hellfire missiles, used to attack and destroy targets on either side of the border.

Pakistan and the US have been at odds with each other over the operation of drones, with Pakistan repeatedly asking US to stop flights of armed drones into its territory and that Washington either sell or transfer technology for drones to Pakistan in order to conduct effective campaign against militants in areas bordering Afghanistan.

This is the fourth US drone crash this week with two reconnaissance crafts going down in northern Afghan city of Balkh, while another drone went down to “technical fault” in Ghazni.

NATO/State Dept. Knocking-Down Arab Regimes To Set-Up Islamist Ones

Did NATO help pave the way for Sharia law in Libya?


AFP/Getty Images

A reprodution of a leaflet dropped by NATO forces over the Libyan capital Tripoli. The leaflet reads in Arabic, ‘ Warning: You are not a match or equal to the superior weapons systems and airpower of NATO and pursuing your deed will lead to your death.’

It’s just a few short lines in a draft of the new Libyan constitution that is circulating around on the internet but it’s enough to have some people worry about the shape and ideology of the new Libyan government that will ostensibly soon be taking over the country. The draft constitution says “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence,” and that’s enough to raise fears of Islamic law, or Sharia, being the foundation for a new Libyan government and legal system once Muammar Qaddafi’s regime falls. Before we all get carried away it’s worth noting that several Middle Eastern countries, with democratic governments, have similar language deferring to Islamic law principles in their constitutions—among them are Indonesia, Turkey and even Iraq. It’s also important to point out that there are no obviously Islamist elements in Libya’s transitional government, and indeed representatives of the rebel group have gone to great pains to play down any fears of a new religious theocracy taking over in Tripoli. But as street battles rage in the Libyan capital we should be looking ahead to the formation of a new government and the consideration challenges that government would face, from rebuilding a shattered economy to pulling together a very fractured country. What will a new Libyan government look like and will it have an Islamist bent to it?

NATO’s Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime

NATO’s Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime

by Stephen Lendman

The US/UK/French-led war on Libya will be remembered as one of history’s greatest crimes. It violates the letter and spirit of international law and America’s Constitution.

The Nuremberg Tribunal’s Chief Justice Robert Jackson (a US Supreme Court Justice) called Nazi war crimes “the supreme international crime against peace.”

His November 21, 1945 opening remarks said:

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”

He called aggressive war “the greatest menace of our times.”

International law defines crimes against peace as “planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of wars of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.”

All US post-WW II wars fall under this definition.

Since then, America waged direct and proxy premeditated, aggressive wars worldwide, killing millions in East and Central Asia, North and other parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as Central and South America.

Arguably they exceed the worst of Nazi and imperial Japanese crimes combined, including genocide, torture mass destruction of nonmilitary related sites, colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation.

Third Reich criminals were hanged for their crimes. America’s remained free to commit greater ones, notably today against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, and the ongoing Libya atrocity – a scandalous “supreme international crime against peace,” demanding justice not forthcoming.

In fact, US war criminals are considered hostis humani generis – enemies of mankind. War crimes are against the jus gentium – the law of nations. Established international law addressed them, including the UN Charter. It’s unequivocal explaining under what conditions violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use. And Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

In other words, justifiable self-defense is permissible. However, Charter Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not:

– specifically allowed under Article 51;

– authorized by the Security Council; or

– permitted by the US Constitution only amendments ratified by three-fourths of the states can change.

In addition, three General Assembly resolutions also prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention, including:

– the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;

– the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and

– the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Moreover, various post-WW II Conventions, including the four Geneva ones and their Common Article 1 obligate all High Contracting Parties to “respect and ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances;” namely, to apply its principles universally, requiring High Contracting Parties “search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.”

At Nuremberg, the concepts of individual and command criminal responsibility were addressed, the Tribunal Principles holding that “(a)ny person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment….(c)rimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit (them) can the provisions of international law be enforced.”

The Rome Statute’s Article 25 of the International Criminal Court (ICC) codified this principle, affirming the culpability of persons committing crimes of war and against humanity.

In addition, commanders and their superiors are specifically culpable if they “either knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces were committing or about to commit such crimes, (and) failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecutions.”

Moreover, Nuremberg established that immunity is null and void, including for heads of state, other top officials, and top commanders. Further, genocide, crimes of war and against humanity are so grave that statute of limitation provisions don’t apply.

As a result, every living past and present US president, top and subordinate officials, and Pentagon commanders involved in war(s) should be prosecuted for their crimes before a special Nuremberg-type tribunal, holding them fully accountable.

Genocide, other forms of mass murder, targeted and indiscriminate destruction, and other crimes of war and against humanity are too intolerable to go unpunished.

Nonetheless, America and its conspiratorial allies commit them – today, horrifically against Libya, a small nonbelligerent country being terrorized, destroyed, and plundered lawlessly in the name of “liberation.”

America is the lead offender, committing what its 1996 War Crimes Act calls “grave breaches,” defined as “willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological (or other illegal) experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.”

As a result, Libya is an ongoing atrocity, a Nuremberg level crime, one of history’s greatest.

Yet on August 22, Obama had the audacity to say America, its “allies and partners in the international community (are committed) to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.”

In fact, unspeakable war crimes are being committed to “protect the people of Libya.” Included are civilians being terror bombed daily, to break their morale, cause panic, weaken their will to resist, and inflict mass casualties and punishment.

However, Geneva and other international laws forbid the targeting of civilians. The Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague IV Convention) states:

– Article 25: “The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.”

– Article 26: “The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities.”

Article 27: “In sieges and bombardments, all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.”

The besieged should visibly indicate these buildings or places and notify an adversary beforehand. Given today’s intelligence and high-tech capabilities, belligerents can easily identify civilian and military targets.

Fourth Geneva Convention protects civilians in time of war. It prohibits violence of any type against them and requires treatment for the sick and wounded.

In September 1938, a League of Nations unanimous resolution prohibited the:

“bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces….In cases where (legitimate targets) are so situated, (aircraft) must abstain from bombardment” if this action indiscriminately affects civilians.

Long ago Washington trashed international and constitutional laws, planning for Libya what’s ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan – conquest, colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation, excluding any form of democracy it reviles, including at home.

Major Media Scoundrels Lead Role in America’s Wars

When America goes to war, its media are key, reporting disinformation, propaganda, managed news, and straight Pentagon handouts instead of real information, commentaries and analysis people deserve.

In the lead, The New York Times operates as the equivalent of an official information and propaganda ministry, posing as independent journalism.

August 24 was no exception, writers David Kirkpatrick and Alan Cowell headlining, “Qaddafi Defiant After Rebel Takeover,” saying:

“Rebel fighters scoured Tripoli on Wednesday in their continued search for an elusive and defiant” (Gaddafi) after NATO landed them on Tripoli’s shores with orders to terrorize and loot. They’ve taken full advantage, what Kirkpatrick and Cowell didn’t explain.

Instead they gloated about a “rebel victory” very much not won, especially because nothing from Times or other major media reports is credible. Repeatedly they’ve been caught lying.

Other same day Times reports headlined:

“Libyans Rejoice in a Castle Filled With Guns and the Trappings of Power,” referring to Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound they reportedly stormed with no verification of precisely what’s going on.

“Waves of Disinformation and Confusion Swamp the Truth in Libya,” referring mainly to what it calls “a republic of lies,” not its own shameless daily propaganda, making everything it reports suspect, unreliable, or falsified.

“Airstrikes More Difficult as War Moves to Tripoli,” ignoring NATO’s ongoing terror bombing, including Apache helicopter gunships machine-gunning civilians on Tripoli streets, making it unsafe to be out when they’re flying.

“After the Revolution, Hurdles in Reviving the Oil Sector,” leaving unexplained Western plans for Libya’s oil, excluding rivals China and Russia, as well as falsely calling Washington’s insurgency a “revolution.”

It’s standard New York Times policy to represent wealth and power interests, betraying readers in the process who deserve better.

Fabricating Celebratory Tripoli Street Euphoria

On August 23, Metro Gael’s Global’s article headlined, “The Libya Media Hoax: Fabricating Scenes of Jubilation and Euphoria on Green Square,” providing another example of media lies, saying:

It “will surely go down in history as one of the most cynical hoaxes committed by corporate media since the manipulated pictures of Iraqis toppling Saddam Hussein’s statue” after America’s 2003 invasion.

Shamefully, Al Jazeera committed the latest fraud, airing fake live Green Square celebrations, its reporter, Zeina Khodr declaring, “Libya is in the hands of the opposition.”

She lied and knew it. In fact, Al Jazeera’s footage was “an elaborate and criminal hoax. The report had been prefabricated in a” Doha, Qatar studio.

Qatar is a NATO coalition member, its troops on the ground aiding insurgents along with US and UK special forces.

Libyan intelligence knew about the fake footage in advance, warning about it ahead of its release on “Rayysse state television.”

The idea is old and familiar – to create an illusion of non-existant mass support for NATO and insurgents Libyans revile. It’s done to diffuse popular resistance against them.

The full article can be read through the following link:

It explains a classic PsyOps deception, this time aired by an alleged trusted source, showing it’s as corrupted as the rest, lying instead of reporting accurately.

A Final Comment

Mahdi Nazemroaya is a friend, a Middle East/Central Asian analyst, a Center for Research on Globalization (CRG) research associate, and a regular Progressive Radio News Hour contributor.

Providing accurate reports from Tripoli, he got death threats. Two other friends – Lizzie Phelan and Franklin Lamb, as well as other independent journalists also faced recriminations for doing what corporate media scoundrels don’t – their job.

In an email, Mahdi said: “I am afraid I will be executed in cold blood.”

That’s been the NATO-wrought danger in Libya, notably in Tripoli, being carpet bombed and strafed by helicopter gunships, machine-gunning civilians in cold blood.

On August 24, CRG Director Michel Chossudovsky wrote about Mahdi, saying:

In Libya for over two months, he was dedicated to “honest factual reporting, with a concern for human life, in solidarity with those Libyan men, women and children who lost their lives in bombing raids on residential areas, schools and hospitals.”

He literally risked his life doing it, telling this writer he had to stay supportively for the people he so much cares about. That commitment goes way beyond good journalism and analysis. It’s an expression of character too few others have.

Mahdi has it, so do Lizzie, Franklin, and other honest journalists who went to a war zone to report truths – fully, accurately, and courageously, “challeng(ing) the lies of the mainstream media,” said Chossudovsky.

In so doing, they “threaten the NATO-media consensus,” in the process jeopardizing their own safety.

NATO wants to make Libya an Orwellian society in which “War is peace. Freedom is slavery,” and “Ignorance is strength.” Orwell also said: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

It’s also a courageous one when done at great personal risk. Mahdi, Lizzie, Franklin, and others reporting accurately are true heros, supporting Libyans and free people everywhere while putting themselves in harm’s way.

It doesn’t get any more heroic than that!


On August 24 at 4PM Tripoli time, the International Red Cross rescued (or negotiated the release of) over 30 journalists trapped inside the city’s Rixos Hotel. A ship heading to Tripoli’s seacoast will take them out of the country.

Reports from the London Guardian, CNN, and other corporate media sources falsely claimed Gaddafi loyalists held them hostage, when, in fact, they were threatened by insurgent hooligans.

Hopefully they’re now safe, but won’t fully be until heading home out of harm’s way. Further updates will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at]

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

S. African Deputy President Urges ICC To Charge NATO Commanders With War Crimes

[S. Africa also in the news for blocking US attempts to seize $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets.  Though foreign occupation is forbidden in the US-sponsored resolution, NATO Special Forces have continued to lead the assault on Tripoli.]

Protection of civilians

“4.   Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory,

Nato ‘guilty’ of crimes: Motlanthe

Nato ‘guilty’ of crimes: Motlanthe
Deputy president Kgalema ­Motlanthe. Source: AFP
Siyabonga Mkhwanazi
Deputy president Kgalema ­Motlanthe on Wednesday voiced his disapproval of the Nato war against Libya calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to charge the allied commanders for committing war crimes in that country.

Motlanthe told Parliament yester­day that the Nato alliance was creating an impression that the Libyan rebels were acting on their own, without any military support on the ground.

He said while the ICC targeted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his commanders for war crimes, the prosecutors should also charge Nato for bombing innocent civilians.

His comments may be interpreted as another indication that South Africa was going to have a cold relationship with the rebel movement that is poised to take over the government in Libya.

Motlanthe was in the National Assembly to answer questions from MPs. He said Nato’s bombing of Libya had set a precedent in the functioning of the UN Security Council.

While the US, Britain and France had pushed for the adoption of resolution 1973 at the council, these countries had abused the resolution. “It creates a problem for future ­interventions,” Motlanthe said. “As you are aware, the ­situation in Syria is also of great concern, but precisely because of this precedent created in Libya the Security Council is not being able to agree on how to intervene there.

“In Libya, those who did not vote for resolution 1973 abstained, which allowed the resolution to go through. But this precedent has created very serious doubt (among) the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

“If the ICC is to act on the basis of concrete information against those who would have been responsible for loss of life of civilians it will be difficult for Nato to justify why and how it came to (bomb Libya).”

Motlanthe said despite Nato’s attempts to hide its role on the ground, the military assault on Tripoli showed that there were clear links and coordination plans by the military alliance. The rebels were receiving ­support from Nato on the ground.

“The question is whether the ICC would have the wherewithal to unearth that information and bring those who are ­responsible to book including Nato ­commanders on the ground,” Motlanthe said. This criticism of Nato comes a day after President Jacob Zuma blasted the Western nations of undermining the AU in its mediation efforts in Libya.

What Is the Taxpayer’s Cost for America/NATO Liberating Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Somalia?

[Has anyone bothered adding-up the bill for conquering all of these little countries, then creating governments for them, to be supported on the US dole?  This shit will end whenever the taxpayers and the jobless figure-out that  money which should be used here is being used to prop-up the New World Order.]

US Military Intervention in Libya Cost At Least $896 Million

ABC News’ Luis Martinez (@LMartinezABC) reports:  The cost of U.S. military intervention in Libya has cost American taxpayers an estimated $896 million through July 31, the Pentagon said today.

The price tag includes the amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation and humanitarian assistance for the Libyan people.

The U.S. has also promised $25 million in non-lethal aid to the Libyan Transitional National Council, half of which the Defense Department has already on MRE’s (military lingo for Meals, Ready to Eat).

The military delivered 120,000 Halal MRE’s to Benghazi in May and a second shipment that included medical supplies, boots, tents, uniforms, and personal protective gear in June.

While Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appears on the way out, NATO says flight missions over Tripoli will continue, with the U.S. playing a role in helping to keep a tight window over the area that’s been in effect for weeks.

Over the past 12 days, U.S. planes have flown 391 sorties for a total of 5,316 since April 1, according to figures provided by the Defense Department.  That total includes 1,210 airstrike missions over the same three and a half month period. The U.S. has also conducted 101 Predator drone strike missions in Libya.

A U.S. official credited NATO flight cover over the past many months with allowing the Libyan rebels enough time to eventually regroup and begin their pushes.

One significant offset to the cost of U.S. involvement in the flights worth noting is the sale of military equipment to allies also involved in the cause.  Pentagon officials say the sale of ammunition, replacement parts, fuel, and technical assistance to allies since March has totaled $221.9 million.

Muslim group seeks U.S. probe of New York police

Muslim group seeks U.S. probe of New York police


NEW YORK: A U.S. Muslim civil liberties organization on Wednesday called for a federal investigation and Senate hearings into a report the CIA was helping New York City police gather intelligence from mosques and minority neighborhoods.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) suspects the joint CIA-police intelligence-gathering described in an Associated Press report violates the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974 and a presidential order banning the CIA from spying on Americans, CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas said.

“This is hearing-worthy,” Abbas said, requesting aSenate Intelligence Committee review as part of its oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The AP report said undercover New York Police Department officers known as “rakers” were sent into minority neighborhoods to monitor bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs, and police used informants known as “mosque crawlers” to monitor sermons.

“The NYPD operates far outside its borders and targets ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government,” wrote the AP, which described the collaboration between the CIA and a U.S. police department as unprecedented.

A police spokesman said “we don’t apologize” for aggressive techniques developed since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He said those techniques have helped thwart 13 plots on the city.

“It (the AP report) shows that we’re doing all we reasonably can to stop terrorists from killing even more New Yorkers,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in an email. “We commit over a thousand officers to the fight every day to stop terrorists who’ve demonstrated an undiminished appetite to come back and kill more New Yorkers.”

Browne added that the CIA does not direct the NYPD in any intelligence gathering activities. He confirmed that the department’s intelligence chief previously worked at the CIA as head of both its analysis and operations divisions.

Referring to CAIR’s assertion that the collaboration with the CIA might be illegal, Browne said, “They’re wrong.”

CAIR also called on the Justice Department to initiate an immediate investigation “of the civil rights implications of this spy program and the legality of its links to the CIA,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s chief spokesman.

A spokesman for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In response to an inquiry about the CIA’s dealings with the NYPD, a U.S. government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity: “If anyone is suggesting that CIA is overstepping its legal bounds and spying on Americans, they are just plain wrong. Lawful interactions on counterterrorism make complete sense in today’s world.”

CAIR was preparing a formal request for Senate hearings and a Justice Department probe that it would send out in the coming days, Abbas said.

Chinese Press Thinks That Russia Is the Only State That Will Lose-Out In the New Libya

Russian interests in Libya hanging in balance

MOSCOW, Aug 24 (Xinhua) — As the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) moves closer to power in Libya, Russia’s interests in the North African country are facing a precarious future.

Russia abstained in March from the U.N. Security Council vote on Resolution 1973, which authorized international military intervention in Libya to protect civilians.

Yet Moscow obviously toughened its stance on the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in early August, as President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree backing the U.N. resolution.

Commenting on the latest developments in Libya on Wednesday, Medvedev struck a cautious tone, saying that Russia’s position on the Libya issue is “accurate.”

Moscow, the president added, might establish relations with the next Libyan government if it could unite the nation on the democratic platform.

Russian experts said Moscow’s “double thinking” during the six-month-old conflict might be considered by the Libyan opposition as an attempt to seat in two chairs at once.

Such an approach might result in considerable losses for Russian companies in Libya should the NTC form a capable government, they predicted.

“Russia would be eager to participate in the post-conflict reconstruction of Libya and restoration of its infrastructure. The question is, if Russia would be allowed to do so,” Yevgeny Satanovsky, head of Russia’s Middle East Institute, told Xinhua.

Even if Moscow recognizes the Libyan opposition right now, it is still a bit late for Moscow to win sympathy from the rebels-turned rulers, said Yuri Krupnov, an expert at the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development in Moscow.

“If NATO wins in Libya, Russia will not be allowed to develop oil and gas fields, to build railroads or to sign arms deals with Tripoli’s new regime,” Krupnov said.

“Russia effectively betrayed Gaddafi by not vetoing U.N. Resolution 1973 and now Moscow reaps what it has sown,” the expert added.

For Russian companies, Libya could have been lost forever, said Aram Schultz, head of the Russia-Libya Business Union.

“Let’s don’t lull ourselves. Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Tatneft are doomed to lose hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars they have invested in Libya,” he said, referring to three Russian energy giants.

According to Konstantin Eggert, a Russian expert on Middle East affairs, even now the Kremlin could not stand aside with the Libyan rebels due to Russia’s domestic political reasons, but this explanation would prove a hard sell to the Libyan opposition.

“Russia cannot expect the new Libyan government to embrace these explanations with joy. Moscow has been siding with Gaddafi for too long,” Eggert told Xinhua.

“The chances for Gazprom and other Russian energy and military-industrial companies to retain their contracts with Libya are slim,” the expert added.

On the other hand, Eggert said, Moscow may still have the chance to be a “secondary” friend of the Libyan opposition, and Russian companies could return to Libya in the long term.

Mikhail Margelov, Medvedev’s envoy on the Libyan issue, noted Tuesday that the Libyan opposition has promised to honor the contracts signed between the Gaddafi government and Moscow.

“However, so far there is nobody (in Libya) to negotiate with,” the envoy admitted.

Still, some experts voiced different opinions. Alexei Malashenko from Moscow Carnegie Center regarded the situation as not so hopeless for the Russian business in Libya.

“The NTC is not a single monolithic block, so the future of Russian interests in Libya depends on which part of the NTC prevails in the new government,” Malashenko told Xinhua.

He stressed that Libyan opposition leaders were not so naive to expect that Moscow would switch sides immediately after the conflict began.

“So Russia has got a chance to retain its position in Libya, but Moscow currently has few tools to influence the NTC’s decisions,” the expert said.

“Moscow’s politics in the Libyan conflict could not be called a complete failure, but also could hardly be considered a success. As a result, the Kremlin now can only wait and see,” he said.

Editor: yan

Major Asian News Source Confirms Voltairenet Report On US Move On Frozen Libyan Funds

[Thierry Meyssan from Voltairenet broke this story on Aug. 18 (SEE: Washington Tried To Snatch $1.5 billion to Pay its NTC Employees ).]

US wants UN to free US$1.5b of Libya aid

Libyan children pose for a photo at a seaside of the rebel-held town of Benghazi. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Libyan children pose for a photo at a seaside of the rebel-held town of Benghazi. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

UNITED NATIONS: The United States called an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday to press for an easing of Libya sanctions so that it can send $1.5 billion of humanitarian aid.

The 15-member council will meet from 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) to discuss a proposed US resolution on Libya amid growing US frustration over the blocking of special aid.

The United States first asked the committee for permission to send $1.5 billion of frozen assets to Libya’s opposition transitional government on August 8, a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The US administration responded to questions from other nations but South Africa has continued to block the move on the committee, the diplomat added.

Diplomats said South Africa wanted to wait until after an African Union summit on Thursday and Friday before taking decisions on measures to help Libya.

“Now it is urgent. This money is needed for fuel for generators in hospitals, desalination plants and other facilities where it could run out in days,” said the western diplomat.

If South Africa maintains its opposition after the consultations on Wednesday, the United States will press for a full vote on easing sanctions at the Security Council on Thursday or Friday, the diplomat said.

The Security Council imposed sanctions, including freezing the assets of Libyan state entities, in resolutions passed in February and March to put pressure on Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

The United States and its allies say that the UN must now quickly move to change the sanctions to help the opposition Transitional National Council, that many Western governments now recognise.

The UN special envoy to Libya, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib and Ian Martin, the leader of a UN team planning for post-conflict Libya, are in Doha holding talks with the rebel government.

- AFP/de

Asian Devel. Bank Funding Uzbek Project To Upgrade Ferghana Valley Highway

Under the Second CAREC Corridor 2 Road Investment Program, the Project will comprise civil works of about 74 km of the Uzbekistan Section of CAREC Corridor 2 Road (between Km 116 and Km 190 of A373 highway, from Quqon to Andijon).

The second investment program will finance the reconstruction of the Uzbekistan section of CAREC Corridor 2, which connects Uzbekistan to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.”  

ADB $500 Million Investment Program Aids Uzbekistan’s Push for Increased Trade, Growth

23 Aug 2011

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a multitranche financing facility of up to $500 million to help Uzbekistan reconstruct around 230 kilometers of poor quality roads, which will improve road connectivity and safety, and boost trade along a key regional transport corridor linking Asia to Europe.

The ADB Board of Directors today approved the multitranche financing facility for the Second Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 2 Road Investment Program. The first tranche of $130 million will be used to rehabilitate a 74-km section of A373 highway running through the Fergana Valley, where a third of all Uzbeks live and a large proportion of the country’s agricultural goods are produced. Assistance will also be given for road safety and asset management improvements.

“The road reconstruction work with up-to-date safety features will result in safer and faster travel, and greater access to social services and lower transport costs,” said Shakeel Khan, Principal Portfolio Management Specialist at the Central and West Asia Department. “It will also open up new trade, business and investment opportunities for people both domestically and in neighboring countries.”

CAREC Corridor 2, which connects the Caucasus and Mediterranean to East Asia, is one of a number being built under the cooperation program. This initiative aims to help Central Asian countries take economic advantage of the region’s strategic location at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Rehabilitating roads in Uzbekistan will allow the country to take a central role in CAREC’s development plans.

“There is an unprecedented opportunity for Uzbekistan to emerge as a center for trade and commerce in Central Asia and to achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth,” said Hong Wang, Director at the Central and West Asia Department.

Road passenger and freight traffic are booming in Uzbekistan, with vehicle fleets projected to double every five years. The Government of Uzbekistan spends 1% of annual gross domestic product on roads but is gradually increasing the amount. ADB’s assistance will help the government raise the capacity of oversight agencies to manage and maintain roads and implement a national road safety strategy and action plan.

The financing facility will release loans for three separate projects under the investment program. A total of $320 million will come from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and up to $180 million from its concessional Asian Development Fund. The first tranche loan will have a 24-year term, with a 4-year grace period and annual interest determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.

The Government of Uzbekistan will extend counterpart funds of $100 million for a total program cost of $600 million. The Ministry of Finance-controlled Republican Road Fund will be the executing agency for the program which is due for completion in March 2017.