As NATO steps up a bombing campaign targeting government strongholds in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, countries that comprise the so-called Contact Group are meeting in the United Arab Emirates today to discuss Libya's future after the expected fall of leader Moammar Gadhafi (BBC).
The group - which includes Britain, France, the United States, Jordan, Kuwait, and Qatar - is expected to outline plans for a joint fund that will support the Libyan rebels. The rebels' National Transitional Council has already set up shadow ministries in the eastern part of the country and named a civilian to head the military in anticipation of Gadhafi's fall (AFP).
Gadhafi broke a week-long silence to declare on Libyan state television that he will stay in the country "dead or alive" (Guardian). His announcement came as the International Criminal Court's Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested arrest warrants for Gadhafi and his son on the grounds that they had implemented a policy of raping opponents (Reuters) - by allegedly providing Libyan soldiers with the impotency drug Viagra - in an effort to crush the country's rebellion.
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On his blog Politics, Power, and Preventive Action, CFR's Micah Zenko analyzes the consequences of a civil war stalemate in Libya, arguing for increased humanitarian aid to end the impasse.
Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman argue in Foreign Policy that Libya remains in limbo because of political constraints that bind the United States and its NATO partners.
In an interview with al-Jazeera, Nigel Pont, the regional director of Mercy Corps in the Middle East, discusses the ICC's allegations that Gadhafi is using rape as a weapon of war against rebels in Libya.
MIDDLE EAST: Thousands of Syrians Flee to Turkey
More than a thousand Syrian refugees escaped to Turkey (Telegraph)overnight, as government troops led by President Bashar Al-Assad's brother advanced on the town of Jisr al-Shughur in northern Syria. Human rights activists have warned of the potential for ramped-up violence, citing Maher al-Assad's record of "butchery for butchery's sake."
CFR's Mohammad Bazzi unpacks the Syrian regime in a recent analysis for the London Review of Books.
PACIFIC RIM: Thai Election Breeds Uncertainty
International investors have hedged their bets that the upcoming Thai elections will breed continued political instability (WSJ). In the run-up to the July election, the Stock Exchange of Thailand index is down 3 percent.
CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick discusses Thailand's volatile political situation in Washington Monthly.
China: Computer hackers from China and neighboring Vietnam have escalated a territorial dispute (BBC) through hacking campaigns that target the other's government websites.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: Militants Attack Pakistani Security Post
Over one hundred militants armed with rockets attacked a security post in the Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan (al-Jazeera), killing eight Pakistani soldiers and wounding at least twelve others. The United States has recently stepped up drone attacks against militant strongholds in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
U.S. drone strikes and "kill/capture" missions against al-Qaeda operatives, particularly in Pakistan, have gained new attention and notoriety this spring. Four experts debate the legality and efficacy of the controversial counterterrorism strategy.
Afghanistan: Insurgents targeting "un-Islamic" activity (Reuters),including music and dancing, killed nine wedding guests and wounded five others following a wedding party in the eastern Nangarhar province.
AFRICA: Somalia Defers Elections
Rival Somali leaders in the country's transitional government agreed to extend their mandate and defer elections until August 2012, staving off political instability (Reuters) in a country with a pervasive al-Qaeda presence.
AMERICAS: Goldman Under Investigation for Libya Bribery
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether investment bank Goldman Sachs violated U.S. anticorruption law in its dealings the Libyan government and the country's sovereign wealth fund (WSJ), just prior to the February uprisings.
Haiti: A recently released batch of U.S. documents released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks show the U.S. government's role incontrolling Haiti's economy and politics (al-Jazeera) in order to bring the country's policies in line with U.S. interests.
EUROPE: Report Confirms Second Bailout for Greece
A new report compiled by the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund says that Greece will need a new bailout (DerSpiegel), estimated at $132 billion, to combat its debt crisis. It also notes that the country will be unable to return to borrowing on the capital markets by 2012 as originally presumed.
Italy: Brazil freed ex-leftist Italian militant Cesare Battisti (AFP) from a maximum security prison, denying Rome's extradition request.
TRANSNATIONAL: U.S. Hedge Funs May Displace African Farmers
A report by researchers at the Oakland Institute claims that major U.S. universities are using European hedge funds to profit from "land grabs" of African farmland (Guardian) that often force thousands off their own land.
Death to Gadhafi What type of serial nut job orders his own forces to Rape his own civilians. Why is the European Nation sitting back and letting this happen. Everyone says we should tip toe through the tulips and try and keep the peace. I say "What about our humanitarian obligation on helping the weak and defending the poor" Why wait for the Arab green light Go in and kick out the oppressors. What about war crimes genocide killing thousands of innocent civilians. Run this mother F*$%()er to the ground. Didn't this happen in IRAQ and finally they took SODAMN INSANE
to the Gallows. Let this be a lesson to all the left wing extremists out there I guess that if you rape your women murder your children and live in a poverty stricken nation your neibouring countries will stand on the sidelines and let this happen. Try that sh*t here in Canada and we collect your f&$#@ing HEAD!!!!!
I suppose it's normal that in war every party wants to present its enemies in as bad a light as possible. Wars lead to tragic circumstances. In the midst of insanity everybody loses his or her sanity. Atrocities unfold. Of course the claim of sexual violence – if premeditated – must be taken very seriously and has to be investigated thoroughly. The grievances of the victims have to be addressed.
In general I take a lot of allegations with a pinch of salt, as I had been a victim of vilification and demonisation in a legal battle, in which the judiciary overstepped its impartiality.
It is extremely difficult for us, outsiders to predict the future of Libya. Whoever succeeds the present regime would have a hard time to get the country back on its feet, as there will always be resentments from the people against whoeer takes over. The country is clearly divided into two camps – the pros and cons of the regime. The best solution is to let the Libyans decide themselves. What the NATO is doing is absolutely appaliing. If they want Gaddafi, go and get him! Do it without terrorising the civilians.
Now we're hearing more Western right-wing propaganda about the pro-Qadaffy forces using rape as a weapon of war. I guess that we'll never know whether any of this is true or not,of course. Then again,the same news media never mentions the fact that women and children are being butchered day after day from those godless bombs being dropped by NATO aircraft in western Libya!
Actually, one of the claims being investigated by the International Criminal Court is that Gaddafi even provided Viagra to his men to facilitate the raping. The evidence will be presented to The Hague, and I assure you, we will find out if it is true or not.
The difference between collateral deaths in a targeted bombing, and intentionally shooting 50mm Cannons from a Helicopter into a group of unarmed protesters is pretty obvious to most people.
The only Butchering being done in Libya is by Qaddafi's forces!
Am I missing something here,Cable Guy? How does one go about bombing populated areas from the air without butchering the people below? It's never been done before and never will be. I only hope that you're not taking up for that butcher Obama who has no feelings whatsoever for suffering and misery of others and then again,why should he,with all the idiots in this country flattering him to no end???
I see idiots all around me. Every day. They hold signs saying my name and I don't know why. Then the media keeps following me around. I tell everyone that I just want to "Run" away. Then the idiots start yelling my name even louder. Will someone save me from me.
PEACE RESOLUTION PLEASE TO UN AND NATO
ENOUGH BOMBING AND KILLINGS TO RESOLVE SOMEONE'S COUTRY CONFLICT
NATO AND UN ARE FAR TOO KIND TO HELP THE REBELS IN THIS WAY.....
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