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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?

Today we will examine an embarrassing case in which Qaddafi backers get so busy fabricating stories that their web of deception develops logical contradictions that expose the whole illusion. This happens when incompatible stories denying Qaddafi's use of aircraft against unarmed protesters in February are examined side by side as we will do below.

No doubt these air attacks played a substantial role in earning Qaddafi and his son ICC arrest warrants this week:
Today, 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued three warrants of arrest respectively for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces.
Almost from the being of the Arab uprising in Libya, Qaddafi met the peaceful protesters with maximum violence. By 21 February, he was already using war planes against demonstrations in Tripoli and Benghazi. It was specifically his use of jets and helicopters against the people, a step not yet taken in Bahrain, Yemen or Syria, that earned him a "No Fly Zone."

Death from above is hideous stuff so naturally Qaddafi apologists have had to refute the stubborn fact that Qaddafi used war planes on his own people. To the rescue came the Russian military with the following story:

“Airstrikes in Libya did not take place” – Russian military
Published: 01 March, 2011, 18:24

The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia's military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space – and the pictures tell a different story.

According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 22 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi – the country’s largest city – and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground.

At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred.
All those who supported Qaddafi took this as proof that the people who said they were bombed by Qaddafi's planes were just lying. Activists who wouldn't believe a word coming out of the Pentagon took this report from the pro-Qaddafi, Russian military as gold. This story has been cited all over the Internet as proof that the stories about planes and helicopters is just so much western demonization of the Libyan leader.

For example Information Clearing House ran with Did Gaddaffi Bomb His Own People? NO! and this video:


So as long as you believe the Russian military and trust what they report, the Libyans didn't carry out any air strikes of any sort, so obviously they didn't bomb any protesters, right?

Problem is Saif Qaddafi, Mummar's son, had a different story. He said the war planes were only bombing ammo dumps so they wouldn't fall into the hands of protesters.
in Reuters Mon, Feb 21 18:51 PM EST:
Residents reported gunfire in parts of Tripoli and one political activist said warplanes had bombed the city. But state TV showed government supporters rallying and Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi said warplanes had hit only ammunition dumps.
YaLibnan had a little more detail:
There are also reports that warplanes have bombed parts of the city, and helicopters carrying armed African mercenaries have landed in the streets.

But Qaddafi son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, said warplanes had hit only ammunition dumps.

He did not say why jets had carried out the air strikes, but on Sunday he accused protesters of raiding ammunition depots in the eastern city of Benghazi.
You can hear Saif Qaddafi make the same claim in English and his own voice at ~01:18 of this YouTube video I made and uploaded on the last day of February.



So if the much touted Russian observers didn't see the ammo dumps being bombed, they wouldn't have seen the demonstrators being bombed either, so their report is worthless.

As for Saif Qaddafi, we already know his testimony is worthless.

This is the kind of 'stuff' that the pro-Qaddafi people use to sow confusion and attempt to deny the Libyan freedom movement the support it deserves.
In The Final Call, June 7, 2011, Bill Fletcher, Jr. asks "Why Isn't Bahrain Being Bombed?" We hear many rhetorical renderings of this concerning Bahrain & Yemen among anti-imperialists lately.

The problem with this question as agitation is that it speaks exclusively to the choir. It is convincing only to those who already know that Bahrain isn't being bombed because it is a NATO protectorate, because of the fleet and the Saudis, etc.

Otherwise, if one approaches his question as a neutral observer with a good grasp of the details, one might say that Bahrain isn't being bombed because Bahrain hasn't attacked protester from the air and so hasn't provided the excuse for imposing a 'non-fly' zone that would make bombing Bahrain 'legal.' If you are not wearing blinders, you could conclude that and leave it at that because that is the bottom-line.

It is absolutely true that with Saudi help Bahrain has imposed a very brutal crackdown on freedom fighters there. Many have been murdered while NATO has looked the other way. This is true. But I have not heard that Bahrain was using aircraft to attack demonstrators. They have yet to cross that line, and the same could be said about Yemen and Syria as far as I know.

So even if there were forces in the UN that wanted to bomb Bahrain and had the clout to push it through, what would be their rational?

We know the road that has led to bombing Libya. It was legalized by the "no fly zone." DefSec Gates had already put the UN on notice that a vote for the "no-fly zone" was a vote for bombing Libya and when they brought in Article 4, just about anything became 'legal.' NATO had all the excuse it needed to rummage around in the internal affairs of an oil rich country in North Africa.

What opened the door to all of this was Qaddafi's use of jets and helicopters on his own people. That allowed the demand for a non-fly zone to gain enough traction, even with the Arab League, to get through the Security Council and that was all the cover the NATO interventionists needed. Game on.

The anti-Qaddafi forces are often blamed for bringing NATO into this fight. IMHO the blame resides with Qaddafi. He elected to deal with what began as peaceful opposition by increasingly violent means. When he started using aircraft he crossed a line that gave NATO an opening. After that it's like calling the police. sometimes you have to call them. Problem is they always arrive with their own agenda.
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tripoli Burn Notice

formerly titled BREAKING: Mummar Qaddafi Fired!

The Libyan Youth Movement Feb 17th website posted an announcement about something they're calling TRIPOLI - PROJECT BURN today. A few days ago they posted a couple of new videos to YouTube that documented what was done.

The first video is a little over 5 minutes long. It opens showing someone configuring some sort of elongated home made bomb or incendiary device on a carpeted floor. You can not see the face or even the whole body, only the hands and arms are shown preparing the device.

The second shot of this first video is a long one and it shows a very large picture of Qaddafi on a wall on one side of a busy highway in Tripoli. It looks like it was taken with a tripod mounted camera on the other side of the busy highway.

From that distance we see an arm sling the device we saw earlier from behind the sign and over the top so that it dangles in the middle of Qaddafi's head. A few minutes go by. Then we see flames emit from the device, they spread across Qaddafi's and eventually consume the entire sign.

TRIPOLI - PROJECT BURN HD - 27/06/2011


The second video is only 13 seconds long. Taken days later from a speeding car, it shows that the burned Qaddafi propaganda bill board has been completely removed.

TRIPOLI - PROJECT BURN AFTERMATH - 29/06/2011


It bears the caption:
Whats left of Libya’s biggest Gaddafi billboard after PROJECT BURN. Not a single trace of his picture remains. The government stripped all of his pictures out of fear of similar attacks!

Great job to the Free Generation Movement!
Can you imagine the courage of these youth? To do this in a city where, it is now becoming clear, Qaddafi murdered 700 activists in one February afternoon.

You have got to love them.

And these are the people that ANSWER, Cynthia McKinney and others would have you throw under the bus and treat like they have now all turned into NATO thugs because France gave them some weapons in the hopes of keeping the Libyan oil flowing their way when the resistance succeeds.

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis

My earlier diary No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum has been well received by Libyan freedom fighters. I have been invited to dinner in Benghazi, called an honorary Libyan and Shabab Libya [Libyan Youth Movement] has republished it on their website.

This dairy I do on the cheap by using other people's words. I'll bring to your attention a couple of things I've read recently that throw a lot of light on current events in Libya. At the same time I'll give some exposure to the campaign of miss-information being promoted by the pro-Qaddafi forces.

Qaddafi and his minions understand the Internet well and have been producing very sophisticated counter-narratives based on innuendo, rumors and complete fabrications for the purpose of sowing confusion, stirring up dust and fooling progressive forces in the west into supporting him. This campaign has been designed to play to the anti-imperialist and anti-war sentiments of people, cash in on his own reputation as something of a rebel in the early days before Richard Perle and Goldman Sachs and paint the revolutionary Libyan people as mere tools of bankers, oil companies, the CIA and NATO. By doing this he has been able to minimize support for the people that are trying to overthrow his tyranny among precisely those who otherwise would be backing them and promote the "war in Libya" ahead of all the other NATO wars in the concerns of many people.

Accordingly, I will quote extensively from three sources and in turn highlight three areas that have come up as late with regards to the situation in Libya now:

* 1] reports that Qaddafi's Libyan opposition has been talking to Israel.
* 2] confusion and controversy over who used cluster munitions in Misrata
* 3] a Palestinian take on Cynthia McKinney's support for Mummar Qaddafi

One piece of miss-information being promoted by the pro-Qaddafi forces lately is the story that Libyan opposition group TNC is offering some concessions to Israel. Everyone knows that this is seen as a major red flag for most Muslims, Arabs and progressives. It is false, has been specifically refuted by the Transitional National Council and is based on very flimsy evidence. Yet it lives on in the Internet rumor mill. This story on a pro-Qaddafi website, Why are the Libyan Rebels seeking Israel's support? that assumes it's true already and addresses itself to why, is typical:
a French writer, Bernard Henri Levy announced that he delivered a message on Thursday from Libyan rebel leaders to Israel's Prime Minister, saying they would seek diplomatic ties with the country if they came to power...

If the new regime (if it arrives) wishes to be taken seriously by Western countries and become a successful intermediate between Israel and Palestine, then recognition of Israel would give it some initial international brownie points by putting it firmly on the international geopolitical map in a region where the West and Israel are actively seeking new allies.
France24 set the record straight in Bernard-Henri Levy blunders on Israeli-Libyan 'mission'
Bernard-Henri Levy is known to weigh in on weighty international issues. But when the controversial French philosopher-writer took it upon himself to mediate a détente between Libya and Israel, he apparently went too far.

Bernard-Henri Levy, France’s arguably most flamboyant, unbuttoned, unplugged public intellectual seems to have talked his way into a controversy - again.

The French philosopher-writer commonly known as BHL is no stranger to the faux pas – one particularly embarrassing gaffe involved him citing a blatantly fake philosopher.

This time though, the flap revolves around the delicate business of Arab-Israeli relations. But curiously for a man whose exploits are frequently – some would say too frequently - under the spotlight, the latest controversy appears to have slipped under domestic and international radars.

The first salvo in the latest controversy was fired earlier this month in Jerusalem, where Levy had a 90-minute meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During the meeting, Levy relayed a verbal message from Libya’s opposition leaders that the National Transitional Council (NTC) would seek diplomatic ties between Libya and Israel if it came to power. At least that’s what BHL said he said.

In an interview with the AFP, Levy said he told Netanyahu that, "the future [Libyan] regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel,” before going on to add that, “the main point was that the future Libyan regime would be moderate and anti-terrorist and will be concerned with justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel.”

While Netanyahu’s office confirmed the meeting with the French writer-philosopher, it declined to comment on the content of the discussion.

But just days after the meeting, the NTC released a miffed statement – a copy of which was obtained by FRANCE 24 - declaring that it “strongly rejects what has been reported in some media as Mr. Bernard Levy's comments on the future relationship between Libya and the Israelis.

“The NTC is surprised by Mr. Levy's comments,” the statement went on to add. “Mr Levy was received as a Special Envoy from the President of France, and relations with Israel was never discussed.” (sic)
more...
This next one is really a MUST READ for anyone seeking to understand how mis-information campaigns are developed in the Internet age. C. J. Chivers shows us how they can be exposed through hard work and careful research. He has done a masterful job first of exposing the facts surrounding Qaddadi's use of cluster munitions on the civilians of Misrata, and then of unraveling the web of deception spun by the pro-Qaddafi people to shift the blame, throw dust in the air and blame the US Navy for the cluster munitions. It's no accident that Neo had to follow the White Rabbit to find his way out of the Matrix:
Following Up, Part III. Down the Rabbit Hole: Qaddafi’s Cluster Munitions and the Age of Internet Claims

This month At War has revisited in detail the attacks this spring by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces on Misurata, Libya with cluster munitions. The blog has retraced the steps that led to the identification of the Spanish-made MAT-120 munitions, and documented the sale and transfer of these munitions from Spain to Libya from 2006 through early 2008, addressing, in the process, the Qaddafi government’s claims of not possessing any of these rounds.

All of this was straightforward and methodical enough. But the verification processes took odd turns when readers began asking me about the strange claims about the MAT-120 that materialized, as if from nowhere, and began multiplying on-line. Extra, Extra, Read It Here: The Qaddafi Military Did Not Use MAT-120s in Miusrata, the U.S. Navy Did!

Behold one of the accompaniments to reporting in the Internet age: the invented counter-narrative, presented as if a credible report from an organization with chops. Today we will examine how, via a website that strung together innuendo, misinterpretation and unrelated facts, this came to pass. Like the Qaddafi government denials, that red-hot claim fizzled under scrutiny. And if nothing else, the work involved in examining the claims carefully was a reminder of the unusual shapes conflict reporting can take in the Internet Age, and how precision counts.

Ready to finish this strange ride? Let’s jump in.

more...
Finally while Cynthia McKinney has garnered a lot of support among Arabs because of her steadfast support for the Palestinians living in Gaza, they are not too happy with her support for Qaddafi. In an Open Letter to Gaddafi Supporter Cynthia McKinney from Disappointed Palestinians they make their opinions known.
Dearest Cynthia McKinney,

Two years ago, you spoke out against Israel’s human rights abuses in Palestine. You were even put in an Israeli prison after your attempts to help deliver medical supplies and humanitarian aid on a ship to Gaza in 2009. For your sacrifices, you gained respect from many Palestinians all over the world.

However, we can’t help but be irked by your recent stance on Libya. It’s fine to be against NATO intervention in Libya. You’re entitled to your own opinion. But to praise Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi is completely unacceptable. Anti-intervention shouldn’t equate to whitewashing Gaddafi’s crimes.

Last month, you appeared on Libya State TV, a propaganda organ of the Gaddafi regime. In an interview, you said that the “last thing we need to do is spend money on death, destruction and war… I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war…are not what the people of the United States stand for and it’s not what African-Americans stand for.”

Maybe you could have garnered some legitimacy with that statement if you weren’t speaking on a station run by Gaddafi. Or even better, if you at least offered some recognition that Gaddafi is guilty of perpetrating “death, destruction and war” on his own people.

In the interview, you also claimed you were in Libya on a “fact-finding mission” to “understand the truth.” But Ms. McKinney, you were only in Tripoli, a city under Gaddafi’s control. If you were really on a trip to Libya to see the truth for yourself, why didn’t you go to Benghazi and speak to the opposition movement as well?

Not only that, you praise Gaddafi in the interview, asserting that his Green Book advocates “direct democracy.” You also declare on your Facebook page that Gaddafi was “democratically elected.” Umm, you obviously haven’t met any Libyans before your trip to Tripoli. If you did, you’d know how the majority of Libyans feel about him. And if anything, someone ruling over a country for 42 years should be a hint that they aren’t democratically elected. Claiming that Libyans wanted Gaddafi as a leader is like saying Palestinians asked for Israel to occupy them. It just doesn’t make sense.

Now, you’re on a nationwide speaking tour, Eyewitness Libya: Cynthia McKinney reports back on the Massive Bombing of Tripoli. Also speaking on the tour will be Akbar Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

First of all, why aren’t there any Libyans speaking on this tour? Secondly, Nation of Islam? Really? The Nation of Islam has defended Gaddafi since the beginning of the Libyan pro-democracy protests in February. Of course, this is probably because the Libyan government has given the Nation millions of dollars over the years.

Not only are Libyans not invited to speak on your tour about Libya, but in Los Angeles, Libyans have been denied entry into the event itself.

Ms. McKinney, this is truly a disappointment. You support the Palestinians, but you are not supporting the Libyan people in their fight for freedom and dignity. What exactly is your motive? A charitable explanation is that you are just completely naïve to Gaddafi’s atrocities. Another reason is that you might support Gaddafi for ideological reasons, like Chavez or Castro. Or, worst case scenario, you could just be another tool on Gaddafi’s payroll. Whatever the case may be, we are extremely disheartened.

The Palestinian and Libyan peoples are connected, both struggling against state-sponsored brutality and political repression. Palestinians stand in solidarity with our Libyan brothers and sisters in their revolution against Gaddafi, as well as others rising up against oppressive dictatorships in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. The Palestinian movement for human rights, civil rights and equality has been invigorated and inspired by these pro-democratic movements.

Ms. McKinney, your pro-Gaddafi stance is completely hypocritical and contradictory to your support for the Palestinians. Unless you retract your statements supporting Gaddafi, we don’t think you have any business sailing to Gaza again. We refuse to accept opportunistic support from people who advocate for murderers.

Sincerely,

A Group of (Severely) Disappointed Palestinians from Gaza, West Bank, and the US
Which immediately got this comment from a Qaddafi supporter:
Global Peace Libya June 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Dear (Severely) Disappointed Palestinians,

First of all, Brother Gaddafi is not a Middle East Arab, he is a North African Arab and a bona fide African Revolutionary Hero and father of the great Libyan State in it’s present form. You are disapointed by the stance of our great African Sister Cynthia is really a cheap shot. Your great Middle Eastern Leaders with the exception of the late Revolutionary Hero Brother Yasser Arafat, all the rest of them including Kings, Presidents and other Heads of State surrounding your rightful land have ignored your pleas for help and sought to befriend the greatest enemies that mankind has on this earth since the end of World War 2. Brother Gaddafi has done everything for his fellow Libyans, given them security, excellent institutions of learning, medical facilities, pride and a sense of belonging as proud Arabs and even prouder Africans. What have your Middle Eastern leaders done for their citizens other than sell them out for Dollars, ignore the plight of their own citizens as well as those of the Palestinians. Spent their national wealth on wine, women and song in the West while Arabs are living in Poverty. Go see the standard of living in Libya, the Rebels are no better than your corrupt leaders who will rob and steal the future of the Libyans if they ever come into power, the Libyans have the most wonderful state under and the are the most educated and smartest Arabs in MENA. So please, if you ever had a champion it is Brother Gaddafi, a real man and true revolutionary.
Actually I have included Global Peace Libya's comment so that I could also include this very informed response from Niz:
Well, a rather interesting response to the letter.

1- You call him ‘brother leader’ very early on, clearly establishing that you are not objective on the matter.

2- Gadaffi did not create the Libyan State, not in its current form, nor in any form. Libya existed before Gaddafi, and will exist long after his downfall. The only reason he may be attributed to Libya ‘in its current form’ is because he has been leader for 42 years. An unprecedented number of years to lead a country.

3- You condemn peninsula arab leaders for their links to western governments and how they spend money on material things on their travels to the west. Have you not seen images of Gaddafi meeting European and American leaders in his tent in Libya in recent years? Have you not seen the images of Saif, Saadi, Muaatasim in European nightclubs, drunk, surrounded by women? The images are common all over the public domain. Take the time to look them up.

4- You state that peninsula arab leaders have ‘neglected the plight of their people’. You are correct. But is Gadaffi an exception. Have you been to Tripoli and seen the districts of Hadba Shergeeya, AbuSleem, Hay Alislami, Soug al Jomaa to name only a handful? Is it acceptable that in 2001, in a country with vast oil riches, and after 42 years of trying, that this country still has raw sewage pouring onto streets where children play, that some parts of the capital do not have phone lines or water pipeline? Is this credible leadership?

5- You mention that in Libya there are ‘excellent institutions of learning’. This is nothing short of laughable. Did you know that some libraries in the main uni have no books? Did you know that in other libraries where they have sections for books, you are forbidden to enter these sections? Did you know that corruption in academic institutions is rife, where most lecturers take bribes to allow students to progress, largely because their wages are pathetic, and sometimes delay in receiving these wages sees them without pay for months. Did you know when the ‘brother leaders’ daughter was studying Law in the main uni they banned all males from the law school for the duration of her uni years? So if you were her age, male and wanted to go to law school at tripoli’s main uni….you couldn’t. Tough luck. The ‘brother leader’ says you cant, so you cant.

6- Please tell me i misread your statement that Libya has good ‘medical facilities’? Are you not aware that most Libyans who require specialist care travel to foreign countries to receive this care? some countries FAR poorer than ours, i.e. Tunisia. Such is the market for ‘medical-tourism’ to tunis that there are Libyan-only medical centres. Perhaps you dont know that you cant even get simple things such as the Flu jab in Libya. Its in such low quantities that it runs out within weeks. Perhaps you dont know that when one of my friends passed away with a heart attack the hospital where he was taken (well known) took 15 minutes to find an ECG that worked, and later kept replacing the defibrillator, because they were malfunctioning. Is this not a farce?

7- You talk of our sense of belonging to Africa. Do you not know how much money Gadaffi pumps into africa? Have you not heard of the war with Chad where countless libyans and chadians needlessly died? Do you not know of gaddafis funding of rebel movements around arfica contributing to more bloodshed?

You need to seriously revise your knowledge of the country if you want to be a credible activist for peace, or a worthwhile defender of gadaffi. You are doing him more harm than good by demonstrating your lack of grass roots knowledge.

good luck

Niz
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs

BREAKING: Mummar Qaddafi has been indicted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague. For an idea of why read this eyewitness report that has recently emerged about the murder of an estimated 700 unarmed and peaceful demonstrators in Tripoli in the opening days of the uprising. Friends and family still don't know the fate of about 14,000 people state security disappeared from Misrata. After Tripoli falls, the state security records will be revealed and the full extent of Qaddafi's crimes will be a matter of public record. Then the complete bankruptcy of Qaddafi supporters such as ANSWER will be clear to one and all.
Saturday I asked ANSWER supporters for their help in the hopes of settling a dispute that arose among Kossacks commenting on my diary a few days ago:
Ian, the ANSWER REBUTTAL to my criticism says
the people of Libya, who just had a massive 250,000 person march against the NATO bombing this past week
This was ridiculed in some of the comments to my DailyKos dairy today, people brought it up because my diary included a video of a demo of 200,000 in Hama on Friday. They said stuff like:
Where is video of that 250,000-1 million... (6+ / 0-)
...person demonstration in support of Gaddafi that sources say occurred on either June 17 or June 20 and that ANSWER responder talked about? Surely, SOMEbody among the hundreds of thousands in Libya with cellphones took a photo of it. Surely the Gaddafi government would consider such a demonstration a propaganda coup. And yet not one single photo or even 15 seconds of video on the alleged demo.

It's still being photo-shopped. (3+ / 0-)

You'll never see a video of it because the Gaddafi Regime can't even muster more than a hundred paid protestors in Tripoli anymore.

That bit of propaganda from the answer guy reminds me of the incident where Gaddafi Regime Libyan state tv showed footage from anti-austerity protests in London and stated that it was a demonstration against the U.N. intervention in Libya.
The problem is that nobody is going to believe a quarter million people demonstrated in Libya unless they can see some video, even cell phone video, especially a pro-gov't rally. Not in this day and age.

I've looked myself on YouTube and other sources but haven't been able find video of the protest you are talking about. This controversy is really a side issue. Can you help me put it to rest? You brought it up and you have all the details as to time and place. Can you send me a link to video of the protest of which you were speaking and I promise I will post it to my blog.

Thank you in advance,

Clay

Sunday morning LB responded:
Clay,
This is the youtube that is being shown: Mass pro-Gaddafi, anti Nato-Rebels Demonstration in Tripoli, June 17, 2011 and it does appear to be filmed from a cell phone. There was a report by Reuters but only the audio goes through as if the video footage had been censored out.

By the way, from the Reuters audio, it does appear that a large demonstration occurred on that day. Ironically, Reuters says "thousands march in pro-Gaddafi rally" while a rally is not a march and in the very short audio strangely states that it was "a few thousand people"...

The fact that the Reuters video is not functional leads me to suspect that it has been censored and disguised as a technical problem. A proof that Gaddafi, who for months has been described as having no support in the population is firmly in power and gathering a large rally in his support does not fit the US and NATO imperial powers story line for successful intervention and impending recolonization.
Now, after spending this first beautiful Venice Summer Sunday hunkered down in front of my computer, I think Reuters got it just about right. There was a pro-Qaddafi rally of several thousand supporters in Tripoli on Friday, June 17th.

As to the great Reuters audio only cover up theory, I found no problem with the video thank you. I would embed it here but Reuters has that turned off. You can watch it on YouTube however: Thousands march in pro-Gaddafi rally in Tripoli

And Reuters was right about something else too. A pro-Qaddafi rally is also a march. After studying these two videos recommended by LB plus a number of others I found on my own today of this June 17th event, I have been able to discern a certain order to chaos of thousands of Qaddafi supporters in Green Square

A sort of grid like structure to the crowd can be discerned, with men, many wearing white hats, often with arms folded form squares and corridors and the people are marching around in them.

This is the first video he recommended to me. The one "that is being shown" by Qaddafi supporters that "does appear to be filmed from a cell phone."

Well I could see right away that this was no cell phone video in spite of it having the generally low resolution and poor quality of a cell phone video. It was edited and from footage taken at different times from different angles, and it had captions.

Here is a screenshot from that video @ 00:49:20
Screenshot Mass_pro_Gaddafi_anti_Nato_Rebels_Demonstration_in_Tripoli_June_17_2011-s_AZMXfUaZA

My own search for video documentation of Qaddafi's June 17th event turned up this gem:



It turns out to be a longer version of the exact same footage as the video above. Here is a screenshot from this video @ 04:57:00

Screenshot @ 0:04:57 Speech_Gaddafi_June_17_2011_English_subtitles_during_mass_demonstration_in_Tripoli-Rt3l_dm0zhE
Finally I turned up what appears to be the source material for the two videos above. It is the official Libyan state TV report on the rally:



And look at a screenshot from this video @ 06:34:00
Screenshot @ 0:06:34 from 
Gaddafi_TV_appearance_on_Libyan_State_Television_Jun_17_2011-tleX3zsFGfw

You can see that this image is of much better quality. It is broadcast quality and it is clearly the source material for the above two videos.

A peculiarity of all three of these videos is that the only audio that can be heard is Qaddafi's voice. Any sound track related to the video being shown has been completely omitted. We don't hear anything from the crowd and the actions in the video seem strangely disconnected from the audio.

This effect would be impossible to achieve with a cell phone, in fact the biggest obstacle that someone with a cell phone or camcorder would face in trying to record Qaddafi's speech would be the roar of the crowd.

Since it clearly has been professionally edited one has to wonder why the sound track of the people in the square was dropped entirely. This is not what most editors would have done. You want some crowd noise and especially crowd reaction to make it feel more, well more real. Why is it missing here?

In any case, there aren't enough people being shown in Green Square in this footage to backup any claims of hundreds of thousands let along a million, as claimed in yet another video:



Based on the same footage. This is not a tight as the others. I didn't download it, convert it to an editable format and load it into an editor so that I could catch precise frames like with the others. I just got it close enough in the browser and did this screenshot:

Screen shot of More than million one Libyan in Tripoli ! Kadhafi Speech [With English Subtitles][17-06-2011] @02:11:00

I also un-Earthed a CNN report on this rally:



Men with automatic weapons provide security at June 17th Qaddafi rally
In David McKenize's reporting in the piece we can see a few seconds of the rare independent footage of this rally. In it we can see men with automatic weapons working the crowd.

After that we are treated to more of the very same Libyan state TV footage. You would think that they would want CNN showing original footage they shot of the main rally, but no. Here is a shot from the CNN broadcast laid over the same shot, but wider, from Libyan state TV.
CNN_17_JUNE_2011_Tripoli_Libya_Uprising_Anger_Large_Gaddafi_Rally-MxbGEtLjYiE @ 0:27:26 over top CNN_17_JUNE_2011_Tripoli_Libya_Uprising_Anger_Large_Gaddafi_Rally-MxbGEtLjYiE @ 02:34:08

So it is claimed by Qaddafi and his supporters that a pro-Qaddafi rally took place in Tripoli on Friday, June 17th, 2011 and between 250,000 and 1 million people took part. This is a government supported and government sponsored rally and yet we can only seem to find one filming of it spun into many video productions.

Why aren't there dozens or even hundreds of what really is cell phone videos available of this rally?

By contrast, consider this anti-government rally that took place on the very same day in Hama, Syria. This screenshot from one video shows a lot of people on rooftops filming it with their cell phones:



So as you might expect, a cursory search of the web for cell phone videos of this rally turn up lots of unique videos that really do show something like tens of thousands of protesters. And this is under the conditions of extreme repression and very limited Internet access now existing in Syria.

Go figure...







Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Open Letter to ANSWER

So far we have been talking about Libya, NATO, Cynthia McKinney and whether or not my headline No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum was a faced lie. Now I want to change the subject. !Not

Please look at this video of thousands of people demonstrating against the Syrian government in Hama after Friday pray yesterday. Some estimate the crowds to be as many as 200,000. And this after Assad has killed over a thousand for protesting his rule and more than ten thousand have fled across the border to Turkey.

Can you imagine the courage of these people? How can you deny these people and call yourselves progressive, let alone revolutionary?

Please look at the video. No you must look at it. This is not some weird NATO/CIA psyops, this is the leading edge of the liberation movement today. Ditto Libya.




Thursday, June 23, 2011

ANSWER answers me

Yesterday I received the following email to my announce-only email list as ANSWER's rebuttal to yesterday's diary No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum. Since that list is announce-only, [send email to vah-ao@LinuxBeach.net with "subscribe" in the subject line to join] I will publish the ANSWER rebuttal here, together with my response. This is, after all, my diary. The ANSWER rebuttal is the parts in block quotes. They are broken up by my responses, email-reply style, but other than that it is complete and as they sent it.
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Hello:

In the spirit of openness and the ability to respond to organizational attacks, I ask that you approve the attached email, which is a response to a slanderous attack by one of your list members, Clay Claiborne, on ANSWER Coalition and Cynthia McKinney.

Thanks,
Ian Thompson
ANSWER

Hello all:

I strongly disagree with the tone and intentions of this opinion article, written by Clay Claiborne. In the interests of clarity, although I am not a member of all of these email lists, I will respond.

Its sympathies appear to lie with those who openly support the U.S./NATO war on Libya.
I openly support the people's liberation movement in Libya. Those familiar with my DailyKos blog know I first did so in writing on 18 Jan., months before NATO started bombing. ANSWER on the other hand has never supported the Arab uprising in Libya or Syria. I still support the Free Libya movement even after NATO intervened. My focus is on the Libyan people. They see as the next necessary step in their liberation being rid of Qaddafi. Let's see below what Ian has to say about the Libyan people and their struggle for freedom. So far he only speaks of the U.S./NATO war on Libya. That's his US centered focus.
But, political line aside, the article is full of patent distortions, mischaracterizations and shoddy analysis from start to finish. It's headline and main assertion that there were "no Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya forum" featuring Cynthia McKinney is a flat-out lie. I suppose the headline was meant as a false, but catchy "attention grabber" since the writer even admits that several pro-war Libyans participated in the Q and A inside the anti-war event.
Facts are stubborn things, and I've already described what I witnessed in my article, and Ian is right about plenty of video, so I'll let the facts speak for themselves. See also:

ANSWER thugs bar Libyans from Cynthia McKinney event: report
Video: Libyans prevented from entering Cynthia McKinney’s talk hosted by ANSWER LA
RAW,"Eyewitness Libya", Libyans prevented from entering Cynthia McKinneys event
ANSWER Coalition supporters tell Libyans to "go back home"
First for some context on the event, the Eyewitness Libya Forum sponsored by ANSWER and featuring Cynthia McKinney Los Angeles was a very successful event. It drew over 200 people, and 60% to 70% of those were African Americans. 95% of those who came were anti-war, anti-U.S./NATO intervention.

Here's a brief report on the forum on the ANSWER LA website:
http://www.answercoalition.org/la/news/eyewitness-libya-event.html
The feedback from nearly everyone who came was overwhelmingly positive. Here's an email we got from an Arab American activist in Orange County: "It is the best event I ever attended. The event was really worth out time."
He obviously needs to get out more.
Making the miniscule number of counter-protesters outside the LA forum into the primary issue in a "report" to progressive people is ridiculous.

The only folks prevented from entering the forum were the few who came specifically to protest and disrupt the event. It wasn't because they were Libyan. Several Libyans and Arab Americans participated in the event and discussion. Some pro-war, most anti-war.
It's too bad that ANSWER couldn't find any "anti-war" Libyans for their nationwide Libya Forums. Are they just a little hard to find so far away from Qaddafi's intimidation?

I put the number of Free Libya people at 20 or so. IMHO while they did come to protest they didn't come to disrupt. I should think that ANSWER would be especially sensitive to charging protesters with disruption before the facts. In any case I don't want to argue the facts. I have provided links to videos above so that all can judge their numbers as well as their demeanor.

Here I would just like to point out that while most Libyans would see themselves separated into pro-Qaddafi and anti-Qaddafi camps, Ian separates them into pro-war and anti-war camps. In other words, it's not about what Libyans want for themselves, it's about their attitude towards US. Ian, we are not the focus of their struggle.

Also clearly by "pro war" Libyans he is referring to those that are attempting to overthrow Qaddafi. By "anti-war" he means Qaddafi and his supporters. What a wonderful way with words he has. In ANSWER terminology, those that have laid siege to Misrata for 4 months with Raf missiles and cluster munitions, those that flatten Ajdabiyah and threaten to do the same in Benhgazi, that's the "anti-war" crowd. Those that are happy to see a little relief from the slaughter, even at the hands of NATO, that's the "pro-war" crowd.

Ian, the world doesn't revolve around you. And let's be clear about another thing, the Libyan civilians killed in this War of Feb17 have overwhelmingly, and I mean overwhelmingly, been killed by Qaddafi.
The people who were outside the event, however, were not interested in civil discussion or even debate. They made themselves known at the event before it started by wearing Libya's old pro-monarchy flags,



So the Free Libya movement is both pro-war and pro-monarchy. You wouldn't be trying to demonize them would you? It is the pre-Qaddafi flag, that's why they fly it.
waving American flags at people,
I wondered at the time whether they realized that that won't win them any points with this crowd. They are in the United States after all. BTW one good habit I have learned writing for Wikileaks Central is not to use the term "American" when I mean US, because others who share these two continents with us don't like that arrogance.
wearing t-shirts featuring King Idris (the former Libyan monarch), and chanting against McKinney before trying to enter the forum. Some of them made threatening statements about McKinney. They chanted that Cynthia McKinney should "burn in the fire" and also made homophobic slurs at the line of college students and volunteers doing security for the event.
Just because I didn't see any of this doesn't mean it didn't happen, but check the videos.
Not one of them was against the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya. Not a one.
So far I have seen no support for the revolutionary movement in Libya. Does he think they don't need one because they have Qaddifi?

What does he think was going on in the months before NATO got involved? Doesn't matter, it's all about US. That's how you can tell the difference between 'good' Libyans and 'bad,disruptive' Libyans. Just ask them about NATO.
It's worth noting that Clay, the writer of this article, was with the pro-intervention crowd during much of the event, despite our invitation for him to put up a table without charge and sell his movie (which he did, I might add).
On the public sidewalk outside of the church, and without being charged by ANSWER! Gee, thanks Ian.
Others from the pro-intervention camp, those who wanted to participate with the rest of the crowd in a civil meeting, were allowed to participate in the event and speak during Q and A, just like anyone else.
And just how did you determine that?
Opposing views were not censored in any way. Several people with divergent views spoke and asked questions. It is true that the pro-intervention Libyans who spoke, along with Clay, were booed at times by the crowd, but no one from ANSWER was orchestrating that. People at the event just didn't like what they had to say. It's not too surprising for pro-intervention voices to get booed at an anti-war forum.
My question to Ms. McKinney was about Qaddafi's use of inaccurate Raf missiles on population centers and HRW reports that said he was using cluster munitions. I said nothing about NATO or intervention, so I was booed because I was anti-Qaddafi, not for being pro-NATO, which I am not.

Similarly the Libya who was booed spoke about Qaddafi. That was his concern, not NATO. You may think the only Libya issue at hand is NATO's war on Libya. Not a word is said about Qaddafi's war on Libya because you aren't anti that war. That's why you never spoke out about Libya until NATO came in against Qaddafi. You called it the Libya forum but your only concern is the NATO angle. You don't find it surprising that people including myself, that have been supporting the Free Libya movement months before Qaddafi threatened a bloodbath in Benghazi and gave NATO the excuse they needed, should be booed at a progressive Libya Forum?
Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with keeping people out of an event after they state their intention to protest and disrupt the event. It is unwise and also a security risk. With several high-profile speakers on the panel, security was a top concern.

Also, its a complete fabrication that anyone from ANSWER ever said anything remotely pro-Gaddafi or referred to him as "brother Gaddafi." That just didn't happen. We have the video of the whole forum if you'd like us to prove it.
Your whole event was pro-Qaddafi. At least three of your featured speakers, including McKinney, heaped praise on "brother Qaddafi" What I didn't hear was any support for the uprising in Libya nor did I hear anyone from ANSWER say anything remotely anti-Qaddafi. Cluster munitions in Misrata all right with you?
The forum was an anti-war, anti-intervention forum.
It certainly wasn't a pro-Libya forum, that would take the focus off of US.
Iraq war veteran Mike Prysner spoke against the war on Libya, as did others. Two speakers did espouse their perspective of pan-African unity and expressed their respect for the Libyan leader.
Like I said, pro-Qaddafi.
They represent valid [if you say so] political currents within the Black community. In fact, nearly every speaker has divergent views on one thing or another, but they were all against the war.[and not against Qaddafi] We did not censor those who came to oppose the war on Libya at an explicitly anti-war meeting.
But you did censor those who oppose Qaddafi.
This includes Cynthia McKinney, who has now traveled to Libya twice during the NATO bombing, at great risk to her own life. [How so? Was she staying in Qaddafi's compound?] She is not a pro-Gaddafi mouthpiece in any way. She is not being paid by the Libyan government, not even a dime. In fact, part of the reason for the tour is to raise funds to pay back debts incurred by traveling to Libya on these fact-finding missions.
Then she should have gone a little more into debt. Traveled outside of Tripoli. Talked to some Libyans not under Qaddafi's control.

Debts to who? Who paid for this trip? Inquiring minds want to know. We do know that the Nation of Islam has received millions from Qaddafi so I can understand why they are supporting this tour. Why not? Qaddafi has millions to give. But no money for ANSWER, McKinney? What a shame!
The main thrust of Cynthia McKinney's talk at the Los Angeles forum was for self-determination for Libyans,
So now we get to the question of self-determination for Libyans, very late in this letter and even latter in the forum. But note that "self-determination" doesn't allow them to make their own determination about NATO 'support', in that case ANSWER will determine the proper attitude.
and to urge people in the United States to oppose the U.S./NATO war. As a former elected Congresswoman, her heroism in speaking out against the war on Libya should be lauded, not attacked without cause.
Ian goes on and on...
Finally, the "third camp" politics espoused by the article are way off base. They are out of step with people in the U.S.--who polls show oppose the war on Libya 2-to-1--and they are out of step with the people of Libya, who just had a massive 250,000 person march against the NATO bombing this past week, as bombs were dropping around them. Civilian casualties of the NATO bombing are now mounting--even the LA Times and CNN are reporting this.

Despite what the writer would have you believe, the issue isn't one's opinion on Gaddafi--it is the war on Libya, and which side are you on?
Because the war on Libya is like the war on Iraq. There was no uprising in Iraq then so there can't be one in Libya now. It's all about US.
Just as the Pentagon and press demonized Saddam Hussein before the Iraq invasions in 1990 and 2003, they have done the same with Gaddafi as a way to confuse people (and in this case, people who move in progressive circles) into being inert and not vigorously opposing the war.
We're not pro-Qaddafi but you have no right to call him a mass murderer.
The goal of anti-war activists right now seems pretty clear to me--we should be doing everything we can to expose the U.S./NATO war for what it is and building as much support as we can to stop it. There is nothing "humanitarian" about this war--there has never been, nor will there ever be a humanitarian intervention by the U.S., NATO or the UN in their current forms. A short look at history confirms this: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yugoslavia and so on.
For 10 days NATO warned pro-Qaddafi forces against launching missiles into Misrata. They warned, but did nothing to stop him. Today the people of Misrata are cheering because NATO finally blew up the ammo dumps from which the pro-Qaddafi forces [your side Ian] have been raining down missiles on the city. That is what you want to put a stop to. That is more important now than what NATO is doing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somali combined. Hence this tour. Or could it be that there was someone willing to pay the freight for this tour?
This article by Clay does not help build a stronger movement against the war on Libya.
But that's not my mission. I am trying to help build a revolutionary movement. I am trying to help the Libyan people oust Qaddafi. Which is to say help build a stronger movement against the Qaddafi war on Libya.
It appears to attempt the opposite. It's beyond me why we would chose to spill more ink denouncing ANSWER, an anti-war group, while saying almost nothing against the war on Libya. Unfortunately, the article's tone is nothing new. The now right-wing Christopher Hitchens similarly (but more eloquently) attacked those of us who unequivocally opposed the Iraq war before the catastrophic U.S. invasion and occupation. Look at Hitchens now!
That is way out of line! Now you are getting personal and nasty! You can call me all these other names. That's politics and I understand. But to imply that Christopher Hitchens is a better writer than me... You call that civil discourse?

He then goes on...
In general, it doesn't give anti-war folks more credibility to side with to pro-war forces and go along with demonization campaigns mounted by the U.S. and NATO to justify a war of aggression. Sure, people who are pro-war have the right to be pro-war, but anti-war activists don't have to agree with them or give them a platform on which to speak. The pro-war opinions have been aired ad nauseum in the corporate media. Meanwhile, the war on the people of Libya continues to rage on. Bombs continue to drop. Civilians continue to die in this unjust war for oil and strategic regional domination.

ANSWER will continue to speak out and organize against the war on Libya. People who want to oppose the war can do so with us. We don't have to agree on everything as long as we oppose imperialist intervention and support the right of oppressed nations and people's to self determination. On July 9, ANSWER and others are organizing a march and rally in Washington, D.C. in front of the White House to demand an immediate end to the war on Libya.

One final note, the Eyewitness Libya speaking tour with Cynthia McKinney has drawn hundreds of interested people at each tour stop. It has proven to be an important forum for anti-war voices and organizers from LA to Chicago and beyond. As the bombing of Libya continues, let's hope that more people join the anti-war chorus so that we can bring an end to all U.S. wars and occupations. That should be our goal.

Ian Thompson
ANSWER Coalition, Los Angeles

If you can find the parts of his message that support the Libyan people's struggle please point them out to me.

How do Libyans in Tripoli feel about the NATO bombing of their city?

This video from LibyaResistance may give us a clue. The description reads:
In Tripoli, as Nato undertakes its most intense bombing of the campaign, locals come out to show their appreciation by cheering and whistling. Rooftops are full of people watching in appreciation. Later security roamed the streets shooting in the air to silence and intimidate… They should know by now.. Tripoli can never be silence

A comment reads:
@KernelThread We don't need to rebuild gaddafi's compound. In fact we need help to tear it down. His compound takes up tens of square kilometres and houses his own palaces and security. The OVERWHELMING consensus in tripoli is that we want it to be turned into a green park for EVERYONE to enjoy. So we will be tearing down the buildings anyway. The? rest of civilian Tripoli is untouched by NATO. Compare it to gaddafis indiscriminate bombing of misrata - now THAT we need to rebuild!

Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!