“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“Sniper Nation” and its gift to Libya that keeps on giving

Libya hotel attack: Five foreigners among nine killed

Unconfirmed reports say some of the assailants have blown themselves up. The officials say the dead include one US and one French citizen. 

The security forces say the stand-off has now been brought to an end.
The US State Department has confirmed the death of a US citizen, without giving any further details. The dead American is believed to have been a security contractor.

The death of the French and American citizens have been confirmed by their respective governments. 

There are conflicting reports as to the total number of attackers. 

A vehicle belonging to the security forces is pictured near Corinthia hotel (rear) in Tripoli (27 January 2015)The security forces say that the operation against gunmen who attacked the hotel is now over
A Twitter account linked to Islamic State said the militant group had carried out the attack. 

There has been strong evidence to suggest an IS presence in the eastern city of Derna since October, with a group there publicly declaring allegiance to its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

However the command structure is still a mystery to most foreign observers. 
The BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli says that in the past month there has been a string of incidents in western Libya, including abductions and bombings, that have been claimed by IS social media accounts. 

However our correspondent says that it has not been clearly established whether these groups are IS foot soldiers or people inspired by them.
Attack threat

A civilian who witnessed the attack told the BBC: "I suddenly heard shots and saw people running towards me, and we all escaped from the back [of the hotel] through the underground garage. The hotel did a lockdown after that.”

Different sources at the scene said there were between three and five attackers - video footage released later on Tuesday showed the body of a man reported to be one of the militants.

A security source told the BBC that one gunman had been arrested. Four security guards are among the dead and several people are reported to be injured.
Libyan security forces and emergency services surround Tripoli's central Corinthia Hotel (right), 27 January 2015Security forces and emergency services surrounded the hotel at the height of the stand-off on Tuesday
A number of foreign companies have makeshift offices in the hotel, our correspondent says, and housing the few foreigners who remain in the Libyan capital has always been known to be risky.

One hotel employee told the Associated Press news agency that the hotel was mostly empty at the time of the attack.

Meanwhile, a hotel security source told the BBC that the hotel had received a threat “a few days ago" warning managers "to empty the building".

‘Revenge attack'

The Corinthia Hotel is used by foreign diplomats and government officials. The UN Support Mission in Libya (Unsmil) has hosted several workshops at the hotel.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni condemned the attack and pledged that those responsible for it would be brought to justice.

Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, also condemned the attack which took place as a second round of peace talks between Libya's warring factions ended in Geneva in what the UN described as a "positive atmosphere".

File photo: Corinthia hotel in Tripoli, Libya, 10 October 2013The hotel is popular with foreign diplomats and government officials
The Twitter account linked to IS said the group had carried out the attack in revenge for the death of Abu Anas al-Liby, a Libyan jihadist who was suspected of involvement in the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998.

Liby died in a US hospital on 2 January, days before he was due to stand trial.
Libya has been hit by instability since the overthrow of long-time ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.
Numerous militias govern their own patches of territory, with successive governments struggling to exercise control.


  1. The Obama Administration, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, FUKUS, the usual suspects and The Washington war establishment has a lot to account for in what they did to the people of Libya.

  2. The misery, death and injustice continues. We would not tolerate a foreign power doing this to a US State or any American City. We would not tolerate Russia doing this to any country in South or Central America. We lecture and sanction Russia over Ukraine and Crimea.

    The US government helped create the Taliban. Israel created Hezbollah. Saudis attacked NYC and Washington. Bush gave them a pass. We destroyed Iraq and helped create ISIS.

    What level of depravity and temerity gives our masters in Washington the right to do this in our name?

  3. Replies
    1. .

      The sheeple sleep. They are worried about flippin burgers and trying to make ends meet. They can't be bothered about light footprint wars were no American died.



  4. The country with what I heard was the 'highest standard of living' has been pulverized.
    The is no denying that the leader of Libya, Colonel Q, was not a friend of the US.
    Pan Am Flight 103 (involved in the Lockerbie bombing) was directly attributable to his regime.

    He was about to negotitate basing rights for the Russian Navy and was going to accept Euros fr Libyan light oil.
    He had to go.

    What has replaced hm, no threat to US, Italy or France.

    1. .

      Deep thoughts from rat-world.


    2. A wannabe Machiavelli...

    3. .

      You might want to have your eyes checked.



    4. Add in the reported personal debts that were owed to Colonel Q, by the President of France ...

      And how by disrupting oil production and shipments, upwards of 1/2 million barrels of oil are off the market.
      Some what mitigating the economic damage to both our Saudi allies and US producers, during the oil price war.

  5. America’s Walking Dead: The Perpetual War Machine

    By contributors | Jan. 23, 2015 |

    By Tom Engelhardt | (

    When it comes to the national security state, our capital has become a thought-free zone. The airlessness of the place, the unwillingness of leading players in the corridors of power to explore new ways of approaching crucial problems is right there in plain sight, yet remarkably unnoticed. Consider this the Tao of Washington.
    Last week, based on a heavily redacted 231-page document released by the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Charlie Savage, a superb reporter for the New York Times, revealed that the FBI has become a “significant player” in the world of warrantless surveillance, previously the bailiwick of the National Security Agency. The headline on his piece was: “FBI is broadening surveillance role, report shows.”
    Here’s my question: In the last 13 years, can you remember a single headline related to the national security state that went “FBI [or fill in your agency of choice] is narrowing surveillance role [or fill in your role of choice], report shows”? Of course not, because when any crisis, problem, snafu or set of uncomfortable feelings, fears, or acts arises, including those by tiny groups of disturbed people or what are now called “lone wolf” terrorists, there is only one imaginable response: more money, more infrastructure, more private contractors, more surveillance, more weaponry, and more war. On a range of subjects, our post-9/11 experience should have taught us that this — whatever it is we’re doing — is no solution to anything, but no such luck.


    1. {...}

      More tax dollars consumed, more intrusions in our lives, the further militarization of the country, the dispatching of some part of the U.S. military to yet another country, the enshrining of war or war-like actions as the option of choice — this, by now, is a way of life.

      These days, the only headlines out of Washington that should surprise us would have “narrowing” or “less,” not “broadening” or “more,” in them.
      Thinking outside the box may seldom have been a prominent characteristic of Washington, but when it comes to innovative responses to problems, our political system seems particularly airless right now. Isn’t it strange, for instance, that being secretary of state these days means piling up bragging rights to mileage by constantly, frenetically circumnavigating the globe? The State Department website now boasts that John Kerry has traveled 682,000 miles during his time in office, just as it once boasted of Hillary Clinton’s record-breaking 956,733 miles, and yet, like the secretary of defense or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs or the CIA director or the national security advisor or the president himself, when it comes to rethinking failing policies, none of them ever seem to venture into unknown territory or entertain thoughts that might lead in unsettling directions. No piling up of the mileage there.


    2. {...} In a sense, there are only two operative words in twenty-first-century Washington: more and war. In this context, there really is just one well-policed party of thought in town. It matters not a whit that, under the ministrations of that “party,” the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state have grown to monstrous proportions, even though American war and security policies don’t have a significant success to their name.

      Four Words That Rule Washington (and Two Words That Don’t)

      Here then are four key words — security, safety, intelligence, and war — essential to present-day Washington. Add in two others, peace and bases, that for very different reasons are missing in action. Now, put together both the chatter and the silences around those six words and you can begin to grasp why our nation’s capital is such a dead zone in terms of new ideas or ways of acting in our world.

      Let’s start with two words so commonplace that no serious player would bother to question them: security (as in “national”) and safety (as in “American”). On those two words alone, the new Washington has been funded and expanded endlessly in the post-9/11 era. They are the soil in which has grown just about every action that put the state intrusively in our lives, sidelined the citizenry, and emboldened a spirit of impunity in the national security bureaucracy, a sense that no one will ever be held accountable for any action, including kidnapping, torture, murder, the destruction of evidence, assassination, and perjury. Both words have an implied “from” after them, as in “from terrorism.”

      And yet it has been estimated that an American’s annual fatality risk from terrorism is only one in 3.5 million. When it comes to your security and safety, in other words, don’t focus on local lone wolf jihadists; just put your car in the garage and leave it there. After all, your odds on losing your life in a traffic accident in any year are about one in 8,000.


    3. {...}

      Put another way, Americans have learned how to live with, on average, approximately 38,000 traffic deaths a year in the post-9/11 era without blinking, without investing trillions of dollars in a network of agencies to protect them from vehicles, without recruiting hundreds of thousands of private contractors to help make them safe and secure from cars, trucks, and buses. And yet when it comes to the deaths of tiny numbers of Americans, nothing is too much for our safety and security.

      More astonishing yet, almost all of this investment has visibly led not to the diminution of terrorism, but to its growth, to ever more terrorists and terror organizations and ever greater insecurity. This, in turn, has spurred the growth of the national security state yet more, even though it has shown little evidence of offering us significant protection.

      Imagine that the government suddenly decided to build high-tech shark fences off every American beach to protect bathers from another kind of headline-inducing predator which strikes even more rarely than terrorists. Imagine as well that an enormous bureaucracy was created to construct and oversee the maintenance of those fences and the launching of armed patrols to take out the global shark population. And imagine as well that the result was a rise in the threat of shark attacks off those coasts, as well as endless claims from the officials in that bureaucracy that they were doing a completely bang-up job. Wouldn’t their word be doubted? Wouldn’t the whole program be reconsidered? Wouldn’t there be a debate in this country about what it means to be safe and secure, and about where our tax dollars were going?

      Life itself is a danger zone. It’s not possible to live in total safety and security. So any system that aims to offer that, even for one phenomenon, and then feeds off the very opposite, should be open to question. Certainly, sacrificing things that have long been considered important to American life for protection from the rare and random chance that you might be injured or die is a decision that should be rethought from time to time. In this case, however, it seems that we can no longer imagine what life without a looming national security state might be like.


    4. {...}

      Now, here’s another word closely associated with the last two: intelligence. Consider it sacrosanct, representing as it does the religion of the national security state. There is only one rule when it comes to intelligence: you can’t have too much of it.
      Hence, our 17 ever-expanding, intertwined “intelligence” agencies, a vast, still proliferating apparatus for conducting covert ops and gathering information on everyone from presidents and chancellors to peasants in the rural backlands of the planet in every form in which anyone could possibly communicate or simply express themselves or even engage in public play.

      This vast world of information overload has, in turn, been plunged into a world of secrecy in which, if it weren’t for leakers and whistleblowers, we would never have any intelligence that they didn’t want us to have. Over these last years, this system has proven intrusive in ways that even the totalitarian states of the previous century couldn’t have imagined, as well as abusive in ways degrading almost beyond imagination. It has also collected more information about all of us than can even be grasped; and yet, as far as we can tell, it has also been eternally a step behind in delivering actionable information to the government on just about any subject you want to mention.

      However, whether what it does works or not, is legal or not, is useful or not, doesn’t matter in Washington. There, the American intelligence community is unassailable. It emerges from every imbroglio, including the recent one over torture, stronger, not weaker. Its leadership, having made howling mistakes from 9/11 on, is never held accountable for any of them and is always promoted and honored. Oversight of what it does is on the wane. The visibly Orwellian nature of American intelligence is now widely accepted, at least in Washington, as a necessity of our age, of our need for… you guessed it… safety and security.

      As a result, its bureaucratic expansion, secret wars, global kill lists, and other activities are largely beyond challenge. In response, for instance, to the disaster of 9/11, a new post, the director of national intelligence, was created to better coordinate the “U.S. intelligence community.” The director’s “office,” which started with a staff of 11, now has an estimated 1,750 employees, the sort of growth that can be seen just about everywhere in the intelligence world.


    5. {...}

      We no longer have the slightest idea what life might be like if, instead of 17 significant intelligence outfits, we had just two of them, or even one. Or whether an intelligence agency operating purely on open-source information might not offer a more useful view of how our world works to American leaders than the vast, secretive, privatized crew of the present moment.

      We have no idea what our world would be like if the president no longer had his private army, the CIA (not to mention his second private army, the Joint Special Operations Command). None of this could possibly be brought up in the halls of power in Washington.

      And here’s another word that’s had its way in the capital in these years: war (and related terms like intervention, counterinsurgency, surge, and raid). It has become the option of choice in situation after situation, while the Pentagon has reached monumental proportions and its elite operatives have become a massive secret military within the military. In any crisis, even essentially civilian ones such as the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, that military is invariably called upon to ride to the rescue.

      You could, in fact, think of these last 13 years in Washington as a sweeping, all-encompassing experiment in modern warfare. The denizens of that city now live in an eternal “wartime,” while from Pakistan to Libya across the Greater Middle East and now much of Africa, U.S. military personnel are eternally engaged in a range of wars, war-like activities, and preparations for future conflicts, while the skies are filled with U.S. planes and drones. At a moment when war seems to be the only go-to option (other than sanctions) in the U.S. foreign policy tool box and a high official can even talk about declaring war on scattered deranged individuals, the results of this military-first global strategy should be considered definitively in.

      Since 9/11, it has led to a series of well-publicized failures of the first order without a single genuine success, not one instance where anything like a goal Washington set was actually met. Yet a military-first policy remains the unquestioned, unchallenged option of choice and the military budget is largely sacrosanct even for a budget-cutting Congress.


    6. {...}

      Here, on the other hand, is a word you won’t see in Washington: peace. Once, it was part of the American political lexicon; now, it’s essentially been banished. You’d have to be a wuss to use it.

      And here’s another word that’s essentially forbidden: bases. Since World War II, the U.S. has garrisoned the planet in a way achieved by no other imperial power. In the twenty-first century, when even the largest powers have only a few or no military bases outside their national territories, the U.S. still has hundreds scattered around the world. Included in the tally should be the 11 floating towns, loaded with air power — we call them aircraft carriers — that regularly cruise the high seas.

      The Greater Middle East is packed to the seams with U.S. military bases and drone bases have been spreading rapidly as well. This is a living reality in much of the world. In the U.S., it goes essentially unnoticed and almost completely unmentioned. It’s so fundamental to Washington’s military-first policies that, while taken for granted, it is beyond discussion or even public acknowledgement. The very idea of beginning to dismantle this empire of bases, which would automatically change Washington’s military stance in relation to the rest of the planet, is similarly beyond consideration, discussion, or thought.
      Who knows what it would mean to abolish the CIA, slash the defense budget, scale down American intelligence, dismantle that empire of bases, or return peace to its first-option status? We know nothing about this because we haven’t seen any of it tried, or even seriously discussed, in twenty-first-century Washington.


    7. {...}

      Decades of the Living Dead

      In the title of his prophetic pre-9/11 book Blowback, Chalmers Johnson brought that term of CIA tradecraft out of the closet. He focused on the way covert Agency operations in distant lands carried the seeds of future retaliation on this country. Because those operations were so secret, though, ordinary Americans were incapable of making the connection between what we did and what hit us. Today, in a world filled with blowback, the connections between Washington’s acts and what follows are no longer in the shadows but regularly in plain sight. Yet they are seldom acknowledged, particularly by policymakers in Washington.

      In the wake of the 2014 midterm elections, the capital is said to be a big government town being taken over by smaller government types — not, however, if you’re talking about the national security state. With the rarest of exceptions, the “small government” folks, aka Republicans, have never seen an oppressive state power they wouldn’t bow down before and champion. Hence, whatever the situation at hand — Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine, surveillance — Republican war hawks, now in control of Congress, will invariably demand more.

      Nor should you imagine, as the 2016 campaign revs up, that any of this is likely to change in the years to come. If we end up with the much-ballyhooed dynastic contest between Hillary and Jeb (or, if you prefer, Hillary and that eternal presidential wannabe Mitt), here’s what you should already know: whichever candidate steps into the Oval Office in January 2017 will bring along a whole host of suitably retread personalities toting a jostling crowd of retread ideas.

      Some of the people the new president will nominate for office or appoint as advisors will be familiar faces, since that’s the way of the world in Washington. Naturally, they will carry with them the most familiar of Washington mindsets. Just recall January 2009, when the hope candidate entered the White House bringing with him those economic retreads from the reign of the man from Hope, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin; in foreign and war policy, there was the ur-Clintonista Hillary, Bush military appointee General David Petraeus, and the director of the CIA under George H.W. Bush and secretary of defense under his son, the former cold warrior Robert Gates. Others who weren’t household names or faces from previous administrations might as well have been. In foreign, war, and economic policy, it was a cast of characters eminently suitable for (as I wrote at the time) a political zombie movie.


    8. {...}

      Similarly, none of the retreads Hillary, Jeb, or Mitt would bring with them will have a new idea or entertain a thought that wanders off the Washington reservation.

      And that essentially guarantees one thing: Republican or Democrat, it’ll be dead air to 2020 — and if either a Bush or a Clinton is then reelected, until 2025, by which time the U.S. would have been led by those two families for 28 of the last 36 years. Washington is, in this sense, the land of the walking policy dead and war, safety, security, and intelligence (that is, failure and disaster) are ours to the horizon.
      Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He runs the Nation Institute’s His new book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World (Haymarket Books).
      Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

      Copyright 2015 Tom Engelhardt

    9. Raise the flag higher boys. Give a smart salute.

    10. Tom Engelhardt’s Émile Zola moment.

    11. .

      After complaining about it for a dozen years or more it begins to wear. Talking about it only gives you a headache.

      Read an article within the last couple days that kind of encapsulates it all. As part of the sequestration process, the Pentagon agreed to percentage cuts across the board. However, the IG is unable to measure their progress, if there is any, because there is no baseline to measure from. Why?

      The Pentagon has no idea how many people are in the military. And it is only getting worse because of all the contractors they are using now.

      I'm sure the problem exists in most federal departments; especially, within the 'intelligence' (I always uncomfortable using that word in this context) agencies.


    12. I guess what he org chart is so big no mortal can get through it all?

    13. I am not being hyperbolic in saying that the US would be safer closing the Pentagon and get better defense through the Command Structure.

    14. An excellent article.

      The amoral opportunism of oligarchy flourishes with bully-boy militarism in the banishment of morality and human rights from the erstwhile democracy. They have built a technology of thought control and repression greater than any prior challenge of democracy, that would require centuries of cultural learning to control, but prevents the very debate that could do so, and doubles in one percent of that time. Unfortunately, the problem will not be solved by education.

      Economic force is now the equivalent of military force, and those who use it to control government make war upon the United States, the definition of Treason in our Constitution. Those who serve gold rather than humanity have no use for democracy or peace, have betrayed us all, and must be imprisoned indefinitely.

      Are there any Congress members, Americans and others that are fighting to close down the Military Industrial Complex or will Congress and Americans continue sitting on their ignorant fat asses until the military is cruising down the main street of your home town? Ferguson


    Whoppee !

    You go girl !

  7. The outrage continues

    WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

    The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

    Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn’t been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database “throughout the United States,’’ according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations, according to people familiar with the program, putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.

  8. .

    The country with what I heard was the 'highest standard of living' has been pulverized.

    And to no one's advantage but the Islamists and other terrorists. There is certainly no advantage for the US.

    The is no denying that the leader of Libya, Colonel Q, was not a friend of the US.

    We don't need friends. We need people willing to cooperate with us. Qaddafi was cooperating with us.

    Pan Am Flight 103 (involved in the Lockerbie bombing) was directly attributable to his regime.

    And as a result of the US reaction, Qaddafi gave up his nuclear ambitions and became one of the US' main partners in the WOT in the region. If we conducted foreign policy on the basis of 30 year old grievances we would be conducting regime change in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Yemen, you name it.

    He was about to negotitate basing rights for the Russian Navy and was going to accept Euros fr Libyan light oil.
    He had to go.

    Geez, rat, get serious. The Russians were 'talking' negotiating for bases in half a dozen countries including at least one in the Western Hemisphere. To date, they are having problems holding on to the ones they had before Libya much less new ones. More importantly, who really gives a shit. After the USSR fell, half the Soviet fleet went into dry dock. They still don't have the money to modernize their fleet. Talk of a Russian blue water navy is more fantasy than fact.

    What has replaced hm, no threat to US, Italy or France.

    Just as Qaddafi was no threat to the US, Italy, or France.

    Are you arguing that the world is better off with Libya as it is now, a failed state and breeding ground for terrorists, than it was before the Libyan war?

    Add in the reported personal debts that were owed to Colonel Q, by the President of France ...

    Why? Who gives a shit?

    And how by disrupting oil production and shipments, upwards of 1/2 million barrels of oil are off the market.
    Some what mitigating the economic damage to both our Saudi allies and US producers, during the oil price war.

    That doesn't make sense to me. Currently, there is a world surplus of 1.5 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is trying to take out new high cost production such as that in the US and Canada. Higher supply puts more pressure on these operations as prices drop. With or without Libya, it wouldn't change the Saudi strategy.


    1. It assists the Saudi strategy, in that the Saudi garner those sales lost to Libya , even at the lower dollar amounts.

      The excess in production, despite the presence of Daesh in Iraq, their export levels are reportedly at record levels, over 3 million barrels per day. Our allies are pumping, our long term enemies, not so much.

      There is no attempt of 'power projection' into Italy or France by Libya, today.
      Libya is a shambles, countries usually are after civil wars where the authoritative government is deposed.

    2. Look at the riots in Egypt, a couple dozen killed, there even after retired General al-Sisi won in an election, ""Fair & Square".

      Civil unrest, all across the Islamic Arc, is bubbling.
      Which was the intent of both the neo-cons and Wahhabi.
      The secular regimes have been and remain the ones that are under the most pressure. Saddam, Colonel Q and Assad.

    3. Because those monies owed could have been part of the motivation to action, on the part of the French.
      They have a history of perfidy with their past colonies, it is doubtful they would respect one of Italy's to any greater degree.

    4. .

      What makes you think the Saudis get those sales lost by Libya? What don't you get about a surplus on the world market?

      Power projection?

      Good lord.


      Heavens, rat, what was Qaddafi going to do send a patrol boat up and down the Italian coast harrowing swimmers on the beaches?. Or maybe send one of his boys to collect on that I.O.U. from the French president? Qaddafi had no air force and a navy in name only.


    5. .

      You have been visiting too many conspiracy theory websites. old hoss.


    6. The Wall Street Journal?
      This story takes the reader from 2011 through 2013

      Saudi, U.S., Iraq Step in to Plug Libya Oil Gap
      Surge in Output Helps Cushion Blow, Avoids Need For Emergency Stock Release

      Sept. 10, 2013 3:20 p.m. ET

      Saudi Arabia has been pumping oil at its highest level in decades to offset a global shortfall fueled by another hot spot besides Syria: Libya, where unrest has slashed output.

      A tumble in Libyan production to depths not seen since a civil war toppled the Gadhafi regime in 2011, combined with fears of a possible U.S.-led military strike against Syria, have sent oil prices sharply higher in recent weeks.

      But unlike two years ago—when plunging Libyan output triggered a release of emergency oil stockpiles by the world's biggest consumers—soaring Saudi Arabian, U.S. and Iraqi output is helping cushion the blow, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, a group of some of the world's top oil producers.

      Then we move to the more recent news ...
      Oil prices keep plummeting
      November 28, 2014

      Things changed again around September 2014. Many of those disruptions started easing. Libya's oil industry began pumping out lots of crude again.

      So to some extent you are correct, Legionnaire, the benefits of the war, to our allies, was not eternal.

    7. .

      It is irrelevant anyway.

      Deuce said:

      The Obama Administration, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, FUKUS, the usual suspects and The Washington war establishment has a lot to account for in what they did to the people of Libya.

      You counter with, "He had to go," and then speculate on the reasons for for the war. I disagree with the reasons you offer. If I were speculating, my reasons would be that the UK and France went to war with Libya because of the oil interests of BP and Total and that the US went to war because Obama is easily swayed by the women in his administration, i.e. the three Valkyries, Clinton, Rice, and Powers; Clinton because she was trying to recover some face after here miserable performance in Egypt and Rice and Powers because they were caught up in the idea of the Arab Spring and spreading democracy across the ME no matter how many countries they had to burn in order to save them.

      However, no matter whether you are right or I am, it's not important. None of the reasons mentioned justifies the shit we have brought down on Libya, the country or its people.


    8. "my reasons would be that the UK and France went to war with Libya because of the oil interests of BP and Total"

      That is at least a good solid geopolitical reason.

      The reasoning of our three women not so much.

      At any rate we weren't alone in the adventure.

    9. Never let a Democratic woman anywhere near the reins of power.

  9. 300 left.

    Zimbabwe's white farmers face threats of new evictions
    Associated Press
    By FARAI MUTSAKA 16 hours ago

    HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Most of Zimbabwe's white farmers were stripped of their land in often violent evictions that started in 2000. Now the remaining white farmers are on edge because of threats of new evictions linked to the country's long-running political turmoil.

    Mandi Chimene, a newly appointed provincial governor for Manicaland province, said at a rally this past weekend that she had evicted white farmers from 12 farms in the Headlands district alone, claiming they were being protected by the former vice president's faction. Joice Mujuru was ousted from the ruling party congress in December after falling out of favor with the president and his wife.

    Another newly appointed governor, Joe Biggie Matiza of Mashonaland East province, said he will take similar action by the end of this month.

    However, human rights advocate and political analyst Gabriel Shumba said that linking the evictions to the Mujuru faction "is just political expediency by those seeking to evict them." Shumba said, "White farmers are caught up because they are in possession of an asset that is in demand."

    The Commercial Farmers Union, which represents mostly white farmers in Zimbabwe, has sought a meeting with the lands minister over the evictions, said spokesman Hendricks Olivier. "The eviction of both black and white farmers is not good for the sector," Olivier told The Associated Press. "We need a clear policy."

    Douglas Mombeshora, the lands minister, recently said black farmers can enter into joint venture with partners of other races. But vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa later delivered a conflicting message, warning of more evictions of white farmers. President Robert Mugabe has often spoken against joint farming partnerships between blacks and whites.

    There are fewer than 300 white farmers out of the original total of 4,500, according to the Commercial Farmers Union. The land eviction program that targeted white farmers starting in 2000 was defended by Mugabe as necessary to correct land imbalances dating from the era of white rule, though the upheaval was blamed for mismanagement of Zimbabwe's once rich agricultural economy.

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      WFP Struggles to Avert Starvation in Zimbabwe Cached
      Jan 31, 2014 · HARARE— The U.N. World Food Program said it might have to scale back its efforts to ease food shortages in Zimbabwe as international funding for the ...
      Zimbabwe | WFP | United Nations World Food Programme... Cached
      Zimbabwe Refugee Food Assistance Programme in 2015. Tongogara Refugee Camp– Some 550 km southeast of Zimbabwe’s capital, ... Starvation stalks Zimbabwe villagers.
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      WFP Struggles to Avert Starvation in Zimbabwe
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      ... Harare. The food situation in his village is desperate. (Photo: VOA
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      One Million Are Starving in Zimbabwe, UN Says › africa
      Nov 21, 2011 · At least 1 million people in Zimbabwe are facing starvation, according to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). The southern African nation is in the midst of ... Zimbabwe: Starvation Strikes Zimbabwe's...
      "Whether in cities or remote areas, hunger in Zimbabwe is equally ravaging ordinary people and most of the donor community has for long directed food aid to the ...
      Starvation Strikes Zimbabwe’s Urban Dwellers | Inter... Cached
      Dec 09, 2014 · Faced with starvation, hordes of jobless Zimbabweans in towns and cities here have turned to vending on streets pavements to put food on their tables.
      'Massive starvation' feared in Zimbabwe - World news -... Cached
      HARARE, Zimbabwe — The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe on Friday warned of possible "massive starvation" there as police again detained opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

    2. This is called 'Liberation'.

    3. Or, from bread basket to basket case.

    4. If you have a choice between eating, and 'doing philosophy', eat by all means.