Posted by Kendall Harmon

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says an explosion at an Egyptian Coptic church in Libya’s third largest city, Misrata, has killed two people and wounded two others.

The statement by the Foreign Ministry says Sunday’s explosion killed two Egyptian citizens working at the church in preparation for traditional New Year’s Eve mass.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesCoptic Church

0 Comments
Posted December 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was recently struck by some photos and reports I saw on the al-Arabiya network, the most respected news outlet in the Middle East. There was a starving child in Yemen, a burnt-out ancient souk in Aleppo, Syria, car bombs in Iraq and destroyed buildings in Libya.

What links all these images is that the destruction and the atrocities were not perpetrated by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries were carried out by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard their people. Who, therefore, is the real enemy of the Arab world?

Many Arabs would say it is Israel — their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they have never recognised. From 1948 to today there have been three full-scale wars and many confrontations. But what was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people? The harder question that no Arab wants to ask is: what was the real cost of not recognising Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, healthcare and infrastructure instead of wars? But the very hardest question of all is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgyptIsraelJordanLebanonQatarSaudi ArabiaSyriaThe Palestinian/Israeli StruggleUAE (United Arab Emirates)

1 Comments
Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But during the conference, sponsored by the USCCB and Catholic Relief Services, ...[Cardinal Timothy Dolan] also called on Catholics to deepen their knowledge of this issue and register their concerns with their elected representatives.

"Americans generally, and our Catholic brothers and sisters especially, need to become better informed of the systematic challenges to the fundamental right of religious freedom in far too many countries," the cardinal urged.

The first freedom, which we too often take for granted in our own nation, even as we are vigilant in its defense, is under often violent attack.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHunger/MalnutritionReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.

American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.

The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the "safe house" in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed "safe".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

the director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, ...[Wednesday] released a message asserting that "profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions" is essential if people hope to coexist peacefully.

"The serious consequences of unjustified offense and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence," the statement added.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgyptLebanon* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

5 Comments
Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I enjoyed this--hope you do also.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.

9 Comments
Posted September 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) grieves the tragic and senseless deaths of innocent representatives of the U.S. government at the embassy in Libya. Tuesday's violence in Libya, and other areas, is reported to be sparked by an offensive film about Islam. The film's origins have not been verified.

"Very few Americans knew anything about this film until the violence started," said Leith Anderson, NAE President. "This insulting video does not represent the vast majority of Americans who desire to live at peace with people of other faiths."

The attack has been condemned by both the U.S. and Libya governments. The NAE joins together in humble prayer for the victims' families and for peace and justice in the region. The NAE calls its members to continue in efforts that build stronger relationships of understanding between those of different faiths.

Anderson said, "How should the people of the world respond to this video? Don't watch it."


Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesEvangelicalsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted September 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The attack on the Benghazi consulate took place as hundreds of protesters in neighboring Egypt scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down and replaced the American flag with a black Islamic banner.

The attacks in Benghazi and Cairo were the first such assaults on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country, at a time when both Libya and Egypt are struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of their longtime authoritarian leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak, in uprisings last year.

The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a film ridiculing Muhammad produced by an Israeli filmmaker living in California and being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States. Excerpts from the film dubbed into Arabic were posted on YouTube.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastEgypt

38 Comments
Posted September 12, 2012 at 7:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The violent deaths of four American diplomatic personnel in Libya during a heavily armed and possibly planned assault on a flimsily protected consulate facility on the Sept. 11 anniversary provoked an uproar in Washington on Wednesday, presenting new challenges in the volatile Middle East less than two months before the American presidential election.

The killings of the four Americans on Tuesday, including the ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, also raised basic questions about security and intelligence in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, where the assault took place, as well as other American diplomatic facilities elsewhere in the region, where deep-seated anti-American sentiment remains a potent force despite United States support for the Arab Spring uprisings that have transfixed the region for nearly two years.

President Obama denounced the attack, promised to avenge the killings and ordered tighter security at all American diplomatic installations. The administration also dispatched 50 Marines to Libya for greater diplomatic protection, ordered all nonemergency personnel to leave Libya and warned Americans not to travel there, suggesting further attacks were possible. A senior defense official said Wednesday night that the Pentagon was moving two warships toward the Libyan coast as a precaution.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationMediaReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

1 Comments
Posted September 12, 2012 at 5:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Libya faces enormous challenges in establishing security and laying the groundwork for a stable and prosperous state, Gallup surveys show Libyans are reaching out to the West for increased partnership. The U.S. in particular has an excellent opportunity to build a mutually beneficial, productive relationship with Libya for the first time in decades and could potentially find itself with a new, democratic ally in North Africa. A majority of Libyans (54%) surveyed in March and April 2012 approve of the leadership of the U.S. -- among the highest approval Gallup has ever recorded in the Middle East and North Africa region, outside of Israel.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

0 Comments
Posted August 19, 2012 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has become common in the West to express remorse or pessimism about the course of events in the Arab world since the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions a year ago. Tunisia, in fact, does not present a cause for general pessimism. Egypt’s xenophobic Islamism is alarming, but it is too early to judge that revolution’s outcome. In any event, the Arab revolutions never were conceived to conform to the West’s expectations, goals, or principles. In settings long influenced by nationalism and political Islam, the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian revolutions seek justice, the dispatch of autocrats, a reduction of corruption, the restoration of dignity and equality to ordinary citizens, and the development of new constitutional experiments involving rights and accountability.

These experiments must unfold in divided societies with weak economies and unresolved—perhaps never to be resolved—tensions between mosque and state. Arab democrats who struggle in these settings are not seeking to imitate Western liberalism; they are reinterpreting it, as Turkey has done successfully, and as India’s British-educated independence leaders once did. In sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, democratic change in low and middle-income countries has evolved as a synthesis of local and global ideas, lurching through disruptions, failures, and recoveries. The Arab awakening is no longer an adventure park for bored emirs or a televised spectacle that inspires Western viewers. But its transformational power has not yet ebbed, and the liberalism within it is far from expired.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaTunisiaMiddle EastEgyptQatarSyria

0 Comments
Posted February 22, 2012 at 11:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For five years, I became a fervent Islamist, moving up the ladder of increasingly radical organizations. All strands of this movement descend from the teachings of Banna. He fought against the British in Palestine, trained a paramilitary organization, and members of the movement killed Egypt’s prime minister in 1948. In response, the Egyptian state had Banna assassinated a few months later.

Yet I learned, through bitter experience, that Islamism is far from unitary or coherent. In the end, I quit what’s called “the Islamic movement” because I found it too controlling of my life — but also because I no longer wanted to be in a perpetual state of confrontation with the West. It took me several years of travel and study in the Middle East before my mind was free of Islamist influences. I remain a follower of Islam, the religion, but not of Islamism, the political ideology.

Because I was once a part of this movement — whose primary goal has been the creation of Islamic governments — and then established the world’s first counter-radical think tank, Quilliam, in London to oppose their ideology, I have been following the Arab uprisings with more than a passing interest.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaTunisiaMiddle EastEgyptSaudi Arabia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

4 Comments
Posted December 4, 2011 at 7:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the extraordinary features of us human beings is how deep the desire for fairness goes. Parents often hear a cry from their children “It's not fair”. Parents sometimes reply “Well life isn’t fair”. Indeed it is not. But the point is that we feel it ought to be, and that we ought to try to make it as fair as possible. If a child at school is being punished unfairly, others in the class will protest. If someone is getting away with a wrong, we feel they ought to be caught and admonished. Those childhood feelings are no different from the moral realm we inhabit as adults. However unjust life is, we sense an obligation to do what we can to make it more just, and that includes bringing home to criminals and tyrants the terrible consequences of their deeds....

The great cry running through the Hebrew scriptures is that this world is grossly unjust but that that God will reveal a true justice at the end-so when, when, will God act in that way to put right all that is wrong? Jews, Christians and Muslims have never lost that hope of an ultimate justice.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* TheologyEschatology

3 Comments
Posted October 26, 2011 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Catholic leaders said they could not rejoice at the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, but they recalled some of his more brutal moments and speculated on the future of Christians in the region.

"Gadhafi brutalized people for 42 years. He lived by the sword and, therefore, it's not surprising that he would die by the sword," said Habib Malik, associate professor of history at the Lebanese American University, Byblos campus.

"The manner of his death was gruesome and, no matter how evil a person might have been, such an ending is never something to rejoice about; however, he is now dead and his people are justifiably relieved and hopeful about starting a new chapter in their history," he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted October 22, 2011 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Tripoli: "We've heard quite a lot of celebratory gunfire" (Still photo shows NTC troops celebrating the capture of Sirte)

Commanders for Libya's transitional authorities say they have captured ousted leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

The reports came after transitional forces claimed control of Sirte, Col Gaddafi's birthplace, following weeks of fierce fighting.

Read it all.

Update--Qaddafi died after capture, the Misrata Military Council says.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system, which threatened allied warplanes.

While the exact techniques under consideration remain classified, the goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government’s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes.

But administration officials and even some military officers balked, fearing that it might set a precedent for other nations, in particular Russia or China, to carry out such offensives of their own, and questioning whether the attack could be mounted on such short notice.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

1 Comments
Posted October 18, 2011 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Islamic hard-liners have attacked about a half-dozen shrines in and around Tripoli belonging to Muslim sects whose practices they see as sacrilegious, raising religious tensions as Libya struggles to define its identity after Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster.

The vandalism has drawn concern at the highest levels as Libya’s new rulers seek to reassure the international community that extremists will not gain influence in the North African nation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2011 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As fighters loyal to Libya's revolutionary government gain on the holdout city of Surt, residents are making it clear that the battle for hearts and minds is far from won.

The scrublands that surround Moammar Kadafi's hometown have become a confused patchwork of loyalties. As vehicles of the revolutionary forces patrolled the dusty villages in newly seized territory Sunday, many residents peered angrily from their homes.

"The rebels are worse than rats. NATO is the same as Osama bin Laden," said a father, his seven children crowding around him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted October 4, 2011 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hundreds of revolutionary fighters pushed into Muammar Qaddafi's hometown Saturday in the first significant assault in about a week as Libya's new rulers try to rout remaining loyalists of the fugitive leader. At the same time, the political leadership sought to boost its authority, promising to announce an interim government.

Explosions rocked the city of Sirte and smoke rose into the sky as Qaddafi's forces fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at the fighters. Ambulances sped from the direction of the front line, and a doctor said at least one fighter was killed and 25 others wounded in the battle.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted September 24, 2011 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The growing influence of Islamists in Libya raises hard questions about the ultimate character of the government and society that will rise in place of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s autocracy. The United States and Libya’s new leaders say the Islamists, a well-organized group in a mostly moderate country, are sending signals that they are dedicated to democratic pluralism. They say there is no reason to doubt the Islamists’ sincerity.

But as in Egypt and Tunisia, the latest upheaval of the Arab Spring deposed a dictator who had suppressed hard-core Islamists, and there are some worrisome signs about what kind of government will follow. It is far from clear where Libya will end up on a spectrum of possibilities that range from the Turkish model of democratic pluralism to the muddle of Egypt to, in the worst case, the theocracy of Shiite Iran or Sunni models like the Taliban or even Al Qaeda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

2 Comments
Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thousands of Libyan rebel fighters have encircled the pro-Gadhafi stronghold of Bani Walid waiting for orders to attack as negotiations to resolve the standoff peacefully appeared to founder on Sunday.

Bani Walid, a city of 100,000 residents 90 miles southwest of Tripoli, stands as a first test of rebels' ability to assert control over a large swath of central Libya still controlled by Col. Moamar Gadhafi's loyalists and dominated by the three tribes that formed the backbone of his regime....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Libya’s interim government plans to begin bringing irregular rebel militias under government control, either disbanding them or incorporating them into regular police and military forces, said Ali Tarhouni, the deputy chairman of the rebels’ executive board, speaking at a news conference here on Saturday.

Mr. Tarhouni, the highest-ranking rebel official in Tripoli, the capital, so far, announced the formation of a Supreme Security Committee of civilian officials and militia leaders, which would take control of all security matters in Tripoli. He said he had been appointed its chairman.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted September 3, 2011 at 11:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The problem now is that the NTC needs the money if it is to begin to put some order into the new Libya, if it is to begin to rule Libya. To establish its authority, it must provide law and order and restore public services, including basic items like water and electricity, to show the Libyan people the fruits of the rebellion. At least part of the NTC is in the process of moving from Benghazi to Tripoli, establishing control of the capital and mitigating the perception of Libyans that the rebellion is an eastern affair, as opposed to a national one.

The difficult part is that the NTC is still disorganized. Its structure is unclear and its chain of command and, thus, ability to accept responsibility including for money, is unclear to the point of concern that it doesn't exist.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted August 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of rebel forces that deposed Col Muammar Gaddafi in Libya have said they do not intend to allow the extradition of the Lockerbie bomber.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted in connection with the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland in 1988.

Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison two years ago on health grounds.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK--Scotland

8 Comments
Posted August 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

... let me say that in English: the European Union is cracking up. The Arab world is cracking up. China’s growth model is under pressure and America’s credit-driven capitalist model has suffered a warning heart attack and needs a total rethink. Recasting any one of these alone would be huge. Doing all four at once — when the world has never been more interconnected — is mind-boggling. We are again “present at the creation” — but of what?....

As for America, we’ve thrived in recent decades with a credit-consumption-led economy, whereby we maintained a middle class by using more steroids (easy credit, subprime mortgages and construction work) and less muscle-building (education, skill-building and innovation). It’s put us in a deep hole, and the only way to dig out now is a new, hybrid politics that mixes spending cuts, tax increases, tax reform and investments in infrastructure, education, research and production. But that mix is not the agenda of either party. Either our two parties find a way to collaborate in the center around this new hybrid politics, or a third party is going to emerge — or we’re stuck and the pain will just get worse.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTaxesThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. GovernmentThe National Deficit* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAsiaChinaEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010Middle East

0 Comments
Posted August 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The NATO air campaign that was instrumental in helping the rebels advance into Tripoli is hamstrung in many ways now that the fighting has turned into complex house-to-house urban warfare, American military and allied officials said Tuesday.

For legal and practical reasons, as well as to avoid the perception of bombing indiscriminately inside Tripoli, the Libyan capital, allied warplanes will continue to prowl for targets, but mostly on the outskirts of the city where government troops might be trying to escape or reinforce Tripoli — and where the risk of civilian casualties is much lower, allied officials said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

0 Comments
Posted August 24, 2011 at 5:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It will be a relief when the war and the killing are actually over. At the same time, many questions remain. One, on the U.S. side, is whether it was worth it. There is little to regret in the departure from the Libyan and world scene of Mr. Gadhafi. He may have started well with a popular revolution in 1969 that overthrew a corrupt monarchical regime, aligned Libya's role in the Middle East and Africa more closely with that of its neighbors, and put the country's oil wealth in Libyan hands.

But Mr. Gadhafi became the perfect illustration of the adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely as his views and behavior, backed by his country's considerable wealth, became increasingly bizarre, culminating in his agents' attack on Pan Am 103 over Scotland in 1988, killing 270.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted August 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Large numbers of rebel fighters are retreating into Libya's western towns and cities to regroup with weapons looted from Moammar Gadhafi's armory while others continue to clash with the Libyan leader's regime as the battle for Tripoli enters its third day.

Rebels broke into Bab al-Azizya, the main military compound in Tripoli, and reportedly filled several pick-up trucks to the brim with munitions and supplies. Rebel soldiers told ABC News that they plan to return to their bases then go back to Tripoli to attack Gadhafi's loyalists one more time in an attempt to seal victory....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted August 23, 2011 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Libya's endgame appears to be at hand, bringing to a climax an uprising against Muammar Qaddafi that just weeks ago appeared to be stalled by inexperience, disunity, and a lack of resources.

For months, Libya has been stalemated as rebels have surged forward, only to be pushed back by Qaddafi loyalists. But aided by NATO airstrikes and better organization, rebels have been steadily building momentum....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeMiddle East

0 Comments
Posted August 22, 2011 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“You have seen the strong man judged in a bed in Egypt,” he told the two dozen immigrant members of his congregation who braved the city’s checkpoints to make it to Anglican Mass on Friday. “And so it works that the weak can overthrow the strong,” he added. “This is what is happening in our Middle East.”

In a city of tapped phone lines and ubiquitous government informers, the weekly Mass at the Church of Christ the King is a rare sanctuary: a place to speak freely with a group of Tripoli residents about the anxious, ever-shifting mood of the city.

“When NATO bombs at night, I hear my neighbors clap and cheer ‘bravo,’ and in the morning they are with the rebels,” a leading parishioner said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. “People are very, very down, and they are depending entirely on NATO.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

1 Comments
Posted August 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After six months battling a rebellion that his family portrayed as an Islamist conspiracy, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent said Wednesday that he was reversing course to forge a behind-the-scenes alliance with radical Islamist elements among the Libyan rebels to drive out their more liberal-minded confederates.

“The liberals will escape or be killed,” the son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, vowed in an hourlong interview that stretched past midnight. “We will do it together,” he added, wearing a newly grown beard and fingering Islamic prayer beads as he reclined on a love seat in a spare office tucked in a nearly deserted downtown hotel. “Libya will look like Saudi Arabia, like Iran. So what?”

The leading Islamist whom Mr. Qaddafi identified as his main counterpart in the talks, Ali Sallabi, acknowledged their conversations but dismissed any suggestion of an alliance. He said the Libyan Islamists supported the rebel leaders’ calls for a pluralistic democracy without the Qaddafis.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

1 Comments
Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

That Abdel Fateh Younes, the longtime enforcer for Muammar Qaddafi whose stunning defection to the Libyan rebellion in February was an early indication of the depth of the challenge to Qaddafi's regime, is dead, you can take to the bank. General Younes had been head of the embryonic rebel army from practically the moment he'd switched sides.

As far as the rest of the story – who killed him, when, precisely where, and why – all remains murk and conjecture, created by cross-cutting rivalries within the rebellion and the often misleading and contradictory way that Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC) communicates with the press and the Libyan public.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Libyan rebels say they are largely in control of the key eastern town of Brega, after close fighting in residential areas.

Rebels say forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi are retreating west towards Ras Lanuf.

The Libyan government denies the claims, insisting it is still in full control of Brega and has killed more than 500 rebels there.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

1 Comments
Posted July 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of crimes against humanity.

The court had grounds to believe he had ordered attacks on civilians during Libya's four-month uprising, it said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal Issues* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEuropeThe Netherlands

8 Comments
Posted June 27, 2011 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New U.S. intelligence shows Col. Moammar Gadhafi is "seriously considering" fleeing Tripoli for a more secure location outside the capital, according to U.S. officials, raising the prospect that the Libyan leader's hold on power is increasingly fragile.

The intelligence depicts a Libyan leader who "doesn't feel safe anymore" in Tripoli because of stepped-up strikes by North Atlantic Treaty Organization aircraft and by battlefield gains by rebel forces, according to a senior U.S. national-security official briefed on the recent reports that the intelligence community has shared with the White House and other agencies....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle East

0 Comments
Posted June 24, 2011 at 5:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

NATO acknowledged Sunday that an errant missile had destroyed a civilian home in the Libyan capital in the early morning, saying it may have killed civilians. It was the alliance’s first such admission in the three-month-long campaign of airstrikes against the military forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Reporters taken to the site and a nearby hospital saw at least five bodies, including those of a baby and a child. Libyan officials said at least four more civilians were killed.

The episode was NATO’s second admission of a mistaken strike in two days....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Australia / NZEngland / UKEurope

6 Comments
Posted June 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

GERARD POWERS (University of Notre Dame): Thanks for having me, Kim. I think there are three broad questions. One is, were we morally justified in going in in the first place? The second is are the means that we are using morally justified, or are we proving through the means we are using that humanitarian invention, as some allede, is really just an oxymoron? And three, I think we have to think about what an ethics of exit means in Libya.

[KIM] LAWTON: Well, let’s unpack all of that. Were we justified in going in? The president said it was to protect civilians.

POWERS: I think humanitarian intervention in extraordinary cases to protect the civilian population is justified, and not only that, there’s a duty in some cases to do that. My concern is that that objective seems to be subsumed by other objectives.

Read or watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

6 Comments
Posted June 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

NATO's leaders are scrambling to find tactics that might force Kadafi to give up: military escalation, aid to the rebels, Russian mediation. They're contemplating outcomes in which Kadafi might not have to leave Libya or stand trial before the International Criminal Court. "All options are open," Sarkozy said last month. "We are not saying that Kadafi needs to be exiled. He must leave power, and the quicker he does it, the greater his choice."

But Kadafi shows little interest in a graceful exit, and NATO may soon face a tough decision. British newspapers have already reported that former British soldiers are on the ground spotting targets for NATO airstrikes, reportedly under contract to an unnamed Arab regime. If the air war stalls, Britain and France will have to consider sending in ground forces as the quickest way to finish the job. Hague has already acknowledged that Britain will probably send peacekeeping troops if and when the conflict ends.

In a contest of wills between NATO and Kadafi, NATO still appears likely to win in the long run.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

23 Comments
Posted June 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Moammar Gadhafi insists he will not leave his country, South Africa's president said Tuesday after he met the embattled Libyan ruler.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma's office said he had pressed Gadhafi to agree to an African Union proposal for a cease-fire and dialogue to settle the Libya conflict and that the Libyan leader agreed.
"Col. Gadhafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue," it said. "He emphasized that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaSouth Africa

0 Comments
Posted June 1, 2011 at 11:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In early 2008, Libya's sovereign-wealth fund controlled by Col. Moammar Gadhafi gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs Group to sink into a currency bet and other complicated trades. The investments lost 98% of their value, internal Goldman documents show.

What happened next may be one of the most peculiar footnotes to the global financial crisis. In an effort to make up for the losses, Goldman offered Libya the chance to become one of its biggest shareholders, according to documents and people familiar with the matter.

Negotiations between Goldman and the Libyan Investment Authority stretched on for months during the summer of 2009. Eventually, the talks fell apart, and nothing more was done about the lost money.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeCurrency MarketsStock MarketForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

1 Comments
Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As NATO's military campaign against Moammar Gadhafi's Libyan regime continued last week, the 60-day deadline for U.S. participation expired, based on the 1973 War Powers Resolution. So it's debatable whether President Obama has the legal authority for continued use of U.S. forces in the Libyan campaign.

The "witching hour" has arrived.

So far, the president hasn't made a persuasive case for ignoring the deadline. He owes the American people an explanation.

Polls show declining public support for this intervention, despite the president's repeated upbeat assessments of its progress....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

3 Comments
Posted May 26, 2011 at 7:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Barack Obama will pressure David Cameron this week not to begin scaling back British forces' involvement in Afghanistan later this year.

The American president, who arrives at London Stansted tomorrow to begin a full state visit to Britain, after a quick stop-off in Ireland today, will seek the Prime Minister's backing for a tougher stance on a range of international and security issues from "AfPak" (Afghanistan-Pakistan) and combating homegrown terrorism to missile defence in the former Soviet Union. Mr Cameron will, in return, seek deeper American commitment for Nato action in Libya, where Britain and France seek help towards an exit strategy from the conflict.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK--Ireland

1 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A fightback by repressive governments is putting at risk a historic struggle for freedom and justice in the Arab world, Amnesty International says.

Publishing its annual report, the rights group highlights the fight for control over communications technology.

It criticises Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen for targeting peaceful protesters to stay in power.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAsiaBahrainChinaYemenMiddle EastIranSyria

0 Comments
Posted May 13, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Few who have seen the front lines would dispute that Libya’s rebels need arms matched to their fight. But as the European powers send military advisers to eastern Libya, the developing NATO plan to help the rebels organize themselves quickly into an effective fighting force confronts their backers with difficult issues.

A survey of weapons carried by hundreds of rebels fighting on two fronts — in eastern Libya and the besieged city of Misurata — presents a picture of an armed uprising that is both underequipped and in custody of many weapons with no utility in the war at hand. The rebels are also in possession of weapons that if sold, lost or misused, could undermine their revolution’s reputation and undercut their cause.

These include anti-aircraft missiles and land mines, both of which the rebels have used on at least a limited basis so far, and which pose long-term regional security threats. They include as well heavier weapons — Type 63 and Grad rockets — that rebels have fired indiscriminately, endangering civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

1 Comments
Posted April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil Wednesday that France would intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's army, the president's office said in a statement.

It gave no detail on how the strikes would be ramped up.

"We are indeed going to intensify the attacks and respond to this request from the national transition council," the Elysee Palace said in a statement after Sarkozy met Abdel Jalil in Paris, their first face-to-face meeting.

"The President said 'We will help you,'" the Elysee said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEuropeFrance

5 Comments
Posted April 20, 2011 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Western powers eager to help Libyan rebels sell oil from territories they control are ignoring the U.N. Security Council's sanctions committee, leaving Libyan crude in legal limbo, envoys and analysts say.

Without definitive guidance on the legal status of Libyan oil from the politically divided U.N. sanctions committee, U.N. diplomats and traders say the oil could remain virtually untouchable as major trading players take care to avoid running afoul of the U.N. sanctions.

U.N. diplomats told Reuters that Security Council members eager to escalate the pressure on Gaddafi's government -- above all France and Britain -- rushed through the two packages of sanctions and may not have foreseen how difficult the U.N. measures would make it to aid the rebels.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted April 20, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

British Army officers are being sent to Libya to advise rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

The UK group will be deployed to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, Libya's second city, in a mentoring role to help leaders co-ordinating attacks on the dictator's army.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK

5 Comments
Posted April 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While parts of Libya's northern coast have been changing hands from day to day, the conflict in Misrata has turned into a lethal stand-off.

Weeks of heavy bombardments by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi have failed to break the deadlock.

This is explained partly by the size of Misrata, Libya's third largest city.

It is the only significant western rebel holdout, and is strategically important because of its deep-sea port, so rebels have fought hard to defend it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

11 Comments
Posted April 19, 2011 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a pathway to peace that promises new hope for the people of Libya — a future without Qaddafi that preserves Libya’s integrity and sovereignty, and restores her economy and the prosperity and security of her people. This needs to begin with a genuine end to violence, marked by deeds not words. The regime has to pull back from the cities it is besieging, including Ajdabiya, Misurata and Zintan, and return to their barracks. However, so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Qaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEuropeFrance

2 Comments
Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nato has refused to apologise for a "friendly fire" attack on rebel tanks in eastern Libya that killed at least four people.

Rear Adm Russ Harding said that, until Thursday's incident, Nato had not been aware that rebel troops had started to use tanks.

"Our job is to protect civilians," he told a news conference.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2011 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Oil at $175 a barrel; copper at $12,000 a tonne and corn at $10 a bushel. As commodity prices rally, the world’s largest trading houses have been busy ‘stress testing’ to be sure their finances can withstand a “super spike”.

The levels are not a forecast – indeed, executives tell me they do not expect such hefty prices – but do signal a “worse case scenario” for which oil, metals and food commodities traders need to prepare.

I sincerely hope not--read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2011 at 5:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Late Monday afternoon, as Libyan rebels prepared another desperate attack on the eastern oil town of Brega, a young rebel raised his rocket-propelled grenade as if to fire. The town’s university, shimmering in the distance, was far beyond his weapon’s maximum range. An older rebel urged him to hold fire, telling him the weapon’s back-blast could do little more than reveal their position and draw a mortar attack.

The younger rebel almost spat with disgust. “I have been fighting for 37 days!” he shouted. “Nobody can tell me what to do!”

The outburst midfight — and the ensuing argument between a determined young man who seemed to have almost no understanding of modern war and an older man who wisely counseled caution — underscored a fact that is self-evident almost everywhere on Libya’s eastern front. The rebel military, as it sometimes called, is not really a military at all.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

7 Comments
Posted April 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the Libya conflict appears to settle into a potentially protracted stalemate, the memory of President Obama’s demand that Muammar Qaddafi step down from power – essentially a call for regime change – is feeding a debate over what the president will or should do now to influence the outcome.

A growing number of policymakers and regional experts are concluding that a drawn-out war in the midst of a turbulent Middle East would be the worst of all possibilities. And as they do, doubts are mounting over the Obama administration’s decision to take – or at least try to take – a back-seat role among international powers involved in Libya.

Even as Libya’s rebels retreat from gains made last week and Colonel Qaddafi shows no signs of budging from his Tripoli stronghold, a debate builds over what the US should do. One side says Obama is in tune with a majority of Americans who may support the idea of humanitarian intervention, yet who are leery of any deeper involvement of the US in Libya.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Australia / NZEngland / UKEurope

40 Comments
Posted April 7, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Libyan rebel commander, Gen Abdul Fattah Younis, has accused Nato of standing idly by while pro-Gaddafi forces kill people in Misrata.

If Nato waited another week to intervene, the besieged city's people faced extermination, he told reporters in the de facto rebel capital Benghazi.

A Nato-led coalition mandated by the UN to protect civilians is enforcing a no-fly zone and attacking ground targets.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

23 Comments
Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Oil climbed to the highest level in 30 months in New York on speculation that U.S. economic growth may support demand and a protracted conflict in Libya will curtail supply.

Futures advanced a third day after an April 1 report showed the U.S., the world’s largest crude consumer, added more jobs than economists forecast last month. Prices are too high and “worrying,” the chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said today. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi bombed an oil field south of the city of Ajdabiya, Al Jazeera television reported, heightening concern output losses from Africa’s third-largest producer may continue.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the situation in Libya may be prolonged,” said Christopher Bellew, senior broker at Bache Commodities Ltd. in London. “The more one looks at uprisings in the Middle East, the more one realizes they will not be easy to resolve. At the same time, oil demand is relatively inelastic to higher prices.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

7 Comments
Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There’s a pariah state someplace known for brutalizing its people and destabilizing its region. As cracks start to appear, the West turns up the heat in favor of regime change. Fairly quickly, talk of negotiations, sanctions, and international pressure gives way to armed force.

Western leaders try to sell the conflict as a moral cause, so people naturally wonder what the Vatican makes of it. Signals at first seem ambivalent, but before long the Vatican becomes steadily more skeptical. While they never quite directly condemn the action, the take-away is that they’re not on board.

That, of course, was the trajectory in 1999, when NATO bombed Serbia; in 2001, when the war in Afghanistan began; and to some extent in 2003, when a U.S.-led “coalition of the willing” invaded Iraq, although Vatican opposition in that case was more clear from the outset. The pattern may now be repeating itself with regard to Libya.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAsiaAfghanistan* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 4, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Islam is bound to play a larger role in government in the Arab world than elsewhere. Most Muslims do not believe in the separation of religion and state, as America and France do, and have not lost their enthusiasm for religion, as many “Christian Democrats” in Europe have. Muslim democracies such as Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia all have big Islamic parties.

But Islamic does not mean Islamist. Al-Qaeda in the past few years has lost ground in Arab hearts and minds. The jihadists are a small minority, widely hated by their milder co-religionists, not least for giving Islam a bad name across the world. Ideological battles between moderates and extremists within Islam are just as fierce as the animosity pitting Muslim, Christian and Jewish fundamentalists against each other. Younger Arabs, largely responsible for the upheavals, are better connected and attuned to the rest of the modern world than their conservative predecessors were.

Moreover, some Muslim countries are on the road to democracy, or already there.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaTunisiaAsiaBahrainMiddle EastEgyptJordanSaudi ArabiaSyria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted April 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. officials are becoming increasingly resigned to the possibility of a protracted stalemate in Libya, with rebels retaining control of the eastern half of the divided country but lacking the muscle to drive Moammar Gaddafi from power.

Such a deadlock — perhaps backed by a formal cease-fire agreement — could help ensure the safety of Libyan civilians caught in the crossfire between the warring sides. But it could also dramatically expand the financial and military commitments by the United States and allied countries that have intervened in the six-week-old conflict, according to U.S. officials familiar with planning for the Libyan operation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

7 Comments
Posted April 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At least 40 Libyan civilians have been killed as a consequence of airstrikes carried out by the United States and other Western powers, the leading church official in Libya said.

"The so-called humanitarian raids have caused dozens of victims among civilians in some areas of Tripoli," the Libyan capital, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, told the Vatican's missionary news agency Fides March 31.

"I gathered testimony from trustworthy people. In particular, in the neighborhood of Buslim, the bombardments caused the collapse of a civilian residence building, resulting in the deaths of 40 people," Bishop Martinelli said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

19 Comments
Posted March 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It really couldn't be clearer. "The Congress shall have power … to declare war." Yet these are probably the most egregiously ignored words in the Constitution. You would think that Republicans, especially, with their showy fondness for "originalism" and "plain meaning" in interpreting the Constitution, would have no problem interpreting the meaning of these words: If a president wants to go to war, he must get the approval of Congress.

Presidents of both parties traditionally ignore the congressional war power when they feel like it. Or they wait until the troops are poised for battle — putting Congress in an impossible position — before asking permission.


Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

54 Comments
Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is an old saying in the Middle East that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee. That thought came to my mind as I listened to President Obama trying to explain the intervention of America and its allies in Libya — and I don’t say that as criticism. I say it with empathy. This is really hard stuff, and it’s just the beginning.

When an entire region that has been living outside the biggest global trends of free politics and free markets for half a century suddenly, from the bottom up, decides to join history — and each one of these states has a different ethnic, tribal, sectarian and political orientation and a loose coalition of Western and Arab states with mixed motives trying to figure out how to help them — well, folks, you’re going to end up with some very strange-looking policy animals. And Libya is just the first of many hard choices we’re going to face in the “new” Middle East.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle East

3 Comments
Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President Obama tried Monday night to clarify America's goals -- and methods -- in Libya. Unfortunately, though, just as the international coalition's air strikes have so far left dictator Moammar Gadhafi in power, the president's speech to the nation from Fort McNair in Washington left some troubling questions unanswered.

The president seemed to declare victory of a sort while hailing NATO's looming Wednesday takeover of coalition command. And for the present, Col. Gadhafi has been beaten back by the coalition. But U.S. air power remains the coalition's most potent weapon. How much of our air arsenal will remain at the coalition's disposal? For how long?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

4 Comments
Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Qaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

9 Comments
Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain and the United States are prepared to consider a swift exit of Colonel Gaddafi into exile, it emerged tonight.

Coalition nations gather in London tomorrow to plot a future for Libya without him. The official position of Britain and the US is for the dictator to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, but both are ready to accept that a deal under which he leaves the country quickly may be in Libya’s best interests.

Such a move has some European support, including from Italy, and could be facilitated by the African Union.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

3 Comments
Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The issue of a “just war” is rather simple when a nation is attacked and has to defend itself. Since the American intervention in Iraq, the question of preventive strikes has been widely discussed. The fact that Gadhafi has to use mercenaries to try to repress the uprising of his own people could be another case to consider: does the international community have the right to intervene in such a situation?

Yes, and for several reasons: the rebels have requested it; the Arab League and therefore the neighboring countries have asked for it, and our own awareness of the suffering of the Libyan people, and what awaits the insurgents if Gadhafi wins his war against his own people, requires it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

24 Comments
Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Historically, the east of Libya centred on Benghazi is quite distinct from the rest of the country and has suffered disproportionately under Col Gaddafi. It is not impossible that the country will be effectively divided while a civil war ensues. We have no mandate from the UN to intervene on the ground to help the anti-Gaddafi forces take Tripoli. We could, of course, arm them, which would allow them to defend the territory gained but we are then drifting further away from humanitarian intervention and closer to direct military involvement. More importantly, it might make it more difficult in future to secure Security Council backing for future humanitarian interventions.

From a parochial British point of view, we will want to gauge whether removing Col Gaddafi, as opposed to stopping his attacks on his own people, matters sufficiently to us as to be prepared to see our soldiers actively engaged on the ground. In reaching a decision are we motivated by a desire to protect our own security and energy supplies or are we inspired by the obvious wish of significant elements of the Libyan people to be free of the Gaddafi incubus? Almost certainly the latter.

But after the bitter experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan, public opinion will want to know what the exit strategy is. If we are prepared to intervene on the ground to save Benghazi from being overrun by Col Gaddafi, how long would we be prepared to remain?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

3 Comments
Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Libya is not Iraq. The West has learned through bitter experience to avoid the grievous mistakes it made from the outset of that venture. For one thing, the current mission is indisputably legal. For another, it has, at least for now, the backing of Libya’s own people and—even allowing for some wobbles from Turkey and the Arab League—of most Arab and Muslim countries. Libya’s population is a quarter the size of Iraq’s, and the country should be easier to control: almost all its people, a more homogeneous lot albeit with sharp tribal loyalties, live along the Mediterranean coastal strip. If Colonel Qaddafi’s state crumbles, the West should not seek to disband his army or the upper echelons of his administration, as it foolishly did in Iraq. The opposition’s interim national council contains secular liberals, Islamists, Muslim Brothers, tribal figures and recent defectors from the camp of Colonel Qaddafi. The West should recognise the council as a transitional government, provided that it promises to hold multiparty elections. Above all, there must be no military occupation by outsiders. It is tempting to put time-limits on such a venture, but that would be futile.

Success in Libya is not guaranteed—how could it be? It is a violent country that may well succumb to more violence, and will not become a democracy any time soon. But its people deserve to be spared the dictator’s gun and be given a chance of a better future.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

0 Comments
Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives lost power in their German heartland after nearly six decades, initial poll results showed Sunday, with the Greens likely to lead their first state government.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have ruled Baden-Wuerttemberg since 1953, but anger over her nuclear policy in light of the Japan crisis as well as decisions on Libya and the euro drove away voters in the run-up to the poll.

The anti-nuclear Greens claimed about 24 percent of the vote -- about 12 point higher than five years ago -- and were likely to form a coalition with the Social Democrats, who garnered about 23 percent in the rich state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAsiaJapanEuropeGermany

0 Comments
Posted March 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[BOB] ABERNETHY: You have described a theory that you call “preventive humanitarian intervention.” Would you describe what that is.

[WILLIAM] GALSTON: Sure, it’s not that complicated. In the 1990s, there were two episodes of genocidal ethnic cleansing: one in the Balkans, the other in Rwanda. In both cases, the international community waited too long to intervene, and the result was a disaster. Many people in the White House remember that. Some of them were there in policy-making decisions. They were determined not to repeat it. When the Libyan forces were on the edge of Benghazi and Colonel Gaddafi issued a bloodcurdling threat to hunt down the dissidents alley by alley, the administration thought that it had no choice but to act to prevent an impending blood bath, and I think they were right.

ABERNETHY: You’ve also spoken of our two objectives. Spell those out.

GALSTON: We have a humanitarian objective and political objective. The humanitarian objective is to protect innocent civilian life. The political objective, which President Obama articulated some weeks ago, is to secure the exit of Colonel Gaddafi from power.

Read or watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted March 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Democracy is part of America's very identity, and thus we benefit in a world of more democracies. But this is no reason to delude ourselves about grand historical schemes or to forget our wider interests. Precisely because so much of the Middle East is in upheaval, we must avoid entanglements and stay out of the domestic affairs of the region. We must keep our powder dry for crises ahead that might matter much more than those of today.

Our most important national-security resource is the time that our top policy makers can devote to a problem, so it is crucial to avoid distractions. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the fragility of Pakistan, Iran's rush to nuclear power, a possible Israeli military response—these are all major challenges that have not gone away. This is to say nothing of rising Chinese naval power and Beijing's ongoing attempt to Finlandize much of East Asia.

We should not kid ourselves. In foreign policy, all moral questions are really questions of power. We intervened twice in the Balkans in the 1990s only because Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic had no nuclear weapons and could not retaliate against us, unlike the Russians, whose destruction of Chechnya prompted no thought of intervention on our part (nor did ethnic cleansing elsewhere in the Caucasus, because it was in Russia's sphere of influence). At present, helping the embattled Libyan rebels does not affect our interests, so we stand up for human rights there. But helping Bahrain's embattled Shia, or Yemen's antiregime protesters, would undermine key allies, so we do nothing as demonstrators are killed in the streets.

Of course, just because we can't help everywhere does not mean we can't help somewhere.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastEgyptIranIraqIsraelJordanSaudi ArabiaSyria

0 Comments
Posted March 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Libyan rebels backed by extensive allied air raids have seized control of the frontline oil town of Ajdabiya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Insurgents celebrated amid the ruins of tanks and artillery pieces and then moved west to the town of Brega.

Gaddafi loyalists seized Ajdabiya last week as they advanced east to quell an uprising which began in mid-February.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

13 Comments
Posted March 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, has warned that interfaith relations may be harmed by the “unfolding events” in Libya.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Monday, the Bishop asked whether the Leader of the Lords, Lord Strath­clyde, shared his “concern that in an increasingly volatile region there are already those who for their own ends are using somewhat inflammatory language and trying to construct a reli­gious narrative around these un­folding events.

“In this account, a vulnerable Is­lamic population is being subjected to an opportunistic attack by a power­ful Christian West. Not only does such a narrative have the power to destab­il­ise the wider Middle East region, but it could impact very negatively on community relations in this country.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK

14 Comments
Posted March 25, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

David Kirkpatrick, the Cairo bureau chief for The Times, wrote an article from Libya on Monday that posed the key question, not only about Libya but about all the new revolutions brewing in the Arab world: “The question has hovered over the Libyan uprising from the moment the first tank commander defected to join his cousins protesting in the streets of Benghazi: Is the battle for Libya the clash of a brutal dictator against a democratic opposition, or is it fundamentally a tribal civil war?”

This is the question because there are two kinds of states in the Middle East: “real countries” with long histories in their territory and strong national identities (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Iran); and those that might be called “tribes with flags,” or more artificial states with boundaries drawn in sharp straight lines by pens of colonial powers that have trapped inside their borders myriad tribes and sects who not only never volunteered to live together but have never fully melded into a unified family of citizens. They are Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The tribes and sects that make up these more artificial states have long been held together by the iron fist of colonial powers, kings or military dictators. They have no real “citizens” in the modern sense. Democratic rotations in power are impossible because each tribe lives by the motto “rule or die” — either my tribe or sect is in power or we’re dead.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

0 Comments
Posted March 23, 2011 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bombing Gadhafi's forces in cities would likely cause civilian casualties, precisely what the allies are charged with preventing, said Stephen Biddle, a military analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations.

"If they start firing artillery from (within) cities, they're hard to reach with airstrikes," Biddle said. "If your mandate is to avoid civilian casualties, that leaves us thwarted."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

11 Comments
Posted March 23, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

France has proposed that a new political steering committee outside Nato be responsible for overseeing military operations over Libya.

The proposal comes just a day after Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons that Nato would be in charge of enforcing UN Security Council resolution 1973.

But on Tuesday Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that it would only "help enforce" the no-fly zone, not lead it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEuropeFrance

28 Comments
Posted March 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The question has hovered over the Libyan uprising from the moment the first tank commander defected to join his cousins protesting in the streets of Benghazi: Is the battle for Libya the clash of a brutal dictator against a democratic opposition, or is it fundamentally a tribal civil war?

The answer could determine the course of both the Libyan uprising and the results of the Western intervention. In the West’s preferred chain of events, airstrikes enable the rebels to unite with the currently passive residents of the western region around Tripoli, under the banner of an essentially democratic revolution that topples Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

He, however, has predicted the opposite: that the revolt is a tribal war of eastern Libya against the west that ends in either his triumph or a prolonged period of chaos.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

2 Comments
Posted March 22, 2011 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On March 13, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt reported that the Rev. Hamdy Doud, the assistant rector of Christ the King Church remained in Tripoli, caring for the church.

Two of the three clergy have been evacuated from Libya as have the Western expatriate members of the congregation, Bishop Anis reported. However, a number of Anglican Africans remained in the city, unable to flee.

“It is my responsibility to keep the Christian presence here,” Fr. Hamdy told Bishop Anis, adding that he and the city’s “Roman Catholic priests are having a good time of fellowship in spite of the crisis in Libya.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

8 Comments
Posted March 21, 2011 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U.S. and its allies intensified air attacks against forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday, keeping anti-Gadhafi rebels from being immediately overrun and bringing a reprieve to the increasingly desperate pro-democracy uprising.

Allied jets and missiles pounded Libyan military targets over the weekend, including one of Col. Gadhafi's armored columns seen charred on the road to Benghazi, the rebels' de facto capital. Rebels emboldened by the international support renewed fighting in Ajdabiya, a strategic city they had lost last week, witnesses said.

On Sunday night, fighter jets were heard above the center of Tripoli, followed by explosions and antiaircraft fire a witness said struck military installations. Later, Libyan authorities said a building in Col. Gadhafi's compound had been hit and damaged.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted March 21, 2011 at 5:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Still, the top U.S. military officer said the goals of the international campaign are "limited" and won't necessarily lead to the ousting of Gadhafi.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether it was possible that the mission's goals could be achieved while leaving Gadafi in power, Adm. Mike Mullen said, "That's certainly potentially one outcome." Pressed on this point later in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Mullen was more vague, saying it was too early to speculate. He said the Libyan leader is "going to have to make some choices about his own future" at some point.

Gadhafi vowed to fight on. In a phone call to Libyan state television, he said he would not let up on Benghazi and said the government had opened up weapons depots to all Libyans, who were now armed with "automatic weapons, mortars and bombs." State television said Gadhafi's supporters were converging on airports as human shields.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

9 Comments
Posted March 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

SHAUN CASEY (Wesley Theological Seminary): Whether you act or whether you don’t act, the stakes are really quite high, and that’s what makes it so daunting from a moral perspective: trying to find the right way to know when to intervene and when not to because the consequences, the body counts are quite high.

LAWTON: In the wake of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the United Nations hammered out a set of principles known as the “Responsibility to Protect.” The principles say that nations must protect their population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. And if a state doesn’t live up to that responsibility, the international community has a responsibility to step in. The United States has endorsed those principles.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from Nobel acceptance speech, December 209): I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in the other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

5 Comments
Posted March 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The US, UK and France have attacked Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi's forces in the first action to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone.

Military officials are said to be assessing the damage after at least 110 missiles were fired by the US and UK.

After one attack, some 14 bodies were lying near destroyed vehicles near the rebel-held city of Benghazi after strikes by French planes, Reuters says.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

33 Comments
Posted March 20, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Allied warplanes are stopping Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Saturday.

Gaddafi's troops on Saturday morning pushed into the outskirts of Benghazi, the second city of some 670,000 people, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt Western air strikes that came after a meeting of Western and Arab leaders in Paris.

But as the meeting ended, Sarkozy announced that allied air forces had already gone into action.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

7 Comments
Posted March 19, 2011 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

2 Comments
Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pro-Gaddafi tanks are inside Libya's rebel stronghold of Benghazi, a BBC journalist has witnessed, as the city came under attack.

A jet appears to have been shot down over the city in spite of a declared ceasefire and a UN no-fly resolution.

World leaders are due to meet in Paris to discuss military action.

The rebel leader has appealed to the international community to stop the pro-Gaddafi bombardment, but the government denies claims of attacks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Trying to outmaneuver Western military intervention, Moammar Gadhafi's government declared a cease-fire on Friday against the rebel uprising faltering against his artillery, tanks and warplanes. The opposition said shells rained down well after the announcement and accused the Libyan leader of lying.

Wary of the cease-fire, Britain and France took the lead in plans to enforce a no-fly zone, sending British warplanes to the Mediterranean and announcing a crisis summit in Paris with the U.N. and Arab allies. In Washington, President Barack Obama ruled out the use of American ground troops but warned that the U.S., which has an array of naval and air forces in the region, would join in military action.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

40 Comments
Posted March 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

17 Comments
Posted March 18, 2011 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Egypt's military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington's knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.

The shipments—mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition—appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states' unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgypt

3 Comments
Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United Nations authorised military action to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing "no mercy, no pity."

"We will come, zenga, zenga. House by house, room by room," he said in a radio address to the eastern city.

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a central square celebrating the U.N. vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolour flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades. Fireworks burst over the city.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

20 Comments
Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Obama administration may not care to admit it, but it did make a decision, and one of benefit to Gaddafi. Why? One factor was surely Obama's preference for a less activist foreign policy in general.

But there were special considerations in Libya, and they were clearly stated in a piece by General Wesley Clark for the Washington Post last Friday. The former US commander in Kosovo and a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate wrote: "We don't have a clearly stated objective, legal authority, committed international support or adequate on-the-scene military capabilities, and Libya's politics hardly foreshadow a clear outcome."

The key phrase here is "Libya's politics". For the past few days, Washington policy circles have been worrying over a piece of research circulated last week: "On a per capita basis … twice as many foreign fighters came to Iraq from Libya – and specifically eastern Libya – than from any other country in the Arabic-speaking world. Libyans were apparently more fired up to travel to Iraq to kill Americans than anyone else in the Middle East. And 84.1 per cent [74] of the 88 Libyan fighters … who listed their hometowns came from either Benghazi or Darnah in Libya's east."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenateTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

7 Comments
Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Possible interventions include not only a no-fly zone but also providing weapons to the rebels, offering inducements to Gaddafi loyalists to defect, jamming Libyan military radio transmissions or bombing Mr. Gaddafi’s tanks and artillery when they move east. Each option carries risks for the United States, and Mr. Obama’s caution is understandable.

On the other hand, Mr. Gaddafi’s military is weak, and many Libyans clearly are desperate for change. And a Gaddafi victory also carries risks for U.S. interests, as Mr. Obama himself has said. A sacking of Benghazi will be accompanied and followed by a horrific bloodbath. A revitalized dictator is likely to be distinctly unfriendly to Western interests. And other despots will conclude that Mr. Gaddafi’s brand of merciless revenge brings better results than the Tunisian and Egyptian models of accommodating people’s yearning for freedom — and that American threats to the contrary can be discounted.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

122 Comments
Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:13 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

World leaders on Tuesday refused all forms of military intervention in Libya, abandoning Col Muammar Gaddafi's fleeing opposition to its fate.

France and Britain failed to persuade other world powers meeting in Paris to impose a no-fly zone over the country, where pro-Gaddafi forces claimed to have taken the last major town before the rebel capital, Benghazi.

The no-fly proposal was absent from the G8 foreign ministers' closing statement in Paris, following resistance from Russia, Germany and the US. China, a United Nations security council veto-holder, is also opposed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaAmerica/U.S.A.England / UKEurope

2 Comments
Posted March 16, 2011 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A strategic town is lost in the east with another expected to follow soon. In the west, a symbolic centre of resistance is about to suffer an onslaught that it is unlikely to survive. With no international action to stop Muammar Gaddafi's fierce offensive, the survival of Libya's revolution hangs in a precarious balance.

Just four days ago the picture was very different: the rebel fighters were seemingly on a march to the capital, Tripoli, and the enemy was in disarray and retreat. But a series of misjudgements, and chronic lack of planning and organisation, have resulted in a dramatic reversal. The regime's troops are poised to strike at Benghazi, the capital of "Free Libya''.

By yesterday afternoon, the opposition had abandoned Ras Lanuf, an oil port on the key coastal route. They withdrew to Aghala, outside Brega, another petrochemical complex. Control of the two locations would provide the regime with the reserves of fuel needed for the tanks and armoured cars arriving in increasing numbers on the frontline. It would also put Tripoli in a position to shut down power supplies to Benghazi.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

30 Comments
Posted March 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Arab League has backed the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, as rebels continue to be pushed back by Colonel Gaddafi's forces.

A special meeting in Cairo voted to ask the UN Security Council to impose the policy until the current crisis ended.

The UK and France have pushed for the idea, but have failed so far to win firm backing from the EU or Nato.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle East

3 Comments
Posted March 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The turmoil in Libya and elsewhere in the region has toppled or undermined North African dictators who negotiated a web of benefits from Europe, including aid and diplomatic standing, in return for stopping immigrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean.

Without the assistance of those leaders, many in Europe worry that they will face new waves of illegal immigration not only from the liberated areas in the north, but from much of sub-Saharan Africa as well.

The immigrants would arrive at a time when much of Europe — struggling with high unemployment and lethargic economies — is already awash with anti-immigrant sentiment, and many countries say they are simply incapable of absorbing poor migrants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaTunisiaEuropeMiddle EastEgypt

2 Comments
Posted March 11, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

France and Britain on Thursday agreed that Libya strongman Moamer Kadhafi "must go" and called on the EU to consider the country's rebel national council a valid political interlocutor, Sarkozy's office said.

"To stop further suffering of the Libyan people, Muammar Gaddafi and his clique should leave," French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a joint letter to European Union president Herman Von Rompuy.

France earlier recognised the rebels as the country's rightful representatives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UKEuropeFrance

10 Comments
Posted March 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the Obama administration wrestles over what to do about Libya, the voices on Capitol Hill offer no consensus on military action.

Influential senators John McCain, a Republican, and John Kerry, a Democrat, have kept up a drumbeat for U.S. military action such as a "no-fly" zone to aid the rebels fighting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

But other senior lawmakers, like Republicans Senator Richard Lugar and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, are warning against getting the United States into a Libyan war.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

42 Comments
Posted March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check them out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

8 Comments
Posted March 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

NATO foreign ministers are preparing to discuss imposing a no-fly zone over battle-torn Libya amid some of the fiercest fighting of the uprising against Moamar Gaddafi.

Counter-attacks by Gaddafi loyalists suggest the embattled leader, in power for four decades, will not go as quietly or quickly as fellow leaders in Egypt and Tunisia did in a tide of popular unrest rolling across the Arab world.

The rebellion against the Libyan leader is now in its fourth week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEurope

7 Comments
Posted March 10, 2011 at 5:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has “tens of billions” in cash secretly hidden away in Tripoli, allowing him to prolong his fight against rebel forces despite an international freeze on many of the Libyan government’s assets, according to American and other intelligence officials.

Colonel Qaddafi has control over the huge cash deposits, which have been stored at the Libyan Central Bank and other banks around the Libyan capital in recent years, the officials said.

Since the protests and fighting erupted, some of the money may have been moved into Colonel Qaddafi’s Tripoli compound, Bab Al Azizia, according to one person with ties to the Libyan government. While United States intelligence officials said they could not confirm such a move, one official said that Colonel Qaddafi “likely has tens of billions in cash that he can access inside Libya.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyPersonal FinancePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibya

0 Comments
Posted March 10, 2011 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Gadhafi doesn't even shy away from bombing his own people. Doesn't this raise the question of whether the West should intervene militarily?

Schulz: Gadhafi's methods are brutal. But we have to choose carefully between an emotional reaction, which is understandable, and decisions that could lead to a protracted war. All of the measures that can be taken within the context of the Charter of the United Nations must be considered. I am deliberately emphasizing the word "all" there -- in other words, including the military option. But that's only possible with the involvement of the Security Council and the Arab countries.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why?

Schulz: Military intervention without their involvement could even have the effect of strengthening Gadhafi....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEurope

1 Comments
Posted March 8, 2011 at 7:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)