Helicopter attacks mark further escalation of US-NATO war in Libya

Patrick O’Connor

Apache Helicopters take off to attack Libya

British and French assault helicopters began operations over key Libyan cities on Saturday, marking a significant escalation of NATO’s war of aggression in the North African state.

Four British Apache helicopters based on the aircraft carrier HMS Ocean, docked in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast, launched multiple attacks on targets in the eastern oil centre of Brega. Libyan government-controlled checkpoints between Brega and another oil port, Ras Lanuf, were also hit.

According to a NATO statement, the targets destroyed by the Apaches’ 30mm cannon fire and laser-guided Hellfire missiles included “military vehicles, military equipment and fielded forces.”

French Tigre and Gazelle helicopters also began operations. At the same time, warplanes continued to bomb infrastructure and other targets in the capital, Tripoli.

Apache helicopters have been widely deployed by American and British forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The “collateral murder” video released by WikiLeaks last year documented just one bloody incident involving the Apaches. The attack helicopters now in use over Libya are reportedly all manned by British veterans of the war in Afghanistan.

NATO’s use of attack helicopters again demonstrates the fraud of the war’s “humanitarian” pretext. Apache operations have nothing to do with enforcing a no-fly zone or defending civilians. They are being used to boost the regime-change campaign targeting Muammar Gaddafi. President Barack Obama and his European allies are attempting to install a new client regime in Tripoli in order to advance their strategic and economic interests in the oil-rich country and across the North African region.

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror

Stephen Lendman

Israeli soldiers shot and killed on Sunday 24 protesters who gathered on
the Syrian side of the border of the Israeli occupied Golan Heights marking
the Naksa Day, while at least 350 were injured. (Al-Qassam)

Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:

an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;
in Bil'in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel's illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;
on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil'in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;
on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil'in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;
Israel conducted 47 incursions into West Bank communities and one in central Gaza, arresting 29, including four children and two women;
two Jenin charitable organizations were closed and eight artisan wells destroyed;
a Qalqilya construction materials shop was bulldozed;
Israeli vessels fired on Palestinian fishermen, crashing into and destroying one boat in Gazan waters, injuring its occupant, rescued by others nearby;
Israeli tanks, military vehicles and bulldozers breached Gaza's border east of the al-Buriage refugee camp, terrorizing residents and razing agricultural land gratuitously;
Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Gazan man in Gaza City's al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd in Madma village, burning four dunams of farmland there;
other settlers attacked a Palestinian youth in central Hebron's al-Dbuya area, injuring him;
almost daily other settler attacks occur, protected by Israeli soldiers; and
IDF forces conduct regular West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza incursions any time day or night, terrorizing nonviolent civilians, including women and children.

Alarmed by Netanyahu's extremism, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan went public on concerns he finds most alarming, saying when still in office with other recently retired top officials, they "could block any dangerous adventure. Now I am afraid that there is no one to stop Bibi and Barak."

It's not the Iranians or Palestinians who worry him. It's Israel's leadership, in recent comments made to journalists and a Tel Aviv University audience, calling these no ordinary times. In his view, it's one minute to midnight, a frightening thought by someone well versed on policy who knows.

Will Washington Foment War Between China and India?

Paul Craig Roberts

The only way the American Empire can be stopped is for China and Russia to realize their danger and to form an unbreakable alliance that reassures India, breaks off Germany from NATO and defends Iran.

What is Washington’s solution for the rising power of China? - The answer might be to involve China in a nuclear war with India.

The staging of the fake death of bin Laden in a commando raid that violated Pakistan’s sovereignty was sold to President Obama by the military/security complex as a way to boost Obama’s standing in the polls.

The raid succeeded in raising Obama’s approval ratings. But its real purpose was to target Pakistan and to show Pakistan that the US was contemplating invading Pakistan in order to make Pakistan pay for allegedly hiding bin Laden next door to Pakistan’s military academy. The neocon, and increasingly the US military position, is that the Taliban can’t be conquered unless NATO widens the war theater to Pakistan, where the Taliban allegedly has sanctuaries protected by the Pakistan government, which takes American money but doesn’t do Washington’s bidding.

Pakistan got the threat message and ran to China. On May 17 Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, as he departed for China declared China to be Pakistan’s "best and most trusted friend." China has built a port for Pakistan at Gwadar, which is close to the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz. The port might become a Chinese naval base on the Arabian Sea.

Raza Rumi reported in the Pakistan Tribune (June 4) that at a recent lecture at Pakistan’s National Defense University, Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, asked the military officers whether the biggest threat to Pakistan came from within, from India, or from the US. A majority of the officers said that the US was the biggest threat to Pakistan.

China, concerned with India, the other Asian giant that is rising, is willing to ally with Pakistan. Moreover, China doesn’t want Americans on its border, which is where they would be should Pakistan become another American battleground.

Therefore, China showed its displeasure with the US threat to Pakistan, and advised Washington to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, adding that any attack on Pakistan would be considered an attack on China.

Continuing Bahraini State Terror

Stephen Lendman

For months, Bahraini and Saudi security forces targeted nonviolent protesters and activists wanting the repressive Al Khalifa monarchy replaced by constitutionally elected government, political freedom, and social justice, what Bahrainis never had and don't now.

Three previous articles discussed it, accessed through the following links, here, here and here.

Still functioning despite authorities terrorizing people brutally, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) provides regular updates on the ground, expressing great concern about King Hamad's ruthless:

"actions and arbitrary penalties against citizens who it believes participated or supported the peaceful protest movement in February and March, whereas, Bahraini authorities (unleashed) great violence (against them, resulting in) dozens of deaths, especially after" thuggish Saudi and Emirati forces also suppressed them.

On March 15, martial law was declared (the so-called State of National Safety), now lifted but nothing changed. Daily state terror continues unabated against all sectors of society, including opposition leaders, independent journalists, human rights and political activists, students, trade unionists, and other civil society sectors and institutions, targeting women and children as brutally as men.

Moreover, thousands of workers were arbitrarily fired. On May 29, the General Federation of Bahrain trade unions listed 1,724 sacked. In fact, many more are affected, their numbers increasing daily. Many were at the state controlled Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA), including anyone suspected of anti-regime sympathies.

Some weren't given reasons. Others were asked whether they participated in peaceful protests and about their political affiliation.

These, in fact, are revenge firings, punishing workers for their views, political activities and sectarian affiliation in violation of the International Labor Organization's Convention No. 111 on Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. Its Article 1 prohibits it based on race, sex, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, as well as violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Even Bahrain's labor law was violated, allowing dismissals only in cases of excessive numbers of unreasonable absences, preceded by sufficient advance warning in writing.

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