Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)
French National Assembly head Edouard Herriot and British Foreign minister Ernest Bevin surrounded by Italian, Luxembourg and other delegates at the first meeting of Council of Europe's Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg, August 1949 (AFP Photo)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, one of the Renaissance palaces that line the Michelangelo-designed Capitoline Square in the Italian capital

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
EU leaders pose for a family photo during the European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/JOHN THYS)

Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Monday, February 28, 2011

Croat capital stages new anti-government protest

RNW, 28 February 2011

Several hundred anti-government protesters, mostly young people, marched without incident through the Croatian capital on Monday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor's cabinet.

The protest, organised on Facebook and the third of its kind in less than a week, was held in downtown Zagreb two days after violent clashes between demonstrators and police left dozens injured.

The organisers, led by Ivan Pernar, a 25-year-old medical technician, said their mission was to overthrow Kosor's government.

"Your time is up. I call you (Kosor) to step down and call (early) elections," Pernar said before some 200 protesters gathered in Cvjetni Trg square in central Zagreb.

"Thieves! Thieves!," "We Want Elections," "Come out on Streets" and "Jadranka Leave" they chanted.

The protesters tried to march towards the government building along with several hundred others who joined them, but anti-riot police blocked the march.

The authorities have long banned gatherings near the government seat.

The protesters, who briefly blocked traffic, were also prevented by the police from approaching the seat of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

They blame the conservative government for deepening hardships and mismanaging the economy.

"I'm outraged with the situation in my country which is constantly being robbed by corrupted politicians," Vjeran Boric, a 29-year-old unemployed technician, told AFP. "We are actually protesting against real mafia."

Organisers said a new protest was to be held on Wednesday.

The protesters carried banners reading "We Are Not Hooligans" and "Peaceful Protest, Path to Freedom."

On Saturday, 50 people including 32 police officers were injured when security forces barred several hundred people, among them football fans, from marching towards the government building.

Some 65 people were detained including an AFP photographer.

Riot police used batons and pepper spray to disperse protesters who hurled flaming torches, stones, bricks and bottles at them.

At the same time about 15,000 people protested separately at Zagreb's main square to support complaints by veterans of the 1991-1995 independence war that the government was not protecting them from war crimes prosecutions.

Police said the protesters who clashed with police were not part of the veterans' rally.

Kosor took over the helm of the government in 2009 when her predecessor Ivo Sanader, currently detained on suspicion of corruption and abuse of power, suddenly stepped down.

Croatia, which aspires to join the European Union, was hard hit by the global economic crisis and has seen negative growth for the past two years.

Belarus breaks Ivory Coast arms embargo - UN chief

BBC News, 28 February 2011

Ivory Coast crisis

Belarus has seriously violated the international arms embargo on Ivory Coast, UN chief Ban Ki-moon says.

Ivory Coast has been subject to an international
arms embargo since 2004
The former Soviet republic was delivering three attack helicopters and related material to forces led by Laurent Gbagbo, his spokesman said.

President Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to hand over to Alassane Ouattara, widely seen as the winner of November's poll.

Clashes between the two sides has prompted the UN to warn the country is at risk of relapsing into civil war.

An armed rebellion in 2002 split the world's largest cocoa producer between the north, held by New Forces rebels, and the government-controlled south.

Belarusian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh rejected the accusations as "groundless", AP news agency reports.

But Mr Ban's spokesman said the first delivery had reportedly arrived on a flight which landed late on Sunday and additional flights were scheduled for Monday.

"This is a serious violation of the embargo… which has been in place since 2004," the spokesman said.

"The violation has been immediately brought to the attention of the Security Council's committee charged with the responsibility for sanctions," he said.

UN peacekeepers are currently providing protection to Mr Ouattara, who has been holed up in a hotel in the main city of Abidjan since the election results were announced in early December.

Much of the recent fighting has centred on the main city of Abidjan between rival supporters.

However, skirmishes in the west of the country last week between the former rebels and pro-Gbagbo forces has seen the number of civilians fleeing to neighbouring Liberia surge.

It was the first time the ceasefire between the two armed sides had been broken in six years.


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clashes erupt in Croatian anti-government protests

RNW, 26 February 2011

Hundreds of anti-government protestors clashed with police in the Croatian capital Saturday, leaving 33 people injured while several dozen including an AFP photographer were detained.

Anti-riot police used batons to disperse protestors who hurled flaming torches, stones, bricks and bottles at them, an AFP reporter said.

The demonstrators, who also rallied Thursday, demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor over high unemployment and living costs that they blame on her government's economic policy, as well as corruption.

Police said 58 people were detained because of "violent behaviour."

"Their aim was to create unrest and behave violently towards police," police official Tomislav Buterin told journalists.

He could not provide details about AFP's detained photographer. Witnesses said the photographer had not heeded a police order to move away from the scene of the clashes.

According to a police spokeswoman, the protestors were members of an anti-government group organised through Facebook and were joined by football fans.

A total of 33 people, 21 of them policemen, were injured in the violence, the official said. Two citizens sustained serious injuries, Buterin said.

Clashes also erupted in Thursday's protest, which drew about 1,000 people.

Government spokesman Mladen Pavic strongly condemned Saturday's "hooliganism and violence".

He said that "according to some information, some opposition parties were involved in organising and financing the Zagreb violence." He did not elaborate.

Kosor took over the helm of the government in 2009 when her predecessor Ivo Sanader, currently detained on suspicion of corruption and abuse of power, suddenly stepped down.

The economy of the country, which aspires to join the European Union, was hard-hit by the global crisis and has contracted for the past two years.

Saturday's violence erupted when police barred several hundred people, mainly youngsters, from marching towards the government building at which protests are banned.

At the same time about 15,000 people, according to police, protested separately in Zagreb's main square to support complaints by veterans of the 1991-1995 independence war that the government was not protecting them from war crimes prosecutions.

Police said the protestors who clashed with police were not part of the veterans' rally.

The demonstration organised by a war veterans group was the largest of its kind since a wave of similar gatherings was sparked by Bosnia's arrest in January of a Croat war veteran wanted by Serbia.

"Croatian War Veterans are Heroes"! and "Stop the Persecution of War Veterans", read some of the banners carried by the protestors.

"Treason! Treason!" they chanted also calling for Kosor to leave.

Many in Croatia see war veterans as heroes and symbols of the country's fight for independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Merkel rebukes Israeli PM Netanyahu for failing to advance peace

Israeli paper reports that PM was told in fractious phone call: 'You haven't made a single step'

guardian.co.uk, Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem, Friday 25 February 2011


Binyamin Netanyahu was rebuked after expressing disappointment that
Germany voted for a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
Photograph: Reuters

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has sternly rebuked the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in an unusually fractious telephone call, according to media reports.

Netanyahu had done nothing to advance the peace process, Merkel said in a conversation this week, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The Israeli prime minister telephoned Merkel on Monday to say he was disappointed that Germany had voted for a UN security council resolution condemning settlements that was vetoed by the US.

According to a German official quoted by Haaretz, Merkel was furious. "How dare you?" she said. "You are the one who has disappointed us. You haven't made a single step to advance peace."

A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister said he could not confirm the report.

The quoted comments reflect growing impatience in Europe with the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian talks and a belief that Israel is stalling or impeding progress. With the exception of the US last Friday's resolution was backed by all the security council members including Britain, Germany and France.

Despite the resolution being carefully worded to reflect American policy on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the US wielded its veto for the first time under Barack Obama's presidency.

Reaction among Palestinians has been angry. Demonstrations have been held across the West Bank, in Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem.

Netanyahu told Merkel that he was planning a new initiative to be disclosed in the next few weeks. "I intend to make a new speech about the peace process in the next two to three weeks," he was quoted as saying.

An Israeli government official confirmed that a fresh statement by Netanyahu on negotiations was in preparation but declined to say when it might be delivered.

During a visit to Israel this month the German chancellor warned that "the stalemate in negotiation is dangerous. There is no room for excuses."

She dismissed the notion that Europe was becoming more hostile to Israel. "Europe will not turn its back on Israel and neither will the United States. We feel uncomfortable because things are not progressing. In an honest and straightforward manner I will tell you that you are missing an opportunity. History will not give you many more."

At a joint press conference on Thursday with the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, Netanyahu said he expected Poland to be robust in defending Israel when it took over the presidency of the European Union on 1 July.

"We have two expectations: upgrading Israel's standing in the EU and upgrading the truth," he said. "Israel is fighting for its right to exist, to live in security and exist at all, against ceaseless waves of attacks."


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Columnist Friedman slams Israel's stance on Egypt




Historic shift in Ireland as dominant party falls

Reuters, by Conor Humphries, Feb 26, 2011

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny (R) is congratulated by supporters at the count
centre in Castlebar, County Mayo, February 26, 2011.
(Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)


DUBLIN (Reuters) - The party that has dominated Ireland since its independence 90 years ago faced political oblivion Saturday as voters inflicted a historic mauling over its role in the country's economic collapse.

Fianna Fail, whose leaders negotiated independence from Britain and peace in Northern Ireland during eight decades as Ireland's largest party, looked set to come in a humiliating third with less than two dozen seats in the 166-seat parliament.

The shift could usher in a new era in Irish politics, opening the way for younger leaders focused more on competing views of the modern state than the bitter legacy of Ireland's 1922-3 civil war.

"It would be difficult to underestimate the historic scale of this collapse," said Pat Leahy, a leading journalist and author of a history of Fianna Fail's last 14 years in power.

"They have been the most successful political party in postwar Europe. This election marks a juddering end to that."

After a decade of uninterrupted power, Fianna Fail had nowhere to hide when a vast real estate bubble burst in late 2008, pulling down the banking system and forcing the government to take a humiliating 85-billion euro ($115-billion) EU/IMF bailout.

The hasty retirement of the figures most associated with the collapse, including prime minister Bertie Ahern in 2008 and his successor Brian Cowen last month, did little to deflect a wave of anger at a party who schmoozed the developers and bankers who precipitated the country's economic collapse.

"It has reaped the bitter and deserved reward for representing the interests of speculators and developers at the expense of the Irish people," Socialist Party candidate Joe Higgins told national broadcaster RTE Saturday.

DYNASTIES DESTROYED

As votes slowly trickled out Saturday from Ireland's complex system of proportional representation, the full scale of the meltdown became clear.

Outgoing finance minister Brian Lenihan looked set to be the only party member to secure one of Dublin's 47 seats, coming in a humiliating fourth place behind the hard-left Socialist party.

Political dynasties fell across the country. Sean Haughey, son of one of the party's best known former leaders, Charles Haughey, and grandson of one of its most revered, Sean Lemass, looked set for defeat.

Conor Lenihan, son of a former deputy prime minister and brother of the outgoing finance minister, conceded defeat. So did his aunt, Mary O'Rourke.

Exit poll predictions of 20 seats, down from 78 four years ago would be the worst collapse ever recorded in Ireland.

That would leave the party competing for third place with another historic rival, Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

"It was worse than they could have imagined," said barrister and political commentator Noel Whelan. "Fianna Fail's very survival is in question."

Founded by Eamon De Valera in 1926, Fianna Fail -- the Soldiers of Destiny -- portrayed themselves as defenders of full Irish independence against those defeated in the civil war, represented by Fine Gael, who had been prepared to accept a lesser deal from Britain.

Generations of Irish people voted according to their families' civil war loyalties, paying little attention to the ideological differences between the two center-right parties.

Fianna Fail, traditionally more working-class, always came out top, the largest party in every election since 1932 and in power for 61 of the past 79 years.

As these loyalties faded in recent years, the stunning economic success of the Celtic Tiger brought a wave of fair-weather voters to Fianna Fail. Those votes have now gone.

Most went to Fine Gael, but a large chunk also went to rejuvenated left-wing parties such as Labor and Sinn Fein, raising the prospect of a more traditional left-right divide in Ireland.

"It's the end of civil war politics," said Leahy. But what will replace it, he said, is not yet clear.

(Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Alastair Macdonald)


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Thursday, February 24, 2011

EU activates Civil Protection mechanism to evacuate Europeans from Libya

Euroalert, published on Thursday, February 24, 2011

In the evening of 23 February, the Presidency of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to support the evacuation of EU citizens from Libya. As highlighted by Commissioner Georgieva, responsible for Crisis Response, it is EU's responsibility to evacuate from Libya the thousands of EU citizens who are struggling get out of the country under extremely difficult circumstances.

Through the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) all countries participating in EU Civil Protection Mechanism have been notified of the possibility closer cooperation on evacuation operations of EU citizens in Libya at EU level. This operation, as reported by Commissioner Georgieva, has been designed under a spirit of solidarity in an unprecedented crisis, in order to speed up the return to safety of Europeans in Libya.

The MIC will help with identifying and facilitating the deployment of assets for evacuation, including by sea, focusing on the area around Benghazi and other parts of Libya.

European Civil Protection Mechanism

The European Civil Protection Mechanism, which gathers means from all 27 Member states as well as Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, facilitates cooperation in disaster response. Through the Mechanism, they pool those resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries.

When activated, the Mechanism ensures the coordination of assistance interventions inside and outside the European Union. Such activities are coordinated by the European Commission through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC). Since its creation in 2001, the Mechanism has been activated for disasters in Member States such as the forest fires in Southern Europe in 2009, but also worldwide, including recent actions in the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Netherlands to freeze Gaddafi assets

RNW, 23 February 2011

Tamoil Petrol Station in
The Netherlands
The Dutch government says it will investigate whether Libyan assets in the Netherlands can be frozen. During an emergency debate in parliament, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said he had been in touch with his colleagues at the Justice Ministry and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. “We will have to move fast”, the minister said.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has reportedly invested billions of euros in the Netherlands via state oil company Tamoil. Minister Rosenthal said he was open to suggestions as long they would only hurt the Libyan regime, not the people turning against it. On Wednesday, the European Union agreed to impose sanctions, the exact nature of which are to be decided on Friday. The Netherlands will support the EU sanctions.


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Gaddafi's Dutch millions

RNW, 23 February 2011, by RNW News Desk

(photo: Flickr/hans&carolyn)

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi keeps part of his billion dollar empire in the Netherlands. Tamoil, the Libyan state oil company, which has around 160 petrol stations in the Netherlands, is located in the town of Ridderkerk.

An investigation by Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant shows that Tamoil is a subsidiary of Oilinvest, which is headquartered in Monaco and is active in other European countries. The company trades in crude oil and refined petroleum products, transport, refineries, storage and distribution of oil. It also markets and sells lubricants.

Tamoil Petrol Station in The Netherlands
A company which extracts oil and gas for Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, France and Canada is also registered at the same address. 35 people work in the offices in Ridderkerk. In 2009 Tamoil made a nett profit of 26 million euros on a turnover of 7.7 billion euros.

Another substantial part of Gaddafi’s fortune is in Italy, the former colonial power in Libya. Tamoil, for example, is the biggest player is the fuel market there. Colonel Gaddafi also owns shares in UniCredit, one of the biggest Italian banks, and in Finmeccanica, which produces defence equipment. Financially less impressive, but still worth mentioning, is the Libyan leader's stake in football club Juventus.

All the Colonel’s assets are bundled in the umbrella investment company Great Socialist Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which has been headed by Gaddafi himself since 1969. De Volkskrant estimates his total financial worth at 60 billion euros. The lion’s share, over 40 billion, is located in Libya itself.



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Monday, February 21, 2011

Tony Blair, Colonel Gaddafi and the myth of an "ethical foreign policy"

International Business Times, By William Dove, February 21, 2011

The chaos and violence currently ravaging Libya has raised questions about the conduct of Britain and especially its former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, towards a regime that now stands accused of killing 400 of its own citizens.

Vanity of Libyan leader Gaddafi revealed in latest
documents from Wikileaks (Reuters)
Mr Blair famously became Prime Minister in 1997 promising an "ethical foreign policy", as opposed to what was presumably the unethical one of John Major. His record in fulfilling this is perhaps best described as patchy.

As with much of what Mr Blair said, the words sounded good but were of little use in knowing what he meant, especially when one considers that what is considered ethical varies from person to person.

The early efforts of the Blair government to implement his "ethical" foreign policy passed with very little controversy despite making ethical judgements that were far from clear cut.

One of the earliest of these efforts was the Good Friday Agreement. This deal is widely regarded as being one of the few genuine achievements of Mr Blair and one cannot deny that Irish terrorism has, if not disappeared, become something of a rarity.

The fact that the deal does appear to have been successful in this regard might be taken as proof that it was a success for ethics. However not everything about the deal could be considered ethical. It did for example involve the release of hundreds of unrepentant criminals, such as the Brighton Bomber, Patrick Magee.

In addition while the British government initiated a lengthy and expensive inquiry into Bloody Sunday, which shed light on the less than ethical actions of British servicemen and their superiors, Sinn Fein and the IRA have never been compelled to reveal many of their dark secrets. There will be no inquiry into who ordered Mr Magee to plant the bomb which killed five people, permanently disabled others and nearly assassinated an elected Prime Minister, nor is it likely that the full truth of Gerry Adams' involvement in the IRA will ever be known.

Perhaps the reason there has been relative peace in Northern Ireland since the Agreement was signed is that the IRA, which according to former Conservative minister Norman Tebbit, was on the run by the early to mid 1990's, was offered startlingly good terms by a government that could have all but destroyed them if it had the will to do so. It was, say the small number of critics, an act of appeasement and surrender by the British government. Was it so ethical after all? That depends on whether you value justice or peace more highly.

Mr Blair's other attempts at implementing an "ethical" foreign policy were significant only in that they laid the ground work for his most controversial act as Prime Minister, the invasion of Iraq.

The principle that it is moral and ethical to invade another country in order to free it from tyranny was not dreamt up in 2003 by Mr Blair while his henchman Alastair Campbell was busy sexing up intelligence dossiers. Mr Blair had already articulated and acted upon that principle in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and East Timor.

So long as the countries involved were small, the interventions limited and the local population broadly friendly, this principle did not find itself being seriously challenged by many. However the same principle applied to Saddam Hussein's Iraq proved too much for many to handle.

Mr Blair argues to this day that the invasion was a moral thing to do as it removed a bloodstained tyrant from power and led to the introduction of democracy in Iraq. This he claims is ethical and few can dispute that removing Saddam Hussein is desirable. Yet equally it was argued that it is unethical in the extreme to remove Saddam Hussein if it meant (as it did) killing many thousands of people.

The invasion of Iraq was of course a watershed moment in the region and is to some extent behind the current turmoil in the Middle East and of course Libya. The demands for an end to autocracy sweeping the Middle East at the moment have been attributed by some to the sight of Iraqi's going to the polls for the first time in 2005. However in the shorter term, very quickly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Colonel Gaddafi said he was putting an end to his own ambitions to create weapons of mass destruction.

This in its turn allowed Mr Blair to begin the process of bringing the "mad dog" in from the cold where he had been residing with Saddam Hussein and other unsavoury characters. By opening up Libya Mr Blair and later his successor Gordon Brown helped pave the way for billions of pounds worth of business deals, but as with Northern Ireland this rapprochement came at the expense of justice.

The murderer of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, who was killed in 1984 by shots fired from the Libyan embassy, has never even identified, while the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released last year after serving only eight years for the murder 270 people.

Even the release of al-Megrahi has been defended as ethical on the grounds that it would show the compassionate values that Britain has, even towards its worst enemies. The previous government, although not directly responsible for releasing al-Megrahi, could have taken and promoted that view, but instead they chose to work for the release of al-Megrahi covertly in the hope that no one would notice. If they really thought the release was "ethical" then they would and should have said openly that it was their wish was to release al-Megrahi as a demonstration of compassion, rather than sullenly try to pin all the blame on the Scottish government.

The sacrificing of justice for peace and business prospects may be defended by some as ethical, others will take the opposite view. Similarly those who advocate foreign wars of intervention must do so with the deaths of those who die in them on their consciences, while those who shy away must live with human rights abuses by tyrants on theirs.

The third option is to support tyrants. This of course has been the policy of Britain and the West for a considerable amount of time and has been defended on the grounds that it promotes stability. While this may be true few in the West are prepared to stick to this policy when bad regimes are opposed by the people they repress, as in Egypt. That would be unethical.

We see this most brutally in Libya, where the warming of relations begun by Mr Blair and his ethical foreign policy allowed the sale of arms by Britain to Libya. It is all too likely that those arms have been used to kill some of the 400 plus protestors slain by Libyan security forces.

An ethical foreign policy, perhaps like a world without poverty, is a utopian idea. Whether governments chose to oppose or ignore evil regimes there will be unexpected consequences and a cost to pay, often in the blood of innocents. However one thing we should not be doing if we want to describe ourselves as ethical is supporting those rulers who at best we will be embarrassed by and at worst will use our support to butcher and oppress their own people.

LIBYA: Colonels defected to Malta rather than bomb protesters

Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2011



The pilots of two Libyan military jets that landed in Malta on Monday are "senior colonels" who were ordered to bomb protesters, Al Jazeera satellite network reports.

The colonels say they refused to bomb protesters demonstrating against Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi and instead defected to Malta, according to Al Jazeera reporter Karl Stagno-Novarra in Malta.

The pilots reportedly told Maltese officials they were based in Tripoli and ordered to attack protesters in Benghazi. After seeing fellow pilots begin bombing, the colonels changed course and headed for Malta, according to Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera has been relaying eyewitness reports of airstrikes Monday, but cautioned that the bombings could not be verified.

Clashes in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Monday left 160 dead, Al Arabiya network quoted eyewitnesses as saying Monday.


One of two Libyan Air Force Mirage jet fighters to land in Malta,
is surrounded by Maltese police after it landed in Malta's International
airport, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011.


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Two Libyan helicopters sit on the ground after arriving at Malta's
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arrived carrying seven people, with who claimed to be French.

Russia only halfway on the road to democracy - Gorbachev

RT, 21 February 2011

The last leader of the Soviet Union and the father of Perestroika said that Russia still had many unsolved problems with democracy and human rights.

RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, Mikhail Gorbachev remarked that the existing problems with human rights in the Russian Federation were an indicator of the country’s current state of democracy. “We have everything – a parliament, courts, a president and a prime minister, but these all are to a larger extent an imitation. There is no effective work,” the former Soviet President said.

Gorbachev criticized the domination of the United Russia party in the parliament saying that any monopoly leads to stagnation, hampering the development of the democratic processes. “United Russia reminds me of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in its worst years,” Gorbachev said. He also said that in his view any elected official must stay in office for no more than two terms.

This was in response to a reporter’s question about the political situation in the Central Asia, but Russia’s leaders also received their share of criticism from Gorbachev. Conveying his opinion on President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, Gorbachev said he did not like their approach to the forthcoming presidential elections. “I think it is far from being modest when Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] says that they will sit down with Dmitry Anatolievich [Medvedev] and choose who will run for president. This is for the voters to decide, not Putin,” Gorbachev said.

Gorbachev answered more questions on the current political climate in Russia and around the globe. In particular, he said that he supported the removal of Vladimir Lenin’s body from the Mausoleum on the Red Square, but said that this should be done at some later stage. “We should settle down, remain calm and part with a great man – and he was a great man of our nation, the builder of our state,” Gorbachev said about Lenin.

He also said that he never made any promises to hand over the Kuril Islands to Japan and the two countries must solve their territorial spat at the negotiation table. At the same time, Gorbachev said that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had made some promises to Japan on the Kuril issue, but these promises were only valid, if Japan signed a peace treaty with Russia. “Let us go all the way and see what happens then. It is possible that we form a confederation,” the former Soviet leader said.

Also Gorbachev ruled out the possibility that the current riots and revolutions in Arab states had been instigated from abroad. He said that the main reason of the events was the main human factor – the will for freedom.

In the end, the former Soviet President said that he planned to celebrate his 80th anniversary in Moscow and that all “top bosses” were invited. “It is up to them whether they choose to come, but I will invite them,” Gorbachev said and expressed hope that his anniversary will give different people a chance to meet and communicate.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

'Israel's isolation may affect financial ties with Europe'

State officials warn of political isolation following European nations' support of Palestinian bid to condemn settlement construction in Security Council. 'Every tender for settlement construction distances us from Europe. Some countries boycott Israeli goods and things can deteriorate,' one official says.

Ynet News, Attila Somfalvi, 02.20.11, 01:08 / Israel News

State officials said Saturday that the US veto which prevented a UN condemnation of settlement construction is not a reason for celebrations. "Israel is becoming increasingly isolated from West European countries which consider settlements a red rag," one element said. The senior officials said they do not rule out financial consequences as a result of Israel's isolation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU foreign affairs chief Catherin Ashton publicly opposed the continuation of settlement construction and the existence of settlements. Germany, Britain and France were among the 14 supporters of the Palestinian proposal in the Security Council vote Friday.

"Every time Israel issues another tender for construction in the settlements it distances the friendly European nations. We have a very serious problem and the fact that there is no peace process makes it harder to get Western European nations to support Israel. Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are angry with Netanyahu and do not accept the fact that the prime minister did not extend the freeze for an additional three months," the state official said.

Sources in Jerusalem also warned of the possibility of damage to Israel and Europe's financial relations. "It is estimated that the weekend vote will have financial consequences in relation to Europe. There are countries which already boycott Israeli goods and things may deteriorate further.

"The Europeans notice the fact that Ashton's policy is equivocally anti-settlements. Settlements and construction contribute to Israel's de-legitimization in all of Europe. In the past, European countries could have been influenced, but today it's virtually impossible."

Securing European support

After their draft was blocked in the Security Council, the PA threatened to take their draft to the General Assembly which may also discuss recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Senior officials in the Foreign Ministry said that despite tense relations with Europe, Israel will try to form a group of 20 or 30 European countries to vote against the Palestinian draft in the General Assembly.

"It's clearly obvious the Palestinians have an automatic majority but we're currently trying to secure the support of Eastern European nations and possibly some Western states," one Foreign Ministry official said.

"Should the Palestinians present a harsher statement it will make it easier for us to get England or France on board. But should the statement be in the same format as it was in the Security Council it is possible that Israel will suffer another condemnation, which has no practical consequences."

Meanwhile, state officials noted that the fact that the prime minister has not held a visit outside Israel over the past few months. Merkel and nine German ministers may have recently visited Israel but Netanyahu himself has not met with his European counterparts for many months. In fact, the prime minister has not met with any major European leader outside Israel since the peace process's stalemate.

Peace process stalemate

Jerusalem officials estimated that following the Palestinian announcement regarding upcoming elections and recent international events, it wasn't likely that the peace process would be renewed in the coming months. A senior state official said: "We estimate that the peace process will remain unchanged in the upcoming months. The Palestinians won't want to negotiate during their election period so as to not be seen as negotiating about concessions with Israel."

The officials noted the fact that the US continues its dialogue with Israel and said they believed the peace process can be resumed.

During his last visit to Washington, US officials told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the current situation in the Middle East will enable peace talks to renew and that they are working to reignite them. Sources close to Netanyahu remain skeptical and said that "at this moment the dialogue with the US is underway and they're looking for new ways to renew negotiations."

In the past few days, rumors have spread in the political arena that Israel and the US are trying to form a political plan, both together and separately, which will be presented by US President Barack Obama.

The plan aims to bring both sides back to the negotiating table. However, instability in the region prevents the process from progressing at this point, as it is yet unclear which regimes will be leading the Middle East in the future.

Government senior officials, including top ministers, recently said: "Initiative should be taken to advance the political process. The current stagnation isn't good for Israel in any way and we must do everything to return to the negotiating table."


U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice (C) votes following
closed-door consultations among the 15 Security Council members at the United
Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, Feb. 18, 2011. The United
States, a permanent Security Council member, on Friday vetoed a UN draft resolution
that condemned continued Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East
Jerusalem and demanded Israel " immediately and completely cease" all such activities
in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)


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