EE.UU. ya elige nuevo gobierno para Siria

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | 9 NOVIEMBRE, 2012

El papel de Estados Unidos en el conflicto sirio ha pasado de “no enviaremos soldados” a “vamos a elegir quién será el gobierno después de que Assad sea derrocado”. Mientras los principales medios de comunicación informan de que Washington perdió la paciencia con la labor del Consejo Nacional Sirio, la verdad es que la oposición al gobierno encabezado por Bashar al-Assad ha sido influenciada por las fuerzas occidentales desde el principio.

El Consejo Nacional Sirio, que agrupa a cerca del 60% de la oposición política al régimen es visto como una organización presuntamente fracasada en su intento de lograr un “cambio real” en Siria.

Esto sigue el cambio realizado en la última semana por el Departamento de Estado. “Queremos dejar en claro”, dijo Hillary Clinton en una reciente visita a Croacia. Luego agregó que “el Consejo Nacional Sirio no puede ser considerado como el líder más visible de la oposición.” El mismo tipo de resultado sufrido por el Consejo Nacional Sirio lo sufrió el ex líder libio quien fue asesinado después de que su apoyo occidental perdió la paciencia. Gaddafi fue asesinado en las calles de Libia por presuntos grupos de la oposición que habían sido armados por los Estados Unidos después de que las fuerzas occidentales decidieron que ya era hora de que se fuera.

La declaración de Clinton es vista como un ataque directo contra el movimiento opositor liderado desde el exterior por el Kurdo Abdulbaset Seida, que abandonó Siria y ahora vive en el exilio. El movimiento de oposición en Siria no ha podido llevar a cabo la agenda de Occidente a pesar de la importante ayuda proporcionada por los Estados Unidos y Turquía. El gobierno turco prestó su territorio para crear una revolución que provocaría la caída de Assad, pero el gobierno sirio ha sido capaz de retener el poder. Esta semana, la oposición siria y los líderes rebeldes se reúnen en Qatar para tratar de reconducir la revolución desde el otro lado de la zanja.

El rechazo por parte del departamento de Estado de EE.UU. de la labor realizada hasta ahora por el movimiento de la oposición siria ha cuestionado públicamente el papel de la revolución como una organización en la que la Hermandad Musulmana tiene un lugar prominente.

El jueves pasado, el portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Patrick Ventrell dijo durante una conferencia de prensa que después de muchos meses, el CNS no ha demostrado su capacidad de extender su liderazgo a las grandes áreas del país y otros grupos étnicos”. Según Ventrell, ex embajador de Estados Unidos en Siria, Robert Ford, se comunicó con varias personas para presentar sus nombres a los asistentes a la reunión de Doha, para que puedan ser considerados para puestos de poder dentro del CNS.

“Hemos visto algunos individuos han demostrado liderazgo y quieren ser parte del futuro de Siria”, dijo Ventrell. Diplomáticos de EE.UU. se reunieron con  opositores en la conferencia, pero también lo hicieron con miembros del Ejército Libre Sirio (SLA). Aunque formalmente comandantes rebeldes mantienen la comunicación con el Consejo Nacional Sirio, lo que ha llegado a enviar delegaciones a las zonas confiscadas por el régimen, la dirección de la guerra está en manos de las milicias.

El intento por parte de los EE.UU. para cambiar de dirección no fue bien recibida dentro del CNS. Según Salem Zuhair, miembro de la Hermandad Musulmana, “la tutela directa y dictados de los Estados Unidos son inaceptables para el pueblo sirio.” Mientras hablaba de la necesidad de un cambio de dirección, los Estados Unidos están tratando de obtener apoyo para tal cambio en todo el mundo. Diplomáticos estadounidenses están trabajando en este nuevo enfoque con otros miembros del Grupo de Amigos del pueblo sirio.

Entre los grupos siendo contactados por los gobiernos occidentales está el denominado Comité Nacional de Coordinación para el Cambio Democrático en Siria, que supuestamente tiene una relación estrecha con China y Rusia. Su líder, que vive en París, es un médico y escritor conocido como Haytham Manna. Al parecer, Manna celebró una reunión la semana pasada con el Ministerio español de Asuntos Exteriores.

El Comité, que afirma haber establecido vínculos con algunas brigadas de combatientes en Siria, no tiene una buena relación con el CNS. Manna dice que su plan es lograr un alto el fuego, entablar un diálogo integral, así como promover las negociaciones y la transición sin el actual presidente en el poder. “Bashar al-Assad ha fracasado en los últimos meses para resolver los problemas del país”, dijo Manna. “Él pertenece al pasado”, agregó.

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CIA Tortured Gaddafi Opponents while Bush was in Office

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 6, 2012

“We don’t torture,” said once George W. Bush when he was questioned about the use of enhanced interrogation on supposed terrorists. We now learn that members of terrorist groups supported by the United States in its effort to get rid of Gaddafi, had been tortured by the same CIA and US government before the Arab Spring began.

The U.S. allowed the abuse and rendition of Gaddafi’s government opponents, according to Human Rights Watch.

Some of the people who now occupy key positions in Libya were tortured and subsequently delivered to the Gaddafi regime during the Bush presidency, according to a report Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In its report ‘Delivered to the enemy: the United States allows the abuse and rendition of anti-Gaddafi Libyans’, the NGO cited testimony from former detainees who claim to have been subjected to waterboarding and other forms of torture where water was also used.

Most of those arrested belonged to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which for 20 years tried to overthrow the Gaddafi regime. In fact, when the conflict broke out in 2011 this faction joined the rebels in their fight against the dictator. That same group was given weapons and piles of cash to help the United States defeat Gaddafi later in 2011.

“Not only the United States gave Gaddafi many of his enemies, but also tortured several of these people,” said Laura Pitter, author of the report. “The magnitude of the abuses committed by the Bush administration seems to be much higher than initially admitted, and highlights the importance of launching a full investigation into what happened.”

CIA Documents

The report is also based on documents from the CIA and the British Secret Service that were recently released that Human Rights Watch found abandoned in the office of former Libyan intelligence chief Musa Kusa on September 3, 2011, after Tripoli was taken by rebel forces.

Interviews and documents show that after the attacks of September 11, 2011 in the United States, the government of this country with the assistance of the United Kingdom and several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, arrested and imprisoned LIFG members who lived outside Libya without charging them with any specific offense, and then deliver them extrajudicially to the Libyan government, knowing that they would be subjected to all kinds of abuse.

The document also cites the grave abuses suffered by former members of the LIFG in two detention centers in Afghanistan that were managed by the U.S.

According to the reports seen by the NGO, the detainees claimed they were chained naked against the wall, sometimes with diapers, in completely dark cells for weeks and months and were required to maintain awkward positions for extended periods with the purpose of causing physical pain and stress.

“For three months, I was first interrogated continuously every day and then applied a different kind of torture. Sometimes water was used, sometimes not … Sometimes I was undressed and other times I was allowed to wear clothes,” related Khalid al Sharif, who said he had been detained for two years in two different U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan that allegedly were under the administration of the CIA.

Al Sharif is now head of Libya’s National Guard. One of its responsibilities is to provide security to facilities where Libya holds some of the most important prisoners captured before, during and after the conquest of Tripoli.

Gaddafi ‘agreed to fund Sarkozy’ with €50m cheque

AFP | APRIL 28, 2012

French investigative website Mediapart reported Saturday that deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to fund President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign with a 50 million euro cheque.

Moamer Kadhafi’s regime agreed to fund French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign to the tune of 50 million euros, a news website reported Saturday, publishing what it said was documentary evidence.

The 2006 document in Arabic, which website Mediapart said was signed by Kadhafi’s intelligence chief Mussa Kussa, referred to an “agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50 million euros.”

The left-wing investigative website made similar assertions on March 12, based on testimony by a former doctor of a French arms dealer alleged to have arranged the campaign donation, which Sarkozy slammed as “grotesque.”

“If he had financed it, I wasn’t very grateful,” Sarkozy said sarcastically, in an apparent reference to the active role that France played in the NATO campaign that led to the strongman’s ouster.

The latest report comes as Sarkozy trails Socialist rival Francois Hollande in opinion polls ahead of the run-off second round of presidential elections on May 6.

Amnesty says pro-Gaddafi detainees tortured

AFP
January 26, 2012

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International said Thursday fighters loyal to ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have been tortured in militia-run detention centres. Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders suspended operations for similar reasons.

Several loyalists of slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi have been tortured and some have even died in detention centres run by armed militias, human rights groups said on Thursday.

Amnesty International said that despite promises, Libya’s new rulers have made “no progress to stop the use of torture”, as Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in the third-largest city of Misrata over similar claims.

Their accusations come after a top UN official raised concerns that armed militias comprising former rebels who helped topple Kadhafi were posing increasing security risk as they regularly clashed with each other.

“Several detainees have died after being subjected to torture in Libya in recent weeks and months amid widespread torture and ill-treatment of suspected pro-Kadhafi fighters and loyalists,” Amnesty said in a statement.

It said its delegates met detainees held in Tripoli, in Misrata and in smaller towns such as Ghariyan who showed visible signs of torture inflicted in recent days and weeks.

“The torture is being carried out by officially recognised military and security entities, as well by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework,” it said.

Donatella Rouvera, senior adviser at London-based Amnesty, said in the statement that it was “horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture”.

“We are not aware of any proper investigations into cases of torture,” she said.

Detainees told Amnesty they had been beaten for hours with whips, cables, plastic hoses, metal chains, bars, wooden sticks and given electric shocks with live wires.

The rights watchdog said the detainees, both Libyans and foreigners from sub-Saharan Africa, were tortured soon after they were seized by armed militias in officially recognised detention centres in places like Misrata.

Misrata withstood a devastating siege by Kadhafi’s forces during last year’s uprising. Its fighters later unleashed a fierce attack on the dictator’s hometown of Sirte, where he was killed on October 20.

“Several detainees have died in the custody of armed militias in and around Tripoli and Misrata in circumstances that suggest torture,” Amnesty added.

Rouvera said the issue was aggravated as the police and judiciary remained “dysfunctional” cross Libya.

Doctors Without Borders, meanwhile, said it has suspended its work in Misrata.

“Detainees in the Libyan city of Misrata are being tortured and denied urgent medical care, leading the international medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to suspend its operations in detention centres in Misrata,” the group said, referring to itself by its French name.

It said its doctors were increasingly confronted with patients who suffered injuries caused by “torture” during questioning.

“The interrogations were held outside the detention centres,” it said.

MSF general director Christopher Stokes said some officials have sought to exploit and obstruct its work in Misrata.

“Patients were brought to us in the middle of interrogation for medical care, in order to make them fit for further interrogation. This is unacceptable,” he said.

“Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions.”

On Wednesday, the UN special representative in Libya, Ian Martin, expressed concern about the militias which he said were not under the control of the interim government.

Speaking to the UN Security Council, Martin said fighting in the Libyan town of Bani Walid this week — at one stage blamed on Kadhafi loyalists — had been caused by a clash between local people and a revolutionary brigade unit.

“Although authorities have successfully contained these and other more minor incidents that continue to take place across the country on a regular basis, there is the ever present possibility that similar outbreaks of violence could escalate,” he said.

Libya’s new authorities are struggling to reintegrate tens of thousands of these militia fighters into the army and police.

U.S.-Aided Rebels: Gaddafi out by Month’s End

It is hard to see how Gaddafi could be ousted without the United States fueling the rebel groups. The US said the dictator’s “days are numbered”.

by Richard Spencer
UK Telegraph
August 16, 2011

Abdel-Elah al-Khatib, the former Jordanian foreign minister appointed by the United Nations to try to negotiate an end to the conflict, said he was meeting representatives of both sides of the Libyan conflict in Tunisia.

Will Sarkozy's acquaintance be able to resist NATO's charge?

The rebel leaders’ Transitional National Council denied that its representatives were involved, but no such claim came from the Gaddafi regime.

The rebels now believe they have no need to offer concessions on their demand for Col Gaddafi to leave Libya or surrender, after cutting off his supply lines in the last four days.

Mansur Saif Al-Nasser, their ambassador to France, said they hoped to have secured victory by the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in two weeks’ time.

“Our forces totally control Zawiyah, which will open the way to Tripoli,” he said in a radio interview. “This will allow the population there to revolt.

We are entering a decisive phase.

“Soon we will liberate all of southern Libya. We hope to celebrate the final victory at the same time as the end of Ramadan.”

Nato leaders are also increasingly confident that the war is moving towards an endgame. “I think the sense is that Gaddafi’s days are numbered,” the new US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, said in Washington.

Despite their confidence, bitter fighting continued in Zawiyah, the oil refinery town 30 miles to the west of Tripoli which controls the supply route to the border with Tunisia.

But the regime has shown increasing desperation in its claims to be able to survive. Mussa Ibrahim, the government spokesman, confirmed that a long-term loyalist and former interior minister, Nasser al-Mabrouk Abdullah, who arrived in Egypt with his family on Monday, had defected.

Nato also confirmed reports that the regime had fired a Scud missile at rebel positions behind the front line in the east. It missed and did no damage.

Col Roland Lavoie, a Nato spokesman, described the use of Scud missiles as “irresponsible” because of the threat of civilian casualties but in practical terms as much use as “throwing dishes against a wall”. “It makes a lot of noise, but that’s all,” he said.

Mr Khatib said he met “separately” with both sides of the conflict, adding that he was not part of rumoured, but heavily denied, direct talks between the two sides in the Tunisian resort of Djerba.

But, significantly, he said he might also meet a representative of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a friend and ally of Col Gaddafi, while he was in Tunisia. In the early days of the uprising against his rule, there were repeated reports, including from MI6, that Col Gaddafi might seek exile in the Latin American country.