Hillary Clinton reafirma compromisso dos EUA para continuar criando conflitos em África e no Oriente Médio

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANEIRO 26, 2013

Enquanto os grandes conflitos no Oriente Médio começam a diminuir, os Estados Unidos estão preparados para apoiar as guerras e conflitos em outras regiões do mundo. Na verdade, a história mostra que o intervencionismo dos EUA tem sido uma série de tentativas de desestabilizar governos através da ativação de grupos terroristas que fazem o trabalho sujo em nome de Washington.

Se as palavras de Hillary Clinton realmente refletem o que está por vir nos próximos meses e anos, o mundo vai ver uma continuação da atual política exterior dos EUA, a qual consiste de ataques militares, assim como guerra econômica e financeira.

Em sua última aparição como Secretária de Estado, Hillary Clinton advertiu ao Congresso nesta quarta-feira que os Estados Unidos vão ter que lutar contra a Al-Qaeda no norte da África e lidar com a instabilidade e a insegurança causada pelas revoluções em vários países árabes, que o mesmo EUA ajudou a organizar. Na opinião de Clinton, o governo dos EUA será forçado a participar diretamente na prevenção da propagação do terrorismo na região. Clinton se esqueceu de dizer que a maioria, se não todos os atos de terrorismo são realizadas tanto por forças especiais dos EUA e membros da comunidade de inteligência como por grupos terroristas armados e financiados pelo governo de Washington.

“O ataque terrorista em Benghazi ocorrido em 11 de setembro de 2012, que matou quatro americanos valentes é parte de um amplo desafio estratégico para os Estados Unidos e nossos aliados no norte da África”, disse Clinton à Comissão dos Exteriores do Senado que investigar os fatos. Nenhum membro da Comissão pediu explicações para Clinton sobre o papel das forças especiais norte-americanas ou de outros grupos no conflito, nem porquê as forças dos EUA foram obrigadas a retirar-se, mesmo estando perto para ter intervindo durante o ataque ao escritório consular dos EUA em Benghazi, na Líbia.

Clinton assumiu a responsabilidade pessoal por quaisquer erros que possam ter sido cometidos e que, inevitavelmente, facilitaram a morte de norte-americanos na Líbia, mas disse que não foi um evento isolado, atribuível à falta de medidas de segurança no consulado em Benghazi, mas a uma ampla ofensiva contra a qual os EUA está obrigado a responder com urgência. “O que significa,” ela disse, “é que devemos redobrar os nossos esforços para combater o terrorismo e para encontrar formas de apoiar a democracia nascente no Norte da África e em outros lugares.”

“Nós enfrentamos”, lembrou, “a um ambiente ameaçador que muda rapidamente, e temos que trabalhar para aumentar a pressão sobre a Al-Qaeda no Magreb Islâmico e outros grupos terroristas na região. Nós quase acabamos com Al-Qaeda no Afeganistão e Paquistão, mas seus membros se dispersaram para outros países “, acrescentou. Conforme relatado pela mídia, grupos terroristas filiados à Al Qaeda na Líbia e na Síria foram patrocinados pelos EUA como parte de um movimento terrorista internacional que trabalhou com grupos de oposição para derrubar Kadafi e agora estão trabalhando para destronar Bashar al-Assad.

A Secretária de Estado referiu-se, em particular a Mali “, onde a instabilidade”, disse ela, “criou um santuário para terroristas, que têm por objectivo alargar a sua influência e preparar novos ataques como o que vimos na semana passada na Argélia” .

Clinton não se referiu à operação militar francesa no país, mas disse que “é importante que os EUA mantenham a sua liderança no Oriente Médio, Norte da África e no resto do mundo. Atingimos muitos objetivos nos últimos quatro anos e não podemos sair agora “, disse ela, reafirmando o compromisso dos EUA para ocupar algumas das regiões mais voláteis do mundo, onde, de acordo com a BBC, a França e outros aliados voltaram para recuperar o que era uma vez parte de suas colônias.

EUA começou a ajudar a França através de transporte aéreo de tropas francesas e equipamento militar.

Clinton disse que a diplomacia dos EUA está operando furiosamente na área – o que significa que há infiltração militar – o que sugere que outras medidas mais fortes serão tomadas nos próximos meses. “Quando os EUA está ausente “, disse Clinton,” o extremismo se enraíza, e nossos interesses de segurança no país estão ameaçados. ”

A Secretária de Estado admitiu que os movimentos revolucionários ocorridos nos últimos dois anos no mundo árabe “têm uma dinâmica complicada e que eles ajudaram a destruir as forças de segurança na região, o que estabeleceu as bases para a propagação do terrorismo. Ela disse que “muitas das armas usadas por terroristas na Argélia e Mali vêm da Líbia, onde as autoridades atuais são incapazes de controlar todos os grupos armados que surgiram durante a revolta contra Muammar Gaddafi.” Na verdade, as armas poderosas das que Clinton fala foram fornecidas por EUA, e estes mesmos grupos terroristas as usaram para realizar ataques contra civis inocentes na Líbia.

Apenas os senadores John McCain e Rand Paul mostraram o seu desagrado sobre as desculpas dadas por Clinton. O senador Paul disse a Clinton que dada a sua falta de liderança, ele a teria demitido de seu cargo no Departamento de Estado. No entanto, Paul e os outros membros da Comissão dos Assuntos Externos falharam miseravelmente porque não fizeram perguntas pertinentes sobre o que realmente aconteceu em Benghazi.

O democrata John Kerry irá substituir Clinton no Departamento de Estado, uma vez que seja confirmado pelo Congresso.

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Hillary Clinton reitera compromiso de EE.UU. de continuar agitando conflictos en África y Oriente Medio

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | ENERO 25, 2013

Mientras los grandes conflictos en el Medio Oriente comienzan a menguar, los Estados Unidos se prepara para la apoyar guerras y  conflictos en otras regiones del mundo. De hecho, la historia muestra que el intervencionismo de EE.UU. ha sido un popurrí de intentos de desestabilización de gobiernos mediante la activación de grupos terroristas que hacen el trabajo sucio en nombre de Washington.

Si las palabras de Hillary Clinton realmente reflejan lo que se avecina en los próximos meses y años, el mundo verá una continuación de la actual política exterior estadounidense, que además de ataques militares, está compuesto también por guerra económica y financiera.

En su última aparición relevante como la Secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton advirtió al Congreso el miércoles que Estados Unidos tendrá que luchar contra Al Qaeda en el norte de África y lidiar con la inestabilidad y la inseguridad causada por las revoluciones en varios países árabes, que el propio EE.UU. ayudó a instigar. En su opinión, el gobierno de EE.UU. se verá obligado a participar directamente en la prevención de la propagación del terrorismo en la región. Clinton se olvidó de decir que la mayoría si no todos los actos de terrorismo se llevan a cabo ya sea por fuerzas especiales de Estados Unidos y miembros de la comunidad de inteligencia o por grupos terroristas armados y financiados por el gobierno de Estados Unidos.

“El ataque terrorista en Bengasi ocurrido el 11 de septiembre de 2012, en el que murieron cuatro estadounidenses valientes, son parte de un desafío estratégico más amplio para Estados Unidos y nuestros aliados en el norte de África”, dijo Clinton ante la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores del Senado que investiga los hechos. Ningún miembro de la Comisión preguntó a Clinton sobre el papel de las fuerzas especiales de Estados Unidos o de otros grupos en el conflicto y tampoco ningún congresista le preguntó acerca de por qué las fuerzas estadounidenses recibieron la orden de retirarse, aunque estaban lo suficientemente cerca como para intervenir durante el ataque a la oficina consular estadounidense en Bengasi, Libia.

Clinton ha asumido la responsabilidad personal por los errores que se hayan podido cometer y que inevitablemente facilitaron el asesinato de los estadounidenses en Libia, pero dijo que no es un hecho aislado, atribuible a la falta de medidas de seguridad en el consulado en Bengasi, sino a una ofensiva más amplia a la que los EE.UU. está obligado a responder con urgencia. “Lo que significa,” ella dijo, “es que tenemos que redoblar nuestros esfuerzos para luchar contra el terrorismo y para encontrar maneras de apoyar a la naciente democracia en el Norte de África y en otros lugares.”

“Nos enfrentamos”, recordó, “a un ambiente amenazador que cambia rápidamente, y debemos trabajar para aumentar la presión sobre Al Qaeda en el Magreb Islámico y otros grupos terroristas en la región. Hemos diezmado a Al Qaeda en Afganistán y Pakistán, pero sus miembros se han dispersado a otros países “, agregó. Como se ha informado por los medios de comunicación, Estados Unidos patrocina a grupos afiliados a Al Qaeda en Libia y Siria como parte de un contingente internacional de terroristas que trabajaron con grupos de la oposición para derrocar a Gaddafi y que ahora están trabajando para destronar a Bashar al-Assad.

La Secretario de Estado se ha referido en particular a Malí “, donde la inestabilidad”, dijo, “ha creado un gran santuario para los terroristas, que tratan de extender su influencia y preparar nuevos ataques como el que vimos la semana pasada en Argelia”.

Clinton no se refirió a la actual operación militar francesa en ese país, pero dijo que “es importante que los EE.UU. mantenga su liderazgo en el Oriente Medio, África del Norte y el resto del mundo. Hemos avanzado mucho en los últimos cuatro años y no podemos salir ahora “, dijo, reafirmando el compromiso de Estados Unidos para ocupar algunas de las regiones más volátiles del mundo, donde, según la BBC, Francia y otros aliados han vuelto a reconquistar lo que una vez fue parte de sus colonias.

EE.UU. ha comenzado a ayudar a Francia mediante el transporte aéreo de las tropas francesas y equipo militar.

Clinton dijo que la diplomacia estadounidense está en pleno funcionamiento en la zona – lo que significa infiltración militar – lo que sugiere que otras medidas más fuertes se tomarán en los próximos meses. “Cuando los EE.UU. está ausente”, dijo, “el extremismo echa raíces, y nuestros intereses de seguridad en el país están amenazados.”

La Secretaria de Estado ha admitido que los movimientos revolucionarios ocurridos en los últimos dos años en el mundo árabe “tienen una dinámica complicada y han destruido las fuerzas de seguridad en la región, lo que establece las bases para la expansión del terrorismo. Afirmó que “muchas de las armas utilizadas por los terroristas en Argelia y Malí proceden de Libia, donde las autoridades actuales son incapaces de controlar todos los grupos armados que surgieron durante la revuelta contra Muammar Gaddafi.” En realidad las poderosas armas de las que Clinton habla, fueron proporcionados por los EE.UU. a esos mismos grupos terroristas para llevar a cabo ataques contra civiles inocentes en Libia.

Sólo John McCain y Rand Paul mostraron su descontento acerca de las excusas de Clinton. El congresista Paul dijo a Clinton que dada su falta de liderazgo la habría despedido de su cargo en el Departamento de Estado. Sin embargo, Paul y los demás miembros de la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores fracasaron miserablemente pues no hicieron preguntas relevantes sobre lo que realmente sucedió en Bengasi.

El Demócrata John Kerry será sustituto de Clinton en el Departamento de Estado una vez que sea confirmado por el Congreso.

The Real Agenda permite la reproducción del contenido original publicado en el sitio SOLAMENTE a través de las herramientas proporcionadas al final de cada artículo. Por favor NO COPIE contenido de nuestro sitio para redistribuirlo o enviarlo por correo electrónico.

Kadafi ‘concordou em financiar a Sarkozy com € 50 milhões

POR LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | 1 MAIO 2012

O site investigativo francês Mediapart informou no sábado que o líder líbio Muammar Kadafi concordou em financiar em 2007, o presidente Nicolas Sarkozy durante a campanha eleitoral com um cheque de 50 milhões de euros.

O Regime de Muammar Kadafi concordou em financiar a campanha eleitoral de 2007 para o presidente francês, que de acordo com o site de notícias, pôde ser confirmado com provas documentais.

O documento de 2006, em árabe que o site Mediapart disse foi assinado pelo chefe de inteligência de Kadafi, Mussa Kussa, refere-se a um acordo “em princípio, a apoiar a campanha do candidato para as eleições presidenciais, um montante equivalente 50 milhões de euros. ”

O site de pesquisa da esquerda fez alegações semelhantes em 12 de março, com base na testemunha de um ex-médico de um negociante de armas francês acusado de ter organizado mais uma campanha de doação que o Sarkozy criticou como “grotesco”.

“Se tivesse financiado, não fui muito grato”, disse Sarkozy sarcasticamente em uma aparente referência ao papel ativo que a França jogou na campanha da OTAN e que levou à queda do homem forte da Líbia.

Esta reportagem chega no momento que o rival socialista de Sarkozy, François Hollande, lidera as pesquisas de opinião antes do segundo turno das eleições presidenciais de 6 de Maio.

Traduzido do artigo original: Sarkozy Funded Campaign with Kadhafi cheque

Cables Expose Washington’s Close ties to Muammar Gaddafi

by Bill Van Auken
Global Research
August 27, 2011

Washington now calls for the murder of Gaddafi. This is the same Washington that while in the past praised Gaddafi for his developmental policies and called him a collaborator.

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

Washington and its NATO allies are now determined to smash the Libyan regime, supposedly in the interests of “liberating” the Libyan people. That Gaddafi was until the beginning of this year viewed as a strategic, if somewhat unreliable, ally is clearly seen as an inconvenient truth.

The cables have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media, which has functioned as an embedded asset of NATO and the so-called rebel forces that it directs. It is hardly coincidental that the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was followed the next day by a combination of a massive denial of service attack and a US judge’s use of the Patriot Act to issue a sweeping “production order” or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization’s California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot.

The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine) and Connecticut “independent” Joe Lieberman.

McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as “one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth” and criticized the Obama administration for failing “to employ the full weight of our airpower” in effecting regime change in Libya.

U.S. Senators like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman previously praised Gaddafi.

In the meeting held just two years ago, however, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafis. According to the embassy cable, he “assured” them that “the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security” and “pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.”

The cable continues to relate McCain’s remarks: “He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.”

The cable quote Lieberman as saying, “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi.” It states that the Connecticut senator went on to describe Libya as “an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.”

The “common enemies” referred to by Lieberman were precisely the Islamist forces concentrated in eastern Libya that the US then backed Gaddafi in repressing, but has now organized, armed and led in the operation to overthrow him.

The US embassy summarized: “McCain’s meetings with Muammar and Muatassim al-Qadhafi were positive, highlighting the progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship. The meetings also reiterated Libya’s desire for enhanced security cooperation, increased assistance in the procurement of defense equipment, and resolution to the C130s issue” (a contract that went unfulfilled because of previous sanctions).

Another cable issued on the same meeting deals with McCain’s advice to the Gaddafis about the upcoming release from a Scottish prison of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. McCain, who now fulminates about Gaddafi having “American blood on his hands,” counseled the Libyan leader that the release was a “very sensitive issue” in the US and that he should handle it discreetly, “in a way that would strengthen the growing relationship between our two countries, rather than hinder its progress.” Ultimately Gaddafi and other leading Libyan officials gave a hero’s welcome to Megrahi, who has proclaimed his innocence and had been set to have his appeal heard when the Scottish government released him.

Other cables highlight the increasingly close US-Libyan military and security cooperation. One, sent in February 2009, provides a “security environment profile” for Libya. It notes that US personnel were “scheduled to provide 5 training courses to host government law enforcement and security” the next month. In answer to whether the Libyan government had been able to “score any major anti-terrorism successes,” the embassy praised the Gaddafi regime for having “dismantled a network in eastern Libya that was sending volunteer fighters to Algeria and Iraq and was plotting attacks against Libyan security targets using stockpiled explosives. The operation resulted in the arrest of over 100 individuals.” Elements of this same “network” make up an important component of the “rebels” now armed and led by NATO.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi

Asked by the State Department if there existed any “indigenous anti-American terrorist groups” in the country, the embassy replied “yes”, pointing to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which it noted had recently announced its merger with Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Again, elements of the LIFG are active in the leadership of the so-called rebels.

An April 2009 cable preparing Muatassim Gaddafi’s trip to Washington that month stresses plans for anti-terrorist training for Libyan military officers and potential arms deals. In its conclusion the embassy states: “The visit offers an opportunity to meet a power player and potential future leader of Libya. We should also view the visit as an opportunity to draw out Muatassim on how the Libyans view ‘normalized relations’ with the U.S. and, in turn, to convey how we view the future of the relationship as well. Given his role overseeing Libya’s national security apparatus, we also want his support on key security and military engagement that serves our interests.”

A May 2009 cable details a cordial hour-long meeting between Gaddafi and the then-head of the US Africa Command, General William Ward.

An August 2008 cable, a “scene setter” for the “historic visit” of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Tripoli, declares that “Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism and cooperation in liaison channels is excellent … Counter-terrorism cooperation is a key pillar of the U.S.-Libya bilateral relationship and a shared strategic interest.”

Many of the cables deal with opportunities for US energy and construction firms to reap “bonanzas” in the North African country and note with approval privatization efforts and the setting up of a Tripoli stock exchange.

Others, however, express concern, not about the Gaddafi regime’s repressive measures, but rather foreign policy and oil policy moves that could prejudice US interests. Thus, an October 2008 cable, cynically headlined “AL-QADHAFI: TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE?” expresses US concern about the Gaddafi regime’s approach to Russia for lucrative arms purchases and a visit to Tripoli harbor by a flotilla of Russian warships. One month later, during a visit to Moscow, Gaddafi discussed with the Putin regime the prospect of the Russian navy establishing a Mediterranean port in the city of Benghazi, setting off alarm bells at the Pentagon.

Cables from 2008 and 2009 raise concerns about US corporations not getting in on “billions of dollars in opportunities” for infrastructure contracts and fears that the Gaddafi regime could make good on the Libyan leader’s threat to nationalize the oil sector or utilize the threat to extract more favorable contracts from the foreign energy corporations.

The cables underscore the hypocrisy of the US and its allies in Britain, France and Italy, who have championed “regime change” in the name of protecting Libyan civilians and promoting “democracy.”

Those like Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Berlusconi who have branded Gaddafi a criminal to be hunted down and murdered were all his accomplices. All of them collaborated with, armed and supported the Gaddafi regime, as US and European corporations reaped vast profits from Libya’s oil wealth.

In the end, they seized upon the upheavals in the region and the anti-Gaddafi protests in Libya as the opportunity to launch a war to establish outright semi-colonial control over the energy-rich country and rid themselves of an ally who was never seen as fully reliable or predictable and upset his patrons with demands for better deals with big oil, closer ties with Russia and China and the threat of replacing the euro and dollar with a “gold dinar.”

Is NATO collapsing because of Libyan attack?

German Military Forces Out of NATO

MailOnline
March 23, 2011

Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign.

A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S.

The infighting comes as a heated meeting of NATO ambassadors yesterday failed to resolve whether the 28-nation alliance should run the operation to enforce a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, diplomats said.

Yesterday a war of words erupted between the U.S. and Britain after the U.K. government claimed Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target for assassination.

U.K. government officials said killing the Libyan leader would be legal if it prevented civilian deaths as laid out in a U.N. resolution.

But U.S. defence secretary Robert Gates hit back at the suggestion, saying it would be ‘unwise’ to target the Libyan leader adding cryptically that the bombing campaign should stick to the ‘U.N. mandate’.

President Barack Obama, seeking to avoid getting bogged down in a war in another Muslim country, said on Monday Washington would cede control of operations against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces within days, handing the reins over to NATO.

But Germany and European allies remain unwilling to have NATO take on a military operation that theoretically has nothing to do with the defence of Europe.

Today the German defence ministry announced Berlin had pulled out of any military operations in the Mediterranean.

A ministry spokesman said two frigates and two other ships with a crew of 550 would be reverted to German command.

Some 60 to 70 German troops participating in NATO-operated AWACS surveillance operations in the Mediterranean would also be withdrawn, according to the ministry.

Berlin isn’t participating in the operation to impose a no-fly zone in Libya and abstained on the U.N. resolution authorising it.

France, which launched the initial air strikes on Libya on Saturday, has argued against giving the U.S.-led NATO political control over an operation in an Arab country, while Turkey has called for limits to any alliance involvement.

In a bid to halt the embarrassing bickering, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe today proposed a new war committee to oversee operations.

The new body, Mr Juppe said, would bring together foreign ministers of participating states – such as Britain, France and the U.S. – as well as the Arab League.

Meanwhile the head of the Italian Senate’s defence affairs committee, Gianpiero Cantoni, said the original French anti-NATO stance was motivated by a desire to secure oil contracts with a future Libyan government.

Some allies are even questioning whether a no-fly zone is still necessary, given the damage already done by air strikes to Gaddafi’s military capabilities.

Speaking about yesterday’s hastily arranged meeting of NATO allies, one diplomat said: ‘The meeting became a little bit emotional,’ before adding that France had argued that the coalition led by Britain, the United States and France should retain political control of the mission, with NATO providing operational support, including command-and-control capabilities.

‘Others are saying NATO should have command or no role at all and that it doesn’t make sense for NATO to play a subsidiary role,’ the diplomat added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that air strikes launched after a meeting in Paris hosted by France on Saturday had gone beyond what had been sanctioned by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

‘There are U.N. decisions and these decisions clearly have a defined framework. A NATO operation which goes outside this framework cannot be legitimised,’ he told news channel CNN Turk.

Adding pressure to the already fractured alliance, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has also reiterated a warning that Italy would take back control of airbases it has authorised for use by allies for operations over Libya unless a NATO coordination structure was agreed.

In a shock admission, U.K. ministers have admitted the intervention in Libya could last for up to ’30 years’.

Asked for an estimate, British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said: ‘How long is a piece of string? We don’t know how long this is going to go on.

‘We don’t know if this is going to result in a stalemate. We don’t know if his capabilities are going to be degraded quickly. Ask me again in a week.’

In the U.S., Obama has made it clear he wants no part of any leadership role in Libya.

The President has already been criticised for continuing with a tour of Latin America as the military operation over Libya began. And yesterday he insisted again that while Gaddafi must go, the U.S. is not prepared to remove him by force, but merely to enforce the no-fly zone.

Even that hesitant stance, which has already earned him the title of the Great Vacillator, left him criticised for not seeking proper approval from Congress before sending the American military in.

And after reports emerged that Gaddafi’s son had been killed in a kamikaze strike yesterday, fresh questions over what exactly the U.S. intends to achieve in Libya emerged.

With Turkey digging its heels in and the Arab League suspicious, it has been pointed out that Mr Obama has fewer coalition partners in Libya than George Bush did at the start of the Iraq war.

He was criticised by both Republicans and Democrats over his decision to commit the U.S. military before going to Congress.

Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, Barbara Lee of California, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts, Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Representative Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland all complained that Mr Obama had exceeded his constitutional authority by authorizing the attack without Congressional permission.

The President hit back in a two-page letter to Congress and again reiterated his claim that while Gaddafi must go, the U.S. was only in Libya to enforce the no-fly zone for the protection of civilians.

France has already taken a leading role in the conflict, with President Nicolas Sarkozy hosting a summit in Paris over the weekend and French bombers being the first to enforce the no-fly zone.

Last night Britain’s top general was embroiled in an extraordinary clash with Downing Street over the legality of a strike to kill Gaddafi.

No 10 slapped down Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards after he flatly rejected ministers’ suggestions that the Libyan dictator was a legitimate target for assassination.

Downing Street and Foreign Office officials were quick to dispute that – saying assassinating Gaddafi would be legal because it would preserve civilian lives in Libya.