Posts Tagged collective bargaining

In the Wake of the Idiot King: Obama Rising and The Awakening—“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!”

The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” 99% Rising, and Awakening in a Plundered Land: Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Sixteen: The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

Truth Will Out – Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One

483941_4451074278797_1185717830_n

“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One – Truth Will Out

561226_332462656841718_321200524_n

So, we have these Big Lies, these “obvious truths,” which are actually not true, and they are all pervasive. It makes it virtually impossible to know what is actually going on.

Lies Are Being Called for What They Are

Until just recently. For now the truth’s being told again. And the Republicans are on the run. They are being found out to be the liars they are. That term, lie, for the first time in my lifetime is being used for what they do. They are being discovered to be who they are and what they have been doing all those years is being told. All the things they like to do–the undermining of unions and the collective bargaining system, the ever increasing giveaways to the rich–are being brought into the light.

clip_image002[4]

The Republican Lie About JFK Being a Supply-Sider

America was prosperous in the Sixties under Kennedy. And Republicans like to refer to his cutting taxes on the wealthy as support for their policies. They like to point to the good economy then as being the sort of thing that happens with their voodoo economics of shoveling money into wealthy hands, and they dare to imply that he would be in agreement with them.

But Rich-publicans have been extracting far more from America than the modest gain they had under Kennedy. What they’re not telling you is JFK reduced taxes to percentages in the seventies. The tax cut was actually not implemented until Johnson took office, so the prosperity we remember from the JFK’s America happened with the marginal rate above ninety percent. They’re not pointing out that America boomed under Eisenhower, a Republican, when it was also in the nineties. They’re avoiding the fact that their hero, Reagan, took JFK’s levels to the twenties and caused a recession.

clip_image004[4]

The Republican Lie That Cutting Taxes Creates Prosperity

So Republicans are comparing a small reduction enacted during prosperous times—the early Sixties—with huge cuts in times that are precarious—currently. And they’re failing to point out how lower taxes in the Twenties before the Depression, in the Eighties before Reagan-Bush’s recession, and in the last decade under Bush all devastated the economy.

Despite these dire consequences they would opt for the highest bracket of taxes to be in the low thirties even now when they can hardly be afforded, and they pushed Obama into continuing their tax cut at the end of 2010 and are blaming him for the economy not responding since then. So Republicans firmly maintain that Matrix of misinformation and switching the blame whose purposes are to confuse the other-than-wealthy and thus keep them helpless.

clip_image006[4]

It Is Now Clear That Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old

They would keep us helpless for lack of a clearer understanding , as well as to keep us disintegrated and disunited. No big union movements, no big antiwar movements, no big environmental movements, and no movements for the poor and economic justice.

The misinformation overlay has become so pervasive, the masses have lost the solidarity that they had enjoyed only a decade or so earlier when issues were clearer. Even Clinton’s America was a time when the truth was easier to make out through the concerted Republican campaign to enrich themselves and to keep the average American confused, poorer, poorer and poorer, helpless, and thus dumber and more controllable, easier to manipulate, and overworked because of crazy-making ways of doing things.

clip_image008[4]

“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” – OWS Protester

clip_image009[4]What does their consistent, daily, pervasive and unrelenting repetition and lies accomplish? What does all that amount to? Their intentions are no less than those nobles of old, to keep people in servitude and serfdom, essentially to bring people into compliance with their totalitarian will.

But I refuse to believe that is the only possible fate for workers and the masses of people. I still actually believe in those things we were all taught about America in our schools. I still think of what we are supposed to be.

We’ve Brought Down Soviet Oppression…Only to Raise It Ourselves.

clip_image010[4]But in our propaganda and lies we have become the the Soviets in many ways. But we’ve done it in a much slicker way that has got everybody confused.

Well, I did say this was about the rise and fall of the “obvious truths.” And I talked at length about those lies and those obvious “truths” that were never challenged. I hope I made my case.

But What Did It Take for Such Truth to Be Revealed?

It is our good fortune for these lies to become clearer in recent years and for the perpetrators to become more visible. But what did it take for those guys to be seen for what they are? clip_image012[4]It took a lot of suffering by the American people. For eight long years, it took a lot of being abused by the powerful. The Republicans got so cocky, they took so much money, they were so uncaring of the suffering, of the dying of Americans. They were so obviously not caring…not even putting up a pretense of being for the American people, who they were supposed to be representing and who they were claiming to be on the side of. They were obviously the wealthiest of us and those fighting for those interests of the filthy rich, but they were insinuating that they were all people, that what suited them was a benefit to us all.

Arrogance Comes Before the Fall

clip_image014[4]But you see you can get so cocky that you can lose your discipline and then you start to say things that people can see through. And then you have a war and people are dying. And then you finally have a collapse, an economic collapse that was based upon taking away regulations that people and good thinking Democrats and so on had instituted to protect people from having their life savings taken away from them…regulations that were also put into effect to level the playing field with the rich and anybody else playing the stock market.

We had such regulations, but then they go and take them away. We see that lapdog for the filthies, Alan Greenspan, saying we have come into some bright new era when corporations no longer need restraints for they are (magically) now self-regulating.

Their Thievery Blatant, Cocky

And we saw what happened. The rich people…they went crazy, they went amok. Even at the end they took 700 billion dollars out of the American Treasury, and got away scot free.

I was making the point earlier how that was extortion on such a grand scale. I brought to mind how extortion happens a lot more among the hundreds of million of Americans but when they do it on a tiny scale they go to jail, but when this elite does it on a large scale, well they just talk about it as if it is history. And It’s like, “That’s too bad. We gave all that money to them, and they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. Hmmm. Too bad. I mean there’s nothing we can do.”

The American Awakening – 99% Rising … in a Plundered Land: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two

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Awakening in the Wake of an Idiot King: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two – 99% Rising

TheAwakening

However people did start to see through the “obvious truths,” finally, through all of the haze of omnipresent untruth. Maybe it was because so many people were out of work they had some time to think. I don’t know.

Cheney-LookinForwardtoMadMaxin

99% Rising

And then Obama came along. He spoke plainly. He spoke like one of us because he was one of us. Like Bill Clinton, who incidentally was also raised by a single mother, Obama had a middle class background and humble origins. His mother was said to be a “hippie” of sorts; she was certainly internationalist in her perspective, not jingoistic. She died owing medical bills and, sadly, struggling with insurance companies. Obama’s origins have nothing in common with those of, say, a Romney…or a Bush. He wasn’t cradled in wealth, and his family had no ties with Nazis like the Bushes.

singlemoms

You couldn’t say he wasn’t one of us; you couldn’t make Obama out to be an elitist. Of course, they tried to; they got so cocky there is nothing the filthy rich and their Republican lackeys would not speak to see if they could get away with it. Obama was called “elitist” when he was campaigning and when in office they changed that to “socialist” and un-American. He had the same kind of pejoratives thrown at him that the 1% have always drummed up against any of us radicals, “hippies,” activists, or any of us coming up from the 99%. He forgo taking up some lucrative position in the corporacracy after his university years and instead worked as a community organizer. I personally can appreciate that having done something similar at one point in my own life.

080104-obama-victory-hmed-1245a.grid-6x2

But, no, he spoke like us. He made sense. He used rational arguments like his Democratic predecessors, but unlike them he could weave that logic with examples and words from our lives. Perhaps Clinton is the only president in recent memory who could really do that as well. And, being black, he obviously didn’t look like our usual American overlords.

Certainly, they tried to make him into some rich person. It is amazing how the filthy rich will paint their opponents with the brush that belongs to them. One of the big lies they always put out there is that “The Democrats are the ones who are rich.” And they’d say, “Well the Kennedys were…” 380729_3076139915978_245182058_nSeriously, they do this. It is so typical.

Nowadays they bring up the name, George Soros. They find the one billionaire on our side. They don’t tell you that he’s got one-tenth the wealth of the Koch Brothers who fund the Republicans and the extreme right. With Soros’s billions dwarfed and insect-like up against the mountains of gold behind Republicans, they still make him out to be some kind of source of all evil. Unbelievable.

But that’s what the Republicans and the right-wing-nuts to. They will find one example of anything. Always just one example will they be able to come up with, but they will use that to make their crazy “truth.”

Indeed, Obama chose a running mate, Joe Biden, who also had unprivileged beginnings. Biden grew up in the unassuming city of Scranton, in the center of the one-time Pennsylvania coal region, only ten miles from where I happened to have been raised. Biden was one of the least moneyed if not the actual poorest of any of those in the Senate. He ran his first campaign on a shoestring budget and was still taking the train to Washington at the time of his nomination to the vice-presidency. You can argue the policies of these Democrats all you want, but what you cannot do is include them in the ranks of the 1%.

The Awakening

So by the time of the 2008 election and after a sorry eight years of the reign of a foolish Bush, these “obvious truths”—such as that you give money to the rich and it’s gonna create prosperity—well, they were falling. They came out into the light and began being seen to be the lies that they are. Not all of them, of course. But some, at great cost to Americans during eight years and more of suffering, were swept like cobwebs from the minds of an awakening populace in America. The American Awakening began.

It began in reaction to an idiot “king” and on the shoulders of a new committed generation of Millennials. It swept the first African American ever into the office of the presidency of the United States. Within three years, and knowing Obama’s election was not enough to throw off the vines of tyranny that had grown over America during a full fifty years of “obvious truths,” it caught the headwind of an Arab Spring and sailed into a Wisconsin union movement and an American Autumn. Between the Occupy Wall Street and Wisconsin uprisings, America saw the largest outpouring of revolutionary fervor since the Sixties. Not only did the throngs of demonstrators mirror, perhaps surpass, the numbers that rose up in the Sixties, but the movement this time was world-wide; the cause was the same, world-wide. A Global Awakening had begun.

Their Legacy Remaining

But the fields upon which we arose had been burned and the earth in which we tried to take root had been salted. There had been that massive transfer of wealth upward to the coffers of the already stinking-with-it since the Eighties, over the course of some thirty years. It had been going on full throttle since the Republican coup that put Bush into power in 2000, which, without blinking an eye, swallowed up the Budget Surplus that had tediously been built over the eight years of the Democrat, Clinton.

All that money squandered on those not needing it could have paid for child care for everybody in America, could have given everybody in America solar power, so that we would be completely energy independent in that way, not worried about terrorism or anything.

No, but all that money was just thrown at the rich people. These very important life and death issues were tossed aside as irrelevant in the game. The players were intent on winning and it was like nobody really cared anymore if anybody got hurt.

clip_image002After all, once you start telling people that poor people deserve to be poor and that they are responsible for any misfortune that others heap on them…even if they get hurt or killed…you’ve opened the door for much more. It’s like “Oh, yea, it’s the gangs they’re in. They’re having gang wars, they can’t control themselves, they’re not like the rest of us, they’re always starting trouble, they can’t be helped, they’ll always be poor, the poor we always have with us….”

And once you start saying things like that you’re speaking their talk. You’re helping to keep the rich in control of you, because you’re helping them to cover up what they do. You’ve allowed them to distract you from their nefarious game to focus on some other group. You begin having it out for some easy scapegoat and begin to think of those unfortunates as not part of the “real” Americans.

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The wealthy have you thinking after a while about this scapegoated group the way they think of you. They do not think you are as human, as deserving of a nice life as them. They want you thinking that there is some group…Jews, blacks, hispanics, gays…who are responsible for your problems and are not as deserving, are not as American as you. So they create all kinds of lies so you’ve got someone to blame that is not them, that is not the actual perpetrators of these things.

The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

So this is what is meant by the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” We see through their bombardment of inanities and lies, yet they have desperately stepped up their assault…as frightened actors can be expected to do. This proves we are winning. Yet they increase their control of the dialogue in America with a virtual media monopoly, spinning their line, their narrative almost exclusively and leaving the internet the only unconquered land outside their broadcast hegemony.

And I can only hope that the truth will continue to come out, that it will really come out and continue to awaken people to their own interests instead of them working against themselves and each other. Obama is an intelligent person; he’s doing as good job as might be expected in the plundered land that’s been left him. And I hope it’s not forgotten what he is doing.

I saw what a good job Clinton did and I saw how that was covered up, how we were distracted to seeing only a scandal. Oh, yea, so he had sex. Our leader had sex, how horrible. So all of the people who died because of the Bushes and Reagan, all the suffering caused by rubbing people’s faces in the dirt of poverty are not to be mentioned. But Clinton had sex with some woman; that’s a cause for outrage. Wow.

But you hear that enough and you don’t have any real perspective any more. You cannot weigh the gravity of one wrong against the other, or in this case a supposed wrong against real ones.

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But Americans are starting to know again what is really important. Pushing against the media tides, they are connecting outside of the public limelight. They are using the internet to exchange views. They are learning and taking action, gathering by the hundreds of thousands in rallies for change and to speak out against what is continuing to be imposed on them to benefit the well off. They are doing this despite being ignored by the media, the media continuing its policy of trying to make some realities to go away while blowing up the ridiculous and the insignificant into matters of great and pressing portent.

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So in spite of it all I think Americans have started to get back their solidarity. I think they are starting to get back their ability to reason.

I just hope that we’re going to get back some jobs too…and some money …and be able someday to enjoy some of that prosperity I remember from the past.

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Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seventeen: Freedom of the Press Repealed

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fifteen: Money Madness


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Threean Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Three,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.


“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’ Part 3”


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seventeen: Freedom of the Press Repealed

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fifteen: Money Madness

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Truth Will Out – Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One

483941_4451074278797_1185717830_n

“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One – Truth Will Out

561226_332462656841718_321200524_n

So, we have these Big Lies, these “obvious truths,” which are actually not true, and they are all pervasive. It makes it virtually impossible to know what is actually going on.

Lies Are Being Called for What They Are

Until just recently. For now the truth’s being told again. And the Republicans are on the run. They are being found out to be the liars they are. That term, lie, for the first time in my lifetime is being used for what they do. They are being discovered to be who they are and what they have been doing all those years is being told. All the things they like to do–the undermining of unions and the collective bargaining system, the ever increasing giveaways to the rich–are being brought into the light.

clip_image002[4]

The Republican Lie About JFK Being a Supply-Sider

America was prosperous in the Sixties under Kennedy. And Republicans like to refer to his cutting taxes on the wealthy as support for their policies. They like to point to the good economy then as being the sort of thing that happens with their voodoo economics of shoveling money into wealthy hands, and they dare to imply that he would be in agreement with them.

But Rich-publicans have been extracting far more from America than the modest gain they had under Kennedy. What they’re not telling you is JFK reduced taxes to percentages in the seventies. The tax cut was actually not implemented until Johnson took office, so the prosperity we remember from the JFK’s America happened with the marginal rate above ninety percent. They’re not pointing out that America boomed under Eisenhower, a Republican, when it was also in the nineties. They’re avoiding the fact that their hero, Reagan, took JFK’s levels to the twenties and caused a recession.

clip_image004[4]

The Republican Lie That Cutting Taxes Creates Prosperity

So Republicans are comparing a small reduction enacted during prosperous times—the early Sixties—with huge cuts in times that are precarious—currently. And they’re failing to point out how lower taxes in the Twenties before the Depression, in the Eighties before Reagan-Bush’s recession, and in the last decade under Bush all devastated the economy.

Despite these dire consequences they would opt for the highest bracket of taxes to be in the low thirties even now when they can hardly be afforded, and they pushed Obama into continuing their tax cut at the end of 2010 and are blaming him for the economy not responding since then. So Republicans firmly maintain that Matrix of misinformation and switching the blame whose purposes are to confuse the other-than-wealthy and thus keep them helpless.

clip_image006[4]

It Is Now Clear That Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old

They would keep us helpless for lack of a clearer understanding , as well as to keep us disintegrated and disunited. No big union movements, no big antiwar movements, no big environmental movements, and no movements for the poor and economic justice.

The misinformation overlay has become so pervasive, the masses have lost the solidarity that they had enjoyed only a decade or so earlier when issues were clearer. Even Clinton’s America was a time when the truth was easier to make out through the concerted Republican campaign to enrich themselves and to keep the average American confused, poorer, poorer and poorer, helpless, and thus dumber and more controllable, easier to manipulate, and overworked because of crazy-making ways of doing things.

clip_image008[4]

“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” – OWS Protester

clip_image009[4]What does their consistent, daily, pervasive and unrelenting repetition and lies accomplish? What does all that amount to? Their intentions are no less than those nobles of old, to keep people in servitude and serfdom, essentially to bring people into compliance with their totalitarian will.

But I refuse to believe that is the only possible fate for workers and the masses of people. I still actually believe in those things we were all taught about America in our schools. I still think of what we are supposed to be.

We’ve Brought Down Soviet Oppression…Only to Raise It Ourselves.

clip_image010[4]But in our propaganda and lies we have become the the Soviets in many ways. But we’ve done it in a much slicker way that has got everybody confused.

Well, I did say this was about the rise and fall of the “obvious truths.” And I talked at length about those lies and those obvious “truths” that were never challenged. I hope I made my case.

But What Did It Take for Such Truth to Be Revealed?

It is our good fortune for these lies to become clearer in recent years and for the perpetrators to become more visible. But what did it take for those guys to be seen for what they are? clip_image012[4]It took a lot of suffering by the American people. For eight long years, it took a lot of being abused by the powerful. The Republicans got so cocky, they took so much money, they were so uncaring of the suffering, of the dying of Americans. They were so obviously not caring…not even putting up a pretense of being for the American people, who they were supposed to be representing and who they were claiming to be on the side of. They were obviously the wealthiest of us and those fighting for those interests of the filthy rich, but they were insinuating that they were all people, that what suited them was a benefit to us all.

Arrogance Comes Before the Fall

clip_image014[4]But you see you can get so cocky that you can lose your discipline and then you start to say things that people can see through. And then you have a war and people are dying. And then you finally have a collapse, an economic collapse that was based upon taking away regulations that people and good thinking Democrats and so on had instituted to protect people from having their life savings taken away from them…regulations that were also put into effect to level the playing field with the rich and anybody else playing the stock market.

We had such regulations, but then they go and take them away. We see that lapdog for the filthies, Alan Greenspan, saying we have come into some bright new era when corporations no longer need restraints for they are (magically) now self-regulating.

Their Thievery Blatant, Cocky

And we saw what happened. The rich people…they went crazy, they went amok. Even at the end they took 700 billion dollars out of the American Treasury, and got away scot free.

I was making the point earlier how that was extortion on such a grand scale. I brought to mind how extortion happens a lot more among the hundreds of million of Americans but when they do it on a tiny scale they go to jail, but when this elite does it on a large scale, well they just talk about it as if it is history. And It’s like, “That’s too bad. We gave all that money to them, and they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. Hmmm. Too bad. I mean there’s nothing we can do.”

The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

However people did start to see through the “obvious truths,” finally, through all smoke and lies. Maybe it was because so many people were out of work they had some time to think.

Continue with The American Awakening – 99% Rising … in a Plundered Land: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two

Return to Hippies, Yippies, Yuppies … How the 1% Diluted the Progressive Movement by Slandering Boomers to Foster Culture War Between Them and Gen Xers and to Distract from Their Own Looting

 


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Three – an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Three,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.


“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’ Part 3”

 


Continue with The American Awakening – 99% Rising … in a Plundered Land: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two

Return to Hippies, Yippies, Yuppies … How the 1% Diluted the Progressive Movement by Slandering Boomers to Foster Culture War Between Them and Gen Xers and to Distract from Their Own Looting

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

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The Cost in Lives, Suffering, and Sweat of Obama’s Lack of Spine

Why Always Wait Till Something Has Become an Alamo Before Sending in a Cavalry?

Libya, Nuclear power, Collective bargaining rights…Wisconsin, Off-shore oil drilling…Gulf oil spills, Tax cuts for the rich, the public option in health care…

UN oks a no-fly zone for Libya. But, why did they wait this long? Qaddafi is attacking Benghazi, the last holdout. Isn’t this like sending in the cavalry when only the Alamo is left? Does Obama have to concede EVERYTHING ahead of time!?

And then have a last final futile battle when all is lost, often accomplishing little or nothing. Look at the lack of fight on health care, in particular the public option part of it. Look at the lack of fight on (and then total capitulation to) tax cuts for the rich (requiring that we will be fighting a running, losing battle against overwhelmingly funded adversaries indefinitely)! Look at the lack of action on Wisconsin, leaving only the lame recourse of people having to try to pull off a recall of elected officials. Look at the lack of action on the Gulf Oil Spill; the health and environmental repercussions of which are out of mind now, but are there forever, and will be back to haunt us soon enough, just like the danger of nuclear reactors never really went away.

Obama’s preemptive concessions to Qaddafi; to BP, to offshore oil drilling; to Republicans about the public option, tax cuts for the rich, & collective bargaining rights; to the nuclear industry in the US, and so on are weakness, dilly-dallying, mealy-mouthedness, and lack of cahonies by our President that we will be dealing with and suffering because of for a long time.

A little more spine by Obama in crucial areas such as these would have saved what will be required instead: the loss of innumerable thousands of lives to Mideast tyrants and environmental hazards and pollutions and the years, decades of hard work, sweat, tears, and sacrifice by the even greater multitude of activists and workers needed to just TRY to regain, or gain, what has been conceded.

Mr. President, your generation wanted to avoid confrontation at all costs in reaction to the Sixties tumult that involved speaking truth to evil, right to its face. Your generation invented the word, “wuss.” Watching you (so sadly), I see why.

My generation didn’t want to be part of the problem but part of the solution and had a moral barometer of “you can do anything you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone.” Your generation’s moral rule of thumb was whether something was “inappropriate” or “appropriate” and so divided the world along arbitrary lines that gave greater weight to whether something was unseemly rather than whether it was true or authentic.

But a lot of evil is being done now because it would have been “inappropriate” or “unseemly” for you to have taken a strong stand on principle. President Obama, Harry Truman and Teddy Roosevelt are rolling over in their graves. (Cf: http://bit.ly/PT-ob http://bit.ly/AM-ob http://bit.ly/AN-ob http://bit.ly/OB-ob http://bit.ly/GB-ob #Obama #nofly #tax #union #nuclear #BP #UN #Libya)

Amplify’d from uruknet.info
U.S. ‘set to bomb Libya within hours’ as UN approves no-fly zone and Gaddafi announces ‘There will be no mercy tonight’ [ 75934 ] –

March 17, 2011

  • UK and French ‘would lead first airstrike’

  • Rebels use three jets and a helicopter to attack Gaddafi forces

  • Gaddafi threatens attacks on Mediterranean targets if no fly zone enforced

  • Warnings from America ‘a massacre is about to happen’

  • U.S., UK and French diplomats have forced the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Libya tonight, with reports allied bombs could ‘drop within hours’.

    The dramatic intervention comes as Colonel Gaddafi this evening warned rebels in Benghazi to lay down their arms or expect ‘no mercy’ as his forces push towards their stronghold.

    The news follows a reversal in rebel fortunes, with reports anti-Gaddafi militias had used up to three ‘stolen’ fighter jets and a helicopter in a desperate bid to halt the advancing army.

    Media_httpcontent7cli_zlihw

    Fight back: reports have emerged of rebels flying at least three jets and a helicopter against loyalist Gaddafi forces. This jet crashed due to ‘mechanical failure’ according to witnesses

    Media_httpcontent8cli_hdzlp

    Desperate: If a no fly zone is imposed tonight, bombs could drop ‘with in hours’ military sources have said

    After weeks of hesitancy over imposing a no-fly zone in Libya, the United States made a dramatic about-face, calling for even more expanded action, including strikes on Gaddafi’s ground forces besieging rebel-held cities.

    The U.N. Security Council voted this evening on a resolution that would open the way for that, establishing a no-fly zone but also authorising member states to take ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians from attacks by Gaddafi’s forces.

    The BBC reported that China and Russia, usually opposed to such actions, abstained from the vote.

    It is also expected that if the resolution goes ahead, planes from at least five Arab nations will join the international force in strikes and patrols over Libya.

    The BBC also said British and French war planes would be among the first to launch an attack if the go ahead were given, with the U.S. joining the campaign at a later stage.

    The change reflected the past week’s swift reversal of the realities on the ground, where once-confident rebels are now in danger of being crushed under an overpowering pro-Gaddafi force using rockets, artillery, tanks, war-planes.

    That force has advanced along the Mediterranean coast aiming to recapture the rebel-held eastern half of Libya.

    Gaddafi troops encircled the city of Ajdabiya, the first in the path of their march, but also had some troops positioned beyond it toward Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city and the headquarters of the opposition’s leadership.

    In an address this evening, Gaddafi proclaimed that the ‘hour of decision has come’ and that his regime would begin ‘tonight’ to put an end to the rebellion.

    ‘The matter has been decided … we are coming,’ he said, calling in by telephone to state TV and addressing the people of Benghazi.’

    ‘There is amnesty for those who throw away their weapons and sits in their house … No matter what they did in the past, (it’s) forgiven,’ he said.

    But for those who resist, he said, ‘there will be no mercy or compassion.’

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    Retaking power: Gaddafi’s forces appear to be gaining the upper hand in Libya

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    Cornered: The rebel situation is looking increasingly dire as Gaddafi troops are reported to be less than 100 miles from their stronghold in Benghazi

    The warning comes after Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, currently in Tunisia, spoke of bombing Libyan targets.

    She said: ‘A no-fly zone requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and the pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defence systems.’

    Visiting the region for the first time since protesters in Tunisia and Egypt toppled their long-time autocratic rulers, Clinton said the U.S. would support U.N. actions that gain a ‘broad base of participation, including from Arab nations,’ and that military action short of boots on the ground might be needed.

    Gaddafi must go,’she said, calling him ‘a ruthless dictator that has no conscience and will destroy anyone or anything in his way.’

    ‘If Gaddafi does not go, he will just make trouble,’ Clinton said. ‘That is just his nature. There are some creatures that are like that.’

    Several witnesses said rebels in Benghazi succeeded in shooting down at least two of the attacking aircraft. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman, a 42-year-old merchant who lives nearby, said he saw one of the warplanes shot down after striking Benina – a civilian and military air facility about 12 miles from the centre of the city.

    He said the strikes caused light damage.
    Possible attack on Benghazi by Gaddafi forces

    Another witness, medical official Qassem al-Shibli, said he saw three planes attack the airport and nearby rebel military camps before two were shot down.

    A third witness saw fire trucks fighting a blaze at the airport, and black smoke billowing from the area. Another witness reported that a rebel war-plane crashed north of Benghazi, apparently after running out of fuel.

    At the same time, the rebels were sending their own war-planes in an attempt to break the regime’s assault on Ajdabiya, a city about 100 miles south-west of Benghazi that has been under a punishing siege by Gaddafi’s forces the past two days.

    Three rebel warplanes and helicopters struck government troops massed at Ajdabiya’s western gates, said Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman in Benghazi, and Abdel-Bari Zwei, an opposition activist in Ajdabiya.

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    Attacks: A wrecked Libyan commercial plane sits on the tarmac of Benghazi airport. Gaddafi forces bombed the rebel stronghold today in anticipation of an all out assault

    The U.N. negotiations took place against a backdrop of increasing scepticism in Congress about the Obama administration’s Libya strategy.

    Questions focused on what action the U.S. was willing to take to back up its strong calls for Gaddafi’s ouster and whether the crisis could lead to military conflict.

    Both the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Senator John Kerry, and the top Republican, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, expressed frustration with the administration and its articulation of policies.

    Burns said Gaddafi’s forces ‘have made significant strides on the ground over the course of the last 24, 48 hours … taking full advantage of their overwhelming military.’

    He said a Gaddafi victory could mean a reversion toward terrorist support and could destabilise the region.

    But he said U.S. action must occur with international support.

    We ‘need to approach them with a sense of humility about our role and our influence,’ Burns said.

    ‘That’s why we’ve attached so much emphasis to making this an international response authorized by the U.N. Security Council and attach so much importance to active Arab partnership, not just declarations.’

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    Doctors working at a local hospital join other protesters in calling for a no-fly zone over Libya during a rally at a square by the sea side in the eastern Libyan town of Benghazi

    Clinton said discussions were going beyond specific actions toward broader authorization so countries can enforce any U.N. measures, though no ground intervention is being considered.

    But with Gaddafi threatening to ‘rescue’ the people of Benghazi from ‘traitors’ and promising no mercy to those who resist, it was unclear if the U.N.’s efforts would be concluded in time to protect areas remaining in opposition hands.

    Senators were in disagreement over the no-fly zone. Lugar doubted that U.S. interests would be served and said the step would require a declaration of war from Congress under the War Powers Act. He asked that Arab governments pay for any U.S. military involvement.

    Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, said the administration’s response was too weak and relied on Russian and Chinese support for a U.N. resolution.

    Rubio questioned whether the U.S. had a backup plan if the resolution failed.

    Read more at uruknet.info

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