Seriously, why are you guys even directing this rage at Qaddafi to begin with? He’s just a gentle old man who smiles and waves to people and drinks tea and wears white gloves to protect his delicate hands and hosts foreign dignitaries and unleashes mercenary death squads on his people and takes leisurely strolls through floral gardens.
Qaddafi actually blamed the uprising in Libya on coffee drugs:
[Qaddafi] says al Qaeda militants are “exploiting” teenagers, giving them “hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe.”
It’s like some sort of SNL skit that came to life; it would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.
(00:13) The international meeting to determine how to best support Yemen and stabilize the country started today in London. The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, arrived in London today to participate in the meeting that is being attended by 24 countries.
(00:32) In other news, the Washington Post newspaper quoted American officials who said that American teams were working in secret operations with the Yemeni Army against the al-Qa’ida organization. The officials clarified that American advisors helped plan an operation against al-Qa’ida in December of last year.
(00:51) The United Nation’s sections committee announced today that the names of five previous members of the Taliban were scratched off a list of those described as involved with terrorism. Diplomats believe that this step paves the way for the conference in London on Afghan affairs that will be held tomorrow.
(01:10) The official (1m) in Sri Lanka announced that the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a second (presidential) term. The (Sri Lankan) army surrounded the headquarters of the opposition leader for the second time. (The opposition leader) requested the protection of one of the neighboring countries.
(01:25) The spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Unity spoke about the country’s stance in the face of Pyongyang’s decision to implement a “no-sail” zone in a contested area between the two countries, saying that it was “still under review.” Pyongyang and Seoul had exchanged fire the previous day in the contested area.
(01:46) An official in the Lebanese army said that they will expand the search area for the remains of the wrecked Ethiopian airline if the black box is not found today. The official said that improving weather conditions will help further facilitate the (search) teams’ mission.
(00:13) The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said that he hasn’t heard any news yet about survivors from the crash of one of its passenger airplanes early yesterday morning after its takeoff from Beirut airport. There were 90 passengers on board. Rescue teams have so far recovered 30 bodies and numerous (1m) from the airplane’s wreckage. 54 Lebanese were among the passengers, along with 22 Ethiopians and the wife of the French Ambassador in Beirut.
(00:44) The Lebanese President, Michel Sulayman, has already held a meeting at the Ministry of Defense to look into the circumstances surrounding the airplane crash and ruled out any sort of act of sabotage. Likewise the Lebanese Minister of Defense, Elias Murr, confirmed that American planes would participate in the rescue operations, with permission from the Lebanese (Government).
(01:03) The American General, Stanley McCrystal, Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that he hopes that the increase in the number of American troops in Afghanistan will lead to the weakening of the Taliban to the point that it will sign a peace treaty and end the war.
(01:25) Five soldiers were injured in an attack on a military checkpoint in the province of al-Dhaliya’ in Yemen, which the authorities said was launched by armed fighters from the “Harak al-Janubi” (Southern Movement) Elsewhere, 3 students were injured, one seriously, in an outbreak of gunfire by the Southern Movement’s forces which it said was accidental and unintentional, whereas the authorities said that it was the result of the Southern Movement’s attempts to force students to participate in the insurrection that the Southern Movement has called for.
(01:55) Preparations continue in Sri Lanka for tomorrow’s Presidential election, and ballot boxes began to be distributed to voting centers country-wide. The current President, Makinda Rajapaksa, and the former commander of the Army, Sarath Fonseka, are among the most prominent of the candidates in this election.
At least three soldiers were killed and two others belonging to the Central Yemeni security forces were injured in the province of Shabwa (In the eastern part of the country), by armed fighters believed to be members of the “al-Qa’ida” organization in Yemen. In the early hours of yesterday morning, they attacked one of the military positions in the ‘Amashiya area of the ‘Atuq district (Around 600 kilometers from Sana’), and then ran away.
Local sources said that the attack might have been a response to security operations that have lately targeted “al-Qa’ida” in Shabwa and a number of provinces, and the authorities continue their pursuit of the organization’s members.
In the southern province of Lahaj witnesses confirmed to “al-Hayat” that tens of armed fighters belonging to “al-Harak al-Janubi” looted businesses, lit them on fire, and cut off the main highway connecting the province with the capital, Sana’, and the neighboring province of ‘Adin. (These acts) forced businessmen, particularly those who have come down from the northern provinces, to close their shops down and flee the province.
The neighboring province of al-Dhalia’ witnessed clashes between demonstrators belonging to “al-Harak al-Janubi” and police (forces) which arrested tens of the (demonstrators) after they blocked off the main highway leading to Sana’ and raised flags opposing (national) unity. At the same time, armed fighters in the demonstration seized three members of (Yemen’s) security forces, who they later released after (the three captured soldiers) confirmed that they were from the southern provinces.
On another front, in regards to the battle in Sa’da’, witnesses indicated that violent fighting has been going on since dawn of yesterday between the Army’s forces, supported by volunteers from tribes (al-Jaysh al-Sha’bi), and al-Huthi insurgents, especially in the entrances to the old district.
In the latest news, local sources indicated that the army has possibly wiped out a number of the positions that had been in the hands of the al-Huthis, due to the damage to their positions along the Buni Sufyan area and the foiling of their attempts to infiltrate near the Tibba al-Burka (area.)
Yemeni (religious) scholars said today that they would call for jihad in the event Yemen was subjected to any military incursion or foreign invasion.
A report, signed by 150 Yemeni scholars of which the most prominent was ‘Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, indicated that, “Jihad will become obligatory for all Muslims if Yemen is subjected to any aggression or foreign invasion.”
The report, which was read out loud for journalists by Member of Parliament Shaykh ‘Arif al-Subri, included the opposition of Yemen’s scholars to any foreign presence, and any Yemeni military cooperation or agreement with foreign elements.
The report sought the support of the rulers of the Islamic Umma'(nation of believers), those governed (by Islamic law), scholars, groups, and organizations, to, “Support their brothers in Yemen, and stand as one front against the foreign conspiracies and interference.”
He indicated that the scholars who signed the report represent all different areas of the country; the most prominent of them being al-Zindani who is wanted by Washington who accuses him of sponsoring what they call “terrorism”.
al-Zindani has already intensely opposed the international conference on Yemen that will be held in two weeks in London, and has called for the sons of Yemen to pay attention before a guardianship is placed upon them.
These developments come in light of recurring media reports about the possibility of the American war against al-Qa’ida being extended to Yemeni soil.
Joseph Lieberman, a member of the US Senate, has already said that America must follow it’s enemies to new battlefields in Yemen and elsewhere.
On the other hand, the British newspaper “The Independent” said in an editorial that the al-Qa’ida organization seeks to lure the United States into Yemen where it has ease of movement in it’s mountains, especially in light of the weak government.
(00:12) The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, expects the number of victims from the earthquake in Haiti will be extremely high, similar to the aftermath of the tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004, killing 230,000 people. Clinton’s statements came a few hours after the Haitian President expressed his fear that the number killed in the earthquake that struck his country could be in the hundreds of thousands.
(00:41) Qatar has announced that it’s sending humanitarian aid to Haiti. An airplane took off from Doha International Airport transporting medicine, medical and first-aid supplies, as well as food supplies.
(00:53) The Afghan Police said that 15 civilians and a police officer were killed by an explosion in an overcrowded market in the Rosghan region, south of Kabul.
(01:07) An al-Jazeera correspondent in Islamabad relates from a military source that 18 people were killed and 14 others injured by UAV drone strike on a gathering in Waziristan believed to have been carried out by American (forces). It is not clear yet whether or not the Taliban leader in Pakistan, Hakim Allah Mahsud, was killed or injured in (the strike), or if he escaped the area before the attack.
(01:35) Thousands of Iranians participated in the funeral of the nuclear scientist, Mas’ud ‘Ali al-Muhammadi, who was assassinated last Tuesday by a bomb hidden in a motorcycle near his residence in northern Tehran.
(01:51) Religious scholars in Yemen have established a call to jihad in the event the country is subjected to what they describe as an aggressor or invasion. They announced their rejection of any security or military interference (in Yemen), as well as the establishment of any (foreign) bases on Yemeni soil or it’s regional waters.
Legal sources in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, said that today an Iraqi criminal court sentenced 11 Iraqis to death by hanging in the wake of the severe attacks that occurred last August in the country.
A spokesperson for the Iraqi supreme court, ‘Abd al-Sittar al-Birqdar, said that, “The accused were sentenced to death for the crime of planning and carrying out the violent bombings.”
The Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Jawwad Bulani, already emphasized last December in front of parliament that the accused would be executed.
Last August 19th, Iraq witnessed a series of explosions that took the lives of 106 people and left behind more than a thousand wounded.
The explosives, which had been rigged as multiple truck bombs, targeted the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the al-Salihiyah area and the Ministry of Finance in the al-Waziriyah neighborhood.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, made assurances two days after the bombing that they would arrest those who undertook them, and quickly mentioned the discovery of “security violations.”
al-Maliki blamed those in the al-Qa’ida organization and the followers of the former Iraqi President, Saddam Husayn, and the banned Ba’ath party with carrying out these attacks.
However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hushyar Zibari, spoke of cooperation between the Iraqi Security (Forces) and the bombing’s perpetrators.
It should be noted that the August 2009 bombings raised the question in the Iraqi street around how penetrated the security apparatus is (by bad elements). Meanwhile (the bombings) led to the breakout of a crisis between Baghdad and Damascus, whom al-Maliki had accused of letting the attack’s perpetrators slip through their borders.
(00:15) An earthquake with a strength of 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the Haitian peninsula in the Caribbean Sea has led to the destruction of vast areas and many buildings. It’s been reported that there could be up to thousands killed (still) under the rubble of the collapsed buildings. Already, governments from countries around the world have announced (their intent) to deliver hasty support to supply to the victims of (this disaster).
(00:39) An al-Jazeera correspondent in Yemen reports from the Shabwa province that a (person) named ‘Abdullah Mahdhar, leader of an al-Qa’ida cell in the area of al-Hawta, was killed in clashes with Yemeni security forces in the southern Shabwa province.
(00:53) Riyadh announced officially that the President of Syria, Bashar al-Asad, will visit the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) today, and will take part in talks with the Saudi family, and the King ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abd-al-‘Aziz. The discussions between the two sides will revolve around bilateral relations in addition to regional and national issues.
(01:11) Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, apologized for his conduct with the Turkish Ambassador. He said that the foreign embassies were not amongst his opponents. The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had criticized the statements of the Israeli Foreign Ministry as disgracing Turkey in the latest (1m), and Israel promised that it would respond appropriately.
(01:36) In Beirut, the seventh annual conference of the International al-Quds Foundation began with the participation of associations of scientists, intellectuals, and politics. The conference will be discussing issues and developments in al-Quds(Jurusalem) and a number of steps to preserve it’s Arabic and Islamic character.
(01:53) The International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, in Afghanistan said that two American soldiers were killed this morning in an IED detonation in the southern part of the country. Meanwhile, the United Nations said that this past year was the deadliest for civilians since 2001.
Two American soldiers working with the North American Treaty (Organization) Forces (NATO) were killed in an explosion in eastern Afghanistan according to a NATO announcement today. Elsewhere, the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, emphasized that his country has required very little of the financial aid from the United States and there was no blank check as was mentioned in discussions with the American President, Barack Obama.
In the context of combat developments in Afghanistan, four Afghan soldiers and a civilian were killed in a car bomb in southeastern Khost province.
Likewise the Afghan Army announced the injury of three of it’s members and three civilians in a car bomb in southern Kandahar province, and a Afghan officer was killed and six soldiers wounded in an IED detonation targeting their convoy in the Ghazni province.
It’s worth mentioning that it was announced yesterday, Tuesday, that eight people were killed in clashes with Afghan and American security forces during protests of what (the protesters) said was desecration of a copy of the Holy Qur’an by international forces in the Jarmasir area of the Helmand province. At the same time, the NATO commander in Afghanistan said that 16 armed fighters were killed in UAV drone strikes in southern Afghanistan.
On the political side, the Afghan President denied what his American counterpart, Barack Obama, has repeated, which is that Washington was giving Kabul a blank check, but with that Karzai expressed his gratitude for the little financial (aid) that Washington was sending to Afghanistan.
Karzai said in an interview with the American television network ABC News, “We don’t have the right to obligate the American people to pay for us, or to help us, this is our country and we must protect it by ourselves and carry the financial burden ourselves.”
Karzai added, “We welcome the aid from America, and until now has (1m) billions for us, likewise in regards to the gratitude we are grateful for the help that we have received.”
Karzai has already requested America’s patience if his government is unable to meet the mandatory final date to take over responsibility for security that is set to occur at the end of 2011, and with that he has expressed his satisfaction that the withdrawal date is beneficial for Afghanistan.
Karzai explained his opinion, saying, “It pushes us to work with increased diligence towards strengthening and training our forces, and we will be involved in the life of Afghanistan, and we think a lot about how we use our resources in the best way, live within our means, and protect our country.”
The Afghan President gave assurance of his conviction that the United States and Kabul’s other allies will continue to stand with his country for many coming years, emphasizing that Afghanistan that enjoys self-sufficiency in all aspects of the country.
Obama had already announced – in a speech he gave last month – that he will send 30,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan, but he is placing pressure on Karzai, “To stamp out the corruption in (Karzai)’s administration,” and (Obama) pledged to begin bringing the American soldiers in Afghanistan back home at the end of 18 months, and to turn over responsibility to the Afghan forces.
It’s worth mentioning that since the United States lead the invasion into Afghanistan in 2001 to throw out the Taliban, Washington has sunk around 171.4 billion dollars to keep the Taliban away, and around 900 American soldiers have been killed in fighting with the Taliban and the al-Qa’ida organization in Afghanistan.