Voices from Russia

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Militias in Libya and Syria Outwit the CIA

These are the militia thugs and this is what they do… lovely folks, aren’t they?


The New York Times came out with interesting revelations about the details of the attack against the American mission in Benghazi. The American officials whom the newspaper quotes confirm that the CIA used the two American compounds in Benghazi, including the one where the American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died of smoke inhalation, for “secret missions”. Meanwhile, Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, the head of the Libyan National Council and the interim head of state, issued an order disbanding all militias and ordering them to pull out of the army’s barracks and other public property before Tuesday. However, experts question the ability of Libya’s new government to re-establish order in the country in such a brief period.

From the latest reports, it also became clear that the CIA had a big staff in Libya, in particular, in Benghazi. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa A.G. Abushagur expressed his surprise at the scope of the CIA’s operations in Benghazi, which became apparent to him only when a “surprisingly large number of Americans showed up at the Benghazi airport to be evacuated”. The Wall Street Journal quoted Mr Abushagour as saying, “We have no problem with intelligence sharing or gathering, but our sovereignty is also key”. The New York Times reports that CIA operatives listened to Libyans’ phone conversations; they intercepted and analysed a huge amount of e-mail messages, SMS messages, and other personal information.

These facts, coupled with worrying reports on militia activities in Syria, Libya, and Mali, pose some more general questions, whose significance goes well beyond the borders of Libya alone. How conscious is the USA of the real aims of the forces that surfaced in Arab countries thanks to the so-called Arab Spring? How could it happen that a massive CIA presence didn’t clarify the situation enough for the American authorities to predict the dangers that faced their own diplomatic staff? If the reports about the inner divisions inside these militias and their infiltration by Islamists are true, then, aren’t these militias a greater danger to their countries’ populations than the “dictatorships” that these militias claimed to fight?

Obviously, the USA pressed hard on the new Libyan authorities to do something about this terrible and, amongst other things, humiliating incident, what with the American ambassador being killed there. The government is making “all the right moves”… or, so it seems from the official reports. Mr al-Magarief, the official head of state, issued an order on disbanding militias, a move, that, according to expert opinions, would require the use of force. According to a report by the French newspaper Le Figaro, at least 10 people were killed on the first day of the “new peaceful order”, i.e. before al-Magarief’s ultimatum actually expired. The newspaper reports that the two militias where Islamist presence is at its strongest… Ansar al-Sharia and Abu Slim… prudently evacuated their facilities in Benghazi long before the government clamped down on militias. Instead of raiding the Islamists, people whom the New York Times calls “an angry mob demanding law and order” attacked the barracks of the more-or-less loyalist brigade of the local militia leader Rafallah Sahati. However, Le Figaro suspects that it wasn’t law and order, but Rafallah Sahati’s arms depots that the mob was after. That’s especially so if one bears in mind that the attack started at dawn… a time when “normal” mobs aren’t at their most active.

Would the situation in Syria be any different from what we’re now seeing in Libya? Georges Malbrunot, a veteran French reporter on Middle Eastern affairs, wrote in his blog on the “growing influence of radicals” in the so called Free Syrian Army, which announced today it was moving its operating headquarters from Turkey to Syria. Malbrunot noted that the FSA, created soon after the start of the “peaceful” rebellion in Syria, in June 2011, is now “just a label behind which rag-tag anti-régime militias hide”. The French journalist added that this armed force, actively supported by money and arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Western countries, “is torn apart by internal divisions”. The official FSA commander, Colonel Riad al-Assad (no relation to the ruling Syrian president), is reported to channel all the Saudi aid and arms to his loyalists inside Syria. Malbrunot quoted his sources amongst the Syrian rebels as saying, “He created his own militias inside Syria, and, now, he wants to be better placed in a fight for power in the long run… in a post-Bashar Syria”. Unfortunately, this description repeats word-for-word not-so-distant developments in Libya. That means that if the current American strategy succeeds, the world, including the USA, would see an increasingly insecure and violent Syria, torn by militia strife very much in the same way Libya is torn now.

24 September 2012

Dmitri Babich

Voice of Russia World Service



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

KPRF Leader Zyuganov Blames Twitter for American Diplomat “Dog” Slur


On Wednesday, KPRF head Gennady Zyuganov said that his controversial comment branding the American diplomat slain in Libya last week “the lowest dog” was “distorted” by Twitter’s 140-character limit. On Monday, “Zyuganov wrote in his Twitter microblog, “The American ambassador to Libya was shot like the lowest dog. He was the main expert on the Libyan ‘revolution’. He reaped what he sowed”. On 11 September, American Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed along with three colleagues when rioters attacked the American consulate in Benghazi during protests about a trailer for the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims. The US State Department condemned Zyuganov’s comment.

However, Zyuganov later told RIA-Novosti that his words were taken out of context, and that only a couple of sentences were snatched and tweeted from a much longer statement by his aides. By “shot like the lowest dog”, he said that he’d implied, “shot mercilessly, without pity”, and that the statement was a condemnation of violence. Nevertheless, he stood by his “reap what you sow” remark, and said that American “interference” in the affairs of sovereign states was coming back to haunt them “like a boomerang”. Kommersant reported that Zyuganov’s spokesman said that the employee responsible for managing the KPRF leader’s Twitter account is Denis Parfyonov. Parfyonov told Kommersant his responsibility only covers the technical aspects of the Twitter account, and Zyuganov dictates all tweets personally, saying, “We type in what Gennady Andreyevich says word-for-word; we don’t make anything up”.

19 September 2012



Monday, 17 September 2012

LA Muslim and Coptic Orthodox Christian Leaders to Show Unity

Coptic Bishop Serapion (1951- ) of Los Angeles 


Groups Set To Condemn Anti-American Violence in Muslim Countries and Anti-Islamic Video

Muslim and Coptic Orthodox Christian leaders will join forces in downtown Los Angeles today to condemn the anti-American violence flaring in Muslim countries and the anti-Muslim film clip that triggered it. Dr Maher Hathout, an Egyptian-born physician who speaks for the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Southern California, and Bishop Serapion, the spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox church in Los Angeles, are expected to be the main speakers at a late-morning news conference on City Hall’s South Lawn. Hathout said in condemning the violence directed at Americans, “Our religions teach us to respond to hate speech with good speech and good work. The behaviour exhibited doesn’t speak for the majority of Muslims and are the actions of a small group. This irrational behaviour can’t be allowed to spread, and this movie can’t be allowed to dictate our actions”.

On 11 September, Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya, was killed, along with three other State Department employees, in an attack on the American Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi by a heavily-armed force at the same time that a demonstration was taking place outside it. He is believed to have died of smoke inhalation. Also on 11 September, an anti-American demonstration took place on 11 September in Cairo, where the wall at the American Embassy was breached, but it didn’t come under gunfire.

A supposed movie trailer for Innocence of Muslims sparked the demonstrations… it’s not clear that an entire movie actually exists… was posted on YouTube and featured dialogue insulting the prophet Mohammad. The words were in Egyptian Arabic, and were added after filming without the actors’ knowledge. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Copt and naturalised American citizen, was identified as one of the makers of the film; deputies escorted him from his home in Cerritos just after midnight on Saturday, they took him to their station for questioning by his federal probation officer. Authorities said that federal probation officials in Los Angeles are investigating if Nakoula violated his probation stemming from an earlier bank fraud conviction. Under the terms of his probation, he wasn’t supposed to use the internet without permission. He remains out of the public eye.

17 September 2012



Saturday, 15 September 2012

As John Robles Sees It… Muslim Rage Spreads Worldwide

Protestors outside the American Embassy in Cairo (Cairo GovernorateEGYPT


Protests against the American film Innocence of Muslims has begun to spread all over the world. There’ve been attacks on American Embassies worldwide as Muslim anger against American policies and meddling continued. The protests involved hundreds of thousands; for the most part, they’re peaceful, with the largest part of the most serious violence directed at American Embassies and businesses, and in one case, protesters burned down an American school. Since the murders in Benghazi, there have been no reports of violence against Americans.

Mass protests by Muslims continue to spread to more and more countries as outrage in the Islamic world escalates due to the trailer of an American film ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed called Innocence of Muslims, which appeared on the internet. Although the film was the spark that lit the flames of the violence, massive longstanding grievances and anger against the USA and its attempts to force its policies on countries worldwide, as well as the constant meddling of the USA into affairs in Muslim world are now serving to feed the escalating violence. The deep socioeconomic problems in Arab Spring countries, something that hasn’t been addressed, is also playing into the hands of Islamists and adding more fuel to the crisis.

All over the world, governments are asking Muslims to show restraint and not to escalate the level of violence. On Friday, the protests spread from Egypt and Libya to other countries including Israel, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. There were also widespread protests in countries outside the Middle East, including but not limited to Bangladesh, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Qatar.


In Jerusalem, a protest near the Damascus Gate turned violent when protesters began throwing rocks at police. Apparently, the protesters began to head in the direction of the American Consulate, but the police stopped them by using concussion grenades. According to Ynetnews, there were protests in Akko, in the Wadi Ara region, and in the towns of Baqa al-Gharbiyye and Umm al-Fahm, which were for the most part peaceful.


Yemen saw some of the most violent protests with reports saying that security forces killed four protesters who were rioting near the American Embassy.


In Khartoum, hundreds of protesters stormed the German Embassy and set it on fire. Police used teargas to dispel the protesters, who then began protesting outside the British Embassy nearby.


In Kashmir, in some of the largest anti-American demonstrations so far, at least 15,000 people took part in dozens of protests, chanting “Down with America”, “Down with Israel”, and calling US President Barack Obama a “terrorist”. The country’s top cleric demanded that Americans leave the region immediately.


In Chennai, protesters threw stones at the American Consulate, shattering some windows and burned an effigy of Obama. Police arrested more than 100 protesters.


In Bangladesh, about 5,000 people marched in Dhaka burning American and Israeli flags and calling for the death of the film-maker. Police stopped them from reaching the American Embassy.


In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, protests were extremely peaceful, as only about 200 protesters held a peaceful protest outside the heavily-guarded American Embassy in Jakarta.


There were more protests in Tehran, including demonstrations outside the Swiss Embassy (which represents American interests in Iran). Reports say Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, denounced the anti-Muslim film during Friday prayers.


Three protesters were killed outside the American Embassy in Tunis, where demonstrators attempted to enter the compound. The demonstrators included ordinary Tunisians and Salafist activists. An American school was also set on fire.


Security forces in Tripoli killed one demonstrator as protesters attempted to storm a government building. In addition, protesters burned down an American Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.


In Damascus, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the American Embassy holding a peaceful demonstration. Protesters carried images of President Bashar al-Assad and chanted anti-American slogans.


Hundreds of protesters attempted to march towards the American Embassy in Islamabad and were stopped by police far from the city’s diplomatic quarter where the embassy is located.


Protesters filled the streets of Doha and lined the city’s main highway. No violence was reported.

In closing, I’d personally like to ask all Muslims to show restraint and demonstrate peacefully, as this was another provocation. Those who made the film want to see violence and want you to overreact. If you react violently, you’ll be playing into their hands.

14 September 2012

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service



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