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The 5th anniversary (11 September) of ‘Benghazi’ and over 7 years of Libyan turmoil

For America, Libya is a live issue mostly for the enduring controversy of Benghazi. Five years after the fact, key questions remain unanswered.

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The fifth anniversary of the killing of America’s Libya ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi on 11th September shows his murder and the chaos around it was a portent of things to come. Five years on, some of the same forces that stormed the US consulate in Benghazi killing him and three staffers have brought mayhem to the capital.

His killers came from the same militias the international community supported in the revolution in the year before his death that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Many of those militias were what they said they were: regular citizens who grabbed weapons and took to the streets to battle the regime. But others, including Ansar al Sharia, his murders, were bent on replacing one dictatorship with another – this time with their own leaders at the helm.

Ansar al Sharia and fellow Islamist militias went from strength to strength in Benghazi following Steven’s murder, ousting regular security forces in Benghazi and indulging in a wave of killings of civil activists, politicians and security personnel – an attempt to ‘gut’ Libya’s second city of leaders of all kinds.

That attempt failed bloodily when then Gen. Khalifa Haftar formed the Libya National Army and took the battle to the militias, pounding them out of Benghazi in a four-year battle that ended last year with thousands dead and the city centre in ruins.

But cadres from those same militias live on in Tripoli. Overtly Islamist agendas have often been subsumed into simple gangsterism, with four key militia groups dividing the city between them and forcing the weak United Nations created and supported Government of National Accord (GNA) to pay them lavish state funds.

The recent nine days of fighting in the capital, with the death of at least 65 people, many innocent civilians, came after a militia in the southern town of Tarhuna attacked the city: The militia, naming itself Seventh Brigade, wants a share of the payola lavished on the Big Four militias. The UN scrambled together a truce last week, but only at the expense of allowing ‘7 brigade’ to keep its gains in the southern suburbs, and with it a slice of the city’s population, its businesses and wealth.

Ordinary Libyans recoiled in horror from the Tripoli blood letting: Social media is alive with Libyans declaring they wish the old Gaddafi regime was back – not out of any love for him, but because today’s chaos is far worse than life under the dictator.

But chaos is what they have: The GNA has almost no support in the populace, kept alive only by support from the UN and ‘International Community’. Even militia chiefs have only partial control of their fighters, many of who are young men who were boys in 2011; they make up the bulk of the militias and many are hooked on a cocktail of opiates, use of which is exploding in the Libyan capital.

The GNA has wilted under pressure, basic services are breaking down: The militia truce has been followed by power cuts and water cuts, bread lines and currency shortages, with ordinary citizens reduced to taking water from wells and street drains. Independent media based inside Libya scarcely exists as journalists often face threats from armed groups or officials who do not tolerate critical coverage.

Worse, the so called ‘international community’ is split. Donald Trump has, wisely, announced that Libya has no strategic interest for the United States and America is adopting a low profile and his preference to support Italy’s strategy.

For America, Libya is a live issue mostly for the enduring controversy of Benghazi. Five years after the fact, and despite the trials of two Libyans accused of involvement in the killings, key questions remain unanswered.

Many doubt claims by former CIA chief John Brennan that his contractors were not forbidden from speaking about what happened to investigators.

Half a dozen congressional inquiries, and the two trials, have failed to explain just why the attackers overran the consulate that fateful night, or whether the US could have acted on warnings to move staff to safety prior to the attack.

On a point of detail, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, a former Army Ranger and private security contractor who was part of the CIA team that fought back during the September 2012 Benghazi terror attack, chose last month to remind us of the role of the former CIA Director, John Brennan accusing him of putting his “politics” before those in the field.

“He is lucky the security clearance is all he is getting away with,” Paronto told Fox News in an interview in August.

Paronto blasted Brennan after Brennan tweeted his disturbance at having his clearance pulled by President Donald Trump sighting his “principles” had been offended.

Paronto and his colleagues were even given by Brennan, non-disclosure agreements to sign during the memorial to their dead comrades, Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty, an unseemly incredibly offensive act on its own.

This, of course, was to try not to have the men speak out and rebut the story being pushed by the Obama administration, to shut them up. In fact John Brennan categorically denied that the CIA had discouraged the contractors from speaking out. A lie.

When the Benghazi survivors couldn’t take anymore mendacity they spoke out, resulting in their security clearances being pulled. What irony!

So with America out of the game and Britain consumed with Brexit, the two leading foreign powers are France and Italy, and they are split. Both are at daggers drawn: France backs Haftar, seeing him as the only force capable of defeating the militias, and wants elections for December to end Libya’s chaos. Italy counters that Libya’s chaos is too chaotic for elections, urging a postponement, and accusing France of being part responsible for the mess.

Italy’s defence and interior ministers blame the chaos partly on the 2011 NATO intervention, in which France led the field, while the prestigious Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera writes:

“Without the slightest hint of chauvinism one can say that by supporting General Haftar’s ambitions for power, Emmanuel Macron has resolved to bring to completion the operation begun with Nicolas Sarkozy’s initial intervention seven years ago. At our expense. And at the expense of the formal legality of the GNA government of Prime Minister Al Serraj, who, with our support and that of the international community, remains our only diplomatic success in the region to date.”

Rome supports Haftar’s rival, the GNA, which is cooperating in stopping migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean, but this comes with its own problems: “Any false step by Rome, dictated by the imprudence of the moment, would immediately be exploited by the French president,” says Italian newspaper Corriere del Ticino. “If Rome doesn’t want to further weaken its position on the Libyan chessboard (on the pretext of doing something about the insecurity of the refugee routes) the only path is rationality and diplomacy.”

What neither Rome nor Paris can come up with is a strategy to combat the all powerful Tripoli militias who are bleeding the country of its lifeblood: Italy evacuated non-essential staff from its embassy during the recent militia battles and the anarchy was underlined on Monday (Sept 10) when a yet to be named militia stormed Tripoli’s National Oil Corporation. While militias rule the capital, the chaos and suffering will go on.

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The DEVIL that opened the Floodgates of Mass illegal migration to Europe causing pain & suffering for millions & immeasurable wealth & joy for her cabal.

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“The Honorable”…………LMAO.

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There is another Sept. 11 anniversary: 1973…when the Allende government in Chile was toppled by the US/Pinochet.

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‘Hell on Earth’: MSF doctor tells RT of rape, violence, inhumane conditions in Lesbos refugee camp

One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

Alex Christoforou

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Via RT


One toilet for over 70 people, rape, and mental health issues – a doctor from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and an aid worker told RT about the dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece.

The overcrowded camp on the island of Lesbos, built to accommodate 3,100, houses around 9,000 people. “It’s a kind of hell on Earth in Europe,” Dr. Alessandro Barberio, an MSF clinical psychiatrist, said, adding that people in the camp suffer from lack of water and medical care. “It is impossible to stay there,” he said.

According to Barberio, asylum seekers are subjected to violence “during night and day.””There is also sexual violence”which leads to “mental health issues,” he said, adding that all categories of people at the camp may be subjected to it. “There is rape against men, women and children,” and the victims of sexual violence in the camp often have nightmares and hallucinations, Barberio told RT.

Asylum seekers in Moria “are in constant fear of violence,” and these fears are not groundless, the psychiatrist said. “Such cases [of violence] take place every week.”

There is “one toilet for 72 people, one shower for 84 people. The sanitation is bad. People are suffering from bad conditions,” Michael Raeber, an aid worker at the camp, told RT. They suffer from mental health problems because they are kept for a long time in the camp, according to Raeber.

“There is no perspective, they don’t know how their case will go on, when they will ever be able to leave the island.” The camp is a “place where there is no rule of law,” with rampant violence and drug addiction among the inhabitants, Raeber said.

In its latest report, MSF, which has been working near Moria since late 2017, criticized the unprecedented health crisis in the camp – one of the biggest in Greece. About a third of the camp population consists of children, and many of them have harmed themselves, and have thought about or attempted suicide, according to the group.

Barberio was behind an MSF open letter on the state of emergency in Moria, released on Monday, in which he writes that he has never “witnessed such overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions.”

Calling the camp an “island prison,” he insisted that many of his patients in the camp are unable to perform basic everyday functions, “such as sleeping, eating well, maintaining personal hygiene, and communicating.”

A number of human rights groups have strongly criticized the conditions at the camp and Greece’s “containment policy”regarding asylum seekers.

Christina Kalogirou, the regional governor of the North Aegean, which includes Lesbos, has repeatedly threatened to shut down the facility unless the government improves the conditions. On Tuesday, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that Greece will move 2,000 asylum seekers out of the severely overcrowded camp and send them to the mainland by the end of September.

Greece, like other EU states, is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII. According to International Organization for Migration estimates, 22,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece since the start of this year alone.

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Erdogan accepts Syria DMZ off-ramp, in deal with Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 111.

Alex Christoforou

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The deal struck in Sochi averts a large scale Syria’s offensive on Idlib, as Turkey gives it guarantee to monitor what will effectively become a demilitarized zone.

According to the agreement, troops from Russia and Turkey will enforce a new demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Idlib, from which ISIS/Al Qaeda rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month.

Speaking alongside Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the 15 to 20 km-wide zone would be established by October 15th. The DMZ would require a complete “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib, including the rebranded Al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Putin also noted that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from the DMZ by all opposition forces by October 10th, which is a move supported by the Syrian government.

The Russian President described the agreement as a “serious result” further saying that “Russia and Turkey have confirmed their determination to counter terrorism in Syria in all its forms”.

Erdogan said both his country and Russia would carry out coordinated patrols in the demilitarized zone:

“We decided on the establishment of a region that is cleaned of weapons between the areas which are under the control of the opposition and the regime.”

“In return, we will ensure that radical groups, which we will designate together with Russia, won’t be active in the relevant area.”

According to Al Jazeera Iran’s foreign minister has hailed an agreement between Turkey and Russia to avert an assault on the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province, as an example of “responsible diplomacy”.

An agreement to halt plans for an offensive on the last major rebel-held stronghold was announced in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday after a meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On his Twitter account, Zarif wrote: “Intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks-pursued in my visits to Ankara & Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran and the meeting (in) Sochi-is succeeding to avert war in #Idlib with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror. Diplomacy works.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the agreement reached in Sochi, which for now avoids full scale conflict in Idlib, Syria. Who won, who lost, and which interests were met with the DMZ agreement?

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Via Xinhuanet

An anticipated Syrian military offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib is on hold after Turkey and Russia reached a deal following Ankara’s guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, experts said.

The deal was reached Monday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, as the two sides agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold.

This agreement brings Turkey to a position of giving a guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, the experts said.

“Moscow is convinced that it would not be able to handle the burden of a humanitarian tragedy in case of a military offensive in Idlib,” said Metin Gurcan, a Turkish security analyst with the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University.

Russia has also secured its airbases in northern Syria, including its airbase in Hmeymim as a guarantee by Turkey under the Sochi agreement, he said.

Gurcan recalled a trilateral summit of Turkey, Iran and Russia held in Iranian capital Tehran early September, which ended without agreement as Erdogan’s call for a ceasefire in Idlib was rejected by Moscow and Tehran.

Erdogan’s proposal for a ceasefire by all parties in Idlib was rejected by Putin on the grounds that those groups were not represented at the table there, he said.

“Now Turkey has given a guarantee on behalf of radical groups which Putin earlier said that ceasefire cannot be discussed because they were not represented at Tehran meeting,” Gurcan said.

Now everyone is curious how Turkey has given guarantee to Moscow and how will those radical groups accept a proposal for demilitarization by surrendering heavy weapons and withdrawing from the demilitarized zone, Gurcan noted.

“Ankara has given this promise relying on its military power on the ground and on its capacity to convince armed opposition groups,” he said.

Turkish army has reinforced its presence in Idlib in the past few months, and Turkey has 12 military outposts with 1,200-1,300 troops on the border line of the province separating the rebel stronghold from the pro-Iran militia-controlled South of Aleppo and the government-controlled southeast, Gurcan said.

Rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army, in the region are gathered with Turkish backing under the banner of the “National Front for Liberation.”

Putin and Erdogan agreed on Monday in Sochi to create a 15-20 km buffer zone along the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by Oct. 15.

The agreement entails the “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib as well as “heavy weaponry from this zone,” Putin said at the joint press conference after signing the deal with Erdogan.

By the end of the year, transportation routes between the key port of Latakia and Aleppo as well as the city of Hama must be restored, Putin added.

The Russian leader also said all heavy weapons had to be withdrawn from the zone by Oct. 10, according to Erdogan’s proposal.

Ankara has been warning against any military offensive by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces in Idlib, warning that it would lead to a humanitarian crisis and refugee influx to the Turkish border.

Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, are guarantors of the Astana deal which declared ceasefire in four de-escalation zones in Syria, including Idlib.

Turkey will deploy more troops in Idlib province after the Sochi deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

“We will need extra troop reinforcements. Turkey and Russia will patrol on the border areas. Civilians and moderate (opposition) will stay here,” Cavusoglu said.

Another outcome of the Sochi deal is that Turkey and Russia prevented a possible attack by the United States in Idlib, Naim Baburoglu from Aydin University said.

He recalled that the U.S. was giving signals that it wanted to intervene in the situation in Idlib, if Syrian government troops launch an assault on the rebel stronghold.

Washington recently threatened to take swift and decisive actions against any use of chemical weapons in Idlib.

“This agreement showed that the U.S. has room for maneuver only in the east of Euphrates and Manbij region,” Baburoglu said.

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Pat Buchanan: “The Late Hit” On Judge Kavanaugh

Wha exactly is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Upon the memory and truthfulness of Christine Blasey Ford hangs the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his reputation and possibly his career on the nation’s second-highest court.

And much more. If Kavanaugh is voted down or forced to withdraw, the Republican Party and conservative movement could lose their last best hope for recapturing the high court for constitutionalism.

No new nominee could be vetted and approved in six weeks. And the November election could bring in a Democratic Senate, an insuperable obstacle to the elevation of a new strict constructionist like Kavanaugh.

The stakes are thus historic and huge.

And what is professor Ford’s case against Judge Kavanaugh?

When she was 15 in the summer of ’82, she went to a beer party with four boys in Montgomery County, Maryland, in a home where the parents were away.

She says she was dragged into a bedroom by Brett Kavanaugh, a 17-year-old at Georgetown Prep, who jumped her, groped her, tried to tear off her clothes and cupped her mouth with his hand to stop her screams.

Only when Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, laughing “maniacally,” piled on and they all tumbled off the bed, did she escape and lock herself in a bathroom as the “stumbling drunks” went downstairs. She fled the house and told no one of the alleged rape attempt.

Not until 30 years later in 2012 did Ford, now a clinical psychologist in California, relate, in a couples therapy session with her husband, what happened. She says she named Kavanaugh as her assailant, but the therapist’s notes of the session make no mention of Kavanaugh.

During the assault, says Ford, she was traumatized. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me.”

Here the story grows vague. She does not remember who drove her to the party. She does not say how much she drank. She does not remember whose house it was. She does not recall who, if anyone, drove her home. She does not recall what day it was.

She did not tell her parents, Ford says, as she did not want them to know she had been drinking. She did not tell any friend or family member of this traumatic event that has so adversely affected her life.

Said Kavanaugh in response, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Mark Judge says it never happened.

Given the seriousness of the charges, Ford must be heard out. But she also needs to be cross-examined and have her story and character probed as Kavanaugh’s has been by FBI investigators as an attorney for the Ken Starr impeachment investigation of Bill Clinton, a White House aide to George Bush, a U.S. appellate judge and a Supreme Court nominee.

During the many investigations of Kavanaugh’s background, nothing was unearthed to suggest something like this was in character.

Some 65 women who grew up in the Chevy Chase and Bethesda area and knew Kavanaugh in his high school days have come out and spoken highly of his treatment of girls and women.

Moreover, the way in which all of this arose, at five minutes to midnight in the long confirmation process, suggests that this is political hardball, if not dirt ball.

When Ford, a Democrat, sent a letter detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh to her California congresswoman, Anna Eshoo, Ford insisted that her name not be revealed as the accuser.

She seemingly sought to damage or destroy the judge’s career behind a cloak of anonymity. Eshoo sent the letter on to Sen. Diane Feinstein, who held it for two months.

Excising Ford’s name, Feinstein then sent it to the FBI, who sent it to the White House, who sent it on to the Senate to be included in the background material on the judge.

Thus, Ford’s explosive charge, along with her name, did not surface until this weekend.

What is being done here stinks. It is a transparently late hit, a kill shot to assassinate a nominee who, before the weekend, was all but certain to be confirmed and whose elevation to the Supreme Court is a result of victories in free elections by President Trump and the Republican Party.

Palpable here is the desperation of the left to derail Kavanaugh, lest his elevation to the high court imperil their agenda and the social revolution that the Warren Court and its progeny have been able to impose upon the nation.

If Kavanaugh is elevated, the judicial dictatorship of decades past, going back to the salad days of Earl Warren, William Brennan, Hugo Black and “Wild Bill” Douglas, will have reached its end. A new era will have begun.

That is what is at stake.

The Republican Senate should continue with its calendar to confirm Kavanaugh before Oct. 1, while giving Ford some way to be heard, and then Kavanaugh the right to refute. Then let the senators decide.

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