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Feltman brandishes the Dahiyeh Doctrine but seeks a fig leaf

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Libyan civilians have learned a thing or two from three decades of Lebanon's experience with Israel's five wars against that Levant country. Indeed NATO is using the same bombing, media, political and diplomatic strategy in Libya that Israel employed most recently in Lebanon during its 33-day July 2006 war.

This includes bombing of the Libyan civilian infrastructure in order to cripple normal life here and hopefully crush the growing national Resistance among Libyans to NATO's 15,300 sorties to date, while teaching the people a needed lesson for supporting the central government in the context of predictable "birth pangs of the new Libya."

Even some of the by now familiar cast of characters is the same in Libya as in Lebanon, including certain neocons at the State Department, National Security Agency, and Pentagon as well as Congressional war mongers like John McCain and one of John's favorite drinking buddies, arch-Zionist John Bolton.

So it was no major surprise here in Tripoli when who appeared just next door just across the Libyan border on 7/17/11 but the region's nemesis, US Undersecretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and former US Ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman. Jeffrey is the successor to David Welch, as leader of the Saudi Prince Bander Bin Sultan-financed Welch Club, and is well known for his past decade of labor -- largely unsuccessful -- of promoting US-Israeli projects in that politically fractured country.

While insisting that the US never interferes in the internal affairs, or undermines the independence of countries in the region, Feltman's claimed mission, as his spokesperson advised the media, was to tell Qaddafi "that he has no legitimacy and there is no future for Libya with him in power. He must go and he must leave immediately."

Sources familiar with the Tunis meeting have revealed that Feltman, who apparently has the habit of showing visitors to his 4th floor suite of offices at Foggy Bottom in Washington, DC, a large wall map of the Middle East while pointing at it and explaining, "This is my jurisdiction," arrived for quite another reason.

Rather than the one-off, "no future contacts" insistence of State Department spokespersons, Feltman did not travel all the way from Washington DC just to repeat a one-sentence message that has been given almost daily by NATO and its superiors to the effect that the Libyan leader needed "to retire." Feltman came to open up a negotiations process at the behest of the White House and President Obama who, as Congressional sources have been confirming, wants out of the Libyan fiasco, "like yesterday and, if necessary, NATO be damned." At the Tunis meeting the Americans offered safe passage anywhere for Colonel Qaddafi, free from ICC arrest warrant concerns or any ICC proceeding at all. The Libyans were also told that Qaddafi could stay in Libya so long as NATO was convinced that he had indeed given up the reins of power.

Feltman opened the meeting by doing what Lebanese and Syrian officials knowing his style, are quite familiar with. He began by threatening the Libyan officials and presenting an apocalyptic scenario of what could happen to Libya if Qaddafi refused to give up power. In words similar to those regularly brandied by Israeli officials to Lebanon, threatening another Dahiyeh Doctrine, the US official recited what he called the "new realities."

Feltman did not have to elaborate on what the Dahiyeh Doctrine involved because the whole region knows it well. It was a massive frenzy of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas in southern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and South Beirut, areas populated with Hezbollah supporters. And it included the July-August 2006 leveling of 1,252 residential buildings employing massive Israeli carpet bombing with US weapons.

Feltman's conveyed "new realities" included the unanimous decision of the 7/15/11 Istanbul session of the Libya Contact Group that it was shifting diplomatic recognition to the so-called National Transition Council faction in this civil war and its freeing up of some of the $30 billion of Libyan money entrusted to US banks as a result of the 2003-2004 US-Libya   "welcome back to the international community" process. It included the fact that the European Union had just issued a call for all countries to serve the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last month, as well as intensified NATO bombing and accelerated efforts to encourage defections from Tripoli to the increasingly NATO directed " eastern rebels.

According to knowledgeable sources, Feltman was not interested in even discussing the growing reluctance of five security council members -- Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Germany -- all of which abstained on UNSCR 1973 and represent an absolute majority of the world's population, as well as the African Union and Arab League which are also urging a ceasefire and negotiations.

Presumably Undersecretary Feltman has seen the recently released NATO bombing assessment complied by the Libyan General Communication Authority, which does not include the post publication date 7/17/11 bombing of the Civilian Air Traffic Control system at the Tripoli Airport, which both IATA and US Senate Armed Services Committee specialists agree are not legitimate military targets because "they are of no practical military value."

The LGCA Damage Assessment Report, now made public, presents a current survey of NATO bomb damage resulting from the targeting of the infrastructure in various regions of Libya. According to the report, the main civilian Libyan telecommunications companies severely damaged include LITC, Aljeel Aladed, Almadar Aljaded, Hatel Libya, Libya Telecom & Technology (LTT), and Libyana Mobile Phones (Libyana).

Another claimed benefit to NATO according to the LGCA report is that, "These (NATO) countries will eventually gain a lot of benefits such as getting rid of a major part of its old arsenal and will create better chances for weapons manufactures in the West to produce newer weapons" (Page 2).

The Libyan government report admits that NATO bombing of its civilian communication services, "has led to freezing in delivering services in various areas: medical, education, security and other IT services. Moreover, maintenance operation in some defected places become hard to conduct and reach. It has also become difficult for employees to communicate and conduct their jobs effectively." (Page 3).  

A sampling of public services currently affected to various degrees by NATO's continuing attacks on Libya's telecommunication network includes, internet capacities for local internet providers, roaming links for mobile operators, TV broadcasting, voice call, SMS, GPRS, international telephone calling, microwave systems, optical and submarine cables, satellites communication, fixed lines services, and VSAT services.  

Civilian telecommunication services that have been cut range from company to company with repairs being attempted by all. For example, Almadar Aljadid reports than 60% of its voice calls, SMS and international calling and Roaming has been corrupted. LITC is still trying to repair what one company official refers to as "its terrestrial cable with Egypt."

NATO bombing has disconnected areas ranging from Natol near the Tunisian-Libyan border all along the Mediterranean seaboard to the West and down south beyond Sabha and Alkufra. Every one of these NATO attacks on civilian communications is illegal under the provisions of the International Telecommunications Convention and a myriad of international legal standards. Each NATO attack on Libyan civilian infrastructure is also illegal under American law, including but not limited to the the 1976 US Arms Export Control Act, which strictly prohibits the transfer of American weapons to any entity for use against civilians and requires the cut-off of arms to violators, including NATO. NATO's bombing of civilian targets also violates the 1961 US Foreign Assistance Act which prohibits US weapons being used against civilians.

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