Notes on Labour, Mairia Cahill and Catherine Mc Cartney’s statement.

Earlier this afternoon Catherine Mc Cartney released a statement regarding the Labour Party’s plans to hand Mairia Cahill a seat in the Irish Senate. Ive posted both press release and fuller statement at the bottom.  Catherine’s brother Robert McCartney was murdered by members of the IRA in 2005 in Belfast and she has campaigned since for justice for her own family, as well as other victims of paramilitary and state violence.

catherine mc carthey, Mairia Cahill, Labour, Senate

In the statement posted below Catherine Mc Cartney makes it clear she sees the appointment of Mairia Cahill is an abuse of the Oireachtas by the Labour Party. “Without explanation, the appointment appears to be made solely for political purposes.” Cahills appointment by Labour to the Seanad is seen as bizarre choice to make.

Catherine Mc Cartney herself has been deeply critical of Sinn Fein following her brothers murder, its attempted cover up and related intimidation by republicans. When Sinn Fein signed up to the new policing board – and in effect supported the families demand for those who murdered Robert Mc Carthy to be held to account through the courts – some local republicans left the party and joined the ‘dissident republican’ milieu. The statement references that Mairia Cahill left Sinn Fein at this point over its change in policing and joined the Republican Unity Network (RNU), acting as National Secretary. Cahill rejects that she left Sinn Fein over their stance in policing.  And also says she was National Secretary for RNU for “a couple of hours”.   Which to most people familiar with political organising seems a pretty strange set up.

What’s even stranger to many people is how and why the Labour Party decided to appoint Cahill to run in the Seanad by election.  Its an election that only TD’s and Senators can vote it, and will need the support of Labour bosses in government Fine Gael.  Labour explanation so far has been all motherhood and apple pie (pro Good Friday Agreement, committed to peace and democracy and the rule of law) with zero specifics.

There is no doubt that Mairia Cahill has clear demands for justice.  It in no way minimises or trivialised the specifics of that to say she is one of thousands of people and hundreds of families seeking the same.  History suggests that a seat in the Irish Senate will do little to transform the work of those on the ground campaigning. But what does that actually look like?

Current negotiations in the north are struggling to find a genuine truth discovery framework. Families of victims want a format with the necessary financial and social resources. One aimed at uncovering truths regardless of how unpalatable they are. It would include the failings of paramilitary policing and the cover ups of abuse.

What’s much more contentious is an honest examination of the role of ‘legitimate authority’, ie nations states. This demands total transparency around the role of the British state in arming and running paramilitary organisations who murdered hundreds of people, including neighbours in my village. It requires talking about how the British intelligence community used knowledge of sexual violence, abuse of children or simply personal experiences to blackmail people into becoming informers. It also means taking on board that collusion happened in the south as well.

These things might be described as ‘explosive’ within news headlines, perhaps understandably. But on another level it speaks to a mundane reality that ‘legitimate authority’ is often based upon the most illegitimate and unjustified actions of state power. Understanding this asks us to  unlearn assumed facts of terrorist monsters and decent governments. Its demands challenging the deep and widespread public ignorance on this side of the border.  We don’t stop reproducing fucked up situations without we make a conscious effort to understand how not to. Or more specifically,  We dont get to to stop those with the will to happily reproduce inequality and injustice without public conversation how it actually happens, not how we are told it happens.

It was only since moving to Dublin 15 years ago that I realised the ritual regularity with which the three main parties of the Dail use the pain and suffering of people north of the border to score points. Whereas in a sensitive, emotional mature democracy, one would hope that the realities and mechanics of a war could create learning and empowered knowledge that is ultimately beneficial to us all.

Instead, what is possible is negated by what is politically expedient. Where truths could be explored and shared humanely and intelligently, rather other peoples experiences and pain are fodder in the pantomime of party political power.

This selective dissonance played out again last week with the visit of Bolivian president Evo Morales.

Michael Dywer was a Irish security guard-turned-mercenary, murdered in Bolivia in 2009. His family demand and obviously deserve a full account around the circumstances of his death. Minister of Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan ‘supported’ family calls for an international investigation. Yet the Irish state isn’t really interested.

Any rigorous international investigation into Michael Dwyer’s death has to look at the series of events that led to him being shot to death in a hotel room in Santa Cruz. It is inevitable it would explore how and why right wing paramilitaries from Eastern Europe linked up with former Irish Rangers security companies. It has to look at how armed mercenaries were recruiting young Irish security guards involved in pushing through a Shell gas pipeline a remote west Mayo.

Such facts is already in the public domain, due in large part to the research work by people involved in resisting Shells pipeline. Is it ironic that those who felt the physical effects of policing in Rossport would be more curious about how Michael Dywer died than the Irish state or the private security firm he worked for? Or is it reflective of something else?

To date no Irish government has taken any steps to investigate what is already know and what remains unknown around the Irish aspects leading to Michael Dwyer’s murder. Enda Kenny might make shit up about armies and ATMs but you can rest assured he has no interest in actually uncovering the unpalatable truths of the murder of a young Tipperary man. Not when its leads back to his own doorstep in Mayo.

And other Irish families of murder victims demand justice from a state that is unwilling to cooperate.

It is this context that Catherine Mc Cartney’s statement is worthy of wider public acknowledgement. The appointment of Mairia Cahill to run occurs in a specific context. This includes the maneuverings of electoralism in the Dail.  When we exclude the neoliberal cannibalism within the Labour party, Sinn Fein are Labours biggest existential threat.

Labour appointments isnt just cynical in that it’s a transparent move against Sinn Fein. It is deeply inauthentic in relation to survivors of abuse and those campaigning for  a meaning framework for justice and truth in the north. I can stake no possible claim of understanding the specifics of Mairia Cahills decision to run as a Labour Senator.  And its pretty understandable why she wants to land punches on Sinn Fein.

Though if feels and looks like Labours play here actually results in creating hierarchies of victims around the ‘troubles.’ This is precisely what is important about the perspective Catherine Mc Cartney bring in her statement.

She says

It is vital for victims’ families, fighting for truth and justice to be entitled to work with elected representatives who should operate from a position of integrity and independence

Cahills appointment to the Seanad.

leave(s) us isolated from those political parties who support this nomination”

In a statement to all sitting TD’s and Senators she expanded on this point.

I fail to understand how a family like our own can ask political parties to hold SF to account regarding matters of truth and justice, (issues which remain at the forefront of  peace process) whilst at the same time those parties ask no questions of Ms Cahill, and provide no answers to the public.

Its up to Labour to disprove the widely held belief that the appointment is really poorly thought out opportunism. Yet that itself wouldnt rescue it from a fairly simple truth. The main political parties in the south, and Labour in this instance hold up the grimness of war, and the very often brutal experiences of our fellow humans on this island, as tokens and faux currency for their own small minded games.

——–

Catherine Mc Cartney Press Release


I have stayed silent up to now about my disgust regarding the nomination of Mairia Cahill to the Seanad because of outstanding civil proceedings I am taking against her”.

Reservations I have surround her alleged senior position in RNU (the political wing of the terrorist organisation,Og na hEireann) which, it appears, was as recent as 2011. I have today written to Oireachtas members outlining my concerns.

It is vital for victims’ families, fighting for truth and justice to be entitled to work with elected representatives who should operate from a position of integrity and independence”.

I am asking the Labour Party and Ms Cahill to provide a credible explanation regarding emerging revelations of her involvement with RNU and to do so before the Seanad election.

Without an explanation, the appointment appears to be made solely for political purposes. This undermines the campaigning work of victims’ families, from all backgrounds who campaign for Justice for their loved ones.

I am calling on Joan Burton and the Labour Party to reflect on their decision to nominate Ms Cahill to the Seanad position”.

ENDS

 

 

Date: 09/11/2015

 

Dear Senators and Deputies,

I am writing to express my concern of, and my objection to Ms Cahill’s nomination to the Seanad. This is on the grounds of her involvement in the dissident group RNU, as highlighted by Mr Beades and others over the weekend.  Furthermore, the outright refusal of the Labour Party to provide a comprehensive explanation in relation to this matter only adds injury to families such as my own.

As you will be aware my brother, Robert, was murdered by the IRA and Sinn Fein members in 2005, and in the aftermath the IRA embarked on a cover up, which rendered any prospect of justice impossible.  A key and essential factor in our campaign was pressuring republicans to cooperate with the PSNI and due to this stance my family suffered greatly.

  • A picket held outside my brother’s house (causing my 4year old nephew to vomit

with anxiety)

  • Robert’s friend was badly beaten

  • We were issued with death threats

  • My sister and brother’s fiancé (and two children had to leave the area)

  • We were vilified and condemned

  • Our lives were completely transformed due to his murder and our campaign.

This did not deter us in our quest for justice however; a quest we continue to this day.  When SF did sign up to policing some of those involved in Robert’s murder moved to the dissident groups in protest.

If the revelations regarding Ms Cahill are accurate, then she also moved to the dissidents in opposition to SF’s shift on policing.  It has been cited in the press that Ms Cahill was the National Secretary of RNU from 2010-2011, a very senior position. This cannot be regarded as a minor issue or an irrelevance to the appointment to a political office.

I would also like it noted that Ms Cahill did not inform me of her involvement in RNU when I brought her into my home in 2011. On the contrary, she claimed not to be involved and to be in fear of them. It now appears that at this time she was National Secretary.

Ms Cahill’s nomination to the Seanad, in the absence of any full explanation for her involvement in a group which was actively discouraging people to engage with the police, is unacceptable and a gross undermining of victims of the IRA and dissident republicans.  I fail to understand how a family like our own can ask political parties to hold SF to account regarding matters of truth and justice, (issues which remain at the forefront of  peace process) whilst at the same time those parties ask no questions of Ms Cahill, and provide no answers to the public.

I have been silent on the issues surrounding Ms Cahill’s case. This is due to civil proceedings in process regarding a harassment case I have taken against Ms Cahill.

In 2011 I invited Ms Cahill into my home, because I believed her to be a woman facing a similar experience to our own (i.e. coming up against the Provos).  I supported her as a woman, a feminist and a justice campaigner.  I did not allow her previous involvement in SF to cloud my judgement of her experience or need.

I am now aware that I was not given the full facts and circumstances of Ms Cahill’s position and activities.  I have decided to write this letter because I believe the same now applies to the public, who deserve better from democratic politicians. Also, I believe that as a family seeking justice this appointment will leave us isolated from those political parties who support this nomination (without providing a full explanation acceptable to victims of the IRA and dissidents). The duplicity inherent in the lack of transparency and honesty relating to Ms Cahill’s role would make it difficult for me to engage on basis of integrity and independence.

I will leave it to your judgement regarding her suitability in the light of the revelations, but would ask that you demand a full and comprehensive explanation to be provided and published. This would be with a view to protecting the integrity of victims of republican violence, past and present.

I feel I must mention one more thing. In a message to me, Mairia Cahill claims to have recorded me without my knowledge and expressly infers that she will use this material to damage me in some way.  It is my view, and I’m sure the public would agree, that this behaviour is not befitting of a member of the Seanad and should also be addressed.

I would hope that you receive this on the basis upon which it is sent- a genuine and proven concern for matters relating to the rule of law, justice and truth.

Yours respectfully,

Catherine McCartney (sister of Robert McCartney)

Israel attacks Gaza Again: The Struggle for Occupation of Social Media.

As Israel continues another wave of bombing in Gaza, current reports of numbers of people killed is 15 and hundreds injured, including the 11 month old son of  BBC Arabic photo editor, Jihad Misharawi. 3 Israelis have been killed from rockets fired into Israel by Hamas military wing Al Qassam Brigade.  “Israel has called its attacks Operation Pillar of Defense”

Its might seem academic and flippant to frame this post from the perspective of social media.  My chosen headline is tabloid but my intent isn’t.  Social media communication tools and their enabling capacities – for people to make their immediate experiences voices, video, images and texts visible to other human being far beyond their geographical location – are transformative in ways, i feel, we have yet to grapple with as a conscious public. I  explored a wee bit of this in some research looking at social media and its dimensions during and within the Egyptian revolution. This was  from the perspective of some activists and student journalists involved in that revolution and also from my own perspective as a curious punter/human being and as a ‘citizen journalist’ – a term I came across after the fact- simply using social media tools. These communication tools enabled me to follow and speak directly to Egyptians as well as people within my own social network. Most of this is kinda common sense, and with most activist social research a main focus becames how can we use this stuff for struggles for a (more) egalitarian world.
One of my main claims  was that social media tools where not merely the means for communication between people, but that what these tools offered was being shaped by people acting as conscious socio-political actors within the forum of the internet, and because of this they were also creating new public spaces of conversation and engagement.  As these public spaces of conversations, voyeurism and bottom up local/citizen journalism  grew both numerically and  coherency ie the idea we can begin to understand and theorise this from experience, observation and reflections, the idea of the internet being a separate ‘virtual’ world made less and less sense.

Whilst most of that research looked at how activists and radical organisations used things like Facebook and Twitter alongside mobile technology,  offering tools  and means of organisation and representation that sidestepped mainstream media in many ways, I also looked a little at state versus grassroots actors. And in that sense around the latest attack in Gaza we have seen people live tweeting video and images, reports of bombing. There have been the international networks of groups like Telecomix sharing info on how to stop or get around potential deliberate attempts to shut down the internet in Gaza etc. The Anonymous network of online activists rolled out #OpIsrael defacing and DDoSing official state websites in solidarity with the people in Gaza.

https://twitter.com/AnonOpsLegion/statuses/269141166828695552

5 years ago all this would seems very new, and very radical. Now its power for the course, thought its implication and impacts are again something to be teased out more.

Up until very recently many states relationships and use of social media in areas of conflict and social unrest tended to be about censorship and reducing people ability to use or share information. From Mubarak shutting down the internet during the uprising in Tahrir and across Egypt, to British MP calling for the UK police to have the power to shut down Twitter in the wake of the Tottenham-London-UK riots, state have tended towards a reactionary stance to technological developments when the felt things were getting out of control within the population they exercised power over.  Inter state conflicts have also seen communication technology both tools and site of struggle as well. The Stunix virus developed by Israeli and US military secret agencies to disrupt a Iranian nuclear energy programme is perhaps the most well known. We have also witness both Iranian and Syrian armies set up “cyber” units, which are well resourced army units that target opposition websites and using the net for pretty sophisticated intelligence gathering and suppression of democractic movements. Its should be noted that almost all the technology for so this is created and sold by western corporation, who are de facto complicit in continued oppresions.

However over the last 48 hours we have seen the Israel state – and more specifically the Israeli Defense Forces use Twitter both to report on its attack in Gaza and also to issue threats to members of Hamas,  as it drop bombs in Gaza killing civilians. Its pretty basic propaganda, and as such not a particularly radical use of Twitter.

Whats interesting is its choice to do so at all. What even more interesting is Twitter temporarily banning the IDF account for – it seems – promoting than threatening violence to people in Gaza.

The Hamas military wing have also been using Twitter too, responding directly to the IDF.

https://twitter.com/AlqassamBrigade/status/267577784883351552

https://twitter.com/AlqassamBrigade/status/268854536188342274

https://twitter.com/AlqassamBrigade/status/269143445262708736

To be honest im not sure what this means other than military organisations clearly being conscious that new emerging spaces of conversation and publics are important enough for them to be engaging. This undoubtedly is part of a PR and communication strategy for both side, tweeting as they are in real time in an increasingly intense time in this conflict. That a corporation like Twitter would even temporarily ban a state such as Israel from using its platform is worthy of thinking out a bit more too.

Obama gets stuck on ramp at Ballbridge US embassy -video

AS Obama’s security team and himself left the US Embassy earlier today. “Nice Drivin” “Do you need a push?”

Metaphor for the times we are in. The rich and powerful drivin us nowhere fast

Say it all really LOL. My own thoughts on the visit here And really good piece on why Europe’s Obamaphilia says more about its own weakness than the US president

Can Obama save capitalism?

Reasons for not welcoming Obama.

These are some of gruesome pictures taken by members of a US Army ‘Kill Team’ have been released by German publisher Der Spiegel following an undercover investigation by their reporters. The US Dept of Defense has been working hard to keep this under wraps as they fear a backlash from all right thinking people. One assumes a similar damage limitation operation is under way as  when its soldiers – as well as private contract staff from the same company hired to carry out the upcoming Irish census – where found to have forced innocent Iraqis into sexually submissive position so that the US troops could take trophy photos.

The images released are of a much more vile and upsetting in nature as they show how US marines not only murdered innocent people in Afghanistan, but that they posed with the bodies of the recently murdered in macabre ‘trophy’ photos. Its likely that these photos will cause a massive revulsion, and more publically organised opposition to the continued imperial actions of the US government.

Currently there is rising resistance to the US Military within the US particularly around the state continued torture of 23 year old Bradley Manning, being held in isolation on alledged charges of passing US diplomatic cables to wikileaks. Whilst Manning’s case has become a focus for anti war activists and Wikileaks supporters and groups like Anonymous, its likely that these images will galvanised a much stronger global revulsions and likely much more immediate riots within Afghanistan.  As as the experiences of history show such callous brutality only ever serves to foster a more militant and agressive reaction. It would not be cynical to suggest that the beneficiaries of this itself would of course be the military industrial complex within the US

Image one

The Guardian reports here that

Senior officials at Nato‘s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.

They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.

Some of the activities of the self-styled “kill team” are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians.

Five of the soldiers are on trial for pre-meditated murder, after they staged killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks.

Other charges include the mutilation of corpses, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse.

All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The Guardian report here  also says that Der Spiegel uncovered over 4,000 pictures  and video and included evidence that body part where removed from victims for fun.

The lengthy Spiegel article that accompanies the photographs contains new details about the sadistic behaviour of the men.

In one incident in May last year, during a patrol, the team apprehended a mullah who was standing by the road and took him into a ditch where they made him kneel down.

The group’s leader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, then allegedly threw a grenade at the man while an order was given for him to be shot.

Afterwards, Gibbs is described cutting off one of the man’s little fingers and removing a tooth.

Whilst no doubt much of the reporting will attempt to portray this as a rogue element with the US army it worth noting significant changes in recent practice that enable and indeed foster a culture of dehumanised barbarism with the military. Much of this is a actually a result of fewer and fewer american’s actually sigining up for the US continual military programme in support of neo-liberal expansionism.  So much so that the Army dropped its prohibition on neo-nazi’s joining the army in 2009.  Matt Kennard writing in July 2009 said

I spoke with neo-Nazi soldiers who had served in Iraq and the picture they painted was truly awful: the level of hatred for Arabs they evinced made me shudder to think what effect this had in the war zone. I talked to non-extremist veterans who said the general culture of racism towards Iraqis or “hajjis” would make it difficult even to notice a white supremacist soldier, as everybody was at it, including the brass. One veteran told me he had heard a general call the Iraqis “fucking hajjis” at a meeting outside Tikrit.

You can read his full report into neo nazi grouping in the US army here

The bodies of murder Afghan, posed for a 'trophy' photograph

However there have been even more recent signs both of encitment and the increasing neo-liberal privatisation of the US military and internal police force against Muslims in general.  Journalists investigating the role of private contractors training ‘counter-terrorism’ paint a scary picture of racists and charlatans more interested in making money than anthing else.

The revelations of the sickening ritual and celebration of murder, which Der Spiegel broke here comes at a difficult time for both President Obama, and Irish Taoiseacht Enda Kenny just days after Obama annouced a visit to Ireland.  During a TV set piece atter a St Patricks Day visit to the Whitehouse, Obama thanked Kenny, after the bland special relationship bullshit that accompanies most meeting with a US President, very specifically for Irelands continued complicity(and compliance ) in the US’ global military infrastructure.  Not only that but also thanked Ireland for providing ‘trainers’ as part of the US occupation.

We want to thank him for the operations at Shannon that are so vital for us moving our troops into Afghanistan.  It is a testimony to Ireland’s friendship to us.  In addition, Ireland actually has trainers in Afghanistan that have provided us great assistance.  And I expressed my appreciation for those sacrifices.

Very different from the guy talking here

Wikileaks recently made public cables suggesting just how important Shannon airport is to the US

For the United States, geography makes Shannon a key transit point for military flights and military contract flights carrying personnel and materiel to Iraq and the Middle East/Gulf theatre in the global war on terror, as well as to Europe and Africa. In 2005, roughly 340,000 U.S. troops passed through Shannon on nearly 2,500 contract carrier flights; about 450 equipment-related/distinguished-visitor transit milair (sic) flights and thousands of airspace overflights also took place.”

Ive written here about how close – unknowns to ourselves-  the anti war movement in Ireland came to making the political price for political parties here too high, and also about how the movement made a strategic mistakes in the past by removing its focus from popular direct actions at the airport itself,  in preference for publicity/party building in Dublin.  The cables themselves show the folly of that mistake, and its one we should learn from both politically and pragmatically

The recent overturning of Mary Kellys case  as well as the eventual accquittal of the PitstopPloughshares suggests that public opinion support direct actions and the smashing up of US planes in Ireland.


The last time a US president visited Ireland was back in 2004, when many of us made it pretty clear that Bush was not welcome. Our actions require the irish state to role out the biggest military and internalpolicing operation in the history of that state.

We still managed to disrupt the TV  spectacle but holding up the bus full of journalists

Here some images from back then.  7 years later and US troops are still murdering with impunity and, sickenly it seems, for fun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

more images and background http://www.indymedia.ie/article/65773?search_text=ambush

UN Resolution pass “unprecedented” No Fly Zone on Gaddafi

UPDATE:24/03/11

Statement released by Libyan anarchist on 17th March and now on the Worker Solidarity Movement website here. It is a condemnation and critique of the ‘intervention’ via air strikes.

UPDATE.  Despite Gaddafis announcement of a ceasefire, heavy shelling still continues in Misurata, a city in northwestern Libya, situated 210 km (130 mi) to the east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast. footage was just posted to You tube

UPDATE. 13.38 18/03/11 In the article below i refer to Frontex, the private entity that is the military enforcer of the EU’s ‘migration policy’. Ive  got confirmation that Dutch coast guards are flying around Malta to ‘intercept’ Libyan refugees. You can hear the coastguard login via conversations recorded at traffic control here

Gaddafi’s regime has also called a ceasefire within the last 30mins, though it is unclear what this means right now.

UPDATE 4.24am GMT 18/03/2011  : Fire at the main station providing power to Benghazi and other towns around. The fire is a result of bombing from Gaddafi’s forces

“This was a fuel tank that was bombed. This station is holding power grids which lights up the whole area from Sirt along to Benghazi, so if it will catch all fire and burn then we will have no light no more at all we will lose power by the end of the day tomorrow because it’s catching fire all over. They are trying to control it.”

Recorded by Lybia Alhurra 3/17/2011 11:24 (GMT+2) :

http://www.livestream.com/libya17feb

Tonight at 22.45 GMT the United Nations passed resolution 1973/211, which imposes a no-fly zone across Libya, as well as restricting the asset movements from Libyan national companies. Amid celebratory scenes in Benghazi with lots of fireworks and lots of automatic weapons fire , China, India, Russia and Brazil (sometimes as a block called BRIC) all abstained along with Germany. (Thank to @pettybooshwah for clarifyfing this)

Members of the Security Council explained what the individual positions of each government would be and it is still  unclear exactly how this no-fly zone will be implemented. It also speaks of potential military intervention. Al Jazeera mentioned that this is the first time in the history of UN that the Security Council has passed a resolution on the basis of the protections of civilians and that this sets a precedent. What the fuck have they been doing before? Making decisions on the basis of  things like profit, neoliberal expansion of capitalism at all costs, or some other self serving programme against the majority of people on the plantet??****

(**** @kyrah very helpfully pointed out that there is a dimplomatic evolution of norms within the UN.  Owing to pressure from human right and other NGOs  this  resloution  incorporated a relatively ‘new’ legal concept of the Respondsibility to Protect or R2P.  Its odd how intuitive concepts such as love and care and compassion require the continual resolve of advocacy and pressure from below before the suited elite take on ideas most of us consider common sense)

So there is a flights embargo, an arms embargo and assets freezing. But given the given the history of sanctions against Libya,and how experienced Gadaffi is at circumnavigating them one wonder what other military actions have already been meticulously planned. The guy is clearly a socio-path. A socio-path whom until recently the US, Italy  and UK, amongst others, have been happy to prop up. In the midst of war, lets not forget that Tony Blair met with him, on behalf of UK industry and Royal Dutch Shell, proclaiming a new Libya. Shell even drafted his letter for him.  And perhaps unsurprisingly it was Blairs buddy Peter Madelson -who also is a friend of  Gaddafis son Saif who pointed Gaddafi to Brown Lloyd James, an international strategic comms agency hired in 2009 to promote Gadaffi as ‘a fascinating world figure’. These PR parasites are at the center of protest following exposes by pressure groups, Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live and BBC radio’s Today programme

Italy has made an announcement making its military bases and its ports around Sicily available for implementation of the resolution. I can imagine that this puts Italy in the middle as Berlusconi has been a close personal friend of Gaddafi, expressing his support publically and Italy is one of Libya’s closest trading partners and very dependent on Libyan oil. However its unlikely that Berlusconi was attrached by Gadaffi himself even though he was a useful ally for the EU.   Gadaffi has for a long time played a role in supporting the racist policy of Fortess Europe with mass detention centers used as a physical valve to stop human beings trying to escape poverty by coming to wealthy Europe. Indeed whilst the EU ‘officially’ dithered as the Egyptian people rose up to overthrow Mubarak, the EU foreign minsters did find common cause amongst themselves and Pact in unison very quickly. What did they do? Perhaps offer immediate, practical support to people across North Africa?

Emmmm well no….  They actually threw lots of resources at Frontex, the private company used to militarise, arrest, harass and shoot migrants at Europe borders.  Essentially the EU elites have pulled up a drawbridge to stop people of color, people escaping poverty, people seeking security from entering. And i write this as someone who is living in a country, Ireland, where many thousands are leaving to escape the same things. Insecurity, precariousness and the desire to have control over our future, leaving where we are to go somewhere else that we hope offers hope. Why is it that money can move freely across borders but people cannot. Borders that most of us have no part in making, but they define our lives? Its the recognition that it is also hope that defines our lives we can build build hopeful movements against precarity, see our struggles as common. The present struggles in North Africa and in the Middle East have reclaimed the idea of revolution from academia and from history, and placed in the now. Placed it in a place of where its now possible to imagine what large scale reimagining can do.

If anything has been held apparent to the many people across the the world both with the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East as well as the horrific situation that the population of Japan find themselves, it is the centrality of our shared humanness.  The expressions of the majority across social medias have been finding voices across new mediums as we talk to each other like this.  I find it almost impossible to believe that there has not even the pretence that previous security council resolutions where bases ‘officially’ on the protection of “civilians”.  Though it is really nice that the power elites have a special category for us arent in the armies they build or own weapons they make. ‘Civilians’ are the vast vast majority of people on the planet.  However right now that is the world we live in, and our struggles for direct democracy continue.

For this resolution to have popular support across the region, not just Benghazi, its clear the US need not just rethorical but practical involvement from the Arab League as the US is both an ongoing occupying force in Afghanistan and Iraq.   It is understandably held  by many as anti Muslim and anti Arab given the propensity of the US state for war, occupation and neo colonialism.  And before I come across as a smug US basher, my ‘own’ country is complicit as yet another Irish prime minister visits the US president on St Patricks Day, and we get to hear Obama thank Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, for the continued use of Shannon Airport as part of the US global military infrastructure of war and resource/wealth extraction. The fact is that people in this country have not made it politically/socially unacceptable for an Irish government to continue this policy. However as i have written here  a Wikileaks cable showed how close we came and we can do it again.

The United Nations resolution has been supported by Lebanon. Their permanent member of the UN security council said “We understand that the provision of the actions of resolution cannot guarantee peace in Libya and for this reason we reaffirm the importance of the idea of peaceful solution to the situation. We backed measures the secretary general’s envoy taken to stop the atrocities”

The resolution comes amid Gaddafi’s call for those seeking to end his regime to give up and he will ‘show leniency’.  So the psyco killer who has been blaming drugs, crazy kids, Al Quadi and the US for the uprising  is willing to ‘show leniency.’  This sits alongside his announcement earlier today that he will attack Benghazi and ‘show no mercy‘. Al Jazeera is showing footage of thousands of people are in a square in Benghazi dancing and singing after the votes where announced.

The US’  UN ambassador speaking said

The US supports the UN special envoy in order that the grossly and systematically abuse of fundamental human rights of Libya’s people are prevented, the Security Council resolution establishes a no-fly zone and [lets us] take other measures to protect civilians.  Today’s resolution is a powerful response and the urgent needs of the ground this resolution demands an immediate ceasefire and a complete end to violence and attacks against the Libyan people.  The League of Arab States and the Security Council has authorised use of force including enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians and civilian areas targeted by Col Gaddafi, his intelligence and security forces and his mercenaries. The resolution also enforces an arms embargo and bars all international flights are being owned or operated by Libya.”

I can imagine that going to piss of a lot of US companies amongst others based in France, UK, Russia and China since they all made a lot of cash selling arms, munitions and ‘crowd control’ that have been used right across MENA to suppress popular uprisings and revolution. Not to mentions that many interior security organisations have recieve training in torture from the US, with many regimes also providing an outsource for the US’s global network of illegal detentions

The resolution freezes the assets of seven other individuals and entities, that includes the state owns leading companies. The resolution works alongs side an established Libyan sanctions committee finally, the Council established a panel of experts monitoring short and long-term implementation of the sanctions on Libya.

India’s UN ambassador  has

“been following with serious concern developments in Libya last numerous life and injuries and we are very concerned with the death the civilian population and forms in Libya. We deplore these last this is totally unacceptable and must not be resorted”

Following the vote there was a press conference from Gaddafi’s regime which ended very abruptly when a journalist asked about the joyous scenes in Benghazi…. I wonder why! The tone was completely different that one adopted earlier today. Only time willl  tell wether this is a real change from the “no mercy” tone earlier or if it is part of the schizophrenic regime playing its role for world media.

“We are very grateful for the five countries that abstained, namely China, Russia, India, Brazil and Germany. What a surprise! Ha ha ha [this is real I didnt add it – ed] Libya has been in contact with a number of European countries regarding the resolution of Security Council despite reservations on the text and so yesterday but here I have to focus on two elements from the previous text. The first one is the protection of civilians. We will. And also we will [something inaudible] the other other elements of the resolution which is regarding their integrity and unity of Libya the territorial unity of Libya, which is very important but I think the challenge tonight before the international community that you make sure that the separatists and the rebels, they will not get any support by arming them. Which if countries do that means they are inviting Libyians to kill each other and finally we will deal positively with resolution and we will reaffirm our intention through the protection of civilians everywhere in the country and the intentions of the Libyan armed forces and the police is to protect the civilians and guarantee the medical and food supplies. We will cooperate as we have informed yesterday and the day before the special envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations last very of Lebanon and we also this morning sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to give assurances that the international community that we care about our people and we care about the territorial unity of the country. Thank you very much regarding the ceasefire. We told the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the Armed Forces that we are ready immediately to do that but we need to talk to someone to agree on the technicalities of this will because there is a lot of technical details such a decision thank you”

Im very sceptical of US or UN military ‘interventions’ generally, but in reality my scepticsim feels to me like a luxury people in parts of  Libya dont have.  And im both confused and glad that this resolution is based upon the defense of civilians. Lets hope that the self determination and desire of people to have control over their own lives is assisted by it. Lets keep our critical eyes on Libya, and more importantly lets make sure what Libyans themselves want is vocalised and amplified as we speak of the situation. We cannot pretend that UN resolutions have not consistently been used to further the ends of vested interests and of neoliberalism. But lets us be hopeful that the voices and powers within Libya working for a particpatory democracy will win out in the very near future