In 2007, when American combat casualties were spiking in the bloodbath of the Iraq War, an 18-year-old laborer traveled from his home in eastern Libya through Egypt and Syria to join an al Qaeda terrorist cell in Iraq. He gave his name to al Qaeda operatives as Ashraf Ahmad Abu-Bakr al-Hasri. Occupation, he wrote: “Martyr.’’
Abu-Bakr was one of hundreds of foreign fighters who flocked into the killing zones of Iraq to wage war against the “infidels." They came from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, Algeria and other Islamic states. But on a per capita basis, no country sent more young fighters into Iraq to kill Americans than Libya -- and almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion that the United States and others now have vowed to protect, according to internal al Qaeda documents uncovered by U.S. intelligence.
The informal alliance with violent Islamist extremist elements is a coming-home of sorts for the United States, which initially fought on the same side as the Libyan fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s, battling the Soviet Union.
Haven't we seen this movie before?
Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah. [...] Today, there is little doubt that eastern Libya, like other parts of the Arab world, is experiencing a genuine burst of anti-totalitarian fervor, expressed in demands for political freedom and economic reforms. But there also is a dark history to eastern Libya, which is the home of the Islamic Libyan Fighting Group, an anti-Gaddafi organization officially designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization.
Penniless, unmarried and unemployed, 30-year-old Ali Farhan embodied many of the grievances that propelled Bahraini Shi'ites to protest in the street -- only to be buried in a sandy grave.
Thousands shouting "Down with the regime" watched as his wooden coffin was lowered into a rocky plot on Friday among nameless graves overrun with brittle weeds and faded flags.
Farhan is one of eleven demonstrators to die in clashes with security forces since protests first rocked Manama last month.
He was one of the thousands of mostly Shi'ite protesters from ramshackle suburbs that ring the capital, who complain they are neglected by their Sunni rulers on the island, a regional financial hub where the U.S. Navy houses Fifth Fleet.
Yesterday, there were reports of snipers taking up positions around peaceful, unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators, then firing into the crowd, inflicting fatal headshots and hitting other victims in the neck. At least one journalist was killed and another injured in the crackdown, and dozens of journalists have reportedly been targeted —detained, beaten, shot at— since the Saleh regime’s crackdown began.
The violence yesterday has reportedly left at least 40 people dead, and Pres. Saleh has used the killings to declare a state of emergency. Critics say the snipers were plainclothes government agents sent to kill and to terrorize peaceful demonstrators. It now appears the Yemeni government has been involved in deliberate crimes against humanity, using lethal violence against unarmed civilians.
Protesters in Iraq are jeering Saudi Arabia’s king as a slave of America and Israel for sending troops into Bahrain.
A Saudi-led force entered Bahrain earlier this week to support the nation’s Sunni monarchy. More than a month of protests by majority Shiites are seeking to break the dynasty’s grip on power.
On Saturday, 2,000 Iraqis in the capital carried Bahraini flags and chanted “Yes, yes to Bahrain!” in Baghdad’s Shiite Sadr City area. Some 4,000 gathered in the second-largest city, Basra, and carried an effigy of Saudi King Abdullah through the crowd.
Iraqi leaders fear the clashes in Bahrain could fuel sectarian violence across the Mideast.
Why do I keep thinking of this?
Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it!! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!
You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!
Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.
What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.
And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Beale: But why me?
Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.