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The Libyan Miscalculation

Source: Counterpunch

1. Partitions.

NATO miscalculates and thrice fires on the Benghazi rebels. The NATO commanders blame this on a confused frontline. It is hard to distinguish, they say, between the Libyan rebels from the Libyan regulars. Libya is effectively partitioned between the west and the east.

Qaddafi remains in command of the west. His son, Saif-al-Islam told the BBC that his family is not keen on an exit to Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe or Venezuela. Saif, and his brother Saadi, have made an offer that their father might consider stepping down from a position he claims not to hold, as long as the sons can remain in some form of authority (Qaddafi pere conducted the remarkable feat ofcentralization of power in the name of de-centralization). Former US Congressman Curt Weldon apparently told Qaddafi that he might be made honorary chairman of the African Union, and that his sons might be permitted to run for office in a future Libyan election. The Benghazi rebels are aghast. This is not what they hoped for. read more

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Bad Aid: Throw Your Arms Around the World

In December 1984, I walked into the HMV store on London's Oxford Street to spend a little discretionary money on an LP. Other albums drew me, but one had an advantage. It combined the talents of all the major "Top of the Pops" singers onto one song. Given the standards of British pop at the time (leaving aside Scritti Politti's "Jacques Derrida" and perhaps the Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy"), the diminishing marginal returns at the cash register were held in check with only one purchase. It had to be Bob Geldof's Do They Know It's Christmas?