Wednesday, June 3, 2015

World War III: Battle For the Mediterranean

(Sixth in an occasional series as time and events allow)

The enemy: China, Russia navies to hold first Mediterranean joint drills

The justification for military force:

"Doctors’ group joins effort to save asylum-seekers off Libya" by Somini Sengupta New York Times   May 10, 2015

UNITED NATIONS —The private rescue operations come as the European Union prepares to launch military operations against smuggling rings that set off from Libya and cross the Mediterranean, in boats crammed with desperate migrants.

The EU’s top foreign policy official, Federica Mogherini, is scheduled to meet with diplomats on the Security Council on Monday, seeking authorization to launch military operations on international waters as well as on Libyan shores.

Related: SILLI Libya 

You would have thought so, but....

The European Union has said it would intensify border protection efforts on the Mediterranean — currently, it falls largely on the Italians — but humanitarian groups have said the efforts fall far short of the relief that migrants need to reach safety and have a chance to apply for political asylum.

Most of the migrants rescued from the first boat Thursday were from Somalia and Syria.

Security Council diplomats have said they would seek consent of the Libyan government for the military operations but this is tricky considering that Libya is ruled by rival factions....

That the U.S. and its allies are responsible for ISIS, Libya has acted as an arms depot after the fall of Khadafy, and that Russia feels it got snookered the last time the U.N. authorized action in Libya.


The provocation:

"Turkish ship is attacked off Libya; Officer dead as violence spreads" by David D. Kirkpatrick New York Times  May 12, 2015

CAIRO — A Turkish cargo ship off the coast of Tobruk, Libya, was attacked by warplanes and artillery, killing a Turkish officer and injuring members of the crew, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The attack was the latest episode of violence among armed factions within Libya spiraling out to harm foreigners or their interests.

In January, another foreign ship — a Greek-owned oil tanker — was bombed in the same area by forces allied with the internationally recognized government, based in Tobruk and Bayda.

Meanwhile, Libyan extremists have also recently slaughtered groups of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians, gunned down foreigners in a luxury hotel in Tripoli, and claimed responsibility for several attacks on foreign embassies.

I'm getting that same old sinking feeling again.

The Turkish government said in a statement Monday that the ship was attacked while delivering a cargo of plasterboard to Tobruk from Spain. But a spokesman for the military forces allied with the Tobruk and Bayda government said Monday that the Turkish vessel was bound for Darnah, a stronghold of Islamist forces.

“We have warned before about approaching Darnah port,” the spokesman, Mohamed Hejazi, told Reuters.

What we seem to have over there now is a one group that is a vessel for U.S. puppet rule and the other comprised of various Libyan groups basically representing the people of Libya. They would be the terrorists.

The government said in January that the Greek tanker it bombed had also headed for Darnah, about 90 miles west of Tobruk. At least two crew members were killed.

The Turkish ship may also have been a target because the Tobruk-Bayda government accuses Ankara of fueling a proxy war playing out across Libya after the overthrow of Colonel Moammar Khadafy.

Oh, Turkey is up to its elbows in Libya, too, huh?

The faction that controls the Tobruk and Bayda government is allied with the military leader Khalifa Hifter and has the backing of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, in what they characterize as a fight against Islamist extremists.

He's the U.S. proxy puppet (and Antichrist?).

Its main rival, the faction based in Misurata and Tripoli, includes both moderate and extremist Islamists and has the backing of Qatar and Turkey in what they characterize as a fight against a return to autocracy. Western diplomats have said, though, that unlike the other three regional players, Turkey does not appear to be providing military aid to its Libyan allies.

A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday stopped short of blaming any specific side in Libya for the attack on the cargo ship. But all the artillery in the area where the attack occurred is controlled by the faction that dominates the Tobruk and Bayda government.


The solution:

"EU asks to use military force to stop migrant smugglers; Officials say refugees will still be given asylum" by Griff Witte Washington Post  May 12, 2015

LONDON — The European Union began a push Monday for UN authorization to deploy military force in the Mediterranean to stop migrant smugglers, even as a proposal to more evenly share the burden of refugees appeared to founder amid intra-European divisions.

At UN headquarters in New York on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the Security Council that the unprecedented flow of migrants seeking to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean has necessitated ‘‘an exceptional response.’’

‘‘We cannot do it alone. This has to be a common global effort,’’ Mogherini told the 15-nation council.

The EU proposal would allow the bloc to use military force to seize and destroy smugglers’ ships before they take on their human cargo.

EU leaders see the program as an essential step to curb the dangerous crossings, which have left 1,800 people dead this year as the packed and poorly maintained ships have sunk, run aground, or overturned on the high seas. The death toll is 20 times as high as it was at this time last year.

But it is unclear whether the EU can win Security Council support. Russia has said it opposes any attempt to destroy smugglers’ ships, arguing that the owners in many cases do not know the purpose for which the vessels are being used. 

I figured they would, bad Russia!

Authorities in Libya, the anarchic and divided nation that is the primary source of migrant smuggling, have been either cool to the idea or openly hostile to allowing European troops to hunt smugglers on Libyan territory.

What is interesting there is the foreign invader brings all Libyans together!

Mogherini said the EU is prepared to take action even without the approval of the Security Councilbut she also gave assurances that people crossing the Mediterranean would be rescued and given an opportunity to apply for asylum in Europe.

Well then why bother with all the U.N. shenanigans!?

Rights groups say a focus on military action will not solve the crisis, and may make it worse.

NO! It's the openly thing that solves problems!

Amnesty International released a report Monday that described horrendous living conditions for migrants in Libya and concluded that military efforts would ‘‘effectively contribute to migrants and refugees being trapped in Libya and expose them to a risk of serious human rights abuses.’’ 

Look, we like to call it liberation over here.

The group urged Tunisia and Egypt to open their borders to migrants seeking an escape from Libya, allowing them a safer route out than the one by sea.

Easy for them to say.

The EU has been criticized for not doing enough to stem the crisis, which is being fed by an exodus of people from Africa and the Middle East fleeing war, poverty, and oppression.

An Italian-run search-and-rescue mission estimated to have saved more than 100,000 lives was canceled last year. After more than 800 people died in a single shipwreck last month, EU officials voted to triple funding for a new maritime patrol mission, though it remains more limited in scope than its predecessor.

An EU proposal to more evenly distribute asylum seekers across Europe encountered trouble Monday, even before it is due to be officially unveiled.

The European Commission is expected to release the plan Wednesday. It calls for establishing EU-wide quotas that would dictate the minimum number of asylum seekers accepted by each of the union’s 28 members.

The idea is to ease the burden on front-line states along Europe’s southern periphery, which are suffering under the strain of the tens of thousands of migrants seeking entry. The proposal is strongly backed by those countries and by Germany, which registers more asylum applications than any other nation in Europe.

But it has been vigorously opposed by several Eastern European nations, as well as by Britain, where the Conservative government is under intense pressure to limit immigration.

As if Europe didn't have enough problems. 

A British government spokesman, speaking Monday under customary rules of anonymity, cited previous statements by Prime Minister David Cameron that Britain ‘‘would be playing its role in tackling the current crisis in the Mediterranean but that our focus would be on saving lives, not offering people asylum in the UK.’’

Part of the globalist effort to destabilize governments and the supply of cheap labor undercuts wages.

Libya, which holds Africa’s largest oil reserves, is teetering on the brink of collapse as fighting continues over control of the central government.


Also see: World War III: Sub-Saharan Africa

The four years since the removal of Moammar Khadafy has seen Libya lurch from crisis to conflict to civil war. It is now split between two rival governments and their militia allies, with the Islamic State taking advantage of the insecurity to carve out a fiefdom. 

Maybe that was the whole point of the overthrow. 

Faltering electricity grids and unmaintained water pipelines add to the grievances that are pushing people to risk drowning at sea on the way to Europe.

The Libyan people must miss Khadafy.

The vast majority of those who fled to Europe in 2014 were not Libyans, said Mattia Toaldo, a Libya expert at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations. That will change ‘‘if the situation keeps worsening,’’ he said.

It is a concern for front-line nations like Italy, which this year has already rescued record numbers from crowded vessels.

The UN high commissioner for refugees estimates that 400,000 of Libya’s 6 million people have been displaced by the fighting there.

The conflict caused oil output to slump, and the global plunge in oil prices deepened the country’s economic plight.

Daily life in Libya is punctuated by kidnappings, assassinations, and threats, said Bilal Bettamen, a 25-year-old who witnessed the wave of violence from the eastern city of Benghazi. 



"EU presses for approval by UN to destroy smugglers’ boats" by Lorne Cook Associated Press  May 13, 2015

BRUSSELS — The European Union is seeking a UN Security Council resolution within days to let its members hunt down human traffickers in the Mediterranean and destroy their boats, a senior EU official said Tuesday.

EU foreign ministers hope to have a UN resolution by their May 18 meeting ‘‘to ensure that we can have coercive action toward the smugglers’’ who have helped bring more than 10,000 migrants to European shores in unseaworthy boats in recent weeks, said the official, who has close knowledge of the operation but is not permitted to speak publicly about it.

More than 170,000 illegal border crossings were recorded through the Mediterranean last year, mostly Syrians and Eritreans leaving via Libya, whose collapse has allowed criminal gangs and terrorists to flourish. Around 1,700 migrants are feared to have died in recent weeks even before the high season for sea migration begins in June.

That's right. They are all Obama's refugees!

The controversial operation is part of a broader EU migration agenda to be unveiled Wednesday by the EU’s executive commission.

The agenda includes steps to speed up the identification and processing of migrants when they arrive, and to ensure that countries rapidly send back people who do not qualify for protection, according to a draft of the text obtained by The Associated Press. 

I wonder how many ISIS terrorists are going to slip through.

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the operation’s aim is to ‘‘disrupt the business model’’ of the traffickers.

European navies currently can only destroy boats involved in trafficking if they have no national flag or if the nation whose flag they bear gives permission for their destruction.

A UN resolution would broaden that restriction to allow for more boats being destroyed.

Some 10 European countries have signaled an interest in taking part in the operation, the official said. Britain, France, Poland, and Spain are likely to provide ships or planes.

And they have said they don't need the U.N., so WTF?

The illicit migrant trade across the Mediterranean is now worth up to $323 million a year in Libya alone and its resources are being funneled into terrorist groups including the Islamic State group, according to a report Tuesday by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, a network of law enforcement and development groups, and the Rhipto analysis center in Norway.

Despite this booming trade, the EU’s plan has proved controversial, with both Russia and Libya expressing concerns about the plan.

With a UN resolution in hand, the EU ministers could give formal approval for the operation to go ahead and it would probably be announced by EU leaders at a Brussels summit in late June.

Again, WTF?

The commission, meanwhile, said in the new agenda that it ‘‘intends to strengthen the monitoring of the compliance’’ of migrant return policies in member states, given that just a little over one-third of the return decisions made in 2013 were enforced.

It plans to amend the ‘‘legal basis’’ of EU border agency Frontex, setting up a single department to make sure countries work more effectively and closer together to send people back to their home countries.

Then why are they talking about dispersing them?


"EU to use naval action to stop human traffickers; Decision could require approval of nations, UN" by James Kanter New York Times  May 19, 2015

BRUSSELS — European Union foreign and defense ministers agreed to establish naval operations to disrupt human traffickers from setting off from North Africa, a potentially significant shift in how to deal with the swelling crisis.

The increase in trafficking has strained the ability of countries to absorb tens of thousands of migrants and refugees, fueled social and political tensions across Europe, and led to thousands of migrant deaths at sea.

A decision to militarize the crisis in the Mediterranean appeared to have the support of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said the alliance could offer assistance if called on.

What a surprise!

But the use of European naval power to address the crisis is likely to require further approvals from European governments as well as coastal states in North Africa or from the United Nations Security Council.

Do I have to keep typing the same thing? I'm only quoting their own words!

The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Monday that the ministers’ decision to approve the operation could help spur the United Nations into action. She said the EU might launch the operation within weeks.

The mission involves delicate diplomacy, given the sensitivity in some countries, such as Ireland and Sweden, toward the use of military force.


Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Africa have been braving perilous voyages across the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. The tougher stand against those smuggling the refugees comes amid a spike in migration to Europe, driven by economic hardship and a crescent of conflicts involving Islamic extremists from Nigeria and Mali to Somalia and Syria.

Fueling the crisis are problems in Libya, where a civil war and the limited reach of the authorities have made it easier for smugglers to use the country as a launching pad for Europe.

There were about 17 times as many refugee deaths — more than 1,800 people — from January to April this year as there were during the same period last year. Overall, 436,000 people applied for asylum across Europe last year, according to the UN refugee agency.

I was told 20%.

In Italy, the nation most affected by the crisis in the Mediterranean because of its proximity to Libya, some 33,000 have applied for asylum so far this year, on top of 170,000 arrivals last year.

The resulting deaths have shamed Europe and prompted its authorities to seek a united response, and there are also concerns the lucrative trade is helping finance terrorism in North Africa and offering terrorists a way into Europe. The loss of life has climbed in recent weeks as smugglers in North Africa offer the migrants passage in flimsy rubber dinghies and overcrowded fishing boats.

I don't have an answer for you, folks, other than end the covert destabilizations and wars.

Last week, the European authorities presented plans to spread the burden of processing and accommodating asylum-seekers among the bloc’s 28 member states. That plan has met with resistance in countries such as Britain and Hungary, and it still needs the approval of governments at a summit in June.

But the meeting Monday focused on a different aspect of the European response: military operations to disable the smugglers’ vessels before they leave North African shores and destroy smugglers’ operations.

The plan under discussion in Brussels has three phases:

Increasing patrols in international waters to find out what routes the smugglers use and to collect other intelligence.

Boarding, seizing, and diverting vessels encountered in international waters. That would probably require a UN Security Council resolution if those actions are conducted in the territorial waters of North African countries or the consent of those countries.

■ Destruction of smugglers’ vessels, which is the most problematic phase because it would involve actions near the coasts of Libya and other countries and possibly involve onshore commando-style operations to identify and attack targets. That could require both a Security Council resolution and the agreement of the targeted countries.

Sure looks like war to me.


All for the good, of course:

"4,200 more migrants saved off Libya’s coasts; 17 die" by Frances D’Emilio Associated Press  May 31, 2015

ROME — About 4,200 migrants were rescued off Libya’s coast in 22 separate operations in one day, with rescuers finding 17 people dead aboard a rubber dinghy, the Italian coast guard said Saturday.

The rescues, from 13 wooden fishing boats and nine motorized rubber dinghies, took place Friday. In all, 4,243 rescued migrants were being taken to southern Italian harbors, including in Sicily.

Smugglers are reaping millions of dollars by overcrowding unseaworthy boats with migrants on Libya’s Mediterranean coast to set out for Italian shores. The migrants are fleeing war, persecution, or poverty in Africa, the Mideast, and elsewhere.

Cargo ships and Irish and German navy vessels helped Italian military craft in Friday’s rescues. Italy has demanded its European partners help more with the migrants, who have been coming in huge numbers this year. Last year, Italy rescued some 170,000 migrants at sea.

The latest arrivals, following several days without rescues, followed a pattern. When seas are rough or weather stormy, few or no boats set out. When calm seas arrive, smugglers launch as many boats as they can, cramming an unsafe number of migrants into the boats.

Many vessels soon run into difficulties. The Italian coast guard coordinates rescues after receiving distress calls via satellite phones from the migrant boats or when the craft are spotted by military patrol boats or aircraft.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano of Italy warned Saturday that migrant arrivals would continue without letup as long as Libya, where rival governments and violent militias hold sway, is plagued by chaos.

The high cost of rescuing and sheltering migrants while they seek asylum is campaign fodder in Sunday’s local and regional elections in Italy. Anti-immigrant Northern League leader Matteo Salvini said whoever doesn’t choose his party “is an accomplice of the invasion” of migrants....

He may be politically-incorrect, but he's right. That's what this is about. 



"Islamic State extremists can pose ‘‘a very serious threat’’ to divided Libya if rival governments there fail to reach a unity deal quickly, the United Nations envoy to the North African country said Saturday. Bernadino Leon, who is mediating political talks, told a regional conference of the World Economic Forum that he hopes for a deal before the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in mid-June (AP)."

Who is enabling them again?

"Islamic State’s rise in Libya vexes Western officials" by Suliman Ali Zway New York Times   June 01, 2015


TRIPOLI, Libya — The branch of the Islamic State that controls the city of Sirte has expanded its territory and pushed back the militia from the neighboring city of Misrata, militia leaders acknowledged Sunday.

Isn't that Khadafy's hometown

So anyone who opposes the U.S. is a terrorist?

In the group’s latest attack Sunday, a suicide bomber killed at least five fighters and wounded four at a checkpoint west of Misrata on the coastal road to Tripoli, according to local officials and Libyan news reports.

The continued expansion inside Libya of the Islamic State has alarmed Western officials because of its proximity to Europe across the Mediterranean.

All the more reason to take military action against smugglers, right?

Four years after the removal of Moammar Khadafy, the near collapse of the Libyan government has left no central Libyan authority to check the group’s advance or even partner with Western military efforts against it. Two armed factions, each with its own paper government, are fighting for control, and each has focused more on internal quarrels than on defeating the Islamic State.

Another failed intervention, unless the plan all along was to break people down so they can't pose a united threat to the agenda.

The group’s expanding turf in Libya also gives it an alternative base of operations even as it appears to be gaining ground — in Palmyra, Syria, and in Ramadi, Iraq. The gains come despite a US-led bombing campaign aimed at rolling back the group’s original territory across the border between those countries.

I will be returning to Syria and Iraq in the coming days.

Suliman Ali Mousa, an officer with the brigade from Misrata, confirmed in a telephone interview Sunday that over the past two days its forces had retreated in the face of Islamic State advances to the east, south, and west of Sirte.

Islamic State fighters have captured the Gardabya air base, about 10 miles south of Sirte; it had been all but destroyed by NATO airstrikes during the 2011 campaign against Khadafy, but Libyans describe it as a strategic foothold.

The case for military action has been made.

Toward the east, Mousa’s brigade retreated from its base in a water treatment facility, leaving the Islamic State in control as far as the town of Nofilya, another stronghold. And toward the west the Misratan forces had also pulled back about 10 miles toward their home city.

“We left our position and relocated,” Mousa said. “It was a necessary retreat. Our fighting position did not allow us to stay where we were.”

He added that another group of Misratan fighters had abandoned a power station west of Sirte and so his group had taken their place.

He said he was unsure why those fighters had pulled out, but “there was a lot of talk about money and unpaid salaries.”

The Islamic State affiliate in Libya took credit for Sunday’s suicide attack at the western entrance of Misrata, said Mohammed al-Shami, a spokesman for the local Libya Dawn militia.

A local journalist, Taher Zarouq, said the attack extensively damaged the western Dafniya gate, a major commercial entrance into Misrata, the Associated Press said.

The Islamic State took control of the town of Hawara, east of Sirte, after a weeklong siege of the town, the Associated Press reported, citing a local lawmaker, Saad AbuSharada.

The new capture leaves the Islamic State affiliate positioned to move freely further east, where the country’s oil fields lie, or to the south. 

Definitely have to go in there with military.

Libya has been torn among powerful armed militias that have left the country with rival Parliaments and governments. Islamist-allied militias from Misrata control the capital, Tripoli. They pushed out the elected Parliament, which now meets in the city of Tobruk.


I wonder what role the CIA is playing in Libya these days.

Libya linked to Tunisia when it comes to World Wars:

"Gunman, 7 other soldiers killed in Tunis barracks shooting" Associated Press  May 26, 2015

TUNIS — A Tunisian soldier opened fire on fellow troops at a military barracks in the capital Monday, killing seven people before he was killed in an exchange of gunfire, a spokesman for Tunisia’s Defense Ministry said.

Let me guess: ISIS!

Belhassen Oueslati said 10 others were injured in the shooting, including one person who was in serious condition. He described the attack as an ‘‘isolated act, not a terrorist act’’ and said the motive will be determined by an investigation.

Oueslati said the soldier attacked a fellow soldier, stabbed him, and seized his weapon, and then opened fire on the other soldiers as they were saluting the flag.

Police reinforcements were sent to the area after the shooting, combing nearby streets, while a helicopter circled overhead. The Defense Ministry said a nearby school was evacuated.

Authorities sought to calm the public in a city where tensions remain high after an attack on the National Bardo Museum on March 18 that killed 22 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Did you see the skinny on that?

The shooting at the Bouchoucha barracks was about a half-mile from the museum.

Oueslati said the situation was under control by mid-morning.

He said the soldier had been forbidden from carrying a weapon after displaying ‘‘troubled behavior due to family problems.’’

Since overthrowing its dictator in 2011, Tunisia has battled militant groups with links to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, which have carried out attacks on security forces.

The United States is providing military equipment and training to Tunisian security forces battling insurgents in the western mountains.

And will have to continue doing so, right?


That photo live or drill passed off as live, stage script?

Related: Israeli government to refugees: Go back to Africa or go to prison 

Undocumented migrants to Israel are called “infiltrators” by the Israeli government. What got into the WaPo!

Meanwhile, on the northern shores (if they are lucky enough to make it):

"EU proposes quota system to address migration crisis" by James Kanter New York Times  May 14, 2015

BRUSSELS — European Union authorities, responding to the Continent’s growing migration crisis, offered several proposals on Wednesday aimed at easing the burden for Mediterranean nations that have borne the brunt of rescue operations.

A proposed quota system, which would oblige most EU member states to take in more migrants, at least temporarily, generated opposition from Britain, Ireland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic even before it was formally put forward.

The contentious nature of the debate amounts to a crucial test of the EU’s commitment to address a serious human rights issue, even as some of its members resist efforts to centralize policies that they say could backfire.

And here I thought the implo$ion of Greece would destroy the EU.

Known as the European Agenda on Migration, the quota system would primarily help Greece, Italy, and Malta, which are among the main arrival points for the large number of migrants making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. An estimated 1,800 people have died so far this year in such crossings, which are often made in flimsy boats that are vulnerable to capsizing or catching fire.

A separate plan, to be discussed Monday by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels, will address the use of military force aimed at preventing trafficking by destroying vessels before they leave North Africa.

EU leaders are expected to decide in June on the plan for quotas, which was proposed by the bloc’s executive agency, the European Commission, and calls for the 28 member states to take in as many refugees as their size and economic circumstances permit.

The current system is already under severe strain and will be unable to handle the even larger flows of people expected to arrive during the summer, when seas are more navigable, the panel warned.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the quota proposals represented a “bold agenda” that should “address the plight of those escaping from wars, persecution, and poverty.” Migration, she said, “is a shared responsibility” for all “member states.”

Gianni Pittella, an Italian lawmaker at the European Parliament, said the announcement showed that “Europe is waking up.” There has been “a shameful delay” but EU authorities have “finally taken a step forward on the way to creating a common European policy on migration,” said Pittella, who is the president of the Socialists and Democrats group at the Parliament.

Theresa May, the British home secretary, took a sharply different view. Britain “must — and will — resist calls for the mandatory relocation or resettlement of migrants across Europe,” she wrote in Wednesday’s issue of The Times of London.

“Such an approach would only strengthen the incentives for criminal gangs to keep plying their evil trade — and reduce the incentive of member states to develop their own effective asylum systems,” she warned.

You are called racist by the agenda-pushing paper of elite $upremaci$m if you make such an argument here.

Her criticism followed comments a day earlier from Martin Povejsil, the Czech ambassador to the EU, who suggested that his country would resist mandatory plans to accept migrants. “For most of them, the Czech Republic never was and never will be a country of their choice,” Povejsil said. “So to bring them into the Czech Republic or into similar member states of the EU is only a temporary solution which cannot solve anything.”

Related(?)Gunmen kill 9 Afghan workers in ambush at Czech aid agency

The British, Irish, and Danes are expected to be able to opt out of the proposed quota system, but others, including the Czechs, would need to try to mount enough opposition to block approval. That is seen as unlikely, because the plan is expected to have the backing of much larger member states such as Italy, France, and Germany.

Was joining the EU really worth it?

The second plank of the European response — military action to destroy vessels used by traffickers before they leave African shores — would be directed toward a possible campaign in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters.

A version of that plan seen this week by The New York Times suggested that operations “ashore” in Libya may be needed to destroy the traffickers’ vessels and materials, although at a news conference Wednesday, Mogherini sought to rule out ground operations.

What did the U.N. say?


And if you do not accept your quota of war refugees, I am afraid that certain references may again be cut your way:

"EU plan on refugees draws resistance" Associated Press  June 02, 2015

BRUSSELS — France and Germany have come out against new proposals to share out refugees arriving in Italy and Greece with the rest of the European Union, insisting on Monday that the plan doesn’t take fair account of the number of refugees they already take on.

They do have a long history of anti-Semitism, or so I've been taught.

They also said that front-line countries like Italy and Greece can only expect solidarity from their partners if they ‘‘take all the legal and financial measures needed’’ to beef up the EU’s borders to the outside world.

Italy and Greece have been accused by some EU countries of failing to properly screen newly arrived migrants, instead simply allowing them to move further north into Europe.

Well, Greece has other problems right now (this can't be helping), and as for Italy, the mob is history.

So how many terrorists slipped through?

The Commission will also propose a permanent refugee-relocation system at the end of this year for use during high migration flows. The two ministers insisted that it should ‘‘remain temporary and exceptional.’’

Monday sees the start of a two-day meeting between the ministers and their counterparts from Italy, Poland, Spain and Britain, as well as senior US and EU officials, in eastern Germany.

Print ended there.

Meanwhile, the EU’s Frontex border agency said on Sunday that more than 5,000 migrants aboard 25 boats coming from Libya had been plucked from the central Mediterranean in three days. Seventeen bodies were recovered.

‘‘This is the biggest wave of migrants we have seen in 2015,’’ Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said.

More than 36,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since January. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 1,820 people have died or gone missing crossing the Mediterranean this year.


Maybe Spain could take in a few more:

"Leading parties slip in Spain elections" Associated Press  May 26, 2015

MADRID — Spain’s prime minister acknowledged Monday that he was disappointed with his party’s showing in local elections, which he attributed largely to austerity measures his government was compelled to take during Europe’s recent debt crisis and a recent string of political scandals.

Yeah, citizens don't seem to like that sh**.

The elections Sunday in many Spanish cities and regions dealt a serious blow to Mariano Rajoy’s governing Popular Party. Two new parties carved out bigger roles by capitalizing on voter disaffection with established parties for their handling of the economy, among other reasons.

Maybe Spain will be breaking up soon.

Though the conservative Popular Party won the most votes overall, capturing 27 percent of votes cast, it lost the absolute control it had in eight of the 13 regions, including in its traditional power bases of Madrid and Valencia. The party has lost 2.5 million voters since the last local elections four years ago.

Rajoy, who is also the Popular Party’s leader, said economic recovery and job creation are priorities before the general election this fall. A nearly eight-year economic crisis has left the country with a 24 percent unemployment rate.

Rajoy also accepted that corruption scandals involving his party had eroded public support. ‘‘We have to get closer to the Spanish people and communicate better with them,’’ Rajoy said.

The opposition Socialists, who got 25 percent of the vote, also saw their total number of supporters drop. But the left-wing We Can party and the centrist Citizens party, two organizations that only began operating on a national level last year, finished a strong third and fourth.


Germany has already taken in enough children, and you are fortunate if you don't land in France:

"Paris police bulldoze migrant camp" Associated Press  June 03, 2015

PARIS — Paris police evacuated hundreds of migrants Tuesday from a makeshift tent camp near a major train station and tourist area, then bulldozed their leftover debris from a patch of pavement that had become a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis.

The migrants, mostly from East Africa, took agonizing journeys to reach the French capital, but have found themselves in legal limbo, with little prospects for asylum or jobs.

EU will take care of you.

Anger at their presence and concerns about health issues have mounted among locals. In response, police in dozens of vehicles roped off the area near the famed Sacre Coeur basilica and the Gare du Nord train station on Tuesday and sent in specialists to encourage the migrants to leave.

Migrants slowly gathered their meager belongings and clambered into buses at the camp. The site, where some have been living for months, is near the Eurostar train tracks to Britain.

Of what does that remind you?

Many migrants said this was not the Europe that they expected: Sleeping outside beneath the rumble of subway trains, waiting for asylum applications to be processed.

‘‘The government just suddenly decided to evacuate this place. Nobody knows what happened,’’ said a 20-year-old migrant from Sudan, who gave his name only as Salah. ‘‘I don’t know where they are going to take us, what they are going to do to us.’’

Paris police chief Bernard Boucault said the action was taken because of the health risks the migrants faced, including scabies, dysentery, and parasite infection.

If you said that about the South American kids that were sent here you are a racist!

Officials said about a third of the 380 people in the camp had applied for asylum in France, while most of the others were planning to head to places like Britain, Germany, and the Nordic countries.

Dominique Versini, an aide to Mayor Anne Hidalgo, said city social services took the asylum-seekers to housing as part of regular asylum procedures.

That is where my printed copy ended it.

Behind the police barricade, several demonstrators shouted support for the migrants as the buses drove away. Then bulldozers moved in, plowing through the tents.

These Western European governments are behaving more like Israel every day.

Those not seeking asylum in France were being ‘‘redirected’’ into emergency state housing, she said. Authorities have said such state housing is already overloaded.

Mathias Vicherat, Hidalgo’s chief of staff, said measures will be taken to ensure that the migrants cannot return to the Paris site.

The evacuation comes as the European Union is seeking better ways to handle the flood of migrants this year. One controversial plan is to divide up the tens of thousands of refugees arriving on Mediterranean shores in smugglers’ boats among all 28 EU nations — a move to help share the burden that is crushing Italy and Greece.


At least you weren't arrested by the French police:

"French officers cleared in teens’ deaths" Associated Press  May 19, 2015

RENNES, France — A French court Monday acquitted two police officers accused of contributing to the deaths of two minority teenagers in a blighted Paris suburb a decade ago — a long-awaited verdict that crushed the youths’ families and raised fears of possible violence like that seen recently in the United States.

I was just going to say "justice" is the same everywhere.

The deaths of 15-year-old Bouna Traore and 17-year-old Zyed Benna prompted weeks of riots across France in 2005, exposing anger and resentment in neglected, crime-ridden suburban housing projects.

The two boys, chased by police, entered a power substation in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois to hide and were electrocuted. A third boy survived the powerful 20,000-volt electric shock with severe burns.

Moments after the verdict was read, a young woman rose in the back of the courtroom and shouted: “The police above the law, as always.”

“You are responsible!” Benna’s brother Adel shouted at the two police officers, just a few yards away.

Activists called for protests at courthouses across the country. A representative for the boys’ families and the mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois urged protesters to remain calm.

About 200 activists and others gathered Monday evening in a protest at the courthouse in Bobigny, near the youths’ hometown....


The verdict caused a buzz at the Cannes Film Festival, so much so that behind the glitz, a tight security net was cast and the red carpet dance became tightly controlled choreography, but at least the law enforcement heroes finally got their due

Thankfully, they did escape Africa:

"UN inquiry stalls on child sex abuse case; French soldiers in Africa accused" by Cara Anna Associated Press  May 27, 2015

UNITED NATIONS — For months, the United Nation’s top human rights officials knew about allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic, collected by their own staff.

Nothing new; just the U.N. getting a piece.

But they didn’t follow up because they assumed French authorities were handling it, statements marked ‘‘strictly confidential’’ show, even as France pressed the United Nations for more information about the case.

That's the way it is with elite pedophile rings and sex crimes of the elite.

In a signed statement obtained by the Associated Press, the deputy high commissioner for human rights also says that her colleague who first informed French authorities in July did it because he didn’t think the recently created UN peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic would act on the allegations.

A year after the United Nations first heard allegations from children as young as 9 that French soldiers had sexually abused them, sometimes in exchange for food, it seems that the only person who has been punished is the UN staffer who told French authorities.

Yes, punish the whistleblower!

The deputy high commissioner, Flavia Pansieri, said she was distracted from the case by other issues, including budget cuts, from fall until March, when her boss, the high commissioner, brought up the case. 


‘‘I regret to say that in the context of those very hectic days, I failed to follow up on the CAR situation,’’ Pansieri said in the statement dated March 26. She adds that ‘‘both the HC and I knew that on CAR there was an ongoing process initiated by the French authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. I take full responsibility for not having given the matter the necessary attention.’’

The Paris prosecutor’s office this month blamed the UN ‘‘hierarchy’’ for taking more than six months to supply answers to its questions. The office wanted to speak with a UN human rights staffer who had interviewed some of the children, saying she was willing to talk.

The United Nations finally handed over written answers April 29, the prosecutor’s office said — the day the Guardian newspaper made the French and UN inquiries public.

French soldiers had been tasked with protecting civilians in Central African Republic from vicious violence between Christians and Muslims. Thousands of scared people had crammed into a camp for displaced people in the capital, Bangui. Residents have said soldiers offered cookies, other food, or bottles of water in exchange for sodomy or oral sex.

It is still not clear where the accused soldiers are. France has not revealed any arrests.

When the allegations were first publicly reported, part of the uproar was over the suspension of the Geneva-based UN human rights staffer who first informed French authorities, Anders Kompass. The United Nations says he breached protocol in sharing the report without redacting the names in it. The UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services is investigating. He could be fired.

A spokesman for the UN human rights office, Andre-Michel Essoungou, said Monday the office would not comment on Pansieri’s signed statement.

While France, like any country, has the responsibility to investigate its own troops, the UN human rights office has the responsibility to follow up on alleged abuses and offer its help. 

Looks like none of them wanted to take responsibility.

French troops arrived in Central African Republic in late 2013 under a UN mandate to assist African Union peacekeeping effort, later taken over by a UN mission in September. France’s defense ministry has said children told UN officials of abuse by French soldiers between late 2013 and June 2014.

Yeah, thanks for the "help."


The A2 brief was then scrubbed with just a nod and a wink before one's heart was stolen.

RelatedMali rebels kill at least nine soldiers

Oh, right, the African combat in which French troops are engaged.

End of the line in Europe:

"UK’s Cameron announces new plans as UK immigration rises" Associated Press  May 21, 2015

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday disclosed plans to crack down on illegal immigration and tighten Britain’s borders as new official figures showed a significant rise in the number of migrants.

Net migration surged to about 318,000 in 2014, up from 209,000 a year before, the Office for National Statistics said. The figure, which represents the estimated number of people moving to the country for at least a year minus the number departing, is the highest in a decade.

Immigration has become one of the most divisive political issues in Britain, and increasing numbers of Britons argue that uncontrolled migration has a negative effect on the country — from employment to social infrastructure.

Cameron outlined stricter controls targeting illegal migration, including giving police new powers to seize immigrants’ earnings if they do not have the right to work in Britain. ‘‘While a strong country isn’t one that pulls up the drawbridge, it is one that properly controls immigration,’’ he said.

They do have a moat around them, and TALK ABOUT THIEVERY!


Related: British Navy on patrol

As we head back to Northern Africa: 

"Amnesty International warns over torture practice in Morocco" Associated Press  May 19, 2015

RABAT, Morocco — Moroccan authorities still widely use torture despite a ban on the practice, the Amnesty International rights group said in a report Tuesday.

Despite the ban and statements against torture by King Mohammed VI, law enforcement authorities still abuse protesters, rape detainees with objects, and beat confessions out of suspects, it said, detailing 173 cases of abuse and torture since 2010.

‘‘For real and tangible reform, we need more than just words, because there is a huge gap between theory and practice,’’ Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther told journalists.

The Moroccan government rejected the findings, calling into question the credibility of Amnesty’s sources.

Morocco is a popular vacation destination for Europeans and a close US ally. It ratified the UN convention against torture 21 years ago and is presenting itself as a stable country respecting human rights.

U.S. is in no position to criticize anyone when it comes to torture. 

So how many suspects have they rendered to Morocco anyway?

The report recommended that lawyers be present during interrogations, allegations of torture be investigated, and those reporting abuses be protected — all measures present in the penal code but rarely implemented.


All I can say is a kiss is just kiss.... including this one saying good night.


"Dutch official vows to show Mohammed cartoons on TV" Associated Press  June 03, 2015

THE HAGUE — Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders said Wednesday that he plans to show cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Dutch television after Parliament refused to display them.

Wilders said he would show the cartoons during television airtime reserved for political parties, in a move likely to offend Muslims because Islamic tradition holds that any physical depiction of Mohammed is blasphemous.

Wilders said the broadcast would likely take place in the next few weeks, but an exact date has yet to be determined.

The announcement came a month after Wilders gave a speech at a contest in Garland, Texas, for cartoon depictions of Mohammed. Shortly after Wilders left the event, it was targeted by two men with pistols and assault rifles. Security guards shot and killed the attackers.

OMG! The agent provocateur was involved in the staged and scripted shootout hoax!

Wilders, whose Freedom Party holds 12 of the 150 seats in Parliament’s lower house, said he wants to air cartoons from the Texas competition to support people ‘‘who use the pen and not the sword.’’

No thanks. Don't need your support.

‘‘If we say, ‘It might be offensive, so let’s not do it,’ then we send a signal to the people who wanted to get into the event in Texas . . . and all their followers that it works,’’ he said. ‘‘That we can be intimidated, that we get frightened.’’

No, that's only for when something is considered anti-Jewish.

Wilders is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of free speech and targeting Islam. He has lived under round-the-clock protection since 2004 because of death threats.

He was acquitted in 2011 of hate speech as judges said that his anti-Islam rhetoric came in the context of a fierce national debate about immigration and multiculturalism.

Wilders is again facing prosecution for hate speech over a chant last year in which he asked his supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands and they shouted back ‘‘Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!’’

That's why this in an NDU.


What do I hate? Doing this.

UPDATE: "The replica is among the most authentic in the world, and its voyage is a source of immense national pride in France."