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Salafist crimes in Syria against Islam escalate as sunnis join shia in repudiation

Salafist gang carry out a beheading in Syria

Salafist gang carry out a beheading in Syria

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This is the hideous reality of what has been unleashed on the famously tolerant and educated people of Syria. It didn’t come out of nowhere. And it isn’t native to Syria. Our government, along with the US and France, has ordered this and paid for it!

The imperialists, while bragging at home about their ‘progressiveness’ will actively bankroll and support all kinds of mediaeval barbarity if it serves their purposes. This bloodthirsty backwardness is not inherent to the Middle East. It would not even exist in today’s world if it wasn’t for the financing and arming that fundamentalist nutcases have received from the US and Britain over the last 30 years.

And yet the ’socialists’ of the SWP still try to tell the British people that the death squads in Syria are a ‘people’s revolution’ setting up ‘workers’ councils’. And our ‘anti-war’ leaders are more bothered about accidentally looking like they support the Syrian people’s legitimate government than about opposing these horrific crimes and sabotaging the imperialists’ dirty war on Syria.

Time for an anti-war movement that is worthy of the name, and a leadership that is actually representative of British workers, rather than the cosy little clique of careerist scum dishing out jobs to each other we’re saddled with right now.

No cooperation with British war crimes!

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By Franklin Lamb in Damascus, via Al Manar

Reports from across Syria, increasingly arriving from such diverse locations as Aleppo, Qalamoun and Reqaa, lay bare massive crimes now being perpetrated against the Syrian people in areas under salafist control.

A recent German domestic intelligence service annual report describes salafism as the fastest growing Islamic movement in Syria. And indeed, interviews conducted by this observer recently in Damascus indicate that mainstream salafism, with its emphasis on adherence to the Koran’s principles and standards for correct behaviour towards humanity, is being deeply subverted in the Syrian Arab Republic by forces organised from outside this country.

Historically, salafi methodology has been respected among scholars of Islam. It is a school of thought named after the ’salaf’ or ‘predecessors’ among the earliest muslims, individuals widely considered to have been examples worthy of emulation.

At the same time, the salafist movement is often thought of as related to, or even synonymous with, Saudi wahhabism, or is perceived at least as a hybrid of it. It is only since the 1960s that salafism has become widely known among muslims, and some attribute this phenomenon in part as the result of the zionist occupation of Palestine and other projects of western hegemony.

These developments have led to a revising of some claimed interpretations of Islam, resulting in the adoption of views more common during periods of history when Islam was threatened. Salafism presents to its followers a literalistic, strict, puritanical interpretation of the Koran. Particularly in the West, and increasingly in Syria, some salafist jihadis espouse violent jihad against the public, even muslim civilians, as a legitimate expression of defending Islam.

Though salafis claim to be sunni muslims, some authorities interviewed by this observer, including scholars at Damascus’ famed Omayyad Mosque as well as sunni sheiks based in Damascus, say that salafis are a sui generis sect, and are thus apart from traditional sunni muslim Koranic interpretations and practice.

One professor of Islamic studies, representing perhaps the minority view, looks upon salafis and wahhabis as essentially the same. The basis of the claim is that salafis do not acknowledge or follow any of the four schools of thought to which other sunni muslims adhere, but rather have their own beliefs and laws, their own leaders and social systems.

It is a theological adherence entailing strict and widely rejected extremist practices, including the commission of crimes targeting civilians, including fellow muslims, for political and financial reasons.

One currently ascendant salafist group in Syria, among more than a thousand or so competing for weapons and fighters, is ‘Daash’. The word is an acronym whose letters stand for ‘the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’.

Daash appeared on the scene about a year ago, and some local observers believe it arrived via Iraq, with large amounts of funding from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, and with the latter, especially, facilitating its weapons, supplies and access to the north of Syria via Turkish territory. Daash membership figures have expanded recently, partly because it pays its recruits nearly four times the going gunman wage here, or approximately $500 per month, as it competes with Jabhat al Nusra and others to impose some of its frankly bizarre interpretations of Islam.

Damascus presently is awash in tales coming in from Daash-controlled areas – areas around Aleppo and elsewhere. What is being told of is a sheath full of fatwas and orders posted on walls laying down what is expected of the local civilian population.

Reports, some of which have been verified, indicate that the group acts with brutality in enforcing its edicts. A sunni law student from Damascus University Faculty of Law, who has compiled research on the subject over the past few weeks, calls it “an insane frontal assault on Islam by criminal acts against muslims and others of the Book’.

On 27 November, a young lady arriving at the Dama Rose Hotel reported to this observer that in parts of Raqaa, Aleppo and other Daash-controlled areas, if a man from Daash covets something, such as someone’s new car or another man’s wife, he must only say “Allah Akbar” three times. The personal property or the targeted women then belong to him, and he can beat the wife and rape her with impunity.

This latest fatwa obviously causes serious problems both within Daash as well as with other militias. The young lady, who comes from a prominent Dasmascene sunni family, reports that Daash members are currently taking gas, oil and bread at will from non-Daash villages for distribution to members of their cult of approximately 5,000 members.

Also according to recently televised reports, it is now permissible for Daash members to rape any woman who is not muslim, as well as muslim women who support the Assad government.

Some recently reported Salisfist practices spreading in Syria include, but are not limited to the following:

· Females in Daash-controlled areas of Aleppo and elsewhere are being prevented from wearing jeans and sweaters and must wear only the islamic dress Abaya and Barkaa. They are forbidden from putting on any make-up, and now, as of two weeks ago, to even leave their homes without a male escort. Some women in parts of Aleppo and Raqaa now refer to their neighbourhoods as Tora Bora, Afghanistan, given the similarities of repression between Taliban and salafist treatment of women.

· As of 15 November, force is used to prevent smoking and use of arguila (water pipes) by men and women in some villages.

· Some barber shops for men are being shuttered in order to prevent the shortening of hair and ‘modern’ haircuts. Barrettes for young people are also forbidden.

· It is now forbidden in Daash areas to display any sign or advertisements for cosmetics and skincare products in women’s hairdressing shops. Violators are subject to penalties of 70 lashes. Any business that employs women must have two work-day shifts, one for men and a separate one exclusively for female employees.

· No women’s clothing can be displayed in shop windows. In the event a woman should enter a tailor’s shop, the shop must shut its doors to men until she leaves.

· The Daash militia has long prevented women from seeking medical attention from male doctors, but recently it put into place prohibitions against women visiting doctors of either sex. Also it is not permissible for a woman to wear orthodontic devices such as teeth braces because straight teeth might attract men, and in any case their bodies are under the stewardship of their husbands or fathers only.

· Daash has proclaimed that women who swim in the sea are in fact committing ‘adultery’, even if they wear a hijab. This is due to the fact that Arabic nouns, as in the case with many other languages, are gender specific. ‘Sea’ is masculine, and when water touches the woman’s vaginal area she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and must be punished.

· Women are also forbidden from eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers, carrots or bananas due to their phallic imagery, which may tempt them to deviate. It is also unacceptable for women to turn on their air conditioning at home when their husbands are absent as this could be a sign to neighbours that they could commit adultery with her.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm in its 15 November edition reported that Daash-variety fatwas regard women as strange creatures created solely for sex, and that the organisation’s members consider the voices of women, their looks and presence outside of their homes as an ‘offense’ – while some salafists regard women in general as ‘offensive’.

Among the practices permitted by Daash is the widespread acceptance of wives lying to their husbands concerning politics. Daash believes that if the husband forbids her from being supportive of their agenda and control of Syrian villages in Aleppo and Raqaa, for example, she may then, through dissimulation, support them while pretending to be against them.

During interviews in Syria, one religious advisor to Daash opined to this observer that marriage to ten-year-old girls should be allowed in order to prevent their deviating from the correct path.

Needless to say, school attendance by girls is also prohibited, even if the school is close to their homes, and one Daash fatwa states that a marriage is annulled if the husband and wife make love with no clothes on, while another sanctions the use of women and children as human shields in violent demonstrations and protests on the grounds that these are jihads to empower Islam.

Yet other fatwas forbid muslims from greeting christians or forbid muslim cab drivers from transporting christian priests. And still others criticize Egypt’s Al Azhar, considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world, for withdrawing its fatwa that instructed women to ‘breastfeed’ male acquaintances, thereby making them relatives and justifying their mixed company.

Men are now being physically assaulted by Daash milita on the street if they are clean shaven or wear tight trousers. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction can, however, watch pornographic movies provided that the participants in the porno flicks are islamists.

Education is focused on boys in Daash areas, where schools, at both the elementary and secondary levels, are being run like Pakistani madrassas, with education limited to memorising every word of the Koran while severely limiting any instruction in the sciences or secular subjects – this in a country heretofore acknowledged as having particularly high standards of education.

Last month a new Daash fatwa proclaimed that “all those who support Bashar al-Assad, even the word, or who are in favour of the National Coalition or agree to a dialogue with him, must have his head separated from his body, including the beheading of all members of the coalition favouring Geneva II or dialogue”.

One much respected sunni sheik from Tripoli, Lebanon currently residing in Damascus and with whom this observer has become friends over the course of many visits to Syria, is Sheikh Abdul Salam El Harrach, Symposium Coordinator of Muslim Scholars in Akkar, in north Lebanon. Sheik Harrach is a strong supporter of the Hizbollah-led resistance to the zionist occupation of Palestine, as well as an advocate for the Syrian people. He favours dialogue – and he has run afoul of Daash.

Sheik Harrach is hopeful about Geneva II and believes that the settling of some of the existing problems between Iran and the US could bear fruit for Syria. Moreover, he argues that the Syrian people must decide in the coming presidential election who their leaders will be – not those countries sending militias to create chaos in the country while turning a blind eye to salafist, un-islamic criminal campaigns.

As a result of his political stances, the sheikh has been targeted for assassination more than once by Daash/al Qaeda types, and is rumoured to have a large bounty on his head from Jabat al Nursa, Daash and others in Tripoli who oppose sunni-shia rapprochement, either in the Levant or globally.

One assassination attempt, which wounded his son Wael, took place in the north Lebanon town of Aaat during a Ramadan Iftar event held in tents outside his home. Some blamed the March 14th coalition and extreme islamic elements.

Sheik Harrach offers the view that the assault on his son and other such armed attacks are perpetrated against a background of incitement against sunni muslims from extremist elements. Some of these, he concludes, have the complicit backing of some of the security services.

But it is his endorsement for reform and development in Syria under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad that has turned him into a target, he believes – this along with his support for the resistance and his outright rejection of the US and zionist project for Lebanon and the region.

To his credit, and in solidarity with the people of Syria, Sheik Harrach vows to continue working with the growing sunni/shia joint resistance to Daash and like-minded salafist militias until they are expelled from Syria. He insists that if someone wants to learn about Islam they need only come to Syria to study, and that they need not fall victim to ‘Islamic instruction’ from foreign-manipulated fanatics/fundamentalists seeking the establishment of a Levant-wide or global Caliphate.

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Franklin Lamb is a visiting Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Damascus University for the 2013/14 academic year. Lamb volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Programme (sssp-lb.com) and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com.

Will 1,000 American ‘human shields’ stop another criminal war?

Human shields from Britain are greeted as they cross the border into Iraq, February 2003

Human shields from Britain are greeted as they cross the border into Iraq, February 2003

Arriving first in Syria

by FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus

A sort of roller-coaster atmosphere pervades Damascus these days, with both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ news rippling through the airwaves every quarter hour or so. Much of the population monitors it all closely. People listen; they read; they discuss their interpretations of the latest media reports or the rumours circulating – wondering, surmising, deliberating on the timing of the now-assumed American attack on their country.

In the very popular Abaa coffee house, on the edge of the old city, in what is called the Sarugha section, customers, many of them students, enjoy the fine cool mist that is sprayed from ceiling pipes, providing welcome relief from the 37 degree celsius temperatures prevailing outside.

You want a Damascus tradition? Gathering at the Abaa is it. Many are glued to their laptops or else in animated conversation, analysing the extent and likelihood of the strike upon their homeland by those who profess to be acting out of ‘humanitarian’ concerns.

This observer often meets interlocutors in the Abaa because it’s very pleasant. It is large with dozens of tables. It is also cheap and two blocks from my hotel. I have noticed that common greetings are changing from “kif hallack” (how are you?) and “Arak lahekan” (see you later), to “Get home safely” and “Good luck with the checkpoints.”

But there is also a growing esprit de corps, a coming together of much of the population, as the countdown to the firing of the American missiles begins. Much in evidence also is a rallying around the Assad government – the opposite, one would presume, of what the White House had hoped would result from its threats.

A good friend from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS) described how her friends are preparing for the American attack. “We gather our important documents, birth, marriage certificate and passport and make photo copies. Then we leave them with friends in ‘safe’ areas or even bury them somewhere. No one knows how bad the Americans will bomb us. At work we have been told during our final practice drill that the next siren will be the ‘real thing’ and we will do as we have planned for.”

SARCS, by the way, has been providing some amazing rescue and medical services for Syrians and Palestinians during this expanding crisis.

“Many of my friends and family are leaving,” she added. “But it’s not easy, and is very expensive now to go to Lebanon, and they don’t want us – and my family has decided to stay in our home no matter what happens in the coming days.”

One topic getting a lot of attention here is the reluctance of the American public to attack Syria, and whether or not Obama will ignore it. “What kind of democracy do you have that your president can ignore the will of the American public?” this observer is frequently asked.

One soldier stationed with his unit outside my hotel seemed to speak from his heart: “You Americans claim you are trying to help the Syrian people. Every child knows, both here and in your country I think, that the coming attack will make things much worse for the Syrian people and many others. The American people are good and we hope they can control their government, but we are preparing for the worst.”

The government is assuring the public that Syria is ready for the American attack and that public services will continue. Round-the-clock images of heroic Syrian army exploits air on local TV channels, along with martial and patriotic music. Meanwhile, youngsters, students, and workers have begun gathering at presumed targets to offer themselves as shields while challenging President Obama to bomb them.

Interestingly, an international human shield movement is also coalescing, say informed sources here. One initiative reportedly will bring 1,000 Americans, along with thousands of others, to Syria within the next ten days to guard likely bomb sites – not so very different from efforts to protect Palestinian homes from bulldozing in Occupied Palestine.

Here are some descriptive specifics that have been disclosed to this observer from an international organising committee working round-the-clock to bring the human shield initiative into being:

International Human Shields coming to Syria in solidarity with the Syrian people and in an effort to send a global message and hopefully deter an American attack next week.

Timing – While moves can be made fast and with all other key elements in place, time is not in our favor. Ten more days for preparation would be ideal. The HS initiative assumes that it must be done in such a way that very little time lapses from the official announcement of the action to the actual arrival of the human shields on the ground in Syria.

Impact – In order to achieve a significant impact, the objective is to have at least 1000 Americans and several thousand international human shields deployed in Syria. Ideally, this would include at least one representative from every UN Member State, and would serve as evidence of the true ‘international community’ opposing the American attack.

The US activist-based steering committee is quickly bringing together professionals in IT, marketing, logistical planning and implementation, public relations, accounting, documentarians, and experienced project managers.

Ferries from European ports will need to be arranged to carry significant numbers of human shields from major European cities. Ideally, several jumbo jets will be chartered from some of the world’s major cities to carry those joining the effort.

HS/Government Relations – The first objective of the enemies of Syria will be to portray the human shields as nothing more than pawns of President Bashar al-Assad. This was precisely what the mainstream media did in 2003, presenting human shields as pawns of Saddam.

To be effective, the human shields must be seen not only as independent supporters of the people of Syria, but also as representative of the will of the vast majority of people around the world—namely those opposed to the pending US-led western attack.

To this end, the HS should work with prominent leaders in the civilian sector of Syrian society. No effort should be spared to produce daily news stories of HS and Syrian people working hand-in-hand to protect the country from the ongoing foreign-instigated aggression. Once again, many details here need to be discussed and agreed upon if any action is to reach its full potential.

Strategy – The sites that HS deploy to must be very well publicized and must be identified as protected sites under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The White House is saying that they are not going to attack infrastructure (as they did with Iraq in 2003), but in point of fact, the infrastructure must be attacked if the goal is to drive Syria into the stone age and to make it so weak that Israel, through its Takfiri agents, will eventually take the country over. Moreover, it is well known that the Syrian people and military cannot be defeated without massive attacks on the infrastructure.

Therefore it becomes absolutely vital that human shields deploy to all power plants, water treatment facilities, bomb shelters (should they exist), civilian communications sites, food storage facilities, and any other sites critical to the civilian population.

As for military sites, although I personally feel such deployment would be morally defensible, the power of HS in the public relations realm would probably be significantly compromised, and intelligent public relations is absolutely critical.

At this point, a comprehensive list of protected sites needs to be produced immediately, and the sites will need to be verified by the most independent sources we can manage to obtain. UN representatives or former representatives, human rights attorneys, legal experts, and others of this type all could render invaluable assistance in this.

Deployment to sites not specifically listed in the Fourth Geneva Convention should also be undertaken, including ethnic and religious minority communities whose members are deathly afraid of the foreign invaders/terrorists. Special emphasis should be placed on christian populations as the western audience, sadly, has more sympathy for christians than muslims.

Public Relations - It cannot be over stated that smart public relations strategies are the key to success.

Our goal is to personalise the people of Syria and show their suffering through the eyes of the HS. This can be done with effective daily reports to be uploaded on the internet and reported by legitimate news agencies such as Press TV, RT and Telesur.

A massive effort must be made to educate the public about the reasons for the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) and the imperial powers’ undeniable record of knowingly destroying the lives of ‘protected persons’ as defined in the FGC. Essential to this effort are well-spoken Arabic/English speaking spokespersons.

We should be ready to provide evidence of any attack on such sites the moment it happens, and to have legal briefs prepared so as to immediately charge the aggressors with war crimes. This is why it is critical that the HS are almost exclusively at sites that are protected by the FGC.

We cannot necessarily stop them from doing what they intend to do, but we can make their aggression harm them far more than Syria and its people in the end. Herein lays the power, using the enemy’s momentum against him in the most advantageous way possible.

Note: a contract has been drafted to protect human shields in their home country courts against the accusation that they are aiding and abetting and providing material support to a foreign power that is considered hostile. Human shields are acting in a manner consistent with, and in promotion of, international law and to save innocent, civilian lives.

Time will tell which Americans will arrive first in Syria, the military or the American public. Many Syrians are today praying it will be the latter and have pledged to join them to defeat the coming aggression.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Syria and Lebanon and can be reached c/o fplamb@gmail.com

End game for Benghazi rebels as Libyan tribes prepare to weigh in?

Members of the Libyan Tribal Council meeting in Tripoli

Members of the Libyan Tribal Council meeting in Tripoli

Via Al-Manar

On 30 July, the day before this 97.5 percent muslim country began the holy month of Ramadan, Nato spokesperson Roland Lavoie has been lamely attempting to explain to the press at the Rixos Hotel and internationally why Nato was forced to bomb three Tripoli TV towers at the Libyan Broadcasting Authority, killing three journalists/technicians and wounding 15 others.

Like most people currently in central Tripoli, this observer was awakened at 1:50am by the first of a series of nine blasts, three of which I watched from my balcony as they happened, and which seemed to be about 800 yards away as I saw one TV tower being blown apart. On the four lanes’ divided highway, adjacent to my hotel and below my balcony, that runs along the sea front, I could see two cars frantically swerving left and right as they sped along, presumably trying to avoid a Nato rocket, and fearing they themselves might be targeted.

According to Nato spokesperson Lavoie, allowing Libya’s population to watch government TV, and, by implication, to hear ‘terrorist’ public-service announcements concerning subjects such as gasoline availability, food distribution for Ramadan, updates on areas to be avoided due to recent Nato bombing, prayers and lectures by sheiks on moral and religious subjects during Ramadan or see the prayer times chart posted on government TV, during this month of fasting, plus children’s programmes and normal programming, had to stop immediately.

The reason for bombing Libyan government TV, according to Nato, is that Libyan leader Gaddafi has been giving interviews and speeches following repeated Nato bombings that recently have targeted hospitals, Ramadan food storage warehouses, the nation’s main water distribution infrastructure, private homes, and more than 1,600 other civilian sites.

Nato asserts that preventing Gaddafi’s use of Libya’s public airwaves by bombing transmission towers is within UN resolutions 1970 and 1973, the scope of which are being expanded beyond all recognition from their original intent. Nato spokesperson Lavoie claims that Libya’s leadership is using TV broadcast facilities to thwart Nato’s “humanitarian mission” and, yet again are, “putting civilian lives at risk”.

Government officials admit using the media for communication with the population, including to urge tribal unity, to dialogue with those based in Benghazi referred to here as “Nato rebels”, to argue for an immediate ceasefire and yes, even to call for all Libyans to resist what many here, including Colonel Gaddafi, call “the Nato crusader aggressors”.

In western Libya, and even among many in the east, according to recent rebel defectors who daily arrive on the western side, Nato has lost the respect of this country, Africa, the Middle East and, increasingly, the international community. The reasons are well known here and include the serial false premises and descriptions of what happened in February in the Benghazi and Misrata areas.

In addition, Nato daily bombing strikes have increased approximately 20 percent since 25 July, and will continue to increase according to French defence minister Gerard Longuet, who, along with UK defence minister Liam Fox, while publicly saying Nato must continue the bombing, is privately expressing his frustration with the killing of rebel military commander Abdul Fatah Younnis.

This assassination, according to Libyan officials, was very likely carried out by Younnis’ rebel leaders or Al-Qaeda. Both are said to feel that the rebel leadership in Benghazi is collapsing. So do many Nato leaders and the Obama Administration.

A former senior member of Britain’s Liberal Democratic Party, Sir Menzies Campbell, has just urged the UK government to rethink its involvement in the war on Libya. Campbell said Britain must undertake a “wholesale re-examination and review” of its involvement in the Nato conflict in Libya after the murder of the opposition figure, and Britain “must think about the end-game of the conflict in Libya”.

One Libyan government supporter, who just arrived here in Tripoli, claims he spent the past two months on the ground in Benghazi “undercover” as a liaison between the rebels and Nato. He told his rapt audience at a Tripoli hotel this week many details of what he claims is Nato’s frustration with the deterioration, the corruption and incompetence of their ‘team’ in the east, and the CIA view that “Al Qaeda will eat Mahmoud Jibril and the entire rebel leadership for Iftar during one of the Ramadan feasts during August. They are just waiting for the right opportunity to make a dramatic move and take control.”

Only the zealots of ‘humanitarian intervention’ could seriously have contemplated the kind of protracted, bloody land war in Libya that would have been necessary to win. So the bet on an alliance with Nato now appears to have been doomed from the start, even on its own terms.

The force that is rapidly entering into this conflict is the leadership of Libya’s more than 2,000 tribes. In a series of meetings in Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere, the Tribal Council is speaking out forcefully and forging a political block that is demanding an end to Libyans killing Libyans.

Generally considered Libya’s largest tribe are the Obeidis, to which the Younnis family belongs. Some of the tribal leaders and members have vowed revenge against rebel leaders, and as they carried the coffins of Abdul Fatah and his two companions they chanted, under the gaze of security forces, “the blood of martyrs will not go in vain”.

Libya’s Tribal Council has issued a manifesto which makes clear that it intends to end this conflict, help expel “the Nato crusaders”, and achieve reforms while supporting the Gaddafi, Tripoli-based government. Before Ramadan is over, it intends to end Libya’s crisis, even if it needs to rally its hundreds of thousands of active members to march on Benghazi.

Nato, according to various academics at Al Nasser and Al Fatah University, and Libya’s tribal leadership, appears surprisingly ignorant and even contemptuous of this country’s tribes and their historic roles during times of crises and foreign aggression and occupation. One tribal leader well known to Italy was Omar Muktar.

As Nato and its backers contemplate their end game they may want to consider some excerpts from the Libyan Tribal Council’s manifesto, issued on 26 July. Speaking for Libya’s 2,000 tribes, the council issued a proclamation signed by scores of tribal leaders from eastern Libya.

What is called the Transitional Council in Benghazi was imposed by Nato on us and we completely reject it. Is it democracy to impose people with armed power on the people of Benghazi, many of whose leaders are not even Libyan or from Libyan tribes but come from Tunisia and other countries ..?

The Trial Council assures its continuing cooperation with the African Union in its suggestions aimed at helping to prevent the aggression on the Libyan people …

The Tribal Council condemns the crusader aggression on the Great Jamahiriya executed by the Nato and the Arabic regressive forces, which is a grave threat to Libyan civilians as it continues to kill them as Nato bombs civilian targets …

We do not and will not accept any authority other than the authority that we chose with our free will, which is the People’s Congress and Peoples Committees, and the popular social leadership, and will oppose with all available means the Nato rebels and their slaughter, violence and maiming of cadavers. We intend to oppose with all the means available to us the Nato crusader aggressors and their appointed lackeys.

According to one representative of the Libyan Supreme Tribal Council, “The tribes of Libya have until today not fully joined in repelling the Nato aggressors. As we do, we serve notice to Nato that we shall not desist until they have left our country and we will ensure that they never return.”

Franklin Lamb is in Libya and is reachable at fplamb@gmail.com