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CR IP TI ON BS SU MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011 Kuwaiti survivor talks with tears, hopes 40 PAGES NO: 15034 150 FILS 6 RABI ALTHANI 16, 1432 AH Radiation discovery fans Japan food fears Obama takes in Rio with Libya on his mind Liverpool make the most of penalty controversy 12 10 20 Sectarian tensions high over Bahrain Shiite, Salafist MPs trade barbs, send flurry of questions Max 32 Min 14 Low Tide 07:05 & 19:27 High Tide 00:35 & 12:55 By B Izzak ` conspiracy theories Force is the only language By Badrya Darwish T his is the most difficult riddle I ever encountered so far - the situation in Libya. The whole world was crying: “Help Libya! Help Libya! Save Libya from Gaddafi and his military machine.” After two weeks of demonstrations, Gaddafi decided to take military action against the demonstrators whom he called “rats”. Every debate that was broadcast on TV showed disagreement - with the silence of the West and the silence of Obama over the Libyan crisis. Everybody was crying for a no-fly zone to be implemented, even the Arab League. Then the UN resolution came to introduce a no-fly zone which aimed to protect civilians from Gaddafi’s army as he started using air, ground and naval forces against unarmed civilians. This helped him regain liberated territories which were freed, such as Benghazi. A nofly zone on its own would have been useless. The UN resolution came to use force. Many European countries, France, the US and others started bombarding key positions and used air strikes against Gaddafi to dismantle his military power and a few strategic locations. Again the world is not happy. Now everyone debates that civilians are being killed and are dying. For God’s sake, wasn’t Gaddafi’s army killing civilians? Why did we cry and shout for the world to help? What was the other way to stop Gaddafi? Is he the kind of man who would listen to common sense? This is the man who came with 100 excuses. In the beginning he was even in denial that there was a revolution in his country. We all heard his hallucinations televised. He himself said he would fight to the last drop of his blood. One day he was blaming Al-Qaeda, one day he was blaming the West. Then he said it was crusade and now he claims it is a war against Islam. The man is really smart. He wants to play with the emotions of the Muslim world. What does he call bombarding his own people? Was it Islamic too?! I am surprised at some countries that are objecting the intervention of the West, claiming that it will result in killing civilians and is motivated by oil. I am sorry but these countries could have reached out to help the Libyan people who came in thousands asking for reforms and ended up dead. If Gaddafi was their friend, they could have advised him to use better methods with his own people. Or they could have themselves participated with the UN resolution to prevent any future control of Libyan oil. Gaddafi is the only one who should take the blame for what is happening in Libya. He is mad and he doesn’t listen to reason. The only language he understands is force. Force he is getting. KUWAIT: Islamist MP Faisal Al-Mislem speaks during a protest late Saturday as Islamist MPs decided to grill the PM for not sending troops to Bahrain and strongly blasted Shiite Iran for meddling in its affairs. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat Bahrain opposition seeks UN, US help Manama, Tehran expel diplomats MANAMA: Bahrain’s opposition asked for UN and American intervention in the government crackdown on the Shiite protests trying to loosen the monarchy’s grip, in a brief protest yesterday in the capital that disbanded before police could arrive to break it up. Bahrain’s main opposition groups also eased conditions for talks to end a crisis that has drawn in neighbouring armies, though tensions in the oilexporting region remained high as Bahrain and Iran expelled diplomats. The 21 opposition legislators protesting yesterday at the UN offices in Manama resigned last month to protest the crackdown on the monthlong revolt, inspired by the prodemocracy uprisings across the Arab world. Bahrain’s king declared martial law last week, and a Saudi-led military force from other Gulf nations is in the country to back the Sunni monarchy. In the five-minute protest, the lawmakers appealed to the UN to stop the violence against protesters and mediate talks between the opposition and the monarchy; they asked the US to pressure the Gulf force to leave. Continued on Page 14 Gaddafi vows ‘long war’ as allies strike TRIPOLI: A defiant Muammar Gaddafi vowed a “long war” after the US and European militaries blasted his forces with airstrikes and over 100 cruise missiles early yesterday, hitting air defenses and at least two major air bases and shaking the Libyan capital with explosions and antiaircraft fire. Despite the strikes, Gaddafi’s troops lashed back, bombarding the rebel-held city of Misrata with artillery and tanks yesterday, the opposition reported. In the overnight barrage, ship-fired Tomahawk cruise missiles and bombs and missiles from an international arsenal of warplanes including American B-2 stealth bombers and F-15 and F-16 fighterbombers rained down on Libyan targets including ground forces - in the widest international military effort since the Iraq war. The air assault came as Gaddafi’s overwhelming firepower was threatening to crush the month-old rebellion against his 41-year rule. State television said 48 people were killed in the strikes. Continued on Page 14 Unrest rocks Syria as thousands rally DAMASCUS: Thousands of Syrians demanded an end to 48 years of emergency law yesterday, a third consecutive day of protests emerging as the biggest challenge to Syria’s rulers since unrest swept the Arab world this year. Syrian security forces killed a protester named Raed Al-Kerad, residents said, the fifth civilian killed by them since protests erupted in the southern city of Deraa on Friday as demonstrators called for freedoms and the release of political prisoners. A huge billow of smoke rose from main downtown area where key government buildings are located, but heavy gunfire heard earlier across the city, which is near the border with Jordan, subsided by late afternoon, witnesses said. Continued on Page 14 Saleh’s tribe demands he leave SANAA: Tens of thousands of anti-government Yemeni mourners chant slogans yesterday as they gather next to the bodies of activists who were gunned down two days ago by snipers during a mass funeral procession in the capital. — AFP KUWAIT: Sectarian tensions rose rapidly in Kuwait yesterday over the issue of whether Kuwait should send troops to Bahrain as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) force to help the Bahraini regime against Shiite-led protests. Two large gatherings were held on the issue: one by Shiites on Thursday to thank the government for not sending Kuwaiti troops and to express solidarity with Bahraini Shiites against the government’s violent crackdown against them; and another late Saturday by Sunni fundamentalists who want Kuwait to send troops to Bahrain to help the Sunni regime there. Harsh sectarian statements were made at the two gatherings which were held peacefully opposite the Seif Palace, which contains the government’s office. The consequences appear to be more alarming on the country’s social and sectarian harmony as MPs from both camps issued contradictory statements and sent opposing questions to the government. Tensions rose to new highs after Salafist MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Mohammad Hayef announced they will file to question the prime minister over the government’s decision not to send troops to Bahrain. The two MPs however said that they have not yet set a date for the grilling but added it will be filed only after the potential grillings against Deputy Premier Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah, to be filed tomorrow, and another against the prime minister, expected to follow soon. Shiite MPs meanwhile strongly criticised what they called provocative statements made at Saturday’s gathering, especially those criticising Shiite figures inside and outside Kuwait. Continued on Page 14 SANAA: Tens of thousands of people joined a funeral procession yesterday for protesters killed by government gunmen and the Yemeni president’s own tribe called on him to step down, robbing the embattled USbacked leader of vital support. Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations and its human rights minister resigned to protest the crackdown, further undermining President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Experts said the president’s dwindling influence was likely to either accelerate his departure or force him to resort to greater violence to retain power. Saleh later fired his entire Cabinet amid escalating protests demanding his ouster. Saleh also appeared to shy away from more force for the moment, disbanding police and special forces around Sanaa University, which has been the center of the deadly crackdown, and replacing them with a largely unarmed force. “From now on, we will be controlling the entrances and exits of the square by orders from the supreme military command,” said Lt Col Mohammed Hussein. Continued on Page 14 AL-WAYFIYAH, Libya: A Libyan rebel holds the rebellion flag as he stands over wrecked military vehicles belonging to Muammar Gaddafi’s forces hit by French warplanes yesterday. — AFP

21 Mar

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