on Libya, France Dodges on Arming Rebels, Tales of Susan Rice in Her
Absence, Bland Ban Ki-moon
March 24 -- After the UN
Security Council's two hour meeting
about its Resolution 1973 on Libya, among Council members only
France's Gerard Araud came out to speak to the press. France alone
has recognized the rebels based in Benghazi as Libya's government.
asked Araud if France believes it is legal under Resolutions 1973 and
1970 to provide weapons to the Benghazi based forces. Araud replied,
“We implement the resolution to the letter.”
doesn't answer the question. Is France arming the rebels? Does it
believe that it would be legal? If so, just say it.
sources on Thursday described to Inner City Press what Susan Rice of
the US said in the run up to adoption, with five abstentions, of
Rice said the
US needed the “notwithstanding”
exemption to the arms embargo if it needed to go into Libya with
weapons if, for example, an American pilot were shot down.
member told Inner City Press, it was not argued that the language
permitted the arming of the rebels. Now France won't answer the
question, and Rice is not at the UN.
Araud & Ban: 1 takes Qs & dodges, the other doesn't take them
and other observers at the Council on Thursday wondered where Susan
Rice was for this important meeting. An Obama administration critic
told reporters Rice is “on vacation.”
notes, as for example Andrea Mitchell publicly has, a recent death in
Rice's family. But other journalists pointed to a “blizzard” of
press statements e-mailed out ostensibly from Rice about human rights
in Iran, accompanied by Tweets. Inner City Press replied via Twitter
asking for an explanation. If and when one is received, it will be
reported -- and re-Tweeted.
Ki-moon spoke only briefly in the Council chamber, and held a
highly controlled stakeout afterwards. No question were taken or
allowed on whether and why Ban recognized Gaddafi as head of state
while granting UN passes to Dabbashi and Shalgam, nor about his envoy
Al Khatib being a current Jordanian senator, in presumptive violation
of UN Charter and rules. Even so controlled, Ban said very little.
There is grumbling. Watch this site.
* * *
on Libya Officially Dips to 11, Ukraine Is Out, Turkish Ships
24, updated -- On Libya, Ukraine was quietly dropped on
Thursday from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's list of countries
which have notified the UN under Security Council resolution 1973,
two days after Ban's
spokesman Martin Nesirky told the Press that
Ukraine was correctly on the list.
March 23, Inner
City Press asked Nesirky if there were not really 11 instead of the
listed 12 notifiers, having been told by Council sources that Ukraine
should no longer be included on the list of notifiers:
I noticed you didn’t have any new update of these
notifications under resolution 1973, but this morning I was told by a
diplomat there that in fact the Ukraine one, listed yesterday, may
not be an actual notification. That they’ve written to the Council
saying that they might want to extract their nationals from Libya,
but with no indication that they were indeed supporting militarily. Is
that your understanding? Have you seen the letters?
you listened to what I said yesterday, Matthew, I said
that the notifications do not necessarily mean that they are taking
part in any military action. They are notifying, under the terms of
the resolution. And notifying under the terms of the resolution
would include precisely the kind of message that you’re referring
So we shouldn’t take this list to be people that are in
any way in support of the no-fly zone?...
can’t be responsible for what people write. I’m
trying to make it clear from here, which I did yesterday.
something changed, because when Ban read out a list of notifiers to
the Security Council on Thursday, Ukraine was suddenly gone. Belated
transparency -- but is there a system in place?
Inner City Press learned and reported that Turkey has asked
the UN for a communication to NATO. After further reporting from
multiple sources, Inner City Press has learned Turkey is concerned
about, and wants to use, its civilians ships still in Libya near
Benghazi. More on this to follow --- watch this site.
Update of 4:05 pm --
a Libyan (anti Gaddafi) diplomat tells Inner City Press that "with
NATO's agreement, the Turkish request is no longer important." We'll