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  • #76
    Originally posted by dave lukins View Post
    Afraid it's far too late to get the crew back....The bar has no beer
    Wheres the solly sally bash wagon Wolfgang when ya need him (a legend )

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    • #77
      Originally posted by tankie View Post
      Wheres the solly sally bash wagon Wolfgang when ya need him (a legend )
      mmmmmm currywurst mit de pommies.............. washed down by Herfy.................then onto the Merc parked in the layby .......... not me of course :Dancing-Banana:
      sigpicFEAR NAUGHT

      Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

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      • #78
        Originally posted by T_igger_cs_30 View Post
        mmmmmm currywurst mit de pommies.............. washed down by Herfy.................then onto the Merc parked in the layby .......... not me of course :Dancing-Banana:
        Ya lyin tw~t we all did , a car load of us (taxi ) , the said , er lady had an early night afterwards , while we went on das piss , i remember (thank f##k ) i was 1st , coz u lot were all shy
        Last edited by tankie; 15 Mar 11,, 21:51.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by T_igger_cs_30 View Post
          I am saying that I have never seen a cluster involving 22 or SBS like this ever...........and I think I have been consistent all through this ............ Something is not right with the whole fiasco.
          Sure, i've admitted to the same earlier.

          Originally posted by tankie
          however Hague has taken flak for ordering it ???
          Douglas Alexander took him to task over it. Going over the gate instead of knocking on the front door.

          Originally posted by tankie
          Ark Royal only lowered her flags a week ago m8 , shouldnt take long to fly em again and grab the crew back from R n R
          An excellent opportunity to reverse those cuts

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          • #80
            I agree , an excellent opprtunity to reverse that decision , we agree . But there's always a but dammit , but what is the BUT in HMS Ark Royals case , its sad AND IRRESPONSIBLE IMO
            Last edited by tankie; 15 Mar 11,, 23:10.

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            • #81
              * MIDDLE EAST NEWS
              * MARCH 16, 2011, 10:18 A.M. ET

              Gadhafi Forces Shell Rebel-Held City
              Gadhafi Forces Shell Rebel-Held City - WSJ.com
              By MARGARET COKER

              Residents in Misrata, the country's third-largest city 200 kilometers (130 miles) east of Tripoli, say that Col. Moammar Gadhafi's armed forces are shelling the city outskirts with heavy weapons, possibly using tanks, in what is expected to be a fresh assault to regain control of the city, believed to be the only western Libyan city still in the hands of antigovernment forces.

              Misrata's townspeople have rebuffed almost daily assaults by government troops over the last three weeks that it had been independent of Col. Gadhafi's control.

              In this time, Misrata has provided the kind of successful self-rule experiment that many Libyans appear to crave, and if it can withstand renewed pressure by the armed forces it could become a vivid counterpoint to the kind of chaos that Col. Gadhafi has threatened will arise in the country should he be forcibly removed from power.

              Misrata residents have a reputation among Libyans for being business-savvy and industrious, as well as being a very tight-knit community. These attributes, plus the emergence of strong city governing councils, are credited for keeping the city both free and united against Col. Gadhafi's assaults.

              "We feel like we only have each other to count on," said Ahmad, a member of the city militia. "We have no contact from [the transitional national council in] Benghazi. We have taken matters into our own hands."

              The city's lawyers' association has taken over many of the administrative functions for the bustling commercial city, which is home to Libya's busiest port, including the operation of the local electric-power stations and water services.

              The council has leveraged the city's local radio station as a means to organize services and inform the town about the dangers facing them, according to residents.

              "If the hospitals need a type of blood, then they announce it on the radio. If there's a fire somewhere, they also announce it. That way the fire trucks know where to go," said Iman, a housewife in Misrata.

              Meanwhile, a medical committee has coordinated with outside aid groups and non-profit organizations and managed the complex logistical task of importing three tons of emergency medical supplies worth $500,000.

              Most of the supplies have arrived from ships sailing from Malta, which has provided critical logistical support for the city, according to international aid organizer Mohammed al Misrati, who works with Libyan expatriates to funnel donations and emergency aid to the country of his birth. He says that Misrata officials are better organized and efficient than their counterparts in Benghazi.

              "The medical committee gives us a priority list almost daily. They are organized and very professional," he said.

              The city's military council, which is run by officers who defected from Gadhafi's army in the early days of the uprising, has organized neighborhood militias as well as civil defense forces that have kept the city's key installations safe from attack.

              The town's militia repulsed an advancing column on tanks which invaded the city on March 6, fighting a four-hour battle that ended with the retreat of the government forces. The militia has also repelled multiple attacks by Col. Gadhafi's special forces against the city's radio antenna, according to two city fighters.

              It is unclear how much coordination that the city's civil and military committees have—or even how well the different city officials get along. Journalists invited to Tripoli by the central government have been prevented from traveling to Misrata, and journalists based in the rebel-held eastern part of the country haven't been able to reach the city, due to the heavy fighting in that part of the country.

              In one key case, the city authorities failed in their control of their residents' actions. After the tank battle on March 6, town fighters and other residents had captured approximately 20 government soldiers, according to two residents.

              In the celebrations that erupted after the city's victory, the prisoners "disappeared," according to one resident, who said he believed that they had all been killed.

              "The anger was uncontrollable. The people had thought they were going to die and I'm afraid that they took the anger out against the prisoners," the resident said in a telephone interview a day after the battle. The fate of the prisoners couldn't be independently verified.

              Write to Margaret Coker at margaret.coker@wsj.com
              To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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              • #82
                Big on zeal, short on organization and firepower, Libyan rebels beat a retreat

                By Hamza Hendawi (CP) – 3 hours ago
                The Canadian Press: Big on zeal, short on organization and firepower, Libyan rebels beat a retreat
                CAIRO — They have been big on revolutionary fervour, but short on organization and firepower. That fundamental weakness is haunting Libya's rebels as Moammar Gadhafi's forces roll back the opposition's gains and threaten to defeat it completely.

                The rebel army, its ranks filled mainly by average citizens taking up arms, was never able to retool their forces from a popular uprising to an effective fighting force using the allied army units, tanks and other heavy weapons they had at their disposal. For much of the fighting, those weapons have been languishing far in the east, away from the front.

                More experienced army officers told the ragtag fighters not to charge west too quickly, but they did exactly that, vowing to take the capital, Tripoli, and oust Gadhafi. Forces loyal to the regime stopped their advance and then turned onto the offensive, driving rebels back with a relatively small force — around 5,000 troops by some estimates — backed by the overwhelming firepower of warplanes, gunboats, tanks, missiles and artillery.

                "It was unrealistic from the start," George Joffe, a North Africa expert who lectures at England's Cambridge University, said. "They had enthusiasm but they were up against a force that is better trained and better armed."

                On Wednesday, the rebels appeared close to suffering their biggest and most significant loss to date, trying to cling to the strategic city of Ajdabiya under heavy shelling by pro-Gadhafi forces besieging the city, 480 miles (800 kilometres) southeast of Tripoli.

                If Ajdabiya falls, that puts the entire future of the month-old rebellion in doubt.

                The city is the gateway to the long stretch of eastern Libya that has been held by the opposition for weeks. With its fall likely, regime forces on land, sea and air will be able to storm Benghazi, Libya's second largest city and the de facto capital of the opposition. Gadhafi has meanwhile reclaimed most of the western half of the country, around Tripoli, with only one major city in rebel hands there.

                The rebels may have made other mistakes far from the battlefield. They placed high hopes on the West coming to their aid by imposing a no-fly zone that would even the fight with Gadhafi's forces.

                That never materialized. The United States and Europe have been debating a no-fly zone for weeks. Only now has the question reached the U.N. Security Council for the first time, with supporters trying to persuade reluctant members on Wednesday to back a resolution calling for the creation of such a zone.

                But a no-fly zone now may do little to significantly change the course of the conflict. And even when Gadhafi's air power wasn't the problem, the rebels never solved the problem about what to do about his tanks.

                The opposition organized its leadership in cities of the east unusually quickly for such an impromptu uprising, but still its leaders were little known to the outside world, which made the U.S. and other nations hesitant to deal with them or follow France's example to recognize the Benghazi-based interim government.

                The rebels also seem to have overestimated hopes that residents of Tripoli would be able to rise up and shake off Gadhafi's rule as the populations of eastern cities did — and underestimated the Libyan leader's ability to rally an effective force of supporters. Pro-Gadhafi militiamen quickly snuffed out attempts at protests in the capital with brutal attacks on residents trying to march through the streets.

                But it is primarily the battlefield that may prove the rebels' undoing.

                The signs of problems were there early on. On March 1, an Associated Press reporter saw pro-rebel army officers in Benghazi trying to train residents to fight — and to restrain them from going off half-cocked.

                "There are people who go out on their own, some with no previous experience with weapons and I say to them that we have to train you first," Col. Saleh Ashur told the AP. "Speaking as an officer in the army, I say you have to be organized to attack, not just to go out on your own."

                But the lesson didn't seem to sink in. "I would prefer to go immediately," said Mohammed Mustafa Shabeik, a 38-year-old among the recruits. "We are not afraid, all of Libya is one hand."

                Days later, the rebels seized the oil ports of Brega and Ras Lanouf, west of Ajdabiya. But rather than consolidate their gains by fortifying the area, the overjoyed rebel volunteers pushed forward with their fast moving pickup trucks and light weapons. Few of the army officers were seen among them.

                The around 2,000 rebel fighters promptly ran into a devastating ambush on March 6 at the tiny coastal town of Bin Jawwad. In the fighting that followed over the next week, they were pushed all the way back to Ajdabiya. A few rebel army officers appeared at the front but had little visible effect on the chaotic volunteer forces, who wasted valuable ammunition firing in the air and scattered at the sight of a warplane in the skies above them.

                A few tanks and multi-system launchers firing Grad rockets made an appearance in the final days of the battle for Ras Lanouf but they had little effect in blunting the government offensive.

                None of the dozens of tanks and armoured personnel carriers seen in at captured bases in the eastern cities made an appearance on the battlefield.

                Only as Gadhafi forces besieged Ajdabiya this week did the rebels manage to deploy a few aged warplanes they had from air bases in the east. They struck warships off the coast and hit Gadhafi forces Wednesday outside the city — but it appeared too little too late. Opposition officials said they had held off using their warplanes, which might have made some difference earlier in the fighting, in hopes that a no-fly zone would be imposed.

                Still, Gadhafi's side has its own problems. It boasts a powerful arsenal, but not a lot of manpower. It may be able to drive rebels back, but not necessarily able to occupy territory.

                This raises the possibility that if Gadhafi's forces do sweep over much of the rebel forces, it will be left with an eastern Libya barely under the regime's control. The result could be a long, unsettled guerrilla conflict, with a restive population, weapons plentiful and a desert and mountain environment with plenty of hideouts.

                At the same time, Gadhafi could face increased international sanctions limiting his access to cash and weapons.

                Theodore Karasik, a Dubai-based security expert, says that, over the long term, the fight may not be over.

                "It all depends on the amount of weapons available to Gadhafi and the amount of money he has to spend to keep fighters and tribes loyal to him," he said.

                Copyright 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
                To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

                Comment


                • #83
                  Stunned by Gaddafi assault, Libyans give up on change
                  By Maria Golovnina TRIPOLI (Reuters) - All hope for change was crushed for a young Libyan businessman when he saw police kill two protesters outside his shop in central Tripoli. Maria Golovnina Tripoli (reuters) - All Hope For Change Was Crushed For A Young Libyan Businessman When He Saw Police Kill Two Protesters Outside His Shop In Central Tripoli. Wed Mar 16, 9:16 am ET

                  "This is terrible. This is bad," he said, looking around nervously in an outdoor cafe overlooking Algeria square, the site of recent clashes between opponents and supporters of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

                  "Gaddafi is old. Young people use the Internet. They want change," he said, speaking anonymously for fear of being identified by the authorities.

                  "I want to make a future for myself. But with Gaddafi, there is no future ... Here, we are angry. But we can't show it because Gaddafi is here in the city."

                  Just two weeks ago, Tripoli was abuzz with talk of imminent change after uprisings in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia inspired young people to take to the streets and call for the end of Gaddafi's four-decade rule.

                  The deaths of protesters elsewhere in the Arab world have only ignited people's rage. But in Libya, Gaddafi's blistering military response to the revolt has shocked people into silence.

                  "I can't do that (protest)," said the businessman. "I am 25. I don't want to be shot."

                  Flanked by grand buildings dating back to Italy's 1911-1943 colonial rule, his friends nodded in agreement as they smoked waterpipes quietly on the side of the square.

                  Many of them were excited to watch Arab uprisings unfold via reports they saw on social networks. It was a remarkable novelty for a generation that has known no leader other than Gaddafi.

                  But with the Internet now switched off for most ordinary Libyans and the state security apparatus cracking down on any forms of dissent, many just want to get on with their lives.

                  "I am scared," said Waleed Jamal, 24, an economics student. He said he wanted to focus on studying and get a good job. "I hope everything will be alright."

                  Gaddafi has pledged to fight until the last drop of blood to crush the rebels holed up in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi. He says they are Islamist militants who want to set up a Taliban-style dictatorship in Libya.

                  The rebels say they are fighting for political change and deny any link to extremist groups. They frequently shout pro-democracy slogans adopted from a wave of protests that has swept through the Arab world this year.

                  Far from the battlefields of the east, where rebels fight troops with heavy weapons, Tripoli's tech-savvy professionals feel betrayed by the West. But they also feel their peaceful cause has now disintegrated into an ugly guerrilla conflict.

                  "Even if Gaddafi is not right, no one will achieve anything by throwing rocks," said the businessman.

                  CALL FOR CHANGE

                  A popular call for change muted gradually into a whisper in Tripoli as Gaddafi's forces continued to thrust eastwards toward the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. In Tripoli, Gaddafi's heavily fortified base, his victory is a forgone conclusion.

                  The city is awash with talk about reprisals. Residents say plainclothes police appear at night in their neighborhoods to arrest young people suspected of taking part in earlier demonstrations or contacts with foreign journalists.

                  Streets are patrolled by Gaddafi's feared militiamen. Access to neighborhoods such as Tajoura, where people had earlier tried to stage demonstrations, has been restricted by army checkpoints.

                  In areas recaptured by state troops, security agents are rounding up people suspected of ties to the rebels, residents said. The Internet has been mostly cut off for ordinary people in Tripoli, and mobile connections are patchy.

                  Protests have fizzled and anti-Gaddafi graffiti have been painted over. Last Friday, police fired teargas outside a mosque to stamp out a protest before it even started.

                  Social networking sites are still full of defiant messages, calling for another rally, dubbed Freedom Friday, on March 18. "We definitely will prevail 'inshallah' (with God's help). It's just a matter of time and patience," said one Twitter user called Lebeeya.

                  Businesses shut in the wake of the crisis, but signs of normality have returned slowly to the streets. Weary of weeks of turmoil, people said they wanted to get on with their lives.

                  "Either Muammar or not, I don't care as long as I have my shop," said Mehdi, a pastry maker, as a call to prayer sounded from a mosque converted from an old Italian Catholic cathedral. In an old market in central Tripoli -- a maze of twisty passages selling everything from turtles to spices -- people said some vendors were still staying away.

                  "Some of them are a little bit scared to open their shops," said Murat Salah, 23, who has recently reopened his wedding merchandise store. Nearby, militiamen watched the crowd of shoppers intently from the back of an army truck.

                  Whether out of fear or genuine belief, most ordinary people echoed Gaddafi's firebrand rhetoric, blaming all the trouble on an alliance between al Qaeda and the West jointly seeking to destroy Libya and take over its oil.

                  "I have children ... They don't want destruction, they want the leader to stay. They don't want change," Mohamed Abdallah, a father of seven, as he strolled through the market with his wife.

                  "Bin Laden and al Qaeda are ... inciting young people to make trouble. They drink whiskey inside mosques. They have guns, women. They turn mosques into discos."

                  Ramadan Ali, a Tripoli resident who spends most of his time waving a green flag in Green Square in support of Gaddafi, said: "He gave us freedom and democracy. Everyone has a house, a car, money. We don't need anyone else."

                  (Writing by Maria Golovnina, Editing by Jeffrey Heller)
                  Copyright 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved
                  To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    It does seem that in a few days Gaddafi will be in control of most of Libya, but for a handful of large cities. Maybe these will be able to hold out for a few more weeks, or months but eventually they will fall too.

                    Notice that the rulers in Bahrain chose to crack down heavily against the protesters. The memo across the middle east does seem to be that the best response of an autocratic regime against a popular uprising is brutal repression; and the international community will do nothing.

                    Guess we are nearing the end of the Arab revolts of 2011.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by InExile View Post
                      It does seem that in a few days Gaddafi will be in control of most of Libya, but for a handful of large cities. Maybe these will be able to hold out for a few more weeks, or months but eventually they will fall too.

                      Notice that the rulers in Bahrain chose to crack down heavily against the protesters. The memo across the middle east does seem to be that the best response of an autocratic regime against a popular uprising is brutal repression; and the international community will do nothing.

                      Guess we are nearing the end of the Arab revolts of 2011.
                      If they are using Katyushas/Grad and artillery perhaps a week.
                      LiveLeak.com - Gaddafi's psychopaths fire katyusha rockets towards Adjabiya town, March 14th, '11

                      This is Grad I m fairly positive. Even if there was a no-fly zone and this was used eventually there would be a move to hit ground targets etc... ergo full scale war onto a sovereign nation.

                      Battle for Benghazi looms, Libya army issues ultimatum - swissinfo
                      Originally from Sochi, Russia.

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                      • #86
                        I would not be so quick as to dismissed the rebels just yet. Benghazi will be the first true battle both sides will fight. If the rebels hold nerve and it seems it is under competent military leadership there, Benghazi could also be a death trap for the Lybian Army.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                          I would not be so quick as to dismissed the rebels just yet. Benghazi will be the first true battle both sides will fight. If the rebels hold nerve and it seems it is under competent military leadership there, Benghazi could also be a death trap for the Lybian Army.
                          Col, is the city too big for Ghadaffi's forces to seal off food, water and fuel supplies and put it under siege?

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                          • #88
                            As I stated before, this has been a war of 100s, not 1000s. Only one single brigade is advancing on Banghazi.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                              As I stated before, this has been a war of 100s, not 1000s. Only one single brigade is advancing on Banghazi.
                              And it's a city of ~half a million people. Got it.

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                              • #90

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