These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 7, 2011.
Thursday, 7 April 2011
60 girls groomed for sex at takeaway shops in Blackpool
Originally a Times exclusive, but they can't hide behind the paywall for long. It is now breaking news from The Telegraph although The Telegraph precis has less detail than the report in The Times. This isn't new news, of course, the EDL have rallied to the support of Charlene's grieving family in Blackpool on several occasions.
It is admitted in The Times that 7 years after Charlene disappeared the fast food takeaway run by the men charged with her murder is still a known centre of child abuse. The trial of the men, a Jordanian and an Iranian collapsed due to "significant failings in the management of the Lancashire Constabulary investigation." Each defendant was paid £250,000 compensation.
A gang of men who groomed 60 schoolgirls for sex has been uncovered by police investigating the disappearance and murder of a 14-year-old in a northern seaside town, it was claimed. Officers investigating the unsolved disappearance of Charlene Downes in Blackpool in 2003 discovered that dozens more 13 to 15 year old girls from the area had fallen victim to grooming or sexual abuse, it was claimed.
An unpublished police report identified 11 takeaway shops in the town centre which were being used as "honeypots" where the non-white men preyed on young white victims, who were given food, alcohol and cigarettes in return for sex.
Andy Rhodes, assistant chief constable of Lancashire Police, was quoted as saying that while offenders come from a variety of backgrounds, "in some areas the number of Asian offenders is disproportionate to the population". Spit it out - they are Muslim. The takeaway at the centre of the trial bears a halal symbol.
Mick Gradwell, a former detective superintendent with Lancashire Police, told The Times officers had long been aware that girls in Blackpool, Blackburn and Burnley were being “passed around like toys for sexual gratification”but that investigations were being hampered by political correctness. (my emphasis EW)
I was certain I had written specifically about Charlene Downes here before but it seems I am mistaken. This is a link to the Telegraph's report of the second attempt at trial in 2007, before it collapsed. What is more, there is a second 15 year old girl missing in Blackpool and feared dead who was known to have been sexually exploited around the same shops.
David Isaacs On Netanyahu's Defeatism, Born Of An Apparent Inability To Re-Frame Tne Narrative
Netanyahu’s Phony Realism
By David Isaac
“People do not understand where they live. If you do not live in the real world, it is possible to disregard everything, and I suggest that they start being wary in order to protect the existing construction.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made these remarks last month in an effort to justify an attack by Israeli security forces on a small Jewish community in Samaria where for the first time pneumatic guns were used on Israeli civilians by Israeli forces.
‘The zeitgeist is against us,’ Netanyahu was saying. ‘Our international standing is eroding. We’ll be lucky to hold onto even part of Judea and Samaria. So quit complaining. Those plastic bullets we pumped into you were a gift – a kind of reality check.’ Having grown accustomed to international pressure, a hostile media and the acceptance of the Palestinian Arab narrative the world over, Netanyahu has resigned himself to life as he knows it.
Unfortunately, Netanyahu’s approach is nothing new. When Zionist fortunes ebbed, even in its early stages, Zionist leadership was quick to accommodate itself to the new ‘reality’, regardless of how detrimental that reality was to the Jewish people.
In Lone Wolf (Barricade Books, 1996), his biography of the great Zionist leader Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky, Shmuel Katz describes the depressed condition to which the Zionist movement had sunk only a few short years after Herbert Samuel, himself Jewish, had taken the position of High Commissioner of Palestine. Initially his appointment was greeted with elation by Zionists everywhere who interpreted it as further proof of Britain’s noble determination to implement the Balfour Declaration which promised “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Those hopes were soon dashed. In Lone Wolf, Shmuel quotes Moshe Glickson, editor of the newspaper Ha’aretz: “The Jews of Jerusalem and Tiberias in the Jewish National Home under a Jewish high commissioner were treated like the Jews in the towns of Shklov and Berdichev in Czarist Russia. There too they had been a majority but were prevented from exercising their rights. In Jerusalem and Jaffa, only Arabs were employed by the municipality. The Hebrew language was treated with utter contempt.”
What was the Zionist leadership doing during this time? Sadly, instead of fighting the situation, they were coming to accept it. As Shmuel writes:
the stage-by-state whittling down of the promise of the Balfour Declaration … was then also the story of the accommodation of the Zionist leadership to that gradual emasculation.
Jabotinsky, partly blaming himself for the deteriorating state of affairs, wrote: “If the era of Samuel provides a precedent it is so only in one respect, and that a very sad one: that we were silent instead of reacting to these three years of systematic destruction of all that is dear and important to us. This is what has created an ineradicable precedent. … I must conclude on a bitter note, with reproach to myself. This system was created and has taken root in Eretz Israel only because we have lacked backbone: and it threatens to become a tradition only because of us.”
The blame really belonged to Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Executive, under whose leadership and discipline Jabotinsky had placed himself. Weizmann, an anglophile, couldn’t bring himself to publicly criticize Britain.
He identified himself with the British way of life and with British interests, and this identification became a guiding principle in his public career.
Netanyahu may not share Weizmann’s attachment to another country, but he does share an accommodationist mindset. And like Weizmann, Netanyahu understands the true state of affairs but lacks the will to change it.
For it was not that Weizmann failed to grasp what Britain was doing. As Shmuel writes in Days of Fire:
It was not that he was blind to the tragic facts. Indeed his basic comprehension was acute, and he did not shut his eyes to the British betrayal of the Balfour Declaration. In his autobiography, published in the evening of his days, he reveals how often he gave private expression to his bitterness, how free he was of illusions. He recalls conversations with British statesmen indicating their indifference to Jewish suffering, their irresponsible attitude toward their Palestinian obligations – the deceit inherent in their relations with him….Yet at the time he resigned himself to the belief that British policy must prevail, that when the last word of criticism had been spoken, when all persuasion had failed, British policy must be accepted by the "martyred people."
It’s worth noting the startling speed with which not only Weizmann, but the entire Zionist movement accepted the worsening situation. Only three years after the heady days of Herbert Samuel’s appointment, the Zionist movement had distanced itself from the idea of a Jewish state. Shmuel writes:
By 1923 to talk of a Jewish state or Jewish commonwealth had become uncomfortable in many Zionist quarters. …. “Throughout the whole of the Zionist front,” Jabotinsky wrote, “the signal for retreat has been given. It is said that three-quarters of our political writers are busy… obscuring, or simply erasing, one by one, all the foundations of the Zionist program. Now that the term Judenstaat has for some time been qualified as tactless, they are taking us further: they have begun to whisper that even the creation of a Jewish majority in Palestine is not essentially a binding Zionist aim; and that if this arithmetical demand frightens the Arabs, why not by one means or another cancel it?”
Where Jabotinsky differed from Weizmann is that he wasn’t prepared to live with the situation. Jabotinsky set about to reverse Zionism’s slide and founded the Revisionist movement. According to a Ha’aretz report at the time: “The activism of Jabotinsky and his movement is a natural reaction against the passive attitude and the ‘realism’ which has penetrated the Zionist ranks in the last couple of years. ... If the Revisionist Movement arrests this passive attitude, awakens political thinking and revives the political activities of the Zionist Organization, it will be fulfilling its task; this will be its merit and its reward.”
We are presented here with two models of leadership. There is Weizmann’s accommodationist approach which in practical terms meant quiet acquiescence to anti-Zionist realities and further erosion of the Zionist position. Then there is Jabotinsky, who refused to passively accept ‘reality’ – a euphemism really for British betrayal – and who did everything in his power to stop the destruction of Zionist aspirations.
One would think Netanyahu would embrace the Jabotinsky model, especially as the Likud Party hangs banners of Jabotinsky from the walls of its headquarters. Netanyahu even asked Jabotinsky’s grandson to run in the last Likud primaries, milking the event for all its press value. But Netanyahu has more in common with Weizmann than he does with Jabotinsky, accepting reality as it comes to him, hoping only to get Israel the best deal possible in a bad situation.
In the 1930s, Jabotinsky tried to save the Jews of Poland from approaching doom, urging a mass evacuation to Eretz Israel. The greatest resistance to his plans came from officials of the Zionist movement, who felt he was causing unnecessary panic and playing into the hands of anti-Semites.
The famous Yiddish author Sholem Asch was enlisted to speak against Jabotinsky. As Shmuel writes in “Wiseacres and Pragmatists” (The Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2004):
Sholem Asch, one of the great Yiddish writers of the last century, was not a politician but he was convinced, like many others, that in the ongoing Zionist conflict of the Twenties and Thirties between Chaim Weizmann and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Weizmann was the rational, levelheaded statesman while Jabotinsky was an impractical dreamer.
When I met Asch in the early 1950s, he told me of his pre-Holocaust opinions on Zionist politics. "But," he added, "it turned out that I was all wrong. After all that happened, it became clear to me that the roles were completely reversed. It was Weizmann who was the dreamer, while Jabotinsky was the ultimate practical thinker."
Netanyahu is the dreamer if he thinks destroying Jewish settlements and shooting plastic bullets into his own people will assuage the howling international mob. Every retreat will only lead to demands for more retreats. The practical realists who settle Gilad Farm understand this. They have the courage to shape reality – rather than be crushed by it.
First, there’s the endless store of embarrassing factoids about Arianna herself, once famously described as “the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus”. For instance, she’s an ordained minister in the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and, to this day, is licensed to perform weddings and baptisms in the state of California. For years, she was a paid-up member of the conservative movement, energetically campaigning for the resignation of President Clinton, and only experienced a Damascus-like conversion after her ex-husband failed to become a Republican senator. Her champagne socialism is so off-the-charts in its staggering hypocrisy, she makes Polly Toynbee look like Rosa Luxemburg. Here’s a typical sentence from Maureen Orth’s waspish profile of her in Vanity Fair: “According to former employees in Santa Barbara, Arianna issued orders over a speakerphone from the bathtub, kept a lock on the refrigerator, threw frequent tantrums, and sent the children’s bodyguards to the store for her Tampax.”
The bulk of the site’s content is provided by commentators, who work for nothing other than the opportunity to champion causes or ideas to which they’re devoted. Most of the rest of the content is “aggregated” — which is to say stolen — from the newspapers and television networks that pay journalists to gather and edit the news.
Not exactly a model of co-operative mutualism, then.
But thirdly, and most importantly, there’s the dearth of decent, Left-wing bloggers in this country. No shortage of student journalists willing to work for nothing, obviously. But where will she find the equivalents of Larry David and Robert Reich? Compare the vim and vinegar of Right-wing bloggers with their wilted lettuce Left-wing counterparts. We have Melanie Philips, they have Penny Red. We have Guido Fawkes, they have LabourList. We have James Delingpole, they have George Monbiot. A Right-wing meteor bursts into the blogosphere every six months or so. To date, the Left has yet to produce a single star.
So bring it on, Arianna. I won’t make the mistake of predicting the British Huffington Post will be a dismal failure – too many commentators came a cropper for making that prediction about the American version. But it will surely provide a source of endless sport for my colleagues and me.
Pakistan's problem is that we did not make it British enough
Ed West echoes my view that David Cameron says whatever he thinks will please the government of the country he happens to be in at the time. This is why I didn't set too much store by his speech against multiculturalism - he was in Munich and wanting to please Angela Merkel, but when in a "vibrant" country like Pakistan, Western values go out of the window. From The Telegraph:
He really does like to please an audience. For once I agree with Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP and historian, who said: “To say that Britain is a cause of many of the world’s ills is naïve. To look back 50-odd years for the problems facing many post-colonial nations adds little to the understanding of the problems they face.
“David Cameron has a tendency to go to countries around the world and tell them what they want to hear, whether it is in Israel, Turkey, India and Pakistan.”
Peter Oborne is also correct in pointing out that apology does not make good diplomacy. It might make the people in the room like Cameron personally, because he has helped to reinforce a narrative which they hold dear, or which they benefit from – that Pakistan was hard done by and Britain (and India, of course) is to blame for its various failings. But that is just a narrative; Britain did many good things in southern Asia, and many bad things. Where two countries have an unambiguous history, then such contrition may be appropriate – the German chancellor in Israel, for instance – but Britain’s relationship with Pakistan is more nuanced. After all, as Oborne says, we did give them “parliamentary democracy, superb irrigation systems, excellent roads, the rule of law, the English language and, last but not least, the game of cricket”.
Apologising only builds the negative narrative, so that Pakistanis keen to play on the downsides of British rule can now say to their countrymen: “Look, even their prime minister says so.” That’s human nature. And apologising while handing over hundreds of millions of pounds in aid certainly does not encourage gratitude – only resentment.
Of Oborne’s list the most important, by far, is the rule of law. The reason the world speaks English today, not Urdu, Persian or Arabic, is that England, and a host of other, smaller countries in north-west Europe, were able to undermine traditional family, clan and religious structures and loyalties to create societies with wide circles of trust. England, the Netherlands and Denmark in particular were able to forge nation-states in which men did not rely on clans or religious leaders for protection; this rule of law, and the creation of a strong national (rather than tribal) identity, helped to bring about astonishing growth in trade, transport, education, science and medicine.
Those former colonies which have most flourished are those that have mimicked Britain. Pakistan, alas, is not one of them. Parliamentary rule did not survive military coups and Pakistan took the retrograde step of introducing Islamic law. The country has not looked forward since.
Today the constitution states that “no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Koran” while the Federal Shariat Court has the power to examine whether bills comply with Islamic law (England still has some idiosyncratic religious elements in its constitution, such as bishops in the Lords, but imagine, for instance, if a body of Christian scholars could veto legislation if it contradicted Leviticus). Meanwhile Pakistan has made little progress in nation-building, tribal loyalty is supreme, and cousin marriage – an absolute guarantor of national failure, since it retards the development of civil society – is widespread. Meanwhile the country is rated 143rd on Transparency International’s corruption index (a good measure of civil virtue, which itself is a fairly good measure of national loyalty), which means that for all the good our aid money will do, we may as well build a new Millennium Dome. Out of chocolate. In the Western Isles.
If Britain owes Pakistan an apology, it is for not doing enough to make it more British.
Britain has more than made up for that by making itself more Pakistani, specifically in regard to cousin marriage and grooming of underage girls.
Behind the wall, at any rate. It is irritating that The Times, the newspaper that first carried this story about the grooming of young girls for sex, hides behind a paywall. I was pleased, however, to see in its report an almost unprecedented use of the M-word:
Most British sex offenders are lone white men [that's because most British men are white -M. J.] but an examination of court cases involving multiple offenders from 13 towns and cities showed that out of 56 men convicted of offences where girls they met on the street were groomed and sexually exploited, 50 were Muslim, mostly of Pakistani heritage.
Well, dang me buttons.
But just because a statistically astonishing proportion of these sex criminals are Muslim, and just because the Koran gives Muslim men carte blanche (or carte brune?) to have sex with infidel girls age nine upwards with or without their consent, don't go thinking that this has anything, anything at all, to do with Islam.
“What you do in terms of taking people to see Israel for themselves is absolutely invaluable. Seeing is believing, I will never forget the impression it made on me when you see the landscape turn from desert to fertile pasture, when you see the record of that country in turning poverty into prosperity, when you see the creativity, the energy, the dynamism and yes, the democracy.”
On Solidarity with Israel:
“When biased elements in the media paint Israel’s defence of its people as unwarranted aggression, we need to make it clear: when rockets are being launched at Israeli citizens, when children are in danger, Israel is within its rights to protect its people.”
“The friendship we celebrate today has thrived in the long years of Opposition and I know in government, it will deepen, because the ties between this party and Israel are unbreakable. And in me, you have a Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible.”
On Israel’s Security:
“You also get such a strong impression of the problems of security that Israel faces. I will never forget being taken to the Lebanese border and knowing just how precarious Israel’s security is. It is an impression that has stayed with me and that I will never forget.”
On Universal Jurisdiction:
“When we see the abuse of the UK’s laws to try and detain Israeli politicians who visit these shores, we need to act: changing the law so people don’t fear coming to our country. That’s what we are doing on Universal Jurisdiction.”
“And when we see boycotts and calls for boycotts on Israel, we shouldn’t just dismiss them, we should go in completely the opposite direction: showing the world that we are proud to do business with Israel.”
Cameron is proud to do business with anyone. He said similar stuff about Turkey, which shows how little his praise is worth. And even at the same event, Cameron showed his ignorance of Israel's history:
“But here’s something I passionately believe – as a true friend. That security won’t come through fighting a grinding war of attrition. It will only come through peace. And that real peace will only come through a two-state solution. Two states living side by side, in peace – there is I believe, no other realistic option.
“The obligations are clear – on both sides. For Palestinians: Take the path of a negotiated peace. Show you are serious. Show your commitment to defeating terror. For Israel there are clear responsibilities too... above all, there is the need for an end to the expansion of settlements.
Those are not "settlements"; as anyone can find out at the click of a mouse. And on another occasion, when not being treated to lunch at a snazzy hotel by Conservative Friends of Israel, Cameron joins Israel-hater William Hague in waffling on about Israel's actions being "disproportionate". So much for Israel's "right to protect its people".
I don't think Cameron is particularly hostile to Israel, but he doesn't know a thing about it, or about Islam, and will betray Israel or any other country if it suits the moment.
Hamas Ups the Ante in Terror War by Bus attack in Southern Israel
Hamas Bus Attack in southern Israel
Yesterday, the IAF attacked a car in Port Sudan killing two, including a senior Hamas military leader. Doubtless he was there arranging for transshipment of arms across Egypt to Gaza, courtesy of Iran.
Today the latest escalation was an anti-tank rocket or mortar attack on an Israeli bus near the Nahal Oz crossing, with the driver and passenger injured.
On Monday, we witnessed the Israeli indictment of ‘kidnapped’ rocket mastermind, Darir Abu Sisi.
Is this spiraling conflict headed for a possible renewal of Operation Cast Lead this summer, should the reign of terror escalate further? More than 175 rockets and mortars have been launched from Gaza this year. Clearly, the unilateral hudna has ended and Hamas is spoiling for a fight.
A 16-year-old boy was critically injured Thursday afternoon when Arab terrorists opened fire at a school bus traveling in southern Israel near the Nahal Oz crossing.
A second person -- the driver of the bus and the only other person in the vehicle at the time -- sustained shrapnel wounds in the leg. Others in the area suffered shock and severe anxiety. The bus, which was struck from behind, was hit at the Sa'ad junction, just outside Kibbutz Sa'ad in the Sha'ar HaNegev.
[. . .]
Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF high command to respond to the attack "immediately" and to use "all necessary means." He added that he holds the Hamas terrorist organization "complete responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza," which the group rules with an iron fist.
Within an hour, an Israel Air Force attack helicopter aimed machine gun fire at a target east of Gaza City for the first time since Israel's counter terrorism war against Hamas in the winter of 2008-2009, Operation Cast Lead. According to Gaza sources, one man was killed and five other people were injured. Hamas sources alleged that a child was among the wounded.
The missile and mortar fire on southern Israel came in the wake of overnight air strikes by IDF warplanes on three terrorist smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza, and an infiltration tunnel in northern Gaza. The IDF confirmed direct hits on all targets and said that all planes returned safely to base.
The MicroFraming module focuses on niche phenomena regarding consumer behaviours and attitudes growing at speed around us. In Sharing & Sociability, you will learn how Linker People impact Therapeutical Technology through their consumption behaviours and how Mind Builders give rise to the Club Cultures universe. In two lessons, you will learn how to observe, interpret and use these targets and trends. A variety of quiz [just the one? M. J.] will help you to test your learning progress and a final exercise will help you applyyour learnings about microtrends.
The MacroFraming module focuses on long term trends in different market sectors. In Sharing & Sociability you will learn how HyperRelational shapes people's living, how Moving Effect influences the city, and how Push Button Experience and Sharing Care modify personal and professional relations. In two lessons, you will learn how to observe, interpret and use these long term trends. A variety of quiz will help you to test your learning progress and a final exercise will help you applyyour learnings about macrotrends.
This module focuses on global phenomena proposed by the mass media, their evolution in the past 15 years, and their impact in people’s life all around the world. In Sensoriality & Exploration you will become familiar with the Net & Nomadism Mindstyle. In two lessons, you will learn how to apply this Mindstyle to specific business areas through the analysis of different case histories. A variety of quiz will help you to test your learning progress and a final exercise will help you apply your learnings about people’s aspirations and values.
And remember: more learnings = more earnings. Yearn to earn? Yearn to learn. Learn to earn.
One of today's learnings - and they have been multiple - was the word "sensoriality". I wondered if it meant being censorious about sensuality, like St. Augustine and his "concupiscence". Then I wondered if it was a real word. Wikipedia says it is:
Sensoriality makes possible the meaning of the need and defense. But, it is not more or less affective. Because the affectivity which is fuzzy and vague cannot be divided into degrees, sensoriality is instead more or less representative.
If affectivity (affective sensitivity) is not characterized by pleasure or pain, it is between these two extremes that the sensoriality will be able to exert itself. At this point sensation becomes a perception or what one could call an insensitive sensation.
What can then be made of this apparent paradox?
Space is what is constituted in sensoriality: we always perceive that which is not us according to our adaptation to reality. This is the meaning of defense, which we allow ourselves (through thermal tactition, mechanical tactition, hearing, sight, etc.) because if there is not escape, there is, through detachment, foresight of the possible pain. These meanings are specific to space and thus to the mind because they do not blindly embrace reality but permit an intellectual knowledge through the depth that they establish in our relationships with objects. In being forced to differentiate space, the living thing accedes to the world of the mind, that is to say, to intelligence and knowledge.
Feel free to share this learning - it will impact your life.
Libyan Rebels Expect Everything From NATO And Forgive Nothing
The quickness of the Libyan rebels to anger is instructive. It might be compared, for example, to the Dutch -- or was it Danish? -- Resistance that, after an attack by Allied war planes intended to strike Gestapo headquarters went awry and instead struck a hospital for orphans, killing hundreds, nonetheless sent a message to the Allies to "keep on coming." But that was because they understood that an accident was an accident, and they were all on the same side.
That is not ture in this case. The LIbyan rebels are perfectly willing to rely on NATO, and to regard it as, militarily in this case -- just as Arab Muslims do the goods and services that they obtain, and the vast aid they manage to inveigle or extort, from the West --as the Cargo-Cult New Guineans did whatever was dropped from the Big Birds that came flying in the sky.
The hairtrigger fury against the West, and the completely unrealistic expectations of these Arabs -- remember how the Iraqis were so chagrinned and surprised that the Americans did not turn Baghdad "into New York" as so many of them had apparently believed would be done? --- should not be overlooked, nor forgotten.
Here's the story:
Libyan Rebels Angry After Airstrike Blamed on NATO
Apr 7, 2011
AJDABIYA, Libya -- An apparent NATO airstrike slammed into a rebel combat convoy Thursday, killing at least five fighters and sharply boosting anger among anti-government forces after the second bungled mission in a week blamed on the military alliance.
The attack - outside the strategic oil port of Brega - brought fresh questions about coordination between NATO and the patchwork of rebel militias in a conflict described by a senior U.S. commander as a stalemate that could eventually require the Pentagon to reassert more power, and possibly even send in ground forces.
Tensions between the rebels and NATO were flaring even before the latest accident, with the fighters criticizing the alliance for doing too little to help them.
In a sign of the hair-trigger tensions along the front, thousands of civilians and fighters raced out of the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya in eastern Libya after reports that Moammar Gadhafi's forces gained ground in the chaos after the bombing. Some militiamen shouted insults against NATO as they retreated.
"We don't want NATO anymore!" cried fighter Basit bin Nasser. Another yelled: "Down, down with NATO."
In Brussels, NATO did not directly acknowledge responsibility for a blundered airstrike on the rebels, but noted that the area where the attack occurred was "unclear and fluid with mechanized weapons traveling in all directions."
"What remains clear is that NATO will continue to uphold the U.N. mandate and strike forces that can potentially cause harm to the civilian population of Libya," the alliance said in a statement.
But NATO faces the same challenges to avoid friendly fire deaths as commanders in other wide-ranging air missions such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The rebels lack the high-grade communications and surveillance systems to coordinate with NATO planners and pilots.
And from above, both sides may appear very similar. Rebels used seized tanks and vehicles from the Libyan military. The pro-Gadhafi forces, meanwhile, are increasingly mixing into civilian areas and adopting the guerrilla-style appearance of their foes.
A NATO official said there is growing frustration with the rebels' perception that NATO is acting as their proxy air force. The U.N. mandate calls only for international air power to enforce a no-fly zone and prevent attacks on civilians - although Gadhafi's ground forces remain a primary target.
"We're trying to get messages back to them about what we're doing and what we're trying to achieve," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under standing NATO regulations.
Last week, NATO took control over the international airstrikes that began March 19 as a U.S.-led mission. The airstrikes thwarted Gadhafi's efforts to crush the rebellion he has ruled for more than four decades, but the rebels remain outnumbered and outgunned and have had difficulty in making headway into government-held territory.
The U.S. general who led the Libyan mission before NATO's takeover said Washington still provides some strike aircraft to NATO including powerful side-firing AC-130 gunship.
Army Gen. Carter Ham even predicted that the Pentagon may be forced one day to consider ground forces in Libya if the battle lines remain indefinitely stalled. But he noted any such decision would open America to serious political fallout for intervention in another Muslim nation.
"I suspect there might be some consideration of (ground forces). My personal view at this point would be that that's probably not the ideal circumstance, again for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail," Ham told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
President Barack Obama has said repeatedly there will be no U.S. troops on the ground in Libya, although there are reports of small CIA teams in the country.
The rebels have controlled eastern Libya since early on in the uprising and much of the fighting takes place along a highway on the country's northern Mediterranean coast, where the opposition has tried to advance west toward the capital Tripoli.
The airstrikes Thursday came as rebels forces pushed toward the outskirts of Brega, an eastern oil port that has traded handed several times since the revolt began in February.
A rebel commander, Ayman Abdul-Karim, said he saw airstrikes hit tanks and a rebel convoy, which included a passenger bus carrying fighters toward Brega. He said the tops of rebel vehicles were marked with yellow under advice by NATO to identify the opposition forces
An official at nearby Ajdabiya Hospital, Dr. Mohamed Idris, said at least five people were killed and 22 injured, including some with serious burns. Idris said other casualties were left in the field in the chaos to flee the area.
The small medical facility was overwhelmed. One rebel sat in a hallway, wrapping gauze around his injured leg.
In the rebels de facto capital Benghazi, opposition spokeswoman Iman Bughaigis said the death toll could be as high as 13.
"People are very upset and the street is really boiling," she said.
CAIR Kvetches; Watch NYState 9/11 Hearings on Friday 10:00AM EST in US
Friday morning at 10:00AM, you can watch New York State Sen. Greg Ball's hearing on "New York's Public Protection Ten Years After September 11" from Manhattan.
Nonie Darwish of Former Muslims United and Frank Gaffney, Jr. of the Center for Security Policy will be testifying on the issue of "The culture of Jihad and Shariah Law".
Their presence and that topic was rankled the New York CAIR contingent as they protested today in advance of tomorrow's televized hearing. We have it on good authority that the Wall street Journal will cover the hearing and do a story on it.
Note what the The New York Observer says about this latest episode of the Muslim Brotherhood trying to intimidate free expression. As they didn't ;ike US Rep. Pete King's US House Homeland security hearings on radicalization of home grown terrorists, for certain, they won't like what Nonie Darwish and Gaffney have to say at Ball's New York City heatings, either..
The hearing has attracted some controversy due to the presence of Nonie Darwish, a human rights activist and writer who has said that Islam is "cruel, anti-women, anti-religious freedom and anti-personal freedom in general" and for including as a topic "The Culture of Jihad and Shariah Law."
The planned rally [was held] on the steps of City Hall. [today].
CAIR came out strongly against Rep. Peter King's congressional hearings on Muslim radicalization, but King brushed aside their attacks by frequently calling them an "unindicted co-conspirators" in a terrorist attack.