World View: Huge Fuel Depot Fire Threatens Tripoli with Explosion
- Huge fuel depot fire threatens Tripoli Libya with explosion
- Liberia closes national borders to prevent spread of Ebola virus
- Kerry shuts Egypt and Palestinian Authority out of Gaza 'peace plan'
Huge fuel depot fire threatens Tripoli Libya with explosion
A huge fuel depot near the airport in Libya's capital Tripoli is
burning out of control and spreading. The tanks contains some 20
million gallons of petrol and fuel. If the fire is not brought under
control, it could ignite liquid gas nearby, triggering a much larger
explosion and causing a humanitarian and environmental disaster.
Densely populated Tripoli is being evacuated within a 3-km radius of
the airport. Authorities are asking for international assistance in
fighting the fire.
The fuel depot fire is the result of the growing tribal warfare in
Libya that we described yesterday.
It's believed that the Islamist militias, centered in Misurata,
launched missiles into fuel depot in order to trigger the fire and
explosion. Anti-Islamist militias, centered in Zintan, that had been
fighting the Islamists had been defending the airport.
With anarchy spreading, many foreigners in Libya are fleeing the
country. On Monday, the Netherlands, Philippines, Austria, China, and
India became the next countries to evacuate their citizens and embassy
staff. The United States, Britain, United Nations, and Turkey have
already closed their embassies. AFP and Al-Jazeera
Liberia closes national borders to prevent spread of Ebola virus
Liberia is closing all its borders and is instituting a new travel
policy to inspect and test all outgoing and incoming passengers in
the hope of slowing the spread of Ebola. Ebola has already killed 660
people across the region since the outbreak began in February.
This is the worst Ebola outbreak in history, not only because of the
numbers killed but also because of its geographic spread. Some
officials in Doctors Without Borders are expressing the fear that the
number of Ebola patients identified so far are "just the tip of the
iceberg." There are many villages in western Africa that are not
easily accessible, and there have been stories, perhaps only rumors,
of entire villages disappearing because of Ebola. It's possible,
though not certain, that Ebola is far more widespread than is
currently known. Ebola is not airborne, but it's spread through
physical contact. Reuters
Kerry shuts Egypt and Palestinian Authority out of Gaza 'peace plan'
Palestinian Authority (PA/PLO) officials are furious at an apparent
attempt by US Secretary of State John Kerry, whether by clumsiness or
by intention, to shut Egypt and the PA out of a Gaza "peace
conference" held in Paris on Saturday and a related proposed "peace
agreement." The Paris conference was attended by Kerry and
representatives of Turkey and Qatar, as well as France, Germany,
Britain, and Italy. But Israel, Egypt, and the PA were not invited.
Turkey and Qatar are allies of Hamas. Israeli officials say that
Kerry's proposed "peace agreement," which has not been officially
released to the public, meets all the demands and talking points of
Hamas (ending the "siege"), but does not address any of the security
concerns of Israel (disarming Hamas). The implication was not that
Kerry is malevolent, but that he doesn't understand the issues.
Even worse, Kerry's plan undermined a peace plan that had previously
been offered by Egypt and was agreed to by Israel and the PA.
According to a statement by a furious Palestinian Authority official:
Kerry proposed his initiative after we were very
close to a comprehensive agreement guaranteeing the lifting of the
siege on Gaza and obtaining all the Palestinian demands. If the
issue was lifting the siege, abolishing the buffer zones, opening
the crossings, and expanding the fishing zones, we could have
obtained this on Wednesday [July 23]. An announcement of [this
achievement] was ready for publication – but (Hamas political
bureau head Khaled) Mashaal called a press conference and
destroyed the [PLO] initiative.
Noting that Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which
Egypt has declared a terrorist organization, another PA official
The Palestinian leadership and people promote every
Arab, regional, or international effort to stop Israel's war, stop
the bloodletting, and defend the Palestinian people in the [Gaza
Strip] – while the conference and the forces participating in it
prove that it was not innocent and does not strive to stop
Israel's shedding of Palestinian blood. Its objective was to
circumvent the Egyptian initiative and Egypt's role, and to plan
to return to shaping the region according to the American vision
and according to the U.S.-Israeli plan that will restore the
Muslim Brotherhood to their status.
It seems that every three or four weeks it's necessary to talk about
yet one more foreign policy debacle by John Kerry, who gives every
sign of not having the vaguest clue what's going on in the world.
Kerry burst onto the scene in 1971 when he declared to the Senate that
U.S. Army soldiers were rapists and torturers and no better than Nazi
stormtroopers, and he's been belittling the army and the United States
ever since. As Secretary of State, he says and does one stupid thing
after another and lurches from one foreign policy debacle to the
next. His boss, President Obama, does no better, allowing the US to
suffer one humiliation after another.
It's worth repeating that this isn't just a matter of "there's nothing
that Obama can do." This is all happening because of a major policy
reversal by the Obama administration. America has been "policeman of
the world," since President Harry Truman's Truman Doctrine of 1947. Every President
since then has fulfilled that commitment until now, because the cost of
a small military action was always better than a repeat of something
as enormous as World War II. President Obama has repudiated that
commitment. The analogy is the New York City police. They don't have
to declare all out war to fight crime. But if they simply stopped
policing and told all the criminals that they would negotiate an end
to crime, then crime would soar. By repudiating the Truman Doctrine,
the Policeman of the World has said it would stop policing, with the
result of one foreign policy debacle after another. Washington Post and Memri and
Al-Ahram (Cairo) and France 24
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Tripoli, Libya, Misurata, Zintan,
John Kerry, Egypt, Palestinian Authority, PA, PLO,
Turkey, Qatar, Israel, Gaza, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood,
Harry Truman, Truman Doctrine
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