That Didn’t Take Long

U.S. troops have been out of Iraq for what, less than a day now?

Iraq issues arrest warrant for vice president Hashemi

Iraq has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a senior security official said on Monday, after the government obtained confessions linking him to what the official described as terrorist activities.

Interior Ministry spokesman, Major General Adel Daham, told a news conference that confessions by suspects identified as Hashemi’s bodyguards linked the vice president to suspected killings and attacks.

See also:
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi
Iraq in political turmoil hours after last US troops depart
Iraq: left to the wolves
Arrest warrant for Vice President Hashemi sparks political turmoil in Iraq
VP arrest warrant plunges Iraq into crisis
Iraq faces political crisis as the arrest warrant to Sunni VP al-Hashemi
Sunni, Shi’ite conflict grows in Iraq
Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi denies charge
Evading arrest, Iraqi VP denies hit squad claim
Iraq Vice-President denies he ran hit squad
Iraq’s Sunni vice President Tareq al-Hashemi warns sectarian divisions reopened
Iraq vice-president declares unity efforts ‘gone’
Iraq slaps travel ban on Sunni vice-president
Iraqi Sunni leaders denounce PM Maliki
U.S. “obviously concerned” about Iraqi Hashemi probe
Fugitive Iraq Sunni V.P. Tariq al-Hashimi Criticizes U.S.

It’s painfully clear what’s going on here. With the U.S. military now out of the way, the Shia led Iraqi government, backed by Iran, is wasting no time flexing its muscle and settling old scores against the Iraqi Sunni minority. Can you say looming civil war?

/and now we’ve pretty much given up our ability to effectively intervene militarily in Iraq, leaving Iran as the only regional military power capable of “riding to the rescue” of the Iraqi government, who just happen to be Iranian puppets anyway

Definitely Not Mission Creep In A Not War

There’s nothing to see here, move along, it’s all just part of enforcing the U.N. mandated humanitarian no fly zone to, ahem, protect civilians. It’s definitely not ramping up NATO offensive military operations in support of one side in a civil war.

Liam Fox denies Apache strikes are a change of tactics

The Apaches hit targets near the Libyan town of Brega during the latest wave of Nato strikes against forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the MoD said.

The Defence Secretary, epeaking at a security forum in Singapore, said that the use of British Apache attack helicopters in Libya was a logical continuation of the Nato-led military operation against Muanmar Gaddafi’s forces and did not mean that fighter jet attacks had failed.

“It’s not plan B at all,” said Dr Fox.

“The use of the attack helicopters is a logical extension of we have already been doing. We already have fast jets in action, this gives us a chance to target new targets in a way we weren’t able to do.

See also:
NATO uses attack helicopters for first time in Libya air assault
British, French helicopters strike Gadhafi troops
U.K., French helicopters strike Qaddafi troops
NATO Attack Helicopters Strike Libya Targets for First Time
NATO helicopters hit targets in Libya
Combat helicopters enter Libya fray
British, French helicopters strike Gadhafi troops
Army Apache helicopters launch first British helicopter strikes in Libya against Gaddafi’s forces
British Apache helicopters strike Gaddafi’s forces for first time
Night strikes by French Tigre helicopters
NATO launches helicopter strikes in Libya

So now NATO is using attack helicopters, where the hell in U.N. Resolution 1973 is that authorized? The current NATO operations are now way beyond what was ever intended or mandated by the original, authorized, humanitarian U.N. mission. Seriously, can ground troops be far behind the attack helicopters?

/just how kinetic does a humanitarian kinetic military action have to get before one may dare call it direct, offensive, one sided, military intervention in a civil war?

Birth Of A Nation

And it’s a predominately Christian nation, separating from a Muslim nation, relatively peacefully, which is odd, considering the pervasive Muslim animosity towards Christians worldwide.

South Sudan headed for independence

This is in line with widely held expectations of the result of last week’s plebiscite, the climax of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war. The official results are not expected to be announced until early next month.

Referendum officials reported large votes in favour of independence – some releasing early figures, some saying trends pointed to support of more than 90% – in the southern states of Central Equatoria, Unity, Lakes, Jonglei, Warrap, Western Bahr al-Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria.

“From the figures we have so far, the vote is overwhelmingly for independence … more than 90% across the board,” said Alfred Sebit Lokuji, chairman of the referendum committee covering Central Equatoria state, which includes the southern capital, Juba.

See also:
Preliminary results show landslide majority for south Sudan independence
Preliminary Reports Show South Sudan Will Be Its Own Nation
Initial results: SSudan independence vote approved
Landslide Swells for Southern Sudan Independence
South Sudan Referendum: The Count Down to Independence
South Sudan capital votes 97.5% to break away
Split from north Sudan favored by south
Observers approve south Sudan independence vote
South Sudan independence vote ‘peaceful and credible’ say observers from US Carter Center
Sudan explores economic impact of south independence: official
In war-torn Sudan, Abyei could be a flashpoint
Southern Sudanese independence referendum, 2011

Although the final status of the disputed, oil rich Abyei region remains unresolved and a potential trigger back to civil war, the South Sudan Independence referendum is a shining example of the peaceful self-determination of free people and a bright spot in today’s not so bright interactions between global nation states.

/let’s hope, at least in this rare instance, South Sudan stays that way

Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood