Apart from the disgracefully named killing machines as Apache helicopters the UK seems willing to throw anything it can at the Libyans to protect its oil interests so hotly promoted by Tony Blair. After slaughtering 10 million Indian indigenous the US just the way we here in Australia do fall over themselves to use indigenous names as if they are all on first name terms with the people and the survivors of the slaughter. It is ironic to say the least that in a war where Dictators are US stooges and oil deals rule the people that the memory of the bloodshed in their own land is so typified by the use of these killing machines. In Australia the use of a geographical term “Black Fellas Leap” describes the ammunition saving technique of herding the indigenous to a cliff top and forcing them to jump to their deaths. Of course more often than not no one ever bothered to see if there were any still alive.
Anyway who could forget the photo of the signing of the oil deal between BP and Libya with Blair in the background with a smile so wide he must have required surgery to put his mouth back together after the signing. Unfortunately the following is the best I could find. George Ikners ikners.com a WordPress site
Apache helicopters to be sent into Libya by Britain
Use of helicopters, which can attack small targets, represents significant escalation of conflict
Britain and France are to deploy attack helicopters against Libya in an attempt to break the military stalemate, particularly in the important coastal city of Misrata, security sources have told the Guardian.
In a significant escalation of the conflict, the Apaches – based on HMS Ocean – will join French helicopters in risky operations which reflect deepening frustration among British and French defence chiefs about their continuing inability to protect civilians.
Apaches, which are being used in counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan, can manoeuvre and attack small targets in relatively built-up areas. Heavily-armed Apaches and French Tiger helicopters are equipped with night vision equipment and electronic guidance systems.
Gaddafi forces have shed their uniforms, are using civilian vehicles and hiding armour near civilian buildings, including hospitals and schools.
The decision to deploy the helicopters is a clear recognition that high-level bombing from 15,000 feet cannot protect civilians who continue to be attacked by rocket and mortar shells. It brings the Nato offensive much closer to the ground at a time when Britain and other Nato countries are insisting they have no intention of sending in troops.
However, the helicopters could be vulnerable to hand-held rocket propelled grenades and even rifle fire.
Hospital officials said two people were killed and several wounded during Monday’s fighting in Misrata. Later, heavy explosions outside the city were heard, lasting about an hour. Reuters news agency quoted a rebel spokesman as saying that forces loyal to Gaddafi also shelled the rebel-held town of Zintan and moved troops close to the mountainous region bordering Tunisia, intensifying operations on the war’s western front.
Britain and France clearly hope the use of attack helicopters, and revealing the intention to use them, will deter pro-Gaddafi forces and assuage Libyan rebels who have been demanding more effective military action from Nato countries. The sight of Nato forces actually on the ground would be strongly opposed by most Nato countries, including the US and those Arab countries in favour of the air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces.
Foreign secretary William Hague, attending an EU meeting in Brussels, said: “We are very much behind the intensification of the military campaign and so is France. We certainly agree with all our partners that it is necessary to intensify the military, economic and diplomatic pressure on the Gaddafi regime.”
Alain Juppe, France’s foreign minister, confirmed that Paris has dispatched a dozen helicopters to add greater strike force to the campaign against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. He said that the 12 Tiger and Gazelle helicopters sent from Toulon on May 17 would enable “us to better adapt our ground attack capacity with more precise means of striking.”
“Our strategy is to step up the military pressure in the weeks ahead while pushing at the same time for a political solution.”
According to French sources, the battleship Tonnerre carrying the helicopters left Toulon last week. The vessel combines the roles of helicopter carrier, hospital ship, and troops transporter.
Juppe said the helicopters would not be used to deploy ground forces in Libya and that the decision to send them was fully in line with the UN security council resolution mandating attacks in Libya.
The French newspaper le Figaro said their helicopters would be assisted by target identification from French special forces who have been on the ground in Libya since the start of the allied operation there. The UK Ministry of Defence does not comment on special forces’ operations.
Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, said: “This is a significant development. It is right that the Alliance is intensifying military pressure on Gaddafi’s forces, but the British government need to be clearer about a political strategy for Libya and whether the military commitment to Libya is an open-ended one.”
The first international Stabilisation Response Team has arrived in Libya, the UK international development secretary Andrew Mitchell has confirmed . He said Britain would continue to provide humanitarian help and medical and emergency food supplies. “The international community also needs to start thinking strategically about what is needed now to help lay the foundations for a stable, secure Libya”.
• This article was updated on 23 May 2011, to add greater detail.
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