Posts Tagged ‘libya’

Libya: The Case Against False Dichotomy

The spark for Libya, which ignited much of the protests and demonstrations highlighted by the mainstream media, was struck in and around mid-February – only a few days after the fall of Mubarak. The timeline in this case is fairly important in assessing how quickly things have progressed in the country – from rising action to the climax, where we seem to stand now. In late February is where we begin to see actual movement by the international community, including the Arab League which suspended Libya from meetings until the crisis in the country would end.

During late February, the National Transitional Council – which is the oppositions political body, now recognized by over 45 countries as Libya’s legitimate government, was also created. The executive board was formed in March, chaired by Mustafa Abdul Jalil former Minister of Justice under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

In March the UN declared a no-fly-zone over Libya, supported by the international community and NTC chairman Mustafa Jalil who called for its “immediate” placement, wherein NATO swiftly assumed command – arming and bolstering the rebels against Gaddafi’s regime and coordinating airstrikes. Prior to the implementation of the no-fly-zone over Libya there were arguments being made against such a maneuver; that bombing Libya’s air-defense would cause civilian casualties,which it did. In June NATO admitted to killing nine civilians, including two children, claiming that one of its air-strikes “went astray”. In August NATO was once again accused of killing Libyans, this time 85, in Zlitan; among the 85 killed were 32 women and 33 children when NATO targeted a residential area, shown below.

The number of civilian casualties has not been fully disclosed but one can assume the body count is climbing as we find ourselves watching a war unfold, a mixture of NATO-backed rebels versus Gaddafi loyalists and Libyans against NATO involvement who are also being targeted.

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29

08 2011

The Price of Dignity in Libya

As the Anglo-American French coalition sustains its “humanitarian” military assault on Libya with a fiery downpour of missiles and CIA operatives alongside British special forces, and MI6 intelligence officers continue to work in Libya, “as part of a shadow force of Westerners” the mainstream body of activists residing in the United States of America have raised the Libyan flag in solidarity with calls for air strikes against Libya.

They (who is they?) continued to gleefully cheer even as missiles landed, greeting Libyan soil with 2,000-pound bombs dropped from American B-2s and therein possibly tainting the earth with depleted uranium. Emotive contentions used pre-Iraq invasion are now being recycled unashamedly in support of military intervention in Libya; the arguments, some stirring and others bitterly sensational, have overwhelmed conventional media outlets and social networks. Those bold enough to publicly admonish the so-called “humanitarian intervention” have been shamelessly branded Gaddafi apologists and supporters of genocide. Mouse-click couch warriors have more or less attempted to wipe out even the slightest cross-examination of the military tactics being used in Libya. This despite the lack of an endgame being provided by the Western Coalition engaging in warfare, and irregardless of the White House candidly having expressed ignorance in respect to the Libyan rebels and who they are.

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05

04 2011

Is Libya any different from Iraq and Afghanistan?

It’s a question that’s come up ever since President Obama decided to take military action in the current conflict in Libya.

I personally think so. Is it just because I’m an Obama supporter? Part of me suspects that may be it. “War” from the mouths of Democrats may just be more palatable. I was one of those people in the ‘90s who was happy when Bill Clinton took action in the Balkans and Somalia. I may not have been as supportive if it was George W. Bush making those same calls.

However, I do think that Libya is a different situation. I don’t see it as just a “third war” that America is now involved in.

Iraq and Afghanistan were a different process. It was a reaction to a direct conflict with America. The concepts are somewhat similar: We’re going into a Muslim-majority country to help exert Democratic rule. But, Libya is more organic. This dissidence is coming from its own people. They’re the ones who want to overthrow their ruler. This manifesto isn’t coming at them from an outside source.

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05

04 2011

Revolution Cry

I haven’t felt a rush of pride quite like the one I experienced while watching the revolution in Egypt. It was so heartening to see something relatively non-violent (on the part of the protesters, anyway) and so grass-roots. This was something that the people really wanted, and they persisted. It was beautiful to see. It’s the kind of event that would have made Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi proud.

I’m also thrilled to see that the seeds of revolution planted in Tunisia and Egypt are expanding to other parts of the Arab world. Libya, Yemen and Bahrain are the latest countries banding together to overthrow dictators.

I’ve long suspected that if the United States hadn’t interfered in conflicts in Iraq, the people would have taken up the cause themselves to create a more organic overthrow. There’s only so much time that anybody can stand under an oppressive regime.
I do hope, though, that the pictures of violence we’ve seen by rulers unwilling to leave in Libya and Bahrain abet.

It’s sad and disgusting to see Muslim rulers take out their frustration at their population in such a terrifying way. There’s obviously a change coming, and they’re too reluctant to bend to the people’s will.

It’s also been pretty maddening to see American pundits, mostly conservatives but also a fair share of others, who aren’t happy with the way things happened in Egypt. There’s concern over the Muslim Brotherhood taking control. I’ve heard people saying that democracy is just not meant for Arabs. It’s apparently not “part of their DNA.”
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26

02 2011

What about Libya?

The Arab world is fired up right now. Paving the way, the people of Tunisia and Egypt have successfully removed their dictators and are in the process of rebuilding their countries. The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have sparked anti-government movements across the entire Arab world, after decades of stagnation. And there is no turning back now.

Furious protests are happening now in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Governments are scrambling to do everything they can to stop them, by any means necessary. Still, hundreds of thousands of people are out in the streets protesting with no fear, ready to die in the name of freedom.

Libya is in one of the most dire situations right now. Libyans have suffered under Gaddafi’s tyranny for 42 years. As the longest running dictator in the Arab world, Gaddafi has ruled the nation with an iron fist. Please don’t be fooled by his perceived harmless, flamboyant dress or eccentric behavior. And Arabs, please don’t be bamboozled by his supposed anti-imperialist rhetoric and criticisms of Israel.  His actions speak louder than his words.

Gaddafi’s regime has a poor record for human rights.  He is responsible for the arbitrary arrest, torture and murder of countless prisoners, even without charge or trial. The judiciary is controlled by the regime, and there is no right to a fair public trial. The rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly, association and religion are restricted.  Although Gaddafi pretends to be some sort of defender of the Palestinians, he ordered the ethnic cleansing of 30,000 Palestinian refugees from Libya.  His criticisms of Israel are merely a way to deflect criticisms of his own regime. Gaddafi has maintained his rule by using his wealth, playing up the tribal loyalties in Libya and instilling fear in the population.

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20

02 2011