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Zhivvy

Following the middle east

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I am sure that all of us have been following the amazing things happening in the Middle East - from the power of the people in Tunisia and Egypt to the worrying situation in Libya.

I hav been following a lot of what is going on through the Amnesty website and thhought you may be interested in reading all about it too. It is from the Amnesty UK website so I hope that it works for all.

 

http://www.protectthehuma...nt=pthmenacamapigncentre

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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Hey Zhiv,

Thanks for this.  Yes, I too have been following closely the events throughout the region including reading press coverage from various nations, following trending topics on Twitter, watching YouTube videos, checking out Facebook pages and keeping my computer tuned to Al-Jazeera/English's live news stream.  Al Jazeera is doing a great job, by the way, and is the only English-language news organization I have found which is providing a continuous live news stream on the web.

There are a zillion things I would like to  say.  My thoughts are a mixture of hope, apprehension and analysis.  It really is too soon to see how things will ultimately play out, but I am hoping for the best of all possible scenarios to emerge--the peaceful rise of responsive, healthy democratic institutions in Middle East and North African nations that are committed to achieving peace and progress throughout the world.  These are high hopes, to be certain.  There is great potential for great things, but also endless reasons why things could go terribly wrong.

Amidst all of this intellectual effort, however, there is one thought-trend in the global response that troubles me in particular.  This writer from The Economist does a pretty good job conveying it, so I will leave it to him to state:

 

The Economist

Libya and the higher bilge

Feb 27th 2011, 18:49 by Lexington

AT TIMES like these people do say some daft things. Most irritating have been the Western pundits whose first reaction to any sequence of events anywhere is to blame the West. First to catch my eye was repeat-offender Robert Fisk of the BritishIndependent. He's an excellent writer, but his opinions are frankly loopy. Considerthis:

The docile, supine, unregenerative, cringing Arabs of Orientalism have transformed themselves into fighters for the freedom, liberty and dignity which we Westerners have always assumed it was our unique role to play in the world. One after another, our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever.

Gimme a break. When in recent history did "we Westerners" think freedom, liberty and dignity should be uniquely ours? America and the European Union have tried for years to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. We didn't pay the local "satraps" (neither Mubarak nor Qaddafi were our satraps anyway) to control their people. We paid them as part of the Camp David peace treaty not to make war on Israel (Egypt) or for their oil and gas (Libya).

Next up is the egregious John Pilger, who thinks the Arab revolts show that the West in general and the United States in particular are "fascist":

The revolt in the Arab world is against not merely a resident dictator, but a worldwide economic tyranny, designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and the World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries such as Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with 40 per cent of the population earning less than $2 a day. The people's triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

I don't know why the formerly serious New Statesman gives Pilger house room (actually I do: depressingly, they sell a few more copies when he's on the cover). Maybe he hasn't noticed, but what most of the Arab protesters say they want are the very freedoms that they know full well, even if Pilger doesn't, to be available in the West. No doubt he believes they are labouring under some massive mind-control delusion engineered by the CIA.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2011/02/westerners_against_west

 

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The Economist

What the Arab papers say

Feb 27th 2011, 9:49 by J.D | LONDON

20110226_MAP510.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN LIBYA the bloodshed continues, as does Muammar Qaddafi’s defiance in the face of his people’s protests and international outrage. Arab commentators have been scrutinising those who have supported Mr Qaddafi over the years, wondering what can be done to prevent further violence and asking and how the various Arab revolutions will cope with challenges of making the transition to democracy.  

In response to criticism of Arab diplomatic collusion with Mr Qaddafi, the Arab League has suspended his membership. Khalid al-Zubayday in a Jordanian newspaper, al-Dostourpoints to Arab protest movements as proof of the failure of traditional Arab leadership:

The accumulation of centralised power by these governments and their refusal to grant even the most basic rights to their citizens has now led to their own downfall. Most importantly, the youth movement has not harnassed any religious ideology, nor has it looked to traditional leader. They talked lots and did little, while the young people talked little but achieved a great deal, laying the ground for the Arab nation to reclaim its rightful status. 

The future of the people of the region is at stake.

In al-Hayat, a Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily, Randa Takieddine criticises Western leaders who she says have overlooked Mr Qaddafi’s human-rights abuses in recent years:  

This "leader" has, for many years, wasted the wealth of his country, kept his people under lock and key, and nurtured terrorist movements from east to west. And now he is wildly trying to kill off those of his compatriots who would rather die than let him cling to power any longer. Europe and America carry a large part of the responsibility for this because they opened their doors to Qaddafi, rushing to rehabilitate him among the international community. 

The Libyan state-owned media have covered pro-Qaddafi demonstrations and published outright threats against anti-government demonstrators. But a staff editorial in Quryna, a Libyan newspaper owned by Mr Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, seems to be trying to find the middle ground, implying that the anti-Qaddafi movement is no longer peaceful but calling on all parties to refrain from violence: 

While the first three days of demonstration were peaceful, in the last few days they have devolved into a gruesome slaughter, horrifying to all, without exception… Many have been killed in the two-day-long clashes with demonstrators at the headquarters of the al-Fadeel Abou ‘Umar brigade in the al-Kaysh district. Although our role as journalists is normally to investigate events objectively and analyse them, we felt compelled to urgently call on the city’s religious leaders, social elite, and all citizens of conscience to move, peacefully, to prevent further casualties.

The London-based Libyan newspaper Libya Al-Youm has published many pro-revolution editorials, including this appeal to Libyans by Mr al-Ameen Balhajj, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya:

My compatriots of august Libya, my fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters, I greet each one of you with great pride for we Libyans have ignited the spark of freedom. We have broken the wall of fear and have dispersed the clouds of hesitance. We all now have but one path, one goal: that Libya, for whose freedom our forefathers fought, should become a state governed by the rule of law.

Some commentators, however, remain concerned about the future of post-revolutionary Arab states. Hazim Saghiya, in al-Hayat again, tries to address the dual concerns of human rights and stability, recognising the challenges that a post-Qaddafi Libya may face with the meeting the protesters’ demands: 

The fact is that history cannot be wiped away to leave a clean slate. Championing the most progressive ideas, believing in them fervently doesn’t necessarily mean they are feasible. There are broader realities to be contended with, the most important of which is the objective ability to make revolution or democracy implementable...None of this should be taken to mean that the masses should just submit to their regimes’ blackmailing logic that says you are either for us and for stability, or for change and anarchy...What can be said about the Libyan regime except that it defies all analysis and theorising? Perhaps just that it alone–and not those rising up against it–bears responsibility for the chaos and violence which have been unleashed.

For more translated commentary from the Arab press, visit Meedan.net

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The world is speaking and it's been a long time coming. You can only starve, beat and treat people like crap for so long before they will rise up and be counted.

 

I don't think this will be the last country to stand up for it's self, I suspect it is just the begining.

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Colonel Gaddafi just doesn't understand when the Libyans have had enough of him. Drugs? What a useless excuse. There's no escape for him now. It's depart or die. Your choice, Gaddafi.

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Colonel Gaddafi just doesn't understand when the Libyans have had enough of him. Drugs? What a useless excuse. There's no escape for him now. It's depart or die. Your choice, Gaddafi.
I about laughed out loud when I heard about that. I also saw bits of interviews with his sons, and they seem to be about as delusional as their father. I do hope that for once he does right by his people and steps down peacefully.

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Just watching it on the news right now - the descent into anarchy, the huge problems at the Tunisian border as Libyans are trying to flee. He needs to go and go now! Give up and admit defeat!

Although I do have to say that I was very angry this morning to see that our Prime Minister (or the Moomin as I like to call him!) said that he will send in the British army to remove him with force! - Firstly with what money? And secondly, what about Mugabe and other dictators? Whey wasn't the army sent into those countries so they could be overthrown? Could it be possibly because Libya has oil and other countries don't? And surely there would be some irony of going to fight against someone our government sold weapons too???? But that is a different argument so I will leave it there.

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I recall a recent history of a government (rather a coalition of governments) going in to forcefully remove a murderous tyrant--it was a most unpopular undertaking.

Gaddafi used air-strikes on his own people.  I would be fine with someone going in and forcefully displacing him. I am just not sure it is in anyone's interest to do so (other than the Libyan people's).  And, I am fairly certain that if  anyone did go in to forcefully stop Gaddafi,  interest in the Libyan people would be immediately forgotten by much of  the oh-so-concerned outside world.   Instead, I do not doubt, whoever intervened would suddenly be perceived as an even more "evil" force than he. 


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I recall a recent history of a government (rather a coalition of governments) going in to forcefully remove a murderous tyrant--it was a most unpopular undertaking.

Gaddafi used air-strikes on his own people.  I would be fine with someone going in and forcefully displacing him. I am just not sure it is in anyone's interest to do so (other than the Libyan people's).  And, I am fairly certain that if  anyone did go in to forcefully stop Gaddafi,  interest in the Libyan people would be immediately forgotten by much of  the oh-so-concerned outside world.   Instead, I do not doubt, whoever intervened would suddenly be perceived as an even more "evil" force than he. 


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I recall a recent history of a government (rather a coalition of governments) going in to forcefully remove a murderous tyrant--it was a most unpopular undertaking.

Gaddafi used air-strikes on his own people.  I would be fine with someone going in and forcefully displacing him. I am just not sure it is in anyone's interest to do so (other than the Libyan people's).  And, I am fairly certain that if  anyone did go in to forcefully stop Gaddafi,  interest in the Libyan people would be immediately forgotten by much of  the oh-so-concerned outside world.   Instead, I do not doubt, whoever intervened would suddenly be perceived as an even more "evil" force than he. 


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I recall a recent history of a government (rather a coalition of governments) going in to forcefully remove a murderous tyrant--it was a most unpopular undertaking.

Gaddafi used air-strikes on his own people.  I would be fine with someone going in and forcefully displacing him. I am just not sure it is in anyone's interest to do so (other than the Libyan people's).  And, I am fairly certain that if  anyone did go in to forcefully stop Gaddafi,  interest in the Libyan people would be immediately forgotten by much of  the oh-so-concerned outside world.   Instead, I do not doubt, whoever intervened would suddenly be perceived as an even more "evil" force than he. 

Eh, I can see at least one reason why people other than the libyans would be interested in going in and removing Mr. M Gadaffi.  For the same reason the "coalition of governments" removed the other "tyrant". One Word: OIL.

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FYI: Libya produces 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. Going by their current output levels, and if no further oil was found, they have enough oil to last until 2070.

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The world is getting Libya's oil already. There is absolutely no need to go in and take it by force. And it is not as if Gaddafi is in any position to withhold oil sales.  

 Today's Washington Post reports opposition groups will be formally requesting outside military assistance to help topple Gaddafi.  

Moammar-Gaddafi.jpeg

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The world is getting Libya's oil already. There is absolutely no need to go in and take it by force. And it is not as if Gaddafi is in any position to withhold oil sales.  

 Today's Washington Post reports opposition groups will be formally requesting outside military assistance to help topple Gaddafi.  

Moammar-Gaddafi.jpeg

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The world is getting Libya's oil already. There is absolutely no need to go in and take it by force. And it is not as if Gaddafi is in any position to withhold oil sales.  

 Today's Washington Post reports opposition groups will be formally requesting outside military assistance to help topple Gaddafi.  

Moammar-Gaddafi.jpeg

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Foreign governments are increasing the pressure on Gaddafi to leave in the hope of ending fighting that has claimed at least 1,000 lives and restoring order to a country that accounts for 2% of the world's oil production

It's clear that foreign governments are concerned that Libya doesn't slip into Civil War for a fear it would have a detrimental impact on oil reserves.  Their concern for the Libyan people is a secondary mission.  Whether or not Gadaffi is in any position to withhold oil sales is not the issue here.  The primary concern is to save the oil.

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It's clear that foreign governments are concerned that Libya doesn't slip into Civil War for a fear it would have a detrimental impact on oil reserves.  Their concern for the Libyan people is a secondary mission.  Whether or not Gadaffi is in any position to withhold oil sales is not the issue here.  The primary concern is to save the oil.

You are so cynical.  But since you believe this so strongly, have you tried to live a fossil-fuel free life?  Try it.  It might be an interesting exercise for you, and you would be playing your part to diminish the rapacious appetite for oil, which, you believe, supersedes all else.  Now you realize, this means no gas, no electricity, no plastics, no clothes you did not make yourself--by hand, no food you did not grow yourself (and without fertilizer),   etc, etc....

I have always done my best to minimize my fossil footprint to the extreme.  But without the stuff, unfortunately, developed society cannot function.  The developing world is lucky--much of it has yet to build infrastructures and when they do, hopefully they will be able to benefit from new energy technologies and will design their societies on something other than fossils.  But the rest of us are, to a certain degree, lamentably stuck.

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It's clear that foreign governments are concerned that Libya doesn't slip into Civil War for a fear it would have a detrimental impact on oil reserves.  Their concern for the Libyan people is a secondary mission.  Whether or not Gadaffi is in any position to withhold oil sales is not the issue here.  The primary concern is to save the oil.

You are so cynical.  But since you believe this so strongly, have you tried to live a fossil-fuel free life?  Try it.  It might be an interesting exercise for you, and you would be playing your part to diminish the rapacious appetite for oil, which, you believe, supersedes all else.  Now you realize, this means no gas, no electricity, no plastics, no clothes you did not make yourself--by hand, no food you did not grow yourself (and without fertilizer),   etc, etc....

I have always done my best to minimize my fossil footprint to the extreme.  But without the stuff, unfortunately, developed society cannot function.  The developing world is lucky--much of it has yet to build infrastructures and when they do, hopefully they will be able to benefit from new energy technologies and will design their societies on something other than fossils.  But the rest of us are, to a certain degree, lamentably stuck.

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It's clear that foreign governments are concerned that Libya doesn't slip into Civil War for a fear it would have a detrimental impact on oil reserves.  Their concern for the Libyan people is a secondary mission.  Whether or not Gadaffi is in any position to withhold oil sales is not the issue here.  The primary concern is to save the oil.

You are so cynical.  But since you believe this so strongly, have you tried to live a fossil-fuel free life?  Try it.  It might be an interesting exercise for you, and you would be playing your part to diminish the rapacious appetite for oil, which, you believe, supersedes all else.  Now you realize, this means no gas, no electricity, no plastics, no clothes you did not make yourself--by hand, no food you did not grow yourself (and without fertilizer),   etc, etc....

I have always done my best to minimize my fossil footprint to the extreme.  But without the stuff, unfortunately, developed society cannot function.  The developing world is lucky--much of it has yet to build infrastructures and when they do, hopefully they will be able to benefit from new energy technologies and will design their societies on something other than fossils.  But the rest of us are, to a certain degree, lamentably stuck.

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Here...to shake you out of your conspiracy-mongering and give you some sense of what leaders are actually thinking about.

Cripes.....having to engage in this sort of conspiracy-busting gets so f*cking old and tiresome!

ap_logo_106.png

Realistic options for ousting Gadhafi look limited

By ROBERT BURNS and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press â€“ 39 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Short of a U.S.-led military offensive, international options to quickly force Moammar Gadhafi from power now appear to be highly limited, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for an end Wednesday to "loose talk" about steps that would amount to an act of war.

There are still hopes that U.N. sanctions and other diplomatic moves can undermine Gadhafi's authority, and Libyan rebels pressed their fight against troops loyal to Gadhafi on Wednesday.

But while a leading U.S. senator urged the Pentagon to be prepared to provide air cover for the rebels, there was little evidence of an appetite by the U.S., Europe or other powers to risk the consequences of military intervention.

Gates captured the mood in telling a congressional panel, "Let's call a spade a spade: A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya" to destroy its air defenses. His point: To ground Libya's air force in a way that minimizes risk to U.S. or coalition pilots would mean initiating an act of war in an Arab land.

The unspoken subtext is that with U.S. forces already deeply committed in Afghanistan, still winding down military operations in Iraq and on the watch for surprises in Iran and elsewhere in the suddenly volatile Persian Gulf region, the risks associated with military action in Libya might be unacceptable.

Alluding to Gates' announcement a day earlier that he had ordered two U.S. warships into the Mediterranean in case they were needed for civilian evacuations or humanitarian relief, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in separate testimony that the crisis could call for a mix of diplomacy and more.

"We are taking no option off the table so long as the Libyan government continues to turn its guns on its own people," she said.

Clinton said she feared the prospect of Libya becoming infested with al-Qaida or affiliated terrorist groups on the scale of Somalia, the Horn of Africa country where the al-Shabab terrorist organization has gained a foothold.

"One of our biggest concerns is Libya descending into chaos and becoming a giant Somalia," Clinton said. "It is right now not something that we see in the offing, but many of the al-Qaida activists in Afghanistan and later in Iraq came from Libya and came from eastern Libya, which is now the so-called free area."

Gates, in testimony before a House committee, decried "loose talk" about military options in Libya, noting that even a no-fly zone would be a major undertaking. He said it could be accomplished if ordered by the White House, but it would require more airplanes than are found on a single U.S. aircraft carrier, which typically carries about 75 planes.

"So it's a big operation in a big country," he said, adding that the U.N. Security Council has not yet authorized any form of military action in Libya.

In support of Gates' point, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that despite media reports of Libyan aircraft attacking rebel areas, the Pentagon as of Wednesday had not confirmed any such attacks. He also said it must be assumed, in planning for the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone, that Libya's air defenses are substantial. Neither he nor Gates said explicitly whether they support or oppose such an operation.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, asked about Gates' comments, said, "The fact that the no-fly zone idea is complex does not mean it's not on the table."

Egyptian officials said two U.S. warships passed through the Suez Canal on Wednesday on their way to the Mediterranean Sea, closer to Libya. The amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce entered the canal from the Red Sea. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to media, said the Kearsarge carried 42 helicopters.

There has been no consensus call from Congress for U.S. military action in Libya. However, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that while a no-fly zone over Libya is "not a long-term proposition," the Pentagon should be prepared to go that route if so ordered.

"The people of Libya do not ask for or need foreign troops on the ground," Kerry said. "They are committed to doing what is necessary, but they do need the tools to prevent the slaughter of innocents on Libyan streets, and I believe the global community cannot be on the sidelines while airplanes are allowed to bomb and strafe."

Senators, meanwhile, worked on an aid package to Arab countries to solidify democratic gains and improve relations with citizens in a part of the world accustomed to U.S. support for questionable rulers.

Kerry, D-Mass., said at a hearing attended by Clinton that "significant financial commitment by the U.S." was crucial to help what he called a "monumental and uplifting transformation" in the Mideast.

Some U.S. allies in NATO are mulling the idea of creating a no-fly zone over Libya. But Germany cautioned Wednesday against playing into charges that the West is unduly meddling in Arab affairs.

"I would advise that we conduct the debate ... about military options with all the appropriate caution and reserve," Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin.

The U.N. Security Council slapped an arms embargo, a travel ban and an assets freeze on Gadhafi, his family and top associates during an emergency weekend meeting. It also agreed to refer the case to the International Criminal Court at The Hague — a permanent war crimes tribunal — to investigate and prosecute possible crimes against humanity. But the U.N. has not yet included an authorization for the use of military force against Libya.

Charles Heyman, a defense analyst and editor of The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, said sanctions directed at the bank accounts and freedom to travel of high level Gadhafi supporters would have an impact. In his view, military intervention, including imposition of a no-fly zone, would prove to be counterproductive.

"A no-fly zone is the least bad option, but it's technically very hard to do and it costs a fortune and I don't think the U.S. or Europeans have to the money to spend now," he said.

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Here...to shake you out of your conspiracy-mongering and give you some sense of what leaders are actually thinking about.

Cripes.....having to engage in this sort of conspiracy-busting gets so f*cking old and tiresome!

ap_logo_106.png

Realistic options for ousting Gadhafi look limited

By ROBERT BURNS and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press â€“ 39 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Short of a U.S.-led military offensive, international options to quickly force Moammar Gadhafi from power now appear to be highly limited, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for an end Wednesday to "loose talk" about steps that would amount to an act of war.

There are still hopes that U.N. sanctions and other diplomatic moves can undermine Gadhafi's authority, and Libyan rebels pressed their fight against troops loyal to Gadhafi on Wednesday.

But while a leading U.S. senator urged the Pentagon to be prepared to provide air cover for the rebels, there was little evidence of an appetite by the U.S., Europe or other powers to risk the consequences of military intervention.

Gates captured the mood in telling a congressional panel, "Let's call a spade a spade: A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya" to destroy its air defenses. His point: To ground Libya's air force in a way that minimizes risk to U.S. or coalition pilots would mean initiating an act of war in an Arab land.

The unspoken subtext is that with U.S. forces already deeply committed in Afghanistan, still winding down military operations in Iraq and on the watch for surprises in Iran and elsewhere in the suddenly volatile Persian Gulf region, the risks associated with military action in Libya might be unacceptable.

Alluding to Gates' announcement a day earlier that he had ordered two U.S. warships into the Mediterranean in case they were needed for civilian evacuations or humanitarian relief, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in separate testimony that the crisis could call for a mix of diplomacy and more.

"We are taking no option off the table so long as the Libyan government continues to turn its guns on its own people," she said.

Clinton said she feared the prospect of Libya becoming infested with al-Qaida or affiliated terrorist groups on the scale of Somalia, the Horn of Africa country where the al-Shabab terrorist organization has gained a foothold.

"One of our biggest concerns is Libya descending into chaos and becoming a giant Somalia," Clinton said. "It is right now not something that we see in the offing, but many of the al-Qaida activists in Afghanistan and later in Iraq came from Libya and came from eastern Libya, which is now the so-called free area."

Gates, in testimony before a House committee, decried "loose talk" about military options in Libya, noting that even a no-fly zone would be a major undertaking. He said it could be accomplished if ordered by the White House, but it would require more airplanes than are found on a single U.S. aircraft carrier, which typically carries about 75 planes.

"So it's a big operation in a big country," he said, adding that the U.N. Security Council has not yet authorized any form of military action in Libya.

In support of Gates' point, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that despite media reports of Libyan aircraft attacking rebel areas, the Pentagon as of Wednesday had not confirmed any such attacks. He also said it must be assumed, in planning for the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone, that Libya's air defenses are substantial. Neither he nor Gates said explicitly whether they support or oppose such an operation.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, asked about Gates' comments, said, "The fact that the no-fly zone idea is complex does not mean it's not on the table."

Egyptian officials said two U.S. warships passed through the Suez Canal on Wednesday on their way to the Mediterranean Sea, closer to Libya. The amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce entered the canal from the Red Sea. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to media, said the Kearsarge carried 42 helicopters.

There has been no consensus call from Congress for U.S. military action in Libya. However, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that while a no-fly zone over Libya is "not a long-term proposition," the Pentagon should be prepared to go that route if so ordered.

"The people of Libya do not ask for or need foreign troops on the ground," Kerry said. "They are committed to doing what is necessary, but they do need the tools to prevent the slaughter of innocents on Libyan streets, and I believe the global community cannot be on the sidelines while airplanes are allowed to bomb and strafe."

Senators, meanwhile, worked on an aid package to Arab countries to solidify democratic gains and improve relations with citizens in a part of the world accustomed to U.S. support for questionable rulers.

Kerry, D-Mass., said at a hearing attended by Clinton that "significant financial commitment by the U.S." was crucial to help what he called a "monumental and uplifting transformation" in the Mideast.

Some U.S. allies in NATO are mulling the idea of creating a no-fly zone over Libya. But Germany cautioned Wednesday against playing into charges that the West is unduly meddling in Arab affairs.

"I would advise that we conduct the debate ... about military options with all the appropriate caution and reserve," Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin.

The U.N. Security Council slapped an arms embargo, a travel ban and an assets freeze on Gadhafi, his family and top associates during an emergency weekend meeting. It also agreed to refer the case to the International Criminal Court at The Hague — a permanent war crimes tribunal — to investigate and prosecute possible crimes against humanity. But the U.N. has not yet included an authorization for the use of military force against Libya.

Charles Heyman, a defense analyst and editor of The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, said sanctions directed at the bank accounts and freedom to travel of high level Gadhafi supporters would have an impact. In his view, military intervention, including imposition of a no-fly zone, would prove to be counterproductive.

"A no-fly zone is the least bad option, but it's technically very hard to do and it costs a fortune and I don't think the U.S. or Europeans have to the money to spend now," he said.

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