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Posts Tagged ‘Colonel Gaddafi

What The Stop the War Coalition Says.

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Apparently Gaddafi has declared a ceasefire whilst still killing Libyans, as CNN reports:

“(CNN) — Libya’s government announced a “immediate” cease-fire on Friday, but witnesses in western and eastern Libya says conflict is raging.

Witnesses in the western city of Misrata said a pro-government assault is persisting and casualties are mounting.

“What cease-fire,” asked a doctor in Misrata, who described hours of military poundings, descriptions of casualties, and dwindling resources to treat the wounded. “We’re under the bombs.”

“This morning they are burning the city,” the doctor said. “There are deaths everywhere.”

“Misrata is on fire,” according to an opposition member — who said tanks and vehicles with heavy artillery shot their way into the city last night and the assault continued on Friday. He said Gadhafi’s regime announced a cease-fire to buy time for itself. “Please help us.”

In eastern Libya, CNN’s Arwa Damon reported the sounds of explosions, fighters’ accounts of heavy casualties, and ambulances. She said fighters, who don’t trust Gadhafi, believe the declaration is a trick

“Everybody around us is on very high alert, still expecting the worst,” she said. “

Elsewhere, in the UK the Stop the War Coalition is against the No Fly Zone, and by default, for allowing Gaddafi to advance on Benghazi unhindered. As a matter of record this is what they say:

“DEMONSTRATE: No military intervention in Libya by US and Britain Downing Street • Whitehall • London • Friday 18 March • 5-6pm

The lessons of two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been learned. The price paid in the devastation of two countries and hundreds of thousands of deaths will now be extended to the people of Libya. Air attacks on Libya will not help end the civil war but will escalate it and could be the prelude to a much wider war. “

(H/T: Weggis)

Update 1: Dave Osler sums it up nicely:

“The stark fact is that without external support, the forces that have put their lives on the line in the current uprising against Gaddafi face certain defeat, and a reactionary regime will brutally and triumphantly consolidate its rule, perhaps bringing the revolution in North Africa and elsewhere in the Muslim world to a total halt.”

Update 2: The Beeb live update is good, and this piece most pertinent:

“1627: More from that Libyan spokesman. He says his government has asked the Turkish and Maltese authorities to help implement – and supervise – the ceasefire.

1620: A Libyan government spokesman says the ceasefire has already been implemented. He insists that no government military attacks have been launched in Misrata or anywhere else on Friday – this conflicts with a number of reports that the BBC has received.

1616: Ghaith Amanazi, former Arab League ambassador, tells the BBC the Libyan leadership is speaking with two voices. Only yesterday, he says, we had “blood-curdling language” from Col Gaddafi and his son, threatening reprisals against the rebels, and then today, we see the foreign minister trying to appease the international community.

1609: UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs tells AFP that parts of the Libyan government have “stated willingness to provide access for humanitarian agencies”, but no agreement has been reached on how an assessment of needs will be carried out.

1602: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond says he “strongly supports” the UN resolution. He tells the BBC it sends a strong message to the Libyan regime and “will concentrate minds”. Asked if he supports the idea of “regime change”, he says he believes “the end game” is “a new government of Libya. “

In Other News, It’s Time to Play ‘Sheen, Beck, or Qaddafi?’

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New York Magazine has a great quiz, It’s Time to Play ‘Sheen, Beck, or Qaddafi?’

I got most of them wrong.

I suppose the next one will be, John Galliano, David Duke or David Irving?

(H/T: Adam Holland)

Written by modernityblog

01/03/2011 at 22:50

Blair Kissing Gaddafi.

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Just when you think that Tony Blair’s reputation can’t sink much lower, something new appears.

Take a look at the very first part of Charlie Brooker’s rant on Gaddafi, and you’ll see the warm greeting between Gaddafi and Blair.

Update 1: The NYT has an insider’s view of events:

“The younger Mr. Qaddafi promised journalists they would find the streets peaceful and his father beloved. Do not mistake the sound of celebratory fireworks for bursts of gunfire around the streets of Tripoli, he advised them.

The next morning, a driver took a group of foreign journalists to an area known as the Friday market, which appeared to have been the site of a riot the night before. The streets were strewn with debris, and piles of shattered glass had been collected in cardboard boxes.

A young man approached the journalists to deliver a passionate plea for unity and accolades to Colonel Qaddafi, then slipped away in a white van full of police officers. Meanwhile, two small boys surreptitiously offered bullet casings that they presented as evidence of force used on protesters the day before.

At another stop, in the working-class suburb of Tajoura, journalists stumbled almost accidentally into a block cordoned off by low makeshift barriers where dozens of residents were eager to talk about a week of what they said were peaceful protests crushed by Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces with overwhelming, deadly and often random force.

A middle-age business owner, who spoke on condition that he be identified only as Turki, said that the demonstrations there had begun last Sunday, when thousands of protesters inspired by the uprising in the east had marched toward Green Square.

Suddenly, he said, they found themselves caught between two groups of double-cabin pick-up trucks without license plates, about forty in all. Men in the trucks opened fire, and killed a man named Issa Hatey. He said neighbors had renamed the area’s central traffic circle “Issa Hatey Square” in his memory.

He and other residents said that over the past week neighbors had been besieged by pickup trucks full of armed men shooting randomly at the crowds, sometimes wounding people who were sitting peacefully in their homes or cars. At other times, they said, the security forces had employed rooftop snipers, antiaircraft guns mounted on trucks and buckshot, and the residents produced shells and casings that appeared to confirm their reports. Turki said that on one day he had seen 50 to 60 heavily armed men who appeared to be mercenaries from nearby African countries.

The neighbors built the low barricades on the streets to impede the trucks with guns. “They come and they kill whoever they can see,” he said. “We are just walking and we don’t have guns.”

After Friday Prayer, Turki and his friends said, a crowd of several thousand had gathered at Issa Hatey Square to march to Green Square. They raised what he called “the old-new flag,” the former tricolor of the Libyan monarchy that rebels have claimed as the flag of a free, post-Qaddafi Libya.

Two carloads of Libyan Army soldiers had joined them, he said, though they never used their weapons to avoid provoking a bloody retaliation.

But when the march arrived at the Arada neighborhood, they were ambushed by snipers on the rooftops. Some protesters said they had been attacked by the personal militia of Colonel Qaddafi’s son Khamis Qaddafi, which is considered the most formidable battalion in the Qaddafi forces.

At least 15 people had died there, he and others said.

A precise death toll has been impossible to verify. A Libyan envoy said Friday that hundreds had been killed in Tripoli. “

Gaddafi In A Bunker.

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This programme on PBS, Getting to Know Gadhafi: Examining the Quirks, Intellect of Libya’s Strongmanm, is informative with an insightful assessment of Gaddafi:

JIM HOAGLAND: I think you can take that at face value. I think you have to wonder if he has a grip on reality, much less control of his country at this point.

Nobody is going in and telling him how bad things really are. If they did, he wouldn’t believe it, and he would probably punish them for doing that. So I think he’s in the bunker, and he’s there to fight on until the last. “

Very plausible, but the question is, what about the sons?

Over at Forbes a puff piece calls Al-Saadi Gaddafi “The African Renaissance Young Man Who Wears Many Hats”.

The piece is enough to make you vomit:

“Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, offers a unique perspective on Libyan development. His personality offers an amalgam of Bill Clinton-esque charm and Jack Welch’s keen intelligence. He could easily be mistaken for a corporate executive rather than the leader of a nation if you met him anonymously in a crowd, and, like a good business leader, Al-Saadi continuously looks for ways to open Libya to the world.

In a recent interview, he spoke authoritatively of the bright future he anticipates for Libya. “Change is coming,” he stated. “Libya and Africa will not be the same in 10 years.” As the conversation expanded to the recent multiple-sector expansion in Tripoli, he spoke of his father’s wise sense in modernizing Libya and leading it into the global economy.

A student of world history who idolizes Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Al-Saadi reflected upon the next steps for Africa in an even broader sense: “Africa has what the developed world needs to continue thriving in the 21st century. All the resources, minerals and manufacturing know-how are available in this gigantic untapped market.”

When it comes to the perception of Libya and Africa around the world, Al-Saadi was quick to acknowledge faults—but equally quick to point to the signs of positive change. He considers himself a true African, who loves observing nature and hunting in the African bush all over the continent.

“Western media has not always been balanced when speaking about Libya. But we will do whatever it takes to open hearts and minds as we strive as a country to open ourselves to the rest of the world. We want them to come enjoy our culture, our food, our history, our lives.” “

Yuck.

UN: A Parody On Libya?

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Despite the fact that Colonel Gadaffi’s dictatorship has been in power for 41 years it was allowed to chair an important UN committee on human rights.

But now, as he’s been murdering Libyans in the street for weeks, the UN has finally decided enough was enough, according to AP:

“GENEVA — The UN Human Rights Council unanimously called Friday for Libya to be suspended from the body and for a probe into violations by the regime, in a dramatic session which witnessed the defection of Tripoli’s envoy.
In a resolution adopted by consensus, the 47 member UN body decided to “urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry… to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya.”

It also “recommends to the United Nations General Assembly, in view of the gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities,” to consider suspending the country from the Human Rights Council.

Libya was elected in May 2010 to the council after obtaining 155 votes in a secret ballot from the 192-state General Assembly.”

However, that doesn’t answer the questions:

1. How did Libya, with a positively appalling human rights record, ever get to chair the UN committee on human rights, in the first place ?

2. Who within the UN colluded with Gadaffi in enabling him to do so ?

3. Why did the UN find out about Libya’s atrocious human-rights record only **recently**, and not decades ago?

Update 1: I should add that Libya was voted into the chair of the previous UN body on human right’s too, the Beeb has more:

“Libya has been elected chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, despite opposition from the United States.
In a secret ballot, Libyan Ambassador Najat Al-Hajjaji was backed by 33 members, with three countries voting against and 17 members abstaining.

Human rights groups have been protesting at Libya assuming the chairmanship.

The job of the Commission, the UN’s main human rights watchdog, is to receive complaints about abuses, but it has been widely condemned as toothless.

Seif Gaddafi said “We have a better human rights record than our neighbours. Sure, we are not Switzerland or Denmark; we are part of the Third World and part of the Middle East. But we are better than our neighbours”. “

Jumping Ship And Provisional Governments.

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Apart from the chaos that’s going on in Libya, I noticed two bits which are telling.

Apparently, Gaddafi’s own private pilot has deserted:

“The pilot of Moammar Ghaddafi’s private jet, a Norwegian citizen, has been able to flee Libya with his family. They are now safe in Vienna after fearing for their lives in Libya.

57-year-old Odd Birger Johansen for the last year has been the pilot of the private jet of Colonel Ghaddafi. Until yesterday, he was in Tripoli, together with his wife and daughter that had chosen this unhappy moment to visit him for a holiday in Libya.

Yesterday, he spoke to the private Norwegian broadcaster ‘TV2’, saying he wanted to evacuate Libya as soon as possible. “Right now, the way I feel it, is that things are burning around me … and I don’t want to … I am not a hero, I will go home,” Mr Johansen told the broadcaster. “

Else where, they are setting up a provisional government:

“In eastern Libya, in the city of Bayda, a provisional government was being formed. The new leadership also is holding some Gadhafi loyalists hostage.

As the first Western journalists many of the residents of Bayda had ever seen were led into the meeting, the crowd gave a standing ovation — quickly followed by cries of “Freedom, Freedom!” and “Libya, Libya!”

This building had been a symbol of Gadhafi’s regime — where his revolutionary council would meet to discuss local affairs.

A new revolution was finding its voice in Bayda, and its fighters were vowing to end Gadhafi’s reign. Some people were crying, others pumping their fists in the air.

“Ordinary people, doctors, lawyers are talking about how we can coordinate with all other cities in Libya who are now under the protesters’ control,” says Ahmed Jibril, a former diplomat at the Libyan mission at the United Nations.

He says this is the beginning of a new government.

“We have a former minister of justice who just resigned three or four days ago,” Jibril says. “He’s among us and people agreed … he would be one of the people in control.” “

Update 1: Frank Gardner piece at the Beeb, Libya: Who is propping up Gaddafi is good.

What Now Libya?

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I am not sure what is *really* going to happen in Libya.

Will the popular uprising be enough to overthrow Gaddafi?

Or will he use his mercenaries to retake Tripoli, and then other cities?

How can unarmed civilians stand up against the paid murderers under Gaddafi’s control?

Will the Army units be enough to support the people’s revolt? I hope so, but the picture is unclear and Gaddafi is one murderous dictator who will do anything to stay in power.

Libya: Some Round Up.

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[I have made the post sticky and will update things as events change in and around Libya. Newer posts will appear below this one for the time being.]

Was away at the weekend and didn’t follow the news at all, so events in Libya have caught me on the back foot.

Nevertheless, here’s a bit of a round up from those in the know, all very subjective and incomplete:

Nick Griffin and Colonel Gaddafi, weird, but then they did share the same pet hate at one time in life, if you think about it.

Terry Glavin on that Libyan Slave Revolt.

Salon has a primer on Libya, with this revealing photo of Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi holding hands:

Comrade Dave looks at the Libya crackdown: the trajectory of Brother Gaddafi.

From December 2010, Hugo Chavez and the gift from Muammar Gaddafi.

From the Don’t vote BNP channel on YouTube, more on Nick Griffin and the Libyan connection:

Over at the Guardian, WikiLeaks cables: A guide to Gaddafi’s ‘famously fractious’ family. This is the bottom line:

“Like all the Gaddafi children and favourites is supposed to have income streams from the national oil company and oil services subsidiaries.”

This is superb, Mapping Violence Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya, a Google map of the on-going events in Libya.

Marko Attila Hoare reminds us of how money talks in academia, Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi and the London School of Economics.

Kellie Strøm takes a wider perspective, Revolution Overload.

CNN has a breaking news feed from Libya.

Finally, thanks to Graham Lloyd, here’s “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Iran And Bahrain, What Do They Have in Common?

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Answer: censorship, riot police and civilians shot by the state.

Who can forget the events of June 2009 in Iran, and how the Iranians theocracy is kept in power by the use of violence.

That theme is seen across the Middle East today, as the Toronto Star reports:

“MANAMA, BAHRAIN—As international leaders urged Bahrain to use restraint following a predawn raid that left five dead and hundreds more injured, its foreign minister justified the crackdown as necessary because protesters were “polarizing the country” and pushing it to the “brink of sectarian abyss.”

Khalid Al Khalifa told reporters the violence was “regrettable,” as soldiers and tanks patrolled the streets and public gatherings were banned in the capital.

However, the crackdown has only ignited more fury among the protesters who sought refuge in the parking lot outside the Salmaniya hospital Thursday.

Their calls to oust the unelected prime minister and his cabinet have grown to targeting a man long seen as untouchable in this Gulf island kingdom: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.”

MSNBC describes what happens in Bahrain:

“Bahrain’s a small country with a large Internet population, and it hasn’t hesitated before to smack down websites or bloggers it doesn’t like, long before this week’s protests began. Internet service, though, had remained somewhat constant, at least until recent days, according to reports.

Bahranian users of Batelco’s high-speed Internet service, one of the more prominent in the country, said they were starting to notice “service degradation” as of Wednesday.

Meanwhile in Libya:

“At one person has been killed in protests across Libya on Thursday in what anti-government activists described as a “Day of Rage”.

Amnesty International says a man was shot dead when security forces opened fire in the city of al-Bayda.

Police and protesters also clashed in Zentan and Benghazi, where one witness told the BBC at least 16 people are believed to have been killed.

This week’s protests are the first in Libya, where dissent is rarely allowed.”

Written by modernityblog

18/02/2011 at 01:19

Live Ammo, 1969 and Libya.

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Marvellous news, the revolt has arrived in Libya too.

Since 1969 Colonel Gaddafi has ruled that oil-rich country and it is a police state.

The wealth is siphoned off, with the Gaddafi family getting rich in the process. Hannibal Gaddafi used to flitter away his money in Switzerland when not assaulting his servants. Yes, you heard it right, the son of a diehard revolutionary has servants!

Euronews has more, and you can hear the live amno being fired at civilians by the Libyan security services:

Written by modernityblog

17/02/2011 at 01:01