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Een democratische omwenteling in de Arabische Wereld? Deel 7– 7 ثورة ديمقراطية في العالم العربي؟ جزء

nieuws en artikelenoverzicht van de actuele gebeurtenissen in de Arabische wereld deel 7 (zie ook deel 1, deel 2, deel 3, deel 4, deel 5 en deel 6)

 

 

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Al-Jazeera English live

 

Palestinian Authority closes Al-Jazeera office

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http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011210172519776830.html

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/20112202148108558.html 

Libya clashes spread to Tripoli

 

Clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters escalate as army unit ‘defects’ in Benghazi.

Last Modified: 20 Feb 2011 22:05 GMT
 
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is confronting the most serious challenge to his rule in 42 years [Al Jazeera]

Security forces have shot dead scores of protesters in Libya’s second largest city, where residents said a military unit had joined their cause.

Live Blog

While Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi attempted to put down protests centred in the eastern city of Benghazi against his four-decade rule, Al Jazeera began receiving eyewitness reports of “disturbances” in the capital Tripoli early on Monday as well.

There were reports of clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters around the Green Square.

“We are in Tripoli, there are chants [directed at Gaddafi]: ‘Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you’re a man,” a protester told Al Jazeera on the phone.

A resident told the Reuters news agency that he could hear gunshots in the streets and crowds of people.

“We’re inside the house and the lights are out. There are gunshots in the street,” the resident said by phone. “That’s what I hear, gunshots and people. I can’t go outside.”

An expatriate worker living in the Libyan capital told Reuters: “Some anti-government demonstrators are gathering in the residential complexes. The police are dispersing them. I can also see burning cars.”

//  

Twitter Reaction

Libya Protests

waldpferd profile

waldpferd RT @RickSanchezTV: UNCONFIRMED: #Libya diplomat claims ‘gunfight btwn #Gaddafi’s sons (one pro-reform) & Gaddafi left #Libya’ / via aljazeera 36 seconds ago · reply

lemlemz profile

lemlemz RT @OnlyOneLibya: #Gaddafi’s henchmen and mercenaries are terrorising #Tripoli. We trust in God, they Libyan people will prevail. #Libya 28 seconds ago · reply

preius profile

preius ” #Gaddafi just blamed #Canada for chaos. I think that’s the first time someone’s blamed Canada for war outside of South Park.” #libya 20 seconds ago · reply

 

  8 new tweets

theimp profile

theimp RT @EnoughGaddafi: international community must intervene, #gaddafi is a war criminal and a barbarian. #feb17 #libya about 1 minute ago · reply

There were also reports of protesters heading to Gaddafi’s compound in the city of Al-Zawia near Tripoli, with the intention of burning the building down.

Meanwhile the head of the Al-Zuwayya tribe in eastern Libya has threatened to cut off oil exports unless authorities stop what he called the “oppression of protesters”, the Warfala tribe, one of Libya’s biggest, has reportedly joined the anti-Gaddafi protests.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Shaikh Faraj al Zuway said: “We will stop oil exports to Western countries within 24 hours” if the violence did not stop. The tribe lives south of Benghazi, which has seen the worst of the deadly violence in recent days.

Akram Al-Warfalli, a leading figure in the Al Warfalla tribe, one of Libya’s biggest, told the network: “We tell the brother (Gaddafi), well he’s no longer a brother, we tell him to leave the country.” The tribe lives south of Tripoli.

Protests have also reportedly broken out in other cities, including Bayda, Derna, Tobruk and Misrata – and anti-Gaddafi graffiti adorns the walls of several cities.

Anti-government protesters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi have reportedly seized army vehicles and weapons amid worsening turmoil in the African nation.

A local witness said that a section of the troops had joined the protesters on Sunday as chaos swept the streets of the city, worst hit by the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year old rule.

Mohamed, a doctor from Al Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, confirmed to Al Jazeera that members of the military had sided with the protesters.

“We are still receiving serious injuries, I can confirm 13 deaths in our hospital. However, the good news is that people are cheering and celebrating outside after receiving news that the army is siding with the people,” he said.

“But there is still a brigade that is against the demonstrators. For the past three days demonstrators have been shot at by this brigade, called Al-Sibyl brigade.”

The witness reports came on a day in which local residents told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died in days of unrest in Benghazi alone. The New York-based Human Rights Watch on Sunday put the countrywide death toll at 173. The rights group said its figure was “conservative”.

‘Massacre’

News of the rising death toll came as residents of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, reported renewed gunfire from security forces in the city.

Sadiq al Ghiryani, a Libyan religious leader, told Al Jazeera a “massacre” was under way in the city and troops firing shots were mostly mercenaries.. Kamal Hudethifi, a judge, described the killings as “ethnic cleansing”.

The Reuters news agency said at least 50 people had been killed in Benghazi since Sunday afternoon.

Moftah, a Benghazi resident , who requested Al Jazeera use only his first name, said the city had become a “war zone” in recent days.

Residents have barricaded the streets with overturned trash cans and debris, and security forces have largely confined themselves to two compounds, though snipers continue to target protesters, he said.

The forces who remain are “thugs” loyal to Gaddafi, Moftah said, and they are firing high-calibre ammunition at protesters.

The eyewitness report came a day after security forces opened fire at a funeral in the eastern coastal city on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and injuring scores more.

A group of six alleged mercenaries – reportedly brought in from Tunisia and other African nations to bolster pro-Gaddafi forces – were captured and arrested by demonstrators in the city of Shahat.

Appeal for calm

Against this backdrop of violence, opposition groups said some 50 Libyan Muslim leaders have urged security forces to stop killing civilians.

“This is an urgent appeal from religious scholars, intellectuals, and clan elders from Tripoli, Bani Walid, Zintan, Jadu, Msalata, Misrata, Zawiah, and other towns and villages of the western area,” the appeal, signed by the group of leaders, stated.

“We appeal to every Muslim, within the regime or assisting it in any way, to recognise that the killing of innocent human beings is forbidden by our Creator and by His beloved prophet of compassion, peace be upon him … Do not kill your brothers and sisters. Stop the massacre now!”

Around the world, people have been gathering in solidarity with the protesters at Libyan consulates and at the White House in Washington, DC, the US capital.

Libya’s government has responded to the international criticism by threatening retaliation against the European Union.  It said on Sunday that it would stop co-operating with efforts to try and stop illegal migrants heading to Europe.

Communication cut

Verifying news from Libya has been difficult since the protests began, because of restrictions on journalists entering the country, as well as internet and mobile phone blackouts imposed by the government.

The Libyan government has blocked Al Jazeera’s TV signal in the country – and residents have also reported that the network’s website is inaccessible from there.

This affects viewers on Arabsat and Nilesat at 26 degrees east and 7 degrees west, where alternative frequencies have now been set up.

A spokesman for the network said whoever was causing the interference must be using large outstations to simultaneously interfere with several platforms on the two orbital positions of Arabsat and Nilesat.

“We have set up alternative frequencies for viewers and are investigating the source of the problem, though cooperation would be needed from governments to precisely determine this,” said the network.

“We believe that whoever is doing this is operating with sophisticated and large equipment.”

In addition to TV signal jamming, internet service has been cut, said a US company that monitors web traffic.

Massachusetts-based Arbor Networks said data collected from 30 internet service providers worldwide showed that online traffic in and out of Libya was disconnected abruptly at  2:15am local time on Saturday. The data also showed two partial service interruptions earlier in the day.

As of Sunday, it was still possible to reach Libyans by phone, and some in Tripoli had internet access.

 
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/201122111127102872.html

Highlights of Gaddafi son’s speech

 

Al-Islam blamed the unrest in Libya on tribal factions and drunken or drugged Islamists acting on their own agendas.

Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 01:39 GMT
seif islam screen grab 

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, addressed the people of Libya early on Monday in a televised speech broadcast on state TV.

In his speech, al-Islam blamed the unrest in Libya on tribal factions and drunken or drugged Islamists acting on their own agendas. He also promised reforms and said the alternative would be civil war causing no trade and no oil money for the country.

On reported deaths in the unrest, he said: “There were some planning errors. Errors from the police … and the army that was not equipped and prepared to confront angry people and…to defend its premises, weapons and ammunition.”

“Each party has its own version of the story…But the unfortunate bottom line is that sons of Libya have died. This is the tragedy.”

On the demands of the protesters: He said he agreed with and understood the “clear political agenda and demands” by political organisations, trade unions and lawyers whom he said were behind the events in the east of Libya.

“These do not represent a problem. We understand and agree with their opinions.”

On the people he blamed for the unrest: “They have started by attacking army camps, have killed soldiers, officers…and taken weapons”.

“The security forces…have arrested dozens in Libya who unfortunately were among our brother Arabs and among the African expatriates…who were used in these events at these times to create problems…Some wealthy (businessmen) and tradesmen spent millions on them to use these people”.

“There are groups that want to rule, there are groups that want to form the state in eastern Libya and rule…in Benghazi and Baida…

“There are groups that have formed a government in Benghazi and groups that have set up an Islamic emirate in Baida … and another person who declared himself to be the ruler of the Islamic Republic of Darna”.

“They now want to transform Libya into a group of (Islamic) emirates, small states and even (cause) separatism. They have a plot. Unfortunately, our brother Arabs (allowed) their media, their stations and the inflammatory coverage.”

 
Source:
Agencies
 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/20112212175256990.html

Profile: Libya’s Saif al-Islam

 

Saif al-Islam was given the task of defending his father’s government on national television.

Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 03:02
Said al-Islam has played a large role in Libyan politics while never holding an official position within the state [AFP] 

Described last year by the New York Times as “the Western-friendly face of Libya and symbol of its hopes for reform and openness,” Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 38, is a fluent English speaker with a PhD from the London School of Economics.

The second of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s seven sons, Saif al-Islam was given the task of defending his father’s government in a televised address early on Monday after the worst unrest of the elder Gaddafi’s four-decade rule.

In his address, he accused exiles of fomenting violence and promised a dialogue leading toward reforms.

Widely seen as belonging to a camp that aims to open Libya’s economy, Saif al-Islam helped lead talks with Western governments that in the past 10 years saw Libya renounce nuclear weapons and end decades of isolation as a foe of the West, paving the way for large-scale investment in its oil sector.

Saif al-Islam has clashed publicly with the ruling elite over proposals for reforms. Some analysts believe his conservative opponents have the backing of his brothers Mutassim, a national security adviser, and Khamis, a senior military leader. In December, he took the unusual step of denying a family feud with his brothers.

His turf war with conservatives has escalated in the past few months, with many Libya-watchers seeing signs of his influence being held in check. Twenty journalists working for al Ghad, a media group which had been linked to him, were briefly arrested. The head of the group stepped down and its flagship newspaper stopped printing.

Much of his influence was wielded through his position as the head of a charity. Late last year the charity said it was withdrawing from politics and his post of chairman was being made into an honorary role.

 
Source:
Reuters
 

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/201122013428971616.html

Moroccans march to seek change

 

Demonstrators demand large-scale political and economic reforms in the North African kingdom.

Last Modified: 20 Feb 2011 14:18 GMT
Ordinary Moroccans are demanding large-scale political and economic reforms [AFP] 

Calls for change sweeping the Arab world have now spread to the kingdom of Morocco, where thousands of people have taken to the streets in the capital to demand a new constitution.

The demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services and help in coping with rising living costs during the march on central Hassan II Avenue in Rabat on Sunday.

A protest organiser said the turnout at the rally was more than 5,000. But police said fewer than 3,000 people had marched.

Many in the crowd waved Tunisian and Egyptian flags, in recognition of the uprisings that toppled the two country’s long-standing rulers.

‘Down with autocracy’

Uniformed police kept their distance from the protest, but plain-clothes officers with notebooks mingled with the crowd, amid chants of “The people reject a constitution made for slaves!” and “Down with autocracy!”   

Some called on Abbas El Fassi, the prime minister, to leave but placards and slogans made no direct attacks on the king.   

“This is a peaceful protest to push for constitutional reform, restore dignity and end graft and the plundering of public funds,” said Mustapha Muchtati of the Baraka (Enough) group, which helped organise the march.

The protest was initiated by a group calling itself the February 20 Movement for Change, which has attracted 19,000 followers on the social networking website Facebook

Demonstrations were also planned in Morocco’s other main cities, including Marrakesh, the top tourist destination.   

Salaheddine Mezouar, the finance minister, urged citizens to boycott the march, warning that any “slip may in the space of a few weeks cost us what we have achieved over the last 10 years”.   

Morocco is officially a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. But the constitution empowers the king to dissolve the legislature, impose a state of emergency and have a key say in government appointments including the prime minister.

 
Source:
Agencies

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011220191453117646.html

Tunisia seeks Ben Ali’s extradition

 

Officials have formally requested the extradition of former president from Saudi Arabia, where he fled last month.

Last Modified: 20 Feb 2011 19:40 GMT
Tunisia now has an interim government which is preparing the country for national elections [AFP] 

Tunisia is seeking the extradition of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Saudi Arabia to face charges stemming from the violent crackdown on protesters last month, Tunisia’s foreign ministry has said.

Tunisia wants to try Ben Ali over his role in the deaths of protesters killed by security forces during the uprising, which brought an end to his decades-long rule, the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state media on Sunday.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia to Jeddah on January 14, after weeks of protests ended his 23-year-old rule.

The interim government, which is preparing the country for national elections, has asked Saudi Arabia to provide “as soon as possible” information on Ben Ali’s health, the state news agency TAP reported.

The 74-year-old former leader is reportedly very ill in hospital after suffering a stroke. Rumours are rife that the former leader might be dead.

 
Source:
Agencies

 


 

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SEND HELP TO LIBYA!!! Petition, hosted at PetitionOnline.com

 تضامن مع شعب ليبيا

Live Blog – Libya

By Al Jazeera Staff in
  • on February 17th, 2011.

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    Citizen video reportedly shows protesters marching in the western coastal city of Misrata.

    As protests in Libya enter their eighth day, following a “day of rage” on Thursday, we keep you updated on the developing situation from our headquarters in Doha, Qatar.

    (All times are local in Libya)

    Blog: Feb17 – Feb18 – Feb19

    AJE Live Stream  – Twitter Audio: Voices from Libya  – Benghazi Protest Radio (Arabic) Benghazi Webcam 

    February 21
    2:00 am Picture from the streets shows Libyans watching Seif Gaddafi address the nation via @ammr
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
    File 9266
    1:50 am Najla Abdurahman, a Libyan dissident, dissected Saif El Islam Gadaffi’s address: 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    He’s threatening Libya and trying to play up on their fears. I don’t think anyone in Libya who isn’t close to the Gaddafi regime would buy anything he said. And even if there is any truth to what he said, I don’t think it’s any better than what the people of Libya have already been living with for the past 40 years. He promised that the country would spiral into civil war for the next 30 to 40 years, that the country’s infrastructure would be ruined, hospitals and schools would no longer be functioning – but schools are already terrible, hospitals are already in bad condition.

     
     
    File 9246

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

     
    1:00am: Saif El Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son, is speaking live on Libyan state television. He says he will address the nation without a written speech, in the Libyan dialect.
    He says the media has greatly exaggerated the events in Libya, and says the number of casualties is 14, adding that he regrets the deaths of civilians. He also says unions and Islamic groups are beind the protests – and they are benefiting from the situation.
    Translated snippets of his speech as he gives it are below:
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    “Citizens tried to attack the army and they were in a situation that was difficult. The army was not used to dealing with riots,” he says.

    “Libyan citizens died and this was a tragedy.

    “There is a plot against Libya. People want to create a government in Benghazi and others want to have an Islamic emirate in Bayda. All these [people] have their own plots. Of course Arab media hyped this. The fault of the Libyan media is that it did not cover this.

    Libya is not like Egypt, it is tribes and clans, it is not a society with parties. Everyone knows their duties and this may cause civil wars. 

    Libya is not Tunisia and Egypt. Libya has oil – that has united the whole of Libya.

    “I have to be honest with you. We are all armed, even the thugs and the unemployed. At this moment in time, tanks are driven about with civilians. In Bayda you have machine huns right in the middle of the city. Many arms have been stolen.

    “No one will come to Libya or do any business with Libya.

    “We will call for new media laws, civil rights, lift the stupid punishments, we will have a constitution… We will tomorrow create a new Libya. We can agree on a new national anthem, new flag, new Libya. Or be prepared for civil war. Forget about oil.

    “The country will be divided like North and South Korea, we will see each other through a fence. You will wait in line for months for a visa.

    “The Libyans who live in Europe and USA, their children go to school and they want you to fight. They are comfortable. They then want to come and rule us and Libya. They want us to kill each other then come, like in Iraq.”

    12:47 am: As the protests in Libya appear to be spreading to the capital, Tripoli, Libyans abroad are making their voices heard as well. Twitter users @shihabeldin  and @abuzaakouk posted this video from a solidarity rally in front of the White House in the US capital:

     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011220213334554610.html

    Concern over rising Libya violence

     

    Top US diplomats condemn crackdowns on protesters but stopped short short of calling for a change of government.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 02:54 GMT
    The US, UK and EU all expressed concern at the escalation in violence, but no punitive measures were announced [AFP]

    Western countries have expressed concern at the rising violence against demonstrators in Libya.

    The United States said it was deeply concerned by credible reports of hundreds of deaths and injuries during protests in Libya, and urged the government to allow demonstrators to protest peacefully.

    “The United States is gravely concerned with disturbing reports and images coming out of Libya,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “We have raised to a number of Libyan officials … our strong objections to the use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators.”

    The State Department said US embassy dependents were being encouraged to leave Libya and US citizens were urged to defer nonessential travel to the country.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spoke out against brutal crackdowns on protesters in Libya and Bahrain but stopped short of calling for a change of government in any of the countries facing large protests.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he spoke to Seif al-Islam Gaddafi by phone on Sunday and told him that the country must embark on “dialogue and implement reforms”.

    Libya threat

    Meanwhile, Libya has told the European Union it will stop cooperating on illegal migration if the EU continues to encourage pro-democracy protests in the country, the bloc’s Hungarian presidency said.

    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had said during a visit to the region last week that Libya should listen to what protesters were saying and “allow free expression”.

    EU foreign ministers met in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the uprisings across North Africa and the Gulf with the focus expected to be on Egypt and Libya, where there have been days of protests against President Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule.

    Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Italy, which has widespread business interests in Libya, particularly in the energy sector, was concerned about developments.

    “We are following very closely all the situation. Italy as you know is the closest neighbour, both of Tunisia and Libya, so we are extremely concerned about the repercussions on the migratory situation in southern Mediterranean,” he said.

    Italian oil giant Eni has invested heavily in the oil-and-gas rich country. Libya’s central bank, meanwhile, has a 4 percent share in Italy’s largest bank UniCredit, which last year won the first international license to operate in the North African country.

    Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who has hosted Gaddafi lavishly on his frequent visits to Rome, said on Saturday he was concerned about the situation but had not called Gaddafi himself because he did not want to “disturb” him.

    Libya has frequently threatened to cancel cooperation with the EU on illegal migration in the past. In December, a minister said Libya would scale back efforts to stem the flow of migrants unless the EU paid 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) a year.

    The International Organization for Migration estimates that migrants from across Africa account for about 10 per cent of Libya’s six million population, although only a minority of those attempt to travel on to Europe to find work.

    The European Commission said in October it would spend 50 million euros to help Libya tackle illegal migration and protect migrants’ rights.

     
    Source:
    Agencies

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/20/gaddafi-cruelly-resists-arab-democratic-revolution

    Gaddafi cruelly resists, but this Arab democratic revolution is far from over

  • The burning question is, where next? After Ben Ali and Mubarak, others may not fall so easily – but most regimes are candidatesThe world has yet to settle on an agreed term for the great events unfolding across the Middle East. I was in the depths of the French countryside – out of touch, and with a BBC World Service that could only fade in and out of hearing late at night and early morning – during their latest, awe-inspiring Egypt phase. But I was soon persuaded that the designation which, in an article in Le Monde, Gilles Kepel, the noted expert on Islamic fundamentalism, assigned them would prove as accurately encapsulating as any. He dubbed them the “Arab democratic revolution”.

    It is definitely, all-encompassingly Arab. The moment one Arab country, Tunisia, lit the spark, it ignited a fire, a contagion, which all Arabs instantly hoped – and its initially mysterious begetters seem to have envisaged or even planned – would spread to the whole “Arab nation”. They all recognised themselves in the aspirations of the Tunisian people, and most appeared to be seized with the belief that if one Arab people could achieve what all had long craved, so could the others.

    It is self-evidently democratic. To be sure, other factors, above all the socio-economic, greatly fuelled it, but the concentration on this single aspect of it, the virtual absence of other factional or ideological slogans has been striking. Indeed, so striking that, some now say, this emergence of democracy as an ideal and politically mobilising force amounts to nothing less than a “third way” in modern Arab history. The first was nationalism, nourished by the experience of European colonial rule and all its works, from the initial great carve-up of the “Arab nation” to the creation of Israel, and the west’s subsequent, continued will to dominate and shape the region. The second, which only achieved real power in non-Arab Iran, was “political Islam”, nourished by the failure of nationalism.

    And it is doubly revolutionary. First, in the very conduct of the revolution itself, and the sheer novelty and creativity of the educated and widely apolitical youth who, with the internet as their tool, kindled it. Second, and more conventionally, in the depth, scale and suddenness of the transformation in a vast existing order that it seems manifestly bound to wreak.

    Arab, yes – but not in the sense of the Arabs going their own away again. Quite the reverse. No other such geopolitical ensemble has so long boasted such a collection of dinosaurs, such inveterate survivors from an earlier, totalitarian era; no other has so completely missed out on the waves of “people’s power” that swept away the Soviet empire and despotisms in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In rallying at last to this now universal, but essentially western value called democracy, they are in effect rejoining the world, catching up with history that has left them behind.

    If it was in Tunis that the celebrated “Arab street” first moved, the country in which – apart from their own – Arabs everywhere immediately hoped that it would move next was Egypt. That would amount to a virtual guarantee that it would eventually come to them all. For, most pivotal, populous and prestigious of Arab states, Egypt was always a model, sometimes a great agent of change, for the whole region. It was during the nationalist era, after President Nasser’s overthrow of the monarchy in 1952, that it most spectacularly played that role. But in a quieter, longer-term fashion, it was also the chief progenitor, through the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, of the “political Islam” we know today, including – in both the theoretical basis as well as substantially in personnel – the global jihad and al-Qaida that were to become its ultimate, deviant and fanatical descendants.

    But third, and most topically, it was also the earliest and most influential exemplar of the thing which, nearly 60 years on, the Arab democratic revolution is all about. Nasser did seek the “genuine democracy” that he held to be best fitted for the goals of his revolution. But, for all its democratic trappings, it was really a military-led, though populist, autocracy from the very outset; down the years it underwent vast changes of ideology, policy and reputation, but, forever retaining its basic structures, it steadily degenerated into that aggravated, arthritic,deeply oppressive and immensely corrupt version of its original self over which Hosni Mubarak presided. With local variations, the system replicated itself in most Arab autocracies, especially the one-time revolutionary ones like his, but in the older, traditional monarchies too.

    And, sure enough, Egypt’s “street” did swiftly move, and in nothing like the wild and violent manner that the image of the street in action has always tends to conjure up in anxious minds. As a broad and manifestly authentic expression of the people’s will, it accomplished the first, crucial stage of what surely ranks as one of the most exemplary, civilised uprisings in history. The Egyptians feel themselves reborn, the Arab world once more holds Egypt, “mother of the world”, in the highest esteem. And finally – after much artful equivocation as they waited to see whether the pharaoh, for 30 years the very cornerstone of their Middle East, had actually fallen – President Obama and others bestowed on them the unstinting official tributes of the west.

    These plaudits raise the great question: if the Arabs are now rejoining the world what does it mean for the world? Will the adoption of a fundamental western value make it necessarily receptive to western policies or prescriptions? Probably not. Democracy itself, let alone Arab resentment over the west’s long record of upholding the old, despotic order, will militate against that.

    Practically speaking, the Arabs’ “third way” only means that democracy, a political neutral concept in itself, will henceforth serve as their gateway for the conduct of their politics. It doesn’t mean supplanting the first two ways. For the politics of those cannot but persist into the third. Islamism, the west’s great bugbear, will still be there. A democratic order will find it impossible, on its own or any else’s behalf, to do what Nasser once did in the despotic one, execute some Muslim Brotherhood leaders and harshly suppress their followers. It is bound to accommodate them, openly and electorally ceding to them their true weight in Arab affairs, along with that of all other movements in competition with them.

    Nationalism, once the other great western bugbear, will be one of these, and very probably, given the Brotherhood’s less than glorious role in the uprising, it will regain some of the ground it seriously began losing to the Islamists after the shattering Arab defeat of 1967.

    A key, perhaps the key, element in America’s now sorely stricken Middle East strategies has always been about the Arab-Israeli conflict. With Islamism and nationalism, not to mention other political forces, freely expressing themselves, an Egyptian democracy will not, cannot, continue to play the role – utterly subservient, if not frankly treasonable, in many Arab eyes – that Mubarak did on behalf of the US and Israel. How significant this particular Egyptian-American divergence becomes remains to be seen. But most Israelis already see it as a calamity in the making, with the ironic consequence that the self-styled “only democracy in the Middle East” now leads the field in proclaiming that democracy should never have been for the Arabs.

    But all this is looking ahead. For the time being, the burning questions will be about where the Arab democratic revolution strikes next. Though Europe 1989 is the obvious precedent, the kings and presidents may not fall like dominoes as the Honeckers and Ceausescus did. And, in the wake of Ben Ali and Mubarak, others may not fall so easily or prettily either. That is already apparent from the two latest, and most dramatic, episodes in the almost unceasing pro-democracy turbulence that already grips a good half-dozen Arab countries. The 200-year old Bahraini monarchy may have currently retreated into an attempt at dialogue and reconciliation, but this tight-knit, Sunni-minority regime has already shown how tenacious and tough – and bloody – it can be in the face of its Shia-majority uprising. As for Libya, there could hardly ever have been much doubt that, confronted with his uprising, Colonel Gaddafi, cruellest and most capricious of Arab dictators, would seek to do, in the grand manner, what he has always openly proclaimed he would do to any opponent of his 42-year-old Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab State of the Masses: which is to “cut them to pieces”.

    But most regimes are candidates. Among the few likely exceptions, perhaps the most important, and certainly the most apt, is Lebanon, to which I have now returned. Ever turbulent, ever the most of exposed of Arabs to the consequences of what other Arabs do, it might logically seem destined to be among the first to go. But it isn’t – mainly because, alone in the region, it has always been a democracy of sorts.

    Uit het archief van de VPRO- De Libische Revolutie (1969)

     

    http://geschiedenis.vpro.nl/themasites/mediaplayer/index.jsp?bw=bb&player=wmp&media=22707829&portalnr=4158511&refernr=40015240&hostname=geschiedenis&portalid=geschiedenis&themechannel=&id=vars.jsp%3Fmedia%3D22707829%26portalnr%3D4158511%26refernr%3D40015240%26hostname%3Dgeschiedenis%26portalid%3Dgeschiedenis&x=22&y=2#

    Een, zeker vanuit het heden beschouwd, zowel onthullende, maar ook ontluisterende documentaire van Roelof Kiers uit 1969 over de staatsgreep van Gadaffi en de zijnen. Toen nog met enige bewondering en sympathie voor de groep jonge officieren, die een einde maakte aan het semi-koloniale bewind van Koning Idris. Verbijsterend om het, met de wetenschap van nu, terug te zien. Maar achteraf praten is altijd makkelijk

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2011/02/2011221111837532726.html

    Inside Story

     

    Crushing Libya’s revolt

     

    The unrest in Libya started as a series of protests, but was met by a fierce security crackdown.

    Inside Story Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 12:59
     Across Libya, protesters are still calling for Muammar Gaddafi to leave.More than 200 anti-government protesters were killed during the last few days of violence in the Libyan city of Benghazi.Witnesses from Benghazi say that dozens of people were killed on Saturday when troops opened fire on anti-government protesters in the city.They also spoke of snipers firing at protesters from rooftops and a number of foreign mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa being brought in to attack protesters.Some of those mercenaries were caught by protesters and confessed that they had received instructions to fire live bullets at demonstrators.Will Muammar Gaddafi’s regime prevail where others fell to the will of the people?Joining us to discuss these issues are: Aly Khan Satchu, a financial analyst and the CEO of Rich Investment; Ian Black, a Middle East editor of The Guardian; and Ashur Shamis, a Libyan opposition activist.This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, February 20, 2011.
     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera
     

     

    Libya protests spread and intensify

     

    More than 60 people reported dead in the capital, as anti-government demonstrations escalate across the country.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 16:15 GMT
    More than 60 people have been reported dead after more violence in the Libyan capital as angry protests against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule escalate across the country.At least 61 people were killed in clashes in Tripoli on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeera. The protests appeared to be gathering momentum, with demonstrators saying they had taken control of several key towns in the country.News of the spreading violence came as a privately run Libyan newspaper reported that the country’s justice minister had resigned over the deadly force used against protesters.Ahmad Jibreel, a Libyan diplomat, spoke to Al Jazeera on Monday and confirmed that the minister had sided with the protesters.

    Live Blog

    “I was speaking to the minister of justice just a few minutes ago… he told me personally, he told me he had joined the supporters. He is trying to organise good things in all cities,” he said.

    Jibreel also told Al Jazeera that key cities near Libya’s border with Egypt were now in the hands of protesters, which he said would enable foreign media to now enter the country.

    “Gaddafi’s guards started shooting people in the second day and they shot two people only. We had on that day in Al Bayda city only 300 protesters. When they killed two people, we had more than 5,000 at their funeral, and when they killed 15 people the next day, we had more than 50,000 the following day.

    “This means that the more Gaddafi kills people, the more people go into the streets.”

    Civil war warning

    His comments came hours after Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader, warned of a civil war if anti-government protests continue to spread in the country.

    Speaking on state television in the early hours of Monday morning, Saif Gaddafi blamed thugs, inmates, foreigners and Islamists for the unrest that has spread across the country since February 14.

    He promised a conference on constitutional reforms within two days and said Libyans should “forget oil and petrol” and prepare themselves for occupation by “the West” if they failed to agree.

    The younger Gaddafi contrasted the situation in Libya with revolts earlier this year in Egypt and Tunisia, where longtime rulers were forced step down or fled in the face of mass popular discontent.

    Protesters in Libya have similarly called for Muammar Gaddafi’s ousting, but his son warned against this, saying “Libya is different, if there is disturbance it will split into several states”.

    “You can say we want democracy and rights, we can talk about it, we should have talked about it before. It’s this or war. Instead of crying over 200 deaths, we will cry over hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    “Brothers, there are $200bn worth of projects at stake now. We will agree to all these issues immediately. We will then be able to keep our country, unlike our neighbours.

    “Or else, be ready to start a civil war and chaos and forget oil and petrol.”

    But his statements have failed to hinder demonstrations. Protesters say they have taken control of several key towns, including the eastern city of Benghazi. Al Bayda and Sabha were also said to have been taken over by protesters.

    Tripoli violence

    Following Saif Gaddafi’s speech, witnesses in Tripoli reported an escalation of violence, as supporters of his father flooded into the city’s central square and confronted anti-government protesters.

    //  

    Twitter Reaction

    Libya Protests

    Yamatatsu0812 profile

    Yamatatsu0812 RT @AJELive: Reuters: UK foreign minister William Hague says he’s seen intel that #Gaddafi on his way to Venezuela. keep up: http://aje.me/g34XgM #Libya 12 seconds ago · reply

     

      25 new tweets

    busybrains profile

    busybrains RT @AJELive: Reuters: UK foreign minister William Hague says he’s seen intel that #Gaddafi on his way to Venezuela. keep up: http://aje.me/g34XgM #Libya 42 seconds ago · reply

    cowrin profile

    cowrin RT @AJELive: Reuters: UK foreign minister William Hague says he’s seen intel that #Gaddafi on his way to Venezuela. keep up: http://aje.me/g34XgM #Libya 35 seconds ago · reply

    Jnoubiyeh profile

    Jnoubiyeh The death toll keeps rising in #Libya. At least 500 Libyans are estimated to have been murdered by #Gaddafi since the uprising began. #Feb17 yesterday · reply 500+ recent retweets

    Armed men in uniform fired into the crowds, witnesses said, and continuous gunfire could be heard in the background of recorded phone calls from the capital released to journalists by Libyans living abroad.

    Saif Gaddafi admitted that some military bases, tanks and weapons had been seized and acknowledged that the army, under stress, opened fire on crowds because it was not used to controlling demonstrations.

    Though human rights groups have said that hundreds of protesters have died, a toll they still described as “conservative,” Saif Gaddafi said that numbers had been exaggerated.

    He said there were 14 dead in Tripoli and 84 in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and the site of some of the bloodiest security crackdowns.

    In a new estimate released on Sunday, Human Rights Watch said at least 233 people have died so far.

    Doctors and eyewitnesses throughout Libya have offered widely varying death toll but have reported many hundreds of injured, even in Benghazi alone.

    ‘Desperate speech’

    Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said Saif Gaddafi’s speech appeared “desperate”.

    “It sounded like a desperate speech by a desperate son of a dictator who’s trying to use blackmail on the Libyan people by threatening that he could turn the country into a bloodbath,” Bishara said.

    “That is very dangerous coming from someone who doesn’t even hold an official role in Libya – so in so many ways, this could be the beginning of a nightmare scenario for Libya if a despotic leader puts his son on air in order to warn his people of a bloodbath if they don’t listen to the orders or the dictates of a dictators.”

    “It’s also fascinating how he threatened the West with chaos in Libya and then threatened Libyans with Western intervention, because, as he put it, that would turn Libya into a decentralised country allowing various Islamist groups to take over, which the West would not allow,” Bishara said.

    Awad Elfeituri from the Libyan Information Centre in Qatar told Al Jazeera that the young Gaddafi “is in a state of panic now. I think he is trying to send a message to the west, I don’t think he was talking to the Libyan people”.

    Elfeituri said the Gaddafi regime was still trying to do its best to hold onto power. “I don’t think they will surrender easily,” he said.

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera and agencies
     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/201122116042447579.html

    Report: Libyan protesters fired on

     

    Security forces using fighter jets launch operations against anti-Gaddafi march in Tripoli.

    Yasmine Ryan Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 16:36 GMT
    Reports say live ammuntion is being used against protesters marching on the compound of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.The Libyan News Centre (LNC) based in Geneva, Switzerland, announced on Monday afternoon that Libyan security forces were killing protesters in Tripoli.Ahmed Elgazir, a human rights researcher, said the LNC received a call for help from a woman “witnessing the massacre in progress who called on a satellite phone”.Phone lines in the country have been blocked, making it impossible to verify the information.
     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera
     

     

    ondertussen:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201121814292835839.html#

    Israeli media ‘fears’ the new Egypt

     
    Israel’s media presents Egyptian democracy as a threat, with one commentator lamenting the end of colonialism.
    Neve Gordon Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 16:04 GMT
    Israeli media changed its tone, first arguing that Hosni Mubarak’s government would not fall, and later worrying about the implications for Israel [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Over the past three weeks the Israeli media has been extremely interested in Egypt.

    During the climatic days of the unprecedented demonstrations, television news programmes spent most of their airtime covering the protests, while the daily papers dedicated half the news and opinion pages to the unfolding events.

    Rather than excitement at watching history in the making, however, the dominant attitude here, particularly on television, was of anxiety– a sense that the developments in Egypt were inimical to Israel’s interests. Egypt’s revolution, in other words, was bad news.

    It took a while for Israel’s experts on “Arab Affairs” to get a grip on what was happening. During the early days of unrest, the recurrent refrain was that “Egypt is not Tunis”.

    Commentators assured the public that the security apparatuses in Egypt are loyal to the regime and that consequently there was little if any chance that President Hosni Mubarak’s government would fall.

    Media switch

    Once it became clear that this line of analysis was erroneous, most commentators followed Prime Minister Binyamin  Netanyahu’s lead and criticised President Barack Obama’s Administration for not supporting Mubarak. The Foreign News editor of one channel noted that: “The fact that the White House is permitting the protests is reason for worry;” while the prominent political analyst Ben Kaspit expressed his longing for President George W. Bush.

    “We remember 2003 when George Bush invaded and took over Iraq with a sense of yearning”, Ben Kaspit wrote. “Libya immediately changed course and allied itself with the West. Iran suspended its military nuclear program. Arafat was harnessed. Syria shook with fear. Not that the invasion of Iraq was a wise move (not at all, Iran is the real problem, not Iraq), but in the Middle East whoever does not walk around with a big bat in his hand receives the bat on his head.”

    Israeli commentators are equivocal on the issue of Egyptian democracy.  One columnist explained that it takes years for democratic institutions to be established and for people to internalise the practices appropriate for democracy, while Amir Hazroni from NRG went so far as to write an ode to colonialism:

    “When we try to think how and why the United States and the West lost Egypt, Tunis, Yemen and perhaps other countries in the Middle East, people forget that. The original sin began right after WWII, when a wonderful form of government that protected security and peace in the Middle East (and in other parts of the Third Word) departed from this world following pressure from the United States and Soviet Union… More than sixty years have passed since the Arab states and the countries of Africa were liberated from the ‘colonial yoke,’ but there still isn’t an Arab university, an African scientist or a Middle Eastern consumer product that has made a mark on our world.”

    Fear and the brotherhood

    While only a few commentators are as reactionary as Hazroni, an Orientalist perspective permeated most of the discussion about Egypt, thus helping to bolster the already existing Jewish citizenry’s fear of Islam. Political Islam is constantly presented and conceived as an ominous force that is antithetical to democracy.

    Thus, in the eyes of Israeli analysts, the protestors- that Facebook and Twitter generation- are deserving of empathy but also extremely naïve. There is a shared sense that their fate will end up being identical to that of the Iranian intellectuals who led the protests against the Shah.

    Channel Two’s expert on “Arab Affairs” explained that: “The fact that you do not see the Muslim Brotherhood does not mean they are not there,” and another expert warned his viewers not to “be misled by ElBaradei’s Viennese spirit, behind him is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

    According to these pundits, the Muslim Brotherhood made a tactical decision not to distribute Islamists banners or to take an active part in leading the protests. One commentator declared that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, then “elections are the end of the [democratic] process, not its beginning,” while an anchorman for Channel Ten asked former Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer whether “the person who says to himself: ‘How wonderful, at last the state of Egypt is a democracy,’ is naïve?”

    The Minister responded: “Allow me even to laugh. We wanted a democracy in Iran and in Gaza. The person who talks like this is ignoring the fact that for over a decade there has been a struggle of giants between the Sunni and Shia with tons of blood spilled. The person who talks about democracy does not live in the reality we live in.”

    Democratic threat

    Ben-Eliezer’s response is telling, not least because it is well known that Israel supported the Shah regime in Iran and has not proven itself to be a particularly staunch supporter of Palestinian democracy. Democracy in the Middle East is, after all, conceived by this and prior Israeli governments as a threat to Israel’s interests.

    Dan Margalit, a well-known commentator, made this point clear when he explained that Israel does not disapprove of a democracy in the largest Arab country but simply privileges Israel’s peace agreement with Egypt over internal Arab affairs.

    Israel, one should note, is not alone in this self-serving approach; most western countries constantly lament the absence of democracy in the Arab world, while supporting the dictators and helping them remain in office. In English this kind of approach has a very clear name – it is called hypocrisy.

    Neve Gordon is the author of Israel’s Occupation and can be reached through his website.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera
     

    Dit geluid was al een tijdje herkenbaar bij de diverse pro-Israël bloggers/propagandisten/ Hasbaristen, zoals bijvoorbeeld bij de op dit blog eerder besproken Ratna Pelle (zie  https://fhs1973.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/een-repliek-aan-ratna-pelle-beroepspropagandiste-hysterische-zioniste-en-palestijnenbasher/). Op haar blog staan bijvoorbeeld de volgende jammerklachten te lezen:

    ‘Het is een cliché te stellen dat niemand een maand geleden had kunnen vermoeden dat de Arabische wereld op zijn kop zou staan, en dat massale protesten zouden leiden tot op zijn minst flinke hervormingen, en waarschijnlijk regime change in verschillende Arabische staten. De geschiedenis blijkt keer op keer onvoorspelbaar en grillig. En ook nu hebben we geen idee hoe het er over een maand voorstaat, of de rust is weergekeerd of dat als dominostenen de ene na de andere dictator zal vallen. In zo’n geval vragen de media experts om hun mening, die dan met een ernstig gezicht komen vertellen hoe het zit en dat we ons geen zorgen hoeven maken. In Nieuwsuur legt Bertus Hendriks dagelijks uit dat we niet bang hoeven zijn voor de Moslim Broederschap (MB), want die zijn niet gewelddadig en bovendien heeft de gematigde tak nu de overhand. Ook Frans Timmermans mag regelmatig aanschuiven om te verkondigen dat als het Westen zich eenduidig achter de protesten schaart, het nieuwe regime ons heus goed gezind zal zijn, en Europa wat dit betreft het voorbeeld moet geven. Overigens heeft Amerika Mubarak al laten vallen, en volgens sommigen heeft dat eraan bijgedragen dat hij hoogstwaarschijnlijk binnenkort zal aftreden. Op internet kom ik echter heel andere informatie tegen over de MB, zoals dat zij de jihad tegen zowel Israel als het Westen wel degelijk steunt’ (http://www.zionism-israel.com/blog/archives/00000533.html)

    of

    ‘Avond aan avond laten deskundologen hun speculaties, hoop, bezorgdheid en verwachtingen wat betreft de situatie in Egypte op ons los. Er is een algemeen gevoel dat we getuigen zijn van historische gebeurtenissen. Optimisten maken graag een vergelijking met Oost Europa, pessimisten met Iran. We zijn een pluriform land, met vrijheid van meningsuiting, een vrije pers, een leger aan journalisten en analisten en deskundigen en politici van allerlei gezindten en achtergronden. Tenminste dat dacht ik. Maar als je op Nieuwsuur en Pauw en Witteman afgaat, bekruipt je weleens het gevoel dat wij hier ook een soort staats-tv hebben, waar bepaalde meningen steeds maar weer worden verkondigd en andere nooit te horen zijn.

    Voor die andere meningen moet je op duistere blogs en zionistische websites zijn (je neemt me de woorden uit de mond, FS 🙂 ), of er de Israelische kranten op naslaan, ik bedoel, opgoogelen. Daar lees je dan bijvoorbeeld dat de Moslim Broederschap het vredesverdrag met Israel wil opzeggen en democratie slechts als een middel ziet om de macht te grijpen. Daar lees je hoe voor- en tegenstanders van Mubarak Israel de schuld geven van de problemen in hun land, en dat ook de Palestijnse premier, de als zeer gematigd bekendstaande Salam Fayyad, Israel de schuld geeft voor de problemen in Egypte. Daar lees je dat Israel decennialang als zondebok en uitlaatklep voor de onvrede in Egypte (en andere Arabische staten) fungeerde, dat Mubarak dat bewust aanwakkerde en je voor kontakten met Israel in de gevangenis kon belanden. En daar lees je dat Hamas aanhangers nu relatief makkelijk de grens met de Gazastrook oversteken.

    Een frappant bericht in de Jerusalem Post meldde dat er nu goederen de Gazastrook UIT worden gesmokkeld om de bevolking in Egypte te voeden. Door de onrust worden de winkels in de Sinaï niet fatsoenlijk meer bevoorraad, en blijkbaar is er na anderhalve week van protesten meer voedsel in ‘concentratiekamp Gaza‘ dan in de Sinaï. Dat lijkt mij toch opzienbarend nieuws, nadat hulporganisaties, journalisten en mensenrechtenactivisten jarenlang de noodklok luidden over de humanitaire ramp in Gaza die door het westen geheel genegeerd zou worden.

    Verschillende deskundologen noemden de Moslim Broederschap van de week een soort CDA, CU of SGP, kortom een democratische religieuze partij waar we verder niks van te vrezen hebben. Dat doet niet alleen onrecht aan de huidige standpunten en de geschiedenis van de MB, maar ook aan de verschillen tussen het Midden-Oosten en Nederland. Het is een fout die veel wordt gemaakt. Het is gelukkig uit de tijd om over wilde, primitieve of exotische Arabieren te spreken, maar feit is dat het een heel andere regio is met een andere culturele en religieuze traditie, een andere mentaliteit en een geheel andere manier van politiek bedrijven. Paul Brill maakte dat heel mooi duidelijk in dit vermakelijke stukje.(http://www.zionism-israel.com/blog/archives/00000534.html)

    enz. enz. enz…… 🙂 Terug naar Libië

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/02/21/what-next-mad-dog-libya

    What next for the ‘Mad Dog’ of Libya?

    By Jamal Elshayyal in
  • on February 21st, 2011.

    <!–

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    –><!—-><!–

    –>

    Photo by AFP

    2011 has already proven lie to the idea that the Arab world ever needed foreign help in order to achieve democracy; and now it could prove false the notion that the American administration and other Western governments ever cared about human rights or self determination. Unfortunately, this will be done through the massacring of hundreds if not thousands of innocent Libyans.

    It has already become apparent that fear and apathy no longer cripple the Arab world, the volcano that is the Middle East of today is no longer dormant, and as it begins to erupt, those who foolishly continue to try and suppress it eventually burn or melt away. 

    For decades, the Arab world has settled for corrupt, ignorant, treacherous despots as their leaders. For a generation, and in some cases two, Arabs lived in constant fear of expressing dissent, a fear so crippling it deemed them useless, incompetent and ultimately irrelevant . But the region has now been revived by its youth who have shown in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya that they know no fear, that they would rather die standing than live on their knees. 

    But still, like with Egypt, the West fails to see the inevitability of freedom, America and Britain fail to understand that they can not continue to do business with dictators and still say they are “friends of the people”.

    The European Union buys 79 per cent of Libya’s oil. American companies and expats have practically taken over parts of Libya in recent years as the “free world” began to flirt with Gaddafi in the most scandalous of relationships. How can Europe put pressure on the Libyan government (freezing personal assets of Gaddafi for example) to immediately stop the butchering of innocent civilians when 10 per cent of Europe’s oil originates in Libya?

    America and most of Western Europe have already taught us how the equation works: Oil – Arab blood = Positive, Arab Blood – Oil = Negative. 

    In the past few days I have spoken to people in Benghazi, in Beyda, in Tripoli and I’ve heard accounts of 60 innocent young men being gunned down in a police station. People I’ve spoken to on the phone have since gone missing, picked up by Libyan intelligence, their fate – only God knows. 

    Gaddafi’s son, Saif, has threatened to kill hundreds of thousands of Libyans – on TV. What was the reaction from “the free world”?

    Despite the horrific barbarism used by Gaddafi to try and suppress his people, Libyans remain steadfast, determined to realise their dream of living in a democratic and free country. But they do this in spite of “the free world”, they do this despite the best efforts of Washington, London and Rome, all of whom have and continue to prop up Gaddafi.

    It amazes me why these governments fail to realise that we no longer live in a world where oppression is okay. I am baffled as to how those working in the State Department have yet to comprehend that the Middle East is no longer their playground, the Arab people will no longer be subjected to the dictatorial rule of puppet despots propped up by greedy, racist and corrupt regimes. 

    2011 is proving to be a turning point, a new beginning for the free people of this region, from what I hear, see and know about the Arab people, they want nothing more than to embark on this new beginning with their fellow free humans in the West; its a shame that Western governments seem to be as opposed to freedom and democracy as the despots who have ruled the Arab world for decades. 

    http://s.nos.nl/swf/nos_video_embed.swf

    Gaddafi hits with deadly force

     

    Libya’s official news agency blames Israel for unrest, as security forces attack protesters.

    Emad Mekay Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 14:33
     
      
    Protests against the Libyan leader have been taking place in London and around the world [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has unleashed a bloody crackdown against pro-democracy protestors seeking his ouster, killing dozens of people in only four days of protests.

    On Sunday, the unrest spread to capital Tripoli from the eastern port city Benghazi.

    Libyan Internet activists have denounced the international community’s failure to act over the “massacres” in Libya.

    The Cairo-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights has decried the use of violence against the protestors in Libya and called for an international investigation. The Vienna-based Friends of Humanity said the Libyan regime’s onslaught was tantamount to “war crimes”.

    There are conflicting reports on the death toll but it is generally believed to be in the hundreds now.

    Human Rights Watch reports that 173 people had died prior to Monday. The London-based private newspaper Libya Al-Youm quoted a local doctor as saying that 285 people died in the eastern city of Benghazi alone.

    Some 300 people have been killed in Benghazi, the country’s second largest city, witnesses told Al Jazeera by phone.

    The crackdown by Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969, threatens to make the revolt the most costly in terms of human lives and bloodshed in the wave of demonstrations sweeping across the region for greater freedoms.

    Gaddafi, trying to stave off the fate of the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt who were removed from power after facing similar protests, has resorted to much harsher military tactics than those used in uprisings in neighbouring Egypt or Tunisia.

    His tactics include cutting off food, fuel and medical supplies as well as electricity to revolting cities. The regime also cut off most communications to try to make sure the unrest does not spread to other cities. But the move failed to prevent protests erupting in capital Tripoli on Sunday.

    Pan-Arab news outlets report that Gaddafi’s troops have used live ammunition and heavy military equipment such as anti-tank missiles in Benghazi. Late on Sunday fierce clashes were being reported in Tripoli.

    Libya Al Youm reported on its website on Sunday that the regime was using “heavy weapons” and shooting at random.

    The newspaper also carried a call for urgent supplies for Benghazi hospitals including blood.

    “Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces are firing on Libyan citizens and killing scores simply because they’re demanding change and accountability,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

    On top of its military response, the Gaddafi regime is trying to paint the revolt as a foreign plot to destabilise the country – a tool used by many other Arab regimes. After a long history of colonisation by Western powers and by Israel in the Palestinian territories, Arab people are deeply mistrustful of foreign interference.

    The official Libyan News Agency (JANA) reported Sunday that the government was fighting an Israeli-inspired scheme to create anarchy in the country. It said that there were no genuine popular grievances behind the protests.

    Israel is financing “separation” forces in the Arab region, JANA added.

    Al-Shams newspaper, which is controlled by an arm of the information ministry in Tripoli, reported online that the government has exposed “foreign network elements” in several Libyan cities.

    But online posts by Libyans and anti-Gaddafi demonstrators show that the protestors want regime change and democracy.

    Most of the uprising has so far centred around Eastern cities, especially the Mediterranean city of Benghazi. Protests were also reported in Baida, Ajdabiya, Zawiya and Derna before spreading to Tripoli.

    The protests started Feb. 17 after Internet activists called for a “Day of Rage” against political and economic conditions for Libyans under Gaddafi.

    On Sunday, the website, LibyaFeb17.com carried tweets and posts condemning the global indifference over the harsh tactics by Gaddafi’s troops.

    “It is precisely this silence that is a very serious issue in this terrifying situation,” said one post.

    The post came after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Saturday he will not “bother” Gaddafi over the violent incidents.

    In 2009, the Libyan government invested in Eni, an Italian oil company that has been operating in Libya since 1959. Eni is Libya’s largest foreign oil producer.

    Britain had said on Friday it was revoking arms export licences for Libya and Bahrain, another Arab country whose government is fighting popular protests. The ban will limit tear gas and ammunition sales that could be used to suppress protests.

    Gaddafi had tried earlier to appear unruffled over the removal of two of his erstwhile allies, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia.

    The state-sponsored Al-Jamahiriya TV, beamed via satellite to Arab countries, aired live interviews with officials and pundits calling for calm and “opening a dialogue.”

    The officials explained that the government was spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars on making Libyans’ life better through investing in infrastructure, roads, schools and universities.

    Libya’s Al-Jamahiriya 2 was airing songs praising Gaddafi and eulogising his achievements. But the violent reaction is seen as an indication of the threat Gaddafi perceives.

    A version of this article first appeared on the Inter Press Service News Agency.

     
    Source:
    IPS

    http://nos.nl/artikel/220578-bloedbad-in-tripoli.html

    ‘Bloedbad in Tripoli’

    Dassault Mirage F1 van de Libische luchtmacht op het luchthaven van Malta» Dassault Mirage F1 van de Libische luchtmacht op het luchthaven van Malta AFP

    Toegevoegd: maandag 21 feb 2011, 18:15

    Update: maandag 21 feb 2011, 23:10

    De volksopstand in Libië is ook vandaag uitgelopen op een bloedbad. Op veel plaatsen zijn betogers gedood door het leger in een nieuwe poging de opstand de kop in te drukken.

    Straaljagers, helikopters en tanks openden het vuur overal waar demonstranten waren, zeggen ooggetuigen. Alleen al in de hoofdstad Tripoli zouden volgens de zender al-Arabiya 160 mensen zijn omgekomen. “Dit is onvoorstelbaar. Oorlogsvliegtuigen bombarderen het ene gebied na het andere. Er zijn veel, heel veel doden”, zegt de politieke activist Adel Mohamed Saleh. “Ons volk gaat dood, het is de tactiek van de verschroeide aarde.”

    Volgens hem was een begrafenisstoet in Tripoli het eerste doelwit van de beschietingen. Nu werd er overal gebombardeerd. “Het gaat maar door, het gaat maar door. Iedereen die beweegt, is een doelwit.”

    Eerder kwamen er al berichten dat vliegtuigen met scherp schoten op betogers die zich op het plein voor het paleis van de Libische leider hadden verzameld. Ook zijn er tanks ingezet. Volgens Saleh richten de militairen zich op alles wat beweegt. “Wie met zijn auto de straat op gaat, wordt geraakt.”

    Said Kadhafi, de zoon van de Libische leider, ontkent dat de luchtmacht bombardementen heeft uitgevoerd op demonstranten in Tripoli. Hij beweert dat het leger de eigen munitiedepots heeft gebombardeerd in afgelegen gebieden en niet in wijken in Tripoli en Benghazi.

    Overgelopen

    Twee Libische luchtmachtpiloten zijn vanmiddag uit protest tegen het harde optreden van Kadhafi met twee straaljagers uitgeweken naar Malta.

    De twee kolonels vertelden de Maltese autoriteten dat zij de opdracht hadden gekregen om betogers in Benghazi te bombarderen. Toen andere piloten daarmee begonnen, veranderden ze van koers en vlogen met hun Mirages naar Malta.

    De twee zouden op Malta asiel willen aanvragen.

    Militairen doodgeschoten

    Ook in andere Libische steden is het nog steeds onrustig. Er zijn overheidsgebouwen in brand gestoken. Ook zijn er meldingen dat gebouwen van de staatsmedia zijn geplunderd. Volgens een Libische krant hebben de protesten zich uitgebreid naar de kuststad Ras Lanuf. Ooggetuigen zeggen dat in Benghazi een aantal militairen door officieren is doodgeschoten toen die weigerden op demonstranten te schieten.

    Verschillende bronnen melden dat de betogers de macht in Benghazi en Sert inmiddels hebben overgenomen. Ze zouden overheidsgebouwen hebben bezet.

    Omdat Libië geen journalisten toestaat, is het onmogelijk de berichten te verifiëren.

    De Libische staatstelevisie meldde vandaag dat veiligheidsdiensten “de schuilplaatsen bestormen van terroristen die Libië haten”.

    Vertrokken?

    De Britse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken William Hague zegt dat hij aanwijzingen heeft dat de Libische leider Kadhafi mogelijk op weg is naar Venezuela. Het is niet duidelijk waar minister Hague zich op baseert.

    Gisteravond waren er ook berichten dat Kadhafi het land had verlaten. Tegen de verwachting in sprak hij niet zelf het volk toe, maar deed zijn zoon dat. De Libische leider heeft goede banden met de Venezolaanse president Hugo Chávez.

    De Libische staatssecretaris van Buitenlandse Zaken ontkent dat Kadhafi is gevlucht naar Venezuela. Ook bronnen binnen de regering van Venezuela ontkennen dat Kadhafi onderweg is naar het land. De minister van Informatie noemt de berichten “onwaar”, maar ging er verder niet op in.

    Europe’s interests in Libya

     

    EU countries have criticised Libya for a crackdown on protesters, potentially straining lucrative trade relations.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 20:24 GMT
    The West forged close ties with Libya after Gaddafi agreed to end production of weapons of mass destruction [EPA] 

    The European Union has condemned Libya for its crackdown on opposition protesters, but for many nations in the bloc, straining ties with Tripoli presents an awkward situation.

    Western nations forged close trade ties with the north African nation after Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to end the production of weapons of mass destruction, ending nearly two decades of sanctions.

    European energy firms were quick to invest in the holder of Africa’s largest proven oil reserves, the eighth-largest in the world, while many others signed lucrative arms and construction deals.

    Tony Blair, Britain’s former prime minister, signed a so-called “Deal in the Desert” in March 2004, which paved the way for oil contracts worth billions, leading to a close relationship that has come under increasing criticism.

    Oil deals

    It included Anglo-Dutch company Shell signing an agreement worth up to $1bn and three years later BP agreeing its largest exploration commitment to date, in a deal worth at least $900m in Libya.

    It sparked significant controversy around the world and led to US claims that BP lobbied Britain for the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

    The Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi has also strengthened its ties with Tripoli in recent years, taking the largest proportion of oil from Libya for its national needs.

    At the end of 2008, Italy’s energy company Eni was operating 13 oil and gas permits and its production was 306,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent, about one-fifth of Britain’s total daily oil production.

    Spain’s Repsol also has rights to 15 hydrocarbon blocks.

    Defence

    Arms deals with Libya have also proved contentious, particularly in light of the recent crackdown.

    In August 2007 France signed contracts with Libya to sell anti-tank missiles and radio communications equipment worth a reported $405m. The European aerospace and defence giant EADS now has an office in Tripoli, and has sold civilian aircraft to the country.

    According to the Campaign Against Arms trade, the UK licensed over $6m worth of ammunition to Libya, including sniper rifles.

    Russia also announced a small-arms and weapons deal to the value of $1.8bn in January 2010, worth nearly a quarter of its state arms exports.

    A building boom in Libya has also seen strong investment from Turkey, which has around 200 construction companies in the country working on projects worth an estimated $15.3bn.

    Sovereign wealth has also attracted business ties from Europe.

    Many of the investments made by the $65bn sovereign wealth fund have been in Italian stocks. It holds a 4.6 per cent stake in Italy’s second-biggest bank, Unicredit and has a small stake in car maker Fiat, the Reuters news agency reported.

    European nations are also interested in preserving relations with Libya for the sake of national security.

    Italy, the closest entry gate for illegal migrants attempting to enter the EU, is especially concerned about an influx of refugees, following the crisis in Tunisia.

    Tripoli has already warned it could suspend co-operation in the fight against illegal immigration if European countries continue to criticise its action against protesters.

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera and agencies
     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011221133557377576.html

    Libya protests spread and intensify

     

    Diplomats resign and air force officers defect as Gaddafi government resorts to shooting and bombing to crush uprising.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 22:14 GMT
    Protests against Gaddafi’s rule have prompted harsh reprisals in several cities, including the capital Tripoli [Reuters]

    Scores of people have been reported killed in continuing violence in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, amid escalating protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule across the north African nation.

    Deep cracks were showing and Gaddafi seemed to be losing vital support, as Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigned, air force pilots defected and major government buildings were targeted during clashes in the capital.

    At least 61 people were killed in Tripoli on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeera. The protests appeared to be gathering momentum, with demonstrators saying they had taken control of several important towns and the city of Benghazi, to the east of Tripoli.

    Protesters called on Monday for another night of defiance against Gaddafi, despite a harsh security crackdown by his government.

    A huge anti-government march in Tripoli on Monday afternoon came under attack by security forces using fighter jets and live ammunition, witnesses told Al Jazeera.

    Libyan authorities have cut all landline and wireless communication in the country, making it impossible to verify the report.

    As violence flared, the Reuters news agency quoted William Hague, the British foreign secretary, as saying he had seen some information to suggest that Gaddafi had fled Libya and was on his way to Venezuela.

    But Al Jazeera’s Dima Khatib, reporting from the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, said government officials there denied that Gaddafi was on his way to the South American country.

    Live Blog

    The Libyan deputy foreign minister also denied that Gaddafi had fled the country.

    With reports of large-scale military operations under way in Tripoli, a spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief held extensive discussions with Gaddafi on Monday, condemned the escalating violence in Libya and told him that it “must stop immediately”.

    ” … The secretary-general underlined the need to ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances. He urged all parties to exercise restraint and called upon the authorities to engage in broad-based dialogue to address legitimate concerns of the population,” Ban’s spokesperson said.

    For this part, several Libyan diplomats at the country’s UN mission called on Gaddafi to step down.

    Ibrahim Dabbashi, the deputy ambassador, said that if Gaddafi did not relinquish power, “the Libyan people [would] get rid of him”.

    “We don’t agree with anything the regime is doing … we are here to serve the Libyan people,” he told Al Jazeera.

    Plea for no-fly zone

    Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent mercenaries, weapons and other supplies from reaching Gaddafi and his security forces.

    He said the Libyan diplomats were urging the International Criminal Court, the Netherlands-based body, to investigate possible crimes against humanity in the Libyan context.

    Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, called for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League to take place on Tuesday. The aim is to discuss the current crisis in Libya and to put additional “pressure” on the government, he told Al Jazeera.

    Talking to Al Jazeera, Libya’s deputy ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi condemns Gaddafi’s regime

    Hamad bin Jassim said the international community must act now. “I feel a big sympathy for the Libyan people. We don’t accept using force in this way or any way against the people or against any nation from their governments,” he said.

    “And we make our declaration in this space and we think that the international community should also take a stand against what is happening in Libya at the moment.”

    “I think the [UN] Security Council has to play a role. The condemnation is not enough … I think the five permanent members and others, they should take the responsibility and do something to help the civillian people in Libya, because what is happening is not acceptable in any way.”

    Earlier in on Monday, Ahmed Elgazir, a human-rights researcher at the Libyan News Centre (LNC) in Geneva, Switzerland, told Al Jazeera that security forces were “massacring” protesters in Tripoli.

    Elgazir said the LNC received a call for help from a woman “witnessing the massacre in progress who called on a satellite phone”.

    Earlier, a privately run local newspaper reported that the Libyan justice minister had resigned over the use of deadly force against protesters.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ahmad Jibreel, a Libyan diplomat, confirmed that the justice minister, Mustapha Abdul Jalil, had sided with the protesters.

    “I was speaking to the minister of justice just a few minutes ago … he told me personally, he told me he had joined the supporters. He is trying to organise good things in all cities,” he said.

    In protesters’ hands

    Jibreel further said that key cities near Libya’s border with Egypt were now in the hands of protesters, which he said would enable the foreign media to enter the country.

    “Gaddafi’s guards started shooting people in the second day … when they killed two people, we had more than 5,000 at their funeral, and when they killed 15 people the next day, we had more than 50,000 the following day,” he said, adding “the more Gaddafi kills people, the more people go into the streets.”

    Meanwhile, the US and other European nations, including Portugal, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have taken steps to begin evacuating their citizens from Libya, as safety concerns within the country are on the rise.

    //  

    Twitter Reaction

    Libya Protests

    MahomedyHussein profile

    MahomedyHussein RT @shishibean: #Libyans massacred by shaytan #Gaddafi are bringing flashbacks of the traumatic images of #Gaza two yrs ago. God help them. #Libya #Feb17 12 seconds ago · reply

     

      10 new tweets

    SohaibThiab profile

    SohaibThiab Ada are being placed in Nigeria hiring mercenaries for $2k a day to fight in #Libya according to Aljazeera #Gaddafi 39 seconds ago · reply

    tammersalem profile

    tammersalem RT @monaeltahawy: On #Egyptian TV? RT @France24_en #LIBYA: AlArabya reports #Gaddafi will make a speech on Egyptian TV “soon” http://f24.my/LiveBlogEN #Feb17 32 seconds ago · reply

    Jnoubiyeh profile

    Jnoubiyeh The death toll keeps rising in #Libya. At least 500 Libyans are estimated to have been murdered by #Gaddafi since the uprising began. #Feb17 yesterday · reply 600+ recent retweets

    In another development on Monday, two Libyan air force jets landed in Malta and their pilots asked for political asylum, according to a military source.

    The pilots, who made an unauthorised landing in Malta, claimed to have defected after failing to follow orders to attack civilians protesting in Benghazi in Libya, Karl Stagno-Navarra, an Al Jazeera contributor, said from Valletta.

    The  pilots, who claimed to be colonels in the Libyan air force, were being questioned by authorities in an attempt to verify their identities.

    The two Mirage jets landed at Malta’s international airport shortly after two civilian helicopters landed carrying seven people who said they were French. Only one of the passengers had a passport.

    Against this backdrop of escalating violence, Libyan state television reported that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, a son of the Libyan leader, was forming a committee to investigate the incidents taking place in the country

    Earlier in the day, Saif al-Islam warned of a civil war if anti-government protests continued to spread in the country.

    Speaking on state television, he blamed thugs, foreigners and Islamists for the unrest.

    He promised a conference on constitutional reforms within two days and said Libyans should “forget oil and petrol” and prepare themselves for occupation by “the West” if they failed to agree.

    The younger Gaddafi contrasted the situation in Libya with revolts earlier this year in Egypt and Tunisia, where longtime rulers were forced step down or fled in the face of mass popular discontent.

    Protesters in Libya have similarly called for Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow, but his son warned against this, saying “Libya is different, if there is disturbance it will split into several states”.

    Following Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s speech, witnesses in Tripoli reported an escalation of violence, as supporters of his father flooded into the city’s central square and confronted anti-government protesters.

    Armed men in uniform fired into the crowds, witnesses said, and continuous gunfire could be heard in the background of recorded phone calls from Tripoli released to journalists by Libyans living abroad.

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera and agencies
     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201122120055942895.html

    Libya’s falling tyrant

     

    Gaddafi reaps what he has sown during his four-decade rule: terror, nepotism, tribal politics and abuse of power.

    Larbi Sadiki Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 23:03 GMT
    Gaddafi, now facing a bloody uprising, has ruled oil-rich Libya with an iron fist since a coup in 1969 [Reuters] 

    Libya cannot escape the infection of democratic revolutionary wind blowing through the Middle East and North Africa. If longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi falls, it will be a sweet victory for the heirs of Omar al-Mokhtar, the legendary anti-fascist and anti-colonial hero. But a lot of blood will spill before the Libyan colonel abandons ship.

    After Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Tunisia’s Ben Ali, Gaddafi is the worst of the Arabs’ surviving illegitimate rulers. He is now reaping what he has sown: terror, nepotism, tribal politics, and abuse of power.

    In Gaddafi’s Libya, the so-called People’s Congress, universities and other regime-affiliated organisations have had to toe the official line: worship of the “brother leader”, read his Green Book, and the brand of Pan-Africanism that no Libyan except Gaddafi and his henchmen believed in.

    While visiting the country with a group of students from Exeter University, the hollow slogans of Gaddafi’s “Great Revolution” covered all public space. “Partners not salaried” one says. Another declares “People’s rule” (sultat al-sha’ab). Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Gaddafi has ruled the country with the delusion of grandeur of a man who rose to power in a 1969 coup with fairly acceptable political ideals that got corrupted and abandoned. Gaddafi’s much vaunted socialism turned into distribution in favour of the Colonel’s clansmen.

    Inner circle

    An inner circle of Gaddafi’s confidants and close relatives decided and executed the hangings of the 1970s, relying on the fearsome and murderous “revolutionary committees”.

    No recourse to the people was taken when decisions were made and carried out about war such as in Chad and elsewhere in Africa. The people could not openly complain about the money lavishly disbursed in the pursuit of Gaddafi’s foreign adventurism, including the sponsoring of terrorist organisations.

    Gaddafi’s regime has been linked to the 1972 Black September killings of Israeli athletes in Germany ,  the 1978 disappearance in Libya of Shia Imam Musa Al-Sadr, the 1984 murder of British police officer Yvonne Fletcher, the 1986 bombing of Berlin’s La Belle Discotheque, the 1987 arms vessel destined to the Irish Republican Army, and to the hijacking of Pan Am flight 73 in 1986 and the 1988 Pan Am flight 103 bombing. This does not exhaust the list.

    The US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986 or the large amounts of monies paid by Gaddafi to compensate all kinds of claims against Libya have been some of the prices paid by Libyans for their leader’s miscalculation.

    The sanctions and pariah status have only been eased only in the past 10 years. Carrying the green Libyan passport has made Libyan citizens persona non grata in many parts of the world.

    Gaddafi’s narcissism was such that very few of his comrades in arms from the original Free Officers cohort that executed the 1969 coup against King Idris have survived his brutality.

    A few died in mysterious circumstances (Omar Limheshi; Imhammad al-Muqrif). Others withdrew from public life voluntarily (Abd al-Salam Jelloud).

    Act of public disavowal

    Like Egypt, the uprising in Libya qualifies as an act of public disavowal of an existing regime. These are countries which had military revolutions and today are experiencing civil revolutions.

    Like Tunisia, but in a worse fashion, Libya has invested very little in social capital or civic capacity building. All organisations are committed to, and affiliated with, Gaddafi’s Great Revolution. Literally, these are cells that spy on the people or militias bribed to defend the regime. When protesters wave flags, chant pro-Gaddafi or anti-Western slogans, they do so on regime orders.

    Regardless, Libyans have not been passive. For instance, the Libyan League for Human Rights, the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), and the banned Islamists all have used the internet to express their anger. In some cases, Libyan dissidents used the Internet as a political tool before activists in other part of the Middle East. The NCLO met in London in 2006 and it may plan a role in reforming post-Gaddafi Libya.

    Attempts at removing Gaddafi began in the mid-1980s. The most famous was the May 1984  Bab Al-Aziziya Barracks coup when the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, made up of military and civilian dissidents, played a leading role.

    The most serious challenge against Gaddafi’s authority came from the most populous and powerful Libyan tribe, the Warfallah, in October 1993. The rebellion led to kangaroo trials in 1995. Many tribesmen were executed in 1997.

    The eastern region, Benghazi, has always been a source of dissidence against the regime. Dozens died in protests in 2006.The map of the current mutiny is both tribal and regional. Two tribes have withdrawn allegiance to Gaddafi’s regime, thus settling old scores. Gaddafi is now paying the price for humiliating the Wirfallah tribe, which he has excluded from his favours since the mid-1990s. Similarly, the Tabu tribe in the country’s southeast has suffered appalling discrimination.

    The misery belts of Libya are now leading the rebellion. Cities like Al-Baida, Derna, Ijdadia are all marginalised and are not beholden to Gaddafi, as they have not gained from his rule. Tripoli’s poorest suburbs, Zintan and Zawiya, which have come under heavy fire, are leading the rebellion in the capital.

    Why is the revolution that ousted Tunisia’s Ben Ali proving to be infectious? The reasons can be summed up by the following factors: the presence of a Ben Ali-type hegemon; dynastic and nepotistic rot; monarchical republicanism; rampant corruption; the marginalisation of young people; human rights violations; information control and a police state.

    All of these conditions apply to Libya. The only good in Gaddafi’s Libya is the absence of elections, which spared the Gaddafi’s revolutionary committees the additional misdemeanour of rigging them.

    In addition to these factors, the eastern region, namely Benghazi, has been deprived of the dividends of petroleum. In a country with one of the longest stretches of coastline and high oil production, income and opportunity should be available to citizens. But this is has not been the case. Now, Gaddafi is reaping what he has sown.

    Dr Larbi Sadiki is a Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, and author of Arab Democratisation: Elections without Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Search for Arab Democracy: Discourses and Counter-Discourses (Columbia University Press, 2004), forthcoming Hamas and the Political Process (2011).

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera

     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011221222542234651.html

     

    Libyan pilots and diplomats defect

     

    Group of army officers have also issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Gaddafi.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 23:29 GMT
    The pilots claimed to have defected after refusing to follow orders to attack civilians protesting in Libya [AFP] 

    Two Libyan air force jets landed in Malta on Monday and their pilots have asked for political asylum.

    The pilots claimed to have defected after refusing to follow orders to attack civilians protesting in Benghazi in Libya.

    The pilots, who said they were colonels in the Libyan air force, were being questioned by authorities in an attempt to verify their identities.

    Meanwhile, a group of Libyan army officers have issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Muammar Gaddafi.

    The officers urged the rest of the Libyan army to march to Tripoli.

    Earlier, diplomats at Libya’s mission to the United Nations sided on Monday with the revolt against their country’s leader and called on the Libyan army to help overthrow “the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi.”

    In a statement issued as protests erupted across Libya, the mission’s deputy chief and other staff said they were serving the Libyan people, demanded “the removal of the regime immediately” and urged other Libyan embassies to follow suit.

    Gaddafi was waging a bloody battle to hang on to power as the revolt against his 41-year rule reached the capital, Tripoli.

    The statement issued in New York said hundreds had died in the first five days of the uprising.

    A spokesman for the UN mission, Dia al-Hotmani, said the statement had been issued by deputy permanent representative Ibrahim Dabbashi and other staff.

    Other Libyan officials said they did not know the whereabouts of permanent representative Abdurrahman Shalgham, a former Libyan foreign minister, but believed he was not in New York. He was not associated with the statement, they said.

    Hotmani said that at a meeting on Monday at the mission’s New York offices, staff “expressed our sense of concern about the genocide going on in Libya.”

    “We are not seeing any reaction from the international community,” he added.

    “The tyrant Muammar Gaddafi has asserted clearly, through his sons the level of ignorance he and his children have, and how much he despises Libya and the Libyan people,” the Arabic language statement said.

     It condemned Gaddafi’s use of “African mercenaries” to try to put down the rebellion and said it expected “an unprecedented massacre in Tripoli.”

     ‘Cut the snake’s head’

     

    The statement called on “the officers and soldiers of the Libyan army wherever they are and whatever their rank is … to organise themselves and move towards Tripoli and cut the snake’s head.”

     It appealed to the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libyan cities to prevent mercenaries and weapons being shipped in.

    It also urged guards at Libya’s oil installations to protect them from any sabotage “by the coward tyrant,” and urged countries to prevent Gaddafi from fleeing there and to be on the lookout for any money smuggling.

    Dabbashi and his colleagues called on The Hague-based International Criminal Court to start an immediate inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity they said Gaddafi and his sons and followers had committed.

    They called on employees of Libyan embassies all over the world to “stand with their people”, especially the mission at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, which they said should seek action by the UN Human Rights Council there.

     It was not immediately clear how many other Libyan embassies were likely to heed the call, although the country’s ambassador in India, Ali al-Essawi, said he was resigning in protest at the violent crackdown in his homeland.

    Libya’s ambassadors to the European Union, Bangladesh and Indonesia have also resigned

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera and agencies
     

     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/2011/02/201122117565923629.html

    In Depth

     

    Profile: Muammar Gaddafi

     

    Oil-rich Libya’s eccentric leader has held the country in a tight grip since he led a bloodless coup in 1969.

    Last Modified: 21 Feb 2011 22:33 GMT
    Gaddafi is known as much for his eccentric clothing and female bodyguards as for his repressive rule [EPA] 

    In power since 1969, Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is the longest-serving leader in both Africa and the Arab world.

    He led a bloodless coup toppling King Idris at the age of 27, and has since maintained tight control of his oil-rich country by clamping down on dissidents. The ongoing bloody uprising poses the most serious domestic challenge to his rule.

    Among his many eccentricities, Gaddafi is known to sleep in a Bedouin tent guarded by dozens of female bodyguards on trips abroad. 

    Gaddafi was born in 1942 in the coastal area of Sirte to nomadic parents. He went to Benghazi University to study geography, but dropped out to join the army.

    After seizing power, he laid out a pan-Arab, anti-imperialist philosophy, blended with aspects of Islam. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones.

    He was an admirer of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Arab socialist and nationalist ideology.

    He tried without success to merge Libya, Egypt and Syria into a federation. A similar attempt to join Libya and Tunisia ended in acrimony.

    Crushing dissident

    In 1977 he changed the country’s name to the Great Socialist Popular Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (State of the Masses) and allowed people to air their views at people’s congresses. 

    However, critics dismissed his leadership as a military dictatorship, accusing him of repressing civil society and ruthlessly crushing dissident.

    To this day, the media remains under strict government control.

    The regime has imprisoned hundreds of people for violating the law and sentenced some to death, according to Human Rights Watch.

    At the UN General Assembly in 2009, Gaddafi accused the body of being a terrorism group like al-Qaeda [EPA] 

    Gaddafi played a prominent role in organising Arab opposition to the 1978 Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.

    Later shunned by a number of Arab states on the basis of his extreme views on how to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among others, Gaddafi’s foreign policy shifted from an Arab focus to an African focus.

    His vision of a United States of Africa resulted in the foundation of the African Union.

    In the West, Gaddafi is strongly associated with “terrorism”, accused of supporting armed groups including FARC in Colombia and the IRA in Northern Ireland.

    Libya’s alleged involvement in the 1986 bombing of a Berlin nightclub in which two American soldiers were killed prompted US air attacks on Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 35 Libyans, including Gaddafi’s adopted daughter. Ronald Reagan, the then US president, called him a “mad dog”.

    The 1988 bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland is possibly the most well known and controversial international incident in which Gaddafi has been involved.

    For many years, Gaddafi denied involvement, resulting in UN sanctions and Libya’s status as a pariah state. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was convicted for planting the bomb. Gaddafi’s regime formally accepted responsibility for the attack in 2003 and paid compensation to the families of those who died.

    Isolation ended

    Also in 2003, Gaddafi broke Libya’s isolation from the West by relinquishing his entire inventory of weapons of mass destruction.

    In September 2004, George Bush, the US president at the time, formally ended a US trade embargo as a result of Gaddafi’s scrapping of the arms programme and taking responsibility for Lockerbie.

    The normalisation of relations with Western powers has allowed the Libyan economy to grow and the oil industry in particular has benefited.

    However, Gaddafi and Lockerbie came back into the spotlight in 2009, when al-Megrahi was released and returned to Libya. The hero’s welcome al-Megrahi received from Gaddafi on his return was condemned by the the US and the UK, among others.

    In September 2009, Gaddafi visited the US for the first time for his his first appearance at the UN General Assembly.

    His speech was supposed to be 15 minutes, but exceeded an hour and a half. He tore up a copy of the UN charter, accused the Security Council of being a terrorism body similar to al-Qaeda, and demanded $ 7.7 trillion in compensation to be paid to Africa from its past colonial rulers.

    During a visit to Italy in August 2010, Gaddafi’s invitation to hundreds of young women to convert to Islam overshadowed the two-day trip, which was intended to cement the growing ties between Tripoli and Rome.

     
    Source:
    Agencies
     
     

     

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011221215421542497.html

    Gaddafi’s hold on Libya weakens

     

    Leader appears on state TV briefly to signal defiance in the face of mounting revolt against his 41-year rule.

    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2011 00:58 GMT
    Protesters in Libya have called for another night of defiance against Muammar Gaddafi’s government [Reuters]

    Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has appeared on state television to signal his defiance in the face of a mounting revolt against his 41-year rule.

    “I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the channels belonging to stray dogs,” Gaddafi told Libyan state TV, which said he was speaking outside his house on Tuesday

    Live Blog

    Reports on Monday said Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela.

    Gaddafi, in his first televised appearance since protests to topple him started last week, was holding an umbrella in the rain and leaning out of a van.

    “I wanted to say something to the youths at the Green Square (in Tripoli) and stay up late with them but it started raining. Thank God, it’s a good thing,” Gaddafi said in a 22-second appearance.

    State TV reported earlier that pro-government demonstrations were taking place in Green Square in the capital.

    Libyan forces loyal to Gaddafi have fought an increasingly bloody battle to keep the veteran leader in power with residents reporting gunfire in parts of the capital Tripoli and one political activist saying warplanes had bombed the city.

    Scores of people have been reported killed in continuing violence in Tripoli amid escalating protests across the north African nation.

    Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said “in a sense this is a pariah regime that will not have any chance of governing anymore and the international community could come to terms on whether this is a genocide and whether there should be international intervention to protect the Libyan people from the militias of the regime”.

    “We’ve heard even a NATO spokesman saying that the Libyan regime should stop committing war crimes against its people so I think there is momentum out there but certainly it’s not quick enough.”

    Deep cracks were showing and Gaddafi seemed to be losing vital support, as Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigned, air force pilots defected and major government buildings were targeted during clashes in the capital.

    At least 61 people were killed in the capital city on Monday, witnesses told Al Jazeera. The protests appeared to be gathering momentum, with demonstrators saying they have taken control of several important towns and the city of Benghazi, to the east of Tripoli.

    Protesters called for another night of defiance against the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, despite a crackdown by authorities

     Libya’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, spoke to Al Jazeera

    A huge anti-government march in Tripoli on Monday afternoon came under attack by security forces using fighter jets and live ammunition, witnesses told Al Jazeera.

    “What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead,” Adel Mohamed Saleh said in a live broadcast .

    “Anyone who moves, even if they are in their car, they will hit you.”

     US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was “time to stop this unnacceptable bloodshed” in Libya.

    A group of army officers issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Gaddafi.

    The justice minister resigned in protest at the “excessive use of violence” against protesters and diplomats at Libya’s mission to the United Nations called on the Libyan army to help overthrow “the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi”.

    Both Libya and Venezuela denied reports that Gaddafi had fled to the South American country.

    Libyan state television said Gaddafi would give a speech shortly.

    //  

    Twitter Reaction

    Libya Protests

    cute_Noona profile

    cute_Noona RT @A_Awwad: عايز انام يخرب بيتك .. هتكمل الخطاب امتى ؟ #Feb17 #Libya #gaddafi 47 seconds ago · reply

    doubleass profile

    doubleass RT @libya: More deaths at hands of Libyan govt. alleged http://reut.rs/dGr0BX #Libya #Gaddafi #Tripoli #protests #Tripoli 38 seconds ago · reply

    doubleass profile

    doubleass RT @libya: Thousands of people attempt to flee Libya http://bit.ly/eW6YDg #Libya #Tripoli #Gaddafi #protests #Malta #Italy #Serbia #Turkey 28 seconds ago · reply

     

      3 new tweets

    glaciergirl75 profile

    glaciergirl75 Chaos reigns in #Libya – #Gaddafi brings an umbrella but zero substance to 1st appearance since violent downpour began: http://tiny.cc/d3z04 41 seconds ago · reply

    Two Libyan fighter jets landed in Malta, their pilots defecting after they said they had been ordered to bomb protesters, Maltese government officials said.

    Libyan authorities have cut all landline and wireless communication in the country, making it impossible to verify the report.

    With reports of large-scale military operations under way in Tripoli, a spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief held extensive discussions with Gaddafi on Monday, condemned the escalating violence in Libya and told him that it “must stop immediately”.

    ” … The secretary-general underlined the need to ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances. He urged all parties to exercise restraint and called upon the authorities to engage in broad-based dialogue to address legitimate concerns of the population,” Ban’s spokesperson said.

    For this part, several Libyan diplomats at the country’s UN mission called on Gaddafi to step down.

    Ibrahim Dabbashi, the deputy ambassador, said that if Gaddafi did not relinquish power, “the Libyan people [would] get rid of him”.

    “We don’t agree with anything the regime is doing … we are here to serve the Libyan people,” he told Al Jazeera.

    Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent mercenaries, weapons and other supplies from reaching Gaddafi and his security forces.

    Arab League to meet

    Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, called for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League to take place on Tuesday. The aim is to discuss the current crisis in Libya and to put additional “pressure” on the government, Al-Thani told Al Jazeera.

    He said the international community must act now. “I feel a big sympathy for the Libyan people. We don’t accept using force in this way or any way against the people or against any nation from their governments.,” he said on Monday.

    “And we make our declaration in this space and we think that the international community should also take a stand against what is happening in Libya at the moment.”

    “I think the security council has to play a role.. the condemnation is not enough.. i think the five permanent members and others, they should take the responsibility and do something to help the civillian people in Libya, because what happens is not accepted in any way.”

    The comments came just hours after Ahmed Elgazir, a human-rights researcher at the Libyan News Centre (LNC) in Geneva, Switzerland, told Al Jazeera that security forces were “massacring” protesters in Tripoli.

    Elgazir said the LNC received a call for help from a woman “witnessing the massacre in progress who called on a satellite phone”.

    Earlier, a privately run local newspaper reported that the Libyan justice minister had resigned over the use of deadly force against protesters.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ahmad Jibreel, a Libyan diplomat, confirmed that the justice minister, Mustapha Abdul Jalil, had sided with the protesters.

    “I was speaking to the minister of justice just a few minutes ago … he told me personally, he told me he had joined the supporters. He is trying to organise good things in all cities,” he said.

    Jibreel further said that key cities near Libya’s border with Egypt were now in the hands of protesters, which he said would enable the foreign media to enter the country.

    “Gaddafi’s guards started shooting people in the second day … when they killed two people, we had more than 5,000 at their funeral, and when they killed 15 people the next day, we had more than 50,000 the following day,” he said, adding “the more Gaddafi kills people, the more people go into the streets.”

     
    Source:
    Al Jazeera and agencies
     

     

    http://s.nos.nl/swf/nos_video_embed.swf

    http://s.nos.nl/swf/nos_video_embed.swf

    recent ‘interview’ met Khadaffi (21-2-2011).

    Toegevoegd: dinsdag 22 feb 2011, 01:35
    Update: dinsdag 22 feb 2011, 12:05

    De Libische leider Kadhafi lijkt de steun in bijna alle lagen van de bevolking te hebben verloren. Libische ambassadeurs keren zich tegen het regime omdat ze het geweld tegen de bevolking onacceptabel vinden.

    Volgens de ambassadeur in India zet Kadhafi Afrikaanse huurlingen in om de protesten neer te slaan. In reactie daarop zouden opnieuw Libische militairen zijn overgelopen naar de oppositie.

    Een groep officieren riep vannacht het leger op zich aan te sluiten bij het volk en Kadhafi af te zetten. Ze vroegen de militairen mee te doen aan een mars naar Tripoli.

    Chavez

    Hoe groot de steun in het leger voor Kadhafi nog is, is onduidelijk. De oostelijke steden al-Bayda en Benghazi zouden in handen zijn van de oppositie. De VN-Veiligheidsraad komt vandaag bijeen om over de situatie in Libië te praten.

    In Tripoli hangt een grimmige sfeer. Veiligheidstroepen hebben wijken afgegrendeld.

    Kadhafi heeft op de staatstelevisie laten weten dat hij in de hoofdstad is en niet in Venezuela bij zijn vriend Hugo Chavez. Eerder sprak Venezuela al tegen dat Kadhafi naar dat land is uitgeweken.

    Vechten

    Kadhafi was 22 seconden in beeld, leunend uit een auto met een paraplu op. Hij riep op niet te geloven wat er wordt gezegd op “zenders die van zwerfhonden zijn”.

    Eerder werd aangekondigd dat Kadhafi een toespraak zou houden waarin hij “de kwaadaardige leugens in de media” zou tegenspreken, maar het bleef bij de korte verklaring, zittend in een auto.

    Een zoon van Kadhafi zei op de staats-tv dat het leger achter zijn vader staat en zal vechten tot de laatste man. De minister van Justitie besloot gisteren af te treden, uit protest tegen het geweld tegen de betogers.

    Straaljagers

    Bij de volksopstand zijn gisteren veel doden gevallen. Volgens betogers zijn in de hoofdstad alleen al 250 mensen omgekomen, toen straaljagers, helikopters en tanks het vuur openden.

    Vandaag komt de VN-Veiligheidsraad bijeen om te praten over de crisis. VN-chef Ban Ki-moon heeft gebeld met Kadhafi en hem dringend verzocht het geweld te stoppen.

    De PvdA wil morgen een spoeddebat met minister Rosenthal (Buitenlandse Zaken) in de Tweede Kamer.

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