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— By Ashley Bates and Siddhartha Mahanta | Wed Mar. 9, 2011 10:00 AM PST Al Bayda, Libya—An opposition supporter holding a machine gun celebrates with opposition forces who control the
east Libyan city of Al Bayda. Nasser Nouri/ Xinhua/ ZUMAPRESS.com
The following is a basic primer on what's happening in Libya. You can also jump straight to today's updates.
Last week, Libyan dissident Najla Aburrahman begged western media to pay attention to the bloodbath unfolding in her country. "If the Libyan protesters are ignored," she wrote, "the fear is that [Libyan dictator Muammar] Qaddafi— a man who appears to care little what the rest of the world thinks of him—will be able to seal the country off from foreign observers, and ruthlessly crush any uprising before it even has a chance to begin."
Since then, Qaddafi’s troops have used machine guns and large-caliber weapons against protesters in Benghazi, the country’s second-biggest city, and more than 200 protesters, including children, have reportedly been killed.
Why are Libyans unhappy?
Libya has been ruled for 42 years by a cunning, repressive, eccentric dictator who has frequently described his own people as "backwards." More than half of his 6.5 million subjects are under 18. Despite Libya's plentiful oil revenues, which represent most of the national budget, many children suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Corruption is rampant, dissidents are brutally suppressed, and many citizens are afraid to say Qaddafi’s name in public or in private for fear of attracting suspicion. Instead, Qaddafi is often referred to as "the leader" and his son Seif (until now heir-apparent) as "the principal." Discussing national policy with a foreigner is punishable with three years in prison. Reporters Without Borders describes press freedom in Libya as "virtually non-existent."
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Oil is the economy in Libya and oil profits have bankrolled massive investments in education and infrastructure—yet Libya lags far behind other oil-rich Arab states. Unemployment stands at 30 percent. People who have jobs often work only part-time. Basic foods—including rice, sugar, flour, gasoline—are heavily subsidized by the government and sold for a fraction of their true cost. A 2006 New Yorker article described Libya's "prosperity without employment and large population of young people without a sense of purpose."
Libya's society is tribal and traditional—despite liberal laws on issues such as women's rights—and many Libyans identify via clan allegiance first, nationality second.
Some in Libya hoped that Seif Qaddafi, who has been growing more prominent as an adviser to his father, would create openings for democratic reform. Seif earned a doctorate in political philosophy from the London School of Economics and keeps Bengal tigers as pets. He has founded the "Qaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation," which supposedly seeks to promote human rights and fight the use of torture in Libya and across the Middle East.
Wasn’t Qaddafi that guy who set up a giant tent on Donald Trump’s spread?
Yup, he's the guy. During his 2009 trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Qaddafi had hoped to sleep and entertain guests inside an elaborate Bedouin-style tent in Manhattan's Central Park. That didn't work out, so instead the dictator rented land on a suburban property owned by Donald Trump. The tent was erected and then dismantled after a public outcry, and both Trump and the Secret Service announced that Qaddafi wasn't coming after all.
Why can't anyone agree on how to spell Qaddafi's name?
Since at least the 1980s, the name has been alternately spelled as "Moammar / Muammar Gadaffi /Gaddafi / Gathafi / Kadafi / Kaddafi /Khadafy / Qadhafi / Qathafi /etc.," according to Chris Suellentrop at Slate. They’re all different attempts at transliterating Arabic pronunciation.
How did all this start?
Inspired by pro-democracy uprisings across the Arab world, Libyan dissidents had planned a "day of rage" for Thursday, Feb. 17. On February 15, security forces arrested a prominent lawyer named Fathi Terbil, who had represented families of some of the 1,200 prisoners massacred by Libyan security forces at Abu Slim prison in 1996. Once released later that day, Terbil set up a webcam overlooking Benghazi’s main square, where some of the families had been protesting. With help from exiled Libyans in Canada and around the world, the video spread rapidly on the Internet.
Al Jazeera Arabic conducted a phone interview with Libyan novelist Idris al-Mesmari, who reported that police were shooting at protesters—and then the connection was lost. (Mesmari was reportedly arrested by Libyan authorities.) Shortly thereafter, thousands more began battling Qaddafi's troops, and hundreds are reported to have been killed. "Both protesters and the security forces have reason to believe that backing down will likely mean their ultimate death or imprisonment," says the New York Times.
What are the implications of Libyan instability?
After decades of being reviled as a state sponsor of terrorism, Libya recently reversed course and joined the ranks of America's allies in the fight against Al Qaeda. In 2003, Qaddafi agreed to stop developing weapons of mass destruction and paid $2.7 billion to the families of the 270 victims of Pan Am 101—the plane bombed by Libyan agents over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. In return, the US and the United Nations lifted economic sanctions against Libya.
On the Arab street, however, Qaddafi is widely loathed. Most of his political victims have been members of banned Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which would likely gain stronger influence if he were overthrown. Qaddafi, once among the Palestinian movement's most vocal international supporters, outraged many Arabs by saying that Palestinians have no special claim to the land of Israel and calling for the creation of a bi-national "Isratine."
Tripoli. and could spark a Western invasion. Shadi Hamid. The Libyan government has sought to impose an information blackout. 9:00 a. Tripoli (Nick Baumann): Al Jazeera (via Sultan al Qassemi) reports multiple accounts of airplanes attacking protesters in Tripoli.m. He said. "We will fight until the last man. EST/4:00 p. UPDATE 1. 21." and asks whether the West is even capable of "bold." Protests have now spread to the capital. an expert on the Arab world at the Brookings Institution. Tripoli (Nick Baumann): Mobile and television networks are down across Libya. They faced well-armed pro-Qaddafi militias who fired into the crowds. Al-Jazeera remains the most comprehensive source of coverage. with thousands of demonstrators converging onto the city's main square and reportedly taking over state television headquarters. Monday. says that while the media blackout means the air-attack claims are impossible for press to verify. rambling televised speech in which he blamed Islamic radicals and Libyan exiles for the uprising. 12:15 p. UPDATE 2.m. cause public services including education to collapse. February 20. meanwhile. slams the Western response as "business as usual. blocking the internet and satellite television and forbidding foreign journalists from entering." The Atlantic's Max Fisher. Feb. until the last bullet. Feb. the United Nations should "shut down Libyan airspace immediately. if they're true. protesters succeeded in overtaking all parts of Benghazi except for a government security compound. 11:45 a. Qaddafi's son gave a long.m. creative policymaking. EST/6:45 p. 21. Monday. until the last woman. Tripoli (Nick Baumann): SkyNewsis reporting that witnesses claim the state television building and other public buildings in Tripoli are on fire." UPDATE 3. Al Hurra (a satellite television competitor of Al Jazeera's .m. 21. He claimed civil war over the country's oil resources would set off starvation. EST/7:15 p. Monday.m. Feb.m. you can follow its live blog here.What's the latest? On Sunday.
UPDATE 4. . Tripoli (Nick Baumann): NBC News reports that the State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave Libya immediately.that is sponsored by the US government) is reporting that the Libyan ambassador in London has resigned and joined protests outside the embassy. and no one knows for sure what is happening. Meanwhile. the world's largest Muslim-majority country. They were reportedly piloted by Libyan colonels seeking asylum. EST/9:41 p.m. Monday. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Witnesses saw armed militiamen speeding into Tripoli’s Green Square in Toyota trucks.m. And the head of the Libyan Army is reportedly under house arrest. protestors in Benghazi—where the uprising began—have released a list of demands for a secular interim government led by the army in cooperation with a council of Libyan tribes. And on Democracy Now. has said that Qaddafi fled to Venezuala. Libyan poet Khaled Mattawa says his country is "forever changed" by the uprising. has also resigned. And in a sign of deepening internal fissures. 2:41 p.) William Hague. Feb. 21. UPDATE 5. 12:50 p. EST/7:50 p. Many of the gunmen are believed to be from other African countries. the British foreign minister. The earlier reports of military planes attacking protesters also seem to be close to confirmation—Reuters has published a story citing more eyewitnesses to the attack. (If you're not following him on Twitter. Monday. Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces have retreated into buildings around Tripoli. There are also reports just now that the Libyan ambassador to Indonesia. some of Qaddafi's top officials have broken ranks with the government. which remains under the control of rebel forces.m." according to Sultan Al Qassemi. The network is also reporting that helicopters carrying senior Libyan officials have left Tripoli "in the direction of Malta." And The Guardian confirms earlier reports that several Libyan airplanes and helicopters have landed in Malta. you should be. 21. Feb.m. firing on protestors fighting with riot police. In short: it's chaos. The resigned Libyan ambassador to India told Al Jazeera "it is only a matter of days until the regime is finished. Meanwhile. but the Venezualans are denying that.
Berlusconi said he hadn't phoned Qaddafi because he didn't want to "disturb" him amidst the uprisings. Feb. two Libyan fighter jets have landed in Malta.m. Berlusconi and Qaddafi have worked together to catch Italy-bound migrants and asylum seekers. was just on Al Jazeera. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has very belatedly condemned the violence against civilians in Libya. 21. Sultan Al Qassemi's translation: "To any army soldier. Berlusconi.m. do so. EST/11:20 p. which was released by Al-Jazeera English. EST/10:11 p. The pilots had presumably refused orders to bomb protesters in Benghazi. UPDATE 8. Feb. Monday. In June of 2009." Just last week. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has spoken with Qaddafi and told him the violence "must stop immediately. Save your countrymen from this brutal tyrant. It is wrong of you to stand by while he kills innocent people. the Times of Malta reports. calling it "unacceptable. Feb. In an apparent defection. Al Jazeera reports that the Egyptian army's Facebook page has been updated with news that Libyan border guards have withdrawn from Egypt's boundary with Libya. The BBC reports that Qaddafi was still in Libya during this Monday phone call. The video below. As chronicled by Mother Jones senior correspondent James Ridgeway. Tripoli (Nick Baumann): Yusuf alQaradawi." a UN spokesperson said. 4:05 p.m. a prominent Muslim theologian. EST/11:11 p.m. gives (non-graphic) on-the-ground footage and a concise synopsis of events on Saturday and Sunday. He issued a fatwa during the interview calling for the death of Qaddafi. and rolled out the red carpet during Qaddafi's multiple visits to Italy. 3:11 p. who is on trial for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute. Monday. Qaddafiflew one thousand Italian women to Libya for a "cultural tour. UPDATE 7. And Al Jazeera English just reported that the Libyan . 21. Berlusconi reportedly sent a Danish IC4 train to Qaddafi as a gift. to any man who can pull the trigger & kill this man.UPDATE 6. 4:20 p. Monday." Over the weekend. Al-Jazeera Arabic reports that it's received videos of murdered protesters that are too graphic to air. has courted Libyan petrodollars.m.m." Meanwhile. 21.
Tuesday Tripoli (Nick Baumann):CNN has a truly awful video of what it says are the bodies of Libyan soldiers who refused to shoot at protesters. EST/1:10 a.m. Feb. Tuesday Tripoli (Nick Baumann):The State Department has released a transcript of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent comments on Libya: The world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm. And Libyan State TV has just announced that Qaddafi will speak shortly.m.m. 6:10 p. Feb. . EST/1:45 a. 21. Foreign Policy's Marc Lynch is calling for US and international intervention: "NATO enfoced no-fly zone. but calls it a "moot point" given the ambassador's explicit criticism of the regime. Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed. 21. 21. And here's Marc Lynch's writeup of his call for international intervention I mentioned in Update 8. call urgent [security council] meeting.m. (UPDATE: Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell clarifies that the ambassador may not have technically resigned. EST/12:45 a. targeted sanctions. Al-Jazeera Arabic reports that advertisements in Guinea and Nigeria are offering up to $2. Feb. UPDATE 10. Monday. 5:45 p. and with their loved ones.000 per day to fight as mercenaries for the Libyan army.m. UPDATE 11. Monday. A group of Libyan military officers have released a statement calling on all members of the Libyan army to join the protesters." UPDATE 9. including the right to free expression and assembly. hold [Qaddafi] + regime individually responsible for deaths. We join the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya.m. We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government.ambassador to the US has resigned and come out against Qaddafi. Monday. The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people. Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Egypt and Tunisia have both set up field hospitals on their borders with Libya and are trying to send help.) Meanwhile. 6:45 p.
passport control. Qaddafi just spoke on Libyan state television. 10:30 a. 22.m. Tuesday. Tuesday Tripoli (Nick Baumann): In what almost seemed like a piece of bizarre. "You must show the world what has happened here. CNN's Ben Wendeman has managed to sneak into Libya from Egypt.m. and attempt to depose Qaddafi." . We will show you everything." UPDATE 13. 21. Tripoli (Nick Baumann): Lots of news to catch up on this morning: There are scattered reports of both Benghazi (Libya's second-largest city and the place where the uprising started) and Tobruk (a large city and strategic port) being in the hands of rebels. The whole appearance lasted about 15 seconds and consisted of him saying that he is in Tripoli. 1:15 a. EST/5:30 p. NBC's Richard Engel reports that Libyans are already suffering from shortages of "rice. the capital. sugar. Feb. 22.UPDATE 12. or customs on the Libyan side of the border. and warning citizens not to believe "the dog tv channels" saying otherwise. Monday. as The Atlantic's Max Fisher writes.m. too.m. [and] oil. EST/2:20 a. A group of Libyan military officers has reportedly asked all members of the Libyan army to move towards the Tripoli. Feb. a "f***king loon. flour. He found no officials.m. 7:20 p. EST/6:15 a. Tuesday. horrible performance art (with awful consequences).m. Feb. not Venezuela (as British foreign secretary William Hague had claimed). making him the first (and presumably only) western television correspondent to be reporting from Libya. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Below is a translated YouTube video of Qaddafi's bizarre television appearance. everything!" UPDATE 14. A Libyan man said to him. He was holding an umbrella. The German press agency DPA reports that Benghazi's airstrip has been totally destroyed. The whole thing was a stark reminder of the fact that an entire country is ruled by a man who is at best a very odd tyrant who is totally willing to kill his people and at worst a total madman—or.
much worse. 22.m. pushing for long-term and meaningful reform.. EST/6:50 p. Human Rights Watch says at least 62 people have been confirmed killed in Tripoli.m. But right now those fears are outweighed by the urgent imperative of trying to prevent the already bloody situation from getting much. turn it into. the capital. EST/6:30 p. rambling speech. Feb. The United Nations Security Council is holding a closed-door session today to discuss the violence in Libya. The headline. is Qaddafi's pretty much explicit promise to slaughter protesters. 22. and mentioned Tiannemen Square and suggested the Chinese regime had done the right thing." says Brookings' Shadi Hamid. This is not a peaceful democracy protest movement which the United States can best help by pressuring allied regimes from above. painfully aware of all that could go wrong with even the kinds of responses I am recommending. full of threats and bluster and general delusion and stubbornness." Al Jazeera reports that Libyan state television is claiming that Qaddafi will give another address shortly. The BBC's Eleanor Montague reports that Britain will ask the UN to "take action" on Libya "because of its implications for security in the region. since Sunday. Tripoli (Nick Baumann):Qaddafi is still in the midst of a long. we will not surrender. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Marc Lynch finds himself advocating for more aggressive action in Libya: I don't call for a direct military intervention. 11:50 a. "If there was any doubt before. UPDATE 16. Or something. and this time I find myself on the side of those demanding more forceful action before it's too late.. Qaddafi promised the death penalty for numerous crimes. Protesters want to Islamify Libya.m." writes Wired's Spencer Ackerman. UPDATE 15. Feb.. It remains to be seen whether it will be as bizarre as his last one. Somalia. Tuesday. And I am keenly. though.m. there is no longer: Qaddafi has unequivocally declared intention to massacre his own people. 11:30 a. Other highlights: "We Libyans resisted the. United States and Britain in the past. It's "like a mashup of every dictator's excuse ever. Tuesday. It's gone well beyond that already. and persuading the military to refrain from violence.." "I will not leave the .
Feb. "The widening gap between the capital and the eastern countryside underscored the radically different trajectory of the Libyan revolt from the others that . who recounts the horrors of growing up under the Qaddafi regime. Feb. Feb. with interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi leaving on Tuesday night." "We will not lose one inch of this land. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Things could be coming to a head: Reports from towns near Tripoli suggest that fighting has reached the capital's doorstep. He says. 23. and signed a "friendship treaty" in 2008 that called for Italy to pay Libya $5 billion in compensation for its 30-year colonial occupation.” Towns in the east continue to. ENI. 1:27 a.m.” State media claimed he has been kidnapped by “gangs. declare their independence and establish up informal opposition governments. said it had suspended supplies through its Greenstream pipeline. Tuesday. EST/5:08 p. 1:15 a. concerns about Italy's natural gas supplies continue to mount after the country's chief energy company.m. and I will die as a martyr. 23. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The Associated Press reports that Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has spoken to Qaddafi on the phone. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Mother Jones has interviewed Libyan poet and University of Michigan professor Khaled Mattawa. 23. He urged the Libyan Army to join the people and their “legitimate demands. Meanwhile.m. 6:15 p." UPDATE 19. and supplies 10 percent of Italy’s natural gas. Tuesday. And the spate of high-level defections from the Qaddafi regime continues. UPDATE 17. in essence. 22. Feb. UPDATE 18. As Jim Ridgeway outlined. 6:27 p.m. 22. reports The New York Times. It runs from Libya to Sicily. EST/Wednesday. the two rulers and their countries are close. as his brutal crackdown on anti-government protests continues.country." The Times of Malta has perhaps the best early summary of the speech.m.m." "We will flight to the last man and woman and bullet. 10:08 a. "This is the moment we've been waiting for. EST/Wednesday. Feb. Wednesday.
Let the people speak. Wednesday. EST/6:30 p. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini says his country estimates that 1.. and phone service is only intermittent. 23. Internet access in Tripoli remains blocked. "How can officers be ordered to use bullets from machine guns.. Wednesday. Feb.. And the White House said on Tuesday that it is examining proposals by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.m.recently toppled Arab autocrats on Libya’s western and eastern borders. be free. His solution: a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax. .000 people have died in Libya since the uprising began. 11:30 a. 10:20 a.This is unacceptable." UPDATE 22.m. 23." Ahmadinejad said on state television." reportsTimes. EST/5:20 p. "It is unimaginable that someone is killing his citizens. UPDATE 20. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadcondemned Qaddafi for "unimaginable repression" against the Libyan people. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also said she would support sanctions if Qaddafi doesn’t stop using violence against his own people. bombarding his citizens. in Tunisia and Egypt. Feb.m.) to consider reimposing sanctions.m. EST/6:30 p. Foreign governments are continuing their mad rush to evacuate their citizens from Libya. chartering military and civilian planes and even mobilizing military ships. UPDATE 21. tanks and guns against their own citizens?.Do not resist the will of the people.m. Wednesday. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling on the European Union to impose sanctions against Libya. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Thomas Friedman argues in today's New York Times that events unfolding in Libya and across the Middle East highlight the failures of oil interest-driven US foreign policy." he told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. 23. 11:51 a..m. It's unclear how many Americans remain in Libya. "I call on the foreign ministry to propose to our European Union partners the swift adoption of concrete sanctions so that all those involved in the ongoing violence know that they must assume the consequences of their actions. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Hewing close to his Egypt-react script. Feb. decide to express their will.
Totten on why Libya isn't Tunisia or Egypt: The contrast between Libya and its neighbors is stark.m. etc. Tunisia is pleasant. Sure. ultimately. regimes like these wouldn’t have lasted decades if they were easy to get rid of. like a mad scientist’s laboratory. and they didn’t care if anyone heard them slagging the president. they lack the staying power of the hard totalitarian states. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Michael J. Qaddafi. prosperous. while Egypt is a poverty-stricken shambles. and. Friedman says: For the last 50 years. Wednesday. your oil prices low. UPDATE 24.m. EST/8:25 p. they lowered their voices.m. Cairo’s mukhabarat didn’t seem to mind what anyone said as long as they didn’t act on their disgruntlement. is an emotionally unstable ideological megalomaniac. Iran station. but they didn’t cower in fear. States like Libya.to be phased in at 5 cents a month beginning in 2012. America (and Europe and Asia) have treated the Middle East as if it were just a collection of big gas stations: Saudi station. Granted. don't bother the Israelis too much. as far as we're concerned. What I knew when I was there holds true today. and heavily Frenchified. Libya station. Egypt under Mubarak was even more open. but. you can do whatever you want out back. When I visited Tunisia just a few months before going to Tripoli. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):The Atlantic's Max Fisher tweets: "Isolated but largely consistent reports seem to indicate sweeping . Kuwait station. here's the deal. Egypt station. Our message to the region has been very consistent: "Guys (it was only the guys we spoke with). Iraq station. He says he’s the sun of Africa and swears to unite the Arabs and Africans underneath him. with all the money going to pay down the US deficit. EST/8:00 p. by comparison. He has repeatedly threatened to ban money and schools. that is. I spoke to dissident bloggers like “Big Pharaoh” and “Sandmonkey” in restaurants and bars. United Arab Emirates station. Feb. standard issue authoritarians. 1:25 p. and he is not going to go quietly. communist-style. even as his grip on power seems shaky: This guy is not going to liberalize. 23. and he treats his country. I met plenty of people willing to criticize Ben Ali even when others were present. Keep your pumps open.m. 1:00 p. but Ben Ali and Mubarak were both pragmatic. Feb. Bahrain station. 23. Wednesday. UPDATE 23.
m. Additional IOM staff are set to deploy to the border area." And. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):The International Organization for Migration reports that migrants have begun to cross into Tunisia from Libya. EST/10:55 p. cutting off flow to Mediterranean ports. Feb. Lebanese. Qaddafi "has ordered security services to start sabotaging oil facilities. 2:35 p." he writes. and German—"have been crossing the border into Tunisia’s Medenine Governorate requesting assistance to go back home.m. Man checking our passports is an airforce major general #feb17" UPDATE 25. EST/9:35 p. for the United States. Channel News Asia has a short dispatch on a pair of Libyan pilots who refused orders to bomb Benghazi.Tunisian. Feb. 23. "Although most of the arrivals have largely been. I spoke on the phone with Ali Ahmida. Tripoli(Ashley Bates): Earlier today.m. 24. 3:55 p..m.military defections across Libya's northeast. 23. 12:56 a. UPDATE 28. Leslie Gelb urges caution. They will start by blowing up several oil pipelines. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Two from earlier today that're worth a read.m. 5:56 p. EST/Thursday. Anjali Kamat'stweet confirms that things are breaking down for Qaddafi: "Entering #Libya now. UPDATE 27. 23. The sabotage. Wednesday. a University of New . And former CIA field officer Robert Baer reports from sources in Libya on just how far Qaddafi is willing to go to maintain his grip on power.. according to the insider. not grandiose action. Greeted by army who have all joined revolution. as rebel forces continue to secure their control of surrounding towns. Feb. Wednesday. 2:07 p. Wednesday Feb. nationals migrants of various nationalities"—including Syrian. EST/9:07 p. Feb.m. 23. on the ground. Witnesses say that protestors appear to have taken control of the northwestern city of Misurata.m.m.. And The New York Times reports that thousands of African mercenaries and militiamen are heading to Tripoli to back up Qaddafi. First." UPDATE 26. Wednesday. Turkish. "My fear is that an activist and grand strategy will grossly exaggerate America’s power to shape events and will do more harm than good. is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos." IOM writes in a press release.. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):This is the way we bail.
thinking they can crush the opposition. in the long run. As in the American and the western experience.. Second.. really try to learn about Libyan society.I also think that question has to be guarded against foreign intervention and an exaggerated role for the Libyan exile community. I think it’s going to get worse. no. which has been out of touch for a long time. pressure the Libyan regime through the UN to negotiate a peaceful transition and stop the killing. It's because either the state and its authoritarian forces are too powerful. but that's not unusual.000 people perished in the [Italian] concentration camps. it would be a liability more than a help. or to Qaddafi. Here are some of his thoughts: On Where This Could Be Headed: Unfortunately. an ultimatum.. lousy lesson for all of us. There's nothing about Libyan society. On What America Should Do: First. I think it's is a bad idea. no. On France's No-Fly Zone Proposal: No. On Libya’s Democratic Potential: It's possible there would be no democracy after Qaddafi.The regime is clinging to the old days.. agency. or to oil.. The Libyan people have fought against one of the most brutal western colonizations in Africa. or because the [western] conservatives have always supported dictatorships and absolutist monarchies... And how the exiled Iraqis have really conned the United States. The regime closed the last chances for reform and negotiations when Seif Qaddafi gave this really threatening speech that was more of a declaration of war. this is going to take more than just having a constitution and voting rights.And Iraq is a big.England political science professor whose work explores power. . I find that appalling. So Libyan people are very wary of foreign intervention. Having democracy is not an easy matter. Look at how much killing happened in Iraq. even among our commentators and our scholars. It's not because the people don't want freedom of choice or democracy. How much agony. There's a huge vacuum in our knowledge about Libya.. and anti-colonial resistance in Libya.. We reduce it to tribes and clans. They are just as guilty. I think. They lost half a million people in the [1911-1943] war against Italian colonialism and 60.
000 people. EST/5:52 p. Feb. Tripoli(Ashley Bates): In his first televised comments on the Libya crisis." and rejected allegations that western powers are meddling in Arab uprisings. 24. who announced on Thursday that he has defected to Egypt in protest against the regime's "grave violations to human rights and human and international laws. had fled across the border back to their home country. Thursday in Tripoli (Nick Baumann): The Independent's Robert Fisk. Obama condemned the Qaddafi government's "outrageous" violence. UPDATE 30. while establishing checkpoints on the road to the west of Tripoli. Wednesday. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Today: witnesses say Qaddafi is consolidating his forces in preparation for a showdown against rebel forces in Tripoli. of mercenaries and slices of the military loyal to his tribe and its allies—were training their energies on the roads leading to the capital. "The change that is taking place across the region is being driven by the people of the region. Qaddafi's forces are fortifying their position around Tripoli. EST/Thursday. who seems to be the first Western reporter to get into Tripoli.m. Feb. 6:13 p. has a report from "a city in the shadow of death. 23. And there are now reports of protests in the pro-Qaddafi city of Sabha for the first time. 23." he said. .m.UPDATE 29. Feb. 24. EST/3:00 a. said that protecting American citizens in Libya was his "highest priority. 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.m. The latest defector: Qaddafi aide (and cousin) Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam." UPDATE 31. Feb.m. Witnessestold the The New York Times that members of Qaddafi's forces—made up. Thursday. Egyptian officials said on Wednesday that nearly 30. 10:52 a. in large part. mostly Egyptian.m. Obama announced that he's sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Geneva for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council and for talks with allied foreign ministers. Meanwhile. as cities in the east continue to fall to rebel forces and defections from the military and his inner circle continue.” reports the Associated Press. 1:13 a.
Thursday. 25. And Mac McClelland speculates on why the UN has dragged its feet in Libya: "When it comes to the lack of meaningful UN action on Libya. 1:56 p. 24. He asks that I don't use his name— because Muammar Qaddafi is not gone yet (and though he'll eventually return to Europe. and his family is in this city. Thursday.m. or excessive bureaucracy to blame—just a healthy dose of sacklessness. Tripoli (David Corn): I just spoke to a friend's husband who is in Benghazi. The country was a monarchy until Qaddafi led a coup in 1969. "It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda. EST/7:13 p. EST/11:20 p. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Just tweeted by @SultanAlQassemi: "Breaking Al Hurra: the Libyan mission to the UN takes down Gaddafi's green flag & raises the Kingdom of #Libya independence flag instead." UPDATE 33. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): Below is a compelling three-minute video recently posted by Al-Jazeera.m.No one above the age of 20 would actually take part in these events. Feb. Feb. Feb. EST/8:56 p. 5:22 p. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Another must-watch from Al Jazeera: an interview with Muhammad al-Senussi. reports Al Jazeera.. It tightly summarizes the events of the last few days. immigrants.m. his relatives won't). Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Two from Mother Jones: Jim Ridgeway sheds more light on the cozy relationship between and Italy. Thursday. Feb. In a speech aired on state television on Wednesday.m. and all. UPDATE 36.. the man who would have been Libya’s crown prince." UPDATE 35. features non-graphic footage from cities across Libya. 12:13 p. EST/Friday. Feb. Thursday. He reports: .. oil.m.m. 12:22 a. He's Libyan. UPDATE 32. Thursday. UPDATE 34..m. 24. 24. it's not disorganization. 24.They are taking advantage of the young age of these people [to commit violent acts] because they are not legally liable!" said the Libyan ruler.m.m. 4:20 p. Feb. 24. EST/ 7:22 p. and shows chilling clips from Libyan state television. the second largest in the Libya. Qaddafi blamed the unrest on Al Qaeda.m. works there and in Europe. 12:22 p.
m." he says. EST/ 4:22 p. He says that because Qaddafi was distrustful of this region. He had no trouble driving throughout the city. 1:28 a. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): The brutality continues as anti-Qaddafi protesters fight on: . Feb." Western and Arab journalists. 25. Many residents are receiving and watching Al Jazeera." * The Internet is not functioning in the city. Thursday. Feb." UPDATE 37.m. "We cannot fight back against an air attack. and groups of citizens. Unbelievably." he says. Shops and banks—though not schools—were open today. "everything will be finished. UPDATE 38. * There is a major fear shared by the residents of Benghazi: that Qaddafi will launch an air assault on the city. police. including CNN's Ben Wedeman. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): More bizarre. Friday. * The residents of Benghazi have been trying to follow what's happening in Tripoli. have entered Libya without permission. past government officials. I'ts very safe. "He told me... Feb. he did not supply the military based there with large amounts of weaponry. There's shooting everywhere.'" He's hopeful that the violence in Libya—a friend of his was shot and killed in Benghazi—will soon be over and Qaddafi gone. 9:43 a.* Benghazi is quiet and safe. 'It's hell in Tripoli." he notes.m. * The city is being governed by an ad hoc assortment of military people. 6:28 p. 24.m. disturbing news: The US State Department announced today that the Libyan government may arrest foreign journalists who enter the country illegally as "Al-Qaida collaborators. Nobody is afraid of Qaddafi like before. International phone service is sketchy. EST/Friday. Qaddafi's mafia is shooting people everywhere in the city. "Everybody's fine." he says. "I was able to talk to a friend in Tripoli. 25. My friend's husband notes that the military guarding the city does not possess anti-aircraft guns. "In a couple of days.
Al-Arabiya reports that gunmen open fired on protesters in several areas of the capital. where anti-Qaddafi forces have gained the upper hand. UPDATE 39. Friday. was asked in a Friday interview with CNN Turk television whether his family had a "Plan B. in Tripoli (Nick Baumann): TheNew York Times' Kareem Fahim and David Kirkpatrick have a dispatch from what are increasingly looking like the front lines of a war between Libyan revolutionaries and Qaddafi's mercenaries.m. removing any doubt that Libya’s patchwork of .. "They are poor. Muammar el-Qaddafi repelled a concerted assault by his forces on Thursday on cities close to the capital. EST/6:10 p." Navy Pillay. a relatively moderate Muslim cleric admired in the Arab world for his encyclopedic knowledge of Islamic law and feared by some commentators in the West for his antiIsrael views..m." Qaradawi also advised revolutionaries to take pity on mercenaries that Qaddafi has reportedly hired from neighboring African countries.I believe in this victory because I believe in God. 25.. In an act of desperation. I can almost see the victory in my eyes now. and tens of thousands took to the streets across Libya following Friday prayers. where Qaddafi forces are still clinging to power. 11:10 a. Qaradawi said (reported via Sultan AlQassemi). "Give them the security to leave. Libya state television announced shortly before Friday prayers that Qaddafi will offer a 150 percent increase in wages for all government workers and $400 to every family. The worst violence occurred in Tripoli. The announcement had no apparent effect. gave a Friday sermon in Qatar that was broadcast live by Al-Jazeera." Activists have launched new radio stations and newspapers in eastern Libya. the UN high commisioner for human rights. "We are expecting good news from Libya. Seif Qaddafi. Lede: "Rebels seeking to overturn the 40-year rule of Col. said Friday that Qaddafi's bloody crackdown is "escalating alarmingly" and "thousands may have been killed or injured." Qaddafi's son. Feb." Qaradawi said. Sheik Yousef Qaradawi." He replied defiantly that his family plans to "live and die in Libya.
authored a 2007 doctoral thesis praising democracy and human rights. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):From Mother Jones: Qaddafi's son.000 in automatic weapons from arms dealers on the Egyptian border and distributed them to citizens’ groups in towns like Bayda. 25. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): A flurry of news from Washington. 2:57 p.m. EST/8:56 p.S. 25. Feb.m. EST/10:35 p. Paul Schemm of the Associated Press has an interesting piece on how the citizens of Benghazi. said that in the early days of the revolt one of his relatives bought $75.Al Arabiya: AP: Washington suspends US embassy activities in Tripoli #Libya" UPDATE 42. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Here's the State Department's full statement on suspending embassy operations in Libya: Given current security conditions in Libya. it's not a joke. brought to you by Twitter: Josh Rogin retweets Chuck Todd: "RT @chucktodd: "Pretty much everything that was on the table short of a no-fly zone is being enacted by US govt re: #libya" From Reuters: "White House says U. will be coordinated with European allies" And from @SultanAlQassemi. 1:56 p. Feb. has decided to move forward with unilateral sanctions against #Libya. Switzerland quit on Friday morning.m. via Al Arabiya: "Breaking . coupled with our inability to guarantee fully the safety and security of our diplomatic personnel in the country. 25." Read up. Also: The entire Libyan mission at the United Nations mission in Geneva. the Department of State has temporarily withdrawn Embassy personnel from Tripoli and suspended all embassy operations effective February .protests had evolved into an increasingly well-armed revolutionary movement. Feb. are governing themselves. No. one of the rebels. Friday. 3:35 p. Friday.m." Highlight [emphasis added]: "Tawfik al-Shohiby. the city where the uprising started.m. UPDATE 40. Saif.m. Friday. EST/9:57 p. UPDATE 41.
where the revolution was launched. EST/11:10 p. "We shall destroy any aggression with popular will. Feb. Foreign Policy reports that some Latin American leaders. ever-so-slowly. UPDATE 43. William Hague. They've set up checkpoints around the city and are opening arms depots for their supporters." This is important. 2011. The safety of the American community remains paramount to the Department and we will continue to provide assistance to the greatest extent possible through other missions.m." Qaddafi said in his latest television address. it shows the UK believes Qaddafi is definitely going down. anti-Qaddafi forces are in full control.25. Hillary Clinton. attempting to pit tribes against one another. Feb. and Catherine Ashton —the top foreign affairs officials for the US. Friday. and puts a lot of pressure on his key people. the UK. a burning coal. respectively—are headed to Geneva on Monday to argue that the International Criminal Court should prosecute Libyan leaders. UPDATE 44. including Fidel Castro of Cuba and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.m. are standing by Qaddafi amidst the bloodbath. 9:58 a. moving to do at least something about the horrible violence and massacres in Libya. Ortega has spoken regularly with Qaddafi by phone and thinks Qaddafi is "fighting a great battle. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): A roundup of news from around the web: Qaddafi forces are still maintaining a stronghold in Tripoli. 25.m. 4:10 p. It also demonstrates that the West hopes to hold Libyan officials accountable for the deaths of civilian protesters.m. EST/ 4:58 p. Between this and the unilateral US moves mentioned in Update 41. and the EU." In most other Libyan cities. in Tripoli (Nick Baumann): The Guardian has the scoop on UK officials telling Qaddafi loyalists to "defect or face war crimes trials. Saturday. "Libya will become a red flame." Castro distrusts the accuracy of news . First. 26. it's pretty clear that the West is finally. including Benghazi.
m. Libya's ambassador to the UN has pleaded for the Security Council to "save Libya" by imposing sanctions." The US State Department said Saturday morning that some Americans "may" remain in Libya despite its attempt to evacuate all US nationals. American journalists. EST/10:00 p. an asset freeze. she briefed reporters on her plane as she prepared to fly to . and notes that it "appeared to backfire": "When government-picked drivers escorted journalists on tours of the city on Saturday morning.m. Obama issued an executive order to freeze the American-held assets of Qaddafi family members and high level government officials. This includes an arms embargo. "you are providing troops for Qaddafi." Many white Libyans have long harbored racist sentiments." Both Ortega and Castro are longtime friends of Qaddafi and recipients of the "Muammar Qaddafi International Human Rights Prize. Feb. deputy director of the North Africa Center at Cambridge University." African migrants who were working in Libya's oil industry now fear they'll be killed on suspicion of being Qaddafi mercenaries. and a travel ban against Qaddafi government officials. for example. A Turkish oil worker who escaped from Libya told the BBC that his Sudanese and Chadian colleagues had been "massacred" by attackers who reportedly said. told NPR he fears a "genocide against anyone who has black skin. A US "task force" will stay in Libya to assist Americans. The UN Security Council will meet in New York today to discuss imposing international sanctions. the extent of the unrest was unmistakable. 3:00 p. Friday night. 27. UPDATE 45. Sunday.coming out of Libya and fears a "western invasion." On Sunday." US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an extensive statement Saturday on "holding the Qaddafi government accountable. Professor Saad Jabbar. in Tripoli (Nick Baumann):Here's what's happening today: The Times' David Kirkpatrick reports on the "tour" of Tripoli Qaddafi offered for foreign journalists on Saturday. will presumably opt not to leave.
perhaps Qaddafi's closest European ally. “The Islamists want chaos. There's also a chance Qaddafi will change his mind and leave the country." Sens.m. The key equation going forward will be whether rebels have the numbers and arms necessary to beat Qaddafi's mercenaries—or whether Western sanctions will decrease Qaddafi's ability to pay those mercenaries.reports The New York Times. Clinton was also asked about the rival government a former Qaddafi justice minister has set up in Benghazi. Muammar's son." Saif al Islam Qaddafi. 28.m. He also denied reports that Qaddafi loyalists have fired their guns at . The foreign minister of Italy.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn. was on Christiane Amanpour's program this morningdisputing well-documented reports of the regime using violence against civilians. and make sure the International Criminal Court looks into war crimes committed by the Qaddafi regime. to reporters. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Qaddafi remains in denial as his support dwindles and defects. keep up US pressure on Libya. a government spokesman. Monday. (The UN Security Council has already referred the case to the ICC. UPDATE 46. but we're going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States. the West also wants chaos. but so far both he and his son have said they will "die fighting. He argued that the West wants Libya’s oil.Geneva. Feb. She said "it's way too soon to tell how this is going to play out. to meet with European leaders. said Sunday that the "point of no return" had been reached in Libya and that the end of Qaddafi's rule is "inevitable. while Islamists want to establish a base for international terrorism. 10:05 a. Homegrown: the Libyan government is blaming the combined powers of Islamic radicalism and the West for conjuring a conspiracy to take over the country." Bottom line: this could get even bloodier as rebel forces converge on Tripoli.) Headline: Clinton reiterated that the US has "made it clear we expect [Qaddafi] to leave" the country. Switzerland. And the fighting continues: Conspiracies. EST/5:05 p. shocking absolutely no one.” said Musa Ibrahim. John McCain (R-Ariz.) both mentioned potential military aid to Libyan rebels in Sunday show appearances this morning.
Off with his bizarrely-coiffed head: Count French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and British Prime Minister David Cameron among the foreign authorities calling for Qaddafi to go. .m. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): A must-watch: ABC News' Christiane Amanpour interviewed Qaddafi heirs Said and Saif on ABC's This Week yesterday. “Show me a single attack. The EU's top foreign policy official. fighting rages on. And low-paid contract workers continue fleeing across the country's eastern and western borders into Egypt and Tunisia.” UPDATE 47. has also announced that the EU will adopt sanctions against Libya.” Saif told Amanpour. with rebels saying they've foiled Qaddafi's attempt to retake the eastern city of Misurata.” he said. “Nobody is leaving this country.m. reports Reuters. Monday. while Italian foreign minster Franco Frattini suspended a nonaggression treaty with Libya on the grounds that the Libyan state “no longer exists. Meanwhile. and insisted that most of the country is calm.” he said. EST/5:25 p. 10:25 a. Feb. “The Libyan air force destroyed just the ammunition sites. Catherine Ashton.civilians. respectively. And Germany has offered a proposal to end all financial payments to Libya for 60 days. 28. He also denied that the military has attacked its own people. show me a single bomb.
Feb.m. Feb. Bouzaid Dordah.m. Monday.m. 28. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Megalomania. "There is a sense that Qaddafi could do anything to people [in Tripoli] and there is a real sense of fear. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports that a senior White House officials says the administration doesn't think that Libya's chemical weapon arsenal—including mustard and . UPDATE 51. EST/Tuesday. EST/10:50 p. 28. 28. EST/8:35 p. He titled his creation "Zenga-Zenga.UPDATE 48. cut this YouTube video lampooning Qaddafi's speech from last Tuesday.m. an Israeli journalist living in Tel Aviv. Feb. Alooshe said he got many requests from Web surfers who asked him for a version without the dancer so that they could show it to their parents. 1:35 p.m. EST/9:06 p. 28. Mr."reports the Times. 28.Reuters/CNBC: US Treasury Dept freezes $30 billion in Libyan assets in the US #Libya Via @acarvin & @ThamerSalman". Feb. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Democracy Now!'s Anjali Kamat has just returned to Egypt from a five day trip to eastern Libya.” she says in this dispatch. They've formed a "national council" as a means of keeping the uprisings in different cities under one. UPDATE 52. Monday. 1:20 p." alluding to Qaddafi’s repetition of the word zanqa (Arabic for alleyway). Obama is a good man but he was misinformed by those around him. to speak to anti-government protestors in the east. EST/5:51 p.m.m. Monday. Monday. 6:20 p. #Libya" and "Breaking . March 1. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Key tweets. Watch the whole thing. UPDATE 49. Monday.m. Noy Going Viral: Noy Alooshe.m. 2:06 p.m. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Al Jazeera is reporting that Qaddafi has appointed his intelligence chief. Alooshe set the speech to the song "Hey Baby" by the American rappers Pitbull and T-Pain. 10:51 a. Feb. which he did. Meanwhile. "The original clip features mirror images of a scantily clad woman dancing along to Colonel Qaddafi’s rant. it's looking more and more like Qaddafi views peaceful negotiation with the rebel forces as a realistic possibility. 3:50 p. UPDATE 50. unified body. brought to you by the indispensable @SultanAlQassemi: "Gaddafi to ABC: America is not the policeman of the world.
demonstrations continued on Tuesday. but he refused to specify what those steps were or how the administration had communicated with the Libyans. “As part of that process.sarin gas—is vulnerable to theft.” The Times also reports on the ongoing impact of the chaos in Libya on the economies of its neighbors: The enduring impact of the region’s turmoil was evident in Cairo. the Libyans have taken appropriate steps to secure their CW [chemical weapons] from unauthorized access.” the official said. In Bahrain on Tuesday. “We have continued to urge the Libyans to safely complete destruction of their remaining chemical weapons agent as quickly as possible. where Egypt postponed the reopening of its stock exchange again on Tuesday until Sunday. The New York Times reportsQaddafi's forces are having little success in staving off rebel attacks around the country. Tuesday. has repositioned its naval fleet in anticipation of possible humanitarian or military intervention in Libya. meanwhile. a day after violent . without further violence or delay. Manama. the administration official suggested the Libyans have moved to bolster the security of the material since protests erupted earlier this month. Experts think that Libya destroyed over three thousand bombshells designed to carry gas as part of its deal to end years of isolation by the west.m. protesters marched down King Faisal Highway in the capital.m. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Here's what's happening today: As the prospect of civil war in Libya looms ever larger. 11:00 a. whose first major protests were reported over the weekend.” UPDATE 53. EST/6:00 p. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's message: to surrender power “now. March 1. And the colonel is facing growing international pressure to step down. But a large stockpile of mustard and sarin gas remain stored in barrels at three locations south of Tripoli: Speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue. The US. The exchange has been closed for over a month. after antigovernment protests in late January shook investor confidence and drove the value of the country’s benchmark index down 17 percent in two trading days. In Oman.
a neighborhood in eastern Tripoli that's served as the epicenter for unrest in the capital. There were small demonstrations. "They love me. Cameron also discussed the possibility of arming opposition fighters. But The Assocated Press reports that Russian officials have ruled out the idea. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Al Jazeera reports that British Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing the international community to act against Qaddafi. All my people with me.m. 1:15 p. . March 1. 11:24 a. they love me." he said. In his remarks. Western countries are still debating the option of enforcing a no-fly zone over the country. 2:15 p. EST/8:15 p. trees. Muscat. 11:35 a. using aeroplanes and helicopters gunships." And on ABC News on Monday. EST/6:35 p. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Things could be flaring up in Tajoura. Phd. March 1. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): On apples. Tuesday. EST/9:15 p. Qaddafi revealed the depths of his delusion." UPDATE 54." he said..m. UPDATE 55. "They will die to protect me. March 1. with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov calling the proposal "superfluous.m. Tuesday. and the unrest spread for the first time to the capital. UPDATE 57.m. How do they work? And do they work? Foreign Policy's Josh Keating takes a swing. Tuesday. Tuesday.m. UPDATE 56. and we have to plan now to make sure that if it happens we can do something to stop that. "Tajoura is very tense. "It's not acceptable that Colonel Gaddafi can be murdering his own people.clashes with the security forces in the port city of Sohar. EST/6:24 p. the erroneous title belongs to the allegedly pro-democracy Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi. and not falling far from them: the Council on Foreign Relations' Steven Cook debunks the fallacy of the second generation reformer— in Libya's case.m. And he's also asked his defense ministry to work with the country's allies on a plan for a no-fly zone over Libya. my people. March 1.m. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Is Sergey Lavrov on to something when it comes to no-fly zones? (see Update 53).m.
Regime had removed grafitti/signs.m.m." His next move: consulting with the heads of the UN's humanitarian agencies. March 1. but maybe not aggressive enough": the Associated Press reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that the Obama administration may seek the prosecution of Qaddafi for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): In an unprecedented move. 2:50 p. UPDATE 61. #Libya. EST/9:35 p. including those of peaceful assembly and free speech. Tuesday. Speaking to the assembly in New York.m. the UN general assembly has voted.m. the Arab League.m. Tuesday. EST/11:50 p. unamimoiusly. UPDATE 60. Tuesday. UPDATE 58. after some ex-Libyan officials claimed that Qaddafi personally ordered the attack. to temporarily suspend Libya's membership to the UN Human Rights Council. the African Union. 2:35 p. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): While Josh Keating broke down the logistics of installing a no-fly zone. EST/9:50 p. . where tens of thousands of refugees are spilling over into the recently revolutionized country. but last night people put them back. The country will be prevented from participating in the assembly until the body makes a more permanent decision.m.m. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Must-watch: the latest footage from Libya's border with Tunisia. 25-year old air defense network probably won't save it if foreign nations decide to go all-in. March 1. David Axe tells us why Libya's complex. March 1. EST/11:15 p. 4:50 p. Clinton told Congress that she will ask the FBI and Justice Department to look into the matter. It's from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees: UPDATE 59. March 1. and the Organization of the Islamic Conference on what steps to take next. reports Al Jazeera. Tuesday." tweets @iyad_elbaghdadi. The US considers the bombing a closed case. 4:15 p.m. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that "[t]he world has spoken with one voice: we demand an immediate end to the violence against civilians and full respect for their fundamental human rights. in Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): File this under "aggressive.
m. and recently said that Qaddafi is "fighting a great battle. March 2. UPDATE 63. Al-Jazeera reports that at least 4 were killed and 10 were injured." . Josette Sheeran. she called for a safe humanitarian corridor to Libya to help those fleeing the violence. Thursday Tripoli (Ashley Bates): The Jerusalem Post reports that Qaddafi's children are encouraging him to seek political asylum in Nicaragua. EST/ 10:10 p. EST/ 8:58 p. The New York Times reports that two American amphibious warships entered the southern end of the Suez Canal on Wednesday and 400 marines are currently en route to the Mediterranean.UPDATE 62.m. On Wednesday. President Daniel Ortega has spoken regularly to Qaddafi by phone.m. in cooperation with the African Union." Secretary-General Amr Moussa said Wednesday. 12:20 a. 12:58 p. March 2. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the warships and marines would be there for humanitarian relief and emergency evacuation. 4:20 p. Moussa is also a likely contender for president of Egypt.m. UPDATE 64. the director of the World Food Program is stationed on Tunisia's border with Libya. Wednesday. March 2. 2:10 p. Libyan state television claims the government has seized an oil company complex and an airbase. Wednesday. This oil-exporting city had recently been overtaken by rebel forces. "The Arab League will not sit with its hands tied while the blood of the brotherly Libyan people is spilled.m. Wednesday. EST/ Thursday March 3.m. and played down the possibility of American military intervention in Libya. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): The Arab League is considering imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. Tripoli (Ashley Bates): The bloodbath continues as the US prepares for a humanitarian intervention: Libyan planes bombed the eastern port city of Brega on Wednesday.
And speaking of refugees: The Daily Mail reports that the British government is coordinating an airlift of thousands of refugees stranded at the country's borders with Tunisia and Libya. according to a Chavez spokesman. Foreign Policy has a searing. Fighters carried every kind of weapon.m. Thursday. March 3. exclusive slidehow of desperate refugees fleeing Libya. Thursday. no officers. clutching rifles.000 Egyptians working in Libya. Three planes chartered by the British government will shuttle between Tunisia and Egypt to evacuate some 6. no plans: most of the men said they had simply jumped in cars to defend their freedom after hearing that government loyalists. 2:25 p. From Mac: . EST/ 9:25 p. even butcher knives. Meanwhile.UPDATE 65. Others drove beat-up old taxis. chaos among the ranks (on both sides) reigns. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Qaddafi's first major push to reclaim the east has been rebuffed. UPDATE 66. March 3. There were no orders. 11:45 a. And about that peace plan: Reuters also reports that the Libyan government has accepted Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez's plan to end the war. the rebels remain uncertain of what the autocrat's next move might be.m. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta):Mother Jones' Mac McClelland writes that the International Criminal Court's chief will investigate Qaddafi for possible crimes against humanity. And Hugo Chavez has a peace plan.m. whom the rebels call mercenaries. anything they could find. Despite their success in repelling Qaddafi's incursion. wearing black military berets and saluting as they rode past. pistols. Qaddafi's strike on the eastern city of Brega—an oil town—represents his first major attempt to take back territory from the rebels. Reuters reports that his planes bombed the city. In a must-read dispatch. had begun a dawn raid on Brega. EST/ 6:45 a. Some manned big antiaircraft guns. The New York Times reports from the front lines: The battle of Brega was a ragged affair.m.
and we are going to take you there tomorrow to see for yourself. and over 100 were wounded.S. They should be helping the opposition to establish radio and press capabilities—we used to have radio flyaway kits that could be sent in with 24-48 hours and used to set up radio stations.m. in an effort to retake the city of Zawiya. The CIA's playbook is a little more permissive. March 4. Friday.” he added. When it comes to responding to Libya diplomatically. It's probably fair to say he yearns for the days of yore: "CIA should be on the ground collecting intelligence." he said. But reports from rebels suggest that that the outcome of the battle is far from certain. 4:59 p. someone will have to apprehend and deliver him to The Hague. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The New York Times reports that Qaddafi's forces expanded their attack against rebels on Friday. UPDATE 67. Then the ICC judges will decide whether to issue arrest warrants. and the authorities of whatever country he goes to will arrest him. Maybe some anti-Qaddafi Libyans could get hold of him. what now? The court has two months to report back to the Security Council with the results of its investigation. training and guidance to remove Gaddafi. the US' most prominent options appear to include sanctions and invoking a no-fly zone. Or maybe he will be forced out or step down and then leave the country.” . who spoke to a former senior CIA operations official that consults with US intelligence services. “We should be giving the U. Fighting also rages on in the oil towns of Ras Lanuf and Zewietina. They should provide weapons. A government spokesman claimed victory: "[Zawiya] is liberated this afternoon. The ICC does not have any authority to actually bring in defendants. so if Qaddafi is indicted. but should also be in touch with the rebels. he asserted. about 25 miles west of Tripoli. “We have become such pussies that we would crap our pants if we were asked to do any of this.So. government the ability to clandestinely help the opposition overthrow the government without having to send in the Marines. writes Jeff Stein. EST/ 11:59 p. But the CIA doesn’t have the stomach for such interventions now. Reports say that at least 35 were killed.m.
pro-government media continues to spin the war being waged in the east. the people who are demonstrating have been drugged by Al Qaeda. In an interview broadcast on Monday with the France 24 . Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The battle for Libya rages on. pro-government troops attacked rebels in the town of Bin Jawwad using tanks. causing them to hold back their fire. after UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon urged him to "consider the best interests of the Libyan people. insisting that loyalist forces were confronting 'small groupings' and 'sleeper cells' of terrorists.m. Saif. EST/ 6:35 p. The Chavez blueprint calls for a committee to be formed by African. The international body's request was agreed to by Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa. UPDATE 68. pushing them further east. the plan had been rejected by Qaddafi's son. the former foreign . reports Reuters. and listen to the united voice of the international community. no shots have been fired to suppress dissent. 11:35 a. helicopters." Speaking of Foreign Leaders Who Love MQ: CNN tells us who the Qaddafis can still lean on. Initially. Hell from above: Qaddafi's forces continue their air assault on rebels in the coastal town of Ras Lanuf.reports the Times: "Not a day passes in Tripoli without some improbable claim by Colonel Qaddafi or the top officials around him: there are no rebels or protesters in Libya. In the east. and Latin American countries "to help the international dialogue and to help the restoration of peace and stability. the poorly trained but well armed anti-Qaddafi forces are trying to take the dictator's eastern stronghold of Surt. March 7. And Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said that the Qaddafi regime has formally accepted Cuban President Hugo Chavez' peace plan. as pro-Qaddafi forces scored some key victories over the weekend. Col.m. and planes. reports The New York Times. Over the weekend. And opposition fighters told the Times that loyalists used residents of the town as human shields." The UN is sending a humanitarian assessment team to Tripoli. reports Al Jazeera. and are still fighting to maintain their grip on Zawiyah. Asian. Monday. And in Tripoli." Ban has also appointed Abdelilah Al-Khatib. Qaddafi called his country a partner of the West in combating Al Qaeda.
March 7. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Veteran Middle East correpondent Robert Fisk reports that the United States has secretly asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to rebels in the anti-Qaddafi stronghold of Benghazi. UPDATE 71. and Morgan Stanley will cease oil trade with Libya.m. EST/ 7:52 p. "is not top of the list at this point. mortars. Monday. Their moves comply with recently imposed sanctions against Libya. EST/ 10:35 p. and is continuing to use existing diplomatic channels to amass information on opposition groups. UPDATE 69. "The Saudi Kingdom. March 7. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Cutting ties: Reuters reports that the US-based oil companies ExxonMobil.has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request. "I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Qaddafi. 3:01 p.m. as his special envoy to consult with the Libyan government on the humanitarian situation.6 million barrels a day has more than halvedsince the rebellion against Qaddafi began. Monday. The kingdom's help—in the form of anti-tank rockets. who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago. Monday." writes Fisk. whose oil production of 1.. and ground-to-air missiles —"would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain—even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis. Conoco.m.minister of Jordan. March 7. 3:35 p. although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the US is still weighing the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over the country and arming rebel forces.m. 12:52 p." President Obama said on Monday.m. EST/ 10:01 p." ." UPDATE 70.m. And they will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The Associated Press reports that the US and its NATO allies are still considering a military response to the ongoing chaos in Libya. he underlined. Deploying ground troops. It is their choice to make how they operate moving forward..
But NATO is unlikely to act without a resolution from the UN Security Council." the potential 2012 presidential candidate stated.UPDATE 72. "They seem to be better organized and more professional than forces previously seen on the frontline. leading to few casualties but worrying the rebels that their movement has stalled. March 8.m. The bombing raids are being carried out around Ras Lanuf. reports SkyNews. March 9. 3:08 p. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Qaddafi's planes continue bombing rebels in the east. reports Reuters.m. EST/ 10:08 p. "The idea that we're confused about a man who has been an anti-American dictator since 1969 just tells you how inept this administration is. EST/ 10:15 p. Britain and France support a UN draft resolution for action.m.m. Tuesday. Get it over with. while China and Russia are unlikely to throw their hat in. March 8. but has not yet committed to the policy. Do it." with better armor and more sophisticated weapons. UPDATE 73. March 8. 3:15 p. Libyan troops led by Qaddafi's son Khamis left the rebel-held town of Misrata on Tuesday. 1:57 a. EST/ Wednesday. UPDATE 74. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Newt would know what to do: 2012 GOP presidential-maybe Newt Gingrich insistsit would take mere minutes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. "This is a moment to get rid of [Gaddafi]. 6:57 p. rebel forces are digging in outside of Ras Lanuf." saying. Tripoli(Siddhartha Mahanta): Josh Rogin reports that State Department spokesman P. Meanwhlie. Crowley denied reports that the US has asked Saudi Arabia to arm Libyan rebels. Tuesday. For the record: supplying arms to anyone in Libya would be illegal: .m. From HuffPo: Gingrich accused the Obama administration of being "confused.m. an oil town about 150 miles from Benghazi. Tuesday. heading east to join up with other pro-Qaddafi forces. according to the Guardian. reports the Christian Science Monitor.J. as NATO planners meet in Brussels to consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya." The Obama administration has said that a no-fly zone is being considered.
Pressed by reporters to clarify whether the Obama administration had any plans to give arms to any of the rebel groups in Libya. including surveillance.m. It is continuing to burn. 11:15 a. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The news for the day: The New York Times reports Qaddafi's forces continue their assault on Ras Lanuf. including at NATO. who said. March 9. enforcement of the arms embargo and a no-fly zone. Security Council Resolution 1970. Tanks moved into the rebel-held main square as "their snipers shot at anything that moved. humanitarian assistance. "It would be illegal for the United States to do that. providing weapons. The fact that it’s such consistent black smoke could well means there is oil underneath it. Al Jazeera reports that "[t]he air force is concentrating on the big junctions at the entrance to the town." Crowley's blanket statement seemed to go further than comments on Monday by White House spokesman Jay Carney. it is one of the range of options that is being considered. And government air strikes on the desert oil hub and the western city of Zawiyah—which Qaddafi's government claims to have recaptured—continue. on the full spectrum of possible responses. They've committed to “press forward with planning. President Obama and British prime minister." Crowley maintained that U.” . EST/ 6:15 p. "On the issue of … arming." he said. applied to both the Qaddafi regime and the rebel groups.N." he said. "It's not a legal option. which imposed international sanctions on Libya that included an arms embargo. UPDATE 75." Meanwhile. "It's not on the government of Libya: It's on Libya.” the White House said in a statement.m. David Cameron have agreed on the shared objective of “the departure of Qaddafi from power as quickly as possible. as rebels push west toward Tripoli." panicking opposition fighters. Wednesday. Crowley said no.
The Obama Doctrine. UPDATE 77.m. a former paratrooper with U. Army Special Operations Command and a veteran of Afghanistan. is also an army general in charge of logistics and supplies.m. he wrote billion dollar checks to the families of victims of Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772. EST/ 6:23 p. so to speak.m. Abdelrahman al-Zawi.S. Grady. he better make it quick: If it is the intent of the United States to use military force in Libya by imposing a no-fly zone. Though he's followed through with the previous administration's Iraq plans and heeded advice from Bush's generals and Secretary of Defense on Afghanistan. EST/ 7:00 p. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain. This same Qaddafi in December of 2003 admitted that his government had been actively developing a massive weapons program. March 9. March 9. Al-Zawi. If Obama's going to act.m. Reports indicate that he may be meeting with Amr Moussa. he argues. but he is a madman with a well-honed survival instinct. explains what's at stake in imposing a no-fly zone. He feared the Bush Doctrine. meanwhile. takes a clearly different approach. to Cairo. This is. The feeling seems to be that Team America has done enough. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Just tweeted by @AlArabiya_English: "Libyan authorities offer a bounty of $400. elsewhere in the world Obama is hesitant to pull the trigger. Qaddafi further opened his borders to international weapons inspectors. 12:15 p. 11:23 a. Qaddafi is a madman. reports Al Jazeera.m. More astoundingly. Wednesday.000 to . the head of the Arab League.m. [emphasis added] UPDATE 78.UPDATE 76. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): Qaddafi has sent his deputy defense minister. March 9. but promptly surrendered it to President George W. EST/ 7:15 p. a humbler foreign policy—the very course of action embraced by Bush supporters in 1999. the president and his administration should make the argument now rather than later. Wednesday. in other words. which will meet on Saturday to discuss the imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. 12:00 p. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): D. Wednesday.B.
UPDATE 80. Tripoli(Siddhartha Mahanta): Fadel Lamen has the scoop on the resignation plan Qaddafi offered on Tuesday morning: According to the insider. the administration's outreach to opposition groups is increasing. At the meeting. EST/ 11:45 p. rejected the idea as a "farce. 4:45 p. EST/ Thursday. And National Security Council senior director for multilateral affairs Samantha Power said that the US is doing its best to help civilians trying to leave Libya.reports Josh Rogin. Gaddafi would require that the congress declare immunity for him and his family. UPDATE 79. both domestically and internationally. who is Jalil? The leader of the key opposition group. Wednesday. The insider tells me the interim Transitional Council. 6:52 p. Soldiers of fortune have been streaming in from surrounding countries like Chad and Niger. Gaddafi would submit his resignation. In exchange. using the congress's putative legitimacy over the Libyan people as cover. the National Libyan Council. March 9. Tripoli (Siddhartha Mahanta): The White House is working to stop mercenaries from joining pro-Qaddafi forces. March 9. . overseen by Mustafa Abdel Jalil. March 10. A formal process would give then appearance of a democratic turnover. containing the following offer: Gaddafi would call a meeting of the General People's Congress— supposedly the highest governing body in what is in reality an autocracy. viewing the letter as a "trial balloon": a ploy to divide Libyans as Qaddafi continues trying to take back rebel-held territory. in the care of a former Gaddafi cabinet minster. but the administration isn't saying whether Qaddafi is still trying to bring in more. The hope: that keeping them out will help prevent violence from spilling over into other countries.anyone who captures revolutionary leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil and hands him in #Libya".m.m. the closest thing the Libyan people have as an alternative to Gaddafi.m. 1:52 a." But the council rejected the plan. Meanwhile. Wednesday. Gaddafi sent a letter.m.
She just returned from three years in the Middle East.Ashley Bates is an editorial intern at Mother Jones. .
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