Middle East and North Africa Unrest

RdKetchup

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One of the planes that defected to Malta yesterday:



Air to ground rocket pods under the wings.
 

nomix

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I was in the same mindset to start with, takes a while to think through the options... on the upside:
I always get very grumpy when I see people treated worse than sheep being herded. At least the farmer stops his dog before the teeth go through their skin.


It's happening...
I make a point of never being optimistic.
 

WillDAQ

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12544624

He called on "those who love Muammar Gaddafi" to come on to the streets in support of him, telling them not to be afraid of the "gangs".
"Come out of your homes, attack them in their dens. Withdraw your children from the streets. They are drugging your children, they are making your children drunk and sending them to hell," he said.
"If matters require, we will use force, according to international law and the Libyan constitution," and warned that the country could descend into civil war or be occupied by the US if protests continued.
The BBC's Frank Gardner said it was an extraordinary speech even by Col Gaddafi's usual standards, full of theatrical defiance against almost everyone.
If the US is wise it will issue a reply to the effect of "nothin' to do with us gov".

More generally, there have got to be a lot of people in the Libyan government starting to distance themselves from him. Shouldn't be too long now...
 

British_Rover

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I can see the conversation between the two pilots now...

Pilot 1: They want us to do what?

Pilot 2: Strafe the protesters with rockets.

Pilot 1: Fuck that how much fuel do we have? Enough to get to Malta?

Pilot 2: Yeah should be plenty call on guard once we hit international airspace.
 

Heathrow

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BBC News ? Defiant Gaddafi refuses to quit amid Libya protests

BBC News ? by Frank Gardner said:
Even by his own bizarre and eccentric standards, the latest speech by Col Gaddafi was breathtaking in its defiance of both the wider world and the reality now facing him.

Speaking from his favourite location, Tripoli's bombed-out Bab Al-Azizia Barracks, he referred to the protesters variously as "cockroaches" and "traitors" who were "drug-fuelled, drunken and duped".

At times, the Libyan leader seemed to lose control of his temper, shouting his words in Arabic. At others, he paused to adjust his matching khaki shawl and cap. His language, while undoubtedly aimed at shoring up what support he still has in the country, was one of quaint nationalist slogans from the 1960s and 70s.

To many of those opposing his rule, who use Twitter, Facebook and the internet, this was a speech from a bygone era from a man whose time they believe has long passed.
Col. Ghaddaffi is known for his long and rambling speeches on State TV, sometimes lasting up to five hours.

With this in mind, I only gave it about fifteen minutes before bailing on the loony tyrant. :lol:

Some quotes here:
Muammar Gaddafi on Libyan State TV said:
The protests were "serving the devil".

He urged his supporters to go out and attack the "cockroaches" demonstrating against his rule.

He blamed the unrest on "cowards and traitors" who were seeking to portray Libya as a place of chaos and to "humiliate" Libyans.

He called on "those who love Muammar Gaddafi" to come out on to the streets, telling them not to be afraid of the "gangs".

"Come out of your homes, attack them in their dens. Withdraw your children from the streets. They are drugging your children, they are making your children drunk and sending them to hell," he said.

.. He would "cleanse Libya house by house", he said.

"If matters require, we will use force, according to international law and the Libyan constitution," he said, and warned that the country could descend into civil war or be occupied by the US if protests continued.

.. citing the Chinese authorities' crushing of the student protests in Tiananmen Square as an example of national unity being "worth more than a small number of protesters".
Reported deaths range between 300 and 500 to date.

Libyan Ambassadors in China and India are reported today to have ? resigned? or other wise to have disassociated themselves from the Colonel.

Nice touch citing Tiananmen Square as an example of how to manage a protest, shows his lack of insight, somewhat. Also, he accused the United States and Britain of trying to destabilise Libya, just for old time?s sake I guess.

Hard to predict what will happen, I'd like to think he will go soon but that may not happen, if at all.

:|
 

WillDAQ

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The key is to cause the leadership to isolate themselves from the rest of the government using non-violent means. That's the magic sauce that worked in Egypt and Tunisia, not american guns parachuted to protesters.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12550719

Pressure has mounted on isolated Libyan ruler Col Muammar Gaddafi after a chorus of international condemnation and resignations by top officials.
The man considered the colonel's number two, Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi, is among senior figures who have joined the opposition.
He's going, it's just a question of if he'll flee, be killed or arrested.
 

nomix

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Libya is looking more and more like Romania in 1989, and Gadaffi looks more and more like Ceau?escu.

Mubarak and Egypt, in comparison looks more like Czechoslovakia.
 

tigger

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Once these nations have stable democracies, that's the point the US should be rolling out the pomp and circumstance to welcome them into the fold of democracy.
Absolutely nothing is gained by remaining silent on these revolutions. Especially not when you've got opposition members urging the US to, at least, be more vocal. For 8 years we had neocons in charge here, parroting how great democracy is, how we should support people's rights, etc. The least we can do is re-iterate that stance when things actually do touch off.

I think our response so far has been good. First calling on Ben Ali and Mubarak not to use violence against peaceful protests, then urging them to institute reforms (which came off as "dog-whistling" for them to step down). Now we're very publicly condemning the violence used on protesters in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

As for all this nonsense about using military force in Libya (or wherever), it's just that. We would risk more than we could gain. Better to do what we're doing now, let it play, condemn it and follow France's lead: sanction the hell out of them. If the UN wants to do something we can back them. But there's not going to be any unilateral cowboy bullshit. I wish people would realize that and let it go.

For success the protesters have to remain non-violent.
Was that in reference to Libya? They tried that and were fired upon. Then they tried to bury their dead and the funeral processions were fired upon. Supposedly the government went so far as to threaten the lives of doctors who treated protesters. Non-violent protest only got them shot; they may as well shoot back. You're right that they need the military on their side, and it sounds like a good deal of Libyan forces have defected to the side of the protesters. It's tragic that things didn't unfold as they did in Egypt, where the military refused to intervene violently.
 

Heathrow

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The UK opposition politicians and the TV News media, have been criticising the UK government on its slow response to evacuating UK nationals from Libya.

Commercial flights direct to the UK by BA and BMI were running until yesterday, other European carriers are still operating, such as Air France and Lufthansa. So, if any Brits are in Tripoli, they could get out.

The biggest problem reported today on the BBC, is an oil camp of mainly Brits and Germans 500km from Tripoli in the middle of nowhere with about 300 guys stuck there. The armed locals looted the camps and nicked all their vehicles. They are only one kilometre from a supply airport, but there are no planes there at present. They are requesting C-130s to come in and get them out.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Haig, said today that he may consider sending in rescue planes, without official Libyan permission if this became necessary.

A plane chartered by oil company BP arrived in Tripoli today, but one organised by the UK government was delayed by a tech fault and is reported to be still at Gatwick airport London.

The US has chartered a ferry for 35 Embassy officials and dependants, plus and other US citizens wishing to leave. It is leaving about now (18:00 UK tiime) and bound for Malta.

BBC News - Libya protests: Evacuation plans of foreign governments
BBC News said:
23 February 2011

United States

The State Department says there are about 600 US citizens in Libya, and several thousand dual US-Libyan nationals.

The State Department said it would begin evacuating its citizens from Libya by ferry to the Mediterranean island of Malta on Wednesday.

It says it is also seeking to provide flights for nationals who want to leave, and that it was trying to get 35 non-essential staff and family members of personnel at the US embassy in Libya out of the country.

Russia

More than 500 Russians are working in Libya, and so far 118 Russians are reported to have flown out on a transport plane. Reports in the Russian media say that about 150 Russians - employed to build a railway line - are currently stranded in the Libyan desert.

France

Two military planes with about 500 French nationals landed in Paris in the night of 22 February. About 750 French live in Libya ordinarily, although current numbers are thought to be in the region of 500-550.

United Kingdom

Britain's foreign office says about 500 nationals live in Libya, mostly in the Tripoli area. The government said it was redeploying a warship, HMS Cumberland, off the Libyan coast in readiness for a possible sea-borne evacuation of its citizens.

Canada

Of the 321 Canadians registered with the embassy, 91 have so far expressed a wish to leave, the government said. Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said a Canadian plane would arrive in Tripoli on Thursday.

Brazil

Brazil's foreign ministery said a ship would pick up a group of 183 Brazilians in Benghazi on Wednesday or Thursday, and take them to Malta. They are thought to be employees of engineering firm Querioz Galvao, plus their family members.

Italy

It is not clear how many Italians are in Libya, but two Italian naval vessels are heading for eastern Libyan ports to get out citizens from Benghazi and other cities where airports are damaged.

Italy is continuing its commercial flights into Tripoli, but said it was prepared to mobilise four to five military aircraft, and navy ships to help with any possible evacuation of Italians.
Meanwhile, the man considered the colonel's number two, Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes al-Abidi, is among senior figures who have joined the opposition. (BBC News)

With the east of the country in ?rebel? hands, Gaddafi battles to control west (BBC News).

It is not over yet.

:|

Libya is looking more and more like Romania in 1989, and Gadaffi looks more and more like Ceau?escu.

Mubarak and Egypt, in comparison looks more like Czechoslovakia.
And may end up as Ceau?escu did, as well.
 

AiR

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Heh (from a couple of hours ago)

 
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Cold Fussion

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I think our response so far has been good. First calling on Ben Ali and Mubarak not to use violence against peaceful protests, then urging them to institute reforms (which came off as "dog-whistling" for them to step down). Now we're very publicly condemning the violence used on protesters in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.
In relation to Egypt I think America's response was poor at best. They always picked and changed their position and such positions pleased no one, and at times it looked as though the government didn't know what it position was.
 

jetsetter

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Do not make a mistake in thinking that my earlier comments about Libya apply to the other nations. With respect to a country like Bahrain I am in favor of whatever action keeps our base and fleet anchorage intact. It is much too valuable to loose. If that means propping up the present regime then so be it.
 
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tigger

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In relation to Egypt I think America's response was poor at best. They always picked and changed their position and such positions pleased no one, and at times it looked as though the government didn't know what it position was.
Examples? The White House urged non-violence and reform. When it was obvious Mubarak was done they urged "an orderly transition."

People think Obama should have gotten out there and said, "Fuck this Mubarak asshole! VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!" or something. He can't do that. Heads of state aren't supposed to go around interfering in other nations affairs, which is exactly what calling for Mubarak to step down would've amounted to. Sure he's a corrupt old bastard, but he's not Gaddafi and we're not even calling for Gaddafi to step down. Plus the State Dept is undoubtedly worried about how these messages play in Israel, in Saudi Arabia, in all these nations experiencing unrest.
 

nomix

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Do not make a mistake in thinking that my earlier comments about Libya apply to the other nations. With respect to a country like Bahrain I am in favor of whatever action keeps our base and fleet anchorage intact. It is much to valuable to loose. If that means propping up the present regime then so be it.
With regards to these colonial rebels in the American colonies, we understand their wish for inalianble rights, but what is important to us is a large base from which we can fight the French.

Seriously jetsetter, how did you become a neocon, and have you tried getting help?

Neo-Conservatism - It kills literally some people every year.
 
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maxtortheone

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Wow, ordering air strikes on protesters? And the military complied, save for those two pilots? I'm not that good with politics and such, but that's just horrible!
 

nomix

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As you are in fact Romanian, what do you think of the comparison between Gadaffi and Ceau?escu?
 

maxtortheone

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I didn't catch those times and I don't know that much about Gaddafi but things seem similar enough. Hopefully, the military will eventually side with the civilians.
 

Heathrow

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I didn't catch those times and I don't know that much about Gaddafi but things seem similar enough. Hopefully, the military will eventually side with the civilians.
It is quite similar to the 1989 protests and government changes in Eastern Europe, where each was different but shared common themes.

* * *
Libya:

Yesterday, the Col. was accusing the USA, Britain and the International TV News channels, but today : Gaddafi says ?Bin Laden to blame? (BBC News)

Do you think he?s a little craaaaaaaazy, maybe? :rolleyes:

BBC News ? Eyewitness: 'Tripoli is under siege'

Other reports say there have been fighting in coastal towns both 100km and 50km from Tripoli, but it is still the last strong hold for him. It won?t fall until a critical number of his militia deserts him.

* * *
Algeria:

BBC News ? Algeria ends 19-year-old state of emergency

After the recent protests, this is a good sign and possibly shows the government thinking about the current changes sweeping the region and using brains not bullets.
 
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GRtak

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Gaddafi also said that it was a small number of people under the influence of drugs. I wonder what kind of drugs he is on.
 
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