Libya

March 1st, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Most analysts think Gaddafi has lost control of so much of , that his downfall or demise is just a matter of time. I hope so.

The death toll is in the thousands, and those lives could have been saved if Gaddafi had done a Muburak. Of course the difference may just be that the Egyptian Army was less willing to kill it own citizens. To be fair most of the Libyan Army has been reluctant also.

A part of me sees some good from his decision to try and supress the pro-democracy movement by arms. Because it looks like he will fail, and will depart office (or life) reviled internationally.

This may prove a useful lesson to other dictatorships in the , and encourage them to peacefully engage with pro-democracy movements – not try and crush them.

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16 Responses to “Libya”

  1. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    A part of the US justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the theory that the introduction of democracy there would raise demand for democracy in nearby countries.

    Is this what we are seeing now?

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  2. Pete Macaulay (47 comments) says:

    Despite Gaddafi’s proven evil behaviour, the UN Human Rights Council, although suspending Libya, has released a report supported by the usual suspects, applauding Libya’s Human Rights record.
    It is time the UN HR Council was kicked for touch.

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  3. DeepScience (74 comments) says:

    Egypt and Libya are not examples pro-democracy protests. Maybe “young rich people” protests. Maybe “Muslim Brotherhood” protests. But nothing to do with democracy in itself. Instability in these crazy countries is really bad. Didn’t we learn that from Iraq?

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  4. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    These “pro-democracy” Lybians would be the same ones who cheered as the Lockerbie bomber was flown home where he totally failed to die as promised?

    I’ll hold off on the warm and cuddly feelings myself.

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  5. KevinH (1,160 comments) says:

    There is an element of truth to Gaddiffis’ sons’ exhortations that foreign nationals are playing a significant part in dethroning the Gaddaffi regime. Al Qaeda has been active in this region, partly as a conduit for the cheap drugs ( heroin) that has flooded into the middle eastern markets from Afghanistan.
    Libyas’ vulnerability is it’s despotic regime, fundamentally corrupt, ignorant and backward looking. This has created the perfect enviroment for a lucrative drug trade to thrive unchecked, officials in these type of regimes take bribes.
    Al Qaeda is looking for a host nation to base itself in order to launch it’s world wide Islamic caliphate with Osama bin Laden as it’s spiritual head, and Lybias’ huge oil reserves and revenues are an intoxicating attraction to them.

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  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @Ben

    I think that the Iraq invasion has significantly influenced this. No doubt there will be a flurry of commentators who don’t like America who will say it’s not true. Cultural and social change takes time. America had a civil war 80 years after its founding. The UK took centuries too secure democracy. NZ also took a while.

    Those is the Middle East now see their neighbours (who they once viewed as backward and screwed under Saddam) now having had multiple elections, the building of hospitals and schools, and the gradual exit of foreign forces. (And I note the failure of US oil companies to get significant contracts) and now they want the same liberty.

    Regime change takes force, and I’ve yet to see UN hand-wringing achieve much. The response is often “Oh, but war is bad”. Well, no shit! Doesn’t take a genius to work that out. But people need to consider that there are sometimes things worse then the temporary use of force. My opinion is that many pinko-trendy pacifists who the politicians are afraid to unsettled (these are different to the dedicated pacifists who do not really directly affect the centre of politics) tend to adopt a head-in-the-sand attitude to these things but cover it will the smoke screen of ‘non-violence’. I wonder if there is an element of cowardice here, and embarrassment that some people take responsibility for global security, while they have decided not to.

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  7. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    I am disappointed by the response of those above who fear the consequences of regime change in Libya (and elsewhere).

    Fear is a valid response. But it should be easily trumped by hope. The Libyan people are reaching for something better: all power to them.

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  8. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    International pressure mounts, although Gaddafi appears destined for the hangman’s noose.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110228/ap_on_re_eu/eu_us_libya

    Geneva – US presses Europe on Libya, Germany gets tough

    The United States pressed its European allies on Monday to set tough sanctions on the Libyan government, and Germany responded with a far-reaching proposal to cut off all oil and other payments to the country for 60 days so that Moammar Gadhafi’s regime cannot use the money to repress his people.

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  9. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Libya protest photos.

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  10. kowtow (7,962 comments) says:

    Obama said recently that Gadafy had lost his legitimacy to rule. Did he ever have any?

    So we deal with dictators who quietly run torture camps and sponsor terror and other oppresive regimes ,until what point? Mob riots and shootings.

    By that definition the Red Chinese are out following Tien An Men. But we have a free trade agreement with them >They sit on the UN Security Council.

    North Korea,Burma,Iran, Zimbabwe? Where is the legitimacy of their regimes. All members of the UN. How many have embassies here?

    Be careful how you treat these movements. I saw footage of a demo in Bahrain, men in one column,women (dressed in black tents) in another column. That is a Shi’ite movement and it will end up like Iran.

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  11. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Libya as we know is one link in a large chain. The whole area is difficult to understand using the values we are fortunate enough to know. The region combines a long history of Ottoman oppression, lingering resentment from the fleeting period of Western colonialism, ballooning populations and shrinking economies, a malign fascination with Nazi racial theories and Soviet-style politics, and the skewed absurdities of oil wealth and Western aid. Shake it all up with the murderous and nihilistic resentments of Islamic fundamentalism, and you get lots of angry, well-armed people with no experience in self-governance and lots of scapegoats in need of a good killing. The Islamic militants will be ready to step into any vacuum.

    This will get worse before it gets better

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  12. dime (9,678 comments) says:

    Murray – bet ya i could find a rent a crowd of nutbars in new zealand who would cheer the lockabee bomber too.

    Jimmy Carter, i mean Obama has done fuck all to help as expected.

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  13. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Why does this job always have to be left to me?

    This is the offending portion of DPF’s post:

    A part of me sees some good from his decision to try and supress the pro-democracy movement by arms. Because it looks like he will fail, and will depart office (or life) reviled internationally.

    I suspect this is another example of DPF not thinking about what he is actually writing. However, at the risk of further demerits, I do ask:

    How much of a part, DPF? And how many dead Libyans would suffice? Fighter planes can mow them down pretty well. And if I was one of those, I would ask, why don’t I matter? What would you say? The greater good? Thanks a lot, mate!

    And what if he didn’t fail? Does that entail just more dead Libyans setting Gaddafi up for the revulsion DPF desires, revulsion that already exists, anyway, at least amongst people who take the time to cast a glance over the wider region.

    Except for Tony Blair, that is. And Gordon Brown and BP.

    I’ve been restrained because part of me still can’t believe what I read.

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  14. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Good time for some laser guided bombs on some palaces methinks…

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  15. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    # DeepScience (37) Says:
    March 1st, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Egypt and Libya are not examples pro-democracy protests. Maybe “young rich people” protests. Maybe “Muslim Brotherhood” protests. But nothing to do with democracy in itself. Instability in these crazy countries is really bad. Didn’t we learn that from Iraq?

    Another seriously ignorant post.

    Rather than “young rich people” think “unemployed middle class graduates” – or what was the middle class until colonial-era despots stole all the loot.

    None of these revolutions have been Islamic inspired. None. They are all inspired by the Western ideal of democracy, freedom and equality. Note I said ideal, not reality.

    And Iraq was very stable under Saddam while WE supported him in his murderous rule. Now, Iraq is so unstable that it is still more violent than Afghanistan.

    The key to ME instability is in Sykes-Picot agreement – look it up – that treated the peoples of the ME as though they were livestock to be traded.

    If ignorance is bliss, Deeep Science must be very blissful!

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  16. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    To East Wellington Superhero

    wtf is that moniker about!?

    Anyway, this is democracy in Iraq today:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/us_silent_on_deadly_iraqi_govt

    Mind you, at least Iraqis can do the odd demo and only get shot instead of tortured.

    Oh wait.

    Sorry, I retract that.

    Watch the video.

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