Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

From the Mother of the Man Who Started It All: A Libyan Open Thread

Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire on December 17 after police abused and humiliated him. He died of his burns on January 4. The protest movement that began in Sidi Bouzid swelled to become a nationwide phenomenon, and spread to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, it reached Libya.…  

I have a suspicion the situation in Libya is going to get uglier before it is over.


  1. Shaun Appleby

    Again from Time:

    My Libyan source said that in order to understand Gaddafi’s state of mind we need to understand that he feels deeply betrayed by the media, which he blames for sparking the revolt. In particular, he blames the Qatari TV station al-Jazeera, and is convinced it targeted him for purely political motivations. He also feels betrayed by the West because it has only encouraged the revolt. Over the weekend, he warned several European embassies that if he falls, the consequence will be a flood of African immigration that will “swamp” Europe.

    Robert Baer – Gaddafi’s Next Move: Sabotage Oil and Sow Chaos? Time 22 Feb 11

    And the Europeans are his economic partners, for pity’s sake.  Makes you wonder what threats he has been making to us, doesn’t it?

  2. Shaun Appleby

    @ShababLibya: BREAKING: Captain Naser of Afriqiyah asks all pilots to stop flying for Afriqiyah as they are BRINGING mercenaries into the country #Libya

    At this point any mercenary signing on for this gig has to be suicidal or crazy.

  3. Qaddafi is psychotic. There’s no telling what he will do. My prediction for Libya is that there will be a coup headed by either a military officer or someone in the current government. They aren’t going to let him destroy the country if for no other reason than to protect the huge amount of loot that would be lost.

  4. Shaun Appleby

    A French Air Force Airbus apparently departing Libya at  Al Jazeera said a French relief flight was turned back earlier today so not clear what is happening.  I’ve been watching the inbound and outbound flights today, just to see.  Not a lot of activity and can’t see any scheduled flights.

  5. HappyinVT

    Peru has become the first country to severe all diplomatic ties with Libya.

    I have no idea what practical effect this will have.

  6. HappyinVT

    Canada is working on landing rights in order to begin evacuating its citizens starting Thursday.  Seems a bit late in the game (not that the US seems to be much further ahead, at least with the embassy folks).

  7. Shaun Appleby


    A U.S. Government chartered ferry will  depart Tripoli from the As-shahab Port in central Tripoli, located on the sea road across from the Radisson Blu Mahari Hotel, for Valletta, Malta on Wednesday, February 23. Processing of passengers will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. local time.  U.S. citizen travelers wishing to depart should proceed as soon as possible after 9:00 a.m. to the pier and arrive no later than 10:00 a.m.  U.S. citizens will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions. The ferry will depart no later than 3:00 p.m.

    U.S. Government Chartered Ferry Evacuation US Embassy Tripoli 22 Feb 11

    Departure scheduled for about eleven hours from now.  Fingers crossed.

  8. HappyinVT

    ROME – Concerns rose about Italy’s natural gas supplies on Tuesday, after the country’s main energy company, ENI, said it had suspended supplies through its Greenstream pipeline, which runs from Libya to Sicily and supplies 10 percent of Italy’s natural gas.


    ENI temporarily closed the pipeline after the supplies feeding into it were disrupted. The ANSA news agency reported that the closure was a precautionary measure after many of ENI’s employees in Libya did not show up for work.

  9. HappyinVT

    BEIJING (AFP) – China will send a jet, ships and fishing vessels from nearby waters to violence-wracked Libya on Wednesday to help evacuate more than 30,000 Chinese living there, the government and state media said.

    A chartered Air China jet was to leave Beijing on Wednesday for Athens, as the Chinese government awaits permission to land in the north African country, where hundreds have been killed in an uprising against leader Moamer Kadhafi.

  10. Shaun Appleby

    Regularly scheduled Qatar QR-550 with flight plan DOH-TIP-CMN but doesn’t look like he’s going to make stopover in Tripoli at all.  Can’t say I blame him.

    Also an Il-76 from Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations apparently just appeared off Tripoli but looks like he’s also just orbiting or turning back.

  11. I’ll bet there are a bunch of satellites covering that area. I would be surprised if our gov’t hasn’t told Qaddafi that we’ve got cameras focused on his cities at all times – day and night. I give them permission to tell a little white lie if needed. Tell him we can identify aircraft, armored vehicles, and even small groups of people and that all of the images and video could be used in a war crimes trial. I hate to sound like a neo-con here, but we should also remind him of Saddam’s final fate. Maybe send him a picture of Saddam twisting at the end of a rope.

  12. Shaun Appleby

    BREAKING: #Gaddafi troops are attacking #Egypt aid convoys in the east and reports of deaths among the Egyptian activists #Feb17 #Libya

  13. fogiv

    Anyone thinking that Colonel Gaddafi is becoming a cosy ally should think again. Only a few weeks ago, Gaddafi stormed out of an Arab League conference, calling the King of Saudi Arabia a ‘liar’ and a ‘British product and American ally’. Gaddafi remains mercurial, menacing and murderous.

    Getting wobbly on his pins and wearing almost more makeup and hair dye than his 40 virgin bodyguards put together, Colonel Gaddafi looks set to carry on wrong-footing friend and foe alike. Mellow with age he won’t.

    Read more:

  14. Shaun Appleby

    Ahmadinejad condemns Qaddafi for wasting ammunition:

    Ahmadinejad condemned Libya’s use of force against demonstrators and urged Libyan leaders to give in to the demands of their people.

    Iran’s hard-line leaders have sought to claim some credit for the uprisings in Arab nations, saying the 1979 Islamic Revolution provided inspiration.

    Scott Lucas – The Latest from Iran (23 February): Breaking Karroubi Enduring America 22 Feb 11

    Yesterday’s pipsqueak is scrambling to stay ahead of recent developments.  ‘Tis a new day and the echoes of Libya’s turmoil is Ahmadinejad’s unforeseen neutering.  Haven’t heard much from al Qaeda lately either.  Meh.

  15. HappyinVT

    4.27pm: A Libyan airforce plane has crashed near Benghazi after the crew bailed out, the country’s Quryna Newspaper reports. The newspaper said the crew had orders to bomb Benghazi, but refused to carry them out.

    4.17pm: Major General Suleiman Mahmoud, a commander in Libyan army in Tobruk, is now on the side of the Libyan people. He called Gaddafi “a tyrant” and told Al Jazeera “the people in the army are steadfast” in the city.

  16. I just want to say a word of thanks for the Marines who tried to rescue those (foolhardy) yachters. Two pirates were killed before they boarded and two more were killed by the Marines once they got on board “one by gunfire, another with a knife”.

    Those Marines personally boarded that little boat in the middle of the ocean and got involved enough to kill a man by hand and capture 15 more. Whatever else happened, those Marines took the personal risk and responsibility to deal with this mess in the tiny space of a boat no bigger than a small apartment.

    Their bravery and commitment cannot be overstated, and I would like to thank them for it personally.

  17. HappyinVT

    WASHINGTON — With hundreds of U.S. citizens trapped for now in Libya, the Obama administration is responding cautiously to leader Moammar Gadhafi’s brutal attempt to suppress a rebellion, fearing that the wrong move might bring retaliation against Americans, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

    The fate of about 600 U.S. citizens, along with 35 non-essential Embassy staff, whom the State Department is trying to evacuate, puts President Barack Obama in an excruciating diplomatic bind.


    Senior U.S. officials, some of whom requested anonymity because of the situation’s sensitivity, said Washington is contemplating stronger actions in the days ahead.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called the violence in Libya “completely unacceptable.” She said, “As we gain a greater understanding of what actually is happening . . . we will take appropriate steps in line with our policies, our values and our laws.”

    “As always, the safety and well-being of Americans has to be our highest priority,” she said. Clinton didn’t mention Gadhafi by name.

    State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said 35 U.S. Embassy personnel and families, who were ordered to leave Libya on Monday, haven’t yet been able to depart. “The fact is today we were not able to move any of our personnel out of the country,” he said.

    Read more:

  18. As usual, the poor downtrodden not-us folks get overlooked by the breathless media — I had to go to Al Jazeera to find this:

    Asian nations also face the mammoth task of rescuing at least 150,000 low-paid workers from the country, reports say


    Even Al Jazeera (English version, anyway) leaves it at that, the fourth paragraph of a story focussing primarily on Europeans.

  19. HappyinVT

    This week, a Mother Jones editor named Adam Weinstein got into a Twitter tête à tête with an Indiana lawyer who called on riot police in Madison to use “live ammunition” to clear protesters out of the state Capitol.

    It turned out that lawyer, Jeff Cox, is a deputy attorney general in the state. And — perhaps unsurprisingly — he’s left a long online trail of controversial statements and diktats.

    “[A]gainst thugs physically threatening legally-elected state legislators & governor?” he tweeted back at Weinstein. “You’re damn right I advocate deadly force.”


    He doesn’t care for Planned Parenthood, either.

  20. HappyinVT

    7.24pm: European Union governments agreed to prepare possible sanctions on Libya in response to Gaddafi’s violent crackdown on anti-government protests, EU diplomats told the Reuters news agency.

    The measures could include visa bans, asset freezes, an arms embargo and other restrictions, Reuters said.

    7.48pm: PJ Crowley, the US state department spokesperson, says the country is looking at using “a full range of tools,” including possible sanctions, on Libya, news agency Reuters reports.

    8.15pm: The White House says president Barack Obama `”strongly condemns” the bloodshed in Libya. Obama is expected to speak later on Wednesday or Thursday to address the situation.

    8.10pm: The US will consider possibly freezing assets belonging to the Libyan government and Gaddafi as it weighs its response to Libya’s political crisis but no decision has been taken yet, the state department said.

    Tick tock, people, tick tock.

  21. fogiv

    Our gay-hatin’ McClurkin lovin’ rick warren lovin’ POTUS:

    WASHINGTON – President Obama, in a major legal policy shift, has directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act – the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages – against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday saying that the Justice Department will now take the position in court that the Defense of Marriage Act should be struck down as a violation of gay couples’ rights to equal protection under the law.

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