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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:11 AM

 

Two years on, Benghazi threatens "another revolution" in Libya

Source: Reuters

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - As night fell over Benghazi, a familiar sound echoed across the eastern Libyan city - an explosion, and then gunfire. A bomb had just been thrown at a police car on patrol, injuring an officer.

It was the latest of many attacks on local security forces. Two months before, the man whose job it was to ensure Benghazi was safe, the police chief, was shot dead outside his home.

Two years after Libya's second city kindled the uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, it epitomises a popular revolution gone awry - rival militias and Islamist gunmen more powerful than the police, moving residents to ask: where is the state?

"Imagine a city taken over by militias when all you want is to support the state," activist Mohammed Buganah said. "People feel insecure. They are very upset and annoyed about this."


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/two-years-benghazi-threatens-another-revolution-libya-010526963.html

23 replies, 2550 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Two years on, Benghazi threatens "another revolution" in Libya (Original post)
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 OP
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #1
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #2
harmonicon Feb 2013 #3
polly7 Feb 2013 #4
Bosonic Feb 2013 #5
polly7 Feb 2013 #12
pampango Feb 2013 #6
joshcryer Feb 2013 #7
harmonicon Feb 2013 #8
joshcryer Feb 2013 #9
harmonicon Feb 2013 #13
joshcryer Feb 2013 #14
harmonicon Feb 2013 #16
joshcryer Feb 2013 #20
harmonicon Feb 2013 #21
pampango Feb 2013 #15
polly7 Feb 2013 #10
joshcryer Feb 2013 #11
amandabeech Feb 2013 #18
pampango Feb 2013 #22
amandabeech Feb 2013 #23
Crowman1979 Feb 2013 #17
quadrature Feb 2013 #19

Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:48 AM

1. Simply put, the state is weak and the armed yahoos are strong and, well... armed

Like any class of predator, they'll take over and assault when they see signs of weakness.

Rather than blowing apart chunks of Mali, maybe the "deomicratic west:" should look at bolstering the gains of newly-democratic Tunisia?

...And then you remember that the "democratic west" has no interest whatsoever in democracy in other parts of hte world, and usually strives to prevent it.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:49 AM

2. Ah, the glorious LIbyan intervention. The gift that keeps on giving.

In Syria, in Algeria, in Mali, and right there in the cradle of it all.

Just what were those CIA guys doing in Benghazi, anyway?

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:29 AM

3. Oh, joy!! I'm sure this thread is going to get MANY enthusiastic, cheering responses.

I ask again, where are you motherfuckers now?! Where are you stupid motherfuckers who couldn't gush enough about our tax dollars going to help terrorists gain power in Libya before we helped them overthrow their government?! This. Is. What. You. Wanted.

Come on. Speak up. I'm listening. Justify this, fuckers.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:38 AM

4. +1000. nt.

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Response to Bosonic (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:21 AM

12. Those threads made me want to hurl.

The hilarious! 'cartoons' day after day after fucking day. Even the torture and sodomy by knife of Gaddafi, still a human being no matter what you thought of him .. was great entertainment. I've never been so disgusted on a message board in my life.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:51 AM

6. Juan Cole: Contrary to the “Libya-is-riddled-with-al-Qaeda” meme of the GOP politicians,

there is a strong civil society and tribal opposition to fundamentalist militias in Benghazi, of which Amb. Chris Stevens was well aware. Tripoli-based journalist Abd-al-Sattar Hatitah explained in the pages of the pan-Arab London daily al-Sharq al-Awsat .

Benghazi, a city of over a million, is not dominated by “al-Qaeda,” contrary to what Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has repeatedly said or implied. The city had successful municipal elections in May, just before I got there. The number one vote-getter was a woman professor of statistics at the university. While political Islam is a force in Benghazi, only some relatively small groups are militant, and it has to compete with nationalist, tribal and regional ideological currents. In Libya’s parliamentary elections of July, 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood did very poorly and nationalists came to power. Women won 20% of the seats! The elected Speaker of Parliament, Muhammad Magarief, called for a secular constitution for Libya and a separation of religion and state.

http://www.juancole.com/2013/01/republican-benghazi-clintons.html

Libyans (and Tunisians, Egyptians, (perhaps one day, Syrians) do need to keep constructing a civil society that did not exist before. That includes an effective police force and disciplined, effective military (one tasked with security for the people than the continued rule of one man).

Libyans (and others) do not need a dictator who provides 'security' (if not freedom). Dictators and their security states are often more effective against violent militias, not because these threaten the daily safety of citizens but because they threaten the continued rule of the king.

Urging Arabs to trade freedom for security seems an odd thing for liberals to do.


Human Rights Watch: Before the Arab Spring, the Unseen Thaw

Even in Syria and Libya—where the governments were among the region’s most brutal—human rights contestation picked up during the past decade.
In the former, the “Damascus Spring” reform movement and the Committees for the Revival of Civil Society that launched shortly after Bashar al-Asad succeeded his father as president in 2000, as well as the Damascus Declaration of 2005, displayed a new assertiveness by small groups of Syrians demanding basic rights, although many wound up serving long prison terms. And in Libya, families of victims of the 1996 mass killings in Abu Salim prison became the first group in the country to demonstrate regularly in public after a North Benghazi court in 2008 ordered the government to reveal the fate of Abu Salim prisoners who had “disappeared.”

We didn’t see the Arab Spring coming because we missed signs of the thaw. But we would do well to keep in mind what Arab peoples showed us about the power of the aspiration for dignity, a power that they are unlikely to surrender anytime soon.

http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/arab-spring-unseen-thaw


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Response to pampango (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:54 AM

7. Juan Cole has it right.

The usual suspects in this thread (often first to cheer anything negative out of Libya) don't change that.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:02 AM

8. Aww, there you are!

Go terrorists! Right, Josh? It's so totally freakin' awesome that car bombs and assassinations are now a regular part of Libyan life. It's like what Rumsfeld said about Iraq, right? We know that that country is now a model of freedom and democracy, and it seems like Libya is doing a pretty good job of emulating it.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:06 AM

9. Nope, and your disgusting display of glee over this...

...is par for the course.

I'm sure you'll track down some Egypt revolution supporters and make derisive, dishonest characterization of their support for Egypt, next.

Oh nah, you just get something out of every negative tidbit from Libya.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:27 AM

13. Hmm... I don't seem to remember my taxes going to bomb Egypt.

I'm pretty sure that what happens in Egypt is none of my fucking business. Unfortunately, what happens in Libya is, because the people I elected decided to make it so.


Yes, I do "get something out of every negative tidbit from Libya." I get the acknowledgement that my country's support for violent, hateful, extremist, racist "rebels" was seriously fucking wrong and misguided. I happen to think we should learn from our mistakes instead of refusing to admit that we were wrong and coming up with all sorts of b.s. as an apologia for it.

What is it that you get from always being wrong and refusing to admit it?

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:44 AM

14. I'm glad you admit you "get something out of every negative tidbit."

It really illustrates your appalling character. Anyone else get something out of negative stuff from Libya?

Egypt's been getting $2 billion a year of our tax money. Since 1979. That's roughly 60 Libya's. All the while being propped up by dictators we supported. None of our fucking business. Laughable. I suppose you would've cheered on Mubarak had he actually told the tanks to fire.

A police car gets burned in Benghazi and the entire fucking city (not to mention revolution) gets trashed for it, again and again and again. You'd be banned from this site if you said something about Chicagoans during a riot where they burned a police car the same way you've said about Benghazians. Or similarly if a Chicagoan police officer was killed (which happens regularly). Yes, banned. Slighting an entire group over something like that? Calling the group racist, violent, and extremist? Yeah, you'd get banned. Replace "rebels" with "black" and you can see how utterly contemptible your position is. The Libyan revolutionaries came from all walks of life.

I'm not wrong, btw, I just got bored because you always post snide comments like that on every negative Libya article (I normally ignore you because you really are a piece of work). I've already established that the broadbrushing of an entire group is highly unethical garbage. But what can I say.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:52 AM

16. Yes, I admit that I actually learn things from events.

I'm able to look at the world with a critical eye. You, on the other hand, seem to never change your position even when it's proven wrong. You just seem to pretend that you weren't wrong and go on as if nothing had changed. Remember when Chavez was defeated in the last Venezuelan election? Neither do I, but you assured me that would be the case. Remember when US government officials were murdered by your cherished Libyan rebels? I do. Remember when the Iraqi people greeted the US forces as liberators?

As for trying to bring some b.s. charge of racism into this, it was you who cheered on groups in Libya which carried out mass killings of black Libyans, but I assume you choose to forget that as well.

I've asked before, but I can't remember if I ever got a straight answer. Are you paid for the propaganda you spread around here, or are you misguided enough to do so freely?

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:13 PM

20. Proven wrong? Libya was supposed to be another Somolia.

That hasn't happened yet but I bet you're rubbing your hands in sweet anticipation if it does (it won't).

I was critical of those rebels who broke the laws of war.

I admitted being wrong about the Venezuelan elections.

I've told you repeatedly that I am not paid, so your question is disingenuous bullshit. If you actually were sincere with the question you wouldn't repeatedly ask it as to spread dishonest innuendos.

I simply do not like "left wing" authoritarians (who I consider right wing, when it comes to Gaddafi it was proven that he was opening up the oil fields to foreign entities and was doing rendition for the CIA, and Chavez who has the largest business partner with the "imperialist US" while at the same time selling his country piecemeal to China). I know this is a really bizarre concept when a lot of people cheer on anyone who feigns "anti-Americanism." Hint: Gaddafi said Obama was his good friend and Chavez endorsed Obama not once but twice. That's funny shit right there.

I admit when I'm wrong, I'm simply not convinced by those who insult me on a regular basis. Have the last word, I'm done with this thread and responding to your gleeful disgusting cheering when anything goes wrong in Libya.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:22 PM

21. I guess I just find it hard to believe that you would do this for free.

That must be why that little factoid doesn't stick in my memory banks. You do this of your own volition... Fuck. That's gotta suck. I'm almost sorry for you.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:22 AM

15. "We know that that country is now a model of freedom and democracy..."

How many of us expected Libya (or Tunisia or Egypt or the Philippines, etc.) to become Sweden or France overnight?

France took decades to produce a modern, democratic state from its series of revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries. Why? When you get rid of a king (or dictator - the two are quite similar), you are getting rid of an army, police, security service, judicial and (if any, none in Libya) weak legislative structure and replacing all of them. Not an easy task particularly if, as is likely the case, you have no experience in the army, police or judicial services. I love it when people think that revolutions will transform life overnight into a post-dictatorship utopia. There is plenty of hard work left to do after the king leaves.

Do most revolutions suffer from instability for years afterwards? Yes. Does that mean that the people involved would have been better off is they just accepted their fate and moved on with their private lives? I doubt that most Americans would be willing to do that or project that type of attitude on to other people.

Some contemporary Americans might have looked at the chaos of post-revolutionary France and thought "The French were better off when they had a king to keep things under control. There was less crime in the streets, people knew their place, the violence was from the state - not from new and varied sources." Fortunately, the French themselves did not 'learn the lesson' that life with a king was a necessary evil but persisted in perfecting their revolution. Today they have a social democracy that their revolutionaries from 200 years ago would be proud of.

Oh, and "assassinations" and torture were a regular part of Libyan life under the dictator. His security service just had the 'decency' to conduct these activities in secret and in jail cells that were kept out of our morning papers. That's how dictators and kings stay in business.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:10 AM

10. Pilger has it right.

Long planned as a “mission” for Nato, not to mention the ever-zealous French, whose colonial lost causes remain on permanent standby, the war on Africa became urgent in 2011 when the Arab world appeared to be liberating itself from the Mubaraks and other clients of Washington and Europe. The hysteria this caused in imperial capitals cannot be exaggerated. Nato bombers were dispatched not to Tunis or Cairo but Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi ruled over Africa’s largest oil reserves. With the Libyan city of Sirte reduced to rubble, the British SAS directed the “rebel” militias in what has since been exposed as a racist bloodbath.

The indigenous people of the Sahara, the Tuareg, whose Berber fighters Gaddafi had protected, fled home across Algeria to Mali, where the Tuareg have been claiming a separate state since the 1960s. As the ever watchful Patrick Cockburn points out, it is this local dispute, not al-Qaida, that the West fears most in northwest Africa …. “poor though the Tuareg may be, they are often living on top of great reserves of oil, gas, uranium and other valuable minerals”.


http://www.zcommunications.org/the-real-invasion-of-africa-is-not-news-and-a-licence-to-lie-is-hollywood-s-gift-by-john-pilger



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Response to polly7 (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:17 AM

11. Nice deflection, there.

Not one mention of Ansar Dine in that article. It's all because of Libya... whose Tureg population is but 4% of that of Mali's...

edit: here's a much better article and much more comprehensive article, and it explains that the Mali Turreg's had been planning their uprising for several years before Libya or Egypt or Tunisia ever happened: http://thinkafricapress.com/mali/causes-uprising-northern-mali-tuareg

Pilger's stupid article states, "the Tuareg, whose Berber fighters Gaddafi had protected, fled home across Algeria to Mali." No, the article states clearly that "they were never more than partners in a game of coincidental self-interest." Which is all the more disgusting since Gaddafi destroyed Berber language and music and culture by banning it.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:14 AM

18. Note the stink of hydrocarbons in the article you post.

Of course, the natural gas plant near Benghazi had nothing to do with the British and French insistence that the Libyan intervention happen.

No comment on how that fact affected the President's decision to assist.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:47 PM

22. As of last year, the Libyan government was still following the oil contracts signed by Ghaddafi.

Perhaps you have information that has changed and the contracts are more favorable to the West now. Or perhaps the conspiracy is still unfolding.

If, OTOH, the oil and natural gas contracts have indeed remained the same after the revolution, there are some folks in Washington, London and Paris who miscalculated badly if their motivation was more favorable access. OR they might have intervened because the UN authorized it as it has in several countries in the past - some of which had oil and some that did not.

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Response to pampango (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:22 PM

23. My point was and is that France and Britain were concerned that

Gaddafi would abrogate the contracts, and thus decided to get rid of the guy. Either that, or they were interested in splitting Benghazi from the rest of Libya. I'm sure you know that Libya is far from a homogenous country.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:03 AM

17. This is a cautionary tale of why we should stop giving away weapons to other countries and sticking.

...our noses into their business.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:40 PM

19. Libya...artificial country

should have been broken up when we had the chance. Same for Mali, Syria and others

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