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Posts Tagged ‘Moammar Gadhafi’

McClatchy Newspapers April 12, 2011

By Shashank Bengali

BENGHAZI, Libya — Khalifa Hifter thought he’d be America’s man in Libya.

He’d spent the last 24 years living under what he calls U.S. government protection in suburban northern Virginia. Before he returned to Libya last month, State Department and CIA officials sought him out for meetings. He delivered to them wish lists of weapons and vehicles to bolster the fight against Moammar Gadhafi.

To his frustration, however, U.S. officials haven’t contacted him since. They’ve ignored his pleas for direct military support while the rebels steadily lose ground to Gadhafi’s better-equipped forces.

“The United States is a second home to me,” Hifter said. “They should be cooperating with me to help the Libyan people.”

There’s also a dispute about his role with the rebel army, a controversy that may help explain why the rebels appear nearly as disorganized now as they were when their revolt began two months ago.

In one of his first interviews since he returned to Libya, Hifter said that he’d been appointed the rebels’ field commander this week. The hourlong interview he gave to two reporters Monday was arranged by the official rebel military spokesman and conducted in an office in the rebels’ military headquarters. An organizational chart Hifter displayed showed him as equal to Gen. Abdelfatah Younis, a former Gadhafi interior minister who also lays claim to rebel command.

Read all about it at

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Bahrain/Libya Update

Firedoglake- By: David Dayen

Monday February 21, 2011 7:50 am

Let’s play a little catchup on the two most deadly flashpoints in the Arab uprising right now. In Bahrain, scene of a dastardly attack on protesters while they slept in Pearl Square, the attempt at repression backfired almost immediately. The Shiite al-Wafiq movement left the Parliament and demanded the resignation of the government. Protests grew in size. Sen. Patrick Leahy called for the application of a law he wrote to deny aid to Bahrain for violating human rights. And the protesters took back the square, with police and the Army withdrawing.

The latest is that the government is being pressured to negotiate:

Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim ruling family came under increased pressure to open in-depth negotiations with the Shiite-led opposition, as protesters erected more tents on the capital’s Pearl Square.

Dozens of workers also joined the protesters, and more than 1,000 medics marched on the square to demand the resignation of the health minister, whom they accused of slowing aid to protesters during a deadly police crackdown.

After nightfall, an AFP correspondent reported thousands more people converging on the roundabout, which has been the focal point of demonstrations that have rocked the small but strategic Gulf kingdom since February 14.

The opposition has also called a large protest for Tuesday afternoon in the hope that tens of thousands of people will converge on Pearl Square, according to the INAA, Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group.

Crown Prince Salman, the heir to the throne in Bahrain, is supposed to be leading reconciliation talks. Bahrain has a Sunni minority in power over a Shiite majority, with predictable results. This is a really good backgrounder from Foreign Policy. In an epic example of bad timing, the State Department praised Bahrain just a few months ago for its movement toward democracy.

Then there’s Libya, where it’s hard to really get a full picture, with most foreign media unable to enter the country. We know there has been a massacre; the extent is not well known. Moammar Gadhafi’s son went on state-run television and vowed to “fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet.” He gave a long, rambling address, blaming Islamists for the provocation, saying that the country was on the brink of civil war, which threatened their oil output and risked colonization by an invading force, summoning up images of Iraq. Protesters have apparently taken control of Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city, and were clashing with police in the capital of Tripoli.

The latest can be found at Al Jazeera’s live blog. Foreign service personnel and even the minister of security have resigned their posts. Protests have become widespread throughout the country. This is the town of Misurata:

MORE HERE

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Libya Protests: Anti-Government Demonstrations Spread

AP/The Huffington Post

MAGGIE MICHAEL  First Posted: 02/16/11 03:11 AM Updated: 02/16/11 10:56 AM

CAIRO — Hundreds of Libyans calling for the government’s ouster clashed with security forces early Wednesday in the country’s second-largest city as Egypt-inspired unrest spread to the country long ruled by Moammar Gadhafi. (Scroll down for live updates.)

Ashur Shamis, a Libyan opposition activist in London, and witnesses said the protest began Tuesday and lasted until the early hours Wednesday in the port city of Benghazi.

Demonstrators chanted “no God but Allah, Moammar is the enemy of Allah” and “Down, down to corruption and to the corrupt.” Police and armed government backers quickly clamped down on the protesters, firing rubber bullets, Shami said.

The outbreak of protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Iran has roiled the Middle East and brought unprecedented pressure on leaders like Gadhafi who have held virtually unchecked power for decades.

It also posed new challenges for the United States, which has strategic interests in each of the countries. President Barack Obama conceded Tuesday he is concerned about the region’s stability and prodded governments to get out ahead of the change.

As in the uprisings that toppled longtime autocratic rulers in two countries flanking Libya – Egypt and Tunisia – Libyan activists are used social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to rally people in their homeland. They called for a major protest on Thursday.

MORE HERE

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