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August 1, 2012

cjchivers:

Origins: Colonel Qaddafi’s Napalm Stocks.

The East takes most of the blame for arming Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya. By volume, this is as it should be.

But the West was deeply involved, too. A post today on the At War blog examines some of the history of the American role in arming and training — essentially creating — the military that gave rise to the Brother Leader and the coup he led in 1969.

That post touched upon something the photographs above hint at, too. The short of it? Look at the photographs. They show that Spain provided Qaddafi’s Libya with more than mortar-delivered cluster munitions. It helped him with his burning jellies, too.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Packaging for the igniters, and the igniters themselves. Spanish-made EMBI impact fuzes for free-fall BIN napalm bombs. By the author. Libya. 2011.

For fans of napalm and analysis of dictatorships after the fact.

18:41 // 1 year ago
July 6, 2012

Libyans make Americans look bad with potentially high electoral turnout

  • 80% approximate percentage of eligible Libyan voters registered to cast a ballot in Libya’s first democratic election since the 1960s
  • 36% percentage of the American electorate who failed to vote in the ‘08 elections; oh, and that was a record-breaking low source

» By ballot or by bullet: Threats of militia violence are the only thing expected to lower the Libyan voter turnout in their first major democratic move since Muammar Gadhafi was overthrown. In the U.S., meanwhile, voting restriction laws have been passed in over a dozen states, which might make 5 million eligible voters’ trips to the ballot box much harder this November.

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11:00 // 1 year ago
May 20, 2012
Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi dies at 60
He outlived the Libyan regime: In the late 1980s, al-Megrahi, the security chief for Libyan Arab Airlines, worked covertly for Libya’s Jamahiriya Security Organization, giving him knowledge of the weaknesses that many airliners have — which allowed him to know how to place a suitcase bomb on an airliner. That plane, Pan-Am flight 103, exploded, causing the deaths of 270 people over and around Lockerbie, Scotland — one of the worst terror attacks in history. While there is some question as to whether al-Megrahi was innocent (he was linked via forensic evidence after an international manhunt), he was convicted in the bombing, which also played a role in the eventual demise of Pan Am airlines. All that would be surprising on its own — but in 2009 came another surprise, when a Scottish court allowed al-Megrahi, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, to return home to Libya. He was expected to live three months. He lived almost three years — long enough to see the demise of the Gaddafi regime which he’ll forever be associated with. (photo by Manoocher Deghati/AFP/Getty Images)

Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi dies at 60

He outlived the Libyan regime: In the late 1980s, al-Megrahi, the security chief for Libyan Arab Airlines, worked covertly for Libya’s Jamahiriya Security Organization, giving him knowledge of the weaknesses that many airliners have — which allowed him to know how to place a suitcase bomb on an airliner. That plane, Pan-Am flight 103, exploded, causing the deaths of 270 people over and around Lockerbie, Scotland — one of the worst terror attacks in history. While there is some question as to whether al-Megrahi was innocent (he was linked via forensic evidence after an international manhunt), he was convicted in the bombing, which also played a role in the eventual demise of Pan Am airlines. All that would be surprising on its own — but in 2009 came another surprise, when a Scottish court allowed al-Megrahi, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, to return home to Libya. He was expected to live three months. He lived almost three years — long enough to see the demise of the Gaddafi regime which he’ll forever be associated with. (photo by Manoocher Deghati/AFP/Getty Images)

10:57 // 1 year ago
May 8, 2012

Uh, bad news guys: We have a missing missile problem in Libya

  • 15,000 freaking missiles just went *poof* source

» Those missiles could most definitely be in the wrong hands: After the downfall of the Gaddafi regime, the U.S. started up a $40 million missile recovery program to help get back some of these missiles — estimated to be 20,000 total — but have only managed to recover 5,000 of them. And there are rumblings that terror groups such as Nigeria’s Boko Haram could have some of these missiles, which (though fired from the shoulder) are big enough to, say, take down a plane. The “War on Terror” changes quickly, it seems.

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20:32 // 1 year ago
February 12, 2012
They told us that they planned to shift control of a few prisons this week, but it has not happened. … The government has to take over the prisons one by one by negotiating with the people who run it. It is not uniformly or automatically done.
A United Nations official, based in Tripoli • Discussing the situation with Libyan prisons, where conditions in the post-Gaddafi era have gotten quite bad, as rebel-sympathizing prison runners are using the prisons to exact revenge on people who supported the former Libyan leader during the revolution. Prison owners have tried to tell a different story, but some humanitarian groups have stopped helping Libyan prisons due to torture allegations. The United Nations has complained about the problem for months, noting that the government should be in control of the prisons to ensure fair treatment, not former rebels. Roughly 8,500 detainees, many sub-Saharan Africans suspected of fighting for Gaddafi, are being held in detention centers nationwide. source (viafollow)
10:45 // 2 years ago
November 14, 2011

Herman Cain screws up basic question on Libya: The presidential candidate seemed to look flustered regarding one of the biggest news stories of the past six months, asked by the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Got all this stuff twirling around in my head,” he said, before twisting the issue as a “I might have handled things differently” hedge. Hand this guy a newspaper. EDIT: Updated with a less-annoying YouTube embed.

20:03 // 2 years ago
October 26, 2011
0:14 // 2 years ago
October 25, 2011

Why Muammar Gaddafi was buried in an unmarked grave

  • what Muammar Gaddafi was buried  (along with his son as well as a former defense minister) Tuesday, days after his death, in an unmarked grave. The ceremony followed Islamic traditions.
  • why Fear of vandalism, or the possibility that his grave might get turned into a shrine by his hard-line supporters. By keeping Gaddafi’s location hidden, it prevents his grave from being disturbed. source
10:46 // 2 years ago
October 23, 2011

Looks like Libya's new government will rule with an Islamist hand. 

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil also told thousands of supporters at a ceremony on Sunday that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. In an address that set an Islamist tone for post-Gadhafi Libya, he said new banks would be set up to follow the Islamic banking system, which bans charging interest.

This is a big change from the days of Gaddafi’s green books and tribal rule. Will be interesting to see how the country evolves. Good luck to Libya as they plan their next steps as a country.

12:23 // 2 years ago
It’s certainly not the way we do things. We would have liked to see Col. Gaddafi going on trial to answer for his misdeeds.
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond • Calling for an investigation into Muammar Gaddafi’s violent, bloody death on Thursday. The Libyan leader’s method of death — Human Rights Watch suggests it’s an execution that took place after the leader was detained — could cast a violent pall on the new government. Gaddafi’s wife Safiya, as you might guess, also wants an investigation. “I am proud of the bravery of my husband, Moammar Gadhafi, the holy warrior, and my sons who confronted the aggression of 40 countries over the past six months,” she told Syria-based Al-Rai TV. source (viafollow)
10:52 // 2 years ago