The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters.Obama • Speaking out finally (and directly) about the situation in Libya. Obama, who is the first president ever to meet with that Gaddafi weirdo, says that he plans to do anything to protect American citizens stuck in Libya during a time of crisis. While Obama has offered to use a full range of options to deal with the crisis, sanctions will only go so far. U.S. sanctions were only $665 million last year, while aid was less than $1 million. Hence why there’s a humanitarian crisis right now. source (via • follow)
In some Libyan cities, Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces are nowhere to be seen. Al Jazeera is reporting that many Libyan cities, especially in the Eastern part of the country, protesters are in control. “All along the border,” said correspondent Hoda Abdel-Hamid, ”we didn’t see one policeman, we didn’t see one soldier and people here told us they [security forces] have all fled or are in hiding and that the people are now in charge, meaning all the way from the border, Tobruk, and then all the way up to Benghazi.” Gaddafi still plans to quash this uprising, however, but based on reports it’ll be an uphill battle at best. source
» A bit above prior estimates: Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini offered the estimate to a Catholic organization in Rome, saying that while numbers in cases like these are hard to nail down, ”we believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible.” Later, when speaking to Parliament, he didn’t mention a number but said ”the tragic number will be a bloodbath.” Italy and Libya have significant diplomatic and economic relations.
» What can you do to help? Well, considering that the Libyan Red Crescent site is down, we’ll suggest instead that you check out the numerous resources at Tumblr Aid, as well as Libyan awareness group Feb17.info, which has set up a fund to help fund relief efforts.
We ask that the Libyan people (should) continue in their revolution to expel this dictator and that (they) should sacrifice and they will have the victory and win. And also, we appeal to all free men in all places in the world to be on the side of, and support, the Libyan people.Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Esam Alarian • Offering support to Libyan protesters in taking down Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. The spokesperson for the Egypt-based organization also emphasized that their country needs to assist in ensuring Libyans get the help they need from their country. “We ask the Arab league and the Egyptian government and the army to give support and also give aid to the Libyan people,” Alarian continued. We like the idea of Egypt helping other countries deal with their protests. source (via • follow)
It is a date being discussed in Iraq’s tea shops, on television and in the streets with varying shades of hope, fear and cynicism.
On Friday, thousands of Iraqis are planning to take to the streets for their own “day of rage,” hoping to harness the popular anger that has swept through much of the Middle East but has failed to gain much traction here.
If Americans think the situation is messy already, bet they can’t wait until it comes to a country they’ve laid most of the groundwork for. Yikes.
Widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay • In calling for an international investigation against the crimes committed by the Libyan government in its attempts to keep hold on power. The former war crimes judge sounded angered by the entire situation. ”The callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protestors is unconscionable,” she continued. “I am extremely worried that lives are being lost even as I speak.” So are we, Navi. So are we. source (via • follow)
» There’s a point to be made here: Earlier, we complained loudly that USA Today would dare focus on oil prices over the crisis in Libya. But we still think it’s important to note – but not as a lead item, above the deadly violence taking over the region as we speak. Even though 7 percent in a single morning is akin to skyrocketing. Because, if anything, this tells us about the ties between dangerous regimes and cheap oil. Lose one, and you can’t sustain the other.
Why do you turn to violence? Why do you turn to the destruction of things? This is an infection, it’s not in our culture, it’s not in our tradition.Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh • On the groundswell protests against his government. He also referred to the protest movement as being “like a flu,” which while a rather crude way to describe the forces stacked against him is not wholly without merit. The middle east appears to be reaching a critical mass of anti-ruling party mentality, as the victories and adversities of protesters in other states provide limitless fuel and momentum for still more revolution. So, disrespect aside, the pathological reference bears some fruit. source (via • follow)
» Neither side backing down an inch: With reports suggesting that the country’s parliament building in Tripoli has been burned to the ground, there is certainly no messing around when it comes to these protests. They’re not lot Egypt’s. They’re bloody, they’re violent and both sides are using force to show themselves. One protester, talking to Al Jazeera, set the scene as such: ”We are in Tripoli, there are chants [directed at Gaddafi]: ‘Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you’re a man.’” A very bring-it-on type of environment, to say the least.