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.
Each time Libya appears in the news, scores of newspaper editors go bananas. Once possessed of faculties that could detect a breaking story as readily as a dangling participle, these poor souls are now reduced to a jabbering stupor…
This story has picked up a little traffic on our twitter feed, we figured we’d shared it with the Tumbl-folk.
The correct spelling is “long-serving dictator.”
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)
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.
» 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.
There’s a lot going on here, and there is much to parse. There isn’t a clear picture of the death toll in the country, with Human Rights Watch saying that at least 173 people have died in the violence, while other tallies have been much higher. Word is even spreading that some of the protests have shown up outside of Gaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli. But none of it is as bad as it’s been in Benghazi. ”It’s like a guerrilla war,” one female resident of Benghazi said of the violence. “There is a battle going on, and sometimes one part is controlled by the protesters, and sometimes other parts are. There are corpses in the street.” More items of interest:
» And in case it wasn’t clear already: No, the State Department, which has been very slow to respond to the Libya crisis, doesn’t think you should be doing any non-essential travel there. And in case that isn’t enough for you, we’d like to also suggest you stay home.
Many of the dead and the injured are relatives of doctors here. They are crying, and I keep telling them to please stand up and help us.A Libyan medical official • Describing the scene at a poorly-equipped hospital in the country. The official reported fifteen dead. As painful as this quote is, this one is nearly as gut-wrenching: “The blood of our martyrs is still leaking from coffins over the shoulders of the mourners,” said a protester in Benghazi, the epicenter of the current crisis, in the wake of an attack on protesters who were mourning during a funeral. Libya is a hard country to get accurate information from, because journalists are not allowed to freely work in the country. In other words, much of this information is coming from phone calls and informants and can’t be independently confirmed. Libyan protesters are facing a very tough road; stand with them. source (via • follow)