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Showing posts from March, 2011

Many, Many Nonviolent Options In Libya

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Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe idea never was to bomb Gaddafi into submission. The military action has been designed to make sure he does not unleash animal brutality upon peaceful protesters. Otherwise there were mass protests already in Tripoli. Once Gaddafi has been neutralized, the thing for the Libyan opposition to do is to organize peaceful protests all over again, with the international community standing by. Could you bring a hundred thousand people out into the streets of Tripoli? That is the question. The idea is not for the Libyan opposition to outgun Gaddafi's forces. That never was the idea. The idea always was to win through nonviolent methods.

Come out into the streets all over again. Do it again in Benghazi. Organize peaceful marches in support of democracy. Do that is cities all across Libya. Finally do it in Tripoli. Gaddafi has to go. That is the only acceptable outcome.

Days of military action followed by a few weeks of nonviolent street action. That i…

Ultimately It Is About Iran, Because That Is Where It All Started

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Image via WikipediaSyria's Turn

Tunisia was a warm up act. Egypt was a warm up act. Libya is a warm up act. Yemen, and Bahrain will be warm up acts. Saudi Arabia will be a warm up act, as Syria and Jordan. Morocco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. They all will be warm up acts.

And then Iran will wake up all over again. All this is in preparation for Iran. Because that is where it all started. The people of Iran woke up in 2009. And we are reaping the rewards today in all these other countries.

But the final push has to be made in Iran itself. The mullahs are unpleasant people. They need to go.

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Syria's Turn

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Image via Wikipedia
New York Times: In Syria, Crackdown After Protests: Protests broke out in four Syrian cities on Friday, the first large-scale demonstrations here since the pro-democracy uprisings began in the Arab world three months ago. Brutal police crackdowns followed, leaving six people dead and scores injured..... In the largest protests, several thousand people gathered in the center of Dara’a, in southern Syria, chanting “God, Syria and freedom only” ..... A Facebook page, “the Syrian revolution 2011,” has called on people to protest against corruption and repression. ..... Small protests in the capital on Tuesday and Wednesday were violently dispersed by the authorities, who arrested scores of demonstrators. The state news service, SANA, dismissed those protests as the work of outside agitators. ..... about 20 youths who had written graffiti complaining about the high cost of living and calling for more freedoms...... “They used live ammunition immediately, no tear gas or …

Khalifa Of Bahrain Must Go

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The Two Abdullahs Need To Go

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The Response To Benghazi Has To Be In Tripoli

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Image by US Army Korea - IMCOM via FlickrGaddafi not only did not respect the UN Security Council resolution, he lied about it first, then openly came out not only defying it, but also went on to threaten Europe. Attacking his troops that have encircled Benghazi is not sufficient. Because the orders are not coming from the outskirts of Benghazi. The orders for those military acts are coming from Tripoli. It is fundamentally important to destroy the command and control centers that are based in Tripoli. All that infrastructure that makes it possible for Gaddafi to make his ground maneuvers have to be destroyed.
Related articlesVIDEO: Gaddafi troops head to Benghazi (bbc.co.uk)In Libyan Airspace (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com)Benghazi braces for attack - Sydney Morning Herald (news.google.com)Plane shot down over rebel city (mirror.co.uk)If the world is Crazy, we will be Crazy too! Gaddafi (attendingtheworld.wordpress.com)Libya's Gaddafi forces try to storm Benghazi (newsworldwide.…

The Military Options

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The no fly zone has been announced. If Gaddafi continues to fly planes, shoot them down. Bomb the airports that those planes came out of. Bomb the air bases. Bomb the control towers. Bomb the command center in Tripoli.

If you only bomb the planes in the sky, you are agreeing to play the cat and mouse game that Gaddafi wants to play with you. When he announced a ceasefire he lied. That was his way of saying just give me 48 more hours, and I will have Benghazi by then. Then there would be nothing for you to do.

This dude is not going to do the ceasefire thing. It is the nature of the beast.
Image by Abode of Chaos via Flickr
You bomb the planes in the sky. And if there are reports - as there are - that he has, if anything, accelerated military action on the ground, then that would be a clear signal that he has not understood the concept of the no fly zone. The concept is to protect Libyan civilians. If he continues to attack civilians, you look for all movements on the ground by the G…

Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia

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Image via WikipediaThe road map for Libya also has to be the road map for Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It is not for the United States to urge people into the streets, but when they do come out to peacefully protest no regime anywhere should feel it is okay for them to unleash animal brutality upon those peaceful protesters.

Just because Yemen is a small country, just because Bahrain is a small country does not mean we can afford to ignore them. We encircle Saudi Arabia by doing right in Yemen and Bahrain. Freezing the global assets of repressive elites and imposing travel bans on them is where you start. Then you issue interpol warrants authorized by the International Criminal Court. Then you threaten surgical aerial strikes.

The message has to be clear. You do not get to unleash animal brutality upon a peacefully protesting people. You can refuse to accept their demands. You can negotiate with them. But you do not get to unleash animal brutality. Not in this day and age. Not i…

Barack Obama: My Man

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Barack Obama Proved Me Wrong On Race And Libya

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Image via WikipediaI was one of Barack Obama's earliest supporters when he ran for president. But the guy confounded me by absolutely refusing to hold discussions on race. Instead he became president and pumped billions upon billions into inner city schools.

Posturing on race, that was Jesse Jackson. To Obama race meant getting the kids some good education. I could not argue against that. No you-love-me-you-love-me-not race talk for my man Obama.

He was right. I was wrong.

Recently I have been impatient with him on Libya. Bomb the shit out of Gaddafi, I thought. But Barack waited and waited and worked behind the scenes until the Arab League did the right thing, until the UN Security Council did the right thing.

He was right. I was wrong.

And now you will see some real democracy action in Libya. The rebels will take over Tripoli, but not at the point of a gun. You take over Tripoli by organizing mass protests. That is the way it was always meant to be.

Don't Let Benghazi F…

Don't Let Benghazi Fall

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New York Times: Specter of Rebel Rout Helps Shift U.S. Policy on Libya: some military analysts have called a no-drive zone, to prevent Colonel Qaddafi from moving tanks and artillery into Benghazi..... the world had only days, or even hours, to head off a Qaddafi victory...... “What everybody is focused on is drawing a line, literally in the sand, around Benghazi, to prevent Qaddafi’s forces from capturing the city and staging a bloodbath,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch. “If Qaddafi wins, it could kill the moment in the entire Middle East.” ....... Libya’s deputy to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who last month broke with the Qaddafi regime, warned that if the international community did not intervene in the next 10 hours, there was a risk of genocide

Hindustan Times: Gaddafi announces 'decisive battle' today:Misrata, the country's third city, has a population of half a million people. It lies 150 kilometres (90 miles) from …

Gaddafi Just Did The Bin Laden Thing: He Threatened America

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Image by KarlMarx via FlickrBusiness Insider: Qaddafi Says He Will Join Al Qaeda If The West Invades: Qaddafi is switching scare tactics. ....... For weeks he warned that any ouster of himself would let Al Qaeda take control of Libya...... Now he warns that in an invasion he would join forces with Al Qaeda. Qaddafi told Il Giornale: "We will ally ourselves with al-Qaida and declare holy war." Used to be about do gooderism. Used to be about helping the Libyan people out. Maybe they can't do it themselves in the face of bottomless brutality. Maybe they can't stand in the face of aerial strikes. Not any more.

Now this has become about America. Here is a guy with billions at his disposal now daring America to an Al Qaeda style Holy War.

Look, I am no American stooge. For me democracy is not about America. I have strong views on race relations in America. I have strong views on campaign finance reform. During the apartheid era Gaddafi was one of the few friends Nelson …

Democracy's Despair

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If Gaddafi can treat half of Libya like Saddam Hussein treated Kuwait, if the Saudi king can send his army into a neighboring country to pull a Gaddafi on a people peacefully demonstrating for democracy, if we are requesting Chinese and Russian cooperation for the necessary work for democracy - I mean, we might as well seek Gaddafi's cooperation on human rights then - I am at a loss for words.

For the first time I have begun to have my doubts about Barack Obama. I am not seeing much audacity. I am not seeing much hope.

The fire of democracy is being snuffed out by two mad dogs in the Middle East through brute force.

This is how the Burmese Generals did it a few years back. This is how they did it in Iran in 2009. They decided there was no limit to how much brute force they were willing to unleash upon a peacefully demonstrating people.

I am not feeling too good right now.

The thing to do was to get a NATO mandate to make surgical strikes to take the mad dog out early on when…

North Korea In Sight

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Image via WikipediaThe winds of democracy have to blow into North Korea too.

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China: 2 PM, Sunday
The Atlantic : North Korea’s Digital Underground: the very archetype of a “closed society.” It ranks dead last—196th out of 196 countries—in Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press index. Unlike the citizens of, say, Tunisia or Egypt, to name two countries whose populations recently tapped the power of social media to help upend the existing political order, few North Koreans have access to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube. In fact, except for a tiny elite, the DPRK’s 25 million inhabitants are not connected to the Internet. Televisions are set to receive only government stations. International radio signals are routinely jammed, and electricity is unreliable. Freestanding radios are illegal. But every North Korean household and business is outfitted with a government-controlled radio hardwired to a central…