Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category
NEW YORK TIMES: Even as the allied intervention began, a group of foreign journalists were bused on a rare visit inside Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s compound — a labyrinth of concrete barracks, fortified walls and barbed wire designed to deter potential military coups.
Inside the Bab Aziziya compound which was bombed by the United States in 1986.
There, hundreds of supporters offered themselves up as human shields, cheering to newly minted dance songs about their adoration for their leader. “House by house, alley by alley,” the catchiest song went, quoting a Qaddafi speech. “Disinfect the germs from each house and each room.”
TIMES OF INDIA: Calling Barack Obama as “our son”, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sent a message to the US President defending his decision to attack the rebels fighting to overthrow him.
Gaddafi (68) also wrote a letter to the French and British leaders, and the UN Secretary General, saying the Security Council resolution was “void” and violated the UN charter, warning them that they would “regret” any intervention.
“Libya is not for you, Libya is for the Libyans,” he said.
Details of Gaddafi’s letters were released by the Libyan government spokesman at a news conference in Tripoli.
Obama follows France and UN. Finally makes statement. Says U.S. will support UN, but no way U.S. sending in ground troops.
TPM: Newt Gingrich told reporters today that the Libyan rebels have France’s lack of bracket fever to thank for the no-fly zone that will soon protect them from aerial attacks by embattled dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Asked about the U.N. Resolution authorizing military intervention in Libya — something Gingrich has been pushing for a while now — Gingrich ripped President Obama for not acting sooner, and again mocked him for his March Madness bracket.
“I was, frankly, very disappointed that [Nicolas] Sarkozy did not share with us his Final Four picks,” Gingrich said, referring to the French president, who’s nation has led the push for military intervention in Libya. “And i think it’s his failure to understand the Final Four that allowed him to focus on Libya on a way tha. Clearly, if he had understood the American system he would have understood that his is not a good week to deal with Libya because this is the week to deal with Kansas, Ohio State, and you know things that were really important.”
THE DAILY: Fed up with a president “who can’t make his mind up” as Libyan rebels are on the brink of defeat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is looking to the exits.
At the tail end of her mission to bolster the Libyan opposition, which has suffered days of losses to Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, Clinton announced that she’s done with Obama after 2012 — even if he wins again.
“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”
He went on, “If you take a look at what’s on her plate as compared with what’s on the plates of previous Secretary of States — there’s more going on now at this particular moment, and it’s like playing sports with a bunch of amateurs. And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”
FOX NEWS: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Sky News Wednesday that a no-fly zone over Libya cannot be a U.S.-led effort, and would need the backing of the international community.
“I think it’s very important that this not be a U.S.-led effort, because this comes from the people of Libya themselves,” she told Sky News.
“This doesn’t come from the outside. This doesn’t come from some Western power or some Gulf country saying this is what you should do, this is how you should live.”
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS-VANITY FAIR: When anatomizing revolutions, it always pays to consult the whiskered old veterans. Those trying to master a new language, wrote Karl Marx about the turmoil in France in the 19th century, invariably begin haltingly, by translating it back into the familiar tongue they already know. And with his colleague Friedrich Engels he defined a revolution as the midwife by whom the new society is born from the body of the old.
Surveying the seismic-looking events in Tunis and Cairo in January and February of this year, various observers immediately began by comparing them to discrepant precedents. Was this the fall of the Arab world’s Berlin Wall? Or was it, perhaps, more like the “people power” movements in Asia in the mid-1980s? The example of Latin America, with its overdue but rapid escape from military rule in the past decades, was also mentioned. Those with longer memories had fond recollections of the bloodless “red carnation” revolution in Portugal, in 1974: a beautiful fiesta of democracy which also helped to inaugurate Spain’s emancipation from four decades in the shadow of General Franco.
Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson has about the same assessment of Egypt as Hitchens
Ayman al-Zawahiri said in an online video that Osama bin Laden is still alive and in touch with al Qaeda.
Muammar Qaddafi is blaming bin Laden for fueling the revolt against the Libyan dictator.
Bin Laden was born in 1957 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia he is best known as the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City’s World Trade Center, brining down the two towers.
Bin Laden is considered one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.
Bin Laden first came to public notice in the early 1980s as an organizer and commander of the guerilla resistance against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
After that, bin Laden founded al Qaeda which had as one of its major goals to drive the United States out of the Middle East.
HOWARD KURTZ-DAILY BEAST: The hard-charging CBS News correspondent was attacked in Tahrir Square, sexually assaulted, and hospitalized.
Lara Logan had already been arrested in Egypt when she decided to go back for what turned out to be the closest call of a danger-filled career.
CBS News disclosed that Logan was surrounded in Tahrir Square and “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.” She was hospitalized upon her return to the United States.
CBS NEWS: On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a “60 Minutes” story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Egypt’s Army officially took over the country Sunday, dissolving Parliament and suspending the constitution to make way for a new democratic government.
Filling the vacuum left after extraordinary street protests toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces said it would run Egypt for six months, or until elections are held – whichever comes first.
It also announced the formation of a committee to draw up constitutional reforms to be voted on by the people in a referendum.
Egypt’s protesters, who rocked the world last week by peacefully forcing out Mubarak after 30 years of iron rule, hailed the developments.
“They have definitely started to offer us what we wanted,” said activist Sally Touma.
Ahmed Shafiq, Egypt’s prime minister, who is nominally running the country, promised his caretaker government would return peace to the streets and start rooting out corruption.