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Thread: GREAT news out of Libya

  1. #1

    GREAT news out of Libya

    Worth highlighting - truly encouraging:

    The militia suspected of killing the US ambassador to Libya nearly two weeks ago has been driven out of its base in the eastern city of Benghazi.


    Police and protesters stormed the HQ of the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia.


    The HQ of the Sahaty Brigade, said to have official backing, was also stormed. At least nine people were killed there, another died elsewhere.


    The attack on the US consulate was triggered by an amateur video made in the US which mocks Islam.


    Protests against the film have been held across the Muslim world. At least 19 people died in Pakistan on Friday alone, in clashes with police trying to stop protesters attacking US diplomatic buildings.


    US citizens have been urged not to travel to Pakistan and the US embassy has paid for adverts on Pakistani TV showing President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemning the film.


    Government-backed group
    Witnesses say supporters of Ansar al-Sharia gathered outside its Benghazi headquarters, in front of the crowd, waving black and white banners.


    They fired into the air to try to disperse the protesters, but fled with their weapons after the base was surrounded by waves of people shouting "No to militias".


    Buildings and a car were set alight and fighters evicted.


    In a statement later, a spokesman for the group said militiamen had evacuated the premises after their commander had ordered to "hand them over to the people of Benghazi" to preserve security.


    However, in a standoff outside the headquarters of the Sahaty Brigade in the city, three people were killed and at least 20 injured according to witnesses and officials.


    The two sides are said to have exchanged rocket and light arms fire for two hours before the brigade decided to move out.


    Protesters then set fire to one of the main buildings and pillaged a weapons depot, a journalist for AFP news agency at the scene reported.


    On Saturday, sources said the bodies of another six people had been found in or near the Sahaty Brigade headquarters. They had been shot in the upper back, possibly indicating execution-style killings.



    Another person was killed and another 20 injured in other incidents, city hospitals said.


    The BBC's Rana Jawad in the capital Tripoli says the Sahaty Brigade is believed to be operating under the authority of the ministry of defence.



    Senior Libyan officials say that while they welcomed the protests, people should differentiate between the rogue militias and honest rebel brigades that helped to secure the town in last year's uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi.


    There has been a wave of hostility towards the militias since US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others Americans died in last week's attack on the Benghazi consulate.


    "I don't want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform," said university student Omar Mohammed, who took part in the takeover of the Ansar al-Sharia compound.


    Many Libyans have expressed outrage at the attack on the US consulate. Ansar al-Sharia denies being behind it.

    Libya's interim government has since come under renewed and intense pressure to rein in well-armed extremist militia groups and force them to disband.

    Friday's march was the largest seen in Benghazi - considered the heartland of Libya's uprising - since Col Gaddafi was deposed.



    Armed militia groups which helped to defeat Gaddafi remain powerful in many parts of the country.


    They are better armed and more numerous than Libya's official army, and there have been reports of militias intimidating and carrying out killings against rivals.


    Earlier, some 30,000 protesters marched through Benghazi calling for an end to the armed groups and a return to the rule of law.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19680785

    Honestly - this is wonderful

  2. #2
    Not sure that applying some violence to quell existing violence in an unstable Islamic country has much of a track record of success.

  3. #3
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    That is excellent news.

  4. #4
    This is very good news indeed. Libya has a long way to go but if this is a sign of who will be running the country its very promising. Would have liked to see the same in Egypt, would not give up on them yet.

  5. #5
    Are we seriously giving pats on the back to Libya?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sackdance View Post
    Are we seriously giving pats on the back to Libya?
    Yes.

    Civil war/Iraqis killing each other while (R) is in office.... BAD.

    Civil war/Libyans killing each other while (D) is in office....GOOD!

  7. #7
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    To the both of you - it's not a good sign when moderate Muslims police extremists?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kennyo7 View Post
    This is very good news indeed. Libya has a long way to go but if this is a sign of who will be running the country its very promising. Would have liked to see the same in Egypt, would not give up on them yet.
    Egypt's situation is a bit different; the state has always had a monopoly on the use of force (good) but it also had a well organized, well funded Islamist opposition (MB) that was all but guaranteed to win the election, especially since the secular parties were divided.

    Honestly, the proliferation of Islamic regimes in the middle east is a necessary step. If you look at the recent history of the region, it's one of the people grasping at various "Isms" in hope that they will lift them out of their comparatively downtrodden status: Nationalism, Pan-Arabism, now Islamism. IMO, it's a reflection of the fact that, culturally, it's extremely hard for Arabs to admit weakness - and recognizing that they need to fundamentally change the way their societies are organized if they want to compete and succeed in the modern world would, in essence, be admitting weakness. So instead, they've been grasping at one ideology after another as the way to correct the cosmic error that removed them from prominence. It's actually a pretty express theory from the Islamists; follow allah, and they will rule the world. Given the context, it was always inevitable - to me, at least - that Islamism would be given its chance to succeed or fail. After its failure, they may be out of illusions

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    To the both of you - it's not a good sign when moderate Muslims police extremists?
    This. If you can't see that 30,000 muslim protesters demanding that an Islamist militia give up its arms is a good thing (not to mention absurdly courageous), you've officially jumped the shark.

    Seriously, Dean, Sackdance, how many times have you asked where the "non-extremist" muslims were, why they weren't loudly protesting the actions of the extremists? And when it happens, you wave it off as if it's nothing?

    Sad.

  10. #10
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    The attack on the US consulate was triggered by an amateur video made in the US which mocks Islam.
    Why are they still saying this?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    This. If you can't see that 30,000 muslim protesters demanding that an Islamist militia give up its arms is a good thing (not to mention absurdly courageous), you've officially jumped the shark.

    Seriously, Dean, Sackdance, how many times have you asked where the "non-extremist" muslims were, why they weren't loudly protesting the actions of the extremists? And when it happens, you wave it off as if it's nothing?

    Sad.

    Obviously great news but it's a hard thing for the average infidel to believe...like seeing a hippo riding backwards on a unicycle.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Why are they still saying this?
    Because it's the BBC

  13. #13
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    Let them all fight it out amongst themselves last country standing gets 1/3.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Why are they still saying this?
    First thing I thought of too...

    Still good news though.

    Nice reply on the region also, doggin...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Why are they still saying this?
    Because that's all that happened. Here's the timeline:

    ** An obscure YouTube video trashing Muhammad garners less views than SNY's "Preseason Week 3 Recap"

    ** Said video spontaneously incites "protests" at US embassies/consulates across Middle East, including that in Libya where our ambassador was killed and dragged through the streets (btw, these "protests" happen to fall on September 11th ... just an aside, a coincidence I'm sure)

    ** BBC says 30,000 Libyans rally against armed militias.

    ** Said militias receive message loud and clear - "knock off the violence or we'll be forced to protest your existence yet again"

    ** Problem must be solved. All praise Obama's diplomatic mastery.
    Last edited by sackdance; 09-23-2012 at 11:20 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sackdance View Post
    Because that's all that happened. Here's the timeline:

    ** An obscure YouTube video trashing Muhammad garners less views than SNY's "Preseason Week 3 Recap"

    ** Said video spontaneously incites "protests" at US embassies/consulates across Middle East, including that in Libya where our ambassador was killed and dragged through the streets (btw, these "protests" happen to fall on September 11th ... just an aside, a coincidence I'm sure)

    The Ambassador was "dragged through the streets" by people trying to save his life, btw:

    Photographs and video clips have been circulating on the Internet showing Libyan civilians dragging the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens through the streets of Benghazi.


    It was hard to say at first what was happening. Were these people dragging him through the streets like a grim trophy, or were they trying to save him?


    It turns out they were trying to save him.


    The Washington Post has the story:
    Fahd al-Bakoush, a freelance videographer, was among the Libyan civilians roaming freely through the consulate after gunmen and protesters rampaged through it last Tuesday night. Al-Bakoush said he heard someone call out that he had tripped over a dead body.


    A group of people gathered as several men pulled the seemingly lifeless form from the room. They saw he was alive and a foreigner, though no one knew who he was, al-Bakoush said.
    He was breathing and his eyelids flickered, he said. “He was alive,” he said. “No doubt. His face was blackened and he was like a paralyzed person.”

    Video taken by al-Bakoush and posted on YouTube shows Stevens being carried out of a dark room through a window with a raised shutter by a crowd of men. “The man is alive. Move out of the way,” others shout. “Just bring him out, man.”

    “Move, move, he is still alive!”

    “Alive, Alive! God is great,” the crowd erupts, while someone calls to take Stevens to a car.

    The next scene shows Stevens lying on a tile floor, with one man touching his neck to check his pulse.


    The video has been authenticated since Stevens’ face is clearly visible and he is wearing the same white t-shirt seen in authenticated photos of him being carried away on another man’s shoulders, presumably moments later. Two colleagues of al-Bakoush who also witnessed the scene confirmed that he took the footage.


    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/b...ssador-stevens

    BTW, one of the commenters there said something you ought to consider for yourself, too:

    Being a staunch conservative, I hate to say it, but too many of the conservative blogs, and I'm talking *prominent* conservative blogs, have done an absolutely horrendous, atrocious job reporting the Benghazi incident. (And of Nakoula's questioning by the feds for probation violations, too.) This story is just one more example.



    These bloggers can get just as caught up in "narrative" as the lefty pundits do.


    I'm afraid one needs a good BS screen for both liberal and conservative pundits/bloggers. Same goes for a couple of libertarian bloggers.
    I'm just venting frustration here.

  17. #17
    What defines/classifies these "Militia Protestors" as "moderate" or otherwise acting in a way we would define as in the "U.S. Interest"?

    Does being against militias (or against this specific militia) make one automaticly "moderate" on other issues, or even moderate in terms of the United States?

    Is there any evidence that, for example, one of the killers of our men in Libya wasn't, or couldn't, also have been in the crowd "protesting" the milita as well?

    Seems like we have ALOT of assumptions and alot of "taking/trusting them at their word" being made in order to classify a violence protest of one group against a different violent group as a net positive for us. I do not agree that the eveidence as yet shows that to be the case.

    It could, with time and alot more facts and evidence and actions, but not yet. I.e. a this is a possibly positive development. "Great News"? No, not yet.
    Last edited by Warfish; 09-23-2012 at 12:26 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by sackdance View Post
    Because that's all that happened. Here's the timeline:

    ** An obscure YouTube video trashing Muhammad garners less views than SNY's "Preseason Week 3 Recap"

    ** Said video spontaneously incites "protests" at US embassies/consulates across Middle East, including that in Libya where our ambassador was killed and dragged through the streets (btw, these "protests" happen to fall on September 11th ... just an aside, a coincidence I'm sure)

    ** BBC says 30,000 Libyans rally against armed militias.

    ** Said militias receive message loud and clear - "knock off the violence or we'll be forced to protest your existence yet again"

    ** Problem must be solved. All praise Obama's diplomatic mastery.
    You partisan hack. This has nothing at all to do with Obama, positive or negative. This has everything to do with the Libyans themselves, who just took one of the most important steps towards having a functional state that can possibly be taken - ensuring that the state has a monopoly on the use of force. It may come to actual fighting before that is entirely true (as in Israel, where it took the sinking of the Altalena to make that lesson stick) or it may not - but if it does, the Libyans have already demonstrated they have the courage necessary to see it through.

    Get your head out of your partisan ass and, for once, look at a world event for what it means in and of itself, not for how it might impact whether your favorite (political) team wins its next game (election)

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    What defines/classifies these "Militia Protestors" as "moderate" or otherwise acting in a way we would define as in the "U.S. Interest"?
    Well, for one thing, I'd say the fact that the triggering act was an assault on the US is a pretty strong sign. But more fundamentally:

    Does being against militias (or against this specific militia) make one automaticly "moderate" on other issues, or even moderate in terms of the United States?
    No, it doesn't make one "automatically moderate" on other issues. But more importantly, it makes clear that disagreements on "other issues" shouldn't be solved by militias with guns. And that, 'Fish, is a massively important step in that region. We take it for granted - but think what life in this country would be like if issues like abortion, health care, education, etc. were decided not by ballots, but by bullets. It is literally impossible to have a stable society under such conditions.

    In other words, what happened in Libya may not be sufficient to allow Libya to operate as a successful, stable state in an unsuccessful, unstable region, but it was absolutely necessary. And necessary steps should be celebrated and supported, even while we acknowledge that there is still a longer distance to go.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Well, for one thing, I'd say the fact that the triggering act was an assault on the US is a pretty strong sign.
    A counter-argument on cause.

    Perhaps the "Anti-Militia" Protestors are not, in fact, Pro-USA at all, but are:

    1. Fearful of a potential American Reaction (i.e. missiles from afar in mass quantities).

    2. Are of a differing, but equally extreme, sect of Libyan Society and see this as an opportunity to further weaken their internal opponents.

    3. Are Libyan Nationalist (the side we helped in the War), and hence against militias (the side we blew up), but are as stridently Anti-American interventionism and as "extreme" is their ideology as the militias themselves are. So much so that if they were to become out of power, they themselves would form a militia then as well, invalidating the idea that this is a real, meaningful, socio-political change.

    We would need far more evidence to know which of the possible scenarios (or which combination) is at play. Describing it as "GREAT News" for us is, IMO, premature at the very least.

    No, it doesn't make one "automatically moderate" on other issues.
    This was all that was needed, thanks. The rest, while interesting, is off-point of my question, and the lack of evidence of this being good for the U.S. as yet is quite clear.

    When you're the side with the State and Government behind you, no matter how you feel about the U.S., you don't need or want alternative-poerblock militias. That fact does not equate to an anti-militia move in Libya being "GREAT News" for the U.S. or U.S. Interests in and of itself.

    Again, while it MAY be great news for the powerblock currently in power in Libya that there is an anti-militia movement, it is not a de facto great news for us. Such a claim is premature, it could come to pass, or it could not. We don't know yet.

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