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Libyan Drama

Libyan rebels in the heart of Tripoli. What now?

Libyan rebel fighters fire towards forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi during fierce gunfire in downtown Tripoli, Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011.  (AP)

Libyan rebel fighters fire towards forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi during fierce gunfire in downtown Tripoli, Libya, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. (AP)

Whiplash in Libya. On Monday, scenes of rebels pouring through the streets of Tripoli and widespread expectation of imminent rebel victory. News of Moammar Qaddafi’s sons in rebel hands, captured. Lots of celebration sounds beamed around the world.

On Tuesday, different story. Qaddafi loyalists fighting back hard in Tripoli. Qaddafi’s son, promenading free in the heart of the city.

And Col. Moammar Qaddafi himself — crazy-like-a-fox Libyan leader for four decades — nowhere to be found.

This hour On Point: the drama in Libya.

-Tom Ashbrook


Margaret Coker, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

Gregory Gause, professor of political science at the University of Vermont.

Mansour El-Kikhia, professor and chair of the political science department at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Najla Abdurrahman, Libyan-American dissident and doctoral student in the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University.

Daniel Serwer, professorial lecturer and senior fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Contingency Planning Memo: “Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya”

From Tom’s Reading List

Al-Jazeera’s Live Libya Blog

MSNBC Libya Blog

Foreign Policy “Libya is currently consumed in that strange combination of joy and residual violence that marks the end of war. But instead of fixating on the events playing out on the streets of Tripoli these days, the world should focus on how the postwar scenario will play out over the next decade. What is the best we can hope for? What is the worst that can be imagined? Where in that is Libya likely to settle?”

Washington Post “A relatively successful transition from the Gaddafi regime to a united, stable, more open and democratic Libya would be seen in the region, and more widely, as a credit to the NATO-led intervention. It would enable Libya to resume its oil and gas exports, demonstrate international community capacity to manage such transitions and encourage positive outcomes to other Arab Spring protests.”

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  • Hidan

    Woot for oil or not?

    Rebels might redraw Libya’s oil contracts

    Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed that the Italian oil
    company Eni SpA, the biggest foreign investor in Muammar Gaddafi’s
    Libya, has sent a technical team to assist production re-launch.

    markets reacted positively to the statement, with oil prices going up a
    bit. Analysts hope that oil production in Libya, which amounted to 1.6
    million barrels a day before being disrupted by the civil war, could
    soon return to significant levels.

    Woot for protecting journalist

    Gunshots during RT live from Tripoli
    Journalist Mahdi Nazemroaya, who is stationed in a central Tripoli hotel
    with the international press, says the journalists are being targeted
    by the rebels and the NATO forces that support them. While he is
    speaking to RT, shooting can be heard.


  • Hidan

    Woot for the french, but hey there only Africans and the rebels have stated all Africans are actually mercenaries working for Gaddafi

    Aircraft carrier left us to die, say migrants

    Exclusive: Boat trying to reach Lampedusa was left to drift in Mediterranean for 16 days, despite alarm being raisedhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/08/nato-ship-libyan-migrantsDozens of African migrants were left to die in the Mediterranean
    after a number of European military units apparently ignored their cries
    for help, the Guardian has learned. Two of the nine survivors claim
    this included a Nato ship.A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and political refugees,
    ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian
    island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian
    coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a
    warship, no rescue effort was attempted.Woot for the rebels defeating Gaddafi

    Good thing where supply Al”Q in Libya with a whole new host of weapons  otherwise those 100 Al”Q members in Afghanistan might fail.

    Gaddafi was a evil bastard and sooner or later will get what’s coming to him but these rebels are pretty dam nasty as well. It’s quite sickening how NPR omitted or cover up rape and murder by rebel forces while decrying Gaddafi for the same thing the rebels did on there watch.  Even more disgusting is how the current batch of democrats are trying to defend this,even using Carl Rove tactics to silence criticism as what happen in the lead up and start of war in Iraq. . Remember 3 members of the UNSC voted for such and some of the arab states who supported it would do the same thing Gaddafi did. Hardly a U.N. supported action

  • Hidan

    For example of Democrat apologist taking on the tactics of the Bush era see below,


    “But what they do have in common — what virtually all wars have in
    common — is the rhetorical manipulation used to justify them and
    demonize critics.  Just as Iraq War opponents were accused of being
    “objectively pro-Saddam” and harboring indifference to The Iraqi People,
    so, too, were opponents of the Libya War repeatedly accused of being on Gadaffi’s side (courtesy of Hillary Clinton, an advocate of both wars) and/or exuding indifference to the plight of Libyans.  And now, in the wake of the apparent demise of the Gadaffi regime, we see all sorts of efforts, mostly from Democratic partisans, to exploit the emotions from Gadaffi’s fall to shame those who questioned the war,”



    “Clinton, as recently as two years ago, was saying things such as: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family” (or that John McCain, around the same time, was tweeting: “Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his ‘ranch’ in Libya – interesting meeting with an interesting man.”)?  ”


  • Benjamin Cohen

    We have turned into blood-thirsty animals – lower than animals.

    We borrow money and supply weapons to Arabs to kill each other.

    Why?  Who will benefit from this? 

    Who is laughing at this sporting even with killing, destruction, pain and suffering without spilling a drop of their own blood and a single shakel (money/currency)?

    • Dpweber83

      “Why?  Who will benefit from this?”

      Presumably, the majority of Libyan citizens.  And assuredly, the citizens of Benghazi.

      Who, exactly, is laughing about any of this?

      Boston, MA

      • Darshan Haward

        >>>Who, exactly, is laughing about any of this?
        What did you think?  Of course, Israel.

        Israel had four major enemies ….
        Nasrallah, Saddam, Gaddhafi, Ahmedinejad

        When Tel-Aviv says “jump”; we ask “How High”.

  • Hidan

    Seem dear obama was lying,  and this is coming from the most pro rebel press we seen in years, of course the press has cleaned up and spun the counter attack on the rebel forces. Guess the CIA dropped the ball on this one

    Libya Rebels Renew Fight To Pry Tripoli From Regime


    “NATO vowed to keep up its air campaign until all pro-Gadhafi forces
    surrender or return to their barracks. The alliance’s warplanes have hit
    at least 40 targets in and around Tripoli in the past two days the
    highest number on a single geographic location since the bombing started
    in March, NATO said.”

    Funny how homes,libraries, TV stations all considered civilian targets are so easily changed to command and control to justify attacking civilians.

    If one ever doubted that the Main Stream Media wasn’t a mouth piece for spin and propaganda in support of the government, the coverage on Libya should clear up all doubts.  

    • Dpweber83

      What was “dear obama” lying about?

      • Hidan

        Many things and does all the time,

        Lied about the No Fly Zone was to protect civilians yet, bombed libraries, resident areas, TV stations,

        Lied about the No Fly Zone protecting civilians, but in fact the bombing were used to attack Gaddafi loyalist and their supporters.

        Lied about having any intention of regime change in Libya

        Lied about supporting the right for civilians around the world to protest, Gates apology to the Saudi royals for supporting FINALLY getting ride of Mubarak, or inaction after Bahrain officials stated attacking Doctors without boarders. 

  • Bruceguindon

    the search for Gadhafi is on, all though there are rumors that he is now the front runner for the Republican party and the Tea party folks are alleged to say he is to left leaning for their taste and will only support him if he is the candidate who runs against Obama, however as long as Gadhafi is free Libya will not be 

    • Hidan


      After meeting with the tea party Gadhafi remarked “These people are just too batsh@t crazy to work with and ask Mccain if one of his 7 homes were still open for rent. Hillary has denounced this meeting but offered a place for Gadhafi to rent, next to her dear family friend  Mubarak

    • Modavations

      This is a list of leftist people’s parties.
      Mao:20-40million murdered
      Stalin:10-25million murdered
      Hitler(Nazi+national workers socialist something or other)
      Pol Pot:3 million killed ,or about 30% of the population
      Fidel,Hugo C.,and on and on

      • Anonymous

        You insult the memories of the victims of all atrocities and mass murders. How dare you sir post such vile and insensitive nonsense to forward your political agenda.

        For the record the nazis were fascist, and they had nothing to do with socialist or communist. If you had any understanding of history, which you clearly do not, then you would have known that Hitler and his nazi party were staunch anti-communist and hated anything to do with socialism.

        • Modavations

          Not only have the predations of the left been an abomination world wide,but your paternalism of the black community is unspeakable.The ghettos have a 90%out of wedlock birthrate and one out of every three males is in prison,parole,or probation.Shame,shame

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

            Probably majority of those black men in prison are innocent. Jeffe68 didn’t say anything about the black people.

          • Modavations

            In Ma.you have to have about 30 offenses before you do real time.

          • Anonymous

            What does my comment have to do with African Americans or ghettos. You’re the one who mentioned Hitler, Stalin other tyrants.
            Not me sparky.

            I must say you seem to be a kind of troll.

          • Modavations

            I say this to the “left”.The road to hell is full of good intentions.The results,however are a disgrace

          • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

            You mean “the road to hell is PAVED WITH good intentions,” not “full of.” Anyway, that is true enough (and excellent evidence that if there is a God, He is evil). But don’t forget that where there are only selfish intentions, that place already is hell.

          • Modavations


          • Modavations

            Just pointing out another outrage of the left

          • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

            So you think that isn’t the result of institutional racism and economic cruelty? Of course you don’t. You don’t have either the brains or the empathy to see otherwise. But that’s as far as my name-calling will go in this case. You know what you are.

          • Modavations

            And you don’t think your welfare has anything to do with it.Moynihan blew the whistle in 1965 and you called him a rascist.Bill Cosby,recently did the same and you called him a rascist.Instead of a marriage penalty let’s establish a marriage bonus.Istead of the pubklic schools,let’s try vouchers

        • Modavations

          This was a reply to Brucequiden asserting that the Tea Party would embrace a dictator.The point is that the true monsters of the world were all lefties

          • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

            There are authoritarians of the left and the right, just as there are libertarians of the left and the right (no matter which words gain certain associations in the vernacular, this remains true). Authoritarians are the monsters. Sure Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot were supposedly of “the left”, but don’t go kidding yourself: Hitler, Franco, Mussolini, the Japanese Emperor, Pinochet, etc. are firmly on the right. Evil is evil no matter what your economic outlook is; the same goes for good.

          • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

            One more thing: Marx himself thought that communism would work best in small nations, and specifically thought that Russia would be a terrible place for a communist experiment. The nature of communism has something to do with the mass killings in Russia and China under Stalin and Mao, but more to do with the cruel authoritarian nature of the culture of those countries, which long predated the 20th century. (Not to mention that Stalin was a ruthless power-hungry paranoid crank, a true authoritarian, who I am certain would have been the same monster whether he was of the “left” or the “right.” He was far beyond politics.)

          • Modavations

            The Kibbutz failed too

          • Modavations

            I hear it all the time.If only the right circumstances would arise,we’d be a sucess.Our execution is remiss.Excuses,excuses.Maybe there is something wrongwitht the left’s philosophy, at it’s core.I maintain,of your list only Pinochet was of the right.Again,Nazi=national workers socialist some thing or other.By my count the right has 10,000-50,000 murders to the “lefts 100 million,but who’s counting.

          • Anonymous

            Buddy you need to read some history. The nazi party hated socialist and communist. Before Hitler and the nazis came to power in Germany they had street battles with them. Instead of cutting and pasting the figures from Wikipedia try doing a some reading at least.

            The party was founded out of the current of the far-right and racist German völkisch nationalist movement and the violent anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture that fought against the uprisings of communist revolutionaries in post-World War I GermanyThe party was created by Anton Drexler as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism.


            If you are going to use political ideologies to make points the very least you can do is to try to get it right. Are you aware that this kind of insistence of being right in the face of blatant mistakes in your historical knowledge is completly making anything you post a joke.

          • Modavations

            The point is the socialist model is flawed.They all start out with good intention and then,mutate.You could make your argument about Stalin,Mao,Fidel etc.There are two types.Those who believe in the state and those who believe in the individual.Just a sideline.When a childs argument falls apart he resorts to name calling

  • Anonymous

    I hope in the chaos, someone “accidentally” kills the murderer the Scots freed, who was supposedly on his deathbed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Muslims nations are almost free from tyranny and oppression. This is a great event for islam and for mankind and it can only be achieve by the power of the people. The terror can no longer spread it’s tentacles of evil all over the Arab nations. Muslims liberated themselves without the help of other countries from Yemen, Egypt, Libya and soon Syria will be Free to create their own democratic islam countries.

    • Anonymous

      They had help in Libya. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        It was not a full blown help from the NATO forces. Airstrike can help but to win a war, ground forces are needed in order to win and the Libyan rebels or Libyan people did that with pride and dignity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Gadhafi had a chance to leave Libya with his millions of dollars but his decision to stay and fight his people will be the end of his life and his children.

  • Anonymous

    Doubt if Gadhafi is setting a trap by surrounding himself in an urban environment, cut off from outside fighters, weapons, and other materiel of war. NATO air is of limited effect in 32 square miles of urban environment. But, hemming him into his stronghold allows NATO air to pound him and his forces unmercifully. He cannot run, he  cannot hide. I anticipate tribal fighters from all over Libya are streaming into Tripoli to put this regime out of its misery. The end is veery near.

  • Anonymous

    Doubt if Gadhafi is setting a trap by surrounding himself in an urban environment, cut off from outside fighters, weapons, and other materiel of war. NATO air is of limited effect in 32 square miles of urban environment. But, hemming him into his stronghold allows NATO air to pound him and his forces unmercifully. He cannot run, he  cannot hide. I anticipate tribal fighters from all over Libya are streaming into Tripoli to put this regime out of its misery. The end is veery near.

  • Anonymous

    Doubt if Gadhafi is setting a trap by surrounding himself in an urban environment, cut off from outside fighters, weapons, and other materiel of war. NATO air is of limited effect in 32 square miles of urban environment. But, hemming him into his stronghold allows NATO air to pound him and his forces unmercifully. He cannot run, he  cannot hide. I anticipate tribal fighters from all over Libya are streaming into Tripoli to put this regime out of its misery. The end is veery near.

  • Modavations

    6 months ago the Prez.said we’d be involved for days not weeks.Can this guy get anything right?Please tell me what happened to Code Pink and the Mass.Ave.Candlelight vigils.May I posit this.Dem. wars good,Rep.wars bad.Well,Medea,what is it?

    • civicusrepublicus

      Well if u want to know how Dems feel just listen to the “Black Man” (as he referred to himself) and his feelings on this military excursion and the president.

  • Adam N

    My understanding is that nationhood for many of these country comes as late as the end of WWI.  The Ottomans ruled them from 1500 to the 20th century.  I am not sure how the borders got where they are, but I am pretty sure Lybians didn’t have much to do with it.

    They lack the long history of nationalism that we have in the west. 

    I never hear this taken into account.  These has been more or less strongman rule for hudnreds of years there.  The Ottoman Empirte was run like the mafia, simply backings thugs who taxed the locals and then we’re taxed by the ottomans.

    It’s not like France was making a nation here.  It’s people to whome the concept is new too.  We cant but expect that it’s will look strange to us, whatever the result is.

  • Aksil

    I was watching an AP video last night where Seif El Islam Qaddafi showed up in the middle of his supporters and few people were waving Algerian flags. We also know that the national Transitional Counsel has accused Algeria of militarily supporting Qaddafi. Does this confirm these accusations?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    There was an Earthquake just wondering if WBUR felt it.

    • Modavations

      It’s the friggin fracking

    • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

      We did!

  • Modavations

    If Libya follows a Laissez Faire economic model ,they will suceed.If they are swayed by the Leftist Sirens” they will be dashed upon the rocks.I welcome the newest country of Free Men

    • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

      Don’t worry. The corporate predators will descend upon Libya and steal all the same oil profits from the Libyan people that Ghadaffi previously stole. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      “Free Men.” Free to be slaves, free to starve, free to suffer, free to be ignorant, and, yes, free to steal as much from everyone else as you can and treat your victims cruelly.

    • civicusrepublicus

      I agree that markets need to be freed from the shackles of veibary, corruption and red tape. But overcorrecting the steering of a ship in choppy seas can cause more harm than good. Without any oversight the lybian history books will go colonialism->despotic tyranny->oppressive oligarchy of warlord like local wealthymen and foreign “investors”.

      • civicusrepublicus


  • Darshan Haward

    United States of America has three natural Enemies
    - Canada: Will be our friendly neighbor, will not capture our land
    - Mexico: Will be our friendly warm neighbor, will not capture our land
    - Israeli Lobby: Will take us down to our destruction …wars all over the world as long as it benefits them… without shedding a single drop of blood or spending a penny.

  • Gregg

    Towards the end of the show one of the guest posited Tunisia was the inspiration for the uprisings in the Middle East. Shouldn’t a modicum of credit be given to GWB and the extraordinary transformation in Iraq?

    • Anonymous

      Well that would be true if Iraq was a safe and thriving country.
      However it’s not. There has been more violence there in the last few weeks that tells me this is not a “ extraordinary transformation”.

      Not to mention the billions of wasted dollars allocated for reconstruction projects that are still unaccounted for.

      • TFRX

        …and all those fun little stories told to get the US to invade Iraq, right up to outing a US covert agent.

        Patriotic stuff. Real patriotic stuff.

        • Gregg

          I would love to take the time to expose the fallacy of the Plame thing and the determination by the Senate the Joe Wilson lied, and the 16 words from the SOTU address that Britain stands by to this day… and the 500 tons of yellowcake removed from Iraq but I have to wash my hair.

          • Hidan

            Like 5 million displaced Iraqi(3 inside and 2 outside) Hundrends of thousands of dead Iraqi’s, higher prices for everything and worst of condition then under Saddam rule. Oh yea the sanctions which killed at-least 500k children before the invasion. The British than had a investigation, remember that? none came up on 500 tones of yellow cake.

            Good thing you have to wash you hair it be a shame to actually prove what your saying is true.

          • Gregg

            I must say your comment is rather incoherent and I don’t like to play grammar cop because I’m make my share of mistakes. I’ll just say I stand by everything I wrote.

          • Hidan

            Much like your comment are rather simple minded, stick to whatever you want to since it’s not true.

            This might help
            -since the war in iraq there has been over 5 million iraqi’s displaced. 3 million inside iraq and 2 million outside
            -since the war in iraq there has been over 200,000+(some say the real figures are close to a million) killed. This does not include the injured.
            -Sanction on iraq before the illegal invasion cost the lives of over 500,000 children
            -There was no yellow cake found let alone 500 tons.
            -The British had a investigation as to why the british went to iraq that claimed to be open while giving assurances to the U.S. there would not out U.S. officials. In such hearings there was no such statement on finding 500 tons of yellow cake. None, Zip, nada

            Like you comment on Obama and the politics of race you display total ignorance on this subject as well.

            Either put up and prove what you said or be gone. As well one can have perfect grammar and have no clue what there talking about.

            Thanks for proving such.

          • Gregg


            If you don’t like CNN then:


            Here’s a fact check about the 16 words and the British standing by them. Keep in mind this is before the yellow cake was found.


            The “oil for food” effort proves the folly of sanctions. Regime change as outlined (and ratified) in Clinton’s “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998″ was the only way to solve the problem.

            Please put down the snark gun for a moment and give me the courtesy of addressing my original point: Do you believe the liberation of Iraq played any role in the Arab Spring? This is aside from everything bad that happened there and I request a purely objective answer on that single point.

            BTW, thanks for the compliment but my grammar ain’t perfect.

          • Gregg

            Also, I hope you appreciate the links you requested and the fact that your comment was pure speculation with no cited proof. I apologize for not giving the evidence sooner but I always forget how selective leftist news organizations are. I thought the truth was common knowledge. Silly me.

          • Hidan

            I actually do appreciate the link, and will respond in a far less snarky manner.

            But note

            stressed that yellow-cake is not of direct use in a nuclear weapon. “It
            is a commodity that is traded routinely in the global nuclear energy
            sector,” he said. “It can be used as a feed material for nuclear weapons
            if a country has access to the necessary fuel technology.””

            As for “oil for food” I agree with you, I will link the information I provided to reduce the doubt you may have that what I stated is speculation
            Madeleine Albright 60 minutes


            Bill Richardson

            Refugees International
            Correction=2.7 Million displaced in iraq, not 3 million as I stated

            TotalGlobal Research, February 3, 2009
            Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

          • Hidan

            Take it for what it’s worth,

            Iraq’s Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

            The availability of healthcare, clean water, functioning schools, jobs
            and so forth remains elusive. According to Unicef, many provinces report
            that less than 40 percent of households have access to clean water.
            More than 40 percent of children in Basra, and more than 70 percent in
            Baghdad, cannot attend school.



            between 800,000 and 1.3 million “excess deaths” as we approach the six-year anniversary of this war.

            I do apologist for my rude reply

          • Pirozhkov

            It should not take a genius to recognize our old friend `Michael’.
            He can change the name but not his style and poor command of English language. Mods beware.

          • Hidan

            The kamikaze troll strikes again, got anything on libya or just came by to say hi? Oh yea Plushkin  keep whining about others, it gets you real far there buddy.

      • Gregg

        It is true Iraq has a way to go and it is also true there is still violence. However, the transformation from a Country that was shooting at out jets patrolling the no-fly zone, gassing the Kurds, swindling the world with “oil for food”, ripping out tongues, gouging out eyes, pursuing WMD, holding public executions, oppressing women and run by a brutal dictator whose thugs raped women in front of their children IS extraordinary. Iraq was a sworn enemy and now it’s an ally. I really don’t understand how the change could be called anything else.

        I realize you probably did not support the liberation and it’s fair, albeit irrelevant to my claim, to criticize the wasted dollars. I do not think it a stretch to think it influenced the Arab spring. It is at least as logical as the guest who credited Tunisia.

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