Allies Insist on Qaddafi departure

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and US President Barack Obama are publishing a joint op-ed in three newspapers on Friday in which they make it clear that the UN allies will not permit Muammar Qaddafi to remain in power, after what he has done to his people.

Muammar Qaddafi’s forces on Thursday launched an intense, hours-long bombardment of Tripoli Street in Misrata, killing some 20 persons. On Aljazeera Arabic, Misrata residents were interviewed about the attack, and they maintained that the bombardment was indiscriminate and that women and children are among the dead. Some eyewitnesses spoke of victims being killed while they were sleeping in their beds.

Euronews has video.

Meanwhile, the Benghazi leadership continues to plan peaceful protests in the capital, Tripoli:

The USG Open Source Center translates a radio broadcast from the ‘Voice of Free Libya’ in which civilian crowds are urged to come out on Friday in Tripoli.

‘ Libyan Rebels Reiterate Call for Unarmed ‘Mass Protests’ in Tripoli on 15 Apr
Excerpt from statement by the “youth leaderships of the 17th February Revolution in Tripoli”
Voice of Free Libya
Thursday, April 14, 2011 …
Document Type: OSC Translated Excerpt…

We, the 17 February revolutionaries in Fashlum, Suq al-Jum’ah, Aradah, Bu-Salim and Tajura (all in Tripoli), have met to announce the following: We are fully committed to continuing this revolution until we restore our stolen freedom and dignity. This cannot be done without the tyrant stepping down and his family and mercenaries leaving Libya. (Passage omitted)

We also announce our total support for the Interim National Council (INC), the sole representative of the Libyan people, and call for intensifying air strikes on Al-Qadhafi’s brigades until the tyrant and his aides flee.

Friday (15 April) will be a day of mass protests that will be launched from major mosques in Tripoli. The Israeli way used (by Al-Qadhafi), including overnight raids on homes and the random kidnapping of youths and children, will be of no use in attempting to drive a wedge between Libyans and make them believe that there are many traitors in their midst…

We also announce to the Arab and Islamic world and to the international community that we in Tripoli do not have weapons and that our protests tomorrow will be peaceful.

(Description of Source: Benghazi Voice of Free Libya in Arabic — Opposition-run radio, began broadcasting on 20 February 2011. )

Meanwhile, as NATO bombarded Tripoli on Thursday, Muammar Qaddafi braved the traffic of the capital:

Posted in Libya | 10 Responses | Print |

10 Responses

  1. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and US President Barack Obama Op-ed

    The regime has to pull back from the cities it is besieging, including Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zintan, and its forces return to their barracks.

    However, so long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds.
    For that transition to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Gaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society.

    I think this is as clear as it gets. Regime change, regime change, and regime change. Even if the Qaddafi forces return to their barracks, NATO will keep pummeling them until regime change. A bit foggy as to what civilians NATO will be protecting if the Qaddafi forces are back in their barracks. Certainly those living close to the barracks will be in jeopardy. NATO has one card to play – military violence delivered from the air and sea. (This explicit doctrine will make it easier for the US to get back in the fight after wimping out a couple of weeks ago.)

    After regime change the UN (which didn’t advocate regime change) will rush in and help the new Libya rebuild, primarily because Sarkozy, Obama, and Cameron (aka the “SOCS”) say it should. I don’t see much movement to rebuild Iraq, and I doubt that a few billion are in the Obama/Ryan budget to rebuild Afghanistan. But this is a new “Groundhog Day”.

    Does the Arab world welcome having the SOCS running the Libya show? And does anyone believe that there will be quick and happy ending?

    • Even if the Qaddafi forces return to their barracks, NATO will keep pummeling them until regime change.

      I believe you just made that up. There are military assets in Libya that are not being struck.

      I don’t see much movement to rebuild Iraq

      Actually, the US has been spending billions of dollars on Iraqi reconstruction, and has been doing so for years. Now, whether that’s a good idea, or whether it’s a good idea to try to do reconstruction when there is still an insurgency going on, is another question.

      • “The US has been spending billions of dollars supposedly rebuilding Iraq”. In Actual fact very little rebuilding has been done. The money has largely disappeared into US contractors’s bank accounts and there has been no accounting for it. What a surprise.

        • Well, you’re up to a half-truth.

          The true half is that there has been extensive fraud and waste.

          The false half is that there has been “very little” rebuilding. In point of fact, there has been a great deal of rebuilding, despite the fraud and waste.

      • Joe! the Iraqis are in what remains of their own land, are paying for the “reconstruction” with some of their oil money. Insurgency???? who has a right to be there and fight back against an invader? the USA???

  2. Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.

    Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.

      • Some highlights for you: Government forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, have fired cluster munitions into residential areas in the western city of Misrata, posing a grave risk to civilians, Human Rights Watch said today.

        Human Rights Watch observed at least three cluster munitions explode over the el-Shawahda neighborhood in Misrata on the night of April 14, 2011. Researchers inspected the remnants of a cluster submunition and interviewed witnesses to two other apparent cluster munition strikes.

        “It’s appalling that Libya is using this weapon, especially in a residential area,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “They pose a huge risk to civilians, both during attacks because of their indiscriminate nature and afterward because of the still-dangerous unexploded duds scattered about.”

        The area where Human Rights Watch witnessed the use of cluster munitions is about 1 kilometer from the front line between rebels and government forces. The submunitions appear to have landed about 300 meters from Misrata hospital. Human Rights Watch could not inspect the impact sites due to security concerns.’

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