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You are in the the 178th Witness Revolution diary, bearing witness to pro-democracy movements in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. We aim here to simply report, from as many reliable worldwide resources as possible, on the successes, challenges or failures as brave people strive against oppression for representative democracy with civil and human rights. One small bit of assurance that they do not strive in obscurity.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

:
Are Shia mosques being destroyed by pro-government forces in Bahrain? They discovered spam-bots from pro-government sources in Syria. Is there a pro-government disinformation campaign going in Bahrain, too? While all the world is hearing about the courageous photojournalists who were killed in Libya yesterday, we also need to remember Khalid.

WARNING: VERY DISTURBING VIDEO FROM SYRIA

BAHRAIN
There are several videos on YouTube reporting the destruction of Shia mosques in Bahrain. This one shows a burnt building, including remnants of a Quran.

Meanwhile, is there a disinformation campaign being managed by the Bahraini government? I've seen many tweets referring to pics such as this one. Which pic is the original?

@massyoo Ali || Almasi ~
RT @FakhriAlmosawi http://bit.ly/... another faked pic #bahrain #feb14 #uk #us #kuwait #q8 #ksa #saudi #uae #qatar #oman #fake
19 Apr via web Favorite Retweet Reply

I note this because I had the following Twitter exchange with someone trying to convince me that the Bahraini protesters are killing and torturing police, not the other way around:
AlBinali17   3:25pm via Web
@UnaSpenser Killing & torturing? its the protesters that have kidnapped, tortured and killed police officers (evidence of this is available)
Hide conversation
AlBinali17
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 chaos is necessary if "stability" only serves a few while so many suffer. Only chaos can rebalance. 11:09pm, Apr 16 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser Serves a few? half the population want change but want it peacefully, the other half want war.Also,they dont represent everyone. 11:12pm, Apr 16 from Web
UnaSpenser
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 who wants war? Perhaps I am confused about who you are railing against. Thank you for engaging. 1:37pm, Apr 19 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser Hmm, Lets see, the protesters are not demanding accountability,their demanding revenge & their demanding the downfall of the Gov 1:42pm, Apr 19 from Web
UnaSpenser
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 who is open to talk after you shoot at them? They need faith in new potential. old leader must step down. key to change. 2:52pm, Apr 19 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser This argument started when you had an issue with me using the word 'war' I don't see you saying anything that approves of peace. 2:57pm, Apr 19 from Web
UnaSpenser
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 I have not seen anything that suggests they want war. They marched in the streets asking for change. Then they were brutalized. 3:15pm, Apr 19 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser They can have change, but they have to talk about it first. Because not everyone wants what they want. Do you understand that? 3:17pm, Apr 19 from Web
UnaSpenser
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 and if they feel that they are ignored? oppressed? don't have a chance without public display? being in the streets isn't war. 3:20pm, Apr 19 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser You dont understand what I'm trying to say, they've proved their time, now they can meet all parties to dialogue to have peace 3:21pm, Apr 19 from Web
UnaSpenser
UnaSpenser: @albinali17 But can you understand why they might not feel the ruling party/family has good faith? they're killing and torturing. 3:24pm, Apr 19 from HootSuite
AlBinali17
AlBinali17: @UnaSpenser Killing & torturing? its the protesters that have kidnapped, tortured and killed police officers (evidence of this is available) 3:25pm, Apr 19 from Web

the video links he eventually supplied were not convincing.


LIBYA

A tribute to Tim Hetherington, award-winning photojournalist killed in Libya yesterday.

One of the last photos taken by Chris Hondros before he was killed in Libya, as well.





@AlaywaB  Alaywa
RT RIP Khalid @operationlibyia God bless him & all #Libya freedom fighters Pic of him & his son http://yfrog.com/... @LibyaInMe #feb17




SYRIA - VERY DISTURBING

A child being moved after he was killed, presumably by police:

I wish children would not be at these events.

More news listed country by country below the fold...

This group produces a series of diaries which provide background and analysis on the region in general and on individual countries. We hope these provide context for you as you read about current events. The published diaries in the series are:
Eyes on Egypt and the Region Background Resources
See the group stream for other diary series.

We collect suggested readings for background reference materials in support of the Eyes on Egypt and the Region group. These may be non-fiction or fiction, general to the region or specific to a country or issue. If there are resources which you believe could aid our understanding of the events and processes we are witnessing, please either a) post a comment in the Liveblog with the title "Suggested reading:" and a brief description of the reading in the body of the comment, or b) send your suggestions via the dKos internal message to angry marmot.

Libyan Doctors for Hospitals in Libya is an impressive new aide organization launched by one of our own: StepLeftStepForward.

PLS REC THIS DIARY! Will you please do the following to keep our dKos community eyes on our international friends risking their lives for self-determination?
1. Rec this diary. (click that star just under the title)
2. "Follow" " Eyes on Egypt and the Region. Scroll down the group box on the right-hand side and click "Follow".
3. Place links in Front Page threads and tell all your friends.
4. Put links in your Facebook updates.
5. Tweet links.
Thank you!

NOTE: We renamed the original "Egypt Liveblog" to "Witnessing Revolution". From Egypt the pro-democracy fire spread rapidly. It's not clear that it will be limited by geography or ethnicity. So, we wanted a name which states what is happening yet allows us to grow with the movement, wherever that will be.

GENERAL ANALYSIS
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) Unprecedented attacks on media amid popular unrest

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Suppression of journalists amid popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has been unprecedented, experts say, with more than 500 attacks -- some of them deadly -- documented by a media rights watchdog.
While the Committee to Protect Journalists said press freedom has improved in Egypt and Tunisia since protesters ousted the presidents of both countries this year, it described the situation as only graduating from "horrendous to bad."

(h/t UnaSpenser 4/15) Swaziland: Mswati, You Are On Your Own...

Hundreds of Swazis have been arrested after they took to the streets on 12 and 13 April, to demonstrate against the monarchy. Swaziland's King Mswati has presided over a 'system of governance' that protest organisers say has left the country's 'people divided, poor and powerless'. Sokari Ekine reports on southern Africa's first uprising and provides updates on the situation in Djibouti, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire and Libya.

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) The vagueness of the law keeps Middle Eastern protests in check

The news that Bahrain's government has withdrawn its financial support from students who attended a peaceful anti-regime demonstration in Britain highlights differing attitudes towards protest between western countries and most of those in the Middle East.
Though the Bahraini regime's action has enraged the British government, few Arabs would find it surprising: reprisals against those who step out of line are almost par for the course

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) Urgent UN rights meeting on Mideast unrest planned

GENEVA (AP) — Western diplomats say several nations are negotiating for an emergency session of the U.N.'s top human rights body to examine the government crackdowns on popular unrest that have swept the Middle East and North Africa.
Diplomats told The Associated Press on Wednesday that a special session of the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council could take place in Geneva as soon as next week.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject

(h/t Dibsa 4/19)Will Social Media Democratize the Arab World?

Al Jazeera English's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin's new show, The Stream, which debuts today, has an ambitious goal: Shihab-Eldin wants The Stream to “leverage voices who often don’t make it into mainstream media” by engaging wired communities across the world.
Shihab-Eldin spoke with The Nation at the 2011 National Conference for Media Reform in Boston about how he was one of the few in the media who began to follow Tunisia before it was clear that a revolution was unfolding. He talks about how the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa all began as “popular uprisings,” not religious uprisings. And, he adds that his new show will take a bottom-up look at many of the ongoing uprisings and examine how social media is helping people circumvent oppression

ALGERIA
(h/t JustJennifer 4/15) - Algeria protests challenge president's authority

Algeria's leaders risk losing control of a tide of strikes and protests that has been gaining momentum and outpacing the government's attempts at reform.

Unlike the nationwide uprisings which toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, Algeria's protests are localised and have yet to turn into a national political movement.

But the protests, some of them leading to small-scale clashes with police, have become a daily occurrence in the capital and the government has so far failed to seize back the initiative from the people in the streets.

(h/t JustJennifer 4/15) - Algeria's president to announce new policies boosting democracy, helping poor

Reports say Algeria's president will announce new policies to open up politics and improve economic prospects for the poor in a speech to the nation, after weeks of simmering protests.

The state news agency APS says Abdelaziz Bouteflika will make the televised address Friday night to unveil "important decisions concerning the deepening of the democratic process.... reducing disparities and speeding up economic development."

BAHRAIN
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/21) - Bahrain activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja 'on trial'

A leading Bahraini human rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, is standing trial in a military court, his daughter Zainab believes.

She said he told her the date, time and place of the trial, but when family members came to the court officials denied any knowledge of the case.
Mr Khawaja had called for the country's leaders to be held to account after a brutal crackdown on recent protests.
He was seized from his home with two sons-in-law earlier this month.
Zainab al-Khawaja ended a week-long hunger strike after international activists said they needed her to speak up for those detained in the crackdown.

(h/t Dibsa 4/19) - Bahrain arrests more doctors, opposition says

(Reuters) - Bahrain has detained a number of doctors and other medical staff as part of a crackdown on mainly Shi'ite pro-democracy protesters in the Sunni-led Gulf Arab kingdom, the opposition and an activist said on Tuesday.
Bahrain's rulers crushed protests by majority Shi'ites protests last month, deploying security forces throughout the capital and calling in troops from Sunni-led Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The main Shi'te opposition party Wefaq said in a statement security forces had arrived at two medical centers, Ibn Sina and al-Razi, and detained an unknown number of people.

(h/t dibsa 4/19) - Bahrain First-Hand: When the Security Forces Clamp Down (Mahmoud)

Since the Gulf soldiers came to Bahrain, life in the Shia villages and suburbs of the capital, Manama, has been non-stop intimidation, violence and threats. Even trying to move around in normal ways has become life-threatening. They are trying to beat down the opposition with a long campaign against us.
I live in one of the villages near Manama. One night about 7.30pm, I parked in front of my father-in-law's house and walked towards the door, when at least 50 armed and masked thugs --- they were not in security forces uniform ---appeared from one of the village lanes and told me to stop, pointing their shotguns at me. I ran away and they followed, but I managed to hide in one of the houses and they did not see me.

(h/t Dibsa 4/19) - Bahraini activist's home tear gassed

(CNN) -- A Human Rights Watch official is calling on the government of Bahrain to investigate a Monday morning teargas attack on the Bani Jamra home of prominent activist Nabeel Rajab.
The attack took place at 3:30 a.m., according to Human Rights Watch. Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was apparently not injured. However, the attack by unknown assailants caused "great distress" for his 78-year-old mother, who suffers from respiratory disease, Human Rights Watch said

BURKINA FASO
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Ghana, Burkina Faso Border Back to ’Normal’ After Soldiers Riot

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Trade between Ghana and Burkina Faso is “returning to normal” following the rioting by Burkinabe soldiers that closed the border between the two nations, said Mark Woyongo, Ghana’s Upper East regional minister.
“Burkinabe officials at the border told us the government has begun paying the soldiers,” Woyongo said by phone. “The border is very calm today.”

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Burkina 'needs changes' to avoid larger revolt

OUAGADOUGOU — Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore needs to take urgent steps to avoid a revolt like those that toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, observers say, amid weeks of protests.
Compaore, who took power in a coup in 1987, has been confronted by a series of unprecedented demonstrations over the past two months, including a chaotic army mutiny and student riots against police that left several dead.

COTE D'IVOIRE
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Gunfire, Explosions Erupt in Ivory Coast

New fighting erupted in Abidjan Wednesday as forces of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara attacked fighters loyal to deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo.
Witnesses say explosions and heavy gunfire shook walls in the Abidjan suburb of Yopougon and prompted many residents to flee to safer areas.
The new Ouattara government is trying to re-establish security after more than four months of political violence in the West African country

DJIBOUTI
(h/t UnaSpenser 4/14 ) -
JIBOUTI: WHY NO ONE CARES

section of article which covers pro-democracy movements throughout Africa

Whilst the world was watching Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt and Libya, Djibouti had an election on 8 April. With no opposition, a state-controlled media and no civil society movement, it was easy enough for President Omar Guelleh to change the constitution allowing him to run for a third term - thereby continuing 35 year rule by the same family. But this little dictatorship is strategically central to the US Africa Command (2,000 US troops are based here) and the NATO countries. Unlike in Libya, Djibouti's 1 million population can expect no support from the West in their small attempts to have a voice.

EGYPT
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20 ) -
Criminal interrogiation started this morning of former Egypt Parliament speaker

Fathy Sorour, former speaker of Egypt’s Parliament, is finally being investigated over his involvement in the “Battle of the Camel,” which left many protesters dead on 2 February during the Egyptian revolution.
Moreover, the Fact-Finding Committee has released a report that points the finger at the two sons of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak; former head of Egypt’s upper house Shura Council, Safwat El-Sherif; attorney Mortada Mansour and business tycoon Ibrahim Kamel as the masterminds of the Battle of the Camel.

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20 ) - AT LEAST 846 KILLED DURING EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

An Egyptian fact finding committee, consisting of judges, has found that the toll of te 25 January revolution was higher than hitherto thought: at least 846 dead, and about 6500 wounded. The report, that was released on Tuesday, accuses the security forces of “excessive” use of force during the mass protests, using live ammunition and cars to run over people.
The report points the finger at the two sons of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, former head of the upper house Shura Council Safwat El-Sherif, attorney Mortada Mansour, and business tycoon Ibrahim Kamel as the masterminds of the “Battle of the Camel,” which left several protesters dead and injured on 2 February.
The report elaborates moreover on illegal detentions; intentionally leaving a security vacuum and opening prisons and the role of the media.

IRAN
(h/t UnaSpenser 4/20) - Iranian blogger: 'Hell' and 'hopelessness' in his country

Recent protests in Iran have failed to gain traction -- despite growing demonstrations in neighboring countries and Iran's own 2009 massive protest movement.

What's the status of the Iranian opposition movement, what challenges does it face and could a regime change ever happen peacefully? A blogger from Iran weighs in.

Peyman Bagheri is a blogger whose articles against the Iranian government have prompted him to flee his native land for fear of being arrested and imprisoned. He recently spoke via phone from Europe with CNN's Asieh Namdar.

(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20) - Inside Iran: the art of resistance

But if Iran’s “Green Movement” has indeed inspired the “Arab Spring” — which began in Tunisia and blossomed in Egypt, but now faces the heat of summer in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere — it might not bode well for those who support reform.
Recent attempts to revive the movement on the streets of Tehran have yet to succeed in any tangible way.

...

In the nearly two years since the June 2009 presidential election, artists say that it seems fewer and fewer permits to produce art — be it music, photography or painting — have been granted to applicants. In Iran, artists are officially required to have permits from the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance to work professionally.
But many have ignored these restrictions, creating and exhibiting their work underground.
Despite this effort to control freedom of expression, there is a flourishing of art in Iran, some of it pointed in its critique of the government and the clerical establishment. This kind of dissent is also often delivered with a flourish of humor that pokes fun at the ruling clerical establishment.

Often artists go to great lengths to stay within the boundaries of laws and restrictions to create the kind of work that attempts to undermine the very meanings of those laws. Others simply create art as if no such restrictions were in place, suffering a sad fate for any artist: being barred from displaying their work.

IRAQ
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Arab League delays summit in Baghdad

CAIRO (AFP) – The Arab League has delayed a summit that was to be held in Iraq next month as a wave of political unrest rocks the region, its deputy secretary general said on Wednesday.
Ahmed Ben Hilli said consultations with the pan-Arab organisation's 22 members showed a "preference to delay the summit" that was scheduled for May 15 and added that an upcoming ministerial meeting would set a new date for summit

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Baghdad protest ban is undemocratic: Sadr

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday blasted a ban on public rallies in the Iraqi capital, saying it was "undemocratic" and based on fear of rising protests.
Iraq's government announced last week demonstrations would be allowed only at three football stadiums, ostensibly because shopkeepers in the city's main Tahrir Square complained of losing trade during weekly protests.

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Top Iraq Kurd leader offers to resign amid demos

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) – A senior politician in Iraqi Kurdistan has criticised missing freedoms in the autonomous region and offered to step down from the party leadership, as new rallies Tuesday left seven hurt.
Near daily demonstrations in Sulaimaniyah province and the eponymous provincial capital, the region's second largest city, have been calling for an end to official corruption and the resignation of the regional government.

JORDAN
(h/t dibsa 4/20) - Jordan protester who set himself ablaze dies

AMMAN, Jordan – A Jordanian forensics official says a protester who set himself on fire outside the prime minister's office last week has died of his wounds.
Mohammad Abdul-Karim's case was the first self-immolation since political unrest hit Jordan in January.
The forensics official says the 45-year-old man died in a hospital of first, second and third degree wounds to his face and much of his body.

KUWAIT
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20) - ANALYSIS-Kuwait faces reform stalemate after cabinet falls

Kuwait has mostly escaped the unrest sweeping the Arab world, but its dysfunctional politics once again risk blocking economic reform and foreign investment.

...

The cabinet resigned this month to avoid the questioning of three ministers in parliament. Kuwait's ruler has asked outgoing Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed al-Sabah to form a new cabinet -- his seventh since he was first appointed in 2006.
In this context, small protests by pro-democracy activists seem less worrying for the Sabahs than prospects of a return to stalemate between the legislative and executive arms after a two-year lull in a cycle of crises and short-lived cabinets.

LEBANON
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/19 ) - Turkish envoy to Lebanon: Democracy will spread

Turkey's ambassador to Lebanon, Inan Ozyildiz, believes that despite the recent political uncertainty, all political actors in Lebanon are "engaging in dialogue," and expects democracy to take root in every country in the Arab world.

...

"Although every country in the region has its own characteristics and political history, the people of the Middle East have a common demand: Democracy," said Ozyildiz.
According to Ozyildiz, the Arab world's transition to democracy is late in coming. "These uprisings were kind of late, they should have started immediately after the end of the Cold War," said Ozyildiz.

LIBYA
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - US to give Libyan rebels non-lethal aid

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration plans to give the Libyan opposition $25 million in non-lethal assistance in what will be the first direct U.S. aid to the rebels after weeks of assessing their capabilities and intentions, officials said Wednesday.
Amid a debate over whether to offer the rebels broader assistance, including cash and possibly weapons and ammunition, the administration has informed Congress that President Barack Obama intends to use his so-called "drawdown authority" to give the opposition up to $25 million in surplus American goods to help protect civilians in rebel-held areas threatened by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces, the officials said

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - France vows to step up airstrikes in Libya

PARIS – France vowed Wednesday to step up airstrikes on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces and acknowledged that it has military officers already working with Libyan rebels on the ground.
Italy joined Britain in announcing their commitment of military instructors to train the rebels, who have failed to rout Moammar Gadhafi's forces despite weeks of NATO-led airstrikes

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Oscar Nominated Documentary Filmmaker And Photographer Reportedly Killed In Libya*

UPDATE: Both the AP and the AFP are confirming Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed in Libya earlier today.
Previously:

This is terrible news.
But there are reports that photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros have been killed in Libya.
The news was first posted on fellow photographer Andre Liohn's Facebook page. Liohn is reportedly at the hospital and later updated his status in the comments to say that Hondros has died

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Libyan preachers attack Gadhafi from pulpit

BENGHAZI, Libya – Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi's secret police once haunted the country's mosques, locking up, torturing and killing Muslim preachers whose talk they considered a threat.
Now that rebels in the country's east have shaken off the regime's control, those same clerics are using the newfound freedom of speech here to attack Gadhafi from the pulpit while defining the society they'd like to see if he falls.

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - For besieged Libyan city, the sea is sole lifeline

ABOARD THE IONIAN SPIRIT, off Libya – This Greek passenger ferry streamed toward the besieged Libyan port city of Misrata on Wednesday, its mission to deliver 500 tons of food and medical supplies and spirit away 1,000 people fleeing weeks of heavy shelling by forces loyal to ruler Moammar Gadhafi.
The ferry is part of a flotilla of ships, fishing trawlers and tug boats that have become the lifeline for the last significant rebel-held city in western Libya as it tries to hold out against a crippling siege that has dragged on for more than 50 days, devastating the city of 300,000.

(h/t dibsa 4/20) - Rebels: Libyan army shells western mountain towns

MISRATA, Libya – Moammar Gadhafi's troops clashed with opposition forces Wednesday in this besieged coastal city and shelled a mountain town, rebels said, as the Libyan leader sought to quell resistance in the western part of the country that is largely under his control.
France and Italy promised more support for Libya's opposition, saying they would join Britain in sending military advisers to help the rebels break a battlefield stalemate. A rebel spokesman welcomed the advisers as a big help.

(h/tDibsa 4/20) - Libya rebels plead for help; Kadhafi son defiant

MISRATA, Libya (AFP) – A rebel official in Libya's besieged city of Misrata pleaded for Britain and France to send troops to help fight Moamer Kadhafi's forces, while a son of the strongman said he was "very optimistic" his father's regime will prevail.
A senior member of Misrata's governing council, Nuri Abdullah Abdullati, said they were asking for the troops on the basis of "humanitarian" principles, in the first request by insurgents for boots on the ground.

(h/t Dibsa 4/19) - NATO says it cannot stop shelling of Libyan city

TRIPOLI, Libya – NATO military commanders conceded Tuesday they are unable to stop Moammar Gadhafi's shelling of the rebel-held city of Misrata, where hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties, while Britain said it will dispatch senior military officers to advise the opposition.
Misrata, Libya's third-largest city, has been under siege for nearly two months, with rebels holding on to seaside positions in the port area. In recent days, Libyan troops have pounded the city with shells and rockets.

RESOURCES:
The full text of UN Resolution 1970 on Libya.
The full text of UN Resolution 1973 on Libya.
President Obama's letter to Congress regarding commencement of operations in Libya. (h/t greenbird)
Al Jazeera Libyan live blog. (h/t jnhobbs)
UK Telegraph Libyan live blog. (h/t bee tzu)
BBC Libyan live blog found here. (h/t greenbird)
The New Yorker Dispatches from Libya. (h/t suejazz)
BBC's Libyan crisis mapped. (h/t phil S 33)
revolutionology is a blog from an American in Benghazi

MAURITANIA
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/06 ) - Mauritania Opposition Wants Senatorial Election Postponed

The polls should only take place once “an agreement between the political parties to assure the transparency and the regularity of the ballot” is secured, the Coordination of the Democratic Opposition said in an e-mailed statement today from Nouakchott, the capital.

MOROCCO
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/19 ) - Morocco's monarchy: Reform or fall

WHEN a protest movement sprang up in Morocco on February 20th King Muhammad VI chose to ignore it. The next day he spoke of speeding up reforms, but ignored calls for radical change. This infuriated pro-democracy campaigners, who promised to protest again. But then, on March 9th, he suddenly changed tack, calling for a drastic overhaul of the constitution, echoing the protesters’ main demand. Parliament and the courts, he said, would become more independent. Power would be devolved to regional councils. The prime minister would have more clout. And the Berbers, known as Amazigh, would have more rights too.

...

The promise of constitutional reform has been widely welcomed by Moroccans and may, for a while, avert the turmoil that has engulfed much of the region. But protesters have continued to take to the streets in big numbers every weekend since March 20th. Many say that a constitutional commission appointed by the king is bound to reaffirm his executive power. A Spanish- or British-style monarchy is not yet, they sigh, in the offing.

...

Citizens’ initiatives are sprouting, with local councils and firms accused of corruption and overcharging for municipal services. The king’s constitutional initiative may lead to the institutional breakthrough many hoped for at the start of his reign in 1999. But if it stalls, a wave of even angrier protest may well erupt in September. So the next few months will be critical to the king’s survival.

OMAN/QATAR
(h/t UnaSpenser 04/20 ) - Have Oman and Qatar escaped the Arab revolts?

"Oman," she says, "is still a bomb waiting to explode."
Unemployment is relatively high in Oman, which has only limited oil reserves and is one of the poorest of the oil-producing countries.

Outside the Majlis al-Shura, the consultative assembly, there is a permanent encampment of protesters demanding jobs. They say they will not budge until their demands are met.
Sultan Qaboos has ruled as an absolute monarch for the past 40 years.

...

On the other hand, even if jobs are not a problem in a country with an economic growth rate approaching 20% a year, Qatar is still an absolute monarchy, with a ruler, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose family have run the place since the mid-1800s.
So why are Qataris not demanding democracy, in the same way as so many others are elsewhere in the Arab world?

The reply I get from a Qatari student is simple enough: "If you have everything you need, who needs democracy?"

SAUDI ARABIA
(h/t dibsa 4/20) - Saudi arrests over 160 dissidents: HRW

DUBAI (AFP) – Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 160 dissidents since February, including writer Nadhir al-Majid, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, calling for their release.
"Saudi authorities have arrested over 160 peaceful dissidents in violation of international human rights law since February 2011," HRW said in a statement

SYRIA
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Thousands protest in Syria, brushing off reforms

BEIRUT – Thousands of students held demonstrations Wednesday against Syria's authoritarian regime, brushing off President Bashar Assad's sweeping declarations of reform as the country's growing protest movement vowed to stage the biggest rallies to date on Friday.
The monthlong uprising in Syria has posed the biggest challenge to the 40-year ruling dynasty of President Bashar Assad and his father before him. On Tuesday, Syria did away with 50 years of emergency rule — but emboldened and defiant crowds accused Assad of simply trying to buy time while he clings to power.

TUNISIA
(h/t Dibsa 4/19) - Tunisian court drops case at heart of protests

TUNIS, Tunisia – A Tunisian court dropped charges Tuesday against a policewoman whose dispute with a fruit vendor sparked a chain of events that unleashed uprisings around the Arab world.
The state news agency TAP says the case against Fedia Hamdi was closed after the vendor's family withdrew its original complaint. The family says it acted in a gesture of tolerance and an effort to heal wounds suffered in Tunisia's upheaval of recent months.

(h/t Dibsa 4/18) - Tunisian policewoman whose slap sparked massive revolts in Arab world to be tried

Fadia Hamdi, the Tunisian policewoman whose slap of Mohammad Bouazizi, a vegetable seller has changed geopolitics in the Arab world, is to be tried for physical aggression and verbal abuse, a public prosecutor said.
The 34-year-old woman has been in police custody since January and last week the prosecutor rejected a call by her lawyer to allow her to go home

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
(h/t Dibsa 4/20 ) - UAE Foreign Minister Says No One “Above the Law” After Arrests

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan warned that no one “is above the law,” when asked about the recent arrests of several pro-democracy activists.
“The prosecution in the U.A.E. has sent subpoenas to a number of people,” Sheikh Abdullah said in Abu Dhabi today. ‘This is fully in procedure with laws and rules of U.A.E. We have full trust in our judiciary and I do not believe that any person is above the law.” He didn’t elaborate on the charges or say how many people have been arrested

WESTERN SAHARA
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - US and key nations disagree with independence supporters on human rights in Western Sahara

The U.S. and other key nations are backing a new U.N. resolution on the disputed Western Sahara that mentions human rights for the first time, but the group promoting independence for the mineral-rich north African territory said Tuesday it doesn't go far enough.
The long-simmering issue of human rights in Western Sahara bubbled to the surface in November when Moroccan forces tore down a tent camp in Western Sahara where 20,000 people were protesting discrimination and deprivation at the hands of the Moroccan government with deadly results. It has gained additional momentum as a result of the protests against authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and north Africa

YEMEN
(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Fresh violence breaks out in Yemen

One person has been killed after a gunman on a motorcycle fired at a Yemeni anti-government protest camp in the coastal town of al-Hudaydah.
The attack happened as Muslim dawn prayers were being held in al-Nasr Square on Wednesday, witnesses said.
"One protester was killed and around eight others were wounded," Arafat Makki, a member of the protest organising committee, said.

(h/t Dibsa 4/20) - Motorcycle gunmen strafe Yemen protest

SANAA, Yemen – Gunmen on motorcycles sped by and opened fire on hundreds of demonstrators camped out in the early hours of the morning Wednesday in a Yemeni port city, killing one and wounding several protesters, an opposition activist said.
Radwan al-Obisi said the protesters in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida were demanding the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh when they were attacked by thugs hired by the ruling party.
The two months of anti-government turmoil in this impoverished nation is threatening to spiral out of control as nearly daily protests across the country are being violently suppressed by security forces

It bears repeating - Please Rec this diary.

Our Egyptian brethren articulated what people around the region are fighting for, though variations to the theme may exist from country to country. banner held by protesters and translated to English:

1 The departure of Mubarak
2 An end to the current Parliament
3 An end of the state of emergency
4 The creation of a national united government
5 A parliament elected by the people to modify the constitution and run the presidential elections
6 Put those responsible for the killings on trial
7 Put those responsible for stealing the country's money and other acts of corruption on trial

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Resources:

Note: The old Mothership Diary has good list of resources.

Al Jazeera English - Watch Live (the Youtube link below should work for Mac users unable to load this.)

Al Jazeera live also available on: Dish Network channel 9410 OR DirecTV Channel 375 Link

Al Jazeera on Facebook: - http: //www.facebook.com/aljazeera

Al Jazeera Live on YouTube
English Stream http://www.youtube.com/...
Arabic Stream http://www.youtube.com/...

BBC Middle East reporting
BBC Middle East and Arab Unrest

WorldWideTahrir{NEW} : Worldwide protests being organized to coincide with the upcoming ones in Egypt.
bicycle Hussein paladin - Why Iran 1979 Went to the Islamists and This One Won't

People to follow on twitter: - please suggest people for specific countries. Thank you!

@ArabRevolution - Region
@Dima_Khatib - Region

@March15Syria - Syria

@JNovak_Yemen - Yemen
@WomanfromYemen - Yemen

@Gheblawi - Libya
@ShababLibya - Libya
@feb17voices - Libya
@DrsForLibya - Libya
@libyanexpat - Libya

@lissnp - Iran
@prsianbanoo - Iran

@sandmonkey - Egypt
@JRamyRaoof - Egypt
@Elazul - Egypt
@Ssirgany - Egypt
@sharifkouddous
@monasosh
@ioerror
@ElBaradei
@SultanAlQassemi
@evanchill
@glcarlstrom
@nolanjazeera
@3arabawy
@shadihamid
@bencnn
@arabist
@speaktotweet: Egyptian Voice Tweets on Twitter

Previous Child Diaries:

Egypt and the Region Liveblog Archive by unaspenser


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Comment Preferences

  •  Very informative diary with great links (10+ / 0-)

    today UnaSpenser. Thanks again for everyone's hard work getting this information together and published here so that we can keep track of the ongoing situations.

    History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:56:57 AM PDT

  •  Libya: Rebels capture border post - BBC (10+ / 0-)

    Libya: Rebels 'capture Wazin post' on Tunisian border
    21 April 2011 Last updated at 11:49 ET

    Libyan rebels have overrun a post on the Tunisian border in a rare advance against government troops in the west of the country, reports say.

    The reported capture of the Wazin crossing follows instense fighting in the area.

    Witnesses said dozens of Libyan soldiers had turned themselves over to the Tunisian military at the border.


    ( .. )
    The Wazin border post lies on the main road linking the Libyan town of Nalut to Dehiba, in Tunisia.

    Reports say the rebels seized the post on Thursday after up to 100 pro-Gaddafi soldiers fled to Tunisia.

    Tunisia's state-run TAP news agency said an entire brigade had defected, including a brigadier-general and two majors.

  •  How's your Chinese? (0+ / 0-)

    [The artists formerly known as Quill Mike Eat Brains]

    by WOIDgang on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:22:27 AM PDT

  •  Syria: Students crackdown on students (7+ / 0-)

    The Syrian revolution on campus
    Al Jazeera 21 Apr 2011 15:56

    Pro-government students launched brutal crackdown on protesting peers at Damascus University, amid nationwide unrest.

    Holding olive branches and flowers in their hands 150 medical students gathered outside their faculty at Damascus University, their white coats bright in the midday sun.

    Outraged at the news that more than a dozen protesters had been killed in Homs in two days, the students dared the previously unthinkable: a rally against the regime on a campus where even a whisper of politics could land you in jail.

    "God, Syria, freedom only", they chanted, their voices reverberating around the university buildings.

    From across the campus a large crowd of some 500 students from the Students' Union, which is run by the Baath party, slowly descended on the protesters. The call for freedom was soon drowned out. "God, Syria, Bashar only", came the rhythmic chant, the familiar refrain of the regime's supporters.

    "We tried to ignore them at first, but they kept coming closer", said Mohammad, 22, one of the student protesters. "Then they began to beat us with wooden sticks and their belts."

    The white coats scattered, olive branches and flowers left to be trampled underfoot. "There were so many of them and we didn't want to fight," said Mohammed.

    "I feel sorry for them, because they do the dirty work of the security services. We were afraid of the secret police, but now we are afraid of our friends who sit next to us or live with us in the same dorms. It is a shame."

  •  I fear for th possible bloodshed in Syria tomorrow (9+ / 0-)

    Thank you, Una....this MENA series is so important.

  •  Reuters reporting: Libya (7+ / 0-)
    WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) - The United States is starting to use armed Predator drones in Libya to target Muammar Gaddafi's forces after President Barack Obama approved their use, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.

    The unmanned aircraft, already used to target militants along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, will allow for more precise attacks against Gaddafi's forces, Gates told a news conference.

    "He (Obama) has approved the use of armed Predators," Gates said.

    Its *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:44:41 PM PDT

    •  Heh... the ultimate in asymetric warfare (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges, neroden, poco, lotlizard, Lepanto

      "War by GameBoy(TM)".

      The US forces get sit in an air conditioned war room on an American base twiddling a joy stick and blasting their enemies into eternity on a video screen. After an eight hour shift, they go home to the wife and kiddies, enjoy a nice hot meal, then relax on the couch for a bit of TV before heading to bed.

      Obama talked about this in his book The Audacity of Hope.  He called for modernizing the military and giving them "over the horizon capabilities". His wet dream has come true. The US military will no longer have any "skin in the game".

      Americans get very upset if one of their own gets killed in their wars. But if people at the receiving end die then it's just "collateral damage" and no one loses any sleep. With enough drones, America can now engage in perpetual war because it is only when they lose too many of their own do they stop the killing.

      Don't be surprised if retribution is taken out on un-protected American civilians around the world as payback.

      •  of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MartyM

        qaddafi with blood on his hands of 1.2 million people - gets a free pass.

        "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

        by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:13:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden
          •  yesterday (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MartyM, Lawrence

            when you were posting articles that were in effect praising qaddafi for rounding up islamists he was calling al qaeda, i countered with an article by chomsky that showed qaddafi played a part in the death and casualty of 1.2 million people by his support of charles taylor. what does this show? it reveas qaddafi as being the bigger terrorist.

            something anti-intervention critics gloss over.

            "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

            by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:02:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you have a link to the specific charges (0+ / 0-)

              I would like to find out more details. All I can find is that Taylor was in Libya and that Gaddafi supported him as well as setting up his World Revolutionary Center (WRC) which appears to be the counterpart to the US's infamous "School of the Americas" in Libya.

              I assume you know of this bloody SofA?

              http://www.youtube.com/...
              School of ASSASSINS 1/2

              I would also like to find out why the US and UK stopped the indictment. Maybe if Gaddafi was arrested at that time, we would not have the bloodshed we now see in Libya. BTW, are these nations not also now complicit in the atrocities, both recent and past, that occurred by their failure to take Gaddafi to task? Does money trump justice? Will further complicity in the atrocities by western powers over blood diamonds and oil possibly have been revealed?

              I found this snippet:

              http://www.nairaland.com/...
              Gaddafi Slams Nigeria for Handing over Taylor
              By Frank Kintum with agency report, 06.02.2006

              The acceptance of Nigeria to hand over former Liberian President, Charles Taylor for war crimes trial by a United Nations Tribunal has been condemned by Libyan President, Muamar Gaddafi who described it as unacceptable precedent that threatened all African leaders.
              ...
              According to Gaddafi, handing Taylor to the ICC would undermine Africa's credibility and seriously harm Nigeria, which could no longer be considered a haven.
              "This also means that every (African) head of state could meet a similar fate -- this sets a serious precedent," he said.
              Gaddafi has sought a leading role in African disputes, trying to mediate a peace deal in Darfur and sooth tensions between Sudan and Chad, and each time fiercely opposing outside intervention in the continent's affairs.
              "Taylor must stay in Nigeria without facing any trial and without being handed over to any tribunal because there is absolutely no right for that," the Libyan leader said.
              "When I talk about Taylor I might not agree with his policies but a principle should be applied," he added.

              I don't find much about Gaddafi's involvement with Taylor at wiki. But, there's some interesting items about US involvement.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...
              Charles Taylor (Liberia)

              The same case of training, emplacing and supporting violent regimes can be made against the US but orders of magnitude greater. Hundreds of billions of dollars higher in monetary terms. The US is the leading exporter of arms in the world, accounting for over half.

              Chomsky:
              I have been accused of everything and that therefore includes being a reactionary. From my personal experience there are two countries in which my political writings can basically not appear. One is the U.S. within the mainstream with very rare exceptions. The other is the USSR..I think what we ought to do is to try to understand the truth about the world. And the truth about the world is usually quite unpleasant. My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one's actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

              I could list hundreds of atrocities  by the US. This is one that I find most disgusting because it is a continuing current problem.
              Agent Orange

              BTW, committing an atrocity to counter another is not a valid excuse.

              when you were posting articles that were in effect praising qaddafi for rounding up islamists

              You are reading your own thoughts into my words. I never once praised Gaddafi. I just posted the facts as best as I could in search of truth and tried to back them up.

              But, I can get you US State Department (Bush and Obama) wikileaks cables as well as official public documents that do, in fact, praise Gaddafi for his hard line position against "Islamic terrorists and Al Qaeda"* (* their words not mine)

    •  jhc, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      about freaking time.

      "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

      by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:09:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Predator Drones: Joking over innocent deaths? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard
        http://www.youtube.com/...

        Predator Drones: Joking over innocent deaths?

        As Washington expands its drone strikes in Pakistan, the number of civilians killed in the attacks keeps rising. Hundreds of people have died since 2004 and critics say the program only helps fuel the conflict and creates new militants rather than eliminating them.

        •  what's your answer then (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MartyM, Lawrence, Claudius Bombarnac

          to get the regime to stop shelling misurata?

          "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

          by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:53:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Put some REAL bargaining chips on the table (0+ / 0-)

            and negotiate a ceasefire. If the US, UK and EU continue escalation, the blow back throughout the region will be very severe.

            Here's a good article along these lines which includes some muscle. Remember WACO? You can't back a dangerous animal into a corner with a roomful of innocents. Pride and arrogance was America's downfall in that case.

            http://english.ruvr.ru/...
            Gordian knot of the Libyan war

            Ricardo Alcaro, researcher with the Institute of International Affairs in Rome, Italy:
            ...
            The problem with the operation in Libya is what in military jargon is called “mission creep”. So we started with one objective, clearly stated in the UN Security Council resolution 1973, that authorized military force against Libya, and this objective is protection of civilians; and we end up with another objective, which was in a way implicit in the former objective, - which is forced regime change by foreign arms. This is not foreseen by no means in the resolution of the Security Council and it is not acceptable to many countries outside the Western world.
            ...
            So, what to do? We have many options here: you may either intensify the military operation by, for instance, intensifying the bombing campaign, you may put boots on ground, which is the ground operation option; you can arm the rebels. I do think that all these options are very problematic and besides they are unlikely to really resolve the problem. If you like, I can go through the three options point by point.
            ...
            Perhaps another good thing would be to ensure that this political mediation would start a process under the aegis of the United Nations. Another good point would be to involve the African Union as a part of the mediating team within rebels and Gaddafi’s supporters. Of course, it is not certain, that this strategy will succeed, but, as of now and considering all the problems related to the other options, that of arming the rebels, that of intensifying the air strikes, that of putting boots on the ground, to me it seems the most feasible and least risky.


            •  non libyans think they know best (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raistuumum

              what to do for the country while opinions of people who actually live there are disregarded.

              libyans who have endured decades of oppression and experienced first hand his treachery know qaddafi isn't someone they can negotiate with in good faith.

              "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

              by stolen water on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 04:03:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  critics point out protection of civilians (0+ / 0-)

              spelled out in the UN resolution council has morphed to regime change. but how is that contradictory when you can see the consequence with your own eyes that allowing qaddafi to remain in power means civilians are being slaughtered.

              removing qaddafi from power = protection of civilians.

              we're not going to do it ourselves, libyans will do so. we are there to empower them to do so.

              "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

              by stolen water on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 04:08:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a civil war. People are getting slaughtered (0+ / 0-)

                on both sides. Gaddafi's military are Libyans also and they have families. We don't know why they are still fighting and slow to defect.

                BTW, where are those 1000's of trained troops that defected from all the military bases in the east? Why aren't they fighting on the front line? Where are all their commanders?

                When this uprising started I thought Gaddafi's army would defect, join the rebels and the push to the west would grow larger and stronger and better organized. Then, as the days, then weeks passed, I mostly saw inexperienced men and boys wearing running shoes getting more and more disorganized.

  •  U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, neroden, lotlizard
    http://www.nytimes.com/...
    U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings
    By RON NIXON
    Published: April 14, 2011

    A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

    What is the International Republican Institute?

    Board of Directors:
    * U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman

    from wiki:
    The IRI received about $1.2 million from the National Endowment for Democracy in 2009 in order to support think tanks and lobby groups opposing Honduran president Manuel Zelaya (such as the Unión Cívica Democrática), and to "support initiatives to implement political positions during the campaigns in 2009" following the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis.

    Here's the result in Honduras after the US assisted in ousting the democratically elected in a coup:

    http://therealnews.com/...

    * Special Report: Honduran Teachers get Shock Treatment

    Post-coup regime in Honduras carrying out unprecedented assault on most organized sector of the resistance, the teachers  April 18, 11

    * Brutal Repression in Honduras Targets Teachers, Popular Resistance

    Weeks of demonstrations continue against de-facto regime and its plans to privatize public education  March 31, 2011

    * Students Battle Police at Honduran University

    Students and teachers defend against police attack on resistance movement at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras  April 1, 2011

    * Report from Land Occupations in Post-Coup Honduras

    Poor farmers are taking land from agribusiness that supported the 2009 military coup--and paying with their lives  March 31, 2011

    * Honduran Regime Targets Musicians

    Café Guancasco, a favorite of the coup resistance movement, sees concert attacked by police and military  September 28, 10

    That is what is in store for the people of Libya once the neoliberal vultures gain control of the country.

    See here what Zelaya did for his country in two years and see why America's neoliberals had to ensure he was ousted:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/...
    My father has been punished for helping Honduras

    The struggle of Honduras is a struggle for all nations

    The other two groups fare no better in destroying democracies not to the liking of Washington.

    •  hum (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs, MartyM, Lawrence

      libya wasnt exactly a democracy before the uprising of its people; this isnt an american plot. America has become halfly involved in it as it gets into everything; far more involved are we (europeans of very doubtful intentions and abilities) and fellow mideasterners (of even more doubtful intentions). Theres enough cloak and dagger in the world even without America ...  

      Ici s´arrète la loi.

      by marsanges on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:09:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The US has already tried to overthrow (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, lotlizard

        Gaddafi three times in the past. They are taking advantage of this window of opportunity to finish the job.

        In any event, Libya's oil, bank, schools, health services and infrastructure will eventually be privatized to the detriment of the people under the neoliberal ideology of some of the National Council's Americanized leadership.

        Unfortunately, there is a good possibility of an extended civil war after Gaddafi is tossed out. There will also be bloodshed if the new 'democracy' is not of the American's choosing.

        •  The following is total speculation: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges, Gustogirl
          In any event, Libya's oil, bank, schools, health services and infrastructure will eventually be privatized to the detriment of the people under the neoliberal ideology of some of the National Council's Americanized leadership.

          And I'd suggest that you really start talking to some Libyans because, according to all that I have spoken to, their health services sucked, their schools and infrastructure were far worse than they should be in an oil-rich nation, and the proceeds from their oil went to enriching the neoliberal, kleptocratic Gaddafi clan instead of going to the Libyan people.  When Gaddafi is gone, Libyans will get to choose their own govt. for the first time, and if they don't like what it is doing, they'll have the option of tossing them out.  Libyans are not dumb children... they're going to decide for themselves what they want and that's a good thing.

          Unfortunately, there is a good possibility of an extended civil war after Gaddafi is tossed out. There will also be bloodshed if the new 'democracy' is not of the American's choosing.

          More speculation.  A civil war between who, pray tell?  Libyans have a greater sense of unity than many other Arab nations... so stoking fears of some protracted civil war after Gaddafi seems pretty ill-informed.  In fact, that is a meme that keeps getting thrown out there by the Gaddafi Regime propaganda machine.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:01:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Time will tell (0+ / 0-)

            BTW, Libya was under US/UN sanction from 1996 to 2006. This was followed by the world wide recession in 2008. This took a very big bite out of revenues.

            Despite what your sources say, Libya's GDP(PPP) and HDI went up and are the highest in Africa. Compare to conditions in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia - America's oil partners.

            Keep in mind where they started. Most of the MENA countries went backwards for the ordinary people (as did America's) and some were far, far richer than Libya w/o sanctions.

            Health services suck big time in the US for a quarter of the population and they have a GDP four times as large. I've seen pictures of hospitals, clinics and new ambulances in the videos. Some of America's schools, on a comparative GDP basis are much worse - especially in low income areas.

            According to American data, Libya military is 1.1% of GDP. America's is almost 40%. America's infrastructure is disintegrating. Libya's was on the increase. Why do you think there were 1.6 million foreign workers in Libya. How much was invested in The Great Manmade River that was rapidly decreasing Libya's reliance on expensive imported food?

            Gaddafi was a bastard dictator but certainly not the worst. I've posted the US reports on various countries here. Have a read and compare.

            neoliberal, kleptocratic Gaddafi clan

            You don't seem to understand what neoliberalism is:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...
            Neoliberalism describes a market-driven[1] approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that stresses the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the political and economic priorities of the state.
            A civil war between who, pray tell?

            Something is motivating Gaddafi's forces that they have stopped defecting and are fighting to the death. The playing field was leveled and the rebels now have a defacto air force - how come there's a stalemate.

            •  You're making ridiculous comparisons. (0+ / 0-)

              You previously compared Libya to Egypt and Tunisia, while completely ignoring that Libya has a higher per capita amount of oil than virtually all other nations.  If Libya does it right, they'll have a HDI similar to, or better than, Norway.  No Libyan should be having to work two jobs to earn 300 dollars, like many currently are.

              The comparison to Nigeria is extremely un-informed, as Nigeria has a population that is 25 to 30 times higher than in LIbya while having less oil than Libya.

              The people of Libya should be amongst the wealthiest in the world, yet in many cities there the roads are unpaved, the infrastructure sucks, and medical service are sub-par, at best.

              That you would use the "Great" manmade river project as an example shows that you are severely ill-informed about Libya.  That project is one of the most blatant examples for the stupidity, waste, and megalomania of the regime.  It taps fossil, non-renewable water reservoirs in the desert and pumps that to the coast, which is one of the dumbest things that one could be doing.  For the 30 billion spent on that project, Libya could be producing all its water from solar-powered de-salination plants, getting all its electricity and heat from solar power, and still have tons of money to spare.  Pumping fossil water resources to the coast is just about one of the dumbest things that one can do.

              And I know damn well what neoliberalism means.  Where do think Gaddafi's kleptocratic clan has been investing the money stolen from the Libyan people?!  In firms that represent the epitome of neoliberalism!  Here's a list of where they have accounts:

                 * Goldman Sachs
                  * JP Morgan
                  * Fortis
                  * Export-Import Bank of the United States
                  * Citigroup
                  * Carlyle Group
                  * Blackstone
                  * Unicredit
                  * FM Capital Partners
                  * Boston Generating LLC
               

              http://de.wikipedia.org/...

              And jfyi, Gaddafi forces are continuing to defect.  As for the reason why some are still fighting hard... some Libyans are part of the kleptocratic class and clan that is going to lose out big if Gaddafi is removed and others are getting paid gobs to do so.  

              You may think that there is a stalemate, but the reality is that Gaddafi forces are gradually being pushed out of Misurata, continue to lose heavy equipment all over Libya, are not managing to take the western mountain range, and are also gradually being pushed back in the east.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:15:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not really (0+ / 0-)
                If Libya does it right, they'll have a HDI similar to, or better than, Norway.  No Libyan should be having to work two jobs to earn 300 dollars, like many currently are.

                As I have stated, Libya has been under sanctions for 10 years which affected it's income drastically. Most of it's oil fields were not developed due to lack of expertise.  Nigeria was pumping oil all this time.

                After the sanctions were lifted, the oil companies came in and started to develop the fields at very attractive rates in order to get them to invest in a "socialistic" country. Once their original leases expired, Gaddafi doubled the royalties, made them pay more of the development costs and increased signing bonuses in order to keep more money for the country. He also made them train and use Libyan labor. This pissed off several of the US and UK oil companies and they refused to sign new leases last year. He warned that if the western nations tried to pillage Libya's oil, he would look to the east. The Chinese and Russians then made offers.

                Where do think Gaddafi's kleptocratic clan has been investing the money stolen from the Libyan people?!  In firms that represent the epitome of neoliberalism!

                This doesn't look like "stolen" money to me:

                Libyan Investment Authority is the English name for the State Fund of Libya . This was in August 2006 [1] General People's Committee, with an initial capital of 40 billion U.S. dollars, built by. The aim of the fund is surplus from oil exports and thus create diversified the state to reduce dependence on oil exports to.

                The State Fund is just a sovereign fund like Norway's. If there was no fund, I would wonder where the money went. This was a wise investment for the country. It is owned by the country so this is definitively NOT neoliberal. Most of the companies, banks, schools, hospitals, clinics, etc in Libya are state owned. That's DEFINITELY NOT neoliberal. Control and ownership are not the same thing.

                Too bad the US doesn't have a Sovereign Fund for it's people with money from it's natural resources. But, it all went into the pockets of the 1%. That's neoliberalism - private ownership of natural resources.

                http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
                Norway's sovereign wealth fund: £259bn and growing

                Each morning Yngve Slyngstad heads to his office at the top floor of Norway's central bank and checks how the investments of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund outside the Middle East are doing. At £259bn, they have never been higher and could easily cover the UK's £175bn budget deficit.

                The fund, in which Norway saves its oil and gas revenues from the North Sea, has become so large that it now owns more than 1% of the world's shares, is Europe's biggest equity investor and speaks for 1.7% of all listed European companies.

                Look at the names in this list. The only ones I recognize are some on the new National Council. Looks legitimate to me. All these people are part of the Libyan government.

                Foundation Board of Trustees (Trustees Council)
                Board (Board of Directors)
                It taps fossil, non-renewable water reservoirs in the desert and pumps that to the coast,

                United Nations Environment Programme
                Great Man-made River Project

                At current extraction rates the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is not likely to be depleted for a thousand years. Nevertheless, it is shared among four African nations: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Chad, Sudan, and Egypt. The concern of environmentalists is that eventually people will drain the aquifer faster than nature can renew it.

                Libya has been steadily decreasing it's needs for food imports due to irrigation. This should reduce the amount of subsidies. Desalination is useless for irrigation purposes.

                But, Gaddafi was open for desalination:

                http://in.reuters.com/...
                Feb 23 (Reuters) - Singapore's water treatment firm Hyflux said on Wednesday that its projects in Libya could be delayed due to the political uncertainty in the country.

                Hyflux recently won a $100 million engineering, procurement and construction contract for a seawater desalination plant in Tobruk, and was also in negotiations on two projects in Benghazi and Tripoli.

                However, the firm said its two seawater desalination projects in Algeria have not been affected by the demonstrations there and are progressing as scheduled.

                Gaddafi was starting to liberalize Libya

                Libya asks to join WTO, liberalize economy with vibrant private economy, active public role

                The new Libyan prime minister Shukri Ghanem said that Libya intends to apply for the membership of the World Trade Organization. He said that oil will not be privatized, rather will be open to investment, while the public sector will not be removed immediately but will work side by side with the private sector.

                But, he looked around at all the other African states and saw how the neoliberal policies of the World Bank and WTO fucked up every nation they touch and said screw off. Their requests for Libya to privatize oil and some public utilities pushed him over the edge.

                Gaddafi dubs WTO "terrorists", slams Africa-EU ties
                But he warned that in the event of failure Africa had alternatives in the Americas, China and India.

                Africa wanted to deal with "groups that respect our space, our sovereignty, our regimes and that don't interfere in our internal affairs," he said.
                "We call for the elimination of the WTO, because it does not serve our interests," Gaddafi added. "It wants us to open our borders to foreign goods to kill our industries."

                The International Monetary Fund and World Bank "have destroyed Africa" and the word "terrorism" could as well be applied to the World Bank and the WTO as to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he said.

                •  Oh, give me a break. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stolen water

                  What, the Gaddafi Regime is like Norway now, according to your analysis?

                  I find your attempts at excusing the Gaddafi Regime pretty disgusting, tbh.  You know damn well that the Libyan Investment Fund was controlled by the Gaddafi clan and is nothing like the Norwegian fund, which belongs to the people of Norway.  

                  You can post all day that the Great manmade river project fossil water will last 1000 years.  The fact is that those numbers are highly disputed, with some estimates saying that it will only last 30 to 50 years.  And if everyone taps into it like Libya is doing, then it will definitely be gone much faster.  The fact is that it is absolutely stupid to pump fossil water from the interior desert to the coast.

                  And btw, Libya was under sanctions from 1993 to 2003 because Libya bombed a civilian aircraft.  Trying to make an excuse for the Gaddafi Regime because it called U.N. santions upon itself by bringing down a civilian aircraft is pretty low.

                  It's ridiculous how you're trying to make out the Gaddafi Regime to be some kind of benevolent dictatorship, despite all the killings and suppression in the past three decades.

                  As for this:

                  Too bad the US doesn't have a Sovereign Fund for it's people with money from it's natural resources. But, it all went into the pockets of the 1%. That's neoliberalism - private ownership of natural resources.

                  You just defined the Gaddafi Regime as neoliberal, as all the wealth is going to the pockets of less than 1% in Libya, ie. into the Gaddafi clan pockets.

                  But hey, I guess Gaddafi is ok because he is not a western-backed dictator, right?

                  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                  by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 03:26:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  the logic of anti intervention critics (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lawrence

                    goes something like this:

                    "the US is the great satan, therefore qaddafi must be the great anti-imperialism hero."

                    granted, the US has inflicted a lot of evil in the world. that doesn't mean qaddafi is a hero. we didn't even take the lead to call for intervention. this was britain and france's initiative.

                    "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

                    by stolen water on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 04:22:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not excusing Gaddafi at all (0+ / 0-)

                    Just stating the truth.

                    The fact is that those numbers are highly disputed, with some estimates saying that it will only last 30 to 50 years.

                    Who's estimates?

                    You just defined the Gaddafi Regime as neoliberal,

                    One more time. Libya is a socialist state. Socialism is not neoliberism - it is the opposite.

                    http://www.corpwatch.org/...
                    The main points of neo-liberalism include:

                       1.      THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

                       2.      CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

                       3.      DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.

                       4.      PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

                       5.      ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

                    as all the wealth is going to the pockets of less than 1% in Libya, ie. into the Gaddafi clan pockets.

                    The very fact that the GDP(PPP) and HDI are the highest in Africa despite sanctions, 100% literacy rate, free health, free education to tertiary levels, low unemployment, low poverty, subsidized housing, farming and food, life expectancy equal to that of Europe, low rate of incarceration and very large (and expensive) civil infrastructure projects tells us that a considerable amount of the oil money is going to the people considering where they started from.

                    He has also spent a lot of money outside the country, just as other nations such as the US to curry favor and extend his area of influence.

                    Gaddafi and his clan may be siphoning off several million but, that is to be expected. He is, after all, a dictator. I've never said he was an angel. But he is not a complete devil and he will have followers within the country. We need to know how many. If there is a significant number, it will play a part in the events that follow.

                    The dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have shared much less of the wealth of their countries with their people.

                    Demonizing the enemy doesn't wash with me. I only want what's best for the people.

                    With all the things NATO is now doing, this is no longer a peoples revolution and is looking more and more like an intervention. The National Council is controlled by people with strong links to the US and CIA. I hope the people can take it back without a fight.

                    And btw, Libya was under sanctions from 1993 to 2003 because Libya bombed a civilian aircraft.  Trying to make an excuse for the Gaddafi Regime because it called U.N. santions upon itself by bringing down a civilian aircraft is pretty low.

                    There are some significant findings recently that show this may not be true. I will not go into this here.

                    Don't attempt to denigrate me in order to bolster your arguments.

                    •  A socialist state, my ass! (0+ / 0-)

                      Socialist states don't have 30% unemployment.

                      Socialist states don't have an even greater wealth inequality between rulers and ruled than most capitalist nations.

                      Socialist states don't have their citizens traveling to neighboring countries to get treatment because they can't get it at home.

                      Kleptocrat states like Libya give socialism a bad name.  And all the dogmatic socialists out there speaking out as apologists for this absolutely disgusting regime give socialism an even worse name.

                      Gaddafi has robbed tens of billions from the Libyan people.  Quit being an apologist by trying to portray that disgusting regime as some kind of "nice guy dictatorship" that siphons off a "few million".

                      As for this:

                      The National Council is controlled by people with strong links to the US and CIA.

                      Where's the proof for that statement?

                      It's all a big CIA plot to you now, or what?  The Arab Spring is pure fiction, I guess?!

                      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                      by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 02:09:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  As for this: (0+ / 0-)
                      Demonizing the enemy doesn't wash with me. I only want what's best for the people.

                      Nobody has to demonize the Gaddafi Regime.  It does a damn fine job of doing that without anyone else's help.

                      And if you "only want what's best for the people", you better start conversing with some ordinary Libyans a.s.a.p.

                      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                      by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 02:11:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Yemen: GCC offers peace plan - BBC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, lotlizard, MartyM, Odysseus

    Yemen: Gulf bloc offers Ali Abdullah Saleh new proposal
    21 April 2011 Last updated at 17:05 ET

    A grouping of Gulf states has presented Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh with a new proposal in an attempt to end the country's political crisis.

    The plan from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) would see Mr Saleh quit within a month of signing the agreement and hand over to his vice-president.


    ( .. )
    Under the plan, half the members of a new unity cabinet would belong to the ruling party, while 40% would be from the opposition party. The other 10% would be from other political groups.

    It also offers immunity from prosecution to Mr Saleh, his family and aides.


    ( .. )
    Aides to Mr Saleh said he seemed poised to accept the initiative, according to Reuters news agency.
  •  Silent Screams - The drones can't hear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, lotlizard, Lepanto

    the groans of people dying on the ground... do we?

    I'm posting this video due to the fact that the US is sending in it's Predator Drones to escalate the war.

    I hope you have the courage to view it.

    Silent Screams: The Impact of U.S. Drone Attacks

    Uploaded by AlternateFocus on Jun 15, 2010

    Silent Screams deftly interweaves exclusive footage of tribal villagers in Iran with families in neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan. Explicit scenes detail civilian suffering in war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of bombardments by drones, 'unmanned aerial vehicles' controlled remotely by pilots thousands of miles away inside the U.S. Spotlighting the destructive costs of U.S. wars, this documentary adroitly binds the plight of civilian victims abroad with the countless Americans whose vital needs go unmet as a result of spiraling military spending. Silent Screams echoes the desperation around the globe for victims without a voice.

    •  Predator drones are more accurate than high- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      petral, raistuumum

      flying war planes when targeting military targets like they are doing in Libya.

      They'll actually have a better chance of helping the people of Misurata and preventing more civilian casualties than high-flying fighter bombers will.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:09:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why the high rate of "collateral damage" (0+ / 0-)

        in the AfPak region then?

        Watch for reports of civilian and friendly fire deaths.

        •  That has changed to over 90% (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, raistuumum

          if not close to 100% of those killed via drone in the past year being admitted/known to be armed combatants.  

          The reason for the change hasn't been explained.  Some of it is obviously better local intelligence.  (It seems elders in many villages have turned on their extremists, their abusive disrupting effect on civil life, and the murder-suicidal ideology they're about.)  The rest is probably better U.S. military commanders, likely operating with greater care and more evidence and less pressure/interference from higher ups.

          •  Well, it's no longer "100%" (0+ / 0-)
            http://www.salon.com/...
            Friday, Apr 22, 2011 10:23 ET
            Nobel peace drones

            When I saw that, I was going to ask how the NYT could possibly know that the people whose lives the U.S. just ended were "militants," but then I read further in the article and it said this:  "A government official in North Waziristan told Pakistani reporters that five children and four women were among the 23 who were killed."  So at least 9 of the 23 people we killed -- at least -- were presumably not "militants" at all, but rather innocent civilians (contrast how the NYT characterizes Libya’s attacks in its headlines: "Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas").

            That'll teach those militants not to go home after a hard's fighting. Do you think it would be fair to target the American drone operators when they go home after a day's video game warfare?

            http://www.dawn.com/...
            Pakistan urges US to review drone policy

            Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman addressing a joint press conference after meeting at Embassy of Pakistan on Friday. – Photo by APP

            WASHINGTON: The United States needed to review its drone policy as attacks by these unmanned aircraft had become counter-productive, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said on Friday.

            Mr Bashir made this observation at a joint briefing with US Special Representative Mark Grossman who declined to comment on the issue when reminded that a new drone attack had killed 26 people in Pakistan.

            The United States refuses to acknowledge the drone attacks that have killed hundreds of people in the tribal region, causing Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to issue a rare statement condemning the strikes.

            Some of it is obviously better local intelligence.  (It seems elders in many villages have turned on their extremists, their abusive disrupting effect on civil life, and the murder-suicidal ideology they're about.)

            Do you have a link? You do realize that most of the Guantanamo prisoners were innocents turned in for revenge and/or money by local intelligence.

        •  Why are you comparing apples to oranges? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raistuumum

          Targeting tanks, grad missile launchers, and other heavy equipment is far different from targeting insurgents.

          In the AfPak region, the targets are often amongst the civilian population, while civilians in Libya generally try to get as far away as possible from all the tanks, artillery, and armoured vehicles used by Gaddafi Regime forces.

          You're trying to create a false equivalency here.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:20:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Haven't you read some of the posts here? (0+ / 0-)

            Gaddafi's troops are now employing the same methods as the rebels.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
            Libya crisis: Gaddafi forces adopt rebel tactics
            Rebels flee from Ras Lanuf to Uqayla, 12 miles (20 km) on March 30
            Ras Lanuf has now changed hands for the fourth time in three weeks.
            ...
            Now though, it has shown a remarkable degree of flexibility, and has chosen to adopt tactics used by the rebels only a few days ago.
            ...
            Its men are racing forward in the ordinary flat-bed trucks known elsewhere in Africa as 'technicals', with heavy machine-guns or anti-aircraft guns mounted on the back.

            Others are equipped with mortars. Though these are quite light, they often cause great panic among the rebels, and are quick and easy to move forward.

            •  Whatever. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raistuumum

              You know damn well that the Gaddafi regime has continued using tanks and self-propelled artillery to shell Libyan cities.

              But hey, keep trying to convince people that the Gaddafi Regime is not so bad while international intervention is the mother of all evil, if that's what floats your boat.

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 03:29:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have you considered that a large proportion (0+ / 0-)

                of the Libyan population don't think Gaddafi is so bad? I understand that the western half fared better under his regime.

                We have no idea what these people actually think about the situation. Maybe they think that toppling Gaddafi at the expense of bombing the country and killing even more is not the right approach.

                I've never seen an intervention using military force end well. The Balkans are still under UN mandate 20 years later. Their economies have been ripped apart and have yet to recover. Hindsight shows that things could have been done better without all the bombing and killing.

                •  Of course I considered that in the beginning, but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raistuumum

                  it quickly became clear that Gaddafi relies on terror to rule, and not on popular support.

                  Here's a clue for you:

                  when there are popular uprisings in virtually every town of a nation, despite it being very dangerous, then it is not exactly an indicator that a regime has lots of support.

                  I know quite a few Bosnians who would dress you down pretty hard for your statement in regards to the Balkans.
                  Does the Balkans consist merely of Bosnia and Kosovo in your mind?

                  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                  by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 01:38:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  BAHRAIN: Secret terror; emails speak of "genocide" (5+ / 0-)

    A report from the health editor of the U.K. newspaper The Independent:
         Bahrain's secret terror

    Desperate emails speak of 'genocide' as doctors who have treated injured protesters are rounded up

    The intimidation and detention of doctors treating dying and injured pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is revealed today in a series of chilling emails obtained by The Independent.

    At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain's police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. Doctors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.

    There's all that neocon talk of "Islamo-fascism", yet one never hears Western opinion leaders criticize Gulf Co-operation Council countries for their obvious "monarcho-fascism."

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 01:11:08 AM PDT

  •  BAHRAIN: State newspaper threatens UK/US diplomats (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, MartyM, angry marmot, poco, petral

    Gulf Daily News, a Bahraini state mouthpiece, published an op-ed threatening US / UK diplomats who were in contact with protesters:
         Are they only diplomats…?

    As our country returns to normal, it would be very abnormal if we did not highlight and question the role of a diplomat. I hope that we do not need to say that a diplomat is a decent man sent abroad to lie on behalf of his country.

    In a world where immorality is becoming the norm, should we maintain a protocol of immunity for the Diplomatic Corp when they seem to be licensed to harm without any accountability?

    State security is vital. Maintaining law and order is important and whoever abuses these sacred sanctities of a nation should be considered persona non grata.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 01:26:37 AM PDT

  •  Syria: Protests resume - BBC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, Lawrence, poco, petral

    Syria: Anti-Assad protests resume after Friday prayers
    22 April 2011 Last updated at 07:27 ET

    Crowds are reported to be swelling on the streets of Syria as protests against President Bashar al-Assad's government resume after Friday prayers.

    Troops are said to be on the streets of Homs, with thousands reportedly marching on the edge of Damascus and protests in the city of Deraa.

    In concessions to protesters on Thursday, President Assad formally ended five decades of emergency rule.

    Human rights groups say more than 200 people have died in weeks of protests.

    A spokesman for Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Mr Assad "has the opportunity to prove his intentions by allowing (Friday's) protests to proceed without violent repression".

    "The reforms will only be meaningful if Syria's security services stop shooting, detaining, and torturing protesters," said Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director.

  •  Oman: large protests in the south (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, Lawrence, petral

    Reuters via al-Masry al-Youm, Protesters stage Oman's biggest pro-reform demonstration

    Salalah -- Some 3000 protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers in Oman's southern port of Salalah in one of the biggest pro-reform demonstrations since scattered unrest began in the sultanate two months ago.

    Instead of conducting prayers in a mosque, a preacher held them in a car park across the street from the governor's office, where about 3000 worshippers had gathered. They marched through the streets after his sermon.

    "The Omani people are not afraid of protesting for as long as it takes for reform, first and foremost is to get government officials, who have been embezzling funds for years, to stand trial," the cleric, Amer Hargan, told the crowd.
    [more]

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:07:35 AM PDT

  •  Egypt: continuing protests in Qena governorate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, Lawrence

    al-Masry al-Youm, Qena protesters call for PM's resignation as cabinet confirms governor's appointment

    Qena residents who are protesting the appointment of a Coptic governor with ties to the former regime escalated their demands by also calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his deputy, Yehia al-Gamal.

    This came in response to a cabinet statement condemning the protest as illegal and confirming the governor's appointment.

    The protesters are preparing for what they call a million-man anger demonstration after Friday prayers.
    [more]

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:09:55 AM PDT

  •  Yemen: Saleh's conditional welcome of GCC plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, Lawrence

    Reuters via Al-Ahram, Yemen's Saleh conditionally welcomes transition plan

    [in full]
    Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh welcomed a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative for a power transfer, but said it must fit with constitutional laws, suggesting he may try to stay in power until his term ends in 2013.

    "We welcome the initiative from the Gulf Cooperation Council and we will deal with it positively within the framework of the Yemeni constitution," Saleh told a crowd of supporters in Sanaa.

    According to Yemen's constitution, Saleh's five-year term of office expires in 2013. The GCC plan in its current format seeks Saleh's resignation within a month of the initiative's enactment.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:12:42 AM PDT

  •  Egypt: protection of Good Friday services (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, poco, stolen water, Lawrence, petral, ferg

    Al-Ahram, Egypt's Muslims to act as human shields to protect Coptic Easter prayers

    [in full]
     Several Facebook groups and event invitations have been circulating calling on Muslims to head to churches on Saturday and Sunday to act as human shields for Coptic prayers during Easter holidays.

    Considering the latest sectarian tensions and hate speech that have hit the country, especially after the mass demonstrations witnessed at Qena demanding the resignation of the governor for being a Christian, many fear that Egypt’s Coptic community may be at risk.

    Muslims have before turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass, offering their bodies and lives as “shields” to protect Egypt’s Christian community following the terror attacks that struck the country on New Year’s Eve, targeting the Two Saints Church in Alexandria and leaving 21 dead.

    Similarly, durign Egypt's revolution, Christians in Tahrir Square acted as human shields to protecting praying Muslims as the demonstrators were threatened by attacks from pro-regime thugs and snipers.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 05:15:41 AM PDT

  •  Libya: McCain in Benghazi - Guardian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, poco, Lawrence

    John McCain praises 'heroic' rebels on visit to Libya
    guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 April 2011 12.02 BST

    US senator John McCain, one of Congress's most vocal supporters of military intervention in Libya, said rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi's troops were his heroes and praised their efforts to overthrow the dictator.

    The most senior Republican on the Senate armed services committee made the remarks during a visit to Benghazi yesterdayon Friday, before a meeting with opposition leaders to assess the situation on the ground. He is the most senior US official to visit the rebel-held eastern city.

    McCain's trip comes as the defence secretary, Robert Gates, announced that Barack Obama has authorised the use of armed Predator drones against Gaddafi's forces. It is the first time drones will be used for airstrikes since the US handed control of the operation to Nato on 4 April. The rebels had complained that allied airstrikes under Nato were largely ineffective in halting Gaddafi forces.

  •  Syria: Al Jazeera - Syrian Liveblog ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, poco, Lawrence, PeterHug

    All times given are local (GMT+3)

    2:45pm
    This video uploaded today is said to be filmed in Baniyas.
    2:38pm
    Unconfirmed reports that gunshots have been heard in the Damascus suburb of Douma.

    Reports that security forces break down a demo in Aleppo and witnesses say about 100 people protest in Raqqa, in the northeast. Also demonstrations reported in Baniyas and many other places, we'll be posting some videos shortly.

    2:30pm
    Al Jazeera's Cal Perry says a protest in Damascus has been broken up. He can smell teargas from his hotel in the centre of the city.
    •  Updates .... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, petral
      3:15pm
      Oneline activists in contact with people in Syria tell Al Jazeera that one person has been killed in Homs and two in Azraa near Daraa.

      As other media organisations, Al Jazeera has limited access to Syria and we cannot independetly confirm the reports.

      2:59pm
      Sources tell Al Jazeera that two people have been killed in a town called Adroua but this is yet to be confirmed. We're also told ten people have been injured in Harak in the south, near Daraa.

      2:56pm
      Reports of protests and injuries in Hama.

      In the so-called Hama Massacre in 1982,  the army cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood in the city to quell an armed revolt. The crackdown was ordered by former president hafez al-Assad and about 20,000 are said to have been killed.

      •  Updates ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot, petral, poco
        3:45pm
        Video said to be from the Kiswe district in Damascus:
        3:41pm
        An estimated 10,000 people took to the streets of Hama today, according to trusted local sources, only the second and by far the largest protest to take place in the city.

        An eyewitness said protesters were calling for the fall of the regime and "God, Syria, freedom, only". "This is not 1982 anymore," said the witness, referring to the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982. "We want dignity and freedom."

        3:37pm
        Daraa, the first city in which major protests erupted, is today witnessing the biggest anti-regime demonstrations so far with tens of thousands of protesters on the streets, according to eyewitnesses taking part.

  •  Syria: At least 20 killed - Al Jazeera (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, PeterHug, poco

    Security forces said to have killed 20 protesters as anti-government demonstrations rock the country.

    At least 20 people have reportedly been killed in Syria, as mass protests are being held across the country.

    Deaths were reported in the central city of Homs, Douma and the southern city of Azraa.

    Security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Damascus calling for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, according to reports received by Al Jazeera.

    Thousands of people have taken to the streets for rallies on what activists have dubbed "Great Friday", in what they say could become the biggest protests against the government to date.

    Al Jazeera's Rula Amin reported from Damascus, which until now has been relatively calm, that the level of tension in the city on Friday marked a new point in the uprising.

    "It wasn't a big protest, and it was dispersed very quickly, but the security presence was very heavy," she said.

    "The level of violence has really escalated," she said, referring to widespread use of live bullets and tear gas by security forces across the country.

    From Beirut, Robert Fisk, a leading correspondant with decades of experience in the region, told Al Jazeera that Assad appeared to be "stepping backwards".

  •  LIBYA: Awesome video of Amazigh revolutionaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, killjoy

    in the western mountain zone sitting around a campfire, singing a beautiful Amazigh song.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    And another video, from the early days of the uprising, in Tripoli.  Many of you will remember all the reports of Gaddafi troops and mercenaries using ambulances to move in and fire on protestors.  Here's a video of one such incident:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:14:13 AM PDT

  •  LIBYA: U.S. military figures out what all the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, killjoy

    people who have been paying attention to Libya have known all along; There is no Al Qaeda presence amongst the Libyan revolutionaries.

    Mullen said there was no sign of al Qaeda representation in Libya's opposition, playing down concerns about any militant groups edging their way into the Libyan conflict.

    "We're watchful of it, mindful of it and I just haven't seen much of it at all. In fact, I've seen no al Qaeda representation there at all," he said.

    http://af.reuters.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:19:56 AM PDT

  •  LIBYA: The brace citizens of Misurata continue to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, killjoy

    push back the Gaddafi Regime forces that have been assaulting the city:

    12:17 The Guardian‘s Xan Rice has been to see the badly-damaged eight-storey office block where, until yesterday, a large number of pro-Gaddafi snipers were holed up, terrorising the population from the city’s highest vantage point. After rebels finally pushed the snipers out, Xan saw what they left behind, namely “thousands” of bullet casings, discarded uniforms and, chillingly, graffiti promising never to forgive the city’s people and to return and punish them. He adds: “This has been the main objective of the rebels – to get these guys out of this building and surrounding buildings… this is a pretty big thing.”

    http://www.libyafeb17.com/

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 08:21:57 AM PDT

  •  LIBYA: And now for some humour... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs

    ...a video from Tripoli's Green Square that shows the "massive" crowd out in support of Colonel Gaddafi.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    I guess there was no need to ship in "supporters" due to there be no news crews around.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 09:57:16 AM PDT

  •  Syria - more on the protests (7+ / 0-)
    Syria endured its bloodiest day yet of the Arab Spring as mass protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad roiled dozens of town and cities across the country and security forces reportedly gunned down dozens of people.

    Despite a string of government concessions earlier in the week, including the lifting of the hated 48-year-old emergency law, tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding greater political freedom and an end to Ba'ath party rule took to the streets after Friday prayers.

    Security forces that deployed overnight close to Damascus and other key cities ignored appeals to eschew violence and opened fire with live rounds and used teargas against several pro-democracy protests, activists and witnesses reported.

    Syria troops kill protesters in country's bloodiest day of turmoil

    I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

    by JustJennifer on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:07:41 AM PDT

    •  Latest count according to NYT 73!!!!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs, angry marmot, poco, Lawrence

      Sickening!!!

      BEIRUT — Security forces met thousands of demonstrators with fusillades of live ammunition after noon prayers, killing at least 73 people in the bloodiest day of the Syrian uprising.

      link

      Where's my State Department?????

    •  I probably won't make you happy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac

      But today had to happen.

      I'm trying to find the best way to write, as the role of the players change with time...

      The opposition: This is not a monolithic group. There are people trying to make this a peaceful, intelligent movement. There are people calling for Jihad in the Mosques. The majority is probably the former, but the later does exists.

      Shabah: There are some 'Alawite gangs along the coast that are above the law.

      Security Services: Depending on your point of view, not unlike the Shabah. They act above the law, but have a state backing.

      The Army: Although has a lot of 'Alawite leadership, is not an 'Alawite organization. The Chief of Staff is a Christian. Many Muslims are in senior leadership.

      The media is another aspect, but for brevity, I'll only make some blantantly obvious points....

      So the demonstrations started. The government initially dealt with them poorly in Dar'a. But they tried to make amends.

      Meanwhile, Baniyas started to flare up. Like in Dar'a, 'someone' killed a bunch of people. In Baniyas, they wound up killing 10 military people. The opposition claimed the government did it. The government claimed the opposition did it.

      After negoations, Dar'a was fairly calm with protests, but many of the leadership understanding where the government was coming from.

      So then Hims happened. Well actually, before Hims, there was Tall Bisi and Rastun. People here actually closed off the main road from Hims to Hamah (then to Aleppo).  Think of this for a moment. Some armed gangs closing off a main road. What would a country do? You think the U.S. would allow someone to set up tires on I-95 and block it?

      So this was going on in the region. The army came in to open the road just as a big sit-in happened. Then calls for Jihad came out of the mosques and a few people started shooting. (Unknown people).

      By this time, the army had suffered a lot of casualties and was starting to get angry. Angry at the 'protesters' who said they only wanted 'hurriya' while their soldiers died.

      Which leads to today. If you want to demonstrate in Syria. You now have to have do like you do in any other country. Get a permit.

      This is not a simple matter of a dictator and an enlightened society. The people calling for Jihad in Hims have no problem with honor killings. Which is why there is a vast segment of society that does not respect the opposition. 'Hurriyah' is laughed at. You think the people of Damascus would be for the freedom of Islamists to commit murder?

      This is why today happened. The opposition got arrogant. They didn't want to listen to the government at all. The army got angry and told Bashar to stop the anarchy. Too many people were getting killed with no clear objective.

      And in closing. I ask a simple question. Why does everyone that speaks about Syria have 'human rights' in their name. Did we do that with Bush attacking Iraq? Do we do that when discussing Bahrain? Do we do that with Yemen? Does anyone even ask human rights about Chad? Yet oddly enough, we have dozens of 'human rights' people talking about Syria.

  •  Libya: AJE liveblog ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, angry marmot, petral, Lawrence
    6:53pm
    A Qatari military aircraft has arrived in Tunisia to build an advanced field hospital at Al-Zahabiyah area, near the border with Libya to treat people injured in Al-Gaddafi brigades attacks.

    The plane is carrying a medical team, the first batch of equipment the hospital, 25 tonnes of medicines, medical supplies and ambulances.

  •  Syria: 'Bloodiest day' - BBC (7+ / 0-)

    Syria unrest: 'Bloodiest day' as troops fire on rallies
    22 April 2011 Last updated at 16:09 ET

    At least 72 protesters have been killed by security forces in Syria, rights groups say - the highest reported death toll in five weeks of unrest there.

    Demonstrators were shot, witnesses say, as thousands rallied across the country, a day after a decades-long state of emergency was lifted.

    Many deaths reportedly occurred in a village near Deraa in the south, and in a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

    The US White House urged the government to stop attacking demonstrators.

    Spokesman Jay Carney said it should "cease and desist in the use of violence against protesters" and follow through on promised reforms.

    UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "extremely concerned" by reports of deaths and casualties across Syria and urged restraint on the country's authorities.

    "Political reforms should be brought forward and implemented without delay," he said. "The Emergency Law should be lifted in practice, not just in word."

  •  Egypt: Mubarak detained 15 more days- AJE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, Lawrence, MartyM

    Egypt prosecutors extend Mubarak detention
    Last Modified: 22 Apr 2011 20:37

    Egypt's state prosecutor has renewed the detention of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak for another 15 days amid a probe into a deadly crackdown on protesters and corruption.

    "The state prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmud decided to renew the detention of ex-president Hosni Mubarak for 15 days for questioning... effective when his last detention period expires," the MENA news agency reported on Friday.

    Mubarak, who was forced to resign in February after mass protests, was first remanded into preventive custody for 15 days on April 13 on suspicion of involvement in a deadly crackdown on protesters and corruption.

    The former president is being detained in a hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Red Sea resort town where he has lived since his ouster.

    The report said that prosecutors went to the resort on Friday to further interrogate Mubarak.

  •  been afk for about 36 hrs and all hell breaks (4+ / 0-)

    loose in Syria? I hear on the radio that 70 were killed today.

    Do we know more? Is JustJennifer's friend okay?

    and now we're sending drones to Libya?

    •  Yea, Nobel peace drones.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Claudius Bombarnac, poco, UnaSpenser

      Don't forget to give your fair share to our President...

      A U.S. drone attack in Pakistan killed 23 people this morning...

      "A government official in North Waziristan told Pakistani reporters that five children and four women were among the 23 who were killed."

      So at least 9 of the 23 people we killed -- at least -- were presumably not "militants" at all, but rather innocent civilians.

      Nobel peace drones

      •  yes. this really bothers me. And I don't see how (2+ / 0-)

        anyone who is leading a nation in wars gets a Nobel Peace Prize. What the hell is the point to the prize?

        •  I agree. It has been a mockery of the award (0+ / 0-)
          http://nobelprize.org/...
          The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
          Barack H. Obama

          The section of Alfred Nobel's will detailing the creation of the Peace Prize states that it should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." In answer to questions during the announcement press conference about how early in Obama's Presidency the award was being made, Thorbjørn Jagland replied that the Committee wanted to demonstrate its support for the approaches he is taking towards global problems.

          Obama has increased the military budget, increased the size of the military, dramatically increased the funding and use of unmanned drones over ten fold and commands 3 wars with no end in sight.

          The CIA and private contractors operate the drones in Pakistan and are not accountable to anyone in the government other than the President. The CIA is not authorized by law to kill or assassinate using normal methods with a gun or knife. But, they are allowed to clandestinely kill people using unmanned drones in foreign nations that are not at war with the US. All this is done under the legal rubric of "national self defense". It is actually extra-judicial killing - assassination.

          This Whack-a-Mole warfare just creates more moles to whack. I've seen very little attempt by Obama to negotiate conflicts despite his rhetoric.

          Obama getting the Nobel Peace Price just for his electioneering rhetoric was/is grotesque.

  •  Libya: a story on Khalid, who is pictured in intro (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, petral, killjoy, Lawrence, MartyM

    Khalid Alghirani Remembered
    a very painful story:

    Personal accounts of the battle along the frontline in Zintan, Libya, have been few and far between.  Since the start of Gaddafi military operations against rebel fighters, journalists have had a difficult time getting into hard-hit areas such as Zintan, a city in northwestern Libya.

    Surfacing on Twitter shortly after the uprising in Libya occurred, a group of Libyan revolutionaries who operated under the handle @OperationLibyia, began sending out messages with updates on the desperate situation in the region.  The sole English-speaking spokesman, Khalid Ahmed Alghirani, who was known as Kalid Zalitin, kept Twitter followers updated with the dire situation on the ground.  ”Kalid Zalitin’s” tweets became a lifeline for many Libyans seeking news from abroad, as well as journalists and those interested in the emergency in Zintan.  

    On Tuesday, 19 April, the Zintan fighters encountered a fierce battle with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s troops and Khalid received a wound to the chest.  What could have been a simple procedure in a medical centre outfitted with modern supplies and equipment, became a critical situation when surgeons in the unit did not even have basic supplies such as packing gauze, sutures and proper lighting to conduct surgery.  It was reported that surgeons were using the lights of mobile phones to examine Khalid’s wound, and he was listed on Tuesday afternoon in critical condition.

    Throughout Khalid’s painful ordeal, he continued to Tweet, knowing that as he was the only English-speaking member of the group, the information he provided would be able to reach a much larger audience.  Particularly since the group was attempting to reach out to NATO who had recently bombed the area - wounding many, and killing an unknown number of civilians on the ground.  Beyond basic war zone triage equipment, the hospital in Zintan also lacked medication to help ease Khalid’s pain.  Despite his wounds and knowing that without emergency surgery his chances of survival decreased each hour, Khalid continued to tweet from his account.  

    Finally, as the pain became more than he could bear, and his lungs began to fill with blood, Khalid handed over his Twitter account to his cousin, Abdul Basit, and alerted his followers that future tweets would be in Arabic.  Abdul tweeted next: “Inshallah, Khalid will be fine.  I will try to hang on as much as I can…”

    •  his final tweet from hospital bed: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, jnhobbs, petral, Lawrence, MartyM
      In the end, Khalid Alghirani succumbed to his injuries and died on Wednesday, 20 April, of a collapsed lung at Zintan Hospital.  He leaves behind a wife and a son.   His haunting final tweet will remain a battle cry for the noble Libyan democratic fighters who remain:

          “We will not give up nor give in, its not about life anymore, its about human dignity and rights. ” - Khalid Alghirani

    •  Man, I really did not want to start out the day (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartyM

      having to cry...

      I've been following the news that Khalid has been providing about the situation in Zintan for some time now.  What a brave man.

      This right here exemplifies why I have been so frustrated by the slow pace at which the international community has been getting protective gear to the Libyan revolutionaries.  If Khalid had had a kevlar vest, then he likely would still be alive today....

      Rest in peace, brave Khalid... I will miss your voice.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:30:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libya: reporter heard from after 16 days missing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, jnhobbs, Lawrence

    Detained Reporter Says She is Alive and Well

    Sixteen days after she was detained by the Libyan government, journalist Clare Morgana Gillis made her first direct contact with outsiders in two weeks today, telling her parents in a 15-minute phone call that she is in good health and being held in a women's civilian jail in Tripoli.

    Her parents, Jane and Robert Gillis, said they were happy to learn she was safe but are concerned that she has not been released. "We were so relieved to hear from our daughter after having heard nothing for 16 days," Robert said. "We still urgently appeal to the Libyan government to let her come home." He called this a "hopeful first step" in Clare's safe return.

  •  Syria: Analysis - LA Times (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, UnaSpenser, Lawrence

    Loyal, secretive security forces keep Syria leader in power
    April 21, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

    Unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, there have been few defections in the armed forces despite a burgeoning protest movement.

    Unable to stem a growing popular uprising with promises of reform, ceaseless propaganda and restrictions on the news media, Syria's government still retains one powerful weapon: the solid support of a secretive web of security forces that so far show no signs of abandoning President Bashar Assad and his Baath Party.

    More protests broke out Thursday in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, despite the interior minister's demand for civil disobedience to end. Activists are gearing up for another day of widespread protests Friday, when they hope to flood the center of Damascus, the capital, with demonstrators.

    But the largely monolithic security forces, including Syria's army, appear steeled to prevent the nation's nascent democracy movement from succeeding in anything but suffering more bloodshed. Security forces were reportedly beefing up their presence in Damascus and the third-largest city, Homs, for the anticipated rallies.

    "There are no big apparent rifts," Nadim Houry, a Beirut-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, said of the security forces shaped long ago by President Bashar Assad's late father, Hafez, into a behemoth effective at stifling internal dissent. "So far there hasn't been any indication of a division within the armed forces. There are stories of defections, but there is nothing en masse or at a key commander level."

  •  CNN - BAHRAIN 22-04-2011 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser

    Very good reporting from Bahrain
    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Bahrain media using propaganda to fool citizens (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, Lawrence, poco

    Are westerners any less susceptible to their own MSM propaganda?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/...
    The Anti-al-Jazeera: Bahrain's Notorious State-Run TV Channel

    "It got across the story the government wanted it to get across, which is to frame the protest movement as being solely Shi'a -- which we knew it wasn't -- as violent, and to make the Sunna minority feel like if the protesters got what they wanted, the Sunni community would be threatened."
    ...
    If identified as Shi'a, the consequences could be severe -- an impromptu beating, maybe even a pair of handcuffs. She said she blames Bahrain TV for the Sunnis' fear. Her brother, seated next to her in the family's living room, was frustrated when I told him the average Sunna likely saw him as violent, gun-toting, and ready to topple the government -- as well as any Sunna who stood in his way.
    ...
    "We saw them on Bahrain TV," said one, Hasan. "They were all bloodied up, dressed in police uniforms. BTV was trying to make it look like they were actually government police, beaten by violent protesters." The poor man's friends could see the truth -- that he had been turned from a prisoner of the regime into a prop in its elaborate stage play, televised across the country. But could anyone else?


  •  Syria: Reuters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, Lawrence, poco, MartyM

    Syria buries scores of dead; more protests due
    AMMAN | Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:28am BST

    Scores of pro-democracy protesters killed by security forces will be buried across Syria in funerals expected to attract large crowds on Saturday and fuel mounting defiance against authoritarian rule.

    A group of activists coordinating the demonstrations said regular forces and gunman loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shot dead at least 88 civilians on Friday. Rights groups had earlier put the death toll at a minimum of 70.

    The Local Coordination Committees activist group sent Reuters a list with names of 88 people classified by region. The group said they were killed in areas stretching from the port city of Latakia to Homs, Hama, Damascus and the southern village of Izra'a.


    ( .. )
    U.S. President Barack Obama condemned Friday's violence and accused Assad of seeking help from Iran.

    "This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now," Obama said in a statement. "Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria's citizens...."

  •  Libya: Ajdabiya honors Hetherington (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, Lawrence, MartyM

    from Al Jazeera:

    They didn’t name a street after Tim. Instead they chose the biggest square in Ajdabiya. If the rebels win this war, it will be forever known as Tim Hetherington Square.

    He’s not alone. There’s a Sarkozy quarter too. But everyone still left in this devastated city now knows who Tim was, where he died and why he will always be remembered here.

    This mild-mannered photojournalist made quite an impact on Dr Suleiman Refardi, the leading surgeon at Ajdabiya’s main hospital. Many journalists have visited him in the past month. It’s about the only place that stayed open whoever was in control of the streets.


  •  Libya: Reuters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, Lawrence, poco, MartyM

    Libya says army may halt fighting in Misrata
    MISRATA, Libya | Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:56pm EDT

    NATO air strikes may force Libya to halt fighting by its army in the besieged port of Misrata and let local tribes take over the battle, the government said, in what could amount to an important shift in the battlefield city.

    Hours after the announcement of a shift in tactics in Misrata by forces of leader Muammar Gaddafi, NATO bombs struck what appeared to be a bunker near his compound in central Tripoli. The government said the target was a car park and three people were killed.

    "The situation in Misrata will be eased, will be dealt with by the tribes around Misrata and the rest of Misrata's people and not by the Libyan army," Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters in Tripoli.


    ( .. )
    BOMB HITS TRIPOLI

    NATO jets hit a target near Gaddafi's compound in central Tripoli early on Saturday. Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said three people were killed by the "very powerful explosion" in a car park near Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound.

    Reuters reporters said the area was surrounded by a wall and guarded by watchtowers and soldiers. They saw two large holes in the ground where the bombs had torn through soil and reinforced concrete, to pierce what appeared to be an underground bunker.

    •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs

      This could be a sign that Gaddafi's forces are stretched very, very thin.

      If the Gaddafi Regime can't retake Misurata, then it is ultimately truly game over for them.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  META: Sat diary at about 3pm EST/Noon PST -nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence
  •  LIBYA: A really, really interesting piece in FP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnaSpenser, poco

    on the state of the revolution in eastern Libya by U.C.-Berkeley's Ryan Calder:

    The Improvised State
    Who's actually running things in free Libya?

    BY RYAN CALDER | APRIL 20, 2011

    BENGHAZI, Libya — If you had told Benghazi residents three months ago that within a matter of weeks they would be throwing Molotov cocktails at Qaddafi loyalist tanks, they would've looked at you like you were crazy. Even after the Egyptian revolution began on Jan. 25, Muammar al-Qaddafi's iron grip on Libyan society seemed too strong to allow an uprising of the sort that occurred in Tunis and Cairo. Ahmed, a 26-year-old medical student in Benghazi, told me about a joke that was making the rounds in recently liberated Tunisia in February: "The Tunisians," he said, "were telling Libyans to bend over so they could see the real men over in Egypt."

    It's not surprising, then, that when the revolution happened, few people here had much of an idea about what to do next: how to keep a society dominated by the government sector running once that sector was gone. Just as the opposition's Transitional National Council (TNC) has faced the problem of managing its volunteer-heavy rebel army, people trying to manage quotidian aspects of life during the war have faced the problem of what to do with the thousands of volunteers who want to help but don't have anyone giving orders. This is true in medical care, aid distribution, and other state services: While the TNC has managed to restore many of the functions of government previously handled by the Qaddafi regime, volunteers continue to shoulder much of the burden.

    snip

    Others see a mixed picture when it comes to public safety during the revolution. Shawg Najem, a 26-year-old anesthesiologist who is volunteering to teach first aid to adults, gets calls from her parents all the time when she's away from home -- they want to make sure she's safe. "It's because of the lijan al-thawriyah [Revolutionary Committees]," she says. "They're crazy, and you never know what they're going to do. But other than that, I feel safer now, after the revolution." She describes taking a walk with her mother in the center of town recently, without a male family member accompanying them. "Before the revolution, we couldn't do that," she said. "It wasn't so safe for women to do that by themselves anywhere other than one of [Benghazi's] shopping streets."

    snip

    But nowhere is the new spirit more clearly on display than in Libya's hospitals. Under Qaddafi's rule, the dilapidated medical system had become an infuriating symbol of the spotty distribution of resources in the country. Mohammed, who trades in used cars, is typical: He told me he had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to take his ailing mother to Tunisia, where better medical facilities are available. Noting Libya's oil wealth, he asked, "Why can't my country pay for decent hospitals? My mother should be able to get treatment here in Libya." He then took out his phone and showed me a video of his elderly mother, grimacing in pain before she went to Tunisia for treatment. She died soon thereafter.

    snip

    But with the revolution, people in Benghazi began showing an outpouring of support for their doctors. She recalls how on March 19, as Qaddafi's tanks were rolling through Benghazi's streets and Revolutionary Committee members were shooting at civilians, she and other doctors were overwhelmed by the number of wounded they had to treat -- and by the kindness that ordinary citizens were showing them. "In the hospital, men as old as my father would run around the ICU [intensive care unit] at Jala Hospital [in Benghazi], passing out milk and juice and boxes of dates to the doctors," she says. "They'd stuff them in the pockets of my lab coat and shake my hands, and they'd hug the male doctors. They'd bring pillows and blankets from home, giving everything they could to the hospital."

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 11:56:30 PM PDT

  •  Canadian support for Libya diminishing (0+ / 0-)
    Canada should not be in Libya
    By Steve Peters, The Windsor Star April 20, 2011

    I am vehemently opposed to Canadian involvement in Libya under the current circumstances. We are led to believe that this is a humanitarian effort to save civilian lives from the violent Moammar Gadhafi regime.

    Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/...

  •  Is NATO prepared for a Gadhafi win in Libya? (0+ / 0-)
    Is NATO prepared for a Gadhafi win in Libya?
    Alliance can't answer key question: why has regime outlasted airstrikes?

    To gauge NATO's growing alarm over Libya, consider that no one seems to have a clue how to answer the most crucial question of the moment: just how do we account for the fact Moammar Gadhafi's regime remains intact after a month of NATO bombings and pin-point attacks by cruise missiles?

    Weeks ago, it was supposed to have been collapsing at any moment, right? Just a few more air raids, and it would crumble like a house of cards, opening up Gadhafi's capital, Tripoli, to the advancing rebel movement.
    ...
    This is a bad development for Canada. This is certainly not what Prime Minister Stephen Harper had in mind when he became the first NATO leader to openly embrace "regime change" in Libya back in March as he dispatched a pocket-sized air contingent to help spearhead the first bombings of the North African country.

    Harper foresaw Canada going in fast and briefly with its allies to protect Libyan demonstrators from massacre, with enough show of force to also shatter Gadhdafi's shaky regime. Neither his Conservative government nor the leaders of our other parties, it must be said, imagined we'd end up stuck on one side of what increasingly looks like a long civil war that will be hard to get free of.
    ...

  •  LIBYA: Some great news from Misurata today!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, petral

    #1 - The citizens of Misurata have managed to push Gaddafi forces out of the city center and have taken the high rises from which Gaddafi snipers were shooting people.

    Libya: Misurata rebels dislodge Gaddafi snipers

    Rebels in the embattled town of Misurata have claimed a significant blow against Col Muammar Gaddafi's troops by dislodging snipers from the town's highest building after weeks of bloody clashes.

    By Ben Farmer, off Misurata 5:13PM BST 22 Apr 2011

    Pro-Gaddafi marksmen inside the eight-storey insurance office block have terrorised the Libyan town and are thought to have killed scores in the past month.

    Rebel militiamen ousted them after taking several buildings along the strategic main thoroughfare of Tripoli Street, enabling them to cut supplies to a Gaddafi unit and dozens of rooftop snipers.

    Residents celebrated after snipers left the bullet-pocked building according to witnesses.

    A rebel spokesman said: "The snipers nightmare is almost over.

    "The insurance building is free of snipers at last. Most of Tripoli Street is free of snipers too. People are celebrating in the streets."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    #2 - An increasing amount of aid supplies is arriving in the Misurata port, like this large shipment organized by UNICEF:

    UNICEF delivers additional lifesaving supplies to embattled city of Misrata

    NEW YORK (April 21, 2011) — A boat carrying UNICEF lifesaving supplies has reached the port of Misrata in western Libya today.

    "Children in Misrata need urgent protection," said Shahida Azfar, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "This latest batch of supplies will provide for their basic needs, but their long term recovery will only begin when the fighting stops."

    The new items will benefit 15,000 to 25,000 people and include first aid kits, drinking water, water purification tablets, hygiene kits and recreational toys for children. They were delivered on a UNICEF-chartered boat that left Barcelona on April 16.

    Two weeks ago, UNICEF delivered emergency surgical materials, obstetric surgical kits, midwifery kits and hygiene kits to Misrata. UNICEF has also been providing psychological support in eastern Libya.

    Additional supplies are also available on the Tunisian and Egyptian borders with Libya to meet the needs of those who have fled the fighting. To date, it is estimated that more than 500,000 people have fled Libya to neighboring countries. While most of them are migrant workers from other countries, more and more Libyans are crossing the borders seeking safety.

    In Misrata and in other areas affected by the fighting in Libya, humanitarian access remains a major concern. UNICEF has called for safe, unfettered access to the populations in need.

    http://www.unicefusa.org/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:14:04 AM PDT

  •  More dissatisfaction with Canada's role in Libya (0+ / 0-)
    http://www.bclocalnews.com/...
    Candidates debate Libya, Enbridge at forum
    April 21, 2011

    CANADA'S military intervention in Libya drew sharp comments from candidates running for the Skeena – Bulkley Valley seat in the federal election at the REM Lee Theatre last night.

    When asked why he supported sending jets to Libya while opposing the Afghanistan military mission, New Democrat Nathan Cullen said there was never a clear understanding of how to leave or how to know when to leave Afghanistan.
    ...
    The Canadian Action Party's Maggie Braun did note that Gaddafi's government provides free education and health care and $50,000 to couples when they marry.

    “If I have to live under an elected dictator here, I wish he would do this for us,” she said.

    Green Roger Benham said he was shocked the NDP would support military intervention.

    And he wondered why western forces weren't also bombing targets in Syria and Bahrain where civilians are also being killed by their governments.

    “They don't have oil,” Benham continued. “This is a war about oil.”

    The real purpose of the action by the west in Libya is to install a regime that is friendly to the west, he said.
    ...
    There were also lively exchanges on increasing Canada Pension Plan payments and on abortion.

  •  LIBYA: An inspiring clip from AP about the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, petral

    opposition fighters in Libya:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:24:02 AM PDT

  •  Canada lacks leadership in Libya (0+ / 0-)
    Canada lacks leadership in Libya
    http://thegatewayonline.ca/...
    ...
    And while the need to protect the civilian population in Libya is urgent and necessitates an immediate reaction, if clear goals aren't laid out, we could see what military experts call "mission creep." What started out as preventing Gadhafi from moving in on civilian targets has already morphed into an attack force hammering government soldiers on behalf of the rebels.

    What comes after that is the question. We've already started acting as the de facto air force for the rebels. Without any political oversight or some sort of end-game in mind, it's easy to see that things could easily get out of hand. No one has articulated a proper finale to the whole Libyan excursion.

  •  Arab Spring: Interesting article about the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, petral

    role of women in the Arab Spring.

    Women have emerged as key players in the Arab spring

    Through protesting, organising, blogging and hunger-striking, women have taken a central role, but it remains to be seen whether their rights will improve

    Xan Rice in Benghazi, Katherine Marsh in Damascus, Tom Finn in Sana'a, Harriet Sherwood in Tripoli, Angelique Chrisafis and Robert Booth

    guardian.co.uk, Friday 22 April 2011 18.00 BST

    In a small room in Benghazi some young men and women are putting out a new opposition newspaper. "The role of the female in Libya," reads one headline. "She is the Muslim, the mother, the soldier, the protester, the journalist, the volunteer, the citizen", it adds.

    Arab women can claim to have been all these things and more during the three months of tumult that have shaken the region. Some of the most striking images of this season of revolt have been of women: black-robed and angry, a sea of female faces in the capitals of north Africa, the Arabian peninsula, the Syrian hinterland, marching for regime change, an end to repression, the release of loved ones. Or else delivering speeches to the crowds, treating the injured, feeding the sit-ins of Cairo and Manama and the makeshift army of eastern Libya.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:53:46 AM PDT

  •  LIBYA: Gambia becomes first African nation to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, petral

    recognize the Libyan Transitional National Council.

    Gambia recognises Libya rebel council
    Friday, 22 April 2011 18:21 Mohideen Mifthah

    BANJUL, April 22, 2011 (AFP) - The west African state of Gambia said Friday it was recognising the rebel Transitional National Council as the only legitimate body representing Libyan interests, and expelling Tripoli's diplomats.

    A statement from the presidency read on state broadcasting media also said Banjul was “freezing and closing all the assets in Gambia held on behalf or in the name of” Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

    These assets include a multi-million dollar five-star hotel, the Jerma Beach, the Laico Atlantic Hotel in the capital, Banjul, said to be worth $18 million, and Dream Park, a children's amusement park, it said.

    “This move is taken on account of the heinous atrocities that are being carried out by the Kadhafi regime against innocent citizens and which have seen to date massive loss of life and wanton destruction of properties in Libya,” the statement said.

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 01:14:33 AM PDT

  •  LIBYA: Amazigh(Berber) revolutionaries take over (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, stolen water, jnhobbs, UnaSpenser

    border crossing to Tunisia in western mountain range.  This is an interesting article, that gives some insight into how the Gaddafi regime suppressed the Amazigh minority.

    Libyan rebels overrun strategic supply route

    The crossing into a mountainous region has been under government siege since Libya’s uprising began two months ago.

    Jon JensenApril 22, 2011 06:17

    DEHIBA, Tunisia — Libyan rebels overran forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at the international border crossing near this tiny village Thursday, wresting control of a strategic supply route.

    The mountainous region near the crossing has been under government siege since Libya’s uprising began two months ago.

    snip

    The Berbers, a North African tribe with their own unique language and culture, are indigenous to Libya's arid Nafusa mountains.

    Many Berbers complained of increasing marginalization — including not being permitted to study their own language in government schools — by the Gaddafi regime long before the uprising began in February.

    “Gaddafi has never treated us as Libyan citizens. Our schools have always been worse than the rest of the country. And many of us have no jobs,” said Fadel Azaby, 21, an unemployed university graduate from the western mountain region.

    The recent fighting on this desolate patch of land began after the Berbers living in Libya came out in support of the rebel uprising against Gaddafi.

    http://www.globalpost.com/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 01:22:47 AM PDT

    •  i saw that on juan cole. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jnhobbs

      you know the regime is effed up when algeria has a better human rights record than you.

      "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

      by stolen water on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 04:25:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh sorry (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, jnhobbs, UnaSpenser, petral

        he had a different piece:

        juan cole:

        In the west on the Tunisian border, Berber rebel troops have taken a checkpoint and chased away 200 Qaddafi loyalists, who took refuge in Tunisia. The checkpoint is on a road that can be used to supply the Western Mountain Region of Berber towns who are in revolt against Qaddafi and who are under siege, including Zintain.

        his berber article link from the
        globeandmail:

        Berbers also have significant populations in Morocco and Algeria, two countries whose leaders have so far avoided the serious uprisings in the region. Both regimes have been more accommodating of Berber culture than Col. Gadhafi, Mr. Benslimane said, which may discourage unrest.

         

        "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

        by stolen water on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 04:31:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Syria: Al Jazeera liveblog (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Phil S 33, stolen water, Lawrence
    2:35pm
    Syrian activists have started a Google spreadsheet to share data on those killed during the violence surrounding pro-democracy protests and funerals for activists who have been killed.

    The English version is available here  , and the Arabic one here.

    •  more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Phil S 33
      3:01pm
      Al Jazeera's correspondent has just been live on Al Jazeera describing a chaotic scene outside Izraa. His comments to follow.

      2:52pm
      Syrian state television has just run a 'Breaking News' text ticker saying that the government "regrets" US President Barack Obama's statements condemning the violence, saying that his statement is not objective.

      2:50pm
      Reuters reports that security forces have opened fire on the funeral procession in Barzeh which we had reported on earlier this morning. Mosques in the area are calling on doctors to come to the assistance of those shot, residents say.

      2:40pm
      AFP reports that two people have been killed when security forces opened fire on those attempting to join the funeral processions in Izraa, citing a witness.

      The two people killed were identified as Yasser Nseirat and Jamal Qanbar by the witness, who added that several other people had been wounded.

  •  Syria: Juan Cole (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, poco, UnaSpenser, Lawrence
    Syrian Security fires on Protesters, Kills 90

    You never issue an ultimatum unless you are prepared for war. Syrian President Bashar al-Asad abolished the forty-year-old emergency law on Thursday, and he had dismissed two unpopular governors against whom there had been protests. Then he said that there was no longer any reason for anyone to demonstrate, implying that further demonstrations would be dealt with harshly.

    Tens of thousands of Syrians challenged the president on “Great Friday”. In numerous cities, from Homs in the north to Izzra in the south, crowds came out and chanted, “The people want the fall of the regime.”

    The regime reciprocated by wanting the fall of the people. In numerous cities, security police opened fire with live ammunition on unarmed civilian crowds, i.e. on non-combatants. Dozens of protestes were shot down dead, and dozens more wounded. Some late reports put the death toll for Friday at 90. It is a startling statistic, and bodes very badly for the regime. Future crowds will demand action against the police who opened fire, and against their bosses in the Baath Party.

  •  Syria---Count now four killed.... (5+ / 0-)
    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian security forces opened fire on a funeral procession near the capital Saturday, killing at least four people, a witness said.

    The witness said more than 50,000 people were taking part in the funeral in the suburb of Douma when security forces opened fire.

    MSNBC

    Bastards!!!

  •  Syria: Al Jazeera - Nine killed at funerals (5+ / 0-)

    'Nine killed' at Syria funeral processions

    Two MPs quit parliament after security forces reportedly open fire on processions for pro-democracy activists.

    Four people have been killed in the Syrian town of Douma, a witness told Al Jazeera, after security forces on the ground and snipers on rooftops opened fire on a crowd of thousands of mourners gathered to bury protesters killed on Friday.

    Army and security personnel also shot at mourners at a funeral procession in the southern town of Izraa. Eyewitnesses told Al Jazeera that five people had been killed there, four of them after having been shot in the chest. Several others were wounded.

    The eyewitness in Douma said that the gunfire erupted during the processions on Saturday, in the largest of the towns that surround Damascus to the northeast. Eight people were killed and at least 25 injured in Douma when security forces fired upon pro-democracy protesters on Friday.

  •  Syria--Izraa, twitter now: (5+ / 0-)

    This twitter is from a Human Rights activist who is very reliable:

    wissamtarif wissamtarif
    @
    @acarvin Izra Mobile and Landlines are off. Mosque speakers shot and not functioning. Bloodiest history Military security branch operating.

    »
    wissamtarif
    wissamtarif wissamtarif
    @
    @acarvin Security forces using live bullets on random targets. Army closed roads to area. Mosque in Izraa called for help 4 times.

    Its *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 06:57:47 AM PDT

  •  Syria--good BBC opinion column: why Syria matters (4+ / 0-)
  •  Meta comment (5+ / 0-)

    I'm going to post today's updated live blog,  but will be out most of the morning.  I will have something new up early afternoon PST.  Thank you for your patience.   :)

    I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

    by JustJennifer on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 08:05:55 AM PDT

  •  Syria---today's toll now 12.. 2 Mp's quit (5+ / 0-)

    B

    EIRUT — Syrian security forces fired on tens of thousands of mourners during funeral processions Saturday, killing at least 12 people as the mounting death toll prompted two Syrian lawmakers to resign in disgust over the killings.

    MSNBC

  •  Yemen---Good news; Saleh to step down (4+ / 0-)
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The president of Yemen has agreed to a deal in which he will step down in exchange for immunity, according to an online Saturday report from The Wall Street Journal. Ali Abdullah Saleh will step down within 30 days of signing the deal in exchange for immunity for himself and close relatives in deal brokered by neighboring countries, according to the report, which cites a presidential aide.

    Marketwatch

    •  will the people agree to the immunity? and what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33

      are we immunizing him from? Can they name his crimes without punishing him for them, so that there is at least that much accountability?

      •  Good questions---the deal brokered by other (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        Arab countries apparently..who knows who within Yemen was involved.  WSJ is only one to have the story so far.

        •  AJE---maybe not so fast (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco
          Parliamentary opposition groups and Saleh's government have been mulling over the GCC plan under which Saleh would step down 30 days after the formation of a national unity government, but protesters in Sanaa say they reject such a plan.

          AJE

      •  These dictators have been allowed free reign (0+ / 0-)

        in their countries with full support by the western powers for decades. If true justice is to be done, then these western powers must also be taken to task. They are just as guilty - possibly even more so because without their support, the dictators would not have got into positions of power in the first place.

        If a dictator offers to step aside w/o bloodshed by giving them immunity so be it. Their enablers already have de-facto immunity from accountability.

        There's an adage - don't corner a dangerous animal. Let them escape and be done with it.

  •  New live blog with updates (0+ / 0-)

    I'd rather die than give you control ~ Trent Reznor

    by JustJennifer on Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 12:03:33 PM PDT

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