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The pro-Qaddafi activists that claim NATO has long ago overstepped it's stated mission of protecting civilians and have really been engaged in "regime change" have one big problem, Qaddafi, from before UN resolution 1973 was passed until even today, has never stopped endangering and wantonly killing civilians.

Not for one day! Not for one hour in the past 7 months. To wit, we have this report from McClatchy:

BENGHAZI, Libya — Libyan rebels have broken off their assault on a key city south of Tripoli after discovering that forces loyal to ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi there had placed Russian-made Grad rockets and mortars on the roofs of houses filled with civilians, the rebels' military spokesman said Sunday.

Col. Ahmed Omar Bani said the decision to halt the rebel offensive on Bani Walid, where Gadhafi's son Saif al Islam is believed to be hiding, made it unlikely the rebels would have full control of the country before the end of September.

Bani said the rebels would maintain their siege of Bani Walid, a town of 70,000 about 100 miles south of Tripoli, while waiting for supporters inside the city to mount operations that would change the situation.

"NATO can do nothing," Bani said of the North Atlantic alliance's airpower, which has proved decisive in the rebels' advances since they began their revolution Feb. 17.

Bani accused the loyalists of shooting Bani Walid residents who try to escape. "Instead of killing 70,000 in Bani Walid, we surround the town," he said.
Rebel spokesmen also have accused Gadhafi loyalists of using prisoners as human shields in Sirte.

Mummar Qaddafi is a mass murderer and serial killer that won't stop until he is dead or in prison.

Since Qaddafi has chosen that road, since he has persisted in killing civilians to the very end, he has made NATO's legal mission of protecting civilians synonymous with ending his regime.

Had he at any time targeted his fire only at the freedom fighters these Qaddafi supporters may have been able to argue NATO was overstepping it's bounds and just backing one side in a civil war. But he has not, even in his last days, he has given NATO only two choices, either abandon their mission of protecting civilians or prosecute the war until Qaddafi is put out of their misery.

NATO's mission isn't over until Qaddafi is dead or in prison.

But while the final battle has been delayed, the reconstitution of civil society is moving full speed ahead:
LIBYA: Civil society breaks through
BENGHAZI, 16 August 2011 (IRIN) - Sidelined under Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan civil society organizations are beginning to assume an important role in helping the most vulnerable in “liberated” areas.

"After 42 years of doing the wrong things, people are now doing the right things,” said Khaled Ben-Ali, head of the Libyan Committee for Humanitarian Aid & Relief (LibyanAid).

Speaking from Benghazi Ben-Ali said he had been overwhelmed by ordinary Libyans’ ability to mobilize and organize, starting new organizations from scratch.

International NGOs, too, speak with admiration of the “volunteering spirit” shown in Benghazi and other areas administered by the rebel Transitional Council. “I have seen this in other conflicts, but never with this kind of dimension,” a senior health official who preferred anonymity told IRIN.

“Even if we wanted to put on a children’s fair, we had to associate it with something political, related to one of Gaddafi’s claimed achievements,” said Amina Megheirbi, looking back at the attempts by fledgling Libyan civil society organizations to get their own activities off the ground prior to the events of 2011.

After an academic career in the USA and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Megheirbi now works as an English lecturer at Benghazi’s Garyounis University. But she has long combined academic duties with community work, trying to identify needs and provide assistance to the more vulnerable members of society.

Trying to operate independently under Gaddafi meant dealing with a heavily centralized system, in which Gaddafi’s own famous Green Book was meant to be a sacred text and principal point of reference.

Even the Scouts, active in Libya since the 1950s, had to tread carefully, said scouting veteran Tarek Alzletny, noting that it was Gaddafi’s own organizations that had the state’s support.

Megheirbi and others endured lengthy battles to get registered by the authorities, and a climate of suspicion where individuals were constantly being vetted and quizzed on their intentions. Why did they want to help impoverished communities in a society “where there were officially no poor people”? A low profile was often essential. There was constant pressure on new groups to work under the umbrella of organizations created by the state or members of the ruling family, notably the Waatasemu Charity Association established by Gaddafi’s daughter, Ayesha.

For more background on the Libyan Revolution and links to lots of information see my other writings at the DailyKos and WikiLeaks Central:
Libya's Freedom Fighters: How They Won
Racism in Libya
Abdul Rahman Gave his Eyes to See the End of Qaddafi
BREAKING: Secret files reveal Dennis Kucinich talks with Qaddafi Regime
BREAKING: Libyan TNC won't extradite Lockerbie bomber
Who really beat Qaddafi?
#Feb17: @NATO Please help MEDEVAC wounded from #Libya
What should those that opposed NATO's intervention in Libya demand now?
BREAKING: Qaddafi's Tripoli Compound Falls!
Does PDA Support Qaddafi?
BREAKING: Operation Mermaid Dawn, the Battle to Liberate Tripoli is Joined
Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure
Qaddafi's Long Arm
SCOOP: My Lai or Qaddafi Lie? More on the 85 Civilians presumed killed by NATO
Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?
CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique
The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Arming Gaddfi
North African Revolution Continues
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Gustogirl, rja

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:52:07 PM PDT

  •  Of course the "mission" isn't over (0+ / 0-)

    And it won't be over until the US and its NATO puppets install a corrupt, brutal, and obedient client government willing to sell out the Libyan people and protect the interests of western corporate investors. You know. Like they're still trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "The corporatism that has overtaken our democracy is an ideology that insists on relentless positivism — that's why it opposes criticism and encourages passivity." --- John Ralston Saul

    by skunkbaby on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:13:03 PM PDT

    •  I was speaking of authorized missions (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Gustogirl, BeeDeeS, killjoy, rja

      By "NATO puppets" do you mean the majority of Libyans who took up arms to overthrow a 42 year dictatorship starting a month before NATO got involved?

      By calling them puppets, aren't you really saying they are too stupid to understand their real situation as well as you do?

      After all puppets don't have a brain and only move when the puppet master pulls the strings. Is that your opinion of the Libyan people that have seen maybe 30,000 killed by Qaddafi, not by NATO bombs.

      From Democracy Now this morning.

         Interestingly, traveling across the country, there aren’t that many—that much evidence of bombed-out sites within Libya, bombs by NATO. I saw a few areas where no civilians were living, no people were living. These are just infrastructure outside on the outskirts of Misurata. And within Gaddafi’s compound, certainly, there were some areas that were bombed out. And there were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of civilians who were killed in these attacks until now.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:30:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You got any facts to back up that statement.... (5+ / 0-)

      ...or is it just conjecture and empty rhetoric?

      Because I sure don't hear any Libyans whom I know worrying about Libya becoming like Iraq or Afghanistan...

      And why should Libya become like Afghanistan, pray tell?  Those two countries have very little in common.

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

      by Lawrence on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:24:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You must be joking (0+ / 0-)
    NATO's mission isn't over until Qaddafi is dead or in prison.

    This year's Bin Laden?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:54:30 AM PDT

    •  Qaddafi is killing non-combatants today (0+ / 0-)

      He will be killing tomorrow and you want to see him stay free so that he can keep killing don't you?

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:58:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

        Seems not.

        It is not within the bounds of the UN resolution for NATO to hunt-down Qaddafi and the Libyans have already very clearly stated they do not want NATO boots on the ground.

        This is clearly something for the Libyans to handle, they don't get it both ways.

        If you are so keen on hunting down despots why aren't you writing diaries with global hit lists and calling for worldwide action by NATO?

        Is there something that make Libyans special and Palestinians, Syrians, Ugandans et al less deserving?

        And have you signed-up to serve?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:29:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What Clay said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is situationally true.  Libya will have attacks on civilians by pro-Gaddafi elements until the Gaddafis are eliminated, and thus NATO will remain involved.  

          You often have interesting ideas and perspectives.  But distinguishing between when abstraction-based thinking and when situational thinking is the applicable mode is a bit problematic.  We all get taught the relative prestige of abstraction-based thinking in school; mature and formal situational thinking gets neglected as a result.  

          Libya is a the linchpin of democratization in North Africa.  That is what is "special" about it.  Gaddafi propped up dictators everywhere around himself; with him gone there can probably be no sustainable revival and only withering away of dictatorship in Egypt, Tunesia, Algeria, Morocco, and Libya itself.  

          The other countries you mention are tangled up in more complex external power structures and conflicts that have to unravel before democratization is possible.

          Palestine and Syria are secondary elements of the recapitulated smaller scale Cold War in the Middle East whose principals are Israel and Iran.  This situation means the preservation of many otherwise obsolete regimes in the region, including Assad's, the largely interchangeable war parties and leaders in Israel, Hezbollah, the Arab monarchies, Maliki's, Saleh's, etc.

          Iran's regime- Khamenei's regressive version of Islamic Revolution- falling and with it Iran's exaggerated south- and west-directed foreign policy in the region is the key event in the democratization of the Middle East.  With Iran no longer a plausible aggressor the falling of all kinds of war governments, i.e. monarchs and dictators and warlords and such, in the region in fairly short order becomes inevitable.  

          Subsaharan Africa is currently a multipolar conflict and secret police state mess, much like the Middle East was from the 1950s to the 1990s.  The Middle East was changed to the current two major side dynamic by the U.S. removing Hussein/Iraq as chaotic significant third power.  And generational turnover, of course.

          How and when Subsaharan Africa will simplify as a conflict zone is unknown as yet, but you can see efforts to work in from the edges, to remove geographic areas from the conflict map.  France helped remove Gbagbo to prevent an additional major dictatorship problem from arising in West Africa.  Libya is of course about getting North Africa removed from the conflict map.  South Africa is chipping away at the problem represented by Mugabe in Zimbabwe, trying to extend democratization and resolution of historical conflicts northward.  Hillary Clinton and others pushed the breakup of Sudan to create better defined and manageable/resolvable conflicts.

          It's not about individual dictators, in short.  And the principle that seems to have established itself now in American, and perhaps European, foreign policy is not imperial intervention or humanitarian intervention.  It is liberal (i.e liberal democratization achieving) interventionism.

          •  I look at this from a more simple perspective (0+ / 0-)

            Of the rules of engagement that define the limits of NATO action based on international law and the expressed desire of the Libyan people to control their own destiny and avoid any occupation forces putting boots on the ground.

            Thus, if Gadaffi is going to be hunted down on Libyan soil it is the responsibility of the Libyan people to do so. That is their expressed wish.

            I am no friend of despots but the business of summary executions and regime changes have a record of not going as planned and not being as effective as one might suppose.

            Behind Gaddafi are loyalists. Murder them all to get to him?

            Relevant question.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:37:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the update, Craig and for the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, killjoy, Clay Claiborne

    heartening news about the people of Libya picking up their lives and organizing themselves.

    The little I've been able to keep up with mainstream media, I keep hearing these dog whistle type statements that try to cast doubt on Libyan citizens' ability to govern themselves and intimations about tribal conflicts that infer civil war inevitability.

    Yet there are two things I took from Libya when I was glued to events as they unfolded early in their revolution.

    The first was when free Libyan radio broke into the airwaves, and one broadcaster emotionally declared the world will be astonished by the capabilities of the Libyan people.  (That's not verbatim, wish I had the quote!)  It was very moving.

    The second persists through all the media references to "tribalism" as the big (primitive) boogey man that will make self-governance possible:  A poster written in English held high during a peaceful protest declaring "LIBYA IS MY TRIBE".

    I have faith in these courageous, determined, intelligent, educated, self-sacrificing people.  

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 06:38:59 AM PDT

    •  I think the Arab Spring is first and foremost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a revolution against feudalism. Where the leader was not formally a king, as in Libya and Egypt, they certainly ruled like one, even to the extent of expecting their sons to succeed them. A big part of this revolution has been against that other feudal remnant, tribalism.

      In Marxism terms, they are completing the bourgeois democratic revolution. This is a real revolution and a necessary one before they can move forward historically.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 07:06:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A good number of pundits and politicians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gustogirl, Clay Claiborne

      who got burned by their misassessments of Iraq are now continuing their sorry record by imagining Libya to be just like Iraq.  It's the classic error of fighting the last war.

      Libya's tribal structure is not totally negligible.  It seems quite weak- essentially a social grouping- in the coastal cities and farming areas of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica where ~90% of the Libyan population lives.  It does seem to be the primary political organization in the desert communities, where government services and protections can be very far away and people are poor.

      The coastal regions are now liberated from Gaddafi.  Tribal issues are of much greater importance as the uprising forces move on the remaining desert population centers. But we shouldn't lose sight of that this constitutes only 10% of the Libyan population.

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