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Gadhafi appears on TV to dispel rumors he has fled

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Democracy is costly. 233 is pretty cheap though.

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Two Mirage warplanes from the Libyan air force fled a Tripoli air base and landed on the nearby island of Malta, and their pilots — two colonels — asked for political asylum, Maltese military officials said.

Bravo! These brave fighter pilots following their conscience have proved that you need not just blindly follow orders.

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233 is pretty cheap though.

It will be more before this is finished, regardless of the end result.

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You would think that in 41 years since assuming control of Libya Gadhafi would have promoted himself beyond the rank of Colonel.

The loss of life is tragic. Let's hope their deaths were not in vain.

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Down with the tyrants of the Middle East! Gaddafi will hopefully swing soon!

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The bloodthirsty Gadhafi and his sons should flee whilst they have the chance, otherwise the fate of Ceausescu awaits.

I wonder if the fat little tyrant in North Korea is getting worried yet?

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Burakumindes:

" Down with the tyrants of the Middle East! Gaddafi will hopefully swing soon! "

And in your mind the islamist regimes that will replace them are better??

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WilliB. Hypocracy to call for self determination for these regions and to turn around and want to define what is good and bad for the people of the region to choose.

First of all you have zero evidence that the people of any of these countries will elect Islmist Extremists as their selected form of government. Second, even if they did select and Islamist government you have no right to dictate what another people should or should not choose for a form of government. Yet we all know that policy will do all it can to assure that any "non-ideal", by US expectations, government will face resistance as we have seen in the past.

But let's think logically. People are looking for jobs, prosperity and political freedom. What makes you think they will replace one repressive regime with another? People want jobs and these intelligent people know that means trade and cooperation with the global community of nations. That is what people want, a chance to raise their standard of living and have better lives.

To assume that some radical Islamist states will be born out of this process is demonstrative of your personal prejudices and fears and not a reflection of the reality on the ground.

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And in your mind the islamist regimes that will replace them are better??

YES. You must have a short memory. Libya under Gaddafi has been a huge state sponsor of terrorism. Airplane bombings, nightclub bombings, financing terror groups, sowing unrest in other North African countries, he even started a nuclear program before he was convinced to stop a few years ago by the end of international sanctions.

And that's not to mention the near-totalitarian dictatorship he's run for the past 40+ years. And he's a hard-core Islamist himself, don't forget.

It's easy to say that anyone would be better than leader X, but in this case it's absolutely true.

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I think a lot of American political thinking has become too black and white in one respect and too blind in another.

We polarize everything at home into good/evil with no attention to the vivid range of colors that actually make up any given political issue e.g. not all Islamic leaders are radical or not all MidEastern states are included to radical Islam.

Second we blind ourselves to the fact that the US supports all kinds of repressive states. We have even had democratically elected governments overthrown by people we like better. Often right wing military dictators.

So on moral grounds the US cannot, in good faith, call any government ruthless and evil as we have done a lot of ruthless evil things in our past.

What is important in this time of change in the region is to keep an open mind. We need to stand back and let these nations choose their own destiny. And when they have done so, offer our hand in friendship and cooperation.

We are on the cusp of a historical opportunity and we should not mess it up with thinking about the past. We need to be thinking ahead and putting our actions where our mouths have been and support self determination. Period!

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pro-Gadhafi gunmen firing from moving cars and even shooting at the facades of homes to terrify the population...Youths trying to gather in the streets scattered and ran for cover amid gunfire with snipers firing from rooftops and militiamen attacking the crowds, shooting and chasing people down side streets

Cowardly Libyan govt thugs wouldn’t dare try this if the people were armed. …and this why Americans have the right to bear arms under second amendment, namely,to protect the first amendment. And the first amendment prohibits the making of any law infringing on freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. The second amendment is the insurance policy for freedom.

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tokind2:

" WilliB. Hypocracy to call for self determination for these regions and to turn around and want to define what is good and bad for the people of the region to choose. "

I don´t know who you are adressing here. If you mean me, I was against the "democratic domino" theory touted by the neocons from the beginning. And so were most of the lefists, if you care to remember.

It is strange to see how the liberal media who used to lambast GW Bush has now swalled the democratic domino theory (which brought us the Hamas Gaza already) hook, line and sinker.

So who is the hypocrit?

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WilliB - how on earth can you defend a terrorist tyrant? Lets all hope and pray he swings. And - no - I dont support Sharia law or Shiites. I am a fan of democracy - and anything will be better than old Gaddafi.

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It is strange to see how the liberal media who used to lambast GW Bush has now swalled the democratic domino theory (which brought us the Hamas Gaza already) hook, line and sinker.

WilliB, you realize the world media is not the US media, right? Nobody outside the US really cares what ABC/CBS/Fox think (maybe CNN as they are broadcast internationally). They don't set the agenda. So what do most people around the world think about the latest goings on in Libya/Yemen/Bahrain/etc? That's a more important question.

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Smorkian:

I am not defending anybody. I am just pointing out that the giddy applause for all those Arab "revolutions" against their authoritarian regimes is more than a little naive. Because what the populations will vote themselves into once the dictators are removed, will in all likelyhood be worse.

Look at who is lurking the the background. Yussuf Al Qaradafi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has just called for Ghadaffis head. That should tell you something.

And no, the other Western news media are not substantially different from the US ones, they are only smaller.

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Burakumindes:

" Lets all hope and pray he swings. And - no - I dont support Sharia law or Shiites. "

Contradiction in terms. Because what you get when Ghaddafi swings, will be Shariah law (sunni version in case of Libya). You can´t have it both ways.

Once again, it is entertaining, in a sad way, to see how the left has now bought into GW Bushes naive "democratic domino" theory... hook, line, and sinker.

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tkoind2: We polarize everything at home into good/evil with no attention to the vivid range of colors that actually make up any given political issue

Has your rainbow of tolerance and open-mindedness ever produced an end that didn't place blame directly on US foreign policy? Ever? You posts generally follow a certain flow: 1. Preach about balance and then 2. blame everything on the US.

This thread is about Libya. It's not about your personal issues with Americans. People are criticizing Libya and rightfully so. Perhaps you could join in but my guess is that you really wouldn't see the point.

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Because what you get when Ghaddafi swings, will be Shariah law (sunni version in case of Libya).

You mean... the same legal system they function under now?

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WilliB. If you are trying to call me a hypocrite for pointing out Bush's policy on Democratic domino effect. Your thoughts are misplaced. I did not and do not support Bush's MidEast policies. Or Obama's for that matter.

But America has been calling for the self determination of the MidEast for a long time. To turn around and then expect to dictate terms or raise red flags of fear against unseen Islamist devils is hypocracy at its worst.

I think your anxiety over the rise of Islamist states in all the areas of change is alarmist, naive and unfounded. Further the assumption that any Islamist leaders would be anti-western shows that you have little grounding in the diversity and breadth of Islam in the political world.

A little less US TV might be a good place to start. And a lot more time reading and learning about the many positive leaders out there who can blend their Muslim faith with positive world interaction.

Enough fear already. You have zero control over what is happening today, so sit back, and watch the people do exactly what the GOP wanted. And that is choose their own future.

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WilliB. "Because what you get when Ghaddafi swings, will be Shariah law."

You don't know this to be any more fact than the Easter Bunny. What imagined power are you basing this on? I see an almost socialist or republican (in the Spanish 1930's sense of republican) revolt in most of these countries. People asking for jobs, for health care, for economic equality and the end to dictatorial rule.

How on earth do you leap from that reality to Sharia. Your fears are founded on pure and utter speculation and nothing more.

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How on earth do you leap from that reality to Sharia. Your fears are founded on pure and utter speculation and nothing more.

It is also possible his fears could also be based on Lebanon, Gaza and Iran.

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where would Ghadhaffi flee to? Venezuela?

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atamant. I think it is a reach to connect the current wave of revolutions to the ones you sited. And Lebanon and Gaza are both unique.

Iran's revolution was in response to western attempts to manipulate the government of Iran. Including the placement of the Sha of Iran in power. Political reform was stiffled resulting in civil unrest and opening the path to the rise of fundamentalist rule.

Gaza is more or less an Apatheid like township where Palestinians are interred. With frequent arrests, no economic prospects and hopelessness it is no wonder that extreme politics have developed in response.

Lebanon is perhaps the closest with the rise of Hezbollah. But again, Lebanon is not Egypt or Libiya.

It is far too soon to see what will happen. Egypt's military is unlikely to give way to an Islamist movement. Especially when the leaders of the military are more traditionalists and capitalists. Radical Islam is not good for business, so I would not expect it to take hold. It is also out of line with the desire of the people for better economic and job futures.

It is really too soon to jump to conclusions.

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How on earth do you leap from that reality to Sharia. Your fears are founded on pure and utter speculation and nothing more.

These fears are based on anti-Islam propaganda. Some want us to fear these people becoming free, because they want the west to continue to have access to their cheap resources (among other things).

These protests are largely secular.

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tkoind2,

I think it is a reach to connect the current wave of revolutions to the ones you sited. And Lebanon and Gaza are both unique.

Every country is unique. However, you did neglect to notice that Lebanon, Gaza and Iran were all quite secular and they are not now.

It is far too soon to see what will happen.

I agree. However, people voicing their fears is a perfectly legitimate reaction to this ever changing situation. Things that have happened up to now such as the fall of the Soviet Union once did not seem likely or possible.

Egypt's military is unlikely to give way to an Islamist movement.

I agree. However, you must admit the Muslim Brotherhood is chomping at the bit to get into power at some stage. They have not been coy about this.

It is really too soon to jump to conclusions.

Again, I agree. However, there is really nothing wrong with an open discussion about the situation either.

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These fears are based on anti-Islam propaganda.

No, they are based on anti-Western sentiments extremist groups have and the fear that they will come to power as they have in Iran, Gaza and Lebanon.

Some want us to fear these people becoming free, because they want the west to continue to have access to their cheap resources (among other things).

No. We just don't want another country of an extremist anti-Western mentality. BTW, for decades now, none of these countries' resources have been cheap, particularly oil. Libya in particular became a very rich country after Gadhafi took over.

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tokind2:

" Iran's revolution was in response to western attempts to manipulate the government of Iran. "

Iran`s revolution was actually supported by the US at the time. Remember Jimmy Carter cutting off ties to the Shah, and enthusiastically supporting free election in Iran? And Ayatollha Khomeini was a "religious man", not to be feared.

If all that sounds familiar to you, it should.

And see what the popular vote in Iran brought you. The same as a popular vote will get you anywhere in the islamic world, because in a chaotic situation the majority of the uneducated populace will vote for islamic parties, who promise them that islam is the solution to everything.

If you believe that Libya is an exception from this, you might as well believe in the Easter Bunny.

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And Ayatollha Khomeini was a "religious man", not to be feared.

That is NOT true. I've been reading some histories of Iran recently and there were great fears among the US leadership and the Iranian leadership regarding Khomeini. Carter was seen as indecisive which allowed a power vacuum that Khomeini filled.

He was a powerful figure before the revolution and easily stepped in. Who does Libya have, or Egypt? Nobody like that at all. Certainly nobody as fundamentalist as that.

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Who does Libya have, or Egypt? Nobody like that at all. Certainly nobody as fundamentalist as that.

Egypt has the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the biggest political block in the country right now. Influential Egyptian Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi should do so 'to rid Libya of him.' While it may be possible for Libya to escape the lure of extremists, it would be naive to suggest extremists are not interested in gaining power in Libya just as they are interested in gaining power in Egypt.

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WilliB is not troubled by actual historical fact Smorkian. Just fear. Fear of evil Islamist waiting to take power everywhere.

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They are waiting to take power. Of that I have no doubt. The question is whether they will or not.

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WilliB. American interference in Iran was why things went the way they did and that dates back to 1953. Trust me I am rather familiar with Iran and her politics and how the US and her involvement is viewed.

On more than one occassion US policy has actually prevented the rise of democracy in the post revolution period. This is reality.

If you want radical governments all you need to do is rob the people of their own self determination. Ask the Nicaraguans how our policies robbed them of a well meaning and popular Sandinista government. All it took was for Reagan to demonize them as you are trying to do with any potential Islamic oriented leaders who may rise in these countries.

It is time to stop imposing your fears on other people. Let the MidEast process play out as the people there wish it to. They are brave enough to rise up and fight for change, then they should be allowed to choose their path.

Afterall WilliB Afghanistan and Iraq, two of our US pet democracy projects have not exactly worked out have they? Time to let the people find their own path.

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Let the MidEast process play out as the people there wish it to. They are brave enough to rise up and fight for change, then they should be allowed to choose their path.

As long as their path doesn't mean hating the West or the secular/non-Islamic world, I could not care less. However, as I pointed out, leaving Lebanon, Gaza and Iran to decide their paths led them to where they are now regardless of the history before that. After all, are not the dictators now being threatened in these countries also people the West have befriended or look the other way about? Should not we expect the same possibility of anger aimed at the West that we are seeing in Iran, Gaza and Lebanon if what you say is true?

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tokind2:

" Afterall WilliB Afghanistan and Iraq, two of our US pet democracy projects have not exactly worked out have they? Time to let the people find their own path. "

That`s right. You can see how disastrous democracy has worked out for Iraq and Iran. So why do are you so eager to have yet more islamic countries vote themselves into Shariah?

The Bush administration completely misunderstood what democracy is. Democracy is not simply "one election". That is guaranteed to be a disaster in many countries.

So why is it that the left has now adopted GW Bushes failed policy?

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That`s right. You can see how disastrous democracy has worked out for Iraq and Iran. So why do are you so eager to have yet more islamic countries vote themselves into Shariah?

Why are you obsessed with Sharia law? What is it you are afraid of? You don't have to live in these countries. Even moderate Islamic countries like Malaysia use some aspects of Sharia. It doesn't cause mass famine or the end of wealth or anything. There's even a democracy there. And Turkey. And Indonesia. And Bangladesh (most days).

I'm amused by the hysteria here and other places over Sharia law, as if the countries in the Middle East (except maybe Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan) don't already use it. Like, as I mentioned earlier, Libya already does.

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kinniku/atamant,

Why do you think those countries have expressed anti-Western sentiments? I hope you will not say that its because they hate our freedom!

While it may be possible for Libya to escape the lure of extremists, it would be naive to suggest extremists are not interested in gaining power in Libya just as they are interested in gaining power in Egypt.

There is a danger of extremism on all sides. We could say that the US and Israeli regimes are extremists...

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However, as I pointed out, leaving Lebanon, Gaza and Iran to decide their paths led them to where they are now regardless of the history before that.

Leaving them decide their paths? What are you talking about? The west did not let the Gazans chose their own path; when they elected Hamas, the west imposed sanctions.

And in Lebanon, Hezbollah arose form the murderous Israeli invasion.

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To bad a the Leader of the Free World has not sent a carrier of the coast of Libya and declared now and to the rest of the world and to the jerk in charge of Libya that this is now a "NO-FLY" Zone by his forces.

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Gadhafi: "Don't believe those misleading dog stations"

Dog stations?

Isn't the colonel getting tired of the same job after 4 decades? Sheesh...

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It appears the massacre that is happening in Libya puts a major dent in Hikozaemon's assertion that these sort of things no longer occur in the Middle East, and only in China.

Fighter-bombers attacking unarmed civilians. Brutal.

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Colonel Gadhafi can't sell his same old administration govt,to Libyan people forever.

The Libyans,they want better life for all,with a new brighter ,more dynamic economic future,like in Egypt.

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tkoind2: Ask the Nicaraguans how our policies robbed them of a well meaning and popular Sandinista government.

And how is that relevant to an article about Gadhafi appearing in public and killing his own people? There's no current link with the US and Libya. You're using the massacres as a tool to attack your enemies (whom you must have made because you have them).

The fact is that you and WilliB actually agree with each other more than you disagree, but you need each other as a springboard to talk about what you want to talk about. WilliB is saying that no one should bother trying to meddle with Middle Eastern countries because the outcome is already determined. You're saying that no one should meddle with foreign countries. He has a fear of Sharia law, and you mostly just want to force in conversations about US foreign policy because that's your agenda. In either case the policy is the same (don't get involved), you just have different reasons behind it.

Most people are probably in the middle. They want to support self-determination but they've also seen evidence of what can happen in regions where religion and tribalism can sometimes dominate. We aren't really willing and able to support a dictator, but on the other hand we don't want to put our fingers in our ears and pretend everything will be OK just because we're super duper positive about it. People want to support a democracy but the world is now trying to get their heads around the thought of a democracy voting in a system with fewer human rights and safeguards. And it's a reasonable concern. You don't have to believe it will happen to the same extent as WilliB but talking about Nicaragua is just an utter waste of time, and it's not like WilliB is the spokesperson for anyone other than himself.

Up until recently democracy has produced a positive outcome, but with these new developments I think it's making us question what we thought we knew, and no one has the answer yet.

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Going to bed late because I was watching Gadhafi's "speech" tonight, it was amazing, was wondering what century I was living in, is it the 21st or 11th?

I'm sure there aren't any Libyans spending their time on his site, they have more important stuff to do. But just want to say I support them and hope they can string the SOB up on a rope, or put a bullet through his head.

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GJDailleult:

" Going to bed late because I was watching Gadhafi's "speech" tonight, it was amazing, was wondering what century I was living in, is it the 21st or 11th? "

The islamic world is in the year 1443. That would include Libya.

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Sarge:

" Gadhafi: "Don't believe those misleading dog stations" Dog stations? "

Sarge, for you dogs are man´s friend, but in islam dogs are unclean, hated by god and an insult. So you have hear the lingo in context.

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The islamic world is in the year 1443.

Just parts of it.

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sabiwabi,

Why do you think those countries have expressed anti-Western sentiments?

kinniku's post do not seem to be in the thread, so I can't speak to them. In fact, you should probably address concerns with that poster to that poster and split your posts for clarity. However, I think one of the main reasons is that the leaders in those countries have consistently played the West and their citizens off each other and in many cases encouraged the anti-Western sentiments to take their citizens minds off of domestic problems. Egypt is a perfect example of this as a look over the years at the country-run media would tell anyone.

There is a danger of extremism on all sides. We could say that the US and Israeli regimes are extremists...

You could say that the US and Israeli regimes are extremists, but you'd be wrong for the most part. Anyway, neither have anything to do with the extremism potential in Libya.

Leaving them decide their paths? What are you talking about?

Weren't you the one who went on about Hamas being democratically elected? Doesn't that mean the Palestinians chose that path?

The west did not let the Gazans chose their own path; when they elected Hamas, the west imposed sanctions.

Incorrect, the Palestinians were allowed to chose their path (as much as Hamas assassins would allow anyway). It was the path that Hamas chose once in power that caused sanctions to be imposed.

And in Lebanon, Hezbollah arose form the murderous Israeli invasion.

No. Hezbollah arose from PLO stupidity originally. Now, their rise has nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with them trying to steal the country away from secular Lebanese.

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And in Lebanon, Hezbollah arose form the murderous Israeli invasion.

No. Hezbollah arose from PLO stupidity originally.

Yeah, that is what the Israelis say. They often lie, you know, VERY often.

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Yeah, that is what the Israelis say.

I could not care less what the Israelis say about it. It is a fact. It is my sincere hope that Libya does not end up like Iran or Lebanon.

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I could not care less what the Israelis say about it.

Funny that, you do nothing but repeat Israeli talking points.

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I am not repeating anything, Israeli or otherwise. What I wrote is correct. The mere fact that you seem not to be able to counter my arguments shows the correctness of what I have written.

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