Libyan Rebels Defiant but in Disarray, as Qaddafi’s Forces Gain Momentum

Rebels retreated from Ras Lanuf after an onslaught of air strikes and tank and artillery fire by forces loyal to the Libyan leader.

Comments: 78

  1. As a lifelong Democrat, I am disgusted with the fact the U.S/Obama are just standing by twiddling their thumbs!

  2. If we are going to act, we should not wait much longer. And I think we should act. And if we are going to impose a no-fly zone, which entails taking out the Col's air defense, then we should also take out heavy infantry weapons and tanks from the air. That much is needed to avert a complete rout of the rebels.

  3. The Egyptians military is more than capable of solving this Arab crisis.

    It can easily crush Qaddafi.

    Perhaps the Egyptian military is not interested in reinforcing Egypt's own people's revolution.

  4. Why is this being called a "civil war" when it is really a massacre?

  5. it is very hard to image that the administration can get anything right.,]... among other things our involvment in the middle east is a big part of our economic problems.

    Libya will fall eventually. he is an old man and change is will happen. we do not have a good record in mixing into the business of the middle east and african countries. there is instability, religious fervor, anti-american sentiments and corruption. I for one have had enough with Karzai and Pakistan where I am certain various warlords and politicians have enjoyed their lavish lifestyles at the expense of the American taxpayer. But Libya will fall.

  6. We have no business in interfering in other country's business. When will we ever learn? We are NOT the policeman of the world, (dare I say, but for the oil wells?).

  7. Does a no-fly zone really require destroying the air defences? How about simply putting Libyan pilots on notice that they can defect elsewhere if they want, telling them that they will be allowed to land safely on other airstrips, and also telling them that if they bomb civilians then they may be targetted by US warplanes. I've been hearing for years about how the F-22 is the greatest fighter ever, a single plane able to destory a squadron of F-15/16/18s. Libyas not far from the sea, so couldn't a couple F-22s easily come in and pick off Libyan planes? I don't know anything about aerial combat, so maybe even this is impractical, but can't one find a few targets of opportunity without exposing yourself too much? Even if they didn't get them all, even if they got 25%, the Libyan pilots would surely stop flying, their morale crushed. And if the US planes had anti-radiation missiles, I bet the air defences would conveniently not find them to save their own skin. I don't know if it's the right thing to do or not, but with the huge amount of money spent on these planes, why is it hard?

  8. Are our leaders capable of analytical thinking? Why do they keep repeating the same mistakes all over again?

    Bush Senior encouraged the Iraqi Shiites (who are majority in that country) to rise during the first Gulf War. After their rebellion started the White House stayed silent and motionless when Saddam Hussein used the air force and heavy artillery to crash the armless civilians.

    Obama Junior told Gadhafi that he must resign. The word “must” means the Libyan leader has to do it otherwise the White House would use every means necessary to accomplish that objective. If the president weren’t willing to launch a war, he shouldn’t have used a word “must”. That’s how we lose our national credibility, through chronic inconsistency.

    Mr. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence Services, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Colonel Qaddafi had a potentially decisive advantage in arms and equipment that would make itself felt as the conflict wore on.
    “This is kind of a stalemate back and forth,” he said, “but I think over the longer term that the regime will prevail.”

    One would think that the Director of Intelligence Services should be aware of what the President of the USA publically declared. It means Gadhafi must go. If he doesn’t go, our national credibility will suffer.
    The arguments our staffers and pundits use for Libya should be used for ending the war in Afghanistan and what they are asserting about Afghanistan should be used in Libya.

    Why?

    Allegedly, in Afghanistan we have the majority in power that is heavily armed so our continued presence is not needed at all. In Libya, we have the majority out of power for decades and literally armless. In that case, a short-term foreign intervention to bring the majority into power and gain the control over of the weaponry that is currently in the hands of dictator would get a job done.

    The objective of the UN and the USA should be to have the majority in power in any country with the weaponry needed to defend self.

    That’s something we accomplished in Afghanistan several years ago but refuse to achieve in Libya.

    Why?

    The world should give a chance to less fortunate nations at least once in 50 years.

  9. Let Libyans solve their own problem. The West should mind their business. The West cannot ot should not be world police or spider-man. If the West go to a Muslim country, Muslims blame the West, if the West doesn't involve, Muslims blame the West. We cannot solve whole world's problems. We should first take care of ourselves.

  10. As a lawyer, Obama ought to understand that he is both the nation's judge on our international security, and the power behind our decisions. He has issued his ruling, now, in the words of Andrew Jackson, let him enforce it. But Obama doesn't understand that if you threaten a kingpin like Qaddafi, you have no other choice than to make good on your words.

  11. Once can easily sympathize with rebels but the raw fact is America does not have a dog in that fight - neither dothe Europeans. It is time that Arabs solve this issue for once. No love for Geddafi from Egypt and cash-rich Gulf states. Let Egypt provide the fire power and the Gulf Arabs the purse and Geddafi will be defeated.

  12. To #4. I do not know why it's a massacre when insurgents(that's what they are) looted arms depots, seized weapons among them heavy artillery and anti aircraft guns and started an arm conflict with an established government. Now that they are loosing you call it a massacre? No. It's called defeat. Those of you(and the oil/mining interests funding these rebels)who defend these rebels are as irresponsible as they are,endagering civilians'lives for access to cheap oil. And now the masks start to fall. We now know who is behind these fake ME revolutions and for what reason...

  13. What happened in Egypt and Tunasia is not revolution, it's just change of power from corrupted dictator to corrupted military forces. In the ME, there is religious craziness, hatred of the West, corruption is culture; not a sigle blood from a Western should be sacrificed. Enough blood and money are already spent in Iraq, Afganistan, and Pakistan. Now it's time to care of ourselves. Everybody should mind their own business!

  14. I'm Australian, so I've got no political ax to grind here. This is a civil war, the same as Vietnam was. At least in Vietnam the people were largely ambivilent to Communism, but in a muslim Islam ia the ideaology country you are already the enemy. A no fly zone is no guarantee to victory, and if it fails the war is prolonged and then what next? Ground troops? Then every jihadistr in the Mahgreb will be on their way to Libya to kill westerners.

    Let someone else do it. Innocents will be killed and the US will be blamed.

    Saddam was much worse than Khadafy (attacked Iran, attacked Kuwait, killed 200 000 of his own people, constant threat to the Gulf) and everyone scrambled to defend him, so there is a lot of hypocracy here. The Dafur has suffered for years. Mugabe has killed his own people for many years. Where is the action!!!

    Here in Australia people complain about the US being the self appointed world policeman, but who is the first world leader to be mentioned on the news for not doing anything? Obama. More hypocracy here, and I know the US won't be thanked as soon as the inevitable first child gets killed by a stray US bomb.

    This is an Arab/African problem. They must grow up and sort it out.

  15. To those who want to fight other people's civil wars, there actually is a way to Do It Yourself: International Brigades.

  16. And now Colonel Qaddafi should try to win the hearts of his countrymen and women. He should roll out a plan to democratize his country, transfer the power to elected representatives. And he should open the schools and colleges. In this way he can be remembered as the father of his nation.
    If he has more money, he can spend in Harlem to make some skyscrapers.

  17. dear on line editor, Libyan condition must be analyzed dispassinately.The ruler Col Mummar el Quadaffi at the head and thousands of supporters behind him with a loyal forces well trained, well equipped and lot of arms ammunition with capacity for enough reinforcements.The other side is the mass who dlike or hate his government and demand for government with peoples support called the rebels or opposition.Two unequal sides. consider the unequal fores the opposition is having only mental force corordinated under a rebel leders.The cruel ruler is using his military armed with tanks mortars grenades and prbably howwitzers,Unless the UN secirty council wake up and view this mass killing by a government of their citizen for no seriuos crime but a simple disagreement only The authorirties insted of listening to the problems and trying to solve it indulges in military action with all forces under its commandUn;less the U N or any other nation with the coopertion of the unites nations interfere directly with required military forces and thus defeat this cruel ruler the result will be annihilation of a mass of people dying unaided in mass dated Saturday March 12the 2011 time 0330Hrs ISt AM

  18. Obama has helped kill the "rebels" and "anti-government" people in Libya.

    Blood on his hands.

  19. The United States is falling over itself to help Japan.
    Wish they would fall all over it self to help the people of Libya'
    I,m sad to call my self a American , and a supporter of Obama

  20. No money for transplants in Arizona, no money for schools in South Carolina, no money to repair hundreds of bridges in America that are below code, no money for Head Start and Pell Grants for kids already in college. Tell me why there's money for Libya and a no-fly zone that will cost $100 Million per week to enforce?

    If the European Union which is threatened by an influx of Libyan migrants, chaos next door if Libya becomes another Somalia and disruption of its direct oil supply, cannot reach a consensus on Libya, who are we to intervene? There's no point in Republicans writing in and claiming to be lifelong Democrats disappointed that the US president hasn't invaded the third Muslim country in 10 years.

    It's Europe's backyard, they have money and plenty of arms. They buy Libya's oil, let them fix it.

  21. Why would Gaddafi spend money in Harlem? That neighborhood is being gentrified and soon will lose its current character and become the new White Yuppieville. If anything, Gaddaffi will use his money to buy some more lobbying so once he wins back Libya (and he will because the EU and the US are all talk and no action)he can lobby Obama and Congress to ease up on the sanctions so he can import "medicine" to help his ailing population. However, as was shown before, in thos medicine carts will be weapons.

    Gaddafi is a crazed thug. He lives in a fantasy world where the % of the population who is against him belongs to Al-Qaeda. If the US and the EU will not conduct military action against Gaddaffi then just be quiet...all this posturing about frozen assets and sanctions won't help the citizens currently being cleansed from Libya. Just don't say later on that you tried everything because you haven't and you won't. If only Libya had more Oil reserves to offer, then the US would have put some precision Bombing Strikes on Gaddafi. The US military can guide a bomb to sense Gaddaffi's hideous curtain material clothes and that silly head garb. He says he is from the tent...no, he is from a sanatorium.

    Gaddafi, rest easy, after debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public can't swallow another middle eastern conflict.

    By the Way, the Arab league is a joke. They support a no fly zone but not one country has volunteered to man the no fly zone, instead they expect their lackies in the EU and US to give their lives for money and oil concessions.

    So please, Arab League, EU and US...don't shout condemnations and pledges of support if you aren't willing to back up those words with action.

  22. I agree that in and ideal world the rebels ( Libyans ) have to win this fight on their own, the problem for a guerrilla campaign, is lack of cover. In the desert there is precious little of this around, so they will be sitting ducks against air power, and a mechanized force. So, even if they were a trained force, supplying them with small arms, ammo, etc. won't do anything but delay the inevitable. If we want Quaddafi removed( who wouldn't), it will take an outside force. There are no good options here.

  23. The international "community" usually fouls up, either by not intervening or by intervening after heavy slaughter.

  24. Our media believes governments, rather than what's actually happening. Ours, Libyan. The rebels are still in command. They control most of the oil facilities, and most of the country. Res Lanuf was controlled by a small, rag-tag, valiant group of rebels, and Qaddafi's tanks and artillery hava had all sorts of trouble in Zawiyah. Jets can terrorize, but can't hold territory. God willing, Qaddafi's thugs will get what they deserve!

  25. I wonder how many of those airplanes and helicopters Qaddafi is using have Boeing or Lockheed Martin stamped on the side.

  26. We can blame NATO for the ridiculously protracted delay in forming a consesus and implementing a timely action plan NATO should have armed the rebels to the teeth while dropping in several huundred advisors to train the rebels in weapons use. Then a No Fly zone whould have been employed 2 weeks ago. But what can we expect when the Military/ Industrial Complex runs the show both here and abroad. Now the oil companies are looking at bloated profit margins once again as they continue to heed Former White Chief of Staff Ramm Emanuels adage of never letting a good crisis go to waste. President Obama has become a toothless tiger; instead of leveling empty threats at Colonel MadHatter he should have implored the international community to step up to the plate for once and do something other than criticize the United States, which would have been be a nice change. I am thoroughly disgusted at this never ending game of charades we are playing- regime change,. nation building, etc.-lets see it for what it is-that being market manipulation by exploiting the political destablization of oil rich nations and playing along and being in bed with the tyrants that run these backward little 3rd world Countries. Once again our President has failed miserably by not grasping the mantle of leadership through the use of the Presential bully pulpit, which by the way, has been reduced to an a juvenille sandbox!

  27. It appears to me that the Obama administration has written off the Libyan rebels, who without assistance will be eradicated or captured by Qaddafi's mercenary army. I greatly fear what will happen to the brave fighters who survive Qaddafi's onslaught and are captured.

    I wonder what sort of country we are to permit such a travesty. The rebels must feel terribly betrayed by the US. And I wonder what is the supposed rationale behind our passivity. It can only be a tactical rationale. I know it cannot be a moral rationale, for there is none.

    I am thinking the rebels must feel like the Central and Eastern Europeans felt like in 1938 when the Allies (UK, France, USA) let Hitler take that part of Europe, all in some futile hope that the tyrant would then stop. He didn't. And neither will Qaddafi.

    So, we are cowards once again.

  28. we are voting 'present' in this crisis - and, according to Dante, there is a special place in hell for those who are neutral in a moral crisis. book a suite there for obama and company.

  29. Where are the CIA assassins when you need them?

  30. This is the most depressing turn of events. Might is right.
    This Gadafi and his forces aren't even human, but worse than animals.
    Plowing over peoples' graves. It reminds me of Theriesendtadt in then Czechoslovakia where the Nazis established this model camp just so the Red Cross could come and visit and see that everything was fine, which of course it wasn't and
    the occupants were eventually sent to death camps. Gadafi was born on 1942 if I am not mistaken. That was the year of the Final Solution and the Wansee Conference. Need I say more? He is G-dless.
    And I am extremely disappointed that no-one provided the help that would have made a difference at the time that it was necessary. You, the leaders of the world, in not acting when it was appropriate, have handed this tyrant a victory.
    Clapper's statement will have turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy thanks to you. This man devours his own people, has no regard for human life, is literally a vulture. Obama should return his Nobel Prize because he has done
    nothing for the cause of freedom. I hope he loses in 2012. He speaks but does not act. I too am tired of wasting my breath because it is just a voice in the wind.

  31. Looks like Qaddafi might win in the end.
    From purely military view point or just commone sense Qaddafi should be able prevail in the end.

  32. And so the Obama Administrations does what is in the best interest of the United States, Exxon-Mobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and wealthy oligarchs in the US and Europe. That is, stand by the sidelines, with Europe (less France) and watch as the rebel forces are decimated by Qaddafi's US/European supplied troops.

    At least enacting a "no fly zone" would have given the rebel forces a fighting chance. Woe to those in Libya who were fighting for the rebels, or supported them, because Qaddafi is going to have mass executions almost on the scale of the holocaust.

    And his future? Well, he will be more embolden than ever. And the people of the Middle East will remember that our Nobel Peace Prize winning President is no different than George W. Bush.

  33. It's always nice and clean and fresh to talk about democracy - but talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words, and America - well, hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil - but make sure we emphasize Democracy!

  34. Where does the head of one country depart from reality to the extent that he presumes to dictate to the leader of any other sovereign state-no matter how odious-on morality and domestic matters, or the superiority of his specious democratic vision? Just think of the recent history of the murderous activities in Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Iraq. How does that bastion of latter day high school student government and clique backbiting, the United Nations and NATO, derive the divine authority to police the domestic activities of any other nation? Why have they forgotten their own negligence in Biafra, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Lebanon the Congo, and genocide elsewhere in Hutu Africa. Why did it take 42 years to question the morality of Mubarak and Khaddafi.

  35. Honestly, what can Obama do? This is an extremely difficult decision. As soon as Obama takes action on either side, he is committed to that side. If the rebels do not win, we risk losing an Oil producing ally. Not even the UNSC has passed anything. China and Russia are resisting any military action, and they have veto power for any resolution.

    As for dropping of supplies and training the rebels, remember the Bay of Pigs. Remember how that blew up in our face?

    Thirdly, say we do go in and successfully remove Qaddafi from power. Now what? There is now a power vacuum in Libya. Something worse than Qaddafi, who does not have U.S. leanings, could come to power.

    Obama is in a difficult situation with this. Very difficult. Either way, he risks angering someone. If he makes one wrong move, we could lose much needed allies.

  36. Isn't it just great being a Democrat!

  37. The Japanese earthquake is hogging all the news right now, allowing even greater Libyan massacres to occur unnoticed.

    Even news in the NYS about Libya is sparce.

    I hope at least Anderson Cooper continues to track Libya.

    The Egyptian Air Force should intervene and help the Libyan freedom fighters.

  38. I don't get where the entire argument that intervention of any kind automatically makes us a "war-monger" or a Republican. I assumed that genuine interest in the welfare of those being actively brutally oppressed elsewhere in the world transcended political bickering at home, but it appears that my assumptions were wrong.

    Criticism of the President isn't reserved just for those on the other side of the aisle - there are plenty of people who support Obama but who are also disappointed by his handling of affairs in the region. Two years ago, at his speech in Cairo, many people (many in the Arab world included) felt that this could be the start of a new era of relations with the Arab and Muslim world.

    And yet, when people in Iran were brutally put down in 2009 after protesting contested elections, we did nothing. When the entire world, our allies included, condemned Israel for their raid on the flotilla - we did nothing. When Tunisia and Egypt occurred, we sent conflicting messages until it became clear the will of the people would prevail, and we quickly jumped on the winning side.

    And Libya? A nation that you won't find on our list of allies or even friends, and ruled by a man we aren't exactly on great terms with? We've scraped together words telling him that he "must leave" because he has "lost his legitimacy to rule."

    And it isn't just in the words we use - it's also in what we've done since the violence began almost a month ago. While England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and other nations had no problem sending in military planes and ships to safeguard the safe passage of their citizens and the citizens of other nations trying to flee the conflict, the world's greatest Navy sat unused as we hoped that Gadhafi would allow our contracted ferry safe passage.

    We've become so hamstrung into thinking that any intervention automatically means another Iraq or Afghanistan, when we forget that intervention in the past also included actions in Serbia/Kosovo - and inaction included Rwanda.

    I had the fortune of being in the Middle East on the day Mubarak finally left, and it was stunning to see the solidarity among Arab people. Phones erupted the second the news broke, and for many days prior, everyone was glued to the TV - and yes, they waited to hear what Obama had to say each time he took the podium. And even now, the Arab world is watching, and our actions (or lack thereof) aren't going to be readily forgotten by a people with long memories.

  39. #25 Alex
    "I wonder how many of those airplanes and helicopters Qaddafi is using have Boeing or Lockheed Martin stamped on the side."

    None. The US has had an arms embargo against Qaddafi for decades. The only US planes he has are some ancient C-130 cargo planes from the 70's. The combat planes are either French or Russian built.

  40. The opposition is beginning to arm teenagers. When a country reaches a "failed nation" status teenage armies begin to emerge. They are essentially street gangs.

  41. People in Wisconsin in particular and the US in general should be as militant at the Arab people in opposing a government that seeks to impoverish us.

  42. @ #25 Alex: Surprisingly, almost all of Libyas airforce equipment is Russian and European, according to this Wikipedia post:
    http://en.wikipedia.org...

  43. We can wait for 50 days, or we are you talking about Palastine, ok lets start piece talks.....

  44. Dictators and despots the world over are greatly reassured once again by the failure of the international
    community to respond to the popular uprising in Libya. Gadafi's knows that the united nations, EU and NATO are paralyzed by the usual petty infighting, national self interest and what can only be described as cowardice. Clinton says that not everyone in the UN is on board. As if that ever stopped the US before when prosecuting it's pet wars.
    What the international community is forgetting however is that for years it has called on the Arab countries to adopt more democratic principles and now if we turn our back on the very fledgling democratic movements we encouraged, we will truly have demonstrated the hollowness of our principles. Tunisia and Egypt could easily slip back into the hands of dictators and other Arab despots now know that to hang, all they have to do is keep killing their people because aa happened in former Yugoslavia, the international community is made up of nothing but a bunch of cowards.

  45. It is amazing. Gaddafi seemed to like Obama. Now Obama has managed to totally alienate all groups in Libya. The rebels have got to blame him for not helping and the pro Gaddafi people hate him for what he has demanded.

  46. I turn on the news each evening and watch as a country rises up against an oppressive tyrant, I can only watch as my heart and prayers go out to these people, those brave men who are dying along with their women and children, fighting for the very thing we take granted for …………………………… freedom. I am an American Soldier, who is currently deployed (3rd tour) from my family, to Afghanistan for one year. If I knew my Commander in Chief would take action and send military aid, I would extend my tour and volunteer to go help without hesitation. I know there is much more of a process involved then just sending military aid; but to do nothing but watch the innocent die is wrong. The world for a long time has always watched and waited to see what our nation will do in circumstances such as this, and they watch and wait today. I look at it as an honor and responsibility given to this nation and, whether we like it or not, it is an honor and responsibility that we need to live up to as a free nation. Realize that no matter what we do, whether we help or not, there will be those that condemn us, remember sir that sometimes what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular. To do nothing is wrong, it will not only hurt future relations, and worse, what example will we set as a nation that most all other nations look to. Tonight I will turn on the news again, and again I will watch those brave men die along with their women and children, and frustration will build inside knowing I can do nothing as my heart yearns to help them. BLUF: Sir, quit hesitating, send military aid, stop the slaughter, and let’s help these brave people gain their freedom and I will be the first to volunteer.

  47. Funny how we've forgotten that there once was a revolution of a small band of patriots in this country --- which would not have succeeded without foreign intervention. Among many instances, had the French Navy not arrived in time to blockade the British at Yorktown, Virginia (18th Century version of a no-fly zone) -- we would not be able to buy souvenirs today at Williamsburg.

  48. If we do not support the rebels in their battle for democracy, our democracy has no lasting value and we deserve a fascist dictatorship. Those who have no values for which they would kill or die, have no values worth living for. Pacifism merely facilitates natural selection in a moral Serengeti.

  49. As a nuanced thinking progressive New Yorker, I'm concerned that President Obama used the term "tighten the noose" around Qaddafi's neck. The imagery of an international lynching reflects poorly on all of us.

  50. Obviously, Qadaffi is experiencing the same sting of Obama's wrath usually felt by Republicans.

  51. It is very tough to be an American and sit back watching pro-democratic forces crushed under a dictatorial mafia. We are not the type to do nothing in the face of abuse. But this time we must.

    This is European Union detached ambivalence on display. EU is a bigger market than America. Sure, their cars aren't reliable and maybe their weapons aren't either, but under the right winds, smoke from the burning Libyan democracy movement can be seen and smelled in Europe.

    If the EU ever had a bone of responsibility in its body, now is the time to show it with an EU enforced no fly zone, and the seizure or destruction of all heavy weapons.

  52. I have a sickening feeling in my stomach that Gaddafi will win eventually and will start to cleanse his country (exterminating his oppositions ) as soon as the media put their attention somewhere else. The opposition cannot win, at least the way it is now. U.S. , not only it is not going to assist the opposition, also doesn't recognize the interim government of the opposition, which cost zero tax dollar and no military action but will provide a valuable moral support to the opposition. We don't have much time. Is Obama kind of sacrificing the people who seek for democracy for the sake of saving America's face - not being shown as meddling with another business of a Muslim country- when Arab league asked for NFZ and the Libyan interim government asked for it also??

  53. Why do so many readers believe that the right thing for us to do is support the illegal overthrow of a sovereign government? Think what you will about Qaddafi, his is a legitimate government and the rebels are looters, trouble makers and thugs who represent no viable alternative. Contrary to the beliefs of George Soros and his puppet Obama, this is no way to bring about political change.

  54. The US has been associated with much evil in the Muslim world in the past years, and another big dose is brewing in Libya. We haven't yet settled the score of the Lockerbie bombing with Kaddafi, and now he flaunts this evil slaughter in the world's face while the US mills around in a daze. France, Egypt, somebody, do something.

  55. Looks like our president has run out of posturing statements and is allowing the matter to playout in Libya among Libyans. Good move! Muslims hate it when infidels mix in their business and kill some of them. They'd rather do it themselves. I also prefer that approach. Their idea of "democracy" is similar to that of the various "People's Democratic Republics." For the moment, Obama should focus on releasing the Fifth Fleet and the Libyan money he embargoed so our Navy can go back to work and Libyans can kill more Libyans or rebuild their country. Their choice. Sending a "neutral contingent" to "protect civilians? Why not just tell call them what they are... occupation forces? I still think is a job for a couple of Libyan patriots with scoped rifles; the Colonel still makes public appearances.

  56. The world is witnessing a tragedy where all opponents of the dictator in Libya as well as civilians are gunned down by aircrafts and helicopters without meaningful actions to stop these massacres. There was a radio interview with medical doctor from one of the areas that was retaken by the regime's forces few days ago. The medical doctor stated that everyone who was captured there was summarily executed. This is a really outrageous situation. The massacres in Rwanda more than a decade ago was blamed on the United Nations Security Council's failure to act because its Permanent Members decided then that there was no need to intervene. Today, Libya is facing similar situation where great numbers of people are and will be massacred unless the international community acts now. The United States must call for an urgent and open meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Let the world witness, the hypocrisy of some states particularly China and Russia. If they veto the proposed action by the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone as well as other measures against the Libyan regime, then the General Assembly should act by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, recognizing the legitimacy of the resistance Council, issuing warning and additional list of military commanders engaged in the massacres against the Libyan people and sending such a list to the International Criminal Tribunal. In the meantime, the Obama Administration should exert pressure on the League of Arab States and the African Union to adopt measures such as no-fly zone over Libya, helping Libyan refugees, recognizing the legitimacy of the resistance Council,and any action these organization deem necessary to bring to an end the massacres, the dictatorship that is flagrantly violating thee human rights of the Libyan people, and ultimately to bring about a democratic, peaceful and decent government in Libya.

  57. Now that everyone knows Obama is going to let the rebels die, Ghaddafi has been encouraged to murder more of them. We can only hope that the bipartisan revulsion with Obama will convince him that as much as he may wish to appease Ghaddafi and the Demo left, it is in his 2012 interest to intervene and help the rebels. It is moving that way, but a lot of rebels are dying while Obama is trying to figure out what is in his best interest.

  58. All you pro interventionist, please tell me who the Rebel leaders are so I can be on your side. Seems like, if the rebels have legitimacy,it would be a good time for them to become allies with Israel. We have put enough weapons in the Middle East for the "balance of power" that, on this one, we can now stay home.

  59. so much for jack kennedy's promise to the world. this is a repeat of the 1930s league that did nothing about italian aggression in ethiopia and jap aggression in china.

    this is the new world that barry soetoro/bamaman has allowed: Thuggery rampant and "the last great hope of mankind" silent in response.
    Since W W II this country has protected the world from thugs. no more.. under barry, it will never take action and always find a reason for inaction, appeasement, pusillanimity: policies that have lead the world to one disaster after another.
    sad what has happened to Mr. Lincoln's nation.

  60. This is Obama's Bay of Pigs.

  61. It looks like the NY Times PC crowd is going to be disapointed that another Islamic Fascist revolution might not be succeeding. Just think somebody who kills the terrorists off is not going to be overthrown. I bet the Coptics who were killed last week in Egypt and had their church burned down by 15000 peaceful Muslims wish that the Egyptian revolution had not succeeded.

  62. To all the posters going on about the tragedy is Libya. I notice not a one has hopped on an airplane and gone to the scene with rifle in hand. You armchair saviors want somebody else to die to support your PC politics. Seems like cowardice to me.

  63. As Busuan #15 said, the way for the chicken hawks who are urging intervention by other people at the risk of those other people's lives to proceed is to fly to Cairo, get a taxi to the Libyan border, cross and form an international brigade with other like minded souls.

    The insurgents can have little sympathy. They started an uprising. They thought they would easily win, and be in power of a trillion-dollar oil producer. They took a risk. The risk happened, the risk anytime insurgents take on an established governments. Many such insurgents died in Afghanistan and Iraq, to wild cheers by the chicken hawks.

    Sorry, a government, even headed by a man such as Gaddafi, is entitled to defend itself against threats foreign and domestic. And yes, they can "shoot at their own people" to keep the country united and under control. After all: Lincoln did.

  64. As an European, I am surprised at reading comments by some Americans that since this is Europe's backyard, it is up to Europe to clean up the mess in Lybia.
    Whatever is done in Lybia, is to be done by NATO and not just by Europe; it is not a matter of military capabilities, which are exceeding the need in this case, it is a matter of sharing the responsibility, especially the political one. After all, that's what a military alliance is about.

  65. The earthquake in Japan is a tough break for Libyan rebels and another example of how short our attention span has become, the fighting in Libya was bumped off the front page of the Boston Globe yesterday. I find it shameful and disgusting that Obama did not hesitate to send aid to Japan but has only empty words for Libyan rebels. He mentioned in his comments that he grew up knowing Japanese people. Huh? Is that how we decide to help? We need a president that can make decisions on an intellectual basis. Forget everything else, Libyan rebels are fighting for what we pretend to hold dear. Status quo in the middle east perpetuated. Way to go, Barack.

  66. If President Obama intervenes, the Obama haters will say that he is trying to steal Libya's oil and will accuse him for any of the civilian casualties that are likely to occur.

    If he doesn't intervene those SAME haters will accuse him of dithering and of not caring for the Lybian people.

  67. 'Shouts of God is Great as the rebels fled...' makes me worry that these uprisings in the middle east may just replace corrupt secular autocratic rule with fanatical theocratic ones.

  68. WHERE are all the suicide bombers NOW? Certainly not sidling up to Moammar Kadafy, the man who needs one the most.

  69. Qaddafi's regime is gaining momentum and, according to how weak the opponent is at this time, it will conquer Benghazi very soon.

    Saif Qaddafi, the Rais' second son, threatened Italy with possible retaliations including terririst attacks in lieu of what he called "A true act of betrayal". Saif Qaddafi insisted on the fact that Italy has long lived off Libyan gas and oil and that turning its back on his father now cannot be accepted.

    Whilst making threats, he also said that all BRIC countries and South Africa are now in line to rake in as much oil and gas as possible and they will be more than happy to transact with them vs. the one long-time ally who just commited treason.

    Italy has always been held by the meatballs by many foreign counterparts and this is another demonstration of how vulnerable our country is and will be. The question is: "Should Qaddafi win and remain in power in order for Italy to survive and avoid becoming an economic protectorate and fend off possible dire consequences?"

    Italy finds itself between a rock and a hard spot, in the likes of having to curb the ongoing wave of immigrants and a Plan B related to which partner it will be buying energy from in the VERY near future. As far as I see it Qaddafi sits right on the director's chair at this time, for Italy and for everyone. Unfortunately.

  70. MI5: Muammar Gaddafi and sons are using their luxury heavy-weight Russian-made weapons to fight against the pro-Democracy party and killing the Libyan people, ONLY will embarrass a Russian black-belt Judo man while French TOTAL Oil Corporation will play major stakeholder of Libya's oil field development, later the Texas' ExxonMobile and British BP in Houston/Pasadena, Texas will follow the same role to recognize the NEW Libya Dynasty and the NEW pro-Democracy party as the legal Libyan government.

  71. Why not call in Blair? He is the one committed to
    purging the world of leaders unpopular in the West!!

  72. This was over before it began. Qaddafi had all the resources and money to hire as many mercenaries as he required. Where did these people get the belief that the US would ride to their rescue? Oh, yeah, kuwait, iraq, afghahistan ... but they have more oil then libya and we do need to defend those poppies ... the american way! Or, maybe it was watching those reruns of the US calvary ... no, it was probably reading their own history ... to the 'shores of Tripoli'. Dumb, they do know their history but of course they forgot to realize that america does not teach much history to its people any longer.

  73. Countrymen. Now is the time. Let's not forget the assistance France gave the colonial Americans which was instrumental in defeating the British. Libya now needs a France. The US is not the world's policman but it can be the arsenal for democracy which it once was.

  74. To Madigan229:

    As the world's superpower, we ARE, in fact, its de facto policeman whether we like it or not. You cynically suggest that we would be intervening just for oil when reporters show the Libyan people begging us to help them overthrow Qaddafi's and his thugs. Don't they deserve our help when they are being massacred just for wanting a change of regime?

  75. How much blood and death is needed to convince western powers to intervene and stop Gadafis masacre of civilians and rebels?

  76. @ Alex, #25 -

    The large majority of Libyan air force planes are from the old Soviet Union, many are no longer airworthy - if the rebels were better organized and had a reasonable supply of surface to air missiles, well, the AF would not be problematic which is to say no need for U.S./NATO/UN involvement.

    Alongside this, some may find it interesting that the World Bank places Libya number one in Africa in its Human Development Index.

  77. Send in the EUrmy and the Luftwaffe. The Germans can afford and are familiar with the turf.

    The Americans can't afford it. We've got to take care of our unionized public employees first.

  78. To those who posted comments #'s 33,47,64,73,and 74.........Hooah! All of you could not be more right! I am a Soldier (see #46), one who has not forgotten that freedom is not free......... it takes sacrifice. Just as those who have sacrificed with us and for us to gain our freedom; that mantle has been passed to us as a free nation to help those in need. The right to a free nation and people is a right for all nations and should not stop at our shores only but extend to those who desire to be free from tyranny and oppression across the world. People need to put aside the religious and political differences, because that is not what this is about; it's about one thing and one thing only................freedom.