"The Eastern Regions of Libya Are Now Free Regions"

Col. Qaddafi has an eccentric habit of periodically declaring that he has abolished the Libyan government. His subjects suddenly seem interested in taking him up on the idea. Amid reports of severe repression, claims are coming in that the city of Benghazi is now "out of the control of the Gaddafi regime." The Telegraph has posted footage apparently showing protesters in Tobruk toppling a statue of Qaddafi's Green Book. An activist interviewed on Al Jazeera claims that "the eastern regions of Libya are now free regions." Stay tuned.

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  • ||

    Anarchy, fuck yeah!

  • Crickets||

    [...]

  • ||

    I had a political philosophy class back in the mid-80s where one of my fellow students insisted that Libya was a living anarchy. Wonder if he still thinks that?

  • omg||

    Did he think that was a positive thing or a negative thing?

  • ||

    Positive. He was into Kropotkin and really wanted to believe.

  •  ||

    He's working at a Blockbuster now.

  • ||

    Man, the Internet is a great thing.

  • ||

    What the fuck?!?!

    Anti-union teachers, Libyan anarchists

    Where the fuck do you live Pro?

    I have never even met an in the flesh libertarian.

  • ||

    Oh wait yes i have...i have met one in the flesh libertarian...and i did not know it until after he moved away...and i met him before I was a libertarian.

  • ||

    This was a course at the University of Florida. And he wasn't a libertarian. He was an anarcho-communist.

  • ||

    I am speaking to political diversity in general.

    In my world there only seem to be democrats, republicans or people who just don't give a shit.

    I never seem to meet anyone with an exotic political philosophy. you seem to have met a lot of people with various political views.

  • ||

    That was college. Not so much now. That guy called me an arch-capitalist during class once. I agreed.

    There was a guy who wore a red shirt with a hammer and sickle on it to that class, too.

  • Tman||

    Welease Woderwick!

  • Tim||

    +1

  • affenkopf||

    One thing Bahrain and Lybia have in common is that large parts of the police & military are recruited from outside the country. Not a good sign for protestors.

  • ||

    I didn't know this about Lybia.

    Where do they recruit the police from?

  • Fluffy||

    I don't know, but Al Jazeera has the Benghazi revolutionaries boasting that they have massacred the "African mercenaries", whoever they were.

  • B.P.||

    Benghazi? Tobruk? Is Rommel going to fill the power vacuum?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Not if El Alamain holds!

  • ||

    In Axis & Allies, I've conquered all of Africa before when playing as the Nazis. I always credit Rommel.

  • ||

    Been watching AJE for a couple of hours and haven't heard that the "eastern regions are free". Lots of shootings of protesters and general repression, more like.

  • Jesse Walker||

    The interview is from Al Jazeera Arabic. Click through for a translation.

  • ||

    it was a long war

  • Jim||

    Has CBS sent a female reporter there yet to cover this?

  • Fluffy||

    Apparently in Bahrain the claim is that "suicide protestors" are going to march on the traffic circle on Tuesday until the army runs out of bullets or gives up.

    If they actually do that - yikes.

  • Soveriegn Immunity||

    72 virgins.

  • ||

    That's 36 Lennon/Ono albums.

  • Brett L||

    Didn't they try that in the Boxer Rebellion?

  • Kolohe||

    That's why it turned out to be brief.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    Didn't they try that in the Boxer Rebellion?
    That's why it turned out to be brief.

    Kolohe:
    I saw what you did there.

  • GILMORE||

    The last few weeks have been genuinely, "holy shit" moments in international affairs.

    Most notable, at least for me (as someone who reads Foreign Affairs/Foreign Policy mags, and who pays attention to the daily ramblings of FP bloggers and policy wonks) is the relative silence/reticence on the part of the foreign policy community to really offer much insight into the ongoing state of affairs.

    Basically, I find that 'experts' seem to have a lot to say, and regularly express strong opinions on issues when things are comparatively stable, status quo ; as soon as things start to become less predictable and fluid... suddenly they seem to shut the hell up, knowing if they put a stake in the ground and make any conviction calls, they will be later called to task for their view if it turns out to be off the mark.

    This is somewhat understandable, but disappointing; people like equities analysts, economists, and even sports bookmakers are always laying odds and making judgement calls, taking some risk and justifying their opinions based on detailed reviews of historical data and weighing the relative impact of the forces at play. I'm not sure the comparison is entirely fair, but by contrast, FP academics have teeny, tiny balls when it comes to making a conviction call. Is it that these things are harder to analyze, and that things are far too unpredictable? That the consequences are far more significant? I'm not sure. All I know is that its pretty freaking lame that in a moment like this, when the entire ME region is experiencing a widespread popular uprising against ossified ruling structures, that the foreign policy commentariat becomes incredibly timid and loath to provide any particularly valuable insight.

    Maybe Im being a little unfair; I read at least one comment by someone re: Egypt who early on said the whole thing was a lost cause and that Mubarak had already outmaneuvered the protestors, and that 'democracy in the region was doomed'; OK, that was a miss, but I at least appreciate the guy putting his neck on the line and making a call. Everyone else Ive read more or less goes, "well, wait & see. These are important times..."

    What I'd like to see is a country-by-country analysis of where these movements may:

    1) actually produce viable, lasting popular movements that will likely end the existing ruling structure and install something better in its wake

    2) fail horribly, result in widespread violence and repression,

    3) peter out with no particular results whatsoever, perhaps leading to some mild reform that actually improves the outlook for existing leadership...

    4) some other potential outcome...

    I'm not seeing that yet. If anyone knows of somebody out there writing extensively about these issues who takes at least some kind of stand on potential outcomes, let me know.

    (p.s. oh, yeah: Fuck you Tom Friedman, you colossal waste of time...)

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    My opinion of foreign policy experts is that they know alot about foreign governments. They don't seem to know much about how the people of the countries think about things. I think it probably is impossible for a foreigner(or a native?) to learn enough about a country to predict how a revolution will play out.

  • ||

    My prediction is that in most of the mid-east you will have a replay of 1848:
    Short-term: a lot of violence and repression and the appearance of status quo elites remaining in power;
    Long-term: those elites and the strong men they prop up will have to begin real reforms as they have no legitemacy and everyone knows it.

  • Plate-O||

    This post may be of interest to you:
    http://blogs.reuters.com/great.....ong-again/

    One month ago, few would have entertained the thought that Mubarak’s regime was about to collapse. Almost no one saw the fall of the Soviet Union coming either. In 1982, Sovietologist Severyn Bailer proclaimed that the USSR “will not go bankrupt … like the political system it will not collapse.” John Kennith Galbraith spoke of a thriving Soviet economy and E.A. Hewett claimed in 1988 that Soviet citizens enjoyed “massive economic security.”

    There has been much talk — and will be much more — about what exactly toppled Ben Ali and Mubarak. Why now and not last year or a decade ago? The short answer is that we haven’t a clue and probably never will. The mighty Black Swan emerged from her shadowy nest and once again made fools of everyone. We should learn from this experience — although if history is any indicator, we won’t.
  • ||

    Just happened that I was reading The Black Swan while the whole overthrow of Mubarak unfolded. Really changed the way I read all the news accounts. All the ex post facto explanations of why it happened fall completely flat.

  • Tom Friedman||

    if they were smart they would model their governments after China's because that would give them the power to impose climate change legislation.

  • Kolohe||

    Mubarak had already outmaneuvered the protestors,

    That was wrong yes.

    and that 'democracy in the region was doomed';

    *this* is too early to tell.

    You can't make good predictions of chaotic* systems, too sensitive to small changes in initial conditions. Maybe everyone coalesces around the idea of pluralism and good (enough) leadership emerges to make it self sustaining. or maybe that leadership is bad and they're back on the streets in a few months. Or maybe power coalesces around one person who's able to ensure order and brings pluralism down the road. Or maybe he doesn't. Or maybe power coalesces around two or more mutually hostile factions and it gets really ugly.

    All these are possible, and it's really damn hard, even if you know everything there is to know, which way it's going to turn out, or even to assign probabilities with sufficient accuracy. It's like trying to pick the superbowl winner and MVP for next year's game today.

  • Kolohe||

    *used in the mathematical sense

  • Kolohe||

    Mubarak had already outmaneuvered the protestors,

    That was wrong yes.

    and that 'democracy in the region was doomed';

    *this* is too early to tell.

    You can't make good predictions of chaotic* systems, too sensitive to small changes in initial conditions. Maybe everyone coalesces around the idea of pluralism and good (enough) leadership emerges to make it self sustaining. or maybe that leadership is bad and they're back on the streets in a few months. Or maybe power coalesces around one person who's able to ensure order and brings pluralism down the road. Or maybe he doesn't. Or maybe power coalesces around two or more mutually hostile factions and it gets really ugly.

    All these are possible, and it's really damn hard, even if you know everything there is to know, which way it's going to turn out, or even to assign probabilities with sufficient accuracy. It's like trying to pick the superbowl winner and MVP for next year's game today.

  • Kolohe||

    a comment so nice it posted it twice.

  • Tim||

    Whole lot o' shakin goin on.

  • Plate-O||

    Before everyone starts celebrating, it should be mentioned that the Eastern regions of Libya have always been anti-Quaddafi Kaddafi Qataffy. It'll be more interesting if we start seeing large protests in their capital.

  • Puma pas cher||

    yeah

  • basket puma pas cher||

    now

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