“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya, a Lesson in Why You Never Surrender your Guns


  1. Franco Frattini, the foreign minister, said Italy was bracing for an exodus 10 times bigger than the number of Albanians who fled to Italy in the 1990s when the Balkan nation descended into anarchy.
    "We know what to expect when the Libyan national system falls – a wave of 200,000 to 300,000 immigrants," Mr Frattini said.
    "These are estimates, and on the low side ... It is a Biblical exodus. It's a problem that no Italian should underestimate."
    He said about a third of Libya's population, or 2.5 million people, are immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa who could flee if the popular revolt topples the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

  2. Thousands fled towards the Egyptian border yesterday, seeking refuge from Benghazi and al Bayda cities a day after the Libyan leader called on his people to purge the country of the protesters.
    Each seemed to have a tale of horror to relate. Many had seen unarmed people shot dead in front of them by snipers, or had come across the rotting bodies of Mr Gaddafi's victims. Others had cowered at home, too terrified by the relentless gunfire raging about them to venture outside, even though many had no food, water or electricity.
    But in some cases, the protesters succeeded in avenging the deaths of their peers.
    Ahmed Ahmed Ibrahim showed video footage he had captured on his mobile telephone of an African mercenary hanging from a meat-hook in an Al Bayda doorway.
    The mercenaries had been in action, repeatedly opened fire without warning on what he said were peaceful civilian protesters, when Mr Ibrahim and his allies got news that reinforcements were travelling into the city. The aircraft landed at the nearby Abruk military airport bringing with it a fresh cargo of mercenaries.

  3. Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988, according to his recently resigned justice minister.

    The claim, if it can be corroborated, would mark a sensational development in the long and tangled story of the downing of Pan Am flight 103, in which 270 people died over the Scottish Lowlands town in the worst act of terrorism in UK history.

    "I have proof that Gaddafi gave the order about Lockerbie," Mustafa Abdel-Jalil told the Swedish tabloid Expressen, but he did not describe the proof. Libya accepted responsibility for the atrocity, for which intelligence agent Abdel-Basset al-Megrahi was convicted. It also paid billions of dollars in compensation. But it has never admitted carrying the bombing out — let alone that it was on Gaddafi's direct orders. Abdel-Jalil stepped down in protest against the brutal clampdown on anti-government protests. He made the claim during an interview with the newspaper at the local parliament of an unidentified large city in Libya.

  4. Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the calls for a Nato-imposed no-fly zone to be enforced over Libya to "prevent the use of that country's warplanes against [its] population".

    Sarkozy, the current president of the G8 and G20 economic forums, has also called for the European Union to impose sanctions against Libya and suggested that the assets of the family of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, should be frozen.

  5. President Barack Obama said the U.S. is examining all options for pressuring Libya to end a violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators, and he is dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a meeting in Switzerland to work with her counterparts from other nations on a coordinated response.


    That is part of the reason for Clinton’s trip. Obama said she will attend a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Feb. 28 to work on a unified approach.


    The U.S. is rushing to evacuate its citizens from Libya. A ferry scheduled to leave Tripoli yesterday with U.S. diplomats and family members was delayed by bad weather.

    Clinton Talking

  6. As in like, 4 days from now?

  7. Gaddafi is as mad as a hatter in a slaughter house and these politicians are talking about "consequences." We passed "consequences" about two weeks ago at eighty miles an hour while Obama was exercising his community organizing skills with his unions.

  8. The Iranians are smiling. We hanged the only guy in the region that had the balls and power to keep them in check. In doing that we turbo-charged the Shiites and they are raising hell all over the place. Mubarack is down, oil is way up. Way up, and Iran is making money hand over fist.

    The first dip shit is clueless and George Bush is enjoying his pension. The last thing anyone will do now is embargo anything from Iran. Iran will go nuclear and Israel, unless they are totally insane, will not be attacking Iran anytime soon.

    The fruit of fifty years of US handiwork in the Middle East is going up in some very oily smoke and flames. Then for a really good laugh, everyone wants our bonds.

    Obama has been working overtime between concerts, trips and maintaining his coolness (he never rests) taking US oil production off line.