N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here
Anti-government demonstrators in Sanaa, Yemen, on Monday.
February 21st, 2011
11:44 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

LIBYA 11:45 p.m. ET, 6:45 a.m. local: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Libya to immediately stop the "unacceptable" attacks on anti-government demonstrators.

"Like you and many others around the world, I have seen very disturbing and shocking scenes, where Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters," Ban said from Los Angeles. "This is
unacceptable. This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law."

LIBYA, 11:22 p.m. ET, 6:22 a.m. local: At the request of Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations - who earlier today called the crackdown in Libya a "genocide" - the U.N. Security Council scheduled a Tuesday morning meeting on Libya. This will be the first time the council has held consultations over any of the revolts that have swept Arab nations since January.

LIBYA, 11:09 p.m. ET, 6:09 a.m. local: A Libyan woman, speaking on condition of anonymity to CNN's Anderson Cooper, recounts a massacre near her home in Tripoli:

BAHRAIN, 8:51 p.m. ET, 4:51 a.m. local: CNN's Tim Lister reports from Bahrain, where he walked among protesters in the capital's Pearl Roundabout. Thousands of demonstrators were in the roundabout on Monday, preparing for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. Lister says the demonstrators' encampment has taken on an air of permanence, with tents, makeshift kitchens, even a rudimentary field hospital.

More on the Bahrain protests:

LIBYA, 7:40 p.m. ET, 2:40 a.m. local: About 15,000 of Libya's 2 million to 3 million Egyptians returned Monday across the border, border officials said.

The Egyptian military has set up refugee camps near its border with Libya and set up two mobile hospitals at the Salloum border crossing to assist Egyptians fleeing the protests in Libya, Egypt's state-run news website EgyNews
reported late Monday.

LIBYA, 7:33 p.m. ET, 2:33 a.m. local: Here is more on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's 40-second appearance - in which he said he still was in Libya - on state-run TV Tuesday morning:

"I want to have some rest," the embattled Libyan leader told a reporter in front of what Libyan television said was his house as he pulled out an umbrella in the rain. "Because I was talking to the young man at Green Square,
and I want to stay the night with them but then it started raining. I want to show them that I am in Tripoli, not in Venezuela. Don't believe those dogs in the media."

Green Square is where pro-government demonstrators in Tripoli have been located.

LIBYA, 6:49 p.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. local: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said Tuesday morning on state-run television that he is not in Venezuela as rumored, but in Tripoli.

Earlier today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Gadhafi may have been on his way to Venezuela.

Here is video of Gadhafi's comments to Libyan state-run TV:

LIBYA, 6:46 p.m. ET, 1:46 a.m. local: CNN's Cairo bureau chief Ben Wedeman has entered eastern Libya and is the first western television reporter to enter and report from inside Libya during the current crisis. He says much of eastern Libya appears to be in opposition control.

"What we saw as we were driving in is that this part of eastern Libya is clearly under the controls of the rebels - the forces that are opposed to Col. Gadhafi," Wedeman by phone on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"We saw along the road a lot of groups of men with shotguns - with machine guns - in civilian clothing. They call themselves basically the popular committees that are trying to maintain some sort of order along the way.

"Clearly the situation is very unstable. What we saw was that there are a lot of people – mostly Egyptians – who are leaving Libya at the moment. At the Egyptian border we were told by Egyptian officials that 15,000 Egyptian s left Libya, returning to Egypt."

"There are some signs of normal life. Gas stations are open. Stores are open. We saw … what looked like kebab shops that are functioning. There is a fair amount of traffic on the road, although I was told that was mostly Egyptians leaving the country."

LIBYA, 6:35 p.m. ET, 1:35 a.m. local: Libyan state TV is reporting that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is to speak soon.

LIBYA, 6:28 p.m. ET, 1:28 a.m. local: Ali Al Oujli, Libya's ambassador to the United States, said earlier today that he urges protesters in Libya "to keep momentum alive."

"If they they keep the momentum in the Libyan streets, (then) they’ll reach their goals. ... They have a very good experience on what happening in Egypt and what happening in Tunisia. And they should not compromise."

LIBYA, 6:22 p.m. ET, 1:22 a.m. local: Earlier today, this blog reported that Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters Monday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has declared war on the Libyan people and is committing genocide.

Below is video of those comments. Dabbashi was speaking in reference to reports that the Libyan military was firing on protesters.

LIBYA, 6:07 p.m. ET, 1:07 a.m. local: A formerly pro-government newspaper in Libya is reporting that African mercenaries are shooting at unarmed civilians in Tajouraa, 25 miles east of Tripoli. The newspaper Quryna's perspective has changed since protests in Libya began.

CNN could not immediately confirm the report. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country.

LIBYA, 5:32 p.m. ET, 12:32 a.m. local: The United States on Monday condemned the violence in Libya and called for a halt to the "unacceptable bloodshed" in response to civil unrest, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly," Clinton's statement said.

LIBYA, 5:29 p.m. ET, 12:29 a.m. local: Saif al-Islam al-Gadhafi, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, told the Libyan state news agency that the Libyan armed forces have not targeted protesters in Tripoli and Benghazi, Libyan state television reported Monday.

Al-Gadhafi said the bombardments targeted ammunition storage facilities in remote areas.

Earlier, a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly told CNN that Libya has used "aviation assets" to attack protesters on the outskirts of Tripoli.

In the following video, CNN's Ivan Watson, reporting from Egypt, talks about these allegations that Libya used aviation assets to attack protesters.

LIBYA, 5:21 p.m. ET, 12:21 a.m. local: Libya has used "aviation assets" to attack protesters on the outskirts of Tripoli, a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly told CNN Monday.

The official could not be more specific about the "assets," but the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group, said helicopter gunships have fired into crowds of protesters.

A Libyan diplomatic source has denied the Libyan air force was conducting air raids against protesters in Libya.

LIBYA, 4:54 p.m. ET, 11:54 p.m. local: Video on YouTube shows what CNN is told are six badly burned bodies of Libyan soldiers in open body bags. Opposition sources in Libya say the bodies are of soldiers who refused to shoot at anti-government demonstrators. The video, taken on a cell phone, was posted on Monday; it is not known when it was taken.

Read this post for more information and to see the video.

LIBYA, 4:31 p.m. ET, 11:31 p.m. local: A woman in Tripoli, speaking on condition of anonymity, reports seeing people shooting - in an apparently random fashion - from cars. "I've seen myself red Hyundai cars with tinted windows that had armed people inside it shooting random people," she told CNN in a telephone interview. "Three victims have fallen in the street where I live."

CNN could not independently confirm this report. The Libyan government maintains tight control on communications and has not responded to repeated requests from CNN for access to the country. CNN has interviewed numerous witnesses by phone.

LIBYA, 4:25 p.m. ET, 11:25 p.m. local: A Libyan diplomatic source has denied the Libyan air force was conducting air raids against protesters in Libya. Earlier, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group, said helicopter gunships were firing into crowds.

LIBYA, 4:01 p.m. ET, 11:01 p.m. local: The Arab League will hold an urgent summit Tuesday to discuss the recent developments in Libya, Egypt's official news agency MENA reported Monday.

ZIMBABWE, 3:53 p.m. ET: Zimbabwe isn't part of either North Africa or the Middle East, but a recent development there has links to the North African/Middle Eastern unrest. Police in Zimbabwe have arrested dozens of political activists and trade union members on suspicion of plotting an Egyptian-style uprising in the southern African country.

BAHRAIN, 3:43 p.m. ET, 11:43 p.m. local: Mass protests planned in Bahrain for Tuesday in support of calls for political reforms coincide with the planned return of Hassan Mushaimaa, who is the leader of Bahrain's largest opposition party, the Haq Movement.

Thousands more people moved into Bahrain's Pearl Roundabout on Monday ahead of Tuesday's planned mass demonstrations. Meanwhile, fallout from last week's violent protests continues. A 20-year-old protester in Bahrain, who was shot in the head on Friday, has died, hospital sources said Monday.

LIBYA, 3:41 p.m. ET, 10:41 p.m. local: CNN is checking reports that helicopters in Libya fired on protesters. The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group, has said helicopter gunships were firing into crowds.

LIBYA, 3:29 p.m. ET, 10:29 p.m. local: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi still is in Libya, a Libyan diplomatic source told CNN. The source also denied the Libyan air force was conducting air raids against protesters in Libya.

Separately, a senior official in the Italian secret service also said that Gadhafi remains in Libya. Earlier today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Gadhafi may have been on his way to Venezuela.

SUDAN, 3:24 p.m. ET, 11:24 p.m. local: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says he will not run for re-election four years from now, a senior member of the country's ruling National Congress Party announced Monday.

"He will also leave his post as chair of the NCP to allow for the transformation of power to a new generation," said Rabi Abd al-Ati. The senior NCP member rejected the notion that al-Bashir's decision was prompted by popular uprisings in the region, including neighboring Egypt.

LIBYA, 2:15 p.m. ET, 9:15 p.m. local: Two Libyan Air Force pilots defected to Malta on Monday after being asked to bomb Libyan citizens, a Maltese government source said. The pilots' fighter jets were armed with rockets and loaded machine guns, the source said. Malta is a short flight from Libya.

LIBYA, 2:04 p.m. ET, 11:04 p.m. local: Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi met in Tripoli with ambassadors of the European Union, blaming the unrest in the country on "terrorists and destructive plans" and stressing that Libya has the right to "take any measures" to protect its unity, stability, people and resources, Libyan state television reported.

LIBYA, 1:19 p.m. ET, 8:19 p.m. local: Libyan helicopter gunships are firing into crowds of protesters, according to the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group. CNN was unable to confirm the report independently.

LIBYA, 12:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local: Oil company Total says it will evacuate most of its expatriate employees and their families from Libya. Shell said it has temporarily relocated the families of expatriate staff.

LIBYA, 12:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. local: The U.S. State Department has ordered family members of U.S. Embassy employees and non-emergency personnel to leave Libya.

LIBYA, 12:26 p.m. ET, 7:26 p.m. local: Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has declared war on the Libyan people and is committing genocide. Who is Gadhafi?

YEMEN, 12:17 p.m. ET, 8:17 p.m. local: Two human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, are reporting that 12 people have died as a result of protests in Yemen.

LIBYA, 12:02 ET, 7:02 p.m. local: British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi may be on his way to Venezuela. CNN has not confirmed. Gadhafi has maintained power in the country for 42 years. The Libyan ambassador to the UK, Omar Jelban, is denying that Gadhafi is on his way to Venezuela.

LIBYA, noon ET, 7 p.m. local: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had talked with Gadhafi, saying he was deeply concern about the violence, and that it must stop. At least 233 people have been killed in the protests, according to Human Rights Watch. Its report cites information from hospital sources. CNN is not able to independently confirm the figure, as the network has not been granted access to report on the ground.

Google has designed this map of protests based on what it calls "reliable tweets." Personal up-to-the-minute audio reports have been uploaded on Google here. CNN has not yet vetted these reports.

LIBYA, 11:45 a.m. ET, 6:45 p.m. local The government is demanding that citizens cooperate with security forces, and warning "organized gangs," Libyan state television reported, as security forces conduct raids on what it called "nests of terror and sabotage." Libya's justice minister, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, has resigned to protest the "bloody situation and use of excessive force" against protesters by security forces, a Libyan newspaper reported. Meanwhile, two Libyan fighter jets have landed in Malta, according to journalists at the airport.

YEMEN, 11 a.m. ET, 7 p.m. local: It is the 11th day of protests. More than 3,500 gathered in the capital Sanaa for a peaceful demonstration, but violence broke out in Aden as police fired on demonstrators. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports what the Yemeni government doesn't want anyone to see.

Journalists were not allowed entry into hospitals where wounded students were taken, and Jamjoom shows you how difficult it is for reporters to get the truth about what youths have been calling their movement. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh refuses to step down and compared anti-government protests in his country to the flu spreading through the region. "This is a virus and is not part of our heritage or the culture of the Yemeni people," he told reporters.

LIBYA, 11 a.m. ET, 6 p.m. local: As reports streamed of protesters setting fire to a government building in Libya's capital and ransacking state TV headquarters, questions swirled around Gadhafi and whether he could be the third Arab leader toppled by the wave of protests rippling through the region. His son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, is trying to defend the family dynasty, warning on state television of "a fierce civil war" if the demonstrations don't halt. Who is the Western educated son of Gadhafi? What could Libya's uprising mean in the long term, CNN commentator Kirk Vandewalle asks. He wrote "A History of Modern Libya."

Here's a Monday morning breifing on protests in some of the nations in the region:

IRAQ - Unlike other nations, protests here have not targeted the government. Demonstrators are enraged by corruption, the quality of basic services and high unemployment. Most recently, on Sunday, A 17-year-old boy died and 39 people were injured were injured as demonstrators battled Kurdish security forces in Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq, officials said. CNN's Reza Sayah reports from Islamabad, Pakistan, on the violence. Masked gunmen attacked and burned an independent television station in Iraq's Kurdistan region Sunday, wounding a guard, police officials and the broadcast company said.

ALGERIA Protests began in January over escalating food prices, high rates of unemployment and housing issues, and iReporters were there. Rallies started in Algiers, but spread to other cities as more people joined. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would lift the state of emergency law in what analysts said was an attempt to head off a similar revolt.

DJIBOUTI - Protesters in Djibouti are angry about the economy. The country is home to Camp Lemonnier, the only U.S. military base on the African continent. Protesters have called for President Ismail Omar Guelleh - whose family has ruled the country since its independence from France in 1977 - to step down ahead of the elections scheduled in April.

JORDAN - Jordan's economy is struggling as commodity prices rise and youth unemployment is high, as it is in Egypt. Its king has called for swift reform.

KUWAIT - Protests are relatively new, beginning over the weekend. Demonstrators, who want greater rights for longtime residents who are not citizens, attacked security forces late last week.

SUDAN - Protesters are demanding an end to National Congress Party rule and government-imposed price increases. A "Day of Rage" was reportedly organized on Facebook against the government, but it failed to materialize. Human Rights Watch says authorities used "excessive force" during largely peaceful protests on January 30 and 31 in Khartoum and other northern cities. Witnesses said that several people were arrested, including 20 who remain missing.

TUNISIA - An uprising in Tunisia prompted autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to leave the country on January 14, after weeks of demonstrations. Those demonstrations sparked protests around North Africa and the Middle East.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES – Hundreds of Palestinians rallied for unity in Ramallah, calling on Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian political factions to heal their rifts amid arguments over elections scheduled for September in the Palestinian territories. "Division generates corruption," was one of several slogans written on banners held up by the demonstrators Thursday, who flooded the streets after calls went out on social networking sites, as well as schools and university campuses, for them to attend.

SYRIA – As protests heated up around the region, the Syrian government pulled back from a plan to withdraw some subsidies that keep the cost of living down in the country. President Bashar al-Assad also gave a rare interview to Western media, telling The Wall Street Journal last month that he planned reforms that would allow local elections and included a new media law and more power for private organizations.

Post by: , ,
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Bahrain • Egypt • Gaza • Iraq • Libya • Middle East • Pakistan • Yemen
soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. Mike Johnson

    All non-essential should leave ... huh? ... whey do we have non-essentials there in the first place?

    February 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fineart

      Mike, the non-essentials are those that walk around like Gods gift and treat people there the same way they treat poor people in our country; like dirt.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Because it is an oil rich country and people like my father in law are there now. The really stupid thing is, the US is advocating to leave Libya now...except in Tripoli there are no phones and no power. So how the hell are they supposed to get this message.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. conradshull

    Gone to Venezuela? No doubt the People's Leader will welcome the Butcher of Tripoli with open arms.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Admiral Akbar

    It's a trap!

    February 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. bob1111

    Revolution in the mideast is not necessarily a good thing. Look at Iran's 1979 for a perfect example.

    Based on recent elections in Palestine and Syria, radical extremists could very will likely take over power in these countries.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Soul Controller

    These message boards suck and do nothing do show how ignorant, callous, and inhuman most "people" in America are. These are human beings expressing the ultimate show of dissatisfaction – revolution. People are dying – who cares about your oil prices.

    Oh, and shame on you CNN. No "foul" language allowed, but outright racism is ok? Words are just that... words. Hate and Fear are much more powerful and damaging than using the F-word....

    February 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      Soul Controller, welcome to what I've been preaching for months. Don't even waste your time my friend.....you'll just raise your blood pressure and your complaints will fall on deaf ears. Take it from a guy who has his "username" banned every other day just for expressing true belief and opinion. Don't forget, there could be children reading this board!! – heaven forbid a 10 year old hears what his father yells at his TV every Sunday during a football game. Ridiculous. Even worse is the lack of empathy on behalf of the posters. Every one of them makes me sick to my stomach and fosters hatred in me for my own countrymen. No wonder the world hates us, most of us hate "us" as well.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      soul...go suck on a twinkie after you mow my yard.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mai

    As an Egyptian, I ask the Egyptian military to step in and teach that monster Ghadaffi a lesson. We were alway told that you owe it to our neighobur. Time for Egypt to take its position back in the region. Ghaddafi, enough is enough you SOB. We will take you down along with your Ukranian mistress.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Arlon

    according to reports on other news sites...

    Multiple Libyan fighter pilots have defected after being ordered to fire upon civilians, diverting their planes to Malta.

    250 deaths in the past 24 hrs.

    Libyan ambassadors to Bangladesh and Indonesia have resigned, Libyan ambassador to the UK has NOT resigned, as of 8:13pm Libyan time.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sam

    CNN is out of sync. El djazeera reports that Kadhafi is using mercenaries from Africa to commit genocide as we speak. When are the UN, US, EU going to do something. Or they're going wait until it's too late like they waited for Rwanda.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tarek

    I don't know if a phone call (Phone Call Dimplomacy) from the white house is going to work to stop the massacre, but I am sure it will help. I am sure it will do something. Anyways, away from too much unncessary talks, we beg the world to stand by the people suffering in Libya. The situation is beyend imagination. Gadafi uses aircrafts to kill unarmed civilian people. He uses anti-aircraft weapons and heavy machine guns against people. there is shortage of food and medical supplies. Ambulances are being shot. Doctors cannot work no more. A real disaster. some libyan soldiers refused to shoot. They were tied and burned. Videos are available.
    Please every person in America and every where in the world ask your self this question: Can I help?

    February 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • General Specific

      It won't help. They can care less what the US government thinks or has to say.

      "Can I help?"

      It was asked, then it was realized that I should not meddle in their affairs.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Dude.... its called a "civil war"... you started it. We're not the worlds saviour... youre on your own.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ex Post Facto

      Where were the people of Libya when the citizens of the UK and the US asked for their help with barbarism and terrorism in the case of the convicted and freed Lockerbie bomber?

      February 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fineart

    If anyone in our government is found to be aiding and abetting these dictators on their international flights to avoid prosecution, they should be taken into custody and put on trial.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Dave

    Great!, there goes oil prices through the F'g roof because these ragheads want to play copycat with Egypt....I personally DONT care if they get freedom or not now.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Soul Controller

      Shut your pie hole you troglodyte.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Soul Controller...(what a gay name).. suk my dik

      February 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • fineart

      Just using that term "rag head" is the same kind of language that Americans of color have had to endure for centuries. That's one of the many reasons we'er turning into a failed state. Besides it their oil and we refuse to come up with an alternative.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maz

      Of course you don't care, that's why your commenting on a blog specific to the Libyan protests. Better to be a raghead than a fathead.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ForNewLeadership2011

    Jack, your about as bright as a cloudy day. You need to learn more about history. These people have been living in poverty, all they want is freedom and Democracy, rather than pick at these people we need to cheer them on for standing up and taking back for once. They deserve freedom and Democracy just like anyone else. This is history repeating itself, remember the Berlin wall came crashing down in the 80s and the cold war ended. Its time for the Middle East to have freedom, Democracy and equality.

    February 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tarek

      Thank you. Libyans have been living in misearable poverty. Some people miss understand the situation. It is not a CIVIL WAR. It is the regime that has been ruling for 42 years. His terrorism was not against Libyans only. Gaddafi is the one behind Locerbie. He is the one supported Ireland and every where there was war. Now, after 42 years, poeple burst against oppression. He turned again the poeple and started shooting carelessly. This is between one person (the ruler and his foriegn militia brought from different countries) and people.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sumaya

    People are being bombed by airplanes in the streets and killed by hundreds and all the US cares about is evacuating its citizens. When is Mr Obama supposed to interfer, when is the deaf "free" world supposed to listen?

    February 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • General Specific

      @ Sumaya

      What, as opposed to leaving our citizens there? The US needs to protect its citizens first and foremost.

      As for us being "deaf", what do you propose the US do? The US has been policing the world in general far too long.

      February 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yoshi

      Sumaya, I agree that the US responsibility is first and foremost to it's citizens, as it is with any country. The challenge I think we face as a country is that we are damned if we do intervene ("war against Arabs" and political Empire builders seems to be the frequent allegation). And if we don't intervene, the people that don't hate us already then hate us for not helping them in their time of need (I see your latest comment about "shame on us" so I would count you in the second group). The beauty of this country if you are a citizen, now is the time that our system works. Contacting those that represent you in government and demanding action is perfectly acceptable here and is how our system of government works. Our experience in toppling long-standing dictators has tought us that it is usually a no-win proposition. Even if that despot is removed, all the intervening country is left with is a mess. One country cannot fix the world. I think that a more appropriate question may be – "what is the United Nations doing to address these issues"... They, after all are supposed to be the "world police" not the US.

      February 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sumaya

      @general specific and yoshi
      I am not asking that the us intervene militarily but at least they can condemn whats happening, say that they are supporting the rights of people to protest for their freedom, call for a security council meeting, ....there are so many things they can do to show where they stand but silence only makes them at the side of the war criminal!
      I dont want the us to police the world but unfortunately that is what is happening so let them police in a fair way at least!

      February 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • General Specific

      @ Sumaya

      Yes, unfortunately we do policing...too much of it in fact, so it does not mean we should keep doing it. It needs to stop and let the UN do what it is supposed to do. A little blurb from the POTUS to condemn what is going on would be a nice puff piece but really, it is pretty meaningless. The weight of the words from the President of the US doesn't carry as much heft as it used to, especially to the middle east.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Arlon

    More reports coming in...

    Doctors are being shot

    Libyan ambassador to the EU resigned

    February 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JustPassingBy

    Interesting

    February 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.