Monday, February 28, 2011

Libya, the Human Rights Paragon: You Can't Make This Up

There's a serious disconnect between what Libya's boss says is happening, and what everybody else sees. There are a number of possible explanations.

Al-Qaddafi may think that if he keeps having his enforcers kill troublemakers, while he says that everything is just fine, he can go back to business-as-usual after the dust settles.

He's been running Libya since 1969, and may not quite believe what's happened in Tunisia and Egypt: and what's happening in Bahrain and other formerly-stable countries in his part of the world.

Quite a lot has changed in the last four decades, and I don't imagine that it's easy for a busy man to keep up with it all.

Or, maybe his mind has taken an indefinite leave of absence.

Libya: World-Class Human Rights Model Country?!

I think the United Nations was a spiffy idea, represented some very nice sentiments and good intentions: and makes for downright weird news now and again.

Like this:
"As the United Nations works feverishly to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi for cracking down on protesters, the body's Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya's human rights record.

"The review commends Libya for improving educational opportunities, for making human rights a 'priority' and for bettering its 'constitutional' framework. Several countries, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia but also Canada, give Libya positive marks for the legal protections afforded to its citizens -- who are now revolting against the regime and facing bloody reprisal.

"The U.S. mission in Geneva said it would look into the status of the document in response to a question about whether any efforts are being made to cancel or postpone consideration of the report. But an agenda put out by the United Nations in January said the Human Rights Council, of which Libya has been a member since last year, will 'consider and adopt' the document at its session, which is under way and continues to the end of March...."
Here's an example of how Libya treats its citizens:
"Two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots defected on Monday and flew their jets to Malta where they told authorities they had been ordered to bomb protesters, Maltese government officials said...."
Maybe the United Nations Human Rights Council got their information from Libya's boss, Libya's Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi. Where he's living, Libyans love him, just simply love him:
"Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared Monday either to not know that demonstrators in cities throughout Libya are calling for an end to his rule or not accept it, according to excerpts from the interview, which a U.S. official described as 'delusional.'

" 'No demonstration at all in the streets,' he told ABC News and the BBC in a joint interview carried out at a restaurant in Tripoli, excerpts of which were posted on the BBC's website.

"Told by the BBC's Jeremy Bowen that he had seen demonstrators in the streets that morning, Gadhafi asked, 'Are they supporting us?'

"Gadhafi, wearing sunglasses and clad in brown tribal clothing, refused to accept the reporter's assertion that they were not. 'No. No one against us. Against me for what?'

"He repeated his assertion that he is not president, but one of the people. 'They love me, all my people with me, they love me all. They will die to protect me, my people. No, no.'..."
Meanwhile, back on planet Earth:
"International pressure on Muammar Gaddafi to end a crackdown on his opponents escalated as his loyalists fought rebels holding the two cities closest to the capital and his warplanes bombed an ammunition depot in the east.

"The US moved naval and air forces closer to Libya and said all options were open, including patrols of the North African nation's skies to protect its citizens from their ruler.

"France said it would fly aid to the opposition-controlled eastern half of the country, the European Union imposed an arms embargo and other sanctions, following the lead of the US and the United Nations. The EU was also considering the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya and the US and Europe were freezing billions in Libya's foreign assets...."
(Press Association)
In my opinion, the good news in this mess is that it looks like quite a few countries - including France - and some international organizations realize that business-as-usual won't work any more, regarding Libya.

As for the United Nations - some folks in that organization seem to have been keeping up with current events.

The UN Human Rights Council? Like I said, maybe they got their information from Libya's boss. After all, his country is a member of the Human Rights Council, so he must be okay, right?

Can't argue with logic like that.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.