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Politics: Libyan Rebels Announce Creation of a Republic

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-you-can-keep-it dept.

Government 154

An anonymous reader writes "A report in p2pnet.net says a 'declaration for a temporary council in the Republic of Libya' has been published. The story quotes Alive in Libya, which says Mustafa Abdul Jaleel is the president, and Abdul Hafid Abdul Qader Ghoga is the deputy president and official spokesman. No other details are given."

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Irrelevant (3, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391498)

A declaration by some wing of a splintered popular uprising in an African country, reported by a news source with zero credibility? Is this what Slashdot has come to? :(

Re:Irrelevant (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391578)

Is this what Slashdot has come to? :(

Strange, your user account number doesn't look like a brand new one. And you probably missed the similarly credentialed thread, earlier, about life from space.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391848)

Some of us remember when the vast majority of Slashdot stories were news for nerds and were either well-sourced or were the kinds of stories that didn't require sources.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392476)

Only those of us living inside Taco's head.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393098)

Like Sagan's "illegal bombing of Iraq and I won't let you comment on it" from 1998?

But you are correct, non-technology news was rare before the 2000 election, unless it had to do with Columbine/Star Wars or the Matrix.

Re:Irrelevant (3, Funny)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391642)

A declaration by some wing of a splintered popular uprising in the New World? Who is this John Hancock fellow?

Re:Irrelevant (3, Insightful)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391968)

The wealthy head of a crime (smuggling) syndicate.

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391692)

Is this what Slashdot has come to? :(

Perhaps it is time for right-thinking citizens to take back Slashdot.

Re:Irrelevant (0)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391798)

When it's reported on Fox News then we will believe it.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

GillyGuthrie (1515855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392926)

Holy cow, Fox News. I think that's a channel that will die with the baby boomers... I hope

Re:Irrelevant (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393416)

Unfortunately, I think the people from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan will take the baton when it comes to Fox News.

Every generation has the r-tards like that, even the revolutionary & civil war era.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391990)

Muslim/arabic countries are important. There is a reason why USA has spent a half century fighting wars there. If you don't care about what is happening it's your problem, not ours.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392548)

Aspects of the countries are important. We don't need to know about every last 20 min `popular uprising` which results in a few Twitter-related links becoming temporarily inconvenienced. Go and wave your shoes and point your little finger somewhere else.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393144)

Libya isn't an Arab country, its Berber, and the United States never spent any effort fighting wars in North Africa after 1943.

Yes the United States struck Libya in 1986 with bombs, had two dogfights and one naval fight in the 1980s, bit those were about terrorism and freedom of navigation sword rattling, not oil or strategic reasons.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392284)

A declaration by some wing of a splintered popular uprising in an African country, reported by a news source with zero credibility? Is this what Slashdot has come to? :(

Why not, it works for Apple rumours which are often less than news.

A declaration by Wing of a popular Apple blog in an Asian country, reported by a news source with zero credibility? Is this what Slashdot has come to? :(

Republic of Bob! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391506)

I hereby declare the room in which I reside the Republic of Bob!.... Why are you laughing at me? For legal purposes it means just as much.

Re:Republic of Bob! (2)

nthwaver (1019400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391532)

It'd be just about as legitimate as Gadafi's rule is.

Re:Republic of Bob! (-1, Redundant)

nthwaver (1019400) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391582)

I hereby declare the room in which I reside the Republic of Bob!.... Why are you laughing at me? For legal purposes it means just as much.

It'd be just about as legitimate as Gadafi's rule is.

Re:Republic of Bob! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391596)

Post your troll one more time, dipshit.

Re:Republic of Bob! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391654)

nigger breath.

Re:Republic of Bob! (0)

GillyGuthrie (1515855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392936)

wut a waste of mod points, modding these points down...

Re:Republic of Bob! (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391762)

If you enjoyed substantial popular support in said room, had recently captured a variety of arms caches, and were thus far holding the military of the existing regime at bay, while said regime takes a substantial battering in world opinion, it would in fact mean just as much...

Dirty little not-really-secret is, virtually all declarations of nationhood are legally risible. Some were legally risible and supported by armed force and resources. Others were just risible all around.

Re:Republic of Bob! (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392406)

If it's in your possession, it's yours for as long as you can protect it.

Re:Republic of Bob! (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393176)

It's very important from a practical standpoint. The more "legitimate" the uprising can present itself, the more it can come across as an alternate government, the easier it becomes to lend them military aid without coming across as an occupying power and motivating anti-American sentiment. Aka, US and other sympathetic governments recognize the government of east Libya, US allies with the government of east Libya, the government of east Libya registers a formal complaint about the occupation of western Libya by a militia formed primarily of foreign fighters and requests assistance to drive them out: military trainers and advisers, a no fly zone, a shipping blockade, perhaps even airstrikes. The US complies, while the rebels remain the public face, advancing and taking over western Libya. It's much better diplomatic cover than just coming in and taking out Qaddhafi and having it look like Yet Another US-Overthrown Government and fueling further anti-American sentiment among those who are already sceptical of our motives.

Re:Republic of Bob! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391820)

TPB was looking to form their own country not long ago. I see an opportunity...

Re:Republic of Bob! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392416)

Why are you laughing at me?

Because assuming you live in a country with an effective goverment when you try to actually go through with your declaration and stop paying taxes to the country that claims your land or declare that a warrant allowing their police to come onto your land is invalid they will come down on you like a ton of bricks and there will be NOTHING you can do about it.

In libya OTOH a sufficiant proportion of the countries population including parts of the military has rebelled to actually stand a change of doing something about the goverment.

For legal purposes it means just as much.

Laws only matter if the organisation that makes them has the ability to enforce them.

Re:Republic of Bob! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392806)

Petoria [wikipedia.org] has prior art.

Not so fast... (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391518)

I can declare that my land, in Ohio, is a free and sovereign country, apart from the USA, and all residents have unanimously elected me President. But that doesn't mean the government from which I am withdrawing doesn't have a right to put up a fight. Ask the Confederate States of America how easy the process is.

Re:Not so fast... (2)

whitehaint (1883260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391560)

But now the problem is to have any credibility you need to be recognized by another nation; to that end as the dictator of Free Republic of Jim I hearby do recognize the Republic of Bob as a sovereign nation.

Re:Not so fast... (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391616)

By the same token, we could talk about the 13 colonies and the British Crown. Remember, it's only treason if you lose.

Re:Not so fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391666)

And if you lose, you end up in Gitmo.

Re:Not so fast... (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391686)

And if you lose, you end up in Gitmo.

Which rebellious US citizen, caught here in the US attempting to overthrow the US government, has found themselves in Gitmo? Please be specific.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391918)

Timothy McVeigh? Oh, that's right, he was executed.

Re:Not so fast... (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391944)

So, you just use "Gitmo" as a generic term for "prosecuted?"

Re:Not so fast... (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392044)

But not for treason. For murder.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392494)

OK, I'll give you that. Still, he was prosecuted as a "terrist", even BEFORE 9/11. Which I suspect was the original AC's point about Gitmo. Going all uber-literal about a specific place of incarceration ignores the point that rebellion (of any kind) is met with swift and severe consequences, even here in the land of the free and the home of the brave (TM) - which, as to MY original point, is a country founded on rebellion and treason - just don't try it again.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393190)

He was never charged with terrorism or anything to do with overthrowing the Government.

On August 10, 1995, McVeigh was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder.

Re:Not so fast... (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393270)

a country founded on rebellion and treason

Ah, good ol' moral relativism!

The colonists rebelled against a monarchy that was denying them the liberties that became the foundation of the new country's constitutional framework. People living in the country now, who violently promote, say, a society based on Sharia law (which is inconsistent with those liberties) aren't fighting for the same thing as those colonists two centuries ago. They are promoting an objectively inferior social contract, and it's right to prevent that effort when the attempts become violent. And even more so when they are aligned with foreign actors that have vowed the end of the coutry and the culture that lives there.

Regardless, it's the violent ones that are in question, here. The country is full of people spouting off all sorts of nonsense and promoting everything from neo-Nazism to pan-global-Caliphates or just good old anarchy. And they get to keep right on doing so as long as they aren't trying to hurt people.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393160)

He never spent any time in Gitmo, he was put in a Federal Prison then executed.

Re:Not so fast... (2)

mdozturk (973065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392570)

Yasser Hamdi [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not so fast... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391690)

But that doesn't mean the government from which I am withdrawing doesn't have a right to put up a fight.

Actually, it does... since the concept of rights is based upon that which is morally justifiable, not just that which is possible. It is possible to "put up a fight" about all sorts of ridiculous things, but that doesn't make it a right. Forcing others to be a part of a government in which they have no interest can in no way be considered a right, but is a rather clear violation of individuals' right to self-determination.

This is a technology site and all, but that really doesn't give you any excuse for sleeping through high school civics.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391946)

But that doesn't mean the government from which I am withdrawing doesn't have a right to put up a fight.

Actually, it does... since the concept of rights is based upon that which is morally justifiable, not just that which is possible. It is possible to "put up a fight" about all sorts of ridiculous things, but that doesn't make it a right. Forcing others to be a part of a government in which they have no interest can in no way be considered a right, but is a rather clear violation of individuals' right to self-determination.

This is a technology site and all, but that really doesn't give you any excuse for sleeping through high school civics.

Actually, it boils down to two fundamental principles: the people's right to self-determination and the principle that the state's integrity is to be kept.

Usually, the higher ranking principle takes precedence, but in this case, we're in a bind, since both were enumerated in the Helsinki Decalogue, as fundamental principles of the international system. If it were this alone, it would seem that all rebellions are inherently unlawful (which they are, by the host nation's laws), but according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625, the territory of a state is invincible as long as it has a representative government. Based on the amount of land the Rebellion (to go with comment #35391530's theme) controls and the overwhelming support, I think it's safe to say Khadaffi's government can no longer be called 'representative'. This means that about 75% of the country is up for grabs by the Rebels, and provided any neighboring nations gets an authorization from the UNSC (which is definitely not going to happen), by others too.

However, legitimate as their republic may be, if it's not acknowledged by other states, it's all for naught. I refer the reader to the history of the tiny pseudo-nation of Sealand [wikipedia.org] . Here there are two schools of thought competing, the constitutive and declarative theory. The constitutive states that the nation becomes a legitimate participant in the international system via the recognition of other nations, while the declarative theory states that the recognition is just that, the nations becomes an sovereign entity via its declaration. Usually, nations do not recognize other nations established through violent means, but as seen by the issue of Kosovo [wikipedia.org] , which was similarly established in an uprising during the Balkan Wars, but was quickly recognized by many as a sovereign nation. It will be interesting to see the responses to this declaration, especially that of the United States.

Bottom line, Benjamindees: while forcing one to be subject to a government is morally objectionable, it is legally perfectly a-okay, provided that government was put in place the majority of the people, or if it was acknowledged as a legitimate government, even if it wasn't elected democratically. Rising up against that government in arms, while morally laudable, and certainly an expression of your right to self-determination, is usually a clear violation of that country's laws, for which the government may rightfully exercise its monopoly over violence. However, if that government loses its representative nature, you are free to rebel to your heart's content, and if you win, you may not even be held accountable, according to international humanitarian law.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392498)

Gadhafi has zero control or forces in the eastern half of the country. Not even mail or garbage men.

Ohio is still run by the US.

Eastern Libyans selected people to do mail, collect garbage, keep lights on, etc. Sure some of them are lawyers and average citizens who volunteered but they are running it like a country. They have their own army/police now as well and even a diplomat in the UN who defected. In essence Eastern Libya is becoming its own nation and will hopefully take over the rest of it as a unified free Libya soon.

Re:Not so fast... (1)

GillyGuthrie (1515855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392950)

I'm going to have to side with the non-slaveholders...

Them and what army? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391530)

The trick to this sort of thing is making it actually stick, when the guy you're dismissing as no longer in charge is still able to hand cash and other incentives to the people who are piloting the combat aircraft being used to attack you and your Rebel Scum.

Re:Them and what army? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391688)

"...and your Rebel Scum."

They're only rebel scum if they lose, right now they've got more than three-quarters of the country. They have the superior numbers and lots of support, even on the international stage. They are also beginning to get outside assistance. The old regime has much of its money locked up in foreign countries so it will only be able keep it up so long. It's just the leader and his tribe which so happens to control the air force while the rest of the military switched sides. The old regime's days are numbered.

Re:Them and what army? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392644)

Pretty much. The worry right now is just how much death and damage this dying regime can still do.

They have support (3, Interesting)

hajus (990255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391536)

This group actually has backing from the local city councils that have been working to keep the local infrastructure running.

Re:They have support (2)

hajus (990255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391592)

There was some confusion a few days ago when some ex-justice that worked with the Gadaffi govt tried to form a provisional govt without support from all the rebel cities and not all the human rights people backed him. Ghoga at that point had stated they were working already on a council of some kind with all the rebel city councils.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2011/02/27/1385560/libya-rebels-set-up-first-political.html [tri-cityherald.com]

I wish U.S. was still a republic (1)

Cito (1725214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391694)

I really wish the U.S. was still a republic, but unfortunately the 'new deal' destroyed the republic we did have. When ya get down to barebones and read the definition from Black Law Dictionary that our judicial system uses read the definition for a republic then a democracy, the legal definition not the regular dictionary, and decide which you would rather have.

Freedom Fatigue (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391698)

The amount of disparaging and dismissive comments made here, along with the generally tepid response in the West to the Libyan revolution(as well as the Arab revolutions in general) makes me feel that the West in general has no interest in democracy or freedom. Even amidst the general populace.

Obviously the west has little to gain politically or economically from any wave of democracy in the middle east. But even ideologically, people in the west seemed to be totally uninterested in recent events in the region.

Have we entered the age of "Meh, Freedom"? Maybe democracy, having hitched its fortunes to marketism and failed to deliver on its promises, has simply lost its lustre for westerners? Maybe the rise of China is turning people towards alternative forms of government? Maybe the west--and America in particular-- is tired of international conflicts and is entering a period of isolationism?

I don't know what it is, but comparing interest in the Arab revolutions to the interest in the Orange and Velvet revolutions only a few years ago, I'm struck by the increase in apathy, and in some cases dismissal by people living older democracies.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391740)

It is, sometimes, just the plain old prejudice against Arabs. Southern Africa - the "Black Africa" - has been ignored by most in the West, ever since slaves stopped being a traded commodity.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

eiiiI'monslashdot (1951772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391836)

this. sad. very sad.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391878)

Have we entered the age of "Meh, Freedom"?

Thanks to the lawl, I can't own a ferret.

A ferret, FFS.

We've pretty much never known true freedom in the West, despite what propaganda and jingoism will tell you. Freedom, forsooth. I can't own a ferret. I can't take a leak outside on my property. I can't walk down the street with a beer in hand.

Oh, joy, I can't be discriminated against for my race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed... Err, wait. At will employment. Wink wink, nudge nudge, we're firing you. Just firing you. K, thx, bye.

I can't fly without having my papers inspected by Comrade Commissar. I can be shot up with cancer-causing radiation or sexually molested. If I went around irradiating people or groping their junk, they'd put me away.

Freedom.

Meh. Meh indeed, sir, meh indeed. Meh.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (2)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392778)

Have we entered the age of "Meh, Freedom"?

Thanks to the lawl, I can't own a ferret.

A ferret, FFS.

We've pretty much never known true freedom in the West, despite what propaganda and jingoism will tell you. Freedom, forsooth. I can't own a ferret. I can't take a leak outside on my property. I can't walk down the street with a beer in hand.

Oh, joy, I can't be discriminated against for my race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, creed... Err, wait. At will employment. Wink wink, nudge nudge, we're firing you. Just firing you. K, thx, bye.

I can't fly without having my papers inspected by Comrade Commissar. I can be shot up with cancer-causing radiation or sexually molested. If I went around irradiating people or groping their junk, they'd put me away.

Freedom.

Meh. Meh indeed, sir, meh indeed. Meh.

Well fancy that! I would have thought it an oxymoron, but you sir, are vehemently apathetic.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391902)

Well, that's an interesting perspective, but do you actually have a comment count or anything like that to back up your claims? I've been following just about every Slashdot thread on the Jasmine Revolutions since the revolt in Tunisia and so far I've witnessed, primarily, nothing but support and excitement by the Slashdot crowd. Granted, there is the typical number of cynics that keeps saying stuff like, "Yeah, protests are all fun and games until someone fire bombs you!" but I think those are primarily meant to lighten the mood and help intelligent people cope with the reality that hits them when they understand that there are still people dying for freedom in this world.

All in all, I would say that the /. crowd has been very supportive and even eager about the prospect of freedom revolutions both in the Middle East and elsewhere. Hell, I've even noticed a few folks talking about emulating the protests in their home countries. So, I don't know where you get the idea that we are all so apathetic. Perhaps it's just a self-imposed perspective thing?

Re:Freedom Fatigue (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391986)

Maybe it's because, no matter which choices we make, we're going to get criticized by the usual suspects? This sort of thing does inspire cynicism. Let's grab a random example: PBS show on 1993 Somalia [pbs.org] , "explores the well-intentioned, aborted, and ultimately tragic American effort to bring about stability and stop starvation." PBS show in 1994 Rwanda [pbs.org] , "how the West ignored warnings of the 1994 Rwanda genocide and turned its back on the victims."

It's the Kobayashi Maru - the no-win situation. And there's no reprogramming the computers this time. Is it any surprise that there is a lack of enthusiasm? You're bitching that we aren't doing anything, but the minute the first US Marine sets foot in Libya you'll change your tune to IMPERIALISM USA FASCISTS OIL HALLIBURTON EARTHQUAKE MACHINE 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB WHARRRGARBL

Re:Freedom Fatigue (2)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392478)

perhaps we can do something without putting boots on the ground, Maybe a no fly zone?

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392756)

Stop being naive. You can't do a "no-fly" zone without taking out the sam-sites and possibly the airports and at that maybe not just military airports. That doesn't mean firing the air controllers it means bombing the place. Gates recently said: make no mistake about it, a no fly zone in Libya would be a military operation. That means munitions fired and people killed. If that's the case does it really matter as far as allegations of imperialism and oil interests go whether or not we actually set foot in the country? Or for that matter for "moral considerations" and that whole thing about not using military force unless congress formally declares war? Oh that's right we still in a state of emergency so it doesn't count.

If you wanted to help them without taking military action, you could do what we did to help Britain before we joined WWII. Send them munitions, supplies, and military equipment (possibly last gen, they're not neccessarily your best friend) at bargain basement prices or for free. N.B. I don't support that either but I figured I'd point it out for completeness sake.

I'd also like to point out, this whole thing (the Arab revolutions in general) go to show how wasteful, disgusting, two-faced, repressive and immoral foreign aid is. We prop up dictators for what, 30 years then all of the sudden we're talking about taking military action against him? In what alternate universe does that remotely make sense? Ultimately the people that suffer most for it aren't the US taxpayers either, they're the people who have to live there....

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393220)

The United States never gave foreign aid to Gaddfi's government.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393214)

And the first time NATO shoots down a Libyan airplane it's colonialism, the first time a civilian is killed when NATO missiles a Libyan SAM site, it's imperialism, as soon as it's announced that BP/Shell/Total/ENI get a contract to rebuild Libya's oil fields or Halliburton/Carlisle Group get a contract to build a road, it's oil fascism.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392100)

Democracy is more free than the government they were under before, but it's certainly not free.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392138)

Every time I get in my car I hear a news report about the latest in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, etc.
I'm trying to follow it every day. It is an amazing thing to have happen right in front of you, and not in some history book.

But revolt or rebellion is the easy part and doesn't guarantee any improvements to the populace. building a new country is a fairly hard thing. And it is best left to the citizens of that country. The U.S. is playing a pretty big role in Libya just by putting up sanctions and having multiple press conferences a week on the topic. Likewise for the E.U. To go further than that is not necessarily advisable, and some would question even going that far. There are few places in the world that would welcome U.S. intervention in the formation of their own government. And very few neighbors who would take such actions lightly.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

echucker (570962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392184)

I'm in the West and interested, but I don't want my government involved. Why? Because we always screw it up! Way too many lives and way too much money have already been spent trying to make people "free" by our standards, and without a whole lot to show for it.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392282)

I certainly think that sending in ground troops would not be good. However, a no-fly zone would be a good idea, if asked to implement it by the rebels. However, for doing this, they need a provisional goverment.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

jregel (39009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392262)

I don't know where you're posting from, but in the UK, the protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya were/are running as lead items on the main TV news. It's major news and being treated in the same way the Orange and Velvet revolutions were.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392398)

I support the Arab people.

To me it is hypocritical for the US to stand for freedom and then turn around and be agaisn't the protestors because of what happened in Iran *might* happen elsewhere.

I believe through elections and freedom the muslim part of the world will modernize and integrate more with the west. They will realize they no longer have to be victim to extremists. I believe this will be the biggest blow to Al-Quada as many poor Arabs no longer feel strapping a bomb to themselves for a cruel organization as the only way to hope for their people. Infact, the populace does not want a muslim theocracy as they just escaped a nationalist on in Egypt and in other areas. My guess is these countries will be muslim and modern ala Turkey. I can handle that. Maybe the new Libyan government can hire native Libyans to run the oil and gas fields to help the population achieve the middle class rather than hire foreignors.

I read Al Jazeera [aljazeera.net] as CNN and MSNBC has mixed coverage. Many hear are agaisn't that story because of the blog's credibility, so here is one that is credible [cnn.com] . As an American I feel we can't get involved as it would rally the Gadhafi loyalists and people agaisnt the great satan the US and would backfire. But I do support the revolution. I just wished there was no bloodshed and it was a more peaceful revolution like Egypt.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392572)

Turkey has been fighting off (sometimes violently) those that want to take the country into a Muslim theocracy for the last 50+ years. Egypt has been battling the same sort of forces for about as long.

While it might be nice to think about a modern Muslim state, it is very unlikely. Iran isn't a very good model because the country was split between the 12th and the 20th centuries when the Shah was in power. Many other Arab states are similarly divided where the rural areas are extremely primative and the cities have a very moden veneer to them. But it doesn't seem to go very deep at all.

A concept that seems fairly obvious from past revolutions is that rarely do the instigators of a revolt actually get to decide how things turn out in the end. At no time did the folks in France in 1789 think things were going to turn out like the did in 1793. Nobody really thought that the Russian revolution would end up with the Reds winning the day and suppressing everything else with great fervor. So however the people feel today in northern Africa, the end result may be that Muslim fundamentalists get voted in simply because they are the most organized political body in the country.

A huge problem for that part of the world is that the boundaries between current nations are very artifical and were established by outsiders dividing up the territory. Historically, Egypt was much, much larger than it is today. Should the governments adopt a very Muslim tone it would not be surprising to see a single nation replace the indpendent ones along the northern coast of Africa. I would expect Sudan to be included in such a state. There is no realistic response the West can make to this - not only are we unprepared for this but it really isn't something we get to have much say in. Perhaps rightly so, but the consequences of what is going on now are going to affect the economies of all Western countries for a long, long time to come. Just the refugee situation alone is going to tax most of Europe for a long time.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392458)

The various uprisings in North Africa has been top headline news in Sweden for the past several months, and people I talk to are generally interested in what's going on. Even the US appears to be more interested in this than what's going on in their own backyard (Wisconsin) and will have reprecussions for generations to come which seems very unusual for Americans..

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

mdozturk (973065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392522)

Americans who supported the Iraq war because we were bring freedom to Iraq should be very happy. Bringing democracy to Iraq cost us about 700 billion $$s. Were getting democracies in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, etc are coming for free!

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392750)

I don't know what it is, but comparing interest in the Arab revolutions to the interest in the Orange and Velvet revolutions only a few years ago

I don't remember the Orange revolution getting nearly this much media attention at the time. Anyway, let's hope that things turn out better in Africa than it did for them in the Ukraine.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392818)

Because some of us in the West understand that the Wilsonian approach to international involvement doesn't work.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392894)

        The thing your missing is that democracy has little to do with freedom. The only reason the US has any freedoms is because of the constitution, despite the persistence of the majority to erode these freedoms away. I dont think that most people in the west think that democracy in the mideast will lead to freedom.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393044)

If -we- can't live in a free and open democracy then why should they get too? Voter apathy doesn't just apply to elections but to the entire democratic process. In a world where the government can lie, cheat, fix elections and spy on people in direct violation of that countries most basic laws (and nobody cares) why would they care about a bunch of foreigners choosing to live in a free democracy.

Re:Freedom Fatigue (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393208)

The amount of disparaging and dismissive comments made here, along with the generally tepid response in the West to the Libyan revolution(as well as the Arab revolutions in general) makes me feel that the West in general has no interest in democracy or freedom.

General elections in Tunisia have been essentially suspended indefinitely. Egypt is in the hands of a military junta whose leader is a known supporter of the status quo ante. Libya hangs in the balance and anything could happen yet.
 
What democracy and freedom are you referring to exactly?
 
I know that most net denizen's are eager to twit "M1SS!0N ACC0MPL!S3D !1!1" so they can move on to their next shiny - but don't confuse the short attention span of the 'net with the real world.
 

Have we entered the age of "Meh, Freedom"?

No, we've entered an age of "being damn tired of dammed-if-we-do, dammed-if-we-don't" as so aptly explained by another commenter here [slashdot.org] .

Somewhere between a coup and a revolution. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391760)

It's more than a coup attempt, but less than a revolution. The rebels claim a port city, there's some fighting near the capital. Some army units are supporting the rebellion. This is the normal form of regime change in some countries. The people at the top change, but the whole government isn't replaced.

The announced head of the new government is a former justice minister. He seems to be the compromise choice of several factions, which is a good sign. Interestingly, this seems to be a secular rebellion. The leadership isn't talking about establishing an Islamic state.

Re:Somewhere between a coup and a revolution. (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392442)

The rebels took half the country!

It is a revolution. The people protested. Gadhafi sent troops to kill them. Unlike Egypt there was nothing else they could do but fight back with force.

They want democracy so the next time an unpopular leader is around they can vote him or her out instead of taking the streets with weapons.

Re:Somewhere between a coup and a revolution. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393256)

Was the US Revolution a coup attempt? Or the Texas War of Independence?

What is happening in Libya is a revolutionary civil war. The Libyan National Council controls roughly 3/4s of the coastal cities while the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya controls Tripoli and some of the interior. The rebels don't "claim a port city", they have controlled the second largest city in Libya for over a week and completely control the coastal border to Egypt.

Republic, eh? (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35391768)

Well, I must have missed where they held elections. Anyway, since the link is a typical Slashdot non-story, let's talk about Harvard university professors supporting Khadaffy instead [boston.com] . Nicholas Negroponte from OLPC accepted his money and is proud of his participation. The really outrageous detail is that these professors were complicit in the award of a fraudulent PhD. For that they should have their tenure revoked and their academic positions removed. Of course, this won't happen. If a buffoon like me showed up to protest Haah-vahd, I'd be laughed out of the discussion due to my lack of a doctorate, and even if I did have one, my Ph.D would be mocked as the award of an inferior school. Khadaffy's son Saif is hardly the first to have his Ph.D thesis written for him. Unfortunately this is a perfect example of the principles (or lack thereof) of the cultured, intellectual elite who are convinced that they should be in charge of America. That they are reprehensible scalawags who are for sale to a tyrant will never be accepted. It would be like a socialist accepting that her ideology resulted in the deaths of millions of 20th century humans. The consequences are just too much to bear thinking about.

Re:Republic, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35391874)

The profs did business with Qaddafi in the past, just like the entertainers Beyonce and Mariah Carey, they no longer support him. Maybe you think American oil companies should boycott countries run by dictators? Then we could pay eight bucks a gallon for gasoline.

Re:Republic, eh? (3, Insightful)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392088)

Ok, let's say you're doing some kind of charity project like the OLPC, and you seriously need money to move your project forward, and you're just a MIT professor who'd been minding his research, and published a few books, for over 40 years.

And Qadaffi, a leader of some African country which just happens to be in your target market, donates money to you so you can move your project forward. You've never been a diplomat so you don't really know what Qadaffi has been up to, but it's good money and probably some goodwill with a non-small African country. All you know is you can use that money to help a bunch of poor kids in Africa.

Now, who wouldn't accept that money?! Seriously, get a grip. An MIT professor isn't some kind of all-knowing god.

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392356)

Nicholas Negroponte could have asked his brother just what kind of guy this Khadaffi person might be. But, yeah, you might have to choose less than ideal friends anyway. Stating that a person trying to make a global change in the way primary education is carried out can very well be ignorant of basic international politics is madness. Stating, on the other hand, that you don't always get to choose your partners is another thing, that might also cause a backlash for your cause, e.g. (hypothetically) if the government you're partnering with is ousted and all your precious laptops are lost in the turmoil.

Re:Republic, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392462)

But, but.... socialists socialists socialists, ivory tower liberal intellectual elite!

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393132)

You've never been a diplomat so you don't really know what Qadaffi has been up to

You don't need to be a diplomat - all you need is roughly 5th grade reading skills and 4th grade googling skills. I.E. pretty much anyone of normal intelligence and curiosity is more than capable of finding out what Qadaffi has been up to.
 

Now, who wouldn't accept that money?!

Anyone with a shred of ethics.
 

Seriously, get a grip. An MIT professor isn't some kind of all-knowing god.

Right back at you. He doesn't need to be some kind of all-knowing god - just someone with a shred of ethics, normal intelligence, and normal curiosity.

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392242)

"Nicholas Negroponte from OLPC accepted his money and is proud of his participation."

So what are you suggesting - nobody can interact with any of Africa's corrupt or dictatorial leadership, instead we just wait until they've all established well-run democracies? What the hell would the benefit of that policy be?

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392444)

Isn't it "the narrative" that the West should stay the fuck out of Africa's internal affairs? Haven't we meddled enough? If it were an oil company instead of elite academics, it would be criticized for enabling a dictatorship. Self-serving comment, interpreted to give the best light to its beneficiary.

Re:Republic, eh? (2)

takowl (905807) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392912)

Well, there's an important difference. An oil company would bribe dictators to let them make more money by extracting the country's resources. A non-profit organisation producing educational equipment takes their money and supplies educational equipment. I suppose it's possible that the dictator hands out the laptops only to his supporters, but it's hard to really see OLPC as somehow propping up a dictator.

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392830)

What the hell would the benefit of intervention be? So that people could complain about the West 'interfering in our affairs'? Gimme a break.

Re:Republic, eh? (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393166)

Well, I must have missed where they held elections.

Republic doesn't mean democracy. Republics do NOT need to have elections.

Re:Republic, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393170)

Err... Saif al Qaddafi's PhD is from the London School of Economics, not Harvard.

babys, League of Smelly Infants, world+dog as one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392014)

see you at one of the million baby play-dates, photon sharing sessions, georgia stone editing(s), etc...? there's rumors that unprecedented evile's minions aren't through trying to kill us/ready to flee, just yet. we've also heard that paper-shredding is at record levels this season? confetti?

our occurring/evolving intentions;

1. DEWEAPONIZATION (not a real word, but they like it) almost nothing else good happens until some progress here.

2. ALL BABYS CREATED/TO BE TREATED, EQUALLY. (a rough interpretation (probably cost us. seems like a no-brainer but they expressed that we fail on that one too(:)->) 'we do not need any 300$ 'strollers', or even to ride in your smelly cars/planes etc..., until such time as ALL of the creators' innocents have at least food, shelter, & some loving folks nearby.' again, this is a deal breaker, so pay attention, that's cheap enough, & could lead to our survival?

3. THOU SHALT NOT VACCINATE IRRESPONSIBLY. this appears to be a stop-gap intention.

the genuine feelings expressed included; in addition to the lack of acknowledgment of the advances/evolution of our tiny bodies/dna (including consciousness & intellect), almost nobody knows anymore what's in those things (vaccines) (or they'd tell us), & there's rumor much of it is less than good (possibly fatal) for ANY of us. if it were good for us we'd be gravitating towards it, instead of it being shoved in our little veins, wrecking them, & adversely affecting our improving immune systems/dna/development? at rite-aid, they give the mommies 100$ if they let them stick their babys with whoknowswhat? i can see why they're (the little ones) extremely suspicious? many, oddly? have fading inclinations to want to be reporters of nefarious life threatening processes, ie. 'conspiracies', as they sincerely believe that's 'stuff that REALLY matters', but they KNOW that things are going to be out in the open soon, so they intend to put their ever increasing consciousness, intellect, acute/astute senses & information gathering abilities, to the care & feeding of their fellow humans. no secrets to cover up with that goal.

4. AN END TO MANUFACTURED 'WEATHER'.

sortie like a no-(aerosol tankers)-fly zone being imposed over the whole planet. the thinking is, the planet will continue to repair itself, even if we stop pretending that it's ok/nothing's happening. after the weather manipulation is stopped (& it will be) it could get extremely warm/cold/blustery some days. many of us will be moving inland..., but we'll (most of us anyway) be ok, so long as we keep our heads up. conversely, the manufactured 'weather' puts us in a state of 'theater' that allows US to think that we needn't modify our megaslothian heritage of excessiveness/disregard for ourselves, others, what's left of our environment etc...? all research indicates that spraying chemicals in the sky is 100% detrimental to our/planet's well being (or they'd talk to US about it?). as for weather 'extremes', we certainly appear to be in a bleeding rash of same, as well as all that bogus seismic activity, which throws our advanced tiny baby magnets & chromosomes into crisis/escape mode, so that's working? we're a group whose senses are more available to us (like monkeys?) partly because we're not yet totally distracted by the foibles of man'kind'. the other 'part' is truly amazing. we saw nuclear war being touted on PBS as an environmental repair tool (?depopulation? (makes the babys' 'accountants' see dark red:-(-? yikes. so what gives? thanks for your patience & understanding while we learn to express our intentions. everybody has some. let us know. come to some of our million baby play-dates. no big hurry? catch your breath. we'll wait a bit more. thanks.

do the math. check out YOUR dna/intention potential. thanks again.

just whois negotiating for this gurgling mob? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392480)

they appear to represent, & be represented by, in excess of 90% of the planet's population, & a host of ideas & overlooked realities, that will help empower us out of our current dilemmas/scheduled 'extinction', & into the next level of species advance, which encourages life, without the tendency to destroy each other/everything for what has proven to be inhuman motives. they, represent us, at this time of need.

babys et al are going to save US? sounds so queer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392790)

that's right. as 180*360 as it may come across, that's what's happening. are they (r)evolutionary or what? right away, the naysayers/co-opters /fear-mongers lament, 'they can't do that'? no such word. there's only time, space & circumstance to be contended with.

never a better time to plan to attend one of the million+ baby (& friends) play-date etc... events being scheduled world wide. be there or be scared?

What would Obama do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392032)

A group of heavily armed irregulars calling themselves the United Caliphate of Virginia declares sovereignty over the Commonwealth and marches on Washington to depose Mr. Obama and expand its reach nationwide. Mr. Obama must decide if and how to defend the Capitol against these people and the type and deployment of federal military assets. Cuba and Venezuela have joined Iran and 8 other Muslim countries calling for U.N. recognition of the Caliphate and the condemnation of the U.S. government and Mr. Obama personally for thwarting the "freedom fighter's" self determination. The Caliphate's forces have reached the out skirts of Arlington having rolled forward against only light opposition as a significant number of U.S. officers and non-coms have joined them. The "freedom fighters" are moving in artillery capable of hitting most of the District of Columbia. Mr. Obama has virtually the full power of United States military forces at his disposal. The 4,300 "freedom fighters" are heavily armed and are acquiring military hardware as they advance. They reportedly have 3 helicopters of undetermined capability. Leaving aside for the moment Mr. Obama's natural tendency to side with the forces of Islam and against the interests of America, would he unleash a strong attack designed to bring an immediate and decisive halt to the uprising or some lesser response? Would he use artillery and air power to guard the seat of government? Would he allow the "freedom fighters" to operate with impunity from within densely populated civilian areas? What would BHO do and how would it differ from Mr. Qaddafi's actions and decisions?

Re:What would Obama do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392230)

That's a mighty big bowl of crazy you've got there.

Now if this "group of heavily armed irregulars" wasn't approximately 0.0014% (4,300 out of 300,000,000) of the population with little popular support but rather a large volunteer force including but by no means numerically dominated by practically the entire army and with the support of a majority of the people you might have a slightly more similar situation.

Of course, Obama would also have to be a dictator who came to power through a military coup d'état several decades ago and who throughout these decades had been executing pretty much anyone he thought disagreed with him.

Libya is already a republic (2)

seyyah (986027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392378)

Libya is already known as the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Republic" or in short the "Libyan Arab Republic".

Re:Libya is already a republic (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392452)

So is North Korea. Your point?

Re:Libya is already a republic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392624)

West Libya is best Libya.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393372)

This happened february 27.

O Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393464)

Here we go again with a guy appointed by friends to become new overlord of the place.
This is no better than Gadaffi himself. Replacing a dictator with a self and friends appointed
new dictator dosen't really reassure me . Noone elected the boyos afaik , yet they proclaim legitimity.
It's a farce and noone i hope takes them any seriously.That country's a mess and it looks like every Tom Dick and Larry can make announcements that they are the new leaders of the place.
Hopefully they will realise it will end at a table with someone signing something.
How hard they make it on themselves to get that signature on the bottom line is the only question.
Violence is the refuge of the incompetent.Obviously , there's a lot of it in Lybia 8)

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