Libyan ambassador to U.S. pleads: Say something, Obama

posted at 5:38 pm on February 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

But why? The singular lesson about U.S. power during the Egyptian revolution was that pretty much no one cares what The One thinks. Does this guy honestly believe Qaddafi’s going to call off a carpet-bombing campaign designed to preserve his rule because Obama says he’s “disappointed” in him or whatever?

“I want the U.S. to tell the world and to work with the countries who love peace…they have to stop this,” Ambassador Ali Ojli said, suggesting that he had resigned his post, in an interview with Al Jazeera English.

“I would never ask us to intervene physically in Libya,” he said, but called on the Obama Administration to “take a strong position that what’s happening in libya must be stopped now…and to avoid giving the impression to the Arab world that the West “has only a materialist mind — they don’t care about human rights…except when it comes to their own interest.”

“You see them raising their voices about iran … because they have some interest in in Iran…. When it comes to other countries they don’t raise their voice,” he said, adding that the Arab and Muslim world won’t “trust america or the west if they behave that way.”

Whereas a strong denunciation of Qaddafi from Obama will lead Muslims to trust America? C’mon. As I’m writing this, Hillary has just issued a statement; I haven’t seen it yet, but no doubt all the “gravely concerned” I’s are dotted and the “we urge restraint” T’s are crossed. Talk is cheap, so let’s pick up a thread from the last Libya post: Should the UN/U.S./NATO intervene with air power to ground Qaddafi’s birds? Jonah Goldberg joins Dan Foster at the Corner in saying yes, but Ace’s co-blogger Gabe Malor makes a smart counterargument. If we start blowing Libyan jets out of the sky to protect demonstrators, are we obliged to do the same elsewhere? Even in Yemen, whose regime we count on to keep Al Qaeda’s increasingly dangerous chapter there at bay? Even in … Saudi Arabia?

Foreign policy analyst Marc Lynch makes the case for intervention:

By acting, I mean a response sufficiently forceful and direct to deter or prevent the Libyan regime from using its military resources to butcher its opponents. I have already seen reports that NATO has sternly warned Libya against further violence against its people. Making that credible could mean the declaration and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, presumably by NATO, to prevent the use of military aircraft against the protestors. It could also mean a clear declaration that members of the regime and military will be held individually responsible for any future deaths. The U.S. should call for an urgent, immediate Security Council meeting and push for a strong resolution condeming Libya’s use of violence and authorizing targeted sanctions against the regime. Such steps could stand a chance of reversing the course of a rapidly deteriorating situation. An effective international response could not only save many Libyan lives, it might also send a powerful warning to other Arab leaders who might contemplate following suit against their own protest movements.

I don’t have any illusions that the outside world can control what happens in Libya, if the regime really wants to try to hold power by force. I don’t call for a direct military intervention. And I am keenly, painfully aware of all that could go wrong with even the kinds of responses I am recommending. But right now those fears are outweighed by the urgent imperative of trying to prevent the already bloody situation from getting much, much worse. This is not a peaceful democracy protest movement which the United States can best help by pressuring allied regimes from above, pushing for long-term and meaningful reform, and persuading the military to refrain from violence. It’s gone well beyond that already, and this time I find myself on the side of those demanding more forceful action before it’s too late. The steady stream of highly public defections from the regime suggest that rapid change is possible, yesterday’s speech by Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and today’s events suggest that so is terrible violence.

One alternative to U.S. intervention would be for Egypt to intervene somehow, either by enforcing a no-fly zone in the spirit of revolutionary fraternity (and a payoff from the west, no doubt) and/or by granting amnesty across the border to Libyan troops who want to defect. In fact, there’s already some religious cover for them to act: According to the Guardian, the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader” has issued a fatwa calling on Libyan troops to kill Qaddafi. The obvious problem with an Egyptian intervention is that if Qaddafi holds on somehow, he and Egypt are at war. And, per the VDH post that I linked earlier, we’d best be careful about inviting too much Egyptian interest in its next-door neighbor given the oil interests at play. Or is that actually less of a bug and more of a feature? Libyan society may be in no condition to continue oil production in the near future after the shooting stops. Egypt, a more stable platform even given the recent revolution, might be.

In lieu of an exit question, let me quote David Petraeus’s most famous utterance: “Tell me how this ends.”


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Figures. Mubarak was an American ally, so Obama would move heaven and earth to get him removed whereas Gaddafi is a dictator, hence he’d remain silent if not actively discourage him. Why did these revolutions not take place during Bush’s time?

promachus on February 21, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Beer falafal summit toot suit, please! Maybe the Joint Chiefs have finally convinced O-Dufus to keep his pie hole shut????

Chewy the Lab on February 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM

As I’m writing this, Hillary has just issued a statement; I haven’t seen it yet, but no doubt all the “gravely concerned” I’s are dotted and the “we urge restraint” T’s are crossed.

Actually it is much stronger than you thought. It contains the phrase, “View with alarm” in italics. Is a declaration of war next? Yikes!

Mason on February 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM

When your values and principles have been taught to you by communists and radicals it’s sometimes very hard to choose between say … a dictator and the Muslim brotherhood. Both offer things you like.

darwin on February 21, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Did Hillary just squeak, or was that the air leaking out of the soft power.

tarpon on February 21, 2011 at 6:38 PM

I just want to know where our Military Commanders and Leaders are. Where is the CIA and our Special Op’s, and where is Petraus? Our troops are being surrounded in Iraqi theater and nobody but Misses Clintoon has anything to say?

I’ve got kids in Theatre and I want some answers dammit.

Key West Reader on February 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

All the billions in petrodollars are going somewhere, because they aren’t showing up in Libya. People who know where it is going are being quiet.

pedestrian on February 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

just how did this MORON get elected again????

SDarchitect on February 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Maybe Mika and Scarborough can get Niall Ferguson on again to explain what a “shambles” the administration’s handling of the Libya situation has been.

Christien on February 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Pleading to Beezelbub is supposed to help Libya, how?

Inanemergencydial on February 21, 2011 at 6:47 PM

What they really mean (but might not realize) is:

“Get some new leadership, America, this Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing and is a frightening disaster”

Cindy Cooper on February 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM

If they take Saudi Arabia then our troops are trapped and utterly surrounded. I said this last week.

On purpose, Obama? You said they’d be “out” in 2011 but you didn’t say “how” they’d be out.

Key West Reader on February 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

That’s incredibly scary. If I was a military strategist advisor there under any of the military branches, I could not live with myself knowing that.

ProudPalinFan on February 21, 2011 at 6:51 PM

me_a_name on February 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM

I see. Obama’s leadership stops at the water’s edge.

Paul-Cincy on February 21, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I’ve got kids in Theatre and I want some answers dammit.

Key West Reader on February 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Said a prayer to keep your kids in particular–and the rest of our forces–safe. But whatever Odummer says will be the wrong thing and exacerbate the situation. I am convinced he listens to the advice of his handlers and does exactly the opposite…if this is not the case, the only other conclusion is his handlers are maroons…to me, an even scarier prospect than the president being completely totally flippin’ batchit insane.
I’d love to hear some other opinions. I have believed, since the day I heard he was running for president, that his real agenda was the complete, utter downfall of this country, but as this whole thing is playing out in the mid-east, I’m beginning to wonder if this is exactly the opposite effect he was hoping for (ie: downfall of U.S., uplift of radical Islam). Am I being too optimistic in thinking that maybe, just maybe there are more “rationale” Muslims than there are radicals, and they are trying to effect reform?????? Is that even possible??? I’m only asking, please hold the fruit. Throwing it at me is wasteful, and the cost of food is going up mighty fast! (OT: bought Romaine lettuce today. Price has doubled in 6 months)

Chewy the Lab on February 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I admit there’s a better moral case for Egypt to invade Libya than there was for, say, Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, but it would still be awfully awkward for the US to countenance it in public. As for NATO, I really haven’t a clue what its mission is, but at least it would serve as a passable cover for US preferences. (Forget about the UN or the Arab League doing anything to deter a desperate regime from saving its hide by any means necessary.)

Not sure the Italians would be crazy about participating, but you never know. Who’s the Italian war minister these days? I bet she’s hot.

Seth Halpern on February 21, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Can the White Houose truly mind if these major Oil exported get shut down by radicals? Is there a deliberate move to deprive the west of energy – why are we commiting economic suicide by not moving toward stopping the single handed way Obama is shutting down oil? Are we really thinking we can survive this crash with oil through the roof? Venuzuala and Iran must be drooling with what Obama’s policies mean for them. Russia North Korea and China must be watching with more that a simple interest in our self-inflicted weakness to be able to wage a war for survival. Just wondering….

Don L on February 21, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Why doesn’t powerful Turkey or Egypt step in to stop the bombing? Where is the Muslim world here? Hello? Doesn’t the Arab street care what’s going on?

These are the same exact people who cheered when the mass-murdering Lockerbie bomber came home to live out his golden years. Who are they cheering now? Gaddafi or the islamists who will replace him?

Mojave Mark on February 21, 2011 at 7:16 PM

If it’s a choice between silence from Obama and “Well, I don’t have all the facts now, but it appears the people of Libya are acting stupidly”, gimme silence any day.

ExUrbanKevin on February 21, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Making that credible could mean the declaration and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya…

I’m getting aroused while looking at F-22 pictures.

JCred on February 21, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Why doesn’t powerful Turkey or Egypt step in to stop the bombing? Where is the Muslim world here? Hello? Doesn’t the Arab street care what’s going on?

These are the same exact people who cheered when the mass-murdering Lockerbie bomber came home to live out his golden years. Who are they cheering now? Gaddafi or the islamists who will replace him?

Mojave Mark on February 21, 2011 at 7:16 PM

They are all choosing sides. Saudi Arabia would probably want to use it’s planes to help kill rebels. Egypt’s military wouldn’t know which side to help.

pedestrian on February 21, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Obama 2008: Can’t I just eat my waffle?

Obama 2011: Can you just go eat some falafel?

Kaisersoze on February 21, 2011 at 7:23 PM

The protestors must not be Islamic or ObaMao would have already spoke up in their favor.

Sporty1946 on February 21, 2011 at 7:26 PM

It’s 3:00 AM the phone is ringing, and Barry is sleeping off another white house rap party.

Alden Pyle on February 21, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Libyan ambassador to U.S. pleads: Say something, Obama

Uh….ummmm….

BobMbx on February 21, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Fine, Barry, keep your mouth shut. It will make for an interesting exchange when you and Palin get to the Foreign Policy debate.

Kafir on February 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM

A prominent Egyptian cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has called for a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi.

He made a public statement tonight that any Libyan soldier who has the opportunity should shoot and kill the Libyan leader.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/02/qaradawi-kill-gaddafi.html

Qaradawi or Qaddafi?

Syphilis or Gonorrhea?

sharrukin on February 21, 2011 at 7:35 PM

The panel on Special Report just reamed Obama on Libya tonight.

Cindy Munford on February 21, 2011 at 7:44 PM

just how did this MORON get elected again????

SDarchitect on February 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Far too many people judged him by the color of his skin and not by the content of his character.

mizflame98 on February 21, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Kadafi troops killing demonstrators? Where’s the civility?

Oh, demonstrators want to kill Kadafi. Continue Mumar. Do what dictators do.

And demonstrators, UN is on your side. No 2nd amendment needed.

Somehow, in 2007 I might have been interested. It’s 2011 in the third year of teh Won. I am working to prevent a fifth year.

Caststeel on February 21, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Trolls conspicuously absent. hmmmmm

CWforFreedom on February 21, 2011 at 7:53 PM

He’s too busy getting into states affairs to worry about world affairs. He can’t help it, it’s just the community organizer in him. You know, someone acted stupidly or something and the One has to come save the day.

Scrappy on February 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM

At what point is it safe to say that opening the Egyptian Pandora’s Box by the Obama Administration was not such a good idea?

BKeyser on February 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

You expect little Bammie to think one step ahead? Maybe he should have stocked his State Department with more than Jew-haters?

Meanwhile George Soros was seen cackling demonically.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Okay, it’s 2011 and UN started in c. 1948.Where is all this peace they are about?

Africa? N to S no peace.
S. America occasional peace.
N. America fascist takeover attempts.
Europe mostly tired; internal problems only.
Asia okay except for Russia, China, ‘Stans, and India. oh, right.
Oceania or Pacific Ocean islands atolls etc.; quiet except for Phillippeans, Indonesia but NZ and OZ are peaceful.
Antarctica, penguins still feeding gulls and killer whales.

Just another peaceful year on Earth. SOS FUBAR

Caststeel on February 21, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Quit bugging the guy, he’s playing hoops on the west lawn.

Hummer53 on February 21, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Trolls conspicuously absent. hmmmmm

CWforFreedom on February 21, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Betcha’ we go a little deeper, they are orgasmic on Cos et al.

Chewy the Lab on February 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM

And the people bowed and prayed
to the neon god they made…

karl9000 on February 21, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Right, no one cares what Øbama thinks.

But what Øbama thinks is: Congress must fund Obamacare to support democracy in the ME, Africa and throughout the world.

petefrt on February 21, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Okay, it’s 2011 and UN started in c. 1948.Where is all this peace they are about?

Africa? N to S no peace.
S. America occasional peace.
N. America fascist takeover attempts.
Europe mostly tired; internal problems only.
Asia okay except for Russia, China, ‘Stans, and India. oh, right.
Oceania or Pacific Ocean islands atolls etc.; quiet except for Phillippeans, Indonesia but NZ and OZ are peaceful.
Antarctica, penguins still feeding gulls and killer whales.

Just another peaceful year on Earth. SOS FUBAR

Caststeel on February 21, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Massive quake in Christchurch NZ. Spare a thought for those struggling to survive there.

lexhamfox on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM

You know what? Screw Libya. And its leader, and its ambassador to the UN. Screw Egypt, screw Mubarak, screw the Tunisians, the Algerians, the Yemenis, and whatever other third-world sh!thole Arab country mounts an uprising next.

Your cave-dweller men chant “death to America” at the slightest provocation, your hideous women ululate in the streets when our innocents are murdered, and your “soldiers” blow up buses and pizzerias, when they’re not using children as human shields.

GO GET YOUR OWN DAMN POLICEMAN.

You cozy up to the Russians, you collude with other tinpot Arab dictators… GET THEM TO SPEAK UP ON YOUR BEHALF, YOU EVIL HALF-EVOLVED S.O.B.’s.

greggriffith on February 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM

P.S. None of this takes away from what a poor leader Obsma is. Next to him, Carter looks like Lincoln.

greggriffith on February 21, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Just a question but does anyone know if there are rumblings in Iraq yet? Everywhere else in the Middle East seems to be exploding.

sharrukin on February 21, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Yes, and I think it’s more than a little disconcerting that all of the places where this type of disruption has been occurring (Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan) have all been places where the government has been friendly to the West.

Even Qadaffi has been taking a more pro-western stance the last five years or so.

Meanwhile there doesn’t seem to be any problem at all in Syria, and what little there has been in Iran, seems to have petered out already.

Hmmm….

And what the hell is that Libyan Ambassador talking about? “You see them raising their voices about iran … because they have some interest in in Iran?” Exactly when did the Obama administration say anything during the unrest in Iran a year and a half ago?

Also notice that the spiritual leader of the “peaceful” Muslim Brotherhood has issued a Fatwa calling for the assassination of Qaddafi.

Be careful what you wish for….

Dreadnought on February 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Dreadnought on February 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Well said.

Though not popular uprisings, I wonder if folks thought that great positive change was coming about when Ernst Roehm was taken out or Leon Trotsky?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Well said.

Though not popular uprisings, I wonder if folks thought that great positive change was coming about when Ernst Roehm was taken out or Leon Trotsky?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Those are good analogies, actually.

From Stratfor:

Seif al-Islam said efforts were under way to create small Islamic emirates in various parts of the country, such as Al Bayda and Darna. Since then, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was quoted as saying, “I’m extremely concerned about the self-proclamation of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Benghazi. Would you imagine having an Islamic Arab emirate at the borders of Europe? This would be a really serious threat.”

Dreadnought on February 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Dreadnought on February 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM

I am not sure how orchestrated this is, but many of these groups are in contact with each other that much is certain. Seems like the more Islamic groups are sweeping to power throughout the Middle East with only the militaries and dictators holding them back.

sharrukin on February 21, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Fore!

/something

(someone prolly said up above, but I coudn’t resist)

ted c on February 21, 2011 at 10:16 PM

The sad truth here is that all these Arab countries would be much better off today if they had stayed European colonies. They would have a working education system, an economy, freedom for their citizens and the rule of law.

PS: Africa too.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2011 at 10:18 PM

How’s this end? Well, it ends pretty well if I can put it up there on that green, but it ends pretty sh!tty if I put it in the sand—so, how’s that grab ya Dave?

ted c on February 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I’d like to send Catholic medals of Jeanne D’Arc to the troops, along with prayer cards. Since would be a Catholic effort on my part, where do I turn to, so they get to safe hands?

She’s the saint of those in the military.

ProudPalinFan on February 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM

I wonder if Obama is taking notes.

Murphy9 on February 21, 2011 at 10:34 PM

The Arabs don’t sell us oil because they like us, they sell us oil because they must. Simply put, they need the revenue to bribe their people into not rioting. Who ever is in charge will see to it that the first order of business is to get the wells pumping and to keep the wells pumping.

Fred 2 on February 22, 2011 at 3:25 AM

After several minutes of serious consideration of weighty matters Zero asked the ambassador if he thinks Moochie enjoys that skiing as much as he enjoys shooting hoops.

viking01 on February 22, 2011 at 6:44 AM

I think his plea is legitimate. And probably Obama should be consistent. Making a statement for the people won’t make a difference, but it still affirms our foreign policy that we do not ignore violations of human rights.

AnninCA on February 22, 2011 at 7:27 AM

Libya imploding…Obama MIA.

kingsjester on February 22, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Comrade Zero just can’t figure out if he’s Shia or Sunni. Figuring that out was above his pay grade. Matter of fact his entire career was above his pay grade. He just sounded good reading Karl Marx aloud to his other budding Communists.

adamsmith on February 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM

The only thing President Eunuch has jumped on quickly was Gov. Walker in Wis.

Wills on February 22, 2011 at 9:04 AM

The basic premise of this story is totally dishonest, Allah. What a cheap shot. The White House has strongly condemned the violence of the Libyan regime against its own people. To suggest that is it just standing back and doing nothing is absurd, but you must know this.

No one knows how things are going to turn out, and the White House is exactly right to not be seen as a meddler in the Maghreb (you’ll have to look that one up, HotAirHeads.).

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Phase 1: Cairo speech by B Hussein Obama.

Phase 2:

Phase 3: World War III.

PattyJ on February 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Bambi will speak as soon as the good ol’ Rev. Wright tells him what to say:

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/02/president-still-silent-on-genocide-in.html

GrannyDee on February 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Hillary made a brief statement. Did I miss Obama ?

gh on February 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

He’s too busy getting into states affairs to worry about world affairs. He can’t help it, it’s just the community organizer in him. You know, someone acted stupidly or something and the One has to come save the day.

Scrappy on February 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM

No, actually, he’s probably been too busy skiing with his family over the long weekend….

chai on February 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

The basic premise of this story is totally dishonest, Allah. What a cheap shot. The White House has strongly condemned the violence of the Libyan regime against its own people. To suggest that is it just standing back and doing nothing is absurd, but you must know this.

No one knows how things are going to turn out, and the White House is exactly right to not be seen as a meddler in the Maghreb (you’ll have to look that one up, HotAirHeads.).

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Hey idiot – the basic premise of the “story” is Libya’s Ambassador stating:

“I want the U.S. to tell the world and to work with the countries who love peace…they have to stop this,” Ambassador Ali Ojli said, suggesting that he had resigned his post, in an interview with Al Jazeera English.
“I would never ask us to intervene physically in Libya,” he said, but called on the Obama Administration to “take a strong position that what’s happening in libya must be stopped now…and to avoid giving the impression to the Arab world that the West “has only a materialist mind — they don’t care about human rights…except when it comes to their own interest.”

You once again missed the issue and are desperately trying to appear relevant and/or “bright”. You are neither.

Now – craft one of those nifty posts, send it off to the Ambassador and/or innternational community and let them know, all is well – regardless of what they hear and see. Let them know their plea is empty and is nothing more than an attempt to confuse and bait “Hotairheads”.

Odie1941 on February 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

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