Americans finally depart Libya as rebels prepare to fight for Tripoli

posted at 10:12 am on February 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The situation in Libya may well explode today, as rebels and sympathizers have called to coordinate demonstrations in Tripoli with Friday prayers. Overnight, the city erupted in violence, resulting in chaos and serious doubt as to whether dictator Moammar Gaddafi remained in control at all. His cousin became the latest high-ranking official to defect from the regime:

In the meantime, violence blanketed the capitol Tripoli Thursday night, as the walls of Gadhafi’s stronghold and regime appear to be caving in.

Anti-government forces attacked two nearby cities and protesters were in full control of eastern Libya. …

Across Libya, support for Gadhafi has quickly dissipating with officials from his inner circle defecting, including one of his closest aides, his own cousin.

Mark Knoller tweeted earlier today that the 300 Americans stuck in Libya have finally gotten onto a ferry bound for Malta, according to State. Despite China’s success in evacuating more than 4500 of its nationals this week, the US had delayed its own evacuation for days due to high seas in the Mediterranean. The inability to withdraw Americans from Libya contributed in part to the slow response from the US on the crisis in Libya, although clearly that has not been the only factor.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi has decided to try throwing some cash at Libyans to cool their revolutionary ardor:

Meanwhile, Libyan state television said Moammar Gadhafi’s government was raising wages, increasing food subsidies and ordering special allowances for all families, in its first practical attempt to win the support of citizens since the uprising began.

Each family will receive 500 Libyan dinars ($400) to help cover increased food costs, and wages for some categories of public sector workers will increase by 150 percent, the television station said.

The concessions came as social media sites called for for mass demonstrations in Tripoli after Friday prayers.

At the rate that Gaddafi and his mercenaries are reportedly killing Libyans, such pay raises might not even cost Gaddafi any more overall money.  It’s unlikely that the extra cash would satisfy the demands of Libyans to send Gaddafi packing — or worse — but it costs him nothing to make the offer to see whether it would work.

Meanwhile, the UN is still debating whether to throw Libya off of the Human Rights Council:

The United Nations Human Rights Council will convene a special session today to investigate reports of mass killings during Libyan protests, as anti-government forces continue to battle Moammar Gadhafi’s mercenaries.

The council will consider whether to strip Libya of membership, which would send a signal to other leaders that a violent crackdown on a country’s own citizens is intolerable.

If it seems funny to schedule a debate on whether to throw a tyrant who’s currently engaged in opening fire on his own people off of a human rights council, just remember that some of the nations deciding that question will be Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and the same China that did exactly the same thing in Tienanman Square more than 20 years ago.  The better question is why Libya, with its decades-long track record of terrorism, was allowed on the council in the first place, or for that matter, why any of these nations still sit on the panel.


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They must have found a high speed rail line in Libya to evacuate the Americans.

mizflame98 on February 25, 2011 at 10:14 AM

1) Is it not embarrassing that China was able to evacuate thousands of its people while ours sat on a ferry, waiting for the weather to clear?

2) Why are we still funding a Human Rights Council that has countries like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Libya as members?

amerpundit on February 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Obama loses another ally.

pseudonominus on February 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The council will consider whether to strip Libya of membership,

Really? Who invited these clowns to the table anyway?

ChicagoBlues on February 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

The Barry Ferry finally departed, huh? Took long enough.

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 10:17 AM

It may be “Game Over” for the devil that we know. What comes next is the devil that we don’t know. Does anyone in the U.S. State Department have any ideas?

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Game Over

I did not know they spoke English in Libya.

faraway on February 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

How ironic is it that US citizens cannot grab their bags and flee from a war torn country but WI Democrats can do the same from their jobs in the state legislature?

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Does anyone in the U.S. State Department have any ideas?

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Probably not. I think they’re predicting sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows in the sky.

I, OTOH, think there’s a high possibility of this becoming Somalia 2: Electric Boogaloo, which is VERY bad considering that Egypt may decide they want the oil wells in the east of the country for themselves.

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM

The Barry Ferry

note the advice given to the passengers**

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

The question is why we fund an organization that’s hostile to our interests and attempts to insult and humiliate us at every turn.

John Deaux on February 25, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Why are we still funding a Human Rights Council that has countries like China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Libya as members?

amerpundit on February 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

You’re not only funding it, you’re sitting on that council with them, allowing all those countries to criticize America’s human rights record!

ProfessorMiao on February 25, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Other than Reagan (who missed), every administration since Nixon turned a blind eye to Kaddafi’s terrorist bloodbaths.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do…

Munich Olympic Massacre
Constable Fletcher Murder
Rome Airport Massacre
Vienna Airport Massacre
Berlin Discoteque Massacre
PA103 Massacre
UTA772 Massacre
IRA proxy massacres
Saudi Crown assassination plot
EU Nurse Prison Sextortion
Swiss hostage extortion
Libyan civilian massacres

Nemo me impune lacessit?

Terp Mole on February 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

We’ll see if Kadaffy still has any kind of air force willing to attack citizens for him. More rebels will be coming via open roads a long distance to Tripoli.

forest on February 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

The dictator is giving Obama ideas —– before the next election we will probably see some kind of payoff to the Tea Party people — fuel subsides ..and stuff like that ..

wheels on February 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Q got a pass in 2003 for 2 reasons, 1) Congress would not authorize a 3-front war on terrorism, 2) Q coughed up his WMDs and cowered, “I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq and I was afraid.”

Berlin, Munich, Rome, Vienna, London, Belfast, etc., ad nauseum… Q has blood debts with all of them.

The Saudis should have put this jackal down after he plotted to assassinate their Crown Prince in 2005.

The Bulgarians should have invoked the NATO treaty and offed this thug when Kaddafi extorted millions by prison raping their nurses in 2007.

Q’s has plenty of enemies ready to serve justice.

Somebody?

Anybody?

Terp Mole on February 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Darn these Libyans!

How can Obama concentrate on improving his golf swing with all the ruckas they’re causing?

pilamaye on February 25, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Q’s has plenty of enemies ready to serve justice.

Somebody?

Anybody?

Terp Mole on February 25, 2011 at 10:30 AM

they better get in line because the Libyan people might beat them to it. Justice delayed isn’t justice denied.

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:35 AM

The better question is why Libya, with its decades-long track record of terrorism, was allowed on the council in the first place, or for that matter, why any of these nations still sit on the panel.

Enemies of freedom = enemies of the United States = favored among the UN, the bulk of whose member nations are run by petty tyrants, tin-pot dictators, socialists and whiny leftists who hate us for both political reasons and simple jealousy. To ascribe any higher motives than that gives them far too much credit.

SKYFOX on February 25, 2011 at 10:35 AM

It takes time to find a union-run ferry in that region of the world.

Bishop on February 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Did the US citizens get a complementary TSA patdown before boarding? It wouldn’t be the same without one…./

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM

This is so simple.

Q is surrounded by foreign mercenaries hired to kill his opposition.

Somebody with a righteous grudge (Saudis, Swiss, Bulgarians) put a proper bounty on Q’s head and watch his mercs trip over each other to collect.

It’s that easy.

Somebody?

Anybody?

Terp Mole on February 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The better question is why Libya, with its decades-long track record of terrorism, was allowed on the council in the first place, or for that matter, why any of these nations still sit on the panel.

…And why the United States President and his Administration allowed us to be called in front of those petty tyrants and dictators and dressed down for our supposed Human Rights Violations

kingsjester on February 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:21 AM

How on earth did you remember that song?

the US had delayed its own evacuation for days due to high seas in the Mediterranean.

Well, if they were bound to take the ferry, waiting for the right seas was a necessity–I’ve been on those darn things, and they can be a misery when the water is only a little rough.

DrMagnolias on February 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM

amerpundit on February 25, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Read this last night… between 2006-2008, the UN voted to condemn Israel 15 times… during that same period the council only stated that it had “deep concerns” about genocide in The Sudan.

Who knew there were so many Libertarians on the HRC?

/snark

mankai on February 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM

The situation in Libya may well explode today, as rebels and sympathizers have called to coordinate demonstrations in Tripoli with Friday prayers

Wow, talk about oxymoron……these words together just do not compute..

sicoit on February 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM

It may be “Game Over” for the devil that we know. What comes next is the devil that we don’t know. Does anyone in the U.S. State Department have any ideas?

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM

SOS will know as soon as the BLM reports what’s next. Clapper is standing by to deem the replacement as largely secular.

AH_C on February 25, 2011 at 10:43 AM


… 300 Americans stuck in Libya have finally gotten onto a ferry bound for Malta …

Can’t wait to see these interviews.

Darn these Libyans! How can Obama concentrate on improving his golf swing with all the ruckas they’re causing? – Pilamaye

And they’re trying to watch their “Salute to Motown” concert at the White House. PBS won’t show it for a month or so. Can’t have this on while the world burns.

Tony737 on February 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

The better question is why Libya, with its decades-long track record of terrorism, was allowed on the council in the first place, or for that matter, why any of these nations still sit on the panel.

Because it has it’s foundation in a league of nations rather than a league of democracies or a rule of law league. Might not be a bad idea to form a league of democracies but noone seems to be stepping up to that plate.

dieudonne on February 25, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Tony737 on February 25, 2011 at 10:44 AM

No kiddin’.

kingsjester on February 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Earlier reports said Gaddafi still had mustard has, yellow cake and other WMD’s. Shouldn’t we have some special ops teams in there to secure those once the regime fails? I bet AQ and other groups are hoping to grab those

offroadaz on February 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

It may be “Game Over” for the devil that we know. What comes next is the devil that we don’t know. Does anyone in the U.S. State Department have any ideas?

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I hear the secular Muslim Brotherhood are a decent and harmless bunch.

BL@KBIRD on February 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:18 AM

My take on all these uprisings… it’s a mix of three different groups (representing about 1000 sub-groups; see: Life of Brian).

One group are people genuinely influenced by the West and probably encouraged by seeing the free elections in Iraq (Ron Paul just had a stroke)… the next group are old school Somali-type anarchists who want to control their piece of the Libyan pie… and the third is the Islamic element.

What I can’t get a handle on is what size these groups might be… but I do know that the resolve of the latter two has been historically stronger than the resolve of the first in that part of the world.

When there is oil money to be had, all bets are off.

mankai on February 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM

My take on all these uprisings… it’s a mix of three different groups (representing about 1000 sub-groups; see: Life of Brian).

SPLITTERS!

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 10:52 AM

How on earth did you remember that song?

DrMagnolias on February 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM

MTV used to play that video a lot….back in the days when they played music….

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 10:53 AM

The council will consider whether to strip Libya of membership, which would send a signal to other leaders that a violent crackdown on a country’s own citizens is intolerable.

They just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m sure they will right after they’re done working on another condemnation of Israel.

MJBrutus on February 25, 2011 at 10:56 AM

“At the rate that Gaddafi and his mercenaries are reportedly killing Libyans, such pay raises might not even cost Gaddafi any more overall money. It’s unlikely that the extra cash would satisfy the demands of Libyans to send Gaddafi packing — or worse — but it costs him nothing to make the offer to see whether it would work.”

I can’t imagine some money would placate them when they are so close to having all of the money.

Dusty on February 25, 2011 at 10:59 AM

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Don’t know if I support the Libyan People’s Front; the People’s Front of Libya; or the People’s Liberation Front of Libya (or is it the Libyan People’s Liberation Front?).

mankai on February 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Don’t know if I support the Libyan People’s Front; the People’s Front of Libya; or the People’s Liberation Front of Libya (or is it the Libyan People’s Liberation Front?).

mankai on February 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM

I thought we were the Popular Front…

teke184 on February 25, 2011 at 11:01 AM

“At the rate that Gaddafi and his mercenaries are reportedly killing Libyans, such pay raises might not even cost Gaddafi any more overall money. It’s unlikely that the extra cash would satisfy the demands of Libyans to send Gaddafi packing — or worse — but it costs him nothing to make the offer to see whether it would work.”

This is the ‘free market’ to a tyrant. No wonder BHO doesn’t understand it…

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM

“we’re doing everything we can”…..President Jackass

PatriotRider on February 25, 2011 at 11:05 AM

I thought the U.N. is pretty much just comic relief at this point.

Cindy Munford on February 25, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Darn those Libyans!

How can Obama concentrate on a Motown celebration at the White House with all the ruckas they’re causing?

pilamaye on February 25, 2011 at 11:08 AM

support for Gadhafi has quickly dissipating with officials from his inner circle defecting, including one of his closest aides, his own cousin

Am I the only one who finds these sudden discoveries of democratic values unconvincing? Back in 1989-90, living in Eastern Europe as communism collapsed, we had a phrase for this: Fresh winds blowing out of the old assholes.

factoid on February 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

support for Gadhafi has quickly dissipating with officials from his inner circle defecting, including one of his closest aides, his own cousin

Am I the only one who finds these sudden discoveries of democratic values unconvincing? Back in 1989-90, living in Eastern Europe as communism collapsed, we had a phrase for this: Fresh winds blowing out of the old a$$holes.

factoid on February 25, 2011 at 11:18 AM

To quote Wallace on Fox news…quit saying something is intolerable if you’re going to tolerate it. It makes you look impotent. He was referring to Mr. President’s remarks, but the same could apply to anyone who is saying it, whether it’s Hillary or the UN Council, which in and of itself is impotent..

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 11:23 AM

The British had a Royal Navy warship evacuating people from Libya yesterday. Where is the US Navy?

albill on February 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM

albill on February 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I’m sure Obama thinks that would be arrogant.

DrMagnolias on February 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I’d love to hear Qaddafi refusing Obama’s phone call, like Mubarak did.

(Sorry, Obama the man deserved it. He’s not representing the best American interests.)

Sir Napsalot on February 25, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I’d love to hear Qaddafi refusing Obama’s phone call, like Mubarak did.

(Sorry, Obama the man deserved it. He’s not representing the best American interests.)

Sir Napsalot on February 25, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Obama has demonstrated (in only 2 years) he is irrelevant.

Wade on February 25, 2011 at 12:15 PM

The British had a Royal Navy warship evacuating people from Libya yesterday. Where is the US Navy?

albill on February 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM

More importantly even IF the U.S. Navy couldn’t get the proper assets in place, which is one HELL of a big if by the way, why couldn’t I dunno the British Royal Navy or one of our other allies that were evac-ing their own people give Americans a ride out of that hellhole?

SgtSVJones on February 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

To quote Wallace on Fox news…quit saying something is intolerable if you’re going to tolerate it. It makes you look impotent. He was referring to Mr. President’s remarks, but the same could apply to anyone who is saying it, whether it’s Hillary or the UN Council, which in and of itself is impotent..

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 11:23 AM

There should be no doubt regarding Scooter’s response as a child when the local schoolyard bully threatened to beat him up and take his lunch money.

a capella on February 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

SgtSVJones on February 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

They may have offered. Remember all the help we turned down during the Gulf disaster?

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 12:47 PM

a capella on February 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

He wee wee’d all the way home?

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 12:48 PM

We couldn’t even muster up the right kind of boat to get our people out?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1360120/Libya-unrest-Hundreds-US-citizens-STILL-stranded-Obama-pressure-act-grows.html

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Pardon, but this story is silly. There’s no government agency still open, and they sure aren’t systems in place to hand out anything to anyone at this point.

Gadaffi is just blathering. He’s clearly lost touch with reality entirely.

AnninCA on February 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Rush said the London Mail or some news online OUR BRILLIANT, COURAGEOUS COMMANDER IN CHIEF WITH FORTITUDE chartered a ferry SMALLER than the one we should’ve had. The Greeks chartered the one we should’ve had.

Just wanted to bring this up because, I was wondering yesterday if the ferry even had life jackets. Hillary could not have botched it worse; it’s like a cruise ship gone awry.

ProudPalinFan on February 25, 2011 at 1:25 PM

scalleywag on February 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Yep that’s it.

ProudPalinFan on February 25, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Rush said the London Mail or some news online OUR BRILLIANT, COURAGEOUS COMMANDER IN CHIEF WITH FORTITUDE chartered a ferry SMALLER than the one we should’ve had. The Greeks chartered the one we should’ve had.

Just wanted to bring this up because, I was wondering yesterday if the ferry even had life jackets. Hillary could not have botched it worse; it’s like a cruise ship gone awry.

ProudPalinFan on February 25, 2011 at 1:25 PM

From what I’m seeing, I confess: I do agree. It’s been extremely unprofessional and irresponsible, even, to see how unprepared we were.

AnninCA on February 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The Brits are out because they paid more bribes, (How much is that in terrorists?) and Barack Hussein Obama was too embarrassed to send in US military to he left rescue of Americans up to a rental.

DANEgerus on February 25, 2011 at 1:34 PM

More importantly even IF the U.S. Navy couldn’t get the proper assets in place, which is one HELL of a big if by the way, why couldn’t I dunno the British Royal Navy or one of our other allies that were evac-ing their own people give Americans a ride out of that hellhole?

SgtSVJones on February 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Have to ask first, don’t think the leadership we have in place would like to do that. At least not to the Brits.

Elbar on February 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM

“Hey! They told me I won a free vacation to Tripoli!”

Huh?

nottakingsides on February 25, 2011 at 4:42 PM