Quotes of the day

“The Times newspaper said Wednesday it had footage of severely wounded and dead protesters in a Libyan hospital which proved that heavy weapons were being used to crush the uprising…

“‘It’s not entirely clear how these men were killed, it could have been by fighter jets, it could have been by helicopter gunships, it could have been by mortar, it could have been by heavy machine guns,’ Fletcher said.

“‘One thing is abundantly clear, they were not killed by tear gas or by batons or by methods of suppressing peaceful protests that are generally considered the outer limits of what is acceptable,’ he added.”

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“It’s a little perplexing looking at the White House today. There was a statement on the horrible earthquake in New Zealand, and certainly our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrible natural disaster. But nothing on the slaughter in Libya? The protests in many places in the Middle East affect regimes that have cooperated with the U.S. on issues from peace with Israel, fighting al Qaeda, hosting our military forces, or cooperating against Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Gaddafi’s Libya is different. For four decades, this tyrant has held power. Gaddafi was Osama before Osama hit the scene. He ordered the bombing of a disco in Germany to kill Americans. When he paid the price for that – after President Reagan rightly ordered retaliation – he directed his agents to blow up Pan Am Flight 103. They did, and more than 250 innocent people died. Gaddafi tried to come in from the cold in 2003 – scared by the demonstration effect of Iraq. But we should have no illusions. Gaddafi is a brutal killer and Libya – not to mention the world – would be better off if he were out of power. Now is the time to speak out. Speak out for the long-suffering Libyan people. Speak out for the victims of Gaddafi’s terror. NATO and our allies should look at establishing a no-fly zone so Libyan air forces cannot continue slaughtering the Libyan people. We should not be afraid of freedom, especially when it comes to people suffering under a brutal enemy of America. Here’s to freedom from Gaddafi for the people of Libya.”

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“At the border, all official security had melted away; the youths were now keepers of the frontier, armed with assault rifles and handguns. Flashing victory signs and pointing to anti-government graffiti scribbled on the walls, the men were eager to share tales of the repression they suffered under the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who closed off the north African nation from the outside world for much of the past 40 years…

“‘We feel pride for all the Arab revolutions. These leaders gave no solutions to the people in 20, 30, 40 years. This was overdue,’ al Saber said…

“The teacher leaned close to the car window and said that the Obama administration, the United Nations and human rights groups must intervene immediately to stop Gadhafi’s attacks on the protesters. He described corpses lying on the streets of Tripoli, the capital. Gadhafi, he warned, could even resort to a nuclear strike.

“‘He’s a maniac, and he’ll make a catastrophe,” the teacher said.”

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“The community of responsible nations must now take concrete steps to support the Libyan people as they seek their liberation from a brutal dictatorship. There is an array of measures that the United States and our global partners, including the European Union and African Union, should immediately pursue.

“Some Libyan diplomats have bravely called for a no-fly zone to stop the Qaddafi regime’s use of airpower to attack Libyan civilians. We support this course of action. Other steps that should be considered include targeted sanctions and asset freezes against Libyan officials, an arms embargo, and the immediate suspension of Libya from international organizations.

“In recent weeks we have witnessed revolutions that have opened the door to freedom and democracy in Tunisia and Egypt. We hope and believe the Libyan people will have the same opportunity.”

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“The family of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian from Sidi Bouzid whose act of self-immolation triggered the Tunisian Uprising, has a message for the families in Libya who have lost their loved ones to the violent repression of the protests.

“Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire on December 17 after police abused and humiliated him. He died of his burns on January 4. The protest movement that began in Sidi Bouzid swelled to become a nationwide phenomenon, and spread to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, it reached Libya.”