Assisting Libyans in Moving Forward

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 26, 2011

During a special briefing at the Department of State on March 25, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz spoke about current events in Libya. Ambassador Cretz said:

"I'm here to discuss the situation in Libya today and what the United States and its coalition partners are doing to stop the brutality and bloodshed of the Qadhafi regime, bent on denying its people universal rights that are the birthright of people everywhere.

"My embassy team was evacuated from Libya on February 23rd and has been reconstituted in Washington. They're playing an active role in providing information, analysis, and assistance based on their experience. At best, we're trying to find clarity about a place that, in the best of times, can only be described as opaque. Now, it is exponentially more difficult, as you all know, including your own personal experiences, to get the kind of precise information that we would like.

"Let's discuss how we got here. On February 17th, a brave group of Libyan citizens decided that they no longer wanted to live under a repressive regime which denied them their most basic universal rights for over 41 years. In response to the Libyan people peacefully protesting for their universal rights, the Qadhafi regime unleashed a bloody wave of violence and oppression, slaughtering its own citizens.

"The consequences of those barbaric actions was the exodus of tens of thousands of Libyans and foreigners, and we in the international community rushed at first instance to provide assistance at the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. Since that time, we have provided humanitarian assistance, we've helped those workers get back to their countries, and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya.

"The Libyan people appealed to the world to help stop these barbaric attacks, and the international community spoke with one voice to condemn them and to respond. The Arab League and the GCC called for urgent action, and the UN Security Council mandated all necessary measures to protect civilians, including a no-fly zone. We also implemented -- we, the United States -- our own unilateral response, including sanctions to the Qadhafi regime's atrocities.

"It became clear that Qadhafi and his henchmen had no intention of ceasing the violence and bloodshed, and as the Secretary said last night, we faced the prospect of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in Benghazi. By his words, by his actions, and certainly by his past deeds, we had to take Qadhafi at his word when he threatened to go house to house and to wreak revenge against the people of Benghazi.

"The international coalition was compelled to act. The coalition's effort over the past week garnered the support and the active participation of nations who recognize the significance of coming together in the international community to address the situation in Libya.

"The Libyan people must be allowed to have a voice. Ultimately, it is the Libyan people themselves who will forge the path forward for Libya. Our immediate goal is to ensure we provide the humanitarian assistance and protection they need in order to achieve their aspirations."

You can read the full transcript of the briefing here.

Comments

Comments

Jenny
|
Portugal
March 26, 2011

Jenny in Portugal writes:

It would be interesting to see the public opinion polls after Obama's speech Monday.

Sam
|
New York, USA
March 26, 2011

Sam in New York writes:

A side note that is not related to this particular blog, RIP Ferraro. It is sad that you and Hillary had problems during the 2008 campaign.

palgye
|
South Korea
March 27, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

In Libya is likely to win more and think bigger. Ever, Palestine, Libya, did you think about the possibility of moving to?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Since this Administration appears to be taking a page out of " The Cure for Political Stupidity, and/or How not to go to war with America" and forming policy from it...and only my government knows why for sure...(chuckle), I know that at this point in my authorhip of this comprehensive volume on foreign affairs written and published on Dipnote...raw and unedited..., The work may be more verbose and longer than Tolstoy's "War and Peace" at this point...(ROTFLMAO!) I never intended it to be, but you folks @ State seem to always be having these crisis to deal with.

So for whatever free advice might be worth...

Some of what wrote here years ago in June 2008 might help folks understand that I've been involved in a very long term project and am very pleased to see the international consensus built on the protection of populations in Lybia. It is as if a chapter of realization has been completed and if anything I've written on this blog has helped folks in my gov. present the case, in my anticipating miracles of diplomacy and the demise of ethical infants, then I'd be remis not to offer this slightly dated perspective as the world (and the dipnote staff) helps me to write and publish the next chapter in the saga of the human condition, by way of public comment.

Thanks for listening,

EJ
---

snippets from;
"http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entires/q_us_eu_summit/"

Interesting concept, this "responsibility to protect" signed by 171 nations at the 2005 UNGA.

...

Like going over a bridge in the fog, you just gotta hope there isn't a section missing out of it on the way to the other side, because you're driving on gut instinct and dead reconing to get there.

One can draw historical precedent and understand the trend toward a greater democratic mindset on this planet exists because other economic and social ideologies have fallen out of favor, simply because a more efficiant system of governance is out there for the choosing if a people wishes to meet their full potential as a nation and as individuals.

And of course there will always be resistance to inevitable change for any number of reasons, both valid and malicious.

In some ways, the democratic trend as manifest seems to defy the second law of thermodynamics in that human affairs generally are becoming more ordered rather than moving towards chaos.

I'd say it's safe to say that if humanity can defy one of the principals of physics, then we indeed create our own reality.

Conciously or not? That is the question.

A little of both, I think.

...

( from another thread originally )

"I think it will be only when we truly consider ourselves as an endangered species will the human condition start to improve globally.

I say this as the humanitarian aid needed to save 1 million people is sailing away from Burma.

I say this as 300 million in the Mideast are at risk from the proliferation of WMD, and a radical mindset in Tehran willing to wipe nations off the map.

I say this as millions more are at risk of starvation across the globe due to higher cost of food staples.

I say this as some 50-60 conflicts across the globe endanger the peace and security of populations.

Personally, I think Mother Nature is fed up with us in general, and we better get our priorities strait if we're to survive into the 22nd century."

---

On Monday, the President will hopefully lay out his vision for global sustainability and present the case that Lybia presents the latest test of world leadership to rise to the occasion and do right by the people who seek "peace in freedom." to quote Eisenhower.

We have a history to celebrate, in taking action to secure that for people.

That 500 lb gorilla with the fly-swatter (the US armed forces ) has spoken with word and deed, in the intent of eliminating Ghaddafi's capacity to make war on his people, cratered a few runways and has softened and prepped the battle-space for NATO's job to be made an opposition free zone of any threats to the mission to enforce the peace upon Ghaddafi's forces.

And yes, they are "rather quickly figuring out that it isn't safe to drive a tank across a flat expanse of desert." as I predicted they would.

And folks are thanking us for saving their lives by taking on a kinetic level, what it is our values are defined by as implemented through US foreign policy.

It ain't "mission accomplished" yet, and while we may hand off lead military role in this, We shouldn't think to take a back seat diplomaticly with the coalition in every ongoing aspect of this or any other "phases" to come.

If and when the coalition has Ghaddafi's warrant for arrest in hand from the ICC and UNSC approves that action, will folks draw straws to see who gets to lead in serving it?

A curious mind would like to know how one reaches consensus on these things.

EJ

MANSOUR E.
|
Arizona, USA
June 22, 2011

Mansour in Arizona writes:

I like to contact ambassador Gene Cretz and email him some information.

Thanks, Mansour E.

.

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