Travel Diary: New Future Dawning in Libya

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 2, 2011

On September 1, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton participated in the high-level meeting of the Contact Group on Libya, which was held in Paris, France. During a press availability in Paris, Secretary Clinton said:

"...This is my ninth trip to discuss the current crisis in Libya, and each time I have urged that our partners stay focused on the ultimate objective of helping the Libyan people chart their way to a better future. And today, that future is within their reach. All of us are inspired by what is happening in Libya.

"Six months ago, Libyans stood up to demand fundamental rights and freedom. And when Qadhafi met their peaceful protest with violence, the Libyan people refused to back down. While their struggle is not over, the Libyan people are taking back their country. Libya's transformation is the -- largely the result of their own courage and their resilience in the face of very difficult days. The sacrifice that the Libyan people have been willing to make in order to obtain freedom and dignity has been extraordinary.

"But the United States and our international partners are also proud of our own contributions. When Qadhafi threatened Benghazi, we assembled an unprecedented coalition that included NATO and Arab countries, and acted quickly to prevent a massacre. We sought and won local, regional, and international support, including the backing of the UN and the Arab League. And after deploying our unique military capabilities at the outset, the United States played a key role in a genuinely shared effort as our allies stepped up. As time went on, our coalition grew even stronger.

"Today, the international community must maintain the same sense of resolve and shared responsibility. We know from experience that winning a war is no guarantee of winning the peace that follows. That is why even as we sought to protect civilians and pressured Qadhafi to step down, we have supported the Libyans as they laid the groundwork for a transition to democracy that is just, inclusive, and sustainable.

"What happens in the coming days will be critical, and the international community has to help the Libyan people get it right. First, as I told my counterparts earlier today, we need to continue NATO's military mission as long as civilians remain under threat of attack. For the sake of the Libyan people, we have called on Qadhafi and those around him to recognize that their time is over and lay down their arms. And as the new Libyan authorities consolidate power, we will support their efforts to demobilize and integrate fighters into a single security force.

"Second, we need to welcome Libya back into the community of nations. Nearly 70 countries so far have recognized the TNC, including 18 African nations, the Arab League, and now Russia. It is time for others to follow suit.

"Third, we must continue to support the interim Libyan authority's efforts to meet the needs of the Libyan people. The United States and our partners have worked through the United Nations to unfreeze billions of dollars in order for Libya to get access to their state assets to meet critical needs. I am pleased to announce that by the end of today, the United States expects to have delivered $700 million to help the TNC pay for fuel and civilian operating costs and salaries, with another 800 million on the way. We are working with the TNC to ensure that these funds are disbursed in a transparent, accountable manner. It must be clear to Libyans and to the world that this money is being used to serve the Libyan people.

"Fourth, the international community, led by the United Nations, needs to help the Libyan people and their leaders pave a path to peaceful, inclusive democracy -- one that banishes violence as a political tool and promotes tolerance and pluralism. After 42 years of Qadhafi's rule, it is going to take time to build institutions, strengthen civil society, write a constitution, hold free and fair elections, and put in place an elected, legitimate Libyan government. We encourage the world's democracies to offer expertise and technical assistance along the way.

"As Libya's leaders have emphasized repeatedly, Libya's transition must proceed in a spirit of reconciliation and justice, not retribution or reprisal. Libyans must continue to stand against violence extremism and work with us to ensure that weapons from Qadhafi's stockpiles do not threaten Libya or Libya's neighbors or the world.

"In fact, the international community will be watching and supporting Libya's leaders as they keep their commitments to conduct an inclusive transition, act under the rule of law, and protect vulnerable populations. And that should include enshrining the rights of women as well as men in their new constitution.

"A great deal of work lies ahead to build a stable, unified, and free Libya -- a Libya that has never before existed in its modern history. The challenges may be formidable, but so is the progress we have already seen. We have stood with the Libyan people in their moment of need and we must continue to stand with them for the foreseeable future."

You can read the Secretary's full remarks here.

Comments

Comments

Zharkov
|
United States
September 2, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Where in the federal regulations does it say that Americans shall pay for all the damage done by NATO and foreign civil wars?

Americans will not be pleased to read that by the end of today, the United States expects to have delivered $700 million to help the TNC pay for fuel and civilian operating costs and salaries, with another $800 million on the way.

OPEC nations are fully capable of paying for all of the expenses to enhance their security.

Please send those bills to Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, Gabon, and Angola, and stop payment on our check.

Zharkov
|
United States
September 2, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Well, it's nice to know the money was from a frozen Libyan bank account and not a loan from China.

Still, Americans are paying a share of NATO's expenses for destroying Libya, and NATO was not created to help one side or the other win their civil wars.

You should ask for a refund, as NATO delivered its services on the wrong continent.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 3, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(BBC News item-excerpts)

Russia has condemned the EU's move to step up sanctions on Syria by banning imports of its oil, amid ongoing protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the sanctions would "lead to nothing good".

....

Russia, which has a veto on the Security Council, refuses to back a resolution imposing an arms embargo or asset freeze.

"We are against unilateral sanctions," Reuters quoted Mr Lavrov as saying, on the sidelines of a summit of ex-Soviet states in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. "This ruins the partnership approach to any crisis."

---@ State Dep. C/O Dipnote bloggers,

Noting the Sec of State's remarks on Syria I would like to ask her what "partnership approach" Mr. Lavrov might have been referring to when it is Russian tanks and weapons Assad is using against the Syrian people. I suppose he must have meant that the EU's parralel sanctions with the US have "ruined" their partnership with Assad's regime? Or do they wish to go back to the good 'ol days of the cold-war with the NATO?

I'm sure all this is way outside their comfort zone, so you'all might as well complete the picture for them.

It seems to me quite as plain as the nose on Lavrov's face that all the Russians are interested in is their continued economic profitering from arms sales to this tyrant by such a stand...and in so doing being unworthy of any partnership with us or the EU in the matter.

Oh yeah...someone should point out to Mr. Lavrov that Russia's political ethical infancy of a foreign policy will "lead to nothing good", he can rest in his bed getting a goods night's sleep knowing he and his government are as responsible for the continued slaughter of civilians as Assad surely is.

I want my government to get up and stand up and get in this man's face about this publiclyu and untill you do so this crap will continue for as long as there are people left to die over it.

Got that?

I sure hope the entire Dept of State and President Obama hears me well on this.

If Russia wants a partnership, it better get on the right side of life, pronto.

Maybe you'all just have to call them on it and shame then into a responsible realization.

You don't have to be diplomatic about this folks, just be real with them about it publicly that their continued stance and support for Assad is killing people...and providing political cover for outright murder of innocents.

Thanks,

EJ

P.S. Nicely put, Madam Secretary. Do keep the burner on high and roast the fat off their unethical A$$-ads, it's time to wake the grumbling bear up to spring time in the Arab world.

John
|
Canada
September 3, 2011

John in Canada writes:

@ Zharkov in the U.S.A.- there is a rational that I can understand in your views but put it this way - If America can spend one dollar today to save ten in the future - that's an investment that pays. That is in my view what the State Department and USAID do.

Sadly its not always easy to see this and with any investment, performance is never guaranteed. If we sat around always waiting for a sure thing, never taking chances - where would we be? What happens if chances are not taken? Nothing.

Our future is always determined by those that dare to take chances when everyone else says no.

It is understandable given the American state of affairs to say no to many things but as illogical as it sounds - it is more people saying yes to what is believed at the moment not possible that will lift America.

Some very creative thinking,smart power and a willingness for people to do = success.

Zharkov
|
United States
September 5, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

@ John in Canada:

Your rationale is logical and I would agree except that USAID is not exactly what you may imagine it to be. A critical exposure of USAID covert activity is available on the web: "http://www.chavezcode.com/2010/11/washington-increases-clandestine-ops.html"

If you have read Gadaffi's Green Book, you may understand that he had a form of democracy unique to Libya that he and most Libyans considered an improvement over our own.

The odd thing about the US/British/French-sponsored overthrow of Gadaffi is that he was trying to liberalize and cooperate with them and things were going smoothly enough for even senior management of CIA to trust him with interrogating our prisoners, according to documents found at the US embassy in Tripoli and probably elsewhere.

In comparison, CIA doesn't even trust ordinary Americans enough to keep their agents out of our state offices. How did they ever reach the point of relying on Gadaffi?

Well, I think our government and Gadaffi had a very close relationship, a friendly one, a mutually trusting relationship until...something happened. What that "something" was is still a mystery, but it could have had connections to oil, the African Union, something else, or maybe all of the above. Of course, we may never be told why, but NATO's involvement seems to have little to do with which version of democracy is more desirable or how many people are killed trying to overthrow the Libyan government.

Why did America turn against Gadaffi along with Mubarak, Assad, the King of Jordan, among others?

Was our relationship of mutual trust a fake one from the beginning, or do those former friends have control of something that somebody wants badly enough to have those leaders killed?

Is the lack of a Western-style democracy worth a war?

Does the US have a new doctrine that no government shall be allowed to use lethal force to prevent its overthrow?

If the latter is true, why not put that into writing as international law?

Zharkov
|
United States
September 7, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Democracy in Libya?

In Tripoli, rebels from Zintan, in the western mountains, control the airport.

The central bank, Tripoli's port and the Prime Minister's office are being controlled by rebels from Misrata.

Berbers from the mountain town of Yafran control Tripoli's central square, now spray-painted "Yafran Revolutionaries". All these territories are clearly marked as a warning.

As the TNC, as a political unit, already behaves like a lame duck; and as the militias will simply not vanish - it's not hard to picture Libya also as a new Lebanon; the war in Lebanon began when each neighborhood in Beirut was carved up between Sunnis, Shi'ites, Christian Maronites, Nasserites and Druse.

The Lebanonization of Libya, on top of it, includes the deadly Islamic temptation - which is spreading like a virus all across the Arab Spring.

At least 600 Salafis who fought in the Sunni Iraqi resistance AGAINST the US were liberated from Abu Salim prison by the rebels. It's easy to picture them profiting from the widespread looting of kalashnikovs and shoulder-launched Soviet Sam-7 anti-aircraft missiles to bolster their own hardcore Islamist militia - following their own agenda, and their own guerrilla war.

Welcome to our racist 'democracy'

The African Union (AU) will not recognize the TNC; in fact, it charges the NATO rebels of indiscriminate killing of black Africans, all bundled up as "mercenaries".

According to the AU's Jean Ping, " ... the TNC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries ... [They seem to think] all blacks are mercenaries. If you do that it means one-third of the population of Libya which is black is also mercenaries."

If you can see the future, it doesn't look good.

.

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