Thanksgiving Holds New Meaning for Libyan Colleagues

Posted by Gene A. Cretz
November 25, 2011
Embassy Tripoli Flag-Raising Ceremony

Like many Americans, my family and I began the year gripped to our seats as we watched events unfold in North Africa and the Middle East. When Colonel Qadhafi threatened to hunt down Libyan opposition activists street-by-street, house-by-house, there was no doubt in my mind that he would follow through on that promise. His regime's efforts to beat down the opposition showed some of the worst aspects of humanity. And then, Qadhafi fled and the people could begin building the free and democratic system of government that they deserve. It is an understatement to say that I am proud of those Libyans who earned their freedoms.

This Thanksgiving, I feel extremely thankful for the opportunity to witness the birth of a new Libya in 2011. I thought you might like to know what Libyans are thankful for this holiday. Here's what a few of my Libyan colleagues had to share:

Magdi, Public Affairs Office -- "I've felt as though I've been on a roller coaster ride since the 17th of February, the day Libya decided to win back its freedom. The ups and downs of the eight-month struggle were finally rewarded with the overthrow of Qadhafi's regime that ruled Libya with an iron fist for four decades. This year, I am thankful for the Libyan people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of a Free Libya, their sacrifice is acknowledged and appreciated by people all over the world and makes me proud to say that I am Libyan. I am also grateful for our global friends that supported Libya with 'any means necessary' to achieve the ultimate goal, which was getting rid of a tyrannical regime who was willing to set Libya ablaze just to stay in power. Things are finally looking great for Libya and that makes me say that this year's Thanksgiving will be the most memorable one ever."Manal, Executive Office -- "I am thankful for the Revolution and the struggle to throw off the tyrants. I am also thankful for the support given to us by the embassy during the seven month crisis. The embassy gave me a sense of belonging, when my whole world had fallen apart; especially so, the phone calls by our Deputy Chief of Mission, Joan, just to check on me. I was moved and comforted by her calls in equal measures."Mohamed, Foreign Commercial Service -- "I'm thankful to God for so many things that have happened to me during my 60 years. I have a great wife, and two lovely children who fill my life with joy. I'm thankful for my family's health and that is a gift of All-Mighty. Above all else this year, I'm so thankful for my country's freedom, and for the people of Libya. She is free, and we are flying with joy. As Mr. King said and I am 'Free at Last.' That's why I'm thankful this year."



Kimberly J.
Virginia, USA
November 26, 2011

Kimberly J. in Virginia writes:

After 42 years of tyranny under Gaddafi and his thugs, Libyans deserve all the assistance the US and others can provide to help them develop a free democratic nation that considers Libyan customs and Islamic faith.

Read my blog on Libya and other relevant topics at: kajblogspot

New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Cretz,

You did us all proud as Ambassador sir, and I thank you for your efforts.

The posts I'm putting on this thread are your's for review.

My mom thinks I have "second-sight" but if I called it right, it was just a good "audible" yelled out from the stands in the hopes the coach would send in the play.

You never know who reads these things.


Eric in New Mexico writes:

Crater a few military runways and tell the Lybian airforce to go home and take care of their mothers?

There's an idea...get you a "no-fly" zone for about a month that way, easy. If there's anything left for them to fly after that, more precicely.

The question is will their mothers let them back in the house after bombing the people?

I think it's all but a moot point, Ghadaffi will likely endure the same fate as Mussolini at the hands of his people, for his crimes committed upon them.

And he'll have only himself to blame if he be hung on a meathook like a side of beef.

Maybe once a terrorist, always a terrorist?

Like serial killers I guess, sometimes they take a break for a few years and then go back at it.

Well I remember telling a fellow dipnote blogger awhile back that there was a lot of mental illness on the world stage.

I guess I don't need anyone to second that opinion as it's patently obvious that the criminally insane are doing their thing.

@ PJ Crowley, Assist Sec. of State- Public Affairs

How about we just put a screeching halt to it PJ? Talkin's not doing, and the other guy ain't listening, so let's all get busy as democracies on this planet and tap dance on Ghaddafi's head...might wake the boy up.

Or we could simply have him for batting practice at spring training this year courtesy of the entire RED SOX NATION.

I mean with all due respect for life, limb and property and all...words alone, I don't think will cut it when you need a scalple to perform the lobotomy.

See, this is a another real good example of why the world can no longer afford to put up with tyrants and dictators for another second.

And I would suggest to you without speculation sir, that "the war on terror" has actually entered a new universal understanding thereby.

Looks like the people are winning, but at a very high price.


Posted on Mon Feb 21, 2011


New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

( part 2 )

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Pres. Obama, Sec. of State, Sec. of Defense, and those concerned,

I honestly don't know what the international community is thinking as it sits on it's hands while Ghaddafi remains in power to unleash unlimited war on his people.

You can treat the symptoms, provide a little aid and comfort, maybe some transport to refugees to get back home from the conflict.

But folks arn't doing a damn thing to stop the slaughter and watching passively while this divolves into a protracted civil war, while NATO and our Sec. of Defense think of every reason possible not to take direct military action to remove Ghaddafi by force to protect populations.

Wake up folks! A WMD has been unleashed. It has a name. It has sons that do his bidding.

Supposedly these parameters justified the removal of Saddam after the fact, so let's make it stick in this case.

Ghaddafi unleashed war on his people and they've taken up arms to defend themselves, the least we can do is level the playing field and create the peace from scratch, by eliminating Ghaddafi's ability to make war...forget a no-fly zone, and get real.

If politicians and governments are going to concoct more lame excuses to not do anything about the "unacceptable", then you might as well declare failure of moral certitude and resign , accepting the unacceptable as the status quo while the rest of this planet goes strait to hell, for lack of tryin' to get your act together and create a better world.

You did alright about half the way there, and now it looks to me like you'all have set yourselves up rather neatly to fall flat on your collective faces in response to this nightmare.

Well, let me just say that there is an alternative to political stupidity, but it involves a kinetic solution and the supporting diplomacy...and a little courage.

That's if you think saving several hundred thousand lives over the next year to 18 months is in everyone's national interests.

How do we pay for it? one asks,...well take that 30 bil in frozen assets and put it to good use for the Lybian people, as we shouldn't have to pay a dime in US taxdollars to liberate them.

I know folks @ State will just love me for saying this, but you know folks, there's a time for talkin' and a time to pull out the "can o' whup-ass" on ethical infants.

Now is one of those times and it's in your put a screeching halt to criminal stupidity already.

Simple policy directive..."you use it, you lose it." and since Ghaddafi has, it's time to take his toys away and send him to let's serve the warrant without delay!

Just how long do you folks want to put up with this?

Till your policy is declared a failure by the people who count on us to be the beacon of hope and freedom around the world?

Clock's ticking....good luck with it,


Posted on Sun Mar 06, 2011

New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(part 2 cont.)

...and we don't need to invade Lybia to liberate the people. The taliban were removed from power with 310 spec/opps and cia personel helping the Northern Alliance with targeting.

Weve done this before and we have the capacity right now to do it again to any tin-horn dictator anywhere in the world for about 20 billion.

Our job is simple, strait forward; eliminate Ghaddafi's capacxity to make war...period. We don't have to worry about breaking something and then owning it because it's already broke as a system of government and society, Ghaddafi saw to that already.

When there is nothing left to fight with, then there will be peace from scrtatch. So basicly we do what we do rather well, demolition of intent and taking out hardware.

Worry about nation-building when he's gone and the bullets have stopped flying.

I give it about two sustained weeks for the US to turn his armor, etc. to smoking ruin, and the world can be witness again to a US sponsored turkey-shoot on CNN.

Then the people can do for themselves what they need to.

And USAID can follow-up and do its thing.

If not, then all those nice words about human rights don't mean squat. It's just another con-job governments are pulling on the people to make themselves look good and self important while supposedly dealing with a crisis.

Looks to me like there is a distinct lack of follow through on the rhetoric by this Admin.. If you want Ghaddafdi gone, then just give him a shove, and do what it takes.

Personally I don't like my analysis, but it is accurate and describes the very limited choices left for the President to make good on his words.


Posted on Mon Mar 07, 2011


New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(part 3)

Amb. Cretz,

The therapy starts as the people rejoice in their newly aquired freedoms.

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(from State's daily briefing 3/9/2011)

QUESTION: When the United Nations ambassador says that the United States is going to take actions – i.e., the application of pressure – until a foreign head of state leaves office and there is a new head of state, that is a
policy of regime change, is it not?

MR. TONER: James, you certainly enjoy the political – discussion of political philosophy and terminology. Again, what’s clear here is that we want to see Colonel Qadhafi step down, leave Libya, and for the violence to end, the bloodshed to end. We believe that’s the best way for that to happen. And this is not the U.S. acting alone; this is the U.S. acting in concert with the international community. We’ve been quite clear, and it’s been quite apparent throughout, that we have been in lockstep with both our process at the UN and at NATO in building international consensus on any actions that we’re taking.

QUESTION: Driving toward a change of the regime, correct?

MR. TONER: Driving towards a resolution of the current conflict and trying to, through that resolution, create an opportunity for a democratic government to emerge, or a better government to emerge in Libya.

QUESTION: Via regime change?

MR. TONER: Call it what you will, James.


@ Mark Toner,

Your job is to discus the political philosophy underpinning US foreign policy and defining the lexicon used to accurately describe the processes of policy as they are implemented by the US State Dept, among other duties as a spokesperson in furthering public diplomacy and diseminating information for the public's consumption and awareness.

As such, you should enjoy the question James asked of you, not try and belittle him in any way for asking it.

I don't "enjoy" the effort I've been engaged in trying to change the nature of the conversation the world is having nor am I engaged in a academic semantic excercise to simply define terms accurately decriptive of US policy intent. It has real world implications.

I do so out of neccessity because folks @ State obviously need all the help you can get, especially when you are all far too concerned with not being defined by the last adninistration's lexicon regarding confict resolution measures taken to remove governments posing an existential threat to the US, allies and the general peace of

"Regime replacement therapy" is a better way to defime exactly what it is the US intends as policy in Lybia or elswwhere.

If you need to get direction from "on high" as to whether you can define our policy in this manner "officially" as "regime replacement therapy" then I would urge you to do so.

The whole world is evolving Mark, and so there's an evolutionary process in defining the things that we do in the world we live in as it changes around us. Whether that be as individuals or nations.

More pointedly, you are allowing others to define policy rather than being pro-active about doing so to brook no debate or confusion.

It's like you threw up your hands and gave up..."call it what you will."

Well he probably will because you left him still confused as to what the deal is here Mark.

Now I'm trying to help you help the American public wrap its head around this Administration's apparently "foggy" policy and help you folks in "foggy bottom" shine a bright spotlight on what it is we do asa a nation based upon the values policy is defined by.

A certainly you could not protest that this world is not long due for a lot of therapy in large international measure, and regime replacement has been called for in notable cases and folks call that progress towards a better world sans terrorism and tyrants.

Now just what do you think James would have written if you had told him simply, "No, it's not regime change, it's more a process of regime replacement therapy."

And let him figure that out?

You would have helped this administration accurately descibe the rationale behind calling for Ghaddafi to "leave", the humanitarian response by USAID, the democracy programs helping folks raise institutions of governance in places where we've already removed abysmal forms of government or the people have themselves on their own, and projected consistancy as a US policy package of mutiple aspects and programs in three simple words that define a process of the change we seek in the world generally, and in notable cases of international crisis specificly.

Now if my logic here has any holes in it, you are certainly welcome to come on this blog and state your case, officialy or otherwise as an individual.

I'm sure other's will regardless.

Think of this as a friendly public challenge to be the best spokesperson you can be.

Best regards,


Posted on Thu Mar 10, 2011


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