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On the Death of Libya's Tyrant

[A torn banner showing Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte. Photo by Asmaa Waguih]

An understanding of the context of Muammar Gaddafi’s demise helps explain why it happened as it did. It also has important repercussions for the future of Libya, since his killing raises important questions about Libyan judicial, military and social processes. Gaddafi’s rule lasted for over four decades—long enough for the majority of Libyans to have lived their entire lives under his reign. More to the point, Libyans lived under an all-encompassing aegis of fear, which the regime managed to maintain both at home and abroad. Gaddafi’s image and persona were uniquely associated with ultimate power and authority. His larger-than-life pictures were everywhere, his ...

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Africa without Qaddafi: The Case of Chad

[ICG logo. Image from]

[The following is the latest from International Crisis Group (ICG) on the impact of Qaddafi's death on neighboring countries.] Africa without Qaddafi: The Case of Chad Executive Summary The end of the long reign of Muammar Qaddafi, killed on 20 October in his hometown of Syrte, opens the way to democracy in Libya. His fall has also left the country and its neighbors facing a multitude of potential new problems that could threaten stability in the region. Chad is a case in point. Qaddafi made his presence felt in all the country’s conflicts, for good and ill, and he maintained a close relationship with President Déby. Because the latter supported his doomed ...

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If the Libyan War Was About Saving Lives, It Was a Catastrophic Failure

[Anti-Qaddafi fighters gesture to the crowds in front of a Kingdom of Libya flag during celebrations in Benghazi on 23 October. Image by Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]

As the most hopeful offshoot of the "Arab spring" so far flowered this week in successful elections in Tunisia, its ugliest underside has been laid bare in Libya. That's not only, or even mainly, about the YouTube lynching of Qaddafi, courtesy of a NATO attack on his convoy. The grisly killing of the Libyan despot after his captors had sodomised him with a knife, was certainly a war crime. But many inside and outside Libya doubtless also felt it was an understandable act of revenge after years of regime violence. Perhaps that was Hillary Clinton's reaction, when she joked about it on camera, until global revulsion pushed the US to call for an ...

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Collage of Images from Social Media Today

[Collage from social media. Images from various sources--see below]

. . . . . . .          By: Eirs Bors "Wuroud Qasem" Hurwitt Eyad Shataiwe

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Democracy Now! Interview with Anjali Kamat on Militarization and Reconciliation in Libya

[Anjali Kamat. Image from screen shot of below interview.]

This is an interview conducted with Anjali Kamat on Wednesday, 14 September, in regards to the post-Qaddaif situation in Libya. The interview addresses the legacies of both Qaddafi's rule and the armed rebellion to overthrow him, highlighting questions of militarization, reconciliation, and the future role of NATO. As Libya’s former rebels begin to govern the country after the ouster of longtime leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi, we look at those who remain. Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat has just spent 10 days crossing Libya, speaking with fighters, former political prisoners, journalists, and advisers to the new government. "Even though Gaddafi’s whereabouts ...

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هلّ هلال الحرية

AP المصدر

 هلّ هلال الحرية في العالم العربي.  فثورة السابع عشر من فبراير على بعد أيام من انتصارها المظفر، والقذافي في مخبأ ما يعد لحظاته الأخيرة أو يخطط لواحدة من عملياته الجنونية، ولكن حكمه انتهى فعلياً.  وقريباً ستنضم ليبيا إلى تونس ومصر في خلاصها من طاغيتها.  فهل سنحتفل بعد عيد تحرير ليبيا بأعياد تحرير سوريا واليمن وغيرها بعدها؟  طبعاً لانعلم، ولايمكننا حقاً التكهن في ظل الأحداث المتسارعة في البلدين الثائرين نفسيهما أوحول العالم، ولو أننا كلنا ندرك أن العقارب لن ترجع إلى الوراء وأن مصير الشعوب المنتفضة نول حريتها عاجلاً أم آجلاً، مع أو بدون سفك متواصل لدماء أبطالها على أيدي قامعيها، ومع أو بدون تدخل دولي أو مقاومة مسلحة أو حتى اتفاق مع الأنظمة المستبدة ...

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Doctors without Borders on the Situation in Tripoli

[Médecins Sans Frontières logo.]

[The following report was issued by Médecins Sans Frontières on August 28, 2011. It was recently published on Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.] Libya: “Almost all of the hospitals around the city are receiving wounded” Libya / 25.08.11 A three-person Médecins Sans Frontières team is currently in Tripoli with supplies and is starting to support facilities that are already overwhelmed with patients wounded in the fighting currently taking place in the Libyan capital. Médecins Sans Frontières has also dispatched teams to Zlitan, east of Tripoli, and Al Zawiyah, to the west, to support hospitals faced with an influx of wounded. Speaking from Tripoli, Jonathan Whittall, ...

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Democracy Now! Interview with Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan Rebels

[Gilbert Achcar. Image from screen shot of interview.]

This is an interview conducted with Gilbert Achcar on Wednesday, August 24, in regards to news of the Libyan rebels entering Tripoli. The interview addresses the events surrounding this development, highlighting the dynamics of the NATO intervention and discussing the identities and interests that make up the rebel forces. Transcripts of the interview follow the below video. Libyan rebels have consolidated their grip on the capital of Tripoli by capturing Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s main compound, but the whereabouts of the Libyan leader remain unknown, and he has vowed his forces would resist "the aggression with all strength" until either victory or death. ...

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Report on Exiles from Libya Fleeing to Egypt

[Image from]

[The following is the latest from the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) on the situation facing migrant workers and Libyan nationals fleeing Libya as refugees.] Exiles from Libya Flee to Egypt: Double Tragedy for Sub-Saharan Africans INTRODUCTION 1. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and refugees flee Libya The conflict that began in Libya on 17 February 2011 with a popular revolt against the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, following the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions in January, triggered a mass exodus of the civilian population into neighboring countries. The violence perpetrated by Gaddafi’s security forces against civilians, the conflict ...

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Libya's Revolution Sparks a New Age of Music

[Libya is Free, God Willing. Image from]

After four decades of dictatorship where Qaddafi’s handpicked singer dominated the airwaves and stifled a once vibrant musical scene, Libya is now rocking and swaying to a flood of joyous and defiant sounds. At a recent Libyan pro-revolution rally in the midday heat of Doha, the protestors needed inspiration. They sang Libya original national anthem which Qaddafi hand changed when he came to power, laughed through a spoof of a song by Muhammad Hassan, the dictator’s preferred singer, then chanted, “The blood of the martyrs will not go in vein!” Then just as the several-hundred strong crowd were running of out steam someone remembered a line from a new pro-revolution ...

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Culture V

[From the blog,]

This is our fifth weekly edition of Jadaliyya's Culture. Previous weeks can be found here, here, here and here. This week's offerings include:  The conclusion of Sinan Antoon's translation of "Mirrors of Absence" by Syrian dissident poet, Faraj Ahmad Bayraqdar. Khaled Mattawa translates, 

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Tribes of Libya as the Third Front: Myths and Realities of Non-State Actors in the Long Battle for Misrata

[February press conference by

Recent news reports originating from Libyan state media have Libyan tribes sending representatives to the rebels in Misrata, hoping to negotiate for peace and for control of the city. An April 24 article in The Guardian quoted Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, as threatening a “very bloody” assault against the rebels in Misrata if they fail to negotiate. “I hope to God we can avoid this,” Kaim lamented to The Guardian. Why do Qaddafi’s tales of “tribal” identities mobilizing against rebels gain traction in the international media, whereas other Libyan government pronouncements (about cease-fires and civilian casualties, for example) are greeted with ...

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Primo Levi in the Year of Assassinations

Next year will mark twenty-five years since the great Jewish-Italian writer Primo Levi either fell or jumped to his death down the stairwell of his Turin apartment. This year has given us two important cultural products that engage with Levi the chemist, writer, and Auschwitz survivor—a collection of essays published by Fordham University Press, Answering Auschwitz: Primo Levi's Science and Humanism After the Fall, and the staging of The Mark of the Chemist, a theatrical reading of his writings at ...

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An Interview with Hisham Matar

On 22 August, the day Libyan rebel forces took Tripoli, acclaimed author and son of Libya, Hisham Matar, opened an impassioned essay with, “We got rid of Muammar Qaddafi. I never thought I would be able to write these words. I thought it might have to be something like: ‘Qaddafi has died of old age’; a terrible sentence, not only because of what it means but also the sort of bleak and passive future it promises. Now rebel forces have reached Tripoli, we can say we have snatched freedom with our own ...

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"After 42 Years": Poet Khaled Mattawa Reading His Latest Piece (Audio Clip)

The following is an audio clip of Libyan poet Khaled Mattawa reading his latest piece, entitled "After 42 Years," performed in the aftermath of Qaddafi's death.      

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Sovereign Wealth and Ruler Loot

The mobility of capital, depending on one’s position, is a virtue or a vice. Since the onset of the Arab Spring, a lot of money has been moving in, out, and around the Middle East. In the classic liberal world, the mobility of money is governed by the market. In the real world however, politics has a say. Some of these politics have been about fear as Saudi and Emirati rulers have reportedly opened their checkbooks to assuage pressures on favored rulers and foment trouble for others. These moves did not ...

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Democracy Now! Interview with Mahmood Mamdani on Regional Implications of NATO Intervention

This is an interview conducted with Mahmood Mamdani on Wednesday, 14 September, in regards to recent developments in Libya and Sudan. The interview addresses the implications of NATO's intervention in Libya and the independence of South Sudan, highlighting the regional implications for the African continent. As the African Union meets today, Columbia University professor and Africa scholar Mahmood Mamdani joins us to give his take on the regional and global implications of NATO’s intervention in Libya, ...

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في نقد ما يسمى بالنموذج الليبي الناجح

بعد اكتمال انهيار نظام القذّافي ودخول الثوار العاصمة الليبيّة طرابلس ارتفعت بعض الأصوات المتفرّقة، والقليلة، في الوسط السوري مطالبةً بالاقتداء بالنموذج الليبي ومعتبرة اﻻتجاه نحو التسلّح وطلب التدخّل العسكري الخارجي هو الطريق الأفضل "لإسقاط النظام" في سوريا. تتميّز هذه الأصوات، الهامشية وغير الممثلة للرأي المعارض السوري، بعلو النبرة وقسوتها على الجزء الرافض للتسلّح وللدخول العسكري الأجنبي، معتبرةً أن هذه المواقف ليست إﻻ "وطنيات فارغة" أو "هرطقات" رومانسيّة وطوباوية وتعبّر عن ...

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Interview with Ali Ahmida, Gilbert Achcar, and David Smith on Situation in Libya

AUDIO PLAYER BELOW The fall of Qaddafi's Tripoli to Libyan rebels has raised a host of new questions and intensified existing debates about the nature and fate of the Libyan uprising. As the peaceful uprising in Libya shifted towards an open rebellion in the face of a violent response by Qaddafi's regime, various calls for intervention by the Libyan people mobilized and polarized world powers, solidarity activists, and everyday observers as to the nature and legitimacy of the Transitional National ...

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NATO's "Conspiracy" against the Libyan Revolution

In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal (19 July 2011), Max Boot— the aptly named neoconservative author and military historian known for his support for “democracy promotion” at the point of a gun, and an ardent supporter of full-scale US military engagement in Libya—referred to a Financial Times article (15 June) that compared the current aerial bombing campaign over Libya and the Kosovo air war in 1999 in order to emphasize “the lack of firepower in the Libya operation.” Boot commented, ...

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The International Criminal Court has now officially made Qaddafi an internationally wanted felon, for Crimes Against Humanity. Libyans everywhere are excitedly anticipating his imminent downfall. However, the “King of Kings” seems to lack the ability to take a hint.                    

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Entry Denied: Revolution in North Africa and the Continued Centrality of Migration to European Responses

The recent revolutions in Tunisia and Libya have brought the issue of trans-Mediterranean migration to the forefront of popular discussions about Europe’s relationship with its immediate neighbors in the Middle East and North Africa. It was on the back of hyperbolic and cataclysmic predictions of Europe being “swamped” by migrants that the case for intervention in Libya was partly made and following this, a number of EU member states have agreed on a temporary suspension of the Schengen Agreement. ...

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Rajab Buhwaysh, "No Illness But This Place"

 This long poem is from the concentration camp of El-Agheila in Libya, is one the most criminal chapters in the history of colonial Africa. The Italian colonization of Libya began in 1911, but in the east it was successfully resisted by the Sanussiyya movement for more than two decades. When the Fascists rose to power in Rome in 1922, colonization efforts intensified in order to pave the way for settlement programs—and the resistance intensified in kind under the leadership of Umar al-Mukhtar. By ...

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The Arab Uprisings and US Policy (Panel Video)

On Thursday, April 28th, 2011, the Middle East Policy Coucil held a one-day conference on Capitol Hill  in Washingtong D.C., "featuring a discussion of the populist movements sweeping across the Arab world, their regional and global consequences, and how they are impacting U.S. interests and policy choices." Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad was one of the speakers at the conference, as were Anthony Cordesman (Center for Strategic International Studies), Barak Barfi (New American ...

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