Here’s what the Prez said on Fri:
I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur. We express our condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the demonstrations. Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly. The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people.
Since that statement, the world’s real life and extra crazy Bond villain has sent gunmen in planes and helicopters against his own people, calling them rats on drugs. He and his son blame foreigners like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and the BBC for the unrest in his country. Not their own iron-fisted policies. Like Mubarak before them, they promise tepid reforms while threatening violence against their own citizens.
I realize this is a sensitive time. But given the carnage in Libya overnight, it’s appropriate to send out Mama Clinton to give a spanking, but even more pressing for someone who represents a successful “revolution” expressing the will of a people empowered with hope and technology to give some encouragement to the oppressed people of Libya who seek to be free.
I’ve heard Clinton is set to provide some sort of statement later this afternoon. I’d urge Barack Obama to keep earning that Nobel Peace Prize. Gadhafi has called Obama “his son” and “a son of Africa” on the floor of the UN — there’s no question that direct statements from a son to a father calling for restraint are needed now. It’s not like Seif, Gadhafi’s playboy son, is going to tell daddy to spare the rod. It’s true that we’re losing perhaps the most perfect realization of an evil Bond villain (Ukrainian “nurse”, stunning & chic dictator fashion sense, personal all-female bodyguard force, giant tent he takes wherever he goes, ranting & fist-pumping etc), but hey, hopefully we’ll gain a democracy.
Certainly we have less leverage as a nation economically with Libya compared to Egypt. Obama’s personal moral force is respected worldwide. Now’s the time to get up in someone’s face and support the people of Libya’s attempt to take their country back from a cruel dictator. I’m with the Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. – it is critical that we be with people on this one because it’s not just about Libya (from Ben Smith at Politico):
“I would never ask us to intervene physically in Libya,” he said, but called on the Obama Administration to “take a strong position that what’s happening in libya must be stopped now…and to avoid giving the impression to the Arab world that the West “has only a materialist mind — they don’t care about human rights…except when it comes to their own interest.”
“You see them raising their voices about iran … because they have some interest in in Iran…. When it comes to other countries they don’t raise their voice,” he said, adding that the Arab and Muslim world won’t “trust america or the west if they behave that way.”
If Obama doesn’t personally speak up, it will undercut the moral authority he has worked so hard to cultivate in the region and throughout the world. You can’t watch innocent people getting cut in half by their own nation’s artillery — and say nothing — and think the homies will still pay respect.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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