Saturday, February 26, 2011

Obama says Gadhafi's time is up as Libya's leader

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE and BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

Source:
Yahoo News

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama dropped the careful condemnation, threats of consequences and the reminders to Moammar Gadhafi's regime about its responsibility to avoid violence. In their place he delivered a more forceful message to the Libyan leader: Leave.

The president called on Gadhafi to step down for the first time Saturday, saying that the Libyan government must be held accountable for its brutal crackdown on dissenters. The administration also announced new sanctions against Libya, but that was overshadowed by the sharp demand for Gadhafi's immediate ouster.

"The president stated that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now," the White House said.

The statement summarizing Obama's telephone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel came as Libya's embattled regime passed out guns to civilian supporters and sent armed patrols around its capital to quash dissent and stave off the rebellion that now controls large parts of the North African nation. Violence continued, a day after pro-Gadhafi militiamen and snipers fired on protesters trying to march in Tripoli and their leader told supporters to defend the nation.

Until Saturday, U.S. officials held back from fully and openly throwing all their support behind the protest movement, insisting that it was for the Libyan people to determine how they want to be led. The refrain echoed the public position maintained by the administration during the Egypt crisis, when the U.S. gradually dropped its support for longtime ally Hosni Mubarak but never explicitly demanded his resignation after nearly three decades in power.

Explaining the change, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Libyans "have made themselves clear" that they want Gadhafi out.

"Gadhafi has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence," she said in a statement.

The tougher tone sets the stage for Clinton's trip Sunday to Geneva, where she will confer with foreign policy chiefs from Russia, the European Union and other global powers on how to drive home the message to a Libyan government determined to cling to power and crush opposition to Gadhafi's rule.

Obama and Merkel strategized on how the world should respond to the violence that, according to some officials, has killed thousands of people. Clinton spoke with the EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton to coordinate the international pressure.

Acting on its own, the administration announced a new measure Saturday when Clinton said the U.S. was revoking visas for senior Libyan officials and their immediate family members. New travel applications from these individuals will be rejected, she said.

The visa ban followed the administration's moves Friday to freeze all Libyan assets in the U.S. that belong to Gadhafi, his government and four of his children. The U.S. also closed its embassy in Libya and suspended the limited defense trade between the countries.

On the multilateral level, the administration joined in the U.N. Security Council's unanimous decision to extend the asset freeze globally on Gadhafi, his four sons and one daughter, and to establish a travel ban on the whole family along with 10 other close associates. The council also backed an arms embargo and referred the bloody attacks on protesters to a war crimes tribunal for investigation into possible crimes against humanity.

But it is still unclear how far the U.S. — and its international allies — might have to go to convince Gadhafi that his four-decade reign in Libya must end. American military action is unlikely, although the administration hasn't ruled out participation in an internationally administered protective no-fly zone.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon was due in Washington on Monday for talks with Obama at the White House.

The administration had faced pressure to step up its condemnation of Gadhafi and explicitly call for his ouster, as demanded by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday. The U.S. held back, but it started ratcheting up the pressure Friday after the Americans wishing to leave Libya were evacuated to safety by ferry and a chartered airplane.

Shortly after, Obama signed an executive order outlining financial penalties designed to pressure Gadhafi's government into halting the violence. The order said that the instability in Libya constituted an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to U.S. national security and foreign policy.

A nonviolent revolt against Gadhafi's government began Feb. 15 amid a wave of uprisings in the Arab world. Most of Libya's eastern half is under the control of rebels. Witnesses say Gadhafi's government has responded by shooting at protesters in numerous cities.

Meanwhile, Libya's top envoy to the U.S. claimed that Gadhafi's opponents were rallying behind efforts to establish an alternative government led by a former Libyan minister. He said the international community should back the movement.

The claim by Ambassador Ali Aujali couldn't be immediately verified and it was unclear what support the "caretaker government" led by ex-Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil commanded. But Aujali said the U.S. and other countries could accelerate Gadhafi's exit by supporting Abdel-Jalil.

"He is a very honest man, a man with dignity," Aujali told The Associated Press. "I hope this caretaker government will get the support of Libyans and of the international community."
The State Department said it had no knowledge of Abdel-Jalil's effort.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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