February 24, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3616

In Arab Press, Harsh Condemnations of Al-Qadhafi, Calls for His Ouster

February 24, 2011
Libya | Special Dispatch No. 3616

The escalating fighting in Libya between Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi's opponents and the military and security forces, in which hundreds have been killed and wounded, has sparked intense reactions in the Arab countries, which hurried to renounce Al-Qadhafi and his regime. Convening on February 22, the Arab League suspended Libya from all of its forums and institutions, and the League's secretary-general, 'Amr Moussa, demanded a halt to the violence in Libya.[1]Editorials in the Arab press harshly condemned Al-Qadhafi and his tactics, such as the use of fighter jets against the protesters. They encouraged the Libyan people in their revolt, and called on the world to intervene and put an immediate end to the deeds of the Libyan authorities, terming them crimes against humanity.

The following are excerpts from articles from around the Arab world:

Editor of Qatari Daily: Al-Qadhafi Perpetrating War Crimes; The World Must Remove Him

Jaber Al-Harami, editor of the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, praised the Qatari Emir for appealing to the UN secretary-general to demand an immediate intervention in Libya to halt the use of force against civilians. He wrote:”

The Honorable Emir [Hamad bin Khalifa] refused to keep silent in the face of the severe oppression and tyrannical aggression [that is being employed] against a defenseless people, whose only crime is to demand its freedom after over 42 years of tyranny. [The Libyan] regime brought upon our friends, the Libyan people, all types of suffering, and squandered the vast resources of the [Libyan] homeland, which are far more extensive than the resources of the various Gulf states. The one who calls himself a 'revolutionary' leader [i.e., Al-Qadhafi] wasted these resources on reckless adventures in Africa, [on confrontations with] Western [countries], or on support for [various] rebellious movements, while the Libyan people [were left so destitute that they] slept on the ground and covered themselves with the sky. More than one third of them live below the poverty line, though their country is sitting on a lake of oil...

"What is happening today in Libya is a war crime against humanity... In the cities and streets of Libya, the dead bodies are piling high, as Al-Qadhafi's mercenaries collect thousands of dollars for murdering the Libyan people. What sort of leader dares employ this kind of brutality and aggression against his people? The Libyan people is calling out for the help of our noble Arab nation and Arab regimes, and demanding [that they adopt] a unified stance and take practical steps to halt the crimes that are being perpetrated against it...

"The sad thing is that the speech given by Al-Qadhafi yesterday, like the speech given earlier by his son, was a [declaration] of war. The threats and intimidations [he uttered], and his portrayal of the Libyan people as a bunch of deluded criminals and drug addicts, clearly indicate that Al-Qadhafi is as misguided, arrogant, and haughty as ever when he declared he would only leave Libya after reducing it to ashes...

"Today, Al-Qadhafi is no longer Libya's president, leader or anything else... Al-Qadhafi, and the gang that ruled Libya through iron and fire for over four decades, are history. They are [nothing but] a black mark on the history of this snow-white land.

"[All] the Arab, Muslim and international condemnations will not avail with this regime. There is no choice but to take practical steps in order to force it to desist from its crimes against the defenseless people. Today, the world is obliged to remove Al-Qadhafi and his regime from Libya, and to restore law and order to this country that for 42 years has been without a real regime and without a constitution, solid institutions, or well-defined government ministries... The Libyan people needs a real regime, like [all the other] countries and peoples in the world..."[ii]

Egyptian Daily: Al-Qadhafi's Tyrannical Regime has Crossed All Red Lines

Articles in the Egyptian press expressed deep solidarity with the Libyan people which, just like the Egyptian people a few weeks ago, is rising up against the regime in demand of rights and freedoms. An editorial in the daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm saluted the Libyan people:

"The Libyan people is being subjected to [a campaign of] extermination, in the full sense of the word, at the hands of Al-Qadhafi and his regime. Human history has not yet seen a case in which a leader used fighter jets and artillery against defenseless civilians. Yet Al-Qadhafi has done so, out of a belief that, by using force and foreign mercenaries, he can dissuade the people from insisting on its legitimate rights. The Libyans set out in demand of liberty, even before they demanded bread. They set out to demand human rights, democracy, government turnover, and general freedoms, just as their brothers in Tunisia and Egypt had done before them. But Al-Qadhafi's tyrannical regime crossed all the red lines in its reaction... This [massacre] will be a mark of Cain on the forehead of anyone who has participated in it."[3]

Former Editor of Al-Ahram: The Libyans' Only Crime is Wanting Freedom and Dignity

The former editor of the Egyptian Al-Ahram daily, Ibrahim Nafi', wrote:

"Our hearts are with the Libyan people, which is being bombarded from the ground and the air with missiles of betrayal and barbarity, and whose only crime was to call out for liberty and dignity. This cry for dignity has come after 40 years of obscurity, brainwashing, and squandering of resources [by the Libyan regime]... Anyone visiting Tripoli or Benghazi needs only look around to discover the reasons for the rage, anguish, and sorrow that the Libyan people have suffered throughout these years of deprivation. Our only hope is that the Libyan people emerge from this trial with their heads held high, clothed in honor and power..."[4]

Saudi Columnist: Al-Qadhafi is the "King of Black Comedy"

Columnist Turki Al-Dakhil wrote in the Saudi daily Al-Watan:

"[Al-Qadhafi] has begun to [direct] the last scene in his tragic-comic farce. Perhaps he wants to show us that he has new merits, in addition to having oppressed his people for over 40 years by ruling them with iron and fire, and having penned various books – green, white, and pink[5]... Perhaps now he wants to write the Black Book, to match the black character of his years in power, so it will not seem strange when photos start circulating on the Internet of charred bodies left behind after the strike of the Libyan fighter jets... This is something that the history of mankind has not yet known: a leader using planes against his own countrymen and tribesmen... Had he been able to rid himself of his criminal record, he would have been worthy of the title 'King of Kings.' But not 'Africa's King of Kings,' the title he conferred upon himself a few months ago, but 'the King of Kings of Black Comedy...'"[6]

Articles in Syrian Press: Down with Al-Qadhafi

Syrian columnist Nasser Al-Sahli wrote:

"One who uses every type of weapon and every [available] mercenary to crush his own people... tries to set tribe against tribe, uses his people's oil to buy the hypocritical [acquiescence] of the world, and especially of the West, so that they overlook his crimes and his barbarity, and says what [Al-Qadhafi] said about the Egyptian, Tunisian, Palestinian and other Arab people, deserves to be removed..."[7]

Columnist Ziad Abu Shawish wrote: "We hoped Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi would be a man, and announce clearly that he is stepping down and immediately ceding power to representatives of the people elected in free, transparent, and democratic elections. We expected the father, not the son, to speak to us about a just future for the Libyan people. [We expected to see] some deep understanding on the part of the [leader] who had initiated the [1969] Al-Fateh Revolution, [but] had later become, following American threats to his rule ... a president who implemented the agenda and dictates of the U.S.... If Al-Qadhafi declares he is willing to remove himself from power, orders his army and supporters to stop killing people, and gives up his dreams and his ridiculous titles like 'Africa's King of Kings,' it might help to calm things down..."[8]

Head of Jordanian Broadcasting Authority: Al-Qadhafi's Republic Has Come to Its End

The director of Jordan's Broadcasting Authority, former information minister Saleh Al-Qallab, wrote:

"[Wouldn't it be better if Al-Qadhafi] stepped down and let his people determine its own fate and choose the [kind of] country it wants to live in, [and this] without violence and bloodshed, and without [Al-Qadhafi's] son, Saif Al-Islam, making threats along the lines of 'either dialogue or civil war'?... Our brother, the Leader of the Revolution, shouldn't have appeared... on Libyan TV the day before yesterday and called the protesters 'wild dogs.' Al-Qadhafi should have remembered that Idris Al-Sanusi, the king he deposed in his Al-Fateh Revolution of 1969, had not hung on to his power at the cost of plunging Libya into civil war... He preferred to lose his throne, rather than see massacres and internal fighting...

"[Al-Qadhafi's] claims about being the 'Leader of the Revolution' no longer fly... There is no choice but to establish a state with a government, parliament, [and other] institutions, and [to draft] a constitution that all Libyans can agree on and which will replace the Green Book, whose directives and theories have controlled Libya for so long. This is the end of [Al-Qadhafi's] republic!!"[9]

Jordanian Columnist: Al-Qadhafi's Crimes have Exposed the West's Hypocrisy

Writing in the government daily Al-Dustour, Jordanian columnist 'Uraib Al-Ghantawi slammed Al-Qadhafi, calling him a war criminal, and a lunatic and sadist, but at the same time attacked the West for not stepping in to stop the massacre of civilians in Libya. He wrote:

"The war criminal of Tripoli is sending his mercenaries and Janissaries to wreak murder and mayhem...The lunatic [leader] of Libya is sending fighter jets and helicopters to murder the citizens of his own republic – and this in order to defend his throne, which he built upon a foundation of skulls, and to preserve his kingdom of fear, poverty, hunger, disease, and terror...

"It is one whether [Al-Qadhafi] lives or dies, whether he remains upon his blood-smeared throne or is consigned to the dustbins of history. Libya has cursed this man and cast him out, and so has the Arab and Muslim nation. Humanity as a whole has cursed him and cast him from the human fold... This [is a] man who has murdered journalists, abducted ambassadors and ministers, made imams disappear, bombed clubs, and shot down civilian airliners, and now he continues to pursue his hobbies: murder and torture. He is sadism personified.

"These crimes of his expose the fraudulence of the international community and the crumbling of the West's entire value system – the West that demonstrated openness toward this dictator... The West exchanged [the values of] democracy and human rights for oil, arms, reparations, and rehabilitation. It acted like an arms dealer, [striking deals] with Libya's mass murderer... [And now] the West is falling at Libya's feet, speechless apart from some shamefaced condemnations and utterly meaningless declarations, while the world, fearful and horrified, watches the carnage which the blood-soaked and shame-drenched general is inflicting [upon his people]...

"Where are the world's lovers of justice?... Where are all those who mourned Al-Hariri's [murder and the other] assassinations in Lebanon, and the victims of the war in Darfur? Where are all those hypocritical liars? We do not want their solidarity [only] after the dictator is toppled and dragged through the streets... We want them to take action now...

"We want all the ambassadors, intellectuals and politicians, and the sheikhs of those tribes still loyal to [Al-Qadhafi's] regime, to stand alongside their people and [find] the humanity within themselves... All those who are sitting [on the sidelines] and keeping their silence are party to the crime. They must purge themselves of the taint of the devil who ordered to strike the Libyan cities with missiles and planes. Otherwise, they are among those responsible for the [murder] of the Libyans..."[10]


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Hayat (London), February 23, 2011.

[2] Al-Sharq (Qatar), February 23, 2011.

[3] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), February 23, 2011.

[4], February 23, 2011.

[5] Qaddafi's Green Book sets out his political doctrine, and his White Book sets out his suggestions regarding the establishment of a joint Palestinian-Israeli state called 'Israstine.'

[6] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), February 23, 2011.

[7] Al-Watan (Syria), February 23, 2011.

[8] Al-Watan (Syria), February 22, 2011.

[9] Al-Rai (Jordan), February 23, 2011.

[10] Al-Dustour (Jordan), February 23, 2011.

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