May 8th, 2011 § § permalink
The New York Times reports that:
for the first time, Qatar put the question of supplying arms to the rebels on the table, but no agreement was reached.
Well, not really for the first time. Qatar has been pushing for arms shipments to the rebels for a long time:
“If they will ask for weapons, we’re going to provide them,” the amir, who is on a visit to the United States, told CNN in an interview. [xinhua, 15 April]
And the New York Times itself has reported on the rebels receiving foreign weapons, and speculated that Qatar is one source of them.
March 21st, 2011 § § permalink
Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.
The shipments—mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition—appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters
Compare this to Robert Fisk’s piece from a fortnight ago,
the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom…has so far failed to respond to Washington’s highly classified request…
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya.
I guess either the Saudi request got nowhere, or at least has only happened behind the scenes. Besides, whatever Fisk thinks, Egypt is obviously better placed to move weapons into the East of Libya
The WSJ also has some interesting comment on the various positions among Arab states:
Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating the draft of the resolution, which calls for “all necessary measures” to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.
Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials said.
Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi.
March 14th, 2011 § § permalink
At Arabist, Abu Ray has a powerful account of the view in Libya from the rebels’ side:
“It is just like the Spanish Civil War,” said Raoul, a Spanish TV journalist, “like Homage to Catalonia.” Benghazi in this scenario becomes civil war Barcelona, with an exuberant explosion of revolutionary thinking and fervor that is eventually crushed under the boot of the fascist armies after it turns out enthusiasm doesn’t beat out lots of equipment on the front.
March 1st, 2011 § § permalink
Here is the Egyptian blogger/tweeter @sandmonkey, tweeting about the relationship between parents and their activist children.
this story more than anything highlights the generational rift in egyptian society over the #Jan25 revolution.
It also is a prime example of how people could live in the same house & have totally different backgrounds. Sumthin all JAN25's can relate 2
This revolution not only facilitated the peaceful transition of power from government to people, but from our parents generation to ours.
This transition is based on both guilt & regret, because they never did anything similar & they allowed the mafia regime to continue.
And it was a Mafia Regime. It was always better to be with the Don than against the Don, for those against him were crushed or killed.
So, they allowed the thugs to rule, allowed corruption to spread, & learned to adapt to the system, cause that's all they had.
And not only did they enable the regime, they tried to stop us from doing anything to stop, believing that it can't be stopped.
And we defied them, despite the threats & the yelling & the guilt trips & emotional blackmail, & we proved them wrong. #jan25
This naturally came as a shock to them, cause they never thought it could be possible. They truly believed they were protecting us.
So now they feel sad & guilty, cause their lives were wasted accepting evil & they even tried to stop us from eradicating it. #jan25
So, our parents are now divided into 3 types: 1) The "we don't know what's going on, so we will depend on u to inform us" type #jan25
2) The "I will suddenly be proud & brag of ur revolutionary nature to all my friends, coz I need to jump on the bandwagon now" #jan25
3) The Angry " y'all dunno what u r talkin about, u r destroying this country, democracy will never work, human rights meen" type.
You can imagine that, can’t you, in the UK or anywhere else once protests finally get somewhere? [he’s also getting an encouraging about of backchat from young egyptian activists, saying their parents were with them all along [NadaPrudence @Sandmonkey my mom was there with me from day 1 ! she's my tear gas buddy !!]
[insert boilerplate rant, viz: if only we had a medium where I could forward this without copy-pasting a dozen segments into an email. *sigh*]