Friday, September 21, 2012

Anti-militant/pro-American demonstrations in Libya--finally!

Photo credit: "Libya Alhurra (free Libya) Livestream"

(Source: "Libya Alhurra (free Libya) Livestream" as posted on their Facebook page)

There is hope yet for new Libya; Libyans in Banghazi took to the streets today in demonstrations against the extremist militias in their city. The demonstrators are reported to have stormed the headquarters of the "Ansar Alshriaa" extremist armed group, which was accused of having a hand in the attack on the US consulate.

While there were no American flags in the published photos of the demonstration, I was comforted to see a demonstrator holding a sign saying "R.I.P Chris Stevens". This is the closest to a pro-American demonstration one can expect in the current political environment in the middle east.

Democracy has to start somewhere; these Libyans are a living proof that despite the middle east's boogieman, the extremist Islamists, it is worth it to still pursue democracy and allow people a true voice. The Banghazi citizens are exercising their newfound freedom of speech to protest against those who endanger their security and kill their friends who helped them attain that freedom, the Americans. 

This is a small step, but a very important one, and should encourage more in the west to follow in the footsteps of ambassador Stevens, and engage the Libyans and not leave them at the mercy of the extremists.


Anonymous said...

excellent news, and the West, of course, must support and encourage the effort, but it remains the responsibility of those living in the area and practicing the religion that the extremists pervert to reject these fanatics.

Unknown said...

@anon 2:22

The BBC reports that the demonstrators are even rejecting militants affiliated with the government (the Sahaty Brigade).

The demonstrators are demanding that just uniformed government forces be on the streets, and don't want any militias of any kind. This is actually a unifying issue for the old ghadafi loyalists and the revolutionaries.

Let's hope these people don't get crushed because they are going against some who are technically in the government. That's where western pressure might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I keep asking where are those who led the Egyptian Spring and why aren't they doing this too? Or those in all the places that fought for freedom last year and this year are allowing themselves to dominated again by those who want nothing less than constant violence, no growth and just turmoil 24/7 it seems. I just don't get it.

Unknown said...

@anon 3:15
In fairness to the people of the region, they suffer from a chronic lack of decent and able leaders.
In case of Libya for example, there was no practical plan to collect all the weapons. One Option was to use oil money to buy back weapons and stimulate the economy at the same time, but what do I know!

American Guest said...

Anon 3:15 PM

For the same reasons we aren't making mass protests against republicans... when it comes down to it, islamic groups like the muslim brotherhood has more in common with republcians than they do with lybians armed militias. Both make themselves up as being supportive of the local poeple even if their social policies are backwards, both are political groups that work through the democratic system, both are moved a great deal by religion, and both tend to be supportive of wars are waged in other countries by their perceived enemies. The locals view groups like the brotherhood the way we view republicans; the can be problematic, but hardly worth rising up against in mass protest... The militias however are something different; they are armed groups that refuse to work with and through the government and they cause a great deal of chaos to the locals.

It also helps that Libyans have found americans to be a source of support as opposed to a source of opposition since they played a role in overthrowing their dictator as opposed to supporting him for decades... when it comes down to it, Egypt's old regime was not liked by many in egypt and that regime was a friend of ours for decades.