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Gaddafi Out, Headed to Venezuela…or Not

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This story just seems to get more and more bizarre. The latest is that Gaddafi is driving around the desert in a convertible minivan with a TV crew and a parasol. The Telegraph is liveblogging developments.

According to intelligence sources as reported in Britain’s Telegraph, flamboyant Libyan strongman Colonel Moamar Gaddafi has fled the country and is on his way to Venezuela and exile.

With widespread rioting and intense negative reaction to violent government reprisals the situation in Libya had begun to escalate to a level where no amount of government repression would be likely to keep the country under control. Government attacks on protesters had resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries when mortars and machine guns were fired on rioting crowds.

When insurgents captured Benghazi, the nation’s second largest city, it was a clear sign that Gaddafi’s regime would not be able to survive without an escalation which would draw so much negative international attention that it would provoke intervention. Cabinet ministers have been resigning, army pilots have flown their fighters to safe havens outside of the country, and the nation’s UN delegation has declared Gaddafi’s reign to be over. Libya is following the lead of Egypt and literally falling apart.

It is not surprising that the aging dictator found a quick exit to be the wisest course. At this hour his plane has likely already landed in Caracas and he has money waiting in offshore bank accounts to support a lavish lifestyle in a country which Hugo Chavez has turned into a haven for fallen heads of repressive states.

What remains to be seen now is whether the people of Libya can establish a free and functional government after so many years under dictatorial rule and whether Muslim fundamentalists will gain a footing there. Meanwhile, we are all watching to see which country in the region will be the next to experience the violent unrest which has already toppled two repressive governments and threatens many more. Will this be another step in the spread of liberty or another opportunity for a new generation of tyrants?

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • bafana

    I think the Zimbambwen’s must adopt that system as well because that Mugabe is also acting like Gaddafi and others

  • John, take a few minutes to watch FoxNews. They seem to be pretty sold on the idea that we can and should intervene. I think it’s nuts.

    “Mubarak was not perfect” – come again? He was a murderous dictator who kept tens of thousands of political prisoners.


  • John Lake

    This entire issue is clouded by Nalle’s suggestion of intervention. We are not in a position to intervene. What would such intervention consist of? We no longer embrace “nation building’ as we did in Iraq, and as was an option to some in Afghanistan.
    Would we forcefully require the protesters to go home, for their own safety? Or would we force our way in, costly and time consuming, to install a new government in Libya? That would be nation building. Would we force Gadhafi out, and hold an open door for a publicly elected government? Still seems like nation building, and would alienate us against the world. It would set a precedent that whenever people yearn to be free, we come in and enforce their cause.
    There is no potential I can see for intervention.
    If Gadhafi continues to murder demonstrating men, women, children, we anticipate a quick end to a failed attempt. This might be the best we can hope for.
    We walked a tightrope in Egypt. Mubarak was not perfect, but he protected our interests.
    If Gadhafi falls, the outcome might be cataclysmic. Who will control the worlds oil?
    Can I hope for the people of Libya to give up and go home? There is no simple answer.

  • John Lake

    Well, I meant to say “hasten” and basically I was trying to single out the various groups who might involve themselves in this. As a liberal, I favor democracy, and I abhor bloodshed. So, when I said, “the balancing act continues” I was reading the thoughts that some interest groups might actually have. It seemed cold and not typical for me. But there are probably some who might view the uprising in that way. Thus, the balancing act.
    I don’t include Obama, or even extremist Republicans; some oil interests, perhaps.

  • “If I were cynical and objective I might conclude that continuing to gun down the protestors is in the best interests of the oil needing nations. Get it over quick.
    The balancing act continues. But I hesitate to mention, I am neither cynical, nor objective.”

    Why do you hesitate (to mention)?

  • iball

    The US is reported to be appalled at the bloodshed happening in Libya although it’s just an itty bitty drop in the bucket compared to the carnage Uncle Sam visited upon Iraq.(Not for oil of course, but to liberate the Iraqi people).

  • John Lake

    “When insurgents captured Benghazi, the nation’s second largest city, it was a clear sign that Gaddafi’s regime would not be able to survive without an escalation which would draw so much negative international attention that it would provoke intervention”

    It’s not certain that Gadhafi has the capacity to escalate. But more importantly I certainly hope that neither the U.S., nor any of our allies does anything as foolish (and expensive) as rushing in. That seems unlikely.
    If I were cynical and objective I might conclude that continuing to gun down the protestors is in the best interests of the oil needing nations. Get it over quick.
    The balancing act continues. But I hesitate to mention, I am neither cynical, nor objective.

  • According to this often unreliable source, Gaddafi aborted plans to flee to Venezuela when British MI6 intelligence agents monitoring communications out of Iran were told that Iranian officials were acting as intermediaries with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez Frias to Gaddafi’s escape from Tripoli.

    Then, Venezuela decided not to have him. It is understood that Gaddafi was in the final stages of his departure from Tripoli when a diplomatically embarrassed Venezuela denied his asylum request by which time he had also had second thoughts about the flight, fearing that the Americans would use the opportunity to cause an “accident” to happen to his plane en route to Caracas.

    Sometimes Vheadline (aka Vheadless) gets things right and sometimes it doesn’t. However, the link seemed worth posting.


  • ems

    we’re all being played
    its in times like these that im truly ashamed of our ’empire’
    oil oil oil

  • Jenna

    I hope all states of Northafrica are being freed from their dictators eventually. I am proud of those people, who actively try to change something.

  • On the video I love the fact that the al Jazeera news team comes on right after having clearly just laughed their asses off and the guy on the left is still losing it as they discuss the video.


  • troll

    the link is in #11

  • That’s similar to the translation they have at the Telegraph. Just goofy. Anyone have a link to the video?

    And for the record, although the original report that is the basis for this story appears to have been premature, I have absolute confidence that it will be correct within the week.


  • troll

    the transcript according to @Dima_Khatib a reporter for Al Jazeera:

    “I wanted to go join the guys in Green Square but it is raining. I wanted to tell you I am in Tripoli, not in Venezuela. Don’t believe those radio stray dogs. See ya !”

  • Cute, troll. It has been raining in this part of the world.

  • troll
  • raining in the state of Georgia …

  • troll

    …saw it – he appeared to say that it’s raining

    quite bizarre

  • Robert Weller

    BBC says Gaddafi made a brief live appearance on state tv.

  • Robert Weller

    The guy is still there. According to a Tweet he can’t decide which outfit to wear. And no one is in the control tower.

  • Robert Weller

    the major sources covering the middle east, including al jazeera are not reporting that gaddafi has left.

  • I gotta wonder. Will one day soon some crazed Wahhabi putz come down on old Muammar with a knife, screaming “itbáH al-yahúd!” (slaughter the Jews!) and “allahú akbár!” (G-d is great!) The truth has a nasty way of catching up with people….

  • Poor Ghaddafi! If his Muslim daddy hadn’t insisted he be raised as a Muslim instead of a as a Jew, like his mother was, he could have been in Israel, either retiring from our military with honors – or running Muammar’s Falafel Shuk – the best falafel in the Middle East….

    How fate twists things, and how G-d has a sense of humor. Now poor Muammar, instead of dying in the land promised his Jewish ancestors, will rot in Latin America. And when Chavez is finally kicked out, so will old Muammar….

  • Gaddafi you have no shame! im from libya and these are supposed to be your people and you supposed to lead them !. But instead you are killing them!. You have done no change to libya since you were chosen to be president. I can proudly say that you should be killed like the other people are!. And now more are dieing because you sent warplanes to drop weapons such as bombs! to Tripoli. You are a disgustins man and enjoy while it lasts to be president because you can say goodbye to it once you are done with!.And you are a Muslim and you still dont care wait till judjement day when god will burn you’r face in hell because you act like you’r a demon and you are one in fact! i cant wait till you get killed goodbye!!!.

  • Now, this one’s going to be a toughief. I’m pleased though that Dave doesn’t disapprove of the weakening of American influence in the Middle East (unlike some of his other partners in crime).

    I think formation of an Arab league composed of the “liberated states” would be a positive development if not now than in the near future – if only to consolidate the gains, provide support to all those who are yet to embark on their struggle, and present a united front against Western imperialism and its US installed cronies.

    The oil of Arabia should be the rightful possession of its people. It is they who should derive the greatest economic benefit from their natural resources, not the West or the oil companies or US-installed rulers. Instead, the peoples of Arabia have been under the US thumb, suffering poverty and indignities while the rest of the world has been getting enriched at the expense of the people.

    It’s about time to radically alter this geopolitical equation by the people of Arabia reclaiming what is rightfully speaking theirs – control of their own territorial domain, natural resources and their destiny.

  • troll

    Iranian twittering is heating up as are protests and clamp downs