Libyan air forces planes bombed the airport located in Benghazi, the sole stronghold left to rebel forces in the country. Rebels had only just captured the site, using helicopters and planes there to attack the advancing Libyan forces. Three opposition forces’ planes counterattacked government forces working to cut off the rebels from the smaller city of Ajdabiya, the linking community that connects the rebels to the larger city of Benghazi. The rebels at the airport and entrenched in the small city of Ajdabiya are hoping to hold of the government forces until Western military power joins their cause, if NATO and other international organizations deem the operation legal and the correct course of action. Earlier this week, Sec. of State Hilary Clinton stated quite clearly that the US would not intervene unilaterally, and would wait to be called upon, and joined by, NATO authorization and assistance.
Britain and France, meanwhile, have vocally supported a vote today to authorize air strikes in Libya and sanction military action on the ground in the immediate future. The US was convinced by the UK and France earlier this week to support a no-fly zone over Libya, though no official vote has yet to be held. Susan Rice, an ambassador for the US, says a no-fly zone would not go far enough to protect Libyan forces facing the onslaught of Gaddafi’s forces.
The US loves freedom, just as long as everybody stays nicely in
line, especially in oil producing nations.
After two weeks of demonstrations and protests, Saudi Arabia has officially banned protests in its country. And public protest will not be dealt with by police and military forces according to a statement released by the nation. After revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the Saudis are pushing to avoid the freedom bandwagon trooping through the Arab world. The country’s clerics announced that all protests are forbidden, saying “The correct way in sharia law of realizing common interest is by advising, which is what the Prophet Muhammad established.” The law is grouped in with regulations already in place banning political parties which they also claim not to be in keeping with Islamic law. Over 17,000 people joined two demonstrations this month in Saudi Arabia, the largest taking place on Friday. Facing them are the nation’s clerics who have sweeping powers in the nation, including the ability to run their own private police squads to enforce religious laws and prosecute those deemed to have violated those laws. After the Gulf War in 1991, some clerics pushed to force King Abdullah to allow an elected Parliament, though nothing in that area has evolved in the past twenty years. After demonstrations, Abdullah recently pledged an extra $37 billion to the citizens of his country.