— The Erimtan Angle —

AP’s Alexandre Meneghin made the below photographs of signs expressing Libyan gratitude to the Fantastic Four: U.S. President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Susan Rice . . .

The Vice President at the Center for American Progress Faiz Shakir writes that these references to Marvel Comics’ superhero team are somehow justifiable, as “euphoric Libyan rebels advanced into Tripoli on Sunday, there were scenes of jubilation in the rebels’ de facto capital, Benghazi, where thousands celebrated in the streets”.[1]  Euphoria can easily lead to hyperbole, however misplaced or ill-judged. Just six months ago, Colonel Gadhafi was still seen as a viable figure on the international stage. The members of the Libyan opposition are now in effect celebrating the architects of the “Assisted Rebellion” that toppled the north-African strongman’s regime of four decades. Sarko and Cameron seemed particularly eager in their desire to get rid of Gaddafi. The UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague ‘moved to release millions of pounds worth of Libyan assets frozen in Britain to rebels in the east of the country fighting Colonel Gaddafi’ on 27 July.[2]  More than a month prior to this sample of British largesse, France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had already released ‘290 million euros of frozen Libyan funds for the benefit of the rebels’ National Transitional Council’.[3]  At the same time, other players like Turkey also did their part in feeding Libya’s rebels –  notably, during the Libya Contact Group meeting in Istanbul when big sums were pledged in support of the Gaddafi opposition.[4]  Still, Prime Minister Erdoğan was not awarded a spot on the superteam. But then, neither was Berlusconi, in spite of the fact that Italy is an eager recipient of sweet Libyan oil . . .


[1] Faiz Shakir, “PHOTOS: Libyans Applaud President Obama And International Allies With Large Thank You Sign” Think Progress (22 August 2011). http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/08/22/300927/photos-libyans-applaud-president-obama-and-international-allies-with-large-thank-you-sign/.

[2] Adrian Hamilton, “William Hague to hand Libyan millions to rebels” Belfast Telegraph  (28 July 2011). http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/william-hague-to-hand-libyan-millions-to-rebels-16028987.html.

[3] Dina El Shammaa, “Turkey, France to release millions to help fund Libya rebels” Gulf News (09 June 2011). http://gulfnews.com/news/region/libya/turkey-france-to-release-millions-to-help-fund-libya-rebels-1.819558.

[4] “The Istanbul LCG Meeting: Whither Libya???” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (16 July 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/the-istanbul-lcg-meeting-wither-libya/.


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