International community considers sanctions against Libya

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February 23, 2011, 9:13 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir) - Angry crowds on the streets of Libya.
     
Waves of people continue to protest the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
     
Gadhafi supporters are heeding their leader's call.
     
They're roaming the streets of Tripoli clashing with protesters.

The international community is vowing to consider sanctions against Libya for Gadhafi's fierce crackdown.
     
This evening -- President Barack Obama said he's studying a "full range of options" to put pressure on the leader.

In Libya, there is further erosion of Gadhafi's control in the east of the country and protesters are calling for new rallies Thursday and Friday, which will undoubtedly lead to more violence.


"These actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop," President Obama said.

President Obama's first public comments since the bloodshed in Libya began came with the decision to send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Geneva to try to broker an end to the violence.

And after Americans got on board a US state department chartered ferry bound for Malta, that was delayed in Tripoli due to high seas.

"Roughly 35 members of the embassy delegation including non essential official personnel and family members," said State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley.

The Italian foreign ministry has placed the opposition death toll at 1000 in the North African nation, as government militiamen have reportedly opened fire on protesters at will.

But Wednesday saw a turn for the rebellion.

This satellite photo is above the opposition-controlled eastern city of Benghazi, showing a military building on fire.

Outside the city an air force plane crashed after pilots refused to bomb oilfields.

The pilot and co-pilot reportedly ejecting from the plane in midair.

"This change doesn't represent the work of the United States or any foreign power. It represents the aspirations of people who are seeking a better life," President Obama added.

But what the President did not do was call for the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who for 42 years, has ruled the Libyan people with an iron fist.

"He's always been something of an unguided missile and the late Anwar Sadat used to describe him in Arabic as majnoon, which means crazy," said A. Richard Norton, Boston University Professor of International Relations.

After coming to power by overthrowing Libya's longstanding monarchy in 1969, Gadhafi has never relinquished control.  

His brutal reign has also been bizarre - from flashy clothes to a team of female bodyguards to travel with a Bedouin tent in tow.

President Reagan once called him a mad dog and still Gadhafi has his legions of loyal supporters who have vowed to fight for him to the death.

The anti-Gadhafi forces have grabbed hold of most of the eastern half of the 1,000-mile Mediterranean coastline, stretching from the Egyptian border to a city about 500 miles from Tripoli, getting close to oil fields along the coast.

Tags: protests, Josh Brogadir, Libya, Ghadafi
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