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Don’t Give Up Too Soon On A Free Libya

Essay: A public appeal to the West from the leader of the Libyan rebels, Moustapha Abdel Jalil: ‘Give us time -- and arms...’ for negotiating with Gaddafi is not an option.

Brega, after a rebel victory last month.
Brega, after a rebel victory last month.
Moustapha Abdel Jalil

After 40 years of oppression and injustice, the Libyan people started a revolution on February 17 that freed large parts of the country, and for which countless never-to-be-forgotten martyrs have given their lives.

The budding new free Libya readily embraced the rule of law and justice. Local committees and a National Council were formed to put in place the building blocks of a new democracy and administrate a much enfeebled country. Doing so means, one day, all the men and women of this land can turn the page on Gaddafi and his family once and for all, and express themselves through free and transparent general elections.

But the tyrant is unfortunately still clinging on. Forced to retreat at first, now he seems powerful again. His army of mercenaries has pushed our fighters back from Sirte. His armored vehicles, his artillery and his deadly forces have bombarded us in the middle of the desert. Our courageous chebab volunteers,lacking tanks and heavy weaponry, had hoped to liberate Misrata and Tripoli with the bare force of their will and hands. But they suffered great losses and were forced to retreat

Then the French airplanes came and saved Benghazi from the bloody punishment that the dictator had promised it. Had the international community led by Nicolas Sarkozy and his allies not acted when they did, all of Libya would probably have fallen under Gaddafi's vicious control once more. There is no force that can stop armored vehicles from advancing in the desert, except from above. Western aircrafts have until now managed to do that, and we are infinitely grateful for that.

But NATO's planes cannot free the cities where Gaddafi's forces, using civilians as human shields, are now taking cover. Those of us now free do not have yet the strength needed to accomplish this urgent and vital task for all our fellow citizens that are being shelled or remain enslaved. It takes more than six weeks of freedom to transform thousands of armed men in an army: they need more time.

But we are resisting for the time being, and we are proud of it. We do not ask of anyone to fight in our place. We do not ask foreign soldiers to come and stop the enemy, nor do we expect that Libya's friends come and free it for us. All we ask is that the world give us time and the means to build a force able to keep the dictator's mercenaries and soldiers back, and then free all of our cities.

Just a paper tiger

The international community must continue to provide us support, by continuing the air strikes, but also by supplying us with military equipment. Just give us the means we need to free ourselves, and you will be surprised: Gaddafi has taken advantage of our early inexperience and youth, but he is nothing more than a paper tiger. Just wait and see.

It would be so unjust, so fatal for us to be sacrificed, because of our early inexperience, for the sole good of a peace without conditions. What peace would that be, which so closely resembles a capitulation? How can anyone claim that we can negotiate with Gaddafi, with this tyrant who has never stopped attacking free Libya?

Is the West, in the name of a blind realism -- the handy excuse for all those who are far too ready to give up -- going to diminish the support that has saved as, measure it, and then tie our hands altogether? We need more time to win our freedom. We have waited 40 long years for this moment to come: we now need just a little more time. I am hereby urging our foreign friends not to jeopardize, because of weariness or impatience, our fight for a free Libya and for all the people hungry for freedom and justice.

Moustapha Abdel Jalil is the head of the Libyan National Council. A former Justice Minister under Gaddafi, Jalili was one of only a few politicians who used to openly criticize the regime.

Photo - Al Jazeera

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Netflix And Chills: “Dear Child” Has A German Formula That May Explain Its Success

The Germany-made thriller has made it to the “top 10” list of the streaming platform in more than 90 countries by breaking away from conventional tropes and mixing in German narrative techniques.

Screengrab from Netflix's Dear Child, showing two children, a boy and a girl, hugging a blonde woman.

An investigator reopens a 13-year-old missing persons case when a woman and a child escape from their abductor's captivity.

Dear Child/Netflix
Marie-Luise Goldmann


BERLIN — If you were looking for proof that Germany is actually capable of producing high-quality series and movies, just take a look at Netflix. Last year, the streaming giant distributed the epic anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front, which won four Academy Awards, while series like Dark and Kleo have received considerable attention abroad.

And now the latest example of the success of German content is Netflix’s new crime series Dear Child, (Liebes Kind), which started streaming on Sep. 7. Within 10 days, the six-part series had garnered some 25 million views.

The series has now reached first place among non-English-language series on Netflix. In more than 90 countries, the psychological thriller has made it to the Netflix top 10 list — even beating the hit manga series One Piece last week.

How did it manage such a feat? What did Dear Child do that other productions didn't?

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