Thursday, March 3, 2011

US nears approval of no-fly zone in Libya; debate over effect of social media on Middle East gets complicated

The president has announced he has approved the use of US military aircraft to move refugees from Libya. The president has said “Gadhafi must leave”. The president is reported by CNN as having said he will consider a “no fly zone” like that used in Iraq before the fall of Saddam Hussein.

John King interviews Senator Lindsay Graham of S.C., an Air Force Reserve office himself, about the idea of a no fly zone, about which Defense Secretary Gates says, go slowly. Graham says that individual Libyan pilots should be made war of flying missions against the Libyan people (and "sweet crude" oil fields). 


Elsewhere, in Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh blames the US government for spreading unrest against “friendly” dictators (in controlling Al Qaeda), as if government controlled social media, which actually it’s the “Kids” who control it.

Joby Warrick wrote in the Washington Post Thursday morning about Hillary Clinton’s contention that the US is losing a public relations war, even as the State Department invests more resources in using social media in Middle Eastern languages. That is supposed to challenge the use of the Internet by extremists, which has been reported for years as stimulating young people to convert to radicalism. Yet, it is the “young people” running social media and technology companies that seem to have made social media a powerful tool to export democratic values at the grass roots level.  That’s what Obama’s recent meeting with Silicone Valley was about. 

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