AirTalk for February 22, 2011

Moammar Gadhafi clings to power as violence and unrest continue

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Kristian Juul Pedersen/AFP/Getty Images

Libyan demonstrators hold banners during a peaceful protest against embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi and the crack down on anti-government protests in Libya at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen on February 22, 2011.

Libyan president Moammar Gadhafi remains defiant in the face of continuing protests and escalating violence in his country. Witnesses say that the streets of the capital city of Tripoli are like a war zone, with overnight reports of pro-government forces sweeping the streets and firing upon people indiscriminately. Some estimates say that the death toll could be as high as 500 since the uprising began last week in the eastern-Libyan city of Benghazi and engulfed the rest of the country. Colonel Gadhafi has ruled Libya for 41 years and shows no sign of stepping down, vowing in a recent televised speech to "fight to the last drop of blood” as his regime faces a rising tide of unrest spurned by uprisings in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. Will popular protests be able to oust Gadhafi? How will the world react to his regime’s use of violence against the people of Libya?

Guests:

Reed Brody, Counsel and Spokesperson for Human Rights Watch in Brussels

Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times reporter currently on assignment in Cairo; author of The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East”


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