- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Speaking on television outside one of his residences, which was bombed by the U.S. in the 1980s and features a large statue of a fist crushing an American warplane, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi just delivered a rambling, defiant speech in which he bizarrely claimed not to have ordered attacks on protesters, despite well-documented reports to the contrary, but promised deadly consequences when he does. Al Jazeera reports:
"I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents … I will die as a martyr at the end," he said.
"I have not yet ordered the use of force, not yet ordered one bullet to be fired … when I do, everything will burn."
He called on supporters to take to the streets to attack protesters. "You men and women who love Gaddafi …get out of your homes and fill the streets," he said. "Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs … Starting tomorrow the cordons will be lifted, go out and fight them."
"From tonight to tomorrow, all the young men should form local committees for popular security," he said, telling them to wear a green armband to identify themselves. "The Libyan people and the popular revolution will control Libya."[…]
Shouting in the rambling speech, Gaddafi declared himself "a warrior" and proclaimed: "Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world".
This kind of speech is Qaddafi’s trademark, but it’s hard to see the point of it in this context. While he made a few promises for reform — saying that Libyans could have any kind of judicial system they wanted — even he must know that’s not going to satisfy the crowds in Green Square. One lesson that other Middle Eastern autocrats do now seem to have learned from Ben Ali or Mubarak: Unless you plan to resign, you’re better off keeping your mouth shut.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |