Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stranded in Libya

While most countries have rushed to evacuate their citizens from Libya in recent months, one country decided to leave 200 of their nationals stranded in Libya.  Guess the country, it should be easy. 


"Out of fear that what they witnessed -- a full-blown popular rebellion against Qaddafi's dictatorship -- could lead to a copycat rebellion back home," according to a story in Foreign Policy.  "The fear was obviously that these 200 would have a kind of a viral effect, bringing news and information about what was happening in Libya." 

Here's the full article, and here an NPR segment on the story.  


At 6/15/2011 12:18 PM, Blogger Mike said...

This story kinda screws up the narrative we're being fed regarding PRNK as a prison, doesn't it? Not only do they have hundreds of professionals working a half-world away, the chaos of war and easy escape doesn't even justify the trouble of bringing them home? If they have 200 in Libya, how many others are there in the world with just as much information available through tv/web?

If half of what we hear about the "hermit regime" is true, the comparative wild freedom of Libyans would be enough not to send them in the first place. If 200 people with a newspaper are a threat, I'd think that the starving masses we hear about would have brewed up a popular revolution by now if it was at all possible.

I know they're kooky and much of what they do makes little sense, but this makes no sense.

At 6/15/2011 1:19 PM, Blogger Methinks said...


If NK is anything like the Soviet Regime, Kim Jong Il is basically holding their family members hostage in NK. They can escape, but their family will be tortured and killed.

I am not at all surprised that the masses have not risen up in NK. They are relatively cut off from the rest of the world. People in Soviet Russia really believed they were doing great compared to the rest of the world - until information started leaking in.

At 6/15/2011 2:03 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I understand what you're saying and I guess I shouldn't try to apply reason to NK policy, but the same information will come back with people working in other countries and lifestyle comparison will return regardless...and, if the families of workers are in danger, the same threats could be used to keep them from spreading information. In fact, they would be very credible public-revolution-deniers in the face of the inevitable spread of news.

I agree with you about the lack of uprising. I don't think a few people with stories of unrest will make much difference.... You don't need Google to know you're starving. As long as Kim has foreign-aid income to pay his military, an uprising is virtually impossible there. That's why I was saying the story doesn't make much sense.

I think the money being brought back by these people is far more important to NK than the people themselves. That may make for a less interesting story, but I think the real motivation here is; Kim thinks the cash they send back is more important than the risk of his people getting blown to bits. With some of the N. Koreans being medical pros, there's probably a bidding war for them in Libya.


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