For more than over a month, Libya has been undergoing a revolution aimed at ending Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year reign.
Inspired by the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in February, Libyan rebels took to the streets and rose against government officials.
On Feb. 15, hundreds of Libyan protesters filled the streets of heavily populated towns such as Al Bayda and Az Zintan, and set fire to government buildings. Police forces were quick to break up the protests, resulting in over 40 injuries and three deaths.
As the uprisings became more organized and the protesters' hunger for Gadhafi's ouster increased, Gadhafi shut down all Internet communication in Libya and banned international journalists from entering Libya.
Gadhafi accused Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda for putting hallucinogenic drugs in milk, coffee and Nescafe, thus turning his people against him. He also claimed that the revolt was a conspiracy between the UK, US, and France to control Libya's oil and enslave Libyan citizens(cnn.com).
“I think he [Gadhafi] is crazy for thinking that Al-Qaeda put hallucinogens in people's drinks to make them rise against him. His paranoia shows his fear of being overthrown” remarked David Flores, sophomore at Granite Hills.
Gadhafi hired mercenaries from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Tunisia, and Kenya to help him control the protests.
“I think it [Gadhafi hiring mercenaries] is horrible and shows that their government isn't a government. A government is meant to serve the people, not to keep a person in power,” said Austin Jones, senior at Granite.
Rebel forces and Gadhafi's supporters have been fighting since February 23, with the rebels capturing key towns and oil ports. Gadhafi fought back hard and on March 6 and his forces retook Ra's Lanuf and Mersa Brega and many other rebel towns(cnn.com).
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, enforced a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Gadhafi from attacking his own citizens with planes.
“Isn't a president supposed to protect his citizens? It makes no sense at all, attacking Libyan citizens with planes,” stated Ernestina Quintero, junior at Granite.
Coalition forces have been helping rebel forces overthrow Gadhafi by supplying air strikes and missile attacks on Gadhafi-controlled cities.
U.S involvement with Libya has become very controversial. According to Fox News, President Obama said the United States expects to transfer the lead military role in Libya to other allies in a matter of days.
Obama said the military objective in Libya is to guard civilians from attacks by Qaddafi, not oust him from power. He added, however, that U.S. policy is that Qaddafi “needs to go.”
“Ever since Vietnam we [the U.S] have ‘dilly dallied’ with all the conflicts in which America has chosen to be involved. We should leave the country [of] Libya, and let it have its ‘end game.’ and then deal with the emerging power structure, which could be an even scarier proposition,” retorted Gary Stoddard, athletic director at Granite.
Above Photo: Rebels climb aboard a bombed-out loyalist tank and burn enemy uniforms after retaking Ajdabiya, Libya, 95 miles southwest of Benghazi, from the forces of Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday, March 26, 2011. (Photo and photo caption courtesy of Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT Campus)