Arpith Siromoney đź’¬

Gaddafi Madness

As his influence dwindled, Gaddafi became more idiosyncratic: he came to dress more and more eccentrically; two years ago, he gave an incoherent speech at the UN; he paid Italian women to study Islam. Bedouin tents, Amazonian bodyguards and an Ukrainian nurse closely accompanied him.

Dan Lewis has more on the women, and there’s a collection of his names over at the Language Log.

Update: Looks like the bad press may distract from the possibility of armed intervention:

The defects in the Security Council require the acknowledgement of a limited right, without its mandate, for an alliance like Nato to use force to stop the commission of crimes against humanity. That right arises once the council has identified a situation as a threat to world peace (and it has so identified Libya, by referring it unanimously to the ICC prosecutor).

Update: In Focus has scenes from the air strikes that have initiated the coalition’s intervention in a conflict where Gaddafi had gained the upper hand.

After the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians under attack by Libyan government forces, U.S., British, and French forces launched fighter jets and missiles over the weekend, attacking air defense facilities and troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi near the rebel-held town of Benghazi. Rebel fighters attempted to retake the town of Ajdabiya from Qaddafi’s forces earlier today but were driven back by heavy fire. Meanwhile, conflicting reports still emerge from the country: Rebels claim that Qaddafi’s men continue to attack, despite their stated cease-fire; and Qaddafi loyalists claim that there were massive civilian casualties from the Allied bombardment this weekend, while Western forces deny these claims.

Can’t help thinking of this paper:

Here we present a model which shows how the introduction of rare, malicious agents —that we term jokers— performing just destructive actions on the other agents induce bursts of cooperation. The appearance of jokers promotes a rock-paper-scissors dynamics, where jokers outbeat defectors and cooperators outperform jokers, which are subsequently invaded by defectors. Thus, paradoxically, the existence of destructive agents acting indiscriminately promotes cooperation.