A year ago, thousands of Libyan civilians became soldiers overnight. Opposed to the rule of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, they took up arms, many of them for the first time in their lives, and joined a ragtag rebel army. Now, after eight months of brutal violence, they are struggling to return to their former lives.
"I will never be able to accept that politics (can) be practiced by the power of weapons ... This is an assault against the democracy I have sworn to protect," Defense Minister Mohammed al-Bargathi said.
Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said there were 20 to 30 armed men in military fatigues who arrived in trucks with anti-aircraft guns mounted on them. The government official tried to talk to them before he had to flee.
The commander for the armed group told Reuters that they would keep the ministry closed until the government passes a law that prevents loyalists to overthrown Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi from serving in the government.
The Senate Armed Services Committee — surely one of the most important committees in what we euphemistically refer to as the Upper House of our Congress — gave a nice, day-long display at the end of last week as to why Congress's approval rating, in a new survey, remained in single digits.