The Guardian has found secret documents in Tripoli showing that Gaddafi's regime tried everything they could in its final months to influence US and world opinion. Full story >>
VOCABULARY If you refer to a regime (hear pronunciation), you are talking about a system or method of government. The term is often used to show disapproval. • In all its 40 years in power, the Syrian regime has never faced the kind of stand-off that has challenged it over the last four months.
This cartoon by Adams from The Telegraph shows a group of Libyan rebels in the back of a pick-up truck. One of them asks, "Does anyone know how to drive this thing?"
COMMENTARY The truck is a metaphor for democracy, which is a new concept in Libya. The question is whether the patchwork of militias, defected soldiers and tribal fighters that make up the Libyan opposition will be able to manage the transition from dicatorship to democracy when they have no experience of this political system.
This cartoon by Bob from The Guardian relates to the search for Colonel Gaddafi, whose whereabouts remain unknown. Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron are shown looking at a Where's Gaddafi book, which is clearly based on the Where's Wally series of children's books. Barack Obama is also shown, but in the background, symbolizing the backseat role played by the US in the downfall of Gaddafi.
IDIOM The title of the cartoon is 'Brought To Book'. If someone is brought to book, they are punished or made to account for something they have done wrong. • A crime has been committed and whoever is responsible must be brought to book.
WHAT'S THE JOKE? The cartoonist makes a play on the word 'book': it looks like Gaddafi will finally be brought to book for his crimes and, of course, he's somewhere in the Where's Gaddafi book.
The Independent reports on Libyan rebels seizing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli. Full story >>
VOCABULARY The downfall of a successful or powerful person or institution is their loss of success or power. • The downfall of Col. Muammar Gaddafi will likely prolong the oil price decline even as it eliminates one of the big risks in the oil industry.
This cartoon by Dave Brown from The Independent shows David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy using a petrol hose to pull down a statue of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. Oil is spurting from the base of the statue, where a pipe has broken. A newspaper headline in Cameron's pocket reads 'Oil Prices Fall'.
COMMENTARY The cartoonist seems to be saying that the role played by France and Britain in the overthrow of Gaddafi was motivated by the desire to get their hands on Libyan oil. There are obvious parallels with overthrow of Saddam Hussein, which for many commentators was more about securing US oil supplies than finding weapons of mass destruction or getting rid of a ruthless dictator.
FOOTNOTE Gary Barker in The Sun also uses the Saddam Hussein statue photo as the inspiration for his cartoon, but there doesn't seem to be any satirical intent.
This cartoon by Dave Brown from The Independent uses the idiom 'to paint oneself into a corner' to comment on the impending fall of Colonel Gaddafi's regime in Libya. If you paint yourself into a corner, you put yourself into a position where you have no place left to go, i.e., you have no options. The metaphor is easy enough to understand, as anyone who has ever had to paint a floor will know!
In Dave Brown's cartoon, Gaddafi is using blood not paint. The message seems to be that the Libyan dictator's violent crackdown on the anti-government protests has ultimately put him in a position from which he cannot escape.
The Guardian reports that the end of Colonel Gaddafi's regime in Tripoli is near. Full story >>
VOCABULARY In chess, endgame refers to the final stages of a game, when only a few pieces are left on the board and one of the players must win soons. Journalists sometimes refer to the final stages of something such as a war, dispute, or contest, as an endgame. • US think-tanks are busy chalking out an Afghan exit strategy and undoubtedly the Afghan endgame has begun.