Sure doesn’t sound like the “rebels” have won
A nervous limbo, punctuated by gunfire, took hold of Libya’s capital Monday, one day after opponents of Col. Moammar Gadhafi rolled triumphantly into the central square here—damping hopes by rebels and their international allies that the strongman’s supporters would melt away.
Machine-gun and antiaircraft fire could be heard throughout the day in Tripoli, as residents said loyalist gunmen had taken up positions in several neighborhoods. Rebels who attempted to turn an old police academy into their military headquarters quickly came under heavy fire, sending a stream of casualties to a makeshift clinic.
Green Square, where rebel troops had celebrated Sunday after marching largely unopposed into Col. Gadhafi’s stronghold capital, appeared to be a no man’s land. Roads leading to the square were made impassable by what locals said were loyalist snipers.
Amid the uncertainty, one of Col. Gadhafi’s sons, thought to have been captured by the rebels a day earlier, showed up at a Tripoli hotel and invited foreign journalists on a tour of the city.
The scenes in Tripoli bucked the day’s widening international sentiment that forces loyal to Col. Gadhafi, who has ruled the oil-rich Mediterranean country for nearly 42 years, had been all but neutralized. Instead, the leader remained unaccounted for as fighting continued. The unease suggested instead that the regime’s end, while broadly expected, may bring more bloodshed, this time in a densely populated urban theater.
As I write this reports are that Gadhafi has given a speech on the radio….looks like civil war is not too far behind:
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Wednesday that his withdrawal from his Bab al-Aziziya headquarters was a “tactical move” after the compound was leveled by 64 NATO air strikes.
Speaking in an address on a local Tripoli radio station, which was reported by Al-Orouba TV, broadcasting in conjunction with Al-Rai TV, Gaddafi also vowed “martyrdom” or victory in his fight against NATO.
I’m hoping the scumbag is killed sooner rather than later, but I also have a feeling that the wake left after his death will be something other then rosy. These so called “Rebels” aren’t prepared for this, nor is NATO:
Six months after their revolt broke out, the day-to-day leadership of the anti-Qaddafi movement remains an unanswered question, with no figure emerging as the rebellion’s undisputed leader. Even the common struggle against Colonel Qaddafi never masked latent divisions between east and west, between political leaders and fractious militias, and, some say, between liberal public faces and Islamists in the rebel ranks.
The rebels from the western mountains who stormed into Tripoli on Sunday night often roll their eyes at their ostensible political leadership, the Transitional National Council, which is based in the eastern city of Benghazi…
…Even so, rivalries began emerging on Monday well before Tripoli was fully subdued, along with questions about the rebels’ credibility. Officials of the Transitional National Council in Benghazi said Sunday that their forces had captured Colonel Qaddafi’s son and would-be successor, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi. But then on Tuesday he appeared at a Tripoli hotel housing foreign journalists — moving freely around the city — and even before then some in Tripoli appeared not to trust their Benghazi leadership to handle him.
And if and when these “rebels” do take over…who are they loyal to?
Less than four years before Libya’s popular opposition movement took up arms and revolted against Moammar Gadhafi with enthusiastic U.S. backing, anti-Gadhafi fighters chose another tactic to hit back at the hated dictator: they joined al Qaeda and tried to kill American soldiers in Iraq, according to U.S. documents.
In 2007 the U.S. Department of Defense snatched more than 600 records of al Qaeda’s foreign fighters in Iraq and discovered nearly a fifth of the foreigners were from Libya, according to a report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center released later that year. Within those records, the total put Libya second only to Saudi Arabia in total fighters and “far and away” the largest provider of foreign fighters per capita to the terrorist organization.
Almost all of the Libyan fighters hailed from the east — cities like Benghazi, effectively the current opposition headquarters; Ajdabiya, which was the site of intense fighting overnight; and Derna, a city currently held by the rebels.
“The Libyan pipeline to Iraq,” the report says, “is firmly established.”
The report ties the surge of Libyan recruits to a formal pledge of allegiance to al Qaeda by a major anti-Gadhafi group in 2007.
And now they have a mass supply of weapons:
No one can be sure who controls the Libyan government’s weapons stockpiles, a stew of deadly chemicals, raw nuclear material and some 30,000 shoulder-fired rockets that officials fear could fall into terrorists’ hands in the chaos of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s downfall or afterward.
One immediate worry, U.S. intelligence and military officials say, is that Qaddafi might use the weapons to make a last stand. But officials also face the troubling prospect that the material, which was left under Qaddafi’s control by a U.S.-backed disarmament pact, could be obtained by Al Qaeda or other militants even after a rebel victory is secured.
…A cache of hundreds of tons of raw uranium yellowcake is stored at a small nuclear facility east of the capital.
As I wrote earlier, I’m hoping that Gadhafi’s reign is over….but worried at what will take its place. That worry was well placed in Egypt and Pakistan. And now it’s Libya’s turn.
As far as the war itself, I will leave you with a quote from Mata:
all the Arab nations of the world have made note that to be friends with Obama’s US is to mean they invade your sovereign territory (Pakistan), he will throw you over the side to the sharks (Egypt, Yemen, Israel, and attempted in Bahran). But if you remain our enemy he will leave you alone (Syria, Iran, Somalia etal)