Monday, August 29, 2011

Qadafi's Last Throes


The first cracks in Libya's rebel coalition have opened, with protests erupting in Misrata against the reported decision of the National Transitional Council (NTC) to appoint a former Gaddafi henchman as security boss of Tripoli.

UK Guardian

The old guard is the new guard. Where have we seen that before?

Misrata's ruling council lodged a formal protest with the NTC, saying that if the appointment were confirmed Misratan rebel units deployed on security duties in Tripoli would refuse to follow NTC orders.


Mr Jabril, whose NTC executive installed itself in Tripoli over the weekend, says he wants to build an "inclusive" administration. He appears to have the tacit support of London, with the defence secretary, Liam Fox, telling al-Jazeera it was important the NTC avoided excluding members of the former regime.

Uh-huh. He's been told by his handlers (benefactors) in the west that's what he's to do.

London is believed to be keen to avoid a rerun of Iraq, where a de-Baathification programme saw the ruling administration removed and chaos follow the US-led invasion in 2003.

We must assume that London and Washington are agreed upon this. I think that's a safe bet, but President #Compromise has other fish to fry right now, and he's remaining relatively quiet about Libya. Probably a good idea from a campaign standpoint.

And keeping a man in the government who was responsible for murdering many civilians is not likely to produce chaos?

"I can't see any justication for [it] whatsoever," said Hassan al-Amin, who returned to the town after 28 years' exile spent in the UK. "We have a big force in Tripoli. They are not going to follow orders from a war criminal."


Behind the protests is a wider grudge between Misratans and the NTC, which many accuse of representing Benghazi rather than Libyans as a whole. Misrata's military council continues to refuse to follow orders from NTC army commanders.

It’s just so hard to control it all, isn’t it?


The Arab League readmitted Libya to the regional bloc on Saturday, turning over the country's seat to the NTC and effectively recognising the rebel body as the legitimate authority in Libya.


According to Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, the [NTC] fighters [at Sirte] are awaiting more men to join them from the capital, but there was little likelihood that the reinforcements would arrive soon.


"Until Tripoli is secure we are not going to see these fighters...and you are going to need them if you are going to open new battles like in Sirte or in Sabha, further south another stronghold of the Libyan leader."


Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Libyan leader (by whom I suppose he means Qadafi – even though we here in the west, and now even the Arab League, have already deemed the NTC in charge) still has other strongholds?

Somebody has not been telling us the whole story.

And, yes, it is going to be difficult to get reinforcements soon from the capital city if the capital city is not secured. Methinks we are going to have to send NATO boots in sooner or later. Probably sooner. The air strikes don’t seem to be doing enough damage.

As fighters advanced towards Sirte, there were pockets of dissent within the country accusing the NTC of not being transparent enough in nominating members for a new administration.

Oh-ho. Libyans notice things like that, eh?

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, reporting from a protest in Misrata, said: "They [the protesters] say the old guard of the Gaddafi regime are far too prominent in the list of people issued so far.

Imagine that.

Reporting from the city on Sunday, Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland said: "Bin Jawad is now under rebel control, but the rebels warn us that the town itself is still quite unsafe".

The fighting then moved to the town of Nawfaliya, about 35km away from Bin Jawad, Rowland said, reporting from near the frontline.

"There was talk earlier of some last remaining areas of resistance by Gaddafi loyalists. But Libyan fighters have by-and-large taken the town of Nawfaliya."

Rowland said the fighters were waiting for reinforcements to arrive in Nawfaliya, after which their next objective was to fight off Gaddafi loyalists in the Red Valley, about 120km east of Sirte.

More of those “last throes.”

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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