Since the revolution of protest began there have been questions about : who are these rebels? The answer is not easy because they come from all walks of life. Yes there are some who are Islamists, but they are the minority of those who have done the fighting. They are Berbers from the mountains, and they are Arabs and Africans, some are Americans, and others are British citizens. Some of those British citizens had escaped from Libya many years ago and they have returned to their beloved country to help free it from the grip of the mad and murderous Moammar Gadhafi. I will not mince words in stating that yes, a few of them had links to Al Qaeda, but what is important to them right now is the protection of their families.
The road to Tripoli has been long and tiring because this group of opposition forces had no military training and they were poorly equipped. Misrata and Zintan have been two towns in Libya that have taken a real pounding. It has not been much better in Brega. The guns of the Daffy Duck forces were trained upon ordinary citizens. Snipers were on the rooftops, and they shot at anyone who went into the streets, including the wounding and killing of young children, such are the crimes of Daffy Duck and his regime.
When Benghazi fell, the people organized themselves in a rather orderly fashion and they quickly formed what is known as the National Transitional Council. In those early days Zawiyah had been captured, but Daffy Duck struck back and the people were kept in captivity, waiting for liberation once again. There had been pockets of fighting in that city with Daffy maintaining control until this past week.
One has to wonder as to how it is that the advances have happened so rapidly. Was it the weapons drop? Or did the assassination of General Younes open the way for a push and a boost in confidence? What exactly had General Younes been doing before he was ordered back to Benghazi, and mysteriously assassinated? Was he giving away vital information to the Daffy Duck regime that had been hurting the advance of the opposition forces? It certainly seems that way.
However, it is Misrata under siege that stands out because of its ferocity. Khamis Gadhafi was the leader of the loyalist forces seige of Misrata. It took a long time before the seige was broken, not before the Misrata harbour was mined, and other atrocities were committed by the loyalist forces. Then it was on to Zlitan where the fighting was bogged down for a very long time… that is until a command centre purported to contain Khamis and at least 34 other individuals was bombed with those people allegedly killed. From there, the opposition forces had mixed results in Zlitan.
At the same time as the capture of Zlitan, the opposition forces in the mountains region (the Berber territory) commenced their push towards Zawiyah. Finally, after several gun fights the opposition took control of Zawiyah and the all important oil refinery. The supply route for the Daffy Duck forces had been cut off.
Most of this action took roughly two weeks to achieve. The push towards Tripoli has been swift. For many of the British and American born Libyan citizens, Tripoli is their destination because they have family within the city. They want to liberate their family. One such person, an American commercial pilot from Florida has a father in prison (his father was arrested in Februrary) and a mother who is holed up in the city. He believes that his father is already dead, and he wants to take his mother back to the USA. There are others who had made Britain their home, and they have returned so that they can free Libya from the grip of Daffy Duck.
The uprising in Tripoli has begun, and there is bloodshed on the streets. However, it is again Daffy Duck forces that have been killing civialians. They have snipers on the rooftops and if anyone leaves their homes they become targets of the snipers. It is not the opposition forces using those tactics. It never has been the opposition forces using those tactics. As it stands, the people of Tripoli have been cheering the arrival of the opposition forces. Since that arrival an air base has been secured, and according to the reports I have seen several generals have been arrested, Mohammed Gadhafi, the eldest and non-combatant son, has surrendered, and there was talk of Saif al-Islam being captured. The compound of General Sanussi has been bombarded, so it will be interesting to find out if he was killed in the strike. At the same time there has been another defection – there have been 3 defections in the past two weeks.
However, it seems that Moussa Ibrahim, a member of the Gadhafi family, and Information Minister has been doing a sitrling performance in order to win for himself the Baghdad Bob award for lying in the face of reality. Most of us remember Baghdad Bob with affection and hilarity, because he stood before the cameras proclaiming that there was no invasion, as the American tanks were rolling past in the background. What has been coming out of the mouth of Moussa Ibrahim in the past months is most definitely on a par with the Baghdad Bob delusions. The most outstanding performance from Ibrahim was his lies about Eman, the woman who was raped at an outpost by Daffy loyalist soldiers. He claimed that she was a prostitute, and when that was not believed he made up other stories about her. The woman was released from prison by one of Gadhafi’s sons who had the sense to see that keeping her in prison was bad publicity.
The National Transitional Council had a game plan that included an uprising in Tripoli. That uprising has begun, and we can only wait and see whether or not the opposition will be victorious. Once that happens, order will need to be restored rapidly. The plan seems to be followed, but anything can happen because there are so many unknown factors.