The purpose of my post is to sound a warning about the manner in which Gadhafi goons have abandoned weapons. Reuters have a report that indicates one of the many problems that remain within Libya: abandoned scud missiles, and their launchers.
Whilst I trust the apposition forces, that they will ensure that weapons issued will be returned so that all weapons issued are accounted for, there remains a very big risk of weapons that have been left lying around will fall into the wrong hands.
I cannot emphasise enough that I have always believed that previous stories of weapons reaching the Gaza strip was indeed bullshit. I saw it as a propaganda exercise by the Gadhafi regime and its supporters to make false claims about the opposition forces. What I am discovering is that if there were any weapons that crossed any borders, then they were more than likely sold by the Daffy goons.
Even in Tripoli, the opposition, i.e. those in the secret ant-Gadhafi sleeping cells, purchased their weapons from ordinary soldiers. If the regime forces were so willing to sell their weapons in this manner, what are the odds that they had also sold weapons on the black market – weapons that have no doubted ended up in the hands of Islamists in the Maghreb? In my view, I think that this is a more likely scenario.
There is consternation because the man who is now in charge of the forces in Tripoli was a man who had been captured by the CIA-MI6 and who had been tortured during the period when Mussa Kussa was the security minister. The man has stated that he does not support the ideals of Al Qaeda and that he had wanted to get rid of Gadhafi (I believe him). I have yet to learn more about how this man conducted himself during his military campaign, coming as he did from the western mountains and into Tripoli via Zawiyah. I am interested in learning more about the possible atrocities during that campaign.
Here is my take on some of those complaints: Yes, there were people killed in a blood-curdling way. What is not clear is whether the killers were from the opposition or they were killed by departing Gadhafi goons. I have indeed heard of some revenge taking place in one town where the opposition forces had entered the town and welcomed, and then townspeople invited the regime forces to return. This kind of thing is unfortunate, and it is a problem, but war does not necessarily conform to rules of engagement. People will always act in a self-interested way.
The majority of the atrocities have been committed by the regime. The siege of Misrata is an example of the atrocities, but what was even worse, I think, is the atrocities discovered in Tripoli, where prisoners could not escape the impact of hand grenades, and bullets to the head, or from the charred smouldering ruins of the fires that killed them. There is some question about how many people have disappeared since there are about 50,000 people who are still missing, and only 11,000 prisoners who have been freed.
Some people are concerned about the Africans, and there were murmurings about racism because of the mercenaries. Whilst I agree that it is a problem, I have another question: are those Africans telling the whole truth? Are they in fact supporters of the regime who are telling a story to garner sympathy for the regime? I think it is a valid question because the Gadhafi regime had been extremely brutal, and some of these stories do not make sense, unless the people telling their tales are lying. There is always the possibility that a rogue few have indeed committed some kind of act of revenge because no one is perfect.
In the long term we will know the truth about these things, but in the meantime I am less than inclined to take a lot of those stories at face value. I want to see the real evidence, not something that is manfuctured.
Please note: I have not addressed the continuing conflict in Syria even though I remain deeply concerned about the human rights abuses that have been taking place in that country. Once Libya is settled, with the capture of Gadhafi and his sons, then I will shift focus once more to the atrocities that are taking place in Syria.