This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The rebels advance; Gaddafi forces fall back. Gaddafi forces advance; the rebels fall back. This to and fro has been going on for months now without any definitive sign this stalemate is ever going to end. Great claims come from both camps but the reality is that any progress for either side is almost imperceptible. NATO does it stuff and news reports show a lot of fireworks but Tripoli remains in Gaddafi’s hands. Periodically the big man himself shows up on TV or on radio to taunt everyone that he’s still around.
Recently there have been a number of reports of NATO bombings that have supposedly caused civilian deaths. Of course, the reporting of these deaths is the Gaddafi side of the equation so the reports are suspect. Nevertheless the interpretation of a carefully crafted statement from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was considered a subtle admonishment of Western forces about their mandate to protect civilians being undermined by these attacks on military targets. NATO bombed Al-Jamahiriya, the state television station, on July 30 and destroyed three satellite dishes claiming the Gaddafi regime was using it to disseminate propaganda. Afterwards Libyan media said that three journalists were killed in the attack and 15 injured then some western organizations like UNESCO then took Libyan casualty claims at face value. NATO reiterated that it targeted only the satellite dishes and was unaware of any causality at all.
On Monday, August 8 NATO warplanes hit targets in the area of Zlitan. The Gaddafi government is now claiming that 85 people were killed. Unfortunately with foreign journalists severely restricted in the country or banned altogether, it is next to impossible to confirm anything the regime says.
Al Jazeera has reported that Libyans fleeing the capital are saying that the Gaddafi regime is crumbling. These citizens tell stories of how living conditions in Tripoli have been deteriorating with food and fuel in short supply. Electricity in the city has been erratic. The news outlet goes on to say that these people feel it is only a matter of time before the Gaddafi government falls from within.
However anyone doing a Google search on the words “gaddafi regime is crumbling” will discover these words cropping up in a number of online articles, some dating back as far as February 2011. There is a well known quotation from Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Returning to the description of the Libyan situation as a stalemate in the beginning of this article, one would reserve judgement on any report of the fall of the Gaddafi regime until which time as the flag of the National Transitional Council is flying over Tripoli. For the moment, it would seem the chances of that happening are greatly exaggerated.
Confirmation of no end in sight
Reuters reported on the capture of an intel officer from the Gaddafi regime. Brigadier-General Al-Hadi al-Ujaili, who described himself as a member of Libya’s intelligence service, was arrested while driving from Tripoli to the town of Nasr, which rebels say they have taken.
Reuters was allowed to interview Ujaili and he painted a surprising picture of the leader. Yes, Gaddafi is under attack but his hold on power is still sure and he is not in any imminent danger of being toppled anytime soon. Why? Gaddafi still has the support of key tribes and because of that support, Gaddafi is still strong. Despite the economic sanctions, despite the NATO bombing campaign, Tripoli for the most part remains stable and while there is some opposition to Gaddafi, he is still safe. It would seem that reports of Gaddafi’s regime crumbling are greatly exaggerated.
Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Aug 12, 2011
Fleeing Libyans say Gaddafi regime crumbling
Libya’s rebel fighters have been making advances in the west of the country in their push towards Tripoli. Dozens of civilians have fled the Libyan capital, saying living conditions in the city have been deteriorating. They say food and fuel are in short supply and electricity has been erratic. Many of them they say it is only a matter of time before the government of Muammar Gaddafi falls from within.
Uploaded by telegraphtv on Aug 12, 2011
British Apache helicopters strike Libya
Gun camera video from the MoD shows British Army Apache helicopters involved in a series of strikes on Gaddafi’s military facilities.
Click HERE to read more from William Belle
Article viewed at: Oye! Times at www.oyetimes.com