Monday, March 28, 2011

Libyan rebels make major advances

The map showing Gadhafi and rebel held towns and cities has certainly changed over the last couple of days. The coalition (now NATO) forces have neutralized much of Gadhafi's firepower, however he still has enough left to continue the attacks on civilians for several weeks yet.  As is so typical of the rebel forces, they are getting ahead of themselves, assuring journalists that they will take Sirt in a day or so and Tripoli next.  Without the NATO forces, they won't move so much as an inch.  Their supply lines are stretched thin, and they simply don't seem capable of planning a strategic attack.  They are either wildly chasing down the road after retreating Gadhafi forces, or they are ducking for cover and running back eastward to Benghazi pleading for more NATO strikes.

Meanwhile the scene in Tripoli gets very strange indeed.  
  • A day ago a woman burst into the hotel which houses the foreign press.  She told a story of being held hostage at a Gadhafi complex and being raped through tearful eyes as she was dragged off by Gadhafi security forces. Later, her mother allegedly reported the family was offered money to shut up. Another news story report that the Libyan government later said she had been released, but her parents told al-Jazeera TV that their daughter was still being detained. Who knows what really happened?
  • Libya's foreign minister announces a ceasefire in Misrata while actively shelling and bombing continues in that city. 
  • Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi alleged that France’s President Sarkozy owed his election to Libyan funding in an exclusive interview with euronews.
  • In the evening when dark settles over the city, people rush to their rooftops and the men whistle.  This isn't just a few men...this is heard all over the city.  Is it nervousness at the recent bombing runs on the city, or is it a subtle form of protest against the Gadhafi regime?
  • In support of Gadhafi claims of civilian casualties due to the bombing runs by NATO forces, it appears the regime is staging mock funerals for the benefit of the foreign press.  Civilians brave enough to talk say "They are making a mockery out of death... this is like an inferior version of Hollywood. It's Lollywood!"

No comments: