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A Libyan Leader at War With Rebels, and Reality


World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', civil war, conflict, corruption, crime, death, freedoms, government, Libya, lies, middle-east, politics, Refugees&Relief, terrorism, violence )

Kit
- 1135 days ago - nytimes.com
Few of the claims by the Libyan state media lined up with the facts -- there was no decisive victory by his forces -- and the heavy firing in Tripoli on Sunday morning was never persuasively explained.



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Kit B. (276)
Monday March 7, 2011, 6:56 am
TRIPOLI, Libya — Residents here were awakened before dawn on Sunday by the sound of artillery and gunfire in the streets. When they tuned into state television broadcasts, they heard stunning news: the Libyan military had routed the rebels seeking to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The gunfire, they were told, was in celebration.

A Libyan Leader at War With Rebels, and Reality
Moises Saman for The New York Times
Hundreds of Qaddafi supporters rallied Sunday in Tripoli. “It was the best news I had ever heard,” one girl said. “We had taken the whole country back!”
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: March 6, 2011
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LinkedinDiggMixxMySpacePermalink. TRIPOLI, Libya — Residents here were awakened before dawn on Sunday by the sound of artillery and gunfire in the streets. When they tuned into state television broadcasts, they heard stunning news: the Libyan military had routed the rebels seeking to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. The gunfire, they were told, was in celebration.

Multimedia
Interactive Feature Timeline: Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.
Interactive Feature Map of How the Rebellion Is Unfolding in Libya.Related
Rebel Advance in Libya Set Back by Heavy Assault (March 7, 2011)
Military Analysis: U.S. Weighs Options, on Air and Sea (March 7, 2011)
Free of Qaddafi, a City Tries to Build a New Order (March 7, 2011)
Times Topic: Middle East Protests (2010-11)
Enlarge This Image

Lynsey Addario for The New York Times
Rebels fired at a government helicopter as they were pushed toward Ras Lanuf, Libya. Fighting was heavy all day Sunday.
“Before I turned on the television I was very worried and very scared,” said Noura al-Said, 17, a student who went to celebrate in Green Square in central Tripoli. “But it was the best news I had ever heard. We had taken the whole country back!”

But Sunday was just another day spent through the looking glass of the oil-financed and omnipresent cult of personality that Colonel Qaddafi has spent 41 years building in Libya. Few of the claims by the Libyan state media lined up with the facts — there was no decisive victory by his forces — and the heavy firing in Tripoli on Sunday morning was never persuasively explained.

But accuracy and logic have never been the tenets of Colonel Qaddafi’s governing philosophy, and their absence is especially conspicuous now, as rebels pose the greatest challenge to his four decades of enigmatic rule.

Not a day passes in Tripoli without some improbable claim by Colonel Qaddafi or the top officials around him: there are no rebels or protesters in Libya; the people who are demonstrating have been drugged by Al Qaeda; no shots have been fired to suppress dissent. In an interview broadcast on Monday with the France 24 , Col. Qaddafi called his country a partner of the West in combating Al Qaeda, insisting that loyalist forces were confronting “small groupings” and “sleeper cells” of terrorists.

He put the death toll on both sides at “some hundreds,” disputing estimates that the tally ran to several thousand.

A segment of the Libyan population appears to admire his defiant promotion of his world view, and confusion and obfuscation help explain how he keeps his rivals off balance.

Foreign news organizations were reporting, based on firsthand observations, that rebel forces were under fire but remained in control of the eastern half of the country, as well as many pockets in the west. The government’s main victory over the weekend appeared to be driving the rebels from the town of Bin Jawwad, which they had taken Saturday night. And both sides continued to prepare for a decisive battle in the Qaddafi stronghold of Surt.

But many Tripoli residents seemed happy to ignore such reports on Sunday and chose to accept Colonel Qaddafi’s narrative — that his loyalists were at the gates of the rebels’ headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, or were in control of it already, or had captured the rebels’ top leader.

For more than four hours, Qaddafi supporters fired triumphant bursts of machine gun fire into the air from cars and among crowds in the downtown area. As many as 2,000 of them waved bright green flags and bandannas — and, in many cases, guns — as they rallied in Green Square, and several hundred of the pro-Qaddafi demonstrators were still at it at sunset.

Many of the people in Green Square lashed out at the Arabic news channels Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, calling them liars that had confused and inflamed Libya’s young people. The crowd’s fist-pumping ardor was a testament to the strength of the mythology of epic heroism that Colonel Qaddafi has instilled since he seized power at the age of 27.

He did it in part by making sure that his was virtually the only voice in public life. News reports try not to refer to other top government officials, or even soccer players, by name, ensuring that Colonel Qaddafi is virtually the only public figure in Libya.

Colonel Qaddafi has also built a persona, in particular as a revolutionary still tilting at distant colonial powers, that in some ways resonates with Libyans who remember their bitter experiences under Italian rule. His personal mythology has helped him stay on top of a fractious, tribal and deeply divided society for longer than any other living leader in North Africa or the Middle East.

“He may have been mad,” said Prof. Diederick Vandewalle, of Dartmouth, a Libya specialist. “But there was certainly a method.”

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By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK for The New York Times
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday March 7, 2011, 6:58 am
"Our task isn't easy. We don't have parties, we
don't have a constitution, we don't have political
organizations, we don't have an effective civil society.
We have to create a completely new state and we have to do
it in the middle of a war and revolution." MAHMOUD
BOUSALLOUM, a graduate student and political organizer in
Libya.
 

Sue Matheson (62)
Monday March 7, 2011, 7:12 am
thanks for this post.
 

Cindy C. (125)
Monday March 7, 2011, 12:14 pm
oh dear me
 

Terry King (108)
Monday March 7, 2011, 5:24 pm
Qaddafi is the master of delusion!
 

(0)
Monday March 7, 2011, 6:29 pm
Agreed Terry King! The wardrobe, the delusions and the very buxom blonde nurse who takes very good care of him, along with the camping out in"The Donald's" backyard, you have to really wonder how he lasted this long.
 

Linda G. (187)
Monday March 7, 2011, 10:00 pm
For many in Libya, the struggle is merely to survive, to put food on the table, so there has not been an organized political movement. But hopefully, the rebels, even in chaos, will be able to topple the mad man and his regime and begin to rebuild a country that gives all a chance.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 1:25 pm
Gaddafi Agrees to Leave Libya with Conditions
ShortNews.com - ‎6 hours ago‎
Muammar Gaddafi has agreed to leave Libya if the safety of he and his family is guaranteed and it is agreed that he will not be prosecuted after his resignation. Gaddafi also wants to be able to move to the country of his choice. ...
 

Allan Yorkowitz (458)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 1:48 pm
Gaddafi is not a man to be throwing conditions around. He needs to be arrested , and tried for crimes against humanity. If this is taken in bay ANY country, he should be extradited for crimes against humanity.
It's not impossible for Lebanon, or Syria to take him in.
 

ewoud k. (73)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 2:39 pm
Without our dollars for the Libyan oil, and without the arms our governments sold to him, he wouldn't have been able do stay this long in power.

Shame on the western world.
 

William Y. (54)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 3:19 pm
War with reality. Nothing new all dictatorial a$$holes past & present are at war with reality, they believe in one god, themselves.
 

Pete M. (67)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 4:15 pm
Libya and Imperialism - by Sara Flounders

http://fubarandgrill.org/node/991
 

Nelson Baker (0)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
I wish the rebels well.
 

trina firey (9)
Tuesday March 8, 2011, 9:24 pm
Why not make up improbable claims of safety and asylum for Qaddafi, if this is what will get him to leave?
But, would he really go, even if given the chance to go securely? Quite doubtful!

These things are certain : He can never be free. He will never be safe. He shall be hunted until captured. His fate-to be tried or immediately killed-rests with the predator(s) who get him.
 

John Y. (94)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 5:12 am
Thanks for the article.
 

Barbara Erdman (63)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 6:11 pm
noted :0
 

Pam wilkerson (14)
Thursday March 10, 2011, 8:50 pm
noted thanks for infor.
 

jane richmond (10)
Tuesday May 31, 2011, 6:56 am
thanks
 
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