…some fighters were shouting ‘Down with NATO’ on the road from Brega to Ajdabiya

on 20 Comments

Libyan opposition needs better weapons

and other news from the Arab uprisings:
After a Grumble, NATO Apologizes for Airstrike
That first mistake was brushed off by the rebels, but this one set off outrage among the troops, with some fighters shouting “Down With NATO” along the road from Brega to Ajdabiya, The Associated Press reported.

Prospects fade for military overthrow of Gaddafi
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libyan government forces tried to storm into the besieged city of Misrata on Friday as NATO generals acknowledged their air power was not enough to help insurgents remove Muammar Gaddafi by force alone. Misrata, a lone rebel outpost in the west of the country, has been under siege by Gaddafi’s forces for weeks. On Friday insurgents said government troops were advancing into eastern districts and fighting street battles with rebels.

Gaddafi troops attack Misrata’s eastern flank
BEIRUT, April 8 (Reuters) – Libyan government troops advanced on Misrata’s eastern districts on Friday, triggering street-battles with rebels in the coastal city that forced residents to flee the area, a rebel spokesman said. “They tried to advance and enter the city from the eastern side, from an area called Eqseer which is a populated area. The rebels confronted them and clashes are continuing,” insurgent spokesman Hassan al-Misrati told Reuters.

Libyan rebels fight govt snipers in Misrata
TUNIS, April 7 (Reuters) – Libyan rebels fought with government snipers in the besieged city of Misrata on Thursday and managed to push some back from their positions near the centre, a political activist said. Mohamad Jaber said fighting had been on and off and that NATO planes had appeared over the city.

Misrata residents shelter from mortars
ALGIERS/BEIRUT: People in the Libyan city of Misrata are crammed five families to a house in the few safe districts to try to escape mortars raining down from government forces, a rebel spokesman said Thursday. Troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have mounted mortars on rooftops, allowing them to extend their range into almost every part of the city, said the rebels.

Gaddafi’s weapons bunker in eastern Libyan desert
Libya’s rebel movement believes Muammar Gaddafi has stashed weapons in bunkers in the desert, allowing him to pose a threat to coastal cities in eastern Libya. Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton has been looking at an abandoned Libyan forces’ ammunition dump near the eastern port city of Tobruk. (07 April 2011)

Nato refuses Libya strike apology
Nato refuses to apologise for an air strike that hit anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya, saying it had not been aware rebels had tanks.

Nato ‘in Libya rebel hit apology’
Libya’s rebel commander says Nato has apologised for mistakenly carrying out a deadly air strike on a column of rebel tanks in the east of the country.

Libya stalemate appears to be emerging -US general
WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – A stalemate appears to be emerging in Libya between rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday. “I would agree with that at present on the ground,” said General Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, when asked at Senate hearing whether he believed there was a stalemate or an emerging stalemate in Libya.

Turkey working on ‘roadmap’ to end Libya war
Prime minister says talks being held for ceasefire which would include withdrawal of Gaddafi’s forces from some cities.

Libyan rebel rejects any talks with Gaddafi
BENGHAZI, Libya, April 7 (Reuters) – A Libyan rebel spokesman, responding to a Turkish effort to negotiate a ceasefire, said on Thursday the rebels rejected talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and demanded he leave power. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Turkey was working on a “road map” to end the war in Libya which would include a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Gaddafi’s forces from some cities. Turkey has held talks with envoys from Gaddafi’s government and representatives of the opposition.

Media watchdog slams Libya’s deportation of foreign reporters
PARIS: Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders condemned Thursday the Libyan government’s expulsion of 26 foreign journalists. The Paris-based group said the journalists had been invited to the Libyan capital by embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi but were thrown out Thursday “on the grounds that their visas had expired.”

Iman al-Obeidi, Libya Woman Claiming Rape, Gives First On-Camera Interview To CNN (VIDEO)
Libyan Iman al-Obeidi, who says she was raped by Gaddafi forces, says she is grateful for the international sympathy her case has received after footage of her being tackled by government minders after alerting journalists in Tripoli was broadcast almost two weeks ago. “The world has felt for me, especially women, because I was raped and kidnapped,” al-Obeidi tells CNN’s Nic Robertson in her first on-camera interview. “I would like to thank for everyone in the world who stood [by] me and monitored my case, and felt sympathetic to my plight.” Though she appears to be recovering, al-Obeidi also recalled horrific details of her ordeal. “I was brutally tortured, to the point of them entering weapons inside of me,” she said. “After two days, they would also pour alcohol in my eyes.”

Moussa Koussa, Libyan Foreign Minister, Questioned By Scottish Police Over Lockerbie
LONDON (Reuters) – Scottish police interviewed defecting Libyan foreign minister Moussa Koussa on Thursday over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Scottish prosecutors said. U.S and Scottish authorities hope Koussa, Libya’s former spy chief, will provide vital military and diplomatic intelligence on the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Omar Fathi Bin Shatwan, Libya’s Former Energy Minister, Flees To Malta
LONDON — Libya’s former-energy minister said Wednesday that several members of Moammar Gadhafi’s inner circle want to defect, but many are too scared to abandon the dictator fearing the safety of themselves and their families. Omar Fathi bin Shatwan, who also served as industry minister, told the Associated Press that he had fled by fishing boat to Malta on Friday from the western Libyan city of Misrata.

US mulls humanitarian uses for Libyan assets-official
WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) – Some of the $34 billion in Libyan government assets now frozen by the United States could be used to pay costs for humanitarian needs in the North African country, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Thursday.

ICRC vessel bound for Libyan city of Misrata
GENEVA, April 8 (Reuters) – A Red Cross-chartered humanitarian vessel is expected to arrive in the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata within 24 hours, the humanitarian agency said on Friday. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman Christian Cardon declined to give details on relief items carried by the ship which left the eastern city of Benghazi.

Situation remains fluid in Libya fighting
NATO’s latest air strike in the eastern Libyan town of Brega that killed at least five people — the second such incident — has raised doubts in the minds of many, who wonder whether it was really a mistake. At the same time, rebel fighters who criticised NATO’s mission failure to protect civilians in Misurata, do realise that they cannot win the battle against the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, alone. Thousands of civilians have also begun to flee intense fighting particularly in the coastal areas between Brega and Ajdabiya, further east. Al Jazeera’s Gerald Tan reports. (07 April 2011)

Military Analysis: Libyan Rebels Don’t Really Add Up to an Army
Many of the fighters are brave, but by almost all measures by which a military might be assessed, they are a hapless bunch.

Turkey’s “benevolent” role in Libya sparks some resentment
Turkey has become the latest in a line of countries to offer a plan to bring about a negotiated end to the conflict in Libya. But despite its humanitarian efforts to aid civilians under the guns of the Gaddafi regime, Turkey has angered opposition forces in the east by appearing to put a brake on NATO’s military efforts. Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught reports from Tripoli.

Intervention lite isn’t working in Libya
Wanted: Accommodation for a soon-to-be-retired dictator. Will live in a tent, but must provide enough room for female bodyguards and occasional pop concerts by international superstars such as Beyonce and Mariah Carey.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is his father’s son | Alaa al-Ameri
Any idea that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his brothers might lead Libya to democracy flies in the face of their brutal record. We will rule you or we will kill you. This was in essence the threat issued by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in his first public address after the February demonstrations that sparked the Libyan revolution. In past years, I was one of the many who had fallen for the fiction that Saif al-Islam was a genuine reformer, albeit one held back by his father’s old guard. Many Libyans felt that a slow, imperfect yet peaceful transition under him was preferable to bloodshed and chaos. But within the first few minutes of his speech on 21 February, it became clear just how deluded we had been. The mask had come off.

Defiant Saleh rejects Gulf mediation offer
Embattled president denounces “blatant interference” in Yemeni affairs in speech to supporters amid protests in Sanaa.

Inside story: Power change in Yemen
There is mounting pressure for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to go before the end of year elections. Inside Story with Kamahl Sanatamaria discusses with: Shiraz Maher, a senior fellow at the centre for the study of radicalization at King’s college London; and Hakim Almasmari, Editor in Chief of the Yemen post. This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, April 6, 2011.


Fresh protests erupt in Syria
At least seven deaths reported in southern town of Daraa as demonstrations are held in several cities.

Syrian leader seeks to calm Kurdish unrest
As minority Kurds join the pro-democracy movement, President Bashar Assad announces that the long suppressed community in the northeast will be given citizenship rights. Syrian President Bashar Assad made new concessions Thursday to the country’s minority Kurdish population after some members joined pro-democracy demonstrators, threatening to create a new flank in Assad’s political crisis.

Human Rights Watch Bahrain: State of Fear Prevails With Arbitrary Detentions, Pre-Dawn Raids
(Manama) – Arbitrary detention appears rampant under Bahrain’s state of emergency, with numerous cases in which authorities have abused people they detained or stopped, Human Rights Watch said today. Bahrain should account for everyone who has been detained and free those arbitrarily arrested following recent public protests, Human Rights Watch said.

Crown prince “no leniency” on threats to Bahrain (Reuters)
Reuters – Bahrain’s crown prince said he was committed to reform but warned there would be “no leniency” for those who tried to divide the kingdom, where weeks of protests were quashed by a fierce security crackdown.

Medical charity condemns Bahrain hospital abuse (AP)
AP – An international humanitarian organization said Thursday that Bahraini authorities turned hospitals into “places to be feared” during a deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters in the Gulf country.

Ahlulbayt TV and Press TV, “Bahraini Monarchy and Its Allies Destroying Mosques”
Numerous mosques in Bahrain have been torched, vandalized, and demolished by the oppressive, sectarian Bahraini monarchy and its allies.

We must fear authoritarian violence and Western interventions
The focal point of the Arab Spring has shifted from the successful uprisings of Tunisia and Egypt to the bleak developments in Bahrain and Libya. As the military forces of the U.K., France, and the U.S. take “all necessary measures” to topple the Gadhafi regime, troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council Peninsula Shield Force continue to “stabilize” the al-Khalifa regime

Saudi Shi’ites protest anew at Bahrain intervention
RIYADH, April 8 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Saudi Shi’ites protested in the kingdom’s oil-producing east on Friday seeking the withdrawal of Saudi troops from neighbouring Bahrain and political rights and freedoms at home, demonstrators said. The peaceful protests, with riot police nowhere to be seen, were held in the main Shi’ite Muslim centre of Qatif, where demonstrators, some of them women, waved Bahraini as well as Saudi flags. Others gathered in the nearby village of Awamiya.

Foreigners in Iran Support Bahrain Protests
Non-Iranian religious students from the city of Qom demonstrated Friday morning in support of Shiite protesters in Bahrain.

Egypt protesters demand Mubarak trial
Thousands gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, calling for prosecution of the ousted president and his regime.

Egyptians are Back in Tahrir Square to Block a Counter Revolution
The world still recalls those thousands of Egyptians protesting in Tahrir square at the heart of Cairo in one of the most inspiring scenes of the human quest for freedom and democracy in modern times. It was wonderful to watch those magical moments where power of the people powerfully came into effect, but for some it was equally worrying as they contemplated on what would come next. The West has expressed serious concerns about the probability of Islamists rising to power. Those were legitimate concerns, since the threat and fear of Islamists has been the phobia haunting the west since 9/11 – the greatest false flag operations of all time.

Egypt’s youth leaders vow continued protests
Between a reluctant military still in power and religious parties gaining steam, upcoming elections in Egypt are murky.

Cairo crowds demand army crackdown on corruption
CAIRO, April 8 (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested in Cairo on Friday demanding the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak and accusing the military of being too slow to root out corruption from his era. “Oh Field Marshal, we’ve been very patient!” chanted some of the demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square, the hub of the protests that toppled Mubarak from the presidency and left the army, led by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, in charge.

Other Mideast
Sadr Front stages protest against US Forces in Iraq
Iraq’s Sadr Front called for demonstrations on April 9 without revealing the location of rallies for security reasons, Sadr leaders said. The year 2011 is the year of US Forces withdrawal from Iraq which Sadrists believe is the year of Iraq’s independence, a source told Alsumaria.

Jordanian man sets himself on fire
Man is in critical condition with third-degree burns after burning himself outside prime minister’s office in Amman.


20 Responses

  1. Walid
    April 8, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Seham, there’s more to what’s happening in Libya concerning NATO than meets the eye. Earlier today, Bandolero on another thread posted a link to an article describing how the Egyptian military has been arming the Libyan insurgents, so there’s something a bit smelly in the NYT article saying the rebels are asking for more arms and the other part that has NATO “erroneously” bombing the insurgent positions twice in a week

    Stay focussed on the West’s ulimate goal for Libya; it’s the splitting of the country into 2 states, one controlled by fruitcake Gaddafi and the other by the wild-eyed and uncontrollable insurgents. Rice’s new Middle East is finally starting to take shape.

    You are not hearing about today’s riots in 4 Syrian cities with the Kurds involved in one of them. About 4 dead and many seriously injured. Some people in Washington must be putting in lots of overtime.

    • Walid
      April 8, 2011, 2:04 pm

      Sorry Seham; just saw your 2 articles on Syria.

      • Seham
        April 8, 2011, 2:18 pm

        I would have included the news about all the deaths in Deraa but I saw those items after I had submitted and my list was approved. They will be in the next one.

  2. Seham
    April 8, 2011, 2:15 pm

    Walid, I have zero faith in what motivates Nato but I do have some hope that the Libyan opposition will tell them to beat it once Qadhafi is out of power along with his shitty sons. To be honest, I am put off by all that Bandolero posts and don’t read his comments or his links because of his repeated use of vile propaganda against Libyan opposition, i.e., repeatedly painting them as racist thugs and questioning whether Iman was raped, etc. I’m not as naive as people (not accusing you but others that have left comments) think I am regarding what is happening in Libya but despite what all my reservations are about the West and their dubious motivations I still think that one can support the resistance to Qadhafi by the opposition AND be skeptical and question all that Nato is doing. But me personally, I couldn’t make the decision to say that the Nato should pack and leave and leave the people in the East to fend for themselves against Qadhafi. He’d kill them, we know this. So I hear all that you are saying and I pretty much agree with everything that you and other reasonable Arabs (that actually care about what happens to Libyans and aren’t looking to malign them just to scare a point against imperialism) but despite all that I am still looking for an alternative instead of slogans and so far all the anti-interventionists have not offered any solutions on how to get rid of Qadhafi.

    About Syria, I am hearing a lot about the protests, I did see all the news after I submitted my news list this morning but I am also watching and hoping that Bashar continues to make real concessions and reforms. Giving citizenship to Kurds was a first good step, making some concessions to Islamists was ok, this should continue.

    I am sure Obama hates Arabs right now for rising up during his time in office. So what. I hate Obama too.

    • annie
      April 8, 2011, 2:26 pm

      seham, i do support the resistance to Qadhafi by the opposition.

    • ToivoS
      April 8, 2011, 5:57 pm

      Being naive is not the worst thing in the world. It does, on occasion, have its advantages in that it leads to positive action that a more pragmatic approach avoids.

      In this case when we were debating the no-fly-zone I thought the chances of a positive outcome were probably less than 20% but today I would say less than 1%. (if those first attacks had succeeded in killing Khadaffi some good may have resulted, but now he is deep underground and popular with his tribes).

      Just to critique this one statement of Seham’s: But me personally, I couldn’t make the decision to say that the Nato should pack and leave and leave the people in the East to fend for themselves against Qadhafi. He’d kill them, we know this.

      Well once you let the wolf in the house, it is up to the wolf to leave, not you or even the “opposition” will make that decision. You defend this action with “he’d kill them we know this” without acknowledging that many more people will likely die as a result of civil war and continued Nato air war. You still hear people defending our removal of Sadam in Iraq because he killed thousands of his own citizens over the decads, yet we ended up killing a million Iraqis to accomplish that goal.

      I would like to see a successful people’s revolution in Libya, but it will not come with a political alliance with the imperialist powers. If your goal is a Western oriented democracy comfortable with international corporate infiltration then perhaps the costs for that revolution are worth it.

      I recommend Vijay Prashad, he seems to know who the players are in Libya, his latest:

      link to counterpunch.org

      • Seham
        April 8, 2011, 6:54 pm

        Tovio, I hear what you are saying too. And this almost feels too morbid to type but if Libyans will die regardless… and they want Nato interference… then who are we to tell them to die at the hands of Qadhafi instead?

      • ToivoS
        April 8, 2011, 8:04 pm

        We are seeing a growing civil war. The forces that are now leading the opposition can hardly be called “revolutionaries’ right now. (The Vijay article I link to and an earlier one is making that case. Also the Angry Arab has some opinions on the current leadership).

        OK it is looking more and more like a civil war. I thought outsiders that supported the civil wars in N. Ireland, in Lebanon and in Yugoslavia were acting immorally. This is coloring my reaction now more and more in this Libyan war.

      • Seham
        April 8, 2011, 9:41 pm


        It’s a little unfair to the people responsible for starting the uprising in Libya to say that there are no revolutionary figures in the opposition just because of who defected and joined them later.

        Knowing what I know, I can’t imagine ever being OK with the U.S. intervening on my “behalf.” At the same time it seems unjust to be too hard on Libyans that were feeling threatened by a madman pointing all his guns towards them simply because they accepted help from figures they recognized as more powerful who promised to organize and keep them safe.

        I wouldn’t necessarily call this a civil war, it looks more like attacks on decent Libyans by people being paid to fight for Qadhafi. I don’t believe that any of Qadhafi’s forces are fighting for ideological reasons .

        I read Angry daily and don’t agree with all he says about Libya. I don’t mind when he goes after Nato and agree with all that he says about Western intentions and the hypocrisy of the Arab nations that chose to intervene but it does bug me when I read attacks on the opposition in Libya, because I don’t have very many criticisms of them, yet.

        Also, I am not trying to sell anyone on the idea that Western intervention or Nato is a good thing. I agree with every criticism I have heard to date, it’s just that I am not hearing any solutions of what else might have worked. Libyans thought they could fight, they couldn’t organize very well or fight very effectively and Qadhafi definitely was going to slaughter them for that. It’s just hard to sit back and watch that happen and not want to try to do anything to save them.

      • annie
        April 8, 2011, 10:48 pm

        i agree with you seham that it is very hard to sit back and do nothing. i wished some african nations had joined forces and helped them out. it’s a tough situation to be in, very tough. i’m on pins and needles with the whole thing, very worried. i’m very ready for it to be over and for the opposition to be in charge and nato to pull out.

      • Chaos4700
        April 9, 2011, 12:35 am

        For what it’s worth, I do believe someone should intervene to stop Qadhafi. I do not trust the US government to do so responsibly, let alone without insincere motives (“can i haz oil plz?”) And I certainly don’t trust the US military anymore to not kill innocent civilians if they happen to get in the way of the US agenda. I haven’t since Fallujah and I should have been mistrustful a lot earlier.

      • RoHa
        April 9, 2011, 2:54 am

        Turkey seems to be trying to fix up some sort of deal. Given recent history, I would think that a Turkish deal would be better for the Libyans than a US/British?French deal.

    • RoHa
      April 9, 2011, 2:00 am

      “I am put off by all that Bandolero posts ”

      Me too, but largely because his position seems to be that Libyans should put up with Qadhaafi because Qadhaafi was nice to some people outside Libya.

  3. Walid
    April 8, 2011, 4:18 pm

    I get the feeling that the US just wants to clip Gaddafi’s wings, not get rid of him totally, somewhat like what Bush Sr did when he left Saddam in place to act as a counterbalance to the Iranians. A couple of articles are starting to spoonfeed us that Gaddafi isn’t going away. Libya is heading towards a 2-state split and Gaddafi will be happy with half the cake and so will the US.

  4. thetumta
    April 8, 2011, 8:22 pm

    Replace Gaddafi with whom? Or is this just a distraction from more pressing matters?

    link to 3.bp.blogspot.com

    From what I’ve seen these guys don’t need weapons, they need Sergeants! Now, who do think will end up supplying them. If we’re going to steal their oil and gas it might be worth it. How else do you get a return out of the Military-Industrial complex? Otherwise, we need to put an end to this subterfuge. Or wait for the world economy to do it for you.

  5. mig
    April 9, 2011, 6:45 am

    I have a bad hunch about this Libya “revolution”. We will see later, when and if they succeed.

    Follow this, after revolution is settled, will big foreign oilcompanys have a ccess to Libya oilfields.

    There is something in the air, hope i am wrong….

  6. Citizen
    April 9, 2011, 10:21 am

    Nothing about the Syrian uprisings on my TV news…

  7. Citizen
    April 9, 2011, 10:29 am

    Risk of supplying small arms to Libya rebels: link to funonthenet.in

    • annie
      April 9, 2011, 11:09 am

      SPECIAL REPORT – How Libya is a showcase in the new arms race

      As soon as an aircraft or weapon is used on operational deployment, that instantly becomes a major marketing ploy; it becomes ‘proven in combat’,” says a former defence export official with a NATO country, speaking on condition of anonymity about the sensitive subject.


      “Battle-testing is something often referred to by the arms industry as an important factor for promoting their wares to export customers,” says Paul Holtom, director of the Arms Transfers Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

      A ‘hot war’ gives arms buyers a chance to cut through marketing jargon and check claims are justified. “Everyone is looking at Libya. It is definitely a showcase,” one western defence company official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. A Dassault executive, who did not want to be named, said the Rafale had been “combat-proven” since being deployed in Afghanistan in 2007.

      ……..according to industry executives, prospective buyers will be hungry for detailed information on reliability, the ability of aircraft to operate seamlessly with other forces or systems and the ability of operational squadrons to generate high sortie rates for the minimum amount of repair.

      it’s certainly a different perspective on the no fly zone, like a big testing ground for arms dealers.

      The deal of the moment: India’s plan to buy 126 fighter jets, an order which should be worth an estimated $10 billion. Reliability, say industry experts, is likely to be key to winning the exports.

      Four of the six companies in the running to sell New Delhi planes – Dassault’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon , Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and Boeing’s F/A-18 – have already helped enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. A fifth contender, the Saab Gripen, arrived in Sicily at the weekend, ready to take part in the first air combat action by the Swedish air force in decades…….U.S. diplomatic cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by Reuters, detail repeated efforts by U.S. diplomats to drum up high-level political support for fighter jet and other sales — efforts which according to defence industry sources are matched by intense lobbying by France Britain, Russia and others. One cable, from around the time of the 2009 Libya air show, comes from the U.S. embassy in New Delhi which recounted how India, once a major Soviet arms buyer, was warming to the idea of U.S. weapons thanks to their proven combat capability.

      i rec the link. after all these countries sold their news merchandise to libya they’re sitting back and watching how they perform. creepy.

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