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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:02 AM   #1
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Khadafi (however the hell his name is spelled) is a certifiable whacko, and a brutal dictator. His fall from power is in slow motion, it seems, but he cannot keep up the charade indefinitely.

Libyan loyalists celebrate Muammar Gaddafi's phoney triumphs

Gunshots in Tripoli as Gaddafi's regime claims to have taken backseveral cities that are still under opposition control

Peter Beaumont in Tripoli

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 March 2011 17.00 GMT

In Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Libya, when the little lies aren't working anymore, then it is time to roll out the bigger untruths. On Sunday, the regime effectively claimed to have won the war against the rebels trying to dislodge it.

For those who remain loyal to Gaddafi it was the signal to swamp the streets of Libya's capital Tripoli firing their weapons in the morning air.

Zawiyah, to the west of the capital, and Misrata, down the coast to the east, had fallen, said state television. Ras Lanuf was under government control. A government minder told the Guardian that Tobruk had fallen to forces loyal to Gaddafi. The opposition's de facto capital Benghazi, some insisted, was surrounded.

Challenged about the truthfulness of Tobruk's "fall" the minder did not look embarrassed. Rather he looked baffled that anyone could not believe the assertion.

But on Sunday, parts of Zawiyah, 30 miles west of Tripoli and the most vulnerable of the opposition-held cities, were still under opposition control. Neither had Ras Lanuf, Misrata or Tobruk been taken.

The gunfire began just before dawn. It sounded like combat at first – and in the world of smoke and mirrors that is Tripoli it might have been. Within an hour or so it had morphed into shots of celebration.

As the government reports reached Tripoli's Green Square, itwas transformed into an outdoor celebration of the regime by members of the security forces with their guns and families. Even some of the children had been given guns to play with.

Sitting on top of one car were two small boys, one dressed in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit fondling a revolver. His brother – a little bigger than him – had been given an AKM assault rifle, his small fingers barely reaching around the stock of the weapon.

There were old men with guns, teenagers with guns, women with guns, soldiers with guns and men in plain clothes with guns, all of them firing in the air.

One man in the square who spoke to journalists and said that he worked for the government declared: "We have beaten all of the enemy. You have to know we support our leader. Everyone here is for Muammar Gaddafi."

He would not give his name or profession but was seen later driving across the square in a white four-wheel drive with a uniformed man sitting by his side.

Another young man, who said he was a student, claimed they had beaten "al-Qaida" in Zawiyah, but when challenged by reporters who said they had seen no Islamists in the town, he claimed that al-Qaida was directing the operations in the background "by mobile phone".

In one of the celebratory traffic jams, conveniently placed outside the Rixos hotel where most of the international media are staying, one young man was honking his horn and waving a green flag.

Asked what he was celebrating, he replied: "Victory." Pressed for details, he admitted he had no idea which towns had fallen.

"These are celebrations because government forces have taken control of all areas to Benghazi and are in the process of taking control of Benghazi," Mussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said, referring to Libya's rebel-controlled second largest city, 400 miles east.

"I assure you ... there is no fighting going on in Tripoli. Everything is safe. Tripoli is 100% under control. What you are hearing is celebratory fireworks. People are in the streets, dancing in the square," said Ibrahim. But he added: "I would like to advise not to go there for your safety."

The Libyan deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, had told reporters late on Saturday that Zawiyah was quiet and peaceful. "We hope by tomorrow morning life will be back to normal."

But even within the regime the big lie could not be sustained– as officials contradicted themselves and state television.

Another spokesman, Abdul Majid Al Dursi, later denied that the towns of Tobruk, Brega, and Misrata had fallen, although he said the government was close to retaking Misrata, where government and opposition forces have been fighting for the airbase.

The reality is that the government had not retaken Zawiyahat the time of writing – areas of the city are still in the hands of the opposition forces, who have held off better armed and more numerous opponents.

All of which begs the question of the purpose of Sunday's display.

One theory is that it was designed to bolster the morale of the security forces who are being asked to fire on fellow Libyans – to show them, ahead of any real victories, what victory might look like and how grateful the regime and its supporters will be.

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Old March 6th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #2
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My, my, I love our anti-war party, the one that balances out the pro-life people who support bombing brown people who are already born.....


U.S. Senators call for no-fly zone over Libya

By The Associated Press

The U.S. and its allies should plan for a no-fly zone over Libya and consider bombing the country's airports and runways, but they should take no action unless there is an international agreement, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and other lawmakers continued a drumbeat for military action in Libya, in the face of reluctance from the White House and U.S. defense officials, who argue that taking out Libya's air defenses would be tantamount to going to war..

More here: http://www.haaretz.com/news/internat...libya-1.347514

Amazing how easily Dems can add warfare to their ongoing welfare agenda.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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Not everybody is buying into yet another US military involvement.


Daley: No-Fly Zone Proponents Think It's a Video Game

Published March 06, 2011



WASHINGTON -- As several U.S. lawmakers push the Obama administration to craft plans for a no-fly zone around Libya, President Obama's chief of staff suggested Sunday those calling for U.S. military intervention don't know what they're talking about.

Pressed on U.S. contingency planning in light of a growing armed rebellion against Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley would neither commit to a no-fly zone nor describe Libya as a vital U.S. security interest.

"Lots of people throw around phrases of 'no-fly zone' and they talk about it as though it's just a game, a video game or something. Some people who throw that line out have no idea what they're talking about," Daley said, without indicating whom he meant.

U.S. defense officials argue that setting up a no-fly zone would mean removing Libya's air defenses, a move tantamount to war. On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate panel that the overall military effort of a no-fly zone would require more airplanes than are available from a single American aircraft carrier, though the Pentagon could arrange it if President Obama ordered it.

"Bob Gates understands the difficulty of going to war," Daley said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "This is a man who spent almost his entire life working for the government. He knows the difficulty of war and the challenges as does (Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman) Admiral (Mike) Mullen. So when people comment on military action most of them have no idea what they're talking about."

But on separate programs, two senators with longtime military and foreign affairs credentials said it's time for the U.S. to make a move and not sit back as Qaddafi's loyalist forces use helicopters and ground fire to stop rebels seeking to overthrow his dictatorship.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S., in conjunction with its allies, could put into place all the trappings of a no-fly zone and then wait to see whether Qaddafi tries to massacre his people or the global community decides it needs to intervene.

"The last thing we want to think about is any kind of military intervention. And I don't consider the fly-zone stepping over that line. We don't want troops on the ground," Kerry said.

But, he added, "One could crater the airports and the runways and leave them incapable of using them for a period of time. I don't think this is going to be a long-term kind of thing, frankly. That's just my judgment. ... It's not a very big air force. We're not talking about, you know, this gargantuan kind of force that we face."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed that sending in ground troops would be an inappropriate display by the U.S., but implementing a no-fly zone would not be difficult because Libya's air defenses "are somewhat antiquated."

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," McCain said it would send a signal to the embattled Qaddafi "that the president is serious when he says we need for Qaddafi to go. And also, it would be encouraging to the resistance, who are certainly outgunned from the air."

Kerry said he believes getting Qaddafi out is a vital national security interest for the U.S. because the ability for the Middle East to have emerging democracies without heavy U.S. interference could cast the War on Terror in a whole new light.

"If these countries do reform and they do give greater voice to their people and there is greater opportunity -- economic opportunity, and people are enfranchised as a result ... that is of enormous consequence to all of us with respect to relationships in the Mideast, to the War on Terror as we have known it, and as it might be defined in the future," Kerry said.

The U.S. is providing humanitarian aid through its military while the U.N. and U.S. imposed an arms embargo on Libya and froze billions in the country's foreign assets. McCain said the U.S. could provide the rebel force with intelligence, training and other assistance to help them form a provisional government in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz1FsgGm9Ke
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