Fall of Tripoli 104

It seems that Gadaffi’s regime has collapsed very quickly at the end. It is difficult to be sure as yet, but it seems there may have been mercifully less further bloodshed than might have been feared. Thank goodness the NATO bombing campaign will now end.

It is plain that there is a great deal of support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion. Whether that translates into specific support for the leadership of the Transitional National Council is quite a different question. Getting rid of a bad government is difficult, but not as difficult as establishing a good one. The next few weeks will be very interesting.

The mainstream news media will move on in a few days, as it has moved on from Egypt. Not all pro-democracy demonstrators arrested under Mubarak have yet been released under the new military government there. However it is good to see anti-Israeli demonstrations are allowed. That is a major advance on the Mubarak years. NATO may yet find it equally difficult to hijack the Libyan people to their agenda.

Now of course NATO are free to move on to oust the despotic, torturing regime of Bahrain. Or not.

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104 thoughts on “Fall of Tripoli

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  • wendy

    “BBC/Sky are pure establishement propagandists in the mold of Pravda, Russians had to learn how to read pravda between the lines,”
    this is true, i dont know anyone who would think it not true.
    “One has to admit that the big powers have managed pretty well a regime change on the cheap. A brilliant move to hijack a popular revolt and getting it to adopt their agenda.”
    no they didnt hijack, sarkozy and obama/cameron had it planned 12 months ago. this wasnt a popular uprising akin to egypt but nato inspired from the start with special forces on the ground from the start to the end.
    it is nato troops and mercenaries what won it.
    “This man Mr Golding has disturbing news for us all. He is telling about the corridors of peerage power where there is a hegemony that is lying about September 11th. This is called the big lie and it is coming to us through the history channel and other channels. I think the implication is clear: Mr Golding has the real information and all the mainstream media are working for the sinister forces.”
    and yet the david kelly files are sealed for 70 years .. who said secrets cannot be kept.
    and if a variety of cells operate without direct interaction but facilitating a larger action ..only a few need to know.
    my question : a helicopter was destroyed in the claimed killing of obladen. and it was the one that landed according to reports. and no other helicopter landed. how did obladen body reach the ocean?

  • YugoLies

    Which comes first?

    i) US establishes base for AFRICOM in Libya
    ii) Libyan assets sold off dirt cheap to Western corporations
    iii) The al Quaeda members of the rebels make full use of the training received from UK ex-SAS mercenaries and weapons (including ground-air missiles) looted from Gadhafi’s military stores

    Maybe we will get a threefer

  • Ruth

    A while ago you wrote that the majority of Libyans supported Gaddafi. I was so shocked by this assertion that I said it was bizarre. I apologise for being so blunt but as my family is Libyan and I have a good knowledge of the country I found what you said quite extraordinary.
    As you didn’t believe me and wanted evidence, I decided to wait until Gaddafi fell to show you the proof. In the coming days you’ll see how much the majority of people hated him and how he abused his people.

    I agree with you totally that the West is not helping the Libyans for humanitarian reasons.

  • Jon

    @HG_Wells, hello and welcome. I’ve read a few of your posts – thought they were parody at first, apologies! But we do try to encourage everyone to discuss things in an atmosphere of respect, so please go easy on Mary and Mark. It is quite acceptable to support NATO and assert that Western powers believe in genuine humanitarianism, for example. But if you believe those things, let us know why! A discussion with reasoning is much more beneficial, I always think.
    For my money, criticising the intervention is not the same as supporting Gaddafi – a mistake that our resident troublemaker Larry St. Louis makes deliberately. I think the principle most in operation on this blog is “do least harm”, and I think it is thought (with some justification) that bombing a country will kill some of the civilians that it is advertised as saving. Bringing Libya into the “enlightened” circle of countries that have endorsed neocapitalism (see also: Iraq) will invariably worsen the inequality gap too, thus causing a fresh set of problems for generations down the line.
    However, for all the talk of “stability” that is required of Libya (i.e. amenable to selling their oil at reasonable rates) I wonder if the band of mercenaries we have chosen to support should trust us at their own risk. They may well intend to go their own way politically, at which point we will need to depose them with another war, or maybe a CIA assassination, or…
    So, I think it’s complex. I think Gaddafi is indeed mad, his socialist theory as I understand it is laudable, but ultimately incompatible with his dictatorship, which is brutal. But his replacement could equally be as awful: another dictorship, or a long period of civil war, or the introduction of Western capitalism against the wishes of the people.

  • Jon

    @All – please do not feed Larry from St. Louis (or YugoWhatever) with responses. As far as I can tell – over the very long term – he is just here to disrupt and derail. Where he has not been responded to, I’ll delete his comments, so as to keep the discussion on topic. Needless to say, constructive disagreement is always welcomed here.

  • Guest

    “I wonder if the band of mercenaries we have chosen to support should trust us at their own risk.”
    I have not heard the name Blackwater in all this, I have heard they have at least 50,000 mercenaries in various locations around the middle east. Bahrain is their HQ, I wonder if their mercenaries are in Libya ?.

  • Herbie

    What Next For Libya?
    Human rights abuses, cronyism, massive amounts of taxpayer money gone in dubious circumstances, “difficult” people assassinated, law book thrown out when it suits the leader, excessive force used by power-crazed cops, bizarre political decisions, countrywide surveillance of its citizens, strange associations with foreign governments, people gaoled on a whim, and massive corruption.
    But enough about the UK.
    This is about New Libya.
    An old joke, but amusing all the same. Worth a read, as he has some experiences of Libya to share.

  • Methuselah Now


    So the great powers succeeded, yet again, in subverting the popular Middle-East spring with its natural course towards Saudi Arabia and instead re-directing, with the drones and the paid western mercenaries/”Advisors” and our propaganda/conditioning outlets, towards those leaders who naively continue to believe they should have different priorities to those more powerful and dare to be belligerent rather than submissive.

    As long as everything can be privatised, and their societies divided, easier to rule. The biggest oil reserves in Africa.

    These are the values our children see, will see, and future leaders will duplicate, and they wonder why riots happen.

    A hopeless world, where like the spoilt or indulged, will eat/destroy itself from within (see: America).

    Kind regards,


    How many days until that U.N. resolution was due to run out, and suddenly a fall………

  • Courtenay Barnett


    I ask myself one question:-
    When the US and NATO “liberate” Libya – who then liberates Libya from the US and NATO?
    The attacks on Libya are no more or less than criminal – and I do not use the word lightly, but literally mean it for good reason. UN Resolution 1973 does not anywhere in it permit:-
    • Support of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government
    • Arming of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government
    • Bombing in support of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government
    For those on this blog who are not historians I recall the following.
    I quote from an article entitled, Libya’s Finest Hour….As NATO Presses Conquest, from the Black Star News Editorial.

    “The newspapers of the day including The New York Times celebrated “Italy’s Great Victory” in Africa, saying the defeat of the Abyssinians meant “civilization” had prevailed over “barbarity.” Africa would now be opened up to profitable Western commerce, the Times opined.

    Then in 1896 Menelik II, together with his wife Empress Taytu leading the charges, struck with ferocious power and courage. Menelik II destroyed an entire Italian army of an original 10,000 troops, vanquishing nearly half, including most of the leading officers and capturing half of the army.

    That was Ethiopia’s greatest hour and indeed Africa’s finest moment against European imperial aggression.”
    Moving forward to what is actually happening in Libya, I quote from the web site,

    “Massive bombing of residential areas in Tripoli over the last three days
    Nearly 20,000 sorties, and 7459 strike sorties since March 31st

    Global Research, August 22, 2011

    “Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,751 sorties, including 7,459 strike sorties, have been conducted.

    Sorties conducted 20 AUGUST: 105

    Strike sorties conducted 20 AUGUST: 36”
    These figures do not include the extensive bombing raids directed against civilian targets conducted on the 21st and 22nd of August.

    Realities are twisted and turned upside down.
    The bombing is part of NATO’s mandate to “protect the lives of civilians”

    Make no mistake, NATO is involved in extensive war crimes. The media has been involved in a coverup operation.

    The military alliance is supporting an insurgency which in large part is integrated by Islamist death squads which have been set loose in the streets of Tripoli.”

    While some on this thread may see the events that are unfolding in Libya as some sort of “liberation”, for my part I beg to differ. The issue here is not whether one wants to gloss and excuse any transgressions of Gadaffi, but whether one wants to adhere to the most fundamental principles of international law and the conduct of international relations in a “civilized” and humane manner.
    The questions to my mind are these:-
    1. When the ANC opposed Apartheid there were well established voices in leadership, such as Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. These men were termed “terrorists” by the white racists and by the West. The likes of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan wanted to prolong the “civilized” rule of Apartheid while Mandela and Sisulu wanted to ensure that the people’s rights were recognised and the benefits of the economy reached the majority. These men had a history of leadership and commitment to a political cause when they had pursued a political path for the betterment of their country. Question 1 – where is the recognised leadership in the NTC in Libya with a record of dedicated opposition and a political or any vision of where Libya will be taken post-Gadaffi?
    2. When Menelik 11 defeated the Italians and when the Italians had their prior incursion into Libya one could discern a colonialist mission of occupation and domination of the foreign territory. Question 2 – By way of the US and NATO’s violation of Resolution 1973 in its pursuit of a war aggression and directing the war of aggression against a sovereign government – does anyone not discern the colonialist and imperial design of the whole operation, that bears comparison to the historical record in Ethiopia and previously in Libya?
    3. When the models of the results in Afghanistan and Iraq beam in one’s eyes – is it that we are brain-dead in not discerning in Libya and or the future of Africa – the process afoot:-
    i) Breach international law and become an active participant in a war of aggression against Libya by supporting the rebels with bombing and supply of arms.
    ii) Use a fig-leaf of “democracy” and “freedom” to cover naked aggression.
    iii) Commandeer Libyan funds in the billions and use same to fund the rebellion.
    iv) Steal Libyan resources once the Gadaffi government is ousted and enjoy the stolen fruits of oil, gold and water in abundance. If anyone complains about the mayhem that will undoubtedly unfold, then simply blame it all on Libyan ineptitude.
    v) Post-rebellion – send in contracted parties to rape Libya’s resources with contracted security officers; consultants; a manipulated grab of the oil, the gold bullion, the water resources and use all t he Libyan national resources to repay for the “aid” and “help” that the benevolent is giving. Recall the process with Mossadeque in Iran and where that finally led to? Maybe the wheel of history and the whole cycle it turning gain from Libya to Syria to Iran – yet again.
    Question 3 – If I am not right in all I have stated – only subsequent events will assuredly prove me wrong – are all agreed on that?
    When this process is all over – tell the Libyan people, as has been told to the Iraqis – “ you are liberated and free to choose your leader”, but continue to occupy to ensure that they make the right choice for leader.
    Anyone ever read the AU roadmap to peace? Anyone ever questioned that if the people did not want Gadaffi as a leader –then by permitting a Western style election which Gadaffi is agreed to – then the result just might be that the people freely choose Gadaffi? But, the US and NATO won’t permit that process to operate, because it must install its own puppets to control the Libyan political process.
    I am simply saying that before our eyes this is hypocrisy, criminality and banditry at the highest levels in the world, involving the UK, France, the US and the perpetrators of crimes against the Libyan people done and yet to be done by Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama.
    Gadaffi provided money for his people, health care, housing, educated women and has a highly educated population, water via the aquifer in abundance, gold in abundance for the nation’s on-going development, infrastructure – and of course the US/NATO having bombed the said infrastructure, the West will now be providing the consultants, road builders, engineers, security officers and a wonderfully sound and democratic government compliments of a truly “civilized” process of rebuilding a Libya destroyed by the bombing and overthrow of established government. My – isn’t “democracy” in these circumstances a wonderfully violent and desirable process?
    Of course, there will be those who disagree with my views – but I am only too happy to hear their facts and reasoned argument – why Libya will be better post-Gadaffi?

    CB ( http://www.globaljusticeonline.com)

  • Jaded.

    Jon – ‘As far as I can tell – over the very long term – he is just here to disrupt and derail.’

    No kidding jon, when did you realise that? 🙂 He is the internet forum equivalent of the ‘lone gunman’.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ruth, thank you for your lucidity an courage. I’m sure everyone – regardless of their views – will join me in hope that your family are safe and well.

  • mark_golding

    Guest – Not sure about ‘mercenaries’ in a Bahrain HQ, certainly I know a private SAS trained heavy based in Dubai and working in Libya to assist the piranha grab for oil by BP that Blair negotiated. That said I feel very sorry for Ruth who has revealed her family is Libyan. NATO and her allies have orchestrated the taking of Libya not the rebels and Britain, France and the US will now want pay-back under the guise of ‘assisting’ the transition. This means the Libyans will lose their country as well as many more lives as the thieves conjure up more chaos and confusion in the Libyan population so that their hegemony and plunder can proceed under cover of renewing, restoring and healing the damage of a so called tyrant.
    Boots on the ground? – can you fire a gun? Are you ex SAS? – British Private Security Companies NEED YOU in Libya – excellent rates of pay and generous expenses – alternating 90 days in Libya and 14 days back home – you must pass a medical and positive vetting.

  • mary

    The fall of the Gadaffi regime in Libya marks yet another turning point in what
    has been a truly remarkable year in the Middle East. The victory of the rebels,
    backed by Nato bombing in a six month campaign initiated by the British and
    French governments, also heralds the rehabilitation of a discredited doctrine
    — that of ‘humanitarian intervention’ — after the debacle of Iraq and
    The defeat of Gadaffi is now being used to justify military action on the
    grounds that it has helped the Arab revolutions. David Cameron declared outside
    Downing Street 22 August 2011, ‘This has not been our revolution, but we can be
    proud that we have played our part.’
    The hypocrisy of Cameron is staggering, given the role of British and other
    western governments in backing up dictators and despots in the region — only
    halted in some places by the actions of the Arab people themselves.
    The Nato intervention has not been for idealistic values. It has been about
    regime change, so that a leader more acceptable to western governments and
    business could replace Gadaffi.
    Right to the end, NATO was bent on a military victory and bringing the
    Transitional National Council (TNC) — the Benghazi administration — to power
    in Libya by force of arms. All proposals for talks to achieve a political
    solution – whether from within Libya or outside – have been brushed aside.

  • mary

    The founding statement. 4 April 1949. What a sick joke.
    The North Atlantic Treaty
    Washington D.C. – 4 April 1949
    The Parties to this Treaty reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all governments.
    They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area.
    They are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. They therefore agree to this North Atlantic Treaty.

  • vronsky

    “he is just here to disrupt and derail.”

    But only certain topics, don’t you notice – anything critical of Israel and anything suggesting that events on an early autumn morning of two thousand and eleven did not unfold precisely as described by the authorities. On those, the noise level goes all the way up to 11. He (it? they?) has no opinions on anything else. Can’t you take his (its, their) ‘contributions’ as read, and just delete on grounds of moronic predictability?
    Why is he (it? them?) here and not somewhere else? Perhaps because Craig has credibility and if a loose end gets pulled here there’s no telling whose jumper might unravel?

  • Paul Johnston

    Not sure how Gaddafi can be described as being in anyway “Socialist”.
    More a case of distributing a certain amount of the wealth of the country to keep a certain group happy and willing to oppress other less lucky groups. The differences between this and the Baathist model in Syria and Iraq seem minimal. May I suggest he was clever enough to encourage “useful idiots” who say he is not that bad whilst glossing over his appalling human rights abuses.
    Flames away 🙂

  • Scouse Billy

    O/T but interesting I think you’ll agree:
    “French authorities may seek an international arrest warrant for two former police chiefs, who withheld a prophetic note in which Princess Diana seemingly predicted her assassination by car crash.[1] Something she stated on more than one occasion.
    Former Scotland Yard chief Lord Condon and former Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Sir David Veness, have been ordered to attend an interview in Paris to address why the note was under lock and key for 3 years following Diana’s death. If they fail to attend they will be treated as suspects. The note remained hidden even when Lord Condon’s successor Lord Stevens took over as Metropolitan Police Commissioner, suggesting the orders may have came from a higher authority.”

  • John Goss

    At 8 a.m. the BBC reported that Gaddafi’s compound was due to fall in two hours. 14 hours later it is reporting it will fall within two days. The great tragedy is the number of reported deaths.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Suhayl,

    “Well, let’s hope that the Libyan people will not allow these outside powers to steal their future. I wish them all the best.”

    The NTC is made up of a hodge-podge of power hungry factions”:-

    – fundamentalist Islamists
    – those who wave old King Idris’ flag – that harks back to days when the King kept all the oil wealth and only about 20% of Libyans were literate
    – defectors from Gadaffi
    – genuine dissidents from Gadaffi
    – oppotunists, looters and criminals of one sort or another

    All the above with no clear vision for Libya’s future – but the US and NATO know where the oil is.

    What do you expect but bloodshed and chaos.

    World Bank ready to “help” Libya?

    “Help”? – I know a four letter word beginning with “f” ending in “k” – “f..k” – anyone have an idea what the World Bank intends to do to Libya and the Libyan people?Didn’t take ’em long to get on the get go….did it? http://www.activistpost.com/2011/08/world-bank-ready-to-help-libya.html

  • Jaded.

    Mr. Barnett – ‘Anyone have an idea what the World Bank intends to do to Libya and the Libyan people?’

    I’m guessing that the Libyans would like nothing more than a nice, shiny, new credit card with a high interest rate! That’s a credit card which they don’t actually need of course, but still… it’s good to get with the times. They can pay it all back very slowly over the next 50 years or so. Meanwhile, the crooks running Libya will have to do exactly what they are told to keep their creditors happy.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    I agree with you. Seen it happen all over the “Third World” and then a previously oil rich, debt free country gets ensnared in the ‘debt trap’ – but all for a good cause – in the glorious name of “freedom” and “debt-mock-crazy” – sorry: “democracy”.

  • Mohamed

    Hi Craig

    Came across this posting on the medialens website re. your blog. Seems this guy has completely misunderstood your comments

    “Murray’s reaction to the ‘rebel’ takeover of Tripoli is deplorable. He makes several undetermined and ‘wishful’ points:

    1. That there has been not as much bloodshed as he previously thought there would be
    2. That the NATO bombing – which is a blatant violation of 1973 – has been justified in achieving the aim of 1.
    3. There is a great deal of support for the rebels – which is as yet unproven given that no elections have been held!
    4. That the west’s attempt at getting rid of ‘a bad government’ is somehow ok
    5. That NATO can proceed to attack Bahrain.”


  • Duncan McFarlane

    Bit soon to raise the Mission Accomplished banner yet H.G Wells.
    Even many Libyan rebels fear there’ll be chaos or a second civil war between the various rebel faction e.g quoted in the Independent :

    ‘Adem Husseini, 40, also from Manchester, foresaw a period of turbulence after Colonel Gaddafi and his regime are driven from power. “I am going to go back to the UK after the job is done, but I am not going to bring my family for the next three years. There are too many men with guns – a lot of them very young. I am talking about heavy weapons. Some people even have their own private tanks.

    “We are fighting for freedom. History will record we were on the right side. But we are going to go through a very risky time.’

  • mark_golding

    The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is equating the ‘rebel’ victory in Libya to the victory in Iraq albeit reinforcing that the post mission attempts to rebuild the country will not repeat the catastrophic mistakes of the Iraq occupiers that resulted in a blood-bath of torture, ‘death squads’ Black-water thugs, murder, treatable diseases, malnutrition and genocide which the BBC collectively now calls ‘mistakes’ and bad planning.
    The BBC even had the gore to show the fall of the famous April 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square, a US psy-ops operation plain and simple (and verified).
    Sorry but I have to ask, who are these ass’oles called BBC Trustees who cannot bring themselves to direct BBC News to show the NATO strike massacres in Tripoli. Before the power was cut and the Internet disabled I received a report of psychological warfare operation aimed at concealing the bloody assault that has been mounted on Tripoli by NATO. The wall of deception was also intended to confuse and demoralise the Libyan Resistance, which has been staunch and united against NATO and the rebels ever since the onset of this illegal NATO war.

    Tripoli was gained by small numbers of ‘sleeper cells’ consisting of heavily armed SAS trained Gaddafi elite deserters, tempted by Western bribes coordinating with NATO special forces landing at numerous positions along the Tripoli coast by fast, manoeuvrable RIBS, so I suspect this operation was launched from a Navy ship anchored some way off shore, and backed up by NATO bombing and drone strikes called in by professionals on the ground in Tripoli which killed at least 1,500 innocent Libyan people.

    Now the dumb world is intoxicated by BBC propaganda – swooning over the complete fantasy of a jubilant rebel victory in Tripoli celebrating the end of the war.
    Utter bollocks and if I am arrested under the OSA I will still declare this fight to be the utter bollocks of the Agent Cameron line, his stupid face simulating a staunch Thatcher after Falklands.

  • wendy

    “Tripoli was gained by small numbers of ‘sleeper cells’ consisting of heavily armed SAS trained Gaddafi elite deserters, tempted by Western bribes coordinating with NATO special forces landing at numerous positions along the Tripoli coast by fast, manoeuvrable RIBS, so I suspect this operation was launched from a Navy ship anchored some way off shore, and backed up by NATO bombing and drone strikes called in by professionals on the ground in Tripoli which killed at least 1,500 innocent Libyan people.”
    my guess is that this is closer to the reality of recent events.
    anyway bbc is readying syria as next target (no mention of saudi or bahrain-less of palestinian issues) .. just waitng for turkey to make that move .. the nato troops are already in the country (turkey)according to some reports.

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