Friday, February 25, 2011

Khadafi Still Does Not Get It Even As Country Revolts Against His 40 Year Regime

After two attempts to rally his own thugs and loyalists in rambling speeches, Mumar Khadafi is now trying to bribe his way out of trouble by raising wages, increasing subsidies, and other assorted bribes.

The time to try and bribe the populace is not when pretty much the entire army has defected, tribes have sided with regime's opponents, and your loyalists have murdered the opposition en masse.

The time to do that was at the earliest stages of potential unrest.

Those efforts wont be any more successful than the violent attempts to suppress the opposition that has left hundreds, if not thousands, dead.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has put the death toll in Libya at nearly 300, according to a partial count. Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said estimates of some 1,000 people killed were "credible." French estimates suggest some 2,000 people may have died.

Gadhafi's response to the uprising in his country has been the harshest by any Arab leader in the wave of protests that has swept the Middle East recently, toppling the presidents of Libya's neighbors Egypt and Tunisia.

In Brussels, NATO also planned to hold an emergency meeting Friday to consider the deteriorating situation in Libya. It had received no requests to intervene said it would only do so if it were given a United Nations mandate.

Khadafi's time is pretty much up, and the only one to not realize this salient fact is Khafadi and those who surround him.

His regime is pretty much in control of Tripoli, while the opposition is consolidating its control over the rest of the country.

The Obama Administration has taken a somewhat muted approach to the ongoing violence in Libya, but is consulting with France, Italy, and the UK over a course of action.
While some critics say the Obama administration has been slow to react to the deteriorating situation in Libya, the statement said Thursday's discussions were to "coordinate our urgent efforts to respond to developments and ensure that there is appropriate accountability."

"The leaders discussed the range of options that both the United States and European countries are preparing to hold the Libyan government accountable for its actions, as well as planning for humanitarian assistance," the White House statement said.

U.S. officials have said all options were under consideration, including sanctions and enforcement of a no-fly zone, to try to stop the Libyan government from attacking protesters.

A statement by the French Embassy said Obama discussed steps the United States plans to take regarding Libya in his phone call with Sarkozy.
Calls for arms embargoes and no-fly zones wont do much to quell the violence, as Khadafi's loyalists are more than capable of unleashing a bloodbath without additional arms shipments. The Libyan air force isn't reliable, particularly after several pilots have defected or deliberately crashed their planes rather than fire on the crowds.

Al Jazeera is once again reporting that Khadafi loyalists have opened fire on protesters killing at least six people in Tripoli. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout the country to demonstrate against Khadafi. Those protesting in Tripoli are in grave danger considering that the city is Khadafi's last bastion.

Via BBC, there are reports that one of the military airbases near Tripoli from which aircraft took off that strafed crowds has now fallen to the opposition:
1457: The Guardian correspondent Martin Chulov tweets from Benghazi: "The Mitiga air base is confirmed to have fallen in Tripoli. #Libya. #Ghaddafi. Planes that strafed citizens took off from here."
Khadafi was again out addressing his supporters, and claimed that he would arm his loyalists to go and kill those opposed to his regime. He's still convinced that the uprising is part of a foreign conspiracy and continues to think that the West, or al Qaeda, or drugs are behind the threat to his regime.
"We can defeat any aggression if necessary and arm the people," Gaddafi said, in footage that was aired on Libyan state television on Friday.

"I am in the middle of the people.. we will fight … we will defeat them if they want … we will defeat any foreign aggression.

"Dance … sing and get ready … this is the spirit … this is much better than the lies of the Arab propaganda," he said.

The speech, which also referred to Libya's war of independence with Italy, appeared to be aimed at rallying what remains of his support base, with specific reference to the country's youth.

His last speech, on Thursday evening had been made by phone, leading to speculation about his physical condition.

The footage aired on Friday, however, showed the leader standing above the square, waving his fist as he spoke.
No one knows for sure just how many of his supporters are out there, but there's more tangible evidence that he's brought in mercenaries to do his dirty work.

Khadafi and his son are going to get their wish if they keep up with their dead-end strategy:
Muammar Gaddafi has appeared in Tripoli's Green Square to address supporters. The embattled Libyan leader told the crowds: "We will continue to fight. We will defeat them. We will die here on Libyan soil." (See 4.54pm.) Earlier Gaddafi's son Saif vowed his family will "live and die in Libya".

• The entire Libyan mission to the UN in Geneva has quit, its second secretary calling for a moment of silence to "honour this revolution" (see 3.32pm). Most of Libya's delegation to the UN in New York had already abandoned the regime. The Libyan delegation to the Arab League in Cairo has renounced Gaddafi and condemned his attack on "unarmed citizens" (see 3.41pm). Libya's ambassadors to France and Unesco quit and condemned the violence. Prosecutor-general Abdul-Rahman al-Abbar became the latest senior official to resign and join the opposition.

• There are reports of troops firing on protesters in Tripoli (see 4.11pm and 4pm).
This is a pretty fascinating (and frightening) report about an interview given by one of Khadafi's sons who happens to have been educated in London. The son, when asked if his father and the regime have a plan B if he's ousted, notes:
"We have Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Plan A is to live and die in Libya, Plan B is to live and die in Libya, Plan C is to live and die in Libya."

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