You are in the 242nd Witness Revolution diary, bearing witness to pro-democracy movements in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. This is a special edition to cover the unfolding events in Tripoli, the last stand
againstof the Gaddafi Forces. (see links to previous diaries for this event at the bottom of the diary.) (h/t Athenian for pointing out that the grammatical error.)
We can't talk about Libya today without celebrating the takeover of Bab Alziziya, Gadaffi's compound in Tripoli. The symbolism and sense of triumph is inestimable. The freedom fighters rejoiced by climbing on the iconic statue of a defiant fist holding a US warplane, of course, but it was the more intimate items which really confirmed how broken Gadaffi's regime is. That they could go into his private quarters and take his hat:
This is the Freedom Fighter wearing the hat taken from Gaddafi's bedroom. #Libya #Feb17 #Tripoli http://pic.twitter.com/...
I just went inside his room, Gaddafi's bedroom, and I was really, I was like 'Oh my God'. I am in Gaddafi's room. Oh my God. Then this thing happened. I found this, oh my goodness ... I am going to give this to my dad as a present because he has suffered a lot from Gaddafi and from Gaddafi followers ... I am really proud for this moment that the Libyans have waited for 42 years.
and there was this humorous tweet: (h/t annettek
LIBYA_WIN Hayat Libya #GaddafiHat is so happy to have defected on time and honored to be worn on a true genuine sane #Libyan head full of hope for the future.3 minutes ago
(h/t evergreen2) Libyan Youth Movement's Photos - Journalists at the Rixos hotel, August 23.
A member of the media waits in a corridor of the Rixos hotel beside a sign in Arabic which reads "Don't shoot we are press" in Tripoli August 23, 2011.
so this may explain a lot
NATO respected #Rixos as no-fire zone. NTC must do same. 35 friends & colleagues inside. We hold Gaddafi forces & NTC responsible for safety
18 minutes ago
Everyone frightened & concerned - doesn't feel like a 5 star hotel. Some water left but food at risk of ruin. #rixos4 #rixos #cnn #libya
2 minutes ago via web
Some inspirational messages from Libyans:
@taimur_ly تيمور عبد العزيز
Benghazi taught us courage, Misrata resistance, Nafousa determination, Zawiya perseverance, Tripoli patience. This is Libya @tripolicouncil
54 minutes ago via Echofon
(h/t downsouth ) Good Tweet
hishamjmatar Hisham Matar, Author
We've defeated Qaddafi in the battlefield, now we must defeat him in our imagination. We mustn't allow his legacy to corrupt our dream.
6 minutes ago
The Libyans tell us who they are and what they fight for
A Vision of a Democratic Libya
- the guiding document of the revolution
Their newer, flashier web site is NTCLibya.com
Who are the libyan 'rebels'?
Opposition fighters against Gaddafi's regime are sometimes referred to as 'rebels'. This can be viewed negatively and so the correct term for the 'rebels' is freedom fighters.
(h/t angry marmot
) TNC comments on post-Q role for NATO
AFP via Al-Ahram
Libya's rebel government envoy to the Cairo-based Arab League said Monday that his country will not allow NATO bases in Libya after Muammar Gaddafi's ouster, official MENA news agency said.
"Libya is an Arab and Islamic nation before NATO and after NATO," he said, adding, "the Libyans revolted from the 1970s against Western bases and there will be no non-Libyan bases."
They've also decided not to take international loans:
) Bloomberg news:
“We don’t need loans,” former Libyan Central Bank Governor Farhat Bengdara, who broke with Qaddafi’s regime in February, said in an interview in Dubai. “Libya has huge financial resources and oil reserves. What it needs is the cooperation of the international community to lift the freeze on Libya’s assets aboard.”
Good reporting sources:
Al Jazeera English live TV
Al Jazeera English liveblog
Guardian Middle East liveblog
Feb17.info news aggregator and local reporting (live video feed), excellent resources such as maps and reliable Twitter streams to follow
BBC live coverage (video and text)
Follow on Twitter:
Feb 17 voices
Al Jazeera English
Sultan Al Qassemi
Twitter tags #feb17 #libya #tripoli #mermaiddawn
UPDATES FROM THIS POINT ON most recent on top (also in comments):
We must remember that the fighting is not over and a cornered animal can be very dangerous:
Reuters reports that forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi were shelling Zuara, a Libyan port town about 60km (40 miles) from the Tunisian border, Al Arabiya television reported on Tuesday night.
(h/t Athenian)Scud downed by NATO, Misrata targeted
RT @feb17voices :
Says SCUD missile fired towards Misrata was downed near the city by NATO
(h/t downsouth) Attack on Ajailat (Libya)
SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi
Al Arabiya: Gaddafi forces strike town of Ajailat with Grad missiles & tanks #Libya
12 seconds ago
Why is there confusion about whether Saif al-Islam Gadaffi was captured?
(h/t lawrence) Gaddafi Regime forces in Tripoli seem to be resorting to the dirty tricks that they used elsewhere in Libya:
Danya Bashir (@CEOdanya)
Posted Tuesday 23rd August 2011 from Twitlonger
PHONE call with my friend who is in contact with the NTC
''Just got off the phone with a Commander from Itihad Shabab Elaasema (Capital Youth Union). He confirmed the following:
“A group from Alkataib (Pro Qaddafi) imposing as Thuwar contacted Feb
17 Thuwar claiming to have Saif Qaddafi in their custody. In turn the
Feb 17 Thuwar notified the NTC in Benghazi " Which led to the statement
by Mr. Abdeljalil.
2) “Approximately 3 hours ago a caravan of
cars left Bab Alazizia Barracks from Souk Ethalath side raising
independence flags and when they approached check points manned by the
real Thuwar of Feb 17 they fired on them." No details of casualties
(h/t amk for obama ) Markets rally on hopes of end to Libya conflict
Stock markets in Europe have rebounded, led by shares in energy firms, on hopes that fighting in Libya may soon end.
At close on Monday London's FTSE 100 was up 1.08% and the Cac 40 in Paris by 1.14%.
The rally follows a 5% to 10% slump on most markets on Thursday and Friday on recession fears in the US and Europe.
Oil prices initially fell on hopes that Libyan crude would soon come back on tap, before rising again on greater optimism about the global economy.
) Juan Cole's Top Ten Myths About The Libya War
1. Qaddafi was a progressive in his domestic policies.
2. Qaddafi was a progressive in his foreign policy.
3. It was only natural that Qaddafi sent his military against the protesters and revolutionaries; any country would have done the same.
4. There was a long stalemate in the fighting between the revolutionaries and the Qaddafi military.
5. The Libyan Revolution was a civil war.
6. Libya is not a real country and could have been partitioned between east and west.
7. There had to be NATO infantry brigades on the ground for the revolution to succeed.
8. The United States led the charge to war.
9. Qaddafi would not have killed or imprisoned large numbers of dissidents in Benghazi, Derna, al-Bayda and Tobruk if he had been allowed to pursue his March Blitzkrieg toward the eastern cities that had defied him.
10. This was a war for Libya’s oil.
He devotes a paragraph or two to each of his myths.
Map of neighborhoods in Tripoli (click on image for larger version):
map of West Libya, towns surrounding Tripoli (click on image for larger version):
updated as of AUG 22
(h/t Oujdi) This interactive google map is more up to date
View Larger Map again, I can't get google map embed to work here
(h/t bumblebums) I can't get the embed to work
there's an interactive Google map of Tripoli indicating where fighting has broken out.
This is the best map we've seen of Libya and what's happened where.
@IbnOmar2005 Ibn Omar
EXCELLENT PIC. How the media covered the "stalemate" in #Libya. Every outlet should see this. @CNN @BBC
A blog post from a Libyan on Al Jazeera that I
would like to repost here.
I know from personal experience just how grateful Libyans are to all who gave them their solidarity and this blog post expresses that well:
Thank you to all the people here who have stood with the Libyan people to what I hope will soon be the end. I hope that any of you who would like to visit Libya and see all the places you have been talking about and meet all the people you have been supporting will be able to. I know that I do mention God in my posts, I do not mean to offend anyone and I know that you are all good people no matter what your belief or you would not be here. I have to believe in God, I go to funerals for these young men, I have seen them badly hurt and I have tried to calm my children while they tried to sleep listening to battles in the neighborhood. Because I believe, I do pray for the best for each one of you who has given up time doing something else so that you could be here. That you know more about a place and people that you might not have thought of a year ago, means to me that there is hope not only for the future of Libya, but the future of the world. Apathy is the biggest threat to freedom and democracy. No matter what your opinions, you are not apathetic and you are all fighters for freedom and democracy. To those who consider themselves believers, God bless you, to those who do not, my sincere thanks and appreciation.
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then this video about the early days of the Libyan Revolution speaks millions. Not only does it clearly show that the Revolution was initially peaceful, but also that it was an uprising that took place in basically every major town and city in Libya.
Links to previous Tripoli Battle diaries:
The Battle for Tripoli Part II
Breaking: The Battle For Tripoli Has Begun. W/ Updates. "All Hell Has Broken Out in Tripoli."
Witnessing Revolution #227: Battle of Tripoli or #MermaidDawn
Witnessing Revolution Diary #228: Battle of Tripoli continues
Witnessing Revolution Live Blog #229 - Libya
Witnesssing Revolution #230: Battle of Tripoli continues
Witnessing Revolution Live Blog #231 - Libya
Witnessing Revolution #232 - Battle of Tripoli continues
Witnessing Revolution #233: Zero Hour for Libya is really here
Witnessing Revolution #234: Libya Celebrating, Seeking Gaddafi
Witnessing Revolution #235: Libya Celebrating, Seeking Gaddafi
Witnessing Revolution #236: Libya NTC Rejects Notion of NATO Bases
Witnessing Revolution #237: Fighting continues in Libya
Witnessing Revolution #238: Fighting continues in Libya
Witnessing Revolution #239: Do the Gaddafis Even Matter Anymore?