Gaddafi Unleashes Weapon Of Mass Destruction – Libya’s Tribalism
TODAY is officially the first day of Libya’s After Gaddafi independent existence.
A bright new future awaits.
Perhaps, maybe…they just might do it.
Unlikely. This is a huge and fractured desert tribal state with the only vestige of urban civilisation in the coastal cities.
Times is hard for your average jobbing war correspondent. Any militant with a charged up mobile phone can make an idiot of you in seconds.
Classic examples were spitting from the plasma screens last Thursday morning as a (probably) very shocked Libya National Transitional Council tried to keep the lid on the fact Muammar Gaddafi had been bumped off. Slaughtered by a rabble militia milling around a Sirte exit road drainage pipe and arguing among themselves whether Gaddafi and his also captured son lived or died.
As it turned out, an argument easily settled with a 9mm pistol and an out of control screaming (God Is Great) militia from the East of Libya which offed Gaddafi and dragged him around the desert sands for a short while. They then bundled the body over to the the West Libyan militiamen who had also been screaming “we need him alive” with the ultimate military throwaway line….”there you can have him we’re done.”
There was no footage of the death of his son Mutassim, 34, who had been charge of Sirte’s defences.
Image: A Libyan rides his horse to welcome revolutionary fighters coming back from Sirte at Al Guwarsha gate in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday Oct. 22, 2011. Libya’s new leaders will declare liberation on Sunday, officials said, a move that will start the clock for elections after months of bloodshed that culminated in the death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Meanwhile, back in Misrata battered anti-aircraft utility trucks were shuddering to a halt next to the broadcast camera teams and anchormen, the gun crews were praising Allah and blasting the International Space Station with 50mm cannon.
The anchormen – wearing the only helmets and body armour around – were quoting the NTC Orwellian line for the day and saying it was not yet confirmed but the injured Gaddafi was being transported to Misrata.
If you stand close enough you know when ammunition is being wasted there may be something not right about the party line and soon reporters were adding the stock “as yet unconfirmed” tag.
Wrong. It was confirmed, the truth was already out there with those mobile phone shots of the militia pack abusing Gaddafi (the last time he was seen alive) and even captured sounds of the off-camera shooting. Everyone has seen the bullet holes including the head gunshot wound since coyly hidden by laying the decomposing body on its left side in an unchilled meat locker.
All that is now ancient histrionics. What is the worrying issue is not the murderous militia treatment but the waiting unexploded weapon of mass destruction revealed at the flashpoint moment of Gaddafi’s death. The East – West Libyan conflict.
In 42 years of tyranny the Gaddafi clan suppressed education programmes and encouraged tribal and regional divisions. Gaddafi played the the good ol’ Arab boy by seemly living in a traditional tent and certainly meeting and farting over world leaders there.
The National Transitional/Ruling Council seems paralysed. It is dithering and decisions slow or non-existent. The non-burial of Gaddafi and refusal to be transparent or even honest about the manner of his death are prime examples.
The freedom movement started in Benghazi and stuttered eastward to the Gaddafi stronghold in the capital Tripoli. That East West division is going to be the largest headache for the politicians faced with restructuring the shattered country.
The Bengahazi militia returned home yesterday to a tumultuous welcome.
They arrived before today’s first New Libya political bash when the transitional (now not Council but government) will say Libya is liberated and announce national elections.
The interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril says he is quitting the job, as promised says Reuters.
All is not rosy, according to the New York Times those regional factions including heavily-armed tribal and regional militia based in the capital Tripoli, around the city of Misrata, and in the far west Nafusah Mountains, are angered by what they they see as the Benghazi leadership’s self-importance.
Military leaders are trying to play down the significance of the rivalries but they remain.
Arab Africa politics are brittle. They can and will flare up rapidly.
THIS is the truly dangerous time.
Heavily-armed militias have returned home. They are idle. There is no national army or police force. Within days old resentments will flare and unless the new government acts immediately there is serious risk of civil war as the East West enmities boil over.
The war correspondents are in really serious bother. In civil war no-one knows which way to look or who has the weapon of your personal body-mass destruction.