last edits Oct. 22
Some interesting tweets lately - one claims the operation to take down Tripoli (or a related operation?) has already started (as of the 21st, the news was confirming that just hours after "taking" Az Zawiyah, they were starting into Tripoli's outskirts, and reporters heard gunfire there).
#libya --- operation "Fajr Al-3aroos" (Dawn of the Bride) has began -- Tripoli is known in Arabic as The Bride of the Mediterranean Sea
HafedAlGhwell 7 hours ago
Called some friends in #Tripoli, they're ecstatic. Haven't heard them this confident since Feb 20th. #Libya #Feb17Tripolitanian 8 hours ago
Good! Happy people is nice. Is everyone ecstatic?
Defect now before your head defects off your neck! #Libya #GaddafiCriminalsThey ain't joking either. Some of them do this. Right at the beginning, when protesters finally stormed the Katiba barracks in Benghazi following a suicide bomber attack on February 20, they lynched several soldiers, and beheaded at least one, the Guardian reported. It's not a head, but the nose was sliced off one soldier in Az Zintan the day before (video - note also the cheek and finger injury - obvious and barbaric torture against a described Chadian mercenary who, like the rest, was almost certainly not a foreign mercenary).
Tripolitanian 8 hours ago
More than a month later, once order was restored by the rebel leadership, and even after they'd won recognition from NATO's air forces, we got to see another video if interest. It shows a rebel mob hacking the head off another probable loyalist soldier in front of what I hear is Benghazi's main courthouse. This was apparently sometime between March 28, when several black "mercenaries" were driven in from Bin Jawad, and early April, when the video of the public disassembly started appearing (that I noticed). [thanks to reader Scott S. for the timeline tip here - see comments below for more details] Whatever trial there was, this described Afro-merc was already dead, so the giant crowd watching in Benghazi's main square that night saw no ethical problems with cheering it on.
When they're in smaller groups with no crowd to soften their act for, you needn't even be called a mercenary to lose your head to the rebels, nor be black at all, nor already dead. Consider Mr. Hamza al-Gheit Fughi, a truck driver from the Warfalla clan, reportedly captured by hardcore Islamo-nihilists, allied with the rebels, in March. They filmed themselves slicing his head off slowly with a knife, right there up to the camera, throat-first, for supporting Gaddafi and refusing to defect to the side of "the people." It might take quite a bit more of that to cleanse Libya to the West's liking.
Now, not all rebels are like this - only the ones you'll want to guard your neck around. But these few are mobile, they can blend in with the general rabble, and they do likely fan out to sow terror in the cities that NATO has opened to them.
One final tweet, however, seeks to change all that. "Joanne" implored the "Freedom Fighters":
OFFICIAL #APPEAL TO ALL FF in liberated East #Libya + Misrata Brega Tawergha Gharyan #Sorman #Zawiya #Nafusa etc http://t.co/887EuCB #LibyaGaddafi and the Libyan government and loyal patriotic soldiers with real Libyan families - and real Libyan families, for hat matter - get bombed relentlessly over cartoonish, transparent, fear-mongering rumors that could have been dispelled by the slightest examination. No examination was carried out.
FromJoanne 2 days ago
All Libyans urged to adhere to international human rights and international humanitarian law
Lawyers for Justice in Libya
In contrast, the rebels are occasionally pleaded with to please stop allegedly massacring people, which they're doing for real, in city after city, using weapons, silence, and other support provided by the West. People just wish they wouldn't embarrass us so openly and so frequently. It's getting harder to make excuses for this project.
Oh, and the wish the Freedom Fighters (FF) would hurry up. This "Arab Spring" euphoria thing is wearing thin...
But the rebels don't listen to the pleas of those like Joann because they don't have to and don't want to. The terror their legendary brutality is supposed to engender is clearly part of their strategy of war, an accelerant they need to follow the important request.
The people of Qawalish were hipped to their intent somehow, and sadly caved, all fleeing (or so we heard) before their early July "liberation" as if the Mongols were coming. The "freedom fighters" looted and burned homes, as expected. And they killed the soldiers who stayed behind, beheading at least one, and stashed at least six of their bodies outside town. And somehow 30-34 civilians wound up dead too, stashed down the road in a nearby tree farm. None were beheaded, but throat-slitting is the likely cause of death for most. All these and any other possible Qawalish slaughters are Gaddafi's work, the rebel conquerors said.
After months of complaining about indiscriminate shelling of Misrata, that killed about 90% adult males somehow, the rebels now brag of clearing Brega with their rockets and artillery, causing the people to flee so the city can be free. "We are actually surrounding the city and using our artillery to empty it," said rebel commander Fawzi Bukatif. Also, he promised his sponsors Brega's oil terminals would be flowing again soon, under the control of good guys you're allowed to do business with, and with none of those pesky loyal people of Libya and their silly nationalism getting in the way.
About a week ago the Misrata rebels at least partly purged black Tawergah by force, sending away much of the city's people, no return desired. Then they "found" at least 150 of these "slaves" dead, so far, in mass graves. Some had their throats slit, some with the killing filmed after being kidnapped, we're told. Details remain sketchy, but again, they assure us it was Gaddafi's work and that's why they need to advance and "liberate" other cities, up to and including Tripoli.
Be anti-Gaddafi in the extreme, make ending that one man and his rule your life's obsession. Deliver the news of victories, of cities "liberated" of Gaddafi's control (arguably, for a moment, final solution style, whatever). If you can keep that up, insurgents of Libya, you've got a free card to do it any way you like, all expenses paid, all absolution guaranteed.
What kind of behavior should be expected? The cocky, casual brutality, the sense of endless license, the sickening, spoiled-rotten inhumanity, runs right up the ranks to the top levels of their leadership. AFP just reported on the latest musings of the new would-be Libyan strongman, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil:
[R]ebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil [...] in an interview published in pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat [...] said the rebel campaign to cut off Tripoli was proceeding apace and that he feared a "veritable bloodbath" in a battle for the capital. "Kadhafi will not go quietly; he will go amid a catastrophe that will touch him and his family," he told the newspaper from his eastern bastion of Benghazi.Ooh, doesn't everyone want to touch that guy and his family, and hard? Why would they "fear" that? Will this catastrophe of choice touch anyone else, we wonder, as NATO's foot soldiers push into a city of a million Gaddafi supporters? And only the timid are going to flee from there - there's nowhere left to flee, they don't want people fleeing. They want to see Muammar's guts, and cut off Seif's fingers. That would indeed be an epic and tragic massacre for all involved (on the ground), but it's one the West is anxious to begin soon, and one that Mr. Abdel Jalil "said he hoped to celebrate" in the capitol itself, by the feast of Eid al-Fitr - the end of August.
Nothing like feasting after a bloodbath, huh?
Update, late October: Did I call it or what? Once the rebels got there, blood ran in the streets, people were yanked from cars and killed, doctors and patients were offed, bodies appeared chopped up, blown, up, burnt, bound and shot, and of course beheaded, all over town. The rebels blame Gaddafi people for all of the Tripoli massacres, primarily of black men, but the worst one shows that wrong. Enter if you dare Abu Salim trauma hospital.