last edits Aug 25
Okay, so the rebels did NOT capture Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son and hier apparent to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The invasion of Tripoli, the claims to hold at least 4/5 of it, and the other triumphalist "we took Tripoli in a day, it's over in a week tops" pronouncements. It was reported as fact worldwide, and I was willing to go along, and dismiss the truth journalists there who denied the majority of it, even claiming victory, that the rebels had in fact been lured into a trap in Tripoli. Kooky Gaddafi useful idiot conpiracy theory, many would simply proclaim.
I'd have said probably so, and call it the "Trapoli" theory.
Countering it is of course the certainty that good-guys-win moment had emerged from rebel reports. The most solid resounding victory among these signs of the end, aside from unfurling a rebel flag at Green Square with surprising ease, was the capture of the younger Gaddafi, while his father was somewhere unknown, only speaking via an audio tape, in which he sounded "desperate." People were calling it - Dewey defeats Truman, finally.
I wondered just how they caught Seif so easily, or quickly, but the rebels swore it was so. Then the International Criminlal Court's clown of a chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, confirmed it. He asked that Seif be handed over for trial on human rights abuse charges, rather than killed or mutilated, as some rebels have openly promised to do, in understandable but improper revenge. I was waiting for him to appear at the hague, fingerless and railroaded and dead of some mystery ailment halfway through trial six years down the road.
|Just a last hurrah? Perhaps. But it's a good one.|
Matthew Price says Saif al-Islam arrived in an armoured vehicle looking buoyed up and confident, and when asked if his father was safe and in Tripoli, he shrugged off the question, saying: "Of course".He said in fact the rebels had walked into a trap, and had their backbone broken. elsewhere, it's said he "seemed confident and full of adrenalin."
Lizzie Phelan, one of those truth journalists, speaks with Russia Today over footage from the Rixos, where many Libyans are cheering with him that "freedom" isn't final yet.
Tough talk, perhaps not all true, but clearly true enough to have spun the world around a bit and cheered me the **** back up! There's still hope for something other than total victory for the dark side. Please, don't squander it on more senseless defiance with nothing else. Many fronts, including the compromise and dialog one, can be managed by Libya's brilliant people (temporary partition anyone?). Wisdom still exists in there somewhere.
Also, people of Tripoli, to the extent what the government is saying is true, and you're all part of a trap to surround and swallow the rebels:
1) Can you make it a bit more obvious this is what you're doing?
2) Please respect international human rights standards, and humanely detain the rats, rather than slaughtering them in vengeance or disgust. This will help the world start to see things differently, to justify backing down "with honor", on the off-chance they still can be forced to back off.
So, if Seif al-Islam was never captured, what happened with the claim he was arrested? Did the rebels just make it up? The motive is clear, but it seems dangerously short-sighted idea under normal circumstances. All he'd have to do is appear and say "uh, no, you must have me mixed up with someone else."
Perhaps they did. Here's what I imagine happened. They received a friendly tip, just as they rolled in almost, from a very high level defector or an easily taken captive. He told them just where Seif was hiding. They chase off the few wimpy guards, or they just surrender, or get killed, who knows. The man in the room passes the commander's visual ID, mannerisms and voice check, and cases it "that's him."
Webcam video to Moreno-Ocampo scores a confirmation, from what he knows of these things. The world hoots with triumph because it wants to, lets itself start envisioning the bright new future, oil prices finally fall, etc. Then, sometime before the re-appearance, the captive speaks up.
I need to tell you guys a great secret about my father. Okay, you listening close? You'll want to know this now. My father - his name is Farooq Iqbal. I'm his son, Ahmed. * I work for Saif Gaddafi, who is about to re-appear and laugh in your face.
You can do whatever you like with me - try and pass me off, show me to the world and admit you were fooled, kill me for fooling you and pretend you just made the story up, whatever. I'm prepared to die for the revolution, the Jamahiriya, just like the rest of Tripoli and many of those behind you that you think you conquered.
But we won't die. You will. I'm not the only tricky booby-trapped thing you've already run into in Tripoli. You shouldn't have done that.
* made-up, any similarity, disclaimer, yadda yadda
As a member of a forum I infrequent (and several media reports) suggested, he might've managed to escape from a real custody, and noted in part that "your decoy theory sounds fine for a film," but yadda yadda. As I mused in response:
He was in custody but then escaped. Hmmm.
It's certainly in the realm of possibility. He could trick the one guard he's left with into bending down so he can elbow him, knock the wind out of him, and knee him in the head unconscious. Then, cuffed to the chair, he could still twist around and grab the key to undo the cuffs, take the rebel's "uniform" (a lack of one is how you know which guys in tanks to NOT bomb), and his AK. By now he's got his own beard, can leave that.
Sunglasses, casual victory signs, shouting "Allahu Akbar!", shooting his gun in the air, he'd blend right in. Kick a negro for effect, and he's not just walking out but getting high-fives. Then hightail it for some government safehouse and go get yourself seen.
I could see this too, in another movie, competing with mine for viewers!