edits Sept. 28
Russia Today not long ago ran an unusual report from Tripoli, actually seeking and speaking to a segment of Tripoli's people who call themselves, in the shadows, a majority. But however many there are and however few are willing to let their faces or names be known, these people hardly get a moment near any Western reporter's microphone in these jubilant days of Libyan democracy and foreign airpower's joint triumph. RT said:
It seems in the last two weeks, rebel fighters have fired more bullets into the air to express their excitement than were shot during the assault on Tripoli earlier in August. But away from "jubilant" crowds we meet those who are not so pleased.Russia Today's reporters also produced this video,"Freedom of Repression."
Abdulrakham lives in Tripoli’s Abu Slim district, which has historically been pro-Gaddafi. When the rebels arrived, his sister was badly injured. She is still in hospital in Tunisia.
Abdulrakham does not want to show his face on camera and insists on a hidden location for the interview. He says the revolution has brought much fear in its wake.
“There is no peace. There is no safety in the city. We do not let our children outside when it’s dark. We are afraid. We always wait for something bad,” he tells RT. “When Gaddafi was here, at least we didn’t have to sleep awake, like we do now.”
Abdulrakham says he also wanted change and a brighter future for his country, but not this way.
“People are dying on both sides,” he continues. “The city’s been destroyed – and no one cares! Do they seriously think they changed it for the better? Don’t lie to yourself – just look around! Is this what you wanted?”
Back on July 1, after more than three months of the rebel movement's and the "civilized world's" unequivocal demands, something like one in four Libyans stood together on the same day across the country, to say in one loud, green voice "no thank you please!" to NATO's plans for them. The turnout in Tripoli, hosting activists from surrounding cities as well, is said to have been one million (no word from any critics on a better count) standing behind the green flag. This in a country of only sixmillion, riven with a civil war posed as "the people"vs. the isolated regime.
It was said that in these days Gaddafi saluted a miniature NATO flag every morning. Every night, their bombs rocked the capitol, targeting the population's resolve. But it was only wrecking their sleep and starting to piss them off, especially when innocent people (or loyalist soldiers either, for that matter, who were all good guys with families and friends) were massacred by the indifferent and overwhelming brutality of high explosives. As to how Gaddafi could salute their little compass of hate, one young lady explained to Franklin Lamb:
“Our leader does this”, one young lady informed me first with a wide smile and then growing serious, “because the NATO bombing of Libyan civilians, which the US/NATO axis claims Qaddafi is doing, has caused his popularity to skyrocket among our proud and nationalist tribal people. I am one example of this.The opinions of these people was never sought before, during, or after the total intervention and regime change air war waged in the name of "the people of Libya." My Youtube friend Miss Libyana's recent video from Tripoli is worth a watch -done with an open heart, it'sboth inspirational and deeply saddening. I don't see coerced, brainwashed people here, but genuine humanity and aspirations the NATO machine is trying its best to crush:
Yes, of course we can use some new blood and long overdue reform in our government. Which country cannot? But first we must defeat the NATO invaders and then we can sort out our problems among our tribes including the so-called “NATO Rebels.”
As I advised there, and it sounds good still: Lay low yet stay visible, surrender and yet resist, compromise but unite, remain peaceful and fight like hell, and prevail. It's how you figure out what that means the decides if it gets done or not. Fighting to the last blood? Mmmm, doesn't sound so good now, I hope? I like green Libyans - stay alive.
I'll add that compromise will clearly be needed from both sides now; there is a mammoth gap to bridge before Libya can consider itself even halfway whole again. For starters, I've seen a sentiment aired alongside the green solidarity movement that they would keep fighting, up to killing and dying, "for our OIL." It's their economic lifeblood, you know. So here's an idea to avoid civil war and strife: Don't privatize it and sell it off, at least not until after you've gotten a clear public mandate. If it's true that the NTC early on pledged 33% of all Libyan oil contracts to France, renege. I think that's a French word, so use it against them.
But before any kind of sustainable compromise over the new Libya can take form, they'll first need to get past the point of crippling fear among the loyalists. To the NTC and the new Libyan strongman, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, I have an observation:
Most of us in the "free world," if not those in Tripoli, Benghazi, and Misrata, feel it is ideal that in your "free society," the rights of those who simply disagree with you, aren't happy with being "liberated,"and even torn with compulsion to resist in some way, based on prior heartfelt vows, must be allowed freedom of conscience, and even speech, if not of fighting like your side is allowed to do. The segment of Libya's people who wish the old government was still in charge, be they a vast and frightening majority or a tiny backwards minority, ideally should not have to fear for their lives as uncontrollable mobs roam freely, violating their basic human rights:
- to not have anti-aircraft guns fired at their homes from 30 feet away.
- to ask a rebel fighter to pay for his sandwich without fear he'll open fire on the whole place and kill people.
- to have a green cast on your broken arm without being arrested by thugs who may kill you for it.
- to not have your eye shot out, and your mother and two baby daughters shot dead for having the last name Gaddafi.
- to not be arrested and sent to Misrata to vanish for being a black Tawerghan in Tripoli (see The Fall and Purge of Tawergha).
- to not be summarily executed for being a foreign black man trying to find work, and transparently accused of being an "African mercenary."
- to not have your head chopped off in your hospital bed if you happen to be a black patient in the hospital the rebels want for a morgue for their black victims and another bloody and epic smear against the regime.
- and so on. And we're talking about "Human Rights" in the capitol itself, not the black holes of Bani Walid and Sirte, Sabha, Tawergha, where any scale of NATO/rebel massacre will disappear without a sound...
Mr. Abdel-Jalil, you said you'd resign if your people carried out mindless revenge attacks or refused to heed human rights norms. Your continued stay in office is not convincing as proof these unchecked abuses aren't happening. Resign, or kill yourself, take your pick. I'm fine with either, but clearly you cannot control the monster you and NATO unleashed on a once-peaceful city and nation.