Libyan Rebel Forces Sack Tripoli, Violence Continues

“It’s over, frizz-head” – rebel forces shouted after they had advanced on Tripoli, securing much of the capital city from the hands of Moammar Gadhafi loyalists in a firefight that left approximately 1,300 people dead and about 5,000 wounded, according to Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim. 

However, the rebel celebrations in Tripoli’s Green Square – nicknamed Martyr’s Square – may be premature as Gadhafi, who is still missing, has continued via remote broadcasts to urge his troops to fight to the last man and, believe it or not, woman. 

In an audio broadcast late Sunday night, Gadhafi stated “very small groups of people who are collaborators with the imperialists” were attacking the capital.  He added that if the rebels prevail, there will be massive bloodshed and to prevent such bloodshed everyone – including women – should defend his regime, “Get out and lead, lead, lead the people to paradise,” Gadhafi exclaimed in the broadcast. 

Although it’s unclear at the moment how Gadhafi’s remaining forces will respond, Ibrahim told CNN that a counterattack maybe underway that will lead to more unnecessary violence.  “More than 65,000 professional men are fighting” in Tripoli to defend the old regime and they, if needed, “can hold for much longer.” 

“It’s not about who will win,” Ibrahim stated. “The world needs to hear this message, that a massacre will be committed in Tripoli if one side wins now.”

In a statement released from his vacation home in Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama stated, “Qaddafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya.  He needs to relinquish power once and for all.”

Obama added, “A season of conflict must lead to one of peace. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.”

But the idea of a “peaceful transition to democracy” is far-fetched, at least to individuals like Ibrahim who believe that as long as NATO’s involved, violence is inevitable. 

Ibrahim told CNN, “Every drop of Libyan bloodshed by these rebels is the responsibility of the Western world, especially NATO’s countries,” he said. “We hold Obama, (British Prime Minister David) Cameron and (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy morally responsible for every single unnecessary death that takes place in this country.”

It makes one wonder what would ensue if NATO forces were to withdraw completely – would that really save lives? 

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