Rebels who have been fighting against the regime of Muammar el-Qaddafi for months, with the assistance of NATO air and advisory assets, surged into Libya's capital on Sunday night, meeting only sporadic resistance from troops loyal to Qaddafi Duck's government, and reportedly taking three of his sons into custody.
ABC news reported (and showed on ABC Nightly News) that as Rebel forces pushed into the outskirts of the capital, Qaddafi's troops not only retreated in disorder, but stripped off their uniforms and left them in the streets.
Meanwhile, The Duck was still spouting threats at the Rebels and entreaties for resistance from that fabled Undisclosed Location where tyrants and Whack Jobs™ tend to hang out. The Duck's official media spokesman, Musa Ibraham, claimed "Tripoli is well-protected. We have thousands and thousands of professional soldiers".
Per the New York Times,
The rebel leadership announced that insurgents had captured two of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons, including Seif al-Islam, his heir apparent. The leadership also announced that the elite presidential guard protecting the Libyan leader had surrendered and that they controlled many parts of the city, not including Colonel Qaddafi’s leadership compound.
Officials loyal to Qaddafi insisted that the fight was not over and there were clashes between rebels and government troops early Monday morning [Sunday night in the United States]. But NATO and American officials said that the Qaddafi’s [sic] regime’s control of Tripoli, which had been its final stronghold, was now in doubt.
“Clearly the offensive for Tripoli is underway,” the State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. The statement said “Qaddafi’s days are numbered” and urged the rebel leadership to prepare for a transfer of power and “maintain broad outreach across all segments of Libyan society and to plan for a post-Qaddafi Libya.”
Western journalists are staying in their rooms at a hotel in downtown Tripoli, wearing body armor and hearing heavy fighting taking place in the streets below them.
Libyans loyal to Qaddafi are in a state of panic, the reporters say, because they believe when the Rebels enter Triploi in force, there will be bloody revenge taken -- on a clan vs. clan, and individual level -- for the Rebel's losses over the past six months of warfare. Alex Crawford of Britain's SkyTV told CBS News that the Rebels rejected calls by the Qaddafi forces for a cease-fire and are "in no mood for compromise... they can smell victory."
Mehr: Libyan state television abruptly went off the air at approximately 3:45AM PDST on Monday. CBS News had shown a clip last night of a heavy female news announcer, wearing a green sash (Green being the color of Qaddafi loyalists) and waving a heavy-caliber pistol around, saying to viewers that she was prepared to die defending the station against the Rebels, to "be a martyr".
Not sure how that worked out, but my guess is that her posturing was just additional theatre, and that in all likelihood she is only out of a job. I'd hope that's the case. But, it's a revolution, and denn Der Scheiss kommt.
Meanwhile, in America, it's interesting to see various Rethugs who gave The Duck good press, when it suited them, and now that the wind is blowing the other way are cheering on his downfall. The Great Curmudgeon quotes Senator Old Man as saying on August 15, 2009:
Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his "ranch" in Libya - interesting meeting with an interesting man.And, Senator Old Man today:
Looking ahead to a possible rebel victory in the civil war, John McCain said it will be very difficult to build a united democratic government there, due to the tribal rivalries.Do you get the sense, reading this quote, that Senator Old Man doesn't have the first clue about the significance of what's happened across North Africa and in the Middle East -- in fact, is still going on in Syria?
"We've seen the difficulties with other countries who made this transition, but we will be rid of a guy who has the blood of Americans on his hands. We will be rid of a guy who has practiced the worst kind of brutalities. And now it's going to be up to us and the Europeans."
That the reason for revolt and civil disobedience is reaction to foreign-dominated, brutal leaders and corupt political systems? And that part of whatever governments develop will be to avoid allowing European or American influence to affect their development as independent countries trying to serve their people?
Senator Old Man seems to be living in a world where American dominance was unquestioned. That's not the case any longer (please observe this, as the world is meant to).
Of course, if The Muslim Brotherhood suddenly starts running things, all bets are off.