2011 February 20 Sunday
Foreign Mercenaries Helping Gaddafi Hold Tripoli

Mercs are terrorizing the people of Tripoli as Gadhafi loses control of large swathes of Libya. He's a goner. If he survives in exile he's going to have to consolidate his last names or fade into obscurity.

Human Rights Watch said it had confirmed 62 deaths in two hospitals after a rampage on Monday night, when witnesses said groups of heavily armed militiamen and mercenaries from other African countries cruised the streets in pickup trucks, spraying crowds with machine-gun fire.

The eastern half of Libya's coastal cities are in the hands of rebels. So apparently Kadhafi did not import enough foreign soldiers to hold all cities. That mistake will cost him fatally.

Colonel Qaddafi has lashed out with a level of violence unseen in either of the other uprisings, partly by importing foreigners without ties to the Libyan people. His four decades of idiosyncratic one-man rule have left the country without any national institutions — not even a unified or disciplined military — that could tame his retribution or provide the framework for a transitional government.

The leadership of Bahrain is using imported labor on an even bigger scale to try to make local Shia Muslims a minority.

Meanwhile, the the battle over Khadafy's last name shows no sign of abating with WikiLeaks cables showing the US State Department embracing Qadhafi as their preferred spelling.

As the Qaddafi clan conducts a bloody struggle to hold onto power in Libya, cables obtained by WikiLeaks offer a vivid account of the lavish spending, rampant nepotism and bitter rivalries that have defined what a 2006 cable called “Qadhafi Incorporated,” using the State Department’s preference from the multiple spellings for Libya’s troubled first family.

Why doesn't the New York Times follow the State Department's cue? Seriously, does this divergence signal a split between the Gray Lady and Foggy Bottom over the future direction of the American empire?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 February 20 03:49 PM  MidEast Insurgencies


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