Who are the Libyan revolutionaries?

April 3, 2011 § 8 Comments

Jihan Hafiz of the Real News on the Libyan revolutionaries. (Also see Part 2)

Recently returned from Bengazi, Hafiz reports on rebel fighters, supporters and early stages of the Libyan uprising.

James Bays of Al Jazeera reports from the frontline:

Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker, who wrote the acclaimed biography of Che Guevara, also spent some time with the rebels. Here’s an excerpt:

During weeks of reporting in Benghazi and along the chaotic, shifting front line, I’ve spent a great deal of time with these volunteers. The hard core of the fighters has been the shabab—the young people whose protests in mid-February sparked the uprising. They range from street toughs to university students (many in computer science, engineering, or medicine), and have been joined by unemployed hipsters and middle-aged mechanics, merchants, and storekeepers. There is a contingent of workers for foreign companies: oil and maritime engineers, construction supervisors, translators. There are former soldiers, their gunstocks painted red, green, and black—the suddenly ubiquitous colors of the pre-Qaddafi Libyan flag.

And there are a few bearded religious men, more disciplined than the others, who appear intent on fighting at the dangerous tip of the advancing lines. It seems unlikely, however, that they represent Al Qaeda. I saw prayers being held on the front line at Ras Lanuf, but most of the fighters did not attend. One zealous-looking fighter at Brega acknowledged that he was a jihadi—a veteran of the Iraq war—but said that he welcomed U.S. involvement in Libya, because Qaddafi was a kafir, an unbeliever.

Outside Ajdabiya, a man named Ibrahim, one of many émigrés who have returned, said, “Libyans have always been Muslims—good Muslims.” People here regard themselves as decent and observant; a bit old-fashioned and parochial, but not Islamist radicals. Ibrahim is fifty-seven. He lives in Chicago, and turned over his auto-body shop and car wash to a friend so that he could come and fight. He had made his life in the United States, he said, but it was his duty as a Libyan to help get rid of Qaddafi––“the monster.”

In the past month, men like Ibrahim have rushed into combat as if it were an extension of the street protests, spurred by bravado and defiance but barely able to handle weapons. For many of them, the fighting consists largely of a performance—dancing and singing and firing into the air—and of racing around in improvised gunwagons. The ritual goes on until they are sent scurrying by Qaddafi’s shells. In the early days of Qaddafi’s counterattack, youthful fighters were outraged that the enemy was firing real artillery at them. Many hundreds have died.

The reality of combat has frightened the rebels, but it has also strengthened the resolve of those who have lost friends or brothers. Outside Ajdabiya, I met Muhammad Saleh, a young mechanic armed with only a bayonet. Just an hour or two earlier, he had seen his younger brother die. A few days later, he told me that he was planning to buy black-market weapons and, with a group of ten friends, return to the battlefield. With professional training and leadership (presumably from abroad), the rebels may eventually turn into something like a proper army. But, for now, they have perhaps only a thousand trained fighters, and are woefully outgunned. Last week, a former Army officer told me, “There is no army. It’s just us—a few volunteers like me and the shabab.”

Finally, one survivor on his ordeal being stuck in besieged Misurata:

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§ 8 Responses to Who are the Libyan revolutionaries?

  • […] Who are the Libyan revolutionaries? (via P U L S E) April 3, 2011 by TooDamnEZ Jihan Hafiz of the Real News on the Libyan revolutionaries. Recently returned from Bengazi, Hafiz reports on rebel fighters, supporters and early stages of the Libyan uprising. Jon Lee Anderson of the New Yorker, who wrote the acclaimed biography of Che Guevara, also spent some time with the rebels. Here's an excerpt: During weeks of reporting in Benghazi and along the chaotic, shifting front line, I’ve spent a great … Read More […]

  • hayate says:

    I keep expecting to see sarah palin pop into these adverts…and exclaim:

    “Gotcha”

    Really pathetically propaganda, reminds me of “movietone news” clips.

  • hayate says:

    Libya rebels hit by coalition air strike
    ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ BREGA, LIBYA – Apr 02 2011 18:08

    “A Reuters correspondent at the scene of the air strike saw at least four burnt-out vehicles including an ambulance by the side of the road near the eastern entrance to the town.”

    [http://www.mg.co.za/article/2011-04-02-libya-rebels-hit-by-coalition-air-strike]

    Didn’t these guys’ mossad/cia handlers explain to them that they should never travel with an ambulance nearby when israel’s colonials are flying overhead, looking for something to shoot at? That should have been lesson #1. Stay away from ambulances, favourite target of ziofascists in Gaza, the israelis maintain those red cross are only put on the vehicles for target practice, and they instruct their colonials likewise. How are these mossad/cia contras going to be able to regime change Libya if they cant even avoid america’s/nato’s favourite military target of opportunity, the marked ambulance. They’re going to have to be sent back to fort benning.

  • […] Who are the Libyan revolutionaries? Jihan Hafiz of the Real News on the Libyan revolutionaries. […]

  • Bill Riordan says:

    As for Anderson’s bio of Che, I am a Latin American historian who has read the work and even assigned sections of it for class readings. That being said, it may be “highly acclaimed,” but it’s not especially good. Wonder what Che would think of “Western” bombing of Libya right now?

  • hayate says:

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Libya

    by Frank Scott / April 4th, 2011

    (excerpts)

    “The rationale for our latest foreign murder campaign is the ridiculous notion that because Gaddafi is an undemocratic semi-tyrant we have the right to interfere in the affairs of a nation which may very well soon be run by a full tyrant if, and when, Gaddafi is replaced. And then only by having the rebels assisted from outside Libya if they hadn’t already been organized from outside Libya. Clearly, some Libyans hate his guts, but some love him, and as for those who hate him, how odd is it that a leader is hated by some of his people?

    The Gaddafi monsters keep killing people but what are the rebels doing? Making love to them? Giving them free health care? Are those tanks they destroy operated by robots? Are the stories – and some scenes available on the internet – of African blacks with their hands tied behind their backs after being executed by rebels merely propaganda from Gaddafi’s family photo album?

    The fact that some people on what passes for the American left uncritically accept fairy tales about Gaddafi and his goodness – or his evil – is no different than that some other people believe fairy tales about his opposition, with both sides having zero knowledge except opinion shaped by sources they think reputable and others find sheer nonsense.

    In their innocent and sincere desire for peace, ignorant people at a web site got hundreds of thousands of signatures calling for no-fly zones to “save lives”. They played a role in helping to create more murders based on informational garbage presented to them as support for peace. The road to hell can indeed be paved with good intentions. The lesson should be clear: screw acting on your intentions until you know what the hell is actually going on, please.”

    [http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/lies-damned-lies-and-libya]

  • hayate says:

    The zionists sure know how to pick their their quislings:

    Mounting evidence of CIA ties to Libyan rebels

    By Patrick Martin, 4 April 2011

    The dubious character of the Libyan rebels was further underscored in a remarkable profile published Saturday by the Wall Street Journal of three Libyans who had fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and were now playing major roles in the rebel military effort. Two of the three had been in US custody as alleged Al Qaeda operatives and one spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before being turned over to the Gaddafi regime in 2007. The three men are:

    * Abdel Hakim al-Hasady, described as “an influential Islamic preacher and high school teacher who spent five years at a training camp in eastern Afghanistan” and now “oversees the recruitment, training and deployment of about 300 rebel fighters from Darna,” a city in eastern Libya

    * Salah al-Barrani, “a former fighter from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG,” who is Hasady’s field commander

    * Sufyan Ben Qumu, “a Libyan army veteran who worked for Osama bin Laden’s holding company in Sudan and later for an al Qaeda-linked charity in Afghanistan,” and who “is training many of the city’s rebel recruits.”

    [http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/apr2011/liby-a04.shtml]

    The individual details described here are new, and a welcome breath of fresh air compared to the soft ziofascist rubbish making the rounds, but the mossad/cia have been using “al ciada” since they created this terrorist org in Afghanistan 3 decades ago. Where ever you find “al ciada” you’ll find mossad/cia pulling its puppet strings. That “al ciada” is now openly part of the ziofascist run and supported regime change campaign in Libya should be no surprise to any one with a brain. It’s the natural progression of the ziofascist arrogance of their total control of western discourse and thought that they now no longer feel they have to hide their terrorist connections and now parade them in front of the world. They think their manipulation is so complete now, they need not worry about people thinking: “Hey, al qaida, weren’t those the guys who did the wtc attack and killed 3000 people? But since they are fighting the evil Qaddafi, now, they’re cool dudes”? You expect us to buy this rubbish?”

    Not only does zionism, inc. expect their forgetful marks to buy this goebbelsian rubbish, they make sure their sleazy horowitzian/deshowitzian 5th element inundates all those who still have brains with 24/7 with “soft” zionist propaganda across the political spectrum in support of these disgusting war criminals. Orwell had his faults, but he portrayed how these things think and manipulate people with mass psychology very well in “1984”. “Soundbite news” is advertising by another name and these people wrote the book on it, quite a few, in fact, since population manipulation/advertising/marketing are Jewish zionist specialties. They didn’t seek to dominate mass media by accident.

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