After rebels capture Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound, Gaddafi remains defiant and unfazed
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
No matter what your political persuasion or opinion of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, you have to give him this: he sure is persistent and resilient.
Earlier today crashed through the gates of Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound, Bab al-Aziziya and quickly engaged in widespread looting and celebration which was quickly captured by the media and displayed across the world.
However, a victory is still not in sight for the rebels. As they have since the first weeks of the uprising, the opposition pretends this to be the case, along with much of the media and Western officials.
Even the compound of Bab al-Aziziya itself has yet to be completely won over by the rebels, with loyalist fighters still remaining throughout the compound and the city of Tripoli itself.
While the rebels have actually only made a symbolic and strategic victory, and not a total victory as people had expected, they did manage to make off with Gaddafi’s golf cart, furs and weapons.
The mainstream media coverage of the conquering of the Bab al-Aziziya compound has been confused to say the least.
While Gaddafi and his family have yet to be captured, some are characterizing this as “the most conclusive evidence yet that Colonel Gaddafi’s rule was at an end”.
Gaddafi has confirmed that he is still indeed alive and kicking, still standing in defiance of the Western-backed rebels and the NATO imperialists that have been bombing Libya into the Stone Age for months on end.
In a statement to a Tripoli-based radio station, Gaddafi characterized his retreat as a “tactical move” and has vowed to resist “the aggression with all strength” until he achieves either victory or martyrdom.
Crediting the rebels for capturing Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound is a bit ludicrous, as a whopping 64 NATO airstrikes were carried out on the compound in preparation of the rebel advance.
Even the Associated Press described this large series of airstrikes as turning Gaddafi’s compound “to rubble.”
The troops in Tripoli, in the rebel leaders’ own admission, are “not under any unified command.” Indeed all of Tripoli is not even under rebel control at this point with at least two other areas still devoted to defending Gaddafi.
That being said, there are still forces loyal to Gaddafi embedded in neighborhoods which the rebels consider to be in control, with snipers firing upon rebels whenever possible.
The Rixos Hotel, in the Abu Salim neighborhood of Tripoli is housing a group of international journalists who have been trapped inside for days on end.
Some reports claim that the journalists are being held hostage, while the BBC reported on Tuesday that the Rixos Hotel was under fire, forcing journalists to take shelter inside.
Again, the information coming out of Libya is confused and at times deliberately misrepresented or completely manufactured without any semblance of truth.
The rebels have yet to explain why rebel leaders in Benghazi lied in reporting that they had captured Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s second son. The mainstream media is also now ignoring their claim that they also killed Muammar Gaddafi himself.
The massive egg-on-face moment occurred when Saif al-Islam freely walked into the Rixos Hotel to converse with international journalists and inform them that they had been propagandized and that his father was still standing strong inside of Tripoli.
One of the top rebel leaders, Mahmoud Jibril, attempted to explain it away by saying that it was a misunderstanding, yet he could not manage to explain why the “rumor” and “misunderstanding” were left uncorrected until it became painfully obvious that it was a complete lie with Saif al-Islam showing up at the Rixos Hotel.
The NATO mission is not complete, according to Colonel Roland Lavoie who said, “Our mission is not over yet. Until this is the case we will carry on with our mission. The situation in Tripoli is still very serious and very dangerous.”
There have been speculative reports broadcast on news outlets like Iranian state-funded Press TV which claim that Gaddafi has retreated to a tribal stronghold still loyal to him called Sabha.
Interestingly, Tripoli is not even safe enough under rebel control for the International Organization for Migration in Geneva to rescue hundreds of foreign nationals stuck in Libya.
The group has delayed a seaborne mission due to the fact that “security guarantees and assurances are no longer in place”. A spokesperson for the organization, Jemini Pandya, told the New York Times that a ship headed for Tripoli from Benghazi in the East would remain at sea until an acceptable level of safety could be assured.
In more confusing news, NPR reported that Moussa Ibrahim, a Gaddafi government spokesman, told Al-Rai that Gaddafi loyalists still were in control of 80% of Tripoli.
Yet, an NPR correspondent claims that “the view among the people streaming into the compound is that the fighting is at an end, Gadhafi is gone and outright victory is only a matter of time.”
Then, as if it couldn’t get more self-contradictory, she says, “But practically speaking, he is still at large. His sons are still at large … and there are still several parts of the country under his control.”
Suffice it to say, the war is not over and the rebels have not yet won, although their prospects are looking better than ever.
As an international observer, I can easily say that Gaddafi has shown more resilience and determination than most could ever dream of and completely eliminating his presence and that of those still loyal to him will be a significant challenge for the rebel forces and their NATO allies.