Misrata — the new Sarajevo

A drive down Tripoli Street, Misrata, during Ramadan in August 2010, uploaded to YouTube by HoneyBees1985:

Below is a picture of the same street, taken a few days ago by Telegraph photographer, Geoff Pugh.

Through his slogan, “God, Muammar and Libya only,” Gaddafi wants to portray himself as inseparable from identity and fate of the country he controls. The assault on Misrata suggests Gaddafi believes he can only save his country by destroying it.

A walk down Tripoli Street, video posted at The Telegraph on April 12:

Click on the image below to view a larger version of this map at LibyaFeb17.com.

Thanks to Issandr Al Amrani at The Arabist.

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13 thoughts on “Misrata — the new Sarajevo

  1. rosemerry

    You tell us only of the damage. How arte we to know the perpetrators? The rebels are not peaceful protestors.

  2. razor

    I wonder if there are any before and after videos of Fallujah out there? Any one seen the reports of the horrific birth defects arising in Fallujah and Iraq generally caused by the moral West’s depleted uranium, or more particularly the moral US’s depleted uranium?

    We now see that the reports of massacres and genocide by Ghadafi are untrue, and curiously, the rebels are well integrated with Libyan jihadist veretans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They fly the flag of the former king, who was a puppet of the colonialists, and they seek the aid of the colonial powers.

    I don’t have an inside knowledge of what is happening in Libya, but I did host Libyan students in my home who were studying in my country, funded by the “Mad Man’s” regime. I think if you look with reasonable care at the streetscape in this video above, you will see what appears to be a very prosperous scene. Fresh looking cars, modern buildings with brightly lit shops etc. And what about Libyas placing at 53rd in the Human Development Index? Ahead of US ally Saudi Arabia. This does not seem to me to be similar to the many US allied kleptocrats societies.

    Make no mistake, this intervention has nothing to do with concern for the Libyan people and everthing to do with raping Libya of its resources and using it as a base for AfriCom. Here in the West we are shameless. There is no democracy, people have given up seeking to bring their criminal governments to account and have settled for worthless trinkets and baubles to keep themselves distracted and amused, regardless of the cost to our brothers and sisters around the world.

    Incidentally, I haven’t seen any recent images of Bahrain since the Saudis invaded and repressed the democracy campaigners, attacking hospitals and medical workers. All this and the US 5th Fleet looking on, no doubt with a bird’s eye view of the whole slaughter. Bu then they are your allies, so I suppose that’s all right then.

  3. isadore ducasse

    ‘eye’ concur with rosemary and over the years have held my ‘knows’ when and where-ever nato and the un stick their fingers into the pie – at the behest of the stars & stripes’
    agenda; tragedy is when the behemoth falls it’s going to take the rest of the west down
    with it… and in a sense/innocence rightfully so as the tao maintains its balance

  4. Paul Woodward

    Razor – If you were saying the people in Misrata were suffering like the people in Fallujah, I’d get that — two cities under military siege getting bombarded, the comparison is quite obvious. But it sounds like maybe you’re saying the people in Misrata are nowhere near as bad off as the people in Fallujah — and therefore? Deserve no sympathy?

    As for comparing Misrata and Bahrain, well, the Saudis haven’t been facing armed opposition so it’s a bit silly to imagine that scenes of buildings in ruins are being hidden from view.

    The underlying issue in the blithe indifference towards Libyans being expressed by so many professed peace lovers is that apparently there simply weren’t enough peaceful Libyan protesters willing to get killed by Gaddafi’s security services, rather than pick up arms to defend themselves.

    It makes me think that there’s a counterpart to the armchair warrior — the armchair Gandhi: someone who supports the need for others to lose their lives in the name of peace while facing no such risk themselves.

    If you were a Libyan, what would you be doing? Going out on the streets chanting “God, Muammar and Libya only,” or siding with the revolutionaries? I know which side I’d be on.

  5. Susan

    The claim that the US is bombing Libya to save lives is an even bigger lie than the claim that they bombed and occupied Iraq to bring them freedom and democracy.

    The aftereffects of the bombing will be increased cancer rates and skyrocketing birth defects just like in Fallujah and Basra. And it will likely last for generations.

  6. bobs

    I’d be siding with the rebels, too. And no doubt failing to display a fraction of their courage.

    What was always clear is that western intervention had all sorts of motives, none of which included the welfare of Libyans. What is now clear is that the intervention is a humanitarian disaster: in a few weeks NATO has managed the incredible feat of giving Gaddafi renewed legitimacy while reminding the world of its impotence (as though Afghanistan was not enough of a demonstration). With apologies to Mark Twain, better to refrain from acting and make people believe you’re impotent than act and remove all doubt. Gaddafi seems a very happy man! Well done, NATO!

  7. Susan

    Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq


    Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

    The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

    Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”


    you can bet your last dollar that this is true of Libya too.

    Oh, and now Britain is sending in ground forces, called “advisers”. Can we have another occupation? YES WE CAN.

  8. Colm O' Toole

    Firstly I agree with bob:

    “What was always clear is that western intervention had all sorts of motives, none of which included the welfare of Libyans.”

    Seems alot of people here are just busy looking at the trees and not at the forest. It’s easy to demonise Gaddaffi. Not so easy to ask will the next Pro-American tyrant be any better (or worse) and be under no mistake the rebel leadership will be the next tyrants.

    It’s is this idea of just focusing on the immediate tyrant to hell with long term planning. Reminds me of the line in the last James Bond film where he is in Bolivia given out to Felix, his CIA buddy, about Americans carving up South America. Felix then says “tyrants change every week down here. Usually one replaced by an even worse guy”.

    Just because Gaddaffi is bad doesn’t mean that the rebels are good. This ain’t Tahrir Square where everyone knew which side to support (except of course Sarkosy/Cameron/Obama who supported Mubarak to the bitter end). So call me Pro-Gaddaffi if you want or Anti-Anti-Gaddaffi. I just suspect that this conflict is between two tyrants (one formerly supported by US-EU interests and one currently supported by US-EU interests).

    Sometimes it’s not as simple as good guys vs bad guys. That’s a lesson the US never learns.

    PS: Also the photo from Tripoli street does look like Sarajevo or Fallajuh (where the humanitarian heroes of the US massacred ten times more civilians than Gaddaffi ever did in Misrata all in the name of revenge for the killing and burning of mercenaries). But that photo is without context. The map below shows that NATO conducted airstrikes just below Tripoli street at the South Entry. The map also shows that Gaddaffi forces seem to have mainly concentrated the attack on that street with two seperate offensives being fought there, one including attacks on a hospital on the street which is against Article 4 of Geneva Conventions ruling out strikes or assaults on hospitals (not that that stopped Israel in Gaza or the US in Nasiriya Iraq during Jessica Lynch’s “rescue”.)

  9. Razor

    Paul Woodward – “If you were a Libyan, what would you be doing? Going out on the streets chanting “God, Muammar and Libya only,” or siding with the revolutionaries? I know which side I’d be on.”

    Well Paul you know more than I do. I don’t know who these revolutionaries are. I know they are in armed insurrection against their Government, and I suspect their colonial supporters would be no less violent in suppressing armed uprisings within their own territories. I know that they are being supported by US/UK/France, I know that they fly the flag of the Senussi Monarchy, a tool of colonialists. I know that Libya is a tribal society, and at best this conflict has overtones of tribal rivalries and as such civil war. I know that in my own country, Ireland, we had a bloody civil war pitting brother against brother, and the most vile atrocities committed on both sides. Unfortunately when people descend into making war on each other, they brutalise themselves, stripping themselves of whatever veneer of civilisation they may have had beforehand.

    I also know that in my own country, we had a Imperial Coloniser oppress us for centuries, and this is one of the leaders of this demonic alliance promising to protect human rights in Libya? I believe you are English Paul. If I am right, I hope this is not colouring your views on this imperial intervention in a civil war.

    I don’t know what is happening on the ground in Libya, and I think I am not unique in this. I certainly get the impression from seeing Ghadafi in news programs, that he seemed pretty strange. However, as I said in my last comment, he had brought Libya to no 53 in the HDI, no mean achievement. Libyans enjoy the among the best medical facilities, best educational opportunities, best infrastructure in the developing world. They also receive a direct stipend from their country’s oil revenues.

    I suspect that these benefits that Libyans have enjoyed under Ghadafi, would not last very long under the regime sponsored by the New World Order. Imagine these “Rebels” , as one of their first administrative acts, set up a new central bank. Nice to see they have their priorities right.

    As to Bahrain, I did not suggest that there was widespread property destruction. There would be no such need. In Bahrain the protesters were not armed. They were easy meat for the Saudis, GCC and local mercenaries. And not a peep from the leaders of the free world, despite having, as I said, their fifth fleet looking on. As Colm O Toole seems to suggest, the “Rebels” may be” son’s of bitches, but they’re our son’s of bitches”, to borrow a phrase of uncertain attribution.

    As to the “blythe indifference towards Libyans” – sorry Paul, I hope I am not being offensive here, I truly do admire your work generally, and I think you are one of the good guys. But to suggest that the future that awaits Libyans if the vampires of empire get their way, the self same saviours of Iraq, liberators of Afghanistan from their own creation, the Pushtun “Mujahedin” http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/2003/11/afghan-mujahideen/ is just hunky dory, is fantasy of a high order.

    I don’t know how much support the Rebels have with ordinary Libyans, or for that matter Ghadafi. I do know enough from even recent history that when the Empire mounts its high moral horse, its time to check you wallet.

  10. Paul Woodward

    Razor — If you don’t know much about the so-called rebels in Libya, why don’t you spend more time reading the information I provide on this site? Or go to http://www.libyafeb17.com/ and http://revolutionology.wordpress.com/.

    You’re not the only commenter here who refers to Libya’s rebels as either being of obscure and suspect provenance or imperial lackeys (and most often both! — “we don’t know who they are but we’re certain who they answer to”), yet over the last two months I’ve provided an abundance of evidence that they are ordinary Libyans, mostly young, and that they rose up in pursuit of their own freedom not at the behest of imperial puppet masters. They were inspired by two other revolutions taking place right on their doorstep — immediately to the west in Tunisia and immediately to the east in Egypt. No imperial hand was required to trigger this uprising.

    I’ve been running this site for almost ten years and I guess it is on the basis of my opposition to the war on terrorism, the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq that I am perceived by some as one of the “good guys.” Britain has been an active partner with the US in each of those misconceived ventures. So where’s this idea come from that suddenly with the intervention in Libya, I’ve discovered my imperialist-within and become “true” to my English roots? Give me a break! Would that be because Gaddafi helped the IRA? Believe it or not, there are plenty of English people who have supported the Irish republican movement on the basis that the people of Ireland have as much right to self-determination as does anyone else.

    I happen to have had Irish protestant ancestors who were closely tied to the monarch, but my ancestry has had little influence on my political views — aside from the fact that whether it’s the Irish or anyone else who suffered under British imperial rule, I can certainly understand why that imposition has provoked lasting resentment. That said, it’s always a good idea to suspend judgment about the individual, whatever ones bias might be towards the collective.

    The only assumption I’ve made about the future for Libyans — at least those who rose up against Gaddafi — was that if they fail, they won’t have much future. If they succeed, then they will have a huge undertaking on their hands reconstructing Libya. I make no assumptions about the outcome.

    As for the warnings about the “vampires of empire” — you’re stuck in the past. Western imperialism is a spent force. As things stand right now, NATO is in serious danger of being humiliated by Gaddafi. If anyone imagines Sarkozy and Cameron have a reliable ally in Washington, they haven’t been paying attention to the fact that the US now has one of the most spineless presidents ever — a man who seems to have never met any form of resistance to which he would not sooner or later yield.

    Those who insist on looking at the present through the past, simply aren’t paying attention to what is happening now or the succession of events that led to this moment. The information is out there for anyone who wants to find out.

  11. Razor

    I was not making a judgement about the individual, much less about the collective. I believe in our Western societies we the people, are not really represented by our elites. I have nothing but goodwill towards the English people as individuals, as much as towards any peoples. I value the close ties of family, language, culture between Ireland and the UK. Of course I still remember our history.

    As to begin stuck in the past regarding Imperialism as a spent force? Really? It may be in its dying throes, but it is no less venemous for that, and perhaps even more dangerous. What is the raison d’etre of NATO anyway? Shouldn’t that have crawled into a corner in 1990 and faded away? And of course we know that Nato is a tool for the facilitation of US imperialism, an imperialism that goes to the core of the deep state in the US.

    Spineless Presidents? C’mon, Presidents are put into office by the interests they represent, and they do represent them. Don’t you recall the moment when POTUS candidate Obama genuflected before AIPAC? IN that moment, at least I knew that this was the putative new boss, same as the old boss, and I’m not claiming I’m psychic or even especially far seeing. Obama represents the WAR party (Repubmocrats) along with the lobby groups that own the US government, and their orders he will fufill.

    In the empire, the allies do Washingtons bidding, not the other way around. As to looking at the present through the past, I am minded of Santayana’s “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

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