2011/02/28

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A man stands on a Libyan tank
A man stands on a Libyan army tank manned by soldiers opposed to leader Muammar Gaddafi in the city of Zawiyah, holding a sign that reads in Arabic 'Our demand: freedom.' Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters


We had crossed the line of Libya's rebellion. The minders stayed with the cars on the city's edge until it was time for us to leave. Then – extraordinarily – they came into the square to find us passing through the crowd of protesters unmolested.
Zawiyah – 30 miles from the capital – is a metaphor for Libya's current stalemate, which could itself end at any moment. For Zawiyah is surrounded by the Libyan army, which holds all the roads but yesterday did not appear to be deployed in sufficient forces to retake the city.
But, taking a broader view, it is Tripoli that is increasingly encircled by the opposition as towns across the country abandon the regime. For the moment, the opposition seems to lack the momentum to take the capital from Gaddafi's forces. But the situation remains remarkably fluid.
A man in a mix of military and civilian clothing pulled me up on to a tank whose barrel was pointing towards abandoned government positions. Tracks were still visible in the sand where armoured vehicles had once dug in. On top of the tank was Youssef Al-Araby, a middle-aged protester.




"Don't believe what the army and government tells you. Zawiyah is under our control. We answer to the interim government in Benghazi," he said. A rhythmic chant drifted up from the crowd: "We are Zawiyah!"

the reality is that this hinterland of Tripoli and its coast – despite the bussing of regime supporters – seems yet undecided which way it will go, both sides visible, both anxious to be heard.
But what is clear is that the way it is being described – as a rebel advance towards the capital – is not quite accurate for now. Instead, the rebellions are happening town by town, coming ever closer to the centre of a country balanced on the brink.



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SAif-Al-Islam Gaddafi is now calling for a ceasefire.

Yeah, that'll work.


There continue to be scattered reports in not-entirely credible sources that another of Gaddafi's sons Saif-Al-Arab Gaddafi has joined the opposition.
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"... people are simply looking for their personal freedom, for food, education, a good life. The days of ideology are over." - Syrian journalist, Mazen Darwich


The sons run. for cover. filthy signifieds. murderers.--- what is their 'cease fire' to consist of? concessions to a gang of monsters?
O people of Libya!