"Cairo – Commander of the Libyan National Army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar assigned a new military commander for Benghazi in what seems Haftar’s preparation to announce the liberation of Benghazi, east Libya.
Meanwhile, National Army troops declared they were close on fully liberating the city and destroying the final terrorist presence in the city."
In 2011 media, politicians, human rights industry created a frenzy around supposed upcoming massacres in Benghazi based on the opposite of facts available to them (Gaddafis forces had reconciled not fought Rebel towns along the way, dark skinned people there were not mercenary rapists, rebels really were AlQaeda etc)
Now haftar really will commit massacres in that city, as his army comprises numerous death squads that act with total impunity.
Not even a fart from the R2P complex
hot twitter take: someone ought to literally execute noted misogynist muammar gadhaffi
i looke for this but it seems that its one take too far. But it reminded me that the "liberation" of libya was marked with a speech to 10,000 people about how they were bringing polygamy back
Old news (from 2011) but just leaving it here to compile later.
Reminder that these are the liberators who have had free reign in the country last 6 years
When the sun sets on the refugee camp for black Africans that has sprung up at the marina in this town six miles west of Tripoli, the women here brace for the worst.
The rebels who ring the camp suddenly open fire. Then they race into the camp, shouting "gabbour, gabbour" — Arabic for whore — and haul away young women, residents say.
Libya had about 2.5 million African workers when NATO invaded in 2011
Mauritania just had its elections yesterday, our second-ever somewhat democratic one. The winner by a wide margin was Ahmed Ould Ghazouani, from the Charg (eastern) region, a man who's been in the military for about 40 years, and was a defense minister under Muawiya (former leader who once imprisoned my dad lol).
Anyways, everyone knew he would win, and after Aziz we're all giving him the benefit of the doubt (looking at things from a shitty electoralist perspective). Aziz was so blatantly corrupt that he devoted significant parts of his last speech to shitting on Qatar for "destroying Libya, Syria and Tunisia" (first two kinda check out, the last one is funny), while conviently forgetting about their arch rivals Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose bags of cash were probably somewhere off-screen.
But whats significant about this election is the rise of Biram. He's a Hartani (black, Arabic speaking Mauritanian), who won a parliamentary seat from prison recently, thrown in there for being too extreme in his calls to, uh, crack down on actual human slavery and the racism and inequality that the Bidhan ("whites", Arabized Berber-descended segment of the population traditionally an aristocracy) have imposed on the rest of the population. He was projected to get like 5% of the vote and instead got about 17%, is considered a populist and is hated by the richer Bidhan and liked by his Hratin constituency and Bidhanis who are more conscious of the gross racial inequalities in society, Islamists, liberals and socialists alike. He's called Arab nationalists fascists (for their chauvinism and exclusion of African Arabs) and was met with a lot of backlash for burning Islamic Maliki texts that justified slavery which - for a country where even the heads of the communist parties pray at the mosque - was considered shocking and extremist. The Bidhani religious establishment, as well as the more secular military-backed establishment have been trying to play him off the religious or the L'Kwar - black non-Arabic speaking Mauritanians, who dress and live different to the Arabized Haratin) - though he is in a coalition with the L'Kwar voices in government.
A lot of the praise he gets is that he speaks in the language of justice - religious justice, secular societal justice - and that he speaks honestly.
Its clear his star is still rising and he has a potentially long career ahead of him. What's most important is that his rise signals the increasing intolerability of living in a Bidhani-run society, which has never had a non-Bidhani leader, in a country that is majority black. Its a relatively big story in the wider context of Arab-African relations in North Africa.
Mauritania gets sidelined a lot but its populace are surprisingly politically literate, if only they could translate that into something more constructive than perpetual navel-gazing.
Edited by Fayafi ()
i find libya super fucking confusing and difficult to wrap my head around. granted i'm a massive dumbass with only the slightest grasp of syria and yemen, but it's at least a grasp, you know? even then every so often i'll find out something new that makes me recalibrate my understanding of those conflicts. libya just seems completely beyond my abilities however.
all you need to know is that practicing imperialist Viletat
possibly definitely died on Sept 11th because of a protest of a film that insulted Mohammed. possibly the most D&D way to die.
fayafi didn’t you get invited onto RWN a couple months ago for a Mauritania episode? Is that still going to happen?
I decided against it, I'm not anywhere near as knowledgable as I should be. I am thinking however to introduce them to someone who is, just gotta find the right person. Problem is most analysts in the country speak French, but I know a few academics in the states who I could reach out to for the interview.
Edited by Fayafi ()
Some other fun anecdotes. A Haftar-aligned newspaper claims he is part of a team called the "Mirage F1 Technical Training Group" which includes Ecuadorian maintenance crews in their ranks, which seems credible as this op popped up in a U.N. report on the Libyan war last year, which also mentioned the death of another "Portuguese" pilot in June 2016 during a raid on ISIS in Sirte: https://undocs.org/S/2017/466
A reference to the "anti-possession" tattoo worn by Dean Winchester (played by actor Jensen Ackles) in the hit WB series Supernatural, which recently concluded its 14th season.
that's a salient
it s really strange to have a proxy war not between the US and the USSR but between imperalist pawns like turkey and qatar vs saudis and the UAE while the former is supporting religious freaks and the latter is supporting ostentatiously secular organizations
Assertion is that UAE wants to create a chain of friendly "strong man" states (+ Sudan) like Egypt.
I'm trying to get a handle on it but can only just make posts. One of interesting things is that Libya still has a socialist economy with the GNA functioning as a vehicle for receiving oil proceeds -- it is internationally recognized so it controls oil revenues that go into the Central Bank of Libya (Tripoli). That money pays out state wages but the real power are Islamist militias in Misrata who sodomized Gaddafi to death with a bayonet. Haftar's government meanwhile keeps the lights on by running up billions of dollars in debt via his finance ministry issuing bonds sold to his central bank in Benghazi. The dinars that get paid out (cash) are printed in Russia and pays out wages to state employees and his army.
Haftar controls most of Libya's oil fields and the campaign earlier this year south of Tripoli took Sharara, which is Libya's largest oil field. I want to learn more about the petroleum security forces which seem to act as like a "third force" that periodically takes over production facilities when they want raises. The Sharara petroleum force shut that motherfucker down in December and only reopened when Haftar's army men rolled in and cut a deal.
One theory (maybe) is that Haftar rolled toward Tripoli because after taking Sharara, the ultimatum to the GNA was to demand a share of the oil proceeds "or else" and the GNA said no. But Haftar can't take Tripoli because he is an old man who had been relaxing in Virginia for 20 years before this and his army is comprised of kiddies, and they're better at showing off hardware for French T.V. crews while driving fast down the highway than they are at fighting. The more fundamental question is what do ordinary Libyans want, while I can't answer that it's probably "both/neither" in that they want stability which the militias can't provide, but Haftar doesn't have much in the way of real support, and the men around Haftar are seen as ex-Gaddafists and he's a flunkie for the UAE to test weapons on civilian populations.
Also France backs Haftar so you know France 24 was right there at the beginning of the offensive, CNN-style and with videos of Toyota playset technicals supplied by UAE:
Edited by trakfactri ()
But a U.S. guy (CEIP) is painting a grim picture for Haftar in this article: https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2019/july/in-tripoli
The Tiger was an armoured personnel carrier, supplied by the Emirates, that had just been destroyed by GNA fighters. We could see the glow of its burning wreckage just over a hedgerow. The LNA thought it had been hit by an anti-tank missile, but GNA militiamen had been ordered to pull back because ‘we’re hitting it from the air.’
The degree of precision suggests a strike by a drone, rather than one of the GNA’s ageing jets. In the last month, the Tripoli forces have received armed drones from Turkey, which, along with Qatar, is opposed to Egyptian and Emirati support for Haftar. Turkish and Qatari influence in Libya had been in retreat for several years, but now the GNA is turning to whoever can help. Turkey has also provided armoured personnel carriers, though the GNA fighters would prefer smaller, nimbler vehicles. The drones, however, are having a real effect.
On the battlefield, the militias fighting Haftar are surprisingly cohesive and well co-ordinated. But just months ago, some were fighting one another – and suspicions remain. I met young Tuareg men from Libya’s far south fighting in a Tripoli-based militia with a large Salafist component called the Special Deterrence Force. There are fighters from Benghazi, displaced by Haftar in his previous war, with a desire for vengeance. They cover their faces because they have family in the east, vulnerable to retribution. The ethnic Amazigh (commonly known as Berbers) in Libya’s western mountains worry about Haftar’s exclusivist Arab vision. ‘The first thing any dictator does is go after minorities,’ one of their officers told me.
My guess is that Haftar is going to lose the war, meaning the UAE will have blown another op in the 21st century's most remarkable losing streak. The video below is being spread as anti-LNA propaganda / is unconfirmed / etc. and is from a GNA-aligned paper, but if Haftar's army is like this...
Recognized by UN mission in #Libya and some Western and Arab countries as Libyan National Army, warlord Khalifa Haftar’s militiamen, apparently under the influence of drugs, release a video boasting about their abilities to use arms by firing randomly in densely populated areas. pic.twitter.com/vnwf9cQOMo— The Libya Observer (@Lyobserver) July 19, 2019