Gaddafi’s Son: Protesters Take Military Bases, Civil War Looms

Muammar Qaddafi/Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, warned that civil war will may loom and the country’s considerable oil operations are in danger, as anti-government protesters took over  “some” military bases, military vehicles and weapons, in a country where the populace has no way to arm themselves.

Seif al_Islam el-Qaddafi

[Seif al-Islam] says that anti-government protesters in Benghazi have seized army vehicles and weapons. A witness tells Al-Jazeera that some troops have defected and joined the anti-government protesters.

In the speech, the younger Qaddafi offered to put forward reforms within days that he described as a “historic national initiative” and said the regime was willing to remove some restrictions and begin discussions for a constitution. He offered to change a number of laws, including those covering the media and the penal code.

Another Dictator, another offer to “reform” as the masses amass. Odd thought that we are hearing little from Muammar Gaddafi, now 68 years old, and in his 40th year as ruler of Libya.

From The New York Times:

Witnesses in Tripoli interviewed by telephone Sunday night said protesters were converging toward the city’s central Green Square and clashing with heavily armed riot police officers. Young men armed themselves with chains around their knuckles, steel pipes and machetes.

The police had retreated from some neighborhoods, and protesters were seen carrying police batons, helmets and rifles. Protesters had set dumpsters on fire in some neighborhoods, blocking roads. In the early evening the sounds and smells of gunfire hung over the center of the city, which is Libya’s capital, and by midnight looting had begun.

“The state has disappeared from the streets, and the people, the youth, have practically taken over,” said Monsour Abu Shenaf, a resident of Tripoli…

Fathi Terbil, an attorney representing families of the many of the dead was able to set up an online video broadcast, from an area Libyans are calling their “Tahrir Square” (Liberation Square), this after some phones, broadcasting and Facebook were shutdown:

“We are expecting people to die today, more people than before,” Mr. Terbil said early on Sunday, before the latest round of funerals and shootings began.

“If anything happens to us today, we are not going to leave this place,” he said. “I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid to lose the battle, that’s why I want the media to see what’s going on.”

“At least if we die, so many people can witness, I can protest from everywhere,” he added, “Long live a free Libya. We are determined to fight ‘til the end for our country.

Gaddafi feels the same. In his only recent appearance in Tripoli, he said “We will all die on Libyan soil,” and a Libyan writer for the opposition said “For Gaddafi it’s kill or be killed.” “Now he’s gone straight for the kill. Read the story from the Guardian.

More quandary for Obama as Libya is considered an American “ally.” Tanks are reported to be on the streets. There has been extreme violence in Libya over the past three days, and is believed to be the bloodiest of all of the Middle Eastern anti-government protests.  Read more of that story here, and about the armed Africans mercenaries brought in to put down the uprising. Don’t miss the two videos.