Night has fallen in Libya and the early reports are that Gadaffi has fled to Algeria, but some reporters on the scene are not so sure. His forces reportedly have laid down their arms. Now the battle begins. Anyone want to guess what the new constitution will look like? If the more-civilized Egypt is any example, there will be no democracy. See on-going updates below.
Gaddafi’s son, Saif is said to be in the custody of rebels. You’ll remember him. He helped
the sickly Pan Am 103 bomber, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, down the steps of the flight that brought him home to Libya to live out his last few days before dying from prostate cancer. He’s still alive.
This moment, 5:45 pm CDT in the U.S. a Fox report says all of Tripoli is under rebel control except Gaddafi’s compound, which is also his home. Earlier we heard that rebels were in the home of Gaddafi’s daughter Ayesha. A Fox reporter says “kids” are on the streets with machine guns.
When you see the people in the streets, the euphoria, the tears on the faces of the older citizens in Tripoli, your heart breaks, just as it did when we saw the Egyptian freedom fighters as they struggled to oust Muammar Gaddafi. The moment Gaddafi did leave for the Sinai was considered triumph, but just as quickly Yusef al-Qaradawi re-entered the country he was banned from 30 years ago. He picked up the mantle of the Muslim Brotherhood and this week he warned the military not to interfere with choosing parliament in September or the writing of the constitution. Months ago a ‘modesty police’ was set on the streets of Cairo and the reports from women are horrific. There will be no democracy in the Arab world, we can’t really even claim it fully in Iraq as yet. Pundits are talking about the Arab-style of democracy. Sounds all warm and fuzzy, but it isn’t. It’s deadly.
We should still be asking the question: Who are the rebels?
UPDATE 8-22-11 8:40 am CDT U.S.: Reuters is confirming Gaddafi’s arrest. He is being held under house arrest. The article says he notified al-Jazeera television that his house was surrounded.
“They said they will guarantee my safety. They are besieging my house,” he added. The sound of gunfire could be heard in the background. “Yes, the gunfire is inside my house,” he said before the line was suddenly cut off.
He later clarified he and his family were well and unhurt
UPDATE 6:26 pm CDT U.S.: International Criminal Court has indicted Saif Gaddafi and Muammar Gaddafi. Saif has been detained by rebel “special forces.
UPDATE 6:12 pm CDT U.S.: Another report from a Fox producer. Gaddafi’s forces HAVE NOT laid down their weapons. No other detail.
UPDATE 6:07 PM CDT U.S.: A female Sky News reporter is on the ground in Tripoli. The gunfire is shocking. The reporter, Alex, said bullets are flying (thought to be in celebration but not completely certain) everywhere along with burned-out cars.
Still no confirmation that Gaddafi is out of the country.
UPDATE 6:03 pm CDT U.S.: A Fox producer in Libyan says the foreign press is hunkered down in their hotels. People with guns are roaming the hallways and are all over the street. Journalists are awaiting rebels to come in, recognize them as from the West and make it possible for them to report from the streets.