- On July 28, New York Times writer David Kirkpatrick headlined,
"Death of Rebel Leader Stirs Fears of Tribal Conflict," saying:
- The killing of Libya's National Transitional Council
(NTC) military commander, Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis (Gaddafi's former Interior
and Defense Minister) and two other rebel officers, "stirred fears
that a tribal feud could divide" anti-Gaddafi forces.
- On Thursday evening, NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil (former
Gaddafi Justice Minister) announced it, saying Younis was recalled from
Brega to Benghazi for questioning on the war's progress. He suggested pro-Gaddafi
forces killed him, providing no further details, including why his body
- Nor did he explain why soldiers from Benghazi's elite
unit, 17 Brigade, surrounded his house earlier that day. In fact, ahead
of his announced death, supporters said they'd use force to free him from
- Reports last Sunday night said he died in fighting around
Brega. It was retracted, however, when Younis was interviewed Monday, saying
he was alive, well, and that rebels would prevail before Ramadan (around
August 1). In response, TNC officials claimed someone impersonated him.
Apparently, he was under arrest at the time.
- Questions remain how a field commander, usually traveling
in a heavily-guarded, multi-vehicle convoy armored car, could be easily
gunned down with two of his aides.
- Speculation swirled about whether Jalil either ordered
him arrested or assassinated. Al Jazeera said he was "suspected of
engaging in unauthorized communication with Gaddafi's representatives and
had possibly even helped supply regime troops with weapons."
- The latter comment is typical Al Jazeera, a mouthpiece
for power, making uncorroborated untrue claims. As a result, its credibility
is seriously compromised, a topic previous articles addressed.
- Last April, however, Gaddafi's daughter, Aisha, suggested
Younis remained loyal to her father, saying a former top regime figure
was talking with government officials, with no further details.
- London Independent writer Kim Sengupta said Younis supporters
claimed "fellow revolutionary fighters" killed him, adding he
was "either executed with a shot to the head or died under torture
while being interrogated."
- Others close to him said he'd been detained on suspicion
of collaborating or having unauthorized dealings with Gaddafi ministers
in Tripoli, and that members of his family remained close to the regime.
- The same day, roadblocks were set up in Benghazi after
Younis loyalists reportedly left the front lines and returned to the opposition
- In fact, his supporters stormed the hall where Jalil
announced his death, spraying the room with gunfire. No casualty information
- Reports suggested hours before his announced death, Younis
supporters knew it. As a result, it raises questions why it wasn't divulged
earlier. Instead, Jalil waited until 10PM Thursday, issuing a short statement
only without answering questions.
- Gaddafi Opponents and Younis Defection
- Most were self-serving opportunists. Stratfor's George
Friedman described them as "consist(ing) of a cluster of tribes and
personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army,
and many other longtime opponents of the regime. (However), it would be
an enormous mistake to see what happened in Libya (last winter) as a mass,
liberal democratic uprising. The narrative has to be strained to work in
most countries, but in Libya, it breaks down completely."
- In fact, most opponents came from the National Front
for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) and a group called the Islamic Emirate
of Barqa (northwestern Libya's former name), composed largely of former
Al Qaeda fighters. Together they became the NTC, backed by Washington and
other Western nations as a tool to colonize Libya.
- On February 22, Younis defected, appointing himself rebel
military commander. However, longtime CIA collaborator Khalifa Haftar (another
former Gaddafi commander) also claimed the top military post. As a result,
the two men clashed after creating parallel chains of command, an untenable
situation as it turned out.
- Foreign Policy writer David Kenner headlined, "The
strange, unexplained death of the Libyan rebels' military chief,"
- Before defecting last February 22, Younis was one of
Gaddafi's "most trusted lieutenants," often called his second
in command. At the same time, internal rebel feuding was well known.
- Moreover, New Yorker writer Jon Lee Anderson said, even
after defecting, Younis was "distrusted by the shabab (Libyan youth)
and by many council members."
- According to Dartmouth Professor Dirk Vandewalle:
- The TNC "military is in disarray. It has never been
able to really define a clear command strategy and my hunch is that it
probably never will, despite all of the aid it is getting....You're seeing
in a sense a proto-state that has no reference at all, has no institutions
to go by (with) self-appointed representatives in the TNC" with no
legitimacy. "So there remains an enormous amount of chaos."
- It makes sense given rebel fighters' ineffectiveness
on the ground. In fact, without heavy NATO air support, they easily would
have been routed quickly. Daily bombings and air cover made it possible
for them to continue, with considerable supplies of weapons and training
by US and UK intelligence and special forces operatives.
- In the aftermath of Younis' killing, Kenner questioned
Jalil's inability or unwillingness to answer questions about the incident,
especially how a significant security lapse happened. "Whatever the
case may be," he said, "the honeymoon with the rebels is over;
bring on the politics."
- A Final Comment
- On July 29, Mathaba.net reported "much shooting
going on in (Benghazi after residents) came out en masse as the news spread."
Reportedly, rebel-held prisoners were freed. People "also marched
on the rebel (TNC) and attacked it and have made a new civilian leadership,
according to reports received...." Moreover, "(t)he airport is
back under popular control, as are the military bases."
- On July 29, independent journalist Lizzie Phelan, reporting
from Tripoli at 2:00 AM, said:
- Before his death, Younis "gave a speech saying all
he and his followers want is (the strategic oil city of) Brega, not Misrata
or any of the west and that Gaddafi can take it."
- She also concurred with Mathaba analysts that fighting
among rebel factions forced NTC officials "to flee Benghazi and they
closed all communications to" the city. A popular uprising took over
Benghazi airport. "There are huge celebrations in Tripoli right now
with fireworks and gunshots firing across the capital."
- Mathaba also said pro-Gaddafi support "has grown
to at least 80% of the population." It's unsurprising that Libyans
angered by NATO bombings and rebel atrocities now strongly support their
government, not cutthroat killers and their opportunist leaders representing
Western interests, not theirs.
- In addition, Mathaba analysts believe if conflict persists
through Ramadan, pro-Gaddafi support may "rise to 95% and the active
opposition will decrease below 1%."
- Increasingly, NATO's Libya war looks lost, at least round
one with likely more destabilization and perhaps future conflict planned.
- For now, however on July 29, Financial Times writer Ian
Bremmer may have headlined a sentiment official sources aren't admitting
by saying "(d)on't start wars you don't know how to end," adding
in the wake of Younis' death:
- "NATO is unlikely to either force (Gaddafi out)
or cut a politically salable deal with him anytime soon. Meanwhile, the
opposition" is in disarray following their military leader's death.
Going forward, "(t)he most likely outcome remains a country in pieces...."
- Perhaps so, but if a popular Benghazi uprising grows,
all bets are off on what's next. So far, things are fluid but bear close
watching given the latest dramatic events.
- A Final Comment
- On July 29, Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya
(from Tripoli) and Global Research.ca editor Michel Chossudovsky headlined,
"The War on Libya: Divisions within the Transitional Council and Rebel
- Younis' death "created a vacuum in the military
command structure...." Short-run military weakening will also follow,
affecting NATO operations. At the same time, his assassination "tends
to reinforce US-NATO control over the Islamist faction of the insurgency,"
covertly supported by CIA and MI6, as it's been well before conflict erupted
- "What is unfolding in Libya is the 'Kosovo Model.'
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was integrated by Islamic brigades affiliated
with Al Qaeda (and organized crime. It's also been) supported by the CIA,
German intelligence (BND) and Britain's MI6."
- In 1999, it was a NATO "instrument" in its
Serbia/Kosovo war, later heading "an independent 'democratic' Kosovo
'Mafia State.' "
- In Libya today, "The Big Lie" is also in play
as "the US-NATO coalition....is 'on both sides' of their 'war on terrorism.'
" They're also "on both sides of 'The Big Lie,'" supporting
Al Qaeda against "Islamic terrorism."
- In fact, the entire operation is a lie like all wars,
fought for wealth, power, privilege and domination, not liberation, democratic
values, or humanitarian reasons.
- However, Nazemroaya also believes NATO may have bitten
off more than it can chew. In his same day Global Research.ca article,
written before Younis' death, he headlined, "The War on Libya: An
Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas," saying:
- Libyans "are prepared to fix their problems at home
for the sake of saving their country, their society, and their families,"
unwilling to be colonized by Washington and other NATO countries.
- As a result, they're determined even if Western forces
invade or increase "bombings to devastating levels. Although the conflict
is far from over, in the end history will judge the NATO war against Libya
as a huge mistake and as the beginning of the end for NATO."
- Established for offense, not defense, NATO's operated
a US imperial tool. Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called it a "missile
(to consolidate) American domination of Europe." Strategically intervening
under its control, it now threatens world peace and human survival.
- As a result, hopefully Nazemroaya's right! Hope also
Libyans manage to avoid the "Kosovo Model," or challenge and
overcome it if it arrives.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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