. Military Space News .

Clouds darken Libya's spring
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Oct 25, 2011

Libya has officially been declared "liberated" and its former dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead and buried. Now a new war for the country's future begins.

Shariah, Islam's strict religious code of behavior, is now the "basic source" of law in Libya. A new interim government prime minister and Cabinet are supposed to be installed by the rebel's National Transitional Council within a month, with a constitutional assembly and national elections to follow.

Much of it all sounds good on paper and in media sound bites. But, as with most revolutions, hopes, promises and expectations are set on a collision course with reality.

The National Transitional Council is riven with political and tribal factions; and rivalry for spoils of power exists between the east of the country and the west, between secularists and Islamists.

Already there are reports that various militias that took part in the eight-month war to topple the Gadhafi regime aren't heeding NTC calls to disarm and return to their villages and towns; of fighters in the northwestern city of Misurata and fighters in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, ignoring instructions from the NTC, which is based in Benghazi, to the east.

The lack of political cohesion within the rebel movement is nothing new. It was known by the international community long before the NTC garnered wide international recognition in the push to end Gadhafi's 42-year rule. But that which was put on a back burner during the street battles that raged across the country can no longer be left there despite the rhetoric.

"You should only embrace honesty, patience and mercy," Mustafa Abdul Jalil, NTC chairman and de facto president of the country, said Sunday, in declaring liberation.

The call for patience and mercy, however, was sullied before it was uttered by Jalil.

In the port city of Sirte, the last stand of pro-Gadhafi forces, the bodies of 53 Gadhafi loyalists were found on the grounds of a hotel.

"Some had their hands tied behind their backs when they were shot," said Human Rights Watch's emergencies director Peter Bouckaert. "This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and to hold accountable those responsible."

The killings dovetailed with what appeared the summary executions by Misurata fighters of Gadhafi himself and the dictator's son, Mutassim, who were captured last week.

Witness accounts, cellphone photographs and video show Gadhafi having been captured alive by rebel forces, being beaten and placed on the hood of a jeep and taken away. Sometime after that he turned up dead, shot in the head.

The NTC, in an official statement, said Gadhafi was killed in crossfire between rebels and regime loyalists. The dictator's body, apparently against NTC wishes, was displayed to the public for days by Misurata rebels as bickering over how and where the body was to be disposed off raged between the NTC leaders in Benghazi, Misurata militia leaders and representatives of Gadhafi's tribe.

Beside his body was that of his son, Mutassim, who had been shot in the neck. Video taken after Mutassim's capture by rebels had showed him very much alive.

The killings of the dictator and his son are understandable. In addition to the atrocities committed by the Gadhafi regime, as many as 25,000 people were killed during the revolution, which started out as peaceful demonstrations for democracy.

Nevertheless, they upset the sensibilities of the nations and leaders that supported the Libyan spring with political support, military aid and financial largesse.

The United Nations plans to conduct a human rights investigation and the United States, Britain and others are calling for a full investigation as their unease over the killings foreshadowing wider bloodletting -- including that between political and tribal rivals.

Related Links

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Future US military role in Libya depends on NATO: Panetta
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 25, 2011 - A future US military role in the new Libya will hinge on decisions by NATO, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday during a visit to Tokyo.

"About looking to the future, I think a lot of that at this point still rests with NATO," Panetta told a news conference two days after Libya's National Transitional Council declared the country's liberation in the wake of strongman Moamer Kadhafi's capture and death last week.

"There will be discussion within NATO about how we will transition," Panetta said on his first visit to Japan since his appointment in July.

"The decision as to a future security involvement (should be) in the hands of NATO, (which) will give us a basis" to determine any future US role in Libya, he said.

"Our concern right now is to provide medical relief for the large number of wounded in Libya," he added.

"The other issue is obviously with regards to the arms and the danger that those arms fall into the hands of the wrong people," Panetta said, adding that short-range anti-aircraft missiles were of particular concern.

NATO ambassadors are scheduled to meet Wednesday to make a formal decision on a preliminary agreement to terminate the seven-month Libya mission on October 31.

But Libya's new regime has asked the alliance to maintain air operations a month longer than planned.

The alliance decided to wind down the mission after determining that civilians were essentially free from the threat of attacks from pro-Kadhafi fighters.

On Monday, NATO's head of operations in Libya, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said the country was "essentially" free from threat of attack by Kadhafi loyalists and its interim leaders are capable of handling such threats.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

EU scolds Israel's Lieberman over Abbas quit call
Brussels (AFP) Oct 25, 2011
The European Union urged Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to avoid "provocative" acts on Tuesday after he called for the resignation of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. An EU spokeswoman recalled that the Quartet of Middle East peacebrokers, the United States, United Nations, EU and Russia, have called on Israelis and Palestinians "to refrain from provocative actions." Liebe ... read more

Russia shows little interest in new US missile offer: report

Aerostat system detects cruise missiles and supports engagement

Raytheon Successfully Test Fires First New-Build Patriot Missile

NATO missile shield 'not targeted at anyone': Spain

Marines use Excalibur to limit collateral damage in Afghanistan

Lightweight MEADS Launcher Arrives At White Sands for Initial Flight Test

Launchers carry AMRAAM, Sparrow, Sidewinder missiles

U.S. aid to help find Libyan missiles

Computer virus did not target US drone fleet: general

US Army to fly 'kamikaze' drones

Raytheon Aims to Integrate STM on Light-Attack Aircraft

Miscommunication caused US drone deaths: report

China suspect in US satellite interference: report

First MEADS Battle Manager Begins Integration Testing in the United States

Elbit Establishes Israeli MOD Comms Equipment Supply Upgrade and Maintenance Project

Boeing FAB-T Demonstrates High-Data-Rate Communications with AEHF Satellite Test Terminal

UK Defence Selects Lockheed Martin UK for Contract to Upgrade Warrior Vehicles

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Advances in Ground Vehicle Protection

Northrop honors KUKA Systems

F-22 fighters back in the air: US Air Force

Australia chooses five suppliers for ICT

S. American defense spending set to grow

Paraguay mulls security forces buildup

Viktor Bout lawyer assails undercover witness

Commentary: Communist boogeyman

China, Japan welcome eurozone deal

German FM: Turkey deserves fairness

US urges deeper China engagement to avoid 'miscalculation'

LockMart Directed Energy Leader Receives Purdue's Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement