Saturday, September 03, 2011

Sirte: Loyalist Last Stronghold; Can the Rebels Win the Moral Victory?

Oh, my! Who wrote this? Who gave the quotes? Surely not a serious journalist; surely the source wasn’t a member of the interim government; or a freedom fighter who knows what the hell he’s fighting for?

It is so full of holes and contradictions words fail me. “Shamsiddin Ben-Ali, a spokesman in the rebel city of Benghazi, said 800 people had been killed in the past three days.”Many of the people of Sirte are on our side now and want to be part of the revolution," he said. "The people with guns though are still resisting.”" How does he know this; because the ones without guns aren’t shooting at them?  No resistance (because of nothing to resist with) means they are on the rebel’s side?

And the suggestion “Rebel leaders know that Sirte's long association with Gaddafi – he was born just outside and went to primary school in the Mediterranean town – make it difficult to win over.” Are you kidding? The rebels have consistently refused to talk, and they think it will be difficult to win over the people of Sirte. What is the plan for winning them over, then? To kill everybody who doesn’t come over to the rebel cause?

“At a meeting close to the front line on Thursday, rebel commanders besieging the city agreed to extend a Saturday deadline for negotiations by a week. “ Are these the same negotiations the rebels have consistently refused to enter into? Or are they negotiations at gunpoint, real or threatened gunpoint?

“In the meantime, said Mr [Shamsiddin ] Ben-Ali, the RAF will continue to soften up Sirte's defences…
…And the longer the siege continues, the more he [Shamsiddin Ben-Ali] believes the city will look to surrender.“ this doesn’t seem to me to be the actions or comments of a man who really wants to negotiate; they are the actions and comments of a man who wishes to crush resistance, forcing not negotiation but provocation.

“"The population know the way to end these conditions [without electricity, cooking gas or petrol.]  is to join the revolution," said Hasan Droy, Sirte representative on the National Transitional Council.
"The problem is that many people in the city don't have TV or radio and don't understand what has happened to the rest of the country."”

So, stop the conflict by agreeing to the causes of the conflict- the reason you are resisting rebellion? But they, by the rebels own admission don’t know what’s on offer, anyway. So how do they agree?

Are we expected to swallow all this? The rebels may well have a just cause; in that case they should take the moral high ground and negotiate!


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