MUAMMAR AND LEEZA SITTING IN A TREE…..

Amidst all the grim news of general chaos and possible reprisals in Tripoli, there’s some unintentional hilarity (as with all things Colonel G) that resulted from the rebels overunning and then ransacking his Bab al-Aziziyah compound. Things like THIS:

Seems like our dear Colonel was holding quite a torch for a certain SecState. Just imagine how much batshit talk the far right media in the US would unleash if it was actually Hillary instead. But Cond…er, LEEZA, how could you NOT fall in love with such impeccable dress sense?

Don’t worry, the hair’s real.

War tourism takes a deadly turn

Another day, another fiasco. Now, some might accuse detractors of excessive snark, but it’s hard not to when stuff like this happens. Even if you ignore that factoid about 4x the wasted ammunition as being unreliable, there’s plenty of stuff that makes one smack the face:

“But in the characteristically fanciful version of events provided by the Shabaab, a spokesman claimed it was all part of a cunning regime plot. According to Mustafa Ali Omar: “Some of Gaddafi’s forces sneaked in among the rebels and fired anti-aircraft guns in the air. After that, Nato came and bombed them.”

Captain Rahim Mohammed Fatousi, an army officer who defected to the revolution, shrugged “It is very difficult with the Shabaab: they were told many times to leave because we knew the coalition was going to carry out air attacks. But these people have support from some of the political factions in Benghazi who want to use their influence through them. We shall continue to try and have some discipline into this operation.””

and..

“By yesterday, however, this had frayed. The Shabaab, as well as unarmed civilians, were allowed access to the front line and the result was seen in the retreat from the scene of the “friendly fire” when the Shabaab began to shoot in panic at their own side – rebel military moving along the desert – and even others fleeing behind them. Later, another retreat followed when a “volunteer”, a 17-year-old who had decided to observe the fighting while his school remains shut, mistook some local farmers for undercover Gaddafi troops.”

At some point the Shabaab needs to ask themselves whether they’re tagging along for a photoshoot jaunt or they’re actually serious about overthrowing Gaddafi. All the impartial observer is seeing are disaffected youths letting off testosterone-fueled steam. Lives are at stake here, most of the time not theirs, as evident in the witch-hunt roadblocks they run in friendly cities and the lynchings of black migrant workers from the sub-Sahara.

Also, in other reports:

“Despite reported ambiguity on Barack Obama’s part over the issue of arming and training the rebels, Gates made clear that the Pentagon firmly opposed it. Repeating that it was a “certainty” that no US ground troops would be authorised by Obama, he laid into the rebels’ capabilities, describing the opposition as a faction-ridden and disparate “misnomer” whose forces lacked “command and control and organisation”. If the opposition needed training and weapons, he said, “someone else” would have to provide it, a declaration that would seem to slam the door on the rebels’ hopes of being armed by the West.”

The rebels better hope for a ceasefire, because that’s the best they can achieve out of this pointless stalemate as Gaddafi will be adverse to moving far out of Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad, knowing he can starve the east out of oil revenue if he holds those towns. All this hooha about the Benghazi Bravado(tm) also ignores the real problem of Misurata, where the civilian deaths (that pesky issue that Resolution 1973 was actually SUPPOSED to be about) continues with merciless shelling by Gaddafi forces. Now, with the US withdrawing their gunships, these people have been effectively left to their fate.

Days of Our (Libyan) Lives

It never fail to pour for our poor, poor rebels. It’s doubly ironic that the coalition doesn’t think twice about stretching Resolution 1973 to its utmost limit by bombing mobile field forces of Gaddafi that aren’t immediately threatening the civilians in urban areas, but sees no problems withdrawing the gunships from places like Misurata, where civilians ARE being targeted. Some will think of this as tacit admission that Gaddafi has outwitted the coalition now with his new tactics of deep entrenchment in city centres and using rebel tactics of travelling in civilian vehicles without heavy armour following. All this means is that the rebels keep getting flanked, which is really child’s play when the rebels could never pull off any similar counter with their deep disorganization and poor morale.

Which is not to say they’re not TRYING:

“Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, reporting from the frontlines of the battle to reclaim Brega from pro-Gaddafi forces, said that overnight NATO air strikes allowed the pro-democracy fighters to gain some momentum, with discipline and co-ordination improving.

“They sent spotters out on the flanks before moving a unit forward,” Turton said. “It worked for a while before the more excitable rushed forward.”

Gaddafi’s forces, she said, reacted swiftly.

“Mortars obliterated one car and damaged two others. These rookie soldiers are learning the hard way,” Turton reported.”

Progress seems painfully slow though. In other more hilarious news, turns out the Federal Reserve was snookered completely by the Libyan crisis. This is pretty much going to be gasoline on the anti-Fed fire in the US. The Tea Party is sure to make a lot of political capital off this.

UPDATE:Seems like cooler heads are now prevailing.

Now for the (slightly) lighter side of the Libyan conflict

Ah, parody imitates life. Turns out that Libya’s very own (admittedly not very entertaining) Baghdad Bob has a certain German wife, and her blog IS very entertaining. How can it not, with posts like these?

“I’m not sure what to write really. I am stunned by the atrocities I have seen committed by these so-called rebels. Hangings. Beheadings. Immolations – and then they pulled out the heart and stamped on it. Is that what they want Libya to become?”

I SPIT ON THEE DEFENCELESS HEART, NOBLE SOLDIER OF GADDAFI!

P.S: Meanwhile, back in reality, things are as grim (or comedic, depending on how dark your humour genes are) as ever for the ragtag rebels this week. How can it not? As one Guardian journalist puts it:

“He [Gaddafi] seems to have adopted the rebel tactics of using pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted on the back. Highly mobile, much faster than using heavy armour, they’re able to sweep through the desert and around the rebels. Not only is he copying what the rebels are doing, he is doing it much better in the sense that he has much more disciplined troops.”

Not hard to beat a force that has no radios, doesn’t listen to what few military commanders they have, wastes ammo, shells its own forces by mistake, is quick to brag but equally quick to blame the coalition for not fighting 99% of the war for them.