TRIPOLI, LIBYA -- Western media reports continue to indicate that Libyan rebels trying to oust Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi from power, backed by daily NATO air strikes, are gaining ground in western Libya. During a six-hour drive from the Tunisian border to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, this reporter saw no signs of Libyan rebel successes in western Libya. In fact, I witnessed a spontaneous pro-Qaddafi demonstration on the main Tunisia-Tripoli highway in a town about one and a half hours west of Tripoli.
The green flag of the Libyan Arab Jamahiryah not only adorn flag poles in towns from Tripoli to the Tunisian border, but a number of private residences are flying the green flag from their rooftops, on flag poles, and even from outside of top floor windows in medium size and small towns alike along the main highway.
There are some telltale signs of previous fighting in the western part of the country -- bullet holes in the walls of some buildings and even some more extensive structural damage -- but there are no signs that the rebels, backed by the United States, NATO, and the European Union, have any substantial support in western Libya.
The one major sign of the Libyan civil war lies not in western Libya but across the Tunisian border where several refugee tent cities have been set up to accommodate thousands of refugees, most of them black African guest workers from sub-Sahara and Sahel nations who were set upon by rebels who said the workers were "mercenaries"brought to Libya by Qaddafi to fight on his behalf. In fact, there is a strong anti-black racialist element within the Libyan rebel movement that used the mercenary meme to justify heinous war crimes by rebel units against blacks from other African nations, as well as native Libyan blacks.
While many of the refugee camps on the Tunisian side of the Libyan frontier are sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross, one is funded by the United Arab Emirates, one of the nations participating in President Obama's "coalition of the willing" that is waging a war on behalf of the Libyan rebels. From our hotel on the Mediterranean coast, we expect to see and hear the attacks conducted against military and some civilian targets a further few miles inland in downtown Tripoli.
The EU and NATO sanctions on Libya are being severely felt by Libya's civilians. Petrol stations are rationing gasoline and long lines of cars sit waiting for gasoline to be delivered to the pumps. The NATO, EU, and U.S. policy of "collective punishment" of western Libya's civilian population is being compares to Israel's collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. In fact, many Libyans believe that Obama's crippling sanctions on western Libya were crafted by Israel's lobby in Washington, which pressured the Obama administration into adopting them.
NATO has conducted nightly air strikes against western Libya, including downtown Tripoli, since March 19. The attacks begin around 12 midnight local time and at the time of this report we are expecting another NATO bombing of Tripoli in a little less than an hour. [Ron: The reason that NATO bombs Tripoli around midnight is to maximise FEAR, TERROR and disruption for the civilian population. This is what the US, UK and EU state terrorists DO. It's their typical modus operandi. They wish to traumatise as many Libyans as possible; and bombing IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT achieves that.].
Above: Mostly black African refugees, who fled Libya after U.S.- and NATO-supported rebels committed war crimes against them merely because of the color of their skin, live a sprawling refugee camps on the Tunisian side of the Libyan border. America's first African-American president supports a rebel movement that practices genocide against black Africans, mostly guest workers who received salaries in Libya they could never earn in their native countries in sub-Sahara and Sahel Africa.
Qaddafi's portrait still ubiquitous in western Libya. Top is at a border crossing office. Bottom is at the border frontier.
The motorcade of the U.S. peace delegation speeds towards Tripoli. The official Libyan diplomatic protocol cars were able to breeze by dozens of Libyan military roadblocks set up between the Tunisian border and Tripoli. The delegation is headed by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and will be joined by former Senator Mike Gravel and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
Spontaneous pro-Qaddafi demonstration on the main highway from Tunisia to Tripoli.
Crippling sanctions on western Libya are resulting in long gas lines and civilian hardships. The Obama administration stands accused of waging Israeli-like "collective punishment" against the people of western Libya, where Qaddafi continues to command widespread popular support.
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