Libya's Neighbors Prepare for NATO's Boots
Countdown to Invasion
By FRANKLIN LAMB
At ten a.m. Tripoli time on 6/28/11 the Libyan Ministry of Health made available to this observer its compilation entitled "Current Statistics Of Civilian Victims Of Nato Bombardments On Libya, (3/19/11-6/27/11).
Before releasing their data, which will be made public this afternoon, it was confirmed by the findings of the Libyan Red Crescent Society and also by civil defense workers in the neighborhoods bombed, and then vetted by researchers at Tripoli's Nassar University.
As of July 1, 2011, military casualties have not been officially released by the Libyan armed forces.
In summary, the MOH compilation documents that during the first 100 days of NATO targeting of civilians, 6121 were killed or injured. The statistical breakdown is as follows: 3093 Men were injured and 668 were killed. Women killed number 260 and 1318 injured. Children killed number 141 and 641 injured.
Of those seriously injured 655 are still under medical care in hospitals while 4,397 have been released to their families for outpatient care.
NATO claims that private apartments and homes, schools, shops, factories, crops, and warehouses storing sacks of flour were legitimate military targets are not believed by anyone here in Libya and to date NATO has failed to provide a scintilla of evidence that the 15 civilians, mainly children and their aunts and mothers, who were torn to pieces by 8 NATO rockets in the Salman neighborhood last week were legitimate military targets.
Tripoli's 3,200 neighborhoods, independently of the Libyan Armed Forces, are intensively preparing for the possibility that NATO forces or those they are seen as increasingly arming and directing, might invade the cosmopolitan greater Tripoli area during the coming weeks or months.
This observer has had the opportunity to visit some of these neighborhoods the past couple of nights and will continue to do so. As noted earlier, contrary to some media reports by the BBC, CNN and CBS Tripoli's neighborhoods during the cool evenings with wafting sea breezes, are not tense, "dangerous for foreigners and in control of trigger happy soldiers or militias." The latter assessment is nonsense. Americans and others are welcomed and their presence appreciated. Libyans are anxious to explain their points of views, a common one of which is that they are not all about Qaddafi but about protecting the family, homes, and neighborhoods from foreign invaders. A majority does support the Qaddafi leadership which is what they received with their mother's milk, but nearly all emphasize that for them and their friends it is very much about defending their revolution and country first. They appear to this observer to be very well informed about the motives of NATO and those countries that are intensively targeting their leader and their officials without regard to civilians being killed. It's about oil and reshaping African and the Middle East.
Sitting and chatting with neighborhood watch teams is actually an extremely enjoyable way to learn about and to get to know the Libyan people and how they view events unfolding in their country. It certainly beats hanging out at the bar at the hotel where the western press crowd often gather their journalistic insights and pontificate about what "the real deal is" as one told me the other day. I could not figure out much that he was talking about.
On the evening of 7/1/11 as many as one million, five hundred thousand Libyan citizens are expected to gather at Tripoli's Green Square to register their resistance to NATO's intensifying civilian targeting blitz. Some western journalists will not attend this news event because they are afraid of potential danger or their stateside bureaus are suggesting they stay away "so as not legitimize the gathering" What has become of orientalist journalism?
The neighborhoods in Libya are preparing for a ground invasion and to confront directly the invaders with a plan that one imagines would not be unfamiliar to a General Giap of Vietnam or a Chinese General Lin Peio, being a massive peoples defense. It has been organized with a house by house, street by street defense plan for every neighborhood and will include all available weaponry.
The defenders are not military although many of the older ones had done one year compulsory service following high school. Their ranks include every able bodied woman and man from age 18 to 65. Younger or older will not be refused.
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