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Life Arts    H3'ed 7/14/11

Rally/Demonstration Wars in Libya

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Much has been said and shown lately about several large marches in Tripoli and its suburbs in support of Colonel Gaddafi, not only by pro-Gaddafi websites and propagandists, but by the mainstream media. This, not surprisingly, has been eagerly used by those trying to shore up his regime as proof positive that the Libyan people are fully behind Gaddafi. This is one video, for example, of a recent pro-Gaddafi march in Tripoli:

The title of the video declares it is a million-person march, although it is almost impossible to determine the size of this or any large rally unless you are in an airplane overhead taking photos or videos for a statistician to review later. Since the entire population of Tripoli is only a little more than a million, the figure is undoubtedly overenthusiastic, although certainly we know that the Gaddafi regime was asking outlaying populations beyond Tripoli to participate too. The goal, of course, is to impress the world with the size of your rally. I have not met a rally organizer yet who did not tend to exaggerate the size of his or her rally.

Be that as it may, surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, the mainstream media did not give much attention, if any at all in some quarters, to recent large rallies and marches in cities under revolutionary control, cities such as Benghazi, the rebel captial, as well as Misrata, the most brutalized city of the war, which is still getting rocketed sporadically by Gaddafi forces to this day. Now if, as some would tell us, the mainstream media is all in the hip-pocket of "Western Imperialism", then this shows a rather inexplicable breakdown in propaganda skills. If, however, the mainstream media is just doing what they do best, chasing down big and controversial stories, then the attention paid to a large pro-Gaddafi rally makes more sense.

Meanwhile, the reality is that the Libyan people cannot be squeezed into one convenient nutshell labeled pro-Gaddafi or anti-Gaddafi by anyone, particularly by propagandists on both sides. You can always intuit who is being the most ideological and manipulative when he or she starts speaking in terms of "the Libyan people", "the Sudanese people" or "the American people" all being for this or that, or as all against this and that, and on and on. This is the favored rhetoric of almost all politicians as well as they try to create a sense of conformity and consensus in support of whatever they are promoting, usually themselves.

Bearing that in mind, here are several videos showing that there is, indeed, no homogeneity in Libya, just as there is no homogeneity in Syria, where there have been, likewise, a series of "demonstration" wars between the Assad government and Syrian protesters.

For starters, here is a video of the July 6th rally in war-torn Misrata, a city of some 500,000, shot at street level:

Here is a march from the same rally, as seen from above as it begins to wind down a Misrata street:

Also July 6th, we had a very large rally in the rebel capital Benghazi, also billed as a million-person march, a figure again extremely hard to verify:

Welcome to the Rally Wars of Summer in Libya.

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
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