Monday, May 23, 2011

Libya Turmoil 144

New York Times confirms NATO is supplying and aiding to supply weapons to Misurata.

Sealift Extends Lifeline to a Rebel City in Libya

ABOARD AL IRADAH 6 — Near midnight, in the darkness of the deliberately unlit Misurata harbor, the tugboat’s crew loosened its lines from the pier and pulled them aboard.
Bryan Denton for The New York Times
Rebels taking a break last month at an operations center in Benghazi, Libya, where they were organizing a sealift to Misurata.
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The Libyan Rebellion
Interactive map of the major clashes in Libya, day by day.
    C.J. Chivers/The New York Times.
    Saif Nasser, left, captain of the Al Iradah 6, talking with a NATO warship as his rebel-controlled tug boat makes its way across the Gulf of Surt.

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    The helmsman engaged Al Iradah 6’s dual engines and it spun into the basin, gathered speed and headed for the gap in the jetties. A few miles beyond, outside the range of Col.Muammar el-Qaddafi’s artillery, was the safety of the open sea.
    There, the helmsman turned the round bow eastward, toward Benghazi, the Libyan rebel capital about 300 miles away. The latest leg for an unlikely smuggling vessel was complete. In a little more than 24 hours, Al Iradah 6 would reach rebel-controlled territory and line up for a fresh cargo of medicine, food and guns — fuel for a city besieged.
    There have been many reasons for the rebels’ success in Misurata, where they recently drove the Qaddafi forces out of the city and seized the airport. One of them is this: a determined and surreptitious sealift by a small fleet of Libyan boats.
    Combining the talents of those who procure a city’s wartime needs with those of merchant mariners and fishermen, rebels have organized about two dozen fishing vessels and former Qaddafi-controlled tugboats into an impromptu fleet that has provided Misurata with a lifeline of supplies. The fleet sails with NATO’s approval and support. (Rebels and organizers in both Benghazi and Misurata spoke openly of the smuggling effort, but asked that certain locations and shipping schedules not be disclosed.)
    At a basic level, it has assumed missions of both mercy and war. The mixed cargo — baby formula and medicine beside crates of ammunition — has helped civilians survive and equipped Misurata for its fight.
    The strategic significance of Misurata has not been lost on the crew of Al Iradah 6. For months, rebels trapped in the city, 130 miles from Tripoli, provided Libya’s opposition movement with a powerful argument against any discussion of the war’s end that called for national partition.
    As long as Misurata’s armed men held on to their city, the nation’s third largest, the Qaddafi government could never credibly say that the war was a contest between east and west, and propose that the country, divided by history and tribal allegiances, be split.
    These were among the political and human motivations for many sailors who chose to join the rebels’ war effort. Outside the harbor, the captain of Al Iradah 6, Saif Nasser, said something else propelled him, too — the sense of self-respect and self-determination that came with rising up.
    “Qaddafi thought the people are not strong,” the captain said. “For more than 40 years we were his prisoners, and he thought we are like animals. But now he has found that we are very strong people.”
    The scenes aboard Al Iradah 6, which completed a round-trip voyage earlier this month, captured the mix of planning, security, passion and energy that has characterized the effort.
    Al Iradah 6, an 85-foot vessel assembled in Libya with Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, is yet another of the Qaddafi government’s procurements that rebels have put to use to try to push Colonel Qaddafi from power. In excellent condition and equipped with modern marine electronics and safety gear — the sort of harbor vessel an oil state could afford — it has been in rebel service since March.
    After its arrival late in the afternoon, its wartime cargo was unloaded by rebels who materialized from Misurata.
    Working quickly, sometimes chanting and singing, they carried off medicine, baby formula, food, recoilless-rifle ammunition, machine-gun cartridges and Kalashnikov and Belgian-made FN FAL rifles. Spare machine-gun barrels were visible, too.
    The captain disappeared briefly to confer with the harbor authorities. The tug had entered the harbor unchallenged. But Misurata’s port had been shelled repeatedly in previous weeks and mined at least twice. He opted to wait for nightfall to slip back to sea.
    By now, the Qaddafi forces arrayed to Misurata’s southeast almost certainly knew that the tug was in the harbor, and their artillery observers might be waiting for Captain Nasser to leave. Better to head back at night, running lights switched off.
    After darkness, a second tug, the Saladin, steamed into port. Its cargo was stacked high on its aft deck and under tarps. Al Iradah’s crew stood at the rails and called out into the night. “You are here! Welcome!” they shouted. “God is great!” The Saladin tied off nearby. A fresh scrum of pickup trucks full of rebels arrived at the pier. The unloading began.
    Soon Al Iradah 6 returned to sea. As it left the harbor it radioed ahead to NATO warships beyond the horizon, to request permission to pass through their blockade.
    “The sea and sky?” Captain Nasser said. “Nothing crosses without permission from NATO.”


    1. Hermes,

      I thought I posted here, or on my site, but I have read interviews of fighters going to Misurata by sea to reinforce the insurgents. No awareness or recognition by the reporter of the the significance of what the fighters were saying.

    2. In addition The Times last week wrote a story quoting a rebel leader as saying he had 'over 200 men'. Misrata is the third largest city in Libya with a population of 550,000 in 2006. This clearly shows that far from being a popular uprising,civilians may be being held hostage and terrorised in a lawless city. CAM

    3. The mainstream media seem entirely controlled by globalist interests.

      Also, the mainstream media reveal to us the hypocrisy of it all, day by day.

      How are these two facts to be squared, exactly, it would be nice if someone could tell.

    4. For light relief: Kirill reports the Qatar Ministry of Justice has been hacked; this site is now called "Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
      he has some screen shots as it has probably been sorted by now. CAM

    5. My blog is blocked again, I cannot post anymore.
      I am going to open an alternative blog.

      I will let you know here.
      The behind the scenes news is not bad for the moment although it doesn't look like it.
      One or 2 days patience please.

      his is the only way I could come on comments.

      Hermes MSafiri

    6. Blog article with facts claiming cluster bombs in Misrata were from USA Navy

      Hermes MSafiri

    7. Spanish Petition to stop the war on Libya by Nato


    8. Dennis Kucinich congressman speaks against war in congress and unconstitionality. Excellent speech!
      Petition also


    9. Hello Hermes

      I have posted this:

      on my blog.
      Let me know if there's anything else that we can try.

    10. Russia's Medvedev urges Gaddafi to give up power
      Friday, 27 May 2011
      "Colonel Gaddafi has deprived himself of legitimacy with his actions. We should help him leave," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in Deauville.

      the end !

    11. @wendy

      Sadly I have to agree with your conclusion.

      Ever since I knew that Russian individuals came to the assistance of the Boere in the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) I had a high regard for the Russian people, but this is a huge disillusionment!

      If there was only ONE European government which supported the Boere we would have won the war against perfidious Albion.
      The same is true today for Libya...

    12. The barter is clear: anti-missile shield against Gaddafi, you don't bother us anymore with that damned shield and we close our eyes for what you do with Gaddafi.
      Except Gaddafi was not asked.
      Afghanistan 2 is in the making and Algeria is not very happy.

      Hermes MSafiri

    13. I think the game is still being played out.
      I am now cautious about reported press comments, often put there for a reason, and also if this was said, it may be for helping save the face of the 'coalition' in public and doing another strategy behind the scenes. What is really going on behind the scenes with Russia and not forgetting China, we won't really know. Of course the Libyans have said they will produce a constitution and they now have a tribal council, so Gaddafi could take a back seat officially and the country could still pull through, in my opinion. Time, money and public opinion is not on the side of the coalition.

    14. May 27, 2011
      WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Thursday to bar US forces and private contractors from operating on the ground in Libya, where rebels are fighting to oust Moamer Kadhafi.
      The measure, passed in a 416-5 vote, was an amendment to a $690 defense bill that also limits President Barack Obama’s authority on handling terror suspects and reducing the US nuclear weapons stockpile under the new START treaty with Russia.
      The amendment barred the Obama administration from using funds being approved in the overall defense bill to “deploy, establish or maintain” US ground forces in Libya except to rescue a US service member from “imminent danger.”

    15. Just out on Voice of Russia.
      Future of Libya up to Libyans – Medvedev
      Russia supports pan-African efforts to restore peace to Libya. It also believes rude foreign interference there is counterproductive, and the future of that North African country must be decided by the Libyan people. President Medvedev told this to his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in a telephone conversation on Saturday. Mr Zuma pledged unlimited assistance to Medvedev’s envoy Mikhail Margelov, who is now in Libya on a peace mission. He also briefed his Russian colleague on the outcome of a Libya summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa on Wednesday and Thursday.

    16. Afghanistan two?

      There are contrasting differences between Libya and Afghanistan that may be very consequential in regard to their fates. For example:

      Unlike Libya, Afghanistan is a landlocked country far from the West.

      Afghanistan, unlike Libya, has never experienced modern living standards across its territory

      Afghanistan has never had an overwhelmingly schooled population

      Afghanistan hasn't enjoyed the benefits of Gaddafi's reforms - whatever one may think of them

      Afghanistan has a centuries-old Loya Jirga, while Libya has a living founder of the nation.

      Libya is attacked when world powers don't seem as stable as in the 1970s

      Of course, I don't imply that all these differences favour Libya. Maybe good living standards make people weaker :)

    17. New Blog:

      I hope to read you all there again.

      Hermes MSafiri

    18. I suggest you to post a new entry here, informing visitors about the switch to the new account.


    19. @ Levantine

      I can't post a new entry here, I am totally blocked here. I cannot even comment under my name here. have to do it anonymous.

      Hermes MSafiri


      From Russia again :)

    21. The rumour is you are dying of aids. I wonder how you are coping with this. Your mad cock sucking Rixos days have finally caught up with you. Are there black lumps yet on your arse? One can only hope you will die in reasonable agony.