Qaddafi’s Complex Falls to Revolutionaries

Libyan revolutionaries have captured the Bab al-Aziziya compound of deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. CNN’s Sara Sidner reported it live and on site (video here). The revolutionaries delieriously fired their weapons in the air in a crescendo of celebratory fire.

The compound was one of a handful of pockets of resistance remaining in the capital where Qaddafi loyalists held out. Another is out at the Mitiga air force base and airport in the east.

It is not clear if Qaddafi and other members of his family were in the compound. It is alleged to be honeycombed with underground tunnels and there is a four-story underground bunker. If they were there, they escaped.

The revolutionaries at one point said they had three Qaddafi sons in custody, but at least two, Muhammad and Saif al-Islam, escaped. Apparently the naive revolutionaries put them under house arrest, but their houses had escape tunnels.

Saif did an impromptu interview with Matthew Chance of CNN and another later with Aljazeera. In the Aljazeera one he announced victory over what he characterized as the thugs brought in by sea by NATO transport planes. Then he said f**k the International Criminal Court and walked off into the night. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi was said to be the real ruler of Libya in recent years, but is also said to be flaky and unable to make decisions or keep promises. From what we saw on screen, he suffers from something of the same mental problems as his father– paranoia, denial of reality, aggressiveness. Falling Dictator Syndrome.

If you had been the ruler of Libya and been given the great boon of an escape, if you were wise you would go underground and keep your enemy guessing. Coming on television is suicide by narcissism. It relieves me that the Qaddafis are somewhat unlikely to be capable of fighting any sort of rear guard battle. Out of power, their daffiness should become apparent to everyone.

5 Responses

  1. Another Qadafi trait: big-time spite. Since their supplies from Tunisia were severed, everything action they’ve taken, every bullet they’ve fired has been an act of spite, proclaiming, “If we can’t have the whole country, we’ll destroy as much as we can.” This done, instead of running away with their lives.

    Thankfully, they didn’t arrange to sabotage Libya’s biggest refinery at Ras Lanuf, captured intact during the last few hours, according to Al Jazeera.

    • Ras Lanuf: And the oil infrastructure in Brega wasn’t sabotaged either.

      This is *very* encouraging. I think it has nothing to do with Gadaffy, at least not the elder. The officers in that corps apparently have accepted reality.

  2. I think the Qadaffys have proven to be damn resilient and clever. I expect them to regroup in Sirte, and kill a lot of people before this is all over. I expect they have plenty of money and allies.

  3. My prediction, based on an apparently overlooked speculation made by a journalist based there, and the behaviour of Qaddafi loyalists, and his appearance there recently under the nose of the journalists:
    Qaddafi is in the Rixos Hotel either in a protected room, or in a tunnel directly under or in close proximity to and with access to this structure.

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