The scene in liberated Benghazi in eastern Libya

One weapon still within Gaddafi’s hands has been the power to shut down mainstream media access to events in Libya, leaving much detail about what is really happening on the ground to be filled in by rumor and shaky camera phone video clips.  But as the protesters have taken control of eastern Libya, the world’s media has begun to creep across the Egyptian border to provide context.  The pictures are astounding: as this clip from CNN reveals, on Wednesday many thousands gathered in ever-restive Benghazi — where, incidentally, my mother’s family lived in the early-1960s — to sing and chant and celebrate Gaddafi’s demise.  And for a leader who loved to parade across the world stage in full, flamboyant costume, there is a special malice to the graffiti caricatures that line the walls in Tobruk, Benghazi, and other eastern cities.  But Gaddafi is not gone yet: he has holed up in Tripoli with special forces and mercenary units under the command of his sons, invoking the Tiananmen Square and Beslan massacres as models to be emulated and threatening to hunt the protesters “house by house” — boasts reflecting such disregard for his citizens that one is left to conclude his demise cannot come soon enough.



One Response to “The scene in liberated Benghazi in eastern Libya”

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