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Ear to the Ground

Gadhafi’s Wife and Children Flee to Algeria

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Posted on Aug 29, 2011
AP / Jerome Delay

Aisha Gadhafi, daughter of the ousted Libyan leader, is seen surrounded by supporters in Tripoli in March.

Moammar Gadhafi’s wife, two sons, a daughter, and a number of grandchildren escaped Libyan rebels and entered Algeria on Monday, according to the Algerian Foreign Ministry. His location, as well as the whereabouts of his other sons, remain unknown.

Libyan rebels took clear steps toward installing themselves as the country’s official government this week, signing an energy contract with Italy’s biggest oil corporation and allowing France and Britain, the rebels’ leading NATO allies, to begin re-establishing their embassies in Tripoli. East of the city, fighters advanced toward Gadhafi’s hometown of Surt, a place considered to be his last stronghold of support. Rebels hoped to negotiate the town’s surrender. —ARK

The New York Times:

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s second wife and three of his children fled to Algeria on Monday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry said. It was the first official news on the whereabouts of any members of the Qaddafi family since he was routed from his Tripoli fortress by rebel forces a week ago, a decisive turn in the Libyan conflict.

In a brief announcement carried by Algeria’s official news agency APS, the ministry said Colonel Qaddafi’s wife, Safiya, daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, “entered Algeria at 08:45 a.m. (0745 GMT) through the Algeria-Libyan border.”

The announcement gave no further details. The whereabouts of Colonel Qaddafi himself remain unknown, along with those of his other sons, most notably Seif al-Islam, his second-in-command; Khamis, head of an elite paramilitary brigade; or Muatassim, a militia commander and Colonel Qaddafi’s national security adviser. A rebel spokesman said Sunday that Khamis al-Qaddafi may have been killed on Saturday, but that no positive identification had been made.

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, August 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Empire Strikes Back.

Qaddafi deposed the British appointed King Idris in a bloodless coup in 1969. Idris had managed, during his twenty year rule, to keep Libyans the poorest people in the world with an annual per capita income of less than $60 despite the discovery of oil in 1957 and production that reached 15.4% of OPEC’s total (7.5% of the world’s total) in 1968.

The flamboyant Qaddafi conceived and installed a non party system of Government he called “Jamahiriya”. Put simply, 600 Basic People’s Congresses (District or tribal Councils) elect 2,700 representatives to the General People’s Congress which elects the General People’s Committee (executive), Secretary General, Prime Minister, then the President.
Qaddafi no longer holds public office or title, he is accorded the honorific “Guide of the First Great Revolution” in government statements and the official press.

Last year, the Libyan people enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the Arab world. Most Libyan families (92%) owned their own home and and a car.

The free public health system in Libya included travel and expenses for procedures not available domestically and Libya’s free education system up to the graduate level also paid for overseas post-graduate study. 1.7 million of Libya’s 6 million population were students enrolled in either compulsory primary and secondary education or one of the 80 some odd Universities and Advanced Technical institutions provided by the State.
The State provided interest free loans for housing and business, subsidies on food, gas was 70c per gallon. Mean incomes were around USD15,000 pa.

So why this “popular uprising”?

On the 23rd of March, the NY Times reported:

the army that rebel military leaders bragged about consists of only about 1,000 …..Those frank admissions came from Ali Tarhouni, who was appointed to the cabinet of the rebels’ shadow government..

NATO had begun bombing on the 19th.

No poll of the Libyan people exists (which raises questions about the NATO rationale) but widespread support for the Qaddafi regime was evident in July.

Obviously Empire cares not for living standards, education and health so it seems that NATO relies on the “Human Rights” to justify its attack.
According to the dubious Human Rights Watch, Qaddafi killed 1200 at Abu Salim in 1996. Yet even their estimate is based on the account of a single former inmate and “cannot be verified”. The Libyan Government position is that the incident took place amid a confrontat­­ion with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and that some 200 guards were killed.

Empire will have its way - even if it means promoting Islamic fundamentalists.

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