Monday, September 23, 2013

So... how goes it with Libya, the country NATO gave to the Muslim Brotherhood ?

You will find a lot of glowing accounts of success on the govt. run websites  and   from  those in NATO who want to make believe that changing the regime there has done wonders for the citizens.  Not true.  

Jonathon Gatehouse writing at Macleans:
....Held up as one of the success stories of the Arab Spring, Libya has taken a turn to chaos.  For almost two months now, the gunmen have brought Libya’s economy to a dead halt. One group of disgruntled tribesmen in the west have seized control of the major oil fields, and another set of strikers, protesters and militiamen are blockading the oil terminals along the eastern coast. Their demands are diverse—greater regional autonomy, an end to corruption, better pay, more jobs—but their effect singular. Oil production has dropped by more than 90 per cent, and exports—the cash generator that provides two-thirds of state revenues and keeps the central government afloat—went from 830,000 barrels a day in July, to a low of 80,000 per day in early September.

The country’s highest religious authority, the Grand Mufti, declared that disruptions of Libya’s oil industry, for any reason whatsoever, are a “grave sin.” Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has tried blandishments—pushing through a 20 per cent raise for employees of the national oil company—and veiled threats. “I hope that we won’t be forced to do something that we don’t want,” he told reporters in Tripoli last week. “But I won’t let anyone hold Libya and its resources hostage to irresponsible acts of these groups for long.” Although lacking a proper army, and stuck with an undermanned and outgunned police force, it’s hard to see how he could back up the tough talk.

As the second anniversary of the fall of Moammar Gadhafi approaches, Libya’s future is looking more and more precarious. Months of squabbling over legislation to bar the former dictator’s followers from public life has left the already fragile interim government deeply divided. In many parts of the country, the armed groups that led the bloody eight-month revolution remain laws unto themselves. Public frustration at the slow pace of reform and a general lack of services—including health care, education, and power—mushrooms by the day. And the favoured form of political protest has become the small siege.

Last spring, the Revolutionary Brigades—the new quasi-army formed from militias that the government has promised to put on the payroll—turned its guns on the General National Congress, forcing legislators to temporarily suspend their activities. Then they blockaded the ministries of justice, the interior and foreign affairs for more than two weeks, all to push for even tougher sanctions against those who once worked for Gadhafi. In June, there were two days of fierce fighting between rival militias in the streets of Tripoli, followed by a series of car bombings, in both the capital and the eastern city of Benghazi. In early September, Tripoli’s water supply was cut off for 10 days when members of the Magraha tribe—upset over the kidnapping of one of their kinswomen—shut down a pumping station at the source, several hundred kilometres to the south. Weary residents survived on bottled water, and pumped out their air conditioners in order to flush toilets...........

Clare Morgana Gillis at USAToday: 
"Saiqa never sleeps," affirms Libyan Gen.  Wanees Bokhamada, referring to the Benghazi's special forces unit he commands. Some 4,500 soldiers work "night and day" to secure the military camp and several other parts of the city, including the airport, power station, central bank and Jala hospital.

In Bokhamada's opinion, the sprawling Saiqa camp, named Boatny, is the safest place in Benghazi. "After you walk out the gate, I can't guarantee your safety anymore," he says.

Across the city, shops are open and people laugh, walk in the streets, and smoke shisha at hotel cafes along the waterfront. But a thread of tension and fear runs beneath the surface. Tempers run high in frequent traffic jams, and gunshots and explosions are heard nightly.

Such violence is common in the streets of Benghazi, where weapons markets flourish alongside vegetable stands and cigarette shops. The city's courthouse, where cries of "Free Libya" once rang out two and a half years ago, has been bombed twice.

Like many other young activists whose energy jump-started the uprising, Enas Aldrsey, 27, now feels forced to seek opportunities abroad. Her activism, especially for women's issues, has made her a target, she says.

Aldrsey, who works for the National Council for Human Rights, a semi-governmental organization, was proud to purchase her own car with money she made working, but unknown attackers kept slashing the tires. Then one day someone set fire to the car. She received a phone call from a blocked number: "This time it's your car, the next time your head." .........

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