Tuesday, 1 March 2011

From 'Our Man in Benghazi'

The latest from 'Our Man' - Johnny L - see 'Libya: The Manchester Connection' below

Hi Brian 
That's very amusing and fair. I feel that events have gone so quickly and the press have done a pretty good job of catching up.

Though they have perhaps overblown their assessment of the 'end game' in Tripoli. That might be a very long end game. Coming out of Tripoli I expect the regime army could retake neighbouring towns quite easily. Misurata is the town to watch. I don't know how any rebels from the East could travel easily to Tripoli - that would mean passing Sirt - said to be a Gaddafi stronghold. If they take Misurata, they link Sirt to Tripoli. My contact in Sirt says it is all quiet. Another is not mentioning the war, as it were, are probably too afraid or in denial. 
I think there might be a long stalemate with Tripoli pretty much subdued. It will then become a matter of squeezing Tripoli and Sirt. This looks highly likely with the oil fields in the hands of the rebels and the financial squeeze on the regime. I would expect people to become pragmatic when it pinches too much. As for the rebels - ordinary people - they look a rough bunch, much as I remember them - and quite a few must have military training, and now military weapons...
Also interesting signs of forming an alternative administration - talk of non-hierarchical committees mentioned in one report - wonder how long that will last - any 'democratic' experience will be of such committees and people's congresses - so they know how to chew the fat... also very promising that people insist on a united Libya with Tripoli as the capital .... a bit of a surprise that, to this outsider. And all this talk of the influential tribal leaders - But is Libya grappling with the problem of modernity? 
Johnny 'L'

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