Libyan Civil War Continues

By Henry Greenfield


Though the National Liberation Army (NLA) took

Tripoli last month, civil war still rages in Libyan cities

like Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha. The former Libyan

President and Prime Minister, Col. Muammar el-

Gaddafi, was born in Sirte, making it a stronghold

for opposition against the NLA and the National

Transitional Council (NTC).

Civil war erupted in Libya early this year after Gaddafi

used military force against nonviolent protesters,

causing widespread unrest. National angst quickly

organized under the NTC.   Beginning in March, after

the NTC suffered a series of military defeats, the US

led air strikes against Gaddafi loyalists,

shifting momentum to the NTC.

Now, loyalists are barely holding on to a few cities.

But once military conflict has ended, there may still

be political tension within the NTC.  According to

The New York Times, when rebels find weapons,

they often take them to their respective villages

instead of turning the weapons over to the NTC.

Also, the NTC has not yet organized a cabinet,

which they planned to have done by August.  The

New York Times attributes the NTC’s difficulties to

sectionalism among its members.

The U.S. has provided considerable support for the

NTC over the past few months.  But in the years

before the outbreak of the Libyan Civil War, the

U.S. resumed diplomatic relations with Gaddafi’s

government and even celebrated Gaddafi for opposing

terrorism after 9/11.

Uprisings similar to Libya’s Civil War have

occurred throughout the Middle East.  While the

US was conducting air strikes in Libya, the Yemeni’s

government killed 52 civilians at a nonviolent protest,

similarly resulting in widespread unrest.  But the U.S.

has not supported Yemeni rebels, and Western media

has not seriously covered their cause.  In an Op-Ed

piece for Al Jazeera, Abubakr Al-Shamahi blames this

unresponsiveness on subtleties in Yemeni politics that

are misunderstood in the West. Other commentators

believe that the U.S. has not supported Yemeni rebels

because the U.S. does not depend on Yemen for oil.

Libya produces six times more oil then Yemen.



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