The fall of Tripoli – quite extraordinary

Perhaps not so extraordinary was how easily the freedom fighters streamed into Tripoli over the weekend, or how easily they took Bab al-Aziziya today – it was a case of one good kick and the whole rotten structure collapses: Gaddafi & Co never had any real support. They maintained power through fear/terror. I’m watching Al Jazeera as I type this and they’re interviewing Tripoli residents outside the Bab al-Aziziya compound (where fighting is still going on). One of the residents said: “I had to come here to see that this castle of evil had really been destroyed”.

What I did find extraordinary was Colonel Gaddafi’s last address to his long suffering people. It was a piece of audio played on Libyan state tv on Sunday. Here’s a transcript of part of it…

March towards Tajourah in the thousands now — now, now, you must march towards Tajourah in the thousands.

A quarter million must go there, or half a million from Tripoli must march towards Tajourah and the Friday Market to cleanse them of the agents of the colonial conspirators.”

I am with you in this battle, I am among you now, I am there with my weapon. We shall not give up. We shall never give up Tripoli to the colonialists or traitors.

I am forced to say this because I am afraid that Tripoli will burn if you leave them — Tripoli would fall in ruins and it would be destroyed. Tripoli would be left without water, electricity, no broadcast stations, without freedom and you would live in fear.

They will kill you and violate your households. I am afraid if you do not get rid of them in Tajourah, what is happening there will happen all over Tripoli. These people don’t care if Libya burns or not.

You possess all sorts of weapons. Those of you without a weapon should come and receive a weapon. All the weapons depots must open and the masses must be armed. Thousands must receive weapons now. Open the depots. I give the order to open the depots to arm the masses.

I am with you now, I am with you in Tripoli. There shall be no retreat – we will not retreat until the last inch of land we want to liberate.

Also, Saif Gaddafi’s appearance in the early hours of this morning (following reports that he’d been captured by the rebels)…

Gaddafi & Co were still spouting out the same old tired, boring propaganda. Didn’t they realise that it’s all over for them? No, they didn’t, because they’re all totally and utterly barking mad (any sane despot would have fled by now). In fact they are so mad that they’ll probably let themselves be captured alive, so that they can have their day in court; a bit like Anders Breivik.

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