Politics & Policy

Standoffs in Ras Lanuf, Zawiyah

Check out the NYT wrap on the fighting in Libya today: 

 

The Libyan military drove rebel forces back along the main coastal road on Sunday, ambushing the advancing militias as they entered the town of Bin Jawwad and pushing them out with tank fire and airstrikes, according to witnesses near the town.

The number of the casualties in the battle was unclear, but it set back the rebels’ advance just a day after they celebrated a major victory in taking the vital oil port of Ras Lanuf. On Sunday, rebel leaders said they were regrouping outside that city and would begin pushing toward Bin Jawwad again.

Just outside the capital, a standoff continued in the rebel-held city of Zawiyah, a day after forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi waged a heavy assault toward the city center and then pulled back to close off all roads out.

Rebels in nearby towns said that mobile phone service to Zawiyah had been cut off completely and landline service was intermittent, making it difficult to gather new information about the state of the siege. Second-hand reports through rebel networks on Sunday indicated Libyan army tanks had once again moved into the center of the town.

An hour before dawn on Sunday, Tripoli also erupted in gunfire, the sounds of machine guns and heavier artillery echoing through the capital. The spark was unclear — there were rumors of a conflict within the armed Qaddafi forces — but soon Qaddafi supporters were riding through the streets waving green flags and firing guns into the air. Crowds converged on the city’s central Green Square for a rally, with many people still shooting skyward. The shots rang out for more than three hours, with occasional ambulance sirens squealing in the background.

Government spokesmen called it a celebration of victories over the rebels, but the rebels denied any losses, pointing out that 6 a.m. Sunday is an unusual time for a victory rally and that rally was notably well-armed. Protesters in the capital suggested it was a show of force intended to deter unrest or possibly cover up some earlier conflict. A rebel spokesman, reached over the phone, said his leadership was relying on international media reports to try to make sense of the early morning gunfire in Tripoli.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More