Libyan Businessman Gives Eye-Witness Account

Mar 02, 2011

The host of this Q&A was a Libyan citizen who studied in the U.S. and is now living in Tripoli. He participated on the condition that his name not be used because of his concerns about his safety.

I am a resident of Tripoli Libya witnessing the battle for our freedom and our new republic.

In your opinion are the people in Libya strong enough to overcome the Gaddafi regime?

Absolutely.  The floodgates are open and the people know what they want, what they have yearned for in decades and now it is almost at their grasp.  It will not be easy nor cheap, but it will happen.

I was there the first night we tried to take over Martyr square (what he calls green square) and when I saw people continue the march while snipers and machine guns fired at us, I knew that we finally broke through the wall of fear and silence.

How would you describe the mood of the average Libyan right now -- or at least the Libyans you know?

I can only talk about Tripoi right now.
There is a high level of anxiety here.  People are concerned about the losses we have incurred, the security forces are running around shootin randomly in the air to discourage people from going out and demonstrating again liek the very bloody protests on Friday. 

Please do not forget that there are still some supporters for the regime and I am sure they are also feeling the pressure now.

what do you want to see happen in Libya?

First and foremost I would like to see a no fly zone imposed even a partial one around Tripoli Sirte and Sebha (main source for mercs).
On the ground man to man we will beat them.  When you are fighting for money you do not stand a chance against someone fighting for freedom,dignity, and the right to live equally with all memebers of society.

Gaddafi has said that he will be martyred before giving up control of Libya. I believe he's also said that he would "take as many people with him" as possible when/if he is killed. Do you think he would use chemical or biological weapons as a last desperate measure?

I will not put anything  past him.  He is obviously suffering from various mental illnesses and the shock of how strong the feelings are against him hurt his fragile ego.

If he has access to a delivery system, he will probably try to unleash them on us.

I believe that Gaddafi is right when he said the he had been robbed and undermined by Al Qaeda's NWO government, for to steal his money, petroleum and power, for the benefit of Wall Street and the greedy millionaires Conspiracy.

I am not sure how can anyone possibly believe anything he says after it has been proven incorrect over and over again.  People are dying here every day for their rights, to say that this is a conspiracy by .... whoever, is insulting to their sacrifice.

Where and how bad are airstrikes? I really feel for the people in Libya and pray for their success.

I believe the east is being attacked by bombers so I can not give you a lot of information other than I too hope and pray for my brtohers and sisters there.

 

In Tripoli only gunships were used as they woudl not allow bombers to get too close to his compound.

Who are those people who were attending Gaddafi's speech and chanting for him this morning. Are they paid or forced to do this or they are doing it willingly?

I believe it is a combination of both.  Some are forced too.

I would like to add that he has 3 kinds  people "supporting" him

1- family and relatives who stand to lose their firm grip on power and resources and will loose it all if he is gone.

2- people who killed for him or worse and are probably will be punished for hteir crimes if the regime is gone.

3- people who are rewarded finanacially or by other means that stand to gain everything by him staying in power and lose a lot if he is gone.  Freedom to them means nothing if they can drive nice cars and live in luxury.

Who are Gaddafi"s supporters in Tripoli?

I believe I answered this in a previous question regarding his speeches audience.

The Internet is likely monitored; did you used Tor or any other strong encryption mechanism to ensure your safety? Thanks for your answers, and long live to the people of Libya, you need a lot of courage. Le people know that most western people are behind you with their soul even if they cant actually help directly.

We use hotsheild and skype mostly to communicate and try to get infromation out to our friends.

I have already lost a friend because of getting caught speaking his mind during these events. Another is on the run.

Also daily we heard stories of people being kidnapped to unknown locations because of phone, facebook, or other media.

 

Thank you for your support.  It does mean a lot ot us as we are  under siege and knowing people in the west are standing by us adds to our determination and resolve.

What hard evidence is their that Gadaffi ordered the bombing of peaceful protesters in Tripoli? Isn't this a civil war?

We have the testimony of defected pilots and officers who refused to follow his barbaric commands.

Another piece of information is that he is in complete control of the armed services in Tripoli   (as well as any other armed secuirty aparatus).  They would not perfrom these criminal acts without his order.

What is the role of women in the on-going uprising in Lybia?

Libyan women are suffering just as much as the men.  They  have been standing next to the men in the demonstrations and suffered casualties especially in the east and in Tajoura.

The older ladies have been very busy sewing our new flags that have been flying al over our country.

What, if anything, can we as US citizens do to help? Does relaying information via social networks (like numbers for dial-up or IP addresses for proxy assistance) help any?

Help us get the US and its allies enforce a no fly zone.  As I mentioned in an earlier question, we can fight them on the ground, but there is very little we can do against his airforce.

Technical assistance as you mentioned is great, many did not know how closely the communication is monitored and have suffered for it.

At this point in time, what role would you like the international community to take?

As I mentioned before the no fly zone s a must.  Preventing the bombing and mercenary flights is essential to our victory.

Humanitarian asistance will be needed, specially to the refuges in Tunisia and Egypt.

What nations would be considered acceptable partners in enforcing a NFZ in Libya? Will Libyans be able to engage with them in ground support and communications?

I believe it is a very celar message that we have the support of almost every nation on earth and we will partner with any of them to enforce this NFZ.

 

On the ground we can do the job ourselves.

Are foreign mercenaries still arriving to aid Gaddafi? Do you have the weapons you need to win? Is a "No Fly Zone" essential to defeat the Gaddafi regime? Best of luck!

Yes they are now being driven to Sabha then flown as the regime sees fit.  We do need weapons specially anti armor and aircraft.

NFZ is a must.

Just as background: Did the election of Barack Obama provide any sort of inspiration to Libyans that they can re-create their country; and does his lack of involvement in any way discourage them?

My answer is yes to both.  While we do somewhat understand that he might have been concerned for the American citizens still here, we were very concerned with his silence.

What is the correct way in English to spell the Colonel's name?

Tyrant

As soon as Gaddafi (hopefully) is be gone, which kind of government whould you prefer? An islamic one maybe?

We will have a democratic republic.  We are Muslims but we are not fundamentalists.

Freedom of religion is essential part of a free civilized soceity and intolerence will not be part of it.

Can you please explain the political make up of the opposition groups that will likely replace Gaddafi? If/When he is replaced, do you think there will be a civil debate or a civil war to replace the goverment? Which groups will the business class likely support?

Honestly we do not think we have thought that far ahead.  Or maybe I didn't.

 

There is no way for us to have civil war, it is not within us and as I have seen from all the liberated cities "one Libya no east or west" is the message.

I assume there are splits within families. Some members prefer the regime and others want freedom for the country. How intense is this?

Not sure that is really common.  People who benifited or were invovled in his massacres want him to stay.  Peopel wo were opperesed do not want him.

For those of us without much of any knowledge of Lybian history, why does it matter that opposing the current government are rallying around the flag used under the monarchy?

I do not look at it as the flag of the monarchy.  It was the flag of Libya at its independence and it will be the flag of Libya when we gain our independence again, soon.

Is Pres. Obama popular in Lybia?

yes, many Libyans were not very happy with the previous administrations actions in the middle east and throughout the world, we see Obama however as more successfull internationally and more intersted in peace than war.

The Crown Prince of Libya, Muhammad as-Senussi, has being interviews to the press in London. Do you see him or the disposed Royal Family playing a role if and when the current regime is toppled.

I am not sure they will have any political role, but they will be respected as a family that has done a lot for Libya during the colonial occupation.

Who controls the trains?

We have no train networks. He was too busy funding his parties and criminal associates, to care about hte infreastructure of the country or the quality of life of its citizens.

Many visitors really can not belive that we are an oil rich country when they see the state the country is in.  But as you can probably see on youtyuube, his palaces are very nice.

Thank you for this great opportunity and excellent questions.  I did not expect this response and as I said in one of my answers your care and concern really does mean a lot to us.  Never have we dreamed that the international community can come together for our cause  this unanmously.  I hope I helped explain some of this complicated struggle and that next time we speak you will be asking me how does it feel to live as a  free man.

In This Chat
Libyan Businessman in Tripoli
The host of this Q&A is a Libyan citizen who studied in the U.S. and is now living in Tripoli. He participated on the condition that his name not be used because of his concerns about his safety.
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