UN is worried about the Tribes opinion

UN is worried about the Tribes opinion

This information was sent to me by another activist.

I sent you the report of the Secretary General of the UN Mission of Support in Libya UN August 13, 2015, which will be of interest. It is curious that in regard to the “process of political dialogue” (items 4 to 19) the leaders of the Libyan tribes are only refered in point 17 that reports of the meeting in Cairo from 25 to 28 May, and very concise way. Even more curious it is that in the original English, in footnote admits that “for technical reasons” on August 19 has been remade the report of August 13; Well, the only difference between the two reports (that I could find on the net and you send them) is that the first report does not include this point 17, otherwise the two reports in English are identical up to semicolons.
By this I mean that I think the issue of the representatives of the Libyan tribes is a sensitive point for onunistas and otanistas. It seems clear that it is the only element that can achieve the necessary unity and strength to end the Libyan chaos that we see you and me;
Also historically it has always been so, because the Libyan society, as you have taught me, has this tribal structure. Therefore the report, written by those who want a colonial peace in the service of exploitation and usurpation of Libyan resources is spent talking putting equal to the multiple factions and gangs, as if they were subject with which it could and should establish a legitimate dialogue, without showing any effort or motivation onuniano body to approach the positions of those who are the real key to any solution of the problem and that is the advice of the representatives of the great Libyan tribes.
Bad solution is the issue, I see only two exits long-term. One is that the tribes negotiate knowing that peace will prevail colonial and wait their chance when they have finished with bands and chaos; but in this first phase, should make it clear that the otanistas peacefully not take even a drop of oil that both want if there is no peace for all and the pace of civil society is recovered; later, the seeds of the green revolution will re-sprout and to take the new colonial king in power and bourgeois troops have been based in the country. The other possibility is continued resistance until a new structure of international relations emerge, perhaps led by Chinese and Russian leaders, to replace the present bloody arrogant and overbearing “international community”, greedy and that is clearly a historic decline and opposite a probable financial collapse.
Here is the original email leaving out the names of the recipients:
Te envío el Informe del Secretario General de la ONU sobre la Misión de Apoyo de las Naciones Unidas en Libia del 13 de agosto de 2015, que será de tu interés. Es curioso que en lo que se refiere al “Proceso del diálogo político” (puntos 4 al 19) sólo se refiere a los líderes de las tribus libias en el punto 17 que informa de la reunión de El Cairo del 25 al 28 de mayo, y de manera muy escueta. Aún más curioso resulta que en el original inglés, a pié de página se admite que “por razones técnicas” el 19 de agosto se ha rehecho el informe del 13 de agosto; bien, pues la única diferencia entre ambos informes (que los pude localizar en la red y también te los mando) es que el primer informe no incluye este punto 17, por lo demás ambos informes en inglés son idénticos hasta en puntos y comas.
Con esto quiero decir que me parece que el asunto de los representantes de las tribus libias es un punto sensible para los onunistas y otanistas. Parece bien claro que es el único elemento que puede conseguir la unidad necesaria y la fuerza para acabar con el caos libio, eso lo vemos tu y yo, y lo deben ver también así estos tipejos; también históricamente ha sido siempre así, porque la sociedad libia, como tú me has enseñado, tiene esa estructura tribal. Por eso el informe, redactado por los que quieren una paz colonial al servicio de la explotación y usurpación de los recursos libios, se dedica a hablar poniendo en pie de igualdad a las múltiples facciones y bandas, como si fueran sujetos con los que se pudiera y debiera establecer un legítimo diálogo, sin reflejar ningún esfuerzo ni motivación del organismo onuniano por acercarse a las posturas de los que son la verdadera llave para cualquier solución del problema y que son los consejos de los representantes de las grandes tribus libias. 
Mala solución tiene el asunto, solo le veo dos salidas a largo plazo. Una, que las tribus negocien sabiendo que se impondrá una paz colonial y que esperen su oportunidad, cuando hayan acabado con las bandas y el caos; pero, en esta primera fase, deben dejar bien claro que los otanistas no se llevarán pacíficamente ni una gota del petróleo que tanto quieren si no hay paz para todos y se recupera el ritmo de la sociedad civil; más adelante, las semillas de la revolución verde volverán a germinar y habrá que echar al nuevo rey colonial de turno y a las tropas burguesas que se hayan afincado en el país. La otra posibilidad es la resistencia continua hasta que una nueva estructura de relaciones internacionales surja, liderada quizás por dirigentes chinos y rusos, que sustituya a la presente “comunidad internacional” arrogante y prepotente, avara y sanguinaria, que se halla en una clara histórica decadencia y enfrente de un probabilísimo derrumbe financiero.

Nelson Mandela Praises Colonel Gaddafi’s Human Rights Record

Nelson Mandela Praises Colonel Gaddafi’s Human Rights Record


The Benghazi Hearing: What Neither Hillary nor the Republicans Want to Talk About

The Benghazi Hearing: What Neither Hillary nor the Republicans Want to Talk About

by JoanneM

Here’s what Members of both parties desperately avoided bringing up at the Benghazi hearing this week: the US knew its partners in Libya were jihadist terrorists and the Benghazi “consulate” was a CIA facility to smuggle weapons and terrorists from Libya to Syria for the next “regime change.” This is no conspiracy: it was openly covered in the media right after the attack.
The Benghazi Hearing: What Neither Hillary nor the Republicans Want to Talk About

The Benghazi Hearing: What Neither Hillary nor the Republicans Want to Talk About
Written by James George Jatras
Friday October 23, 2015

As I write this, Hillary Clinton’s appearance before the House panel investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks that killed four Americans is still going on. I wasn’t able to listen to all of it live, and will plow through the transcript in due course.

Two things already are notable: one concerning the impact of the hearing itself – plus another aspect marked only by the sound of crickets chirping.

First, as one would have expected, the hearing has generated more heat than light. As has been the case to date, Republican lawmakers seem mainly interested in granular details of the State Department’s bureaucratic handling of the Benghazi post’s requests for more security, what did then-Secretary Clinton know and when did she know it, whether help could have and should have been sent and who stopped any such attempt, whether prompt action might have changed the outcome, questionable claims regarding a movie riling up the Muslim rabble, Hillary’s reliance on the expertise (or lack thereof) of Sidney Blumenthal, and all the other back-and-forth that’s dominated the issue since the events in question.

Democrats predictably shilled for her, the poor innocent victim of a GOP Star Chamber.

In short, nothing new.

Hillary boosters will be reinforced in their conviction that the inquiry is a witch hunt to hurt political prospects of the still-presumptive (especially with “Uncle Joe” Biden’s declining to run) Democratic presidential nominee. In supporting that conviction, the ill-phrased comments of abortive House Speaker candidate Kevin McCarthy were a godsend.

Conversely, Hillary-haters (who outnumber her fans, according to polling) will be buttressed in their conviction that she’s a lying incompetent with the blood of four Americans on her hands. (There’s nothing wrong with a witch hunt if you catch a real witch.)

Aside from digging Americans more firmly into the partisan points of view they already hold, little of importance is likely to result.

Which is unfortunate, because the hearing could have been a watershed in American foreign policy if someone on either side of the aisle had wished to pillory Hillary on an issue that screams out for public answers. But certainly no Democrat would do so for partisan reasons, and no Republican seemed to care. (One can only wish that Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, or both, had been on that panel!)

That issue is what was really going on in Benghazi. Unremarked upon from the lawmakers’ bench was Clinton’s admission that the post in Benghazi was not a consulate, as it is uniformly reported in the media. She did refer several times to the CIA compound.

No Sherlock Holmes is needed here. The facts have been in plain sight for over three years. As just one example, the following is a good summary from October 2012, barely a month after the murders of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans:

‘There’s growing evidence that US agents — particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens — were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official US liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group — a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.

In November 2011 The Telegraph reported that Belhadj, acting as head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army [FSA] leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey” in an effort by the new Libyan government to provide money and weapons to the growing insurgency in Syria.

Last month The Times of London reported that a Libyan ship “carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria … has docked in Turkey.” The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Those heavy weapons are most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles—the bulk of them SA-7s—that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc. Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets.

The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support,” which was presumably established by the new government.

That means that Ambassador Stevens had only one person—Belhadj—between him and the Benghazi man who brought heavy weapons to Syria.

Furthermore, we know that jihadists are the best fighters in the Syrian opposition, but where did they come from?

Last week The Telegraph reported that an FSA commander called them “Libyans” when he explained that the FSA doesn’t “want these extremist people here.”

And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the US surely knew about it.

Furthermore there was a CIA post in Benghazi, located 1.2 miles from the US consulate, used as “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” … and that its security features “were more advanced than those at [the] rented villa where Stevens died.”

And we know that the CIA has been funneling weapons to the rebels in southern Turkey. The question is whether the CIA has been involved in handing out the heavy weapons from Libya.’

“How US Ambassador Chris Stevens May Have Been Linked To Jihadist Rebels In Syria,” Business Insider, by Michael B Kelley, October 19, 2012

In short, to an extent still undisclosed to the American people, US agencies (and specifically the CIA) were at least aware of – and almost certainly complicit in – a pipeline to ship weapons from Gaddafi’s captured stocks to jihad terrorists in Syria seeking to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The key actors were jihadists, including elements of al-Qaeda, that NATO had assisted in overthrowing Gaddafi.

Shockingly, such savages don’t always remain on the leash and sometimes bite the hand that fed them. In a word, the Benghazi debacle was blowback from a “regime change” operation in which our allies and clients were the very terrorists we’ve been told for 14 years by both parties are the greatest threat to Americans’ lives and freedoms.

It’s then clear why Republican Congressmen declined to grill Hill’ on the details of our canoodling with terrorists: to do so would be to call into question the bipartisan penchant for supporting jihadists in multiple conflicts. Perpetuating a pattern established no later than the 1980s in Afghanistan (under Ronald Reagan, when at least Cold War vicissitudes could be considered a partial excuse), terrorists inspired by Saudi Wahhabist ideology were “our guys” in Bosnia and Kosovo (under Bill Clinton) and in Libya (under Barack Obama).

While the presidents in the post-Cold War cases were Democrats, most Republican criticism was not that supporting people of that ilk was a bad idea but that, respectively, Clinton or Obama wasn’t moving decisively enough to empower the terrorists. Hence, the familiar refrain that Obama was “leading from behind” in Libya. If only we had moved faster, critics claimed, pro-American, democratic “moderates” might have gained power . . . Sure.

The same pattern continues today, in Syria. Just this week, in light of Russia’s airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh), the al-Nusra Front (the official al-Qaeda affiliate), Ahrar al-Sham, and other jihadists, the Obama administration boldly responded – with arms drops to “trusted” terrorists. Having been up to their elbows in supporting jihad in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Gulf States are now doubling down on their aid to terror groups in Syria, while publicly members of the US-led “anti-ISIL coalition.” Some allies.

And where is the GOP? Aside from a few noble exceptions, Republicans are faulting Obama for not providing more help to the jihadists, even joining with none other than Hillary Clinton in calling for a no-fly zone. How little we’ve learned.

Other angles could also have been explored at the hearing, such as Hillary’s faux Caesaresque cackle regarding Gaddafi’s murder: “We came, we saw, he died!” One yearns to ask her if extrajudicial murder of foreign heads of state is now official US policy, or is that just her private peccadillo? Can she suggest a list of other countries’ leaders who, without benefit of trial, should have a knife shoved up their rectum, then get shot in the head?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Article link: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/october/23/t…

The Islamic State Diary: A Chronicle of Life in Libyan Purgatory

The Islamic State Diary: A Chronicle of Life in Libyan Purgatory

For months, the Islamic State visited its reign of terror on the city of Derna, Libya — until it was stopped by an al-Qaida offshoot. Farrah Schennib describes the horrors of daily life under the IS in his diary.

Only 300 kilometers (186 miles) separate dream from nightmare. On the coast of Crete, tourists enjoy their carefree summer holidays. But just across the water, at the southern edge of the Mediterranean in Libya, Islamists are committing murder in the name of Allah.

Very little unfiltered news is making its way out of the contested regions. Most of the images we get are from terrorists, who are spreading their chilling propaganda on YouTube and Facebook. But what is really happening inside the isolated country? What is life like there?

Since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi, the coastal city of Derna has been ruled alternately by an offshoot of al-Qaida and by the Islamic State terrorist militia. One young resident kept a diary for us for over five months. Its publication presents a not-insignificant risk to the 26-year-old. In order to protect his identity, we have changed his name and are instead calling him Farrah Schennib.

The two Islamist groups are engaged in a brutal battle for power. In July, al-Qaida fighters drove the IS extremists out of Derna, but now they are trying to return.

In this special report, you will find 22 entries from Farrah Schennib’s diary. They are filled with a sense of fear and resignation. But they also show a lust for life and a desire to resist.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A large crowd has formed in front of the al-Harish hospital. I get out of the car. “It’s Muhannad!” a woman cries out. I move closer and I can see the dead boy on a stretcher. He’s wearing a yellow jacket covered with mud. I stare at the lifeless body of a child of about the age of 10. The boy’s head is missing. He has been decapitated.

I have been a photographer since the beginning of the revolution. Back then, the world wanted to know what was happening in Libya. These days, no one cares any longer what has become of Derna, a slaughterhouse where the butchers are swapped out every few months.

They found Muhannad’s head a week later. The news spread throughout the entire city. We asked ourselves what kind of person would decapitate a child? Why? At least Muhannad’s parents are now able to bury their child.

An agency in Tripoli asked me for pictures from Derna. At first, I wanted to reject the assignment, but I can’t afford to lose my last clients. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any work for me here.

Fighters with the Islamic State are unable to differentiate between journalists and members of militias. They shoot at anyone who looks suspicious to them. That’s why, most of the time, I only take photographs from my car. I seldom get out.

I used to walk through the streets without worry. People would wave at me. After 2011, there was even a brief period of euphoria and freedom. I gave colleagues from abroad tours through Derna. At one point, I even had a visit from a blonde-haired woman, a journalist from Australia.

Now, anyone who doesn’t work for a particular militia is suspected of being a spy. But I don’t work for any side.

I stand for a while in front of the morgue. I don’t feel anything. When I get home, I realize that I haven’t even taken a single photograph.

IS has ruled Derna since October 2014

Wednesday, March 11

Maryam walks over to me merrily. She’s wearing a black and white school uniform. My Uncle Faruk asked me to pick her up from school at Al-Khadra Market. Maryam is 11 years old. Like me, many other male relatives, brothers and fathers, wait until the girls exit the school. And as always, the Hisba, the IS’ moral police, patrol in their white Hyundai vans.

It used to be that teenage boys would lurk in the alleyways trying to attract the attention of one of the older girls. But no one dares do that anymore.

The watchdogs wear long robes like the ones in Afghanistan and long beards. These days, they are even forcing shop owners to close their businesses during prayer times — five times a day, just like in Saudi Arabia.

They also closed the schools for two months. The curriculums were purged of any “un-Islamic” material. Biology, chemistry, physics, physical education and music are no longer taught. For Maryam, school is the only place where she still gets a chance to meet with other girls, her friends. Girls are barely even allowed to leave their homes anymore.

We hated Gadhafi. He and his sons ruled brutally, and we were afraid of his thuggish police. But there were no Islamists back then.

Members of the al-Qaida group SRMD

Members of the al-Qaida group SRMDSunday, March 15

For a moment, I’m happy. I’ve found a steel container that I can use to store more than 100 liters of gasoline.

Gasoline is strictly regulated here, which might sound like a joke in one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, but when the city is sealed off, it is impossible to find fuel. My Uncle Faruk advised me to immediately drive from one gas station to the next to collect gasoline.

Gas Station 115 is guarded by IS fighters in an SUV. The black IS flag is planted above the station.

A dispute breaks out as fighters from another militia, the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Derna (SRMD), drive past all the people waiting in line and head straight for the pumps.

Members of SRMD have sworn their allegiance to Egyptian al-Qaida boss Ayman al-Zawahiri.

We don’t like Islamic State or the SRMD. Nevertheless, the Islamic State is far more barbaric than the others.

I believe they are so callous because they don’t know us or our country. They include Tunisians, Yemenis, Chechens and Pakistanis. Almost all the men from SRMD are from Derna, which makes it more difficult for them to kill people.

I want to leave this gas station immediately. When the militias encounter each other, it is often quickly followed by shooting. IS and SRMD have divided the city among themselves. They have reached a kind of cease-fire with each other. But how long will it hold for? I put the car into reverse and ram into the front of the car behind me.

I get back home safely. During the evenings, I give flour to Ahmed, the baker, who then bakes tannour bread for me and my neighbors.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nadya calls me. “Is this how you want to feed our children?” she asks, jokingly, as I pick up the telephone half asleep. We’ve been engaged for six months. I want to marry her as soon as possible. Nadya is gorgeous. She’s 22. We call each other every day, at least when there’s electricity. She’s the youngest cousin of my aunt and wants to become a doctor.

Since IS has ruled the city, she can no longer attend university. I am the only one of my friends who has his own apartment – two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom. But I don’t make any money and weddings are expensive.

An IS convoy in the mountains near Derna

Thursday, April 2

When the IS arrived in Derna six months ago, anyone who had worked together with the government was ordered to appear at the Tawba Station, or “Penance Center,” and hand in their weapons. The traffic cop Saleh from the Al-Khadra Market hasn’t been seen since. He was an institution. Everyone knew him.

Journalists were also forced to issue an “apology” for their “transgressions” in the past. I told the man at the IS media center that the times after the revolution were disorienting and that we didn’t immediately find the right path, but that we were now happy that the Islamic State had liberated us.

Of course we are all depressed. Journalists have lost their courage. It’s only very seldom that I carry my camera with me.










Monday, April 13, 2015

People are disappearing. Flyers are posted in the city with photos of the missing. New ones are added every day. My friend Ali Ibrahim is selling his car, his mother’s jewelry and the house in order to pay the ransom demanded by the people who have kidnapped his father.

We are certain that Islamist militias are behind the kidnappings. For people who don’t pay the ransoms, the next time they see their missing relative is in the morgue.

There’s no authority we can turn to for help either. The city’s highest justice official is a killer named Ayman Kalfa who had been sentenced to death. He had been imprisoned and, like so many other criminals, only got out because of the revolution. We are being ruled by murderers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Derna has been sealed off. I am only able to eat one meal a day and I am worried that there soon won’t be anything to eat at all.

I haven’t left my apartment for days now. We haven’t had any electricity for 35 hours. No Internet. No information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yesterday one of the armed groups with IS executed two officers of our army.

They call them “halal” killings. What this means is that IS fighters believe it is OK to kill if someone disagrees with the ideology of their militia leader.

They simple annihilate you if you have a different opinion – in the name of Allah.

Heavily armed IS combatants

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today they crucified three brothers from the Mansouri family (also known as the al-Harir family). The whole city listened to the shots being fired back and forth between the Mansouris’ compound and the IS fighters. It began yesterday at 6 a.m. in the morning and ended at 3 a.m. at night. The Mansouris knew they would die. But they stood up against the savagery. For us, they are heroes.

The IS’ rule is unjust and brutal. The Libyans will not go on accepting this for an eternity. As of today, we know this with certainty.

They had been searching for Hamida, one of the four Mansouri brothers, because he had allegedly killed a person. They wanted to try him in an IS court.

It could be true that Hamida committed the murder, but he refused to be convicted by an IS judge.

An IS courier delivered an ultimatum to the family. If Hamida didn’t turn himself in, he warned, the Mansouris’ home would be destroyed.  The Mansouri brothers fought until the very end. They shot and killed three important IS leaders, including the highest ranking, a Yemeni, and they wounded 40 fighters. It was an historical moment. Was it also a turning point?

It’s likely the IS will seek to take revenge on friends of the Mansouris.

I wonder if my number is still saved on one of their phones?

King Idris I., overthrown in 1969 by Gadhafi

Friday, April 24, 2015

As I do every Friday, I visited my grandparents in the Ambich neighborhood today. My grandfather studied agriculture at university many years ago. We went together to the small village mosque, not the big new one. We have been doing this since the IS enthroned its own imams, their prayer leaders in the main mosques. It’s a form of silent protest.
My grandmother made couscous. The whole family was there, including my uncles, aunts, cousins and Maryam. My grandfather is 72 years old. He says we can’t lose our courage, because wrongful regimes can’t maintain power forever.
He tells us about the Italian occupation and the good times of Libyan independence under King Idris I. It was chicken soup for our sad hearts.
Grandfather says that life in Derna in the 1970s and 1980s was shaped by artists and poets. Women would walk around the city on their own, they didn’t wear headscarves and they wore fashionable skirts that weren’t even knee-length. He showed us just how high with his hands, prompting everyone to laugh.  It’s good that Gadhafi is away, he says. Then he throws a scarf over his shoulder and grimaces imperiously in a way that we immediately understand to be a caricature of Gadhafi.
Grandfather is funny, but he’s also smart. Libya is rich, he explains to us, and that is both a blessing and a curse. The people in the West wanted access to the oil, but so too do the religious fanatics. That’s why we went to war. That’s why all the foreign fighters came from Africa and Asia.

The families in Libya now need to stick together. It’s the only way the country can be returned to reason.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s 2 a.m. and I am awoken by the sound of rockets exploding. I go out onto my balcony and see clouds of smoke billowing over the city center. People are dying there again. Do I know them?

My friend Faisal calls me. “They’ve attacked Daesh headquarters!” he says. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for IS.

A suicide attacker had allegedly smuggled a bag with explosives into the old City Hall, which now serves as IS headquarters. The bomb was detonated using a mobile phone.
I’m suddenly feeling exhilarated. I call Nadya. We speak to each other for an hour. I feel hopeful again and I finally fall asleep.

SRMD fighters in the mountains surrounding Derna

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There are dozens of entries on our local Facebook page. The heart of the IS government in Derna has been hit.

Granddad was right. There will be a time after the IS.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Every Thursday, my friends and I meet up at my place. We’ve known each other since kindergarten. Ashour became a dentist. Said Ahmed works as a car mechanic. We call him the “German machine expert.” Salhin studied management and Nizar lived for a long time in Misrata. We drink lemonade. Nazir slices onions and tomatoes. I put on water for the pasta.
If the crisis persists, Salhin says, he will never be able to earn the money he needs to marry the girl he has loved since he met her on his first day at university. She has warned him that she wouldn’t be able to keep rejecting the offers of other candidates forever.Salhin says a solution needs to be found soon. Only a second intervention by the West can save us now, he says. The West needs to finally take our expectations into consideration, says Ashour. And if they do come, they need to remain in Libya for the long-term and reform the country from the bottom up. Nizar disagrees. “Only we can save ourselves,” he says.
“The Europeans have to intervene at some point,” I argue. “Otherwise the gate from Africa to Europe will remain open.” “What are they waiting for?” asks Said Ahmed. “For us to all be dead?”
Nizar calls from the kitchen. The pasta is ready.

Those who do not attend executions are suspicious

Friday, June 5, 2015

The IS’ militia members drive through the city in pick-ups outfitted with loudspeakers. They order everyone to gather to view the public execution of a postal worker. They say the man worked for the Libyan army and that he’s a traitor.

Those who don’t show up for executions are immediately suspected of opposing Daesh. We all go there – Nizar, Said Ahmed, Salhin and I.

The condemned man is wearing orange overalls, as is so often the case. His executors are covering their faces. I want to take a photo when they sever his head.

When it’s over, I look down to the ground. Then I sneak back home.


An SRMD fighter

Monday, June 8, 2015

The corpses always arrive early in the morning. The grounds of the Harish Hospital are guarded by members of the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, which belongs to SRMD. Their leader is called Salim Derbi. He is as broad as grandmother’s wedding chest and he has a dark beard. Naturally Salim Derbi is a hardliner, but the residents of Derna view him as a righteous adversary of the IS fighters.

I am looking for Fatallah, a former schoolmate. His brother tells me he has been missing for three days. Fatallah took over my dad’s grocery store two years ago. Things were going well. Perhaps too well.

People disappear because they have money or because they made disparaging remarks about the leaders of certain militias. When they reappear, it’s in the morgue. I hope this won’t be the case with Fatallah.

I pass by the SRMD checkpoint at the entrance to the hospital. The flag of Abu Salim’s militia is flying there, white with black text. IS uses a black flag with white text.

Some of the militiamen are 15 or, at most, 16 years old. They only have thin whiskers on their faces and yet they are carrying fairly expensive radio equipment and weapons. They would rather patrol the streets than go to school.

A man wearing a long shirt and a pointy beard is sitting at the entrance to the hospital. He runs his finger down a handwritten list. I announce myself as a family member. “Fatallah?” the man asks. He then leads me to the examining room. These days, they are even bringing dying people to Harish Hospital, even though there isn’t even an emergency room here.

The more modern Al Wahda Hospital has been closed for months now. Foreign companies stopped sending replacement parts for the high-tech equipment there and the MRI device from Germany is no longer working. The company no longer has any representatives in Libya.

Five men are lying next to each other on blankets on the floor — old men with gray beards — and a child. Their clothes are dirty, covered in blood and full of dust. Three of the old men look as if they may no longer be alive. One moans and groans. Fatallah isn’t among them.

“Do you want to go inside the morgue,” the bearded man asks, pointing to a steel door behind him.

I start to feel sick to my stomach. I thank him and I hurry back to my car.

SRMD boss Salim Derbi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The battle between IS and the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen in Derna is in full swing. We hear shots and the impact of rockets. I stay at home, where it is safest.

Deash has killed Salim Derbi, the leader of the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade. Although not everyone liked him, they all respected him. Members of SRMD are unlikely to stand for what has happened. (Editor’s note: It was later determined that Derbi had actually been the victim of friendly fire from his own men.)

I call Faisal. We analyze who we think is stronger: IS or SRMD? And, of course, we hope that SRMD will prevail.

SRMD has conquered the city.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Salah is back. He’s standing at the Al-Khadra Market where he is directing traffic. I holler with delight when I see his photo on Facebook. I jump into the car and drive to the old city center. People are in a festive mood. They wave at Salah as they drive by his pedestal.

Daesh is no longer in Derna. SRMD has driven them out. IS will try to return, but for now the Islamists are sitting in the mountains. Armed SRMD fighters stand at the side of the street.

Never would I have thought that I would ever be pleased that my city was now being governed by an al-Qaida militia.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A YouTube video shows a uniformed IS fighter. He admits defeat. He says they lost Derna but that they will take revenge for their comrades who have been killed very soon.

We know the threat is still very real. We continue to live in purgatory.

I call Nadya and tell her that I love her more than anything else.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I would have loved to have seen it with my own eyes. The leader of IS was captured and they dragged him naked through the streets of Derna. They later hanged him. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes when I heard about it.

It only occurred to me later that night that I had laughed about the humiliation and death of a human being.

What has become of us is shameful. But Islamic State – they aren’t people.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Alcohol is available for sale again. I don’t drink alcohol myself, but I think that is something each person has to decide himself together with his God. All I know is that those who ban alcohol and cigarettes aren’t popular in Libya.

The most important thing is that there are no longer any “Tawba,” or repentance, stations where IS forced police and officials to make “atonement” payments.

Friday, August 7, 2015

My friend Ashour was here today. His cousins are fighters with the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade.

From them he learned about the real reason local fighters from Derna decided to challenge the Islamic State.

IS wanted to grab the list of all the young widows of our perished fighters. They wanted to force them to marry their fighters. The bastards.

The men of Derna didn’t let them. They fought for the honor of the women here.

Sunday, August 9

The IS is back. Nadya told me. She’s beside herself. Her Aunt Asma lives in the eastern part of the city and the IS is attacking Derna from the mountains.

There was a major explosion right behind Asma’s house, a car bomb with many dead and injured. Asma is a nurse and she ran over to help them. Now she’s sitting at home crying.

IS won’t enter the city. It’s now just trying to free a path for itself through the desert, but it is surrounding by SRMD militiamen.

And General Haftar, the leader of the official government army, is cutting off their supply lines so that they are unable to bring any new fighters or weapons via the coast near Derna, Misrata or Sirt. He is cutting off the desert paths as well. Haftar’s troops are at the gates of the city, where they are controlling the sea routes. Islamic state has become a lion in a cage.

If Asma leaves, then the house will be left empty, but if she stays she will be in danger. Would should Nadya advise her to do?

Who knows what will happen next.

On August 9, we lost contact with Farrah Schennib. Since then, there has been no contact by telephone, no email. It has been reported that all connections to Derna are dead because there is no electricity there.

A friend of our translator, Salah Ngab, is soon expected to travel from Derna to Benghazi. We hope that he will bring back news of Farrah Schennib.

Susanne Koelbl is a reporter with SPIEGEL’s foreign desk and is often on assignment in crisis regions. She last traveled to Libya during the summer of 2014.

Salah Ngab is a Libyan politician who fled from extremists and came to Germany five months ago. Ngab assisted with the translation of this diary and the difficult task of keeping up contact and passing on information about precise events in Derna.

How the Diary Came into Being

Derna? Very difficult! That, at least, is what human rights organizations and journalists say who are still conducting research and reporting on the ground in Libya. It’s too remote, they said of the city, which became the first to fall into the hands of Islamist extremists after Gadhafi’s fall and was then taken over by Islamic State (IS) in autumn 2014. But we wanted a better idea of what is happening there.

SPIEGEL international affairs reporter Susanne Koelbl and Libyan politician Salah Ngab, who fled from extremists to Germany five months ago and helped to translate this diary, established contact with photographer Farrah Schennib. The young man, a resident of Derna, is as reflective as he is courageous. In him, they found a young man who was willing to pen a diary about his daily experiences in a world defined on one side by Salafist militias and on the other by the butchers of the IS.

The three had little idea how difficult it would be to maintain contact and to impart what was happening on the other side of the Mediterranean. Over the course of five months, they had telephone conversations in which they had to scream in order to be heard. They exchanged emails and even Skyped when there was electricity. The diary ends on August 9, the day we lost contact with Schennib.

In his last entry, he wrote: “Islamic State has become a lion in a cage. … Who knows what will happen next.”

Ripped From Hillary’s Emails: French Plot to Overthrow Gaddafi and Help Itself to Libya’s Oil

Ripped From Hillary’s Emails: French Plot to Overthrow Gaddafi and Help Itself to Libya’s Oil

By Conn Hallinan,

“Philosopher“ Bernard Henri-Levy (aka, BHL) worked undercover as a journalist to engineer the deal with Libya, thus paving the way for yet more journalists to be accused of being spies. (Photo: Itzik Edri / Wikimedia Commons)

“Philosopher“ Bernard Henri-Levy (aka, BHL) worked undercover as a journalist to engineer the deal with Libya, thus paving the way for yet more journalists to be accused of being spies. (Photo: Itzik Edri / Wikimedia Commons)

French intelligence plotted to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi to horn in on Libya’s oil and to provide access for French businesses.

For more of Conn Hallinan’s essays visit Dispatches From the Edge. Meanwhile, his novels about the ancient Romans can be found at The Middle Empire Series.

The Congressional harrying of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over emails concerning the 2012 death of an American Ambassador and three staff members in Benghazi, Libya, has become a sort of running joke, with Republicans claiming “cover-up” and Democrats dismissing the whole matter as nothing more than election year politics. But there is indeed a story embedded in the emails, one that is deeply damning of American and French actions in the Libyan civil war, from secretly funding the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, to the willingness to use journalism as a cover for covert action.

The latest round of emails came to light June 22 in a fit of Republican pique over Clinton’s prevarications concerning whether she solicited intelligence from her advisor, journalist and former aide to President Bill Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal. If most newspaper readers rolled their eyes at this point and decided to check out the ball scores, one can hardly blame them.

But that would be a big mistake.

While the emails do raise questions about Hillary Clinton’s veracity, the real story is how French intelligence plotted to overthrow the Libyan leader in order to claim a hefty slice of Libya’s oil production and “favorable consideration” for French businesses.

The courier in this cynical undertaking was journalist and right-wing philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, a man who has yet to see a civil war that he doesn’t advocate intervening in, from Yugoslavia to Syria. According to Julian Pecquet, the U.S. congressional correspondent for the Turkish publication Al-Monitor, Henri-Levy claims he got French President Nicolas Sarkozy to back the Benghazi-based Libyan Transitional National Council that was quietly being funded by the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), the French CIA.

According to the memos, in return for money and support, “the DGSE officers indicated that they expected the new government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya.” The memo says that the two leaders of the Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil and General Abdul Fatah Younis, “accepted this offer.”

Another May 5 email indicates that French humanitarian flights to Benghazi included officials of the French oil company TOTAL, and representatives of construction firms and defense contractors, who secretly met with Council members and then “discreetly” traveled by road to Egypt, protected by DGSE agents.

Henri-Levy, an inveterate publicity hound, claims to have come up with this quid pro quo, business/regime change scheme, using “his status as a journalist to provide cover for his activities.” Given that journalists are routinely accused of being “foreign agents” in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Afghanistan, Henri-Levy’s subterfuge endangers other members of the media trying to do their jobs.

All this clandestine maneuvering paid off.

On Feb. 26, 2011, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1970 aimed at establishing “peace and security” and protecting the civilian population in the Libyan civil war. Or at least that was how UNR 1970 was sold to countries on the Security Council, like South Africa, Brazil, India, China and Russia, that had initial doubts. However, the French, Americans and British—along with several NATO allies—saw the resolution as an opportunity to overthrow Qaddafi and in France’s case, to get back in the game as a force in the region.

Almost before the ink was dry on the resolution, France, Britain and the U.S. began systematically bombing Qaddafi’s armed forces, ignoring pleas by the African Union to look for a peaceful way to resolve the civil war. According to one memo, President Sarkozy “plans to have France lead the attacks on [Qaddafi] over an extended period of time” and “sees this situation as an opportunity for France to reassert itself as a military power.”

While for France flexing its muscles was an important goal, Al- Monitor says that a September memo also shows that “Sarkozy urged the Libyans to reserve 35 percent of their oil industry for French firms—TOTAL in particular—when he traveled to Tripoli that month.”

In the end, Libya imploded and Paris has actually realized little in the way of oil, but France’s military industrial complex has done extraordinarily well in the aftermath of Qaddafi’s fall.

According to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Lodrian, French arms sales increased 42 percent from 2012, bringing in $7 billion, and are expected to top almost $8 billion in 2014.

Over the past decade, France, the former colonial masters of Lebanon, Syria, and Algeria, has been sidelined by U.S. and British arms sales to the Middle East. But the Libya war has turned that around. Since then, Paris has carefully courted Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates by taking a hard line on the Iran nuclear talks.

The global security analyst group Stratfor noted in 2013, “France could gain financially from the GCC’s [Gulf Cooperation Council, the organization representing the oil monarchies of the Persian Gulf] frustrations over recent U.S. policy in the Middle East. Significant defense contracts worth tens of billions of dollars are up for grabs in the Gulf region, ranging from aircraft to warships to missile systems. France is predominantly competing with Britain and the United States for the contracts and is seeking to position itself as a key ally of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it looks to strengthen its defense and industrial ties in the region.”

Sure enough, the French company Thales landed a $3.34 billion Saudi contract to upgrade the kingdom’s missile system and France just sold 24 Rafale fighters to Qatar for $7 billion. Discussions are underway with the UAE concerning the Rafale, and France sold 24 of the fighters to Egypt for $5.8 billion. France has also built a military base in the UAE.

French President Francois Hollande, along with his Foreign and Defense ministers, attended the recent GCC meeting, and, according to Hollande, there are 20 projects worth billions of dollars being discussed with Saudi Arabia. While he was in Qatar, Hollande gave a hard-line talk on Iran and guaranteed “that France is there for its allies when it is called upon.”

True to his word, France has thrown up one obstacle after another during the talks between Iran and the P5 + 1—the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

Paris also supports Saudi Arabia and it allies in their bombing war on Yemen, and strongly backs the Saudi-Turkish led overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, even though it means that the French are aligning themselves with al-Qaeda linked extremist groups.

France seems to have its finger in every Middle East disaster, although, to be fair, it is hardly alone. Britain and the U.S. also played major roles in the Libya war, and the Obama administration is deep into the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen. In the latter case, Washington supplies the Saudis with weapons, targeting intelligence, and in-air refueling of its fighter-bombers.

But the collapse of Libya was a particularly catastrophic event, which—as the African Union accurately predicted—sent a flood of arms and unrest into two continents.

The wars in Mali and Niger are a direct repercussion of Qaddafi’s fall, and the extremist Boko Haram in Nigeria appears to have benefited from the plundering of Libyan arms depots. Fighters and weapons from Libya have turned up in the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. And the gunmen who killed 22 museum visitors in Tunisia last March, and 38 tourists on a beach July 3, trained with extremists in Libya before carrying out their deadly attacks.

Clinton was aware of everything the French were up to and apparently had little objection to the cold-blooded cynicism behind Paris’s policies in the region.

The “news” in the Benghazi emails, according to the New York Times, is that, after denying it, Clinton may indeed have solicited advice from Blumenthal. The story ends with a piece of petty gossip: Clinton wanted to take credit for Qaddafi’s fall, but the White House stole the limelight by announcing the Libyan leader’s death first.