MORE U.N. BULL CRAP..
By Sudarsan Raghavan and Michael Birnbaum,
Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 11:00 AM
BENGHAZI, Libya — A top envoy from the U.S. State Department
announced Tuesday that Libya’s rebel government would open an office in
Washington, the latest indication that the United States views the
rebels as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
Hours earlier, the Libyan capital of Tripoli shook with at least
15 massive explosions, as NATO launched its largest airstrike to date
on the heart of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime. The overnight bombings
appeared concentrated on Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli. NATO said in a statement that it had struck a vehicle storage facility adjacent to the compound.
**“This facility is known to have been active ... resupplying the
regime forces that have been conducting attacks against innocent
civilians,” NATO said.**
Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said
NATO had targeted the headquarters of the military reserves, killing at
least three people and injuring dozens. He said the casualties would
have been higher except that the government had emptied the
headquarters, expecting that it would be hit. Still, he said, “we’ve
never had such an injured number of people.”
Gaddafi was still alive, Ibrahim said.
lighted up the Tripoli sky near the compound, followed by explosions
and shock waves that shook windows at a hotel a mile away. Antiaircraft
gunfire punctuated the quiet between the strikes, and an acrid smell
filled the air.
At Tripoli Central Hospital, where government
minders took journalists shortly after the blasts, about a dozen injured
people moved through a ward, many appearing to have light or moderate
injuries to their limbs. All were men wearing civilian clothing. Most appeared to be in their 20s or 30s.
""In another room were three dead men covered in dust. Each man’s
head was partially blown away. Their bodies, though cut and bruised,
were not damaged nearly as much."" WHO PROTECTED THEM..??
In Benghazi, U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman stopped
short of formally recognizing the rebel National Transitional Council as
Libya’s governing body. Rebel officials have sought such recognition
for weeks now, and other countries — notably France — have granted it.
Feltman said such recognition was beside the point and emphasized that
the United States was firmly committed to working with the rebels. He
said he delivered to the rebel leaders an oral message from President
Obama as well as a formal invitation to open the office, which Feltman
said the rebel leaders had accepted.
“The point is Gaddafi and
Tripoli are increasingly isolated diplomatically,” Feltman said. “In
attacking, threatening and brutally suppressing the Libyan people,
Colonel Gaddafi has lost the legitimacy to rule. He can’t regain control
of Libya. He must step down immediately, thereby allowing the Libyan
people to determine their own future.”
Libya’s conflict is
currently bogged down in a military stalemate, with this oil-rich North
African nation essentially split into half. The rebels, poorly trained
and ill-equipped, are hoping that NATO bombardments will weaken
Gaddafi’s forces and allow them to push westwards toward Tripoli. Rebel
leaders are also seeking financial support from the United States and
European powers, including access to billions of dollars of Gaddafi’s
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