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· In Libya, the banality of state-sponsored show biz.

By JONATHAN MILLER [Channel 4 News ] – News that Western – and possibly Arab – warplanes were now authorised to strike Gaddafi’s advancing army – and possibly bomb air bases and command posts in the capital and other cities – was not going to play well in Tripoli.  We were beginning to brace ourselves.

For the first time, at one of the dire Government news conferences, every journalist in town was present and attentive. The Government Minister said that all the Libyan armed forces wanted was to protect civilians too. “We care about our people and we care about the territorial integrity of our country,” he said.The Libyan government had just told the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative that they were ready – “immediately” – to call a ceasefire to talk, he insisted, but that they needed an interlocutor. I asked whether the Government felt ambushed by the vote.

The Minister was in the middle of answering my question when we first heard the rabble.

Distant at first, then growing into a cacophony of raucous protest, as an unruly “green” mob of adrenalised Gaddafi United fans burst through our hotel’s glass doors, brandishing their green flags, wielding pictures of their revolutionary, anti-colonialist hero.

It appeared highly orchestrated. The Government spokesman was grinning. It was very loud. Not overtly threatening; possibly designed to intimidate, but more likely intended just to send a signal – via the world’s media – that the regime was angry…

But the clear, unstated strategic objective is regime change. It’s pretty obvious. And we’ve been here before.

This time though, there’s more unanimity. The world’s had enough of Muammar Gaddafi.

Continued at Channel 4 News | More Chronicle & Notices.

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