The Atlantic on Libyan protests:

Already, fragmentary but credible reports from Tripoli claim that security forces are firing indiscriminately into the crowds gathering in Green Square. Terrified eyewitnesses say that Toyota Land Cruisers carrying armed men, believed to be mercenaries from Sub-Saharan Africa, are strafing protesters in drive-by shootings. Military planes are circling over the city in an implicit threat of what has become the greatest immediate fear in Libya: that Qaddafi will order his air force to massacre civilians. Early reports that the planes have made strafing runs on the crowd may be false; such an attack would be difficult to the point of unfeasible in a city as dense as Tripoli, and protesters may simply be hearing ground-based machine gun fire. On Monday afternoon, at least two Libyan jet fighters requested emergency landing at Malta; Al Jazeera reports the pilots are requesting to defect after refusing orders to bomb protesters in Benghazi. These early reports have yet to be confirmed and may turn out to be false. But whether or not the air force attacks, what seems significant is that many protesters believe it could or that it already has, yet press on anyway in what they fully expect to be all-out war with the regime.

And this is horrific if confirmed to be true:

Libyan warplanes were bombing indiscriminately across Tripoli on Monday, a resident of the Libyan capital told al Jazeera television in a live broadcast.

“What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead,” Adel Mohamed Saleh said. Saleh, who called himself a political activist, said the bombings had initially targeted a funeral procession. “Our people are dying. It is the policy of scorched earth.” he said. “Every 20 minutes they are bombing.”

To state the obvious, we don’t have place on earth for dictators like Qaddafi who have no respect for others’ rights. The same also applies to armies that commit similar violations under the garb of  legitimacy.

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