Omar is the devil, don’t you think?  He has tortured and murdered for 40 years.  Time for a change.  Free the Lybian’s!!! peyton 3/20/11

At Qaddafi Compound, a Human Shield

Published: March 19, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Even as the allied intervention began, a group of foreign journalists were bused on a rare visit inside Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s compound — a labyrinth of concrete barracks, fortified walls and barbed wire designed to deter potential military coups.

Moises Saman for The New York Times

Supporters of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi demonstrated at a Tripoli hotel. The government said civilians had been killed.

Moises Saman for The New York Times

Qaddafi supporters rallied at the Bab Aziziya compound in Tripoli on Saturday.

Moises Saman for The New York Times

Inside the Bab Aziziya compound which was bombed by the United States in 1986.

There, hundreds of supporters offered themselves up as human shields, cheering to newly minted dance songs about their adoration for their leader. “House by house, alley by alley,” the catchiest song went, quoting a Qaddafi speech. “Disinfect the germs from each house and each room.”

The crowd included many women and children, and some said they had family in Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. They said they had come to protect Colonel Qaddafi’s compound from bombing by volunteering to be shields. “If they want to hit Muammar Qaddafi, they must hit us because we are all Muammar Qaddafi,” said Ghazad Muftah, a 52-year-old widow of a soldier from the Warfalla tribe, who said she was there with her six grown children. At least one person attending the rally spoke out against Colonel Qaddafi in a recent interview — a double-agent phenomenon that appears common among Libyan demonstrators for and against the government.

In Tajoura — a neighborhood near the capital that has been a hotbed of anti-Qaddafi unrest — one resident had complained earlier in the day that despite the announced no-fly zone, Libyan Air Force jets could be heard taking off from the nearby bases, presumably headed toward the eastern front with the rebels.

“Our suffering is greater than anyone can imagine,” he said. “Anyone who dares go outside is either arrested or shot dead.

“Food is decreasing, there is no tap water, and electricity comes and goes,” he added. “The hospitals cannot really offer much treatment anymore because there are no medicines. There is no milk for the children.”

It was unclear Saturday night whether the missile strikes had hit the air base, but in the city of Misurata — the last major rebel holdout in the west — one person said residents were cheering the sound of airstrikes. The Qaddafi forces had continued their siege Saturday, including the cutoff of water and electricity, he said, and Qaddafi gunmen continued to fire into the city.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect his family, he said: “The airstrikes sound good to the Libyan people.”

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