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Grandmother's On the Roof


William Kelly
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Grandmother Is On the Roof

Former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips in his book the Carlos Contract, relates the story of "Grandmother is on the roof," which is told in the form of a joke when he writes: "…An important part of intelligence work is sensing, before you have hard proof that a critical development will occur. Call it professional intuition, the conviction that a number of pieces, when eventually assembled into enough of the entire puzzle, will constitute a revelation that is vital. I always try to think of it in terms of knowing when grandmother is on the roof."

"A foreign student abroad received a letter from his brother at home announcing the death of the family cat, a pet everyone had been fond of. "Our beloved cat," the message said, 'fell from the roof to her death.'"

"The student wrote home telling his brother that he was a sensitive person who didn't like to be so shocked, and should such a thing happen again he should be informed gently, in stages, saying first, the cat went up on the roof, and later that it fell off and then finally that it haddied."

"Shortly there after he received a note from his brother thatsimply read: 'Grandmother's on the roof.'"

"So that's what you must look for," Philips notes, "that onenew piece of information, perhaps a single line in a report, even a news report– some awareness that gives you a funny feeling in the back of your neck – thesuspicion that suddenly becomes a conviction that something important is inmotion, - that grandmother is on the roof."

In reviewing the intelligence obtained before Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination and 9/11 attacks, it is clearthat there were many warnings and more than one person tried to tell othersthat "Grandmother is on the roof!

But applying the same techniques to the new Arab revolutionsit is less clear, though this regional revolution may become more significantand over powering than the assassination of the President or 9/11.

Certainly those who now say that the CIA,big oil companies and NATO are the ones who instigated this region wide revolution must discount the original spark inspired by the self-immolation of Mohamid Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisiain December 2010.

While that is understandable, given the world view that ordinary people can't inspire such catastrophic events, and the CIA, NATO and the big oil companies have certainly moved in to ensure their place whatever the result, it is clear from the record that this is a democratic revolution inspired by young students over economic issues and one that the CIA and everyone else had failed to foresee or even recognize even after it began.

The senior political and policy analysts who are paid to foresee such trends had predicted possible coups, an Islamic revolution, alQaeda terrorist attacks and a religious Jihad, but nobody suggested ademocratic revolution was eminent.

No one had predicted that the self-immolation of a young student in a small town in Tunisia would spark a series of democratic revolutions against tyrannical dictators that would spread quickly throughout the entire North African and Middle East region, topple two regimes in two months and three regimes insix months and threaten a half-dozen others.

Even after the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt fell, policy analysts refused to recognize the economic and democratic nature of the revolutions, especially in Libya,and continued to proclaim it is a civil war and not a real revolution.

Most peculiar are the liberals and anti-war activists who were right about the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, but fail when they try to make Libyaa similar scenario, since there was no foreign invasion or occupation of the land, and it doesn't appear there will be.

They also claim, falsely, that the revolutions are supportedby the CIA and NATO and the other warmonger, oil-hungry imperialists, when in fact, as the documentation coming fromLibya indicates, those very same forces were behind the dictators in Tunisia,Egypt and Libya. And they still support the tyrants in Yemenand Bahraintoday – and for the same reasons they supported Gadhafi. The CIAand big oil already had Gadhafi in their pockets, so they had no need or desireto see him overthrown in a revolution or encourage revolutionary unrest in theregion.

But far more important is the question of when was itrecognized that "Grandmother is on the roof" and there was a real crisisdeveloping in the area?

It appears that BBC andblogger news reports of protests stemming from the self-immolation of MohammedBouazizi were the first indications of any trouble in Tunisia.

And when did the U.S.government officially change its policy from support for the dictators in Tunisia,Egypt and Libya,to the leaderless revolutionaries?

It appears that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was the first high level government administrator to vocally support the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya,and convincing President Obama that military intervention was necessary in Libya to keep Gadhafi from making good on his promise to hunt down and liquidate the"rats" rebelling against him.

And will the government now change its support for other dictators in Yemen and Bahrainand elsewhere?

That is an open question yet to be answered.

With an interest in Libyain 2008 I began an historic blog concerned with US-Libya relations. http://rememberthein...d.blogspot.com/

And on February 15 after the apparent success of the "peaceful" Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, I began http://revolutionary...m.blogspot.com/, with the idea of keeping track of events. There was also the anticipation that Libya,the country between Tunisiaand Egypt,would likely be the next domino to teeter. And knowing something of thehistory, I predicted that if unrest did develop there it would likely begin in Benghazi,where it began two days later.

While there are those who would like to make post-NATO intervention comparisons to Iraq and Afghanistan, or consider intervention there similar to early CIA actions in Iran, Guatemala and Cuba, it doesn't appear US covert activity took place, other than belated psychological operations.

In these instances, each country is different though thereare many similarities and parallels that run through all of the affected countries, as they really are falling like dominos – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, with Yemen, Bahrainand Syria teetering on the brink.

Backtracking to the beginning – mid-December 2010, all seemed well in the world, especially for Mohmmar Gadhafi, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ashar al-Assad of Syria and Tunisian President Nesrine el-Abidine Ben Ali El Materi, all of whom had reigned over their countries for decades.

There didn't appear to be any trouble on the horizon when French foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie flew to Tunisia with her family for the Christmas holidays, flying around in a private jet made available to her and visiting dignitaries like President Ben Ali at his home, where he keeps a tiger as a pet.

They didn't even notice, and nor did many other people pay any attention to Mohammed Bouazizi, a educated young man who couldn't get a job so to earn money to feed his family of eight he took a fruit cart out on the streetsof Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. [http://www.time.com/...2044723,00.html]

Although western journalists have called it the "JasmineRevolution," in Tunisiait is called the Sidi Bouzid revolution because that's the small town where it all began when Mohammed Bouazizi was arrested for operating his fruit cart without a license. Taken into custody, he was slapped around and embarrassed by a women police officer who confiscated his cart. He could only pay $7 of the $10 fine. Then when Bouazizi tried to get a license to sell fruit he was given the runaround by the administrators. In desperation, to call attention to the matter, on December 17 he doused himself in a flammable liquid and set himself on fire infront of the local police and administration building.

Self-immolation is a form of suicidal protest that had been used by Buddhist monks in Vietnam in the early 1960s, [ http://thoughtcatalo...elf-immolation/] and it worked in Sidi Bouzid, where the local people were inspired by Bouazizi's act to take action themselves, and began protesting. From Sidi Bouzid the demonstrations spread quickly to other towns in Tunisia.

The first news report that I can find is a BBC news report from Tunisia dated a few days after Bouazizi committed his act and reporting on the demonstrations, but the protests were quickly fueled by USState Department documents posted by Wikileaks that indicated the American ambassador knew Ben Ali was "naive and clueless" as well as corrupt and ran his country like the Mafia.

[http://robertjprince...sity-of-denver/]

But the Wikileaks didn't spark the revolution, only fueled it once it got going.

At first most people were caught off guard, like the visiting French foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who offered her gracious hosts the use of French gas masks and riot gear if they were needed.

Eventually the President tried to head off the unrest, not only with beefed up security and military crackdown on demonstrators, but by throwing money at it, giving Sidi Bouzid financial assistance and trying to placate the people, but it was too late.

Bouazizi didn't die right away and on December 28, just before abandoning his reign and fleeing to safe haven in Saudi Arabia, Tunisian President Ben Ali visited Bouaziz in the hospital, a day before he died. [http://esra-hanna.bl...set-middle.html]

While the revolution in Tunisia was said to have been primarily non-violent, some 300 people were killed in two weeks, and the unrest there sparked the protests in Egypt, which were much more organized.

Although cell phones, the internet and social networks like Facebook and Tweeter were used by the students and demonstrators in Tunisia, they were the primary means of communication and organization in Egypt where young people began to organize demonstrations in the main public plazas of each town and city, especially Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cario. [http://eventsof2011....ssive-protests/]

Although they started as small groups, they quickly grew larger, primarily on Fridays after the weekly prayer session at mosques, a pattern began to form that has carried over to other countries.

Like most of the demonstrators in Tunisa, the Egyptians were determined to remain peaceful and non-violent, even after violent crackdown stried to suppress them, and like Tunisia, between 300 and 500 people were killed in Egypt before the Mubarak regime was toppled and the demonstrations subsided.

In Egypt,as later in Libya, the early analysis predicated that radical Islamic factions or the Muslim Brotherhood would take over the protests and the revolutions, but when the students who led the protests in Egypt asked the Muslim Brotherhood to join them, they were refused, at first, andwhen they did join, it was too late.

With the toppling of the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt within a month, the other North African states – Algeria, Morocco and Libya were naturally uneasy. Known to Americans as the Barbary States whose pirates enslaved Americans in the eighteenth century, which led to the establishment of the United States Navy, piracy off Africa's east coast is still a problem that has been relegated to the Navy to solve. [http://rememberthein...d.blogspot.com/ ]

In February as events in Tunisia and Egypt were winding down, the first sign of more trouble in the region was the cancellation of a soccer football match scheduled between the Libyan national team and Algeria. There were reports that Gadhafi agreed that it wouldn't be good to get tens of thousands of people together in one place even if it was to watch a football game.

Somewhat familiar with the history, I knew that Benghaziwas ripe for protests as the city was discontent over a number of issues, andit was there in mid-February when Fathi Terbil, a civil rights lawyer wasarrested. He had been hired to represent the families of over a thousandpolitical prisoners who had been arrested by Gadhafi and executed in prison onone day a decade earlier.

On February 14, three days after he fall of Mubarak in Egypt, a Facebook call went out for peaceful demonstrations in Libya, and on February 16, some 200 showed up to protest the arrest of Fathi Terbil. On February 18 thousands of pro-Gadhafi supporters rallied in Tripolias Gadhafi toured the city in an open car, but in Benghazi, the growing demonstrations turned violent. Over 30 people were killed, most shot in the head, sparking new demonstrations in other cities, especially Zawiyah and Misrata, Libya's third largest city.

By February 20, protesters took control of Benghazi, seizing the police station and military instillations and arming themselves, but in other cities the military brutally crushed the protesters, and retook liberated cities of Zawiyah, the oil port of Brega and small Berber towns in the Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli.

As Gadhafi's forces marched on Benghazi in Mid-March the UN passed a resolution in support of the Libyan civilians being massacred, and NATO, backed by the Arab League, instituted the "No FlyZone" over Libyaand the US andNATO began to attack military forces that threatened civilians and rebels.

At that point, anti-war activists who had little interest inLibya or theArab revolt were suddenly mobilized against the foreign intervention and many,like Cynthia McKinney, openly supported Gadhafi as a popular and benevolent leader who had nationalized the oil and gave free education to Libyans.

As someone who had previously been supportive of radical and even revolutionary ideals, McKinney and other anti-war liberals took the NATO bombing out of the context of the revolt and its goal of stopping Gadhafi's announced and intended violent retribution against the people of Zawiyah, Misratah, Benghazi, and branded it imperialist aggression designed to steal Libya's oil.

For those who came down against the NATO intervention and on the side of Gadhafi, Grandmother didn't go on the roof until NATO entered the picture, and now it was not only a developing stalemate, but there was much anticipation of a NATO ground invasion and future occupation of the country, fitting the Iraq and Afghanistan models that were known to be wrong.

While NATO spared a grateful Benghazi,Zawiyah was recaptured by Loyalist forces and the mosque where the rebellion there began was totally destroyed, though the people of Misratah held out against attacks, artillery bombardments and a siege that lasted over five months.

The stalemate that developed for months was not unlike the trench warfare of World War I, as the front lines fluxuated daily, and the inability of the main rebel forces in Benghazi from bypassing the garrison city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown.

The stalemate was broken by the French, who delivered small arms by air to the Berber rebels in the Nafusa mountains, about two hundred miles southwest of Tripoli. As they began to liberate their small hometowns from the Gadhafi army they were reinforced by rebels who had fled Zawiyah, Misratah and Benghazi.

Trained by NATO special forces, the rebels were broken into brigades named after their hometowns, which increased security and gave them the tasks of liberating their own neighborhoods. Within a few weeks the mountains were cleared of Gadhafi soldiers, other than the garrison town of Garyan, which they bypassed once they got to the foothills and desert plain that separated them from the coastal towns like Zawiyah.

It was these Berber-led Nafusa mountain rebels who swarmed acrossthe desert and quickly retook Zawiyah and other coastal towns, and didn't stop to regroup but continued on to the suburbs of Tripoli, where the local rebels had been armed and were told when to rise up as the rebels entered the city from the south and west and Misratah elements from the east.

So the primary covert military elements involved appear to be the French arming and training the Nafusa mountain Berbers, a key factor in the success of the revolution on the ground.

Now however, with regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya having been toppled, what is to happen in the other countries where the revolution has spread, especially Bahrain,Yemen and Syria?

What is the position of anti-war liberals and activists such as Cynthia McKinney? Will they support the revolution or side with the dictators as they did with Gadhafi?

And what will be the policies of the United States and NATO towards the continuing unrest in these countries, where, unlike Libya, the civilian population is unarmed and attempting to protest and demonstrate peacefully.

Most significantly, what will happen next that will inspire revolutionary catastrophic events and will it be recognized that "Grandmother is on the roof."

Billkelly3@gmail.com

Edited by William Kelly
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Grandmother Is On the Roof

Former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips in his book the Carlos Contract, relates the story of "Grandmother is on the roof," which is told in the form of a joke when he writes: "…An important part of intelligence work is sensing, before you have hard proof that a critical development will occur. Call it professional intuition, the conviction that a number of pieces, when eventually assembled into enough of the entire puzzle, will constitute a revelation that is vital. I always try to think of it in terms of knowing when grandmother is on the roof."

"A foreign student abroad received a letter from his brother at home announcing the death of the family cat, a pet everyone had been fond of. "Our beloved cat," the message said, 'fell from the roof to her death.'"

"The student wrote home telling his brother that he was a sensitive person who didn't like to be so shocked, and should such a thing happen again he should be informed gently, in stages, saying first, the cat went up on the roof, and later that it fell off and then finally that it haddied."

"Shortly there after he received a note from his brother thatsimply read: 'Grandmother's on the roof.'"

"So that's what you must look for," Philips notes, "that onenew piece of information, perhaps a single line in a report, even a news report– some awareness that gives you a funny feeling in the back of your neck – thesuspicion that suddenly becomes a conviction that something important is inmotion, - that grandmother is on the roof."

In reviewing the intelligence obtained before Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination and 9/11 attacks, it is clearthat there were many warnings and more than one person tried to tell othersthat "Grandmother is on the roof!

But applying the same techniques to the new Arab revolutionsit is less clear, though this regional revolution may become more significantand over powering than the assassination of the President or 9/11.

Certainly those who now say that the CIA,big oil companies and NATO are the ones who instigated this region wide revolution must discount the original spark inspired by the self-immolation of Mohamid Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisiain December 2010.

While that is understandable, given the world view that ordinary people can't inspire such catastrophic events, and the CIA, NATO and the big oil companies have certainly moved in to ensure their place whatever the result, it is clear from the record that this is a democratic revolution inspired by young students over economic issues and one that the CIA and everyone else had failed to foresee or even recognize even after it began.

The senior political and policy analysts who are paid to foresee such trends had predicted possible coups, an Islamic revolution, alQaeda terrorist attacks and a religious Jihad, but nobody suggested a democratic revolution was eminent.

No one had predicted that the self-immolation of a young student in a small town in Tunisia would spark a series of democratic revolutions against tyrannical dictators that would spread quickly throughout the entire North African and Middle East region, topple two regimes in two months and three regimes insix months and threaten a half-dozen others.

Even after the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt fell, policy analysts refused to recognize the economic and democratic nature of the revolutions, especially in Libya, and continued to proclaim it is a civil war and not a real revolution.

Most peculiar are the liberals and anti-war activists who were right about the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, but fail when they try to make Libyaa similar scenario, since there was no foreign invasion or occupation of the land, and it doesn't appear there will be.

They also claim, falsely, that the revolutions are supported by the CIA and NATO and the other warmonger, oil-hungry imperialists, when in fact, as the documentation coming from Libya indicates, those very same forces were behind the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. And they still support the tyrants in Yemen and Bahrain today – and for the same reasons they supported Gadhafi. The CIAand big oil already had Gadhafi in their pockets, so they had no need or desireto see him overthrown in a revolution or encourage revolutionary unrest in the region.

But far more important is the question of when was itrecognized that "Grandmother is on the roof" and there was a real crisisdeveloping in the area?

It appears that BBC andblogger news reports of protests stemming from the self-immolation of MohammedBouazizi were the first indications of any trouble in Tunisia.

And when did the U.S.government officially change its policy from support for the dictators in Tunisia,Egypt and Libya,to the leaderless revolutionaries?

It appears that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was the first high level government administrator to vocally support the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya,and convincing President Obama that military intervention was necessary in Libya to keep Gadhafi from making good on his promise to hunt down and liquidate the"rats" rebelling against him.

And will the government now change its support for other dictators in Yemen and Bahrainand elsewhere?

That is an open question yet to be answered.

With an interest in Libyain 2008 I began an historic blog concerned with US-Libya relations. http://rememberthein...d.blogspot.com/

And on February 15 after the apparent success of the "peaceful" Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, I began http://revolutionary...m.blogspot.com/, with the idea of keeping track of events. There was also the anticipation that Libya,the country between Tunisiaand Egypt,would likely be the next domino to teeter. And knowing something of thehistory, I predicted that if unrest did develop there it would likely begin in Benghazi,where it began two days later.

While there are those who would like to make post-NATO intervention comparisons to Iraq and Afghanistan, or consider intervention there similar to early CIA actions in Iran, Guatemala and Cuba, it doesn't appear US covert activity took place, other than belated psychological operations.

In these instances, each country is different though thereare many similarities and parallels that run through all of the affected countries, as they really are falling like dominos – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, with Yemen, Bahrainand Syria teetering on the brink.

Backtracking to the beginning – mid-December 2010, all seemed well in the world, especially for Mohmmar Gadhafi, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ashar al-Assad of Syria and Tunisian President Nesrine el-Abidine Ben Ali El Materi, all of whom had reigned over their countries for decades.

There didn't appear to be any trouble on the horizon when French foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie flew to Tunisia with her family for the Christmas holidays, flying around in a private jet made available to her and visiting dignitaries like President Ben Ali at his home, where he keeps a tiger as a pet.

They didn't even notice, and nor did many other people pay any attention to Mohammed Bouazizi, a educated young man who couldn't get a job so to earn money to feed his family of eight he took a fruit cart out on the streetsof Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. [http://www.time.com/...2044723,00.html]

Although western journalists have called it the "Jasmine Revolution," in Tunisia it is called the Sidi Bouzid revolution because that's the small town where it all began when Mohammed Bouazizi was arrested for operating his fruit cart without a license. Taken into custody, he was slapped around and embarrassed by a women police officer who confiscated his cart. He could only pay $7 of the $10 fine. Then when Bouazizi tried to get a license to sell fruit he was given the runaround by the administrators. In desperation, to call attention to the matter, on December 17 he doused himself in a flammable liquid and set himself on fire infront of the local police and administration building.

Self-immolation is a form of suicidal protest that had been used by Buddhist monks in Vietnam in the early 1960s, [ http://thoughtcatalo...elf-immolation/] and it worked in Sidi Bouzid, where the local people were inspired by Bouazizi's act to take action themselves, and began protesting. From Sidi Bouzid the demonstrations spread quickly to other towns in Tunisia.

The first news report that I can find is a BBC news report from Tunisia dated a few days after Bouazizi committed his act and reporting on the demonstrations, but the protests were quickly fueled by US State Department documents posted by Wikileaks that indicated the American ambassador knew Ben Ali was "naive and clueless" as well as corrupt and ran his country like the Mafia.

[http://robertjprince...sity-of-denver/]

But the Wikileaks didn't spark the revolution, only fueled it once it got going.

At first most people were caught off guard, like the visiting French foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who offered her gracious hosts the use of French gas masks and riot gear if they were needed.

Eventually the President tried to head off the unrest, not only with beefed up security and military crackdown on demonstrators, but by throwing money at it, giving Sidi Bouzid financial assistance and trying to placate the people, but it was too late.

Bouazizi didn't die right away and on December 28, just before abandoning his reign and fleeing to safe haven in Saudi Arabia, Tunisian President Ben Ali visited Bouaziz in the hospital, a day before he died. [http://esra-hanna.bl...set-middle.html]

While the revolution in Tunisia was said to have been primarily non-violent, some 300 people were killed in two weeks, and the unrest there sparked the protests in Egypt, which were much more organized.

Although cell phones, the internet and social networks like Facebook and Tweeter were used by the students and demonstrators in Tunisia, they were the primary means of communication and organization in Egypt where young people began to organize demonstrations in the main public plazas of each town and city, especially Tahrir or Liberation Square in Cario. [http://eventsof2011....ssive-protests/]

Although they started as small groups, they quickly grew larger, primarily on Fridays after the weekly prayer session at mosques, a pattern began to form that has carried over to other countries.

Like most of the demonstrators in Tunisa, the Egyptians were determined to remain peaceful and non-violent, even after violent crackdown stried to suppress them, and like Tunisia, between 300 and 500 people were killed in Egypt before the Mubarak regime was toppled and the demonstrations subsided.

In Egypt, as later in Libya, the early analysis predicated that radical Islamic factions or the Muslim Brotherhood would take over the protests and the revolutions, but when the students who led the protests in Egypt asked the Muslim Brotherhood to join them, they were refused, at first, andwhen they did join, it was too late.

With the toppling of the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt within a month, the other North African states – Algeria, Morocco and Libya were naturally uneasy. Known to Americans as the Barbary States whose pirates enslaved Americans in the eighteenth century, which led to the establishment of the United States Navy, piracy off Africa's east coast is still a problem that has been relegated to the Navy to solve. [http://rememberthein...d.blogspot.com/ ]

In February as events in Tunisia and Egypt were winding down, the first sign of more trouble in the region was the cancellation of a soccer football match scheduled between the Libyan national team and Algeria. There were reports that Gadhafi agreed that it wouldn't be good to get tens of thousands of people together in one place even if it was to watch a football game.

Somewhat familiar with the history, I knew that Benghaziwas ripe for protests as the city was discontent over a number of issues, andit was there in mid-February when Fathi Terbil, a civil rights lawyer wasarrested. He had been hired to represent the families of over a thousandpolitical prisoners who had been arrested by Gadhafi and executed in prison onone day a decade earlier.

On February 14, three days after he fall of Mubarak in Egypt, a Facebook call went out for peaceful demonstrations in Libya, and on February 16, some 200 showed up to protest the arrest of Fathi Terbil. On February 18 thousands of pro-Gadhafi supporters rallied in Tripolias Gadhafi toured the city in an open car, but in Benghazi, the growing demonstrations turned violent. Over 30 people were killed, most shot in the head, sparking new demonstrations in other cities, especially Zawiyah and Misrata, Libya's third largest city.

By February 20, protesters took control of Benghazi, seizing the police station and military instillations and arming themselves, but in other cities the military brutally crushed the protesters, and retook liberated cities of Zawiyah, the oil port of Brega and small Berber towns in the Nafusa mountains southwest of Tripoli.

As Gadhafi's forces marched on Benghazi in Mid-March the UN passed a resolution in support of the Libyan civilians being massacred, and NATO, backed by the Arab League, instituted the "No FlyZone" over Libyaand the US andNATO began to attack military forces that threatened civilians and rebels.

At that point, anti-war activists who had little interest inLibya or the Arab revolt were suddenly mobilized against the foreign intervention and many,like Cynthia McKinney, openly supported Gadhafi as a popular and benevolent leader who had nationalized the oil and gave free education to Libyans.

As someone who had previously been supportive of radical and even revolutionary ideals, McKinney and other anti-war liberals took the NATO bombing out of the context of the revolt and its goal of stopping Gadhafi's announced and intended violent retribution against the people of Zawiyah, Misratah, Benghazi, and branded it imperialist aggression designed to steal Libya's oil.

For those who came down against the NATO intervention and on the side of Gadhafi, Grandmother didn't go on the roof until NATO entered the picture, and now it was not only a developing stalemate, but there was much anticipation of a NATO ground invasion and future occupation of the country, fitting the Iraq and Afghanistan models that were known to be wrong.

While NATO spared a grateful Benghazi,Zawiyah was recaptured by Loyalist forces and the mosque where the rebellion there began was totally destroyed, though the people of Misratah held out against attacks, artillery bombardments and a siege that lasted over five months.

The stalemate that developed for months was not unlike the trench warfare of World War I, as the front lines fluxuated daily, and the inability of the main rebel forces in Benghazi from bypassing the garrison city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown.

The stalemate was broken by the French, who delivered small arms by air to the Berber rebels in the Nafusa mountains, about two hundred miles southwest of Tripoli. As they began to liberate their small hometowns from the Gadhafi army they were reinforced by rebels who had fled Zawiyah, Misratah and Benghazi.

Trained by NATO special forces, the rebels were broken into brigades named after their hometowns, which increased security and gave them the tasks of liberating their own neighborhoods. Within a few weeks the mountains were cleared of Gadhafi soldiers, other than the garrison town of Garyan, which they bypassed once they got to the foothills and desert plain that separated them from the coastal towns like Zawiyah.

It was these Berber-led Nafusa mountain rebels who swarmed acrossthe desert and quickly retook Zawiyah and other coastal towns, and didn't stop to regroup but continued on to the suburbs of Tripoli, where the local rebels had been armed and were told when to rise up as the rebels entered the city from the south and west and Misratah elements from the east.

So the primary covert military elements involved appear to be the French arming and training the Nafusa mountain Berbers, a key factor in the success of the revolution on the ground.

Now however, with regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya having been toppled, what is to happen in the other countries where the revolution has spread, especially Bahrain,Yemen and Syria?

What is the position of anti-war liberals and activists such as Cynthia McKinney? Will they support the revolution or side with the dictators as they did with Gadhafi?

And what will be the policies of the United States and NATO towards the continuing unrest in these countries, where, unlike Libya, the civilian population is unarmed and attempting to protest and demonstrate peacefully.

Most significantly, what will happen next that will inspire revolutionary catastrophic events and will it be recognized that "Grandmother is on the roof."

Billkelly3@gmail.com

Edited by William Kelly
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