05 March 2011

Technical Difficulties

Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi guard outside the refinery

reports The Independent in, "Gaddafi 'tightens grip' on Zawiya".

The problem I have with the picture is that it is of technicals; ie, mercenaries. As the wikipedia link explains, this region of the world is rife with mercenaries, people who weld a machine gun onto their Toyota jeep and use it as a weapon of war. The War Nerd also explains in an old article,
"Habre's rebels took it from the Libyans in a battle which might've been the debut of one of the major new weapons systems of the late 20th century, the "technical." If you've read up on Somalia, you know that a "technical" is just a Toyota 4wd pickup with a big machinegun or grenade launcher welded onto the bed."

Who is paying for their services?

We've been sold the idea that we are witnessing a spontaneous peoples uprising but the sight of mercenaries seems to undermine that idea. Are we looking at another Charlie Wilson's War?

I left a comment explaining the above on the newspaper website; as yet the moderator hasn't deigned to share it with the readers.


  1. I suspect that most of the Anti-Gaddafi fighterts are employed by the CIA and its friends.

    - Aangirfan

  2. The fact that they're using technicals doesn't necessarily make them mercenaries. I wouldn't be surprised if they are mercs, but the beautiful thing about technicals is that anyone with a welding torch, a truck, and a "liberated" machine gun can make one. It's hard to really get a clear picture out of Libya, but what I've seen seems to indicate that these guys have little discipline and even less tactical skill. Even so, they're apparently willing to fight to the death against insurmountable odds. To me, that doesn't sound like mercs. They seem more like naive, but dedicated rebels who are learning on the job.

  3. I take on board your point HappyFeet, but to me, this spontaneous revolution just doesn't ring true. I take the vehicle as a piece of evidence that casts doubt on the spontaneous revolution.

    Something that else that doesn't stack up: I've been watching media reports of the 'rebels' with a view to finding these technicals/mercs and that particular (note the red markings) vehicle seems to crop up time and time again.

    As to why, I don't know.