2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March

Ahmed went missing in Tripoli near the very beginning of the uprising. His family now believes that he was arrested on February 22 and taken to the notorious Adu Salim prison with many others. At the time they assumed he had been shot dead and disappeared by soldiers, mercenaries or one of Qaddafi's security services, like so many others.

So when a member of one Qaddafi's revolutionary committees told Ahmed's father, "We have your son, he is being held at Abu Salim prison. If your family does not come out to demonstrate on Friday you will never see your son again.", they paid him no never-mind and an extended clan of around 50 adult males and family refused to attend the rally. A few hours after the rally Ahmed's still warm body was dumped outside the family home with two bullets in his head.

Many other families received similar threats. "We did not think it was possible that he (Ahmed) was still alive, we thought the guy was just making threats," said Mohammed, Ahmed's uncle who was interview by AFP.

Mummar Qaddafi held a huge support rally in Tripoli on Friday, July 1. According to his supporters more than one million Libyans rallied in Green Square to be treated to a recorded speech from the great man. Other observers more realistically put the numbers at between 15,000 - 30,000. There are also a lot of questions about how many of that number were rallied to the square.

The Internet was quickly flooded with reports like this one, Muammar Qaddafi Speech to Millions in Tripoli on 1st July 2011, and various versions of the Libya state TV video of the event like the popular HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli - Raw Footage. When I say popular, I mean popular in terms of the number of times it has been copied and promoted. Various versions of this 1:47 minute YouTube video seem to have sprung up like mushrooms in the days following the rally. It, in turn is an edit from the Libya State TV coverage of the rally and there are other longer versions to be found on the Internet. They all share a number of features. They are all edits of the Libyan State TV coverage and the video quality, by which I mean resolution, is terrible. I have not found one that isn't fuzzy and lacking in detail.

As with the Pro-Qaddafi rally in Tripoli of June 17 and the Libyan state TV video of that I debunked here, this would appear to be the only video of this event. I have only found one independent video linked here but it doesn't show anything like numbers being claimed by the Qaddafi people. What is again missing from this pro-Qaddafi rally in Tripoli is the proliferation of cell phone videos that usually result from mass rallies in MENA these days.

With regards to the one video that is being offered as proof of this million person rally, in a city of a million and a half, it raises more questions than it answers. While it is very fuzzy, and that makes detailed technical analysis very difficult, and while it is most often labeled "Raw Video," it is anything but. It is captioned and highly produced.

I found the camera sweep used in the beginning of the above "Raw Footage" video very intriguing, so I posted a request to the Doculink documentary flimmaker list for a second opinion:

[DOCULINK] How was this scene shot?

I am looking at some footage of the big rally in Tripoli, July 1st. The camera work in the first 34 sec. of this video looks very interesting but I can't figure out how it was done. Can anybody help me?
Here are some of the responses I got back:
Looks like either a long jib or a crane. Probably the former. It's a bit funny that they're using what's basically music video gear it to cover a protest rally.

Since it's pro-Gaddafi, looks like the government spared no expense and probably used a crane. It's like a well-produced rock concert shot. Maybe some CGI at the end?

Yeah, especially as it goes very wide and overhead... I'd say crane rather than jib... do you think someone is cueing the crowd wave?
So the Libyan government "spared no expense" in producing this video. Somebody is obviously working overtime to make sure it it posted everywhere and Qaddafi's people aren't making sure a clean, convincing, high resolution version is easily available? Curious!

The reference to "some CGI at the end" is a suggestion that some of the large crowd scenes at the end were the result of computer-generated imagery, which is the way we "create" large crowds in the movies these days. I had the same question myself. Many of the scenes have the look and feel of the kind of thing generated for computer games these days and the large crowd scenes definitely have a CGI quality to them but without a clear copy it is hard to draw any conclusions and much is based on what you think you are seeing.

In an earlier diary I had criticized the Libyan State TV video of the June 21 rally for not having any crowd noise mixed in with Qaddafi's recorded speech. This one was an improvement it that regard. Then there is also this odd bit: HUGE PRO GADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli - Why is there the flag of France in the green square in Tripoli? This 11 secs of the Libyan State TV coverage highlights a French flag flying at the pro-Qaddafi rally. That certainly is odd given that France has been first among the NATO counties in fighting Qaddafi.

That is about all I have been able to find out about this one video that seems to be all the Qaddafi supporters have to backup their claim of a million people in the rally in Tripoli on July 1, 2001.

There have been other reports. This is what The Free Generation Movement - حركة جيل الاحرار reported: [Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 12:03pm]
Initially there were numerous reports that there was various video editing involved in order to create the illusion of a larger crowd. Members of the Free Generation Movement were present at the event and can clarify that there was no video editing involved and that the crowd was indeed large.

Similarly, international media was present and felt there was no conflict between their images and that of State TV.

Cameras were placed at an angle that would present the crowd in a favourable light, but no comprehensive editing was involved.

There are verified reports from Free Generation members of multiple buses bringing people in from outside of Tripoli. Whilst this is a verified report, other rumours regarding the source of the crowd cannot be verified by us.

The crowd was estimated to be around 10,000 strong.

Whilst admittedly this was a large, pre-planned, and well orchestrated event, it still represents less than one percent of the Tripoli population, if indeed the participants were from Tripoli.

Similarly, Gaddafi’s continued reluctance to address “his people” in public and resort to audio from hidden locations is further indication that he is feeling the ever increasing pressure upon his already defunct regime.

at Libya Alhurra Updates a Tripoli revolutionary reported [from English transcript]
First of all, first the people that demonstrated are around 30,000. When we got out [at the beginning of the events] our number was far larger, then he was shooting at us. The people that demonstrated for him couldn’t fill the river stadium.
This crowd wasn’t manipulated, this crowd gathered because he bought his mob from all over Libya and put them in one place. It shows that he is a state of desperation. He did this for the foreigners, he knows Libyans will not be fooled. He did this to give the impression that his people love him. If he thinks his people love him, why doesn’t he let us demonstrate and he will see who loves him and who us against him.
I hope our families ignore the divisions that G is trying to create. In his protest, there wasn’t a single sign that mentioned people of Tripoli, the signs all had people from other places like Mashaysha, Warfalla, Tarhouna, etc.
According to one tweet Qaddafi was paying 50LYD ($40) for demonstrators from Tripoli and 150LYD($120) for people who came from out of town.

Other estimates of the rallies size were read on Twitter. @Guma_el_gamaty twitted "just spoke to foreign journalist who saw friday rally in tripoli they estimate max. 15000. digital manipulat. on libyan tv image used by G!" 3 Jul I heard 13400 - 13800 headcount from satellite imagery. (Not sure if that is even possible) 3 Jul

And this is what I have been able to learn so far about the HUGE PRO QADDAFI RALLY in Tripoli on July 1 and the "Raw Footage" that purports to show a million Libyans turning out to show their support for fearless leader.

Avoid Wishful Thinking

This quality seems to be virtually universal in all pro rebel discourse on line, whether in posts or comments, rebel news sites, twitter, etc. Nothing seems to be able to stem the tide, which not only includes the absurdly exaggerated human rights allegations that were manipulated so frantically by both rebel supporters and the US and several European countries but also contains a constant stream of lies about rebel battlefield achievements, and most importantly about the level of popular support enjoyed by the rebels. This is a vitally important point, and it is something that distinguishes this uprising from others in the Middle East recently. There is a virtually constant stream of completely unsubstantiated allegations pouring out of hundreds of rebel twitter and facebook accounts. These claims virtually never contain any supporting evidence, and we are apparently supposed to accept this at face value regardless. Of course, in reality when you make a completely unproven allegation, it is treated as automatically doubtful or unreliable until you present compelling proof. In the rebel case, the mainstream media has played an opposite role, accepting virtually any allegation, no matter how obviously untrue, as if it unchallenged fact.

This contains several instances. First, it uses a video of a man in extreme closeup making unverified claims. Note that these claims, unlike what is related in this article, do not seem to specifically relate to a particular protest. Thus they are vague at the outset. This article than openly manipulates this to imply that this claim (which is itself false) somehow applies to the July 1st protest. This is of course absurd and any rational mind can see this. The claim here is that a demonstration larger than the one in the square (completely filling it) took place and that it was dispersed by gunfire. Now if this had actually happened, there would have been sustained gunfire for probably several days, and the chaos would have been easily perceived. Thus the use of this video in this context is deliberately misleading.

Next we see unsubstantiated claims about the size of the demonstration. Note that if anyone views the you tube videos, these claims are facially absurd and anyone who makes them has a serious credibility problem. It is hard to argue with a straight face that the demonstration had less than 250,000 people, given the size of the square and the fact that the demonstration filled it completely. It is entirely possible, indeed probable that 500,000 or more demonstrated.

With respect to the quality of the video, CGI, etc. A full 30 minute version of the demonstration can be found on you tube.
FOUND HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iVgGLPAEqg&feature=relmfu
The video contains many different angles, panning shots, closeups, shots from a variety of distances, and focusing shots (both pulling away and focusing in). It is absurd to assert that some ultra sophisticated group of Libyan programmers was able to create such a thing, considering both the technical skill required and the expense involved.

Now we get the twitter element. Gamal Gamaty (who recently tweeted about black magic, which pretty much destroys him as a credible source, see his account for this) makes a completely unsubstantiated claim that can be disproven by simply looking at the video. Once again absurd. In addition, a claim that protesters were paid, once again no evidence, and note the arrogance of the rebels as they imply that no one can oppose them because of honestly held beliefs.

In conclusion, this piece is a bad attempt to deceive people who will not actually examine the footage, and it fails completely. It reflects the approach taken in pretty much all other rebel propaganda. It reflects the arrogant assumption made by the rebels that they represent a majority of the country when facts show otherwise. There are now over 2 million armed Libyans in the vicinity or Tripoli and other areas, and if they wanted to overthrow the government, it would probably take them a matter of hours. In fact we see that the rebels have virtually no support in any area that they do not already control. And finally with respect to your accusations of cowardice. If Gaddafi was a coward, he would have taken the deal offered by the Western imperial powers now trying to subjugate Libya. As a human being he does not wish to be murdered by NATO warplanes, and in addition he, unlike NATO, cares about the many innocent civilians that NATO would be willing to murder without a second thought to kill him.

Operation Overload

Propaganda is best employed when it creates confusion and division rather than mere disinformation.
I am beginning to believe that is what we are witnessing on a global scale and more obviously in the Libyan situation. Granting credence to particular ‘news’ reports may be more a matter of personal bias than of applied logic.
Examination of the evidence and history of the conflict yields the possibility of at least eight separate vested interests at play in Libya:
1) Follow the money. At a minimum, Libya’s oil production would generate $10 million/day for whoever controls it. Certainly this must provide a temptation to the various tribal factions within Libya.
2) For Europe, Libya’s oil is a vital counterbalance to dependence on oil from other sources such as Russia, the Middle East, and Nigeria.
3) Libya was also a potential source of oil for China.
4) Mr. Gaddafi was in the process of forming an African power block through his support of the African Union.
5) Embroiling Western countries in an obvious ‘regime change’ operation in Libya further discredited their policies.
6) The price of oil is so high that it has over-run the demand of the global economy causing a glut. In order to maintain this price, the supply must be artificially reduced and threatened.
The “Interests” as I see them are: Gaddafi, Tribal factions, Europe, China, Russia, The Global Oil Cartel, The US Government, and The Arab League. How these forces may align and whether they have played an active part is beyond my ability. All I’m certain of is that not one of them has any intention of public disclosure.

You leave the Libyan masses out of your consideration of forces.

They can not be subsumed under "tribal factions". It has been the Libyan masses, united in away that goes beyond tribes, particularly the Libyan youth, that has been driving this thing.

Question about Libya situation

Before every NATO war a huge false informations are
created from media:
- chemistry weapons;
- terrorism
- civilian casualties
etc etc

After 2 or 3 years a leak permit the people to know that
the war reason didnt exist.

We'll discover that China say yes to NATO resolution
for no USA intervetion about the islands in the chinese sea.

We'll discover that some summits with TOTAL and Sarkosy
decided the France and then NATO intervention.

We'll discover....

I think that we need good information, solid based
on facts. Not opinion that create only confusion, mess.

One example, you write: "According to one tweet...". Are you joking?
Now I'll send a tweet and you'll write an article about it!

Please, before write, study, check informations, go in the country.

I repeat some questions and I would like that you
1- which are the problems between the 2 sides
of the country (west and east)?
2- why catholic church is against the war?
3- why France drives the attack?
4- why the mass grave was a fake?
5- why in Italy the Libyan students against war were arrested?
6- why China approved ONU resolution?

You beg confunsion and council waiting

Why good people are dying fighting a tyrant.

You need to do the research and answer your own questions. You find many of the answers in the stuff I have already written about the Arab Spring.

Wow! What a world we live in.

To be faced with the dillema of choosing whether to defend a megalomaniac loose cannon like Gaddafi, or to condone the global manipulations of the International Oil Cartel and Corporate America.

If forced to make a choice I would need to choose Gaddafi who is after all just a low level thug and idiot. To support the Corporate interests would be supporting the people who force 100 million Nigerians to live in poverty while the oil is pumped from under their feet.

In light of the imbalance of greed and attrocities, there is no need to comment on Gaddafi's fake video. If Gaddafi had spent less of his money on infrastructure and domestic disbursements, and more on weapons, he probably wouldn't be facing his current problem. Certainly, the international oil cartel will not be interested in the well being of ordinary Lybian people.

You certainly aren't interested in the well being of the Libya

people. You don't even count them as a player and they are the driving force. Invisible to you.

Qaddafi did spend more on weapons, supplied by NATO countries and he is using them to kill Libyans. I'll bet you never objected to that NATO involvement.


I'd expect better from WL. The numbers might have been inflated but most western media didn't have the numbers below 100k. To suggest that they where all bused in and/or intimated into being there and that the videos where manipulated is ridiculous. There is very little evidence presented that this is the case. There is just as much loose evidence to suggest that there was actually 1.5 million people there.

Sourcing information from message boards is not "scientific journalism". And neither are anonymous sources or individualized accounts.

Please provide some links to your claims.

I would have includes the reports you cite if I could have found them. I'm particularly in your loose evidence that 1.5 million were there. Qaddafi is now claiming 1.7 million BTW.

ahh, yes. Who Would Wikileaks

ahh, yes. Who Would Wikileaks Bomb again.

I am sorry someone called Ahmed went missing near Tripoli in February. Of course lots of Libyans are going "missing" - the overwhelming majority being killed by Nato missile strikes, as I think there can be no doubt that NATO is the leading purveyor of death in Libya now and has been for sometime.

It takes a lot to make Bush's intervention in Iraq look noble and high-minded, but Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama's grubby covert instigation of civil war in Libya has done just that.

As for Claycai, if he is so concerned with media spin, he should look at the way the media conspired to make it look like Benghazi was under assault in March, so as to justify the air assault.

Qaddafi made it look like Benghazi was under assault in March

Qaddafi made it look like Benghazi was under assault last March by making a speech on March 17th saying that they were going to go into Benghazi go "house-to-house" and "clear out all the rats" as he pounded the city with graf rockets and his tanks were beginning to enter it. Video: Gaddafi continues march on Benghazi

Qaddafi had killed over 2000 un-armed Libyan protesters in Benghazi and over 700 in Tripoli in February, before NATO ever got involved. The opposition figures he has killed over 7000 Libyans in this conflict. Qaddafi claims 800 civilians killed by NATO bombs but is known to lie and has no proof of anything like that number, but even if you accept his number and theirs, he has killed ten to one.


Amnesty and HRW investigated and dismissed the atrocity charges against Libya - see The Telegraph London. (They estimate that about 60 people were killed in the initial protests, before the Government pulled the military back, ready to negotiate with protesters.) Interestingly, they have not published their own research on their own websites - confirming the disgusting pro-US militarism they both, consistently, display.

I am disappointing, but not surprised at this ludicrous piece of non-factuality from Wikileaks; is it youthful ignorance - or something more sinister ? How an organisation. apparently being hunted by the US-security state, can support another episode of US-Military Imperialism, is beyond me.

The Libyan people overwhelmingly support their government against this outside attack. Having seen Iraq and Afghanistan reduced to DU-contaminated rubble - who would invite that into their country ? Seriously.

Gadaffi is neither a terrorist nor a fool - Libya was a wealthy, well-serviced and Independent country - with overall support from the tribal leaders who represent all the people. Change - yes of course there were legitimate desires for progress - but not US/NATO bombs and invasion !!

Interview by a British Civilians for Peace in Libya group - who visited Tripoli recently: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/187010.html
This link keeps mysteriously disappearing. It's called 'Tripoli people baffled by NATO strikes' the interviewer says she has never felt so humiliated as a journalist, when the Libyan people kept asking, 'Why are NATO doing this to us ?'.

So Wikileaks - I utterly reject this dangerous, traitorous, spurious crap.

Wake up, learn some truth and retract this piece - or face organised opposition from your supporter base.

this dangerous, traitorous, spurious crap.

Isn't it wonderful how the Qaddafi supporters so quickly turn to name calling.

Citing non-existence HRW reports is a new trick. I haven't seen that before. Please provide a link to the Amnesty Int report, or was that not published also?

As to PressTV. See my blog in yesterday's DailyKos

NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!

HRW report

It took about 5 seconds to find a report on the HRW report, from Feb 2011 on civilian deaths in Libyan protests. The article is from BBC Africa:

"The number of people killed in three days of protests in Libya has risen to 84, according to the New York-based group Human Rights Watch."

The HRW also reports on criminal acts by rebels.

Based on this, I conclude clayclai has no credibility. I have learned that people who use words like traitorous and crap have no objectivity at all but are fomenting hatred.

"Based on this, I conclude

"Based on this, I conclude clayclai has no credibility."

What are you on about, clay accused the person of making up hrw reports that claimed gaddafi did not commit any atrocities, this is correct for such a report is made up.

Even your report shows this to be a lie.

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