Yesterday, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi made a brief, 14-second, appearance on Libya national TV station to prove he was still in Tripoli, and in control. The uprising in Libya has become more violent as forces loyal to Qaddafi have become even more brutal. Two Libyan jet fighters defected to Malta with the pilots claiming they were ordered to drop bombs on protesters in Benghazi, the second largest city in the country. Protesters appear to have control of Benghazi and more fighting has erupted in the national capitol of Tripoli where witnesses report dead bodies in the streets.
Rumors of Qaddafi fleeing Libya to Venezuela were dispelled after his TV appearance late last night. But while he may still be in control, his grip on power is slipping. In the past 24 hours, a number of Libyan diplomats have either resigned or have gone public calling for Qaddafi to step down. Some defections to the protesters also include officers and troops of the Libyan Army.
While two pilots refused to bomb civilians and defected to Malta, there are reports of other jets and helicopters firing upon crowds in Benghazi and Tripoli. Eyewitness reports from Tripoli tell of how the streets have dead and wounded bodies and how ambulances cannot retrieve them due to gunfire. Video showing foreign mercenaries employed by Qaddafi are exercising a reign of terror.
The uprisings in Libya have sent oil prices higher the past two days with the price of crude well over $90 a barrel. North Sea Brent topped $105 yesterday. Libya produces about 1.4 million barrels per day, about 2% of the worlds oil. Since last week when the violence erupted, Italy is reporting a wave of refugees streaming across the Mediterranean Seas.
How much longer Muammar Qaddafi can remain in power is a guess at best as the uprising in Libya continues. Reports of more violence in Tripoli, the Libyan capitol leak out as the regime clamps down on protesters. Defections from Qaddafi′s Army and other branches of the government continue as more reject his reign as dictator for 41 years. On Sunday, Qaddafi′s son told a TV audience that civil war may occur and that rivers of blood will flow.