Gaddafi's regime is falling apart

Like a snowball going downhill, momentum is definitely moving against the Libyan dictator and the revolution is now in full swing.

First it was a couple of Ambassadors. Then we had scattered reports that there were defections in the army.

Now, the Libyan delegation to the UN has seen some defections as well. The New York Times:

Members of Libya's mission to the United Nations renounced Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Monday, calling him a genocidal war criminal responsible for mass shootings of demonstrators protesting against his four decades in power. They called upon him to resign.

The repudiation, led by Libya's deputy permanent representative at a news conference at the mission's headquarters in New York, amounted to the most high-profile defection of Libyan diplomats in the anti-Qaddafi uprising that has convulsed Libya over the past week.

"We are sure that what is going on now in Libya is crimes against humanity and crimes of war," the deputy permanent representative, Ibrahim O. Dabbashi, told reporters in the ground-floor lobby of the Libyan mission on Manhattan's East Side, adorned by a large portrait of Colonel Qaddafi in tribal dress atop a white horse.

About a dozen of Mr. Dabbashi's colleagues stood behind him as he spoke, looking tense and nervous.

The news conference was held against the backdrop of many reports coming from Libya about the spreading insurrection against Colonel Qaddafi's regime and what protesters described as his brutal tactics to suppress them, including reports of warplanes that fired on demonstrators in the capital Tripoli.

And in the surest sign yet that the army may be breaking, the Guardian is reporting that some Libyan pilots who were ordered to bomb proestors have fled to Malta:

Two high-ranking Libyan air force pilots have who fled to Malta in their aircraft are reported to have told officials they escaped rather than carry out orders to bomb civilians.

The officers defected as Libyan diplomats in several countries and international organisations resigned in protest at the regime's violent response to the deepening crisis. They included Muammar Gaddafi's ambassadors to China, India, Indonesia and Poland, as well as Libya's representative to the Arab League and most, if not all, of its mission at the United Nations.

Omar Jelban, head of the London People's Bureau, flatly denied an al-Jazeera report he too had quit. Jelban was earlier called to the Foreign Office to hear what William Hague, the foreign secretary, called "our absolute condemnation of the use of lethal force against demonstrators".

The two Mirage F1 jets touched down in Malta after the pilots said they urgently needed to refuel and sought emergency clearance to land. The Times of Malta reported on its website the pilots had told officials they flew to the island after being ordered to bomb protesters occupying Libya's second-biggest city of Benghazi.

Officers are one thing. Enlisted men with a lot more to fear from loyal officers are much more likely to stick with the dictator. And Gaddafi still has those goons he brought in from Chad, as well as many thousands of pro-government supporters who are willing to keep the blood flowing.

It's not over by a long shot. But if this momentum keeps up, it's hard to see how Gaddafi can last out the week.

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