Agitprop Is Handled So Clumsily These Days
I'll highlight the salient parts. The Washington Times is owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.
Gadhafi regime hands out weapons to civilians
"GAZAHIYA, Libya (AP) — A 22-year-old university student balanced an unloaded grenade launcher on his shoulder,grunted loudly in place of an explosion as he pulled the trigger, then handed the weapon to the next man.
The military drill on the lawn of a clinic in a remote village in government-controlled western Libya was part of what Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime has tried to portray as a large-scale arming and training of the home front. Foreign reporters on a government tour also were taken to a school where a couple of teenage boys fired Kalashnikov rifles in the air.
The scenes appeared to have been hastily arranged. Men at a desert shooting range — barrels set up as targets on a rocky plain — said they had been bused to the site for the first time that day. A few dozen middle school boys were participating in a military rally in their schoolyard, and some said they had received their fatigues just a day earlier.
Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said last week that hundreds of thousands of rifles were being distributed to civilians to defend the home front, a claim that is impossible to verify because of tight restrictions on journalists in western Libya. About a dozen Libyans interviewed in three different areas recently said they had been handed Kalashnikovs from municipal weapons depots.
The reports that the government was arming supporters to suppress anti-regime demonstrations in the capital Tripoli first emerged at the start of the uprising against Gadhafi in mid-February. The government claims it is arming people to defend against foreign ground troops — even though there are none in western Libya — rather than to fight fellow Libyans.
However, the attempt to show civilians training with weapons could be a sign that Gadhafi Gadhafi loyalists are growing more nervous about their grip on western Libya. There has been persistent fighting in two major pockets of rebel resistance in that part of the country, including the coastal city of Misrata, where rebels have held out during a two-month onslaught.
Those training Wednesday in the Tarhouna district, 45 miles southeast of the capital of Tripoli, seemed unsure of who their enemy was. Some struggled with whether they would shoot at fellow Libyans who have risen up against Col. Gadhafi and now control the east of the country.
Volunteers said they had been told they must defend their homes against NATO ground troops but would not be asked to go to the front. Some dismissed the rebels as al-Qadda-led ex-convicts or foreigners, repeating government propaganda that has tried to paint the rebels as Islamic extremists.
High school student Sanna Kanouni, 16, said she was learning how to handle a rifle to repel the “barbarian, colonial crusader aggression.” Asked what she knew about the rebels in the east, she said they are drug-taking foreigners, not Libyans — mimicking a line also put out by the government.
In her crammed classroom a lesson in taking apart a Kalashnikov was under way. Miss Kanouni briefly fumbled with the weapons parts, gave up and pumped her fist to the pro-Gadhafi chants of her classmates."
Got that? Children in schools who don't know who they're fighting are given weapons they don't know how to operate to fight against non existent foreign forces because of Libyan government propaganda.