It seems the ridiculous Chavez intervention meme is now dead and buried, and WTI is promptly back over $102 following a statement from the head of Libya's rebel National Libyan Council opposing the rule of Muammar Gaddafi who on Friday vowed: "Victory or death." "We are people who fight, we don't surrender. Victory or death. We will not stop till we liberate all this country ... The time of hypocrisy is over," ex-justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil told cheering crowds in Al Badiya. "Libya is free and Gaddafi must go", the crowds chanted. Elsewhere in Tripoli, residents expected protests after opponents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi prepared to march in the capital after prayers on Friday and they were expecting government forces to respond with a violent crackdown. "We do not have any weapons. We will go to the mosque and then say Gaddafi should leave," said Mohammed, a resident in the Tripoli district of Tajoura where clashes took place last week. "They (pro-Gaddafi militias) will attack." That is likely, which also means that the US, courtesy of a rapidly approaching aircraft carrier, will proceed with previously cleared military evacuations, anticipating a provocation of their own, which would then be used a pretext for an all out invasion. "Several residents of Tripoli have said they are planning to protest against Gaddafi when they leave their mosques after Friday prayers, at about 1300 GMT." Which is 8 am Eastern, meaning that the newsflow of an escalation in crackdown and death will begin some time after the NFP announcement.
Residents said they anticipate a violent crackdown by armed pro-Gaddafi militias, who have been roaming the city in civilian cars and with scarves wrapped around their heads.
Yousef Shagan, a spokesman for the anti-Gaddafi rebels holding the town of Zawiyah, said the two sides were exchanging fire on the outskirts of the town, and that two fighters loyal to Gaddafi had been killed.
"They attacked because they are trying to prevent people from joining Friday prayers. Gaddafi's soldiers are fighting. Our people have encircled them in western Zawiyah," he said by telephone.
Friday is the day of religious observance in the Muslim world when thousands of men assemble in the mosques to pray and listen to sermons. It can also be a flashpoint for outpourings of anger.
Last Friday, several thousand anti-Gaddafi protesters came out into the streets after prayers. Armed security forces broke up the protests, and there were unconfirmed reports from witnesses that protesters were shot dead.
As for journalists who had been previously allowed into the country with full "liberty" to frolic around, that liberty has now been revoked, courtesy of a hallucinogenic spreading Al Qaeda:
A Libyan government spokesman said journalists' movements were being restricted because their presence could trigger violence from what he described as affiliates of al Qaeda.
"These are exceptional circumstances. I know you're going to talk about it and twist it the way you want," said the spokesman, Mussa Ibrahim.
"We are preparing to pay this price of preventing you guys from reporting to avoid turning Tripoli into Baghdad.
And with no Al Jazeera reporting, look for slightly delayed YouTube clips to be all the reporting rage once again.