Shooting in Libya has been very frustrating because when you’re on the “front” you feel very acutely that it is in no way whatsoever this war’s real front. When the rebels are not chasing after the coalition airplanes, the fighting—what there is of it—very much takes a back seat to the political pressures being applied to  Muammar el-Qaddafi’s regime and backroom dealing in Benghazi, Cairo, Paris, London and Washington DC.

“Photographs From Libya”
– Anja Niedringhaus and Iason Athanasiadis
The other development that’s really taken off with the Libyan conflict is the appearance of war tourists—thousands of them. The majority are locals, seemingly surgically attached to their cell phones and taking extraordinary risks in standing atop sand dunes or on the main desert highway fully exposed to enemy snipers. Aside from posing a threat to their own health, they get in the way of the others, are capable of starting panicked stampedes or functioning as potential victims of friendly fire.

The front is a chaotic place with lots of random shooting going on, cries of Allahu Akbar greeting every salvo of machine-gun fire or rocket, and enthusiastic charges forward that are greeted, most usually, in a bout of shelling and unceremonious retreat.

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