Just in case we still have any illusions , in yesterday’s Financial Times
“A grubby Libyan lesson in realpolitik”, Gideon Rachman writes
“Freedom House, which monitors political and civil liberties across the world, recently ranked Libya as the most despotic country in the Middle East. It was the only country to get the worst mark (a seven) for both political and civil liberties: it is worse than Syria, worse than Iran, much worse than Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt. According to the Freedom House rankings, Libya ranks alongside the world’s worst dictatorships – North Korea and Burma.”
As my favourite Bob sings,
“ If dogs run free, then why not we
Across the swooping plain?
…..If dogs run free, then what must be
Must be, and that is all “
For periods of time, I have lived under the same roof, with Algerians, Egyptians, Moroccans and Libyans. I just want to say that I really admire the Algerians and their fight for their independence and that in all my time of associating with North African Muslim Arabs & Berbers, it is the Algerians that I have met that understand the situation of Africa South of the Sahara, more than the Egyptians, more than the Moroccans (even the curly haired ones from Agadir) or the Tunisians (the most Europeanised of the North Africans) or even the dark skinned Libyans among my friends and acquaintances.
The Algerian understanding must be based on their country’s history of having fought for their independence.
In more ways than one the impact of life in Algeria contributed a lot to the development of Frantz Fanon and his perceptions.
Here’s a lil biti about Fanon and Algeria
Libya too has had its own heroes, sung and unsung, famous and not so famous. Anthony Quinn ( who later became a Muslim) starred in the film Lion of the Desert about the Libyan hero Omar Mukhtar
With no uncertain words, the EU has condemned Gaddafi the Desert Lion’s excessive use of force. against his own people .
The Arab League is supposed to do ditto today, to roundly condemn the Colonel for all the evil that he has committed and continues to commit against his people, in his own name.
N.B. I call he who dwells in his tent “Desert Lion” not “desert rat” – he was after all a friend of Madiba Nelson Mandela and once gave him essential support. But what he’s doing to his own people, hiring black African mercenary soldiers to gun down his own people in cold blood, is an abomination. I’m not sure that Allah subhan t’ala thinks that colonel Qadhafi is on the right path in doing that.
If we want to talk about his, call it arrogance if you like, or extreme self-assurance, or it could even be a flash or illumination of divine intelligence, but what to say about Mr. Gaddafi who thinks that certain parts of the Qur’an should be expunged or excised – the parts in which Allah Subhan t’ala says to his Prophet Muhammad – salallahu alaihi wa salaam , “ Qul “ ( Say to them)? On what authority other than his own would he like to subtract the occurrences of “Qul” from the final edition of the Quran.? I don’t know what the Sheikhs of the Arab League say about this, but this is a question to which I have still not got a satisfactory answer. The only tenable answer could be that he (Gaddafi) was only expressing an opinion. But an opinion based on what?
Gaddafi is down but not yet out. Although he’s holding his umbrella to shield his head from raindrops falling on his head and although it’s raining blood and tears in Tripoli and everywhere else his men have been shedding the people’s blood, he’s down but not out. He’s not the sort to flee to safety with his tail between his legs – and where would he go? Indonesia? Malaysia? Certainly not to Iran , Egypt or Saudi Arabia. The Shah of Iran who was more popular than him, is buried in Egypt.
The Arab League may have as its motto, ” all for one and one for all”, but there have always been rifts within that fold, and there are surely some who would like to see the demise of desert Sheikh Gaddafi. The desert lion has not been too close to the Arab League folks for quite some time now, since he has been more ambitious about being the first democratically elected executive president of his proposed United States of Africa – and of course the dream that such a president would wield real power – just imagine the president of the United States of Africa, president Muammer al-Gaddafi! He has been more interested in being that than in the more unlikely possibility of being the first democratically elected president of the United States of Arabia.
Now what we don’t know and will never know is that should Colonel Qadhafi’s dream ever have come true of being President of all Africa (- which includes Black Africa ( South of the Sahara) president of the Tuaregs of Mali, all the people of Chad, of Sudan, of the British Zimbabweans , the Bwanas and Wazungus in Kenya and Tanzania, and the Boers and Brits of South Africa – then the next thing I suspect that could have happened would be for the old lion of Libya to invite Africa South of the Sahara to join the Arab League, in the name of al- Islam and the notion that “ We are all one.” – and he has already said that that’s the fate of Europe
From dream of the future to present-day reality:
There is a news blackout in the Old Lion’s Libya right now, however, here’s some of the latest
But there’s nothing to beat the two contrasting views in last night’s BBC Hardtalk with Zeinab Badawi, the difference of opinion being not on the fact that Gaddafi is finished, but about how long Gaddafi will survive.. Fawaz Gerges thinks that Gaddafi is a nasty piece of goods and could have a bloody bag of dirty tricks up his sleeve. Guma El-Gamaty, thinks that it’s the people , all the people on one side and against Gaddafi and Gaddafi and some of his mostly foreign hirelings on his side.
After Gaddafi the oil will still be the Libyan people’s- oil, not just Gaddafi’s. So why the fear of a regime change?
My conclusion is that since “money doesn’t talk, it swears”, what el-Gaddafi has for himself is cash – the people’s money….
There is a one percent chance that Gaddafi’s son Saif could pull off a Mark Anthony of this sort, on the people of Libya, to stem the tide:
Here is the will, and under Caesar’s seal.
To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
Most noble Caesar! We’ll revenge his death.
O royal Caesar!
Hear me with patience.
Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?
Never, never. Come, away, away!
We’ll burn his body in the holy place,
And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.
Take up the body.
Go fetch fire.
Pluck down benches.
Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
Exeunt Citizens with the body”
But too late to declare that all the citizens of Libya are now going to share the petro-dollars. That too is not going to happen. However he could offer the loyalists in the army a bigger share of the people ’s oil revenue – the revenues that he has been spreading around, to gain more popularity in Africa….
Surprisingly, there’s no talk from any quarter whatsoever, about rounding up some African troops to go and dislodge Brer Gaddafi who up to now has never won or lost an election…..
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