Some thoughts from a polemicist friend of the Green Planet Monitor, a resident of Central America. He wishes to remain anonymous:
In general terms, my views on the Libyan imbroglio have been as follows: Muammar al Gadaffi was a true revolutionary in his early years, when at the age of 27 he overthrew the monarchy of King Idris and proceeded to make a Libya for the Libyan people, rather than its aristocracy.
Colonel Gaddafi was a genuine pan-Arabist, in the tradition of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, except more radically anti-West. He founded the Libya Jamahiriya Socialist Republic and published the Green Book, which posited a participatory democracy from the base of the pyramid upwards. Under Gaddafi’s autocratic rule Libya improved greatly, and things became much better, especially for the poor and women, with a distribution of wealth hitherto unknown in any country on the continent (in 2009 Libya had the highest Human Development Index in Africa).
More than merely a progressive, he also aided and abetted all sorts of revolutionary movements throughout the world, including ETA, FARC, the IRA and Nicaragua’s FSLN. Throughout the Libyan disaster of recent months, FSLN leader Daniel Ortega, I am proud to say, was loyal to the end, uncaring of the ensuing opprobrium cast upon him and Hugo Chávez by the United States, any number of European governments and their lackeys in the bourgeois media.
Hypocrites! The one good thing to come out of this ill-named “Arab Spring” is how obviously false and scheming the West really is. Only months before they turned on Gaddafi, Sarkozy visited and signed arms deals, Tony Blair made secret visits, the Bush and Obama administrations sent political prisoners to Libya for torture, and so on.
But of course, they saw their chance and Gaddafi was the weakest link in the Arabic chain (notice how they did nothing in Yemen, because the US puppet government of Saleh (now gone) was anti-Al Qaeda; notice how they aided their Saudi proxies in the crushing of an Egyptian-style uprising in Bahrain; notice how they dare not attack Assad in Syria, although the government is killing opposition protesters at a rate far higher than Gaddafi ever got around to doing, and certainly far more documented).
Now, I am bound to admit, returning to the first paragraph, that Gaddafi had, so to speak, outstayed his legitimacy. Forty-two years proved too long, and power had led to levels of corruption and repression beyond what one might consider acceptable (the world being as it is, namely corrupt and repressive — the issue is merely the degree to which each exists in every state).
But the western mediatic terrorism we are victimized by every day never produced any evidence that Gadaffi was “massacring” the “people”. Of course the army was attacking the rebels in Benghazi. Governments have the right to defend themselves, and do so everywhere.
So to begin with, the entire war was based on premises as false as the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — from which the assassin Obama now slinks away, tail between legs. What a stunning defeat Iraq has been for the criminal western governments, Great Britain and the United States in particular! I have a photograph of Sunni insurgents at Fallujah on my wall. Fallujah is like Estelí — tres veces heroico! And now Iraq will fall apart. Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in their respective geographic distribution are not compatible. Nor can the West impose liberal bourgeois democracy on a part of the world that for 9,000 years has operated otherwise (i.e. tribal, religious).
Secondly, Libya’s ragtag band of Al Qaeda sympathizers, monarchists and bourgeois citizens never had a chance against the army (which, it is crucial to note, remained largely loyal), except that NATO, the western police dog, decided to fly over 26,000 sorties into Libya, effectively pulverizing the army and much of the country’s infrastructure. Then they invaded with crack ground troops, to aid the rebels, who have no legitimacy whatsoever and are a motley amalgamation of puppets and/or enemies of the Western governments, whose transnational companies will now come in to steal Libyan oil and water (which is what this in reality was all about — not some laughably hypocritical “protect the Libyan people” mission).
If the Western states are so intent on saving civilians, why didn’t they intervene in Nicaragua in the seventies, or Rwanda in the nineties, or nowadays in the Congo? Whenever western leaders use words such as “humanitarian” and “human rights,” you may rest assured they are lying. They all have political prisoners and they all use torture. Their view of who gets to avoid imprisonment, torture, or death is highly selective.
Thirdly, the future in Libya looks grim. South African President Jacob Zuma’s comment that we are looking at a “new Somalia” seems entirely plausible. The idea that the sophisticated people of Tripoli area are going to submit to provincial tribes from Cerenaica and Fezzan is sheer idiocy. In this regard, Muammar al Gaddafi reminds me of Yugoslavia’s great Josep Broz Tito — a strongman able to hold together a shaky coalition of regions, ethnic groups or tribes. With such men gone, things fall apart. Wait and see. Mark my words.
And finally, the manner of Colonel Gaddafi’s death is entirely unacceptable. The North American mass murderer Hillary Clinton may chuckle, having personally, together with Madeleine Albright, directed the killing of an estimated half a million Iraqi children, whom they systematically denied medicine to, but here the US has once again outdone itself in terms of its sheer brutality and stupidity. Colonel Gaddafi was lynched by a rabid mob, with no regard whatsoever for the niceties or formal aspects or semblance of regular justice.
Meaning a trial. Saddam Hussein got a trial, at least. He was allowed to speak his mind, at least. And when in the end a similar mob of Shiite murderers with American complicity cut the procedure short and simply dragged him out of his cell and hung him, he had the opportunity to shame them, and he did. I will never forget the tremendous dignity with which Saddam — all of his failings aside — went to his death. This was precisely the scene the Americans, French and British wanted to avoid, which is why they gave the killing orders to the murderers who lynched Colonel Gaddafi.
But theirs was a crass mistake. Contrary to mediatic photographs of bourgeois women hugging in the streets, these are the same sort of people who beat casseroles in Chile against Allende. Not everyone in Libya is delighted. This will surely drag on. Again, wait and see. Mark my words.
Let us also not forget that the UN mandate, which Russia and China unforgivably chose not to veto, issued under the slavish Korean servant of US and Western interests, Ban Ki Moon (one yearns for the days of Kofi Annan!), was clear that the NATO attacks would be strictly to stop the “massacre” — not to seek “regime change” — and certainly not to assassinate Gaddafi. But this was clearly Obama’s, Cameron’s and Sarkozy’s aim, from the outset.
To conclude, at some point in his long rule, Gadaffi lost touch with the people. This much is clear, and it is a critical failure for any leader. But perhaps Gaddafi’s biggest mistake was when, in 2003, he lost his nerve upon the US invasion of Iraq and cancelled his nuclear program, ceased to insist on revolution, and caved to the West. Had he proceeded to build a bomb, he would be in power today. This is the case in North Korea, which now the West dares not attack, because even a single, limited-size bomb dropped on a US barracks in occupied South Korea would be politically unacceptable. So Kim Il Jong stays on. Gaddafi is dead. Iran should take note and continue apace, as it clearly must have a nuclear weapon for “balance of power” reasons. Look at the world from Iran’s perspective: it is surrounded by nuclear powers (Pakistan and India to the South and West, Russia to the North, Israel to the East and the US, Britain and France everywhere).
And finally, but crucially, there is the issue of precedent. Regardless of one’s opinion of Colonel Gaddafi personally, his rule or misrule, it is totally unacceptable that the criminal governments of the West get to decide arbitrarily who may govern a given country and who may not. Elections have just taken place in Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega Saavedra was re-elected. In September 2012 there are elections in Venezuela. Hugo Chávez Frías will be re-elected. So does this now mean that in 2013 or 2014 Canadian, Spanish and Norwegian fighter jets, under the direction of the Washington-London-Paris axis, will be bombing Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia?
Aquí los esperamos!
Hasta la victoria siempre.
The views in this piece are those of the author — not necessarily those of the Green Planet Monitor.