Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Am Here in Tripoli

Not, however, for very much longer, to the absolute amazement of the world at large. The madly megalomaniacal monster that former U.S. President Ronald Regan dubbed a "mad dog" is on track to joining the only country in the world that will have him; Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez in 2009, standing alongside his historical soulmate declared: "we are writing new pages of history, we are here to change history, and create a new socialism, a new world."

Moammar Gadhafi may have videoed his presence in Tripoli, defying a sadly premature rumour he had fled his country, but it is yet early days in a swift-moving upheaval in a country that has been burdened for too many decades under his criminally eccentric rule. No country in the Middle East or Africa would be interested in giving him haven. The word has gone out for a complete repudiation of the mad man of Libya.

The head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars has issued a fatwa against the ravening lunatic still in control of Libya's armed forces. That religious edict called for action: "Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr. Gadhafi should do so". The Egyptian Islamic theologian Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi also urged military personnel in Libya "not to obey orders to strike at your own people".

Gadhafi cunningly played Europe for fossil-fuelled favours to overlook his terrorist plagues. He has now declared his intention to put down the rebellion that young 'drug-addled Libyan men, whose services have been bought by mendacious Western interests to destabilize the country' have caused. He has declared protests of his rule are regarded as a capital offence, and all those involved would be punished by execution.

He has sent warplanes into the air to strafe protesters, and helicopter gunships to demonstrate just how serious he is about putting down the rebellion. He has brought in African mercenaries to do his bidding, to slaughter those who dare resist his ironclad rule. The mercenaries have no loyalty or compassion for the Libyan population, firing into crowds, funeral processions, peoples' homes.
Homes that are beginning to run low on food, potable water and medicine.

The Arab League has condemned Gadhafi's harsh crackdown, and taken steps to suspend Libya from the League. Col. Gadhafi's foreign ambassadors have begun to desert his leaking ship of state. "We are sure that what is going on now in Libya is crimes against humanity and crimes of war", Libya's deputy permanent representative to the UN declared before reporters in New York as his colleagues looked on tensely.

Libya's UN representative, Ibrahim O. Dabbashi, issued this statement: "We warn all African countries who are sending their soldiers to fight, to fight with Gadhafi, that they will not see their soldiers coming back". And interestingly enough there are reports that those despised African mercenaries whom protest groups have been able to capture and confine have been summarily dispatched by the mobs, to meet their maker.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, in Cairo to offer his country's effusive willingness to assist the new regime-in-the-making has characterized the events unfolding in Libya as "quite appalling". He informed the media that he has tasked his officials to investigate whether any British-made weapons were being used in the "vicious repression".

Well, likely, Mr. Prime Minister, since Britain had undertaken to train Libyan police in 2008/2009, providing them with crowd control ammunition and tear gas.

Has he such a short memory that he cannot recall Britain's humanitarian transfer of Lockerbie bomber mastermind Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in exchange for a lucrative oil deal with Libya to favour BP? Which, along with other British corporate interests in the country, inclusive of GlaxoSmithKline, KPMG, Shell and Standard Chartered enjoy business dealings in the country. Has he thought of halting investments until such time as Gadhafi decamps?

For surely there is more to come, as promised by Saif al-Islam, the Libyan reformer, who has threatened that his father's regime is prepared to "fight to the last bullet", warning of a bloody civil war should the protest groups not be prepared to back down, for his father will not. But when he does, because he will be forced to ultimately, what will there be in his stead?

With the vast riches that the state (Gadhafi) acquired through fossil fuel production and export, where is the state infrastructure and the executive administration, the knowledgeable civilian technocrats, to run the country? The Islamist groups that Gadhafi was so anxious to send out over the world to wreak their mischief on his behalf now stand ready to pounce within Libya.

This inchoate anarchy is the legacy of a mad man who was recognized as such, even as he was being courted by Western business interests and their governments, and by his collegial co-rulers and -tyrants in the Middle East.

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