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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Saturday, 4 March, 2006


By: Ghoma

        Once again the guru of Sirte came out of wherever he lurks in between his sporadic appearances to explain the not-very-good, and actually sad, events that beset his otherwise sleepy personal fiefdom lately. But instead of enlightening, there was lighting all over coming out of the sparks resulting from the collusion of the centrifugal tall tales with the hard reality of what was actual or perceived to be the truth. The spinmeister left his audience gasping for air since the amount and intensity of spinning had rarified the atmosphere and sent the oxygen to the upper stratosphere. And while the noses were snuffling and the eyes wandering all over but at their levels, the guru was busy churning stuff up his sleeves. Story after story, some only to entertain, others as prelude to what the powwow was all about. The protesters were angry at the Italians, not as blasphemous or offenders to God and people but as colonizers!

        The neo-Fascist regime in Italy was shocked to hear that it's not its offending minister -Calderoli- or its otherwise obnoxious Prime Minister and his foreign minister too, and even that MPof Alessandra Mussolini, the hag who couldn't help it when she put her foot in her big mouth [Poor Alessandra she's got stuck with bad genes!] but rather their long defunct predecessors who'd left them the ideology if not the regime they're enjoying today. Mamma mia! What to do now when the clown of Libya has reverted to his usual stock-in-trade tricks, that's, scapegoating, only this time it's them who're the goats? Oh santo bambino! they thought they were a power among the grandees of the G-7 instead, whattahisname has just called them names and treated them as merely walking on fours. All for not chipping up some lousy six billion euros to build the damned highway in the desert to forget about the whole shameful fiasco their not very well-remembered fathers had got themselves into! The ghosts of Il Duce, Balbo, and Graziani have resurrected the memories of Omer el-Mukhtar, el Aghiela, and Jandooba in the newfangled hedonistic blasses of half-fascists-half-xenophobes of a generation of Italians who've apparently lost their bearings and trying to make a u-turn to where they once swore to never-again!

        The magician of Libya said that the protesters in Benghazi and the other cities and towns were not incited by religious zealotry against Denmark or even Robert Calderoli's exhibitionism, nor even by a roundabout resistance to his bizarre and capricious rule but rather were motivated by the pent-up historical hate to Italy and the Italians for the 1911 invasion and extermination of half of the Libyans. Well, let's set the record straight! He got some facts right: there was the Italian invasion and occupation (1911-1943), there were also their genocides and Concentration Camps, and at a distance of 60+ years there were the protests of Benghazi of February 17, 2006 and there was also their brutal suppression by the Colonel's goons; other than that there was very little sense in what the Colonel attempted to accomplish. Squeezing, twisting, and torturing facts and events to suit one's purposes is a trade mark of dictators all over the world but Qaddafi has made a career of perfecting the skill. When Fact meets fiction the confusion reigns supreme! Who can tell what. Whether the protesters were lied to, manipulated, used, just to get then shot at is irrelevant in the annals of history and the official narrative of the regime. What matters is not what's happened but the use to which it could be put to.

        Allowing the protest, if not organizing it, to take place only to turn around and shoot at them with live bullets was perhaps politically callous but certainly morally wrong, and lawfully God and the Doktoor-du-Loi, in France, only know! But these are nuances, hairsplitting, and mere details for the high-in-the-sky over-all-scheme-of-thingers thinkers and strategists. Calling the victims 'martyrs' and declaring a whole day of mourning are only the icing on the cake that make the story not only sticky and gooey but above all murkier! Why? Here's where the genius of the system finds its true vocation and where the regime's secret of longevity resides. By the time facts have been sorted out, the pundits have exhausted their resources, and the commentators have finished their weaving, the attention would've gone out of focus and the events would have already moved on to new concerns. The verdict and what finally came out of the events are not as important as what history had recorded way before the facts were subjected to scrutiny. All the temporal squabbles about what happened and what took place would not resist the time distancing and leveling. If the Colonel had not plotted the whole play, then the laws of unintended consequences would work their way to bring unforeseen and unpredictable twists and turns to otherwise very predictable excuses.

        Why the mob wanted to kill the Italian Consul and would that has solved any of their problems is still a nagging question only the Colonel can answer it. And why Qaddafi got into the habit of desacralizing what's left of a wretched history by using it as a chip in a blackmailing scheme only he and him minions are capable of mounting? Otherwise Libyan history and the sacrifices of close to three-quarter of a million of humans are not on the table for bargaining or negotiation at this time. For the rioters never dreamed of bringing history and the memory of the dead into the streets of Benghazi to lend a hand to their oppressors. As to the compensation issue, it didn't cross their minds when they got angry enough to burn a consulate -if it happened to be the Italian because it's the only Western there!- what they were about was something or other that will send their message across to wherever and whoever the intended was!

        The Colonel's cheap shot was an attempt to diffuse a burning situation on both sides. On the local side killing people is never a risk free undertake for a regime whose glue gets looser by the day. As to the Italians, instead of saying sorry to them for the little burned warehouse-like shack, he jabbed their nerves by reminding them of what they were not expecting nor are yet ready to hear. He took the air, if not the pith, out of otherwise one ordinary pursuits, the protesters, and noble pursuit for the history. A bunch of people went out into the streets, got angry, and turned violent, how much extraordinary was that? Why cannot he look at it the way it was, period?

        The Italian unforgettable and unforgivable crimes against Libya and Libyans are now intertwined with a host of other issues from who we are to what are we asking for. Such a task imposes heavy commitment from both parts. The pursuer to fiercely pursue the matter to the ends of the world and time and the perpetrator of those crimes to show real contrition and the willingness to seek redemption and atonement, not in words and phony regrets only, but above all in deeds of never again! Thus at this point no amount of money alone will do any good to any part unless the two sides will come to an understanding of history deeper than the utilitarian use to which so far has been subjected to, that's, Italians have to come to their senses and face their history fair-and-square before embarking on paying their dues to the many injured and still suffering their horrible campaigns of mass killings, and the Libyans to carve that history on every rock and stone so future generations will not let themselves be preyed on again.

        The Eye-talians have a magnificent saying for somebody like the Colonel: "povero Cimabue fa una cuasa sbaglia due," [poor Cimabue does one thing makes two mistakes]. Qaddafi's attempt has made everyone mad and none got sense of what was he trying to say. Was that by design or juts the usual sloppy deliverance? Freewheeling talk has one thing only on its side, pure waste of time. Only by facing his audience, the whole country, and telling them what exactly has happened would a start to find out what went wrong. Beating around the bush and blaming others would not come even near to closing tragic yet an eye opening -to his regime- sad chapter.


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