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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Thursday, 8 September, 2005


By: Ghoma

       Chickenhawks is a newly coined term made out of two old English words, chicken & hawk, which refer to a north American hawk that preys on chicken. But the recent combined term have little to do with the original words that went into its making. The term refers to those hot-tempered chair Rambos pushing for America to go it on its own and arrange the world according to its dictates, which -these latter- have been spelled out awhile back by the adherents to the "Project for New American Century". It implies sending other folks's kids in harms way as long as the trigger-shooters were not one of them, the neo-cons, or their siblings. In other words, send some poor wretched to die for the execution of the dreams of the rich and powerful, and to carry out the designs and burdens of a world empire, for $12k /year and the chance to get a lousy tuition in a lousy college paid for! The term is becoming a good fit for many other situations, including the Libyan one, where lately the bravery seems to have passed us by and came less whenever the circumstances did require it to arise.

       Prudence is a virtue and no one demands from people more than what they can shoulder. But when caution becomes fear and this latter holds grip on and paralyzes a whole people and their leadership, then, it becomes a trait, a negative stain verging on cowardice. We do live in a world far different from those who lived by the slogan of "give me liberty or death," but still we claim to belong to the same species! When a whole people let themselves be intimidated by a bunch of thugs, and what makes it even worse these were from amongst them, or accept some trivial bribe to attend to a celebration or sign a loyalty oath to the dictator then the country, if it deserves such appellation- is in deep trouble. Or, take what's going to be the mother of all flinchings, for instance, the foregoing of WMD by Qaddafi and the giving up of his presumed stocks -of WMD- without any fight, bargaining or benefit to the country that spent billions of dollars buying those junk contraptions on the black market. Who, except a coward, would ever give up his/her weapons without a fight or a good deal? Except, of course, someone who's made a career out of hot air (farting) with no muscles to back up those "Tuzz in American" shoutings. Who would ever have thought that Libya, the country which still vaunts of being the birthplace of the "Lion of the Desert" and which had spent millions of dollars in Hollywood to produce the movie and to distribute it around the globe disarm itself, when the real bombs were falling on someone else's heads thousands of miles away? How could these two images come from the same place? One of them, at least, must be out of wack! And why Libya and Libyans are so embarrassingly seem to be so different from the Cubans, North Koreans, Vietnamese, or even Iranians...?

       These observations and such questions make one stop and think about a lot of stuff which we've been told in our days in school or still making the lore of mass media and pop-culture. The regime since its beginning has added or created more of the self-compliments to build its own virtual reality. Thus, such notions of pedigree, of proud and rich heritage, of toughness and stubbornness in the face of danger became the prop to build a pure myth, our unique mettle and to support another myth "from Libya comes the new!" It's said that you can know the tree by its fruit, the question weren't the tree long dead otherwise where are its fruits. Have these adjectives and superlatives any chance of being part of our stock or genetic make up? If yes, then, what has happened to them; where they've ended up? Is it possible for the genetic mutations to take the high speed lane and change one generation from another? Or what you see is a good sample for what it was always been! Certainly lately we've not much of luck to witness any of those epithets passing even close by the whole area from the ocean to the gulf.

       In asking such questions one is to draw attention to the fact that if the past and present aren't to our liking, we cannot do that much about the first, we may have some chance of affecting the second but certainly we can do a lot about the future. That's creating it! How? By being smart, alert, and realistic. Smart to be imaginative, alert to be creative, and realistic to recognize the fact that we've a long way to go before we can raise our heads up and ask a seat on the table of the winners. This kind of reasoning will also require us to review a lot of the working premises about the people: their behavior, values, culture and history. These variables have to be reviewed and their narratives be revised if not written anew. If the truth, as the Bible says sets one free, then it's to be found first and then faced. Only by knowing what kind of raw material we've been given can we be able to think of the ways in which to mold it to meet the set goals." Know thyself" is a call, at the society's level, to come to terms with whatever at hand before setting to work on it. Rationalism, reason, commonsense and science are no mere words to spit out anytime one wants to sound serious, educated, [or the other Arab misnomer, cultured!], or scientific but they must be used rightly and become the stock-in-trade of anyone who wants to put in his/her worth of pennies.

       What we see today taking place in front of our eyes or at the hearing distance of our ears, was, perhaps the stuff from which history was also made out of! A human life is short by many standards but long enough to give a glimpse to a society's mettle, what is made out of. In other words, a human life-span is long enough for one to make some assessment of whether a society's myths, folklore, tales, in sum its culture and history have any plausible truths, even slight chance of occurrence of what they contend to have happened, or merely were filled out of what should have beens, of wishes and desires that came short. A fantasy dreams of one who lacked guts. Not by chance Arabs had coined the saw: "in bravery I never tried myself but in fleeing I'm faster than the gazelle!" If reality falls far shorter of the expectations made out by its claims, of its history, then, history becomes -or should be seen and read as- perhaps as pop-fantasy, mere lores of imagined and/or invented tales, stories, and never happened events, a rolling stocks of gossips, straw knights and an exaggerated or self-made heroes, and a blowing up of proportions of the kind 'mountains out of molehills'. For, if one juxtaposes (puts side by side) a seemingly distant events and unrelated images and the turnout was surprising similar or the same; and these events and images are not to the liking, then there must be the matter with the subjects populating the events; for the similarity between the two images must be due to more than mere coincidence. When two events, for instance, that took place at a distance of close to 70 years turn out to be made of people of the same stock and leaders of the same temper, but not the same caliber, then the questions abound. The two images of Libyans crowding yesterday's, 1937, in Martyrs' square, on the occasion of Mussolini's jaunt ( visit); and today's, 2005, in the same square yet made larger and uglier, on the 36th anniversary of Qaddafi's coup-d'etat, -as al-Mukhathram has skillfully implied by leaving room to the imagination to fill in the missing images!- in the same place and with the same apparent fervor and enthusiasm, then one must start questioning the validity of any statements dealing with dignity, sacrifice, stubbornness, bravery, heroism, and any life or death scenarios....These latter seem to be not existing yet amongst the hoards, gangs, and tribes that make up what is called a country of Libya! People who still fall for these children's game of theatrics by signing or letting someone else sign on their behalf the medievalistic practice of despotic monarchies, i.e., what's called the "loyalty oath!" must be made feel ashamed of themselves and perhaps dropped from the count among the homo sapiens. As to spinmeisters and lie-weavers, the mouthpieces of the regime, those who'd made the count of heads to come out a million if not two, let them entertain us and the world for their likes, the apes, were long relegated to natural or man-made zoos of this world!


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